centeruNanashi/u/Center

br

AN: Well here's more ^_^ as promised, not sure how long it will be until chapter 13 (not nearly as long as it took for 11 I can promise you that) but I'm getting into some difficult descriptions. Silly Trowa and his being hard to fix! My warning to all of you now is never NEVER! Put a character in VR ^_^ thanks to all of you who reviewed I was so shocked to see people were still reading this story ^_^/br

br

cmquietone: Thanks you so much for the review! ^_^ I'm going to do my best to be nice to poor Trowa, but it's a little hard at times…can't say to much, but no worries this will have a happy ending ^_^ I like happy endings ^_~/br

br

Chibi Menchi: I'm so glad you're enjoying this…truth be told I've wanted to take it down a number of times ^_^ but I've made promises to people that I will finish it…so finish it I will ^_^/br

br

Midii Une: And a HUGE thank you to you Midii!!!! Couldn't have put this chapter out so fast if it hadn't been for you're quick editing!!! ^_^ you're the greatest!!! ^_^/br

br

Narijima: Thanks, I'm not sure how many chapters I have left in this stories but there is definitely more to come, and hopefully faster than I usually work ^_~/br

br

Disclaimer: don't own…how simple is that? ^_~/br

br

centeruChapter 12/u/center/br

br

Midii looked up at Sally, tears standing out in her eyes, -we have him- was all she could think, he was back with them. For several minutes she just stared at him, fixing his appearance in her mind, a part of her unable to believe that they had finally got him back. "Come on Midii, we need to get moving," Sally cut into her thoughts gently. Shaking her head to bring herself back to the present she merely nodded in agreement, as they began unbinding Trowa's wrist and ankles. /br

br

Sally moved to Trowa's head, slipping her hands underneath his shoulders, "Take his feet, we'll do this on three."/br

br

"Alright," Midii said, taking hold of his legs, "One…two…three," as one they managed to lift the wounded pilot enough to transfer him to the gurney. With that done they quickly moved out of the room, with the halls secure and empty there was nothing standing in their way./br

br

The doctor brought the communicator to her lips as they moved, "Heero, we have him, we're on our way out."/br

br

"Right," was the next to emotionless reply, it was clear though that Heero was relieved./br

br

"How is he?" Duo demanded, voice sounding more than worried./br

br

Sally looked over the wounded pilot, "Not terrible, but not good either, he's suffering from some form of infection. It's not life threatening, at least not right now. But, I need to look after him as soon as possible."/br

br

"This base was completely equipped to look after the soldiers, there should be an ambulance outside," the Wing pilot filled in./br

br

Midii glanced back at Sally, "I remember seeing one on the way in."/br

br

"Okay, Heero we'll take him there, meet us when you're done," She was about to put the communicator down when she remembered something, "What about Alex?"/br

br

"We need to finish securing this base. It's going to take a little longer, Alex will take you where you need to be, we'll end things here up here," Wufei assured./br

br

"Alright," Sally placed the small item back into her pocket and picked up her pace, pushing the gurney before her. Midii jogged along beside them, face locked onto Trowa's. It was such a relief to have him back with them, however Sally could not ignore the dark shadows that lingered over everything, was he truly with them? The last they had seen of Trowa he had been calling himself Triton, and had sworn to kill them all, and he almost succeed with Quatre. Still could succeed, she mentally corrected, the gentle pilot was still fighting for every inch of his life./br

br

A large part of her wanted Midii to be prepared for what could possibly be the biggest disappointment of her entire life, but she could not bring herself to speak. There was still hope; there was always hope. She could not begin to comprehend all that she would need to do in the next few weeks, Sally's thoughts kept roaming, and it was an effort to keep them on the here and now. If Trowa did not remember who he was, there was nothing she could do about it now; it was not what mattered most at this moment./br

br

They exited the building into the deep night, Sally's eyes darted about searching for the ambulance that Midii had seen, "There it is," the small blond said with some relief, as they made their way towards it./br

br

"Sally! What took you?!" Alex, came running up from wherever he had been waiting, his footsteps echoed in the otherwise silent parking lot, though it no longer mattered now./br

br

The doctor turned to him; "It was not the easiest mission, we need you to drive that ambulance."/br

br

"Sure no problem," he said quickly walking along beside them, "How is he, will he be alright?"/br

