Chapter Fifteen
by Apollymi

Series: Gundam Wing, Sailormoon
Genre: Crossover, Romance, Supernatural
Main Pairing: Duo/Usagi/Heero
Word Count:: 3,590
Disclaimers: I own nothing but the idea.

He had been trying to force himself to dream for the past two nights, and yet nothing was coming of it. Of course, of the three of them, he would get the ability with a mind of its own, completely unwilling to something useful, like helping them find Duo before something worse happened to him. If there was anyone out there who could go from kidnapped to worse, after all, it was Duo, and he wasn't going to let that happened. They weren't going to let that happen.

Usagi looked like she was perfectly willing to start interrogating random people on the street by the end of the first full day since Duo had been taken. Now, now that another day after had passed that he was halfway surprised that she was still in the hotel room and not going door to door, like she had mentioned in a fit of annoyance yesterday. He was a little surprised he wasn't doing the same.

Honestly, though, he was about going out of his mind in worry. He would have thought the attackers would have contacted them by now. If they wanted Usagi for something, then why wait to try again? They had the perfect way to make sure that either of them would behave perfectly.

Unless Duo...

He slammed the brakes on that train of thought hard. Duo was alive. They had no reason to think otherwise (except the kidnappers' annoying resistance to contacting them), and he wasn't going to let himself think otherwise.

Besides, if he didn't, Usagi would probably beat or berate him within an inch of his life. She was not accepting any ideas other than Duo being alive. That was good thinking, a distant part of his mind analytically thought: they would fight harder and with more emotion if they were fighting for a living lover than a dead one.

Sometimes he actually really almost hated that analytical part of his mind; he didn't need to be analyzing their reasons for fighting, not now, not when they hadn't even really begun to yet.

"No luck?" Usagi's voice seemed loud in the darkness, but even so, he could tell she was speaking just a little louder than a whisper.

"Nothing," he sighed. "I can't make the dreams come when they don't want to, apparently."

He felt the bed dip and move, and a few seconds later, the lamp on the bedside table clicked on, flooding the room with light. Usagi was wearing his tank top to sleep in, since they had yet to go acquire her some new clothes. It hung low on her, barely covering her breasts and just long enough in length for some semblance of modesty.

For the time being, they were both living out of his bag, since it had been the only one not consumed by the fire. Once they got Duo back, they would have to get him some new clothes as well, Heero thought in some slight amusement, and wouldn't that be an interesting trip, with the three of them?

The two of them had not yet moved on from the town where the fire was, where Duo was taken from. It hadn't seemed wise. After all, they wanted the kidnappers to be able to find them, and staying in one place was going to be the easiest way to do that. If they left, who knew how long it might take those bastards to locate the two of them again to give their demands?

He had fallen asleep twice already tonight, but the lack of a dream-the real ones, the ones he needed, though he hesitated to use the word 'visions' for them because that just sounded way too out there for him, especially this late at night-kept dragging him back awake. He couldn't say for certain, but he was relatively positive that Usagi had been awake each time as well. Whether she had actually slept or if she was just on as much of a hair trigger as he was, so that his waking up was in turn dragging her out of sleep, was completely up for debate. Somehow he had a feeling it was the latter option. This was the first time she had called him on it, though. After one full night and part of tonight, he couldn't really blame her for it either.

"We need those dreams," he heard himself saying in an exhausted near whine. "We need to know where to find him."

Usagi nodded. "We do," she acknowledged, "but we also need for you to be in good shape to go get him." She offered a self-deprecating smile. "I think you probably have a bit more experience with that sort of stuff than I do." He nodded, not even cracking a smile, and so hers faded. "Let's brainstorm this then. What have you tried so far?"

He sighed, flopping back hard on his pillow. "What haven't I tried? Thinking about Duo right before I go to sleep, check. Conscious dreaming, check, which has never worked for me, I might add." He nodded to the half empty bottles on the bedside table, two attempts that Usagi had heartily disapproved of, even once he conceded to her demands of trying them on separate nights. "Obviously neither sleeping pills nor the alcohol worked. I'm running out of ideas here. Nothing is working!" he groaned, frustrated.

