Author's Notes: I've been dying to do a fic like this for quite some
time, but while I had vague ideas and scenarios, I had no plot
whatsoever. So thanks to Mami for the plot idea XD
As in all my GW fics, Endless Waltz never happened as far as I'm
concerned. This story occurs some time after the GW timeline.
Warnings: This fic contains yaoi. If you don't like that, don't read
this fic. This fic also contains dark overtones and occasionally
graphic, twisted scenes. If you have a weak stomach or don't go for that
kind of thing, you might not want to read this fic.
It was a hell of a way to spend his twenty-first
Most young men his age would be out with their
friends, living the night life and discovering the limits of their alcohol
tolerance. In fact, Heero was sure that had he been back on earth, he
would have been dragged out to the nearest bar to do just that.
Instead of scanning the labels on bottles of booze,
however, Heero's eyes were sweeping over the bulletin board covered in
crime scene photographs. Instead of rowdy laughter and drunken songs,
the only sounds in the small office were the occasional nervous cough
of one of the officers and the slow, steady ticking of the clock on the
There were two officers in the room with him, one of
them picking agitatedly at his half-eaten sub while the other leaned
against the far wall, arms crossed as he watched Heero with an unreadable
expression. Heero ignored them both. He was fully aware that they
were still against letting him in on their case. He was too young, in
their eyes, to be let in on something this big. His connections were good
enough to get him inside, but that didn't mean these men thought any
bigger of him. He was a punk kid with mysterious credentials who they'd
been told to cater to, like it or not.
Heero's eyes flicked from one photo to the other.
Perhaps they were waiting for him to retreat or vomit. The pictures
were graphic. But Heero had seen dead bodies before. He'd made some of
those bodies himself.
But those men had died from gunshot wounds, oxygen
deprivation, explosions. It was easy to distance yourself from a death
when the weapon was something so far removed from your own hand.
Squeeze a trigger, and several feet away or many many meters away, something
exploded. Someone fell over dead. Rip the hull from a ship, turn your
back and let the cold empty mercilessness of space do the rest as the
oxygen is torn from the inside.
But these men had not died simple, cold-cut
Someone had done these personally and up close.
Mostly with a blade, sometimes with something a little more inventive.
Heero peered at one photograph of a man with his
throat cut so badly the head was nearly severed. Wire. He glanced at the
notice below the picture. Piano wire, to be precise; they'd found it a
few feet from the body, tossed there carelessly by the suspect. No
No prints ever. Not at any of the crime scenes.
Heero glanced over his shoulder at the two men
silently waiting for him to speak. "You said there were never any prints,"
he said crisply. "Forensics has been unable to ID the killer. What
makes you think it's the same person?" He had his own theories, but he
wanted to hear theirs first. He wanted to see if they'd done their
The man leaning against the wall sneered slightly as
if Heero had just insulted his intelligence. The shiny badge on his
belt said Peterson.
The large man at the table-- he'd introduced himself
with a nervous handshake as Matthews --began to roll a crumb of bread
between thumb and forefinger, glancing from his partner to Heero
constantly. "Well, for one thing, there's a connection between the victims.
They're all politically involved. Some of them actually hold political
positions, while others are supporters or contributers. The murders
started shortly after the Gorgenstern Bill was passed two months ago. So
far all the victims were ones who approved the Bill."
"It could be a terrorist cell," Heero pointed
"Well, yeah." Matthews flicked the crumb away and
began picking unconsciously at a piece of cheese protruding from the sub
bun. "But the murder weapon is usually a knife; forensics is pretty
sure it's the same knife every time. And whoever it is, they've managed
to sneak past the alarms and security surrounding each victim. He's
one sneaky bastard. The victims never see 'im coming."
Heero nodded slightly, then reached up to tap his
fingertips against a photo of a man sprawled atop his own desk, each
organ lined up in a neat little line on the floor, his intestines tugged
out and tied in a playful knot. "And he's been leaving his mark at each
Peterson finally spoke, his eyes narrowing a little.
"Mark? What mark?"
Heero pulled the picture from the wall and tossed it
onto the desk. "It's a game," he said flatly, pulling down another
picture and dropping it by the first. "He's enjoying himself." He
retrieved a third photograph and came over to the table, lying it beside the
other two and pointing at each one in silence.
Peterson came over to look, peering suspiciously at
"Umm..." Matthews blinked heavily, looking from one
picture to the other. "I don't--"
"Crazy bastard," Peterson hissed under his
"What?" Matthews leaned forward more. "I still
Peterson tapped a finger impatiently against the
first photo. "Here-" he moved his finger to the others. "Here, and here.
