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 28

Duo sighed happily and snuggled into Heero's arms with a pleased, "Ah! Alone at last!" Before he turned his head slightly to kiss the boy who held him.

The Wing pilot was just beginning to relax into the kiss, though, when the American broke it off cursing softly, "Damn!"

The cobalt-eyed boy frowned in annoyance and asked dryly, "What is it *this* time, baka?" Heero growled as he tried to pull the other boy's chin back towards his lips and failed.

Duo, clearly upset, suddenly buried his face in his hands after he watched the soft light wink out from the window of the third story bedroom where Wufei and Trowa would be sleeping. Throwing one hand down on his leg in anger, he huffed, "I *knew* I'd forget! Damn it, I shoulda tied a string on my finger or something!"

Heero chuckled and remarked, "Did you just now figure out that those two took the third floor for themselves, baka? I thought you handled the room assignments in the first place and they're certainly entitled to a little privacy."

"I did, koi, and they are," Duo said in a sad voice as he snuggled back against his lover's powerfully muscled chest. "That's not it at all, Heero."

Sensing trouble and not wishing to avoid it, Heero carefully began tracing patterns down his lover's back in soothing strokes and he asked in a quietly serious tone, "What's wrong, then, lover? It's not like you to fall out of seduction-mode like that over nothing."

Duo pensively sighed and glanced upwards again.

Keeping an eye on the now dark window above their position on the deck, the Deathscythe pilot finally spoke up once more. "I forgot to ask Trowa if he knew anything about what may have happened to Wu, koi. God, Heero, if what we think is true..." Duo sighed unhappily and let his eyelids slide closed.

This made Heero pause and consider his response. He had deliberately not said anything about the issue to the HeavyArms pilot, but he hadn't taken into consideration the fact that his own lover was so strongly dedicated to their friends that he would want to address any problems they might encounter as quickly as possible.

Duo was easily the finest friend anyone could ever ask for and to have him as both friend and lover made Heero feel quite honored. But now was not the time to barge in on the other couple and demand information. It was clear that Wufei was indeed hiding something from them all and whatever it was, it certainly was not a "hidden gift."

Heero drew in a slow breath and then released it, enveloping the worried American in his arms and hushing him gently. "Take it easy, lover. There will be time enough for us to try to help them get through whatever it is they are facing tomorrow."

Duo mumbled something along the lines of agreement and snuggled deeper after wrapping the blanket up around their bodies.

Heero, on the other hand, raised his own eyes to the darkened window and thought about what was to come.

//Actually, Duo, you're right, we probably shouldn't have waited.//

A sad feeling overcame the Wing pilot as his thoughts turned dark.

//This seems like a potentially dangerous situation those two face and I'd rather get past it as soon as possible. But how do you go to someone and ask if their new-found love has suffered something as heinous as rape? Especially since, once I thought about what Trowa had said about sex, I've got the distinct feeling that he's not got a clue what he's doing in that arena.//

The Japanese teen reflected on what he already knew about how to handle a situation such as this and he realized there were difficult times ahead.

//If it turns out Wufei *is* a rape victim, then things are going to be very difficult for them both and Trowa needs to know before he tries anything or it could be a disaster. I don't envy them a bit, koi, they're in for Hell no matter how you look at it.//

As he felt Duo's fingers loosen as he began to drift off into a light sleep, a final thought crossed Heero's mind on the matter and it was one of infinite hope.

//Then again, Duo, with you, me, and Quatre here to back them up, maybe Wufei and Trowa are in better shape than most people would be under the circumstances. We've got the time to get to the bottom of whatever it is that Wufei's hiding and if push comes to shove, our Gundams are just a few miles up the road. If he was sexually abused by someone then one of the things that'll probably help Wufei most is a good healthy dose of revenge. And you, oh God of Death, are the best there is at exacting *that*! Just wait until tomorrow for us to find out more, okay? They'll be fine until then.//

Once more confident that they had at least a reasonable chance at controlling an otherwise egregious situation, Heero rose from the deck and carried his sleepy lover to bed.

In an ironic twist of fate, the youth who had often espoused living by one's emotions had just made a crucial error by ignoring his own intuition and the feelings it engendered. Guilt, however, was not a strong factor for Heero and he would be able to play the role needed of him better by ignoring the fact that he had an opportunity that night to rectify his mistake yet failed to do so.

Moonlight flooded the sands outside the quiet vacation home where five bold young men slept that night, each of them caught up in fairly happy dreams after the successful return of their missing teammate who had been hidden away inside the OZ base.

The coming crisis would not be patient, though, and the peaceful feeling that the five teens shared would barely last past dawn.

The revelations that the Gundam pilots faced would be horribly painful for all of them, but even this was something they could face as long as they remembered that the highest form of love is truly unique and it was something they already shared to a great extent.

More importantly, they all needed to remember that this greatest gift of love is utterly and completely unconditional.

Author's (Way-Too-Long-but-there-*Were*-So-Damned-Many-Parts!) Notes:

1. DEDICATION FOR THE ENTIRE STORY: This fic is dedicated to two very powerful "hidden gifts" of my very own! This one goes to Amanda and Lauren, the two lovely Chibis who live with me and alternately drive me crazy and bring me joy! Ladies, this one's for you! Congratulations on the last day of school and see, Amanda? Eighth grade vocabulary words really *do* have their uses, now don't they?

