LOL, geez. Since the last time I've sent a part out of this... I've joined a bunch more MLs that could get this... but hey. ^_~ I can't believe only 5 MLs get this. *giggles*
Alright. Part 25. *whew*! This is dedicated to the 1x2ml *gives pointed looks to certain people* for constantly wondering where this stupid ficcie was. -_- And I've decided to finish it for the sake of finishing it, because it's so fricken close to the end anyways. -_-;;;;;;;
I shall be working on my other two multi-parts next. *sweatdrop* And school starts soon. Geeez.
*hums along to "Whiter Shade Of Pale"*
Oh yeah. *grins* If you guys actually remember what's going on... congrats. For the rest of you (if you still want to read this - if you still REMEMBER this).... *points all the way down* archive is at drifitng.porcelain-mask.net
!FiND ME [25}
The moment Treize hung up, Dorothy slipped out the door and silently closed it behind her. Treize, distracted, didn't notice. The rest of the people in the room were pensive.
A pen perched precariously at the edge of the desk fell, and they all started.
"Revenge," Treize said quietly. He looked up. "Are our motives good enough reason?"
"Someone could talk to him about his views of the future," Relena began uncertainly. "Maybe Heero-"
"Heero will not be involved in this if at all possible," Treize said in a clipped tone. "He's already affected in a different way. We cannot depend on him to think this through with a level head."
Zechs gave a wry smile. "He'll probably raid the weapons room and go after them himself."
Une snorted softly. "The weapons room has been re-coded. If he can get in there before someone catches him, he deserves the right to do that."
Treize leaned back in his chair and they all fell silent. They simply breathed for a moment, even as Relena fidgeted and Zechs found his hands very interesting. Une and Tobias exchanged glances, then looked away.
"Are our motives good enough?" Treize finally repeated. "Heero notwithstanding, is what we're doing for our safety? Or is it overkill?"
Shifting uncomfortably, Une offered, "Overkill is better than overestimation." Tobias nodded silently, in agreement.
Treize looked away.
Relena finally stood up and walked over to her superior. With a gentle smile, she pressed his hands between hers in a sisterly fashion. "We're not perfect, Treize-sama. We're nowhere near perfect. We can only guess and hope for the best. It's not your fault."
"Treize-sama," Une began respectfully.
Gently, Treize pulled his hands out from between Relena's. He gestured Une into silence, and she complied.
In a sudden motion, Treize rose and stalked to the door. "Somebody call them and arrange a meeting sometime within the next 24 hours. Nobody is to inform Heero of this, although Trowa's presence is preferred. Everyone is expected to come." He left the room without another word.
Everyone else exchanged glances.
From inside her office a few doors down, Dorothy heard and sighed before picking up the phone.
The sun rose gently over the rocky outcropping. The four boys asleep on the beach didn't stir, since none of them would voluntarily awake -that- early. The horses were asleep, too, under a rocky ledge that served as a quasi-stable. Their bridles and saddles had been tossed onto a grassy spot so they wouldn't get sandy.
The soft clumping of a horse cantering near woke Trowa and Heero up immediately, tense and reaching for weapons. Heero pulled out a small gun that had been hidden in the small of his back, and Trowa came up with an impressive trio of knives from his boot. Heero took a moment to raise an eyebrow appreciatively. Trowa grinned back.
They waited for the intruder to show up over the bluff, still lying down and pretending to be asleep.
Abdul's face, accompanied by a disgruntled horse's snout, peered over the edge of the bluff. "Anyone awake?" he called softly.
Heero and Trowa rose immediately and, dusting sand off themselves, walked over until they were standing beneath the messenger. "Anything wrong?" Trowa queried.
"There's a call for you and Heero," Abdul said, his voice betraying a little nervousness. "Some lady said if there was a way to speak to either of you without arousing Master Quatre's or Master Duo's suspicions." He took a deep breath. "Master Trowa, if it weren't for the fact that I trusted you and Master Heero with Ma-"
"Don't you ever get tired of so many 'Master's in one sentence?" Heero interrupted with a wry grin.
Abdul grinned back. "Well, you know what I mean. Does somebody want to take the call?"
Heero and Trowa exchanged glances. "I will," Trowa said softly. Heero paused, then nodded, stealing a glance back at the two forms still sleeping peacefully on the barely-lit beach.
"All right. Catch!"
Neither of the two assassins were prepared for a portable phone to be tossed down. Heero barely managed to catch it before it landed in the sand.
