see part 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer
the Furnace, Unshrinking + Part 24
Looking Back II
We're the architects of the world
We're taking it all apart
Duo paced his room, fiddling with the end of his braid. He'd tried reading,
tried drawing, tried sleeping, eating and bugging Trowa. None of the above
And Quatre was out on a job. He was out hunting tonight. So much for innocence.
So much for a future. The kid was a bounty hunter. And he'd killed. Duo
could smell it on him. Sometimes, it wasn't just a bounty head he was
after; sometimes it was a life. Duo's heart ached for both Quatre and
Trowa. Their time together had been so short. Hell, they could all be
dead by morning, Gael no longer in need of their services. But... it was
still hard for the kid, who'd so recently taken a turn for the dark and
Speaking of dark and sinister... Duo remembered he was supposed to be
pacing and returned to it, his best friend and his lover once again filling
his mind. Heero and Wufei working together, touching, kissing, having
sex. Leather, stripping, knives. Goddamn they had all the fun!
For about the 30th time that night, Duo examined his emotions, searching
his guts for the guilt and envy he knew he should be feeling. Wufei and
Heero, the two people who meant the most to him; they were together right
now. Duo knew that Wufei worried about them being found out, about Heero
finding out specifically. And true, Duo didn't know how the normally stoic
man would react to the knowledge that his best friend and his flat mate
were sneaking off to snog in closets and bathrooms. But assuming he didn't
get violent or all quiet, never talking to either of them again, Duo didn't
see the downside of Heero knowing. Though he was making some pretty
Well, and then Heero had kissed him, right on the mouth, right in their
room, with Wufei right on the other side of the doorway, waiting for them.
That was a pretty clear indication that he wanted something more from
Duo than just a best friend. That had been a surprise. Duo had been too
shocked to do anything, let alone kiss him back. They'd known each other
most of their lives, but they'd never touched in that way. Didn't
mean they hadn't wanted to – for the last couple years, Duo could sometimes
cut the tension between them with his switchblade – but there was just
never any way to tell what Heero really wanted. There were a few times
when Duo felt sure that they were on to something, that if he had just
made a move, he and Heero might have...
He snorted and scrubbed a hand over his face. Might have, what exactly?
Become boyfriends? Duo hated that word. And he didn't think that either
he or Heero were in the right situation to start anything, not with Gael
breathing down Heero's neck and sending all the roughest, meanest johns
Duo's way. Duo was pretty sure that Gael would not have allowed them to
be together, even if they'd wanted to be. Duo didn't think it would have
been safe for them to try it.
And now, with Wufei very much in the picture, things were complicated
even more. Duo did feel guilty that he and Wufei were sneaking around
together, that Heero was still mostly in the dark about it, but he couldn't
feel guilty about the fact that he'd found something good with Wufei.
And perhaps he longed for Heero to know. The thought of Heero... with
them, safe and away from his dangerous escape scheme – it made Duo's heart
ache with longing. It made him want ... something he rarely did. The thought
of them together made him smile. They would be unbreakable, stronger than
they could have ever been on their own.
He realized he was getting ahead of himself, thinking this way. It wasn't
like everything would be perfect right away. He wasn't sure Heero and
Wufei even liked each other. And he made a fierce effort to smother the
niggling worry that he was being selfish, grasping desperately for someone
to hold close. Perhaps he couldn't have both; perhaps he only wanted them
both because he'd so rarely received anything in his short, brutal life
without a struggle. But Duo knew he was more than willing to fight tooth
and nail for both his friends. They'd be worth it, whether or not he was
He told himself that he just wanted them home safe. That was all. Gah!
He was forgetting to pace again.
And the bridges will
At the end, at the end, at the end of the world
How will we cross the seas?
And the plans have got to hold
A destination we can rely on for sure
I want you to find me.
- Rainer Maria
Wufei felt their hands on him and knew that he had failed his partner.
