Hunter the Hunted
Attempting to wipe the weariness away from his face, Wufei leaned back in
his chair, stifling yet another yawn. It had become a very long, drawn out
evening, and he was tired, hungry and getting to be a bit bored with the
current conversation. Closing his bleary eyes, he sighed.
“So there is still nothing to go on then,” the Chinese man stated in
response to the findings from Sally’s records search.
“Not with this name that we have, no.” Duo slouched back in his own chair as
the two men discussed the problem at hand, accompanied by the hunted
himself, and Sally. It was close to ten at night and the four were still at
headquarters, trying to decide what the next move would be in trying to find
out exactly what was happening with the recent threats on Heero’s life.
“It’s a dead end. The guy that the phone is registered to doesn’t seem to
exist, as far as we’ve been able to find out. Fictitious name, I guess.”
“Forensics was all over the remains of the car,” Sally added in a bland
tone. “If there is anything of note worth finding, we’ll hear about it.”
Heero sat in silence, just listening to the conversation around him that was
finally dying down.
“Well,” Wufei began as he straightened in his chair, “I don’t think there is
anything any of us can do here now, so I, for one, am going home.” He then
turned to Heero. “Are you sure you wont reconsider my offer?”
“Thanks, Wufei. I appreciate it, but no.” Considering that there had been
two very clear and direct incidents now, both Heero’s and Duo’s safety were
becoming a paramount issue, and so rather than send them back to their home,
which for all anyone knew was under some kind of surveillance, Wufei offered
his own home in the meantime. “I couldn’t put your family at risk like
Wufei nodded his acknowledgement, secretly thankful that his offer, which
was something that he considered to be necessary and diplomatic for his two
friends, was denied. There were children at home now, and though he and
Sally occasionally confronted very serious problems in their jobs, they made
their best effort to leave the work at work in order to shield their young
ones, at least for the present time, from the realities and coldness that
the real world harbored.
“We’re going to get a room at the Holiday Inn,” the Japanese man added
“Hey, they have rooms with hot tubs, don’t they?” Duo asked wryly, trying to
add a little off-color humor to the situation.
Heero said nothing, but only glared at his partner, a look that had no
trouble conveying his question of how it was possible for Duo to think of
such things at a time like this.
Raising an eyebrow, Wufei said “Charge it to the Preventer’s account.” Then
after a pause, he cleared his throat and added, “The hot tub is on you
though.” He turned to Sally just in time to see her hiding an embarrassed
Lying in the strange, hard, scratchy bed that night, Heero’s eyes were wide
open, staring at the stuccoed ceiling of the hotel room. He was motionless,
silent, and if not for the occasional movement of his chest, one would think
he were dead. Duo lay beside him, feeling the tension ebbing off him, and
finally rolled over onto his side. Propped on his elbow, Duo watched him for
a long time before he said anything.
There was no answer.
Duo sighed. “Is there anything I can say or do to help this?”
Again, silence. Then finally, “No.”
“Heero, don’t go closing yourself up like that on me, please? Let me be here
for you. We’re in this together.”
Heero sighed. He turned his head so that he could see Duo’s silhouetted
figure against the little bit of dim light peering around the curtained
window and blinked back his emotion. “I’m trying not to. I’m just…”
“You’re scared, Heero. I know. It’s alright to admit that you’re scared.”
Duo brushed his fingers against Heero’s arm, lightly touching him. “I’m
“You don’t seem scared,” Heero said, dropping his eyes away to conceal the
embarrassment that Duo couldn’t really see, though he felt it instead.
This time Duo sighed. “Well, I guess I do try to not harbor on it. I guess
because it /does/ scare me, Heero. God, this is…this is just insane,
really.” His statement ended with a chuckle. “Just completely insane. But it
is all right for us both to be scared, you know.”
Unable to break his gaze from his longhaired lover, Heero just watched his
shape in the dark, noticing an occasional glint from wet teeth as Duo spoke.
Then Heero finally rolled over to face him, adjusting the covers so they
wrapped around his neck. Closing his eyes, he whispered “I love you,” and
smiling, the other man responded with the same. Feeling him snuggle down
under the covers as well, Heero moved himself closer to Duo, then slid his
arm over a hip, holding his love tightly against him as they both fell
The next day was Duo’s first day on assignment with agent Masterson, a
two-year employee of the Preventers group and an accomplished agent himself.
Though they had spoken on numerous occasions before in passing an at company
functions, Duo had never had the opportunity to work on a case with him. As
far as he knew though, the guy was intelligent, and friendly enough that
they should get along all right, and as far as the current situation as
concerned, being separated from working with Heero, intelligent and friendly
would have to do. They were headed to Geneva that morning, hopefully for
only a couple of days, to investigate the big jewel heist that had occurred
there the previous weekend.
Duo was less than optimistic that he’d be back in that short a time frame,
however, since investigations rarely went as quickly as estimated. Knowing
this, he was somewhat edgy leaving Brussels. Even though he promised Heero
that he would go without a fuss, he still felt uncomfortable leaving
Brussels under the circumstances, and he knew that he would be spending his
entire trip counting the days until he could get back. Even if it meant
working non-stop, he would do his best to get his work done as quickly as
possible so that he and Masterson could high-tail it back to Headquarters,
and he could find out how things were brewing on the home front with Heero.
