Summary: 04 meets 02.
Souls + Chapter 4
Quatre had really hoped to
talk with Trowa again after the New Edwards raid; he'd left so suddenly
last night, and he'd been all business and mission oriented the next morning.
//But he kissed me!//
But everything went wrong on that raid. Trowa fired on what turned out
to be fellow Gundam pilots and Quatre barely succeeded in keeping him
from battling it out with the big black suit with the energy scythe.
They were all together, all five of them, just as Quatre had hoped, but
his excitement was short lived. Lured into a cruel trap, they discovered
they'd wiped out the Alliance pacifists by mistake, not the OZ top ranks,
as their intelligence had indicated. It was a devastating mistake, especially
for the pilot called Heero, who'd destroyed the shuttle.
Everything moved too fast after that. Trowa took off with that snarky
Chinese pilot with the dragon-headed beam cannon without a backward glance,
leaving Quatre, Heero, and the smart-mouthed one who'd attacked Trowa
to disarm a major bomb detonation and save the base and a large expanse
of the west coast. When it was all over, there was nothing to do but head
back to his base and face the displeasure of Rashid and his men, whom
he'd made stay behind.
It was frustrating, having
met the others, but with no way to contact any of them. He carried out
a few small missions on his own, and then orders came in to hit a supply
route in Siberia.
He got over confident and fell, literally, into another trap and nearly
got killed by the very train he'd been trying to attack. Then, out of
nowhere, another Gundam was there, saving his life. It was that big black
one with the power scythe, the one called 02. He'd rather it had been
Trowa, but he was still grateful for the help.
Things got confused again after that. They found Heero dueling with what
appeared to be another, bigger Gundam, only to discover that it was the
Zechs Merquise, Kushrenada's right hand man, at the controls.
And then the worst happened. A message came through an open channel. A
female OZ officer threatened to blow up the colonies if they didn't cease
their attack and surrender. The Gundam's mysterious leader, an old man
with the strange goggles and a mechanical hand, capitulated but that he
would not surrender the Gundams. Heero, that amazing, grim boy, stepped
out of his hatch, said "Mission accepted, and self-detonated right in
front of their eyes.
The shock of it, and the flashes of pain and shock from all who witnessed
it was too much for Quatre. It felt like his heart was going to explode.
His mind was overwhelmed with a confusion of voices from all sides, all
calling out in disbelief or awe. Clutching his chest, Quatre was slipping
into unconsciousness when Trowa's calm voice cut through all the pain
and static and saved him.
"Can you hear me? We must leave here at once!"
"Tr--Trowa?" That voice was like balm on his soul. The pain subsided.
Looking up, he watched as Heavyarms reached down and gently picked up
Heero's body like a broken toy. "Is that really you, Trowa?"
"Without resolution, we can't fight." Quatre couldn't tell if Trowa was
speaking to just him, or to 02 as well, who Quatre could see on his monitor,
white-faced and shocked.
Quatre longed to feel another of those comforting flashes from Trowa,
but there was nothing. Trowa's voice was heavy with sadness and respect
as he said, "He accepted all orders."
Merquise let them go, refusing to take advantage of the situation, and
Trowa disappeared into the night. Stunned and numb from the night's events,
Quatre withdrew, only half aware that 02 was following.
Dawn found them hiding out in a canyon near the Middle East base. Quatre
sat in Sandrock, staring at the black Gundam slumped against the far wall.
How he wished that was Heavyarms over there! Why had Trowa just left like
Quatre shook off his self-pity. It was war. Trowa was a good soldier.
He must have had orders. And he had been the only one with presence of
mind to collect poor Heero's body. With a sigh, he climbed out and signaled
the other Gundam. They might as well make the best of things; despite
a bit of a rough start at their first meeting, 02 was a good fighter and
he'd obviously been Heero's friend. He could probably use some comfort
As 02 emerged to respond, Quatre was struck by how different all five
of them were. Oh, they were all about the same age, but aside from that,
they couldn't have been more different. This boy was no exception, with
his odd black priest's shirt and an amazingly braid that hung to his waist.
When Quatre got close enough for a better look, he had to admit that he
was really good looking, too, almost pretty except for the hard smirk
and the weary sorrow lurking behind his false good humor. He put up a
good front, still grinning and wise cracking, but Quatre felt the deep
grief throbbing in him. He was glad when the boy agreed to come to the
Maguanac base with him.
Duo. Duo Maxwell, that was his name, and Quatre liked him immediately.
He came off as tough and streetwise, and he probably was, but underneath
Quatre sensed how kind hearted and brave he was. And he treated Quatre
like a friend from the very first, too, and he appreciated that.
They both kept up a good front until they were alone in Quatre's bare
little room, but then he saw Duo's mask begin to slip and knew he'd been
right; Heero had been Duo's friend and under that tough act Duo was grieving
deeply for him but desperate not to show it.
That night Quatre heard him crying in the room next door, but when he
went in to talk to him, Duo pretended to be asleep. The next day the mask
was back in place as they wandered the streets of the little Arab town.
Quatre sensed that questions would not be welcome.
Duo wasn't above asking them, though. He wanted to know all about why
Quatre had given up his privileged life and seemed to approve of his answers.
Duo didn't say much about his own past, but Quatre could tell that he'd
had a hard life. He was smart and quick, and very nice, but his L-2 accent
and unwashed smell spoke of a different sort of upbringing.
