7-2-2001

Wounds, Part one/one

By: Raving Lunatic Teen

Notes: First fic, EVER

Warnings: Yaoi. Angst. Blood. Language. Some OOCness, just cuz it's so easy to warp Heero's character.

Pairings: 1+2 3+4 5+?

AC 195

 

Bruises and cuts ached all over his body, making their presence well known in the cold. His arm, in an attempt to make him talk, had been brutally broken and dried blood ran the length of it, crusted and a dark rusty color that spoke of old death. His insides felt twisted and abused, while hunger pounded ruthlessly at his mind. The young man practically crawled towards the townhouse, feeling all these things on top of exhaustion, frustration and great deal of grief. The weight of his grief alone should have been enough to crush him. Yet the soldier limped on, mostly dragging himself to the door, drinking in the sight of warm lights and the temporary haven that awaited him.

Draped in black, midnight stained by blood, the boy blinked snow-crusted lashes and knocked one bruise fist on the door. Even this caused pain and he was forced to fight the wave of dizziness that swept over him. When the door swung open, he summoned every ounce of strength and stubbornness he had left. As beaten as he was, Duo refused to let them see him like this, especially Heero. He would face this weakness alone, like he always had. He preferred it that way. Nearly tripping over the threshold, the American strode into the room trying to the project the cockiness he'd not felt since his capture.

"You escaped," stated the dry, emotionless monotone that could only belong to his occasional partner, Heero Yuy.

"Did you expect anything less?" Duo snorted, plastering his typical grin on a face colored purple and yellow from dozens of bruises. Damn. Even that hurt.

"Not from you," the slender Japanese boy was now watching him with curiosity. Or least he thought it was curiosity. You never could tell with Heero.

"Welcome back, Duo," called Quatre as he jogged into the room, having heard the door open. He would have given the other boy a hug (Duo being the only one who actually put up with such displays of affection), but something warned him not to. He frowned, examining the braided pilot with more scrutiny than Heero had. Why is he holding his arm like that? And what happened to his face? Quatre wondered as he studied his friend. He would have said something, had Wufei and Trowa not entered.

"Mission accomplished, Maxwell?" barked the Chinese boy, not glancing at Duo for more than a second. If he was standing, Wufei didn't really care. He didn't realize that at that very moment, Duo's pride was the only thing keeping him on his feet.

"Mission accomplished. Man, I could use me some grub!" Duo grinned, trying to escape as both Quatre and Trowa's gazes fell on him. Trowa felt something odd from the blonde. Was it concern? For Duo? The green-eyed boy studied Duo from under his bangs. Lots of bruises, he noted. The American was moving towards the kitchen as fast as he could with a slight limp. One arm was gripped protectively at one side and his clothes appeared slightly wet.

"Duo?" Quatre tried to sound casual. His space heart was screaming at him about something and it wasn't exactly being polite . . . .

"Yeah, Quat?" he brutally forced any weariness out of his voice. They don't need to know. They don't need to care. Let them just go on with whatever they were doing. Please don't let them notice! He groaned softly to himself, thinking only he'd been the only one to hear.

Never underestimate the Perfect Soldier. Heero's ears were sensitive to almost any sound, especially those made by his partner. Since the other boy found it so easy to get under his skin, Heero had made it his business to learn more about Duo. His information had been no less than fascinating. But that wasn't important right now. The sound he'd just heard from Duo was one of pure pain and agony, the sound of a wounded or dying animal. This angered him somehow, distantly, but Heero pushed the feelings away. What was wrong with Duo? The Japanese boy looked at his friend for the first time that night, really looked at him, and almost fell out of his chair (that would definitely get their attention). How could he have not noticed before? The limp, the obviously broken arm, more bruises and cuts than he cared to think about, and the blood . . . the blood that stained Duo's clothes an even darker shade of black. Heero winced in sympathy at the sight. He hadn't been in that much pain in a long time.

Meanwhile Quatre was talking.

"No damages to your gundam? Injuries? Did you get any information?" normally the Arabian pilot wouldn't bother with those questions, would have waited till his friend was fed and rested. Duo's eyes narrowed. He's suspicious. I gotta get out of here. Find a nice quiet place to lick my wounds. Duo shook his head roughly, ignoring the stars he saw, and started to make his getaway. Then he collapsed to the floor, dropping like a puppet that's had its strings cut. He didn't notice when strong hands caught him, hands that had bent steel now gently cradling the battered boy.

