Written By: bikkothewriter
Pairings: Main 1x2, others may show up
Warnings: Yaoi, Language, blood, gore, lemon, lime, angst
Disclaimer: I own nothing! Splicing idea borrowed from Batman Beyond.
Rating: NC 17

This chapter is dedicated to Gloria B for the awesome sketch she did for Chapter 12. Here's the link to the sketch: http://s12.photobucket.com/albums/a201/LordOfTheBracelet/GW/?action=view&current=Splicers051.jpg

Preventors' Case #84309: Splicers + Chapter Thirteen

Duo smelled good. Simple but true. His scent was warm and spicy like cinnamon and with each breath Heero felt warmer and had to resist the urge to hug Duo back or else his hands would start to wander. With his face pressed into Duo's soft, warm skin, he was reminded of how much he'd missed the other man, and regretted when Duo lifted his head to look down at him.

"You need a haircut," Duo said threading his fingers through Heero's hair catching the ends to give them a good once over. "When's the last time you had one?"

"It's been a while," Heero answered trying to look anywhere but at Duo's chest only an inch from his face. He turned to look at Kitten who stood brushing his ears flat against his head.

"Oh! Nana Janet can cut your hair. She cuts my hair too," he exclaimed.

Duo looked to Kitten slowly moving away from Heero, "You need a haircut, too, buddy," Duo said smiling, and then frowned, "Where is she? I've been wanting to meet her."

"She's in jail," Heero said.

"For what?" he asked looking back to Heero concerned.

"Duo, splicing is illegal. She kept Kitten hidden and didn't report his splicing or Dr. Gervais," Heero said approaching Duo. "Did Dr. Gervais kidnap you, Duo?"

"No."

"Did he threaten you in any way? Did he force this splicing on you?" asked unrelenting. He needed to find out what had happened to his friend and what Gervais had done to him.

"What happens if I say no?" Duo asked combing his fingers through his loose hair, looking away.

"Then I have to arrest you as well," he said quietly, fearing the worse.

"What does arrest mean?" Kitten asked, looking between the two of them.

"It means Heero will put me in jail."

"Nuh-uh. You can't take my daddy away!"

Duo touched a long finger to his lips never taking his eyes from Heero's and Kitten instantly quieted.

"Did he?"

"No."

"Then why? Why this?" he asked gesturing to Duo's head and more importantly the ears that sat atop his head, "Why a cat?"

"'Cause cat-boys are sexy," Duo said smiling, turning to Kitten, "Isn't that right, kiddo?

"Yeah!" Kitten cheered.

"High-five," he said lifting his hand to high-five his son. Heero moved in-between them, putting his hand on the back of the chair blocking Kitten from Duo's sight, angry.

"This isn't a joke! I've been looking for you for four years. I've had sleepless nights. I've interrogated dozens of people, led at least five raids looking for you and all you can say is cat-boys are sexy?"

"Don't yell at my daddy!"

"It's okay, kiddo; he has every right to yell."

"Why?" he demanded.

"Heero, it's complicated."

"Then make it simple." he growled.

"I-I was in a real bad way Heero," he tried to explain, his hands spread.

"You could have called some one. You could have called me. Me!" Heero cried getting in Duo's face. "I would have helped you."

"I needed it, Heero," he pleaded.

"Splicing?" he asked skeptical. In Heero's experience, nothing good came from splicing and he refused to believe that Gervais could offer anything worthwhile through splicing.

"I... He made me an offer I couldn't refuse," Duo said, his head falling, shoulders slumped.

"What kind of offer?"

Duo shook his head.

"Tell me something, Duo. What could he offer you that would make you leave your home, without calling, with no note, with no goodbye for four years?"

Duo looked up slowly his gaze shifting to Kitten and holding for moment before looking back to Heero then the floor.

"That can't be it," Heero said confused. Gervais couldn't have given Duo a son.

"No, but it was, is a bonus."

"I don't understand, Duo. What did he offer?"

"I can't, Heero. Maybe you can get the doc to tell you but I can't."

"Why not?"

"Because you might hate me in the end."

"Duo-"

"Tell me what I have to do to make this right Heero," he said interrupting Heero. "Tell me what I need to do to make it up to you, what I did."

Heero looked to Duo's pleading and forlorn face and felt his heart ripped from his chest. There was nothing, nothing, Duo could do to make this right. No simple action that could turn the situation around and make it easy to forgive the betrayal he felt.

