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 22

"What the hell?!" Heero exclaimed as he saw Wufei fall heavily against Trowa, murmuring words the Japanese teen couldn't discern. "What happened?!?" He demanded, moving to stand in front of the painful tableau on the couch.

Despite the agony that Wufei was experiencing, it had at least finally become clear that there would be no outburst of violence from the stricken Chinese boy. Heero allowed his fears of the sudden materialization of a dagger or a gun to evaporate even as he focused exclusively on understanding and containing the sudden changes in the room.

Duo looked up at him with utter sorrow and pain in his violet orbs as he absorbed some of the pain from the two boys he tried to continue to hold close to himself. "It was too much for him, Heero," he answered, his own agony seeping into his voice. "We were right, and admitting it is destroying Wufei!"

"No," Heero stated flatly, even as he gently displaced Duo's arms in favor of his own.

Desperation tinged his words as Heero hissed into Wufei's ear, "I will *not* allow whoever did this to you to have the ultimate victory! Come on, Wufei, you're a warrior! Damn it all, fight like one! Don't let whoever did this win! Fight the bastard!!"

As Heero held the distraught boy tightly to him, Trowa's head came up slowly and there was a look of mixed pain and fury as he regarded him.

In a voice suddenly gone cold and filled with an awesome power, the Mercenary spoke to a kindred spirit, "Face it, Perfect Soldier, the Warrior is gone! He's been destroyed by our search for truth! *We* helped kill him by trying to save him!"

Trowa's own militant persona spoke of the matching aspect that had remained buried within Wufei as the Chinese teen had desperately tried to hold onto the newly emerged gentle soul that he was truly meant to be. Throughout the ordeal after Quatre's attack on the Chinese teen, the Warrior had remained hidden while Wufei had fallen into despair and depression. The forced return of the rape memories, however, was pushing the weakened soul past its limits and Trowa knew it on all levels.

The Mercenary's words were too close to the truth, though, and only the intervention of yet another variant personality saved the situation.

"No," spoke up the quietly commanding Desert Prince as Quatre moved to join the group, slipping onto the couch beside Wufei and cradling him in his arms.

The usually gentle Arabian, noted for apologizing to those he was forced to kill in battle, actively suppressed his own fighting persona, but under the circumstances, he had reached inside to bring him forth. The Desert Prince held a position of authority on the battlefield due to his inherent cunning and insight, and Quatre desperately hoped that combination of characteristics would help now.

"We won't let Warrior go that easily, will we?" The Desert Prince challenged and questioned them all. "He's one of us, we need him and he needs us. Perfect Soldier, Shinigami, Mercenary, we'll all fight for him together, agreed?"

"Agreed!" A number of strangely familiar and yet slightly different voices were raised, each and every one known among the spirits of the numerous dead that had perished by their hands throughout the vicious war between the Gundam pilots and their enemies.

These five young men, each of them unique and individual though they were, all contained within them the seeds of violence necessary to complete the gruesome task fate had demanded of them. But they had each isolated this aspect of themselves from their daily existences to avoid going insane from the pressure of knowing what they had done in the name of peace.

In this one moment of terrible clarity, though, four of the five rose up in defense of the fifth, but the Warrior was beyond their reach and somehow they knew it.

However, once the convergence of purpose had been achieved, the more violent personalities were replaced by their natural ones and each of the boys that now wrapped around one another with an intimacy rarely matched by even the most dedicated of lovers seemed at loose ends.

Seeking an answer and falling back on one already assumed as most helpful, Heero pulled his thoughts together and asked as gently as his anger would allow, "Who did this to him, Trowa? Tell us and let us grant Wufei some measure of peace knowing that he's been avenged!"

In a voice as small and lost as his lover's had been, Trowa answered, "... i have no idea, heero..." He choked as he realized there had been no reaction to the words spoken in the last few minutes. Not even the now painfully familiar drawing away by the Chinese teen was noticed and Trowa was truly terrified that they had gone too far.

Gathering what was left of his internal strength, Trowa spoke in soft pleading tones, "please, fei, tell us, who did this to you? let us do something to make this horrible reality easier for you to live with, dragon."

Silence controlled the room for so long that the slender teen feared his soulmate had indeed been lost to them all in the torrents of pain and suffering that had been unleashed. Yet, finally, in the hushed room a single barely audible word was heard, "...no... "

"What? Wufei, what do you *mean* saying 'no' to this?!" Anguish tinged Quatre's words as he begged for understanding.

The silence in the room was almost overwhelming as Wufei's body shuddered, yet he didn't say anything more, his mind filled with visions and terrors only he could see, fragments of suppressed memories coming into his awareness and threatening to drive him back into the darkness.

"Please, let us in, Wufei!!" The Arabian teen begged unhappily, knowing that their window of opportunity to get answers without destroying the Chinese youth's soul was near its end.

"... i can't tell you... " Wufei gasped, his strength failing as he felt reality slipping through his fingers. He no longer knew the difference between the previously repressed images his mind conjured up to torture him with and what was real in the here and now.

"You can't or you won't?!?" The blond pursued in tortured tones. "Please, Wufei, we don't know how else to help you!"

