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Chapter Three: Fall To Pieces
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Chapter Three: Fall to Pieces

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The coal black eyes in front of me widened in disbelief. "DUO???"

In retrospect, he realized it was pretty stupid of him to not have thought about seeing Wufei. Hadn't Quatre said that Heero and Wufei had become partners in Preventors? Envy flashed through him like molten lava, heating everything inside him. Then it died in despair. Of course they would get together. They were almost exactly alike. They were stoic, silent, decided, assertive, and dead set on their missions. They also both hated his guts.

Oh, what joy this would be.

"STATUS!" Wufei barked, and Duo realized that he had blanked out again.

"Not in danger," he replied.

Miss Paisley looked at Duo and finally gave up, saying, "If you aren't in danger, honey, than I don't really want to know what you've gone through."

Duo shook my head and handed her over to Wufei. "No, you don't," he told her, and tried to make his tone light. Instead, it just sounded tense. Damn, damn, damn. It had been a bit too long since he'd experienced that adrenaline rush and such severe pain. Wufei took one look at him and ushered for him to come with them. He shook his head again and went back inside. There was no way in hell he was going to just leave Heero. Hell if he knew what he could do for Mr. Perfect, but he wouldn't leave Heero alone in the restaurant. Besides, the people that he had been serving were still in there. He wanted money, needed it, and these guys came in and TRASHED THE PLACE HE WORKED AT?!? Not happening!

Duo slipped quietly through the kitchen once more and caught the eye of Anita, the girl with the coal-black hair. She gave him a tight smile and looked pointedly at his bloody arm. He shrugged his right shoulder and returned her smile with a what-the-hell-can-I-do-about-it-now expression. Then he moved past her and back behind the counter. He got back down on the floor, ignoring the fact that his blood from before was seeping into his jeans. He moved slowly around the corner, hearing the gunshots still going strong. He felt one pass right around him as he searched for Heero. Heero wasn't acting as decoy anymore. Was he hurt? Duo hurried his pace and was scared even more when he saw that Heero wasn't even behind the counter. He turned to a man, seeing him bleeding from a wound in the back, and asked him, "did you see where my friend went?"

He looked at Duo and, seeing that he was injured, gave him a small smile. "Your... friend is... alright, son," he gasped, and Duo was thankful that this was a guy who, yes, regretted dying, but was content with his life. "He... left... a little while ago."

"And left you here?!" Duo demanded angrily, but the man just smiled.

"He told me... to tell you... to get... the hell out... and meet him... with his partner." He coughed a bit, spilling blood, but continued. "He said... that I would... not be... forgotten."

And that sounded so unlike Heero that Duo just sat there for a good minute before realizing that he had been given an order.

"He was right, you know," Duo said as he got ready to leave. "You won't be."

But the man had already given up the fight.


He made it out to the back, now concentrating on moving his feet, trying pathetically to stem the blood flow from his arm. He was losing too much blood.

Wufei turned to see Duo coming up to the white van and hurried to meet him. Duo stopped moving to stare at the vehicle. White??? Why white?!? Now his blood was going to be helluva lot easier to see. Why couldn't it be red? He sighed. Then again, white cars are only seen everywhere. It was really no wonder at all as to why they chose that color.

Duo then noticed, shocked, that he didn't hear any more gunfire. He looked blindly at Wufei as the Chinese man came to stand in front of him. "Where'd they go?" Duo asked stupidly, hearing his speech slur. Oh, no. He felt his fingers start to tingle as the world tilted dangerously. He shook his head to clear it, but that made it worse. But he wasn't going to faint right in front of Wufei. Hell, no.

His head pounded, telling him to give up and call it a day. Instead, he focused on Wufei's words. "...Heero came around and took Miss Paisley out of here. I'm guessing you are the reason they stuck around longer?"

Duo started to nod before he realized that doing such would land his face in the concrete. "I've been shot," he told Wufei, then cringed. Well, DUH. As if Wufei couldn't figure that one out all of his lonesome.

"We've got to get you to a doctor. You're bleeding heavily."

Duo rolled his eyes to say 'duh', but ended up almost falling. Wufei grabbed his arm to hold him steady.

"Status," Wufei's voice whispered into his ear, and Duo managed to say "bad" before falling into darkness.



"Wufei, what - oh, my God. Duo! We need to get him to a hospital now!"


