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: May-July, 2001
Overall Rating: NC-17
Overall Pairings: (3+5) (1x2/2x1) (?x5)NCS
Category: DARK Angst Yaoi/Shonen ai Friendship Rape-Memories Sap Lime AU-OOC
Enigma Story Categories: G-Boys High Adventure! & Gundam Nightmares
Warnings: DARK, angst, yaoi/shonen ai, friendship, remembrance of non-consensual sex, sap, lime, language, violence, fear, AU-OOC

Notes: The hidden gifts that Wufei discovered brought him a sense of joy at the time, but now shadows of a dark and painful past return and his world begins to shatter. Can Trowa find the strength to truly love him unconditionally and somehow keep the Chinese teen from being irrevocably destroyed?


Unconditional Gifts
Part 3

Quatre had barely stepped into the hallway when he stopped cold once more.

Duo stood motionless against the closed door to the fourth bedroom, one hand on the doorknob and an ear to the wood.

Quatre stepped closer, eyes wide and questioning as he heard the same sound that had gotten Duo's attention in the first place. Deep agonized sobs were emanating from the room and Duo straightened and called out, "Wufei? Open the door, buddy. It's me, Duo! Wu, let me in!"

There wasn't any response from inside the room and Duo tried again, forgetting entirely his intentions of not using any of the small endearments his mind had been adding to the Chinese teen's name lately. "Wu, babe, come on, I know you're in there. Let me in, I want to help," his own voice tight with pain, he added softly, "please?"

A slight hitching cough could be heard but then the rhythmic moans returned and it was clear that either Wufei didn't want to open the door or he simply couldn't do so.

Anger had been replaced by fear and Duo moved to kick the door in but was stopped by a hand on his arm.

"Wait, Duo," Quatre cautioned, aquamarine eyes wide and concerned. "If he's as terrified as Trowa is right now, that's only going to make it worse. Let's pick the lock or something else, please?"

"All right, Quatre, but I don't have my lockpicks on me," Duo said trying to find a faster solution than returning to his own room to retrieve the small metal devices that were still packed in his duffel bag from their move the day before.

"Then let me try something," Quatre offered, gently nudging his long-haired friend aside.

Nimble fingers went to work on the hinges of the door and within brief moments, the door had been freed from its moorings and the two of them set it against a wall. Duo cast a grateful glance at the Arabian teen which made Quatre smile slightly before sobering once more.

Duo rushed in through the now open doorway, calling out, "Wufei? Where are you, babe?" He froze when he spotted his friend, though.

In a corner, naked as the day he was born and trembling as if he was half-frozen, Chang Wufei lay curled in a ball, eyes clamped shut as he continued to cry disconsolately, tears flowing freely unaware that there was even anyone in the room with him.

"Sweet gods, Wu," Duo breathed out in agony. "What the fuck did that bastard do to you, babe?" He shook his head as he rushed to gather the shaking boy into his arms yet froze before doing so to glance back at the worried blond who remained in the doorway.

"How is he?" Quatre asked nervously, carefully staying back so as not to add to the apparently hysterical boy's distress.

"Not good," Duo answered darkly. "Get me a blanket, would ya, Q?"

Quatre nodded, "Sure thing, Duo," then proceeded to gather up the comforter that had been left folded up at the end of the unused double bed on the opposite side of the room. As he walked closer to his two friends, he shook it out and held it open before kneeling down to wrap it around the trembling body that seemed unaware of their presence.

"Thanks," Duo glanced at Quatre as he knelt beside his two friends. Deep violet eyes displayed a mixture of fear and anger before Duo turned his full attention back to Wufei.

With infinite gentleness, the terrorist who was known as the God of Death gathered Wufei into his arms and cradled him possessively against his chest. He kept the blanket securely in place hoping the warmth might help penetrate the shell that seemed to be surrounding the smaller boy.

"Hey, Wu, can you talk to me here, babe?" Duo urged quietly, "I need to know if you're all right or not, Wu-chan." Almost begging, he added, "C'mon, please talk to me."

The soft words failed to sink in, though, and the ShenLong pilot remained lost in the world of horror that his own mind was all too eager to offer to him. Visions of a dark city and memories of pain wrenched a new series of sobs from the bruised chest and Wufei seemed to shrink impossibly smaller in Duo's arms.

The American pilot looked at the ceiling and cursed softly, "Shit! This just can *not* be happening!" He turned violet eyes on Quatre and asked simply, "Ideas, Quatre? Got any?"

