We went deep into the farmlands, to a house that Quatre had found for us, normally used by politicians for clandestine meetings. By the time we had reached it, the gnawing pain had grown until I could barely walk. The only comfort I had was that Wufei had begun to regain consciousness, waking up long enough to ask for a cup of tea before falling back into an exhausted sleep he couldn't be woken from.
The house was sturdy, made of brick and wood. Heero tried to help me out of the car Noin had loaned to us. Trowa stepped in front of him, staring at him until he backed down, then suggested that he help Quatre unload our supplies. I should have been surprised by that, but everything hurt too much to think.
So it was Trowa that I used as support to get inside. He led me down the hall, to a small bedroom in the back. It was empty except for an old mattress that took up most of the floor.
"I only wish I could take your pain from you," he said.
I tried to laugh. "I wish you could as well. Or better yet, we could give it to someone that deserves it."
He helped me sit down on the mattress. "This was the best I could do. We should really send you to a hospital, Duo, but I didn't think you would agree. And I don't want to leave you in the hands of strangers."
I nodded. "I knew this was coming the moment they...came at me with the needle. I kind of hoped for it, you know, because it would mean that I was alive and free."
"I don't know how long it'll take or how much it'll hurt. But we will be here through it all, and we will watch over you."
I lay down on the mattress, slowly like I was a hundred years old. It didn't help the pain at all. "Thank you."
Trowa touched my forehead briefly, his eyes clouded with remembered pain. "I believe in your strength."
I chuckled. "I hope by the time this is done, I still do as well."
There wasn't anything left to say; he stood and walked out, closing the door behind him. There was the loud 'snick' of a lock sliding into place. I stared at the water stain on the wall, and let the pain wash over me as the drug drained from my system.
And so I was trapped behind walls that would not yield and a door that wouldn't open, wouldn't let me run out to search for a way to end the need that turned every cell in my body to searing fire. I pounded on those walls with bloody fists and left fingernail gouges in the wood of the door.
In one terrible, downward rush, I lost my mind.
Once, I heard Trowa and Heero arguing. I heard the doorknob rattle, and a scuffle. I heard Quatre yelling, and more angry words from Heero. I heard footsteps pace.
And then I heard nothing at all but my own agonized screaming for a long, long time.