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...but I'm kinda attached to that too, so basically you would get nothing ^_^
'...' denotes thoughts
C&C is welcomed, flames will be used to warm up a can of soup for tomorrow's lunch.
Captured (Working Title)
Foreign hands descended all over his body, touching and feeling him with urgency.
Quatre writhed and twisted his body, trying to escape from the invasion, but the metal chains on his wrists seemed as strong as the gundanium used to make their gundams.
Sweat poured down his face, as the hands explored his bare body further, eliciting an acute panic within him. He only struggled more, ignoring the pain arising from his now raw wrists.
"Stop it! Let me go...Stop...Someone...please..." The last word was barely a whisper, as his body movement slowed and finally stopped.
Just as he did, the hands did as well. He tilted his head up in surprise and attempted to peer through the darkness, to get a glimpse of his tormentor.
Blood red eyes stared back at him, an inch away from his face.
Something dripped on his face, trailing down his cheek until it reached his chin and was lost in the darkness.
Quatre didn't even blink as the unknown liquid continued to fall onto his face, hypnotized by the crimson-colored eyes. The eyes then slowly moved.
The blonde's eyes widened as the fluid fell into his parted lips. An iron taste flowed to his senses.
It was blood.
* * * * *
Quatre's eyes shot open, mouth gasping for air. Unconsciously, he brought his right hand up to his lips, pulling away to see if the dream were only a dream. He found his fingers to be of normal color, though this knowledge didn't seem to calm his short, ragged breathing.
Lifting his right arm, he wiped his sweat-soaked bangs out of his face, heartbeat still racing. He closed his eyes, but then immediately opened them when images flashed back.
He could still feel the hands, the warm breath on his neck.
Shuddering involuntarily, he did all he could to block the memories. It was then that he heard footsteps in the hall and realized he must have woken someone.
He had the room beside his.
Quatre quickly took a few deep breaths, trying to calm his nerves.
The doorknob slowly turned and a mass of brown hair appeared through the doorway. Trowa took a step in and closed the door behind him. "I heard your voice. Is something the matter?"
Quatre set a smile onto his face, and shook his head. "Mm-mm. I'm fine," he replied, hoping Trowa would be satisfied with the answer and leave.
But he didn't.
Instead, Trowa moved towards the bed. "Are you sure?"
At any other time, Quatre would have been overjoyed with Trowa's concern, but right now...right now, he wanted to be alone.
"Really Trowa, I'm fin--" Quatre inhaled sharply, reaching for his stomach.
Closing the remaining steps between them, Trowa immediately removed the blue covers. A red stain began to grow beneath the pale fingers. Without any hesitation, he walked quickly to the bathroom and returned with the first aid kit.
Quatre cursed inwardly, more to himself than to the pain. Why couldn't his body listen to him for once? He didn't want the attention, not after...
He forced the thought away and focused his attention to the one in front of him. He watched as his blue nightshirt was lifted, remaining very still though his whole body willed for the contact to end as quickly as possible.
Blood seeped through the bandages near his abdomen. He tilted his head back, eyes tightly closed.
Opening the kit, Trowa removed a pair of scissors and some bandages. As carefully as he could, he snipped off the stained wrappings, mentally flinching himself each time he heard Quatre's breath hitch. After removing the cloth, he looked more closely at the injury.
A gash had opened, blood still exiting from the wound.
He jogged over to the bathroom and returned a few moments later with a basin full of hot water. Wringing out a cotton cloth, he began cleaning the cut with minute care.
Quatre bit his lip, preventing any sounds of pain from leaving his mouth, as Trowa continued his ministrations.
After applying some disinfectant onto the wound, Trowa eased him up into a sitting position, and began rewrapping his body.
He froze slightly.
His instinct told him to pull away, to get as far away as possible...but this was Trowa...it wasn't...
Before he knew it, Trowa was helping him lie back down before returning to the bathroom once again.
Quatre closed his eyes, only to open them when he heard a scraping sound.
Trowa was now seated in a wooden chair beside his bed.
Quatre opened his mouth to protest, but was silenced with a "Just in case" look that left no arguments.
