Chapter 10

 

Changing Allegiance

Chapter 10


Heero burst into the room and froze, momentarily stunned.

"DUO MAXWELL! Get back in that bed this instant or I'm fetching Une in here…" Sally yelled, a hint of fear in her voice, as she tried to lever the weakly fighting pilot back into the bed. Duo was half-collapsed on the floor, IV bottles shattered behind them, and fighting the doctor for all he was worth.

Wufei pushed past the Japanese teen and rushed to Sally's side, muttering under his breath in Chinese. Heero shook off his shock and followed on his heels.

Sally bit her lip and grunted as she tried to grab hold of the injured teen without causing him *further* injury, but Duo seemed determined to get away. So determined in fact, Sally mused as she finally got hold of his right arm and dodged the swinging cast on his left, that he had to truly be serious about wanting to get away, since she knew he was in no little pain. She breathed a sigh of relief as Wufei finally pinned the cast against Duo's chest and pushed close to him. Duo sagged in momentary defeat.

"Duo! Calm down!" Heero told his lover, reaching between Sally and Wufei to gently cup Duo's face. "Shh. I'm here and nothing is going to change that. I won't leave you for her, I promise. Please, listen to Sally, let us get you back in bed?"

Duo looked up, his eyes swimming in pain. "No! I won't stay! You can't make me!" the braided teen wheezed, struggling once more.

"Duo, you're going to injure yourself worse! Calm down, or Sally will have to sedate you again!" Wufei urged, holding the boy's broken arm gingerly.

"Doctor Po, we heard-- Duo!" Treize exclaimed, rushing through the door, Une on his heels. They stopped short, quickly comprehending the situation and stayed out of the way.

"No! I'm not staying to be insulted by her! I won't be subjected to her snide comments about street rats and thieves! I won't watch her fawn and hang all over Heero! I'm leaving and you can't stop me!" Duo yelled hoarsely, managing to hit Wufei in the chin with his cast hard enough to make the pilot let go.

"Duo! Maybe she won't! We haven't seen her in months! Maybe she's changed..." Heero said, pleading with his lover. He quickly jumped in and took Wufei's place holding the cast down. He caught a look from Sally - He saw her reaching back towards the hypodermic needle behind her.

Wufei rubbed his chin, then leaned towards his trapped friend and quickly pinched the nerve in his neck. Duo collapsed into Sally's arms.

Quickly, the three of them got the boy back onto the bed and Sally started swearing as she quickly checked him over.

"Dammit! I knew this was a bad idea! He's too weak for all of this!" the blonde doctor snapped, pulling the slightly bloody bandage off his chest. "He's popped a couple of sutures. I'll have to replace them."

Treize and Une approached the bed, and Une quietly began cleaning up the broken glass from the IV.

"Maybe I should take him away," Heero sighed, "just in case she does show up and cause trouble."

"No, he needs to stay here, where I can keep treating him," Sally replied, slightly calmer. Turning to Treize, she frowned.

"I'll expect *you* to keep Relena away from them, *if* she shows up. Duo does *not* need the stress this could cause. We'll be lucky if this little episode doesn't set him back!"

Treize nodded. "May I also suggest that someone stay with Duo at all times, from now until this is resolved?" Treize turned to Heero and watched him tenderly stroke the unconscious boy's face for a moment, then continued. "Heero, *if* Miss Peacecraft does arrive, you should stay in here as much as possible. If we have to, we'll put a guard on this room to keep her out."

The Japanese teen nodded, his attention never leaving his lover's face.

Une stood up and cleared her throat. "Sally, I'll take this out and have Farley bring in another IV and the things you'll need to fix those sutures. Do you want a morphine drip again?"

"That might be--"

"No," Heero said sharply, cutting off Sally's reply. "No morphine. We'll let him wake up on his own. I'll make sure he stays quiet. I won't leave the room at all, if necessary..."

Une placed her free hand gently on his shoulder. "I understand... and I'll help you all I can. We all will." With that, she turned and walked quickly out the door.

Treize and Wufei pulled chairs next to the bed, sat down and began their own vigil, quietly offering support to the boys on the bed.

~*~

Zechs rubbed his hands on his pant legs nervously as he waited for the connection to go through. Lucretzia had given him this comm code a long time ago – it had been part of a pact between the siblings when they graduated into the Specials, so they could always reach each other. He could only imagine how she'd react…

"Oh, my God! Zechs! It's you! It's really you – you've had me so worried!" The screen cleared, and Zechs' face spread into a broad smile.

