see part 1 for warnings, notes, disclamer
Supposition #4: The Amoral L2 Slut
"Move your hand, Bradford,
or I'm gonna remove it for you."
I paused with my fingers on the access panel of Duo's office door. He
obviously had someone in there with him, and I recognized the hard note
in his voice. 02's guest had managed to piss Shinigami off. I could hear
The God of Death's calm, inhuman fury running through Duo's normally cheerful
"Come off it Maxwell... I've seen you watching me."
"Sheyeah, right." Duo's scorn was a palpable thing, even through the port's
solid obstruction. "Lemme tell ya something, asswipe... you better trim
that ego a little or pretty soon you ain't gonna be able to fit both yourself
and it through Preventers main entrance. Now back... the fuck... off."
Indecision took hold. On one hand, I wanted to enter immediately and put
a stop to this distasteful episode. On the other, I knew Duo would not
be happy with me for trying to 'save him'. He likes dealing with this
kind of thing himself. If the offending party doesn't get the point the
first time, they'll likely be back for round two.
Deathscythe Hell's former pilot is one of the most attractive --
in every sense of the word -- people I've ever met. There is an
unconscious sensuality to his movements... an aura of dangerous energy
surrounding him which draws personalities of all kinds and both sexes
to bask in the warmth that is Duo Maxwell.
He is fire -- hot, pulsing, radiant -- and any number of
people are more than willing to immolate themselves within the brilliance
of his flame.
Due to his antecedents, however, there are also a great many morons who
refuse to look beyond his beauty of face and form. In the minds of such
individuals, anyone who looks like Duo and has managed to drag themselves
out of the squalor that is the L2 slums must have used their physical
attributes to do so.
My friends and fellow partners-in-crime have a phrase they use to refer
to 'Quatre in one of his Moods' (note the capital 'm'). They call it 'going
Zero'. I'm sure I don't have to tell you why this is.
Honestly, most of the time, I don't see their justification for the description...
doesn't everyone find incessant pen-tapping to be an aggravating habit?
Wouldn't you want to take said writing instrument away from the person
doing so and snap it in half?
But that is beside the point. Because, if ever I felt the urge to 'go
Zero' on anyone, it would be those who believe they are free to proposition
Duo as if he was a rent-boy trolling for johns instead of a highly-respected
field agent and veteran of two bloody wars.
Luckily, Duo himself usually stops things before they pass the point of
Of course, nine times out of ten, Yuy catches the twits, previous to them
even appearing on Duo's horizon. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I enjoy
watching the fools go through 01's very short, extremely brutal training
course in the art of: 'You-even-look-at-Maxwell-the-wrong-way-again-and-I'll-kill-you-and-oh
I know for a fact Une and Noin find the whole thing hilarious. I passed
them in the hall after one such incident while they were still leaning
against each other, hands stifling laughter, tears streaming from mirth-squinted
eyes. A pair of more genteel, more blood-thirsty ladies you will never
Except, perhaps, Doro Catalonia. I hear she's working Homicide, these
days. I'm sure it suits her quite admirably.
A flurry of sound from behind the door drew my attention back to the here-and-now.
A thud, a sharp crack and a pained groan issued forth in quick succession.
I took the subsequent silence as my cue to enter.
Duo had a dark-suited man pinned to his wall. Both the guy's arms were
pulled back and up... he didn't look very comfortable. In fact, his facial
features were rather interestingly contorted.
Turning his head as I stepped into the office, Duo grinned cheerfully
"Be with you in a minute Q, soon as I finish up this conference with Vice."
He turned his attention back to his prisoner. "So Bradford... we gonna
play ring-around-the-Gundam some more, or do you wanna be a smart boy
and take a fall?"
"Fall," the man gasped as his right hand was jerked higher.
"Am I gonna have to do this again?"
"Damn straight." 02 released the quivering wrists. "Now get the fuck out
of my office. Come near me again, and I'll have you up in front of the
Commander on harassment charges faster than you can say 'dishonorable
discharge'. Do I make myself clear, Agent?"
