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

Notes:  Duo finds Heero a wreck and comforts him.  Treize thinks about his little brother after the phone call.



Strays and Misfits



Part Thirteen


Duo frowned as he put the last dish away.  He’d heard Heero disconnect the call, but he hadn’t heard the human go to his
room.  Wiping his hands off on a dry towel, Duo went into the living room.  When he spotted Heero, curled up on the sofa and
trembling, he dropped the towel and ran over.

“Heero?  What happened?  Is something wrong?  Did you get bad news?”  He asked, his hands shaking as he reached to Heero,
stopping only a breath away from touching him.

The only response he got was a soft sniffle that went straight to his heart.  He could see the tears trailing down Heero’s cheeks.  
But he knew that Heero was holding back, that he was forcing his tears away.  It was heartbreaking to see this.

“Oh, Heero . . .”  He sat on the sofa beside Heero and pulled the young human into his arms, holding him gently.  “I’ve got you,
Heero.”

Heero immediately threw his arms around Duo’s body and clung to him.  He took in a shuddered breath, letting it out harshly as
he fought the oncoming cries.  Duo frowned, realizing that Heero wouldn’t let it out.  He was keeping everything bottled up.  But
he couldn’t force Heero to talk.

Duo could only hold Heero close and rock him for a few minutes.  Once the human had calmed somewhat, Duo pulled Heero
away from him a little and tilted his head to regard the young man.  “Did something happen, Heero?  That person you called . . .
did he say something to upset you?”

Heero shook his head.  “No . . . I called my brother to ask . . . about your tutor.  He didn’t upset me, but speaking to him . . . it
brought back memories I’d rather forget.”

Duo understood.  He swept his hand along Heero’s face, only to frown as Heero jerked away from the gentle touch.  Duo
dropped his hand, watching as Heero closed his eyes.  He hated seeing Heero like this, so full of pain.  “Do you want to talk
about it?”

Heero shook his head fervently.  “No . . . No . . .  I can’t.”  He shuddered, fresh tears beginning to trail from beneath his tightly
closed eyelids.  “I can’t . . . I can’t.”  He kept repeating, over and over again, wrapping his arms around himself as if he were in
great pain.

Duo nodded and pulled Heero into his arms again.  “Okay.  I won’t force you.  Just relax.  Take a few deep breaths.  Don’t
worry.  I won’t let anything happen to you.  I swear, whatever secrets you’re hiding, I don’t care.  Whoever hurt you in the
past . . . they’ll never hurt you again.”  He said, worry flashing through him at the memory of that scar on Heero’s side.  Did
this secret have something to do with that?

Duo let the thought fade from his mind.  It would do no good to wonder about it now.  Heero wasn’t going to talk about it.  And
Duo wouldn’t ask when he knew Heero wasn’t ready to talk.  He’d be patient.  Heero needed patience.  He simply held Heero
for a few more minutes.

“Come on . . . let’s get you into bed.”  Duo said, easing Heero from his arms.  “You were tired to begin with, and I know from
experience that going through a rough emotion only drains you more.”

Heero sniffled and looked at Duo through bloodshot eyes.  “What . . . what about your drops?”

Duo lightly bit his lip.  He knew that he’d have to put them in himself if Heero went to bed.  He didn’t like the idea.  “You need
to sleep . . . I’ll put them in.  I won’t LIKE it, but . . . it hasta be done or my ears will only get bad again.  It shouldn’t be so bad
this time.  But it’ll STILL be annoying.”  He smiled though, gently sliding his fingers over Heero’s damp cheeks, brushing aside
some of the tears from the human’s face.  “Come on now, you need your sleep.”

Heero sighed as Duo helped him to his feet.  “I wish I could be as strong as you are.”  He said with a muted tone.

Duo snorted in amusement, wrapping his arm around Heero’s waist as he led the human back to his bedroom.  “You have your
own strength, Heero.  You just have to realize where it is.”

Heero didn't say anything.  Duo took a breath, deciding that Heero didn’t want to talk anymore.  He’d abide Heero’s decision.

When they got to Heero’s room, he settled the human into bed, covering him lightly with the blankets.  It broke his heart to see
Heero so quiet.  Sure, Heero wasn’t much of a talker to begin with, but this was different.  This was silence brought from pain,
from suffering.  Duo didn’t like this.

“Thank you.”  Heero mumbled quietly, rolling over onto his side to face away from Duo.  “Goodnight.”

Duo sighed, looking at Heero’s back with concern.  Still, there was nothing he could say now, nothing that seemed right.  
“Goodnight.”  He whispered, turning to leave the bedroom.  He didn’t like seeing Heero like that.  It felt so wrong.  He hoped he’
d be able to help him.  Or at least that Heero would be able to work through his problems.


