"Trowa, when I woke up at 3am I couldn't find you anywhere and was worried about you! Where *were* you all night?" Quatre
looked pathetic sitting in a darkened kitchen yet still wearing his prescription sunglasses. He was obviously in serious pain, but when his
search for Trowa had proved useless, he was unable to sleep and forewent the painkillers he would ordinarily have used just to keep
looking for his missing fiancÚ. His pain-fogged mind had totally disregarded using the pager Trowa always carried.
Trowa, feeling terribly guilty, bent down to kiss him in apology. "I'm sorry to have worried you, koibito, but I was with Heero and Gene
all night. I can tell you are not feeling well, but what we found out can not wait and must be addressed immediately. I'm afraid you will
find what we have to say rather upsetting, but it is imperative we take action immediately."
Sighing, Quatre stood motioning to Trowa to step out of the room with him. "Trowa, you know I love you with all of my heart, but you
scared the daylights out of me!" Quatre wrapped his arms around Trowa's waist and hugged him fiercely. "Now, if what you need to say
is as bad as it sounds like it will be, let me go ahead and take something for this god damned headache before I fall over dead from the
pain! Then, let's go to my office where we can speak alone since whatever you have to tell me must be pretty bad based on the way you
Gently smiling, Trowa ran a long-fingered hand through the golden hair of his beloved fiancÚ, thinking to himself he wanted to change
that title to "husband" before the year was out. "Thank you, koi, you are so understanding." Trowa gently lifted Quatre's chin and kissed
him deeply, again trying to show his remorse for the worry as well as his sadness at bringing the news that they did. "Which medications
do you need, I'll save you the trip back to the bedroom."
Quatre rubbed his eyes, trying to will the pain away then gave up. "I need four, no, five of the capsules, four of the blue tablets, and
you'd better bring two of the small white ones, just in case."
"Don't these things have names?" Trowa asked, astonished that his usually precise lover would describe them in such an off-hand
"Yes, but I hate to even keep track of the names. It's easier to just think of the colors." Almost whining, he added. "Please, Trowa, don't
give me a hard time about them for once? I'm really hurting here."
"What? No, koi, no, I wasn't trying to give you a hard time, it's just we've been working on medical issues all night and it just crossed
my mind. I'm sorry, I never meant to upset you by asking, forgive me?"
A quick kiss was exchanged indicating the apology was happily accepted. As the other three went to get set up in Quatre's office,
Trowa retrieved the medications, then made his way quickly to the office.
Once assembled and Quatre had downed most of the pills, holding several, especially the tiny white ones, in reserve, the three sleuths
began to tell Quatre about what they had discovered and how it was documented. By the time they were finished, his face had gone
ashen, prompting Gene to check his vital signs.
"Quatre? Can you see and hear me okay?" Gene asked, for once looking every inch the top-notch physician that he was.
Barely audible, the reply was simply, "Yeah, sorta."
"What is wrong with him?" Trowa asked urgently.
"His blood pressure is shifting all over the place as best I can tell without equipment and his pulse is a bit erratic. Body temperature is
down, too. What all did he take before we started talking?"
Looking annoyed with himself for not thinking of it sooner, Trowa commented, "I'll get the bottles. I believe Dr. Akheem is keeping
track of this for him, but it's obviously a problem right now."
Trowa returned quickly and the evidence he brought concerned Gene greatly. "Quatre, these are very powerful painkillers. Do you
know how many you took of each kind?"
"No, not really. Tro-chan, did you notice?" Quatre's eyes seemed unfocused and the use of the endearment "Tro-chan" was previously
unheard of by those present. Trowa didn't seem to notice yet another discontinuity in his lover's behavior being more focused on the
pills. "When we first got in here, he took four of the capsules, two of the blue tablets, and none of the white ones. Since then, he took
another capsule, another blue tablet and two white ones. What does it mean?"
"He's taken a possible overdose of painkillers, that's what it means!" Gene was furious. "How could you let him *do* that, Trowa? I
thought you knew better!" Trowa was clearly distraught and Gene's abrupt reprimand didn't help.
"Wait a minute, Gene!" Heero intervened forcibly, deliberately making certain Trowa was out of Starwind's reach. "We've all got a lot
on our minds right now, but don't go holding Trowa responsible for what Akheem prescribes. Now, do we need an ambulance,
Akheem's head on a platter, or what?"
The deliberate insertion of a touch of humor immediately eased the situation. "Man, I'm sorry, Trowa," Gene shook his head, exhaustion
clearly showing on his face. "Going full-speed for, oh," he glanced at his watch which was set for another time-zone anyway, "72 hours
kind of wears me out. I didn't mean to blame you, besides, I think he's pulling back out of it. It might have just been the same shock we
all felt when this shit came to light."
"72 hours without sleep? Damnit, Gene, why didn't you say you needed some sleep? Duo's had it rough, we know that now, but this
whole investigation could have waited!" Heero was upset that his friend had failed to follow his own advice to everyone else about
"No, Heero," Gene smirked, "Did I say that? I meant 'on-duty 72 hours'; time without sleep? Oh about five days now, give or take a
half-day! Listen, if I couldn't handle it, I would've said so, it's just that I never expected to find half this much shit to deal with and it's got
me spooked. Truce, Trowa?"
Quatre's face had regained its normal color and he seemed to be focusing better.
"No need for a truce, Gene. There was never a battle, only a need for enlightenment."
Quatre looked in confusion between the two men wondering what they were talking about then refocused on the problem at hand. "I
have no idea what's going on between you two, but could we get back to Duo and what to do with that bastard Smith?"
The three discussed various options and settled on the direct approach. Smith was called into the office along with Rasid to act as both a
restraining force, whether for Smith or for any of the other men in the room was irrelevant, as well as a witness for legal purposes later.
