DISCLAIMER: (Borrowed in part from Jay, with her permission) The Gundam Universe of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is © Sotsu Agency, Sunrise, ANB, and Bandai America, Inc. Characters, places, timeline and other elements of the Gundam Wing series are the property of said organizations, and I do not profess to own them. The original material herein is © the author and not considered public domain. Please don't sue or plagiarize. I'm in a perpetually non-prosperous state and all spare change usually goes into coffee or bags of oats.
WARNINGS: Angst, sap, implied yaoi, physical/emotional abuse, suicide attempts, blood.
SUMMARY: Duo winds up in an institution due to severe depression, and Heero helps him face not only his own demons, but also the ones working at the facility who are trying to make his life a living hell.
The next morning when Heero went in to see Duo, he was, once again, not in his room. Heero was becoming so familiar at the facility that they had already taken to letting himself walk the halls to room 26, so when he found it empty, he continued to the TV room. There were other patients there, some watching TV, a couple playing checkers, but no Duo. A concern building inside him, Heero turned and went back to the main desk to inquire about where his friend was.
"Oh, I guess no one told you yet...he's in solitary right now. Flipped out on John last night during nighttime meds." As it turned out, John was 'the thug'. He was the one, with his large build and gruff demeanor, who was responsible for doing the patient rounds and seeing to it that they all took their medications and behaved themselves like good little basket cases.
He was taken to see Duo in the infamous 'rubber room', the place where all the patients would be taken to work out their frustrations when they wouldn't be controlled. Heero was admitted entrance to the area, and the door locked behind him. The entire room was padded down with white foam - floors, walls, and the door, its one tiny window the only unpadded spot in the whole place. It looked a lot like a handball court, only softer. The air was musty and stale, a combination of the chemical odor from the foam and the smell of old sweaty gym socks.
At the back of the room sat Duo. He was asleep, curled up in a ball, knees against his chest, his torso wrapped in a white leather constraint garment. His arms were crossed over his body and buckled behind his back. Sitting huddled the way he was, his head hung over his lap, barely touching the tops of his legs and he had wedged himself into the corner. Heavy breaths came from his open mouth, and Heero realized that his nose was once again bloody, this time both nostrils, probably a gift from 'the thug' since he'd apparently fought with him. His skin was damp with sweat and locks of his bangs were saturated and dark, stuck to the sides of his face. Sitting down against the wall beside him, Heero waited for Duo to notice his presence and open his eyes.
When Duo fluttered his lids open, he met Heero's icy blues. Lifting his head, he tested his constraints, flopping his arms about to no avail. Gritting his teeth and squeezing his eyes shut, he sucked in a breath and tried with all his might at pulling an arm loose, and when he couldn't, he exploded into a fit of agonizing rage. His eyes full of pain and hate, he pulled and thrashed and actually screamed the most primal of screams before he collapsed in a heap, face down on the floor, kneeling with his arms buckled behind his back. Finally succumbing to his fury, he began to weep, his cheek stuck to the soft padding, his saliva and the blood from his nose mingling together to smear the white mat.
Panting to get his breath, Duo craned his eyes to look at Heero who was watching, concerned but unmoving from his seat on the floor, against the wall. "Heero..."
The Japanese man stood up and took a step over to his exhausted friend, setting him upright on his knees. Their eyes met and Duo welled up, his sadness and hate for himself and hate for what was being done to him portrayed like a painting in his glazed-over expression. Heero wiped some blood off Duo's face with his own hand, sighing.
"It's almost done. Please bear with me, Duo. One more week." Heero wrapped himself around his entrapped mate, holding him protectively. Then kissing him affectionately on the back of the head he prayed silently for the day that they could be together again as a couple.
"Well... exactly what we were afraid of happening is happening." Heero was conferring once more with Quatre over his laptop computer. "They all know that they are being investigated and that place isn't up to snuff. So at least one of them, the guy I told you about, is taking his frustrations out on Duo, since they know that Duo, indirectly, is the cause of all the trouble."
Quatre sighed. "I don't think there's anything that we can do about that right now, short of you camping out at the Institution with him."
"I already tried that - they won't let anyone stay on the grounds after visiting hours."
"How's he holding up?"
Heero paused. "Well, if you mean 'is he holding up from being smacked around', he's a Gundam pilot... what do you think? If you mean mentally? I think he's cracking. Or getting pretty damn near close to it." The gravity of the situation was evident in Heero's expression.
Quatre asked again. "How are YOU holding up?"
His gaze softening some, the Japanese man sighed, then admitted that he wasn't holding up very well. He couldn't sleep, he wasn't eating well, and he was consumed with worry about Duo. How different a person he'd become, from the uncaring soldier he used to be. Seemed to Heero that learning how to feel and love had also brought with it the very real stresses of caring about people, and those were stresses that were fairly new to him. He was intent however, to endure whatever he had to in order to get this issue dealt with and get Duo home safe. There were certain aspects of his self-discipline that would never change, and his determination was one of them.
Heero was startled out of his sleep by the telephone on the nightstand beside the bed ringing obscenely loud. Rubbing his eyes with one hand he fumbled for the receiver with the other, wondering who would be calling him at this hour, and on the hotel phone. Quatre only contacted him on the computer. Checking the time on the alarm clock near the phone, he could see that it was five fifteen in the morning. Light was just beginning to peek its way around the edges of the closed curtains in the hotel room.
"Yesss.." came the sleepy greeting. It was Dr. Westin.
"Mr. Yuy?" Heero sat up in bed. "There's been an incident here this morning and it seems that Duo has tried once more depart this world."
Heero's eyes grew narrow. "What happened?"
"I don't know how he obtained them, but he swallowed a large amount of his sedative tablets at one time. The bottle was found in his room. He's at L2 Mercy Hospital right now and his stomach is being pumped."
"I'll be there as soon as I can." Heero slammed the phone down and leapt from the bed.