4-19-2001

Disclaimers: I do not own any of the g-boys. They belong to Sunrise and other companies, etc. I'm using them without permission, but for entertainment purposes ONLY. This is fans for fans. Me broke, so suing me would get you nothing but the lint in my pockets.

'...' denotes thoughts

 

Captured (Working Title)
By Mika

Chapter 2 "Awakening"

"What's takin' her so long?!" Duo asked for what seemed like the millionth time, pacing back and forth in front of Quatre's room.

About an hour had passed since they arrived back to their safe house, and about forty-five minutes since Sally Po entered, tending to their friend's wounds. After receiving the call from the pilots, she immediately rushed over, willing to offer her medical assistance in any way. She was no less surprised than the others when she first saw the condition of the Winner boy, bleeding and breath rasping on the large bed.

After a quick debriefing from Wufei of what injuries he came upon, she ushered them all out of the room, needing the space and tensionless atmosphere to work.

All were waiting just outside the door now, visibly impatient to see how their friend was. All but Heero of course, who leaned impassively on the opposite wall. Trowa sat beside Wufei on a long bench, watching as Duo took eight steps to the right, before turning on his heel and walking fifteen steps to the left; this was the only thing keeping him sane. The American began this action the moment the door closed, concern overflowing.

He could never forgive himself.

Never.

Only one person could, and he was lying on the other side of that wooden door unconscious.

Knowing that fact made him even more restless.

Nothing could dispel this blame--this self-loathing until he was okay.

Not until Quatre was better would anything ever be okay again.

So until then, Duo would continue pacing in front of that door, chanting in his mind over and over again for his friend to be all right. He did it not only for his comrade's well being, but also because he didn't want to be responsible again.

He didn't want to be responsible for the death of another loved one.

One tragedy was enough in a lifetime. He couldn't endure another one.

* * * * *

Another fifteen minutes dragged on, and Duo continued his march up and down the hallway. Tension inadvertently began to build as a result of the long wait, though it appeared to radiate more from the black-clad teenager. Running a frustrated hand through his bangs, Duo stomped his feet even harder as he walked.

...I never should have left him there...why did we leave???

Wufei looked at the fuming boy and with a resigned sigh spoke. "Maxwell...

...We could have gotten him out of there! Me and Wufei could have--

*~*~*~*FLASH*~*~*~*
"Come on! Help me carry Sandrock!"

"Duo, we can't. There's no time to discuss this! Move it, unless you want to be caught too!"

"We can't just leave him here! What about his Gundam? They'll get it--"

"DUO! Leave NOW!!!"
*~*~*~*FLASH*~*~*~*

Duo paused, eyes narrowing as realization suddenly dawned on him. Wufei…

"...if you don't stop moving in front of that door this instant, I'm going to--"

If only I hadn't listened to Wufei!!

"Going to what, Wufei?!" Duo screamed an inch away from the pilot's face. He stared down at Wufei, amethyst eyes filled with fury. "Going to tell me to abandon him again when he's hurt? Is that it?! I don't know what you do when your friends are in trouble, but I do! I don't leave them behind man, that's the last thing I would do!"

It took a few seconds for Duo to realize what he just said and only a split second later to regret it.

It seemed like nothing was going well for him this week.

Wufei's calm demeanor, however, did not wane a bit on the verbal attack, or as he stood up and left the three remaining pilots.

"Hey Wuf--"

The front door closed with a click.

Duo lowered his extended hand, body sagging. A hand fell on to his shoulder and he turned his head around. "I-I didn't mean it. I just--"

"We know, Duo," Heero said. "He knows it too."

Duo diverted his gaze and directed it to the dull, blue-carpeted floor. The same color Quatre's eyes were when we found him...

Duo shook his head at the thought, pulling away from Heero and plopping down where Wufei sat, head falling into his hands.

* * * * *

Heero watched the others as if he was standing from a distance. Well, he was in a way, but to him, it was interesting seeing the varied reactions.

As expected, Duo began pacing the moment Po went in to see Quatre. Since he met the braided baka, he knew he always needed to be in action. The moron couldn't stand still for five seconds if his life depended on it.

