Disclaimers: I don’t own anything.
Author’s notes: Here is another part of what some people have called an epic. I hope I’m still holding everyone’s interest.
Heero and the other pilots arrived at the military base in their Gundams. It was just a simple mission. They had gotten
information from a source telling them that a new military faction was growing, preparing to make a move. But for them to do
anything, they needed mobile suits. And this base was getting ready to mass-produce the suits. Heero and the others were to
prevent them from building any.
“Something isn’t right about this.” Trowa commented over the communication system.
“What are you talking about?” Heero asked, aiming his weapon at one of the buildings.
Then Heero saw it, there were no people, no mobile suits, nothing. The place was completely empty. It looked to have been
abandoned for a long time, maybe several years. What the hell was going on?
“If this base is getting ready to mass produce mobile suits, shouldn’t there be someone here guarding it?” Trowa replied.
“I don’t like having my time wasted.” Wufei said, indignantly.
“Who would go to the trouble of getting us here? And for what possible reason?” Heero asked out loud, although he hadn’t
“Why don’t we find out?” Trowa answered.
“Right.” Heero replied. “Head back to base.”
Something nagged at the back of his mind, telling him that he should hurry. Something was definitely wrong, but he couldn’t
figure out exactly what it was. All he had was a feeling, a sense of dread. And he couldn’t explain why he felt that way. Heero
did know, however, that whoever had led them here and wasted his time, would answer to him.
Trowa paced behind Heero as he worked on his laptop. He glanced to his right and saw Wufei standing against the wall, his
arms folded over his chest in a normal pose for the Chinese pilot. The three of them had only gotten back to the base a few
minutes ago, and immediately Heero had gone to his laptop, checking to see who owned the base they were supposed to have
Something in him kept telling him that something was wrong, although he couldn’t explain why. It was just a feeling, nothing
substantial. Trowa shook his head, trying to push his nervousness away. It wouldn’t do any good to get nervous now anyway.
“Anything yet?” Trowa asked, peering over Heero’s shoulder.
Heero’s hands flew over the keys as he spoke. “Yes. The property, and the building that stands on it, is owned by Tom
Carlson. It was a factory manufacturing some unknown substance. There are no records detailing exactly what was made
there, but the owner was arrested and the factory was closed down about ten years ago. After that, it seems as if Mr. Carlson
just disappeared off the face of the Earth.”
Trowa thought for a moment, and then it hit him. Tom Carlson, Carl Thompson. The name of the owner of the building and
the one of Duo’s tormentor were too similar to just be a coincidence. If this was the same guy that had hurt Duo so badly, then
this was just a set up to get them away from the safe house.
“That son of a bitch!” Trowa shouted.
Heero looked over his shoulder with a genuine expression of shock on his face. “What’s wrong?” He asked.
Trowa stared down at Heero, debating with himself whether he should say anything. But if Duo was in trouble, he had to. “The
name, Tom Carlson. It’s similar to the name of the man that hurt Duo. Carl Thompson. I just don’t think it’s a coincidence.”
Heero’s eyes widened as the color drained from his face. “Are you sure?”
“Look at the evidence. Ten years ago, Tom Carlson disappeared. He could have changed his name and moved up to the
colonies, where, eventually, he first met Duo. That substance that he was manufacturing in his factory could have been the
drug he got Duo hooked on.” Trowa replied, hoping that he was wrong.
Trowa watched as Heero’s eyes narrowed. Heero abruptly stood, flipping over his chair. “That son of a bitch!” Heero
shouted, repeating Trowa’s comment.
“If you two are finished discussing this, I believe we should hastily make our way back to the safe house.” Wufei announced.
Neither Trowa nor Heero replied. They all just left, running to the garage where they took one of the cars. Wufei drove, and it
seemed as if the Chinese pilot was worried.
Trowa was a wreck, wondering if anything had happened to Quatre. He just couldn’t stop thinking about his blonde angel.
Quatre was sick, his body weakened. If Carl showed up, Quatre wouldn’t be able to defend himself. Of course he was also
worried about Duo and Sally, but it was just that Quatre meant so much more to him. Quatre was his life, the only thing that
kept him going from day to day. If it weren’t for Quatre and the missions, Trowa would have given up long ago and ended it
all. Quatre was the only reason Trowa had stayed alive for so long. Without him, Trowa would have no reason to continue, no
reason other than the missions, and eventually they wouldn’t matter to him anymore.
