+ Epilogue (cont)
Lightning cracked over head
and I flinched. Instinct told me to get the hell down from the roof and
it was hard not to agree with it.
"Plan?" Heero prompted as he leaned to speak in my ear.
"Just follow me and fire your gun when you see the enemy," I told him
with a wicked grin, knowing that it was bugging the hell out of him that
we were now standing on the edge of the roof, watching the water cascading
over the side, and he still didn't have a clue what I intended to do.
Well, I didn't have a clue either. Surprised? No? Didn't think so.
Smoke. Okay, that was a plus. If the smoke was coming out, then someone
had opened the gun hatches to let in air. I wondered if the men manning
the guns were even at their posts. The roof was getting damned hot. I
could see the rain steaming. There was definitely a fire close by. I had
visions of the roof collapsing and both of us falling into a raging fire,
but I locked that up pretty quick.
"Okay, over the side," I said. Heero blinked at me as if he wanted to
question that decision, but then he grunted, knowing he didn't have any
It was hard to see where we were going... okay, almost impossible. Pouring
water, billowing smoke, almost zero visibility. When I swung over the
side, some fickle god decided to make things even more interesting for
me. Something jammed into my right hand. Scrabbling for a foothold, I
chewed into my lower lip and watched as blood began pouring out from where
I had a grip on the roof edge. Heero couldn't help me. He was already
starting down, having found something to cling to, and I couldn't shout
for him unless I wanted to give us away. Can I just say one thing here?
This day SUCKS!
There! I found a place for my feet and hissed in relief as I was finally
able to lift my hand. Someone had joined two pieces of metal roof together
badly. It was the sharp edge that had cut me. The wound was deep and I
didn't have time to take care of it. Clenching that hand into a fist,
hoping to slow down the bleeding, I began, one handed and with water pouring
down over my head, to attempt to shinny down a slick metal surface. Don't
try this at home, kids.
How many times did I almost die in the space of two minutes? Let's NOT
talk about it. I think the only thing that kept me from falling to a messy
end on the rocks far below, was two of the guns sticking out into the
rain, looking for targets. My feet landed on them hard, slid, and then
found purchase just as I realized what I was standing on.
Heart seizure doesn't adequately describe how I reacted.
You have to realize that I was literally blind. The water cascading off
the roof onto my head, the choking smoke coming out of the building, and
the darkly tinted shielding in front of my nose, didn't give me any clues
as to who was behind those guns. When a hand reached out of a hatch and
grabbed the front of my jacket, I naturally assumed it was an enemy.
Shinigami is nothing if not daring and quick. I let go of the wall, trusted
that grip on my jacket to hold, and drew my gun on whoever it was point
blank. I almost fired, actually tensing my finger on the trigger, when
I heard Heero's voice snap, "It's Heero! Get the hell in here!"
I grinned and let him pull me in. My feet hit a metal surface and I blinked
through smoke to see three men in oxygen masks sprawled every which way
and Heero calmly regarding me.
"See?" I laughed. "My plan is working perfectly!"
Heero rolled his eyes expressively as he let go of me and went to the
door. He put a hand on it, testing it for heat. He pulled it away and
then looked at the men with new respect. "They didn't leave their posts.
"Dedicated killers," I growled. "If they put that kind of effort into
good, everyone would be better off."
Heero only grunted. I know he was about to ask, 'What now?' but the floor
took that moment to buck under our feet. We stumbled, regained our balance,
and then looked at each other. "Could be our men," Heero suggested.
"Or it could be the fire reaching explosive equipment," I countered.
"Pessimist," Heero growled.
"Optimist," I growled back, but couldn't help smiling as I pulled out
my cell phone. "Positions?" I asked.
"Inside the building!" a voice reported promptly and my grin widened.
"Upper levels impassible." My grin faltered.
"Secure prisoners!" I called back, "and then get the hell out! Captain
Yuy and I will join both divisions on the north ridge."
"This won't look good on our report," I said to Heero as I pocketed my
"Sloppy," Heero agreed. "But we couldn't anticipate that our air support
would fail or that the fools would decide to stay inside a burning installation."
"Going down with the ship," I sighed and then walked to the hatches. I
tore a strip from my undershirt and wrapped it about my hand tight. Satisfied
that I might be able to use it, I tried not to think of our chances as
I asked Heero simply, "Ready?"
