Author: Enchantress101
see part 1 for warnings, disclaimer

Anyway, Relena-bashing . . . Unlike a lot of other slash Gundam Wing stories, MY 'Relena-bashing' is VERY IMPORTANT to my plot by adding to suspense and to the list of possible 'suspects', and not just there for my enjoyment or for no good reason at all. Besides, the voice that I gave Relena works in my story because of the history that she and Duo have in the context of my story, which was that she didn't like him because Heero didn't love her, didn't join her as a bodyguard like she wanted him to and, to top it off, went to be with Duo instead.

I'm not saying that Relena is a psychopath. I'm not even saying that she has anything to do with Rankin or the stalker business at all. Maybe she does and maybe she doesn't, but I'm not telling because that would ruin the big surprises that I have planned for this fic. If people think that Relena's done something, then that's their assumption, but like I said, I'm not saying anything. (Sly grin)

This is a whodunit, suspense and a mystery fic---whodunit stories need suspects, and hey, a lot of people are going to come under suspicion, not just Relena. I promise you all that. I know exactly where this story is going and where it isn't, but you'll just have to wait and see.

(Deep breath) Okay! Well, I hope that's all cleared up. I hope I didn't sound mean because I wasn't trying to, but I really wanted to make sure that everyone understood that.

Shades of Obsession + Chapter 12
Just Call Me Daddy

Oh, shit, my head felt like a Gundam had just sat down on it.

What . . . where was I? What happened?

Oh, yeah, the car I'd been riding in had gone careening into a big ass tree. Just great.

I moaned loudly and, despite the protests of my muscles and bones, sat up and removed my forehead from the airbag, which was red and sticky with what I assumed to be my blood. I looked to my left to see Zechs knocked out cold, head pressing into his airbag and body limp.

I whimpered and began reaching out to him to see if he was okay, when I felt a something cold, round and all too familiar pressing into my right temple. The gun dug even further into my skin and a hand closed around my throat.

"Get out of the fucking car."

It was David Rankin.

I tried to speak, to protest, to curse his ass to hell and back, but all I could do was gurgle in the back of my throat as blood began to drip out of the corner of my mouth.

After a couple of yanks, the door squealed as it opened, and Rankin finally let go of my throat so that he could undo my seat belt. Once I was free, he grabbed me by the hair and dragged my weak, battered and bruised body away from the mangled wreckage that used to be one pretty sweat car and further into the trees, the gun pressed to my head every step of the way.

Oh, God, the sick bastard was going to get what he wanted, he was going to kill me, take my body and bury it with his and maybe he would kill Zechs too---

The crazy gun-wielding bastard flung me into a tree and then bent down, grabbing my chin roughly and getting way too close for comfort. He jerked me around by my face and slammed my head back into the tree. This time the gun found itself jamming into my gut.

"You betrayed me," Rankin rasped, his mouth next to my ear. "I---you---I should put this bullet in your gut right here, right now!" The gun went further into my stomach. "But . . . but . . ."

"But what?" I grunted, blinking rapidly as I tried to straighten out my vision,

"But looking at you now, so fierce, so beautiful . . ."

Oh, what a sicko. Here I was, coughing up blood and oozing it from my head, and he was thinking freaky thoughts. Urk.

"I cannot determine what is more important . . ." The gun slid beneath my dirty t-shirt to dance across the skin on my chest, "the fact that you betrayed me, or the fact that you are the most beautiful creature that I have ever seen."

Superficial bastard. Shoulda just shot me.

"Please . . . I . . . I'm sorry," I said.

The gun stilled, but the grip on my face tightened. "Sorry?"

"Yes, I . . ." I coughed. Ouch. "I didn't know that you and I were . . . so alike. If I had, then I never would've . . ."

"What are you talking about?"

"Your parents . . . they---"Cough, cough. "---they betrayed you, they didn't treat you very well, did they?"

"What do you know---"

"And neither did my folks. They . . . they abandoned me, they didn't care about me," I said, giving him the most pitiful look that I could muster. "We are alike, don't you see? And I didn't understand before . . . but now I get it, I do, I . . ."

He crumbled, just as I had expected. His hands gently caressed my face as he said, "Yes, of course . . . you didn't mean it, you just didn't understand . . ."

What an idiot. "Yeah, that's right." Cough.

Rankin's eyes . . . whoops, eye widened as he took me in as if he had just noticed that fact that I was bleeding all over myself. "You're hurt."

