DISCLAIMER: Not mine, not making any money at this, just exercising my writing skills and my muses.

PAIRINGS: 1x2x1, 5xS, 3x4
WARNINGS: I’m sure this will be loaded with angst, as most of my fics are; for the meantime I am envisioning an action-adventure type of a fic though. Yeah, yeah, probably loaded with angst somewhere along the line. I think its going to be another looooong one.

NOTES: Blame the radio ads for FOX’s nighttime lineup for this fic – it kind of starts out like a blockbuster action flick, LOL! I am so deep in so many writing projects right now (3 fics and one original novel-length story), that I cannot promise how quickly I will be able to get parts to this fic out there. Hopefully the muses stay active and prompt me to write, like they were the day they begged me to start this one, even though I was knee deep into other things. Heh, muses are like that. I think I need to strangle mine, LOL!

Hunter the Hunted
by Shira

On this particular Saturday morning, Sally Po was attending a family function with her husband and children. It was Lady Une, ever the workaholic who rarely took a Saturday off, who was present to meet Heero and Duo when they drove to Preventers headquarters. They rode the elevator to the twelfth floor without uttering a word, and then walked in silence through the carpeted halls. Une was in her office, typing at her computer, when the two harried men appeared in her doorway looking all the worse for wear on what was becoming a very unusual weekend morning.

Glancing up and then back down to her screen, Une said, “What are you two doing here on your day off?” When she got no reply, Une stopped what she was doing to look up longer this time, long enough to see that something was obviously not right. “What?” Then after a more scrutinizing look, “What the /Hell happened/ to you?” She was looking at Duo, whose face was riddled with tiny red marks, too many of them to count at first glance.

“We’d like to know the same thing ourselves,” Heero answered finally as the two men entered the office and sat before Une at her desk.

The woman pushed her glasses back up on her nose as her eyes roamed over her two agents carefully.

“You should see our bedroom,” Duo added.

“I’m not interested in what you two call fun when you aren’t at work.” With a mild look of displeasure on her face, Une went back to her typing. “But, since you are here on a Saturday, and since obviously /something/ has happened, I’m sure you are here to tell me about it.” She continued to tap furiously at her keyboard as she waited for one of the two disheveled-looking men before her to begin explaining whatever it was that they were there to explain.

“Someone shot at us this morning.” Heero was cool and relaxed as he said it, watching Une’s expression. It didn’t change. More typing, and Heero became slightly agitated.


This time Duo interrupted. “No, Une, our entire second floor bedroom is Swiss cheese, is what he means. You know, broken windows, bullets flying all over the place, decorating the walls. Damn it, and we just finished remodeling in that bedroom, too, and the last time I checked, bullet holes weren’t our idea of fashionable.”

Une stopped her typing once more and turned to the two agents. Her interest was definitely piqued now. “Go on.”

“We’re lucky to be alive right now,” Duo concluded, a bit of arrogance coming through on his words.

For the next hour the two agents explained their morning, the Rated-PG parts of it at least, and the lead-up to the attack that happened from outside their second floor window. The three brainstormed for a short while, trying to second guess who, if anyone, might be trying to prove a point much the same way as Duo had suggested earlier in the bathroom, but they drew the same conclusion as before, too. There were too many possibilities, though the question remained as to who really would have the guts to attack a Preventer agent in his home, and in broad daylight.

Heero and Duo were currently involved with a money laundering case, the suspect being a higher-up for one of the top technology firms on Earth. Duo voiced that he didn’t think anyone at the corporation was on to them, and a connection to that case was unlikely. Heero agreed. Regardless, Une decided that the protection of two of her best agents was paramount, and so she removed them from the case, offering reassignment after the weekend, when she was able to discuss the situation with Sally Po. That, at least, would provide the two men with a breath of air in the fact that they would not be required to go on surveillance over the weekend, so soon after the attack. If those shots into their bedroom were meant to be “warning shots,” then it will have seemed that the two agents had taken the hint and backed off; other agents could keep watch in the interim, hopefully unknown to the suspected individuals.

After leaving headquarters, Duo suggested a quiet breakfast, since it was still only a few minutes after ten in the morning, and the two stopped off at a little family diner on the outskirts of the city. There they ordered some food, drank some coffee, and mostly just finished unwinding from all the tension that the morning had already seen.