He closed his eyes, hoping Quatre was okay. Silently, he prayed to a God he had never believed in, begging for the life of the
one that kept him sane, for the life of the angel that kept him alive.
Wufei slammed on the breaks in front of the safe house. The three of them jumped out. Wufei hadn’t even bothered to turn off
the engine. There was no time. If Quatre and Duo were in danger, then they had to move quickly.
The first thing he noticed, was that the front door of the house was wide open. Inwardly he fumed, angry that he had been
fooled, that the mission had just been a trick. But he also worried for his friends. He would hate to see anything happen to any
of them. Neither Duo or Quatre were at their peak physical condition. And Sally was just a woman, albeit a strong woman, but
still a woman. She wouldn’t be able to stop Carl if he showed up. Wufei was sure of that, even if he hadn’t ever met Carl in
person. By reputation alone, this man seemed to be very dangerous. The way that Carl had hurt Duo, a Gundam pilot, proved
to Wufei that he wasn’t mistaken about this man.
As he entered the house, Wufei stopped short. Sally was sitting on the floor, her hands clutching her leg. Wufei could see the
blood covering her hands and the cloth of her pants.
He ran to her side, Trowa and Heero close behind him. Before he could ask anything, Heero spoke. “What happened? Where’s
Sally looked up and grimaced, obviously in pain. “He took them.” Sally answered.
Wufei pulled her hands away from her leg, wanting to see the wound. He had to know if she needed any kind of treatment. But
it looked as if someone had already tended to her wounds. A sleeve was wrapped around her leg, stopping the blood loss.
Wufei remembered that Duo had been wearing a shirt like that before they had left that morning.
“Who took them?” Heero nearly shouted.
“Quatre too?” Trowa asked, slightly calmer than Heero, although his fear was apparent in his voice.
“What happened?!” Heero demanded.
Wufei looked over his shoulder at Heero. “Please calm down. I wouldn’t want to have to sedate you.” And he did mean that.
If they were going to rescue Duo or even find where he was being held prisoner by Carl, they would need Heero’s help.
Heero didn’t reply, only glared at him.
Wufei turned back to Sally and placed his hand on her shoulder. “I think you better start from the beginning.” He said, waiting
patiently for her to begin talking.
“We were eating dinner. The doorbell rang and Quatre went to answer it.” She said, taking a deep breath and exhaling before
she continued. “We heard a struggle and came out to see what had happened. And there was this guy with a gun to Quatre’s
“What was his name?” Heero interrupted.
“I think Duo called him Carl.” Sally said.
Wufei heard as both Heero and Trowa gasped. But he didn’t turn his attention to them. He was listening to Sally.
“What happened after that?” Trowa asked.
“He shot me when I asked what he wanted. I take it that he was the man that hurt Duo?”
“Yes, he was.” Heero replied quietly.
“Well, he gave Duo a choice. Either Duo go with him willingly, or Quatre would take his place. Duo went with him. But that
bastard took Quatre anyway, to keep Duo from attempting an escape.” Sally said.
“How are we going to find them?” Trowa asked.
Wufei turned to him, and saw a single tear fall from the usually stoic pilot’s eye. It was strange to see any emotion from either
Heero or Trowa. It was quite unnerving to see them scared.
Wufei knew he had to take control of this situation. Heero and Trowa were both too emotional to be able to think properly, and
Sally was injured. Sure Wufei was angry too, at the fact that Sally had been hurt, his friends kidnapped, and that he had been
fooled, but he kept his calm. He had to think of something quick before either of his fellow pilots decided to do something
drastic, something foolish.
“Trowa, why don’t you look around outside for any clues? Maybe Carl left some trace that we can follow.” Wufei said.
“Yeah. Okay.” Trowa answered quietly. He turned and walked to the door. Wufei was glad that he was staying calm. He
didn’t need both unemotional pilots to go off the deep end.
“Heero, help me with Sally.” Wufei said, turning his attention to the other pilot.
