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 Eight

"No!" Rains yelled, lunging forward, covering Kitten's mouth with her hand. Kitten made protesting sounds, struggling to get away from the woman.

"Let him go," Heero said angrily.

"No, I won't let him incriminate Mrs. Hughes anymore.

"Let him go or I'm charging you with assault."

She glared at Heero although the effect was somewhat ruined by the fact the woman was on her knees in a form fitting pinstripe skirt that was riding up indecently, showing off the tops of her thigh-high stockings.

"Don't answer him, Kitten. Your Nana could be in a lot of trouble if you do," she pleaded with Kitten before slowly pulling her hand away. The boy looked at Rains for a moment before turning to Heero.

"Is that true?"

"I need to know where your daddy is and if she hurt him or not," Heero explained.

"I think we should stop," Joyanne said, earning a glare from Heero. "You're asking him to weigh his father against his Nana. It isn't fair of you to ask that of him."

"I agree with the doctor," Rains said, looking smug.

"You were the one that instigated this," Joyanne told the woman. She leaned forward, gathering the boy into her arms. He sat in her lap looking between Heero and Rains his ears drooping. "You either come to a compromise or no more questions."

Heero looked to Rains and found her looking at him just as intently. They leaned forward, having a quick hushed argument.

"Anything he says could jeopardize my client."

"His father could be in danger along with countless other people. What he knows is more important than how many years Hughes might spend in jail."

"You agree here and now that the death penalty is off the table and he can answer your questions about Maxwell.

Heero balled his hand into a fist fighting the urge to growl, "Agreed."

"Maxwell only, Commander."

"If he knows something about the doctor-"

"Then we make another deal."

"We don't have any charges against her to deal on yet"

"You can forget about charging her with kidnapping," Rains suggested, smiling.

"Don't get ahead of yourself," Heero said pulling back and turning to Kitten. "Do you know where your daddy is?"

"Mm, I forgot," the boy said negligently, his attention focused on the toy in his hands.

"Your Nana won't be in trouble if you tell me, Kitten."

Kitten shook his head, his wild hair flying about his face, "I really forgot. I don't remember where it is."

"Do you remember if he was at a house?" Joyanne asked, and Heero was glad for her help in dealing with the small boy.

"It's a building and you go in and then you go downstairs."

"Is the building on this colony, Kitten?" Joyanne asked. She held the boy under his arms, pulling him back as she bent forward to speak to him. He looked up at her before answering yes. "Do you remember the color of the building?"

"Shiny."

"Shiny, like it was made of metal?"

"Yes."

"When was the last time you saw him?"

Kitten huffed, "A long time. He said he was tired but he has lots of work to do."

"What kind of work Kitten?"

He shrugged, picking at his toy, "Can we play now?"

"In a little while," Heero answered. "It's really important that you tell me everything you know about your daddy."

"He likes peanuts and he can sing and he makes good sandwiches. Now can we play?"

"Do your daddy and Nana know each other?" Heero asked, ignoring the random bits of information Kitten had decided to share.

"Mm," Kitten started, gnawing on the hand of his action figure his face screwed up in thought, "No."

"When did you start living with your Nana?"

"Commander," Rains warned.

"When I was a baby."

"Have you ever visited your daddy since you started living with Nana?"

"No," he whined, "I wanna play now. You said we'd play more toys."

"I think that's it for today, Commander," Joyanne said, shaking her head.

"Alright, we can try again later."

"You can't question him without me, Commander," Rains said, "And I don't trust that if you're allowed to stay here and play with him that you won't ask more questions outside of the scope of our agreement."

"Do you plan to baby-sit the both of us, Ms. Rains?"

"No, I want Kitten's custody remanded and that he be placed under the state's care. It's in both his and my client's best interest."

"You're talking about sending him to a foster home. In his condition-"

"He will be well looked after, Commander. The splicing will do nothing to jeopardize his safety until this issue can be sorted out."

"The splicing led to him being kidnapped once before. He's just as safe here as anywhere else."

"But can I trust you and your team to not ask him any personal questions? Or ones dealing with either of your cases."

"Yes."

"I'm sorry, Commander. Your word doesn't hold much value to me. Ms. DeWitt," she said turning to the other woman, "I'm holding you responsible for assuring that Commander Yuy doesn't ask my client anymore questions until I return. If he does and you allow it, I'll hold you in contempt."

"I know how to do my job," Joyanne said, unhappily. She rose to her feet, lifting Kitten as she did. "I think it's time Kitten and I went to lunch."

"We're not going to play anymore?" Kitten asked looking to Heero, as he also rose from the floor.

"Soon," he said. "I promise. We haven't saved the princess yet."

Kitten sighed his ears laying flat against his head, the epitome of sadness, "Okay."

Joyanne moved away, carefully making her way across the strewn about toys to leave the room. Heero turned back to Rains where she was making a clumsy attempt to stand without flashing the tops of her stockings, and failing. He held his hand out to her and for a moment, she looked up at him questioning before taking his hand and letting him pull her to her feet.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

"It isn't personal, you know. I have to do my job to the best of my ability just the same as you do yours."

