A fic! My kingdom for a fic! (I know, I butchered the quote.) I managed to finish a fic! *sigh* I've been rather silent lately so I decided to make some noise. Took me a while to finish this and I think it's kind of low quality, but I'm one of those writers who tend to insult their work. Besides, it's for you people out there to judge. Hope you enjoy this.
Title: Feathers of an Angel
Author: Enjeru (KuraiEnjeru@aol.com)
Archive: Ask and you shall receive
Category: AU, Shounen-ai, OOC in certain characters (made Heero talk a bit TOO much)
Pairings: 1+2, mentioned 3+4
Disclaimer: Wish they were mine, but unfortunately they aren't. Don't sue.
Notes: The whole saying this story is based upon is made up by me so it's not real. My friend thought it was. Sorry for the crossposting!
Feathers of an Angel
It is said that should you catch a feather that has never been touched by the ground, it is the feather of an angel and the owner of the feather would come and find you. But that's just merely a saying, right?
A child, approximately nine years old, ran through the compounds of the military base with a gun which seemed much too big for his hand. Dodging into the dark shadows to avoid being seen by the soldiers, he made his way steadily toward the main room of the building. His small body was sleek and fast, able to avoid the eyesight of the various personnel littering the base.
At last, he reached his destination. Looking at the keypad and handprint scanner next to the door for merely a second, he let the strap of the bookbag he carried fall off his shoulder. Immediately he began looking for something a child his age would most likely not have in his possession. Taking out the device, he climbed nimbly on top of the handprint scanner and began loosening the screws on the console of the keypad. The bolts fell with a small 'ping' onto the metal floor. Cutting seemingly random wires, he began to attach them to the device he was looking for earlier.
Pressing a couple of buttons on the small mechanism, he waited patiently for a sign of change. The door opened with a soft 'shlick' and he quickly gathered his supplies and walked in. The four people inside were too ingrained in their work to notice the small boy walk into a place no child should be. Faster than one would expect, the boy pressed the trigger in rapid succession, killing all of them quickly and efficiently, the silencer effectively cutting off all noise.
He took out a disk from his back pocket and pushed it into the machine. Statistics for a new mobile suit design appeared on the screen only to be copied onto the disk and become deleted. Within a minute, all data was erased from the computer console. Cold prussian eyes attached detonators to various spots in the room and quickly ran out the door. The boy flitted into the rooms he encountered on the way, attaching explosives to strategic places.
Once outside and some distance away, he took out a small black box with a red button on top of it. The boy stares at it for a moment before depressing the button with a grunted, "Ninmu kanryou." Mission accomplished.
Almost immediately, the base explodes in a fury of flames and shrapnel, instantaneously killing all who were unfortunate enough to be inside.
An even smaller child with large, luminous blue-violet eyes looked at the base sadly. Such a senseless killing of innocents, the child thought. The youngster had arrived just as the building had blown up. There was nothing in the world as sad as the useless war the world was plunged into.
Black wings erupted from the child's back to carry the body it was attached to back to whence it came. Loose black feathers fell to the earth, disappearing upon contact. However one never made it to the ground. It became cradled within the embrace of the soft breeze.
The little boy looked on at the scene of destruction for a moment before turning around to leave. A black object sped straight at him and instinctively, a hand shot out to catch it just before it hit him full in the face. It was a black feather. His mind, working like a computer, attempted to puzzle out what bird it belonged to but came out with nothing. The soft object was too big for any of the native birds which lived in the area and according to his knowledge, there were no black birds in the vicinity.
He held the feather in the air and looked at its gleam in the setting sun. Colors of dark green, blue and purple swirled in unity on the small object with black eclipsing the edges of color. Having never seen much beauty in his short life, he decided to keep it for good luck, never knowing its true meaning.
Heero Yuy, designated as Gundam Pilot of Wing by the OZ Federation, walked quietly in the current safehouse the other three pilots were staying. In the living room, Trowa and Quatre were immersed in their music. Wufei sat crosslegged nearby, eyes closed in meditation.
Letting himself enjoy the beautiful harmony for a moment, Heero went through the schematics of the recent mission they were preparing for. The battle against the corruption and ascendency of OZ over the colonists in space was dipping ever so slowly in against their favor. The scientists had decided to bring in another agent to help them. The pilot was to pilot a Gundam as well, called Deathscythe, a wicked looking mobile suit with some of the best abilities of Heavyarms, Sandrock, Shenlong and Wing put together.
It was said to be equipped as a short range fighting machine but had weapons for long range as well. Able to fly short distances and possessing a deadly thermal scythe, it was an adversary to be feared. But Heero knew as well as the others that a mobile suit was only as good as the pilot. A Leo, a mobile suit nowhere near as powerful as a Gundam, could easily destroy an entire legion of OZ lackies should any of the Gundam pilots ever have to resort to use it.
The soldiers sent up against them were good, yes, but not good enough. Hopefully, the new addition to their group would be a good pilot or else Heero would have to eliminate him/her. The stakes were too high and they could not afford to protect anyone who was not experienced enough to pilot a weapon of destruction effectively.
One of the Gundam pilots was to enroll himself into the school where their new comrade-in-arms would be waiting. There, they were to lead the new pilot through a test. If they made it through and successfully accomplished the mission, he/she would be brought into their group. If not, someone new would be sent to them.
The stoic Wing pilot was elected to be the procter. He had just finished enrolling himself into the private high school which was controlled by the OZ Federation. Tomorrow, he would be admitted as Kenji Tsubasa and would begin the first test on his for the unsuspecting pilot.
Dressed impeccably, Heero Yuy walked with confident strides towards the school several blocks away from where he had hid his motorcycle. His school books resided in a book bag slung over one shoulder. His prussian blue eyes looked forward coldly, making people in his path scatter to the sides. In this school, the students wore identical uniforms. The females had the choice of wearing either a skirt or long pants and the males had the choice between shorts and long pants. When both genders wore long pants, the uniforms were exactly the same. He went straight to the main office to get his schedule and proceeded to his first class of the day. The teacher said a couple of words of welcome and introduced him to the class.
