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Imminent Fate, part 3


There was a long shriek of terror.

Duo Maxwell did nothing but pull his cap lower on his face, trying to hide his ears in the thin, velvet material. It was the middle of the day, two days after he had heard the first shriek.

Walking stiffly, he tried to ignore the pleas for help and the sounds of beating wings. Wings. Bat-like wings.

Pushing his way through the slight crowd Duo wondered once more if he was crazy. No one else could hear the screams. Even when he was walking right now, able to see the shadows of the creature not five feet away from him, there was no one who even looked up or pretended that they had noticed.

The first time he had tried to tell the other Gundam pilots about what he saw, they had thought him crazy. Had given him this mission off, saying that he needed the rest anyway.

Luckily, they could do that this time. Their current mission was to attack an OZ base not five miles from the school. But this attack had to be made from the inside. Someone hacking in to the OZ computers two times a week to upload bits of a large virus until it was spread into the entire system. Then blow the base up. Easy come, easy go.

The next shriek made Duo wince and hold his breath as he felt the cloud of black dust blow over him. He never breathed in that dust.

Feeling the next wind picking up and brushing over him, he finally released the breath that he had been holding. That was the second time today. Ever since two days ago, he had seen those winged creatures go down and turn into dust, blowing over him each and every time.

He was walking to the Delos's party. Usually, he would be walking with Heero, fussing over the other pilot's appearance, nagging until Heero could take it no more and agreed to allow Duo to dress him up.

He smiled grimmly to himself, still walking. But two days ago, the others had just started to give him a little room. All except Heero, that is. Wing's pilot now sneaked concerned glances to Duo all the time, not caring if he saw or not.

Although Duo was very pleased with the fact that Heero now longer felt like sneaking looks at him (now the other pilot was very open with the looking), he wished it could have been under better circumstances. There was just something unnerving about the situation, and Duo hoped that Heero could finish uploading the virus soon. He didn't want to stay here.

He kicked a pebble on the road, following the tiny stone with his eyes. As the stone was run over by a oncoming car, Duo looked up to see plenty of parents dropping their children off near the large house, almost as big as one of Quatre's mansions.

He watched silently as Pandora Delos greeted the children at the door, inviting them in without dely and charming the parents. Mrs. Delos had always insisted that everyone, even her own children, called her Pandora. She didn't want to be called Mrs. at all, even though she sure looked the part of a warm and welcoming mother.

Moving his violet eyes around the house, he memorized all the windows and door accesiable from the outside, and how the house looked from where he was. If someone wanted to get in, how they would be able to and how long that would take them.

Shaking his head afterwards, Duo mentally chidded himself for hanging around Heero for too long. Although the information was useful, Duo doubted that he would have to remember the escape routes to a party that he was attending. It was ridiculous.

Glancing both ways down the street, Duo stode across, his picture of gloom slowly transforming to his usual grin. It took a moment before Pandora actually noticed the smirking teen watching her sweet-talking the adults. She gave him a grin that Duo happily returned and excused herself from the conversation.

"Well, hello young man."

Duo maintained his smile as he watched Pandora walk up to him, wiping her hands on her apron. She was small, but had big bones, making her look touch enough to take on the hardest delinquents.

"I see you've caught me bribing the adults for their children's time. I think I remember Artemis talking about you. You're Duo Maxwell, aren't you?"

Duo did a mock bow for her. "The one and only, ma'am."

She scowled. "I'm not 'ma'am'. Just because I'm physically older than the rest of you youngin' doesn't mean I am mentally." she winked and tapped her temple. "It's just Pandora. Just like you call all the people in your school."

"Yes, Pandora, ma'am." Duo said cheekily.

"I see I can't get away with that around you," sighed Pandora. "Where are your parents, Duo? Maybe I can persuade them to let my daughters borrow some more of your time..."

Duo shifted. "I... I'm here with my friends. I've always wanted to go to Rosehill High and since I had some friends going there... my parents sent me here to go with them." Well, it wasn't really a lie. Just a cover.

Pandora looked worried for a moment, then smiled sunnily. "Well, then, I won't have to worry about stealing you away. Unless your friends are as strict as parents (which I hope not), you'll be able to attend the slumber party that Demeter and Selene are hosting."

The Delos family was completely composed of women, except for Pandora's husband, who was usually away from home as a foriegn business man. Even the lady in charge, Leto, (mother of Demeter and Selene) was a widow. This made Duo sort of nervous.

