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fic: Now? 1/?

Note... maybe I'll do this original... do a whole series with them... must write something

by Pink Whirlwind
Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing... but I do kinda own the last name Maxwell now as I went before the judge today and it is my new last name. Yatta!

Warnings: Some cuss words, angelic Heero... as in dead Heero... in a supernatural kinda way.
Duo learned against the crumbling wall. L2 had a lot of buildings that just weren't all there any more on the outward swing side. He wore jeans, a black tee-shirt that had been in one piece when he'd put it on that morning, but was now slashed at the side where a bullet had self cauterized it's way across him just below his ribs. A pistol in either hand, both hands raised by his head, he listened for his target's movement. The job had started simple enough. Most things do.

He had a law degree. He'd promised Heero that he'd finish that and he'd practice law. He hadn't promised him that he would charge his clients or that it won't be a full service law firm. Heero had had something quiet and peaceful in mind. Duo knew that. Heero had always been very precise when he wanted something, but that conversation had been a bit rushed, to be fair.

In a perfect world, there would have been time to reload his back up clips which were already in his guns. Hell, in a perfect world there would have been a God who'd bargain a little more to Duo's preferences. "Armstrong, you dumb bastard," Duo started, his voice deep and very much grown up. "Do not make me shoot you over something stupid like this."

"I'm not going back to jail! You're my lawyer!"

"Well, you jumped bail and while you were out on bail I put up you beat your wife into a coma and stole her kid."

"My kid! I raised this kid since she was a baby. Me! She's my kid."

"Okay," Duo said, really wishing there were more bullets to go around. He was going to have to get his eye tuned up. Seriously. Sweat ran into his one remaining violet eye and god, he wanted a beer. "Look, you know I just want to take care of the kid the best way possible, right?"

"She should be with her dad!"

"On the run? Not going to school? With pricks meaner than me shooting at you? That's what you want for her?"

"Why can't you just leave me alone?"

"You mean aside the three months of rent on my office that you screwed up by not showing for your hearing, while you were out being someone half to death, scaring the stuffing out of your kid, and in general making me look like a chump?"

"I'll get you the money back! I got a job, out on the belt. Me and Aster gonna go there and do a new life!"
"I've got nine bullets left, Armstrong," Duo said, as if he were conspiring with his target. His artificial eye glowed very slightly as a large data packet docked, streaming information directly into his thoughts. "There are three other bounty hunters between us and my transport. Won't you rather come in with me? I'm your lawyer, aren't I? I'll get you both to the court house in one piece. That's what you want, isn't it?"

"I ain't going to jail! She was going to leave me and take my family! Don't you understand? If you don't let me go, I'll shot my kid and then myself, before you can stop me! Is that what you want? You wanna make me kill my kid?"

"Armstrong! You are dumb as a rock!"

His eye picked up the signal of a rocket, the kind used by the police when a target was ticketed 'dead or alive'. He hissed and crouched as he spun around the wall, hoping like hell that Armstrong won't actually shot him or the kid. The kid stood by the man who'd filled the role of father even though he hadn't passed the paternity testing. Her eyes were glassy, distant, lost to the world around her. Duo one knee bent, the other leg stretched out to the side, fired with his left hand, his stronger hand since he'd lost his right eye. That had been a very bad day.

The missile hit the building, shook already distressed plasteel, rolling the surface they stood on. Duo's bullet cut across Armstrong's arm, sending his gun off into free fall and the man over backwards. Duo lunged, holstering both his guns at the small of his back. He wrapped both arms around the girl, carried her three great steps to the edge of the crumbling building and jumped with all his will and might, all the strength his gundanium prosthetic leg could propel them. She screamed and reached over his shoulder as the building imploded taking her father inward like a reverse firework - the best part falling inward never to be seen again.

He hit the roof of the nearest building on his shoulder, skidded breathlessly, seeing stars in both eyes. Then he saw nothing at all.

Aster knelt by him, tears she hadn't cried since daddy had come home so angry, sliding down the dust on her cheeks. She patted the lawyer's hand, wanting him to wake up, to make things right to say something, to at least not be dead.

"He'll be okay," a very gentle voice said.

She looked up into the most beautiful blue eyes that were smiling gently back at her. Shimmering white wings spread wide wrapping a wonderful warmth around her and the lawyer. The air grew clear of dust and smelled sweet, but not like candy, like something she'd never smelled. "Who are you?"
"I am Heero. I would have been here sooner, but I had to collect your father first. He will be safe and loved now. Do not worry for him."

"Is he gonna go to jail?"

"No. He's gone to a place of healing."

"Will I see him again?"

"Someday," Heero promised, clean and slender fingers brushing dark sweaty hair away from Duo's unconscious face.

"Is he your husband?"

"Yes," Heero said, "But one day I made a bad mistake and he had to come save me. The doctors said he would die without a new heart, but he'd had my heart for so long it wasn't a problem for me to give him my physical one. Now I am bound into the service of the shinigami, for so long as my heart beats, but that means that they allow me to protect my heart whenever I need to. I will always be near him."
"Will he see you someday too?"

"Of course," Heero said gently. "And he can always feel me with him when he's happy, when he sleeps. He risked a great deal to save you, so you must try to be happy and to genuinely know yourself so that the person who is meant to love you will be able to find you."

"Do you think someone will love me? Really? Not like Daddy loved Mommy."

"Yes," Heero promised, as he slipped strong arms under Duo, lifting him as if he weighed almost nothing. "Come with me now. I need to move you both to where you will be safe."

"You gave him your heart," she asked stumbling a little as Heero's strong wing pulled her close to him. A doorway made of light opened on the roof then moved towards them, swallowing them into a place that felt completely safe.

"I did."

"He's a good man, even if he couldn't save my Daddy?"

Heero paused, just before they stepped through the door of light again. "He did save your father and you, and your mother. He's the one that called security to stop your father, so your mother survived. Because your father never killed anyone, he never did anything with premeditated malicious intent he can go straight to healing and you, Aster Armstrong, are alive because Duo Maxwell was here. So in a way, I gave you and your mother my heart too. You must not waste it. You must find love and forgiveness, kindness and bring happiness into your life and the lives of others."

"I'm only eight," she said, her eyes big and wide.

"And because Duo was here, I will not see you again until you are 183. You have many years to bring beauty into the world, Aster Armstrong. Be kind to my heart on the days that you can."

She grabbed Duo's jeans, holding on. "How many years does he have?"

"I don't know. A shinigami can't reap their own heart." Heero propelled them forward and onto the sidewalk. In a blink the man with the angel wings was gone and she was safely on the side walk, in front of the hospital. Duo coughed, red on his lips, and she yelled for help. As they were right out side the emergency room, soon help arrived. As they rolled the lawyer away, in his clenched fist she saw a single shimmering white feather.

Someone else wrapped a blanket around her and somehow it smelled like the white safe place and she knew... that everything would be okay.


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