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

Notes:  Trowa makes a very startling discovery.



Untamed Spirit



Part Two


Trowa yawned, entering the station.  Another day, another patrol.  He knew what Duo and Heero had done yesterday . . . their
grins and state of disarray when they had come back from patrol had made it obvious what activities they had engaged in
yesterday.  At least Une hadn’t said anything, and Noin hadn’t seemed to notice . . . and Zechs had been too busy with his radio
to notice them.  That was good at least.  Trowa was sure that Heero and Duo would have been embarrassed if they were asked
if they had had sex in the woods recently.

Trowa shook his head, sighing.  He wondered what it would be like to do it in the wilderness as Duo and Heero obviously had.  
Nature all around them . . . although the cold probably wouldn’t be to his liking.  He shivered as he thought of icy fingers trailing
across his skin, trying to imagine how Duo or Heero had convinced his partner to go through with it in such frigid weather.

He wasn’t aware that he had stepped into the station until a cup of coffee was placed under his nose.  He blinked, then smiled as
Duo held the cup out to him.  “Thanks, Duo.”  Trowa said, taking the coffee and sipping at it, noting that it was just as he liked
it.

“You look tired.”  Duo commented.  “Catherine and Hilde keeping you up again?”

Trowa nodded.  “Yeah.”  He replied, knowing that Duo would understand.  He didn’t sleep well, since his sister, Catherine and
her girlfriend were a little loud when in bed . . . two girls screaming in the heat of passion did little to help him sleep.  That and
the fact that it only helped to prove just how lonely he was.

Duo chuckled.  “Man, I'm sorry I introduced Hilde to her . . . I never thought they’d end up together.”

Trowa smirked a little.  “It’s okay, Duo.  I’m happy for Catherine.  I just wish they could find another time of day to do that.”

“Okay, people!”  Une announced, stepping away from her desk.  “We’re going to have visitors today.  Mr. Winner is sending his
heir over.”

Trowa looked around as he heard Noin and Zechs groan.  Trowa leaned over asking Duo,  “What’s going on?  Who’s this
Winner person?”

“Mr. Winner donated the funds that built this place.  From what I heard from Howard, Winner’s plane went down in this forest
about fourteen years ago . . . with him, his wife, and his son on board.  A few days later he wandered out in a daze but couldn’t
remember where the wreckage was.  Ever since then he’s been obsessed with trying to find it.  Everyone’s pretty sure that his
wife is dead . . . I guess he wants to find her body to give her a proper burial.”

“I see.”  Trowa replied.

“Howard tells me that Winner sends his son over from time to time.  This will be his first visit here, since the place is new.  
Before they used to go to the east station.  Winner used to go himself, but his health has been getting worse and worse over the
years.”  Duo said.

“Poor guy.”  Trowa frowned.  “I think I’d rather head out on patrol than meet this heir.  I’ll see you later, Duo.”  Trowa said,
heading over to Une to request the key to the weapons’ locker.

In less than ten minutes, Trowa was hiking through the forest, checking the area for traps or poachers.  For most of the day
Trowa walked, dismantling traps with a snort of disgust every time he found one.  He couldn’t believe that anyone could be so
cruel . . . it made him sick to think of an animal being hurt or killed in such a brutal way.

The sound of a twig snapping startled Trowa and he looked up.  There, just a few yards away from him, was a wolf.  Its coat
was an unusual silvery white.  Trowa smirked, crouching down as he carefully observed the animal.  It was a she-wolf, he
observed, noting the presence of a single cub behind her.  Only moments later, the wolf and her cub were gone, probably
heading back to their den where they would sleep until dusk.

Trowa grabbed the trap that he had dismantled right before having seen the wolf, and stuffed it into a sack with all of the
others.  He sighed, noticing that the bag was now full.  He would have to go back to the station and turn these in.  He didn’t
really want to . . . he would much rather stay out here all day . . . but he had to.  It was one of Une’s rules.  As soon as a bag
was filled, he had to turn in all the traps he had collected.

While he walked, a flash of movement to his left caught his eye.  He laughed internally as he thought of Duo’s statement last
night, explaining how he had left some food out only to find it had been eaten when he had gone back later to collect his lid.  
They had all had a good laugh about the forest spirit munching on Duo’s food, but it had probably just been some wild animal.

Trowa smirked to himself, pulling a half-eaten sandwich from his coat pocket.  He hadn’t finished it . . . not truly hungry.  
Perhaps the ‘forest spirit’ would like something to eat though.  Thinking himself foolish even as he did it, Trowa set the
sandwich on the ground.  Even if there was no forest spirit, some animal would more than likely eat it.  It was against the rules
to feed the wildlife, but Trowa shrugged.  He just wouldn’t tell Une he had done it, just as Duo had only told Heero and Trowa
of what he had done.  As he walked, he saw a trap that he had missed.  He would just have to come back for it later, he thought.


****


He watched as that brown-haired one walked along the trails.  He was curious as to why that one was taking apart the traps that
others of its kind had laid out.  Once again, these creatures left him feeling confused.

