Disclaimer: If I owned GW, I would be happy. I am happy. But to draw the conclusion that I own GW from those statements would be to affirm the consequent, and would therefore be an invalid argument. See?

Pairing: 1+2+1/1x2x1; reference to past 1xR, R+1
Warnings: Part 17 has a mild lime warning. For all other warnings see part 1 and individual parts. This is an AU fic.


Escaping
by Elyndys
Part 17


They remained in silence for a few minutes, unwilling to surrender to the feeling of uselessness that hung over the situation. Heero shook his head. They had no way of tracing the hack attempt: whoever had done it had hidden all clues as to their identity and location. In some way he knew it was dangerous to assume the perpetrators were colony activists: but it was the only vague hope of a lead that he had. The fact that Duo had seemed to think the same way, he realised, made him even more determined to pursue that line of thinking.

The thought of Duo suddenly gave him an idea. He knew Duo was the sort of person who always knew what was going on around him even if he couldn't see it; he had no doubt that Duo would have great knowledge of the side of colony society that was kept hidden, from everyone, not just the Earth... Again, he felt a sharp sting of regret that he had not been back in so long. Regret that he just hadn't gone back there after the war... But now, this was the way the dice had fallen and he had to use his resources as best he could. There was no time for looking over shoulders to what was left behind. But still, it was a good indication of what they should change in the future.

Heero stared out of the window. "We should've known the possibility of this way in advance." He turned to look at his companions again. "We're all colony people; we should pay more attention to what's happening in space. We need that knowledge now."

He saw Trowa look away from him. He knew what the other man was thinking, and wasn't surprised by his words.

"So, you're going to speak to Maxwell again."

Heero felt no need to act defensively. "He's our best source of information as to the general atmosphere in the colonies right now. He's proved to be invaluable so far I don't need to remind you who found the cameras."

Trowa looked him in the eye. "That wouldn't be so difficult if he was the one to put them there in the first place."

Heero kept his voice quiet. "We don't have any evidence of that. We don't have any evidence of anything, and that is why I want to speak to Duo." He turned to Wufei, effectively ending his exchange with Trowa. "I suppose you've been told everything that's been going on."

Wufei nodded. "Yes. I haven't had time to think it through properly yet though I have to say I am surprised at you giving out your trust so easily, Heero." He looked sideways up at Heero.

Heero looked back at him for a few moments before turning to look out of the window again. He could see the city under cloud: greys, reds, patches of green. The same things he always saw... He looked away. "It's a feeling I have." He paused just a moment. "This whole investigation is based on feelings. There's nothing else. It's not a mistake to follow them up. What we need is solid evidence. I intend to use all the available means to get it." `So, Duo is just a means to an end? No, I know that's not true. But... I have to say that.' "And I can keep an eye on him. What's he likely to try, if we're around all the time?" Another breath of silence. "I'll do what I think I should." He felt like it was a mantra.

Heero slipped away from his position against the wall by the window, breaking the heaviness that had settled in the room. "Trowa. Go and fetch that software." The sergeant left obediently. "Wufei, you should make sure you put it into use at the summit as soon as you possibly can. I'll come with you if I have to." A nanoflash of Duo in his subconscious...

"No, I can manage it. If I need any more help I'll let you know."

Heero felt just a tiny snuff of disappointment at not having another opportunity to go to the summit, to Duo; he found his reaction amused him a little. "I want to see a full report of the changes the Preventers implement."

Wufei nodded, standing up. "Of course." He hesitated a moment, then crossed to the door of Heero's office, turning back to Heero as he reached it: "Personally, I'd say you could come and oversee. But I have a feeling my superiors wouldn't like that."

Heero nodded. "Don't worry about it. I have work here to be getting on with."

Wufei nodded, and gave Heero a bow of the head before leaving, meeting Trowa just outside the doorway with the relevant equipment.

Heero closed the door behind his visitor, and sat back down at his desk. He could have gone to the summit with Wufei, he had no fear of the Preventers' criticisms of him for finding fault with their procedures he could brave their hostility easily. And see Duo...

But no. Relena would be there as well. He would go later, when he could see Duo... alone... He smiled wryly to himself.

He could wait.

~*~

Heero went straight to the hotel from the police station. He had left a message in Relena's personal vidmail box, explaining that he still had important work to do. It was true, he *was* going to be working. But his line of investigation had a more interesting consequence. He shut that away: perhaps it was safer to block it out so he could feel like he had a real reason to be there...

But before he could think about it any more he was at the door of Duo's room and Duo was letting him in. And before he could do anything else, he was responding to the kiss that Duo immediately drew him into. The kiss was not shy, not half-hearted: and it reminded Heero of what he had been trying to forget he was there for. He pulled away eventually, though not too soon: he let himself have that much.

Heero was silent for a minute, feeling Duos body against his, warm; but he had to be honest. "I need your help again."

He felt Duo smile where his mouth rested on Heero's neck. "So you come here to seduce me into helping you..." Heero snorted, and Duo laughed. "No, that's just my wishful thinking." He slowly let go of Heero and moved to sit on the bed, resting back on his hands. "What is it? The investigation, right?"