"God, Duo," was all Heero said before carrying the injured boy in his arms to the sofa despite the incredulous glances he received from the others. Even Wufei looked up, shocked when Duo had sunk into Heero's embrace bonelessly. He'd seemed fine only minutes ago. The Chinese boy's eyes narrowed.

How dare he keep his injuries a secret! We're supposed to know about things like this! Wufei ranted silently, watching as the others raced for bandages, hot water, and enough disinfectant to treat an army.

You've hidden your weaknesses before this, my dear Wufei. He is no different than you whispered a feminine voice in his mind.

Nataku . . . will he die? Because of his hiding of these injuries? He felt the cooling presence that was she, that was Meiran.

He will not perish. His friends are with him. The one that cares for him is with him. You are all there. Help Duo, Wufei. He needs every ally now.

One that cares for him?

You know who, Wufei. Now go.

The Chinese boy opened his eyes, watching as Quatre had begun checking Duo's vital signs as the others gathered the supplies they needed. Wufei's hands joined him as he examined the extent of the injuries.

"How did he make it this far Wufei? How did he not call to ask for our aid? He's more battered than I've ever seen anyone before . . . ." Quatre's voice crackled with emotion and for once Wufei did not berate him for it. The scene beneath the braided boy’s clothes was horrific. A mottled collage of purples, reds and yellows, Duo's abdomen was covered with bruises and cuts, some of them still bleeding freely. Blood was smeared across his chest and shoulders, from the gash in his arm where splintered bone had pierced the skin. His breathing was rasping and hoarse, like he'd been inhaling smoke for the past week. Welts and burn marks were fresh on the pale skin, showing where Duo had been unsuccessfully tortured. Wufei shivered slightly. He did not want to be in Heero's way when the Japanese boy saw this.

"How is he? What are the extent of his injuries?" that dull monotone echoed from the doorway, heavy with concern. Wufei sighed. Too late to escape.

"It's pretty bad. I don't know where to start." Quatre's voice wavered as he began treating the first of the bruises, hand shaking slightly. He jumped when gentle hands pushed him out of the way. Trowa shoved the blonde onto the loveseat, motioning for him to stay where he was. Unfortunately, now Quatre no longer blocked Heero's view of Duo's battered form. His vision turned red, then wavered slightly. Tears.

First thought of the perfect soldier's: They are all going to hell. NOW.

Second thought: Oh god, Duo . . . why didn't you tell us?

"Heero, we're going to need your help. Are you up to it? Heero?" Trowa's soft voice penetrated the haze. Resisting the urge to strangle the person closest to him, who happened to be the tall pilot of Heavyarms, Heero strode towards the couch and began doing what he could to mend Duo's broken body. Every scrap of unused knowledge he had on first aid came surging into his mind. The night grew long, but he ignored any weariness. He barely noticed Wufei and Trowa helping him, while Quatre watched nervously, well aware that now the space heart was a major handicap.

***

Twenty-eight stitches, fifty-four anesthetic soaked pads, seventy-one band-aids, and two gauze wrapped ankles later, all that remained was the broken arm and Duo began regaining consciousness. He pulled at the improvised IV tube in his arm and rubbed at his bandaged head. The bump there was smaller by a great deal now. But he couldn't help but wonder how he'd managed to lose so much of the pain and to have his cuts treated. Being Duo, the braided boy struggled to sit up, only to be forced down again by strong and equally stubborn hands.

"You," stated that grim monotone voice, "are not going anywhere."

Duo groaned. He was in for it now. Days of mission importance lectures, speeches about how he should take better care during said missions, and lots of silent, angry glares. And that was only from Heero. There would be justice rants and more mission importance lectures from Wufei, silent, but very uncomfortable scrutiny from Trowa, and more pity and sympathy from Quatre than a normal person should be able to stomach. Somewhere in the back his mind, Duo wondered how far the OZ base was from here. Maybe they'd take him back and torture him some more if he asked real nice . . . anything was better than what he was bound to get from those four.

"I . . . . Where am I?" he asked, wondering if playing stupid would keep him from getting yelled at for a while.

"You don't remember anything?" Heero's voice had become heavy with . . . was it concern? For him? Why? Mentally Duo gave himself a kick in his already very sore posterior.

