Theme: Imprisonment/Quarantine and Supernatural.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except my OC's.
Summary: "He's not a violent child sir." his surrogate mother whispered quietly.
"Never was. It's just that…well since the accident…he's just never been the same since learning about the little girl and her dog." his surrogate father murmured. He just stared out the window. He stopped caring. He'd decided that being put a place like this was probably best for everyone.
"Please understand son..." his mother had pleaded when they told him.
"They can cure you son." his father had added.
"Just stop both of you; I know. I'll only be a danger to people like this so just hurry the hell up and take me away." he'd yelled before running to his room and hiding in his favorite spot. The tiny bit of space between his cast-iron closet and the wall; no one could figure out how he even found the room to hide in the narrow space. The small space was his safety zone. Here he couldn't do any harm. If he zoned out now or fell asleep he wouldn't be able to get out by himself. He found that out the hard way. His dad would eventually call two of his friends and together they'd move the very heavy cast iron closet just enough that Heero could be pulled free before pushing it back in place.
He stared at the flier in his hand. 'The Romefeller institute for unusual children' it read in neat curled letters.
'A fancy way of saying insane asylum..." Heero thought quietly. He hated the place and he hadn't even been there. He'd not lied though. He was better off locked away in that place then here where he could get a blackout at any given moment. It wasn't that he was crazy really; far from it in fact. He was about as sane as they came; or so he'd thought.
Ever since the accident, where a drunk idiot slammed his car in theirs and caused their car to go out of control hitting that little girl and her dog, Heero had started to have blackouts. These were moments where he lost his grip on reality and started to relive memories; memories that weren't his own. He couldn't remember anythin other then the memories once he got out of one of these blackouts, but he always ended up at the police station or in the hospital and learned after some pushing that he would become insanely violent. While it was mostly aimed toward himself he did tend to attack anyone who tried to keep him from hurting himself.
Ever since the accident he'd been thrown from one family to the next never staying long enough to get to know any of them. Jake and Molly were the first couple to keep him despite his problem. They were different from the others and espite Heero having been only six when he met them they talked to him like they would to an adult person. They told him that they would take him to see a councilor who would talk with him in hopes of getting him over his anger issues. It was only last week some eleven years after meeting them and when Heero woke in the police station's drunk tank which was full of fist sized holes now that they decided there was more going on here. Heero had agreed. Having always been exceptionally strong for a child Heero had most of his life been afraid of what he might do. He loved Jake and Molly like he would his real parents and the last thing he wanted was for them to get hurt.
Three weeks later, Romefeller institute 8:03
"He's not a violent child sir. He never was unless he had his episode and even then it was more toward himself then toward others. Please you are our last hope at helping the boy." Molly said quietly.
"I know madam you've made that abundantly clear." Mister Dermail said.
"Honestly sir, Heero is the most kindhearted child I've ever seen. It's just that ever since the accident when he was three years old he's been having these episodes; blackouts as he calls them. He doesn't lie when he says he doesn't remember. We know he's not a bad boy, he just needs help... help that we as his parents unfortunately can't give him." Jake added quietly. Heero stared out the window. He wished they'd hurry it up already. The sooner they put him in a room with eight inch thick walls the better it was for all of them. Cold sweat was running down his back in rivulets; he felt like the longer they talked the closer he'd get to zoning out and slipping into another episode.
"HEERO!" Molly cried. Heero turned quickly to his mother then stared at his hand which was held firmly by the gloved hand of Dermail, but had still managed to bring a letter opener dangerously close to his throat. Heero cursed and dropped the tool. Molly was up in seconds and wrapped her arms around him.
"It's okay." she whispered over and over.
"No it's not okay! It will never be okay until these episodes stop!" Heero yelled pushing away from her. He forced himself not to break down and collapse in a trembling heap again.
"Why don't you two go with my secretary to the break room for some coffee? I'll bring Heero to his new room so he can lay down for a bit and calm down." Dermail said calmly as he pushed Heero out the door. Heero frowned. He didn't much like the deceptive kindness with which the man spoke.
"Don't give me that look boy; you and I both know it's best this way. You're obviously a danger to yourself right now. Keep in mind that I'm doing what's best for everyone." Dermail said coldly as he shoved Heero at someone else then told that person to take him on a tour before stuffing him in room 314.
"Don't mind him, he's a deceptive asshole. I'm Trowa." the tall person said. Heero took a moment to get a good look of the man, but found that it was in fact a boy of roughly his age. The boy was just very tall, but didn't look awkward like most boys would if they had his length. He looked like he belonged on the high wire in the circus.
"I'm Heero. Do you work here?" Heero said as he followed the tall boy to a door that led to a game room.
"Hell no! Sorry, I'm not overly fond of this place. I wouldn't work here if it were the only job on earth. No, I'm like you in a way. So what're they throwing you in here for?" Trowa said letting Heero walk in before closing the door.
"Blackouts... bad ones; I get violent from them... if it happens don't touch me... if you don't no one gets hurt besides me..." Heero said quietly as Trowa led him around the room.
"The game room; I take it you know what it's for. Toilet's through that door at the end of the hall. The halls left and right are our golden cages. You get a cot a wooden closet and a desk and that's about all. I'm here because I apparently am paranoid. I see things they say." Trowa said calmly.
"That's no good; I can't have anything in my room that I can move... closet needs to be cast iron. I'll ask Jake if he and his friends could bring my closet from home. I can't have the key though. I'll need to talk that over with that Dermail guy and make sure the walls and door are thick enough that I can't break em... can't have a repeat of that drunk tank..." Heero murmured.
"That was you? I heard about it on the news some guy had gone ballistic and punched a dozen holes in it when they locked him in there. I thought they were exaggerating again. Come on I'll introduce you to the others." Trowa said pulling him along just as he began to feel his grip on reality slip again. He blinked and nodded following the boy.
"Like I said I zone out some times... I get really violent, but so long as no one comes near it's only toward myself." Heero murmured as they walked to a Chinese boy sitting cross-legged under a table. He was reading three books at the same time.
"I see. This is Wufei, he's here because he saw his family killed and killed the guy who killed them. They say he set the guy on fire, but he had no tools to do so on him, not that anyone would believe him of course..." Trowa said. The Chinese boy looked up and waved a moment as Trowa told him who Heero was and why he was there. Heero waved back hesitantly. The boy's eyes looked pained; like his.
"I believe him." Heero said quietly. Trowa smiled and pulled him over to another older boy close to Wufei. He sat in a chair near the window with two more chairs beside him and a tea set on a table before him.
"Hello Trowa, who's your new friend?" the boy asked smiling calmly. His voice was soft as he spoke.
"His name is Heero, he has blackouts. Don't touch him if he starts hurting himself. He says not to. These are Zechs and his sister and best friend. Everyone who works here says they don't exist and Zechs made them up." Trowa murmured as he first talked to Zechs then turned back to Heero gesturing to Zechs and each of the empty chairs in turn.
"Do you think he did?" Heero asked quietly.
"I don't know if he did or not, but he's not crazy that much I know." Trowa said as he led Heero away from the older boy.
"Hello Trowa, do we have a new one?" a kind voice asked as they rounded a corner to another part of the room.
"Hello Quatre, this is Heero. Heero's here because he has blackouts. Uhm, just... don't go near him when it happens okay? He doesn't want to hurt others and he says he'll only hurt himself most times if no one goes near him." Trowa said smiling brightly. Heero smiled a little. It was clear that the two had it bad for one another. Right now though he was trying to figure out what was happening to him. He'd for a second been close to zoning out when he felt something like well a nudge it seemed, but it wasn't physical.
"Ah! I'm sorry!" Quatre yelped staring at Heero.
"Uhm? It's okay? I eh needed that anyway." Heero murmured surprised.
"Quatre is an empath, but he doesn't always realize when he reaches out emotionally to you. Feels strange I suppose." Trowa explained. He seemed to be worried.
"Actually it feels nice. It helped." Heero said honestly.
"You're worried you'll hurt us... you haven't slept in a long time because you're scared." Quatre said quietly. Heero nodded he felt a little uncomfortable being picked apart by the blond.
"We'll talk later Quat; I have to show him the rest of this place." Trowa said pulling Heero along quickly.
"He means well." Trowa assured him.
"I know I'm just not used to people reading my mind." Heero murmured.
"Your emotions, not your mind; he's not a telepath." Trowa said.
"Okay, what's next?" Heero asked.
"Sally, she's sitting over there. She's afraid of blood. She won't talk though and that's Dorothy over there. She's a mean bitch. No one really likes her. She's always kissing up to the warden. Come on this way." Trowa said pointing out an older girl and a blond haired girl. He led Heero to the very back and was about to tell him about the workshop when they heard a happy laughter.
Heero turned around and stared. Sitting on the wide window sill was a boy no older then himself. His long chestnut hair seemed to glow in the light of the late afternoon sun. He laughed again; it was a rich happy laughter. Heero slowly made his way over to the boy. He slipped onto the other end of the window sill and watched the beautiful young man before him who didn't seem to have noticed him. He listened as the boy answered someone that didn't seem to be there and laughed again. The boy had beautiful eyes an almost violet color, but still blue.
