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

Notes:  The surprise over Quatre’s name is revealed.  Duo helps the battered blonde to get cleaned up, then they head back to
Sally.



Strays and Misfits



Part Five


Heero frowned as Sally fussed over Quatre, as she helped Quatre to put on one of those flimsy gowns, then helped him to lie
down on the cot.  She was going about his care with even more gentleness than when she had tended to Duo.  Speaking of
which, he turned to Duo with a puzzled frown.  “What’s so special about him?”  Heero asked.

Duo took a couple of deep breaths before speaking.  “The Winner Breeding Camp is infamous amongst the feline companions.  
When breeding first became illegal, the officials of the Winner Camp decided that they didn’t want their stock to be educated.  
The feline companions of the camp were all executed.  The officials said there was a widespread epidemic and that all the felines
had been contaminated . . . said that’s why they had to put them down.  It was believed that all the companions from the camp
were dead . . . what with the executions and even before then . . . Winner Camp felines had a low survival rate, hardly any of
them lived beyond their twelfth years, even after adoption.”

Duo looked at Quatre with something akin to awe mixed with sympathy.  “The Winner Camp was by far the most brutal place
for a feline to be born and raised . . . handlers were strict.  To keep inbreeding low, males were castrated after siring thirty
offspring.  Conditions were harsh . . . the death rate was the highest of any camp.  I never thought I’d live to see a Winner
feline . . . there’s only a handful of them left in the world.”

Heero turned saddened eyes to regard Quatre.  The poor feline . . . he’d had no idea that Quatre had suffered so.  Now he
understood why Quatre was so untrusting of humans . . . he had been raised by unfeeling handlers that had cared little to
nothing for him.  He hoped Quatre wouldn’t be too badly traumatized by what Samson had done.  The poor feline didn’t need
any more pain in his young life.

Sally kept her voice quiet and soothing, pausing in her motions any time the frightened feline tensed in any way.  She smiled at
him in a pleased way, even as she tenderly prodded his abdomen, checking for broken bones and internal injuries.  “You’re doing
very well, Quatre.  I’m almost done here and then you can go get cleaned up.  I’m sure you’d like a nice warm shower.”

Quatre nodded a little.  “I know I’m being a bother.”

Sally shook her head.  “With how you’ve been treated, you have every reason to be jumpy.  Now . . . I just need to collect
evidence that can be used to keep Samson from doing to someone else what he did to you and tried to do to Duo.”

Quatre jerked his head to the side, looking at Duo with amazement in his wide eyes.  “How’d you get away from him?  He’s so
strong!”

Duo smiled and motioned to Heero with one hand.  “Heero helped me . . . told Samson I was his.  He nearly put himself in my
place, too.”

Sally froze in her task and looked up.  “That will have to be put in the report, Mr. Yuy.  Did he threaten to molest you in a sexual
way?  The more we have against him, the better.”

Heero shook his head.  “He never actually said the words, but the implication was there.  I would do the same though, even if
Duo had run off.  At least he would be away from that . . .”  He let himself trail off, not able to think of a bad enough word to
put to Samson.  Then he saw the look in Quatre’s eyes and smiled warmly.  “Do you want Duo and I to leave the room while
Sally gathers her evidence?”

Quatre shook his head fervently.  “No!”  Then he bit his bottom lip, blushing  little.  “Please . . . I’d rather have someone here
who I KNOW won’t hurt me . . . even though I deserve it.”

Sally clucked her tongue.  “No one DESERVES to be hurt, Quatre.  Now . . . please, sit up and be still.”  She said, helping
Quatre up and grabbing a camera from inside one of the cabinets.  “This will be awkward, but it needs to be done.”  She then
proceeded to take photographs of Quatre’s injuries, taking note and a number of photos of the bite on Quatre’s shoulder that
Quatre said Samson had given to him.

Once done with the photographs, Sally left the room briefly.  She returned a moment later with a rape kit and proceeded to
gather evidence that could be used against Samson.  The pale feline looked worn out and more than a little embarrassed about
the whole situation.

