Pairing: 1+2+1/1x2x1; reference to past 1xR, R+1.
Disclaimer: I am not owning these characters, to use the Indian English
Warnings: Part 25 has a slight violence warning. For all other warnings,
please see individual parts.
+ Part 25
Heero couldn't make himself
sit still the next morning in the office. Walking on egg shells around
his superiors, trying to remain enigmatic whilst his mind was elsewhere.
He was trying to stick by the advice Quatre had given him after all,
Duo and he were working on their information; he could toe the line, keep
on the good side of his bosses.
The problem was, this attitude was anathema to everything Heero felt he
had stood for, all his life. The thought that he had to stand back a little,
and not devote all his energy to the most important matter at hand...
it rankled him. He felt preoccupied; jittery. When his phone rang, he
snatched it off the desk. "Yuy."
There was background noise on the line: the voice that spoke to him was
quiet, urgent. "Heero, I need you to come down to the war exhibition.
Abruptly the noise stopped, the line dead. Heero felt the adrenalin surge
he couldn't stop it, even though his brain was telling him it was bad
news; even though he knew, as he grabbed his coat, that he didn't know
what he was heading into; even though he knew this wasn't quite in keeping
with his promise to Quatre, he still ran down the stairs, welcoming the
challenge, eager to meet it, whatever it was.
He hurried the short distance across town to the exhibition. The building
was visible from quite a distance away standing out above the rooftops
was the main hall, built on derelict land after the war, a lasting monument
to this peace; home of the disarmed Gundam. It was a source of great prestige
to the Sanq kingdom, commissioned from the most highly esteemed architect
on the Earth, bought from public money: the Sanq people were proud of
the role it represented in stopping the war. Relena's role; their role.
Heero could hear sounds, disturbance, from its direction; he broke into
a run. Turning the final corner into the open square in front of the main
entrance, he saw several vehicles emblazoned with Preventers' logo; agents
in the familiar khaki, some crouched in huddles, whispering urgently;
others pacing, hurrying; and, off to one side, deep in grave conversation
with a few other Preventers, he saw Wufei. Heero jogged across to him.
Wufei saw him coming, and gestured, urging him to hurry. Before Heero
had a chance to ask, Wufei was already speaking.
"We were called down here about an hour ago after reports of a young man
making a big scene, trying to damage the exhibits, deface them. It seems
he's a colonial, trying to make a statement so I thought you might want
Heero nodded gratefully. "Thanks." He looked towards the building. "Where
is he now?"
Wufei paused only briefly. "He's on the Gundam."
"Climbed halfway up. He's got banners, spraypaint. Wants to put on a show."
"How did he manage it?"
"The staff say he was just too quick by the time they noticed him, he
was thirty feet over their heads. As yet, no-one else seems to be willing
or able to get to him. Plus, they're worried about what he might do next."
Wufei shrugged a shoulder. "I think he's just going to keep shouting the
odds. But some people don't want to take chances... with things they way
Heero nodded. "Everyone else is out, right?"
"All the civilians, yes. We've got several agents in there, but I called
"Thanks," Heero repeated, sincerely. Then, with barely a pause, "I'm going
Wufei looked at him with a half-grin. "Me too."
They crossed the square briskly, several agents shadowing them. Heero
felt like he'd never been away. Quickly they made their way to the huge
hangar that housed the pride of the exhibition Wing Gundam: gleaming,
dominating the room; but dull-eyed, lifeless. Heero couldn't describe
the feeling that hit him, seeing it again, in these circumstances: across
its chest was draped a banner that simply said "JUSTICE"; and on one shoulder,
nonchalant, Heero now saw the figure of a man.
He stood up as he saw them enter the hall. "Heero Yuy!"
Heero slowed his pace, but didn't reply, for now.
"I know it's you, Yuy! I know who you are!"
Heero slowed to a halt, stopping several metres from the Gundam. "OK,
you know who I am. Why don't you return us the courtesy?"
The man gave no indication he intended to answer. "Why'd you come, Yuy?
