Solo felt himself slowly surface to awareness. The noises around him became louder. Voices; there were people talking near him. This wasn't his bed; he realized with a start. Where was he? Why did his side throb so painfully?
"Is Solo going to be alright?" Midii's voice sounded worried.
Solo wanted to open his eyes but he felt so tired; very tired. He could hear Aunt Sally reassuring Midii. Why were they there?
His mother's angry face flashed in his mind.
Leave him, Yuy. He belongs to me!
He started as the recent memories returned.
You're just a slut!
His mother......... his mother was trying to kill ......
His thoughts were cut short by a loud slamming, followed by a female's worried shout. "Doctor! Help!"
His brain quickly connected the voice with a name.
What was she doing here? He could hear the others gasp in surprise. A bad feeling came over Solo. He remembered seeing his Dad's bloody figure in Uncle Zechs' arms. Could this be his Dad?
"What happened to him?" It was Mill's voice.
"I don't know." Aunt Relena answered worriedly. "I just arrived here and headed straight to surgery. I saw Heero standing behind the others and then he suddenly collapsed."
Surgery? Who? Why did Heero collapse? He wasn't shot, was he? A worried feeling came to him.
"He must be dizzy from the loss of blood." An unfamiliar interrupted. It must be a nurse. Loss of blood? Was Heero hurt? He felt so tired. Solo tried to hold onto his consciousness but he felt blackness slowly surrounding him. Before he was completely unconscious, he heard the nurse speak.
"We will move both of them to the VIP room. They have to rest for a while so I ask you not to disturb them until they regain consciousness."
"Doc, how is he?" Trowa stood beside the bed, looking worriedly at the person on the bed.
After Solo and Heero had been escorted out of the ER, Lady Une had come in, followed by nurses and a stretcher that Quatre was lying on. It appeared that she couldn't wake Quatre up. The blonde had slept through the shaking, slapping and shouting they had done. Trowa berated himself for leaving Quatre. But if he hadn't, there was no telling if Solo would still be breathing right now. Why did all these things have to happen at same time? Solo and Duo were shot, Heero was unconscious, and now Quatre was too.
Trowa waited for Dr. Philip, who had been called to take care of Quatre, to finish examining the blonde. The doctor was recommended by Duo and had been their family doctor for years. He was kind to children, especially Solo. Trowa had been amused when Duo told him that the doctor had given a blue pastel baby box to Solo for his first birthday. Because it had been quite late, Solo had grown out of it, but the doctor just shrugged. From that time, Solo always got presents from the doctor though. It had become his habit and Duo didn't bat an eyelash when the doctor had brought Solo a package of baby clothes.
"His heartbeat and blood pressure are normal." The white bearded man straightened up and looked at Trowa. "I don't see anything wrong with Mr. Winner. He may have gotten a big shock that caused his body to shut down for a little while. I predict that he will wake up in a day or two."
Trowa nodded. He had suspected that much. Quatre's heart was sensitive to pain. Strange that it resonated very well with Heero's pain. Trowa still remembered the day when Duo asked Quatre to be his best man. Heero's pain had struck Quatre only by eye contact. It shocked the blond so much that Quatre had to rest for a full day. Now if it was Heero's pain that had caused Quatre to black out, Trowa didn't want to calculate how much more hurt Heero was than he had been before. He sincerely hoped that it wasn't Heero's pain alone which Quatre sensed.
"Father?" Trowa looked up and saw Midii standing at the door, her youngest brother in one hand and a bag in other hand, which contained some clothes for Quatre. He had asked Midii to go home to fetch them.
"Why did you bring Ramsey here?" Trowa took the bag from his daughter and at the same time saw Dr. Philip off.
"He cried when I was about to leave. I didn't want to wake the others so I brought him here. Is Dad okay?"
"He will be fine. He just needs some rest" Trowa nodded to Dr. Philip. "Thank you for the help, Doc."
"No problem." Dr. Philip nodded back and walked away, leaving the family in the VIP room. He went into the next room and checked the patients in there. Finding nothing wrong with them, he headed toward the door. He still had one more patient to be checked. But before that......
The doctor turned his head toward the three occupants.
A son with his parents at each side.
This was what Maxwell family supposed to be.
Where was he?
How long had he slept?
