Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Santa Clarita: Gundanium Shark 2

Santa Clarita: Gundanium Shark 2/?
By Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing. I also don’t own any sharks. My housemates won’t even let me have chickens. I also don’t think sharks enjoy being owned.


“You can’t run those damn tests right now,” Major Vana hissed threateningly. “The fucking summer camp is in session. You know... children!”

Dr. Patel looked up at the military babysitter she’d been given. Dark eyes watching him from under long dark lashes. “I love children,” she said sweetly, “They are excellent with chocolate sauce.”

Vana’s face twitched with nausea. He’d been minding Dr. Patel for the better part of two years and he really wasn’t sure she was human. He rubbed his forehead. Not that he was any bigger fan of the brats at the camp either. There ought to be a limit to how smart a human being could have. Anything over 140 and they seemed to run towards insane. Patel had been in the 160 range, but he knew she’d augmented herself. She didn’t sleep anymore, as far as he could tell. That only made it hella harder to keep tabs on her.

The brats at the camp were all fucking prodigies too, in their own way. The government had some interest in all of them. As far as he was concerned, they weren’t that much different than Patel’s pet project Lucy. And here he was, a decent man, sane, excellent service record, in the last five years of his twenty and he was surrounded by white rabbits and then the reflection of dark eyes in glass caught him and he jumped back from the thick aquarium wall. Lucy stared at him, those big black eyes watching him, staring at him, tracking him, and god, he felt like he wasn’t sure if he was on the menu or just being mistaken for a soccer ball. “God! What did you do to her? She’s... different.”

“Indeed,” Patel said laying her hand on the glass. Lucy touched her nose to the glass, then turned and swam back into the darkness. “I have built her something. She won’t hurt them, much. Those children are smart and gritty. Duo Maxwell is with them this time. This will be an excellent test of her skills!”

“The Gundanium,” Vana said, voice low. “What did you build? You didn’t have any authorization to build anything. You’re out of control!”

She turned to him, tilted her head, and for a moment she looked like a lovely little doll, long dark pigtails to the sides of her face. She held up her hand, like she was going to reach for his. The whole pose was eery and unsettling to Vana, who took a cautious step back. “I think you should get some sleep, doctor.”

“Maybe later,” she agreed, but then her some small object in her palm spiked, impossibly fast, putting a hole right through Vana’s spine and everything between. “Though, I don’t think you’ll be as interested when you’re dead.”

“Fuck,” he whispered as the last of the air left his lungs.

“A true man to the last,” Patel sneered as he fell.  “You were never really military, Vana, but more like content security. A house cat who has forgotten how to use his claws.”

Lucy glided past the wall again, eyeing the fallen man.

“Oh baby,” Patel purred. “Are you hungry?”

<>

“Xenomorphs are way better than sharks,” Duo said with convictions. “Sharks don’t get out of the water... and a special kinda water at that. They’re really limited and you can kill’em easy with a buster cannon or beam scythe.”

Ripley pinched her nose, arching an eyebrow.  The ten of them that were on the marine biology track sat in a circle on the beach.  “So is that the value of a creature then? How hard it is to kill and how adaptable to various habitats it is?”

“Yeah,” Duo said, shrugging, sure he was right. “What good is a movie if the monster isn’t scary?”

“Okay, well, how’s this for scary... after that movie human attacks on sharks rose so steeply that the shark population seriously declined until protections were enacted.”

“Well, isn’t that a good thing,” Nari asked, “I mean... they attack humans.”

“Even at the height of their population, shark attacks on humans were very rare. Apparently they mistook surfers for prey animals, but we don’t really taste very good.”

“Ewwww...,” several kids said.

“Wait!” Duo raised his hand even. “Are you saying that there are fish with teeth that eat humans?”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Yeah. They’re called sharks.”

“Or piranhas,” Sean added. “Piranhas are worse.”

Duo’s face paled, his face going long. “And they’re like... real? They really exist? We’re not talking about dragons or velociraptors or xenomorphs... but real animals?”