That wasn't too hard either. He had never suffered from an overabundance of creativity. This was just straining already taxed reserves.

Usagi was silent for a long moment, obviously waiting to be sure he was done with his tirade. "Let's try one more thing. If it doesn't work, then we start hitting the streets first thing in the morning." And he did rather imagine that she did mean first thing. She was not a morning person, but for Duo... Well, there wasn't a lot either of them wouldn't do for Duo, they were finding out. "But maybe it'll work. It's worth trying, right?"

He sighed, pushing his frustration down one more time. It was getting harder and harder to do, through no fault of Usagi's. He just was not coping well with the idea of anyone having his-their, he reminded himself-Duo. "What did you have in mind, Usagi?" Maybe it was a question. Maybe it was a demand. He wasn't going to put a lot of thought into which one it might have been.

She slipped out of bed and grabbed her dress from where it was lying across a chair. Housekeeping had talked about taking it yesterday and trying to get it cleaned. After some debate, though, they had decided against it. It seemed they were of the opinion the ash and soot had set in, though, and there was no saving it.

Frankly, he was a bit all right with that. He never wanted to see her in that dress ever again. It was forever going to be tied up with Duo being taken from them in his memories.

For what it was worth, though, she wasn't getting the dress. Instead, she was grabbing that weird piece of jewelry she was always wearing over her heart. A quick twist of her hand, and the locket thing was free.

That was apparently all she went for, because she brought it back with her when she climbed into bed once again.

"Usagi..." he started to say. He was not quite sure what he intended to say, but it might have been something, if everything else he had tried failed, how cheap costume jewelry was supposed to make the damn dreams come.

She shot him a dark look that silenced him, at least for the moment. She fiddled with something on the underside of the locket, and it sprang open; apparently it had some kind of hidden catch or something. Curious. Who put hidden catches in costume jewelry?

Someone who wanted to hide something big and sparkly. The jewel on the inside wasn't a diamond, not unless it was the most oddly cut one ever, but that was the stone it most closely resembled. If Usagi carried this around with her everywhere she went, it must have been either of great sentimental value or very powerful. For anyone else, he might have added 'or very expensive,' but that didn't seem to apply to Usagi.

Even from here, his hands hovering inches away from the shining jewel, he could feel it practically vibrating with power and energy.

"Did the stories say anything about the Ginzuishou? The stories about Sailor Moon, I mean?" she asked quietly.

"Some," he admitted, "but they didn't say anything that I didn't dismiss immediately out of hand as being too weird." He finally looked up, meeting her eyes. "I shouldn't have been so skeptical?"

"Some of the stories are probably true. I... can't remember everything about how to make it work, but there's some here and there that I might be able to do. I think I might be able to use it to make the dreams happen. Maybe...?" She winced, an uncertain expression on her face. "I don't know."

He had to admit that he was a little leery of this jewel thing, just from the few stories his research had turned up: it lit Tokyo Tower like the sun in the middle of the night, it turned the boy band Three Lights into women, it had brought at least one person back from the dead... None of these really sounded like something he wanted to get involved in, but at the same time... Duo...

They needed to know something sooner rather than later.

Against all his thoughts otherwise and even perhaps common sense, he found himself answering, "All right, it's worth a shot."

And that was how he ended up, when he went to sleep for the third time that night, with his hand over a jewel that should not-according to the rules of physics-exist. So, of course, that was when the dreams finally came.

It takes him a moment to realize where he is, what he is seeing. The feeling of doom still hangs over everything, but the scene is now recognizable. He and Usagi have stood in this spot before: across the road from a burning motel where Duo was taken. Damn it, this is not what he had in mind. He needed to see what happens to Duo.

Almost as if prompted, time starts to rewind itself: he and Usagi walk backwards to the EMS vehicle, he walks away from the motel in reverse, the paramedic unwraps Usagi's feet, Usagi walks backwards into the tree line, emergence vehicles back away from the scene, and a large dark-colored vehicle backs itself back into the lot as Duo is carried unceremoniously back to the ground outside their motel room.

