Author: pyrzm
see ch. 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Summary: 06+05. Some mush. Some info. Some progress.

Broken Warriors + Chapter 106
Imbalance

"Zechs?" Wufei's throat was terribly dry. He could scarcely force the whisper out. The last thing he remembered was the vomit covered floor rushing up to meet him. His eyelids were too heavy to open and that scared him. "Zechs!"

He felt strong fingers tighten around his own. "I'm here, little love. Wake up, can't you?"

That touch, and that calm, husky, beloved voice, and the warm stir of breath against his cheek were almost as good as an embrace. With an effort Wufei forced his eyes open and looked blearily around. The lights were dim, but he knew by the sterile smell that he was in the hospital again. The oxygen mask over his face accounted for his dry mouth.

Zechs was at his bedside, watching him with obvious concern. He looked tired and there was the pale glimmer of stubble on his cheeks.

Wufei concentrated on the feeling of Zechs's hand in his, willing himself to speak again. "What--? What happened?"

"It wasn't a heart attack," Zechs assured him. "And there's no internal bleeding. The doctors think it's a mix of stress and a reaction to some of your meds. That all caused something called supraventricular tachycardia."

"How serious?" Wufei whispered.

"Not very, my love." Zechs leaned forward and stroked the hair back from Wufei's forehead. "The cardiologist, Dr. Verhoffen, thinks the damage to your aorta and the treatments may have aggravated an preexisting condition. You may have had this for years, but nothing triggered so severe an attack before."

"Why am I so weak?"

"They've given you some muscle relaxants and a tranquillizer. Gwen said you've been pushing yourself much too hard lately."

Wufei let out a frustrated sigh. "I just want to get better, but the more I do, the more ground I lose!"

"You are getting better. You just have to be patient."

Wufei swallowed around the sudden lump in his throat and said nothing. Patience with himself had never been his strong suit.

Zechs spoke to the nurse, informing her that Wufei was awake, and soon after the cardiologist came in to speak with him.

"SVT can be caused by a number of things, Mr. Chang," he explained. "Poor oxygen flow to the heart muscle, lung disease, electrolyte imbalances, high levels of certain medications, abnormalities of the heart's electrical conduction system, or structural abnormalities of the heart. In your case, the shooting was certainly a factor."

"Is this a permanent condition?"

"It's too soon to tell, I'm afraid. I've already performed an emergency cardioversion. An electrical shock was delivered to your heart to convert the abnormal heart rhythm back to a normal rhythm. So far, your heart rhythm is normal. I've adjusted your medications. If that doesn't work, then there are other options."

"Surgical?"

"It's a procedure called a catheter laser ablation. A small laser is inserted into your heart through the groin artery and used to selectively destroy the short circuiting nerves."

Wufei tightened his grip on Zechs's hand. "What are the risks?"

"There's really no need to go into that yet."

"I need to know."

"Very well. There is a very small chance, one percent or so, that the procedure could damage healthy tissue, making it necessary for you to have a pacemaker implant. Bleeding in the heart is also a very small possibility, but easily treated. There is also the rare possibility of a stroke."

Wufei closed his eyes for a moment, trying to make sense of all this. "I'm only eighteen. I'm fit and very healthy. How can this be?"

"These things happen. But you're responding very well so far, and as you say, you are young and healthy. Please, just be patient and let yourself heal. Mr. Peacecraft and your physical therapist have both told me that you tend to be very hard on yourself, very demanding, and that you have been under considerable stress since the events in Japan. That tendency can only work against you right now. You must relax."

"I will do my best, doctor. Thank you for your candor. I must ask one more thing, as it relates to my stress level."

"Certainly. What is it?"

Wufei steeled himself for the very distasteful necessity before him, but it must be done. Not letting himself glance at Zechs, he asked, "How soon will it be safe for me to engage in sexual intercourse with my fiance?" He heard Zechs's small, choked gasp, but the doctor seemed unsurprised. "I'd like to keep you here another day or so to monitor your heart, but once you're home I see no reason why you shouldn't be able to resume normal sexual relations, so long as you both are sensible and avoid anything that causes you any undue discomfort."

"Undue-" It must have been the effects of the drugs they had him on, but Wufei laughed outright at that. "Thank you, doctor. I feel less stressed already."

With a last quizzical look at both of them, the doctor took his leave.

"Wufei!" Zechs exclaimed softly.

"You heard the man," Wufei replied, giving him a triumphant look over the rim of his oxygen mask. "If you'd not insisted on treating me like I was going to break, I'd be a lot less stressed." He'd only been teasing, but a look of genuine pain in his lover's eyes brought him up short.

"I'm sorry, Wufei. Perhaps I was being overly cautious, but you don't seem to appreciate how very frightened I am of losing you."

"I'm sorry, Zechs!" Wufei wished that he had the strength to sit up and reach for him, Zechs looked so lost. He had to settle for pulling the oxygen mask aside and bringing Zechs's hand to his lips for a contrite kiss. "It's my fault I got shot, and you're right--I'm not sensitive enough to your feelings. I've gotten so used to you being strong, I let myself forget that I can hurt you. Please forgive me."

