Can Duo help Trowa and Heero in the aftermath of a mission gone wrong? Post EW.
Down in a hole and I don't know if I can be saved
See my heart I decorate it like a grave
You don't understand who they thought I was supposed to be
Look at me now a man who won't let himself be
"Down in a Hole"- Alice in Chains
"Never Trowa...I would never think that of you," I say to the trembling boy. I look up to Heero who has situated himself on the opposite side of Trowa. He looks at me with wide blue eyes, clearly confused as to what he should be doing.
"We have to calm him down," I whisper to Heero. If he keeps breathing this hard, Trowa could do more damage to his injured ribs. Heero nods his head, a little unsure. I can't blame him because I have no clue as to how we are going to accomplish this. I gently place my hand on the back of Trowa's head in what I hope is a comforting gesture and lean down so that I don't have to speak so loud.
"Trowa. Calm down. Please, we need you to calm down and breathe," I say softly. I slowly move the hand I had placed on the back of Trowa's head through his hair. I glance back to Heero and jerk my head in Trowa's direction, indicating that he should do something. For a moment he looks fearful but then reaches out to place a tentative hand on Trowa's shoulder.
"You need to slow your breathing, Trowa," Heero begins sternly. "You are hyperventilating. If you don't try and relax you will pass out." Well, that's not quite what I had in mind but Trowa definitely took notice. He immediately began to slow his inhalations. His breath still hitched every once in a while but he seemed to be quieting. Leave it to Heero to order someone out of a panic attack.
Trowa was still leaning forward with his arms wrapped tightly around his body. His long bangs were almost completely covering his face. After a few minutes had passed, he was able to take deep breaths without too much trouble. Heero and I kept caressing him reassuringly and whispering soothing words.
"Are you okay now?" I ask. I see some of the tension in Trowa's back and shoulders loosen. He uncurls himself slightly but keeps his head bowed down. He hasn't answered my question yet and I try to get him to look at me or at least acknowledge that he heard me.
"Don't touch me!" Trowa says angrily as he rears up straight, throwing out his elbow to knock Heero's hand from his shoulder. Not expecting the move, surprisingly, Heero catches the elbow directly on his mouth. There was enough force behind it to send the blue-eyed boy backwards. I barely have enough time to dodge the one sent in my direction and manage to get a hold on Trowa's arm. He turns to face me, his greens eyes are furious.
"Tro, what's the deal? Why are you-?" I begin but Trowa yanks hard and pulls out of the loose grasp I had him in.
"I don't want you touching me. Leave me alone....I don't need your help!" He yells at me. I'm too stunned to speak. I don't think I've ever seen Trowa this mad and this out of control with it. And I have certainly never been on the receiving end of it.
"Just leave me alone," Trowa adds much quieter as he slowly rises to his feet, using the wall for support. I let him do it by himself and stand up with him. I glance over my shoulder and see Heero still seated on the floor. He has his hand to his bloodied lip and is gingerly pressing at it. His eyes meet mine and then look to Trowa's back and then to mine once again. He is clearly mystified by what just happened.
"Tro, I'm not going to stop caring about you just because you were...hurt before," I say and then curse myself internally. I just can't bring myself to say out loud that Trowa had been raped. I guess if I don't say it then somehow it won't be real. I wish to whatever gods there are that it wasn't real. Funny, that reminds me of something Solo used to say.
/You can wish in one hand and shit in the other, you'll see which one gets filled first./
Damn I miss him some times.
"No, no, no. We are not talking about this now...or ever," Trowa says as he shakes his head in denial.
"Tro," I try again, a little petulantly but he cuts me off with a wave of his hand.
"This matter is no longer open for discussion," Trowa says smoothly, the control back in his voice. He turns from me and begins walking up the stairs. I open my mouth in an aborted attempt to say something further but he looks over his shoulder and glares at me. I snap my mouth shut with an audible click. Trowa looks over to where Heero is still sitting and his expression changes briefly. For a moment I thought I saw regret touch his features but it quickly fades and he turns to continue up the staircase.
God, I'm so frustratingly angry. I feel like I'm stumbling around in the dark here. One minute Trowa is fine, the next he's not. He'll switch from crying on my shoulder one second to threatening to kill me if I touch him. Well, maybe not that bad but it's getting to be re-goddamn-diculous. I can't keep up with the mood swings. He's only been home from the hospital- what? One day and already he's had us all on one hell of a roller coaster ride. Not good, this is not good.
I extend my hand out for Heero and help him to his feet. "Let me take a look," I say as I reach out to touch his injured lip. "Yup, he got you real good. You're going to have a fat lip."
