Author: Dacia

Duoman: Ships in the Night + Part 4

+

As soon as Wufei entered the room, he could tell this was all going to end up even messier that he had foreseen. He heard a low laugh from a darkened corner which continued and grew as the minutes passed. Still chuckling, a voice spoke. "Preventer Chang. Imagine meeting you here."

"Imagine," grimaced Wufei.

"Preventer Chang?"

"Yes, my young Treize. Preventer Chang." A man stepped out of the shadows. "Your latest conquest is an honourable Earth Sphere law enforcement officer."

"One of the best and brightest," spoke Wufei. He somehow found this situation ambitiously amusing. If it weren't for the man, who was most likely the love of his life, staring at him with a dazed expression that bordered on horror in addition to the fact that he would most certainly be meeting his maker sometime in the very near future, he would have been laughing his proverbial ass off. As it was, he settled for a small smile.

"Indeed."

"Pardon my naiveté," said Wufei, "But aren't you supposed to be dead, Mr. Dermail?"

"Ah, my dear Preventer Chang. I was dead" A fleeting look of loathing passed over Dermail's otherwise passive features. "At your hand, as I recall."

"Then, how..."

Again, laughter. "It seems that if money cannot buy you love, it can buy you life. I was dead, yes, but not long enough that I couldn't be brought back. I think you might be interested to know that my miraculous recovery was in part due to one of your more dishonourable peers." Dermail sat back in a tall chair behind his desk. "But enough about me. Let's talk about you."

"Preventer Chang..."

Dermail sighed in dignified exasperation at Treize who was apparently still reeling from the unexpectedness of this revelation. "Yes, Treize. Preventer Chang. I can't blame you for your miscalculation. Preventer Chang is indeed one of the best and the brightest. It is by no fault of his own that he finds himself now in somewhat dire straits. He is... a victim of circumstance."

"Aren't we all." [5] Wufei spared a glance at the man he assumed was now lost to him forever. //But then, he was never mine.// "I take it you're feeling betrayed, that you'll now hate me forever, and that you're seriously pissed."

"That would be the logical assumption, yes," replied Treize slowly. At Wufei's disheartened acceptance he could not help but scowl teasingly. "You would, of course, be mistaken."

"Treize has always had a fascination with justice," Dermail explained. "I have yet to weed it out of him." He was interrupted by a knock at the door.

"Come in." At his words, several very imposing men entered.

"But it appears I will not be allowed the pleasure of that, after all." He peered at Wufei curiously. "He seems to have taken quite a shine to you."

"It's the hair," said Wufei. "They always fall for the hair." His heart was hammering wildly in his chest. He was taken aback to realize this was due not to his capture, but to Treize's unexpected reaction.

"I would rather think it was your piercing gaze," replied Dermail dryly. His eyes darkened dramatically. "You do understand your situation, do you not?"

"Of course. You can't have expected me to crawl, Dermail. It's not my style."

Dermail sighed. "No. It never has been. Still... I'll have to see if there's anything I can do about that." He gestured towards them dismissively. "Take them away."

+

"So, it's Preventer Chang, is it?"

Treize and Wufei had been led to a relatively roomy office which now served as their cell.

Wufei nodded. "I'm rather shocked that you're taking this so well."

"You mean because I work for a murderer?"

"Well, you have to admit it doesn't place you in the kindest light."

Treize took a seat opposite Wufei and captured his eyes with an intense gaze. "That would be presupposing that I had a choice."

"And you do not?"

"No. I have not had the luxury of choice for quite some time."

"Dermail can do that to a man."

Treize leaned back, his fingers absently trailing along the arm of his chair. "So I have discovered, though I never would have guessed. He is so nonchalantly evil. One would almost think it was his job. If I may be so bold as to inquire... Just how did you know Dermail. Aside from having killed him, of course."

Wufei tore his gaze away from where Treize caressed the leather under his hand and smiled around the constriction in his chest. Treize's effect on him, rather than diminishing, was growing stronger with each passing moment. If the sensation weren't so disconcerting, he would have found it rather interesting. "Dermail was CEO of one of Earth's largest corporations. Perhaps you've heard if it -- Asgard?"

"Yes, I know it." He pondered this a moment. "As I recollect, they produced and distributed almost inedible space rations. As much as they disgusted me, I hardly think it's cause to kill a man."

Wufei concentrated on breathing. Why was it that a simple conversation with this man was so arousing?

"No," he answered with a chuckle that was almost unnoticeably strained. "That would have been overkill. Dermail also dabbled in designer drugs. He was the largest manufacturer of synthetic narcotics... and also completely untraceable."

