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Chapter Twelve: Step Up
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Fangs of the Wolf
Chapter Twelve
Step Up

Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is not mine. Duh.


Heero picked up the phone on its first ring. He was glaring at his shitty computer and Duo's little response; no, indeed. He turned from the computer and glared at nothing. He saw Wufei off a little in the distance, speaking to the cops who'd been in when Duo had entered. Heero could tell they were getting an ass-reaming. It made him smirk.

“Yes, Quatre? What is it?”

“Heero.” Heero went immediately on full-alert; sweet little Quatre was dead-serious. “We've caught the man who'd been tailing Duo. We've also-”

“Give me that damn thing!”

Heero stilled. “You're kidding me,” he breathed. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Wufei turn to him. “You actually caught him? You caught Duo Maxwell?”

He heard a scuffle and wondered what the hell Duo was trying to do on the other end.

“Give me the goddamn phone!”

“Shut up back there,” Heero heard Trowa drawl. “Or I'll cuff you, too.”

“You don't have any more,” Duo taunted loudly. “But you can fetch Winner's if you want. Go ahead. Reach.”

There was an awkward little silence before Quatre said, “oh, fine, I don't see why not.” Then, “there's no malice or ill intent, Trowa,” as if he was trying to placate the taller officer.

Then Heero heard Duo's voice clear as crystal and he knew that the braided man had the phone. “Yuy, you've gotta get outta there.”


His emotions were wild, so wild he almost lost control of them. Duo Maxwell was speaking to him with panic in his voice, and it made his chest tighten to hear it. He felt an odd, misplaced surge of protectiveness, just as he also felt a swelling panic. Duo was in danger. Serious danger, or else he would never speak to him like that.

“Don't be a smart ass, Yuy,” Duo snapped. “You have to get out of there. They're after you. Jesus, they're after you, you dumb shit!”

“They?” Quatre parroted.

“Then the 'he' this man was speaking of...” Trowa trailed off.

Heero felt those emotions shift oddly. He didn't even know what to name them now. “Duo, slow down and explain.”

He though he heard Duo growl. Like an animal. “Dammit, it's pretty obvious, don'cha think? I've had a fucking tag-a-long and he's had you targeted if I didn't cooperate and your dumbass copperhead losers – no offense – fucked it all up and now you need to get out of there because he has friends-”

“Wait a minute.” Heero stood as he spoke, beckoning Wufei over. The Chinese man dropped his one-sided conversation with the other officers and swerved past desks and fellow workers to make his way beside Heero. “You were threatened with my safety? And where is more safe than a police station?”

“Yuy?” Wufei questioned softly.

Heero waved his hand for quiet. “Well?”

“Yeah, that place is so damn safe. Like Fort Knox.”

Heero ground his teeth together, knowing exactly why Duo Maxwell was being so damn sarcastic. The bastard had broken into this place merely a couple of hours ago. He had effectively shown off the weakness of the station himself. “Why were you threatened with my safety?” Heero checked his gun as he spoke. Wufei immediately followed suit.

“To make sure I helped you out. Didn't go solo. It was on J's orders.”

Heero hesitated. “Our chief did this?”

“That's right, your bastard chief did this. His little goons are after you now because these two decided to rescue me.” Duo probably would have sounded more pissed off if his voice wasn't half-hysterical. “Yuy, you have to move. Get Chang with you – no, he's probably already with you. You need to go somewhere else, somewhere that can't get you killed within two minutes.”

“And where exactly do you suppose I go?” Heero asked, checking his gun. Wufei wordlessly did the same.

“How the fuck should I know? I'm not the one with the plethora of safehouses, now am I?” Duo snapped. “But they're gonna target you because of this.” He was obviously pumped on adrenaline and worried sick. It made Heero wonder. What exactly was Duo Maxwell afraid of?

“Calm down. Who are 'they?'” Heero turned his safety off and held his gun at the ready. He saw Wufei do the same and turn to the other cops, putting them on full alert. He didn't know exactly what Wufei was telling them, but it got their guns out and that was what mattered.

