Author: Mel

Seven Days + Day 7

"Duo!"

Quatre knelt beside the fallen figure, his blue eyes taking in the site of the man he loved. It hurt beyond all reckoning to see him in this state. He was lying face down in a rapidly growing pool of his own blood. His clothes were all but torn to shreds, bruised and bloodied flesh peaking out from beneath. Quatre, who had lived through two wars, who had personally brought about the death of hundreds, felt his world crash around him in shards of despair and love. He reached out, his small hand caressing the top of Duo's head.

"Don't," came the slurred murmur from Duo, "that tickles."

Quatre's heart leaped into his throat. "Duo, are you. . . alright?" he finished lamely.

"Yeah Kat, I'm just peachy, never felt," he groaned lightly as he pushed himself into a seat position and Quatre was glad to see that most of the blood was someone else's, not Duo's, "better. And I'm sorry about your floor."

"Duo I don't care about my floor, I care about you."

For a moment the words hung in the air and Duo's violet eyes stared into Quatre's blue. Then Duo coughed, covering his mouth with his hand but he wasn't quick enough, Quatre saw the blood spill from the other boy's mouth.

He subtly whipped his hand on his blood-ridden clothes. "Well you won't have to worry too much longer Kat, I'm going."

"Going?" Quatre stared up at him as he slowly rose to his feet, Quatre still on his knees.

"Yeah, after the party." It could have been almost comical the way Duo wiped down his clothes, the smell of blood would never leave them. Even now the smell hung thickly in the air and made Quatre feel ill, knowing at least some of it came from Duo.

"You're leaving?"

It took all Duo's power to wrench his gaze from Quatre's look. "Yes Quatre, now if you'll both excuse me I'll clean up and start cooking some food for everyone."

Rashid stepped in front of him, "what's going on Master Duo?" He asked in his strangely compellingly gravely voice.

Duo pulled a smile and slipped passed him. "Nothing for either of you to worry your little heads about." And then he was gone. . .

It took Quatre hours to clean the bloodstain from the floor. He wouldn't let anyone else touch it, but many servants walked passed quietly in those hours. And all saw their young master soak the tiles with his tears. . .

"Quatre?"

Gabby stood hesitantly in the doorway of Quatre's office. Looking at the blond who was sitting silently in his armchair, staring out through the window. He looked so fragile, so lifeless. . .

"Quatre, the spaceship will be landing on time. Should I send a car?" She informed him softly.

"No, that's all right Gabby, I'll go." Quatre stood slowly, the tears gone from his eyes but the sadness still frozen in his face. "Can you see if Duo wants to come too?"

Gabby opened her mouth to say something, then closed it and nodded. "Of course Master Quatre. . ."

"Go and pick them up? Kat knows he doesn't have to ask." Duo smiled at Gabby, sipping the substance in the pot, "this has to simmer for a while anyway, of course I'll go."

"Duo," Gabby started, and Duo was surprised to see anger in those eyes. "I don't know what's going on, I'm just the secretary," she said the title with a little fury, "but you've made that boy sad, change it now."

"Gabby, you're a nice girl, and I am sorry that Kat is upset." Duo said slowly, "but he's going to have to get over it, I can't stay here. Now where is he?"

"He's waiting in the lobby," Gabby said crossly even as Duo was leaving. "Stupid dick, he doesn't even realise what he's doing to him. . ."

Duo did find Quatre in the lobby, dressed in fine silk pants and a top. Ready to greet his friends. Duo was thankful he had changed into his black jeans and shirt that didn't have a great deal of holes in them. It had also taken him a while to get the caked blood out of his hair but otherwise he was fine, as long as no one decide to hug him.

Quatre watched him descend the large stairway, and everted his eyes. He could tell Duo was in pain, even though the other boy was holding himself well. But Duo couldn't hide it from Quatre. Quatre was careful to say nothing to him as they went outside. He opened the door of the limo for him. There was even more silence as they drove to the airport.

When they stopped Duo couldn't handle it anymore. He caught the blond's wrist as he was about to go out of the door. "Kat, I. . ."He faulted lightly, unable to say what he should.

