Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is still not mine. Dammit.
Heero had left.
Heero had left and Wufei had gotten up and done something, I still had no idea what, and then he came back to me and I still
I couldn't speak, shocked. Wufei and Heero had skipped over a couple of things, glossing over the trip through the tunnels
and the long, long wait, and it was not explained to me what all Heero had been thinking (mostly because the man had been
silent as a tomb during the storytelling), but I got the gist of it. They'd been on a mission, they'd thought they would die,
and they'd had sex. Which had never been repeated or spoken of to anyone other than Quatre, Trowa, and now me.
Okay, I must be scaring Wufei, because he's calling out my first name. I had to say something or he might do something weird,
like get really worried or something. “You liked Treize?” Oh no, not just liked. Wufei had admitted to having
had sex with Treize. It took more than like for that to happen.
Wufei snorted. “Good Lord, you're still on that?” Wufei sat back down in the chair Heero had brought out for him
quite a while ago. “Yes, Maxwell. I loved Treize.”
He said it with such calmness it disturbed me. Wufei talking about love, and connected to Treize... yeah, that was odd. “O-Oh.”
“Maxwell,” Wufei huffed, “the point of telling you that story was for you to understand how far my relationship
with Yuy had gone. As I said, we got picked up a couple of hours later – thankfully we'd hardly undressed, and we'd
thought to get suitable afterwards in case an enemy showed up – and after that we agreed that it had been a mistake,
something we wouldn't let get in the way of our relationship with each other or you and the others. We remained partners,
and we're damn good together. That's it.”
They had sex together and they called it a mistake? “Huh?” They weren't a couple but more like an extreme case
of a one-night stand?
“For us, it was a catharsis of sorts, not to mention a better way to spend one's last moments.” Wufei stood. “It
wasn't the most honorable moment of my life, but it can't be taken back now. Dammit, we had been...”
Lonely. Desperate. Hurting. “I understand,” I murmured, not knowing I'd echoed Heero's words from that night.
Wufei turned to me, surprised. I didn't comprehend the look. When he turned away again, he spoke. “That's what he said.”
It was so soft I barely heard it. Then, louder, “I'll go speak to Yuy. You – stay on that damn sofa.”
I watched him go and grimaced. I, too, had a lot to think about. For one: Heero wasn't taken.
I'd suffered so much pain for so long, thinking that Heero and Wufei were already... that they spoke for one another. It was
hard for me to imagine, for me to put myself in their place, alone in the darkness with only death and each other as company.
If I had to choose, which would I move toward – my partner, or death? It was shockingly hard for me to decide. Still,
for them, living had become important.
So they'd had sex one time while in the heat of a hell-on mission. That was as far as their sexual relationship went. Which
of course meant that I'd dredged up painful memories for them, then compounded on the memories by making them much more than
they actually were. I'd hurt them by not understanding the truth.
Then again, a part of me pointed out, they'd hurt me by hiding the truth.
In the end, though, it was all the same. We'd hurt each other. But... but Heero wasn't taken. It was... it was strange, to
have that weight lifted. It didn't mean too much – but then again, it meant everything. I'd sworn I'd never tell Heero,
but that was because I didn't want to throw my love in his face while he was so very happy with Wufei. But apparently...
Apparently things weren't so black and white.
I wanted to hope. I wanted to kill that hope. I wanted to try. I was terrified to. What was I going to do? What the hell was
I going to do? What could I do? Tell Heero and wait to see how he reacts. But right now, in this situation...
If Heero knew, would he kick me out? That might be... good. Then again, Heero had become a pretty damn nice person. What if
he had me stay nonetheless? Then not only would there be danger, but there would be a disturbing awkwardness between us. That
I was thrilled with having Heero's friendship again, especially as it showed me so much more about the man. And I'd told myself
I would be content with that forever.
But that was for Heero and Wufei! What if someone else came, someone I didn't know – someone I may not even like
– and Heero got into a relationship with him?
Wait – wait. I gasped. Heero may not have a relationship with Wufei, but he was most certainly gay. Or at least bi.
Oh my god. Heero was available and he was attracted to men.
I rubbed my chest. Dare I try? But when? How? Would Heero like me back? Gods, I felt like a schoolgirl, giddy and nervous
and terrified and excited. Should I try? Should I? What would happen? Well, I would never know unless I tried. And when things
fell apart... well, there was always my cold, dark mistress waiting for me to return to her in my Wing.
I gently touched my stomach. It was true, though, that I shouldn't try to overdue it. I couldn't help anyone if I was unconscious,
either. Then again, as I was, I wouldn't be able to help anyone. I had to get stronger. But how? How, when there was no time
I wouldn't let them get hurt. I couldn't let them get hurt. Not any of them. I cared for them all too much.