Wufei was sitting calmly on the wooden bench, which didn't surprise the Wing pilot either. Trowa sat next to him, detached like himself, but still waiting, like Duo, for the door to open. He knew Trowa was as concerned as Duo, but he had more control than the latter.

This was one of the reasons why he respected Trowa. In a sense, Trowa was like himself in some ways. Disciplined. Well trained. Devoted. A soldier.

However, there were many differences that distinguished the Heavy Arms pilot greatly from himself. The main difference, however, wasn't a simple characteristic.

It was a person.

Heero knew how much Quatre meant to Trowa, even if Trowa didn't realize it himself. He, on the other hand, would never allow himself to get too attached to anyone. It would only be detrimental in the long run, and he couldn't afford that. There was a war going on and he was damned if he was going to let it continue while he was alive.

At that moment, he was pulled from his thoughts when he heard the all too familiar loud voice directed at Wufei's face.

"...I don't know what you do when your friends are in trouble, but I do! I don't leave them behind man, that's the last thing I would do!"

A dark eyebrow rose at that last remark, but Heero was also expecting this as well. From all his experiences with Duo, he knew that the American could only hold it in for so long.

His cobalt eyes followed Wufei's restrained, retreating form, the exact response he figured the Asian would do.

They're all predictable...

He shifted his gaze and watched as Duo's body slumped down. Something gnawed inside of him upon seeing that, though he brushed the odd feeling aside.

Watching Duo sink lower, he mentally shrugged.

What the hell...

Heero approached slowly from behind, knowing Trowa was watching him as he did, and placed a hand on Duo's shoulder.

Remorseful violet eyes met his and he faltered a bit, but not visibly.

"I-I didn't mean it. I just--"

"We know, Duo," Heero interrupted before the other could continue. "He knows it too."

The violet eyes lingered on cobalt, before staring at the floor. With a sudden motion, he jerked out of Heero's grasp.

Heero watched as Duo sat down, burying his head into his hands, and frowned.

* * * * *

Wufei stood on the deserted plot in front of the house. The wind blew harshly, freeing some of the black hair that was tied at the nape of his neck. He bowed his head, staring at the ground. Dirt mixed with little patches of grass lay beneath his feet.

He clenched his fists and began a kata.

Maxwell's an idiot. We did what we had to do. What right does he have to
say those things to me?

<punch, kick, kick>

I value friendship as much as I value honor.

<punch, roundabout, punch>

I know he was frustrated, the braided idiot.

<kick, punch, punch>

But he should learn some control. Know that duty comes first...

Wufei paused.

...like me.

He lowered his hand.

Duty. Camaraderie. Does duty come before friendship for me?

...

When it comes right down to it, does responsibility always out rank friends?

Wufei took a look behind him, back at the house.

Does it?

* * * * *

Trowa noticed the new form beside him, but didn't really pay attention to the other brunette. All his focus was on that door.

What was taking Sally so long?

Trowa backtracked his last thought.

Am I worried that much? For Quatre?

Why?

...Because...he's my friend--the first friend I've had in a long time.

A very long time...

Yes, that was why.

His attention was drawn back to the present when the door he was staring at so intently, opened.

Both he and Duo stood up, Heero walking beside them.

Sally walked out and softly closed the door behind her, wiping her forehead. Evident lines of strain were on her face, but she still managed a smile.

"How is he?"

Duo beat him to the question, but that was probably for the best.

The doctor took on a serious expression. "He's fine. He'll just need time to recover. I'd say two to three weeks at the very least. He mustn't move too much. I bound his ribs as best I could and it wouldn't do for them to be jarred. This applies to his left shoulder as well. He had a slight trauma to the head, but after some tests, I didn't find anything life threatening. He'll just be experiencing a headache for a few days. He may have looked much worse than he really was, but those were his main injuries. I've cleaned the other abrasions on his body." She took a deep breath and looked pointedly at each pilot in front of her.

"I'll need one of you to change the bandages every few days to prevent infection."

"I'll do it."

Everyone turned to him in surprise, but nodded.

"One more thing, if Quatre’s condition at any time changes, please don't hesitate to call me." After a few nods circulated around the hall, Sally smiled once again. "All right, that's about it. You may see him if you like, but he's sleeping so do try to be quiet. He needs his rest."

