Author: Bane's Desire
see chao. 1 for warnings, disclaimer

A Grudging Seduction: Chapter Three
Deviating from the Plan

"Shit!" Duo swore under his breath at the unexpected delay. "This is taking too long." He and Heero had experienced a minimal amount of trouble breaking and entering the base, but it appeared that after they received the stolen information regarding their mission target, the administration office building on the base had been refitted with a new, higher level of electronic security system than they'd previously encountered.

"Can you get it?" Heero asked him for the tenth time, Duo noted to himself, and without a healthy dose of annoyance.

"I'm doing the best that I can," he answered irritably and just under his breath. "Why wasn't this in the building's specs J sent us?"

Heero didn't bother to answer the question because they both knew it didn't matter at this point. Instead, he kept his eyes moving as he scanned both ends of the corridor for any guards that might suddenly happen upon their attempt to break into the base's main computer room.

The electronic box in Duo's hand, a fun little gift from G, continued to try hundreds of sequences of numbers every fifteen seconds. Out of the apparent ten numbers that set the lock on the security door, the whiz gizmo, as the braided pilot had dubbed it, had already locked onto three of them and was working on the fourth, but the process was taking much too long.

"We're running out of time," Heero hissed the obvious in a tense voice.

A sound in the distance was heard by both teens at the same time and caused them to pause in their bickering. It was the distinct sound of a single soldier's booted footsteps on the linoleum that composed the floor of the hallway. The sound became more clear, making it evident that the person was drawing closer to their position from an adjacent corridor. Heero pulled the electronic lock-picking device out of Duo's hands and almost silently whispered. "I'll do this, you make sure the way out of here is clear."

Duo looked at him like he was out of his mind. "There's no time," he hissed under his breath. "This thing might take another five minutes to find the rest of the combination."

A slight beep sounded, signaling the fourth number had been found, and the continuing low hum told them the small, valuable device was working on the fifth. Heero looked up into Duo's face, his eyes steely. "Go," he mouthed silently, knowing Duo could read his lips.

The braided boy shook his head, stubbornly refusing Heero's order. The sound of the footsteps signaled the guard was nearing the corner roughly twenty-five feet from where they stood.

"Go," Heero said silently, moving his lips to send the message while his head nodded to the opposite direction from that of the approaching guard, his eyes glaring angrily at the impertinent boy baulking at his order.

"Fine," Duo growled unhappily as another beep from the gizmo sounded. He then turned and ran silently down the corridor, but in the opposite direction from which Heero had directed him to go, his braid flying wildly behind him. He fixed his attention towards the sound of the approaching footsteps, wanting to get to the end of the corridor before the unsuspecting person, that was probably a guard on duty, turned the corner.

Unable to yell at his obstinate partner, blatantly disregarding his orders and well-devised plan, Heero's eyes shifted back and forth between the tool in his hand still flipping numbers quickly and one by one coming up with the remaining ones that were needed to open the lab's door, and Duo, who had reached the end of the corridor and was now paused at the edge of the corner, his back pressed up against the wall as he waited.

The final, almost inaudible beep sounded and the lock to the door clicked open. Heero quickly removed the connectors attached to the number pad and slipped into the dark room just as Duo lunged out towards the unknowing guard turning the corner. He shut the door quietly behind him to focus on the next task.

As a muted scuffle sounded out in the hallway, Heero switched on his flashlight and scanned the computer room. Identifying the usual system of networking that OZ routinely used in their control rooms, he went to the terminal situated on the one desk that was set slightly apart from the others and turned the computer system on.

His fingers worked their usual magic as he quickly scanned the files then popped in a couple of discs from his jacket pocket and downloaded the information regarding the shipments in and out of the base as well as the personnel and base operations information. With that done, he pulled out from another pocketed disc wrapped in cellophane and unwrapping it, slipped it in the drive and downloaded the information onto the computer. After making sure the virus he'd crafted was integrated into the mainframe, he ejected the viral disc, shut down the computer, assured that when they started the system in the morning it would spread quickly, infecting and wiping out the memory banks of every computer on the base. He checked his watch to see that he entire procedure had taken eight minutes, forty five seconds to complete.

Satisfied that there were no alarms going off, the Wing Gundam pilot went back to the door of the room and eased it open. Sticking his head out, he was pleased to see Duo was nowhere in sight. There was, however, the body of a uniformed OZ soldier laying in an awkward position on the floor near the corner where Duo had first gone. Heero turned to go in the opposite direction, following the route they'd planned to make their escape, hoping he would be reunited with his partner and they could finish planting explosives in the armory, thankfully placed well away from the base's personnel barracks.

He found another body in the stairwell, a sure sign of Duo's passing. Pausing only to check and see if the man was alive or not, Heero cautiously stepped over the sprawled, deceased body and continued climbing up the darkened stairwell, keeping close to the wall and moving quickly while listening for the sounds of anyone else.