He didn't know how long he'd sat there and stared at the boy. He had zoned out or fell asleep. He'd blacked out again. He let out a scream and tried to sit up, but found himself unable to move.
"Don't bother. Wufei did his pressure point thing. You can't move till he undoes it. Y're lucky Quatre felt it coming or the doctors woulda gone n injected ya with who knows what." a familiar voice said. Slowly he opened his eyes and found himself staring up in endless pools of almost violet blue. A rich happy laughter filled his ears.
"Oh good he's awake. I was afraid Dermail would find him before he got out of it. That'd be very bad." a familiar voice said. Quatre his mind supplied.
"Dun worry Trowa says Dermail wanted him to take the new kid to 314. Listen Quatre, we gotta watch over him okay? T says so." the face above him said.
"I know. I'll get the others. Dermail will be here any minute now." Quatre murmured quietly he was staring at something in the distance. Heero couldn't move his head so he couldn't see.
"Don't worry Heero it'll be alright. Duo will explain I'm sure." Quatre said smiling before hurrying off. Heero mentally smiled, uncertain if he could do even that much right now. So the mysterious beautiful creature was named Duo.
"So, how'd ya like it here?" the voice above him asked just as he felt the familiar feel of zoning out again.
"Don't... m room's a virtual deathtrap... wouldn't help stop me more than a second." Heero grumbled attempting to glare his best death glare. The guys as his last school had dubbed it that because it made him look absolutely murderous which in his own opinion was a good thing.
"Aw I know how ya feel. It ain't exactly been the Ritz since T died... but hey it beats sleepin' with rats if y'know wh't I means" the voice said.
"Not the way I meant deathtrap..." he murmured staring into those eyes that seemed to hold him captive. He hissed angrily as his body suddenly went from numb to pins and needles.
"Sorry, there's no comfortable way to return your mobility when I use that." a soft voice said to his left.
"S okay... s better then not doing it..." Heero murmured sitting up and testing his movement.
"What's going on here?" Dermail yelled angrily.
"Nothing sir, I slipped and knocked myself out cold. They helped me come around." Heero murmured motioning to Duo and Wufei the latter of which nodded quickly to confirm this.
"You should be more careful, you know we can't have you pass out. Trowa says you're not satisfied with our accommodations?" Dermail said dragging Heero to his feet and forcing the boy to follow him.
"I'm not. The door is too thin; needs to be 8 inches solid preferably cast iron. Closet won't last the night I put it in the hall... no sense in keeping it if I'll just end up beating it to splinters and try to hurt myself with it. Removed the bed too all of it. If it's not cast iron, or gundamium or something I'll just end up breaking it. Also no lock opening on the inside I'll only end up picking it." Heero murmured feeling suddenly tense and sweaty. He also found it hard to focus.
"I'll see to it that the changes are made. Why don't you go back to the game room after bidding your parents goodbye? I'm sure that they'll call for dinner soon." Dermail said once they reached his office door where his parents were waiting.
Heero sighed as Molly hugged him close and cried.
"Please Miss Molly, don't cry. I'll be alright. You just focus on yourselves and the baby." he said feeling uneasy at seeing her cry.
"Oh sweetie... I will. I'll write as often as I can and please Heero... it's been eleven years now; can't you call us mom and dad yet?" Molly said smiling sadly through her tears as Jake gave him a fatherly slap on the shoulders then ruffled his hair.
"Take care kid. We'll come and see you as often as they'll let us." Jake said.
"I will. Thanks... M-mom, Dad. Can..." Heero said quietly. It felt strangely comforting to call them that even after so long. He placed his hand on Molly's rounded stomach.
"If it's a girl... can we call her Mary?" he asked looking at his surrogate mother through his permanently tousled bangs. Molly hugged him and kissed him on the forehead once she brushed those bangs aside.
"Of course sweetie, but what if it's a boy?" she asked winking at Jake.
"Odin. If it's a boy it should be called Odin." Heero said.
"Odin it if that's the case. Goodbye son." Jake said smiling sadly before leading his wife away. Heero watched them until the car left then headed back to where he'd just come from. He hadn't needed a tour earlier, but wasn't going to admit to having hacked the computers of the institution to get information about it. Dermail would probably not like that much.
"Y're okay right? Dermail didn't give you no creepy drinks or anythin'?" Duo said looking him over the moment he walked in.
"Uhm yeah, I'm fine. No he didn't. My parents were just leaving is all..." Heero said uncertain as the braided boy turned and yelled at nothing in particular.
"Sorry bout that. I ten' t' ferget y'all can't see em." Duo said rubbing the back of his head.
"See who?"Heero asked uncertain.
"T' ghosts of course. I been seein' em all m' life. 'S why I'm here y'know." Duo said.
"I see... so... these ghosts they... are they just kind of floating around without us being aware of it or...?" Heero asked fascinated by this bit of info and the boy, but he wouldn't admit that part to himself just yet.
"Naw, they tend to hang around people they knew. More like yer own guardian ghosts or sumthin'." Duo said quietly.
"I see... so are there any around me?" Heero asked nodding as he thought about what the boy said before asking quietly.
"A few, ya know it's nice to have someone believe me for once. We're not spose to talk bout our abilities... Dermail thinks it's like a sickness n will punish us if we talk bout it to others." Duo mumbled.
"It'd make sense for people to want to watch over their loved ones even after death." Heero said just as an old lady called them to dinner.
Dinner was a quiet affair. Everyone ate and no one talked. Dermail sat at the head of the table. Heero quietly observed and noted that there were no empty chairs for Zech's supposed imaginary friend and sister, but he was like the others quietly slipping some food into a napkin on his lap and then into his pocket. Heero slipped a few bits of food into his own napkin for later as he knew he'd be hungry in less than an hour after eating dinner. He blinked when he noticed Duo's hands nimbly slipping a bottle of water that had been on the table into his shirt. Dermail didn't notice any of this it seemed; nor did any of the staff apparently. Heero slipped a few more bits of food into his pocket for later and continued to eat.
After dinner the staff led them all to their respective rooms. Duo's it turned out was right across from Heero's new room. This room met Heero's requests from earlier perfectly. He sighed and walked to the closet. He inspected the amount of space between it and the wall and found it to be exactly the amount it'd been at home. With a last look at the 8 inch re-enforced steel door he prepared himself for his first night here. He just hoped that he wouldn't wake anyone up as since recently he tended to scream during his black outs. In the morning one of the staff members would come and pull him from in between the wall and the closet as per his own request. Dermail hadn't seemed to have any problem with the odd request. He sighed again and got ready to spend another night in this position.
Duo sighed. Another day as always in this rotten place; how could it not be when you're in an institution for mentally unstable kids? He stared out the window trying to ignore the ghosts for a few hours as they talked about the new boy. Davey the ghost of a boy who'd died on accident at the institution some fifty years prior to Duo's arrival was telling the others all about the new arrival.
'... and Trowa gets to show him around!' Davey concluded. Treize one of the ghosts that seemed to permanently stick to Duo had become increasingly more nervous as Davey told about the boy.
"Geez T, stop worrying! We'll see what he's like when Trowa introduces him. No need to go n break yer inexistent head over it. Or wear the carpet with yer inexistent feet." Duo muttered annoyedly. Some days he hated this part of his gift. He smiled when the ghost of a little girl and her dog skipped over. He'd long since stopped being surprised by the arrival of new ghosts.
'Hi, I'm Lucy this is my dog Mary. You can see me can't you? Maybe you can get that big blockhead over there to stop blaming himself for my dying. I mean he was only three and it was his dad that was driving! Why's he feel it's his fault anyways?' she huffed. Duo laughed heartily at this.
"Well I could try, but I don't know if he'll listen." he answered. From the corner of his eyes he caught the other boy silently slipping onto the other end of the window sill. Davey hadn't been joking about the boy's looks. The tousled hair looked like you could comb it forever and it'd still look just as messy as when he got out of bed. It looked good on him and those piercing Prussian blue eyes of his only added to the 'I make bed hair look hot' appearance of the boy. His clothes left much to be desired Duo felt, but Lucy soon explained that he wore them because they were the only clothes he didn't try and strangle himself with during his blackouts.
Quatre had come over and said it was coming, but it still shocked Duo when the boy suddenly slid off the window sill and wrapped his hands around his own throat. He seemed to be trying to choke himself. Duo wanted to go to the boy, but Treize insisted he get Wufei and make the boy paralyze Heero. Duo filed away the questions of how Treize knew the boy's name when they were not yet introduced and Lucy hadn't said it either. He quickly dragged Wufei from his hiding spot and instructed him to do his pressure point thingy.
Wufei didn't question Duo. Duo had since his arrival been sort of made into the gang leader of sorts. Zechs had been there longer, but he insisted that since Duo could see Treize's ghost the at the time 6 year old boy should be obeyed without question. This order had been kept and each new arrival was made aware that if they wanted to stay out of solitary confinement they would have to follow Duo's every warning and command. Duo was righteous and just. Duo believed him and the others; Duo told them they weren't mentally ill or unstable. Duo was their only light in Wufei's eyes. The boy made everyone here happy. That was why, when dragged to an apparently suicidal Heero and instructed to give him a paralyzing nerve pinch as Duo had first called it, Wufei did as asked immediately. He was then called to go to his meeting with the psychologist and told Duo he'd undo the technique once he got back. It'd give Heero ample time to wake up again.