"Erm, yeah . . ."

"I will call for an ambulance. But first . . . will you meet me somewhere?"

Would I meet him somewhere? Yeah, with a fleet of cop cars for backup. "Of course I will. Where? When?"

He thought about it. "I don't know. Later, I'll contact you later. We will meet and then we will be together---"

Yes, together in death, yada, yada, yada. Just go the fuck away. "Okay. Okay."

Rankin gave me one last look before turning away and dashing through the trees. I stayed exactly where I was until I heard the van start up and drive away.

Owie, owie, owie! It had been a few years since my body had felt this bad, but I just gritted my teeth and hauled my ass off of the wet ground---there was a man that I had to see to back at the mangled SUV.

The road was still empty and the rain was falling even heavier by the time I got back. Immediately I limped over to the driver side door and yanked it open after several agonizing tries. Zech's face was turned slightly to the left, face covered in blood.

Oh jeeze, please don't let him be dead, please . . .

The smell of gas in the air was making me nervous, so I reached around and unbuckled his seat belt, and then as gently as I could I slid him out of the driver's seat and onto the ground. The slight rise and fall in his chest gave me the strength to believe that he would be alright.

I tried to drag him away from the car, but this guy was as heavy as hell. I got, oh . . . maybe five feet away before I just gave up. I plopped my but down in the wet mud and began smacking him in the face.

"Hey, Zechs, wake up. C'mon man . . ."

He groaned deliciously, which would've really turned me on if a) I didn't have my butt in a puddle of mud b) I wasn't soaking wet and c) I could feel anything other than pain. Those icy blue eyes fluttered open and I smiled down at him.

"Okay, can you get up? I want to get away from this car in case it blows . . ."

We leaned on each other and limped away from the SUV, and were sure to stay in an area where any passing cars would be able to see us.

"What happened?" Zechs grumbled as he blinked rapidly to keep the blood that was running down his face from dripping into his eye.

I wiped the red stuff away for him and sighed. "David Rankin ran us off the road, the freakin' bastard."

Zechs stiffened and his eyes narrowed. "Where is he?"

"Gone, I did some . . . oww . . . some smooth talking and basically said that I'd go with him willingly," I replied. I couldn't help it, now my head was feeling like two Gundams had sat on it ---I dropped my forehead down onto the man's shoulder, and was relieved when he didn't push me away.

"Willingly?"

"I didn't mean it, duh . . ." I began feeling around at Zech's waist.

"What are you doing? You're not doing what I think you're doing, are you?"

"What, trying to feel you up when you're half out of your mind? It's a good idea, but noooo, I'm looking for . . ." Ah, there it was. I unclipped Zech's cell phone from the back of his pants and flipped it open. I really couldn't trust a raging mad man to call for an ambulance, so I was gonna have to do it myself. I dialed a special number.

"Hey, Alex, this is Duo. I need some help right away." Zechs glared at me, and I just grinned back.

"Duo? What happened now?"

I told him where we were and what had happened.

"Fuck. Okay, I've squad cars and ambulances headed your way. Stay some place visible and for God's sake, please don't manage to get into anymore trouble between now and the time we get there to save you, alright?" Alex sounded quite agitated, but I guess he was just worried about me. I laughed and then winced as my ribs began to ache.

"Ouchie. I'm not really sure what else could happen. I mean---"

Zechs, who had a very sour look on his face, yanked the phone away from me and put it up to his own ear. "Get some men on this now, detective. I caught part of the license plate---XMC and then a nine. I want you to find that damn van and tell me how the hell Rankin got his hands on it with his face plastered up on every news channel, telephone pole and in every mail box in the galaxy. Do you understand?"

Oops. Someone wasn't too happy, huh? Guess I wouldn't be, either, if my really expensive and sweet looking sexy car had been smashed into a worthless heap of metal.

Then his face got even more dangerous. "No, I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job, detective, but maybe I should. I hear sirens, good bye." Zechs snapped the phone shut and stumbled onto his feet, dragging me with him.

"Someone's grumpy," I sang with a grin.

He gave me a weird look. "You were just in a car wreck, you had a gun pressed to your head not ten minutes ago, you're loosing a lot of blood. . . and you're smiling?"

"Hey, this is Duo talking to. I'm just happy that my brains are still in my head and not all over that tree back there or on your dashboard. Finally, the cops!"

