Title: Desumasuku (Death Mask)
Author: Sarit (email@example.com)
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing. Duh! If I did, I'd be living in a mansion, not looking for a job! Nor do I own Elmer Fudd or Bugs Bunny. Warner Bros. does. So, don't sue!!!!!!
Pairings: 1+2, 1x2 and 3+4, 3x4
Warnings: Angst, death, NCS!!! (graphic), attempted suicide, torture and bastardization of a character (wouldn't you like to know who! ;) )
Rating: NC-17 for subject matter and eventual lemon
Feedback: Hell yes! I accept all feedback, except flames! Do not flame
Archive: Ask nicely first! :)
Duo took a deep breath and put on his most cheerful smile. Nodding to the others, he stepped into the hospital room.
Quatre had been moved from the ICU ward to an isolated wing of the hospital. His injuries, though severe, were healing. Although his body was healing, his mind was not. Deep feelings of guilt, remorse, self-loathing and doubt filled his mind and his soul.
The room was similar in style and coloring to the ICU ward. Stark white walls made the room seem bland, sterile. Three chairs stood against a wall, below the television monitor. Children's cartoons could be seen on the screen. An old Warner Brother's cartoon could be seen on the screen. (It seemed, even now, Elmer Fudd still couldnt catch Bugs Bunny.)
The heart monitor beat steadily, the sound seemed to drone on and on. The thin green line moved slowly across the screen. Its path was reassuring. Moving up and then down in a steady rhythm, the green line gave the viewer an outward sign of the healing and strengthening of the patient.
At least, that's what Duo liked to think. He watched as the line moved across the screen, the beep of the heartbeat registering. It was growing stronger and for that he thanked God. The past couple of days had been most difficult. There were times when they did not know if Quatre would survive the night.
The young ex-pilot of Sandrock had finally been taken off of the respirator. His lungs, though bruised, were able to function on their own.
Entering the small room, Duo kept a grin on his face. Inside, he flinched at the sight of his friend.
Quatre laid on the bed, wrapped in the meager blankets the hospital provided. He had always been smaller then the other pilots. Fragile looking. All of them knew, deep down, that Quatre was the strongest among them. To see his friend so defeated looking tore his heart. He wanted to go out right now and find the bastard that had put that hopeless look in his friend's eyes.
Swallowing, he approached the bed. The others had agreed, though reluctantly, that he should be the one to approach the young Arab first. Trowa had been uncharacteristically vocal against it. The pain in the green eyes of the former Heavyarms pilot was evident for all to see. But the others had insisted and he had finally acquiesced.
So now Duo stood next to the bed, his mind racing on what to do or say. He knew that no words he could offer would help the young man. Quatre had been through an experience that none of them could even possibly imagine.
'Che. The horrors he's gone through oh, Quatre ' Duo took one of the chairs from the wall and placed it next to his friend's bed. He sat down, being careful not to get in the way of any of the machinery surrounding the bed. He took a moment to look over his friend before speaking.
The hospital bed seemed barely big enough to house his friend's small form. White cotton bed sheets covered his friend to his waist. The hospital gown that Quatre wore was a typical, greenish lime color. White gauze bandages covered his hands and arms. He could see the thin fibers wrapping themselves around Quatre's delicate fingers.
The bandages went all the way up his arms, hiding themselves within his sleeves of his smock. More bandages could be seen from the open neckline. A large square bandage covered his right cheek, along with a gauze bandage around his forehead.
None of which bothered Duo all that much. They had all been in war. It was nothing to see such injuries and their aftermath. No, what made him shiver was the look in Quatre's eyes. They were so frightened and wary. Not like before. Before this, Quatre had always been an open young man. Always willing to laugh or play at a moments notice.
But not now. Now, any contact was torture. Duo gritted his teeth. 'I swear I am going to find the bastard that did this to you, Quatre. I'll make him pay for what he's done to you.' Taking his seat, he smiled warmly and jovially at his friend, trying to get a smile back into his friend's eyes.
"Hey, Quat! I'm glad you're awake, man. I missed seeing them eyes of yours." Duo's violet eyes twinkled brightly into the aquamarines. "The other guys are here too. But I told 'em that you're my best friend and I get the privilege of seeing ya first! Wufei grumbled about it being unjust, but shit that's normal right?!"
Silence. Quatre didn't even seem to notice that Duo was there. Duo bit his lip and reached out a hand to touch his friend's hand. "Look, Quat I know its hard but you gotta say something. Tell us what happened "
"Don't touch me!"
Duo pulled his hand away, shocked at the fear he heard in his friend's voice. "Quatre you know I'd never hurt you. You're my best friend my brother."
Quatre turned his face away, hugging his arms to his chest. He stared at the opposite wall, wanting so much to forget. But he knew he couldn't forget. Never would he. The past month was engraved upon his consciousness for eternity. "I'm sorry, Duo. I didn't mean to snap at you. I just don't like to be touched right now. Bad memories ."
"Hey! It's okay, man! It isn't your fault. I just wish we had gotten there sooner "
"I know Duo. It's not your fault. Don't think it is. I don't blame you for what happened."
"Did you want to talk about it?" Duo asked, his hands itching to comfort his friend.
Quatre looked into Duo's violet eyes. They were so large and expressive; filled with love and concern for his friend. Sighing, he shook his head. He couldn't tell Duo. He would not subject his friend to that horror. "No, Duo. I I can't tell you. I just can't. Don't ask me to, please."