And Quatre gave him a smile. "It's all right Duo, I know you have to leave, I will miss you, but I know."

Duo could have told him that wasn't what he wanted to tell him, but the words wouldn't pass through his lips so he nodded and let him go. They were a little more talkative as they waited for the party 'guests' to arrive, Duo telling Quatre about the time he and Hilde ran the scrap yard.

He was half way through describing the look on Hilde's face when he'd surprised her with the first dinner Duo'd made for them when the ship finally docked.

They stood with all the other people who were waiting for friends and family, relishing in the excitement of the room. Even Quatre grew a little giddy, moving slightly from foot to foot. Duo smiled when he noticed it, putting a hand carefully on the short blonde's shoulder."Calm down Kat, they haven't changed that much."

Duo was saved from any other pearls of wisdom as the doors opened. And a bundle of dark blue haired joy attacked him, dressed in black pants and a blue sweater. The force of the young woman smacking into him almost sent him careening backwards, but a strong hand steadied him. Pain exploded through his body even as he and Quatre worked to disengage Hilde Schbeicker from Duo's pain ridden body. As short as ever the German girl clung to her friend, laughing happily.

Duo gritted his teeth and forced the pain into more manageable levels so he could talk. "Hilde, baby, I know you've missed me, but could you ease up on the 'grip of death'. You're hurting Duo."

Hilde relaxed the grip, but only slightly so she could tilt her head back and stare at Duo with incredibly big dark blue eyes. Quatre once again felt jealousy rear it's ugly head. Why did Hilde get to hold him like that? Why not him?

'Because your tainted, you killed, you destroyed,' the voice in his head taunted him, 'you no innocent, and this girl can give that to Duo.'

The thoughts went no further as Hilde turned her eyes on Quatre. "What have you been doing to my Duo to hurt him hmmm??" She accused the blond and for a moment Duo thought Quatre would tell her what had happened.

But Quatre smiled warmly at Hilde, the jealousy disappearing as her laughing eyes fell on him. "Too much fun I guess."

Hilde laughed and let go of Duo, throwing her arms around Quatre. "It's good to see you too Quatre, gosh its been a while since we've all been together hasn't it? Relena! They're over here."

Relena Peacecraft threw Hilde's bag at her. "Next time grab your own bag." The blond headed woman had grown her hair longer, now falling to her hips in free strands, and her blue eyes seemed older then they had been two years before. She also looked a lot less formal, dressed in blue jeans and a T-shirt that said 'if you don't like the way I drive. . . Then get off the sidewalk'. The slogan brought a chuckle from Duo who seemed to find it and 'unlady-like' thing to have on her shirt.

"Why?" Hilde teased, "you make such a wonderful Bag Lady- oaf." Relena passed her own bag to Hilde and gave Quatre a hug.Quatre laughed and hugged Relena back. "It's good to see you again Relena!"

"Welcome to L4 My Queen," Duo drawled, bowing low and bringing a mortified look to Relena's face.

Relena made gestures in an effort to get Duo to stop drawing so much attention to them. "Stop it Duo, I don't want that here." She smiled wistfully, "I just want to be a normal girl for a change."

"Of course Princess," he said with a laugh, and giving her a hug, to hell with the pain such an action brought. Relena's grown up approach to life impressed Duo, who remember the girl as a clingy and obsessed Heero lover. Glad to see she had grown out of it Duo hugged her as he had Hilde.

"Are the others on the ship with you?" Quatre asked Hilde.

"Yeah, but we got out first, who knows how long they'll be."

"I am right behind you Hilde Schbeicker," came Sally Po's icy voice, Hilde making a small 'epp' sound and hiding behind Quatre, "and I don't take kindly to being called 'slow'." The years had been kind to Sally, and the ex-OZ doctor simply glowed. Her pig tails were a little shorter, more suited to the Chinese climate, and her blue eyes sparkled against her tanned skin. She wore green khakis and shirt, glaring playfully at Quatre.

