5-18-2001

Um...hey. You may notice bits of lurker dust on me; try to ignore them. ^_^

This fic was bothering me in the middle of writing a paper, so I figured I'd jot it down and finish it. If there are mistakes, pardon, I just finished it.

 

Title: Dusty Rain

Author: Ryjaan Avalon

Date: May 15

Warnings: It's not a happy-go-lucky fic, in fact, it's not really happy at all, though there are traces of humor

Pairings:. Everyone loves everyone (Go Yaoi!). You get the idea. Typical 1X2, 3X4.

Archive: Feel free, but let me know. I love seeing my name in print. ^_^

Disclaimers: The characters ain't mine, but the plot is. How does that work? I dunno, but don't sue me. I's just a poor college kid. You can have a penny!

 

~ * ~

 

~ ! ! ! C R A S H ! ! ! ~

 

The house shuddered. A window shattered. A shriek sliced the air.

"Trowa?" a voice called.

"I'm here,” a voice answered.

"Injustice!" shouted a young boy, thick with a Chinese accent. "They fired in the middle of my tea! For this, they will pay!" He stood and shook out his ponytail, dust and shrapnel flying.

 

** "Duo?" a voice called. **

 

"The question is how did they find us." Trowa said, walking through the raining dust to join Wufei. "We've only been here a day. There's no way they could have located us that quickly, not with our security."

"A leak?" Quatre asked, nursing a head wound and taking Trowa's hand. If Wufei cared, he didn't voice it.

 

** "Duo?" a voice called. **

 

Wufei snarled. "Are you blaming Sally?" At the sound of laughter, Wufei whirled on Trowa. "What?!"

"A little jumpy, aren't you? It was Noin who directed us to this place. We don't meet with Sally again until later this afternoon." Trowa smirked.

Wufei blushed and turned his back. "I will search the rubble for any clues."

 

** "Duo?" a voice called. **

 

"No," Trowa said. "This place is barely standing. We must take what we can and go to the rendezvous early."

Quatre wasn't listening. Still holding Trowa's hand, his eyes were searching the screens of dust. "Where's Heero? And Duo? Weren't they upstairs...” His eyes drifted upwards to peaks of blue sky above and the absence of an "upstairs."

After a second's pause..."Heero!" Trowa called.

 

** "Duo?" **

 

The three pilots dashed through the rubble to the only remaining stairs. Heero was silhouetted against a shaft of sunlight at the top. "I can't find Duo..." he muttered, eyes unfocused. Hesitantly, Trowa put a foot on the first step and held out his hand.

“Heero, come down. We must leave.”

Maybe Heero would have listened, but at that moment a weak groan was heard and he scrambled off after the sound. More floorboards fell as the foundation shook and the dust resumed its endless fall. “Heero!” Quatre shouted, but the collapse of the staircase drowned his shout.

“Duo?” Heero called, walking slowly down the hallway to a closed door. Holes in the floor slowed his progress, and twice he fell, never noticing the steady trickle of blood from his thigh or forehead. All his concentration was focused on the battered door barring his sight.

A tiny moan. A ragged breath.

 

** “Duo?” a voice whispered. **

 

Heero opened the door.

 

~ * ~

Lights.

“Hey, Heero!” Duo called.

So many lights.

“Over here, Heero!”

Won’t somebody turn down the lights?!

“Heero! Look out!”

 

~ ! ! ! F L A S H ! ! ! ~

 

The two boys raced through the field, kicking up dandelion seeds wherever their feet touched down. Duo laughed and squirmed, chasing the seeds avoiding Heero. The latter boy, with grim determination, ignored all the outer stimuli with eyes only for the long flying braid. As soon as he got close enough, his hand snaked out and grabbed it.

“Yipe!” Duo squeaked, falling back into a heap of grass, though his laughter never stopped. “Now what?” he asked, looking up his “leash” at the boy.

Heero just frowned and dropped the braid and started to walk away.

“Hey, Heero!” Duo called out, scrambling to his feet in hot pursuit. But he was ignored. “Over here, Heero!”

But again, the pilot made no move of having noticed.

“Heero, look out!” Duo shouted, chucking a ball of dirt at Heero’s back with perfect aim. The unexpected blow halted him in his tracks.

“Duo…” he hissed, slowly turning around, glaring.

Laughing, Duo took off running. The difference this time was that he wrapped his braid around his neck scarf-like. Destination: trees. What better way to stage a surprise than to take the to the treetops?

Problem: Heero happened to be just a bit too fast. This time he wrapped his arms around the braided wonder and pulled him to the ground.

“Gotcha,” he whispered before catching himself.

“Huh?”

“Nothing.” Heero pushed Duo away and lurched to his feet.

“Heero? Hey, wait up. What’s the matter, Heero?” Duo reached out a hand to stop his friend, but instead Heero hit the hand away and yanked Duo close.

“Heero?” Duo whispered.

“Oh, just shut up Duo,” Heero hissed before kissing Duo hard enough to bruise. For the first time, Duo listened without a complaint.

