Home + Part 10
"I'm aware... of consequences," Wu Fei replied, remembering the taste of Duo on his tongue.
Duo made a face. "Yeah, it's great to bottom, but afterwards.... Well, what goes in must come out."
Heero grunted in disgust. "He wasn't talking about that, Duo."
"Oh." Duo still studied Wu Fei's shocked _expression and then he leaned back in his seat and sighed. "If this bugs you so much, Chang, we can just... well, not forget it, but..."
"What?" Wu Fei asked, tensing.
Duo's hands clenched on the gear lying at his feet. "I don't want to say. I don't want to give you any ideas."
"It's unconventional," Wu Fei reasoned.
"Yeah," Duo agreed.
Heero took out his glock to check it, his hands moving over it lovingly. They both looked at him and then Duo chuckled.
"We're on our way to infiltrate, probably shoot and kill, and save the day," Duo said. "I think we're pretty unconventional already." His hand moved to Wu Fei's knee and his fingers walked along it and up to Wu Fei's chest. He then grabbed a handful of Wu Fei's field jacket and gave him a shake. "Stop thinking about it and get your head back on the mission," Duo told him. "Me and Heero will convince you how much we want you when we get back home."
Wu Fei nodded, feeling foolish and angry at himself for his lapse, as he pulled out their mission stats to study.
Hours later, they were dropped off in the darkness miles from their target. It was a kidnaping case, a high official taken by a separatists movement. Their orders were to get the man out alive what ever it cost them.
"Okay," Duo breathed as he shouldered his pack. "Booby trap time." He took out a coin from a breast pocket and flipped it. "Call it Heero."
"Tails," Heero responded softly, calmer than the moment warranted. Wu Fei knew that whoever won would take point and have the higher risk of tripping the traps.
"I'll take it," Wu Fei announced. He handed Heero his pack, crouched down, and began moving forward.
Duo showed Heero the coin. It was heads. He nodded at Wu Fei.
"Chang," Heero began.
"If you must flip a coin, then your heart isn't in it," Wu Fei replied stiffly.
"Are you calling us cowards?!" Duo growled, low and outraged.
Wu Fei paused to look back at the shadowy forms of his comrades. "Your hearts are not willing to let each other take the risk," he amended.
Two hands grabbed him by the back of his jacket and pulled him back.
"What makes you think we want you to go instead?" Duo growled.
Wu Fei looked at them, stunned, but then he recovered and pushed their hands off. "I am taking point," he reaffirmed and then, almost impishly, "I called it first."
"Dibbs is pretty powerful stuff," Duo snorted, but then more seriously. "Fei... careful, 'kay?"
Wu Fei nodded and took point again. They were in a forested area, but the ground was full of rocks and brambles. It was hard going as he slowly picked his way, looking for trip wires and pressure bombs with a handheld light.
"Halt," Wu Fei ordered tensely as he picked out a slight change in the ground. He eyed it, gently brushed dead leaves aside, and saw the trigger sticking out of the dirt. Wu Fei waved his comrades aside and they moved around it.
"Targets to the left," Heero suddenly whispered.
They all froze, trying to hear the same thing that Heero had. It came to them then, drifting through the trees, indistinct voices.
Wu Fei looked back and nodded at Duo. Duo nodded back and slipped into surrounding darkness. Duo was the best at infiltration and the best candidate to take out the guards quietly. Heero knew that as well and didn't argue. Together, he and Wu Fei crouched and waited, both of them straining their ears to pick up the slightest sound.
"Done," Duo whispered and they both started at his abrupt reappearance. "Moron one was taking a pee and moron two was taking a cigarette break. Cigs kill, you know?" He laughed softly, dark and dangerous.
Wu Fei went grim and Heero shifted, putting Duo between them as if he suddenly felt more protective towards Duo. They proceeded, more alert now, and Wu Fei found himself trying to divide his attention between listening and looking for traps.
"We're a team," Duo whispered suddenly. "You look, Heero listens and watches our back, I take 'em out."
Wu Fei nodded, angry at himself for getting distracted. He found a blade trap and three snares attached to alarms in the next few yards. That was comforting. He didn't expect the entire area to be trapped, only the perimeter. Once they were through that layer, the going would be much easier.
"Sensor," Duo suddenly said. "Overhead."
Wu Fei looked up and saw the tiny blink of a green light in the leaves. He lifted a scope and used it to see the crisscross of infrared light. There wasn't any way around them.
"Blocked," Wu Fei announced.
"Trees climbing is not my specialty," Duo grunted, but he moved off to try and take out the sensor.
"He can climb. I've seen him scale sheer mountains sides," Heero assured Wu Fei softly.
"I know that!" Wu Fei snorted.
