Author: Honor A. De'Mandoren
See chapter 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Common Sense + Chapter Seven
Loose Ends

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
-Albert Einstein


Victoria Wooten was going to leave late tomorrow morning, which gave us a very tight schedule to work off of. We had to plant some bait for Mr. Fatso before that point. If we were to ever shut down the original buyer for the info then Mr. Fatso would have to be followed back to the nest.

Heero worked up some false intel that looked pretty authentic, and I snuck it into Churchill's, Wooten's and Nottingham's room. Then we went in shifts watching the three rooms, waiting for our unsuspecting cleaning lady.

Roughly eight-thirty the next morning she came in (pretty much on schedule) and started cleaning. Wufei was on watch at that point and signaled us quickly. "Here she is."

The lady knew something about computers. She went through all three pretty quickly and burned it to a cd, which went into her pocket afterwards.

"Okay," I muttered in grim satisfaction. "If she stays in the same pattern as before, then she'll call Mr. Fatso from a cell phone and wait for him during her break in an hour." That's what she had done the previous two times, anyway. "Which means I have about two hours before it's time to play some tag. Time for Shinigami to go to work."

"Not alone," Zechs protested immediately. "I'm going with you."

I kissed him softly. "Sorry, babe, but you're too conspicuous."

"I'll go," Heero growled.

"You're trigger happy. No way." I matched him glare for glare on this one. No way was I going out with Heero in this kind of mood.

Wufei sighed. "I'll go."

...actually, Wufei was pretty good at being sneaky. "Yeah, you'll work. Get ready, 'Fei."


Now, Fatso was pretty paranoid. Not as paranoid as Heero, but definitely up there on the scale. 'Fei and I had a pretty hard time keeping up with him without getting spotted.

For about three hours we weaved our way into the seedier sections of the city, and then into the really bad area. It made me think of L2--not in a good way. "Stick close, 'Fei," I muttered while tugging my hat lower over my eyes.

He nodded back grimly, and became my living shadow.

Fatso went straight to his buyer. I could tell from the look of the building--subtle differences, perhaps, but the outside looked worse than the inside. All buyer's houses looked like this. It was a way of them hiding from any local law enforcement. 'Fei and I spread out a little, placing little electronic tracers around the premises, generally 'painting' the area. Then we pulled out again and walked casually a block away.

Wuffers pulled out his cell phone and made a quick call. "Done. Everything's in place. Go."

I felt sorry for Fatso. He just led a few SWAT teams to his buyer's front door. Excuse me while I snicker.

Once we were back into the 'nicer' part of town, Wufei relaxed enough to comment idly, "I thought for sure that you would stay and help."

"I invite you to imagine the response I'd get if I let Shinigami play." Not that I hadn't been tempted.

Wufei thought about it seriously for all of about three tenths of a second. "...if Zechs didn't kill you, Heero would."

"Precisely. Besides, I'd rather eat post-mission pizza than dodge bullets."

"Hn," he agreed with a slight smile. "Stage two."

"Right." I called up Zechs as we walked. "Hey, lover."

<Duo.> There was relief in that one word. <Did you succeed?>

"Yup. Time to implement stage two."

<Acknowledged. Are you on your way back?>

"Yeah. Do me a favor and order six large deluxe pizzas. I'm starving."

He started chuckling. <Already ordered, love. They should be here in fifteen minutes.>

"Okeedokee. Be there soon." Fifteen minutes? We were twenty minutes away from the hotel at this rate. Quickly hanging up, I grabbed Wufei's arm and started running. *Definitely* time to speed things up.

"What's the problem?" Wufei snapped in panic as he raced along at my side.

"I don't want cold pizza!" I snapped back.



By six that evening, I could finally take a break. The maid was arrested, as well as the three idiot hackers that had started all this (Churchill was still a bit of an unknown, but *he* didn't know that and he had broken down in babbling confessions before the handcuffs had closed on his wrists) the manager was once again calm (he'd panicked badly when I had briefed him on what was going on) and best of all, it was just me and Zechs left in the room. Wufei was out interrogating people--something he adores doing, and I am only too happy to leave him to it--and Heero was going through all the video footage and security system for the hotel, copying anything over that he thought might be needed for the trial. Knowing his anal tendencies, he was going to be there for a LONG time.

