Purgatory (cont)

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Chained and shadowed to be left behind
Nine and one thousand
Metal militia for your sacifice
Iron clad soldiers
Join or be conquered the law of the land
What will befall you
The metalization of your inner soul
Twisting and turning
We are as one as we all are the same
Fighting for one cause
Leather and metal are our uniform
Protecting what we are
Joining together to take on the world
With our heavy metal
Spreading the message to everyone here
Come let yourself go

~ Metal Militia, Metallica

We got to the orphanage and eagerly stepped inside the dry building, shaking ourselves off in a fashion similar to wet dogs as we stood in the lobby. I didn't bother with the receptionist and gave her a sharp look that prompted her to automatically buzz us into the inner part of the building. I strode down the cool, white corridors with Evette's small hand in mine and approached the administrator's office.

Catherine's office was usually quiet but as we approached, I heard a deep voice shouting angrily. I stopped and stared at the door, trying to get an idea on what was going on before I went busting in.

"--thought you were giving that garbage up! Like anyone has the money to support your habi---""Don't tell me what to do, *little brother*."

"Little brother?" The male voice scoffed. "You don't deserve the title of older sister until you get the dust out of your nose and the pipe out of your damned mouth."

There was a wounded gasp and the sound of a chair being pushed back.

Evette and I looked at each other with identical bemused expressions and I raised my fist to knock. The voices on the other side of the metal door immediatley quieted and I heard high heels clacking against the tile floor. When the door swung open I found myself face to face with Catherine. I took in the sight of her unruly auburn curls and puffy, red eyes before I spoke. "I have the stuff."

As she moved to let me in the male voice scoffed, "Who's that? Your drug dealer?""Hey Cathy, who's the asshole?" I looked at the tall figure and raised an eyebrow. He was dressed all in hunter green army fatigues, complete with laced up black boots. The man turned around and my eyebrows shot up as I got a good look at the familiar face. "You two are related?!""You should know. You were eavesdropping long enough," Trowa said dryly and turned back to the window, taking a drag off of his cigarette.I stared from him to Catherine and scratched my head. "Like, real brother and sister?""No Duo, fake brother and sister."

I glared at the back of his head. "Okay, Private Jerkoff.. I get the point. What's with the army gear anyway?"

"I always dress like this. You just couldn't see it under my coat."

I made a face. "Why would you want to look like a---"

"Why are you here, Duo?" He asked impatiently.

I rolled my eyes. "We~ell, your lovely sister hired me to get some medicine from the pharmacy using my special five finger discount."

"You *hired* him to steal you medicine?" Trowa turned around and gave his sister an incredulous look.

Cathy looked at me, finally speaking up. "I thought we said you would do this for me for free? The kids are really sick! There's some kind of bug going around and--""I don't want any money, but I do want a favor."

Her blue eyes narrowed and she placed her hands on her bony hips. "What kind of favor?"I pushed Evette forward from where she had been trying to blend in with the wall. "Take this kid off the streets for me."

Cathy looked down at Evette and narrowed her eyes. "I don't know if that's possible Duo..."My eyes hardened and I took a step towards her. "Cathy.." My voice was several degrees colder and it made her eyes widen in surprise. "The kid said she came here for help and was sent away. I'd like to know what the fuck kind of games your faculty is playing around here. Kids are sick and fuckin' dying on the streets because of this damn rain and you're sending them away?!"

"There's no more room!" She protested, hands flying up to fiddle with the bow on her blouse nervously.

I sneered. "If the bedrooms are full I suggest you turn the playroom, the lounge and the fuckin' lobby into temporary shelters for these kids.""Duo! What kind of place-- I don't know how you expect-- I just can't--""What the hell are you saying?! Do you even know what these kids are going through outside? Starving, freezing and dying! What kind of selfish--""Enough!" Trowa glared at both of us. "Catherine will take care of the girl.""Trowa! You have no right to interfere --"

"You seem to forget who gives you the money to keep this place open, Catherine," He said with a challenging tone in his voice.

She opened her mouth to reply but closed it, repeating that action a few times before she settled for glaring at her brother heatedly. "Fine," She said tightly. "I'll go get her cleaned up." She shot a dark glare in my direction and grabbed the girl's hand before starting towards the door.Evette smirked at me and gave me a thumbs up before following Catherine out.I mentally patted myself on the back and set the package on the angry woman's desk. One glance at Trowa told me that he wasn't in the best of moods so I went and stood beside him quietly; looking out the window. After a few minutes I shot a look at him. "I kind of feel like God up here." He gave me a weird look and I laughed. "Nah, I'm serious. I'm up here lookin' down at all those people and for the moment I'm much better off than them cuz I'm here all cozy and warm, yanno?"He snorted quietly. "You're a weird kid, Duo."

I nodded in agreement and pressed my hands against the glass of the window. "Catherine should consider getting bullet proof windows," I commented thoughtfully.Trowa looked up as if I had sparked some memory in his head. "Whatever happened to that cop?"My heart felt like it was clenching in my chest and I drew my breath in sharply. For some reason... it was always painful for me to think of Heero. I had taken a big liking to him and the idea of him off somewhere else having the time of his life while I was stuck here, made me sick. It was probably selfish but I couldn't help it. The only time I did think of him was at night... "What do you mean? He went back to wherever the hell he came from," I replied gruffly.

