No Time For Secrets
"NOOOOOOO!!!" Screaming, Heero sat bolt upright in the emergency room bed he had slept upon. His breath was ragged in his
chest, a burning pain suffused his eyes, he could feel his heartbeat racing like a runaway horse; in short, he was still gripped by terror.
Medical personnel ran into his room. They tried to calm him but he still mentally struggled fiercely trying to separate his mind from the
horrors of the dream from the blank whiteness that surrounded him. While his mind was in torment, his body remained frozen and
"What's going on?" Demanded Joe Asakura, his doctor, who looked as exhausted as Heero felt.
"We don't know, sir," a young medical student was trying to get a pulse rate from Heero's wrist and failing. "We heard screams and ran
in here to find him like this. It's as if he is lost in his mind, he doesn't seem to hear us."
"All right," Asakura stated, "let me take over here. Mr. Yuy, listen to me, can you answer me?"
"Heero, do you know where you are? Can you remember why you are here? Heero, please don't retreat into your mind like this."
Asakura rubbed a weary hand over his tired eyes. He tried again. "Heero, Duo needs you to wake up. Do you understand? Duo
Asakura smiled slightly and took Heero's wrist into his hands, trying to get a pulse rate and reassure the young man at the same time.
"Heero, are you all right?"
"Nani? Where am I?" Heero's face showed confusion as the drugs still in his system continued to blur the lines between wakefulness and
"You're in the hospital, Heero. Remember? You're safe here, your friends are in the waiting room on the surgical floor waiting for Duo to
get out of the operating room. Do you recall what happened?" Dr. Asakura almost wished the boy wouldn't remember quite *all* of
what had happened, but it was critical to make sure Heero had not suffered an adverse reaction to the massive amounts of sedatives
they had been forced to use due to his augmented bodily systems.
"Ne? If Duo isn't here, then why am I? I should be with him, not laying around here. At least," Heero's eyes seemed hazy, confused. "I
*think* I should be with Duo, shouldn't I?"
Asakura gently shook his head, "No, Heero, you can't be with him now. He's still in surgery; I haven't heard how it's going, but I'm sure
it's going fine. It's a fairly standard procedure." He glanced at his watch, then frowned.
Heero's mind snapped into full awareness at the look on the doctor's face. "What is it? Something's wrong, isn't it? Tell me!"
"Um, I'm not sure if anything's wrong, Heero. I just lost track of the time, that's all," the doctor lied knowing full well that telling him it
was at least two hours past when the surgery should have been completed would not help the situation. Smiling, he added, "I was
supposed to meet my fiancée for a break and forgot. Let me go apologize to her and I'll check on *your* fiancé at the same time,
"Oh, that's all," Heero visibly relaxed failing to detect the lie hidden behind the doctor's statement. For some reason, the long auburn hair
hanging around the doctor's neck reminded him of a certain chestnut braid and his mind soothed itself thinking about the feel of that
chestnut hair flowing over his skin.
"I'll be back in a bit, Mr. Yuy," Asakura smiled getting up.
Heero pulled his wandering thoughts back in and with the speed of a cobra's strike, he grasped the doctor's arm as he was releasing
Heero's wrist. "Call me Heero, that 'Mr. Yuy' stuff is getting old. Just let me know how Duo's doing when you get back, okay?"
"No problem, Heero. And, to tell you the truth, I'm pretty sick of 'Dr. Asakura', just call me Joe, okay?" The smile was genuine, though
a bit strained, as Joe Asakura rubbed his throbbing wrist where Heero had grabbed him.
Heero didn't notice the look of fear behind Joe's eyes as he lay back down against the pillows, "Sure, Joe. That does seem a little better
for some reason. Say hello to Mitsu-sama for me and I'll look forward to hearing about Duo soon."
"Right, Heero. Back in a while." Joe left the room regretting lying to a patient, but it seemed the only thing he could do. How was he
supposed to say anything when all he knew was that the surgery was taking too long which was always a bad sign?
"So," Dr. Limone said to the face in the vidscreen, "Hans, you haven't got any suggestions regarding how to treat such an advanced case
"Sorry, Kazuya, but no. I've never seen anyone live through puberty with that condition. I'd say the boy's best chance would be a
transplant, either an auto-regenerated heart, that would take about a year to construct, or getting one from a donor. From what you've
told me, I don't think he's got a year to wait on a regenerated, but the waiting list for donors is so long I doubt you could keep him alive
long enough to get one." Hans looked sorrowfully at his old friend, knowing he had just issued the equivalent of a death sentence to a
patient his friend seemed quite concerned about.
