I Love You, In Sickness and In Health
Part Two of the 'I Love You' series
by Dev-Aki Basaa
It's not that I didn't try to track him down. Trust
me, I did. Even while on leave, I had the full
cooperation and disposal of every resource Preventers'
had - and that's pretty damn considerable, let me tell
you. I had dear, close friends who were willing to
follow leads with me and would do database searches
during their breaks at work. One night, I had Trowa
over for dinner and we spent the entire meal
brainstorming aliases Heero might use so Trowa could
search them when he was at the office the next day. I
did everything I could, with every bit of help I could
find, but he's Heero. If he didn't want to be found,
then you couldn't find him.
And what occurred to me early on is that even if I did
find him and had that moment to say just the right
thing that would bring him home - have that brief
poignant moment to tell him everything he needed to
hear, I had no idea what I would say. It'd all been
said before he left. It's not as if I can argue logic
with him, it didn't work before and you can't fight
illogical thoughts with logic. It doesn't work; I
tried. You can't fight fears that are irrational.
You can't tell someone they're being irrational and
expect them to listen to you. I found that out too.
So what if I did find him, what would I even do with
the information? I asked myself this every time I
started a new search or checked in with my friends'
progress. What did I think I might do if I did find
Well, I found myself faced with the chance to decide,
in the worst way possible.
Wufei, in his ever practical and morbid way, had
started searching John Does on the side. I didn't ask
him to, but then, I never would have even considered
such a thing. He didn't tell me what he'd found
himself - he already knew he was in the doghouse with
me - he gave the information to Quatre, to give to me.
That was probably just as well. I could see myself
laying into him if he'd just up and said, by the way,
I've toyed with the idea that Heero is dead or
seriously injured and, here, I even found some real
possible leads. I definitely would have wrung his
neck then, just out of sheer devastation. Wufei lacks
tact. Quatre, on the other hand, presented me with
the info in a very non-threatening way. We sat at my
condo and opened Wufei's simple white envelope
together - an innocuous looking thing to be holding my
ruin or salvation, you know? Anyway, he'd found three
that met whatever criteria he'd used to isolate them
as possibly being Heero. Two were at hospitals; one
Call me weird, but I started with the dead one.
It wasn't him. Thank every God there is! That was
frankly the scariest moment in my life, in that cold
room, waiting for the tech to pull back the white
sheet and reveal...a dead man I didn't know. I could
have passed out; I'd been so relieved. See, I hadn't
called first or anything; I went straight to the
morgue in the Denmark-4A region that had the poor
bastard and looked for myself. It was just a day
trip. I wouldn't have trusted anyone but myself in
this matter, anyway. And neither did I take Quatre's
offer to come with me. I had decided that if I was
going to break down and bawl like a baby, I wanted to
do it alone.
So, it wasn't any different when I checked out the
next John Doe. Despite Trowa's generous offer to take
some sick time and come with me, I went alone to
Mexico-2C region and Cabeza Regional Hospital to
investigate the next possibility.
It wasn't him either. You know why? Because it's
always the last place you look. Isn't that always the
way it is?
A huge part of me really believed these would all end
up being dead-ends - excuse the expression. C'mon!
Heero wasn't dead or hurt - fuck, he was Heero! It
took the self-destruct button on Wing to even put him
out of commission for a few months, why would he leave
me and then go get himself tossed into a hospital bed?
But, you know, when I arrived at St. Luke Mercy on L3
and asked the receptionist about checking on John
Does, I suddenly knew. As she directed me to Social
Services - down the hall and to the right - I was
already numb. As the services director behind the
desk gave me some empty spiel about their unidentified
persons tracking procedure, I knew what I would find
when she finally took me to the hospital room.
I just about collapsed at the sight of him. Bandages
wrapped around his forehead, arms and hands (and, I
later learned, his back and lower legs as well),
tucked neatly into a bed, lying there, with tubes and
monitors and not even twitching.
My Heero. My fucking hero! While he's off reflecting
on his life and mine, leaving me lost behind, probably
strolling the streets in contemplation, what does he
do? He runs into a burning building and saves
children! Orphan children, no less, from a foster
care group home tuned inferno. Jesus Christ! I
didn't know if I wanted to kiss him or kill him.
I didn't get the chance to do either right away,
though. There was identification procedure to be
carried through and it needed to be put in immediate
motion, or, at least, that's what she told me - I'm
sure it had everything to do with clarifying who would
be paying for his mounting medical bill. I was in
something of a fog, myself; mind spinning with the
sight of Heero bathed in white, looking as dead as the
man who'd lain under that sheet back in Denmark.
