Disclaimer: None of the authors own Gundam Wing, this was purely for fun. No monetary compensation was garnered by any of the authors.

Pairings: 1X2, 3+4
Category: yaoi, angst, action, TWT, lemon
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: profanity, slight reference to failed NCS, some gore
Feedback: Yes, please! The author of each individual part would love to hear what you thought!

Notes: In the nature of a Round Robin, this wasn't so much a collaboration, as a passing along of the story. As each part was written individually, expect varying styles and a twisting, rollercoaster plot line. A huge thank you goes to Kittikass, DC Logan, Sharon, and Dacia for their support in this project! Also, thank you to Sakti for the beta.

* _ * indicates italics
// _ // indicates thoughts

Part Seven
By [ Caroline ]

Quatre was the first to land. He maneuvered his Sandrock into the clearing and set it down gently, careful to leave enough room for the rest of the pilots to land. He was out of the cockpit and repelling down to the ground as Heavyarms and Shenlong made their descent. Even though Trowa had told him over the comm he was all right, Quatre wouldn't be able relax until he could see for himself the green-eyed pilot was all right. He knew exactly what Duo must have been going through when Heero had turned up missing. He didn't know if he could have handled himself as well had Trowa been the one captured.

The blonde pilot walked briskly to the foot of Heavyarms, trying not to appear too eager, and waited for Trowa to appear. The tall boy did quickly, and Quatre breathed a sigh of relief as he saw that Trowa had nothing more than a couple of bruises and a small scrape over one eye.

"Are you all right?" Trowa asked, looking him over as well.

Quatre nodded, secretly pleased Trowa appeared to be just as worried over him. He turned to Wufei who just waved off his concern.

"Did anyone verify Heero's condition during the flight back?" the Chinese boy asked, scanning the snow-gray skies for Wing.

Trowa nodded. "He said he was fine but that Duo wasn't answering his comm."

The blonde watched the other boys' eyes widen slightly. Then Wufei shook his head and snorted, "That baka. Probably got his communications array knocked out again."

Quatre frowned, closed his eyes, and looked inward. "I don't know. I think… something is off. I…"

He was interrupted by the loud scream of Wing's maneuvering thrusters as the giant metal bird hovered over the clearing, transformed, and landed with an earthshaking thud. The cockpit hatch was open before Wing's systems were powered down completely. Quatre winced as Heero all but threw himself out of the cockpit and down to the ground, not bothering to use the lift cable.

"Duo's hurt," was all he said as he moved off from the others to search the sky.

"Heero, you don't know that," replied Wufei. "He could be having equipment failure. Hell, he could be ignoring you for running off and getting captured like that. Don't jump to conclusions, Yuy."

Heero just turned and glared at the Chinese pilot.

A familiar whine in the distance interrupted anything the Japanese pilot might have said. Quatre watched as Deathscythe approached. As soon as he saw the sleek black Gundam come into view, he knew immediately something was not right. Duo was an excellent pilot, almost graceful in his maneuvers. But as Deathscythe roared into the clearing, Quatre could see that the Gundam was moving strangely, almost mechanically as if... as if there wasn't anyone at the controls.

"Something's wrong," someone else muttered as Deathscythe landed gracelessly next to Heavyarms.

Heero was off and running before Deathscythe had even powered down. Quatre glanced at Trowa before following, a knot forming in the pit of his stomach. He couldn't "feel" anything from the black Gundam which meant Duo was either unconscious or...

He shook that horrible thought away before it could form, not willing to think the worst. He took off after Heero who was halfway up Deathscythe's leg already, thankful for every rock climbing lesson he'd ever had as a child.

Heero had just finished keying the release sequence to the cockpit hatch as Quatre reached him. The door swung open, releasing stale air and the smell of blood. Quatre sucked in a breath as he saw what lay inside. Duo was slumped over the Gundam's controls, his seat restraint the only thing holding him in his seat. His hands were covered in blood, as was most of the cockpit floor Quatre noticed as he moved to help his injured friend. At least he hoped Duo was only injured. The long-haired American was awfully still...

He breathed a sigh of relief as he felt for Duo's pulse. It was faint, but there. He glanced down, trying to see where Duo was injured. He spied a torn, ragged hole in Duo's clothing and leaned down for a closer look.

"Oh, Allah," he breathed as he glimpsed the extent of Duo's injury. Very carefully he slid a hand behind Duo's back. Sure enough, there was an identical gaping wound. Something had pierced the boy in his side. And with the amount of blood that had been lost... Quatre knew Duo wouldn't be able to last much longer. He fumbled for the harness release, cursing under his breath as his hands slipped on the blood covering the device, causing him to lose his grip.

"Heero, get in here and give me a hand," he said as the harness finally came free and Duo's dead weight fell against him. "Heero..."

