Warnings for this part: Violence, bloodshed, violence… Bloodshed and massacres, does it count? oops, I already put it…
Hints of Shounen Ai? 2+1, 1+2 (Although Duo DOES admire Heero's physique… hmm. And Heero does show protectiveness… not sure if it counts ^__^; )
Some could wonder when, exactly, the so well-planned and well-executed mission had decided to blow the hell up in their faces. Relatively speaking. Although, well, not so relatively. Just a soldier not really conscientious who had decided to abandon his post to drop in clandestinely to say hello to the young secretary who worked… had worked in the computer room… and Heero and Duo had been spotted. The man had had the time to call on his walkie-talkies when he fell dead at the braided American's feet, a knife in his throat.
The two terrorists glanced at each other … then without adding a word, the Japanese dashed off in a direction and the American in another, trying to confuse their pursuers. And they ran in the base for a long time, searching for a way out of the corridors suddenly full of soldiers.
* * * * * *
Duo had succeeded in getting out of the building itself, but he was seriously doubting that it would be of help for him. There were too many soldiers… It was night already outside. A second, he glanced at the moon. In general, he liked her… but here… She was shining on him, preventing him from hiding in the protective shadows, full. Threatening.
He only passed the corner to regret it bitterly. He hadn't finished to grasp that there were a half-dozen soldiers on the other side that the stick of a rifle met with his jaw. His skull run up with the wall and he slowly glided on the ground, letting a red smear on the bricks, wondering distractedly when this funny veil had fallen on his eyes.
He didn't react when one of the soldiers approached him and pushed him with the barrel.
"Is he dead?"
"Nope, still breathing. … That a girl? … oh, no, it's not."
Oh yeah, it was true, he was still breathing... It was more an automatism than any other thing, he thought distractedly. Strange, he wasn't even pissed off for having been mistaken for a girl again.
"What do we do of him? We finish him off?"
"Dunno, perhaps our superior officers would be happy to have him alive..."
One of them bent over him and pulled his head up, examining his face. Duo didn't react, feeling totally detached from what was happening.
"I'm dreaming... A kid like that doing that much damage?! I don't believe it... He's not even sixteen! And that's a shitty kid like him who caused us that much problems? The hangar you blew up, I had a friend in it, you fucking bastard!"
The angry voice of the guy suggested Duo wouldn't have to wait long to have problems... The thing was, his brain seemed to be more or less disconnected from his body. He knew, distractedly, somewhere, that he should have tried to get the hell away, but he couldn't move one muscle, prisoner of this dark veil keeping him in it's nets. He wondered if he had a concussion.
The soldier lifted a foot high, aiming at his ribs.
'ouchie…' the pilot thought from far away, knowing abstractedly that it wasn't good for him.
A warm and gluing liquid resembling strongly blood splashed on his face, then a heavy thing slowly collapsed on him. With effort, Duo succeeded in opening an eyelid and considered pensively the hole the man on him had between his eyes. With a small delay, he recognized the familiar sound of a gun shooting.
"Duo" Heero called in a monotone.
His voice was strangely a little bit rougher and louder than normal. He was taking down his opponents with method, one after the other, before these perfect sitting ducks had the time to think about shielding themselves behind something.
"Mmm..." DeathScythe's pilot moaned, trying to lift his head.
"Are you all right?" the brown-haired one inquired in an indifferent tone of voice, reloading his weapon.
"Nuh-huh ... but it's nice of you... to ask", the braided pilot answered back, panting, trying to straighten out... and failing miserably.
/badly injured/ Heero measured him with one glance and put one of his comrade's arms around his own shoulder before catching him by the waist. Duo felt his legs give out under him and hardly succeeded in tightening his arm as not to fall.
"A blow... On the head... hurts..."
"You'll be alright."
Duo wasn't even surprised that his comrade would try to reassure him; he hurt too much for that. But he promised himself to think about marveling at it as soon as he felt better.
Heero half dragged, half carried his comrade on ten meters before stopping dead in his tracks. / Echoes of steps… smells… sweat and metal, and black powder…/
"Incoming", he let drop.
