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Sub Rosa: The Small Hours
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Sub Rosa
Chapter Five
The Small Hours

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


One extremely long, extremely cold shower later, I moved over to the table, towel tied firmly around my hips, and glared at my own personal computer. Write the best report she'd ever read. Pfft. She'd read probably every bloody report while working for Oz, then had probably taken over Preventors and done the exact same thing.

Well, I'd just have to shock her into admitting defeat.

I spent the rest of the morning clicking on the keyboard. Only when I was done did I celebrate with some food. I ripped a bite off my tuna fish sandwich and grinned with glee as I copied the report and sent it to Her Scariness.

I went back to the kitchen and pressed my forehead against the cool glass of one of the kitchen windows. Last night, I had woken up no less than five times, hard and sweaty and in pain. I'd been deathly afraid of getting up and taking care of the problem, too, because a certain someone was fine-tuned to my every movement. I wouldn't be surprised if he'd been up all night, too, listening to me toss and turn and wondering if I was in pain. Son of a bitch.

This was ridiculous. Heero and I had lived together in this house before the Caribol shit had reached its peak, forcing us to separate from one another. Sure I'd felt the desire to have sex with Heero before, but it had never gotten so extraordinarily out of control. I had not ever lost so much fucking sleep due to sex before in my life. It was a daunting thing to acknowledge.

And then I sighed and straightened and stalked to my room. Heero would kill me for standing out in the middle of the kitchen wearing nothing but a towel when some psycho stalker pissed around outside our house.

So I closed my doors and pulled the blinds down over the windows and dropped the towel. I'd managed to cool down in the long-ass shower, struggling to not take care of the problem. Apparently somewhere in my mind I'd decided to become a martyr. I wanted to do it with Heero, and I wanted to wait until he gave the okay. Was that stupid? Yes. Was I going to break that decision? Fuck no.

I slipped on a pair of slacks in preparation for another difficult night, then tucked on a polo shirt. Wouldn't do to wear slacks and a t-shirt. Even when I was in the house alone.

I went back out to the kitchen and fixed myself a second sandwich, the first one having been inhaled somewhere during my musing spree, and chowed down on it. Whatever my personal musings on Heero and me and bedtime activities, I had my own shit I needed to take care of. I still needed to find our little Fail Prince in Prevenntors. I needed to do my exercises. More, I seriously needed to worry about my poor Wing waiting in port for me to return. Once I healed, shouldn't I return to the sky? I didn't want to just waste my precious Wing, but I couldn't exactly have it sitting lonely in the port for the rest of eternity.

Especially since it was damn expensive to do so.

I did my exercises first, carefully working my arms. Then after I finished, I re-wrapped the gauze around my fingers. They really weren't all that bad, just scraped and bruised and a little sore. I tested them out for a moment. It seemed I couldn't go a week without getting myself messed up somehow.

Then I returned to my computer and got my ass on the Preventors system again. It took only a few minutes to reacquaint myself with the remaining list of people and started from the man he'd worked with last. Apparently it was some old hat named Rick Costello. I looked him up in Preventors' files. He was a balding guy who'd been called in from Treize's old faction. His psych evaluation showed him to be a rigid rule-follower with what appeared to be a black-and-white view of the world. It was as good a place to start as any.

Heero and Rick had gone on a mission just before our unintentional reunion; the man had asked for Heero's back-up for an arms op while Wufei was out on a narcs case. They'd gone in, made the bust; there was no problem during the entirety of the thing. Heero was like that – any potential problem just died stillborn.

I searched through the database, loaded through the guy's encrypted files, and searched through his computer and Heero's computer. Neither had been on at the same time, but the man didn't log onto his computer after Heero's computer was used. Still, he hadn't left until an hour afterwards. I kept him open as a maybe and moved on.

It took me fucking hours, but I narrowed it down to only three people. I looked at the list with wide eyes. Rick was there, and a guy named Alex Bolden.

And Zechs Marquise.

Of course I wanted to blame the little shit immediately. I hated him like I hated nobody else I had to fight during that damn war. Except maybe Tubarov. Hated him, too.

I drew a deep breath and leaned back. Figuring I should update Miss Creepy, I scuttled out of Preventors and checked into my e-mail. She'd already sent me a reply to my report. I grinned. She'd sent it back an hour after I'd sent it to her. Good grief. Had she been hanging onto the freaking computer or something?

I clicked it open and read her reply. And bust out laughing. “'Your vocabulary is as eloquent as always,' huh? Well, I guess that means she forgives me.” I thanked her for the compliment and informed her of the three suspects left.

With that done, all I had to do was brood over what to do with my Wing. My poor little Demon's Wing. It had been so neglected lately, it was probably pissed with me. I sighed; I should definitely go check the poor thing out. If nothing else, she would need her oil changed. It was downright cruel to neglect one's baby, right?