Heero had fled a long time ago, trusting Wufei to carry him through the
job. And he'd tried. Shit, he was almost glad Heero wasn't really around
to see how hard he'd tried to keep their clients satisfied. The things
he'd done... without Heero even really knowing... it felt wrong. But none
of it was good enough without Heero's participation. Maybe some of his
johns didn't mind fucking a block of wood, but Wufei needed a little more
input. And, clearly, so did these men.
And now they were all touching him, beckoning him away from the table
where he sat above Heero's naked body. They wanted him for themselves
and while he didn't care quite as much as he would have not so long ago,
Wufei would not allow them to have him. Besides, that would mean leaving
his partner -- also unacceptable. So, he straddled Heero's thighs, looked
down at the prone figure of his friend, and tried not to panic.
He slid down along the hard, smooth plains of that body until they lay
flush against each other. He kept up the friction on his groin almost
automatically. The last thing he needed was for one or the other to go
soft. Laying his head in the space between neck and shoulder, Wufei spoke
directly into his partner's ear, keeping one eye on the men clustered
"Heero. I know you can hear me. Listen up." He felt foreign hands on his
ass and suppressed a shudder. "This isn't working. I can't do this by
myself. You have to wake up. They're not happy, and they'll take it out
on me. I don't want them to touch me. We were supposed to have each other
tonight, Heero, not them. It was just supposed to be us, but now it's
just me and..." He trailed off, feeling muscles twitch beneath him. Looking
into slate-colored eyes, he felt his stomach jump. There was something
there, some flicker of comprehension. Without further thought, he leaned
forward and kissed slightly chapped lips. He ran his tongue along sharp
teeth and bit Heero's lower lip -- bit down until he felt a soft grunt
deep in his partner's chest. 'Come on Heero. Don't let them have me. I
can't kill Ralph with you catatonic on the table over here.' He opened
his eyes and pulled back from the kiss to see fiery blue irises burning
into him, flickering in anger and fear. The stared at each other, Wufei
almost weak with relief. "Hey," he said finally. "Where'd you go?"
Heero grunted again and squirmed beneath him. Then he gasped, eyes flying
wide, the friction between them surprising him. Every muscle tensed and
Wufei was sure he had a fist headed for his face any second. The look
in dark blue eyes held violence. "Chang!" he snapped.
Wufei snapped right back. "What. We don't have time for talking. And I
don't have time for another fucking disappearing act."
"You have to be here with me, for this, Yuy. We have to do this now, or
they will take me instead. And that's not an option for me, so suck it
up, or get over it or whatever you need to do."
Heero shuddered at his partner's words. "I can't. I'm sorry. I'd-"
"You'd what," Wufei bit out, patience long gone.
"I'd- I might-"
"Run away again? That's a neat trick. But it doesn't work when I'm partnered
with you. You left me alone with these men! I've been dicking around with
a hunk of meat for the last however long."
"I can't do this with you because I might hurt you," he confessed voice
Wufei stopped mid-breath. What? "Yuy -- you're afraid you'll hurt me?
"Yes... I can't always control my reflexes. I-"
"We beat the shit out of each other on a regular basis! I still have bruises
from last time."
Suddenly voices erupted around them, several pairs of hands grabbed Wufei
by the waist and shoulders, lifting him off the table and setting him
on the floor. He shouted his surprise and anger, quickly twisting out
of their grip, keeping his back to the table.
Henri grabbed for him again. "Enough talk," the big man snarled. "If I
have to stand around with these fucks all night, you'd better at least
be doin' something interesting. And if you can't do that much, I'll do
it for you."
Wufei stood his ground, stark naked, but proud. Behind him, he knew Heero
had risen to a crouch, ready to spring.
"We've been watchin' you two all night and far as I can see you're the
only one worth having. So I say we just take you. And I'm since I'm sayin'
it, I get you first. And we do it my way."
