Disclaimers:  I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  Heero awakes in the middle of the night and finds his new friend having a nightmare.  The boys go to Lily for comfort.  
Then a time skip . . . Lily looks up at her new home, feeling content.



Secrets



Part Nine


Heero awoke, feeling a movement beside him.  Something told him that the movement was not caused by one of Duo’s turns . .
. he had gotten used to them already.  Duo turned often in his sleep, sometimes cuddling closer to Heero, and other times
moving away.  Solo, who lay on Heero’s other side, never once shifted in his sleep . . . however, Solo did snore a little, whereas
Duo slept soundly.

He turned to face the young boy beside him, and frowned when he saw that Duo’s face was scrunched up in what seemed to be
fear and anguish.  Streams of tears seemed to leak out of Duo’s eyes.  Heero reached over to give his new friend a shake,
thinking that maybe he should wake Duo up.

Duo’s voice was tiny and afraid when he spoke . . . not full of enthusiasm as it had been when he and Heero had been playing.  
“Mama . . . no . . .”

Heero didn’t like this.  Feeling worried for his new friend, Heero shook a little harder.  “Duo . . . wake up.”  He whispered, not
wanting to disturb Solo or Mr. Howard.  He didn’t want to get in trouble . . . his father hurt him when he did something bad, so
who knew what these people would do to him, although Miss Lily seemed very nice.

Duo gasped, his eyes flying open.  He looked around wildly, his eyes finally settling on Heero.  Heero could only watch as Duo’s
eyes filled with tears, his bottom lip beginning to tremble.  It was barely a moment before he began sobbing quietly, hiccuping
now and then as he fought back his tears.

“I want my mama.”  He wept quietly, his expression one of misery.

Duo sat up, wiping his hands over his eyes before he hopped out of bed.  Heero looked at Mr. Howard, noting that the man was
still soundly sleeping.  Not wanting to be left alone with even Howard and Solo, and still quite worried for his friend, Heero
followed Duo out of the room and into the one next door.

There was little light in the room, but Heero could see well enough.  Une and Miss Lily were asleep in their beds and Quatre was
sleeping in a crib next to Miss Lily’s bed, that headband still wrapped around his head . . . Heero wondered about that, but
shrugged it off.  Heero paused in the doorway, feeling uncomfortable and he watched as Duo grabbed his mother’s arm and
shook it, his crying getting louder now that he wasn’t trying to be as quiet.

“Mama?”  Duo sniffled, wiping one arm across his face.

Miss Lily’s eyes snapped open and she abruptly sat up in bed.  She cast her eyes down at Duo, her face filling with concern and
sorrow.  “Oh, what’s wrong, little one?”  She asked, bending a little and sweeping her son into her arms.

“Bad dream, Mama!”  Duo cried, clinging to Miss Lily’s body in what was obviously fear.  “Soldiers . . . they took Quatre . . .
and you, and Solo, and Une . . . I was all alone!”  Heero felt like he was intruding, but he didn’t leave the room.  No, he wanted
to know that Duo was going to be okay, wanted to be sure that his friend was well.

Miss Lily held Duo in the cradle of her arms, stroking her fingers across Duo’s back and head, soothing him with kind and
loving words . . . a gentle tone.  “It’s okay, Duo.  It was just a bad dream.  Those soldiers won’t hurt you now.  We’re safe
here.”  She said, treating Duo’s nightmare just like Heero’s mother did whenever Heero had a bad dream . . . just like countless
mothers did to soothe their children.

Duo didn’t reply to that.  He simply nodded his head and cried, his tears seeping into Miss Lily’s nightdress.  He cuddled closer
to his mother, trembling as he was held and comforted by his mother’s kindness.

“Sshh, now.”  She whispered, pulling up the blankets and laying down with Duo . . . settling Duo down on the side closer to the
wall.  “It’s okay.  You can sleep here with me tonight.”  She said, stroking her fingers through his hair.  Then she flicked her
eyes over to the doorway, smiling at Heero.  “Come here, Heero.”  She said, nodding her head a little.

