Chapter Twelve
by Apollymi

Series: Gundam Wing, Sailormoon
Genre: Crossover, Romance, Supernatural
Main Pairing: Duo/Usagi/Heero
Word Count:: 4,573
Disclaimers: I own nothing but the idea.

"Oww," she mumbled in complaint as she woke up. She felt... Actually she felt an awful lot like a pinata: black, blue, and bruised. And she was lying in the middle of a bush that was poking her in all sorts of uncomfortable places; she just knew she was going to have a bruise across her butt from the branch she had landed on when... when...

Why was she in the middle of a bush in the middle of the woods anyway? It didn't seem like it was something she was wont to do on a regular basis.

Actually, no, she already knew it wasn't something she enjoyed doing.

How weird was that, she thought to herself, as she carefully extracted herself from the bush and started dusting herself off: a bit more of her memory seemed to be back. She had faces to go with the names she had started to recall earlier: Mamo-chan, and Rei-chan, and Mako-chan, and Seiya-kun, and... There were others, but she would have to give it a little bit before she tried to push her brain to try to remember them as well. She couldn't wait to tell Duo about this...


How could she have... No, really, how could she have forgotten what had been happening when she blacked out? The fight, Duo, the huge guys who wanted the Rabbit? How had all of that slipped out of her mind?

She was tempted to blame it less on the impromptu trip through the woods only to land headfirst in a bush and more on her own forgetful nature. Rei-chan had always had things to say about her on that matter. Plus, she had used the Ginzuishou. No, that was just an excuse. Ginzuishou or not, she had forgotten something that important, and she needed to find Duo. She needed to find him now, so they could go get Heero, and get out of here immediately.

It wasn't too hard to tell which way she had come from. Aside from the trail of broken branches leading in one certain direction, there was also an incredible heat coming from that same way. Through the trees, she could faintly see the fire still raging, presumably having spread from their room to the rest of the motel. It was apparently going to be difficult to put out. It was either that, or she had not be unconscious all that long. She wasn't too willing to lay a guess just yet.

Slowly, carefully, she picked her way back the direction she had apparently come, only to have to change paths part of the way there when it was apparently the woods were starting to catch as well. Each step was just a little harder than the one before. Unlike Duo, she hadn't had a chance to finish getting dressed, and the forest floor was not particularly kind to bare feet.

What she couldn't hear was the sound of more gunshots. Presumably those men who attacked them had fled already. If so, then that was at least one lucky break.

Maybe this was why Heero had been so adamant about staying on the move. Had he known someone was following them, or was this just how he lived: always worried about when the next attack would come, always anticipating it at every stop? She oddly found herself hoping that he had known they were being followed. She didn't want to think of her Heero as having to be so worried about an attack coming out of nowhere at any time.

Finally, there was a break in the woods, and she could see the motel. She had somehow ended up all the way down at the far end, not anywhere near where their room had been. Fire trucks, emergency vehicles, and police cars surround the place, even here on the forest side. It looked like it was all they could to keep it from spreading any further than it had already.

If the number of people milling around outside the place, most of them completely dressed and watching this like a spectator sport but some clinging to a few soot-covered belongings were any indication, then there had not been too many people staying in the motel aside from them. That was a small relief in that case. No one needed to get hurt on her account. Not the people she was coming to love, and certainly not innocent bystanders.

Speaking of which... She scanned the crowd, looking for two familiar faces, looking for someone with long hair pulled into a braid, looking for dark blue eyes. There was no sign of either of them. Where could they be?

"Miss?" a voice broke into her thoughts. A woman in a dark colored uniform was standing next to her, the letters EMS stenciled in large yellow font on her vest.

"Yes, can I help you?" she immediately asked. Without even thinking about it, she had switched back to Japanese. It felt easier on her brain right now, instead of trying to remember how to speak a language that she wasn't even sure how she had learned in the first place. Seeing the utterly confused look on the other woman's face, she sighed and translated for herself. She really needed to learn to remember that she wasn't in Japan anymore; Japanese was not the primary language where she was, and she was really very lucky that even Heero spoke it. "I'm sorry. Can I help with something?"