“Forgive me, but I have to ask this . . . have you had sex in the past twenty-four hours?”  Sally asked, stuffing Quatre’s robe
into an evidence bag.

“N-No . . . I have never . . .”  He blushed, looking away.  “That Catcher was the first to even try anything with me . . . I have
never been put to that use before.”  He shivered.  “I do not understand what he was trying to do . . . but I did not like his hands
on me.”

Sally nodded.  After nearly a half hour, Sally spoke again.  “I think there’s more than enough evidence here . . . with your
statement we should be able to have him convicted.”  She said, finishing with the rape kit.

“And what kind of punishment will he get if he’s convicted?”  Duo asked, eyes narrowed a little.

Sally sighed before answering.  “I won’t lie to you.  As feline companions are not considered humans, he won’t be convicted of
attempted rape.  However, abuse of a feline companion is seen as a more serious offense than abuse of a common house pet.  
He’ll most likely get a steep fine . . . a few years of jail time . . . and will be banned from working with or owning a feline
companion ever again.”

Heero frowned.  “That hardly seems fair.  Who knows how many other felines he’s done this to.”

Sally sighed again.  “The system sucks, I know.  All we can hope is that new laws will be put into place.”  She smiled a little.  
“On a good note, Mr. Yuy, you can have a restraining order placed against Samson to prevent him from coming near you or
Duo again.  Not much else can be done, I’m sorry to say.”  She went to the cabinet and pulled out a bag, which she handed
over to Quatre.  “Here . . . there’s some toiletries in here and a towel . . . as well as a basic set of clothes.”  She smiled warmly
at the skittish feline.  “We’ll tend to your injuries once you’re cleaned up . . . you’ll find the bathroom right across the hall.”

Her smile fell when Quatre left the room.  “Poor dear . . . The only thing I find myself grateful for is that there was no sign of
penetration.  Looks as if Samson merely molested him, though that hardly seems like it should be worthy of thanks.”  Sally
sighed.  “I’ll have to be sure to put a note in his file to ensure that he’ll be taken in by someone who is best suited for him.  
Perhaps someone who has been traumatized as well . . .”

Heero frowned in thought, having an idea.  “Doctor Po . . . I know of someone who would benefit from having a feline
companion.  I do volunteer work with several local charities . . . one of which offers companionship to shut ins.  I know of one
who I have made friends with, who could do with a person who can spend time with him for more than just a few hours a
week.  His sister looks after him, but she can’t be with him all of the time.  Duo mentioned to me that Felines have an almost
instinctive need to be needed by someone.  I think Quatre would be perfect.  He’s injured, so may not be seen as a threat by
Trowa.”  He shrugged.  “Catherine has mentioned to me that she’s been wanting help for her brother.”

Sally frowned.  “What happened to him?”

Heero sighed.  “From what Catherine told me, Trowa witnessed their parents being killed.  Catherine only knows what the police
and her brother have been able to tell her, as she had been at a friend’s house that night.”

Sally’s expression became one filled with sympathy.  “Yes . . . I can see why you think Quatre would have a good place there.”  
She smiled though.  “I think a temporary ownership can be arranged.  The home will have to be inspected though, to make sure
Quatre is settled and in good hands.”

“I understand.”  Heero nodded.  “Would it possible for me to take him with me today?”

“Yes, of course.  After I treat his injuries . . . there isn’t anything too serious . . . I can release him into your custody.  Having a
home to go to will be much better for him right now I think.”  Sally said.  “I’ll go make the arrangements.  If Quatre comes
back before I do, please try to keep him calm.”  With that, she quietly left, taking with her the rape kit.

Heero smiled, if only to himself.  He was glad to be of help to Quatre . . . as well as to his friend, Trowa.


*****


Duo was happy.  Heero was his owner now, if only in paperwork alone . . . and now Quatre had a place to go to, one that Heero
had helped arrange for him.  This was a good day.

“Heero . . . I’m gonna go check on Quatre.”  Duo announced.

Heero smiled and nodded.  “All right, Duo.  If you need me, I’ll be right here.”  He said, taking a seat in a nearby chair.

