WARNING: Very High Angst Lemon, Proceed With Caution, Kleenex Warning
[Sequel to Tragic Secrets; Book 6 of the "Secrets" Arc, Final Installment of arc]
Author: Enigma
Written: October & November, 2000
Cumulative Rating: NC-17
Pairings: (1x2/2x1) (3x4/4x3) (5+S)
Category: Angst, yaoi, AU
Cumulative Warnings: Angst, lemon, yaoi, sap, AU, OOC
Be Prepared: Kleenex Warnings!! also: avoid Colas
DISCLAIMERS: 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. Any reference to copyrighted material or trademarked goods should be considered an "homage" (yeah, right!) Don't sue me, even the lawyers wouldn't enjoy it, except of course for the Ashe and Jojo characters!
NOTE: Timeframe---after the war has ended and the Gundams were destroyed. //yada, yada, yada// = inner thoughts

Silencing The Secrets
Part 4

After sleeping for over twelve hours straight, Trowa finally woke up. Yawning, he wondered why his cell phone hadn't gone off while he slept then realized someone had taken it from him. Ordinarily this would have immediately brought to mind any number of disturbing images, but right then he was still too sleepy to care.

Stretching, he finally noticed the white walls, the white ceiling, the white *everything* surrounding him and it hit him. //Damn, I forgot! I'm in the hospital! How's Quatre?//

Trowa made the mistake of jumping to his feet when the rest of his circulatory system wasn't quite up to speed just yet. He ended up plopped in a less than dignified manner on the floor. He sat there, rubbing his eyes a moment figuring if he was going to sit there he'd at least take a moment to wake up before trying again. A gentle laugh interrupted his thoughts.

"Awake, I see." It was Dr. Akuma, smiling at him and holding the cell phone in one hand.

Trowa, embarrassed yet finding it rather funny as well, simply smiled. "Don't you get to go home, Doctor? It's been," he glanced at his watch in amazement. "What? It's been 12 hours since I went to sleep? I never sleep that long, what happened?" He was scrambling to his feet suspicious that he had been kept asleep artificially.

Akuma laughed gently again, "Relax, Mr. Barton, you did indeed sleep that long, apparently you needed it. Now there's a call for you from Heero Yuy, he says it's urgent." She handed him the phone and walked out of the room.

"Heero!" Trowa was still trying to get his bearings. "Where are you?"

The connection was fuzzy, any call coming from a space shuttle re-routed through a land-line tended to be. "Take it easy, Trowa," Heero laughed. "Hey, guys, cut it out! I'm on the phone!" In the background, Trowa could make out the sounds of two male voices laughing and arguing over who was winning when "Hannibal" made them stop.

Trowa was actually amused by this. Obviously, Heero had indeed rounded up his motley crew of rescue agents, Junpei "Jack" Ryuzouji and Gene Starwind, and was en route to Wufei's last known location. "So, Heero, got your team together, I hear." He commented dryly.

"Yeah, Trowa, Gene insists this is the 'A-Team', but Hell if I know what he's getting at with that weird name. I swear he knows more pointless trivia than anyone I've ever met!"

"You're just jealous!" The easily recognizable voice in the background could only be the irrepressible Gene Starwind, transplant doctor and now, apparently, the "space cowboy" Heero had accused him of being since the two had met under such bizarre circumstances obtaining a heart for Duo.

"Ignore him, Trowa," Heero laughed. "Listen, you wanted a call before we got too far, so here it is; I'm afraid we're near the edge of transmission range, so just hear me out. We've got all the supplies I asked for and then some. I'm beginning to think Rasid is ticked off we left him behind, but he over-loaded this shuttle with just about any rescue gear we might need. He even threw in enough extra food to feed a small regiment and it's a good thing. I never noticed how much these two chow-hounds could put away at a single sitting! Even Duo'd have a hard time keeping up with them!" The laughter in Heero's voice, once so alien to Trowa's ears, was now reassuring.

