Chapter Eleven
by Apollymi

Series: Gundam Wing, Sailormoon
Genre: Crossover, Romance, Supernatural
Main Pairing: Duo/Usagi/Heero
Word Count:: 6,398
Disclaimers: I own nothing but the idea.

For someone who had been trying to get out the door as hard as Heero had been a few hours before, it had certainly taken him a while to do so now, Duo thought reflectively. Of course, he had been nearly as red as anything Duo had ever had seen when he went, but he had indeed still headed out to get a bit of research in before they headed out tomorrow morning.

Personally, he didn't see the big deal about doing this particular bit of research with Usagi around, but Heero had always been a bit secretive and possessive with his laptop. It had taken Duo years of knowing the man to be able to touch the thing, much less operate it. When they had first met, years ago, Heero had occasionally even demanded that Duo leave the room before he would even go online to check for missions. The longer they had worked together, the more that had changed, but it was still a very slow process.

Earning Heero's trust was not an overnight kind of thing, which probably made Usagi all the more rare than even she was aware of. He had long ago resigned himself to being nothing more than a good friend to Heero. He would have called the Japanese man his best friend, but he wasn't sure that Heero would have thought the same way about him. If he got to spend the rest of his life with Heero around, he would take that any way he could, including and especially as his close friend and confidante.

He was sure that he knew more about Heero than most anyone else in the entirety of the World Sphere. There was a lot he didn't know, but again, he would take what he could get. He certainly wouldn't have imagined that he would get to ever experience this kind of intimacy with him in this lifetime, if Usagi hadn't pushed the issue with Heero, both today and a few nights ago. All his words had never shaken Heero as much as hers had, about the Heero they saw being different from the Heero he saw in the mirror. Truer words had never been spoken, and it seemed to get through to the other man.

And today... Today had been a day of surprises, all of them good so far. He could definitely live with this change in the relationship the three of them were beginning to share. What a shock this had to have been for Heero, though. It was sort of like from famine to feast: no relationships like this at all to having two lovers at once.

It was certainly a bit of a culture shock for him, and he had a bit more experience in sex than Heero had ever had, at least that he knew of. Usagi? There was no way of knowing. She had been with someone else before, but if she remembered who that was, she hadn't said anything yet.

"You're thinking about something awfully hard over there, Duo." She lay next to him on her stomach, propped up on her forearms. Her hair had dried while they were otherwise occupied and was well on its way to being a huge mess. Her lips were kiss-swollen, and there were red marks everywhere he could see with the sheet in the way from where he and Heero had lingered. She looked gorgeous right now, as far as he was concerned. And realistically, he knew he appeared about the same right now. They had all taken their time in this initial exploration. And it had been wonderful. "You're not having second thoughts, are you?"

"And here I thought we were going to have to do this with Heero, not you, Usagi," he returned.

"Nah," she returned. "I'm good with this. As long as you and Heero are both happy too, I'm very good with all of this. So, are you good with this?"

He gave it a moment or two's thought, and then he nodded. "I'm definitely good with this. I guess I'm just gathering wool."

She nodded slowly and thoughtfully. It seemed like she believed him at least. He had not yet had a chance to tell her a small truth about himself: he ran, he hid, but he would never tell a lie. It had been his motto during the war, but he still lived it. It was his mantra. It was hard as hell some days, but it kept him going.

"So I guess Heero took off to get his research done?" He nodded. "Does he does this often?"

He shrugged. "I... He's protective of that damn laptop. Took me years to get to use the thing, myself. Don't be insulted because of how he is with it."

"Okay." She grinned suddenly, and it was amazing how it could brighten the room, even when it was already pretty damn bright. "As long as he isn't cheating on us with it."

A laugh slipped out of him, completely unexpectedly. Once he started, it was hard to stop. "The unspoken fourth here?" he returned with a wink.

"Oh, definitely. A lesser woman might be inclined to declare the thing her rival, though, you know."

"Believe me: I've thought of it as a rival for years. You have no idea how many times I've thought about dropping it off a bridge. Or a building. Or eject it from a ship in re-entry."