"Trust him," Heero told him, as if he doubted that Wu Fei did. "With my life," Wu Fei replied strongly.
They both stared overhead, waiting, and then the green light flicked off. Duo grunted a little after they heard the thump of his return to earth. When he joined them, he said, sounding angry with himself, "landed wrong."
"Status?" Heero demanded at once.
"Left ankle. Mobile, but a liability," Duo reported through gritted teeth. "I'm loose." Which meant that they shouldn't wait for him if there was trouble.
Wu Fei swore under his breath, but was forced to proceed. He discovered two more traps before there was an end to them. Wu Fei didn't let his guard drop, but he did breathe easier. Ahead, they could see the lights of the compound. "Security," Wu Fei told Duo. "You're up."
Duo nodded and moved forward, his left leg held awkwardly off the ground. Heero followed him, ready to take out any guards.
"Ahead, approx six yards," Heero warned.
"Roger," Duo murmured back and pulled out his knife. The smell of blood came to Wu Fei's nostrils. "Clear the road."
Heero grunted and moved past Duo into the darkness. Wu Fei kept his eyes and ears focused on their rear. When he heard approaching footsteps, his heart leapt in his throat. He didn't have any time for a warning. He grabbed Duo around the middle and rolled sideways into some underbrush, ignoring the slice of Duo's knife into his arm.
"I have some hot coffee with my name on it waiting for me," a man sighed as he walked past, leaves crunching underfoot.
"I have a hot date with Felicia in communications," another man purred. "There's perks to being out in the middle of nowhere. Gal's not got a lot of options, if you know what I mean?"
The other man grunted. "We're isolated, you're not the last man on earth. Ten bucks says you get nowhere with her tonight."
"You're on," The other man shot back and then they were gone into the trees.
"Fei?" Duo asked very softly.
"Right arm, six inch slice," Wu Fei reported through clenched teeth.
"Shit!" Duo groaned and began fumbling for their med kit. He wrapped the arm as best he could in the dark and pinned the bandage tight. "Status?" Duo asked
"Unknown," Wu Fei responded, knowing that it all depended on how much he bled.
They had to move forward. Knowing the type of people they were dealing with, they had expected injuries and had allowed for them. Each man could carry out the mission alone. They didn't want to exercise that option, though, until there wasn't any other choice.
"Clear," Heero said as he rejoined them. He led the way to a small access entrance. The bodies of the guards, and the two men who had passed by Wu Fei and Duo, were sprawled beside it. Duo stepped over them and began pulling out devices to hack through the pass locks on the door.
"Fei's wounded. Knife cut," Duo told Heero.
"Bandaged," Wu Fei told him shortly and Heero nodded.
The door slid open. "In," Duo announced unnecessarily and then slipped in to take out a security camera.
They all drew their guns. They had passed the easy part of the mission. Now they had to get through an unknown number of the enemy to rescue their man. Duo reached out. He knocked knuckles with Heero and then Wu Fei, looking at his comrades with a wide grin. "If we don't make it, it's been wild," he said, high on adrenalin.
It wasn't the time for talking about love, or how much they had come to mean to each other. They knew, already, Wu Fei thought. It ran between them like electricity. He could feel it on his skin and in his heart.
"Move out," Heero ordered and took point as they started down the corridor.
It wasn't long before they heard someone walking towards them. They waited, breathless, and then, when the man rounded their corner, Heero grabbed him and swung him around so that he could pin the man to his chest with an arm around his throat. Duo's knife at the man's throat kept him from crying out in alarm.
Duo grabbed the man's ID tags, yanked them off, and tossed them to Wu Fei. Wu Fei caught them one handed and read the man's security level. It wasn't pay dirt, but it would get them further along to their goal.
"First level paper pusher," Wu Fei told his comrades.
Duo dug his knife into the man's throat. "You see that blood on my knife?" he asked the man with wide, wild eyes and a wicked grin. "That's some of your friends from outside. That's so you know I'm serious when I tell you, cooperate or I'll do the same to you. Understand?" the man nodded. He was thin and pale, nose and mouth as small as his eyes. He reminded Wu Fei of an overbred poodle, with his milk pale skin and a fragile, useless build. Wu Fei curled his lip in disgust.
"You're holding a man hostage," Wu Fei addressed the man coldly. "Tell us where he is."
The man swallowed and Duo's razor sharp knife nicked his throat. The man closed his eyes tightly and stammered, "Th-There's a detention level for... t-troublemakers... for discipline... Two floors down... I-I don't know who you're talking about, or which room he might be in, I swear!"
