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Chapter Fourteen: Hands Held High
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Fangs of the Wolf
Chapter Fourteen
Hands Held High

Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is not mine. Duh.


It took two hours for the doctors to remove all the little glass shards.

And by the time they were done, his head had begun to throb and the picture of Mr. Brain Chunks was permanently etched into his skull.

His head had been wrapped before they'd even bothered with his back, and now that they were done both he was carefully placed in the hospital bed and told to remain there for observation. He scowled. Son of a bitch; he'd already been in this hospital twice, was he going to become some sort of repeat customer? He really didn't want these people becoming so familiar with him as to call him by name.

He'd heard that Wufei and Heero were off with Khushrenada to meet with the families of the deceased. Duo had wanted to send his own condolences – after all, it was his fault everything had fallen to this point – but he ended up chickening out. Because really, how many families would want Shinigami apologizing to them? He was kind of like Batman, and Batman hadn't had many friends inside the comic books.

Duo had yet to be slapped into handcuffs, but he did have a watch on him, one consisting of O'Hara and some old partner of his. Duo didn't trust them as far as he could throw them, but Quatre was busy hovering over Trowa Barton.

Agh, the attraction between them was fucking blatant. Just the way they had sat up there in the front of the cop car, leaning close to one another, completely comfortable, Barton's hand on the gear shift switching from reverse while Quatre's hand sat on the rest between the seats... good grief.

So Quatre was glued to his dear partner's side and Duo was stuck with two people who could very well end up being exactly like Carlton.

Duo closed his eyes and shivered. The memory of that face exploding kept replaying over and over again in his head. Worse, it started mixing with that damn mural, with the red that looked so much like that man's blood, with bodies mangled and broken and destroyed...

He didn't make it to the bucket in time, though the nurse was conspicuously silent about it when he buzzed her into the room.


Carlton deceived us,” Treize murmured. Wufei scowled in the back – he'd specifically taken the back while Heero drove, Treize taking Wufei's usual shotgun seat – and glared at Treize's remark. The man sounded regretful more than pissed, but Wufei wanted to rip the bastard's head off. Carlton had been a part of their team from the beginning. Thank goodness the man was single; still he had a mother, and Wufei would be going to explain in Duo's place.

Heero and Treize had already expressed their condolences to the wives of their lost brothers, and Wufei had expressed his own, though he'd taken the proverbial back seat then, as well. Heero felt a sense of guilt over the deaths, since they'd basically been protecting him, and Treize always took responsibility for those lost under his command.

Somehow it pissed him off.

Carlton tried to kill Duo. On the Chief's orders.” Wufei sounded a bit too aggressive, but he wanted a reaction, dammit.

“Yes, I know.” Treize just sighed. His fingers started rapping on the side door. Wufei always hated that damn habit. “Feller – excuse me – J had no right to put so many lives in jeopardy just for his own ends.”

“Jeopardy?” Wufei snorted. He crossed his arms and glared holes into Treize's head. “Carlton is dead. Not to mention my sensei. And Heero's foster father. And two nuns and a priest-”

“Yes,” Treize sighed, “I know that, Wufei. Thank you.”

“All because of Romefeller,” Wufei snarled. “Who Duo has found wants to start a war.”

“Yes.” Thrum, thrum, thrum. “That group must be stopped. The quickest way would be to use Shinigami to-”

Use him?” Wufei repeated, aghast. Like hell he would let Treize use his friend! “Absolutely not! Duo is his own person – and he hasn't done anything wrong!”

“He walks a very fine line, Wufei,” Treize told him quietly. “Though there is no evidence to suggest that he has illegally assisted criminals, there is a very poor opinion of him, both in the press and in the precinct. However, if he cooperates with the police, he may be allowed to leave a free man. He may even join us.”

“I doubt it,” Heero said. It was his first contribution to the conversation thus far. “Duo Maxwell doesn't seem too thrilled with cops at the moment, and Carlton's act has only strengthened his opinion of us.”

“That's true,” Wufei piped up. “And he wouldn't join us, anyway. He blames cops for the death of those inside the Maxwell Church, though I'm not sure why.”