Great now you've got him thinking that you've contracted amnesia and he's gonna spend the next week agonizing on how to cure you . . . waitaminute . . . is he worried about me? Heero? Duo's thoughts raced around for a few seconds while Heero's question hung in the air. He winced from the headache he gave himself. Heero looked vaguely frightened at this and moved closer, bringing a cool rag to the other boy's forehead. Duo stared through violet eyes at the Perfect Soldier for a moment. Okay, Hell has frozen over . . . Heero is worried about me. Duo said to himself.

To Heero he whispered, "No, I remember getting out of the base, and everything before that. And I remember going somewhere through the snow. And I saw you guys, but I thought it was a hallucination or a dream."

"You're in the safe house, Duo. And after you get better, we are all going to have a long talk about honesty," growled Heero softly, continuing to smooth the rag over Duo's eyes. The fever accompanying his wounds hadn't gone down.

"Never one for small talk, ne?"

"You scared us, Duo. Don't do it again." Cobalt blue eyes flashed slightly and Duo found himself nodding. He wasn't going to argue with his partner on this one. His health was damaged enough at the moment, thank you.

"Is he awake, Heero?" asked a plaintive voice from the chair that Quatre had been deposited on.

"Hai."

"When he gets better, may I borrow the Zero system please? I think I might need to use it to get my point across." Green-blue eyes flashed in an expression dangerously similar to Heero's.

"Okay, okay, you two. Point taken," Duo laughed nervously. This was not good.

"But we haven't made ours yet," replied a thickly accented Asian voice said as Wufei and Trowa returned with more bandages and a splint. The hardest part was yet to come.

"Yes. It was to your disadvantage, Duo, to assume you will only have two enemies to deal with, when in realty, there are four." Trowa's voice had the same angry, strained quality as Heero's.

"I take it that I am going to spend a lot of time making this up to you."

Four nods.

<Gulp>

Four smirks.

"I do thank you, though."

More nodding. Heero gently held one of his bandaged hands, to Duo's amazement. What was this feeling he'd been getting from the Perfect Soldier?

"Duo," he said softly, "we have to set your arm. I'm afraid it's going to hurt a lot." His resolution wavered when he saw a look of sheer panic fleet across the injured boy's features.

"How much a lot? More than when they broke it?" the normally cheerful voice cracked.

"Who broke it?" Anger, long ago buried, reasserted itself in Heero's mind. Whoever did this was going to pay.

"Don't change the subject!"

"Unfortunately, it will hurt quite a bit more." Quatre looked regretfully at his friend before answering for Heero.

"I . . ." Duo couldn't meet their gazes any more. The agony that had gripped him when they had broken it had been like fire, like the hottest flames on earth. Something worse? Hell perhaps.

"We'll be right here with you, Duo," Quatre rose to take Duo's uninjured shoulder gently.

"And I'll make it as fast as I possibly can," whispered Heero, the expression on his face totally foreign.

"Fast, with no mistakes," Wufei agreed, earning a nod from Trowa. He slipped a piece of rubber in between Duo's teeth.

"Bite down when you have to," he told the braided boy.

The three pilots circle around the bed, while Quatre gripped Duo's uninjured hand, a determination not to let go in his eyes. Before he placed his hands on the swollen arm, Heero bent to brush lips against Duo's forehead. Shock ran through the American like electricity.

"Forgive me," Heero said. Then, the pain began.

Duo's teeth clenched down on the rubber as Heero began adding pressure with the help of Wufei and Trowa. Agony tore through his arm and he gripped Quatre's hand like death (no pun intended), cutting off the blonde boy's circulation. Had he not been immobilized by the other two, Duo would have reacted out of instinct and struck out at Heero. And I would never forgive myself for that. Duo's vision went white and red as the pain came. He felt only the pressure in his arm. Hearing large pop and crack, Duo was reminded of Heero setting his own leg. He made a note never to tease the other boy about it ever again. Then, abruptly, the pain stopped. He was vaguely aware that he'd been screaming, as his throat had suddenly become raw. He felt them wrapping the splint, felt himself release Quatre’s now bruised hand. He glanced apologetically at the blonde.

"Gomen, Quatre,” he whispered, earning a gentle hand running through his hair.

"I just hope we'll never have to do that again."

"Arigatou, guys," Duo added as Trowa and Wufei began cleaning up their used supplies and the blood on the table. For the first time, Duo noticed the blood. It was his. Heero followed the direction his gaze as he stared with morbid fascination.

