Author: Maldoror
Disclaimer:Gundam Wing belongs to its owners (Bandai, Sunset, and a whole host of others, none of which are me) and I'm not making any money off of them. Not a single peanut.
see chapter 8 for warnings

AN: Thanks to the usual suspects for continued moral support and sanity checks...let the War Room take a bow!

The Arrangement + Chapter 15
Chi, Part II

It takes hundreds of reincarnations to bring two people to ride on the same boat.
It takes a thousand eons to bring two people to share the same pillow.

Mandarin Proverb

---

"Go ahead." Wufei said as Heero gestured him towards the bathroom. "I'll fill this in and fax it to Une before I shower."

Heero nodded, not surprised that someone would prefer to finish a mission rather than indulge in a creature comfort, and headed towards the bathroom.

Wufei had faxed the signed certificate off when he heard a faint ringing noise. Poking his head out of the bedroom door he heard the shower water abruptly cut off and Heero start talking. Twenty seconds later Heero opened the door, a towel knotted around his hips and his cell at his ear.

"...know that, but why would Une-...his guardian? But-...Let me talk to her...Why?"

Wufei lifted his eyebrows but Heero shook his head then jerked his thumb behind him towards the shower. Shrugging, Wufei dropped Heero's clothes out of the small room and took a quick shower, rinsing off dust, sweat and a couple of small aches he hadn't noticed until now. Despite training during university he had lost some of his shape, he'd have to retrain himself severely. Heero would undoubtedly help with that. Painfully.

He merely rinsed himself off then struggled, still damp, into his pair of black jeans - the only clean clothes he had at the moment - and strode quickly to Heero's room, following the cold, measured tones of his partner's voice. Guardian...Wufei's guardian? Uncle Wai? Was there a problem?

Heero was sitting at his laptop, still wearing nothing but the towel, the phone squeezed between shoulder and ear, his fingers flying over the keyboard while he talked. "...okay...but what if he's difficult about-...oh...he won't accept that. Not if he's as stubborn as Chang." The last was said with the smallest of wintry smirks in Wufei's direction as he closed the bedroom door. Wufei responded to the comment with the scowl it deserved.

"...oh...Hn. He doesn't know you, commander. Very well, we'll be waiting." Heero disconnected without a goodbye.

"Well?!" Wufei barely waited for his finger to hit the button.

"Legal matters." Heero set the phone on his desk and finished typing. He turned around again at the hiss of hot-tempered frustration from his partner.

"Nothing too serious. Une contacted your guardian, Wai Law Chi, she needed his permission for, well, a lot of stuff." Heero shrugged as if he couldn't imagine why society would care what happened to a sixteen-year-old.

"Wai knows I want to do this! He agreed!" Wufei barked. A trickle of water fell from his hair and ran down his bare chest, making him shiver, like the trickle of fear that he would not be allowed to do this, not be allowed to do what he was meant for, the only thing that made him feel complete.

"Oh don't worry, he signed off. But he imposed conditions. He wants to keep some control over what you do, check up on you a few times until you're eighteen. And he insisted that you have a month vacation before you do anything else."

Wufei didn't know what kind of face he made on hearing that but it must have been a good one because even the normally impassive Heero snickered.

"I'll talk to him." Wufei snapped. A month? What was uncle Wai thinking! Oh he could do with a bit of retraining but not a month!

"You don't have to. Better not in fact. He's still your guardian. He could give Une a big headache if he wants to."

"But-"

"I said you don't have to. Une's devious. I think she brought out the nicer side of her personality." Heero's lips twisted. "She promised him you'd have all the rest you need, unless there's some emergency."

"So?! Am I going to rot here for a month?!"

"No, Chang. In our job, any fire is an emergency, according to the ESUN statutes." Heero's face was as blank as always but the panther-like movement as he rose from his chair spoke of anticipation. Wufei relaxed in turn.

"And how soon are we likely to get an emergency?" He asked slowly.

"Today, or maybe tomorrow."