“Velociraptors were real,” Nari said, “The dinosaurs were wiped out XX years go by a meteor impact.”

Duo’s eyes became little violet slits and he grabbed hold of his cross. “How do you know that?”

“Science,” Nari said, giving him the eye. “Like... do you even know how to read?”

“Okay, enough of that,” Ripley said. “We all come from different backgrounds and experiences. We all have different skills.”  She dialed up a hologram on her tablet and a very realistic velociraptor appeared in their circle. “These were predators XX years ago. We have bones, some of which we’ve found DNA sequences in.”

“Show me,” Duo challenged her and she changed the display to recovered velociraptor DNA. Duo reached out and grabbed a copy, spreading it open on his tablet. “Oh wow! Oh wow!”

The rest of the kids looked at him like he was faking, but he just sat there playing with alleles, reordering them. “These are in the wrong order,” he mused, “The pattern should be like this...”  He triggered it and it generated a velociraptor off his reordered DNA, but a brightly colored one with odd vestigial feathers.

“Okay. We’ll talk about this, Duo,” Ripley said, clearing the shared display space. “Who wants to take a stab at explaining evolution?”

That got her a total of zero hands.

“Who’s heard of evolution?”

All the hands went up, except Duo’s.  Ripley’s face twitched.

“Understanding the science of marine biology requires an understanding of evolution. I’ll assign basic reading and exercise. Take the mastery tests if you’re comfortable. For now, there’s a tide pool that I want to show you.”

An hour later, Duo knelt at the edge of a tide pool, staring at an orange starfish, his lip between his teeth, just entranced.

Ripley squatted down without even disturbing him. “What ya thinking?”

Duo lifted his head, stared out at the Pacific Ocean, which seemed nearly endless from where he was on firm ground, not like flying over it at a 1000 knots.  “Life is way bigger than I thought. There’s so much I don’t know. I’m so fucking small.” A tear slipped down his cheek, trembling over the salt and sweat on his cheek.

“That’s a pretty cool place to be. Come on, lunch is waiting.”

“Okay,” Duo said, happily getting up and following her along the little ledges between the pools, his braid swinging. “How do you talk to starfish? If sharks are sentient, why don’t they pay taxes?”

Monday, August 1, 2016

Fic: Santa Clarita: Gundanium Shark 1/?

Santa Clarita:  Gundanium Shark 1/?

By Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing or any of the bad shark movies that inspired this story.  Also, any similarities to the Lake Placid movies, Sharktopus, Ice Spiders, or any other SyFy channel movie is completely coincidental...


Duo Maxwell leaned his head against the school bus window. Sitting on the uncharitable green seat, next to an angry little kid with no front teeth, which didn’t prevent the brat from threatening to bite him if he didn’t say well on his half of the seat, he thought he was the most miserable being in all of the Earthsphere. The tracking anklet on his ankle irritated him, not in any physical way.  Martha was very good about making sure it didn’t cause any bruising or abrasions and was always more fucking difficult to get off after every time he successfully got it off.

He sighed, head against the warm glass window. He blew on the window, as if that would make it fog up. The environmental controls were so clearly broken on Earth and no one believed him, not even a little. It was summer, they said, and that’s why it was too hot to sleep. It was winter, they said, and that’s why frozen water fell from the sky... like that wasn’t some kind of horrible disaster just begging to happen. But bring one dead cow, and okay, a crazy South American woman, and you were some kind of dangerous evil plague, at least according to Sandy.

That had all been worth it though. The look on that fussy English teacher’s face was a prize worth keeping for years. It was like she’d never seen a whole in somebody’s hand before. He snickered to himself, fingers brushing over the warm glass that wouldn’t steam up no matter how hard he tried, and wondered how many fucking trees there could be along this road. Who would plant so many fucking trees and why? Maybe some king did it once, like the king who put out all those hedges in Versailles.

“What are you laughing about, you freak,” the kid next to him sneered.

