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

Notes:  The Maguanac are brought up to date.  Heero has a short talk with Duo.



Young Hearts



Part Twenty-One


Heero listened as Wufei updated the Maguanac on the situation with the kids.  He informed them of the names that the children
were going by, as well as quirks that they had discovered so far . . . the others added information when Heero needed
assistance.  For instance . . . the Maguanac were informed of the fact that Triton hated to be touched and would shrink from
everyone except for Trowa, although if asked in a soothing and calm manner he would allow Quatre or someone else to handle
him.  On the other hand, Chibi-Duo loved to be picked up and would hug anyone willing to receive one.

During this conversation, Quatre came downstairs, followed closely by Raberba.  Tiredly, they rubbed their eyes, their
movements near synchronized.  Heero almost smiled as Rasid approached the two of them.

Heero turned to look at Wufei.  “Go gather the kids and we’ll talk in the kitchen while I make some soup for Duo.”

Wufei nodded and silently strode upstairs, while Heero entered the kitchen.  He gave Triton plenty of room so that he wouldn’t
seem threatening.  He did, however, nod his head in greeting to assure the boy that he meant no harm.

Trowa smiled a little at Heero and nodded back, as if in thanks.  Both Trowa and Triton then went back to eating their
sandwiches.

Quatre was in the kitchen within a minute and he was chuckling.  “I think Rasid is going to have a big impact on Raberba.  I just
hope that Rasid doesn’t use the same technique to get him to know his self worth as he used with me.”

Heero looked over his shoulder from where he was digging around in a cabinet for some soup.  “What did he do?”

Quatre shook his head.  “I’d rather not say . . . right here.”  He flicked his eyes over to Triton and Heero asked no further
questions.  Obviously, the topic was not best to discuss while Triton was in the room.

Heero turned back to the cupboard, but paused again as he heard the other children approaching.  One voice in particular stood
out from all the rest.

“I AIN’T gonna go!  My Daddy might need somethin’ and if Heero ain’t here to look after him, who will?”  Chibi-Duo’s voice
called out.

Heero shook his head as the clones entered the kitchen with Wufei.  Chibi-Duo looked positively peeved, glaring at the back of
Wufei’s head intently.  The child was as stubborn as his elder self was . . . it would be difficult to change his mind, if not
impossible.

“Where’s Rasid?”  Heero asked calmly.

Wufei jerked his head toward the front door.  “He had to get something.  He’ll be right back.”

Heero nodded.  He returned to his search for soup and smiled when he finally found a can of chicken noodle soup.  It was the
only can however.  This would do good for Duo, but the children and the other adults would have to eat as well.  “Is there
enough bread for all of us to have sandwiches?”

“There should be.”  Trowa replied, after having finished off his sandwich.  “There were two loaves in the cabinet, I only pulled
down the one.”

“Good.”  Heero nodded.  “I’ll fix this soup for Duo.”  He smirked, turning to Quatre.  “Do you think you can handle making
sandwiches . . . or will this end the same way as the pancakes?  I doubt that Wufei wants to clean the kitchen again.”

Quatre glared.  “Very funny, Heero.  It wasn’t that bad . . .”  He paused, then lowered his head.  “Yes, it was that bad.  So I can’
t make pancakes, big deal.”  He pouted, striding over to the counter and setting all the necessary ingredients so that they would
be close at hand.  “Okay, line up and tell me what you want.”  Quatre smiled, his demeanor brightening quickly.

“Do you need assistance, Master Quatre?”  Rasid’s booming voice asked.

“Woah!”  Chibi-Duo exclaimed.  

Heero turned, watching as the child looked up at Rasid.  He nearly laughed out loud as the child’s eyes roamed up along Rasid’s
massive form, leaning back so that he could see Rasid’s head.  Chibi-Duo was so intent on looking at Rasid though, that he lost
his balance and fell on his backside.

“Are you well?”  Rasid asked, bending to kneel in front of the boy.

“You’re HUGE!”  Chibi-Duo very nearly shouted.  “You a giant, like in the storybooks?”

Rasid smiled, shaking his head.  “No . . . I am simply larger than the average person.”  He replied.

Chibi-Duo bounced to his feet.  “Hey . . . can I ride on your shoulders?  Please?”

Shaking his head yet again, Rasid chuckled.  “I see no reason why you cannot.”  With that, he carefully lifted Chibi-Duo from
the ground and settled him on his shoulders.

“Wow . . . it’s so cool from up here.”  Chibi-Duo giggled.

Heero found the scene terribly amusing, and fought to keep the grin from his face.  He turned to the stove and decided to heat
up Duo’s soup.  There was no need for the braided youth to wait forever for his lunch, not when he was ill anyway.


*****


Duo groggily awakened, his head throbbing in protest to every breath he took.  “Ohhhh . . . I hate this!”  He groaned, bringing
his hand up to rub his head in the hope of easing some of the ache that stabbed at him.  His attention snapped to the door as it
opened, and he managed a small smile when Heero stepped into the room.

“Heero!”  He then noticed the tray that Heero was carrying.  “What is that?”

Heero quirked a smile.  “Your lunch, and you better eat it or Chibi-Duo will worry.  It's bad enough he’s refusing to go shopping
with the rest of us for fear of you not being taken care of properly.”

“The kid’s that worried about me?”  Duo questioned, feeling incredibly sorry for scaring his young clone . . . no, his son . . . in
such a manner.  He hadn’t meant to become ill, but he couldn’t really do anything about that now.

“He’s you, Duo.  You would worry in his shoes, wouldn’t you?”  Heero placed the tray on the little table beside the bed and
handed a mug of tea to Duo.  “Now . . . you have a choice here.  Chibi-Duo won’t come with us if he knows you’re alone.  So
you can either let one of the Maguanac look after you, or I can call in a special operative.”

Duo chuckled.  After the war, the pilots had all become very good friends with a certain individual.  As a result, the person was
often called in for special circumstances due to the great powers of persuasion she possessed.  And so, Heero referred to her as
a special operative.

“Go ahead and call Relena, Heero.  I think it would be good for her to meet Lena and Milliardo.”  Duo smiled.  He took a sip of
his tea, and nearly spit it out when he began coughing.

Vaguely, he felt as Heero took the mug from him, the other young man’s hands moving slowly across his back.  Duo liked it,
the feel of those hands on him . . . if only he weren’t coughing, he’d enjoy it a whole lot more.  He really hated being sick.



To Be Continued . . .