Early afternoon on the North Carolina coast found the situation in the Gundam
pilots' beach house to be one of tense waiting and concern.
Trowa remained lost in an uneasy slumber and Heero sat beside him on the bed,
contemplating what to tell the slender teen when he awoke and what should
wait. At the same time, Duo lay next to Wufei and worried over the fact that
he was unnaturally motionless in his sleep.
Quatre, the only one without someone to guard during the moment of crisis,
chose to act as messenger for the others for the first few hours but
eventually there was no new information to carry and he had moved to prepare
"No one's even hungry, so why am I bothering?" The blond asked himself in
annoyance. He stared at the stack of sandwiches he'd made then shrugged as he
placed them onto plates along with chips and the assortment of pickles that
Duo was partial to.
Pulling out some drinks, Quatre stopped and wondered aloud, "Why does Heero
have to be so mysterious at times? He and Duo both said something about
talking to me about something important after they get a chance to talk to
Trowa, but it's kind of annoying to keep thinking about it. Oh well, whatever
it is, they all need to eat, so I might as well take this stuff to them."
Soon, Quatre was walking up the stairs with a tray for Heero. He stopped at
the open doorway and asked quietly, "Heero? I fixed some lunch for you, want
me to bring it on in?"
"Sure, Quatre, that'd be fine," Heero glanced over at him with a sad
half-smile as he set aside the laptop he'd been basically ignoring anyway.
As the Sandrock pilot arranged the tray on the desk in the large room, Heero
stood and paused to brush one hand through Trowa's bangs gently. With a sigh,
he turned and walked over to see what Quatre had brought him.
"I'm not very hungry, but this looks good," Heero said by way of
complimenting the other teen's efforts if nothing else.
Quatre sighed, eyes trailing over to the sleeping boy. "When's Trowa going to
wake up, Heero? I'd have thought he'd be awake by now."
"I thought so, too," Heero answered swallowing some soft drink before turning
his attention there as well. "It must have been a bigger shock to his system
than we thought but he's going to need the rest so let him sleep."
The blond teen cocked his head in curiosity, "Why do you say that?"
Heero sighed unhappily again, something that was starting to unnerve the
Arabian teen. Quatre had rarely seen him this agitated over something
non-battle related and it caused a knot to form in his guts. As Heero turned
to face him, though, a look of determination had come over the Japanese
teen's face and he commented, "What happened this morning is far from over,
Quatre, you know that. Trowa's going to be facing the challenge of his life
helping Wufei deal with this."
"I see," Quatre remarked philosophically, "And I'll understand all this
better later, right?"
A soft snort of surprise and appreciation was Heero's initial reaction, but
then he put one hand onto Quatre's shoulder. "You're all right, you know
An unexpected chuckle left Quatre's lips as he accepted the informal
compliment, "I believe that's the first time you've used the new nickname,
Heero. Sounds pretty funny when you say it."
"Hn," Heero grunted as he bit into the sandwich, a slight grin tugging at the
corners of his mouth as he chewed.
"Ah me," Quatre sighed, sliding back to a less pleasant set of emotions as he
glanced back at Trowa who had stirred slightly then seemed to sink back into
a deeper sleep. "Let me get Duo's lunch to him and then I'll put something
together for the other two for when they wake up. Bad news is always easier
to handle if someone else does the cooking for you."
Heero nodded his agreement then turned and added, "Thanks for not pushing,
"You're welcome, Heero," Quatre answered as he prepared to leave. "Something
tells me this is going to be a tough 'vacation' for us to get through as it
"I'm afraid so," Heero agreed as Quatre walked out the door.
Delivering Duo's lunch was a more difficult task by far.
A fresh tray of food in hand, Quatre made the climb to the second floor and
was walking down the hallway when he heard something that made him stop and
Duo's voice quietly wafted out of the room he was in, and Quatre strained his
ears to hear what was being said.
"Wu, I know this really sucks, babe, but please," the voice was quietly
pleading and the Arabian teen suddenly felt as if he was in the wrong place
at the wrong time until Duo continued, "Wake up for me, wont ya, babe? You're
scaring me here. Or roll over in your sleep or something normal? Shit, this
is freakin' me out."
Now confident that his presence would be welcome after all, Quatre made
enough noise that Duo would hear his approach and pull himself together if
needed before he walked in.
Stepping up to the doorway as if he'd heard nothing, Quatre asked, "Duo? May
I come in? I brought you some lunch."