Wufei saw it coming and steeled himself for the blow. He let it fall,
let his body bend and absorb the shock of Henri's fist. Let them believe
what they wanted about him for now. They would soon know different. He
staggered backward into the table, catching himself easily. He was surprised
to feel Heero's palm on his spine, steadying him. Then the hand disappeared
and a blur of dark skin rushed past him. Henri was now on the ground.
A second later, Wufei was shoved violently into the wall, head cracking
sharply. Before he could clear his brain, Heero Yuy was crushing him in
a brutal embrace. Hips ground into his, hard lips covered his own and
frighteningly strong fingers kneaded his back muscles. Head spinning,
Wufei opened his eyes to meet Heero's thunderous gaze.
"What, hurt me?" Wufei preempted a bit breathlessly. "Just try it."
Heero scowled. "Let's do this quick and go home."
"Gotta get me on my back first," he sneered.
Heero actually smirked. Then his eyes almost rolled back in his head as
Wufei bucked his hips against his immovable body. "I like you up against
the wall," he managed to grind out before taking Wufei's mouth in another
24c. Heero and Wufei
You'll be given love
You'll be taken care of
You'll be given blood
You'll have to trust it
- "All is Full of Love" Bjork
This was good, Heero decided. Painful but good. He didn't think he could
manage any sentences larger than that. Wufei's body was hard but flexible
in his hands. His muscles slid beneath coppery skin, skin that was getting
increasingly hard to hold onto as they began to sweat. Wufei's breath
was harsh but controlled; his pulse hammered against the delicate skin
of his throat. Heero liked to watch that small fluttering of skin, liked
that it was indicative of Wufei's pleasure. He liked to taste that skin,
This was all very new to him. He'd had sex with hundreds of nameless,
faceless men and, apart from the first few painful encounters, he'd successfully
been able to block out every subsequent job. As soon as he sat down in
that chair or laid down on that bed or leaned against that wall, he'd
taken a walk through his brain and locked himself in the furthest, most
remote corner. He'd stayed there until his body or the other's succumbed
to friction and heat and released. Then he'd emerge, squinting like he'd
just come from a dark cell.
Until today, until this moment, that was how he'd dealt with his job:
run, hide, escape, sleep. Wake me when it's over. But this was different;
this was new. This was immediate and raw and feral and hot, and fuck,
it felt good. He pushed Wufei up against a wall, into the corner, the
dragon's legs wrapped around his waist, belly to belly, chest to chest.
Their eyes were locked, had been since their bodies first drew together
in this fierce and brutal struggle. Wufei's black eyes were challenging
him, daring him to take him. Infuriating arrogance and confidence merged
with naked want. Wufei wanted. And Heero had never wanted so much
in all his twenty years of life. Yes, he wanted Duo; he loved Duo. But
he didn't know how to want him, didn't know what was required of him.
But this... this wanting he could understand because it came unbidden
from his body. It made him move and bend and arch and moan and...
It was good. Painful, but good. Wufei didn't think he could manage any
sentences longer than that. Heero was very very good at manipulating his
partner's body, though Wufei got the feeling that this was the first time
he'd ever consciously done it. He was hesitant at first, afraid of causing
injury, but then he let that weapon of a body guide him and now Wufei
didn't think he could take much more of this friction and sweat and skin
without something... a little more solid to work with. He wanted Heero,
wanted him, wanted to feel him inside as well as out.
"Are you gonna do it, Yuy?" he asked harshly, voice a blatant challenge.
"Are you ready?" came the breathless reply.
"Yes. Hurry up."
As soon as these words left his lips, Heero pressed him further and harder
into the corner. Wufei threw one arm up against the wall, bracing himself
as Heero pushed his way inside. Their bodies met and separated in a quick
and jagged rhythm. Wufei surged outward, body arched, mouth open in a
silent cry of pleasure and pain. Black blotches invaded his vision as
Heero pounded into him. His partner held him up easily. Though they'd
never done this before, the extensive time they'd spent sparring had pretty
much been preparing them for a violent fuck against a wall.