Then Mother approached, Brother behind her.  That brown-haired one noticed her.  Seeing that, he knew he had to stay hidden,
not wanting to be found by the brown-haired one or any of its kind.  When Mother was out of sight of that creature, he went
over to her, nuzzling against her soft fur.

When Mother returned to the den, he slowly followed.  But his curiosity got the better of him once again.  He hid behind a tree
and watched the brown-haired one.  It was laying food on the ground.  He knew that food from these creatures was good.  The
long-haired one had left something delicious behind . . . he had gone back for it after the two creatures had departed, after he
had taken a nap to regain his strength after that unusual experience he had.  So, he decided to inspect the food this time as well .
. . just as soon as he was sure that the creature was gone.


*****


Trowa dropped the sack of traps just inside the door.  He shook his head, causing fresh snow to fall from his shoulders and
head.  A storm had started as he was walking back to the station.  It was getting quite bad out there actually.

“Trowa!”  Duo exclaimed, running over to his friend.  “You MISSED it!  That Winner guy is just your type!  Blonde . . . blue-
eyed . . . and he seemed so nice!  Not to mention, he’s filthy rich.”

Trowa rolled his eyes.  “Money isn’t everything, Duo.”  He replied, noticing a stranger standing over by the coffee machine.  
The strange young man had dark hair, and was obviously staring directly at Zechs.  “Who’s he?”  Trowa asked, purposely
changing the subject.

Duo looked over to where Trowa had gestured.  “Oh him?  He just came with that Winner guy.  But he didn’t leave with him.”  
Duo smirked.  “He's been making googly eyes at Zechs since he got here . . . hasn’t done anything though.  I think he’s shy.”

“You’re not going to play matchmaker again, are you Duo?”  Trowa asked, turning to look at his friend.

Duo had a suspiciously devious grin on his face.  “Who me?”  he asked, feigning innocence.  “Would I do such a thing?”

Trowa frowned.  “Duo?”  He said, his tone warning.

Duo sighed, raising his hands in surrender.  “Fine, I won’t interfere . . . at least not yet anyway.  Who knows, maybe he’ll get
up the courage to approach Zechs himself . . . or maybe Zechs will notice that the guy has been staring at him all day sometime
soon.”

Trowa shook his head, knowing that would be as close as he would get to stopping Duo from playing matchmaker.  He hoped
that dark-haired youth would get up the courage to approach Zechs himself, if he even liked him in that way.  “Duo . . . would
you mind turning these in for me?”  Trowa asked, gesturing to the sack of traps.  “There’s a trap I saw that I want to go back
for now.”

“Sure thing, buddy.”  Duo nodded.  “Just be careful.  Une says a serious storm is on its way.  The roads outta here have already
started closing.  Looks like we’re stuck here for who knows how long.”

Trowa sighed, although he wasn’t too upset.  “If you can, call Cathy and tell her I won’t be home.  I don’t want her to worry.”

“No problem.  Heero’s already on the line calling people.  Gotta get those calls in before the lines go down.  There is some good
news though.  Our medical staff got through just before the storm started.  They’re on the road now and heading our way.”

“Let’s just hope we won’t need them.”  Trowa replied, turning and leaving once again.

As soon as he stepped out of the station and closed the door behind himself, Trowa was met with an icy gale.  The sky was
slowly becoming dark, telling him that nightfall was not that far off.  He hoped that he could make it back to where he had seen
that trap before it got too dark or before the storm got too bad.

Since he wasn’t stopping every few minutes as he had been the first time, it only took him a couple hours to get back to where
he had been earlier.  At least he was close to where he had been . . . he had to take a different route because the snow made it
quite dangerous in some areas, so he had to circle around and approach from the other side.  

The wind whipped around him, but still he heard the scuffling sound of something running away from him.  He looked down,
realizing that this was where he had left his sandwich.  Apparently, something had decided to eat it and was now in the process
of fleeing from Trowa.  He frowned as he looked down, the tracks in the snow before him gaining his immediate attention.  He
crouched down, touching one of the tracks with a gloved hand.  This wasn’t an animal track, he noticed . . . it was human.

Suddenly there was a loud snap, followed by what could only be described as a scream.  Trowa stood quickly, and rushed to
where the sounds had come from.  In the rapidly darkening day, Trowa could make out a figure in the snow.  He approached
warily, not wanting to frighten this poor creature.  It was obvious from the whimpers that it was injured, and an injured animal
was known to be violent.

With each step he took, Trowa saw more of this creature.  After only a short time, he gasped in shock, realizing that this was
not an animal, but a frightened human.  Long, knotted, dirty, blonde hair was wrapped around a filthy, bare body.  A pair of
terrified blue eyes looked at Trowa, watching his every movement with apprehension.  It was apparently male, his anatomy
testifying to that fact.

He tried to move back, only to cry out in pain and begin to shiver violently.  For the first time, Trowa noticed the trap.  This
poor young man had stepped right into the trap that Trowa had come out here to dismantle.  The teeth of the mechanism were
digging deeply into his ankle.  He had apparently struggled and now deep gouges were torn into his flesh.

