Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing or the characters of the series. Bandai/Sunrise/Sotsu have that privilege. I am not making _any_ money from this. This story is for entertainment purposes only. I doubt it will even entertain. Please do not sue me, for I am but a poor, unemployed student.

Pairings: 1x2
Category: Yaoi, Angst, Bitchy Pilots?
Rating: NC-17 for sexual content, yaoi, coarse language, angst, violence, grossness, general bitchiness, objectionable content, etc.
Warnings: Yaoi, LEMON, angst, coarse language, gross situations, medical impossibilities, violence, OOC-ness, and general bitchiness
Feedback: Much appreciated! C&C is great. NO FLAMES!

Notes: Okay, I got in February (2001), and I wrote some of it then, but then I forgot about it. I came across what I'd written and decided to pick up where I left off. Unfortunately, I forgot what's supposed to happen in the story, so I'm making it up as I go along. Here's the gist: I've always wanted to write a fic where Heero and Duo _really_ didn't get along. This is it.

'words' - thoughts, //words// - flashback, [words] - dream sequence

A Hate-Hate Relationship
Part 4
by KM

Heero, still clad in nothing but a towel, made his way into his bedroom with Duo's assistance and sat down on the edge of the bed, careful not to put too much weight on his left leg. Once they had gotten situated, Duo began rummaging through the first aid kit again for the needed materials. He'd have to clean out each wound with antiseptic and then sew them up. He found the antiseptic and the stitching supplies, but he couldn't find one important item.

"Uh, Heero? There's no anesthetic in here, so you'll just have to go without. But you'll probably pass out from the pain soon enough, so it really doesn't matter."

Heero closed his eyes. This was going to hurt. A lot. "Okay, just do it. I'll manage."

Duo eyed the other boy skeptically. "Whatever you say, soldier boy. Alright," he continued, "I'll start on your shoulder. It looks like the most serious injury you've got." He moved around to Heero's left side to get better access and then pulled on a pair of rubber gloves. Pouring the disinfectant onto some gauze, he began the process of cleaning out the wound. Heero's flinching indicated that it was not a pleasant procedure, but there wasn't anything Duo could do about it. Soon, the injury was clean enough to be sewn up, but Duo had to get a better look at the wound to determine exactly what he needed to do. Reaching into his back pocket, he pulled out a small case and removed a pair of rarely used glasses. After putting them on, he peered at the hole in Heero's shoulder.

"Well, the bullet went in here and came out the other side. But," he paused, carefully pressing the area around the injury, "it didn't break your shoulder blade like it should have. It just went straight through (1). I can feel the hole it left. You must have shatter-resistant bones or something for that to have happened, or maybe just really good luck. And it came out in that fleshy part just below your collarbone. Fortunately for you, it missed your axillary artery by about a quarter of an inch (2). Otherwise, you'd be bleeding to death. And then I'd have to take you to a hospital, which would suck for both of us." Reaching down, Duo took hold of Heero's hand. "Wiggle your fingers."

Heero gave him a curious glance, but followed his instructions. However, the slightest movement sent a jolt of pain up his arm. "Can I stop now?" he asked, hoping that he would be able to end the torture soon.

Duo nodded and released Heero's hand. "Looks like it missed the big nerve that runs down your arm, too (3). Aren't you a lucky boy? But now, I'm gonna stitch it up, so prepare yourself. It's gonna hurt like hell." After moving to sit behind Heero, he strung the surgical thread through the needle and gave his patient a final warning. "Okay, take a deep breath and try to hold still. And don't tense up either, it'll just make it more difficult."

Inhaling deeply, Heero made himself relax as much as possible. It didn't help much. He could feel his eyes begin to sting as Duo inserted the needle into his already wounded flesh. Heero clenched his jaw to keep himself from crying out; all the while wishing he'd let Wufei teach him how to meditate. 'What I wouldn't give for some pain killers right now...'

Fortunately, Duo announced that he was finished just fifteen minutes later. "You probably won't even have a scar," he proclaimed, very satisfied with his skills. Then he picked up a new needle and began to thread it. "One down, four more to go. Heero, I need you to lay down so I can sew up the other side."

'Not again,' Heero groaned internally. He didn't know if he could take any more of the pain. "Are you sure you don't have something I can take? Anything?"

Duo had to smile at the desperation in Heero's voice. "Nope. There's nothing in the kit, I don't have anything nearly strong enough to do you any good, and I doubt there's something here that would be suitable." He thought a minute. "There might be some liquor in the kitchen, but last thing I need is a drunken terrorist on my hands. God knows what you'd do. I suggest you stop trying to fight it and let yourself pass out from the pain. It's not like I could think any less of you, so just give in."

Heero managed a weak glare. "I don't give a shit what your opinion is. You shouldn't think so highly of yourself; it only makes you less attractive."