He slowly turned his head to his left side and saw another boy sleeping on the bed next to him. The memories instantly assaulted him, reminding him what had transpired. He looked at the other boy, trying to find injuries but the blanket hid the body from chest to ankle.
The other boy groaned and he watched as he slowly woke up. Sensing his presence, the other boy turned his head to him and his own face looked at him. Same mouth, same cheek, same nose. The difference was in their eyes. The boy's were deep blue of ocean while he himself inherited his father's eyes.
"Are you okay?" The question came from the blue eyed boy.
Okay? Did he seem to be okay? His mother shot his father for God's sake! How could he be okay? He would be fine, his mother would be fine, and his father would be too if the Japanese boy weren't fucking his father. Solo wanted to lash out with the sentences at the other boy, but looking at the tired face of the Japanese boy, he found he couldn't make a sound. He wasn't an animal. He still had his heart and it was his heart that told him to shut up. He still remembered the anguished scream when his mother shot his father. It was full of despair and pain. Spewing the foul words would definitely hurt the Japanese boy.
"I'm fine." He answered grudgingly and looked back at the ceiling. Why did he care if his words would hurt Heero? The Japanese boy deserved it! Heero had taken his father from him, had made it impossible for his parents to reunite.
Your Dad wasn't happy with your mother. His heart whispered the sentence but Solo whisked it away. He turned to glare at the Japanese boy and was startled to find the bed empty. He looked around and saw the Japanese boy standing at the foot of his bed, reading his chart. "What are you doing?"
Heero released the chart and looked at him. "Is your middle in pain?"
Solo frowned at the question. "Why do you care?"
".... Because I do."
That wasn't a valid answer. Solo had half hoped that Heero would tell him it was because he was Duo's son so he would have another reason to hate Heero. He had thought that Heero was kind with him because he wanted him to agree with his and his father's relationship.
"Is your side in pain?" Heero asked him again.
Solo felt annoyed and wanted to tell him it wasn't his business, but recognizing the downright worry on the blue eyes, Solo found different words coming out of his mouth. "Only throbbing a little."
The Japanese boy nodded and walked away to the right. Solo was about to ask where he was going when he noticed there was another person on his right side. He gasped when his eyes fell on his dad's face. He wanted to jump up and run to his father but his side protested when he tried to sit up. So he watched the Japanese boy reading his father's chart instead. Heero's brows narrowed in worry as he read the chart.
"Is Dad going to be okay?" Solo cursed his mouth which had spoken against his consent.
The Japanese boy was startled and looked up at him. He looked down at the chart and then back at him again. "He will recover. The bullet didn't hit any vital organs."
Solo lay back on the bed and felt relieved at the news. He looked at his Dad and saw the Japanese boy sitting down on the chair at the right side of his father's bed. He watched as Heero reached for his father's hand and held it tightly as if he was afraid Duo would go away.
"Do you love my Dad?" Solo cursed inwardly. Again his mouth seemed to have a mind of its own.
The Japanese boy seemed surprised at the question. He looked at him for quite a long time before nodding slowly. Solo's curiosity got the best of him then.
Heero looked at his father. "I don't know. It was a gradual process."
"Four weeks would hardly be a gradual process, not to mention the fact that you were asleep more often than you were awake." Solo snorted. "You thought you loved him because Dad always treats you well."
The Japanese boy was silent.
"Well, what do you say about that?" Solo inquired. "Dad maybe won't be so kind when you have recovered."
Solo was startled and then felt angry. "Dad is a kind man!" He smacked himself inwardly for contradicting his own words.
He just said the previous sentence to drive the Japanese boy away from his Dad but it seemed that the Japanese boy took it seriously. He was about to voice another discouragement when the door opened and a nurse entered. Solo didn't miss Heero pulling his hand away from his father's as if ashamed of their relationship. His eyes narrowed in anger at it. How dare Heero feel ashamed..... Solo smacked himself inwardly again. Why the hell did he feel angry? He should feel happy that he found another point why his Dad shouldn't be with Heero.
"Oh good, you have awakened." The nurse broke the silence and also Solo's train of thought. "I need some information from you two. She walked in and took Heero's chart. "Let's start from you." She turned to Heero. "Name?"
The nurse frowned at the Japanese boy. "Your real name, please."