He glanced behind him to see the Japanese pilot staring at the blood, at Duo.

"Heero, come on!" he cried, struggling to gain a footing in the cramped space with Duo collapsed half on top of him.

Heero didn't move. Quatre noticed how pale the usually stoic pilot had become, how white Heero's knuckles were as he clutched the side of the open hatch. "Is... is he dead?" he whispered so softly Quatre barely heard him.

"No but he will be if we don't get him to a hospital." That seemed to snap Heero out of his daze. Quatre heard him suck in a breath as his shoulders slumped forward in relief. "Heero, we have to get him out of here *now*," Quatre said again. "He's lost too much blood. Stalling up here isn't going to save him."

Heero stared at him a moment longer, then nodded his head. He leaned forward and reached for Duo. "Here, give him to me."

Even after it was all over, Quatre still wasn't sure how they managed to get Duo out of his Gundam and down to the ground without aggravating his injuries. Wufei and Trowa were waiting for them at the bottom to take Duo from them as soon as they were low enough. They laid the injured pilot gently on the still partially frozen ground, then Trowa began to check him over while Quatre and Heero disentangled themselves from Deathscythe's lift cable.

"He needs a hospital," the tall pilot said shortly, looking up at Heero.

"Have you lost your mind?" Wufei said. "In case you haven't forgotten, we just blasted our way out of an enemy base. They're bound to be looking for us. We need to get out of the area as soon as possible."

Quatre shook his head fiercely. "He won't last that long. He needs immediate medical care."

"We can take him to the safe house, do some patchwork field care, then see about getting him to a medical facility once we're out of enemy territory," Wufei argued. When Quatre gave him a horrified look, he continued. "Look, I care about him, too. But it's too risky, not just for us, but especially for Duo. He won't be able to defend himself in a hospital. And..." Quatre could see the Chinese boy's eyes glisten with unshed tears. "And... I think it's safe to say, Duo would rather be dead than captured by OZ."

Trowa looked away as though torn between agreeing with Wufei and wanting to help his injured friend. Quatre just shook his head again.

"No. No! I don't think that's what Duo would want," Quatre said vehemently. "I don't think a field dressing will help him. He won't make it to the next safety point!"

"And standing here arguing like a bunch of idiots isn't helping either," Trowa snapped. Quatre blinked. He'd never heard Trowa use that tone of voice before. Duo's condition was obviously affecting him more than he cared to show.

Quatre shook his head again and turned to the one member of their team who hadn't voiced an opinion yet. "Well, Heero. What do you think we should do?"

The Japanese pilot had been staring down at Duo during the whole argument, looking almost as pale as his injured friend. When Quatre spoke his name, he looked up at him sharply, as though startled out of some deep contemplation. He looked at each of his fellow pilots' faces, then turned his attention back to Duo.

"Take him to a hospital," he said, after a moment of silence so long Quatre thought he'd have to ask his question again. The blonde sighed in relief.

"Heero," Wufei began, but was interrupted before he could voice his protest.

"No. We can protect him at the hospital. Besides, I don't think OZ will be looking too hard for us," he half-murmured as if remembering something. "I'm - *we're* not going to lose him. Not now. Not before I..."

Quatre could feel Heero's pain as he broke off whatever he had meant to say. He nodded, understanding the situation. If it had been Trowa lying there instead of Duo, he'd feel the same way.

"Okay. Let's go. Wufei, can you stay here and move the Gundams?" The Chinese pilot nodded. "Good. There's a hospital about twenty minutes away in town. Trowa, you take Duo..."

"No, I'll take him," interrupted Heero.

Quatre hesitated, then nodded. "All right. Trowa can drive. Wufei, meet us there when you get done."

The blonde Arabian watched as Heero gently lifted Duo's body into his arms, then headed into the woods towards the safe house and the stolen vehicles waiting for them. Quatre followed quickly, glancing behind him once to make sure Trowa was behind him. In front of them, he could see Duo's braid swinging limply over Heero's arm. He prayed to Allah that it wasn't too late to help his friend. Because if anything happened to Duo... well, Quatre was afraid instead of mourning one lost friend, they'd be mourning two.


Cold. Everything was so cold. Not the biting chill of winter, but an all over body numbing cold. It was so cold it almost hurt, but he was too numb to really feel anything. And it was dark, too. He tried wiggling his fingers in front of his face just to see if he could see them, but it was too dark. Then again, he was so cold and numb, he wasn't even sure if he was moving his fingers at all.

He didn't like this cold, dark place. He didn't know how long he'd been there, or even how he'd gotten there. There was something tugging at the back of his mind - something he was supposed to remember. But the darkness had swallowed his memories, swallowed his mind.

He couldn't even remember his own name.

He would have screamed if he could. But he was so cold... so cold...