"Don't bother. Wufei did his pressure point thing. You can't move till he undoes it. Y're lucky Quatre felt it coming or the doctors woulda gone n injected ya with who knows what." Duo said. Slowly Prussian eyes opened and stared up to meet his own violet blue ones. Heero's face looked so childishly confused at the moment that Duo couldn't help but laugh.
"Oh good he's awake. I was afraid Dermail would find him before he got out of it. That'd be very bad." Quatre said worriedly.
"Dun worry Trowa says Dermail wanted him to take the new kid to 314. Listen Quatre, we gotta watch over him okay? T says so." Duo said quietly.
"I know. I'll get the others. Dermail will be here any minute now." Quatre murmured quietly he watched Trowa keep an eye on the hallway.
"Don't worry Heero it'll be alright. Duo will explain I'm sure." Quatre said smiling before hurrying off.
"So, how'd ya like it here?" Duo asked frowning as the boy's eyes unfocused again before turning clear at his question.
"Don't... m room's a virtual deathtrap... wouldn't help stop me more than a second." Heero grumbled attempting to glare at him. Duo chuckled softly. If the boy hadn't been paralyzed that would've been a very deadly look indeed.
"Aw I know how ya feel. It ain't exactly been the Ritz since T died... but hey it beats sleepin' with rats if y'know wh't I means" Duo answered.
"Not the way I meant deathtrap..." he murmured staring at Duo still. Wufei had silently come over and pinched Heero's neck to undo the technique that had the other boy paralyzed. Heero hissed softly.
"Sorry, there's no comfortable way to return your mobility when I use that." Wufei said softly.
"S okay... s better then not doing it..." Heero murmured sitting up and testing his movement.
"What's going on here?" Dermail yelled angrily.
"Nothing sir, I slipped and knocked myself out cold. They helped me come around." Heero murmured motioning to Duo and Wufei the latter of which nodded quickly to confirm this.
"You should be more careful, you know we can't have you pass out. Trowa says you're not satisfied with our accommodations?" Dermail said dragging Heero to his feet and forcing the boy to follow him.
"I'm not. The door is too thin; needs to be 8 inches solid preferably cast iron. Closet won't last the night I put it in the hall... no sense in keeping it if I'll just end up beating it to splinters and try to hurt myself with it. Removed the bed too all of it. If it's not cast iron, or gundamium or something I'll just end up breaking it. Also no lock opening on the inside I'll only end up picking it." Heero murmured. Duo watched him leave with worry. Heero looked tense and uncomfortable. Lucy told him she'd follow them.
It wasn't until close to dinner that Heero returned. Duo asked him if he was okay and the two talked about his parents until the call for dinner came. Duo realized that despite not having had a chance to ask Heero to spare some food, the boy had noticed the others doing so and had slowly over the course of dinner shifted enough food from his plate into napkins and finally into his pockets for another full plate. Apparently the boy needed additional food for the night or something much like Duo did, but Duo was used to taking only a small portion for himself. The rest would be for Anna. She'd need it since Dermail didn't care about her and the staff had forgotten she existed in the first place. He would just ask the boy later to spare him some for his friend in the old section of the building.
Duo waited until lights out before slipping out of his room unseen. He thanked the second part of his unique ghostly abilities for this and slipped from room to room to collect the bits of food everyone saved up for Anna. He would visit Heero last because he needed to head back past his room to get to Anna's cell. When he slipped into the boy's room he found himself staring at an empty bed. Treize told him the boy was there and Duo sighed softly. Where had the new boy hidden himself? Wufei was usually found under the bed, but not Heero. Zechs hid in the closet, but not Heero. Trowa was usually located on top of the closet, but not Heero. Just as Duo wanted to tell Treize there was no one here he heard it. A soft pained whimper from between the wall and the closet had Duo hunched before the narrow opening in seconds.
"How'd he get himself stuck there?" Duo whispered quietly.
'A lot of effort I reckon.' Solo the ghost of his self proclaimed brother said staring at the boy in the very back of the small space between the closet and wall.
"I should get him out of there." Duo murmured thanking whoever listened that he was still scrawny as he'd been back before he was sent here. He slowly shifted bit by bit until his hand managed to slip over Heero's and grasp it. The effect was instant. Heero's eyes shot open and the far off look became a clear one.
"D-Duo?" he whispered quietly. Duo grinned.
"It's okay I'll have ya outta there in a second." Duo said quietly. However as he made to pull on Heero's arm Heero pulled back causing Duo to slip and land against Heero in the tight space.
"Don't!" Heero gasped pushing at the other boy.
"Whoa easy there, it is okay. I only wanted to help." Duo grumbled trying to untangle himself and shift backward out of the space again, but finding himself stuck.
"I... sorry I'm fine I don't need help. I... purposefully got myself wedged stuck between here... so I won't hurt anyone myself included... I... I don't want to hurt people or myself... I hate these blackouts... I don't even understand half the things I do see and I have no control over what my body does." Heero said quietly his voice getting harsher as he got more frustrated.
"I see. Well I suppose if that's how it is you'll have to stay put then. At any rate I came to ask if you could gimme some of the food you snuck away during dinner. See uhm well... it's gonna take too long to explain it now, but Anna is being kept locked away n Dermail can't know about her, but she can't die so I bring her food at night cuz I can get in and out of rooms without much trouble. I'm late already so could you trust me please?" Duo asked quietly wiggling slightly to get himself loose somehow.
"Sure." Heero murmured wiggling one hand down the side and under his shirt to pull out 3 napkins of food and a squishy packet of juice.
"Yer as good as me at sneaking out food; I was wondrin' where ya kept it." Duo said grinning. Heero grinned back.
"Can you get lose though?" he then asked worriedly. Duo just grinned then saluted him and sunk through the floor. Heero blinked and stared as the boy's head came back up.
"Neat trick huh? See ya in th' morning!" Duo chuckled before disappearing.
He knew his way around the lower levels of the institution very well. The old parts were like a second home to him. He easily found the room they kept her in. Anna Une; she'd been one of the nurses that worked for Treize. She witnessed his murder and was left to rot in this room. Her days were all the same. Her only respite was the visit of the braided boy who kept her fed and well. The one who spoke to Treize now said man was dead. The see-er child; he would tell her about the recent events at the institution and other things.
She smiled when the boy walked in through a shadow on the wall and smiled at her warmly.
"Hey Anna, I got food for you again and water! Guess what I also got juice! The new boy got it and he didn't even know bout you yet!" Duo said cheekily.
"That's sweet of him. How are things up there?" Anna asked quietly.
"Still the same, Treize says it might change soon. He thinks this Heero kid might be the key." Duo said almost snorting at the last bit. Anna smiled and ruffled the boy's bangs.
"Mister Treize cares a great deal about you children. Dermail wanted to do awful things with Zechs and the others who lived here at the time. Your abilities make you special and Dermail wants to use them for personal gain. If Treize believes this new boy Heero can help then we must believe in him for mister Treize loves you children and wishes you to be safe even if it means keeping you here a bit longer still." Anna said quietly. Duo nodded quietly and got ready to go again.
"Thanks for cheering me up again Anna. Tell The Lady I said hi!" He said before slipping through the shadows again.
Duo was back in his room before Dermail even realized the boy ever left. He stared up at the ceiling as Treize's ghost slipped into the room again.
'It's him Duo. I've watched him. He sees my memories when he blacks out that's why he seems suicidal. He mimics the many situations I was in and almost died. You and your friends need to help Heero. We need to know what he sees. He can tell you the location of the last piece we need. It'll be dangerous though. Dermail will realize what is happening too. If Dermail finds out that Heero knows my memories he'll use that against us. Heero must not tell anyone, but you what he sees in his black outs. You must convince him Duo. Have Quatre help if you need to.' Treize told the boy.
"Don't worry T we trust you. I'll get us some time tomorrow. Zechs n Sal will help assure Dermail has his hands full." Duo said yawning a bit. He frowned when he zoned out into fantasies about the new boy and blamed it on the eyes. He hadn't ever seen such a shade of blue before that was why it fascinated him. Yeah that was it.
Heero stared at the braided boy and raised an eyebrow.
"You want me to lie to my psychiatrist? That'd be counterproductive to helping me get over these black outs." he said simply. Duo hissed in frustration. He had to find a way for the boy to understand that Dermail wasn't planning to help any of them at all, but Heero refused to believe him.
"Damnit Heero! Why won't you believe me! You said yourself that you don't feel comfortable with him." Duo hissed out before turning and listening to Treize who talked to him. Heero couldn't see the ghost of course, but Duo talked back plainly so he knew one was there.
"But...T! No! That's! Come on!" Duo whined.
"When you're done talking to your dead palls come and find me. I have an appointment to get to." Heero said walking off.
Trowa walked with him as per Dermail's request.
"I know it's not in your nature any more then it's in mine, but trust Duo? I'm not saying you should lie to the shrink... just... keep it vague? No hair or eye color or shape... no names... if you see people during your black outs that is. The shrink guy will ask for it... Dermail will have made sure of that. I know it'll be hard; I had a hard time with it too when I first met them. Dermail is evil Heero... if you don't believe me then check what medication you'll be prescribed by the shrink. They're sedatives. Dermail okayed them the other day. Duo saw and heard him do that. I know it's hard, but please Heero... Trust Duo. Trust us." Trowa said as they reached the corner before the office of the psychiatrist.
