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

Notes:  Duo wakes up to find Triton missing and worriedly goes off in search of the boy.  Then the guys have to deal with the
clones’ reactions to the events unfolding.  



Young Hearts



Part Twenty-Nine


Duo blinked his eyes open.  He was thirsty and he had to go to the bathroom.  Being careful, he slid himself out of the blankets
that provided a bed for him and the two children that had curled up against him.  He turned and smiled warmly when he watched
Chibi-Duo and Odin cuddle closer to each other, seeking warmth with each other now that Duo wasn’t between them.  ‘God,
what I wouldn’t give to do that with Heero . . .’  He sighed wistfully and took stock of the children.  He had to adjust the
blankets on some of them, but for the most part they seemed peaceful.

When he went to check on Triton though, he was alarmed to see that the boy wasn’t there.  ‘Where could he have gone?’  After
a cursory search, he concluded that Triton couldn’t have gone out the front door.  The safety latch was still on.  However, after
heading toward the back, he noticed that the sliding doors leading to the pool hadn’t been locked.  ‘Better check . . . just to make
sure.’  He thought, nodding his head slightly.

Duo wrapped his robe around himself tighter to keep in as much warmth as possible.  He stepped outside and walked over to the
pool, shivering in the chill air as snowflakes lightly fell around him.  He nodded in satisfaction when he saw that Triton wasn’t
anywhere around the pool area.  ‘Which means that he’s somewhere in the house.’  He turned to head inside, but the snow had
made the pool deck slippery and he must have moved too quickly.

He let out a yelp of alarm and pain as he fell backwards into the frigid, icy water, hitting his leg on the edge of the pool as he
tumbled.


*****


Heero was watching Trowa trying to calm Triton, when he heard a cry from outside, followed by a loud splash.  His head jerked
in response, and felt his heart freeze in his chest when he realized that the voice he had heard was too old to belong to one of the
kids.

Quatre gasped.  “What was that?”  He asked, a tone of concern in his voice.

Heero suddenly cursed himself.  “Dammit!  I should have woken Duo up!”  He was out of the room in a shot, pausing only to
grab a blanket.

He ran downstairs and past the children who were beginning to stir due to the noise from outside.  ‘I should have come
downstairs to tell him that Triton is upstairs with Trowa.  I should have KNOWN he would sense something was off.’  Heero
thought to himself, feeling nothing but guilt over his lack of foresight.

Heero was outside in no time, and was being extremely careful walking on the pool deck.  His heart wrenched when he saw Duo
shivering and struggling to get onto the deck.  His lips were purple . . . his skin so very pale and looking about ready to turn blue.

“Duo!”  Heero quickly made his way over to his best friend and partner, lending a hand in pulling Duo from the icy water.  “Are
you all right?”

Duo wasn’t shivering . . . a sign that made Heero worry immensely.  Duo opened his mouth, faltering a number of times before
he stopped trying to talk and managed a quick head shake in response to Heero’s question.

Heero hastily tugged the clothes off of Duo and wrapped him in the blanket he had brought with him, even as the snow fell upon
them.  He felt a pang of worry when he noticed that one of Duo’s legs was bent in an unnatural angle . . . he must have broken
it when he fell.

“Easy . . . I’ve got you.”  Heero said, pulling Duo’s chill body into his arms as carefully as he could manage.  “Whatever were
you doing out here?”  Heero asked, although he had a nagging suspicion that he already knew the answer.

Duo whimpered and curled into the blankets.  “I c-c-couldn’t f-find T-T-Triton.”

Heero shook his head.  “Triton is upstairs with Trowa.  He had an allergic reaction to the strawberry ice cream.”  He saw Duo’s
eyes go wide, and smiled a little, if only to calm his friend.  “Don’t worry.  You didn’t know . . . you had no way of knowing of
Triton’s allergy.  I wouldn’t have known of it myself if Trowa hadn’t said anything.  We called Sally and she’s on her way.  
Good thing, too.  Not only can she help Triton, but she can also give you a look over.”  He swept Duo up and forced himself to
ignore the pang of longing caused by simply holding Duo in his arms.