"It's Heero Yuy." Heero frowned back at the nurse.
"Look boy, I know you adore the war hero. But I need to know your real name."
Solo was surprised. It seemed the nurse thought Heero was lying. Then again how could she not? Heero Yuy was supposed to be as old as his father, not as young as the boy sitting next to his father's bed.
"If you don't want to tell me your name, I'll ask your brother instead." To his surprise the nurse turned to Solo. "Can you tell me what your brother's name is?"
Solo frowned in annoyance. "He isn't lying. His name is Heero Yuy. He isn't my brother."
The nurse huffed. "You're the same. Fine, I'll ask your father later when he is awake then." She turned back to Heero. "Your birth date, please."
"....... I don't know."
Solo was startled at Heero's answer but before he could say something, the nurse beat him to it. "How could you not know your own birth date? Please don't joke around with me. I still have a lot of work to do. Now tell me what your birth date is. "
"........... 2nd of May AC 180."
"You can't be born in AC180." The nurse said exasperatedly. "Don't you know how to count? Judging from your appearance, you're around 17-18. That made your birth year around AC 195 or 196. Which one is it?"
"Good boy, now where do you live? "
Heero was silent.
"Answer me boy. I don't have all day to wait for your answer." The nurse's voice became louder because she was angry and impatient. Duo suddenly whimpered, signaling he was disturbed by the voice. Solo was about to interrupt the woman but again he was beat, this time by Heero.
"Lower your voice." Heero warned.
The nurse felt angrier at being ordered. "Don't you tell me what to... hmmph."
Solo blinked as he watched Heero clamp a hand down on the nurse's mouth. "Lower. Your. Voice." The Japanese boy hissed dangerously. The nurse wanted to retort but a death glare from Heero shut her up. "You better leave now. I'll fill the chart out for you later."
The nurse wanted to protest but she cringed when the Japanese boy's glare intensified. In ten years of her job as a nurse, she never saw a glare so deadly as this. "Leave." The voice sounded just as deadly. She shivered in fear and quickly escaped from the room.
Solo was stunned at the scene. When Heero took his chart and gave it to him to fill out, he filled it out automatically with his mind still playing the recent events. He never thought Heero could stare so coldly, so deadly. The Heero he knew always smiled slightly and seemed happy to hear his stories. He thought Heero was as young as him but he was forced to change his opinion now. The look that Heero had wasn't the look of a young boy. It belonged to a soldier, a person who was raised by war just like his father and uncles.
"You better rest."
Solo looked up at Heero's voice and found that the Japanese boy once again had settled next to his father. Solo considered lashing out his opinion at Heero but at the last second, he changed his mind and decided to sleep instead.
He still had plenty of time for that. For now he would let Heero hold his father's hand.
He would let Heero enjoy these last moments with his father.
'Why separate someone who really cares for your Dad and you?' Solo growled, shoving his inner voice deep inside him and willed himself to sleep.
Dr. Philip entered his last patient's room. "Mr. Chang."
Wufei straightened up in his chair and gestured to the woman tied on the bed. "She is still unconscious."
He and Trowa had brought Hilde to the same hospital and placed her in mental section. Hilde had woke once, screaming strange things like claws, blood, and baby. The paramedic quickly shot her with a strong tranquilizer. Since the others had to go to work, it left Trowa, Sally, and him along with the kids. He himself was supposed to be working at the Preventers office right now but Lady Une as the head of Preventers had taken care of the work so he could stay at the hospital and inform them about the latest news. Trowa and Midii had gone to watch Quatre. Sally took the protesting Meiran home to look after their younger children while Milliard was sent to school to tell the headmaster about Solo, Meiran, and Midii's absence.
It was dependant on him to make sure that no harm came to his friends. Wufei stepped aside as the doctor approached the bed to examine the unconscious woman. He waited patiently until the examination finished and the doctor turned to him.
"The paramedic said there was nothing wrong with her physically."
Dr. Philip nodded. "I found nothing wrong as well. It is her mind I'm afraid. From what I heard, she was very hysterical."
Wufei sighed. "She shot her husband and son and thought Solo was Heero. What has gotten into her?"
"Guilt..." The doctor mumbled.
Wufei blinked but before he could ask the doctor, another sound distracted him.
Hilde was waking up.