Bright blue eyes were glowing in the flushed face of the young woman smiling at him. Zechs found himself smiling back, his nervousness gone. "I'm sorry I didn't contact you earlier, Luca. It wasn't safe yet. I missed you." He reached out a hand to touch her image on the screen.

She placed her hand over his on her screen. "We've all feared the worst, but you're alive! I have to tell Father… oh, but where are you? You should come here at once, and I'll help you track Treize down…"

"Luca, please, let me speak," Zechs said. "I can't come there right now, and I have to ask you not to say a word to Father at all."

She stared at him in shock. "Zechs!"

He sighed, and his eyes fell. "Luca, I need you to listen carefully. I'm fine, and Treize is fine. No matter what you hear. He's with me, okay?

"Wufei is here with us, as well, and he's brought the rest of the pilots with him," Zechs continued after getting her nod of understanding. "I don't want Father to know because… to be honest, it could make the whole family a target. We are in active hiding, and we are going to join forces with the Gundam pilots. Romefeller has declared us all traitors."

Noin's hand flew to her lips. "They can't possibly mean it! Treize is the glue that held that organisation together…"

Zechs shook his head. "They threw him in jail, Luca. For weeks, in a cold, damp cell in Siberia," he growled, his anger evident.

Her hands clenched. "Is he okay?"

Zechs nodded. "He's fine – a bit thinner, but just fine. I'll give him your regards."

Noin gave a small smile. "How is Wufei? I bet the other pilots didn't take it well when they learned of his relationship with you…"

Zechs cringed. "They were distracted, thank God. Pilot 02 had been captured and was being held in the same prison as Treize. Unfortunately for him, he was as badly hurt as Treize was untouched."

"02? I haven't met him, I don't think…"

Zechs laughed. "You'd remember him if you had – he makes quite an impression. He is… well, to put it delicately, *involved* with Heero Yuy, who I'm sure you've met at least once."

Noin rolled her eyes. "The same Heero Relena obsesses over day and night? Oh, it won't be pretty when she figures *that* out…"

She ran her fingers up into curly, blue-black hair. "God, Zechs, Treize in jail, all of you on the run, aligning with Gundam pilots… what the hell have you gotten yourself into?"

He smiled. "I'd prefer to tell you in person, to be honest. I'm sending you a set of coordinates, encrypted. Can you meet me?"

Noin nodded. "Are you kidding? I'll be there in five minutes! Ten, if Relena catches me…"

"It might require a bit of travel, actually," Zechs joked, but he quickly became serious again. "Luca, are you sure? Meeting with us is an act of treason right now."

"Treason. Jesus, Zechs… I'll be there, I promise," she said, her expression serious. Her eyebrows went up as she read the encrypted message he sent. "I can be there in 36 hours, will that suffice?"

Zechs felt a tingle of warmth running through him – he knew he could count on her. Always. "I love you, little sister."

"Love you, too, brother," she replied, blowing a kiss into the vidscreen.

~*~

Trowa and Quatre had just left the infirmary building, when the blond groaned and clutched at his lover's arm.

"Quatre, what--"

"Duo! He's terrified and panicking... and in so much pain... what the hell has happened in there?!"

"Shut it down, Quatre," Trowa replied, rubbing on of the boy's arm through his coat. "Shut it down, take a deep breath..."

Quatre took a few breaths, sighed and turned back to the building they'd just left. "Let's go see what happened. I'm sure it's the whole Relena thing," he snapped. "Duo's told me how she acts towards him."

"I've *seen* how she acts towards him," the taller teen replied, walking down the hall towards the Duo's room. "She's very subtle about it, but she has been truly nasty to him at times. Ignoring his presence, snide and rude comments, treating him like the lowest of the low... but Duo would shake his head at me every time I'd try to defend him."

"Ah," Quatre said nodding. "That sounds like him. He wouldn't let me confront her for him, either. He said it might make things worse. Of course, that was before he knew how Heero felt about him, so who knows what else was going through his head. I'm just glad we've been without the honour of her presence for the last few months... it's given them time to--"

They stopped just inside Duo's door.

Sally and Farley were leaning over an unconscious Duo, obviously repairing the stitches in his chest. Heero was sitting on his side of the joined beds, clutching his lover's hand like a life-line. Treize and Wufei were sitting beside the foot of the bed, silently watching, worry etched on both of their faces.