Duo looked over at him, just his eyes moving, like violet sentinels that should put the fear of God into all manner of vermin. “Who you callin’ a freak, kid?”

“You,” the boy said before sticking out his tongue. “Over there kissin’ the window. Try ta touch me in mah sleep an’I’ll kill ya.”

“Shadup, brat,” Duo snapped back, “Ain’t nobody gonna touch you, you know. If they even try, you tell me and I’ll make sure they get what’s comin to’em.”

The boy tightened the arms across his chest, chin down. “What’s yer name?”

“I’m Duo Maxwell,” Duo said, smiling brighter. “Sandy thinks goin on this trip’ll make me ‘appreciate the Earth and the forces of nature’, but he don’t know nuthing.”

“Yeah,” the kid said. “It was time for me to move to a new foster family and they didn’t have one so, they sent me up here for two weeks. I’m Jose.”

“Nice ta meet ya,” Duo said, holding out his hand.

Jose stared at the hand, eyes lifting to look at Duo’s grin like he wasn’t exactly sure what kind of crazy Duo was. “You a homo? I’m from ELLL AAAA, man. We don’t be touching each other’s hands like that.”

“Yeah? Well, I’m from L2. Where’s Ellll Aaa?” Duo said, turning, one knee bent and then he had was sitting lotus style. “Do you like it there? What’s it like?”

“OH man,” Jose said, tilting his head suspiciously. “You ain’t never heard’ Los Angeles?  Where’s L2?”

“About a million and half miles out. The Webb 9 telescope is at that point.  It’s gonna be a great place now that the war’s over. Someday Ima go back and I’ll be a doctor. Ima gonna be a doctor.”

“You talk a lot,” Jose said, relaxing a bit. “And you’re crazy, but I guess that’s okay. You got any food?”

Duo wrinkled his nose and slipped a package of red licorice out of his jacket. He gave a couple vines to the kid, who shoved them into his pocket, just in time for Coach Yander  to be glaring at them. “No outside food,” he said sternly, holding out his hand.

Duo shoved the last two vines into his mouth, grinned with them in his cheek, a bit of red smeared across his teeth. “Got no food.”

“Boy, you like food so much, you’re on kitchen duty tonight.” The man growled, his fat face a bit red in the nose.

As soon as he turned to walk back to the front of the bus, Duo flipped him off behind the seat.

“Sorry,” Jose whispered.

“Don’t worry. Ain’t no thing. Don’t worry. This ain’t gonna be so bad,” Duo said, pulling another hard candy from his back pocket and offering the little wrapped butterscotch to the boy.

“So you say,” Jose grumbled, the little candy disappearing. “You like guns?”

Duo tilted his head, violet eyes narrowing a little. “Yeah, and?”

“Just saying,” Jose said. “You bring any?”

“God no, Martha’d kill me so dead. We aren’t gonna need any. Look, as punishments go, this ain’t gonna be that bad. After I got Joel stabbed in the heart, I thought I was gonna go to prison. Fish camp is a prize.”

Jose turned away, arms tight across his chest and refused to say anything else.

“Fine. Whatever,” Duo said, turning back to the window.  Maybe that was the punishment of fish camp... not having anyone to talk to. That might actually be genuinely painful.  He crossed his arms over his chest too, hands under his arms and thought about Heero.  Heero understood him, or at least was okay with having him around.  Jazz and he had cheer choreography to get done. Him being suck out here was a hardship for her too, unless she just founds someone else to work with. For a moment he had a vivid daymare of getting home and being told he’d been kicked of cheer squad. Well, breaking and entering had kinda been a violation of his probation. Worse could happen that getting kicked off cheer squad and sent to fish camp.

His shoulder slumped and he felt like an idiot. Always so eager to prove he was right.  Stupid.

And while the window wouldn’t fog up, there was plenty of fog having over his head.  Fuck. Everyone.

<><>

The camp didn’t look any more exciting than the endless tree garden had to Duo and he sighed dramatically as he oozed down the exit stairs like some teenage sludge spill. The world was ending. Wufei would seduce Heero and Heero  would realize that the Imperial Chinese Emperor was a way better match than an obnoxious brat who used to eat out of garbage cans.

