Garou + Part 12 (cont)
Awakenings

* * * * * * * * *

Fuck it, he wasn't coming with anything! No one seemed to know a thing on the disappearance or the capture of a Gundam pilot. As if Wufei had disappeared into thin air. Leaving his laptop with an angry and frustrated sigh, Heero walked once again in front of the window facing the road, and grabbed a fistful of curtain, his eyes following a passing car.

He didn't like this place, too many people went by here. And he had become used to the woods behind their old safehouse. But they couldn't go anywhere else... Or they would have had to go their separate ways for a while, and that wasn't even a possible suggestion. He had already lost one member of his pack, it would be a cold day in Hell before anyone forced him to leave alone for a second, the three he still had!!

He never stopped screaming at himself inwardly for Wufei's capture. He knew that it wasn't really his fault, but still, he couldn't stop thinking up ways he could have prevented it. If he had gone instead of one of them, he could have tried preventing it... But they couldn't do anything, not even go back there to search for clues. And the Wolf didn't make things easier. He was always howling inside, furious and frustrated. If Heero had let him do what he wanted, he would have gone into a killing spree against the bases he knew of, but he knew that it wasn't the best way to help Wufei...

If he learned of his death... If he received proof that his comrade was dead, he... Yes, he would let the Wolf do as he pleased. A vengeance; an appropriate way of giving Wufei a last homage. But for the moment, he was still hoping and couldn't just go rampaging.

And the fifth pilot's disappearance wasn't his only problem, gods no... Heero was even more stressed out by his comrades' reactions.

He had tried to retreat again behind the Soldier's mask, but it didn't work anymore. He couldn't make himself not care about them all. Only to do as if... barely, and not that well anymore. It was as if the Wolf was gnawing at the Soldier, slowly making him disappear.

Quatre was visibly suffering; he gave off the impression of having had a limb amputated, and not yet having absorbed the shock of the loss. Sometimes the lively boy just fell silent in the middle of a sentence, and his eyes became distant and moist. Trowa had closed off deeper in his silence, as worried for his missing comrade as he was for the blond boy that was his best friend. And Duo... Duo was losing himself in his Gundam's repairs, working from dawn to late into the night with a barely contained rage, nearly as wild as his own Wolf, trying to exhaust himself so that sleep wouldn't escape him once he went to lie down.

Once in passing in the corridor en route to the bathroom, Heero had heard him praying in the room they were supposed to share... He hadn't even know that Duo believed in anything. That same night he had had a nightmare, even worse than any he had had when it had only been the two of them in various schools, before they met with the others.

Yuy hadn't known what to do any more than before, and finally hadn't done anything, gnawed by remorse.

Heero's dreams too were full of ebony-eyed cadavers. When he let himself sleep, that is.

He could only get some shut-eye for short periods, two to three hours at most, and was always entirely awakened with the slightest creaking of the old wood in the house. He tried to force himself to sleep, but his worry didn't want to let him. The Wolf was terrified with the idea that if he closed his eyes too long and fell asleep too deeply, he would wake up to find the house empty. Each time he woke up from a nap, that he had taken on the couch so as to stay near his laptop while it conducted its searches, he couldn't even hope to fall back asleep before having toured house and verified conscientiously that his friends were all here and well and that no one had entered the perimeter. It was becoming taxing.

Nearly a week already... Six days that he didn't sleep more than three hours per day, and he forced himself to tell and repeat until he admitted it that if they found Wufei... no, WHEN they found Wufei, he would have to be in top form to help him. And that meant sleep. A whole night of sleep. But he couldn't as long as he was griped by the irrational fear that someone would come after his other comrades...

He did another perimeter check, by habit.

* * *

Heero's left eyebrow shot up when he saw Trowa leaning against the door to his room. The European gave him a very expressive glance in return. 'You're still not sleeping?' It was five in the morning.

Heero answered with a shrug that was as expressive as the rest of their silent conversation. 'can't'.

Trowa looked at him then lowered his eyes to look at the floor, pensive, then looked up again, decision taken.

"I'll stay awake. I'll take care of Quatre. Go to bed."

Yuy took his measure with one glance, then nodded. The Wolf trusted Trowa to accomplish this task. If he was taking care of that for him, he could sleep. He directed his steps toward the door of the room he was supposed to share with Duo and where he hadn't even put one foot yet, always working in the living room and napping on the couch in between searches. He couldn't wait to sleep at last...

...but wouldn't Duo be in danger even only a few meters away from him?

...It was too far. If the American slid out of the room to go... he didn't know, to the kitchen, or to the hangar to work on his Gundam, or something like that, and something happened to him once outside, out of reach from his senses? How to prevent Duo from sneaking out of his surveillance zone?

The Wolf had a very simple solution; to which the tired Boy wasn't adverse.

* * *

Duo was asleep when the door opened in silence. His sharp instinct warned him at once of the change in the air movements, even if there hadn't been a sound to break the silence. In not even one second, he had gone from deep sleep, sprawled on his bed like a run aground medusa, to combat position, his gun drawn on the black and unmoving silhouette in the door.

