Disclaimers:  I don’t own anything.

Notes:  Part two of my fic.  



Young Hearts



Part Two


Duo looked up as Sally walked in, still carrying the clone of Noin carefully in her arms.  What a shame that the child was
unfinished, Duo thought.  Those bastards, the scientists, they could have at least checked to make sure that she was dead before
passing judgement on her.

“The men from HQ have arrived, along with two vans for us to use.”  Sally said, as she stepped into the room.

Duo smiled down at his young clone.  “Come on, our ride’s here.”

Chibi-Duo turned to look up at Duo.  He smiled broadly and took hold of Duo’s hand.  However, Duo wanted to wait until
everyone else had left the room, before he even took a step toward the door.

Duo glanced back, and noticed that Trowa was having some trouble getting his clone to come out of the corner he had hidden in.

“Come out, Little One.”  Trowa said quietly, as he knelt down.

The boy just shivered, trying to push himself even further back against the wall.  Duo couldn’t help but feel sorry for him.  
Something awful must have happened to make him react that way.  And if it had happened in the clone’s memories, it must have
happened to Trowa as well.  Duo’s eyes widened at the thought of Trowa ever being so frightened as his clone was.  He seemed
so confident, so strong.  It unnerved Duo to think of the silent young man as a terrified child.  But here Duo was, able to see it
all first hand.

“No one will hurt you here.”  Trowa continued, still trying to get him to come out.  “You know who I am, right?”

The boy nodded silently, his eyes tightly closed as his body shook from fear and cold.

“Then you know I won’t hurt you.”  Trowa slowly reached out, not close enough to touch the boy, just holding his hand out.  
“Come on, you’re not going to be hurt.  Please, come out.”

Duo nearly sighed in relief as the boy hesitantly took hold of Trowa’s hand, then even more slowly stood and stepped away
from the corner.  It would be difficult earning his trust, Duo was sure of that.  That kid must have been through some pretty
harsh stuff to be so scared.  Duo cringed at the thought, memories of his own flashing before his eyes for a minute.  

“Are we going, or not?”  Chibi-Duo’s voice asked.

Duo looked down and smiled.  “Yeah, come on.”  He replied, pulling his clone out of the lab.

Once they stepped outside, Duo heard a small gasp.  He glanced down, and noticed his clone’s eyes were wide, staring up at the
sky with amazement.  Duo had forgotten that his clone shared his memories, so it must have been quite a shock to see a real sky
above him.  He remembered when he had gotten to Earth his first time, and the shock he had felt at seeing his first sunset, his
first real cloud, to see how beautiful the moon was from Earth.

“Wow!”  Chibi-Duo commented.  “We’re on Earth?”

“Yup.”  Duo replied, watching with amusement as his clone wandered a few steps away, always staring toward the sky.

And then it happened.  A snowflake fell from the clouds.  Chibi-Duo reached out, catching one of the first flakes of the storm in
his hand.  “Snow?”  He asked.  “Real snow?”  He looked over at Duo, with a hopeful gleam in his eyes.

Duo nodded.  Then he turned his attention to the other clones, wondering if any of them were reacting similarly.  Wufei’s clone
seemed to be interested in the sky, Heero’s clone was staring up at the sky, but Duo couldn’t tell if he was enjoying the scene or
not.  His expression was totally unreadable.  However, Quatre’s clone was definitely enjoying the sky.

“Beautiful.”  Quatre’s clone murmured, forgetting his gruff exterior for a moment to remark on the sky and the falling snow.  

Duo smiled as he saw how kind the boy truly was, even if it was only for a moment.  Then Quatre’s clone glanced in his
direction, and he disguised his sense of wonder, hiding it behind his cold mask once again.  He turned away, getting into the
nearest van.  Duo wondered why Quatre had been such a brat as a child, why his clone acted so tough.

Duo shivered, realizing just how cold it was for the first time that day.  “Come on.”  He said to Chibi-Duo.

“Aw.”  The boy pouted.  “But it’s snowing.  I ain’t never seen real snow before, or a real sky for that matter.”

Duo felt a smile gracing his face once again.  “You can play in the snow later, once we get you some warmer clothes.”  He said,
gesturing at the clone’s attire, which just happened to be Duo’s own jacket.  “Can’t risk you getting sick.”

