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

Notes:  Tian Bao wakes up and feels he must apologize to the other children.  After a happy midnight snack, an unfortunate
event happens and one of the children is put in danger.

Young Hearts

Part Twenty-Eight

Tian Bao tried to fall asleep.  He was tired and still a little upset, but there was just something keeping him awake.  He sat up and
glanced over to Wufei.  The older boy was sound asleep, which gave Tian Bao a chance to think.  ‘It isn’t because I got into
trouble . . . it’s because my actions caused the others to get into trouble.  I hafta make it up to them.  I don’t want to make it up
to Treize because he’s not all that nice, but I gotta make it up to Chibi-Duo and the others.’  He nodded to himself, knowing
what he had to do now.  With that decided, he slipped from the bed silently.  ‘Wufei’ll probably think I just have to go to the

His first stop was at the girls’ room.  He quietly opened the door and stepped inside.  He walked over and gave Lena a shake.  

Lena mumbled something, burying her face deeper into her pillow.  Tian Bao shook her again.  She frowned as she opened her

“What do you want?”  She asked in a quiet whisper.  “If they catch you, you’ll be in even more trouble.”

Tian Bao nodded.  “I know, and I’ll accept any punishment, but I don’t think you or the others should be punished because of
me.  Will you wake Midii up?  I’ll go get Milliardo.  If someone catches us, I’ll take all the blame.”  He turned and didn’t wait for
Lena to respond.  Tian Bao repeated the action in each of the rooms, going into Raberba and Triton’s room last.

He hadn’t really wanted to wake Raberba up since the little blonde had been the one to start the fight . . . but he decided that it
would be better if Triton’s roommate were the one to wake him.  He had seen how scared Triton got . . . and felt that maybe the
boy would have a little more trust with the one he shared a room with.  And since Raberba was now awake, it would have been
mean to tell him that he couldn’t come too.

Once Triton was awake, the three of them joined the rest of the children in the hallway.

Chibi-Duo was still rubbing his eyes and yawning.  He blinked at Tian Bao, his face contorted in a look of confusion.  “Why are
ya draggin’ all of us outta bed?  We’re gonna get into trouble again.”

Tian Bao shook his head.  “I intend to take all the blame.  It isn’t fair that you all get punished for something that I helped to start
. . .”  He spared a glance at Raberba, but said nothing about his part in the food fight.  “So I decided that we should raid the
kitchen.”  He nodded.  The plan made perfect sense to him.  “If we get caught, I’ll take any and all punishment.”  He took a
breath and turned to the stairs.  “C’mon.”


Duo’s eyes snapped open . . . old habits he’d picked up on the street when he was a kid.  He sat up and looked to the door.  He
could hear the kids - faintly - and tried to listen to see if he could discover why they were up and what they were talking about.  
He heard Tian Bao say something about taking any punishment and smiled if only to himself.  ‘That kid . . . has a good heart.  
Well, I might as well play devil’s advocate.’  He hopped out of bed, shaking his head.

“Duo?  What is it?”  Heero asked from the other bed in the room.  He sounded tired . . . probably hadn’t even heard the kids
talking out in the hall.

Duo turned to Heero and shook his head.  “Nothing.  Go back to sleep.”  He smiled as Heero closed his eyes.  ‘God . . . the way
he trusts me and my word . . .’  He sighed and put his robe and slippers on before leaving the bedroom.  There was no sense in
making himself worse.  He glanced out a window and smiled at the scene.

It had begun snowing again.  The sight of the gentle flakes falling in the dark of the night gave the scenery an unearthly quality.  
It was as if the very stars were raining upon the ground.

Duo followed the sound of the children’s voices to the kitchen and smiled when he looked into the room.  The kids were trying
to reach the ice cream in the freezer.  Without missing a beat, Duo flipped the light switch, flooding the room with light.  He bit
his bottom lip to keep from laughing as the children all spun to face him in unison.

“Here . . . let me get it for you.”  Duo smiled, casually strolling over to the freezer.

Chibi-Duo looked worried.  “You . . . you’re not mad at us, Daddy?”  He asked with a timid voice.

Duo smiled down at Chibi-Duo and shook his head.  “No . . . I overheard you kids talking in the hallway, and I know it’s Tian
Bao’s idea.  I’m not mad at Tian Bao, because I think it’s a very thoughtful thing to do.  So . . . let’s get you all some ice cream
and we can lounge out in the living room . . . a sort of slumber party.”  He set the various flavors of ice cream on the counter,
and got the bowls and spoons, as well as the scoop.

Raberba blinked.  “But . . . we’re supposed to be punished.”

Duo sighed.  “That you are . . . but it’s a little after midnight, so technically, it’s tomorrow.”  He winked at Raberba.  “All
punishments for earlier are considered null and void.  Although I am curious as to why you’re all up.”

Tian Bao raised his hand.  “I woke them.  I couldn’t sleep after Wufei talked to me earlier.”

Duo nodded.  “Okay.  So, what flavors do you kids want?  Looks like Heero bought a lot of different kinds.”

