Can Duo help Trowa and Heero in the aftermath of a mission gone wrong? Post EW.
Warnings: This one is gonna be dark kids. There will be talk of physical and psychological torture, NCS, and angst by the bucket loads. So, if you don't like, then don't read. If you do read and you like, please let me know.
Summary: Takes place 3 years after EW. Duo, Heero, and Trowa work together as Preventers. After a mission goes horribly wrong, Duo tries to help the other two put the pieces back together.
Disclaimer: I do not own and will unfortunately never own Gundam Wing nor will I make any money doing this.
Hold Your Light
Hold you light, hold your light,
Hold your light where I can see.... "jimmy" -Tool
I can't sleep. No matter how hard I try, or how exhausted I am, I can't seem to relax enough to fall asleep. I could try sleeping pills, but I find it's too hard to wake up from them, and I need to be alert in case Trowa needs me. He'll never admit that though, at least not out loud, and certainly not to me.
I roll onto my side and glance at the digital clock next to my bed. The bright red numbers tell me that it is 2:37 A.M. Exactly seventeen minutes since the last time I looked. Two hours and forty-three minutes since I first attempted to fall asleep. At least twelve hours since my last decent meal. Eighteen hours since Heero and I brought Trowa home from the infirmary. Ninety-six hours since the backup team and myself pulled Heero and Trowa out of that...that room.
My mind keeps going over our last mission, which is probably why I can't get relaxed. That fucking mission. In the span of forty-eight hours everything went to hell. It had to be hell. One look at the cell where my two best friends had been held you knew that it was hell. One look at my friends you knew that hell was without a doubt what they had been subjected to. Heero came through relatively unscathed physically. Bumps and bruises are nothing for the Great Heero Yuy. Emotionally, I'm not so sure. He's not talking either. Trowa, on the other hand was not so lucky. The guards roughed him up pretty bad before the real torture started. They busted two of his ribs, broke his wrist, and worked over his face pretty good. One eye, one beautiful emerald eye, is still swollen shut. But that's not the worst of it. I don't know exactly what happened in that room, but all the evidence points to sexual assault. God, just thinking about what could have happened in that room makes my stomach flip.
I turn over again on my bed to lie on my back fighting the building nausea and the tears. It's been forever since I spent an entire night in my room alone. I usually sleep in Trowa's bed with him. Some nights it was just a comfort to have another warm body next to you. Some nights that was not enough for either of us and we found the comfort we sought with each other's bodies. No strings attached and no promises to be broken and we both liked it that way.
I try to let my mind drift to happier times, but the silence of the house is broken by a scream. It's a scream I'm becoming all too familiar with lately. I'm out of my bed before my brain has a chance to catch up. I dash into the hallway and skid to a halt. Standing in front of Trowa's closed door is Heero. He, like me is dressed in nighttime apparel consisting of a T-shirt and boxers. His arm is raised as if to turn the door handle but frozen.
He is staring at the handle with a strange intensity almost like he is unsure of how the mechanism works. He hasn't acknowledged my presence yet. That says a lot about Heero's current mindset. He looks almost confused, like a lost little boy. In this dim light with his hair mussed from sleep he looks way younger than our nineteen years. I can't wait for him to make up his mind so I walk up to him. He turns to face me suddenly as if I startled him.
"Oh, Duo, you're here. I heard him call out, so I came to check on him," He says quietly. If I weren't in a rush to get into that room to check on Trowa, I would have given thought to how strange it was for Heero to say something like that. Under normal circumstances he would have been in that room long before me. But the current circumstances are hardly normal.
"Yeah, me too so why don't we go in and see what's going on," I reply. My voice is low, like I'm speaking to a child. I gently push past him and knock on the door. I keep the knock soft so that I don't scare Trowa.
"Trowa? It's me. I'm coming in." I announce before I turn the handle and push the door in. Heero is right behind me, close enough to be my shadow. I take a few steps into the dark room. From the moonlight streaming in through the bedroom window and the light from the hallway I can see Trowa sitting up on his bed. He has his back to us and his legs are dangling off the side of the bed. He is bent forward with one arm resting on his thigh, one hand covering his face and the other arm wrapped around his side. I can hear his erratic breathing from the doorway. Breathing that hard must be incredibly painful with his broken ribs.
I walk over to him and place a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "Are you alright?" I ask. Trowa immediately pulls back and away from my touch.
"Don't touch me!"
It's not quite a yell, but in this quiet room his voice is booming. I look to his face and see that his undamaged eye is wide with panic. I pull my hands back as if they were burned and suddenly I'm unsure what to do. He is breathing harder now and I'm sure the sudden motion has caused him further pain. There is silence for a couple of moments. I hear a light shuffle and look up to see Heero still standing in the doorway. He gives me a questioning look. I know right away what he is asking. What's wrong? What can I do to make it better? I mouth the words "I don't know" back to him. That is the truth. I have no idea how to rectify this situation.
After a few moments I sit on the bed next to Trowa making sure not to touch him but I'm close enough in case he changes his mind. I hear him sigh heavily.