Chang Wufei, her fiancé and ex-pilot, stood beside her, carrying their bags. He wore white pants and jacket with a black belt of a martial arts master. Golden skin brought out the blackest eyes. He was smiling and looked a lot more relaxed then he had during the war. Perhaps being in love did this to a person. He had left his black hair out, drawing a wolf whistle from Duo.

"That's enough Maxwell," he growled warningly, though there was no actual threat in his voice. Still, Duo held up his hands in mock surrender.

Sally smiled at them. "It's good to see the two of you again, it's been a while." Sally hugged Quatre while Wufei reached out and clasped Duo's hand in a friendly greeting. When Sally pulled back from Quatre Hilde gave a gurgle of delight and hugged the older woman in delight, something she hadn't had a chance to do earlier.

"Well this is a gorgeous site if ever I saw one!" Catherine Bloom's voice carried over the sound of other happy arrivals. The auburn haired beauty with light blue eyes smiled at them. Cut off jeans, boots and a tight, low cut top suited the knife throwing circus performer down to a T. She also loved the attention her figure attracted from other people as she walked up to the group. Her brother and Heero Yuy stood on either side of her, the two young men shooting threatening glances at the eyes that followed Catherine's swinging hips.

Trowa Barton hadn't changed much in two years, except that he'd gotten taller. His brown hair still fell in front of his face, leaving one solitary eye in site. He was wearing a green turtle neck and jeans, his and Catherine's bags slung over his back.

Heero hadn't changed much either in the few years since they'd seen one another. Chocolate bangs fell into Prussian blue eyes and he smiled slightly at something Trowa said to him. He too wore jeans and a black leather jacket, but was much shorter then Trowa.

There was a hugging frenzy as all four women got reacquainted. Wufei rolled his eyes while Trowa and Heero exchanged a glance. "Are they always like this?" Duo murmured.

"I heard that, Duo Maxwell." Relena said coldly, four sets of angry eyes swivelled on him.

"Whoa Ladies, I meant nothing by that, honest, cross my heart and hope to die." Duo said quickly, and the four girls smiled sweetly at him.

"That's almost everyone," Quatre said, looking around at the mob of guests. "We're just missing Dorothy and Lady Une-"

"Lady Une sends her most humblest of apologies Master Quatre." Drawled a voice from behind them. Turning Quatre viewed Dorothy Catalonia. The young woman was still quite beautiful with the compelling blue eyes of her family, and straight, almost white blond hair and dark gold and sharp eyebrows. She smirked in an almost evil way, though it was quite tame considering the person it came from. Dorothy had been a dangerous woman for quite some time, and still was in many places. But for today she was just a normal girl coming to a party.

She was wearing a white dress and an orange shirt beneath the shoestring straps. With an orange head band keeping the long strands of her hair free from her eyes. "She won't arrive till later tonight, and she says don't come and pick her up, she'll find her own way in."

Quatre smiled and gave Dorothy a hug. They had taken a while to forgive one another after the end of the war, especially with Dorothy having stabbed Quatre, but they had become firm friends since.

"Well then, shall the festivities begin?"

Duo's dinner was a big hit. Hilde confessed to Relena that the one thing about Duo that she had truly missed was the boy's cooking. After the dinner the alcohol began to flow and the party moved into Quatre's large sitting room. Sally sat on Wufei's lap, with Hilde and Relena sitting in the same chair opposite them, together. Heero and Trowa were on the floor, beside a fire, talking quietly.

Catherine, Dorothy, Gabby and the two Mag'ua'nacs Abdul and Amed played poker with them. It seemed the two Arabs were suckers for punishment as they were losing, badly.

It was here they were when Duo stormed in, his violet eyes fuelled with anger that should have been long dead. Anger and fury that should have long burned out of the Gundam pilot.

Wufei frowned, his face calm despite the other boys look. "Duo, what is it?"

"They've taken Quatre. . . "

Dorothy stood quickly, her cards going everywhere, her blue eyes flashing in surprise and alarm. "What do you mean, 'they'?"

"I believe Mister Maxwell is referring to the team of terrorists, called the 'Flying Fox', he has been pursuing for the last nine months." Une's voice resounded from the doorway. She wore tailored pants and shirt in a soft grey, with her hair left down, but her lips were pursed and she didn't look completely in the partying mood.

