Disclaimer: Bandai and Sunrise own all. I'm just borrowing the boys and their world. The story, however, is mine.
Sequel to 'Should've Been You'
Pairing: 1x2 and OCx6, with 5xSally, 3x4 and past 13x6
Warnings: yaoi, angst, lemon, profanity, implied het sex.
Feedback: oh yes, please! firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes: This takes place post EW and can be read without reading "Should've Been You" - only small insignificant references are made to the other fic, nothing plot dependant.
Author Notes: HUGE thanks out to my wonderful - going above and beyond the call of duty - beta, Tiffany. I can't say enough for her help and support ^_____^
Summary: An extended mission goes wrong, leaving Heero, Duo and Zechs to pick up the pieces and get back to what's most important in their lives.
Oh boy, did this story grow a head and a few limbs o_O; I just meant to do a little tidy sequel to "Should've Been You" and I ended up with 'The Fic That Ate My Life.' Also, Zechs took a far more prominent role than I originally expected - made it an interesting writing experience for me, though. I hope you all enjoy it and Happy Reading =)
Please go see and read the wonderful gifts that were drawn and written in celebration of Mission Details!!
by Dev-Aki Basaa
Duo shifted, bent over a maze of greasy, tangled wires deep within the bowels of a ship, intently studying each twist and turn and connection. The blue wire always crossed over the yellow, which ran parallel with the red rather consistently (but not always), and that angled towards the green wire he had lying across his open palm. He reached up with his free hand and scratched at his itchy nose, though knowing that he'd only succeeded in adding another layer of sludgy grease onto his skin. Shifting again, his back arched painfully as he hung somewhat upside down, his backside aiming up towards the opening of the ship, his braid tucked into the back of his shirt.
Duo groaned aloud - he'd never figure this damned thing out. Only one of these wires was faulty and the sole person who actually knew the system was a senile ex-Alliance captain living in a pacifist-run old military retirement home. Duo had tried to logic out the circuit pattern, but had come to believe the old man was already senile when he'd made all these forsaken 'special modifications' to his ancient ship. Yet the man's son *promised* he'd get this hunk of junk up and running for his father before his brain completely blanked out and couldn't even appreciate the gesture. It was just Duo's twisted luck to be handed a lucrative, yet nearly impossible job. This was not something he took on too often, trying to stay focused on salvaging alone and keeping his nose out of Preventer business - since he was *technically* on a leave of absence - but that rarely seemed to matter.
Duo startled at the sound of his lone employee's shout, jerking in his narrow passageway and whacking his head against the aging steel.
"OW!" His voice echoed around him, sounding twice as loud. Dropping the wire in his palm, Duo scrunched up his face and brought his hand up to rub at the bump already forming on the back of his head. Grumbling, he shimmied in reverse, crawling out of the grease filled pit, up towards daylight, backwards like a confused mole.
"Sorry, boss," he heard Yuki say as he continued to climb out of the ship, "but you have impatient company." A grumbled remark followed Yuki's flat statement and then, through his struggling, Duo heard shuffled footsteps fade away and could almost see the dusty cloud that always followed Yuki's slow gait.
Duo felt his feet touch the ground and squinted as he bent the rest of the way out, straightening and giving his eyes a chance to adjust to the bright light of the outside world. He cracked open one eye as he freed his braid from his shirt; the blurry sight of Chang Wufei came into view, complete in uniform attire.
"Hey, Wu-man, what brings you here? Got another case you want my input on?" Duo flashed a wide grin and hoped he was right. It didn't happen much, but occasionally the Preventers still turned to him for his street-wise expertise and he couldn't help but revel in it - a kind of guilty pleasure. It made him feel like he was still part of the team - even if it was coming up on two years since his leave began, since Heero's extended mission began. He couldn't bring himself to be there without Heero, but that didn't mean he didn't miss the excitement, the importance of that job.
Duo's smile faded a little at that thought, giving a look at the gutted ship and his grease covered hands. With his gaze focused down, he could see out of the corner of his eye Wufei tug at the edge of his jacket, a nervous gesture that he'd never seen his comrade do. Duo looked up and met with a grim expression hardening across Wufei's face.
"I'm here to take you to Headquarters. You need to be briefed."
Duo felt suddenly faint and nauseous. All the blood in his face, from the tips of his now tingling fingers, rushed to his gut. He swallowed hard.
"What?" he said, his voice cracking at the end.
Wufei averted his eyes, but didn't repeat himself. He reached out and gently wrapped his fingers around Duo's forearm, pulling him into motion. Numbly, Duo took a step forward, hearing something said about getting cleaned up, but then, like a flash of light, the numbness snapped away and he yanked his arm out of Wufei's grip.
"No," he began, spoken softly, not quite trusting his voice. He shook his head and then added a little louder, "No. Tell me now."
Wufei didn't even blink, "You'll be briefed at the office. I'm just here to transport you, Preventer Night."
His old code name. Duo clenched his jaw, feeling his temples bulge. A drop of sweat shaken loose by the action rolled down the side of his face. He couldn't do this, put on this professional crap - impersonal -- not with so much at stake, not with the knowledge that his world, his hope, could come crashing to his feet in a moment. No, waiting wasn't even an option. He had to know now and it had to come from someone he considered a friend.
Duo caught Wufei's gaze and held it, pouring as much emotion through the connection as he could, imploring with the former pilot of Shenlong and Altron.
"Wufei, please. Tell me now. Don't make me wait; don't let *them* be the ones who tell me." Duo jerked his chin in the general, vague direction of the Preventer's Headquarters. He folded his arms across his chest, feeling the grease streak over his skin, smeared by his laden fingers.
Wufei closed his eyes for a long moment and when they opened, something softer had taken over his expression. He reached out and placed a hand on Duo's shoulder, squeezing it slightly before he began.
"Two months have passed since any contact has been made with either Preventer Wind or," Wufei paused for a breath, "Preventer Earth."
Duo closed his eyes and continued to listen, crossing his arms tighter to his chest.
"Two pre-arranged rendezvous points have been missed as well as a third, emergency checkpoint. There are no leads, no responsibility claimed by known threats and, at this point, no trace of either agent. As of eleven hundred hours today, both Preventer Wind and Preventer Earth have been considered MIA."
Duo let his head hang, leaning into the hand that now gripped his shoulder fiercely. Small tears cut a trail down his cheeks through his dirt-streaked face.
In the distance, echoing from the salvage yard office, Duo could hear Mari barking. She sounded anxious and upset; she had been napping when he left her last. She knew. Somehow she did.