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

Notes:  Trowa wakes up in the middle of the night and tends to his clone after Triton has a nightmare.  Heero wakes up in the
morning and gets breakfast for an ill Duo.



Young Hearts



Part Fifteen


Trowa snapped awake.  Looking around the room, he noticed that it was dark . . . nowhere near sunrise.  He wondered what
had caused him to awaken this late at night, however saw nothing out of the ordinary.  He raised himself to a sitting position
then stilled himself, straining his ears to listen for any sounds.  If there was something wrong he would be sure to hear it now
that he was wide awake.

A shrill cry pierced the silent atmosphere . . . something was wrong with Triton.  Trowa threw the blanket away from himself,
jumping to his feet quickly.  Catherine burst out of her room, flicking on the light and momentarily blinding Trowa.  

“Was that Triton?”  Catherine asked, fear lingering in her eyes.

“Let’s find out.”  Trowa replied, hastily making his way over to the room where Triton was sleeping, while Catherine followed
at his heels.

Trowa pushed the door open, turning on the lights as he entered the room.  Catherine was only seconds behind him.  The sight
before them, left Trowa shocked.  Triton was sitting up in bed, crying and shaking, rubbing his eyes with his small hands.  The
child’s bear was lying on the floor, and a recognizable and unpleasant odor wafted through the air, making Trowa curl his nose.

Catherine rushed past Trowa, kneeling down in front of the bed.  She raised her hand, probably to brush aside Triton’s bangs . .
. however, the child took the movement as a threatening gesture and recoiled away, covering his face with his arms as he turned
on his side to avoid a physical assault.

Catherine clucked her tongue in a loving tone, gently laying her hands on Triton’s back.  “Oh, I won’t hurt you.”  She
whispered.  “Wetting the bed is nothing to be ashamed of.  You must have had quite a nightmare.”  She gently urged Triton to
look at her.  “Now, why don’t we get you cleaned up so we can all go back to sleep . . . okay?”

Triton nodded, looking at her with an expression of pure disbelief on his young face.  He obviously hadn’t expected kindness in
light of what he had done.  It was probably difficult for him to understand kindness in such an instance.

Trowa stepped forward, laying a hand on Catherine’s shoulder.  “I’ll take care of him . . . you change the bedding, okay?”

Catherine nodded, smiling.  “I’ll make him some warm milk too . . . with some honey to sweeten it.  It’ll help him sleep.”  She
grasped Trowa’s hand, giving it a firm squeeze before rising to her feet and striding out of the bedroom.  

Trowa watched her leave for a moment before giving Triton his undivided attention.  He took a seat on the edge of the bed
where it was dry, his gaze soft as he looked down at his trembling clone.  “Your nightmares, it was of the mercenaries?”  
Trowa asked, remembering his own nightmares of the past.

Triton nodded, wiping his small fists over his eyes again, sniffling.  Trowa slowly reached out, brushing aside the sweat-soaked
bangs.  He had knowledge that would help his younger self.  So now was a good time to inform him.  Perhaps it would help
with his nightmares to know the truth.

“They’re all dead now, you know.”  Trowa said, offering what he hoped was a comforting smile to the child.  “All of the
mercenaries . . . every last one of the ones that hurt you . . . they died years ago.”

Triton looked up, a silent question burning in his emerald eyes.

“On a mission . . . we were ambushed, betrayed . . . they all died, except for me.”  Trowa said, smirking.  “They can never hurt
you again.”

The smile on Triton’s face was small, but it was there.  Trowa knew that the boy wasn’t going to mourn the loss of those he
had been raised by . . . Trowa hadn’t mourned them himself.  Triton looked down at himself, then back up at Trowa with an
embarrassed and frightened expression on his young face.

Trowa understood him perfectly though, even if the child didn’t speak his mind.  Still, he wanted to be sure of what the child
wanted, just in case he was mistaken.  “You want to get cleaned up now?”  Trowa asked.

