hmm. thanks everyone who, a few weeks back, gave me ideas on where heero should go sightseeing in nyc. i finally used it! ^_____^ wheeee, see i can deliver up. ^_~ this part's kinda sappy, but it has some more shove to the plot. i realized i've been getting pretty slack with it. so.oh yeah. i finally kill off wufei. it's not really killing him, i just mention he's dead. nothing to have cardiac arrest over, or anything. *grins* and yes. wufei has an earring. i never mentioned it before, but tough! lol, i needed something like that... well, you'll see.
Find Me (16/25-ish?)
Quatre froze. Trowa nearly went into cardiac arrest when Quatre was completely speechless. Usually Quatre, ever the diplomat, could find something to smoothly interject. He was absolutely stunned.
A duck of his head, as if a nod. Duo murmured, "Yeah, well. Never thought I'd see you again."
Behind Duo and Quatre, respectively, Heero and Trowa caught eyes. Both then rose and left the room silently, as it was obvious the two had a lot of catching up to do.
Heero jumped as his cell phone, in his pocket, rang. "Hello?"
"Apparently they knew each other before," came Trowa's dry tone. "Know when, where, how, and why?"
"Not a clue," Heero answered flatly. His tone softened. "I'm glad, though. I'm bringing him back to San Francisco."
Trowa didn't miss a beat. "That should be good. Quatre will be pleased, too." A moment pause, and some typing. "I just sent Treize an e-mail saying your vidphone might be tied up for a while. I recommended calling your cel-oh wait." Another pause, and some more typing. "Okay, he was online. E-mailed me back. He says to tell you to just send him a report."
"All right." Heero nodded, forgetting Trowa wouldn't be able to see. "I'll do that later."
In a mischievous tone, Trowa teased, "Why, what are you planning on doing now?"
With a trace of mock-asperity, Heero answered, "I'm talking to you, aren't I?"
Trowa laughed. "Right," he drawled.
They were both quiet for a while, listening to the low hum of their respective lovers talking with each other. "Maybe we should come back soon. Think you could book us a flight back for tomorrow or something? And tell Treize-sama, so I can forgo the report."
A pause as Trowa did some more typing. "I got you two a flight back, tomorrow afternoon at 4:30. Will that be all right?"
"Aa. Thanks, Trowa."
He could almost hear Trowa grinning. "I'm sure Quatre will come to meet you at the airport. It's nice he's found his childhood friend again." Softly.
"Aa," Heero's reply was just as quiet, thoughtful.
"He found him."
"Think he'll kill him?"
"Probably. He's like that."
"We'll be home in less than a month."
"Definitely. I don't get to see you enough."
"I know. One weekend out of a month has been shit."
"We still going after him?"
"Remind me why?"
"Kid's got a huge fortune."
"Right. Think he'd be touchy about sharing?"
A low chuckle. "He won't be any condition to object."
Light laughter. "All right. We'll keep you updated."
"Know where he is?"
"Some hotel, I figure."
"Think he's coming back?"
"Maybe today. Might stay with him for a few days."
"When he comes back, find out the hotel."
"We'll set something up for him. For them."
"Hello," Trowa gulped.
"Hi, are you a new worker?" The blond haired boy couldn't possibly be older than him, Trowa reasoned, but he carried himself with quite a presence.
Trowa nodded, deciding speaking wasn't necessary.
"All right. I didn't know we had new clerks here." A slightly squinting scrutiny. "You're a little young, aren't you?"
With a mental wince, Trowa cursed all the gods above for not making him look older. "I'm 16."
For this, he only received an odd look. "I see. What's your name?"
"Triton. They just call me Triton."
The blond stuck out a hand elegantly. "I'm Quatre. Quatre Raberba Winner."
Without missing a beat, Trowa held out his own hand and let Quatre shake. 'I... I'm talking to the heir?!'
Quatre smiled. "Anyways, Triton. Glad to have you here." He gave a small bow and exited the room.
Trowa turned back to his tiny booth. 'He's... he's beautiful...'
It was quite literally a couple hours until Duo and Quatre reluctantly got off the phone. They promised to spend liberal amounts of time with each other when Duo got to San Francisco. Trowa and Heero were mildly alarmed at the idea of so much time set apart for Duo and Quatre together, instead of with their respective lovers. But they reasoned after several years of separation, many hours was nothing.
"Now what?" Duo poked his head out of the bedroom door to see Heero watching the television critically. "Whatcha watching?"