Duo didn't seem alarmed by the woman's sudden appearance, but did look a little less agro. "I got careless, the bastards must have followed me home last night."

"Careless his hardly the right word Duo," Une murmured softly, her face kind. "Your report states you arrived back here with three broken ribs, a cracked humerus, multiple stab wounds, one mere inches from your heart, it's quite the miracle you made it back here alive."

"Some miracle," Duo flicked his angry eyes to Une, "not only have I been unable to complete my mission, but I've dragged Quatre headfirst into it. I should have left days ago."

"Let me see if I get this straight," Gabby said, standing slowly. "You're not the unemployed bum I thought you were?"

Duo shook his head, not trusting his voice. Quatre was in the hands of some cruel bastards, and it was his fault.

"You're a Preventer?"

"An undercover operative," Une answered for him, "for a year and a half now."

"And you haven't told Quatre?"

It was Heero who answered for him this time, "He couldn't tell anyone Gabby, it would be compromising his position."

"But you knew?"

Heero shrugged, "an educated guess."

Gabby had been moving closer and closer to Duo while she talked, "and you were going to just pack up and leave? After the party?"

Duo looked into the pretty girl's cherub face and angry grey eyes. And nodded.

The fist in his face was not what he had been expecting. Oh, he was ready for the sting of a slap across his cheek, he was expecting that. But when Gabby's small fist slammed straight in the middle of his face, Duo almost fell over. But Duo steadied himself and stared at Gabby in shock.

Dorothy also looked surprised but was holding Gabby by the arms, not letting her have another go at Duo. However she seemed content with just shouting at him.

"You selfish prick!!! Do you have any idea what you've done to that boy in the last seven days?" Tears filled her eyes, "you showed him there's more to life then just what he had been living up until now. You've brought smiles to his face and laughter to these halls and now you're going to take that all away?" The tears streamed down her face even as desperation dipped in her voice. "In all the time I've known him I've never seen that boy break down. Never. He cried for you today Duo, wept like a child. Because of you."

Duo's eyes widened fractionally. Quatre cried for him. He had made Quatre cry.

"He loves you, you big idiot." Gabby almost wailed. "And you've all but thrown his love back in his face by telling him you're going to leave."

There was silence in the room as everyone stared at Duo.

"I. . . I made him cry. . ." Duo looked absolutely devastated.

Gabby smiled through her tears, "so go and save him and apologise, stupid." She tore out of Dorothy's hold and hugged Duo.

"OW!!! Gabby, damn it, I'm still really sore."

"Does it look like I care?" She retorted, still hugging him.

"Did you see this one coming Lady Une?" Sally asked the other woman, now standing beside her, with Wufei as well.

"Not at all," she confessed, "still, it'll be good for Duo, he needs some time off." Une then cleared her throat, drawing all attention to her. "This is wonderful Ladies and Gentlemen, but it doesn't solve our immediate problem. The Flying Fox still is a threat to L4, and are currently holding Quatre, I believe it's time to dissolve the group."

Quatre realised now that it had probably not been the best idea to go out onto the balcony for some fresh air. But he hadn't been able to keep the smile up any longer. Duo was leaving the moment the party finished. It made his heart ache to see the other boy smiling and laughing, and knowing he wouldn't wake up to it every morning.No one had ever made Quatre feel as Duo did. . . And he felt as if he was about to lose it forever, like grains of sand slipping through his fingertips. He let a tear slip down his cheek.

He didn't even know they had him until he was shackled and thrown into a truck. Even as he opened his mouth to scream a gag was placed between his lips and a blindfold over his eyes.

Now Quatre was sitting in the middle of a large warehouse, with his back against an equally large crate. He could only wonder what was inside of it, though he did have a sneaking suspicion. It was hard to believe that people still strived to make conflict when there was so much peace.