The sounds of men shouting and jeering and encouraging them never made
it to their ears. They felt reason and awareness slip.
It had never been like this before, never felt like this... anger/lust,
pain/pleasure, frustration/ release, fear/excitement. They all fused together
until Wufei felt blind and deaf. His world consisted only of heat, burning,
and light. A tremendous pressure coiled in his gut and he groaned into
Heero felt his partner's lips move, vibrating with a moan he couldn't
hear. He broke the kiss and felt Wufei's chest expand in a desperate gasp
for air, head thrown back. He thrust hard, forcibly pushing that gasp
back out, crushing him against the wall, biting down on his neck. His
partner's body was impossibly taught. Heero didn't think they could possibly
last at this rate. He slid his hand between their joined bodies and wrapped
slick fingers around Wufei's erection, going on instinct, knowing that
was what he'd want if he were in Wufei's position.
The dragon's body jerked in his arms and he cursed in Heero's ear. Heero
moved his hand steadily, all the while keeping up their punishing rhythm.
Finally, Wufei sucked in a sharp breath, crying out his release a moment
later, hips thrust upward, hands gripping dark skin with bruising force.
Heero leaned back slightly, watching his partner, letting the dragon's
obvious pleasure fuel his own. He felt pride and satisfaction twine together
with passion as his vision suddenly went white.
Wufei met fierce blue eyes and saw only a sliver of color, eyelids sliding
shut a moment before his body went tight. Heero's voice was strangled
and raw, caught in his throat, unused to vocalizing pleasure. Wufei couldn't
imagine a sexier sound.
Exhausted and utterly satisfied, they collapsed to the floor, a tangle
of sweaty limbs.
Catastrophe keeps us together
We're the architects of the world
And we're taking it all apart
Do you think we can go on forever
When the architects of the war
Are handing out the swords
But I've got a plan
I'm gonna find you; I'm gonna find you
At the end of the world
- Rainer Maria
Wufei sat there for several seconds until he felt he could lift his eyelids,
then looked up to see lean arms and a strong chest shielding him from
the rest of the room. The body which had so recently been fucking him
through the wall now curled protectively over him. Not sure yet how he
felt about that, Wufei decided instead to focus on the bleeding bite mark
at his neck. He touched ragged skin and smirked up at his partner. "That
was my move, Yuy," he murmured, still a bit out of breath. Midnight blue
eyes met onyx and, tentatively, long fingers reached out to swipe a lock
of sweaty black hair from the dragon's forehead.
Heero's mouth quirked upward. "You'll live." Those fingers traced his
jaw and the curve of his neck, then traveled along his collarbone and
came to rest on his bicep. "Unless you don't make it getting us out of
It was a blatant challenge and Wufei felt the dregs of his post-orgasm
haze clear out at the thought of a fight. The dragon nodded once and Heero's
grip on his arm tightened as he hauled him to his feet. Then they turned
to face their audience, both starting a bit when they saw how close the
men had drawn around them. Heero took a half-step forward, placing himself
partially in front of his partner. Wufei noticed the probably subconscious
protective gesture and chose not to be annoyed. Sex played merry havoc
with relationships, especially between friends. Wufei suspected Heero
didn't yet know this and wasn't even aware that his attitude towards his
partner had changed. But Wufei knew; he'd seen it in the way Heero had
touched him, the uncharacteristic tenderness, the hesitance. Everything
was different now. But now was not the time to reflect on his and Heero's
Backed up against the wall, they took stock of the situation. The Michels
and Daniels stood up front, wide eyes closely examining the lean bodies
before them. Henri stood in the back with Ralph, talking quietly. The
other two made no attempt to disguise their lust.
The two Muscle at the door exchanged a glance, looked significantly at
Wufei and Heero, then left the room. Now, alone with their customers,
the partners drew closer together.
"What now?" Wufei murmured.
"I've got an idea," Henri called from the back, as though he'd heard.