"I'll try." Heero said before turning the corner and heading to the office.
Heero sighed. His session had gone well at first, but then the psychologist started to ask about details like what hair style and color his attackers had, what the desk looked like that he saw, what type of wine was the bottle standing on the desk. Questions he answered with 'don't know' as a deep rooted paranoid part of him made Trowa's words echo in his mind. When the psychologist mentioned medicine Heero jumped up and muttering about feeling like they were watching him, he stalked to the window and closed the blinds. The Psychologist merely put down his writing pad and assured Heero that no one would be watching them. As the man opened the blinds Heero snuck a peek at the pad he left on the desk to open the curtains and blinds Heero had gone and closed. He knew the name of the medicine they were sleeping pills his surrogate father had for when the man worked nightshifts; to help him sleep during the day which got rather noisy in their neighborhood.
When Heero was finally able to leave the psychologist's office he ran toward his room feeling upset by the day's events and decidedly nauseous which had spoiled his appetite. He was too focused on not blacking out in the hallway and didn't hear the footsteps coming closer until it was too late and he collided with the person. They tumbled to the ground and Heero grunted in pain as his head met first the other person's and then the ground up close and very personally. He saw stars a good fifteen seconds before the familiar feeling of black out registered and he gave out a panicked whimper as he was forcefully pulled into another memory sequence. This time it was different though. He wasn't any longer the only one watching it. From the corner of his eyes he saw the other sit up and gasped.
"D-Duo?!" he rasped out hoarsely.
"What the hell? How'd... Heero? What is this? Or better where is this?" Duo said rubbing his sore head as he sat up.
"I... this is... uhm... GYA!!!" Heero began only to cry out as the 'him' in the memory just barely managed to avoid a knife to the face. Duo stared at what Heero was looking at and gasped as well when another knife did embed itself into the arm of the man struggling to fight off the attacker in the memory. He gasped when the Heero beside him gripped his arm as crimson stained his hands and arm. Duo crawled over to the other boy and held him protectively.
"What's going on? Why are you hurt?" Duo asked.
"I don't know... I don't know!" the Heero in his arms whimpered. Duo realized that this Heero wasn't the stoic almost cold person the real Heero was.
Meanwhile outside Heero's mind both boys lay unconscious on the ground in a mass of tangled limbs. Treize floated close to Duo and yelled at the boy to wake up as Dermail was coming and he couldn't see them like this. Finally in a desperate attempt to wake the boy Treize plowed his ghostly body into Duo's real one. Too late he realized that being a ghost he'd go right through the boy and probably the floor, but to his great surprise he didn't. Instead he was now finding himself to be in control of Duo's body. Duo's soul having migrated, during their collision from his own to Heero's mind for the time-being until Heero woke up at least, left Duo's body open to any soul trying to sneak into it.
"Well isn't this convenient... illegal I'm sure... and definitely frightening, but..." Treize murmured staring at the body he now seemed to inhabit. He quickly stilled as he realized someone was going to round the corner any second. Again Treize did not think too much on what he was doing. His mind was focused solely on keeping both boys safe and Dermail from finding and separating them. Who knew if Duo could get back to his body alright if it wasn't near Heero's anymore? Without second thought Treize in Duo's body hoisted Heero over his shoulder and ran straight at the utility closet door. Like he'd hoped Duo's body responded instinctively and opened the shadows allowing him to pass through the door into the room beyond it. He carefully put Heero down in a sitting position and then had Duo's body sit down on Heero's lap. It was the only position he could put them in in this cramped space. He put Heero's arm around Duo to be safe. Treize then focused on leaving the body that wasn't his own. He didn't want to harm Duo's body any more then he already might have.
Inside Heero's mind Duo watched as the memory played on and the person who's memories Heero saw finally was saved by Anna Une who came in just as it looked like the person might get his throat slid with his own sword. She shot the man and had someone dispose of it. A man named Howard. With that the memory ended and both boys were flung into their respective bodies most violently.
"Ow crap, that hurt. Man does it always go like this for you? Ah!" Duo hissed before recalling the stab wound Heero received. He wrestled with the half conscious Heero a moment to get the boy's sleeve raised only to reveal a very ugly burn scar covering most of the upper arm, but no stab wounds.
"Are you satisfied now? Get off I want out of this... wherever we are... how'd we get here anyway?" Heero muttered pulling his sleeve down and trying to push Duo out of his lap within the tight confines of the utility closet.
"Uhm... T kinda did it... apparently he could somehow possess my body while I was... well seeing what you saw and he couldn't think of anything better then to stuff us in a closet before Dermail might catch us." Duo grumbled as Treize apologized and frantically explained his reasoning.
"Well get the hell up so we can get the hell out." Heero hissed annoyedly. Duo sighed and got up slowly in the limited space. Heero impatiently pushed him to urge him to get moving already only to cause the boy to lose his balance and fall over on top of Heero again.
"Damnit Maxwell get off!" Heero hissed angrily.
"Then stop pushing damnit!" Duo hissed back. He got up and tried the door only to find it locked.
"Damn door is locked. Hang on, lemme check." Duo sighed before slowly peeking out and making sure all was as safe as it sounded. He then took Heero's hand and slipped through the shadow of the door back into the hallway.
"Wait here till I'm around the corner; can't be too careful." Duo muttered before hurrying down the hall and away. Heero shook his head watching the weird boy leave and headed on to his room. He ignored the pounding on his door and the threats for him to come out or suffer the consequences. He'd had a terrible second day and just wanted it to be over so he could start his third one pretending none of this weird stuff had ever happened.
Later that night Duo popped into his room again. He squatted down by the narrow hiding place Heero had crammed himself into.
"Hey, I'm sorry about earlier. I brought you some food n water. Dermail is pretty pissed about you refusing to come out for dinner. You really should come to breakfast though. He'll stuff you in the tank if you don't n that ain't fun." Duo said quietly. He put the food and water close enough that Heero Could pick it up within the limited movement he had before leaving quickly. Heero sighed softly as he stared at the spot where the boy had been sitting.
"You really shouldn't care so much... I'll just end up killing you if you do..." Heero murmured.
Heero sighed. He'd only been at the institution for a month and he was beginning to feel more paranoid then he had before he came here. His Psychiatrist kept going on about the details of the things he saw during his blackouts and it'd gotten to the point where Heero had actually yelled at the man and left the room. Dermail had him confined to his room which was fine by him. Today though it seemed everything was off. Duo sat on his windowsill staring gloomily out the window. Wufei was sitting with Sally and comforting her from the earlier happenings. Trowa wasn't there and neither was Quatre. Trowa had to be locked up after the events of that morning and Quatre was still in the infirmary. Zechs had been sent to the psychiatrist for his meeting and Dorothy was talking to him animatedly. Heero himself was sitting in a corner clutching his side. The stitches in it bit a lot, but he refused any type of pain relief for fear of another black out.
That afternoon they'd been forced to do something creative and Heero admittedly enjoyed working on a project without thinking of anything but the project. It'd been going quite well until his mind slipped and he blacked out again. Quatre had tried to stop him from stabbing the knife he'd been working with into himself and ended up getting hurt as Heero fought the boy off. Trowa went ballistic when Quatre slid off Heero from a blow to the head and his white sleeve slowly stained red. Dermail had come in just as Trowa got the knife from Heero's. The man wouldn't hear anything of it when Heero swore it was his fault. Quatre and Heero were taken to the infirmary and Quatre was immediately given pain relief, but Heero refused insisting it was just a minor injury and to stitch it up already. Wufei had quickly gotten Sally out of the room when Heero's blackout got worse so she wouldn't see the blood and lose it as well. He was still comforting her now. Trowa had been thrown into the Tank and wasn't allowed out until new medication was brought in for the boy. Duo had been slipping away every other hour to see the boy. While he didn't blame Heero and in fact told him none of it was his fault Heero still felt guilty about what'd happened, but Dermail wouldn't listen to him.
Duo sighed as he watched Heero slowly become more depressed. Finally he could take it no more and grabbed the boy by the arm. He slipped through the shadows to where Trowa was dragging Heero kicking and practically screaming.
"Be quiet you idiot!" Duo hissed angrily.
"Duo?" came Trowa's quiet question.
"Yeah it's me. I brought Heero. Can you tell him it's not his fault you're here?" Duo told the quiet boy in the back of the room called the tank. It was barely big enough for one person and with three of them there it was getting pretty darn crowed.
"Heero stop blaming yourself. It's my fault I'm here. I shouldn't have reacted so badly, but... well..." Trowa began.
"You love him. I can tell. I understand why you did it, but I stabbed Quatre... and blackout or not it's my responsibility and I can't let you take the fall for it." Heero said quietly.
"Then take your responsibility by trusting Duo and telling him what you see in your blackouts. Free not just me, but all of us with the truth." Trowa said quietly.
"I... I want to, but I don't understand all this... it scares me... and I don't like to admit that... especially not with a whole group of you there..." Heero said quietly.
