Disclaimer: Don’t own anything Gundam Wing, only wish I did (sigh!) The original characters are mine, ALL MINE!!!

Pairings: 1x2/2x1
Category: angst, OOC, AU, Yaoi
Warnings (general): LEMON, Language, Violence, Non-consensual
sex, some Duo torture, Relena bashing
Rating: NC-17 (overall)
Spoilers: absolutely none
Feedback: Yes, yes, please, yes!!!
Key: ‘thoughts’, *italics*, **flashback**

AN: Will Duo’s past ruin his and Heero’s chance to have a family? Set one year after the end of A Touch of Human Kindness.

Small Miracles
by Heartfelt

Heero opened the front door and glanced down at the paper thrown haphazardly onto the stoop. He was bending down to retrieve it when he felt a nudge at the back of his leg. A half-smile grew on his lips as it always did whenever he looked at the fully grown, but still puppyish Golden Retriever.

“Good morning, Kirei,” he said softly, reaching down to scratch the dog between her ears. She whined with pleasure, her bushy tail thumping on the carpeted floor and her collar tinkling as her entire body wriggled with the force of her contented wags. Heero looked out towards the street with the dog at his side. His thought about how lucky he was to be standing there in his new house, listening to the sounds of his husband making breakfast in the kitchen and of his daughter’s radio as she dragged herself through her morning routine.

After that whirlwind day, when their lives had been summarily destroyed only to be suddenly but gloriously restored, Heero hadn’t wasted a moment in laying the foundations for their new life as an official family. Not a week after the ink had dried on the permanent custody order, Heero had bought a house and moved his loved ones from his cramped apartment. The neighborhood was quiet, peaceful and, above all, blissfully normal. There was no trash on the street and no hints of hopelessness marred the freshness of the recycled air. It was boring suburbia at its finest and Heero loved it.

The puppy’s pleading whimper caught his attention and at his nod, Kirei barked and went bounding out into the front yard, her tongue hanging out in doggy happiness at the prospect of exploring the myriad of scents that abounded in the modest green expanse. She had been a gift for Laura, bought only a few days after they’d settled into their new home. Laura, who’s Japanese had been improving by leaps and bounds under Heero’s careful tutelage before her enforced absence, had taken one look at the golden ball of fluffy that was the six-week-old puppy and had squealed, “Kirei na koinu!” Heero and Duo had agreed that she was indeed a very ‘pretty puppy’ and the name had stuck.

“Heero, come and eat.”

He turned at his lover’s summons, leaving the front door open for Kirei’s convenience. Another smile came to his lips, as it so often did these days, while he watched Duo set a platter of pancakes and sausages on the table before retreating to the kitchen for a pitcher of orange juice. Though Heero was still the main cook for the household, the braided man had grown quite competent with breakfast foods and had taken over that duty with relish. Heero snagged a juicy link with a fork as he sat and spread out the newspaper beside his plate.

A grunt from the dining room drew Duo into the room and he saw Heero staring with unusual intensity at the something in the paper. Carefully setting the pitcher on the table, he went to stand behind his husband, kissing the other man on the ear and bracing a hand unnecessarily on his broad shoulder as he bent down to see what had caught Heero’s interest. Duo gasped as he read the headline, a name he’d hoped never to see again glaring boldly from the black print.

“Family Court Judge, Miles Hervé, Sentenced To Thirty Years For Six Counts of Criminal Solicitation Of Minors.”

A twenty-year veteran family court judge, Hervé was recently sentenced to colony prison for thirty years without chance of parole after being convicted of soliciting at least six underage prostitutes. Attention was brought to the former judge’s sexual misconduct by newly appointed Commissioner for the Family Court Board, Judge Trowa Barton. According to investigators, Barton found an eleven-year-old girl at Hervé’s home in the prestigious suburb of Romefeller after going there to speak with Hervé regarding a recent decision. According to a succinct statement by Barton, it was clear that the Hervé had been engaging in improper conduct with the girl. Hervé’s attorneys have declined to comment and it is uncertain whether an appeal will be filed in the case. Hervé has had a controversial record for returning children to parents of questionable competence and in an effort spearheaded by Commissioner Charles Sylvester, the Board has stated that several of Hervé’s past decisions will be reviewed and possibly redecided.

