[Sequel to: "No Time For Secrets" Book 3 of the "Secrets" Arc]
Author: Enigma
Written: September, 2000
Rating: R
Pairings: (1+2) (3+4) (5+S)
Category: Angst, AU, yaoi/shonen ai
Warnings: Angst, mental illness, yaoi/shonen ai, language, AU, sap, OOC
Disclaimers: I don't own the Gundam Wing Universe or any other anime characters I use here, just the parts of this story and some characters that are new are truly mine [especially Laurel, she's *still* my daughter after all!]. Please don't sue me, all I've got is a broken down car that hates me.
Note: Timeframe---after the war has ended and the Gundams were destroyed.

FUN TIME! Play spot the guest stars! And watch for other popular culture references!

Racing With Secrets
Part 13

Even though he was recovering from two major surgeries and looked like death warmed over, something he would chuckle about then regret because it hurt, Duo Maxwell was bored. Granted, he was so heavily drugged with anti-rejection medications as well as painkillers, he was quite spacey and unable to focus for long, but he was still bored.

Mainly he was irritated by the limited visiting times when he could see his friends. The first few days it hadn't seemed relevant, he couldn't recall anyone coming by or even being awake, but they had assured him there had been plenty of times he had visitors. Now that it had been several days after the initial worst of it was past; he had a few of the most annoying tubes and things removed and he was feeling more human and wanted company. He had been moved to a more normal room, but stayed in the CCU where his heart rhythm was displayed on various monitors including ones in the hallway. He'd mentioned to Quatre that must make for some pretty dull viewing and Quatre had the courtesy to laugh at the lame joke, but that had been the day before.

That particular morning, however, he had been visited again by the rather odd-ball Gene Starwind. Duo wasn't sure what to make of him and found it hard to believe he was responsible for the heart that beat within his chest, but at least the guy had a sense of humor!

Wufei, however, still didn't seem to have a sense of humor at all, but it was still good that he and Sally came by. Duo trusted Sally more than the other doctors and she had assured him this was going well indeed. He'd asked why he hadn't seen Heero and was shocked to hear he had been admitted to the hospital as well. He was not told, however, that his fiancée was now an international felon nor that he had been in a coma for five days, but it was agreed this was stress he didn't need right now. Glancing at the clock for the third time in five minutes, Duo was about to call the nurse out of sheer boredom when he got a surprise set of visitors.

"Duo? May we come in?" Quatre asked peeking his head around the door frame.

"Sure!" Duo croaked happily. His throat was still raw from the breathing tube, but when they assured him it would get better more quickly if he stopped talking so much he just smirked.

"Before you say 'yes' you need to know we have a lady with us who very much wants to see you! Are you 'decent'?" Quatre grinned knowing his friend would enjoy a little teasing.

"Who? Me? 'Decent'? Never! But I am as dressed as they'll let me be, so let her come in." Duo seemed pleased at someone new coming by, then suddenly added, "Wait, Q! It's not Relena, is it?" He coughed hoarsely suddenly nervous.

Trowa's low laughter confirmed it was not the overwhelming Ms. Peacecraft, and they walked in pushing a wheelchair. Seemingly lost in the large chair with an arm as well as a leg in casts, a little girl with strawberry-blond hair and ice-blue eyes smiled for the first time in person at the man whose life she had sacrificed so much to help save.

"Miss Laurel Springfield, allow me to introduce Mr. Duo Maxwell," Quatre executed the first half of a perfect introduction then turned to Duo who had paled considerably. "Duo? What's wrong? Do we need to get you a doctor, you don't look good all of a sudden!"

"No, no, I'm okay. I think." He looked closely at the girl and added, "I've seen you before, haven't I?"

Laurel's smile brightened a bit, "Yes, sir, but I didn't think you'd remember me. Most people don't." Trowa and Quatre exchanged nervous glances. Had she been in his room before without their being told? She immediately recognized their concern and giggled, breaking the tension in the air. "We met in a dream, didn't we, Mr. Duo?"

"Yes," Duo looked thoughtful for a moment, then looked at her very seriously. "You were the one who wouldn't let me leave, weren't you?"

"Yes, that was me. Usually no one remembers, but you were pretty hard to convince to stay, so I guess it makes sense you can remember me." She looked down for a moment then added, "You really *do* have the prettiest eyes I've ever seen, too!"