Quatre shut his mouth and turned his head away.
"...Thank you, Trowa."
* * * * *
Duo knocked softly on the white door. To his surprise, he heard footsteps, and then the door suddenly opened to reveal a familiar face.
"Trowa?" Duo didn't bother to mask any of his surprise upon seeing the one in front of him. The look on the quiet pilot's face told him to hurry up. "Uh, is Quatre awake? If he is, I would like to talk to him - if he isn't I'll just go--"
"No, Duo. I'm awake."
Duo looked passed the brunette at the door, to see Quatre trying to sit up. "Oi, you shouldn't be moving!" With that said, Duo ran in and carefully forced him to lie back down. Arranging the pillows and covers back into place, Duo made sure that Quatre was once again settled as he was originally.
"Thank you, Duo."
Duo held a hand behind his neck, sitting down on the chair beside the bed. "Eh heh, no sweat." After a while of silence, he noticed that Quatre was looking at him. "Oh right! I wanted to talk to you."
Quatre chuckled, yet the movement didn't very well agree with his body and he flinched immediately. Duo smiled apologetically, which Quatre waved off lightly.
"So, what is it that you want to talk to me about?"
Duo looked down at his twiddling fingers. "Well, I...that is...you know..."
Quatre tilted his head to the side. "Duo, what's the matter?"
Duo still couldn't meet the other's eyes. "I...I wanted to--"
Why was this so hard?
"Duo, it wasn't your fault."
Duo's head snapped up, meeting eyes filled with understanding.
I don't deserve that look...
Duo shook his head furiously. "No, it was my fault! If I hadn't...you wouldn't have been...and thenjust look at yourself damn it! Look at what they did to you!"
Quatre looked at him, stunned.
Duo mentally slapped himself over the head.
Great...why don't you scare him more Duo...sheez...Heero's right, I am a baka.
He looked down at his hands again. "Sorry..."
Silence filled the room, neither one speaking for a while. A drawn out sigh then circulated through the air.
"Duo, can you look at me?"
He shook his head.
Reluctantly, he raised his eyes.
Quatre looked at him, a smile on his face that eased Duo's tension a little bit. "Duo, I don't think you've been looking at me that closely," Quatre began. "I'm alive. These injuries will go away. I'm fine."
Duo looked at him doubtfully.
"Really," Quatre added earnestly. "What was done can't be changed nor was it at your fault, so please don't burden yourself on my account. I couldn't live with you feeling guilty over something that you had no control over. All right, Duo?"
It was a while before Duo slowly nodded. "But I'm going to make it up to you anyway. So if there's anything you want, and I mean _anything_, just tell me, and I'll help you out!"
Quatre smiled, knowing what laughing would do to him. "But there's nothing that I want. I have everything I could ever need. Friends, fam...il...y..."
Quatre's voice trailed off as he saw a familiar glint flicker in the Shinigami pilot's eyes.
It was the same glint that appeared in the violet eyes the time when Duo decided to play a practical joke on Heero.
Let's say Heero did not enjoy wearing pink spandex shorts for a week.
An uneasy feeling grew in the pit of Quatre's stomach, but before he could question the other's intentions, Duo stood up. "All right Quatre. As Heero would say 'Ninmu ryoukai,'" he lowered his voice to the right monotone and laughed. "It'll take some time, but don't you worry. It can be done, promise. And a promise from death is never broken. Ja!"
With that said, Duo ran from the room, saluting Trowa before he left.
Trowa looked at him oddly before looking at Quatre. He walked over to the bed, noticing that the Arabian's face was filled with dread.
"Are you all right, Quatre?"
* * * * *
Wufei stared out at the morning sky, his back leaning against the wall beside the library window.
Arms crossed, he looked at the bare maple tree situated at the far side of the brown lawn. A few dead leaves still clung to some branches, but were immediately blown away with a slight breeze. He watched as they descended lifelessly to the ground below, where the feet of oblivious passerbys would inevitably crush them.
They were like these leaves.
Some of them would be, anyway.
