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

Broken Warriors + Chapter 77
Frantic

Quatre remembered the blast, and being thrown through the air, but not much else. He had a serious concussion--at least he thought he remembered someone trying to explain that to him in a cold white room where the lights were too bright and there was too much pain and noise for him to bear and he couldn't breath. He was drowning, unable to get any air into his lungs . . . A sharp, silvery cold jab in his arm and he sank away into silence.

...

// Meli! //

Trowa's anguish pulled him back to the too bright place. Quatre felt his love's fear like physical pain and couldn't get to him. Couldn't even move or open his eyes. He was trapped, immobilized . . .

"He's coming out of it!"

"Coding!"

// Meli! Quatre, where are you? // Pain from Trowa, so much pain . .

"Jesus, he's moving!"

Pain! Quatre tried to scream but something was rammed down his throat, holding his jaws open and someone was holding him down . . . So much pain!

// Quatre! Quatre! //

"Get the damn cervical block in, stat!

So much pain!

Then blackness again . . .

...


Cold. Held down. White light in his eyes. . . No pain.

. . . in a hospital bed, tube in his throat, holding his mouth open. He was so thirsty! So thirsty . . . body encased in hard plastic boxes. Regeneration units? How bad was he hurt? Where was Trowa? He couldn't feel him now . . .

...

Oh Allah! He couldn't move, couldn't feel his body at all, apart from the irritation of a breathing tube in his throat and an annoying itching at the back of his head. He panicked but he still couldn't cry out.

Another blast of fear from Trowa, mingled with anger and confusion. His lover was hurt, but he was scared only for Quatre. Trowa was dreadfully confused. He thought Quatre was dead.

//I'm here!// Quatre called out, but Trowa couldn't feel him. He was flailing. Too much! Quatre had no defense but to shut him out and sobbed silently inside as he did it.

...

He drifted in and out of consciousness. At some point a woman leaned over him. She had a kind face and was wearing a white uniform. A nurse. She was trying to wake him, trying to explain that he was going to live, that he wasn't paralyzed, that the reason he was dead from the neck down was the cervical block they were using to control the pain and keep him still while the regen units restored his damaged tissue.

/Where's Trowa// he screamed silently at her. /He needs me! I need him! I can't feel him anymore. Where is he//

"You're all right, Mr. Winner. Try to calm down now. Your readings are climbing."

// Fuck you, bitch! Where's my Trowa? Let me go! Trowa! //

...

More darkness, more fear, and then Heero was there with news of Trowa and suddenly Quatre knew things would be all right. Heero was filled with sorrow and guilt; he thought what had happened was his fault. But that was all muted and buffered by the deep love he felt for Quatre. Quatre opened himself to that healing warmth and felt his mind go still and clear. Heero was here, telling him Trowa was safe and close by. //Heero loves him, too! So much!// Heero would keep them safe.

And Quatre could communicate with him; Heero immediately recognized his simple yes/no signaling. It was like being let out of prison, to know that Heero understood him.

Soothed by Heero's voice and gentle touch, Quatre let himself sink again, and dreamed of playing chess with Heero when they were hiding out in Sanque during the war.

When he came to this time Trowa was there with all the others, and they were deluging him with fear and love and relief. Most of the fear came from Trowa, still confused and frantic, but that quickly subsided. Heero was giving orders, and Duo, and Wufei . . . they were all there, his friends. His dear, dear friends. And Trowa, his beloved. Quatre could have cried, but his eyes felt as parched as his throat . . .

...

Heero was gone, but Trowa lay close beside him, calm now, and sending him nothing but love. His hoarse whispers were a soft, soothing, continuous balm: "Meli? Meli, I love you. You're safe. Be well, liebchin. Get better, my love, my heart, my own, my soul. We'll be on stage together soon, making love for the crowd. You'll be well soon, I promise, mon petit papillion. I love you so . . ."

Quatre floated happily in the embrace of his husband's love, finally surrendering to the machines and the drugs, letting go of everything but his connection to this strong, troubled, wonderful, complicated man. No one had ever loved him like Trowa.

The room grew dark as evening fell. The breathing tube didn't hurt so much. He concentrated instead on the feeling Trowa's fingers stroking his hair and his face. His lover's presence eclipsed everything else and he fell into real sleep this time.

...

Only to be woken in darkness by a stab of grief so keen he tried to curl up to escape it, but he still couldn't move. He tried frantically to cry out, call for Trowa, but the damn tube reduced it to choking rasp.

