Ch 5: Strength


Suddenly Heero is in between us, almost as fast as I was, and he sends the doctor flying with a vicious blow to his face. "Eye for an eye," he says coolly, cocking his gun with his free hand. I blink at him dumbly.
Did Heero just... . *defend* me..?
Naahh... He was just.. impatient, that's all.. yeah..

"Nngh.." The doctor drags himself to his feet, nursing a broken bloody nose. He spits a mixture of spittle and blood, glaring at us with hatred. "Damn BRAT!" he barks. "You'll pay for that!"
My breath freezes in my throat at the calm threat thrown as a reply.
"Touch him again and you'll be the one paying dearly."
I can only stare stupidly, my mouth too dry to comment as the two go at it.

"How dare you, insolent child! Even if you hurt me, you'll be killed as soon as you walk out that door!"
"I wasn't planning on hurting you."
"So you're smart, after all."
"I was planning on killing you."
"You have no idea of who you're messing with, do you?! You want to bring Zechs' anger down on you, you little fool?!"
"Zechs doesn't concern me. Your babbling is becoming annoying, however." The click of a gun.
I snap out of if, reaching forward and touching Heero's shoulder. "Matte," I manage to say. "We might need him as insurance. Or we might find a use for him later." Usually Heero would be the one to think of that... isn't taking prisoners something a soldier would consider? Why the sudden urge to kill? Unless he really was defen... no. I shake my head slightly, as if to erase those thoughts, looking earnestly into Heero's stone (but oh-so-lovely) face. He grunts and lowers the gun marginally.
I offer a grin. "Besides, I can always kill him whenever I like."
Heero raises an eyebrow, but doesn't comment. I turn away and walk jauntily towards the cage, stuffing my own gun in my belt. No need for that...

"So, how you guys been?" I tease, halting before the cage and inspecting it. Hmm... no lock to pick... must be purely electronic locks. "You don't look too good."
"YOU won't look too good if you don't knock it off and get us out of here," Wufei warns.
Quatre manages a weak laugh. "Duo, stop fooling around... I don't know if I can stay conscious much longer.."
Trowa's protective arm around the blonde's shoulders doesn't escape my notice, but I wisely keep silent about it, hiding a smile. "Don't worry, we'll have you out of here in a jiffy," I chirp, beckoning without turning around. "Yo, Heero, c'mere, will ya? You're the one that bends steel bars and all that."
"But.. Duo..." Quatre glances at me timidly as Heero walks towards us obediantly, ignoring the doctor. "Heero can't... I mean before those were just..."
"Just watch," I chuckle, turning away to watch Kiniger. Heero pauses beside me and I blink up at him innocently. He looks down at me, and slowly the smile on my face disappears as he continues to stare into my eyes. Gods... I could drown in those eyes.... I quickly look away, hoping like hell I'm not blushing... Which I probably am.
Damn it all.
Heero says nothing, and turns to the bars, looking them over once before gripping two in his hands. I hear the beginning of a protest from Quatre, then a loud creaking, grinding sound rents the air. I wince slightly, watching in amusement as Kiniger claps his hands over his ears, grimacing at the noise that goes on and on and...
Finally stops. A whisper of cloth, and Heero is beside me once more, flicking a glace towards Kiniger before looking down at me once more. "Finished."
I turn, hands behind my back, my face almost split with a grin. My stomach does a little flip, but I maintain my smile. OK, so I knew what Heero was now and what he could do... But even so it's a little shocking to actually *see* it...

He had pulled two 2" bars so far apart they had actually bent the ones beside them, leaving a hole wide enough for someone to walk through easily. The others are still in the cage, gaping, lowering their hands slowly from their ears. Behind me I hear a strange sound from Kiniger and can't help laughing out loud, waving my hand. "C'mon, don't be shy, come out!"

Slowly Trowa steps forward, turning sideways and slipping easily through the hole. He immediately turns to help Quatre through, and finally Wufei follows.
Quatre almost collapses, and I step forward quickly to help, but Trowa just shoots me a look and throws one of the blonde's arms around his neck, wrapping his free arm around the smaller boy's waist and giving a little hitch with his hip so that he is supporting most of the other's weight, ignoring the faint murmur of protest.
I grind my teeth in anger, laying a finger on the ugly gash above Quatre's eye, gently wiping the blood aside to keep it from flowing into his eye. I touch a similar scar on Trowa's collarbone and stare hard at a longer one across Wufei's cheek. Aside from the bruises, the cuts all over their bodies look eerily alike. As if they had all been cut with the same weapon repeatedly. Wufei catches the look in my eye and nods just barely.
"Knives," he says with contempt. "The cowards tied us and used knives. Trying to get us to scream..." he stops, shooting a look at Quatre. That look is more than enough. I feel hot rage rush through me. Apparently the soldiers had been unable to get much reaction from the Chinese warrior and the stoic clown, but...
Quatre lifts his head with an effort, smiling weakly. "Daijabou," he chuckles. "I'll be fine in a day or two..." Trowa's jaw is clenched so tightly I half-expect his teeth to shatter. Quatre had screamed. The soldiers had gotten plenty of fun out of torturing the little blond pilot.
"Don't worry," I say quietly, reaching out and cupping Quatre's cheek in my palm, staring calmly into his surprised eyes. Quatre. *My* Quatre... My friend. "We're going to get all of you out of here."
Like children. Brothers. Lovers. I have only just realized how close they all are to me, how important. The realization would scare me if I wasn't so numb with rage.
I turn to Wufei, looking at him with a tinge of guilty regret. I always pick on him for his views on justice. He is always the outsider. Quatre and Trowa have each other and at least Heero is my tentative friend, but Wufei..
"So lonely..." I whisper, tracing a scratch running down the Chinese pilot's bicep. He shudders slightly at the unexpected gentle touch, pulling away, looking wary more of the kindness behind the gesture than any implications it might have held. Not used to being pitied... But I don't pity him. I smile for him, the smile Hilde has admitted to being dazzling. "Maa maa, Wufei-kun," I say quietly, gripping his shoulder in a friendly squeeze. "Daijabou. You showed these Fang-wipes that they couldn't do anything to your pride, ne?"
A flash of dark as his eyes meet mine briefly, then return to the doctor. "...Trash. They have no pride of their own."
"Hn." I smirk. "True 'nuff." I turn around quickly, braid whipping around, offering Kiniger a maniacal smile. "Your life is balanced on a thread now, *Doctor*," I inform him cheerfully. "Your lifespan depends on your cooperation. You want to live?" Silence. "Then get us the hell out of here."

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