Disclaimers: don't own 'em. never will. 'nuff said.

Rating: this part - NC-17ish
Pairing: 1x2, 6x2
Warnings: AU, OOC, murder, angst, slight bastardization of some characters, a little NCS (the devil made me do it)
Spoilers: none
Comments: please

Notes: There are some things I need to say before I get to the fic. First off, I'd like to thank Jenn for helping me through my writer's block. The whole bit with the movie anaology is her brainchild. Second, to you wacky people on #gw_yaoi, I don't think I could've gotten through this without you. *megaglomp* And last but not least, I'm dedicating this (almost) last chapter to RatherQuiet, who made me cry with all those nice things you said about me when you post that image for this fic. *sniffles* Thank you so much!!!

Part 13
by Caroline

"Oh God. I think I overreacted," Duo said, burying his face in his hands and rubbing his red, puffy eyes. He hated it when he cried. Crying made him feel so… weak and helpless. But this whole situation made him feel helpless. He had absolutely no idea what to do.

"It was a very understandable reaction, Duo," Zechs said, placing his arm around Duo's slender shoulders. "Are you *sure* the knife you found was the same one used to kill that girl?"

"Yeah, I… I'm not sure I can explain it. I saw it in my mind when I touched it. It's the same knife." He slumped his shoulders. "Not that anyone would believe me."

"I would. I do." Zechs began stroking his back lightly in a comforting manner.

"But why was it in Heero's apartment?" he asked, wincing as he noticed he'd stopped referring to the loft as 'their' apartment. "I mean… I *know* Heero. There's no way he could have killed that girl!"

"Duo, just how well do you know Heero?" Zechs asked. "I mean *really* know him?"

Duo shifted uncomfortably. "Not very well. I don't know anything about his past or childhood or what he was like before we met." He moved his gaze to meet Zechs's eyes. "But I don't have to know all that. It's something… deeper. I know him. I know him here." He placed his hand over his heart.

"But how well do you know him here?" Zechs asked, pointing to his head. "That's my whole concern, Duo. You *don't* know him very well. You don't know what kind of man he can be when he gets hurt or angry. The murder weapon was in his apartment. What does that tell you?"

Duo stood up, yanking himself away from Zechs. "It doesn't tell me a thing! Maybe he was holding it there for some reason. Maybe he'd just found it and hadn't taken it in yet. Maybe he doesn't know what it is. Maybe… maybe somebody planted it there."

Zechs stood and caught Duo by the shoulders. "Do you really believe that?"

Duo allowed himself to be drawn into Zechs's embrace. "I don't know what to believe anymore," he whispered. "I'm so confused, Zechs. How could I do this? How could I be doubting him?"

"You have every right to be having these feelings, Duo. Heero is… not the man you think he is." Duo sniffled into his arms. Zechs stroked his hair and maneuvered him back to the couch. "Sit down. Try to relax for a while. When you feel better, we'll talk about what to do next."

"Okay," the long-haired teen murmured, sinking down onto the soft, white sofa. He fingered the silk material covering the couch as he looked around. "Damn Zechs. This is… really nice. When you said you were working on your boat and I should come meet you here, I pictured something more along the lines of a pontoon boat and less 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.'"

The 'boat' had turned out to be a sixty-eight foot Motoryacht, fully outfitted with every luxury Duo could think of, including a sofa covered in what Duo suspected to be Italian silk.

"If you can afford something like this," he continued, "why are you still working as a cop?"

Zechs made a face. "This… is more of a family boat than mine. I could never afford something like this on what I make," he said, bitterness edging his voice.

"Oh." He leaned back against the soft cushions and closed his eyes. "What should I do, Zechs?" he asked in a small voice. "I don't know where to go from here."

He heard Zechs move to one side of the salon. He cracked open an eye to see the blonde man staring intently at a painting on the wall. "That all depends on you, Duo," he replied softly.

Duo sat up straight, frowning. "What do you mean?"

"You said yourself you did not know all that much about Heero. Even if he is not guilty of this crime, it has made you think, hasn't it?"


"It was an awfully big step you made, moving in with him after only knowing him for just a short while. You're beginning to have doubts, aren't you?"