Chibi-Duo pouted again, then nodded.  “Oh, okay.”  He said, trudging along to one of the vans.  Duo followed him, a smile
attached to his face as he got in the van with his clone.


*****


Heero looked out the window, and watched as the other van pulled away from the lab.  The group had spilt into two, half of
them in one van, the other half in the other van.  Wufei, Quatre, and their respective clones, along with Sally and the clones of
Treize, Une, and Noin, were in one van.  The rest of the clones and pilots, occupied the van that Heero was now in.

He took a moment to look around at the others.  Trowa was driving, his clone in the front seat beside him.  Heero couldn’t help
but notice how positively terrified the young clone was.  Heero would make it a point to avoid the child as much as possible.  
There was no need to frighten him further.

Heero’s own clone was sitting beside him, staring straight ahead.  Heero knew what the boy was thinking.  In his young mind,
he saw this as being captured by an enemy, possibly thinking that all of this was just some lie to get him to betray Odin Lowe,
the man who took care of him.  It would be difficult making the boy believe otherwise.

On Heero’s other side, were the clones of Relena and Zechs.  Relena’s clone was crying, the clone of Zechs sitting beside her
with his arms about her small body.  Obviously so young, the clone of Relena still remembered that the young blonde was her
older brother, her memories of her true family had not yet faded over time.

A small giggle drew Heero’s attention, and he looked over to see Duo, with his clone on his lap, both the braided youths staring
out the window smiling.  Had Duo stayed the same throughout his life, Heero wondered.  Seeing both of them staring out at the
snow falling from the sky, with huge grins spread across their faces, Heero highly doubted that Duo had changed much.  He
obviously still found fascination in the smallest of things.

Heero flinched as the smile faded from Duo’s face for a brief moment.  The long-haired pilot turned, his eyes staring down at
the boy he held.  He drew one of his arms tighter around the youth, the other moving to run a smooth caress along the boy’s
arm.  The boy, obviously appreciated the gesture, since he curled closer to Duo’s body, drawing his legs up and snuggling
against Duo’s chest.

Duo turned his head, laying his cheek gently against the top of his clone’s head.  He smiled as his eyes locked with Heero’s.  
Heero turned away, fighting the blush that was trying to creep across his face.  He couldn’t believe he had sat there and stared at
Duo for so long, and to be caught watching him on top of that.  He internally yelled at himself, for being so careless.

Duo broke the silence, and Heero once again turned to him.  “All the times I wished I could live my life over again.  I never
dreamed it would come true.”  Duo said, still holding his clone close to himself.

“You’re not living it over again, Duo.”  Heero replied.

“No?”  Duo replied, a small smile once again gracing his face.  “Oh, maybe not in the way I MEANT.  But . . . these little guys
and gals are the closest thing I'll have.  If you ask me, which I know you didn’t, it’s close enough.”

Heero shook his head.  “Baka.”  He muttered, although Duo’s reasoning did make sense.

“Just think about it, Heero . . .”  Duo said.  “Your clone can live a life you never could.  There’s no need for him to go down the
paths that you did.  He has his whole life ahead of him . . . they all do.”

“Duo, we’re not exactly old.”  Trowa commented from the driver’s seat.

“Yeah, but look back on your life and tell me there aren’t a few things you wish you hadn’t had to witness.”  Duo said.  

Heero took a glance at Trowa, just in time to see the tall youth’s eyes shift to look at his clone.  A strange expression crossed
Trowa’s features for an instant, before he once again took on his stoic quality.  Then Heero looked down at his own clone,
watching as the boy turned his attention to Duo and his clone.  For a brief moment he thought about putting his arm around the
boy, but that thought was tossed aside as he knew the boy would feel even less comfortable with that than Heero would himself.

A small hand tapped on Heero’s arm, and he turned to see the clone of Relena looking up at him.  “I’m cold.”  She said, her
young face streaked from her tears.

“Well, come on over here, little darlin’, and we’ll see about fixing that.”  Duo replied, cheerily.

The clone of Relena smiled, then looked up at Heero.  Heero rolled his eyes, and lifted the young girl, scooting himself over on
the seat to make more room between Duo and himself.  His own clone followed his example, moving away from Duo as Heero
dropped Relena’s clone beside the American.  