One of his abductors knelt before him. His blindfold had been removed, but not his gag, and his arms and legs were both still shackled. The guy gave him a sly smile and Quatre gave him his best 'stay away look'. It didn't work and the creep reached out and let his fingers trace the Quatre's jaw. Quatre flinched away from
the touch, but it kept coming.

"My, you are a pretty one," his voice hissed softly even as his fingers played with the gag. "Come on little boy, scream for me." With that he tugged the gag down.

And Quatre didn't give him the satisfaction of hearing a sound pass through his lips. Besides, the only people who would have heard him would be his other captors. There must have been 50 of them, and some were carrying some heavy-duty weaponry. Quatre didn't doubt that that was what also filled the creates.

"Come on darling." He brushed his fingertip over Quatre's bottom lip. "Scream!"

There was a scream, but it wasn't Quatre's.

"My finger, you little bitch." Laughter at the terrorist's misfortune rippled through the warehouse.

Quatre spat his blood back in his face, smiling grimly.

"Why you little prick!" The terrorist punched him, still staring at the mess that was his finger. Quatre fell with a painful thud, pain tearing up the right side of his body. Still he made no noise, he wasn't an ex-gundam pilot for nothing. This only seemed to enrage the terrorist more, as his heavy boots. Quatre tried to tell himself that pain was just an elusion of the mind, but his body didn't seem to believe him. And still he didn't cry out.

"That's enough Jeff." Came a heavily barked voice. The blows stopped. "If you kill our only leverage, I'll be very disappointed." There was a soft murmur and the sound of retreating footsteps. Quatre lifted his blue eyes to his saviour and lowered them again in disappointment. The man may have saved him from the other terrorist, but he was still just as cruel, with one small difference from the others. It was obvious that this man was their leader. Quatre was in shit.

Quatre could feel the burning eyes of the terrorist on him. He lifted him by his shirt, forcing his blue eyes to stare at him. "I always wondered why Maxwell wouldn't break down and tell us the truth. I still find it hard to believe that you are the reason."

The meaning of the big man's words hit Quatre like an exploding Gundam. These were the men who had been beating Duo. Red-hot anger and hatred rushed through him and Quatre struggled against his bonds. "Why?"

The large man laughed, "why? Because."

Quatre waited for him to elaborate, but the man didn't. Quatre struggled some more, irritated. "What kind of answer is that?" he hissed furiously.

"It wasn't much of a question." He counted. "But since you asked so. . . Nicely, I'll tell you." He lifted Quatre higher so his face was so close to Quarter's that he could count the number of teeth he had. "Because I didn't trust him, and I had every right to. He wanted to join, you see, said he liked 'blowing things up'. I normally don't have a problem with those kind of people, but I wanted to test Maxwell, see if he had the. . . credentials we were after. For four nights he was doing quite well, and then on the fifth he didn't show up. We missed Maxwell quite a bit that night, but that's alright, he made up for it on the sixth. That was until the little bastard started fighting back."

'This is my own fault' Quatre's eyes widened as the big man talked, 'if I hadn't made Duo stay. . .'

"Now you see, I don't like it when people just suddenly change their mind, especially when they are doing so well." He continued. "So I wanted to find out why Maxwell turned on us. And guess what? I found. . . You."

"What do you want?" Quatre whispered, fury etched in his voice.

"Maxwell. The little boy pissed me off, so it's either you, or him, that faces our wrath, and at the moment I don't care who." He threw Quatre back to the ground and he felt pain re-emerged. But it was tainted slightly, knowing that he had brought their situation on by himself. . .

It was an hour before anything of importance happened. Well at least Quatre viewed it that way, but he was too busy feeling depressed as the beatings merged into each other. He did notice when the door crashed open. The beating paused for a moment, allowing Quatre to lift his eyes. He had never seen an Angel before, but now he knew what it was like to be in the vicinity of one.

"Leave him alone! "

The voice, dripping with fury, resounded off the walls. Quatre would be lying if he said he'd seen something more beautiful in his lifetime. He stood tall, his body encased in black velvet, reflecting the lights that shone down on him. He wore black boots and gloves, and his chestnut braid swung hypnotically behind him.

