Quatre had shown up at the hospital several days after I had arrived; on the very morning I was scheduled to check out, in fact.
I didn't ask how he knew that I was here. It could have been related to that weird empathy thing he had going on, or maybe Heero had alerted him to my whereabouts or perhaps it was neither of the above. It didn't matter really. I was glad he was here. He seemed to enjoy comforting me as much as I took comfort in his presence. We had both discovered this after Heero's psychotic adventure with the infamous little red button of doom.
"H.. Heero saved you?"
I could hear the disbelief in his voice as well as see it on his face. I would not have expected him to react any differently. I could still easily recall my own surprise at Heero's actions just days ago.
That was his way of asking if I had anything more to offer in the way of an explanation for Heero's blatently out of character behavior. I did. I just wasn't sure I was willing to share it. I wasn't totally convinced that it had anything to do with his rescuing me anyway. He could have had other reasons; mission related ones. That seemed infinitely more likely.
"Why do you think that is, Duo?"
"Why do you think he bothered to break you out? You were a liability."
I was; or at least I could see how they thought I was. I'd told OZ nothing though. I shrugged my shoulders in response to his question. I had not asked Heero why. The information I was privy to was not something I had intended to share with Quatre, but he was curious and I have to admit; I did want to tell someone.
"Collective stress relief?"
"Collective stress relief. As in Heero nailing my ass to the mattress whenever the opportunity presents itself."
That was pretty much the reaction I expected of him. I stood to grab my clothes and made my way into the bathroom to get dressed. I was still moving slow. My body was still hurting. It would be a few more weeks before I'd get to exact my revenge on the OZ bastards who'd beat the shit out of me. They would pay though; some of them with more than a simple broken rib or two.
When I reentered the room, Quatre was looking at me expectantly from his perched position on the window ledge.
I didn't think that Quatre was shocked by what I had admitted. I did think that he was having a hard time reconciling it all with what little he knew about Heero.
"Why do you let him?"
I had said 'collective' stress relief. It was meant to imply that it worked for both of us. "Why wouldn't I? It was my idea."
I got the impression from the sour expression on Quatre's face that he was processing the new information I had just presented him with and from the looks of things, having a tough time of it.
"Look. If it bothers you, Q. Try not to think about it. Okay?" I winked at him once I'd offered him my sagely advice.
I took the shallow shake of his head to mean that it did not bother him.
I shrugged again and gathered all my personal belongings and tucked them into my duffel. I was nearly ready to head out and looked down at the crumbled piece of paper on the nightstand. On it was written the name of the school that Heero had enrolled in under my name.
It confused me that he'd done that.
Several of his actions over the past few days did.
It took a conscious effort not to raise my hand to where he had laid his on my upper arm as he'd said goodbye. I recall noting then that it was gentle; more of a caress really and nothing like the rough touches I'd grown accustomed to from him. Not that I am complaining. He probably had as many, if not more, souvenirs from our adrenaline induced fuck sessions than I did.
Inside I was laughing. 'Why not him?' Maybe Quatre had something against suicidal, half-Asian boys with bad fashion sense and a total lack of social graces.
Quite the contrary.
I looked over and answered him with a question of my own. "Why Trowa?"