The Grieving Process Chapter 9

At around three AM the door to the Winner mansion quietly creaked open and Trowa walked in. He too had received a soaking from the relentless thunderstorms that seemed to be plaguing the area that night. He entered the drawing room to dry out a little by the fire, just as Heero had done earlier.

As he reached the fireplace, he felt a presence in the room, and turned to see Wufei sat in the corner, looking up at him from reading his book. They nodded to each other.

"How are things at the hospital?", asked Wufei

"Not much change," replied Trowa, "Although Quatre seems to be moving about a bit, like he's dreaming or something. Sally tells me this is a good sign, he could be regaining consciousness soon".

"That's good", replied Wufei, "I was hoping this wouldn't go on any longer than it has to"

"Where's Heero?", asked Trowa, "Duo told me he had broken the news to him, and that he seemed a little upset. Have you seen him since?"

Wufei nodded, "He's asleep in his room," he replied,

"Yet,..." Wufei hesitated.

"What is it?" asked Trowa.

Wufei seemed to be pondering what to say. It was obvious that he wanted to tell Trowa something, but wasn't sure quite what to say.

"Well, Heero was understandably upset,... but,... there was more to it than that."

"In what way?", asked Trowa

"I'm not sure," Replied Wufei, "It's difficult to explain, but I sensed there was something odd about Heero's reaction,... it may be nothing."

"Can you be more specific?", asked Trowa, sitting down in the chair opposite Wufei.

"It was not anything he said or did, It was just a feeling, a hunch I got,... but it concerned me."

Trowa leaned forward in the chair, listening intently to Wufei's words.

Wufei became hesitant as he searched for an appropriate explanation. "Underneath,.. I got the impression,... that is,... I think,.. Heero is angry,... very angry at Quatre, in fact, I think he's furious".

Trowa asked him to elaborate more.

"Like I said, it was just a gut feeling, but it concerned me".

"Why would he be angry?", asked Trowa.

"I'm only guessing of course, but I figured it has to do with the state it has put all of us in, lets face it, if we were called on a mission tomorrow, we'd be pretty useless."

Trowa nodded. "I understand that sometimes people who try to take their own lives are often accused of being selfish and that can lead to people being angry about it, but this is Quatre we are talking about. Selfish? I don't think so. Quatre is the least selfish person I know, I'm sure Heero believes that too." Trowa spoke quietly; fatigue was starting to get to him.

Wufei Nodded. "I agree with you Trowa, and this could be nothing. All I'm saying is,.... we should keep an eye on Heero the next time he is with Quatre." He suggested cautiously.

"You don't think he would do anything bad do you?", asked Trowa in a concerned tone.

"No,... no!, Heero would never knowingly harm Quatre,... but, I think,.. there maybe the possibility that,.... once Quatre wakes,... Well, he might try to confront him about it too soon, when Quatre is still weak.", Wufei spoke hesitantly, "I'm sure that won't happen, maybe it's just me being paranoid." Wufei gave a brief smile after realising his suggestion was maybe a little mistrustful and unreasonable. "I'm sure things will turn out just fine."

Trowa nodded in agreement. "I'm sure they will", he replied, "But I will keep what you have told me in the back of my mind"

"Then we will talk about it no more tonight," suggested Wufei.

Trowa nodded in agreement once again.

"How come you're up so late Wufei?" Asked Trowa.

"I am fully rested. I plan to go to the hospital in a while, once I have read this book."

"Duo has only just taken over from me, but I guess he would appreciate the company."

"Actually", said Wufei, "I was figuring that Duo wouldn't last long before he fell asleep, don't forget he was under sedation earlier today."

Trowa nodded, "Of course", he said, suddenly remembering. "Although he did seem perfectly ok when I saw him. But maybe you should go anyway, just in case"

Within the hour, Wufei had left the mansion. Trowa had gone to bed after their short conversation, agreeing that either he or Heero would come to relieve him in the morning.

At the hospital, Wufei opened the door to Quatre's room.

Sure enough, just as he had predicted, Duo was slouched in the bed-side chair with his arms folded, fast asleep. Wufei cleared his throat.

A tired Duo slowly lifted his head, partially opening his eyes. "Uh?" On realisation of his fallen asleep state, he quickly snapped himself upright in the chair, as if nothing had happened. "Oh,.. what.. Hey! Hi Wufei!", he bleated tiredly trying to disguise his tiredness.

Wufei looked on with a wry smile.

"What time is it?", asked Duo, "Is it time to swap over already?", he asked, slowly regaining his bearings.