Wufei smiled, the feral smirk of a predator smelling blood. Sorry, uncle Wai. He knew the old man had his best interest at heart, but he didn't need a break, didn't need a holiday. He needed...it could barely be put into words. But it had to do with his heart thundering in his chest, the blood screaming through his veins, harsh air ripping from his lungs, his life on the edge where it made a difference...

That morning had been nothing but an appetizer, for all it had had its moments. And if he was eager, Heero must be really desperate. Yuy had hunkered down to admin duties and the occasional solo mission with discipline and patience like the good soldier he was. But the rare smile that echoed Wufei's was just as fervent and deadly and ready for action.

And then it melted into something else.

Wufei caught the tail end of the look in that moment of shared anticipation, of fellow feeling. He noticed how Heero's eyes had dropped to his bare chest, to the waist of his jeans where he'd not bothered to do up the last button. Wufei read the expression that flickered across Heero's face and body before it was carefully caught and locked away in the soldier's prison of iron will.

Today, or maybe tomorrow...That was a long time to wait, in a certain way...Wufei found his eyes dragged to Heero's own frame almost reluctantly. Lean chest rippling with muscle, pared down to the most efficient edge of power and grace, slim hips from which the towel was starting to slip, the shadow of hipbone on golden skin...Wufei was still ambivalent about this. Though it took him a few seconds to remember why. Right, he wasn't actually all that attracted to men, and a true warrior should be able to control his baser instincts...He could see that was what Heero was doing; the blue eyes that caught his gaze were now clear, uncaring...

That sounds cool but you're both sixteen and neither of you have gotten laid in the past six month, so at this point, who cares if he's a guy - a very, very good-looking guy may I add - just remember that if you don't deal with your baser instincts now they might interfere with the mission later. That was why you guys made this whole arrangement in the first place. If it was good enough for the samurai, buddy...

Normally he felt like dragging that little voice from his head and shooting it between the eyes but...not today. Today he felt strangely absolved, and freed from the ambiguity of his desires. It allowed him to move to intercept Heero as the latter walked towards the door to go pick up his clothes left in the bathroom.

His partner stopped, poised, waiting. They weren't quite face to face, their shoulders were almost touching, Heero couldn't move forward without brushing Wufei out of the way.

"It could be a long mission..." Wufei started, since he was damned if he could think of any other way of saying this. Actually he doubted he needed any words at all, not for Yuy, but maybe he needed to hear this for himself.

Heero nodded slowly. Though he was still facing the door straight ahead, the blue eyes had twitched to one side and fastened on black.

"It will probably be dangerous..."

Heero nodded vigorously. One or the other had leaned forward another breath. Heat from Heero's skin prickled up and down Wufei's left side and shoulder where they almost touched. He waited. Damned if he was going to do all the work.

Apparently choosing his words with care, Heero said slowly: "But...your preferences are-"

"We've been through that, Yuy. Do you see any willing women here? There's just us."

The blue eyes flickered away from his own. "Even if the mission comes in today, we won't leave until tomorrow afternoon, we have to get you equipped...We could always go out tonight...We're no longer at war, security is no longer primordial. We could always..."

"What, pay for it?" Wufei sneered. "I had that option back in Hangzhou, and I'd rather jerk myself off." And Heero was probably the same; neither of them would feel comfortable relinquishing even a fraction of their control, of themselves, to someone they didn't know, much less a whore. "There's always that last option but you're the one who said it was more satisfactory to share the need when you first slammed me to the ground back in that shed."

"You weren't very sure about it then." Heero's eyes had widened. He threw that like a challenge.

Oh just rub my face in it, Wufei thought furiously. He knew he'd been weak ­ and worse, a hypocrite ­ at the start, letting Heero give him the illusion he was forcing him to accept their mutual need. And yes, he still had his inner conflicts, about this and much more. But he'd learnt to dominate them, like a warrior should.

"Since we're taking a trip down memory lane…remember our first mission together? The target who liked Asian boys, to Maxwell's utter amusement? The one where you took a gamble and shot him yourself rather than risk the chance of me going in solo and screwing up?" His voice dripped acid.