"You're injured, miss. I would like to have a look at you." She smiled coaxingly. "If nothing else, get you cleaned up and take care of your feet."

She glanced down at her feet and winced. They actually started to quit hurting a bit. While she had been walking, that might have been a good thing. Now that she had stopped, however, it probably wasn't. And they did look a bit rough.

"All right," she acquiesced. "But first... I was with two people, two men. One had long hair in a braid, and the other was wearing a green tank top and jeans. Have you seen either of them?"

The woman shook her head slowly. "I haven't. But we can find out if they've checked in with someone else once we get you taken care of."

It wasn't ideal, but it was something at least. She nodded her agreement and let the other woman lead her over to one of the emergency vehicles. It actually didn't take the woman--Lisa, once she inquired of a name--very long to take care of her. While there were cuts on her feet, they weren't bad enough to need more than bandages and some stern warnings about being careful walking on them; she had also been given a spare pair of someone's boots and told not to walk barefoot for a while, until they finished healing.

The rest of what she was willing to let Lisa look at were bruises and soot stains. It had to be pretty obvious to the other woman that she had been in the fire at some point, but at least she was tactfully not asking, not while Usagi was keeping her eyes open, scanning the growing crowd for any sign of Heero or Duo or anyone else she knew.

Finally a familiar mop of dark hair came into view. "Heero!" she called. Lisa put a firm hand on her shoulder to keep her from moving while she was working the boots on her feet as loosely as possible.

Blue eyes turned towards the sound of her voice. She could almost see the moment that he spotted her: his eyes went a tad wider, and his entire body seemed to sag in relief for just a split second. But then he was dashing across the parking lot to stop just outside of being in Lisa's way.

She shrugged off the other woman's hand and rushed into Heero's arms, wrapping herself tightly around him. "Thank goodness," she whispered.

Just like that, though, the events of the afternoon seemed to catch up with her. She dropped her arms from around him and instead buried her face against his shirt, bringing her hands up to cover her face. It... It wouldn't do to let the tears fall all over him.

"Usagi?" he asked, his voice soft and almost concerned. From as long as she had known him, this might have been the most concern she had seen from him. "Are you crying?"

Unable to stop herself, she nods. "Yes."



"You know I wasn't actually done with you," Lisa cut in, steering her away from Heero to sit back down where she had been. Maybe trying to do even this much was beyond her now. Actually it felt like everything was a bit beyond her right now.

"Are you all right?" He sounded... detached, she supposed and wanted to wrap her arms around him. The second she was released from Lisa's care, she intended to do just that.

"I will be. It's mostly just some cuts and bruises."

She could see him rake a critical eye over her, obviously taking in the state she was in, and evaluating what he could see against her words. There was absolutely no chance he believed a word she was saying, even if it was mostly the truth. "And Duo?" he finally asked instead.

And just like that, it felt as though her heart had leapt up into her throat. She had been so hoping that he would show up with Heero. If he hadn't, though...

She gave a half glance over at Lisa and then switched to their shared native language. "I haven't seen him since I woke up. These men showed up and attacked us. One of them could create fire, and well..." She gestured at the motel as it burned merrily on. "We got out, but there were more of the same guys in the back. I remember Duo shooting at them, and then he moved me." She tried her best to place enough special emphasis on that word, moved, so that maybe Heero would know what she meant. "Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the middle of the forest."

"Did they say what they were after?"

She swallowed hard against the pain rising from her chest. "Me. They were looking for me. Called me 'the Rabbit'. They didn't say why they were looking for me, but..." She sighed deeply. "There really can only be one reason, right? They want me to grant some kind of wish, right?"

"It makes sense."

"Do you..." She had to swallow again, unable to continue speaking otherwise. "Do you think that's why they took Duo? To make me come to them?"

"It makes sense" was again all he said, and again she felt like she was choking.

Lisa looked up at her in alarm, one hand apparently already moving for an oxygen mask, before Usagi shook her head and switched back to English. "I'm all right." She tried on a smile. It was weak, barely able to hold itself up, but it was nonetheless a smile. "I'm okay, I promise."

