Pairings: (1+2) finally, Heero figures it out! (4+D?) who knows? 3 and
Warnings: errr... angst... AU. Orange juice cravings. And yah, I broke down, fic will have a happy ending... Sarah McLachlan songs be damned.
Notes: taking forever. Dedicated to Alexandrite, whose e-mail I haven't replied to yet, because I couldn't do it without having the fic waiting for her. Because, you know... she is really cool. And she drew me fanart... and yah.
And so I needed to have this done. So if you like this, you should really thank her, because she made me write out an outline, and cause, I guess, the fic was kinda haunting her. So I figured, if it was just haunting me, that would be okay... but if it haunts two people then it is just being vicious.
So here is to removing viciousness. There.
Of Bullets and Barrels + Part 8
Adia, I do believe I've failed you.
Adia, I know I've let you down.
Don't you know I tried so hard to love you in my way?
It's easy. Let it go.
Adia, I'm empty since you left me,
Tryin' to find a way to carry on.
I search myself and everyone to see where we went wrong.
There's no one left to finger.
There's no one here to blame.
There's no one left to talk to, honey,
And there ain't no one who'd buy our innocence
-Adia Sara Mc Lachlan
The only warning of the infiltration was the sound of the alarms cutting off. The emergency lights flashed next, as power slowly filtered into the deadened shell of Wing. Everything washed in green, and Quatre briefly thought of the fields of grass he had seen on Earth, he decided that it was not a bad memory to die to.
When the first infiltrator entered the cabin, they barely dodged the knife which flew towards them, although the bullet did not miss.
"Bitch." Dorothy Catalona seemed to shatter then rematerialize before Quatre, even as his gun fell apart. "That is your last shot Winner, if you try that crap one more time, I will take you apart."
"I would like to see you try."
The cabin gave another lurch as the ship wailed under the strain of movement. He had not had a chance to really see the extent of damage that he and the nanos had rendered upon Barton's I-field, until then. The engineer hissed as Catalona's nanos illuminated the shattered holes which permeated the bubble of Barton's aura. It was a wonder that the whole of the ship had not gone up in smoke under the strain which Barton was putting on it. Furthermore, he was beginning to see why he could not work his nanos.
"Shit... " hissed Dorothy in appreciation "... appropriate how the most unlikely of us to cut you off from your power has had his hand on the switch. Odd, and here I thought you were powerful, and all it takes is one little sorcerer."
"Do not piss me off Catalona. What the hell are you doing on my ship?"
"I have been commanded to bring you back." She flinched at the cold smirk which spread over the blond-man's face.
"How stupid of me. Of course. Your command prompt would be functioning. How long did it take you before you stopped shitting yourself?"
"Do not tempt me, Winner. I can kill you before your pathetic excuse for an interface realizes what is happening."
"I'm sure. Pick him up." Quatre commanded, indicating to Trowa, as he stood from the bed, ignoring the blood that ran from the wounds in his arms. He had not meant to damage Barton to the extent that he had, but the damage was done, and the sorcerer was unstable. When he had dragged Barton to the bed Barton's attack prompt had started initializing. He would be damned before he tried to carry him anywhere again. "Lead me to your captain, Alpha."
Quatre snorted, crossing over the threshold and into the hallway, scowling he pushed past a woman with short hair and stalked towards the gate which wavered before him. Her hand on his arm stopped him. Slowly he turned to face her. A wild. The blue of her eyes faded into the white of her corneas. He wondered briefly at the blue of her aura, which flared violently as Trowa was lifted through it, and then through the gate.
"We will take care of him."
"What are you going to do with Wing?"
"We will deal with it remotely. Currently there is a Romefeller squadron behind us."
"What of the rest of the crew?"
"Who are they loyal to?"
Quatre frowned. "Do you have a mind tech? I will give you a list of those who are loyal to me."
"And the rest?"
... For a time, Mary had worked on the Stabilization Project with me; we had been trying to tame Wilds. She disappeared for a year or more, and when she returned, she was drafted, and did not dare tell her superiors of Heero's existence. She told me nothing of who the boy was, but the way in which she watched him, and the way in which she held him led me to believe that she was his mother. Mary was a soldier, but to the boy, she was nothing of the sort.
Heero was three when the I-field failed to retrieve her.
Mary Yuy was the last perfect created. She had been a gate perfect, which was the reason for her ultimate death. I never found out the identity of Heero's father, but if I was to meet him I would know him on sight. Heero looks nothing like his mother.
