Disclaimers: I don't own any of the Gundam Wing Universe. I'm not making any money off this story. It's written out of love, so please don't sue me.

Written: March-May, 2001
Overall Rating: R
Pairings: (3+5) (1x2x1)
Category: Angst Yaoi Shonen ai Friendship Sap WAFF Lime AU {Beware: Darkness Descending!}
Enigma Story Category: G-Boys High Adventure!
Warnings: Angst, yaoi, shonen ai, language, friendship, sap, WAFF, limey hints, dark themes taking control, plus "AU-OOC" for those who canít cope

Notes: The priceless gifts of love and friendship that were exchanged by the Gundam pilots brought them closer together, but two of the team will soon be "hidden" as Trowa and Heero must infiltrate an OZ base. Wufei, Duo, and Quatre must share an apartment while the others are gone, creating a potentially explosive mixture. Are these new bonds strong enough to unite the circle in the face of the unexpected crises which arise as well as the approaching darkness?

//someone's thoughts//


Hidden Gifts
Part 13

Dinner on the OZ base found Heero separated from Trowa by an unexpected shift change.

Orders were handed down to the slender teen to report for supplemental guard duty when an announcement was made that Lt. Zechs Merquise had arrived at the base for a surprise inspection. Very few of the actual OZ soldiers and employees found this situation as worrisome as the tall Gundam pilot did, but with no way to contact Heero to tell him about the change until after he got to a computer, Trowa was understandably nervous.

Standing at attention to supposedly "guard" an otherwise uninteresting portion of one of the research floors left Trowa too much time to think.

//I wonder if I'll still be able to get out of here tomorrow or not?//

His thoughts were interrupted as a group of frantic scientists went rushing past him whining about "dog and pony shows" for the visiting brass. As things quieted, his thoughts trailed back to the familiar topic of the injured youth he had left behind. Trowa had taken Heero's words to heart and while he tried desperately to consider things other than sex in respect to Wufei, that was an area of increasing interest for his random musings.

//I wonder what it'll be like? Sex and all. I mean, I guess *all* virgins tend to wonder about it, but I never really cared until now. I don't exactly want to ask Duo or Heero about how to go about any of it, but if I'm going to try to seduce Fei, I really ought to have a clue what I'm doing...//

His thoughts trailed off as he felt a flush of color rise up his cheeks as his mind provided way too many intimate images of what he thought might be involved based on the non-solicited sex education Duo had been providing him with for so many months now. Trowa had found Duo's ability to talk at length on even the most private of matters somewhat disconcerting, but now he was pleased to have what little knowledge he had.

Time passed more quickly as Trowa allowed his mind to roam into previously forbidden areas.

He wondered what Wufei might be like after the two of them were intimate partners for a few months. Would the dark-eyed boy change? Was there any chance that the usually stiff-necked young man might mellow out to be more like the person he had been during the first few days of recovery from Quatre's attack?

A softer, gentler Wufei was most appealing to Trowa from a personal standpoint, but was that what would be best for the ShenLong pilot himself? Or would he remain the "justice freak" he had always been and did Trowa think he could handle discussions of honor in the middle of dinner every night?

Would they become as inseparable as Heero and Duo were? Would they be able to maintain their relationship through these kinds of drastic changes?

These questions, along with more of the explicit images his mind conjured for him of he and Wufei exploring new realms of pleasure together, paraded across Trowa's mind and kept him occupied until he was relieved of guard duty a few hours later.

"Something wrong with the heat in here?" The newly arrived soldier asked Trowa curiously.

"No, why do you ask?" Trowa responded automatically.

"You're little on the flushed side," The other answered with comradely concern. "You might want to check by the medical office and see if you're feverish or something. Standing guard duty is boring enough as it is, but showing up to replace a guy who looks like he's coming down with something's no fun either. Hope you feel better."

Trowa nodded, suddenly feeling even more embarrassed that his hentai musings had as much of an obvious effect on him as they did. "Thanks, I'll check into it."

Walking away as casually as he could, Trowa thought to himself, //Memorandum: Do *not* allow myself to think too much about Wufei while on guard duty! If Merquise had shown up and noticed me because I was blushing like a school girl, things could get sticky. It's better to *not* be noticed!//

The slender pilot chastised himself yet his own low regard for himself snuck into the thoughts that followed.

//I don't think I'm memorable enough for Merquise to pick me out of the crowd in the first place, but why risk it because I can't control my thoughts?//

Trowa successfully made his way back to his barracks, posted a coded memo to the computer bulletin board for Heero in the hopes he'd get a chance to read it before their morning rendezvous, skipped dinner and went to sleep. Thoughts of Wufei, however, returned during the night and he found it rather disturbing to awaken in the company of men he didn't know instead of the single person who filled his thoughts.

For all his years as a loner, the young ex-mercenary once known as Nanashi now knew what it felt like to be truly lonely for the one he loved and it hurt.

