pairings: 1x2x1 (yah, give it a while, this will be a lemon)
notes: This part is convoluted and confusing at best, I am trying to get
everything in motion for all the Quatre and Trowa fans out there... heh...
of course, they will not be together in this fic, because I am too lazy
to spend time and effort writing a crappy relationship for them. I figure,
if it is just gonna be dumb, and tease some of the true 3+4 fans out there,
then I ain't doing it.
Orange juice -- It does not appear in this part.
Oh, and yah, I know, it seems that really all Duo and Heero are doing
is liking each other, then hating each other... then liking each other
again, but it undulates more and more, becoming more extreme, I hope.
Err... I took some liberties with Relena, I figure, she went through hell,
so she probably is a bit different, give her a little while... till next
part, and she will be good as new... almost.
As for this part being confusing, and lacking the little name tags at
the end of the quotes, there is no good reason for that... it is supposed
to blend together... kind of.
Yah, okay, I am done babbling, hope you all enjoy the fic!!
Comments and criticism craved!
Bullets and Barrels + Part 5
The first day isn't so bad. It is just a bit of hard training, nothing
that you aren't used to. The second day is a bit worse, the training a
bit easier, and the food a bit more scarce. They start rationing the water.
By the third day the food is down to a piece of toast, and the water down
to a cup. They make you run a mile; they throw you through first day's
training. They stand you in the dark, hundreds of sweat-slick bodies waiting,
the heat radiating off of the thick concrete is a parody of the scorching
day that had passed. Above you the blinding stadium lights glare, washing
everything in their stark light.
The fourth day is the worse.
Five hours of standing at attention. Sweating, hungry. They start dropping
like flies, and yet you stand, and stand and stand. Eventually you are
one of the only ones left, coming in and out of consciousness, even though
you remain upright.
I don't know how to describe this to you.
There... r... copters. N... to get into the Peacecraft mansion.
We are s... audio only.
Can you hear me better now? Testing? Something is jamming the signal.
Okay... can you hear me now?
In three... two... one.
Good evening, my name is Hilde Schbeiker, and I am with the L4 central
news agency, first on the site of the Peacecraft disaster. I don't know
how to describe what I am seeing to you, the air is thick, and smells
of melted tar. Behind me, there is nothing but smoke, obscuring what is
left of the estate. We have been told that the Prince and Princess are,
indeed, safe. However, there is no news of the Queen... .
Get the hell away from him, you...
Fifth day, and you are ready to die, ready to fall to the concrete and
embrace the sleepy oblivion you had been denied, for four, no, five nights.
On the sixth day you sleep.
The alarms wake you, the sound of a wild-warning screeching in your ears,
as you run out into the courtyard, trying not to think of those who had
not left their beds. Who never would, the exhaustion having mixed too
deeply with their protocols, improperly. Dead.
You run through the drills, you stand in the rain, forbidden to open you
mouth, forbidden to move. The black outs are more sudden, more frequent.
You welcome them.
... oh god... oh my god.
He is dead.
I'm... .oh god.
The mansion is demolished; it looks like a nuclear meltdown, the whole
of the building melted into the gr-ground. Oz forces have... they have
surrounded the area... .
The cameraman... Royce Thorn... is dead. I am so sorry, oh God... They
I pulled us in here... we are behind a car, on the mansion grounds. It...
it looks like hell, I think, I might be in hell. I am not even sure if
you can hear this. The earphones are damaged.
... i-it looks as if a wild had destroyed the whole of the mansion. All
of it... had hit melt down. I don't know what happened. The prince and
the princess are safe, I saw them being escorted out by Oz Special Forces.
She was crying, God, her face was streaked with tears; they washed the
grime from her cheeks, all the time she was screaming for her mother.
Millardo Peacecraft, looked unconscious, they were carrying him out...
I think he might be dead. I don't know... he looked so small, he is only
fifteen, oh God. I-I c-can't see far inside the mansion, it is hot out
here. The manhole covers are glowing red all around us, a-and it l-looks
as if there is steam rising out of them.
oh... oh shit... SHIT!
Oh god, they just reopened fire on the onlookers, and reporters.
