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Video Boys (parts 8 - 10)

Tigress Pern

Part Eight

Duo was amused. He'd gone through all of Heero's clothing and discovered that he owned only one good suit. A pinstriped charcoal gray suit with a matching fedora hat. Duo lay them on Heero's bed and smiled.

"He'll look like some gangster from the twenties and thirties in this." Duo chuckled. "Oh, Relena, you better enjoy this half as much as I am just staring at the suit." Rearranging the outfit so that wouldn't crease while waiting for its wearer to get out of the shower, Duo glanced about for the shoes to go with it.

He found them under the bed and dug them out. They needed some polish, so Duo scrounged around the room until he found some and began polishing. His man wasn't going out on his first date with unpolished shoes, no siree. Sitting in the computer chair, Duo worked quickly and discovered that the shoes actually had a layer of dust that dulled its polish, so all he really had to do was wipe them off and they were ready. Duo decided he'd polish them anyway.

Whistling as he worked, Duo didn't notice Heero reenter the room, towel wrapped around his mid drift. Heero walked over to his drawers and grabbed a pair of underwear out of it. Turning his back to Duo, Heero dropped the towel and slipped on the underwear. Duo stopped whistling.

Heero didn't care if Duo saw his butt or not, they were both male, everything was the same. At least he hoped they had the same equipment. Heero actually didn't know about Video Boys and he didn't feel like asking Duo right now.

Instead he fetched an undershirt and socks. Tossing them on the bed, Heero quickly scooped up the towel and draped it on the end to be picked up and moved to the bathroom later. Duo's eyes followed him.

The circles Duo had been making with the polish rag slowed as he watched Heero dress. He kept his head down, but peered up through his long lashes and bangs.

Heero noticed and for some strange reason began to prolong his dressing. He didn't really understand why he was doing this, he just knew that Duo was becoming uncomfortable and that this was his chance at revenge.

Picking up his pants, Heero slid them up his legs, pausing just below his butt before jerking them over and fastening them. The under shirt came next followed swiftly by the shirt. Heero made certain that he was still facing away from Duo, but glanced over his shoulder every so often to get a look at how Duo was. The Video Boy was beginning to turn red.

Heero wondered what was on his mind, but didn't ask. Instead he turned his thoughts inward as he suddenly wondered why he was enjoying making Duo blush.

He'd never thought about his own desires before. He'd just gone from one mission to another, not thinking about anything but completing it. Now something new was creeping into his normally single-minded thought pattern. It seeped through every vein in his body and warmed him with a delicious sensation. This troubled him greatly as he'd never thought about love before, and he was beginning to wonder if this sensation had anything to do with it. What? Heero Yuy, the Perfect Soldier in love? With a Video Boy? An entity that didn't truly exist, but was merely part of a tape that had gone haywire? No, it couldn't be. A soft rap on the door broke his train of thought.

"Duo, we need to go get the flowers." Quatre stated. His voice sounded a bit strained. Duo leapt up, set down the shoes, rag and polish and left without a word. Heero sighed and resumed dressing as if nothing had happened. Unfortunately, his mind wouldn't let the issue rest and he spent the next fifteen minutes trying to drive the question if Video Boys were anatomically correct and if he really wanted to know, out.

Duo was a nervous wreck. He and Quatre walked in silence to the store, picked up and paid for the flowers and headed back. He didn't know what was bothering Quatre, but he knew what was bothering him and he didn't like it.

He wasn't supposed to feel like this, what the fuck was wrong with him? He couldn't believe he'd been staring at Heero that way, it was crazy! He was a Video Boy. He wasn't supposed to have impure thoughts about people.

Hum... Heero, minus clothing in bed with... NO! Duo threw that idea out and reminded himself that his only emotions were the ones attached to helping people and being friendly. No where in that list was the word lust written. Was lust even the right word? Maybe love was. But love was something that it took time for people to build. It was a gradual thing, wasn't it?