"You've given this some thought." He shrugged. There was no denying that fact, just like there was no denying how he had felt about it over the years. "I'm sure, between the two of us, we can come up with something to get and keep his attention on us."

Now that was a thought he was going to enjoy at length sooner or later. Still... "We'll have to be careful not to overwhelm him, Usagi. This is all pretty new for him."

"It's pretty new for all of us."

"Newer for Heero," he persisted.

She nodded. "I'm not disagreeing. And I want what's best for Heero, the same as you, Duo. Please don't think otherwise." She sighed and frowned, rolling over onto her back to stare up at the ceiling. "My whole life, people have thought I was selfish and self-centered and weak. I'm not. I try not to be." She sighed again. "I try very hard not to be. I want to be what's best for both of you. I want the two of us to be what's best for Heero."

Her whole life? She had remembered more? "Usagi?" Once her attention was back on him, he continued, "Do you remember something else?"

She shook her head slowly. "Mostly just feelings and weird thoughts keep popping into my head." He nodded his encouragement, and she went on. "Stuff like 'if Rei-chan could see me now' or 'why didn't I think of this solution to boy problems years ago'. That sort of stuff. Nothing really helpful to figuring out anything about myself. I don't even know who 'Rei-chan' is or was or what." She laughed, and it sounded weak and small. "I don't even know what guy trouble I'm thinking about."

Without giving it any thought, he reached out and slipped an arm under her, pulling her close up to him. "It'll come back to you eventually, Usagi. Don't push it, and it'll come back."

"You think so?" While at least tears didn't seem imminent, they didn't seem like they were off the table yet either. Her voice sounded a little shaky, and she wasn't meeting his eyes. "Do you really think it will all come back to me?"

"More than likely," he stated decisively. Since it had started coming back in fits and spurts, in small flashes here and there, he felt pretty comfortable saying that she would start remembering her past with some degree of certainty. That made it the truth. "Thought it will probably be when you're least expecting it."

"Yeah?" Was that the beginning of hope in her voice? That could be a good thing.

"Definitely." He carefully schooled his face into the most serious, impassive face he could realistically break out right now. "That's how it always happens in the movies, anyway."

"Duo!" Without warning, he got a face full of pillow. Usagi was laughing, though, a huge smile spreading all over face and growing by the second. As Heero would have said, once upon a time, mission accomplished. "You're terrible."

"That's not what you were saying before," he returned immediately with a wink, chuckling a bit himself.

"Well, clearly I was young and didn't know better then. You're terrible. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it." She was trying to sound imperious, but the giggles that were still escaping her ruined the illusion more than a bit. In fact, it flat out destroyed it.

It made her irresistible at the moment, and he pulled her back under him for another long, lingering kiss. The only way it could have been better would have been if Heero were here too. He didn't know what he was missing, that was for sure. "Clearly you made me this way in that case," he returned.

"I'll make a note of that," she commented a bit breathlessly.

All this play wasn't without its effect on him, but... Heero... "We should get dressed, before we scandalize Heero all over again when he gets back."

She nodded then glanced down at herself. "I think I need another shower. I seem to have undone the benefits my previous one."

"Mind if I join you?" he quipped before rolling off her to glance around the room.

His bookbag was around here somewhere, and he ought to have one more clean set of clothes before he needed to do laundry. Hell, at this point, they all probably needed to do laundry. Usagi hadn't exactly left Relena's with a whole lot more clothes than either of them possessed.

"Oh, I would love for you to join me, Duo," she returned, already heading back in the bathroom where her own small bag was stashed from her earlier shower, "but if you did, we'd probably still be in here when Heero got back. I thought the point was not to scandalize him beyond repair?"

"Well, definitely not beyond repair, but Heero could probably stand to be scandalized a little bit."

"In stages then, I guess. Like you said, this is all still very new to him. We don't want to push him too far too fast."

"Agreed." Usagi pushed the bathroom door most of the way closed, but she didn't seal it, letting steam drift out as she turned the water back on.