Limone scratched his head, feeling frustrated. Such a promising young life to be snuffed out by a one in a million medical oddity; an
oddity even his own extensive experience couldn't handle. "You're right, Hans. The lad had no immediate family, but he got engaged
right before he went into surgery. I guess I'm going to have to break the bad news to his fiancé as well as his friends who are waiting for
"Fiancé? You mean you had someone get engaged in your ER?" Hans was chuckling softly at the amusing image that brought to mind.
"Well, I didn't see the whole thing, but apparently he had been asked earlier today and went into cardiac arrest before he could answer.
We pulled him back from a second arrest before he actually got to tell his lover the answer was 'yes'. I feel for his fiancé, though. To
have the love of your life agree to marry you and then find out he's dying on the same day seems like a terrible twist of fate." Limone
heaved a sigh then added, "I think we'll have to patch up the deteriorating muscle tissue on the heart as best we can and just close him
up. Getting a donor is almost impossible, but maybe we can keep him alive and comfortable for a while. Probably not long enough for
the sutures to even heal, though. What a shame."
"Yes, old friend, it is a shame. But do not blame yourself, remember, you have saved so many other lives. Losing this patient seems to
be an unavoidable tragedy even with your considerable skills. Do not dwell on it too long, Kazuya. Auf weidersehn." Hans smiled sadly
for his friend's plight.
"You're right of course, Hans. It's never easy when the odds are stacked so badly against us. Be well. Sayonara." And with that, Limone
turned off the connection to New Geneva, mentally preparing himself to face the young man laying in the ER whose entire world was
about to collapse. Sometimes he hated his job.
"Dr. Po, calling for Dr. Asakura, line 9," the speaker announced.
Sighing, Joe got up to answer the call from Heero's friend, wondering what he would say to her. There had been no response to his
request for a status check on Duo Maxwell from surgery.
"Hello, Sally," Joe said into the vidscreen, his face lined with worry and pain.
"My, *Joe*! Aren't you informal all of a sudden!" Sally smiled thinking this meant good news. "So, what's the good word?"
"Sorry, I don't have *any* word on Mr. Maxwell." Joe shook his head in frustration with the entire situation. "Aw, to hell with it! Oops,
pardon my English, it's been a long day and I feel like an old man! I told Heero a few minutes ago I was sick of all the formal titles and
shit. I can't get any word on how Duo's operation is coming," he raked a hand through his long auburn hair, looking fairly upset.
"Heero's awake?" Sally asked incredulously. "I thought you pumped him full of sedatives and he'd be out for hours past this. He's why I
was calling anyway."
"Oh, really? Well, he's awake. If his friends wanted to see him they can come back down. But before they do, I need to tell you
something strictly between you and me, okay?" He didn't look too certain about whatever was bothering him.
Sally knew that look all too well from her days in the military. "You have bad news, don't you, Joe? Go ahead and tell me, I wont tell the
guys. If there's something I need to know, I'd rather hear it from you privately anyway. That way I'll be ready to handle at least some of
the questions that will definitely come up."
"Right. Well, according to the original schedule, Duo should have been out of surgery several hours ago. But when I called for a status
report I was told he was still in the OR and they'd have to call back with a status report later. My gut tells me something's gone wrong,
but hell if I know what." Joe looked annoyed and defeated at the same time.
"Oh, no," Sally sighed her graceful features lined by pain. "One of his friends said there was something wrong, too. Apparently the kid is
psychically linked with Duo and there's some kind of message coming through that Duo is dying."
"Oh, gods, no. If that's true, I don't think I'll be able to control things here. Heero woke up because of some nightmare along the same
lines." Joe just shook his head wondering what to do now. "Frankly, I think hearing *that* would push Heero over the edge and there's
no way to tell what would happen then."
"Yeah, Joe, I agree. I'll find a way to keep them from saying anything too direct to Heero, but it would probably be good if his friends
were with him if there is bad news. He may not look it, but that kid can be deadly if he loses control; I've seen it happen. You don't
want that." Sally felt the first waves of agony spill over her just thinking what this was going to bring about if it really did go terribly
"Actually," Joe said sardonically, "I've already experienced what Heero can do when he isn't thinking." He lifted a heavily bandaged arm
to the vidscreen.
"How'd that happen?" Sally asked with a tinge of morbid fascination.
"The kid just grabbed my wrist to ask me something and broke two bones without even noticing, that's all." Then Joe laughed, "The guys
in radiology thought it was pretty funny, too. Their best line was 'physician heal thyself' and all that nonsense!"
"Oh boy," Sally let out a deep breath, she would have laughed too, but this was serious. "Joe, I hate to say it, but you may have gotten
off lucky. If this really hits the fan, even his friends may not be able to control him. Get a few major tranquilizer guns ready just in case.
The screen went blank. Joe would have laughed if it weren't so damned sad. When administration heard what had happened to him,
they'd sent down armed guards already. Joe asked for them to skip the live ammunition in favor of only tranquilizers, but now he was
ready to reconsider; they just might be needed after all.