"Class, this is Kenji Tsubasa, a new transfer student. Please be courteous and show him around should he get lost in this rather large school," he said. He pointed to an empty seat somewhere near the back row. A moment later, the door opened once again and a girl with long chestnut colored hair captured in a braid ran in. Her blue-violet eyes washed over the occupants in the room, stopping momentarily when she saw Heero.
"I am sorry for my lateness. I kind of got lost on the way here," she said to the teacher, bowing respectfully.
The teacher returned the bow. "That is understandable. Just make sure it is not a habit. And what is your name, young lady?"
"Solo Shino," she replied with a grin and a small laugh. The teacher told her to sit in the seat next to Heero.
"Hello, are you a transfer student as well?" she asked Heero.
"Hn," he grunted. And that was among the many noncommital sounds that came from Heero's throat. Throughout the entire day, Solo followed him since it seemed that their schedules were exactly the same. The prussian eyed pilot cursed the person who invented co-ed gym periods. Solo beat him 2-1 in basketball. There was absolutely no time for him to be able to look for the pilot he was supposed to meet.
Well, tomorrow was another day and the mission he was to test the new pilot with was a two month long assignment.
As he was walking to the place where his motorcycle was, Heero sensed someone following him. Whoever it was, he was good but obviously not good enough. Pretending to tie his shoelace for a moment, he surreptitiously glanced behind him. No one was there. Was he getting paranoid? Looking up, he managed to hide the look of surprise on his face. Standing in front of him was none other than Solo Shino. "Hey, Kenji-san. Walking home? Isn't it a coincidence that we're walking on the same street?" she chirped.
"Hn," Heero snorted. He stood up fluidly and walked past the chattering girl. Her voice fell into a low alto in the backdrop of his mind. Walking into the alley where his bike was chained, he noticed with detachment that there was another bike behind his. Ignoring it even when Solo took out a pair of keys for the bike, he revved the engine, hearing it roar to life. They travelled down the streets and reached a place where the houses were few and far between stretches of forest.
The pilots had chosen a safehouse so far away because no one would hear any loud noises of bullets during their daily target practices in the mornings. Stopping at a quaint little farmhouse, he parked his bike in the driveway, still ignoring Solo and hoping she would get the hint and go away. The prussian eyed pilot never even knew that she walked him to his front door and then inside. It wasn't until Quatre walked in and asked who his guest was did he notice.
"Hi! Heero-kun here was just bringing me here to be tested. Duo Maxwell at your service, future Gundam pilot," she said, shaking his hand vigourously. Blue-green eyes widened comically when he realized from the glare the 'Perfect Soldier' was throwing at Duo that Heero had been oblivious to the new pilots real identity.
"What is the code?" Heero growled, angry at the fact that he was fooled so easily.
"Aww, do I have to say it? It's so stupid. I personally think the scientists have a sadistic streak in them," she whined.
"Say it," Heero snarled.
"Fine, fine," Duo pouted and began to sing the little teapot song complete with all the motions. "I'm a little tea pot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up, here me shout, 'Tip me over and pour me out'."
Behind them, the sounds of snickering was heard. Quatre politely hid his giggles behind his hand. Heero grabbed Duo by the arm and dragged her towards the rooms. "There are only two rooms in this house. Trowa, Quatre and Wufei are in one. The other will be shared by myself and you," he said gruffly.
"Itai! You don't have to grab me so hard," she said with another pout. Heero let go nonetheless. The prussian eyed boy opened the door and went in. Duo followed him, rubbing her upper arm. Due to the fact that Heero put his bag on top of the bed farthest from the door, she was able to surmise that he had already claimed that bed. She let out a puff of air and closed the door.
Heero automatically went to his laptop to check for any more information pertaining to the mission. From the reflection in the screen, he could see Duo taking off her pants and putting on a black one quickly. It was when she began taking off her shirt did he show any emotion. The Wing pilot could now clearly see that Duo possessed no chest whatsoever. Who he had mistaken as a girl was in reality a guy. Heero whirled around in his chair and stared fixedly at Duo.
"Nanda? Do I have anything on my face?" Duo asked.
"You're a guy," Heero said in a monotone voice.
"Obviously. Didn't you see me in the boys locker room?" Duo said, putting her--no, his--hands on his hips and bending over slightly at the waist. "Well, I guess it's a legitimate assumption. But remember, when you assume, you make an ass of you and me," he said, wagging a slender finger in front of Heero's face.
"Why do you have a braid?"
"Decoration?" he shrugged.
"It's absolutely useless and will only make you more noticeable."
"Of course it has value!!"
A brief knock on the door interrupted their argument before it opened to reveal Quatre. His turquoise eyes widened in surprise when he saw Duo's bare back. They nearly popped out of his skull when Duo began to turn around.
"Who makes the food around here?" Duo said, running a hand through his ragged bangs.
"Um, actually we take turns doing it," Quatre said. Unlike Heero, he was able to identify Duo as a boy and not mistaken him as a girl. Growing up with 29 sisters did that to people. However, he didn't exactly feel comfortable next to half naked beautiful bishonen. Besides, Trowa would feel jealous and he couldn't have that could he?
"So, when's dinner?" Duo asked, bouncing over to the blonde.
"At six. Actually, I'm here to tell Heero that Relena is here to see him," Quatre stated, looking nervously in Heero's direction.
The pilot sat rigidly in his seat, tension seeping from every pore in his body. Heero pressed a couple of keys on his laptop and pushed his chair away from the desk. He walked out the door without a word. "What's with him?" Duo asked, pointing a thumb at Heero's retreating back.
"Relena is a girl who just recently discovered her real roots. People began looking up to her even though she is merely a female our age. Heero ran into her a while ago when he first landed on Earth. She's been chasing him ever since that day saying that he is her strength and to stay by her side where she can give the people real peace with his help. We might have to abandon this mission because although her agents are very intelligent, they don't believe in hiding their trail very well. We've been lucky that we manage to accomplish the mission without blowing our cover," Quatre said as he let out a pained sighed.
Duo had a thoughtful look on his face before his face lit up with an ear to ear grin. He threw on a shirt and ran down the hall. That was among the first of many lessons would Quatre learn about the braided boy. Stay clear of Duo Maxwell when he has mischief on his mind.
Duo smiled evilly and sauntered into the room with a slight sway of his hips. "Hee-chan, you said we were going to--. Oh, and who might we have here?"