Everyone's head snapped up painfully as the door opened and Quatre rushed in, closely followed by Trowa. "What happe…"

"Hush! You'll wake him!" Treize said in a low voice, standing and glaring down at the two boys.

Quatre watched as Sally tied off her careful stitching. She looked up and frowned. "We all need to talk, and we need to talk *now,* before this goes any further." She carried her tray over to the room's small sink and peeled off her gloves before she washed her hands.

The blonde doctor turned back to the silent group. "Where's Zechs?"

Wufei replied, "He went off to contact Noin, I believe."

"Maybe we should wait…"

Sally shook her head. "No - he said enough about Relena in his ranting that we might want to get this said without Zechs in audience. Now," she continued, taking a seat next to the bed, "anyone care to explain what that was all about?"

Heero held Duo's hand lightly in his own. "I know they don't like each other, but… What did he mean about snide comments? And how would she know about his past…"

Trowa shook his head. "He never said anything to you at first because he thought you liked her, but then you got together, and we haven't seen much of her since."

"What did she say to him?" Heero demanded, "*What* didn't he tell me?"

Quatre stood, drawing Heero's heavy glare away from Trowa. "From what Duo told me… Relena found out about L2. Everything, including the Church. The stealing, the street gang, everything."

"The what?" Une asked, her face white.

Heero turned to her and glared so darkly that Walker nearly stepped in front of her as a human shield. He finally relented, though, and said in a softer voice, turning his gaze back to Duo, "Duo doesn't talk about it much, but he was a street orphan on L2. Didn't remember his parents - didn't even know his birth name. The full story is his to tell you when he's ready to, but I can give you the highlights. At around age seven, most of his friends on the street were wiped out by the L2 plague. He survived it and was placed in an orphanage run by a priest called Father Maxwell. He lived there for about a year, when rebels against the Alliance took the place over. They wanted a mobile suit, and Duo asked them if they'd leave if he got them one. He was only eight years old, but he broke into the Alliance base and stole a suit. He got back to the Church and orphanage, but… in his absence, the Alliance military bombed the place and killed everyone inside. After that, he was back on the street until he was picked up to be trained."

"Dear God," Treize whispered, his face white.

Quatre walked over to Heero and put an arm around his friend's shoulders. "Relena would have taken great pains that you never see her talking down to Duo, but he has every reason to hate her. She accused him of… of…"

Une choked on her anger. "That little *bitch*! How dare she?!"

"My dear Lady…" Treize began.

Releasing Duo's hand, Heero's fists clenched at his ides. "I really *will* kill her."

Wufei grunted. "I'll help." Trowa nodded his agreement.

"Bloodshed isn't going to fix anything," Quatre snapped sternly, his arm tightening over Heero's shoulders. You don't think Duo would have offed her already, otherwise? You all know that few people ever really piss him off - they're dead by the time he's mildly annoyed with them!"

Treize's eyes glinted, nonetheless. "We're going to have to have a little *talk* when she gets here. How could she?!"

Sally shook her head. "Because she's an over-indulged little girl, that's how. Wufei, Treize - one of you explain it to Zechs as best as you can. She comes close to this room, and I'm going to give her the spanking she so richly deserves."

"She deserves more than that," Heero growled, one hand closing over Duo's braid possessively.

Quatre's grip tightened again. "Yes, she does. But she's Zechs' sister and one of the few political assets we have. You will *not* harm her."

Heero looked up at his friend. "I hate it when you're right, Winner."

The blond smiled back. "I know.

~*~

Sally tossed a few papers on her desk, leaned back in her chair, closed her eyes, and rubbed her temples. "Why now?" she muttered. "Things were going just fine. People were working together, plans were coming together, Duo was healing faster than expected... and Heero hadn't shot anyone. Now, we could be headed towards the biggest disaster since Vesuvius blew..."

"I'll admit that things could get nasty, Sally, but I doubt this base will explode, without warning, and spew lava for miles."

Sally snorted and opened her eyes, weakly grinning at Farley, standing in the doorway, a tray piled with sandwiches in his hands.

The young man set the tray on her desk and put a sandwich in her hand. "Eat," he ordered, sitting in a chair beside the desk, "and we'll figure out what to do next. I have two younger sisters, both boy-crazy, bratty, and spoiled... and I'm man enough to admit that they terrify me."