*****


Treize sighed as he set the phone down.  He wished that Heero would yell at him, blame him, hate him for the pain Heero was
suffering.  “Instead, he turns to me when he needs help.  He thought of me first, rather than look up a feline tutor in the phone
book.”  He said aloud, shaking his head.  He wished that there was something he could do to mend the rift that had formed
between himself and his younger brother.

It had been years since their falling out, and still, Heero refused to see him, to have anything further to do with him.  Treize
understood, although he didn’t like it.  Heero simply couldn’t deal with the memories yet.  He couldn’t bring himself to
remember the past.  The day Heero finally let go of his demons, Treize would be waiting.  He’d be a shoulder to cry on if Heero
needed one.  He’d do anything for his little brother.

Treize’s attention was drawn to the front door as it opened and a little red-haired girl bounced in.  “Hello there, munchkin.”  
Treize smiled at his young daughter.  “How was your day?”

“I had LOTS of fun, Daddy!”  She leapt up and squealed with laughter as Treize caught her in his arms and spun her around.

Treize could never feel unhappy while holding his daughter.  Mariemaia was an exuberant child, her happy demeanor almost
contagious.  Treize kept the smile on his face as Une walked into the house, her silver tag glinting in the light of the hallway.

“How did she behave?”  Treize asked, smiling at the feline before him.  She was a beautiful young woman, her ears and bushy
tail a bluish grey color.

Une smiled as she hung Mariemaia’s jacket up.  “She behaved herself wonderfully, never made a peep during the movie.  It’s too
bad you couldn’t join us, but we understand why.”  She frowned a little, her ears twitching slightly.  “Is something troubling
you?”

Treize’s smile saddened.  Une could ALWAYS tell when something was upsetting him.  “Heero called a minute ago.”

Une blinked.  Surprise was clear on her features.  “What?  Why ever for?  He hasn’t called you, let alone spoken to you, since . .
.”

Treize nodded, cutting her off.  “He recently acquired a feline companion.  Well, two, but one of them he placed with a friend.”

Une shook her head, walking further into the room, her hands delicately set over her stomach.  “Heero doesn’t have any . . .
well, there IS that young man he visits.  So I suppose he’s friends with him and his sister.  Why did he call you?”

Treize put Mariemaia down.  “Well, his companion was a stray.”  He nodded at the sound of Une’s startled gasp.  “I know.  I
found it surprising myself.  Not as surprising as the other feline, though . . . the one that he put with his friend.”

Une tilted her head.  “What could be more surprising than a stray staying, willingly, with a human?”

Treize smirked.  “The other feline is a Winner.”  He nodded again when Une yelped.  “Heero needs a tutor for them.  He was
wondering if you’d be willing to help them.”

“Of course I will.”  Une said with a smile.

“Thank you.”  Treize said, then knelt down to regard his daughter.  “Why don’t you go get ready for bed and I’ll come tuck you
in?”

Mariemaia giggled, nodding enthusiastically.  “Yeah . . . okay, Daddy!”  She said, then scampered off toward her bedroom.

Now that Mariemaia was gone, Treize stepped over to Une, a smile on his face as he slid his hand across her distended
stomach.  She was pregnant, almost six months along now.  It was a fact that left Treize full of pride.  His own child was
growing within Une.  Although they were not a couple anymore - their affair had ended about five months ago - Treize was
more than happy to know that he would soon be a father again.  He’d help Une in any way possible.  Neither she nor their child
would have to struggle for anything.  He’d make sure of that.

“So, how are you feeling?”  Treize asked, using his free hand to feel her forehead.  “You feel a little warm.”

Une smiled gently.  “I’m fine, really I am.  It’s just that Mariemaia is becoming difficult to keep up with.  She is a very energetic
girl.”

Treize chuckled.  “That she is.”  He smiled, sweeping his fingers through her hair.  “You should go get some rest now.  I don’t
want you getting sick.”  He leaned forward, gently kissing Une’s cheek.  He would always care about her, love her as he would
a sister, even though he was not in love with her in a romantic sense.  She was a beautiful person who deserved the best.

As Une walked toward her room, Treize headed for his daughter’s room.  He smiled as he entered the bedroom and found
Mariemaia already in her nightgown.  However, he did frown in concern at the distress in her young face.

“What’s wrong, princess?”  Treize asked, taking a seat on her bed.

Mariemaia sniffled softly, clutching one of her many stuffed animals close.  “Doesn’t Uncle Heero like us anymore?  Was I
bad?  Did I do something to make him angry?”

Treize sighed, reaching out to his daughter.  He hugged her close, stroking a hand along her short hair in a loving manner.  “No .
. . no, it’s not your fault.  It’s just very painful for him to be around me.  I didn’t help him when I should have.  I didn’t see the
signs, didn’t know that he needed help until it was almost too late.  When he’s around me, he can’t stop thinking of the bad
things.  And he’s not ready to let himself deal with all those painful feelings just yet.”  He eased the child away, brushing a hand
along her cheek.  “Someday things will be better, you’ll see.  Your uncle needs time away from me to work through his
problems.”