Duo was only too glad to believe him, for the moment he had to have his hearing compromised because of the shock. If Wing's pilot said that, it was true… even if himself didn't hear a thing.
Heero glanced right and left, searching for a place to hide between the buildings. But the only thing there was, was a small ornament bush … Just enough to hide only one of them.
Duo readied himself to tell him to let him in the middle of the path. After all he was injured, seriously so, and only constituted a burden for the other pilot; If he let him, Heero would have a chance to use him as a decoy, but if he persisted in dragging him all around the base, they would both be caught … maybe worse. He knew that Heero, as the better soldier amongst them, cold, calculating and all that stuff, had probably already envisioned this possibility, and he wanted to make him understand that he wouldn't keep a grudge against him… Even if the Asian teen certainly worried about his feelings and the valor of his sacrifice like he worried about his first ever pair of socks.
But before he could say something, Heero put Duo behind the bush with a frozen stare, daring him to talk, and took a position in the very middle of the path.
Stupefied, he obeyed this particular order for the first time in his life.
No, Yuy didn't intend to attract everyone's attention on him to give him a chance… or did he?
* * *
He shot and dodged, dived, ran, and shot, and shot again, hitting his target each time with a cold precision; his effectiveness by no means affected by the fact that they were a dozen all around him and he had only six bullets left … Five… A bullet grazed his thigh and he lost his equilibrium for a second. Injured? No, just a scratch. Three bullets… Crap, missed. Retreat?
/Protect Duo. /
Here it was, no bullets left anymore. He used his now useless gun as a club to knock out a soldier who had just jumped at him, registering with a professional satisfaction the crack of his skull, then threw it at another soldier who was aiming at him, hitting him on the forehead. The man slowly fell backward, blood oozing from his head.
Heero was disarmed.
And still three soldiers to defeat. Three armed soldiers. He tried jumping on a side. A bullet caught his thigh, nearly at the same location as the first one, this one piercing entirely the skin and flesh. He hit the wall behind with violence, his head bounced against the bricks, and then he slowly slipped down, briefly dazed.
The three soldiers approached him and one of them caught him by his tanktop and lifted him off the ground. He felt slightly dizzy, and strong as he was, there was no way he could kick hard enough with his feet off the ground, especially against such a large man. Trapped.
"So, kid, you're less proud now, eh?"
Uncontrollable, the rage rose from the corner he had tried to lock it in and grabbed him whole. He would not let these pitiful goons get the better of him! They would see!! He didn't give up, against anyone!!
/I'll kill them all/
'I can't, I don't have any weapon left!' tried to answer the reasonable part of him.
"You're friends with the little fag, aren't you? Dunno where you hid him, but in his state he's not bound to be far from here… Still, you're in better shape than him, I think our superior officers will do nicely with only one of you… They won't have a grudge against us if the other does not survive his arrest… He was nearly dead anyway."
He jerked, and his fists tightened. This man was threatening one of his /packmates/ teammates…
/nobody touches Duo/
/I'll kill them all/
'but I don't have a weapon…'
Heero opened an eye slowly and drove his cold cobalt stare in the man's pupils
/I don't NEED a weapon… I AM a weapon/
Two seconds later, one of the two other soldiers was still wondering where all these red splashes were coming from, while the other, probably a newbie, puked his guts out, shocked by the spectacle of his comrade's head falling farther than it should have been normal, a large red and damp smile crossing his throat.
Heero freed himself from the lax hand of the soldier with the cut throat, and lashed out with an inhuman speed toward the second one's eyes. In the same flexible movement, he threw a well-placed kick at the throwing up soldier, crushing his windpipe. He finished the now blind soldier, snapping his neck, then stayed unmoving for a few seconds, breathing deeply the strong smell of fresh, bloody death.
* * *
Duo straightened up as well as he could, gripped a branch to push himself up, and finally succeeded in glancing through the foliage. In a matter of seconds, the face-to-face was finished. Heero had shot most of the guards. With horror, he had seen him disarmed in front of the last three guys … And then a blood spray, a few strikes, and all was finished.