He makes a joke of it. Look, with this guy he ties the guts up like a
bow. This one, he pulls the hair back in a tail. And here--"
"I see it," Mattews interrupted, looking disgusted.
He gazed down at the picture of the victim, cheeks sliced all the way
back to the jawline so that all his teeth showed in a fiendish, skeletal
grin. "Jesus." He looked quickly towards the bulletin board. "I'd
noticed a couple weird things," he admitted, "but didn't think it was
really a pattern."
"That explains that other shit," Peterson
Heero glanced up at him sharply. "Other?" he
The two detectives exchanged a look. "We were
keeping it from the press," Peterson admitted after a moment. "The first
few victims, we got nothing. But I guess when the guy realized what an
uproar he was causing, he decided to flaunt it. Or maybe the sick son
of a bitch thinks it's funny that we don't know who's comitting the
murders." He walked over to a file cabinet and pulled open one of the
drawers, pulling out a manila envelope. He tossed it on the desk by the
pictures. "Six victims so far," he said as Heero took the envelope and
shook its contents onto the desk's surface. "The last two had these damn
things with 'em. See a connection?"
Heero lifted the first note, holding it up to the
light with a slight frown. It was a scrap of plain white paper; could
have come from anywhere. The handwriting was sloppy and careless, and
He looked up with an arched brow. "Which victim was
this found with?"
Matthews pointed wordlessly towards the board.
Heero stared at the picture of the man with his skull split in two, the
gray matter inside clearly visible.
"Hit him with one of his own golf trophies,"
Peterson snorted. "Sick."
"We did some research," Matthews added. "The guy
didn't make that shit up. Some guy named Harry Graham did a whole book
full of morbid little poems like that back in the late 19th or 20th
century I think it was."
Heero looked back at the note, frowning, then set it
aside and picked up the other.
"Two down?" Heero read, frown deepening.
Peterson shrugged. "Don't look at me. This note
was found with the sixth victim. Why did he only claim responsibility
for two of them when it's obvious the same guy took all of them out?"
Heero looked from the note to the board. "Which
victim?" he demanded.
"Ah, that was Senator Young." Matthews pointed out
Heero stared at the picture for a long moment, then
strode quickly to the board. He looked over each picture with narrowed
eyes, then turned sharply on his heel, face like a thundercloud. "I
need a planetary line," he snapped. "I need to call back to Earth."
"What?" Matthews blinked at him. "Uhh... the
commissioner has one in his office. Why?"
Heero tapped one of the pictures on the board with
his knuckle and strode towards the door in long, quick strides.
"Because," he growled, "I know who his next victim is."
"What are you talking about?" Peterson hastened to
the board to inspect the photo Heero had indicated. "Gertrude Halls?
She's just a contributer..."
He was speaking to himself. Heero was already gone.
Peterson scowled at the open doorway, hands on his hips. "Uptight
prick," he muttered. "I still don't see why the commissioner let that kid
in on the case."
Matthews heaved himself from his chair and came over
to study the picture. He looked over each other others, frowning. "I
don't get it," he admitted. "How does he know who..." he trailed off,
"What?" Peterson snapped impatiently.
Matthews glanced at his partner, face grim. "Two
down," he quoted, pointing at the picture of Gertrude Halls, her head
placed neatly beside her stripped body. "Ms. Hall and Senator Young...
"Women," Peterson hissed in sudden comprehension.
He looked sharply at the photographs again. "How many politically
involved women helped push the Gorgenstern Bill through?"
Matthews' mouth tightened into a thin white line.
"The Prime Minister," Peterson said in horrified
Matthews hastily tucked the notes back into their
envelope, then hurried after his partner to the commissioner's
Heero was already on the phone, back rigid as he
gazed at the wall with a face of stone, waiting impatiently for the line
to connect on the other end.
Commissioner Ruth met Peterson's gaze, eyes puzzled.
He rose to his feet and beckoned for the two detectives to step outside
with him, pulling the door partially shut behind himself.
"What's all this about?" Jeremy Ruth, an overweight
man close to his mid-fifties, would never be a field man again, but his
mind was a sharp as a tack. He was a no-nonsense man who didn't like
being left out of the loop, and it had been a surprise to everyone when
he'd allowed the enigmatic Heero Yuy access to the case with hardly a
murmur of opposition to the idea.