"Not completely," corrected Treize. "You did catch him, in the end."

"Well, I am one of the best and the brightest. When I finally had enough evidence for an arrest, Dermail was not at all... cooperative."

"So you shot him."

"I shot him."

Wufei's eyes flashed with an almost overwhelming fury which Treize could not help but notice. His question remained unasked, but after a few moments Wufei found himself answering it.

"Dermail killed my wife."

"Your... wife?"

"Meiran."

They sat in a silence which was verging on uncomfortable when Treize finally spoke.

"And now to find him alive..."

"The irony of it does not escape me. It seems I might very well lose my life to the very man who took my Meiran away from me." Wufei's eyes took on a slightly predatory glow as he stood. "But I've never been one to give in too soon. I have faith in my affinity for survival." He crossed to Treize and straddled his lap. "I also, if I'm not mistaken, have something to live for."

He felt himself encircled my strong arms.

"And whatever gave you that impression?"

In response, Wufei kissed Treize's smirking lips with a delicious intensity that left Treize dazed.
Pulling away after an eon of hungry silence, Wufei cocked his head slightly to the right. "Oh, I don't know. It's just a feeling."

+

The man known as Zechs Merquise looked first to Preventer Yuy and then his partner questioningly. "And just what was it that you had in mind?"

"Are you kidding?" snorted Duo. "How can you possibly ask that when we're sitting in the same room as the most powerful computer ever known to man?"

"That it may be," agreed Zechs, "but I have not had access to it for quite some time now. For the past week or so, Wing Zero may as well have been a very expensive paperweight."

Duo's answering laugh was almost unnerving. "As my beloved Hee-chan so eloquently phrased it, I don't think that will be a problem."

//'Beloved Hee-chan'?// "But... how?"

"Ah," sighed the braided youth. "Genius is mysterious." [6] Heero's eyes on him felt less than optimistic and, when he turned back to him, he saw doubt in his cobalt eyes.

"Are you sure, Duo? Can you handle Wing Zero?"

"We'll soon see," he shrugged. "And there's no time like the present. Tell you what -- why don't you and blondie go collect Quatre. I'd feel a lot better if I knew his cute little posterior was out of harm's way. When the chips start to fall, I'm not sure if I'll be able to control it for long."

Heero nodded tersely. He moved until he stood before Duo, kneeling down and leaning in close. "It's possible that Wing Zero may be too much for you."

"It's also possible that the sky might fall tomorrow, but we all can't go running around like Chicken Little. That would just be silly." He ruffled Heero's hair affectionately. "I've got the element of humanity on my side. I think you'll be surprised at what a difference it makes."

"Be careful anyways, Duo. You weren't programmed for anything like this."

"Ne, Heero, haven't you ever heard that we're all more than the sum of our programming?"

Heero snorted in amusement, not the least bit aware of how incredibly endearing he looked while doing so. "Where'd you get that one?"

"ST:TNG."

"Baka."

"Yeah." Duoman smiled sweetly. Heero though he might possibly die from the sugar high. "But I'm your baka."

Duo waited until Heero and Zechs had left before he stood, all traces of his acutely jovial nature absent from his now grim expression.

"All right, Wing. Let's see what you've got."

And he walked into the computer.

+

"Geez, Heero," groaned Quatre as he rubbed a sore arm that he just knew was going to bruise. "Did you have to yank me so hard?"

Heero glowered at him, knowing all the while that his glares of doom had about as much effect on him as the did on Duo -- namely, none. "Yes, I did."

"But no one knows who I am."

"I couldn't be sure of that. Chang's been missing for three hours now. Anything could have happened. Assuring your safety was my primary concern."

"But pulling me over the balcony like that..."

Heero unsuccessfully attempted to smother his smirk."Hey, it worked, didn't it?"

Just then, Zechs reentered the room. He had left the two Preventers in his office -- the only place he could guarantee their safety -- while he had gone to see what he could discover about their comrade.

"Well?" asked Quatre impatiently.

"I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that Preventer Chang has indeed been identified and is now being held captive."

"And the good news?" prompted Heero.

"The good news is that he's not alone. It seems my partner has been incarcerated as well and, if I know Treize half as well as I think I do, he has most likely switched sides."

Quatre grinned in spite of himself. "It's the hair," he said. "They always fall for the hair."

"That still leaves us with the rather pressing question of what to do now," continued Zechs who had an odd feeling that Quatre was probably at least partially correct. "Especially since we seem to have lost track of Duo."

"What do you mean?"

