They had been so certain that regardless of the amount of bail demanded, Quatre was more than able to cover it and had come
prepared to do just that. He'd even ordered special arrangements be made for the room Heero would have shared with Duo that night,
but now he saw it wasn't meant to be. As the proceedings came to a rapid halt, the judge inclined her head to allow the two attorneys to
approach the bench. When they returned to their employer, Ashe had a shaky smile to offer but not much more. "We got one more
agreement out of the judge, Heero and Duo can have a half-hour visitation together right now, today, same room, no glass wall, as long
as we all stay 'hostage' so to speak in the same room. She herself intends to stay as will an extra pair of heavily armed guards. It's not
what we had hoped for, but we thought it might help."
Duo didn't need to be asked, he simply nodded and as soon as the additional guards appeared, he was allowed to actually touch Heero
for the first time in what had felt like an eternity. Refusing to waste even a second apart, Duo had hopped over the banister agilely and
grabbed Heero into a fierce embrace. Heero was just as happy to be able to touch his fiancÚ, but the chains were a real pain, both
literally and figuratively.
With a growl, Jack commandeered the key to the manacles from the bailiff and mumbled how could the pair have a proper reunion with
the "damned handcuffs on". Before the judge could protest he added louder, "Feel free to bust my rank, your honor. Heero's getting a
raw deal and if a half-hour without these damned things in the way makes life any better so be it!" as he unlocked the manacles and took
the heavy chains away.
"Thanks, Jack," Heero tried to say, but his lips were suddenly *very* busy as Duo tried to make up for all those hours apart. Heero
shrugged, then latched onto his lover so hard Duo actually let out a small but happy "Eeep!" before the kiss resumed.
Quatre and the others smiled and turned their backs on their friends in a show of respect for their privacy even though it did not exist in
the slightest. The family unit that had been forged in the crucible of battle had its own rules and they would live by them until the day they
died and they didn't much care what anyone else thought. The others present in the courtroom thought the entire scene was beyond
For the two lovers, however, this was paradise.
For them, the rest of the room was blocked out entirely and they seemed to exist outside of time and space however briefly. Not much
was said, but being in physical contact alone made up for it.
The time, of course, flew by and too soon Jack was forced, grumbling the entire time about how stupid the whole thing was, to replace
the manacles on Heero's wrists. Heero gave Duo one last searching look and mumbled, "Omae o korosu, no da."
"Right back at you, koi," Duo responded, a splayed finger gesture faintly obscuring the tears falling unheeded from his eyes as a bailiff
escorted him back behind the banister.
"Gentlemen," the judge's voice was noticed for the first time since the incident when Jack decided the manacles were too much, "I see
now that there may be cause to reconsider the findings of this court. No, Mr. Maxwell, I do *not* mean your obvious affection, I meant
the fact that the defendant was free to kill virtually every single person in here, thanks to his so-called jailer, yet he made no aggressive
moves towards anyone other than yourself. And even those seemed quite welcomed." She smiled gently. "The court will indeed take this
into consideration and even if we are unable to change the bail issue, perhaps this court can find a way to bring the trial to an earlier date
than what was previously set. Court adjourned." She banged the gavel and stood.
"All rise." A bailiff demanded and they did as she left the podium.
Heero was lead out of the room by Jack who manhandled the bailiff out of the way to give Heero a chance to say good-bye in the sign
language even he had picked up. Sure enough, there it was, the splayed finger wave and a wink exchanged between each of them
before the door closed behind them.
As soon as the door clicked locked behind Heero, Quatre turned to Duo just in time to catch him as he collapsed unconscious into his
"Injustice!" Wufei loudly proclaimed the obvious and for once no one minded. They were all very angry about what had transpired in the
"Agreed," Trowa ground out between his teeth, one of the most visible indicators of how angry he was.
Quatre would have joined them in proclaiming his own frustrations, but he was busy keeping contact with Akheem during the flight back
to the estate. Duo hadn't regained consciousness yet, but from what they could tell, he had simply passed-out from the stress of the
hearing and the shock of the verdict; and his pulse remained strong for the most part. He was having some trouble breathing which left
them all confused, but Racer was flying the jet they'd brought and it meant the trip would normally take one-third less time, but with
Racer at the controls of his beloved 'Shooting Star' again, it took far less. Ignoring standing orders to the contrary, Racer landed the jet
on the front driveway allowing Akheem and his team to get the unconscious patient out and into the building quickly. The others left as
well and Quatre forgot entirely to thank Rex for the extra effort. There hadn't been any need, though; Racer's own blood was fairly
heated based on what they'd spoken of during the flight back and he, too, was disturbed by the events.
