++Ch. 3++

Duo accepted the helmet his partner offered him, flipping his braid hastily over his shoulder as he tugged the black dome over his head, pulling on the strap to secure it. He slid onto the seat behind Heero, wrapping his arms around the slim waist before him to keep himself from slipping off the dirtbike, grinning to himself secretly at the contact but keeping his voice light and cheery.
"Yosh'! Ready to blow this joint, Heero?"
Heero declined to respond, leaning forward slightly and twisting the handlebars, causing the engine to start with a roar that only partially drowned out Duo's wild whoop of excitement as the perfect soldier before him lifted his foot from the ground and they raced off into the twillight, very quickly leaving the private school behind as they took a path through the woods towards where they had parked their gundams.


"What do you mean an unidentified target?" Wufei crossed his arms over his chest, frowning at the slender blond before him. "I thought we had a name."
Quatre lowered the printed e-mail they had recieved from Heero, eyes still skimming the paper in a search for further information. "A name isn't much, Wufei. We don't know *why* the dolls are after him or who he really is. Why would someone send mobile dolls after an unknown high school student?"
"Unless he's got something to hide," Trowa said quietly from the couch.
Quatre nodded, face serious. "Exactly. Heero's suspicious of him; probably for good reason. I trust his instincts."
"To a point," Wufei muttered, glancing away, a scowl pulling at his lips.
Quatre wisely chose not to push the chinese warrior. He strode over to a metal trashcan, holding the e-mail over it with one hand and withdrawing a book of matches from the desk, lighting one. "He mentioned something about Duo... How he seems to trust this.. 'Atriso' or whatever his name is a little too much."
"Maxwell's a fool," Wufei growled, as if stating the obvious. "He doesn't think of the danger before rushing into it."
Quatre sighed, watching the paper burn, the fire licking at the note quickly, reaching eagerly towards his fingers. He released the e-mail, watching it dissipate into ash in the trashcan. "He isn't a fool. He's just a little.. reckless, that's all."
"Right," Wufei said, irony lacing his tone as he leveled a Look towards the Arabian. "You think too much with your heart instead of your head and he thinks not at all."
Quatre flushed. "I don't see how a little mercy can be-"
"That's enough." Trowa rose, flicking Wufei an unreadable glance. "It's late, and they won't be back until tomorrow morning. We should all get some sleep."
Quatre relaxed, nodding and tilting a cup of water over the contents in the trashcan, causing the ashes to hiss. "Hai. Let's all get some rest. The school is far from here, and Trowa's right. They shouldn't arrive until tomorrow if they stop for the night."
"What if Heero doesn't want to stop at a hotel?" Wufei demanded, striding over to check the rusty bolt on the door of the shack-like place they had designated as a rendeovous point.
"Duo will whine until they stop," Quatre said, smiling just slightly. "As hard as Heero can be, I still don't think he'd want a team mate falling off the bike in exhaustion. Besides, even the perfect soldier needs his sleep."
Trowa lifted the thin sheet from one of the cots, sliding in after toeing off his shoes. "He's not the only one. I'm going to sleep; don't stay up all night making noise."
Quatre flushed to the roots of his hair, and Wufei gave the taller pilot a murderous look. Trowa's sarcasm came at odd times and often without any hint of a teasing tone, but when he chose to bug the chinese warrior, he did it with efficient jabs to the pilot's pride.
"Kisama," Wufei sputtered.
"T-Trowa-!" Quatre looked completely embarrassed.
The boy had turned his back on them, however, and refused to answer.
Wufei scowled, seething in silence, knowing a sharp retort of his own would do nothing to break the other pilot's calm, almost cold demeanor. A part of him was puzzled by Trowa's remarks to him. It hadn't been until the other had discovered that he and Quatre were tentatively seeing each other that he had started making slighting or out-right rude comments towards Wufei in such a way that sometimes it seemed almost off-hand or even unintentionally mocking. He knew it made Quatre upset, but there was nothing he could do about it. If Trowa decided to tell Duo and Heero what he knew...
Wufei cringed. Just the thought of Heero's hard eyes, filled with disgust, and Duo's loud, brash comments filled him with uneasiness.
He turned away from Trowa angrily, jerking the sheet from his own cot. Trowa's comment had been totally uncalled for, anyway. He wouldn't dare go so far as to make love to the petite blond. Part of it was he was afraid of hurting the delicate-looking boy; the other part was they were both new to same-sex relationships, and were shy and unsure of what to do. Kisses and embraces when they were sure they were alone were enough for him for now. The way Quatre's cheeks grew pink and his blue eyes softened when they pulled away filled him with more content than he thought he himself deserved.
He'd be damned if he'd let a suddenly-sarcastic clown ruin it for the both of them.
Quatre stood in embarassed, uneasy silence for a few moments as he watched Wufei climb into bed and settle down, facing the wall so his back was to Trowa. Suddenly his child's face set in determination.
Wufei's eyes opened quickly as he felt the cot shift with the added weight of another body. He half-turned, gazing in surprise at the furiously blushing Sandrock pilot wriggling under the covers with him, mouth tightened in defiance towards the boy across the room. He felt a smile tease his lips, and turned fully, drawing the smaller pilot to his chest with a wirey arm, relishing the feel of the other body tucked against his own, the soft breath tickling his throat sending a tingle up his spine. He allowed himself a smile and closed his eyes, letting the night carry them both into their dreams.
Across the room, Trowa's back stiffened.