"How about a hot bath?" Quatre offered with a nervous little shrug, "It might help him to stop shivering and all. But why won't he speak? What happened to him?"

Duo continued to rock the blanket-wrapped form soothingly as he turned worried eyes to the blond and answered, "I don't know what happened for sure, but if Trowa tried to force him to have sex, I swear to God I'll kill him for it! Wufei's suffered enough all ready, damn it all! Why did this have to happen now?!?"

Sadness spread across Quatre's features and he found himself saying something he might have never expected, "No, Duo, that can't be right. Trowa loves Wufei with all his heart, he'd never hurt him deliberately, not like this," He shook his head fervently. "No, Trowa would never rape anyone much less Wufei. That's not it, I'm certain of it!"

Fury touched the corners of Duo's eyes as he regarded the blond angrily, "How the hell can you be so damned sure, Quatre?! Shit, a few weeks ago you were equally sure Trowa loved *you* and not Wufei! Sure enough that you did *this* to him!"

In anger, Duo pulled the blanket away to expose to light the fresh scar tissue that had formed where the heavy gold signet ring bearing the Winner family crest had slashed through the bronzed skin of one high cheekbone.

Wufei whimpered softly at the sudden feeling of cold air against his skin, but he remained lost in the world of his memories and said nothing.

Suddenly mortified by the recollection of his own actions, Quatre's head dropped down and he mumbled an apology, "I'm sorry, I, well, I was not myself then but..." his eyes came up and he spoke with greater strength, "But I *know* that you're wrong about Trowa, Duo! I'm absolutely certain of it!"

Before further argument could develop, though, Wufei's muffled crying seemed to diminish and he fell into broken sobs, head lolling against Duo's chest and pulling their attention back to his needs and away from destructive guesses as to what had occurred in the early morning light.

With a sigh, Duo finally leaned his head down to nuzzle Wufei gently and then he glanced back at Quatre, saying, "I'm sorry, Quatre, but what am I to think? Wu's screams and what we found when we came in this room seem to point to only one conclusion but you're right. Trowa's not a violent person and he'd never force Wufei into something he didn't want."

Duo sighed and moved his fragile burden into one arm so he could reach up and brush the loose black silk hair out of the way to take a closer look at Wufei's face. To his relief, there was no evidence of wrong-doing to be seen there either. Only kiss-swollen lips presented mute testimony to the pair's earlier activities and even these were trembling with the remaining sobs as to not be able to tell him much.

With far more fear then he might have expected, Duo pulled the blanket away from Wufei's body gently in search of other evidence of any new injuries that might have been sustained during whatever had happened.

Duo laid the trembling boy on the floor carefully, examining his torso and legs with fear. Seeing nothing indicative, he rolled the Chinese teen over so he could see his back and buttocks all of which was far too easy to see as Wufei instinctively curled into a fetal ball. Carefully looking without touching the smaller boy in any way that might be misinterpreted, Duo ascertained as best he could that there was no immediate evidence of actual sexual intercourse much less rape. Duo felt a bit odd studying the unresponsive boy so closely, but he felt there was no real choice in the matter.

Releasing the breath he hadn't been aware he was holding, Duo tucked the blanket back into place and pulled the trembling, exhausted body back into his arms once more, gratitude and confusion warring in his soul.

A nervous voice broke the American's reverie, asking, "Well? Was he…?"

"No, Quatre, he wasn't," Duo answered with a frown. "I still have no clue what did happen, but it's pretty clear Trowa didn't rape him. I'm no medical expert, but I'd say it's a safe bet that whatever happened it never got that far."

"That's a relief," Quatre sighed gratefully, "So, what do we do now, Duo?"

"Hmm," Duo leaned back, and closed his eyes briefly. "That hot bath was a good idea, Quatre. Why don't I get him into one and you go let Heero and Tro know what's going on, okay?"

A tiny smile crossed otherwise nervous Arabian features. If Duo was willing to go back to Trowa's nickname then it seemed safe to assume that Duo was no longer planning on going after him in blind vengeance. "Sure thing, Duo, I'll go tell them and then catch up to you and let you know what's happened from their end, okay?"

"Sounds like a plan," Duo moved to stand and discovered again that Wufei, like Trowa, was far lighter than he should be. As he carried the petite Chinese teen down the hallway and into the bathroom, Duo made a mental note to get both of them to eat more after this latest situation was brought under control.

