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Sub Rosa: Sweet Amber
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Sub Rosa
Chapter Four
Sweet Amber

Disclaimer: Gundam Wing, shockingly, horrifyingly, belongs to someone else.

Note: Mega uber-huge thank you to Wind Dancer for the Happy Birthday props. ^_^


Yeah, I'll skip right over the boring-ass cop visit. We were both sat down and interviewed and we both gave the same information in separate rooms about three times and they asked us stupid questions we couldn't hope to answer, shit like, 'do you know of anybody who would want you dead?' I fucking laughed at that one.

And then Heero and I both sat down in the living room with the dumb fucks and politely listened to their garbage about what to do to protect ourselves – apparently saying Heero's part of the Preventors doesn't mean we know how to protect ourselves, although they did share a pretty interesting little then-why-the-fuck'd-ya-call-us look, one that had me smirking at Heero for about a full fucking minute. And then another hour after that they decided to get the hell out of our house and I decided that Heero already fucking owed me and to hell with waiting for him to pay up.

“We're going out to dinner,” I informed him, glaring at him and then the wall clock – past eight o'clock and hell I was going to cook at that hour.

Heero seemed to understand the look I passed him; he gave up and acquiesced to my order without argument.

So off we went to a restaurant. We ended up in a Texas Steakhouse, just about a ten minute drive from Heero's house, and then we were sitting and staring at each other rather awkwardly.

“We need to do this more often,” Heero sighed, smiling sheepishly at me from across the table. It really was pathetic; I couldn't think of a time when he and I had just sat down somewhere and talked. Hung out with each other.

Wait... did that make this... our first date?

I balked at the very idea and shoved it out of my mind completely. It wasn't like Heero was taking it any more seriously than it should be taken. So we were out eating together. Whoopee. How long had he and I been living together? Going out on a date now seemed a little... backwards.

It was after our appetizer arrived that I realized that we might as well be going backwards, since after all said time, I had yet to screw him.

“Duo? Something wrong? Do you not like it?”

I chuckled nervously. “Uh, no. It's good.” I took another bite to prove it and shoved the thought a little bit farther into the crevices of my brain.


“So.” I thought about something to say as we walked back to the car. It was dark as pitch out, officially nighttime. Heero hadn't responded to the entire night as a date.

Why the fuck was I thinking of it as a date, anyway? It most definitely was not. We went out for dinner because we didn't feel like cooking and cleaning up. That sounded more like a married couple than anything even remotely resembling a date.

So... maybe that meant I wanted it to be a date?

Ah, not cool. No no no. That would be dumb. I waited as Heero went around to his side of the car and unlocked the doors, then opened mine, intent on escaping.

My back tensed.

Those footsteps were back.

I turned toward the alleyway leading to the back of the restaurant.

“Duo?” I held up a hand for silence. The footsteps had stopped. They were definitely the same – same weight, same pace, same stride. It was the same guy. Or some extremely improbable walk-alike.

Heero closed his door and locked the car. His eyes were hard again. I sent him as much information as I could silently – danger, enemy. I pointed toward the alleyway, and his eyes searched through. Heero's cat eyes were definitely better than mine.

The footsteps began retreating.

We reacted as one, racing toward the small area, Heero automatically taking the lead. The footsteps suddenly stopped. Heero and I paused as one, listening. Only fools continued running blindly in the dark when an enemy they were chasing suddenly stopped running. Obviously the enemy thought they had a sudden advantage.

Without a thought to it, I snatched at the building to my left and climbed up the side. I immediately regretted it – my muscles sharply protested, and my fingers were instantly bloody. Heero turned in time to see me scuttling across the wall of the restaurant like a fucking spider, working fast because there was no way to stay silent while walking across this damn wall. My shoulders were more than happy to inform me of their unhappiness, even from the start.

Then I was pushing off and landing and I stood there kind of dumbly for a moment. There was absolutely no sound at all. Okay, not quite true – a car passed on the road, people inside the restaurant talked and dishes clanged and the phone inside rang. But from the alley, I heard nothing.

“Duo, get back here!”

There was a bit of panic in that voice, and that's what made me turn back to him. In the darkness, he was nothing but a faintly darker shadow amidst lighter ones. “Heero? What's wrong?” I wasn't stupid; I took the wall path back to him, let our quarry escape. When I got close enough, Heero grabbed me in his arms and simply pulled me away from the wall and the alley and back into the street. A man walking his dog stared wide-eyed from across the street.

“Heero, what-”

“Thank God.” And he buried his face in my hair.

It was a little awkward, patting his back while being held, and I distinctly felt my blush reach epic proportions as he continued to stand there with me and calm himself. I tried to not put too much weight on his stomach.

It took a while, but finally his breath evened out and his hands stopped cutting off my circulation. When he stood his head straight, I cocked an eyebrow up at him. “So... minor breakdown over?” I asked him.

He blushed this time. “Yeah.” And he set me on my feet.

I dusted off my clothes and tried to act like we hadn't just done something totally humiliating in the middle of public. “So do you wanna explain to me just what happened?”

Heero took a deep breath, then retraced his steps toward the alley. When he came back, he held a slip of paper.

