[Sequel to Unexpected Secrets; Book 5 of the "Secrets" Arc]
Written: October, 2000
Cumulative Rating: NC-17
Pairings: (2x1) (4x3/3x4) (5+S)
Category: Angst, yaoi, AU
Cumulative Warnings: Angst, disturbing material, lemon, AU, yaoi, sap, OOC
Materials Needed: Kleenex, Inner Peace; also: avoid Colas
DISCLAIMERS: For no apparent reason, I don't own Gundam Wing or any other anime or TV characters I use here, just the ideas in this story and some characters that are new are truly mine, for the moment at least. Don't ask. Just don't ask! Don't sue me either, please, it would be a waste of your money.
NOTE: Timeframe---after the war has ended and the Gundams were destroyed.

Tragic Secrets
Part 7

Smith headed towards the medical wing but decided to take a break first to get a bit more of the morning's breakfast pastries. His contract included room and board and having a five-star chef as a cook was quite a treat for the usually miserly man who paid as little as possible for food in his own home. Eventually, he had stuffed himself and slowly went to see his patient.

Even though Trowa should have been there, another watchful eye was present during the first meeting of psychiatrist and patient, a 24 hour recording system which was set-up in addition to the suicide watch which had been maintained while a new doctor was brought in.

Entering the room quietly so that Duo wouldn't notice his presence, Dr. Smith let his eyes wander around it to get a feel for his patient's surroundings. He was openly disgusted at the opulence shown even here, in what should have been, in his opinion, a simple hospital room. Fresh cut flowers were on a table by the bed, a wide variety of creature comforts were present including a leather upholstered chair next to the patient's bed. Stepping forward, Smith approached his patient.

"Hello, Mr. Maxwell, I am Dr. Smith." The man introduced himself as he stared at the emaciated figure laying on the bed.

A pair of sunken amethyst eyes glanced at him disinterestedly. "Oh? Am I supposed to know you or something?" He asked still blurry from the drugs in his system and being emotionally devastated. As Quatre requested, Duo had never been told what exactly had happened regarding Dr. Yukito Tsukishiro, which had been a partial mistake. While it was very true the young man did not need to know he had been sexually assaulted, he had even mentioned a nice dream he had had about making love with Heero, whom he had mistaken the doctor for at the time. The problem was, the way it was explained that the handsome, warm, young psychiatrist who had been there had left simply reinforced Duo's fears that anyone who cared for him either died or were hurt in some fashion. Trowa hadn't given much thought to a cover story and had blurted out something about a crisis back in Japan pulling the young man away, leaving Duo feeling that something unfortunate had befallen Yukito. They'd only known each other briefly, but in Duo's tenuous hold on reality, it seemed like more.

Smith, of course, was insulted, yet tried to conceal it. "Actually, Mr. Maxwell, I'm your new psychiatrist. I'm here to help you get better, but first I need to learn more about you. Mind if I sit down?"

"Whatever. Pull up a chair," Duo negligently indicated the leather chair beside the bed. Smith sat down, his back to the ever-watchful eye of the camera and pulled out a legal pad and prepared to look as if he gave a damn when he didn't. "So, call me 'Duo', what's your first name?"

"My first name is 'Zachariah', however, I would prefer it if you called me 'Dr. Smith'. I feel it is important to keep doctor-patient relationships on a clear basis."

//Besides,// he added bitterly, //I don't need another of you damned brats thinking that you're better than me! I will make sure you are taken care of, "Duo", but it wont necessarily be as quickly as your rich little friend thinks!//

"Okay, Dr. Smith, where do you want to start?" Duo was tired. Actually, ever since the suicide attempt, Duo was always tired and this was a very serious problem. The combination of anti-depressants and tranquilizers he had been maintained on left him listless and with no appetite. Even when Quatre and Trowa joined him for meals in his room, he simply picked at the food.

The discussion which followed was dreadfully boring and terribly routine. Smith kept a notepad in his lap and took notes occasionally, but most of the time he sat there doodling on the paper and asking pointless questions which he really didn't care about anyway. After about an hour had elapsed, Smith terminated the discussion. "Well, Duo, I can tell you have a great many problems, but I'm certain that I can help you with them. One of the first things we must address, however, is getting you back onto a regular diet. There is little one can do to improve mental health if physical health is allowed to languish as yours has. I will also be changing your medications starting today and perhaps we can find a combination that will not only help you feel better emotionally but will give you more energy. I will be back this afternoon and we can talk more then."

Without giving Duo a chance to respond, the man turned and walked away.

Ordinarily, Duo would never have tolerated being treated like an inanimate object the way Smith had just treated him. However, in his drug-hazed stupor and profound state of depression, he felt like he wasn't worth much more than that exact treatment anyway.