"You gave us quite a scare, Duo," the Japanese pilot sighed, memorizing the other boy's features. He never wanted anything like this to happen again, but he would do all he could not to forget Duo anyway. Heero didn't notice when moisture began collecting at the edges of his eyes, forming tears in his long lashes. Duo did though and reached up with one bandaged finger to brush them away before he realized what he was doing. The other three boys had long since departed to the kitchen, though three sets of eyes were curiously peering out from the doorframe.

"You know, we shouldn't be spying," Quatre hissed trying to pull away only to find Trowa's hand firmly pushing him back to where he was.

"This is the only entertainment we get. And it's becoming more interesting," the green eyed boy replied.

"A lot more interesting," Wufei whispered when Duo's hand reached out to wipe away Heero's tears.

"Shhhh. . ." the other two hissed.

Had the perfect soldier not been in shock, he would have heard them. But, luckily for them, all of his attention was focused on Duo, who was sucking one finger, tasting the moisture there.

"Hey, they're real," he grinned slightly, even though it made his face hurt.

"Hai. Is it surprising?" Heero felt a wave of defensiveness wash over him. He had emotions, he really did. And they were just as real as those tears.

"That you can cry? Not really. I know you're human, Heero. That you're crying because of me . . . I think I may die of shock." Duo's voice had become even softer, gentle, as he studied the other boy's face. Concern. Anger. Grief. Something else . . . what was it?

"You're not allowed to die of shock," Heero said firmly. His expression had turned deadly.

Duo had a feeling if he did die, Heero would resurrect him, just so he could kill him. Omae o korosu, right my friend? Maybe a friend. Something else . . . . Is that what the tears are for?

"I'm not allowed? Ooo, now there's rules. Tell me Soldier Boy, what other rules must poor, defenseless 'ol me follow?" Duo's grin widened. He was curious about this.

"No dying. Not yet anyway." Heero meant this; the tears had come back. Again, with a hand that shook slightly, Duo wiped them away.

"Ite. My rule. No crying for me, Heero. Not for me." Duo fixed Heero with a glare of his own.

"No, not telling us when you're in pain. It's gonna take you a while to get over this. It will take a lot longer if you don't let us know when you're hurting.” The Maxwell death-glare was nothing compared to look he was getting from the Wing pilot. All he could do was nod.

"No missions, not for a while. You're going to take it easy, if I have to strap you to that couch." Another glare.

"Ite! You'd like that wouldn't you?" Duo managed to laugh, though it was more of a weak chuckle.

<GLARE>

"Okay, okay. Point taken. Anything else?"

"We will punish you as we see fit, Duo. None of us like being lied to. And we want to know when something is wrong." Heero's voice took on that pained quality that Duo had noticed earlier.

"I said I was sorry . . . . Is that it?" Duo wondered how many aspirin it would take to cure him after this round of Wufei's justice rants.

"One more," Heero bent over him, leaned down--distantly Duo wondered why his heart seemed to have stopped beating and if he should tell his friends--and kissed him, gently. When he pulled away he smiled slightly at Duo's stunned expression.

"You're not allowed to tell anybody I just did that," the Japanese boy finished softly. He would have walked away after that, but one bandaged hand, bruised but still retaining most of its strength, grabbed a good portion of his tank top and dragged him back.

"Wait a minute, Yuy. You're not getting away that easily," Duo was vaguely aware of Heero whumphing back into the chair he'd pulled up to the couch. His face felt flushed and he couldn't stop the adrenaline from racing through his battered system.

"Wh--what was that for?" he asked.

"Ummmm . . . ."

"Um? All you can say is um?!?!?"

"Are you angry with me?" Heero wondered aloud, letting the barest hint of his apprehension into his voice. He'd been praying that Duo wouldn't reject him, but the tone of the other boy wasn't exactly helping his doubts.

***

Meanwhile, in the kitchen . . .

"Oh my god! Did you see that?"

"Did you see Duo's face?" <Snicker>

"Wonder what he's going to do?"

"Shh. . . ."

***

"Of course I'm not mad at you! I'm just wondering if you've been possessed or if . . . if . . . you meant that." Duo reached out one hand to push the spiky brown bangs of the way. He couldn't exactly read the expression in the Prussian blue eyes, but he could see the hope and fear there.