Join me.

I hissed. “Dammit; it was him.”

Heero took a deep breath. “I was afraid...” He shook his head. “I shouldn't have been.”

I considered teasing him for it for about half a millisecond. “Don't sweat it. We'll get him next time.”

Heero didn't seem too excited by that prospect.

I just shook my head and clasped his shoulder. “Car? Home?” It was like he awakening from a momentary trance; he shot one last glare at the alleyway and turned to the car. When he unlocked the car, I leaned in, grabbed his face, turned it and kissed him fiercely. He had a hilarious deer-in-headlights look that made my feral grin widen even more. “Let the fucker figure it out.”

I turned from his possessive stare and got inside, shut the door and clicked my seatbelt in place.

The tension in Heero's back and shoulders seemed to lessen the farther we got from the restaurant. I guessed we wouldn't be going out again. At least not without a SWAT team breathing down our necks. It almost took my mind off the fact that Heero and I had unwittingly just gone on a date. Or whatever.

But not quite.

And worse, that fuck-all kiss had definitely been hot. Very hot. Agh – I needed my mind to switch to something else before it became impossible to hide my personal musings.

So I thought about my little stalker and exactly how stupid he had to be to leave me another message, and this one under my nose again. Was he underestimating me, or was he just so extraordinarily deluded that he thought he could actually get away with this shit?

It was, to me, seriously fucking funny. But Heero seemed genuinely distressed about it. Should I talk to him about it? I cast a glance his way, but his eyes were focused so intently on the road I thought it'd be best to look out the window. The trees by the highway were a blur of gray and black. Heero looked pissed. Then again, if I saw notes left for Heero, I might just go on a killing spree.

Seeing it from that perspective, I could kind of understand Heero's reaction. After all, we'd only just gotten back together after a truly disastrous mission. We needed a break. Time to cool down, learn more about each other... relax in the continued existence of one another. This was not conducive to relaxation.

Speaking of which... “Hey, Heero.”

He grunted. Great. Mr. Monosyllable had returned.

I turned my gaze back to him, but his eyes never strayed from the road. “What do you think about the leaked information?”

Finally he looked at me. “The what?”

I bit the inside of my lip to keep from smiling. “The information on Caribol's leader, Heero.”

He still looked a bit disoriented. Probably tuning out from his delicate plans to lure out and kill my stalker. “We'll have to find out who it is.”

Well thank you for that. “And I have to admit to Her Happiness that I clued you in.”

He snorted. “Yeah. That, too.” He reached out and sought my hand. I freely gave it over, and his fingers entwined within my own. “I'll go with you for that one.”

Why thank you, Mr. Bodyguard.”

He grinned, even as his eyes watched the stoplight ahead. His foot pressed on the brake. “Your welcome, Mr. Popular.”

I laughed even as he grimaced, already disliking the slip of the tongue. “Aw. Jealous?”

He snorted a quick laugh. “Hardly. You chose me, after all.”

No fair. That was a quick shot straight to the gut, and I couldn't fucking kiss him when he was pressing the gas and getting the car forward. Fucking stoplight with its impeccable timing. “Damn straight I did,” I said breezily. “Nothing says manly like being able to bend steel.”

He laughed outright. “Smartass.”

Synonym for charm?”

He turned that big grin of his on me, and I was just fucking toast. No way I could hide my interest now. “Sure.”

His tone was almost patronizing. I flipped him the bird with my free hand and hoisted my nose in the air. “Guess that means yes, then, huh?”

His grin only widened. “Sure.”

I conceded defeat with a raspberry and stuck my tongue out at him. Before he could comment on my maturity, I leaned on his shoulder. “So what're we gonna do?”

He sighed. “First, you're going to lean up; what if I get into an accident?”

Like you'd let anything happen,” I said, closing my eyes.

He didn't say anything to that, but his fingers untangled from mine and encircled my shoulders. He sighed. “Then we'll clean up those hands of yours and check you for other injuries.”

I looked at my bloody fingers and huffed my bangs out of my eyes. “Boring.”

Then don't climb walls,” he admonished lightly. I saw him take the turn off the freeway into our neighborhood. “After that... I suppose we'll have to decide where to start searching.”

Well, I know where we don't have to search,” I told him, staring significantly up at him.

He humphed. “Thanks so much.”

I just grinned unrepentantly and shrugged.


I stared over Heero's shoulder as he checked through his computer for the list of people who accessed the computers the day the transfer went through. It went through Heero's computer, though, and as I'd already told him, it used his password.

So someone hacked it.” He scowled and changed the thing as I watched. I closed my eyes to give him his privacy. Besides – I probably could have hacked into it if I really wanted to. “Shit. That's going to make this difficult.”

I've already started piecing through it, trying to find a hack or something, but I have yet to find it. Doesn't mean it's not there, though.”

I didn't leave a paper trail of any kind.”

No shit?” I rolled my eyes. “We can memorize passwords a lot longer than the one you were using, Heero. Besides, you're superhuman. Why would a superhuman need paper?”