Heero didn’t move. Wufei could see the fear in his eyes, the worry. His mind was obviously preoccupied with thoughts of
Duo. But Wufei couldn’t blame him, it was plain to see that Heero cared deeply for the American. And he was so unused to his
own emotions. No wonder he had trouble handling this.
“Come on Heero. I do not believe the floor is the best place for Sally to recover.” Wufei stated.
Heero finally nodded, not saying a word. He stepped over to Sally and knelt down. Then he and Wufei lifted her, wrapping their
arms around her to keep the weight off her injured leg.
Duo awakened on a cold hard floor. No, he thought, Good Lord not again. It hadn’t been a dream, some terrible nightmare. It
was real. He was back with Carl again.
He pulled his legs closer to his body, the chain around his ankle scraping across the floor as he moved. His hair was loose, and
tickling his bare back as it washed across his skin. He was cold, so very cold. His clothes were gone once again, and he lay
there shivering. This was how it was before, when Carl had tried to bring him back into the business the first time. First there
was the coldness of the room, then the pain began.
Duo closed his eyes against the memories, not wanting to know that pain again. He couldn’t allow Carl to turn him into that
disgusting creature again, the creature that lived from job to job, having sex with whoever Carl told him to, only hanging on until
his next fix of a drug that Carl made himself.
If Carl offered him the option of drugs again, Duo wouldn’t take it. No matter what Carl did to him, Duo had to hang on.
Heero would come for him, he would save him. Somehow Heero would find him, come get him. Duo had to believe that, or
else everything was over. If he gave in, he might as well be dead.
“Finally, you’re awake.” Carl said, walking over to Duo’s side.
“Where’s Quatre?” Duo asked, hoping Carl wasn’t treating the young Arabian the same way as him.
“Your friend?” Carl replied, kneeling beside Duo. “He’s fine. For now.”
Duo forced himself to sit up, his arm throbbing in pain. He glanced down and noticed that his cast was gone. But he didn't give
it a second thought. It really didn’t matter.
“Leave him alone.” Duo sneered. He couldn’t let anything happen to Quatre.
Carl reached out, running his fingers along Duo’s cheek. Duo quickly slapped that hand away, not wanting to be touched by
that man. He backed away, trying to get away from the pain he knew Carl would inflict on him for that one small action.
But Carl only smiled. “You really don’t care for that friend of yours do you?” He asked. “You should really do what I say,
unless you want that pretty young blonde to take your place.”
“If you touch him, I’ll kill you.” Duo replied, glaring as harshly as he could.
“Yeah. I’m sure you will.” Carl laughed, grabbing Duo’s arm so quickly that Duo hadn’t even seen him move. Maybe he was
still a little out of it, but he hadn’t known he was that bad.
Unfortunately, the arm that Carl had grabbed, was the one that had been in a cast. Duo yelled out as Carl twisted his broken
arm. Pain tore through him, pulsing up his arm in unbearably agonizing waves. White spots stole into his vision, making
everything blurry. He struggled to breathe despite the horrible pain in his arm.
“Your friends can’t help you Duo. No one can.” Carl whispered into his ear. “By now, they’ve realized you’re gone, but they
can’t do anything about it. Even if they find this place, by the time they get here we’ll be long gone.”
“What are you talking about?” Duo asked, wishing Carl would just let his arm go. It hurt so much.
Carl pulled away from him, still holding his incredibly sore arm in his strong grip. “You don’t think I’d stay here, knowing who
your friends are, do you?”
Carl finally released his grasp. And Duo just sat there, cradling his throbbing arm close to his chest. He stared up as Carl
continued to speak. “In just a few days, once you’re broken in again, we’re moving. New town, new name, same old jobs.”
Duo shuddered, trying to move as far back as he could. Even when he hit the cold stone wall behind him, he continued to back
up, pressing himself as close to the stone as he could. The look in Carl’s eyes terrified him, made him fear everything about this
Carl stood and backed away, moving swiftly to the door. Duo just watched as Carl left. He heard as the door was locked
behind him. Then Duo fell to the ground, sobbing, knowing he might die there. He wouldn’t let Carl control him again, couldn’t
Still, Duo held on to his hope. He couldn’t let Carl’s words break him. Heero would come, he had to. Heero would come and
save him from this hell he had been returned to.
