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 24

Duo was surprised to see a light on under the door to the bedroom that Trowa and Wufei were sharing. He'd expected it to be dark, but he hoped it might mean something had changed for the better and they all desperately needed an improvement in things at that point.

After knocking quietly, Duo heard a voice softly call out, "Come in," and he opened the door and stepped in. What he saw, however, was not terribly hopeful.

Sitting on the bed in the exact same spot he'd been in for hours on end, Trowa Barton looked up at the American boy with a forlorn expression of utter defeat. Emerald eyes gazed at Duo in the pale light of the bedside lamp then turned away to rest on the motionless body on the bed beside him. With a sad sigh, Trowa brushed one hand across Wufei's forehead, easing a tendril of loose black hair back over one delicate ear.

"Dragon?" Trowa said softly, "Duo's here again to see how you're doing. Feel like talking to him, koi?"

The Chinese youth hadn't shown signs of awakening since the morning's tragic discussion, but it made Trowa feel a little better to at least speak to Wufei as if he was awake much as he had "talked" to him in his mind during the mission to the OZ base. There was, of course, no answer and the entire scene broke Duo's heart a little more.

"May I come in, Tro?" Duo finally asked.

"Of course," the sad youth turned his attention towards the braided boy as Duo sat on the edge of the bed. "I'm afraid Fei's not ready to talk to anyone yet, Duo. I'm sorry."

Reaching one hand out to caress Trowa's cheek gently, Duo nodded, "It's okay, Tro, I understand. Wu just needs some time, Tro. You'll see, it'll be okay."

"No, it won't, Duo," Trowa's eyes sank down to where the other boy lay silently oblivious of the world. "Nothing will be 'okay' ever again, and it's all my fault."

Duo was baffled by this comment, "That's not right, Tro, what're you talking about? None of this is your fault."

"Yes, it is," the slender teen insisted, pulling his eyes free of the boy beside him and turning his attention back to Duo. With utmost self-loathing, he commented acidly, "I should've known he was too weak to face us this morning. I should've stopped you. I should've never let anyone hurt him that way. It *is* my fault, I've failed him again, he deserves better."

"Bullshit," Duo chastised gently, "We're *all* responsible for this to an extent, but frankly that doesn't matter. Ultimately, this is only one man's fault and we *both* know it. Cut yourself some slack."

There was an understanding between them all that speaking Khushrenada's name around Wufei was taboo, but Trowa knew exactly what Duo was saying all the same.

Trowa's eyes glimmered with anger briefly then the light within them faded again and his gaze became unfocused and he seemed to stare at nothing as he spoke. "It may have been his fault at first, but it's mine now. I reawakened all those horrible memories. If I'd never gotten close to Fei he'd be fine right now. He doesn't need me around to make his life worse than it already is."

Stunned at the overwhelming pain he was hearing, Duo failed to cut off the self-destructive ramblings before they got too out of control. The tension of two hellish days in a row was interfering with the American's usual abilities to cope and the opportunity to stop the verbal blood-letting came and went all too quickly.

Trowa continued speaking as if he were alone in the room. "I'm going to stay long enough to make sure that he comes out of this and then I'm going back to space. I've got no more place piloting HeavyArms than I do sitting next to him right now. I only bring pain and suffering wherever I am and that's got to end."

"Enough!" Duo finally exclaimed, rising angrily and grabbing Trowa by the arm, pulling ineffectually on it, trying to get the other boy to snap out of his twisted thought patterns. "Stand up, Trowa!"

Stubbornly, the other boy stayed in place and glanced at him with dead eyes. "My name's not 'Trowa Barton', you know. Never was. I never even had a name to start with."

"Fuck this!!" Duo exclaimed angrily, and hauled the lanky teen out of the bed bodily and shoved him out of the bedroom door roughly, closing the door behind them since even unconscious, Wufei didn't need to hear the scene that was unfolding.

Slamming him into a wall, Duo glared at Trowa and shouted, "What the hell is wrong with you?! Are you out of your mind?!? What's this crap you're spewing about giving up on everything, *Barton*?!? And, yeah, I know you weren't born with that name, but I don't give a shit!! I wasn't born with mine, but who the hell cares?!?"

"What's going on?!?" Heero demanded, dashing up the stairs two at a time. "Duo?! What's happened?"

"This asshole's gone crazy," Duo snarled, refusing to back-off from where he still held the taller teen pinned against the wall, turtleneck balled into his fists, holding the other boy upright and forcing him to face him, green eyes dull and unfocused.