The girl was certainly pretty. Her long wheat blonde hair hung down her shoulders reaching a point at her waist, the only hair ornament being two bows tying the ends of her two braids. Her clear blue eyes were a thing to be envied although the color of Duo's eyes were rarer than any other color in the spectrum.
"Solo," Heero growled.
The braided boy seemed to have developed a rather quick immunity to his glares and merely draped his arm around Heero's shoulders, nuzzling at an ear and whispering, "If she thinks you're with me, she'll leave."
"H-Heero, you never said you had someone," Relena said, her blue eyes going wide in shock. She had thought the cold pilot would not have anyone because of his nature and therefore she would have a chance in breaking through that mask of his. For some reason, she did not feel saddened. Oh well, there are plenty of fish in the sea.
The terrorist pulled Duo into his lap and cut off the soft 'eep' when he pressed his lips firmly to his. Lost in the moment, the violet eyed boy brought up his other hand to Heero's shoulder and let his eyes fall shut.
Deciding that it was about time she left, Relena said a polite goodbye to the remaining pilots. The pair on the couch continued to play tonsil hockey with each other, oblivious to everything but themselves.
"Ahem," Wufei said, clearing his throat.
Duo pulled back, gasping slightly for air and stared into the prussian depths of Heero's eyes like a deer caught in a pair of headlights. He scrambled off of the Wing pilot's lap and looked up at the Chinese warrior with slightly bruised lips. "Ano..."
"Well, you certainly got rid of her easily enough," Wufei said with a smirk.
"I guess," Duo said, blushing scarlet. He ran for his room like a bat out of hell.
"Hn, if one of you voluteered earlier we wouldn't have had so much trouble in the first place," Heero said.
"Me? Kiss the 'Perfect Soldier'? Dìu bú qï*, but I don't swing that way," Wufei sniffed, walking out of the living room with his arms crossed.
"I don't think Trowa would like that," Quatre said, latching onto said pilot's arm and gently pulling him away. Trowa merely shrugged and looked at Heero with a slightly resigned expression.
Heero decided to go check on Duo and maybe give him a word of thanks. After all, he had been trying to get the girl off his chest and all his plans had failed despite all his meticulous planning. He found the braided boy stretched upon his own bed, staring off into space. Deciding not to disrupt the quietness of the room, he went to his laptop to continue typing his mission report from the last mission he accomplished.
Unfortunately, the silence was not neverending.
"You gave me my first kiss you know," Duo said.
"Aa," Heero merely intoned, hoping that the other would be quiet long enough to finish his mission report.
"Why do I bother saying anything to you?" Duo sighed as he sat up, throwing his arms in the air in defeat. "You're antisocial, boring and just plain cold. Doesn't anything phase you?"
Your chatter, Heero thought as he typed the last line of his report. "Hn."
"There really was no reason for kissing me you know," the braided boy said, rolling onto his stomach with his feet in the air.
"It was effective in getting rid of the leak in the information of our whereabouts," Heero said. Pressing the command for send, he shut his computer off and stood up from his chair. It was as good a time as any to test Duo's physical strength, endurance and flexibility. "You're coming with me down to the gym."
"Doshite? I don't wanna," he said, digging a manga out of his bag.
"There are no slackers in this group. You either work or get killed. Deathscythe is a Gundam worthy of only the best. Do you want to pilot it or not? You may be a good mobile suit pilot but that does not mean you can complete missions that do not require the use of a mobile suit," Heero said coldly.
"The 'Perfect Soldier' certainly has a lot to say to me," Duo pouted but he put his manga down anyway. They walked downstairs to the basement where there was a home gym. Heero told him to try out the weights. The violet eyed boy automatically grabbed the more heavy ones. The prussian eyed pilot was surprised. The boy was much stronger than he looked. Telling him to do several physical exercises in a timed period as a start up, he began to go over his schedule of testing.
At exactly five forty five, Wufei walked downstairs to announce that dinner was going to be ready in fifteen minutes. Duo was breathing hard on one of the many machines in the gym, entire body boneless and without energy. "I...don't think...I can stand up...let alone...walk up all those steps," he panted.
"Hn. The mission begins tomorrow. You have to keep your energy up. I do not want to waste time saving you from your careless mistakes," Heero said in a monotone voice. He turned on his heel and walked up the stairs.
The braided boy sighed deeply. He pushed himself up and trudged wearily up the stairs. Thanking his makers that he possessed an inhumanly amount of energy. Duo decided to take a shower before dinner, hoping that it would make him become more in tune with his surroundings.
Ten minutes later, he walked out of the shower, feeling much better. Bouncing down the stairs, he hopped into his chair and started to talk enthusiastically. "You recovered rather quickly," Wufei said with an arched eyebrow. The last time he spotted the boy, he was beyond the point of exhaustion.
"You don't know how much a shower can refresh you," Duo said as he stretched his arms above his head. Then dinner came as Trowa and Quatre carried out the platters of food. The time was spent in idle chitchat with Duo avoiding Heero's eyes at all costs. The calculating look the Wing pilot sent his way, although slightly uncomfortable, made him remember the kiss spent in the company of Relena Peacecraft.
"Heero, are you ready?" Quatre asked. Duo looked at him with confused eyes but Heero got the message. The question was referring to whether or not he was ready to administer the next part of the test.
"Hn," Heero commented. First test already passed. "Target practice tomorrow morning at 0500 hours. No excuses," he said. The pilot stood up and carried his plate to the sink before briskly walking upstairs.
The closed just as he missed the indignant squawk of 'NANI?!' coming from Duo who was clearly NOT a morning person.
Grumbling about soldiers who were able to get up early in the morning, Duo stomped up the stairs after finishing his dinner and threw open the door as forcefully as he could only to get a gun nearly shoved down his throat. Looking straight into cold prussian blue eyes, he stared just as coldly into them. Heero backed off. After seeing that the braided pilot was so full of energy and cheerfulness, it was slightly unnerving to see him look into his own eyes with such emptiness. He saw it everyday in the mirror and he had no wish to see it in anyone else's eyes. Accepting his self made mission, he nodded mentally.
