Janus-Faced

by AKA Anonymous

Genre: Suspense, evil pilot?

Pairings: (background) 3+4, others???

Warnings: Angst, betrayal?, light pilot torture, spoilers for Ep. Zero, unbeta'd, swearing

Standard Disclaimers Apply.

Feedback to: theanonymous12000@yahoo.com


Chapter One

Wufei swore again as they threw down their weapons. The metal artillery hit the ground with a clatter like a mocking applause for their enemies. His eyes swept the encroaching, gun-toting thugs with anger. This was the second time in his short life as a warrior that he had been captured, before it had been out of bullheadedness and pride, this was just stupidity on his part. How could they have been so quickly out-maneuvered by these people?

They looked like regular gang runners, dressed in barely more than rags and dirt. It was the perfect camouflage as they slipped out of darkened alleyways and the abandoned shells of cars and buildings to surround his team. Thinking back, he realized they had efficiently used the littered, rundown and naturally cluttered streets of the L2 colony like a rat's maze to herd the small force into the trap. The lights had already started to dim, spreading deeper shadows that had belied and hidden their enemy until it was too late.

He had not considered their enemy would be so well prepared for their small assault team. He studied the growing group with a hard glare that stopped a few in their progression towards him. They hadn't expected so many weapons or enemies...or that they would use such means of deceit to hide themselves.

Ahead of him, Heero glanced significantly to Quatre, but the blonde shook his head. Wufei tensed further, watching their de-facto leader carefully in case he signaled for them to attack, no matter what the strategist thought.

But Quatre was right and Heero stood his ground, allowing the enemy to circle them and kick their discarded weapons aside. There was no way to retaliate and escape without casualties on both sides, acceptable losses to warriors like themselves, but when the enemy took the guise of helpless civilians...it was too much to risk accidental, innocent deaths. Wufei fought the urge to yell at the injustice of their captors, using such foul tactics. A deep growl drew his attention to the last member of their ensemble.

With his legs tensed and his lips drawn in a sneer, Duo Maxwell looked strikingly similar to a cornered dog. The pilot had lost his usual cheerfulness sometime before they had set foot on the 'silent' colony, but his unusual behavior was brushed aside in light of the recent events. Now, in a strange moment of calm, as their enemies closed into a tight circle, weapons aimed and ready, Wufei wondered what exactly had caused the change.

He had no time to ponder the thought. A sharp, barking laughter lifted over the group of ragged thugs and they parted for what Wufei guessed was their leader.

All in all, the man was handsome. Strikingly golden hair fell jaggedly around the slim features and brushed the man's muscled shoulders. At approximately six foot five, he stood out in the crowd with his tailored black-on-black outfit and well-developed body. Most of his people looked anorexic beside him.

Wufei hadn't picked that up before; not only were their captors dressed like regular hoodlums, but they physically looked it, too. Gaunt cheekbones, thin limbs under bundles of cloth, and pale, yellowish skin were a common trait in most, suggesting poor nutrition. The rags they wore weren't just scrubby, but filthy and worn. Though they held their rifles and various other weapons with proper care, they were skittish and tense, like they had never been trained for situations like this. Were they actually gang members? There were more than thirty on the street within eyeshot, he had never heard of such a large group of street runners in the colonies.

Their leader, on the other hand was confident looking, healthy and better dressed. He didn't look at all uncomfortable with the four captives trying to stare him down. The blonde man's posture was that of a soldier, his eyes were sharp and intelligent, but that alone wouldn't have gained their trust. Trust was life on the streets; it had to be earned time and again to survive--especially in a gang where you had to work together to keep ahead of death. How did he fit in? He wasn't a lower class street punk like the rest of them, but then again, if the others were gang members, they wouldn't have trusted him if he wasn't. That was the way it worked: there were no outsiders. At least, as far as Wufei's limited knowledge of gangs went, but this seemed to be no regular gang.

"Well, well," the man clapped his hands together in feigned delight, "what do we have here? More Preventor spies?"

A chill ran down Wufei's spine like a thousand pins of ice bleeding his hope away just from hearing the confidence of the man's voice. He saw Quatre straighten slightly, the blonde's skin paling further with his own worried thoughts.

"Well, men," the leader turned, thumping a nearby thug on the shoulder, "let's be sure that our guests are shown a proper L2 greeting, shall we?"

It was the only warning they received before the mob was upon them.

~*~*~*~*~

Stiffness outranked pain for a moment as Wufei's consciousness slipped back into his body. His back was propped against a cold cement wall, his arms cuffed together in front of him and legs numbed beneath his own weight from having knelt on them for an unknown amount of time. He carefully shifted his weight, allowing blood to flow back to his legs, he flexed the protesting muscle groups in order while the feeling of dead-weight slowly ebbed from his head and legs.