Triton nodded in affirmation.  Trowa knew that the boy would not speak.  Not only was it forbidden by the mercenaries that had
raised him, but his silence was also a way of protecting himself.  If no one heard him, then they might not see him, a tactic of
being less noticeable to people that could hurt him.  The boy would eventually speak if given time to heal his emotional wounds,
Trowa knew that.

“I’ll give you a choice.  If you want to be left alone, put your hands behind your back.  I’ll just get a bath ready for you and
leave you to clean yourself.  However, if you want my help . . .”  He held out his hand.  “Then take hold of my hand.”

Quietly, his body shivering, Triton reached out and hesitantly took hold of Trowa’s hand, his eyes holding a look that bordered
on pure terror.  Gently, Trowa helped Triton out of bed, letting him walk on his own as he led the boy into the bathroom.

Trowa closed the door behind the two of them, not missing the fact that Triton was frightened of being alone in a room with
him.  Still, it couldn’t be helped.  Trowa smiled once in Triton’s direction, releasing his hold on the boy’s hand as he stepped
over to the bathtub.  Silently, he drew a warm bath for the child, making sure the water was warm without being scalding.  He
grabbed a fluffy soft towel along with a couple washcloths, setting up everything nearby.  Trowa turned off the water when he
felt it was at a suitable level.

When he turned, Trowa found that Triton was standing near the door, still dressed.  The boy was looking warily at Trowa,
biting his lip while his arms remained firmly wrapped around his small body.  Trowa held out his hand, gesturing for the boy to
step forward.  Triton quickly, yet fearfully complied, stopping not too far away.

Slowly, Trowa pulled Triton’s arms from around his frame, lightly tugging at the garment that he wore.  “This will be easier if
you undress.”  Trowa commented.

Triton nodded slightly, a flicker of terror invading his green eyes momentarily.  He raised his arms, allowing Trowa to pull his
top off for him.  His body trembling, Triton stripped off the rest of his clothes.  He stared down at the floor, everything about
him exuding fear at his current lack of clothing.

Without a word, Trowa picked Triton up, gently depositing him in the tub of warm water.  He applied some soap to a
washcloth, then handed the lathery cloth to Triton, allowing him to wash himself for the most part.  “I’ll just wash your back.”  
Trowa informed the child, not wanting to frighten him further.  Then he soaped up the other washcloth, making sure that there
was a good lather before he gently began cleaning the child.

It went easily enough.  Triton flinched with every touch that Trowa made to his back, but he didn’t try to get away.  He quietly
scrubbed himself off, yawning tiredly every now and then.  He looked quite tired.  Of course that was to be expected since it
was the middle of the night and the bath was most likely soothing to him.  Trowa rinsed the suds from the boy’s body, pulling
the plug to let the water drain from the bathtub.  

He grabbed the fluffy towel, shaking it open, then wrapped it around the child and picked him up.  Triton merely allowed the
contact, not objecting to it at all.  Quietly, Trowa carried the tired child out of the bathroom and back to the bedroom, where he
found Catherine smoothing out the wrinkles on the fresh sheets.

“There’s a fresh set of pajamas on the dresser there.”  Catherine pointed out, as Trowa set the child on the edge of the bed,
running the towel over his body to dry him.  “I figured that he’d need something to wear.  Why don’t you get him dressed while
I get that warm milk for him to drink?  Although it hardly looks like he’ll need any help falling asleep.”

“Okay.”  Trowa nodded, continuing the gentle rubbing to dry off the child’s body . . . there had been no need to wash his hair
so it had remained dry.

Trowa left Triton’s side just long enough to grab the fresh clothing.  Triton allowed Trowa to help him get dressed, every now
and then wearily rubbing at his eyes and yawning.  It was obvious that Triton was tired, or else he probably would have objected
to all of this.  Trowa himself did not like human contact all that much, and Triton was even more fearful of it than he was.  It
was understandable given their shared memories.

Trowa picked up Triton’s bear, then took a seat on the bed by the child, holding the stuffed animal out for him to take.  Triton
leaned against him, yawning once more as he curled his arms around the bear.  It wasn’t long before Catherine returned to the
room, a mug held in her hands.

