[Sequel to: "Deadly Secrets" Book 2 of the "Secrets" Arc]
Author: Enigma
Written: September, 2000
Rating: R
Pairings: (1+2) (3+4) (5+S)
Category: Angst, AU, shonen ai
Warnings: Angst, AU, graphic depiction of surgical procedures, shonen ai, sap, OOC
DISCLAIMERS: I don't own any of the Gundam Wing Universe (but I wish I did) or any other anime characters I use here, just the parts of this story and some characters that are new are truly mine [especially the little girl, she's *my* daughter after all!]. Obviously, I also don't own Blue Oyster Cult or the rights to their lyrics. Please don't sue me, it would be like trying to get blood from a rutabaga (bet you thought I'd say 'turnip', right?).
NOTE: Timeframe---after the war has ended and the Gundams were destroyed.

No Time For Secrets
Part 8

Dr. Limone immediately regretted not explaining sooner why Ms. Suzuka had joined them. "I'm very sorry, Mr. Yuy, you have misinterpreted why she has joined us. I'm not prepared to even consider such an option preferring to be more optimistic, not matter how 'slim' as you put it, our chances are! Instead, she is here regarding the possibility of Mr. Maxwell being a heart *recipient* not a donor of any sort at this time."

"However, before I turn this discussion over to her, I must mention there was one other option that would have been useful if the patient's condition was not as critical as it is now. You see, if this condition had been known farther in advance, regeneration techniques could have allowed the construction of a new heart from Mr. Maxwell's own tissues. However, it would have meant delaying the surgical procedure done today which revealed the problem in the first place since open-heart surgery is in and of itself highly taxing on the body's ability to restore itself. Further it would have taken roughly one year to complete because the heart is a complex and precise organ. Obviously, this avenue of treatment is no longer open to us."

Quatre, overcome with grief yet still able to function, regained his earlier air of authority and inquired, "What, if any, financial limitations are there on Duo's treatment? If there is some extremely expensive, yet viable option I wish to hear it. As heir to the Winner Corporation I have extensive resources available and wish to point out that this should *not* be a limiting factor in any way whatsoever."

Heero, caught off guard by the very idea that an option may have gone unmentioned due to cost, threw a brief grateful glance at his friend before returning his glare at the doctor. To Limone's great relief, this break in the tension even lead to Heero resuming his seat.

"No, Mr. Winner, I have not failed to expose any options that were available but cost-prohibitive. I believe everyone in this room wants only one outcome, Mr. Maxwell's return to good health, and I would never refuse to consider all of the options. That said, I come to the final alternative treatment. The most reliable way to overcome this condition is to replace the damaged organ entirely via a heart transplant. This is why I've asked Ms. Suzuzka to join us to discuss this possibility; please allow her to make a few comments before you begin asking questions." Limone was clearly relieved to finally be out of what felt like a rifle's targeting beam that was Heero Yuy's glare.

"Thank you, Dr. Limone. As you are undoubtedly aware, organ transplantation was a technology developed in the late 20th century pre-colony calendar, and is now a highly successful treatment. Unfortunately, to avoid rejection of the foreign organ by the recipient's body, a perfect match must be achieved in a variety of biochemical areas. A global database is maintained listing the needs of all those awaiting an organ as well as those who have prearranged for donation.

One thing that remains unchanged from the earliest days of transplantation is the fact that many people oppose it being standardized and it remains a voluntary act. Many people who would have been willing fail to do so because they have neglected to inform their families or friends while they can and many otherwise viable donors are lost to us." She delicately took a sip of water as she waited for the organ database information to come up on her computer.

"Well, that seems simple enough. How quickly can a new heart be delivered for Duo?" Quatre retained his firm control over his emotions treating the situation as he would a business issue looking for the best way to achieve his goals quickly and efficiently.

"Mr. Winner, I believe? It is not that simple. There are hundreds of thousands of people on Earth already awaiting transplants and all available organs go to the next appropriate recipient in order of record and need. There are others with the same parameters ahead of Mr. Maxwell and it is difficult to predict how soon his name would make it to the top of the list. Now, I know this sounds terribly cruel, but you must remember that there are of groups of concerned friends and family for the others on the list as well. We can't simply 'skip ahead' so to speak based on personal feelings. Neither can any form of monetary issue be raised as this is public policy and not open to negotiation." She added the last firmly to avoid rekindling the issue of cost for fear the intense blond boy across from her would simply offer to buy one outright. This was something Quatre would never even consider, but she didn't know that.

