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Sub Rosa: Catch Me While I'm Sleeping
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Sub Rosa

Chapter Four

Catch Me While I'm Sleeping

Disclaimer: I still don't own Gundam Wing. Dammit.

I was pretending to sleep.

It was the coward's way, I knew, but I comforted myself with the knowledge that it was good recon. Wufei, I had noticed quickly, had decided to stay, most likely because I'd scared the piss out of him. Heero had stayed from his quick trip from Preventors HQ and seemed to be trapped against the wall beside the sofa, which I was still sprawled on. He was staring at me, just watching.

“Is he still sleeping?” Wufei asked quietly, walking into the room from – I guessed from the sound of the footsteps – the bathroom.

“Hn.” Heero's eyes, I was sure, stayed on me.

Wufei sighed. “What danger are we watching for?”

“Hell if I know.” Heero sounded supremely pissed about that. Then again, I couldn't blame him. If it were me, I'd be livid. I didn't like being blindsided by an enemy. This hadn't gone quite like I'd planned. I hadn't been certain I'd tell them, and if I had, it wouldn't have been like this. Yep. I planned shit out real carefully. Way to go me.

You know what? This was why Quatre was the tactician.

“Whatever it is, it's got Duo worried.” It sounded like someone was sipping something.

Heero snorted. “Duo's always worried.”

I wanted to scowl, but Wufei just chuckled lightly. “That's true enough. He must fear not being able to face this enemy-”

“And getting us involved,” Heero growled. “Why else would he hide it? It would be just like Duo to hide things to try to make others' lives easier, without ever giving a thought to his own.”

“Hm. That's true enough, as well.” Wufei left for a bit. Heero's gaze burned down at me.

“Yuy?” Wufei called from the kitchen.

“Hm?” That gaze left me for a moment.

“Is this the box?”

Heero moved into the kitchen. “Yes.”

Shit. So Heero, in his always-infinite wisdom, had figured it out. That would make things even hairier when I awoke. I shouldn't have said anything to Wufei... no. No, I had done the right thing. They couldn't be kept in the dark – at least not about the danger.

“Heero, there's so much wrapping in this – I can't see how anything would have been in here.”

“There had to have been something,” Heero said grimly. “He'd acted strangely about that damn box.”

Shit. I bet Heero felt humiliated right about now. I had lied to him, used him, and he'd just gone with it to help me out. Guilt slammed into me right there.

“Yes, you told me,” Wufei said softly. That made me think – how long had I been asleep? Just what all had they been able to talk about?

“What the hell's going on, Duo?” Heero murmured, his gaze definitely back on me. “What's happening? Are you going to leave us again?”

My heart tore at the pain in Heero's voice. He thought I was planning on running. I felt horrible when I realized that running had in fact been my first choice. That wasn't an option; I couldn't leave Heero and Wufei in danger. And I couldn't stand the pain in that voice. I had sworn Heero would never cry again, and I had every intention of holding up to that internal promise.

“Heero,” Wufei said softly. There was silence then, but it was oddly... well, not comfortable for me, but comfortable for them. I was reminded painfully of their relationship.

Finally Heero sighed. “I know,” he said softly. But neither had said anything. They'd communicated with their eyes. Dammit, that hurt.

There was another sipping sound. I could only guess that they stopped their 'couple' moment and got back to staring at me. “We won't let him leave. I'll tie him down if I have to.”

Heero chuckled at that. “He can escape.”

“I'll taser him.”

Heero just barely muffled a laugh. A bittersweet spear caught me right in the chest, making it impossible to breathe. It wasn't like I couldn't make Heero laugh. I could. I did. And when I did, it was the most rewarding thing I'd ever received, the most miraculous event I'd ever witnessed. Hearing Heero laugh always lightened my chest – unless, apparently, Wufei made him do so. Apparently that hurt.


Shit. My breath had hitched. I quickly tried to cover it up by groaning slightly and trying to twist around. My breath really hitched this time. My stomach spiked another lance into me.



Hands immediately grabbed me to help me into a better position. I took the chance to open my eyes and look at Heero and Wufei. Both had looks of concern at the moment, eyes worried. “I'm okay,” I managed.

“Maxwell, enough.” Wufei looked me over. “Yuy, you can clean up our mess. I'll take care of Maxwell.”

“Mess?” They'd made a mess?

“We dropped our coffee when we saw you...” Wufei struggled to explain that they'd been watching me as I slept.

“Oh.” I winced; coffee was a bitch to clean. “Sorry.”

Wufei sighed. “Enough. Are you hurting?”

Of course I was. “Only a little. Like a twinge.”

Wufei gave me a disbelieving look. “In other words, you don't want any more pain medication.”

Pain medication? How had I known that I'd already been given some of that? Maybe it was the slightly dizzy feeling I had... “Uh, right.”

