Disclaimer- I don't own Gundam Wing, as much as I might wish I did. I don't own the song either, that was done by Vertical Horizon.
Angsty, psychotic Heero torture throughout.
Rating- 'PG-13' for violence.
Everything You Want
//Somewhere there's speaking
Somewhere it's already coming in
Oh and it's rising at the back of your mind
You never could get it
Unless you were fed it
Now you're here and you don't know why//
His legs were burning, and he could no longer feel his arms. A rough cough sputtered from his lips as he began to dip underwater. "Can I stop now?"
Dr. J did not answer but continued to watch the child bobbing dangerously underwater.
"Please-" He kicked his tired legs one last time, only to discover they would no longer obey him. A helpless feeling swallowed him even as water assaulted him from every side. The raw tissue of his throat burned as chlorine-tainted waves swelled into his mouth. "Dr. J-- Please."
As he felt the water surge again, he struggled for a second, then reached for the edge. A terrifying second passed as his fingers groped for solidity. Finally he grasped the poolside, the skin on his fingers scraping across the rough cement edge.
Above, a stopwatch clicked. "Get out boy."
The young boy stared at the impossible space between him and the floor. Reaching upward, he gripped the featureless firmament and pulled against the rough surface. He grimaced with effort, but his body remained entrenched.
"Get out boy, or you'll drown."
This time pushing with legs against poolside and water, he managed to slide halfway out. Swinging his legs to the side he rolled onto the dry ground. With morbid fascination he watched as blood welled up across the raked skin of his forearms in time with the pounding of blood in his head.
Dr. J pushed the stopwatch toward him. "That was not long enough, Heero."
The child jerked his eyes away from the fascinating rivulets toward the clock. One hour, forty minutes, thirty-eight seconds.
"Do you know what happens when you fail?"
The blood thundering in his head became louder.
Kneeling to the bag at his feet, Dr. J pulled out a bundle of photographs. "Do you see this woman?"
The tired child nodded. She was kinda pretty, with curly brown hair.
The older man ripped the picture in two pieces. "You just killed her." He tore it again, and tossed the quarters into the water.
"And this man-"
A wizened grandfatherly figure.
He tore the second picture up too, and flung the sections into the water.
A brown eyed matron.
A scarred fighter.
A sandy-haired boy not much older than ten.
"When you fail, you kill them. Now get back in." The stopwatch cleared.
As he lowered himself back into the water, the photos stared at him, sightless eyes accusing.
//But under skinned knees and the skid marks
Past the places where you used to learn
You howl and listen
Listen and wait for the
Echoes of angels who won't return//
He smiled. It felt nice talking to someone for once.
"So after we finished dropping off the food at the armory we came over here. But I didn't think I would see anyone here but them." The new cook's child gestured conspiratorially toward the men milling around.
Well, maybe not talking so much. It felt nice to listen. To hear someone talking about inconsequentials.
"What are you in for?"
Shaking his head, he scrunched up his nose, ready to change the subject.
"Heero-- lunch is over." A hand grasped his arm firmly and pulled him up.
My birthday is tomorrow, he mouthed. I'll be eleven.
His new friend winked. See you then.
Halfway down the hallway, Dr. J spun him around. "What did you tell him?"
Burning eyes stared into his own, questing for any sign of duplicity.
Then the moment was over and they were moving again.
After navigating a maze of hallways, the room they finally entered held only a table covered by electrical wiring and miscellaneous parts. Not needing an explanation, part of his mind devoted itself to cataloguing useful hardware from filler in anticipation of the task to come.
Dr. J produced a schematic from one pocket of his laboratory coat and handed it to the child. "You have one hour."
Frowning in thought, the boy walked over to the table. Many of the necessary parts were missing, but that was nothing new. Rerouting the functions through different circuitry had become the primary challenge.
...The wiring is all of a weaker material than the design is intended to utilize; if the transmitter is run using the materials provided it will short out in between ten and twenty minutes depending on the amount of stress placed upon it...
Behind him the door whined shut, but he ignored it. The puzzle itself was fascinating.
...If I feed the line through the level three transistor then it should serve to keep the heat down sufficiently for the thinner copper wiring to handle...
...And the transmitter should also function much more acutely if I devote the main processing unit to controlling the slight variations in frequency...
With a slight sigh, the boy clicked the last part into place.
...24 minutes, 30 seconds left. And the device will function 5% more efficiently than the original design...
He sat, leaning against the table leg, his mind still buzzing.
An hour later he remained seated in the same position, not moving but his mind running in circles. Never before had Dr. J taken this long to return. Never before had he returned less than five minutes before the time limit.