"Yuy thinks he knows who the next victim will be,"
Peterson explained in a low tone. "He found some kind of connection.
He thinks Relena Peacecraft is on the hit-list."
"Well that's hardly surprising," Ruth snapped. "She
helped push the Bill through. Even convinced some that didn't want the
Bill to see the light of day to think otherwise. But why would she be
next? It could easily be any of the other six that supported the
"It was the notes, sir." Matthews dug the scraps of
paper out of the envelope he was carrying. "Two down," he read,
handing the note over. "It was with the sixth victim, Senator Young. We'd
wondered why it referred to only two, when there were six victims."
"But only two of the victims so far have been
women," Peterson finished. "Senator Young and Ms. Hall. Which, if we're
still going on the theory that the suspect is targeting those who helped
pass the Bill, leaves only--"
"Prime Minister Peacecraft." Ruth's face was grave.
"That explains Yuy's haste to get her on the line."
"He's head of her security," Ruth growled
impatiently, squinting at the both of them. "Try to keep up with current events,
Matthews. Evidently he's worked for her off and on for a couple years,
but accepted the job as security manager at the end of last year."
"Oh." Matthews frowned. "I still don't see how that
justifies him being here," he admitted.
Ruth scowled at him. "You stick to finding clues,"
he ordered. "Leave the bureaucratic bullshit to me."
Peterson opened his mouth for another question, but
just then the office door opened and Heero stepped out, eyes flitting
instantly to Ruth. "I must return to Earth," he said with no
"Of course." Ruth stepped aside to let him pass,
looking a little relieved to see the young man go. "We'll keep you
updated, as we agreed, on the case's progress."
Heero nodded curtly and strode off without a
"I didn't think you could reach such an important
line from here," Peterson noted, scratching absently at his stubble.
"The Prime Minister herself, I mean."
"You can't," Ruth said shortly. "Though the number
he asked to be connected to was nowhere near where Minister Peacecraft
Matthews frowned. "Then who would he call?"
Ruth felt a sudden urge for a cigarette, a habit he
thought he'd kicked years ago. "The shuttle won't get him to earth for
another forty-eight hours. He doesn't seem the patient type. If I
were a betting man," he said drolly, "I'd say he called for backup."
"This is ridiculous," Relena sighed, watching with
dismay as a patch of tulips was thoughtlessly trampled by the men
hustling about, making the building more secure. "I still think Heero is
Trowa Barton barely spared her a glance from where
he stood close by, eyes scanning the activity, hand resting firmly on
the muzzle of the rifle slung over his shoulder. "I would trust Heero's
instincts if I were you," he pointed out in a monotone. "He wouldn't
have asked us to watch you until his arrival if he didn't have a good
reason to worry."
Relena shook her head, reaching up to push sweaty
bangs from her face. She detested being outdoors lately. The
temperature had been rising all summer, making it one of the hottest summers in
this province in almost a decade. She longed for the cool air of the
indoors, but felt obligated to watch as her home was transformed into a
fort. "I trust him," she assured the taller man by her side. "But he
has a tendency to see bad potential in even the most mundane things."
She squinted up at him, raising a hand to shade her eyes from the sun.
"And I feel bad that he pulled you here just to watch me."
Trowa gave a one-shouldered shrug. "The next show
isn't until next week, and Catherine saw no reason why I shouldn't do
Heero a favor. He asked Duo, as well. He should be here by tonight or
"Duo Maxwell?" Relena pursed her lips in thought.
"I understand your being here," she admitted. "The circus travels
everywhere. But I thought Heero said Duo was running a mechanics shop in
some backwater colony after he got banned from L2 for starting that
"Riot," Trowa corrected mildly, glancing at his
watch. "Duo comes to earth once a year to personally supervise the
shipping of certain parts and, from what I hear, enjoy Terran alcohol."
"Jack Daniels," Relena said with a small smile. "I
remember because that was the only thing Heero could think to send him
last Christmas." She sighed. "They've kind of lost touch in the last
year or so. They speak on the phone maybe once every few months, and
haven't even gone to lunch together since shortly after Heero moved in
here permanently. They were such good friends too."
Trowa glanced at her sideways, but kept silent.
None of the surprise he felt was visible on his face. Duo and Heero had
remained close friends even after Operation Meteor, mostly due to Duo's
insistent calls, e-mails, and letters. Slowly he had dragged Heero
further out of his shell until the two had kept in touch regularly, even
visiting each other every now and then.
