Disclaimer: I don't own them and I don't make any money off of this.
Warnings: This and future installments will include some or all of these
elements: Male/male sex. Graphic. Violence. Language. Post Traumatic Stress
Syndrome. Mention of abuse, mental and physical. Very dark and angsty.
Very maladjusted Gundam boys trying to fit into society.
Notes: Takes place after the war. 1x2 mainly, some 3x4, 5XS, 6x2 on the
side. It's going to be very long.
Crossing Paths + Part 1
Not Like You
"Captain Maxwell..." The doctor took off his glasses as he closed
the journal book in his lap, placing it neatly on top of an overlarge
file folder already there. "The goal of writing a journal is to make
LEGIBLE entries that I can evaluate periodically. A simple, computerized
notebook would suffice. You can pick one up for very little money. Insisting
on writing with a pencil, in an unintelligible scrawl, edited severely
with scratch marks, and covered in... coffee?... will not be helpful when
I make my report to the medical board." He tapped the journal with
a firm finger, "It is also not a place for poetry and song lyrics,
Captain Maxwell, nor your grocery or motorcycle part list."
"If you would just sign off and let me get back into space,"
Duo Maxwell snapped back, "I wouldn't be sitting in this chair bothering
"You know I can't do that!" The doctor snapped back and then
took a deep breath, let it out, and said more calmly, "Captain Maxwell,
I take my profession very seriously. You were deemed unstable and a danger.
I will not sign off on your file until you prove to me that therapy has
corrected that diagnosis. If you would just cooperate-"
Duo sat forward in his chair towards the doctor, impish face marred by
a hard edge around a generous mouth, a mouth that seemed more used to
smiling. His amethyst eyes were serious, but dejected as well, hope having
been lost long ago of his ever being allowed to return to space. Dressed
all in black, like a military commando, and in an over large trench coat,
he still appeared to be the too young Gundam pilot that had saved the
colonies and Earth four years ago. Dark Shinigami. That's who the doctor
and the other bureaucrats feared. That's who they wanted tied to Earth,
within reach of their fighting forces; denied any weapon that could do
"This is just a dance," Duo said softly and stood up, black
coat swirling around him and eyes going intense with sadness. "A
dance we have together twice a month. A dance I'm going to be forced to
continue until... what? Until they get the guts to put a war hero in an
insane asylum? Until they can make me 'go away' without anyone noticing?"
"Paranoia again?" the Doctor sighed and made a note on his clipboard.
"If you refuse to take your medication, Captain Maxwell, you will
be committed. We won't have any choice."
"Six pills, twice a day," Duo said bitterly and pulled the pill
case out of one pocket. "Twelve pills. Six are missing. I took them.
I have to. They make me get a medical exam twice a month too, to make
sure they're in my system and at the proper levels. Didn't you know that?
I CAN'T cheat, doctor."
"I'm sorry that this is necessary," the doctor replied and did
seem genuinely sympathetic.
"I'm sorry that this is all bogus!" Duo retorted. "I'm
sorry that the government thinks they have to control me by drugging me
up and sticking tags on me!" He lifted up one booted foot, even though
the black boot and an inch of skin hid the locator device in bedded in
his ankle. He lowered the foot with a loud noise on the floor, and glared
as he continued, "I think they're the ones who need the psych exam
if they're that afraid of a skinny, nineteen year old, orphan-"
"-Trained Gundam pilot," the doctor broke in pointedly, "who
knows more about death, destruction, and ways of causing it than some
of our best soldiers. Captain Maxwell, if you think you're being unfairly
detained and medicated, there are channels you can appeal to. Might I
point out though, that they will see the glaring flaw in your complaint
as well as I do. You are the only Gundam pilot to be detained. All of
the others were mainstreamed into society directly after cessation of
hostilities in the war and the uprising afterwards. If the government
is afraid of, and plotting against ex Gundam pilots, then how can you
explain their selectiveness?"