//Good.// Trowa thought. //Sounds like he's gotten over the guilt trip he was on regarding Duo. It's a shame I slept so long, I don't have a clue if Duo's doing better or not, but I would assume he is well taken care of since they were to contact me should the need arise.//

Then the laughter vanished as Heero became deadly serious. "Anyway, we are headed to DH-1221, ETA roughly 3.5 hours. We contacted Preventers HQ and they say the entire colony is unstable power-wise. They were able to get power to the oxygen plant restored for roughly six hours earlier, buying them some more time, but it's out again. Total darkness, total lack of fresh air, total lack of power. They are still evacuating as many of the colonists as possible, but there's been no sign of Wufei's rescue team anywhere within the colony itself. They got a report their shuttle did land somewhere near the area 51 docking ports where they suspect Sally's team is missing, but when the shuttle was finally located, it was obvious there had been some type of disaster with the landing."

Heero's voice settled into a cold firm resolve that while frightening, was completely honest. "Trowa, I'm not going to lie about this, but it's bad. They recovered five bodies from the shuttle, none of them identifiable as Wufei, but there's body parts for at least two more victims and they remain totally unidentifiable right now; they said it's going to take DNA matches to place them. We have to face the possibility that we may have lost him already. But, we are going to go ahead and see if there's any chance he made it out alive and even if he didn't, we've got an obligation to get Sally if we can."

Dead silence came across the line as Trowa processed this most unwelcome news.

"Trowa? You still there?" Heero was concerned this had been too much, but they were running out of time.

"Yes, Heero, I'm still here. This is, to say the least, disturbing. However, I agree, you must proceed as planned. After all, if Wufei is not among those confirmed dead, then there is still a chance and you are quite right. Even if we've lost him, then we owe it to his memory, as well as to her personally, to do our best to locate Sally and hope she isn't dead as well."

"Agreed." Heero sounded like he was handling this better than Trowa would have expected, but this wasn't the case; he'd simply submerged his own pain to continue the mission. "In all honesty, I don't believe Wufei died on that shuttle, Trowa. He's too stubborn to die that easily and we both know it. My guess is he made it to the colony and if he isn't with Sally, he got as close as he could or is still trying. I am *not* giving up unless someone convinces me beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are both dead. Even then, I'm staying until we can retrieve the bodies and bring them home."

Trowa sighed, hoping this would not be the case yet knowing false hopes were often more dangerous then reality. "Understood, Heero. I concur. Do whatever you feel you have to do. Bring them home one way or the other if you can, but do not, I repeat, do *not* take any risk of the three of you ending up lost out there as well. We've had too many losses lately and we can't afford to let your location become an eternal secret as well."

Heero laughed grimly, once more giving a reassuring, "Ninmu ryoukai. We'll be careful. You are right, we can't lose any more members of the family, now can we? Anything else you need to tell me before we get out of range?"

"No, not really," Trowa smiled sheepishly. "I just woke up and haven't gotten any updates on Quatre, Duo, or Laurel yet. I'm going to head out and check on them as soon as we're done here. If there's an emergency, I'll call you right back. If you don't hear from me assume all is as best as we can hope for right now."

"Sorry, Trowa, but we're almost out of range now." Heero sounded truly sad he would not hear the progress reports on his friends. "I'll try to get in touch again as soon as possible, but it will probably be awhile. Communications are drastically limited to and from DH-1221, and this shuttle radio won't be powerful enough to make a connection from there on its own." Once more the connection fuzzed in and out. "I'll look forward to hearing from later. Give my best to everyone there, we'll here."

"You're breaking up, Heero! I'll do everything I can here, have faith! Barton Out."

"Understood. Tell I love Out." With that, the last communications with the rescue team were lost for quite awhile.

//I hope they have better luck finding Wufei than it sounds like they may have.// Trowa thought ruefully as he turned off the cell. //Now, I'd best get myself cleaned up some and take over my share of the "rescue mission" here at home.//

Once cleaned up enough to suit himself, Trowa located Dr. Akuma. "So, Doctor, you never answered my question earlier. Don't they ever let you go home?"