“G-g-g-great!”  He stammered horribly.

Heero chuckled and headed into the house.  He was moving toward the staircase when he heard the siren approaching, the
flashing of red lights filling the room.  He stopped dead in his tracks, looking toward the front door when the knocking began.

He moved swiftly over to the door, carefully pushing past frightened children.  He was relieved that Duo had enough control of
his body to unlock the door.  Heero nodded grimly as Sally entered the house, looking out of breath, as if she had actually run
here instead of using the vehicle she had procured from Preventers Headquarters.

Sally blinked, stopping short when she saw Duo’s condition.  “Heero . . . get Duo as warmed as possible while I go tend to
Triton.  And be careful with that leg . . . don’t jar him too much.”

“Yes, of course.”  Heero nodded as he and Sally headed for the stairs.

Sally took a moment to reassure the children, and to tell them to stay down in the living room.  Despite a few arguments, they
did as they were told.  Chibi-Duo was already crying in worry, all but clinging to Odin’s little body.  He was probably terrified
for Duo’s health . . . worried that he would be abandoned should something happen to his daddy.

Satisfied that the children would be okay for the time being, Heero ran up the stairs.  Duo let out pained little whimpers that tore
at Heero’s heart to hear . . . but at least Duo had begun shivering, and that was a small consolation to him.  Duo's body was
trying to warm itself, and that was a very good thing.

Heero paused in the hall when he saw Relena and Wufei step out of their rooms.  Without wasting a moment to listen to
whatever questions ran through their minds, Heero spoke.  “Relena . . . go downstairs and keep the children calm.  Wufei . . .
come with me.  You’ll both get explanations later.  I’m sorry, but I just don’t have the time right now.”  With that said, he
stepped into the room that he and Duo shared.

Carefully, Heero eased Duo onto the bed, wincing as Duo hissed in pain.  “I know, Duo . . . hang in there.”  He said in an
attempt to be reassuring.  “Sally will come and help soon.”  He covered Duo with as many blankets as he could.  Then, he
started taking off his own clothes.  He was suddenly really glad that Duo had a full-sized mattress.

Wufei’s voice was mildly incredulous.  “Is there a reason as to why you’re undressing yourself, Yuy?”

Heero continued to remove his clothing.  “My clothes are wet from carrying Duo.  He fell in the pool while looking for one of
the children.  Besides, it will be more effective to warm him if there are no restrictions between us . . . skin to skin will warm
him faster.”  He glanced at Wufei.  “Well?”

From where he was lying in bed, shivering badly, Duo spoke up.  “Y-y-yah, Wu . . . c’mon and s-strip.”

Wufei rolled his eyes and removed his pajama top.  He stopped when he saw that Duo had a wan smile on his face.  “What?”

Duo’s speech came out in little stutters, but he was clear as he spoke.  “D-d-do a little d-dance while you’re a-at it.  Y-you
know . . . p-put on a sh-show for me.”

Wufei shook his head and chuckled warmly at his friend.  “Only you, Duo Maxwell, would make a comment like that when you’
re on the verge of freezing.”

“Awww . . . d-d-does this mean I d-don’t g-get my strip t-tease?”

“Not today, my friend.”  Wufei said with a sigh.  Duo opened his mouth, probably to make another wisecrack, but Wufei cut
him off.  “And not when you are well again either.”

Duo stuck out his tongue and gave Wufei a weak glare.

Heero said nothing about their teasing.  He merely climbed into bed and under the blankets, sliding his body up along Duo's
back.  He shivered at the contact with Duo’s icy skin, fearing for the other youth’s health.  This would undoubtedly cause Duo
to become sick . . . actually he was already sick, this would just make matters worse.

