Title: Everybody's Crazy
Pairings: 2x1x2, 3x4x3, Sx5, one sided Rx1
Summary: After being turned away from Preventor's after failing the psychiatric evaluation, Heero is told that if he wants to work there he must undergo therapy until he can prove himself capable of handling the stress of the job. Heero, naturally, thinks the whole idea is ridiculous, but Duo thinks this may be just what Heero needs.
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing or its characters.
Warnings: Yaoi, angst, rape, sexual situations, violence, and lots of other nasty stuff. I'll try and put the specific warnings on the actual chapters.
Chapter #1: Psychiatric Evaluation
When in a group situation I find myself more commonly taking command than going with the flow. Yes or No?
Heero stared at this question as he thought it through. If he was being practical, it truly depended on the situation he was in more than any innate character trait of his own that dictated whether he took charge or not. For instance, he may be in a situation where someone else had more experience with the problem at hand during one mission only to be the most knowledgeable with the problem at hand during a completely different mission. It was only logical to step aside for the more experienced.
Or was the question referring to a social situation?
This psychiatric evaluation was turning out to be a lot more difficult than Heero had expected. He'd taken them before, of course, but those had been special tests designed by Dr. J himself and had apparently been modified for his unique situation. This test was much more generalized and strangely prone to asking rather vague and, at times, dubiously pertinent questions.
For instance: When ordering magazine subscriptions I choose a magazine with a more scientific bend than artistic. Yes or No?
What did magazine subscriptions have to do with his overall mental health and ability to do the job? He hadn't understood why Lady Une had said this test was mandatory for his acceptance into Preventor's. She already knew that he was more than capable of performing under high stress situations so why should he need to prove it with a bit of paperwork?
But oh well. He'd gone into this test knowing he would pass. If Une wanted to waste everyone's time then so be it. It was only a mild hassle. So Heero eventually decided to check circle A: Yes. He took command. And then he moved on.
I have caused myself physical harm or otherwise thought of doing so. Yes or No?
Heero paused. That question certainly hadn't been on any of J's tests and he had to think about his possible answer for a moment.
Because he had caused himself physical harm before, even if it had only been under orders from J. Did that count towards what the test was asking? Surely those in command would like to know that he was willing to do anything in his power to complete a mission. But if he did answer positive there was also a good chance that that answer would call his mental health into question.
Heero finally checked B: No. He'd never purposely hurt himself. But he didn't feel very good about the choice. Still, he moved on.
The next few questions were simple and obviously more for personality evaluation than actual mental health. He decided he liked shrubs and that he would rather take apart an electrical toy than use it. Then there were those other questions.
I enjoy my personal space. Yes or No?
I feel that people are watching me even when I am alone. Yes or No?
I can eat in the presence of others. Yes or No?
I would rather be alone than with a group. Yes or No?
I would rather watch a comedy than a horror film. Yes or No?
I enjoy a healthy relationship with my significant other and/or have enjoyed healthy relationships in the past. Yes or No?
I feel comfortable sharing my innermost thoughts and emotions with at least one other person in my life. Yes or No?
I feel I am a good person. Yes or No?
Heero tried to answer these questions as best he could, but he didn't know what the creator of the test felt would be the best answer. How could he answer correctly without knowing what was wanted? Some were obvious, or at least he believed them to be obvious, but others were less so.
Sexual intercourse with a willing partner is an enjoyable experience. Yes or No?
How did a question on his opinion of sex reveal the inner workings of his mind? This made no logical sense.
And then, of course, nearly seven questions down came an even worse question.
I have contemplated or attempted to kill myself. Yes or No?
At that Heero narrowed his eyes dangerously. Because Heero had tried to kill himself. Several times even.
But it had always been for the mission. It had never been out of any selfish desire to truly end his life. He knew the other pilots thought him suicidal, that they thought he didn't know the true worth of his life, but they were wrong. He did know the true worth of his life. He was a weapon for peace and as long as he had something to fight he had worth in this world. He had a reason.
So no. He wasn't suicidal. He really wasn't.
Heero checked B: No. And he moved on.
"What do you see in this picture?"
Heero looked at the inkblot on the white card and tried to see anything but an inkblot. "A mud stain," he finally said.
The psychologist giving him the test simply looked at him and for a moment Heero thought he wasn't going to accept that as an answer. But then the man seemed to take a deep breath and move on. Changing cards, the man held the next one out for Heero to look at and repeated his question.
"What do you see in this picture?"
Heero stared at this new inkblot. "A different mud stain," he eventually said.
