Last major revision: 06/09/99
Last modified: 06/16/99
DOUBLE VISION: A Gundam Wing fic by Madamhydra
(formerly titled "P.O.V.")
Part 2: At First Sight
Short Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end)
Gundam Wing is copyrighted by its creators and all distributors of their work and used without permission.
As the two Duo Maxwells stared fixedly at each other, the heads of the other Gundam pilots kept swiveling back and forth between the two of them, just like spectators at a tennis match. The two Duos were virtually identical in the physical sense -- identical facial features, identical build. Both wore the familiar black pants and shirt, with the exception of one Duo's waist-length braid and the dried bloodstains on the other Duo's clothes.
But in their expressions and attitudes, their differences were like night and day.
Heero glared at the short-haired Duo standing on the opposite end of the room. Every instinct he had was screaming, 'Wrong! WRONG!!!' Duo's eyes, no matter how angry or hurt he was feeling, never had the sort of hollowness or emptiness he saw in the other... person's blue-violet eyes. But perhaps what infuriated Heero even more was the familiarity of that soulless stare....
He had seen it all too many times in his own reflection.
(But not in Duo's eyes!)
Whoever that person was, he was only a pathetic copy -- similar in the surface details, perhaps, but he lacked Duo's energy... his inner fire... his warmth... all the things that had irresistibly drawn him to Duo.
Like dull cut glass next to a faceted diamond, it was no comparison at all.
Heero felt a warm hand grasp his shoulder and turned his head slightly to look into Duo's eyes. That wide-eyed indigo gaze contained shock, bewilderment, worry... and perhaps more than a little fear. They seemed to ask Heero for some small reassurance in a suddenly insane world. At that moment, Duo needed someone to believe in him... to believe that *he* was real.
It was fortunate that the short-haired Duo's gun had been lost early in during his fight with Wufei in view of what happened next.
Perhaps it was the way that the other Duo touched Heero. Perhaps it was the cold look of barely suppressed loathing in Heero's eyes as he stared at the short-haired Duo crouched in a fighting stance at the other end of the room... so very different from the subtly concerned look he then gave the long-haired Duo standing by his side. But whatever it was, something snapped. Before Wufei and the others could stop him, the short-haired Duo lunged across the room in a flash.
Momentarily distracted by his lover's obvious distress, Heero only caught a flash of movement before he was almost carelessly shoved out of the way as one Duo went for the other Duo's throat.
The long-haired pilot desperately twisted aside, but couldn't avoid the hard knee that slammed into his stomach. The blow instantly doubled him over and sending shards of pain radiating through his belly. Before he could collapse to the floor in a puddle of agony, his attacker grabbed his face and smashed his head into the wall. Black and red sparks filled Duo's vision as the back of his skull connected with the sturdy wooden panels with a sickening crack.
Duo could distantly feel steely fingers clamping down on his windpipe... feel them grinding relentlessly into his neck vertebra. Tendons and muscles shrieked in protest as one of the remorseless hands clamped onto his chin and started to yank his head around in the beginning of a painfully familiar maneuver. He feebly tried to pry the other Duo's hands away from his throat, but it was totally useless. Far away, he vaguely thought he could hear something snarling in rage.
Now why had one of his idiot friends let such a pissed off wolf inside the house...? Quatre, maybe, the softie... then again, Trowa was the one with the talent for handling animals... better calm the beast down, Trowa, before Wufei tries to skewer it... or before Heero shoots it... Heero can get so weird around pets....
But as darkness closed in, Duo couldn't help feeling just a wee bit sorry for the boy crouched on top of his chest, even though the homicidal maniac was hell-bent on wringing his neck like some damned chicken's. After all, no one should harbor so much pain and sorrow in his eyes and soul.
(I hate it when Heero's gets that look....)
Then everything went black.
Wufei and Trowa reacted almost instantly and pounced on the short-haired Duo. Despite their speed, Heero was there first. He grabbed the other boy's arm to keep him from twisting Duo's head any further, then with his other hand slammed the butt of his pistol into the back of the short-haired Duo's head. The only thing saving the attacker of HIS Duo from a bullet in the head was Heero's need for immediate action -- he had simply been in too much of a rush to flip the gun around in his hand and take aim.
Still taking care not to jar Duo's head more than necessary, Heero kicked the unconscious intruder aside and quickly checked for a pulse.
Quatre dropped to the floor beside them and watched Heero carefully examine Duo's throat and neck for several anxious minutes. Although hardly the best at hand-to-hand combat, the blond pilot had been well trained. He knew exactly what the short-haired Duo had been trying to do.