Quatre wondered about that braid, too, and complimented him on it, hoping
maybe Duo would open up a little. But it had the opposite effect. Duo
clutched at it absently and Quatre saw a flash of pain cross his face.
"Have you met up with the others much?" Quatre asked as they lounged under
an awning on the roof to escape the midday heat.
"Just Heero," Duo said. "We've done a few missions together. He was-He
is a strange guy, but not bad once you get to know him. And man, can he
take physical abuse and bounce back! I saw him set his own leg once. I
just about puked watching him, but he just splinted the damn thing with
a wrench and walked away. And he heals up faster than you'd believe. Sometimes
you'd swear he's not quite human. But he's a good guy, really."
Duo didn't want to accept his friend's death, and Quatre found he didn't
either. Given all that Duo told him, Heero might actually have survived.
Not likely, but it was at least possible.
"How 'bout you?" Duo asked. "Seen much of that Chinese guy, 05? He seems
like a real prick!"
Quatre chuckled at that. He'd thought the same thing, though he had to
admit the boy was seemed like a good fighter and his Gundam was very unique.
"No, I just know Trowa--03, that is, and now you."
"03, huh? The tall guy who tried to take me out that day. You guys friends?"
It was a perfectly innocent question, but Quatre felt his face go red
as he stammered out, "Uh, yes. I guess you could say that."
Duo's eyebrows shot up under his bangs. "Ah! Thought so."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Quatre demanded, and blushed even more
though he had no idea why.
Duo grinned at him over his glass of lemonade. "You're kinda sweet on
Quatre went an impossible shade redder as he looked around quickly, making
sure no one else was around to hear. "Why would you say that? How can
Duo grinned and winked at him. "Oh, I got a sense for things. And the
way you were saying his name in your sleep last night was kind of a giveaway,
Quatre sank his face in his hands. Was he that transparent that a total
stranger could see it? He didn't dare raise his head, he was so mortified.
He'd hoped he and Duo could be friends, too, but obviously that wasn't
going to happen, now that Duo thought he was--
He felt a hand pat his shoulder, then Duo was nudging a fresh glass of
lemonade into his hand. "Take it easy. It's no big deal!"
"No big deal?" he gasped, trying to imagine telling his sisters that,
or his father!
"Well, it's not where I'm from," Duo said with a shrug, then gave Quatre
a little smile that looked a whole lot more genuine than any Quatre had
seen so far. "And not to me, if you get my drift?"
Duo shrugged again. "Don't panic. You're not my type. And if you're sweet
on Mr. Tall, Grim and Silent, then I'm probably not your type, either.
Am I right?"
"I don't have a type!" Quatre whispered, shocked by this whole conversation.
How could Duo talk about such things so easily? Oh Allah, what if he'd
misunderstood and they were talking about something else entirely?
"Uh, I think you're wrong there, Kat my man," Duo drawled. "I saw how
you looked at him, back at Edwards, and you've brought his name up three
or four times in the past twenty four hours. I'd say you've got it pretty
bad for him. Does he know? Have you two, y'know, done anything
OK, so they were talking about the same thing. "How can you just--just
talk about it so easily?" he managed. "It's wrong! It's all wrong."
"Are you telling me that you --That you've--?"
Duo's grin widened. "I've messed around some, yeah."
"With boys?" Quatre whispered.
"Well, yeah! That's what we're talking about here, right? I tried girls
but hey, you like what you like, right? And you like Trowa. What's so
bad about that?"
"Oh, I don't know," Quatre shot back, feeling a little light headed. He
hadn't known Duo forty-eight hours yet; how on earth had they gotten onto
this subject? "That my father would disown me, for starters? That it's
against God's law? That it's unnatural and--"
"If it's so unnatural, then why is a nice, sweet, decent guy like you
this way?" Duo countered. "And as for God, can't say I've ever met him.
If I ever do, I'm going to tell him what a shitty job he's doing. But
we're getting off topic here. You like Trowa. Does he like you back?"
Quatre hesitated, then nodded. "I think so."
"Has he kissed you?" That grin was maddening, but not mean. Quatre knew
mean and this wasn't it. Duo was actually trying to help him, in his own
strange way. Perhaps it was that, and the nice, comfortable feelings that
Quatre was picking up from him now, that made him blush again, and nod.
"You are shitting me!" Duo cackled. "Damn, Q-man! You got more balls than
I thought! Soooooo, more than kissing?"
"No! Well, we hugged some."
Duo rolled off the cushion he was sitting on, laughing and holding his
sides. "Oh, you are too cute!"
"Did you ever kiss Heero?" Quatre shot back, embarassed, then wished he
could bite his tongue off as the mirth died in Duo's eyes.
He sat up and wrapped his arms around his knees. He didn't answer, but
Quatre got the sense that something had happened between the pair, and
whatever it was only made it harder for Duo now.
"I'm sorry, Duo. That was really awful of me!" To his surprise, Duo reached
over and squeezed his hand.
"It's OK, Kat, really. I shouldn't have teased you. I hope that one-eyed
wonder knows how lucky he is, having someone like you like him. If he
gets out of line, you let me know, right?"
Quatre let out a little laugh. "He has two eyes! He just kind of hides.
Are you like this with everyone?"
Duo grinned and punched him on the shoulder. "Nope, just my friends."
[ch. 3] [ch. 5] [back
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