On the way to Geneva, the two men made polite talk, the other agent
seemingly impressed that he was being given the opportunity to work side by
side with Agent Maxwell, the Former Gundam Pilot. As Duo flew their small,
private shuttle to the Geneva shuttle port, Masterson went on and on about
what an experience it must have been to have fought a war with the Gundams,
and how great it was that they would be working together. He was acting like
a regular rookie, Duo thought, and though it was impressive to a lot of
people that he was one of the five who eventually saved everything, the
attention still tended to make him uncomfortable at times. Occasionally it
was fun to be ogled over like that, but today Duo wasn’t really in the mood
Dave Masterson was twenty-two, blonde, and a real looker that all the
younger women in the office tended to fall for. He’d enlisted with the
Preventers a couple of years out of High School, after dropping out of
college half way through and looking for a purpose and a way to find
himself. Turning Preventers into a career hadn’t really been his thought
when he enlisted for the basic duty, but after a year, he decided that he
was well suited for the job, and would continue on as long as he enjoyed it.
Starting off as a rookie investigator, it was after only a year in service
that he was raised up to agent, having proved himself as being a worthwhile
and indispensable part of the organization that was a natural when it came
to the stealth and prowess that the job frequently required. He was also a
whip in the brains department, making him very desirable for agent status
because he could take care of himself without losing his composure, and get
himself out of tight spots without botching his entire mission.
After quite a drilling about the whole Gundam pilot thing, the conversation
turned to another subject; one that Duo was anticipating would eventually
come up between them.
“So I heard about what’s been happening with yourself and Agent Yuy,”
Masterson said finally. Duo bristled. He wasn’t really sure if he felt like
talking about it and being reminded that he was here, flying to Geneva when
Heero was off to somewhere else.
“Yeah, some crackpot out there has some vendetta I guess. Comes with the
business.” Duo kept his eyes pinned on his instrumentation panel, avoiding
the other man’s look.
“God, I’d be scared shitless if it were me! I mean, I know it’s nothing
unusual to be a good guy and have a bad guy have it in for you but…”
“It is scary,” Duo said, opening up a little, having tested Masterson’s tone
first. He wasn’t in the mood to get into an argument with anybody about
anything regarding Heero and his apparent stalker, but sympathy he could
take. Sympathy right now was a welcomed thing as he suffered his private
anxiety. “Real scary. Have to constantly be watching your back.”
“I bet,” Masterson added as he readjusted in the passenger seat of the tiny
craft. “Must be like working 24-7, I guess. Can’t let your guard down at
This time Duo said nothing, concentrating only on his flying, and his
thoughts of what Heero was doing at that very moment. Here he was, at
Heero’s request, partnered with Masterson and on his way to Geneva like he
agreed to, to investigate the jewel robbery. Heero was assigned elsewhere,
and Duo’s feelings about the entire situation were already changing, as were
their original plans. Initially, Heero was to stay in Brussels and see what
developed of the original attack that Saturday morning, but now, with the
second attack, Sally and Une sent him out of the city as well, in a sort of
“So, I wonder why Une split you guys up?” Duo had missed an entire few
minutes of Masterson’s conversation with himself as he wondered about Heero,
catching only the last part.
“It was Heero’s idea.”
Duo nodded. “Said he was afraid something was going to happen to me. Wanted
me out of the city while the issue is investigated.”
“Hmmm,” Masterson hummed aloud. “Oh, right, you two are…”
“Yes.” Raising an eyebrow, Duo watched for a reaction from Masterson out of
the corner of his eye, but there wasn’t one.
“OK. That explains a lot then.”
The other agent smiled. “Well, sure.”
“Well, I guess if my girlfriend worked with me, I’d want to do the same
thing. To protect her, you know.”
Duo thought for a moment, remembering Heero’s words to him the afternoon
they argued over sub sandwiches in his office. “Yeah, I guess so,” he
sighed. He flipped a couple of switches on the instrument panel, letting his
thoughts wander again.
“Cares a lot about you.”
“I said he cares a lot about you, if he is willing to go to such lengths to
make sure you are out of the danger zone.”
Opening his mouth to speak, Duo stopped himself momentarily. “Yeah, I know
he does. I’m just…worried about him too, ya know? With me out here and him
wherever the hell he’s going. I’m just uncomfortable with it all. I’m
humoring him right now…but only for a couple of days. A week at the most.
I’m not going to leave him by himself that long to deal with this without
“He didn’t tell you where he was going, huh?”
“Nope. Said nobody was to know, other than him and Sally and Une. Heh, I
guess they want to see whose trail this psycho follows – mine or his – since
technically they haven’t proven that it’s actually him that’s being pursued.
Just as well might be me that’s staring this gun in the face, for all any of
us know.” Duo smirked, though he was being completely serious.
Masterson made a comical face, squinting his baby blue eyes. “Oh Christ, I
sure as Hell hope not! I promised them back in Brussels that I’d bring you
back in one piece! I don’t want to have to face the wrath of Agent Yuy if I
don’t!” The two agents got a chuckle out of the joke, just as they were
preparing the shuttle for landing in Geneva.