Author: Merula
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is not mine.

Deliveryman + Part 9

I don't remember too much after that. Diving towards the satellite like a bat out of hell. Slicing it into pieces. Their cannons firing at Scythe, knocking out systems. Zero's calculations sliding across my vision. Each move pre-planned.

Then light. A lot of light. And then the voices came back, but I was too exhausted, too hurt to pay them much attention. All I knew was that I had followed the right path.

It was much later when I finally woke up and I immediately wished that I hadn't. I ached all over as if someone had been beating on me with a gundanium club. I blinked up at the white ceiling above me, trying to get my eyes to focus. That constant murmur of voices was still with me. This time I tried to concentrate on it.

"With all due respect, Lady, you'll be lucky if he wakes up." I didn't know that voice. "Whatever that system was that they hooked him to, completely overloaded."

"With all due respect, doctor," that was Lady Une, "I know that he will wake up. Duo Maxwell is a gundam pilot."

"I still can't believe that he wiped out that entire satellite," Quatre's voice was tired.

"Why not? You destroyed an entire colony on Zero," Trowa's voice wasn't unkind, merely stating the facts.

"And nearly destroyed himself as well." Wufei's voice was calm and dispassionate. "It was only by the merest chance that we got Scythe in the bay before his life support systems went out." I wanted to laugh. Chance had nothing to do with it. Zero predicted that I would be able to destroy White Dog and have the Preventers ship pick me up in plenty of time. It didn't predict the massive headache that was making my head pound, but hey, nothing's perfect.

"Are you going to press charges?" the doctor's voice again.

"For what?" Lady Une sounded surprised.

"He- killed all those people." Une's voice was icy when she replied:

"They weren't innocents, doctor. They built that gundam, programmed it with Zero and set it loose with a gundam pilot inside of it. In my opinion, they committed suicide."

"The Zero system is not something to take lightly." Quatre spoke up.

"Especially not this version of it." Heero's voice.

"Version?" Wufei questioned.

"I took a look at it. It's a different version. Some changes were made to the original program."

"Who could've done that?" Wufei sounded shocked.

"I'm betting Duo can tell us." Footsteps approached the bed and a familiar face leaned into my vision. "Can't you?" Heero smiled at me as I blinked up at him. How had he known I was awake?

"Man named Jones," I muttered, my voice hurting with the effort. Heero slid an arm under my shoulders and gently pulled me into a sitting position. He handed me a cup of water and after a swallow, I continued. "One of Howard's men. Helped build the original Scythe."

"Did he say that he had recreated the Zero system?" Quatre asked. I thought for a moment.

"No- just that he had gotten a hold of a copy of it." Heero was frowning slightly, his arm tightened where it rested on my shoulders.

"Did he say that he tinkered with it?" I shook my head and quickly stopped. That hurt.

"Not that I remember."

"How was Scythe? Was he the same?" Trowa asked, coming closer to the bed. I frowned as I thought around the pounding in my head.

"Faster," I told him. "But he might have tinkered with that. He was one of the engineers."

"Well, he won't be able to tell us now." Wufei sighed. "What about Zero? How was it different?"

"How should I know Fei? I was only on the system once before remember? Neither time was a great experience." I thought about it for a moment. "Maybe it was faster too? It took me over completely. I don't really know."

"It's all right." Heero's arm around my shoulders shifted slightly, going from supportive to comforting. "This man obviously made some changes."

But that didn't seem right to me. As the others continued talking, my brain was trying to figure it out. Jones had said nothing about making changes. He had said that he had a copy of the Zero system- again he never said he changed it. I wondered if he could. He was a mechanical engineer, not a computer one.

Maybe Zero was still having some effect on my brain, but pieces began to fall into place. Jones had been one of Howard's assistants in building Scythe the first times. But Howard was only the builder- not the designer. Jones had to have worked with G. as well.

