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

Broken Warriors + Chapter 61
Crash and Burn Con't.

Duo was running on autopilot as he got Heero through the shower safely, and into bed, but he was with it enough to know that his lover wasn't firing on all cylinders yet, either. Heero had been strangely docile since and was acting more needy than Duo had ever seen him as he washed and dried him, then guided him naked back into the bed in the side room. They talked, but Heero didn't ask about the picture that had been hidden there; Duo had seen Trowa retrieve something from the room. Duo didn't want to see any more than he had. The one they'd found in the kitchen had been horrible, obscene.

//Hey, you knew from the medical report what probably happened, right?//
Duo told himself as panic threatened to overwhelm him, but that didn't help. Knowing wasn't the same as seeing. He could only guess what it must have been for Heero, having all of them see that damned photo, too. He knew how he'd have felt if someone had come up with color glossies of him bent over the hood of that car on L-2.

The bad feelings this dredged up mingled with his grief for Heero and quickly combusted into barely contained rage. Shinigami was going to come out of retirement; that was for fucking certain. He was going to find the bastards who'd done this and kill them. If they were already dead, he'd dig them up and kill them all over again.

He didn't hold the spanking against Heero. Hell, Heero had only beaten Trowa to it. He wrapped himself around Heero, who was still disturbingly withdrawn, and rubbed his back until he was sure he was asleep. Lying there, staring at the shadows on the walls, Duo listened to his lover's breathing, felt the steady thud of Heero's heart against his own, and plotted revenge.

Heero fell asleep, but it was restless. He twitched and muttered, caught in some nightmare. It occurred to Duo that in the months they'd been sleeping together, Heero had seldom shown any sign of bad dreams. Duo stroked him calm, then dozed off himself, but less than an hour had passed when Heero woke in a real panic, flailing blindly for the light.

"It's OK, 01! I've got ya!" Duo told him, finding the switch on his side of the bed. Heero was staring up at him, eyes wide and filled with pain again. "What's wrong, baby?"

"Turn over," Heero said in a strangled whisper that sent a renewed chill of fear through Duo.

"I'm not really in the mood, babe, and I don't think you are, either."

Heero shook his head sharply, dark bangs falling over his eyes. "No, not for that. I need to see!"

Ah, that, thought Duo. "It's OK, Heero. Lie down--"

"No!" Heero tugged at Duo's arm. He looked a little disoriented, and Duo realized that the drug had probably still been in Heero's system when they'd talked before. Heero pulled at his arm again. "I have to check you for--Oh, please, Duo, let me!"

Duo reluctantly turned his back to Heero and let him pull the blankets aside to inspect his ass.

"Oh god!"

"It's OK, Heero."

"No, it's not! I marked you!"

Duo twisted around to look. There were a few fresh bruised and red marks, but nothing serious, and certainly nothing to compare to what Heero had done for him in the past. He turned over and tried to hold him, but Heero was pushing away, drawing himself up into a tight little ball of misery at the edge of the bed. "You've done it before--"

"Not like that!" Heero was crying again, hands fisted in the sheet in his lap, his face a study in self-loathing. "I lost control. I struck in anger. I hit you in anger! God, oh god!" He tried to get out of bed but Duo caught him and hauled him back in. Heero was wound up good and tight again; it was like trying to hug a wooden armchair, but he managed to hold on long enough to get him calmed down a little.

"Duo, I'm sorry. So sorry!" Heero clung to him again, racked with hoarse, wrenching sobs. "Please, don't ever give me any drugs again. It's like before, at Relena's. They don't help. They just make me worse!"

"Oh shit!" The docs in Madrid had said Heero's metabolism wasn't exactly textbook normal. "Oh Jesus, Heero, I'm sorry, I just wanted to make you feel better."

"No excuse!" Heero groaned, and Duo knew he was talking of his own guilt, not Duo's. "How could I do that? To you!"

"I did sorta deserve-"

Heero caught him by the shoulders and looked him straight in the eye. "Don't ever tell me that! Not about something like this. Don't you ever let yourself believe it. I crossed a line I told myself I never would with you. I didn't like Trowa spanking you, even though you asked him to. And now look what I did! Don't you see? This is why I left that other time, why I thought I had to stay away. If I get out of control like I was today, you see how dangerous I can be, even to you?"

Duo grabbed him and gave him a shake. "Enough, Heero! You'd just had one helluva shock, and after sitting on another one for a couple of days without saying anything to anyone. You were already half out of it from the flashbacks, and then I gave you another jolt, and under the influence, too. And it was pretty fucking stupid of me to swipe that shit in the first place, no matter what my reasons were. And it was stupid of me to use it like medicine, even if it did sorta work. How you reacted under the influence wasn't your fault, and if you say any more about this I'm gonna get violent on your ass, copy?"

