Author: Anria Lalumin
Feedback: I'm a whore for it.
Title: Trust 1/?
Disclaimer: Not mine, duh. Don't sue. The minimum number of words required to get the meaning across.
Warnings: language, angst, sap, humour, shounen ai and yaoi later on.
Pairings: Well, there's Duo . . . and there's Zechs . . . and at the moment they're not getting along, but that's what meddling authors are for, ne?
Dedicated to: Karen from KanaDUH, because she's such a great pal. ^^

Lizards = thoughts/emphasis

Trust + Part 1

Oww. . . .

The first thing Duo became aware of was the pounding in his skull. The second was that it wasn't a hangover, and the rough surface beneath his cheek wasn't his bed -- or his carpet. He groaned and brought a hand up to his head, gingerly feeling the lump at the back of his scalp.

Okay . . . sit up now.

As he attempted to do just that, he found that the world was suddenly a dizzy place, even when pitch black. Feeling nausea building up, and slumped back onto the floor of . . . wherever he was.

He had a million questions to ask. However, all that came out was "Wha. . . .?"

He wasn't expecting an answer. He got one. "You're finally awake."

The voice, smooth as it was, jarred the demon in his head into full awareness, so that where it had had idly thumping pain, he now had a full brass band equipped with concert level speakers in his head. Duo shut his eyes tightly, wincing, and clamped his hands to his head. A soft, whimpered, "Ow. . . ." made its way past his tightly clenched jaw as he prayed fervently to whatever god there might be that the other person in the room with him would refrain from speaking until his migraine-in-the-making calmed down.

There was a god. Whoever it was -- although Duo had the feeling he knew him since the voice was familiar -- not well known, but familiar -- had been kind enough to not make any noise that would set his head to pounding once again.

Eventually the blinding pain subsided into a dull, thudding ache, and slowly Duo felt he could sit without having to throw up.

They must've really knocked me a good one. . . . Usually nothing keeps me down like this. . . . Carefully manoeuvring his hands to rest palm down on the ground beside him, he slowly levered himself to his hands, tucking his knees under him, and then equally carefully and slowly turned over so he was sitting. His fuddled brain managed to make the leap of intellect required to process that the material he was now sitting on was metal brick, the kind in the old OZ prisons.

For a moment he wondered if he had dreamed the end of the war, if he had woken up in an OZ prison and it was just his wishful thinking that had brought the past four years to life, and then dismissed that as a fantasy. He was probably in one of the old OZ bases that Une had decided were not worth the effort and upheaval of destroying, and since most of those were in the middle of urbanised areas, he was probably in a city somewhere. Now all he had to do was remember what had last happened before he'd been knocked unconscious.

"Feeling better now?"

Damn, that voice intruding again. Duo frowned, then winced as that simple facial manoeuvre made the throbbing in his head flare up a moment more. Luckily, the voice itself wasn't causing a severe onset of pain any more. "A bit," he rasped out to the other occupant of the cell, wondering whether it was friend or foe, and why his instincts told him it was a mixture of each.

He rubbed his forehead, suddenly determined not to think about it. Thinking hurt. "Any idea where we are?"

"Most likely in the part of the Victoria base that wasn't demolished."

He didn't refer to it as the OZ Victoria base. That was all Duo could think of. The only people who didn't make the distinction were former OZ personnel themselves, and he didn't know many of those, so how come the voice was familiar?

Duo winced, scrunching his eyes up tight. "Thinking hurts," he whimpered, barely aware he spoke out loud.

A deep, soft chuckle rolled through the room, and amazingly calmed his headache rather than inflaming it. "I'd heard thinking wasn't your strong suit," the stranger said.

"Wha -- Hey! Who told you that?" Now given a reason to ignore the pain in his head, ignore it he did, sitting bolt upright and peering around in the gloom. Okay, now for observation number three: it's too dark.

The stranger was silent now. Duo peered in the general direction he thought the voice had come from, eyes rapidly adjusting to the dark the way they always did, and thought he caught a glint of something pale. Either skin, clothes or hair. Or all three. Whatever it was, it was the stranger.

"Who're you?" Duo demanded suspiciously.

"You don't recognise me? I'm insulted."

"I can't see you. If I can't see you, how the hell do you expect me to recognise you?"