The two young men were interrupted from there perusal of the story by Laura’s appearance in the dining room. Heero quickly folded the paper, not wanting her to see the article. Neither of them had any desire for Laura to ever even think about the name “Hervé” again in life. Duo reached out and tweaked her pert nose as she passed him, smiling at her as she wrinkled the adorable appendage and sat at the table. He took his own seat while she put some food on her plate.

Heero mumbled a greeting around another bite of sausage, not seeing the grave expression on his daughter’s face until he saw Duo gazing at her with a look of concern. Only then did he note the lack of her usual, cheerful morning chatter.

“What’s wrong, munchkin?” Duo asked. His overprotective urges had been in high gear ever since her return, as though he feared something might rip her away from them again. His hand was half way to her forehead to check for signs of an incipient fever when she finally spoke.

“I want to see my mom,” she whispered, her words ringing loudly in the sudden silence of the room. Duo and Heero stared at Laura for a long moment, as though not comprehending her meaning. She fixed her gaze down towards her plate, not wanting to see her fathers’ expressions. But, when she looked up reflexively at a bark from Kirei, she winced at the looks of confusion on Heero’s face and the quiet hurt in Duo’s eyes. The braided man quickly arranged his features into a reassuring smile but was unable to completely hide his true feelings from her.

“W-Why?” he asked, distracting himself by taking a forkful of pancake. Laura sighed at the slight hitch in his voice.

“At my session with Une last week, we talked about Delia and she asked me if I ever wanted to see my mom again.”

Laura thought back to her last meeting with the child psychologist, visits that were now only held every other week instead of weekly. She had been surprised at the question, her mother having been relegated to a dim, though indelible, corner of her mind ever since the end of the custody hearing. She’d wanted to forget how her mother had looked on the last day of the hearing, drugged out of all sensibility, unaware even of where she was. Thoughts of Delia only brought sadness and Laura had promised herself that, now that she had been given the chance, she would only allow herself to know happiness.

But Une had told her something, which she’d thought about almost every moment for the past week.

“It’s okay to be sad. Sadness is a part of life. And, it’s okay to be angry. Being angry and sad helps us get rid of all of the bad stuff that’s inside of us so that we can experience true happiness.”

True happiness. That’s was Laura wanted more than anything in the world. She wanted to bask in the love that radiated from her fathers. She wanted to go to school, daydream about her handsome teacher, Mr. Chang, and giggle with her best friend, Marimeia. She wanted to anticipate the day she’d finally get her black belt in karate.

What she didn’t want to do was think about the woman who, according to Quatre, had been in the hospital for the past few months, undergoing intensive drug rehab. That part of her life was behind her forever, over with and done. But, every once in a while, in the middle of the night, Laura lied in bed and wept for the ruined travesty that was her mother’s existence. She sometimes felt guilty for living in this beautiful house with her dog and her doting parents while Delia languished in the hospital, alone and unloved. But then, she’d think about all of the terrible things her mother had done to her and how grateful she was to Duo and Heero for saving her and she’d feel like she was betraying them with her thoughts.

This conflict had grown within her until she’d blurted out her troubles to Une. The doctor had listened with attentive patience as Laura spilled out her guilt and anguish through her tears. But, as always, Une had put everything into prospective with a few well-chosen words. Yes, for happiness to exist there must be sadness. Else, how could you tell one from the other? And to fully appreciate her new life, Laura knew that she had to finally put her old one to rest.

It was nearly the end of her session when she’d finally told Une what she wanted to do. Une had smiled, telling Laura how proud she was and how much Laura had grown up since they’d first met over a year ago. At twelve, she’d gone through as much as some people three and four times her age. But, if she was truly going to reclaim her lost childhood, she’d have to put it aside one last time.

Laura looked at her fathers with a poignant smile as she answered Duo’s question.

“I just want to know if she’s okay. I want her to know that I’m happy and that, even though I can’t be with her, that I love her. It... It makes me sad to think of her being all alone when I have the two of you. No one should have to be alone. Even if they’ve done really bad things, everyone should have someone who cares whether they’re alive or dead. I want her to know that, even after everything, I don’t hate her. I just want her to be happy, like I am.”

