10-13-2001

Title: Written in Blood
Author: AstroKender
Pairings: 3x4/4x3,1+2
Warnings: angst abounds
Spoilers: None.
Notes: And again I take forever to get the next chapter out...sorry all!
Feedback: AstroKender@insight.rr.com
Archived: GWA ( www.gwaddiction.com )
Disclaimers: I don't own GW or it's affiliates. This fic is written for entertainment purposes only and is not meant for sale. Don't sue.
/flashback/

 

Part 32

 

When Heero reached Quatre's apartment later that evening, a distressed Hilde threw open the door. Heero's eyebrows rose as she launched herself at him and he had to force himself not to instinctively draw his gun.

"Heero! Thank God you're here!" Hilde's navy blue hair stuck out at odd angles as she ran her hands through it. "I thought I could handle it but-God...he just sits there, staring off into space! He doesn't laugh or joke or anything! Hell! He doesn't even talk!" The colony girl wearily scrubbed her eyes. "And I can't get him to eat. I even made him steak, his favorite! He didn't even blink at that!" she sighed wearily." It was all I could do to get him to sit at the table."

Heero frowned. "Where is Quatre? Is Trowa here?"

"Quatre went out to meet Trowa for dinner so they could talk. Evidently their relationship has been somewhat strained lately and they are trying to sort things out." Her shoulders slumped. "They're both gonna kill me when they get back and see how lousy I handled things."

Heero's frown deepened. "Where is Duo."

"In the dining room." Hilde waved him in and led him through the apartment to Quatre's small dining room.

Heero paused in the doorway. Duo sat calmly in one of the five oak chairs surrounding a matching table literally heaped with untouched food. The Longhaired boy was dressed in a comfortable looking black T-shirt and baggy black denim jeans. Not a hair was out of place in his tightly woven braid, evidence that it was not Duo's hands that did it. Heero's eyes raked over him swiftly, analyzing any changes. He was skinnier than before, but not malnourished. Quatre and Trowa must be making sure he ate. His eyes zeroed onto the faint bruising residing on both of the blue-eyed boy's cheeks and he scowled. He'd get answers for that later, he vowed.

Hilde walked over to the table and gestured to the food. "Would you like a plate, Heero?" There is no way I can finish all of this myself." She gazed at Duo with sad eyes.

"No, thank you."

Heero walked around the table and sat in the chair next to Duo. The longhaired boy seemed to be gazing at delicate still-life painting that Quatre had hung on the opposite wall, painted by Trowa he guessed. Heero stared at the American boy for a long moment before clearing his throat.

"Duo. It's time for dinner. Eat." The Japanese boy's callused hands lifted Duo's silverware and pressed it into the mute boy's hands. Without a word, Duo began to eat, slowly and methodically. He only paused now and then to take a drink from his glass of milk. Approval shone from Heero's eyes. Turning to Hilde, he spoke.

"He will respond to simple commands, you just have to be clear about what you want him to do."

"I-I s-see...." Hilde stammered as she sunk down into her chair.

The room lapsed into an awkward silence as Hilde attempted to eat with trembling hands and Heero merely sat there, watching as Duo cleaned his plate of food. The minutes ticked by slowly, each one drawing out the tension on the L2 girl's nerves. Finally, she threw her silverware down and gazed at Duo with wide, sky blue eyes.

"What happened to him?" she whispered. "What was so awful to cause Duo to hide inside himself like this?" Her eyes swiveled to Heero with a piercing intensity. "How did it happen? How did WuFei die?"

A sudden crash jerked her attention back to Duo, where the boy had dropped his fork and it clattered onto his plate, chipping the edge. Trembling, the longhaired boy stared at her with horror filled eyes.

"Kuso," Heero cursed, gracing her with a glare before switching his attention back to Duo. He began talking to him soothingly, his voice too low for Hilde to make out.

The blue haired girl watched the two in astonishment. "Wh-what did I say? I just asked--"

Heero silenced her with a look and stood, pulling Duo up with him. The Japanese boy slowly guided the American into the living room and onto the couch. Seeing that Duo had calmed, Heero turned on the television and spoke to Duo once more before heading back to the dining room.

"There are two things the Duo reacts negatively towards since that night a month ago." Heero returned to his seat, leveling his gaze onto Hilde's contrite form. "Fire and any mention of WuFei. I'm surprised that Quatre didn't warn you of this." Heero frowned in disapproval.

"He seemed to have a lot on his mind." Hilde murmured distractedly.

