6-10-2001

Title: Written in Blood
Author: AstroKender
Pairings: 5x2, 3+4, 1+2 and various combinations there of.
Catagory: action/mystery
Warnings: none really.
Spoilers: None.
Notes: Takes place after the Eve Wars of Endless Waltz. Everyone works for the Preventers.
Archived: GWA: www.gwaddiction.com (go here for previous parts!)
Feedback: AstroKender@insight.rr.com
Disclaimers: GW isn't mine. I make no money from this. Don't sue me.

 

Part 21

Duo saw WuFei off at the airport the next morning. The cab ride there was a cold and silent affair, with both boys wrapped up in their own thoughts. Standing in the terminal, Duo sighed, before moving in and hugging the Chinese boy firmly.

"You'll be back in three days?"

WuFei nodded solemnly. "Three days." Kissing Duo gently, he pulled back with reluctance. "Quatre will be here soon to pick you up, right?"

"Yup," Duo glanced at his watch. "He should be here in about fifteen minutes."

The ticket agent gave the boarding announcement and WuFei nodded quickly. "Okay. Do not put too much strain on your injuries, and do not let Quatre and his brood tire you out. I called Une and told her that you were taking the weekend off so just try to relax."

"You what?" Duo nearly screeched.

"No time to talk now or I will miss my flight," WuFei spoke hastily. "See you in three days." WuFei began walking away from the incredulous American but he stopped in his tracks when Duo nearly tackled him behind with a heartfelt hug.

"Be careful, you jerk."

WuFei turned and embraced him. "You too."

Duo watched from behind the giant reinforced windows as WuFei's shuttle launched. The white aircraft shot up into the clouds and quickly became only a speck on the horizon. The American sighed deeply as it disappeared into the sky, before turning and walking towards his rendezvous point with Quatre.

The American scrubbed his face tiredly as he walked. He hadn't gotten nearly enough sleep last night due certain other activities. And because of that, plus his still healing injuries, it seemed like everything on his body hurt, even his hair. And to top it off, his stomach growled hungrily as he passed the food court, but he couldn't stop, because Blondie would worry if he were late.

He arrived at the spot where he was to meet Quatre and plopped down on a nearby bench in exhaustion. Looking around idly, he spotted an old magazine left on a nearby table and grabbed it, idly flipping the pages. His stock was up twelve percent, he mused absently. Duo gave a great yawn and leaned back, placing the open magazine over his face. Might as well catch a few winks till the Arab arrived. Knowing Quatre's busy schedule, he'd be late, as usual.

Something hard poked him in the back and he stiffened. Heart in his throat, he raised his arms in submission and slowly turned around, the magazine sliding from his face. A chubby four year old grinned toothlessly back at him, a small water pistol held tight in his grubby fingers. Duo slumped in relief before tousling the boy's hair fondly.

"You got me, kid. "

The little boy's smile widened. "I'm a cowboy!"

"You sure are," Duo grinned. "A regular John Wayne."

"You're a Indian ain't you?"

Duo's eyes widened in mock surprise. "How did you know?" The little boy silently pointed at the American's braid and Duo chuckled.

"If I give you a secret Indian treasure, will you let me go free?"

The small boy thought this over carefully before nodding, his large eyes bright with curiosity. Duo fished around in his pocket before coming up with large silver dollar. He held it solemnly before the boy.

"See this? It's special Indian treat money. If you take it over to that woman over there," he pointed at a vendor's booth. "She'll give you some candy for it."

The little boy squealed with delight before grabbing the coin and running back to his mother. Duo watched him fondly for a moment before jumping as a hand lightly squeezed his shoulder.

"Playing with the kindergarteners again I see." Trowa chuckled.

Duo turned towards him with a grin. "Hey, it wasn't my fault. I was ambushed."

The Latin boy's chuckles deepened as the little boy waved happily before following his mother to the vendor's booth. "I know. I was watching."

"You were?" Duo's eyes widened. "Why didn't you come over?"

Trowa stuck his hands in his pockets absently as he stared bemusedly down at the longhaired boy. "I didn't know it was you at first. You had a magazine over your face."

"Ahh...."

"Do you have any bags with you?" Trowa asked.

"Nope. I packed light." Duo grinned before standing and looking around. "Where's Blondie?"

"His morning meeting ran over schedule and he sent me to come and get you. I'm supposed to quote 'take you and feed you, because WuFei probably hasn't been feeding you as much as he should and then drive you to the condo and make sure you get settled in before I go into work and make sure that you don't try to call Une and try to get her to let you work this weekend.'"

Duo laughed, and they began walking through the terminal. "I'm impressed. Even I wouldn't been able to say all that in one breath."

Trowa shrugged. "He spoke even faster. And less coherently. You know how he gets when he is running late." Duo nodded silently and they walked outside, where Trowa's beat up Chevy truck was parked in the tow away zone.

"Man, you push you're luck sometimes, Tro-man. The cops around here wouldn't hesitate to tow that jalopy yet you still park it right out in the open."

The Latin boy shrugged again. "I like to live dangerously." He glanced at Duo out of the corner of his eye and smirked.

"Yeah well, I'd take your kind of danger any day." Jumping into the passenger seat, Duo shut the door firmly before pointing firmly ahead of him. "Home, James."

Trowa's smirk widened as he slipped behind the wheel. "As you wish, Master Duo."

***

Trowa accomplished his mission of feeding Duo and settling him into Quatre's condo without a hitch. Last he checked a very full and very tired Duo had crashed on the sofa, the television remote dangling in his hand. Smiling, the Latin boy called his lover and assured him that everything had gone well before throwing a blanket over the American's slumbering form and quietly leaving the house, making sure to lock the door firmly behind him.