"If you feel up to it, you're free to get out of here. The police might want to take a statement from you," the other woman offered her a smile in return, "just as a witness, I promise."

She nodded. "Of course. Thank you." Climbing carefully to her feet, she tested out her balance in the hugely oversized work boots and found her feet tender and a bit sore but definitely useable. She wasn't about to give up on any of this so soon anyway, hurt or not. Something told her that she had been hurt a whole lot worse over the years.

Cautiously, she followed Heero away from the emergency vehicle. Come to think of it, she didn't see the car they had been using either. Had those guys taken it? Or, no, wait, Heero would have taken it into town to get his research done and to get them all lunch. So where was it? Had he come all the way back here without it?

"Where were you, Heero?" she heard herself ask once they were on the far side of the road from the burning motel and the growing crowd of people. Almost immediately, she winced though. That had accidentally come out a lot more accusatory than she had actually meant it. There was nothing in the relationship guidelines that he had to stay with them every minute of every day. "I'm sorry. I didn't-- I didn't mean it like that, Heero. I--"

"I heard about people talking about the fire in town," he commented. "The car wouldn't start when I got out to it, though. Someone had helpfully removed the sparkplugs and the battery."

That... wasn't good. That meant a lot of things, not the least of which being that they knew the three of them had separated and they had actively tried to keep them that way.

"What kind of people would do something like this?" she choked out. Really, though, she already knew. She had been around long enough to meet plenty of people who would do all kinds of horrible things to get whatever it was they wanted. It wasn't always aliens and rogue senshi and invaders from another time. Sometimes the ones you really had to watch out for were plain people. They could be just as dangerous... and sometimes more so.

"No one you want to think too much about, Usagi," Heero returned at length. "Sometimes human beings are the biggest monsters on this planet."

And that was a bit weird. It was like he was finishing her thoughts, speaking aloud the things she was still keeping to herself. While she wouldn't put anything past Heero, it was still more than a bit unnerving.

What in the world had he been researching? She could understand him having to get away to get in a proper frame of mind for that; she would imagine that she and Duo could be quite distracting to serious pursuits, after all; but just what was it that he had been trying to find out information on?

"Heero?" It was a question that she wasn't really sure she wanted an answer to, but it was also one that she had to ask. She didn't want it, but she had to know the answer.

He shook his head. "I'll tell you later. It's... deep, I guess is the word."

She nodded. "All right." It was a reprieve, and that was more than good enough for right now.

There was silence for a long moment before Heero suddenly let out a growl and punched his fist into a tree next to him. "Damn it! I knew this was coming. I knew it, and I didn't do anything about it."

Her breath caught in her throat, and for a long few minutes, she didn't dare try to breathe. "Did you know it would be today?"

He shook his head again slightly. "I didn't know it would be today, but I knew it was coming. I knew it would be a day you were wearing that dress and Duo wouldn't be here and it would be a goddamn inferno for some reason."

Oh God... Her poor Heero... Their poor Heero... "Why didn't you say anything?" she asked, her voice small and cautious, doing her best to make sure he knew she wasn't laying any sort of blame here. It was nothing more than a question.

"I didn't want to change anything and risk making it worse." And that tallied with things that Rei-chan had said to her over the years about her own visions. Sometimes even talking about them could change things about them. Given Heero's distinctly pessimistic nature, she could see why he would be worried about making things worse.

She nodded. "That makes sense."

"It..." He paused, wiping sweat from his brow with the same hand he had just nearly put through a tree, barely even glancing down at the pitiful state it was in. She winced tightly looking at it herself, frankly tempted to go find Lisa again and have her set it; it looked terrible, bluntly phrased. "It didn't seem real, I guess. I've been having dreams that have come true all along for the last several weeks, but I just couldn't imagine someone taking Duo, someone being able to make him go somewhere against his will. It just didn't seem possible."