Another tap on his arm drew Heero’s attention, and the clone of Zechs looked up at him. “Me too.”  He said, raising his arms
expectantly.  Heero lifted him, dropping him on the seat beside Relena’s clone.

Heero watched as now three clones, cuddled closer to Duo, their arms wrapped around him and each other.  Duo dropped one
arm, pulling it around so that he embraced the clones of Relena and Zechs, while his own clone remained on his lap, snuggling
against his body for warmth and comfort.

As the minutes went by, Heero repeatedly glanced at Duo and the clones that gathered around him.  Soon, he noticed that all of
them had drifted off to sleep, including Duo who still held them all in a protective embrace.

Heero sighed and crossed his arms over his chest, turning his head to look straight ahead once again.  A sudden small weight
landed on his side and he looked down to see his clone leaning against him, the boy’s eyes closed in slumber, his small arms
crossed over his chest.

A small smirk crossed his face, then Heero leaned back in his seat, closing his eyes.  He might as well sleep for the rest of the
ride, it seemed to be a good idea.


*****


Duo snapped awake as the van jolted to a stop.  In his lap, Chibi-Duo stretched and yawned.  The clones of Relena and Zechs
pulled away from him, also yawning.  “Guess we kinda drifted off.”  Duo said, smiling, as he too yawned.

He glanced over at Heero, and saw the Perfect Soldier open his eyes.  Then Duo’s eyes caught sight of Heero’s clone.  His smile
grew as he saw that the boy was asleep, his small body leaning against Heero.  Maybe there was still hope for the kid.  Perhaps
he wouldn’t end up being so cold like Heero was.

“We’re here.”  Trowa announced as he opened his door and stepped out.  

Duo stayed where he was and watched as Heero looked down at his clone.  Heero reached out, and hesitantly touched his clone’
s shoulder, gently shaking him.  “Wake up.”  Heero said.

The boy merely blinked his eyes open.  He didn’t yawn, didn’t stretch, just like Heero never did whenever he woke up.  Duo
didn’t know how either of them did it, when he always felt an unbearable urge to yawn immediately after waking up each
morning.  

Duo, Heero, and all of the clones in the backseat piled out of the van.  Then Duo remembered something.  He hadn’t seen
Trowa’s clone get out of the van.  He looked back, just in time to see the small boy climb into the backseat and lock one of the
doors.

“Trowa, I think we have a problem.”  Duo said, gesturing back to the van, and the boy that had just locked himself in the vehicle.

“Damn!  I should have known better.”  Trowa muttered.

“Don’t you have the keys?”  Heero asked.

Trowa shook his head.  “No, I left them in the ignition.  How was I supposed to know he’d do something like this?”

“He is you, Trowa.”  Duo replied.

Trowa glared at Duo a moment before looking around at the parking garage they were standing in.  “There are too many people
here.”  He commented quietly.  “He’s scared.”

Duo looked around after hearing Trowa’s words.  Sure enough the parking garage of Preventers headquarters was oddly full of
people today, way more people than there usually were.  Most of the people he saw were mechanics, so Duo assumed that Lady
Une must have ordered a check on the vehicles.  She did do that every so often.

Duo turned to his clone and smiled.  “You stay here, short stuff.”

Chibi-Duo looked up at him.  “How you gonna get him out?”  He asked.

“Don’t know.  Maybe something will come to me.”  Duo replied, following Trowa who had walked over to the van.


*****


Quatre looked curiously out the window as Wufei parked the van in the garage.  Everyone was just standing out there, looking at
the other van.  Something must have happened, he decided.

He turned his head, glancing around at the others that accompanied him in the van.  Wufei was driving, Sally sitting beside him
in the front passenger seat with the clone of Noin cradled in her arms.  And Quatre sat in the backseat with his own clone and
the clones of Wufei, Une, and Treize.  

All four of the children were asleep.  The clones of Wufei and Treize were propped up against each other, while the clone of
Une curled against young Treize from the other side.  And Quatre’s clone was lying on his side, his head resting on Quatre’s
lap.  If the boy knew he was laying like that, he would probably get up right away, saying that he didn’t need pity from anyone.  

