Sorting out a hundred different ways to say what he wanted to say gave him something to do for quite awhile. Finally, Jack, good to his
word, came back with a video recorder and disk. Trying to sound annoyed, he grumbled "I'm ready when you are, Yuy."
"Great, Jack. I feel stupid asking, but do I look half-way decent? I don't want the guys to get upset thinking I wasn't get proper
treatment here since I am." Heero looked sheepish about asking such a vanity-oriented question.
Jack looked at him thoughtfully. "Actually the few people I've done this for before always wanted to look like Hell so their lawyers could
try to get them out. Shit, you're a weird one, but you look fine. Now let's go." He lifted the eyepiece into place and a red light came on
indicating it was recording.
Heero took a deep breath, and tried to remember everything he needed to say; finally he just started talking. "Hi, everybody. Jack was
kind enough to help me out on finding a way to let you know all is well here. Being in solitary is a little boring, but without Duo around, I
don't feel like talking much anyway. Come to think of it, reading might be good, but I haven't been here long enough to get a library card
. So how's everybody doing? Good, I hope. I'm guessing Duo's over at Quatre's place by now hanging out with Rasid and the
Maganacs. If you're listening, koi, I'm glad I got to see you before I left. You looked a lot better after getting that new heart Gene
worked so hard to bring to you; I was lucky a great guy like him was there to help out. Healing you was all that really mattered to me
then and it still is; I don't mind being here now knowing you are going to be okay.
"But I do have a couple other things I need to say. Wufei, gomen nasai, I never knew I'd broken your arm, and I still find it hard to
believe I was so careless. I don't expect you to forgive me, but I hope it heals quickly. Quatre and Trowa, look guys, I'm extremely
sorry about what happened to Laurel. She sounds like a great little girl and I'm sure you'll both enjoy being dads. Oh, Jack's telling me
to finish up. No problem, I think that covers everything other than don't worry about me. I'm doing fine and sooner or later they may
even let me see visitors. It'd be great to see all of you and meet Laurel, too, of course. Well, that's it. Take care, koi, I'm sure everything
will be okay soon." Well, not as succinct as he would have liked it, but it got the job done.
Turning off the recorder and popping out the disk, Jack took another look at Heero. "When you were talking about the Maganacs, did
you mean that powerful Arabian army group?"
"Yeah, we fought side-by-side during the war." Heero chuckled a bit, "Their reputation doesn't do them justice, though. I had my own
Gundam blown out from under me and they were there to force OZ back until I could get going again. Great bunch of guys, too. We
used to play Frisbee with some of their kids when there wasn't much going on."
Jack sized Heero up a bit then stated plainly, "Solitary is getting a tad lonely, ain't it, kid? You never used to talk this much that I recall."
Heero just shrugged. "I guess so. I'm used to being really busy all the time, and this cell doesn't leave me much room to even work up a
sweat if I try to. Guess I'll lose the muscle tone after all," he laughed ruefully.
Jack took mercy on him, though. "Tell you what, Heero, your friends come get this disk today and I'll personally bring you some books
to read, how's that?" Surprised, Heero didn't know how to respond. Jack just laughed, "What's the matter? Afraid to admit you like
romance novels or something?"
"No, nothing like that, Jack. I just never expected such a kind offer." Heero was truly surprised by this and had no idea what to say. "As
for topics, it doesn't matter to me, fiction, the history of space exploration, gardening, anything! I don't care; no matter what it is, it'll be a
welcomed break from doing nothing all the time. Thanks again."
"Yeah, sure, kid," Jack answered walking away. "I'll bring you something to read later *if* your friends come get this disk!"
//Oh, they will,// Heero thought to himself. //They'll probably send a helicopter to get it if they have to! Knowing Quatre, he's worried
sick over this; not much I can do about it now though, is there?//
Quatre Raberba Winner was, indeed, worried sick. Literally.
The young man had worried so much over so many things recently he had developed a nasty stomach ulcer and the first serious migraine
headache he'd ever had in his life; well, at least he assumed it was a migraine. Semi-comfortable under an ice-pack and laying in a
completely darkened room had helped; he'd never spent much time in his own bedroom before, but it had turned into his sanctuary lately
and he was loathe to leave it. He felt like he'd rather die than get out of bed, but he needed to go check on Laurel. She was under Dr.
Akheem's care now, and as her temporary guardian by virtue of paying her medical bills, it was a way to stay close to her.
Understanding of his feelings for the tiny clairvoyant still eluded him, but being with her made him happy and that in and of itself was
enough. Sadly, those very psychic powers seemed to have been lost during the incident when the seizures had taken her, yet there was
still no proof of brain damage. She remained saddened by the loss, but Quatre felt strongly that he needed her in his life and that's the
way it would stay if he had any control over the situation.
Oddly, something had been bothering the girl lately, but she wouldn't confide in him. He wondered if this was something the parents of
all 7 year-olds went through and decided to ask Rasid about it later; after all, the man had five kids of his own. Why she had behaved
the way she did the day before baffled Quatre.
He had stopped in to check on her before starting work in his office the morning before and found her sitting angrily tearing up some of
her favorite drawings. "Sweetie," he asked gently, "What's wrong? Why are you ruining your pictures? I thought you liked them."
"Hmph." She grumbled, ripping another of her favorites into tiny bits and shoving it into a trash can. "Why bother to keep them? I color
and color and no one has time to look at them. I know you are busy with work, Daddy, but no one else seems to have time for me,
either. I wish I could go back to school, I'm bored."
