Warnings for this chapter: 1x5 kind of lime, 1+/xS (yeah, S like Sally. Bwahahaha.), some violence.

There Is A Reason For Those Pairings.

Problem is, in the French version it was all in one big part. You had the explanation soon after. Here, you'll have to wait. Don't get pissy because you find that smutty or PWPish or I don't know what else. You did read the warnings, didn't you? If you didn't you should have.

And Heero doesn't love any of them anyway. You WILL have your 1x2x1 at the end ^_^

Author: Asuka Kureru

Garou + Part 25
Heatwave

Howard slowly pushed the door open and walked in the darkened room without knocking, wanting to avoid waking up its occupant. He had to push his shades up to be able to see anything; the blinds were closed tight and not even a bedside lamp was turned on, so as not to disturb the boy who for once had found some respite in a pain-free sleep.

After a while, his eyes got used to the dark and he could see some shapes as furniture or people. A bed, in which a young man with his hair drenched in sweat was sleeping heavily. At the bedside, a young woman half asleep in an armchair, her head bowed low. And in the opposite corner, straddling a chair with his arms crossed over the back and chin resting on his forearms, the one the old man had been searching for.

"Duo?" Howard whispered.

Silently, the boy abandoned his vigil and walked to him.

"Let's talk outside," he advised in a whisper, pointing at the two sleeping people.

The braided pilot and the Sweeper leader got out of the room and Duo closed the door cautiously, and then turned to face his old friend.

"How is he?" the man asked, blinking against the return of the light.

Duo gave a long sigh and stretched, trying to work out the kinks in his muscles, which hurt after having been forced to stay unmoving for too long.

"For now it's good, he's between two fits. He's been sleeping for more than two hours, and we're hoping it will last a little while longer..."

Howard grimaced. They considered two hours of undisturbed sleep as big progress? It didn't presage anything good for the poor boy. Howard had never met the L3 pilot personally before today, but he had heard about it through Duo, and Duo's friends were his friends. And to know that one of those boys was suffering so much, when they had already suffered so much for the cause and in their life...

"And the young lady?"

"Cathy? She's so exhausted; I don't think she really slept since she got there. It's good for her to take a nap... she doesn't want to take turns like we do."

"And Quatre? Why isn't he looking after him too?" Howard asked after making sure that, for once, the blond wasn't sitting in the corridor.

Duo shrugged. "Trowa and him had words before Tro got ill. We're always telling Quat that he can come and help anyway, but he's forcing himself to respect Trowa's order... he's being so silly. Well..."

Biting his lip, the old man stared at his young friend. Duo looked tired; his eyes were surrounded by a large bruised-looking area.

"And you, can't you rest?"

"Not my turn yet, Howie, it's still my turn," the American answered with a tired smile.

"And the other two?"

"Wufei is sleeping in his room, he stayed up all night because Trowa went into convulsions. Heero... I dunno, but I think I heard him say that he was gonna check on the Gundams. But his turn comes after Wu's anyway..."

Howard sighed. "I suppose trying to convince you to go to bed won’t be of any use?"

"Nope, not at all."

"Not even if Cathy is here?"

"Not even. She ain't strong enough to overpower him alone."

"Even if he's sleeping now?"

"He could wake up anytime, man," the braided teen objected.

The old man sighed again. "Would you see a problem in go with me to another room?"

"Why?"

"Sally suggested I ask you personally, about the illness. She was saying that it could need time. Come on, I wouldn't want to disturb Trowa's rest."

Stifling a yawn, Duo followed. They went to sit in the small TV room at the end of the corridor. Duo sat backwards in his chair again, balancing on two of its feet.

"My crew isn't at risk I hope?"

Duo snorted. "As long as they don't intend to get in a fight with him or any of the other boys and get bitten or beaten ‘till they're all bloody... or to shag them rotten, no..." Duo announced, snickering at the idea of any of the Sweepers coming on to Wufei or Heero.

"Duo... This virus, what is it exactly?"