"I assume Duo has been entered onto this list?" Heero spoke sharply, breaking the silence he had held since his earlier outburst of anger.

"Certainly, we added his status and requirements to the list as soon as the condition was deemed beyond repair. Based on standard prioritization and his urgent need, which moved his name substantially higher on the list, his name is now fifth in line for a heart that would be appropriate. Ordinarily this would mean a minimum wait of 3 to 4 weeks unless something unusual were to occur; unfortunately, there is no way to fully predict time of availability and it could easily be 6 to 8 weeks instead. There simply is no way to know." She returned his gaze evenly, having dealt with many distraught family members and she had built strong defenses around herself to avoid becoming emotionally involved in these cases. Situations as grim as those surrounding Duo Maxwell's life were almost never dealt with satisfactorily and most patients died before they ever even had a chance; a poor solution, but the only one that the medical profession could accept ethically.

"Dr. Limone," Heero returned his focus on the surgeon. "You stated he is dying. Exactly how long do you feel Duo's life expectancy is based on what you did in the operating room?" Even if it was not intended as a personal attack, it certainly sounded like one to those gathered at the table. Luckily, Limone was expecting this question.

"Mr. Yuy, I shall be blunt since I'm sure you would prefer the unvarnished truth. As things stand, and presuming he follows a normal recovery path as opposed to post-surgical complications arising, at best Mr. Maxwell has perhaps four days to a week, no more." A death sentence, plain and simple, had just been issued.

Suddenly the room filled with unproductive heated debates over the accuracy of this prediction, whether they had fairly placed Duo's case on the registry, and over the entire issue being moot in the first place. Heero silenced all of it. "Understood. Based on this, it sounds as if a standard donation will not be available soon enough. Therefore, I offer myself as a donor here and now."

Stunned silence echoed through the chamber. Effectively, Heero Yuy had just offered his own life in for exchange for Duo Maxwell's. Such an action of compassionate self-sacrifice in such a cold business-like manner shook even Ms. Suzuka, an amazing thing in and of itself.

The others in the room, however, seemed sad but not surprised. They knew first-hand how many times Heero had placed his life on the line for Duo throughout the war instantaneously and without reservation; what surprised them now was that it appeared he had already been considering the option before he spoke.

"No, Heero," Quatre pleaded. "We know how you feel and each of us would make the same offer in your situation, but this isn't reasonable. Let them at least *try* to find a transplant before you do something which can't be undone."

Both Quatre and Trowa looked adamantly opposed to Heero's suicidal idea; but Trowa would not speak against what he felt was strictly Heero's decision even if he did think it was a mistake.

Wufei stated, "He is correct, Yuy. I'm fully aware of your determination regarding this, but do not take any action until more information is available."

"Please, Heero, think this through more," Sally pleaded as well. "We all know you and we all know how single-minded you are. I'm certain there are numerous ways you could arrange for an appropriate brain death to allow this, but it is too soon. Your offer speaks volumes about your devotion to Duo, but it simply is *not* the best strategic move presently available."

Through her own military training, Sally Po had used the terms able to break through the Soldier's thoughts and stop him cold.

"Hn." In a single non-syllable, Heero acquiesced. "All right. Perhaps now is not the time for action in that form, but I refuse to rule it out unless I am not an acceptable donor." A silent sigh of relief went through the room.

"I shall be glad to input your medical information if you have it with you, Mr. Yuy, and we can know immediately if you are a match. Keep in mind, however, that only a perfect biochemical match will be satisfactory." Ms. Suzuka stated flatly. Quatre's eyes burned with unshed tears as he shook his head silently saying "no" while she input the data disk Heero had brought with him just in case it was needed for other purposes.

After what seemed to be the longest thirty seconds of Heero's life, she responded, "I'm sorry, Mr. Yuy, but you are *not* a match to Mr. Maxwell. Your offer of self-sacrifice is commendable, but it will do no good for him."

"Your death would not save Mr. Maxwell's life.

on to part 9

back to fiction

back to enigma fiction

back home