Category:  Yaoi, AU, Gundam Wing
Pairings:  1x2, 3x4
Warnings:  slight angst, reference to past angst, shonen ai
Author:  Arigatomina

Righteous Cause


Rational thought had long since ceased by the time he was released and had they not carried him miles into the country, he would have lain where they
discarded him right outside the doors.  He did, in fact, lay there for an hour before they realized he was going to die before he removed himself and they
hurried to get rid of him before the day broke.  In relative silence, disturbed only by the horses and the cart, they hid the evidence out of habit; carelessly
tossing him into the river.  They had no concept of how strong the will to survive could be and they were convinced his life ended when he hit the water.  Had
they known they no doubt would have kept him, but they didn't and no time was wasted as they urged the horses into a gallop and headed home.  It was never
known how he managed to make it to the shore, but there he lay when the sun rose over the trees and that was where he was found.

It was an interesting time for the Fates, and they enjoyed the curious nature of humans.  That may have been why the excursion was pushed ahead nearly a
week.  If it had not been, the boy would have died and the story would have ended there.  As it was, the day proved to be beautiful and no one cared to spend
it indoors.  Normally, these cares would have been lain to the side so important tasks could be completed, but the Fates intervened and pushed these
humans.  There was no other reason for four youths, barely more than children, to drop their work in order to go riding in the countryside miles from their
home.  The sequence of events started; the story begins.

* * *

Part 1

"Quatre, must you do that?"  Black eyes narrowing, the boy reigned in his horse to narrowly miss the other.

"Wufei, it's all in fun."  Throwing a smile to the Chinese boy, Quatre shook his head.  He closed his legs around the white stallion and urged it forward and
back into the trees lining the path.  It wasn't often that he got an opportunity to ride for pleasure, and he wasn't going to let the boy spoil his chance...or his
mood.  A glance to the two boys riding behind Wufei showed that he wasn't the only one enjoying himself as Trowa's green eyes glinted warmly.

An expert rider, the blonde boy dodged trees and bramble as he kept pace with the others.  He knew if he asked Trowa, the tall boy would join him, but he
couldn't imagine the other two doing anything that resembled play.  Having grown up together, he'd always been the youngest in spirit, even if their ages were
nearly equal.  Heero and Wufei were simply too serious in nature to take pleasure in life and Trowa only seemed to take pleasure in *his* pleasure.  Smiling as
he gazed at his tall lover, he spurred his horse suddenly and veered back onto the trail as he took the lead.

Growling, Wufei pulled back on his reigns and glared as he barely missed hitting the boy.  But he wasn't really angry as it was nice to see the boy having fun.  
Since his father died, Quatre had taken over his estate and Wufei had tired of seeing the blonde boy's dedication.  He was a dedicated person himself, and he
worked diligently as the blonde's advisor, but he couldn't forget their childhood.  There was something wrong with seeing light circles under the boy's pale
blue-green eyes; evidence of his time spent pouring over documents.

Things weren't as bad as they could have been, however, as the death of his father had freed him from secrecy.  Wufei knew the boy had been chastised for
the rumors regarding his and Trowa's relationship and it was a fine thing that they no longer had to hide.  Winner's death had also brought a change in
positions for both Wufei and Heero as they no longer acted as enforcers.  Strong despite their age, the two had ensured that taxes were paid on time and in
full by the inhabitants of the Winner land.  Their age had actually worked in their favor as people didn't realize the threat.  But this too had changed as the
gentle son had come to power and Quatre did his best to compensate his people for the pain dealt by his father.

Now, Wufei was used for his wisdom, and he was proud to the point of vanity about his ability to read people.  Nothing got past him.  Heero too was better used
as the head guard in charge of defense rather than the muscle-man behind complete dictatorship.  On the whole, they were content with their parts and while
there were things each would like to change about their lives, moments of freedom such as the ride they were taking went far to remind them of how much they

"Quatre, don't get so far ahead."  Ever watchful in the protection of his lord and friend, Heero passed the others as he closed the lead the blonde boy had on
them.  Despite the fact that the country was safer than it had ever been, his cobalt eyes flew to each movement as he made certain they were animals and not
attackers.  While confident in his strength, he gave a slight nod of gratitude when the two boys caught up to them; safety in numbers.