Heard someone was trespassing on your property?"
Heero went cold. `What did that mean?' Heero knew the answer too
well. Ignoring the chill that had descended over him, he pressed on. "What
do you hope to achieve from this?"
The young man on the Gundam leaned forward casually, sweeping an arm over
the banner draped across the wide metal chest. "Can't you read? We want
justice, for the colonies! We want a fair deal! We want the Earth to stop
pushing us to the back of the queue!"
Wufei cut in. "OK, we've all heard you now, so come down. You can keep
talking down here."
The man shrugged his shoulders, exaggerating the gesture to make his audience
catch their breath again. "Maybe. I'll think about it. But I kinda like
the view from up here. Makes you feel so powerful, y'know? Yeah, you know."
He grinned at Heero.
Heero felt his body turn cold as stone. He could feel the Preventers'
glances, and didn't dare move a muscle. "I can see why you're doing this.
But you're going to get yourself arrested. That's not going to do a lot
to help your cause."
The young man shrugged again, leaning against the head of the Gundam with
a wide grin. "You never know. After all, I'm sure there's plenty of people
who'd be very concerned for my welfare."
Heero said nothing, inviting the man to say his piece.
"I mean, think of the reaction: Colonist incarcerated by Earth authorities!
What does that say for free speech? Earth trying to suppress the colonies'
point of view! Yes, very interesting!"
"So you don't really want to make any progress? You just want to stir
up more trouble?"
A pause. After a long moment, the man shook his head slowly. "I... guess
Heero gave a mental sigh of relief. It was a small victory. "Than we agree
on something." He paused, relaxing a fraction before he continued. "If
you come down, you might be surprised how many people want to hear what
you've got to say."
For an agonising few minutes, the room was silent, frozen... then, the
young man, to the tangible relief of all present, began to tentatively
make his way down. Heero breathed again.
He turned to face Wufei the Preventer nodded, gesturing to his colleagues
to stay where they were while he came forward.
Heero and Wufei approached the feet of the Gundam in as non- threatening
a way as they could manage, finally meeting the protestor as he clambered
the last distance to the ground. They stopped a comfortable distance away,
Wufei taking the lead.
"...Thank you. Now, we'd like you to come with us. We all have some questions
we want to ask you..."
But even as he spoke, Heero could see it was too late, could see the young
man shaking his head, taking a step backwards, reaching into his jacket...
"No, no way! I'm not telling you what you want to hear! I'm not a traitor,
like some people!" Wild-eyed, he fixed Heero with a glare, bringing his
hand back out
Behind him, Heero heard the shock: "He's got a gun!"
In front of him, Wufei held up a hand: the Preventers held their ground;
Heero heard them shifting uneasily, itching to act.
The protestor brandished his weapon wildly, pointing it jerkily at everyone
in the vicinity even Wufei flinched.
But then, Heero watched a half smile begin to form on the young protestor's
face. "No, that wouldn't be too smart, would it? Shooting a Preventer.
That wouldn't look good. On the other hand..." Slowly, he brought the
gun up, beside his own head, tensing his grip... "...you'd lose all your
information, and everybody sees that you're responsible for a young
Colonist's death." He locked eyes with Heero once again. "Seems worth
it to me."
Heero thought he'd probably never acted faster, than when he grabbed his
own gun from its holster, taking advantage of the young man's own momentary
pause to aim in a fraction of a second, pull the trigger hear a sharp
cry, and then the clatter of metal on concrete.
Heero thought his heart had never beat so hard, as when he saw Wufei dive
forward, capturing the protestor in a hold that he was too shocked to
break out of, clutching his bleeding hand and trying not to show the pain
it caused him.
Heero thought he'd probably never quite remember watching the Preventers
pick up the gun, search round the room, high and low, talk urgently into
radios; it seemed so fast, how they hustled their new prisoner out, checking
every corner as they went, until Heero was left in the hangar, alone,
except for the Gundam.
[part 24] [part 26] [back
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