Putting the feet of his chair back on the ground, Duo looked at Howard, and all cheerfulness evaporated.

* * * * * *

The Japanese pilot swore when the drop of sweat rolled down his nose, and pulled on his tanktop to wipe it off. Then, keeping the material lifted up, he leaned against the metallic wall. A shiver of shock ran through his lower back when it came into contact with the cold metal, and he sighed. It seemed to help some.

But the wall warmed up faster than he thought, and Heero had to change places to find another section of wall that would be cool enough to be useful.

The sequence of actions lasted a good twenty minutes before Pilot 01 abandoned his futile effort to get rid of the oppressive heat and left the bay where his Gundam had been stored. The motors running in the machine rooms didn't help keep it at a bearable temperature, either.

Heero had been feeling warm since that morning. He didn't understand why; it was not really cold out, but not hot either; and some parts of the ship weren't heated and were situated below the sea level. It should have been enough to maintain the temperature at a bearable level ... Should have.

He felt slightly trapped in the ship, not really claustrophobic -- not yet, after all there was enough space and the place was immense -- but the simple thought that he wasn't free to walk away when he so desired, that there was water everywhere around him...Brrr.

But he didn't have a choice. There was plenty of space, but not enough to spend a good full moon. And on top of that there were Sweepers everywhere, which made the night of the transformation dangerous -- for the humans as much as for the Weres. But Howard had promised that they would drop anchor in a hidden bay early enough for tonight, and they could go and get lost in a forest... even if the old man didn't have a clue why. Duo had said that he would explain, but Heero didn't know if he had done that yet.

What had first only been an annoyance was progressively becoming something else entirely. Usually, heat provoked stupor, but now it was the contrary. It was not a real heat, now that he thought of it. It was more like a fever; a fire burning and frozen all at once.

He had felt energized from the moment he had awakened, so much that he had had to wisely renounce his coffee because it would only have made his situation insufferable, instead of just annoying as hell. He was slowly working himself into a frenzy, worse than Duo in his worst crises of hyperactivity. It wasn't a feeling of panic, not something negative, just... a feeling of fullness, of power, of possibilities, opened and unveiled bit by bit. But he didn’t understand it and he couldn’t see what was coming.

He felt something rising -- like the first time he had felt the Wolf -- a wave, powerful and ineluctable. But even the Wolf couldn't tell him what it was; it was still too dispersed. He was unable to stand still for more than a few minutes. He was full of anticipation, like a child would feel before going to a fair, maybe. Well, he had never gone to a fair, but Duo had described this kind of feeling to him. Heero was sure that he was right… it was anticipation, but he didn't have a clue as for what he was expecting with such fervor.

He felt warm, so warm that he went to the shower room with long, tense steps. Once in the shower room, he stripped out of his clothes as he walked, indifferent to the place where they fell, and fully opened the cold faucets. The ice cold water made him feel good... for five minutes. Then he got used to the temperature and the impatience reappeared. The ice-cold water, instead of refreshing him, whipped him even wider-awake and made his burning blood pump harder in his veins. No, this had been a bad idea.

Swearing and cursing, he abandoned his shower in a rage and left the shower room, his clothes in hand, as naked as the day he was born. He was too warm to put them back on and didn't want to drench them. When you were hot, wearing humid clothes only accented the unease anyway. He stalked towards the rooms the Gundam pilots had been given. As an afterthought, he snatched up a towel and tied it around his hips. He didn't want Howard to get on his case because he had flashed his men. It was a bad idea to indispose him; after all they were /on his territory/ his hosts. Bloody hell, how he wanted ...

He didn’t run into anyone -- which was probably a good thing with the mood he was in -- as he stalked through the ship, reached the corridor where the rooms they had been given were, and glanced in passing through the half-opened door of the cabin which had been given to Wufei.

And felt like he had just been kicked in the guts. He stayed frozen, breathless and dazed, not understanding right away what had so surprised him.

The Chinese pilot was lying on his belly on the couch, reading a book, but that was not what had stopped him. It was a complicated cocktail, composed of the arched position of the Chinese teen's back, his white pants pulled tight on his hips, his thin reading glasses, and his dark unbound hair, floating freely on his shoulders.

