by Dev-Aki Basaa
Wufei had almost passed right by Zechs - even with the briefing of his undercover appearance, he still barely recognized him. Yet it wasn't just the red hair, the dark glasses covering his eyes or his attire that was unfamiliar - his whole demeanor seemed different, his aura.
And he was standing obscenely close to some stranger.
Reth perhaps? Was this the role he took on with this mission - Wufei leaned against a garland encircled column, suddenly weary - or had Zechs really turned traitor? He never really wanted to believe that but now the questions were mounting in his mind...
...but he didn't even have the chance to consider them.
It all happened so fast. It was as if time passed like seconds ticking off a clock, in quick, almost instantaneous succession, and yet distinct moments in time.
It began with Duo's cry.
Wufei looked up to see Duo aiming across the auditorium and into the rafters opposite him. Even from the distance, Wufei could see the fierce emotions twisting his face, contorting his usually bright features. Wufei's stomach dropped like a stone in water and he reached into his jacket for his own gun.
Gunshots. Duo had fired first, his bullet striking the gunman - most likely Heero. Wufei could see him in the rafters now. Their guns had gone off almost simultaneously, but not close enough. Duo's bullet struck Heero before he'd finished his shot and the bullet meant for Relena ricocheted, tinging and twanging off target, harmless. Wufei felt sick as he saw Heero's body jerk when Duo's bullet hit him and he dropped his gun and rolled out of sight, lost in the darkness high above.
Everyone screamed; wails from women, shouts from men - total chaos. Relena had dropped out of sight behind her podium. Wufei pushed aside his concern for Heero - there was no time. He pulled his gun on the man he believed to be Reth. It was instinct that told him to turn around further. He was greeted with the sight of another gunman, stepping out of the shadows and taking hasty aim for the stage.
Wufei added his voice to the commotion.
But it hadn't been a solo, another voice had joined his cry. Zechs! His gun was aimed at the brown-haired man he'd been standing with - again, most likely this Reth - much to Reth's complete and utter shock.
"Nodin..." he'd whispered, slowly raising his hands and backing up until he was pressed to the wall. Zechs followed his futile retreat, keeping his aim at a close distance. Wufei spared the exchange a brief glance, but it was enough to tell him there was a lot more going on there than a simple arrest. The tension and intensity between them was as palpable as the acrid smell of gunpowder filling the auditorium.
The back-up agents were flooding in, the wails and shrieks and confusion growing. Soon Wufei wasn't alone with his gun pointed at the tall lanky gunman and he could turn away to survey the commotion.
He looked to the stage, his eyes widening with surprise. Quatre! He must have been present for the speech as a citizen. He now stood on the stage, shielding Relena's body with his own as their voices worked in tandem, calling for calm, reaching the people as the two of them so often did. The panic was lessening. Wufei made his way towards the stage.
He clicked on his silenced communicator and heard Une's voice crackle through, giving the go ahead to seize the old alliance bunker in former Montana. The terrorist base would soon be controlled, their leader already in Preventer custody. They'd succeeded, this disturbing threat gone. Thank Zechs and Heero for their commitment and the leak that lead them here to begin with.
K'so! Wufei's skin flushed hot as panic gripped him.
He'd almost forgotten about Heero! Wufei ran towards the stage, hoping either Relena or Quatre knew what had happened with Duo and Heero and the gunshots - he'd completely lost track of them. He stomped up to the lip of the boards, but before he could even open his mouth to ask, he caught sight of Duo, moving fast, shoving his way though the crowd. Little cries of shock and maybe even pain followed in his wake, but he hardly heeded them - Shinigami was in full force.
"Duo," Wufei called, running to his side, almost flinching in his presence, emotions rolling off him in waves. "Where's Heero? What happened?"
Duo didn't even acknowledge him, stabbing him in the chest with his elbow and shoving the obstacle out of the way. Wufei coughed, his breath slammed out of him, and watched as Duo ran across the room, wrenching open the 'Authorized Personnel Only' door and disappearing inside.
"Heero's here!?" Relena had cried at Wufei's question and he now looked back over at the stage. Quatre was restraining her in her foolish attempt to leap off the stage and follow after Duo. Quatre looked panicked, his expression probably reflecting Wufei's own. He stepped back and stared up into the darkness above, scanning for any sign, any indication. He could see Duo scaling a Jacob's ladder, his braid whipping back and forth with his frantic struggles. Then, he was out of sight again. The auditorium seemed earily silent at that moment. Then Wufei jolted at the sudden sound of Duo's voice ringing through the com.
"Preventer down! EMS backup STAT!"
Duo came storming up the catwalk to find Heero leaning against the railing, breathing heavy, his left hand pressed over his right shoulder. Blood soaked thorough his dark shirt, clinging it to his body. The sight of blood had never once made Duo sick, but it did now, his stomach churning - but he couldn't take his eyes off Heero.
Duo reached for his com. "Preventer down! EMS backup STAT!"
Heero shook his head, his blonde bangs flopping into his eyes even more.
"Baka," he murmured. "I've been hurt a hell of a lot worse than this. Don't call them."
"Don't be an asshole!" Duo snapped, turning away and raising the com to his mouth again. "Get them up here, now!"
"Duo!" Heero yelled, shifting with ease against the meshed metal railing. "You keep going on like that they're going to think I'm dead!"
Duo looked at Heero and blinked for a moment before pressing the channel open on the com again. "He's not dead," he added, a bit absent. He had to catch up with reality. Heero sat there, covered in blood, but he was fine. Heero was fine. Duo tried to calm his stampeding heart, focusing on Heero, using the sight of his bright blue eyes as a focal point. They were shining and his lips were curing into the very small smile which always served to make him melt.