Quatre sighed, brushing his fingers through the blonde’s hair as he remembered how he used to act just like that as a child.  So
much bitterness in his clone, thinking he was less than human for not being born naturally, just as Quatre himself had felt as a
child.

Quatre pulled his hand away from the small blonde as the van was slowed to a halt.  Silently, he watched as his clone
awakened.  The boy yawned, wiping at his eyes with his small hands.  As soon as he saw where he was, the clone pushed
himself up and away from Quatre.  His young face hardened into a scowl, as he turned away from Quatre, crossing his arms
over his chest.

Quatre sighed and shook his head, turning his attention to the other clones that had also awakened.  The clone of Une blushed as
she moved away from Treize, while Wufei’s clone pushed the other boy away from himself.  The clone of Treize pushed back,
obviously not appreciating that Wufei’s clone had pushed him.

Before a fight could break out, Wufei had opened the backdoor, and pulled his own clone away from Treize, successfully ending
the fight before it had started.  Quatre opened his own door, stepping out of the van as he wondered why Duo and Trowa were
peering into the other van.

“Is there a problem, Maxwell?”  Wufei asked, pulling his clone along by his arm.  The boy fought him the entire way, glaring
back at the clone of Treize every few steps.

Duo sighed.  “Yeah.  The kid’s locked himself inside the van.”  Duo replied, gesturing toward the aforementioned van.  “He’s
scared . . . at least Trowa said he was.”

Trowa pressed his palm to the window.  “Open the door.”  He said kindly, although his voice was laced with some agitation.  

Quatre frowned.  This was no way to get the boy to come out.  If he was frightened enough to lock himself inside the van, they
had to calm him down, not frighten him more.  “What scared him?”  Quatre asked.

“There are too many people here.”  Trowa replied quietly.

“Then I don’t think that all of you crowding around the van will help to get him to come out.”  He paused, thinking.  “Why don’t
you all go inside and talk with Lady Une, while I handle this?  I’m sure she will want a full report from us about what happened
on the mission.”

“Yes, that would probably be wise.”  Wufei said, pulling his clone away from the group.  

Slowly the others followed Wufei out of the parking garage, except for Trowa.  He was still standing by the van, his palm flat
against the window as he stared in at his clone.  Quatre stepped over, gently laying his hand on Trowa’s arm.  

“Go on, I can handle this.”  Quatre said, smiling kindly to the tall young man.  

He felt as Trowa’s arm tensed under his touch, but brushed it away as nothing when Trowa turned to him, offering a slight
smirk as he nodded in reply.  Then Trowa turned and walked away, following the others into headquarters to talk with Lady Une.

Once all of the other pilots were out of sight, Quatre turned to the van.  He looked through the window, his heart twisting at the
sight of the small boy inside.  Trowa’s clone was sitting on the floor, opposite the door Quatre stood beside, his knees drawn
close to his body while his arms were tightly wrapped around his legs.  He had his face buried in his knees as his body trembled
from fear.

Quatre unknowingly had begun to rub his hand over his own chest, an unconscious attempt on his part to relieve the fear he was
sensing from the boy.  He placed his other hand on the window, placing a gentle smile on his face as he began to talk.  “Will you
unlock the door?”  He asked.

The boy looked up for a moment and shook his head before burying his face in his knees once again.

“No one will hurt you here.”  Quatre said, keeping his tone at a soothing level.  “Please, open the door?”

Again the boy lifted his head only to shake it, answering negatively to Quatre’s attempt.

Quatre felt a twinge in his heart, feeling lost. He wasn't sure how to proceed here.  The child was obviously terrified.  But what
in his memories . . . in Trowa’s memories . . . was so painful as to cause this sort of reaction?  Something extremely traumatic
must have happened.  And at the moment, only Trowa and his clone knew what that was.

A thought occurred to Quatre.  “Trowa is my friend . . . my very good friend . . . and since you are his clone, I consider you to
be no less.”  That seemed to get the boy’s attention.  He lifted his gaze once again, this time staring intently at Quatre.  “I swear,
on my honor, that no one will hurt you if you come out.”

Hesitantly, the boy moved forward, his eyes remaining fixed on Quatre the entire time.  He placed his shaking hand on the lock,
not yet doing anything, just standing there and staring at Quatre as if unsure whether or not to trust him.  In the end he unlocked
the door, then quickly backed away, his body trembling once again as he sat on the floor.

