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 7

While the five Gundam pilots faced the tragic circumstances that fate had dealt them, another pilot remained angrily silent in an infirmary hundreds of miles away.

//Milliardo, you really, *really* need to work on your timing!//

Zechs Merquise was basically trapped in the OZ research facility he had been "inspecting" when he had met Quatre Raberba Winner the day before.

After rescuing some of the personnel attending a presentation on the now defunct prototype scanner that would have allowed OZ to detect the Gundam Deathscythe even when cloaked, he had succumbed to chemical exposure and now he wished he had made another choice entirely.

//Why not just get used to the idea of lonely nights, Peacecraft? Your date was blown before the poor boy ever even had a chance to return and those imbeciles at the front desk failed to note if that cute little blond even showed up or not. And he seemed like fun, too.//

If he had been a bit younger, the TallGeese pilot might have gone as far as to curse the youth who had indeed not shown up, but he was too far gone in self-blame to consider anyone else as responsible for his current fate. Well, almost no one else.

//Well, Treize, you might not have planned this, but if there's one way to keep me out of your hair, this is it. Trapped here putting up with simpering fools and bad food seems a bit much, though. And to not be able to talk is even worse! It seems like there's so much I want to say now that I can't, it figures. I wrote them a note to alert you to this but you'll probably ignore it or Lady Une will intercept it. Shit, that bitch will probably get a kick out of my being stuck like this. I have no idea what she's been telling you about me or if it's something else, but I'd swear that she's interfering with our lives too much. Hell, she's probably running around setting up more secret plans and developing new weapons without you knowing it.//

As usual any more, during the interminable waiting to heal, Merquise's thoughts had traced back to sex.

//I'm tired of being alone. I'm tired of being the "Lightning Count" and little more. I'm tired of being in a different place where no one knows me from one week to the next. But most of all, I'm tired of feeling as if life is passing me by. I'm twenty years old and an officer in the most powerful army on Earth, yet I spend my nights alone. What good is life if this is all there is?//

Amidst the self-pity, though, the former prince of the Sanq kingdom found one thing that his mind trailed back to over and over as his peaceful sulking was interrupted by yet another pointless "visit" by the base commander.

//If I don't get out of here soon, I may very well go stark raving mad!//

His main thought once more in mind, Zechs Merquise went back to smiling and nodding and dutifully playing the part of the heroically injured soldier as he would continue to do so for the next few days.


As awareness slowly crept back into Trowa Barton's mind, emerald eyes fluttered open slowly.

The brunette head turned on the pillow to regard the person beside him and Trowa frowned as he realized that the presence he had sensed was not his beloved Wufei. The sight of Quatre, leaning against the headboard and reading a copy of "The Wall Street Journal" was *not* what he had hoped to awaken to and his disappointment was all too clear.

As the paper brushed across the bedspread, it disturbed the air enough that something tickled Trowa's nose enough that he sneezed.

"Oh!" Quatre smiled and put the paper down quickly, "You're awake, Trowa! Praise Allah! We've been so worried!"

The Arabian teen was almost bubbly with relief, he hadn't expected any significant change in Trowa's condition while he was with him, but Duo's shower was taking longer than expected and this had allowed extra time to pass.

Trowa looked at the other teen with a mixture of pain and disappointment and asked, "Quatre? Where's Fei? Is he all right?"

"I'm sorry, Trowa," Quatre said with gentle concern, "but Wufei's still asleep. At least, I think that he's still sleeping. Heero's with him right now and I assume that if Wufei had awakened he'd have let me know."

"What?" The slender teen glanced at the clock and was shocked to see that it was afternoon already. The Gundam pilots hadn't been in the beach house for even twenty-four hours, yet their world had shifted so drastically it seemed like longer.

"He's *still* asleep? Oh god, this is bad," Trowa shook his head and began to rise. "I should be there for Fei when he wakes up. I still don't know what I did wrong, but I'm sure this is all my fault."