"If Duo comes to your room tonight... will you trust him? Will you let him tell you what he knows?" Trowa asked calmly yet urgently when he heard the footsteps coming closer.
"We have to go." Duo said placing a hand on both boys' shoulders before taking Heero, who nodded his agreement, with him and leaving.
That night Duo learned that Dermail kept them under close observation and he couldn't leave his room. Heero realized this as well and sighed quietly. The next morning Duo didn't show up, but Trowa was back. Dermail came in around breakfast and had them all pay attention.
"Maxwell was caught stealing from the kitchen. He's in the tank until he learns his lesson. He won't join you today or tomorrow." Dermail said. Heero frowned as a soft growl escaped him. For some reason he felt strangely angry with the man. His day didn't get much better in fact with Duo gone everyone was in a sour mood and as much as Quatre tried to cheer them up it failed. Heero found himself retreating to his room with more blackouts that day then he'd had since he'd arrived.
Much thinking later found Heero with a problem. A big problem; one he couldn't solve. He had discovered that for some reason his blackouts today were worse than ever. In fact they hadn't been this bad before. He was beginning to fall from one blackout into the next. He'd thought about all the things that were different today and came to the conclusion that there were 2 things and in both of those lay his problem. 1: Dermail was watching him personally today and thus much more often near him and 2: Duo wasn't there today and probably wouldn't be there the next day either. This led him to the conclusion that A: Dermail made his blackouts very much worse and B: Duo it seemed for some unexplainable reason made them less; not less frequent unfortunately, but definitely less violent whereas Dermail made them not only worse in frequency, but also higher in violence.
After the second day without Duo who for some reason could not leave the tank like he usually did Heero found that if he had to go another day like this he'd likely die from the strain of the blackouts alone if not from getting one at the wrong time as Dermail still forced him to join them for dinner. He decided to find someone to talk with. He needed advice. Trowa was avoiding him for some reason and Quatre was still kept in the infirmary. Wufei was sitting by Sally again so Heero didn't want to disturb the boy who was teaching the hemophobic girl some of his philosophies on the definition of their word for blood. It had seemed to help so he'd said. Heero eventually found his way to Zechs who offered him one of the empty seats.
"You look troubled. I'm told I'm good at listening. Tell me what has you troubled? I know we barely know one another, but keeping it to yourself won't do." Zechs said calmly. Heero nodded accepting the offered chair. He sighed quietly as he organized his thoughts.
"I'm... not sure... ever since I've gotten admitted I feel as if... instead of getting more control on things... I've been steadily losing that control more and more... nothing makes sense... a lot has happened... I've barely been here a month, but... I don't know... everyone keeps saying not to trust the staff... I don't know what to do. They're supposed to be here to make us better right? Instead though... it's... well it's like Dermail only makes my problem worse..." Heero began.
"Things haven't been simple here since Treize died... I can't tell you whom to trust and whom not to. I think you already know whom you CAN trust though." Zechs said quietly.
"I guess I do... but I can't talk to him... he's part of the problem now... Say... what do you know about everyone here? I mean... I still don't know anything after almost a month... you for one don't seem like the guy to live in his own world... or act like it..." Heero said deciding he might as well learn more about certain people.
"That's because it's as Duo says. There is nothing really wrong with us. Except for the one we mustn't speak of and Sally." Zechs said quietly as Dorothy once again seemed to have zoned in on them and was trying to listen in.
"Doesn't she have anything better to do? God she's worse than Relena... and I can't believe I'm saying that..." Heero murmured. Zechs stared at him intently. He said nothing and looked at Trowa nudging lightly toward Dorothy. Trowa nodded almost invisibly and moved to intercept the blonde. Zechs turned his attention back to Heero who'd watch with some confusion.
"Relena you said?" Zechs asked quietly. Heero nodded.
"Her name is Relena Dorlian-Peacecraft. She was adopted by the Dorlian family, but they passed away in a car crash and a family friend Lucrezia Noin took her in. We used to go to school together. Noin and I that is; I skipped a few years in school because I was too far ahead of my age group. At any rate Noin insisted I come to her place and tutor her friend Relena. Relena was terribly clingy and wanted to know way too much. Like why my dad always came with me to places and other embarrassing stuff... she didn't seem to get the meaning of 'I'm Gay I fall for guys!' at all..." Heero murmured.
"That sounds like Relena alright... then you must be the boy she's been telling me about. I feel sorry for you." Zechs mumbled looking not at all sorry.
"You know her?" Heero asked.
She's my supposedly made up sister. We communicate telepathically some times. Do you understand now Heero? We're not crazy... well except maybe Dorothy... we're just special... gifted. You have one too you know? Zechs said telepathically.
Heero all but jumped at this and stared at the other in shock. He calmed quickly though and sat back down.
"Please don't do that without warning... so... can you... you know read my mind as well?" he asked quietly. Zechs shook his head.
"Noin can, but only if one lets her. Treize helped Noin escape with my sister when he realized that Dermail was out to kill him and use the children in his plans. My sister was only three years old at the time. She hadn't gotten her powers yet. Treize was killed shortly after. Dermail locked up Anna. We never knew where, until Duo was brought in and found her." Zechs murmured. He then stared off in the distance and ignored Heero as Dermail came in and Heero had already vacated the chair.
He knew Zechs wouldn't speak any more until Dermail left them alone again. He didn't mind much. He needed to figure out another issue first. He slipped out of the room and off to the infirmary.
"Hey Heero, does Dermail know you're visiting me?" Quatre asked quietly.
"No. I want to keep it that way. Listen, you can feel what people feel right? Does that work long distance too? Like could you feel someone who's in the game room right now for instance?" Heero asked once the nurse left.
"I could try; I've never intentionally done it. I don't know my reach full actually." Quatre said quietly.
"What if you focused on someone specific? Could you feel them where they are? Would that work like that? This empath thing is a bit confusing." Heero said running a hand through his hair.
"I think so, but only with people I've connected with empathically; people I'm close to." Quatre said thinking a moment. Heero smiled.
"Would it work with Trowa?" he asked. Quatre blinked his cheeks going lightly red.
"I think so, why?" he asked trying not to blush.
"I think Dermail drugged him. I can't tell for sure though because he won't go near anyone... could you tell if he were being suppressed by drugs?" Heero asked.
"I can. He is. I can't feel anything from him. When Dermail last drugged him I couldn't feel him suddenly. I don't like it much." Quatre murmured. He had his hand pressed to his chest.
"I thought as much. Listen, Dermail will surely make you come to dinner tonight too. Go and sit near me or as far away from Dermail as you can." Heero said as he heard the nurse come back.
"Huh? Why?" Quatre asked confusedly.
"Just trust me okay? I've noticed that Trowa chooses the seat next to or closest to you every time when we eat. If you sit away from Dermail he can't slip more drugs to Trowa. Sally and Wufei are going to run interference between the psychologist and Trowa as well. We need to take care of each other. At least for now; it's... it's what Duo would want us to do. Now he's in the tank I mean. Dermail must have someone watching him that's why he hasn't gotten out yet. That or Dermail had him drugged." Heero said. Then he slipped out of the room as the nurse walked in. She never saw the boy leave though.
Once dinner time came around Heero wasn't there. Quatre took the seat furthest from Dermail as Heero had asked him to. To his own surprise and just like Heero said; when Trowa saw him he made a beeline for the empty seat next to the blond. Dorothy tried to run interference, but Wufei blocked her by pulling out a chair into her path and telling Sally to sit down in it. Quatre smiled at this while Trowa sat down next to him. During dinner neither Heero nor Dermail showed up and Quatre had a feeling something bad had happened. When dinner passed and Heero and Dermail still hadn't shown up he got worried.
"Zechs? Can... could you?" he asked the taller blond. Zechs shook his head.
"Duo will be back tomorrow. Heero's been thrown in the tank." Zechs murmured not looking at Quatre who was sitting with his back turned to the other boy near the central heating as Trowa had in his drugged up state decided to use Quatre's legs as his personal pillow.
When Heero left the infirmary he saw Dermail walking up with two staff members. Duo was with them. They were too far away for Heero to hear anything. Heero had already been suffering from another impending blackout and when Dermail backhanded Duo who fell against the wall he slipped. When he came to Duo was holding him and talking to him. He was sitting on Dermail who looked decidedly pale and had the two men with them throw him in the Tank. He could see now why no one liked the tank. It was a cast iron tank with a door in the roof as the only way out. It really was a tank in the most literal sense of the word. There was a pulley system that needed to be thrown in in order for those in the tank to get out which led Heero to believe that water once was stored in it. He sighed and sat down in a corner. He wouldn't be able to hurt anyone in here at least.
Quatre ran to Duo when the boy was brought into the game room and they were informed as Zechs had told him. Heero had been thrown in the tank indefinitely.
"Duo what happened?" the petit blond asked worriedly. Duo looked up with much pain in his eyes. He led the boy to his usual window sill seat and sat down with Quatre across from him.