At least this shower was a lot quicker than her last one. When she exited the bathroom again, it was pretty apparently she had decided to forgo washing her hair again, and he could kind of understand why: his own hair was nearly as long and as thick as hers, and it took forever to dry sometimes. Just from the last few days, he had noticed the same of hers.

She'd slipped into a long white sundress that he could have sworn he recognized from somewhere, probably Relena having worn it somewhere before and been photographed in it. Well, it wasn't like Usagi had much of her own yet, and if Relena's hand-me-downs fit, then there was no real reason not to take them. Relena would have been happy seeing them put to good use.

Besides, maybe it was his own admittedly biased opinion, but the dress looked a whole lot better on Usagi than it ever had on Relena. But that was, again, his opinion, and he could admit with no problem that he was definitely biased in Usagi's favor over Relena's. Besides, that odd broach she was always wearing did a lot to improve an otherwise plain piece of clothing. Relena wasn't too big on accessories like that.

She was struggling to get a brush through her hair, and yeah, they had made a mess of it, hadn't they? "Need some help?" he asked without putting too much thought into it. Once the words were out, though, he didn't want to take them back again. He had enjoyed having his hands in her hair, although not nearly as much as Heero obviously had.

"Yeah, I could use an assist here," she complained, tugging at a particularly vicious tangle. She turned a critical eye on him and continued, "And only if I get to return the favor."

He winced slightly. He hadn't really taken the time to check out his own hair yet. Finding where his bookbag had gotten to and getting dressed had taken a more pressing priority than that. "That bad, huh?"

"Heero has a thing for hair, I'm thinking," she said in lieu of a real answer, even as she handed over the hairbrush and sat down on the edge of the bed. Though, truthfully, that was all that needed to be said on the matter really. Heero did indeed have a thing for their hair, and that at least he hadn't had any trouble demonstrating in great detail. "I could pull it up like this, but it'll just get worse while we're in the car later."

Or with anything else they might do later, he finished. "I'll see what I can do with the tangles, but you're on your own with the styling. If it's not a braid or a ponytail, it's out of my league." He deliberately did not add that Heero would probably be the first one of them to figure out how to put Usagi's hair up for her. They both knew it was true. "What do you call this style anyway?"

She shrugged lightly, obviously trying not to move too much. "Most people called it 'odango'. Dumplings... or maybe meatballs," she immediately clarified, clearly remembering that he didn't speak the language she and Heero shared. "I'm not sure which is the better translation. The words are in my head and I can speak them, but sometimes they don't seem to mean quite the same thing I think they should. Do you know what I mean?"

"Lost in translation?" he hazarded, carefully working out another vicious snarl.

"More or less, I guess."

"So what was that you and Heero were talking about a couple of days ago? With... honorifics, I think it was? What does that mean?" he prompted. "Heero said he was going to tell me, but he still hasn't gotten around to it yet." And why adding -chan to his name had been funny. That would be good to know too.

"It's like... like... I don't know... A way of showing respect or affection," she paused, snickering lightly, "or even being silly. Like you would call someone you don't know by their family name and -san or their first name and -san, or to show respect, or even just for everyday stuff; it's not uncommon to hear married couples call each other -san. You would use -kun for close friends or someone junior to you or someone you're attached to or a friend who's a guy."

And that ran the gamut of what she had called them and what she did call Relena... except for one. "And what about -chan?"

She snuck as much a glance over her shoulder at him as she could. "I should have known you weren't going to drop it. Mostly girls use it referring to each other, or people use it talking about babies. Some people use it for their boyfriends or girlfriends or best friends. I remember the look on his face the first time I called him 'Mamo-chan'..." She broke off, and he could faintly see her biting her lower lip. "Actually, no, I can't remember it. It was there for a second, but then it was gone again."

Keeping his own voice deliberately upbeat, he commented, "See? What did I say? The minute you're least expecting it. So what about now that you're not using the honorifics? Does that mean something too?"

And there was that faint flush across her cheeks ago. "Dropping the honorific is really only used between people you're intimate with: family, very close friends, lovers..." She shifted a little where she sat before drawing herself up to sit straight. "I guess that fits us three now, doesn't it?"

