Disclaimer:Don't own them and don't make any money off of them.
Warnings:Male/male sex, violence, graphic, language
and Soldiers series + Part 8
I Will Protect Thee
"This isn't research for
a case against the detention center, is it?" the voice of the doctor
Milliardo was half turned away from the vid phone, tapping a pen on a
pad of paper on his desk. He had already scribbled several notes and he
already wasn't pleased by the answers he was getting. "No, it's a
back ground check on an agent, nothing more. You will not be prosecuted
for telling me the truth."
"I'm recording this," the doctor warned.
"Prudent," Milliardo replied. The balding doctor had a dark,
cruel looking face, not something Milliardo would have liked to see at
his bedside if he had been ill. The doctor had been the resident physician,
though, at Duo's internment, and it was Duo who would have had to suffer
this man. "When Duo Maxwell was brought to you," Milliardo continued,
"can you remember what his condition was?"
"Hell yeah," the doctor replied. He was bringing up information
on a computer where he was, but he was already nodding and scowling as
if he didn't need it to know the answers to Milliardo's questions. "Little
bastard, Gundam Pilot! When a celebrity gets dumped into your hands, you
remember it." He traced a line of information with a thick finger.
"Broken bones, deep wounds, major contusions, a cracked skull, detached
cornea, severe blood loss..." The man winced. "He had damage
to the genitals and-"
Milliardo sat up, looking at the man's image. "Rape?" he demanded
The man shook his head. "No, they just kicked him good a few times."
Duo had said no, that he hadn't been raped, Milliardo remembered, and
Duo claimed never to lie. It was hard to remember or believe in that assertion
though and it was good to have it confirmed.
"Some burns, second degree," the man ended. "From cigarettes."
Milliardo ran a hand over his face, trying to banish the images the man
had called up and remain professional. "He was conscious when he
"Barely," the doctor replied. "After his arrest, orders
went through and they grabbed him out of the hospital to give to us. We
kept him in the infirmary. He answered questions when he was asked."
"How long was he in the infirmary?" Milliardo wondered.
"One week," the doctor replied with an edge to his voice.
Milliardo blinked, thinking that he had heard wrong. "Say that again?"
"It was the warden's decision!" the doctor exploded defensively,
"and if you ask me, it was the right one!"
Milliardo asked simply, "Why?"
"There were mostly Oz soldiers in the detention center," the
doctor replied. "The losers in a battle always have the worst time
accepting defeat, so they make the most trouble. Every time I turned around,
I discovered someone trying to get to that little shit to hurt him, even
kill him. The first day, he was on oxygen and drips, and I found an orderly
crimping his tubes. Putting him in lock up was the only answer, besides,
once that friend of his showed up, we all felt like we were in danger."
"Heero Yuy," Milliardo guessed.
The doctor nodded. "He just appeared one day and nothing we said
or did would make him leave. He just... stared... He never said anything.
We called security, we called the military, we called everyone we could
think of. They did everything short of tossing a bomb at him and, every
time that I thought he was gone for good, he would show up again, still
staring, still not saying anything. We didn't relax until he was locked
up in a cell along with the little bastard."
"You keep using degrading language when speaking about Duo Maxwell,"
Milliardo pointed out as he scribbled notes. "Why?"
The doctor shot back angrily, "Because, every time he became lucid,
he tried to cut, gut, punch, or kick someone. I had to keep him drugged
and secured. Once Yuy showed up though, he calmed right down and let us
do our work. It didn't make me or the other doctors feel better about
the situation though. I kept wondering if that Yuy would break my neck
if I didn't do my job right."
"Why would you have to be afraid if you WERE doing it right?"
The doctor took offense, snarling, "Some people don't realize that
you are doing your job correctly, sir, especially when a procedure makes
their friend scream!"
Milliardo tensed. "Did Yuy ever attack anyone?"
The doctor calmed himself and shrugged. "Some of the general population,
but that's to be expected. It was self defense each time. As for the staff...
he was intimidating enough where no one dared to mess with the injured
pilot, but... a few people came up missing and we haven't been able to
locate them so far. They were all members of Oz during the war. I can't
say Yuy had a hand in it, but..."
