Author: Elyndys
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 23 has no warnings. For all other warnings, see individual parts

Escaping + Part 23

When Heero woke up, he was alone in Duo’s bed. He could hear the whirr of a computer, though, and when he sat up he saw Duo at his laptop on the desk across the room. He smiled as he turned to face Heero, getting up and coming to sit on the bed. He was wearing only a pair of jeans, and from the warm dampness of his skin, Heero realised he had recently showered.

"Hey." Duo reached out a hand and put it to Heero’s shoulder, stroking tenderly.

Heero stretched, careful not to dislodge Duo’s hand. "How long have I been asleep?"

"About an hour and a half." Duo kissed the shoulder he was stroking. Heero felt an unexpected surge of arousal at the simple gesture, and he rubbed his cheek against Duo’s hair. He felt Duo smile against his skin before he pulled away to meet Heero’s eyes. They looked at each other for a long moment before giving in and closing the distance, savouring the kiss, taking it slowly, tasting each other.

When they broke apart, Duo grinned. "I could get used to this."

"One thing at a time." Heero took Duo’s hand, trying to soften the words.

Duo sighed. "I know." Heero expected him to say more, and when he didn’t, sought to reassure him.

"Duo... I meant what I said. But there’s things I have to do." He squeezed Duo’s hand. "And that’s why I need your help."

Duo grinned. "There you go again! If I wasn’t so sure I believed you, I’d think you were just doing this to get me onside." He winked.

Heero shook his head in mock-exasperation. They hadn’t talked much after making love; Duo had just smiled, kissing Heero’s hair and holding him as he held Duo. Heero knew it didn’t need saying again; he could tell from the look in Duo’s eyes that he believed Heero’s quiet love. Just like he believed Duo. He knew they felt the same.

Heero smiled, letting Duo go and getting off the bed. "I’m going to go get a shower before... Relena gets back." He felt a little awkward saying it; if his life with Relena had seemed alien to him before, how much more so would it now? It would be difficult; being close to Duo felt too natural. But still... it wouldn’t be for long that he would have to resist.

He gathered his clothes, gazing at Duo as he dressed.

"Oh -- what I was going to tell you before I got distracted" Duo winked again, looking Heero up and down "was, I got another mail from Quatre. He’s coming tomorrow."

"That’s fast."

Duo laughed. "Yeah, he was glad to get away. He’s like you, wants to be in on any action that’s going on. Sometimes he thinks being a business man doesn’t suit him; then something like this happens, and makes him appreciate it." Duo shrugged. "I said I’d go over to his place tomorrow night. You wanna come?"

"Yeah."

Duo grinned. "Great! You guys can have your reunion. I wonder what Quatre will think about this?"

Heero knew which ‘this’ Duo was referring to. "You’re going to tell him about us?"

Duo looked a little surprise. "He’s one of my best friends; I guess I just automatically thought I’d tell him... Guess that’s not really a good idea, is it." He smiled lopsidedly.

Heero shrugged. "It’s hard to keep things from Quatre." He’d finished putting on his clothes, though he felt uncomfortable in them and was looking forward to washing. "I won’t be long."

Duo grinned again. "You better not be, or I’ll come and join you."

Heero made his way back to his own room, still not quite believing what had happened. He found he still had that odd sense of... completeness, something shared, as though barriers had disappeared and there were no more... unknowns left between them...

Hm. Except one.

But that was... something Duo would probably never even have to know about. Once they were gone... Heero realised he was entirely committed to leaving... but he still hadn’t found the way out.

+

It was with some trepidation that Heero went to work the next morning. He wondered which he’d be confronted with -- the fury of the DCI, or the stony disapproval of Trowa. He couldn’t make up his mind which would be less enjoyable.

As he sat in his office, though, it was Trowa who knocked on the door.

Heero let him in, and waited.

"I’m not going to say anything to the DCI. Yet."

Heero remained silent.

"After all, this is my case as much as yours, if not more. I’m not going to let you get it wrong, Heero -- if nothing else I’m here to watch you. But I’m willing to not let that get in the way of the case -- if you can say the same."

Heero looked him in the eye. "I won’t get it wrong. I... promise."

Trowa looked satisfied. Heero felt more relieved that he would have expected. He tentatively thought of something. "I have a meeting tonight, if you’re interested in coming along."

"Meeting?"

"Yeah. A new contact. He lives on L4; says he can give me some useful first hand information."

"Friend of Maxwell’s?" There was just a touch of cynicism there.

Heero didn’t waver. "Yeah."

Trowa shrugged minutely. "Sure. I suppose he’ll be there?"

Heero knew who ‘he’ was, and almost sighed in frustration. "... Yeah."

Trowa’s expression was a little harder. "I’ll come."

