++Ch. 9++

"Where is Master Quatre?"
Duo glanced nervously towards Heero, who was calmly pecking away at his laptop, getting in touch with Dr. J. "Uhh.." Duo gazed meekly up at the large man before him. Rashid shot a quick glance around the hallway, at the evidence of the fight that had occured, before turning his fierce glare once more on the boy. The two Maganocs behind him were looking just as grim. "Well, see.. uh, maybe Wufei should tell you," Duo said quickly. "It was like this when we me and Heero got here." Duo hurried over to Heero's side as Rashid turned his unwanted attention on the blinking Shenlong pilot.
"Oi, Heero," Duo murmured, "any luck?"
Heero was frowning at the screen. "No response. This is the second time I've tried to contact him," he muttered, half to himself. "That's unusual."
Duo pulled his braid over his shoulder, toying with the end of it in a nervous habit Heero had come to recognize. He reached up and tugged the hair from the other boy's slender fingers, eyes never leaving the screen. "Where did Trowa go?"
Duo cleared his throat, blushing a little at Heero's action but trying to sound normal. "Oh, he.. ah, he's in the kitchen I think. Getting band-aids."
Slowly Heero's eyes left the monitor and he gazed up at Duo, face dead-pan. Finally he said, "The band-aids are in the bathroom. Upstairs."
"Shit-" Duo whirled, racing towards the kitchen, slamming open the swinging doors and looking around wildly. The back kitchen door was slightly ajar. Trowa was nowhere to be seen.
The roar of an engine sounded from outside, and Duo cursed floridly as he rushed outside, skidding to a halt on the path and watching as Heero's motorcycle shot off. "Damn it, Trowa!" he shouted hoarsely. "What the fuck do you think you're doing?!"
Wufei appeared by his side as if from nowhere, his eyes narrowed dangerously. "He's going after them," he growled, tone laced with fury. Duo shot him a look, wondering at the Chinese boy's barely-suppressed anger. He wasn't getting jealous, was he? Why should he? Surely he didn't think Trowa wanted Quatre that way? Sure the two had been very close for awhile... but Trowa's aloofness had caused the saddened blonde to turn into more willing arms, arms that had been held carefully in check while Quatre's crush on Trowa was still fresh. When a heartbroken Quatre had gone to Wufei for comfort, the normally stoic pilot had opened up to him with surprising tenderness, revealing the secret longing he'd been experiencing since he'd met the gentle Arabian. Of course, Duo thought dryly, Quatre had been far too shy to show Trowa he was interested.. what else could he expect? Trowa was almost as dense as Heero when it came to matters of the heart.
What could Trowa have done to make Wufei so jealous?
Duo decided to keep his questions to himself; poor Wufei thought he and Heero were still clueless to the relationship Wufei and Quatre shared.
"Heero," Duo called, hurrying inside, brushing past the three Maganocs, ignoring their questions. "Trowa just left. Think he has an idea where that boy took Quatre?"
Heero shut the laptop with a click, rising smoothly to his feet, sliding his gun into the back of his spandex. "We'll see," he grunted, striding towards the door. "Suit up. Wufei, try to get ahold of the scientists."
Wufei glared at him, furious. "I'm going," he snapped.
"No you're not," Heero said calmly. "Duo and I can handle this." He turned hard eyes on Shenlong's pilot. "You're too angry to use your head," he stated coolly. "Wait here."
"Omae.." Wufei took a step forward. "No w-"
Heero stepped to the side, his fist slamming into Wufei's gut. Wufei gasped for breath, doubling over. Heero ignored Duo's shout of protest, gazing down at Wufei's bent dark head. His voice held the tone of finality. "We're going to find Trowa and bring him back. When we have more information we'll go after Quatre. Not before. We don't know where that boy took him. We'll just lose him if we go after him now. When we have more information we'll get him back. Stay here and cool off." He turned his back dismissively, flicking a glance towards Duo. "Come on."
Duo looked undecisively from Wufei to Heero, then turned and hurried after the perfect soldier, leaving the seething Chinese warrior behind. Wufei did not follow.


No way.
No way were they taking his angel from him.
Trowa's knuckles were white from the grip he had on the handlbars. Whoever had done this..whoever had captured Quatre..
Was going to pay.
He had seen through the window which way the boy had gone on his motorbike, right before he passed out.
The face of Quatre's kidnapper was burned into his mind like a permanent photograph. He would find this boy.. and kill him!


"I don't understand what they want with him."
The taller boy shot a glance towards his companion, who was crouching by Quatre's still form, chin propped on his hands as he gazed down expressionlessly at the blond tousled hair.
"Shut up," his more aggressive partner growled, testing the blade of his butterfly knife before clicking it shut and sliding it into his shoe.
"The others didn't give you any trouble?"
"They tried." The slender boy grinned disturbingly, glancing around restlessly. "They were nothing. The dark-haired one was fast and looked like he knew what he was doing.." he shrugged carelessly. "So I smashed him into a mirror. I threw the other one across the house... he's dead by now. I saw him land. He snapped his neck for sure."
His companion gazed up at him silently for a moment. "What about the other two?"
"I dunno- they weren't there. Who cares?" He strode over, prodding Quatre's limp body with the toe of his shoe. "I got what I came for."
"You didn't touch him, did you?"
"Only for a second. To knock him out. I wore gloves after that."
"..I wonder why they want this one so bad." The boy crouching on the ground traced a finger along his own cheek in thought, gazing up at the dripping ceiling. "I would think they would want *him*. The other one. Something seemed.. special about him."
"It isn't our business," the older one snapped. "You better watch it, before they hear you're gettin' too curious." His eerie dark eyes narrowed in warning. "I'm not goin' down with ya if you say somethin' stupid, so keep your dumb mouth shut around me, got it?"
His partner turned his own fathomless eyes towards him, face unmoving. "Hai," he said at last. "Whatever." He rose. "He should be here soon."
"Aa.." Uneasiness flitted briefly across the other boy's face. "Better wake up pretty boy here."
"Gently," the smaller boy murmured, and leaned over to touch ice-cold fingers to Quatre's face.
Sky-blue eyes snapped open.

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