Then what about the phrase "love at first sight"? Duo reminded himself. There is such a thing as that. Duo glanced over at Quatre and realized that he needed to talk to him, to warn him that there was more damage than once thought.

I'm only supposed to be a two-dimensional character, Duo thought. I don't have emotions outside of the ones given to me.

The boys arrived at the florist shop wearing concerned expressions. The florist, a nice woman with two light brown, almost blond braids, looked at them.

"My don't you two look stern. And just yesterday you were bright and cheerful." She leaned on the counter.

"What could be wrong?" Quatre fidgeted for a moment.

"Oh, come now, you can tell Sally."

"Well," Quatre began.

"You see there are these two friends of ours." Duo broke in. "And they have dates tonight, which we helped arrange." Sally arched an eyebrow and smiled knowingly.

"Ah, say no more. I understand completely. You have crushes on your friends." Quatre bit his bottom lip and kept looking at the floor, Duo played with the tip of his braid. "You don't need to worry, your secret is safe with me." Sally told them. "But if I were you, I'd tell your friends this."

"I can't." Quatre blurted out. Immediately he regretted saying it and hung his head again.

"And why not?" Sally demanded.


"Because they're going out with some one else. Well two some ones, to be exact. And they've had their hearts set on doing this. I mean after all, this is their mission." Duo said.

"Their mission? You mean they're going out with these people because they were supposed to?" Quatre and Duo nodded.

"They believe that it is their mission in life to date these people." Quatre muttered trying to cover up Duo's mistake. He'd used the word mission, which could endanger Heero and Trowa if the wrong person heard about it.

Sally sighed. "I'm not sure what kind of advice to give you except, be true to yourselves and tell them the truth. Even if they reject you, you'll at least have told them. Then you won't be looking as glum as you both are now. I hate to see my favorite customers feeling sorry for themselves. Flowers are meant to cheer people up, not bring them down. Now, lets see, you ordered two boutonnieres and flowers, right?"

They both nodded. Sally smiled and disappeared into the cooler where all the flowers were kept. Quatre gave Duo a questioning look and Duo promised that he'd explain later. Quatre told him the same. Off to the right and amongst a huge display of roses, two figures stood. They eyed the boys.

"I don't like the sounds of this."

"There's something wrong. We may have to intervene."

"And here I thought we were going to have a peaceful evening."

"Sometimes that happens."

"Yes, well. Let's keep an eye on them at least."


"If it gets any worse we will have to stop them."

"Of course."

Duo and Quatre returned to the house in time to hand the boys their boutonnieres and flowers. A single long stem red rose for Dorothy and a small bouquet of various colored carnations for Relena. Neither said a word; instead they went into the kitchen to find the typed instructions for the limo drivers.

At exactly 5:00 the two limousines pulled up outside the house. A black one for Heero and Relena and a white one for Trowa and Dorothy. Quatre shoved the instructions into the Trowa's startled hand and pushed him outside to his ride. Duo walked out to Heero's driver and calmly gave the man the folded piece of paper along with a few words. Then he thrust Heero into the limo and disappeared back into the house.

Sitting in the back of his limo, Trowa wondered why Quatre hadn't wished him luck. His mind flickered back to the bathroom and he wondered if the blond was angry with him. But why? Trowa couldn't answer his own question. Instead he focused on his date with Dorothy. He had to make it work or he would fail. It didn't matter what else happened he had to complete this. Yet he couldn't shake the image of Quatre from his mind. He'd been almost surly, as he'd ushered Trowa out the front door. It wasn't like Quatre at all. The nice, sweet, beautiful Quatre. Beautiful?

Where'd that thought come from? Trowa swallowed and shifted so that he was looking out the window. Shoot, I've made a mess of things, Trowa told himself. I was just trying to get him back for this whole behind the back date setup with Dorothy and I've made him mad.

What was I thinking? He hadn't been thinking and that was the thing. He'd done what had first come to mind and that was teasing Quatre. What would he have done if Quatre hadn't left the bathroom at the time he did?

