Author: Asuka Kureru
Warnings for that chapter: Errr…. Angst? Shounen Ai, 1+2+1, so cute.. *sigh* ........shoujo ai...? R+H+R ? (a first for me O_o)
My gosh! My Relena is ... nearly nice! O.O (*snort * joking. Nah, really, she's nice... ^__^; I'd even say... cute... In an abandonned poodle puppy kind of way... ^^;;;;; )

Garou + Part 22
Escape

Heero stalked out of the infirmary and began to walk along the building toward the dormitories, so fast he could as well have been openly running. Duo followed, his expression closed up, frowning, Hilde just behind him. Relena stayed in front of the infirmary's entry a few seconds, surprised, then they heard her begin to walk after the Japanese pilot.

"K'so," hissed Heero between his clenched teeth.

Duo let loose a little snort, but it was more to mark his support than because he really found it funny. With a little effort, Hilde came back to their level and bent her head toward them.

"Hey, tell me, the girl, is she who I think she is?" she whispered.

"Yep," answered her friend.

Heero gritted his teeth, and Hilde grimaced when she smelled the wolf in his scent. He was furious, and it made the animal rise to the surface level. She hoped that he wouldn't have hairs growing everywhere… still, he was covered from head to toe in the school's uniform, collar tightly closed and sleeves…

She slowed down to let the two boys pass her, then stepped on the side and slid between them. Duo gave her a surprised look, but Heero didn't even seem to notice her existence… till she put her hand on his elbow and pulled on his sleeve.

"Nani?"

"Unroll your sleeves, dummy, you've got fur growing," she whispered with as much authority as she could muster.
He glared, annoyed at her, but unrolled his left sleeve while she was taking care of unbuttoning the right one to pull it toward his wrist. Watching him carefully in case his temper wanted to assert itself, she pulled on his shirt's collar to hide his nape where hairs were growing, then tapped him lightly on the shoulder.

"There you are! Try to relax anyway…"

"Hn" was the only response she got.

Hilde hid her smile. She knew it was his way of thanking her without having to admit out loud that he had needed her at all.

* * *

Behind them, several meters away, Relena's eyes widened when she saw this unknown girl put her hands on Heero's elbow, then on his neck… and Heero let her touch him. She would have ran to block their way and ask for an explanation, why this girl had the right to touch him, why Heero refused to talk to her, or even to wait for her, why SHE had the right to come and see them… but they were walking too fast, she would have had to run after them. It was not a well-groomed lady's way. Probably worthy of a tomboy like the brunette, though.

"Heero, wait for me!" she called finally, trying not to sound too plaintive.

But her feet hurt and she was too tired to run after him and she felt hurt and confused to be so visibly rejected, so she miserably failed at it.

The Japanese boy tensed when they caught the whining call, and walked a little faster, something Hilde and Duo hadn't thought possible. The two friends glanced at each other, then had an amused smile, trying not to get shook off.

"Fuck, she ain't abandoning," muttered Duo after having glanced back, where the long-haired girl was still trying to rejoin them without looking like she was chasing them.

"How much are you willing to bet she'll follow us, even into the dormitories?" Hilde shot back in an amused voice.

"I do not bet when I am sure I'll lose," Heero growled back between his clenched teeth.

"Girls aren't allowed there," remarked Duo.

A menacing glare from the other two made him chuckle.

"Ok, I know, that wouldn't stop her…"

Hilde made some fast thinking. They were nearly at the dormitories, only one turn and they would be at the main door.

"Heero, Heero," she whispered insistently.

"What?" he answered, rather violently.

"As long as I am on your territory, I'm part of your pack, yanno," she remembered him.

The two Gundam pilots stared at her, slowing down a little.

"You can order me to keep her back while you're taking your things and escaping by the window, I'll have to obey."

Heero blinked, then a devious little smile appeared on his face.

"If I order you to make her leave the area fast and to accompany her back to her house?"

"… You really need to?" asked the young ex-soldier, making a face.

"Why do you think she found us?" asked the American, sounding unconcerned.

"Dunno… she's really rich? She has good connections?"