"Yes," Heero replied grimly, knowing our chances too.
"Heero..." I started and then was afraid I would jinx us. No goodbyes.
No crying. We were going to make it. I had to think that. I had to think
it very hard.
Have I ever said that we had the best bunch of soldiers under our command
that you'll find anywhere? Well, I'm saying it now. The heat was intense.
The targets were bolting and laying down fire as they tried to escape.
Our men had their hands full, yet they moped up in good order and even
had time to climb up after a pair of ragged ex gundam pilots. They plucked
us off the side of the building before we fell to our deaths. Would we
have? Hell yes. Heero saw that I was in trouble right away and the damned
man was hell bent on saving my ass even though there wasn't a way in hell
of doing it. My hand gave out and I couldn't make my fingers work halfway
down. My knee was in the same shape. When it came down to swinging like
a monkey to get around some difficulties, I wasn't up to it.
So, thankfully, we were rescued. Yeah, it was embarrassing. We were captains.
We were supposed to be in charge and have things handled. I had a feeling
that none of the men blamed us and that we hadn't lost their respect,
but it still hurt in the masculinity department. I was only glad that
everything was completed before the transport vehicles showed up with
"Could have used you a couple of hours ago!" I grumbled to one of the
drivers, but he shrugged and talked about sheets of ice on what passed
for a road while the troops unloaded and deployed.
The captain in charge of the reinforcements took one look us and jerked
a thumb towards the command vehicle. "You look like shit! Get in there
and I'll clean up."
I'm glad he didn't say, 'take over'. I think I would have punched him.
Heero didn't look too happy either. The captain wasn't above rubbing our
noses in it the fact that we didn't have a clean operation, but I'll be
damned if I'll let him insinuate that we hadn't done our damned jobs.
Considering that everything had been against us, I think that we had done
better than our best.
We climbed into the command vehicle. It was full of communications equipment,
but the rest of its contents had me grinning. Posh, it wasn't , but to
me it was nirvana. It had heat, a broad futon for commanders to take quick
catnaps in operation lulls, and a coffee maker. Filthy, shaking with cold,
wet, exhausted and covered in wounds, I limped to the coffee maker and
poured me a cup. Heero helped me sit as I kept the cup balanced. I held
it close to my face to simply luxuriate in the steam on my frozen skin.
Heero rummaged through a locker and pulled out blankets and a few spare
commando jumpsuits. He locked the door to both the forward cab and the
outside world of sleet , rain, and soldiers. "Get out of your wet things
and I'll get the med kit."
"You, too," I replied with chattering teeth. He wasn't soaked like I was,
but he was still wet everywhere his suit didn't cover. Heero only nodded
as he went about his business of finding the med kit.
I didn't want to let go of my coffee, but I knew it wouldn't do me any
good if I stayed like I was. Setting the cup reluctantly aside, I undressed
stiffly, hissing at every ache and pain. There was a lot of blood. It
was caked on my clothes and it was plastered to my skin. The knee....
I bit my lip. It looked ugly.
Heero wrapped a blanket around me and I huddled in it as he sat on he
floor and opened the med kit. He took out supplies, cleaned the wound
on my knee out ruthlessly until I couldn't help whimpering, and then bound
it up with bandages. He did the same to my hand and a few other places
that I hadn't noticed. Done with that, he cleaned the blood off carefully
and then handed me back my coffee.
I huddled under the blanket, sipping the hot liquid, and watched Heero
begin taking care of himself. He stripped out of his suit and I stared
at the rippling muscles of my lover appreciatively. When I saw that he
was cut deeply and bruised in many places, I tried to get up and help
him. He caught me before I fell. My knee was extremely swollen now , as
was my hand, and they weren't going to be usable anytime soon.
"I can take care of myself," Heero assured me and I was forced to settle
back and let him.
Once Heero was dry and patched up, he took up the jumpsuits and handed
me one. "Ya know," I said huskily, weariness stealing over me as I put
aside my empty coffee cup and reached out for him, "They always tell you,
if you want to warm up fast, skin to skin is best."
Heero grunted. "You're falling asleep. If someone should come..." he was
giving me a small smile though and climbing onto the narrow futon with
me even as he spoke.