This had surprised Quatre no end. He had supplied the child with every art supply she had requested, gotten books for her to read, and
even had a tutor coming during the afternoons to help her keep up her school work. She was always busy, so what was the *real*
"Laurel," he had pulled the girl into his arms and they sat together hugging tightly. It hadn't been as if he'd been alone as a child, yet
whenever he hugged her he felt waves of relief from his own pain, as though she somehow blocked it for him. He'd wondered once if
there weren't other aspects to her 'gift' they failed to understand, but now was not the time to worry over that issue. "What is really
bothering you, honey? This isn't like you at all."
"Well," she'd sighed, "I'm lonely, Daddy. I like it here and everything is really nice, but there isn't anyone to play with." She had looked
up forlornly at him with those cool blue eyes.
Quatre had thought a moment, then realized he *still* wasn't getting the whole truth. However, he had no idea how to deal with a sulking
child. Being the youngest of 30 children didn't give him any experience in that department and he had not spent much time with any of his
numerous nieces and nephews. Finally, he had acquiesced. If she wasn't willing to tell him, it wouldn't change simply by his wishing it
As he agonizingly drug himself out of bed, he hoped there wouldn't be a reoccurrence of the previous days events, he doubted he'd have
the patience for it. Even as bad as he felt personally, his uchuu no kokoro told him there were others suffering far worse than he was.
Why that inner sense of his had become so acute and over-powering of his own feelings, he didn't know, it simply had and it hurt, badly.
Sighing, he swallowed yet another painkiller and slowly got dressed.
Exiting the darkened bedroom, his eyes were filled with the bright light streaming in through the floor length windows. //Ugh! Mental
note: Get the damned windows covered!//
Quatre, "gentle sweet Quatre", had changed because of all that had happened. He'd become tougher, more insistent on getting what was
right and ultimately his due in the first place. But most of all, he had sworn to himself he would not ever let the ones he loved down as
badly as he had before and during this tragedy. He continued to berate himself over keeping Duo's heart condition a secret until it was
very nearly too late. Granted, he felt Wufei's silences regarding the rapes and suicide attempts were far worse crimes, but that didn't
excuse his own.
He finally found himself in the medical wing and heard a delightful sound, the happy laughter of a carefree child. Gladly, he accepted the
extra pain from the sound simply because it meant there would not be a repeat of the previous day.
"Shhh, baby. Remember, Daddy's sleeping," his fiancÚ's voice sounded softly amused even though he was trying to be somewhat of a
"Oh my, I'm sorry, Daddy," Laurel whispered back right as Quatre came around the corner of the door. "Oops! Never mind!" She
smiled happily and reached her good arm out towards Quatre for a hug. "Daddy, are you feeling better? I made you a picture, do you
want to see it?"
Smiling at the sweet girl, Quatre went straight to her for a hug which seemed to push the pain in his head back far more than any of the
pharmaceuticals he'd tried ever did. "Mmm, I love your hugs, angel!" Quatre kissed her gently accepting the artwork she held for him.
"My, what have we here?" He asked in the tradition of adults throughout time who never wanted to say it was a nice picture of a cat
when it was supposed to be an airplane while appearing to study it at length.
Laurel giggled, "Silly, Quatre-daddy! That's a picture of our family! You, me, and Trowa-daddy all having fun at the park we are going
to go to after you get married."
"Park?" Trowa asked for both men, confused as usual by what this little miracle worker did in their lives.
"Yes, the park! The one where you are having your, what's that party after a wedding called? Oh, yeah! 'Reception' at! You decided it
would be fun to let all the kids from the orphanage come since that's the day we get to legally be a family for real!"
"Laurel," Trowa looked into her eyes seriously, "Have you regained your special dreams? You haven't mentioned anything about it
before now." Both he and his love were quite concerned about the deep sense of loss the child felt after the febrile seizures seemed to
have erased her clairvoyance.
A shadow fell across her eyes briefly and a single tear tried to leak out, but she wouldn't let it. Choking a bit to keep from crying she
answered honestly, "No, Trowa-daddy, I'm sorry but I haven't had any special dreams lately. This was a dream I had the day before we
met and I got shot. I try really hard to remember everything about that dream because it was so very important to me. Being an orphan
is pretty awful, I know you know Trowa-daddy, but the dream was so nice and so real, I wished it could happen sooner. I really
wanted a family, and it looked so wonderful." Her voice trailed away wistfully.
"There, there, sweetheart," Quatre hugged her close again. "Remember what we said? Give the dreams a chance to heal, just like your
other injuries. Maybe they'll come back, don't give up on that. We know they mean a lot to you and they saved the lives of two of our
dearest friends, so we couldn't be more grateful for them, but you are here now and we will do whatever it takes to make *this* dream
come true, okay?"
Silently, Trowa had stood to be next to his fiancÚ during this touching speech. In an action that had become like a silent code among the
three, he reached out to touch his ring to Quatre's and Laurel raised her own to touch theirs. It was their silent pledge to each other that
they would make it work no matter what. Too bad their pledge alone would not necessarily be sufficient.
Pain showing on his face, Quatre simply leaned back against Trowa's sturdy frame smiling at both of them. He was about to leave when
the phone rang, a sound his throbbing skull did not appreciate much. Luckily, one of the staff, he hated calling them "servants", had
picked it up in another room. Just as his jangled nerves were calming down he heard a loud voice calling for him and he grimaced.
"Master Quatre! Master Quatre! Master Duo is on the phone for you from the hospital. He says it is extremely urgent!" The servant had
rushed to bring him the phone, knowing there were standing orders that he be notified immediately regarding any calls regarding or from
"Duo? What's wrong?" Quatre spoke urgently, fearing something terrible had happened.