Taking full stock of his condition he found no major injuries and, surprisingly, no broken bones. The knot of pain at the base of his skull--that made the room spin once or twice before he shook it off-- where some lucky thug had hit him with something blunt to knock him out, was his only serious injury. And, as he hadn't slipped into a coma yet, he deemed it non-life-threatening, suppressed the pain, and focused on the situation at hand. His captors seemed to want him alive and in good condition, at least--for some reason.

As he took in his surroundings, he found his companions where in similar situations. Quatre's face, though beginning to swell in two or three places, was the only place he could see the Sandrock pilot had been hurt. They'd have comparative headaches when he woke, but if Wufei's theory was correct his condition looked worse than it was.

Shifting his gaze Wufei found flat cobalt eyes glinting at him from across the cell. Heero nodded his greetings and shrugged one shoulder to demonstrate the adjoining extremity had been dislocated. Wufei kept his own hard gaze on the Japanese captive until the other flash a sign with his good hand. No other serious injuries, even by normal human expectations.

Wufei nodded back and flexed all his fingers to the Zero pilot, showing all in working condition, but dropped them as he realized his team was missing one. He shot Heero a glance, but the other could only shake his head in negative. His eyes deadened further than Wufei could ever remember in their years in combat side by side.

He didn't know where Duo had been taken, or if he was taken alive.

~*~*~*~*~

"Your friends are here," a voice floated around the Gundam pilot. "They're just down the way. So close! And yet so far!" The Other's voice teased his mind into reaction. Pulling him up, away from the safety of black nothingness and into his all too mortal body.

"Wakin' up finally, are ya?" Something prodded his shoulder and he hissed in pain. Pain seemed to be in the very air surrounding him-- in every breath, trying to enter through every pore, infusing his body suddenly with the wakening of a thousand raw nerves--threatening to overwhelm his mind with a wave of searing heat. The bitter taste of his own blood was still in his mouth, he slowly became aware of every part of his body down to the sweat that glued him to the plastic covered chair. He wanted to go back to the darkness! He forced his hitching breath to calm, searching for that pattern that brought sleep, but the Other choose that moment to release his wrists from their bindings over his head. Fire flared in his muscles, his joints were pulled down by gravity and exploded in pain, his blood flowed back into his hands like acid and darkness crept into his vision. "Com'on, now. Don't go leavin' the party, yet. Things've only just begun." Water was thrown on his face. He gasped and tried to open his mouth to catch the sweet liquid, but his tongue and lips were too dry and stiff.

After a moment of shuffling he felt something cool, soft and wet pressed to his mouth, the Other pressed gently and water leaked from it. The Gundam pilot sucked at the sponge for a long moment to wet his throat and take the edge off his thirst.

"You don't have to do this," the young man finally croaked out, lifting his head to speak to where his sense of hearing perceived his captor to be. He tried opening his eyes, but his eyelids felt like they were twenty pounds each. He settled for reaching out a hand, instead. True to instinct, his callused fingers caught the slim wrist of his tormentor. "You don't have to do this, Maxwell."

For a moment the blue-violet eyes clouded with emotion. Confusion, pain, and anger ran across the American's face in rapid succession, but his prisoner couldn't see them.

"Yes, Trowa, I do."

The Heavyarms pilot could hear the grief and regret in the Other's voice, but it made little difference as he felt the cold metal of handcuffs wrap around his abused wrists.

~*~*~*~*~

Looking out over the upturned landscape the colony looked peaceful at first. It was only on closer inspection that one realized there was no movement in the streets, save for a rare stray dog or a bum carrying an assault riffle.

The colony seemed to be divided almost perfectly in two: the slums on one side and the businesses and wealthy on the other. One stained gray, brown and rust, the other deceivingly light and clean. In the midst of the view, though picked over and broken almost beyond recognition, a charred foundation stood alone. And the only ones who could see that view that day were standing on the roof of the tall prison.

"Kid, you've shown your loyalty to the gang beyond a doubt," the tall blonde placed his hands on Duo's shoulders and spoke in a loud voice, filled with confidence. "I admit, I was worried we had lost you to them, turned against your people, but with the capture of those Preventor assassins we've shown that we won't be taken lightly. You've help start the countdown, now we must move on to the next phase."

Duo smiled up at the leader then turn to watch the lights flicker on over the colony. "I knew this day would come. Just like we always said. We'll create a new colony, where kids don't die in the streets from hunger and plague..." His voice trailed off for a moment and he shivered violently. "Just like you promised, right, Solo?"

"Right, Kid," the man smirked. "It'll be just like that."

******

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