"Is this true, Barton?" Heero demanded, not interfering with his lover's actions.

Eyes still unfocused and emotionless, Trowa said nothing.

Fury giving way to frustration, Duo was about to slap Trowa in the hopes that pain might bring him to his senses, but the bruise from where Heero had punched the taller teen the day before caught his eye and Duo stopped his hand before contact was made.

"I have no fucking clue what's going on," Duo finally stated and looked from Trowa over to Heero and back. "You're confusing the hell out of me, Tro, and if you aren't going nuts then maybe I am."

"Talk to me, Duo," Heero urged, uncertain whether to allow the scene to remain unchanged any longer. The stress was getting to all of them and it occurred to the Wing pilot that Duo himself might have lost perspective on the situation. "Tell me more so I can help."

"He's nuts, that's all, Heero!" Duo snapped. "He thinks this is his fault, like he coulda stopped all this shit from happening to Wufei and now he's gonna just take off and leave us on our own."

"Maybe it *is* his fault," Heero said quietly, "Maybe it's *all* our faults. We don't know, but his leaving is only going to make matters worse, I'm sure of that."

"We don't need another headache like this," Duo said, finally releasing his hold on Trowa's shirt and ignoring the taller teen as he turned to go back into the bedroom with Wufei. The American glanced over his shoulder at Heero and remarked bitterly, "Get him out of my sight, Heero. If you can't talk some sense into him, tie him up in the garage or something. I just don't want him around Wu if he's gonna be like this."

"We don't have a garage," Heero remarked with an odd half-smirk even as he turned to look at Trowa. "Am I gonna have to tie you up, Barton? Maybe slap you around a little to make you see reason again? Or is that what you want? Do you think you owe something here? Something you need to pay for in pain or maybe even blood?"

There was finally a reaction from the boy who had stayed leaning against the wall throughout the heated exchange. With a deep sigh, Trowa looked at Heero and said quietly, "Blood is always a good place to start, Heero. I wish you hadn't stopped him."

"I thought as much," Heero remarked sadly. "You know something, Trowa? You're not helping matters much when you try to get Duo to take his frustrations out on you."

"Why not?" Trowa cocked his head and looked at Heero closely. "He needs the release, you both do. And right now, I need the pain."

"No you don't," Heero disagreed. "That didn't work when you got yourself beaten half to death after that mission in Venezuela fell apart and it won't work now. Or did you forget I was there for that one, too? I might've been drunk when you tricked that guy into kicking your ass, but I remember it."

Trowa snorted softly, as he pushed one hand into the pocket of his too-tight jeans, staring at the closed door to the bedroom. "I'm not much of an actor after all, am I, Heero? Most of what I said was true, though, this *is* my fault, you know."

"Maybe. Who knows, Trowa?" Heero sighed deeply, then added, "It doesn't matter in the end. All that counts is patching things back up around here and a fight between you and Duo won't solve anything."

Trowa shrugged, then turned to look at Heero apologetically, "Want me to go let Duo know it was an act?"

"Nah," the Japanese teen smirked at him, "He knows. What did you think that remark about tying you up in the garage was about?"

"Hn," Trowa snorted softly and started to walk towards the spiral staircase to the widow's walk. "Good point. I think I'll get some air, then. Let me know if anything changes."

"Sure," Heero nodded then put one hand out and stopped him from walking away, "Hold it. Let me have your dagger before you go anywhere. You get a little too casual with that thing when you're in one of these moods."

Trowa cast an odd look at him and pulled up both sleeves as well as the ankles of his jeans to show it wasn't on his person, "My blade is in my duffel bag, Heero, and you know I'm not a cutter. Why ask for that now?"

Heero shook his head in annoyance, "I know you don't cut yourself on purpose, Trowa, it's just that at times like this even *I* get a bit paranoid."

"Oh really?" Trowa commented dryly as he opened the door to leave, "See what I mean? You need the release. Let me know if you want to spar a few rounds or something later or you might be the one Duo's accusing of being nuts before too awfully long."

As the door closed behind the green-eyed youth, it was all Heero could do to keep from following him to take him up on the offer of a workout. Trowa's methods might have been entirely questionable but his observations were correct. The tension in the beach house was rising and if something didn't happen soon to break it, there was no way to predict what might go wrong next.

Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.

on to part 25

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