Author: Anria Lalumin
Warnings: language, angst, sap, humour, shounen ai and yaoi later on

Lizards = thoughts/emphasis
::Lizards:: = sound effects

Trust + Part 9

Duo and Zechs made their way through the majority of the hallways without any incidences. A few times they had to hide from groups of men running in the direction they were and so presumably towards the fighting, but luckily no one spotted them.

Duo led the way, sometimes scouting ahead briefly before returning to Zechs' side. The blond man began growing more and more tense as they neared the area he had said the hangar entrances should be, half-expecting to be completely wrong about it. The sound of gunfire grew louder and louder as they neared their destination, and as they came to a large intersection Duo held up his hand for Zechs to wait and crept forwards, peering around the corner.

There was a wide grin on his face as he turned back to the taller man. "Looks like you were right," he whispered. "That's the hangars, all right."

Zechs raised an eyebrow at him, ignoring his sudden feeling of relief. "What's the plan now, oh omniscient one?"

"Hey, I had to work off your information," Duo chuckled. "Since we've got uniforms, sneaking would only look suspicious at this point, so we just act like we're supposed to be there. Stuff our hair down the back of our shirts, and we should be good to go."

"Hiding in plain sight?"

"That's the general idea."

They shared a sharp-edged grin, both knowing the plan was tenuous at best. Zechs' gut was in knots as they rounded the corner at a jog, balancing on a fine edge between exhilaration and utter terror.

The door they were heading for was halfway along the corridor towards the hangar end, the guns firing at the end of the corridor and shouted orders covering up the sound of their approach. It was somewhere between a few seconds and an eternity before they reached the door, Duo yanking it open and dragging Zechs in after him.

"Phew, that was lucky," Duo said, eyeing the empty room as the door clicked shut behind them. "Don't quite know what I'd have done if there were people in here."

Zechs stared at him. "You . . . didn't have a plan for that?"

Duo snorted. "If I did, I would've told you. Come on, where are these vents?"

The vents turned out to be hidden behind a few piles of empty crates, which Duo moved far enough away for them to take the metal grating off the edge. The large circles of metal led directly out into the hangar, and were more than big enough for both of them to fit through.

"Hey, I can see into the hangar!" the brunet man said, peering down the vent. Turning around, he grinned at Zechs. "I guess the OZ people who authorised this figured they'd irritate the officers who wanted their modern comforts," he said. "Talk about noise pollution!"

Zechs grinned back. "Glad you approve of my idea. They got what they wanted, though: a breeze. It just so happened to be from the planes."

Duo blinked and stared at him, before a slow smile spread across his face in place of the grin. "Sneaky, Z-babe," he chuckled. "Veeeery sneaky." Hoisting himself up to the vent's rim, he slung his gun across his back on its strap. "Come on, let's get out of here."

"Z-babe again?" Zechs responded, clambering awkwardly after the smaller man.

"You gotta have nicknames," Duo responded in a near-whisper from the other end of the vent. "Aha, found it," he muttered, carefully unscrewing the grate as quietly as he could. Zechs waited behind the other man in a crouch, letting Duo take stock of the situation at the best way forwards.

"It looks like we're at the quiet end," Duo murmured after a few minutes. "Most of the fighting is going on to our right, but unless we come up with a big and I do mean big distraction, we're not getting out of here that easily."

Zechs frowned and thought hard. "Can you see any equipment lying around here?" he asked. "Explosives, grenades . . . it would be too much to ask for a jeep, I suppose," he added to himself.

"How about three jeeps?" Duo said, making Zechs' head jerk up in surprise. The brunet man grinned at him, slipping quietly out of the vent (and when did he take the grate off, anyway? Zechs wondered) and to the ground. "It looks like we're mostly hidden behind a cache of weaponry and standard vehicles."

Zechs eased himself to the ground, carefully manoeuvring so that he wouldn't knock his broken arm. "Perfect," he replied, scanning the rest of the hangar.

To their right lay the hallway entrance he and Duo had sneaked past, boasting a barricade of upturned metal crates and holding strong. Their former captors were firing on both the hangar opening and the hallway entrance directly opposite them, which looked to have been taken over by Preventer agents. They couldn't make a break for it through the gunfire, and the only route to the blockade the Preventers had taken over would lead them directly out into said gunfire. Not to mention that if they ran towards them dressed as the enemy, they would be shot at.

"Do you think you can rig up a jeep or two to accelerate towards the Blackbirds and blow when they hit them?" Zechs asked, gesturing towards the blockade to the right of them. "It's the quickest solution I can think of."

Duo shrugged, linking his hands behind his head. "That's easy," he said. "You don't even have to set them to blow, they'll do it themselves if you get up a good enough speed. Problem is, all the jeeps are facing the wrong way, and it'd take at least two to knock that thing down."

"And once the first one has gone, we'll lose the element of surprise," Zechs mused, then straightened. "Nothing for it, then we'll have to drive one each towards them and jump out at the last minute."

Duo looked torn between an adrenaline-junkie grin, and concern. "Are you sure you can make it out in time with that arm?" he asked.

Zechs gave him a withering look. "Please. I might be injured, but I'm not weak."

Duo eyed him speculatively, then nodded. "You're the boss."

"Funny, you've been the one leading."

"Well, the guy giving the orders is a little incompetent, you know?"

"He only seems that way because you don't understand the reasoning behind his orders."

Duo rolled his eyes at Zechs as they made their way along to the jeeps, carefully keeping behind the assorted piles of weaponry and other junk piling up in the hangar. "Keep trying, Z-babe, you'll grow a sense of humour one day."

"If it's anything like yours, I think I'll pass."

Duo snorted. "You take the right of the barricade, I'll take the left, okay?"

Zechs nodded. "Okay."

Duo insisted on going first, slithering across the seats of both jeeps to carefully hotwire them. When they were both seated, hunched down to avoid notice until the last minute with the rumble of the jeeps' engines masked by the gunfire around them, Duo held up one hand and slowly folded the fingers down. His heart pounding in his chest, Zechs slammed the car into gear with his free hand before whirling the steering wheel and shoving the accelerator peddle to the floor.

The jeep jerked forwards and turned neatly to shoot like a bullet towards the Blackbirds' barricade. The blond man heard Duo speed up behind him, and suddenly realised the slight hole in his plan as a bullet whizzed past his head. Gritting his teeth, he prayed that the bullets would avoid him and Duo and held on until the last minute before diving sideways out of the open door. He rolling as he landed, wincing as the fall jarred his arm not to mention the rest of him.

Something warm slumped onto his back, but Zechs had no time to discover what it was as both jeeps crashed into the barricade.

[part 8] [part 10] [back to Anria's fic]