[scraping, and heavy exhalations]
oh my God. I am going to try to vis-
c n... you... see... t?
[It is dark. The building is glowing red, as if some sort of hidden heat
is keeping it alive. Around it, the brilliant glow of the beam supports
juts out from the blackened ground, the hot metal glowing an eerily in
[visuals go black]
c'n hear... yah...
two... one... .
This is Hilde Schbeiker, and I am with the L4 central news agency, first
and last on the site of the Peacecraft mansion disaster. There are no
released reports of what exactly is happening out here... I know this...
Oz opened fire on reporters just a small while ago. I don't know how we
are getting signal, the jammers must not be picking up this signal.
This is a cover up. Two of the most powerful-known weapons, have just
been abducted. Millardo and Relena Peacecraft, Class Zero, and One respectively,
have been abducted by Oz. It is well known fact that Oz has long sought
the family, has long sought its two young weapons...
... g'ting out of 'ere...
[the sound of something heavy hitting the ground]
Hey! What are you doing here? STOP! This is the Police, you are ordered
to stop. Turn around!
We insist that you turn the feed off of your camera ...
Holy... fuck... 904Beta-two alfa, reporting a code nine beta... repeat...
nine beta. Wild, female, approximately thirty seconds from meltdown...
Get everyone the hell out of he-
Level clearance: Class Zero Black ops.
Thirty hit full maturity before you. THIRTY! All of them labeled third
class, the third highest class, and are sent away. They leave to sleep,
they leave to eat, they leave, proud to be alive, and to be at the tops
of the sorcerer hierarchy.
It is just twelve of you now.
But you can hold on, because you have already hit maturity, you already
know your power, and all this is just formalities. Another black out,
another mile, another third class, another mile, and other black out.
The seventh day is quiet. You stand in a tight group, staring at the young
blond before you. His face is serious, but his eyes are serene, friendly.
His uniform gives him away. Engineer, zero class.
One of you is a zero. He says that a machine had calculated it out during
the previous day. One power signature had gone off the scale. A ripple
of excitement moves through the group, but you remain quiet, because you
know who is cursed with that power. Zeros are as much a wild card as the
Wilds. Their powers varying in type and usefulness. It was possible to
be zero, and utterly useless.
But you know that you aren't, because your training, your spilled blood,
and your mangled flesh, have all assured you of your future success, your
Heero placed Maxwell lightly onto the bed, watched, as the man's pale
lips turned down in a frown, and his pale fingers sought out the absent
warmth. Somewhere, the constant creak of the ship echoed off empty halls.
Apparently, they had been in space for well over an hour. Heero would
not know, did not realize that he had been carrying the other man on his
shoulder for well over two hours, had walked up and down the labyrinth
of hallways, ignored by a crew frantically attempting to fend off a Romafeller
attack. The small child was labeled wild, wrenched from him, and carried
down another hallway an hour and a half prior. He had tried to follow,
only to have the door close in his face.
No one had time for him.
No one had time for the captain, unconscious; the man was useless in a
fight, and of no consequence to the panicked crew. He who, was an outsider,
a traitor, and the reason for their woes, was even less so. He was ignored,
which in itself, was a mercy. It could have been worse, they might have
thrown him to Roamfeller, in an attempt to get away. But Romafeller was
just as interested in him as they were in Maxwell.
Heero peeled off the first layer of the leather armor, and allowed it
to hit the floor, the straps snaking off of his body, to coil at his feet.
He shrugged the thick skin off of himself, letting it fall loosely, and
heavily onto the back of his chair.
He winced as his movements caused the bullet wound to reopen, and bleed.
The bullet had not been taken out.
Disgusted, he pulled one of the large claws off of Maxwell's hand, and
imbedded it in his arm, cutting the bullet out.
It was not proper first aid, but he hardly cared at that point. The only
goal he had in mind was to remove the bullet, and then slip into unconsciousness.
It seemed like a good plan. Even the pleasant thought of Dorothy chewing
out Maxwell dissipated after carrying around both Maxwell, and the small
child. Contrary to appearances, Maxwell was not light.