“I’m Dr. Jewls Le Chance. I’m a professor of mythology at the University of Oxford. I’ll be your lead assistant on your educational journey! I know you’re all tired from the trip,” a perky red headed man said, “So I’d like to give you all your cabin assignments. That way you can put your things away, get cleaned up, and meet us in the main hall for dinner! We have several tracks for you to consider joining during your time here. There’s archeology, marine biology, and forestry. All of them have excellent leaders! Please give all of them your consideration. Now, let’s get you to your cabins!”  

Duo wrinkled his nose. It sounded... fun... that just didn’t feel right. It was a trap somehow.



But the dinner was fine.  The other kids seemed... normal enough.

“Before we all go to our cabins though, I need to let you know some rules,” Professor Jewls  said, “Not a whole lot - as we trust you to have common sense and be decent to each other. This is a multi-use facility. We share with the United States Army. The areas that are not safe for us to use are clearly defined. Do not go beyond the signs. Do not leave the main camp without one of our two way phones. We want you to explore and have a fantastic time, but safely. Okay! Go put your things up and down to the main hall for dinner.”

So... Joel hadn’t actually died and the Mary was finding the Cornflake Princess really interesting.  As he ate dinner, he thought about how Heero and Wufei would be as a couple and really, that wasn’t gonna last really long, even if they did try it.  Wufei would be all... you don’t speak properly. You don’t dress right. Why do you sleep like that? And Heero would want to get all cuddly in the middle of the night and Wufei would get all bristly and then they’d be back to being friends. Heero really did like to cuddle and he really didn’t like to be told what to do or how to speak.

“You all glassy eyed. You on drugs,” a girl across from him asked insultingly.

Duo wrinkled his nose and made a face at her, eyes crossed, tongue out the side of his mouth, food on his tongue.

“Oh grosss,” she groaned and got up and moved.

Duo held Heero’s chopsticks up as if he were offering her back an obscene gesture. Heero was gonna miss his chopsticks, Duo thought, grinning crookedly.  

The next person to sit down opposite of him was a pretty black man, soft curvy lips, beautiful brown eyes, dreadlocks to his shoulders, capped with golden beads. Maybe if Heero and Wufei were going to fuck while he was away, maybe he’d do this pretty incarnation of chocolate. “Hey,” he said sweetly.  The man was clearly an adult, but Duo lead with, “Which path did you pick while you’re here?”

All the things that had clearly been building to come out the man’s mouth dropped to a blank face for a moment as his mouth dropped... but then his eyes narrowed. “I’m Shelly. I’m the head of anthropological studies. I was interested in seeing if you’d like to join my track.”

“OH yeah, totally thinking about it,” Duo said, winking. He hadn’t seen a lot of people with that kind of dark onyx skin. That woulda been real cool to have when he was piloting. He and Deathscythe couldna been the same color. That woulda been hella cool. “I am totally thinking about joining you.”

That lead to several moments of words that didn’t make it past the pretty man’s tongue. “You can’t flirt with me. I’m staff.”
“Sure I can,” Duo pointed out. “I already am. See how easy that was?”

“How old are you anyway? 14?”

Duo stabbed Heero’s chopsticks into a potato. “I’m seventeen. Fuck you.”

“Not this year,” Shelly said. “I think you might like marine biology.” And with that the pretty black man was gone.

Duo actually growled at the next kid that tried to sit with him. Fuck. He’d been exiled! He wanted to be at home! It was the only real home he’d ever known and he didn’t need new fucking teachers. He wanted Martha to tell him what to do, to make everything normal. He wanted to sit on their bed and read stupid stories with Heero. This was so wrong! It was inhumane! It was unfair!

“Hey,” a woman said as she sat down, kicked his feet out of her spot and took a bit of her burrito.

After a moment where his glaring did nothing at all to her, he replied. “Hey.”

“So I hear you signed up for marine biology.”

