NOTE: see part 1
for notes, warnings
+ Part 9
The following day the surveillance
mission of the Lunar Base began, with Duo and Heero first making a visit
to the "high power," to see what they could see. They didn't
see anything, but there had apparently been an anonymous tip that there
was a shuttle that would be leaving the Earth for the moon, probably a
shuttle loaded with smuggled supplies, which interested the Preventer
organization greatly. What was also particularly interesting was that
whomever these people were, that were supposedly carrying out illegal
activities at the closed-down Oz military base, they already had enemies
willing to spill their secrets to the Preventers. With that in mind, and
not knowing who or what they were dealing with, the investigation was
labeled even higher priority, making it a considerably more dangerous
With plain-clothes agents watching all of the smaller shuttle-ports closely,
the two partners were sent to observe the main port, the one right in
Brussels, where the bulk of the larger shuttles arrived from the colonies
and other locations in space. Even though a quiet entrance at a less busy
port could possibly be the intended destination, Sally's guess was that
it would be the larger port, since a supply shuttle bound for space at
one of the smaller ports would stick out like a sore thumb. At the main
port however, it would blend in with all the other supply shuttles that
constantly arrived and took off throughout any given day. Heero and Duo
were sent to watch the traffic that was moving in and out of the port.
The long-haired man got up from his uncomfortable seat facing the window
view of the cargo-loading area at the shuttle port. "I'm goin' to
get some coffee. You want some?"
"Yeah, sure. No sugar. Thanks." Heero didn't change his gaze
from the window as his eyes were peeled on the crew loading up a shuttle
that was scheduled to leave for the L4 cluster.
Duo disappeared down the busy corridors of the shuttle port, his keen
eyes alert as well, watching everyone and everything, while maintaining
a good level of casualness. He was dressed in a pair of well-worn jeans,
a pair of work boots and a T-shirt that said "smile if you think
I'm gorgeous," as he played the part of Joe average, who would be
waiting for a person, or a package, to arrive that day as he stood in
line at the coffee bar to get a couple of cups for himself and his partner.
As he waited for the return of his friend, Heero checked his private email
account on his laptop computer once more before shutting the system down
for the third time that morning. He looked up in front of him to check
the cargo terminal tote board for departures and arrivals again, then
rose to check the windows on the other side of the long, wide hallway
as well. Once he was satisfied that he hadn't missed anything, he turned
to walk back to his seat facing the main shuttle dock. Duo was returning
now with two steaming cups of coffee, complete with the little cardboard
cuffs that kept your hand from burning. He also had a little wax pastry
bag with him that contained a couple of blueberry muffins that looked
too good for him to pass up.
Sitting down heavily beside Heero, Duo handed him one of the cups. "Anything?"
"No." Heero blew steam off the coffee before attempting to sip
it. His expression contorted as he burned his tongue anyway on the first
"Here." Duo handed him a muffin wrapped in a napkin. "We
never got any breakfast this morning."
For a few minutes, the agents sipped coffee and ate their muffins, all
the while maintaining a relaxed watch on everything that was going on
around them. People shuffled in and out of the terminal, most of them
donning some sort of uniform since this was, after all, the cargo loading
area and most of the passenger shuttles were on the other side of the
building. Every now and then a special package or crate would be unloaded
directly into the terminal where security would scan it and approve it
before release to whomever had been waiting for it, but for the most part,
all cargo was unloaded on pallets, by skid loader, into the nearby warehouse.
There, trucks usually arrived to pick up newly arrived goods, or deliver,
if they were items shipping out, and it was this operation that was being
watched by the two Preventers, keeping an eye on what was being loaded
onto the outgoing shuttles.
Heero cleared his throat. "Relena took me out dancing last night."
His face began to redden at the mere mention of his previous evening's
"Ah! I told you!" Duo said with a chuckle. "She thinks
she's got you, lock, stock and barrel, Heero."
"How did it go?"
Heero paused. He stared out at a small shuttle being loaded with what
looked to be pallets of bags of animal feeds. "I guess it was alright.
I didn't know how to dance. She had to show me. It was embarrassing."
Duo laughed. "Oh man! I can just picture it now...you, dancing!"
"OK, very funny." Heero interrupted, his blush spreading across
his face and over his nose now.
"Did she make you slow dance with her?"
There was a sigh as Heero turned to face his friend with a silly smirk
on his face. "Yes, she made me slow dance with her."
"No, I don't know. That's my whole damn problem, Duo!"
"What happened after you slow danced?" Duo leaned back in his
seat and crossed his leg over the other knee. Having finished his muffin,
he casually propped a magazine in the space it created and started to
"We danced some more, then left, since it was getting late."
Heero shot Duo an annoyed look as he continued to leaf through the magazine,
one of the complimentary travel magazines found all over the shuttle ports
that advertised the shuttle companies and all tropical vacation destinations
they could take you to if only you could afford it. "She wanted me
to kiss her. In the limo, on the way back."
There was a pause.
Duo didn't say anything for a few moments, as his tongue seemed to have
gotten thick and dry in his mouth. It was as if he hadn't even heard Heero's
answer, as he concentrated on the magazine in his lap, not seeing the
pages but concentrating at the same time, but he did eventually look up
to face his friend. There was a strange look in his eye. Almost a look
of disappointment, although Heero didn't seem to pick up on it.
