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fic - Value of Us - Arrivals 2/2

Santa Clarita - Value of Us - Arrivals 2
by Pink Whirlwind aka Max

Notes: I am really sorry about continuity errors... just writing along as I go. And.. gods.. so tired today. Had to get up at 6:30 for an interview in a lovely call center.

       Duo woke up on a  bed -soft and thick - not a jail bed - hotel - it was a hotel bed.

       When you couldn't get a job and you needed money - and If it was going to be good. money there was often a hotel room with a nice soft bed. His shoulder didn’t hurt, so there had been some painkillers and god only knew what else. He very carefully tested to see if he was bound in anyway, which he wasn’t. There was a point in his favor. The place smelled like food though, which made his stomach growl. The foods were all rich and even though he didn’t know how to separate them, they made his mouth water.

       So maybe not a hotel - a house party.’s house 'party. The fuckers..sold him as a party favor.

       He really wanted to kill someone. Fuck. Anyone.  Heero for abandoning hunt fuck . Q his stupid games! The marshals, his knew PO, Relena.. Relena and her politicking that got him into this seemed like a really good choice. She’d promised that this was the safest way, the best way, best for Heero... no more fighting. In his mind, he could see his hands around her skinny little neck. He wanted to scream... LIARS! All of them.
      More than wanting to kill someone though, he wanted to survive. After he survived, then  he could wreak havoc. So. Not dying was, on the whole, the best plan he’d had all day. He rolled over and drew a leg up, as sexy and alluring as he could. He forced his face to relax, an inviting smile to lift the corners of his mouth as he touched the tip of his tongue to the center of his upper lip and slowly opened his eyes to see the person he was planning on killing first.

And there he was. Maybe six foot tall, shoulders as wider than from Duo’s waist to his knees with buzz cut hair and skin as dark as midnight. He was sitting on a roll around office chair that he made look like a child’s chair, a basket of laundry between his feet and the tiniest little pink dress held between outstretched hands as he folded. He’d frozen like the floor was about to drop out from under him.

Duo’s sexy expression flashed over to a look of dread and revulsion, his eyes on the toddler’s dress.  Allen eyes dropped to the dress, back up to Duo, back down to the dress as his mouth dropped open and his eyes narrowed. Very carefully, he folded the dress and set it on a stack of other clothes he’d folded. “Good morning, Duo. My name is Allen.”

Duo sat up all the way, taking in the bars on the windows, but not much else. He wrapped his arms around one knee and tucked his other foot under his ass. Survive... must survive. “Have I been very bad, Daddy?”

Allen hit his feet then, sending laundry flying across the floor. He pointed at Duo, intense emotion making his hand shake. When Allen yelled... well, that was a solid part of why certain parts of the house were sound proofed. “Boy! You don’t know where you at!”

A shiver of revulsion danced up Duo’s spine. It won’t be the first time he’d done what he had do and it won’t be the last. He straightened up a little, running his tongue over his lips, eyeing the door, the locking mechanism on it. “Oh? Tell me how it is then, uh?”

“Duo Maxwell,” Allen said, voice lowered, going gentle,
"No one ain't never going to hurt you like that no more.” The language was archaic, aggressive, and left no room not understanding that he mean what he said.

“You ain’t attracted to me that way?”

"Not only am I not attracted to you in that way -  I'll murder any adult who tries to be. I  might hunt down whoever made you drink that would be a good response."

“It’s worse if you fight back,' Duo protested in a small voice.  "I just wanted a live - so I can get away.  And don’t hurt Heero I'll kill you! He’s the best that ever happened to me.”
"Heero Yuy not an adult,': Allen pointed out, more disconcerted than he expected as Duo’s
eyes started to tear up. The guile had evaporated, leaving a lost child with strange violet eyes and a decade of all the terror a person, could pack into what hate a human could carry. “I’m not going to hurt Heero. You are safe here, Duo. No one will ask for sex from you. No one will hit you. There is enough food. This is your room.  It’s private. There are no recording devices, no monitoring in your room.”

Duo scooted back against the wall, arms around  his knees, “Then how the Hell do you expect to keep me here?.”