Journal, Dr. J
In the possession of Heero Yuy
The familiar feeling of being bound awoke Heero. He snorted as he tested the strength of the bonds, ripping them off of his arms with ease, before sitting up. He glanced around what seemed to be a medical wing, before ripping the IV from his arm. The room was silent, and dimly light, with the stainless steel cabinetry and various instruments shining eerily in the greenish light. A sudden lurch in his stomach made him light-headed. Something about the color green ran a tangent in his mind, before he dismissed it, sliding out of the bed. It was cold, he noted, before straightening out, his bare feet making no sound as he crossed the room towards another where he could hear the whispers of what he assumed to be at least two people.
"... it isn't normal. Duo, how he did not notice the patch on him is, I don't know what it is. Relena didn't even know what it was, and she is the most powerful Mind Tech on record. I am scared of finding out what exactly managed to screw up his senses so severely."
"It might explain a few things. He's not been acting like what I would've expected. How old do you think the patch was?"
"The patch is at least five years old, although it was activated about a year ago. Whatever it was, his most recent disorientation can be attributed to it. Of course, so can his pliability."
"So y'think that he has been... that what we have been seeing this past year has not been him?"
"I think his self-destruct sequence activated it. What we know of Heero Yuy after that point, and this is purely speculation, but I think that it is a hindered, or beta version of him. I studied his file, Duo, the man who had a bit of a nervous breakdown in the hallway is not Heero Yuy, the man who tried to rip you to shreds a year ago is. I am afraid that the patch might have been testament to J's research, and it was a faulty one at that, a bit of emotional overload and he had shut down."
"Crap." Heero could hear Maxwell hiss, he could almost imagine the slump of his shoulders and the nervousness in those spidery white hands, as they repeatedly moved through Maxwell's bangs. It was a nervous gesture which he had catalogued on his third meeting with Maxwell.
Maxwell. A smile tugged at his lips. Heero had fainted. The though of himself fainting broadened the grin, before it faded away.
"Crap, Sally." Maxwell's whisper was harsh. "What the hell am I going to do?"
"Duo, this really isn't the time. I need to do another scan of his aura, and then I need to prepare for Barton's and Winner's arrivals. If they look a fraction as bad as Wing, I have a feeling that they are going to need all the help they can get. What did happen to that ship, anyway?"
"The Zero system turned on Winner. Hell, even I felt it; it made the shielding in the kitchen screw itself like nothing I have ever seen."
"I cannot say that I would know what that would look like."
"Ah... " There was a pause in the whispers. Heero could feel the shiver run over his skin, raising goose bumps on his arms, and the hair at the back of his neck. "Heero."
The Wall seemed to melt from in front of Heero as Maxwell looked though it, at him, a look of surprise on his face, before the wall reformed itself, hiding Maxwell and a woman with braids from view. A moment later he walked out the door of the office to stand in front of Heero.
"It would have been more efficient to walk through the hole you had made."
Duo looked confused for a moment, his eyes darting between the wall and Heero, before settling on him. "I take it that you heard."
"And I was unfamiliar with what you were talking about. Although the woman in the room was correct, my disorientation has been reduced since waking up. I had attributed that to enough sleep."
Heero watched disappointment creep onto Maxwell's face, before that melted away, leaving behind the flat smile and eyes of Shinigami. He wondered if it was normal to hate a single part of a human being, while being irrationally drawn to the rest. It was not a matter he cared to think on too thoroughly, in case he found the attraction lacking substance. He had grown attached to the feeling. However, a brief look on his actions revealed that he had indeed been disoriented, and had difficulty controlling his emotions, but he had hardly been out of his mind.
So the attraction was safe, at least.
The feeling of Maxwell's hand clutching tightly at his shoulder drew his mind away from his thoughts. He looked up into Maxwell's unseeing eyes.
Heero could only watch in horror as the room seemed to melt out from beneath him, and a stretch of isolation tube opened underneath him, before even that gave way to the main control room.
It was like watching the universe implode and explode out again, a pinprick of light growing like a bubble, and peeling back to reveal another area beneath him. His stomach lurched as his shell-protocol screamed and his mind shield faltered and shattered.
It was like peeling back skin. Like the making of the skin-armor, skin pulling back to reveal the pulsing blood and muscle beneath it, and beneath that, the sharp white of bone.
