Shihai - Part 2
by: Chichiri no da

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Duo wrapped both arms around Wufei's waist and buried his face against the Chinese pilot's muscled back as they sped down the highway. The wind whipped past them, bringing tears to his eyes and sending his braid streaming behind him. He would have loved the motorcycle ride - the speed, the wind, the gorgeous warm body between his legs - if it weren't for one fact: the destination.

Wufei seemed utterly unconcerned about the fact that they were heading directly into the hands of their enemy. He had discussed their strategy for getting into the heavily-guarded mansion as though he were proposing a stroll through the park, and then had looked perplexed when Duo half-jokingly asked him if he was sure he meant to go through with this.

//"What do you mean, Duo? I've done this dozens of times before. Treize makes sure I can get in and out safely."//

//"But, Wu-man, can you really tell me that you trust this guy? Think about how he tricked us into killing the peaceful doves! Can you really look at me and say that you're *sure*?"//

Wufei's forehead had wrinkled in gentle confusion, with none of the irritation Duo would have expected. //"But Duo, I *am* sure."//

Duo had thrown his hands up in surrender and allowed himself to be walked through their route over the grounds and up to Treize's window, which, presumably, would be unlocked in preparation for their arrival. Well, Wufei's arrival. There had been no way to communicate Duo's planned presence to Treize.

Duo had tried to treat it like a mission briefing. *We'll go in, swift and silent, and I'll take stock of the situation. If things are wrong,* he gave a mental shrug. *Then it's an assassination, and I'll pick up the pieces with Wufei later. There's no way I'm letting this bastard mess with Wu if I can help it.*

He looked up as the tone of the motor changed and they headed bumpily down a narrow gravel road. The sun was just setting now and Duo reflected that it had been not-quite 24-hours since he had stumbled into Wufei's room with a bottle of wine. *Amazing how much can happen in a day.*

He and Wufei had spent the day as though in a dream. Duo couldn't count the number of times he had leaned over from whatever he'd been doing to steal a kiss from Wufei's lips before going back to the show he'd been watching. Wufei had spent most of the day buried in a book, but Duo could still detect a subtle difference in the way the Chinese boy acted. He was softer somehow, more considerate and attentive. It had not escaped Duo's notice that Wufei had scarcely left his side all day.

Not that Duo had wanted to leave *Wufei's* side for a moment, either.

He shook his head. *You're just paranoid. You found out about this conditioning and it's spooked you, but he's really just acting like what he says he is - a guy who's in love. Nothing weirder. You're acting the same way, admit it, Maxwell.*

He grinned and snuggled closer to Wufei. The rumble of the motorcycle was complemented by a rumbling sound from the other boy. *Is he purring?* Abruptly Duo was reminded of genetic alteration and his smile faded. *I don't care what they've done to him. He's still Wufei, and I love him, and it's that simple.* he affirmed, the smile returning. It didn't occur to him that this was one of the first times he'd smiled, really smiled, in weeks.

His reverie was abruptly broken as the motorcycle came to a halt and Wufei cut the motor. His head jerked up and he looked around at the deserted parking lot. The lot could barely be called that, it was more of a widening in the rough gravel road that provided a place for tired motorists to stop without obstructing traffic through the stretch of lush forest.

"Where are we?" Duo asked intelligently as he swung his leg over the seat and stood up.

"Half a mile from Treize's mansion." Wufei answered curtly. He turned towards Duo and smiled, covering the characteristic terseness with a melting look. He held out a hand. "Let's go."

Gratefully, Duo grasped it, and they headed into the woods.

It seemed like only a heartbeat before they reached the outskirts of the grounds. Duo followed Wufei closely as they ran across the grounds, moving from shadow to shadow and tree to tree. Duo knew that his black priest outfit would help to hide him from any observers, but Wufei's blinding white pants showed up like a beacon, even in the bewitching light of twilight. He marvelled that the pilot had never been caught.

