Dr. Yukito Tsukishiro, in spite of his youthfulness, was already a well-respected psychiatrist with a great deal of experience dealing with
depression and suicidal personalities. He had specialized in cases of "survivor guilt", and it was unclear to him how this applied to Duo
Maxwell, the case at hand.
When he was first called to the Winner estate, he had wondered what could possibly be the problem that they would bring him from
Kobe, Japan, on an emergency basis. By the time he arrived he had plenty of time to read over the case file. Now it was much more
obvious. The patient had been through terrible trauma over the past few years and based on his reading of the medical history, the boy in
question seemed like a prime candidate for leaping off the top of a building with very little notice. Yet the doctor felt it was important to
review the situation with his new employer, Quatre Raberba Winner, before being introduced to the patient.
"Mr. Winner, I'm Dr. Yukito Tsukishiro, you requested my presence for the case of Mr. Duo Maxwell?" Quatre couldn't help thinking,
//For a shrink with a reputation as long as my arm, he is certainly young! Good looking, too. Maybe that will help him get Duo's attention
if nothing else.//
"Ah, yes," Quatre smiled tiredly. The psychiatrist noted that perhaps there was more than one patient who needed assistance here after
all. "Have a seat, wont you, we can discuss this in private. Would you care for some refreshment after your journey?"
"No, I'd prefer to get straight to the matters at hand." Tsukishiro didn't believe in putting off work when lives may be at stake, one of the
factors that caused him to be the top recommendation for this assignment. Oddly, this reminded Quatre somewhat of the maverick
transplant surgeon Gene Starwind had been lucky enough to hav ehelp him during that urgent flight for a heart for Duo.
"Very, well, doctor. Where would you like to begin?" Quatre spent the next three hours explaining everything he knew about the case as
the psychiatrist added his own notes to the documents he had been sent in advance and asking questions as they went. By the time they
were finished, Quatre's pain and fatigue were practically tangible.
"Finally, Mr. Winner," Tsukishiro asked bluntly, "What are you doing in the way of mental health care for yourself through these various
events? You are obviously exhausted beyond reason and seem to be in a great deal of physical pain. I seriously doubt these are
separate from the issues we've discussed."
Quatre looked stunned. Mental health care for himself? It hadn't even occurred to him, but perhaps it should have. Trowa had told him
for years he spent so much energy worrying over everyone else, he neglected himself. "Frankly, Dr. Tsukishiro, it never crossed my
mind. Do you feel I should avail myself of your expertise as well?"
"Simply put, definitely. I am not in the business of 'chasing ambulances', but if I come across someone in need, I feel it is only
appropriate to offer guidance." Tsukishiro gave a small smile as he brushed his light brown hair out of his eyes and adjusted his glasses.
"I'd be happy to help, and I seriously doubt you have nearly as many issues as it seems once they are untangled for you. Will you accept
my offer?" The man grinned broadly and added, "After all, I'm staying in a mansion with a five-star chef, getting full pay for a part time
job, and getting to see a foreign land! It seems small recompense to give my host some peace of mind. And, please, call me 'Yukito'."
Quatre laughed, "It sounds like a good deal for both of us when you put it that way, Yukito, thank you. Please simply call me 'Quatre', it
will make things easier." A genuine smile crossed the blond's tired lips. Now, would you care to rest a bit? I'm afraid we spent much
longer discussing things than I had anticipated and perhaps you'd like to rest before meeting your patient, I mean, your *main* patient!"
He added smiling in spite of the headache screaming for relief.
"Actually, yes, I believe I shall take some time to reconsider how to approach Mr. Maxwell. After speaking to you, it seems clear that I
will have to earn his trust before anything can be accomplished and I'll need a new strategy than what I planned on to do so." The two
men stood and Tsukishiro was escorted to a guest room by a member of the staff. Quatre decided a rest sounded good to him as well
and went in search of painkillers and sleep.
How the young Arabian had failed to note his reliance on the medication was unclear, but the escalating pain urgently demanded some
form of relief.