"I think," she hazarded, again speaking very carefully, though this time it was because she was not completely certain of her facts, "that the only reason they were able to take him was because he had worn himself out. I know he managed to physically move at least two really big guys and keep the fire from touching us and make us an exit from the room, all by using his abilities. It looked like it was a huge strain on him." She broke off, wincing sharply in a vain attempt to keep the tears at bay. It was all her fault and now Duo was paying the price for it. "And then, once we were outside, he shot some of those guys and then threw me into the forest. And all the while, I was too damn useless to do anything more than hold a shield in place. I'm sorry, Heero. I-- It's my fault they took him."

There were apparently ways that Usagi was very like he himself was. Apparently she shared the tendency he had to lay all the blame on herself. And apparently it was a great deal more difficult to see her blame herself than it was to apply the same feelings to himself.

"I don't think Duo would think that, Usagi," he commented carefully. "I know he's vehemently against me saying anything of like about myself. I can't imagine that he would say any differently with you."

Slowly, silvery tears began to slide down her face, each one slightly larger than the one before. Before long, it was impossible to say that she wasn't crying. "I know. I know that, Heero. But that doesn't change the fact that they were after me or that they probably took Duo because of me. I-" She took a deep, shaky breath clearly trying to rein in her emotions, but also just as clearly, she was failing. "I never wanted anyone else to get hurt because of me, Heero. That's why I made the wish. That's why I came here. No one else need be hurt because of idiot Usagi."

It should almost be distracting how she switched back to Japanese for part of that conversation, at least enough of it to insult herself. "You're a lot of things, Usagi, but you are not an idiot," he finally decided to reassure her with. It was a bit weak, yes, but it worked. Or it would have worked if she wasn't still crying.

"No one else is going to be hurt because of me ever again," she declared decisively, like she could just say it and it would be. Of course, given what it was she could do, maybe it would just happen. It seemed impossible, but that didn't mean anything.

After all, they had left impossible behind days ago.

"Usagi..." He wasn't too sure what it was he was about to say. Whatever it was, he cut himself off abruptly as she seized his hand, the one he had thoughtlessly hit a tree with, and held it lightly to her chest, just over her locket.

"I'm not going to let anyone else be hurt," she whispered. There was brilliant silver flash for just a split second, just long enough to almost see, but then it faded away again, as if it was nothing more than an illusion.

An illusion would not have his hand back in perfect condition again, though. This was new. Just what powers was it that Usagi had? They seemed to be growing by leaps and bounds, like she got more abilities the more of her memories she got back. That... didn't seem possible, and yet... And yet here was the proof.

"Usagi..." he whispered again, breaking her hold on his hand to instead wrap both arms around her, pulling her close to him.

It seemed a bit odd, perhaps, that he was holding her just as tightly as she had done to him only a few hours ago. Or perhaps it wasn't odd. Perhaps it was more like a circle or something. Symmetry seemed an appropriate word.

"Please, Heero," she whispered brokenly into his shirt, "I can't lose anybody else. I can't lose Duo. We have to find a way to get him back." She leaned back, slowly taking a small step away from him and wiping inelegantly at her face as she tried to scrub the tears away. "We have to do something, Heero. We have to get him back."

On that, they were in agreement. There was no way in hell he was going to let anyone keep Duo away from them. If he had to scour the earth, the colonies, and hell itself to find where they had taken him, he would do it. No one was taking their Duo away from them.

"We'll get Duo back," he promised intensely. The words came out fiercely, but that was just as well, because he meant them as fiercely as he said them, perhaps even more so. He took a deep breath, trying to keep his voice steady. "If they've so much as harmed him, I'll..."

"You're not the only one," Usagi returned just as emotionally.

He had been right when he first saw this in the dream: he was trying to do more to convince himself than Usagi. Honestly, he needed more reassuring on the fact than Usagi seemed to. "We'll get him back."

"I know." She sounded so damn sure too. "We have one major advantage here, as I see it."

"What's that?"

"You dreamed about this, remember?"

How had she known about that? He hadn't told her anything about the dreams, just that he had them. But then, she had apparently known someone else who could do something similar to what he did. Maybe that allowed her to draw her own conclusion. To say nothing of his and Duo's conversation just before he confessed to being able to see the future. Okay, yes, it made sense how she would be able to figure it out. Still, just to be safe... "How did you know?"

