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

Preventors' Case #84309: Splicers + Chapter Four

Sleep had been elusive for Heero. His dreams had been plagued with the sounds of choking and whimpering, steel bars closing in around him, and blood pooling at his feet.

He lay in bed staring up at the ceiling letting the last vestiges of the dream slip from his mind as he thought about mundane things he needed to get done like dry-cleaning and groceries. After a few moments, he was calm enough to start the day, rolling out of bed and heading to the bathroom. While he relieved himself and set to wash his face, he thought that in moments like these a pet would be nice, something alive and breathing to hold close to his chest when the memories were overwhelming. Maybe a cat.

He dressed in sweats and left his apartment to start his morning jog. The neighborhood he lived in was located in the northeast quadrant of the colony in the business district. As he ran the sidewalks, he looked into darkened storefronts letting his thoughts wonder. The case stood at the forefront of his mind, as he thought of ways around the lack of linking evidence or living suspects that were willing to talk. He hoped that the new motive might lead the team to come up with new ideas.

So caught up in his thoughts and the knowledge that that there were usually no children out at this time of morning, he almost tripped over the boy in his path as he rounded the corner. He quickly caught himself and the boy with his hands on his shoulders. He looked into the chagrined face of the boy from Cheng-Du.

"Oopsie," the boy said, smiling up at Heero.

There was no mistaking the resemblance now that he had the boy right there in front of him. He knelt, peering into the small child's indigo eyes as he brushed his fingers across his cheek.

"Are you alright?"

"I'm okay," he said adjusting the familiar cap on his head. "What's your name?"

"Heero. What's your name?"

"My Nana calls me Kitten," 'Kitten' said smiling up at him.

"Kitten?"

"Yep," he said nodding. "Where are you running?"

"Nowhere."

"Why are you going nowhere?"

Heero smiled, shaking his head before clarifying, "I'm exercising."

"Why are you exercising?"

"To stay in shape."

"What shape?" he asked tilting his head to the side. Heero couldn't help but laugh at both the question and the cute expression on his face. He opened his mouth to try to explain what he meant when he heard 'Kitten's' name being called. He looked up just as the small boy's Nana turned the corner coming into view. She glared upon seeing Heero and quickly came up beside them.

"There you are. I told you not to run off," she scolded grabbing the boy's wrist to pull him away. Heero stood quickly, not wanting to miss an opportunity to talk to the woman.

"Ma'am, my name is Heero Yuy and I was wondering if you would mind answering a few questions."

"I have absolutely nothing to say to you, Mr. Yuy and I'd appreciate it if you'd leave my child alone."

"If you'd just give me a minute of your time, ma'am, I-"

"We need to be going, I don't have time to talk to the likes of you," she said glaring at him.

"I just want to know who his father is," he blurted out indelicately.

"That is none of your business. Now if you'll excuse us," she said sharply pushing past Heero, tugging the boy along with her.

Heero watched them go, not attempting to approach the woman again. It wasn't sure if he should be offended that she thought him some strange pervert or suspicious that she had reacted so strongly. The boy turned around his wrist still caught in her grip to wave at Heero, smiling widely.

"Bye, Mr. Heero!"

He smiled and waved back. He decided that he would get to the bottom of this little mystery soon enough.

+

Heero leaned against the window of his team's conference room watching people walk back and forth across the plaza. He still had the confrontation with the old woman on his mind but pushed it to the back to focus on the case. All the members of his team were present, dressed in their uniforms.

"Well Taylor in Communications got us the traces on all of the numbers from both Pepper's and Trent's phones. We don't have any matches between the two but we can check in with their friends, see if any of them work for Dr M too," Price chimed in, lending her voice to the conversation.

"I'll let you head that up, Price. The more people we can find, the more likely we'll be to finding someone who'll talk," Heero said.

"I don't think we should give up on getting something from Trent. If we offer to put him into the witness protection program, he may be willing to talk," Hayers said gesturing with his hands.

"It didn't work. We tried talking to him again this morning. He won't give us a name, he's sure that Dr M will kill him if he does," Trowa answered.

Hayers sighed, just as frustrated as the rest of them, "What else can we do? If the friends don't pan out, we can't sit around and wait for more people to turn up dead."

"We have his real motive now, we should look into using it to our advantage," Price said.

"He wants to be famous. But for splicing?" Gemmell asked.

"Maybe he's doing something different. Maybe we were wrong to assume he was using bad recombinant, maybe it's bad because it's meant to do something more," Weber hypothesized.

"What more would he want it to do? Isn't the point of splicing to make you look like your favorite animal?" Hayers asked.

Heero noticed that Gemmell was tapping her finger against her lip, her eyebrows furrowed in thought.

"We should have tests done on Lanie and Emmett's DNA and compare them to Trent's. We may be able to find the component that makes the two procedures different," Trowa added.

"Maybe it's supposed to be permanent," Gemmell said, drawing the room's attention. "The standard antidote doesn't work on any of his patients so maybe his breakthrough is to make it permanent."

"That could be true but it wouldn't make him famous," Heero said.