Wufei shook his head, "Don't worry Duo, relax", he replied, "You've only been here a few hours, but I figured you'd be tired, especially after this morning."

"Tired? Me?" Replied Duo conjuring up the best 'deception' mask he could, "Naa!, I'm good for hours yet". He suddenly yawned.

Wufei said nothing. He simply looked at Duo with a cold, blank expression. He folded his arms.

Duo sighed, nodding, "Ok, ok!,.. you were right,... I'm really struggling to keep my eyes open here" he replied, rubbing his hands over his face.

As Duo tried to wake himself up a little, Wufei turned and stood beside Quatre's bed, looking down at him.

Quatre was moving slightly, twitching occasionally, his eyes moving under his eyelids as if dreaming.

"He's been moving around like that for quite a while now", said Duo, "a couple of times I kept thinking he had actually woken up".

"Let's hope he does wake up soon", replied Wufei.

Duo stood up and joined Wufei, watching Quatre. He yawned tiredly.

"Go home Duo", suggested Wufei, "Get the rest you obviously need. I will take over here for now, Trowa and Heero will do shifts tomorrow".

Reluctantly, Duo agreed with Heero. He nodded and was about to speak as another Yawning fit gripped him. Unable to speak through so much yawning, Duo simply patted Wufei on the arm and headed for the door, gesturing goodbye as he reached it.

Finding it slightly amusing, Wufei smiled a little as Duo quietly closed the door.

Wufei Pulled up the chair and sat down, producing a small book from his pocket, his second book that day. Reading was something he rarely had time to do, so he decided to take advantage of the situation.

It was less than an hour later when Wufei was disturbed from his reading. He noticed the ventilator machine, which until now had been running in a steady, rhythmic way, had began to fluctuate and stutter. The steady, regular breaths became random and faster. He put his book down and stood beside the bed, looking at Quatre's face. Quatre's head was very slightly moving from side to side; his whole body was twitching and fidgeting as if he was about to wake from a dream-intense sleep. Wufei could feel his own heartbeat begin to speed up in anticipation, and in hope of his friend finally waking up. He reached down and gently took hold of Quatre's hand.

"Come on Quatre", he whispered quiet words of encouragement, "Come on, that's it my friend,... I think you're going to wake up,... aren't you,... Come on Quatre, you're going to be ok,..."

Suddenly he felt his hand being weakly squeezed. A huge grin appeared on Wufei's face as he gasped, almost laughing out.

"That's it Quatre!", he spoke quietly, still beaming a huge grin "Come on,... you can do it,... Come back to us Quatre,..."

The ventilator machine was more erratic than ever. The heart rate monitor was also bleeping a new, more upbeat tune. Wufei began gently steadily squeezing Quatre's hand as he leaned in and called his name.

"Quatre", he spoke quietly at first. Quatre continued to fidget and move around. His head now moving more noticeably from side to side.

"Quatre!", spoke Wufei again, this time more loudly. The fidgeting continued. Quatre gave Wufei's hand another squeeze, this time a little harder than before. Wufei renewed his grin. "That's it my friend", he reiterated, "Come on, you can do it, come back to us Quatre".

Suddenly, the fidgeting stopped as Quatre took a deep breath, almost sighing. Wufei squeezed his hand once more.

"Quatre!,....... Quatre!...... Wake up Quatre!", he spoke softly still leaning forward over Quatre's face.

With tired effort and a slight groan, Quatre's eyes slowly and uncomfortably opened.

Wufei almost let out a cry of joy as he gasped a final "Yes!", whilst grinning from ear to ear.

Quatre continued blinking and squinting many times before finally his eyes could stay open, Wufei observed silently for the moment. Quatre Just lay there for a few moments, as if he had just woken from a deep sleep and was getting his bearings. His eyes drifted around the room, observing his surroundings before finally resting on Wufei.

"Wu,... Wufei?", he uttered in a dry, croaky voice.

"Welcome back my friend", whispered Wufei, still sporting a huge smile, his eyes beginning to glaze slightly, brought on by the surge of emotion he was beginning to feel, "I am very,.... very pleased to see you again".

As he spoke, he began to instinctively squeeze Quatre's hand as an overwhelming sense of relief and joy began to hit him. His stomach knotted as an intense sadness gripped him, yet, he did not feel sad. This was not like the sadness he had felt before but was equally, if not more intense. Never before had Wufei sensed such an intense sense of relief. The weight he could feel lifting from his shoulders was overpowering, and the joy that came with it was more intense than he had ever experienced before in his life. Despite his efforts to prevent them, tears welled in his eyes. He swallowed nervously as they ran down his cheeks and dripped off his chin.