Heero's pupils dilated slightly. "…you weren't trained as an assassin."

"Think that would have stopped me?"

"No. I...didn't know you as well then." A hand brushed Wufei's chest as it reached for his face but didn't touch his cheek.

"So-"

"It wouldn't have stopped you but I was still the best suited mentally for the job." Heero said severely.

Wufei's eyes narrowed. "Remember what happened afterwards?"

And he wasn't just talking about the screw in the alley. You are an efficient killer, Chang. The first time Heero Yuy had looked back and seen how close Wufei was following him, matching him stride for stride. The first time Heero had realized he didn't just have a convenient fuck but a partner. Suddenly this was about more than just sex. It was about the whole arrangement. They were here, alone, because they chose to be, on the warrior's path that had no goal but to see how far they could go, how much better they could get.

Wufei could see the memories and thoughts playing across the blue eyes - Heero had let the mask slip for a few seconds. The hand near Wufei's face still hesitated.

"Don't underestimate me, Yuy." Wufei whispered with an edge of menace. "I may not be fucking perfect like you but I am strong enough to face my own demons, bear my own sins and dominate my own doubts. I don't need your condescension."

"…you never had it."

Wufei felt like contesting that - the 'never' part, he was pretty sure that was a lie - but he never had a chance to open his mouth, the hand cupped his jaw, hard lips were pressed into his own.

...there's just us...

No more thinking. Wufei slipped the grasp that was still light on his neck and hip and pulled Heero to him with arms like steel. The body against his was tense as a wire for a second or two - Heero Yuy let his guard down for no one, not even his partner. Then the hands on him hardened their grip, slipping across skin with a tingle of pressure to press him into the hard body fiercely.

They were side by side as their knees touched the bed. A ripple of hesitation ran from one to the other, a question. Then Wufei, with something of an inner grimace and a flutter of anticipation, broke the embrace to sit, then lie down on the bed. Heero didn't question it, didn't try to doubt his decision this time. Just nodded fleetingly and then leaned over to a box near the side of the bed. The towel had tumbled from his hips and Wufei, propped up on his elbows, let his eyes linger over the sight that had occupied some of his more involving dreams in that bed in Hangzhou.

He saw a slight grimace cross Heero's face and the hand came out of the box of toiletries with a tube of-

"Burn cream?" Wufei didn't know if he should laugh or glare. Heero shrugged, a bit defensively. Apparently he'd not thought he'd need any lubricant from now on. The only other thing he had around in his bathroom was soap.

"It'll do." Wufei grumbled; the nearest pharmacy would be quite some distance away from the industrial zone and it would be a pity for Heero to get dressed again. A great pity...

He forced himself to relax as Heero sat himself on the side of the bed, then crawled over until he was kneeling between Wufei's legs. He didn't really mind this; for starters it was his turn, Heero had been bottom last time. And after some of the research he'd done, he was...curious. He didn't think his first time - occulted by embarrassment, discomfort and confusion - had been all it could be.

The burn cream tossed momentarily aside, Heero put his hands slowly on Wufei's chest. Strong fingers ran down his body, too hard for a caress, as if trying to define and test the muscles beneath the skin. Then the hands met at the v of his partially open jeans, slowly popping the second button open with a small flick sound. Flick, flick, the third and fourth button followed, the sound blending in with their quickening breath to sound oddly erotic in the silence of the converted workshop. The rasp of Heero's hands against his skin was a melody onto itself as they reached to lift the jeans away from his hips. In the distance, a beep from a truck backing out, a growl of motor, a faint incomprehensible shout from men working on something or other. In the bare room, where the crack of winter sunlight paled in the light of neon overhead, there was only the rhythm of harsh breathing, the squeak of springs as Wufei arched his hips off the bed, the lush sound of cloth slipping from flesh as Heero drew the jeans down his legs. One of the neon spat and muttered but nobody else commented.