Everything freezes for a split second, in the act of Duo collapsing, blood running freely from his nose, before it launches itself forward again, this time at high speed. And this time he finds himself following the car as it pulls away from the motel. He loses it a few times along winding stretches of highway and back roads, but he finds it again quickly, stopped outside a mansion.

He feels relatively comfortable with that word for the building before him: it's easily as huge as some of the places he has come to see, both in his time as a Gundam pilot and being around Relena and the kind of old money people she is sometimes associated with. It's on the huge side and very distinct; he has a feeling he won't be forgetting what it looks like.

He blinks, and the scene has shifted. It's hard to tell too much about where he is from the room, but he has a distinct feeling he's underground. Seriously, what is it with these rich people and their underground bunkers? What he wouldn't give for a buster rifle right about now...

It wouldn't help him a lot. He wouldn't risk hurting Duo, and Duo is most assuredly here. The room they are in is small, barely two meters across by two meters wide. It's tiny, utilitarian, maybe even spartan. There is a bed, a pan for a toilet, a jug of water that is about half-empty, and not much else.

From what he can gather, what his instincts tell him, someone tossed Duo in here shortly after they arrived. He was probably dropped on the floor, so that he's at least on the bed is a small victory. It means he's alive. He was able to move. That he's on the bed now, nearly two days later, though, means he's already tried all the methods he can think of to get out of here, and all of them have failed.

He looks like hell. It's hard to quantify what it is that makes him decide that, but he is definitely sure that they need to get Duo out of there immediately. He's pale, paler than Heero has ever seen him look before in all the time he's known him. His entire body seems strained: he's in pain. If they have so much as laid one goddamn finger on him...

What will he do? What can he do from here? But when he gets there... That's when they need to watch out. When he and Usagi get there, whoever this is will need to watch out. No, there's a better expression: they had better run like hell and hope that they are never heard from again. What he will do would be horrible. What Usagi will do could well be worse. But what Duo will do would be truly inspired and all the worse for that fact.

He hates that he's nothing more than an observer in these dreams. He wants nothing more than to grab Duo up and take him away from here right now. If he can't do that, he wants to at least wrap himself around Duo and never let go again.

Fingers trembling slightly, he reaches out and brushes Duo's hair back from where it has fallen into his eyes. To his surprise, the hair actually moves, and Duo stirs slightly. Just slightly, like it's hard for him to wake up. Usagi did intimate that he might have hurt himself with how much he had used his new abilities in their attempted escape from the bastards who are holding Duo; she might have been correct in her guess.

It's a horrible thought: that they can hurt themselves by using talents they've had maybe a month now. Duo's is a lot more physical than his or Usagi's; if he pushed himself way too far, then it might be no wonder that he's barely conscious.

But after nearly two days? It's worrisome. He has no idea what it is he would need to do the moment they get Duo out of here. Surely there has to be someone who can help him. Relena might even know of someone; for this, he doesn't mind using her connections. She would not deny him this.

"Heero..." Even Duo's voice sounds ragged.

The American turns over slowly to more fully face Heero, and he resists the urge to wince. He can spot lines of pain on Duo's forehead, even though he's mostly unconscious. That's not a good sign. There's dried blood on his face, but it looks old enough to have been from what he saw of the escape attempt; no one has bothered cleaning him up in any way.

He's going to kill these bastards in new and creative ways.

It may not make any difference, since this is just a dream, but he still whispers, "Usagi and I are coming for you, Duo. We'll be there as soon as we can. I promise: we are coming, and we will get you out of here."

"Heero..." It almost sounds like delirium, but at the same time, it doesn't. He has this strong suspicion that Duo heard him. Maybe he can't acknowledge it; maybe someone's watching or listening. Duo has always been good at spotting bugs from a mile away.

Even if there is a bug, there is no way it could pick him up. He's just a figure in a dream, a figment really. So he takes the time to promise once more, "I promise you, we'll be there soon."

If Duo hears him this time, he doesn't acknowledge it. He groans quietly, rolling back to face the wall that the bed is pushed up against instead of Heero, curling into something that's very much like a fetal position.