She shrugged slightly, pacing out a slight lap. "You said a feeling of doom last night. I can't think of anything more like that than someone taking Duo."

"True," he admitted. Sweat dripped into his eyes, and he wiped at it absentmindedly.

Across from him, Usagi looked angry but determined. Tears still clung to the corners of her eyes, but somehow that didn't make her seem sad, only angry. He wouldn't want to be the people who took Duo right now, he thought absently.

"When you dreamed about this, Heero," she asked, her voice commanding, "what did you see? Was there anything we can use to get Duo back?"

As much as he didn't want to, he shook his head. "I didn't see who took him. I never saw what happened." Even now, even though he had dreamed all of this before it happened, it still tasted bitterly like failure.

A warm hand touched his face, stroking lightly down his cheek until he was willing and able to meet her eyes. "You tried, Heero. That's what matters. We'll just have to figure it out on our own."

"We will find him," he whispered again. He was like a mantra now. Maybe if he said it enough, he would actually be able to believe it. Right now, though, that was very much not the case.

Usagi nodded in easy agreement, still tracing her fingers against his cheeks. "We will," she agreed, "and whoever took him will regret it. We'll make sure of it."

He snorted lightly. "Duo is probably already making them regret it." No matter that it had probably been less than an hour or two; he had no doubt that Duo was already making those people's lives miserable.

He shouldn't have left the motel. It had been circulating around his mind since he heard the first news report while in that diner ordering lunch to bring back for the three of them: that the motel outside town was on fire, no idea on the cause, no idea on survivors. He should have been there. He should have told Duo or Usagi just what he had felt coming before it got here. But most of all, he should have been there with them.

This was his fault.

"Heero..." Usagi's voice was stern, and he couldn't help but look up guiltily at her. "Don't blame yourself. It's no one's fault but the bastards who took Duo. And we're going to make them pay for it. Remember that, Heero. It's the bastards' fault."

"I'll keep that in mind," he promised. It was absentminded at best. Right now he couldn't swear not to blame himself for any of this. It would be too much like lying, and he wouldn't--couldn't--do that right now.

"That's all I ask," she whispered. She leaned forward, pressing a lingering kiss to his lips. It was completely chaste, though there was a faint taste of her desperation to it, and she could probably taste his own, he mused to himself, even as he wrapped his arms around her.

It didn't feel right, he thought faintly. It didn't feel quite right without Duo here. The woman in his arms felt the same as she did only a few hours ago, and he felt the same as he did when he kissed her then... but it didn't feel right--no, not 'not right', but too different--without their third.

It was too different to think of even so much as deepening the kiss without Duo here, no matter how much they both might have needed this for comfort. They... They...

"We need Duo," Usagi whispered against his lips. "We need Duo to complete us."

With a sigh, he dropped his head on her shoulder. Almost immediately, her arms wrapped tightly around him, holding him as close to her body as possible with a strength that belies her small frame. He imagined that he was holding her just as tightly. He should have been making an effort to ease his hold, given his own amazing strength, but he couldn't, probably for much the same reason as Usagi hadn't let go of him.

"I miss Duo," Usagi whispered into his hair. Her voice shook slightly, but tears didn't seem likely to be coming again. "I want him back here with us right now."

It took him a moment to recover himself enough to whisper in reply, "I... We'll get him back."

And there would be no helping the people who took Duo from them. He would kill them if he could get his hands on them; he would not hold himself responsible for what he would do.

And who knew what Usagi would do? Given what they figured out about what else she could do, it could go so many ways...

23 July 2012

So I was waiting on 100 hits before I uploaded this chapter. This way, I get a treat and you get a treat, so it all works out well. I might go with that from here on out.

It's been a very event week or so, and thus I haven't gotten as far on this as I wanted. I actually wanted to be done Friday the 20th. I'm thinking now that I'll be done by this Wednesday the 25th, if not a little sooner. I've really been enjoying this story, especially from here on out, and I'm thinking I might come back eventually and play in this 'verse again.

Before I do that, though, I will need to finish Betrueger. I've been promising that to people nearly as long as I've been promising Belladonna's completion.

Anyway, see you in 100 hits and the next chapter! Later!


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