Would he have continued the little strip tease until he was standing buck naked in front of the Video Boy?

Then what? A little voice in the back of his head screamed "take him then and there," and for once Trowa didn't ignore it. He had to admit that little voice had been getting louder as the days passed. Ever since he'd first found the blond perched on him, electricity still crackling from the TV, the voice had been whispering naughty things to him.

Trowa had done his best to ignore that voice, but it wasn't working. Is this what they call love at first sight? He wondered. I mean if a person invades your waking thoughts, does it mean love? He didn't know.

Something outside caught his eye. Someone had yet again drawn a huge heart on the town water tower. Normally there were names inside the heart, which someone regularly drew on the large cylindrical structure.

The little voice chirped "it's blank, go write 3+4" and Trowa mentally swatted it.

"Oh, come on. You know you want to."

No, he told it.

"There's red paint in the garage, you're good at sneaking out and climbing things."

I said no.


This train of thought was getting him nowhere. He needed a distraction, something to do.


"Shut up." He growled at the little voice. He needed help, serious mental help and soon.

Part Nine

Relena smiled as the waiter led them to their table. She was finally on a date with Heero Yuy. Heero had arrived in a stylish black limousine sporting a pinstriped suit, fedora and a bouquet of carnations for her.

Although the flowers were nice, she suspected that his friend with the braid had told him that she didn't like roses. Sneaky Heero, she thought.

Having a friend who works at a magazine find out stuff you're too frightened to ask yourself less you give your feelings away. Still, she wasn't knocking the fact that she was at a fancy restaurant with him. Oh, he looked so handsome in his suit. He even pulled out her chair for her.

They hadn't been seated more than about five minutes when she noticed Dorothy and Trowa walk in. They were seated on the far side of the room from Heero and herself.

Dorothy obviously didn't see her because of the potted plants and the great pillars that held the ceiling up. Relena found that a relief because as much as she liked her friend, Dorothy could talk your ear off if you let her. Tonight wasn't for friends; tonight was for Heero and romance.

She took a sip from her water glass and opened her menu.

"What looks good to you?" she asked pleasantly.

"Hn?" Heero murmured studying the salad column.

Relena sighed. Maybe this was going to be harder than she thought.

"I'm thinking chicken how about you?"


"Pork? Hum. I don't know. This one with rice and green beans sounds good."

Heero wasn't really listening. He'd seen Trowa and Dorothy and was wondering what they were up to. Was Trowa's date going as well as his? He didn't know, but for some reason he did. Maybe it was a result of all that the Video Boys had been doing to get them to communicate more, but Heero felt that he should be concerned about his brother.

Quatre had told him that the best way to have a good romantic relationship was to have a good family relationship with Trowa. So the Video Boys had made sure that both brothers were at every meal.

Even if they didn't talk, they could at least sympathize over how today's experiment in cooking had gone. Duo really shouldn't be allowed near the rice cooker again without Heero's supervision.

The thing had nearly exploded. Good thing Trowa grabbed the fire extinguisher. Heero tried not to remember Quatre's disaster with the spices.

Too much curry can be hazardous to your health, especially if jalapeno peppers, Tabasco sauce, black pepper, ground ginger, basil and those tiny burn-your-mouth-in-an-instant peppers are mixed in too. He and Trowa had spent that evening in the bathroom near the toilet commiserating.

Upon reflection, Heero realized that it was the most time he'd spent with his brother in years. As soon as he thought about Duo and Quatre, he remembered that this was their doing and that they wanted him and Trowa to succeed. Dutifully he rounded up his stray thoughts and locked them away. Relena was his only concern now. She was saying something about drinks, he better answer.

"I think I'll have the chicken with sesame sauce and a glass of ice tea. The dinner comes with a salad. I would like to know what is in the chef's choice. If there are radishes, I'll have to decline." Relena said.