Treize sighed. “Well there's nothing to be done for that. If he doesn't cooperate, we'll have to lock him up.”

“You can't!” Wufei argued.

“Don't let your emotions become tangled up with your job,” Treize told him. The old advice made the Chinese man seethe. “Duo Maxwell is, for now, a vigilante. A criminal, in a sense. There would be no choice.”

“There's no evidence!” Wufei hissed.

We would take him into custody anyway, on normal procedures, would we not? And then we would gain warrants, search until we dropped, in order to find said evidence.”

“But there is none,” Wufei gritted out. “Duo wouldn't-”

“You are letting your emotions rule your common sense, Chang Wufei!” Treize barked, turning in his seat to pierce Wufei with those cat-like eyes. “Stop talking from your heart and use your head.”

Heart or head, it makes no difference!” Wufei shouted right back. “There is no evidence, whether you want there to be any or not! Duo's not like that!”

“Wufei,” Heero cut in, but Wufei was having none of it.

“If you arrest him,” he hissed, “I will turn in my badge.”

Treize froze in the front seat, just as Heero's hands slipped for a moment on the wheel. Heero's eyes looked up into the rearview mirror. Wufei met them with steel in his heart.

Maxwell was innocent. And he would put more than his badge on the line for that belief.


Trowa had come out of surgery an hour ago and been placed into ICU. The doctors said he wasn't in absolute critical condition, but the bullet had pierced too close to the lung for them to not be concerned, so he was going to be watched carefully for a couple of days. Just in case his condition, which was stable for now, worsened.

Trowa was so doped up on drugs that the man couldn't really feel any of the pain that had been wracking his body before they'd gone into surgery. Quatre had felt for the man's emotions as he'd waited in the waiting room, pacing and worrying and biting his nails – a habit he'd broken in his teens. The man's emotions had been warbled and indistinct – a product, of course, of the drugs.

At least for now, Trowa wasn't in pain.

Quatre sat next to the man's hospital bed and just kept his hands clasped to one another. A part of him wanted to stand over the man's bed and sweep a hand over that hair, to push it away from his face for once so that it wasn't in his way, but he was afraid to touch, afraid to... to show that sort of emotion.

He wasn't very normal, after all. His ability to feel other people's emotions was disconcerting to others when they found out. Most denied its existence, but despite their deliberate ignorance, they always kept a careful distance from him, afraid of his ability.

Sometimes he wished he could do the same.

Like right now – several people were in pain, afraid of their own mortality. And there were so many visitors, people terrified of the loss awaiting them, some relieved in thinking they would soon lose the burden of another's life, some angry with the world or with God, everyone overburdening him with their emotions without meaning to.

Then there was one person in a room who was fading right then, while Quatre sat looking at his crossed hands and waiting for Trowa to awaken (which he'd been told may not happen for hours because of the amount of drugs in the man's system). So Quatre once again got to experience another's death.

Just as he'd felt the death of the man Duo had run off after.

“Nnn... Quatre?”

He hopped out of the chair on instinct, grasping the railing and looking down into that beautiful emerald eye. “Trowa! You're awake?”

The man nodded once slowly. “What happened?” he asked.

We were shot at while on our way to the precinct,” Quatre said on a sigh, beaming at Trowa. Awake and lucid. He leaned over Trowa for a moment to buzz in a nurse. “You were injured – one gunshot wound to the right of your chest, near your lung – and we crashed. Our... the man we caught was killed, two bullets to the chest.”

“You? Duo?”

A nurse bustled in then, stopping their conversation. Quatre carefully stepped away and let the woman check his vitals and ask him questions and check for concussion and whatnot. Half-way through the man looked ready to sleep again, but he fought it off, hardly waiting for the nurse to leave before repeating his earlier question.

“We're fine,” Quatre assured him. “I was uninjured, and Duo just got some glass in his back. He went after the shooter while I took care of you...” Quatre hesitated. Should he tell Trowa about Carlton yet, or should he wait until the man had recovered a bit more?

