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 it’s 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

Agents Yuy and Maxwell were both reassigned from their current case the next day, after a meeting with Lady Une and Sally Po. The two leaders of the Preventers organization felt it safer to remove them from whatever scenario they were involved in and attempt to get them out of harm’s way for a little while, until that past Saturday’s incident either blew over or was cracked open. At lunch, the two partners discussed their new cases.

“So, what crap-assed assignment did you get?” Duo was completely and obviously annoyed that afternoon as he unwrapped a sub sandwich that they’d picked up from one of the local delis.

Heero looked up with a biting harshness in his eyes. “A perfectly fine one. What’s that supposed to mean?”

“What it’s supposed to mean is this. I’m a freakin’ Preventer, and not some city beat cop. Don’t you think it’s a waste of the organization’s money, and my talent as well, to have me going around investigating something that the locals could take care of?”

“Investigating this jewel robbery is just as important as any other case.”

Duo was about to take a bite of his sandwich, his mouth open wide, when he stopped, holding the sub in mid-air. “Heero, for God’s sake. It was a robbery. That’s not what the Preventers do.”

“It was the biggest robbery in the history of the city of Geneva, possibly tied to organized crime, and that makes it Preventer’s business,” Heero said in response as he started to unwrap his own sandwich, spreading the white deli paper over Duo’s desk in his little used office. “Plus, people were murdered.”

“That doesn’t mean I should be the one investigating it,” Duo said nastily. “You and I, we’re being wasted on this petty crap Heero, can’t you see that? We’re supposed to be looking after /big/ stuff. Things that are going to affect people. Not /this/.”

“We’re being /protected/, can’t you /see that/?” Heero’s tone was sharp, his eyes hard and angry at his partner.

Duo quieted and finally took that first bite from his sandwich, not looking up at the other man. Heero could almost hear the grumbling that was going on in Duo’s head.

“Yeah, and,” Duo said with a mouth full of sub, “they have to go and separate us like this?” Not only annoyed at the “embarrassing” case that he’d been handed down to essentially keep him busy while the investigation into their shooter was begun, he was equally upset that he had been paired with another agent, breaking up his and Heero’s teamwork.

“Masterson is a perfectly fine agent. You said once before that you liked him.”

Duo sighed. “I do like him, Heero, but…”

“You know, I don’t know of any other organization that partners people who are living together with each other at all, so if you ask me, we’ve been lucky until now.”

“Une partners us together because we get the work done best that way,” Duo said, countering Heero.

“True but…”

“True but nothing. This just plain blows.” With that, Duo ended his conversation and concentrated on his food, since it had already become more than obvious that he was going to get little sympathy from Heero.

Heero slammed down the half of sub that he was working on onto the desk, sending bits of lettuce and chopped tomato all over the white paper. He was angry now, angry and embarrassed at the fact that his feathers were still ruffled about the whole incident, and Duo was not making anything any easier for him. “Has it ever once occurred to you that /you are not invincible/, and that this is a serious problem?” The look of concerned anger in Heero was one that he had not shown in a long time, one that Duo knew meant business. “Duo, people just don’t fly into neighborhoods in helicopters and blow the top floor off someone’s house. That just doesn’t happen. Not unless they are after something or someone that is very much better off dead than alive to them!”

Duo swallowed the mouthful that he had been holding and stared at his enraged partner. “And since when do /you/ know anything about not being invincible, Mr. ‘I can do anything under the sun including mend my own wounds’ Yuy?”

Heero tactfully ignored his partner’s scathing comment, not allowing it to further upset him. “Has it ever occurred to you that this is not all fun and games, but a personal war on our own turf?” Heero’s glare was locked on the other man, as Duo remained quiet this time. “/I/ am the one who requested that you be assigned with Masterson, and to the jewel robbery!”

“You? But,” Duo’s eyes, full of surprise, became wide and pinned to Heero’s angry ones. “You did this?” Duo questioned again. “Jesus H….Damnit, Heero! Why?”

“/Because I don’t want you hurt, damnit!/” Heero said, raising his voice this time, and louder than he had intended. Blushing somewhat, the emotional Japanese man stood from his chair and walked past the desk to the window where he looked through mini blinds to the world outside. Duo, in the meantime, was trying to come up with an appropriate comeback that wouldn’t make him sound ungrateful, though he was thoroughly annoyed by what he’d just been told.

“Heero, look,” Duo began, getting up from his chair as well and going to his partner at the window. “I know you’re messed up about all of this. Hell, I am too, because I sure as Hell don’t want anything to happen to either of us. But you have to understand something.”

Heero turned to face the other man when Duo pulled on his shoulder. “What’s that?”

“Heero, it’s dangerous work, and we both know it. But I accept that. We both accepted that when we made the Preventers our career. I didn’t get through two wars before the age of twenty to sit and cower now.”