“Okay!”  Duo chimed, then turned on his heel and all but skipped out of the room.  He composed himself as he walked across
the hall, not wanting to frighten the already nervous kitten.  Clearing his throat, Duo reached up and knocked on the door.

“W-Who is it?”  Came the skittish voice from within.

“It’s me . . . Duo . . . you okay in there?”  Duo replied.

There was silence for a moment, and then slowly the doorknob turned and the door was pulled open the barest crack.  “D-Duo .
. . will you h-help me?”  He asked timidly.

Duo smiled.  “Sure.”  He answered, pushing the door open further as Quatre stepped back.  He moved inside, shutting the door
behind himself.

Quatre was standing there in front of him, holding the bag that Sally had given to him.  His furry white ears were laying low, his
long tail hanging limp behind him.  He glanced nervously over his shoulder at the shower, biting on his bottom lip.

“I . . . Duo, how do you work it?”  He asked.  “My master . . . he never allowed me . . . I was hosed off once a week.”  He
bowed his head, looking dreadfully embarrassed.

Duo smiled in encouragement, deciding not to dwell on how Quatre’s owner had treated him.  “It’s all right, Quatre.  Here . . .”  
He walked over to the shower and turned the knobs.  “The red knob controls the hot water and the blue knob controls cold
water.  You adjust them to a temperature you like.”

Quatre’s ears perked up.  “You mean water can be warm without boiling it?  I never knew that!”  He looked down into the bag
he held.  “And what’s all this stuff used for?”

Duo helped Quatre to unpack the bag.  “This big cloth is a towel . . . you’ll use it to dry off.”  He hung the bath towel up on a
nearby rack as Quatre was playing with the knobs and giggling.  Duo handed a smaller towel to Quatre.  “This is a washcloth.  
You’ll put soap on this and rub it on your body to clean yourself off.  Which brings me to the soap.”  His nose wrinkled as the
delicate scent of the soap hit his nostrils . . . it was kinda nice.

“And the rest?”  Quatre asked curiously.

Duo held up a small bottle.  “This is shampoo.  You use it in your hair.  And then there’s the set of clothing.”  He nodded in
satisfaction when he saw that there was a pair of socks and undergarments in the bag as well as a grey sweatsuit.  “Anything
else you need?”

Quatre bit his lip and looked down at the floor, shuffling his feet nervously.  “Umm . . . well . . .”  He looked up at Duo again,
his eyes full of uncertainty.  “Will you help me?  I don’t think I can wash myself . . . my hands . . .”  He whispered, holding out
his hands for Duo to see.

“Oh, you poor thing.”  Duo gasped, gently taking hold of Quatre’s hands.  The blonde’s nails were much too short, having been
cut improperly . . . short enough that the skin was broken.  They were cracked terribly . . . splintered, some fingers even
missing nails altogether.  They must hurt him terribly, Duo thought, feeling so very sorry for the little blonde.  “Yeah, I’ll help . .
. of course I will.”  He said, offering a kind smile to the feline before him.

Quatre smiled in return, taking his hands away from Duo.  He uneasily shed the flimsy gown that had been his only covering,
shivering a little as he turned his back on Duo, heading to the shower.

Duo was touched by the amount of trust the feline was showing.  No doubt, he only trusted other felines and no one else . . .
but it was only natural seeing as how he had been treated in his life.  Removing his own clothes, Duo followed the blonde,
watching as he set the water to a satisfactory temperature and stepped beneath the flow of water.

Picking up the washcloth and soap, Duo stepped in behind Quatre, feeling sympathy with each whimper that came from
Quatre.  The water must have been stinging his wounds.  Duo regretted that he would probably only add to his pain . . . soap
would sting a lot more than just the water.

With the utmost care, Duo began to wash Quatre’s back.  The blonde stayed still for the most part, only wincing when Duo
aggravated his injuries.  Duo washed his way down Quatre’s back . . . all the way down to his feet before urging the blonde to
turn.  With a blush on his own cheeks, Duo made his way back up, feeling a little flustered when he reached the blonde’s mid
section.  Of course, by taking a look up at Quatre’s face, Duo saw that the blonde was just as embarrassed.

