The Grieving Process Chapter 4

A short time later, after showering quickly and finding a change of clothes, Duo energetically bounced down the stairs to the mansion main entrance hall. Wufei was sat waiting quietly on a chair near the main door, his eyes fixed on a vase of flowers in front of him.

Duo approached him, as he continued to stare at the vase. "You ok now Wufei?", he asked.

Wufei suddenly broke from his trance-like state and looked up at Duo, slowly standing up.

"Yes, I am fine now, thanks", he replied calmly, "are you ready?", he asked.

"Sure, let's go", replied Duo.

The Winner mansion's main front door opened and the two pilots stepped outside.

They stood on the top of the stone steps leading down to the white gravel driveway, looking out at their surroundings.

Outside, the air was chilly. It was still dark, but to the East the sky was at first light. The sky was cloudless, and the stars were clearly visible, although they faded as they reached the lighter horizon.

Duo inhaled deeply, "Hmm, It's gonna be a nice day again", he commented.

Wufei closed his eyes momentarily, and also took a breath. He did not reply.

After a few moments, the boys made their way down the steps to the gravel drive, and began their walk to the hospital.

Their footsteps in the gravel seemed excessively loud in the quietness of the early morning, accompanied only by birdsong. As they walked, the winner mansion disappeared quietly into the darkness behind them, leaving a long sweeping driveway ahead of them for a while. Eventually they came to the main gates of the mansion, and walked through the small service entrance built into one of the gate turrets.

Neither one spoke until they were out of the grounds. Both seemed to be reluctant to make any more noise than they had to whilst people were sleeping nearby, although they wouldn't have been heard anyway. Once on the country road heading towards town, they began talking.

"Well, Wufei", said Duo, breaking the silence "I've got to admit, you had me a little surprised back there", referring to Wufei's rare show of emotion.

"I had absolutely no idea that you felt close to Quatre", he continued, "In fact, I seemed to be under the impression you thought he was weak, because of his compassion and kindness"

Wufei thought about a response for a moment before replying.

"When I first knew Quatre, I did think that way", replied Wufei, "I believed it was thinking like that which would get us all killed"

"So what changed your mind?", asked Duo.

"It didn't take very long for me to realise that it was Quatre's compassion that seemed somehow to give all of us strength. I quickly realized that without him, we would be nothing", replied Wufei, "As individual Gundam pilots, we are strong, but as a combined unit of five, we are indomitable. I believe that Quatre was the glue that bonded us together".

Duo listened intently. Wufei's evaluating was incredibly similar to his own beliefs as to how they were able to prevail during the war. Quatre really was the lynch pin to their entire success.

"No way is Quatre weak", said Wufei, "It has taken until now to realise, but he is a greater warrior than I am", Wufei spoke with quiet, admiring words.

"How did you come to that conclusion?", asked Duo a little puzzled, "Ok, he's a very skilled Gundam pilot, but he doesn't have the fighting experiences you do", Duo was trying to defend Wufei a little.

"Just look at me Duo, think to how I was behaving not twenty minutes ago", he referred back to his being upset in Duo's room earlier.

"Do you think I would get that way for a weak fool? At this time I am unfit for any kind of battle, right now I am defeated. Quatre has defeated me. He is the strongest warrior I have ever faced." Wufei paused for a moment, then continued.

"I always believed it would be cold steel or fire that would eventually defeat me, instead, it was being challenged by compassion and kindness that finally brought me to my knees."

Duo listened on, he was still fascinated by seeing a side of Wufei's personality he never thought existed.

"But why the tears Wufei?, is it because you fear of what will happen to the five of us if,.... If ... Quatre doesn't make it" asked Duo, his voice was hesitant.

Wufei looked at the ground "Well, that thought had occurred to me, but no, that's not the reason for the tears", he replied, his voice suddenly more gloomy.

Duo looked at him, there was a pause.

"Well, what then?", he asked, his voice more urgent, really needing to know, "Why the tears Wufei?".

Wufei looked sorrowful again. "The tears, Duo, were because, I finally realised what Quatre was feeling whenever he went into battle".

Duo half-nodded, he understood a little of what Wufei was saying, but didn't understand the point he was trying to make.

Wufei continued his explanation.

"Duo, I know that you, Heero, Trowa, all of us, were trained to deal with death. We can detach ourselves from our emotions and get on with the job of being Gundam Pilots."

Duo nodded

"Well Quatre has not been trained that way", continued Wufei, his voice getting more and more sullen "Every life he takes is on his conscience. Quatre is naturally a kind and gentle person. He cares in ways which I never thought were possible, but in battle, every time he takes a life, he must endure the pain of that life on his conscience"

There was a genuine tone of regret in Wufei's voice.

"Duo, Each time, it must feel like his heart's being ripped out of his chest", Wufei continued, "how many people could endure that kind of torture?, how strong can he be?, how much more could he take without going insane?" For Duo, Wufei's words were a revelation, a horrific revelation. He suddenly thought back to the counselling Quatre had given him months earlier about his own inabilities to deal with taking life. He suddenly felt very selfish and a deep sense of shame. He started racking his brains, trying to think if there had been any times when Quatre had indicated that he too was suffering from the consequences of killing during the war, but could think of none.

Duo began to feel a huge sense of guilt begin to build up in his mind. His ability to deal with killing far outweighed Quatre's, yet he was the one getting the help and the counselling for it, from the very person that needed it the most.

"Oh God!, what the hell was going through Quatre's mind as he was talking to me about it", Duo thought, feeling like he had been rubbing salt into Quatre's wounds.

Wufei spoke up again, "Dam it!", he cussed, "If only I'd figured it out sooner, I could have helped him. I could have taught him how to deal with it"

The boys continued their walk to the hospital in a contemplative, if not regretful silence. After their recent realisations, both had much to mull over in their minds.

End of chapter 4

Please let me know what you think so far!

Cheers. Baerwolf

<= Back