It didn't exactly go against orders as it did bend the rules a bit and he could tell that Duo made a big influence in him by the lack of reluctance he felt. Sighing to himself, he wondered if that was a good thing or something bad. Well, life is a double edged sword at times, he thought silently. The same way battle plans never make it past the first encounter.
Duo ignored the Wing pilot and went straight to his bed, refusing to even acknowledge his presence. He seriously wanted to become the pilot of Deathscythe for the deaths that he had seen. He knew as well as anyone that his mobile suit piloting skills ranked even higher than those in the trained stations of OZ. His other skills, among them was possessing as much stealth as the mobile suit he hoped he would pilot, were also top of the line. However, Heero was a very stern taskmaster. If he had gotten any of the others, he was sure that he wouldn't be tested so harshly.
Then again, Trowa and Quatre seemed to be partners already. The glances at each other during dinner proved as much. It was just a bit too sweet for him to handle though. And besides, he didn't want to be a third wheel. The only other option would obviously be Wufei. Duo had taken a liking to him but he did not possess the same idea of justice that the Asian pilot did. People always say that the best teachers are those who fit your own personality and as much as they got along well, working side by side on the battlefield was another matter. Furthermore, the Shenlong pilot worked better alone and seemed just as content to stay that way.
With a deep sigh, his mind traveled back to the prussian eyed pilot sleeping in the bed next to him. The choices narrowed down to Heero. As little as he managed to glean from the other pilots and from his own observations, he could tell that he was the best mobile suit pilot and soldier. The way that he always seemed to be balancing on the balls of his feet and his senses stretched as far as they could reach told him that as plain as day. Wufei did that as well but that was because of the martial arts techniques which were ingrained in his being and he knew how to relax unlike Heero.
Deciding to take up his pondering the next morning during practice, he automatically fell into a deep dreamless sleep unheeding of a pair of burning prussian blue eyes studying him in the darkness.
At exactly five in the morning, Duo was shaken to a rude awakening. A bleary violet eyed peered balefully from amidst the pile of blankets on the bed. Heero looked at him indifferently. "Target practice in the backyard.Be down in five minutes or else I will come up here to get you whether or not you are fully dressed."
He walked out of the room clad in a hunter green tanktop and black spandex shorts, leaving Duo wondering where the pilot stored his gun. Reluctantly throwing off the blankets, Duo trudged to the duffel bag haphazardly threw into the closet the other day. Taking out a pair of clean black pants and shirt, the braided boy quickly dressed and put on his shoulder holster. Walking downstairs with a widemouthed yawn, he saw Quatre, Trowa and Wufei sitting at the kitchen table. The blonde was cheerfully making breakfast while Trowa looked surreptitiously at him from behind a newspaper. Wufei was also reading newspaper as well as he sipped a cup of tea.
"Heero is outside waiting for you," Wufei said, not once looking in Duo's direction.
"Thanks," Duo said. Walking out the back door, he saw a line of targets in the distance. Heero was standing across from one wearing a pair of earphones designed to muffle the noise of the shot. He stood with his gun in one hand and pressed the trigger. The sound echoed in the distance and the target now possessed a small bullet hole straight through the middle. Duo was slightly impressed. "Good shot," he said as he clapped.
"Hn, we're here for your practice, not for your amusement. I'm done," Heero said as he holstered his gun.
Duo rolled his eyes and got into a comfortable two-handed gun holding position. Heero came up from behind him and pressed the ear mufs over his ears. "I want you to shoot with one hand," he said.
"My accuracy falls by 2% in that--"
"You can improve through constant practice. If one of your arms gets injured, you can still shoot accurately enough to make an escape," he interrupted.
"Shoot," Heero said curtly.
Sighing deeply, Duo sighted along the barrel and pressed the trigger. The shot missed the center by a fraction of an inch. Moving his hand several inches to the right, he aimed for each target. Out of ten targets, eight he missed the center ranging from measurements of a fraction of an inch to two full inches. The rest, he hit dead center. Heero motioned for him to use his more familiar stance. Winking to the prussian eyed pilot in thanks, he released the clip and put a new one in.
Pressing the trigger ten consecutitive times in rapid succession, Duo quickly went through the targets. The braided boy grinned and blew the tip of his gun before twirling it and putting it back into its holster. The Wing pilot examined each shot on the target carefully, realizing that Duo had been telling the exact truth. All of the targets were hit perfectly this time.
Heero walked back in to the house with the violet eyed boy bouncing in after him. "So, how'd I do?" Duo asked. Quatre gave him a little grin and held up a sign with a ten on it. Trowa held it over his newspaper and Wufei merely propped his against the saltshaker. The spandex clad soldier let out a 'hn' in annoyance and walked back to his room to finish the rest of his homework for school. Unfortunately for him, he gained a shadow who followed him.
"So did I pass? Huh? Huh? Did I? Did I?" Duo chirped.
"Is that a yes or a no?" he asked, scratching his head in confusion.
"Study your mission parameters and we shall begin as soon as possible," Heero said.
"Did it already. What kind of soldier do you think I am?" Duo asked, his hands on his slim hips.
"One that will carry out the mission no matter what the consequences might be. Finish your homework," he answered. Heero turned back to the textbooks in front of him and wrote down the answers to the questions. A single black feather in perfect shape kept his place. Duo looked at it in curiousity but decided to investigate later.
"It was only a hypothetical question you know," Duo pouted as he threw himself face down onto his bed. Having gotten the point that his temporary or permanent partner was not going to talk, he decided to find something else to do. Grabbing his discman and turning it all the way up, he grabbed a manga and idly flipped through the pages.
All of a sudden, the sounds of running feet in the hallway caught their attention. A moment later, Wufei burst through the door, eyes wild. "We've been found! If we don't leave within the next five minutes, OZ soldiers will begin swarming all over the place!" he said before running back out the room.
Immediately, the pair began clearing away all traces of inhabitance. Thankfully for Duo, he didn't take much out yet. Shouldering his pack, he followed Heero out the door. The other pilots were waiting for them downstairs in the foyer and as a group, they began to walk down to the basement where there was a carefully hidden trap door that lead to an underground path to the forest outside. From there, they should be able to lose the soldiers. The second the hidden entrance closed, they heard the heavy steps of the soldiers who rammed the door open.
"Surround the house and search every inch of this place. The terrorists should still be here," shouted one.