This the man couldn't take. "Mr. Yuy, the point of this exercise is to see objects or pictures inside the inkblot. Please try and use your imagination."
Imagination. Heero hadn't used his imagination for anything this trivial since he was five. This whole exercise was ridiculous.
But still. He had to try. So he looked at the inkblot one more time. There was a long silence as he thought and then it came to him. "A blood stain," he said.
The psychologist just looked at him, obviously trying not to show any of his exasperation as he patiently said, "I'm sorry, but that's almost as bad as a 'mud stain'. Please try and look even more inside than that."
This was getting irritating. So, narrowing his eyes at the inkblot angrily, Heero pushed his imagination to its limit. "Entrails after they have exploded from the stomach to land on the ground in one large mass," he finally said. Heero was actually rather proud of that one.
The man looked at him, slowly seemed to accept that answer, and then changed the card. "And what do you see in this?" he asked.
You mean they weren't done yet?
Frowning, Heero tried to concentrate on the card. The inkblot looked like an inkblot because it was an inkblot. This had to be the stupidest thing he had ever done. Still, it had to be done and he thought he could see the vague beginnings of something like a picture in this one. "A mushroom cloud," he said.
It took another five cards for the inkblots to end only for them to be replaced by wild splats of color.
"What do you see in this?" the man asked.
Heero answered truthfully. "The view from a kaleidoscope."
"Yes but what kind of picture?" the man insisted.
And Heero was stumped. The blobs of color truly didn't look like anything. Maybe if he made something up? "Mushrooms," he answered, saying the first thing that came to mind and mentally chiding himself for it.
"Okay," the man said, seemingly content with that. But then he changed the card. "And this one?" he asked, showing Heero yet another card filled with color where no picture was discernable.
Why weren't they done yet?
It was nearly a week later and Heero was in Lady Une's office to hear the results of his initial screening. He was fully confident that he had passed. After all, what reason could there possibly be to turn him away? He had the skills and the experience, much more than even the highest of Preventor officers save maybe Wufei and Duo. There was little to no chance of failure.
"Mr. Yuy," Une spoke as she finally turned her attention to him. Other than an invitation to sit, she had been silent up to that moment as she shuffled through the papers on her desk.
Heero stayed silent, just waiting for her to continue.
"As you know, I have called you here today to talk to you about the results of your initial screening," Une said, her expression far too grim for comfort and just a touch frustrated. "I'm afraid there may have been a few problems that we need to discuss."
Heero just looked at her, wondering what she meant, but not giving away any of his thoughts in his expression.
"Your physical examination went perfectly. As far as we can tell, you are in perfect physical condition. And your field test scores were incredible. You broke the record in the obstacle course and your marksmanship was perfect. Better than almost anyone else's I've ever seen even. You have the skills and you definitely have the experience. By all rights you should be more than able enough to work for Preventor's."
Heero sensed a huge 'but . . .' coming in here and he waited for Une to continue patiently.
"But . . ." Une finally said as she kept her eyes on Heero's silent form. "Your test results for your psychiatric evaluation are, shall we say, lacking."
Confused by how that could be, Heero frowned slightly. "In what way?"
Here Une turned to her papers again, taking out the evaluation and giving a quick summary of its contents. "According to the results, you are dangerously anti-social and socially introverted, unable to work in a group setting or understand basic human emotion. You are massively depressed, prone to high paranoia and social anxiety, and are just generally a ticking time bomb waiting to explode."
Feeling something close to stunned, Heero blinked. What? But he'd checked all the right answers. He'd made sure of it.
Une was looking at him again, a serious frown on her face. "Basically we cannot accept you here at Preventor's because you are, quite frankly, a danger to yourself and others and cannot be trusted to perform safely under the heavy stress of this job." There was a pause as Une seemed to contemplate him for him a moment. Then she continued in a much more personal tone. "But let's be serious. We both know that that's a huge load of crap. If you can handle being a Gundam pilot you can handle this job. Unfortunately what I know and what I can do about it are two very different things. There is absolutely no way I can legally and officially hire you without a psychiatric evaluation proving you to be psychologically fit for the job."
Heero opened his mouth to ask a question, but Une seemed to anticipate it and put up a hand to silence him before he could ask.
"And, before you ask, you can't legally take another evaluation for another six months and even if you did I doubt you'd be able to pass it anyways so no, that option's out of the question." Taking her hand back, Une paused to seemingly collect her thoughts before she offered what Heero hoped was a solution. "What I can do," she said, "is give you the name of a therapist that has a lot of experience with ex-soldiers. If you go to her and prove to her that you are mentally stable enough to withstand the stress of the job then I can reconsider your application. What do you say?"