Heero ran over, fully sure that Miss Lily would tell him to go back to the other room and get to bed.  He set his hands on the
mattress, watching the kind lady with wide eyes.  “Yes, Ma’am?”  He asked, pulling his bottom lip into his mouth and chewing
lightly on it.

Miss Lily smiled, patting the bed beside her.  “Come on up . . . you can sleep here too.”  She said, surprising Heero with her
words.  She was really going to let him sleep in her bed?

Heero felt a smile tugging the corners of his lips as he climbed up, worming his way beneath the blankets before settling himself
next to Miss Lily’s body.  She was nice, he thought, timidly curling his arm over her body, pressing himself closer to her.  He
unintentionally shivered as her arm wrapped around him, as she pulled him closer.  But he settled down quickly, sighing as he
gave in to weariness and succumbed to the sleep that was beckoning to him.  He vaguely heard as Miss Lily began humming a
gentle tune, her fingers twisting delicately in his hair.


*****


Lily smiled as she looked at the house that had been built for her family.  It was perfect, simply perfect, in Lily’s honest
opinion.  There were two stories to the house, the second floor totally devoted to bedrooms . . . seven in all, one for each of
them and a separate guest room should any visitors drop by for a night.  Lily wanted each of her children to have privacy as
they got older, although at the moment Quatre was still sharing his bedroom with Lily.  He was still young and needed Lily’s
support . . . needed to know that she was there to care for him should he need her.  The poor child had been through enough as
it was, there was no need to separate him from Lily so suddenly.  Soon enough she would allow him to sleep alone, but only
when she was sure that he was ready for it.

They had been here in this village for a year now, and things were going splendidly.  So many things had changed in their lives,
most for the better.  Howard’s toy store was doing well . . . the children of the village so loved him, and he often gave toys to
the less fortunate children in the village for free.  He was so kind and a good provider for Lily’s family.

Solo and Une were going to school now, keeping watch on Duo and Quatre whenever Lily needed them to.  Une spent most of
her free time with Meiran . . . and sometimes Solo would play with them, as well as with some village boys that he had
befriended.

Quatre and Wufei were best friends.  Mrs. Chang often brought her young son over to play with Quatre, the two women getting
along beautifully . . . Lily had made friends with the parents of all of her children’s friends, wanting to know they were safe with
these people.

Unfortunately, Duo was the least happiest of her children.  His best friend, Heero, often went away for days, weeks . . .
sometimes even months on end.  Elena no longer trusted her husband with Heero’s care, so she took her son with her when she
went away on business.  Whenever Heero left, Duo was depressed.  But the moment Heero returned, he was at his happiest.  
When Heero was away, Duo mostly played with Quatre and Wufei, sometimes going out to play with the other village children
as well.  He got along with most everyone he met . . . he never lacked in friendships.

Lily smiled as she looked over to where Howard was playing with the children.  He was a good man, a good soul to take them in
like he had.  He had given up his life for them, had left his home to travel across the countryside with a widow woman who was
hiding a Feles within her family.  And now, he doted attention on them, as if they were all his real family, as if he truly were the
loving uncle he pretended to be.

Howard laughed out loud, handing out cinnamon sticks to Lily’s children, as well as the friends they were playing with today.  
He was a kind man, generous by nature.  He smiled and played with them, patting Quatre’s head as he handed a cinnamon stick
to the child.

“Thank you, Uncle Howard!”  All of the children chorused, even the village children that were of no relation to him.

Lily smiled, chuckling lightly as she watched Quatre nibbling the end of his treat, a smile bright on his young face.  Quatre’s
secret remained safe.  No one knew of his true heritage . . . Lily was proud of how protective her children were of Quatre, and
of how well Quatre had settled in.  Despite the happiness she felt, though, a small part of her worried of the years to come.  
Would they be as joyous as this past year . . . or would they see more dark times, such as the evening that had thrown them all
together?



To Be Continued . . .