authors: Mel &
minor scene change (from person to person at the same place, someone waking
up from a dream, etc): ----------
major scene change (at another place, some time later, etc): * * * * *
flashback starting or ending: ~*~*~*~
electronics (phone, TV, intercom etc): <<Tadah!>>
+ Part 3
Wufei sat in darkness, slumped
sideways to ease the pain from his shoulder and ribs, and waited for the
OZ soldiers to return.
If they think I'm helpless,
I may be able to take them by surprise... perhaps kill one. Shifting
slightly to gauge the extent of his injuries, he winced. Hn! I'm tied
up, shot, beaten and bruised; I'll be lucky if I can make them
There was a 'beep' from the
cell door's electronic lock, and it slowly swung open. He tensed, ready
"Hi honey, I'm home! What...
you didn't dress for dinner?"
"D-Duo?" Wufei stuttered,
The braided pilot knelt in
front of him, quick hands gently patting him over. There was a faint hiss
of indrawn breath -- his or Duo's, Wufei wasn't sure -- as he found the
small hole in Wufei's shirt and felt the stickiness around it.
"Let's blow this pop stand,
'Fei," Duo said cheerfully, cutting the plastic binders around Wufei's
wrists. "Can you walk, or do I steal a mail trolley and let you ride
"I can walk, but not run,"
he admitted grudgingly.
"Is it the shoulder?"
"That... and the ribs,
and the knee."
Duo whistled softly. "Man,
they worked you over all right. Must be your charming personality -- I
mean, it's not like they have a grudge against us or nothin'."
"Of course not,"
Wufei responded, gritting his teeth as Duo slid under his good arm and
slowly pulled him up. "All the more reason for you not to
"Why Wufei, I'm hurt!
Are you implying that I would be received with less than the polite courtesy
due a prisoner of my wit and beauty?"
"Can we leave now?"
"Yeah, it's probably a
good idea. You shoulda heard what the guards were saying about your ass
when I went past!"
"Ssshhhh," he grinned,
finger to his lips.
The alarms didn't go off until
Duo was carefully helping Wufei up into the cab of a truck in the motor
pool. Lights blazed on the buildings and around the perimeter fence, and
a shout of discovery went up from behind them.
"Shit!" Wufei hissed.
He was completely exposed, struggling to pull himself up with one working
arm. He had a moment to think, I'm dead, but Duo can still get
away -- there's a car just by him, he can take cover--
--and then a pair of hands
hit his butt and catapulted him into the cab. He gasped in pain as he
sprawled over the passenger seat, feeling broken ribs stab deeper, and
glimpsed Duo silhouetted against the searchlight, braced in the doorway.
He's shielding me! Gods,
no, Duo, save yourself--
Rifles fired, the window shattered
and Duo jerked.
"I'm fine stay down!"
Duo gasped, throwing himself into the driver's seat; small crystals of
safety glass sprayed across the cab as he somehow managed to slam the
door behind him. Moments later, they were careening down the road outside
the base, bits of the shattered gate dangling from the remaining rear-view
"Duo?" Wufei tried
to push himself up with his good arm, feeling fresh blood trickle down
his shoulder from the gunshot wound. "Are you all right?"
"Stay still, 'Fei,
or you'll make it worse. I'll get you back in one piece so long as you
don't try anything macho, okay?" Duo's voice was serious, but there
was humour bubbling just below the surface.
He must be all right.
Wufei let his eyes slide shut,
and concentrated on making it the rest of the way 'home' without passing
Back at the safehouse, after
taking what seemed like every back road possible to throw off the pursuit,
Duo pulled the truck up right outside the front door and shut off the
engine. Almost immediately, Trowa yanked the driver's door open.
"Get Wufei. He's hurt,"
Duo said shortly.
"Right." Trowa nodded
and vanished; then the door next to Wufei opened as he struggled to rise,
and gentle hands pulled him out and carried him into the house.
Quatre ran in with the first-aid
kit as Trowa settled Wufei carefully onto the sofa. "Heero's calling
Sally," he said breathlessly. "She'll be here soon; now, let
me see--" He started cutting away the blood-soaked shirt.
Over his shoulder, Wufei saw
Duo slowly follow them in and lean tiredly against the wall by the door;
then he almost screamed, wheezing in pain as Quatre's knuckles bumped
against his ribs.
"He gonna be all right?"
he heard Duo say quietly.
"Sure. The ribs are bad
-- sorry, Wufei! -- but they haven't penetrated the lung, and the
shoulder's a fairly clean wound."
Something in Duo's voice made
Wufei look over at him, blinking away tears of pain. Duo met his eyes
and smiled, a sweet, gentle expression... and then his eyes closed, and
he slowly slid down the wall, leaving a glistening red smear.
And everything went black.
That was... almost two years
Wufei sat in darkness, blind.
I remember... Heero came
out just then, and grabbed Duo...
It was terribly cold, and he
...and Sally came... Duo
got better, he was fine...
There was no sound.
...but I don't think I ever
"Do you love me, 'Fei?"
"I don't want to be alone."
That's Duo! Where--
"Do you want me? Do you
care? Or do you hate me?"