The Chinese man stood on his guard and watched as Dr. Philip hurriedly prepared another shot of stabilizer for caution before trying to speak to the woman. "Mrs. Maxwell?"
Hilde took one look at the doctor and screamed hysterically. "Philip! He is still alive!! That bitch is still alive!!!"
Hilde's eyes suddenly widened in horror. "He is chasing me, Philip. Look at the claws, they tried to rip me." Hilde screamed loudly. "Go away! Don't take my husband away! NO!! Stay there! Why is it so red around here? AAHHHHHH, GO AWAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!"
The white bearded man quickly injected the drug and within a minute, Hilde quieted and fell back into unconsciousness.
Wufei stood where he was, speechless at Hilde's outburst. What had made a fine woman like her become so hysterical like this? Was it Heero? Wufei scowled. His wife was wrong if she thought he would sit still and watch the Maxwell family be torn apart. He knew he was supposed to think of backing off to Heero, however watching Hilde's hysteria had left a nagging feeling in the back of his mind. It wasn't a usual hysteria, he was sure of it.
There was something amiss with this incident.
Midii opened the door slowly and looked inside.
Startled, she looked to the left and sighed in relief when she saw Heero.
"They are sleeping." The Japanese boy whispered.
"You startled me." Midii whispered back and stepped inside, Ramsey sleeping in her arms.
The Japanese boy widened his eyes at the little child as Midii sat down next to Heero and smiled. "This is Ramsey Winner, my youngest brother."
Heero looked at Ramsey. The child had green eyes and blonde hair. "He resembles Trowa and Quatre."
"Of course. Father and Dad purposely searched for a baby resembling them." Midii explained further.
Midii smiled. "And you know what? It was Dr. Philip who helped us finding Ramsey. We all are so grateful to him. He is such a good and kind doctor."
"............Can I hold Ramsey?"
Midii was startled at the change of topic but she said nothing and handed the sleeping child to Heero. She was worried at first but then amazed when she noticed how careful and gentle Heero handled her brother. Ramsey didn't seem to mind being held by Heero. The small child slept through the transferring.
"He is cute." Heero murmured and caressed Ramsey's cheek.
"Of course he is." Midii smiled proudly. She let Heero caress Ramsey for a few minutes while gathering her courage to question the Japanese boy.
"What do you want to ask me?"
The blonde girl was startled at the question. She looked at Heero who was calmly caressing Ramsey. "How..."
"You look like you are dying to ask me something." The Japanese boy answered detachedly, eyes looking at Ramsey.
Midii bit her lower lip, contemplating whether it was a good thing to ask such a personal question. In the end, she decided to ask anyway. "Father said..... Aunt Hilde stole Uncle Duo from you."
The hand on Ramsey's cheek stopped moving.
Midii looked at the unmoving Japanese boy worriedly. "Is... is it true?" Aunt Hilde surely wasn't that cruel to break a couple ...
Midii sighed in relief.
"It was Duo's decision to be with Hilde." Heero continued as he hugged Ramsey tighter.
While the girl looked speechlessly at Heero, Solo, with his back to them and feigning sleep, clenched the sheets in his hands.
So in other words...
His father had left Heero.
"Bro! Slow down!" Gillian wailed.
"I should have left you at house." Milliard muttered and scooped up his five year old sister. He had gone home to change his blood soaked clothes and was immediately glomped by his energetic sister who was wailing for being left alone and now refused to let him go. So he brought his sister to the school, spent one hour talking with the headmaster, and headed off to the hospital.
"Remember, no shouting." Milliard warned his sister as they approached Solo's room.
"I know. I won't make a sound!" Gillian puffed. Very contrary to his brother, she inherited their mother's traits. Her hair was dark purple and her eyes were the same blue as their mother's. People who saw them together without their parents would be hard pressed to believe they were brother and sister.
Milliard entered the room where Solo was and saw a chocolate brown haired boy sitting next to the bed on the left.
Milliard grimaced. "Gillian, quiet!" It was useless to believe this little devil's promise not to make any sound. Gillian struggled in his arms and Milliard quickly set her down, afraid of her falling.
Gillian dashed toward the boy and Milliard didn't have time to stop her from glomping her target. "Soloooooooooo!!"