"I didn't call you for baseless accusations," Milliardo replied,
cutting him off. "Once Maxwell and Yuy were put in a secure cell,
did anything transpire that was out of the ordinary?"
The doctor grunted. "The whole situation was out of the ordinary.
The warden wouldn't treat them as general population from the get go.
Maxwell's hair was ordered cut short as per the rules, but Yuy wouldn't
allow it. The warden not only didn't enforce the rules, but he made sure
Yuy and Maxwell had what ever they requested. He told one of my orderlies
that he was convinced that Maxwell would be released quickly and angering
a Gundam pilot was as good as a death sentence for any man."
"How was Maxwell's medical care carried out in his cell?" Milliardo
The doctor rubbed at his chin. "Well, it wasn't. I couldn't convince
any of my staff to go into a cell with two Gundam pilots, especially when
the warden had made it clear that he wasn't interested in controlling
them. I wouldn't go in myself. I just made sure the supplies were delivered
and that Yuy knew how to use and administer them. Like I said before,
I just wasn't sure that my neck wouldn't get broken if he decided that
I was doing something wrong."
The doctor suddenly looked amazed and even a bit awed as he finished,
"That little, long haired shit pulled through, though, as hard to
believe as that is, and Quatre Winner himself was waiting at the gate,
with the cream of the medical profession, when he was released."
"Thank you. Doctor. I appreciate your candor and your time, "
Milliardo said smoothly and turned off the vid phone before the man could
reply. Pulling his pad of scribbles closer, Milliardo glared at them.
Someone was going to pay for such heinous acts, Milliardo thought, and
he was the man to see to it. The burn of anger and righteousness filled
him completely. He needed to meet with officials right away and submit
Milliardo paged his secretary and ordered her to call Duo. When the door
to his office opened, though, instead of Duo, Heero Yuy was standing in
Milliardo scowled impatiently. "I didn't call for you."
Heero looked very stern and professional in his Preventer uniform. His
dark gaze was serious and Milliardo could see that he knew that Milliardo
was not going to be pleased by what he had to say.
"Duo wasn't feeling well. I hope that you will allow me to stand
in his place and assist you," Heero said.
Milliardo didn't speak as he considered the man before him. He could sense
things under the surface and his soldier's instincts prickled. He asked,
sharper and more concerned than he wanted, "He's ill? What happened?"
Heero grimaced. "It might sound insignificant, but he has a headache.
They can be debilitating for him."
"A migraine, you mean?" Milliardo replied, feeling relieved,
but then irritated. "I hope that he doesn't get them often or that
they sideline him during an operation."
Heero looked as if he were biting back a sharp response, but then he said
calmly, "No, they don't happen often, and I've never known them to
compromise any mission. He has a high threshold for pain. When it isn't
a significant task though, it isn't necessary to suffer in order to accomplish
it when someone else can easily stand in his place."
Milliardo examined his irritation and, yes, anger, and it made him uncomfortable
to realize that he was being unreasonable in his reaction. Agent Maxwell
was ill. Heero Yuy had come in his place. Aside from a brief question
as to the reason why, it shouldn't have been a concern or a problem. Milliardo
knew what the fact of the matter was though. He was disappointed that
Duo hadn't come. He had wanted to see the young man that badly, had wanted
Duo to see what actions he was taking on his behalf.
"I need to go to the Government Administration building," Milliardo
said as he put all of his papers and disks into a briefcase, picked up
his cane, and stood up. "You'll drive me there."
"Yes, sir," Heero said simply and, when Milliardo hobbled to
the door, he fell into step behind him, tense and ready to offer his hand
if Milliardo needed his help.
People looked at them as they passed them in the hall. Milliardo didn't
blame them. He and Heero were notorious and people still recalled that
they had been great rivals during the war and the uprising. No one expected
them to forget or forgive and that was part of Milliardo's nervousness.
He hadn't spoken a dozen words with Heero since joining the Preventers.
A man couldn't gauge someone's mood towards him from so little contact.