“Here ya go.”  Catherine smiled kindly, sitting on Triton’s other side.  “Milk with a touch of honey to sweeten it up.”

Triton took hold of the mug, drinking slowly.  When he was finished, he handed the mug back to Catherine, giving her a gentle,
albeit small, smile.  Catherine brushed her hand through his hair as she rose from her seat.  Trowa stood as well, picking up
Triton along with him.  Catherine pulled back the blankets on the bed, while Trowa set Triton down.  However, before Trowa
could straighten up and move away, Triton grasped his wrist as if his life depended on it, his eyes holding a desperate pleading
look as he grunted slightly.

Catherine’s hands lightly fell on Trowa’s back.  “Aw, the poor baby . . . he probably feels safer with you, Trowa.”  Catherine
said.  “I don’t think he wants you to leave him.”

“I guess I will have to sleep here then.”  Trowa said, nodding if only to himself.  He wouldn’t want to disappoint the child or
cause him any strife.  If Triton wanted Trowa to sleep with him for comfort, then Trowa would do so.

Carefully, Trowa picked the boy up.  Catherine took him from Trowa’s grasp, holding him while Trowa got into bed.  Then
Catherine set Triton down, bringing up the blankets to cover the both of them.  She smiled, watching as Triton immediately
curled closer to Trowa, his small arms holding the bear between their two bodies as he snuggled his face up to Trowa’s chest.  
Trowa himself was quite pleased at the amount of trust the child was showing . . . it was a great leap in his normal state of
timidity.  Hesitantly, Trowa wrapped his arms around Triton, wary of scaring the boy as well as of the contact himself.

“Trowa, he’s not going to break.”  Catherine stated, smirking at him.  “I think he needs someone to hold onto . . . might do him
good to feel positive touches instead of the harsh ones I’m sure he’s only known.  It could calm him down eventually if he’s
shown kindness.”

Trowa nodded.  “Yes.”  He said quietly, pulling the boy closer, his arms slightly tighter around the boy’s small frame.  He
wished that he had been shown a similar amount of kindness in his own childhood.  Trowa knew then that he would make sure
the child did get better.  He’d grow up to be the person Trowa should have been.

“Goodnight, Trowa.”  Catherine said, smiling pleasantly to him.

“Sleep well.”  Trowa responded, laying his head down on the pillow as Catherine flipped off the light and left the room.  Triton
moaned lightly, not out of fear but comfort, a sound that pleased Trowa to hear.  Trowa smirked, closing his own eyes and
letting sleep come to him, hoping that his clone would be able to grow up to be the person that Trowa hadn’t been able to
become himself.


*****


Duo slowly swam up through the layers of unconsciousness.  He sighed in contentment, basking in the delightful warmth that
surrounded his weary body.  He didn’t know why he was so warm when just last night he had been so unbearably cold, but he
did like the feeling.

Blearily, he blinked open his eyes.  He bit his bottom lip, his eyes widening as he found his face pressed up against a strong,
muscular chest.  Realization dawned on him, and Duo remembered that Heero had climbed into bed with him last night.  He
frowned inwardly, knowing that Heero had only meant to keep him warm and nothing else.  This contact between them was
only to preserve Duo’s health.  Heero had no feelings for him, not in the way that Duo so fervently wished he did anyway.

Carefully, slowly, using his years of training so as not to make a sound or brush Heero’s skin in the wrong way, Duo moved
himself back a bit, just enough to see his face.  Good God, Heero was simply beautiful, his features so gentle and serene when
he was asleep.  He looked so innocent . . . as if he had never been in a war, as if he had never trained as an emotionless killing
machine.

Duo’s gaze settled on Heero’s lips, feeling a strong temptation to kiss them.  He had loved Heero for a while now, but knew that
the feeling was not mutual.  Heero only thought of him as a friend, if that much at all.  Still, Heero looked damn good right now.  
Duo bit his lip, thinking over his options.  Why not take the opportunity presented to him?  Heero was asleep.  He’d never know
that Duo had taken such liberties if Duo was careful enough.  