From all directions, it seemed, cop cars, ambulances and fire trucks appeared on the scene and almost immediately, I was forced down on a stretcher by Alex who gave Zechs a nasty look while the blond was being ushered away to another ambulance.

"Are you all right?" He walked with the stretcher back to the ambulance.

"I'm fine, I don't need to be on this thing, I---"

"Shut up, you're going on the stretcher whether you like it or not."

Oh, okay. Sure.

Alex began asking questions as we sped off, but somewhere along the way I'm pretty sure I passed out because the next thing I remember is waking up in a very dark room and being freaked out because I had no flippin' idea where the hell I was. But as my eyes adjusted, I realized that I was in a hospital, lying in one of those cool mechanical beds in a backless gown.

Damn, my head still felt horrible. One hand went up to finger the bandages taped to my head while the other searched for the button panel. There we go! I hit a random one and the TV came on, giving me enough light to see the rest of the buttons. I turned on the lights and reached for the telephone.

I called Quatre's cell phone and in less than two minutes, he, Trowa, Wufei and Heero came barreling into the room, despite the futile protests of two doctors and a nurse.

"DUO!" Quatre exclaimed as he practically launched himself at me. We hugged and then Trowa pulled the frazzled blond away.

"Hey, all. What's up?" I asked, giving them a grin.

Heero frowned slightly. "Why are you grinning?"

"Cuz I'm alive!" I jerked up in the bed. "Oh, hell, what happened to Zechs? Is he okay? Please tell me that they didn't have to cut any of his hair to fix him up! Where---"

Trowa looked amused and cut in. "He's fine. He's checking out right now and he should be up here soon. And yes, all of his hair is still on his head."

I sat back and let out a deep breath. "Oh, that's good. Well, when can I go too?" I asked the doctor.

"You can leave, Mr. Maxwell," he said.

Heero gave the man a stern look. "Are you sure? I saw that car. Run some more tests."

"No, Heero, if the doc says I'm fine, then I'm fine!" I kicked away the bed sheets and, just in the nick of time, remembered that if I stood up, my bare ass would be on display for everyone in the room. Now, if Zechs had been there, then I woulda been up and out of that seat in a flash, but . . .

"Er, does anyone have some clothes for me?" I wondered, clutching at the back of the gown.

The door opened and Zechs came in, dressed sharply in all black and a white bandage tied around his forehead, with a bag and . . . the TIGER (!) in hand. He walked right past everyone and sat in the chair next to the bed.

"Glad to see you're okay, Daddy. What's in the bag?" I asked curiously, trying to peek inside.

Zechs handed me the tiger and pulled out a pair of jeans, a pretty blue shirt and some flip flops. "For you. I figured that you wouldn't want to have everyone staring at your naked backside."

"When did you have time to get that?" demanded Wufei, shock and surprise quite obvious in his voice.

"Hush, Fei, what does it matter?" I gave Zechs a pretty smile. "Thank you---you're right. I must certainly do not want anyone looking at my uneven butt cheeks."

Trowa scratched the back of his head. "Your uneven what?"

"Another inside joke, Tro, don't worry about it. Now, could you all leave so that I can change?"

Quatre stayed behind and helped me into the bathroom where he gently placed the new clothes onto the counter, eying the price tag on each item. Zechs had even included a pair of silk boxers that had cost---

"A hundred and fifty creds for a pair of drawers! Is he fucking crazy?" I asked as I slid them up my body.

Quatre looked at the shirt and the jeans. "Damn. If you don't like the sound of that, then I'm not going to tell you how much these cost."

I just grumbled and sat on the toilet seat. I was having a hard time getting the jeans on without offending some injured part of my body, and eventually I just gritted my teeth and yanked them on.

"That was awfully thoughtful of him," Quatre murmured. "I mean, when did he have to time to get the clothes?"

"I dunno. Where'd he get the tiger from?"

Quatre laughed. "Oh! He called me and Trowa from his cell phone in the ambulance, and he told us to bring it with us. Didn't say a damn thing about any clothes, and it totally slipped our mind, but he was pretty insistent about that tiger."

"He likes me, I know it Q."

Quatre helped me get the shirt on and then began working on the buttons. "I am beginning to think that you could be right. The doctor told me that he asked about you just about every ten minutes."