A sound of a screw cap twisting - Wufei had found his eyes closing by themselves, not in embarrassment this time, but...it just made it slightly easier to bear the passivity. A sharp medicine smell stung his nose, like copper and camphor combined. He remembered it well, from their time in Italy and, more disturbingly, from the times they'd had to treat themselves or each other's wounds. An unwelcome invasion; memory of red pain and stinging, pulling flesh. Wufei lost a bit of the excitement that was prowling around his loins. A handi of burn scar on his upper thigh tingled. At the back of his throat coiled the choking smell of burnt flesh and blood, his fingers twitched as they remembered smearing the stuff on Trowa's chest after a battle for Peacemillion, little clicks nearby as Quatre cut the gauze -

Lips crushed his own and a hand - slick and sticky now - drew a line from his neck down his chest, pausing to circle a nipple, before dropping to his erection. Wufei felt a ripple like a tsunami run through his flesh, ripping away the memories of war. The feel of Heero Yuy's hand on his cock was something else that had decorated his dreams during their time apart...

Satisfied that Wufei was back in bed with him, one of Heero's hands dropped lower, ghosting over the sacs to toy with the entrance beyond. Wufei could feel every move, strangely delicate from hands that could crush flesh and steel with equal ease. His eyes were still closed, heightening the sensations.

The breach was slow but steady, and not as uncomfortable as he remembered. Well, maybe a bit - as Heero felt deeper and the muscles stretched. Apparently this got a bit easier with practice...he'd done this a grand total of once so far, so a little pain was still to be expected, however careful Heero tried to be. Wufei didn't actually mind, pain was not an issue...actually he had to admit that it felt...interesting. The discomfort seemed to highlight the feelings of being stretched, stroked, like a massage, a touch both gentle and firm, demanding the surrender of muscles to warmth and respite...Wufei's back arched slightly as the feeling accentuated and the movement became more complex, prodding and poking, sending shivers of sensation flooding upwards, highlighted by the darkness behind his eyelids.

His hands twitched on the prickly cover of the bed. This was the only part he didn't like. Lying on his back like some damn woman letting the man do all the work, the seduction...Heero had taken it like a trooper last time, so would he...Actually how had Heero reacted last time...? Damn, he could only remember a thumb kneading the cords of his neck. And the sex, the feel of-...And a rather impressive set of bruises on his shoulders afterwards. A slight twinge of shame at that; Heero was much more considerate. Bloody perfect, even in this, another part of Wufei grumbled immediately; count on Heero not to get lost in the feelings, overwhelmed by sensation...this-...really did feel good...

Heero's other hand had been tracing the firm, taut muscles of Wufei's abdomen, almost idly, occasionally dropping to his erection to distract him - very successfully - when the other hand probed deeper or added a finger to the task. Now the hand rose, still feeling its way - did Heero also have his eyes closed? - across his side, his chest, down one arm - kneading and pressing, another massage relaxing him, sending waves of sensation rippling back down his body to crash with the other set, meeting somewhere in the region of his groin. Heero lifted Wufei's forearm. His hand touched a firm shoulder. Fingers grasped flesh instinctively in a gasp; Heero's other hand had twisted slightly and flicked on the neon inside Wufei's eyelids. His whole body crackled and sparked.

His hand was buried in hair at the base of Heero's neck; both rough and silky, like a hound's pelt. Distracted, he let his fingers play, knowing that this was what Heero needed too. A touch. So little. So needed, to breach, just once in awhile, the voluntary isolation around the soldier.

Wufei's world dissolved. Little jagged spikes of pleasure and light drilled through his body. He still kept enough control - even here, even now - to avoid pulling Heero's hair. The head turned beneath his fingers. A mouth nuzzled his wrist, nipping gently at the beat threading and pulsating there.

Heero's fingers left him. Hands dropped to his hips, tilting them up. A flash of regret for that pain/comfort/pleasure, for a touch where he'd trust only one other person to touch him...

Well, bar the doctor from the medical this morning, the little inner voice suddenly piped up, probably just to see him squirm and flinch. Great, that wasn't the kind of memory he wanted to -

Breath left his lungs in a grunt of shock as Heero suddenly pressed himself where his fingers had been.

