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fic: Still Breathing 3/?

Still Breathing 3
by Pinkwhirlwind

Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing

Note: This story follows Breathing, which is on my blog.

Warning: Ghost story!

Chapter Three

Duo smiled, a thin smile.

They sat in a diner, somewhere in the morning when it could still have been night, but then this was L1 and night and day were more politics than heavenly will. The dawn still came gradually and they were in that place where everything was hazy, in between. Neither of them seemed like anything spectacular let alone war criminals or heroes.  They could have been just two people, a tan jacket, a gray hoodie, a yellowing old coffee cup with enough microcracks and discolorations to permanently disreputable, a butter knife that shook as the guy in the tan jacket spread jam over a thin slice of toast.

“Are you going to kill me?”

“Probably not,” Duo said, still smiling thinly. “I don’t want to, but it won’t be any great deal to me if I have to.”

The man dropped his toast. It shook as he picked it back up. “I,” he said, “I have a kid. He’s a clone.”

“I know that.” Duo took a drink of his coffee, looking calm, not at all like he had the whole block under surveillance that fed into his ear piece. “Cute kid. He seems happy. You have to know that cloning Heero wasn’t the best way to, well, stay out of people’s attention.”

“You’re not going to hurt him?”

“Hell no.”

“Killing his father would hurt him.”

“You’re a fucking coward. Got that. You’re a geneticist, and a pretty good doctor. I would have thought you won’t be stupid to go along with it.”

“I am not a coward!”  

“You’re going to show me where the labs are.”

“I can’t,” he hissed. “Everyone who had anything to do with what happened to Yuy was...They’re either dead or they’ve been arrested. I gave you everything I had.  J did some … work there that... that wasn’t natural. I can’t go down there.”

“You fear a dead J more than a living, and really pissed, Maxwell?”

“Yes,” he whispered, his focus on getting the toast to his mouth, which as hard as he was shaking was a push. “If you want to kill me, you go on and do it. I did some bad things to that boy. I hear him crying in my dreams sometime. I’m not even sure I don’t deserve to die for what we did to him, but I’m not going to open those labs. I’m telling you, he’s not dead and you can’t kill him.”

Duo smirked, deprecatingly. “I’m the god of death. I can’t be killed either and I sure as shit ain’t afraid of J. If he were alive, I’d gut him myself. I’ve seen some of those videos about Heero’s training and conditioning. Everyone who had anything to do with that is going to find god, one way or the other.”

“He won’t want you to do this,” Dr. Sato said.

Winking, Duo grinned. “Which is why we’re not going to tell him. Now look, I’m not really a murderous bastard. I’m a Preventer. I’m just hunting down people who do human experimentation on vulnerable little boys. That’s not so bad right?”

“So if I get up and walk out of here, you’re not going to kill me?”

Duo sipped his coffee. “Grievous bodily harm while resisting arrest is not murder. Give me what I want, Dr. Sato.”

“You want me to go down into those labs with you and I can’t.”

“Because Dr. J’s evil ghost is down there to kill you?”

“He’s down there and he’ll kill more than just me. He wants... to be resurrected.”

That got a snort. “So he thinks he’s Jesus?”

“You don’t understand,” Sato hissed, nearing tears. “He was … working on something and it didn’t work. He is not … dead.”

‘“Well, good,” Duo said, his smile so dark and vengeful that Heero who was watching and living the flash back suddenly became aware of himself as a separate entity. “I want him to be alive, so I can kill him myself.”

“I wish you the best of luck,” Sato hissed.

“Tell me where the labs are, give me the entrance codes.”

“You’ll let me go?”

“For now. I will be watching you and if anything even seems to happen to your son, I will be back.”

“There are three more...”
“Three more?”

“Clones, embryos.”

“I want them.”

“They’re... in the labs.” Sato pulled out his phone, scrolled quickly through files, sent the data Duo had asked for, then paused. He started at the screen for a moment, then held out out for Duo to see. In the photo, his face was sliced all the way to the bone. He lay on an emergency medical gurney. “That’s what happened to me when I went into the lab to get … one of the clones. The one that became my son. There is something in there.”

“Well fuck,” Duo said. He transferred the image to his server as well. “Whatever it is, I’ll take care of it.  I’m sorry I made you feel bad when I was pressuring you.”

“You threatened to kill me.”

“Yeah,” Duo smiled, swiped his phone over the pay terminal. “Take care of yourself, Doc.”

Duo got up, walked out, but Heero stood there in the cafe, realized that ghost Duo was standing there with him. As he looked at him, the dark ran down his face again, and Heero realized it looked a lot like the slash that had been on Sato’s face. “Duo, what did you find? Was J alive? What payment?”

“Get out of my lab,” Duo said softly. “Just go.”


Duo disappeared. Black rain leached in through the walls of the cafe, dripped down from the ceiling.  Heero took a deep breath, held out the his hand and caught some of the thick dark liquid.  It felt like.. emotion... like anger, but whose emotion? Whose anger? “I am not afraid.”

J’s voice whispered in his ear. “So you think you’re all grown up, Heero?”

Heero turned, expecting to find J’s ghost standing there, but all he found was Duo’s once again darkened lab, the lights slowly undimming from his moment. “Asshole, I’m all grown up and I’m meaner than you ever intended. What's more, I'm still breathing and Duo's heart is still beating. You, you miserable ass, are dead."

Very faintly he heard himself as a child, crying, begging... instead of being intimidated, he just felt angrier.


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