But if I left, would I be leaving them with the bastard, or would he chase after me? Worse, would Heero cry? I didn't know
what to do!
I heard a noise over where Heero and Wufei had retreated. My mind immediately recognized the sound of a door opening. It was
strange to know that nothing illicit had taken place in there.
Heero's eyes didn't meet mine as he entered. Wufei's, while Heero's were centered on the floor, sent a hard stare in Heero's
direction. Then, with an exasperated sigh, he turned to me. “Maxwell...” He hesitated. “Is there anything
you want to ask us?”
I thought I saw Heero flinch.
I waved my hands in the air wildly, my mind sinking immediately down to the gutter. “No, no, that's quite all right.
“Don't move your arm,” Heero whispered.
I blinked, placing it down again. “Uh, Heero, you okay, man? You don't look too good.”
He looked both pale and flushed at the same time. “I'm fine.”
“You look like shit,” I told him bluntly. “You know... it's... uh... it's good to know... uh, not...”
Okay, how could Wufei talk about this so calmly? Talk about embarrassing. “Yeah, uh... there's no reason to worry about
me. It's not... I mean, in your place... I don't know what I would've done.” I wouldn't have had a partner with me.
The only companion I would have had was death. And I probably would have accepted whatever invitation he offered. “So,
uh, it's no big deal.”
By now I was probably blushing at least as much as Heero.
Wufei let out an inarticulate growl. “For God's sake, the two of you are helpless. Yuy, we fucked. It's no big deal;
I'm fairly certain people do it all the time. Maxwell isn't holding it against you, so let it go. And Maxwell, for crying
out loud, we're talking about sex. Stop stammering like a kid.”
“But,” I argued feebly, “it's sex between my two best friends! Of course it's gonna be...” I faded
off mid-sentence at the looks both were giving me. “What?”
Wufei's face split into a grin a mere millisecond before Heero's did. “Maxwell,” Wufei said, and happiness leaked
through that sardonic tone, “that's the first time you called us that.”
My own eyes widened in understanding. I'd said something I hadn't let myself say – I'd called them my friends. Not just
friends, but best friends. I really was turning into a schoolgirl. “U-Uh, yeah.” I lifted my chin. “So
Those grins didn't abate in the least. If anything, they got even wider. “So we've been waiting a very long time to
“Thank you,” Heero added. At least now he was looking at me and not the floor.
I shrugged, but that earned me a mini-glare. “Oops,” I muttered. Wufei laughed.
“Well,” he said, “since I'm here, why don't I join you for dinner?”
It was an unspoken rule that other ex-Gundam pilots were welcome at any time. If they showed up during mealtime, they got
free food. That was just how it was.
Heero rolled his eyes. “Duo, don't move that arm,” he reminded me again. The two retreated to the kitchen. I could
hear conversation passing back and forth, but this time I knew with certainty that it wasn't about any sort of relationship.
I closed my eyes and let myself rest for a short moment. They weren't a couple. I just had to keep telling myself that; it
was so unbelievable. I had thought for sure...
Well, what else was I supposed to think? It was blatantly obvious that they'd had a relationship. How was I to have known
that it wasn't nearly as deep as I had thought? It's not like they'd rushed to explain.
A clang and crash. Broken glass scattered, tinkling on the tiled kitchen floor.
I sat up, crying out softly in pain. The voice had been Wufei's. Wufei never rose his voice. Nor did he make a habit out of
swearing. Those two were more my thing than his. “Wufei?!”
“Stay in there!” Heero snapped. This time I heard what I'd missed before: a sharp whistling sound, almost impossible
to hear – a small thunk. A dart? A needle? How was it getting into the room?
“Heero!” I stood without thinking much about it. The pain rocketing up and down my body was dulled by the pour
of adrenaline that was hitting my system.
“Stay in there!” Heero shouted again, his voice more forceful than the last time. That meant he was okay, at least.
But what about Wufei? He hadn't spoken since that initial-
“Son of a bitch!”
Okay, maybe he was okay, too.
I ignored Heero's orders, knowing that whoever was targeting them was actually after me. I struggled to the doorframe, leaned
against the wall and slipped a quick look into the room.
A needle shot toward my face.
“Shit!” I yelped, echoing Wufei's outburst, and hid behind the wall. The needle shot forward, through the room
and out the front window. “Shit, Heero, your house!”
“Fuck the house! Stay in that room!”
Needles. They reminded me of someone – a case I'd had about two years ago, a guy I'd thought was dead.
“Greaves!” I shouted suddenly, turning again toward the kitchen. “Greaves, you want me, not them!”
Things stopped breaking, and everything turned quiet. Either I was on-target or our perp was setting up for a bigger attack.