He watched as Sally nibbled on her sandwich and he continued. "I have decided that when I marry and have children, I want sons. I don't think I could handle a girl's teenage years, which, from my limited experience, are filled with screeching, pouting, fighting over boys, shopping, more screeching--"

Sally laughed and raised her hand. "Stop, please, I get the idea!"

Farley grinned and pressed another sandwich into her hand. "Good. Now, as for our own 'possible problem in the making'-- I say *possible* because we don't *know* she's coming-- I'd go with spanking, but I doubt Marquise would let us get away with it. The other option is deny her access to the base, but from what I heard, we may need her. So, the best option is a guard on the door at all times. One who won't be impressed by who she is, won't fall for the sweet, little girl act, won't be bullied, and who won't hesitate to pick her up, bodily, and toss her out of the infirmary building. Luckily, there's no room for her to stay in here, so she'll have to billet in a private tent, or one of the women's barracks, the latter being my choice. They might teach her something," he added, a slightly relieved expression on his face. "Anyway, I happen to know of at least six people that fit those criteria, and more, and who wouldn't mind a break from their duty to pull a few guard shifts..." A slightly evil grin crossed his features, looking decidedly out of place on his normally open and cheerful face.

Sally raised an eyebrow and grinned back. "My dear Jason, who do you have in mind?" she asked with exaggerated sweetness.

"Mechanics Ines Santiago, and Radoslow Dabrowski, gunner Shani Murungi, and marines Cole Gillen, Nico Santelli and Joe Takano," Farley rattled off. "I-- uh-- already took the liberty of mentioning it to them. Ines and Cole are already looking forward to their shifts, hoping she'll try something on them..." he added, sheepishly.

Sally was quiet a moment, then burst into laughter. "My god, Farley! They'll terrorise her! I couldn't have chosen better. I can just see Gillen tossing her into the snow on her ass!" Her laughter subsided and she looked sharply at her assistant.

"Jason... why the change? Up until three weeks ago you were a model assistant... quiet, unassuming, and quick to follow orders. Suddenly, you're taking the initiative, anticipating our needs, and getting things done before I have a chance to ask you to."

Farley shrugged. "In the Alliance, I wasn't exactly a senior staff member, and before Marquise and Lady Une arrived, you didn't need me to. With the recent upheavals, you've got more than you can handle. Somebody needed to step up and lend a hand, so I did." He stood up and walked to the door. "I'll go set things up with our new bodyguards, if you don't need me for anything else."

He nodded to her and started out the door when Sally spoke up. "Jason, thank you. I don't know what I'd do without you, you know."

Her assistant grinned at her over his shoulder. "Don't worry about it. I'm not going anywhere. Now, finish your dinner."

~*~

Wufei gave Treize a nod of reassurance as he closed the door to their quarters that evening. The taller man smiled slightly as he nodded back, his eyes immediately gravitating to the tall blond third in their relationship.

Dinner had been a quiet affair without Duo's lively conversation and wry wit, but it hadn't been the only reason both Wufei and Treize had been silent. They had both been dreading the talk they knew they couldn't put off any longer. Treize dropped his overshirt on the bed as he walked to Zechs' side and put a hand on his shoulder. "Zechs? We need to talk to you about something, love."

Ice blue eyes turned to meet Treize's warily. "Treize?"

The former General almost flinched under that stare. "It's about your sister, Relena."

Zechs sighed, running one hand through his bangs as he stepped back from the intimacy of Treize's touch. "If this has anything to do with…"

"Yes, it has to do with Duo, and you need to hear us out before you get defensive about it. Please?" Wufei interrupted, coming up on the blond's other side.

Treize smiled a little as he felt a hand on his lower back. One could not ask for a more supportive lover than Wufei.

Zechs looked back and forth between them. "Look, I understand that she's gone out of her way to be rude to him. I'll talk to her when she gets here about it."

Treize shook his head as he steered both his lovers towards the bed. "I don't think that will be enough, Zechs. We are going to have to insist that she stay away from both Duo and Heero completely until they are ready to deal with her. It would be better for all parties."

Fire sparked in the icy depths of Zechs' eyes. "Relena is my *sister* and a princess! Rudeness does not mean…"

"What she did to him was beyond rude, Zechs," Wufei replied, his voice hard and determined. Looking at the Chinese teen, Zechs was taken aback by the anger he saw in Wufei's dark eyes, anger that was not directed at him, he could tell. "She did everything in her power to humiliate and belittle him, up to and including digging up what secrets of his past he chooses to keep and twisting them around before throwing them in his face."

