A Dangerous Mission
A low moan sounded from the room, pain radiating from its tone and drawing the attention of the brown-haired boy engrossed with his laptop. Correction - HAD been engrossed with his laptop, scanning for new missions until being so rudely distracted. With an exasperated sigh, Heero Yuy pushed his chair away from the table, stood, and stalked over to the bed. Taking a firm grip of the blanket, he ripped away the obstructing sheets until he could see his braided partner curled up on the bed, wincing.
" What's the matter with you?" he demanded rather impatiently, scanning Duo for any obvious signs of injury. Last night's mission hadn't been THAT hard, that there could be some hidden injury he had missed during their customary patch-up job. He scowled, the familiar expression masking his concern, as Duo stirred, and blinked up at him owlishly.
" Huh? Wha..." His eyes took in the alarm clock on the night table and he produced a pouty scowl of his own. " Hey - what's the big idea? It's 7am! We'd better have an important mission or I'm gonna--"
" You were moaning in pain while you were sleeping," Heero informed him briskly. " Are you injured?"
Duo blinked again; and then shook his head negatively.
" Nope, no injuries." He sat up slowly, yawning exaggeratedly. A peculiar look crossed his face and he instantly snapped his mouth shut. Heero missed the wince of pain, having turned back to his laptop, deciding the baka was just being his normal annoying self. Duo sighed inwardly with relief at his partner's seeming obliviousness and got out of bed. He was too awake to sleep now - might as well go see what Quatre had in his kitchen for breakfast.
As far as safehouses go, their current residence was actually quite nice, Duo mused. Not nearly half as large as some of Quatre's estates, it nonetheless retained the same spacious, elegant air that all of Quatre's domiciles seemed to have built in them. The comfort was a nice break.
" And so's the food!" Duo yelped as he smelled bacon and eggs - Trowa, no doubt. It had been a great surprise to everyone when they had learned pilot 03 had remarkable culinary skills. Heero snorted as Duo sailed past him, intent on snatching up the choice pieces of fried pork before the rest of them arrived. Heero reached out as the brown-haired bundle of energy sailed by and snagged the braid that trailed behind him like a streamer.
"ITAI!!" Duo wailed as his forward momentum stopped rather abruptly. He whirled around, massaging his scalp and glaring furiously at his lover who smirked at him. Duo stuck out his tongue and yelped again as Heero pulled him forward.
"Don't stick it out unless you plan to use it," he said in a low tone, wrapping his fist around Duo's braid in a familiar, possessive gesture. Duo blinked -- and grinned. Leaning forward, he quickly pecked Heero's nose and danced out of range, watching with glee as Heero stood there stunned. Then a small smile curved the corner of his mouth - just a trace of a smile, really - but it was enough to make Duo's grin come back full force.
"Breakfast," Trowa said quietly, depositing a huge stack of bacon on the kitchen table. Duo flew into his seat, as Heero took his customary spot next to the American. Quatre came into the room, smiling happily at everyone, followed by a grumpy-looking Wufei. Trowa wordlessly handed a cup of coffee to the silent Chinese pilot who's eyes brightened somewhat at the sight and smell of caffiene. Quatre took his usual cup of tea from Trowa, thanking him warmly. Trowa returned the smile before setting a large serving dish of scrambled eggs on the table.
" Save some for the rest of us, baka," Heero admonished Duo who was stacking slices of bacon on his plate at an alarming rate. Duo growled playfully and swatted Heero's fork away as the Perfect Soldier tried to get the God of Death to release his hold on the captive bacon. Picking up a slice, Duo crunched into it eagerly.
And immediately turned white.
Quatre noticed the lack of color on Duo's face.
"Duo? Are you okay?"
Heero looked sharply at his lover who looked to be keeping some strange expression from fully forming on his face. Duo set the piece of bacon down on his plate and gave them all a casual grin that looked to all of them to be forced.