Naturally, all of this only spelt one thing out in my mind--time to make the mattress dance!

My sexy lover and I worked off some tension, then went another round just because we enjoying shagging each other's lights out. We were understandably exhausted by the witching hour, and sound asleep.

That was why *she* appeared, naturally.

I was snatched from the dregs of sleep by having cold water dumped over me. Waking up in a cardiac arrest isn't fun, and I was glaring at the idiot that had dared to do such a stupid stunt even before my eyes were fully focused.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?!" I snarled at Relena. And how the hell did she get in?!

She averted her eyes, lips pursed. "Put something on. I don't wish to see you in such an indecent state."

"You're the one that walked into our bedroom at midnight," Zechs snapped back. He dragged his hair out of his face, looking ready to kill. "What are you doing *here*?"

"I've come to take you home."

You have *got* to be freakin' kidding me. I turned disbelieving eyes onto my lover. "Did she just say what I thought she said?"

"She's always been delusional," Zechs muttered darkly. "Relena, I'm on a mission. I'm frankly surprised that you knew where I was."

Considering all the times she found Heero during the war...I wasn't as surprised. Resigned, but not surprised.

She tossed her hair back irritably. "This childish nonsense of yours has to stop, Milliardo. You don't have time to play cop."

Yup, that did it. If there is one thing about my lover that I understand, it's that he hates to feel inadequate or patronized in any way. Zechs threw the covers back, swinging his legs out of bed. Relena predictably screeched like an offended maiden and spun to put her back to the bed. It was a poor strategic move on her part; she had no idea what Zechs was doing with him in her blind spot.

He did take a second to throw on a robe, then he caught her arm forcefully and dragged her out of the bedroom and into the living room. As he walked, he growled loudly over her protests, "I am not your brother. I am officially cutting myself off from the family as soon as business starts up tomorrow morning. And don't try and 'patch things up' with me, Relena, because I can assure you that will not happen. Not anytime within this millennia!"

I didn't see it, but I heard her yelp as she was shoved out the door, heard her thump against something hard--probably the wall--then the door slammed in her face, locked, and the couch moved in front of it.

Yup, I say he's pissed.

Grinning, I pulled out my cell phone as I switched to the other bed (I wasn't sleeping in a wet bed, no way no how). It was still nine o'clock where the guys were, so I knew a certain person would still be up. It rang twice before it was picked up.

<Duo. Isn't it a bit late your time?>

"Yeah, well..." I smiled at Zechs as he came in, mouthing 'Trowa' so he would know what I was up to. "Tro, how would you like to piss off Relena?"

< Highlight of my day. Orders?>

"Go to the palace, have Zechs's stuff packed up--especially his game room--and move him into my room, will ya?"

Zechs brightened up, joining me and snuggling in with an irrepressible smile on his face.

<This isn't a suicide mission is it?>

"Naw. Relena is here--that's why we're awake, she did the honors of dumping a bucket of cold water over us. You have at least eight hours to do the deed."

<Ahh. All is now explained. Acknowledged. Barton, out.>

That's what I love about Tro. He gets the vision real fast. I tossed the phone onto the nightstand, and cuddled up to Zechs. "See? Now, with the Gundam team at your disposal, you'll never have to deal with Relena again."

"That is a very handy side benefit," Zechs agreed softly.

We lay there in silence for some time, just holding each other. I was damn near asleep when I felt him stir a little. "Hm?"

"I was just thinking...maybe we should take Une out for dinner."


"As a thank you. If she hadn't paired me up with you on this mission, my life wouldn't have been changed."

Life as it had been going...with no Zechs, and a Relena popping up all the time. Hm. "Yeah, I say a thank you is definitely in order."



[ch. 6] [back to Singles a-k]