As silent as ghosts, they ran down the rather dark path. The only reason they were able to see more than an inch in front of them was due to their training. Good night vision was a must in their line of work. Noises from the opposite direction they were in told them that the soldiers had found the entrance.
"K'so. They brought more soldiers than I thought," Wufei cursed.
"We have a head start over them. There's still a chance we will be able to outrun them," Quatre said as he ran next to Trowa.
"I hate being the bringer of bad news but is it just me or do you hear the sound of engines?" Duo said, panting slightly.
"Surrender yourselves. It is futile to escape," came the shout from behind them.
"We're almost at the end," Wufei said.
Heero put in an extra burst of speed to run in front of the group so he could open the hatch for the others. Quatre went through first, then Trowa. The pilot of Shenlong ran as fast as he could up the metal ladder. Only Heero and Duo were left.
"Go up first, I'll cover you," Duo said.
"I am the leader of this group. I want you to go up after them," Heero countered.
"We don't have time to argue! Just trust me! Go!" Duo shouted, managing to manhandle the Wing pilot halfway up the ladder. Gun shots reverberated in the tunnel. The braided boy rolled his eyes. Why the OZ soldiers attempted to shoot a target they could barely see was beyond him. Bending his knees, he jumped up through the hatch as soon as Heero made it to the top. Managing to catch the rim of the entrance, he hauled himself up and closed the trap door.
"The others are trying to divert the soldiers who were investigating the forest," Heero explained.
"What in the nine levels of hell is wrong with this picture? When in hell did OZ get soldiers who can work so quickly?" Duo asked, getting up and beginning to run in the direction Heero was leading him.
"It seems that they've learned from their mistakes," came a voice out of nowhere. It was Wufei. "The others are safe but not for long. We have to get to the Gundams. Duo will have to ride with you since you have the most room," he said to Heero. The prussian eyed pilot nodded in affirmation.
Just then, shouts that came dangerously close were heard. They were spotted and Wufei suggested that he try to confuse some of the soldiers. Silently wishing the other's success, Heero and Duo turned to their task. Soldiers riding on vehicles made for heavy duty travel came closer to them with each second. Even though they flitted from shadow to shadow in the dark forest, they could not lose them. Their situation was worsened when the soldiers began shooting at them. Forced to follow a path the OZ followers designated, the pair found themselves standing at the edge of a cliff with a 30-story drop.
"Gundam pilots don't seem so courageous now when they're surrounded do they?" sneered one. "We are to capture them for interrogation."
"Hey, wait. That girl over there was not in the descriptions we were given. The others have found three more and there are two--"
"No matter. Whoever is associated with the terrorists must be eliminated," another spat, tossing a flat metal disk at their feet. The two pilots looked at it in curiosity just before a dome of electricity went up around them.
"Chikuso! What the hell is that?" Duo exclaimed. His eyes widened when he saw the energy field start to get smaller and the leaves that were in its path get incinerated until there were not even ashes to show its existance.
"Unless you walk, you will get burned by the shield. I suggest you follow our orders," the leader said.
Heero and Duo looked at each other with grim expressions. Nothing would be accomplished through their deaths and it would be idiotic to commit seppuku for such a minor incident. Complying, they followed the OZ soldiers to a place where they would most likely stay for the next couple of days under what they would call 'a simple interrogation'.
"Speak up, I can't hear you!" the soldier shouted. A fist whistled through the air and landed on Heero's stomach. The air was pushed out of his lungs and he gritted his teeth to distract himself from the pain. Duo was being held back by two other burly OZ soldiers and gagged when he started to ramble on about their pathetic attempts to destroy them. Where did they get soldiers that looked like they could charge straight through a cement wall and not get one scratch on them? The prussian eyed pilot took a mental count of the number of injuries he had already sustained under the current person conducting the 'simple interrogation'.
Two broken ribs, numerous abrasions and bruises. He was still well enough to get out with no hinderance.
"Still no response, eh?" the interrogator snarled. His burly leg went into the air and kicked Heero's arm. A sickening crack echoed in the metal walled room.
Success for escape down by one percent, his mind calculated. With only one arm, he could still shoot but he really needed both arms to perform to his fullest capacity. With the amount of security he had seen while being brought in, their chances were slim to none. The soldier attacking him in an attempt to get information was not helping any.
A fist was aimed for his face but a stern word of stop from his commander stopped it mere centimeters from his face. "That's enough for now. Throw both of them into the cells. We don't have all day to interrogate them. With the Gundam forces down by two, we can take them down easier," he said.
"Are you questioning my orders? We have the location in which they fled in and this will probably be one of the few chances we will ever get of getting rid of them once and for all," the officer growled.
"Yes, sir," the lower officer said, clicking his heels together and saluting.
Faster than Heero could catch his breath, he was lifted up into the air by two soldiers at least a head taller than him and roughly carried to the cells. Prussian eyes flickered from side to side, memorizing every tiny detail about various doors, key card locks and the hallways which branched off from the one he was being walked down.
They threw him into the cell and by some bad luck, he landed on his side. Pain shot up through his spine and he black spots invaded his vision. Duo was thrown in headfirst after him. The braided boy landed with a muffled 'oof' and sat up glaring at the now closed door. Heero got up, ignoring his pain and walked over to the violet eyed boy.
"Mm-hm," he mumbled. Violet eyes narrowed in concentration and brightened when he heard a click. With a clatter, the manacles fell to the floor. Duo removed the gag and stuck his tongue out in distaste. "Yuck. I really don't want to know where this was before they used it on me."
Throwing the offensive object aside, he stood up and picked the locks on his partner's hands. Then he began to inspect Heero's broken arm. "I'll have to set it or else it'll heal crooked." He winced when cold prussian eyes glared at him. Okay, so he stated the obvious. What was wrong with that?
Wrinkling his noise, he put one hand gingerly on Heero's forearm and braced his other on the opposite side. His eyes looked up at the Wing pilot, asking whether or not he was ready. A curt nod was aimed in his direction and with a quick wrench, Duo put the bone back into its natural position. Untucking his black shirt, he pulled the black shirt up and ripped a strip of the white shirt underneath. Using it as a crude bandage, he wrapped up Heero's arm tightly with deft fingers.
"Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber are standing outside this cell," he said, referring to the ones who were holding him in the interrogation room.
"Can you pick the lock on the door?" Heero asked.
"That's like asking if Duo can cause destruction and chaos to OZ," he answered, rolling his eyes. Duo reached up into the base of his braid and removed a thin wire. "See? This braid is good for something Heero."
Heero snorted and stood behind the braided boy to get ready to attack as soon as the door was open. It was rather idiotic for the soldiers to put them into a cell with only a metal enforced door with a lock rather than a keypad activated door. The door was open in a few seconds and was flung open. Duo attacked the one on the left and Heero got the one on the right. Two bodies fell to the floor with a soft thump. Removing their guns, the violet eyed boy threw one to his partner.
"Ready to kick some ass?" Duo grinned.
The prussian eyed boy grunted and ran down the hall leading to the elevators, which were the only visible exits to the military base. They didn't have time to wander around the corriders. The other pilots had to be informed. Hopefully, it wasn't too late.
Duo cursed under his breath in both English and Japanese. Of all the rotten luck, this place is the worse, he thought. After running down several hallways while avoiding OZ soldiers, they finally made it to the elevator. They were planning on going down but the machine didn't cooperate. A passcode was needed and by the time Heero managed to crack it, they were on the top floor. The elevator had a speed equal to that of a car in a race and even the perfect soldier couldn't work fast enough.
They tried using it to go back down but all of a sudden, there was a blackout in the building. There were soldiers running all over the place like they had ants in their pants because there was a Gundam attack outside. Of course they had more technology to help their soldiers see in the dark and so even the cover of the blackout did not permit the pilots to get out of the base with no noise.
He turned around and launched several bullets to the soldiers chasing them. He caught a couple of them but there were still more than enough to apprehend them again. There were absolutely no rooms whatsoever in the entire hall they ran through. The top floor was merely a long u-shaped hallway from what Duo had seen in the darkness. The soldiers chased them down one of the branches and were easily cornering them into the opposite one.
"This is absolutely crazy! We'll never get out of here with those OZ idiots at our tail!" Duo shouted to Heero.
"There's a stairway leading up," Heero said calmly.
"But then we'll end up on the roof! Where will we run after that?!"
Sighing deeply but complying nonetheless, he followed Heero's lead. Closing the door as soon as they stepped through it, Duo jammed the gun through the handle in order to deter the soldiers for a moment. He walked to the edge of the roof where Heero was standing. "So what now?"
The prussian eyed pilot bent and took out a black feather from his boots. Duo's eyes widened when he got the chance to look at it closely. It was at ten inches long and from the shape of it, it wasn't part of a bird's primaries. It was part of the feathers on the inside of the wing. No bird dead or alive had feathers that big nor were they as dark as the one Heero was holding. It shone in the light of the setting sun, its edges turned to a burnished red and orange. "We hold them off as long as we can until one of the others find us."
Duo grabbed the feather out of Heero's hands and looked at him with slightly unfocused eyes. "Where did you find this feather?"
"Give that back," Heero growled as he leapt for it.
"Tell me! Where. Did. You. Find. This. Feather!" Duo moved the feather just out of the pilot's range.
The door was rammed open by the soldiers on the other side. Forty soldiers filed out at a run, surrounding the pair on three sides. Behind them was the edge of the roof with a 15-story drop. "Surrender yourselves immediately and you will not be hurt!"
"My partner sustained numerous bruises from your 'simple interrogation'. How will I know that you won't do some more damage to him or me?" Duo shouted, grabbing Heero's gun from the ground. The pilot seemed to have forgotten about it when he was trying to get the feather back. Duo held the feather in one while his other hand held the gun. He kept the Wing pilot behind him.
"If you complied with our wishes, you wouldn't have gotten hurt at all," the temporary leader said.
"You hurt my charge," Duo said, dropping the gun nonchalantly. He threw the feather in the general direction of Heero. Amazingly, it practically floated into his hand.
"Charge? How can you be his mentor when you're no older than he is? Enough of this fooling around. Smith, Bickens, Mueller. Get them!"
Duo grinned maniacally. Heero merely looked on in a mixture of confusion and anger. Confusion at why the violet eyed boy was claiming him as his charge when he was the leader and anger that the boy dared to risk their lives in such a careless manner. Even the gun, no matter how limited it was in bullets, would have provided them with minute protection.
The look in his eyes made the soldiers falter minutely but they were determined to gain the name of the 'great' soldiers who captured the infamous Gundam pilots.
The braided boy closed his hands into fists and put them end to end in front of him. A white light appeared, lighting up the area around Duo. A short pole appeared between them. He slid his hands down an imaginary portion of the pole, more of the silver staff appearing. When it reached a certain length, Duo twirled it in the air at an impossible speed and slammed the end of it against the ground. The sound echoed in the suddenly still night. As if that echo was a signal of some sort, Duo's clothes began to glow, morphing into a low backed black turtle neck and black pants. The black shin high boots he wore that held the bottom of his pants seemed to be tailored to his calves.
He leaned forward minutely and two large midnight black wings appeared. The very tip of the wings seemed to be able to touch the sky and eclipsed the waning light of the setting sun. Behind him, Heero observed with a face of open astonishment.
The soldiers looked on in a blend of fear and fascination at the magnificent sight.
"Do you think that any of you humans can fight a fully trained Guardian Angel and live? I am Shinigami. Prepare to meet your doom," Duo growled, moving into a defensive stance and holding the staff like the Gundam Deathscythe held its thermal scythe. A burst of golden light travelled up from the pole and formed itself into a wicked blade.
The commander recovered from his stupor and sent more men to apprehend the pair. It didn't matter whether or not they were dead or alive, the OZ Federation could still examine the corpse of the demon.
Faster than the soldiers could actually move, Duo had disappeared, only to appear behind them and attack them one by one. Knowing that only the idea that he was one of those legendary creatures kept the officers from moving too quickly. He knew that he could take them all on, but he hadn't gotten any rest for an entire day and he was tired. However there was a power he controlled that no guardian angel before him had ever possessed, the power of destruction. However, he would have to time it exactly right or else he would hurt Heero as well for the power exempted no one and choose all.