"Yeah, I guess it does at that." He passed the brush back to her over her shoulder. "Your hair's done."

She nodded once. "Except for what I need to do."

Without another word, she started pulling and twisting and doing some of the most complicated things he had ever seen done with hair, until the familiar twin buns and tails formed and were secured in place. He had been sitting behind her watching her pull them up, and he still wasn't too sure how the look--the odango, he thought the word was--had come up. It was going to take him some time to figure out exactly how to go about replicating it.

Heero, on the other hand, would probably have it figured out within the first few times he saw her do it, and he wouldn't put it past the man to want to take over doing her hair for her. The man was a perfectionist, after all, who definitely had a thing for hair.

"I still have no idea how you did that," he admitted with a wry grin.

"I think I've been doing it for quite a while," she returned, "most of my life maybe. The first day after I woke up in that hospital where Relena-san found me, I pulled it up like this without even having to think about it. It was just the first thing that came to mind, before the nurses could carry through on their threats to cut it." She smiled a bit self-deprecatingly. "It was a bit of a mess back then. I was a bit of a mess back then."

She turned fully around to face him, straddling his lap for a lingering kiss, before leaning back to whisper, "Thank you, Duo. I think I needed to hear that."

Wordlessly, he pulled her back to him, close against his body, and returned the kiss. He was definitely starting to get why people spent so much time doing this: it seemed like such a small thing, giving someone else a kiss, but it was. It so very much wasn't. It was comfort and desire and affection and maybe even love all rolled up into one package. He was really starting to appreciate being able to do that with either of them whenever he wanted. It would be better once Heero was back here, but this wasn't too bad as it was. He could get really, really used to having this.

So of course that was when the door flew open, hard enough to slam against the wall behind it with a loud bang; it almost sounded like something breaking. If he wasn't intimately familiar with the actual sound, he might have even said it was like a gunshot in the quiet room, but it wasn't like that. It really wasn't.

Usagi's eyes went wide as saucers, and she yanked back away from him. That was his first clue that, no, this wasn't Heero coming back in a fit of piqué. This was something else altogether.

Four mountains of men in suits and sunglasses (could they be any more cliché?) stood in the tight space between the door and their bed; a fifth one was barely visible on the other side of the door. Whoever they were, they had come out in force.

He had a gun in the room, but it was in his bookbag. There was probably one in Heero's too, but he had taken it with him. Now that was probably a precaution worth taking, if he was having to deal with anything like what they were.

Usagi flew back from him, her back hitting the wall with a bang, giving him room to maneuver. It wasn't a lot, but it was more than he had had before. He could at least get to his feet and get turned around to face the intruders. The room was too damn small, he thought sourly, especially when the enemy had already managed to breach it.

Well, there was a solution for that.

"Give us the Rabbit," Burly Guy in the Front (Duo would designate him Number One, to keep them apart) demanded. "Give us the Rabbit, and no one gets hurt."

"Sorry, guy, no rabbits here. I think the guy in the room next door has a Golden Retriever, though, if that would help." And when in doubt, he defaulted to sarcastic. Because it pissed people off and people who were pissed off were more like to tell you everything you wanted to know.

Out of the corner of his eye, he could faintly see Usagi backing herself into the corner of the room. He would have thought it was impossible to wedge oneself into a corner as small as that one was, but she was somehow managing. Well, crap. They must have meant Usagi as the Rabbit. Somehow he got the feeling he was missing something in translation again, like Usagi mean "rabbit" or something.

"Give us the Rabbit, and no one will need to be hurt," Burly Number One repeated. "There is no need for this to be unpleasant."

"Unpleasant? You haven't seen unpleasant yet."

There wasn't going to be time to get his gun out of his bag. Taking the time to undo the strap and zipper to reach the bag's contents was going to be too long for what little time they had left here. This was going to call for more drastic measures.

This was going to be the first practical, combat testing of what it was he could do now. He would be lying if he said he wasn't terrified, but then he wasn't going to say any of what he was thinking aloud.