"Exactly. She has many people in her information net, some really very important people, and they're all loyal to her, that's why her information is much more sure than OZ's own, because OZ pays half of its informants and terrorizes the others, so it's bound to have some problems."

"OZ can't find you, but she can?"

"Yup," confirmed Duo. "In OZ's place, what would you do? Each time you spot a certain terrorist, there's this chick that just arrived hours or even days before you."

"I'd follow the chick," finished the brunette, understanding the depth of the problem.

"Good, now you understand," the American congratulated her.

"This is why you have to have her clear from the area. OZ will be there very shortly and I want to be sure she is as far as possible from here. That they can't find her and arrest her for associating with terrorists, that she doesn't risk being on the battleground and that we can run away without her following."

"Roger, commandant!" saluted the German girl, lifting a hand to her cap.

She firmly took her position in front of the building's entryway while the two boys disappeared into the hall.

* * *

During that time, Quatre had contacted Trowa to warn him of the unfortunate arrival… And the clown had answered that they hadn't been wrong to react so strongly to her. From his sources, Lady Une had suddenly left her base and was en route to the little town the boys were currently in, with a whole squad of soldiers and two dozen Mobil Suits. Some of the troops were already spreading to block the routes leaving the town, in half an hour at the most they would close in and the pilots would have to fight their way out.

Wufei and Sally were making the traces of her researches on Weres disappear, Wufei putting in her bag everything Sally gave him and the rest being thrown out, while discussing an evasion plan for her. Wufei was thinking about giving her a ride in one of the Gundams, but she highlighted the fact that it would be too much of a problem in case there was a combat and she would barely fit anyway, and especially, that they weren't looking for her right now. She had been undercover as a doctor for a month already, it would hold under a superficial examination. If she disappeared at the same time as them, people would notice and she would be bumped from the "diverse protestant and activist groups" list to "Gundams supporter group," which was much more dangerous. She would just wait for the agitation to disappear and then calmly hand in her notice. Like that, at least, she could keep that false ID a little bit longer. After that, she would meet them at their next hangout to continue her study.

"Sally, are you sure?" asked Quatre thoughtfully, seeing that Wufei was annoyed at her utter confidence in her plan.

Smiling mysteriously, she took a wig out of her drawer, same color as her hair but much longer, and put it on her head, then showed them the gun hidden under the desk.

"Go away, I know how to defend myself, I'm a soldier too."

Conceding the point, they left the young woman in her infirmary and hurried to the teachers' parking lot.

"Quatre..." called Wufei once they were in the parking lot, "Can ask a favor of you?"

"Yes?"

"I want us to take the Lit. teacher's car."

The Arab teen blinked.

"Errrr… why?"

"He gave me a bad mark for a test," answered Wufei, gravely. "That is a very big injustice."

The lithe blond burst out laughing and walked to a dark and quite large car that he found practical and not too conspicuous, Wufei following with a satisfied smirk on his face. He had succeeded in making his comrade relax slightly. Quatre's brain was going into overdrive fast and it was not very good.

Quatre shook his head and leaned forward to verify the type of lock. And after that, people still thought Wufei didn't have a sense of humor.

* * *

When Relena turned the wall's corner, it was to bump nose to shoulder with the brunette with the cap, who was leaning against the door of the building. Heero and his comrade were nowhere in sight; they had to be inside. She went to walk past the girl…

… said girl shot a hand forward and caught her forearm, preventing her from getting any farther.

"Let me go! I have to go see Heero!" Relena protested, trying to make her understand to which point it was important.

The brunette had an impish smile.

"It's the boy's dormitories, miss, girls aren't allowed inside. You want so much to see him changing clothes?"

"But… But no, not at all!!!" protested the young princess, suddenly scarlet.

"No, my left butt cheek… If you don't want to, you're strange, there's nothing wrong with wanting to ogle young, well-formed males…"

The ex-soldier had a dreamy smile, then shook her head. Relena frowned. She didn't know how to take that girl. She was acting friendly, but somewhat crude and vulgar, plus she was preventing her from going to Heero… but Relena had to admit that she wasn't in the wrong in doing so. What sort of girl went running after a boy even into his bedroom, apart from a desperate one? And desperate, she wasn't yet.

