Disclaimer: None of the authors own Gundam Wing, this was purely for fun. No monetary compensation was garnered by any of the authors.

Pairings: 1X2, 3+4
Category: yaoi, angst, action, TWT, lemon
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: profanity, slight reference to failed NCS, some gore
Feedback: Yes, please! The author of each individual part would love to hear what you thought!

Notes: In the nature of a Round Robin, this wasn't so much a collaboration, as a passing along of the story. As each part was written individually, expect varying styles and a twisting, rollercoaster plot line. A huge thank you goes to Kittikass, DC Logan, Sharon, and Dacia for their support in this project! Also, thank you to Sakti for the beta.

* _ * indicates italics
// _ // indicates thoughts


Rescues
Part Six
By [ 0083 ]


Four bodies moved silently, almost ghosting along the edges of the darkness. They were headed north to make their entrance into the base as stealthily as possible without making nary a nose. In their minds, stealth was the number one priority in rescuing their comrade. Yet, as they approached the North entrance, their plans for stealth went right out the window.

As soon as they approached and were within eyesight of the delivery trucks lining up for inspection, a sudden and loud explosion shattered their strategy to bits. Somewhere from the west end of the base, an orange ball of flame, sooty and dark with smoke, exploded out of the buildings. There was a sudden pause as everyone, Gundam pilots included, stared at shock at the most unexpected turn of events.

Then everyone was moving, shouting, scurrying towards the explosion, weapons drawn and alertness at its height. The delivery site was soon abandoned in favor for the west side of the base and the boys were left looking at a completely open north entrance.

"Well, if that doesn't beat our strategy right out of the fucking water..."

Duo's muttered comment jump started the paralyzed unit of four into movement again, this time letting go of the silent slinking for outright running with weapons at ready. They had no idea what had happened, but it would be remiss of them not to take advantage of this fully.

To no one's surprise, it was Duo who ran into the base first, his pistol held lightly in his right hand, running in a fast gait with his shoulders held low. His eyes seemed to absorb the fluorescent lighting of the hallway; the usually bright violet eyes now a black hole of concentration. Those eerie eyes swept the hallway once before signaling to the others that it was safe. Wufei joined Duo first, the look on his face grim.

"Duo, this could be a trap for us."

Quatre nodded in agreement as he and Trowa trotted in behind them. To the blond warrior, this seemed just too perfectly timed for it to be a mere coincidence, but who would have known that they were coming at this exact hour?

"I can hear your head spinning, Quat my man. Quit it. Even if this is a trap... we've come too far to back out now."

"Youíre right," Quatre replied with traces of resignation, "but it doesn't mean I have to like this."

"Let's just hope Heero wasn't caught in the explosion."

Duo threw a look that could only be described as horror mixed with indignation at Wufei. He had not even considered that Heero could have been there. Catching the look and the dawning panic within Duo, Quatre quickly motioned all of them into different corridors for investigation, trying to keep Duo from thinking too far ahead. It would do them no good if Duo went on a rampage of panic and grief at this stage.

~*~

Heero sat quietly in the cell, almost disbelievingly waiting for this 'distraction' the Lightening Count had mentioned. Would this be yet another trap for him? Did he have any choice in the matter? Countless thoughts jumbled in his head as he stared at the unlocked door of his cell, but at the forefront was Duo for some reason. Would Duo take the chance?

Shaking his head, he tried to get rid of those unwanted thoughts. He needed to focus, not dwell on his partner, if he ever wanted to get out of here alive. If he wanted to see Duo again...he had to be a soldier, not a lovesick fool.

Heero was in the middle of berating himself for thinking of Duo when an explosion rocked him. The ground shook and he swayed lightly, trying to get purchase on his balance. If anything, that had to be a distraction. Smiling grimly, Heero opened the door slightly ajar and looked at the corridors. They were empty as promised, the soldiers probably having headed to that explosion. Couldnít miss it, could he? Zechs had to be extravagant in the distraction, didn't he. It was practically what Duo would have done, loud and flashy, too obvious yet successful. The grim smile turned into a smirk as he thought of Duo again and Heero took off towards the South entrance.

He quickly routed his way by recalling the map of the base in his head, hoping that it was not out of date like the recon data was. He had to make it out of here so he could go back and yell at Duo one more time.

Running silently and quickly, Heero made a right turn into the corridor that would eventually lead him to the south exit. He could practically smell his freedom and he picked up his pace, still keeping a vigilant watch about him. His soldier instincts took over fully and that was what saved him when shots were fired towards him.