Heero, too, was occupied with other matters as a result of Zechs Merquise's unexpected visit.

According to the identification papers he and Trowa had tendered upon arrival, Heero was listed as a technician and was put to work on several fairly high visibility repairs that needed completion before they were noticed by the platinum blond officer. Despite having met and battled the man in Antarctica, Heero wasn't the least bit concerned about encountering the TallGeese pilot since he felt certain their "gentleman's agreement" of non-interference still held outside the battlefield.

Snickering at the fact that these "urgent repairs" included such non-essentials as a clock in the petty officers' lounge, a place that had surprisingly good coffee, he noted, Heero found that time was flying. The Japanese boy grudgingly admitted to the little voice in his head that he considered the stand-in for his vocal lover when they were apart, that he actually *was* having fun as he dropped his coffee mug off with the cook before leaving the lounge.

"How's the coffee?" The large olive-skinned man behind the counter asked him unexpectedly.

Heero glanced at him, suddenly alert to the fact that this was an odd question from the person in charge of the small location. "It's fairly decent, actually," Heero shrugged and asked, careful to keep the suspicion out of his voice, "Why are you asking? Don't you drink it, too?"

"Coffee? Never touch the stuff!" The older man answered with a grin. "I only drink green tea but the higher ups ordered us to break out the good java for some visiting honcho. I just wondered if I had it about right or not."

Heero relaxed. If this was the biggest concern he encountered because of Merquise, he was all in favor of it. "No problem. You got the blend right on the nose. Almost as good as Starbucks, but not quite."

"Really?!" The large man beamed with pride. "Thanks a lot! Drop on by for another cup if you want it later! I'm sure there's something around here we can claim you're fixing to have an excuse to be in here!"

"I'll remember that," Heero nodded.

Gathering up his tools, though, he left the lounge thinking yet again what a poorly managed place this seemed to be, yet the personnel seemed happy. In the back of his mind, the little "Duo substitute voice" commented he should be taking notes on the off-chance his own team of Gundam pilots ever started to fall into place *and* they found a semi-permanent base of operations.

Heero's belief that all five of them needed to move into a location that they could return to on a regular basis instead of traipsing from safehouse to safehouse was growing stronger. The Wing pilot had every intention of contacting Doctor J soon to see if there had been any progress on Project Xanadu but for now, he'd have to stay focused on the job at hand.

The more he watched the way OZ operated, the more ideas Heero had about how to make the circle of Gundam pilots own efforts more effective. As he moved through his day, the Japanese teen kept a running internal monologue about how to bring the five teens together successfully.

//Coffee is important. Well, it is to all of us except Quatre, maybe.//

This thought didn't seem to be much of a surprise, though, even to Heero.

//Hmm, decent food would be appropriate and not all that hard to come by. We five are fairly self-sufficient but a cook to handle it would be useful. If we had more time to work on strategy and our mobile suits maybe we can end the war more quickly?//

While repairing a light fixture player in the medical unit, Heero added to his "wish list" for the future home of the Gundam pilots.

//If we'd had a full-time medical staff available Duo wouldn't have been forced to try to handle Wufei's injuries solo the way that he did. Of course, it would've been even better if Wufei was never injured in the first place, but realistically speaking, as long as we fight sooner or later we're going to get hurt.//

His thoughts were interrupted as a patient was brought in and the Wing pilot had a chance to watch first-hand how efficiently this aspect of the facility operated.

Doctors and nurses responded quickly to the middle-aged employee who had arrived complaining of chest pain. By the time all was said and done, the man had been examined thoroughly and when he went into cardiac arrest, the personnel handled that smoothly, too.

Heero was now more convinced than ever that the Gundam pilots would benefit from a similar level of services being available and he moved that issue from the "wish list" to the "required list" should Xanadu become a reality instead of a dream.

By the time he was done eating dinner in the cafeteria and he'd returned to his assigned sleeping quarters, Heero had missed out on a chance to check e-mail without generating suspicion. The lower ranking staff that was housed at this particular base wasn't entitled to even the convenience of a shared computer in the barracks, something Heero found to be absurd.

Realizing there was nothing to be done about it and hoping that he wasn't missing something critical, Heero retired for the night.

Surprisingly, the cobalt-eyed terrorist felt relaxed, something more than a little foreign on an infiltration mission. Heero did, however, miss his long-haired lover deeply. The key dark spot at this point was worry over how Duo was doing keeping the peace between Quatre and Wufei. Eventually, he fell into a deep sleep that was unusually restful.

His wrist watch had a silent alarm that would rouse him around 3am to go back to the prototype scanner he had found earlier and rig it with minor explosives. When the device self-destructed, it would look like something had gone wrong with the machine to begin with and that it was not an act of sabotage.

Unfortunately, the alarm malfunctioned and it would throw all of Heero's scheduling off, resulting in a decidedly difficult situation for all five pilots to face later.

Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.

on to part 14

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