Burly Number One... He needed to be elsewhere. It took some focusing before he managed to wrap this extra sense of his around the body of the man in front of him, but the second he had hold of him, he shoved with everything he had in him. Apparently it was a lot: Burly Number One was off his feet and through the window like he had been launched from a cannon. Duo... could live with that. That was a good end course for what he was trying to do.

Still, it was a lot hard than moving tools and towels around. He had foolishly suspected that smaller objects would be more difficult. They required more finesse--yes, that much was true--but the larger objects required strength that he had not known that he possessed. He had only moved one of the five, and already he felt like he had run a marathon. This... wasn't going to be easy.

Without taking his eyes off the remaining attackers, he kicked his bag back at Usagi. "There's a gun on the inside. Get it! We're going to need it." She didn't respond, but he could faintly hear her struggling with the strap and then tackling the zip. It shouldn't be more than a second.

He reached for the next one of the intruders, wrapping his power around this one in turn. It was a little easier, now that he knew what it was he was doing, but there were muscles he had not known he possessed that were protesting the movement... and most of them were inside his own brain. He was going to have to work on improving his fortitude in this area. This was almost too pitiful to be believed, especially for him. A moment later, he shoved again, sending Burly Number Two out the window as well, but without nearly the force he had been able to summon for Number One.

"Gun!" Usagi yelled, passing it quickly forward to him. Somehow he felt the need to be glad that she hadn't objected to it, but in a situation like this? Any weapon competently used would be a boon. They needed a few of those right about now.

He barely had one in the chamber before Burly Number Three was almost upon them. Giving the man a good mental shove was easier at that range that trying to find a good target to shoot. He didn't manage to throw him outside to join the others, but at least he was back on the other side of the bed again. That was some distance between them.

"Now." It was Burly Number One's voice that spoke all too calmly, commanding the others for something. To split like the Red Sea and let the man in the rear come forward? Why would they do something like that, unless...

"Usagi, down!" Even as he yelled the command, he was grabbing Usagi and yanking her down with him to the floor.

He had been expecting a hail of gunfire, maybe even a machine gun leftover from one of the armies that had long since disbanded in this new peace. He wasn't expecting fire to shoot forth from the other man's hand as he swept it across the breadth of the space. The entire small room caught fire quickly, blazing increasingly hot.

There was only one door, which was good from a defensive standpoint, yes, but not so great when they were trapped far from it with fire and bad guys between them and it. It looked like they had two immediate choices: roast alive or try to get through the invaders. Neither one was something he wanted to consider.

There had to be a third option. There had to be. They were not going to be killed or captured here. He wasn't going to allow it.

At his side, he could faintly hear Usagi whispering something. If he took a second to listen to what she was saying, she was repeating over and over, "I wish we were anywhere but here. I wish we were anywhere but here."

Well, in that case, it looked like using Usagi's powers to get out of here was going to be a bust. He didn't think that fire was going to be something he could just move... Although if he tried to create a back draft, maybe...

He fixed his gaze on the fire building around them, trying to figure out a way to wrap his powers around it. It leapt and jumped, making it almost impossible to catch. Almost. He managed to push at some of it, but it wasn't going to be enough. Through the crackle of the flames, he could hear someone shrieking: it sounded as though he had managed to catch one of their attackers in the back draft. That was a small something at least.

Burly Number Five, the firestarter guy, waved his hand in their general direction again. Flames shot out, racing towards them, moving much quicker than he could possibly hope to grab hold of them. This was not going to be good. There was no way out and no way away from the fire. They were going to...

The flames stopped at the edge of the bed, less than a foot away from them, held in place by what seemed like a silvery shield. A very quick look around showed the same shield all the way around them. It sparkled along its curved length, almost like a jewel. It was holding the fire back. He wasn't too sure it would be able to do the same for bullets though; it didn't look like that kind of shield. Still, he wasn't the one doing this. This was something well beyond what it was his newfound abilities could handle. This had to be Usagi.