Okay. Maybe I was a little insane.

I huffed my bangs out of my face and left Heero a quick note telling him I'd be back and to not freak out. Then I checked in with the port to let them know I'd be coming and to get an oil fill ready and left the house.


My poor baby looked so depressed and pathetic it made me sad. She was dusty from nearby liftoffs; she had poor oil, she hadn't been checked in forever, and worse: when I went inside, though the cockpit and the hull and everything else on the front end of my precious baby was one hundred percent unpainted.

“Oh, you poor thing.” I touched the bare wall and winced for her. My Wing had been with me through hell itself, battling with me, staying with me, listening to me. And I'd repaid her by leaving her all alone.

“Sorry, baby.” Ignoring how ridiculous it would look – after all, I was alone – I kissed her cool metal and backed away. “I'll take care of you now.”

I spent the next four hours watching the workers as they changed her oil and helping them clean her spotless. Then I went out and bought some paint for her and a couple rollers and, giving in to the inevitable, the crimson paint and brushes for my damn poems that I would write and would be pissed doing with old paint and tucked it all into the back of the car. I would like to note, right now, that I had always had a damn car. Hidden in Preventors' garage. In the back. The far back.

Returning to my Demon's Wing had me slowing my car down and rolling down my windows. Cops were patrolling the area. My eyebrows lifted as one of them came toward me.

“Duo Maxwell?” The dude didn't even give me a chance to respond before he flashed me his badge. “I'm Sergeant Daniel Weller; I've been told to inform you that, and I quote, 'bending steel doesn't mean shit if I can't reach it in time.' Come with me, please.”

I didn't move, despite the fact that only fucking Yuy would come up with that shit. “What for?”

The man seemed like he'd already taken more than his share of impertinence for the day and wasn't about to regenerate some patience any time soon. “Sir, you've been on the missing person's list for about two hours.”

The fuck?

I gave a long-winded sigh and rolled my eyes. “Where is he?”

The man hesitated. “I believe he is looking over your ship. We received news that you were here just a small while ago.”

“Yeah, go figure,” I muttered darkly. “Thanks, Weller. I'll take care of this.” I didn't give him time to answer, just stepped on the gas enough to charge past him. Jesus Christ. I'd left a fucking note. Just what the fuck did Heero think he was doing?

Sure enough, Heero's car was sadly and pathetically sitting outside my goddamn ship and hell if, after slamming my door and stomping up the lift, he wasn't looking at a surviving poem in the kitchen with sad eyes.

“Yuy, just what the hell do you think you're doing?!”

Heero turned to me. He wasn't surprised – he couldn't possibly be, what with my footsteps pounding through the silent hull. He wasn't thrilled, either – go figure there. In fact, when Heero turned to look at me, those sad eyes morphed into absolutely livid.

“Me?” Heero's voice was ice-cold. Danger tone. “What about you? You disappeared.”

“Disappeared? I came here! I fucking told you-”

You didn't tell me anything.” It was unbalancing to see Heero like this, so furious I could see death in his eyes. Somehow I hadn't imagined being looked at like that again, again with those eyes that looked far too much like Cyborg-Heero. I shivered. “You didn't say a word to me. When I got back home, the house was empty. You weren't anywhere.”

Of course not,” I spat, hackles raising. His eyes were turning deader and deader and I couldn't stand it. Worse... worse, his attitude was hitting my last nerve, too. “I don't have to stay in the house twenty-four seven, Heero Yuy. I'm free to come and go as I please.”

“With injuries like those?” he demanded, icily glaring at my hands. I'd taken off the bandages in defeat mid-way through cleaning Wing, and my fingers, with their cuts and scrapes, were laid bare for him to see.

“Yeah. It's almost like I've had worse.”

“This could have waited,” he gritted out.

“Well I wanted to do it now. That sure as fuck isn't a crime, now is it, Mr. Preventor?” I shot back.

Heero got in my space, his eyes looking down on me with contempt. I held my ground more out of defiance than any sort of confidence. If Heero and I got into a fight right now, I had absolutely no doubt that he would win, recovering abdomen or not. “You had no right to leave-”

“I don't need your permission, Papa Yuy!”

“The hell you don't! Leaving the house, leaving no notice, when you're still recovering from a fucking suicide attempt!”

I'd opened my mouth to respond to the middle part of his little statement when my mind just fucking blanked. Suicide attempt. Of course. Of course his mind would go there. He'd lost sight of me. Lost track of me. Who's to say I wouldn't throw myself halfway across the world and jump into a hotel bed and toss it back one more time?


That one hurt.