Hands immediately soothed. Chased after the little shudders running through his flesh. Hunted them down and subdued them with rough pressure and stroking fingers. Wufei relaxed slowly, taking in this new sensation. The pulse running through his body. The way his hips were canted upwards onto Heero's lap. The sheer presence of Heero within him. His breath hitched again as Heero moved in deeper, but it was more surprise than pain; he hadn't remembered it felt so...so...

It feels fucking fantastic...the little inner voice was awed. Wufei didn't bother scowling at it, caught at the cusp of a pleasure so strange it was indistinguishable from pain.

He was panting against Heero's shoulder. His partner had leaned in, put his hand near jet-black hair for balance. A dip curved the mattress next to his head. Wufei's hands were grasping Heero's shoulders, both of them. A trembling grip that seemed torn between pushing him away and pulling him closer. The body shifted slightly above his own. Wufei's hands tensed, he was caged in...not in control...Heero hadn't complained last time...he could do this...

Heero moved and Wufei's thoughts dissolved and he just wanted more...

A strong hand grasped him under the shoulder. More than a caress, a grip. An arm reached around his waist. Wufei almost shouted in shock as he was jerked away from the cover, disorientated. He scrabbled and his arms circled strong shoulders.

The pressure of penetration grew; only a fraction but very alarming. He almost panicked, tore himself away - then he realized Heero was holding him up bodily, with almost obscene ease, waiting for him to get his legs under him and support himself.

He stared down at piercing blue under tousled hair, flushed cheeks - his eyes had flown open instinctively. He could no longer close them. He was above Heero now, his legs on either side of his partner's lap. His hands gripped red marks onto the golden skin of Heero's shoulders. His hips and back tilted to accommodate their union. But he was now in control of the measure of it. Well, not entirely. A gentle but insistently growing tug on his shoulders; forcing him down, forcing him to move, to take more. He found himself smiling fiercely - yes, this was how they did things. He allowed it but only so far and then thrust back up again - the pleasure of in and out clung to his skin like sweat. He shivered. Heero tugged him down again with a deep exhalation like a groan. Eyes hooded over clouded blue. Wufei flexed his legs, tilted further back.

It was more a fight between two opposing forces than cooperation, it should have been awkward. It wasn't. Wufei could read the play of muscle beneath his hands. Heero anticipated him. They knew each other's movements. Strike and parry. Separate and together.

A small change in angle left him gasping, head thrown back, blinded. Violent pleasure ripped up his spine. His hair, still loose from his shower, tickled his shoulder blades, skin rippling with the sensation like an aftershock. His grip and movement surrendered an instant to the punch of sensation. Heero's grunt of satisfaction and victory sent a breath across his chest as he let himself be pulled down deeper. A slight pain joined the pleasure and heightened it. His whole body started to tremble. Hammering like a heartbeat. He recaptured his share of the movement...more...

Breathe. In. Out.

Warm flesh beneath his fingers. Damp, slipping. His grip tightened...

Down. Thrill and a twinge...

In. Out. Breathe.

This wasn't going to last long. It was too perfect to last long. And the unleashed storm thundered through his veins; pulsed under his skin. It wanted satisfaction...

Heero leaned back. They both compensated for the shift in balance instinctively. A familiar hand caressed him - the storm broke.

Wufei gasped - a blow of air to the chest - as if he had been holding his breath for months -

Blurred white. His heart thundered. His body coiled, and broke free in a rush.

He faintly felt Heero snarl against his shoulder, tug him down possessively, hips thrusting up into his pulsing body. Pain, slight, so distant...the rest felt so good...

...

A sudden disorientation jerked him from the moment of complete non-thinking he'd been lost in. A jumble of images - the room, flushed skin, tousled hair, dazed blue eyes - and he found himself lying on his back on the prickly cover, which would have left him some rather unpleasant burns if he'd been pounded against it. He could barely feel it; he seemed weightless, as if that deep breath that had blown out all the tame, stale air from his body was still buoying him. He distantly felt Heero pull back from him, and shove him a bit to one side, lazily, so that he could collapse by Wufei's side.