Trowa lurched up on the bed that had been pushed up next to Quatre's. "What is it, Kat? Are you in pain?"

Quatre blinked no, because it wasn't really physical pain and it had already passed, but Trowa was already calling for the nurse.

White uniformed personnel rushed in. Quatre fought against the tube and mask, trying to tell them . . .

Somehow Trowa made them understand.

Quatre gagged hard as they pulled the trachea tube out, then wheezed, "Heero! Where's Heero?"

+

Wufei woke still wrapped in Zechs's embrace and scent and warmth. The candles had gone out and the room was dark except for a light left on in the bathroom. Most of Wufei's body felt absolutely wonderful, but his belly was covered with the familiar sticky itch of dried semen and his ass hurt like hell and something wet was seeping out from . . .

He slipped from Zechs's arms and hobbled into the bathroom, blood-tinged semen trickling uncomfortably down his thighs. Mingled with the burning pain deep inside, it was not a pleasant sensation. Good god, it felt like someone had tried to split him in half!

He sat shivering on the toilet for a while as his very confused lower intestine tried to figure out what it wanted to do about all this. Then he cranked on the shower to a very hot setting and stood with his hands braced against the back of the stall, ass in the spray, letting it wash away the mess and some of the discomfort.

This disagreeable aftermath was hard to square with the incredible pleasure that had put him here. He reached back gingerly and touched himself, then let out a pained hiss between clenched teeth; definitely some tearing and stretching. How the hell did Quatre manage it, he wondered, then blushed as a highly detailed mental image of 03 and 04 presented itself.

No, he wasn't going there.

Instead, he found himself reconsidering the catalog the little blond had given him, the one he'd hidden deep in his suitcase; perhaps he was going to have to place an order, after all? Or maybe even go back to Quatre for more advice when they both felt better? He still shuddered at the prospect, but not quite so much as he might have a few months ago. Zechs was right. He had changed.

And he wasn't sorry.

The shower door slid back. Zechs gave him an understanding look as he stepped in under the spray and took him in his arms. "Are you very sore, little love?"

Wufei hugged him back and nodded sheepishly. Zechs cupped Wufei's buttocks gently in his hands. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been so rough with you the first time."

"No, it's all right!" Wufei assured him, resting his head against Zechs's shoulder. "It felt wonderful at the time, really! And I want to do it again // I think! //, but maybe--well, maybe not right away?"

Zechs chuckled and kissed his forehead. "No, not right away."

"Thank you, Zechs. I'm sorry I fell apart like that."

Zechs kissed him again. "You were strong when you needed to be, for yourself and your friends. Remember what I told you, back when we first became lovers? I will never stand in your way when you need to act, but I will always be there to shelter you when you need to let go. Always, mei." He put a finger under Wufei's chin and lifted his lips for a deeper kiss. Wufei opened his mouth willingly to that questing tongue.

In spite of everything--the friends lying in hospital, the ones grieving next door, his own discomfort--his body was still needy. They were both erect now, and Zechs moved against him, brushing Wufei's cock with his own. Wufei gasped as pleasure rushed through him. Zechs was still cupping his bottom and used his advantage to move Wufei against him. They were slow dancing now, bodies pressed together, in a lazy bout of frottage. Zechs hadn't touched his cock much when they'd made love before; it was supersensitive now.

"Oh mei, you do have the most delectable bottom!" Zechs murmured, eyes half closed as he moved against him. "So tight. So firm!" His fingers kneaded the muscles of Wufei's ass.

He hurt inside, but somehow that pain was translating to rapidly cresting pleasure elsewhere. "Only you!" he whispered, writhing against his tall lover. "Only you can touch me like that. No one else, not ever!"

"And that makes it all the sweeter, little blossom!"

// Only you can call me things like that and live, Zechs Merquise! // Wufei thought, but he was too busy moaning toward climax to complain, or admit to himself that deep down, he loved it that Zechs called him such names.

They came together, moaning into each other's mouths as hot semen spurted up between their bellies. Zechs kissed him one last time, then turned a limp and unresisting Wufei to face the spray again and lovingly washed him clean. He was a little wobbly as Zechs helped him out onto the bath mat.

"How are you now?" Zechs asked, looking down at him fondly as he toweled Wufei dry.

"Better," Wufei said, and they both knew he wasn't referring to the state of his backside, which still hurt quite a lot. "Hungry."