"I'm not possessed. And I did mean it. I'm sorry." Heero hung his head, his bangs flopping once more in front of his eyes. Duo made a note to take a pair of scissors to the hair later. Meanwhile, he grabbed a handful and pulled his partner closer, secretly reveling the silky feel of the dark brown strands. He stopped when Heero's nose was mere millimeters away from his own. The Perfect Soldier's breath warmed his skin gently. For a moment the two boys were drowning in pools of violet and blue until time seemed to stop.

"You have nothing to be sorry for." Duo smiled slightly and kissed the Wing pilot, more than a little pleased when the other boy responded to him. He was nearly in heaven when managed to get his tongue in Heero's mouth. The Perfect Soldier moaned slightly, obviously just as happy. When they finally did come up for air (if they hadn't they would have suffocated), Duo managed to get his hand under the infamous green tank top and. . . well, let's just say he was having a really good time. He whined a little when Heero pulled away.

"Hey! Get back here!" he hissed, missing the other boy's warmth already.

"Not tonight Duo. You're still injured. I'm not going to hurt you, not now." The dull (or maybe not quite so dull anymore) monotone ended that argument, freezing Duo's words in his throat. He stuck his tongue out at Heero and sulked.

"Don't tempt me Duo." Another order. The tongue obediently went back into the mouth and Heero relaxed visibly.

"Ai shiteru," he whispered softly, after several moments of Duo simply watching and studying him through huge, violet eyes.

"Love you too, Hee-chan," the American grinned.

***

In the kitchen . . .

"I can't believe it."

"Believe it."

"They actually . . ."

"Yep."

"One thing to say to both of them."

"What's that?"

"It's about time."

***

Now Heero was more than fully alert and strode to the kitchen door with a sense of purpose. When he opened it and a pile of Wufei, Trowa and Quatre tumbled out, his expression turned from pleased to not ery quickly.

"Got three words for these busybodies," Heero smirked slightly.

"I've heard those before," Duo called from the couch.

"Omae o korosu."

"Ahhh!! Run!" There was great scrambling of feet as the four pilots roared around the house, one wielding a gun and the other three searching for weapons amongst furniture, books and lava-lamps. While they were upstairs, Duo wondered if this would be a good time to escape from them. He hadn't forgotten that a punishment awaited him when he got better and the best way to avoid such was to escape while his limbs still worked.

Creeping off the couch, he started to sneak the kitchen, hoping to grab some food on his way out. Yet when a calloused hand gripped the end of his braid, he wasn't surprised, not really. He doubted anyone could get away from Heero that easily. With the help of his comrades, whom he'd decided could live for the moment, the Perfect Soldier deposited the boy he loved onto the couch, rewrapped in a half dozen blankets. Though he wasn't aware of it, Duo still had a fever and Heero wasn't about to let it get any worse.

"You are not going to escape, Maxwell," Wufei growled, his expression mirroring Heero's.

"Can't blame me for trying," Duo pouted, even though he was truly glad they had helped him, had tended to him. Without the others he would've been in deeper shit now, still trying to fix his own body.

"Yes, we can," Quatre replied, firmly planted himself in the chair opposite the couch. Trowa joined him, snuggling closer.

"Oh, great, I'm never gonna get an ounce of privacy after this," part of him didn't care. When had these people become his friends?

"Nope. We're not going to leave you alone," Heero smirked at him.

"You know, I was hoping you'd say that." Duo squeezed the Japanese boy's hand.

"Good."

"This is getting so mushy." Wufei looked slightly green watching the two couples.

"So?"

"So you all look like a scene out of some bad soap opera. I thought it was bad with one couple," Wufei glowered, then jumped to his feet.

"Where ya going?" Quatre watched him through sleepy, half-opened eyes.

"Maxwell's still injured. I'm gonna make some soup."

"Aww . . . Wufei that's so sweet," cooed Duo in a fake syrupy voice, "Whadaya think, Heero, wanna start a threesome?"

"Nope, you're mine, baka. And there's nothing you can do about it."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah."

<smooch>

"Oh, Nataku, what did I do to deserve this?" Wufei wailed, heating water for the soup. Inwardly he was smiling. Everything was as it should be.

Order has returned, my love, said his Nataku, in his mind.

 

-------

THE END

 

Uhhh, it wasn't that bad was it? <curls into defensive position> Don't hurt Lyssira-chan if sucks. She can't help that she can't write!

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