"I think it's our turn. Nobody here to watch out for you now. We each
get a turn with you until time's up." A chorus of approval roared around
them, and Wufei's blood ran cold.
"That wasn't part of the-"
They were both seized and dragged forward. Wufei lost sight of his partner
almost immediately, darkly tanned skin disappearing amidst dress shirts
and ties. But Wufei didn't worry yet. He found himself back at the table,
four men lifting him up and tossing on the felted surface. The original
Michel, the talker, grinned down at him, running his palm down Wufei's
chest. He kept perfectly still. Then Ralph stepped forward, a familiar
serpentine smile curling his lips. Long fingers reached out to gently
touch Wufei's hair, smooth it off his forehead.
"You cut your hair, Fei. Such a shame. I did like it long."
The dragon cringed at the shortened version of his name -- he'd always
hated it. Coming from Ralph's lips, it sounded vulgar and tainted. It
threw him back to that night with Duo -- Ralph watching them from his
armchair, dispensing instructions, ordering them to fuck, insulting Duo
up and down. "Teach him to be a better whore, Duo. He's not like you,
Duo; he's clean."
Wufei's eyes narrowed and his fists clenched. Some time soon he needed
to make a choice. Would he allow these men to touch him when they knew
it was in violation of contract for that night? Heero and he were not
supposed to interact with these men; they were supposed to stay on the
table and perform. That was it. Or would he let his body react the way
it desperately wanted to? Would he keep to his promise of retribution
and take Ralph out of his and Duo's lives for good?
Ralph ran his fingers along Wufei's ribs, not touching him, but only just.
"I've been looking forward to seeing you again, Fei. And at such an interesting
function. This really is a treat."
Michel climbed up onto the table, straddling the dragon's legs, eyes and
hands roaming over his body. But Wufei's eyes stayed locked with Ralph's.
"Will you be joining in this time, or do you just plan to watch?" he asked
The man's smile broadened and he pulled his hands back, showing Wufei
his palms. "I'll just be enjoying the show. You know me."
"Yes, I do," he murmured, redirecting his attention to the man sitting
astride him, watching with mild interest as he began to remove shirt and
tie. Wufei allowed himself a moment of wishful thought, wishing that tonight,
Michel was the least of his worries. The guy was a yuppie, no doubt about
it, but he had a nice body and more than enough enthusiasm. If Wufei were
getting paid to only entertain him for the evening, they could probably
have a pretty good time. Sadly, that wasn't the case. As Ralph faded into
the background again, the dragon trained his senses on him. Whatever was
happening on this table, he wanted to know where Ralph was.
He felt Michel's hands on him and his body jerked. His eyes snapped back
to the man leaning over him and he tensed as what Henri said earlier finally
registered. All of these men were going to take turns with him, and since
he and Heero had already... well, he wasn't really in a position to top
at this point. For the next few hours, he was theirs and that meant Heero
He tried to ignore the fact that Michel was pawing at him and making embarrassing
noises and craned his head around to find his partner. It didn't take
long. Their clients clustered around him so closely that Wufei had a hard
time seeing, but he was quickly able to spot naked brown skin amongst
them. He saw them pushing and pulling, saw his partner's body bent over
the back of an armchair, and felt panic rise in his throat. Heero couldn't
run from this; he couldn't escape into his own head with so many people
around him. It wasn't safe. He saw his partner's hand reach out from between
someone's legs and clutch the arm of the chair, knuckles white, muscles
twitching. This was wrong. Heero wouldn't know... he couldn't deal with
something like this. He shouldn't have to.
Then he heard it, a sound that sent a ribbon of shocked fear up his spine.
It was a small noise, one that he shouldn't have been able to hear over
the music, but Wufei was straining, all his senses focused on his partner
and he caught it: a panicked sob, the sound of a frightened child. Heero
Wufei made his choice quickly and without hesitation. Heero shouldn't
be afraid; he had to fix this. Quicker than Michel could see, Wufei grabbed
the man's discarded dress shirt and had him tied up in it before anything
more than surprise could register. Then he was off the table and rooting
through clothing and duffle bags. He retrieved his two daggers and grabbed
Heero's serrated blade, then leapt back up on the table, Henri and Ralph
quickly backing off, the third man staring blankly, mouth open.
