The Gundam pilots filed into the room, conversations dropping away since they
all knew that something crucial was about to occur, at least, they rather
hoped it would. But Heero was right, if Wufei truly refused to cooperate,
there would be no resolution for them at this point.
Duo felt satisfied with the seating arrangements as Wufei and Trowa
automatically sat together on the couch, the Chinese teen sitting in the
middle of it and looking rather lost until his protective lover sat down
Heero took the chair closer to the front door, Duo sat in the chair in the
middle, and Quatre sat on the side nearer to the glass door to the deck.
Effectively surrounded, Wufei had little chance of avoiding their scrutiny
Feeling a bit uneasy, Wufei glanced at each of his friends one at a time
wondering just what, exactly, they thought they knew and whether or not he
could handle it. He'd asked Trowa about it as he'd dressed after his shower,
but all the taller teen would say was that it was serious and it would be
best if he waited and let the others ask what they felt they needed to ask.
Nervous, Wufei slid his left hand into the cuff of his right sleeve and
adjusted one of the wristbands he'd slipped back on for the first time in
weeks, fidgeting with it unconsciously.
When he'd first gone to join the other four pilots prior to the ill-fated
sabotage mission that had taken Heero, Duo, and Trowa away from the
three-bedroom safehouse, Wufei had made a deliberate decision to leave the
wristbands off for awhile.
The two wide black bands tended to remind the ShenLong pilot of his duty as a
force for peace and justice, a role that weighed heavily on his mind at
times. Placing them back on along with the traditional silks and tight tail
in his hair was part of his retreat into the behavior patterns that he had
hidden behind for so many years. Wufei's efforts to protect his own
intrinsically gentle soul from the pain of war had resulted in his reputation
for being cold and arrogant, when all the while he was actually deeply
affected by those around him.
Sometimes the effort to pretend to not care as much as he did had stung far
worse than Wufei had expected it might, but at the time he'd worked hard to
maintain the mask he now struggled to attempt to use once more. The Chinese
boy's efforts at distancing himself, however, weren't doing him much good.
Watchful violet eyes had taken in the changes in his friend and Duo was
already wondering if there was any way at all to keep the barriers from being
erected as strongly as they had been the entire time they'd known the
currently frightened youth.
Luckily for all involved, Trowa was well aware of what was going on and moved
to gently pull Wufei's hand free of the distraction of the wristband as he
intertwined their fingers holding them comfortingly between their warm bodies
on the couch. Startled, Wufei looked up and Trowa smiled at him, wordlessly
reassuring him that no matter what happened, the dark-eyed teen was not alone.
Clearing his throat nervously, Quatre glanced around the room and asked with
a shrug, "Um, how are we supposed to do this, Heero? Sitting around staring
at each other gets us nowhere."
"True." The Japanese teen glanced back at him and then looked straight at
Wufei, asking, "Before we start, Wufei, is there anything you wanted to say
Titling his head in a poor imitation of his old obnoxious style, the smaller
boy attempted to glare back and said sarcastically, "No, your honor, until I
know what crime I stand accused of, I have no plea to enter."
"Very funny, Wu," Duo commented not unkindly. "Relax, buddy, you're among
friends. I think what Heero was trying to say in his usual
oh-so-straight-forward way was if you wanted to tell us anything, anything at
all, you should go ahead. I know we're all kind of uptight right now and
maybe this is a good time for anyone who feels like they've got something to
say to just say it, I dunno." He glanced around the room inviting them all to
speak up if they cared to do so.
Surprisingly, it was Trowa who took the braided boy up on his offer. "Then
I've got something to say, Duo. In case I forgot to mention it before,
thanks, guys, for helping me when Wufei was missing this morning."
Confused, the boy's lover turned towards him and asked, "Nani? Angel, you
mean that you started all that nonsense?"
"Yes, I did," Trowa admitted smoothly, "and I'd do it again if I had to. You
are very important to me and when I had no idea where you were, I reacted
badly to it and they all picked up on it from me. I'm glad we found you when
we did, ..."
Trowa was cut off as he was about to go further into the morning's incident
than Duo felt would be best and the braided boy interjected playfully, "Or,
if you'd been allowed to stay up there sunbathing, you'd be as red as a
lobster by now! By the way, Wu, how's the sunburn? You get some spray on it?"