As hot water filled the tub, Duo gently laid Wufei on the floor, pillowing his head with a towel.

He stripped the blanket away and took one last unflinching look at Wufei's body, if there were any signs of rape he'd missed, he wanted to find them now before immersion in the bath water might wash them away. He had been relieved to note during his earlier brief examination that there was no tell-tale blood on Wufei's legs and he felt even more relieved to note there still wasn't any of that most damning evidence of sexual violence.

With extreme care, Duo gently parted his friend's buttocks and forced himself to see the truth that had been hidden for too long. A pain unlike any he had ever experienced lanced through the braided teen as he discovered that Wufei bore the scars of sexual abuse from some encounter in the past. The only relief to Duo's agony being that there was no evidence of recent sexual penetration which confirmed Trowa's innocence in this regards at least.

A rough semblance of a prayer echoed in the agonized frenzy of Duo's mind.

//God, why did you let this happen to Wu? It wasn't Tro who did it, but, shit, why did you let this happen at all?! WHY?!?//

Almost more frightening was that while this seemingly unforgivable liberty was being taken with his body, Wufei failed to react. Not so much as a whimper or a shiver indicated that the shattered teen even registered the intimate touch and this, too, cut Duo like a knife even as he moved his hands from examining the suffering boy to trying to comfort him by rubbing his tensed back muscles.

None of what he had seen was Trowa's fault, obviously, but Shinigami's rage was building and as soon as it had a target, Duo Maxwell was going to be a force to be reckoned with.

As Duo eased Wufei's body into the water carefully, he said to the boy who had yet to speak a word to him throughout the events of the painful morning, "Wu, when you're feeling better, babe, we gotta talk. Too damned much has happened for you to hide it any more and what I just saw tells me I'm not the only one who's gonna want blood because of it!"

Realizing the tone of his angry words seemed to have caused the smaller teen to begin trembling once more, Duo pulled him close and said softly, "But not right now, Wu-chan, right now, you just relax and come back to us, okay?" He paused and stroked the slightly damp hair out of the still closed eyes of his friend, "We all want and need to talk to you, babe, so just get over this and come back, 'kay?"

With a sad sigh, Duo brushed a feather-light kiss to his friend's scarred cheek and added, "Wu, I think Trowa needs you real bad right now, so come on back as soon as you can."

Finally, as if the name of the boy's one true love were a magical incantation, the Chinese teen's sobs began to quiet and his breathing evened out as he slipped straight from wherever the terror had sent him into an odd catatonia of sorts as shock took its toll.

Sensing the change, Duo smiled sadly and then drew the apparently sleeping teen out of the water and into a towel.

//This is just the beginning, isn't it, babe? You've been hiding this for a long damned time, Chang Wufei, but you can't hide it any more. I'm onto your secrets now and it's a damned good thing, too!//

With gentle motions, the Deathscythe pilot toweled off his comrade as if he was a small child or even a baby and then he wondered where to take the boy to rest. A soft snort of realization that there was one safe haven he was certain of left Duo's lips as he carried the slumbering boy back downstairs to his own bed. He tucked Wufei under the covers after placing a pair of his own boxers on him and then stretched out on top of the blankets beside him.

Violet eyes bright with barely restrained fury and determination, Duo made a solemn vow.

//Wufei, no matter what else comes out of this, you can count on one thing. *I'm* not going anywhere until I know you're going to be okay. And unless my instincts are way off, Trowa's going to need a lot of help, too, and here's hoping Heero's got that covered. If anyone can get the two of you through whatever the hell this all really is, it's me and him.//

With a silent snarl, though, Shinigami's dark and threatening voice added:

//Whoever did this to you will burn in hell. Soon. Like I promised the other day, between Tro, Heero, and me, we'll see to it that you're avenged. No one hurts you and gets away with it!//

Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.

End Notes for Part 1-3:

Ah, the first night and I already have thanks to send out! I got such nice support for my teaser/warning thing from some of my friends and here's who I want to thank this first posting run: SkyLark, Azzie, Rubious, Fu, bearilou, Nazarri, Danielle (my darling yume still loves me!! WHEEEEE), and, as always, very great thanks go to my beloved kitten, Ryoko, who knows what's gonna happen and will still speak to me.

Now, back to more serious matters. I hope that I haven't scared too many people away from this already, but is this as angsty as it gets? I doubt it. See you soon with more!

on to part 4

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