After a moment of thought, he gave into the urge and leaned forward, just barely brushing against Heero’s inviting lips with his
own.  The feeling was electrifying, the taste of Heero’s warm lips was delicious.  Yet, Duo resisted the urge to deepen it,
reluctantly drawing himself away before Heero could awaken.  Smiling in satisfaction, Duo closed his eyes and snuggled against
Heero’s body, setting his head against the Japanese youth’s chest as he sighed.  He did love the feel of the young man’s body
pressed so delightfully close to his own . . . he might as well enjoy it while he could.

It wasn’t long before Heero shifted slightly, apparently awakening.  His arms drew Duo closer briefly, then loosened, his one
hand moving to settle on Duo’s shoulder.  “Duo?”  He asked, his voice tainted with a hint of weariness.

Duo faked a yawn, opening his eyes as he rolled onto his back, pretending that he was just waking up himself.  He winced, a
headache pounding in his skull as he offered a sheepish smile to Heero.  “Hey, good morning.”  He frowned, raising a hand to
the side of his head, closing his eyes . . . his head hadn’t hurt that much a moment ago, of course Heero’s beauty was a very
enticing and distracting sight.  “My head is killing me.”  He whimpered, hating it when he didn’t feel well.  

Duo blinked his eyes open, feeling as a cool hand settled on his forehead, then touched his cheek.  “You have a fever.”  Heero
stated, looking down on Duo with a note of concern in his eyes.  “Stay here.  I’ll go check on the children and see about getting
you breakfast.”

“I can get my own breakfast.”  He argued, not really wanting to stay in bed.

Heero shook his head.  “You are not well, Duo.  If you get out of bed, you will only aggravate your condition.  If you relax, then
perhaps you will not get worse.”

Duo sighed, seeing that Heero did have a point.  “Yeah okay.  Just make sure you bring me something good to eat . . . I don’t
want anything weird either.  Cereal or waffles, not the bland stuff you usually eat.”

“Fine.”  Heero conceded, slipping out of bed.  He leaned over and adjusted the blankets around Duo, making sure to cover him
more securely.  Duo blinked, blushing slightly at the amount of attention he was getting.  He just wasn’t used to it.  Besides,
having a half naked Heero leaning over him was a very pleasant thing.


*****


Heero straightened out the blankets, being sure that Duo was sufficiently covered.  He didn’t want Duo to catch a chill, not
when he was on the verge of illness.  Smirking once more at Duo, Heero straightened out and turned to leave.  He reached out,
grasping the handle of the door, ready to leave even if he was clad only in a pair of sweat pants and nothing else.  He could dress
after seeing that Duo got something for breakfast.

He stopped once he was outside, leaning back against the door.  Tentatively he reached up, his fingers just barely grazing the
skin of his lips.  Had that really happened or was it all a wonderful dream?  Heero shook his head.  It had to have been the
remnant of a dream . . . there was no way that Duo had actually kissed him.

With a sigh, Heero pushed himself away from the door, heading downstairs to see what kind of a meal he could manage to get
for Duo as well as himself.  However, he paused at the door to the room where he had left Odin and Chibi-Duo.  He opened the
door, only to find that neither child was there.  They must have already awakened, Heero thought, nodding to himself as he
resumed his trip to the kitchen.

As he neared the kitchen however, he started to grow concerned.  There was an odd commotion coming from there, as well as
a particularly unpleasant scent.  He frowned, hastening his pace over to the kitchen door.  There, he paused, hearing the distinct
giggle of children emanating from within.  He pushed open the door, only to blink as he took in the sight of the room.

Apparently, Quatre had attempted to cook for the children . . . and was failing miserably.  There was batter and flour
everywhere, covering the counters and some of the walls.  The clones were sitting around the kitchen table, their hands over
their mouths as they snickered and found amusement in the act playing out before them.  Wufei was sitting with them, trying to
fight the grin that was creeping over his features.  They were similarly covered in flour and batter, but most of it was on Quatre.

