Heero's thoughts that afternoon kept revolving back to the summit. He found he really would like to see Duo performing; he had an interesting... vibrancy that Heero had never before noticed in his contact with Relena's circle. Relena, certainly, had once been raw and challenging, daring to attack the politics of her rivals: but now, as her rivals one by one acclimatised to her views, and less radical issues were the topics of discussion, she was more willing to compromise. Peace had been achieved; the considerations of that peace were less important. Relena did not want to jeopardise that peace by arguing with her colleagues over its conditions.
Heero thought some things were worth fighting for.
He had done that; Duo had done that. Duo had continued to do that, learning to use words to replace the weapons of war. Heero admired that resourcefulness more than he could have said. Many people worried about the role of soldiers after the war: people who had never known true peace; how would they live? Rulers and governments had thought it best to find as many as they could to prevent further militaristic activity; instead, those soldiers found were given jobs preventing such activity - or, even, participating in it - but where the government of the ESUA could control them. The ones who were never found... Heero hoped there were more like Duo. But, somehow, he doubted it.
"Heero?" The voice of his superior cut into this period of contemplation. He looked up.
"I don't want to alarm you -" those words alone made Heero pay attention. The long-serving detective chief inspector had lived in this region, the western part of the area formerly known as Europe, all his life, and plain-speaking seemed to be characteristic of natives such as himself. He continued, seeing Heero's alertness. "I'm not sure what I'm looking at here, but I thought you should know. What if something's not right about the summit?"
Heero's eyes widened.
The DCI held up his hands in a pre-emptive gesture. "Like I said, don't be alarmed. This is nothing but a feeling so far."
"Whose feeling?" Heero was feeling cynical.
"Trowa's. He's the undercover specialist, seems to have given him a sense for these sorts of things. You'd better get him to explain it to you." The DCI gave him a reassuring half-smile and headed back to his office.
As soon as he was gone Heero too left his office and headed straight for Sergeant Barton's desk.
Trowa looked up as he heard the Inspector approach. "Sir. So the DCI told you to see me?"
Heero nodded, and looked at Trowa expectantly.
Trowa continued. "I don't really have anything to go on at the moment. But I just couldn't help noticing that there aren't as many protestors and demonstrators outside the summit complex this time. Usually there are thousands of people - most of them are peaceful, yes, but some cause trouble. And have you noticed how little trouble there has been?"
Heero had to admit that was true.
"There've been some non-violent demonstrations. But none of the chaos we might have expected. So I wondered, what if the more radical activists have come up with a different plan this time? One that will get their voices heard?"
Heero thought he was beginning to get the picture, when he thought about Trowa's particular skills. "You mean infiltration?"
His colleague nodded. "Of course, I have nothing to make me think that this is the case yet. But I've thought of some possible methods they might use: maybe they would want to take hostages; that would force people to listen. Beyond that... I wouldn't want to speculate."
Heero knew he, like the DCI, was trying to avoid mentioning the danger of harm coming to Relena. Heero was well aware of the danger; but Relena was experienced in such situations. She had never lacked strength or courage; now she had experience as well, Heero, although still committed to protecting her and her peace, never felt she needed him to help her. He didn't worry, but was touched by his colleague's concern.
"What do you think we should do then, sir?"
Heero thought for only a moment. "We'll go there first. But we mustn't arouse anyone's suspicion - we can't let all the representatives panic, and neither can we let the press get hold of it." Heero knew that people took some kind of morbid pleasure from thinking the police hadn't done their job properly - he couldn't understand why it didn't make people want to change the situation instead of just criticising - but, even though as yet there was no evidence that this was the case, they must avoid giving that impression at all costs. "I'll let Preventers know -"he noted Trowa's slightly shocked look and continued "- but there's no need to get them involved yet. That really would make people panic." He turned back towards his office. "Get ready to go, Trowa."
Heero returned to his office and sent a memo to the DCI of his plans before sending a similar message to the head of the Preventers. A simple message would do - not enough to make them too visit the summit. They knew Heero well, and so he knew he could rely on them to follow his advice and stay away. For now.
In a few minutes he and Sergeant Barton were driving across the city to the complex building. It was located in a commanding position, removed from the central district and surrounded by what would have been panoramic views if not for the high walls. Heero reflected on the irony that he now would get what he had thought earlier he would like: to see and hear Duo in his element. He wondered briefly when his thoughts had become so centred around Duo.
Of course, it was not at all unusual for uniformed police to visit such events; but detectives... Heero wondered how they would explain their presence; he supposed they would just make some show of checking security around the building. He hoped that if they looked purposeful and unapproachable enough, no-one would question them further. Fortunately both he and Trowa were good at looking like that. He would remain entirely silent, while Trowa would give a cryptic or frosty response. No-one would bother them after that.
Soon they arrived, ready to quickly discourage any enquiries with a cold glance or uncrackable tone of voice. The delegates, it seemed, were breaking for tea; Heero saw them mingle and flow through the main hallway, attended by security men, aides and civil servants. The memory of the opening dinner projected itself onto the scene; he frowned faintly... but the, as before, he heard that voice! - And smiled. He turned to see, across the room, Duo, uncrowded by personnel, and engaged in brief conversation by a member of staff, who quickly left upon feeling Heero's eyes upon him. Duo, noticing the haste with which the young man left, looked up; Heero felt a little warmth inside as Duo's face brightened, and he saw him stride across the hall towards him.
"Heero!" Trowa was occupied speaking to various members of security; out of the corner of his eye Heero thought he saw Relena, deep in conversation. "What brings you up here?"
Heero looked at him for a long moment. Then, with an absolute lack of guardedness that made even Heero himself think he had taken leave of his senses, he proceeded to tell Duo precisely why they were there, in such a way that Duo could neither over nor under estimate the situation.
Heero wondered at himself. His professionalism had long since given up screaming at him to think about his words carefully; but somehow, he knew, in a déjà vu of previous events, that he could... trust Duo... even in this... And besides, Duo, with his background and skills, could prove to be a useful contact...
Duo listened carefully to Heero's brief explanation. Heero could see he was unworried; but a seriousness filled his eyes.
Again - the touch on Heero's arm that grabbed at his awareness, and held it all; he looked into Duo's face.
"I can help you, Heero." The offer was earnest, a wish to do his best. "Let me help you."