9-30-2001

Title: Written in Blood
Author: AstroKender
Pairings: 3x4/4x3,1+2
Warnings: angst abounds
Spoilers: None.
Notes: Argh...Sorry I didn't get this out sooner. These parts are so hard to write. Don't worry, things will pick up soon.
Feedback: AstroKender@insight.rr.com
Archived: GWA ( www.gwaddiction.com )
Disclaimers: I don't own GW or it's affiliates. This fic is written for entertainment purposes only and is not meant for sale. Don't sue.

 

Part 31

 

Feeling eyes upon her, Relena glanced up from the enormous pile of paperwork before her and started. "Heero!" Her hand flew to her chest. "You almost gave me a heart attack."

The Japanese boy stared at her impassively, before slumping into the chair across from her desk. Relena's blue eyes darkened in concern as she watched him. Heero's Preventer uniform hung limply off his body, wrinkled and dirty. The blonde set down her pen.

"It's been a month, Heero. What brings you here, another assignment?"

"Aa."

"Not protecting me again, is it?" Relena's delicate brows drew together at the thought that Une was putting Heero through the wringer over her.

"Iie. There have been rumors of somebody going around asking about mobile suit parts. The leads pointed to that someone being here in Sank, but the trail is long cold. So I... just stopped by for a visit, before heading to the northern coast of the Atlantic Ocean."

"What?" They're sending him out again? "Whatever for?"

Heero rubbed his neck tiredly as he laid his head back and rested his eyes. "That's where Howard's main Sweeper group is based. He called the Preventers yesterday morning reporting that somebody had stolen a junked Aries power core. It was busted, but anyone with a background in mobile suit repair could be able to fix it if given the resources."

"But what good would it do?" Relena asked. "All mobile suits were destroyed after the defeat of Dekim Barton."

Prussian blues eyes suddenly opened, their piercing stare locked unwaveringly with her own. "That is what I have to find out."

The stare was broken; however, with a yawn even the former Gundam Pilot couldn't suppress. Relena's lips firmed, wondering how many hours he had gone without sleep that would leave him this vulnerable. The Japanese boy frowned unhappily, and shook his head. "I need to get going." Heero stood silently. "It is good to see that you are well...." He trailed off suddenly, his eyes flashing with sorrow. Relena zeroed in on this and stood.

"How is Duo?" she asked suddenly.

The blonde could have sworn she saw a tear dance above the lashes of eyes so full of worry and sorrow they looked almost black, but when she blinked it was gone, and Heero once more stared back with his accustomed apathy. "There has been no change, though I haven't seen him in over a week. I've been working almost constantly now to make up for the loss of both he and WuFei. But Quatre was instructed to call if there were any changes."

"I see...." Relena bit her lip and looked away. "If you could call me... if he gets any better...."

Heero's eyes softened and he nodded. "Aa."

The Japanese boy turned slowly to leave and Relena's fists clenched. "Heero, wait!" she cried out. The blue eye boy turned around, one eyebrow raised, and she took a deep breath.

"You have been working too hard, and to top it off, you are worrying yourself sick over Duo. And you haven't even had time to visit him! How can he get better without your help?"

Heero stared at her silently and the blonde hurriedly pressed on.

"I command you to take a few days off! You need rest, Heero," she added softly. "And you need Duo."

"It's impossible," Heero replied flatly. "The Preventers are understaffed the way it is." He paused uncertainly. "Une would never allow it."

"We'll see about that...." Relena muttered as she turned on her vid phone. Heero watched impassively as she dialed a private number, but he could keep a spark of hope from flickering in his chest. Maybe he'd be allowed to see Duo, even for a moment.

The screen flickered to life, showing an impeccably dressed brunette. "Une speaking-oh! It's you Miss Relena. How can I help you?"

"Good day, Lady Une. If you will excuse me if I skip the pleasantries and get right to the point." Relena waited for Une's nod before continuing. "Heero needs the weekend off to rest and recuperate."

"I'm sorry, Miss Relena, but that just can't be done. We are all working overtime the way it is, with the exception of Barton and Winner, who have been charged with the care of-"

"-Duo, yes I know." Relena sighed and shifted her eyes to watch as the small hope in Heero's eyes die." Gritting her teeth, the blonde swiveled the vidscreen around.

"Look at him, Lady Une! Heero is no use to anybody in this condition! This is the boy who saved us all, can we at least try to return the favor?"

Une stared at the exhausted Japanese boy; her face lined with indecision. "I-"

"Lady Une," Relena turn the screen back towards her. "If you grant me this one favor I will see to it that you get the relief you need. There are plenty of men and women in my security staff that are drumming their heels with nothing to do. I can send at least a dozen of them over to aid you. I realize that they are not Preventers, but they will happily do whatever mundane tasks that burden your employees."

Holding her breath, Relena waited, while in front of her, Heero did the same.

"All right." Une said after a long pause. "Thank you for your assistance, Vice Minister. Tell Heero Yuy that he has the weekend off, but he is expected to be back on duty bright and early Monday morning."

Relena's smile lit the room. "Thank you, Une. I will do that." She closed the connection and focused her eyes on Heero. "You should at least get a few hours decent sleep before visiting Duo. I'll call Pargan in and he can show you to a guest room."