There was no need to search anymore.

The cold burn had found its way out of his system.

Without thinking about what he was doing, Heero leaned against the doorframe and admired the view unabashedly. Up until now, he had never really thought that Wufei was attractive, not in that way at least. But that was due to his solitary and haughty attitude, his authoritative voice -- never soft -- always superior and sometimes frankly aggressive. But the tableau he was presenting now, unmindful of Heero's presence, suddenly brought to light a side of him Heero had never seen again since the return of his memories; a side that was... vulnerable... and attractive. Incredibly attractive.

Now that his eyebrows weren't bunched downward anymore, he could see the very dark color of Wufei's eyes, the length of his lashes, and now that he wasn't sneering contemptuously, or smirking, Heero could see the fullness of his lips.

Heero blinked. Wow. Strange reaction. He had never thought about Wufei in that light before.

He rarely took the pain of thinking about things as insignificant as his sexual orientation. But one day he had nothing better to do, so he had let his thoughts drift on the subject. Going there from Duo, of course. Who else could make him think about so frivolous and far away from his usual preoccupations?

He had compared statistics, probabilities, weighed opinions and documents, and the idea had come to him that maybe, he was not truly a homosexual… even if the only person for whom he had already felt lust happened to be a male. After all, he didn't mix with that many people with who he would have a chance to build that kind of relationship, and Duo was unique enough to make many people doubt their orientation. He was so different that a simple "boy-girl" tag wasn't enough to define him entirely. They spent so much time together in dangerous situations, it was more than enough to awaken some of the latent homosexual impulses that everyone obligatorily met at least once in their life, as straight as they usually were. Heero had stopped counting the number of times he had had to share the American's bed and had been glomped on. And if you were taking into account that Duo's nonexistent body-shyness didn’t prevent him from strutting around in his boxers or even totally naked under his nose. And even if his body was definitely masculine, it was graceful and svelte in a troubling way. So, between agreeing that Duo was attractive and finding him attractive, there was barely a step.

But the simple fact of getting interested by Wufei now amply proved that he was, if not gay, at least largely bisexual. Wufei had never adopted the braided boy's flirty behavior. His face was beautiful and noble, but he definitely didn't have any physical trait that could belong on a girl, contrary to a certain other pilot who regularly despaired over it. No, Wufei was definitely all male... and a male of the dominant kind.

'Or else, I just have a particularly tenacious hair fetish,' Heero thought, smirking.

He immediately stopped those thoughts that led him nowhere and that certainly didn't help him get rid of his sudden desire, and stepped toward the other pilot. The other teen lifted his head and looked at him over the top of his glasses with an air that asked clearly: "What the hell do you think you’re doing?" Wufei had felt his presence long before, of course. As long as Heero had been respecting his personal space, Wufei had acted as if the werewolf wasn't there; even if he had been wondering what the hell Heero was doing on his doorstep.

Heero stepped forward again, one hand on his hip.

Wufei pushed himself up on one arm to stare at him and frowned, but it was much less intimidating than usually, without a doubt because of the rebellious bang escaping from behind his ear to travel all over his face and the small glasses perched on his nose. Heero gave a barely-there smile, one that was appreciating and amused.

/Wufei wa kirei desu, ne/

"Did you want something, Yuy?" the black-haired pilot finally asked when he understood that his teammate wasn't intending on doing anything apart from staring at him.

"Yes," answered the Japanese teenager, leaning over the couch over where Wufei was still laying face down. Wufei's very position prevented him from moving away. Arched like that, he couldn't move higher anyway, and the only way to put some more space between them was to flatten on his belly on the couch, and for some reason he couldn't stand to even think about it.

/is he threatening me?/ wondered the Tiger. But Heero didn't seem especially aggressive, just...

/dominant/

"And what is it that you want?" asked ShenLong 's pilot quite brutally, annoyed more than he could explain.