“We were kind of hoping you won’t mind just laying low for a while. You stayed in safe houses, hid out in schools during the war, didn’t you?”        
"Yeah. Sure. That came out at the witchhunt! You know I did!” Duo glared, the best death glare that he could and shoved the covers with his heel, eyes snapping to the ankle monitor. "Oh! The dog collar might help, uh?"
"So? You're saying you can't remove that trinket if you wanted to?"
"Of Course. I fucking could!” Duo wrinkled his nose.
"See then?. This is a nice safe house for you!  You're our seventh adopted child,"
"You can’t fucking adopt me!. I'm not a kid! I can take care of myself!  All I wanted to do was help people.I wanted people to be free and safe. There is just something wrong with me. I’m a god damn monster!"
"Was there any time in the war or before... where if you just lived in a nice house with nice people - plenty of food, horses - you can have your own dog, and in a year you are free to go. anywhere with Heero. Has that ever happened before?"

“No! And it doesn't matter! Heero broke up with me! I’m really a fucking monster. You don’t want me here. I’m dangerous and kinda crazy. You should just look the other way and I’ll go. I really don’t wanna hurt no one or cause anyone any trouble. If Heero don’t want me, then I just wanna disappear. You’re a smart guy. Can’t you see that letting me go is a good idea?”

“You love Heero?”

“Fuck you.” Duo pressed his forehead to his knees. His head hurt. His sinuses hurt. His shoulder was starting to hurt. His heart hurt more than anything else.  Before Heero, he’d been dreaming in those rare moments of daydreams, that he’d free the colonies and he’d be a hero. He’d imagined going on talk shows and being asked how he had had so much faith in peace and people... and no.. he freed the colonies and he was now convicted of crimes against humanity. He hated everyone! But there was no where to run right then, no way out and this nice well meaning idiot sitting there, completely unaware that he was having a chat with Death. He was gonna feel real bad when he got Allen killed. That was probably why Heero sent him away. He’d really rather that Heero sent him away than see Heero dead. That made sense. Heero was just doing him a favor.

Then he was sobbing, rocking on the bed, sobbing for all he was worth. So much so that he barely felt Allen’s hand on his back, rubbing gently, then arms wrapping around him, holding him, pulling him close. The need for contact, the need not to be completely monstrous, even if for only a moment found Duo’s hands buried in Allen’s shirt, his face hidden against a broad, hard chest.  The screams followed, growling primal screams as if the agony could bend the universe to its will. His voice went raw and Allen just sat with him, rubbing his back, holding him, rocking him. “Why didn’t Heero love me,” he wailed. “What if I was better? I could be different somehow... I could something. I could try.”

“You know the moment when you first get shot and the rest of the world is so far away that not even time matters for a little bit,” Allen asked, his speech patterns normalized, but still gentle.

“Yeah,” Duo admitted, laying down, head on Allen’s lap, exhaustion just melting him.
“The trial’s kinda like that, but for emotions. It’s like taking a bullet right through the heart and walking. I watched the trials. I saw how he looked at you, worried over you. He loves you. Now, you both are young, and don’t give me shit, you are both very young yet and anything can happen, but he loves you. I don’t know if it’s a romantic love, but you’re important to him. That kind of important doesn’t go away.”

“Why didn’t he run away with me?” Duo wiped the back of his hand over his nose, wiped it on his thigh. “We coulda been all the way to Mars by now.”

“Maybe he was tired of running and he wanted to live in a world where you and he could go to college, buy a house, have some of the peace you fought for.”

“Oh.” Duo sat up, pushed sweaty, tear soaked hair back from his face. “So maybe he didn’t break up with me?”

“In nine months you can ask him,” Allen said. “I know that seems like a very long time now, but war’s something nasty to heal from. You’ll both be better for each other then. In the mean time, you can get yourself together. Put on a little weight, be waiting for him.”

“You think I’m skinny?” Duo pulled up his shirt, showing of his six pack.

“Yeah.  A little. Speaking of food. If you wash your face, we can go down and meet the rest of the family, get something to eat.”