Trowa took a step forward, but stopped when what came out of Duo's mouth next immobilized him.

"S-Sally, um, Quatre wasn't...we found him under...he wasn't..."

Trowa froze, turning around upon hearing this for the first time. 'Masaka...' He looked from the fidgeting Duo than to Po.

He was relieved when she shook her head.

"No, Duo. He wasn't. It looks like you found him just in time."

He saw Duo release a loud sigh of relief, which he matched internally. Walking forward, he opened the door, and stepped inside.

* * * * *

Quatre was floating between the brink of consciousness and unconsciousness. He no longer heard the panicked voices that surrounded him a while ago, but felt someone touching him.

He must have made a sound of discomfort, for the searching hand stopped and gently brushed his forehead. The vibrations of a soft and soothing voice reached his ears, and he forced himself through the wall of pain and blinked his eyes slowly open.

A blurred white was the first thing he saw, not the dark and rocky ceiling he had been staring at the last few days. He blinked his eyes again until a solid white, but familiar, ceiling met his gaze.

The brushing stopped and he dispelled much energy to turn his head.

A worried, but relieved expression met his eyes.

He opened his mouth to acknowledge her, but she shook her head, placing a finger on his dried, cracked lips.

"Shh, Quatre. Try not to speak. You've been through a lot," she whispered.

Quatre, despite himself, smiled ruefully in response, eyelids growing heavy until they closed.

"That's right. Just go to sleep, Quatre. I'll be done soon, then you'll be able to see your friends."

'Friends...' Quatre thought before he once again succumbed to the darkness.

* * * * *

Duo followed closely behind, as Trowa went into the room first.

Quatre laid in his bed, beneath royal blue covers, his bandaged head the only revealed part of his body rested on a large plush pillow.

Duo had to restrain himself from just running and hugging the sleeping pilot. He was so happy to see that Quatre was all right.

He noticed that Heero trailed behind, as he and Trowa went closer to the bed, but he didn't care at the moment.

Quatre was okay.

And maybe now he can forgive me.

They were standing beside the bed now, and to his joy, the body on the bed began to stir and eyelids opened to reveal familiar, lively, but tired, Quatre eyes.

Duo was beaming like a child on Christmas morning.

Eyes blinked open a couple of times, before ceasing and focusing on the people in the room.

"O...hayo, minna," came the hoarse greeting.

Duo couldn't hold it back any more and launched onto the blonde, careful not to hit any of the injuries Sally mentioned about. He felt the body tense for a second, before relaxing in his grip. "Quatre, MAN am I glad to see you!"

He saw the blonde smile. "It's good to see you too, Duo. All of you."

"You had us worried for a while there," Duo jibed.

"I didn't mean to..."

"I'm just kidding, Q," Duo said lightly, before releasing him and standing up, smile widening, if possible.

The Arabian returned it. "Aa."

"It's good to have you back, Quatre."

Duo saw Quatre's eyes widen on hearing Trowa's voice, and shook his head, as the blonde looked directly at the quiet pilot. Trowa didn't see it, however, as he was reaching for a conveniently filled glass of water, and turned back around just as Quatre composed himself.

Duo released a sigh.

Saa, those two...

* * * * *

Quatre shook his head, just to make sure he heard that right, and only wound up giving himself a headache.

"A-Aa, it's good to be back," he replied, trying to mask his surprise.

Trowa extended his hand, a glass of water in it, so Quatre attempted to take it.

"Uhn!"

He'd forgotten his left arm was hurt. He closed his eyes until the wave of pain passed. He opened his eyes and saw Duo shaking his head. "Quatre, Quatre."

Quatre revealed a weak grin in response.

"Here."

Quatre watched as Trowa knelt down beside the bed and held the glass to his lips, tipping it forward so he could take a sip. He glanced at the brunette, stunned at this affable gesture, before swallowing down the cool liquid.

Trowa pulled away when the glass was empty.

"Thank you, Trowa."

The brunette responded with a nod before replacing the cup.

Letting his glance linger for a bit longer on the part time circus performer, he shook his head and took a look around his room. It was then that he noticed.

"Ano, where's Wufei?"

He noticed that Duo immediately lowered his eyes, expressing...guilt?