Duo remained in the medical wing for the rest of the day and Akheem recommended no visitors until the next day. Apparently, when
they did get Duo awake again, he had dissolved into a fairly incoherent mess and the doctor felt the best treatment was extended
drug-induced rest until they tried to talk to him. Quatre was displeased, but acquiesced since Akheem had always handled everything in
the best interests of his patients first and his employer second, something that brought a great deal of respect from the Winner heir.
"So, Quatre," Wufei asked bitterly over a dinner no one even ate, "What do you propose we do now?"
"Hold it, Wufei," Trowa interrupted firmly. "We're all upset, but stop laying blame for this on Quatre. He's doing everything he can
already." Quatre glanced in gratitude at his tall fiancÚ and smiled weakly, it was all he had left.
"My apologies, Quatre," Wufei looked a bit abashed. "I never intended to blame you. It is simple frustration, I assume. How is it he
saved this entire planet and the authorities can not even grant him bail while awaiting trial? Even if the trial is pointless as well?"
"Wufei," Quatre rubbed his aching forehead, "I honestly don't know. How much more proof do they need that Heero will not skip bail?
The judge said it herself, he could have killed every single person in that room after Jack took off those manacles, but he didn't. Damnit,
he even thanked Jack for doing it!"
The other two friends had slowly become accustomed to the occasional curse from Quatre's once so pure seeming mouth, that now it
didn't even phase them. Negligently, Quatre dipped the end of his linen napkin in some ice water and rubbed the cool cloth across his
forehead, causing the other men a fair surprise. "Koi?" Trowa asked gently, "Are you all right?"
"No, Trowa, I sure as Hell am not!" Quatre tried to take a deep breath to steady himself, and the rest of what he said was accompanied
by a small moan of pain. "I'm sorry, I didn't want to worry you guys, but this damned headache is about to kill me!" Quatre realizing
there was no reason to hide his discomfort, scooped up some ice and rubbed it across his eyelids to ease the stabbing pain.
Something finally clicked inside Wufei's mind, a decision made earlier was finally confirmed. He stood up and bowed slightly. "Quatre,
Trowa, I appreciate your hospitality, however I feel I must leave. There may be something I can do about the problem at hand but I
can't do it from here. If you'll excuse me," he nodded his head then turned on his heel without waiting for a response.
Trowa began to go after him when Quatre called him back. "No, let him go, Trowa. He's hurting inside, I can feel it. We all are. If he'll
feel better trying to accomplish something somewhere else, let him go. Allah, I'm so tired." Quatre leaned his head down onto his arms
on the table. Without even noticing it, Trowa had risen to his feet and instinctively drew the young man into his arms, carrying him to bed
without protest. After making certain Quatre had taken the medicine left previously by Dr. Akheem, Trowa left the room to see to it
Wufei had everything he needed.
The lanky teen caught up with his friend as he prepared to depart. "Wufei, where are you going? Quatre will want to know."
"Go?" Wufei didn't even bother to hide a dangerous feral smile. "Why, I'm going to 'call in the Calvary' or whatever it was Duo always
said when they needed a rescue party in those old movies of his." He extended his unbroken arm in a final gesture of friendship before
Trowa gratefully took it and simply responded, "Then, as Duo would also say, Godspeed, my friend, Godspeed."
And with that, Chang Wufei slipped into the darkness.
"I certainly hope you succeed where we have failed, Wufei." Trowa remarked knowing full well the Chinese man was beyond hearing
his words. Failure. It tasted bitter to Trowa and he did not care for it one bit.
Things were declining rapidly all the way around.
A once happy child was dreaming.
a broken crayon lay on a table
another broken crayon suddenly appeared beside the first one
the sound built like thunder, broken crayons littered the landscape
roaring, the sound drowned out all other sounds, and broken
crayons fell from the sky like rain
Now, a deeply disturbed child awoke; aware of pain yet unaware that she herself had just been changed in a most horrifying manner.