Wufei quickly filled Zechs in on Duo's background, not allowing the sympathy he felt for his tall lover to show in either his voice or his face. As much as he loved Zechs, Duo was a friend and a brother, and he had to do this out of respect for both of them.

Zechs shook his head as Wufei finished speaking. "She was a jealous, lovesick girl, Dragon. We are all soldiers; I think we can let a little bit of name-calling be."

Wufei frowned sharply. "She accused him of sentencing a church full of people he loved to death, Zechs. She told all her friends about how he'd live on the street, making sure none of them would ever talk to him. Worst of all, she called him a *whore* and accused him of selling himself! Do you know how hard it must have been for him to survive the L2 ghettos *without* doing that?! Have you ever been there?"

Zechs unconsciously pulled away from his younger lover's fierce outburst. "She… I don't want to believe Relena did that. To consciously hurt someone for no other reason…"

"Rude *and* homophobic, it would seem," Treize remarked, "This trip will be a rude awakening for her."

Zechs shot the ginger-haired young man a look. "She might not come, still. She might use a bit of sense."

Wufei shook his head. "Not if she knows Heero is here, I guarantee it. To her credit…" He took a deep breath. "She has never been anything but polite and cordial to the rest of us, and she seemed to accept Quatre and Trowa's relationship quite easily. Her… sensibilities only seem to change where they involve Heero Yuy. She perceives Duo as a threat."

From Zechs' other side, Treize added, "You weren't there this morning, love. Duo attempted to run away, in his condition, rather than stay and face her scorn, ridicule and verbal abuse. He could have killed himself. I think you know enough about all the pilots by now to know they don't run away. Ever. Heero couldn't even calm him. As it was, Wufei had to knock him out, and Sally had to repair some sutures he tore open. Are you willing to take a chance with Duo's life, that your sister won't come? He *will* try to run again, and between his injuries and the weather here, he will be dead in very short order."

Zechs sat back in surprise. He'd seen the bruises on the braided teen's body; he knew the boy was tough. And that a few choice words spoken in contempt could reduce such a strong person to running away… He was overcome with shame, both for himself and his sister as he finally looked Treize in the eyes and shook his head. "No, I'm not ready to take that chance. I will help to keep her away, but… Treize, I need you to talk to her, please? I don't think I'll be able to say what needs to be said."

Treize pulled his lover into a hug, stroking his long, loose hair. "Of course, of course."

~*~

Heero woke slowly the next morning, nuzzling against something warm and soft. He opened his eyes and let a small smile grace his face as he gently ran his fingertips along Duo's unbandaged arm. The braided teen was snuggled close against him, face completely relaxed as he slept.

The small smile slid to a frown - Heero knew how sensitive his lover was about his past. In sixteen years, Duo Maxwell had seen and experienced more than most people who lived to be 100. He knew that more demons lurked behind Duo's grin than anyone else would be able to comprehend.

**I should have known - no, I should have *asked.* I could see something was wrong, but I didn't say a word. I figured he'd let me know if it was something bad. I never thought…**

Heero closed his eyes and fought down the urge to scream or break something. Duo was not proud of what he'd done to live, and anyone who knew him knew that. Relena'd thrown it all in his face and *then* some, and Duo hadn't said a thing to him. The Japanese teen couldn't help feeling a little hurt by that.

He brushed Duo's bangs back from his face to see the sleeping teen better. Yet another thing Duo had endured for *his* sake. As hurt as *he* might feel, Heero knew in his heart that Duo had gone through much worse. "Duo, I don't deserve *that*…"

He froze, though, as he heard yelling coming from outside the building, accompanied by the sounds of people rushing through the snowy camp, and behind all that…

Heero cursed. Jet engines! He jumped from bed and began searching for his clothes -

"H'ro? What's… oh, god! D'you think they might have found us?!" Duo's disoriented confusion faded into something that sounded suspiciously like fear, and Heero understood. Given his injuries, Duo was completely helpless, and he knew it.

He snatched up his holster and strapped on his gun before turning back to the bed and pulling Duo forward for a deep, searing kiss. "I have to go, but I'll be back, I promise."

Before Duo could respond, Heero was gone out the door and sprinting down the hallway.