Quatre was still a little disorientated, but squeezed Wufei's hand as he saw the tears.

"Wufe?", croaked Quatre again, "What's ..happening?".

Wufei took a breath and wiped his face with the sleeve of his arm. He gave a long sniff and grinned again, trying to recompose himself.

"Hey!", Wufei bleated out, half laughing, half crying, still grinning.

Slowly a weak smile appeared on Quatre's face.

Wufei leaned in, speaking softly, "Everything's fine, you're going to be ok Cat, just relax ok,... How do you feel?"

Quatre paused as he did a self-diagnostic, moving each of his limbs in turn.

"I'm a little sore," he said, holding his ribs, "but I think I feel ok", he croaked dryly, "wh,.. where am I?"

"You're in the Hospital," replied Wufei, still grinning and trying hard to hold his composure together.

"Did we succeed in our mission?", asked Quatre

Wufei was hesitant, for now, he did not want to even touch on the subject of the last mission, knowing what had happened.

Suddenly the door opened. Sally and two other medical staff entered the room.

"Don't worry yourself about that right now Quatre", replied Wufei, "There will be time to talk about that later, just concentrate on getting better ok?"

Quatre reluctantly nodded.

Wufei felt Sally's hand on his shoulder.

"Hey! Quatre!", she beamed a compassionate smile at Quatre. "Wufei, can you give us a few minutes please?", she asked, donned in her professional doctors mode. Despite the smile, she looked serious. Her question was asked with a subtle degree of urgency.

Wufei nodded, "Of course", he replied, the tears welling in his eyes again. Before releasing Quatre's hand he gave it another squeeze and patted it with his other hand. "I'll wait outside", his voice wavering, "Don't go anywhere", he whispered to Quatre, smiling, in an attempt at light-hearted humour despite his emotions playing havoc with his mind again. Quatre did his best to return the smile.

Wufei turned and walked towards the door.

As her colleagues began to unhook various pieces of life support equipment and run tests on Quatre's condition, Sally leaned in and smiled kindly. "It's so good to see you awake Quatre, we've all been worried about you,... how do you feel".....

Wufei closed the door behind him and walked slowly along the corridor. He decided to make the necessary phone call to the Winner mansion to let the others know what had happened, but he only made it a short way along the corridor before his emotions got the better of him.

He held off as long as he could, but eventually found himself leaning up against the corridor wall, weeping with tears of joy and the relief of knowing Quatre was alright.

His hands covered his face, as slowly, his back slid down the wall until he was sat on the floor, sobbing like a small child. It was an odd sensation, and Wufei was confused. In that moment, he felt more happy and relieved than at any other time in his life, yet the emotions inside him were more intense than they had ever been.

Suddenly, he felt a presence. He looked up to see Sally kneeling down beside him.

"It's ok Wufei, He's going to be fine", she said, reaching out to him, her own voice almost beginning to crack. Wufei instinctively reached out with urgency, and she enveloped her arms around him and held him tight. She cradled him tightly against her as he continued to weep tears of joy. Sally pressed her nose into his jet black, tied-Back hair, and closed her eyes tight as she too, finally, if only slightly, permitted herself a few tears for the first time since Quatre was nearly killed.

They spent almost ten minutes comforting each other before one of Sally's colleagues hesitantly approached to consult with her. Wufei was impressed by her ability to recompose herself almost instantly. Before getting up to walk away, Sally gently cupped her hand onto Wufei's face, looked him in the eye and smiled. She didn't need to say anything, he knew what she meant. He bowed his head with appreciative thanks.

Wufei remained sitting on the corridor floor for another few moments gathering his thoughts before finally getting up and heading for the phone booths at the front entrance to the hospital wing.

After several attempts, he failed to get an answer.

"Damn!", he cursed, thumping his fist against the booth wall, "Someone must have switched off the ringer", he thought to himself. He continued trying until eventually the answering machine kicked in and he left a message.

End of chapter 9

I particularly, really enjoyed writing this chapter. I hope you enjoyed reading it too. So there you go Quatre fans! I bet you knew all along I didn't have the heart to kill him off - I really don't want that image in my mind! - I might like writing depressing, emotional stuff, but hey!, this isn't opera! - I like a happy ending!!

Anyways - Quatre's got enough on his plate at the moment - like how he's going to have to deal with the others knowledge about his suicide attempt - find out in the next chapter! Baerwolf

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