see chap. 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer
+ Chapter 8
I held Heero's trembling body
close and wished I'd been able to think of another way to handle that.
I'd pretty much just tipped him off that those dreams weren't dreams at
all. That they were memories. Depending on which ones he'd been reliving,
that could be pretty damn tough to find out. And I was going to be extremely
lucky if this didn't end up messing up his trust in me. We'd originally
gotten off to a pretty rough start after all; I mean, hell, I'd *shot*
him. And not just once either. If he remembered that but not the times
we'd helped each other out... This could be very bad.
But what the hell else could I have done? I couldn't risk him talking
about those dream- memories; if someone *was* listening in - and I was
pretty damn sure that the bugs and hidden cameras that had been added
to our suite in the past couple of days weren't just part of the decor
- there might be enough info in his dreams to let them get a positive
ID on us. Assuming that they didn't already have that.
I shifted Heero so that I could put my lips very close to his ear. With
surveillance equipment as good as it could potentially be even this was
a slight risk but he needed something more than what I'd given him so
far. "I promise I'll explain when we go home. But we have to stay here
a little longer and there's a lot we can't talk about here. I'm sorry."
I kissed his ear and his cheek and his temple, hoping that would hide
the fact that I hadn't exactly been murmuring sweet nothings in Heero's
ear. Faint though it was, I was still clinging to the slight chance that
they were merely suspicious of us. Hoping that if we continued to act
like a couple of newlyweds, they'd just keep watching us and not take
Well whatever Heero's dreams had been about, he'd evidently decided that
he still trusted me. He stayed wrapped in my arms for one hell of a long
time before finally stirring to pull away.
Now that Heero at least knew there was *something* strange going on, I
figured that he might as well know what sort of weaponry he'd been carrying
around without even knowing it. I managed to get him into one of the parts
of the room that was a blind spot for the video surveillance. Then I very,
very quickly showed him how to convert his belt buckle to the tiny knife
and lockpick it really was and how to get the small shuriken out of his
shoe heels. I wasn't sure whether he'd be able to actually use any of
that stuff even if he managed to get it out but at least now he knew it
Heero went a really unhealthy shade of gray and swayed again at the sight
of the weapons - which I was guessing meant he'd had another flash of
confusing images - but he repeated my actions to confirm that he could
get the things out himself. I knew all of this had to be confusing as
hell for him but the whole situation was so damn complicated I didn't
even know where to *start* as far as clarifying matters went. At least
not as long as we were under surveillance.
I wished for the hundredth time that we weren't on a fucking resource
satellite in the middle of nowhere; if we'd been on Earth there would
have been one hell of a lot more options. As it was, there wasn't even
anywhere I could take him to get away from the damn security cameras that
surveyed practically every inch of public space at the hotel. Even the
gardens we'd wandered the previous day were under constant surveillance.
From a safety standpoint, it was great; crime at the resort was absolutely
nil. No muggings, no assaults, nothing. From a privacy standpoint however,
it sucked. Where the other guests would at least have privacy in their
own rooms, we didn't even have that. Which left me with absolutely nowhere
safe to discuss things with Heero.
I have to admit that I'd hoped - in vain, unfortunately - that Heero's
memory would be jolted back into existence by finding out about his hidden
weaponry. Well, the little of it I'd chosen to show him that is. I didn't
think he was ready to handle finding out that all the personal hygiene
products we'd brought with us were in double-walled bottles with less
innocuous things than deodorant and shampoo between the walls. Or finding
out that the portable music player laying on the bedside table was receiving,
recording, and encoding the sounds picked up by the bugs Heero had planted
in several locations, getting the data ready to be transmitted for analysis
along with the legitimate voice feed whenever we made a check-in call.
Or that the little handheld gaming system he was now playing solitaire
on was really the fastest little piece of computing power you could ever
want, specially designed and optimized for hacking into all sorts of types
of computer systems.
And even if I'd thought that he *was* prepared to handle that kind of
thing, I still couldn't show it to him. Not with the bugs and cameras
that I knew were in our suite. Hanging around in those few small areas
that were out of camera range would get suspicious pretty damn fast. Just
showing him the few things I had was a bit risky; the wrong exclamation
in reaction to them could have spelled disaster. But he needed to know
and fortunately his reactions were silent ones.
As long as Heero didn't remember *anything*, it was safer for him to remain
completely in the dark. He would act more naturally that way and things
were way less complicated and confusing for him to deal with. But now
that he was starting to remember bits and pieces, it was more important
that he know enough to realize that he had to be careful. That he couldn't
talk about the things he was remembering. That there was potential danger
all around us.
I hated seeing the open happiness he'd been displaying be replaced by
worry and fear. Seeing the confusion he had already been experiencing
replaced by an even deeper confusion. Seeing faint flickers of the "real"
Heero begin to superimpose themselves over the incredible, affectionate
man that I'd been getting to know.
But they were only faint and only flickers. The instant that his face
went blank and cold as his fingers pulled one of the shuriken from its
hiding place. The single heartbeat that it took for him to copy my demonstration
of how to hold the shuriken ready for throwing. Then those flickers of
the Heero I knew were gone and he was Odin again, looking even more confused
and frightened. Alarmed by those split-second moments when his body knew
what to do even when his conscious mind did not. When procedural memory
took over despite the fact that the actual training episodes were forgotten.
And for the first time I truly understood what Catherine must have gone
through when first I, then Quatre, showed up at the circus seeking Trowa.
That surge of protectiveness. That desperate wish to leave the past in
the past, to let all the pain be forgotten.
But unlike Catherine, I knew better than to try and stop the inevitable.
Knew too, from things that Trowa had said, that even the painful memories
were better than the blankness of not knowing. Better than that feeling
of loss, of *being* lost. Of being nothing.
Though I didn't know whether Trowa had ever been as happy during his amnesia
as Heero had been at times over the past couple of days. I knew that the
person I had gotten to know over that time was probably what Heero would
have been like without all the training. Without all the experiences that
had made him build such strong emotional shields.
I had learned to love "Odin" just as much as I loved the Heero that I
was more familiar with. And I couldn't help hoping that at least a little
bit of that more open version of Heero would manage to survive him regaining
his memory. That maybe a little bit of "Odin", maybe even the bit that
seemed to care for me and to be attracted to me, the bit that I almost
dared to hope might even love me, might stay.
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