" Guess I wasn't as hungry as I thought I was," he said off-handly. " I think I'll take my juice--" he picked up the glass "--and watch some cartoons. I think I read about a marathon of some ancient cartoon that was really popular back in the eighties....Pok-moon, or Poke-something. Ja!"
With that, Duo disappeared into the living room and the four pilots remaining could make out the sounds of some show on the TV as Duo turned it on. Wufei looked at Heero who was staring at the doorway where Duo had gone.
" What is wrong with Maxwell?"
Heero shrugged and continued to watch, a faint look of concern written across his features. Quatre looked at Trowa, who did the same. On cue, all four pilots rose and went into the living room.
" GAHHH!" Duo's head snapped around as Quatre spoke, not realizing anyone had followed him. Ammendment - they ALL had followed him. His eyes narrowed.
" What's up?" he asked warily. Quatre smiled at him reassuringly.
" Relax Duo, " he said. " We just want to know if everything's okay."
" Everything's fine, no injuries, no war wounds that need stitching--"
" No pain?" Heero cut in swiftly. Duo opened his mouth to agree when he realized to do so would be a lie. That was something he couldn't do. He could run, he could hide, but he could never lie.
And they knew that.
Due decided to try option number one.
Vaulting over the couch, he made a dash for the door at the other end of the room. He would have made it except for one fatal flaw: Heero had uncanny accuracy when it came to nabbing that braid of his.
" Damn it Heero!" Duo glared heatedly at the unrepentant soldier. " I'm not gonna have any hair left by the time the war's over if you keep pulling it out!"
" He wouldn't have done it if you hadn't tried to run away," Trowa pointed out calmly. Wufei nodded, a smirk on his face.
" It is justice."
" Where are you hurting Duo?" Heero asked, closing in on the Shinigami pilot. Duo eeped and backed up into the wall.
" It's not a big deal!"
" If it keeps you from inhaling all of breakfast including the table, it must be a very big deal," Wufei said, folding his arms. Duo looked from one pilot to the other, and finally, to his silent lover who was staring at him crossly....waitaminute...that was...was that concern on the Perfect Soldiers face? Duo's gaze dropped and he kicked at the floor miserably. His cheeks flamed pink.
Heero watched Duo's face change colors again. _He's blushing_! he thought incredulously. Still in shock, he almost missed the mumble coming from the red-faced pilot.
" What was that?"
" I said, I have a toothache!" Duo shouted at them. Then he clamped his mouth shut. Quatre stared at him.
" All that fuss, over a TOOTHACHE?" Quatre blinked. " That's nothing! I can get you an appointment with the Winner family dentist--"
" NO!" Duo shouted, panicked. Heero and Quatre exchanged exasperated looks. Wufei snickered. " Shut up Wufie."
" My name is Wu-FEI," the Shenlong pilot corrected him. " And don't tell me you're AFRAID of the dentist?"
Duo scowled and slouched against the wall. Wufei looked astonished.
" You ARE afraid?"
Quatre stepped forward.
" Duo, really - there's nothing to worry about! Dr. Pauls has been our family dentist for YEARS."
" All dentists are evil!" Duo hissed. " They have long, sharp needles that they stab you in the mouth with, and they put clamps and wires in there, and they drill and you can feel your enamel flaking away--"
Quatre was turning a faint shade of green. Trowa noticed this and glared at Duo who immediately shut up. Heero sighed.
" Duo, you're going to the dentist. You probably have a cavity - that must be causing the toothache."
" You're going."
" I'm not!" Duo snapped back, without missing a beat. Wufei threw up his hands in frustration.
" Come now Maxwell - surely you've been to one before...." he trailed off as he saw Duo shake his head minutely. " Never?"
" Food and shelter kinda took priority on the streets, not worrying about whether or not you had that toothpaste smile!" Duo snarled. Wufei stepped back.
" How do you know what they do then?" Heero asked reasonably. Duo's ears flushed an attractive shade of pink, neatly matching the blush still evident on his cheeks.
" I read it in a book..." he mumbled. " And anyway, I don't need a dentist."