He groaned in pain as the bullet slid out of his arm, and then a chocked
sigh as the blade was also removed. He needed something that would kill
the possibility of infection, he considered using protocol, only to realize
that he was too tiered to utilize it properly. As pleasant as death sounded,
he had no desire to repeat what had happened to him in the bathroom.
Slowly, he shrugged the heavy leather armor back on, wincing as it started
to repair his skin, hoping that Maxwell had had the foresight to make
sure that the armor could nullify bacteria, and various other parasites.
Shaking his head, he lowered his hand to the man lying before him; he
admired the fall of his chestnut hair, and the slenderness of his long
fingers. Maxwell's skin was fascinating, carrying the look of one who
had never stepped before the sun, without the technological shields that
plagued this century. Shaking his head, he raised his eyes, studying pale
lips, a upturned nose, and violet eyes.
Heero snorted, letting his eyes rest on the Wild. "You are an idiot."
"Yup. So, now that you have gotten one of my nice clean claws dirty,
want to mess up another, fixing the handiwork that the fuckers did on
Heero raised an eyebrow, before bending over Duo's body. He gazed at the
small hole within the armor. It was never built to withstand a bullet,
rather it had been made to aid in attack. Heero sighed, unlacing the armor,
allowing it to fall back against the bed, as he inspected the bullet wound.
It was too far to the right to have caused any actual damage to the man
lying beneath him, but it was, without a doubt, painful. He allowed his
hands to search for an exit wound, and, on finding one, sighed in relief.
He did not look forward to opening anyone up.
Heero shrugged off his borrowed amour, and placed it lightly over Maxwell,
tucking it around his right thigh, in an attempt to heal the wound more
"You look like shit."
"You are welcome, move over." Heero slowly climbed into the
bed, shimmying out of the leather pants, and letting them hit the floor,
before yawning widely, and falling into unconsciousness.
On the tenth day, it is just you, and the blond man. He finally introduces
himself. Quatre Winner, Captain of Wing, and the man who will be training
you in an art you perfected at age eight. He smiles serenely, and he -knows-.
You have no clue as to how, or why, but he knows how good you are, and
he knows why, and for the first time you realize that there is no machinery
that can pick up a zero.
You were too tiered to notice before.
Another man stands beside him, tall, willowy, his eyes green and cold.
"My name is Trowa Barton, it is a pleasure to meet you, Sorcerer
Yuy. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join the black-ops.
You are most exceptional."
Winner nods lightly, before turning on his heal and walking away, the
threads of your protocol whining in stress, as he leaves. Then darkness,
as you finally hit maturity.
Heero's breath caught, before he forced it out more slowly, allowing the
illusion of sleep. He winced at the slight pain emanating from his shoulder,
luckily, the others in the room seemed too preoccupied to care about his
state of consciousness.
"Are you brain dead?! Suicidal? Maxwell you goddamned idiot, is nothing
that we have done for you meant anything, anything at-fucking-all? This
crew is willing to die for you, all of us will follow you into hell, and
beyond that. But that does not mean that you pull shit like this. You,
"Shut up Dorothy, I swear to God, I will kill you both, give me three
seconds to remove the I-field and I will fry you both like the chicken
shit you are!"
"YOU! To let him into that sort of thing, after he was injured."
"What are you suggesting, woman, that I was to go myself. That would
have gone over splendidly well, now wouldn't it have?"
"Shut up Wufei, you are making her worse."
Heero sat up, startling the woman who stood beside his side of the bed.
A scowl seemed etched onto her face, her cropped hair brushing against
her face, hiding a long scar which ran down the side of her left cheek.
She would have been beautiful, majestic, like the line she would never
have a chance to claim.
Sharp blue eyes turned to him, before the frown became deeper. "And
YOU!... if I could have it my way, I would take back EVERY nice thing
I have EVER said about you, and HELP! Did you hear me, you treacherous
little worm? I would -HELP- as Dorothy pulled you through that air lock.
And THEN... "
"Relena... seriously... let the boys rest. I was the one who was
supposed to skin Maxwell... and little good it will do any of us to stand
here, and verbally batter him. He is not conscious enough to appreciate
the abuse. Now, follow Wufei to the kitchen, he will make you some tea,
and let you rant at him."