"I'm okay.....just don't touch me," Trowa's soft baritone is barely above a whisper. I nod my head in affirmation though I doubt Trowa can see it. He has his head so far down that his chin is touching his chest and his long auburn bangs are covering his face. God, this is so frustrating. I just want to reach out, grab him and hold him close. I want to be able to tell him that everything will be all right. But I know that everything is pretty fucking far from all right. In fact, we are so far from it that the light from all right will take a thousand years to reach us.
"Trowa?" I start as gently as I can. "Is there anything you need?" He shakes his head in the negative. He does not look at me. He hasn't looked me in the eye unless it was absolutely necessary for the past 2 days. He's hiding from me. I know he is. He is too ashamed and stubborn to let me help him or admit that he needs help. It makes me almost want to smack him upside the head until he realizes that this is not a weakness.
"Do you require any pain medication?" Heero's voice nearly echoes in the sparsely decorated room. Trowa visibly jumps at the sound of it. I pretend to ignore this but look to Trowa for an answer. Again, he shakes his head no. If I think he is hiding from me he is doing everything in his power to downright avoid Heero. At least I get a few words here and there. I don't think he has spoken to Heero since they were rescued.
I wish I knew what the hell happened to both of them beyond the watered down version of events in Heero's mission report. Trowa was debriefed before we left the infirmary but no official report has been submitted yet. The two of them seem incredibly unwilling to speak to me about it and I don't want to push them. Well, not yet anyway.
"Heero, why don't you go back to bed, I can take it from here." I turn to look at Heero backlit in the doorway. He hesitates for a moment then gives me a curt nod in the affirmative and turns and walks down the hall to his room. When I hear the quiet click of his door closing I turn back to Trowa.
"Look, Tro, I'm not gonna touch you or do anything that you don't want me to, but I want to help you. Please let me help you." I'm practically begging but I don't care. I lov- care for him far too much to not push him a little.
"You can't help me Duo, not with this, " he answers. Trowa's voice sounds so small and defeated. It's killing me to hear it. My chest is aching so bad my heart feels like it's about to burst. I can only imagine what he is feeling is a hundred times worse.
"Tro, don't push me away. I'll give you however much space you need and all the support I can offer but don't push me- us away." Trowa doesn't say anything he just stares down at his feet. I reach out tentatively and take hold of his hand. There is a slight flinch but he doesn't pull away. I relax a little. "Look at me, Trowa," I say.
Trowa slowly raises his head and turns to face me. I'm thrilled that he is complying, though I try to maintain my cool. When he is finally faces me I can see the wet trails streaming down his face. Trowa is not one to cry. I can count on one hand the times he has shed any tears in my presence in the five years that I have known him. God, he must be completely devastated.
"You're right," I begin softly. "I can't help you with this. I can't tell you some magic words that are going to make everything all better. Believe it or not I don't have all the answers and neither does Heero or Une or anyone else." Trowa cringes slightly at the mention of Heero and once again I ignore this reaction. There is time for me to sort that issue out later. "But just because I can't possibly fathom what you're feeling doesn't mean that I can't be supportive. What happened doesn't change the way I feel about you in any way." He is holding my gaze steady through my little speech but lowers his eyes at that last comment.
"Duo, I....I don't think I can........," Trowa begins but does not continue. I wait a few seconds to see if he is going to add anything to that statement.
"I think you're underestimating yourself, " I say. Trowa opens his mouth to disagree but I put a finger to his mouth to silence him. "Let's not talk about this now. Let's get you back into bed. We can figure everything out in the morning. Okay?" Trowa looks perplexed for a moment but eventually nods in agreement. I help him lie back down on his side; his back is in pretty bad shape still and I pull the covers over him. I feel like I'm tucking in a little kid. I resist the urge to lean down place a kiss on his forehead so I opt for rubbing his shoulder gently.
"Comfy?" I ask when he is all settled in and he shakes his head. "Are you in any pain? Do you want to take something?" I ask. I'm almost surprised when he answers me.
"No, I don't like the pills. They make my head feel fuzzy and I want to stay coherent," He states. I can't argue with that. I hate the out of control feeling you get from being drugged up to the gills but I also can't stand to see him suffering. Though, when it comes to suffering in silence I don't know who is worse Trowa or Heero.
"That's most likely the concussion, babe," I say, the pet name rolls off my tongue before I can stop it. I wince in expectation of Trowa's reaction. To my surprise he only yawns.
"Yeah, you're probably right," he replies sleepily as he settles into the pillows a little more. I can hear his breathing begin to even out as his body relaxes.
"Alright then. I'll be right across the hall if you need anything," I say, but I don't think he hears me. Trowa is already out cold. This time I do not fight the urge and lean down and press my lips to his forehead. I linger over his sleeping form for a few moments before I leave and close the door behind me.
By the time I reach my room the tears are streaming down my face. Once inside I close the door and lean against it. My knees buckle and I slide down until I'm seated on the floor, sobbing. It's been a long time since I've cried like this over someone. It's not just Trowa that has me like this, but Heero as well. I cannot recall another when I have seen him so...rattled. It scares me that his usual steely determination is failing him. What the hell really happened in that room?
So, I sit here and cry. I cry for Trowa and the amount of pain he is in and the pain he will still suffer long from now. I cry for Heero because he has to feel as lost and as insignificant as I do right now. And lastly I cry for me, because how the hell am I, the perpetual comic relief, supposed to help my two best friends deal with this?