Duo slept away most of the afternoon on Quatre's couch, only waking when the sound of keys jangling outside the door reached his sensitive ears. Yawning, the American stretched mightily as Quatre tiptoed through the door, stack of papers in hand. The blonde spied Duo and relaxed, tossing his papers on a nearby chair before carefully removing his jacket and boots.

"I'm sorry if I woke you."

Duo waved him off. "No sense sneaking around in your own house. I would have woken up soon on my own anyway."

Quatre smiled as Duo looked around. "Where's Tro? At work?"

"Yes. He works all weekend."

"Huh?" Duo cocked an eyebrow. "But you two always have the same days off."

The Arab blushed. "Well, you see, WuFei is unable to work at the office because of his trip to space. He requested that you take the weekend off and both Une and I agreed. In addition, Une allowed me to keep my days off to 'keep you out of trouble', even though the Preventer's office is currently understaffed."

"Damn. I'm sorry, Quatre. Trowa has to work cause Fei got an overprotective streak. If you want, I can call Une and con here into letting me take Trowa's shift."

Quatre shook his head furiously. "You will do no such thing! You need to relax Duo. Things have been hectic lately and none of us want you to collapse from the strain. Trowa offered to work this weekend. Besides, we haven't spent much time together lately. I miss my best friend."

Duo sighed as the blonde turned the full force of those big baby blues his way. Groaning, he stood and slung his arm over the Arab's shoulders. "Alright already, enough with the guilt trip. I miss hangin with you too, man."

The blonde smiled happily. "So, what should we do tonight? My chef has weekends off so Trowa normally cooks. But I can do my best."

Duo's eyes widened. "Umm.... How about we order out?"

"Pizza?"

"Pizza." Duo grinned.

The two spent the evening gorging on double pepper and cheese pizza while playing in Quatre's game room. Duo was amazed on how such a small space could resemble a veritable arcade. Examining the selection, he stopped in front of an obvious new addition.

"Gundam Battle Assault? Quatre, how could you?"

The blonde grinned in embarrassment and shrugged, as Duo shook his head. "This game is the bane of my existence! Not only have I never seen half the mobile suits used but also because the only pilot the company saw fit to include was Heero-I-Will-Survive-Yuy! What a crock! So he and his Gundam, which only ran because he stole parts from mine, get to star in the hottest video game of the year and what do we get? Nadda! Zip. Zilcho. Man, life is so unfair."

Quatre laughed as the American continued his rant, all the while aimlessly playing said game. The Arab watched in amazement as Duo easily passed levels that he couldn't even get to. Shaking his head, the blonde moved to his favorite game, Frogger. And turned the machine on. He was suddenly determined to eat his high score.

Companionable silence was broken at odd intervals by various groans and shouts of triumph. Eventually, the two tired of arcade games and moved to the air hockey table. The puck soon flew furiously between the two competitors.

"So," Quatre spoke, after their third game of air hockey. "WuFei tells me that you need a new wardrobe."

Duo noted the manic gleam in the blonde's eye and shook his head furiously. "Oh, no! Don't even think about it! If you really believe that I would let you drag me into one of those stuck up cesspools of custom tailored Armani suits you've got another thing coming!"

Quatre just gave him a small smile as he leaned over to grab the discarded puck. "We'll see," He purred, causing Duo to miss his shot and let the Arab score the first point.

The night passed smoothly and morning found the two boys perusing the interior of one of Tokyo's largest malls. Quatre darted from window to window excitedly, calling back now and then to a heavily laden Duo. The American grumbled continuously from behind his shield of shopping bags, dragging his feet every step of the way. He swore to himself that WuFei was going to get an earful once he returned.

Thinking of WuFei made him pause, wondering if his lover was okay. He absently moved aside for two older ladies before resting his back gratefully against the far wall of the corridor. Shaking off the weird feeling that surged up his spine, he wearily dropped his bags to the ground and stretched, watching as Quatre disappeared into the store across from him.

Glancing around, he noticed a nearby water fountain and sighed in relief. Shopping was thirsty work. He quickly headed for the darling little machine but halted mid stride and ran back for his bags. Quatre would kill him if he let someone run off with them. Well, maybe not kill him, but he'd make Duo go through all this over again, which in the American's mind was worse than death.

Bags in tow, the longhaired boy shuffled over to the humming fountain and set the bags down behind him, so the wouldn't get wet if the fountain decided to be playful. Turning, he happily bent over to drink half his weight in water. Duo wiped his chin and was beginning to straighten when he was grabbed from behind.

A damp cloth was slapped firmly over his mouth and nose. Duo struggled wildly, but his faceless attacker had a strength that equaled his own. The American's vision dimmed as his thrashes weakened and he slumped backwards against his attacker. Duo's feet slid out from under him, kicking over several of his bags before strong arms caught him and began to drag him away. Duo's mind hazily supplied one word before he blacked out.

Chloroform.

Quatre walked out of the clothing store, curious to see why Duo had not joined him. Aquamarine eyes scanned the passersby, searching for a telltale braid. Frowning, Quatre turned around slowly, finally spying a pile discarded bags by a small water fountain. Walking over to the bags, the blonde quickly identified them as Duo's.

Duo would never leave his bags just lying around, Quatre thought nervously. Even if he did, they wouldn't be knocked over and scattered about like this. The Arab swallowed, looking around desperately for his friend.

"Duo? Duo!"

Quatre's heart thudded wildly against his chest as fear seized through his body. Reaching into his jacket, he pulled out his pistol before taking off down the hall, ignoring the alarmed cries of nearby civilians.

"Duo? Where are you?" Duo! Answer me!"

But the American was gone.

Shaking fingers ran through his hair as he turned around in circles, tears clouding his vision. His gun arm dropped limply to his side as his head tilted back in despair. His hands clenched as a shout ripped through his throat.

"DUO!"