Duo watched in silence as Hilde was wheeled off to Peacemillion’s ER. He fought tears as she disappeared down the hall. Heero stood behind him a little ways, leaning against the railing, Quatre next to him and clutching his helmet. Behind them stood Wufei and Trowa. Brekke stood just a little ways in front of Trowa, watching sadly.
“We can’t let the data that he brought us go to waste.” Quatre said quietly.
“No, we can’t.” Duo answered grimly, his knuckles clenching white into fists. Brekke took two steps towards him, intent on comforting her self-apointed brother, but Trowa stopped her with a hand on her shoulder. She turned to look at him, and he gave her the barest shake of his head. Biting her lip unhappily, she remained where she was. Duo gathered himself and turned to face them.
“Heero, Relena is on Libra.” he said. Heero’s head snapped up and he straightened. It was possibly the most reaction anyone had ever gotten out of him since he had dropped his gun upon seeing Trowa in an Oz uniform.
“She is?” he asked. Duo nodded.
“Yeah, Hilde said she met her there.” he told the boy. Heero looked stunned. Quatre was the one who broke the awkward silence by stepping forward and placing his hand on Duo’s shoulder.
“Duo, you’ve had a hard day. Why don’t you go and try to relax and we’ll call you when it’s time to eat, ok?” Duo nodded absently and let himself be led away by Quatre’s steady hand. The others took it as a cue to leave. Heero seemed to just suddenly disappear, which surprised no one, and Wufei walked back to the hanger to help Howard repair Shenlong. Trowa took Brekke by the hand and tugged at it softly as she stared down the hall after Duo. She looked wistful.
“Come on Brekke.” he said gently. “He just needs to be alone right now. He’ll be fine. Quatre will make sure he’s ok.” With a sigh she nodded reluctantly and let him lead her down the hall.
Heero glanced into the hanger that held Wing Zero and the rest of the Gundams. Howard, Wufei, and Howard’s work crew were there, diligently repairing the damages to the suits. But they would certainly notice if he took Zero. It wouldn’t do. He walked aimlessly farther down the hall until an idea came to him. He picked up his speed. He opened the door to another, smaller hanger and slipped inside. When his eyes adjusted to the darker room, he saw the mobile suit carrier they had drug back to Peacemillion for scrap metal. It was barely functioning, but it would do for what he had in mind. He stared at the badly damaged shuttle as he contemplated what he was planning to do. He scowled at himself and shook his head.
“Relena…” he scolded her out loud. The rest he said only in his mind. I’m coming…
Two hours later Hilde was in stable condition and Duo was back to his cheery self. Everyone seemed to be straying to the social hall. so he made his way there. As the door slid open it revealed four of the six pilots. Wufei was across from the door, avidly flexing his exercise bar in his hands. It squeaked with each squeeze. Trowa leaned against the wall on Wufei’s right, his arms customarily crossed over his chest and his eyes closed. Brekke sat at his feet, her head leaned against his thigh as she toyed with one of her impossibly long curls. Quatre sat quietly at a table, staring at the screen of his laptop. Duo glanced around in confusion.
“Hey, where’s Heero gone?” he asked. Trowa opened his eyes and glanced over at him as Quatre looked up from his screen. Brekke’s eyes darted in his direction. The boy was no where, and had not been seen since they had wheeled Hilde into the Intensive Care. Quatre smiled to himself.
“I think I know where he’s gone.” he said with a satisfied grin. Everyone turned their attention to him.
“Where?” Brekke prompted, not feeling very patient at the time.
“He’s gone after that girl.” he said simply, smiling to himself. Brekke sat up straight.
“Relena?” she asked in disbelief.
“Yeah.” Quatre said, returning to his laptop. She scowled. Heero wasn’t that crazy, was he?
“Huh, I guess I figured him all wrong.” Wufei said flatly. He had been in a bad mood and it got worse with each passing day.
“What do you mean?” Trowa asked.
“I figured that out of all of us, he was the most sane.” Brekke’s scowl deepened. She had had just about enough of his superior attitude, bad mood or no.
“It just goes to show how powerful that girl is, influencing a guy like Heero.” Trowa told him. Wufei glared at nothing. “Wufei, if she comes here, at least welcome her. It’s so easy to hurt a woman’s feelings.” he said quietly. There were several quick glances made in Brekke’s direction, but she was too busy scowling at Wufei to notice. Wufei’s glare deepened.