The green-eyed man cocked his head to the side and eyed me thoughtfully. "You two seemed... close."A bark of laughter escaped my throat. "Close. Right. That's why he never bothered tryin' to get in contact with me again, right?" I scowled and stared at my boots.

"What's the matter, Duo? Hate to think that he actually got on with his life and isn't pining away somewhere for you?"

Bingo. He'd hit it right on the nose and it hurt like a bitch to hear out loud. "Fuck you, Trowa," I snarled angrily and turned away from him. His thin hand grabbed my shoulder before I could walk away and he squeezed it. "I'm.. sorry. I'm just in a lousy mood." When I didn't respond, he sighed. "My sister.. is a junky. I just found out she was using again."I turned around slowly and eyed him, relaxing a little when I saw that he looked genuinely apologetic. "I had a feelin' somethin' was shady about Catherine eva' since I used to see her hangin' around drug spots at night." I shrugged and crossed my arms over my chest. "As long as she don't bring that shit around the kids, she can sniff what she wants." I threw another look his way. "And.. I just don't like talking about Heero, okay? The truth hurts so I don't like to hear it."He raised an eyebrow. "I wouldn't have brought it up.. but I was hoping you had kept in contact with him. There are a few things I'd like to talk to him about."I momentarily forgot the fact that I was peeved and looked at him with interest. "Like what?"He hesitated for a moment and looked over his shoulder as if he was making sure no one was around. "I don't know if you know this, Duo but I was in the war."My mouth dropped open and I'm pretty sure my eyes were boggling out of my head. "Really?"Trowa nodded and turned towards the window again. "Yes. How much do you know about the war?" I shrugged. "Not much... all I know is what I heard from the streets and the snatches of news coverage."

He nodded again. "Well, I'm assuming you know what it was about?""Yeah, the Romefellar and Oz factions were both fighting to get control of Earth and the colonies, and the Gundam pilots were rebels who wanted to destroy 'em both and protect the colonies from being controlled by a bunch of dickhead dictators, right?"

Trowa smirked. "Pretty much. All the news said at the end of the war was what the big shots wanted the people to hear, so I'll fill you in on the rest." He cleared his throat and shot me a look to make sure I was paying attention. "The war was never officially resolved and all that wound up happening was that the Romefellar Foundation was completely wiped out. Oz's leader, Treize Khushrenada signed a peace treaty with Foreign Minister Relena Peacecraft and her brother Milliardo and agreed to help them govern the colonies and Earth in a democratic fashion."My eyebrows drew together. "I never understood how that happened, considering Treize was like.. a bad guy."

Trowa nodded. "Yeah, the details on that are a little murky but what seemed to have happened was that he at first signed the treaty and just agreed to stay out of the way and not cause any more trouble, but what wound up happening was that he gained power in the government by making a bunch of deals with the Peacecraft twins. They're all a bunch of crooked bastards and they pretty much run everything the way Romefellar and the old Oz factions wanted to. They're just a lot more tricky about it and pretend to be democratic."

I raised an eyebrow. "Please remind me why people fall for that shit..."He laughed. "Because people are stupid and believe the propaganda that they are fed with a golden spoon. They see Relena Peacecraft's face plastered everywhere, see her wholesome charm and think 'wow, what a good leader I have!'. Idiots," He scoffed.

I shook my head. "But what does this have to do with Heero?"

Trowa sighed. "Now when I tell you this, keep your comments until I'm done." I nodded and he continued. "I.. was a Gundam pilot. That's where I learned all of that hacking. I looked him up and found out that Heero was too. Us pilots were the only ones who actually cared about the people of the colonies and hopefully he still does."

I gaped at him and he continued. "I lied to him when I told him I hadn't cracked the disc. I got to the first bit of information but not very far.. and there was some wicked shit on there. I didn't get to the details but I can tell you now that all of this stuff, the sickness going around the colony, the Black Out and all this rain.. it's not a fuckin' coincidence."

I nodded slowly. "And you think that if he's still Mister Colony Guy.. that he'll do somethin' to help?"

Trowa nodded in agreement. "Yeah. I made a copy of the disc but there is so much encrypted shit on it that I still haven't cracked it all. I thought that he would be the best bet in getting some help but since he didn't bother to keep in touch, I'm not so sure anymore." He sighed and rubbed a hand across his face. "I'm almost scared to see the rest of the stuff on it but I know that I have to if we're going to do anything about this situation."

My eyebrows shot up. "We?"A small smirk crossed his face. "Yeah, 'we'. You might not have been a Gundam pilot but you got a lot of heart and more bravery than a lot of people do these days. If we're going to get out of this alive and try to save the colony.. well we're going to have to do it together."I grinned at him. "Playin' Super Hero now, army boy?"

"I always kind of admired Batman," He deadpanned.

I laughed and clapped a hand on his back. "As long as you don't ask me to whip out the red tights and dress like Robin.. you got yourself a side kick."

-end-

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