Racing With Secrets
More than a little nervous, Trowa Barton approached room 222 hoping to find his missing mate. He carried a bunch of daisies he'd
bought from the "Auto-Floral" machine, but if they were for Quatre or Laurel, he wasn't exactly sure. Both needed more understanding
from him and he needed it himself. The room was dark as he peered in.
A whisper caught his attention, "Trowa-daddy, shhh. Quatre-daddy is sleeping." Laurel, wide awake with the tracks from her tears
barely visible in the darkness, nodded at the prone form laying on the other bed.
Trowa walked over to her bedside. "This is a lovely room, Laurel. Are you feeling better?" He, too, whispered, not wishing to wake
"I don't think so," she answered puzzled. "They stuck this needle thing in my arm and said I'd feel better really soon, but I don't. I didn't
want to wake up Quatre-daddy, he's so tired and he hurts inside. It's nice you brought him some flowers, he'll like them." She smiled
sweetly making the decision for him.
"What makes you think they aren't for you?" He just had to know, was it the precognition again or what? This child's abilities constantly
"Silly, of course they are for him! You love him, don't you? And he's so worried about everything. The flowers will make him feel better
and then maybe he will be happy again. Why isn't he happy? I know he's worried about Mr. Duo and me, but something else is wrong,
isn't it?" Her ice-blue eyes seemed to look straight into his soul refusing lies or evasion.
"Well, Laurel, there are some things going on that are hard to explain, but we are all worried about Heero. He's doing something very
dangerous and we wish we could help him, but we can't." Trowa paused, glancing over at his lover still motionless on the bed.
"I know," she answered sadly. "Just be patient a little longer, please? Mr. Heero will be okay, I promise. Oh! I needed to warn
someone that he was going to be very sick when he first comes back, but then he'll be okay. I almost forgot. But I just saw Mr. Duo in a
dream again. He wasn't all cut up anymore, he was all dressed in black and seemed really sad. He said he had to leave, you know, die?
But I told him not to, that Mr. Heero was coming soon. There's something wrong with Mr. Duo, but I don't know what it is." She
looked up searchingly.
Trowa felt a strange twinge. Did he love this child or did he fear her ability? Was what she "saw" always the truth? If Duo really was in
trouble, he should leave immediately and go to the CCU and see what needed to be done. He started to leave.
"Don't go yet, please. Mr. Duo said he'd stay awhile longer and he never lies, remember? I think you need to be here, but," she looked
confused again, "I'm not sure why."
She hesitated a moment then forged ahead, "You need to know that Quatre-daddy isn't mad at you; he doesn't even know how you feel
about me anyway. I know what you're worried about and, well, you need to do what's best for you and him." Laurel's eyes brimmed
with tears once more and she looked away so he wouldn't see them. "Sometimes dreams are just dreams, I tell myself. It would be nice
to live with you both, but I'd rather go back to the orphanage than make you unhappy. You've been sad for so very long, Mr. Trowa,
you shouldn't be sad any more, especially not because of me."
Shocked at the sudden change in address from "Daddy" to "Mister" Trowa felt a sense of guilt he hadn't expected. "What are you
talking about, Laurel? I never said---"
"Shh, it's okay. I wont call you 'Trowa-daddy' any more so it wont hurt so much later. But it makes Quatre-daddy happy when I call
him that and I don't want to hurt his feelings by calling him something else. This will be our little secret, okay?" Tears glimmered in her
eyes, but it was clear the child meant every word she was saying.
Trowa, moved by her perceptiveness and honesty, leaned down to kiss her forehead and received a terrible surprise; her skin was hot
to the touch. Way too hot to be healthy. "Laurel, you are a very special person. But we will have to talk about this later. I think you have
a bad fever and I need to get the nurse to come in to help you."
"No," she moaned. "They'll wake up Quatre-daddy! Don't do that, I can keep waiting, really I can. He's so tired, please?"
She knew she was ill and had been waiting?
"I'm sorry, but I think he would be very angry if I didn't." Trowa pushed the nurse call button and went to wake Quatre. He gently
caressed the smaller teen's cheek and called his name. But before Trowa could wake him gently, the nurse was there.