“That’s ridiculous. Women are so weak.” he said this quietly, not really intending anyone else to hear him, but it was the last straw for Brekke. She rounded on him.
“Shut up. Just shut up. I am so sick of listening to you bitch about women and weakness.” she snarled, standing up. He stopped his exercising and stared at her. “You think that just because I’ve got a set of jugs that I couldn’t possibly be as good a fighter as you, or any match for your ‘superior’ skill as a male. Look, I don’t know what your problem is, but you damn well better get over it soon. Let’s go, you and me, right now. A duel.” Trowa looked at her in horror. Duo looked stunned and Quatre looked blank. Wufei narrowed his eyes.
“Why should I bother?” he asked.
“Because if you refuse, I’ll think that it’s just because you’re afraid of admitting a girl could kick your ass.” she said softly. His eyes flew open.
“I accept.” he told her angrily.
“Good.” she snapped. “May the best man win.” She added that last part flippantly. She drew her sword hilt and Wufei whipped out his katana. A loud electrical hum came to life as the light saber flickered on, crackling with power. Trowa surged for her wrists while Duo struggled with Wufei. “Let me go!” Brekke shrieked at the boy, fearing to nick him with a beam if she struggled. Wufei spat curses at Duo in Chinese as the braided boy held him back.
“You two are being ridiculous.” Trowa said, trying to sound calm, but the effort of holding Brekke’s wrists back and keeping his body out of the way of the glowing blade gave his voice a harsh edge. “We should save our energy for fighting the enemy, not each other. Wufei, don’t take your anger out on Brekke. Brekke, don’t pay attention to Wufei, he’s just upset, and you know it. Come on, we can’t waste our time like this. We need to be a team if we want to win this.” Brekke angrily let her sword die, staring balefully at Wufei. Wufei’s breath heaved in his chest as he lowered his katana and Duo let go of him. Trowa snatched her hand and picked up the lifeless hilt. With no more to say, he drug her from the room.
“That was ridiculous.” Trowa told her calmly. She scowled sullenly at him, sitting on his bed with her arms crossed, for all the world like a pouting child.
“I don’t care.” she said defencively. “I refuse to listen to him any longer. It’s degrading.” Trowa rubbed at his aching forehead for a moment.
“Ok, I understand that. But you need to calm down, and ignore him. It’s not worth the effort you’re putting into it. We don’t need this kind of tention amongst ourselves, you know?” She made a horrible face, then nodded.
“Ok, fine. But you tell him to watch his mouth or when this is all over, I’m going to cut his tongue out, got it?” she muttered. Trowa sighed and shook his head.
“I’ll tell him.” he promised. “Now, come on, let’s get something to eat.
Dinner was interupted by a grim Sally. Brekke slapped her napkin down.
“Don’t let us down gently Sally, just say it.” she muttered, holding her head in her hands. Everything else had gone wrong, why not add? Sally gave her a startled look and Trowa shook his head at her, letting her know not to question about the girl’s mood.
“Treize Kushrenada had joined his troops on the battle feild. He will be leading them in a seige against Libra soon. But there’s no way to tell that if he survives, if he will attack us next.” The pilots fell silent. None of them would argue if Trieze wanted to blow Libra away, but if he decided to attack them, God only knows what he would do if he suceeded.
“Well, whatever he’s up to, we’re in for a ride.” Duo said finally. The others consented to that and tried to continue with their meal.
“This is the Peacemillion attack unit 02. Propulsion power defense system hit on the port side, coming in for an emergency landing.” Heero’s rough voice came through on the Libra’s intercoms. He steered the mobile suit carrier towards the opening hanger. Here I come Relena.
“This is the Libra bridge. Please confirm the number of survivors.” the man at the control said, bringing up the carrier on his screen.
“There are no survivors…” Heero told him grimly, and flipped the communications off.
The Libra bridge rocked as the carrier hit it, and the explotion could be heard in the farthest deck. Everyone stumbled, and a beep began as the control board signaled a fire.
“Get that checked out!” Quinze shouted, and men dashed out of the control room. “Isolate the intruder and lock him up!”
“Who would ever run a carrier into the Libra?” Dorothy wondered aloud. Zechs wasn’t wondering at all. He knew exactly who. Heero Yuy