Quatre had once commented approvingly that it was
probably due to Duo's efforts that Relena had managed to get close to the
normally stoic ex-pilot.
Relena looked back up at him as if reading his
thoughts, face brightening in a smile. "You'll be able to make it, won't
you?" she pressed. "To the wedding. You and Catherine."
"Yes," Trowa replied, eyes scanning the grounds once
more. "Catherine is rather... excited about it. Women get that way
about these kinds of things, or so I've heard."
Relena laughed. "Yes," she agreed, "we do." She
tilted her head up and let the sun warm her face, smiling dreamily. "It's
hard to believe it's really happening to me," she murmured. "When I
was a little girl, sometimes I wondered if I'd ever get married because
duty seemed so important. And when I found out who my real family was,
I admit I had the childish fantasy of getting married to a prince." She
laughed again. "A little silly, I guess. Did you know when I first
met Heero, I thought he was a prince? A prince fallen from the stars,
just for me..." She trailed off, eyes content and far away.
Trowa studied her in silence, feeling the faintest
suggestion of a frown tug at the corner of his mouth. It had been
obvious to anyone with eyes that Relena had decided who it was she would be
with back in the days of the war. Quatre had felt bad for her,
pointing out once-- not to her face, of course --that Heero was simply too out
of touch with his emotions to reciprocate her feelings. He seemed to
view Relena as simply another duty, another mission, not as the
potential mate she saw him as.
Quatre had been wrong, evidently. Her long, patient
work and Duo's efforts had proved sucessful. Relena was going to be a
very happy bride.
But, Trowa wondered with sudden cynicism, would Heero
be a happy groom?
He shook his head slightly to dislodge the thought.
Just because Heero had a hard time putting his emotions and affections
on display didn't mean he didn't feel. Relena wouldn't be so
deleriously happy if he wasn't showing her some sign of affection, even
if out of sight of the rest of the world.
Yes, this was good, he told himself firmly. It
would be good for Heero. Relena loved him. She would make him happy.
Make him human.
That makes two of us who were wrong, a voice in his
subconscious murmured. Quatre had thought Relena didn't have a chance
no matter how hard she tried.
Trowa, though he had never voiced his suspicions
aloud, had thought the same thing of Duo.
Friendship after all, he'd finally decided when
Relena and Heero had started cautiously dating. Americans were simply more
openly affectionate and friendly than he was used to. He'd misread the
other boy. Duo had congratulated the couple cheerfully enough when
their relationship had finally been revealed.
Funny, though, that his withdrawal seemed to
coincide with the announcement of the engagement almost a year ago.
Trowa firmly returned his attention to the grounds.
Never mind. It was over and done with. Relena would be a happy Mrs.
Yuy in a month, and Duo-- who was probably just busy with work --would
probably start showing up more often when she started popping out kids.
Duo had a soft spot for children.
Trowa's nose crinkled unconsciously.
Children of Heero Yuy. There was a scary
They were having supper when the dining room doors
burst open and Heero came striding in briskly.
Relena got to her feet hastily and spun around,
dress floating about her as she ran to him and threw her arms around his
neck. "You're home!"
His arms went automatically around her slender
waist, the tension in his face and frame slowly easing. He looked at Trowa
steadily over her head.
Trowa acknowledged the silent thanks with a small
nod, wiping his mouth on a napkin fastidiously and rising from the table.
"No disturbances so far," he reported. "And the place has been locked
down tight, as you probably noticed. If or when this psycho tries to
make an appearance, he'll find it impossible to get farther than the
"Good." Heero nodded approvingly. "It took me
nearly ten minutes to get them to let me inside, even with ID."
"Oh, Heero, this is all so silly," Relena protested,
arms still clasped around him as she looked up at him with the hint of
a pout on her lips. "What reason would this man have for hunting me
"He seems to be going after the people who helped
push the Gorgenstern Bill through," Heero explained, gently detaching her
arms, visibly uncomfortable at allowing PDA in front of Trowa. "And
there were clues that led me to believe you're the next target."
"The Gorgenstern Bill?" Relena repeated in open
surprise. "But... why? That Bill was meant to help people! Why would
anyone be angry about it?"
"That depends on your point of view," Heero admitted
with a slight shrug. "You know some of the colonists are against
"Yes, but that's only because they don't fully
understand it," Relena pressed. "I can't believe someone would be so angry
about it that they would kill for it!"
"Then the war taught you nothing," Trowa said
Relena turned to stare at him.