“Duo…” Heero breathed.

~ ! ! ! C R A S H ! ! ! ~

 

Another volley of explosive fire rocked the building, tearing out the sidewalls and sending a wall of heat straight towards the injured lump in the center of the room behind the door, gasping for breath.

 

~ * ~

 

The door was hot.

What?

The floor was hot.

I don’t understand.

The wall was hot.

Where am I?

The roof was gone.

Did I miss something?

Voices were calling.

What?

“Duo!”
“Heero!”

Where am I?

“Get out of there!”
“Quatre, no!”
“Are you crazy?”
“We have to save them!”

The floor was hot.

**“Duo…”**

There!

**“Duo…where are you?”**

Here! I think. What is here? Why is everything so hot!

“They’re coming back! We have to get out of here!”
“I’m not leaving without them!”
“Quatre!”

**“Duo…”**

There was the sun. It was clear, and grass. And…Heero? Heero!

Slowly eyes open, blinking back dust though more rains down. A cough. A groan. A voice.

**“Duo…”**

Here! Why can’t I speak?

“Quatre, get down!”

Something’s wrong…

“No! Duo, Heero! They’re back, you must get out!”

Back? What was here? Why can’t I move? Why does the rain look like dust? It was supposed to be wet.

We were out walking, just you and I. I didn’t think. I took your hand. You jumped. Your eyes were wide. I thought you would leave. But then the rain came. And…

 

~ ! ! ! F L A S H ! ! ! ~

 

“Why did you do that?” he asked, glaring around and shaking off the rain.

“I didn’t think. I just did.”

“You should learn to think more.” Then he was walking away.

“Wait! You kissed me!”

“That was days ago. Forget it. It was a weakness.”

The rain felt down, like a sheet, like a wall, sweeping the two boys apart.

“A weakness… Since when has love ever been a weakness?” the boy asked, bangs melting to his face. “Heero…” Then he realized. He realized what was wrong, what was missing.

“Heero…I’m not going anywhere.”

The boy stopped and whirled around. “What do you mean? What the hell do you mean?”

Slowly Duo walked over, and laid a hand on his shoulder. “I said I’m not going anywhere. When you’re ready, I’ll still be here.”

Heero slapped the hand away and stormed off into the rain.

“I’ll still be here…”

 

~ ! ! ! F L A S H ! ! ! ~

 

The light hurt his eyes.

“I’ll still be here…”

Turn it off.

“…still be here…”

Turn it off!

“…be here…”

It’s too hot. The light…

“…here…”

Fire!

“…”

Duo!

Heero forced his eyes opened and stared at the door that lay on the floor in front of him. A black tattered shirt was there, just beyond. A shirt…and a braid. But the fire was moving too fast. And the floor was falling. And the dust was raining. And…

Duo!

~ * ~

Some facts people may not know about old buildings. A) When hit with a volley of pulse fire, they tend to fall down. B) They may also catch on fire. C) With good foundation work, the entire building may not collapse. D) But that means that anybody left inside will be playing fifty-fifty. E) Because the walls won’t stop falling. F) Once on domino goes down, the rest are sure to follow. G) Did I mention fire? H) Fire tends to move quite fast through old houses like that. I) Smoke rises. J) Smoke suffocates people. K) Suffocation causes death. L) People on the second floor, if the second floor remained, would not be very safe. M) The stairwell wasn’t very sturdy. N) They might still be okay though, that fifty percent chance. O) Just so long as no one tried to move around too much on that second floor. P) That would be bad, considering there wouldn’t be many supports left on it. Q) Any movement should be slow, soft, and deliberate. R) That is not to say that anybody left shouldn’t get out of there. S) Because the floor will still fall in. T) And the fire will still travel very fast. U) And you never know which wall will fall in next. V) But after the first volley, the biggest worry would be suffocation. W) But that could be a good thing, depending on how you look at it. X) Because if someone was up there, and suffocated, they’d die. Y) Then they wouldn’t be moving. Z) And you wouldn’t have to worry about the movement caving in what was left of the floor.

“Quatre!” Trowa grabbed onto his lover and held on tight, though it wasn’t easy. The young blond squirmed as hard as he could.

“Let me go! Trowa! We have to get them out!”

“And what if your going in there only knocks the house down further!”

“It couldn’t.” But his struggling slowed at the thought.

“Quatre, it looks like a Salvador Dalí painting!”

Then the licks of flame became visible on the roof.

“No!” Quatre howled, and this time he was too quick for Trowa.

“Quatre!” Trowa screamed, tearing off in hot pursuit. But Wufei got in his way and knocked him to the ground.

“It might stand Quatre, alone, but not two of you.”

“Out of my way!”

Wufei’s foot descended, pinning Trowa to the ground. “Tell me about this ‘Salvador Dalí.’”

~ ! ! ! C R A S H ! ! ! ~

The roof caved in just in front of him, sending up a shockwave of smoke and dust. The fire was growing.