He quickly glanced over his shoulder at her. Her eyes were wide and scared, but there was a distinctly determined cast to her face. And unless he was gravely mistaken, the weird locket she was always wearing looked like it was glowing. It wasn't reflecting the light of the fire. No, it looked like it was the same silvery shade as the shield.

Maybe they could use some of Usagi's abilities to get out of this after all. And when they did get out of this, they were going to have a long, long talk about what it was that she could and could not do.

Who knew how long that shield of hers would hold them safe? They needed some way to get out of here and fast.

They were backed up against the far wall. Calling up what the motel had looked like when they first checked in, it had seemed as though this would be nothing on the other side of this wall. If they could just get through it, they would be out of this room and hopefully home free. They just had to get through this wall. That was going to have to be his job.

"Usagi?" She whipped her head around to meet his eyes. "This is your doing?" He nodded at the shield.

She nodded in response. "I... I wanted something to protect us."

"Can you hold it for a few more minutes?"

She took a deep breath, drawing herself up straighter, and nodded again decisively. "I'll hold it as long as we need it. I promise. I'll do what I can to keep us safe."

It was hard to turn his back on the people attacking them. It was one of the hardest things he had ever had to do. But he had to trust in Usagi, that she would keep them safe. There was no other way to do this--and besides, he did trust her. He hadn't known her that, which made it a little odd, but he did trust her. Something about her did inspire trust in a person. And here he was: laying his life in the hands of that trust.

With his back nearly against her shield, he could actually hear the fire against it even more loudly, almost loud enough to drown out every other noise in the room. Again, almost.

He drew his focus down as narrow as he could: Usagi's breathing, his own breathing, and the wall between them and potential freedom. This was going to have to be a lot different than how he had been using his abilities. For starters, there was no way he could wrap his power through a wall; so far he had been using line of sight to see what he could of what he needed to move, and he couldn't see the other side of it. It was cinderblocks, so definitely an older bit of construction. He just needed to make a few of them move, enough for him and Usagi to get out.

He couldn't push them, so instead he just shoved. He shoved at it with everything he had left in himself to offer. For the longest and most impossible second, it felt as though it wasn't going to work. The mere thought was heartbreaking and demoralizing. The next second, though, there it was: he could feel the block in the center shift. He pushed harder on it, shoving at it with all his might.

The first brick moved then blew out the wall, flying to unseen places far behind them. The second it was out of place, ones all around it slid out of place, disappearing as they sailed back into the woods behind the motel. It would only take just a few more. Somehow he was making it work. That made the pain he was in, how badly his head was beginning to hurt, worth it. They would be out of here soon. He could collapse the minute they were to safety.

A warm liquid slid down his face, coming from his nose, and he wiped it absently away. He vaguely noted that it was blood. That probably wasn't a good sign. In fact, he probably meant he was pushing himself miles too hard, too fast, to do too much. There wasn't any helping it today, however. Again, he promised himself plenty of time for rest once they were safe, with Heero, somewhere far away from here.

One more brick slid free, and that was it: that was a hole large enough for them to fit through, if they went one at a time. It would have to do. He was drained. He didn't think there was much else he could manage to do. His vision swam before his eyes already as it was.

Please, God, let Heero have heard all of this going on and be here. It wasn't too much to ask, was it?

"Go!" he yelled at Usagi. "Get out of here! I'm right behind you."

She shook her head. "I can't. If I move, then my shield moves with me. Go on."

Crap, she had a point. It galled him a bit to crawl through the hole first, but it had to be done...

And fuck, there were more of the burly guys on this side of the wall too. They must have surrounded the place, in a very literal sense of the word, before they came in at all.

He didn't have anything else left to give in the abilities front. As it was, it felt like he had seriously overused what he did have. There was the gun, though, and it felt like a solid, familiar weight in his hand right now.

It took him all of a second to note the positions of the guys on this side of the wall, calculate how many shots he had, and start firing. There was no goddamn cover out here, so all he could hope was that he could put a bullet through each one of them before Usagi was here too. There were only another six of them, in addition to the guys that had come into their room.