The minute Duo's attention left him, Bradford slunk by me and through
the port with all due haste. Heaving a gusty sigh, Duo dropped into his
chair and used his foot to shove another in my direction.
"Close the door and have a seat, Quat. I've got the specs on the Di Paloma
operation around here somewhere; I just didn't have time to find 'em since
Preventer Dipshit decided to grace me with his presence. I swear, half
those guys over in Vice think they're God's gift to the undeserving populace."
"Tough morning?" I asked cautiously, watching him root through his files.
He stopped suddenly and scrubbed a hand over his face. His eyes, when
they met mine, were dark-circled and weary.
The care-worn expression sparked a pang in my chest. Duo was far too young
to wear such a look, but it was one I had seen etched on my own features,
from time to time.
You can't fight the way we did and come away unscathed, and one of the
first prices war exacts is youth. Once you pick up a gun with intent to
kill, you age quickly.
"No more than usual," he said tiredly. "I just get sick of it all, you
know? When do I get to let down my guard and stop fighting? Will my damned
training even allow me to? I dunno, Q... sometimes life seems futile.
It's like we run around in circles trying to get somewhere impossible
to reach... then we die. What's the fucking point?"
I opened my mouth to respond, though I'm still not sure what I would have
said. I only knew that leaving him in this frame of mind was unacceptable
and I intended to stick around as long as was needed to bring him out
As it happened, though, I wasn't the one to accomplish that task.
Before I could get a word out, the door slid open again and a wonderful
cinnamony smell wafted in. Behind the delectable scent came Heero, white
paper bakery bag in one hand, foam cup in the other. His head was turned
as he spoke quietly to someone behind him and I caught a quick glimpse
of my better half's long bangs before they vanished.
Then Heero looked at Duo and suddenly that shining happiness was back
in 02's eyes. The generous mouth curved gently as Light strode over and
carefully placed his bag in the middle of the paper-strewn desk.
Duo snatched it up immediately, unfolding the top and practically burying
his face in the sack to inhale the fragrance of whatever it held.
"Here, 04. Compliments of 03."
Startled, I took the covered cup Heero held out to me. Cracking the lid
a little, I sniffed. I know my smile must have been as wide as Duo's.
Pure, 100% gourmet Arabian roast, hot as hell and sweet as love. Ahhhh...
Trowa knows me way too well.
I sipped my treat and Duo proceeded to devour his fresh apple scone, little
moans of pleasure escaping him every so often. No doubt he'd forgotten
breakfast, as usual.
Heero stayed, leaning against the desk with arms crossed as he watched
his mate from under unruly chocolate bangs.
"Saw Bradford in the bullpen on the way up here," 01 said in his abrupt
Duo licked a crumb from one thumb.
A coffee-dark brow rose.
"The Chandler case?"
02 studiously avoided intent cobalt eyes.
I hid my smile in the cup.
Leaning forward, Heero brushed his lips over Duo's before turning briskly
on one heel and marching out. Shade watched him go, a little grin of sleek
satisfaction on his face. Then he looked at me and the grin turned sly.
"So, how'd Tro know you were here?"
I could feel the flush rise in a scarlet tide from my neck to my cheeks.
Damn my fair complexion, anyway. Aren't Arabs supposed to be swarthy?
"I -- um -- stopped by his office earlier," I muttered,
knowing Duo and his deviant mind would put their own spin on things.
He snickered, as expected, then shot from his chair like a coiled spring
to attack his file cabinets with more enthusiasm than I'd seen from him
in a while.
"Okay, buddy, most of the stuff you want'll be in the Ds, but I just know
I shoved some of it in the Ps, so why don't you check over there, while
I look in here?"
"Why the Ps?" I asked idly, pulling one packed drawer out.
"P for prick... 'cause Giovanni Di Paloma is one," he replied succinctly
and I snorted with laughter.
As I leafed through surprisingly well-organized files, I mused on the
benefits of afternoon scones and fractured bones. I couldn't help the
small smile that formed as I thought about what was most likely going
on one floor down.
The day was shaping up nicely, indeed.
[on] [back to Ravengirl's