With a reluctant sigh, Quatre reigned in his horse and slowed a bit.  It was mid-day and he knew they would have to head back soon.  That may have been the
reason he was so eager to play the young, reckless fool rather than dignified lord.  Close to each other, they continued down the path and had Fate not
intervened, they would have turned at the clearing and gone back.  But Fate enjoys chaos and squirrels are not always as agile as they seem.  Missing the
limb it had leapt for, one such furry creature fell right onto the back of Quatre's horse and sent it into a panicked bolt as the small claws scrambled for a hold.

Letting out a shocked cry, Quatre struggled to gain control as the path grew farther away.  The others were not far behind but it wasn't until the horse found
itself out of running ground that it halted, rearing.  It nearly plunged into the river and the others nearly ran into it, caught off guard by the sudden halt.  It was
as the panicked moment slowly faded that the squirrel gave up its hold and scurried off, down the riverbank.  Following its course, the boys spotted the body.

While distinguishable as human, it was covered in what proved to be a mass of hair, dark and matted.  Not wanting Quatre to see anything too gruesome,
Heero waved the boy back as he knelt on the grass, frowning when he was ignored.  There was nothing to be done about it, and the Japanese boy pressed
two fingers to the clammy neck, cursing when he found a pulse.  Rolling the figure onto its back, he took the cloak Trowa handed him and quickly wrapped it
around the cold body.  No alternative existed as he carried what might have been a boy or a girl to his horse.  Whether the injuries were severe or not didn't
matter as no help could come lying in the dirt.  On the rush back, no one spoke; the sounds of animals in the forest like laughter in their ears, mocking their
previously carefree jaunt.

* * *

"It's been too long."  

Stepping up behind the boy, Trowa slid his arms over Quatre's shoulders, hugging him lightly as he pulled him away from the door.  "There isn't anything we
can do, you know that."  He sighed as the boy turned, raising wide eyes to him.  "All we can do is wait.  Let the doctor do what he can."  Catching Quatre's
hand, he led him across the room, pulling him onto the sofa as he sat down.

Despite the fact that he didn't know the person, the thought of death was too painful to entertain.  Moving closer to Trowa's side, Quatre glanced at Heero and
Wufei who stood together near the door.  They didn't seem especially bothered by the possibility, but he knew they'd seen more than their share of pain.  
They'd grown numb and as much as he hated not being able to change that, he wondered if they weren't luckier than him.  

The doorknob turned slowly and all eyes watched as the doctor stepped out.  An old man, he'd been on hand when Quatre was born and had never been
tempted to leave his line of work.  But he looked like he could do so now, his blue-gray eyes lifting slowly as he looked to Heero.  His shoulders were slumped
in a way the boy had never seen from the man and he knew immediately that the person had died.

"I was around during the last war," the man said slowly, voice so low Quatre and Trowa stood and came closer so they could hear him.  "I remember they
brought one of our men to me after he was rescued.  He'd been tortured to an inch of his life and when he saw me he cried."  Dropping his gaze when
Quatre's eyes shimmered, he shook his head.  "He didn't want to live."  He didn't look up for a moment; then he folded his arms over his chest.  "The reason I
tell you is because this is worse, much worse.  The best thing you could do for that boy in there is let him die."


Meeting Quatre's shocked gaze, he shook his head.  "You could patch him up and he might survive, but I don't think he'd want to."

"You can't know that," Quatre whispered, holding tight to Trowa.  "You don't know that at all..."

"It's your choice, Master Quatre.  I've done what I can for him."  Dropping his eyes again, the man turned.  "The rest is up to you.  But I warn you, I wash my
hands of this."

"Wait!"  Eyes wide, the blonde boy stared after the man.  "Trowa...?"  The arm around him tightened lightly as he looked up.  "Can I see him?"

"Let us," Wufei said quickly, exchanging looks with Heero who nodded.