Quatre slowly opened the door, keeping a kind smile on his face as he climbed into the van.  He stayed by the door, not wanting
to scare the terrified boy any further.  “I won’t hurt you.”  He said, holding a hand out to Trowa’s clone.  “Come on, let’s go
inside.”

The boy lifted his own hand, hesitantly reaching out and pulling away several times before finally he touched Quatre’s
fingertips.  He pulled back one last time, then slid his hand forward, lightly gripping Quatre’s palm.

Quatre smiled again, holding the boy’s hand as the two of them got out of the van.  Once out of the van, he closed the door
behind them, frowning as the clone jumped at the sound.  He let go of his hand.  “Come on.”  He said, stepping away.

The clone silently obeyed, following Quatre as he walked away.  But Quatre didn’t like this.  The boy shouldn’t follow, he
should be treated like an equal.  Quatre stopped walking.  Obviously the boy hadn’t noticed, and he bumped into Quatre from
behind.  

Quatre looked back, only to frown when he saw the boy cowering on the floor of the hallway, his entire body trembling.  He
shook his head, wondering what could possibly have frightened him so much.  Quatre gently helped the boy to his feet again,
keeping his arm on the boy’s shoulder as they began to walk again.  At least now, the boy had no choice but to walk beside him,
as long as Quatre kept his hand on him.  But Quatre didn’t want to force the boy to walk beside him, so he took his hand off of
the boy’s shoulder.

As soon as the hand was gone, the boy slowed his pace, trying to lag behind.  However, Quatre saw this, and also slowed his
pace, not letting him.  “You can walk beside me.”  Quatre said.

The boy looked up at him, his confusion obvious on his face.  But still, he didn’t say a word.

Quatre smiled down at him.  “It’s okay, really.  You can walk beside me.  There’s nothing to fear.”

The barest hint of a smile on the boy’s face caught Quatre’s attention.  It warmed his heart to no end to see a pleasant
expression on the frightened child’s face.  However, that moment passed quickly, and Quatre looked up hearing an argument
coming from a conference room ahead of them.

Trowa met them in the hallway as they approached the conference room.  “Thank you.”  Trowa said, speaking quietly.

Quatre smiled, but any words he might have said were stopped as he heard more arguing coming from the room.  The three of
them stepped into the room.  Quatre shook his head, seeing Lady Une standing by the table in the center of the room, her palms
flat against the wooden surface, as she glared at Heero and the others.  The clones all stood behind the adults, apparently afraid
of Lady Une.

“We couldn’t go through with the mission.”  Duo said, not mentioning what that mission was.  “They’re just a bunch of kids.”

Lady Une stepped around the table, stalking toward Duo and the others, anger seeping from every movement she made.  “You
were supposed to DESTROY the clones, not ADOPT them!”  She shouted, gesturing emphatically.

Quatre looked down, hearing a strangled whimper coming from Trowa’s clone.  The boy turned and tried to run, only to,
literally, bump into Trowa.  The sudden stop, caused the boy to lose his balance and he fell back.  Quatre watched, worried as
the clone scurried backwards, hiding himself under the conference table, the sound of his panicked, gasping breath the only
sound in the room now.  He sounded as if he would hyperventilate if he continued breathing like that.

“Are you INSANE?!”  Quatre shouted at Lady Une.  “Do you know how difficult it was to get him to trust me enough to unlock
the door of that van and accompany me here?!”

Quatre looked around, seeing all the surprised expressions of his friends and the children.  Obviously none of them thought he
had it in him to shout at a superior officer, or to even express his anger in such a loud manner.  The look of total shock on his
own clone’s face proved that theory.  Quatre blushed, clearing his throat as he saw that Lady Une actually looked sorry for her
harsh words.

Duo shook his head, then turned to Une.  “I wasn’t about to let a bunch of kids be punished for crimes they haven’t
committed.”  He said, picking up his clone and holding the boy close.  The clone wrapped his arms around Duo, burying his
face against Duo’s chest.

“Perhaps my choice of words was bad in this case.”  Lady Une said.  “I apologize for my rash outburst.”