Quatre giggled at the look of dismay that crossed Duo's face as he mumbled, "Um, thanks. You have nice eyes, too. They are what I remembered the most from the dream. The cool reassuring light-blue eyes telling me to wait for Heero. I'm glad you made me wait, thank you."

"You're welcome! I'm looking forward to being at your wedding, too! Of course, these silly casts will be gone by then and you're going to let me wear a pretty purple dress, and even carry flowers!" She beamed radiantly.

"Say what?" Duo was totally confused. No one had explained how she knew what she knew or even the role she'd played in his survival.

"Laurel, sweetheart," Trowa looked down gently, "I think I need to take you back to your room now, the doctor said you could be out of bed for only a few minutes, remember?"

"Yes, Trowa-daddy." Duo's eyes went wide when he heard *that* remark! "Bye-bye, Mr. Duo! I'm glad I got to come see you! Oh, and don't worry about Dr. Lemon when he comes to see you. He's a nice man but he doesn't understand your music. It's silly to worry over nothing like that, but just remember it's just his curiosity. He didn't know about blue oysters before. Bye-bye!" She waved her one free hand and he noticed the terrible bruises from the many IVs the child had been subjected to as Trowa wheeled her away.

"Quatre?" Duo asked shakily, "Could you explain this to me? I know I'm pretty well doped-up, but this is way over the edge here."

Quatre pulled a chair over and sat next to his friend, holding one of Duo's hands in his own to reassure him while he explained about Laurel's amazing gifts and some of the things that had happened.

"So," Duo finally said after Quatre had spoken for awhile, "Let me see if I've got this right. She saw me in a dream and *that's* why she got shot? To save *me*? I'm sorry, Q-man, but that just doesn't make sense. Plus, you and Trowa are going to be her fathers now? I figured you'd get married eventually, but not any time soon. How are you going to pull off an adoption right now as a single dad under the age of 20?"

This was the first time he'd gotten to do it, so Quatre really enjoyed simply holding up his hand and showing Duo the ring. "Trowa just gave this to me earlier today. We don't have a date set, but somehow the three of us will be a family; everything else Laurel's seen has happened so this will, too."

Then Quatre looked quite serious. "And, yes, Duo, strange as it sounds, she knew about the heart damage before the doctors did and she even *deliberately* allowed herself to be shot to protect Heero. She had never met any of us, yet knew us all by name when she saw us and warned us as much as she could. That child placed her life on the line to save yours even though she never met you. She even named a toy kitten 'Shinigami', a word she didn't even know, to help the day Heero left."

Everything was almost too much for the former Deathscythe pilot. He leaned back into the pillows, taking a few painful but much needed deep breaths. "So, I'm having a wedding, too? I wouldn't have thought Heero'd go along with that, but sounds like I will." Then he laughed a bit and winced at the pain it caused. "What the heck did she mean about 'blue oysters'?"

Giggling, Quatre smirked, "Remember that music disk I had made for your birthday 'Maxwell's Custom Blend'? They were playing it in the operating room during your surgery and apparently you have a song on there about a 'reaper' or some such, by a band with blue oysters in its name."

"Oi!" Duo grinned. "That's my favorite song! 'Don't Fear the Reaper' by Blue Oyster Cult! It's from way pre-colony days, but it seemed to fit Shinigami, ne?"

"Yeah, Duo, that definitely fits! Sorry to say it, but visiting time was up about five minutes ago, and you look tired." Quatre got up to leave giving his hand a squeeze.

"Wait, Quatre," Duo looked sadly at his friend, "Why wont they let me see Heero? No one will give me a straight answer, and I *really* need to see him!"

"Oh, Duo, I'm sorry, but I can't really say much on that. He was in pretty bad shape for awhile and he just isn't able to leave his room yet. I know it's hard, but we all want to see him get well soon, and I'm sure he'll be here as soon as he can come." Quatre didn't want to have to answer the question too specifically, but this seemed to have satisfied Duo.

"Well, that's more than most people will tell me." Duo sighed. "There's no way I can get out of here either, so I guess we both have to be patient, no pun intended. I'm glad you brought Laurel by, Q. I really thought she was just a figment of my imagination. I need some time to think about what she said, though, as well as what you tell me she's gone through. Sounds like the kid's been through more hell than even *I* did by her age on L2! I'll see you later, okay, Q-man?" Duo looked a bit despondent, but Quatre knew things would get worse for him before they got better and he didn't need clairvoyance to see it.

on to part 14

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