Pairing: 1+2+1/1x2x1; reference to past 1xR, R+1.
Disclaimer: If I owned GW, I would be happy. I am happy. But to draw the
conclusion that I own GW from those statements would be to affirm the
consequent, and would therefore be an invalid argument. See?
Warnings: Part 21 has no warnings, except for a very brief mention of
past 2+4+2... Should I put my running shoes on now? *hides* This is an
Notes: I apologise for Trowa in this... I did my best to keep him IC.
I actually don't think I've done too bad a job, but hey, he don't come
off as Mr Nice Guy, y'know?
+ Part 21
Heero was not entirely surprised
that he found it more difficult to leave the house that morning. Of course,
Duo was there, making polite and intelligent conversation with his hostess,
and looking on while Relena kissed her departing husband's cheek with
what Heero could only describe as... envy.
He had felt guilty -- ironic, because it was Duo he felt he was
betraying. He had pushed aside the knot of events and feelings, instead
spending the morning pursuing tooth-grindingly dull cases to appease his
Dull now, anyway, after what he had seen, touched, felt. After what he
knew... It was like water wearing down a stone, trying to get these people,
so afraid of conflict, to accept the possibility of it. But then, Heero
considered, they didn't even really know what this was. He thought, he
knew, they weren't able to deal with it. To Heero, though, it was
a challenge; a mystery, an unknown. A made-up war with an invisible enemy...
Heero didn't like the odds of winning such a thing; so his objective was
to prevent one starting before it was even a real possibility.
He fully acknowledged that it wasn't his job to do that anymore. Nevertheless...
it was his responsibility. Just as it had been before. he would prove
he was more than a soldier; prove to Relena he wasn't just the Gundam
Show a way between war and peace...
Heero was suddenly struck by the overwhelming desire to be back home...
on the colony. He'd never really felt that, before Duo had come into his
life. But he had been reminded of how he started, what it had been about.
He had a vision of himself back there, in space, with all this solved
and behind him, the path out a memory. He knew that, in some fashion,
Duo would be there; he was satisfied with that.
Heero was quite surprised
to turn from his imaginings of Duo, to come face to face with the real
thing. "What are you doing here?" Duo rolled his eyes. "Nice
to see you too. I got some news you might be interested in."
"And you couldn't have used the phone?" Heero smirked. Duo looked
a little affronted. "Well, that's nice! I didn't have to come all
this way and see you! He moved closer, sitting on the edge of Heero's
desk. "But hey, any excuse will do." He winked and Heero smiled.
"So, what is it?" Heero was glad of the distraction.
Duo made himself more comfortable, pushing Heero's things to one side
on the desk and leaning back against the wall. He laid a disc on the surface
in front of Heero. "I've been asking some of my most trusted friends
in space to keep both eyes open for anything I thought might help us.
And now, I think we've found some interesting stuff."
Heero put the disc in his system and viewed its contents.
"That's our correspondence over the past few days, plus a few articles
he pointed me towards. Seems like there's quite a lot of stuff you don't
hear about down here: for all that `Unified Nation' shit, it's still like
a foreign country." he shrugged. "Earth still doesn't pay that
much attention. You'd have thought that they'd have learnt by now, but
hey, some people just don't want to learn." He was silent for a moment
before pointing at something on Heero's monitor. "This one's the
thing that made me come round here. I got this mail from my old buddy
he... Well, let's just say he's been involved in a lot of the same stuff
as me. He knows where to find things out. He has a talent for it. So I
asked him to look out, and he did." Duo peered through the blinds
out into the main office, where curious glances were coming from. "Hey,
d'you think we could go somewhere, get some lunch or something? I don't
like how those guys out there are eyeing me up."
Heero grinned at Duo's choice of phrase. "If you like." He had
read the mail, and carefully ejected the disc, placing it in his pocket
and shutting down the system.
On the way out he took care to lock the door of his office, amused at
how everyone's eyes quickly returned to their work when they felt his
gaze on them.
They bought lunch and headed to the park, under an unspoken agreement
that Heero found... comforting.
"What was all that about back there, anyway? Everyone seemed pretty
interested in me."
"People don't often just wander into the office. Especially people
known to be colony representatives. And especially not looking so cheerful."
Duo laughed a little. "I'm sorry, I couldn't help being pleased to
Heero smirked. Duo grinned back a moment, before the expression faded
and he sighed. "Even though it's not exactly great news I was bringing
for you. You read Quatre's mail? The latest one?" Heero nodded, noting
the name. The email hadn't been signed. "Well, you saw then. It just
confirms our suspicions. There is someone up there out to get us."
He chuckled, just a little.
Heero shook his head at the allusion. "When did you first ask for
"Just after you asked me, I got in touch with a few friends. A couple
of days later, Quatre got back in touch. Said he'd had a feeling something
weird was going on; just a general sense of unrest. Posters advertising
lectures, meetings, demos,
that sort of thing. So he went along to one."
"And, there were a few people there, just one or two, not many, but
some, who were definitely more serious than the rest. So he got talking
to them. Quatre has this way of making people talk to him, making people
trust him. Of course, they didn't tell him all that much - but it was
enough to make him start looking himself. He's clever that way. He has
the resources, and knows how to use 'em."
Heero was beginning to build up a picture in his head.
"So, guess what, he finds out there definitely is a group with some
sort of big ideas of revolution, rebellion or whatever. There's not many
of them, but it seems they're determined."
"Yeah. That was the impression I got from that email."
"They're organised. Organised enough to keep everything so quiet
and mysterious... And that shows how serious they are too."
Heero nodded. It was strange. The urgency of the situation turned to excitement,
Duo voiced Heero's own thought. "So, what are you going to do, Detective
Heero looked sideways at him; Duo often liked to refer to his rank. It
was a reminder of his responsibilities... His current responsibilities.