"I said no such thing, Woman."
"Wufei." The voice was calm, threatening.
The man snorted in response. "Catalona, remind me to have your hide
hung on my door, once Maxwell realizes he has no further need of you."
"Touché" Heero licked his lips, as the woman started laughing.
He could not locate her in the room. But the laughter was frighteningly
familiar, the way it seemed to move fluidly over his thoughts and his
body. The way in which the shell surrounding his aura seemed to shriek
at the sound.
It was an Engineer. Somewhere in the room...
He did not notice when he was left alone, sitting up in bed, his naked
skin cool in the air-conditioned room. Maxwell was already out of bed,
calmly walking towards one of the walls of the room, the blood on his
side crumbling, cracking off in dried flake
His hand shot out, catching at the wall, before he threw a woman from
its shadows, the fabric of reality rippling around her. It settled back
into its usual smooth, like the faded ripples in a pond.
She was an Engineer. Zero Class. The only female he had ever seen to hold
that rank. And he would have had to be an idiot or completely blind not
to recognize her for the witch she was. The nanos hung around her like
a mist, winding themselves around her ankles, slipping and vanishing to
the floor. Already they were illuminating the weave of Maxwell's aura,
causing the web of his protocol to shine in the darkened room. They caused
the light to spill from his hair down his back, to surround him like a
Anything else would have been enclosed in a sphere. Heero shivered, he
could feel two, three of them prod at his aura, with a hiss, the aura
flared, dispatching the invisible technology.
She laughed, stepping into the light of Maxwell's aura, turning her pale
face to him, her pink lips pursed in amusement. But it was her eyes that
entrapped him; he had seen that glassy viciousness in murderers, in Quatre
With a flick of the wrist the mist around her vanished, and Duo's aura
flared to life, the bindings holding him together strengthening, the holes,
which had opened in the spider web-like weave of his protocol, once more
It was not unusual, Heero himself had been patched together by Quatre
more often then he would have cared to admit, however, it did not make
the process any easier to watch. Knowing that a big enough break could
He wondered how much longer Maxwell could live off of the patchwork which
held him together. Carefully, Duo lifted his hand to his face, brushing
the long hair behind his ear, before slipping back onto the bed, lying
back against the covers, watching the Engineer through sleepy-eyes.
"You should sleep... Duo... Heero... The Cure and the Sickness. Really,
if it was not so predictable, it would almost be poetic."
"Thank you Dorothy."
"I aim to please, Commander." With a laugh, she turned on her
heel and left, her blond hair catching the light as it was flung upward,
flowing over her willowy frame like a cloak. For a human, she was one
of the most frightening people he had ever seen. Her mind as wild as that
of Quatre Winner, and reeking of the influence of the Zero system.
"What is she?"
"Remember the Zero system test subjects?"
"Iie. There were none. The system ran correctly the first time it
"Right... you'd like to think that. And Wilds are voluntary bombs,
right? I mean, we all know that I am siding with Romafeller, correct?"
Heero paused, his eyes skimming over the figure of Shinigami. The other's
eyes cold in the heat of the room. They reminded him of the Siberian sky,
pure blue and utterly frozen, changing from light sapphire to deep violet
at the horizon.
"What about the test subjects?"
And he accepted it that easily, filing his skepticism away, awaiting further
Duo's eyes widened, surprised by the easy acceptance.
"Was she one of them?" Heero questioned, reiterating a fact
that Duo had hinted at.
"You could say that... she was the first."
Heero snorted in amusement.
"Relena Peacecraft must have been pulled from the wreckage of her
isolation Tube. Wufei Change is the personification of an experiment gone
awry, Hilde Schbeiker, is wanted for the murder of an entire regiment
of soldiers, Dorothy Catalona is a mental patient waiting to crack. And
you are everything that screams of your power, and of your illicit birth.
And here you all sit, a happy crew upon a ship you named after Death.
An identity you claimed as your own? Are you mad?"
Duo grinned, and sat back in his chair, folding his slender ivory fingers
against his stomach. He grinned, ignoring the way that a pressure wound
around his jaw snapped open. "What can I say, Pretty-boy. You fit
right in. The rest of your kind are dead. What is it that they called
"Maxwell... " Heero's chair clattered to the ground, his hands
clenched at his sides.