"Heero came out of the infirmary when Dermail was taking me back to you guys... I badmouthed Dermail and he backhanded me into a wall... Heero had a blackout right after that and started to yell that he wouldn't let Dermail hurt the children and then he attacked the man. Dermail panicked and had his two goons drag Heero to the tank and throw him in, but Heero was too strong for them so they had to have a nurse sedate him... I'll go see him after dinner today, but I need you guys to help. Dermail is watching me n I need him off my back if I'm to help Heero and all of us out." Duo said quietly.
"Dorothy went to with him just after dinner. I think he'll be busy a while, but I've got an idea to keep them more busy. Do you know if there are any other ways out of that office?" Quatre asked. He had already formed a plan.
Dorothy sighed softly as she watched Dermail stalk around his office. "You could have the police take him to prison you know?" Dorothy said quietly.
"Be silent child. Of course I can't do that! You heard what he yelled at me! He knows everything! If I do send him to prison for this not only will the institution come under investigation on how a patient that psychotic did not get kept in a locked cell! Not to mention if the boy talks they will come to confirm whatever he's said! I didn't get this far just to let some brat get the better of me!" Dermail yelled.
"Well grandfather, maybe I could find out how much he really knows and maybe you should try harder to become aware of just exactly what is going on in your own institution!" Dorothy yelled back angrily.
"That's what I had you in here for child, but you failed and I had to get someone else to do the job!" Dermail yelled backhanding Dorothy.
"A hell of a lot of good that did, didn't it?! He just walks around like a zombie now!" Dorothy yelled back angrily.
"He didn't respond well to those medicines and now I can't slip him any other because somehow those brats figured out why I had that Winner brat sit a seat away from me. Now who do you think told them about the drugs?" Dermail hissed. Dorothy's eyes widened in shock then she seemed to calm down again.
"It couldn't have been me, Grandfather. After all they won't even go near me because I'm your granddaughter." she said coolly.
"No, it has to be that Yuy kid. All was going well until he showed up. I'll find out myself just how much he knows and if I must I'll do away with him. Go to your room. You'll be busy tomorrow." Dermail said. Dorothy got up and walked to the door only to find that the key wouldn't turn. When she tried to pull it out it didn't budge. She felt her blood run cold after what she'd just heard and turned to her grandfather with a frightened look.
"It won't open." she said weakly.
Quatre led Wufei to the infirmary quickly. He'd planned the whole strategy in seconds while talking with Duo. He'd gotten Wufei to hurt himself badly that afternoon and be admitted to the infirmary. He knew that as Dorothy was talking to her grandfather there would be a window of exactly five minutes to get from the infirmary to the door and back. The nurse would be going around checking the other patients on medicine intake and the cameras around the compound had been set on an invisible loop by Duo so they wouldn't be seen walking down to the doors. Quatre grinned at the thought of Dermail finding out he got locked into his own office and couldn't blame anyone since both Wufei and he were in the infirmary the whole evening and the others hadn't left their rooms as the staff posted there would notice after all. He helped Wufei slip back under the covers of his bed as using his gift was rather exhausting on the poor Chinese boy.
Duo slipped through the shadow of his room's back wall and out another right into the tank. Heero was lying curled up in a corner. He shot up when Duo appeared a few inches away from him through a wall.
"Sorry didn't mean to startle you." Duo murmured sitting down beside the boy.
"You shouldn't be here..." Heero murmured back.
"I'm here because I want to help you I can't if you won't let me though." Duo said quietly.
"I nearly killed him... I can't... I won't allow it to happen to you... you should go." Heero murmured. Duo didn't leave though instead he pulled Heero against him and held him there.
"I've been there every time you had one of your flashbacks and even when Wufei didn't do his thing you never hurt me." Duo said trying to calm Heero down.
"But... you weren't there the last few days... I had to be knocked out fully three times and the other four I ended up having to get stitched up and well I got thrown in here after the last time..." Heero sighed.
"I wasn't there no... but we've figured something out though. Your blackouts were becoming less before I was gone isn't that right?" Duo said quietly. Heero nodded wondering what Duo was getting at.
"If they got worse when I was gone then that means my presence was helping you whereas Dermail's was making it worse and I know who's memories you are seeing during your blackouts. Let me help you Heero... Help me help us all..." Duo said turning back to the boy again. Heero remained silent for a while then sighed and nodded.
"Okay, but only if you promise to get out if it gets dangerous... if I get dangerous." Heero said quietly. Duo nodded and settled down beside Heero. Treize had told him he'd talk the boy through it all.
"Isn't this sweet." Dermail drawled. Heero growled softly and tightened his grip on the braided haired boy. He felt the gesture be returned, but didn't show it. There was some laughter from the staff-members Dermail had brought down into the tank with him.
"Too bad I have to break it up. Hold him." he went on as he pulled Duo from Heero's grip and tossed the boy at his two staff-members. Heero growled softly again and made to get up and free his newfound friend. They hadn't spent the night bonding over someone else's memories just to have Dermail steal away the one person who could save him from his blackouts. However he stopped moving as Dermail pulled out a gun and held it against his forehead.
"Let him go!" Duo cried thrashing against the two holding him back.
"I can't do that boy. You see without him I won't have any guarantee that you'll do as I say. Now get moving." Dermail said as the two staff-lackeys Pushed Duo to the pulley-system and forced him to get on. Duo's hope to somehow grab Heero and escape was in vain as Dermail had the boy go up before him and held the gun trained on him the whole way to the top. They were led to the old part of the building and into Treize's office.
"Well get moving boy. That hidden room is here somewhere and you will find it and get me in or your new little toy here will find himself with an extra hole." Dermail hissed pushing the gun between Heero's lips as two more of his lackeys kept the boy from escaping. Duo hissed angrily and did as asked. He slipped into the shadow closest to him and looked at each of the openings, but he couldn't find one that connected to a room directly beside this one. He slipped back out and fell to his knees breathing heavily.
"What took you so long brat?" Dermail hissed. Heero grumbled and sputtered around the gun unable to form words with the thing in his mouth.
"I -- I can't find it! There aren't any shadows to it!" Duo cried hysterically. The sight of Heero with the gun between his teeth terrified him to no end.
"That room is right there behind the book case! How can you not get to it?! Do you want me to kill him huh?!" Dermail howled pulling the safety off and getting ready to shoot.
"NO! Don't kill him! I tried! I did! I can't go there because it's got no shadows! T musta lid the place too bright to form shadows! He musta wanted to make sure the key wus the only way in!" Duo cried. The lackeys had to hold him up as his trembling body wouldn't support him. Heero pushed the gun from his mouth just as Dermail gave the lackeys the order to punish Duo.
"I know where the key is." he said calmly.
"Well?!" Dermail hissed.
"Retract that order or I'll never show you." Heero said walking toward Duo as Dermail gave his lackeys the order to back off. He reached into the braided boy's hair and brought out a small little bright red cylinder. It was kept in place by a knot in Duo's long hair which was braided as always. Heero slowly eased the strand out and teased out the knot.
"Treize gave it to someone he trusted. That someone hid it in plain sight. About three days ago. You never got to wash that hair before they threw you in the Tank did you?" Heero said as Duo started to sputter and tell Dermail who was leveling the gun on them still that he didn't know. Duo shook his head and watched as Heero got up and walked as if in trance toward a small toy in the book closet it had five sets of five different shapes on it; circles, squares, triangles, stars and moons. Each shape set consisting of five different bright colors each of which differed in size. Heero placed the small cylinder on top of the other four. A soft beep resounded and the bookcase swung away bathing all of them in bright light. Heero grabbed Duo and pulled him through the opened secret door then shoved it closed again with a grunt. They heard the bullets ricochet off the book case as it closed.
"What now?" Heero asked Duo uncertain. Dermail knew how to open the door. Duo grinned and produced the red cylinder that he'd managed to grab off the rack as he passed it on his way in.
"He ain't getting in here just yet." Duo said before throwing the cylinder at the nearest lamp and shattering it creating a shadow for him to use.
"We need to get to the others and form a plan to get us time to call yer mom n dad. I met them today when Dermail wouldn't let em see you. They seem like nice people. Think they'll believe us?" Duo said leaning against the wall near the shadow he just made and watching Heero move about in the small room that held one computer and a sort of cryogenic pod of sorts.
"I get it now. The evidence is in there... together with his biggest treasure." Heero murmured as he rubbed the dusty glass and revealed the face of a child. Duo gasped in shock and stared at it.
"Is she... dead?" he asked. Heero shook his head.
"No, she's kept in suspended animation. Those tubes there and there feed her water and nutrients to supply her. When you put in the code she'll wake up as if from a coma. She'll probably have to learn a lot of things though. If he put her in there before his death then she must have been just a baby." Heero said
"I see. We'll leave her here. It's safer that way. Dermail doesn't know what's here. We'll use my shadow to get to Quatre. He's the strategic mastermind among us." Duo said grabbing Heero's hand and pulling him through the shadow into the half dark room where Quatre sat reading a book with Trowa sleeping on his legs once more.
"Hey Quat, we've got little time to talk. How is he?" Duo said quietly.
"He's coming around. I think it's finally out of his system now." the blond said putting the book down and nudging Trowa into wakefulness.
"Good, listen we need a plan. Dermail found me n Heero in the Tank n he's tried to kill us. He's got a gun and lackeys n a bad temper. He knows that Heero and I know about him killing Treize. We got the evidence now too, but we need to get someone from the outside to contact the cops. Can you think up a plan to get us enough time to make a call?" Duo asked the blond.