Wufei heard the sound again and his fiery temper ignited. "Heero!" he
shouted over the music and over the voices of the men surrounding his
partner. He surprised himself, using Heero's first name. No time to dwell
on it, though. "We're ending this now, Heero." The men surrounding his
partner all froze and Wufei smirked. He imagined it was because the young
man they'd been torturing was no longer a scared boy. He imagined narrowed
blue eyes and a body that was really a weapon. Then he didn't have to
imagine it anymore as his partner shot through the cluster of men, a blur
of lethal muscle. Wufei handed off Heero's blade and turned to seek out
Ralph. But Heero grabbed his wrist.
"What are you doing? We should get out of here."
"I have to take care of something. It won't take long." The dragon quickly
glanced up and down his partner's body. "Don't let them touch you."
Then he jerked his wrist free and turned to see Ralph still smiling at
him, hands in his pockets. With the gray-haired man in his sights, he
almost missed the blur of motion coming up from behind and he turned at
the last moment, jamming the heal of his hand into the meat of Henri's
neck. The man dropped and Wufei turned back to his prey only to find the
barrel of a long pistol pointed between his eyes. Ralph was smiling and
twitching an admonishing finger.
"Careful, Fei. You don't know who you're dealing with."
"The doors are locked from the outside!" One of the Daniels was shouting
and pulling on the door knob, panic rising in his voice.
Wufei's eyes darted to his partner across the room. What did that mean
for them? Heero twitched an eyebrow upward and glanced toward the windows.
Should they run?
The dragon turned back to Ralph. "I know exactly who I'm dealing with,
but I don't think you do." He let a small smile slide across his mouth.
"I think you work for Gael, just like me. I think Henri, here," he nudged
the unconscious man with his foot, "is your Muscle. The two of you are
a team. What you do for the Family, I don't know -- private contractors
maybe." Ralph's eyes dropped to the knives that were slowly approaching.
"I could ask what you do, but I don't really care. I think the more important
question is what on earth did you do to wind up in a room with
people like Heero Yuy and me? -- a room that now appears to be locked
from the outside." Ralph's refined features drew down in a frown. But
he didn't look intimidated. "I'm waiting, Ralph, though I won't wait lo-"
He was interrupted by the unmistakable sound of "gun leaving holster"
and he turned reflexively to see the score. He nearly dropped his own
weapons. They all had guns, every one of them, except Michel who was still
tied up on the table. Heero was ducked behind the armchair, looking rather
startled but unafraid. What the- who were these men that they were all
armed at a stripper party? And how had he not noticed that they were all
packing? Then Wufei carefully reminded himself where he was and who he
worked for and it all became clear. A private party for some of Gael's
"closest" friends. Very few Muscle watching over the whole thing. Heero
Yuy and Chang Wufei the entertainment, two young men who Gael knew
were uncomfortable with and resentful of their jobs. The Muscle leaves
half-way through the evening, allowing these clients, who were all apparently
armed, free reign over what went on for the remainder. Or, the Muscle
leaves half-way through the evening, allowing the hustlers, who
were both more fighter than anything else, free reign over what went on
for the remainder. Wufei guessed that Gael could have been looking for
either outcome, but the dragon knew which one he preferred.
The fraction of a second it took Wufei to line up these facts cost him.
Henri, having regained consciousness rather quickly, was on his feet in
a flash and wrestling the dragon to the ground. He went down hard, but
not before he managed to firmly lodge one of his knives between the big
man's shoulder bones. His attacker grunted in pain, but still managed
to keep Wufei underneath him, face against coarse carpet, arms awkwardly
pinned behind him. Wufei felt his other knife twisted from his fingers
and then the man's full weight was on him, crushing him into the carpet.
