After the war ended the pilots, or at least Duo, had always made it a point to joke about crazy things they had done or about the injuries they had gotten during the war when they had their weekly get togethers. The usual comments were “I do NOT have a scar on the inside, Duo!” or “You asked me to punch you! Did you really need to hit back that hard?!” or maybe even, “So are male acrobats usually shirtless or are you just being used for fanservice Tro?” One time there was even, “Wait, Heero played fetch with dogs using a pineapple!?” “I couldn’t find a stick.”
Needless to say, their weekly get togethers were never boring.
One thing that was always brought up, mostly by Duo, had to do with Heero. It was:
“Ya know, it always amazes me that Ro doesn’t have any permanent damage from the time that he blew himself up. The man’s one lucky bastard.”
The comment would be met with agreements from the others, sans Heero of course.
Apparently the comment turned out to be false as they would later find out.
Quatre was the first one to notice that something was wrong with Heero.
It was Tuesday, a day that the two pilots normally got together for lunch. The two were running a few errands that Quatre needed to do before the two of them went to a cafe that the CEO was wanting to try. On their way to the cafe, they passed by a bakery that had some freshly baked pies and cobblers cooling in the window, the smell from them coming out from the door as they passed.
“Oh, wow. Doesn't that smell delicious, Heero?” He said, his full attention to the baked goods. When the other didn’t reply back, that’s when he noticed something.
The other pilot was no longer walking next to him. Concerned, he stopped walking and looked behind him to find his companion. Heero had stopped right in front of the bakery’s window, looking at the baked goods. Quatre took a closer look, seeing that Heero actually had a far off-look in his eyes. He walked over to him, waving a hand in front of his face.
“Heero?” He asked, trying to get the other’s attention. He was startled when he saw a signal tear go down his face.
“Heero?” He tried again, shaking the other this time. It seemed to do the trick for Heero came back to reality, the far-off look in his eyes receding as he blinked a few times. When he was fully back to reality, he looked at Quatre.
“I’m sorry Quatre. Were you saying something?” He questioned.
“Heero are you alright?” Quatre questioned instead.
“I am. Why do you ask?” Heero said, tilting his head some.
“Because you spaced out on me and started to cry.” The blond stated. This caused the other to blink.
“I did?” He asked. He brought a hand to his face, surprised when he felt the wet streak. How come he hadn’t felt that till now?
“Heero, are you sure that you’re alright?” The other questioned. He was still clearly worried about what happened.
“I’m sure Quatre. I’m sorry I worried you.” He answered, starting to walk again. Quatre walked with him, deciding to let the issue drop for the moment.
Though he did later go back and bought Heero the cobbler that his gaze had seemed stuck on, much to Heero’s chagrin.
Trowa was the second person to notice that something was going on with Heero.
It was a Wednesday that found the two at the circus that Trowa helped out at. The taller of the two had some time before he had to go to rehearsal, so he suggested walking around the grounds for a bit to pass the time. Heero agreed, saying that it was a good idea.
“Hey, are you hungry for anything?” Trowa asked, looking at the other pilot.
Heero thought for a moment, “I could go for something to eat.” He answered.
Trowa nodded at the answer and headed over to a nearby food stand, coming back a couple of minutes later with something for the both of them. He handed one of the hand sized baskets to the other.
“Thanks. What did you get us?” The Japanese pilot questioned, accepting the basket.
“Deep fried oreos.” He replied, sitting down on a nearby bench with the other, “They’re pretty good, I sneak them when I can.”
Heero shook his head, not even wanting to know if Trowa was serious or not. He picked up an oreo, looking it over before eating it. Trowa was already eating his, his attention diverted away from the other pilot. He had finished his second cookie before he remembered about the other.
“So how do you like them?” Trowa inquired, popping another cookie into his mouth. He didn’t get an answer right away, assuming that the Japanese pilot was eating another cookie so he wasn’t bothered by it. Though when he didn’t hear anything for a couple of minutes, he got worried and looked at his friend. Heero was staring out into space, an oreo hanging limply between his index and middle finger. Trowa remembers Quatre mentioning that Heero had spaced out the last time the two of them were out together. He believes that this is another one of those moments.
“Heero?” He questioned, poking the other in the cheek. He didn’t receive an answer but he did get a bit of a scare when he noticed a tear go down Heero’s cheek.
“Heero?” He shook the other this time. It did the trick since Heero snapped back into reality a few minutes later. He blinked, looking at Trowa.
“Did you say something Trowa?” He asked. ‘Please tell me I didn’t space out again…’
“Are you okay Heero?” Trowa countered.