"I think you need to remember who you're talking to, buddy. I am the one who's got the sharp needle in my hand and I'm also the one who controls how much pain you're gonna suffer. And if you don't watch your mouth, I just might have to work a little slower and a lot less gently." Duo leaned in close and whispered maliciously, "So tell me, Heero, what's it gonna be?"

Refusing to dignify the other pilot's query with an answer, Heero simply lay back onto the bed and closed his eyes. As much as he hated to admit it, Duo was in control of the situation, and angering him would only serve to make him more irrational than he already was. Contrary to popular belief, Heero was not a masochist, and did not want to deal with any more pain than necessary. 'Besides, I can always get him back later...'

* * * * * * * * * *

An hour later, Duo had finished working on Heero's upper body. The three major wounds had been carefully stitched up and bandaged, while the numerous other scraps and cuts had been disinfected and dressed. All that was left were the two wounds in Heero's thigh. But that would prove to be difficult, as both of the bullets were still lodged inside.

Duo removed his glasses for a moment to rub his tired eyes. 'This is a lot more work than I imagined,' he thought, 'and I'm still not done yet.' Wanting to get the job done, he poked Heero in the chest to get his attention. "Turn over so I can work on your leg."

Heero, who had remained conscious throughout the entire procedure despite his best efforts to pass out, slowly opened his eyes. "I can't. Not by myself." The pain had sapped his strength, and he was almost too weak to move.

"Then I guess I'll help you. But don't be a dead weight; at least try to move." Duo didn't sound the least bit sympathetic to Heero's plight, but he did give the other boy some assistance. Heero's legs were still dangling over the edge of the mattress, so Duo knew that he would have to pick him up and move him further up on the bed. He put one arm under Heero's back and another under his knees and lifted him up. Duo set him down gently and then carefully helped him turn over to lie on his stomach, taking extra precautions that the towel did not slip out of place. That done, Duo sat back down on the bed, put on a clean pair of gloves, and prepared to work again.

Wearily, Heero set his head down onto the pillow and waited for the pain to come. He felt a sharp sting as Duo cleansed the wounds and he knew it would only get worse. Heero had suffered a lot of pain in his short life, but this little episode was definitely registered as one of the most excruciating experiences to date. The fact that his miscalculations, his poor judgment, his stupidity had caused it made it all the more painful. 'I've got no one to blame for this but myself,' Heero admonished himself. 'I'm the one who failed. I'm the fuck up. This is all my fault.' (4)

Oblivious to the Wing pilot's inner conflict, Duo was trying to figure out the best way to remove the bullets from Heero's leg. He could feel one of them just under the skin on the outside of the thigh, but the other was in deep. Duo hoped it wasn't close to the femoral artery (5); if he accidentally cut it while removing the bullet, Heero would certainly bleed to death. There was only one way to find out.

"Heero, this is gonna hurt."

It was all the warning Heero would get. An instant later, Duo stuck one long finger into the wound to feel around for the bullet (6). A string of obscenities exploded from Heero's throat, but it soon turned into a keening whine as the pain became more intense. This time, Heero could not control the tears that sprang forth from his eyes, and he turned his face into his pillow to muffle his cries of agony.

Duo heard the pain in Heero's voice, but he had to find the bullet before he could do anything else. He poked around gently until his finger brushed against something hard and metallic. Duo sighed in relief; it wasn't as embedded as deep as he thought. He carefully removed his finger from the injury and picked up a long pair of tweezers. After he sterilized them, Duo inserted them in the wound to extricate the bullet. The sound of Heero's muffled shouts made him cringe, but he soon found the slug and deftly pulled it out.

He looked up to tell Heero that he'd gotten the first shot out, but his voice left him when he saw the Wing pilot. Heero's face was buried in his pillow and his shoulders heaved convulsively as he sobbed. The sight was very disquieting to Duo. 'God, he must really be in a lot of pain to be crying like that. I've never seen him act this way before. Almost makes me feel sorry for him...' Suddenly, an idea came to him. Duo put his tools to the side and moved up to the head of the bed. Hesitantly, he put a comforting hand on the back of Heero's neck, and almost immediately, Heero's convulsions ceased. Next, he leaned down so his mouth was at the wounded boy's ear and whispered, "I'm sorry about this." Duo then stood up and removed his pistol from where he'd tucked it into his pants earlier that day. He raised it up and then brought it down sharply, striking Heero across the back of the head with the butt of the gun (7).

"Goodnight, Heero," he said softly. 'He's gonna be pissed in the morning, but at least he's not hurting any more. Maybe that'll be enough to save my ass this time.'

Duo made quick work of sewing up the first wound and then went about removing the second bullet. He quickly realized that the other shot had ricocheted off the bone and that it was impossible to retrieve it through the hole in which it entered. Duo deduced that it would be easier to cut into Heero's thigh to get it out, since it was so close to the surface of the skin. It would create another place for him to stitch up, but since Heero was out cold, Duo figured that it was the best option (8).