The braided pilot let loose a relieved sigh and slowly fell back on the ground. Heero was far from bad with hand to hand combat, even if it wasn't his grounds of predilection … Bah, maybe he didn't manage as perfectly with a knife as with a gun, but it was still more than enough, there was only to see how he had gotten rid of the one holding him…
Duo froze, his too-slow brain catching up with his observations.
Heero didn't have any knife. Not only were his hands empty, but Duo remembered clearly that in the weapons the Japanese had packed on him this morning there wasn't any bladed weapon. Anyway, where would he have hidden a knife on him, clothed as he was? He hardly had the place under his tanktop for the holster where he put his gun.
So, with WHAT had he cut the guy's throat?
…He wasn't sure he really wanted to know.
Especially when it looked more torn out than properly cut.
* * *
Heero stayed unmoving for a few seconds between the corpses of the fallen soldiers, his left hand squeezing the wrist of the hand who had hit the man. All of his forearm pulsed violently with waves of dark suffering. It hurt… especially the fingers. They felt like if bamboo splints were pushed under his nails, through his entire hand. He wrestled against the pain, making it recede step by step until it disappeared, then turned around toward the comrade he had so fiercely fought for.
If Duo had been shot by a lost bullet, Heero didn't know what he would do. Probably find a way to resuscitate those bastards to be able to kill them again, in a meaner way.
* * *
Duo couldn't wonder about the weapons question for a longer time. Heero was coming back. He extirpated him from the bush and got back to dragging him toward the fence.
He had blood up to his elbow, small bits of a darker red under his nails. And his eyes weren't these lakes empty of all feelings… Something was becoming to show at the bottom of the blue irises of Wing's pilot. An emotion… And Duo, who had prayed so much to see that, discovered that in fact, he didn't like it that much. In fact … it kinda scared him.
"Heero… you ok? You seem…"
But what was it really with the pilot? he didn't seem to be able to recognize the emotion he was giving off.
"I feel really ok, Duo" Heero answered, glancing at him, but his glance dived to the bottom of his soul.
Heero was slightly smirking, apparently without even be aware that he was doing so. But it wasn't friendly. It wasn't either this little disdain-filled half-smirk that so unnerved the other pilot.
There was anger in his eyes, and rage … And first and foremost a wildness barely repressed.
Duo thought a moment that he could see himself in his eyes, and he understood. It was the same nearly hallucinated psychotic stare he had himself when Shinigami was set free to rampage on the battlefield…
The braided pilot shivered, suddenly more afraid of his comrade than of OZ.
"I should ask you that question", Heero added.
"Oh? It wasn't me that got shot in the thigh …"
Heero stared strangely at him and lowered his eyes on his injured thigh. The spandex shorts were torn, drenched with blood.
But there wasn't any injury behind. Only a dried blood smear, and a scab ready to fall.
Duo knew that his comrade healed fast, but to this extend…
As Heero was dragging him toward the base's fence, Duo shivered once again, unable to control it.
* * *
A hour after, night had fallen entirely. They had succeeded in hiding inside the forest circling the military base, Duo still half dragged by Heero, and were on the road to their checkpoint, when the Japanese froze so suddenly the American nearly fell nose first in the fallen leaves.
Heero looked up and glanced right and left, nose high in the air, as if he was trying to smell something… and after his behavior these last days it wouldn't have surprised the other pilot so much, even if he had still been in a state where he could be surprised.
For the second time this day, he hurled Duo in the nearer bushes.
"Duo, you get the hell away. I'll stop them and rejoin you."
Duo forced the few neurons still functioning he had to find the thing that was bothering him about that.
"But you don't have any bullets left…"
The American followed the peremptory order like he could, dragging his tired body between the tangled branches, stumbling nearly once for each meter, his hair catching in the trees. Heero had ordered him to leave. He would. If he wanted to live.
* * *
He was already far enough when he realized he hadn't heard anything betraying the soldiers' presence, apart from the ruckus resounding just now in the woods. Anguished screams.
…Then suffering cries…
…Then agonized moans…
…Then nothing at all. Only a few whimpers which went out fast.