"I know."

"Off the record," she said looking to Heero, "I don't think Mrs. Hughes is a bad woman. I think she's protecting someone."

"That someone might be a murderer."

"I'll see what I can do to get her to talk to you, Commander. If I can't convince her to help herself, the least I can do is keep you from sending her to jail for crimes she didn't commit."

"You wouldn't be doing you job if you did," he said. Although Monica Rains insisted on giving him a hard time with every client she defended, he couldn't fault the woman for doing her job. He would do the same in her position, doing whatever he could to see that he helped the people he'd sworn to defend.

"Well then," she said with a smile, "Same time tomorrow. Don't forget to bring your dueling pistols."

He gave a slight smile and wondered if it would be considered cheating if he brought a Vulcan cannon.

+

"I got your message a few minutes ago," Trowa said walking into Heero's office unannounced. "Kitten's been moved into a foster home?"

"Hm," Heero replied from his place at his filing cabinet.

"What do you plan to do?" Trowa asked moving across the room to slouch in Heero's desk chair.

"There's nothing to do. Rains' appeal will hold until we either drop all charges against Hughes or solve our case."

Finding the file he wanted, he moved to his desk adding the folder to the pile he'd collected. After his talk with Kitten earlier in the day he'd spent much of his time researching buildings across the colony that housed areas underneath that served as more than fall-out shelters. Not many areas in the colony were zoned for those types of structural changes unless they had already been built in as part of the colony design. It left him with fewer places to search and with any luck, by cross-referencing, Nana's comings and goings, along with last known sightings of Duo from four years ago, he could narrow down his search even more.

"What happened with Hughes? Did you get her to talk?" Heero asked.

"No. Four hours and she said nothing. Short of torture I don't think there's anything we can do," he said leaning back in Heero's chair.

"I doubt we can get approval for that."

Trowa chuckled under his breath, before asking, "Did you talk to Weber?"

"Yes, he sent me a message and Connor Hughes' file. The man has been in prison for identity fraud, attempted arm robbery and possession of narcotics with attempt to sale for the last seven years."

"Which clears him as a suspect. I can see why Mrs. Hughes would list Kitten by that name in the police report."

"Has anyone checked to see if Kitten has a birth certificate under that name?"

"The hospital did a full search by name and DNA and found no matches in any hospital colony-wise."

"We should broaden the search. He may not have been born on this colony."

"I've been thinking," Trowa started, sitting up straight, "Do you think Duo could be Dr. M?"

"No," Heero answered easily. The thought had never crossed his mind to assume that Duo might be Dr. M. He would sooner believe that Duo and Mrs. Hughes were secret lovers.

"No?" Trowa questioned, "Have you even considered it?"

"No."

"Heero, we shouldn't overlook the possibility that Duo is involved with splicing somehow." Trowa said arguing his case.

"I'm not, but Duo wouldn't do something like this, not to his own son."

"Are you sure? I don't want to believe it of him either but how well do we know Duo?"

"He risked his life, right there beside us during the war. He saved our lives countless times. I think we know him well enough," he said harshly. The fact that Trowa could even begin to question Duo's integrity and worse of all in regards to his son, made him hot with anger

"People change Heero. Look at us. We aren't the same people we were during the wars. We aren't even the same people we were two months ago."

"People don't go from saving the world one day to randomly killing people the next."

"It's been four years, Heero."

"I know how long it's been, Trowa," he said loudly. "People don't change like that. He wouldn't change like that."

"He was unhappy here, Heero. He once said that nothing was going right for him now that the war was over. How do we know that he didn't get mixed up with splicing when the fad first started? Duo is a chemical genius. It wouldn't take too much to go from making bombs to sequencing recombinant formulas."

"So what are you saying, Trowa? That Duo plans to turn his life around by inventing some new form of splicing? That he fathered a child and used his own son as a guinea pig?"

"Yes," he answered, quietly.

"Get out."

"Heero," Trowa started, shocked.

"Get out of my office!"

"Heero, I know how you feel about Duo but you can't let your feelings cloud your judgment," Trowa pleaded.

"I said get out," he hissed through clenched teeth

Trowa looked at him with hurt eyes and a solemn face, but wiped the expression, the emotion away to rise from Heero's chair and slowly make his way to the door. He said nothing as moved past Heero. The only sound left between them was the sound of the office door clicking shut.

+

Sunday morning, Heero's unofficial off day, found him standing outside of the home of Milliardo Peacecraft, or Zechs for short. He made it a habit to visit the homebound man as much as possible, usually every Sunday when work didn't pull him away.

Two years ago on a routine shuttle ride traveling from the space station, Helios, to Mars the shuttle had exploded killing the three other passengers and leaving Zechs horribly wounded. The doctors said that he was lucky to be alive with the injuries he'd sustained along with the amount of time he'd spent drifting in space among the ship's debris. His entire left side was ravaged, his arm and his leg torn away along with most of his face. Reconstructive surgery was out of the question as most of the shrapnel that was now imbedded in his skin was what kept him alive, although in constant pain.