"Chang!" That was Heero calling his name and he sounded far away. He couldn't
see anything and his ears were... he was being smothered. His ribs creaked
under Henri's considerable bulk and he couldn't breathe in. "Chang!" he
heard it again and then gunshots shattered the tense silence. Wufei flinched
and then set all of his concentration on getting out from underneath this
man. He bucked and writhed, snarling and snapping, the image of Heero
shot and bleeding on the floor driving his frantic movements.
Henri began to whisper to him, soft voice taunting and vile, body pressing
more insistently against him. He felt lips on the back of his neck and
jerked his head backwards, skull connecting with Henri's nose. He took
in a few shallow breaths for those few moments while Henri cursed him
and then everything went dark again, close and warm and foul. He shouted
with all his might and was startled again to find that "Heero!" was what
came out. But his voice was loud in his ears and nowhere else, Henri's
weight muffling it all. He went very still and waited, trying to feel
out what his attacker would do next. He could feel that the man was hard,
pushing his erection against his backside. He'd learned to not be disgusted
by such things long ago and managed to keep his cool as his air got thicker
and heavier. He grew lightheaded and was suddenly exhausted, his body
heavy and leaden. But his fingers finally wriggled into the right spot
and he felt the man's erection slide into his palm through the rough denim.
He grit his teeth and squeezed as hard as his oxygen starved muscles would
allow. He twisted and pulled and Henri roared over him, rearing back and
releasing his arms. Wufei pulled himself into a tight ball and barely
avoided the fist aimed at his temple, catching it instead on his collarbone.
The force of it rolled him over and he lay gasping for breath, dazed.
He heard a strange gurgling noise and opened his eyes to see Heero's blade
standing out of the man's neck. He looked down at himself and realized
he'd been sprayed, bright red flecks speckling his chest and face. Then
Heero's hands were under his arms, dragging him out from beneath Henri's
legs. He coughed and his lungs filled with clean cool air.
They hid in the shelter of the table, Wufei on hands and knees, filling
his aching lungs. Heero knelt beside him, palm resting on his spine. "They
went crazy," he murmured. "It's like they knew something might happen.
They tried to shoot through the door, but it must be reinforced. It wouldn't
budge. And then they started shooting each other."
"Are you injured?" Wufei wheezed. He glanced up and then swore softly.
Heero held his hand to his face, his cheek torn open where a bullet had
grazed the bone.
"It's not bad," Heero muttered. "Trowa can stitch it up."
Wufei nodded and leaned back on his heals. He held his knife close against
his chest. "How many are left?"
"Three." The young man paused. "I killed one of them, the one who shot
me. ...And I got his gun." Wufei noticed the small handgun laying on the
floor beside him, and he shuddered. Distasteful, cowardly instrument of
death. But it would definitely aid in their getting out alive. "And the
man hurting you..."
"Yes, he's very dead now. ...Thank you for helping me." He scanned the
side of the room he could see. "Heero, where's Ralph? Is he one of the
A quick twitch of his head, no. "He was hit, but I don't think it was
fatal. He went down." Heero jerked his chin in the direction of several
chairs and a bookcase in the corner. "Over there. They all just started
shooting, everyone... the man you tied up on the table; he was just in
the way. They killed him." Wufei could feel that they were both slipping.
Blood dripped between Heero's fingers and landed on his thigh, making
him jump. They were probably both in mild shock. Another gun shot cracked
through the air and they hit the floor, instinctively presenting as small
a target as possible.
"Heero, how are we going to get out of here? Ralph may be down but there
are still two other crazies shooting at each other."
"The window. It's broken. But we can't get to it, and we need clothes.
It's freezing outside."
Wufei nodded. "Okay. I'll find Ralph, see if he is still alive, then we
take out the other two. But we don't shoot to kill, okay? There are enough
dead people here already." Heero swallowed and nodded back. "Okay?"