It wasn't quite ten pm, and they'd both slept enough for now. They found their discarded jeans and shirts and pulled them on.

"Should we ask them over to have some supper?" Zechs asked, nodding at the door connecting their suites.

Wufei went over and listened. There were no sounds of voices or the television. Maxwell, at least, must be asleep, he thought, smiling. Duo couldn't stand silence. Chances were that they were either asleep, or otherwise engaged in the bedroom. Either way, he wouldn't disturb them.

The steaks Zechs had ordered for them had just arrived when Wufei's cell rang. The number was a local one, a hospital extension. "Hello?"

"Wufei! Where are Duo and Heero? I can't get either of them to answer their cells or the hotel phone!" There was no mistaking the tightly reined panic in Trowa's hoarse voice. "Kat thinks something's wrong."

Still clutching the phone to his ear, Wufei dashed to the connecting door and tried it. It was unlocked. The lights were on in the sitting room next door, but there was no sign of their friends anywhere. The bed was untouched. "Damn it! They not here!"

He heard Trowa's groan.

Zechs stepped out into the hall and returned a moment later with the two men who'd been on guard. "What do you mean, they went out? When?" he barked, every inch the officer now, regardless of his worn jeans and bare feet.

"Soon after you all arrived, sir!" one of the men replied.

"And you didn't think to mention it?"

"Not at first, sir. They said they were only going downstairs to the shops . . ."

"Which closed over an hour ago?"

The guards exchanged an uncomfortable look. "I know, sir, but you and Mr. Chang . . . well, we didn't think it would be appropriate to interrupt you, sir."

Zechs colored angrily. "We will clarify ground rules later. Right now I want to know where they went and when!"

"Should we inform the police and Preventers, sir?"

Wufei looked at Zechs and shook his head.

"No, not yet. Handle it quietly," Zechs told the men. They saluted and hurried out.

"Wufei? What's going on? Are they there or not?" Trowa demanded, still on the phone.

"We don't know what's going on yet, 03, but it looks like they're not here," Wufei told him.

"Fuck! Heero's laptop is gone, right?"

"Yes."

"Then he's not coming back. I'll try to reach him online. You check the house. There's an arms locker under our bed."

"Why am I not surprised?"

Trowa ignored the comment. He sounded very tired, but lucid. "There were two collapsible assault rifles in briefcases, unregistered handguns, ammo, some concussion grenades, surveillance gear, some C-9 . . ."

"Good god, 03! That's all contraband!"

"Old habits die hard," Trowa replied grimly.

"If the bomb had been upstairs . . ."

"Don't remind me. And there's a strong box with cash and some fake IDs."

"And they knew about this cache?"

"Of course they knew. Please, go look for them? I don't know what this is doing to Heero's mental state, but Duo will go along with whatever he wants."

"Copy that, 03. How's Quatre?"

There was a pause. "He's-uh, he's a little upset with me. He never liked having all that shit in the house. Please go look and call me right back on this phone. I don't have a cell right now."

"I'll see that you get one. Concentrate on getting him well, and you. We'll handle this."

"Thanks, Wufei. Call as soon as you know anything."

+

Less than half an hour later Wufei and Zechs were standing in the cold bedroom of Trowa's house, looking down at the empty cache hole. Duo and Heero had cleaned it out, taken everything, including the explosives. Being caught with almost any item on the list Trowa had given them could land the pair of them in jail for illegal possession. The combined arsenal? Wufei shook his head. If they were caught, not even Relena could save them. What the hell had set them off like this? Heero had seemed sane enough when they'd parted at the hotel, and Duo had been doing great these past months.

Wufei wasn't familiar enough with the house to know what else might have been taken, but in the side bedroom they found dresser drawers half open, as if someone had packed in a hurry. On top of the dresser, Wufei noticed a manila envelop propped up against the mirror. Letters cut from a newspaper or magazine spelled out "TO HeeRO yUy wITh lOVe." Using a sock from the drawer in lieu of an evidence glove, he shook out the contents, a folded note in Heero's unmistakable hand.

Mission accepted. 05, don't follow. This isn't your fight.


Wufei stared down at it, feeling irrationally hurt, and guilty as hell. "If I hadn't gone to pieces. If you and I hadn't . . .

Zechs put an arm around him as he read the note. "Don't, Wufei. This was their choice. Short of sitting on them, you couldn't have stopped them, if this is what they've chosen. 'Mission accepted.' You know what that means."

