Author: Aya
Pairings: 1x2x1 (brief 2xOC, past 1xR)
Warnings: Violence, Language, Citrus
Timeline: Post EW
Summary: Heero goes undercover to infiltrate a deadly fighting tournament but comes across some unexpected obstacles

The Game + Part 1

The building looked like just another warehouse on just another crime infested street, in just another crime infested part of America. As the years had turned from AD to AC, time hadn't been kind to the US of A and many cities which had once been thriving hubs of entertainment and life, had become cesspools of crime, rape and theft. The area in question was one of those places. Once one of the richest cities in the country, Chicago was now the playground of one of the most successful and one of the cruelest underground leaders in the Earth sphere; Quinton Tech. The aforementioned building was one of the many clubs that he owned.

Perhaps club isn't the correct term. Society? Ring? The adjectives could go on but they still wouldn't quite describe what it was. There were no drunk half-naked teenage girls paying for their martinis with fake I.Ds, and mommy and daddy's credit cards. There was no bumper room where drunk couples could go and screw to their heart's content. There was however, blood stains, a huge barbed wire covered cage and a crowd of blood thirsty, power hungry punks at the Meat Market.

The cage sat in the middle of the large room and the crowd surrounded it, jeering and cheering as the two competitors circled each other inside the cage. Several yards above the cage and the crowd, were exclusive glass boxes where the richer and more powerful spectators placed bets on who would win. As a young blonde man in the ring was literally cut to pieces by his larger and more vicious opponent, a dark figure made its way around the crowd; attempting to get a closer view of the ring. Dark blue eyes darted up to the glass boxes and the man examined each face before he turned his gaze back to the ring. "He's not here."

A frustrated groan could be heard from the earpiece he wore and the man set his mouth in a thin line. "Damnit Yuy, I thought your source said he was definitely going to be up there."

"Yeah, well he's not," Heero hissed loud enough to draw a few stares. He gnashed his teeth at the onlookers and they turned away. "There are several tier-one personalities here but Tech isn't one of them."

"You know what this means, don't you Heero?" Wufei asked. The regret and frustration was evident in his voice.

"Yes. I'm prepared to do whatever it takes, Wufei. You know that."

Wufei sighed heavily. "If the situation changes I'll see you back at headquarters, but until then... you know what to do. No contact until you're in, but as soon --"

"--as I make my move, I call for back up immediately because you'll have people on the island. Yeah Wufei, I know the mission data."

"I'm just worried. This is the first time you're going into deep cover without a partner."

The ice in Heero's eyes didn't melt at all when he heard the concerned tone of his friend's voice. "If I don't contact you in two days, you'll know I'm dead. Until then, I have a job to do. Yuy out." He ripped out the ear piece and dropped it all in one quick movement. He crushed it under the heel of one of his combat boots without breaking his stride across the dark room.

Heero watched indifferently as a housekeeper removed the body of the blonde man from the ring and began to plot when he would make his move. He wasn't new to the Meat Market but it would be his first time fighting and he had to be sure that he was noticed by the major players if he was going to be chosen for The Game. He still hadn't come to a decision on what to do when something in the ring caught his eye.

A new challenger was entering the cage and the crowd was warming to him quickly. He was tall and lanky with extremely long black hair that was woven into a single braid. Round violet eyes were smudged with black make up of some kind and war paint of sorts decorated his face with two lines on each cheek. He was clad in incredibly scruffy clothes; worn black pants that seemed to have been cut off raggedly at the lower part of his leg and scuffed black boots lined with metal covered his feet. A too small, ragged t-shirt covered the top of his wiry frame and black and silver suspenders connected to the baggy pants with make shift metal hooks. The man bounced on the balls of his feet and grinned at his opponent; the same opponent who had just ripped a man to shreds.

Heero's eyes narrowed to slits and he clenched his jaw as he watched the too skinny form jump up and down lightly as he taunted the other fighter. What the hell was \i he\i0 doing here?

Heero grabbed the shoulder of a nearby housekeeper. "That man in the ring. Who is he?"

The housekeeper didn't seem concerned with the rough treatment he was getting but jerked away from the taller man. "You must be new if you don't know who that is," He replied shrewdly. His beady eyes darted over Heero's form and he smirked. "Nope, never seen you here before. Not in the cage anyway." He leered at Heero's tattoo cove
red biceps and licked at his chops. "Betcha would do mighty well though."

Heero sneered at him. "Well?"

The housekeeper shrugged casually. "His name is Duo."

Heero cast a dark glare at the crowd who was currently chanting Duo's name. "I figured that out for myself, Dwarf."

The housekeeper drew himself up indignantly but answered. "He's been fighting here for almost a year now. He's a favorite among the higher ups and among the regulars." He smirked lecherously. "Easy on the eyes too."

Heero growled low in his throat but released the smaller man, his eyes now trained on Duo. What the hell was going on?

A crackling sound came from the speakers that lined the room and a deep, male voice boomed out over the crowd. "Well ladies and punks, it's almost the last fight of the night and we have quite a match set up for you here. Rick the Shredder who has been undefeated tonight is up against the crowd favorite, Duo Maxwell. The winner of this match and next match will decide who is chosen to participate in this years Game. Enjoy!"

