"The Perfect Soldier's Revival"
Heero stiffened as Neo raised his hand, palm pointed outward. "If you throw me," he pointed out, "this knife is going to drag across his throat anyway."
Atreusio swallowed carefully around the blade, and Neo hesitated.
Neo glanced over his shoulder, arching his brows as Trowa rose slowly to his feet, breathing hard as he glared at the other boy. "Your fight's with me."
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Neo demanded, exasperated. "Don't you know when to stay down? What a stubborn brat."
"Neo, please," Atreusio said quickly. "Remember what Quatre said."
Neo scowled, hesitating briefly before offering a devil-may-care grin. "Quatre's not here, is he?"
"Where is he?" Trowa's voice was steady and dangerous. "Take me to Quatre."
"Did it ever occur to you," Neo asked, rolling his eyes, "that maybe there's a damn good reason you idiots *weren't* warned about him? Or why you haven't been allowed to see him?"
"Neo," Atreusio said sharply.
Neo shrugged, but didn't say any more. Heero frowned.
"What are you talking about?" Trowa growled. "Are you insinuating that we're a *threat* to him? Our own team mate?"
Neo offered him a bland look, but refused to comment.
Trowa's jaw jerked, and Heero became instantly alert. His partner's temper was near the breaking point; he had never seen the taller boy so close to losing it. It was time to step in.
Before he could say a word, however, Neo beat him to it, tilting his head and flashing Trowa a slow smirk, eyes hooded. "You should just forget about him, lover boy. You're never going to see him again."
Trowa's temper snapped.
He had his gun out of his pocket and aimed with frightening speed, eyes narrowed to slits, jaw so tight Heero was expecting to hear teeth shatter. He opened his mouth to shout a command--
The sound of the gun firing cracked painfully loud in the enclosed area, and Atreusio jumped, giving a little cry of horror. Heero gritted his teeth. He was seriously going to beat some sense into Trowa after this. Now how the hell were they going to find...
Heero's eyes widened marginally.
Neo was still standing, looking completely unaffected as he grinned at Trowa in a superior manner. Trowa was simply staring at him in disbelief. Heero blinked. Trowa.. missed? Impossible. Trowa couldn't miss-- especially at this range. It was practically point-blank.
Then he saw it, and almost dropped the knife.
Neo was still standing because the bullet had never touched him.
It was inches from his face, floating quite calmly mid-air. Neo had stopped the bullet.. with his mind?!
Trowa's gun hit the ground with a clatter, his hand numb with shock.
"Sorry to rain on your parade," Neo murmured, looking like a lazily grinning cat, "but I really don't have time for this shit." He stepped calmly aside and flicked Heero a meaningful glance.
Heero's eyes narrowed. He was now directly in line with the bullet. With a thought, Neo could release it, and he would be struck right in the head, being shorter than the other boy. Very slowly and with frustrated reluctance, he lowered his knife and released his prisoner.
Atreusio hurried over to Neo's side, grabbing his arm. "Neo," he whispered breathlessly. "Let's go. Come on."
Neo slowly looked down at him, and after a long moment shrugged fluidly. "Yeh, whatever," he sniffed, as if it didn't matter one way or the other to him. "Let's get out of here."
Heero watched them go helplessly, standing tensely, the bullet still hovering. Trowa looked as if he'd like to jump the boys as they passed, but Atreusio glanced up at him from under his bangs with a warning look that made him think better of it. The door opened before they reached it, and they strode out calmly, the nurses falling silent as they walked past, another mind trick of Neo's.
A moment later the bullet clattered to the ground harmlessly.
For about two seconds the two pilots simply stood frozen, staring at each other.
Then both boys leapt for the door as one, bursting into the hallway.
They were gone. It was as if Neo and Atreusio had never even been there.
The nurses swarmed forward, frantically questioning them, and Heero retreated, wincing. His wound was still sore. It did, he realized with some surprise, feel almost healed, and that was a hell of a good thing. Trowa set about trying to soothe the nurses, and Heero padded back into his room, rummaging through the closet for his clothes. Covered in blood. Great. He snatched some clean clothes from the top shelf that a nurse had brought him and quickly stripped himself of the detested hospital gown. He pulled on the jeans and shrugged into the long sleeved shirt, careful of his bandaged arm from where he'd been shot at Relena's. He buttoned up the front quickly as he kicked his old clothes aside in search of his phone. Impatiently leaving the top three buttons open, he snatched up the cell and dialed the number he had long ago memorized.
He bent over to pick up the bullet, fingering it as he waited for the other end to pick up. After seven rings he hung up, frowning. Duo always kept his phone on. Why wasn't he answering? He irritably pushed away the twinge of worry in his stomach and dialed the next number from memory.
After two rings Wufei's brusque voice answered. "05."
"Wufei. I'm about to leave the hospital- Trowa's with me."
"Leave?" Wufei's voice was incredulous. "What the hell is wrong with you, Yuy? You need medical attention, you stubborn ass."
"I had visitors," Heero cut him off. "They healed me."