With my status as a Preventer and fellow colleague, I
was able to officially identify Heero, but his living
will papers were filed under Une, as our direct
supervisor and Fascist Czar. Okay, the last bit
wasn't fair, but see, from what I understand, Wufei
tried to get Une to sign over those rights to me, but
she wouldn't. Why? Because Heero left me, so she
didn't know if having me in charge of his care would
have really been what Heero wanted. Damn that bitch,
but she was right. I wasn't happy about it, but she
had a fucking point. Please excuse my bitterness.
So, instead she sent Sally, with her medic background,
as a liaison between the doctors on L3 and herself,
stuck on Earth with a post she couldn?t leave, even
for this. That was a comfort, because I knew Sally
would involve me in her end of the decision making
The Social Services director handled all this, really.
I didn't have anything to do with it. She called
Preventers, talked with Une and set up Sally as the
go-between. I just sat there, blank as a sheet of
paper, even as she informed me of what had transpired
while she was on the phone and I was still mentally
back in that hospital room. Once she'd finished, she
must have noticed the way nothing she said seemed to
register with me, because she then asked me if I had
any questions. I asked the only question on my mind.
"Can I go back and see him?"
The doctor was in the room when we arrived and he
seemed very eager to talk with me, being the first
person to visit in the month Heero had been with them.
A month. Almost makes me wish Wufei had been even
So, the doctor engaged me, taking me aside and giving
me the run down on Heero's condition.
He had second and third degree burns over forty
percent of his body, but showing impressive recovery.
He was not, initially expected to survive. Don?t
think that just because you thought you've seen the
worst, that someone can't come along and tell you
something that strikes you like a punch to the gut.
The prognosis was much improved, he assured me, even
though there was still risk of infection and his lungs
were weak. His interval times off the respirator
showed signs of increasing ability to breathe on his
own. There was significant heat-inhalation damage to
his vocal cords, but because he'd been intibated since
his arrival to the ER, it wouldn't be until he was off
the respirator completely, the tube down his throat
removed, before they'd know more about the condition
of his vocal cords. The doctor didn't seem worried
about him recovering full use of his voice, though. I
asked if he woke at all and the doctor said that he
did wake occasionally, but with the morphine drip for
the considerable pain, he was rarely awake for long.
That?s why he was unable to identify himself for them
? barely conscious and couldn?t speak.
The doctor commented that he had suspected Heero was
some kind of advanced government official. That, or a
really excellent criminal who?d managed to wipe all
records of himself ? including fingerprints ? thus
confounding the local police when the hospital had
used them in their attempt at identification. I had
to laugh at that. Honestly, Heero could have gone
either way ? he had the skill to be a criminal
mastermind. But, no, I told the doc, his first
suspicion was right. With the really high-level
agents, Preventers wiped the records themselves. For
security purposes. It was a tad weird for Trowa and
me ? I don?t know if Heero ever gave it a second
thought ? but, for us, it was as if we?d never
existed. Ever. There was no record of us before the
war, our war identities were top secret, and now, so
we were. Only the people in our lives made us real ?
and Heero had made me feel more real and alive than
anyone else in my life. And that included
Deathscythe, if you can believe it.
Though, alive was hardly what I was feeling now.
The doctor then asked me if Heero had any family and I
didn't hesitate. I told him the truth.
I am his family.
The doctor did seem to chew on that information for a
moment, and maybe for the first time took in the
desperate way I kept looking over at Heero, lying on
the bed, willing myself to be there at his bedside.
He's very lucky to be alive, the doctor added and I
certainly couldn?t disagree with that. Hey, he's
Heero, right? His own foolhardiness and heroics are
about the only things to slow him down.
I mean, not even I could slow him down from marching
out the door, right?
Fuck. Where did that come from?
Soon enough, though, the doctor was mumbling something
about seeing me on his next round, giving a nod as a
good bye and finally granting me the peace I'd been
I was at Heero's bedside in a flash.
Funny the things you notice. I know I've seen Heero
at his most tired - be it after a battle in the war,
while in the hospital when he allowed himself to be
ever so briefly cared for after the whole Marimeia
incident, or following a full weekend of screwing
almost non-stop. Yeah, saw that last one a lot.
However, I never saw him look so outwardly tired. He
had dark circles under his eyes, sallow skin, sunken
cheeks - he looked so foreign. It was almost as if he
was wearing make-up for that Halloween party Quatre
threw last year and he refused to go as anything but
himself. Kinda defeated the purpose of a costume
party, I'd told him, but he wouldn't bend - never mind
he suggested I go in leather chaps and a vest. Only.
Pervert. My beautiful pervert.
I cried then, laid my head down on his pillow and
cried my eyes out. Okay, so I wasn't so numb.
I'd found him. I'd lost him, almost lost him for
good, found him again and didn't even know if I'd
still get him back after all this.
Just like what Une said: who really knew what Heero
I sure didn't.
And I sure as hell didn't know if it was me.