For all he knew, Heero still held a grudge against him. Milliardo frowned,
feeling that familiar stab of deep guilt. Who could blame him if he did,
or anyone else? In his madness, caused by the zero system, Milliardo had
ordered the deaths of many people. He had been given amnesty because of
who he was and the circumstances, but that didn't equal forgiveness. Milliardo
had many enemies and Heero might still be one of them. Still, Milliardo
thought about that approving look that Heero had given him earlier and
Milliardo had to admit that he didn't understand it in light of their
Heero called ahead on his cell phone for a car and it was waiting for
them at the curb when they left the building. Heero held the door respectfully
while Milliardo managed to get into the back seat without too much awkwardness.
"Dismiss the driver," Milliardo ordered. "You will drive."
Heero didn't question the order, but he did raise a dark eyebrow at Milliardo's
trust in him. Milliardo was just as surprised at himself, but there were
some questions that he wanted to ask Heero and that required privacy.
As they drove, a light rain started falling. Heero turned on the wipers
and they made a gentle, rhythmic noise as Milliardo searched for a way
to begin. The sullen looking young man was like a wall and it was hard
to know what lay beyond it.
"I need to ask you some questions," Milliardo said at last,
trying to keep his tone as neutral and as professional as possible. "I
am going to the administration building to file papers implicating the
detention center where Duo was interred, certain persons in the medical
professional, and, perhaps some officials in decision making positions
who dealt in a criminal manner in the incident involving Duo Maxwell and
several ex Oz soldiers."
"You are under the false impression that papers were not already
filed on his behalf," Heero replied stiffly. "The incident was
reviewed and all parties were acquitted."
Milliardo was stunned. "How can that be?"
Heero's face darkened. "There was a rush to sweep all things military,
and all incidences involving soldiers, out of the public notice. We were
supposed to be entering a time of peace. Reporting that there were problems
and incidences of violence and unrest, was counter productive to the propaganda
being established. Troublemakers were automatically whisked to detention
centers for permanent incarceration, or retraining, and no records were
made of those arrests. If there are any official government files left
on the internment of Duo Maxwell, they state simply that he was held for
humanitarian, medical, and psychological assistance following an 'accident'."
"There was a trial," Milliardo pointed out.
"With closed records, yes," Heero replied. "Any information
on file since then was released personally by Duo and men not friendly
to him. There wouldn't even have been a trial if it hadn't been for the
efforts of Quatre Winner. Without his assistance, Duo would probably still
be in the detention center."
Milliardo stared down at his briefcase and smoothed a hand over it. "I
"Who will all change their story once they realize that you are filing
reports and making accusations," Heero told him.
Milliardo's hand gripped his briefcase hard. "Of course," Milliardo
replied and then added softly to himself , "I'm shocked at my idealism."
Heero heard him and he nodded, agreeing, "It is surprising."
Milliardo looked up and saw Heero looking back at him in the rear view
mirror. "Agent Yuy, tell me what happened at the detention center."
Heero's eyes went to the road again. "Is that an order, sir?"
"No," Milliardo answered after a long moment.
Heero shifted in his seat and Milliardo saw him swallow hard. "I
found him half dead with the word's Oz's Bitch carved into his back,"
Heero replied. "They were giving him minimal care and he was in danger
from medics, orderlies, and the general population. If I hadn't arrived
when I did... I couldn't sleep, I ate very little in case they drugged
my food. They waited.... it was like animals waiting for a weakness, waiting
to close in for the kill. I had to be alert at all times. Several times
they managed to remove me, and each time I returned before any permanent
harm could be done to Duo. He wasn't aware through most of it. I haven't
told him many particulars. He doesn't ask either." Heero's hands
worked on the steering wheel. "It was hell there, but I had been
trained to endure and to always be ready. It served me well during that
time. Sir, if you file reports and accusations, no one is going to pay
for those months. No one is going to pay for harming Duo who hasn't paid
already. You will only cause officials inconvenience as they ignore you
and make your reports disappear. You are an important man, but Duo is
just an agent. They may not touch you or your career, but Duo is another
matter. It's possible that they might decide to 'make him go away' to
keep the incident away from the public. They might have him sent to the
detention center again."
"The men who harmed Duo didn't all pay for their crimes," Milliardo
pointed out darkly. "I spoke with some of them."