The knock on the door announcing Commander Chase stopped the conversation in the room. Heero thought it ironic that just yesterday, his presence in Chase's conference room had halted all activity and now Chase was returning the favor.

"Commander Yuy, I have a favor to ask."

Heero tried not to let the feeling of dread build up inside of him, but he knew the favor Chase would ask of him even before he opened his mouth to say it.

"I won't have enough people in time for tomorrow night's raid and I could use you, Barton and Hayers for the team."

"Commander, I don't think that I'm the right-"

"You're not still going on about that are you?" Chase questioned looking annoyed with him. "Son, do you think I give a fuck about you stomping some rapist's face in?"

"Sir, what I did-"

"What you did is what anybody else would have done in your position. If I thought you weren't capable and competent enough to come with me I wouldn't be here."

Heero didn't believe that what he had done was standard procedure. In fact, he could barely remember what he'd done.

He always remembered the sound first, the sound of helpless children crying. He could hear them long before the door to the backroom had been opened to the sight of a dozen children locked inside steel cages. Nine girls and three boys, all nude except for the collars strapped around their necks, all of them spliced. Most of them had large cat ears with long tails, but he remembered that some of them had floppy dog-ears and short, curled tails.

He'd split off from the others, who'd immediately set to work on releasing the children and herding them out of harm's way, to check the three closed doorways. The first, a small dingy bathroom, empty. The second, a broom closet, empty. The third room... the third room had held a small girl, no more than seven on her knees, choking and whimpering as fat meaty hands gripped her cat's ears and forced her head down.

He remembered struggling to breathe at the sight and the next being roughly shaken by Trowa, who had one hand gripping his arm, the other buried in the hair at the back of his head forcing him to look at the other man as he yelled in his face.

"Heero. Heero!"

"Trowa?"

"Are you with me?" Trowa had asked panicked.

He'd nodded slowly and when Trowa let go of his hair, he'd looked around them. The girl was a few feet away, huddled in on herself crying. He felt Trowa's grip on his arm tighten as he turned his head to look at the man stretched out on the ground and what was left of his face. It was a bloody, broken mess with a smear of blood marking the concrete leading towards him. He'd looked down at his feet then. His boots had been covered in blood.

The man, one Chester Clancy, didn't die that night although the doctor said his injuries were severe. Heero was forced to take a two-week suspension without pay, which he more than felt he'd earned although no one seemed to be mad at him. In fact, some people had congratulated him.

Clancy never pressed charges against him, his lawyer didn't advise it. He was charged, along with the other men who'd been arrested that night, with life in prison. He was killed two months into his sentence.

The girl, now rid of the forced enhancements, had made him a card thanking him for saving her life. He was glad to have been the one to save her from the pervert's attention but it didn't stop him from having nightmares seeing her being hurt, hearing her and the others crying except in his dream he wasn't able to help them.

He looked up into Commander Chase's blue eyes and knew he couldn't say no. That he couldn't turn down the chance to help save an innocent child's life, to keep them from being sold to some rapist.

"I'll go."

"Good," Chase said clapping his shoulder again. "Take the day off tomorrow. We'll meet in the command center at seven to debrief and go over our plan."

"I understand."

"Barton, Hayers, you in?" he asked turning to the conference table. They both nodded. "I could use the rest of you guys once we get the kids out. You're welcome to tag along and help run support."

They nodded as well.

"Good. Rest up you guys. We're going to have a long night tomorrow getting these animals off the streets."

With that, he left them alone.

"Animals," Gemmell whispered to herself. "Hey, what if we've been going about this the wrong way?"

"What do you mean?" Trowa asked.

"We've been looking for a people doctor who splices people with animals," she answered gesturing with her hands in her excitement, making air quotes, "What if Dr M is an animal doctor who's working on people. A veterinarian who's crossed over."

"A vet could have access to all kinds of animal DNA," Weber added.

"And how often do you see a veterinarian on the news for anything remarkable?" This from Hayers.

"He could be trying to turn his patients from humans to animals. That could be why the DNA is breaking down, it isn't meant to be altered that drastically," Price said.

"Something like a shape shifter? Something you can turn on and off? He's been telling people that the government shouldn't have a right to control them, maybe he's trying to incorporate that." Gemmell said.

"We won't know for sure until we get more facts but this is a good start," Heero said bringing the focus on himself. "Price and Hayers, I want you to follow up with Pepper and Trent's friends."

"Yes, sir," they said in unison.

"Gemmell, since it was your idea, I want you and Weber to look up every vet on L1 and narrow the list down to the most suspect. Look for anyone who's published any findings or entered any type of science competition. We're looking someone who's trying to be noticed and I doubt the urge started overnight."

"Yes, sir," Gemmell said happily while Weber nodded in ascent.

"I'll go to the hospital and get DNA samples from Lanie and Emmett. Trowa, you take Trent and any one in lock up that wasn't spliced by Dr M and get their sample and meet me in the lab to get them tested."

"Yes, sir."

"I want each of you to keep me informed on anything you find. We have a lot of work to try and get done today before tomorrow's raid."

***

A/N: Chester Clancy is named for Chester the Molester 'cause I thought it was funny.

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