Duo grinned nervously. "Bad thing is, my friends are WORSE than my parents!" At least he thought that they would be...

"Then we'll have to get your friends to stay too." Pandora waved the dismissal off. "Do come in... Diana has talked a bit about you and I'd like to see the boy she has a crush on." she winked.

Crush? Him? Couldn't be... Diana knew practically the entire school... He was just a new kid. Must be some passing fancy. Nothing obvious, he hoped. He knew how possessive Heero could get with the things he wanted...

"Probably just wants some advice on some other guy from me." Duo retorted back as they walked inside. He really didn't want to deal with Diana if she liked him that way.

"Aa." Pandora said, not confirming nor denying. "We'll see."


Duo made sure to stay in the shadows, yet not look suspicious as he approached the person standing by the punch bowl. There was a murmur of cloth as he pressed against the tablecloth, black clothes brushing in sharp contrast to the crisp white sheets. There was not even a stain if anyone had dropped food onto the whiteness.

Making sure to blend in with his surroundings, (which was a hard thing to do considering that it was him) Duo grabbed a few snacks along the way.

Seeing green eyes looking at him curiously, Duo put on a sheepish grin and pointed to the figure he was stalking. There was a flash of amuse- ment, then the eyes turned away.

Figuring that he was safe now, Duo nodded to himself as he slowly slid through a couple who was flirting over the table. His target was straight ahead of him. Yes. Short, blonde, wearing a loose shirt with vest over it, and loose brown jeans.

Just a few more feet...

"Duo? What are you doing?"

Duo eeped and whirled around, facing Quatre's confused blue-green eyes. He blinked, then turned his head to look at his target.

Diana, whose back had been turned to him before, was how facing him with that same curious look that was in Quatre's eyes. She was wearing almost exactly the same as Quatre's usual attire, except with some words on the front of her shirt.

And Quatre... Quatre was wearing a baggie tee, and knee-length shorts. Something that a casual teenage boy would wear.

Looking back and forth from Quatre to Diana a few more times, Duo sweatdropped then laughed nervously.

"Ahh... nothing, nothing! I'm just being me, that's all." He scratched the back of his head, all the while cursing himself for forgetting how similar the two who were staring at him looked.

Trowa threw him an amused look- as amused as he ever looked- and went back to studying Quatre.

Damned if he knew it, but Trowa had just pulled a prank on him! (for those who didn't catch that... *laughs weakly* just keep reading)

"So," Duo changed the subject, trying to get his embarressed blush down. "When did you guys get here, anyway. I've been looking for you for the last two hours."

Knowing that Duo was thoroughly red, Quatre decided to have pity on his friend and went with the switch of coversation, giving Diana a smile to let her know that he didn't want her evesdropping.

She nodded at him and walked off to another table.

"Well," said Quatre, "Wufei was really pissed with Artemis. You should have seen him yesterday. He stalked her around school to make her nervous, and did just that until Selene arrived at the scene."

Duo winced a little, feeling sorry for Wufei.

"You know Selene... she's way too protective of her cousins. I'm told that Wufei was finally humbled before a girl, but I don't believe it. I only think that Selene probably had every Senor girl backing her up before Wufei backed down. But because of that episode, he refused to come. Came up with some excuse about the dentist, but no one believes that. I guess it's alright, though, since no one expects him to come to this party anymore."

"Oh." Duo thought for a moment. "What about Heero?" He just knew that his partner would think up even more creative ways to escape a party like this.

"Strangely enough, Heero came without objecting." Quatre answered, sounding surprised himself. "He didn't say a word about going, but all of a sudden today, he just came. Trowa and I were the ones who followed him, not the other way around."

Duo winced slightly. He hadn't really been in the best of moods this morning, and had left even before Heero had woken up, saying that he would take a walk before going to the party. He hadn't wanted the others to see him in a bad mood. He had been in enough of a bad mood the last week.

Quatre noticed the wince. "Does this have to do with how you left with only a note this morning?"

Duo heaved out a sigh and glanced behind him quickly to make sure of where he was before he leaned on the nearby wall. "I... I keep seeing them."

Quatre's eyes widened.

"They always appear. Maybe I am going crazy, because no one else even notices them. Heero and Diana said that they saw a black cloud blow by me. That it looked suspicious. But when I walk... I see them and there's people around. No one reacts. No one even sees a dust cloud."

