The sun was shining.
That in itself was an insult to the young man lying covered in bandages and blankets on an uncomfortable hospital bed. Attached to various tubes and immobilized by a cast on both legs, he couldn’t even move over to the window to close the curtains and hide the impossibly cheerful sight.
His scalp itched, a long, stray hair tickled his nose, the starched sheet rubbed at his sensitive, sun-burned skin and sometime during the night a part of the blanket had slipped between his legs and was now entangled in a most uncomfortable manner with the most important part of his anatomy. With his wrist strapped to the side of the bed, there was no way he could get any relief from any of these indignities. He pulled weakly at the restraints, but the pain shooting up from his broken and re-set fingers – all ten of them, mind you – reminded him of just why he was strapped in. He grumbled to himself in disgust at his condition.
The sun was shining.
Duo watched as the bright swathe of light wandered slowly over his blanket. Behind him, the machines watching over his recuperation were gurgling and burping softly to themselves. Outside the closed door of his room he could hear the normal hospital sounds – footsteps, murmurs, an occasional beeping of pagers.
At least this morning his head was clear enough to actually understand what was going on. Not like when he had been brought in several days ago: muddy, bloody, beaten and shot to hell and back, sunburned in more places than he wanted to think about, dehydrated and concussed. He’d had bad missions before, but this one certainly took the cake. Duo had only one consolation: they got the bastards.
Ok, to be honest, Heero got the bastards. By the time his partner arrived to rescue Duo from the less than tender clutches of a bunch of organ smugglers, the long haired Preventer was in no condition to help Heero with anything. Except to push the detonator buttons, that Duo had stashed inside his underwear, to blow up the warehouse – no matter how much his hands hurt, it was a question of pride – ok, and revenge for all the lovely torture - to send these bastards to hell. Heero took care of the rest.
A sudden warm feeling flooded Duo as he remembered with special fondness the screams of his most enthusiastic torturer. Even though unconsciousness was threatening to pull him into darkness, Duo had managed to stay awake long enough to watch as Heero proceeded to break not only every one of the guy’s fingers, but his wrists, elbows, lower and upper arms, collar bones, ribs and both legs in at least four places. Then Heero left the slimy son of a bitch lying there on the blood-smeared floor, calmly picked up Duo’s battered body, walked out the door of the abandoned office building that had been the smuggling ring’s headquarters and, standing outside in the pouring rain, pushed the last detonator button. Not until the building was busy disintegrating into its component pieces did Heero call for MedEvac. The small, satisfied smile on Heero’s face had accompanied Duo as he’d finally allowed unconsciousness to take him away from the pain.
The sun was shining.
But now it was also shining for all those kids that they had managed to free from the clutches of the organ smugglers. And for all those who would never again fall prey to that particular group of murderers, either nor on in the future.
All in all, it was worth every ache and pain, every broken bone and every pint of blood lost. Even the current discomforts were nothing against what they had achieved with this mission.
Duo smiled at the ray of sunlight lighting up his partner’s messy brown hair as Heero walked through the door, a paper bag full of heavenly scents in one hand and a tender smile on his face. No, it wasn’t just the missions, Duo thought as he melted under the deep, soul-scorching kiss that his partner, friend and lover shared with him, letting the love and joy at being alive rush through him as a healing balm better than any medicine. It was this love, this connection, this bond of absolute devotion between the two of them that made it all worth while.
Duo closed his eyes in bliss and let the sun continue to shine on him.