His body began to let itself come back down to the bed in sections. The first was his ass which felt rather sorer than last time; for some reason he just couldn't care...just as his mind began to drift he felt the skin of his abdomen come into focus, with the very unmistakable feeling of a viscous liquid that had been at the same temperature as his body but was now cooling rapidly in the room's fresh air. His arms were tired, as were his legs, from the effort of measuring his movements to Heero's. A tingle on his arm...

Heero was lying on his side, propped up on one elbow - Wufei's hip informed him of the dips in the mattress this was causing- a finger idly tracing a scar on Wufei's upper arm as if his partner didn't remember that one. Maybe he didn't...of course he didn't, he'd never seen it. Wufei cast an indifferent eye at the pucker of pink flesh running up to a harsh V of scar tissue. A flash of memory; gaping skin welling with blood soaking through torn cloth, dripping down to the throttle he was grasping, the gumminess of it between his fingers and the grip, the smell of burnt plastic and hot metal, a very distant pain barely noticed in the heat of that very last space battle...It seemed so long ago now.

And this...this was now. And this felt right. He knew why he'd done this, why he'd precipitated matters. The desire had been there of course - six months of not getting laid and having his blood quickened by the fake assault earlier, a pale ersatz of battle, no wonder they'd been horny. But there was more.

He and Heero were linked. It went beyond war now. In this peace they knew nothing about they were now taking the same road. They were very different but they were closer to each other than to anyone else in earth and in space; exhalation and inhalation, distinct yet linked, not by affection but necessity. The sex was a promise, the signature on the contract. They were not going to take the easy road in this peace; they would continue the battle against themselves, to become better, to reach for a goal that was now uniquely their own. They chose now to take on the missions, protect for others what they were probably unable to enjoy, and grab what satisfaction they could in the process. The closeness they'd just shared was a pact; it said they would not let anything interfere, get between them and their goals, not the affection of companionship, not the warmth of a woman's arms, no distractions, no -

All that and it was fucking great sex too!

Okay that was it! He didn't care what it took, he was going to get this little demon exorcised from his brain. Now what would be needed...Its name? Well he knew that. It was a Maxwell demon, tantalizing, sure, sensual and unashamed of it, everything he was not, so obviously an invasion from outside. What else....if he remembered right, an exorcism required six copper seals, red thread, incense, parchment and ink. And a Shinto priest. Easy.

"We have some time before the mission, maybe we should do some shopping." Heero muttered.

Yeah, where can I find copper seals?

"...I suggest we get you a proper double bed."

Wufei realized the shifting besides him for the past minute had been his partner trying to fit into the very small space Wufei had left him on the military bed. Heero was pressed against his arm, and Wufei didn't think either of them really wanted this contact, not now...Heero was neatly compartmentalized, closeness went with sex and he wasn't much for a cuddle afterwards, he probably wouldn't see the point. Wufei obligingly shifted on the bed to leave him some room and found his right shoulder hanging over empty space, nearly up against the wall.

"A bed, agreed." He grunted. "And some sheets and stuff." That was obvious, of course, but he was thinking of having to change them after sex, as his abdominal muscles flinched away from the sticky, cool spot on his stomach. And that was nothing to the uncomfortable wetness he was starting to feel between his legs, running onto the cover. He lifted a hand, but what would he do once he wiped it away...? He felt Heero lean away from the bed, nearly entirely off of it. When the weight returned besides him, the towel dropped onto his stomach. He grunted in lieu of thanks and started the cleanup.

"You'll need some furniture." Heero continued, propping himself up on one elbow again, eyes on the crack of sunlight in the taped sheet covering the window. "I know a place they have cheap stuff."

Wufei nodded. His uncle Wai had made it clear that finances were not too big an issue, his father's inheritance could cover him now that his clan was no longer providing. But why buy expensive furnishings for this shack? Especially when he wouldn't be here for months on end? Ah but there was one thing he would spend money on...