Heero was quiet, and though this was not unusual for him, it was a disturbed kind of quiet that bothered Duo. The kind of quiet that let him know that Heero was more bothered by what had happened that morning than he was letting on. It was the same kind of quiet as during the many missions they’d fought during the Colony Wars and the Eve War. The kind of quiet that could be felt, in all of its heaviness, and never usually amounted to anything good.

“So, what do you wanna do today?” Duo stirred sugar and cream into a steaming cup of coffee while Heero just stared at his. “To help this blow over some.”

Heero looked up, blankly. “You want to catch a movie or something?”

“Yeah, we can do that. Which one?” They both thought quietly to themselves about which movie to see that afternoon.

The silence between the two men was interrupted when the waitress brought their breakfast, and as she laid out the plates of eggs and pancakes before them, Heero’s eyes were pinned intently on Duo’s face. He watched his expression as he flirted with the pretty server, Duo’s natural charm and charisma making the girl giggle and blush. Then when the girl had finally gone, Heero took his fork from within the napkin roll next to his setting and began to cut into a sausage link on his plate.

“Lets go to the second run place, and see an older film.” There was a tiny theater down in the artists district that commonly played old release movies – titles that had long since been antiquated because they were not the current three-dimensional technology that allowed the viewer to feel like they were “in” the movie so remarkably – and Heero was fond of going there. Duo had suspected for a long time that the wild effects in the new movies, effects that were especially popular for space and war movies, made Heero uncomfortable because of their likeness to real life. Too much like the real thing that he had already been through perhaps, and so when Heero was feeling a bit off, it was to the second-run theater that they would go, to watch a tame, two-dimensional flick.

They wound up taking in a matinee of Tomb Raider, a nice, safe adventure movie that left them both in a reasonably good mood, and ready to return home to clean up the mess that had been left behind, first by their assailant and second by the team of investigators that Une insisted on sending to investigate the scene.

There would most likely be reporters there as well, since those snoops seemed to have homing devices that tracked them to Preventers trouble better than any bloodhound. If the local authorities had been called, and considering that the house was in a regular, residential neighborhood it was almost guaranteed, there would be people all over the place for hours, and Heero wanted no part of it. They had managed to get out in the morning before any police arrived, going straight to HQ for that exact reason. Une would handle it all with a few phone calls, and by sending a couple of on-duty agents to go and get all the blue hats out of the way, since it was official Preventer business. Attacks on agents usually were, and whenever possible, the organization tried not to involve any outside help during its investigation of such events. It was difficult to know who could be trusted in this day and age, and with agent lives at stake, the close-knit family had always done better to protect itself.

By evening, and with the days events behind them, both Heero and Duo were exhausted, more mentally so than anything else. Dinner was a quick fix of chicken noodle soup and sandwiches, eaten in front of the TV in the living room, and washed down with a remaining two lagers that were leftover from a six pack bought on pizza night, the night before.

Heero tuned in to the local newscast, expecting to see something of the morning’s attack all over the airwaves, and before sitting, shut the draperies on the windows in the room. As they ate in the dimly lit living room, eyes glued to the female news anchor reporting the day's events, he was pleased to find that while there was a mention that there had been some aggression against Preventer agents reported by the group, “no further information was available at that time.”

“I don’t know how she does it,” Duo said, commenting on Une’s uncanny ability to keep bad Preventer press out of the media.

“Would /you/ want to be the one dealing with her if they /didn’t/ comply?”

“Good point.”

The bit of conversation died after that as the two men watched the remainder of the evening newscast in silence, both still very contemplative about what had happened.

After the dishes from dinner were cleaned up, Heero found himself going around the house quietly and closing all the drapes and blinds in all of the rooms. He paced silently from the living room to the den, hesitating before the window long enough to get a glimpse outside, then covered the glass so that no one could see in or out. Then making his way upstairs to the spare bedroom, he repeated his actions. Due to his being preoccupied with the windows, he didn’t hear Duo walking up behind him until the man was standing right next to him. Heero startled slightly, but quickly regained his composure so as not to let Duo know that he was still somewhat uncomfortable from the morning.

“What’s going on?” Duo asked, knowing full well that Heero was scooping every window in the house.

“Just… checking things.”

Heero got a suspicious look from the other man.

“You OK?”


“Umm… OK.” Duo shrugged. “So, where are we going to sleep tonight, since, well… since we no longer have a bed?”

Heero pondered for a moment. “Why don’t you sleep on the couch, and I’ll take the floor.” He noted Duo’s look of disagreement. “I mean just until we can get things cleaned up and a new set of bedding.”