"...come on Yuy, what are you afraid of, whether I say it or not,
it is true. They called you the Miracle-children, but that is just the
"Duo... " the I-field flared to life in the small room, filling
the room with the sharp smell of ozone and lighting it with a painful
intensity. No shadows lurked in its wake, washing out both men's faces.
"Your creators called you 'perfects'. Or rather, the perfect soldiers.
I am not a collector of weapons Yuy; I am a collector of rare artifacts,
rare people, and most importantly, history. This need clatters around
in here... " he raised his hand to his temple. "... my very
nature demands that I collect things, that I surround myself in them,
and I have, I collect souls, and I collect lives. I do it to appease whatever
it is that is keeping me alive."
"Aa." A smug smile spread over Maxwell's face, his lips stretched
thin and fake.
Heero unclenched his fingers, and looked away from the vision sprawled
in front of him. He knew that he could take Maxwell, knew that he could
have him, ensnare himself in the smell and feel of him. He also knew that
if he did, he would not escape the ship. Creator knows that he had already
returned to the forsaken place of his own will. "what will you do
when I don't return?"
Duo's eyes snapped to his, or perhaps, it was Heero's that traveled back
to the other man's face, that obsessively caressed the sharp line of his
jaw, and the set of his wide eyes.
"I'll wait for you. They always come back, you know. It is hard to
Heero licked his suddenly dry lips, all to aware of the fall of the I-field,
the stabilizing of his power, the shields and weapons that came to him
at the mere thought of them. He stared back at the man who did not think
of his power, to whom the power was as natural as breathing, and as instinctive.
The nets harnessing the wilderness and fluctuations all the more apparent
now that he knew to look for them. Now that he could feel them pulsing
angrily against the spoken protocol.
"You are confident."
"Hn, I will see you if I see you."
"When... when you see me."
Heero shook his head, he leaned over the other, his hands resting on either
side of Duo's body, keeping him in his chair, imprisoning him there. Heero's
lips brushed against Duo's ear.
"You must really hate the Black Ops, Duo, they are the only Sorcerers
you cannot control... the only ones who don't exist, and the only ones
who really know how to avoid and destroy your kind."
Duo's voice was tense, strained "Aa. I imagine, that for those reasons
you hate them, too."
"Hai, it is unfortunate, that my hatred for you is even more encompassing."
Heero stood, calmly straightened out his jacket, and left the room. He
headed towards the space pods, no protocol blocking his path, no door
standing in his way.
He did not hesitate when he stepped into the nearest pod. He did not look
back when he was ejected into space, the small ship propelling him towards
the nearest base.
"Protocol open channels. Seer Une. Code 456 beta 3 alfa. Seer Une,
do you read me. "
"Sorcerer Yuy, Your request has been processed, I am dispatching
you to Barton. He will be most interested in hearing of what secrets seem
to be common knowledge."
"That information is classified, Seer."
"I am top level, Sorcerer. Your secret will die with me. It has been
"Good Afternoon, Yuy. Une tells me you are not a spy."
"Aa. I have no such intention."
"You are taking up my offer, however, with much distaste ... we need
someone of your skill. I will meet you on port. Expect to be arrested
and interrogated. Standard procedure, of course."
Heero shut off the link within his mind, removing the uncomfortable feeling
of the woman within his head. This was normal. He was normal. It was back
But in his mind, burned behind his eyelids was the image of Duo's saddened
weary face. The grin as false and flat in his mind as it was in reality.
His power unstable and corroded, yet holding him with bonds stronger then
any OZ had managed to place around his psyche. He wondered if Une had
sensed that. He wondered how much of him was about to die.
Notes: Dorothy has WHAT surrounding her? Nanos... nano technology, meaning,
microscopic little computers, which she does stuff with. I mean really,
was I going to make Quatre weak?... pppft. Anyway, she is interfaced with
Zero, which is aiding in the billions of calculations required to run
such technology... yah. All is good.
4] [part 6] [back to Singles l - z]