Once the war was over, society would push them aside, not wanting to deal with them. The soldiers themselves would be trying to convert back to civilians. Most do, but there still were few--few who could never forget, never change back to what they once were. Like those few dead leaves clinging to the tree, these soldiers would grow old, trying to cling to society and life. But when a slight breeze would come by, their fragile lives would shatter, leaving the bits and pieces for people to walk all over--their actions to create this peaceful, new world forgotten.
Wufei closed his eyes.
"...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!"
His forehead creased in frustration.
Pained blue eyes focused. "It...It hurts..."
"I've been better, Wufei, but thank you for asking."
Wufei unfolded his arms and leaned them heavily on the windowsill. 'How could he look at me like that? Those trusting, forgiving eyes were not meant for me! I left him there...there for OZ to do as they pleased with him...'
Quatre sprawled helplessly on the dirtied floor.
Lifeless eyes not seeing.
Being touched everywhere.
He closed his eyes tightly. 'And I had the nerve of telling Yuy the injustice of leaving behind a comrade in need...' His hands clenched into fists. 'HYPOCRITE!! I'm a damn hypocrite!'
"...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."
'She doesn't understand. This was different--completely different...I failed you again, Nataku...'
<dark, scolding eyes>
You're that scholar boy.
A person like you has no right to carry on the line of our proud clan.
I fight for justice!
I... I won't lose! I can't lose to these people!
No... You are... stronger...
'...Meiran...you were wrong...'
Wufei opened his eyes and glared at his reflection. 'You're worthless...worthless! You're no better than the enemy itself!'
Clenching his fists, he slammed them against the window, only then did he hear the door creak open behind him. He lowered his hand. "Leave me alone."
Despite his firm request, the door only widened more, light footsteps entering the room.
"If I were in the same position, I would have done the same."
Wufei bowed his head, and without looking up, he responded. "You would, wouldn't you have, Yuy."
Heero closed the door behind him, leaning on it once he did. "Aa.."
A bitter smile fell onto Wufei's lips. "And if it were Duo?"
Wufei turned around, meeting a glare as he did. "As I thought."
* * * * *
"And if it were Duo?"
For the first time in his life, Heero Yuy was caught off guard. He was only walking by the library when he saw the brooding Chinese pilot. For some reason, he couldn't make himself move from the open door. Convincing himself that for no other reason than ensuring that Wufei would be able to perform any future missions efficiently, he entered the room with the intent of doing something about the pilot's guilt.
And for that, he was attacked with this question. A question concerning a person he couldn't even quite figure out himself.
Not knowing what to say spawned hesitation, all that was needed for the other to come to his own conclusions.
He watched as Wufei turned to face him moments later.
"As I thought."
Heero continued to look at him coldly. He most certainly did not come here to get patronized.
"Don't look so angry, Yuy," Wufei stated calmly, leaning his back against the windowsill. "At least you know you're human."
Heero's attention focused on a single word in the statement--the accusation. 'Human...'
"It's not a disease Yuy, so stop looking as if it were one."
If possible, Heero's eyes narrowed even more. What was with him lately? Showing his emotions. Or maybe people were beginning to read his expressions. He cursed softly, regaining his control.
A knock interrupted their conversation.
Wufei released a sigh. "Come in."
The door opened slowly, as Duo stepped inside. "Uh Wufei, there's someth--Oh!" The American took a step backwards, seeing that the dark eye boy wasn't alone. "Uh, sorry. Did I interrupt anything?"
The word was spoken in unison, causing Duo to blink. "Oh...kay."
The lengthened word was barely passed Duo's lips when Heero brushed by him, leaving the room.
Duo watched as he left, scratching his head in puzzlement, before shaking his head and turning back around to look at the remaining pilot.
"Wufei, I've been meaning to talk to you. About yesterday..."
* * * * *
The morning was quite uneventful. Trowa was now seated in an armchair across the room reading, as Quatre lay on his bed, eyes staring out the window to his left. In fact, that was all the latter did the entire morning, as Trowa soon realized. Raising his green eyes once more, he looked on as the blonde continued to look out the window, blue eyes downcast while the rest of his face wore a neutral expressionnot nearly matching the animate face he usually wore.