“Whatever. It’s fine. I guess.”

“Great! I was hoping we’d get you. You have piloting experience, yes?”

“Yeah...,” he said, while looking at her suspiciously. Did she not know who he was?

“Great! We have a two person submarine and you’re our only pilot. “I’m Captain Ripley. I hear you’re the best pilot in the war.”

Duo perked up, smiling. “I’m kinda good.”

“Well, great,” she said after swallowing and on her way to another bit, “I’m jazzed to have Heero Yuy on my team.”

Duo’s face fell, violet eyes wide and puppy like.

“See? Not fun, right? Don’t be an asshole to the other teachers. They ain’t military and they don’t get paid enough to put up with your shit, Maxwell. They’re just nice folk.”

“Whatever,” Duo said, blushing, feeling a little like an asshole himself. “Can I go now,” he asked already getting up to go no matter what Ripley said.

“Sure. You know you have unfiltered, uncensored, unlimited high speed internet acces in your private cabin, right?”

He perked completely up, glowing just about. “Okay. Whatever.”

“Also, there’s a very nice camera in your room. Everyone gets one. You can take it home with you. The photos you take with it while you’re here belong to the camp. You can use them too, but we they’re important to our work.”

Duo’s jaw shifted to the side, eyes narrowed, like she was trying to sell him a bridge. “An I just getta keep it?”

“Yup. What you do for science and community is important, Duo. You’re important.”

“Uh,” he said, spinning on his heel, braid flaring. He’d believe that when ... well.  He wished he could believe that.

He found his little cabin to be ... nice. The bed was comfortable, even more cushy than their bed at home. The computer powered right on and spoke to him,  playing music on voice command. He really wanted to be suspicious. It didn’t seem even remotely reasonable that folk would make this kind of place for kids that couldn’t pay, or for kids at all, but he just couldn’t really find anything to be legitimately suspicious about.

He sent Heero an email telling him all about it. He wrote Wufei and told him in a way to make Wu jealous. He wrote Jazz and told her all about his fears and how stupid he felt. He wrote Martha and begged to come home. He wrote Joel and told him it was all his fault and he would never see him again because he was going to be worked to death... to deaaatttttthhhhh.

Joel replied with a selfie.. A beer in one hand, a cigarette between his lips, and his middle finger up.  Martha told him to focus on his work, not to be lazy. Jazz wanted to know if he had access to social media and if he was going to be home in time to help with getting everyone ready for cheer tournament and god, why did he have to get himself in trouble so much. Wufei said he didn’t care. Heero sent him a selfie that made Duo blush and neeeeed to take a nap. Which he did... and then he fell asleep, sprawled half dressed across his very comfy bed.

The knock on his door brought him slowly awake. It was dark outside his windows. “Yeah?”

“Hey,” a strange voice called. “We’re gonna watch a movie. There’s ice cream and popcorn and lemonade. Come watch with us?”

His first reaction was to say no, but then his stomach growled and he was kinda lonely and ice cream and .. “Yeah, I’ll be right there.”

“Great,” the voice said, sounding genuinely pleased. “I’m Darren, by the way. I’m doing marine biology too.”

“Cool,” Duo said, screwing up his face as he yawned. “What movie?”

“It’s Jaws. Old classic. Have you seen it?”

“Naw, I’ll be there in a few minutes,” he said.

So what was a classic movie called Jaws about? Maybe it was like Saw, but with teeth... maybe. He wished they were going to watch the newer Alien movie. Whatever.

True to his word, a few minutes later he end up in the main hall in clean jeans and a tee-shirt, his damp hair in a ponytail, his cross on top of his shirt. The red headed dude offered him a bowl of popcorn or a bowl of ice cream. He took both and went to sit on the floor. The screen was nice with 3d projection. The lights were down and the movie started.

Okay. It was a romance. Meh. Maybe it would be okay.

The water looked really good. He wanted to see light from under the water like that. That was cool. It looked kind of like being weightless. That was cool.  

And then...