Yuy's predator look /yes, that's the word, predator/ /I am a prey and he's a predator/ was already unnerving enough, especially when he could feel the weight of his stare travelling on his unbound hair, something that made him feel more open, frailer. But when his scent -- modified in a curious way -- invaded his nostrils, it was warm and full of nuances that made him react favorably, and Wufei felt himself blush bright red.

His unnerved state turned to apprehension.

'I'm somehow ... nearly... afraid. He won't hurt me, but still, I don't know, he's... making me worry'

/I'd be better off running away /


Slowly, deliberately, Heero let his eyes wander toward the bottom of the T-shirt, to the small of Wufei's back. The cloth there was pulling upward and a strip of skin was visible.

"What I want...?" he answered, echoing a question the boy had nearly forgotten having asked.

Wufei was feeling quite a funny tingle in his belly all of sudden.

And suddenly his jaw nearly fell on the ground, as if wanting to imitate the fall of the towel that covered 'had covered' the Japanese pilot's hips.

"You."

The book followed the towel on the ground.

* * * * * *

Tired of looming in the corridors around Trowa's room with his ears pricked up, the young Arab walked up to the deck and went to the gangway. Surrounded by mechanics, Howard was elbow-deep into a copter's guts. The boy, after having hesitated a few seconds, walked closer. He had to wait a few minutes before calling so the man wouldn't be in a position to get hurt if he took him by surprise; he remembered all too well the thousands of times one of the Gundam pilots had knocked their skull on something because someone had been come up behind them without warning.

"Mister Howard?" he finally said when the man slid out from under the motor.

The man with the goatee turned toward him, wiping his hands off in a rag, and stared at him for a few seconds. Uneasy, Quatre wondered what he was thinking about; it wasn't easy to guess behind his dark shades.

"Mister Howard, I have to go. Did... did someone explain to you?"

"Hmm..." the man in the Hawaiian shirt nodded and signaled to Quatre to wait, his face expressionless. His scent let through some unease, but nothing too serious.

"Guys?" he called. "I'm letting you continue alone two minutes, ok?"

"Ok, Howie," the mechanics answered without seeming to care about his departure.

The old man led the blond toward the gangway and turned to face him.

"Duo explained to me about the nature of the sickness. I admit I have trouble believing, but we'll know soon if I was just victim of the best prank since the last century. I wanted to know how your comrade was. Do you have any news?"

Quatre lowered his head. "Still asleep for now."

"You think he'll pull through?" Howard asked, dropping what he knew of tact.

"We don't know yet. We won't know before tonight. But I can't stand staying there and doing nothing, so..."

Howard nodded. "Yeah, maybe you're right to go run some so you can clear your head. But I wanted to know... Duo isn't contaminated?"

Quatre shook his head. "No. He's the last one not to be. We'll make sure he stays that way. You don't have to worry about him," he added when he felt the wave of relief mixed with embarrassment coming from the old man.

Howard nodded, pensive. After all, they wouldn't try to voluntarily contaminate him, but the others hadn't been contaminated by choice either. That werewolf disease looked worse than Mono on this point.

"Do you think he'd survive, if...?"

"If he's contaminated at the right time, sure. I survived and I'm not used to take pain like he does."

"Is there any way to know what he could be?"

"No...Well, there are clues, but it's a lot like trying to guess one's zodiacal sign from their personality."

"And he could be anything at all?"

"From what I understood... his inner animal can be anything. But... he will only be able to take on its shape if the animal is resilient and big enough."

"Meaning?"

"The weight of the animal has to be equal or bigger than the human body, or it doesn't work."

Howard frowned pensively and scratched his skull.

"I don't get it... how is it that one of the appearances is heavier than the other one?"

Quatre smiled tensely. Everyone thought about that first apparently.

"If it helps, Sally and the scientists all reacted the same way. No one understands how either, and some of them have a doctorate in medical science too," the boy added with a little smile.

The smile disappeared fast and he lowered his eyes. Howard frowned and stared at him. "Okay, kid. What's going on?"

[cont]