Heero admired Duo's fluid movements as he decimated the many OZ officers surrounding him. Without a weapon and injured, he would be more of a hindrance than help for the pilot. He noticed that the black angel was keeping his back to him and trying to break out of the middle of the fight. Of course, Duo wasn't very successful. The sheer number of soldiers kept him at bay.
A golden ball of light that coalesced around the dark angel enabled him to break free through its searing heat. One mighty flap and the slight body was lifted up into the air. The wind from Duo's wings managed to push some of the soldiers away from him and so he could get away.
"Heero! Grab my hand!"
Trusting someone who he knew for less than 48 hours was not a trait of his but at the moment, he had no choice. Reaching up with his uninjured arm, he grabbed the outstretched hand. He was pulled immediately into Duo's arms, damsel-in-distress style just as the base behind them was swallowed up by an explosion.
Nobody can realize how heavy Heero actually is until they carry him. Let me acknowledge the fact that HE will be the one to carry me over to the threshold when we get handfasted and not the other way around. HE doesn't have the power to make himself as light as he possibly can. You're probably wondering why angels have that power. Well, how else can you lounge on a cloud if you are as heavy as a ten ton elephant?
I flew through the air as fast as I could with the charge I had been looking for all of my angelic existance in my arms. My destructive powers were only good at a certain distance and that wasn't far enough to keep either of us safe. I felt the heat of the flames against my back and try to singe my feathers with its high temperature. Amazingly, Heero kept quiet throughout the whole affair. I wonder if the other Guardian Angels have as interesting a charge as I do now. I really wouldn't know how to act after this entire thing is over with. I've never had someone to protect until now. Hopefully, the gods and goddesses will guide me through this task.
After I felt the distance was sufficient enough, I landed, albeit a bit roughly because I never had to carry someone during any of my numerous flights. I put Heero down and playfully ruffled his wind blown hair with a smile as I automatically heal the broken arm he had received at the hands of the OZ soldiers. I'm sure he had questions about me. My smile faded when I saw the cold glare he gave me. I looked down at my boots, organizing my wings in a comfortable position nervously. Sometimes I wished that I had white wings instead of black, such as now.
"Who--no, what--are you?" Heero said coldly.
How do you tell a perfect soldier that you have a personal bodyguard? Why didn't I talk to the other angels before I left? They could have given me some pointers. I look up into his prussian blue eyes. I can see faint traces of surprise in them when he saw my eyes. In my human form, they were a close to impossible dark violet shade in my true form, the violet was overlayed by a sheen of silver, a color truly impossible for humans to inherit both naturally and genetically. Swallowing my nervousness, I spoke.
"I am Shinigami, your Guardian Angel. I know, I know, my name means the God of Death," I say, rolling my eyes. "My mother gets a laugh out of that each time she calls me. My father is the TRUE God of Death. His name is Lucifer, named after the fallen angel. My mother's name is Gabriel. Once every one thousand years, an angel is born with black wings. He or she is sent to the Guardians Guild, the place where the Guardian Angels are trained. That angel doesn't get his charge the moment he graduates, he has to find the one he has to protect.
When he is of a certain age, he is sent down the Human World in his true form to witness a human event, be it of destruction or life pertains to the one he is chosen to guard and love. It's a small hint of what his charge is capable of and how he will meet his charge. One of his feathers will become loose and goes to the one who is to be his charge and lover. After that, he goes back to Heavens where he has time for last minute goodbyes. There he receives a human form in which he would stay in until he is absolutely sure that he has found who he is to protect.
And believe it or not Heero, you do need protection. I've been following you for the past two years and you've already self-destructed twice, jumped off at least five 15-story buildings, risked your life recklessly only god knows how many times," I tell him, counting off his exploits one by one. "You're lucky that I met you that early! It activated a low level bond between us so you had some of my energy as well to recover from some of those life-threatening wounds you got. I had a slight hunch that you were my charge so I stuck by you."
"Where were you when I was born? Why didn't you prevent me from getting into Dr. J's hands? Why was I sent to grow up with an assassin as the only father figure I knew?"
"I'm only a fledgling Heero. Half the questions you have in mind, I have no answers for. I'm only 160 years old and that's very young compared to the ages of the other angels. My own mother is four millennias old! I'm learning as I go along Heero and young idiotic chatterbox angels are known make mistakes and mine was not acting soon enough to escape our capture. I saw the feather in your book Heero. I saw it!
I had a chance to save you from pain and I chose not to. It's my fault you got hurt! And I know you can't love me like I already love you. I'm a lame excuse for a Guardian Angel," I cried. My knees didn't seem to be able to hold my weight anymore and so I collapsed. I wrapped my wings around myself in an attempt to shield myself from those cold prussian eyes. But even then I felt them pierce straight through my soul. They were so very cold. What kind of Guardian Angel was I if I couldn't even help myself?
I saw the small body fall to the forest floor in a sprawl of limbs. Those large wings closed in upon that body like a normal human child would close his arms around his body in an attempt to bring warmth to it. But I knew that it wasn't a physical coldness Duo--Duo--was suffering from when he shivered. It was a mental numbness of the spirit.
The soldier in me refused to do anything to alleviate his pain. If Duo wasn't good enough to protect him, then he certainly couldn't become a Gundam pilot. A small voice in me I identified as the child I never was said that who could really protect him. He put his life on the line too many times for him to count. Besides, there was a hefty amount of surprise in Duo's voice when he asked me where I found the feather. He wasn't a hundred percent sure at that time. It seemed as if there was a penalty for revealing his true form to the wrong person.
I managed to reach a compromise between the soldier and the child. The reasoning behind Duo's late divine interventional help was perfectly logical, even the soldier couldn't find a loophole he could use against the child. So Duo deserved some kind of retribution for his harsh questions he threw at him. And the soldier found that he could use the dark angel's skills even though the child shouted for him to just let the braided angel fall into the background of merely protecting him instead of going out on those risky missions he often went on. I walked closer to the huddled mass that was my Guardian Angel and crawled under the small opening between the wings to the body in the middle. Surprising even myself, I wrapped my own arms around the slightly shaking body of Duo.
Duo's head went up in surprise when warm arms went around his waist. "H-Heero?"
"I...am sorry," Heero murmured, tucking his head under his chin. Thin arms tentatively went up around his neck and a slightly wet face rubbed against his neck.