He ran a hand through his bangs. "If no one else will notice them, then maybe I'll just lock myself in my room soon so that I won't hear them."

"Hear them?" Quatre questioned, concern flooding his voice. Although there was also a tone of doubt, he sounded sincere. "What do you mean, hear them. When you told us-"

"I didn't say everything. They scream, they plead for help, they cry... I've seen six or seven of them in the past two days."

"Why didn't you tell us?" There was a note of horror in his voice.

"You guys won't believe me. You still think I'm crazy right now. But I just HAD to get out... I didn't want to hear them, but I was going crazy just listening to Heero typing on the laptop. But then, maybe I am."

"I..." Quatre swallowed nervously, not looking the other boy in the eye. "I can sense that you're telling the truth... and I think that if you went crazy, you wouldn't be seeing things like that. Which means that there must be some explination for this. You should have told us about it!"

"Sorry, then."

There was no real apology in the tone. But Quatre shook that off. "You should really talk to Heero. He's one of the ones who saw the dust... maybe you can make sense of what he saw and you saw. Go over things. I have a feeling that you're not hallucinating, and that there's more to this than we think."

"Tell Heero? Are you crazy? This has nothing to do with the mission! Why would be listen? Why would he want to go over this?"

"Because I worry."

Duo gaped at the distant shadow that had been watching them for some time already. Quatre saw this and quietly excused himself, eyeing the two to make sure that no one would start fighting and also to make sure that there was no one around who would be listening in on them.

Heero watched Duo wearily. "You've been acting strange."

"Oh, great." Duo replied sarcastically. "I thought you say I'm always strange. Now you're worried because I'm acting strange? Sorry if being moody is acting strange."

Heero took a step out of the shadows. "You don't... laugh anymore."

Duo flinched.

"You won't..." Wing's pilot was visibly struggling with his words. "Talk to me... about it."

Seeing that this conversation was about to turn drastic, Duo took the easy way out. "Hey, look, man- I thought you didn't want me to talk, 'kay? Next time I'll just-"

Another step and Heero reached out to grap the hand that Duo had put behind him to feel along the wall. "Why?"

Duo sputtered, feeling his blood rushing in his ears. "What?"

Prussian eyes bore into his. "Why?"

"I don't understand. Why what?"

"You don't talk to me. You used to."

Violet eyes softened just a bit. "Heero, I-"

And then everything went to hell.


All of a sudden, all the windows in the house shattered into bits. There were screams erupting as people who were standing too close to the glass was attacking with flying scaple and shards.

Duo watched dumbly as people paniced around him, not yet understanding what had happened.

Heero cursed suddenly, and tightened the grip he had on Duo's hand. Giving a rough tug, he jerked Duo out of the daze he was in and pulled him along towards one of the larger windows. It was logical. Get out from the house through one of the broken windows instead of the doors (since everyone else was running for the doors).

Duo allowed himself to be pulled along, sighing mentally as he realized that the moment had been ruined. He had come sooo close to telling Heero. Guess he'd just have to wait for another moment. It really was a shame. The party was just starting to perk up.

Suddenly Heero dropped to the ground, taking Duo down with him by the hand.

"What the-?! Heero!"

"Shut up."

Duo clamped his mouth shut at the tone. Usually he ignored the other's boy, but Heero had that tone only when they were in a mission or in danger.

So he lowered his voice. "What the hell are you doing?!"


Following Heero's gaze, Duo went into shock when he saw the creatures with wings - the ones had had heard in pain for so long, fly through the broken windows and letting out screams of anger instead of terror. There were dozens of them, each flying through the broken windows, coming in from all directions.

"You can see them?!"

Heero set his jaw grimmly, not answering him. Duo could almost imagine that he could see the wheels turning in Heero's head.

After a moment, Heero finally said, "They won't let us out."



End part 3.


Hey, if it's interesting, tell me. I really, really hope that it is. But maybe it's just me, but I think that I'm going waaaay too fast with this story. I'm worry, I'm getting major mood swings these days... finals next week. I try not to write my moods swings into my stories, but that usually doesn't work. Please tell me what I did wrong here!

Oh, and Alycilos(my muse)... *pokes* You know I hate you, don't you?

*Alycilos smiles slyly and waves*