Duo slumped forward, eyes burning with unshed tears. Zechs was right. He *had* made the decision to move in with Heero awfully quick. He thought he'd known what he was doing. But now, with all of this… maybe Quatre had been right. Maybe he *had* made the wrong decision and he was only now beginning to realize it.

His face burned with shame. How could he even be thinking of Heero like that? He knew Heero loved him… didn't he?

From the other side of the salon, Zechs was still silently observing the painting. He chuckled to himself, as though amused by his own private joke. He looked back at Duo and grinned, his expression suddenly becoming much more intimate as if he was about to let Duo in on his little joke.

"What a riot that would be," he mused. "A definite smash box-office hit."

Duo shifted nervously on the sofa. Zechs wasn't making any sense. The whole situation wasn't making any sense. "What are you talking about?" he asked quietly.

Zechs pinned him with his ice blue gaze. "Just think about it. You know the story. The good guy, the straight arrow, the man everyone loves. He gets the bad guy, he gets the..." another grin, "girl. It looks like happily ever after... and then the other shoe drops."

"The… other shoe?"

"Oh yes. Because this isn't your basic good versus evil story. It's one of those psychological twisters that leaves you guessing right until the end. The good guy has a secret. A secret the… girl finds out about at the end of the movie. With one slash, the girl finds herself drowning in her own blood. And the good guy, who turned out not to be so good after all, larks off, ready for the sequel." He turned to regard the painting once more, absently straightening it with one finger. "But that almost never happens in real life."

Zechs turned and gave Duo a fond, almost sad sort of look. "I'm sure you and Heero will be very happy together."

Duo swallowed. He looked down at his hands and only then realized he was trembling. "Oh God…" he whispered, unable to think, to breathe, to move. His stomach rebelled. He was going to be sick. He lurched to his feet, eyes wide in panic.

"Duo?" Zechs was by his side in an instant. Duo shoved him out of the way, stumbling to the sliding door that led to the forward deck. He rushed through, barely making it to the railing before losing the contents of his stomach over the side of the boat. He heaved until nothing more came up. He wiped his mouth off with the back of his hand, sliding down to the deck as his legs gave out from underneath him.

A cool hand brushed his bangs away from his face, moving to cup the back of his head. A cup was placed at his lips.

"Here. Drink this slowly."

Duo grasped the cup with shaking hands, tipping it to allow the cool, clean water to flow into his mouth. He gulped it down, nearly choking as he drank.

"Ah ah, easy." Zechs pried the cup from Duo's hands and set it aside. "Feel better now?"

"N…no." He couldn't stop shaking.

Zechs put the cup aside, sitting down next to Duo and drawing the shivering form into his arms. He reached up a hand to tip Duo's face up by the chin. "You don't have to be afraid, Duo. I'll be here for you."

Before Duo could say or do anything, Zechs bent his head and brushed his lips across Duo's. The violet-eyed teen froze, but did not draw away. Zechs pressed more firmly, sliding his tongue along Duo's bottom lip. Duo jumped, gasping in surprise. Zechs took the advantage, slipping inside Duo's mouth. The young man closed his eyes, allowing Zechs to invade his mouth. His body grew warm as he slowly melted into the kiss. Zechs lapped at the roof of his mouth. Duo sighed, making a little sound in the back of his throat. Zechs tasted so different from Heero…


With a cry, Duo jerked away. "I… I'm sorry, Zechs. I can't.Heero…"

Zechs's face darkened. A new wave of guilt washed over Duo. "Please… I'm sorry. I didn't mean…" With shaking legs, he got to his feet, clutching the rail desperately in order to support his weight. "I think… I should go back."

Zechs stood as well. "You're still shaken. Come in and have a drink. Take a little time to compose yourself. Then I'll take you back and we can question Heero about the knife together."

Duo gave the older man a wan smile. "All right." He allowed Zechs to support his weight. "I'm really sorry about… you know."

"I know." He looked down at Duo sadly. "I'm sorry too."


The stillness of the apartment was shattered by the sound of a door crashing open and slamming against the wall behind it. Heero rushed cautiously into the room, gun drawn, eyes darting all around. Seeing that the room was clear, he motioned for Trowa to enter. He kept himself between his partner and any potential danger. Trowa was still too injured to be doing something like this, but the green-eyed cop had insisted on accompanying him.