"Wha-at?" Heero stammered.
"Hello?" a slightly crackly voice came from the phone. Trowa took it from him and held it up to his ear.
Heero, meanwhile, stared up at a cheeky Abdul. "You know," he said slowly, as Trowa moved away to hold a quiet conversation. "We're miles out from the house." He waited patiently for an explanation for an unasked question.
"Quatre-sama didn't explain his new set-up, did he?" Abdul teased. Heero shook his head slowly. "Well, he set up phone lines out on his land with portables that can go for some distance, in case something important comes up. He made strict guidelines as to what was important or not," Abdul added, grinning again.
"Heero." Trowa had returned, his conversation finished. With a sideways glance up at Abdul, he neatly threw the phone back up, startling the poor horse, who, after having been roused at an unholy hour to go for a run, was certainly not pleased, and skittered.
Heero looked at Abdul, who nodded and turned the horse away. "Hyah!" he urged the horse into a canter back towards the house.
"I thought so, what did she say?"
Trowa looked back at Quatre and Duo, and Heero felt an icy hand clamp onto his insides. He closed his eyes briefly.
"She couldn't give me much detail because she was basically going against Treize-sama's orders-"
"Kami-sama," Heero murmured. Dorothy was generally good about the addiction to breathing. Her survival instincts were better than this.
"-But she told me the gist of it," Trowa continued, ignoring Heero's quiet outburst. "Somebody's after Duo. A lot of somebody's, in fact. Treize organized a meeting with them, and everyone's supposed to come. I should, but you're not supposed to know about it. It's going to be... " he checked his watch, "in about 20 hours. At 3 am, in the back alley three blocks from headquarters."
Heero nodded, knowing exactly where Trowa was talking about.
"We need to stop them," Trowa said kindly. "Or at least do something. Try to understand what's going on. You need to come."
"Aa. Sou desu ka... d-demo..."
"Demo I'm not going to understand you if you go off on a Japanese tirade," Trowa said, a faint vein of irritation showing.
This forced a small smile out of Heero. "Gomen ne," he teased.
"Mm, damned straight you should be sorry."
Heero snickered. Trowa calmly smacked his friend in the arm.
"You called them, did you?"
Dorothy didn't bother turning towards the door. She nodded once, her eyes wandering towards the open window, through which the beginning hints of sunlight were peeking through, announcing morning.
"I had to," Dorothy answered simply. "I'm not sure why, but they deser-" she stopped herself with a small smile. "It doesn't matter now, does it? I told."
"And you knew you shouldn't."
A little sigh, which made Dorothy smirk. "So, knowing you were doing the equivalent of disobeying direct orders-"
"I went ahead and called them anyways." Dorothy's tone turned a little impatient. "Really, Relena, you needn't go over it so thoroughly. We both know I did something I shouldn't have done, and I will be punished for it." She sensed Relena falter a little. After a moment of silence, she heard the door click closed.
"Dorothy," Relena said softly. Dorothy flinched, then pretended she hadn't. "Dorothy... Dory, Doro-chan."
"Relena-sama, I am not a child," Dorothy replied, steel in her voice. "And I would thank you not to refer to me as one."
Dorothy tensed a little when Relena came up behind her and wrapped her arms around Dorothy's shoulders lightly. Leaning forwards a little, Relena gave a small sigh, which ruffled Dorothy's bangs. "He doesn't know right now. He wasn't paying attention to the outgoing phone lines. Nobody else was. Only me." She pulled away.
"He won't find out from me."
The door opened and closed, and Dorothy let out a small sigh, felt more than a little confused, and decided this was one too many all-nighters for her. She gathered her things to leave, get back to her apartment, and sleep until she was called. A little under 20 hours of sleep would be good for her.
Heero crept along the alley silently, pausing every time he heard a drip of water or a rat scuttling. It took him 5 whole minutes to make it to the other side of the block. The shadows flickered with the dying lights of the street lamps. The moon was hidden by dark clouds; it looked like it was going to rain soon. Heero mentally prayed that the rain wouldn't come for an hour, at least. Setting explosives in the rain would be far more difficult than setting them when it was dry.
Finally he was at the other corner. With a quick glance around, he noted that nobody could see him if he crouched down behind the raggedly couch. It would be a good place for the next set of explosives, too.
Taping the inconspicuous box to the couch was simply enough. He doubled checked to make sure the remote wiring was intact and live. It was fine.