Heero stared at the young woman sitting at his table, wondering where his little girl had gone. Surely this beautiful, poised young lady wasn’t the same scared girl who had cried in his arms when they’d taken her from that cold, grey orphanage. Surely she wasn’t the child who’d been afraid to sleep alone for weeks after finally coming home, who’d been unwilling to let him or Duo out of her sight for fear that they’d disappear when she wasn’t looking.

After exchanging a brief, speaking glance with Heero, Duo slipped from his chair and kneeled beside Laura, hugging her as he chokingly gave her permission to visit Delia. Heero watched them silently until he was startled by a cold, wet nose nudging his hand. Kirei placed her head on his knee and looked up at him with her large, soulful brown eyes which he swore understood everything they saw. He took a deep breath and rubbed her broad head.

Everything would be alright. He and Duo had no cause to doubt Laura’s love for them just as they could never doubt theirs for her. If she wanted to see Delia, then she would. Even if something happened and Delia did something foolish and hurt Laura, they would be there to pick up the pieces. Heero decided to tell Duo that they should encourage Laura to make peace with Delia. If ever an ounce of truth had been spoken by that bastard Hervé, it was that a child needs her mother. If there was any way for Laura to believe that Delia was there for her, even in some small way, and loved her, that could only be a good thing.

Heero nabbed a sausage from his plate and fed it to Kirei. He smiled as she whined in gratitude and licked at his fingers. He glanced up at the two most important people in his life and once again thanked the heavens that they were there with him.


Delia sat quietly in the recreation room, which was situated in an inconspicuous corner of the rehab ward. Like every other day, she sat alone, staring out of the window, trying to make sense of the broken pieces of her life. When had it all gone so wrong? Had she been doomed from the moment she’d first raised a hand to her daughter? Or had her fate been written even earlier, in the leering grin of her father or the ill-remembered face of her mother?

The questions and useless conjectures chased themselves endlessly in her mind and, in the not too distant past, would have driven her straight for the solace of her drug of choice. But those days were long past. Not only did the doctors and nurses keep a watchful eye over everything and anything that entered her body, but she felt a deep, personal hatred for her former source of comfort. It was because she’d been high, lost in the false bliss of the liquid death running through her veins, that she’d missed her last chance to see her daughter’s face.

Everyday, she tried to think back to that final moment, the instant of rage in that dingy bathroom that would be her final memory of Laura. But, like so much of the past five months, it was a blur, loss in a haze of nauseating color and sound. She remembered waking up in some sterile hospital bed the morning after the end of the custody hearing. She’d been informed by a nurse that a Dr. Une had brought her there and would return later to talk to her. She’d waited patiently, or as patiently as her withdrawal- ridden form could tolerate. And when, at last, the tall doctor had come, she shattered Delia’s world with one, soft- spoken sentence.

“Duo and Heero have been granted permanent custody of Laura.”

That was the last coherent memory she had until stumbling into that police station three months ago. She’d sat quietly as Une had talked to her, telling her about her options, courses of treatments, facilities where she could find help. But nothing had penetrated the shrieking howl of grief that had filled every corner of her soul. Laura was gone and she didn’t even remember it happening. She vaguely recalled Relena telling her that she’d won something, but what that elusive something was, she had no clue. It was obvious that she’d won nothing. Like so many other times in her life, she was nothing but a complete loser.

That night, Delia had left the hospital, wearing the fashionable suit which had been carefully hung in the room’s closet. Clothes that belonged to some other woman. A woman with hope. Something she’d lost and knew would never return. She didn’t even remember wandering into the slums of her old neighborhood. It had been less than seventy-two hours since her last visit and her feet remembered the path. Time blurred from that point. How long had she lain in that alley, consuming her precious packets of heroine, giving her body to any man that wondered past when she needed money for more?