"Regardless, WuFei's name is not to be mentioned in Duo's presence."

Hilde matched his frown with her own. "I never did hear what happened. I just got a call one day, saying that WuFei was dead and Duo had gone into shock. How did all of this happen?"

"We don't know the full story, only Duo knows, and he hasn't spoken since that night he followed WuFei into a Chinese restaurant, suspecting that he was somehow involved with the serial killings that had been taking place. When I got there the place was on fire and WuFei was dead. I had to physically carry Duo from the building." Heero's brow creased. "We never found Chang's body."

"How awful!" Hilde's eyes reflected pained sympathy. "And they were lovers, right?"

Heero's eyes flashed and he looked away. ".... Yes."

Hilde watched as he seemed to try to burn a hole in the far wall with the strength of his stare. "You... you still care for him, don't you?"

Heero didn't reply but Hilde already had her answer. "Duo once told me, back at the end of the second war, how much he cared for you, even though you sucker punched him in the stomach." She smiled wryly before turning serious once more. "I think that if anyone were to help Duo, it would be you because, somewhere, deep down inside of wherever he's hiding himself, he still in lo--"

Hilde jumped as her pager beeped. "Does this phone have an outer-earth connection? It sounds like something important has happened back at the salvage yard."

Heero nodded. "Just dial 2 then the colony digits, before entering the telephone number."

Hilde thanked him and rushed to the phone. Heero sat in silence as he listened to Hilde's voice rise in astonishment and then anger and lastly, lower into reluctant acceptance. The L2 girl stormed in a minute later, her expression dark.

"I'm sorry to have to ask you this, but can you watch Duo tonight? It looks like you can take better care of him than I can, anyway."

Heero nodded and watched as Hilde began frantically stuffing items into her bag. "Is there a problem?"

"Somebody broke in to the yard last night and stole a beam saber battery cell, a Leo navigational chip and over a dozen other scrapped MS parts." Hilde cursed. "The worker didn't notice it until this afternoon when he opened the safe to find the Nav chip gone. I gotta get back there fast and figure out what else is missing, plus fill out a mountain of paperwork and talk to the local police. Then I'm going to try to find who ever did this myself. The bastard will regret breaking into MY salvage yard." Her lips thinned into a firm, bloodless line. "Luckily I took my own shuttle so I don't have to buy a ticket. That would've taken hours."

"Stolen mobile suit parts...." Heero's fists clenched. "Something is going on here."

"I'm really sorry for leaving so suddenly." Hilde ran into the living room and gave Duo a quick hug before dashing out the door. "I'll call you tomorrow to see how Duo's doing!" She shouted, before hopping into her rented car.

Heero silently closed the front door, thoughts running wildly through his head. But, there was nothing he could do. Right this moment, Duo took precedence. Heero walked over and lowered himself onto the couch beside the American, settling down to wait until Quatre and Trowa made it home. Duo gave the Japanese boy an absent smile before turning back to watch cartoons.

***

Quatre drummed his fingers impatiently against the hardwood table in Le Chateau. The French restaurant was decidedly cheesy, both in name and appearance, but the food was surprisingly good. He had fond memories here, also, which is why he decided to meet Trowa here...if the tall boy would ever show up.

Glancing at his watch, the blonde debated on whether or not to call Hilde to see how Duo was doing. He had left in a hurry and now he was beginning to worry that he had given the L2 girl more than she could handle. Reaching for his cell phone, the Arab was just about to dial when he spotted a familiar figure walk through the door. The phone quickly disappeared into his coat as he met Trowa's eyes and smiled tentatively. Trowa nodded in return and headed over.

"I'm glad you could make it," Quatre murmured as he fiddled with the lace tablecloth.

Trowa said nothing but Quatre could feel the Latin boy sit across from him and his heart jumped as a warm hand covered his own restless ones, stilling them. Quatre looked up to see the green eyed boy frowning at him.

"What you said this morning was wrong."

"I know," Quatre sighed softly. "I regret even thinking about having Duo committed. I-I apologized to him today. I think he understood and I feel that he forgave me. So everything is all right now."

Trowa shook his head. "I don't think I've forgiven you yet." Quatre jerked his hands away.

"What do you mean? I'm not the only one at fault here! Have you even thought about apologizing to Duo for hitting him like you did? That was more uncalled for than anything I did!"

