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 12

After their meal was completed, Wufei and Trowa washed dishes in companionable silence before going in to join their friends.

What little enmity had resurfaced over the on-going battle of getting Trowa to eat had dissipated and the couple sat close together on the couch yet strangely did not touch one another in any fashion for a moment or two as the five boys quietly chatted about nothing in particular. Also indicative of trouble was the simple fact that Wufei had reverted to calling Trowa by his full name instead of any of the usual little endearments or nicknames he had for the slender teen. For his own part, though, the emerald-eyed pilot was happy that his love hadn't gone back to calling him "Barton" and Trowa would take any small favors fate would grant him at that point.

Duo frowned as he noted these changes and was wondering if more drama had occurred that would require resolution when he saw Wufei reach out to take Trowa's hand into his own. Surprisingly, the taller teen almost flinched away from the touch, but allowed it with a worried glance at his partner.

As the American teen pondered if intervention of some sort was needed, Wufei sighed quietly and leaned his head against Trowa's shoulder, again eliciting the look of discomfort and Duo snorted angrily as he arrived at a decision.

"Hey, Tro?" Duo asked with feigned nonchalance. "Could you give me a hand with something upstairs, dude?"

"Huh?" The emerald-eyed teen responded in confusion as he felt Wufei's head come off of his shoulder and his hand being released to allow him to go unimpeded. Despite his earlier fears, the taller teen immediately missed the warmth of contact from his beloved dragon.

"I, uh, I guess so, Duo. What do you need?" He glanced back at his koi, but Wufei's eyes had regained the distant, closed look that had been present when they'd come downstairs in the first place and Trowa's heart sank again.

"I thought we should try to get that door back on its hinges, wanna help?" Duo asked, standing and stretching casually trying to conceal his agitated state.

Trowa's eyes dropped as he assumed this was part of making up for the horrible mistake he had made that morning and rose to his feet looking rather like a prisoner going to face judgement. "No problem, Duo. Um, I'll be right back, okay, Fei-kun?"

"Certainly, Trowa," Wufei smiled half-heartedly at him but then asked in a voice laced with mild confusion, "Why was the door taken off of its hinges anyway? I wondered about that when we went to our room so I could get my clothes."

"The lock was stuck," Quatre offered quickly, then rose to accompany the other two. This was actually true since the lock was "stuck" in that they didn't have a key but beyond this further explanation would have only added salt to the Chinese boy's emotional wounds and nothing was said.

"I see," Wufei remarked, sensing this wasn't a completely honest answer, but unwilling to question it further as the other three teens headed upstairs.

When they were alone, Heero stood and walked over to shorter teen and asked, "What's going on, Wufei? You don't seem like yourself tonight and I know it's been a difficult day. Want to talk about it?"

"No," Wufei answered quietly, "I was asked the same thing by Trowa and, frankly, the last thing that I want to do right now is talk. I would rather not talk about *anything*, Heero, do you know what I mean?" Sorrowful coffee-dark eyes looked into cobalt-blue ones, silently asking for understanding and compassion.

Heero nodded solemnly, "I think that I understand all too well, Wufei. We'll drop this for now but tomorrow, we *will* talk, all right?"

Wufei's eyes lowered and he nodded as he answered in a voice choked with pain, "If you say so. Tomorrow, then."

Heero, unwilling to allow the other boy to continue to feel as if he was truly alone, crouched down and took Wufei's chin carefully in one hand and lifted it until their eyes met. Quietly, he promised, "All five of us can handle this together, Wufei, just give us a chance, all right? Trust your teammates, we won't let you fall."

Startled, Wufei regarded him and then nodded slightly, "All I can say is that we shall see, Heero. You truly have no idea what you are asking, of myself as well as of all of the others."

Onyx eyes sank back down as the feelings of unworthiness which had plagued Wufei since he awoke returned and he added in a defeated tone, "Besides, it is far too late to keep me from 'falling', as you say. I have already fallen and am just now realizing how deep the pit is that I landed in."

Tightening the grasp on the other boy's chin gently, Heero forced Wufei to look at him one more time, saying, "There's no 'pit' so deep that the people who love you can't get you back out of, Wufei. Remember that. The four of us are strong, lean on us, let us help."

"The people who love me?" Wufei asked in puzzlement, "What are you talking about, Heero?"

"Oh, Wufei," Heero shook his head sadly. "Didn't you know that Trowa's not the only one who loves you? We all do, not the same way that Trowa does, of course, but it's love just the same. Filial love, some people call it, brotherly love is what others might say, but Duo, Quatre, and I all feel the same."

"You do?" Wufei asked in astonishment, he hadn't dared to hope for so great a gift.

"Yes. Quatre pointed out to me that we're not just a team anymore, we're a family." Heero kept the slight hold on Wufei's chin as he leaned forward to lightly kiss the smaller boy's forehead as if in benediction, then rocked back onto his heels, offering, "You're strong, too, Wufei, have more faith in yourself."

A hint of rose flushed the Chinese teen's cheeks and he looked with wide-eyed amazement at Heero even as the other teen finally released his gentle grasp. Confused yet hopeful, Wufei ventured, "This is quite a lot to consider, Heero. But if what you say is true I may have to reassess the situation."

"You *know* that it's true, Wufei," Heero asserted confidently, rising to his feet. "Like I said, we won't talk everything through right now. Get some more rest soon and remember that we're all here for you."

Wufei nodded and then settled back onto the couch to await Trowa's return, contemplating what Heero had told him and wondering if even a fraction of it was true.

To be loved was something the Chinese pilot craved as a plant craved the sun, and Trowa's avowals of romantic love amazed him even more now than they had at first. But to be regarded as a brother by the other three pilots was more than Wufei had dared to hope for and he feared it was all too good to be true.

Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.

on to part 13

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