Quatre sat there on the small mattress in the corner. It was all he had, not even a blanket or anything. A shackle was around his
one ankle, chained to a bolt imbedded in the floor. But he was sure he had gotten more than Duo.
Quatre felt an icy chill, although his own body was quite warm. His clothes were gone, but he didn’t feel cold in the least. The
room he was in was well heated. It had to be Duo that he was sensing. Duo must be freezing.
A man was standing across from him, guarding the door. No, he wasn’t a man, just a boy. He couldn’t have been older than
sixteen, but his eyes told Quatre that he had seen far more than he should have in his young life. His hair was short and dark,
his body well built, but his eyes keep distracting Quatre. They were dark, far darker than they should be, as if his very soul was
Quatre lifted his hand to his forehead. His fingers came in contact with the wound on his head, the bump and gash caused when
Carl had hit him with the gun. Dried blood still stuck to his head, since no one had bothered to clean his wound. And why
should they? He was just an object to them, something to be used against Duo. Of course Carl could always change his mind
and decide to start using Quatre like he was using Duo.
“Where’s Duo?” Quatre asked the young man in front of him. He had already asked this question three times, and still hadn’t
gotten an answer from the boy.
The boy didn’t move. He just continued to stare at Quatre, something sinister lurking behind his eyes. There was something
about him that scared Quatre, something that couldn’t be explained by words, just an awful feeling in the pit of his stomach.
“Why won’t you answer me? Please, tell me where my friend is.” Quatre pleaded, worry clouding his judgement. He knew
that he should keep his emotions down, not let these people see how terrified he was.
“Does it really matter?” The boy asked. “You can’t help him.”
Quatre was about to reply, when suddenly an intense pain slammed into his chest and left arm. It was Duo he was sensing, Duo
was in pain. He clutched his arm, trying to alleviate some of the pain he felt. It was horrible, like a throbbing ache that moved
throughout his arm. But Quatre was sure that it was far worse for Duo. He fell to his side, pulling his legs close to his body as
the pain filled his mind. Quatre screamed, before he was aware that he had even opened his mouth.
Just as suddenly as it had hit him, the pain subsided. But a terrible gnawing fear took its place. He shivered, not able to stop
himself. But even though he felt Duo’s pain and fear, he also felt that glimmer of hope. Duo hadn’t given up, and that was the
only thing that was able to soothe Quatre somewhat.
Quatre didn’t know how long he could hold on, how long he could remain strong in this awful place. So many were suffering,
so many in pain, and there was such hatred. Although his connection to his friends was stronger, the pain they felt almost like
his own, he could sense so many others. This whole hotel was filled with suffering, and even as dull as it was to him, it was
still almost too much to handle all at once.
A short time later, the door to his room opened. It could have only been a few minutes, not much longer. A man walked in, and
Quatre shuddered, recognizing him as the man that had come to the safe house. It was Carl.
The boy, still standing near the door, turned to Carl and whispered something into the older man’s ear. A smile spread across
Carl’s face, and inwardly Quatre felt as if a cold hand was gripping his heart. Terror entered his mind as the boy left, leaving
Quatre and Carl alone in the small room.
Quatre pushed himself up from the mattress, trying to get as far from Carl as he could. Carl only smiled at his futile actions,
seemingly enjoying the way Quatre attempted to get away.
He knelt in front of Quatre, reaching out and brushing his rough fingers across Quatre’s cheek. Quatre shook with fear, not just
his own, but Duo’s as well. If it had just been his own fear, maybe he could have done something, but already he was being
overwhelmed with the emotions surrounding him. Quatre couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, as Carl ran his hand through his hair.
“Amazing. Simply amazing. Seems I have an empath to play with.” Carl smiled.
“Leave me alone.” Quatre whispered, barely able to even get those few words to leave his mouth. Who knew what Carl would
do to him now that he knew that Quatre was an empath. He could do so many terrible things without ever touching him.
“Oh, but I can’t. You are going to help me break Duo back in. I think if he sees you suffering, he might give in more easily.
After all the trouble I went to, trying to find him, I think I deserve to get him back.”