"Okay, Quat. Would would you like to talk to somebody else?"
Shrugging, Quatre pulled his knees up to his chest and sighed. In that back of his mind, he knew he had to speak. If for nothing else than to get this out in the open so he could heal. But he also was aware that the others needed his information. They needed it in order to find and catch this guy. So he wouldn't do something like this again to someone else. "Duo?"
"Can " Quatre swallowed, his eyes distant. "Can you get Trowa?"
Blinking, Duo smiled. "Of course, Quat. You just rest up. I'll go get him for you. Okay?"
Quatre closed his eyes and nodded. He felt so tired. He just wanted to forget
Duo moved out of the room and headed for the lobby. As soon as he entered, he was assaulted. Not surprising, as the three surrounding him were as concerned for Quatre as he was. He glared at all of them, straightening his shirt. "Anxious, ain't ya?!"
Heero snorted. "No, baka. We're always like this."
"Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, ya know." Duo drawled back.
Heero turned and icily cold look on his lover. "Duo "
Duo turned from his koi to the other two. "Trowa, he wants to see you."
The unibanged pilot looked at Duo in shock. "Me?"
"Yep. You. I think he's ready to talk about what happened but he wants to tell you." Duo said sadly. He hurts so badly for his friend.
Nodding, Trowa slipped away from the others and headed for Quatre's room.
Once Trowa was gone, Heero turned back to Duo. "All right. What is it? There's something else."
Duo made a face. Leave it to Heero to see his moods. "Hai. It's Quatre. I I think he knows who did it."
Wincing, Duo rubbed his ear at the duel shout from Heero and Wufei. "Do you think you can yell a little louder? They couldn't hear you on the other side of the hospital."
A death glare was turned on Duo and he shrugged. "I don't mean like that. I don't know the whole story, but come one. He's a freakin' Gundam Pilot for crying out loud! Who has the balls to not only kidnap one, but hurt one this badly?!"
Wufei nodded. "Hai. There aren't many. Even with the war over, there are still those who fear us."
"Exactly my point. And I grew up in the slums of L2. Rape was normal some form of torture, too. But I'm tellin' ya I've never seen anything like this. This guy wanted something and it wasn't sex." Duo growled.
Heero nodded. "Just what I was thinking. But what does he want?"
The other two were speechless. They had no idea.
* * *
Entering the small room, Trowa blinked, his eyes turning to see Quatre. He bit his lip, but showed no other outward signs of his emotions. It had always been difficult for Trowa to express himself vocally. This instance was no different. His dearest friend had been brutally attacked. His heart had felt near to breaking when they had finally found Quatre. But he did not know how to deal with it.
Taking the same seat that Duo had used, Trowa sat and watched his friend. His emerald green eyes took in everything around him in a glance. The heart monitor, the wires and tubes on Quatre's body that helped the doctor's regulate and monitor his progress.
But most of all, he took in the pain and heartache that was so evident in his friend's eyes. The aquamarine eyes that had once shown such joy, such radiance, were lackluster. They held no spark of life within them. Trowa swallowed, hoping to God that that spark was still there.
For once in his life, his fingers itched for human contact. He wanted desperately to hold his friend's hand, to hold him in a tight embrace. 'Life is so fucking unfair! Quatre does NOT deserve this! He's the best of us all I swear that I will find the asshole that did this and when I'm through with him, he'll wish for his death. Just as Quatre did. But like Quatre, death will not come. Death is too good for whoever did this.' His thoughts turned dark at the thought, imagining in his mind's eye what torment this creature would go through at his hands. He never even thought of it as a man. No man could do such a thing to another.
Shifting in his seat, he turned his gaze once more to Quatre. All this had transpired within a few seconds, none of his hatred showing on his face to his friend. He gave Quatre a weak smile. "It's good to see you awake, Quatre. We missed you."
Quatre tried to give Trowa a smile of his own, but failed. He looked down at the covers, plucking at the material. "I'm glad you came, Trowa. I know I know I need to talk about this, but I couldn't tell Duo. He still has a certain innocence about him and I don't want to shatter that."
Trowa nodded. Not many would say that about the self-proclaimed God of Death. But those who knew him knew the truth. Duo held a certain innocence about him. It came out mostly when he was around people. It wasn't obvious, like what Quatre had always shown. No it was more subtle than that. They would all do what they could to protect Duo from losing that part of himself. After all, that innocence was what helped the young man survive his difficult childhood and adolescence. None of them would willingly do anything to take that away from him.
Sighing, Trowa nodded. He marveled at his friend. Despite the horrors that Quatre had experienced, he too still held a certain innocence about him. 'Perhaps that is why this creature did this. Quatre's own innocence may have contributed to this attack. Perhaps the attacker wanted to taste that innocence himself ' The very thought alone was enough to make Trowa hide Quatre somewhere where nothing could find him or hurt him. He was that protective of the young Arabian.
"I understand. I am here and ready whenever you are, my friend."
Quatre looked up and for the first time since he had been rescued, smiled. "Arigatou, Trowa."
Taking a deep breath, Quatre nodded. He turned his head and looked at the opposite wall. His eyes seemed to glaze over, his mind in another place and time. "It started well over a month ago. Almost two months, actually. I was on L4, working in my office at Winner Corp ."