"Smut." Heero clicked the TV off, making a face.
"Funny," Duo teased, coming out of the room. "Thought you liked smut."
Heero gave Duo one of his rare smiles. "Maybe," he said suggestively.
Duo smirked back. Then the lewdness dropped and his statement was that of a child on Christmas morning. Bright. Shining. Eager. "Hey, Heero, how long have you been in the city?"
"You could answer that," Heero answered evenly.
Duo paused to digest that. 'So he came and found me his first night here? Wow... how random.' "Done some sightseeing?"
Confused, Heero shook his head. "Not really. I saw the Empire State Building. Might've stopped by the Metr- what?" He stopped, seeing Duo's gaping mouth. "Duo?"
Before Heero could draw another breath, Duo had run over, pulled him up by the arms, and begun dragging him to the door.
Then he stopped. And realized his state of dress. Or, rather, near-undress.
Duo wrinkled his nose and Heero's face quirked into a small grin. "Want clothes?" Heero offered quietly.
For a moment, Duo only resurveyed himself. Then he looked up sheepishly. "That'd be nice."
Heero laughed gently and led the way back into the bedroom. Upon entering, he gestured in the direction of the closet. "Go pick."
Duo's eyes widened with glee and he nearly dove into the closet. Trowa had packed liberal amounts of clothing for Heero, and there was quite a selection to pick from. Duo went from pants to shirts to pants to shirts again, completely indecisive. Heero sat on the couch, completely content in watch Duo fly through clothing.
"Done!" Duo finally proclaimed. He was in a pair of comfortably fitting dark blue jeans, plain white t-shirt, and a dark, looser shirt on top. Heero wondered how that had gotten into his wardrobe.
"Can I get dressed now?"
At that moment, Duo realized Heero, too, had been in boxers. He grinned and made an elegant bow, sweeping his arm in the direction of the closet. "Of course," he drawled playfully.
Heero walked into the closed, picked out jeans and a t-shirt, dressed, and walked out. Two minutes compared to Duo's twenty. Duo blew a raspberry at him when Heero glanced at him with a slight smugness.
Duo smiled and all but pranced out the door with Heero right behind him.
As Heero locked the door behind them, he queried, "Where do you want to go?"
He immediately regretted asking the question. "Central Park, Museum of Natural History, see the Statue of Liberty - can we go up it?" Duo added wistfully. Heero could only nod dumbly. "The Village is really nice. And we should at least walk down Broadway, and go down to see Battery Park and Radio City Hall, check out Times Square, take a bus down 5th Avenue, eat in Chinatown..." He trailed off, realizing he might have completely overwhelmed Heero. Or, perhaps, overstepped his bounds. "Sorry," Duo said quickly, ducking his head down slightly. 'Fuck, he might get pissed at me. I sound like I'm calling the shots here and I so am not. Who's the one with the money? Him, of course. Fuck, fuck, fuck."
Heero had followed Duo's train of thought. He reached out with two cool fingers and tipped up Duo's face. Ducking his own head down, he placed a faint, longing kiss on those lips. Duo, surprised, didn't react for a moment, then leaned in, whimpering slightly, returning the desire.
"Sightseeing," Heero reminded Duo softly, pulling away. He gave a small smile. "Sounds like fun. I've always wanted to eat in Chinatown."
His face slightly flushed, Duo tentatively reached forward to hug Heero. Surprised, Heero clasped him in his arms for a few moments, just reveling in the bangs that tickled his nose, the lips pressed against his neck, the arms around his shoulders.
"Where first?" Heero finally murmured into Duo's ear."
A thoughtful pause. Duo snapped his neck back to look up at Heero. "Um... could we get food first? I'm hungry."
Heero's face cracked into a wide grin.
"Heero," Treize began slowly, unsure of how to approach this. Heero was a little uncomfortable; Treize was never unsure.
Treize sighed. "I'm... very sorry... about Wufei," he finally said.
Heero looked away. "Well," he said quietly. "Okay."
This was going to be harder than he thought, Treize realized. He would give anything to change places with the lowest beggar if only that meant said beggar would have to deliver the news.
Astonishingly, it was Heero who made it easier for him. Voice still low, Heero kept his eyes pinned to the ground and said, "He's a liability now, isn't he?"
Startled, all Treize would do was make a small sound of agreement.
"So he's got to be killed, doesn't he?"
"Heero," Treize began.
"Doesn't he?" Heero pressed.
Another sigh from Treize. "Yes, he does."