"Good enough." Duo patted the man on the head as if he'd completed a difficult trick and then punched him solidly in the jaw. The man crumpled into Heero's arms. Duo was frowning and adjusting his grip on his knife. "I should...," he began, but Heero interrupted him.
"Not necessary," Heero told him as he shoved the man into an access panel and damaged the latch so that the man couldn't get out easily.
"The weak shouldn't fight,' Wu Fei growled.
"I'd feel bad about killing an idiot who just does their accounting," Duo agreed with a shrug. "He wasn't even armed."
"Form up," Heero ordered, all business again.
"Your lead, sweet heart," Duo quipped."Watch my ass, Fei."
Wu Fei found himself smirking along with Heero as they continued into the complex.
Duo's limp grew more pronounced. He stopped at one point and motioned Wu Fei to proceed him. Wu Fei, who was still gripping his wound and feeling blood seeping into the bandages, didn't think that he had any better chance to succeed than Duo. He shook his head. "We need you to get through the locks if we're going into a detention area. Once we spring our man, Heero can get him out of here." What happened to either him or Duo, Wu Fei thought, didn't matter after that.
Heero nodded and Duo nodded as well after only a moment's hesitation. What would they have done alone, without him? Heero would have listened to Duo and gone on ahead, Wu Fei knew, without questioning him. Reaching the detention rooms, he would have taken a great deal longer to hack through the doors, perhaps too long. The flaw that Wu Fei had discovered in their partnership might have gotten both of them killed. With him added to the mix, he became the devil's advocate, the second opinion that they had been needing. Duo was the hacker, the stealth agent, Heero was the strength and the planner, and, Wu Fei thought, he, himself, was the brain, the one who saw the possibilities.
Skeleton crew and easily defeated surveillance systems. They didn't expect that kind of ease near a detention area and they weren't disappointed when they reached it and discovered a squad of security men. Now the time for stealth was over. Now it was time to stir the ant's nest and then try to get out again alive.
Duo emerged from the elevator with a grin on his face and micro bombs in both hands, while Heero and Wu Fei plastered themselves against the walls with weapons drawn.
"Someone order a bomb surprise?" Duo called out. "No? Well, have it on the house, then."He tossed the bombs and dropped to the floor. The blast took out the men. Debris, and the force of the blast, roared over his head.
Wu Fei and Heero fired their guns into the smoking ruin of the corridor and sprinted over Duo's prone body. Duo levered himself up and limped after them. By the time he caught up with them, they had already taken out more men in a hail of bullets. Heero and Wu Fei pulled Duo towards the first of the secure doors.
Duo leaned against the door and his fingers flew over the key pad, dismantling it and using a small device to hack into it. The door sprang open and he allowed himself to stumble inside as he brought up his gun and fired at the men inside.
A bullet bit into Wu Fei's wounded arm. Shallow wound, but it stung and made him gasp and blink tears. When he looked down, he saw a strip of his shirt and a small bit of his flesh missing. Blood turned his lower arm red. He ripped his shirt some more and tied the wound up while Heero and Duo took out the three men ahead of them.
"Duo," Heero called and put a hand under Duo's elbow to tug him quickly to another door. Duo hacked again. The door opened. The room was empty, and so were the next two rooms. The fourth room held one occupant tied to a chair in a room with nothing else in it.
"Milliardo Peacecraft, I presume?" Wu Fei said with a raised eyebrow as the blonde man lifted his head with wide blue eyes.
"You're getting slow," Milliardo told them calmly. "I think I'll schedule you for some retraining."
"Har, har," Duo snorted as he bent to untie the man from the chair. "Maybe you should get the retraining. You're the one they got the drop on."
"Duo," Heero warned as he stood in the doorway, keeping an eye on the outside corridor.
"Hurry," Wu Fei agreed.
"Okay, okay," Duo sighed as he finished untying Milliardo. "Mobile?" he asked.
"Fully," Milliardo replied confidently as he stood up, rubbing his wrists.
"You're with Heero," Wu Fei told him. "Get moving."
Milliardo looked appraisingly at Wu Fei and then Duo, seeing wounds and a leg being favored. "See you on the other side," he said in a way that was a thank you and a hope.
"You're buying," Duo shot back and Milliardo gave an amused nod as he followed Heero out of there at a run. Heero was in the lead, his gun nosing for targets.
"Ready to run interference?" Duo asked Wu Fei as he hooked an arm around Wu Fei's waist and brought him in close. "It's the best we can do. I don't think I can make it and you're bleeding like a stuck pig."
Wu Fei looked down at all the blood and had to agree. He leaned in close and kissed Duo breifly."Let's go."
Duo looked up at the security camera and saluted it as he began to limp with Wu Fei towards the door. "Come and get us assholes!"
[part 9] [part 11] [back to Kracken's fic]