*Maybe Treize really does get the guards out of the way.* he thought, shrugging. *I wouldn't have thought he was that stupid. It's like hanging a sign out the window reading 'please assassinate me'.* He thought for a moment, then amended. *Well, only if someone other than Wufei knew that the guards were moved. Wu sure doesn't seem like he's itching to kill Treize. I guess it's not that stupid after all.*

They reached the side of the house and Wufei started up the vine trellis without hesitating, placing his hands on the smooth wooden crossbars between the leafy stems of the ivy. As Duo put his hands on the trellis to follow him, he noticed that the structure had been reinforced with metal where it met the wall, so that there would be no chance of it coming away from the wall. *Treize set that up for Wufei, too. It's like this whole place is designed for people to be able to waltz in whenever they feel like it.*

Above him, Wufei leapt lightly onto the balcony and gestured that Duo hurry. Sighing, he climbed easily upwards and landed beside the other pilot, making sure he made no sound as he landed. He flashed Wufei a smile and the pilot opened the sliding door, stepping without ceremony into the bedroom of the Leader of OZ.

He was waiting for them.

Well, sort of. Treize looked up from his book as they entered, his smile faltering only slightly at the sight of the Wufei's black-clad and nervous companion. Duo could hear his heart thudding in his ears, and had no illusions that Treize could tell how keyed up he was.

The General, not in his uniform now, but in a thin sweater and slacks, put the thick leather-bound book aside and rose from his armchair beside the hearth. "Dragon," he said. "I had hoped you would make it tonight. Who is your companion?" he asked, as though Wufei had brought an unexpected guest to a large party, not to his bedroom window at sunset.

"Hello, Treize. I'm sorry I couldn't come last night. This is Duo, the pilot of Gundam 02."

Duo noted that Wufei had not said 'Deathscythe'. That suggested that he hadn't even told Treize the names of their Gundams, let alone any other information. His mind was still partially stuck on the word 'Dragon', though. *What is that, some kind of pet name?* He found himself grinning and stepping forward to meet Treize's elegantly outstretched hand.

"Nice ta meetcha, sir, General Treize, sir," he said jovially. Treize raised an elegant forked eyebrow. Duo couldn't detect a hint of tension about him, but he suspected that he'd relaxed slightly.

"A pleasure to meet you as well, Duo," he said. "Please, call me Treize. These surroundings do not call for titles."

Duo saluted, still grinning. "Sir, yes sir."

"Duo, knock it off," Wufei grumbled and Duo dropped the pose.

There was an uncomfortable moment of silence while Treize glanced expectantly from one boy to the other. Finally, the General sat back down and gestured with a hand towards the armchair opposite. "Would you two like to sit down? I can bring a third chair in if you'd like," he invited.

Wufei and Duo exchanged glances, and Duo hopped up onto a writing desk at the opposite end of the room from Treize and waved for Wufei to sit in the chair nearby to Treize. "Go ahead and take the chair, Wu-man. I don't mind perching."

Wufei took a few steps forward, then stopped, a look of worry flickering over his face. "Treize..." he said, then took a deep breath. "I... we... Well, Duo and I got drunk last night and we-" he glanced over his shoulder at the braided pilot. Duo tried to give him an encouraging smile. He didn't envy Wufei the task of getting this out. "We... found something out by accident and we wanted to know if you knew anything about it." This last was said in a rush, as though he were trying to get it out before his brain caught up with his words. Duo decided to rescue him.

"Yeah, you see, I jumped Wufei's bones last night and discovered that he's been brainwashed to be a good little sex toy." Duo said frankly. He could see the blush spreading across Wufei's cheeks even from his vantage-point. "I don't suppose *you* would know anything about that, would you, General?"

Treize's expression had ranged from concerned to amused, but no surprise or reproach had crossed his face. Now his expression sobered abruptly. "Ah, I understand now why you are here, Duo. A moment, please." He looked full into Wufei's blushing face and said authoritatively, "Wufei, Activate Program Treize one."

Instantaneously, the blush faded from Wufei's cheeks. He dropped to his knees and placed his hands on the floor, looking up at Treize with adoration. "Hai, Treize," he said.

Treize smiled, not even sparing a glance towards the astonished Duo. "Come here, child."

Wufei crawled forward, his movements graceful and perfect, not awkward. Still Duo could see the fawning adoration and love in his dark eyes. He shuddered as Wufei knelt at Treize's feet, placing his head in the General's lap.