br

"He should be, we'll know better what happened when he wakes," Sally pulled the gurney to a stop outside the back doors of the ambulance, and moved forward to open the doors with Midii's help. Alex walked around to the driver's side door without comment. Between the two of them they managed to get the gurney up into the back, slipping in last as Sally pulled the doors closed./br

br

"Damn it!!! No keys!!!" Alex fumed in the front seat./br

br

Sally came towards him, "Can you hotwire it?" /br

br

"Of course! It'll just take me a minute or two," he said looking over to her, then glancing at Trowa's unconscious form./br

br

"Alright do it, we'll get started on him," the soldier nodded once before popping the hood and getting out. Sally wasted no time getting back to Trowa's side, and sat down on the bench, "You're not squeamish are you?"/br

br

"No, how can I help." /br

br

"Just do what I tell you," Sally commented as she began undoing the suit that he was in. She unzipped it to mid abdomen, and with Midii's help they managed to slip his shoulders and arms out of the tight material. "Well this answers the question of where the infection started," Sally sighed, taking Trowa's right arm in her hand. Heat radiated from the skin around and beneath the bandage. "I need scissors, and a scalpel if you can find one." /br

br

The blond woman nodded silently, and quickly began her search of the ambulance; Sally turned about pulling drawers opened on her side. It did not take long for the items to be found. With a steady hand she cut away the bloodied bandage, and pulled it off the wound. She vaguely heard Midii gag beside her, what lay beneath the cloth was not a pretty sight, but it was hardly worse than other injuries she had treated over the years. /br

br

It was a gunshot wound, and by the looks of it, no one had bothered to remove the bullet or even clean it. The skin about the injury was an angry red, and filled with pus. Sally did not hesitate, but broke the scalpel out of it's protective plastic and began slicing the skin about the bullet, to clean out what of the infection she could. "They didn't care what condition he was in…" she vented while working./br

br

"You'd think they would," Midii said softly, "After all they were trying to use him for their own purpose."/br

br

"Yes that's true, who knows…" she trailed off for a moment, "We'll have to ask Duo once they get back."/br

br

The driver side door opened again, and Alex hopped in, "It'll just be a second now, where do you want me to take you? The hospital that Quatre's at?"/br

br

"No!" Midii blurted out, the tone of her voice causing both of them to look at her in astonishment./br

br

"Why not?" questioned Sally, as she did the best she could to clean the wound./br

br

The small woman sighed, "Trowa's been in sterilised rooms for a while now, the last thing I want is for him to wake up in another. You can look after him in the house can't you?" she sounded almost desperate./br

br

Sally considered this for a moment, "Yes I could…" she began slowly, "I'll need some supplies from the hospital though," she directed that part towards Alex./br

br

"Just tell me what you need and I'll go get it once you're at the house," he was working with the wires under the steering column while he spoke, and seconds later the engine roared to life. "Got it!" Alex smiled over to them./br

br

"Good, let's go," Sally responded with half her attention on the syringe she was preparing for the wounded pilot laying before her. It only took her a moment to administer the antibiotic, and once that was completed her attention was once more on the wound. She needed to remove the bullet from his arm and by the looks of it, the bullet was still imbedded in the bone. /br

br

"I need more light," she mumbled more to herself than the small woman sitting beside her, but Midii heard, and soon the area she had been examining was brightly illuminated. Searching in the drawers behind her, Sally quickly located and removed the items that she would need to remove the bullet and close the wound. She lay the plastic covered implements on Trowa's chest and looked to Midii. "Hand me what I ask for," Sally directed. The smaller woman nodded without a word./br

br

Working together as the ambulance drove them back to the house they had been staying at, Sally managed to remove the bullet, which was plaguing Trowa's health. "Will he be alright?" Midii asked as Sally's hands expertly stitched the wound closed. For the first time since they had regained their lost friend Midii sounded truly unsure. /br

br

"He'll recover from the gunshot wound," Sally began, washing away the fresh and dried blood with an alcohol-soaked cloth. "What I'm really worried about is he thinks he's Triton Bloom."/br

br

"How could they even have known about that? None of you did?"/br

br

"No we didn't but it was somewhere buried in Trowa's memories, and there's no telling when such memories can be brought out." She sighed raking a tired hand through her hair, "What I really want to know is, how sure is he?"/br

br

Midii tore her eyes away from her fallen love's face; "Do you mean how sure he is of being Triton Bloom? He couldn't possibly have forgotten all of us. Could he?"/br