Quatre blinked, a thought occurring to him. “How did you find him?”
Carl’s grin only seemed to widen. “I have friends in very high places. Actually clients. And if they want what I provide,
sometimes they have to give information, but not just to me though. One of them leaked a little bit of false information for me,
leading those pilots away from the safe house just long enough so that I could get my favorite back.”
Carl’s hand gripped his hair tight. Quatre winced at the slight pain of his scalp being stretched. It was nothing compared to
what he felt in his heart, all the suffering of those people in the hotel.
He pulled Quatre down by his hair, forcing him to lie back on the old mattress. Then he released his grip on Quatre’s hair.
“Now, let’s see what we’ve got here.” Carl said as he looked Quatre over, examining every inch of the Arabian’s body. Quatre
could sense Carl’s emotions, the lust and greed. It was so revolting to him, so frightening.
Quatre shuddered again, moving his hands in an attempt to cover himself somewhat, to preserve some shred of his dignity. But
Carl just slapped his hands away. Quatre closed his eyes, clenching his fists at his sides, and hoping that Carl wouldn’t do
anything to him.
His skin felt as if it were crawling under Carl’s touch. Quatre hated it, the way Carl ran his hands over his skin. Carl’s hands
ran along his hips then dipped below his waist, and Quatre once again tried to move away. However, he didn’t get too far. Carl
straddled Quatre’s body, his hands moving up to tightly grip Quatre’s arms, pinning him down to the mattress. Quatre was
thankful that this man was fully clothed. But, gasping for breath, he still feared what would happen next.
Carl leaned over him, a smile still on his face, and harshly pressed his lips to Quatre’s. He rammed his tongue into Quatre's
mouth before he had a chance to close his teeth. Bile rose in Quatre’s throat, and he had to force himself not to retch.
If Quatre hadn’t feared what would happen to both him and Duo, he would have bitten down on that disgusting tongue. But
who knew what this bastard would do if Quatre took any action against him. So he just lay there, his body shivering, his mind
screaming out in agony, as Carl roughly invaded his mouth with his tongue.
Heero wandered through the halls in a daze. How could he have been fooled? Now because he had been so blind, Duo was in
danger again. And not only Duo, but Quatre as well.
He stopped, staring at the door to Duo’s room. This was his fault, all his fault. He never should have left Duo’s side. Duo had
needed him and he had left him. He should have stayed.
Heero opened the door and entered the silent room. He inhaled deeply, breathing in the lingering scent of the man he loved, Duo
Maxwell. He walked over to the bed and sat. Grabbing the stuffed bear from the bedside table, he laid down.
How could he forgive himself for this? How could Duo ever forgive him? Heero pulled the bear closer to him, wrapping his
arms around it, wishing it was Duo that he was holding.
For the first time in his life, Heero truly didn’t know what to do. He was scared and he didn’t know how to stop the fear. It
surrounded him, invading every pore of his body. He felt as if he was drowning, with no hope of ever being able to pull himself
from the dread that covered him. It hurt so much.
He wished he could do something, anything. The others all had something to do. Wufei was getting a description of Carl from
Sally. And Trowa was outside, looking for any clue, any sign, that might lead them to Carl. But not Heero, he was left with his
thoughts, his doubts of ever getting Duo back.
Heero closed his eyes against his tears, afraid of letting his emotions out. He whimpered as he once again tried to regain control
of himself. He had to get a hold on his emotions. He could feel his body shaking, but he couldn’t stop it.
A hand gently touched Heero’s skin for just a moment. Heero opened his eyes, to see Trowa standing beside the bed. His one
visible eye hinted concern, but Heero was oblivious to it. He couldn’t think straight, couldn’t get a grip on his emotions.
“Heero . . .” Trowa started to say.
“Leave me alone.” Heero replied, pressing his face deeper into the pillow beneath him. He didn’t want to talk, didn’t want any
of this. All he wanted was to get Duo back.
Trowa grabbed his shoulders, pulling Heero up and forcing him look at him. “Heero, you’ve got to let it out.”
“I can’t.” Heero whispered, not wanting to let his emotions out. All the pain and sadness, why couldn’t he just be the way he
was? Emotionless, happy.