Duo felt his face burn, but he replied flippantly, "Maybe I'm the
The doctor sighed and scribbled more notes. "There is a medical condition
for having an over inflated sense of self as well, Captain Maxwell."
"I wish you wouldn't call me that!" Duo hissed, crossing his
arms tightly over his chest defensively. "It's just honorary. They
gave it to all the pilots just so the government could have a nice photo
op. They wanted to fool everyone into thinking that they were forgiving
and forgetting about everything we'd blown up during our short careers
as terrorists. In reality, I know they would rather have had us standing
in front of an execution detail."
The doctor raised an eyebrow. "The government has been very generous,
Mr. Maxwell. They have been paying all of your treatment bills, you've
been given a pension and a monthly living expense check, and they allow
you to travel anywhere you wish on Earth."
"Gilded cages," Duo grumbled fretfully and then, strongly, "Times
up, doc. Just do like you always do and mark the crazy box so I can go."
The doctor stood up in exasperation and handed Duo back his worn journal.
"There is a penalty for not trying, Mr. Maxwell."
"Threats?" Duo bristled, purple eyes glittering angrily.
The doctor made yet another mark on his chart "It was a friendly
reminder that your release is contingent on your cooperation. I'm sorry
that you thought it was a threat."
Duo's face twisted bitterly. He turned and fumbled for the doorknob. "Thanks
a lot, Doc, like it mattered anyway. We both know what this is all about.
You know damn well it doesn't matter what you put down."
The Doctor was serious and his words followed Duo past the receptionist
and into the hallway. "I don't know anything, Captain Maxwell. I'm
just trying to help you."
Duo was more than glad to leave the medical building and step out onto
the busy city streets again, even though he didn't find peace of mind
there either. A dark figure, inside and out, moving through a landscape
of color, Duo was aware of looks, of people changing course to avoid him,
and some few, actually recognizing him and going pale. Gundam pilot. Terrorist.
Shinigami. Dealer of death. His braid marked him and his unusual eyes.
Sometimes, Duo wished that he had grown tall and had sprouted a beard,
like Trowa, become muscular and rugged, like Quatre, put on glasses, a
casual coat, and shaved his head bald like Wu Fei, or, well, he hadn't
seen Heero, but wishing that he had shown the same sense and made himself
disappear, was an envy Duo carried as well.
It was just another cosmic joke that Duo Maxwell stayed the same, body
refusing to grow, beard refusing to show itself, and hair untouchable
and forever a marker of who he was. He couldn't escape the public eye,
couldn't escape the constant news stories about his mental illness and
his rumored bizarre lifestyle; doctored photos showing him in the strangest
settings and doing things he had never imagined. He dressed outrageously
to mock them, finding some perverse pleasure in looking the part of the
bogeyman they had made him out to be, yet kept himself secluded, coming
out mostly at night when faces blurred and everyone was dazzled by the
city lights, including the reporters.
Duo slapped on dark sunglasses as the sun began to hurt his eyes and his
steps dragged as he walked in a gravity he was still unable to deal with.
The colonies had artificial light and the gravity wasn't as strong as
the pull of a planet. Raised on L2 colony, Duo suffered on Earth. It made
the decision by the government, to deny him space travel, not only unjust,
but cruel as well.
It was time to get back to the anonymity and safety of his apartment,
Duo thought. He could hide from the light there and walk on cushioned
floors that gave his aching, gravity stressed, joints respite. It was
lonely. It was a prison. It was a haven. A haven where Duo escaped the
scrutiny of people who hated him, shunned him, worshiped him, and believed
every story told about him. In his apartment, he was in control and safe
from the whims of certain people who's motives he knew all to well. Those
people patted themselves on the back for having caged a 'dangerous' Gundam
pilot, congratulated themselves on a revenge well executed, and felt satisfaction
that they had brought a war hero's reputation down to the level of street
trash, their envy and their own lack of self worth too great too allow
excellence and self sacrifice in anyone.
