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//

<<flashback>>


Hidden Gifts
Part 21


Quatre had felt uncomfortable about sharing a room with Wufei initially, but as the evening passed and the dark-haired youth had begun prowling the apartment like a captive tiger, the Arabian teen felt relieved that the arrangement would let him surreptitiously keep an eye on the boy.

At one point, Duo had been trying to convince Heero that Wufei was too calm to be trusted, but the Wing pilot pointed out that they could do little about the situation unless Wufei took action or there was something more concrete to go by. Frustrated, Duo had then decided to "take action" himself and had dragged his lover back to their room where the couple remained ensconced into the night.

Sitting in the living room and trying to finish reading some reports on his family's business dealings, Quatre was startled when a single bronze hand came to rest on his shoulder.

The blond teen jumped slightly and Wufei chuckled softly, "And here I thought that I was the only one on edge around here."

"Sorry, Wufei," Quatre turned to smile at him. "You startled me, that's all. What's up?"

The Chinese boy looked at him with a curious expression and then shrugged. "I believe that I will go to bed and wondered if you needed anything out of the room before I turn out the lights?"

"Um, actually," the Sandrock pilot faked a yawn, "I'm kind of tired, too. Guess we might as well both crash for tonight."

Wufei just nodded and they walked back to their room together in silence.

An hour later, as Quatre was discovering that the daybed was distinctly uncomfortable, he heard a sound he had never heard before. Aquamarine eyes blinked sleepily as he tried to figure out what he had heard when it came again. Realizing it sounded more like a muffled sob than anything else, he asked quietly in the darkness, "Wufei? Are you all right?"

The sound echoed again as the other boy rolled over in his sleep and his body came to rest facing him. In the moonlight coming in through the window, Quatre could see that Wufei seemed to be crying in his sleep.

A sense of foreboding overcame the blond teen as he slipped off the daybed and moved closer to Wufei. He sat on the edge of the bed and reached out one hand to gently shake the other boy, calling again, "Wufei? Wake up! I think you're having a bad dream."

There was no response and he grew concerned, asking again, "Wufei? C'mon, wake up!"

Dark eyes suddenly flew open, a look of pure terror on his face as Wufei trembled and said in confusion, "Quatre? Where is he? Where's Trowa?"

Before an answer could be offered, though, the distraught youth added in a voice that belied his still half-sleeping condition, "They have him! I just know it! OZ captured him like they did me and if I don't get him away from them, it'll happen to him, too!" His face lost all of its color and he struggled to rise against the gentle pressure that Quatre suddenly felt forced to exert to hold him in place.

Worry and fear crossed Quatre's face. He had no idea that the others suspected that something truly terrible might have happened to Wufei previously, but he knew the other was being irrational now and the most important thing was to calm him down before he did something dangerous.

"Shh, Wufei, take it easy! Calm down, okay?" Quatre soothed while he kept both hands on the other boy's arms to prevent him from getting out of bed and rushing off as he seemed to want to do. "We don't know anything bad happened to Trowa, what're you talking about?"

Tears welled up again in Wufei's eyes as his mind tried to reassert that the nightmare he had just awakened from was reality and he struggled almost violently to get away from the blond teen.

As Quatre became nearly desperate enough to shout for help from the other pilots, the Chinese teen suddenly slumped against him. Dragging deep breaths into his oxygen-starved lungs, Wufei allowed the crying jag to work its way out of him before he turned his face once more to the frightened teen who refused to let go of him.

"I... I am all right now, Quatre, thank you." Wufei finally said quietly, shame at his emotional weakness showing on his tear-stained face. "You can go back to bed."

"No," the other boy said softly, "I'm not leaving you, Wufei, not until I know what scared you so badly all of a sudden."

Wufei sighed and moved to lay back down with his eyes closed. "It was a nightmare, nothing more. I am sorry I disturbed your sleep, just leave me."

"No," Quatre stated more firmly. "You're not telling me the whole truth here and while that's your choice, I'm not going to leave you alone right now."

"Why not? Afraid that I shall do something stupid?" Wufei sighed, knowing in his heart that this was exactly what he wanted to do.

Quatre smiled a little at this idea, his mind helpfully flashing him humorous images of mashed potatoes and then the sadder sights of his own violence against the boy beside him. "No, lately 'doing something stupid' is my department. I'm more worried you'll do something, um, well, *unwise* if not totally understandable."

"Hai," Wufei mumbled, "'Unwise' is a good way to put it. Then again, leaving Trowa alone inside an OZ base where Zechs Merquise, a man who has met him face-to-face, is roaming and Trowa could be captured at any moment is exceedingly 'unwise', yet Yuy did it."

