Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing.
Warning: Possible graphic triggers for abused PTSD sufferers. This chapter has some blood.
It had been three days since the incident in the mall. Starr had tried to talk to Daniel a few times about it during their lunch period, but he had studiously ignored her every time. He even caught Jenna actually looking at him the third day with a curious expression on her face, but she didn’t say anything and turned away as soon as she was caught. Bob would ramble on about nonsense things and he was sure it was her way to trying to keep the subject away from him. He was thinking about just telling them that he really wasn’t interested in this Quatre guy and hadn’t any plans to contact him while he was walking home that day. He stumbled a bit on the side of the walk by the street a few times when his bad leg, due to his foster father tripping him and kicking him there four days before, would catch on the uneven slabs.
He walked into the entry way and immediately could feel something wasn’t right. The air had electricity to it that wasn’t usually there. All four senses heightened on him suddenly and he walked through slowly into the living room. Standing in the middle of the room was Justin. He had his arms down at his sides, a t-shirt that was stained in black from dirt or grease, and jeans on. Everything on him screamed danger to Daniel and he shifted his eyes a bit to look around for his foster mom and for Chia. They weren’t anywhere in sight and he couldn’t hear them around, either. “Justin,” Daniel said politely with a slight nod. “Something the matter, sir?”
Justin didn’t blink for a bit and then lunged forward suddenly at Daniel. The boy only had a second to think and he lowered himself quickly to use the man’s body weight against him. He flipped the man over his head and sprang back up to his feet in shock. He backed up quickly away from the man stumbling back to his feet. The larger guy growled like an animal and went to Daniel again. The boy ran. He didn’t want to attack and so he couldn’t think of anything else to do. He went for the back rooms and into the master room.
The scene in their made him stop. The room was covered in blood and on the bed he could see what was left of his foster mother. He turned away and started for his room he shared with Chia. ‘Please,’ he begged in his head, ‘not the boy, too.’ He didn’t make it as a body shoved into him and he hit his head at an angle on the wall. The world blurred, pain erupted across his body, and then everything went numb and black.
~*~ Ma ~*~
Pain again, which meant he was alive, was the first thing that came to him when he started to wake up. He didn’t open his eyes and instead listened around him for verification of his surroundings. A high pitched, female, voice was speaking harshly to someone in the room and the beeping of machines told him he was in the hospital again. The voice filtering in to him was his social worker’s voice. The other voice only sounded vaguely familiar.
“You cannot take him, Mr. Winner. He is a ward of the state,” Alecia said exasperated. She must have been arguing with the other person for a while now.
“Ms. Grahm, I don’t want to patronize you anymore than I already have, but you know that you have no choice in this matter. He will be released to me as soon as he is healed,” Daniel now recognized the voice well; it was Quatre from the mall. His voice then turned into something Daniel didn’t think a child should ever sound like, “You will be contacted shortly by my lawyers.”
Alecia seemed to stutter for a minute and then huffed out. Her heels clicked harshly on the flooring as she left the room. The door slid closed behind her and Daniel stayed completely still. Quatre sighed and the seat next to the bed squeeked. “Daniel, I know you’re awake. Your heart rate has increased slightly…” Daniel still didn’t move and Quatre sighed again, “Okay, well, I am taking you home with me as soon as the doctors release you. I have already contacted the others and they will all be here within the week.”
“Please…” Daniel croaked out. He turned to the blond sitting next to him. “Please tell me… tell me did Chia… is Chia…?” He couldn’t get it out what he needed to ask. His foster brother was all that he could think about right then.
The blond looked down at the side of the bed for a minute in contemplation, “He’s downstairs. They think he’ll make a full recovery, but he was also attacked.” He paused for a minute while Daniel started to let the tears fall from his eyes. “Uhm, but… but the mother…” he didn’t continue and just looked away to outside the window.
“I saw,” Daniel whispered. “I only stayed to protect them and I failed.” He turned away to face the door.
“It happens sometimes. We can’t protect everything. We try, but you know it just doesn’t always happen,” Quatre said kindly. “I’ll let you rest for a bit. I have a few things to do and I’ll be back later after supper tonight.” He stood up and walked out the door. He didn’t turn around to look at Daniel at all, which the injured boy was grateful for.
~*~ Ma ~*~
The doctor came in a few hours later with the boy delivering his evening meal. He was over weight, had on a sharp grey suit and a white lab coat over that. His expensive dress shoes made a slight click on the floor when he walked. “Mr. Francis, I am Dr. Kohl. I am just going to check on your healing and progress. Tell me where things hurt, please.” The exam was painful but the doctor was kind. His ribs had been broken, but mainly he had been stitched from many knife wounds in his back, legs, and some in his stomach area. His head still pound a bit, too, and that was from the concussion he had received when he had hit into the wall.
“Doctor… uh, Quatre is eighteen, right?” he asked.
“Mr. Winner? Yes, I believe he is,” the doctor said as he was writing into the chart at the end of the bed.
“He said that he knew me before my amnesia… could I be eighteen?” Daniel asked as he settled back against the pillows.
“The doctors at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital calculated your age based on the fact that you are just entering puberty. It is possible that you are older if puberty was halted due to malnutrition, hormonal suppressants, or even some different drugs. The amount of all of that had to be extreme, though, for us to calculate you at twelve. I do believe that you are around the age of twelve to fourteen years of age,” the doctor explained. He set the chart down. “I will return in the morning to check some more on your stitches. Please call the nurse if you need anything.” He clicked out of the room and the door shut behind him softly on its hinge.
Daniel didn’t touch his food and stared at it. Quatre had seemed a bit small for being eighteen, so maybe Daniel was really not so young. It would explain so much, but why would someone do so much to him to hold him where he was. Quatre was still taller than him, though, by about a quarter of a head. Why was he so little compared to the other boy? What happened to him before waking up at the other hospital just less than a year ago?