It reminds him of a jail cell from long ago, with him and Duo and Wufei. Duo was injured then too; of course, they all were, to be captured. Once all bravado was dealt with, Duo curled up just like this until he felt 'more human,' in his own words.

The realization only further infuriates him, and it's entirely possible that, if he clenches his fists any more tightly, he's going to find out if a figment of a dream can bleed. What he would really like to do right now is throw a punch at the person who orchestrated all of this-and not hold back one iota of his strength when he's doing it. He wants to beat them until they know exactly how Duo feels... and then some more.

Well, there is nothing say that he can't once he and Usagi have Duo safe again. If he wants to give in to the urge to beat someone then, there won't be anything stopping him.

He leans down and carefully takes a seat on the edge of the narrow cot-like bed, even though there's barely room enough to sit without placing himself on top of Duo in some way. There is a brief second of hesitation, but then he strokes his hand over part of Duo's hair over and over. Even though he can't feel much of what he's doing now, he still knows exactly what it should feel like... and if Duo can feel it, maybe--maybe--it will be enough to help ease the pain a little. Sometimes the oddest, smallest things go a long way to helping. Maybe...

When he speaks, he's careful to keep his voice low and modulated. It's less to make sure that no one hears him--because if there is any recording devices that can pick up on him in a dream, then he will be utterly and completely shocked--and more to keep trying to relax Duo. "I promise you," he says again, just as fervently as the first time, "Usagi and I will be here soon to get you, and we'll make sure everything will be okay. I promise." He bites his lip lightly, trying to think what to say. Comfort and reassurance has never been his strong suit either. Frankly, violence has always been where his talents lie, after all. But he's going to make the effort, damn it. "We'll take care of you, Duo. We miss you. We miss you so much. It's like... I don't have words for it. You're the one who can say stuff like this, Duo; I'm no good at it. But we miss you. We need you. And we're coming to get you. I swear it."

"Heero..." It is acknowledgement, more than he hoped for. It's also a sign that Duo's letting himself give in to the need to rest for a bit. Maybe it will even help him heal up some.

He sits there a few more minutes, resisting the urge to spoon up behind Duo's back in the tiny space that is left. He doesn't know what would happen if he goes to sleep while already in a dream, so he doesn't let himself try it. It gives him long enough to make sure Duo is asleep. The pain lines seem a little less pronouced already, though they are still there. He's still too pale, but he can't think of anything he can do for that now.

Now that he's here, he doesn't want to leave. He doesn't want to leave Duo alone in this situation, even if he's not really here to begin with. But he has to wake up. Usagi needs to know what he found out. Beyond that, he needs to get here in real life, so that he can fulfill his promise to Duo. He's going to take him out of here and keep him safe.

Reluctantly, he pushes himself to his feet. The second he's standing, he feels himself being pulled away: back outside the mansion, along the winding back roads, through the twists and turns of the highway, to the fire-hollowed remains of the motel. The dream hovers there for a second, before pulling back once more: quickly along the eight kilometers between the remains of the motel and the hotel he's staying at now.

Usagi is drifting somewhere between awake and asleep: at the slightest twitch from his body, she jerks awake again, but once he's still and she's checked him over again briefly, she settles back down again. She holds the Ginzuishou cupped in one hand; the other covers his as it lies atop the jewel.

It could come in handy in getting Duo back. It could come in even handier with healing Duo, as it did his hand.

Good, then. He has something loosely resembling a plan. Now to wake up and implement it.

09 August 2012

Okay, so the same rules apply: 50 hits get a new chapter and 100 hits gets your lovely author an ice cream. If anyone feels really frisky, 10 comments gets me an extra special treat - and you guys a new chapter. (You're only 3 reviews away! I'll share a picture of my treat and everything!)

I've been down the last week with a bug of some sort. (Okay, of the upper respiratory infection sort.) Writing on the Camp NaNoWriMo story is still ongoing and coming along nicely. I'm debating on starting to upload it soon, but part of me also wants to wait until it's done. I'd hate to leave you guys dangling on another story, especially one as out there as this one is promising to be.

Anyway, see you in the next chapter.


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