“Greaves!” I called again. I didn't understand; this wasn't Greaves' MO at all. “You want to get innocents
involved? You never did this before. You never went after those who weren't on your hit list, so why now? Answer me, Greaves!”
I was taking a huge gamble. If this wasn't Greaves, I was pissing off the guy even more. But the needle had looked suspiciously
like the needles I'd had thrown at me during that operation.
Could it be so simple? No, Greaves wouldn't throw those needles at me unless he wanted me to know it was him. He wanted
me to know he was after me. One warning. This was the second. But that wasn't Greaves' style. Had he truly changed so much?
Silence surrounded the house. Greaves wasn't going to answer. He'd never stayed silent before, either. No. Greaves had always
spoken to me, even when...
“Greaves, what's your assignment?” I couldn't imagine the man coming after me for a personal vendetta. After all...
after all, he was a mercenary, too. Just like me. “Who are you working for, Greaves? At least give me that.”
I got a tingling sensation up and down my arms. I recognized the shiver instinctively. Without a thought, I ducked down to
With a small thunk, a needle embedded itself in Heero's wall. I stared at it, uncomprehending. Yes, they were the exact same
needle. I knew it. I could tell. But why the hell was Greaves aiming for me without explaining himself? Was I really just
another hit to him?
“Duo!” Heero raced into the living room and ducked down to my side. I vaguely noticed that I was clutching my
“Stay down and move away,” I instructed. “If this is Greaves, he'll find a way to get to us from down here.
He's like a fucking monkey.”
Heero ignored me and helped me up. I winced; he'd needed to put a strain on my healing torso. “Come on,” he said
gently. “Tell us what you know.”
I saw Wufei, his gun drawn, enter from the kitchen. “Status?” he questioned.
“I'm fine. Duo's not in danger, but he's out of his wheelchair.”
“Good thing, too, or else I'd be helpless,” I snapped. Neither said anything to that. “Look, I can take
care of this. Greaves is a merc like me, though he fancies himself more a hitman.”
“An assassin?” Wufei hissed.
“Of sorts,” I answered. “He doesn't work for one specific group, and he only chooses the kills he thinks
are honorable. I don't understand why he's after me. It has to have something to do with his latest mission – but I
could've sworn I'd seen him die...”
Heero set me on the floor in the hallway. No windows. We had some time. “Who is he?”
“Greaves – just Greaves.” I sighed. “I looked into his past, but all I'd found was that the man had
grown up an orphan on the streets, same as me. L3 instead of L2. He, uh, he probably learned about mercs from there, since
Trowa's from that colony, as well.” I glossed over how I knew that Trowa had been a mercenary. “He told me once
that he'd been in the business for over twenty years, that he'd started just after he'd learned to tie his shoes. He's good,
though, I can tell you that.”
Heero crouched low beside me, balancing on the balls of his feet. “You spoke. So you worked together?”
Wufei crouched as well, keeping an eye on the living room and the window barely visible from the entrance to the hall. “No,
no, we didn't. We crossed paths once, though. On a case.”
“You fought him?” Wufei ventured.
“In a way. We played tag, I guess. A dangerous version of it, at any rate. We were both trying to buy time.”
“Buy time?” Heero echoed. His eyes were searching my face.
I gestured with my uninjured hand, then immediately returned it to my throbbing midsection. “Yeah. I was waiting for
the Preventors, and he was waiting for his boss to escape. I'd managed to bust an engine, so they needed to fix it. Greaves
and I were basically stalling. I didn't have a reason to kill him; he wasn't a bad guy. He had no reason to kill me; I was
just stalling. As long as I didn't make a move to kill him or return to the ship, he wasn't going to attack me.”
“So why is he coming after you now?” Wufei asked.
“It has to have something to do with his newest mission. But...”
Heero turned away from me, scouting the hallway. There were a few doors – two bedrooms, one bathroom. All of the doors
were closed, but that didn't mean someone couldn't be there, waiting. Calculating where we were based on our voices. “But
what, Duo?” Heero asked softly. He'd come to the same conclusion I had.
“But something had gone wrong. They'd been too hasty with that damn engine. It... it had blown up.”
Heero's eyes froze for a moment before turning to me. “How far from him were you?”
Heero knew – that was how Greaves had died. Or at least... that's what I'd thought. If he'd lived, it had been a miracle.
“I was a row away, about ten feet. A crate of weaponry saved me, actually. I didn't take too much damage – a few
burns, nothing big. Most of the scars have faded by now.”
Heero looked like he wanted to rip off my clothes and see that for himself. “But he didn't have such protection.”
“No,” I answered, even though I knew he hadn't been asking a question. “He was right there in front of the
hangar, completely unguarded. Your guys showed up about fifteen minutes later, I would guess. I'd been out for a bit, but...
yeah, Une said fifteen minutes. I remember 'cause I gave her a hard time about it.”