"No, Trowa, it's not your fault," Quatre answered as he gently pressed the other teen to stay in bed. "We, well, we aren't sure what's going on, but this is something beyond all of us it seems."

"No, I don't believe that," Trowa insisted, misery in his voice as he sat up and looked at his ex-roommate in confusion. "I should never have tried anything this morning, god knows I'll never try anything again! But I need to go to Fei and apologize." His voice seemed to choke up a bit as he added, "Then I'll leave here and never bother him again. I've caused poor Wufei too much pain already and if I'm gone maybe things will..."

"You aren't going anywhere, Trowa," a dark voice commanded from the doorway.

"Heero?" Quatre asked, wondering what change the Wing pilot's presence indicated even as he hoped it was for the better and not the worse.

"No major change, Quatre," Heero commented then added, "Duo's with Wufei right now. Um, could you get Trowa and me some coffee, please? I think he's going to need some."

The Arabian teen nodded solemnly, he knew he was being asked to give them some privacy and he was all in favor of it, the mystery had gone on far too long already. Trowa watched the discussion with confusion but remained silent.

"Sure, I'll be glad to do that." Quatre turned to give a brief embrace to Trowa before rising off the bed and making his way to the door. "Um, Heero? Did you want that coffee as soon as it's ready or after awhile?"

The Japanese teen made his way over to the dresser and pulled out a T-shirt, jeans, and boxers, which he handed to the lanky HeavyArms pilot in silent command that he get dressed. Trowa wordlessly followed the orders and pulled the clothes on covering his nakedness but not his shame.

Cobalt-blue eyes gazed at Trowa's too-thin torso as it flashed into and then back out of view, yet there was no time for even a passing thought to that particular issue. Heero then responded, "As soon as it's ready, Quatre, and thank you."

"Huh?" Quatre paused as he was about to walk away, "Why thank me again, Heero?"

The Japanese pilot shot the confused teen a grateful half-smile before telling him simply, "Because you've been patient and helpful even when you knew full well that Duo and I were not being completely open with you. It may seem like he's the only one who notices things like that, but he's not, and I thought you should know it."

A faint blush crept up the pale cheeks of the Sandrock pilot as he accepted the rare praise from the boy he accepted whole-heartedly as leader of their small team. "Well, Heero, you're welcome. I'm not doing much and if it helps everybody, then I'm satisfied. Let me go put some coffee on and I'll be back up in a few minutes, okay, Trowa?"

"Sure," the taller teen answered quietly as he sat back down on the bed, head hung low as he pondered Heero's words.

Quatre pulled the door partially shut behind him and hoped that simply brewing a pot of coffee might do as much good as Heero seemed to think it would and wondered if Duo might care for a cup, too.

Heero watched the emotions flit past on the distraught face of his friend before asking, "Think you're up to dealing with some fairly serious issues, Trowa?"

Emerald eyes came up and Trowa regarded his friend with pain and sorrow before he answered slowly, "No, not really, but if this is about Fei, then I'll certainly try."

"Good enough," Heero answered and then asked, "Would you rather wait on the coffee or even discuss this with Duo?"

"No," Trowa answered evenly, "I won't run from whatever it is you need to tell me, Heero. I only hope that it leads to helping Wufei, he's all I give a damn about right now."

Walking over to the window that looked out on the beach, Heero nodded slowly then commented quietly, "Actually, I'm glad to hear your answer, Trowa. I'd rather not have Duo be the one to discuss this with you, but on second thought, I think I'd rather wait on the caffeine. Something tells me this is going to be a long afternoon."

Trowa felt his heart sink as he nodded silently allowing Heero to reveal whatever it was he had to reveal in slow measured steps. After a moment of quiet, he rose to stand near his friend and in silence they watched the surf come in and then recede and both wondered if it was low tide yet since it seemed all too appropriate for their current moods.

Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.

on to part 8

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