The Day After
And here he thought Deathscythe was beat up bad.
Duo part landed, part crashed next to what was left of Wing Zero; charred and twisted chunks of metal, barely recognizable as a mobile suit. He rushed to unbuckle his restraints, punched the hatch opener, grabbed the zip-line and jumped. The stirrup cut into his palm, but the line unreeled faster this way. Crap. Crap, crap, crap.
Ground, tumble, stand, run. Christ, why did he always do this? Why did he always have to lead the charge and live up to his damned alias? Jesus, Buddha and Shiva - Duo hoped he was still alive - Because he was gonna kill Heero for this.
Another of Mariemeia's goons crashed off to the left, the heat blast and dust tossing Duo aside. He gritted his teeth, got to his feet. Sandrock flew overhead, finishing off what Duo hoped was the last of them.
He ran past a head severed from its body. Metal, golden brows greater than Treize's. Damn, Zero had taken a beating - but the cockpit looked fine, the cockpit-
Was open. Damn. He stopped cold, looked around. Had he fallen? Jumped? No, no body. Footprints? None he could see. Where could he-
The blast crater to his right. Wasn't that where-
Duo cursed under his breath, and ran. Trust Heero to storm the enemy's stronghold with nothing but his bare hands, a ripped flight suit and some heavy bruises. With all the mobile suits up here, what were the odds of little miss priss being all alone down in her foxhole?
Yeah, that's what he thought.
He spotted a hatch, a door. He reached for his thigh, fished out his gun. Only six bullets, but at least he wasn't skinny dipping in the piranha pool. Metal scaffolding, stairs. Emergency lights. Three steps at a time. If anyone was here, they'd hear him. Fire escape setup, he noted - then jumped across the railing onto the next flight of stairs, then the next. Hard on the knees, but descending like that got him down faster.
Concrete, end of the line. The gun slipped out of his hand, and he scrambled to recover it before running down the nearest hallway.
A guard, knocked out cold. Yeah, this seemed the right way.
The main room - this had to be it, had to be.
Duo secured his weapon. Dead people. Lady Une and two others hauling the brat out. Gunshot wound. God. Heero?
There, in Relena's lap. Double damn. He ran. Bruises, yes. Probably a fracture or two. Some blood, but no bullet wounds. Duo landed on his knees. "What-"
"He's just unconscious," Relena told him, much too calm for Duo's liking. "He's asleep."
Damn it all to hell. Oh, he was definitely gonna kill him for doing this, again.
"He made a promise," Relena went on.
Oh, how Duo wanted to bash in that smile. Didn't she understand? Didn't she-
"He swore he'd never kill again."
"Yeah, sure, he just wanted to finish it off with a six-"
"Dekim shot her, not Heero."
Oh. Fuck. Duo gritted his teeth. Fine, let her keep her shinies. He'd still kill Heero, though - but first... "Is there a patch kit around here? Looks like he'll need a little more than just a pat on the head."
The second he woke up, he almost wish he hadn't. He was alive, for there was pain. He could suppress that, part of his training. But he recognized the back of the man sitting beside him; the braid was a dead giveaway. Heero did his best not to make a sound. If he pretended he was still out cold, at least he could postpone the yelling and the rants and-
He coughed, and immediately called Duo's attention.
"Hey," he was greeted.
"Hey," Heero managed back, voice dry and raspy. Water bottle to his lips. He tried to swallow some, limited success, coughed again.
"It's all over," Duo stated.
"Yeah..." Heero crashed his head back; grass, not concrete. A dawn sky above, the first glimmers of sunlight over the hills reflecting in the morning dew. "Think it'll stay over this time?"
He let go a chuckle. "We can hope..."
"If it doesn't... it won't be our problem."
"So I heard..."
Wind. A soft breeze to his face, it felt good. "How am I doing?"
"What, too messed up to do a self diagnostics?"
Heero started to smirk. "If I could, I'd take a swing at you."
"You'll live," Duo grinned back. "Your left arm's in a splint, and you've got a gash at your thigh that might need a stitch or two. I figured a gauze wrap would hold it together until one of the paramedics have time to care."
"Don't know," Duo said. "Dekim, for sure. I think most of their henchmen are okay." He paused. "Relena called just before you woke up - Mariemeia will live, too."
Heero nodded. "Good."
"...you know, there's never a dull moment when you're around."
A chuckle. "Likewise."
"Two years so far... ready for a third?"
"Not for life?"
"Let's... take one at a time. You're on probation, mister. I need to know you'll go good on that promise you just made."
"Yeah," Duo nodded. "And the others."
"I will. I do," he said, closing his eyes, growing sleepy. "I love you."
The Cheshire cat had nothing on Duo. "Think you can endure a kiss, buster?"
Heero started to smile. "I think I'll survive..."
The sun rose.