Heero wasn't convinced, but he shut up and let Duo lie down and hold him again. "I'm not that easy to hurt, Heero, and I'm not a doormat or anyone's punching bag, either. When you cross the line with me I'll let you know. Got it? I'll tell you, not Kat or Tro or anyone else. I may be a little fucked in the head about a few things, but I'm still Shinigami and no one abuses me without my permission. Copy that?"

"I didn't ask your permission--"

"Doesn't count this time. I said, 'Copy that?', 01."

"Talk to Batoosingh with me tomorrow. If he says this is a healthy arrangement, I will agree."

"Deal." Duo tightened his arms around Heero. "I love you, Heero. I can see how you're hurting. I don't expect you to be perfect. I never did. You're too good as it is, without laying that on you." He took Heero's hand and brought it up to the Shiva's Eye pendant. His own fears were creeping back in. "Please, Heero. Don't let this shit from your past make you forget what we have together."

"No, never!" He stroked Duo's cheek with his fingertips, then gathered a handful of Duo's hair, still loose around them on the pillows, and held it to his own cheek, like a kid's security blanket. His eyes fluttered shut and Duo's throat went all tight with emotion, seeing the effect something as simple as his own presence could have on this guy he loved so much. After a moment Heero mumbled, "I just don't want to be the one to ruin it. No more drugs."

"No more drugs, baby. But you're going to talk to me, and you're going to talk to Batoosingh, right?"

"Yes."

"OK. Y'know, I'm betting Kat and Tro are kinda worried down there."

Heero frowned. "They're not at the show? It's a show night."

Duo rolled his eyes and kissed Heero's forehead. "No, they've got understudies for a reason, right? Family emergency. Tro's taking care of all that. And Quatre banged his arm up-" If he could have figured out how to bite off his own tongue, he'd have done it.

Heero lurched up again. "Quatre's hurt? What did I do? When?"

"He fell at practice, that's all." It was enough of the truth, and it sure as hell wasn't Heero's fault. Heero would put two and two together later, but for now it was enough. "We can just stay here like this, if you want, but I bet they'd like to say good night, at least."

The four of them ultimately ended up together in the big bed again, and Quatre had to play down the sizeable bruise on his left elbow, and even did a handstand on Trowa's shoulders for them to prove that he wasn't incapacitated.

"But it could have been much worse!" Heero pointed out glumly.

Quatre climbed into bed again and let Heero hold him. "It could have, but it wasn't, and now I know to shield myself from your thoughts. But I'm glad I knew when you needed help. I wouldn't change that, Heero. We'll just have to be aware of it, that's all. But this situation isn't going to last, either."

"No, it won't." Trowa settled in behind Quatre and reached across to stroke Heero's forehead.

Spooned in behind Heero, Duo exchanged a look with him. A mission look. Trowa knew about revenge and about settling scores. And he'd probably already figured out what Heero had had to point out to Duo; the bastards knew where they lived.

"What about Wufei and Zechs?" Quatre asked. "They're arriving in a couple of days unless we warn them off. What do you say, Heero?"

"I'm not sure yet. I think Wufei might be offended, or even hurt, if we keep this from him entirely. And he might be of use, too, with his Preventer connections. The postmarks--" Heero made a distasteful face. "I-I was so upset the other day I didn't even check, or today either. Did you see where the letters were sent from?"

"Someplace called Kisarazu, in Japan," Trowa told him. "Do you remember being there?"

"No. I hardly remember being in Japan."

"Yeah, well some part of the Yuy mission mind musta been clicking," Duo said. "I'm betting you went there because your looks wouldn't attract as much attention there."

"Possibly. If so, the plan was flawed, since I attacked bases in Japan." He sighed, nestling down between Duo and Quatre. "Tomorrow, when my mind is clearer."

"Don't worry, Heero. We're going to make this stop," Trowa told him.

Heero nodded and closed his eyes, looking too weary for words. "The show must go on, Trowa."

Trowa gave him a puzzled look. "What show?"

"Your show. This can't interfere with the tour."

"Fuck the tour, Heero, this is-"

Without opening his eyes, Heero found Trowa's shoulder and squeezed it. "Tomorrow. We'll come up with a plan tomorrow. I'm just grateful you're all here right now. I love you, all of you."

Quatre blinked back tears. "We're family, Heero. We'll always be there for you."

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