"I knew he wanted me, and all it took was a car crash and a gun to the head to prove it." I checked myself in the mirror and winced. Urgh, parts of my face were slightly purple from light bruising and I was way too pale for my liking. Nothing much could be done about that.

I grabbed the tiger and clutched it tightly to my chest as we left the room and went to check out. It didn't take very long, and soon I was sitting in the back seat of Q's SUV in between the tiger and Zechs, staring at the green numbers on the clock that read 2:43 a.m. Man, I had been out that long?

When we arrived at the mansion, I was a little surprised to see Alex standing at the door waiting for us. I watched as Alex and Zechs squared off, exchanging glares when the other wasn't looking, and snickered into the head of the stuffed tiger. Zechs not liking Alex was a really good sign. A really, really good sign.

Once we were all in the living room, Alex began. "I'm sorry to have to do this so early in the morning, but I'd like to talk to Duo again so that I can get the freshest version of events that I can." He pulled out a voice recorder and asked me to repeat my description of the accident.

"He wants you to meet him sometime?" Alex asked. "That's perfect---we'll set up a sting and catch him then."

Zechs spoke up. "Let me help you with that operation."

Oops, guess Zechs said the wrong thing because Alex got this totally pissed off look on his face. "Look, Merquise, I told you before that I don't need you telling me how to do my job. We've got specialists in the department that handle this sort of thing all the time and I will be working very close with those individuals to make sure that the operation goes as planned. Got it?"

"Believe me, you'll want my expertise. I know security."

Alex stood up. "And I know my job. Walk me to the door, Duo?" Yeah, that was supposed to be a question, but it came out as a demand. I followed him to the foyer, where he pulled me very close and whispered, "What's up with Merquise?"

Over Alex's shoulder I could see the blond in question standing in the doorway that led to the living room, watching us very closely. "I . . . I don't really know. He's been in a pissy mood since the accident. I'll talk to him about it."

Alex gave me a stern look. "He's not trying anything, is he? I mean, he's not messing with you?"

"No! Jeeze, remember what I said about my non-existent seductive man powers?"

"Yeah, I still have to talk to you about that. I'll see you later. Call me the second that Rankin tries to contact you, okay?"

"Okay. Bye."

"Time for bed," Zechs grunted.

Quatre gave him a look and handed me my tiger. "Come on, I'll help you get ready."

Upstairs in the bathroom, after taking a nice hot shower and washing my hair properly, I sat on the toilet seat while Quatre got my long mane looking the way it was supposed to.

"Someone's in a really bad mood," Quatre commented lightly as he brushed my slightly damp hair.

"Tell me about it. I don't know what crawled up his butt. Whatever it is needs to get out," I mumbled into the fake fur on my tiger.

"Jealousy? Alex doesn't do a very good job of hiding the fact that he thinks you're hot."

"Maybe. I'm really gonna talk to him about."

"Good, and tell me in the morning what he said." He finished up, said goodnight and left.

I left the bathroom and put my stuffed tiger on the bed. Just as I was thinking of a possible name for it, out of the corner of my eye I caught the wince that Zechs tried to hide as he brushed his hair.

I went to stand behind the arm chair that he was sitting in and reached for the brush. "May I?" I asked super politely because I knew how sensitive of a topic hair could be.

Slowly he handed it over and I went to work. "So, what's going on?"

" . . . I don't know what you're talking about."

I was quickly learning that that was his response for just about everything.

"Yes, you do. You've been in a really bad mood since the accident. Is it because of your car? I mean, I know that it was really sweet and probably really expensive---"

"I can always get another one."

"That's true. So . . ."

"I was . . . I didn't . . ." He sighed out of frustration.

"What? Go on, you can say it." I brought my finders through his hair. Nice and soft and shiny and silky.

"I was . . . I was angry with myself. I should've driven better, If something had happened to you---"

"But nothing did. We both came out of there pretty damn good, with what . . . some bruised ribs and mild abrasions? That's nothing compared to what we got during war time."

"Yes, but---"

"No buts, unless you're talking about mine."

"You're insane."

"I know. Thanks." I set the brush aside and felt up his hair one last time. "There, all done."

And then IT happened.

I started to walk away, but Zechs gently took hold of my wrist. I turned to face him and, as he got up out of the seat and came closer to me, I knew what he was going to do. I knew, and I wanted it so much that I met him half way.

He kissed me.

On the lips.

YES, he KISSED me and NO, this is not a dream like in the soap operas, okay?