"Did he...?" (But he's breathing... barely, but he's breathing... he wouldn't be breathing if....)
"No," Heero muttered with a sigh of relief. But it had been very close. Just a little more pressure and Duo's neck probably would have snapped like a twig. His burning blue eyes flicked upward to the bloody smear where Duo's head impacted the wall.
While Heero and Quatre were tending to the braided Duo, Wufei and Trowa had prudently decided to haul the other Duo out of the bedroom and out of Heero's immediate reach.
The Chinese pilot scowled at their unconscious prisoner and muttered, "Well, I guess we've all decided just who's the impostor."
Trowa said nothing as he silently left the living room. He returned a short time later with a sturdy length of rope, along with a pair of handcuffs. Wufei caught the handcuffs tossed in his direction and gave them an odd look.
Without the slightest change in expression, Trowa said, "They're military grade and fully functional."
Wufei opened his mouth, then decided not to ask why Trowa just happened to have a pair of handcuffs lying around.
"I found Wing Zero and Shinigami. They're sitting in the front hanger," Trowa quietly added as they proceeded to carefully secure the short-haired Duo Maxwell impostor.
Wufei suddenly stiffened. "If this guy's a fake, then that other Wing Zero... it could be a bomb or it could be broadcasting our location to the enemy at this very moment!"
Trowa shook his head. "I did a quick scan on it. It's not transmitting any signals, but Heero needs to check it out more thoroughly. Since none of the techs are here, he's the one most familiar with Wing Zero's construction."
"As soon as we can pry him away from Duo, you mean."
Trowa shrugged. He headed back to the bedroom and asked, "How is he?"
At the moment, Quatre was carefully supporting Duo's head and neck as Heero carefully moved the unconscious boy to his bed.
"I think he's going to be okay. His neck's going to be really sore for the next couple of days and I don't think he's going to be able to do much talking, either," the blond pilot said with a smile of relief.
Heero snorted at that, even as he carefully examined the ugly bruises that were just starting to blossom over Duo's throat and abdomen.
"What?" came the curt reply to Trowa's question.
"We need you to check out the Wing Zero in the rear hanger."
Heero scowled. "You mean to say that there *is* another Wing Zero here?"
"Yes, and superficially identical to yours. It isn't transmitting any signals as far as I know, but it could be booby-trapped or worse."
Heero nodded grimly, but hesitated as Duo let out a faint, choked moan.
"Stay still, baka." But the rough words were belied by the quick gentle touch that quieted Duo's restlessness. Heero silently watched his unconscious lover for a few seconds, then rose to his feet. He gave Quatre a stern look, then stalked out of the bedroom.
Trowa gave the blond pilot an inquiring glance, but Quatre shook his head and whispered, "I'll stay with him. You better keep an eye on Heero. Just in case...."
Although it rarely showed, they both knew that the Wing pilot was fiercely protective of Duo. And the furious growling sound Heero had been making when he saw what the short-haired Duo impostor had been trying to do to the real Duo Maxwell....
In the living room, Heero abruptly halted and glared at the other Duo who was slowly regaining consciousness.
Somehow sensing Heero's presence, the handcuffed and bound prisoner's head jerked upward, his violet eyes rapidly scanning the room like a wild animal desperately seeking a way out of a trap... or perhaps out of a terrible nightmare. But if he was looking for some sort of escape or salvation, he didn't find it. All he saw was cold cobalt eyes glittering with contempt and icy fury. A flash of what could have been despair and raw misery flickered for across the prisoner's face, then vanished behind a familiar mask of blank, sullen indifference. Although that fleeting expression of pain had not escaped anyone's notice, Wufei and Trowa kept their thoughts to themselves.
As for Heero, he was in no mood to care.
When the Chinese pilot observed Heero's hand twitch in a familiar gesture, he sharply reminded the other pilot, "We need answers." The rest did not have to be said.
"Hn." The other pilot tossed a disk at Wufei. "We managed to pull some of the project data from the installation. It might have some connection to *him*." Whoever their prisoner was, it was *not* Duo and Heero utterly refused to address him as such. With those words, he stalked off to pry some secrets from the mysterious duplicate of his Gundam Wing Zero.
And after that was done, he would do the same to Duo's impostor, even if that meant taking him apart, piece by piece.
The Full Disclaimer
All rights and privileges to Shin Kidousenki Gundam Wing are trademarks and property of Sunrise, Bandai, Sotsu Agency, and associated parties. The characters of these works are used WITHOUT permission for the purpose of entertainment only. This work of fiction is not meant for sale or profit.
Original portion of the fiction included here is considered to be the sole property and copyrighted to the author.