Heero quickly searched every room, his hopes fading fast with each passing moment. He'd hoped to find Duo here… hoped to find him before it was too late.

"They're not here," Trowa remarked, echoing Heero's thoughts.

"Call Wufei. Get him to bring some people down here. Maybe they can find something," Heero replied, his voice completely drained of emotion. He couldn't allow himself to falter now. He had to keep his focus. He had to concentrate on this just being another case… because if he didn't, if he stopped to think about what could be happening to Duo, he'd break. He was so scared, but for Duo's sake, he couldn't let his fears control him.

"Shit, Heero. I'm sorry," Trowa said a moment later after placing his call.

"Hn. Let's look around. Maybe there's something… anything here that would tell us where they've gone."

Trowa nodded and headed for the bedroom. Heero took a deep breath and began his own search.

Zechs's place was… immaculate. There was no other word to describe it. Expensive furniture and art work made up the décor. Heero knew the blonde man's cop salary could never afford some of the priceless things he found. The man had to be making money by other means. Heero doubted it was legal, whatever it was.

He stepped over to an expensive looking antique desk and rummaged around, hoping to find a note or an address - anything that could tell him where he'd taken Duo. But like the rest of the apartment, the desk was clean. He slammed a drawer shut, cursing in frustration.

"Any luck?" Trowa asked, reentering the room.

"No. You?"


Heero ran a trembling hand nervously through his hair. "Dammit, where *are* they?"

Trowa moved to place a comforting hand on Heero's shoulder. "Try not to worry. We've got APBs out on both of them. Something will turn up."

"I wish I could believe that, Trowa, but oh God… I'm so scared right now." He turned his head to look at Trowa, only to find his partner staring at something behind him. "Trowa?"

"I think… I may know another place to look for them." He hurried away, heading for the front door.

"Huh?" Heero turned around to see what Trowa had been staring at: a picture of Zechs standing on the prow of a large boat, the name of which was emblazoned proudly on the side. "The Epyon?"

"Heero!" Trowa called from the next room. "Come look at this!"

Heero tore his gaze away from the photograph and quickly walked over to Trowa's side. "What is it?"

"Look," his partner replied, pointing to a key ring holder hanging on the wall next to the door. Each peg was labeled something different: car, truck, apartment, boat. The keys were gone from the car, apartment, and boat pegs.

"You think he took Duo to the bay?"

"Looks like it may be a possibility." Heero reached into his pocket, dug out his cell phone, and tossed it to Trowa. "Call Wufei. I want to know where the Epyon is docked."

"And what will you be doing?" Trowa asked as he followed his partner out the door.

Heero reached out and snagged Trowa's keys from his pocket. "Driving."

"Ah shit," Trowa muttered, attempting to dial the station's number one handed while running after his partner. "Heero driving. I'm gonna die."

'Not before I find you, Duo. Hang on, koi,' the Japanese cop thought as he raced out of Zechs's building and into the night.


Duo lay half-propped against the Italian silk, eyelids drooping heavily as he took another sip of the rum and coke Zechs had fixed for him. He winced as he swallowed; the drink had a slight metallic taste that was unsettling. Very carefully, with slow deliberate movements, he stood. He placed one foot in front of the other in precise, unsure steps, crossing the room slowly. He sighed in relief as he came within grabbing distance of the wet bar. Using the edge of the bar for balance, he poured the drink down the sink.

He stood for a moment, watching the ice melt through fog-dazed eyes. He felt… strange. Sleepy but hyperaware at the same time. He placed the glass in the sink and turned, losing his balance as he let go of the counter.

Strong arms wrapped themselves around his waist, pulling him tight against a broad, smooth, and unabashedly bare chest. "Whoa there, little one. I've got you."

Duo clutched onto the strong arm, blinking dazedly up at the man holding him. "Z…Zechs?"

"Yes?" The older man's voice sounded so far away.

Duo blinked, trying unsuccessfully to clear away some of the fog obscuring his vision. "What are we… are we moving?" The room seemed to be bobbing up and down.

"Yes. I've taken us a little way out into the bay. I wanted you to calm down and think about some things before we went back."

"O…oh." He tried to stand on his own, but his legs felt as though they'd turned to jelly. "I…I think I need to sit down."

"As you wish."