The kiss . . .

It was so soft and gentle at first, but then he pressed his body against mine and took my face in his hands and from then on it was like the world would be ending at any moment and this was our last chance to get it on before the world went to hell.

His tongue slipped into my mouth, his hands went up into my hair and his body tried its best to become one with mine, and I returned every bit of the passion, with one of my hands on his butt and the other in his hair and---

The door opened and in came Quatre, saying, "Duo, you should take some of these pain killers WHOOPS! Sorry!" We jumped apart and Zechs stalked over to the other side of the room.

I gave Quatre the most evil look that I could muster. "Just leave them in the bathroom, okay? And quickly. If you take your time, I will so hurt you."

"Eep!" The pills were tossed onto the bed and in a flash, he was gone, slamming the door behind him. I locked it, took a deep breath, and turned around to face Zechs, who was busy brooding in the corner of the room.

"Sorry 'bout that, I really shoulda locked the door."

"It doesn't matter. It won't happen again."

Okay, what? He'd practically sucked my lungs up my throat, and it wasn't going to happen again. Not if I had anything to say about it. "And just why not?"

"This is a job, Duo, and---"

"Oh, don't give me that lame crap about this being a job. If you like me, Zechs, which I'm pretty damn sure that you do, then you'll have even more of a reason to keep me safe from Rankin."

" . . ."

I narrowed my eyes. "Or is that just an excuse? Are you afraid of something?"

" . . ."

"Don't just stand there, talk to me!"

" . . ."

At that moment it was apparent that I was just talking to myself, which frustrated me to no end. Why did I always have to fall for the guys who didn't want to talk about anything, especially their feelings? "What the hell is your problem?" I demanded crossly. I know, probably not the best thing to say, but I was red hot mad. "What's got you so freaked out?"

Zechs' eyes flashed angrily. "I'm not freaked out, and I'm not scared of anything. This is my job, Duo, and nothing more. It can't get personal."

"A bit too late for that, don't you think? And let's get something straight---you kissed me, buddy, not the other way around. You've got some sort of hang up---"

"Don't presume that you know anything about me," Zechs said dangerously. "Because you don't. You don't know a damn thing---"

I gaped at him incredulously. "Of course I don't! But that's not my fault! I try to get you to talk to me, I do everything to get your attention---I spend an extra hour on my hair, I talk a lot about everything and nothing at all, I squeeze my ass into tight jeans and shirts just about every day when I usually slum around in sweats and a dirty t-shirt---all of that for you, you jerk!"

"I never asked you to do any of that."

"Oh, maybe you didn't, but you sure enjoyed it, didn't you? Like I don't know that you're been staring at my ass when you think I'm not looking! You want me, Merquise, but for whatever strange reason that you've concocted in your head, you're determined to stay away, and it is not because this is a job. So, when you're ready to admit it---that you like me---then we can pick up where we left off. But don't jerk me around and give me mixed signals, okay?" I grabbed up a blanket and a pillow and stormed out of the room.

I threw open the door to Quatre and Trowa's bed room, where thankfully they weren't doing anything freaky, but had just been about to get into bed.

"Quatre, can I stay in here tonight?" I asked, still fuming.

His mouth was hanging open. "Ahhh . . . okay . . ."

"Then I have to stay here too."

I turned around a glared at Zechs. "What are you doing here? Go away."

Zechs' fists clenched at his side. "I'm not going anywhere---I'm still your bodyguard. You're not staying here unless I am."

"Fine, whatever. Then Quatre and I will sleep in the study since no one can get in or out of there without passing through this room first." I snatched the blankets off of Q's bed too and dragged him into the study where I very forcefully slammed the door.

I began making a pallet for us to sleep on, careful to avoid Q's gaze.

"Okay, what the fuck is going on?" Quatre asked, eyes wide and mouth open. "One minute you two were sucking face, and the next you're at each other's throats!"

"I don't want to talk about that man, Quatre. I hate him."

"No you don't." He pointed to something that was lying on the floor next to my pillow. There lay the tiger, its glassy eyes staring up at me as if it were about to start crying. Oh, fuck, when had I grabbed that?

I sank to the floor and clutched it to my chest. Quatre was right---I didn't hate him. I couldn't hate him.

"What happened?"

That was a hard question to answer, so I said the only thing that I could.

"I don't know."

[chap. 11] [chap. 13] [back to Singles a - k]