"Hey! Aren't you that Duo Maxwell?!"
It wasn't the first exclamation like that. It rippled like a breeze on
a lake from Duo's center, traveling swiftly, making the placid lives of
the people around him shiver with excitement.
"Stinking nut case! Shouldn't be allowed to walk around!"
"I heard he does it with corpses. Calls himself the God of Death
or some such crap!"
"His landlady said..."
"Saw a photo of..."
Duo cringed inwardly, though he continued to smile a false smile, keeping
his expression of slightly bored, good natured, young man firmly in place.
He wasn't sure why it was important for him to appear disarming, non threatening,
even amused by his own notoriety. Maybe, he thought, he didn't want to
show anyone how much it hurt or how vulnerable he really felt. He hadn't
lived so long, coming out of the sink of L2 and surviving a bloody war
and an even bloodier uprising, by showing potential enemies his weaknesses.
Duo's apartment was on a main thoroughfare. It was noisy, the lights were
always bright, and something was happening there day and night. That's
the way he liked things, continuous pandemonium to keep himself distracted
from his problems, both inflicted and self inflicted. It was also secure.
Guards were at the main entrance, doors were pass key and thumb print
protected, and a set of locks on his own door were good enough to foil
even the computer hacker genius and sneak thief he had used to be on L2.
So, it was a surprise, when he entered his secure apartment, to find Heero
Yuy seated comfortably in a black, leather chair and reading a novel on
a flat palm screen.
Duo froze, a hand slipping reflexively into a pocket and not finding the
weapon he had carried there most of his life. They wouldn't allow him
to have one now, not even a knife, and they diligently scanned him for
such weapons where ever he went. Defenseless and hating it, Duo stared
at his ex Gundam comrade and waited.
Heero continued to read. That gave Duo a chance to think and to study
him. Heero had grown both taller and more muscular. He looked out of place
in Duo's comfortable apartment. Duo preferred black leather furniture,
had a warm, red carpet, several technical pictures of Gundams on the wall,
his peace medals hanging from a coat rack, and cushions strewn about the
floor where he liked to relax either by his video game console or by his
large television screen. Clothes and half empty containers of drink or
food were scattered here and there, testament to a casual bachelor lifestyle.
It looked normal and broken in.
Heero Yuy, seated at the center of the living room, looked anything, but
normal. Instead, he looked like a panther ready to strike, a volcano ready
to erupt, a detonator waiting for the touch that would make it explode.
Dressed in a black turtleneck, dark pants, and steel toed boots, Heero's
hair was a dark, chocolate, uncombed, mess on his head and his eyes were
intense, cobalt- blue windows to a mind that was constantly working, constantly
analyzing, constantly planning. They weren't warm, those eyes, and they
were reading the text on the palm screen as if it were a mission.
"Beer?" Duo said, trying to break Heero's control of the situation.
Heero was definitely in control. There was the bulge of a gun along his
side and the loose sleeves of his turtleneck were hiding other weapons,
Duo was sure.
Heero turned off his book and looked up. His eyes appraised Duo, studying
him minutely. "No," he replied at last.
"K," Duo said and then moved into the apartment, closing the
door behind him. "Guess I should have a guard dog. I thought this
building was secure."
"The building isn't secure," Heero replied, "and your guard
dog would now be dead."
Duo frowned. He tossed his journal onto the couch. As it bounced, he walked
into the kitchen, opened his refrigerator, and took out a beer. He leaned
against a kitchen counter, popped the top, and began drinking very slowly,
eyes on nothing. If Heero had been there to hurt or kill him, he would
have done it already, Duo thought, not indulged in replying to his target's
"You shouldn't drink alcohol with medication," Heero said from
the living room.
Duo felt his face go hot. Heero knew. Duo took out his last six pills
and swallowed each one between sips of beer, doing exactly what he usually
did when confronted by someone trying to control him; he rebelled. Sourly,
he finished the beer, crunched the can, and then threw it at a waste bin.