+

They followed the directions Duo had given Heero, out of the city and quite a way into the countryside before they reached the impressive gates that marked the drive of the Winner residence. They had refrained from talking about the evening ahead, Heero choosing instead to give Trowa some information about Quatre. Trowa had seemed a little reassured by the knowledge that Heero had in fact known Quatre before he had met Duo. Heero hoped that would begin to make Trowa believe that, if Quatre was trustworthy, maybe Duo was as well.

Trowa knew the Winner name, of course; but he had fallen as out of touch with colony affairs as Heero had. He didn’t know much about the family and the corporation belonging to it, other than their wealth and influence in the L4 cluster. Heero couldn’t decide whether that would work in Quatre’s favour, in Trowa’s eyes, or against it.

"Quatre is a good man." Hero said it simply, hoping Trowa wouldn’t let recent incidents shake his faith in everything Heero said. Trowa remained silent; Heero took that as an encouraging sign.

They left the car in the gravel park outside the house, and Heero pulled the quaint old fashioned bell-pull by the door. They weren’t waiting long for the door to be opened, and Heero wasn’t surprised by the face that greeted them.

"It’s good to see you, Heero."

Heero smiled, just a little. "Quatre." He shook the offered hand warmly before turning to his companion. "Trowa, this is Quatre Raberba Winner." Turning back to Quatre. "This is my detective sergeant, Trowa Barton."

"Pleased to meet you." Quatre again offered his hand, and Trowa took it briefly. "Please, come inside, both of you."

Quatre led them through a wide hallway.

"No servants?" Trowa whispered.

Heero shook his head. "Quatre looks after himself."

Soon they came to a spacious lounge, and again, Heero wasn’t surprised to see Duo sitting on one of the couches. Out of the corner of his eye he glanced at Trowa to gauge his reaction, and saw an impassive expression: Trowa was giving nothing away. Still, Heero would deal with whatever came his way; though he hoped after this, finally Trowa would come to see things differently.

Quatre glanced between the two detectives. "I guess you’ll want to get straight down to business."

Heero thought that was safest. Duo was still sitting on the sofa; when Heero looked at him he flashed a quick grin. Heero smiled faintly back, and moved to sit next to him. Trowa stared for a moment, then took the seat nearest the door.

Quatre had produced a briefcase, and opened it to show a sizeable stack of magazines, flyers, newspapers and other assorted bits of collected information. Heero sifted through them for a moment, taking a magazine and flicking through it.

"This seems like the same sort of thing I’d expect. The big ideas, the hyperbole... This has always been around. What’s different?"

Quatre thought for a moment. "If you’d been there, you’d know... It’s just so much more intense. There’s a general support for action, rather than disapproval or indifference.

"Why? Why now?" Trowa cut in from across the room.

"The summit has focussed people’s attention. At first there was this feeling of hope, that something could come of this opportunity -- but even before the summit began, that disappeared. Somehow this atmosphere of... distrust settled, over all the colonies from what I’ve seen and heard; the expectation that nothing would change, just like usual."

Heero stared at the magazine in his hands. "They... engineered that?"

"Somebody must have."

Duo gave a cynical laugh. "So all this time they’ve been lulling the Earth into a false sense of security with their incompetence."

Heero smiled bitterly. "People must have been willing to think it, though. That... dissatisfaction must have been there." And I left. I lost touch, I didn’t pay attention.

"A name?" Trowa again. "Does this group have a name?"

Quatre shook his head. "No. It seems most likely they’re just made up of other revolutionary or anarchist groups. It must be some sort of allied network."

United against a common enemy, thought Heero. Just like it was in the war. How did I end up on this side? He shook his head. No. No, that’s wrong. If I were there... I wouldn’t take their side. No. And just because I’m here, doesn’t mean I’m on the Earth’s side.

"So, they want a revolution, huh? Another one." Duo was staring into space. "Like that would really do them good. They really think that’s going to get them what they want? Sounds like an excuse to make trouble to me."

Heero was intrigued by the long look Trowa gave Duo.

Quatre nodded. "That may well be right. But I think these people are desperate. We can only assume they’re planning something very different to anything before."

Heero was silent, frustrated. At least now he had something to show the DCI, something to prove the case was worthwhile... but they still had so far to go.

"So... " Duo spoke slowly. "We have a location, the colonies, but we don’t know whereabouts. We have a group, of revolutionaries, but we don’t know exactly who. We have an aim, to make things better for the colonists, but we don’t know how they plan to do that." He sighed, before echoing Heero’s thoughts. "Looks like we have a long way to go."

"Maybe." Quatre’s tone was... oddly certain. "With all of us thinking about it now, we’ll figure something out quickly, I know it." He looked round the room at them all. "But until then, we’ll just have to be careful... we don’t know who might be in danger."

[part 22] [part 24] [back to Elyndys' fics]