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

Notes:  Sally takes care of Duo.  Relena and Quatre take care of the children.



Young Hearts



Part Thirty


Heero watched Sally as the doctor finished her examinations.  “Well?  How bad is it?”  Heero asked, feeling nothing but concern
for the young man that he and Wufei held so carefully in their arms.

Sally let out a long breath, closing her eyes if only briefly.  “He’s set himself back, that’s for sure.  You did say he had a slight
cold?”

Heero nodded and rubbed Duo’s chilled shoulder, delicately bringing the blanket up to cover his exposed skin.  “He was almost
over it too.”

Sally shook her head.  “Well . . . that little tumble undid all of his hard work.  I’m going to leave some extra strength cold
medicine here on the table.  He’ll actually feel sicker than he really is.”  She smiled fondly at Duo.  “Just keep a cool compress
on his head for the fever he’s going to have, see to it that he takes his medicine, keep him in bed and off that leg . . . he should
be fine in about a week or so.”

Heero frowned at the bottle as Sally set it on the table beside the bed.  “That medicine will make him drowsy.  He’ll hate taking
it.”

Wufei spoke up from Duo’s other side.  “He’ll take it though.  He has a very good reason to get well as quickly as possible.”

Heero let his mouth quirk into a grin as he nodded.  “True . . . I hope Relena is successful in calming Chibi-Duo.  That poor kid
was near hysterical.”

“I’ll go down and check on him.”  Sally volunteered, sighing.  “I might as well get the children trusting me now . . . I’m
probably going to have all of them as patients within the next few days.  Even if Duo is kept in this room away from the children
. . . one of them is bound to catch his cold . . . and if one of them does, then all of them will have it.”

She smiled and ran a hand through Duo’s hair.  “You two stay where you are and keep him warm.  If . . . or should I say when
. . . he wakes up, come and get me.  If I’m not downstairs, I’ll be bunking in with Relena.  And please, try to get some rest
yourselves . . . I don’t need an entire house full of sick people.”

Heero nodded, not knowing what to say.  He watched as Sally left the room, then turned to Wufei and gave him a silent nod.  
They would sleep in shifts . . . with Wufei resting first.  Heero didn’t want to relinquish his watch over Duo just yet.


*****


Relena cradled Chibi-Duo as the boy sobbed against her.  Odin was sitting nearby, looking at his friend worriedly.  “There, there,
Chibi-Duo.  Everything will be all right.”  She rubbed gentle circles against the boy’s back, trying to offer him comfort.

“My daddy’s g-gonna die!”  Chibi-Duo wailed, clutching tightly to Relena’s nightgown.  “He’s gonna d-die an’ I’ll be sent b-
back an’ no one else’ll want me!”

Relena knew better than to make light of Duo’s illness.  She remembered how confused she had felt when she had learned that
she was actually the orphaned daughter of the Peacecraft family, that those she had thought were her family were not.  She
remembered how she had clung to her adoptive mother and cried that Mrs. Dorlian would always be her REAL mother.  She
understood Chibi-Duo’s fear . . . his worries of abandonment.

She took on a soothing tone as she spoke to the distressed child.  “Duo is not going to die.”  She said, certain of that in her own
heart.  Even if she didn’t know what was going on, she was sure that he would be well.  “He’s sick, yes . . . but he won’t die.  
Sally is an excellent doctor and she’s helped Duo and the others many times.”  Relena decided to address the child’s other fear at
the same time.

“And even if he was deathly ill, which he is not, you would not be sent to an orphanage.”  She smiled warmly as Chibi-Duo
raised teary eyes to regard her.  “Heero would willingly take you in.  Then there’s Quatre . . . and Trowa and Wufei.  And even
if something happened to all of them, I would adopt you without hesitation.  Then of course you have all of Quatre’s sisters and
the Maguanac.  Right, Quatre?”

Quatre walked over, cradling a half asleep Raberba in his arms.  “Of course.  With my family alone, the Maguanac included, you
have almost seventy people who would love to take in a bright boy like you.”

Relena smiled at the boy who, though still weeping, seemed calmer.  “You see?  You are very wanted by everyone here.”  She
gently kissed the top of Chibi-Duo’s head.  “But it’s a moot point, since Duo will be fine.  You’ll see.”

“I hope so.”  Chibi-Duo sniffled, wiping at his eyes as he curled himself up against Relena’s body.  He yawned widely,
continuing to rub at his eyes.

“I think you should get some rest, Chibi-Duo.”  Relena commented, then took a look around the room, and the children gathered
within it.  “Actually, I think all of these children should be put to bed.”  She smiled faintly, looking at each of the boys and girls
in turn.  The ones that weren’t already asleep wouldn’t be able to stay awake much longer.

“I completely agree with you.”  Said the familiar voice of Sally Po.  Relena looked up, watching as the doctor entered the room.

“Ah, how is Duo?  And Triton?  I heard from Quatre that he had an allergic reaction.”  Relena said, feeling as Chibi-Duo turned
in her arms to look at Sally with keen interest.

“Yes, Triton had an unfortunate reaction to some strawberry ice cream . . . but he’ll make a full recovery.  And I can safely say
the same thing for Duo.  He caught a chill, and that’ll make his cold worsen . . . and he broke his leg falling into the pool.  But he
will get better.  And I intend to stay here until I am satisfied that I am not needed, so nothing will be going wrong.”  She glanced
around at the children, most of whom were asleep.  “And I want to be sure that Duo’s cold hasn’t spread too much.  If one of
the little ones get sick . . .”  She brushed her fingers through Chibi-Duo’s hair.  “I want to be here to make sure they don’t get
too bad.  If we catch it soon enough, I can keep it from progressing to pneumonia.”