Zechs half-led, half-carried him back to the expensive white couch. The arms of the sofa reached up to grab him, settling him down at one end. Duo blinked but didn't really question it. He was too busy watching the stars visible through the window above play tag with the moon.

A hand stroked his face, moving inexorably lower to the nape of his shirt.

"You are so beautiful." Zechs's voice sounded vague and distant, as if being said through a long tunnel.

Duo tried to sit up straighter. "Zechs? What… what was in that drink?"

Warm hands began to massage his shoulders. "Just something to help you relax," he thought he heard Zechs reply.

"Oh." He closed his eyes. Something… something wasn't right. He tried to think what it was, but the fog that clouded his vision had spread to his mind.

Something warm and moist brushed his shoulder. His bare shoulder. His eyes flew open. The moon had shifted its position in the sky. The lights in the salon had dimmed. When had he lost his shirt?

"Zechs?" His voice slurred. He felt a tug on his braid, felt his hair tumble freely over his back. "No…"

"Shhh. Just let me…" The rest of the man's words trailed off as the fog closed in on Duo once more. His head lolled against the back of the sofa. He felt warm lips kiss a path across his collarbone, dipping slightly to taste the nipple located just below.

Duo arched his back, hissing as a jolt of pleasure raced down his spine straight to his groin. An image of his blue-eyed Japanese lover formed behind closed eyelids. "Heero…"

The world shifted. Duo lazily opened his eyes to find himself resting sideways against the arm of the sofa. He could feel something tugging at his lower body, but he ignored it. Instead he turned his attention to the opposite side of the room.

Relena stared back at him.

Duo blinked, trying to comprehend why a dead girl would be looking at him. He tried to reach out to her, but his arm felt wooden and stiff. He could only lift it a few inches from his body. Relena smiled sadly. He saw her mouth move. Duo strained to hear what she was trying to say.


"…too beautiful to waste…" he heard from far away. Something moved his legs apart, legs that felt like dead blocks of wood… legs that were now bare. Warm air blew across his groin. He cried out, bucking his hips upward.


A warm mouth attached itself to his penis. Duo opened his eyes and screamed. The colors of the room were dancing; miniature starbursts blinded him momentarily. A warm flush spread throughout his body. The mouth suckling him did so expertly. Cries of pleasure dripped from his lips. His vision cleared and he looked down, expecting to see Heero's smirking face looking back at him. He was startled to see a blonde head bobbing up and down in his lap.

He reached down, placing on hand on Zechs's shoulder. The older man used one hand to sweep his long, blonde hair to one side. Duo narrowed his eyes, trying to see through the fog which had once again clouded his vision. Something dark marred the smooth, pale skin of Zechs's neck. Duo traced the mark, his hand feeling like it was moving through water. A tattoo of thorns encircled the man's entire neck. Duo blinked and lifted his hand to his head. He had to clear his mind. There was something he'd forgotten… something…

A finger brushed against his entrance. Duo moaned, his head lolling almost lifelessly against the arm of the couch. One finger slipped inside, causing Duo to shudder violently. The feel of the finger and the mouth working around his member were too much. The warm feeling building in the pit of his stomach suddenly burst forth, shooting through his body like lightning. He screamed, his back arching as he shot his release into Zechs's waiting mouth.

The feel of Zechs's mouth on his own brought him out of his post-orgasmic daze. The blonde man claimed his mouth, thrusting his tongue inside so Duo could taste himself in the older man's mouth. The haze chose that moment to lift from his mind. Duo cried out in revulsion, pushing Zechs away as he struggled to sit up.

"Zechs… stop," he breathed, tears running down his face."Please."

An cold laugh bubbled from the other's man's lips. "Beautiful boy. I knew you would taste good." He kissed Duo again, fast and hard, before gracefully rising to his feet. "Don't go anywhere. I'll be right back."

Duo hung his head, tears now streaming down his face. What had he done? Betrayed Heero for one thing. Duo covered his mouth with one hand, suddenly feeling the urge to vomit.

He looked around the room. The fog had cleared but his vision was still blurry. His eyes fell on the painting Zechs had been fiddling with earlier. A younger version of Relena's face gazed back at him.

Duo felt his gorge rise. He sobbed into his hands, his whole body trembling. He couldn't breathe, the walls of the salon were closing in on him.