"You bet your pretty ass I can. Come on Trowa time for action. Time to pay Dermail back for drugging you and for hurting Cathy." Quatre said pulling his taller friend with him. Duo looked at Heero and Grinned.
Heero blinked at Duo confusedly. Sometimes he really didn't understand what was going on. Since he'd arrived at this place it seemed that the more he learned the less he understood it all.
"You gonna stand around n get in trouble or are ya gonna come n do something bout this all?" Duo asked leaning against the wall.
"Coming." Heero said walking over to the other boy and taking his hand. He still wasn't used to getting pulled through shadows, but it got him the chance to hold hands with the braided boy which felt nice.
"Kay, we're there. Hurry n make the call I wanna go to the others as fast as we can." Duo said hopping from one leg onto the other.
"I've got this. Why don't you go and get this Anna person out of her cell and join the others?" Heero said picking up the phone. Duo remained standing where he was and was quiet for a long time still hopping from one leg onto the other. Heero sighed and nudged him telling him to go already. Finally just as the phone was picked up Duo slipped out of the room.
"Kigali residence, how may I help you?" Molly Kigali said sounding slightly sleepy. She'd been getting little sleep since she was so close to giving birth now.
"Hi mom, it's me. Sorry to call so early." Heero's voice sounded from the other end of the line. He sounded exhausted and dared she say nervous.
"Hey sweetie what's wrong?" she said sitting up with some trouble. Jake woke from her movement and hearing her words he too sat up and looked serious as Molly turned the phone to speaker.
"I... is the phone on speaker?" Heero asked. Jake frowned as he looked at Molly. That wasn't nervousness they heard in their son's voice it was fear. There was suddenly a lot of screaming. Heero's name was called followed by a loud bang and Heero shocked and frightened outcry.
"You have to call the cops dad! That Dermail guy; he's gone nuts! He held my friend at gun point and shoved the barrel of it in my mouth after and shot another friend just now! Dad please! You have to call the cops he wants to kill us! Dad please! S-save us! You have to ca--" Heero's terrified voice shouted before the phone went dead. Jake looked at his wife and got dressed.
"Stay here Molly I'm calling Anya over to help you and keep you calm. I'm going to drive out there after I call the cops and save our son." he said pulling a hunting gun out of the closet as he dial the police emergency number.
"This is Jake Kigali speaking. My son is staying at the Romefeller institution. He just called us in terror that the owner of the institution has lost it and is trying to kill them. Yes sir I know what kind of place it is. No sir this is no joke. We heard gunfire on the other end. Listen up you asshole I'm going there right now and I'm bringing my hunting rifle and buckshot and unless you get your ass out there now you will be coming there in the morning to sweep Dermail's remains into a matchbox because I will pump that guy so full of buckshot that there will be nothing left of him! I DON'T CARE IF THAT'S A CRIME! IF IT TAKES A CRIME FOR YOU TO MOVE YOUR LAZY COFFEE AND DONUT FILLED ASSES THEN SO BE IT! I WON'T STAND BY AND LET THAT MAN KILL MY SON YOU HEAR ME?!" Jake yelled through the phone. He then hung up and dialed another number.
"Anya it's me. Listen, Heero's in big trouble and I'm about to go there and kill someone. Could you come over here and stay with Molly? She's been having contractions since last night. Thanks Anya and tell mother in law I said thanks to her too." Jake said as he got in the car and Drove off. Molly winced as a contraction hit her and prayed for Heero's safe return to her. The phone call had shocked her badly. It wasn't the gunshot though, but her sweet boy. Her Heero was crying in terror as he begged his parents to save them.
"Wufei! Hang on." Heero yelped as he slid down beside the Chinese youth that was being held by Sally who was slowly starting to panic.
"Sally, remember what Wufei's been teaching you about Chi?" he asked as he propped the boy up against Sally so he would be more comfortable. Dermail's lackey lay tied up a bit away. He'd removed the gun's ammunition firstly. Sally nodded slowly.
"Good, it's time to make the Chi work. Here place your hands on the cloth. Keep Wufei awake. Talk to him it doesn't matter what you talk about as long as he stays awake and talks back clearly. If he can't answer clearly or you think you can't handle it call Zechs. Think his name loudly and he'll come. I have to go find the others." Heero said trying to stay calm himself. Sally nodded and smiled when Heero smiled back.
Heero ran through the halls and called mentally for Zechs.
"I hear you Heero. What's wrong?" Zechs asked.
'Wufei got shot. I got the bullet out and the wound isn't deadly. Sally is with him. I think he'll be okay. She'll call you if anything is up. I have to find Duo before Dermail does.' Heero called back.
"I see, Duo is ah on his way here south wing, you best hurry. Trowa and Quatre are unconscious and I don't know how much longer Dorothy and I are able to hold them off and if Dermail show's up..." Zechs answered. Heero didn't answer back he was already running in that Direction when he bumped into Duo who just slipped out of a shadow near him with a taller woman behind him.
"This must be Heero. I'd be more pleasant, but given the circumstances I think we'd best skip that part for now." Anna said calmly. Duo yelled in panic and pushed both of them back through the wall's shadow.
"Duo, what the hell?!" Anna yelled angrily pushing both of them off.
"He hadda gun what t' hell wus I spose ta do?!" Duo yelled back hysterical. Heero got up and brushed himself off.
"Stop yelling for one. Dad is on his way I'm sure. Listen, we need a plan or Dermail will kill us all. Quatre, Trowa and Wufei are out of commission and Sally is slowly panicking herself out of commission. Dorothy and Zechs won't last long either. We have to get everyone outside where we have a better chance against Dermail AND we mustn't forget the girl behind the wall in Treize's office." Heero said trying his hardest to stay calm and not let Duo hear his fear. Duo was frightened enough already.
"You're right. I'll meet up with Zechs and stall Dermail as long as I can. Given how long I was in that cell though I don't know how much I'll be able to do, but I'll do what I can. You two get the younger ones out of here." Anna said.
"No. Sally will need help sooner. You need to go to her. Duo and I can get the others out, but Wufei is with her and he's bleeding. I don't know how long she'll be able to keep her phobia under control." Heero said as he helped Duo up.
"You're absolutely right. Meet with Zechs and get the unconscious ones out first. I'll get Sally and Wufei out." Anna said as Duo helped her go through the shadows to where sally was then returned to Heero and the two of them met up with Zechs.
Heero saw Dermail's lackeys trying to get Dorothy and with a low growl he slammed into them the second Duo let his arm go. He knocked them both over and helped Dorothy up.
"Help Duo get Trowa and Quatre outside." he growled to her. Dorothy nodded and helped Duo carry the two out. Heero joined Zechs near a corner just as Dermail came toward them. He shot at Zechs who just barely avoided led to the face behind the corner.
"Any ideas?" he asked Heero relying on telepathy to keep Dermail from hearing anything.
'If I had any powers like you all do...' Heero thought back. Dermail rounded the corner and Zechs blocked Heero from harm. Dermail simply slammed the butt of the gun against Zechs' temple and knocked him out.
"Now then, no more interruptions from here on; you'll do as I tell you. Get walking Yuy." Dermail said pointing his Gun at Heero. Heero growled and found himself once again with the gun pressed painfully against his head as Duo slipped through a shadow.
"And there's the other one too. Very good, now boy I want no more funny business. Get us into that room and remember that I have the gun here boy." Dermail said pushing Heero along and glaring at Duo. Duo walked ahead of them. He tried not to show that he was terrified. Duo looked to Heero once they reached the door and took his hand firmly in his own. He took a deep breath and slipped through the shadow. Inside the room he noted to his disappointment that despite not touching Duo personally Dermail still got in. He pushed Duo and Heero toward the corner and looked at the machine. It couldn't open without a code.
Heero pulled Duo close to him seeming to comfort the boy. Dermail turned to them and glared.
"Open it boy." he said to Heero cocking the gun once more.
"When I open it, grab her and get out. I'll keep Dermail busy and buy you time. Treize hid the evidence in her body. Trust me. I can't stand having him do this to you. He's lost it completely who knows what he'll do." Heero murmured hurriedly before stepping up to the pod and starting up the procedure to open it. Duo stood stock still. He couldn't find any way to save Heero as well as himself. He was growing tired and even Treize was telling him to go. Just as the pod opened the secret door blasted open under the force of several shots of buckshot.
"Go!" Heero yelled at Duo.
Duo quickly dove into the pod and grabbed the girl before diving into the shadow Heero made over the bed. He ran as fast as he could toward the closest shadow he could find. He'd heard Dermail shout and Heero grunt something he hoped he'd heard right. As he exited the shadow just outside Treize's office he heard gunshots again. Several voices cried Heero's name. How he ached to run in there and see if yet another person he loved had fallen victim to his curse, but he made Heero a promise and so he ran. He ran until he reached the outside door and bumped into Anna who wrapped her arms around him and the slowly awakening girl in his arms.
"I heard shots and they called his name!" Duo gasped out as his tears nearly choked his speech.