"...maintained severe hemorrhaging(1). There are a few minor complications, but he will be fine."

"The surgery."

"It was a complete success, Mr. Yuy," the older voice assured. "The bullet was safely dislodged. His immune system is quick and efficient. He would have bled much worse if embolus(2) hadn't occurred. However, we also had to change that. The bullet had gone through a major artery."

"Which?" Heero snapped, and Duo mentally rolled his eyes. Yes, Heero, give the poor doctor heart failure. That'll help him recover.

"It hit his right brachial artery."

Heero cursed.

"Because of the hemorrhage, hypovolemia(3) has also developed. We have to slowly return the amount of plasma to his body, but other than that, he seems remarkably stable."

Duo took that as a compliment, though he didn't really think of himself as stable while he was trapped on the damn hospital bed.

"How long until his recovery?"

There was a short pause before the doctor said, "I cannot be sure. We would like to keep him here for a while to see if he gets infection, which could cause major complications, including -"

"I know the consequences."

DUo wished Heero hadn't cut the guy off. It wasn't as if he didn't understand what the doctor was saying, but it's nice to know what's expected of one's own recovery.

He moved, and this beeping beside him flipped a bit. Both men shut up, and he cursed mentally. Damn it.

"Mr. Maxwell, are you awake?" All of a sudden, the doctor sounded perky and happy. Optimistic. Did that make his condition bad?

The beeping jumped, and the doctor came next to his bed. "It's alright, Mr. Maxwell," the man said soothingly, "you're in a hospital. You took a bad one. How do you feel?"

He dared open his eyes and was promptly blinded. He heard movement and the lights behind his eyelashes suddenly dimmed. Duo gratefully turned to the doctor, but he hadn't moved. That meant that Heero had done it.

Warmth spread through him before he could help it.

The heart monitor steadied. "Thanks, Heero," he said, trying to move.

"Whoa, now, calm down there, Mr. Maxwell," the doctor told me. "You've got to stay still. I know you Preventers don't enjoy being this vulnerable, but you've got to lie still anyway."

Duo blinked at him stupidly. 'You Preventers'? Had Heero lied to him? Why?

Duo opened his mouth to set him straight, but Heero spoke before he could. "Doctor Kakashi, would you leave us?"

The good doctor nodded, seeming to think they were going to discuss something important. Something Preventer-like. He again tried to speak. "Certainly, Mr. Yuy," the doctor said, effectively stopping Duo from speaking by glaring down at him. "I hope you aren't like your partner here. Don't try to leave."

Duo found himself acting like a fish and decided his mouth was better off closed.

The doctor smiled, nodded, and abruptly left Duo and Heero alone. Duo stared warily at his captor. What did Heero want them alone for? Was the Preventer going to yell at him for being reckless? Was he going to ask the status of Miss Paisley? Was he going to demand the reason he was in Taco Bell?

Was he going to just keep standing there, staring at him like he was a strange piece of meat that had to be checked for spoilage?

"What?" Duo demanded irritably. Those blue eyes bore down into his, and he again got that feeling of being checked to see if he were good enough.

"Status," Heero snapped suddenly, and his mouth replied out of pure soldier habit.

"Not in danger."

Heero snorted. "You had once taken two bullets to the back and you said you weren't in any fucking danger." He kept looking at him funny. "How are you, really?"

The friendly voice he heard couldn't have come from Heero. He must be hallucinating. Maybe he was still unconscious, and this was just a dream. That had to be it. 'How are you, really'? That was something he had once dreamed of the Perfect Soldier saying to him. He thought he had gotten over those.

"Heero, I'm fine," Duo said carefully.

"You just got shot!"

"Gee, Heero, I didn't know that. Really?" He regretted it immediately. Heero's suddenly open face snapped closed again, and he glared at him. "Heero, I-"

"The subject was safely transported to a new safehouse thanks to you." Heero regarded him the same way as he had in the war. Oh, God. Had he just shoved Heero away? He knew that Heero had hurt him during the war, but he had just done it right back. How much of a sadistic bastard was he? How much of a masochist was he? "You''ll receive word from the commander thanking you for your help." He turned away.

"Heero," he tried again, "I didn't -"

But he walked out.


1) heavy bleeding

2) a clot formed by platelets that blocks a blood vessel

3) a term which describes a condition of abnormally low intravascular volume with a decreased volume of circulating plasma in the body. It can be due to blood loss or dehydration.

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