Zech's manservant and trained caretaker, Wimbly, the only person he allowed into his home on a permanent basis, greeted Heero at the door informing him that Mr. Peacecraft was outside waiting for him. Making his way to the back of the house and out the patio doors, he found Zechs in his wheelchair situated at the far end of the deck, turned away with his usual hood pulled over his head, keeping his face shadowed. He wore his usual loose, dark attire that covered his body, with a blanket thrown on for extra cover but it did little to hide his misshapen shape.

"When-are you going-to stop wasting-your time with me?" Zechs asked, each little pause he took to suck in air accentuated by the faint sound of metal rattling his throat and chest.

"When you stop asking me that," Heero said, lying. He took a seat at the small patio table in the middle of the deck, giving Zechs his space but still within hearing range.

Heero knew that while Zechs appreciated his company, he loathed it as well. He hated to be looked at, to be looked after and cared for. It was hard for the man to get up everyday in the condition he was in, knowing that the few short years he had left would be tempered with pain and agony.

"I have-another surgery scheduled."

"When?"

"Next week. They'll be-removing shrapnel-from my-leg. The doctor says-it should relieve-some of the pain."

"That's good to hear."

"It's bullshit. I hurt-all over," he wheezed. "But Relena-insists."

"I can talk to her if you want."

"No. She means well. I know-this is hard for her too."

"If you don't want the surgery, Zechs-"

"How is your case coming," he rushed and Heero knew it cost him as the other man started to cough. He quickly poured a glass of water from the pitcher left conveniently by Wimbly, taking it to Zechs. He held the glass out, staying within Zechs' comfort zone as the man accepted the glass taking small sips.

Heero had seen Zechs face the day he'd been transferred, still in a coma from the space station to a hospital on L1. The right side of his face had been twisted and burned while the left... the left had been a mess of skin, bones and metal welded together. His left cheek had been nothing but frayed tendons at the time but with what little the doctors could do the hole had been patched with skin grafts. They did nothing to improve his looks but afforded him with the ability to eat without pieces of food escaping the side of his face.

If there was anything Zechs' was more self-conscious about it was his face and he absolutely refused to let anyone look at him after he'd seen the damage for the very first time. He would let Wimbly get close enough to actual have a chance to look at him and even then consistently kept his hood drawn over his face.

"Tell me-about the case," Zechs asked, as Heero returned to his seat. He had to contain the hot flash of anger he felt recalling his conversation with Trowa from the previous day.

"We've found a few new leads," Heero started. Although it was against policy to discuss a case with anyone not assigned to the case, Heero indulged Zechs' curiosity filling him in on all the details of the case so far. Several times in the last two years he'd come to Zechs merely to visit and ended up telling all about his current cases and many times Zechs' insight had led to his team drawing closer to their goal of catching their perpetrator.

"Janet," he said slowly, "You shouldn't-treat her like a suspect. She's a mother-protecting her child."

"She knows something. Either where Duo is or who's responsible for Kitten's splicing."

"Have you-considered that-Kitten was entrusted-into her care-for safe keeping?"

"From whom?"

"Everyone. His splicing-is a miracle."

"That's true," Heero said, pausing before asking, "Do you think Duo could be Dr M?"

He took minute to explain Trowa's harebrained theory hoping that the older man would not agree.

Zechs was quiet for a moment, thinking. "It is possible, but I think-you're looking for-two different-people."

"Two?"

"One that succeeded-and a bad-copycat."

It made sense to Heero when he thought about it that way. Kitten being alive and what he was, was a scientific miracle. If the doctor who'd done his splicing had gone public back when he'd first found out that his procedure was a success he would be the award winning scientist Dr. M sought to be. Instead, Dr M was trying to recreate another man's work to pass off as his own.

"Your Dr M-may have been involved-with your mystery doctor. Maybe a lab assistant. You should-follow up-on Kitten's splicing."

"Kitten's public defender is making it hard for us to make in leeway in that area. She won't allow me to question him in regards to his splicing as it may implicate Hughes and she isn't talking."

"Is Duo-really Kitten's-father?"

"Yes," Heero said confused. He'd already explained this once to Zechs. "They have seven alleles in common and Kitten ID'd him as his father."

"Seven alleles. And the rest?"

"I'm not sure. What are you getting at?"

"Is he Duo's son-or Duo's clone."

"A clone," Heero whispered to himself. That opened up a fountain of possibilities that could potentially lead to Duo not being involved in the case at all. While Heero held out hope that Duo was not the villain in the twisted story he called a case, he wanted to find Duo one way or another.

His phone ringing cut off any other thoughts that he might have had as reached into his pocket to retrieve the phone.

"Yuy, here."

"Boss, we've got a problem," Weber said, his uncertainty carrying through the phones speaker.

"What's going on?"

"Well you know that foster family that's supposed to be watching Kitten?"

"Yes."

"Well, they kinda lost him. He's missing."

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