Author: Asuka Kureru
Warnings for this chapter: Violence, blood, massacre (to change the way things have been going in this story ^__^;;; ), description really eww of the transformation, some 2+1, kinda, not quite hints for 3+4 except if you take some remarks from Quatre as their first lover's quarrel, it's cute ^____^ (no they're not lovers yet, but we can dream 9__9), evil scientists...(apart from G but who could depict as cruel a man with a mushroom-like head?)
Random comments: someone asked me about the pairings in Garou... It WILL end into a 1x2x1 and 3x4x3. I don't promise anything as for what happens in between ^_^

Garou + Part 9
Examination

They hid the Gundams in a big, deep cave in a mountain nearby. Duo was the first on the ground. Grabbing Heero's backpack from his things, he ran to Wing. He had hesitated about making the boy ask for the backpack out loud, but even there, there was a possibility that Heero would refuse to do so and just strut around naked in the hideout. Which wasn't an option, because... well, because Duo didn't want him humiliated and mocked, even gently.

...Ok, that wasn't the true, real reason. The fact was... He liked Heero as a friend, he wanted to stay Heero's friend. He didn't want anything else. But the boy already made him drool enough about his ass when he wore spandex, Duo didn't want to know what he looked like going about his business entirely bare. Their talk in the bathroom had made him see that there wasn't any point in thinking about a change in the kind of relationship they already had; it was simply impossible. And if there wasn't any future in getting attached to Heero like that, he had better not even begin to, because he knew that if he let himself, he could get a crush on him rather easily. Which meant no thinking up nefarious schemes to get to ogle his perfect bod in compromising situations.

...Drooling about his perfect bod sometimes, when he was being unknowingly sexy, was perfectly ok, though. After all, Duo drooled on Wufei and Trowa from time to time too, when they presented an attractive picture. He was a healthy teenager, and they all WERE fairly attractive... No way he was going to drool on Quatre, though. Blonds were so not his type, especially ones who made him feel like a child molester. Not that Quatre was childlike in any way, really... He was just too cute and too damn innocent of the ways of life of the poor sometimes.

The door to Wing opened as he came nearer, but the lights were off and Heero didn't seem to be coming out anytime soon. Duo climbed on the mecha and, patting himself on the back for not trying to look into the cockpit, he left the backpack on the threshold before climbing down.

The others were politely walking out of the cave to give Heero his privacy. The braided boy ran after them, laughing just because.

They were in the living room, sitting together at the table, when Heero finally rejoined them. He was wearing a pair of faded jeans and a white tanktop instead of his customary green-top-and-spandex. Duo fleetingly regretted not having stayed in the area to catch a glimpse of him changing.

As soon as he was in front of them, the mortified young man tried to make his lips mutter something that sounded surprisingly like an apology. He was so ill at ease and so obviously didn't know what to do that Quatre stopped him with a kind smile.

"Heero... It was not your fault."

"I should have expected it..." the Japanese teen protested.

"You don't know your wolf side well enough yet to understand the reactions he can have, and..."

"You're forgiving him easily," intervened Trowa in a carefully neutral tone.

"I didn't hear you propose another hideout," Quatre shot back, frowning. "It wasn't the best as far as safehouses go, I agree, but it was the only one that was available at the time. We didn't have a choice. And nothing that serious really happened there anyway. No one amongst us was bitten or even scratched that I know about?"

Trowa frowned faintly. Being abducted by beings out of horror flicks didn't seem like ‘nothing serious’ to him.

"You were kidnapped, who knows what could have happened to you?"

"But Heero came to save me! As for the trauma I could have received, I was SLEEPING, Trowa. I nearly wasn't conscious of what was happening around me. So, no, there isn't any result I could reproach Heero for."

"I don't think they wanted to hurt him anyway," intervened Yuy in a low voice. "I mean, if they had wanted to kill him, they'd have torn his throat out on the spot. I think... I think they just wanted to increase the size of their pack."

"Why didn't they try to take you then?" asked Wufei.

The Were smirked slightly.

"I am an alpha, that's why. And one per pack is more than enough."

"An alpha?"

"A dominant male."

"Does it mean you see us as your pack then?" asked Duo, sounding hesitant.

There were so many insinuations in this question, so many possible significances... Heero hesitated before soberly nodding.

"Oh," smiled the American. "Does it mean you expect us to obey you then?" he added, grimacing. "I mean, since you consider yourself to be the alpha male and you probably could break us in two with one hand and stuff? Because I gotta warn you, I like you, man, but there's no way..."

Heero put his hand across the boy's mouth in a well-practiced move.

"No, I am not asking you to obey me. It's... an instinct, Duo. The dominated ones have the instinct of putting their fate in the hands of their chief, to just follow his orders. In return, the dominant has the instinct of protecting them and making sure they're all right, whatever be the cost. I... From now on, you will probably find me a little too..."