Wufei smirked. “Well. We're getting somewhere. Now if only we can get you to tell us what's going on.”

I winced again. “Um, do I have to?” But of course I would – there was no hiding it now. And maybe, since they obviously had no intention of letting or making me leave, they could prepare themselves.

“Um, yes?” Wufei said drolly, rolling his eyes.

I had to smile. Wufei's sarcastic attitude was classic. “Uh...” I couldn't see Heero because of how I'd been placed on the sofa; Heero was behind my head. Still, I was certain he was listening closely to our conversation. “First – I'm sorry.”

Wufei just cocked an eyebrow. I could see he was fighting a smile. I scowled; the bastard had known I would apologize. I glared at him. “I didn't want you to find out this way. I'd been thinking about telling you...”

“Thanks for the consideration, Maxwell,” Wufei said.

I scowled deeper. “I don't know anything about it, though. Just that someone knows that the infamous Black Strike is staying here.”

Wufei frowned. “That's not good. How did they find out?”

I almost shrugged but stopped at a twinge from my arm. “I don't know.”

“Don't shrug,” Heero ordered from somewhere on the carpet.

“Yes, Mama-Yuy,” I sighed resignedly.

Wufei coughed out a laugh. “Mama-Yuy?” he asked, distracted.

“Yeah. Because he's like those mothers you see on television from the old times, where they give their kids cough medicine at the first signs of a cold and have the child on bed rest.”

Wufei laughed outright. “You have a bit more than a cold,” he managed to point out.

Heero's footsteps retreated into the kitchen for a bit, and I waited for him to return. When his footsteps led him back in, I continued on our original conversation. “All I got was a card with my sign on it.”

“In the box,” Heero said, coming into my line of vision. His voice was a bit cold. I couldn't look in his eyes.

“Yes. I'm sorry, Heero.”

Heero's voice was a thousand times warmer when he replied. “No, don't worry about it, Duo. I understand.”

“Understanding things doesn't make them easier to bear,” I said quietly. “I shouldn't have lied to you. But...”

“You were considering leaving.” It wasn't a question.

“I... thought of it. But...” I closed my eyes. “Can you understand this, Heero?” As if Wufei wasn't here, I turned to him. “I can't do anything. And because I'm here... dammit, I'd never planned to be near anyone again. Because of this. Now I can't even protect...” I shut up. It was pretty conceited to believe that I would need to protect Heero and Wufei. And didn't it sound too... too intimate? Still, it was what I was thinking, and it was what was hurting the most.

Heero seemed surprised. I thought I saw Wufei's face contort for a bit and feared he'd understood my words. But his eyes showed more pain than interest or jealousy. “Duo, we can take care of ourselves.” As if Heero needed to tell me that.

“That's not the point, dammit. You shouldn't have to.” I wished I could do something. It was so frustrating to be helpless.

“Duo,” Wufei cut in, “when we brought you into our group, we accepted your dangers as our own. Besides,” Wufei said with a small smile, “we're Preventors. And you're our number one secret operative – as it were. It would be our job to protect you.”

Well. If he was being serious, that was painful... but if he was being sarcastic, then... that was worse. I tried on a smile. “Things have gotten a lot harder for you these days, haven't they?”

Wufei sighed dramatically. “Too much paperwork.”

Like that was the biggest concern. Dammit, I'd already almost gotten Wufei killed. I'd seen him fall once. I didn't want to see it again. “I don't want...”

Heero left and came back dragging two chairs. He set them down and Wufei and Heero sat, Heero closer to my head. “Duo,” Heero said finally, “I do understand. Remember?” He was talking about his story about the crazy bastard who'd said he killed me. “But we can look out for each other. We won't let anything happen to anyone.”

“Quatre,” I started, but Wufei snorted, interrupting me.

“With his shadow following him, I don't think that will be much of a problem,” Wufei said sardonically.

Damn, that was something else. This little incident would put Quatre in danger, which Trowa would place directly at my feet. Another reason for him to hate me for all eternity, as if I hadn't given him enough. Soon he wouldn't let Quatre come over at all.

“Duo?” Heero asked, apparently concerned with my silence.

“Trowa,” I said quietly.

The two were quiet at that. There was nothing they could say, after all. Trowa would be livid. Absolutely livid. I wouldn't be surprised if he shot me and dragged my carcass out into the streets.

“We'll deal with him,” Wufei said firmly. “You need to focus on taking care of yourself. I don't want a heart attack, Duo, and you almost gave me one.”

“Sorry,” I murmured.

Wufei groaned. “Oh, don't start that again!” he shouted, exasperated. “Enough. I've heard enough apologies from you to last the rest of my life.”

I had to agree, seeing as I might just get him killed, and soon. “How many people are going to find me? How many will want revenge?” I asked sadly, not expecting an answer.