Then he checked his pocket to make sure the detonator was there, intact, and in no way going to be triggered as he crouched right next to enough dynamite to make him ashes. The cheerful orange button was covered by a hard plastic cover. It was okay.
A cat skittered by him and stared at him with wide yellow eyes.
"Go," Heero hissed. "You don't need to stick around here." He almost felt bad; if the cat stayed, it would be killed for no reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. "Scat, you." He tried to sheer it away with a hand.
The cat decided to sit there and wash a paw delicately, as if Heero wasn't there, or at least hadn't said a thing.
Heero almost strangled it in frustration.
Heero nearly jumped a foot off the ground before he realized it was just the cat. Shutting his eyes tightly for a moment, he pinched the bridge of his nose - he'd seen Treize do it and it was fairly effective - hoping he wouldn't lose his temper at a cat and perhaps do something he'd regret in moments. Like yelling or throwing something.
"Go, you." He paused, then softened his voice. "Ne... anou, neko-chan, will you please leave?"
That was worse. Now the cat came and rubbed up against his leg. This definitely wasn't a street cat; probably some treasured pet that had managed to wander out an opened door and gotten lost.
"Neko-chan," he whispered. "Neko-chan... daijoubu. Shhh, neko-chan. Zettai daijoubu... demo... demo, onegai, ore-"
"Who's there?" a harsh voice came through the darkness. Heero froze, breathing shallowly. His hand crept towards his back, where he kept a gun. "I said, who's there?" the voice said again.
The cat was Heero's saving grace. It arched its back, then gave Heero a pointed look, before setting one paw in front of the other in an elegant fashion, and out from behind the couch. "Meow?" it said plaintively to whoever was out there. A moment of silence, then another, louder, "Me-OW."
There was a stunned silence. "Well, damn," the man grumbled. "Stupid cat. Scared the crap out of me." Shuffling. "Get the hell out of here, cat. Shoo." He made a halfhearted kick at the feline, who adroitly dodged the foot.
"ME-ow," the cat answered, obviously displeased. The man snorted before walking away, this times his footfalls heavy against the sidewalk.
"Arigatou, neko-chan," Heero said quietly, as the cat came back up and rubbed against him again, purring. And expecting to be pet. "You're one damned smart cat, I suppose. Arigatou, then."
Heero gave another exasperated sigh and pet the damned cat.
It purred and Heero rolled his eyes.
"Delegate weaponry." Zechs said. Une nodded in agreement. "Save me the paired Uzis and a handful of ammo," he added, before he left the room to find Treize.
"All right," Une said. "Tobias, please round up everyone else. Weapons detail in 20 minutes. Those not here can be called, and then we'll set aside something for them. No need to pull everyone into one building."
Tobias nodded, then left Une in the office alone.
She closed her eyes for a moment, as if pained. Then she composed herself, pushed the chair in, and walked out of the room, too.
"So, what's going on?"
"We're meeting them."
"Is... is -he- going to be there?"
"I don't think so. I don't think they're bringing him."
"Probably not Heero, either." Wryly.
"How's this going to end up? What are we meeting them for?"
A bitter laugh. "I don't know."
"I don't know, Eryn. I don't know if we're going to talk, if you're going to reason it out so we both go after him, I don't know if they're going to fight us-"
"They'll beat the crap out of us, Alex."
Silence. "I know." Softly. "Listen, Er-"
"No, listen. Get away from here, please. Go hide someplace, and if everything works out okay, I'll come find you-"
"Eryn, please, babe."
"Please, you can. This is shit, this is insane, this is going to get us all killed."
"Don't talk like that, you idiot."
"It's the truth, and you know it."
"Shut up. I'm staying here and I'm staying with you, and if all hell breaks loose... what the hell. We'll be there together, okay?"
He sighed heavily.
"Don't talk back to me."
"I wasn't going to, babe."
"I love you."
"I love you, too."
"Aw, shit, Jess wants the phone."
"Wants to talk to Mueller."
"Wait." Some whispers off the phone. "Yeah. Want to pass him the phone?"
"We all set?"
"Yeah." Giggles. "Ery's a little annoyed I took away from cuddle time with Alex."
A little laughter. "Yeah, Alex left."
"We good for tonight?"
"Mmhm. It'll be all over."
"I wonder what Tris is doing right now. He doesn't know, does he?"
"Nope, don't think so. They're good like that."
"Love you. Better go."