Wufei snorted. “You gave Une a hard time?”
I grinned. “Yup.”
He just sighed and shook his head. “Things look clear here, Heero.”
Heero made a noncommittal sound. “I still want to make a full search around the house. Duo, you stay here.”
“Oh, yeah, good idea. You two slip off alone to chart around while I sit here totally helpless-” That part burned
“-and wait for him to circle around and get me.”
Heero hesitated. “Fine. Call Une.”
“On it,” Wufei said, pulling out his cell phone. “How many?”
“I don't give a damn,” Heero snapped. “A lot.”
“Four,” Wufei said primly and turned away from us. “Une? This is Chang.”
“Heero,” I hissed, turning to him. “This isn't Greaves' MO. He doesn't send out warnings, he doesn't attack
civilians, and he sure as hell doesn't leave someone alive if he catches them by surprise.”
“Duo, you said,” Heero argued.
“No, I said if this is Greaves.”
“Then why the hell-”
“Heero, the needles are the same.”
Heero rolled his eyes. “The same type of weapon isn't that surprising-”
“It is when the needles are hand-made,” I retorted. Heero paused at that. “Greaves' needles were one-of-a-kind,
Heero. He melted them down himself. No one else knows how to make those damn needles. But things are different.
Greaves never worked like this. He wouldn't have attacked you two to begin with... and when he had, he wouldn't have
“Are you telling me...?”
“I don't know,” I answered, frustrated. I looked around. Wufei was still talking, his voice a bit too easy for
someone who'd just been in a dangerous situation. But it was normal for us. “I... I don't know,” I said again.
“It's just not like him. He hadn't even gone after me when I'd destroyed that engine. He wouldn't have gone after you
two just because you're holing me up. It's not like him. I read his mission reports, you know? No civilians had ever
been killed. He'd chosen to fail missions before letting that happen.”
Wufei snapped his cell phone closed. “They'll be he in fifteen.”
“No rush,” I muttered, then leaned my head back. Damn, my side hurt. “Well, at least we have a starting
point now.” I stopped, realizing what I'd said. We. I'd included them. That was dangerous. If Greaves had changed
somehow... if he really was willing to kill anyone in his way...
But how had he missed Wufei? Had he fired a warning shot, hoping to make them leave? If that was the case... but no, Greaves
still wouldn't have continued firing on them. Unless... unless he'd never had any intention of hitting them. “Damn,”
“What?” Heero asked.
“How close were the shots to you?” I asked, turning to them. For me, the shots came damn close. But then again,
I was his target.
Heero's eyes hardened. “Not too close,” he said. “Enough for us to not get hit, even if we tried to dodge
“Damn,” I said again, “it does fit.”
“How so?” Wufei asked. His gaze shifted momentarily to me.
Hunched on the ground as I was, I was going to quickly gain a new set of raw areas. It wasn't the most comfortable position,
but it was the safest. We were taking no chances while we waited. “A warning. Because we hadn't been enemies before.”
Wufei's head tilted to the side. Even with his back to me, I knew what he was asking. “Yes, he does that. If he perceives
the enemy as someone he doesn't wish to kill, someone who is also honorable, he'll send a warning, maybe two. But he'll always
take them out on the third meeting. Dammit, I should've seen it.”
“So we have no more chances,” Heero said grimly.
“But at least he won't be after you,” I said. I felt the relief flow through me, warming me up. Then again, I
was already hot enough with fire burning from my injuries.
“Duo,” Heero snapped, “is that really your prime concern?”
His voice made it seem as if I was being stupid. I lolled my head to the side and gave him a sardonic look. “Of course.
The well-being of those important to me. Isn't that your prime concern?”
Heero's mouth moved, but nothing came out. It took a long time for noise to break the hallway again.
“Maxwell,” Wufei breathed. “Two in one day? Stop, you're going to give us heart failure.”
I glared at Wufei's back, but it didn't stop the blush from staining my cheeks. “Yeah, well,” I muttered, “shut
Wufei barked out a surprised laugh. “Just sit tight, Maxwell. They'll be here shortly.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Like I could move with my stomach in so much pain. “I'll figure out what to do after the place
Wufei tsked. “Maxwell, I said stop the warm fuzzies, not pull away from us entirely.”
“Huh?” I said brightly.
This time it was Heero who spoke, his eyes back on me and a smile tugging at his lips. “Duo, we'll figure out
what to do once the place is searched.”
I thought about it. “Oh.” I shrugged. “Okay.” I caught sight of Heero's glare and groaned. “Sor-ry!”
Hehe. Yays. Plotline? OMG...
Well, I hope I at least partly made up for the short chapters...
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