What did he say? Heero really just couldn't believe this was happening. How could they think him not mentally stable enough to handle the simple job of Preventor's? This was an insult of epic proportions. And now to be basically forced into therapy he didn't need just to please some paper pushers? He'd answered every question correctly. They couldn't do this to him.
Still, Une was only trying to help and he did need this job. So, holding back his anger and indignation and righteous confusion with a choking grip, Heero showed only a little irritation as he said, in his usual monotonous voice, "What's this therapist's name?"
Une smiled slightly at his answer. "Dr. Natasha Farrows. Let me give you her card. I think you'll like her."
Heero walked home to his apartment building in an enforced numb state. He couldn't afford to feel anything. Not in public. Not ever. Especially not now, when he had to go home to his apartment knowing full well that Duo will have invited himself inside while he was gone and be expecting Heero to arrive home with the good news of new employment.
What exactly was he going to tell the other boy? That he wasn't hired because they saw him as mentally incompetent? That they saw him as a danger to himself and others? That he had failed?
Heero Yuy was not supposed to fail. It just wasn't supposed to happen. And Heero honestly didn't know what to do with himself now that it had.
He had some money saved up though so he wouldn't have to try and find another job just yet. And hopefully he would be able to convince the therapist that he was just fine before he had to take any drastic measures. There weren't that many other businesses that would hire someone his age, especially since he didn't exactly have any diplomas. Officially he hadn't even graduated from grade school.
But a little hacking would take care of that, he supposed, so things really weren't that horrible. Besides the whole therapy thing, of course.
Duo was probably going to think this whole situation was absolutely hysterical. The great Heero Yuy taken down by a mere psychiatric evaluation. Heero could already hear him laughing. Hadn't Duo always told him he was crazy? And now to have him proved right. Oh Duo was going to be so smug.
Finally reaching his apartment building, Heero stepped inside and went for the elevator. Ten minutes later he was on his floor and at his door. Hand reaching for the doorknob, Heero took a moment to close his eyes and gather his strength. Then he opened his eyes, unlocked the door, and stepped through the doorway.
Almost immediately he heard Duo's voice. "Heero!"
Heero just looked at his self-proclaimed best friend and then at the Chinese man seated quietly on his sofa. Well that was unexpected. Heero hadn't thought Duo would have been able to convince Wufei to socialize.
Wufei merely nodded at him silently and stayed where he was.
"So how was it?" Duo asked as he waited for Heero to take off his coat. "Have you eaten dinner yet? Let's go out!"
"Idiot. Yuy just got home," Wufei said, eying Duo scornfully, "What makes you think he wants to go out already? Besides it's barely five yet."
"But we have to celebrate!" Duo said, his excitement not dimming in the least. "C'mon Wu, this is great! Hee-man's a Preventor now! I'll finally be able to get away from all the useless idiots they keep sticking me with as partners!"
"They only stick you with idiots as partners because they want to give you someone on your level," Wufei replied coolly. "And the name is Wufei."
That got Wufei a dirty look from the excited boy, but Duo very noticeably ignored the name correction. "Oh c'mon. Even you have to admit that Andrews was a bit much. He nearly shot me!"
Wufei merely raised a brow. "Like you've never nearly shot someone?"
"Never by accident!" Duo said defensively. "I meant to shoot that guy. He was getting on my nerves."
"And yet you missed."
"Well duh," Duo said, rolling his eyes. "He may have been annoying, but I didn't want to have to go back to basic level training. Do you know how bored I would be there?"
"Yes, Maxwell," Wufei said sarcastically, "Because your enjoyment is precisely what the training courses were designed for."
"Hey. Don't pretend you don't have just as much fun with them. Getting away from all that paperwork is a good thing."
At that Wufei scowled and opened his mouth to start what was no doubt a rant on the injustice of Duo ducking the mandatory paperwork and leaving it for the subordinate officers to complete when those officers had more than enough of their own important paperwork to fill out.
Heero didn't want to listen to them arguing all night so he cut in, saying what was necessary in as little words as possible. "I didn't get the job." And then he smoothly escaped to the kitchen to get himself something to drink, leaving Duo and Wufei to react to the news as they would.
"Wait. What?" Heero heard Duo ask seconds before the other boy was turning around to confront him over the counter that separated Heero's kitchen from his living room. "You didn't get the job?" Duo demanded.
Heero didn't bother turning around as he searched his cupboards for a mug. He wanted some tea. "No," he said simply.
