Title: The Witching Hour (1/?)
Author: Imo-chan
Disclaimers: Not mine, they belong to some fat japanese billionaires who don't even know how to USE them properly... >.<
Pairings: 1x2/2x1 (not sure yet ^^;;), 4+3, 6+9... possibly others.. but we'll cross that ocean when we get to it. ^^
Warnings: Post EW, Romance, minor angst, death (some might call it bashing... but actually, I'm indifferent >.<), drama, shounen-ai (will be eventually and primarily 1x2/2x1 yaoi), intrigue, mystery (i guess... ^^;;)plodding plot lines and all around stuff I usually *don't* do. o_O;;; Lemme know how it turns out.
Feedback: *points up* Ditto.
Notes: Please, please, please... pay close attention to the dates. For some reason this fic decided it wanted to be written in non-chronological order... and it's confusing the hell out of me... so god knows what it's gonna do to you peeps. >_< Lemme know if it's TOO awful and maybe I can change it. But for now, bear with me.

Additional Notes: Erm... *sigh* I guess this needs to be said (it's kinda OT tho. >.<) To all my faithful followers (read: slave drivers *giggle* suki da!) of With Quill In Hand... well, Quill is on a permanent hiatus. I've been trying too hard to make it work and I've become too close to it. >.< Which means basically, it's giving me hell. I won't write any more of it *wails* until I'm confident about this one. It seems to have grabbed my interest more... >.< But I STILL really want to finish Quill - so no worries, Misuzu and Kitt and any others who have been absolutely WONDERFUL with feedback (luv ya! ^_~) It will eventually be worked on... please don't thwap me!! >_< Gomen ne, gomen ne... *bows and scampers away*

Additional Additional Notes: Umm... I'm on the lookout for a beta-reader... I have yet to use on, and I think I really need it. I'm really sloppy when it comes to editing my own stuff. ^^;;

Just some other stuff (almost done!):

//..blah..// = thoughts/italics


Part 1/?


-- RUST will be run through Projects Noon and Sunrise accordingly and in moderation. Do not, I repeat, do NOT target the operational and habitable sectors until further notice. The Benefactor is well aware of Noon and Sunrise, but will not be counseled if further action need be taken…

…Project Fools will be executed as planned, the target will attend and be in the discussed position at the designated time. The Benefactor has not been counseled but is aware of the consequences should Target Fools be allowed to live. But, I repeat again, the Benefactor has not been counseled. Do not discuss use of Materials for such a purpose in any proximity of The BF's Office…

… Terminate this message and all files when completed.-


[AC 202, April 1st]

There was a sharp *whack* as the door flew open, exploding with the force of an untamed, lonely, love-starved soul. Then there was loud *smack* as something very heavy hit something very much like a wall and several seconds of scuffling before a mass of energy, hair and voice came bounding into the kitchen, sending Heero's neatly stacked files spinning across the counter.

"So, looooo~ove… what's for dinner?"

"I missed you too."

Duo laughed and winked. "Bad day, sorry… Ray the-idiot-who-thinks-he-knows-everything-about-the-world Manada decided that if I wasn't there to sign for the shipping, then they might as well send it right back. I swear, if I could //afford// to pay people who weren't complete morons, I'd - Heeeey!" He stopped abruptly, his eyes catching a tuxedo hanging from a hook near the door. "You going out tonight?" He asked of Heero, efficiently hiding his disappointment in curiosity.

"Yes," Heero replied, glancing almost lazily at the tux before turning back to rearranging the papers he was shifting through. "Relena's speaking at the Project RUST conference at the Florence Hotel."

"A speaking engagement, or are you required to bodyguard-isize her for the par-tah too?" Duo asked, pulling open the fridge door and squinting inside.

"Party too."

"Man… don't tell me… that means…"

"Leftovers. They're in the oven."

Duo made a face and glared at the fridge. "Merrrgh…" he grumbled, pulling the milk carton from the shelf and swinging the door shut. "We have to ask Princess to give you some free time."

"I have lots of free time, Duo. You're never home to indulge in it with me."

Duo almost choked as he took a swig from the carton. "Ohh… pinning it on me now, huh? Low blow, Yuy… You know The Yard's a complete wreck, even with me there!" Pausing, he watched as Heero frowned unconsciously at the sentence he was reading.

"So, what's gotcha so scowly?" Duo asked, prodding the crease between Heero's eyebrows as he took another sip from the milk carton.

"Nothing major. Just some reports on the terrorists attacks on the Mars Colonization Project. Thought I should do some additional reading before tonight's conference. Stop doing that," Heero added without looking up as one hand snaked up to nab the carton from Duo's hand.

Duo sighed and opened his mouth to reply when a sharp beeping cut through the homely atmosphere. Both men reached for their waistbands and Duo swore sharply.

"Fuck! Maaan… just when I thought I got a break, 'nother dipwap at The Yard can't handle a simple situation. I swear, I'm either gonna fire them all or make sure they can't reach me when I'm at home." He growled and glared at the beeper before setting it down on the table with a *thunk*.

"Well, if I'm off now, I guess I won't see you till after the function, right?" Duo asked, sliding his feet into his shoes and gliding into his jacket.


"Well," he stood in the doorway, a petulant frown on his face. "Do I get a kiss or not?"

"Of course." Heero rose from his seat at the kitchen table and cupped Duo's face in his hands, pressing a gentle kiss to his lips.

"Goodnight love," Duo sighed. And then, almost as an afterthought, like a glimmer of something wrong and right and so many things he would never understand, he added:

"Be careful."

Heero only nodded.


