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 6

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 some lunch.

"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 that, Q-Ball?"

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, Quatre."

"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 is."

"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 listen.

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 for trying."

"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 more, right?"

"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 rounds.

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.

Be Well!!

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