Heero scowled as he removed his helmet, feet set firmly on the ground either side of the bike as he gazed up at the cheap hotel before them. Thirty bucks a night. A perfect roach hotel. One of those places dates went to for a quick fuck.
Behind him, Duo murmured in his half-asleep state, moving his face against Heero's back, the arms around him lax. Heero frowned back at the slumbering pilot. He would have preferred to travel all night, but Duo had complained for almost half an hour how tired he was, and now he could see the braided idiot hadn't been lying. If they continued much longer Duo would lose his grip and tumble off the bike.
Sighing, he shook off the loose arms and climbed off the bike, seizing Duo by the shoulders and giving him a quick shake. "Duo," he said loudly. "Wake up. We're going to sleep here for a couple of hours."
"Nnh?" Duo blinked groggily, reaching up to rub his eyes with the heel of a palm, looking like a tired little kid. "Wha?"
"Wake up," Heero repeated, releasing him. "Stand up and wait a minute; I'm going to go get the key."
"We're staying here for the night?" Duo perked up a little, obeying the other pilot and getting to his feet, pausing to yawn hugely. "Good, 'm tired.."
"We're only staying for a few hours," Heero said curtly, striding off. "Don't go back to sleep in the parking lot. I won't do anything if some college kid decides to mug you."
"Yeh, yeh..." Duo shifted on his feet in an attempt to stay awake, still yawning every three seconds.
After a few minutes Heero finally reappeared, holding up the long key to get his partner's attention. Duo shuffled eagerly if lethargically after the other boy to a room near the end of the shady-looking building, waiting impatiently as he struggled with the rusty lock and shoved the door open.
He practically pushed past the other boy, hand fumbling for the lightswitch so he could find his way to the bathroom, the lightbulb ahead flickering fitfully before casting a sickly yellowish light on the small room.
He made a beeline for the toilet before something caught his attention. He paused, blinking sleepily as if to confirm what he'd thought he'd seen.
Heero, who had already shut and locked the door, was standing by the window with a blank look on his face, noticing the same thing his copilot had.
There was only one bed.
And it was pretty damn small.
Duo hesitated before glancing at the silent soldier, a quirky, nervous smile on his lips. "So, uh, Heero... do ya mind sharin'?"

Author's notes: gomen gomen.. such a short part..i just figured it was better than none... *looks up and wails and hides* gahhhhhh it's shorter than i thought!! T_T And I'm sorry I'm not writing very fast these days.. ever since i got w/ my new koi i've been spending ALLLL my time with her, and never have time to write. but she's on vacation for 2 weeks, so i'm going to try to squeeze some writing time in between work and the time i crash into bed.. which should be happening any minute, now.. -_-; methinks it's past my bedtime... *yawnnn* the next chapter of crimson ice is almost done, so hopefully that will be up soon..same with Full Moon. arigato for your patience ^^;; ja ne~

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