Duo began to shake, because of the cold and of the shock nearly as much as from his fear for his friend. Heero couldn't have been the source of all these deaths … He didn't have any explosives left and Duo hadn't heard an explosion; Heero didn't have any weapons, therefore was not able to kill that much that fast; and the noises he had heard weren't what people killed by hand sounded like. He had recognized a few times the distinct gurgling sound characteristic of an open belly emptying itself of its guts. Whatever it was that had killed them, he hoped Heero had escaped… Because, to be able to massacre in this way a dozen trained soldiers …
And he hoped it wasn't coming his way…
He hears a rustling of leaves behind him and turned around, wobbling on his feeble legs.
"Heero, are you…"
The scared soldier running away from the horrible death his comrades had met seemed as surprised to see him as Duo was to discover a stranger instead of his friend. By reflex, he turned his rifle on the Deathscythe's pilot, who had just fallen on his ass when he had attempted to scram back, and put his finger on the trigger.
The savage snarl took them both by surprise. The terrified soldier whirled around, only to receive in the chest a hundred and sixty pounds of muscles, dark fur, and sharp claws and fangs. A bullet grazed the wolf's shoulder, but it didn't even seem to realize it, and continued with ardor to rip the soldier's throat open, shaking him like a dog would a piece of paper, showering itself, it and the leaves around on the ground, in a thick, red liquid.
Duo placated himself against a trunk and forced himself to stay as unmoving as he could, hoping that the beast would not gain interest in him and continue to play with the ragged remains of the soldier. He heard himself whine when he wondered if it had inflicted the same treatment to Heero… The one it would inflict to HIM…
…And then the brown-furred wolf lifted its head toward him, licking its crimson-tinted muzzle, and plunged in his own its cold dark blue irises, nearly midnight blue.
* * *
He hadn't even tried to hide himself when he was waiting for them in the clearing. The animal rage invading him didn't let him the place for rational thoughts and precautions. He felt as if he was full of pent-up energy waves, half adrenaline and half fury against those impudent fools who dared to believe they were the hunter, who dared to hunt him and his packmate. He only knew one thing, as he was readying himself for the battle, groaning in anticipation. The fool wasn't him. He was certainly not a prey.
He had never felt so good.
They had erupted in the clearing, guns in hand, ready to shoot at him at the slightest movement. Screaming things he was not able to understand anymore.
The world had slowed.
And he hadn't heard anything other than the blood beating in his temples, violently, and hadn't felt anything else than an atrocious pain, enveloping, like an explosion of suffering that seemed to want to evade from under his skin.
It had been as if, one after the other, every single bone in his body had broken in tiny, sharp shards, every single muscle methodically torn fiber after fiber. He had heard his nerves and tendons squeak under his skin as they rolled to change places, his vertebrae crack loudly, his teeth creak against his jaws, his organs slide in other places in a revolting, wet noise.
Then, thirty seconds or a century after, his perception of the world outside of the world of pain his body had become had come back. But changed.
A second, as the soldiers who had stared at him convulsing in an impossible way on the ground were still frozen, unable to detach their eyes from what he had become, he had smirked at them; before rushing forward.
Yes, wolves can smirk. Humans call that baring the fangs.
* * * * * *
The wolf stalked toward the young unmoving boy, head lowered, undecided. This one hadn't tried to attack him and wasn't running away, he didn't quite know what to do with him. And there was another thing that stopped him. A memory, cloudy…
/known scent… good scent…/ it evoked him/ Familiarity-camaraderie-comfort…/like/… the Pack/
He knew him. He knew that he knew him, one way or another.
The exact memory of what he was and who he was came back the instant he plunged his eyes in the ones of the other pilot, these blue-mauve irises so familiar.
' Odin Lowe…"always live by your emotions"… An old man, eyes of metal, staring at him: "from now on, you'll be called Heero Yuy", Gundam Wing, the other pilots …Trowa, Quatre, Wufei…'
He was not an animal. He was a man. A soldier. A terrorist. And the boy…
'this braided menace… "ore no namae wa Duo Maxwell desu! Yoroshiku!…'"
The wolf answered at once.