Successfully distracted, a small smile crossed Wufei's lips as he allowed the
more gentle nature to reemerge and he nodded, "Yes, Tro was kind enough to
locate some for me. It is much better now, thank you, Duo."
"Fair enough," Heero cut in, a grateful smile shot at his lover before he
took control of the conversation once more. "Wufei, obviously there's some
things going on that require explanation and we can't function as a team
without dealing with them. Now, I don't mean to make this sound like you're
the only one here with secrets and areas of their lives that need to be
examined, we all carry histories we aren't that thrilled with."
The Japanese teen glanced around the room meaningfully but only Trowa
reacted, emerald eyes sinking down guiltily for the briefest moment,
something that was noted by at least one other person before Heero continued.
"But most of what's happened in the last few days seems to revolve around you
and we're here to get to the bottom of it."
"Get to the bottom of what, Yuy?" Wufei asked, voice already tired. He felt
certain that he didn't want to confront this but knew he had no choice at the
moment. Resigned, he added in a less confrontational tone, "Speak your mind,
Heero, I shall endeavor to answer your questions."
A gentle squeeze of his hand caused Wufei to look up into warm, caring green
eyes as Trowa tried to encourage and support him without interfering. An
answering squeeze assured the taller teen that the message was received and
both boys turned to face the Wing pilot who had watched the silent exchange
"All right, Wufei," Heero said, "Could you explain what happened yesterday
Prepared for this question, Wufei shrugged and said simply, "A private
misunderstanding between Tro and myself led me to have what I can only
presume was a panic attack, Heero. I apologized for any inconvenience I may
have caused last night. I think we should drop the matter now, unless of
course you wish to hear me say that I am sorry again?" Sarcasm dripped from
Wufei's voice as he tried to prevent any further discussion of this topic, a
faint hope, but it was all he had to combat the painful truth.
"Not so fast, Wu!" Duo spoke up quickly, "I thought you just said you'd try
to answer the questions, not dance around them!"
"Who is trying to 'dance around' anything, Maxwell?" Wufei said, crossing his
arms stubbornly over his chest, "I believe that my answer is the honest
truth, take it or leave it."
As Duo fumbled for a way to confront this without calling his friend a liar
to his face, Quatre interjected quietly, "Wait, Wufei. That was *not* a panic
attack by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe you've never seen one before,
but even at their worst, most panic attacks don't push a person into shock."
"I didn't go into shock, Quatre," Wufei said and then looked worried, "Or did
As fear entered Wufei's mind, his usual control over his speaking patterns
began to slip and his words became more casual than what he was comfortable
with ordinarily. When he was injured, worried, or frightened, he tended to
allow what he considered verbal sloppiness into his voice, using contractions
and speaking more colloquially.
Trowa noted the change immediately, but remained silent about it, not wishing
to distract from the issue at hand. The slender teen was beginning to feel
desperate for the truth to come out even as he feared it with every fiber of
"You did, koi," Trowa said sadly, "I thought you understood that. You went
into that weird sleep for hours on end and when you came out of it, you were
dazed and confused. It was shock, all right."
"Kuso," Wufei cursed softly, "I had no idea." He looked down and noticed that
his hands had begun to tremble slightly as fragmented memories of the
previous morning tried to surface in his mind and he tried to push them aside
Trowa had noticed this newest sign of distress as well and looked up in
concern as some of the color drained out of Wufei's cheeks. He considered
putting an end to the discussion entirely, but knew it would only get harder
if they let it wait.
Taking a deep breath, Trowa forced himself to repeat Heero's question, "Fei,
please, can you explain what happened yesterday morning to me at least? I
need to know why you ran from me, why you shut down entirely rather than face
whatever it was you were experiencing."
Unexpectedly, a sheen of moisture crept into sloe eyes as Wufei shook his
head, trying to refuse to answer, yet knowing that if Trowa asked him this
pointblank, there was no way to avoid telling the truth sooner or later.
Blinking back the tears and refusing to let them fall, Wufei took a breath
and answered quietly, "I'd rather not say, angel, please don't force me."