Zechs moved his chair closer and slipped an arm under Wufei's shoulders, drawing him up gently to rest against his chest. "I am strong, mei, and very protective of you--to the point that I forget how strong you are. But you were seriously injured and you have been physically compromised and--well, it's hard for me to be gentle during sex. And we haven't really addressed the 'size' issue, have we? The thought of hurting you, or jarring you too much has been rather an effective anti-aphrodisiac."

"I know. But you heard what the doctor said. And I do need you like that! You know I do." Damn it, he wasn't going to cry! It would only make Zechs feel worse than he already did. "It's been so difficult, with you keeping me at arm's length. Promise me that once I'm home and stabile, we'll find a way for you to make love to me? Please?"

Zechs sighed and stroked Wufei's hair. "If you will promise to be absolutely honest as to how you're doing, and not try and force anything."

"Of course. You'll be in complete control, I promise." Wufei rubbed his cheek against Zechs's strong chest and murmured, "You know how much I love that!"

Zechs laughed softly and kissed the top of his head. "My sizzling hot little bottom boy."

"Shh! What if the nurse heard?" Wufei protested in a scandalized whisper, but even with the effects of the drugs, the words sent a delicious shiver of arousal through him.

Zechs chuckled and kissed him on the lips this time. "My little plum blossom boy, then, 'lovelier than Long Yang, joyful as nine springtimes.'"

Wufei melted against him, undone as always by such attentions. "Yes, my emperor. Always yours. I can't wait to get home!" He'd long since given up any embarrassment over such talk in private.

Zechs stayed with him that night, and stretched out beside him on the bed to watch the evening news. Their engagement and his hospitalization were both lead stories, followed by coverage of protesters opposing their union. Zechs grabbed the remote and switched it off.

"Wait, I want to see!" Wufei objected.

Zechs tossed the remote onto the night table and hugged him close. "It's nothing. The media is blowing it out of proportion."

"You knew about this?"

"Yes, love. There was a small crowd of them outside the Parliament house. It's nothing to be concerned about, I promise. Same sex unions have been legal here for years. I suspect it's more about lingering hatred of me than anything else."

Wufei tightened his arms around Zechs, wishing he could protect him from his own past, and the repercussions that still dogged him. "I know you want to shield me from any unpleasantness, Zechs, but you can't. I don't want to be your pampered little house pet. I am your friend, and I'm going to be your husband. Whatever else I am in the bedroom, outside of that I am still Chang Wufei, a warrior. I am strong for you, as you are for me. Don't shut me out, Zechs, thinking to protect me. I couldn't bear it, to think you don't trust me that way."

Zechs stroked his hair slowly, then sighed. "Oh, my darling, I do trust you, and I respect you completely. Perhaps I have been a little over protective, but you've been so ill! Please don't ever confuse my concern for you with disrespect."

"Then be honest with me. I won't break!"

"I will do my best to remember that, Wufei."

"So start now. Who are these protesters?"

"According to my security sources, mostly disaffected religious nuts and anti monarchists. Why Sanque insists on maintaining even the semblance of an hereditary monarchy in this day and age is beyond me, and I've told Relena and Parliament that a number of times in no uncertain terms. But they will persist, and as long as Relena had no heir, I'm still the royal spare. My god, can you imagine the uproar if they ever tried to make me king? The man who nearly dropped a space fortress on the Earth?"

"You aren't that man anymore," Wufei insisted.

"Perhaps, but I certainly look one hell of a lot like him," Zech replied bitterly.

"In time people will see that," Wufei told him. "We will make a good life together, and do good things for the world, and they will see."

Zechs pulled back a little and gazed wonderingly into Wufei's eyes. "Whoever this new Zechs is, it is all thanks to you, my love. Without you, I don't know what would have become of me."

"No. I only reminded you who you are, as you did for me. Now give me back that control and let me watch the news!"

With another dramatic sigh, Zechs grudgingly complied.

It was not easy, listening to the rantings of Zechs's detractors. The reporters spoke with a number of the protesters, then legal analysts took over, rehashing Zechs's recent history, and what little was known about Wufei himself. Most of it was war related, as the rest of his past had been obliterated with his home colony. The other Gundam pilots were currently unavailable for interviews, but Heero spoke with the GNN anchor via vid phone and Wufei grinned to see him in full Perfect Soldier mode again. His answers were short to the point of rudeness, but he left no doubt as to his support of both Wufei and Zechs.

"I always liked him," Zechs murmured when the news ended and Wufei shut it off. "He was an odd little guy, but what a warrior!"

"You never said how you met him."

"We fought, the day you all came to Earth, of course, but you know that. I first met him in person when Noin brought him and Barton to the Barclay base in Antarctica. We dueled there for the first time, though we never reached a conclusion."

"Ah yes. I remember you mentioning that once. It's odd. Barton never mentioned it, not even when we were all together in New Orleans."

Zechs was quiet a moment, then he shrugged. "We were only there a few days. Perhaps he's forgotten. We barely spoke."

Wufei smiled. "That goes without saying, with Trowa."

"Ancient history, my love. I didn't know any of you then. We were different people." He slipped a finger under Wufei's chin and pressed his lips to his. "I much prefer who we all are now, don't you? Sleep now, so we can spring you out of this joint tomorrow." He gave Wufei a wolfish smile as he reached for the light. "You need to get your strength back, so I can make good on my promise, after all."

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