“Yes. Why are you asking?” Heero replied. He wouldn’t admit it, but he was dreading the answer.
“Because you spaced out on me then proceeded to cry.” The Russian stated.
“I did?” He questioned. He touched his face, feeling the new wet streak, ‘Damn it. Not again…’ What the hell was going on?
“Are you sure you’re okay?” He asked. He was concerned at this point.
“I’m sure. Come on, let’s get these finished. You got a rehearsal to go to remember?” He answered, going back to eating the oreos. Trowa let it drop, eating his own oreos.
After the rehearsal, he did get a stuffed white tiger from one of the game booths for Heero. The plush toy spent the rest of the day in Heero’s jacket.
Duo and Wufei were the third ones to notice that something was wrong with Heero.
It was Thursday and the three of them were at a quaint tea shop that Wufei was wanting to look around at. Thankfully for Duo the shop did sell different types of coffee as well, much to the enjoyment of the coffee addict. Though Heero did have to make sure that the two didn’t kill each other.
“Are you crazy Wuffers? Coffee is way more better than lousy old tea.” Duo said.
“Tea’s healthier for the body and it’s easier to make than coffee.” Wufei countered, looking over a container of green tea.
Duo rolled his eyes, “Ro, back me up here. Tell Fei that coffee is obviously better than plain old tea.”
Wufei shook his head, “Yuy, please inform Maxwell that he wouldn’t crash so much at work if he drank more tea instead of coffee.”
The two waited for a cue from the other to see who he would agree with. When they didn't hear anything for a couple of minutes, they both turned to looked at their comrade. Heero had stopped listening to them, his gaze stuck on a couple of mint leaves that were in his hand. When the two looked closer, they noticed that their friend was spaced out completely.
“Ro?” “Yuy?” Duo and Wufei asked at the same time. Duo waved his hand in front of Heero’s face while Wufei shook him as an attempt to get their friend’s attention. The two of them ended up receiving a shock when they saw two tears going down Heero’s face.
“Heero?” They tried again, doubling their efforts. It took them a good solid five minutes before Heero returned to reality. Before either one of them could ask if he was alright, the Japanese pilot dropped the leaves he was holding. He made his way to the front, paid for his items, and hurried out the door of the shop. Duo and Wufei just stood there, confused by the events that had transpired.
“What the fuck just happened here…?”
“Your guess is as good as mine, Maxwell.”
“I’m suffering from some brain damage.”
Well, that’s certainly not what the pilots were expecting Heero to tell them when the four had cornered him in his office that Friday. They all stared at him in shock, taking the time to process the announcement. About 15 minutes passed before the next move was made.
“F-For how long…?” Quatre questioned, being the first one to break the silence.
“Since the war.” Heero replied.
Duo ran his hands through his bangs, sitting down in one of the chairs that was in the office, “Shit, Ro… When did it even happen man?”
“I’m positive it happened when I tried to self destruct during the war. I was flung from a great distance from the explosion and landed head first.” Heero clarified, lacing his fingers together.
“How bad is it?” Trowa quizzed.
“It’s effecting my memories, especially the ones of before the war. I have a hard time remembering things about the people who were close to me before I became a pilot. It’s like the memories are there, I just can’t really remember them right off the bat. I’ve noticed that certain smells trigger those memories back to me.” Heero elaborated.
“So that time we went by the bakery?”
“It gave me a memory of my mom in the kitchen. I was helping her bake a cobbler.”
“And that time at the circus?”
“A memory of my dad, my brother and I. We were at a fair or something and dad gave us fair food for dinner.”
“What about the time you, Maxwell, and I were at the tea shop?”
There was silence for a few minutes, “It was… a memory of a childhood friend I was close with. I think she might still be around but I can’t remember her in clear detail like I can with my brother.”
There was silence again for about 10 minutes until..
“Wait, you have a brother?!” The four of them exclaimed.
“Yes. He’s older than me by five years.” He responded.
“Well that settles it!” Duo determined, standing up and slamming his hand down on Heero’s desk, “We’re gonna to help our buddy Ro find his older brother and his childhood friend!”
“You guys don’t have to-” Heero started, only to get cut off.
“You’re right, we don’t have to but we want to. You’re our friend Heero. This is important for you and we’re going to help you.” Quatre stated.
“We’re gonna be there for ya every step of the way.” Duo added. Heero looked shocked then turned to face Trowa and Wufei, who both nodded in agreement. A small smile graced his face.
“Thank you. All of you.”
“No problem buddy.”