It missed and clattered on the floor. Duo left it and walked back into
the living room.
Heero was flipping through his journal, his rapid reading skills having
taken him halfway through it all ready. Duo strode to him, yanked it out
of his hands, and asked viciously, "I've had enough of your fucking
mind games, Yuy! Tell me why you broke into my apartment, what the Hell
you want, and then get the Hell out! I thought I made it clear to Quatre
that I never wanted to see any of you again."
Heero's expression went stern at Duo's distortion of facts. "Your
exact words to Quatre Winner were, 'Not seeing any of you is one of the
conditions for my release, so leave me alone, Quatre. I'm getting back
into space any way I can.'
"Did he tell you that or did you put a tap on his communication?"
"Both," Heero replied without evasion. He looked Duo up and
down again, as if noting differences, however slight, and adding them
to some mental file titled, Duo Maxwell.
Duo balled a fist, anger rising up and nearly overwhelming him. "Tell
me why you are here!" he insisted, measuring out each word.
Heero came to the point then, his mental notes complete and some inner
decision reached. "I'm here to gain your release."
Duo felt a chill. He rubbed at his arms as if he could actually feel one,
though it was the inner chill of mental turmoil. He hated to hope, but
Heero didn't really play head games. He simply didn't observe the niceties
and pleasantries of civilization. Conversation was for a purpose. Visits
to ex Gundam pilots was for a purpose too.
"I was given the assignment to watch you, live with you, assess your
competence in many areas, and to report back to my superiors," Heero
"Who are your superiors and why are they taking an interest in my
case?" Duo wondered. He was a child of the streets. He knew gifts
weren't handed out for free. There was always a catch, whether emotionally,
physically, or monetarily. Sooner or later, the giver wanted some payback.
Duo knew the game. He also thought he knew how much he was willing to
"Classified," Heero replied.
"Then fuck off," Duo said simply and turned away. He plopped
down on the couch and picked up the remote. Turning on the television,
he pretended to watch whatever drivel was on, while he watched Heero's
reaction out of the corner of his eye.
Heero turned for the front door. Duo imagined him going back to his superiors
and repeating his 'fuck off' to them exactly with a dead pan face. Duo
said, wanting him to stop, not really wanting him to leave, "So,
where have you been all of this time?"
"Special ops," Heero replied without slowing. His hand went
to the door locks.
"Space?" Duo wondered hopefully, listening to Heero key the
codes expertly, the codes only Duo should have known.
"Yes," Heero replied and opened the door, looking out cautiously,
one hand on his hidden gun.
Duo bit his lip. He chewed viciously and then asked, "These superiors
of yours, the guys who want to help me.... if they're colonial government...
if you can get me back into space, I might..." Duo looked towards
the door. Heero was gone.
Duo scrambled up from the couch, fell, regained his feet with a curse
at the heavy gravity of Earth, and ran as best he could for the front
door. He looked frantically both ways down the hallway. It was empty.
Picking the end of the hallway that led to a roof access, knowing that
Heero hadn't taken the front door of the lobby, Duo hurried to catch up.
An iron hand clamped over Duo's arm as he began to turn a corner. Heero
was standing there, intense eyes lively with some emotion and a smirk
of satisfaction on his lips. It was his hand that held Duo still as Duo
panted and glared at him.
"Will you cooperate?" Heero wondered.
Duo wiped the sweat from his brow, trembling. He was a whore, he realized,
all pride and posturing aside. The doctor had crushed his hope again of
being released through normal channels. Heero was offering an alternative,
secretive and shadowy on the details, but hope of freedom nonetheless.
Duo was suddenly discovering that he was willing to do almost anything
now to gain his freedom, hating himself, hating his weakness, as he said,
"Okay, come on. Let's... Let's talk."
Heero nodded with a self satisfied air and followed.
2] [back to Kracken's fic]