"We have to find them. We have to talk some sense into them!"

Zechs pulled out his cell phone and started dialing. "They have at least a three hour lead. First we have to find them."

+

Duo set the rented Lear jet's auto pilot system for Tokyo. He'd make the final trajectory changes during the approach. It had been risky, doing the rental with the hastily altered fake ID's they'd lifted from Tro's stash, but their only alternative had been trying to "borrow" Zechsy's shuttle and that was under guard.

He sat back, pulled his braid from its hiding place under his leather jacket, and glanced over at Heero, who'd fallen asleep in the co pilot's chair soon after take off. Poor guy, he was totally exhausted. And so was Duo.

The small passenger jet wasn't lavishly furnished, but there was a bed in the back, beyond the seats. Duo shook Heero gently by the arm. "Come on, baby. Come take a nap in the back."

Heero came to long enough for Duo to get him back to the bed and stretch out beside him. Heero, who hadn't fully woken up anyway, curled up against him, head on Duo's shoulder, and fell asleep again.

Lying there, stroking Heero's hair, Duo admitted that there had been some other alternatives. He'd even suggested that while they were packing to bug out, but Heero had been adamant. It was like dealing with the wartime 01 again; he was about as persuadable as stone wall; no one else was to be involved in this. Not the police. Not the Preventers. Do that and everything would come out: the rape, the photos, everything. Trowa and Kat were down for the count and out of the picture. Heero didn't want Wufei dragged into this, either.

"It's my mess, my fight!" he'd whispered as they'd packed up the weapons and electronics from under Tro's bed. Quite the little packrat, their 03! "Wufei has finally found someone to make him happy. And if he comes, Zechs will want to, as well, and I don't need a bunch of his security guards bumbling around, attracting attention. Besides, 05 hasn't been all that stable lately."

//And I have?// Duo thought, but kept that to himself. He suspected that Heero would have preferred to take on this mission solo, like he always had, but he'd promised Duo he'd never take off without him again, back in Madrid, and he was keeping his word now.

As for Duo, he was seriously looking forward to meeting the bastards who'd put a hurt on his lover and friends. He had a message of his own to deliver, from the barrel of a gun.

+

Lulled by the hum of the Lear's engines and Duo's nervous, toneless humming, Heero willed himself to sleep, counting backwards like he used to during the war.

Dr. Batoosingh had used the same method with him, trying to tap into his lost memories, and taught Heero the basics of lucid dreaming. He'd been using both techniques for weeks now, along with his art, to try and piece together what had happened to him in Japan. He still had no idea how he'd gotten into the country, or where he'd gone. He knew only from the photos and threats that he'd been in Kisarazu, and his suicide note placed him in Kyoto at some point. He'd tried to use those locales as focus points. He hadn't had much success, though, apart from a few scraps here and there, mostly of the rape. Even in his fugue state, the pain and violence of that must have broken through to his conscious mind and left scars.

It had been almost impossible at first, letting the memory of that come back. Even now, months and miles from the event, strong and healthy again, he cringed inwardly as he made himself summon up what little he had: smells, tactile sensations-those were the hardest-a few visual memories, but those were confused with the photos now to the point that he wasn't certain what he'd been shown and what he actually recalled.

Drifting, dozing, still half aware of the engine noise, he pictured the postcard shown on the vid, the Kisarazu skyline. It meant nothing to his conscious mind, and since it was precolony vintage, chances were it didn't look the same anymore, but as he sank deeper he seemed to fall into the picture and as he began to dream, he found himself walking through the streets of a bombed out district, a slum. He was hungry, and he was clutching something to his chest, afraid that it would be taken from him. He couldn't tell what it was, or see it in the dream, but whatever it was, it was precious to him. It was almost dark, late evening perhaps, but there was a light ahead of him, something colorful flashing. A sign, neon. Five flowers in different colors that came on one at a time to form a bouquet, only the fourth one didn't light up, leaving a dark space in the arrangement. The sight of it made him feel sick and scared. Five flowers. Five . . .

He felt like he was on the verge of understanding something when Duo woke him and made him move to the bed at the back of the plane. Groggy and frustrated, he settled down and surrendered to sleep again, hoping to recapture whatever it had been that his subconscious was trying to reveal.

Kisarazu.

A slum.

Five neon flowers.


But he was too tired or too scared and this time he slept without dreams.

[chap. 76] [chap. 78] [back to pyrzm's fic]