Disclaimer: I do not own nor profit from these characters nor my stories.

Warnings: Hummmm, angst?

Synopsis: Duo gets into trouble in a highly regimented school and it's up to the other pilots to rescue him.

The School from Hell - Part 4
Duo's Friendship Arc 7
by Dyna Dee

An hour later, Heero and Wufei both entered the other boy's room. They found Quatre on his bed, tightly curled up on his, his hands were clasped to his chest, and his eyes were squeezed shut as he rocked his body.

"What's the matter with him?" Heero asked concerned as he moved towards the bed.

"He's sensing Duo's emotions." Trowa answered, worry written on his face for both Quatre and Duo.

"Pain?" Wufei asked.

"Terror." Quatre managed to gasp.

"What could they be doing to him?" Trowa asked to no one in particular.

"There is only one thing I know that terrifies him." Heero said thoughtfully.

Instead of enlightening them further, he went to the bed and sat next to the miserable looking boy lying there. "You have to remove yourself from his fear." he told Quatre and awkwardly patted his shoulder in an attempt to comfort. "Focus your mind elsewhere. We need you functioning if we're to help him."

The blonde nodded and visibly began to gain some control. His legs slowly straightened out and some of the fear lessened in his large blue eyes. "What can I do?" he asked gaining his composure.

Heero helped pull him up to a sitting position. "It's lunchtime. We need to go and talk to the other students and find out what the box is and where it's located. With that information, we'll do a quick reconnaissance as to the security on that area and then retract.

The other three nodded in their agreement to the plan Heero outlined. Heero continued. "I'll go find Kyle, the guy Duo spoke to last night. He seemed willing to talk. You three spread out and see what you can find out."

Once they determined that Quatre could function well enough to leave the room, the four boys left together and headed for the cafeteria.

It was more difficult than he had imagined it would be to find the boy Duo had referred to. Heero had only seen him once in passing. As everyone was dressed the same, it took a concentrated study of each face to try to locate the boy. While the others split up and began to immerse themselves in other groups, Heero walked quietly around the room and tried to pinpoint Kyle in the sea of faces.

After one sweep, he placed himself by the door and watched each boy leave the cafeteria to prepare for their next class. Finally, his eyes locked on the target. The brown haired boy looked up with startled brown eyes as Heero grabbed his arm and pulled him to the side.

"We need to talk." he whispered in the boy's ear as they moved out of the flow of students.

"Y.. y... your a friend of Max." the boy said out loud as he recognized him.

Heero nodded. "Yuy Odin." he introduced himself.

Kyle shook his head, his eyes took on a look of sadness. "I tried to warn him." he said sadly. "I told him to be careful."

"I know." Heero reassured him. "He told me."

"I've seen his type before, energetic, enthusiastic, something this school doesn't tolerate. I don't know him well," he looked into Heero's eyes, "but he was nice and I didn't want to see him hurt. I tried to warn him."

Heero noted the distress in the eyes of the other boy, and the sincerity behind them. "It's not your fault Kyle. Max is what he is, and he's not good at hiding it most of the time." He hoped that what he was saying was somehow comforting to the other boy. He knew Duo would want him to do this.

Kyle nodded, grateful for the words of understanding, but he sensed that Yuy was not done with him yet.

"What do you know of this box he was taken to." Heero asked.

Kyle nervously looked around to make sure they couldn't be overheard. "I don't know for sure. I know it's in "The Room", and I know someone who went to it. He was put in the box and.....and he's a.... a very different person now." He leaned closed to Heero and spoke in a conspiring manner. "I can take you to him, but not until after school. I can't miss class and I'm not sure what classes he has now. I do know where his room is though."

Heero scanned the corridor as he thought. He didn't have any other leads, but he didn't want to wait that long. The memory of Quatre reflecting Duo's crippling fear haunted him. "All right." he looked back to the boy. "I'll meet you at the front door to the dorms."

"Four o'clock." the boy said after checking his watch.

Heero nodded his agreement. Kyle hesitated a moment. "Can I go now? He asked reluctantly. Only then his Hero realize that he still had a firm clasp on the arm of the boy in front of him.

"Sorry." he mumbled, quickly letting go. He watched as the other boy rubbed his arm where he had gripped it, then turned and vanished into the crowd of students.

At three thirty, the four met in Heero and Duo's room. Wufei and Trowa were not able to get much as their more quiet personalities tended to make people suspicious when they suddenly did a one-eighty and became talkative. Quatre, on the other hand, had been able to talk to a couple of more open boys.

"I think what they told me was more of a expanded story, maybe taking one grain of fact and distorting it with each telling" he began in explanation of what he was about to tell them. "They made the room sound like a torture chamber with a spiked coffin, a stretching rack, chains and whips." He wrinkled his nose in distaste. "I really can't believe such a thing."

They all agreed, and Heero told them of his assignation with Kyle. He checked his watch and saw that the time was fast approaching. He turned to the others who awaited further instructions from him. "Trowa, check out the security room. See if we can find the room they took him to, or if there's a camera in the room."

Trowa nodded and Heero turned to the next boy.

"Wufei, find a hiding place. Once we remove him, they will most likely search the entire campus for him. We can't leave here until we complete our mission, so his hiding place needs to be here, but undetectable."

Wufei nodded his acceptance of the task

He then turned to Quatre who was sitting on the edge of the bed. Heero noted that the small blonde still had a pained look about his eyes. He was still feeling the debilitating fear that was Duo. "Is he OK?" he asked. The Arabian shut his eyes to focus, then grabbing his chest, gasped as he doubled over.

Heero knelt down in front of him, Wufei and Trowa looked on, worry and concern visible on their faces. "Come back now Quatre." Heero soothed. "We need you here."

Slowly, the boy lifted his large blue eyes. "Physically, he's uncomfortable, but he terrified, unreasonably so. He is definitely....." he searched for the word. "distressed."

Heero nodded and stood, still looking at the blonde boy. "I need you to pack up his personal belongings, leave the uniforms. We'll stash it with him once he's hidden." Although he looked calm and controlled, the others noted his eyebrows were drawn together in controlled anger. "I should have never let him come here." he huffed to the surprise of the others.

"It's not your fault, Heero." Quatre said sensing the feeling of guilt assaulting the Japanese boy.

"But it is." Heero continued. "I knew this was a highly regimented and disciplined school. I just never realized how much so. I should have known he couldn't conform to such a rigid environment."

"It's neither your's, nor Duo's fault." Trowa spoke as he moved to sit next to Quatre. "Ms. Haversand had it in for him from the moment she saw him. You could see it in her actions and in her face that she targeted Duo and was enjoying every moment of his discomfort."

The room was silent as all of them pondered his words. Duo didn't have a chance from the beginning.

"I need to go." Heero announced, checking the time again on his watch. "Wufei and I will report to your room when we have finished our assignments." He spoke to Quatre and Trowa.

"What about the mission?" Wufei asked as he stood leaning against the dresser with his arms folded in front of him.

"Delayed for a more important mission.... Duo's extraction." Heero replied as he moved to the door. They watched as he left, silently wishing him luck.

on to part 5

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