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fic: Thank you for Calling 2/?

Thank You for Calling 2/?
By Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing, nor do I own the Marvel Universe, or Supernatural...

Note: This chapter is for Laura’s Birthday! :) And likely the next after...


“Thank you for calling Acme Supernatural Supplies and Supplements. My name is Steve. How may I help you?” He sat there on his chair, alert and cheerful.

“I just have some questions,”  a younger girl asked.

“Of course, I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. I feel I should advise you thought you must be 18 years old to purchase products from Acme Supernatural Supplies and Supplements. May I have your name please?”

“I’m Karissa. I’m fifteen, but I’m going to be sixteen in two weeks. On the page about spells, it says that, well,” she said, pausing and making odd little sounds like she was chewing her lip. “Well, I just want to know if they work. Do love spells work?”

“Um,” Steve said, as if he were giving her question due consideration, when what he was really doing was trying to think how to answer her question honestly without getting himself fired. “They can have some benefits, but you don’t want someone falling in love with you if it’s not truly in their nature to love you. Love is a very powerful experience and sometimes the best part of that experience is to give love. I believe if you look in our book section, you’ll find a seminal work by Starhawk called Spiral Dance. She gives directions for a very powerful love spell that can not do anyone any harm.”

The earthquake shook the building only slightly, but as his chair shivered, he suddenly reassessed the sturdiness of the building his job was in. The girl talked away in his ear about why needed a love spell, some girl named Belinda who was, apparently, the most beautiful girl in school. While she talked, Steve reminded himself that his purpose was to protect the world, protect freedom, and do that he needed to maintain his freedom, not endanger his team. They needed to lay low, pay rent, buy food, stay hidden. “I do believe love is one of the most powerful forces in the world. I believe we may have just had an earthquake. It may be necessary for me to call you back.”

“But what about lust,” the girl asked urgently. “If I get the number 69 candle and I write her name on it, do you think she’ll lust for me?”

Steve rubbed between his eyes. “That might be something best discussed with your mother.”

The girl groaned. “I don’t think you know anything about magic.”

“Magic is powerful. It’s not something to be trifled with.”

“Whatever. I want to order to #69 candles and five blessed ribbons, and some juju fix beans.”

“Do you have a parent I can speak with so that we can complete the purchase, Karissa?”

“No. The card’s in my name. I have a job.”

“I’m sorry. I can not sell certain products to customers who are under 18.”

“Can I talk to your supervisor, please?”

“Of course, would you like to hold?”

“Sure.”

And then there was hold music. He was going to lose this job. This was a good job though. It paid enough to cover their expenses and they didn’t have to see anyone face-to-face. It was the last place the government was going to come looking for them at.

His email blinked and he clicked into it.

The new email was from Tony@imanasshole.com  On the off chance that it was an apology, Steve clicked it open.

“I need you and Bucky to take out a weapon for me.”

Hold music continued to play. Assholes at his fingertips, assholes in his ears, profanity in his thoughts... it called for a new job, it did.Steve replied, “You can’t email me here.”

Tony’s reply hit his inbox milliseconds before he even hit send. “Yes, I can. Obviously. I’ve just emailed you. You’re going to have a hard time staying hidden if this weapon levels Seattle. Think of all the innocent dead. You don’t want dead civilians, do you Cap?”

“Send the information to my private email.”

“Don’t worry! :) :)” Tony replied. “I won’t let you get fired. It’s the least I can do. Oh and I sent you a package.”

“Are you intoxicated? Is that where this is coming from? You’re never going to win Pepper’s trust like this,” Steve typed.

“Cap, let’s just stay with saving innocent lives, shall we,”  Tony replied.

Just after he’d managed to transfer the underage girl to a supervisor who, hopefully, wasn’t going to let her buy anything either, another supervisor showed up at his desk dragging a rather large box.

Steve smiled, a twitchy nervous smile. “Hi Tanya. How are you this afternoon?”

“Put yourself in coaching,” she said, smiling like nothing was wrong.