“I don’t want any, sir.”  Tian Bao said.  “I just want the others to have dessert.  Wufei says I’m to give my dessert to each of
the others in turn starting with tonight’s dinner.”

“Ah, a second punishment . . . probably because you did throw that spoonful at Treize to begin the full-out food war.”  Duo
commented.  “Okay then, why don’t you go get some blankets from the hall closet and bring them down to the living room so
we can all be comfy?”

Tian Bao smiled and nodded.  “Yes, sir.”  He smirked, then ran off to do the task assigned to him.

With Tian Bao busy, Duo returned his attention to the other children.  “So, what’ll it be?”

“Can I have vanilla . . . please?”  Odin asked politely.

Duo fought the chuckle that wanted to creep out.  Of course, what other flavor would Heero’s clone want?  He shook his head,
scooping up some vanilla ice cream for Odin.  He handed the bowl to the boy, smiling when he got a thank you in return.

“What’s this one?”  Chibi-Duo asked, pointing to one of the boxes.

“That . . . that is Cookies and Cream.  You want it?”

“Yeah . . . I like cookies.”  Chibi-Duo responded, smiling brightly when he was handed his bowl.  He and Odin scampered out to
the living room.

Duo chuckled and continued dishing out the ice cream as the children asked for it.  When he finally got to Raberba, he was
pleased to note that the child looked uncomfortable.  “And what flavor would you like?”  Duo asked.

Raberba bit his bottom lip and sighed.  “I really shouldn’t have any.  I was really the one who started the food fight.”

Duo smiled warmly and knelt to be eye-level with the little blonde.  He could so easily see Quatre in the child . . . well, when he
was being nice anyway.  “Perhaps, but did Quatre say that you couldn’t have any dessert beyond earlier?”

Raberba frowned.  “No . . .”

Duo nodded in understanding.  “If you want to, you can give your ice cream to someone else.”

Raberba flushed, shyly ducking his head a little.  “Yeah . . .”  He suddenly smiled and turned to look at Triton.  “I’ll let you have
my share since I know I upset you earlier.”

Triton blinked at Raberba and then turned to Duo in silent askance.  His expression was clearly asking if it was really all right.

Duo smiled warmly at the nervous boy who was slowly starting to come out of his shell.  “I think that’s a fine idea.  Well,
Triton, pick a flavor.”  He said, rising to his feet.

Triton blinked at the cartons set out on the counter, where there were plenty of flavors to choose from available to him.  
However, he turned back to Duo and shrugged.

“Don’t know?  Hmm . . . do you want me to pick?”  Duo turned back to look at the counter when Triton nodded.  Upon a
sudden flash of inspiration, Duo pulled out the strawberry.  ‘It has real fruit in it . . . which will be good for Triton.’  He gave
Triton two scoops, since Raberba had forfeited his own ice cream.  When he handed the bowl and spoon to Triton, he felt a
warmth inside himself as the child smiled shyly at him before heading into the living room.

Duo looked at the ice cream longingly, but opted for one of the fruitcicles instead.  Milk was not good for someone who had a
cold.  Once all the ice cream was put away, he headed into the living room where Tian Bao was finishing the setup.  Duo fought
another laugh when he spotted Chibi-Duo and Odin sharing their ice cream with one another.  It was such a sweet sight that he
wished he had a camera on him.

With a smile firmly planted on his face, Duo walked over and took a seat on the floor next to Odin and Chibi-Duo.  He looked
around at the kids as he ate his fruitcicle, taking note that all of them were pretty much gathered together in front of the sofa,
sitting in little groups together.  Lena and Midii were giggling about something or other.  Milliardo and Treize were conversing.  
Triton of course was off sitting in a corner as far away as he could get while still being in eyesight of everyone.  Raberba was
sighing and rubbing his eyes tiredly.  And Tian Bao was running around making sure that everyone else was comfortable, before
he settled himself on the floor with a blanket as well.

One by one each of the kids finished their ice cream.  Duo watched as they each grew more and more tired.  “Okay, kids . . . I
think you should all get some sleep.  Go on and lie down . . . don’t worry about getting in trouble or nothing . . . you have me to
stand up for you.”

Midii and Lena gave Duo a smile, then settled down next to one another, cuddling close.  Triton said nothing as he lay down,
dragging his blanket up and over his body as he curled in on himself.  Raberba grabbed a blanket and all but dropped to the floor,
turning his back to Duo.  Treize and Milliardo put up no arguments . . . probably too tired to . . . as they turned away from each
other to sleep back to back next to each other.

“Daddy?  You gonna go to sleep too?”  Chibi-Duo asked, his eyes barely open as he regarded Duo.

Duo smiled, brushing a hand through the boy’s hair.  “Yeah, sure.”  He said, pushing the empty ice cream bowls aside as he lay
down.  On either side of his body, Odin and Chibi-Duo curled close.  Duo had to smile at the affection Odin was showing . . .
who knew the kid could be such a sweetheart.  He let out a happy sigh as he brought the blankets up over the three of them,
wrapping his arms around the children sleeping beside him.  It wasn’t long before all of them fell into a slumber.