Chibi-Duo sniffled.  “Can I see my daddy?”

Sally smiled kindly and knelt down to be at eye-level with the child.  “I’m sorry, but he’s asleep and needs his rest.  Plus I'm
sure he wouldn’t want you to catch his cold.”  She lightly tapped his nose with a finger.  “I’m sure he loves you far too much to
see you sick, just as you love him so much that you want to make sure he’ll be all right.  I promise you this, though . . . so long
as he does as he’s told, eats his meals and gets his sleep . . . he’ll be allowed out into the front room to rest in about a week.  
That’s only seven days.  You can look after the other kids for seven days, right?”

Chibi-Duo beamed.  “Yeah!  I can take care of the kids!  I done it b’fore!”

“Good.”  Sally smiled.  “Now, I want you to help Miss Relena and Quatre with getting these kids to bed.  Okay?”

Chibi-Duo nodded and rubbed his hand over his eyes again.  Then he got up and went over to wake the other boys and girls,
telling them it was time to get to bed . . . that everything was going to be okay now that Sally was here.  He was such a sweet
boy, Relena certainly hoped that Duo’s health would recover quickly, if only for Chibi-Duo’s sake.


*****


Quatre yawned as he climbed the stairs.  He had stayed behind to make sure all of the other children were tended to, before
taking his own little brother up to bed.  He checked in on Chibi-Duo, wanting to be sure that the child was resting.  He was
relieved to find Chibi-Duo safely tucked in his own bed, slumbering soundly, his little arms clutched tightly around a stuffed
animal.  And in his own bed, Odin slept peacefully.

Satisfied that both boys were okay, Quatre quietly left the room and closed the door, heading to Raberba’s room.  “Okay, time
for bed.”  Quatre whispered, running his hand along Raberba’s back in light strokes.

“Uh-uh . . . not tired.”  Raberba said, then promptly broke out into a yawn.

Quatre smiled, chuckling lightly.  “Yes . . . I can see you’re wide awake.”  Quatre said with a tone of sarcasm.  He reached out
to open the bedroom door, only to stop as Raberba spoke again.

“Quatre . . . can I see Triton?”  He asked quietly.  “I wanna make sure he’s really okay.”

Quatre nodded, if only to himself.  “Of course.”  He responded, turning and heading to the bedroom that he shared with Trowa.

Not wanting to disturb Trowa, in case the tall youth was asleep, Quatre slowly pushed the door open and stepped inside.  He
smiled though, seeing that Trowa was lying in bed, propped up on one elbow as he looked down at Triton.  Quatre’s gaze
flicked to Triton, his smile fading.  Triton was sleeping . . . although not peacefully.  He whimpered now and again in his sleep,
his fingers moving to scratch at his reddened skin.  Quatre could see hints of medication on the rash, probably meant to soothe
and clear it up faster.

In his arms, Raberba shifted.  The slight movement brought Quatre from his internal musings and he stepped further into the
room, closing the door behind them.  Quatre walked over and knelt down beside Trowa’s bed, setting Raberba gently on his feet.

“Raberba here just wanted to make sure Triton is doing okay.”  Quatre stated, smiling slightly at Trowa and hoping the tall youth
wouldn’t mind.  “How is he doing?”

“He’s resting now . . . Sally says that’s a good thing.”  Trowa replied.  “The swelling in his tongue has gone down, and his rash
isn’t getting any worse . . . I think he’ll be fine.  He just won’t be feeling very well for a few days.”

“You sure?”  Raberba asked, standing there by the bed and wringing his hands together nervously.  “He don’t look so good.”

Trowa smiled faintly.  “Sally says he looks worse than he is.  He will get better.”  Trowa stated.

“Okay.”  Raberba yawned, rubbing his eyes tiredly.  He turned to look at Quatre, pouting a little.  “Can I sleep with you tonight?”

Quatre nodded, raising a hand to sweep through Raberba’s already disheveled hair.  “All right, climb into bed.”  He smiled.

Raberba didn’t waste a second.  He ran over and scurried into bed, lying down almost instantly.  It was adorable actually.  
Quatre couldn’t help but smile at the sight.

“Trowa . . . you should get some sleep too.”  Quatre said, looking down at his friend.  “I don’t want you worrying yourself sick
over Triton.”  He reached to the end of the bed, pulling up the blankets and covering Trowa and Triton with them.

Trowa obediently lay down, his one arm draped protectively over Triton’s little body.  “Thank you, Quatre.”  He whispered,
keeping his gaze focused on Triton.  “Goodnight.”  The child curled closer to him in the light embrace . . . pressing his face
close to Trowa’s chest, whimpering quietly before he settled down again.

“Goodnight, Trowa.”  Quatre replied, turning off the light before he got into his own bed.

As soon as Quatre was in bed, Raberba latched onto him.  He hugged Quatre out of desperation, Quatre could sense the waves
of guilt and fear flowing from the little boy cuddling against him.  Quatre sighed, pulling the blankets up before wrapping his
arms around the child.

“It’s okay, Raberba.”  Quatre said in a breathless whisper, not wanting to disturb either Trowa or Triton.  “You did nothing
wrong.”

Raberba sniffled and nodded.  He pressed closer to Quatre, hugging him tightly.  Quatre stayed awake and listened to his
breathing, waiting until the boy fell into a quiet slumber before he even allowed his own eyes to close.  He sighed, hoping that
Raberba would be able to forgive himself . . . guilt was not something he needed on his little shoulders.



To Be Continued . . .