Heero had never felt more helpless in his life. Even when he'd been wandering around in the snowstorm looking for Duo, he hadn't felt this useless, this helpless. He stared through the glass window of the trauma room where men and women dressed in hospital smocks and protective masks scurried frantically around the gurney Duo was lying on, hooking the injured pilot to all kinds of machines and tubes. He could only watch as a nurse cut away the ruined, bloodstained clothing to reveal the damage - a gaping, bloody hole about five centimeters in diameter on the right side of him stomach.

A hand descended gently on his shoulder. "Heero, perhaps it would be better if you didn't watch this," Quatre said, trying to draw him away from the window.

"I'm not leaving," Heero replied, shrugging off the hand.


"Why didn't I tell him?" the Japanese boy said suddenly. "I thought I'd lost him in the snow. I should have told him when I found him. I should have said no to J and not gone on that mission. I should have stayed until he was better."

"Heero, it's not your fault."

Haunted blue eyes turned to look at him. "Don't you see, Quatre? It *is* my fault. If I hadn't gone, if I hadn't let myself be captured, Duo wouldn't be lying there right now, fighting for his life."

"He's the one who made the decision to come after you, Heero. If he...if he doesn't make it, it'll be as much our fault as it is yours for not stopping him."

Heero shook his head. "He wouldn't have had to come after me if I hadn't screwed up." He turned back to the window. "I can't lose him, Quatre," he said so softly the blonde barely heard him. "Not now. Not before..."

He trailed off as the doctors inside started yelling at each other, near pandemonium breaking out inside the room as the heart monitor above the boy's bed flat-lined.


He drifted, cold and alone, and so terribly afraid. The void was so empty, so lifeless. He wondered then if this was what death was like. Was he dead?

The memory hit him like a bolt of lightning. There had been a battle. He was a soldier. There was something that had been missing, something important. Had he found it? He couldn't remember. There was an explosion. There had been pain. Had he been killed?

A pair of blue eyes appeared in the fragments of memory. A name drifted just out of his grasp. He reached for it, but was too tired to hold on to it. The memory drifted away, leaving him in the cold, empty void once more.

Then... the void wasn't so empty. A tiny pinprick of light appeared in the distance. His terror vanished, replaced by a soothing kind of calm. Something told him that where there was light, there had to be warmth. He willed for the light to come closer.

The speck grew larger, the light gaining in intensity. At first he though the light was white, but as it approached, he could see it was made of all the colors, in all the shades and hues, and even some he had never seen before. The light was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life.

And then he knew. All he had to do to reach it... was just let go.


Heero burst into the room, nearly knocking over one startled nurse, as the machine above Duo's head continued to whine.

"Get the paddles!"

"Charge to 250!"



Heero's own heart nearly stopped as he saw Duo's body arc upwards from the jolt of the current being shot through his body in an effort to restart his heart. He leapt towards the table, trying in vain to get to Duo.

"Sir! You can't be in here!" someone said, trying to keep him away from the gurney.

"Charge to 300!" the doctor yelled, still holding the paddles.




"Heero." Someone grabbed his arm. Quatre. "Heero, come with me now."

"No! I can't leave. He... he can't leave."


Something was wrong. The light was getting brighter, but he was still cold. Shouldn't he be getting warmer? The light pulsated with heat... but he couldn't feel it. The light was getting brighter but he wasn't getting any closer.

Something was holding him back. Something... someone... He couldn't remember. Why couldn't he remember? He needed to remember.

A pair of blue eyes. A tousle of brown hair. A name.



The light pulsed once, as if in regret, then began to fade. But he didn't care. Heero wasn't in the light. Heero was... elsewhere.

The light went out, leaving him once again in the darkness. He tried to call out Heero's name, but his voice was frozen.

Mute. Blind. Cold. Alone.

Where was Heero?



"You have to let the doctors do their work, Heero."

The Wing pilot could hear the strain in the other's voice as they both watched Duo being shocked one more time... heard the heart monitor beep... then beep again... a rhythm established...

"Right. He's stable. Let's get him up to the OR before he crashes again."

Heero let Quatre push him out of the way as Duo was rushed out of the room, presumably on his way to be operated on. He stood with the blonde pilot beside him for a long moment after Duo had been taken. Then, without a word, he pushed away from Quatre and through the trauma room doors, past Trowa and Wufei, and continued down the hall to disappear around the corner.

"Should we follow him?" Trowa asked as Quatre stepped through the doors.

The Sandrock pilot shook his head. "No. Let him be. He'll come back when he's ready. He won't go far."


"I think he's coming around!"

The darkness had become gray. The shape in front of him slowly began to come into focus. Quatre's worried face peered down at him.

"Duo? Can you hear me? Duo?" the blonde asked in a rush, leaning further over the occupant in the bed.