The stranger sighed. "You must've been hit harder than I thought. We were on a mission together? For the Preventers? At the Victoria base? We were attacked? We were put here? Tu te comprends?" [1]

Duo frowned, trying to remember. He remembered being disgruntled about the mission, or rather, who he would be going with, but he couldn't remember who that was or anything about the mission.

"Can't remember a damn thing," he declared cheerfully, reasoning that if he got a feeling of mistrust and annoyance when he thought of the stranger, then it was his solemn duty to be as irritating as possible.

"Ch'," the other man sighed. "Baka."

"Hey, who're you calling an idiot? If it was my fault we got in this mess, I would damn well have remembered!" It was the truth, too. He always remembered his mistakes, like it was some sort of divine punishment, that he always remember even the stupid little things and feel utterly mortified by them.

The other man snorted and shifted in the dark room. Duo couldn't see it, but he could hear it.

"Hey, are you gonna give me your name or what?"

No reply.

"Well then, I'll just have to think of one for you. How 'bout -- " Duo's poor abused brain was saved from having to think up a suitably annoying nickname by the timely opening of the door. It crashed against the wall outside with a loud clang, forcing an involuntary whimper from Duo's lips.

In a patently unnecessary melodramatic gesture, a tall, stately male figure stood silhouetted from behind in the now-open doorway. The man walked into the cell, and spoke.

"I'm very sorry about this," he said, "but we had to place you here temporarily while more suitable accommodation was prepared. Please come this way."

Who the hell does he think he is, a hotel manager? Duo, for once in his life, refrained from blurting his initial thoughts out loud, and got to his feet shakily.

The other person in the cell with him was speaking in the same cultured tones as the new stranger. "And might I ask why we have been detained in such a manner? I do not recall having an appointment that involves being thrown into a cell while 'more suitable accommodation' is made ready."

The other man sighed, somewhat melodramatically. Jeez, are they all drama queens? Duo wondered. "I'm afraid you will have to be regrettably detained for a while, at least until our demands are met. If you presence here does not spur someone into action, I'm sure Heero Yuy would take an interest in his friend's well-being."

Oh, fuck. Of all the people I have to get whacked on the head by, it would have to be a psycho terrorist faction. Bad karma, I suppose -- there was a time when I was the psycho terrorist faction.

The man gestured to the cell door. "If you would step this way, gentlemen?"

Duo had a sudden urge to flatten himself against the wall and growl 'not bloody likely', but recognised that he could do more damage out of the cell than in.

It appeared his captor was a mind reader. "I would not advise any sudden moves, Mr Maxwell," he said. "My men are all heavily armed and well prepared for the moves of such a man as you."

The moves of such a man as me. . . . What the fuck?!

"Yeah, great, bring on out the champagne and dancing girls in welcome, why don't you," Duo muttered as, on stepping out of the cell, his arms were grabbed roughly, wrenched behind his back, and clamped in the irritating kind of restraints that stretched from elbow to wrist. Heh, at least OZ was kind enough to put these damn things on in front -- in back it damn well hurts!

Duo didn't even get the opportunity to find out who he was supposed to have been on the mission with, as he had the dubious honour of being at the front of their merry little band, frog-marched along cold military hallways into more decorative upper class hallways, both literally crawling with the kind of people who you just knew on looking at them belonged in a maximum security prison.

At least the décor's worth it,
Duo mused as one of the goons who felt it necessary to yank on his hair at infrequent intervals opened a door and shoved him through it, slamming him face up against the wall and holding him there to remove the cuffs. From what he could see of the room, gold leaf adorned the coving, and the wallpaper was a masterpiece in vine-work, while various pieces of furniture looked both ornate and comfortable. Duo calculated there were five people around him, two holding him against the wall and the other three most likely pointing rifles at his back, which kinda spoiled the whole 'antique delicacy and beauty' thing.

Joy.

After a moment, the pressure was removed from his arms and shoulders and the door shut with a decisive click of the lock. Duo slumped against the wall, trusting it to hold him up for the time it took him to persuade his head that really, he didn't need a blinding migraine right now.

Once he had gathered his wits enough to stand on his own two feet, he turned around and met the calm blue eyes of his mission partner, seated in one of the ornate chairs as though he had been born to place his royal ass there.

Then again, he had.

"Oh fucking hell, why did I have to get stuck here with you?"

~ End Part 1

Aren't I just so lovely?

[1] I believe Zechs is German, but damned if I know anything in that language, so I substituted French in -- and probably got the grammar wrong again. >.<

[part 2] [back to Anria's fic]