“J's little bitches, that's who,” Duo yelled, and Heero would've snapped back at the man if he hadn't heard the fear that made Heero's chest feel funny and tight. “I have no idea who or how many, I only know the one, and he's knocked out here in the back with me and you have to do something Yuy because I am not having your death on my hands.”

“Shinigami stands for the God of Death,” Heero told him, half-smirking. He ushered one of the cops over to the blinds and pantomimed closing them. The man did. It would only be a benefit; it was getting dark out, and though people would be able to see in, they would be blind to the outside.

“No shit?” Duo retorted. “But you Japanese bastards didn't have a convenient word for God of Justice. What does that say about your culture?”

“Neither does English,” Heero pointed out, not rising to the bait. Though it did irk him to have the knowledge that Duo knew his profile shoved in his face again.

I never killed anyone, and I never led to the death...” Duo sort of petered out there, which brought Heero's internal alarm system to the alert, but then he said, “other than those I was too weak to save. But it was better than calling myself The Hacking Batman and probably scared the shit out of a few baddies, and I didn't see any of you catching them, and this doesn't matter because you're in danger!”

“We've got everyone on alert, unlike when you came in, and we're about to call in SWAT.” As soon as Heero said it, Wufei had the phone in his hand. He dialed the numbers and gave Heero an 'and-exactly-what-the-fuck-am-I-saying-when-they-answer? kind of look. Heero pointed to himself and made the sign for an assassination attempt and got Wufei's eyes wide as hell. “I'm as safe as I can be, Maxwell. Do you want to explain why they were targeting me?”

Are, dumbass, are targeting you, and it's because I...” Heero could almost hear the man blush. “Because of what happened that night when the mural was painted; I guess they got the wrong idea or something...”

Heero flushed too, remembering Duo's body against his. But he had caught that slight hesitation and he called Duo on it. “What's it really about?”

That is what it's really about, dick wipe!” Duo snapped. “Because he thinks you and I are... supposed to be...” He cleared his throat. “It doesn't matter why right now.”

“Duo, give me the phone,” Trowa demanded from the other end of the line.

“No,” Duo argued stubbornly.

“Give it to me. I need to speak with him.”

Duo seemed to hesitate, but then Heero could hear the sound of the phone shifting hands and waited impatiently for Barton to tell him whatever the hell it was the man needed to say.

Because that unfinished line of Duo's just made his breath halt.

“Yuy, we're on our way to the precinct. We'll provide whatever back-up we can.”

“No,” Heero ordered. “No, find somewhere else to go. Wufei's already gotten SWAT on the line. We can't afford to lose Shinigami during this fiasco.”

Trowa sighed. “Fine. I'll call Khushrenada then and inform him of the situation.”

“That would be good. Keep your eyes open; J's little minions may want Shinigami, as well, for breaking whatever promise they'd made him make. And keep your eyes on Shinigami, as well.”

“That may be difficult if we aren't going back to the precinct,” Trowa noted.

“The hell?!” Duo shouted from the back seat.

“Trowa?” Quatre murmured, apparently concerned, as well.

“By the time we arrived, the fight may have already started,” Trowa told them both calmly. “We would only get in the way then, and a hostage situation may form. It's the right call.”

“Bullshit – my computer's there, and it's not like I've never fought before!” Duo snapped heatedly.

“Enough, Duo. We have to trust the others to take care of things,” Quatre said. Heero's hand clenched and unclenched; though Duo hadn't acknowledged the feelings between them, he nevertheless feared for Heero. Even though he'd said they needed to kill the interest... or had he said it merely because he knew Heero was being targeted because of their feelings for one another? Heero could never be sure when the man was hiding or when he was showing his true self.

Trust cops?” Duo replied, sounding absolutely disgusted with the very idea.

“Enough. I'm hanging up,” Heero declared finally. “Barton, you know your orders.”

“Yes, master,” the man drolled, but then the line was dead and Heero couldn't yell at the man for being a smartass.

“Yuy,” Wufei hissed.

Get ready,” Heero said tersely. “Apparently the man following Duo Maxwell this entire time was using me as leverage against him.”

Wufei had absolutely nothing to say to that.