That evening, after dinner when Trowa had an opportunity to meet Dr. Tsukishiro, the three men headed to the medical wing to
introduce the psychiatrist to his patient. Both Quatre and Trowa felt this would take quite a jump to get Duo to even speak with the
doctor, but they were wrong.
Duo, wan and listless, lay in the bed totally ignoring anything going on around him before they came in. A nurse was there checking an
IV that had been a constant for days when the teen suddenly seemed unable or unwilling to eat and trying to engage him in some
conversation, yet he remained silent. Finally finished with her duties, she realized she felt frustrated that the same animated young man
she'd enjoyed joking with mere days earlier had turned away from the world.
"Duo," Quatre said softly approaching his friend who didn't even seem to have noticed them come in. "There's someone here I'd like you
Duo turned his head slightly, eyes flat and expressionless beyond a deep pain and seemed mildly confused. "Quatre? What time is it?
Why hasn't Laurel come by to see me?"
Shaking his head in resignation, Quatre reached out to hold his friend's hand gently. "Duo, it's evening. Laurel left a week ago,
remember?" Quatre's voice choked a bit on that statement and Trowa's firm hand on his shoulder gave him the strength he needed to
continue. "Duo, I'd like you to meet Dr. Yukito Tsukishiro. He's a psychiatrist I've hired to help us out with the current situation."
"A shrink, huh?" Duo smiled ruefully, "Yeah, that's probably what I've needed for a long time. So, what's up, doc?" His grin was forced
but he seemed open to the idea.
"Mr. Maxwell, it's a pleasure to meet you." Yukito bowed automatically neglecting the fact that he hadn't met anyone who shared his
heritage thus far.
"Oi! A Japanese doc, too!" Duo laughed bitterly. "What's the matter, Quatre, think I forgot all the other languages I know just because
of what happened to, to, Heero?" He choked on the last word and he turned his head away to hide the shimmer of unshed tears.
"Actually, that's a simple matter of circumstance," the doctor quickly inserted. "Do you mind if we get acquainted a bit, Mr. Maxwell?"
"Sure, no problem, just drop the 'Mr. Maxwell' stuff. It's 'Duo' or 'hey you' or 'baka' or---" again he trailed off his voice giving out on
Trowa gently commented, "Well, if you need us, we'll be in the library, gentlemen." And he turned Quatre seemingly against his will to
leave the other two alone.
"Sure, Trowa," Duo looked like he was trying to pull himself together. Then he joked, "Let's see, that makes it, Col. Mustard in the
library with the rope, right?"
Trowa answered wryly, "Only if you mean *I* don't have to be Mustard; I'd still rather use a *gun*."
As the door closed, Duo was chuckling to himself and the doctor looked perplexed. "Don't worry, doc," Duo smirked, "That's a
reference to an old board game we used to play between missions. It's called 'Clue' and you have to figure out who committed a
murder, where it happened, and with what weapon. Trowa always hated being stuck with Col. Mustard, but it was that or be Miss
Scarlet since he never spoke up quickly enough."
"Um, right. Now, Duo, please call me 'Yukito', we'll be spending a fair amount of time together for awhile." Tsukishiro looked distinctly
ill at ease briefly then began his session with Duo.
The two strikingly handsome young men spoke at length, mostly Duo recounting his life story as he saw it. Yukito had the bare bones
account in front of him as had been supplied for his review prior to the meeting, but he felt strangely moved listening to Duo recount the
numerous tragedies that had befallen him.
//How could anyone so young carry so much pain?// the doctor thought. //He seems to blame himself for all of the deaths of everyone he
has ever loved and he clearly blames himself for what has happened to Heero Yuy. Hmm, Heero is someone I would care to interview
to better assist Duo, but I am already aware that is impossible due to his medical state. Then again, this way I am free to make my own
evaluations of Duo's feelings as we go and that is what would be best, I assume.//
The psychiatrist's inner musings were interrupted, "Yo, Doc?" Duo looked at him strangely. "What ya' thinking about?" He snorted
self-derisively. "I know it ain't me because I just recited the alphabet for you and you didn't even notice!"