He shot to his feet, grabbing onto the arm of the sofa as the sudden movement made his head spin. He was still naked, but he didn't want to take the time to pull his clothes back on. Instead he grabbed a throw rug from the back of the sofa and stumbled out the sliding glass door onto the forward deck. Wrapping the blanket around him, he stumbled to the railing. He gripped the cool metal tightly, leaning over the side of the boat in case he lost the contents of his stomach again. But there was nothing left inside… nothing…

Tears continued to course down his cheeks as he stared at the swirling waters below. 'Oh God… I'm so sorry… Heero…'


Heero stared at the empty slip in front of him, stomach twisted in knots. He'd broken every speed and driving law racing down to the harbor where the bigger boats and yachts were kept, and practically pulled his gun on the poor harbor master demanding to know where the Epyon was docked. But he was too late. He'd failed. And now he had the horrible sick feeling his little lover was going to pay for his failure.

He heard Trowa run up behind him, panting.

"Did you… find it…" his partner breathed, half doubled over in pain as he clutched his injured arm.

Heero looked away, unable to meet his partner's eyes. "No."

"Shit. Well, they can't have been gone long. We'll go back up to the harbor master's office and call the coast guard and port authority to get out there looking for it." He placed a hand on Heero's shoulder. "We'll find them."

"Ahoy! Can I help you gents with anything?"

Heero turned to see a weathered man in his mid-fifties stick his head out from a flashy, new-looking speedboat two slips down from where they stood.

"The ship that docks here," Heero called back, a tiny sliver of hope riding in his chest, "would you happen to know where it is?"

"Ah sure do, sonny." He turned and pointed to a blinking light in the middle of the bay. "She left about a half hour ago. Hasn't gotten too far yet. Those Motoryachts are nice but their maximum speed sure ain't like my Bessie here," he said, patting the stern of his own boat.

Heero's eyes gleamed. He turned to Trowa. "Go back. Call Treize, the coast guard, the port authority, even the fucking Navy if you have to and get them down here."

Trowa gave his partner a wary look. "What are you going to do?"

"I'm going after Duo." He turned back to the old man and whipped out his badge. "I'm with the police department. I'm afraid I'm going to have to confiscate your boat for the time being, sir."


Duo watched the dark waters swirling below with unseeing eyes, his hands gripping so tightly to the railing his knuckles were turning white. His heart pounded in his chest, though he barely noticed. All he could feel was his heart breaking, and waves of guilt coursing through him.

How could he have done that? How *could* he have betrayed Heero like that? In one blind, panicked moment he'd lost all faith in his lover and jumped into the arms of the nearest, willing body. He choked back a sob, his vision blurring again. His body was suddenly engulfed in flames, his blood boiling. He felt dizzy. The waters below looked cool and inviting. He leaned over further, wanting to just let go…

A pair of strong arms wrapped around him, pulling him away from the railing. A warm mouth fastened itself to his neck. Duo closed his eyes and swallowed but felt too weak to try and pull away.

"Mmm, I thought I said not to go anywhere," Zechs's smooth voice whispered into his ear.

Duo didn't reply. He let his gaze drop to the hands wrapped around his waist… long, slender hands…

"Why did you kill her?"

He felt Zechs stiffen behind him. For a moment, Duo thought the older man was going to kill him right there, strangle him with his long hair and dump his body overboard. Then the moment passed and Zechs chuckled lightly into his ear, his hands wandering over Duo's stomach.

"I wondered how long it would take you to figure it out," he said against Duo's shoulder. "I was surprised when you didn't notice the portrait of my dear sister on the wall earlier. But I'm glad you didn't. I get to enjoy you first."

Duo's eyes slid closed, tears falling freely. He was going to die. He deserved to die. But not before he knew why.

"Your sister? Why?"

The arms around his waist tightened roughly, causing Duo to cry out, more in fear than in pain.

"That little bitch… always Daddy's little girl," the blonde growled into Duo's ear. "She partied harder than I did, slept with any guy that came along and caught her eye. And yet, in Father's and Grandfather's eyes she could do no wrong! She was their perfect little angel. They refused to see her other side. But me? They *disowned* me simply for not fitting into their mold. They threw *me* away for preferring men. I was left with nothing. Nothing!"