It was painful. It was gut-wrenching, and eye opening. With the shattering of his mind protocol, his power illuminated what his eyes had been blind to, and opened the logistic units, the main programming, the bios of Wing, and then Death Scythe. Heero could see them like millions of strings in his mind, weaved together, tangled, chaotic yet orderly, as they swept around each other and him. He could see the dead limbs of Wing as the warship shut off system after system, like a dying mammoth, the giant structure sucked upon the last of its power, as it tried to move its mass towards the mass of technology moving in from the Mars quadrant, past L2.
It was terrifying. His world shifted again, the perception moving deeper, and the systems opened further, expanding seemingly infinitely, as each subsystem encompassed his universe. Somewhere, the unceasing power of Death scythe Hell shone like a second sun, it pulsated against the veins and arteries of the black warship as it leached onto the open body of Wing. The power seemed to crackle against the hull of the white ship, permeating the cracks in the structure, melting it together under the heat of the on slaughter, but unable to enter the structure.
It would take just a twist. It was a frighteningly compelling idea, and the feel of Wing dying was too painful a sensation to not consider it. Too painful to not follow it.
Heero felt himself touch one of the live wires, felt the bright glow of pure energy shiver through his mind, wild and impossibly immense it drove him and his power into Wing's mainframe.
It was like the mind bomb.
It was worse then the mind bomb. Heero's chest felt like it was going to implode. His breathing was a tangible physical thing, as air filled lungs he could feel nothing but pain. Somewhere, in a world he had no ability to see, or hear, his fingers clutched at cloth and flesh, his nails braking upon metal.
Chaotic. The sound of a lullaby someone had forgotten. The flicker of footage from a security camera. 5pm. Hilde had released an I-field on the remaining sorceresses in the ship, causing them to commence an orderly self destruction. The resulting force tore through Wing's belly, severing the security circuits.
It burned. The ship thrummed against Heero's mind. It burned. Oh God it burned. His skin was peeling back as the ship relived its pain. System after system scorching under the death of the sorceresses. Sickening. Painful.
Green. There was a field in Europe, green, and it stretched for kilometers. From it he could see the colonies, see how they reflected the light as they moved around the moon.
The moon shone red.
A year ago.
Another recording: Duo was laying in a white bed, his eyes trained onto a tank full of coolant, where Heero floated in a world of black.
Relena in the kitchen, putting together a sandwich.
A girl crying.
Kilometers of sand, Heero could feel the red-hot heat of them.
But the energy was white.
Brighter then anything he had seem. Bright to the point of madness. The shinning strands of Death Scythe's logic systems pushed past him and into the guts of Wing, the deadened ship sprung to life, the central processing core bypassed, and the power generators blowing under the on-slaughter of energy. The whole structure shook, and the tremor poured across the systems of both ships, ripping holes in Wing.
He could see it happen, before the whiplash of the energy hit him.
Slamming him out of the subsystems of the ships, into his body, and into the floor.
"Fuck! Wufei FUCK! Do you think you could have given the guy a minute. Shit. Holy
Fuck, I am going to kill you, you bastard. What the hell am I going to tell Sally? And why the fuck is he bleeding? shit."
The world was spinning. Heero was aware of his head being held in someone's lap, before he turned to his side, and began throwing up onto the floor of the control room.
"Shit! Peacecraft, call someone up to clean this mess, and get Sally. Tell her he had a seizure."
He could feel himself being pulled into Maxwell's arms, his sweat soaked cotton pants and hospital shirt clinging to his body, and his chest heaving. The room was spinning and he thought that he might throw up again.
"Congratulations Yuy, you just mated two ships."
"Chang." He managed, before finding the strings of power which fell from the Asian man, onto the floor, into the walls, feeding two warships. He pulled them to him, and fed the thrumming energy back into the Chinese man, satisfied only when his knees gave way, and he landed heavily on the floor beside Maxwell and himself.
"You learn quickly, don't you?" Chang panted, glaring at Yuy from beneath sweat soaked strands of hair.
"What the hell are you?"
Quatre was staring at the ceiling of the medical wing. His main logic and emotional unit was raging war against the Zero system, which was buzzing in his head. Yuy was on the ship. When the little bastard had left Wing the Zero system had followed dutifully behind, and with the lack of Zero the nanos which powered a large proportion of the feedback loops in Quatre's body had shut down. He was suffering from Hypothyroidism, and a case of hypoglycemia. His adrenalin had skyrocketed, while his blood pressure had dropped. Mutually exclusive.
He gave a grumble of annoyance. He had not been weaned back onto the Zero System, on stepping into Death Scythe it had hit him like a wall, and he had surrender, although ungracefully, into unconsciousness. His only pleasure was the fact that he had managed to fall into Dorothy, who had proceeded to go ape-shit when their interfaces tried to merge.
