Slumbering in her bed, Laurel felt the stirrings of color that preceded some of her most intense dreams. Long ago she had learned not to
fear them, but to open her mind to see if what was there could be prevented, changed, or otherwise helped. Ordinarily, she forced
herself to feel a bit more relaxed as she knew what to come might be unpleasant, but this time it was different. This time the colors
drifted to only one hue, red---blood red.
Blinking in the dreamscape, she saw a figure hunched over and very alone. A suit once perhaps used to fly in outer space was drawn
tight around the lithe young body, yet its entire surface was a sticky, smelly red goo to the child. Uncertain who she was seeing or why,
Laurel's dreamself approached slowly. "Hello?" She called. There was no answer.
"Hello, are you okay?" She asked again hoping she could get the image to clarify itself better. She still didn't recognize this person, yet
could sense great sorrow and pain as well as an emotion she rarely felt in such circumstances, shame. Without hesitation, she stepped
closer to the figure and realized it was a young man; he seemed familiar, but as if it was a younger version of someone she knew now.
Finally, she recognized him.
"Hello, Mr. Heero. Do you remember me?" He didn't react to her words at all. "I'm Laurel, Mr. Heero. I helped you save Mr. Duo, do
you remember?" On a level she never even bothered to try to understand, the child knew when to reach out slowly to bring someone
into contact with her and she was doing this now.
"Huh? Duo who?" asked the boy with dull, glazed-over blue eyes.
She felt this would take some time, so she sat next to him, but got an unexpected response.
"Omae o korosu!" The boy cried leaping to his feet and trying to self-destruct his spacesuit, instead simply landing flat on his back with a
thud. A scream tore from his throat as he transformed from the boy of 15 he was on the very first day he arrived on the planet to the
young man of 17 she knew much better. He was dressed in strange garments she couldn't recognize, but the fabric was rough and
jagged against his skin. He was bruised and bloodied and in very obvious pain; he tried desperately to get away from her yet only
aggravated his own pain. Finally, breathing heavily, he froze and stared at her with the same dull, lifeless blue eyes as his youngerself had
"Mr. Heero," she said gently extending her hand, "I'm here to help you if you will let me."
"No! No one can help me!" He insisted vehemently.
"Yes, really, I *can* help you, but you have to let me or I can't do anything at all." She pleaded gently.
"How? How can you help me? You don't even know what's happened to me! You don't even know that I am no longer human!" He
trembled slightly and added, "No one would want to help me now, there's been too many horrors. Too many killed. Too many left
homeless. Too many left without families. Too. . ." She stopped him.
"I know, Mr. Heero, I know." Sighing, she continued to gently try to break through to him. "Mr. Heero, do you remember who I am
yet? I'm Laurel, I'm the little girl you didn't believe but still listened to when Mr. Duo was going to die. I'm the girl whose family was
killed in the war just like you said, but that's over now. I'm the little girl who was willing to let a man shoot me so you could go and save
the person you love most! Can't you remember me?!?" She was getting desperate. If she didn't get through soon, the connection would
be lost forever, she just knew it; and if it was lost, so was Heero.
"Wait." He looked at her more closely, then reached out a hand towards her face. She sat still, unflinching as he blocked her face from
view, all that is except her eyes. "Those ice-blue eyes. Yes, I remember those eyes. They told me things I didn't want to hear at the time
but was glad of later. Those eyes never lied to me. The violet eyes never lied to me either. Do you know the man with the violet eyes?"
"Yes," she sighed in relief, she'd gotten through after all. "Yes, the beautiful violet eyes and the long pretty hair belong to someone very,
very special, Mr. Heero. Do you remember his name?"
"Duo. His name is Duo, and I, well, I love him very much, don't I?" He asked confused.
"Yes, you do love him very much," she smiled. "Lots of people love him *and* you very much! I love you both very much and so does
Quatre-daddy, and Trowa-daddy, and Mr. Wufei, and Dr. Sally, and lots and lots of other people! They are very worried about you,
Mr. Heero. We all need you to be okay for Mr. Duo, too."
She hoped he would catch that last piece of information and smiled when he did. "What do you mean for Duo? What's wrong with
Duo? He was fine when I saw him, when was that? The other day? Last year? I, I don't know, I should know, but I don't." He blinked
his eyes as though trying to clear away fog. Laurel knew this was a good sign, he truly was trying to come back to understanding even if
it hurt to do it.
She got up and sat a little closer. "May I hold your hand, Mr. Heero? It's a little scary out here, don't you think?" He took her tiny hand
in his almost without thought but the metaphysical contact shook both of them.
"What the hell was that?!?" He demanded yanking his hand free of hers severing the flood of memories coursing through his mind
through the catalyst of her psychic abilities.
She looked down sadly, but then returned his gaze. The cobalt blue flame had returned to the eyes and his face was more the way she
remembered it; it was hurting him a lot, but he was forcing himself to find answers. "I didn't mean to hurt you, but you *have* to
remember! I'm sorry those men hurt you, Mr. Heero, but you have to be strong for Mr. Duo. A long time ago something like what
happened to you happened to him, too, and he knows how much it hurts, but he also can't live without you there for him. He doesn't
think bad things about you for what happened and you can't either, because he needs you and so do so many other people. You
probably don't think I know what I'm talking about," she turned her head to hide the tears, "but I *do* know. I saw it *all* in a dream.
It was awful and horrible and everything, but you are stronger than what happened. You are stronger because you love someone special
and you know he can't stand being without you. There's still a hard way to go, but it's almost done. And that's why I'm here, to tell you
not to give up. Once before, Mr. Duo wanted to give up, too, but I told him you were coming back to save him. Now, I need to be able
to tell him that again. Will you come back, Mr. Heero? Will you please try to come back?" Laurel tried to hide the hopelessness in her
own eyes as she watched the flicker of life die away again in his.
"I don't know if I can." He said softly. He turned to look at her again then came closer of his own choosing. Again he covered her face,
all but the eyes, with a splay of his thin fingers. He stared into her eyes and she stared back, open, honest, pure.
"Will you at least try?" she asked very softly.
He looked between his fingers seeming to seek an answer in the depths of her eyes. Finally, he apparently found what he sought there.
And the dream ended. But the child's inner turmoil had just been magnified ten-fold due to her efforts to save two lives at once. She had
finally given more than she could and a high price had to be paid.
She would never recover fully.