Bucky had suggested they work as private investigators. That might not be such a poor idea. “Of course, how can I help?”

“You are aware that you’re not allowed to use the business address for packages or mail, right?”

“I did not request any packages or mail,” Steve defended himself.

“Yeah? Explain this,” she said pushing the large narrow box closer to him. “Go on,  open it up. I’d love to see what was so important that you had to risk your job to get it. And really? What could you possibly order from  imanasshole.com anyway?”

“Um,” Steve said, not really having a good answer for that, but Tony’s apologies were about as poor as one could get. Inside the box though, now that was a decent apology. He pulled his shield up and found a great smile. That apology might be better than it had seemed at first inspection.

“Great,” Tanya snapped. “Fan junk. You know he’s not a hero, right?”

“Yes, Ma’am. It won’t happen again.”

“See that it doesn’t.”

Steve pushed the box under his desk, a genuine smile on his face. There was hope for the world.  “Thank you for calling Acme Supernatural Supplies and Supplements. My name is Steve. How may I help you?”

<><>

Duo Maxwell sat on the steps behind the homeless shelter. War hadn’t touched Seattle much. That alone would have made it an interesting city. There was a plaque in the subway about Microsoft and how he or she had brought computers to the world. Elbow on his knee, a cigarette hanging from his fingers,  Duo wondered what Microsoft would think of the world now. It would suck shit to see this pretty city fall down. The Emerald City. Trowa’s green eyes.

Duo took a long drag on his cigarette and tried not to think about color and fucking eyes made him hard.

The door opened behind him and a gruff old voice invited him back in, “Son, we’re about to have prayers before dinner. Come in?”

“Yeah,” Duo said, carefully snuffing out his cigarette and hiding the remaining stub in his rolled up sleeve. “Coming.”

Yeah, so god, fucking forgive me for being a faggot, a murderer, and a faggot, a thief, but mostly a murder. Probably.

Duo stood, feeling the soreness in his left knee. A police baton’ll do that to ya.

His pocket vibrated and he pulled out his phone. It was nice, late model played all the games and God, the music was proof of divinity. The text on its lovely big screen was from Heero though. “Location?”

Duo smirked, wished his cigarette was still lit, wished he could tell Heero how fucking gorgeous his eyes were. Howard said that if he just waited it out, wanting to fuck everything would fade with time. It was just a phase. He thought if he didn’t want to fuck Heero when he thought about it him, that, well, that then life wouldn’t be fucking worth living. He knew full well that Heero was asking for his location, but replied, “Location of what?”

He turned on his find friends though and went in for prayers.

<>

Heero stared at the response. Life had been so much easier before he’d met Duo. It had been so much shorter. There had been a putrefying  rage that he hadn’t even had words for. He’d been sitting with Duo, a drunk Duo with a scratched up face and somehow more poetry on the tip of his tongue than Heero had known existed. That was the night his secret and covert mission of ending himself had shifted from wanting to end to just not wanting to be someone else’s weapon.

Duo wasn’t always easy to deal with though. He was like color and song and explosions and he never ramped down. Even when he was sleeping, sprawled out on whatever bed they’d found, his braid trailing off into space that wasn’t his, he was still vivid for Heero, still drawing his attention, still a siren into unknown lands.

Three days before, Heero had told him to shut up. Duo hadn’t even been talking, not paused to draw breath, just dancing at the edge of a roof, thirty stories up, the wind whipping that braid around, a can of sugar and herbal amphetamine in one hand, headphones on, hips swaying like he was the dawn and the dusk, the cycle of life, so some beat that Heero could not hear, no matter how hard he tried. There had been this spike of resentment, rage, and he’d snapped.

Duo hadn’t said a fucking word. He just disappeared. He wasn’t answering his calls.

His phone was still on though and with a bit of work, Heero tracked him to a homeless shelter in Seattle. That was the easy part. Now he had to find a way to apologize. So he walked in, looking like a homeless boy, scruffy and defensive, and they let him in... Duo was there... somewhere.