Blank Slate Chapter One

Blank Slate

France Gamble

Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing.

Chapter One

“Duo!” Someone called out from the mass of people celebrating. He turned his head rapidly around, his braid flinging to his left shoulder, as he searched for the familiar face that went with that familiar voice. There was a bright blond head bobbing in the crowd. He waved his hand high to signal to his friend where he was. Suddenly baby blue eyes were infront of his violet tinted pair before he was practically crushed in an excited hug.

“It’s over!” the slightly smaller boy yelled over the throng.

“Quatre… breathing…” he choked out, and then laughed as the blond gasped and let go, “I think you broke three ribs!”

“Won’t stop you from talking, would it?” a Chinese youth asked as he stopped next to the pair. He smirked at the chestnut haired boy to show he was joking.

“Nothing could stop him from talking,” a tall European teen answered matter-of-factly. A Japanese boy stood next to him, “We could rip his tongue out.”

Duo grabbed his tongue with his right hand and tried to talk back. Quatre tilted his head slightly, “What?”

Duo let go of his red appendage, laughed out, “Wuffie is so mean. Trowa, you’re right. See Heer? I can still make noise!” He started laughing hysterically as the Chinese boy growled out, “It’s Wufei.” Quatre laughed along and they all blended into the celebration to party for the first time in their lives.

~*~Ma~*~

It was annoying. The sound, that is. It kept going. The rhythm kept on. What was that sound?

Now warmth invaded his senses. That was nice, he knew. He was warm and comfortable for it.

Slowly he opened his eyes. The room he was in was bright! His eyes shut again rapidly. He groaned as they stung.

“Oh-me-God! He’s waking up!” he heard a female voice say and then heard hurried footsteps rush away from him.

Footsteps again hit his hearing, this time coming toward him. He slowly opened his eyes again as a man with a black beard and black full head of hair came into his view.

Florescent lights and the sun coming in from a window made the small room very bright. The annoying sound was a heart monitor next to the uncomfortable bed he was flat on his back laying. A sheet and blanket were pulled up to his shoulders making him comfortable warm.

The bearded man hovered over him and shone a bright light into his left eye. Flinching and shying from the light, his hand came up to cover his face. “Sorry, ” the man, a doctor, apologized.

“Where am I?” he rasped, quietly, his voice cracking.

“You have been admitted to St. Francis Hospital. You are in the brain trauma ward,” the man answered. “I’m your doctor, Dr. Jamie.”

“It’s nice to meet you. I’m… I’m… ” He crinkled his face as he tried to think about what his name could be. He looked at the white coated guy, “I don’t know who I am,” he whispered.

The doctor once again put the bright light into his eye; this time he let him do it. He switched to the other side. “You had a very bad concussion. Let’s see what else you know, okay?” He nodded to the doctor to continue. The doctor sat at the end of his bed and said, “Okay, let’s start with the year.” He slowly shook his head. “Okay. How about your age…?” Again he shook his head. “Two times four?” the doctor asked. The boy looked at him strange and shocked, and said, “Eight.” The doctor nodded. “So, schooling is still there. Do you, maybe, remember anyone else’s names? Like friends or family?” The boy looked down at his feet for a minute and then up at the doctor, “No.”

The doctor stood up as a nurse entered the room to start tending to him. “Well, that’s alright. Does it make you upset to not know?” He shook his head a bit faster this time. “That’s good. We’re going to let you sit up in bed for a while. The remote to the TV is attached to the bed controls. The nurse here will help you with everything. I want you to stay in bed today, though. We’ll start removing things tomorrow that you don’t need any more and maybe even start getting real food slowly into you. I want to make sure that you rest today, though.” He nodded his understanding as the nurse helped him raise the bed. The doctor left the room after giving the boy a reassuring smile.

~*~Ma~*~

The next day, when he awoke to the sun coming through the window again, he was happy to see the doctor striding into the room to start to unhook him from things. First they changed his IV to one that just would keep him hydrated. Then the doctor did the agonizing task of removing his cathedar. When he could breathe again steadily, he asked the doctor when he would be able to eat real food. His stomach was clenched in emptiness and he really wanted to find out what he liked. He couldn’t remember what anything tasted like and he wanted to try everything off of the small menu. The doctor crushed him a bit when he told him that the nurse would be bringing him a bland diet of soups and breads.

He slumped a bit in his bed, his long hair pulled slightly and he reached up to bring it loose. The nurse came to him then with a small brush in her hands. “We should get the tangles out of your hair, okay?” He nodded and smiled at her. The doctor left with his instructions set and the nurse set to helping the boy brush out his long mane of hair. He turned in the bed to sitting on it sideways, his legs dangling off one side and he stared out the window. She knelt on the other side, behind him. It was so long that he sat on it. He didn’t know how long it was, since he hadn’t tried standing up yet, but he knew it was un-naturally long for a boy. At least, that is what he assumed since the three guys he had seen since waking up and the males on TV all had pretty short hair. She worked at it for a while, being careful to not pull at the long strands and break them. “Should I braid it?” He turned to her slightly with a questioning look on his face. “It was braided when they brought you in. I think with this long of hair it will probably be easier to care for if it was kept braided.” He nodded and turned back to being straight and looking out the window.

“Why do I have my hair so long?” he whispered.

She finished tying it off and put the black clothed lined hair tie at the bottom of the long braid, “Maybe you just like it this long. Doesn’t there have to be a reason?” she asked him. He shook his head, but he felt that the long hair was cumbersome and so there had to have been a reason he had it so long.

“I just was wondering why I can’t remember anything. My hair is long, even by female standards, and so it’s got to be hard to manage,” he told her. It was the most he had spoken since waking up. She helped him turn to sit back against the bed and smiled at him.