Heero woke up and yawned.  He sat up in bed, frowning as he looked around the room.  Something was off.  It didn’t take him
long to realize what it was.

Duo wasn’t in the room.  ‘Where is he?  He shouldn’t be out of bed . . . he could get worse.’  Heero got out of bed and headed
for the door, wiping his hand across his face wearily.  He remembered Duo mentioning that nothing was wrong, but that didn’t
mean that nothing was happening.  With a sigh, he headed downstairs, only to stop dead in his tracks when he reached the living
room.  He chuckled then and shook his head when he saw the scene before him.  The children were scattered across the floor,
and Duo was right in the center, with Odin and Chibi-Duo curled up against him.

Heero decided not to wake Duo, since Duo WAS resting.  Instead, he went and checked on all of the children, pleased to see
they all seemed happy.  Of course . . . the presence of empty bowls clued him in to why they seemed so pleased.  He smiled to
himself when he checked on Raberba, finding the sour-dispositioned boy to be sucking his thumb in his sleep.  It was cute . . .
something the child would most likely deny doing had he been awake.

He was about to head back upstairs when a faint whimper drew his attention.  Frowning in concern, Heero walked over to the
source of the noise, only to be startled when he saw that it was Triton.  The boy was awake, if only barely, and looking
miserable.  From the sounds of it, he was having a hard time breathing.  And he was also a pasty white color.  Heero took stock
of the situation, noting the half-eaten bowl of strawberry ice cream beside the boy.  He knelt down beside the child, who seemed
to shrink back.

“Triton . . . I’m going to take you to Trowa.  I don’t know what’s wrong, and he’ll probably be able to help make you better,

Triton nodded, as if the prospect of getting better had overridden any fear he had of anyone.

Being careful not to make any sudden moves, Heero lifted the boy into his arms.  His sense of alarm went up another few
notches when he felt how feverish the child was.  He quickly, but carefully, ran up the stairs.  He would have to let Duo know
that Triton was with Trowa when Duo woke up.  He didn’t see the sense of waking Duo at the moment.  The braided youth
desperately needed all the sleep he could get if he was expected to continue to recover his health.

He entered Trowa and Quatre’s shared bedroom without knocking.  “Trowa?  Trowa!”  He carried the child over.

Trowa bolted into a sitting position, instantly aware.  It was most likely an instinct honed during the wars, or perhaps during the
time when he had been a mercenary.  Quatre was a little more slow to awake, but when he did his expression turned into one of
deep concern.  He moved out of his bed, approaching Heero but not getting too close.

“What is it?”  Trowa asked, swinging his legs over the side of his bed and rising to his feet.  “What’s happened?”  His gaze
shifted to Triton, his eyes widening in alarm.  “What happened?”  He held his arms out.

Heero placed the boy in Trowa’s arms and shook his head.  “I don’t know.  I went downstairs to look for Duo, and found him
and all the kids sleeping in the living room.  I found Triton like this.”

Trowa frowned as he rubbed Triton’s back with one hand, moving back to his bed.  He sat down with Triton in his arms,
holding the whimpering child with great care.  “Sshh . . . calm down.  Panicking will only make things worse.”  He said quietly,
trying to soothe the terribly ill boy.  He turned his gaze back to Heero.  “The only thing I can think of that would cause this to
happen would be if he ate strawberries.  I’m severely allergic to them . . . although I don’t think I’ve ever had a reaction quite
this bad.”

Heero nodded.  “Ice cream.  There was a bowl on the floor with some strawberry ice cream near to where I found him.”  Heero
stood aside as Quatre wordlessly dashed out of the room.

Trowa blinked.  “Ice cream?  Why would he be eating ice cream?”

Heero chuckled.  “Trowa . . . we’re talking about Duo.  You know he has a soft spot when it comes to the kids . . . to any kids
for that matter.  He’ll feel terrible when he finds out that Triton got sick.”

Quatre came back into the room, breathing heavily.  He had probably run to get to a phone, then did the same on the way back.  
“I called Sally.  She was still at headquarters.  She’ll be here as soon as she can . . . she said she’s going to take one of the
emergency vehicles.”

Triton shivered in Trowa’s arms, his pale face becoming blotchy with the beginnings of a rash.  He was obviously fighting to
stay awake, his eyes just barely cracked open.  He whimpered almost constantly . . . he looked so ill.  Heero was worried, and it
was obvious that both Quatre and Trowa were concerned for the boy as well.

Trowa slid his hand along Triton’s face, frowning deeply.  He gently opened the boy’s mouth, his expression only darkening.  “I
hope she gets here quickly.  His tongue is swelling . . . if it closes off his airway, I’ll have to take matters into my own hands.”

Heero nodded, understanding completely.  After all . . . he would do the same for Odin if he had been the one in this condition.

To Be Continued . . .

Note:  Allergies vary from person to person . . . so please don’t fault me for the symptoms Triton has if you don’t find it
plausible.  These are the symptoms I have whenever I eat certain squashes.