br

"The possibility is very likely…Trowa would never have shot Quatre…" Sally fought the urge to sigh again, this was not at all what she had expected. "But right now I need to get his fever down," she said by way of focusing her thoughts on something other than this seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Midii's features were pale; Sally could not miss the change from the girl's usual brightly smiling face. She silently prayed they would be able to bring Trowa back./br

br

center***/center/br

br

Fire burned from everywhere; there was no way to escape its searing fingers, as they clawed at him, trying to pull him in. Breathing was a battle as he fought the flames for oxygen, struggling to remain alive in a world of nothingness. They blessedly came and went, on the winds of a cool breeze felt upon his scorched forehead. He found himself in the deepest blackness longing for that seemingly magical touch, the only thing capable of fighting off the all-consuming fires. As ages came and went, and it felt as though no time had passed, he slowly became aware, sensing his body's struggle as it thrashed apparently of its own accord./br

br

He could feel the ponderous weight of blankets upon his body, and it was too much for him, he tried to shrug them off, yet his body did not possess the strength. With eyes too heavy to open he groaned in frustration, the sound reaching his ears as a dry and raspy croak. Without warning the blankets were drawn back, bearing his burning body to the cool air. Almost instantly he began to shiver, but it was a welcomed relief from the living flames. /br

br

At times he was almost positive he had heard voices, though he knew not what they said to him, or if they were even real. He let it wash past him, not caring about their potential importance. One voice among the others pulled at him, whispered secret things, which he almost wished to know. Something deep within his soul tugged whenever he heard the speaker, and he spent much time pondering at it. It was as though he floated, held down to nothing, not even the body he sometimes felt, fighting against some unknown assailant. Yet when she spoke—he was almost positive it was a she—he suddenly found himself tied into this struggling body./br

br

He wanted to call out to her, see her face, discover what it was that effected him so; but he could not gain mastery over his errant body, all the while nothing more than a mere passenger. Having no way of knowing the true passage of time, he began to notice the changes in himself. Slowly the flames did recede, though not aided by that magical touch. And as sleep and dreams returned so too did strength and an interest in the world around him. /br

br

With frustratingly slow movements he opened his eyes, seeing the room about him for the first time. It took several moments for his eyes to focus, and he felt dangerously vulnerable during that time, despite the fact that had anything been going to happen to him, it already would have. When finally he could see, shock met him. The room was nothing that he expected it to be, having grown and lived among Spartan accommodations; these excessive fineries were loud to his eyes. It was an effort as his body felt as though it was weighted with lead, but he pushed himself up, trying to gain a better view of the room surrounding him./br

br

Sweat soaked his shirt, and as his one hand lightly touched at the damp material, he noted the IV dripping clear fluids into his body. ~iWhere am I?/i~ he wondered silently, eyes scanning the room with a clearer head behind them, but he could find no answers. A door at the end of his bed opened, and all of his attention was firmly locked upon the one who entered. It was a woman, perhaps a few years older than himself. She wore a white lab coat, signalling to him that she was some form of medic or technician, in either case he did not trust her./br

br

"I'm glad to see you're awake…" she breathed, coming to a spot at the foot of his bed, a wan smile touching her features./br

br

"Who are you? And where am I?" he managed to demand despite his dangerously dry throat. /br

br

"My name is Sally Po, and you are in a secured location," she told him simply enough./br

br

Although her answer had been forthright, he did not trust her, something about this did not seem right. Yet so much of the last few days? weeks? had been a complete blur to him, he could only remember brief flashes. "I've never heard of a Sally Po," he growled, eyes narrowing suspiciously./br

br

That ghost of a smile returned, "That doesn't surprise me. There were a lot of medics at the base, and you were not one of my patients."/br

br

"Tell me where I am?"/br

br

Sally took a step towards him, causing his body to tense, "I've told you already, you're in a secured location, Draken thought it best you be moved. I was sent along to tend to you, you received a gunshot wound several days ago, do you remember that?"/br

br

"Wh…" confusion, and frustration filled him in turns, at her continued evasive answers. Nevertheless his mind did become aware of a dull ache radiating from his right arm. Glancing over his eyes were met with thick bandages surrounding the upper part of his arm. So that much of what she said was true./br

br

"You developed a rather nasty infection in the wound, and I've been fighting it for several days. How do you feel now?" Sally had come around to the side of the bed, and seemed ready to sit upon the edge, but held herself back at the last minute. /br