“Yes you can. Cry, damn you! If you don’t let it out, you won’t be of any use to us when we go to rescue Duo.”
“You found him?” Heero asked, looking at that one eye of Trowa’s that wasn’t covered by his massive bang.
Trowa turned away for just a second, letting his hands fall away from Heero, but that was enough to tell Heero that Duo hadn’t
been found yet. “No, we haven’t. But I did find a syringe outside on the ground. There were a couple fingerprints on it.
Wufei lifted the prints and he’s running them through his computer right now.”
Trowa’s news didn’t change anything. Heero wasn’t any happier, wasn’t any sadder. He just felt so horrible there was no way
to make it worse. He buried his face in the pillow again, just wishing all the pain would go away.
Trowa lifted him to a sitting position again, forcing Heero to look into his eyes. He spoke, his tone calm. “Heero, you’ve got to
let it out. Duo will need you to be strong when we find him.”
The pressure in his heart continued to build as Trowa fixed his eyes on his. Heero opened his mouth to speak, but no words left
his lips. Before he had even realized he had done it, he let out a tremendous wail. One so loud it echoed throughout the house.
He wept out all his pain, all his sorrow in that one long wail. Tears streamed from his eyes, and as he sobbed he felt Trowa’s
strong arms wrap around him, holding him close.
Heero wondered how Trowa could be so strong. Why hadn’t Trowa shattered like he had? He had lost Quatre. Didn’t Trowa
love the blonde?
Heero pushed those thoughts aside as he pulled away from Trowa. He felt so embarrassed, crying like that. He wiped away his
tears with the back of his hand. He felt so weak, crying like a child.
Trowa only smiled slightly. “Feel better?” he asked.
“I guess.” Heero replied, although he did feel relieved. Some of the pain was gone, but so much remained.
“Why don’t you get some sleep? I think you could use the rest.” Trowa said, walking over to the door. “And I’m going to
come back in a few minutes to make sure you did sleep.” He added, turning back to glare at him with that one eye.
Heero only nodded, not really having anything to say. He laid back down on the bed, once again wrapping his arms around the
stuffed bear. For some reason it felt good to hold it, but he didn’t know why. Maybe because it reminded him of Duo
somewhat. He closed his eyes, letting sleep overtake him slowly.
Trowa shut the door behind him. Heero had needed to let out that cry, to let his emotions out for a change. He had locked them
up for far too long.
Now that he was out of that room, out of Heero’s sight, Trowa leaned back against a wall, wrapping his arms around himself.
He knew how Heero felt. Knew very well the pain of losing the one he loved, of fearing for his safety. Quatre, his angel, was in
danger too. He was in just as much danger as Duo was, if not more. Carl wouldn’t kill Duo, but Quatre could be used against
him. He could be hurt badly.
Trowa shuddered, thinking of his angel in the hands of the man that had hurt Duo so badly. His own tears dripped from his
chin, fear filling his heart.
If this had happened a year ago, even only a few months ago, Trowa would be handling this just as badly as Heero was. Trowa
was just getting used to his own emotions, with Quatre’s help. How patient Quatre had been with him, letting Trowa take his
time. He had let Trowa move at his own pace, allowing him to open up to the love Quatre always showed him and begin to
show his own love in return.
It had taken a great deal of time for Trowa to trust Quatre so completely. At first he had feared that he wasn’t good enough for
the blonde, thought of himself as nothing. But Quatre had shown him that he was far more than he gave himself credit for.
And in the end he had opened up to Quatre, allowing the Arabian to see the pain in his heart. He told him of everything he had
gone through, of all the times he wished he had died because of what those mercenaries had done to his young body. If it hadn’
t been for Quatre, he would have killed himself months ago.
“Was that Heero I heard?” Wufei asked, popping out of his room.
“Yeah.” Trowa said, placing his usually calm demeanor back into place. He had to stay strong if only for Quatre’s sake.
“It’s about time he let that out.” Wufei said, as he went back into his own room, not saying one more word.
Trowa smiled, glad that he wasn’t the only one to recognize the pain Heero was going through. His smile quickly vanished
again, as his worry reentered his mind. They had to get Quatre back, had to find him and Duo before it was too late.
To Be Continued . . .