But Trowa answered his internal debate for him when he sighed in relief and closed his eyes. “You aren't hurt, then?” At Quatre's affirmation, he smiled. “Good...” And then the man slipped back into sleep.

Touched, Quatre sat back in the seat and, when the man's breathing steadied out and the heart monitor went back to its rhythmic beats, Quatre gently covered Trowa's hand with his own.

The emotions he felt then were all his, and though they tumbled all over each other, he could read them perfectly well. It made him sigh again, but this time in bliss. He'd waited so very, very long to feel these emotions. It was wondrous to feel them now, and for this man. This man, whom he...


Duo was somehow surprised to wake up from his little self-induced nap to find Heero Yuy sitting next to his bed.

The man was resting with his hands dangling loosely between his knees, and he was deep in thought. It was odd for Duo to feel a rush of lust when seeing a man in a cop uniform.

Heero saw Duo was conscious, and his eyes latched solidly on his. They weren't glaring. More like... assessing.

“What?” Duo asked, annoyed.

“Wufei,” the man told him, “is handing in his badge as we speak.” He stood.

Duo shot up in the bed on a gasp. Almost immediately he slumped back down again and grabbed his head woozily. “What the hell for?”

“For this.” Heero slipped his hand to his belt. Duo couldn't believe his mind slipped to the gutter just like that – he felt even stupider when Heero pulled out his handcuffs.

“Oh, right. We're to that point, right? But the doctors are still holding me here.” Duo shrugged and quirked a grin. “Eh, either a prisoner in this place or in another. I can't win.”

“Then you shouldn't have acted as you had,” Heero snapped. But he snapped his hands onto the railing, making a god-awful clanging sound as the handcuffs banged against the metal. “But,” he said carefully, “it doesn't have to be this way.”

Duo sent him a blank look.

On a deep breath, Heero whooshed out, “join us.”

Duo pulled back from him instinctively. “What?”

“Join us. Help us defeat Romefeller. Our Chief of Department is willing to drop the charges against you if you-”

Duo barked out a laugh, cutting the man off. A look of frustration covered that face. “This is rich,” Duo snarled out. “Absolutely fucking rich. Trust you cops to decide on something like this.”

Heero bristled. “It's a good deal, Duo.”

Duo felt something weird spark inside him – Heero Yuy had just referred to him by his first name. But that wasn't important now. “Yeah, that's right – let's give a potential criminal a way out. Let's just let him out for giving us a few names. Right?” He chuckled darkly. “You fucking cops are all the same. The answer's no. No way in hell.”

“Duo,” Heero said again, and his tone was both furious and concerned. Was the second part faked? “You know what will happen if you go to jail, even for a short time. Romefeller's probably the ones behind the murders, which means that their ready for whatever next step of their plan-”

Slow,” Duo hissed. “You people are fucking slow.”

Okay, now he was just furious. “We don't have your skills on the computer. Your hacking ability is better than the best of us – something I'm positive you already know. And you know what will happen if you don't cooperate. Wufei isn't the type to change his mind once he's made a decision. He really will quit, and being a cop is practically in his blood. Manipulated or not,” he added when he saw Duo's eyes ignite.

Duo knew it was true, and he felt guilty as hell for the sacrifice Wufei was making. But he wouldn't give up his own beliefs. “No way. I'm not joining you.”

Heero's teeth clacked together. “And,” the man hissed, “though I despise speaking of it, you and I both know full well that J's men have not been cowed.”

Duo sat back against the pillows behind his head on a whoosh. It was true, of course; whatever fucking army had attacked the station, they weren't the end of it all. Which meant Heero was still in danger. And himself, of course – they probably wouldn't want him alive for much longer, either. “You're being targeted, anyway,” Duo felt the need to tell him. “Romefeller's after us now.”

“Just another reason to join together!” Heero said urgently. Those hands of his gripped the railing so tight it almost seemed to bend. “We aren't asking you to become a cop – just to join with us, and only on this one case!”

No! I'm not joining you fucking cops! Not for anything!” He leaned up again, pushing himself up with his arms so that he could get into Heero's face.