br

"Fine," he answered roughly, eyes wanting to drop into a glare. /br

br

"If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to look you over and make sure," she said. He opened his mouth to object, not wanting this woman any closer to him, but she had been ready for that. "This is standard procedure, as I'm sure you're more than aware."/br

br

Caught by the truth of her words, he nodded his head, though his face lost none of its wary light. Sally took a seat upon the edge of the bed, and lifted his left wrist into her warm hand glancing at her watch to time his pulse. It was an effort to resist the urge to pull the hand away but somehow he managed. "Just relax," she bade softly pulling a penlight from her coat pocket and flashing it briefly across his eyes./br

br

The rest of her examination went without incident; he never took his eyes off Sally as she worked, and he answered her question with as few words as possible. It struck him suddenly like a punch to the gut, that this somehow felt familiar, as she was rebinding his right arm. The thought was like a piece of brittle glass, and as he reached for it, it shattered. However he did know it was not just this position—being tended to by a medic, something that had happened more than once in his life—no it was the woman./br

br

His eyes studied her intently, though he was trying not to make it obvious. He was positive he had never been near her before, so the question was, what was so familiar? Trying to see it from more than one angle did nothing to help him find answers, and he found his frustration returning. Despite his best efforts to keep his searching secret Sally noticed, and her eyes locked on his face. "Do I remind you of someone?" she asked innocently, though the words almost seemed tinged with…hope./br

br

This was making progressively less sense to him, and he was having a hard time reigning in his anger. "No," he answered, his tone sounding bitter, "Are iyou/i sure I've never seen you before?" he could not help but question in return./br

br

Something flashed within her eyes at that, but it was gone too fast for him to name it, "You, yourself said you didn't know me…" she trailed off as though hoping he would add to that in some way./br

br

"I…know…" he stared openly at her face, trying to grasp that which would not come within his reach ~iWho is she?!/i~ His left hand made its way to his forehead, as he shut his eyes, trying with every ounce of his strength to answer his question. "Who are you!!" /br

br

"Shh…" she soothed, resting a hand lightly upon his shoulder, "It will come back to you…I didn't think you had suffered a head injury…can you tell me your name?"/br

br

His head shot up at that, and his eyes flickered dangerously to her hand touching him, she withdrew it, and he answered. "Triton Bloom…"/br

br

An alternate emotion than the first nameless one passed across her eyes then, and he wanted to reach out and shake the answers out of her. "Triton," she seemed to settle on the name, "I can tell you want answers but I'm not sure you're ready to hear what I have to say…" An alternate emotion than the first nameless one passed across her eyes then./br

br

Triton's head shot up then, and he knew his eyes were burning intensely, "Tell me what you know!" he demanded./br

br

Sally watched him for several moments; it was obvious a part of her wanted to speak, yet she still hesitated. The battle was quickly won, and the medic came to her feet and walked to a small table resting not far from his bed. "What do you remember of Trowa Barton?"/br

br

"He was a terrorist," Triton told her darkly, something in him instantly becoming defensive at the mention of that name./br

br

"And what happened to him?"/br

br

"I killed him," this should all have been common knowledge to someone who worked with the organisation./br

br

She came back over carrying a folder in one hand and something he could not quite make out in the other. Without a word she handed him the folder, which he quickly flipped open. It was information on Trowa Barton, including a picture; it was a face he remembered well, the shock, which had lined it at the moment of his death. He turned his attention towards Sally; "I know all this."/br

br

Hesitating, her fingers brushed along the edges of the other item she held, before she finally passed it to him. Triton took the object and looked at it, seeing nothing but a matte black rectangle, his fingers noticed the change in texture from front to back, and he flipped the rectangle over. What his eyes saw stopped his breath, and stole all the feeling from his body. The mirror dropped from nerveless fingers, to lay in his lap, and although he could no longer see into it, what he had seen was forever etched into his mind./br

br

"I…it's…not possible…" his voice trembled, eyes still seeing the face of Trowa Barton staring back at him from the reflective surface. "It… can't be!"/br

br

"I'm sorry Trowa--"/br

br

"I'm not him!!" Triton barked harshly, "I killed him!!"/br

br

"But surely you remember…" Sally pleaded./br

br

"I remember him dying at my feet! What have you people done to me?!"/br

br

Tears stood out at the edges of her large eyes, "We've done nothing to you Trowa," she rushed on not letting him cut in. "It was Draken who did this, he's made you forget…but you must remember some things, you recognised me…"/br

