Eventually, all five Gundam pilots were gathered around the kitchen table,
drinking coffee and casting odd glances at one another, none of them willing
to start the conversation that was so desperately needed.
Quatre was about to go back to his room to get out of his pajamas when Heero
finally asked bluntly, "Well, Wufei, going to explain what happened this
morning or are you just going to leave us all to guess?"
Slightly ashamed and confused, the Chinese teen looked up and said simply, "I
woke up two hours ago and since I did not wish to disturb anyone, I thought I
would see if I could find a way to get to that observation platform at the
top of the house. Um, what did you call that, Quatre?" Wufei was lying, but
at this point, even he was unaware of it and he was admittedly curious about
the odd structure at the top of the vacation home.
"It's called a 'widow's walk', Wufei," the blond teen offered. "Legend has it
that places like that were where the wives of men lost at sea would pace back
and forth hoping that their husbands might come home to them just the same."
"Strange name," Wufei remarked, then frowned and stated, "I apparently fell
asleep sitting up there, I do not recall every detail and am certain that it
has little real bearing on the matter. However, I do not understand why you
were all so concerned about me. Even now Maxwell continues to give me the
oddest looks and, frankly, Heero, I am surprised that you require an
explanation of my behavior."
"Now just a damned minute!" Duo exclaimed angrily, he'd been trying to calm
down but the defeated look had returned to Wufei's eyes despite his words and
he wasn't about to let the smaller teen slide away from them into his old
shell of brusque arrogance.
Trowa intervened, however, glancing meaningfully at Duo even as he reached
out to take Wufei's hand in his own, holding them together in full view on
the tabletop. "Before a shouting match breaks out, let me explain something.
Fei-kun, we're all worried and I know that you know that, but until things
get worked out, you can't just wander off like that."
"Why not?" Wufei cocked his head in annoyance but didn't try to pull his hand
away. "I am perfectly capable of caring for myself, Tro. I do not need to be
watched over like a child."
"Oh really?" Duo asked sarcastically. "You're so damned good at caring for
yourself that you got yourself a nice little sunburn on purpose?"
"What does *that* have to do with anything?" Wufei demanded, finally angry
enough to pull his hand free of Trowa's grasp and crossing his arms over his
chest, only to find that doing so aggravated the slightly reddened skin that
Duo had mentioned. Simply to protect his pride, he suppressed a desire to
uncross his arms as well as look for some aloe lotion to ease the pain.
"This is stupid!" Quatre finally snapped. "Why are we all dancing around the
truth? Wufei, we feel you need to be 'watched over', as you called it,
because we don't want you to do something we'll all regret."
"I fail to see what you are getting at, Quatre," Almond-shaped dark eyes
narrowed, as Wufei refused to accept this at face value.
"Suicide, Chang," Heero snarled abruptly. "We're worried you might try to
kill yourself with everything that's been going on and we're going to see to
it that you don't get the chance!"
"Heero, you fucking bastard!!" Trowa exclaimed, rising to his feet in anger
and fear. He'd assumed that no one would be quite so blunt and he wondered if
mentioning it might not make the possibility of it occurring greater than it
needed to be. "That's enough! If you wanted to go into *that* topic, it could
have been done in any of a hundred better ways. Come on, Fei, let's get the
hell out of here!"
He reached out to the Chinese teen and then realized that Wufei seemed to
have crumpled in on himself, sitting slumped in his chair, hands in his lap.
A sudden flash of memory brought to mind the game of Risk when Duo had
inadvertently mentioned something about Wufei and the leadership of OZ, a
remark that left the usually strong ShenLong pilot virtually immobile and
unresponsive for a few eerie moments months prior.
Around the table, the others looked shocked at this latest turn of events but
they knew better than to interfere at this point.
What Wufei could never have admitted to himself much less the others was that
suicide was exactly what had been on his mind when he had sought the solitude
of the widow's walk in the first place. In the slow ebb and flow of memories
that were returning to him despite his not wishing them were visions of
several of the Chinese pilot's failed attempts on his own life.
Wufei recalled the dark day off the California coast when he lost the duel
with Treize Khushrenada and he had been mere seconds away from
self-destruction when Trowa's voice on the Gundam communication system called
him back from choosing a watery death. Other points of time when he had felt
defeated beyond his ability to survive also surfaced, yet none compared with
those of the hazy and barely recalled days after he slowly regained awareness
following his escape from Berlin.
Suppressed memories had been awakened by the previous morning's ill-timed
attempt at intimacy with the boy that he loved, yet it would be a few more
painful discussions until most of them were brought to light. However, one
that had sprung back to mind clearly was of Wufei's aborted suicide attempt
when he understood in only the vaguest terms that he had been dishonored and
death seemed the only option.
The Chinese teen had been in Algiers at the time and had obtained a simple
flask of poison with the intention of simply vanishing into the African
continent, never to be seen or heard from again. But fate had intervened and
before he could find a location to end the admittedly unclear sorrow he felt,
there had been a self-appointed rescue mission of a fishing boat in the
Mediterranean Sea. Working with a diverse group of civilians to bring the
seven-man crew home safely and then observing the tender reunions of the
sailors with their families had struck a chord with the young warrior and
Wufei thought of how his own death might cause the other pilots pain. Trowa's
face in mind as he did so, Wufei had poured the deadly liquid onto the
African soil and he had forced himself to keep going.