"Did you...want to kiss her?"
"I told you already. She wanted me to kiss her."
"So you kissed her because she wanted you to, and no other reason?"
"Oh." Duo looked back down at the magazine, then up again. "Did
you...feel anything? You know...remember what I was telling you yesterday?
About instinct, and things feeling right?"
Heero dropped his head in embarrassment. As he did, a sinking feeling
occurred within the depths of Duo's being as he anticipated the other
man's answer. "I really disappointed her, I think."
"Huh?" Duo said, a little surprised. He hadn't noticed, but
his heart rate began to increase ever so slightly as fleeting ideas of
possibility began to form in his mind.
"We talked, she and I, about what you told me. She agreed with what
you said. That there's a feeling that should be there when you have an
attraction to someone. She tried to explain it to me..."
"The way she feels about you?"
"How do you feel about her?" This time Duo did notice his elevated
pulse as he asked the question. He felt a slight sweat forming at the
base of his neck, under the ribbed collar of his T-shirt, and prayed that
his discomfort with the conversation wasn't obvious. He prayed that he
would survive his sudden and urgent need to vomit. There ya go, Heero!
Perfect example of how you're supposed to feel when you're stuck on someone.
See that mess on the floor there? YOU did that to me!
Heero let out a long sigh, reliving the awkwardness that he'd felt when
he told Relena that he didn't seem to feel any attraction to her the evening
before. "I had to tell her that I didn't feel anything. Nothing like
you said I would, at least."
Duo let out a breath that he didn't even realize he'd been holding. Heero
noticed, but made no reaction.
"There was no 'electricity,' or 'natural urge' there at all. I feel
really bad about it too, because she was disappointed. She took it well,
but I know she was really upset."
"Well, uh..." Duo faltered, covering it up with a silly grin.
As much as he felt bad for the girl, his pity was short lived, as it was
overtaken by his own feelings of relief. "She's a big girl, Heero.
She'll get over it. You did the right thing." It was a small victory
for Duo, yes, considering that just because Heero didn't like Relena,
it didn't necessarily mean that he didn't like any women, but it was a
victory all the same, and right now, that was all that mattered to him.
Score one for agent Maxwell.
Then they were both silent, pondering, until Heero broke the strange mood
by pulling his computer out again to check email. Duo chuckled. "Some
things will never change, eh Heero?"
They remained to wander the shuttle port for the rest of the day with
no results, having monitored each and every outbound shuttle and not finding
anything out of the ordinary, which was not surprising. For the next three
days they repeated the same schedule -- they stopped first at the
"high power," just to take a peek at life on the moon, then
returned to the shuttle port to resume observation. They picked a different
location each time, so it wasn't completely obvious that the terminal
was being watched, but still came up with nothing other than more of Heero's
revelations of his new life, that is, until the fourth night.
On the fourth night, as Heero was making his last check of the shuttle
schedules that were posted on the internet, he came across something new.
They'd been checking the schedules religiously for any cargo shuttles
that were headed out as far as the further colonies, planning their surveillance
based on the shuttles going in and out and keeping an eye on the goods
being set up in their holds, but this was something unexpected. Gate 3,
Dock 2, arriving at 2:11 am and departing at 3:18 am -- a very
ambitious schedule, even for the fastest of shuttle crews. This shuttle
hadn't even been listed anywhere on the scheduled an hour ago.
It was the shuttle port's responsibility to post any and all comings and
goings, on not only the tote boards in the terminals, but on their internet
schedule site. It was not only a public courtesy, but it was the law,
so that everyone knew what was flying in and out of Brussels. This shuttle
hadn't been scheduled just a short time ago, and now here it was on the
list, mere hours before it was due arrive, and then subsequently depart
again. Though it did happen, although infrequently, that a shuttle would
change its arrival port and land somewhere that it was not originally
scheduled, thereby adding a new departure to the tote board at the last
minute, this seemed somewhat suspicious to Heero. An early-morning arrival
and departure, previously unannounced, and it was headed to the L3 cluster,
which was fairly close to the moon as the shuttle flies. Looked like something
that definitely needed checking out.
He checked his watch that was lying on the desk. It was 10:45 PM. As he
started throwing on clothes again, Heero picked up his wireless phone
that was lying beside the watch on the desk and flipped it on, keying
his auto dial for Duo's number. He put the phone up to his head to hear
the digitized ringing sound.
"Yeah?" Duo's voice finally answered after five rings, sounding
gravely and harsh. He had already been in a deep sleep when Heero's call
"I have something. We need to go to the shuttle port."
"Pick you up by eleven-thirty."
Heero clapped his phone shut and started the shutdown procedure on his
computer to close it. Hopping on one foot, he struggled to get his boots
on and the ends of his jeans pulled over them, then threw on a T-shirt.
When he was dressed, he grabbed a pen and notepad from the desk drawer
and scribbled a message for Relena, which he left on his undisturbed bed,
then in a flash he was gone. In the garage of the mansion he deactivated
the alarm to his company-provided car, a black Acura sport coupe, got
in and drove off just as soft lights appeared in Relena's bedroom windows.
[part 10] [back
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