Yukito blushed furiously at having been found out. "Gomen, um, I mean, my apologies, Duo. In all honesty, your case is quite complex
and I'm finding it difficult to know where to begin. While I think understanding your past is absolutely crucial, I think perhaps we should
talk about the recent events that lead to my being brought here. Perhaps that will held us address your most urgent issues first." The
shrink was not at all good at covering for his lapse, and while the Duo Maxwell who had once piloted a Gundam would have found that
simple fact hilarious in the extreme, this new stranger who looked like Duo didn't find it funny at all.
"Well, okay." Duo thought a bit then asked bluntly, "You mean you want me to explain why I tried to cut out my heart, huh?"
Gasping, the response was, "Well, that probably would be a good place to start."
Duo confirmed the previous information regarding how that particular heart came to be in his chest and what had happened to his lover
because of it. Eventually, no longer strong enough to hold them back, tears began to flow from his darkened violet eyes. "Heero almost
*died* because of me!" He was sobbing uncontrollably now. "Why the Hell couldn't he have just let me go? He should never have
stolen a heart for me. Damn Gene Starwind for helping him do it, too! I would rather be *dead* than know he was raped and nearly
destroyed by those, those, animals!" Finally, Duo gave up entirely on attempting to speak and gave himself over to tears of confusion,
frustration, self-hatred, and a million other destructive emotions.
Shocked, Yukito did the only thing he could think of, he reached over and gathered the much smaller man into his arms and encouraged
him to simply cry out his frustrations. Now, this would ordinarily have been a good thing, but a serious problem was already developing
even if it was only their first session.
Dr. Yukito Tsukishiro was falling in love.
Yes, unprofessional, atypical, not at all what he was expecting, the young expert psychologist had failed to factor in his own personal
reaction to the reality of holding this delicate, chestnut-haired beauty in his arms. As if on auto-pilot, he stroked Duo's back and told him
repeatedly to let it out, that it would help, yet inside his own soul there was nothing but turmoil.
He had never been terribly attracted to anyone before; a workaholic, he had always been too focused on his career. To discover his first
serious feelings were for a patient was a bit much but the fact that it was a *man* almost undid him. He had been raised in a very
traditional family and never even considered a same-sex relationship even though he had nothing against them. His mind running amok
left Yukito scrambling for some semblance of control. Finally, he decided to wrap up the session and retire to his room to sort things out
alone. He certainly wasn't ready for what happened next.
"Doc?" Duo sniffled, tired from crying so much, looked him square in the eyes.
"Arigato." Before the man could even acknowledge the thanks, Duo suddenly reached around his neck and pulled him into a tight
embrace then kissed him, briefly but solidly, on the lips.
Yukito flushed crimson and Duo laughed. "Oi! Sorry, doc! Don't know where *that* came from, but I guess it just really helped to have
someone listen to me."
Blinking in confusion, Yukito simply responded, "Um, well. I'm, um, glad it helped." Yet inside, his mind screamed to grab the fey
creature before him and return the kiss with even greater force. Overwhelming emotions danced through the poor man's mind and he
hurriedly stood up before his body could betray him by acting on impulse.
Duo looked away truly puzzled, "Why did I just *do* that? Man, I'm sorry. That was really stupid, wasn't it? Well, let's just write it off
to my being crazy and let it go, okay?"
A voice shouted loudly within Yukito's mind that forgetting it was out of the question and once he figured out just what on Earth was
going on in his mind he would probably *still* want to find a way to seduce this handsome stranger.
//How am I *ever* going to handle this?// he thought panicking. //By the gods, I never felt anything like that kiss before! I don't know if I
can remain objective if this is how I react after a mere hour with him, daily sessions will be a nightmare if I can't get this under control!//
"Uh, doc? You okay?" Duo's voice once more broke through his thoughts and the man simply nodded.