[Backstory to: "Ninmu shippai"]

Written: November, 2000
Rating: PG-13
Pairings: (1+2)
Warnings: Angst, shonen ai
Disclaimers: Not mine, all theirs. No permission. No money. Why sue?
Notes: This short series examines what happens when you go without what you need.



Deprivation #3 - Communication

+++++ excerpt from "Ninmu shippai" +++++

Heero decided he was not going into a potentially lethal situation *again* without contacting Duo. It had been too long and he missed his long haired lover immensely. They'd been apart for almost a month due to J's suspicions. Sitting in Wing's cockpit, he'd sent a message to Shinigami, yet received no response. This surprised him, since Duo rarely left his incoming messages unanswered.



When they had been issued the universal contact systems, it had allowed each to carry what looked like a common beeper, but was in actuality an advanced notification system.

Heero had seen Duo go so far as to actually stick a finger down the back of his throat in class once to have a "legitimate" reason to leave when a message had come in. He had helped his sick friend out of class that day fully convinced by Duo's acting skills that he was violently ill, not just faking it. Once outside the room, however, Duo had turned to him, eyes glittering dangerously.

"Message from Wufei."


"I'm not sure. Maybe he's quitting." Duo seemed to be angry, confused, and hurt, all at the same time. "I don't know what's happened, but he sent the code for surrender. He may have switched sides for all we know. Something has to be done."

"If he's switched, he must be killed. You know that, Duo."

"I know, Heero. I just don't want to face it. But as the best infiltrator, it's my job to find him and silence him. I know." Duo appeared resigned to a fate he didn't want.

"Wait until we get more details if you need to."

"Can't. The longer he lives, the longer we are all at risk. I'm gone." Duo vanished into the afternoon sunshine, leaving Heero concerned over whether killing a good friend would be more than Duo could handle. Over the years, Duo had come to the conclusion that virtually everyone who loved him died and left him, if he was forced to actually kill someone he cared about, it could push him over the edge of sanity. He knew, however, that interference could spell the braided boy's death; he forced himself to clamp down on his thoughts and returned to class. It did occur to him to send a message to the other two pilots that Duo was going to eliminate Wufei and stop any possible leaks.

Soon he received a message as well. It was from Quatre. He had discovered Wufei's communiqué had been falsified by OZ and Duo had been tricked into the self-appointed mission to destroy the Chinese pilot.

Heero, unable to contact Duo, responded to Quatre that he would fly Wing to intercept Duo before any further damage could be done. With Deathscythe's cloaking function engaged, he knew Wing had the advantage regarding speed yet Heero barely arrived in time and saw Duo as he approached Nataku, death clearly his objective.

"No! Duo! There's been a mistake!" He called out, jumping from the cockpit and racing to intercept him.

Duo Maxwell apparently ignored him. Violet eyes filled with tears, the American ran flat out for the Shenlong Gundam, a dagger at the ready as he fully intended to terminate the life of a dear friend. Just then, Chang Wufei had the poor timing to actually look out of his cockpit in confusion having heard Heero's shouting.

In a smooth motion, Duo's arm raised and wrist snapped sending the knife towards its destination. Without missing a step, the braided pilot reached for his pistol in case the knife did not complete his self-assigned mission to kill his best friend.


A single bullet was fired as Heero expertly shot the blade from midair, shattering the knife on impact. He had run after Duo and knocked him to the ground with a brutal flying full-body tackle, a quick flick of his foot pushed the fallen pistol easily out of its owner's reach. "Stop! Duo, I said STOP!!!"

Moaning softly beneath him, Duo turned inwards, tears falling freely. "Is he dead?" He mumbled.

Meanwhile, Wufei had dropped to the ground baffled by the strange scene he had just witnessed. There was little love lost between himself and the Wing pilot, yet Duo was his closest friend. Why had the later attempted to murder him when the former was so intent on stopping him? None of it made sense.

"What is happening here, Yuy?" He demanded, unsure just which of these young terrorists was his enemy, if, in fact, either of them was.

"Wufei, where's your communicator?" Heero demanded, continuing to restrain Duo forcibly. Once it registered fully that the mission was not accomplished, Duo had struggled with inhuman strength to free himself and try again to destroy Wufei, mind still fogged with the single thought of the destruction of a traitor.

"It was taken from me by OZ when they captured me several days ago," Wufei responded as understanding dawned on him. "But I rendered it inactive before they took it. Why?"

"It's not 'inactive', Wufei. They deliberately sent Duo a message that you had surrendered to them. He is convinced you are a traitor. Are you a traitor, Wufei? Answer me on the honor of your clan!" Heero demanded reassurance for Duo's ears, not his own. He could tell Wufei had no more betrayed them than Duo had.

Understanding crossed the Chinese youth's face as well. "On my honor as a member of my noble clan, I, Chang Wufei, am not a traitor to my colony nor to those with whom I fight the oppression of OZ. Do you hear me, Duo Maxwell? I am NOT a traitor!!!"

Finally, the fight drained away from the American's struggling form and once more racking sobs broke loose from his chest. "Why?" Duo sobbed. "Why was I so ready to kill you, Wu? God in Heaven, WHY?!?"

"Because you are a true warrior, my friend. You did only what you thought was best to protect your comrades," Wufei helped Heero get Duo's trembling body off of the ground. "Yuy, thank you for stopping him. My own life should indeed be forfeit for the stupidity of allowing such a tool to fall into OZ's hands, but he would never have allowed himself to live once he realized the deception."

"I know," Heero commented sadly, he knew how strong the bond was between these two, it seemed stronger than the bond of friendship he shared with Trowa, but he still knew Duo's allegiance came first to the Gundams and the pilots who flew them. "Duo? Can you stand?"

"I think so, Hee...," thickness clogged the voice of the young man in their hands, but the falsehood was unintentional as Duo fell into the darkness that had replaced his temporary single-focused bloodlust.

Regrettably, it had taken Wufei and Heero several days to get Duo to trust himself again. He felt that if he could be lead to such a heinous act so simply, then he was unworthy of the responsibilities entrusted to him. It was only after Wufei completely convinced Duo that there had been no malicious intentions in the error and that he was indeed worthy, that Wing and Deathscythe left Shenlong behind to return home.

It was a misunderstanding which was very nearly the source of death for at least one but what would more likely have been two Gundam pilots.

<<end flashback>>


Remembering the damage of one such interaction, Heero decided to ignore J's warnings entirely. He sent a message requesting any of the other pilots contact him since he had no idea where they were or what they were doing, he thought someone might know where Duo was.


Author's Notes:

The Greek Muse of tragedy, Melpomene, is having too much fun! This episode is based on a harrowing experience I once had when I returned from a trip early to find my children missing with no indication of where they had gone. Luckily, she only writes fics, not real life, and they were located safe and sound shortly thereafter.


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