"It's me," whispered the silhouette, closing the door behind itself.

"Heero?" DeathScythe's pilot asked with incredulity. The boy was still more than half asleep and was only functioning thanks to his training.

Duo slowly lowered his gun and stared at the nearly indiscernible presence of his comrade. He sat on the edge of the mattress and scratched his skull with the gun's barrel.

"But what are you do..."

"Shut up," grunted Heero, walking up to him.

Duo froze. He had to still be half asleep, because he couldn't catch in the least what the Were wanted with him. When Heero carefully took his gun out of his hand to put it beside the bed, he didn't even react. Not even when he put a hand on his shoulder and pushed. He didn't understand his intention...

He was already on his back on the bed when he thought about vocalizing his surprise... But he couldn't even make the words leave his mouth. Heero had just, with a simplicity that left him speechless, laid down at his side. He slid an arm around the braided pilot's shoulders and drew him against his body. Putting his head on his own bent elbow, he guided Duo's face into the hollow of his shoulder.

"He-Hee--ro?" stammered the braided pilot.

"Sleep."

The dry answer wasn't as harsh as it should have been... as it was usually... There was a note of... not condescending amusement... no... comprehension...? Duo didn't dare to say tenderness.

Maxwell, contrary to his habit, preferred silence. He didn't know what was going on in his friend's head, but whatever it was he didn't want to risk seeing him change his mind. It was nice... And if it was a dream he wanted to take advantage of it at the fullest.

Duo fell asleep again with his arms shyly closing around Heero's shoulders, as if he was afraid he would evaporate in the morning.

* * * * * *

"Duo, it's time. Wake up."

"Hnn, 'five m'nutes more..."

The warm presence at his side disappeared suddenly and the American shivered. Two hands with rough palms landed on his shoulders to shake him gently.

"No, wake up. Duo, wake up..."

"Mmmm... Naah, Heero, dun leave, 'm cold..."

The significance of his words woke him up with a start. Heero?! Heero, in his bed?! But.. it hadn't been a fucked up dream then? He sat up in a leap, his heart beating hard with surprise, unbelieving.

Heero was staring at him, visibly puzzled by his reaction.

"Oh, err... Well... Err... Hi, Heero..."

"Baka..." muttered the Japanese boy, shaking his head, visibly shocked by his behavior. "Come on, it's time for breakfast."

"Sir, yes, sir!"

He followed in silence to the corridor, then his tongue evaded his brain's control, pushed by the thousands of questions bubbling under his skull.

"Heero... Why? I mean, not that it bothers me, but... Why did you...?"

The boy glanced at him, and lowered his eyes, hiding behind his bangs.

"Don't know..."

"Liar."

Heero sighed.

"I didn't want you to sleep alone... I cannot protect your sleep if I am not near enough, and the area isn't that secure... The Wolf was worried," he added vaguely.

He had discovered that the Wolf was a very good excuse for every strange thing he did. It permitted him to explain his reactions without admitting that they came from him. He still had trouble admitting that they really were one and the same being. It was easier to talk about it as if it was another persona entirely.

"He's worried for me?" asked Duo with a surprised smile, choosing to be happy with that proof of friendship, rather than hurt that the interest hadn't been of another nature, as he could have believed.

"For you and for the others," rectified Heero, frowning. "He... I... Wolves are gregarious, Duo. They're not made to live in solitude. Think about that."

"Oh..." breathed the American, understanding suddenly the extent of the recent happenings' impact on his usually stoic comrade.

"You are... You are my pack from now on," continued Heero, his cheeks warm, struggling to make the words come out. "I don't want to lose you too... I couldn't stand it. I already lost one... one of mine, and I..."

"Heero...?"

Duo turned to face him and stared, stupefied. Heero cared about them!! He had said so!!

The Japanese pilot got flustered at his astonished look and went to leave for the kitchen, but Duo held him back by grabbing the lower part of his tanktop.

"Nani?" the brown-haired boy blurted out, taken by surprise.

He took a raspy breath when he felt a torso press against his back and arms wind around his waist, and his mouth half-opened under the shock; as if he was going to speak, except that he couldn't for the life of him find his words.

"We are not going to let you down, Heero..." Duo whispered in his ear, with a soft, reassuring voice, as if he knew exactly how to speak to him to calm him down. "We are all friends, right? You are not going to lose any of us. Not me, nor Trowa, nor Quatre... Nor Wufei. Ok?"

"Ok..." he answered softly.

Feeling bothered, he didn't quite know why, he disengaged from his comrade's arms and began to walk again. An immense smile on his lips, Duo followed.

His steps had found again that particular bounce that had disappeared with the fifth pilot. He was already wondering which practical jokes he could invent to reestablish a little bit of normalcy in the atmosphere.

+

[part 11] [back] [part 13] [back to Asuka Kureru's fic]