Akuma laughed, "I *did* go home, Mr. Barton." She smiled softly. "I don't think I needed as much sleep as you did. I dare say I'm used to the hours my chosen profession forces on a person."

"Please, call me 'Trowa'." He smiled. "I'm glad you did get some sleep, you seemed to have had quite a rough day, um, yesterday, I guess it is, now, right?"

"Right." She laughed. "Now, Trowa, would you like to check on that fiancÚ of yours? He hasn't awakened yet, but his vital signs are outstandingly good and I've gotten clearance from the ICU for you to visit him briefly."

They were already walking in the direction she pointed out as she continued. "As things stand, you need to expect that he's going to look fairly beaten up, the surgery does that to the patients. After all, it is brain surgery regardless of the area of access and it is very hard on them. We did shave his head anticipating a standard cranial opening for the procedure, so don't be surprised. As for his eyes, they are both currently bandaged to prevent further injury, we will keep it like that for some time to come, depending on his recovery. The other thing to keep in mind is that he most likely can hear you at some level which is why I pushed for approval for you to go in there. I'm hoping hearing your voice will bring him out of it sooner. Even if he doesn't respond this visit, if you can handle going in there every two hours and talking to him, we may have him able to talk ahead of schedule and that will make a world of difference in his recovery time."

"Anything it takes," was Trowa's grim statement.

She stopped him dead in his tracks. "Now, hold on a minute, Trowa. Things are looking *good* here, why do you sound so negative? If Quatre detects that tone in your voice it's only going to slow things down. So, tell me, what's wrong?"

Trowa shifted uneasily, not wishing to say too much about what was on his mind, yet knowing this needed to be clarified to the oncologist. "Frankly, I've just gotten news that two of our friends may be dead and that Heero may not even be able to bring their bodies back; actually, knowing how bull-headed he can get, even he may not make it back. Further, I haven't had a chance to check on Duo or Laurel and I'm extremely concerned about both of them."

Nodding, the doctor wrapped a comforting arm around the teen beside her. "I understand. That is a lot to be concerned about. I'm sure you can trust your friends, and as for people here, let's take care of Quatre first, then you can check on the others. As I said, his vital signs are amazingly good and we are very hopeful. The pathology labs are still working on their diagnosis of the tumor itself, but we have a high degree of confidence that we got all of the cancer. Now, let's go see him, shall we?"

They stepped through a double set of doors clearly labeled "Intensive Care Unit: Restricted Access" and into an area that was too familiar in its resemblance to the CCU that Duo had spent so long in. Several doors down, they came to Quatre's room.

Inside he lay apparently unconscious, looking small and seemingly lost in the sea of instruments and diagnostics hooked to his body to monitor heart function and everything else. As indicated, the monitors were indeed indicating good progress; Trowa had become adept at reading such things after all they had gone through including the crisis with Laurel's febrile seizures. Approaching quietly, Trowa sought and found a pale hand laying against the stark white sheets which he could gently hold while he spoke.

"Quatre? I don't know if you can hear me, but I'm here for you, Little One. They tell me your surgery went very well and that you are recovering faster than they expected. I'm relieved to hear that. I really don't know what I'm supposed to say here," he paused and smiled a little. "After all, you know I'm not exactly the world's greatest conversationalist, but the doctor said it would help you recover. Anyway, you look good, koi. Granted, you will probably be annoyed they shaved your hair off then didn't need to, but you still look wonderful to me, love." He kissed the hand that seemed fragile in his.

"You know something, Quatre? I almost forgot what it was like when it seemed like you were the delicate one in our group. How could we have been so foolish? You are stronger than most of us ever could hope to be and it's that strength that will bring you back to me, won't it?" Trowa had promised himself he wouldn't allow himself to cry, yet the tears came unbidden. Silently, he held Quatre's hand against his cheek, running the soft flesh against his own, relishing the thought of the day his love would be himself again. "Come back to me soon, koi, I miss you and I need you."

Warm tears flowed from his cheek onto the hand bringing a most unexpected response.

on to part 5

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