Heero didn't even think, but rolled and ducked into a narrow corridor just to his left, watching as sparks flew around him. From the spread pattern, he construed that the shooter had a semi-automatic, fully convertible to an automatic at the flip of a switch, and he was firing from forty feet, straight ahead. The shooter had no cover from what he could remember from the layout of this corridor, but that did not matter. Heero had no weapon. He could not fire back and if he stepped out, heíd be a sitting duck. In the back of his head, he could hear a voice that sounded very much like Duo saying 'if that Lightening Count really wanted you to escape, couldn't he have left you a fucking weapon?'

~*~

Wufei ran alongside Duo, searching for Room 187. Quatre and Trowa were not too far behind them, keeping up rear guard. For all their readiness and alertness there was no one around to test them. It was as if the entire base emptied out to the west end. It was almost too easy and it made all of them even more tense.

"Quat, you sure 187 is where they got him?"

A slight nod was all Duo needed to pick up his speed and outrun the rest of them. Wufei picked up his pace also, but knew that Duo, being the fastest and having the most endurance for running, would leave him behind in his own dust soon enough. A turn here, a turn there and when Wufei, Quatre and Trowa had finally caught up with Duo, they found their long-haired friend staring into Room 187.

Puzzled at Duo' strange pause, Quatre peeked over his shoulder to get a look into the room. Was Heero in such bad condition that Duo could not look away? His aqua eyes swept the concrete room once, twice, then once more to make sure he was seeing right.

"What the..."

Duo spun at Quatre, grabbing the smaller man by his shoulders in a non-gentle grip.

"Quatre, you said he'd be here, damn it. You said HE'D BE HERE!"

The aqua eyes filled with worry gave him some comfort, but no answers. Duo could not believe this. Where was Heero? Why had they come all this way only to find an empty room? He was about to shake Quatre for answers he knew his friend didnít have when a logical thought clicked into his panic stricken mind.

This was Heero they had come to rescue. Heero, the guy who was practically indestructible; a perfect soldier in every respect. Well, shit.

Laughing imperceptibly, Duo let go of Quatre and gave him an apologetic look. Confused even more, Quatre gazed at Duo, hoping that this smile was a good sign, not a sign of loose screws in his head.

"Sorry, man. I lost it! You know me."

Trowa exchanged a look with Wufei. Yes, they knew Duo, and the Duo they knew, as reckless and emotional as he seemed, would never, ever lose his focus on a mission.

"See, this is Heero! Shit, he probably got himself out when the explosion went off! And here we are, trying to rescue an already fled man."

"Are you sure, Duo? Maybe he was-"

"Iím sure, Wufei."

The glare that accompanied the short answer was enough for Wufei to stop continuing with his grimmer lines of reasoning. This Duo who believed in Heero's abilities so completely would never be swayed to think otherwise. He almost missed the fool who had run out into the snowstorm, for he could have talked logic and sense into that Duo. But this one, the one who would not shake in his resolve, in his belief, and perhaps even in love, this Duo would never be convinced that Heero might have died already.

"Well, what are we standing around here for, eh? Letís go find Heero on the loose!"

"And where," Trowa jumped in a bit suddenly, "do you want to find him, Duo?"

"Think about it Tro. We came in from the north end, the explosion was the west end and from here, I'd say south is the closest, donít you?"

"Yes," Quatre said with understanding, "and Heero would go towards south. It would be the most logical way."

"Yeah. And Heero's nothing if not logical, right?"

Duo swiftly turned towards south and began running, not bothering to wait for them to follow. Wufei followed almost immediately after Duo, but he could have sworn that he had heard a wistful sadness in Duo's last statement.

~*~

Heero crouched, waiting for the right opportunity to get out into the corridor and immobilize the shooter. He didn't have very many options unless the shooter got closer.

"Going somewhere, pretty boy?"

The recognition was instantaneous. It was that disgusting excuse for a human being and a soldier. Morgan. Heero smiled coldly and waited for the bastard.

"You didn't think you'd get away so easy, did you? Well, now let's see...the things I can do to you when I get my hands on you."

'Just get closer, you asshole,' Heero thought, knowing that if Morgan got close enough, he'd be a dead man.

"This time, the Colonel isn't here to protect your pretty little ass."

'Don't you mean to protect you?' Heero recognized that his thoughts were running a bit like Duo's. Arrogant banter and bravado in the face of certain death.

Then Heero was staring at the barrel of a semi-automatic as Morgan leered at him from the corridor. Schooling his features to look somewhat defeated, Heero stood slowly with his hands in front of him, a perfect form of surrender. Morgan's leer got more pronounced and he actually licked his lips as he used the gun barrel to shove Heero into the wall.