"But how could you not get the job?" Duo demanded again, sounding as if this was some unthinkable and ridiculous notion. "Did you trip during the obstacle course? Did you somehow have a hugely massive brain fart and just forget how to load a gun? What happened?"
And, of course, this topic seemed to interest Wufei because he actually got up from his seat to stand by Duo and regard Heero with an impassive curiosity. "Neither of those are very likely," he said calmly. "All of us have reached a point where it would be an absolutely amazing occurrence for a mistake of that kind to be made."
"Exactly!" Duo said, as if this proved everything. "So what happened?"
Turning around to regard the other two as he momentarily forgot about his quest for tea, Heero briefly considered not answering at all, but just as soon realized that neither Duo nor Wufei would stand for that. Plus they would easily find out about the therapy sessions in the coming weeks and would need an answer for that too. So Heero answered honestly. "I failed the psychiatric evaluation," he said, not showing anything at all about what he personally thought of this failure.
Duo looked absolutely stunned. "The psychiatric evaluation?" he repeated. "But that's the easy part."
And Heero really didn't need that opinion. Glaring darkly at the braided boy, Heero was somewhat gratified when Duo blinked and seemed to realize just what he'd said.
"Uh," Duo stuttered, "I mean, uh . . . Maybe . . . maybe you got a harder test than us?" he proposed hesitantly.
"Unlikely," Wufei said, just as calmly as before though now he was looking at Heero with a little more interest. "All psychological tests are the same no matter who takes them."
"Then . . ." Duo trailed off then seemed to abruptly decide to just not go there. He turned back to Heero and changed the subject slightly. "But Une's gonna let you take it again, right? I mean she has to!"
Crossing his arms over his chest, Heero scowled at the question and leaned back against the counter behind him. "She can't legally give it to me for another six months and even then she doesn't think I'm likely to pass it even with a second chance."
Duo blinked, obviously confused. "So . . . she's just not gonna hire you? She can't do that! She knows how good you are."
Wufei merely nodded in agreement, watching Heero closely.
Heero grunted, wishing Duo wasn't making him admit to this. "No. We made a deal."
Duo seemed to wait a moment for Heero to continue. When that didn't happen he asked, "And that is . . .?"
Heero hesitated, but knew he had to answer. Turning his attention to the kitchen floor, there was a long pause until finally he said, "I see a therapist and when she's convinced of my mental health, Une'll reconsider my application."
There was another long silence. Too long really. Heero finally looked up to see how the two other boys were taking that admission to find Wufei giving him the strangest look and Duo seconds away from hysterical laughter. And it seemed that, though Duo was struggling his hardest not to give in, he was quickly losing the fight with his amusement. He was making these strange snorting noises, his face turning red as he attempted to control himself.
Heero gave him a warning glare, but Duo apparently couldn't help it anymore and collapsed into laughter.
"The – the – therapy? You're gonna see a shrink? That's priceless."
"I will kill you," Heero grumbled with feeling, as he glared furiously at the laughing boy.
Wufei looked at Duo in mild distaste as the boy continued to laugh. "It's not that hysterical, Maxwell. Therapy is a time-honored tradition. Many of even the healthiest people see therapists."
"Yeah, but this is Heero we're talking about. Heero!" Duo managed before bursting into hysterics again, draping his upper body over the counter and slapping a hand repetitively against the counter top.
"Yes, we know who he is," Wufei muttered before ignoring the hysterical boy completely to turn to Heero and say in a commiserating tone, "I'm sure it won't be that bad."
Heero nodded, accepting the baseless comfort for what little it was.
"Yeah. Yeah," Duo said as he finally got himself together, wiping tears of mirth out of his eyes. "And now we really need to go out to dinner."
Heero glared at him suspiciously. "Why?"
Duo just smiled at him. "You got bad news. We need to cheer you up!"
Heero decided not to mention for what had to be the millionth time that he didn't, and would never, 'cheer up' as Duo so lovingly put it. "And food will "cheer me up?"" he asked, raising a skeptical brow.
"Not just any food," Duo said, standing up straight again and looking very self-important. "But the very best sushi known to mankind."
Wufei and Heero just looked at Duo, completely unconvinced.
"C'mon!" Duo said cheerfully. "I know this restaurant just around the corner. You'll love it!" And with that he nearly pushed his two friends out the door, grabbing all three of their coats as he walked past.
Heero told himself he was only going because he was hungry and still needed food to survive. It was definitely not because he needed to be distracted from his failure before the full meaning hit. Definitely not.