Wufei lifted the blankets in front of Duo, awkwardly settling himself in front of the chill youth.  He took in a sharp breath as
Duo leaned closer, probably affected by Duo’s lack of heat just as Heero had been.

“Be careful of his legs . . . one of them is broken.”  Heero advised, adjusting the blankets so that Duo was more thoroughly
covered.  He didn’t want Duo to be caused any more discomfort.  The condition he was already in was bad enough.


*****


Sally sighed as she pulled the syringe from Triton’s skin.  Poor little boy, she thought, running her hand along his face.  The
allergic reaction had been a bad one.  He would feel the effects for days to come probably.  That rash alone would take some
time to clear up.

“It’ll be okay now, Triton.”  She said, trying to offer him some form of reassurance.  “That injection I gave you will make you
feel better very soon.”

Triton whimpered, but nodded.  He turned closer to Trowa, pressing his head against the older youth’s body, digging his tiny
fingers into Trowa’s clothing.

Trowa looked up at Sally with a grim expression on his young face.  “Why was it so bad, Sally?  I’ve had allergic reactions
before . . . but never like this.”

Sally sighed, rubbing her temples.  “Trowa, you have to understand that these children don’t have the immune systems of
normal children.  Think of it as if they have a clean slate, so to speak.  Illness will hit them harder than most children . . . and
will take longer to recover from.  I took a look at J’s logs . . . actually, that’s all I’ve been doing for the past two days . . . and it
seems that J had just begun to strengthen their immunities.  Chibi-Duo, for example, has the same immunities to illness that Duo
has, yet if he were to get a cold, it could potentially turn into pneumonia for the simple fact that his body is not prepared for
that.  It’s the same for the rest of the clones.  Whatever you aren’t immune to will cause serious repercussions . . . Triton is
very lucky to be alive.”

In Trowa’s arms, the boy shuddered, clinging to Trowa.  Trowa ran his hands along the boy’s back, whispering soothing
words.  “You’ll be okay, Triton.  You’ll get better.”  He said, then looked up at Sally with a hopeful expression.  “He will, right?”

Sally smiled.  “Of course he will.  It will just take some time.  His body was just put under a great deal of stress . . . it will take
him a couple of days, at least, to recover from it.  Give him plenty of fluids, keep him in bed, and make sure he gets a lot of
rest.”

“Yes, of course.”  Trowa responded.

Packing up her supplies, Sally looked over to Quatre.  “I hope you don’t mind if I stay tonight?  It’s getting rather late, and if
Duo’s condition is as bad as I think it is, I’d like to stay here to keep an eye on him for a few days.”

“By all means.”  Quatre answered quickly.  “There’s a spare bed in the guest room Miss Relena is using . . . if you don’t mind
having a room mate.  I’m sure other arrangements can be made if you don’t.”

Sally held up a hand to stop Quatre’s rambling.  “I’ll be fine rooming with Relena.”  She said, seeing that the blonde was
worried.  “Why don’t you go downstairs and tell those boys and girls that everything’s going to be okay?  I’m certain they’re
worried . . . and Relena could probably use a hand keeping watch over them.”

Quatre nodded eagerly.  He swept past Sally and out the door, casting a sad glance back at Triton before he left the bedroom.

“If you’ll excuse me, Trowa . . . I’m going to check on my other patient now.”  Sally smiled, brushing a hand through Triton’s
soft hair, taking note that the child was resting comfortably now.  Poor little thing was probably exhausted after that scare.


*****


Quatre felt a stab at his heart as he stepped into the living room.  All of the children were terrified . . . he could feel it.  Although
not all of them showed it outwardly, it was there in their hearts.  They were worried for Duo and Triton, concerned that
something bad was happening.