"Oh? Thanks, Quatre," Duo sighed sadly and glanced at the door, dragging
himself to an upright position on the bed. "Yeah, come on in, nothing's
really changed in the last couple hours or so, and I'm not hungry, but thanks
"I see," Quatre nodded as he set the tray on the dresser. He turned and
regarded his American friend as Duo tugged the rubber band off the end of the
mostly unraveled braid. "I'll leave the food over here for you, Duo. Did you
need help with your hair?"
"Naw, not really, Q-Ball," Duo remarked sourly. "This rat's nest is going to
need brushing out something fierce, but there's not really any time for that."
"Why not?" Quatre asked innocently, "If nothing's changed with Wufei why not
let me watch over him and you can take a break? Eat something, go talk to
Heero, maybe grab a shower?"
"No, damn it!" Angry violet eyes suddenly glared at him. "Wu needs me here
and I'm staying put! Just leave the damned food over there and get out if
you're gonna be so insensitive!"
Taken aback, Quatre froze momentarily. His initial reaction was to feel hurt
for the undeserved rebuke but then he recalled the words and the tone of the
things Duo had been saying before he walked in and he relaxed a little.
Taking a chance, he walked closer to the bed and stood hands clasped in front
of himself, simply quiet before saying, "Duo, I'm sorry. I know that whatever
is really going on here is troubling you, but I only wanted to help out more."
Calming as the brief burst of pain faded away, Duo shook his head sadly and
moved to stand.
"Oh man, I'm the one that's sorry, Quatre," Duo sighed running a hand through
his bangs and then looked at the contrite face of his friend. He finally
smiled though it was only a weak approximation of his usually bright grin.
"You're right, this is one seriously bad situation but that doesn't excuse my
taking your head off just for wanting to help out."
"Well, I don't know..." Quatre was about to defend Duo when the other boy
reached out and put one hand over his mouth with a slightly broader smile.
"Now, don't go disagreeing with me, Q-Ball!" Duo smirked and released his
friend's mouth. "I fucked up and Duo Maxwell doesn't lie, yada yada yada! You
know the drill!"
Quatre chuckled softly and nodded. "Yes, I know. 'He runs, he hides, he never
lies.' I know."
"Good!" Duo smiled fully after glancing at himself in a mirror. "Ewww! I look
dreadful! No wonder you recommended a shower! If Wu woke up right now, I'd
probably scare him half to death!"
The American teen moved past Quatre to snatch up a handful of pickles. With a
delighted crunch he turned and thanked him by simply saying, "Yum, gherkins!
I feel better already!"
No longer able to keep from laughing at Duo's obvious attempts to cheer him
up, Quatre smiled and offered, "There's a whole jar of them downstairs. Want
me to go bring up some more?"
"Naw," Duo shook his head and tossed the rest of the pickles back on the
plate which he picked up as he turned. "How's about this? You want to help
"Right. What can I do?" Quatre offered hopefully.
"How's about you go ask Heero to switch with me and you can keep an eye on
Tro, Heero can watch over Wu for me, and I'll go wash the rats outta here?"
He held up a fistful of hair meaningfully.
"Really?" Quatre was amazed. The turn around seemed a bit too complete after
the earlier reaction.
The too-sunny smile faded as Duo looked back at Wufei and sighed. "Yeah,
really. I need to get my head clear or I'm not going to be any good to anyone
otherwise. If I lost my temper over you just wanting to help out, then I
really need to take a breather."
"I understand," Quatre answered truthfully. "I'll go let Heero know. If for
some reason he thinks this isn't a good plan, I'll be right back, okay?"
"M'kay," Duo mumbled around a bite of sandwich. "Goo' sam'ich!" He grinned as
he bit into it again, cramming his mouth full with the first thing he'd eaten
during the already long day.
"Glad you like it, Duo," Quatre smiled as he headed off on his appointed
Within a reasonable period of time, Heero had stationed himself beside the
still motionless Wufei and Quatre was sitting on the bed next to Trowa. Duo
was taking a fast shower working the shampoo through the chestnut hair with a
speed he disliked, but his desire to return to Wufei's side as quickly as
possible was almost overwhelming.
Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.
End Notes for Part 4-6:
Just a quick nod of thanks to my fine friends and supporters that let me know
that last night's fic offering was worth reading! This list includes but is
not limited to: Nazarri, Eos Goddess of Dawn, Steppin' Razor, Pale Rider,
Ashkara, SkyLark, Rubious, dhuron, Trixie, Shea, and -- of course!! -- Ryoko,
my kitten, faithful friend and supporter!
Um, this reminds me. The only lists that I see my C&C's quickly from are
[1x2x1ML], [3x5_5x3list], [onetwentyfive], and that's it. My apologies to the
other lists, but I am web-only and there's just no time. Please send your
comments directly to me at SFSDincher@aol.com and I'll get a response back as
soon as my migraine lightens up.