Now Treize looked at Duo, but rather than the smug or predatory look that the pilot had been expecting, his sapphire eyes looked sad. "Yes, Duo, I know about his programming. This is a test program I created to see how versatile it was." He glanced down, then back up to meet Duo's eyes. "As you can see, it is clearly capable of totally changing Wufei's personality."

Treize fell silent and waited for Duo to absorb this. Wufei took advantage of the silence to raise his head and speak. "Treize, would you like me to pleasure you while you and Duo talk?" He sounded like he was proposing something completely commonplace and reasonable. There wasn't a hint of self-consciousness about him.

Treize laid a hand on his head. "No, child, just sit there quietly, please," he said softly. Wufei smiled and lowered his head again, snuggling against the older man.

Duo exploded.

He shot to his feet and took a few angry steps towards the General. "What the hell do you think you're doing to Wufei?!" he yelled. "Leave him alone!"

Treize looked at him seriously. "He is not unhappy like this, Duo. Look at him. He is perfectly content."

Duo pulled out the gun he had secreted in the waistband of his pants and pointed it directly at Treize's head. "Leave him alone," he repeated dangerously, cocking the gun with deadly precision.

Wufei's head shot up and he growled, low in his throat, like an animal. Duo ignored him, keeping the gun trained on Treize.

"You listen to me, General," he said. "Maybe you like these sick games and you appreciate the efforts of whoever the hell did this to Wufei, but this is ending here. Now, you're going to play nice and tell me what you know, or I'm going to blow a hole in your head the size of your ego. And release Wufei from your disgusting fantasy while you're at it--"

Without warning, Wufei launched himself at Duo, tackling him and bearing them both to the floor. Duo held onto the gun through sheer force of will as he impacted with the ground with the heavier pilot on top of him and all the air whooshed out of him. He went limp, trying to breathe and waited helplessly for Wufei to wring his neck.

Suddenly calm again, however, Wufei plucked the gun out of Duo's hand and put the safety back on.

"I'm sorry I had to do that, Duo," he said reasonably. "But I couldn't let you hurt Treize. Are you all right?" Duo looked into his black eyes, seeing nothing but worry and concern. *He has to protect his masters, both of them, and he doesn't know what to do if they're trying to kill each other.* he thought in a moment of clarity.

"I'm fine, Wu-man. You didn't hurt me," he said, summoning a smile. Relief washed over Wufei's features and he rolled off of Duo, ending up kneeling on the floor again. Instantly, now that the danger was over, he was transformed into the slave again. As Duo sat up, Wufei began crawling back over to Treize again, but the older man held up a hand.

"Wufei, End Progam Treize one."

The Chinese pilot blinked a few times, just as he had when coming out of programming mode the night before, and then looked around himself in confusion. "What happened?" he asked, then saw that Duo was still sitting on the floor. "Why are we sitting on the floor, Duo?"

Treize sighed. "Dragon, could you go into the kitchenette and make coffee while Duo and I talk, please?"

Wufei stood and glared at Treize heatedly. "If this has something to do with my programming, I want to know about it, too."

Duo got to his feet and, reluctantly, saw the logic of the situation. "Don't worry, Wu-man, we'll tell you. Treize and I just need to talk some things out, okay?"

Wufei glanced from one face to the other, then shrugged. "Fine." He walked out one of the doors, still carrying the gun in his hand and presumably heading into an adjoining kitchen.

Duo immediately rounded on Treize.

"What the hell was up with showing me that, huh? And of all the possible programs you could have created, why did it have to be some submissive sex slave, tell me that!"

Treize was unmoved. "I had to show you, because I wished to impress upon you the gravity of the situation, to the fullest extent. This is not a small problem that Wufei has. It may very well be irreversible. As to why I created that program, it is not because I wished to use Wufei. It is because I wanted to try to create a personality that was as different as possible from the real Wufei, and I didn't want to create something dangerous, such as a murderer or assassin." He rubbed the bridge of his nose as though a headache were starting. "Assuming there *is* a real Wufei."