"A kiss and a hug," Kitten offered and the two men turned to look at him. "When you do something bad you give a kiss and hug and say you're sorry. I saw it on TV."

"I don't think Heero's in the mood for a kiss," Duo said sadly, "and we've got company."

Kitten turned towards the door drawing a breathing deep through his nose, a wide smile spreading across his face. "I know him!" he yelled bouncing excitedly.

Heero looked between Kitten and Duo, his chest heavy making it hard to breath. He no longer wanted a kiss, he didn't want to be anywhere near Duo now. His thoughts raced with the implications that Duo had presented him with as father and son watched and waited almost a full minute before the door opened admitting Trowa.

"I seen you before," Kitten called pointing at Trowa, "You work with Mr. Heero!"

"I do," he answered with a small smile, obviously surprised at the attention.

"You smell good," the boy told him coyly, his tail wagging slowly.

"He's right," Duo said moving close to Trowa sniffing his hair, "You do smell good. So... how does feel it feel being short?"

"It's good to have you back Duo," Trowa said simply, smile widening as he looked up at Duo who stood only two inches taller than him.

"Is there something wrong?" Heero asked, stopping Duo before he went any further.

"I was sent to 'fetch' Duo. Dr. Gervais needs his help in the lab."

"You work for him?" Heero asked Duo, his ire rising.

"Impromptu lab assistant. G hates computers," he said shrugging, smile in place.

"G?" Trowa and Heero asked at the same time.

"No, he's not my Mad. I just call him that for short," Duo said moving to the duffel bag beside the chair Kitten stood in pulling out a pair of jeans and a tee. He handed the tee to Kitten to hold while he slipped the jeans on, taking a moment to adjust his tail behind his back. He took the shirt back slipping it over his head and arms, pulling his long hair through the neck of the shirt, draping it over his shoulder again. "Let's go."

In that moment, Heero hated Duo. How he could smile and move on as if he hadn't, only moments ago, admitted to vanishing four years ago for a cat's ears and tail, as if he hadn't admitted to being Gervais' flunky. Looking at him now, it was hard to feel anything but contempt.

"Shoes?" Trowa asked.

"No. I'm good. Come on, kiddo," he said holding his arms out to Kitten.

"No," the boy said refusing his father's arms.

"No?"

"I want him to carry me," he said pointing to Trowa.

"How do we ask?" Duo questioned his hands on his hips as he stared down at Kitten.

"Now?"

Duo laughed, ruffling his son's hair. "Try again."

"Mr. Trowa will you carry me? Please?"

"Alright," Trowa said, lifting the boy into his arms only to have his head latched on to by the boy, his small face pressed into Trowa's hair, breathing deeply. "Should I be concerned?"

"Trowa meet your new boyfriend," Duo joked, laughing.

"What?"

"I told you; you smell good. Think catnip."

"Oh."

+

The quick walk to the lab was punctuated with Duo's laughter and Kitten's purring. Heero couldn't be involved enough to comment on the situation, the conversation with Duo circling through his head. So much of his time spent worrying, dreading the worst for nothing. All of that to find that Duo had gone to Dr. Gervais for splicing, the man's miracle cure-all and worse he would be forced to arrest Duo if the either or Gervais couldn't convince him that Duo had somehow been manipulated.

"Duo, my boy," Gervais called from his perch on a stool as they entered the lab, "Good to see you up and about. How do you feel?"

"Doing good."

"Excellent. Now do something about this dreadful computer. I need to narrow down the species of octopus."

Duo moved to sit on a stool near Gervais in front of the terminal, planting his bare feet on the bottom rungs, "Who's an octopus?"

"Lucy." Heero answered dryly, following Duo to stand behind the two men.

"Why did she want to be an octopus?" Duo asked absently, not wasting a moment to get to work for Gervais, Heero noted, typing away.

"It wasn't her choice," he said irritably.

"From what I've heard from the staff and some of the fine Preventors' agents roaming the halls, our dear Lucy had a concentrated batch of recombinant thrown at her during a raid," Gervais explained to Duo.

"By who?"

"Doctor Gabriel Murai. Do you know of him Dr. Gervais?" Heero asked looking to the other man who turned in his seat to look back at him.

"Should I?"

"He was a veterinarian as well."

"Hmm. The name sounds familiar but I can't say that I know the man. I take it that the man is Preventors' most wanted then?"

