3-6-2003

Title: #45 Transitional Facility
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Angst, Friendship
Pairing: None yet
Rated: PG
Warnings: AU, OOC, Swearing
Archives: Also at Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat.
Disclaimer: Duo and Heero and the rest of the GW gang aren't mine. This story is. Nuff said.

Notes: The arc begins between one and two years after Endless Waltz. Heero POV in this story.

'Thinking'
"Speaking"
************ Time passing or scene change

Author's Notes: See earlier fics for notes on the arc as a whole. Feedback is appreciated.

#############################################

"Here's that damn phrase again! 'Transitional facility'. This time they're talking about the *other* homeless folks, the ones that don't qualify as kids. They're to be taken to a 'transitional facility' for 'evaluation and rehabilitation'. But it doesn't bother explaining what the hell a transitional facility *is*! Or what exactly they mean by 'evaluation and rehabilitation'!" Duo exclaimed in frustration. "Oh, wait, correction, it says to 'see Appendix III.42f' for further information on the 'transitional facility'. And 'evaluation and rehabilitation' is supposed to be explained in IV.2b. But the appendices in *this* section stop at II.32c!"

This was their third night wading through the documentation sent to Duo in response to his query regarding the plans for the displaced street people. And Heero had to admit that he was almost as frustrated as Duo. He was starting to think they should have invited Relena for a visit. She should at least be able to make some sense out of this, assuming such a thing were even *possible*. "I am developing a whole new respect for Relena's dedication to pacifism," he muttered. "She deals with this kind of nonsense continually and she hasn't shot anyone yet."

Duo choked, snickered, choked again, then gave up and howled with laughter. Heero raised one eyebrow in surprise. He hadn't thought his remark was *that* funny. Though the image of Relena stealing her bodyguard's gun and shooting some pompous, annoying, double-talking politician during a meeting *was* rather entertaining...

Heero snickered quietly before flipping to the back of the document he was currently plodding through and checking *its* appendices. Well, it had Appendix IV at least...

Duo's laughter died down to a mere chuckle well before Heero reached the point of worrying about whether Duo could stop or not. "Thanks Heero - I needed that," Duo grinned.

Heero smirked and said, "Well, I have something *else* you need too. Appendix IV.2b - 'Evaluation and Rehabilitation'..."

"Really?" Duo jumped up and hurried around the table to lean over Heero's shoulder.

Heero tapped his finger on the page where the section started. He re-read the section himself while he waited for Duo to do so. Like everything *else* to do with this, it had good points and bad points both. The good points - a commitment to at least *attempt* to turn as many individuals as possible into productive citizens and a halfway decent plan to go about it. The bad points...

"Counselling mandatory for all those taking part? And if they refuse, then they're out? I don't like the sound of that..." Duo muttered.

"Keep reading," Heero advised. It really wasn't as bad as it sounded at first. It wasn't just psychiatric counselling. The counselling included developing individualized plans for getting people job training, helping them find a job, helping them develop a budget and find housing that they could afford, and even providing ongoing assistance after they had left the transitional facility and were living and working on their own. He could understand why those who refused to take part in the counselling would be denied further assistance. Without that, they were just taking up resources that would be better used helping someone who was willing to *be* helped. The L2 government was making a genuine effort to help people help themselves, not providing a free ride for those who thought they were entitled to one.

"Okay, I guess that makes sense," Duo murmured as he kept reading. "Zero tolerance for violence - yeah, that's kind of important if they want to keep the place safe for those staying there... Zero tolerance for drug and alcohol abuse? Well, it makes sense, but what about those who want to quit? Do they expect them to quit cold turkey?"

"Next paragraph down deals with that," Heero told him.

"Hmm," Duo acknowledged as he kept reading. "Okay, I see. Anyone choosing to go through detoxification is transferred to a separate location. Oh, and how creative - it's called a 'detoxification facility' - see Appendix III.55b for explanation," he added drily. "Then they go through another program - and for the details of *that*, I have to read Appendix IV.22e! God, I feel like I'm going around in circles here."

"Go ahead and take that section with you if you want to keep reading," Heero advised. "I'm going to dig through the rest of these till I find our missing Appendix III."

"Okay," Duo agreed, picking up the document and carrying it back around the table with him. "I had *no* idea what we were getting into when I asked for the details on what they planned to do with all the displaced people. I'm glad they've got an actual plan in place, but - ugh! - why the hell couldn't they have organized the damn documentation better!"

"Because it was put together by three committees from the recommendations of five other committees?" Heero said. Unfortunately, he *wasn't* being sarcastic. It was a miracle that the thing made any sense at *all*.

"You left out the four subcommittees reporting back to them," Duo pointed out as he seated himself and started reading again.

Heero just shook his head and sighed as he flipped through the stack of so-far-unread information. Appendix III *had* to be in here somewhere. It sure as hell wasn't in any of the stuff that they *had* read.

***

Oh *shit*. Heero read through Appendix III.42f for the third time, then followed the reference to Appendix VI.1a and read *that* again too. No. No mistake. 'I *know* he's going to want to go check out one of these "transitional facilities". No doubt about it. And specifically, he's going to want to see the one that the people from his old neighbourhood are being sent to...' Heero stole a quick glance at Duo, who was still deeply immersed in the detailed explanations of 'evaluation and rehabilitation' that the first reference had linked to.

Tempting as it was to simply pretend that he hadn't located the information, Heero knew that would do nothing but delay the inevitable. And piss Duo off if - no, *when* - he realized Heero was hiding something.

"Duo? I found the 'transitional facility' information," Heero said, rising from the table and carrying the relevant documents around to where Duo sat. He thought it would be best if Duo were seated while he read this. "This bit *here* explains what the transitional facilities are and *this* one breaks down exactly where each region's facility is located," he pointed.

"Great! I want to see exactly what they've got set up. This stuff *sounds* pretty good for the most part, but I'm going to want to see the proof first," Duo said, eagerly reaching for the documents.

Heero wondered, 'Is there any chance that this *isn't* the same one?' No, he doubted it.

"Wait," Heero said firmly, holding his hand over the information Duo was preparing to read. Duo looked up at him inquiringly. "Duo, they're using old military bases for the facilities since they've already got kitchens and barracks and almost everything else that they need. Preferably military bases within walking distance of the neighbourhood being cleared."

"Old *Alliance* military bases?" Duo asked, his face whitening.

Heero nodded silently.

"Let me see," Duo demanded sharply and urgently.

Lifting his hand from the page, Heero waited silently, heart aching for Duo. 'If there is a single painful memory of his that this whole mess does *not* revisit by the time it is through, a single half-healed wound that is not ripped wide open, it will be a miracle.'

When Duo's chair went flying back from the table to crash against the wall, Heero was ready. In two quick steps, he caught Duo and pulled him into his arms, holding on tight.

"Oh god, Heero. It's *the* base," Duo choked out. "The one I..." He buried his face against Heero's shoulder, shaking violently.

'The one you stole the suit from the day that the church was destroyed,' Heero completed silently.

#############################################

- tbc -