Entering the room, the first thing that hit them was the lack of light; it was very dark for a room where a doctor had been working on a patient.  There were
plenty of candles and they'd carried in three oil lamps, but none were lit.  Then they neared the bed and they could see why.  Light would have made the boy
look worse.  His features were obscured by swelling and by dark bruises, and his arms were wrapped in bandages. But the boy was breathing.

"Think we should let Quatre see this?" Wufei asked, voice low.  He doubted the boy would wake, but he couldn't quite bring himself to raise his voice.

"We can't stop him."  Moving closer, Heero's eyes caught on a cut on the boy's neck.  It was a bite mark.

At the low curse, Wufei looked to Heero in surprise, then he froze as the boy on the bed moved. Glancing down, his breath caught as shockingly violet eyes
opened.  He didn't move as he waited for the boy to look at him, but he didn't.  Not knowing what to do, he was about to get Quatre when Heero spoke roughly.

"Do you know who attacked you?"

Wincing at his friend's bluntness, he frowned when the boy didn't move.  He blinked slowly, but his eyes remained focused straight ahead as if he were staring
at something they couldn't see.  Coldness settling over him, Wufei wondered if the boy was blind, and he moved his hand in front of the bruised face.  The
eyes followed the movement, but when they fell on him, he was startled by the glazed appearance, the dead way they blinked at him.  "Heero," Wufei said
slowly, his voice sounding faint in his ears.  "Get Quatre."

Heero nodded sharply as he straightened, but when he moved, the boy's eyes snapped to him.  It was disconcerting.  Even though the eyes were focused on
him, he couldn't see any sign of intelligence behind them, no fear or pain, nothing.  Then he forced himself to move again and he was at the door in seconds.  
Quatre took a quick step forward when he opened the door, his pale eyes anxious.  "He's conscious," Heero said slowly, "but...there's something wrong with

"I can help."

"He's pretty beaten-up, Quatre."  Heero sighed when the blonde boy shook his head and didn't try to stop him and Trowa from entering the room.  For a gentle
looking boy, Quatre had a stubborn streak.  Following them, he met Wufei's worried gaze and stepped to the bed.  The boy didn't look up, his head lifted an
inch or two as those violet eyes stared at his bandaged arms.

"Oh..."  Eyes wide with concern, Quatre sank into the chair Wufei pushed next to the bed.  Leaning forward, his hand hovered over the boy's shoulder then
lowered so the tips of his fingers touched the sheet.  The boy flinched and turned to look at him, eyes narrowed so they glinted in the dim light.  Then his
swollen lips parted in a toneless exhalation.  "It's okay," Quatre said quickly.  "You're safe here.  No one's going to hurt you."

The boy continued to stare at him for a minute, then he closed his eyes, face still turned toward the blonde.  Stepping forward, Trowa shook his head at the
seated boy when Quatre looked like he was going to say something.  With a sigh, the pale boy nodded, his gaze moving back to the boy in the bed as he
slowly stood, letting his tall lover steer him out of the room.  The moment the door was closed, the boy sighed.

Meeting Wufei's gaze, Heero frowned and stepped to the bed.  He raised an eyebrow when the boy's eyes snapped open and looked at him.  The boy didn't
seem the least bit startled to find him standing there and Heero wondered if he *had* thought himself alone.  He knew Quatre had left thinking the boy wanted
to sleep, but Heero wasn't so sure.  Sitting in the chair so recently vacated, Heero leaned toward the boy, watching closely so he could judge the reaction.  
There wasn't one.

"Did you understand what he said?"  Heero could see Wufei's frown, but he didn't let it bother him.  He watched the boy, trying to tell if there was any
understanding in those wide violet eyes.  "Do you understand anything?"

"Heero."  Catching the boy's eyes, Wufei frowned and shook his head.  Of all of them, Heero tended to be the least subtle.

Heero didn't glance up, his eyes caught as the boy opened his mouth.  Leaning closer, he listened, but all he heard was another toneless breath and he saw
the boy's eyes close.  The boy turned his head so he was facing the ceiling and Heero stood slowly.  He didn't resist when Wufei nodded toward the door, but
his eyes moved back to the bed and he paused in the doorway when the boy turned to look at him for a moment before closing his eyes again.