++Ch. 5++
"Attack in the Night"


It was so quiet it wouldn't have been heard by any ordinary person deeply asleep in the middle of the night. Just the barest disturbance of sound in the night, the light clicks and taps of a lockpick at his job.
But to the ears of a thief, the sound triggered his instincts, and without conscious thought Duo was fully awake and sitting straight up in his bed, never having fallen completely asleep in the first place.
On the floor, the perfect soldier sprang to his feet, gun in his hand, like a perfectly-oiled machine.
The door burst open with a shocking suddenness, and Duo gave a startled jump and a gasp, falling off the bed in an ungraceful heap as the chain lock caught, and the door slammed open only a few inches. The fumbling pilot had the bedside table drawer open in moments, his groping hand encountering the gun he had stashed there and wrapping around it quickly. He was on his feet the next second, aiming with steady hands. Because of where he was standing, he had a clearer shot than Heero did of the opened crack of the door, and his bullet caught its target in the shoulder as their attacker stupidly tried to force the door open.
The gunshot and the replying scream of the victim galvanized Heero into action. He seized Duo by the elbow, dragging him away from the door and grabbing the helmets from the nightstand. The whole hotel would be alerted, now, and the cops would arrive in minutes. Shoving one helmet at Duo, he ran to the door and undid the chain lock, throwing the door open, his gun up and ready a split-second later.
He could see a stumbling figure limping away from their room through the parking lot, the tools of his trade scattered at Heero's feet. He frowned. Just a simple thief. How pathetic. Oh, well, it had been a few hours, and they needed to get on the road again.
Duo appeared behind him, the strap of the helmet clenched in his teeth, his hands tugging his hair into an already half-finished braid, his skilled fingers flying through the locks of hair as he cursed through the strap in his mouth.
Heero ignored him, jogging to the bike and sliding in the key, slamming the helmet over his head a moment before his instincts cried danger. He looked up too late to shout a warning.
Duo was still coming at him across the parking lot, busy tying off the end of his braid, too occupied with it and the helmet dangling from his mouth to pay attention to much else. A large man rose up out of the shadows behind the smaller boy, hands seizing him by the throat in a cruel grip that caused the helmet to fall from Duo's mouth in a frantic gasp for air, his eyes widening into saucers as he released his braid and clawed frantically at the big hands.
Heero jumped off the bike, ignoring it as it crashed onto its side behind him, going at the hulking man at a dead run.
The man hadn't been expecting a full-out frontal attack from a skinny kid who wasn't even half his size, and was caught completely off guard as the boy slammed into his side with all his weight and strength, throwing him off balance and crushing him against a telephone pole, driving the air from his body in a loud grunt of pain.
Duo wriggled free immediately, driving his elbow back in a fierce, spiteful blow to his attacker's middle before sprinting after Heero, trying hard to catch his breath as he clambered onto the bike behind his partner, remembering at the last second that his helmet was still on the asphalt by the stranger's feet. No time to get it, now. He wrapped his arms tightly around Heero's middle as the bike roared to life, praying fervently that they wouldn't get into a crash.
Then the bike was spinning out of the lot, roaring down the road and out of sight, leaving behind the thief and the mercenary whose attempt at murder had failed.
The thief staggered towards his partner, hissing with pain and fury as he clutched his wounded shoulder, glaring at the man struggling to his feet. "Those fucking brats! We weren't told they'd be so quick!"
"Shut up," the other man grunted, finally recovering his breath and pulling a cell phone from his back pocket. "They're gundam pilots, of course they're tough. Quit your whining and get the car ready. The cops will be here in a minute, you idiot." He turned his back on the skinny man, dialing a number and waiting until the other line picked up. "Boss," he greeted. "Yes. It's me. They got away. Right. I'll call Team 2 and tell them to get ready."