He was silent for a long moment, thinking; Duo spoke again first.
"What are you gonna tell your bosses?"
Heero already knew the answer to that one. "I'll tell them the truth.
If they ask me."
"And if they don't?"
Heero turned to face him. "This is my investigation. They've made
it clear from the start that they want nothing to do with it. That suits
me. That's their problem. I can handle this."
Duo grinned, resting his hand casually on Heero's knee and giving a subtle
squeeze. "I know." They were quiet for a few moments before
Duo spoke again. "Something Quatre didn't say in that mail... I gave
him a call after he sent it, to make sure I had everything right before
I told you, and he said he's thinking of coming down to Earth himself."
Heero raised an eyebrow.
"He wants to see if he can do anything to help. I thought, the more
people the better! I told him it would be great if he came and worked
with me. See, me and him work well together - I might be all determined
and not afraid to get things done the hard way, but Quatre sees stuff
differently to me, he's a more lateral thinker. And if there's both of
us working on this, then you've got more time for doing your real police
Heero smirked at Duo's sarcasm, but was soon serious again. "So,
when is he going to get here?"
Duo shrugged. "I'm not sure yet. I wanted to make sure you thought
it was a good idea." He nudged Heero playfully. "But seeing
as you do, I'll call him as soon as I can. He has a house round here somewhere."
Duo rolled his eyes. "He'll find an excuse for a convenient business
trip or something like that." Duo grinned. "It'll be good to
see him again, I haven't for a while."
Heero gave him a long look, considering. "There was something between
you, once, wasn't there?" Heero said it out of genuine interest.
Duo stared. "Man, you're not a detective for nothing, are you. Yeah,
there was once, very briefly. We found we didn't love each other like
that, though... We care about each other, but... there wasn't that constant
consciousness between us, that knowledge... Not like..." Duo was
serious, his voice lowered. "Not like with you." Heero felt
He could sense Duo's frustration, knew Duo wanted so much to just lean
in and kiss him... But that was one of the rules of an involvement like
"I love you Heero." A verbal kiss instead, in a half-whisper.
"I know," Heero replied desperately.
Duo smiled lopsidedly, reached and held Heero's hand like he often did.
"So you've no need to be jealous." He gave Heero a wink, and
Heero raised an eyebrow. He reflected briefly on the irony that it was
Duo warning him, albeit jokingly, against jealousy, when it was
Heero who had proved himself unfaithful... Still, the thought didn't seem
to worry Duo.
Heero smirked. "Don't worry. As a matter of fact, I'm looking forward
to seeing him again myself."
Duo's jaw dropped. "What? You know him? Quatre Winner?
How do you even know it's the same guy? I never told you his full name."
Heero almost laughed aloud at Duo's expression. "Like you said, I'm
not a detective for nothing. Rich, intelligent, fits the description you
gave... We met during the war. A couple of times, when I... didn't have
Duo nodded, though he still looked incredulous. "I can't believe
it! But" his eyes narrowed a little, and he tapped Heero good- naturedly
in the shoulder "you might've told me sooner, before I went on about
the guy, like an idiot. But I guess I don't mind telling you a bit more
of my life story." He smiled. "No, I don't mind that at all."
They were quiet another minute before Duo looked at his watch. "I
guess you need to be getting back now?"
Heero shrugged. "I suppose so." They stood, setting off back
in the direction they came.
"Y'know, it'll be interesting, the three of us together. Hopefully
we'll get further faster. That'll be some weird reunion." Duo laughed.
They were back at the police station now. "Are you going to come
Duo considered for a moment. "Nah, I don't think I will. They were
making me edgy before. Like they were dying to arrest me for something.
I'm gonna head back, call Quatre. Tell him to charter his private jet
as soon as he can." He laughed. "I'll see you later." He
gave Heero a lingering look; Heero had learned by now that Duo couldn't
part from him without some touch, and this time it was a squeeze of the
shoulder that left a warm impression on Heero's skin. He watched Duo leave
and headed back up to his office.
He was surprised to hear Trowa calling him by his name at work; he found
it strangely ominous. Trowa's expression was hard, his eyes cold; it made
Heero uneasy. "What is it?"
"Maxwell. I know you've been involved in this case from the start,
Heero. I know you've invested a lot of personal time and commitment. And
now I think I know why."
Heero looked back at him, unfazed. "Yeah?"
"I think you're the last person I'd ever have thought would get involved
with a witness."
"I saw you with him. When I think about it, all those other times
as well, I've never seen you react like that with anyone. I can see there's
something going on between you."
Heero wasn't going to deny it. He remained silent, waiting for Trowa to
"I guess it's deeper than I thought. I thought it was strange for
you to get so close to someone involved in a case. I thought it was just
that he'd managed to win your trust. But, if it's more than that..."
Trowa looked away. "I don't care about your personal life, Heero;
if you want to break up your marriage then that's up to you. But I don't
think you could have made a less appropriate choice of person. You told
me this case was based on feelings and emotions; you're right, I know.
But I think there has to be a point where that can go too far. I don't
know if you're suitable to work on this case anymore." He folded
his arms and looked Heero in the eye.
Heero waited to speak, thinking hard. "Trowa, you're my most trusted
colleague and friend. I don't want to have to say those words back to
you, but it seems like it's you who isn't right for this case. You keep
talking about Duo as if he was a suspect; but he might be one of our best
links in solving this. I don't want to discuss this any more with you.
I want you to work on this case with me. But I think it's you who's crossed
the line between letting feelings guide you, and letting them prejudice
your thinking." He slammed the door to his office and went to the
window, letting the broad view of the city reassure him that it was more
than simple feeling telling him he was right.
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