Hunter the Hunted
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
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
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
“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
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?”
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
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.
“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
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,
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
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.