***

"Ch'... we're lucky to be alive," Heero growled quietly, seated on the parked motorcycle as his fingers flew over the keyboard of his laptop, contacting Dr. J. He had no desire to use the cell phone and risk having the call traced. "Those men were sent by someone."
Duo was sitting cross-legged on the grass, leaning back on his hands, glancing around the small wooded area by the side of the road that they had stopped to rest in. "Hai. I wonder what they wanted. Ne, Heero, are we almost there? It'll be dawn soon." He yawned hugely. "And I'm exhausted!"
Heero didn't even look up, eyes glued to the glowing screen. "Aa. We'll be there in another hour."
"What the hell did they want with us?" Duo mused, flopping onto his back, nibbling on the tip of his braid as he gazed upwards at the overhanging branches. He winced, stretching out his leg more, trying to relieve some of the dull ache in the ankle. Running from that thug had aggravated the bruised muscles more.
"Who knows. I alerted Dr. J." Heero shut the laptop with a click, tucking it into his bookbag. "We need to get going."
"Matte matte," Duo groaned, throwing his arm over his eyes and feigning slumber. "Just a quick little nap..."
He heard the grass stirring, then the tip of his braid was drawn from his mouth. He lifted his arm slightly, gazing up at the boy squatting beside him with an emotionless expression on his young face. Duo grinned lop-sidedly. "Eh...or we can get going. Good idea. Glad I thought of it."
Heero grunted, rising, watching silently as his partner leapt to his own feet gracefully, then doubled over with an unconcealed wince as his ankle protested the quick action. "Did you rebind that?"
Duo shook his head, limping towards the motorcycle. "I unwrapped it last night cuz it was annoying me," he said airily, flapping his hand dismissively. "I'll have Quatre help me when we get back; he's a good nurse." He laughed at the sudden thought of Quatre in a nurse's outfit, complete with short skirt. "A kawaii nurse."
Heero shoved him roughly aside with abrupt bad temper, ignoring the other boy's indignant exclamation as he got back on the bike, retrieving his helmet from the handlebars and cramming it over his head, glaring through it impatiently at Duo. "Hurry up," he snapped. "We need to go."
"Geeez, chill out," Duo huffed, climbing on behind him and sliding his arms around the other boy's waist for balance. "What's your deal, man?"
Heero declined to respond, kicking the bike into gear, drowning out Duo's words with the roar of the motor.

***

Quatre opened the door and hurried out onto the dirt driveway, concern mingled with the relief at seeing them safe plain on his face. "Heero, Duo- Dr. J just called us about twenty minutes ago to tell us what happened. Are you all right?"
Duo grinned encouragingly as he slid off the bike, trying to stand as straight as he could. "Daijabou, Q-man. We're fine."
"Duo hurt his ankle," Heero grunted simply, his hand splayed on Duo's lower back to support him as he tugged off his helmet with his free hand, unaware of the flush that rose to his partner's face at the contact. "You need to bind it."
Wufei had come outside behind his blond lover, and his eyes narrowed thoughtfully on seeing Duo's reaction to Heero's touch. He kept his comments to himself, however, and reached up to deftly catch the bike keys Heero tossed at him, tucking them into his pocket. "Come inside before somebody sees you," he said shortly, glancing over his shoulder as Trowa emerged from the small house, standing in the doorway, his handsome face as unreadable as ever.
He frowned slightly, remembering the other boy's comments last night, then smiling inwardly as he thought of Quatre's shy move to crawl into bed with him. He watched as his lover pulled one of Duo's arms around his neck, taking him from Heero and helping the limping boy inside, asking him all the while for details on what had happened and if his ankle was broken or just sprained.
Wufei beckoned to Heero, turning to follow his lover. "Come inside," he said. "Tell us what happened-- in your own words. What are we up against?"








Author's notes: gahhh~~ gomen ne, minna-san!! *prostrates herself* I've been so occupied with work and my koi, that all i seem to do in my free time is draw T__T i apologize for the delay.. i'll try to be a good girl now.. *sniffle*




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