“Why?!” Heero demanded, putting his own face nose-to-nose with Duo's. It Duo wasn't so pissed, he'd be far too aware of how close those lips were. “Why the fuck do you hate cops so much?”

Oh, you mean other than the fact that I just had to kill one because he was shooting at me?” Heero flinched a bit at that one; guess Duo had made the proverbial punch to the gut there. “And other than the fact that your fucking chief tried to run my ass over?” Another flinch. “Then how about the fact that your chief sent out cops to kill Father Maxwell and Sister Helen?! They didn't even bother to change out of their fucking uniforms before they beat the shit out of Father! His blood was on those fucking clothes!”

Heero leaned back. His hands slipped from the railing. “What?” he whispered, apparently dazed.

“That's right!” Duo snapped, and he just didn't care enough to shut the fuck up at that point. “The ones that you just finished defeating at the precinct? Yeah, I'll bet money they were ex-cops or cops from another area. And you know what else? That precious foster father of yours? Odin Lowe? Yeah! He was killed by cops, too!”

Heero hissed, backing away from him. Those eyes were turned inward.

“You joined the ranks of his murderers!” He leaned forward, gripping the railing with one hand in order to keep his balance as he finished his rant. “You've become one of them!”

Then he stopped, horrified with himself, as pain etched itself into Heero's face. It was as if the man was stuck in a nightmare. Duo hissed and struggled to stand. The world tilted and he almost smacked his head into the railing. Then he scooted himself onto his knees in a sitting-up style. Heero hadn't moved.

Fucking hell,” Duo muttered, pissed with himself. He hadn't thought he was going to say anything about it, let alone like that. If it'd been him, he certainly wouldn't have appreciated the delivery.

When he'd managed to sit on the edge of the bed – the world was spinning far too quickly to attempt standing – he reached out and touched Heero's forearm. “Hey,” he called softly. No response. He frowned. Should he call the nurse? He shook Heero slightly. “Hey, snap out of it. I'm a fucking criminal here. Should you show such a vulnerable side to me?”

“Fuck you.”

Heero's lips hardly moved, and the words somehow didn't suit the controlled man, so it took a second to realize that the voice was undoubtedly Heero's. “Uh, isn't that my line?”

Heero hissed, and finally, finally those eyes returned to Duo.

“Sorry,” Duo said quickly. “I hadn't meant to say that – I just got so pissed – ah, but that's not the point. I hadn't meant to say that, and I definitely hadn't meant to blurt it out, so I'm really sorry. The delivery wasn't exactly fantastic, and...” he trailed off at the look on Heero's face. “Uh, you okay?”

“Why didn't you fucking tell us this to begin with?” That voice was icily calm, just like his Prussian eyes.

Duo felt like he'd just fallen headfirst into a hornet's nest. “Ahh...”

“Well? Obviously you knew this from the beginning. Why did you neglect to inform us of this?”

“It was none of your business,” Duo hissed, backing up a bit where he sat on the railing. The man didn't seem to have realized his position yet, but Duo was definitely aware of the man's proximity, especially now, when he couldn't hardly move without fearing a face-plant.

“None of my business? You knew about Lowe by then, dammit! How could you say it had nothing to do with me?!”

Well, he was stumped on that one. “It's not exactly something I talk about!” he retorted, hunching defensively.

“Well it should be!” Heero snapped. “When it's something that important-”

It's not like you and I were particularly close at that time! I was a suspect and you were a cop!”

“And that hasn't changed!” Heero retorted, getting into his face again.

“Well that's the problem, then, isn't it?!” Duo responded to Heero's presence by jutting his chin out, a clear show of defiance. “You're always gonna be a fucking cop, and I'm always going to hate cops!”

“You can't hate all of us for the sins of a few!” Heero fumed.

Watch me!”

Goddamnit!” Heero shouted suddenly, shoving away from Duo and raking a hand through his hair. “Why? Why with you of all people...!” The man made a frustrated noise. Then he dipped down and pulled Duo's head forward and up, until Heero's lips suddenly rushed down on his.


A/N: Bwahaha.

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