That brought Duo up short. He whispered, "yeah, I thought of that, too." He crossed to the armchair opposite Treize and sat down heavily, placing his chin in his hands. "He told me last night that he loved me, but what if that's just the programming talking?"

"Did he tell you before or after you'd had sex?"

Duo blinked. "Both."

"Then you're probably safe. You hadn't activated the program yet, so if there *is* a real Wufei, he was almost certainly talking then. I believe that there is a true Wufei, that that is what we see most of the time, and that if his programming is influencing him, it is only subtly if at all. You can see the differences between the way he normally acts and the way he acts when the programming is clearly in control. There is a clear difference, and his personality is consistent otherwise."

"Yeah, but he said there was genetic tampering as well. We don't know when this brainwashing happened! The genetic stuff probably would affect his normal personality, and if the programming happened when he was a baby..."

"Duo," Treize said sharply. "Whatever is going on, this genetic enhancement and programming *is* a part of Wufei. Just because it has affected his normal personality, doesn't mean that his reactions are false. Wufei is Wufei, even if that person has undergone experiences that you or I have not had."

"So what you're saying is, even if Wu's programming has some influence on his falling in love with me, he still loves me, right?"

Treize smiled. "Exactly."

Duo sat up, leaning back in the chair and placing his hands behind his head with a nonchalance he didn't feel. "So the next question is, why the hell didn't you tell Wufei?"

The General shook his head. "I was torn, and decided to do more research before telling him. I didn't want to worry him, and he seemed so fragile. I knew that if I told him, that he would go through most of the pain while I was not there to support him, because we see each other so rarely and for such short periods of time."

"You didn't want to hurt him," Duo said softly. "Well, I don't blame you. At least I'm kinda with him now to help him work through it."

"I'm grateful to you for that, Duo. I am happy to see that you are such a passionate and caring person. Wufei could not do better in a lover," Treize said sincerely.

Duo felt the blush starting and he laughed to cover it. "Jeez, lay on the flattery why dontcha?" He shook his head. "I was worried, but I guess I can see that you're good for him." He made a lame gesture in the direction of the kitchen, where the smell of coffee was beginning to waft towards them. "I'm sorry about the gun and wanting to kill you and stuff."

"Completely understandable," Treize replied, smiling.

Duo leaned forward. "You said you'd done research. What have you found out?"

The General sighed. "Very little, unfortunately. I have been unable to mobilize the resources I would normally have access to, due to the fact that I would have to explain details I do not want public, so I have had to do all of the research myself in what little spare time I have. I have found out that L5 is a huge genetic breeding program, so the genetic enhancement that Wufei has may not actually be unusual. Then again, though the practice of genetic enhancement may be commonplace on L5, I don't know how common these particular changes are."

"Given how prudish Wu seems most of the time, I'd say not that common," Duo said.

"I agree. So the question becomes, who ordered these changes, why, and when?"

"I think I might have an idea about who to talk to about that: the people who give us orders," Duo said. "Or, more specifically, the guy who gives *Wufei* orders."

Treize nodded. "That would be a good place to start. I'm sure I can count on you to follow up with that, while I continue my avenues of exploration."

Duo smirked, feeling a knot in his chest start to relax. "That's a deal," he said, just as Wufei emerged from the kitchen, carrying three mugs of coffee.

"What's a deal?" he asked, with thinly-repressed irritation.

Duo craned his neck to look at the other pilot. "We've decided I can screw your brains out if Treize gets to watch."

Wufei blinked. "Do you promise?" but a blush was rising in his cheeks again, belying the flirtatious words. The sight of that convinced Duo more than anything else that things really were normal. He accepted a steaming mug and smiled companionably at Treize before remembering where he was and that he should be feeling uncomfortable, not like he was sitting around with his best friend.

Treize, however, smiled back. "That wasn't really what we were discussing, Dragon, but the idea appeals greatly," he said, taking a small sip of the coffee, then setting it aside.

Wufei put down his mug, then headed for the great double-doors that probably lead into the rest of the house. "I'll go get a chair. Be right back." Then he aimed a glare over his shoulder. "And then you two can tell me what you were *really* talking about."