"Shhh, it'll be alright. Believe in him." Anna whispered as Zechs quickly took the little girl from Duo's arms and accepted Wufei's white over shirt that had a small red stain from the injury Sally had somehow healed. Duo didn't notice any of this. He hung limply in Une's arms as cops swarmed the premises. He stared numbly as Dermail's body was some time later carried out under a sheet. Dead instantly; or so the medical staff claimed. Then a woman came out and walked toward them followed closely by a taller man who had a hunting rifle hanging on his back. Duo's eyes widened. In his chest something felt like it constricted then snapped with a very painful snap. He let out a pained cry that had all present turn away from the scene as the poor braided haired boy went limp in Anna's arms. They all knew how bad it looked. They all felt the same pain as the taller man came out of the building; hunting gun strapped to his back and Heero's still blood covered form in his arms.
"Duo, wake up. Come on it's okay. Wake up Duo." Quatre's voice slowly penetrated the numb drug induced fog of Duo's brains.
"Quat? Oh god... he -- he's gone..." Duo whimpered tears spilling as he recalled the last thing his mind had seen at the institution. The tall man with the hunting gun strapped to his back stepping out of the building and carrying Heero's lifeless bloody form in his tall arms.
"Duo, listen to me. He's not gone!" Quatre cried shaking the boy to get through to him and snap him out of his daze.
"Wha?" Duo gasped in shock.
"Heero's alright; a bit banged up, but he's not dead." Quatre said pointing to the bed beside Duo's where Heero lay sleeping soundly.
The door to the room opened and the tall man walked in. He smiled sadly at Duo.
"I'm terribly sorry we gave you such a scare, but you passed out before we could tell you. Quatre, Trowa asks for your help in the kitchen." the man said. Quatre nodded and left quickly.
"What's going on? He was covered in blood, he wasn't breathing!" Duo whimpered. He looked up as strong arms encircled him and drew him against a broad chest.
"Like I said you passed out before we could tell you. The blood wasn't Heero's. Heero just passed out from stress. I'm surprised with what he's told me about you already that you never noticed how shallow his breath becomes when he finally does fall asleep. I remember way back when he slept in our house for the very first time; Heero's breath was so shallow when he slept that Molly was convinced he was dead. We couldn't get him to wake up and called a doctor. The doctor told us that the boy slept so little since his parents' death that when he did sleep he'd literally sleep like the dead. He advised a special high carbon and fiber diet and special training to increase his strength and health. It helped a lot, but whenever he gets too stressed and passes out it's still like he's dead. You must've been so scared." the man said.
"Jake? What time is it... feels like I slept for days... I'm..." Heero's voice came from the other bed. The boy slowly sat up rubbing his eyes and trying to keep his sleep tousled bangs out of his face. As the memories of the past days caught up he began to tremble badly. Jake let go of Duo and picked up Heero quickly. He brought the boy over to the other bed and sat down again. With a little maneuvering he managed to hold both boys close to him protectively.
"Shhh, you're safe now. I'm not letting anyone hurt you; not any of you." he whispered quietly. Duo wasn't sure how to act or what to do so he let the tall man hold him and Heero and snuck a hand across to grasp Heero's tightly and confirm for himself the telltale sign of life that meant Heero wasn't gone. He noticed then how badly Heero was trembling.
The door opened again and an elderly lady came in supporting a younger woman with black hair and eyes similar to Heero's only a lighter shade of blue.
"How are they?" she asked softly.
"As well as can be expected." the man answered.
"I see. The police came today. They're in the middle of investigating what's been happening at that place for years. Anna and Marimeia gave their statements to the police. It was quite a hassle. The police have asked Anya and I if we would mind having the children stay here a while longer. They haven't the time to be searching for families who'll accept a unique child as we did." the woman said.
"Of course Molly. You know I wouldn't throw them out. Meia seems more comfortable with Anna whom she knows; Anna and she can stay with Anya along with Sally and Dorothy. Naturally Zechs would probably want to stay with his sister and friend next doors. That would leave the four boys to share Heero's room. If they all want to stay of course. I imagine a few would want to go to their respective homes." the man said.
"Only Trowa n Quatre got homes to go to... Quat dun wanna though... his sisters dumped him cuz of the accident that his dad n older sis died in... he survived n they blame him... Tro I'm not sure... his sis would take him in, but he's pretty hung up on Quat..." Duo murmured sleepily.
"What about you? Aren't there people waiting for you to come home to them?" Molly asked as she reached out and brushed the boy's hair out of his eyes. Indigo almost she realized like Anya's.
"Naw....after the church burned down they dumped me in that institution thing pretty fast... no one wanted a monster whose only talent wus causing death..." Duo murmured.
"S not true." Heero's sleep mussed voice replied. His hand held Duo's firmly.
"Wanna know what I see?" Molly asked smiling sadly at this and ruffling Heero's and Duo's hair respectively. A weak nod was her answer.
"I see a lonely child who wants nothing more than to belong. A boy who wants nothing more than a pair of warm arms wrapped around him to chase away the nightmares and make him feel safe. A boy whose only crime was that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A boy who has seen so much and missed that someone in their life that could explain it all. A young man who has struggled to overcome everything and find his own answers; who has become stronger than anyone I know and who would give his life for a total stranger despite everything." she said quietly as Jake let her pull Duo to her. Duo listened to her words and felt his heart ache with every line, but when she spoke of him being strong he couldn't help but cry. All his life they had told him that he was a monster until he was brought to the institution and only Dermail and his lackeys called him... no all of them monsters. The others older and younger had all accepted him just like he accepted them, but this woman had given him the one thing none of
them could; love like only a mother can give. Jack put Heero in the other bed as the boy had fallen asleep again. Molly smiled as Duo's breath slowly evened out as well. She let Jake lift the lithe boy from her lap as her mother brought the baby for her late night feed. Jake smiled and put the boy in the same bed as Heero. He covered them up and went to his wife kissing her lovingly.
"Why don't you feed Mary here? I'll take the nightshift and settle the other ones down for the night." he said warmly. Molly nodded after kissing him back equally lovingly.
It wasn't until late at night that Duo found himself slipping soundlessly into the kitchen and raiding the fridge feeling a bit guilty about it.
"Hungry?" he heard Heero's voice say. He jumped and turned around staring at the messy haired teen who sat there munching down a plate of chicken curry his mother had probably left in the fridge on purpose there was enough for all of them if not more so she expected the other four to be like them in the midnight snacking department.
"Yeah, you too huh?" Duo said rubbing the back of his head.
"Curry in fridge. Mom made extra for us all." he said grinning. Duo grinned back and turned to the fridge. He opened the door and indeed there was enough curry for everyone to have another plate. He picked one out and got it heated up in the microwave before Joining Heero at the table.
"I see you found a new friend to snack with? Want me to give ya some room kiddo?" a voice said from the door. Both boys looked up as Anya walked in. Heero grinned.
"It's okay, it's a big table so if Duo doesn't mind." He said. Duo quickly shook his head as he watched Heero's aunt move about the kitchen to heat up some curry. Heero blinked when Anya moved to a point where she had her back turned then turned around. He swallowed a bit too fast and coughed. Duo quickly moved over and patted him on the back to get the food loose so he could breathe again.
"Calm down will ya? We didn't survive jus so ya c'n go n choke t death." Duo hissed before sitting down.
"Thanks... sorry." Heero murmured. Anya sat down with them and looked at the two. She seemed to linger longest on Duo. Once she finished her food she left the two who weren't tired and figured they'd wait for the lady to leave again. Both Quatre and Trowa came to get some food and took it upstairs, Jake came down to make a bottle followed by Wufei who was also hungry, but took his food with him when Jake said he could eat in the study if he wanted to.
"Finally... I thought they'd never stop coming..." Heero sighed.
"Hey Heero? Why wus that lady staring at me earlier?" Duo asked as he munched on a muffin Jake had pointed him to.
"That's my aunt Anya... mom told me they stole her baby... it was a boy and it was never found... I guess looking at you... you kinda look like her you know? Same hair color... I'm not allowed to talk about it though... mom says that aunt Anya never got over it... The police think the boy is probably dead. They found its blanket in a dumpster somewhere along with its nametag bracelet." Heero murmured.
"You think maybe she thinks I'm her son? It could be you know? I mean Solo found me left in a dumpster..." Duo murmured.
"I don't know. I'm pretty sure she knows that chances are slim that you're him... but she thinks he's alive still. She says she can feel it. Aunt Anya didn't even get to take pictures of her child... it got stolen the moment the doctor handed it to a nurse to be taken to the children's ward." Heero murmured.
"Well it'd be worth looking into don't ya think? But it'd mean you n I might be related and well that'd seriously be a bummer for us right?" Duo said finishing his muffin. Heero laughed at this.
"Don't worry aunt Anya was adopted herself. She's in not a single way other than by title related to us. Even if you decide to find out and it turns out you are her son; we'd still be able to legally be together... if you want to." Heero said shyly.
"I don't know... I kind of have this deep running fear of people dying if I love them... it's kinda dangerous to be with me. You sure you wanna?" Duo asked as they went upstairs together.
"Well my doctor keeps saying how I'm so healthy that it'd take a ton of pure gundamium alloy falling on top of my head to kill me. I know chances of that happening are very rare, but I'll be sure to look out for falling rocks when I'm with you." Heero said grinning.