The werewolf caught the white collar of the American's jacket and dragged him on a few meters, before he understood that he could hurt him if he was too forceful that way. Gripping the cloth a little lower as to not strangle him, he lifted the boy off the ground, trying not to let his dangling legs catch in the branches and roots, transporting him like a real wolf would have done with a pup, until he found a bush he liked. He just let his load drop on the grass and began to dig a depression under the leaves, a hiding place where they would be invisible from outside. The earth was damp, and he didn't care, his fur being quite thick, but his companion would be soaked to the bone. He scratched at the ground, till enough dry leaves and grass blades cushioned the hollow. Once finished, he caught the unmoving, frightened boy again and carefully deposed him inside.
Duo snuggled in the hole where the wolf had put him and stared at him with immense eyes, still as unable to believe it as when he had first understood. The brown-haired beast gave him a totally empty stare and sat down beside him. While he was doing so, Duo's eyes were caught by the little white tufts of hairs lost in the dark fur, disposed in a kind of semicircle on his muscled shoulder, the traces betraying a scar deep enough to destroy the skin's pigment.
The traces identical to the scar on Heero's shoulder.
Duo shrugged and fell asleep, too deep-bone tired to still care.
The cobalt-eyed wolf observed him shiver in his sleep for a few minutes, impenetrable, then laid down beside him, hiding his muzzle in his thick fur before falling asleep, too, confidant in his extremely developed senses to warn him of eventual danger.
The boy turned around toward his warmth and snuggled against his furry side, without even waking up.
* * * * * *
The morning after, when a ray of sun woke Duo up, it took him some time to understand what was the first and only thing he had in his sight : a great expand of smooth and bronzed skin. He had to slightly move his head back to realize that this skin was the one covering the naked and muscled chest against which he had slept.
Suddenly scarlet, he freed himself as slowly as he could and with infinite precaution from the arm weighting on his shoulders, and unclenched lightly his hold on the neck of … as he was more or less expecting it, Heero Yuy, deeply asleep and (stupidly, as he didn't expect at all) entirely buck naked. For long seconds, Duo let his incredulous eyes wander on the slim and muscled shape stretched out beside him, noting the cicatrices in a semicircle on his shoulder and the brown and tousled hair. Other older scars were spread everywhere, some an intense pink, most of it thin and white, but of all the more recent wounds, the ones he had harvested after the bite, not a trace.
Duo blushed as his eyes, guided by a long and white scar on the sleeper's belly, were travelling toward a precise part of his comrade's anatomy, and carefully redirected his look toward his face.
He was … handsome… relaxed, calm… nearly pacific.
Until the moment when, slowly, eyelids bordered by thick and dark eyelashes opened on frozen blue eyes.
"Err… Hum… Err… H-hello?"
Empty eyes. Duo couldn't stop himself from saying a thing he regretted the second it got out.
"Honey, I swear, I didn't take advantage of you."
Cold glare. Heero disengaged himself from the arms Duo, to his great confusion, still had around his neck, and got up, looking around, all his senses wide open.
Duo turned purple-violet-I-walked-on-my-head-for-three-hours and swiftly looked elsewhere, as not to stare at his comrade's ass, parading just at his eye level. Heero stared at him funny, dubiously, as if he knew what he was thinking, and Duo blushed, all ready to believe that on top of being a Were, he was also telepathic.
"I am not a telepath."
"Your scent changes with your state of mind."
"Really? Aaaaaaah… I understand all, now", Duo, who in fact understood nothing at all, declared with a big nervous smile, hoping to distract the attention from him.
Heero turned toward him, a hand on his hip.
"Pheromones. If you're better, get up."
Duo grimaced. He hadn't changed that much finally … Becoming a werewolf had not had any…
The enormity of all that had happened in the night suddenly hit him and he lost consciousness.
Heero shrugged and let him there to find his holster and borrow a few clothes to the soldiers he had killed the day before. Even if personally he wouldn't have been bothered by going around in the buff, he didn't care to attract unwanted attention; he cared even less about leaving without the disk they had grabbed yesterday. Would have been so uncool to do all that for nothing at all.
[Knocking on Death's door…][Morsure]