Wufei's choice of words sent feelings of guilt and shame through his lover,
but there was no stopping now.
Clearing the lump that had formed in his throat, Trowa tried again, "I'm
sorry, koi, if it hurts, but we must know the truth. Something horrible
happened yesterday and if we don't cope with it, there's a chance it'll
happen again and I don't want to give it a chance."
"If you really must know," the Chinese boy seemed to retreat into himself,
wrapping his arms around himself and shrinking down before he said quietly,
"someone hurt me once, someone hurt me rather badly, and what we were doing
reminded me of it and I panicked. I'm so sorry, I should've told you sooner."
Eyes closed and head bowed, Wufei truly felt he had answered them as fully as
he could and it was all he could do to regulate his breathing even as a
single tear slid free and coursed down one bronze cheek without apology.
Duo rose and moved to kneel before his smaller friend, looking first at Trowa
for permission before placing his hands onto Wufei's and rubbing his thumbs
across the backs of them reassuringly as he asked, "How did they hurt you,
Wu? What did someone do to you to make you react like that?"
Shaking his head as the tears began to flow in earnest, the sorrowful boy was
unable to answer and Wufei remained silent.
Feeling as if this was more difficult than anything he'd ever done before,
Duo choked back the pain as he forced himself to say, "Wufei, please, we all
love you and care about you, but you've got to tell us the truth here, babe.
When you say that someone hurt you, do you mean you were raped? Is that what
Dark eyes flew open as words that Wufei hadn't allowed himself to think for
months hit him full force and if he'd had the strength, he would indeed have
fled the room as Duo had feared he might. Color drained from his face as the
relentless flow of tears continued and he denied the memories that assaulted
him suddenly, "No, oh gods.. no..."
In a voice as small and as lost as a child dying in the raging waters of a
torrential flood, Wufei begged as he slumped forward into a shuddering heap,
"... no..." He gasped for breath before adding, "...please... no, not that... please,
Stricken, Trowa moved to gather the sobbing boy into his arms, holding Wufei
close and reassuring him with words of comfort and avowals of love even as he
stared helplessly at the boy on the floor who looked back with pained
Hating himself yet knowing he'd only done what they had all believed was
needed most, Duo glanced back at Quatre and was not surprised to see the
blond head down as he quietly cried, sharing the painful moment of truth too
Duo felt worse for this but then moved his eyes to Heero and was shocked to
see that the Japanese teen also looked to be near the verge of an emotional
reaction he'd rarely seen outside the privacy of their bedroom or the cockpit
of the Wing Gundam. The usually strong teen seemed to be wrestling with his
own needs to express his sorrow, yet as the American looked at his lover,
Duo, too, realized that tears were on his own face.
Dashing the wetness away angrily, Duo forced himself to turn back to the
couple on the couch and he moved to embrace them both. "Shh, shh, it's gonna
be okay. Wu, Tro, come on, guys, it's gonna be okay."
Misty emeralds raised and looked at him, silently telling the concerned youth
that, no, it was not going to be "okay", as Trowa felt the boy he loved begin
to crumble and very nearly shatter as Wufei had done the day before.
Trowa pulled his love tighter and caressed his shivering body adding his own
words of hope and comfort, "Fei? Dragon? Please, don't leave me again, stay
here, now. I know it hurts, but stay, please, I'm begging you."
Quaking and barely able to speak, Wufei tried to say that he would try, but
every moment that passed allowed the words and memories to replay in his
mind. He finally gave in to the agony fully and said in a breathless voice,
"... it's true... it's all true... i'm filthy... i let him touch me... i'm worthless...
i tried so hard to pretend it never happened... "
"You are *not* filthy *or* worthless!" Trowa asserted as strongly as his own
pain would allow. "I love you and this won't change that!"
".. it should.. " Wufei moaned quietly, as he spoke the hated truth for the
first time, "... after he raped me, i wanted to die... i tried to die... i only
wish i'd succeeded... "
"You what?!" Trowa gasped, frightened green eyes coming wide open as a new
horror was revealed and everything changed for the worse.
Suddenly, Wufei collapsed in Trowa's arms, unable to answer as what seemed
like every tear his body held flowed from him in a river of anguish.
Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.