At the top of the stairs, he cautiously eased open the door exiting the stairwell on the second floor of the building and immediately catch sight of several drops of blood on the floor that lead to a long bloody smear. He determined that a body had been dragged away, but the bloody trail stopped short without a body in sight. He wondered briefly why Duo would hide this body when he hadn't bothered with the other two. Listening for any unusual sounds, Heero cautiously left the stairwell and made his way to the window he and Duo had used to enter the building earlier, having duped the security wire within the frame with a piece of Duo's bubble gum so that its opening wasn't detected. The sound of distant running footsteps came to his ears as well as shouting voices, calling out in words sounding urgent and with warning. He realized that someone must have discovered the bodies and an alarm was about to be set off. No sooner had he thought it, than a shrill klaxon came to life, alerting the entire base to be on the defensive. Racing to the window, Heero threw it open and proceeded to climb through it, just as he heard the sound of approaching shouts.

"There's another one!" A man's deep voice yelled in alarm. "Get him."

'Abort mission,' Heero thought to himself as he grabbed hold of the slim rope, dyed to match the color of the gray building and still attached to the window's edge. Heero then slipped down the twenty feet separating him from the ground, jumping the last six feet. The second the soles of his tennis shoes hit the dirt, he was off and running.

The sirens continued to blare and search lights traced the base's vast grounds, seeking the intruders. Heero kept a wary eye on the lights, managing to time and dodge them when they came in close proximity to his position. He continued sprinting, making his way towards the cut in the fence they'd made less than an hour ago when the two of them had entered the base. He hoped to find Duo waiting for him just beyond that point along with the motorcycle. With any luck, his mission partner would already have it uncovered from its camouflaged netting and be ready to go because from the looks of it, OZ would be hot on their heels in a few minutes.

It was unfortunate that one of the search lights caught a glimpse of him and, after its sighting, the brightly lit beam of light locked on and followed his escape as he made it to the cut fence, and slipped through the jagged opening without catching his clothing or skin on the sharp cut edges. The sound of rifles being fired in the not so far distance were clearly heard and the dull thud of bullets hitting the ground around him pressed him onward into the shelter of the wooded area, twenty feet beyond the fenced perimeter of the base.

With the pack of un-detonated explosives repeatedly slapping against his back as he ran, Heero was reminded with each step that the mission was incomplete, and his irritation at the entire situation was beginning to spread to his partner. He'd expected to meet up with the other boy by now, no doubt wearing that familiar smirk on his face that challenged the soldier within him to do his best. He thought as he ran that he should have run into Duo by now. Following the path they'd used in approaching the base, Heero was relieved when he came to the slight clearing where the motorcycle was hidden. He blinked with disbelief as he took in his surroundings and the information that came with it. The bike was where they had left it, still camouflaged, and Duo was nowhere in sight.

+

He waited as long as he could, sitting astride the black bike, hoping his partner would magically appear out of the darkness of the wooded area. But instead of the minute sounds of his fleet footed partner, it was the sounds of dogs baying and the voices of searching soldiers that grew closer. Deciding they were almost upon him, the Wing pilot reluctantly started the powerful motorcycle, revved the engine, and braved turning the headlight on to help navigate his way through the dense growth of trees. Any sounds of gunfire or shouts aimed at him were lost in the rumbling sounds of the powerful engine beneath him as he made his escape.

Reaching the main road, he turned the headlight off, but instead of following the strip of pavement going north to south, he crossed over it and plunged into the woods on the other side. He continued into the camouflaging landscape for about a mile, then brought the bike to a stop and turned the engine off.

"Mission failed," he growled under his breath. Frustration had him gripping the handlebars of the motorcycle tightly. There was nothing he hated more than to leave a mission unfinished. He paused for only a moment to clear his head, then came to the quick, decisive conclusion that he couldn't leave Duo in the hands of their enemy. The L-2 pilot had suffered under their care before and Heero didn't want to have to see the aftereffects of another information gathering session with overly aggressive soldiers trying to prove a name for themselves by not only capturing a gundam pilot, but by wringing information out of him.

He had to go back, Heero decided. Tonight. They wouldn't be expecting him to return to the same base on the same night, he rationalized. He checked his watch and saw that it was one thirty a.m. He would wait an hour for things to settle down back at the base, then walk the bike back on foot, park it near the base's perimeter fence again and slip back into its confines while the soldiers settled back into their beds after the late night shake up. He began to mentally plan step by step for a way to retrieve the other pilot, plant the explosives, thereby completing his mission. With that decided, some of the tension and frustration eased from his taunt muscles. He walked over to the nearest tree, sat at the base of it and waited for the hour to pass.

[ch. 2] [ch. 4] [back to Singles a - k]