"You don't like radishes?" Heero inquired. Relena shook her head.

"No, they just never settle well with me." She replied glad that Heero had graduated from answering questions to asking them.

"That's too bad. Are you ready?"

"I think so."

"Waiter." Heero called as the man came around. "We're ready to order now."

From the far side of the room Trowa caught a glance of Heero and Relena through the plants. He was glad that his brother's date was going smoothly, at least that was what he was hoping. His, on the other hand, was shaping up to be a disaster. From the moment he and Dorothy had sat down in the limo, she'd talked of very little that did not concern Relena Darlian.

Trowa was beginning to get the impression that Dorothy actually preferred Relena to men period. That going out with him was just a front, that she was denying the fact that she might be lesbian. If that were the case, then Dr. J would have to find a girl to win Dorothy's heart.



"You've been very quiet. I was wondering what you were thinking." Immediately Trowa recalled Quatre's lessons in wooing.

"I was thinking about your eyes and how they remind me of the sky. So clear and refreshing yet can change quickly to a storm. My eyes are so dull, they seem dead compared to yours." Dorothy was speechless. She'd never had a man talk about her eyes. It was romantic.

"Is that all?" she inquired leaning forward. Trowa shook his head.

"I was thinking that they sparkled as if lit by an inner sun. A sun I can't see except in the brightness of your eyes. They are very beautiful."

"T-Trowa." She stammered. Suddenly she was blushing.

She turned away from him and put her hands to her cheeks. Embarrassed warmth filled them and it was several minutes before she could face him again. In the intermittent silence, Trowa continued to watch Dorothy and recanting his earlier thoughts about her.

Maybe she did like men, if that was the case, then he still had a chance.

Quatre lay in his bed. The lights were off and Duo wasn't in the room. He was downstairs watching TV. Quatre was glad for the silence, but found no peace in the darkness. Instead he found confusion and doubt.   What was wrong with him? Why had Trowa's little strip tease bothered him so much? He felt his groin tighten as he thought about it again and shut his eyes quickly.

No, no. This wasn't right. He was a Video Boy, he didn't have such feelings of attachment. No. No.

Willing the vision of Trowa to go away, he found he couldn't. Instead it changed to Trowa removing all his clothing and standing in Quatre's mind completely naked.

He'd never seen Trowa naked, but he had a good imagination. And right now his imagination was running away.

Quatre curled into the fetal position and tried to slow his breathing. A soft whimper escaped his lips. No. I'm a Video Boy and I only have three days left after tonight to be here. I can't get involved with anyone.

The door opened and Duo slipped in. Quatre tried to remain quiet, but something alerted Duo and he turned on the lights.

"Quatre, are you okay?" Quatre peered out from under the covers.

"No." He confessed. "I... I had an incident with Trowa this afternoon."

"What sort of incident?" Duo asked coming to sit on the bed. Quatre sat up and began to tell Duo of what had transpired earlier. He saw Duo wince.

"You're not the only one having problems. Quatre, I think I like Heero."

"I think I like Trowa." Quatre admitted. Duo sighed heavily and flopped backwards. Quatre moved his legs so that Duo had a soft mattress to land on.

"What are we going to do? We are so messed up because of their VCRs. I mean, I... I don't know what to do. I doubt Heero likes me. He hardly knows me, I hardly know me. Quatre, does it hurt you as much as me?"

"Yes." Quatre replied knowing what his fellow Video Boy meant. "I've never had feelings like this before.  We're part of a video. We have no feeling other than what we've been programmed to have, yet because of this accident, we're experiencing things we never would have otherwise. It's like we're humans."

"Yeah, but humans don't vanish when their tapes reach the end." Duo growled. "They get to go on with their lives. I think I'm experiencing what humans call misery."

"You and me both. I wish it would go away."

"But it won't." Duo pointed out.

"No. It won't." They stayed silent for several minutes before Quatre spoke again. "I wish we didn't have to leave."

"Maybe they'll check our tapes out again."