Heero watched as Quatre flipped what he guessed was a pancake.  It was difficult to tell since it was misshapen.  Sadly, Quatre
flipped too hard and the uncooked side stuck to the ceiling.  It was enough to make Heero quirk a smile . . . seeing as Quatre
dejectedly looked up at the lost pancake.

“Having problems, Quatre?”  Heero asked.

Quatre spun, spatula in hand.  “Oh, Heero . . . Good morning.”  He greeted, a sheepish smile on his face.  Barely a moment later,
the pancake detached from the ceiling and landing directly on his head.  Heero couldn’t help but crack a smile at the sight.

Quatre grimaced, pulling some of the pancake from atop his head.  He dropped it on the counter, sighing deeply as he picked at
the sticky bits in his hair.  “I only wanted to make them something to eat.”  He pouted.

Wufei rose from his seat and stepped forward.  “I don’t believe pancakes are your strong suit, Winner.”  Wufei commented,
turning off the stove.

“Why didn’t you help him?”  Heero asked, looking around the shambles that had once been a kitchen.

Wufei smirked.  “It was more entertaining to watch.”  Then he went about making more batter, managing to keep it all in the
bowl unlike Quatre.

“And some people say you don’t have a sense of humor.”  Heero smiled, if only faintly.

“Ha ha!  Very funny.  So I can’t make pancakes.  I can cook other things quite well.”  Quatre replied.

A small hand tugged on Heero’s pants, gaining his attention.  Heero looked down, seeing Chibi-Duo looking up at him, a
concerned expression on his young face.  “Yes?”  Heero asked.

Chibi-Duo frowned.  “Where’s my daddy?”

“Daddy?”  Quatre asked, pausing as he swiped the flour from his clothes, blinking in obvious confusion.  “Heero . . . Duo was
an orphan.  Who is Chibi-Duo’s father?”

“Duo is.”  Heero answered simply.

Chibi-Duo grinned and nodded.  “Yup!  To make a clone, ya need a bit of the original.  Same thing as making a baby.  You need
a bit of the daddy and a bit of the mommy.  That’s what Sister Helen said anyway.  So that makes him my daddy.”  He smiled
proudly.

Raberba blinked, looking up at Quatre with a distressed expression on his face.  Quatre looked down at the boy and smiled
warmly.  “You can be my brother if thinking of me as your father makes you uncomfortable.”

Raberba let out a deep sigh.  “Thank you.”  He uttered quietly, then walked back over to the table and took a seat.

“So?”  Chibi-Duo tugged on Heero’s pants again.  “Where is he?”

Heero sighed.  “Duo caught a chill last night and it looks like he got a cold because of it.”  He noted that the child was growing
paler and thought it best to calm his worries.  “It isn’t anything serious.”

“You're gonna make sure he gets better, right?”  Chibi-Duo asked, his eyes hopeful and scared all at the same time.  

Heero was unsure as to why the child was reacting so severely to such a simple thing such as a cold . . . perhaps there was
more to Duo than Heero knew.  “Of course I will.”  He nodded.  “I came down here to get breakfast for him.”

“The pancakes will be ready soon.”  Wufei stated, flipping over a nicely formed pancake.  Heero noticed that Quatre was glaring
at the sight slightly, perhaps a touch jealous that Wufei could make such normal looking pancakes.

Shaking his head, Heero turned his attention away from Quatre and stepped over to the refrigerator.  He opened the door of the
appliance, taking out a carton of orange juice.  He poured some of the juice into a glass after he had acquired one.  Quatre found
a tray from somewhere and placed it on a counter for Heero’s use.  Heero thanked him, then set the glass of juice down on the
tray.  

Only a few minutes later, Wufei finished cooking a stack of pancakes and handed the plate holding them over to Heero.  Heero
nodded his thanks and set about getting any other necessary items, setting utensils on the tray as well.  When he was satisfied
that he had everything required, he left the kitchen and headed back up to serve Duo’s breakfast to the ill young man.



To Be Continued . . .