Author: Merula
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is not mine.

Warnings: Angst.

Run and Hide + Part 13

Since the last part was so short, this one is a bit longer than usual to make up for it.

I went back to Heero who was waiting for me with open arms. I sat in his lap and let him hold me, heedless of our audience. I needed to be held and I didn't care what Quatre or Trowa thought.

"I'm glad he's happy," I told Heero.

"I know Duo. I understand," he replied softly, his hand stroking my braid soothingly.

I was glad Fei was happy. He was happier with Sally than he'd ever been with us. I could see it just in that few moments of conversation.

And that hurt. Hell if I knew why.

In addition- if I had seen it sooner- before I left- would I have panicked like I did? Would I have left knowing that Heero was not really what Fei wanted?

I was confused. I had thought that I had left because people who were close to me died and I hadn't wanted that to happen to Fei or Heero. That was part of the reason- but not all. What Heero said came back at me- had I left also because I had made myself the outsider?

"It's getting late," Heero murmured into my ear.

"I know." I sat up and looked down at him. "Do you want me to stay here? I don't want you to get in trouble with Relena or Une."

Oh- what about classes on Monday? If I stayed with Heero he'd more than likely want to go back to Earth. I was willing but I couldn't just leave the school without some warning. And when were they scheduled to leave L2? Why hadn't I thought about all this earlier?

"We'll go to your place. Relena won't mind. I already told her I'd be back in the morning. We have a full team here so she's fine." Heero assured me. I wanted to ask him about the rest, but it didn't seem to be a good time.

I mean what was I going to say? Uh, I know I promised never to leave you again, but we both have obligations we just can't ditch and it might be a few weeks before I can do that whole 'never leave you' thing. Yeah, that would go over well.

"We'll see you both in the morning then," Quatre agreed. I got up and accepted his tight hug. "We're glad your back Duo. We'll talk more later, okay?"

"Okay," I agreed as he let me go.

Trowa also hugged me again after telling Heero that he would do the security checks for Relena as well as Quatre before he went to bed.

+

Heero took us back to my apartment. We didn't talk much on the way there- I was worrying about how to keep my promise to him and yet not abandon my job here. I don't know what he was thinking of.

My tiny apartment was still drab and dull, even more so after Quatre's suite and nothing like the house I had shared with Heero and Wufei.

"What happened to the house?" I asked suddenly.

"We sold it. Your share is in an account on Earth."

"Oh," I felt a slight pang. I had really loved that house. It had been my first real home- and I had left it. I looked at Heero. He had moved over to the window and was staring at the street below. Was he regretting being here with me? Was he too thinking of the probabilities?

"Come here Duo," He held out a hand to me and I joined him by the window. His arms closed tightly around me. "Talk to me. What's wrong?"

"How are we going to do this Heero? I can't just up and leave the school. You can't just abandon Relena and your job. I know I promised to stay with you, and I meant it, but I don't see..."

"Stop." His arms tightened. "I meant it when I said I had no intention of letting you go again."

"But..."

"No. I will find a way to make it work, Duo. I am not going to give you an opportunity to slip out of this!" He snapped.

"I wasn't looking for one!" I snapped back. "I'm trying to find a way to make it work, damn it!"

"I'm sorry," he apologized quickly.

"No. I can't blame you for not trusting me." He didn't trust me. I knew he didn't and it hurt, but I had no one to blame but myself.

"I'll try," he told me. "But..."

"I know." I didn't want to have that discussion. "But how are we going to do this Heero? How long is Relena scheduled to be here?"

"We're supposed to head back to Earth tomorrow. She has some huge meetings in Tokyo starting tomorrow night and then my team delivers her back to Sank late Tuesday."

"I have classes next week." I told him. "And we don't exactly have subs..." Heero sighed.

"I know. Father Brown showed Relena the books. You guys are working on a shoestring budget."

"More like a thread." I laughed.

"Quatre and Trowa are scheduled to be here for the next week. Quatre has business meetings. I..." he paused.

"Whatever you need me to do Heero." I turned in his arms and met his eyes. "I promised not to run again and I won't. If you want me to stay where they can see me I will. "

He bit his lip and I could see the struggle going on behind his eyes. "I don't mind, honestly. If it will earn your trust back even a little, I'll do it." I told him.

"Stay with them after I leave?"

"If that's what you want- yes. Anything."

"Oh Duo." He pulled me even closer to him and I felt him sigh. "I love you."

"I love you too," I told him again. "Always."

I took him to bed with me then, wanting to reassure him, needing to touch. It had been so long...

Afterwards he curled up next to me and I nearly cried to hear the familiar request.

"Duo, talk to me?"

"About what Heero?" I managed.

"Anything you want."

+

The next morning I got up and dressed way earlier than usual so that I could accompany Heero back to the hotel. He went to check on Relena after dropping me off with Quatre and Trowa. It was almost like being turned over to babysitters, but I didn't complain. Trowa and I helped Quatre go through a huge amount of his correspondence, and before I knew it, several hours had passed.

"Duo," Heero spoke my name from the doorway. Relena was with him and she gave me an impish grin.

"Good to see you Duo." She gave me a brief kiss on the cheek and sauntered over to ask Quatre about some housing project. Heero grinned at my expression. Relena had always been polite, but she had really loosened up since the last time I had seen her. I wondered why.

"We're leaving in a few minutes," Heero said to me. "I'll call you tonight. I've already contacted Une. I'll be back here by Wednesday."

I blinked at him.

"I thought it would be best if I moved here." He explained, prompted no doubt by my expression. I blinked again. "Your school needs more teachers and Father Brown agreed to let me take over some of the engineering and computer classes."

You ever get the feeling that you're in the middle of a play and someone changed the script without telling you? I must've looked really interesting since Quatre and Relena stopped whatever they were talking about and started to giggle at me instead. Even Trowa grinned. Heero growled at them and tugged me out into the privacy of the hallway. "Duo? Is it okay?"

"You're moving here?" I felt something loosen in my chest.

"I know how important your job is to you Duo."

"But- what about the Preventers?"

"It hasn't been the same." Heero met my eyes and I bit my lip. "I want to work with you this time. I'll still be making a difference after all. Okay?"

"Okay," I agreed, still stunned that he was doing this for me. I reached out and hugged him. "Thanks Heero. You don't know what this means to me."

"Just keep your promise to me Duo. You won't run away from me again- right?" He was tense in my arms.

"I won't run away, Heero, not again. I won't leave you. We promised- right? " Kind of silly to tell someone that who was leaving in a few minutes- but he wasn't going to be long and I would be right here when he got back. I owed Heero this.

"Right. I'll be back on Wednesday." He kissed me fiercely

"I'll be here." I told him when he let me.

He collected Relena and they headed out. I rejoined Trowa and Quatre, once again sorting through correspondence. I was actually happy that Quatre had so much. It kept me too busy to think that Heero was gone and it kept them too busy to talk to me.

We were just about finished when one of Quatre's staff came in, her face pale. "Mr. Winner sir..."

"What is it Miss Conners?" The girl shook her head and flipped on the vidscreen. A news channel popped up. The news announcer was a pretty brunette, her voice a pleasing alto. But what was she saying?

"The shuttle is confirmed to be that of Vice Minister Darlien. The pilot apparently lost control over the Atlantic and the shuttle dropped off of radar. An attempt to re-establish contact with the shuttle failed. Search parties have already been sent but with the freezing temperatures in that section of the ocean...."

No. He promised me.... No.....

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