"He was so upset. I didn't know what I should be doing," Heero says quietly. "I...wasn't expecting him to lash out at us like that." I snort sarcastically.
"Me neither. I don't know but I think he's angrier with himself than he is with us; we're just a convenient outlet for him."
"Yes, I was reading something about that," Heero states calmly. "Many victims of violence act out against those who are trying to help them because they feel inadequate and helpless. They feel that they are regaining a measure of control if they refuse assistance."
"That's Tro to a tee," I say as I roll my eyes. "So, you've been doing some research?" Heero looks away, embarrassed.
"I was looking for a way to help so I went online to find more information on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I want to help him," He says shyly. It's so sweet I think I'm getting cavities from it. I smile in spite of myself.
"Me too, buddy. Me too," I say as I wrap an arm around his shoulders in a friendly hug. Our little moment is cut short by the shrill ringing of our phone in the kitchen.
"Christ, who the hell can that be?" I curse. Heero makes a move to go answer it but I stop him. "Go take care of your lip. I'll get it."
I stomp into the kitchen and press the speaker button on the vid-phone. I purposely avoid hitting the camera on. Whoever it is doesn't need to see what I look like.
"Maxwell," I say gruffly. There is a second of silence before a cautious voice replies.
"Duo?" I would recognize that voice anywhere.
"Oh, thank Allah. Where the hell have you three been? I've been trying to reach you forever." I chuckle.
"Yeah, I know. Thirteen messages. A little overkill don't you think?" I hear an exasperated sigh on the other end.
"I was worried. I thought something might have happened...why am I on speaker? Switch the vid on."
I take a seat in the chair by the phone stand and press the video display button. Quatre's image appears on the view screen. From the looks of things he is in his office sitting at his desk. I can see daylight filtering in through the large picture windows behind him. I forgot that it's mid-morning on L-4. He still looks the same. Three years haven't done much other than give him a few inches in height. He still has that baby face.
"Well, I guess I don't need to ask how you're doing," Quatre says after getting one look at me.
"That bad, huh?" Quatre smiles slightly.
"You look really tired. I don't imagine the last two days have been easy on you. How are they doing?" Quatre's voice softens with the question. I sigh heavily.
"Physically, Heero's fine. His injuries were pretty much superficial and even if they weren't I don't think anything short of losing a limb would be enough to keep him down." Quatre gives a knowing chuckle. "Trowa on the other hand is a bit more...damaged. He has a concussion, broken left wrist, two broken ribs, one nasty looking black-eye, and his back was torn to shreds by a psycho with a scalpel."
"By Allah," Quatre gasps. "Wufei said it was bad but he refused to go into any of the details." I find myself feeling very relieved that Wufei didn't tell Quatre everything. If me finding out what had happened was enough to send Trowa into a complete meltdown, I do not want to find out what he would do if Quatre knew.
"Yeah, well the doc was really good. He thinks the scars won't as noticeable as before. Given time they will fade and stuff-"
"Before?" Quatre interrupts.
Oh shit. I can't believe I just let that slip. I'm such a fucking idiot.
"Uh, yeah...He had some old scars on his back and when the doctor was stitching up his new injuries he was able to incorporate some of the old scar tissue so they should appear less obvious," I say, hoping that Quatre doesn't press further. The blonde is silent for a few heartbeats.
"That's good, I suppose. Duo, why do I get the feeling that there is something you all are hiding? I don't want to take it personally but it seems like everyone has the inside information but me. I tried getting Wufei to open up but you know how he can be. I'd probably get more information talking to a boulder than him when he's in 'need to know basis' mode."
"Quat, look it's nothing personal so please don't take it that way. It's just that...something happened. Something pretty bad and we're still in shock around here. We're trying to figure out where to go from here and Trowa...doesn't want anyone to know. So, you see I can't tell you because if he wants you to know then he has to tell you himself." There is silence again and I see the contemplative look in Quatre's eyes.
"Something bad happened?" Quatre asks. I nod my head.
"To Trowa?" I nod my head again. Quatre falls quiet once again.
"Quatre," I begin, trying to fill the awkward silence. "Please don't be angry with us."
"I'm not angry, Duo. I must admit that I feel a little slighted that you would exclude one of your friends but I'm not angry. If this is something that personal then you are correct, it should come from Trowa. Do you think he will talk with me?" I give a disheartened sigh.
"I don't know. Right now I would have to say definitely, no. Maybe in time he'll open up but things are still too fresh and he's closing himself off."
"That's not good," Quatre says. I can hear the disappointment in his voice more than I can see it on his face.