"What's wrong?" the nurse asked loudly enough to startle Quatre into full wakefulness. He blinked a bit, feeling displaced then looked up
at Trowa who smiled reassuringly then turned away.
"I believe Laurel is running a fever. I'd estimate it's between 103.0 and 103.7 F." Trowa stood next to the girl holding her hand carefully
to avoid aggravating the injuries from the numerous IVs she'd had.
"Oh, really?" The nurse looked incredulous. "She's had broad spectrum antibiotics and I seriously doubt she's running a fever as high as
you seem to think it is, but I'll check. Here, honey, let me put this in your ear." Startled, the nurse read the thermometer readout aloud,
"103.5F. I don't know how you knew, but this is indeed a dangerously high fever for someone in her condition. I'll go call the doctor and
be back in a bit."
"Trowa?" Quatre asked, trying to untangle himself from the blanket the nurse had put over him hours before. "What's going on? What
happened to Laurel? I knew I shouldn't have fallen asleep!" He added angrily to himself as he was finally free to get over to the girl.
"Sweetheart, when did you start feeling worse? Why didn't you tell me?" He seemed heart-broken that he had let her down.
"Oh, Quatre-daddy," she smiled. "It's not your fault. You were so tired and I didn't want to wake you up. It's my fault, okay? Oh, and
look what Trowa-da---I mean, look what he brought you!" She looked apologetically at Trowa for almost breaking her promise.
Trowa's smile was sad and sweet and Quatre was oblivious as he admired the flowers.
"My these are lovely, Trowa, but shouldn't they be for Laurel? She is the one who is hurt, not me." Quatre was dismayed.
Before Trowa could say anything, Laurel interjected, "I know, Quatre-daddy. But I asked him to give them to you instead since you've
been so worried about me. We can keep them in the room here and share them if you want to." She looked at both men hopefully,
wondering if her little gambit would work.
"Sounds fine to me," Quatre smiled. He put them on the table and Trowa gave the girl a quick wink to let her know she'd done a good
Just then, Dr. Aisha came in. She introduced herself and her associate, Dr. Harry MacDougall who would be taking over soon since
night shift was almost done. Dr. Aisha went straight to Laurel's side reading the chart and talking at the same time. "Now, darling, what's
going on? I see you've had a pretty tough time over the last day or so, but I certainly don't see anything that would indicate a sudden
fever like this."
"Let me take a look," Dr. MacDougall said taking the chart while Dr. Aisha performed a brief physical exam. "Laurel, do you know if
you are allergic to any medicines?"
"No, sir, I don't know. I lost my memory when my parents were killed during the war, and I never got sick much at the orphanage. Is it
important?" She looked bewildered.
"Yes, it is, actually. Dr. Aisha, did you notice which antibiotics were used? A journal article I read recently indicated that this one,
globosporin, has been shown to cause allergic reactions in roughly 15% of the patients which received it. My guess would be this is the
culprit, but blood work needs to be done as well."
Dr. Aisha didn't take too kindly to having this pointed out in front of patients; she made a mental note to remind him to keep this kind of
thing behind closed doors, anything that eroded a patient's trust in their physician could add unnecessary complications later.
"So, what do you do to treat it?" Quatre demanded, rumpled clothes or no, he was still the overprotective father-figure and wasn't about
to let "his little girl" suffer needlessly.
"Don't worry, Mr. Winner," Dr. MacDougall grinned cutting off Aisha again. "We'll have an anti-inflammatory brought in as well as a
nice cooling sponge bath. The little lady may prefer a bit of privacy for that, though, so if you'll leave your location with the nurses' desk,
we'll let you know when she's ready for visitors again." It was a fancy way to say "get lost" and both men knew it.
"All right. Sweetheart, I'll be back in a little while. I think we'll go visit Duo then get something to eat. When will someone bring her some
breakfast? It's been quite awhile since she's eaten, that can't be good for recuperation." Quatre's concern for Laurel was warranted.
Trowa, too, was disturbed by her sudden high fever.
"Bye, Daddy! I'll be good!" Laurel smiled as Quatre and Trowa left. //Why "Daddy" singular?// Quatre worried, //which of us is she
leaving out and why?//