[AC 202, April 1st , 22:15 hours]
" - most recent reports we have coming in at this moment only confirm what many are fearing the most: that one of the Earth Sphere's most revered and respected spokesperson for pacifism has been targeted - "



[AC 202, April 1st , 22:24 hours]
" - fallen victim to a terrorist attack - "


"Duo? It's me… have you heard? About… about the attack at the function…? I think you have… erm… you're not at home, obviously… Was he there? Is he all right? Give me call… uh… when you can… I'll call back later."


[AC 202, April 1st , 23:00 hours]
" - has been confirmed. Ms. Relena Darlian was announced dead upon arrival."

"Duo? Quatre again. I… I think you're at the hospital by now… Maybe… I don't know… I'm going to try your pager… and your cell, Trowa's been trying to reach The Yard for fifteen minutes now… there's no answer there either… still no word on….

"Duo… is he all right? Please…

"We're praying with you…"


[AC 202, April 1st , 23:30 hours]
"Relena Darlian was a beautiful, powerful, intelligent woman, a strong believer in peace and a enthusiastic backer of the Mars Colonization Project and of Winner Enterprises Incorporated… "

He though maybe he should pick up the phone and try again, but Duo hadn't made any effort to call him, so possibly…


Possibly, everything was fine.

Well, better than the current circumstances anyway.


[AC 202, April 1st , 23:47 hours]
"There is speculation that the attacks were made by the anti-colonization organization that goes by the official name of The People's Union Against the Colonization of Mars, but that is commonly known by the public as The Terrists - however, the official spokesperson for The Terrists, Omand Shillgar, denied all rumour that The Union was attached to the bombing. Police are not - "

Quatre sighed heavily and switched off the television, immediately plunging the room into dark.



He let his head fall forward onto his flexed palms, his fingers reaching stretching up and across to his cheeks to massage his throbbing temples before finding refuge in his ears, trying to block out the incessant drone from the radio in the kitchen.

She was gone… dead… and the media hadn't let up, not since the explosion. All that coverage, all that praise, grief, words… and nothing about him.

Had they forgotten about Heero?

Why hadn't anybody said anything?

Why couldn't he reach Duo?


He looked up, his eyes roving the dark room until they found a tall, lanky silhouette leaning on the doorframe, the features illuminated slightly by the slatted light that filtered through the Venetian blinds from the streetlamps outside.

"Any more news?" Trowa asked, his eyes not moving from the bent form on the couch.

Quatre knew he couldn't find a voice; he just shook his head softly… even though it would be impossible for Trowa to see. Gathering his wits with a deep breath and standing abruptly, he snagged his jacket from the back of the sofa and crossed the nubbly carpet on white stocking feet, every movement feeling much too loud in his ears. Pushing past Trowa into the bright lamplight of the apartment kitchen, he slipped his jacket over one arm while forcing one foot into a dark brown dress shoe, not bothering to tie it. Strangling on a soft curse, he fished under a nearby stool for the shoe's partner, snagging it with tired fingers and stuffing his other foot inside. Straightening, and shuffling into the entrance hallway, he caught a glimpse of himself in a small table mirror. Groaning under his breath, he attempted to straighten his errant bangs. There was nothing his could do, now, about the wrinkles in his clothes or the tear stains on his cheeks.

He heard Trowa approach softly from behind him, his lean form finding another solid wall to lean against. Quatre suppressed a sad smile. Trowa always did that, whenever he was confused or worried, he leaned against things. It would be funny to point out… maybe later… Quatre sighed again, one hand still pressed flatly to his mussed bangs.

"Are you leaving?" Trowa's voice was quiet, understanding.

Quatre glanced at the tall man through the mirror, allowing a small, apologetic smile to slip across his tired features.

"I… I should go…" he managed, still not quite trusting his voice. Not after his initial breakdown.

"I understand. Don't worry," Trowa nodded, his lashes falling closed with the movement. There was a pause, where Trowa slowly uncrossed his arms and let them hang, gangly and uncomfortable, at his sides.

"I'm sorry," he continued, causing Quatre to send him a curious glance. "I thought the night was going to go better than it did." He raised his eyes to the reflection of Quatre's slightly amused face.

"Oh… Trowa…" Quatre sighed and shook his head, finally sliding his arm into the other sleeve of his sports jacket. "We didn't expect this to happen… I though apologizing for non-existent faults was my job?" He chuckled ruefully before turning and buttoning his jackets, attempting to smooth out some of the wrinkles. "We'll just have to reschedule, all right?"

"All right," Trowa agreed softly, crossing the distance between them and placing a brief kiss on Quatre's head. "We'll do that."

Quatre managed a weak smile and let his hand run along Trowa's cheek. "Keep me updated… if you hear anything…?"

"I'll let you know. You should call the hospital… see if Duo's visited there yet."

Quatre nodded. "I'm going to try his cell again. Maybe… it would be good to talk to him, before… I don't know… I will, though… call the hospital, I mean."

"Good. I'll let you know if they mention Heero… or RUST."

Quatre grimaced. "Ergh. That's the last thing we need. No, don't worry about WEI… or RUST… we're on the lookout for anything… ANYTHING on Heero…"

"Got it."

"Right…" Quatre paused, feeling slightly uncomfortable. "I'll go… then. I'll… I'll see you soon, right?"

"Of course. Very soon. I just need to get things organized with Cathy, and then I'll join you on Earth."

"I love you."

"I love you too."

The door clicked shut, and Trowa crossed into the darkness of the living room again. The apartment was bathed in silence, except for the sound of the radio - blaring report after report on Relena Darlian's death, but there was nothing they didn't already know, nothing that they wanted to know of… nothing on the man that had let her down.

* * * * *