Trowa set his rifle aside and held up his hands, removing his gloves as he did so.  “It’s okay . . . I won’t hurt you.”  Trowa
said, speaking in a quiet tone as he slowly approached.

The young man didn’t seem to understand him though.  He looked at Trowa with terror in his eyes, tremors of fear and cold
moving throughout his slender form.  Once again, he tried to move away, only to cry out when he attempted to move his
trapped ankle.

Trowa slowly moved closer.  However, when he reached out to help the young man loose, he was surprised to hear something
that could only be described as a growl coming from the trapped figure.  Then the young man lashed out, swatting at Trowa and
cutting the back of his hand open with rough nails.

Trowa winced, looking at the three scratches on the back of his hand that were beginning to bleed.  He looked back up at the
young man, shaking his head as he realized that he should have seen that coming.  A frightened animal tended to lash out . . . he
would just have to try and calm him down somewhat.

“Sshh . . .”  Trowa whispered, slowly inching his way closer once again.  “It’s okay, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”  This time
he held his hand out to the young man, offering it to him palm up, just as one would do with a dog.

The young man reacted by timidly leaning forward and sniffing at the offered hand, watching Trowa with keen interest.  Trowa
gasped, a surge of electricity surging up his arm as the young man’s tongue darted out and tasted Trowa’s palm.  Despite the
icy winds or the snow that fell on them, Trowa felt unusually warm, sweat even beginning to bead on his forehead.

Slowly, Trowa pulled his hand away, trying to keep control of his breathing.  He set his hand against the young man’s leg,
making sure to keep eye contact with him as he did so.  Then he slowly slid his hand lower, feeling as the muscles in the young
man’s calf quivered under his touch.  While he moved the one hand down along that slender, cold leg, Trowa raised his other
hand up to take hold of the trap.  He continued to move slowly, until both of his hands were on the trap.

As soon as he had pried it open, the young man pulled his leg free of the trap.  For a brief moment they both just sat there,
staring into each other’s eyes.  And then suddenly the moment was broken by the howl of a wolf.  The young man got up and
hurried away, limping severely as he disappeared into the darkness of the forest.

Trowa cursed to himself, knowing that he couldn’t just sit there and watch the young man run off like that.  Without clothes, he
would undoubtedly become ill, might not even last very long without help, especially with that leg wound.  Trowa had to go
after him.  He quickly dismantled the trap.  He left the trap behind, not wanting to waste any more time.  Grabbing his rifle and
his gloves, Trowa took off after the young man, following the dark trail of blood that was left behind.  After a short time, he had
to take out his flashlight, since the sky had darkened considerably since he had left the station.

He followed the trail, stopping when he saw some kind of a cave ahead of him.  He stopped dead in his tracks, looking around as
he heard growling surrounding him.  Wolves slowly moved out of the trees around Trowa, several stepping out of the cave
ahead of him . . . he had just walked across the pack’s den, definitely not a good thing to do.

He forced back his fear, taking a step forward.  The tracks of that young man led right into the cave.  Trowa just couldn't
abandon him here, not when he was injured.  One last adult wolf stepped from the shadows of the cave, and Trowa realized it
was the same she-wolf that he had seen earlier that day.  The coloring was identical, that same silvery-white fur covering its
body.  She growled and snarled at Trowa as she moved closer to him.  Then suddenly she sniffed the air and stepped even
closer as she continued to sniff.

Abruptly, the growling stopped.  Trowa blinked, looking around as he wondered what was going on, only to see that the pack
was watching him, slight whimpers coming from a few of them.  It was odd, but he decided to take advantage of this
opportunity that had been presented to him.  Cautiously, Trowa stepped over to the cave entrance, moving slowly as he entered
the den of these animals.

Only a few more steps and Trowa saw the young man.  He was curled up on the ground, surrounded by a number of cubs.  
The silver wolf walked past Trowa, laying down by the young man.  As Trowa watched, the silver wolf began licking at the
wound on the young man’s leg, gently cleaning him.

Trowa blinked, his thoughts trying to process all of this information.  This young man was a part of the pack . . . he had to be
to be treated this way.  Just the fact that Trowa was being allowed in was saying a lot.  They must want something from
Trowa, he thought to himself.

Slowly, Trowa pulled his pack off, setting it against one of the cave walls.  He reached in and pulled out a thermal blanket and a
first-aid kit.  Carefully, he wrapped the blanket around the young man’s body, then moved to tend to the wound on his leg.  The
young man whimpered as Trowa touched him, and the silver wolf growled, apparently not liking that the blonde was in pain.

Trowa swallowed and decided that perhaps it would be best to wait until he was outside the den to treat the injury.  He didn’t
want to do something wrong and end up mauled by the animals that seemed so protective of this young blonde.  He returned the
kit to his pack and slung it on his back again.  Then he gently lifted the young man into his arms, making sure that the blanket
stayed around him.

Trowa couldn’t help but notice how cold the young man felt in his arms, how light he was.  If the blonde wasn’t hypothermic
yet, he would be before Trowa got him back to the station.  He only hoped that this young man would survive the trip.



To Be Continued . . .