"Jeez, Quat. I'm not deaf," Duo rasped weakly. He raised his hand to brush away a stray lock of hair from his face, wincing at how much energy it took to do so. He noticed the tubes in his arm. "What happened? Where am I?"

"You're in a hospital. You got hurt on our last... mission. You gave us a little scare, but the doctors say you'll be okay. Do you need anything?"

"Maybe some water?" He tried to swallow, but it hurt like hell.

Trowa moved forward with a cup and spoon in his hand. "Ice chips," he explained as he spoon-fed some of the cold chips into Duo's mouth. "You're not allowed water until the doctors check you over."

Duo nodded and sucked the ice gratefully.

"How do you feel?" Quatre asked.

"Like I got run over by a Gundam," Duo groaned in reply as he tried to sit up. A sharp pain shot through his stomach as he did. He whimpered and collapsed weakly against the bed, suddenly deciding that *not* moving was his best option for the moment. "How long have I been out?"

"Three days. You nicked a kidney. The doctors have been keeping you sedated to allow you time to heal," Quatre answered.

"Three days? What happened?"

"You don't remember?" Trowa asked, setting the cup of ice aside.

Duo blinked at him, then gasped as the memories came flooding back - getting lost in the snow, Heero's failed mission, the rescue attempt, the exploding Leo...

"Heero! Quatre, please. Where is he? Is he hurt?"

"Shh, take it easy Duo. Heero's fine. He's got a couple of bumps and bruises from the mission, but please believe me when I say he's in a lot better shape than you are right now."

"Then where is he? He didn't get called away again did he?" Duo struggled to control his emotions. Heero was a big boy. He would. Not. Panic.

"He's... around here somewhere. Shall I see if I can find him for you?" Quatre asked.

Knowing he wouldn't feel better until he saw that Heero was indeed no worse for wear, Duo nodded his head. "Please."

"I'll go," a voice in the corner said. Duo looked over to see Wufei standing in the shadows.

"Thanks Wufei," Quatre murmured. The Chinese teen just nodded his head and walked out the door, closing it softly behind him. Duo heard Quatre sigh as the door clicked shut.

"What's wrong with 'Fei?"

"I think he feels guilty," the blonde answered.

"Guilty? Why?"

Quatre shot a look at Trowa across the bed. "He and Heero... had a minor disagreement after we pulled you from Deathscythe." The Arabian paused as if hesitant to go on. "Wufei... didn't want to bring you to the hospital, not at first. He thought it was too dangerous."

Duo closed his eyes, feeling suddenly very tired. "I understand. I'd probably have argued the same thing."

"No, you wouldn't have," Trowa remarked.

Duo gave him a little smile. "No, I wouldn't have. But it was the right thing to do." He frowned. "We aren't in danger are we?"

"No. OZ doesn't appear to be looking for us."

"Still, why am I here at all?" he yawned. "We all know the risks. I should have been left behind if I was a danger to you."

Trowa snorted. "Tell that to Heero. He refused to leave until you had gotten medical attention."

Duo's eyes would have opened wide if they hadn't been weighted down with sleep. "Heero refused? Why..."

Quatre smoothed back his hair and smiled down at him. "Ask him yourself when he gets here. It may take Wufei a little while to find him. Why don't you get some rest until he arrives?"

"M'kay," Duo mumbled sleepily. "Promise to wake me up when he gets here?"

"I promise, Duo. Go to sleep."

Duo didn't have the energy to disobey.


When he woke, the sun had long since set. Light from outside was streaming mutely through the translucent curtains, casting the room in an eerie gray shade, all save a speck of blue that burned through the near darkness.


The figure rose and stepped out of the shadows to stand next to Duo's bed.

"You should be sleeping."

"I told Quatre to wake me up when they found you."

"I told them not to," the other boy replied. "You need to rest."

Duo smiled. "I suppose I should thank you. If you hadn't insisted on bringing me here, I'd have most likely died."

He could feel Heero tense beside him. "I wouldn't have let that happen."

"Why?" He burned with the desire to know. "Why did you do it? You risked us being caught just to save my sorry ass. It was my fault I got hurt. I was the one who insisted on going after you. You didn't need my help, and I only got in the way. You should have just left me for being so stupid..."

Heero slammed his fist down onto the pillow next to Duo's head and leaned forward, eyes glittering dangerously. "Don't you ever do that again, Maxwell."

Duo cringed. "I... I'm sorry, Heero. I know I fucked up. I...next time, just leave..."

"No. That's not what I meant." Heero leaned closer still. "Don't you ever, *ever* scare me like that again."

Duo blinked, but before he could reply, Heero's mouth covered his own in a hard, bruising kiss that stole his breath and left his head spinning. Then, as quickly as it began, the kiss ended. The two pilots stared at each other for a moment before Heero turned on his heel and walked swiftly out of the room.

on to part 8

back to fiction

back to yaoi writing ring fiction

back home