"They did," Heero replied, "whether they know it or not."
A soldier's motto was, 'The only good enemy is a dead one.' If Heero was
talking about subtle types of revenge, Milliardo didn't like it. He though
those men should have been executed quickly and efficiently. The thought
startled him and he clamped down on it. He was law enforcement now, not
an Oz general who had complete autonomy when it came to delivering justice
among troops and citizenry alike. Heero's admission that he had practiced
vigilantism should have prompted an arrest. Instead, Milliardo found himself
only glad that at least something had been done to right a terrible wrong.
"It should never have happened," Heero said softly.
Milliardo remembered then that Heero blamed himself, "It's foolish
to blame yourself," Milliardo said. "You couldn't have known
that something like that would happen."
"I did know," Heero replied sharply. "We had both received
threats. When Duo told me that he suspected that he was being followed...
he laughed about it, but I should have taken it more seriously. He was
so sure that his training would get him out of any situation, that he
was better than everyone else."
"The arrogance of the young," Milliardo said pensively.
Heero glanced at him darkly in the mirror. "You were not immune to
it either, sir, and neither was I."
Milliardo nodded, accepting that criticism. "True."
Heero was silent for a long moment and then he said, "Duo gave me
a reason to live. I was nothing inside. I kept... I thought the end of
the mission meant that I could release myself from the loneliness, the
pain of the life I had been living. I was welcoming the chance to end
my life. I didn't have anything waiting for me, nothing to love or care
about. Duo latched onto me, despite everything I did to discourage it,
and he... I'm not sure... I'll use his words, "Heero looked embarrassed
but he said, reciting from memory, " 'I'm planting seeds inside of
you, Heero, seeds that are going to sprout after a lot of work, and, one
day, a life is going to bloom for you.' Duo told me that Father Maxwell
and Sister Helen, the people who had taken care of him briefly when he
was young, had said the same thing to him. He told me that he wished they
had lived to make his life bloom." Heero frowned as if he were still
trying to understand it himself. "We stayed together. There is just
something about him... I can't imagine him not being in my life."
Milliardo saw Heero shift uncomfortably again and come back to himself.
"You love him?" Milliardo asked before he could stop himself,
wanting to know, sensing Heero's vulnerability at that moment, and weak
enough and uncertain enough himself to dare ask.
Heero nodded firmly without hesitation and said, "There will never
be anyone else as close to me as Duo. I think, if things had been different,
we might have been more than friends."
Milliardo felt the edge of his briefcase bite into his hand. "Different?"
"Duo is gay," Heero replied. He glanced at Milliardo in the
mirror and then smirked, as if he understood perfectly well how Milliardo
was hanging on his next words. "I'm not, sir."
The car stopped. Milliardo sat silently, digesting that bit of information
as his image of Duo and Heero changed. There was a flutter deep down inside
of him, a feeling of relief and hope.
The door of the car opened. Milliardo suddenly became aware of their surroundings.
They were back in front of the Preventer headquarters. Heero was waiting
respectfully for him to get out of the car. Milliardo almost demanded
to know what Heero thought he was doing, but then he nodded, understanding,
as he began to get out of the car. There wasn't any purpose in going to
the Government Administration building. Nothing Milliardo filed, and none
of his accusations, were going to spur any investigations. Heero was right,
the only thing Milliardo would accomplish would be to make trouble for
Milliardo paused. He didn't look at Heero, but he asked, "We were
enemies. Doesn't it bother you that I am with Duo?" Milliardo meant
it in the working sense, but both of them knew the real question hiding
in it's shadow.
"You were my greatest enemy, but that was war, and we aren't enemies
any longer," Heero replied with certainty. "What better person
than you, a man as skilled as myself, to protect Duo as well as I would?"
It wasn't idle flattery, but the highest compliment Heero could pay any
man, Milliardo realized, and, even though Heero was far beneath him in
rank and station in life, even though he was younger than Milliardo by
a few years, Milliardo still couldn't help feeling a warm pleasure at
receiving the former pilot of Wing's trust. As he followed Heero back
to his office, Milliardo hoped that he would never have a reason to make
Heero regret that trust.
[part 9] [back to Kracken's