“Duo?”

The smoke was thickening.

“Heero?”

They had to be okay.

“It’s Quatre.”

He knew they cared for each other. Two weeks of silence between them couldn’t change that.

“Hello?”

Suddenly a pillar of fire erupted in front of him, kissing the ceiling two stories up.

~ ! ! ! F L A S H ! ! ! ~

“It’s a crazy idea.”

“Duo may have a point, Heero.” Trowa looked again at the map. “If they’re going to be increasing the guard…”

“…And they’d be crazy not too…” Quatre put in.

“…Then we’ll only have a limited time in which to get in. We’ve got to go now.”

“He’s not going alone.”

“Duo’s the best ‘locksmith’ we have. And the rest of us need to provide a distraction. Are you volunteering to accompany him? Even I argue that he’s the best. Though I do agree backup wouldn’t be too bad.”

“No.”

Duo stood up from the table, his face drawn and pale. “I told you guys. He won’t come with me. I’ll be fine.”

“I’ll go,” Wufei said, launching to his feet. “You are in no shape to go alone.”

“I’m fine. And I’ll go better without you.” To back up his bold statement, Duo tripped and fell to his knees. Without thinking about it, Heero was there, lending a hand.

But as soon as their eyes met, he looked away.

“I’ll meet you at the Safe House.” Then Duo turned his eyes directly to Heero, who couldn’t have missed it. “I’ll be there. Still.” And he left.

Heero watched him go, but said nothing. Five minutes later he noticed tightness in his wrist and realized he’d been holding a fist.

~ ! ! ! F L A S H ! ! ! ~

There was dampness on his face.

It’s raining now?

“Duo?”

Someone’s coming!

“Heero?”

Grunting, Heero opened his eyes and batted back the dust.

“It’s Quatre.”

Quatre. He can help.

The boy tried to rise up to his feet, but his wounded arms gave out and he fell back down. The thump of his fall shook the boards he was balanced on.

Shook the boards. From one small fall?

“Hello?”

He’ll come up here. Quatre will come up here…

Shook the boards.

No!

“No…” he rasped. “No…”

It became a chant as once again he struggled to his feet, more carefully this time.

“No…no…”

On his feet again, he braced against the wall, gulping in breaths of tainted air. Then he saw the heap in the next room. The braid lying limply in a pile of rubble. The side that was oh-so-still. The hand outstretched, grasping nothing, but waiting for another…

“No!”

Heero flung himself down the corridor.

“No!”

Each step shook up more dust.

“No!”

Another section fell out behind him.

“Quatre, get away!” he thought to shout at the doorjamb.

The room was filled with fire, eating up the walls.

“Heero?”

“Get out of here! You’ll shake the place down!”

Then his knees gave out and he tumbled to the floor, one hand outstretched, searching, and finding, the other.

 

~ * ~

**I want to hold your hand.**

**Then why don’t you?**

**You’re dead.**

**Funny, I was going to say the same thing about you.**

**Why?**

**Well, aren’t you?**

**I don’t think I am.**

**Then why did you fall down?**

**I fell?**

**Smacked right on to the floor. Though I like the fact that after not speaking to me in two weeks, the first thing you do is try to hold my hand.**

**I’m sorry, Duo.**

**I know.**

**Duo?**

**Yes, Heero?**

**Are you dead?**

**I don’t know. Are you?**

**I don’t know either.**

**If you’re not dead, then you should be breathing.**

**Breathing…**

**So breathe!**

**Breathing…**

**Heero, are you breathing?**

**Breathe…**

**Heero?**

Gasp!

**Heero?**

The boy began sucking great lungfuls of air into his lungs, over and over again.

**You’re breathing!**

“Duo?” he rasped, his throat hoarse with smoke.

**I don’t think I can breathe.**

“Duo, breathe!” Heero hissed, crawling closer and placing one broad palm on his friend’s chest. Nothing.

**It’s not working.**

“Breathe, dammit!” Lurching to his knees, he began CPR.

**No, I changed my mind. It’s safe here.**

“1…2…3…4…5…”

**I’m allowed to change my mind.**

Breath.

**I want to change my mind!**

“1…2…3…4…5…”

**I want to…**

Breath.

**…to breathe.**

“1…2…3…4…”

Duo’s body shook and seized as suddenly his lungs started working on their own.

“Duo!” Carefully, Heero held on to the weak boy as his body struggled to live.

His lungs burned and his chest felt tight. His throat was dry and **Boy! Would he love a huge glass of water right now. With a side of ice cream. And a cheeseburger. And some French fries?**

“Duo, are you okay? Are you…” Heero paused, throat tight again only this time, it wasn’t from the smoke. “Are you still here?”

Slowly, oh so slowly, Duo turned his head and met Heero’s eyes. “Yes, Heero. Yes. I’m still here.” Then he promptly feinted. Amidst the fire, the smoke, and the dust raining down, with Heero holding him tighter in his arms, Duo feinted.