"Not so tough without your Gundam, are you."

Heero ducked his head in what seemed to be submission, but he was gauging his distance from Morgan and thinking of ways to kill him and get loose. Not knowing that one of the most deadly men in space and earth was plotting his death, Morgan moved in closer and clenched his left hand around Heero's neck. The gun barrel was moved aside slightly as he moved in closer with his face.

"This will be an experience you'll never forget, pretty."

Morgan then let go his gun in favor of grabbing Heero's hip with his right hand. That was all Heero needed.

Before Morgan could even process what was happening, Heero viciously kneed him in the groin and shoved the man back with his strength. As Morgan staggered in surprise, Heero used that small moment to launch his attack. Straightening the fingers of his right hand, he stiffened them, locking the joints, and shoved all four fingers into the tender spot between Morgan's carotid artery and his trachea. His fingers broke through flesh and muscle and grasped onto Morgan's throat from the inside. Blood ran down his arm in fast rivulets, dripping on the floor at an alarming rate. Morgan went slack and his eyes held fear instead of lust.

"Oh, I won't forget this. Trust me."

Smiling in malice, Heero stared into the man's dying and panicked eyes as he wrenched his arm back. In his hand were the ruined remains of the man's throat, crushed and mangled beyond recognition. Morgan fell backwards and his body hit the floor with an audible thud. As Morgan gurgled in his own blood, Heero carelessly tossed the bloody mess in his hand away and wiped his hand on Morgan's Oz uniform. Then he took the gun Morgan had used on him and took off towards the south exit without looking back.

~*~

Four bodies skidded to a halt as they came into view of the carnage. Just a few feet before them was a man who had his throat ripped out.

"Damn. This had to be Heero alright."

Duo whistled low and circled the body, noting the missing gun and the efficient manner of the kill. It was definitely Heero.

"He must have gotten out. That means we should as well."

Nodding at Quatre, Duo quickly thought about the situation. Most likely, Heero was out and headed for Wing. Once he got to Wing, it would only be a matter of time before Heero blew the hell out of the base. After all, he didn't know that they had come to rescue him at this particular time and even if he knew... Well, who could say. But then, what if Heero hadn't gotten out as cleanly? What if he was injured and limping towards his Gundam like an open target he liked to make himself?

That made up his mind.

"Okay, you guys head back north and get to your Gundams. I'm going out this exit and tracking Heero down."

"Have you lost your fucking mind, Duo?"

Duo gave Wufei a look of 'well, yes' before he patted the Chinese man comfortingly on his shoulder.

"You know me, Wu-man. And besides, Deathscythe is parked closer to this exit than the north one like yours are. So get going. I'll be fine."

"That is not the issue Duo," Quatre said, his voice a mixed study of concern and leadership, "going by yourself is unsafe from every strategic angle. We should stick together."

"And leave Heero to his own devices? No thanks! I'm going south and you are going north."

Quatre started to argue some more, but Trowa put a hand on his shoulder and threw him a meaningful look. Duo had no idea what their silent communication was about, but in the end, Quatre relented and turned back towards north. Wufei reluctantly followed, but he looked back at Duo.

"Don't die, Duo. Or I'll come and kill you myself, Ice Popsicle."

"Aren't you the ball of fuzzy affection, Wu.. Now get going. We're running out of time."

With that, Duo left his friends to run north and he took off running towards the south exit. Heero wasn't too far ahead judging from the body he had left behind - it was still warm and had not yet been set into a stiff board by rigor mortis. And Heero wasn't as fast as he was.

"Well, Heero," Duo mumbled as he ran, "you better be fine or... or..."

Duo didn't bother finishing the thought and he concentrated on finding Heero. Now that he had gotten the guys to agree with him, he realized that he had not the faintest clue where the hell Heero might have landed with Wing. Was it even near this exit?

"Man, the holes I dig for myself for the love of that suicidal idiot..."

He was too busy running and scanning for Heero that he missed his little slip of tongue. Had he noticed it, he might have stopped fully in his tracks to reassess his sanity at saying such a thing out loud, even if no one had been around to hear it. But he ran on, oblivious to his own mistake, looking for any signs of Heero. The explosion in the west end would not keep the troops occupied for much longer and he needed to get out before that happened. Where he was now was just an open field and once the Ozzies got their shit together, it would be an open season on pilot 02. "Shit, Heero, where the hell have you gone?"

There was minimal cover out here on the south quad of the base, just open space. And towers set up for shooting random intruders. The scenario was ugly, but he had gotten into this mess so he would get out of it. By finding Heero. There was no other option.