"Mother hen?" joked the braided boy. It was hilarious. Yuy as a mother hen. A wolf clucking, fluttering short wings around. The mental picture made him burst out laughing.

Heero pulled his braid. Vigorously.

"Hey!!" protested the pilot, wrenching his abused hair out of Heero's hand.

"It's slightly unjust as far as systems go, isn't it?" wondered Quatre. "I mean, you're feeling obligated to protect us, and us, we don't feel at all obligated to obey you..."

The brown-haired Were shrugged and looked down.

"It doesn't have anything to do with justice. It's instinct. It comes from the guts, not from the brain. And I'll have to learn to dominate this instinct anyway... with our jobs there is no way I can realistically protect you all the time... Plus you'd probably ... kick my ass if I tried," he added with a timid smile.

"You're very right about that, Yuy" answered Wufei, smirking.

Heero glared. He had been joking when he had said that they would kick his ass, but Wufei and his smirk told him that it wasn't figuratively for him. He was so annoying.

"Well, so, don't hesitate to tell me if I'm too overbearing, ok?"

"No problems, buddy..." Duo said. He realized that the other boy was still standing and kicked a chair away from the table for him, and the other teen sat down gingerly. They all eyed each other, not quite knowing what to talk about.

"Hey, now that I think of it, how do you say a wolf in Jap?" asked the American totally randomly.

"... Ookami, why?" answered the boy, blinking.

"Heerookami, sounds funny," Duo grinned back. "I like."

Heero groaned and berated himself for his stupidity. He had just won another nickname to add to the list... Well, Maxwell had gifted him with worse ones. In comparison, this one was nearly acceptable.

"Ok, while we are all here, anyone have something to say? Relevant to our jobs, Duo," added the Arab, winking at the braided boy who had begun to open his mouth.

"Even you’re picking on me. Gawd. And for once I was gonna say something in relation to that..."

"Really? Something serious from you?"

"...Never said it was something serious."

Ignoring their friendly banter, Wufei tapped on the table, getting everyone's attention.

"I have a problem."

"Yes?"

"Heero, have you talked about your problem with Doctor J yet?"

Heero paled, eyes opening wide.

"I'll take that as a no..." murmured the Chinese boy.

"I forgot... I can't believe it, I forgot..." moaned the dark-haired boy, letting his head fall on his crossed arms, on the table.

"Whoops," added Duo in a subdued voice.

"Well, it's a problem that requires direct communication, and you couldn't realistically go and see him about it before, right? We didn't have the time. But after we finish the mission we’re staying in the area for, we're free to go see them. I hear they're on Earth for the moment, at one of the Resistance bases or something. It's not that far, we just have to go and see them. Right?"

Yuy looked up, surprised.

"... I still forgot..."

"You couldn't have done anything about it anyway, so don't get all self-recriminating about it. Now you can do it... there is no point in telling him that you just forgot. After all, even if you hadn't you couldn't have done things differently. So..."

"I thought that you were against lying?" asked Wufei, one eyebrow up in that distinguished way of his.

"First of all, I am not against lying when it suits a worthy purpose, I just can't do it myself and am reduced to artfully dodging the whole truth. Second, it's not a flat-out lie, it's an omission. If he doesn't ask, well... Third, J is a bastard and I'm not giving him any excuses to put Heero through retraining. "

Heero shuddered, and glanced at the boy. He had never talked about his training to any one of them, but Duo had seemed to know anyway, maybe because they had been together for so long before meeting the others. And he WAS observant, when he wanted to be, and little by little the other boys had caught the idea too. Heero's training had been... harsh.

"...point," he muttered. "But he does need to know. I cannot be at my top performances when my parameters of functioning have changed."

"Stop talking like that, Yuy, you're not your Gundam!" snorted Wufei.

Heero glared.

"HE talks about me like that. I prefer to put myself in this frame of mind when I think about what I am going to say to him."

"Point," considered diplomatically Quatre.

Suddenly, without any warning, Duo burst out laughing. They didn't even glance his way, used to his internal monologue producing such a reaction.

"Oh gods. I wanna see G's face when we tell them that Heero will be unavailable and in a mighty bad mood three days per month."

Quatre innocently asked why, before understanding. "Oh!"

"Please, please, guys, can't we make them believe Heero fell in the Drowned Girl spring?"

"What?!!"

They all knew everything there was to know about that spring, since one of Duo's favorite mangas was Ranma ½, the famous boy changing into a girl because of said spring, and he hadn't spared them from talking about it to death. He even had gotten Quatre interested, but that was another story.

Heero got up, slowly, menacing.

[cont]