"The bed will be comfortable. My days of sleeping on the floor on rotten mattresses are over." He stated imperiously. Heero shrugged, his eyes dropping indifferently to his bunk.

"Sheets...clothes, I noticed you don't have many." Heero continued. Yes, Wufei had left the silk and finery behind him in Hangzhou.

"There's an army surplus nearby." And Wufei was willing to bet Heero had a frequent buyer card. "You'll need fatigues and tough jackets, but also casuals. We don't do much undercover work but we often have to move around incognito."

Wufei nodded impatiently, this was similar to the war.

"What else... ah, some more dishes..." Heero's mouth lifted in a cold, small half-smile. Wufei had commented acidly on his 'camping out' when he realized his partner only had the one aluminium plate.

"Some proper tea." Wufei grunted, tossing the towel on the floor on Heero's side.

"More towels." Heero said reprovingly, picking it up and tossing it with condescending precision into the open box where he put his dirty clothes, half way across the room.

"An extra stool." Wufei countered, and that should have been at the top of the list; Heero had had to eat his breakfast sitting on the counter this morning.

"Lubricant."

"...yes." The smell of camphor was mixing with semen and sweat and the dusty-plaster smell that seemed to permeate the workshop, making his stomach clench slightly. He sat up on the prickly cover.

"Shower."

"Uh? Oh, you mean now."

Wufei stood, wincing, more at the small trickle of tepid liquid against his inner thighs than any real pain. He glanced back, almost against his better judgement. Heero had taken his vacated position and was stretching full out without any hint of embarrassment. Grace and power, the muscles of a predator rippling beneath golden skin...

"Gun, ammo, flak jacket-" Wufei said as if to banish the thoughts that had rippled through his mind in an echo of that movement.

"We'll get those tomorrow, before we leave." Heero answered lazily, eyes slowly blinking once as he gazed at the ceiling.

"Assuming we leave."

"We will, trust me- no, trust Une. She'll have our asses out of here as soon as she possibly can."

"...is there that much trouble out there still?" Wufei felt torn between eagerness and gloom.

"A fair amount. Not as much as I'd have thought." For the first time, Wufei realized that Heero himself must have had the same doubts about peace that he had. "But enough fires...and Une just doesn't have that many reliable agents. She can't use a lot of ex-OZ, ex-White Fang, ex-Rebels..."

"Hence Foxwood."

"Sam is actually a very proficient commander, though he doesn't hold the rank. There's a lot of administrative complexities that Une has dodged, so you'll meet a lot of 'consultants' like Sam. Actually the whole special ops section is rather...unofficial, and very hurriedly put together. That's why they let us both in so easily, without much training. But we're still kept on a tight leash, and Foxwood is our immediate supervisor - Une is our superior, along with Grecko, you'll meet him when he gets back from that conference on L1. Don't take Sam personally. That's just the way he is. He's got a formidable exterior and he won't give you an inch but he won't let any emotion or hostility interfere with his work and he's very efficient."

"Oh trust me I have a lot of practice dealing with that kind of guy." Wufei grunted and headed towards the shower before Heero could think of a proper comeback.

When he returned to the room five minutes later he found Heero dressed and in front of his open laptop.

Heero's face was granite, his eyes were as cold as Wing's, but his body was straining at the leash like a hound who'd heard the horn.

"Chang...are you vaccinated against the full panel of exotic diseases?"

"Yes, of course." Wufei answered tightly. "Master O didn't want me coming down with anything weird while fighting in Asia or the African continent. Or L2 for that matter."

"Good." Heero twisted the laptop his way. Wufei's heart hammered as he took in the familiar form of a mission planning statement. He leaned forward eagerly on the edge of the desk, looking over Heero's shoulders. Read the specs. Huh, Une was throwing them into the deep end!

The excitement rose but he controlled it, honed it, kept it ready for use. Heero was a live wire besides him but nothing showed in his face and eyes, only Wufei could read his anticipation.

Breathe. In. Out.

Now.

"When do we leave?"

[chap. 14] [chap. 16] [back to Maldoror's fic]