Duo clawed at Zechs's arms, trying in vain to get away. The grip the older man had on him was slowly cutting off his air supply. His survival instinct was kicking in. He had to keep him talking. Keep him distracted and maybe he could get away… though where he could go in the middle of the bay was a mystery to him.

"So why kill her?" he asked, trying desperately to squirm out of the man's grip.

"Money of course. After my father kicked me out, I kept in touch with my dear little sister. She'd give me money when I needed it from time to time. But when Father and Mother were killed, they left everything to her. There was no mention of me in their will. It was as if I didn't even exist for them anymore." He ran his hands across Duo's stomach, moving inexorably lower. "Then I received word my Grandfather, the illustrious senator, was going to cut me out of his will as well. Relena stood to inherit everything! I went to her. I'd kept in touch with her over the years. She'd given me money on occasion when I'd needed it. She gave me the Epyon. But apparently my father's and grandfather's influence had finally gotten to her. I went to see her and demanded my portion of Father's estate. She refused. So I slit her throat."

Duo whimpered as Zechs's hand wormed its way underneath the throw rug. "Th…that's why you killed her? For money?"

Zechs laughed deeply. "Isn't it always about money?" He spun Duo around, pinning him against the railing. Ice blue eyes gleamed predatorily in the near darkness. For the first time, Duo noticed just how very *nude* Zechs was and became almost painfully aware of his own state of undress. "I became a cop for the money. I figured it would be easier to run things from the inside rather than having to buy off the local police every time."

"But… she was your *sister*."

"So? Relena and I were the only children. No cousins, no second cousins, no maiden aunts or long lost uncles… the only heirs to the Peacecraft legacy. I figured with Relena out of the way, there would be no one left to inherit everything except me, no matter how 'disgraced' I had been." He bent his head and ran his tongue over Duo's now bare collarbone.

Duo turned his head, squeezing his eyes shut. Feebly he pushed on Zechs's shoulders, trying to push the bigger man away. "Stop…"

Zechs pulled his head away and smiled ruefully at him. "I had the perfect plan too… until you came along." Strong hands began tugging the blanket away. Duo clutched furiously at it, again attempting to squirm out the man's grasp to no avail.

"Making it look like a teardrop killing you mean?" Duo spat, clawing at Zechs's hands. Miraculously, the fog that had been clouding his mind was beginning to fade. 'Keep him talking, Duo,' he thought to himself. 'Stall. Just stall…'

"Those murders were the perfect opportunity for me. Make it look like just another serial killing. Even if it didn't fool the cops for long, it'd throw them off at least long enough for me to put the rest of my plan into motion. Relena dead… and my dear old Grandfather would die a few weeks later of a broken, weak heart. Or at least that's what it would look like. It's amazing the number of undetectable poisons we have in lockup in Narcotics." He leered at Duo, catching his wrists in his hands. "Then you showed up. You lead them to the body sooner than I expected. You got them to take an even closer look at the case. You and your *visions*!"

He wrenched Duo away from the railing and flung him to the deck. The long-haired teen bounced on the polished wood once before collapsing into a boneless heap at Zechs's feet. In a flash, the blonde man was on him, straddling his torso, hands sliding up to clutch at his neck. "When we met in the bar and you told me of your visions, I *knew* you were telling the truth - that your visions were real. You knew too much. You could have had another and fingered me as Relena's killer. I couldn't let you do that."

Duo grasped Zechs's wrists. The man wasn't tightening them around his throat - yet - but Duo didn't like them being there. Déjà vu swept through him of the night Mueller had broken into his apartment. Waves of nausea washed over him, but he had to keep Zechs talking. It was imperative that he keep the blonde above him distracted in order for Heero to…

For Heero to do what? His lover didn't even know where he was. And yet… something was telling him that stalling Zechs from doing anything… more… was vitally important. And Heero was involved in some way. What it was he did not know, but he was determined to do it.

"Why not just kill me outright?" he whispered, not trying to hide the fear in his eyes.

One hand left his neck and ghost down his chest. Duo jumped as cold fingers grazed one nipple. He didn't like this. How could he ever have let Zechs do to him what had happened? How could he ever want anyone after Heero.

'Dammit! Focus!'