br

"I refuse to believe this!" he cried shaking his head, as a trembling hand reached down to throw the offending object across the room, and it shattered like his memories so long ago…/br

br

"Trowa I…" Sally reached out a hand for him but did not touch./br

br

"Get out of here!!" he roared with all his strength, his entire body shaking, not accepting any of this. Curling in on himself Triton tried not to think; to forget what he had seen, but it was no use. He lay there on his side in a tight ball willing himself to slip into oblivion and escape from all this, and was not aware when Sally finally left./br

br

center***/center/br

br

Sally dropped against the door, no longer able to hold back, she did not however allow herself this weakness for long. Nothing could be accomplished with tears; they had to discuss what next to do, to help bring Trowa back. His vague remembrance of her was enough to assure Sally, the memories were still there, they only needed to be drawn out. Scrubbing the tears from her eyes the doctor strode down the hall, towards the room where the others patiently waited for word on Trowa's condition. /br

br

It had not been easy to convince them it would be better if just she went in when Trowa woke. Midii more than the others objected to this plan, but everyone wanted to see that he was alright. She had wanted to ease him into the information as much as possible, but that had just not been possible; she had been unable to keep up the charade. It would have helped greatly to know what had caused him to fall in on this new name, but he was not likely to talk now leaving them with few options. /br

br

She took a moment outside the living room to collect her thoughts and school her features; she wanted to carefully discuss this before she had them racing to Trowa's room. They were all on edge, what with this and Quatre, it was the proverbial worst case scenario, the young blond had slipped into a coma, and was not showing any signs of improvement. Sally forced the thoughts from her mind, she needed to stay focused on the one thing she might just be able to change, though even that was not looking all together promising./br

br

Walking into the silent room, Sally instantly felt all eyes locked on her, and she quickly closed the door behind her, and leaned against it. Midii was on her feet instantly; "Sally?" she questioned her tone of voice conveying what she could not find words for./br

br

"He's awake," she began softly./br

br

"And?" Duo prompted./br

br

"He truly thinks he's Triton Bloom…" pulling a hand down her face Sally continued, "Not all hope is gone. He does seemed to have some feelings of remembrance at least…"/br

br

"What do you mean?" Heero asked, his face calmly stoic, though his eyes were betraying just how much he wanted good news./br

br

"He thought we had met before, but as Triton Bloom, he's never seen me before in his life."/br

br

Midii was shaking her head, "I don't understand how he could think this…Triton was his name as a child right?" Sally nodded in response, "Wouldn't he have a blank gap where all his memories of Trowa should have been?"/br

br

"It was easy for Draken to create memories for Trowa when he was in VR, with no way to tell he wasn't in reality, it was all to easy for him to fall into this alternate persona." The doctor looked tiredly from one face to another./br

br

Duo was drumming his fingers on a table, unconsciously signalling his discomfort; "Does he know he's Trowa?"/br

br

"Yes…I guess…" she glanced away remembering the looked on the former pilots face when he looked into the mirror./br

br

"How'd he take it?" Wufei inquired, speaking for the first time./br

br

"About as good as you could expect when you're looking at the face of a man you killed and has no part of you…" Silence fell upon the room then, as it hit home for all of them, just what they were up against. "If only we knew what caused him to run from Trowa…"/br

br

"Well how should we proceed from here?" The Chinese man voiced the question they all wanted answered. And it was just the one Sally didn't think she could answer./br

br

She sighed, "Honestly, I'm not sure. I've never dealt with anything like this before…"/br

br

"We should talk to him," Heero suggested, what else was there to do?/br

br

"You didn't see his face Heero…I don't think talking is going to help, he's completely lost right now."/br

br

"I have to see him."/br

br

All eyes turned to Midii, "I'm not so sure that's a good idea," Sally said finally./br

br

"I think I have too…" she never raised her voice above a half whisper, but there was something in the tone that pulled at them all, and convinced Sally to step away from the door./br

br

Thanks for reading, I've got in the habit of giving you readers a little taste of the next chapter…unfortunately I don't have anything prepared right now…but you have certainly look forward to cuteness between Midii and Trowa ^_^/br

br

Morganeth Taren'drel/br