I managed to get my mouth closed. “I told you I'd never try that again.”

“Then you shouldn't have left without letting me know somehow. What else am I supposed to think?”

Uh, I don't know. How about I went grocery shopping?” At Heero's mutinous face, I relented. “Heero,” I said soothingly, “I did leave a note. Right on the kitchen table. Clear view.”

“No. There was nothing.”

I took a deep, calming breath. Reason always worked on Heero before; it should work now. “Heero, I wouldn't have left the house without leaving a note. I wouldn't worry you like that. It said I was leaving for a bit. It said not to freak out. Okay?”

I was interrupted by a knock behind me. It was Weller. “Excuse me; what are we supposed to do?”

I turned to him. “Leave. And write a really rude report about this guy here.” I pointed to Heero behind me. “Make sure to note the abuse of power.”

“Duo,” Heero growled.

“I really am sorry about all this,” I told the man. “It was a huge waste of manpower. Heero will be writing an appropriate apology to your department soon.”

The man looked a little scared. Probably because of Heero's glare. “Um, right. We'll be going, then.”

“Thanks for everything, man!” I called, and waved him off. When I turned back to Heero, he looked confused. Angry, of course, but confused. And what might have been a little hopeful.

“Did you...really leave a note?”

His eyes were melting again, thank God. I couldn't stand that ice-cold glare anymore. It was rather odd to learn this about myself, since I was usually the one perfectly immune to such a look. Sure couldn't take it anymore. It made the memories return. But hell if I was telling the man that. “Yes, Yuy. I really did.”

He shook his head. “There wasn't one. I'd searched everywhere I could think of. I'd checked the kitchen several times. I hadn't ever found a note. Anywhere.”

I frowned. “Did it fall off?”

“There was nothing on the floor, either.”

I believed him. Heero wasn't the type to do something half-heartedly. “Then what the hell?” But I dropped the subject altogether and raised my hand to his face. “Are we okay?”

He sighed. “I don't know. I think my heart is still not beating.”

I tried to imagine it; tried to imagine expecting Heero to be at the house and not finding him anywhere. It was hard, because I didn't have much of an assumption to have him around constantly. But for a very short second I could see it, and it scared me. I think I sighed, too. “I think I understand. But...” I wish I could take his fears and destroy them. I wasn't going to try again. I'd learned my lesson. But fears never listened to reason.

“I know.” His hand lifted to rest on top of mine. “I overreacted. I just... it just made me think of...” Of the search. Of what they'd found.

“I know.”

His eyes fluttered closed for a moment. “It was him.”

His words were so off-track from where my mind sat that it took almost a full minute for me to catch up. “You think my stalker did it?”

“Took the note.”

“Why? He could've just followed me.”

“You can't tell me you wouldn't catch someone following you.”

...Point. “So he took the note and followed me after waiting a while.”

“That's what I think.” Heero's fingers started to tremble a bit. “Which means-”

He's been watching me this whole time.” I frowned. “But I hadn't felt anything. I haven't felt anything yet. That's not normal.” It scared me, actually. Had I become too used to having civilians around me?


I blinked. Well, it wasn't me, then. “Something's up with this guy. He's not a normal psycho stalker, after all.”

Heero didn't seem very happy with this little conclusion. “Duo, I have to apologize. How I acted...”

I huffed my bangs from my face and rubbed my neck. “Yeah, you definitely owe me. I want a fudge sundae. Pay up.”

He grinned despite the chagrin in his eyes. “What are you, ten?”

I scrunched up my face. “When I was ten, I was running down streets with a slice of bread. And I was only about a year or so from meeting my dear professor. Or had I met him by age ten? I'm kinda in the dark on the exact age. Besides, that's not the point. I want a sundae. You owe me. You are buying me a fudge sundae. Got it?”

“Got it, got it. You'd think you were pregnant.”

Oh, ha ha. Male Pregnancy joke. Will the hilarity never cease?” It turned from him and started to lead him back out of my Wing.

Heero grabbed my wrist and pulled me back. “First, I wanna have my own dessert first.”

“Isn't that a cliché?” I asked, but he just shut me up with a long, hard kiss.

It was hot. Hot and long and erotic. And it got me hard in no time. All that work I'd spent getting myself calm was moot. His hands snagged in my braid, pulled my head back. I didn't even have the strength to think stop before suddenly I was drowning in need.

When he broke it off and grinned and pulled me to the car, it was almost impossible to let the light mood take me over. Definitely impossible to get the entirety of my body to go along with the facade. I was infinitely glad I'd worn the slacks.

And when we reached the ice cream parlor, I was even gladder to taste the ice-cold ice cream on my tongue, strong enough to chase away Heero's taste. A taste that echoed itself in my dreams again that night.

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