"How serious is it?" Duo asked, timidly glancing over shoulder to Heero.

"His splicing has killed sixty-three people in four months. Two within the last week."

"Shit," Duo said with feeling.

"I see why you're so testy with me," Gervais said smiling cheerfully at Heero. "I can assure you that I haven't killed anyone."

"Can you assure me that you have nothing to hide?"

"Well now, we all have our secrets, son," he answered passing a glass slide to Duo who accepted it carefully between the same fingers Heero had allowed to comb through his hair only minutes ago. He hated those fingers, too.

"What were the treatments you were doing on Duo?"

"You're looking at it," he said gesturing to Duo.

"Splicing," he growled. Of course, it all went back to splicing.

"Now don't take that tone, my boy, I am doing very important work."

"Funny, that's what Dr. Murai says."

"Heero-," Duo started his tone placating but Heero had made his decision.

"Duo Maxwell, you're under arrest."

While it usually wasn't in him to be petty, Heero took satisfaction in watching Duo's eyes widen in shock and hurt as he looked at him. He hoped Duo felt the same feelings of betrayal that he, himself, felt.

"Now don't be hasty. Duo is innocent in all of this. I started my work with both him and Rhys before splicing became illegal. Duo has been in my care and unaware of the changes in the legality of splicing and obviously you can't charge a three year old."

"Then you admit to splicing Duo and Rhys knowing that it was illegal?"

"Yes."

"And Rhys' mother? Is she involved?"

"Mother?" Gervais laughed, "My boy, I thought you smarter than that. Yes, there was an egg involved but from whom and where it came from are inconsequential as I stripped it of its DNA and replaced it with half of Duo's."

"You mean he's a clone?"

"Well, yes, how else was I going to test the sequencing on Duo with out killing him? I made changes in Rhys' DNA when he was just an embryo to develop a final product to use on Duo."

"You let him clone you for the sake of splicing? So you could be part salamander?" Heero asked Duo enraged. It was worse than he imagined. Almost everything that Trowa had pointed out to him just days ago, that he had refused to believe, was true. He had defended Duo, told Trowa he was wrong for suggesting that Duo would do anything to hurt his own son only to find out that he'd been wrong.

"He's my son," Dup said keeping his gaze focused on the keyboard in front of him.

"Does that make it easier for you to sleep at night? You say he's your son and you don't have to feel bad that he was born so you could be sexy."

"Fuck you," Duo said, quietly but with venom.

"I would have to agree with the sentiment," Gervais said glaring at Heero, "The procedure was not simply done for the splicing. Duo cannot have children naturally and has always wanted a child and now he does. He and I both love Rhys very much. It's why I took him to live with Janet. I didn't want the boy neglected because of our work. He deserved to be raised as close to normal as possible.

"If you have nothing better to do than try to belittle us, you can leave us alone to work. I promised to help Lucy and I plan to do that," Gervais said bitterly, dismissing Heero to turn back to his slides and equipment.

Heero took one last look at the back of Duo's head before walking out of the lab with Trowa minus Kitten, Hayers and Price on his heels.

"Commander-" Trowa started.

"Don't," Heero said cutting him off. He didn't want pity. "Where are we with Dr. Murai?"

"Every hospital and clinic knows to be on the look out for a man with a shoulder wound but so far we haven't got a hit," Price said.

"It was a through and through, he may have stitched himself up," Hayers offered. "He also hasn't made any purchases on any of his credit cards or tried to get in touch with family."

"Murai hasn't tried to make contact with Trent either but we still have agents in place," Price continued.

"He hasn't made an attempt to return to his home and our search hasn't turned up anything useful," Trowa added.

"And his lab?"

"A lot of recombinant and a computer full of sequencing codes but nothing that points us in his direction," Hayers answered.

"Dr Greyson is going over the files and recombinant to see what he can make of it," Trowa told the group.

"Should we let Dr Gervais take a look at it? Maybe he can-"

"No," Heero said sharply cutting Hayers off.

"Commander-"

"I want him to continue working with Gemmell. If he can cure her then I want his attention focused there."

"And Maxwell, Commander?" Price braved.

"House arrest," Heero decided. "Dr Gervais is taking the blame for now but I don't want Maxwell to suddenly go missing again."

"I'll check the database for a place for him to stay. I believe we have an apartment available now that Ramirez transferred to earth," Price said.

