It was four in the morning and Trowa woke before his alarm, ready to start the day. Sally was still asleep beside him, but her eyes opened when he called out to her. "It's time," he told his wife.
First thing was to dress and watch Sally do so as well; he loved the way she moved, so unguarded and languid. So beautiful. She offered him a small smile and they began their trek down the hallway to where their patients were. One by one, the other pilots had come to him, each with ailments that left them unable to care for themselves. So, he had done what any good friend would do; he took them in, and began nursing them.
Soon after all four of his brothers-in-arms had needed to be dependent on him, he'd asked Sally to join him when he ran into her one night after she'd left work. She'd seemed a bit hesitant to leave her position with the Preventers at first, but when she heard that the other pilots needed her help, she was more than willing to join Trowa in his mission to care for the others. Slowly, they had fallen in love and he had playfully told her that he wouldn't take no for an answer when he finally asked her to marry him.
That was one thing that he'd never expected; marrying the older woman. But they had lived together happily for the last ten years in their quiet home away from the noise and filth of everything a city had to offer. The ceremony had been something of a secret; the other four pilots had been present to witness the event, but that was about it. By now, the marriage was actually common law and no one minded at all. Just because they hadn't had an officiate or anything of the sort, it hadn't changed the almost religious quality of the ceremony that day, as his dearest friends watched on.
It was always hard for Trowa to walk into the room first thing in the morning. It was right then that medication had been wearing off and he was subjected to the sight of four vibrant, active souls held immobile by their sickness. He approached Quatre first, smiling kindly down at the small blonde. "Good morning, Quatre," he greeted softly, stroking the fine platinum strands away from the pale face. Somewhat clouded aquamarine eyes opened and welled up with tears of pain and helplessness. "I know, Little One," he murmured. "But I have meds for you...and breakfast." He tried to sound cheerful, but it was so hard to keep a happy front up with an empathy.
He measured out the Phenobarbital, Codeine and Vigortol for beginners; one to keep him calm, the second for the pain and the last was a vitamin supplement to keep his friend healthy. Once the kangaroo bag was filled with the mixture that had been watered down somewhat to ensure smooth flow to the g-tube in the other boy's stomach, he made sure to carefully flush the line with water. Next was feeding, which was a thick liquid meal that offered the right amount of calories to keep him at a reasonable weight. It would take quite some time for the meal to go through the tubing, so in the meantime he asked Sally to set up the others for their own meds and breakfasts while he hooked up the bath.
The most important thing was the bathing chair that would allow the excess water to drain through the fine plastic mesh stretched across large pieces of white PVC pipe. The Velcro straps were adjusted for the little blonde's body mass and height, ensuring that he wouldn't slip when the chair got wet, then the water was started to run to the right temperature as Trowa pulled the pale gray caddy off the shelf that held his friend's toiletries.
Once that was set, he returned to the bed, taking off the padded restraints-sometimes the others would have violent dreams and in their states could hurt themselves, so as a precaution, he began keeping them all carefully contained at night. Next was the removal of the external cathedar they all used; it was better than putting four very proud young men in diapers; after all, he would have been mortified to have had such a thing done to himself. The bag was emptied of waste and cleaned out with antiseptic before being hung back in it's place beside the bed.
The small blonde was light enough that it was nothing for Trowa to carry him to the bath and tow the stand that held the feeding bag of IsoSource at once, so Quatre was carefully picked up into his friend's strong arms and then gently set on the blue chair and strapped in. He tested the warmth of the water against Quatre's foot, and noting no complaints from the Arabian, he began wetting down the pale man's skin.
He turned to ask Sally if she had seen Quatre's specific shower scrub when he noticed that she was pouring too much medication into Heero's bag. "Sally, love," he began, striding over to her. "That's too much..."
* * *
Sally shook her head again, tears welling in her once-lively blue eyes. When she had agreed to come to the cabin to help him, he'd told her he knew where the other four were. They'd all been missing for some time, starting with Heero. It wasn't unusual for the Japanese man to disappear for months on end, but when the Preventers had gotten a call from Hilde asking when Duo would be back from assignment that they began to get suspicious. The organization hadn't required any of the American's help and had even agreed in the past to not call on him unless there was something they most definitely couldn't handle on their own.
Shortly afterward, Quatre dropped out of sight and it was time for a full-scale search. The Preventers had called Trowa from the circus to help with the effort, and he had agreed immediately. He had paired up with WuFei, seeing as they had worked well together in the past, and after a short time, communications from Preventer Void and his civilian partner ceased.
Then, like a fool, when he'd approached her on her way to her apartment one night several weeks later, looking much worse for wear, she had gone with him, believing his story that there was no time to contact that others; the former pilots were relatively safe, but he needed her medical expertise to make certain they were safe to be moved from where they were. Without a second thought, she climbed into the gray-green car with him after grabbing her portable med kit from her jeep. He was silent for most of the trip, not answering many of her questions. He told her that the others were okay, but that he needed her help.
It wasn't until after they reached the compound and she had seen the drugged and bound pilots that she attempted to call for help. That was when she realized that her communicator was gone, as was her cellular phone, pager and even the bug that she had in the collar of her shirt that served as a locator and distress beacon in case of emergency. She vaguely remembered the way that the green-eyed young man had bent over next to her when she was at her vehicle...the coffee he gave her on the trip up...she'd fallen asleep...there was a small incision where the tracker should have been.