But one morning, Delia had woken up, her lip split and cheek bruised from the slap of some anonymous hand. At first, she’d wondered what had roused her. But, the sound of a child’s laugh quickly brought her all the way to consciousness. A woman, poor by the shabbiness of her clothes, was walking past the mouth of the alley, a young boy’s small hand clutched firmly in her own. His tiny shirt had been ripped and his shorts were threadbare, a ragged pair of shoes barely protecting his tiny feet. But, the child had laughed again, clearly secure with his place in the world, and the joyful peal had brought forth and endless torrent of tears from eyes that hadn’t cried in far too long.

She’d sat there for long hours, her once pretty suit as foul as the refuse beneath her, and wept for the crimes she’d perpetrated against both Laura and herself. All she’d wanted to do was to be a good mother, but she’d failed. Irrevocably and completely. All that was left to her was to pray that, wherever Laura was, she was laughing just as sincerely as that little boy.

After her tears had finally abated, Delia had dragged herself to the nearest police station and begged that they called a social worker named Winner. How she’d remembered his name to this day remained a mystery. In quiet moments, she sometimes called it a miracle. Amazingly, Quatre Winner had come for her and, right there in the middle of the station lobby, she’d begged him on her knees for help. In the ensuing two-and-a-half months since he’d put her into the rehab program, she’d never once asked him about Laura. She knew that that chapter of her life was closed and to revisit it could only bring pain.

So she was completely unprepared, as she sat in the rec room, looking out of the reinforced glass onto the hospital parking lot, when she heard the voice of the nurse on duty. “Delia, you have a visitor.”

At first, she thought there was some other woman named Delia in the room. Surely the nurse wasn’t speaking to her. The only visitor she ever had, the one person in the world who cared whether she still lived, was Quatre and he wouldn’t have needed an escort. Warily, she turned towards the nurse, only to freeze, her shock manifesting as alternating streaks of hot and cold which raced through her abused body.

The girl standing behind the nurse had the endearing gangliness of early adolescence, standing a head taller than the middle-aged woman. Her brown skin was flawless, her hair done up in an intricate twist of long braids. She’s grown since I saw her last. The thought came unbidden to Delia’s mind even before her consciousness recognized the visitor for who she was. But the light-brown eyes gazing at her with cautious welcome ended any confusion. She looked into those eyes that were so like her own and clenched her hands into fists, trying to scatter the dream while fervently hoping that she would never wake up.

“Laura,” she whispered, afraid that the vision would dispel if she spoke any louder. The girl smiled with a half- hearted turning of nervous lips.

“Hi, mom.”

Delia could barely feel the tear that slipped down her cheek. Her entire being was focused on the young woman who thanked the nurse with polite words and waited until the other woman left before sitting on the chair facing her. Laura looked at her for a long moment before speaking again.

“How are you?” she asked, her question no more than what one would ask a stranger saved for the slight tremble in her tone.

Delia didn’t answer for a long moment. She simply let her eyes soak in the long wished for but impossible sight of her daughter sitting so near. She took in every aspect of Laura’s appearance, the baggy jeans covering her long legs, her fitted t-shirt, which emphasized her maturing bust, the twisted twine of a friendship bracelet wrapped around her right wrist.

It had all been worth it. The months of loneliness and pain. The endless nights spent ignoring the siren’s call of the drugs she was trying so hard to resist. The inner struggle not to ask Quatre about her daughter, to let the girl finally live her own life. For, at long last, Delia had understood that, if she loved Laura, the best thing she could do was to set her free.

It all came down to this wondrous moment, this impossible miracle, this gift from God. Leaning against the back of her own chair so as not to threaten Laura in any way, Delia wrapped her arms tightly about her middle to hold in her thundering heart. She smiled softly at the beautiful young image of herself.

“I’m fine, Laura,” she said, truly meaning it for the very first time in her not-so-long but infinitely sad life. “Just fine.”

AN: OH MY GOD, I’M DONE!!!! I can’t believe it! When I started this fic, I had no idea that it would be such a journey. It’s been nearly two years that I’ve been writing this story, and, though I’m glad it’s come to such a happy conclusion, I am rather sad to see it end. I really appreciate all of the wonderful feedback and comments that I received while writing. And to both of my beta readers, I couldn’t have done it without all of your terrific support. Thanks so much! Mere words can’t express my gratitude!!

P.S. Look for a follow-up fic about Laura first date. Should be fun! ^__~


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