It didn't take him long to recover.
The next thing he knew, his com had clattered to the catwalk floor and he was sitting astride Heero's outstretched legs, Heero's face in his hands.
He brushed his thumb across the arch of Heero's cheekbone, smiling at him, and trying to think of something to say.
I've missed you.
I love you.
Don't you ever leave me like that again!
But all he could do was lean forward and capture the sweetest lips he'd ever known.
It felt so right, so wonderful. He was holding him, kissing him again. He was home. They were both home. Deep down, unspoken, Duo feared he'd forgotten it all. Heero's taste, his smell, the heady warmth of his touch, the way his fingers slid up the nape of his neck and threaded through his hair, the way he sometimes wondered if his heart might burst from the sheer joy of being in Heero's arms. But no. Nothing had changed, no time had *really* passed. Two years might have been an hour or a day for the difference it made between them. If anything, it intensified their love, searing their twin souls together and sealing them for all time.
It was fucking beautiful.
He swiped his thumb across Heero's cheek again and realized he'd been crying, his tears dampening Heero's face. He pulled back from the kiss, prepared to make some joking comment about being a crying fool for him when he saw that Heero's eyes were overly bright and moist and that it was Heero's own tears that glistened on his cheeks.
"I missed you," Heero said as he brought his hand to Duo's forehead, brushing aside his bangs and feathering his fingers across his skin. Duo closed his eyes, reveling in the touch, loving the intimacy of it. He could loose himself to this. But then, Heero flinched, pulling his hand back suddenly.
"Shit, I got blood on you."
Duo frowned. Blood?
Blood! His eyes snapped open - what an idiot to forget where he *really* was and what had gone on.
"Oh shit!" He jumped off Heero's lap, careful to keep from jarring his shoulder even more. "I'm making it worse." The bleeding didn't look nearly as bad anymore, but Heero's his arm still laid limp at his side.
Heero reached out for him, catching a belt loop of Duo's slacks and pulling him down to kneel near him. "It's nothing. I've had far worse, you would know."
Duo scowled, but scooted closer, brushing his hand through Heero's hair, not wanting to lose physical contact. Heero leaned into his touch.
"That's not the point," he answered. "I..."
But the buzzing of the com cut him off.
"Duo!" It was Wufei. "Update. Status. Now!"
Duo grabbed the com and before he could open the channel, Heero wrenched it from his hands.
"I'm fine, Wufei," Heero responded to the call.
"Heero!" The com crackled.
"Gimme that!" Duo took the com back then turned to sit down at Heero's good side, leaning against him and loving the feel of Heero's arm snaking around his waist.
"So what's the plan, Stan?"
Duo grinned at the pause that followed. He could practically hear Wufei roll his eyes.
"EMS is on its way with an extended ladder. We'll get him down that way," he finally answered. "Everyone down here has been rounded up - even the getaway car - and Une reports the Montana base has been successfully secured. And," the com cracked and buzzed, "Quatre says he's going to kill you for almost giving him a heart attack with that 'He's not dead' comment."
Duo chuckled. "Hell, I'll just sic Trowa on him. Tell Quatre 'woof, woof' for me."
"I will not!" Even through the com, Wufei sounded clearly indignant and appalled.
Heero rubbed Duo's side then brushed his hand lower, cupping his ass and chuckling when Duo shivered.
"Oh hey, Wufei," Duo called again, his voice a touch breathier than before. "Tell that *onna* of yours that I owe her a million bucks."
"I think I'll make sure she cashes in on that one, baka. Wufei out."
"Sally?" Heero inquired, but Duo just leaned over and kissed him.
"Ask me again sometime," he murmured against his lips. He dropped the com and cupped Heero's jaw as he kissed him again, their lips parting, tongues teasing lips and teeth.
Duo broke the kiss, smiling at the sweet, warm, passionate expression on his love's face - the stoic un-crackable mask of so long ago a distance memory. He sighed, swallowing back the lump in his throat that threatened to choke him.
"I missed you too, you know," he said, leaning in for another kiss, their tongues dipping deeply. Duo then pulled back yet again.
"And I'm *really* loving this tongue ring!"
"Baka," Heero answered, laughter touching his words as their mouths met again. Their hands found each other, fingers twining together and squeezing tight, starved for touch - thankful to be home.
Wufei closed the com channel and glanced to the stage. Quatre had finally convinced Relena to leave (she could see Heero at the hospital) and was now escorting her backstage. Wufei then took a few steps back and stared up into the rafters. He could just make out Heero and Duo's forms, sitting closely together, lip locked. Figured. Wufei frowned and shook his head.
"I should go up there. Duo's smothering him."
He took a step forward only to have his progress halted by the heavy fall of a hand to his shoulder. He turned to see Zechs standing behind him, his gaze also directed to the catwalks.
"Let them be," he said. "Heero needs to be smothered right now and Duo is more than happy to do it. They both need to be reminded they're loved, regardless of pulling their triggers - not in spite of it, but because of it." He paused, taking a long deep sigh and though he still smiled, there was much sadness to his tone. "They're lucky, you know."
And with that, he turned and walked away, heading towards the main entrance and the last remnants of commotion as Preventers continued to escort guests out of the building.
It was then that Wufei realized he hadn't seen Reth taken into custody and loaded into the back of a squad car. He wondered what final words might have passed between him and Agent Wind.
Were they Nodin's words?
Or were they Zechs'?