"Ooff..." The chocolate brown haired boy caught the energetic Gillian and settled her on his lap. Milliard cursed when he noticed the boy's hair length and approached them.
"Solo! What happened to your beautiful hair?" Gillian wailed and caressed the short hair. "Why did you cut it?"
"Gillian, he isn't Solo." Milliard stopped next to them and tried to pry Gillian's fingers from Heero's hair. "Sorry, Heero. This is my sister, Gillian."
Heero nodded and looked at the little girl in front of him. "Lower your voice, Gillian. Uncle Duo and Solo are sleeping."
The firm tone from the Japanese boy seemed to be effective for the little girl. Gillian stopped wailing and looked at the boy holding her quietly. Even Solo couldn't shut her up this quickly. Milliard entertained an idea of hiring Heero as Gillian's babysitter. Surely it would be a nice and peaceful day in Marquise household. However it wasn't long when Milliard scolded himself for thinking Heero in positive way.
"You are not Solo?" Gillian whispered and placed her little hands on the Japanese boy's face.
"No, I am Heero."
"But you look just like him." Gillian frowned. "Are you his brother?"
Milliard noticed Heero glancing at the middle bed before answering. "....No, not brother."
"Has anyone come here?" The blonde boy asked, feeling uncomfortable talking civilly to Solo's enemy.
"Midii was here. She went out when Ramsey woke up. She said she would be back after she managed to get him to sleep again."
"Oh..." For someone who was good in speaking and persuading people, it was all Milliard could say to the Japanese boy.
"You look as handsome as Solo, though your hair is short." Gillian mused. "I want to be your bride."
"Gillian!" Milliard hissed. What the hell was this young imp thinking!?
Heero blinked in surprise. "You're still young."
"You'll wait till I grow up, of course." Gillian smiled, ignoring her brother.
The Japanese boy shook his head. "Another person has waited for me."
Gillian pouted. "Who is she?"
Milliard cut in, already figuring out who the person was. "And because of that person, you are willing to destroy his son's happiness?"
Heero looked at Milliard, eyes unreadable. "Don't I deserve a little happiness too?"
Milliard didn't know how to answer that.
"What are you two talking about?" Gillian interrupted, looking confused.
Heero broke the eye contact and looked down at the little girl. "Nothing..."
Gillian frowned but she didn't ask any further. Her childish mind already had other plans. She took out a small booklet from her skirt. "Then can you read me a story?"
"Huh?" The Japanese boy blinked at the little girl.
"It's a fairy tale."
Heero took the book. "Sleeping Beauty?"
"Yup! It's about a princess who sleeps for years, waiting for a prince to wake her up and then they live happily together."
"You already know the story." Heero pointed out.
"But I like to hear it again." Gillian took a comfortable position on Heero's lap.
Milliard was embarrassed, first from not being able to answer Heero's question and secondly by his sister's behavior. "Gillian! Heero isn't your babysitter."
"It's okay. I have nothing else to do."
Not wanting to hear the same old fairy tale, Milliard excused himself. "I think I'll go and see Midii."
"Bye!" Gillian cheered happily. Milliard just glared at his little sister. He shouldn't let her near Heero but he knew better than to try and drag her out with him right now. He didn't want to put up with her wailing and temper tantrums.
Heero just nodded, eyes focused on the book. "Once upon a time...."
Milliard left the room. Heero's question was still nagging in his mind.
'Don't I deserve a little happiness too?'
It sounded selfish, but Milliard couldn't help but thinking how little happiness Heero ever had.
Hospital, Winner VIP room
Meiran tapped one foot furiously. She had finally managed to get away from her sisters and here with her two friends who were looking blankly at her when she asked about their plan. "What happened during the hours I wasn't here? You two look hesitant to continue our plan. Don't say that because he donated his blood to Solo twice, you two have become sympathetic with him."
"Uhm..." Midii glanced at Milliard who looked confused like she did. They had been uncertain about their plan after they exchanged information about Heero.
"Meiran, this is not as simple as we thought." Milliard spoke up.
"What do you mean?" Meiran raised an eyebrow.
Midii shared the information she had gotten from his father, which had been confirmed by Heero. Milliard added with the question Heero had asked him.