"There are always people willing to die for and kill
for their beliefs," Trowa reminded her a little sternly. "Don't ever
"Could get you killed," came a cheerful, agreeable
Heero turned quickly in barely supressed surprise to
face the young man that came walking jauntily into the dining room,
duffel bag slung over one narrow shoulder, dark clothes dusty from the
trip. "Yo! Long time no see!"
While the years had changed all the ex-pilots to
some degree, privately Heero thought the passage of time had been most
obvious in his American friend.
It used to be that the name Duo Maxwell brought to
mind a short, skinny kid with a ridiculously long braid, a shit-eating
grin, laughing blue eyes, and a priest outfit. A kid who had much on
his mind, and even more on the tip of his tongue. Chatterbox, idiot,
annoyance, brat... Heero had called the other boy by many scornful names
in the days of the war, and always gotten a fond laugh in return. Duo
had been immature, a loose cannon, someone who found the most
inappropriate things funny, and in Heero's opinion was next to useless in
anything other than breaking and entering and piloting.
But Duo's constant attempts at friendship had won
out in the end, even if Heero hadn't realized it until too late. He'd
grown accustomed to his strange friend, both the past bubbly form and the
present, more jaded one.
He had hit his growth spurt with a vengeance
somewhere around his seventeenth birthday. Trowa was still the tallest of the
five, but Duo stood almost half a head taller than Heero himself.
He still had the braid. Heero understood on some
deep level that to lose that braid would be to lose a part of who Duo
was. He didn't grasp the idea completely, but he'd accepted the fact
years ago that the hair was there to stay.
The priest outfit was gone, replaced by a small
cross he wore around his neck. His clothes were usually more loud and
flamboyant, now, a reflection of the constant cheer and amusement he
carried with him like a shadow.
Today he was wearing black: black jeans, black
tanktop, black leather coat. There was a pair of cheap dark sunglasses
balanced on the edge of his nose as he offered his old friends a familiar
It had been a long time, Heero realized, recognizing
with a start the jump in his chest. He'd missed his strange
"The dudes at the gate were giving me a hard time,"
Duo admitted cheerfully. "So I slipped around back. You got a few
weak points in the perimeter you need to beef up, Yuy." He laughed out
loud. There was an edge of dry mockery to it; Duo had seen much in his
young life, and his sarcasm was as sharp and caustic as Wufei's at
times. But it was still familiar to Heero, and he felt more at ease because
of it. Yes. Relena was definitely safe, now. He was home, and now he
had Trowa and Duo to help keep her from harm.
He felt her smaller hand slip into his and glanced
down at her, feeling his expression soften. He would do anything to
keep her safe, he admitted to himself. In the past, he would have done so
out of loyalty to duty, to the mission. Now it was for another reason
Relena was helping him day by day to become human,
to explore his own emotions. Helping him to feel. He would always be
indebted to her for that. She was the strongest woman he knew. His
admiration of her had slowly, tentatively turned towards deeper feelings
in the last few years. And to think that he could make another person
so happy just by returning a touch or a smile made him feel calmer and
more at peace than ever he had in his life.
He had called in the big guns. But she was worth
Trowa was watching Duo.
Across the room, Duo's smile turned even more
mocking and self-loathing, as if he were laughing at some private, twisted
joke, his eyes glued to the interlaced hands of soldier and Minister.
Friendship, huh? Trowa's subconscious jeered
quietly. Trowa ignored it firmly and lifted a hand towards the table.
"There's still some left if the two of you are hungry," he pointed out.
"I'll go check on those gaps in the perimeter Duo mentioned."
"I already ate," Duo said, tossing his bag
carelessly into a corner and flashing a wolfish smile Trowa's way. "I'll show
ya what I was talking about."
Trowa nodded in silent agreement and let the other
man lead the way out of the room and into the foyer.
"...He loves her very much, doesn't he?" Duo asked
abruptly, voice subdued.
Trowa flicked him a quick sideways glance,
Duo chuckled humorlessly. "S'ok," he muttered.
"You don't have to answer. I can see that for myself." He blew an
exaggerated sigh. "It's good," he said firmly. "Good. I'm glad. He's happy
now, right? Even if it's her.... well, it's good that he
actually feels something, now."
".....Yes," Trowa agreed after a moment.
Duo nodded, smile already in place, and quickly
changed the subject, explaining cheerfully how he'd infiltrated the grounds
and what was the best way to fix the problem.
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