Author: Asuka Kureru
Warnings for this chapter: Pooooor Feifei-chan, totally OOC but it's for a good reason, poor dear; the others totally stressed out, and stress makes people react strangely so they're not that OOC, so there. No physical violence. Thawing out of an iceberg, gomen, of Trowa ^^ Shounen ai, at last!! And not vague allusions this time (well it ain't much for perverts like ya but still, it's promising, isn't it?) ^______^ 1+2+1, wai wai wai!

Garou + Part 12

Everything was white and blurred.

When the boy with the ebony eyes woke up, he needed a few seconds to pierce through the veil of confusion and understand what he was seeing. Yet, it wasn't something especially hard to comprehend... A white ceiling, a white sheet on him and a tube winding from his arm toward a plastic pocket full of a transparent liquid. Black bars at the windows. And two people in khakis in a corner, peacefully playing cards, with their guns laying near from them, ready to be used.

The black-haired boy tried to lift a hand to chase a lock from his face, but he realized fast that it wasn't possible, for the simple and good reason that his wrists were solidly tied down to the transversal bars along the bed's sides.

"But..." he breathed, perplexed, troubled and annoyed.

The murmur had been enough to make the guards grab for their weapons and put him in their sights.

"One move and you're dead, kid," ordered one of them while the other was catching his walkie-talkie.

"Captain? Yes, he is conscious. Yes, sir."

Making the cards disappear into his pocket, he spoke to his comrade, still staring at the poor confused boy.

"General Kushrenada shouldn't be long. We should still stay careful, he doesn't look like it but he's dangerous..."

"I know," sighed the other, rolling his eyes. "Do you think they didn't lecture me too on the so called capabilities of these damn pilots? Phah," he spat, "he looks like it, look at him... I swear, I have a nephew his age and the kid ain't able to find his ass with both hands and a map..."

Having difficulties just raising his head enough to see, the Chinese teenager stared at them, not understanding a single part of their conversation. What was happening? He remembered just in time not to move his leg. The atrocious pain which had invaded him the last time he tried was still sending warning tingles, from time to time, tickling the end of his nerves with phantom pain. He waited for what seemed hours, his eyes shifting from one of his guardians to the other, desperately trying to understand.

His leg wasn't the only thing that stung. His forehead gave off the impression of being raw, his temple was bruised to the point that even the pressure of his own hair hurt, his shoulder seemed to be prettily bruised too, and he felt strained muscles nearly everywhere.

"Excuse me..." asked the black-haired boy, trying to strengthen his voice. "Where..."

But before he could ask anything, the door opened.

Treize Kushrenada entered the room. He stared at the Chinese boy and walked nearer to the bed, stopping close.

"Awake finally? I waited for three days for you..."

"I know you..." the black-eyed boy blurted out when he recognized the man. "I know you... You were there when..."

His face went tense when he remembered the pain, then he returned his attention back to the man. Treize was looking at him, distant and pensive, nearly haughty. He felt very small suddenly, and not precisely in a strong position. Young and confused, and scared... even if he refused to admit it to himself.

"Could you untie me... please?" asked the boy in a nearly humble voice.

"You do not remember me."

It was more of a simple observation than of a true question.

"Yes, I do... A little... You were there when I... My leg..." Wufei tried to explain. "I don't really know, it's blurred... But I still remember that, a little."

"But not anything from before," noticed more than asked Treize, an imperceptible sigh leaving his lips.

"We knew each other before?" asked Wufei, truly surprised.

Then his face went from expressing polite surprise to expressing total panic when he realized that, in fact, before the pain, he didn't remember anything at all.

* * * * * *

Quatre visited the small, nearly sordid flat and pushed his backpack into a corner. Two bedrooms and four beds, plus the couch. A couch that for once would stay empty; Wufei wasn't there to claim it in the name of his need for solitude.

He briefly closed his eyes, searching for the little spark in him representing the pilot. But the place it had occupied was empty. Not even the scar a death would have left in him. He wanted to see it as a consolation... Wufei wasn't dead. He would have known, he was sure of that.

He cursed himself for not having taken the time and effort to train that special gift he possessed. It could have been so useful... But his empathy wasn't anything more than a fluctuant thing over which he didn't have any control, nor even true understanding.


Quatre sat, as if there was an immense weight on his shoulders, on the couch, and closed his eyes, fingers interlaced in a prayer posture. He wanted to cry, but refused to. He would cry for his comrade when he had his corpse in front of him, and not before. They would find a way to pull through. They always pulled through... They needed to.

A small noise made him look up. Trowa was looking at him from the door. As soon as Trowa saw Quatre move and register his presence, he came into the room.

"Is the perimeter secure?"

The boy nodded, one green eye glinting under his bangs.

Which meant: security check came back clear, no micro or any other spy things anywhere in the flat. If not, he would have indicated it. Quatre had become an expert in Trowa-interpretation.

"Where are the others?"

"Heero, verifying the garage. Duo, Deathscythe."

"Oh..." sighed the blond, letting his body rest against the back of the chair tiredly, his eyes closed again.