What was going to occur was *not* going to be pleasant!
Presented with the evidence against him, Smith at first denied any and all of their accusations, however the moment the computer
recorded hypnosis session began playing, he paled visibly. "How did you record my sessions with him? Why was I not made aware of
such recordings? This violates patient doctor confidentiality!" He protested weakly knowing full well his career as well as what he had
hoped would become a nearly permanent position had both been eliminated by one night's work by three young men.
"You, Smith," Heero snarled, "Are damned lucky to be alive right now. If it wasn't for Gene, I mean *Dr.* Starwind, you'd have been
dead hours ago. Don't push it now because he's changed his mind about whether or not you really need to survive this particular
meeting." Heero was not hesitant about threatening this monster with death, even in the presence of witnesses. Rasid, having been
brought in aware only that Gene's presence was to be kept from Duo, had not expected what he'd heard. The psychiatrist was now
surrounded by five powerful men, four of whom were well-trained military men more than capable of exterminating one coward.
However being a coward, Smith did very little to defend himself and actually made things worse.
"Fine, threaten me all you want, that will look very nice in my counter-suit when this gets to court! Besides, you need me alive if you
want any of that hypnosis undone or you don't know what may happen if someone else tries to do it later!" Saying this sealed the man's
fate. It was already out and recorded, as the entire meeting with him had been to his full knowledge and consent, and that statement
incriminated him almost worse than the evidence gathered previously. He had just admitted to deliberately brainwashing Duo and that
alone would support all of the other evidence. As this reality dawned on him, he groaned and dropped his head into his hands. He
mumbled, "The pain, oh, the pain," even though there was no one in the room the least bit sympathetic with him at that point.
"Yeah, Smith, 'the pain'! That's what you've given Duo a lot of and now you're going to undo as much of it as you can if you want to
leave this mansion alive." Heero sat back, arms crossed, not an overtly threatening posture, but the sincerity of the threat was crystal
Sighing in acknowledgement, Smith tried one last time for some form of clemency, "If I help him by erasing the hypnotic suggestions will
you drop the plan to terminate my medical career?"
"What?" Quatre asked cagily. "Aren't you more concerned with stopping *me* from suing you for fraud? I never said how much I'd
seek in punitive damages, you know."
"Well, how could I ever pay such charges if I don't have a career left?" Again, Smith paved the way to prison himself by openly
admitting to the act of deliberate fraudulent charges being made.
Quatre just smiled serenely. "No, Smith, actually I'm more interested in seeing you in jail for fraud since you have other crimes to pay for
as well including deliberate abuse of authority by prescribing drugs which you knew were harmful to begin with and so on. Now that
you've given yet another confession, I really don't care much about the money."
Trowa watched Quatre carefully. While the others may have only noticed a shrewd businessman's carefully set-up trap work
successfully, Trowa instead saw the man he loved starting to tremble slightly, an indicator things were getting worse for him. "I believe
we have accomplished what was needed." Trowa stated, rising to his feet indicating the meeting was over. Heero sent him an urgent
glance which was met with the faintest of movements by emerald-green eyes to indicate something was wrong with Quatre, nodding,
Heero took over.
"Now, Smith," Heero growled low and dangerous into the cowering man's ear. "I'm going to go talk to Duo before you start setting right
what you've done wrong. While I talk to him, though, Rasid will see to it you don't try to get clever and do something intelligent like kill
yourself. No, you are going to stay alive---for now at least." Heero grabbed the older man's shoulder hauling him to his feet roughly,
over-reaching a bit to lift him entirely off of the ground. A little additional direct intimidation seemed appropriate and it did no actual
harm, even though Heero ached to do plenty of physical damage to the person who had deliberately poisoned his fiancÚ's mind against
him. All in all, Heero was the very picture of restraint.
Shocked, Smith stared open mouthed at Heero. This was the first time the psychiatrist had experienced the rumored "super-strength" of
the man he had so haughtily considered a "mere boy of no consequence" when he had first seen him. Sullenly, Smith allowed himself to
be lead to a chair in another room and was effectively kept prisoner by Rasid until he was called for.
Meanwhile, in the office, Trowa called for Akheem.
By the time the physician appeared, Quatre had dropped into what appeared to be a troubled light sleep. Trowa confronted the doctor
about the high amounts of painkillers and Akheem was astonished. He had certainly never authorized such dangerous levels of
medication, regardless of what his employer had said. Trowa knew he could trust Akheem on this, since it had been his suspicion as
well, they agreed to move Quatre to the bedroom and let him sleep off the drugs. As much as he had ingested would make it nearly
impossible to wake him effectively for hours and possibly not until the next day even, but Akheem felt the dangers of complications due
to the now obvious overdose would have already occurred. Gene's earlier observations were then mentioned, and Akheem assured
Trowa that episode had indeed been an overdose reaction, luckily mild as such things could have gone, but at least it meant Quatre
could be allowed to simply sleep the drugs off and further measures taken later.
Glad to have something positive to work with, Trowa lifted the young man and once again carried him to their bedroom. Getting Quatre
arranged comfortably in bed, Trowa yawned and wished he could join him, but knew the drama regarding Duo had not played itself out
yet and his presence was needed there. He left silently promising both himself and his fiancÚ that Quatre would *not* wake up and find
himself alone at any point that night. But since he couldn't join him now, he asked Sadeema to take first watch, so to speak, over the
sleeping boy knowing how much she had always loved him like a son. She looked hesitant at first, something that struck Trowa as
singularly odd, then immediately agreed.
Dismissing staffing concerns from his thoughts, Trowa headed straight back out into the line of duty not knowing what would happen