"I checked in on him when I returned. He's nowhere to be found."

"Oh, he's here," spoke Heero. "You just have to know where to look. If you'll excuse me..."

Zechs watched him with a quizzical look as he left, but made no move to follow.

Upon entering the computer room, Heero was shocked to feel it so empty. He knew Duo was here, somewhere, but he couldn't help but think that the braided boy was farther away than he could possibly imagine.

"Duo?"

He almost expected an echo.

"Duo??"

He hadn't let himself contemplate until this exact moment that something might have gone wrong. After all, Duoman could do anything because he wasn't real.

"But he is real..."

"You bet your sweet ass I am," came an answering voice.

"Duo!"

When Heero next came to his senses, it was to find himself with his arms locked so tightly around Duo that, if the other boy had indeed needed to breath, he would quite possibly have died of suffocation in the interim.

"So," he said, pulling back slightly with an expression on his face that could best be described as a decidedly uncharacteristic grin, "I see you're ok."

"Yes, 'ok' is definitely the word I would use," spoke Duo. "But, my god, if I ever volunteer to do anything like that ever, ever again, do me a favour and render me unconscious, all right?"

"Sure thing."

"Ummm... Heero?"

"Yes Duo?"

"I never thought I'd be saying this, but do you think you could let go of me now?"

"Oh," said Heero. "Yeah. Right."

As he fully released his hold. He felt a tremor race through Duo's body.

"Damn, baby, but your arms feel good," he whispered.

Rendered speechless, as always, by Duoman's unbridled sensuality, Heero could merely follow as Duo left the room.

"Hey, Kat. Long time, no see." Duo threw himself onto the sofa and snuggled up to a very embarrassed blue-eyed blond. "Still delectable as ever..."

Quatre's face flushed seven shades of red before settling on a pleasing pink.

"Stop teasing Quatre, Duo," admonished Heero. "You know perfectly well how you fluster him. Besides, I thought you only had eyes for me."

Duo blinked two wide, violet eyes, shocked to his core by Heero's recent actions but too downright confused to show it. "Isn't it enough that you have my heart, cookie? Do you claim my eyes as well?"

Zechs' low chuckle filled the resulting silence. Tearing his eyes away from Heero, Duo turned to him.

"It was the 'cookie' thing, wasn't it?"

"That and the fact that you're as cute as a button. But maybe you have something to tell us?"

"Oi, you mean beside the fact that your computer's a bitch?"

"I rather like it."

Duo snorted petulantly. [7] "You would. Take it from me, bud, she's trouble with a capital 'T'. Turn your back once and she'll chew you up and spit you out."

"Duo..." Heero did have a way with words.

"Can't a guy complain? Do you have any idea what a royal pain in the ass that was?" [8]

"Later, Duo. I promise you can complain as much as you want when we get home."

"I'm gonna hold you to that, doll baby," he said. "There's enough data in that computer to put Mr. Ugly away 'til the next ice age. I swear, why people trust that sort of stuff to computers is beyond me..."

Quatre raised an eyebrow at this. "Oh? I know at least one perfectly trustworthy computer."

Duo tightened his hold on the blonde, not even bothering to resist to resist the temptation to nibble on his ear. "Thanks, Kat. But seriously folks," he continued, "his goose is cooked."

"Why do I get the feeling that you're saving the worst for last?" spoke Heero.

"Because you know me too well, Hee-chan. That worst bit would be Mr. Ugly himself -- Duke Dermail."

Heero started at that. Duke Dermail... "But isn't he..."

"Dead?" supplied Quatre. "Last time I checked that was a big a-ffirmative."

"The miracles of modern science will screw you every time," sighed Duo melodramatically. "And Mr. Ugly isn't taking any chances. He's got so much security around Wufei that I'd be surprised if light was getting in."

In the light of what Zechs considered to be very bad news, he nevertheless noted that Duo's grin was growing larger by the second.

"Am I missing something here?" questioned Zechs. "This Wufei is your friend, yes? Why aren't you all more upset?"

"Because we have a secret weapon," answered Heero.

"And that would be?" Zechs looked a tad dubious.

The braided boy looked slightly hurt that there was even need to ask. "Well, you know... me."

+


[5] Anyone have any idea where this is from?
[6] This is from Barbarella, if you didn't catch it...
[7] So many ways to snort, so little time...
[8] Aren't footnotes fun? But seriously folks... I'm sorry I'm not getting any more detailed than this. In the show, Automan just walked into the computer and came out looking drained. I figure if it's good enough for Automan, it's good enough for me. ^_^

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