A voice in his mind whispered what it felt troubled the youth, but Trowa pushed it away, not wanting to hear it. He glanced at his watch and found that it was about a quarter past noon.
The blonde didn't seem to hear him the first time, or the second, but he did raise his surprised eyes the third time as Trowa stood up and walked to his side.
"I wanted to know if you were hungry. It's already past noon."
A seemingly forced smile appeared as the Sandrock pilot replied. "Oh...Yes, actually."
The HeavyArms pilot nodded, reaching out to help as the blonde tried to sit up. Once settled, he pulled his hands back and allowed for one last contemplative glance linger on the still smiling face before leaving the room.
Closing the door behind him, he missed as it immediately slipped away.
* * * * *
Quatre exhaled a long breath, body sagging a bit. He grimaced, moving his hand quickly to his side.
"You're pretty cute you know. I know a lot of people who would like to get to know you better."
He bit his lower lip as the voice taunted him in his mind.
No...he wouldn't let it get to him. Heero, Wufei, Trowa and even Duo wouldn't let it bother them. They were stronger than that, and they would be able to get over it without so much as a second glance.
So, he would too.
* * * * *
Heero tried to zone out the incessant chatter coming from Shinigami's cockpit. He'd only come in here an hour ago to make a few minor repairs on Wing when Duo flounced in not long after.
He'd never had this problem before, ignoring the teen that is. Why was it so hard now?
The slightest of frowns fell onto his features as he lowered himself onto the ground.
"MAN, it's hot in here! You'd think they'd have at least given us air conditioners "
Reaching the floor, Heero tossed a pair of pliers into his toolbox before snatching a flat head screwdriver and hoisting himself back up again.
It wasn't really the chatter that was bothering him. Since this morning, he couldn't get the brief conversation he had with Wufei out of his head. Usually, he could have brushed it off, but for some reason it was all he could think about.
"And if it were Duo?"
His hand stopped moving, suspended in the air.
`If it were Duo ' Heero shook his head, almost dropping the tool onto the floor below when his hand suddenly went slack.
`If it were Duo, I` He paused. `What? What _would_ I do?'
`I'd have left him just as Wufei had,' a firm voice in his mind said the soldier part of him.
`Yes leave Duo ' His eyes flashed open though he didn't even realize when he closed them. `No leave Duo? No there must be some other way.'
He froze, this time succeeding in dropping the screwdriver to the ground with a resounding CLANK!
Why was he trying to think of another way? `There was no other way!' his mind argued. `The ONLY way was to leave D`
He clenched his eyes shut, hands tightly closed.
What was wrong with him?
Why was there indecision? It wasn't hard. Just leave Du
He shook his head harder. He couldn't even think that - but why?
Why couldn't he?
Heero opened his eyes abruptly to the call of his name, looking down.
Duo stood, head tilted upwards. His eyes revealed the smallest bit of concern, along with confusion and question.
Heero's face was once again set to normal as he slowly lowered himself to the ground. Once there, he picked up his screwdriver, preparing to pull himself up again when a hand fell onto his shoulder.
Heero turned his head to the side. "What?"
The tone didn't seem to faze the braided pilot as he stared directly into cobalt eyes. "You okay?"
Heero turned his head back, shrugging off the hand at the same time. "Fine." After the quick, yet firm reply he pulled himself back up, knowing that Duo's gaze followed him as he did.
Stabling himself once more in the air, he continued with his repairs. Only this time, he blocked out everything around him, including the battling voices in his mind.
* * * * *
Duo tried not to let Heero's brush off get to him as he turned his back from the other and walked back to his Gundam.
`It wasn't worth it,' his mind told him. Partly agreeing to what it said, Duo picked up a stray rag, wiping his hands on it before picking up where he left off. Only after he pulled himself up Shinigami did he realize that he was done.
Sighing, he slid back down and once reaching the ground, he walked quickly to the door so he wouldn't have to look at Heero. Still, his eyes found its way to the pilot anyway before he left.
Heero still hung from the air, fiddling with something on Wing with his usual no nonsense soldier exterior.