Quatre’s eyes scanned the room, taking stock of the situation.  Milliardo was sitting with his sister, a comforting arm wrapped
around her little shoulders.  He was being brave, Quatre could see that, acting as the strong one so that Lena would feel secure.  
Treize and Midii were sitting on one of the sofas, along with Tian Bao.  For the first time, the boys were getting along . . .
probably too lost in worries to put up arguments with each other.  Raberba was by himself, as usual . . . but the broken hearted
expression on his face was enough to bring a choked sob to Quatre’s throat.  He hated to see any child suffer, least of all his
own little brother.

And then Quatre saw Chibi-Duo, and his resolve broke completely . . . tears escaped his eyes at the sight of the long-haired
child.  Chibi-Duo was sobbing wholeheartedly, clinging to Relena as if in desperation.  Odin was standing there next to them,
although the boy looked terribly confused and nervous, unsure of what he should do.

A little hand tugged on Quatre’s arm and he looked down, forcing a smile on his face as he regarded his little brother.  He didn’t
want to further upset the child.

“It’s my fault, isn’t it?”  Raberba asked, his eyes shimmering.  “I didn’t think I should have any ice cream . . . it wasn’t right
that I have any.  And Mr. Duo said I could give my ice cream to Triton . . . and I did . . . and he got sick.  I’m sorry!”

Quatre dropped to his knees, engulfing the little blonde in his arms.  “Sshh . . . it’s not your fault, Raberba.”  He said, feeling as
the boy clung to him.  “Triton is allergic to strawberries . . . none of us knew that before tonight.  You aren’t to blame.”

Raberba sniffled softly, burying his face against Quatre’s shoulder.  “I didn’t mean to hurt him.”  He cried, digging his fingers
into Quatre’s body.  “I was trying to be good.  Really I was.”

Quatre sighed, holding the little boy close.  “You didn’t do anything wrong, I swear it.”  Quatre said, trying to be reassuring.  
“Triton is going to be okay.  He's a little sick now, but he’ll get better.  I’m very proud of you for not accepting the ice cream . .
. even though Triton got sick.  It was very mature of you to decline that tempting offer.”

“Really?  You’re not mad?”  Raberba asked, sniffling as he pulled himself away.  He rubbed his hand across his nose, his eyes
teary and full of fear and regret as he regarded Quatre.

Quatre smiled softly, running his fingers through Raberba’s disheveled hair.  “No, I’m not mad.  I can’t say that I’m happy you
and the other kids got up in the middle of the night to get ice cream . . . but, I am not mad at you for what happened with Triton
and Duo.  There’s no way you could have known what was going to happen.”

A wavering smile curled Raberba’s mouth, only to falter a moment later.  Without words, Raberba moved closer to Quatre,
curling his small arms around the older blonde’s neck.  Quatre returned the embrace, seeing that the child was in need of
comfort.  Laying his head against the top of Raberba’s head, Quatre let out a sigh . . . he hoped that everything would turn out
well.


*****


Duo had to bite into his lip to keep from screaming as Sally set his broken leg.  It hurt like a bitch, but he wouldn’t cry out.  No
. . . the children would hear it if he screamed, and he didn’t want to scare them, to cause them any worry.  He’d be fine . . .
they didn’t need the stress of worrying about him.

Heero and Wufei held him still as Sally began to bind the injury.  He vaguely heard as Sally went on about casts . . . but didn’t
have the will to listen to her.  He was tired, so very tired.

A hand on his forehead briefly brought Duo from his weariness.  He blinked, finding himself staring into Sally’s concerned
gaze.  Hadn’t she been patching up his leg?  He didn’t remember her stopping.

Feeling too weary to care, Duo put up with her prodding, taking a thermometer into his mouth as she checked his vitals.  Was it
his imagination, or had it gotten unbearably warm in here?

Duo closed his eyes, distantly aware of the thermometer being pulled from his mouth.  He heard a sigh, but couldn’t keep his
eyes open any longer.  His only thought at the moment was for Chibi-Duo . . . he hoped the boy wasn’t worrying too much
about him.

And then there was nothing more than the darkness.  Unconsciousness had been much too sweet a temptation for him to resist
any longer.



To Be Continued . . .