“Yes, yelling was not a wise choice . . . for either of us.  Please, accept my apologies?”  Quatre replied.  At Lady Une’s silent
nod, Quatre turned away, looking at the table that Trowa’s clone had scurried underneath.

At some unknown time, Trowa had stepped past Quatre, and was now kneeling beside the table, looking at the boy that was
now cowering in fear, his small body hidden slightly by the shadows.  Quatre crouched beside Trowa, frowning as the boy
began shivering more violently.  The boy might not come out on his own this time, not after the statement Lady Une had yelled.  
He was terrified now, more so than before, most likely under the impression that he was going to be killed.

A hand grasped Quatre’s shoulder, and he looked back to see Lady Une standing over him.  “Allow me.”  She said.

Quatre nodded as he and Trowa moved away, watching as Lady Une knelt in front of the table.  She kept her knees together and
smoothed out the creases in her skirt as she looked at the frightened child.

“Sir, I do hope you will forgive my outburst.  I never meant to frighten you. Neither you or the other clones will be hurt or
killed.”  She said, speaking kindly.  “Please come out.”

Several agonizingly long minutes later the boy crawled out, still trembling as his eyes darted around the room at all the people
watching him.  Lady Une reached out to touch him, but he pulled away, covering his face as if afraid she might hit him.

“Don’t . . .”  Trowa warned, as he stepped forward.  “Don’t touch him.”

“Why not?”  Lady Une asked.

“Let’s just say that he would not react well to the contact and leave it at that.”  Trowa replied, offering his hand to help Lady
Une to her feet.

Lady Une took the offered hand, nodding at Trowa’s statement.  “Thank you.”  She said, straightening out her skirt once again,
although her eyes remained fixed on the young boy standing in front of her.

Quatre opened his mouth, intending to ask what Trowa had meant.  He didn’t like secrets, especially when it was so obvious
that the child was in pain because of something he remembered . . . something from Trowa’s memories.  However, before
Quatre could speak, Chibi-Duo asked, “You really mean you won’t kill us, right?  You weren’t just lying to get him to come out,
were you?”

Lady Une turned her attention away from Trowa’s clone to look in Chibi-Duo’s direction.  “I would never hurt you or any of the
other clones.  Although I am upset about Duo and the others disobeying my orders, you’re here now and you will not be harmed
or killed by me or any of my officers.”

“Don’t worry, short stuff.  I wouldn’t let anything happen to you or the others.”  Duo said, tightening his embrace around his
clone’s small body.  The boy eagerly returned the hug, a smile quickly crossing his features.

Quatre smiled, watching the two of them.  At least Duo’s clone seemed normal, acting like any happy child.  The others,
however, were a different matter.  Most of them were sullen and quiet, Trowa’s clone was terrified of people, and Quatre’s
own clone was bitter and hate-filled.

A movement to his left, drew Quatre’s attention and he turned.  The body of Trowa’s clone was swaying.  Quatre watched,
worried as the boy’s eyes rolled back into his head and his legs buckled.  The boy fell and Quatre leapt forward, hoping to catch
him before he hit the floor.  However, Trowa beat him to it, catching and sweeping the child into his arms in one fluid motion.

Quatre stepped forward, grabbing the wrist of the boy that lay limp in Trowa’s arms.  As he checked the boy’s pulse, he forced
one of his eyes to open, concerned for the young clone.  Quatre sighed, glad to see that the boy was merely unconscious, no
doubt overwhelmed by all the stress of the day.

“Is he okay?”  Trowa asked, his voice laced with a hint of concern.

“I guess his system just couldn’t handle all of today’s stress and he passed out.”  Quatre commented, taking his hands away
from the boy.

“I want all of these clones looked over by Sally.  She took that clone of Noin to the infirmary.  Once she’s given them full
physical examinations, get them a shower or something and into clean clothes.  They can’t go around in your uniforms
forever.”  Lady Une said.

“Yes, Ma’am!”  Duo said, giving Lady Une a mock salute.

Quatre merely rolled his eyes at Duo’s antics.  He watched as Trowa shifted the weight of the boy in his arms, still not holding
him too tightly, as if he himself was uncomfortable by holding him.  He could only hope that whatever plagued the boy wasn’t
weighing too heavily on Trowa’s mind.  Quatre hated to see any of his friends in any pain.



To Be Continued . . .