"Okay. I'll be back." Then, before he had time to think about how stupid
an idea it was, he crawled away from the small shelter of the table and
slid along the floor toward the corner Heero had indicated. The music
still thudded through the speakers; the lights still flickered in what
was supposed to be a seductive and sensual rhythm. But the air held a
heavy haze. Gun smoke. Everyone must be close to out of bullets. The air
was filled with gun smoke.
He made it around the low table and between two chairs and found Ralph
on his side, bleeding from a gut shot. His long fingers and wide palms
-- hands that Wufei remembered gripping the arms of a richly upholstered
chair -- were stained red, fallen away from the ugly wound in his stomach.
His body -- a sinewy form slouched casually at a safe distance, watching
him, always watching -- was hunched and curled around the injury. It was
most definitely fatal. His refined features -- a face Wufei remembered
lit up with vindictive pleasure at the dragon's discomfort and pain, a
mouth that spewed poisonous words at his partner and lover -- was lax
and nearly empty. Intelligence and life sparked in gray eyes slowly glazing
over. He was still alive. Wufei shook his head slowly, clicking his tongue
"You didn't know who you were dealing with, Ralph. And I thought I was
your biggest problem. How arrogant of me." The stain on the carpet continued
to grow as Ralph's life leaked away. "I'm sorry your life was backward
and wrong. I hope you have better luck in your next go 'round. I hope
your journey is swift and that you do not look back. And if you come near
me or Duo in your next life, I will end it, just as this one is ending."
He left the man bleeding, not really sorry that he'd been robbed of his
vengeance. The end result was the same regardless of whether Wufei had
spilled the blood.
Grabbing the man's discarded pistol, Wufei backed away and turned toward
Heero in time to see one of the two remaining men slinking along the other
side, trying to get the drop on him, trying to take him on his right side.
His partner had his back to the table, his breath coming in quick shallow
gasps. The gun he'd swiped still lay on the floor next to him. His face
was turned away from his potential attacker. The man caught sight of Wufei
and his eyes widened. The handgun, held in shaking hands swung in his
direction and two shots fired. The dragon let his gut guide him and he
rolled to the left, heard the crunch of bullets striking wood. He came
to rest on his stomach and held the gun in two steady hands; he pulled
the trigger. The bullet hit the meat of the man's bicep and he dropped
his gun, clutching at his arm. Heero was on his feet a second later, speeding
toward the last man's hiding spot, behind the very armchair they'd almost
had him over. He hit the back of the chair at a dead run, toppling it
over on top of the man behind it. He leapt free of the jumble of limbs
and furniture, blade held high and ready. The man's fumbled gun lay a
short distance away and Heero kicked it out of range. Then he hesitated,
looking to Wufei, dark blue eyes wide, almost entirely swallowed by black
They were slipping. It was too much to see it through. Heero was almost
21. Wufei was newly 20. This was wrong, not like anything they'd seen
in their short lives. How were they supposed to handle... how could they
walk away from so much blood? Wufei swallowed hard and grabbed hold of
his wandering, frazzled brain. They could walk away if he kept himself
from losing it. He dropped Ralph's gun and strode forward quickly, fist
drawing back, backhanding the man who'd shot at him. He side stepped the
table and kept going, pulling the chair off the last man and delivering
a second vicious blow that knocked him out cold. Then he picked up the
kicked away gun and shot the stereo, finally silencing the thudding, pulsing,
Silence fell. Complete silence. It rang and roared in his ears in time
with his frantic heartbeat. Heero's eyes locked with his and the silence
continued. Then Heero took a shaky step forward. Then he dropped his blade
and tried to wipe some of the blood away from the gash on his cheek. "That
wasn't how it was supposed to go," he said softly.
"When I said we should come prepared for the worst, I didn't think it
would be that."
"I... need to shower. I'm covered in it." Wufei nodded. "And you... it's
spattered all over you." Another nod. "...Will you come with me?"
[part 23] [part 25] [back
to Singles a-k]