Trowa's eyes narrowed as he stared at his lover. Guilt had washed over him as frequently as ocean waves hitting the sand for his actions that morning, but that didn't mean he appreciated getting his face rubbed in it. But the Latin boy held his tongue as their waitress arrived.

Quatre began ordering for the both of them rapidly in French, causing the waitress's large black eyes to widen. She waved at Quatre frantically before he finished ordering the wine.

"Excuse me, monsieur, but I am very new at this and have not yet learned all my French." A blush darkened her bronze skin. "Could I please beg you to repeat your order in English?"

Quatre smiled and repeated the order in English, slowly so the waitress had time to write it down. Trowa examined the girl absently. She was very pretty, obviously oriental. The only fault Trowa could find on the girl was the shortness of he black hair, which seemed to only be a soft stubble around her head.

His eyes trailed idly down to her hands, where she was swiftly writing their order in precise capitol letters across her notepad. She had a small scar on her right hand. It was perfectly round, about the size of a bullet hole.... Trowa's eyes narrowed in suspicion. Why did that set him on edge?

"And that will be all," Quatre finished. "Thank you, Miss--?"

"Meiran." The girl murmured and bowed. "And thank you for being so understanding. Your appetizer will be out shortly." She bowed again before walking into the adjoining kitchen. Trowa stared after her, deep in thought as memories tried desperately to surface.

"Trowa?" An exasperated voice floated towards him. "You're not even listening to me!"

The Latin boy jerked back to the present, glancing irritably at his lover. He had almost remembered! "What do you want?"

"I want you to at least act like it's not a burden to sit here and have dinner with me." Quatre grumbled. Glancing around, he noticed that they were the only current patrons and relaxed slightly, his voice rising. "Are you still upset that I had you followed that night?"

Trowa rolled his eyes. "That's in the past Quatre, where it deserves to be. I've already told you I won't allow it to happen again, that night when you upset Duo so much that he had to be sedated." His green eyes couldn't help but still glimmer with anger from that night, even though it was almost a month ago.

"All I did was suggest that we go visit WuFei's grave," Quatre said defensively. "How was I supposed to know that he'd react like that? I didn't know any better, not like the night you couldn't control your hormones. The neighbors probably thought you were killing someone for all the noise Duo made."

Trowa paled. That had happened three weeks ago, when the Latin boy, desperate to get some sort of reaction from Duo, climbed on top of him while he was asleep and kissed him awake. The American had immediately begun to shake and let out a pitiful, keening whine that had awaken Quatre from the next room. Trowa never tried to kiss Duo again.

The waitress brought out their appetizers, but suddenly Trowa wasn't hungry anymore. Quatre, too, made no move to touch his food. They sat there in silence for a moment before they both began to speak.

"--I think this was a mistake."

"--Trowa, I'm sorry."

Sighing, they both nodded wordlessly and stood. Quatre placed some credits on the table and they both headed for the doors. The waitress poked her head out of the kitchen doorway, her dark eyes wide.

"Sir-I mean monsieur? Was your food unsatisfactory?"

"No, Miss." Quatre assured her kindly. "We just decided we didn't have the time for a long dinner like we thought. Thank you very much though." His hand wrapped around the doorknob."

"Wait!" She cried, hustling out into the room. "At least take your dessert." She held up a small paper bag.

Trowa heard Quatre protesting that they didn't order dessert but he was to busy staring at the waitress. That scar on her hand....

/He was running through the woods at night, his gun in hand and his breath fogging in the cold air. He heard movement to his left and crept quietly towards the source.

He eyed both figures carefully. One, on the ground, was Duo. He seemed hurt but not lethally so. The other figure standing over the longhaired boy raised a long knife.

"You die now."

Duo rose his head, his voice calm and unafraid. "At least show me your face."

"I will not." The attacker replied before stabbing the knife downwards. Trowa swiftly raised his gun and fired, shooting the hand that held the knife causing the blade to drop into the foliage. The figure cursed at him before turning and running into the darkness.

"It's not over yet." /

It's not over yet.... Jumping back to the present, Trowa fumbled for his gun just as the waitress reached them. The small woman's smile turned deadly as she held the bag aloft, closing her eyes before striking it firmly with her other hand.

The bag popped, sending a cloud of some sort of powder into Trowa and Quatre's faces, blinding them. The Latin boy felt Quatre stumble into him before hearing the blonde fall to the floor with a sickening thud. Cursing, Trowa finally got a solid grip on his gun when he felt a sharp blow to his neck, and the floor rushed up to meet him.