Duo sighed, running a hand through soaked bangs, before stopping abruptly. He cursed as he realized his hand wasn't as clean as he thought it'd be.
`Well...at least this gives me an excuse for a long shower.'
Grabbing some rag somewhere for his hands, he walked out of the room.
* * * * *
Trowa was putting on the last slices of turkey onto Quatre's sandwich when Duo walked in, greasy hands wiping on an even greasier cloth.
Brushing a hand across his perspiring forehead, Duo greeted the other. "Hey Trowa. How's the patient?" He walked over to the sink, turned it on and washed his hands, before grabbing a glass out of the cabinet.
"Yea?" Duo questioned, pulling the refrigerator door open and lifting the orange juice container out. He poured himself a glass and took a sip as he walked to Trowa's side. The latter was putting the finishing touches on the sandwich, cutting the crust off the bread and slicing it diagonally into two pieces. Duo swallowed another bit of juice as he watched. "For him?"
He received a nod in response and turned away from the counter to lean on it, as Trowa claimed a glass from the cabinet and filled it with juice just as Duo did a few moments ago. He then placed both the dish and cup onto a tray and prepared to leave the room.
"You're worried about him."
Trowa paused at the door and turned around to face the other. "As are you."
Duo smiled, shrugging at the same time, but didn't say anything else.
Looking at the grinning pilot for only a moment longer, Trowa turned around, exiting the room.
Duo's smile broadened and he downed his entire glass of juice before putting it in the sink and leaving the room as well.
* * * * *
By the time Trowa made it to Quatre's room the latter was already sound asleep, head tilted downward to the right.
Walking into the room completely, he placed the tray of food on the nightstand. With careful hands, he gently lowered the sleeping body down back onto the bed.
He could always eat later.
Pulling up the covers, he noticed that Quatre's eyes were moving beneath closed eyelids. He brushed blonde bangs away from the sleeping face, briefly wondering what Quatre dreamed of. He pulled his hand away and walked back to his chair.
Finding his page, he began to read.
* * * * *
Green eyes rose at the first sounds of distress. Placing the metal bookmark between the pages, Trowa stood from his seat, dropping his book as he did on the cushion. He neared the bed, asking if the occupant was all right.
He received no response and soon realized that Quatre was still asleep, head tossing left to right.
Without hesitation, Trowa shook Quatre gently back to wakefulness.
A gasp and darting eyes came and went quickly when they met his green ones.
Quatre looked at him with tired eyes. "Sorry, Trowa," came the breathless and hushed voice.
Trowa pulled back, seating himself in the wooden chair beside the bed. "There's nothing to apologize about." He paused, watching as Quatre attempted to even his breathing, before speaking further. "Would you like to talk about it?" Something was odd with the blonde's behavior today and he wanted to know why.
Quite a bit of time passed before he saw Quatre's head shake weakly and turn towards the window. "No...I've already forgotten what it was about. Thank you...anyway."
It didn't take a genius to know that he was lying, but what worried Trowa more than the fact that Quatre did lie was the fact that Quatre lied to him. It was true that he and Quatre weren't much more than friends, but he'd thought at least that they've come to a point where both could trust each other. They've spent a fairly amount of time with each other since they first met and if not Quatre, he at least felt that their friendship was stronger than any that had lasted for years.
But as a friend too, Trowa didn't want to push him into saying anything he wasn't prepared to say. He alone knew how difficult it was to talk about...things.
"Your lunch is on the nightstand, if you're--"
"I'm not hungry...at the moment, Trowa, but thank you. Maybe later." Not a single word of the statement was said directly to him.
Not having anything else to say, Trowa took one last look at the other, before standing up and returning to his seat.
* * * * *
Quatre spared a quick glance at the retreating form. 'I'm sorry Trowa, but I can't tell you. I can't tell anyone.' He moved his eyes so that they now stared up at the ceiling.
There's no time for...this. A war's going on.
I'm a Gundam pilot; I'm supposed to be strong.
I have to be strong.
* * * * *
Revised June 2000
E-mail: Tiff47@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org