“Everyone, we are expecting an attack on the precinct, so get ready. SWAT ETA is-” he flicked a glance to Wufei to confirm before saying “-fifteen minutes. We have no way of knowing where or when we will be attacked. Find cover and take turns on watch in different directions. Move the desks to make it easier. And send a message to all cars not to return.” The phone rang. “Ignore it and let it take a message; that's why we have that available now.” (1)

Men immediately followed his orders, pushing the desks into a large rectangle. Three men went for heavier artillery than the pistols they all had at the ready, on orders to check in every thirty seconds. Then positions were chosen.

The phone, which had switched off, only to ring again, went to message for the second time. “Dammit, Yuy!” Heero heard Duo shouting, and felt strange emotions flit through him. “Don't you let anything happen to my computer! You hear me?”

Heero rolled his eyes. Good grief; of course the man had to worry about his warehouse of technology. Definitely Shinigami.

“If anything happens to my stuff, I am going to sue-”

Bullets sounded, loud and sharp and quick, and then the line went dead. Several officers jumped. Heero's head snapped to the machine, but it was perfectly fine. No damage. Which meant...

He felt his heart skip a beat, then turn sluggish and heavy. “Duo,” he breathed.


The cell phone went flying, by the way. Quatre saw it swing out the window just as the car tilted and crashed. His seat belt cut deep into his chest, making him gasp. Duo was cursing in the back, but even he had to stop when the car flipped upside down. Pain flashed and sparked in Quatre's consciousness, his own and Duo's and... Trowa's. And nothing, absolutely nothing, from their captive. It made horror war with the pain, and then he was struggling upside down and trapped in his seat to grab his gun. Just as he did, his airbag popped out and he lost his hold on his gun. Even he cursed then.

Trowa-” He turned to look at his superior and gasped. The was blood everywhere. “No,” he breathed, feeling his own panic sing through, debilitating his special ability until he could only feel the pain radiating from Trowa in waves. Alive, then. But for how long?”

“Oh, I'm fine,” Duo grunted, but he had just unbuckled himself and was sliding over their captive – dead, obviously dead, and apparently from a gunshot wound – to reach the window. “got something heavy in here?” he demanded.

“Baton,” he muttered, tossing his over the seat. His hands were already running over Trowa's body as quickly and gently as possible. He growled when he couldn't reach past the man's shoulder and struggled against his buckle.

He heard the sound of glass crashing and looked back to see Duo running the baton over the edges of the window to get off the last of the glass that hadn't been broken off of the window. Then he was climbing through.

Was he running?

Quatre didn't care. He had something far more precious to worry about. Seatbelt finally, finally free, he leaned over and checked Trowa's neck for a pulse; the feel of pain just wasn't tangible enough to soothe. Only when he could feel a pulse – a little weak and far too erratic – did he put a chokehold on the fear. “Trowa, I need you to wake up,” he murmured, ten again, “please, Trowa, wake up!”

“Hey, blondie, get a move on! The enemy's still out there!”

Quatre turned and stared with his mouth wide. “You,” he spluttered, “what are you doing with my gun?!”

“Get Barton's,” Duo said, not answering the question. “He's alive for now, but if he'd shot again, he won't be. If you want him to live, protect him.”

Quatre's heart flipped. “R-Right.” He apologized silently to Trowa as he pulled the man's gun free. “I'll save you,” he whispered, then concentrated once again on his internal... talent. Duo was jumpy, too, but he was forcing himself to be calm. It helped Quatre range out his sense to include the surrounding roadside. Cars passed, but many seemed to want to be somewhere else and were closing off the area with their U-turns. It caused honks and a general swarm of anger and fear and frustration to cloud his judgment. “Where... where...”

“Think like him,” Duo ordered, and Quatre could tell he'd taken up the car as a sort of shield. “What would he be feeling now? Curiosity, maybe? A bit of trepidation, some confidence...”

Quatre didn't bother to think about the man knowing of his ability and just let the man's words penetrate him. He searched for it amidst the cacophony of emotions. “To the left,” he murmured then, “heading behind us.”