Heero nodded wearily. "Arigato, Relena." he said softly. The Vice-Minister's smile softened.

"Just make sure Duo gets better."

"Ryokai."

***

Quatre sighed and dropped his scrub brush, before straightening his back painfully. He had been trying for almost an hour to remove the coffee stain on both the chair and the carpet. The carpet came clean with little trouble, but the blonde feared the chair was a lost cause. Frowning, Quatre rose and stepped over to the bed.

"Duo?"

The longhaired boy watched him impassively from where he sat and Quatre took another step forward. Kneeling down, the Arab gently took one of Duo's small hands. "I want to apologize for earlier. I had no right to say those things. I've been a terrible friend." His head bowed, resting wearily on top of Duo's lap.

"I don't know if you can understand me," Quatre continued softly, not moving from where he rested. "But... I miss you. I miss your voice. I hope you come back to us, Duo. I promise I won't lose hope again."

Quatre started as he felt a feathery touch to his hair. Holding absolutely still, the blonde held his breath as Duo slowly threaded his fingered through the Arab's hair. Less than a minute later, the touch was gone and Quatre remembered how to breathe. Raising his head, he stared at Duo, his eyes shining. Thank you, he whispered silently, felling as though that delicate touch meant that he was forgiven.

"Guess what?" Quatre asked brightly. "Hilde called. She said she'd be on Earth later this afternoon. Should took the weekend off from the salvage yard so that she could visit you."

At first Quatre's heart sunk, thinking that Duo was again just staring blankly at nothing but looking closer, the blonde realized that Duo was staring intently at something behind him. Turning around, the Arab followed the gaze.

"The phone?" Quatre's brow furrowed in confusion. "Oh, I see. You want me to call Trowa. You're right, I need to apologize to him, but I doubt he'll even talk to me." Sighing, the blonde's fingers trailed idly across the carpet. "If only I could get him somewhere away from here, just the two of us, no offense, of course," Quatre prattled on absently as a plan slowly began to form in his head.

***

"And this class is the last display of our tour," The teacher announced as she lead her students forward through the Sank kingdom Museum. The kids hopped forward enthusiastically until they caught sight of the display. The children slid to a halt, faces pale. The teacher walked before them reassuringly.

"Relax, children. It's no longer functional. They took out the engine long ago. But look carefully, because what stands before you is the last symbol of war and the fight for the peace that we live in today. This is the last mobile suit left in existence. The Tallgeese!"

Many of the older boys rushed to up to the guide bars in awe, craning their necks to glimpse up at the white suit's massive form. Excited chattering erupted, many kids shouting questions at their bemused teacher.

"Is it true that the Tallgeese was the prototype for the Gundams?" one little boy asked.

"No way!" he best friend argued. "It says here that it's not even made of Gun-gunda-it's made from titanium!"

"So! It's still what they modeled the Gundams after!" The first boy stuck out his tongue.

"Is not!"

"Is so!"

A figure in the shadows smiled as the two boys began to tussle. His smiled faded though, when he caught sight of a little girl curled up fearfully against the wall, whimpering pitifully. The figure slowly walked over to her.

"Don't be frightened. As your teacher said, it no longer works."

"My-my daddy was killed b-by that thing." The little girl snuffled.

The figure's eyes darkened in sympathy and he crouched down so he could meet her eye to eye. "I am sorry. I too lost someone dear to me because of this suit. But I promise you, this suit will never hurt anyone again."

"You promise?" The little girl stood up, drying her eyes as she stared at him with hope filled eyes.

"You have my words." The figure vowed solemnly.

"Thank you!" The little girl hugged his leg quickly, before turning and running back towards her classmates.

The figure watched her with a smile before switching his gaze to the suit looming over him. "I know what you have planned and I will stop you," he whispered, before fading into the shadowy corridors.

***

Trowa sighed as his phone rang for the tenth time that day. "Preventers, agent Barton speaking."

"Trowa?"

"Quatre?" Trowa asked in surprise before memories of this morning hit him and his eyes narrowed. "What do you want?"

"Could you turn on your vid screen?" his lover pleaded.

"It's broken." Trowa lied.

"Oh...." The line was silent for a moment.

"Listen, I'm swamped with work right now so if there wasn't anything urgent-"

"Trowa wait!" Quatre began. "I-I want you to meet me somewhere.... Tonight. For dinner, to talk."

"You know we can take Duo out like that." Trowa's frown deepened.

"Duo's not coming. Hilde has come to Earth for the weekend. She'll be keeping an eye on him. It will just be the two of us."

Trowa said nothing and Quatre continued desperately. "Please Trowa! I love you and I want to work this out!"

The Latin boy sighed and gave in to the blonde's wishes, and his own secret desire. "Fine. Where do you want to meet?"

"How about the little French restaurant that you took me to when I first moved to Earth? At around seven o'clock?" Trowa could feel the blondes smile even though he couldn't see it.

"Fine. I'll be there."

"Great. Thank you, Trowa. Things will get better from now on."

"We'll see," Trowa muttered, hanging up the phone. But still, a little flutter of hope began to flicker in his heart.