"So what?" Meiran put one hand on her hip. "Uncle Duo's relationship with him is in the past. In the present, Uncle Duo is with Aunt Hilde. Uncle Duo did the right thing to leave him. Solo wouldn't exist if he had stayed with that world hero. Heero is still a boy, how can he understand Uncle Duo as good as Aunt Hilde does. He is still young; he can find his happiness somewhere else and not with a married man."
"I don't think Uncle Duo will take Aunt Hilde back. She shot Solo and tried to shoot Heero too, remember?" Milliard pointed out.
"She shot him because she thought Solo was Heero." Meiran countered. "They do look like twins."
"Isn't that strange?" Midii spoke up.
"Huh?" Meiran and Milliard turned their attention to the blonde girl.
"How could Solo look so much like Heero when they aren't related?"
"It's just a coincidence." Meiran answered.
"Is it really a coincidence?" Midii asked again. "You know, I have been wondering this for sometime. You surely notice that Solo's face is an Asian type face and his skin is golden like Asian people, didn't you?"
Milliard nodded while Meiran did the same reluctantly.
"I have asked my father. He told me that Uncle Duo is pure American and Aunt Hilde is pure German. Don't you ever wonder how Solo came to have Asian traits in him then?"
"Well..." Meiran felt like she wouldn't like where Midii was going.
"When I saw Heero, I felt something click in my head." Midii continued. "I came to one crazy conclusion."
"That Heero is Solo's father?" Milliard spoke up, having figured out Midii's conclusion.
Midii nodded while Meiran blanched and shouted. "It's impossible!"
"Not really." Milliard mulled the facts inside his head. "The times quite match. According to Solo, Heero disappeared around June AC 197. He had time to father Solo...." Something clicked on Milliard's mind and his face turned a little whiter. He looked at Midii in disbelief. "It's one hell of a conclusion, Midii. Do you realize this conclusion could turn Solo upside down?"
"I know, but I don't have any other explanation for Solo's physical appearance."
"Wait, wait." Meiran interrupted. "Let's assume Heero is Solo's father then who is Solo's mother?"
"Guess." Her two friends looked at her expectantly, waiting for the black haired girl to solve the puzzle itself.
Meiran frowned for another minute before her face turned as white as Milliard's. "No. It couldn't be Aunt Hilde!"
Milliard nodded. "Of course it could. No one else claimed to be Solo's mother other than Aunt Hilde, right? Solo's violet eyes may come from Aunt Hilde's side instead of Uncle Duo's."
Midii nodded. "I thought the same too. Aunt Hilde's eyes sometimes turn violet in cold temperatures."
"But... but she is Uncle Duo's wife!" Meiran shouted again.
"Ever heard of cheating?" Midii spoke back. "And lower your voice, my dad needs his rest."
"Sorry." Meiran muttered in a low tone.
"If we're right in this conclusion, it explains a lot of things." Milliard contemplated.
Meiran was almost afraid to ask. "Such as?"
"Such as why Aunt Hilde doesn't like it when someone says Solo resembles Heero." Midii answered.
"Or why she got hysterical when she saw Heero this morning." Milliard added. "She must think that Heero is going to tell the truth or take Solo from her."
"You kids can be great detectives sometimes."
The three teenagers jumped at the new voice. Midii turned to the door and saw her father leaning against the door, Ramsey sleeping in his arms. She has totally forgotten about both of them. "Uh... hi father."
Trowa straightened up and approached the three kids. "I only left for a walk for half an hour and you have come to this shocking conclusion."
"Uhmm..." Midii squirmed. "What do you think about it?"
Trowa looked at his daughter. "You do well in drawing conclusions but it's wrong. You drew it based on feelings, not facts"
"Why do you think it is wrong, Uncle Trowa?" Milliard asked.
"Heero loves Duo, he won't cheat on him." Trowa stated.
"That's not a valid reason." Milliard pointed out. "That's based on your feeling too."
Trowa smiled slightly. "Right. It's just my opinion and my trust in Heero. However there's a valid fact that thwart your conclusions."
"What is it?" Midii asked her father.
"Duo did a DNA test on himself and Solo. The result states that Duo is Solo's father. Now before you argue that the result could be forged, it was done by a Winner scientist and under my supervision. There is no way it could be forged."
The trio deflated at Trowa's answer.
"So... the similarities between Heero and Solo really are a coincidence." Milliard spoke up.