A Drug Named "Pain"
Sometimes, a person learns things about the one they love in the worst possible ways. And sometimes, what they learn destroys that love.
Almost five days later, Duo was able to maintain consciousness enough to listen to his friends and respond somewhat even though powerful pain killing muscle relaxants kept him nearly motionless. He had been kept heavily sedated as well, but the others had asked that he be allowed to speak with them and he was only lightly sedated for the moment.
Duo lay encased in an abbreviated body cast to prevent any movement of his ribs especially near the location where his lung had been pierced by the first ones that broke when he fell. His lower left arm and hand were also heavily bandaged. Reconstructive surgery had been performed on the wrist, but it was severely damaged. There were stitchesin a variety of places where Heero's blade had sliced deeply, including across his head. The internal injuries from the bullet had been relatively minor to everyone's surprise. If Trowa hadn't stopped him before raping Duo, however, Heero would have undoubtedly done further internal damage, but that had been avoided.
With sunken eyes and torn cheeks, his face showed none of the joy or happiness which had always characterized the young man. The tiny rows of stitches beneath his lower lip were heartbreaking to his friends. They marred the beauty of his features and would leave a permanent reminder of this horror each time Duo looked into the mirror for the rest of his life.
While the physical injuries were devastating, the mental ones were worse.
Quatre stood near a window as Wufei quietly sat beside Duo, guarding him from injuring himself should the need arise. He knew how it felt to be betrayed by the Wing pilot and he clearly recalled his own desires for death at the time, he wouldn't let Duo follow the destructive path he'd almost taken himself.
"Wh-why would he do this?" Duo asked, still having trouble believing his once tender lover had tried to kill him. No one had mentioned the rape attempt since Duo needed to stay focused on healing and they felt he didn't need to know yet.
"We did an analysis of his blood," Quatre remarked to Duo who lay frightened and curled in on himself as best he could despite the bandages. "He had been drugged. But it was a long lasting compound. It's named 'Pain' and had been developed by OZ for their soldiers in an attempt to improve battle performance. When it became obvious it effected the sex drive instead, causing some of their men to become sadistic rapists, however, it had been abandoned and it was presumed destroyed. One thing I will say for Khushrenada, when he takes a zero tolerance of rape stance, he enforces it. Obviously they missed some of the drug."
"B-b-but why?" Duo stuttered softly. "Why did they do this to He---he---?" shuddering, he couldn't force himself to say the name, it hurt too much.
Quatre sadly looked away to gaze out of the window, wishing he wouldn't have to explain anything more. "He was a test subject, Duo. Lady Une didn't want to give up on the drug and felt it was worth testing on him since he has augmented resistance. The files Wufei hacked out of the OZ data base showed he had reacted strongly to the drug. He became a veritable killing machine. Heero killed over 100 OZ soldiers and officers at the facility where he'd been imprisoned before Une had him successfully disabled and removed; they never determined how many of the dead he had raped first, but they were certain it was over a dozen."
The blond winced at the look of fear that crossed Duo's face and was once again relieved that they had withheld that part of the information from his friend. "Their records from the time indicate he was dead when they disposed of him, but obviously it was some form of strange deathlike state, not true death; another weird side-effect of the drug. Why this has been triggered now, we don't know."
Wufei sighed sadly wishing he, too, could spare his friend this added suffering, "I know how, but first Duo deserves the full truth."
Duo turned a questioning gaze on his friend.
A trace of the fury he had felt the day they saved Duo resurfaced, "Heero raped me three months ago. It was strange and terrifying. We were fighting and something happened, he became a different person entirely before he began to assault me. The next day he seemed oddly confused, not even remembering what had happened clearly. I told him and he begged me to kill him for it, he couldn't recall why he'd done what he had, just something I said changed him. The way he begged for death struck me that the best revenge might be forcing him to live knowing what he'd done and hswore never to speak of it again as I demanded. But I never meant for him to fail to seek counseling as he obviously did or this could have been prevented."