Not entirely, she admitted to herself with a tired sigh.

"Well, I'll wait for him here," she sighed, stopping on the other side of the girl.

Hilde grimaced. From what Duo had said, she had expected a bizarre and totally obsessed with Heero type of girl, and she was, but… There was such a need in her eyes, she seemed so vulnerable… Hilde could feel toward her something akin to sympathy. She resolved to present things to her in a softer way than she had first intended to.

After all Relena had will and was used to always having the last say, if she dug her heels over that, Hilde would have to transport her thrown across her shoulders, because she couldn't make her change her decision. And that would undoubtedly make things harder. She so didn't want to have to knock her out.

"Precisely, miss… He gave me a mission about you."

Relena spun toward her.

"… A mission…?" she repeated slowly, trying to understand if this word had been used by hazard or if the brunette was really aware of Heero's true identity.

"There's gonna be some heat, they have to confront OZ troops, he put me in charge of taking you to a shelter," she whispered, verifying that no one could hear them with a glance. "He can't take the liberty of losing time or attracting attention to himself by protecting you in person, it's too dangerous. We have to get away, fast."

The princess froze, staring at her with her eyes slowly widening.

"But… No one knows that they're here! I know, I verified before I came! I even verified that there wasn't too much activity… well, that they weren't doing anything special, just hiding … And there is nothing of interest for their adversaries here… So how did they know?" she asked, referring to OZ.

"Relena… You are a princess. Do you really think that, as discreet as you can be, you can walk around without being recognized? OZ knows that you know Heero, they know that you like him. So when you leave your house without any reason, without having an official meeting, without having announced that you were taking a vacation… What do you think they believe?"

The longhaired girl slowly lifter a hand to her mouth, horrified.

"They think you're going to meet Heero," Hilde hammered it home. "And they are nearly always right."

The young girl shook her head.

"But I verified… Nobody was following me!!"

"They're trained for filature work, you're not. And having one beacon on your car is enough."

"Oh my God… Oh my God…"

Hilde put a hand on her arm, compassionate.

"Yeah, I know… You didn't know, babe. But now we havta get moving and fast, before it turns bad and they give us problems. Where's your car?"

"A parking place a few streets away from the campus…" answered the princess, still all dazed by the shock.

"Ok, here we go," announced the short-haired girl, taking her by the arm to drag her in the direction she had indicated.

* * *

After having changed his uniform pants for black jeans, Duo slid a dagger in each boot, and tiny blades and lock picks in his braid, just against his nape, before taking off his uniform vest to put on his holster. He slid his gun under his arm, verified in a few moves that it was accessible but didn't risk falling, then slipped on his priest garb over it, leaving it half buttoned and sleeves unrolled to take some attention off its strangeness. Falling on his knees to peer under his bed, he grabbed his "essentials" bag, containing his laptop, a change of clothes and his weapons, and after having secured it on his back, turned toward Heero.

The werewolf was verifying the munitions in his own weapon, his legs already in a pair of jogging pants, his torso only adorned with his holster. It was a different model than Duo's. From the front, you only saw two leather straps around his shoulders. The weapon's sheath was situated at the small of his back, just over his waistband. Duo had to admit that his back was arched enough for it to work. When he was wearing a t-shirt or one of his green tanktops, the cloth fell just like it should to completely hide the weapon and the holster.

The two pilots finished equipping themselves with their weapons and turned in synch to the bags they had filled with their things and their comrades'. Fortunately, they were all used to leaving the important stuff packed, to be able to leave in a hurry and not have to lose time searching for their possessions, and it hadn't been too long to find the "important" bags to shrug them on, and the fill the "less important" bags, that they would keep in hand to be able to abandon them without losing anything irreplaceable if they had to run or fight. As for the things they had bought for this school, uniforms, books, they were leaving them behind with no problems.

"Do you think Hilde will be able to handle Relena?" asked Heero, wedging a bag under his arm.