Then he heard it. A groaning, metallic sound somewhere west of him. Duo smiled and changed directions toward it. It was Wing, he was sure. And if Wing was operational, then so was Heero. It was time to high tail it back to Deathscythe and show the Ozzies a taste of Shinigami. As he ran towards his own Gundam, Duo saw Wing stand out of the cover of trees, the magnificent Gundam looking pissed off as it rose from hiding.

"Duo... Duo... are you at Deathscythe? Did you find Heero?"

Duo heard the static laden sound and turned on his communicator to speak.

"Shit, Quat, can't you see Wing? Heero's fine! I'm three minutes out of Deathscythe if I run like hell."

A brief pause.

"Quat, how did you get to your Gundam so damned fast?"

"Duo," Wufei replied in Quatre's stead, "we ran straight here. You probably zig zagged all over the place looking for Heero."

There was an implied 'you silly idiot' somewhere in there, Duo was sure. But none of that mattered. Heero was out, the guys were safe in their Gundams and he was happy with the things as they had turned out.

"Hey, can you guys contact Heero and tell him to lay off while I get out?"

"Not a problem Duo. Just get to Deathscythe."

"Gotcha, Quat. Over and out."

Duo ran on, nearing Deathyscythe with every step. Wing stood still and Duo knew Quatre had gotten a message to Heero. Letting out a whooping laugh at the success of this rescue mission, Duo sped by the south quad towards the fencing. As soon as he was over that, Deathscythe was only a couple of miles out. Three minutes was an estimation that was really contrived on his part, but he had not wanted the guys to worry.

Then without warning, Wing moved. Duo looked behind him to see Wing, not even forty feet off, swing the saber towards a Leo that had somehow gotten to him.

"Shit, Ozzies have their shit together now..."

That thought didn't last long as Wing's beam saber cut through the hapless Leo like butter. It exploded in all the colors of the red spectrum, outshining the orange ball of flame that had began this strange rescue operation. Then without warning, a piece of the Leo came flying towards Duo at a high speed and it was all he could do to roll to one side before he was sheared in two by the metal.

Before the dust cleared, Duo was up. Then he crumpled to his knees as a sharp pain kicked him viciously in the stomach. There was a large piece of metal, perhaps two feet long and couple of inches wide, piercing him through his stomach and out his back.

Coughing up blood, Duo managed to get up to his feet anyway. He had to get to Deathscythe. He had to get out. He had to see Heero again.

"Well, if that don't beat all..."

Ignoring the searing pain, Duo pulled the metal out of his body and nearly passed out, but managed to keep his consciousness. Swaying, he took off running as fast as he could, his blood rushing around his head in loud swishes. Two miles...two miles...

Behind him, he could hear Wing go into battle and the other Gundams joining the fray.

'Keep going, Duo. Keep going...'

Ahead, he could see the faint glimmer of Deathscythe. Smiling grimly, he picked up his pace, knowing that he was losing too much blood.

"Duo, you there? Where are you?"

With a bloody hand, Duo turned on the communicator.

"Heero, man. You're fine and here we were, trying to rescue you... You are amazing, you know?"

"Never mind that," Heero said crisply through the radio line, "where are you and Deathscythe?"

"Be there soon... soon..."

A brief hesitation came through the communicator before Heero spoke.

"Are you... okay?"

Duo smiled briefly as he opened up Deathscythe and clambered in awkwardly. He sat at his chair and closed up his metal partner and started the systems. He noted absently that he was getting blood all over Deathscytheís cockpit.

"I said, are you okay?"

Heero's voice sounded nearly concerned...if not a bit worried. Well, no...Duo smiled wanly. Heero was not concerned about him. It had to be the blood loss echoing in his head.

"DUO! ARE YOU OKAY?"

"I'm... fine... Heero. Lay off... okay? I'll be there soon..."

Without waiting for Heero's reply, Duo shut off the connection and got Deathscythe to move towards the blazing Oz base.

"I'll be there soon... Heero..."

He moved the controls automatically to shear an Aries that had suddenly appeared before him.

"Be there... soon... Heero..."

Before he had even gotten fully into the base, Quatre's voice broke through the cockpit.

"We're done here. Let's go."

Sighing in relief, Duo punched in the coordinates for their safe house and let Deathscythe take over. Blood was now only a trickle from his gaping wound and did not even hurt that much.

"The shit... I get into... for you, Heero..."

Just before Duo passed out, one last image flitted before his eyes.

"Be there soon, Heero..."

on to part 7

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