"I'm sorry too," Duo sniffled as he leaned into his arms. Feeling the wince of pain from Heero, one of his hands went down to his chest and healed the broken ribs. "I don't know where the other safehouse is but I know we're about two miles east from the base," he mumbled sleepily, the tiring day catching up to him. He yawned and before he knew it, the black winged angel fell asleep in his charge's arms.
Heero picked up the angel and began to walk in the approximate direction of the safehouse with the precious bundle in his arms.
Quatre, Trowa and Wufei looked on in shocked surprise when they saw Heero carrying what they presumed to be a very large black bird. But upon closer examination, they saw the peacefully sleeping face of Duo tucked up in the crook of the Wing pilot's neck. The glare they saw promised violence if they should question about their brief capture.
The prussian eyed boy carried the seraph into one of the bedrooms. As usual, it was a room with two double beds and two closets. There was a desk pushed into a corner with a new laptop sitting on top of it. Ignoring all this, he gently laid his sleeping Guardian Angel on his side, careful of the large wings. He then kicked off his own boots and settled next to the small body, curling his larger frame around Duo's.
In the darkness, his face dropped all its masks and took on a calculating expression. Duo had said that he loved him. No one had ever said anything like that to him, ever. But did he have the same feelings for his Guardian Angel? Feelings that deep could not be determined within such a short period of time. However, he had to admit that he already possessed some affection for Duo. After all, he did bend the rules of the soldier he was.
Deciding that such answers would come to him over time, he closed his eyes and slept.
Duo woke up to a comforting warmth he had been wanting since he had been born. His parents, no matter how much he loved them, were a poor substitute for this type of warmth. Opening his silver violet eyes, he found himself looking into the tranquil face of Heero Yuy, his charge, lover and friend. His eyes scanned the unfamiliar surroundings but he found himself blocking half the room with his left wing. His. WING?
His entire body went rigid as he mentally cursed. Now he would have to erase the memories of the other pilots and he hated doing so because it spent an exorbitant amount of energy, leaving him just slightly above the strength of a normal human. He cursed some more when Heero woke up. "Daijoubu?"
"I have to erase last nights memories from the other pilots. Any human, outside of you of course, should know nothing about a Guardian Angel's existance," Duo said, getting out of bed. He shook out his wings to get the kinks out. Heero watched as loose black feathers swirled about the slight form, disappearing upon contact.
"Hn," Heero grunted.
The black winged angel rummaged around in his pocket and pulled out a glowing circlet and put it on the space on top of his head. He sighed. "Stupid halo is annoying but I need it if I don't have my wings," he mumbled, flicking it absently. It tipped down over his eye and he sighed again. His wings retracted into his back as his clothes reverted to those he wore two nights ago. "Just be ready to catch me. Making someone forget takes a lot out of an angel."
The Wing pilot grunted again and got out of bed with a deadly grace. In two long strides, he was face-to-face with the braided angel. Duo jumped, his halo slipping over his eye. Heero wrapped an arm around the slim waist and brushed his lips against the slack ones of the surprised boy. He quickly moved back with a smirk and said, "We need to talk after this," just before walking out the door.
"Stupid tease," Duo pouted. The halo obscuring one slightly silver violet eye reminded him that he had other matters to attend to. He closed his eyes and let his body relax. Finding his center and grounding, he opened his eyes and calmly walked out the door.
All conversation within the living room stopped the second Duo calmly walked in. The reason being that floating above his head was a fiery golden corona and his eyes were an inhuman silver violet color. "Hey guys. Just sit still for a moment, this will be totally painless," was the last thing them heard before a bright light engulfed their vision.
A white light appeared out of nowhere and settled over the heads of the three pilots who were not supposed to know of the existance of Guardian Angels. The three boys sat staring into space, their eyes empty.
Duo stood in front of them and began to talk in low, soothing tones. "You did not see me with black wings last night. I was merely unconscious from a knock to the head. You will have no recollection of what happened just now and you will regain total control when Heero counts to three."
Three nods came from the trio. Silver violet eyes rolled back into their sockets and Duo fell to the floor in a faint. Heero was there to catch him. Picking up the Guardian Angel, he walked up the stairs. From there he shouted the numbers. "Ni, ichi, san!"
Carefully tucking in the body under the sheets, he gathered Duo into his arms and fell asleep once again. He found that he slept better with the braided boy next to him so why waste a good opportunity?
Once again, Duo found himself holding onto something warm. His sleep muddled mind thought it was a pillow and hugged it closer. A sudden gasp for breath from the 'pillow' made him open his eyes to stare into the face of Heero Yuy, except this time, those blue eyes were glaring at him.
"Should I kick you out of bed because you want to kill me in my sleep?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
Duo blushed brightly and scooted backwards on the bed. Heero sat up, dragging him up as well.
"We need to talk," Heero sighed, running his hand through his hair. The angel swallowed a lump in his throat and nodded.
"What would you like to know about Black-Winged Guardian Angels?" he asked in a small voice.
"The part about you l-loving me," Heero said, stuttering slightly on the word love.
The angel looked down at his hands. "I told you that I've been watching you for a while now, two years to be exact. I-I fell in love with you sometime a long the way. There is no place for love in this war and you know that as well as I," he said quietly. "But I will be content with you as my--"
"I have known you for all of three days aside from basic physical information," Heero said, leaving his hand over Duo's mouth. "I cannot tell you those words yet. One doesn't fall in love in 48 hours but I can tell you that I feel some affection for you. Will you accept it?"
Tears welled up in violet eyes and Heero accidentally took it as sadness. Duo waved the hand away. "No, I'm not crying because I'm sad, Heero. I'm crying because I'm happy. Happy that you're giving me a chance."
"No more tears," Heero said gruffly before pulling the smaller body into his embrace.
"No more tears," Duo sighed. He contentedly laid his head on the broad shoulder and snaked his arms around the pilot's neck. Together on that bed they stayed.
A single black feather lying innocently upon an open book is moved by an invisible breeze and flies out the window towards the afternoon sun.
Notes: *Sorry in Chinese. I know I basically have the inflections right but there is just no symbol for the third tone in my word processor so I used the two dots instead.
Calliope- The Muse of Writing
Urania- The Muse of Astronomy