"You… intrigued me." The hand slid lower. "Besides, I couldn't just kill you outright. It took me weeks plan Relena's death, gleaning all the information about the 'teardrop' murders from Chang. I knew about the leak in the department. So I sent word to the papers about your involvement in the investigation. You matched the victims' profile perfectly. I hoped my scapegoat would take an interest… and if he didn't, I could do as I did before and make it look like he had done it. And when that failed, I planted the knife in Yuy's apartment, knowing you would find it and most likely jump to the wrong conclusions." He smirked. "And here you are. You fell right into my hands."

One sharp tug and the throw rug was yanked away, exposing Duo's body to Zechs's hungry gaze. "I can't say I'm sorry that my first little plan failed. It would have been a shame to kill you without having you first."

Duo panicked. He hadn't given Heero enough time! He struggled beneath Zechs, scratching the man's skin with his fingernails. "Don't you touch me!" he screamed, raking his nails down Zechs's chest.

The blonde hissed. He grabbed Duo's head and slammed it down onto the deck. Light exploded behind the teen's eyelids as pain radiated through his skull. His body went limp, too stunned by the sudden blow to the head to move. With one hand, Zechs pinned his wrists to the deck above his head. The other parted his legs roughly.

"Stupid kid. We're anchored in the middle of the bay. Where do you think you're gonna go?" He spat into his hand and rubbed the slippery liquid over his engorged cock. Duo cried out as Zechs lifted one leg violently upwards and positioned himself at his entrance. "I've been wanting to do this for a long time," he hissed before leaning down to crush his mouth to Duo's and thrusting his hips forward.


The little speedboat zoomed over the waves, flying over the surface so fast, Heero wasn't entirely sure if it was even touching the water at all. He didn't bother looking at the speedometer. He had the throttle down as far as it could go. The Motoryacht he was chasing loomed closer. It appeared to have stopped moving, something for which Heero was eternally grateful. Not that the speedboat he'd acquired couldn't catch up even if it were… but having the Epyon floating in one place helped close the distance immensely. He just prayed he wasn't too late.

The few moments it took to bring the speedboat in line with the taller Epyon stretched out into an unbearable length of time. Heero cursed the slowness of his fingers as he hastily tied the speedboat to one of the aft boarding ladders. He scrambled up the ladder and onto the deck, drawing his gun as soon as he found his footing. The aft deck was small with only one or two pieces of deck furniture. Before him stood a pair of sliding glass doors leading into some kind of room. He approached the doors slowly. The lights inside were out; he peered through the glass but couldn't see anything beyond what appeared to be a bed. Reaching out, he grasped the door handle and pulled, scowling when he found his entrance locked. To his right he noticed a tiny walkway between the main cabin and the railing of the yacht. With his gun in front of him, he cautiously peered around the corner…

…and broke into a dead run when he heard a scream coming from the forward deck.

Duo! Duo was screaming. He was alive! But for how long? He shot off a quick prayer as he ran, pleading with God that he could make it in time.


The world was black, darker than it had been. Before, he could see the glittering lights of the city in the distance and the sheen of the moon overhead. But now, there was nothing.

Slowly, he became aware of his surroundings. The first thing he noticed was the sound of heavy breathing. He thought it was his, but the tone and pitch were off. Whoever was breathing - no, panting - was close. He could feel their breath on his face.

Pain was the next thing he became aware of. It radiated out from the back of his skull through his entire body to mingle with another kind of pain below. A stretching kind of pain.

He opened his eyes. His vision blurred, he could only make out the hulking outline of the figure above him, moving over him, insidehim…

He screamed.

And screamed.

And then the weight on top of him was gone, bowled over by some shining white force.

The momentum of the action rolled him onto his side. He clawed at the deck below him, trying to push himself up. The throw rug he'd grabbed earlier was tangled around one leg. He yanked it over his body as he pushed himself up into a half-sitting position. He struggled to clear his vision. Gradually the two shapes struggling together several feet away came into focus. He gasped as he recognized Heero's slender muscular form wrestling with Zechs for control. Desperate to help his lover, he attempted once again to stand, only to slump back onto the deck when a wave of dizziness swept through him. He cried out in frustration. He had to help Heero! He turned his head away, cursing his traitorous, weak body.