After thirty more minutes' work, Duo sat back, his work complete. He looked at his watch. It had taken him just over two hours to patch Heero's wounds. "Not too bad, if I do say so myself. Maybe I should look into being a surgeon after the war is over. What do ya think?" He glanced over at Heero's unconscious form. "Yeah, you're right. Who'd want me operating on them? Besides, I shouldn't be thinking about after the war, since I may not live to see it. Isn't that what you'd say, Heero? Of course, always the pessimist. But I know, out of the five of us, you'll definitely be alive. The one who tries the hardest to get himself killed, the one who thinks of the mission before his own life, you'll be the one to survive. Ain't that a bitch?"

Duo stood up and stretched out his tired limbs, not bothering to stifle the loud yawn that erupted from his mouth. He gazed drowsily at his sleeping companion. "And look at you now. So quiet and peaceful. You actually look like a normal person, a regular Joe. The name Joe doesn't suit you at all, but that's neither here nor there." He moved a little closer to peer at Heero's face, which was smooth in repose. "I'm surprised you don't have that scowl on your face when you sleep; it seems to be your natural expression when you're awake. Do you know what you look like when you're asleep? Do you realize that you look like a decent human being, completely unguarded and defenseless? Probably not. If you knew, you'd keep yourself awake all day so no one could ever see you appear so weak...so human. But," Duo whispered, his fingertips ghosting over Heero's cheeks, tracing the dried tracks of his tears, "you are human. After all, robots can't feel pain. Machines don't cry, do they, Heero? But you do. I saw it myself. I wonder if I'm the first person to see you cry. Am I? I hope so." He got on his knees on the floor beside Heero's head and moved in close, so close, to where he could feel Heero's even breaths whisper across his face. "I hope I'm the first. I always want to be first. Always. Especially when it comes to you. Just you. Only you." Duo pressed forward the last few inches and softly brushed his lips over those of the sleeping pilot. Slowly, he moved back and brushed a stray lock of hair out of Heero's face, only to see it fall right back into place. He sighed. "So stubborn. Just like the rest of you. God, Heero, why do we have to be this way? Why do I have to feel this way, but act like I feel the opposite? I know why. Because I'm really fucked up, that's why. Maybe I just need your attention, and the only way I know how to get it is to pick fights with you. But when are you going to see past it? I want you to. I need you to. Please. I have to have someone to understand me, and I know you're the only one who can. But will you? Do you want to understand? I don't know the answer to that one; maybe you'll tell me someday. Soon?" (9) He hoisted himself up off the floor and dusted off his jeans. Picking up a blanket from a stack by the wall, Duo covered Heero's sleeping form. He took a final, long look at the other pilot before turning off the lights and heading back to his room.

"And now we return to our normal selves. The cycle conttinues..." (10)

Author's Notes:
(1) Here begins the medical impossibilities. I have no idea if a bullet can go through a bone and not break it/shatter it/etc. I'm not a doctor, nor do I have any interest in the medical field. But once again, this is my story, and in my world, this is possible.
(2) I figured that I should at least attempt to make this believable, so I pulled out my nice unabridged edition of Gray's Anatomy to check some facts. The book is even more difficult to read than the Bible, so I could've gotten some facts mixed up. But I believe that the axillary artery (which his part of the larger subclavian artery) runs through the area where Heero got shot and continues down the arm. If I'm mistaken, just let me know.
(3) Don't know the name of it, but there is a big nerve in that area. Once again, thanks goes to Gray's for that tidbit of information.
(4) This is reminiscent of Heero standing on top of that building early in the series (after he accidentally killed Noventa?), and yelling, "I screwed up! I totally screwed up!" (Changed to "messed up" for the 5:30 edition on CN. Can't have the kiddies hearing awful words like "screwed," now can we?)
(5) I actually knew this one without any help. Thanks go to ER or some other random source of information. I don't know where I pick these things up.
(6) Is this the best way, or even a good way to go about finding a bullet? I don't know. But it works quite well in the story, don't you think?
(7) Did you think I'd have Duo go through all the trouble of sewing him up just to end up shooting him? What kind of person do you take me for?
(8) Once again, I have no idea if Duo's judgment is sound. Do I care? Not really.
(9) I'm sure this is last scene is kind of confusing, considering the fact that Duo acts like a total jerk to Heero for most of the story. But I've always had a thing for bi-polar Duo (it fits well with my mood swings), so that's what you get. Besides, I know for a fact that 15-year-olds can behave very strangely, especially around people they like. I remember it well; it wasn't too long ago that I was 15. And I have this thing I do when I'm trying to get over some guy: I make him the most horrible, worthless bastard on the planet. In reality, he's probably not nearly as vile as I imagine him, but it makes it easier for me to move on. ^_~;; Not that Duo's trying to get over Heero...well, maybe he is, I'm not really sure. But he's definitely having mixed emotions about the whole situation. He knows what he wants, but he doesn't want to want it...kind of. Does that make any sense?
(10) Duo's just saying that everything's going to go back to how it was (i.e. Duo and Heero fight like cats and dogs.), and that he'll be back "in character" the next time we see him.

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