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 21

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 beside him.

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 now.

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 to us?"

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 solemnly.

"All right, Wufei," Heero said, "Could you explain what happened yesterday morning?"

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 I?"

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 his being.

"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 and failed.

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 happened?"

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, no..."

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 violet-indigo eyes.

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 thoroughly.

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.

on to part 22

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