He reopened his eyes wide when Trowa's large hand landed on his shoulder, hesitant.

"You said yourself he's still alive... and if he isn't suffering, it's that he's more or less safe..."

"It is true, but ... Trowa, I do not feel him at all..."

Barton briefly squeezed his shoulder before letting his hand fall. He could wish it, but he wasn't really able to understand what Quatre felt, how it was for him to live with that ability.

"Heero said he'd launch a deeper search later on," he said, opting for another approach to cheer up the boy.

"Really?" asked Sandrock's pilot, surprised.

Only a short time before, if someone had asked Heero what he should do with a comrade made prisoner, he would have answered with a quote right out of the perfect little terrorist manual: eliminate him to be sure he kept silent. Because freeing him would be taking too much of a risk for nothing if you didn't need him and his capabilities specifically, plus he could have been warped by torture or something, and letting them into enemy hands gave them too many occasions to find out things about them... Even if the captive bore the interrogations, or at least died before he could say anything useful to them. The littlest clue could prove fatal.

Heero had changed so much in so little time... Quatre had never really understood him, but at least he had been used to him... Now, he didn't know what to expect anymore. It was confusing...

But he had to admit that he appreciated the new Heero much more than the old one.

"Perhaps he is unconscious, or even in a coma..." suggested Trowa, sitting beside Quatre on the couch. "Which would explain why you don't feel a thing..."

Quatre was biting at his nails and fingertips, and his comrade caught his wrists and kept them immobilized to prevent him from hurting himself.

"But I should at least perceive his presence... unless... Oh, no...."

"Unless what?" asked Trowa, worried by the size of the whites around his friend's blue-green eyes.

"Unless he is in too deep a coma...You know..."

"Brain dead?" whispered Trowa, his eyes widening slightly.

Quatre could feel all color drain from his cheeks.

* * * * * * * * *

Treize Kushrenada opened the hospital room's door and stared for a long time at the still shape on the bed. After a long contemplation, he silently closed the door behind him and stepped closer to the bed, where long black hair spilled on the pillow. The features of that young face were calm, placatory, without particular expression; his regular breath made the shorter ebony locks dance over his face, falling on his closed eyes.

The wound on his forehead had closed fast enough, but a dark scar was still there, and apparently was there to stay. He had been there for six days already and had already lost a great deal of that unnatural, deathly pallor that had been due to his blood loss.

The man hadn't taken more than two steps when the boy jerked awake and jumped up into the only combat posture his leg let him take, ready to defend himself. The General went unmoving, waiting for Wufei to recognize him.

Wufei slowly lowered his arms when he realized that his visitor was none other than the man from his very first memory, the man the others called 'general', and who had come everyday since his awakening to keep him entertained and chat with him. He straightened up and gave him a nervous smile as an excuse for his violent reaction.

"Excuse me..." he added, shrugging sheepishly. "You surprised me..."

Treize stared pensively at him before answering. The boy he had in front of him didn't stop surprising him... He seemed shy and calm, not at all like the pilot he had fought, the proud and courageous solitary dragon... It was to a point he wondered if they really were the same person.

"It's nothing to concern you about, I should have knocked... I should have known it was stupid to hope not to wake you up."

From under his messy bangs, Wufei blinked confusedly at him, not understanding the sentence's subtext.

"It's nothing," smiled Kushrenada.

'He looks like a kitten... The other, the one he was before, was more of a tiger, fierce and untouchable. He grew up too fast...'

"Do you feel better?"

"Yes, thank you."

"You can come with me then. The doctor said that you had the right to go outside for a short time if your fever had lowered."

"Really?" asked the Chinese teenager, a shy little smile slowly blossoming on his face. "I feel good for the moment..."

They had noticed that his fever had a tendency to appear by night mostly, or when he pushed himself too far emotionally speaking, searched too hard to remember; but they hadn't found the cause. Even with all his wounds, the pilot didn't present any sign of any infection or illness.

Well, if the boy said he was feeling well, he was responsible enough that Treize trusted him... The man only gave him a warm smile and told him to put some clothes on.

As he was waiting in front of the door for the young boy to finish, he laughed little surprised laugh. Yes... The young boy. It had become impossible to think of him as a pilot, even less as a terrorist. He was... Completely different. Calm, Treize supposed he had been like that before, but shy, he would never have guessed. Soft-spoken and gentle, even less so. He was supposed to be a terrorist after all...

He was showing signs of a high intelligence and of great culture and his pride hadn't disappeared, but... The boy with whom the General had spent the last days was a scholar, not a warrior. He would certainly have laughed incredulously if someone told him he had been used to fight and kill on a more than regular basis.

"I am ready, Treize-san..."

"Well. We're going to the gardens, does it suit you?"

"Yes... I thank you, Treize-san," he added, bowing lightly.

"My pleasure, young man, I assure you. If you knew to which point all those reunions and political complications are boring ... What were you reading?" he asked, referring to the book on the bedside table.

Wufei answered him as he was grabbing for his crutches, and he and Treize walked away to the gardens, the general amiably discussing philosophy with the young man who had been his greatest challenger.

* * * * * * * * *