" Yes you do." Heero had that determined look in his eyes, and began advancing toward the American.
" Oh no you don't Yuy..."
" TRAITORS!! MURDERERS!!!" Duo's shrieks echoed through the streets as he was dragged from the car, kicking and screaming, not caring about the weird looks he was attracting. Trowa and Heero had his arms, and Quatre and Wufei each took hold of a leg. " PUT ME DOWN!!!"
" MAXWELL! You're acting like a CHILD!" Wufei panted as he struggled to keep Duo's feet from kicking free. A man walking along the sidewalk, observed the strange scene and abruptly crossed the street to the other side.
" I'M ENTITLED!!" Duo redoubled his efforts, trying in vain to lean forward to bite at Heero and Trowa's fingers. Heero growled at him.
" Knock it off!"
" You're sleeping on the COUCH!" Duo informed him angrily before resuming his struggle. Heero stifled a pained sigh. Quatre pointed to the large, well-kept building. A young mother pushing her daughter in a stroller quickly moved out of the quintet's path.
" We're here!"
" LEMME GO!!" Duo howled, thrashing wildly. His mind kept supplying him with nasty images of psychotic looking dentists wielding drill bits and needles as long and as sharp as Wufei's sword. " YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME!!"
" Oh yes we can," Heero muttered under his breath. He debated whether or not to do a nerve pinch on his lover's neck, not only to knock him out to spare the doctor, but so that Duo would be out cold for most of the checkup. But the hold itself was painful and he couldn't bring himself to hurt Duo deliberately.
Quatre waited until Wufei had Duo's legs immobilized before letting go and running to the front door to open it. The secretary looked up in amazement as the pilots entered the facility, carrying a screaming, thrashing Duo. Quatre looked at the secretary, red-faced.
" Umm....he's here for the 2:00?"
The secretary managed a faint nod.
" That was an experience I won't want to soon repeat," Wufei muttered, massaging his temples. Trowa looked up from where he and Quatre sat, waiting for Duo and Heero to emerge. Heero had gone in to forcibly restrain the hyper God of Death, to keep him from bolting from the building.
" DON'T YOU POINT THAT THING AT ME!!"
Quatre winced at the shriek coming from inside the office.
" But sir...it's just a mirror so I can see inside--"
" AHA!! Shingami LIVES!"
" Duo! Put down the scraper!"
Wufei shook his head while Quatre envisioned the money he'd have to pay Dr. Pauls to keep him from tendering his resignation....
" That went well, don't you think?" Quatre asked tiredly as he paid the dentist fee, plus a little extra as a calming gesture to the frazzled dentist. A weary-looking Heero emerged from the office leading a dazed Duo, who kept staring at the ceiling of the office in rapt amazement. Trowa nudged Heero.
" What'd they do to him?"
" They couldn't get anywhere close to him with a needle, so I held him down long enough for them to strap the gas mask on him," Heero said, shooting an irritated look at the American. " He's high as a kite."
" Pretty colors...." Duo murmered, violet-eyes wide as saucers. Quatre stifled a giggle, and Wufei shook his head, mumbling about justice. Trowa merely smirked and opened the door so Heero could lead the incapacitated Duo to the car.
" I wanna drive..." Duo slurred, reaching out for the car door and nearly fell off the curb at the same time. Heero opened the door and settled Duo in the backseat. The others tiredly got into the vehicle and headed for home.
The next morning, Duo woke up feeling strange, like he'd been drinking all night but the hangover had left him more disoriented then nauseated. He glanced at Heero who was still asleep, and suddenly he realized his tooth no longer hurt!
" Yes!" Duo grinned wickedly and bounded into the hallway, intent on a shower. Heero blinked as he felt the braided baka jump off the bed and a rare smile graced his normally stoic features at the sight of a much-better-feeling Duo. His mind trickled over the previous days events and he flopped backwards with a sigh. Baka.
" May that never happen again, anytime soon," he prayed fervently, before getting up to go join Duo.