He shot me a half-glare over his shoulder. I grinned down at him. “So? You finding anything, Mr. Can Pretend To Be A Cyborg?”

Heero hissed at the poor joke. “No.”

No?” I gasped in shock. “Are your circuits twisted?” I leaned forward a bit more. “How about checking speed of entry? Catalog it to the average speed of familiarity...”

Heero did as I said, deftly ignoring my jibe. Thirty names popped up. “Hold on; let me come up with my list.” I wrapped my arms around him and opened a new tab, punching into my e-mail and bringing up Une's last e-mail. I copied it and put it into Word Document, then sent off a reply to Une informing her of my defection.

Coward,” Heero murmured, and I laughed.

Damn straight.”

We compared the lists until my list in Word had only the names that were echoed in Heero's hacked list. “Well, we still have over ten people. You're fucking popular, Heero.”

Yeah? And you have a new e-mail.”

I grimaced. “Dun dun duhhn.” I opened it and read, wincing. Well, Une was pissed. I'll spare details; suffice to say see ripped me a couple new ones and at the end demanded a full report. 'And it'd better be the best fucking report I've read in my life, Maxwell.' I wanted to hide under the bed.

You're screwed, Duo.” Heero's voice was laughing, but then one of his hands whipped back and snatched at my cheek. He half-turned in the seat and smiled up at me. “I'll take some of the heat.”

Nah. Don't want you getting flayed alive, too.” I pursed my lips and sent her another reply. 'Aye aye, Scary Boss.' It was reaching one o'clock in the morning, but her reply was just as quick and just as sharp.

'You don't want to see how scary I can be, 02.'

I whistled. “Whoo, sca-ry.” I grinned. “Save me, Heero!” My arms squeezed around his shoulders, hugged his collarbone. “Sweep me onto your white horse and rise me away from the evil dragon!”

He just laughed at me and turned back to the computer. His hands curled around mine. “I thought I was supposed to kill the dragon?”

I thought that over. “That would work, too.”

But I thought you didn't want me getting flayed alive?”

Semantics,” I muttered, and made him laugh again.

Come on, let's go to bed for now. You apparently have a hell of a report to write up tomorrow.”

I scowled. “Yeah, rub it in, Yuy.”

He just backed out of the Preventors system and started shutting things down. I had no idea why watching those fingers blur over the keyboard made me horny. I closed my eyes, sucked in a breath, and told myself that if Heero didn't want to do it yet, then I could just fucking wait. And suffer.

Was it the kiss after the restaurant? No, I didn't think so, although it sure as hell hadn't helped. Actually, I thought it might have very well been all the camaraderie. I'd missed it so much over the past months that joking and laughing with him like this had been... I carefully let go of Heero and backed up a step. I had missed it. And now that it was coming to an end, I felt almost... scared. I didn't want to let go of him, to leave and go to my own bed and try to ignore just how hard I was.

Dammit, we'd had our first official – well, still unofficial, but whatever – out first official date of sorts, and that after a very long, very hard few months. Heero had held me, and since then we really hadn't let go of each other all that much. It was like we were finally starting to reconnect – or maybe even connect to begin with? And we'd been laughing and carrying on, even while doing something so very serious as trying to find a potential mole (or whatever the fuck the guy was).

And even though there was nothing altogether sexual about any of that, it somehow made me need Heero so much it was physically painful. I wanted to thread my hands through his hair. I wanted to look into those eyes of his and see the same emotions I felt in those cobalt depths. I wanted to touch him. I wanted to be touched. I wanted to be gasping and sweating and reaching for something I'd only felt after a few dedicated minutes alone in a bathroom.

I shook my head to dislodge those very vivid images and managed a bright smile when Heero turned. “Thanks for the save there, Heero. Totally going to love writing that report.”

His grin was far too close to that old smirk. It made my heart jump. Worse, it made another part of me jump, too. I mentally cursed. “Of course. Have fun.”

I gave him a fake scowl and huffed out of s room. At the last minute, I turned my head to look at him. He was watching me very seriously, but he wasn't looking in my eyes, and there was no lust anywhere on his features. Instead those beautiful eyes lingered on my fingers, on the gauze that bound them tightly. They hadn't started bleeding again; he was just brooding.

They're fine, Heero,” I said quietly. My voice made his eyes snap back up to me. It was definitely disheartening – I was freaking burning to death, and he was worried about my physical health. Not exactly on the same page. “I'm fine. Really. I've almost regained all my muscle tone, and my muscles only hurt when I do stupid shit.”

Like climbing a wall?” he asked. His voice was trying to sound wry, but all I heard was concern. Concern and fear.

Yeah,” I admitted. “Like climbing a wall. But I didn't tear anything. I'm a Gundam pilot, too, remember? I heal fast. Same as you – well, not as psychotically well as you, but still. Fact remains. I'm really okay.”

He nodded, but he didn't seem convinced. “You should get to bed.”

Like I'm the only one recovering,” I muttered, but I acquiesced and left the room.

Yeah. One hundred percent, totally and definitely disheartening. It took a very, very long time to get my sorry ass asleep. It did not surprise me in the slightest that I had dreams that made waking up even more painful than trying to sleep.

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