“It doesn't matter,” Heero said firmly. “I don't give a damn. No one will take you or any of us down.”

He sounded like he wanted to end the sentence with something like, 'not while I'm around.' Hadn't there been a movie with a song titled that? And hadn't that turned out pretty damn god-awful? (1)

I looked at both of them, at their faces set in determination. I couldn't let them put themselves in danger again. Not for me. What would I do if...?

I closed my eyes. “I can't do this.”

“Yes, you can.” Heero's voice reached me; again, I'd said something I hadn't meant to. A hand covered mine. I jumped and turned startled eyes to Heero.

Heero seemed to hesitate for a moment, but his hand stayed where it was in the end – right there on top of mine. It was warm. “You can do this, Duo. Just trust us.”

His eyes were deep with the strength of what he was saying. I couldn't respond to those eyes. Worse, I had no idea what I would say even if I could. Wufei didn't exist. Right now there was nothing but Heero and that warm hand. “I do,” I said stupidly. Horrified, I backpedaled. “But that doesn't mean that...”

Those eyes, with their deep blue hue, intensified even more. “We can take this guy down, just like we did Harlow.”

“That was different,” I argued. What was the point of this conversation? I knew I would lose. Heero and Wufei were just as stubborn as me, but they could overpower me by working together. There was no way... and I could deny Heero nothing.

“Yes – there was more than one.” Wufei smirked. I jumped. Damn. How had I forgotten that he was there?

“And how do we know that there's only one?” I countered.

Wufei shrugged. “Maxwell, maybe you've forgotten this, but we were Gundam pilots. We can handle this threat, whatever it is.”

I glared at him. “Thanks for that,” I snapped tiredly. “But if you haven't noticed, we're down two pilots, and we can't have round-the-clock surveillance on this house.”

Both gave me a disbelieving look. “Maxwell, have you lost your mind?” Wufei asked.

“Duo,” Heero cut in, giving Wufei a Look, “we're going to be here-”

“No!” I shouted. My stomach gave a warning twinge. I ignored it. “Not another mission! I'm not going to have you guys become my... my bodyguards!” Both were giving me shocked looks. “You can't just stop everything to watch my stupid back all the time! You have better things to-”

“Nothing is more important than... taking care of one another,” Heero said firmly, tripping over his sentence halfway through. I gave him a look to tell him I caught his slip and he blushed. What the hell?

“What Yuy means, Duo,” Wufei cut in quickly, “is that we would never go to work knowing you were in danger. Whether you're here or halfway across the known Universe. Do you understand?”

Not in the slightest. Heero was blushing madly and staring at his legs, for Heaven's sake. And Wufei had blatantly entered the conversation again to protect him. But why? What had Heero been about to say that was so embarrassing? You, my mind submitted. I thought about it, then smiled brightly. It probably split my face. “Ha ha! Heero, you moron, had you been about to make romantic overtures to me? Better be careful, or Wufei's gonna get mad.”

Wufei sighed in exasperation when Heero's face turned beet red. “All right,” he muttered. “That's enough. Maxwell.” Wufei turned to me, his eyes serious. “Before we go any further, we're going to have to talk about this.”

“Wufei,” Heero hissed.

Wufei leaned forward, ignoring Heero's humiliated outcry. “We aren't lovers.”

It took a moment for that to process. “What?”

Wufei situated himself a bit more comfortably. “It's about time you learn about this, Duo,” he said gently. “It's not... our greatest moment, but...”

Heero couldn't even look up from his lap. “Wufei,” he whined.

“Yuy, we have to tell him.”

Heero was silent.

“Hey, wait.” I raised both hands up quickly, then flinched. My arm protested that movement.

“Maxwell, calm down,” Wufei said, grabbing my arm and placing it back down. “Remember your injuries, will you?” He sounded exasperated again.

“Wait,” I said again, though this time I made certain not to move my damn arm. “Wait, this isn't my business...”

“Maxwell, you do realize that by calling us lovers...” Wufei hesitated. “Well, we aren't lovers. Technically, we never really were.”

“Technically” I echoed dully. What was he saying? “But... you guys...”

Wufei nodded. “Yes, we had sex. But as I said, it was never our proudest moment.”

Proudest moment? What did he mean? “I... I don't understand.”

“Yuy.” Wufei nudged Heero sharply with his elbow. Heero jerked like he'd been shot.

“Hn?” he answered finally.

Wufei sighed. “Duo...” He took another glance at Heero, but he didn't look like he'd be moving any time soon. He sighed and turned back to me. “We were on a mission...”


HaHA! Ooh, wtf??? *snickers*

Oh, and something about me and cliffhangers??? *feigns innocence*

(1) Sweeney Todd, FYI. Freaking awesome movie that is most definitely not mine.

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Every story unless otherwise claimed is Kayura's, and is copyrighted 2006 under her name.