Heero sighed, not saying more. It was plain to see that he wasn’t going to be able to convince Duo of his way of thinking, and probably vice-versa as well.

“OK, so, what information do we know here,” Duo asked, changing the subject to something a little more constructive. “We know that we don’t know who these people are, or whether they were targeting you in particular or not,”

“They were,” Heero finally interrupted.

“How do you know?”

“I just do.” His expression was convincingly serious to the point that Duo had to agree.

“OK, so, someone is probably after you,” the longhaired man added in a down tone.


“And we know that the trace on the call to our phone leads to a cell phone belonging to a guy by the name of Andreas Hagenkamp, but we have no clue who the guy is. Only that his cell has a number listed in Germany.”

Heero responded by dropping his eyes away from Duo’s then turning to walk back across the office. “Sally’s having records go through every case the organization has every been involved in, looking to see if this guy’s name shows up anywhere. So far, nothing.”

“There has to be some kind of a clue as to who this Hagenkamp is working for or what his beef is,” Duo said, trying to come up with scenarios and people and places in his mind. He walked back over to his desk and sat once more, propping his feet up and leaning back.

Again Heero said nothing, knowing full well within himself that the reason why was really not important at all. The bottom line was, if he didn’t watch his step, someone, possibly with as much of not more experience than he, was going to see to sending a slug through his skull. When it came right down to it, what did it matter why? /Who/ was the bigger concern. /Who/ was aiming at him, /who/ that person worked for, and where were they likely to try it again. They couldn’t be stopped until the question of who was answered first.

“Just do me a favor,” Heero finally asked, snapping out of the haze that he was in.


“Deal with your robbery case with Masterson and keep yourself away from this, OK?” Heero’s voice was strained as he forced himself to hold back a lot more emotion than he wanted to exert right then. “I have a lot going through my mind about this, Duo, and I don’t want to have to worry about you as well.”

Their eyes met across the desk, and in his stare, Heero was able to convey his anxiety and discomfort to his partner. It was genuine worry that Duo saw woven into his deep blue eyes, and this display of feeling, though constrained and held back, Duo could not argue with.

“OK, Heero,” the longhaired man sighed. “For you, I will. I’m not happy about this, but if it will make you feel better, I’ll stay out of the way for a little while.” Duo shook his head and smiled a little smile. “I don’t know when you became so concerned for your own well being, Yuy, but I have to say, it is a nice change to see in you. You’ve kept this well hidden.”

At that, Heero smiled a nervous, thin-lipped little smile that was barely visible. “Well, I can’t very well go and disappoint people by destroying that reputation I’ve got going now, can I?”

They had driven to work together, as they did many days when neither Agent had anything in particular that would keep them late at work. A few minutes after five, Heero met Duo in the main lobby, the latter talking up a storm in his usual friendly manner with the receptionist at the main desk. Seeing Heero exit the elevator, he excused himself with a smile and a wink, then walked over to catch up with the other man, who was already to the exit doors. The receptionist, a cute brunette, watched him go with a dreamy look on her face, cursing every god know to man that Duo Maxwell, the catch that he was, was not only already involved, but he was involved with another man to boot.

“Hey,” Duo said as he trotted up, receiving the customary non-response, response that Heero usually offered whenever he was deep in thought. The pair exited the building and made their way across the parking lot towards Heero’s car, since it had been his day to drive.

As they approached the vehicle, a practically new and shiny silver sport coupe parked by itself, away from the door edges and bumpers of other cars, Heero fumbled in his pocket for his key ring, pulling it out. He maneuvered the remote lock release in his fingers until the button was face up. Pushing the button once, then twice, Heero grimaced as he got no response, and the locks on the vehicle could not be heard releasing. Heero stopped and looked at the device in his hand, then slapped it against his palm a couple of times.

“What’s wrong?” Duo asked, stopping with him.

“I keep forgetting to replace the battery in my remote,” Heero answered as they resumed walking closer, he still pressing the remote button over and over.

“You’re too far away,” Duo suggested. “When the batteries get weak, they lose their range.” They were twenty or so feet from the car.

Heero was about to agree with Duo when he pointed the remote one more time and clicked. To say that the device worked that last time would be an understatement, as Heero’s sport coupe suddenly exploded with a thunderous /boom/ into a ball of orange flames and black smoke, throwing both men backward and down onto the pavement from the force of the blast. Landing hard, both Heero and Duo crumpled to the ground mere yards from where the explosion went off. As they scurried to scramble to their feet and get further away from the inferno, flaming bits of gasoline and debris fell all over that area of the parking lot and a few closer by cars. The two men looked to each other with expressions of disbelief before turning to blankly stare at the scene before them, and as they did, the same feeling of dread crept into each of them as they realized that the situation was turning very serious indeed.

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