“Why downstairs? Why not right here, in the spare bedroom? It’s a big enough bed if we snuggle.” It was a small double bed that got only occasional use, the few times that Quatre and Trowa had visited and stayed over. Cozy, but not completely cramped, and Duo saw no reason not to use it.

“I… I just think we should stay downstairs for tonight.” Heero tried his best to sound like his reason was a perfectly good one, but he knew he wasn’t convincing by the look of suspicion in Duo’s eyes.


Heero became somewhat annoyed. “I want both of us downstairs tonight.” Then the Japanese man turned tail and walked away without another word. Duo followed him into their shot up, broken bedroom where he was rummaging through his drawers for a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt to change into.

“You’re still wigged out from this morning, aren’t you?” Duo said to his lover’s face, his eyes showing his concern.

“No,” Heero replied, and walked past Duo again and into the hallway.

“Then why are you acting so weird?”

Heero stopped. “I’m not acting /weird/, Duo. I’m being cautious, for both of our benefit. Now please, lets stay downstairs tonight. You can have the couch.” With that, he retreated into the hall bathroom and closed the door between them.

They wound up sharing the floor, both of them, wrapped in the blankets and comforter that had been stripped from the bed in the spare bedroom. Wrapped around each other protectively, Duo slept – it was unusual for him to have trouble sleeping for any reason at all – while Heero remained awake, thinking.

He was still unnerved by what had happened, though something, maybe pride, maybe self consciousness, wouldn’t allow him to just come out and admit it. He was Heero Yuy. He was a Gundam pilot. He was a top agent for the universal peacekeeping group and the foremost authority in hunting criminals. He was untouchable, or so his reputation and demeanor had lead everyone to believe. Even he believed it, at times.

However, this was not the same. Having someone out there looking to retaliate against him for something that he’d done, some plan that he’d foiled or some thug that he’d arrested. This was something that he was unaccustomed to, and it scared him. To think that someone out there wanted him dead, well, that was something completely foreign to Heero. During the wars, it was the kill or be killed instinct that kept him going, and during his career with Preventers, the knowledge that he was protecting the people and the peace. Dying was not a concern before, and he had no problems facing his own death, but things were different now. Times had changed, and for the first time in his life, Heero was enjoying being alive. There was a value to his life now – one that took him many years to realize – but a value all the same. To have someone after /him/ now, it was a turn in the tide that Heero wasn’t prepared to deal with as well as he’d always thought he would. Every agent thinks about the “what ifs,” – it was a natural part of having a sometimes dangerous job – and yet, here he was caught in a what-if situation, and he was becoming very uncomfortable with the whole thing.

Technically Heero didn’t even know for sure that it was him, specifically, that was the target of that morning’s aggression, but somehow, deep inside, he felt that he was. He’d never really thought much about his own immortality before. He’d never really cared, caring instead about the welfare of the others around him, but this forced him to. This was different. This was downright scary. For someone to go to the lengths in which their assailant had gone, entering a residential neighborhood with a chopper on a Saturday morning, when people were at home with their kids watching cartoons, lazing around in bed, and whatever else people did on a Saturday morning, and then go blasting someone’s windows in, that was no random act of violence. That was obviously someone who knew who they were shooting at. That was someone who meant business.

Heero lie bundled in blankets and pillows on the carpeted living room floor with Duo resting against him, his arm thrown over protectively, as if he thought he might wake with Heero gone. Sighing, he pressed a dry kiss to the longhaired man’s forehead, and he was reminded of yet another important issue that affected the current situation. Duo.

Before, it was different between them. They were partners and comrades in a war, and while they depended on each other greatly, it wasn’t the way it was now. Now there was emotion involved. Emotion was the one thing that Heero had been so deprived of throughout his adolescence, and lived for today. For his freedom to love and be loved, even though sometimes it was still a bit difficult for him to show it. Duo was everything to him now, and the thought of something happening to him scared Heero even more than the idea of he, himself, being killed. It put him in the odd situation of needing to be with his love all that much more, but at the same time afraid of the possibility of Duo being caught in the crossfire, becoming the victim of some act meant for him.

With his head spinning and his reflexes alert and listening to every creak and noise that the house made, Heero remained awake most of the night, but he took pleasure in watching his mate sleep. Not until morning’s light would he finally rest his eyes, somehow calmed by the coming of daylight, even though his logical mind knew full well that there were just as many boogey men out in the day as during the dark of night.

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