Quatre almost smiled, "Duo" slipping out from beneath cracked lips.The thug before Quatre ignored Duo, his boot once again connecting with his stomach. Quatre hissed lightly, still looking at the door.And Duo howled in defiance, his face contorting in anger. He would have thrown himself at Quatre's assailant if five other big men had pulled in front of him. One caught his arms, another went to restrain his legs. But one strong thought still ran through Duo's fragmented mind. 'Quatre'.

"Let go," he growled to know one in particular. He got the response he was after, a few chortles and a 'You wish Maxwell.' That was all that he needed to hear. Pressing his feet in to the stomach of one of the men he ran up, kicking him in the face as he somersaulted to being behind them. Duo smiled as there was a resounding crack as the guy who was holding him arms' gave way from being twisted into an impossible angle. Free, Duo danced around the remaining thugs. He didn't have time to screw around.

"Stop where you are Duo Maxwell." The boss, a man by the name of Fox, held Quatre up against his chest, a large blade pressed to Quatre's neck. Duo hissed and took another menacing step. "Aren't you listening Maxwell? I will slit his throat, and you can watching him die." Duo stopped, and Fox ran his tongue slowly up Quatre's bruised cheek, delighted in the way Quatre shuddered in disgust and the fine tremors that roamed Duo's body. "I'll give you this Maxwell, he is a pretty one, I can see why you'd want to stay by his side. But next time you wont be so quick to forget us, will you Maxwell."

"There won't be a next time," Duo growled, the knife against Quatre's throat was the only thing from keeping him from ripping out his heart.

"How amazing Duo," Fox muttered dryly, "you can tell the future. But you're right, there won't be a next time. Especially now, considering we know you're a Gundam pilot." From the murmurs around the room Duo realised that the other terrorists weren't incredibly bright. "That's right men," Fox let his voice rise to the rafters, "we have us a Gundam pilot right here!"

It was obvious that the other men thought this to be a good thing and a cheer went up. Duo chuckled and the euphoric shouts died, many of the men exchanged glances. What could a surrounded boy be laughing about?

"One?" he shouted, capturing the attention of everyone, "Why not all five?"

As the last words slipped from his tongue there was a loud crash from above and Heero Yuy sailed down from what had been a heavily guarded skylight. The machine gun that rested comfortably in his hold let off a volley of shots as Chang Wufei came through the door Duo had entered from, his sword in his hand, slashing at one of the men in his way. Trowa Barton also followed Heero out of the skylight, but in free fall, somersaulting like a monkey as he went and landing easily.

With the three new additions pandemonium ensured, the terrorists unsure of who to fire at first. Shouts and screams echoed up the wall as each pilot hit their mark with alarming efficacy.But it didn't last longer then a few moments.

"Gentlemen!" Fox's voice rose over the gunfire. "You seem to be forgetting something." Four sets of eyes smouldered as they watched Quatre's blood well up from the nick at his throat and spill over the blade. "Your weapons if you please?"

The four pilots glanced at each other. There wasn't anything else for it, the four teens threw their weapons to the floor.Fox looked them over, amused. "I thought you said five Duo, I only count four."

"That's only because you can't count," Quatre's now free hand wrapped around his wrist, and with strength Fox hadn't believed he was capable of, he pulled the hand away from his throat, slipping a second bloodied hand, still with his bonds attached, to the knife. He pulled it free with what seemed to be no effort at all.

"How dare you hurt my Duo," he hissed as he brought the butt of the knife down into the back of Fox's head, knocking him out. The terrorists were just as surprised as the other Gundam pilots.

And Quatre stood there, swaying slightly, his hair coated in his own blood. He looked at his four friends, the four people who had come to his rescue. A rescue he hadn't needed, but a rescue all the same. He dredged up a smile for them, his eyes falling on Duo.There was so much to say, so much to do. But Quatre found himself falling into violet eyes. The knife dropped from his hand and fell harmlessly to the floor as Quatre murmured Duo's name. After everything that had happened Quatre's eyes rolled up into the top of his head and he collapsed into the inky darkness of his unconsciousness. . .

[day 6] [epilogue] [back to Mel's fic]