Whoever they were, they wanted Usagi bad. They must, to send this many guys after her. He didn't know any of them, even in passing, but he knew ex-military when he saw it. Even they weren't ex-military, they had at least been someone's private army, if they weren't still now. Why would someone hire this many guys to kidnap Usagi?

At least they hadn't tried to take her while she was still with Relena. He had no doubts that Relena's Preventer bodyguards were good; Une wouldn't let them near Relena if they weren't; but they weren't ex-Gundam pilots and they didn't have abilities like he and Heero had. That they had managed to stay this far ahead of these guys, while not even knowing that they were being chased, said something about that.

A second or two later, Usagi was through the hole as well. She looked like she was really out of breath. Part of that was probably from the heat of the fire still burning on the other side of the wall, but a lot of it was probably that shield of hers, he reckoned. Given how taxing his own abilities were for him, that had to have been exhausting for her. The white sundress she had been wearing was stained black in places with soot and was generally in a lot worse condition that it had been only a few minutes ago when she put it on. Relena definitely wasn't going to be getting that thing back; that much was for certain.

For that matter, at least these guys had waited to bust in until after they had both gotten dressed. Fighting naked wasn't exactly high on his to do list. Oh, he probably could do it, but he did not want to. It just didn't seem cool.

He managed to place one more bullet in one more guy, hitting a little higher than center mass and putting a pretty massive hole in the guy's throat, before the gun clicked empty. He had had spare clips for it, but they were in his bag, which was back in the inferno that had once been their room. God damn it. Today, things were just damn determined not to go his way. When it rained, it poured, as the old saying went.

They wanted Usagi. She was who they were after. Why he didn't know, but there was absolutely no doubt in his mind that it wasn't to shake her hand and play nice. If someone wanted that, they never would have hired guys like these to come after her. No, whatever they wanted her for was not going to be good.

And they were not going to get their hands on her, not while he was still able to do something about it. This was going to suck.

He reached out for his abilities one more time, wrapping them around her, and pushed. All he needed was for her to be away and pushing her as far as he could into the woods behind the motel would have to be enough. Hopefully she would be able to land someplace soft, but right now, that wasn't exactly a top priority. She would be far enough away that they wouldn't try to go after her, not with an inferno like this raging, with all the attention it was surely attracting from the community at large. Even now, he could hear sirens in the distance, though they were quickly getting closer and closer.

It felt like something in his brain literally broke as he pushed Usagi into the woods. Despite that, he kept pushing until he felt like she was a safe distance away. The second it felt like she was, he let go—and collapsed.

Faintly, before the darkness overcame him completely, he could hear their attackers talking:

"I see no sign of the Rabbit."

"The police are too close. We will have to leave without her and hope we can pick up her trail again."

"What about this guy?" He could faintly feel a toe nudging at his side.

"Bring him. He's got powers. Plus," a chuckle, "the Rabbit might come after him."

Well, damn.

The blackness swamped him, and that was the last thing he remembered.

16 July 2012

Holy cow, people. Seriously, holy cow. I asked for 100 hits, and you guys delivered. In spades, even. I got to have my first ice cream on Saturday, and I guess I get to have my second tonight... since you've gotten me to 214 hits prior to this chapter going up. You guys are seriously, seriously awesome. Do we want to see how long we can keep it up? I'm all for ice cream, you know.

Thanks to ThoseRainyDays and angel313 for the reviews! ThoseRainyDays, please, if you happen to have any other Duo/Usagi/Heero stories (all together, not a triangle) or know where to find more, please let me know. I've been under the impression I'm the only one writing the pairing.

I'm part of the way through Chapter Sixteen... if it actually saved on my desktop, since it didn't save to my flash drive properly. In fact, none of Chapter Sixteen saved to the flash drive at all. So wish me luck that I don't have to completely rewrite an entire chapter. (Scratch that, I found an auto-saved file, so the chapter is saved! Next time less panicking and more frantic hunting?)

Anyway, freakout aside, see everyone next chapter. Later!


[ Prologue | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | Epilogue ]