Utter contempt was replaced with a look of deep sadness. "But now I know more. My research uncovered the 'trigger' Une had implanted into the test subjects, all that had to be done was for them to hear the word 'pain' three times in a row and it would release the subconscious restraints allowing the killing rage to be expressed. Obviously, the sexual aspect was still present."
"Did you know that Heero had raped Wufei, Duo?" Quatre asked Duo gently. "Did you say anything about 'pain' before this all began?"
"No, I never knew he had done something so horrible to you, Wu. God, I am so sorry, so very sorry," tears sparkled in the frightened violet eyes but he made no effort to wipe them away. "I, well, I might have said something about pain, I just don't remember much except being scared out of my mind," Duo mumbled, the painful memories assaulting him once more. "So, it really *is* my fault, after all, isn't it?"
"No!" Wufei responded forcefully, pulling Duo's chin up and making him look into his eyes. His gaze softened as he beheld the terror he saw and gently stroked away some of the tears, trying to calm his friend. "This is no more your fault than what he did to me was my fault. In fact, though I hate to admit it, it isn't even *his* fault. This is Une's doing. We are all victims here, Duo. That is why it is good we didn't leave him there to die."
"He---he---he's *not* dead?!? Don't let him hurt me!!!" Duo cried out, confused and suddenly terrified. He could have sworn someone had told him that Heero was dead and hearing this caused him to shake violently with fear.
Wufei, however, released his chin and chose instead to pull the broken body into his arms as best he could and gently held Duo close, letting his physical presence reassure him again as it had whenever the fear became too much. "Shh, shh, take it easy, Duo." Wufei gently rocked the sobbing young man in his arms, comforting him. "Heero is not dead, but he will not hurt you, I will protect you. They performed surgery on him and I forced Khushrenada to turn over the formula for an antidote to the drug which caused this. The man also had the courtesy to see to it that Une was executed for violating her orders, but that does us little good now. Heero received the antidote, but he has failed to reawaken from the surgery. He may die yet, we don't know."
Duo trembled as tears poured from his eyes. "I guess I should hope he heals soon, but I don't want to think about seeing him again." He confessed then hurried on to add, "But how will he handle it when he finds out the truth?"
"He handled it badly," Trowa commented, walking into the room and placing a reassuring hand onto Duo's shoulder before he moved his hands up to examine the bandage over the stitches in his scalp. This was the injury he most regretted being unable to stop. It had been a shame to shave so much of the chestnut hair away, but the knife had bitten through to the skull on the American and it was unavoidable to prevent infection.
"What news then?" Quatre asked as his lover finally left the other two in favor of standing with him.
"Heero lives, for now," Trowa looked sad beyond words. "I felt he should know exactly what he did as soon as I was certain he could understand me. That point came today so I told him what he did to Duo and that I shot him to stop him from killing him. He took it hard, as I expected."
"I still think he should die for his crimes." Quatre commented angrily.
"No," Duo spoke softly. "He was under mind control from the drug Une had given him. Let him recover and perhaps then I can face him. I deserve a chance to at least try to face the source of my fears. I don't know if I can after this, but he shouldn't be killed for something he couldn't control unless we can't prevent it from happening again."
"Understood," Wufei commented then smiled grimly. "However, unless we have proof he's no longer a threat to either of us, he will die. I swore to kill him if he hurt you, but I will be lenient for now for your sake, Duo."
Duo's face was a mixture of pain, sorrow, and fear as he simply said, "Thanks, Wu. I don't know how we'll find out, but let me try."
"Hai." Wufei admired his friend's bravery, but wondered if this was going to be more than the American could handle.
On schedule, a nurse arrived with a heavy dose of Demerol and sedatives, sending Duo back into the comfortable darkness for several days. Quatre and Trowa wished Wufei well protecting their injured friends as they left for a mission. Wufei, however, had no intention of doing anything whatsoever about Heero Yuy.
The man could go to hell for all he cared.