Duo stared at the open door, his jaw flapping open. But he collected himself and grabbed one-handed for his laptop on a nearby table. He had no idea what was going on, but he was going to find out!

~*~

Howard cursed and clenched his fists in an effort to keep from slamming them into the console. He had a squadron of Leo's ready to attack him the second he uncloaked, and whoever the moron was in the command tower didn't seem to know he was coming… "Damn it! I almost *wish* I had someone on board who could handle a Gundam, just to scare the living shit outta…"

A single Leo came in at high velocity, and Howard tightened his grip on the controls of his plane. This pilot seemed to know something about stealth technology - you could tell by his approach pattern. He froze in shock, though, as the suit stopped not far away and raised its cannon at him calmly. "Identify or prepare to engage."

He breathed a sigh of relief - "Sweepers main to 01, over. Heero, thank God for you, boy!"

"Howard? Hold on your course - I need to contact the tower," Heero replied quickly. Howard was surprised at the relief he heard in the normally stoic teen's voice, but he nodded and thumbed the comm. controls again.

"Roger that."

~*~

Duo heard footsteps pounding down the hallway and his fingers froze over the keyboard.

He breathed a sigh of relief a minute later, when Farley rushed into his room followed by two people, both heavily armed with semi-automatic rifles.

"Hey Duo, it's okay! We've got some unidentified visitors overhead, so Santiago and Dabrowski are going to stay with you until we find out their status. If they're not friendlies, Rad, here," he said, too cheerfully, nodding at the big, burly man, chewing an unlit cigar next to him, "will carry your scrawny butt to safety. Ines will cover you both." He patted the woman on the shoulder, earning himself a glare and headed out of the room, calling back, "I'll let you know as soon as we know something. Heero's in a Leo, ready to confront our UFO, as are Barton and Chang, and Quatre is at the control tower. It'll be okay, I'm sure!" and he closed the door behind him.

Duo blinked and stared at the two people left to guard him, sizing them up.

The woman, 'Ines', was average height, with short, dark curly hair, and looked to be about 30 years old. She held the rifle in a confident one-handed grip, but had grease under her nails, and the muscles in her arms, under rolled up, grease-stained sleeves, rippled with her movements.

The man, 'Rad', looked like a pre-colony, stereotypical, American Marine drill sergeant, from a World War II movie. He was tall and burly, with greying hair in a crew cut. He dropped a coat and duffle bag to the floor and moved to the window, scanning the surrounding area.

Ines dropped her coat on a chair and walked to the bedside.

"Well, kiddo," she said dryly, "Farley's introduction left a bit to be desired. Ines Santiago and Radoslow Dabrowski, at your service-"

"But you can call me Rad," the other said, his voice deep and gravelly. "We're members of your unofficial-official body guard unit."

The braided teen looked back and forth between them, confusion evident on his face. "B-body guard unit?"

"Sure kiddo," Ines replied. "You didn't think that Po, or anyone else in charge on this base, was going to leave you defenceless, did you? Hell, Maxwell, we'll even protect you from the friendlies."

"Damn straight," Rad continued. "Farley asked us six mean sons-- er-- and daughters of bitches to do bodyguard duty for one slightly damaged Gundam pilot, in the event that a certain undesirable menace descends on this base, intent on wreaking havoc and mayhem..."

"Christ on a crutch, Rad, your mouth runs on," she snapped, glaring at her fellow mechanic. Turning back to Duo, she gave him a lopsided smile. "I'm sure Po or Mr. Yuy would prefer to tell you themselves, but, we're the contingency plan in case some girl shows up. Our job is to keep this person out. No ifs, ands or buts."

"And we will!" Rad said, smirking. "Hell, I'm looking forward to watching Ines toss some spoiled brat out the door into a snowbank. Haven't had that much fun since Singapore in 188--"

The radio on the woman's hip crackled to life and Farley's voice came in loud and clear.

"I don't know who it is, but it *is* friendlies. Ines, Rad, you can stand down, for now. Oh, and tell Duo that Heero will be in shortly."

Rad laid his rifle in a chair and leaned back against the wall, arms crossed over his chest. "We'll just stay here until your Mr. Yuy gets back, I think. Our visitors may be friendly, but not *that* friendly, if you get my drift..."

Duo sighed and closed his eyes, the stress of the last 24 hours pushing him back into a light sleep.

On to Chapter 11

Back to Preventers' HQ

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