A tall, punky blue haired woman entered the cage and smirked at each fighter. Her skin was so pale that it almost glowed in the dim room and the mock henna tattoos on her arms and legs seemed to glitter under the flickering lights. She held a large platter with an assortment of weapons displayed and sashayed up to Duo with a flirtatious smile. Duo's lip lifted in a half smirk and he shook his head before making a comment that appeared to enrage the Shredder. The woman laughed and blew him a kiss before quickly exiting the cage. The fight was about to begin.

"What else can you tell me about him?" Heero demanded as he watched Duo dance around the ring, avoiding the Shredder's stiff movements with ease.

The housekeeper's eyes did not leave Duo. "What the hell do I know? I just clean up the dead bodies those pigs leave behind when they win a match," He scoffed with a note of bitterness in his voice.

A strong hand grasped the housekeeper's scrawny neck and squeezed. "I'm sure you know something." The words were spoken in dangerous tones and icy eyes pinned the small man to the spot.

The housekeeper swallowed hard and shifted uncomfortably, fear finally piercing his normally cold heart. "Rumor has it that he was in the wars, but no one knows for sure because he mostly keeps to himself."

Heero's eyebrows shot up at that bit of information. That seemed unlike the Duo he knew.

"People say that before he started coming to the fights he would hire himself out as a mercenary and some say he still does when he doesn't make money with the fights." One small shoulder lifted in a half assed shrug and the man smirked, showing rotten teeth. "And then there are those who say he used to whore himself."

Heero's eyes flew to the housekeeper and he sneered. "That's a lie."

The man snickered, spittle flying from between his broken teeth. "It's just what I heard, not what I said." His beady eyes flicked over Heero again and he flashed another lecherous smile. "You two were lovers, no?"

"What makes you say that?" Heero asked, shifting his gaze back to where Duo was ducking out of the way as the Shredder swung his huge machete forward. The longhaired fighter smirked and head butted the larger man, waiting until he fell backwards before kicking the machete out of one meaty hand.

"You're his type," was the smooth reply.

A muscle in his jaw ticked but Heero kept up the disinterested tone. "And what's that?"

"Rumor has it that he likes his lovers pretty, but his men are usually dangerous. I hear he likes it rough," The housekeeper rasped, eyes raking over Duo in a way that made Heero's skin crawl.

"Shut your mouth, Dwarf," He growled and clenched his jaw.

The housekeeper snickered, but obeyed. He didn't know what the stranger had under that long coat and he sure didn't want to be the one to find out.

The Shredder was bleeding from several places on his body but Duo still remained unharmed. He was still bouncing around in a boxer's stance, much to the frustration of his opponent. The Shredder lunged towards him in an uncoordinated attack and Duo took the opportunity to slam his knee into the man's solar plexus. The Shredder reeled back, blood flying from his lips and Duo sneered before sending a foot flying towards the man's throat; crushing his windpipe with ease.

Heero's hands clenched into white knuckled fists and he fought the urge to throw up as bile rose in his throat. He watched as the Shredder collapsed in a heap and choked on his own blood; dying moments later. The Preventer watched as Duo toed at the fallen man and shrugged carelessly before turning towards the cheering crowd. He gave a lopsided smirk and kept his gaze directed at the glass booths as he was declared the winner of the match.

The speakers crackled to life and the same voice rang out with an amused snort. "I don't think anyone here is surprised at the outcome of this match. After all Duo has been virtually undefeated since he graced us with his presence a year ago."

In the ring, Duo stared up at the glass boxes with surprisingly emotionless eyes. Heero's gaze flicked over the familiar, impish features as he searched for some sign of pleasure at the praise he was receiving, but Duo showed none. It was like looking into the face of a dead man.

"So who's the lucky man to challenge the seemingly unbeatable? Any takers?" The deep voice cooed over the speaker.

Heero looked over the crowd and saw that all of the people present were staring at Duo with unease. They were all obviously reluctant to challenge him.

"No one?"

Heero began shrugging off his long coat.

"If no one can challenge him, Duo wins by default and goes to The Game," The voice warned.

Heero shoved the coat at the housekeeper and strode towards the cage, climbing the iron staircase and entering as all eyes turned to him. There was silence in the Meat Market and for a moment he didn't think they would let him fight.

"Well, a new challenger and a new face has entered the cage."

Duo turned towards him and for a moment, Heero froze. A million different questions flashed through his mind and he doubted this whole idea; cursing himself for getting in the damned cage and letting his feelings lead him. What if Duo blew his cover? What if they wouldn't even let him fight? What if... what if... he killed Duo? Shit, what if Duo killed him?

Violet eyes focused on him and for a moment there was nothing, but then recognition sparked in those wide eyes and Duo's lip curled up in a snarl. Heero could see the questions in that glare but at the moment he wasn't in the position to answer them. The anger radiating off Duo was unmistakable and it left Heero wandering if Duo was still carrying that old grudge against him.

"It's the last fight of the night, folks and this one will decide the lucky participant of the Game. Place your bets now and enjoy!"

As the blue haired girl entered the ring with her array of weapons, neither fighter looked at her; instead opting to stare at each other. Duo's gaze flicked over his body and he smirked. He appeared to find Heero's undercover garb amusing. Apparently he had regained his composure because now Heero couldn't read his emotions at all. It used to be so easy... just telling what Duo was thinking by looking into his eyes or reading his body language; but now... obviously things were different.

++

Note: *cough* Sorry for the corny bad guy names. I always feel like I'm writing the script for a John Carpenter movie when I name my evil characters

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