G. could've made the changes to Scythe. G. and the others could've mucked with Zero. They created the damn thing after all. G. could've told them to threaten me with the self-destruct code, knowing that I wouldn't see that as a threat, but that I would go along with it. And- I vaguely remembered someone screaming that the code wasn't working. Was that why? Had the docs sabotaged them?

Jones could've gotten the plans for Deathscythe and the Zero program from the docs- especially since I couldn't really see anyone fleeing Peacemillion stopping to grab data. Maybe White Dog hadn't been stupid- just mislead. Maybe they put their trust in the docs. Had this been another one of their fucking tests?

I was shaking, furious with myself for not having seen it sooner. I don't know why I was so sure. It's not like I had any real evidence to go on.

But I knew how to get some.

"Duo?" Heero spoke in my ear and I turned to look at him. "You okay? You kind of spaced out there."

"Uh," I realized everyone was staring at me. "I'm not feeling all that great."

The doctor snorted. "No surprise there." He turned back to Une. "You see Lady, he really should stay here."

Before I could protest, Heero spoke for me.

"I promise I'll keep a careful eye on him, doctor, but I'm sure Duo would prefer not to be in the hospital." His mouth curved in a faint smile as I agreed.

The doctor was stubborn, but there was no way he could stand against the others and Lady Une. He gave in ungracefully and let me be released. Though we had to promise that someone would be with me at all times for the next few days.

That was definitely going to put a crimp in my plans of having it out with G. At least I got them to agree to my house. I came very close to being shipped off to one of the Winner places so that I could have a bunch of maguanacs to keep an eye on me. I was relieved when Heero said that he was perfectly capable of staying with me at my house.

Quatre gave in with a grin which made me wonder how much he knew.

Before too long, I was back at my house, in my bed. Considering that I had thought that I would never see either of those things again, I was pretty happy.

Of course, it could've also been the fact that Heero had stretched himself out next to me too. We lay quietly for a long while. I don't know about him, but I was just content to lie there and listen to him breathe.

"Duo?" His voice was hesitant as he broke the silence.

"Yes?" I asked, wondering what was wrong.

"I have to tell you something." I turned to look at him, wondering what the hell he sounded so worried about.

"Yeah?"

"I bugged your clothes." That was so not what I expected him to say that I'm afraid that I just kind of gaped at him.

"Huh?"

"When I helped you with the laundry?"

"You bugged my clothes?"

"Well, not exactly. I put a tracer on them- a few pieces anyway. That's how we got there so fast. I was worried and you weren't telling me anything. I'm really sorry." I had to laugh, even though it hurt. It was such a Heero thing to do after all. I should've realized it earlier. I mean, what were the odds of the Preventers showing up in the right place at the right time?

"It's okay Heero," I told him after I calmed down.

"You aren't mad?"

"You got there in time to save me. I'd be pretty ungrateful to argue with your methods." I raised an eyebrow at him. "Just don't do it again, okay?"

"Okay. No more tracers." He agreed with a grin. He slid closer to me and put an arm around my waist, resting his head on my shoulder. I felt him press a soft kiss against my neck. I reached up to lay my arm along the one he had draped over me and tilted my head slightly so that I could feel his hair brush against my cheek.

"I missed you," I told him softly, remembering how I had thought that I'd never get to see Heero again.

"I missed you too," he replied, just as soft. "I thought you'd be mad at me when I took the others and came looking for you."

"Maybe if the circumstances were different," I told him honestly. "But I think you got there at the perfect time."

"Me too," he agreed with a faint chuckle. He snuggled a bit closer. "Now get some rest. We can talk more in the morning."

He fell asleep after that, but I stayed awake a bit longer, enjoying the feeling of him next to me, but also pondering the problem of the doctors. What the hell was I going to do?

I finally gave in and went to sleep. I couldn't do anything about it now, and besides- how often did I get to sleep with Heero next to me? Hopefully more often now, but I wasn't going to waste this opportunity.

[part 8] [part 10] [back to Merula's fic]