Sorrow and suicidal intentions had gone hand in hand for the lone survivor of
L-5, and in the early morning hours Wufei had been mentally lost in images of
another coastline and another day. If there had been poison available to him
there in the beach house, the search would have had an entirely different
outcome, yet no one would ever know of it as his disturbed mind once more
sank into confusion and left him unable to respond to those around him.
Forcing himself to calm down, Trowa knelt down next to Wufei's chair and
looked up at the coffee-dark eyes that seemed lost and frightened. Moving
carefully, Trowa gathered the bronze hands into his own and noticed they were
shaking slightly and he felt his heart skip a beat in fear. He knew that they
couldn't afford to have Wufei close himself off again, there were too many
questions that desperately needed answers.
"Koi?" Trowa said softly, "Where are you, dragon? Come back to me. Please,
A subtle shiver ran through Wufei's body and he forced his eyes to lift
enough to meet Trowa's and he asked softly, "what did you just call me, tro?"
Blinking at the change of subject, Trowa answered, "I called you 'dragon',
Fei, is that all right? Did I say something wrong with that?"
Actually, Trowa had said something very right at that moment, the name of
Wufei's clan being a stronger trigger for him than the word "suicide" had
been mere moments before.
Unable to speak as elegantly or as controlled as he usually did, Wufei
answered in a soft, child-like voice, "No, it's okay, I guess. No one's
called me that since I was a child. The other kids teased me saying that I
was just a useless little lizard and nothing like the dragons my clan was
supposedly descended from, but they called me 'dragon' after awhile and I
kinda started to like it. Dragons are large and powerful and I felt so small
and weak all the time, being the only child in a house full of adults."
The other four pilots listened closely to this rare insight into the inner
thoughts and memories of their teammate. If this was what had brought Wufei
back to awareness then there might be clues to the increasingly frustrating
situation they all faced.
"But when it turned out that I was going to be the last child of my clan, it
got worse again. A bride was assigned to me and there was talk of my being
expected to have children with her and I hated all of it. I hated my parents
for dying and leaving me alone. I hated Meiran for being a girl since I
didn't like girls. I hated just about all of it and then before I could stop
it from happening, I was married. I almost got used to that idea, but then
she died and I was suddenly stuck in a mobile suit, killing people and trying
to find the justice in all of it, but I never found any. All I knew then was
that I was the last of the Dragon clan and there wasn't much hope after I saw
them blow up my colony. Everybody I ever knew or loved was dead, so why was I
left alive?" He sighed in pain before adding quietly, "I hated that, too."
Shimmering dark eyes had become unfocused as Wufei had spoken and now tears
slid unnoticed down bronze cheeks until one hit a slightly raw spot in the
new scar tissue and the stinging of salt in the wound roused him from his
reverie. Lifting a trembling hand to wipe away the dampness, he came back to
awareness of where he was and who he was with.
Frightened sloe eyes cast about the room yet found only understanding and
sympathy everywhere Wufei looked. An almost uncontrollable urge to flee ran
through him and he might have done just that if the only person who truly
mattered anymore had failed to reach out to him at that exact moment.
"It's okay, love," Trowa reassured, moving to pull him close, sitting down
and embracing Wufei without regard for the reactions of the others present.
"You're not alone any more, koi. I'm here and I won't leave you. Ever."
"Really?" Wufei asked in honest fear somehow unaware of the fact that he was
sitting in Trowa's lap on a kitchen floor.
The frightened Chinese youth was slowly realizing how thoroughly he'd just
bared his soul and it terrified him to know that these other four young men
now knew at least some of the sorrow he'd carried with him for so long.
None of them truly knew the extent of knowledge the others had of their
backgrounds or histories, and while this information was not the ultimate
secrets that needed to be revealed, this was still unsettling. He watched
Trowa's eyes with growing fear until the answer was spoken.
"My love for you is unconditional and eternal, Chang Wufei." Trowa stated
firmly, truth in every word. "I won't leave you now or in the future. Even
when we have to be in different places, I won't have truly left you. My heart
will remain in your care and I can only pray that someday you'll see that
this is the way it's been far longer than either of us even know."
A tiny nod and a look of hope flickered into Wufei's eyes as he accepted this
gift and answered as best he could, "I love you, too, Trowa Barton, but I am
not as certain as you are of everything. There are things that haunt us both,
do we not need to address them before we pledge ourselves so totally?"
"No." Trowa answered firmly with a sad smile, he knew that some of these
unspoken issues pertained to his own difficult past and he had no intention
of allowing any of that darkness to be brought into the light until his love
was past the point of danger. "That's what unconditional love is all about,
koi. Accepting each other without reservations and without knowing everything
about one another. That's the only kind of love I'm willing to offer, do you
"Of course," Wufei answered shyly, and then sighed as he rest his head onto
Trowa's shoulder and whispered so that only Trowa would hear, "i offer you
the same, do you accept?"
"i accept it and will treasure it always," Trowa answered, pulling him into
an even tighter embrace.
As the couple on the floor sat together, the other three teens beat a hasty
retreat to give them some privacy and to give their own thoughts a chance to
Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.