Wufei groaned as he realized how petulant his voice sounded and he continued, "Now I am being unreasonable and I know it, but I can not seem to stop thinking that something has gone wrong beyond a simple delay. We all felt that there was going to be trouble on this mission and now that there is, I can not keep the worry from my mind. I wish I could just go into that damned base and get Trowa out of there right now."

"I understand," Quatre remarked as he took a risk and stretched out on the bed next to Wufei.

The Arabian teen lay on his side, looking at his smaller companion, studying his face and feeling remorse yet again for the line of stitches that remained across his cheek. "But you can't do that, Wufei. You're not strong enough with your injuries still bothering you and all. Besides, it's not unusual to need an extra bit of time to escape after infiltration. It happens to all of us at times."

"Maybe," Wufei groused unhappily, "But when was the scanner prototype supposed to self-destruct? Won't OZ be looking for those responsible for that as soon as it happens? They are certain to spot Trowa then if Merquise has not noticed him already."

"Hmm," Quatre frowned. He hadn't considered the fact that Merquise, a man he'd never even met, could play a role in the unfolding drama.

Silently coming to a decision that would radically change the destinies of all five of the Gundam pilots, he allowed a smile to return to his face. Quatre then reached out to stroke the other teen's back in the way he'd seen both Trowa and Duo do that seemed to relax Wufei.

"Well, Wufei, I honestly have no idea what Trowa and Heero set up, but why don't you try to go back to sleep?" He smiled more broadly as he felt the tense muscles relaxing under his fingers. "I can pretty much promise you that things will be different by this time tomorrow, okay?"

Eyes sliding shut as sleep began to reclaim him, Wufei had enough presence of mind to ask, "What are you planning, Quatre? What did... " he yawned as he tried to resist the gentle massage that the blond boy was giving him and failed, "... you mean by that?"

"Oh, nothing, really," Quatre lied. A slightly self-deprecating smile touched his lips as he added, "I'm sure things will be better by tomorrow night. You'll see."

"M'kay," Wufei sighed sleepily, his words slurring slightly as he fell asleep. "Why dun you just stay here now? 'S more comfortable than that damned daybed."

Quatre looked startled and then allowed himself a truly happy smile. "I think I will. Thanks, Wufei." He wrapped one arm lightly around the other boy and snuggled closer before drifting off to sleep himself.

Wufei, however, had reawakened somewhat and while he wouldn't rescind his offer, being held by the same youth that had attacked him was suddenly a bit disquieting.

//He's not a monster, fool!//

The Chinese teen chided himself, allowing the contractions into his mental speech that he usually worked so diligently to avoid speaking aloud.

//This is just Quatre. The same person you trusted before and one simple mistake caused by lack of sleep doesn't change who he is inside. Besides, he's worried about Trowa, too.//

As sleep threatened to return and pull the dark-eyed boy back to itself, Wufei actually forced himself to put his own arms around Quatre's body and return the cuddling. He was rewarded with a happy little squeak from the sleeping boy in return and he smiled ruefully.

//How can I ever be angry with him for falling in love with Trowa in the first place? With those beautiful green eyes and that soft brown hair, Trowa is simply irresistible and Quatre was around him so much more than I was for months. No, as long as Quatre understands that Trowa makes his own choices and respects that, I shouldn't have anything against him.//

Wufei's last thoughts of forgiveness were commendable, but he failed to take as seriously as he should the danger he had detected in the other boy's words. Quatre now had a very risky plan in mind and Wufei was the only one who could have stopped it.







Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.



End Notes for Parts 20 and 21:

Dedications: Gomenasai, but tonight there's no disco ball.

[John Travolta gets up and leaves and Nic Cage and Jay Chan laugh at him (the first one due to "Saturday Night Fever", the first two due to "Face/Off", and the second pairing to make my kitten-koi smile, reminders of The Game are everywhere!) um, just so you know: in The Game, codenames were used that identified Heero as Travolta, Trowa as Cage, and Wufei as Chan. my favorite movie action heroes, go figure!]

Tonight's posting run is dedicated to my kids getting through the last week of school! If we can survive this as a family, I just might take this coming weekend off and go hang out at Animazement, the anime con in Research Triangle Park, NC, where Yu Watase will be featured and go enjoy that! It *might* even make the angst get better, ne? But I doubt that Melpomene will be impressed unless we're able to score an original Chichiri by Watase-sama!

Oyasuminasai!!

on to part 22

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