She was swearing up a storm on the bed next to him, as the nanos tried to get her limbs to function without her conscious instruction.
One of the many many reasons Quatre was glad to have been in the beta group of Engineers. He felt momentarily smug about this, before his relatively forgiving side won out, and he sent a few protocol in her direction.
To shut her up. He reasoned.
"Now guys, don't make me put you both into your respective corners."
Quatre struggled to turn his head towards the sound, and damn near snarled at the sight before him. Maxwell. He held grudges against those who betrayed him, and he took a deliciously long amount of time torturing the idiots who tore apart his ship.
"Ooh, death glare from the blond. Sorry darling, I'm immune." Duo grinned, before leaning in dangerously close to Winner. He smirked. "So you are the fearless 04. Figures, I always thought you were fucking insane, so it makes perfect sense that you really are. Ain't that right, Doro... Heh, will you look at that Doro has gotten motor control back into one finger. Good going."
"Yessir. How did you figure?"
"I always thought you were a moron. I see that I am justified in my opinion."
"Awww, aren't we grumpy?" The smile slipped away ad Maxwell leaned back, stepping out of Quatre's line of sight. "However fun verbally abusing each other is, I came by to let you know that Trowa is contained, but until one of you two snap out of it, we can do all of dick-all to help him. So if he blows up, well, then he is dead then isn't he? Romefeller has an ETA of about half an hour. The discharge from whatever Yuy did to Wing is wreaking havoc on their positioning systems. Oh, and by the way. Your space bucket is now functioning. You can address the thank-you basket to Wuffles."
"Duo! I was wondering what was causing Winner's blood pressure to rise. Stop provoking him, I am trying to stabilize him, not have him spike again."
"Right-o Sally. Just get them back into shape within the next half hour. We are going head-on on this one. Hilde should not have killed all of the sorceresses on Wing until after the conflict."
"They would not follow your command."
"They would be up against Romafeller, would it have mattered?"
Quatre rolled his eyes "Not at all, except maybe for the fact that they would have gone after you next."
Maxwell grinned and shrugged, before sauntering out of the room.
"I sometimes hate that cocky little bastard" came the mumbled comment from Catalona's bed.
Quatre smirked "Then sometimes, we are in agreement."
Heero gingerly sipped at his cup of water as he sprawled over Maxwell's command chair. The control room was mostly empty, and only the monitoring station was operational. He had not previously met the engineer who was operating it, and he did not care to meet him at present. Apparently the feeling was mutual.
Why the control center was completely deserted half an hour before attack, he had no idea. But he thought it might have had something to do with Duo cackling madly for about a minute, before he walked out of the bridge. Heero sipped at his water some more.
He had to admit, he was embarrassed. He had managed to faint, be sick, and completely illogical on not one but at least two occasions. It was novel in a way which he preferred never to experience again.
He was also kind of lonely. Maxwell had vanished after dumping him into the command chair, and most of the personnel had followed. All of these were factors which prompted him into action.
"Where is everyone?"
The engineer did not answer at first, he merely looked up, and managed to pin Heero with a look of distaste. "Raiding Wing. Fixing Wing. Trying to make it usable."
"Half an hour before an attack?"
"Make it about an hour. They are heading the wrong way. Never mind, back on track... nope, spoke too soon."
"... " Heero watched the man. He was young, wearing a jacket which had the word sweepers' emblazed on the collar.
"It should take them about another ten minutes to realize that they can navigate according to the placement of the stars. Or another twenty to get their systems back on track. Nice EMP by the way."
"... thank you." Heero bit at the inside of his lip. He then forcibly stopped himself from doing it again. He had launched an EMP. He was unsure of how, but he had managed. In addition to that he had channeled Wufei through the systems of Wing. Again, the manner in which he achieved this was unknown.
Maxwell opened a gate. There were no more sorceresses who could open a gate. Only the gate machines were left, and those only worked if the sister gate existed. They were also finicky, picky, dangerous, monopolized energy, and were about as portable as an isolation tube. There weren't any sorceresses left who could open up a gate. But apparently there was a Wild. And Chang was beyond the classification of the current sorcerer system. He held the power of an entire battalion of zeros, and used his power to feed DeathScythe Hell, and now, Wing.
He had an enemy of Barton and Winner.
He had a medium in Chang.
He wondered how many times Maxwell had watched him as he had healed.
He wondered if everything was supposed to be this screwed up.
He wondered if falling for someone was supposed to be this screwed up.
It probably was.