A soft sigh and a tear-filled voice answered, "... you can't help me ..." he took a shuddering breath and concluded, "...no one can, i'm lost now... there is no hope... not anymore... he's taking it away from me like he's taken everything else... oh, gods... "

As Wufei very nearly passed out from the effort of staying cognizant, Heero insisted, "Tell us who hurt you, Wufei, let us help." He really wanted more information on the implied suicide attempt, but felt there was a need to know this one thing above all else.

A trembled moan carried words that made no sense to the other teens, "... no, it was my own fault... i failed..."

"Rape is *never* the victim's fault," Duo insisted angrily, helpless desperation cutting him deeply as he tried to find something to cling to that might allow them to ransom their friend's soul from the darkness. "What do you mean you failed, Wufei?! Please, we don't understand! Tell us, who did this to you?!?"

On a level none of them understood, it was the commanding air of Duo's voice that pierced the curtain that had covered Wufei's mind and allowed him to finally answer their question.

As he felt awareness slipping from him, Wufei moaned softly, "... khush..." he drew a breath as he finished the name, "...renada.. " Gathering the last power he had, somehow realizing that the others had a desperate need to know, he forced the hated name from his lips, "it was treize khushrenada..."

Envisioning the rape in all of its terror and pain as the questions had been put to him caused the abused boy's mind to dissolve yet again into shards of awareness that slipped away, taking with them far more than anyone might have suspected. Fading into oblivion, Wufei collapsed entirely onto Trowa, a burden the young circus performer gratefully accepted, even as tears continued to pour from deeply troubled green eyes.

"Did you hear that?" Trowa asked softly of the boys gathered around himself and his unconscious lover. Even as agony poured through his own soul, he felt the burning anger growing within himself and the Mercenary growled, "It was Treize Khushrenada that destroyed the Warrior's will to live. What'll we do about that?"

"We'll kill him!" Shinigami snarled.

"We'll destroy him!" Perfect Soldier growled.

"We'll never allow him to hurt our teammate again!" Desert Prince insisted.

"We'll wait," Trowa stated quietly, the Mercenary retreating as quickly as he had appeared knowing that the time for revenge was not yet at hand. Sensing the shift, all of the militant personalities sank back from control, allowing each Gundam pilot to support Trowa and Wufei as best they could in their natural guises.

With infinite sadness, Trowa pulled Wufei's limp body closer to him, cradling the fragile soul who had returned to the void once more. "Nothing happens and no one goes anywhere until we can get Wufei cared for properly. There's too many unanswered questions and we've hurt him too much already."

Duo nodded sorrowfully and moved to help Trowa stand and carry the Chinese teen out of the room leaving behind two frustrated youths who only wanted what was best for their friends but had no idea what that might be at that moment in time.

Sighing deeply, Quatre turned to Heero and offered, "Now we know, don't we? Why is it that this feels worse than not knowing did, Heero?"

"Because the truth often hurts, Quatre," Heero answered, eyes turned towards the stairs. An unpleasant feeling of helplessness overcame the usually strong Wing pilot as he added, "And sometimes an answer only leads to more questions."

"That's for damned sure," Quatre muttered darkly as he wondered how long it might be before Wufei would be able to recover from the startling revelations of the day or if he would simply seal himself off permanently now that his secret was out.

As he considered this, the blond pilot realized that this was a very real possibility and that if it occurred they would undoubtedly lose Trowa as well. But it was too late to undo what had been done and all any of them could do was wait and pray, something the Arabian teen silently did, asking his god to guide them all and to return the shattered boy to awareness soon if at all possible.

No more words were shared as each teen turned inward. Each wondered if he could have claimed to have been better able to face what Wufei had faced and finding they had no way of knowing yet feeling guilty for the relief of not truly needing to.

Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.

End Notes for Part 20-22:

Um, I usually have some light-hearted words to go in the end notes, but not tonight.

These parts were amazingly hard to write and may have been somewhat difficult to read, but this is not the full story of what happened to Wufei. His memories were buried and are coming back to him in bits and pieces, so even though the key issue of the perpetrator's identity has been disclosed, there's more to it, but it will be quite awhile until it is revealed fully. In fact, a few things will remain my evil little secrets until possibly the end of the next book in the arc, but for now rest assured that more details about the assault will be forthcoming in this one after the team gets a chance to recover from this latest turn of events.

By the way, how many folks needed those tissues? Even if no one did, at least I won't get flamed for not telling you in advance.

Tonight I will simply thank those kind souls who went to the trouble of sending their comments on last night's offering directly to my AOL account thereby encouraging me to keep trying to get this done for you on schedule.

A deep bow of humblest thanks goes out to: Hana-chan, Oni-chan, Jan (a spectacular new friend that is going to get a nice long note very soon!), Rubious, Trixie, and Ryoko (who read this all the first time way back in June and surprisingly didn't kill me for it at the time and hopefully won't kill me for it now). Um, my kitten's version of Trowa as the Mercenary might track me down in my sleep, though, so here's hoping he's to busy fighting OZ to take time to read these parts tonight, ne?

Go in peace and remember that where there is life, there is hope!

Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.

on to part 23

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