Duo tore his eyes away from their contemplation of the arch of his comrade's back and answered, shrugging:

"Of course, Hilde is very competent, we can trust her. She's stubborn like a mule, Relena will have to fight hard with her, and contrary to me, she can even act vaguely diplomatic when she wants to … She'll take care of Relena ok, don't worry."

"She deserted OZ because of you. If she is caught, she will have problems," remarked the Japanese, seemingly unconcerned. His heart beat a little harder at the thought, and he wondered if he was really that scared that Duo would decide to go help Hilde finally.

Duo began to laugh heartily.

"If I turned back, if I put my life in danger to go hold her hand, as if she was a moron unable to get by alone, she would kick my ass to Indonesia and back. She knows how to take care of herself, no problem. She knows the risks. I trust her."

Heero 'hn'ned to show that he was listening and counting the argument. After all Duo knew her better than he did. And if she had been a soldier, it was not as if they were implicating an innocent civilian.

But still, he nearly felt as if he was refusing protection to one of his packmates… Even if she was not really one of his. She had said that it was as if… And she was a female, it was hard to leave her behind.

But she was a warrior and a huntress, not a mother.

Heero shrugged and chased that problem from his brain. Any way he thought about it, he couldn't find a way to do anything else, other than hope for the best.

Their two comrades were waiting for them, the car parked on the sidewalk in a street that followed the campus, not that frequented by cars. Wufei, hair unbound and glasses on his nose, was at the wheel, Quatre standing beside the open boot. Half-hidden by a tree that was growing close to the wire fence, Heero and Duo threw the bags to Quatre for him to put in the car, then Heero helped his friend to jump over the fence before following. The fence pitched with his weight, but he was able to pass before it broke and landed on the sidewalk.

Duo pushed himself at the other end of the vehicle then slid on his knees on the floor behind the front seat, his torso half leaning on the backseat, and Heero imitated him, crouching low so as not to be seen from the outside. Wufei drove away, just slowly and carefully enough not to attract attention. The north of the town was still free of police roadblocks; they would try to pass there, then would go southeast to take the Gundams.

Trying to find a comfortable position, Heero turned on his side, and fell nose to nose with Duo who had curled up in a ball, on his knees, and was now in a position that slightly reminded Heero of a cat. He had a heavy leather vest over his head, hiding him from the outside. Thinking that it was a good idea to make sure that passerby didn't get curious, Heero dragged one half-empty bag and blocked it over his head, hedging it between the seat and the back of the front seat.

"It's just like a tent," snickered the American, dragging a corner of cloth to fill a hole over his head.

The light was soft, the floor vibrating softly. It felt like a small cave, a den. It reminded him of the times where Odin would hide him in a nest of covers at the back of his truck, between two boxes, when they were moving from one job to the next, and he fell asleep, rocked by the car's movements, hidden in his own little world. Heero smiled at Duo, feeling comfortable and vaguely nostalgic.

Duo smiled back, first without thinking about it. Then the fact that they were nose to nose in that small hiding place and that their breaths were mingling and caressing each other's face slowly penetrated his thoughts, until he was conscious only of the face in front of him, so close, enough to feel the warmth radiating from it.

The smile on Heero's face slowly disappeared right along with Duo's, gradually, imperceptibly, until they were just staring into each other's eyes, without saying a word.

And then Duo lowered his eyes, jaws clenched, muscles shifting under his skin, and slightly turned his head away. His lips were moving, barely, without a sound escaping from them, apparently without him even realizing what he was doing.

But Heero knew how to read lips, and the darkness wasn't really a problem.

Without saying a word, he reached out and put his hand on his comrade's forearm. Duo looked up and glanced at him, uncharacteristically expressionless. Heero gave him a pitifully weak smile, trying to make him understand that he could understand his sudden case of the blues, because he was feeling the same thing. Then he closed his eyes and lowered his head on his arm, trying to get some rest, trying to forget what Duo had said, trying to forget the echo that his silent words had awakened.

'I want to kiss you, too.'

* * * * * *

[cont]