“Are you getting agitated at not knowing?” she asked him. He shook his head. It didn’t really bother him that he didn’t know things, but he also knew that one of these days it might become something that he’d have to really analyze.

She smiled brighter at him, but it still had a slight tinge of sadness to it he realized, “Do you want me to turn the TV on for you?” He shook his head again. He had watched a lot of TV the day before and found that he couldn’t like anything he saw on it. It was all just mindless drooling crap, he had thought. “Well then, what would you like to do?”

He thought about it for a bit and asked shyly, “Read? I think I know how to read. Can I get something to read?” She nodded and left the room. She came back in a few minutes later with a book in her hands.

“One of the nurses has a boy your age and she thought maybe you would like to read some of the books he owns. This is one of them,” she handed him a paperback novel with a picture plastered on the front. He didn’t know if it was something he would like yet, but it was probably better than drooling all over himself for the rest of the day.

He grabbed the book gently and asked her, “How old am I?”

She was startled for a minute, nodded to herself, and said, “We think you must be 12. You’re body seems to have just started puberty, so that’s why we calculated as about 12.” He nodded and thanked her. She gave him a quick hug and left the room with the promise of bringing him food soon. He opened the book and started to read the first chapter.

~*~Ma~*~

For the next few days he read the book given to him, slept, and ate the bland diet of wheat bread and different broth soups. He thought maybe he should have been bored with only being able to get out of the bed to use the bathroom, the bath he was helped with once a day, and nothing else to do, but he wasn’t. The book was interesting and the next book was at the nurses’ station for he had been assured when he asked if it was a series. The doctor came in once a day to check on him and see if he remembered anything. By the fifth day awake he did finally remember something. He knew his name started with a D, but that was it. Every time he tried to get his name out, his tongue would start with the sound. The doctor told him that was good and it meant that maybe he would get his memories back. He also warned not to be disappointed if he never did.

He was looking out the window and trying to think about what his past might have been, when the lady he had never seen walked in. She had on high heels and a gray business suit. Her arms were loaded with files and paperwork, which she set on the tray next to his bed. She smiled at him and held out her hand, “Good morning. My name is Alecia Grahm.”

He shook her hand, “Hello. I don’t know my name.” She nodded.

“The doctor told me. I’m sorry to hear that.”

He shrugged, “It doesn’t bother me, except that everyone keeps introducing themselves to me and I cannot do the same.” She gave him a strange look that he could not figure out and then grabbed the file on the top of her stack.

“I’ve come here because we haven’t been able to place where your family is. We have put your picture on the news a few times now and have asked around the best we can to find out who you are and where you come from. We even put it on national news stations, hoping that maybe we just hadn’t looked far enough. There has been nothing, though. I’m sorry. No one has reported you missing, either. With how long your hair is, it should have been a red flag to anyone who knew you,” she told him sadly. He nodded and looked back out the window. So, he was nameless and no one was missing him. He didn’t care that he had no memories, but how come no one wanted him? She continued, “I’m here, though, to tell you that we need to place you with a foster family. At your young age, we cannot guarantee that you’ll ever be adopted, but living with a foster family will allow you to go to school and at least be a normal preteen.”

He turned his bright violet eyes to the woman, “I am leaving the hospital soon?”

She nodded. “The doctor called me in because, even though you still are getting your strength back, you’ll be leaving in a week from here. I know you can’t walk far on your own yet, or do strenuous things, but you were in very good shape when you came here.” She used her hand to push back a strand of her brown shoulder length hair to behind her ears as she opened the folder she had laid on the bed next to him. “We need to put down a name for you in the system. Do you have any idea what you want to be called?”

He shook his head, “I just know that my name had started with a D.”

“Okay, so do you mind if I named you right now, then? We will change it when you remember your name,” she said to him.

He waved his hand at her, “Be my guest.”

She nodded and said, “Daniel sound good to you?” He nodded. “Okay, any idea what your last name might have been?” He shook his head. She again nodded and said, “Okay, how about Daniel Francis? We’ll use the name of the hospital.” To him that seemed very fitting to be named after the place that saved his life. She continued on, “How about your birthday?”

He sighed, “I can’t remember anything, and so whatever you choose for all of these questions is fine with me.”

She sighed as well, “I just want to make sure you’re comfortable instead of making all of these choices for you. Let’s put your birthday down as the day you woke up, okay? June 1st. You will be going into 7th grade this coming September, but sometime next month a teacher is going to come to your foster parent’s house and test you to find out where you are in your learning. We want you to be comfortable. I’m your social worker, so I’ll be visiting you every so often as well to make sure that you’re adjusting well to where you are staying. We want to make sure that, as you heal and grow, you do so as best you can.

“Your first home is going to be with Mrs. Snow. She is an older lady whose children have all left the nest. She fosters teenagers mostly, but we’re going to place her with you because she has her home open currently. You will be the youngest child she has ever had, so I hope you remember that. You will be attending the public middle school in her area. She is within walking distance to it, and I’m sure she’ll help you get there the first few times in September. She has no other kids with her currently, so you’ll be alone in that sense. That isn’t saying she won’t get some, though. She is a kind lady. I think you’ll like her a lot.”

He nodded and again turned to the window.

“I’ll leave you to rest, but this week the doctor told me that you will be required to gain your strength again. I am going to go and tell Mrs. Snow that she is going to have you in her home on Saturday, okay?” He nodded and they said good-bye to each other.

‘I am 12 and without a home or family. No one knows who I am. How can I have gone 12 years without anyone knowing who I am?’ he thought as he watched the tree outside his room sway in a breeze.

~*~ Tsuzuku ~*~

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