I yawned. "We did our part and we're resting. Nothing wrong with that,"
I replied and pulled Heero in under my blanket. We stretched out together
and twined our wounded bodies together. It was wonderfully warm. I nuzzled
against Heero's chest and listened to his heartbeat as I came down hard
from my adrenalin high. I know Heero was experiencing the same thing.
We shivered, our muscles trembling, and it didn't have to do with the
cold any longer.
Heero's hands found my wet braid. He pushed it so that it draped away
from us both and then he nuzzled my neck. The tension in his body told
me what he wanted and, even though I knew that I was on the edge of passing
out, I lifted my chin and let him kiss and nip at my sweat salted skin.
Don't ask me why that kind of adrenalin overload triggers sexual responses,
but it does, big time. I guess it's because adrenalin makes a body climb
a mountain of rushing blood and endorphines just like sex. It's a physical
arousal that goes on and on and it's hard to accept an adrenalin equivalent
of coitus interruptus by ignoring it.
When Heero's hand wrapped around my erection, my hand was already closing
on his. We couldn't do much in the shape we were in, but hearing Heero
groan, and feeling him shudder as I tormented the swollen flesh in my
tight grasp, was enough to make me spurt hot come into his hand. When
he lifted a finger and sucked on my essence there and then took my finger
and joined it with his, making motions with his mouth as if he were giving
both fingers head, I found myself pumping his erection in the same rhythm.
He bucked in my grasp, and I ended up just making a tight sheathe for
him as he fucked my hand. When he came, I watched his face flush red and
contort in shear pleasure as he spurted through my fingers and onto my
I was drained, literally, and so was Heero. We curled tighter, wrapping
the blankets around us both, and knew that our bodies had finally stepped
down from the mission and were ready to rest.
"What if they..." Heero began, but I shook my head, my mind already slipping
past the point of caring.
"Let 'em find us together, who cares?" I said almost petulantly. "I wanna
stay warm with you."
Heero's chest rumbled under my ear as he chuckled wearily and then settled
down to rest as well. "I'm tired of being cold too. I'm not going to argue."
"Good," I mumbled.
Thoughts are weird when you're half asleep. You find very odd thoughts
popping into your failing consciousness. I guess it was being so cold
and near death, and then being so warm and safe with Heero, that made
me think of all the circumstances that had stood in the way of our ever
getting together. That train of thought narrowed down to one man who had
been the most instrumental in keeping us apart and almost destroying our
relationship before it could even begin. Filmore.
"Sleep," Heero ordered in a weary whisper against the top of my head.
"Filmore must be pretty damned cold where you sent him," I thought out
loud. "After being so cold myself... I guess I can't help thinking about
him. Maybe..." I yawned hugely and almost lost my train of thought. I
found it again and finished as I slipped into deep sleep, "Maybe I should
send him something..."
A man wearily shouldered the straps of his sled and pulled the supplies
along the frozen ground, the wind driving the snow against him harshly.
The plane, a week late, had dumped the supplies at the drop point off
center and it had scattered everywhere. After a long time spent gathering
it all back up, and discouraging a few bears who took interest in some
of the shattered ration containers, the man made the long trek back to
the metal building sitting low in the middle of the featureless, frozen
Unloading his supplies inside the building, the man, finally, closed the
door on the cold and retreated into the marginal warmth created by over
taxed heaters and a makeshift stove. Sitting down wearily, he snagged
a very small package from the heap of supplies, pulled off his gloves,
and worked it open with frozen fingers.
Reports, requests, a few magazines, and... Filmore looked at the white
envelope, puzzled. He hadn't received any personal mail in some time.
There wasn't a return address. Opening it, he pulled out a picture. It
was a beach scene, palm trees swaying and the sun shinning down on hot
sands and sparkling on ocean waves. Center of the picture was Duo Maxwell,
dressed in shorts and a tank top, and Heero Yuy, dressed in a surfer's
wet suit from the waist down and bare from the waist up. Yuy was sporting
a necklace of shark teeth and Maxwell was wearing several hair wraps and
hemp bracelets. It all looked very tropical and exactly like the dreams
that Filmore had been having of late. Hallucinations, a deeper part of
his mind called them.
Filmore turned the picture over and saw the writing on the back. It read
in large letters, 'Wish you were here... NOT!'
Filmore suddenly experienced his own kind of heat. He crumpled the picture
in one fist and shouted furiously, his voice carried on the wind to the
freezing waste land all around him, "Maxwell!!!"
[part 11] [back] [back
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