After leaving the room, Smith headed towards his bedroom to make entries of the few notes he had bothered to write down into his laptop. He prided himself on his rigorous security measures and was quite confident no one could ever break through the barriers to discover the truth.

So, confident in his self-protection, Smith went about entering a flatly derogatory entry about Duo, emphasizing how "sick and perverted" the boy obviously was, especially regarding his past sex life. He had no problems with loss of virginity at 15, but homosexuality was flatly unacceptable to him.

Homosexuality, regardless of the research which had said otherwise for centuries, was still a perversion of nature to him and the only ones who could be excused for such behavior were the elderly or infirm. Of course, he had encountered one or two people he thought were perfectly fine until he found out they were gay. Then on second look, there were hidden insecurities in each and every one of them and that proved it was indeed not natural or acceptable. This was yet another thing about his youthful employer he despised. He had taken to his bed that strange boy with the bizarre hair that always covered one eye. Clearly, those two were also "sick and perverted" and being as wealthy and powerful as Quatre was, that fact infuriated the man.

//How can fortune favor people who obviously have such demented personalities? Worse yet, the people here fawn over both of them as a couple as though they were royalty! Now here *I* am, an honest hard-working *normal* man and am I blessed with such riches? No! Of course not! The twisted off-spring of a man who committed suicide in space gets all of it! Life is seriously unbalanced!//

Such out-of-date feelings and inappropriate judgements were exactly what the current situation did *not* need, yet there he was. And, after discovering how sweet life spent working roughly three hours a day until further notice while living in luxury at premium pay, Smith made every plan to stay right where he was for as long as possible. No, that deluded young man was not going to recover as quickly as he could and why should he? As long as Smith could assure himself of remaining on the estate indefinitely that was all that was required.

That evening, as planned, he reported to Quatre Winner in the boy's overly expensive office. Smith had to work hard to keep it in mind he had to be polite to the "brat" in front of him. He laid out plans for treatment changes and emphasized the importance of getting Duo eating again, something Quatre heartily agreed with. Smith had emphasized this aspect first knowing how much this issue concerned the Winner heir and hoping to avoid disclosing much more. The meeting was cut short by a call Quatre had to take for business reasons and Smith was more than happy to leave.

By the end of a week at the mansion, Duo was indeed eating better and putting on some weight again. This was encouraging.

What none of the others knew, was that Smith had been using hypnotherapy without ever explaining to Duo or Quatre just what he hoped to accomplish with it or its inherent dangers. Once the psychiatrist felt comfortable enough to do as he pleased, he would often hypnotize Duo and "train" him on certain things no one there would ever have approved of. These included a fundamental loyalty to Smith no matter what anyone else said about him as well as the idea that being with his male lover was dangerous. In one session, the older man finally noticed how attractive the boy really was and decided it would be in the doctor's own best interests to place fundamental blocks in Duo's subconscious about sexual relations with anyone at all. Seeing how sexually active the brat was with his "boyfriend", as the man callously thought of Trowa, he felt certain that Duo being disinterested in sex would worry them and would keep the doctor there even longer. Perfect planning, he felt, to arrange for an appropriate adjustment of the financial scales.

Drugs were manipulated and at times Duo seemed much better and at others his condition would become retrograde. However, as the man liked to say, "Never fear, Smith is here!" And the psychiatrist always found something or other to adjust or modify that allowed Duo to get closer to a path to recovery, yet never quite stay on it.

In fact, the sheer bulk of the drugs Duo was on would have frightened anyone. One day when Quatre had gone to see Duo before starting work, the young man saw the multicolor array of pills, tablets, and liquids that Duo was expected to take with breakfast.

"Duo?" Quatre asked in amazement. "Do you have to take so many different medicines every single day or is today heavier than usual?"

Peering at his friend strangely, Duo replied, "No, Quatre, this is just the stuff that goes with breakfast. I take more at lunch, then dinner, and about twice as much before bed."

"Do you even know what all of that is?"

"No, not really." Duo shrugged. "But Dr. Smith assures me they are all needed and he'd never lie to me, so I take them. Besides, *he* went to medical school and I'm just a kid, why should I know what all of these are or what they do?" He proceeded to nonchalantly swallow them by the handful.

//Just a *kid*?!?// Quatre was panicking. //What is Duo *thinking*?!? As Gundam pilots we were never kids in the first place! We were warriors and terrorists who killed thousands, this can't possibly be right. Duo would never blindly follow someone else's every command, not even Heero's!//

Quatre bid his friend farewell and immediately made a note to speak with Akheem about the drugs as well as Smith's behavior as a physician, he still didn't trust him.

//I'll need to ask Trowa if he recalls Duo calling himself "just a kid" before Smith ever entered the scene. There is something not right here, and we need to determine what it is before things get worse.//

on to part 8

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