There's only forest back there. All right. I'm meet up with him. Stay in there, keep yourself under cover. You need to protect Barton,” he said when Quatre opened his eyes and turned to protest. “I'll take care of it. I'm not proficient with these things,” he said, lightly shaking Quatre's gun, “but I am good at hiding. I'll take care of this – you just take care of him.”

Quatre pressed his lips together and put his talent back to work. “He's almost behind us. Get moving.”

Duo quirked him a quick grin. “Already gone, blondie.”

The man moved like liquid around cars and hopped over the railing without moving his hands from the gun. And when he entered the forest, he simply disappeared.

Quatre blinked at the forest for a second, surprised. He'd known the man had eluded cops and baddies for years growing up, but he'd never fully taken into account just what that meant in terms of skill. He huffed and turned back to Trowa with a smile.

“We're in good hands, Trowa,” he told the man, trusting Duo completely. And he took the chance to put Trowa's gun down and re-search the man for wounds. When he found one sliced through the man's lower chest, he carefully took off his uniform shirt and pressed it against the wound.


He heard SWAT over the two-way and heard them warn of a number of cars in the area. A freaking siege, then. Well, Heero had no intention of letting any of J's men win.

The phone rang again, as it had four times in the past fifteen minutes. Now more than ever, Heero appreciated the work of the receptionists. This was ridiculous; and didn't it say something that, even though people were calling the police, no one left a freaking message?

The answering machine clicked on, but there was only a dial tone. Pain in the ass.

But then his cell phone rang and he picked it up with his left hand and answered it.


“Yuy, just what the hell is going on?!” Khushrenada barked. “Why the hell do you have SWAT surrounding our own damn precinct?”

Heero stilled, his mind following a thread that made his throat seize up. “Barton didn't contact you?” Then those gunshots had been worse than he'd let himself fear. What the hell was happening over on Barton's end?

“No, he did not,” Khushrenada retorted. “Just what is happening?”

“I've been targeted,” Heero said shortly, “but the enemy had already begun to move before we had. Calling SWAT was all we had time to do-” He stopped abruptly at the sound of a gunshot. His two-way crackled to life.

“Enemy attack! Enemy attack! Report of over fifteen perps, all in black, coming from both the left and right. Prepare to attack!”

Heero cursed. “Time to go. Stay where you are, Chief. We'll handle things here.”


But Heero snapped his phone closed and shoved it back into his pocket, then took up position behind his part of the desks.

“One enemy had gone through the back entrance! Prepare to fire!” one SWAT shouted, so loud Heero thought he heard the man from outside.

“Roger that,” both he and Wufei said, and then they tensed.

And the phone rang.

Someone cursed; another pointed his gun to the phone and just shot the damn thing. But all that did was make the thing fall to the ground on the opposite end of the desk, now only heard and not seen. The same man cursed again.

Then the man must have entered the room because fire opened up. Heero didn't turn from his position, watching the front entrance as if doing so could make an enemy appear so he could shoot the bastard. A man shouted, then a hard thump sounded. A small whoop, followed by a growl.

“Troops are falling back,” the same SWAT man – must have been the captain – called through the two-way. “Our snipers shall assist you from here. We're heading to the back; their main forces are back there. Be ready; there are about five men coming up from ahead.”


The damn thing stopped ringing, and Heero waited for the dial tone. But it never came.

The front door opened then. Heero shot the man before he even passed through the threshold, blocking the way until he fell. Two men came in firing automatics. Heero ducked down to avoid the bullets flying everywhere.

He had no idea how he heard the message being left on the machine.

“Um, hello? Hello, this is... is Maria Worley calling – I'm on Route 40 and there's some sort of accident; it looks like a cop car – someone ran away from it with a gun! And there's gunfire – I think the cops in there are dead! Please do something – there's something going on – I'm leaving, I can't stay anymore, I have two kids. But there were these gunshots and then the police car just flipped over and only one man got out, but I think he might be dead now... oh, God, you have to do something...”

Heero just sat there as the bullets flew all around him and felt something just fall apart inside him as everything crashed to hell.


  1. Or at least I hope cops have answering machines, but maybe not...

And yes, I managed another chapter of this. Huzzah and stuff.

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