...Dr. J must be busy arranging something else. Another training session perhaps...
The door opened.
"Heero, come with me." Dr. J beckoned with his mechanical pincher. "We have something new for you. Something important."
Smoothly, he jumped to his feet and trailed after the scientist to a room across the hall. Inside, he stopped short, his forehead furrowing in confusion.
"Heero, today we discovered several traitors for the Earth-Sphere Alliance in our midst." Dr. J settled his hand on the boy's shoulder, pressing a cold metal object at him with his other limb. "Take care of the problem."
Hands trembling, the boy lifted the surprisingly heavy weapon. Beyond the silhouette of the gun he stared at the bound figure of the cook's boy.
"Heero, shoot him. "
The boy stared into brown eyes wide with confusion and fear for a long moment. With one hand he raised the gun and flung it across the room in to the wall. "He doesn't deserve this."
Very slowly, Dr. J hobbled behind the chair-held captive to stand over the weapon. "That was foolish, boy."
With lazy disdain he pulled a separate gun from his pocket and fired. The cook's son rolled forward lazily as the bullet exited from his forehead in a mist of blood.
Abstractly, the boy recognized a sharp pain slice through his shoulder before the bullet slammed into the wall. "What did he do?"
"He did nothing." Dr. J reached down for the original gun and fired it at the ceiling, a blank clicking in the chamber. "Remember this: when you arrogantly choose your beliefs over your orders, people die. It is not a soldier's place to let emotion rule his actions."
The boy sagged to his knees, the blood flowing freely from his shoulder and spreading across his chest and arm.
Dr. J hobbled toward the door. "And don't leave that wound or you might die of blood loss. We can't have that, now can we?"
His body racked itself with silent sobs for many minutes before he moved to follow his orders.
//He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why//
"Heero? You awake?"
...Covering his hands and seeping from his shoulder...
A hand waved between him and the glowing screen of his laptop.
...Smelling strong enough he could taste the metallic tinge down the back of his throat...
Forcing his eyes to refocus, Heero visually followed the arm up to its owner. Duo Maxwell.
"I..." He attempted to banish the sensation of liquid running down his arms.
Leaning onto the side of the desk, Duo stared at him intently. "Hey, you okay?"
Violet eyes met blue for a long moment.
...Why must my mission always be for blood?...
//You're waiting for someone
To put you together
You're waiting for someone to push you away
There's always another wound to discover
There's always something more you wish he'd say//
The boy was older now. Old enough that he was getting physically nearer to the adult he had been for years.
"You can't do this. I haven't done anything-- Heero, please! Listen to me!" The woman struggled against the handcuffs.
Calmly, the boy picked the gun up from the table and aimed. He fired once, the woman slumping away from the bullet.
"Is that all?" He lowered the gun, but did not turn his eyes from the rapidly cooling body.
"Very good, very good. You may be ready in time yet." Dr. J clasped his shoulder and turned him for an intense look. "And it didn't bother you at all that she was your teacher?"
"It was immaterial."
"Or that you were attracted to her?"
The boy swallowed before answering, but his voice remained firm. "It was a mission."
"Ah... Good." Dr. J smiled for the first time in years. "Come down to the lab later. We have something for you-- Your Gundam is almost ready."
Nodding, the boy set the gun back on the table. "Accepted."
With grave indifference, he padded down the hallway to the bathroom and washed his hands. Only when the skin became red from rubbing did he allow himself to wipe away the silent tears.
//But you'll just sit tight
And watch it unwind
It's only what you're asking for
And you'll be just fine
With all of your time
It's only what you're waiting for//
...Blood flowing from a wound in Duo's shoulder...
...The feeling of a warm gun...
//Out of the island
Into the highway
Past the places where you might have turned
You never did notice
But you still hide away
The anger of angels who won't return//
"Oh. Well, just thought maybe you might be interested in a little company. Sometimes I forget you're Heero-not-even-a-real-person-Yuy." Duo stood up, and turned away. "If you should ever need someone- I'll be outside with Deathscythe."
//I am everything you want
I am everything you need
I am everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
I say all the right things
At exactly the right time
But I mean nothing to you and I don't know why
And I don't know why
Why I don't know//
Heero turned his chair to watch Duo's rapidly receding back, his eyes large with retrained sadness. "But if that's true, why can't I forget what I am?" He spoke softly and to himself. "Why won't you let me loose my humanity?" He choked back a thickness in his throat.
After a long moment, his eyes hardened again. "But, Duo, if I have to kill you for the sake of the mission, I won't hesitate. I will only regret the necessity."
Deliberately the boy turned back to his work, ignoring the feeling of bleeding somewhere inside.