NO! Wufei struggled
to speak, but he couldn't make a sound. Duo sobbed, somewhere in the darkness.
The sound seemed to be moving away. No, not again, not again
"I need you, 'Fei.
Please... say you want me..."
Duo, please, no!
"...say you need me..."
The voice faded to a whisper. "Say you love me. Say something...
Wufei jerked upright, gasping,
cold sweat prickling all over his body. Shuddering, he looked around at
the unfamiliar room, early morning light filtering in between the heavy
A guest room... at Quatre's?
It was a dream. That first
part, it really happened; but the rest... no. No. Duo's fine. He
has to be.
Oh please gods let Duo be
* * * * *
"See you around, Barton
-- and thanks! Any time you want a berth, you know where to find me, yeah?"
Duo flipped one hand in a sketchy
wave as he strolled away, not looking back. As he moved out into the open,
he shivered and tugged his coat tighter around him. Fuck... I leave
one city in winter and dive straight back in. Cold weather's a bitch when
you aren't having fun.
Pausing at the top of a ramp,
he looked out over the buildings.
How's it going, 'Fei? Found
someone you like yet? You gotta settle down with someone. Being
* * * * *
Heero kicked the safehouse
door open and stalked in, carrying a battered and bloody Duo in his arms.
The unconscious boy was dressed in an oversized OZ uniform, dangling limp
in Heero's grasp. Trowa and Quatre sprang apart on the couch and looked
up, startled; Wufei dropped the book he was reading and leapt up from
his armchair (which had been pointedly angled AWAY from the other two
"Somebody get the aid
kit," Heero snapped, marching straight for the hall. "And run
"Should I call--"
"It's all superficial."
The door swung shut behind him.
Gently laying Duo down on his
bed, Heero began stripping the too-large uniform off him. He got the jacket
and shirt off without any problems, smirking nastily at the short, neat
slice and bloodstains on the back; but as he reached for the waistband
of the trousers, Duo made a choking sound and lashed out.
Heero ducked the wildly swinging
fist. "Duo! It's me."
"h-hee-- *cough* Heero?
"Yeah, it's you all right."
Duo coughed again and started to sit up, but Heero pushed him down.
"Stay put. And don't talk
until I've checked your throat." There was a line of purple bruises
around Duo's neck. He stayed flat on the bed, but didn't stop talking.
"You got me out?"
Duo's eyes flickered. "Kill
"Quite a few; I set off
charges in their ammo store to cover our exit."
There was a short pause as
Heero finished removing Duo's clothes and covered him with a light blanket.
Duo seemed about to speak, but shut his mouth and looked away as there
was a tap on the door.
"I've got the first-aid
kit," Quatre called. "And Trowa says the bath will be ready
in a few minutes."
Heero opened the door, took
the aid kit out of Quatre's hands, and shut the door in his face. As he
turned back towards the bed, he met Duo's incredulous gaze.
"I don't believe
you just did that!"
"Hn." Heero turned
back and opened the door, catching Quatre as he began to turn away. "Thank
you." Then he closed it again.
Duo was snickering as Heero
set the kit down by the bed, but sobered quickly. "Uh, Heero..."
"Uh... there was one particular
guy..." Duo looked away. "Really tall. Black buzz cut--"
"A major? About six-four,
name of--" Heero squinted at the ID badge still clipped to the jacket
on the floor. "--Gwyn?"
Duo looked back at him, eyes
wide; he picked up the jacket and silently wiggled two fingers through
the slit in the back.
"He was in the cell with
you," Heero said quietly. "I got him in the kidney; he came
to just as I was carrying you out. I figure he might have managed
to drag himself as far as the door when the ammo dump went up... just
on the other side of the wall." He gently tucked the blanket around
Duo and picked him up.
Duo pressed his face into Heero's
shoulder, one tear trickling down his cheek before he scrubbed it away.
"You've done the same
for me," Heero said flatly, and carried him to the bath.
Later, Heero sat on the bed
watching Duo sleep restlessly; his eyes narrowed as a whimper broke the
"Duo?" He reached
out and pushed damp bangs back from Duo's face, leaning closer. "Duo,
shhh... it's okay."
The braided boy gasped and
flinched away from the touch as he jerked awake, eyes wide and dark; then
his face crumpled and he sobbed, tears beginning to fall.
"It's okay," Heero
repeated. "You're out. He's dead... shhh, Duo..."
"Heero," Duo sobbed,
clutching desperately at him. "Heero... make it better. Help me forget..."
"Duo," Heero moaned,
twisting in his sleep; beside him, Relena raised her head, blinking wisps
of hair out of her eyes. She propped herself up on her elbows, studying
his face concernedly.
He's dreaming... should
I wake him? If it's a nightmare--
He rolled over and wrapped
an arm around her waist, nuzzling at her arm as he pulled her close. "Nmmm...
Her eyes widened as he pressed
tightly against her and something poked her in the hip. That's
Heero moaned again, shifting
against Duo, one hand sliding up to close over... a breast?
What the--?! Duo doesn't
His eyes opened and he looked
straight up into Relena's blushing face.
* * * * *