"I'm right here."

All eyes turned to the door.

Wufei walked up to the bed. "How are you feeling, Quatre?"

* * * * *

Sally exited the house and came upon the teen on the lawn.

"Wufei?" She approached him from behind, curiously. "Wufei, the others have gone to see Quatre now. You should join them."

The boy tilted his head up to the sky as if he hadn't heard her, searching for something. After a while, he spoke. "What kind of man am I?"

The doctor frowned at the question, moving so she was in front of him. "A strong one. An honorable one."

Wufei bowed his head. "Am I?"

Sally placed both her hands on the youth's shoulders. He in turn raised his
eyes. "Wufei, what is this about?"

Something debated behind the raven eyes. Was it uncertainty?

Wufei diverted his eyes, shaking his head slightly from left to right. "N-Nothing. Forget it. I was just thinking foolishly."

A fine eyebrow rose skeptically. "Wufei, you never think about anything meaninglessly. Tell me, what's the matter?

The boy pulled away, crossing his arms over his chest and turning around. "Just wondering about something Maxwell said."

"What did Duo say?"

Wufei frowned, not really sure if he wanted to reveal his troubled thoughts to anyone. "It's not really what he said…it just made me think."

"...Yes, and?"

He exhaled a deep breath, giving in to her inquiries. She wouldn't have left him alone if he didn't. "That maybe I look over friendship for duty."

Sally's brow furrowed in thought. "And do you believe so?"

Another sigh echoed in the air. "Maybe."

It was Sally's turn to sigh. "You're an idiot sometimes, Chang Wufei."

Wufei turned on his heel, eyebrows raised in question.

"Don't give me that look," she scolded. "Wufei, I've known you only for a short time, but I think that was all the time I needed to know who you really are." She looked at him for a moment, before voicing her thoughts. "You consider us friends, right?"

A hesitant nod allowed her to continue. "Do you recall our first meeting? I'll never forget it. Though you were lost at the time, I saw the strength in you. You stayed and helped my crew and I out when OZ attacked, did you not? You didn't have to, but what counts was that you did. So if that doesn't rid you of all your doubt, I don't know what else to say."

Wufei opened his mouth to respond, but before he could say a word, Sally abruptly glanced down at her watch. "Oh! I have to go. I have an appointment with someone," she said walking briskly away. "I'll see you all later. Don't forget to call if you need anything!"

Then she was gone, leaving the Chinese pilot alone on the lawn, to ponder about what she said.

Wufei shook his head, muttered something about women and entered the house.

* * * * *

Trowa watched as Quatre smiled, greeting Wufei. "I've been better, Wufei, but thank you for asking."

Polite as ever. Even when he's injured, Trowa noted with wonder.

Wufei nodded and took a step back.

Quatre lowered his head for a second, before raising it again, as if from an afterthough, and looked at all of them. "Um, I'd like to thank you all for rescuing me. You shouldn't have...," he paused, as if his mind were stuck briefly in a memory, "but I am grateful that you did."

No one else seemed to notice, except him though. However, not wanting to stir up anything, he remained silent.

"Well, we weren't going to just leave you with OZ, Quatre!" Duo said.

"Still ::yawn:: oh excuse me, it was dangerous for you all to do something like that."

Duo placed a hand on his hip, pointing the other to the form on the bed. "Oh, sounds like someone needs to go to sleee~epp!"

Quatre smiled. "I am getting a little tired."

"Well, that's our cue then, come on Heero!"

Duo waved goodbye and latched his arm around a resisting one and pulled Heero out of the room.

"Omae o koro--"

*Slam*

"Idiot," Wufei muttered to himself. "Sleep well, Quatre."

"Aa. Thank you, Wufei."

Then he was the only one left in the room. He opened his mouth to voice his departure, but was interrupted.

"T-Trowa?"

Trowa stood, waiting for the other to continue.

Quatre had his eyes on his blanket, obviously trying to make up his mind on something, before shaking his head. "Goodnight, Trowa. Just...goodnight."

Trowa stared at him for a bit, face composed and after awhile, nodded slightly before walking to the door. Flipping off the light switch, he left the room.

* * * * *

Mika-chan
February 2000
Revised: 4/19/00