"Aa. Atreusio and someone he called Neo." Heero rummaged for his gun amid his clothes- it was missing. Damn nurses. He tugged his shoes towards him. "They're the ones that took Quatre."
"Atreusio?" Wufei's voice sharpened. "Isn't that the one you told us about from that school? He took Quatre? When I find that brat, I'll..."
"You'll get me," Heero said, pulling the sole off of his left shoe and fishing out the gun he'd hidden there. He pushed the sole firmly back on and shoved the handgun into his back pocket. "Stay away from them if you're alone. Don't provoke them. Especially Neo."
"Why the hell not?" Wufei snarled.
"Wufei." Heero's voice hardened. "I said leave them alone. They're stronger than you think."
"Don't tell me they overpowered Heero Yuy." Wufei's voice was laced with incredulous scorn.
"In a way, yes," Heero said, kicking his clothes aside and straightening, stepping into his shoes. "Where are you now?"
"On my way back from Relena's."
Heero wondered at the strange tone to the other pilot's voice, but didn't question it. He had more pressing issues. "Where's Duo? He isn't answering." Actually, he was a little surprised the over-worrying boy hadn't followed him to the hospital.
"He contacted me yesterday evening. To fill me in." There was a weird quality to his voice that made Heero instantly alert. "You should probably ask Trowa about it- he was there. But I have to tell you something first."
"Nani?" Heero glanced impatiently towards the door, where Trowa was still trying to calm down the nurses. "This better not be about Relena."
Heero rolled his eyes. He was more concerned now with his braided idiot of a team mate than that twit. He cut in before Wufei could say anything. "Save it. What else do you have to report?"
Wufei gave him a brief summary of what Trinity had been up to, how the dolls had been taken care of, and how Davarius was suspected to be behind it.
"Heero," Wufei's voice was firm. "You really need to hear about Relena."
Heero scowled. He'd rather not, and opened his mouth to say so.
But Wufei spoke quickly, interrupting him. "Relena's got cancer." He said it in a rush, as if relieved to get it out.
"She's dying. She's got maybe a month to live."
Heero hung up the phone.
He glanced up as Trowa strode towards him. "How well did they heal you? We aren't getting out that way. The nurses are having a fit." He still looked ruffled from earlier.
Heero stared at him, uncomprehending, still in something of a daze after Wufei's news. He quickly shook himself out of it, moving towards the window.
"I'm fine," he said shortly. "Let's go."
In the hospital parking lot Trowa found a motorbike and quickly hotwired it. Heero climbed on behind him and they roared off towards the nearby docks, where Heavyarms was hidden. "You take the bike," Trowa called over the wind, "and head towards Agabi Park. I hid Wing there after I found Duo."
Heero nodded, one hand on the back of the seat, the other holding firmly onto the taller boy's shoulder for balance.
When they reached the docks and dismounted, Heero turned to Trowa with a look that clearly stated he would tolerate no bullshitting on the secretive pilot's part. Trowa saw the look and instantly was on the alert, gazing back with his best impassive mask.
"What happened to Duo?" Heero demanded. "Wufei said you found him after I was taken to the hospital."
Trowa's expression didn't change. "Davarius captured him right after you were taken away," he said calmly. "I helped him escape. I happened to be in the area. We met up with a solitary Wiccan, and he's offered to help. He and Duo are on their way to the hospital now."
Heero suspected Trowa wasn't telling him something, but he could never be sure with the other boy. He was too good at keeping secrets, at holding his expressionless mask. "He's not answering his phone. Does he have Deathscythe?"
"Aa." Trowa turned to head towards his Gundam, but hesitated, looking back at Heero in quiet contemplation. Finally he turned towards him again, speaking in a low voice. "Davarius did something to him," he said, tone level and inflectionless. "Don't bring up his name around Duo."
Something in Heero flashed almost painfully, and he realized his jaw had tightened. He quickly forced himself to relax, angry at his own ridiculous reaction. "Duo isn't someone who can be broken that easily," he reminded Trowa.
Heero felt his mouth twitch. Something in him was starting to burn with anger.
"And.. don't say anything about his bruises," Trowa advised. "I don't think he wants to think about it."
Trowa started to leave again. Heero acted without thinking.
His arm snapped out, hand almost crushing Trowa's wrist in a deathgrip. Trowa looked back at him calmly, staring into Heero's snapping eyes. He hid his surprise. Heero looked ready to murder someone. Did he know his anger was showing so clearly? And why was he so mad?
"What happened to him?" Heero demanded in a steel tone. "Answer me."
The underlying warning was clear, and Trowa glanced reluctantly towards where his Gundam was hidden. "It's something for Duo to tell you," he protested quietly.
The grip on his slender wrist tightened, and this time he couldn't quite supress a wince. His wrist was going to break in a moment.
"You tell me. Now."
Trowa stared at him for a long few moments before slowly nodding. Perhaps if Heero knew he wouldn't keep asking Duo and making the other boy go insane inside thinking about it. Maybe if he knew, he would be more careful not to bring it up around the other boy. "All right," he said quietly.
Heero glared at him, waiting.
Trowa stared him down, watching the other boy's reaction carefully. "I think Davarius tried to rape Duo."
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