"That doesn't mean we will come out again." Quatre said.

"You're right. We don't even know what will happen when our time is up. Will we be sucked back in without any memory of this or will we remember and be ineffective at our jobs?"

"I don't know." Quatre brought his knees up and rested his chin on them. "I wish I understood how and why this happened."

"You know, maybe nothing will happen and we'll get to stay." Duo said hopefully.

"And then we get to watch them live happily with Dorothy and Relena." Quatre stated. Duo frowned.

"What if we sabotaged their relationships?"

"Duo! We can't do that! Trowa and Heero are relying on us to help not hinder!"

"It was just a suggestion. I guess it was a poor one." Quatre sighed.

"We'll just have to do what we were rented for. Get them dates. That's our purpose."

"I don't want to do it anymore."

"Neither do I really."

Part Ten

The limousines dropped the boys off at nearly 3:00 AM.

Exhausted from their dates, they crawled into the house. Quatre and Duo had left the porch lights on for them, so they wouldn't have to be looking for their keys in the dark. Trowa wanted to fall over.

Heero felt like a two-ton elephant had been dropped on his back and he was forced to carry it. Shutting the door behind him, Heero gave the living room the once over. He'd been expecting Duo to still be up, but the familiar braided boy was no where to be seen. The TV and lights were both off and there wasn't a pile of snacks on the coffee table. Shrugging his shoulders, Heero went to his room. He must have gone to bed, he thought as he turned on the light. Still, I'd have thought he would have waited up for me. Heero sighed and pictured a smiling Duo hopping down the stairs demanding to be told how the date had gone and then scolding him for not using the right lines.

The second day after Duo and Quatre's arrival, Duo had met Heero at the door and told him in no uncertain terms that he wanted every detail about what had happened. Heero had grunted and walked past the Video Boy. Duo was undaunted and had followed him into his room. There perched on his bed Duo proceeded to badger Heero to the point that Heero actually nearly lost his temper. He'd snapped at Duo and told him to get out. The Video Boy smiled broadly and congratulated him on showing some emotion. That it was key in any relationship to share feeling, no matter if they were positive or negative.

"I was beginning to wonder if you did anything more than grunt." Duo had joked. Heero grabbed his pillow and walloped the braided boy with it. Duo smiled mischievously and snatched it from him; he then went running out of the room announcing that Heero did have emotions. Trowa snickered and had told Duo; of course Heero has emotions. It just takes a mouthy braided baka to make him crack. Heero wasn't sure which he'd wanted to hurt more, Duo or Trowa. He settled on leaving both of them alone and going to hide out with Quatre in the kitchen.

"Dammit, he should still be up. Why isn't he?" Heero growled opening the door to his room.

His room was as he'd left it. The polish and rag were still beside his computer chair. Seeing them reminded him of Duo and how he'd behaved that afternoon. He was only doing his job, Heero reminded himself. And I went and... what if he never speaks to me again? Glancing over at his VCR, which he hadn't touched since Duo had popped out of it, he noticed that the hours had slowly been ticking away. Suddenly he wondered exactly how long he had this tape for and looked for the case. After a moment or two, he found it under his bed. In bright blue letters it said "Seven Day Rental". Heero counted back the days.

Counting today, he had three days left before he'd have to return Duo. Something about the thought of returning Duo to the video store didn't appeal to Heero in the least. Whether he realized it or not, Duo had become part of his life. The talkative, sometimes annoying, normally cheerful, and almost always friendly Duo Maxwell, Instructor of the Heart, had weaseled his way into Heero's narrow vision of his life.

"What's going to happen after his time is up?" Heero wondered aloud. A sick aching feeling was developing inside him. Without a second thought, Heero got up and left his room. He needed to talk to Trowa, and he needed to talk to him now.

Trowa answered the knock on his door with some surprise. He'd been expecting Quatre to appear and ask him how the date had gone, then chide him for not doing something that he should have. Instead, Heero asked to come in. Trowa let him and Heero stood in the middle of the room for a moment before beginning.