Something glittering in the light of the moon caught his eye. He turned his head and gasped when he saw Heero's gun lying just a few feet from where he lay. Glancing back at the two men, he saw Zechs punch Heero in the stomach, momentarily knocking the wind out of the Japanese detective. He turned back to the gun and knew what he had to do.

Gritting his teeth, he slowly began to pull himself by his arms towards the fallen weapon. It was slow going. He *hurt* everywhere, and his vision kept blurring in and out. But he had to make it… had to reach the gun…

His hand closed over the cool metal just as he heard the thud of a body hitting the wood floor. His heart froze as he saw Heero lying on the deck, curled into a ball around his stomach.

From that moment, the world seemed to go into slow motion. He saw Zechs throw open the lid of a nearby live-well and pull out a small, nasty looking harpoon gun. Snarling, the blonde pulled back the safety and aimed it at the prone body of his lover. The last clear thought Duo had was that he thought Zechs looked like some kind of ancient god, poised naked in the moonlight, holding a spear as though to slay some monstrous, mythical beast.

But the beast he was about to slay was Heero. *His* Heero. Duo didn't stop to think. He just reacted. He lifted the gun, took aim with shaking hands, and fired.


Heero blinked in disbelief as Zechs fell to the floor. He had looked up in time to see the wicked looking harpoon aimed for the spot between his eyes. He knew he didn't have time to react. His only regret had been that he'd failed Duo. He braced himself for the end… then a loud *bang* deafened him and sent Zechs crashing to the deck, screaming and clutching his leg.

Heero reacted instantly, leaping off the ground, ignoring his bruised ribs, and striding swiftly to where Zechs lay in a pool of blood. He kicked the harpoon gun away and swiftly handcuffed the nude blonde to the deck railing. He gave in to his urges and kicked the man in the ribs, smirking with satisfaction as he heard the crunch of bone snapping under his foot. He leaned down and placed his face next to Zechs's pain-filled one. Taking hold of a handful of blonde hair, he jerked Zechs's head back so the man was forced to look into his cold, burning eyes.

"You will never touch him again!" he hissed before shoving the man's head away, disgusted. He picked himself off the deck and hurried over to his fallen lover.

Duo was staring at the gun in his hands, eyes glazed over in shock. Heero knelt down next to his little lover and gently pried the weapon out of his hands, securing it in his holster as one arm snaked across Duo's shoulders.

"Duo… are you all right?" he asked with a trembling voice. 'Baka! Of *course* he's not all right! You saw what that… bastard… was doing to him. Oh God…'

"Duo?" he repeated, fear creeping through his belly as his little lover turned dead eyes towards him.

"H…Heero?" He looked around as though confused about his surroundings. "Is it… is it over?"

"Aa." As carefully as he could manage, he stood, helping Duo to stand as well. He set the young man on his feet then cursed as Duo pitched forward. "Duo?!"

"Dun feel s'good, H'ro," the long-haired teen slurred.

Heero reached up and forced one of Duo's eyes open wide, swearing loudly as he saw the telltale signs of drug interaction. "Duo, what happened? What did he do to you?" he asked, voice shaking with fear. He wished he'd killed Zechs when he had the chance.

"Z'chs… put summin' in my drink… hit my head… H'ro… I can't feel my body…" His words trailed off as he slumped forward, unconscious.

"Duo? Duo!" Heero shook the younger man slightly but received no response. He turned his attention to where Zechs lay half-propped against the deck railing. "Kisama! What did you give him?"

Zechs stared at him coldly but did not answer.

Heero growled, drew his gun with his free hand, and aimed at Zechs's groin. "Tell me now or I turn you into a woman."

The blonde man had the presence of mind to look startled for a moment before rattling off the name of one of the more potent date-rape drugs.

"And you mixed that with *alcohol*?? Shit!" He holstered his gun and swept Duo into his arms. He looked around, panicked, never feeling more helpless in his life than he did right then. A small sliver of relief cut through him as he saw a line of Coast Guard and Port Authority patrol vessels heading their way. With any luck, they'd have a paramedic with them. He hoped so. He and Duo could use a little miracle about now.

Clutching the limp form of his lover tightly to him, he said another little prayer. 'Please hang on just a little longer, love. Just a little longer and I'll never let you go again.'

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