Author: Casey Valhalla
Genre: AU/Comedy/Drama
Rating: PG-13
Pairings: None yet, but knowing me…
Warnings: So far, language and juvenile delinquency
Disclaimer: I do not meddle in the affairs of Gundam Wing, for I am penniless and own no copyrights.

Great America: Prologue
Badger and Coyote

"Duo, this is a bad idea."

The boy at his side snorted and punched him playfully in the shoulder. "You have no sense of adventure. How about that one?"

"That's a fucking Lexus, for Christ's sake. It probably has thirty different alarm systems." Wufei tucked a stray lock of hair behind his ear and hunched deeper into the orange windbreaker that did little to keep out the chilly night air. At his side, Duo leaned forward slightly, peering around him at the rows of cars sitting quietly underneath flickering yellow lights. He craned his neck, leaning an elbow on Wufei's head to see past him. Duo's other hand tugged absently at the long chestnut braid hanging over his shoulder.

"Dammit, get off me!" Wufei squawked in protest. Duo was ignoring him.

"That one!"

Wufei grabbed two handfuls of a threadbare gray sweater and shoved the boy off him. Duo grinned at him, his eyes two glimmering pools of indigo in the half-light.

"Maxwell, you lack anything vaguely resembling the concept of respect!"

"Chill out, Fei."

"Why I consistently throw in my lot with you is beyond my comprehension. You constantly drag me along on your hair-brained schemes, which accomplish nothing aside from getting us both into ­ hey! I'm talking to you!"

Duo was sauntering away through a pool of yellow light. "Keep talking, I can hear you just fine."

"God damn it all," Wufei hissed under his breath. He leaned back against the cement pillar, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath, before digging through his pockets for a half-empty box.

Duo was standing just around the side of the pillar, wearing his characteristic self-satisfied smirk. "Feel better now?"

"Yeah. Got a light?"

"Those things'll kill you, yanno."

"It can barely compare to spending the rest of my foreseeable future with you. In a fucking parking garage, of all places." Wufei glared at his watch. "At two in the morning, might I add."

Duo's eyes widened innocently. "Is that what time it is?"

"I'd ask you to explain yourself, but during the tenure of our friendship I've noted that it never does me a lick of good."

"Duh, Fei."

Wufei blinked at him and took a long drag off the cigarette. "You're serious."

"How the hell else are we going to get out of the state?" Duo pushed away from the pillar and kicked at the concrete floor, sending a pebble skittering away into a shadow.

"As if we'd get that far."

"Oh, sure, like the Nebraska state patrol would throw up roadblocks for kids like us. No one gives a flying fuck."

Duo started pacing the width of the pool of light in ambling strides, hands tugging at the hem of his sweater, his shoes scuffing at the ground. Wufei watched his movements through slitted onyx eyes, noting that he still looked too thin, that he was trying to hide the fact that he was shivering, that there were exactly five different holes in his jeans. The Chinese boy deflated and waved a hand dismissively at his braided friend, and crushed the cigarette out under his heel. "Fine. I'm in."

He grinned brightly. "Of course you are!"

"Of course I am," Wufei groaned.

Undaunted, Duo threw an arm around his friend's shoulders and steered him away from the pillar towards the car he'd picked out earlier. "Now, check this out, kola. Imagine yourself, escaping to the wide-open spaces of South Dakota in the lap of luxury!"

Wufei looked down at the silver car dubiously and rapped lightly on the hood. "Wow. Late-model Buick. Classy."

"Have I ever told you how cute you are when you're being sarcastic?"

"No."

"Good. Now, as my partner in this interstate crime I require you to act as lookout while I get this puppy running. Han?"

"Right." Wufei circled the car and hopped to sit on the hood of a nearby Toyota. He scrabbled through his pockets again and located a pack of gum, and surveyed the garage while he popped a stick in his mouth. "Why South Dakota, anyway?" he asked, more than a little suspicious.

"Not our destination, kola, just the first stop along the way." Duo had a screwdriver wedged in the side of the door, and was fishing down the gap in the driver's side window with a length of thick wire. His eyes turned towards the ceiling as he worked, the left eye squinting up as the tip of his tongue poked out of the corner of his mouth.

"Where, then?"

"Missoula," he grinned as the wire caught and the door unlocked. "Right on, Fei. Halfway there."

"Fine then, why Montana?"

"For there are no ugly roads in Montana my friend, some are just prettier than others," Duo intoned, his voice a little muffled as he slid head-first into the driver's seat. "Seriously, though, I know a guy in Missoula who can set us up. Plus there are no runaway laws there."

Wufei groaned and rubbed two fingers along the crease in his brow. "That's just a rumor, Duo, no one knows for sure if it's true or not."

"Only one way to find out."

The Chinese boy's only response was the sound of a bubble popping.

"Damn wiring harness." Duo muttered a few colorful phrases in his native language from his twisted position under the steering wheel. At least, Wufei assumed they were colorful. The braided boy had only taught him the more immediately useful words. "Looks like a brit-car from in here."

"I thought Buicks were American-made."

"Shut up."

"Having trouble?"

"I know what I'm doing, Fei."

"No shit." He paused to blow another bubble and pop it carelessly with his teeth. "You didn't have the record for grand theft auto in the last group home for nothing, as I recall."

"It's good to have someone around who remembers the escapades of my youth, Mr. I'm-so-delinquent-I-don't-have-to-commit-crimes."

"With you around, I usually don't need to."

"Ha ha. Oh dear God, Fei, I'm laughing so hard my sides are splitting open."

"Shut up and get that thing wired already."

Duo grumbled a little and fell silent. Wufei popped a bubble and scanned the garage again. He froze at the sound of a door opening. "Shit, someone's coming."

Inside the car the braided boy cursed, this time in extraordinarily concise English, but a moment later the engine revved and turned over. "Get in!"

Wufei leapt off his perch and raced around to the passenger door. Duo squirmed out from under the steering wheel and into the seat, pulling the door closed with his foot.

"Unlock the door!"

"Let go of the handle, Fei."

"I don't have the handle, open the lock!"

Duo started backing out of the space just as Wufei dove inside and yanked the passenger door closed. "You do know how to drive, right?"

"Of course I do!"

A squeal of metal sounded as the side of the Buick grated along the Toyota's bumper. Wufei glared.

Duo winced. "Okay, sort of."

"Just get us the hell out of here." The Chinese boy glanced over his shoulder to see a uniformed figure that could possibly have been a security guard running towards them. He swatted blindly at Duo's shoulder. "Go! Go!"

"Right away, sir!" Duo smirked and slammed on the accelerator. The silver Buick disappeared out of the parking garage in a haze of exhaust and squealing tires.

The janitor stopped under one of the garage's flickering yellow lights and scratched his head. "Wonder why Bobby an' Dan were in such a hurry." He shrugged. "Oh well, guess I'll have to call a cab after all."

*

Lakota 101:

Kola: (koh-LAH) friend, 'heart-brother'
Han: (hahn) okay.

[part 1] [back to Singles a - k]