It'd been ages since he'd been in Trowa's room. Nothing much had changed except the computer had been upgraded and there were a couple new posters on the wall.

"Is there something I can help you with Heero?" Trowa asked tentatively. Heero held up the cassette case.

"I have to return Duo to OZ Video Rentals in three days." It took a moment for Trowa to grasp the deeper meaning behind that statement. He swallowed realizing that he'd have to return Quatre too.

"Three days. They only have three days left. Then what?"

"That's what I came up here to ask you." Heero replied. Trowa was terribly uncomfortable.

"I have no idea."


"I guess we could check them out again."

"That doesn't mean they'll be the same. Neither of us know what is going to happen when their tapes run out." Trowa nodded. Feeling frustrated, which he didn't feel all that often, Heero began to pace. Duo would pace when he got agitated, like when he tried to teach Heero pick up lines. It was pretty funny how his face would scrunch up in such a way just before he chewed Heero out for not using the right emphasis.

Heero had never even thanked him for all the lessons. It wasn't in his nature to say thank you very often. He really needed to though; Duo needed to hear those words before his time ran out. Maybe he could buy him a present or something. He always dressed like a priest; perhaps a crucifix would suffice.

"Heero? Heero?"

"Hn?" Trowa sighed.

"I said, I think we should wait until later to discuss this. We're both tired and we should probably have a talk with Quatre and Duo about this too. I'm sure they are aware of their time limit and might know more about this than we do."

"All right."

"See you at breakfast."

"Hai." Heero got up and left Trowa's room. As he descended the staircase, he paused to look down the hall at the guestroom where both Duo and Quatre were most likely asleep. He sighed heavily and went to bed. He wanted to talk to Duo, but didn't want to wake him. It would be rude to just barge in and he'd most likely end up waking Quatre up too. No, it was probably better to wait until morning when everyone was awake and alert. Pulling the blankets up over his shoulder, Heero lay on his side and closed his eyes.

Unfortunately, true sleep evaded him. Heero kept having very, interesting dreams. The first involved Relena, who for some reason was wearing her hair in a braid identical to Duo's, and was fairly mild until she began removing her clothing. Once she started unbuttoning the shirt, Heero woke up. He lay in bed trying to dash the vision from his mind. When he finally got back to sleep, he found himself running all over his house looking for Duo. He couldn't find him anywhere. Becoming more panicked by the second, Heero finally found Duo in the guestroom completely naked, hair down, with maple syrup dripped all over him. After that point it got very kinky and the Heero in the dream was enjoying it immensely.

The alarm on Trowa's nightstand went off. Cursing mentally, Trowa rolled over and shut it off. He'd been having a good dream. He didn't have them very often. Normally his dreams were dark and depressing.

He was always alone in either a desert, on a mountain, or at sea. No one ever came to visit him, except for shadows that he would chase and chase in hopes that they were from an actual person, but they never were. Trowa hated those dreams, but he hadn't had one since Quatre had come into his life.

Last night's dream had been particularly good. It had involved him, Quatre, a stuck elevator, whip cream, hot fudge, and cherries. Quatre had been awfully hot and sticky, which was why Trowa was reluctant to get out of bed. He really wanted to continue the dream. Breathing slowly, it took him a few minutes to recover, then he rolled out of bed and headed for the shower. As he turned on the cold water, Trowa confronted himself with the question that had bothered him since yesterday. Why had he enjoyed the little strip tease he'd given Quatre? The dream had made things worse and if this morning was any evidence to that fact, he really needed to sort things out. Shivering as a frigid cascade pounded on his naked body, Trowa continued to debate.