Heero nodded acquiescence. "And you'd prefer I took the mission."
"If you don't wan-"
"And all I have to do is kill him?"
"Should I kill his sister, too? From what her letter says, she may know too much too."
"I hadn't tho-"
"And perhaps I should go soon, then, before he start talking to other people."
"It doesn't have to be so soo-"
Heero glanced up and his eyes silenced Treize. "Please don't say anything else," Heero said softly. "And for God's sake, once I've done it, don't make me write up a mission report. Just know I'll get it done or die trying."
Treize took a deep breath and nodded. "I understand."
Rising slowly, Heero began to turn and make for the door when, suddenly, it was yanked opened. Both Heero and Treize gaped at a slightly sweaty and mussed Trowa, standing in the doorway.
"Let me guess," Trowa said softly, before either of the two in the room could say anything. "Heero's mission is to kill Wufei?"
Their silence confirmed it.
"And you thought perhaps he would be best to kill him, to gain a sense of absolution, and completion?" His voice was dangerously low, angry at Treize.
His superior, understanding what Trowa was getting at, nodded again. He'd realized the flawed logic, but he'd also intended on giving Heero a choice.
"Well, then," Trowa said flatly. "I'm glad to say he won't have to do such a thing." He held up a hand, halting any questions from Treize or Heero. Then he reached into his pocket, pulled out a small object, and held it tightly in his fist. "It's done." He walked forward until he could reach Heero; he reached forward, put the object firmly in Heero's hand, and closed the fingers over it.
"Quatre expects you for dinner today." It wasn't a request, but a friendly demand. "He suggested to take off early and go visit him. Early as in maybe now."
Trowa turned and nigh stormed out of the office.
Heero slowly opened up his hand. In it was Wufei's earring. His most prized possession. He would never have let anyone have it. He, alive, would never have let anyone have it.
Trowa had killed Wufei.
With a sudden lack of energy, Heero collapsed into the chair. Sense of
absolution? Maybe. Sense of completion? Probably. But his sense of how things
should be was going drastically awry.
Before going anywhere, Duo asked Heero if he could stop by his home quickly, to say good-bye and collect a few things. Then he begged Heero not to come with him; rather, he asked Heero to wait for him at a nearby restaurant. Heero agreed.
Slipping into his dowdy apartment, Duo took one last glance around. At the home he'd had for some 6 years. He was finally leaving it.
He walked over to the closet and pulled out a bag in which to put what scarce belongings he wanted to take with him. In went a few of the articles of clothing - most were too risqué, and it wasn't like there was much anyways - various hair ties littering the room, a motley of knickknacks, and his Bible.
Duo slid his hand carefully over the worn text before slipping that, too, into his bag.
"What's your pay?" The words were familiar, the meaning completely different. The tone of voice completely different. Soft. Wistful. Hopeful.
Duo turned and set his bag down on the ground. Then he ran to give Bella a hug as she stood in the doorway. Both began to cry slightly at what they knew was permanent separation. Duo couldn't expect Heero to look after another hooker, especially one he didn't know. Bella understood.
"My pay," Duo whispered. "My pay... is my life."
Bella pulled back, a smile on her lips and tears in her eyes. "I'm so glad," she said. "Are you leaving this godforsaken city?"
Duo nodded, just as tearfully. "He's taking me to San Francisco. I think I'm leaving in a few days. I'm in the Crystal Lake Hotel and Plaza right now; nice place. I figure we'll be leaving in a couple days."
"That's good," Bella whispered, genuinely happy for her friend. "I'm so happy for you, Koi."
Neither noticed someone slipping up the stairs, down the hallway from them.
Having prolonged their good-byes for long enough, Duo went back and retrieved his bag. "Everything left in here, you can have," Duo finally said. He handed over the key. "Good luck. In life, and in love," he murmured, giving Bella one last hug. "Tell Shug and Joe I'll be forever in their debt, and tell Michelle I say bye."
"Go," Bella shooed him out the penthouse door, before she would start crying again. With just one glance back, Duo took off at a run. Bella turned away.
"Want to take your stuff back to the hotel first?" was the first thing Heero said upon seeing Duo. Then "What's wrong?"
Duo wiped away the remnants of tears. He essayed a cocky grin. "Just had to say good-bye to a good friend of mine. And yeah, could we bring my stuff back?"
Heero nodded. "Want to eat first?"
The familiar gleam came into Duo's eyes, although this time it looked a little forced. "Hell yeah!"
Back to Part 15
On to Part 17