Duo’s stomach growled loudly. “Naw...I don’t wanna see anyone.”

“I guess I could bring you some food,” Allen said. “But you should still wash your face. We all decorated the room. I hope you like it. That door there is to your bathroom.”

“I get... my own bathroom?”

“We wanted you to have all the privacy you needed.”

Duo looked around. There were photos of all the pilots, all happy shots, together, grinning. There was a laptop too, on a desk with some art supplies and a couple of models to build. “What’s that? That gonna... ‘violate parole’?”

“Nope. It only has access to the internal network. We’ll be happy to give you full internet access as soon as Sandy says we can. You didn’t get much of a chance to get to know him, but he’s your parole officer and my brother-in-law, so no hurting him.”

“Um...” Duo said, slipping off the bed. “Why?”

“Well, because I like him and he’s a good guy.”

“No.. I mean.. why all this.. for me?”

“Well, you aren’t the only one who did things with the best of intentions that they didn’t come out perfect. All of us, Joel, Marin, Mary, M(2), Martha, and me... we’ve all done things that we’d do differently. We just like kids, so helping kids is the nicest way to make things right with the world.”

“I’m not a kid,” Duo insisted, poking around the bathroom like he expected there to be an Alliance agent in it. “Thanks though.”

“My pleasure. I’ll be back in a bit. All the clothes in the dresser, in the closet, those are all yours. We’re hoping they’re the right size.”


It was a few minutes later that Duo had washed his face, checked on the medical care given to his shoulder, rebraided his hair and no food had arrived. He stood close to the door and he could hear people laughing and talking. The food smelled agonizingly good, so good that while he wanted to see if he could get out to the net through their network.. he couldn’t stop thinking about the food that was downstairs. He tapped his foot, wished Allen would come back, but tapping his foot wasn’t really making that happen. He peered out into the hall and found himself staring into down at big green eyes.

He meeped and jumped back into his room, only to have a little girl crawl into his room. She had to be at least six or so, but she rubbed up against his leg like she was a cat and made a purring sound. He froze completely, palms against the wall and she looked up at him, grinning. “You scared of cats?”


“You scared of people?”


“My name’s Kait. I wanna be your friend.”

Duo’s eyes went side to side, like Allen was going to come back at any minute and give him something to do, some way out. Then he caught sight of the scarring at the back of her neck, the very light scaring across her face.  It made her kin somehow. He went to one knee and emulated the purr that she’d given him. “Hi Kait. I’m Duo. You like it here.”

“Yup. We made you a party. I pasted all the hats. You gonna come down, right?”

“You made me a party?”

“Yeah,” She said, grinning, reaching out to take his hand. “Because you just got home! Come on! I’ll show you the hats I made!”

She had his hand then and with all the tact of a happy six year old she half dragged him out of his room and down the stairs.

All the kids were running around, playing in the living room. The dining room was really the same room, just different furniture. There were all the adults that Allen had mentioned, and Sandy and a woman holding his hand. There was a huge upright piano and a black cat sitting on top of it watching all the humans mingle. Hanging a bit crooked on the wall was a big banner that had been painted by the children or by a modern artist, that read “Welcome home, Duo!”

A shiver went over Duo’s shoulders and he fought and lost against a small smile. The whole table was covered with food off all kinds, centering around a big cake. He had no idea what he was supposed to do or why all this was about him.. or how to deal with it and he felt the slight stirrings of guilt that he was here about to eat so much, with so many smiling faces there to welcome his red eyed, black eyed, haggard and skinny self, but Solo and Helen and so many others weren’t. He didn’t know, but he didn’t flinch when Sandy threw an arm gently over his shoulders. “Welcome home, Mr. Maxwell. It’s a whole new world.”

Marin lifted a glass of wine. “To Duo Maxwell and the peace!”

“Here, here!”

Glasses were raised in his honor.

“To Duo Maxwell and the peace!”

Kait jumped up and down, still holding onto his hand like she’d found a bungee cord. “He can purr real good! I’m not the only one anymore!”

.... not the only one anymore!

Maybe... maybe he could live with that.


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