2. Believe it or not, Book 3 of the "Gifts" arc, "Unconditional Gifts," is already underway! (a cheer goes up from the Llama-control board to hear that E-sama will be denied any free time until more pilot-torture is completed) This newest angst-fest will pick up the action at dawn the very next day after where this one ended. My foreshadowing is awfully heavy here, I know, but that one is going to be so damned angsty, I felt like I needed to up the angst here to get you prepared for it in advance. It's going to be a dangerously bumpy ride! Um, also, there's been foreshadowing here and in "Priceless Gifts" for Books 4 and 5, both currently untitled, so there may well be questions without answers for awhile yet and I thank you for your patience as the arc spins itself out across my soul and then onto my keyboard.

3. Oh, a side-note to my beloved lemon fans, the next book *is* indeed going to be a very strong NC-17 rating, but you can already guess why. I have no idea how much lime and lemon you'll get just yet, but I hope to have enough to supply a few days requirements of Vitamin C for you. Now all I have to do is keep Melpomene busy with most of the fic so not all that lemony fun is scary!

4. Regarding the previously dastardly little Q-Ball, what did you think of the way he was written here? In response to so many wonderful reader requests, I tried diligently to give him a much kinder treatment here than in the first book. How'd you like it? Think he deserves some happiness in the upcoming books? He *did* go in and "save" Trowa, right? Besides, there's a six-foot tall sex god roaming around looking for someone to play with. My lemon muse might find this pairing a good enough reason to return but only if the readers want it *and* I stay inspired. All the angst I've got to wade through first might very well kill me, though.

5. Muses, oh most torturous muses! Melpomene is back with a vengeance and she is rolling like uncontrolled lightning across my soul! It might be nice if she'd back off some and leave the boys alone for awhile, but I'm trying to work out a deal with her for a place called "Xanadu" and as long as she doesn't kill any of them here there's still hope! Erato, my lemon muse, gave me the "limey moments" for here and then went on strike but I hope she'll come back soon, I need her help with Book 3! Thalia, my humor muse, is giggling over ibuprofen, Aleve, mashed potatoes, and rice. She's not at all pleased with Book 3, though, and might go on strike herself unless Melpomene lightens up! As for Calliope, the muse of my epics and arcs, she's tickled that there are so damned many parts to this and that the next book is being written right now. See what I live with? Such pressure for a mere llama!

6. The very first story in this arc, "Priceless Gifts," was inspired by a single image at Sweet&Sweet so this fic carries on the multi-media motif and used a few for inspiration too! In case you missed them during the running of the fic, take a moment and go check them all out at Sweet&Sweet, The Tro-Fei Shrine!

A. From part 7: Trowa as seen on the OZ identification badge. This is the image that inspires the nickname "Angel". Can you see why? http://www.angelfire.com/anime/saotomechan/sweetxsweet/4.jpg

B. From Part 9: Trowa in an OZ uniform distracted by thoughts of his lover. Damn, he looks good in those pants but doesn't he look too skinny? http://www.angelfire.com/anime/saotomechan/sweetxsweet/oztro.jpg

C. From Part 14: Wufei as seen by Treize and Zechs. I wonder who he's thinking of to have that sweet little smile on his face, don't you? http://www.angelfire.com/anime/saotomechan/sweetxsweet/wmotor.jpg

D. From part 25: Trowa cuddling Wufei. It's a long road ahead for our two lovers, so it's nice to see them happy again, ne? http://www.angelfire.com/anime/saotomechan/sweetxsweet/3x5cuddle.jpg

7. Ah, you know you're at the end of my ramblings if it's time for the pointless plug for the Llama-sightings network! Find out what's new from Enigma at GW Addiction and/or the fabulous shrine to Wufei and Trowa, Sweet& Sweet, by signing up at: EnigmaFanficUpdates-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

8. And, to continue another "Gifts Arc" tradition, if you read this far you get a treat! Last time it was a cookie, today it's lemon meringue pie in hopes of luring Erato back for not only "Unconditional Gifts" but also for a few stand alone pieces! Enjoy your snack and thanks again for reading! ~E-sama the Llama~


Nani? You're still reading? Way cool!! Guess what? Book 2 of the "Gifts Arc" is finally OVER!!

[dances the happy llama dance of joy]

Even though there's no disco ball tonight, let me take a second to thank you all again for reading and sending me notes of encouragement! Book 3 is only 1/3 finished so now's a great time to send your requests for content or suggestions on ways this story might go that you would like to see. I'm not promising anything, my muses are awfully demanding, but if it wasn't for the great reader response I had gotten on Q-Ball, the poor little blond might not have gotten a chance to run into that unbearably sexy blond in this one! Um, you guys *do* want them to get together, right?

Send ideas to E-sama's place at SFSDincher@aol.com and we'll see what happens, okay? And, no, I wont make all of Wufei's scary bad evil memories go away, it's part of the arc, okay? (apologizes to a bunch of people and mostly to Fei)

Be Well and Enjoy the Non-Angst while the "Gifts Arc" goes back to being Under Construction!


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