"Someone hacked into the summit computer network." Heero walked to the window of Duo's room and looked out over the city. It looked so different in the dark he lights picked out the streets and buildings, the city in negative. From here he could see different features, too: the river the city was built on. The park in the exp4ensive part of town. The summit complex... "It was far too easy to do it. Everyone is just so complacent, even the Preventers." His hand curled into a fist. "Seven years of peace and they think they're invulnerable. Just because they weren't expecting it doesn't mean they shouldn't have been prepared for it." He lapsed into silence.

"So what's your thinking? What do you want me to do?"

Heero continued to look out of the window. "I still think there's a lot of potential in Trowa's idea. There's usually far more unrest at these summits, added to which we know there's been bad feeling in the colonies. I can't help but agree that the two might be linked." He looked back at Duo as he spoke. "I need your knowledge of the colonies. You must know what the atmosphere is like at the moment. You're best placed to find out more." He stared at the wall, noticing out of the corner of his eye that Duo looked like he was going to say something, but changed his mind. Heero went on. "I shouldn't have left it so long to go back there. I should have kept in touch." His voice was resigned. "I understand now: Relena has been reluctant to go to space for a while now, even though she's vice-foreign minister." He remembered her reaction to the argument Duo had started, and it fitted into place in his head. "She's afraid, because of the hostility towards the Earth. She thinks if she leaves it well enough alone, the problem will go away. She doesn't want to confront it, in case the result undermines her peace." The words said with more than a little irony. "So they let the situation go on... like an open wound because they're afraid of the sting if they treat it. They're so afraid of war they risk it through trying to avoid it." Heero found that he couldn't fathom such sheer perversity. He had never been afraid of conflict... never been afraid enough, so he kept being told...

Duo's voice was quiet as it broke into his thoughts. "So you think it's someone in the colonies, right? You know..." he sounded thoughtful, and just a little bitter. "You're right, there *is* a lot of resentment in the colonies. But the Earth isn't blameless, Heero. I'm sure you can see that. If they *had* paid more attention towards us then maybe things would be different. The colonies are sick of Earth patronising them; Earth people look down on us. We... Colony people have had enough of it, being taken advantage of."

Heero turned to look at him, took in the suppressed anger there. He looked back out of the window, but watched Duo's reflection, seeing eyes fixed on his back. "Earth isn't a second Oz, Duo. They're not trying to act as dictators towards the colonies. They're just... ignorant. Their fear of war makes them not see the danger. They've gone too far in the opposite direction to the one Oz was taking. But they don't want to fight."

"Or maybe they just don't want to be *seen* not to be fighting, hmm?" Duo sighed. "I don't know. You've lived here on Earth, you can see that, what you're saying." He waved a hand generally. "But that isn't what it looks like from the colonies."

Heero saw that somewhere communication had failed. He had an idea where. But Duo was speaking again, in a much lighter tone. Heero wasn't sure he wanted the subject to change; but he was tired of it, tired of ignoring the real reason he had for being there... He listened to Duo.

"You want me to find out who it might be, huh?" Heero could see Duo's reflection smile lob-sidedly in the window. "If I were insecure I'd think you were just using me for my connections." A half laugh. "But I'm not."

Heero kept watching in the window as Duo stood up and walked towards him.

"Y'see, I know exactly how you feel, Detective Inspector Yuy." Heero enjoyed the warmth of Duo's arms wrapped round him from behind. "I know you want me..." Heero almost unconsciously tilted his head a little to allow Duo to more easily kiss his neck "...just as much as I want you..." Heero felt a sudden shiver run through him, as though he'd been found out doing something he shouldn't... He suppressed it easily; but... it was also a strange thrill, an anticipation. Duo's tongue touched his throat, just lightly, then slipped away again and Duo spoke against the wet skin. "You know it too... you want me." His hand moved to Heero's groin and cupped the half-hardness there; Heero could feel Duo's own erection against his hip and he quickly found himself fully aroused. He felt Duo smile against his neck, nuzzling closer. "But I won't make you do anything you don't want to, Heero." The hand between his thighs applied just a suggestion of pressure; lips were right next to his ear Heero hissed out a breath. "I can wait, Heero." Duo's voice was low. "Because I know you'll not be able to resist forever." A quiet laugh, a kiss to Heero's jaw just below the ear. Then abruptly the hands were gone from Heero's body, and Duo had moved away, back to the bed.

Heero turned, surprised, in time to see Duo half-throw himself back onto the bed, eyes closed.

"But oh, god, Heero..." his eyes opened again and he met Heero's gaze, "I hope you stop resisting sooner and not later..." His hand was in his lap, rubbing almost imperceptibly, but Heero saw what he was doing, and was as mesmerised as he knew Duo wanted him to be. He crossed to the bed and knelt at Duo's side, watching... Duo looked up at him. "I can't help wanting you." His voice not much more than a hoarse whisper. "Just looking at you, standing close to you..." His hand stilled and then reached up with its partner to bring Heero down and fix him with a deep kiss. Heero couldn't help but follow with his body, and they lay together, touching, trying to get closer...

"Heero..." Duo was almost panting now. "God, stop me, if you're going to... I... I can't..."

Heero pulled way and lay on his back, suddenly reminded again... He shut his eyes tightly; no, he mustn't do this... Even though he wanted so much to share... everything with Duo... He took deep breaths, focussed on the ceiling. Heard Duo's own breathing slowly calm, and the other man lie against his side.

"I'm sorry, Heero." Whispering again. "I love you. I'll do anything I can for you. But you'd better tell me what you need me to do, before I go crazy."

Heero couldn't help but smile at that.

on to part 18

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