“Okay, Daddy.”  Mariemaia said, a faint smile curling her lips.

Treize smiled in return.  He tenderly eased her under the covers, tucking the blankets in around her slim body.  “Now, you close
your eyes and dream sweet dreams.”  He said, brushing her fiery red hair away from her eyes, smiling as she yawned.  
“Goodnight.”

Mariemaia’s smile widened a little.  “Night, Daddy.”

Delicately, Treize pressed a soft kiss to his daughter’s head before he left the bedroom, giving one last look back at his child as
he turned off the light and closed the door.  As he turned to head to his own bedroom, his eyes fell on the door to the room
beside Mariemaia’s.  With a sigh, he strode to it, opening the door and flicking on the light.

Heero’s room.  This had been Heero’s bedroom when he had lived here.  After the accident that had taken the life of their father
and Heero’s mother, Treize had taken care of Heero.  Well, truth be told, it had been their grandmother that had raised the both
of them, but Treize had always looked out for Heero.  He loved his brother dearly.  He could only wish that Heero would some
day be able to come back to them, if only to visit.

Taking a breath, Treize turned off the light and left the room.  Everything within it was just as Heero had left it the day he went
to college.  Heero had been a child prodigy, graduating nursing school at the age of fifteen.  He had excelled in everything he had
done.  He could have gone on to be a doctor, but Heero hadn’t wanted to.  Treize didn’t know his reasons for that.  Still, Treize
had never been anything but proud of his little brother and he knew that if they were still alive, their parents would be just as
proud.

Treize brushed a hand through his hair, pushing aside the memories and sadness.  He missed Heero.  It had been so long since
he had last seen Heero.  Two years.  It had been two years since that fateful day, a day that Treize would never forget.  Two
years since he had seen the suffering shell his brother had become at the hands of that monster.  Two years since Heero had fled
from this house one last time.  If Treize ever saw that bastard again, he’d make the man suffer for the pain he’d caused to his
little brother.

“Treize?  Where are you?  You coming to bed or not?”  Groaned the aggravated voice of Treize’s lover.

Treize chuckled, easing out of the depressing memories of the past.  Plastering a smile on his face, he strode to his own
bedroom.  He paused in the doorway, his smile fading somewhat as he viewed the scene before him.

Zechs.  There was Zechs, beautiful as ever, his glorious blonde hair spread out on the bed around him, his well-toned body bare
of any and all coverings.  If not for the fact that both of his legs were in casts the sight might have been more pleasing to the
eyes.  But how could one look at Zechs and not see the casts encasing his legs, the fading bruises that still lingered on his chest
and abdomen?  The accident hadn’t been all that long ago.  A drunk driver had plowed into Zechs’ recently parked car.  The
only thing he was thankful for about that day, was the fact that Zechs had been taken to the hospital where Heero worked.  Even
when he was in pain, Zechs had tried to get Heero to speak with Treize again, tried to get the siblings to meet.  His attempts had
failed, but it was endearing to know that Zechs could be so selfless.

Zechs was lucky to be alive, that’s what all the doctors kept insisting.  And he was in for one hell of a rehabilitation.  He’d have
to go to physical therapy and Treize would be there for him throughout everything.  Still, it was difficult to handle taking care of
both Mariemaia and Zechs.  And soon, Une’s condition would make it difficult for her to help out as well.

A sudden idea dawned on Treize and his smile returned.  Keeping that grin in place, he shed his clothes and slid into bed beside
Zechs, saying nothing as he brought the blankets up to cover the both of them, easing Zechs into his arms.

“What are you smiling about?”  Zechs asked grumpily, yawning only a moment later.  He was tired.  He was always cranky
when tired.

“Nothing, just how much I love you, you big baby.”  Treize responded, kissing Zechs’ cheek.

“I’m no baby.”  He growled, glaring wearily at his lover.  “And you could do a hell of a lot better than that little peck on the
cheek.”

Treize couldn’t fight the laugh that rumbled in his chest.  He shook his head.  “Of course I can.”  He said in a husky whisper,
angling his body to lean over Zechs’ form, his weight settled on one elbow, his other hand stroking and caressing the firm flesh
of Zechs’ abdomen, as he took the blonde’s lips with a fiery passion.

When Treize pulled away, Zechs had a blissful smile on his face.  “Much better.”  He complimented, even as he panted to regain
his breath.

“I aim to please.”  Treize smiled, laying down on his side next to Zechs.  “Now, get some sleep.  You have a doctor’s
appointment in the morning.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”  Zechs rolled his eyes, although his smile remained firmly set in place as Treize held him close.



To Be Continued . . .