The little voice inside his head was screaming that he should stalk over to Quatre, kiss him, on the lips, hard, and drag him off to his room. The more sensible side of him was screaming "What in the world to you want to do that for?" Quatre was a Video Boy and would disappear in three days time anyway. Besides, he had to complete his mission. But was the mission really that important? Trowa chewed thoughtfully on his bottom lip. He felt as if his life was nothing more than one long series of mission with no end in sight. Didn't he deserve more than that? Didn't he deserve someone to love and cherish? Someone who would hold him when the nightmares got to bad?

Suddenly he wanted to go find Quatre and curl up in his lap like a kitten and just tell him about those horrid dreams. And Quatre would pat him on the head and tell him it would be all right. Or at least that's what Trowa hoped. First though, he had to deal with Dorothy. Trowa shook as he remembered last night.

The dinner had gone wonderfully, but afterwards things had deteriorated. Dorothy had invited Trowa back to her place after the movie and they had started making out. Trowa fully admitted he had no experience with this and had fumbled along. Dorothy seemed to be having the same problems. Suddenly she had shoved him away. Startled Trowa tried to apologize for his inexperience and that if she wanted him to stop he would. She had smiled and said thank you.

"No, you're not the reason, I am." Dorothy confessed. "You see I've been in love with someone, but they think of me as a friend only. I thought by going out with you, it would help me get over them, but it isn't. Oh, Trowa, you're such a nice guy. You're such a gentleman, that any girl would be lucky to have you. You're thoughtful, you're romantic, you're everything a girl could want, but I can't get over my first love. I'm so sorry I led you on."

Trowa sighed remembering how he'd spent the next few hours consoling Dorothy and telling her that it was all right and even offering his help and advice.

Quatre would have been proud. All his lessons had paid off and although Trowa hadn't won the girl, he did complete his mission in a way. He'd gotten Dorothy to ask her father to send money to the scientists. She'd even gotten her father up out of bed to write a check out so Trowa could deliver it in the morning. After that they'd talked some more and Dorothy mentioned something about Quatre and how cute he was. Then she'd gone on to joke that he and Trowa would make a nice couple and Trowa had laughed. Now Trowa wasn't laughing. Maybe Dorothy hadn't been joking and had seen something Trowa had never noticed about himself until now.

Turning off the water, Trowa stepped out of the shower and dried himself off. Suddenly there was a knock at the door.

"Just a minute." Trowa called.

"Trowa, have you seen either Duo or Quatre? I can't find them anywhere." Heero's worried voice floated through the door.


Heero had awoken to the sound of his alarm. He'd promptly smashed the thing and flung it across the room. Groaning, he'd gotten up and dressed. Wandering out of his room he immediately noticed that there was no smell of breakfast being cooked.

Curious, he wondered if the Video Boys had opted for cold cereal this morning rather than oatmeal, eggs or French toast. Walking into the kitchen, he found no trace of them. They must be upstairs; he thought and had gone up to their room. He opened the door and found the place a mess. Pillows were on the ground; bed sheets had been pulled off and were scattered about. A knot formed in Heero's stomach as he remembered his dream from the night before. Hurrying to his parent's room, he found no sign of either Duo or Quatre there. He'd rapped on Trowa's door, but there was no answer. Somebody was in the shower, he assumed it was Trowa and knocked.

After giving Trowa the details of his search, they both went to the guestroom to inspect it.

"There appear to be signs of a struggle." Heero stated as Trowa walked about the room. "The night stand is knocked over and pillows are torn in places."

"Aa." Trowa replied. Stooping down he picked up something. It was a business card with the name "OZ Video Rentals" printed in thin block letters. "I think we need to go talk to OZ."

Fifteen minutes later, two boys, one dressed in a green tank top and spandex, the other in jeans and a turtleneck, burst into OZ Video Rentals. Guns in hand they stalked towards the cashier and set two videocassette cases down on the counter.

"Where are they?" Heero demanded.

"Who are you people and what are you talking about?" a woman in her late teens demanded. Her dark purple, nearly black hair was cut short except for her bangs, which rivaled Trowa's in length.