Duo finished up his washing by taking care of Quatre’s hands.  He frowned though, when he unintentionally opened a few cuts.  
“I’m sorry.”  Duo said, his ears twitching as the water rained down on him.

“It’s all right.”  Quatre replied.  “They don’t hurt too badly.”

Duo nodded, bending to set the washcloth and soap aside.  He retrieved the shampoo.  He made quick work of washing Quatre’
s hair.  Quatre’s hair was so short, it wasn’t all that difficult.  Since this shampoo was specifically made for feline companions .
. . Duo also worked a lather along Quatre’s tail and his ears, taking care to clean them properly before he helped the blonde to
rinse off.  Though, he faltered once when Quatre practically screamed . . . apparently the feline’s tail had been wounded.  Duo
knew for a fact that the tail of a feline companion was extremely sensitive . . . so he moved more carefully as he continued to
wash it.

“There . . . all done.”  Duo said, smiling in satisfaction.

Duo was amazed.  Without all the dirt on him, Quatre was quite adorable.  His hair was a lovely golden hue . . . his pallor pale
but attractive nonetheless.  He was a bit too slender, but that would be taken care of with good nutrition and proper care.  
Simply put, he was attractive to the eyes . . . yet Duo knew that there was no way he was going to tell it to the blonde’s face.  
He didn’t want to frighten Quatre.

“I have some good news for you.”  Duo said, as he helped Quatre to step from the shower.  “Heero arranged a home for you to
go to.”

Quatre gasped, his body breaking out into shivers.  “I . . . I have to go live with another h-human?”

Duo picked up the towel, gently beginning to dry the blonde’s battered body.  “Don’t you worry . . . you can trust Heero.  He
won’t let anything happen to you, just like I won’t.  We both only want you to be safe.  Besides, having a home to reside in is a
lot better than sharing a dorm room with dozens of other felines.”

“Y-Yeah . . . okay.”  Quatre whispered halfheartedly.

Duo sighed, knowing it would be difficult for Quatre to get used to living with a human again.  Quatre simply had no trust in
humans . . . at least Duo knew that there were some out there that wouldn’t hurt him.

“Do I HAVE to?  Can’t I just . . . take my risks on the street?”  Quatre asked.

Duo nearly dropped the towel.  He shook his head, turning Quatre to face him.  “Look, I know you don’t have any reason to
trust me . . . or Heero . . . but I’m asking you to give this a shot.  Heero says this Trowa guy lives with a sister who needs a
little help taking care of him . . . and it sounds like he never leaves his house.  He needs someone to look after him, like Heero
needed someone.  Heero just got lucky and found me.”  He flashed a brilliant smile at the blonde.

Quatre looked down at the floor.  “I don’t like humans.”

Duo hooked his fingers beneath Quatre’s chin, tilting his face up.  “Neither do I, but Heero hasn’t given me a reason to doubt
him yet.  He put his ass on the line for me . . . literally.  Trust me . . . you don’t want to take your chances on the streets.  And,
judging by the look of you, you won’t last a week in your condition.  I barely survived, and I was in almost top form.”

Quatre sighed.  “I . . . I suppose I could give it a shot then.”  He said, allowing Duo to help him dress in the clothes Sally had
provided.

“That’s right.  This is only a temporary thing right now anyway . . . Sally says there’s gonna be an inspection later on to see if
you’re safe and happy in Trowa’s home . . . I’m sure you’ll be given a choice whether or not to stay.”

Quatre said nothing in reply.

Duo smiled, finishing with the clothes . . . since there were a lot of injuries to Quatre’s chest, he left the shirt off, knowing that
Sally would probably need to get to them to treat his injuries.  “All right, let’s go back so Sally can take care of you.”

Quatre nodded.  “Okay.”  He said, waiting for a moment as Duo collected the used items and shoved them into the bag.  Then
the two of them left, returning to the examination room across the hall.



To Be Continued . . .