"Good."

"And Kitten?"

"Find DeWitt. I want her opinion on whether we should release him into Duo's custody for the time being or if he should remain in Preventors' custody."

"I'll do that," Price said nodding.

"I'll look into any updates on Murai and check with Greyson," Hayers said turning with Price to leave the clinic.

"You want to tell me what that was about?" Trowa asked once they were relatively alone.

"No. Not here at least," Heero said mindful of the exceptional hearing that Duo no doubt shared along with his son. No, Heero thought, his clone. His spliced clone, his template.

"I can call in some agents to watch the two of them and we can talk."

"Do it."

It only took minutes for two agents to make their way to the clinic's lab. They were given strict instructions not to talk to the two men working in the lab and not to leave them unattended. Weber stayed, to ensure that the two agents remained at the door while he monitored Gervais and Maxwell's activity. Taylor in Communications had been tasked in monitoring Maxwell's computer use from inside the main building, while Kitten was escorted back to the playroom for the day.

"Do you think it was Kitten? That Gervais offered him a child of his own to work with him?" Trowa asked as they meandered around the concourse under the colony's 'setting' sun.

"He said it was a bonus," Heero grumbled.

"What could he have offered that would make Duo leave so abruptly?" Trowa wondered.

"He says I'll hate him in the end."

"What about now? Do you hate him?"

"I-I don't know, Trowa. I don't want to but I didn't think that this would be the way that I would find him."

"It could be coercion or even Stockholm syndrome," Trowa offered.

"I want to believe that but... " he trailed off. He looked towards the clinic

"I'm sorry, Heero."

"It isn't your fault, don't apologize."

"No, I mean, I didn't want to be right," he sighed rubbing his forehead, "When I brought up the possibility-"

"I understand, but now we need to focus on what to do next."

"What's next?"

"Determining if there's a case to be made against Gervais and Duo."

"I'm not sure we have much to go on. If Gervais' work was limited to Duo and Kitten, he won't face major charges especially when his lawyer adds in that he helped to save Lucy."

"But we can prevent him from doing anymore work like this."

"That's true. As for Duo, it's a first time splicing offense. He'll have the antidote forced on him, but no serious charges. I doubt the antidote will work on him or Kitten."

"They're both hiding something. Something bigger than we can see right now."

"I have that feeling as well but-"

"Commander Yuy!" yelled voice from across the concourse. They both turned to find Monica Rains headed straight for them.

"What have you done now?" Trowa asked.

Heero shook his head unsure as he watched the stomp towards them, a briefcase in one hand and a folder in another. Wearing an all black suit with matching heels and an angry expression on her face, Heero thought of her as a harbinger of death.

"You've crossed the line this time Yuy," she hissed slamming the folder into his chest. "You are not allowed to question my clients without me present and you will release her from Preventors' lock-up or I'll have charges brought against you."

"Hughes didn't ask for a lawyer for herself, she asked for legal counsel for Kitten. I haven't done anything wrong."

"You all but broke into her cell at three o'clock in the morning and forced her to answer your questions."

"I didn't force her and again she didn't ask for a lawyer."

"You've found your so-called missing person and she's admitted to having no involvement other than protecting a little boy left unexpected in her care. Release her and drop all of the charges you have against her."

"Under the condition that she doesn't leave L1 until the investigation is closed," he negotiated. Janet Hughes had been forthcoming and he no longer felt the need to hold the woman now that she proved to be a woman protecting a child as a favor to an old lover.

"Agreed. And Kitten?"

"His father has been found; there's no need for her to care for him anymore."

"It hasn't been proven that he is capable or fit to take care of the boy," Rains argued.

"The same can be said of Hughes."

"She's taken perfectly good care of him for the last two years. I think that better qualifies her than Duo."

Heero couldn't really argue Rains' point but he wasn't ready to release Kitten to either Hughes or Duo. He wanted to wait until he had a professional's opinion on who would provide the best care for Kitten.

"I'll let DeWitt and a judge decide who's more capable of taking care of Kitten."

"Fine but don't think-" Rains started only to be cut off by not only Heero's but Trowa's phone ringing.

"Yuy," he greeted.

"Commander, we just got a call from the local police we've got two splicing victims," Price said on the move, breathing into the phone, "We're on our way to the scene."

"Murai?" he asked unnecessarily.

"Yes."

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