"He's refusing professional help. In fact, he became very agitated the last time Heero and I brought it up." Agitated is an understatement but I can't let Quatre in on too much.
"Give it some more time. Perhaps he will be more receptive in a few days. If you try and force him into it you'll probably succeed in pissing him off more. But if what happened is as bad as you are making it seem then he is going to need more than you and Heero can provide." I nod my head in agreement.
"Heero is at least willing to seek out counseling," I say dejectedly.
"That doesn't surprise me. Heero can admit when he's overwhelmed and will take the necessary steps to find a solution. Perhaps Trowa will follow his example."
"One can hope."
"Listen, you look absolutely beat so why don't we cut this short. I'll give you guys a call in a few days but please don't hesitate to call me if you need anything."
"Sure thing, Quat."
"I mean it Duo. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know."
"I know and I will." Quatre gives a small nod of understanding.
"I'll talk to you in a few days, Duo. Give my regards to Heero and Trowa."
"I will. Later, Quatre." The screen blacks out as I disconnected the call.
I cover my face with my hands and moan. I hate myself for having to withhold information from Quatre like that. He cares about Trowa just as much as we all do, but I'm pretty sure our green-eyed friend would not be too happy with me if I told. Damn it, Trowa why do you have to be such a pig-headed bastard when all we want is to see you get through this?
I am just about to stand up to leave when the phone rings again. What did Quatre forget to tell me? I reach out and not thinking about it, press the video display. It's not Quatre's face that greets me. It's Catherine's.
"Oh, Hi Duo," She greets me in a friendly voice. "I was wondering if Trowa was around." I immediately panic. Why did she have to call now?
"Uh, yeah but he's asleep," I say hoping she satisfied with that answer. It is most likely the truth so I'm not lying to her.
"Your right, it is kind of late. I always forget about the time difference."
"I'll tell him you called," I say. I feel myself relax a little.
"Thanks that would be great."
"No prob. It was good talking to you, Cathy," I say and am about to disconnect the call when she speaks again.
"Is he alright, Duo?" Catherine's voice has an unease that I've never heard before.
"Why do you ask?" I employ the old answer a question with a question diversion tactic. Which, by the way I am the master of.
"It's kind of silly really," She says as she looks away with a slight flush to her cheeks. "I don't know, but I got this weird feeling the other day like something happened to him. Then I heard on the news that there was an incident where a few Preventer agents were killed and I was really scared that he was one of them. I figured I would have been notified if he had been killed but that didn't stop me from worrying."
"That's not silly at all. He's not dead," I choose my words very carefully. I also debate whether or not to tell her that he had been injured. I decide it's better to wait and see rather than open that can of worms.
"Well, that's a relief. I know my bone-head of a brother isn't stupid enough to go and get himself killed without telling me."
I smile at her wit. I've always liked Catherine. She and I always get into some of the most heated arguments whenever we're together for more than five minutes. We both are opinionated and not afraid to show it.
"I'll tell him you called," I tell her, hiding behind my smile.
"Thanks, Duo." Catherine replies with a warm smile of her own and I disconnect the call.
If I thought I felt bad after Quatre's call, I feel twice as bad now. This is killing me. From now on Heero is handling all the phone calls. I can't lie to people and it's becoming harder to stretch the truth.
I get up from the chair and make my way upstairs. I pause in the hallway outside Trowa's room. The light is off and the room is silent. As much as I want to go in and see if he's alright I know he will not appreciate it. He said he doesn't want my help so I have to respect his wishes. I continue on to my room. Before I enter I glance down to Heero's room. His door is closed but I can see the light spilling out from under it. I would like to talk to him but I'm too tired. It can wait until the morning. I enter my room and fall face first on my bed. I don't even bother to take my clothes off. I close my eyes and I am asleep almost immediately.
I am awaked a few hours later by Trowa's panicked shout. I scramble up from bed and race to the door. When my hand closes around the door knob my sleep-muddled mind catches up. Trowa doesn't want us to help or comfort him. I open my door and turn to see Heero standing in his own doorway. He looks like he's ready to kill something or cry his eyes out.
I silently shake my head from side to side at him. He reads my message loud and clear- As much as we want to, we cannot go in there. Heero holds my gaze for a few more seconds before quietly backing into his room and shutting the door.
Because my room is across the hall from Trowa's I can hear the ragged breathing and heart-wrenching sobbing coming from the auburn haired young man. I choke on my own tears and my lungs ache with longing. But even though I want nothing more than to rush into that room and hold Trowa in my arms, I step back into my room and close the door behind me.