"We rented these videos from here five days ago. Someone from here broke into our house and removed them from the premises and left this card." Trowa said believing that he was the calmer of the two at the moment as Heero was already aiming his gun at the woman's head.

"I have no idea what you are talking about."

"Omae o korosu."

"Don't you even think about it."

"ONNA!" Wufei called appearing. He took one look at Heero and Trowa and came over. "What are you doing? You still have another two days on your rentals."

"They're gone." Trowa told him.


"Duo is gone." Heero growled.

"Duo?" Wufei looked confused. Then he looked at the cases. Picking them up he noticed they were empty.

"Where are the tapes?"

"In our VCRs." Trowa stated.

"If we shut them off, they'll disappear." Heero growled.

"Who?" asked the woman whose nametag read Noin.

"Duo Maxwell and Quatre Raberba Winner."

"The guys in the videos." Wufei said. Suddenly his eyes grew wide and he looked at Noin. "You don't suppose they came out of the videos." He turned back to Heero and Trowa. "Did they?"



"I'll take that as a yes." Noin said. "But if they came out and have now disappeared and their tapes haven't stopped . . .OH MY GOD! Treize and Zechs must have them!"

"Who?" asked Heero and Trowa simultaneously.

"Treize and Zechs are the owners of this store. Their families have owned OZ Video Rentals for years. The two were away at a conference in Hawaii and weren't due back until next week. If they got wind of any problems with a tape, then they'd come back and deal with the problem." Noin told them.

"What sort of problem?" demanded Heero.

"Some of our tapes are very special." Explained Wufei. "The characters can actually come out, but only if the person truly needs their help. Normally, they go back when the tape stops and they have no memory of ever having been out to begin with. Occasionally, something goes wrong and they remember. Treize and Zechs deal with that by erasing the memory, but I've never heard of them having to take back a Video Person when their tape hasn't completed. Something must be VERY wrong."

"Listen." Trowa snapped, getting visibly angry for the first time in his life. "We don't want either Quatre or Duo's memories erased. We like them how they are and we'd like them to stay with us. Permanently."

"That's rather hard to arrange." Noin said trying to remain calm as Heero still had the gun to her head.

"We can't actually do it. You see Video People will never be able to have emotions other than the ones given them."

"Matai. Noin, isn't it possible that these two Video Boys could have somehow become more human than they are supposed to and that is why Treize and Zechs took them?" Wufei asked. Noin thought about it for a moment, then nodded.

"It's possible. If there was some sort of glitch maybe."

"How about two VCRs that small children had gotten a hold of and stuck with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?" asked Trowa beginning to calm down a bit.

"That would cause a glitch." Wufei admitted. "And if they are becoming more human, then.." He paused.

"What the hell are Treize and Zechs thinking!? There is a serious injustice about to happen and I WILL NOT ALLOW IT!" Wufei dove behind the counter and pulled out a sword. He tossed a gun to Noin. "We have to save your friends before our bosses go completely psycho and delete them."

"NANI?" Heero snapped.

"The only way to get a Video Person to stop acting human is to delete them and start again from scratch." Noin told them. "Chang and I feel that if a Video Person has achieved at least some resemblance to being human outside of their original programming, then they should be allowed to continue to develop their humanity. Treize and Zechs don't feel the same way."

"So they'll delete them?" asked Trowa in horror. No, he couldn't let that happen to Quatre. Glancing over at Heero he knew that he couldn't let it happen to Duo either.

"Hai." Replied Noin.

"Look. There is a chance we can get them back." Wufei said as he started looking for some keys. "It'll be dangerous as I don't know what exactly is in the dark room. Noin and I are forbidden back there, but we know that's where they do the memory erasing. I don't know if we'll make it in time, but we'll try. We can't let this injustice occur!"

"That's right!" Noin agreed as Wufei found the right key. "Are you with us?" Neither boy had to be asked twice.

"Ninmu ryokai." Heero stated.

"Follow us!" Wufei called as he headed for the back room.


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