After a moment of cold fear, she turned to demand an explanation, only to receive a haymaker blow to the underside of her chin. When she'd regained consciousness, she'd tried to talk to the former Heavyarms pilot. All it did was irritate him, and he told her in a cold, calm voice that he had a new mission. The world had grown more harsh, particularly toward the former soldiers of the Eve Wars. Once it got out that the five of them had piloted the Gundams, it would only have been a matter of time before their lives would be in jeopardy. He'd taken it upon himself to keep them all safe.
Of course, he'd told her, in their confusion and inability to grasp the seriousness of the situation, he'd had to be more convincing, then, in the end, had to keep them there with physical means of restraint. It was for their own good, he'd reasoned. He kept them safe, healthy, clean and loved and cared for. It was peaceful there; no threats of war or being called back into a bloody fight that was no longer theirs.
When she'd argued, he'd nearly choked her to death. Then, after reviving her, he informed her that she now owed him her life and that all he asked was for help in caring for the others. She knew that it was only a matter of time before she would be able to free the other captives, so she agreed. It was a relatively easy plan.
However, she had not been prepared for the way that Trowa carefully watched the intake of everything into his friend's bodies. For a while, he refused to let her out of his sight until he was certain that she could be trusted to care for the other pilots in a way he deemed appropriate. The big problem, therefore, had come when she tried to escape and found herself on the floor, gasping for breath.
He had taken it upon himself to implant a receiver just above her nerve center that he could control at will with a small remote he'd implanted in his own skin. There was nothing she could do under his supervision. It had only taken once to be taught that he wouldn't let her free the others, so it was up to her. She was quite certain that after a certain distance, he wouldn't be able to use the controller on her, so she tried to run. When she woke from the glorious pain the receiver shot through her brain, she found herself strapped to a table in a white gown. He was there, hovering above her, offering a sweet smile when he saw she was awake. She nearly sobbed when he bent over to bestow a light kiss on her lips.
"Sally," he began softly. "I understand now that you were feeling that perhaps I wasn't prepared to go for the long haul with you and you were just frightened to tell me. I don't want that to be the case with us."
Her eyes widened in horror when she saw he was wearing a tuxedo. "I know this isn't a formal ceremony, Sally, but I've been doing a lot of thinking. I've been wrong to keep my thoughts to myself...perhaps if I had told you that I was ready to commit myself to you, you wouldn't have been so unhappy.
"I love you, Sally," he blurted out, his cheeks coloring slightly. "I do, and that's why I'm here, now, asking for you to marry me. And I won't take no for an answer," he added with a playful smile and a wink.
When she tried to talk to him once again, he only shook his head. "I told you, Sally," he repeated, his voice turning to steel. "I won't take no for an answer and I won't have my wife trying to run off where she won't be safe." He ignored her protests as he applied tourniquets to her thighs, just above the knees, speaking as though she were not pleading with him to listen to her.
"Trowa...I won't..." she began, finally seeing the look of horror in the eyes of the other captives. They couldn't speak, as they were too drugged to do much of anything, but she understood the moment she heard the electric whine of the bone saw Trowa lifted easily, positioning it just below her right knee.
The blood was terrible when it sprayed up from the table, where she refused to look. Oddly, there was very little pain. She knew that she was in shock and tried to let her mind detach from the situation as Trowa was soon covered in a fine red mist, tilting his head just so that he could supervise himself and ensure that he wouldn't receive any bone splinters to his eyes.
It didn't even strike her to cry when she glanced over and saw the tears streaming down WuFei's face as Trowa took her there on the table after the amputation.
She cursed her luck when she heard him approach her. She'd hoped now that he trusted her more; it had taken nearly eight years, but he began to trust her with the daily running of medication and feeding as he tended to bathing and other chores that required his skills. She had finally had enough and had gathered her own courage to end it.
As his back was turned, she began overmedicating the former pilots. There was no other way. She had to make it stop.
But then, she heard his calm, soft voice call out to her as he strode up behind her. "Sally, love...that's too much..."
"He's in pain," Sally informed her 'husband'. "He needs it."
"He could die, darling," Trowa argued gently. "I know that you're fully aware of what you're doing what his limits are, but I just worry. After all, where would they be if we weren't here to care for them?"
"Free," she choked, shaking her head at him. "We would all be free."
"What are you talking about, darling?" he asked, kneeling beside her wheelchair. "You're all well cared for here; I can make sure that no one hurts any of us again. I only want the best for us all. And here we are; one happy family."
He pointed to himself, then her. "Daddy, Mommy," he began and gestured to the other pilots, "and our four beautiful children. Just perfect." His smile turned cold and he fingered the area of his wrist where he kept the transmitter and watched her eyes go wide. "But that's only if you behave yourself, Sally. But now, you've gone and made a mess of things, making the boys think they can use too much medicine if it hurts more than they're comfortable with and that's Very Bad.
"But don't cry so, Sally," he whispered. "You know we need to set a good example for the children, so take your punishment like a big girl, hm?"
As she lost consciousness, she heard him speaking to the others. "Now you all need to learn a very important lesson today..."