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fic: Santa Clarita: Arrivals: Duo’s First Days 1/?

Santa Clarita: Arrivals: Duo’s First Days 1/?
by Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing

Notes: Man.... I jump all over with this one... it’s just ... whatever is the best place for me to express what I’m feeling. Thank you for being with me on this journey and giving me feedback when it appeals to you.

Also.. the foster family is finally gelling up for me... There is a possibility that looks may have changed from previous stories.

Martha planted her hands on her hips, eyes narrowing. “He can’t stay. He’s dangerous and I don’t mean normal child dangerous. Hell! I don’t even mean normal soldier home from war with crazy amounts of PTSD dangerous! He’s stronger than a person ought to be, which means someone has modified him genetically. He’s smarter than he should be and he’s known mostly violence. He’s hoarding food and the ingredients to C4 in his room. Now think about that, my loves. He is dangerous.”

Allen smiled nervously at Martha. While they had all committed to each other, all five of them, they weren’t all equally lovers. Neither were they all equally committed to helping the children wounded by the wars. Allen’s eyes were pale gold, an odd coloring at odds with his deep chocolate skin. In the war, he’d lost both eyes while trying to evacuate a bus load of children who either hadn’t had parents or guardians, or whose guardians hadn’t been able to attempt the evacuation. The evacuation hadn’t gone as planned and he and the children he’d been trying to save had been caught up in the conflict between the colony’s guerilla fighters and the government forces. Having been on the ground, in the middle of it, witness up close, he still couldn’t tell who were the good guys and who were the bad guys.  Both sides were monsters, as far as he could tell. “This kid is just a kid. He’s scared, that’s all. We gave Sandy our words, for six months. Then he can be emancipated.”

Martha shook her head. “In six months, his parole could be over, but he’s not going to make it that far. I’m going to call Sandy and tell him the kid has violated his parole by attempting to make weapons. He belongs in a secure facility where they can contain him. I’m not a parent kind of person. I’m here because Joel wants to be. You all are the ones that want to play Mr. Rogers. I’m a geneticist and a bioengineer. And yet! I’m the only one that can say no in this group.”

“I like children,” M2 said, smiling sweet.  M2 was identical to Martha, being a clone created unintentionally. She shared all of Martha’s memories up until the moment of separation. They were completely identical and there was no functional way to tell which was actually the original, but each had moved into their chosen identity. “I think we could just sedate him for the six months. He’ll be so relaxed he won’t even see the time go by.”

“That is a horrible idea and a complete violation of his rights,” Joel said firmly. If there was center to their complex marriage - it was Joel. Curly hair, green eyes, suicide blond hair, and a smile that could charm water out of a Bedouin, he leaned against Allen’s chair, a hand on the bigger man’s shoulder. “If he wanted to hurt someone, he would have done so, I think. He’s been hurt enough. I think we, as fellow humans, owe him some shelter. He’s obviously been scapegoated. There’s no way a skinny as brat like that was a Gundam pilot with hundreds of kills to his name. They say he’s the one that was at the battle where Allie lost his eyes. Does this kid look like he could slaughter a platoon of full grown soldiers with stolen weapons and a long knife?”

“Appearances can be deceiving,” Mary pointed out. She was a pretty red headed woman woman with blue eyes and freckles, who maybe weighed 110 pounds. She hardly looked like a criminal prosecutor and a demolitions specialist. “I’ve read the evidence. He is the Gundam Pilot. He’s feral. The psychology reports indicate that he really only has one connection and that is to another Gundam pilot.  They missed a diagnosis of sociopath, but I suspect that was oversight, possibly because the Winner pilot bribed the doctors.”

“He is not a sociopath,” Allen said firmly. “I think I’ve really connected to him. He came down to eat that first night. Didi really likes him.”

“Then he got violently ill from whatever it was he ate,” Martha pointed out. “He must have food allergies. He’s going to need a special diet and the gravity on Earth is probably hard on him still. We can find a nice residential facility where with drug therapy, talk therapy, maybe a little bit of mental restructuring if he does turn out to be a sociopath - he can find a good life. We should put it to a vote.”

“This is not something I can vote on,” Allen said.

Didi was climbing up into his lap then sending Martha and Mary both into frustrating groaning.

“Joel, I thought you said she was sleeping,” Martha snapped.

“She was,” Joel said, reaching down to touch his finger to the tip of her nose. “Didi, how about you go play and let us talk for a little bit more.”

She snuggled down into Allen’s arms, hiding her face for a moment. She didn’t talk much. The paperwork they’d found for her said that her father had always been unknown and that her mother had been drug addicted and surrendered her to the state when she was nine months.  Allen had been working with her for nearly six months when the failed evacuation had happened and he’d never heard her talk until that kid had saved them. He’d tried to find that girl, to make sure she was okay, to offer her a place to be if she needed one. So many people had died in that battle though and no one would admit to knowing a kid anything like the one Allen had described. She just wasn’t anywhere in the records and Allen had had to accept that he’d been saved by some street kid or maybe an angel. He didn’t know, but  life was a gift and he wasn’t going to abandon anyone. Martha might be right that the best place for Duo Maxwell was a secure facility where he could get drug therapy and some kind of healing, but he wasn’t ready to accept that yet.  “Give him a few more days, please?”

“So he can blow up our house,” Martha snapped. “I can’t do my work in an environment where my equipment even my life is at risk!”

There was that and Allen couldn’t bare for anything to happen to his family. He loved them, loved them more than his need to help these kids, but he knew he wouldn’t be the same - wouldn’t be himself if abandoned any of them before he really had to - before it was the best thing for the kid. So he gave his attention to Didi, because at least that was uncomplicated.

She smiled at him, a new grin, ear-to-ear like a jack-o-lantern. “Look! look!”

“What do you have,” he asked, as he stared at the tiny little folded paper kitty cat. “Where did you get that?”

“Kitty! Kitty!” She said, making the little paper kitten ‘walk’ up his arm. “Bus monster maked it.”

“The bus monster,” Allen asked, realization slapping. “You’ve seen the new boy before.”

“Braid, braid, braid,” she said, nodding.  She made the little paper cat bounce back down Allen’s arm. “Bus monster.”

Allen’s mouth went dry. “Didi, the girl that saved us on the bus, who helped me get to the doctor, the one that carried you, that was the boy who was upstairs?”

Didi stared at Allen, tilted her head, squinted at him as if he were being supremely silly, then nodded. “Bus Monster!”

“His name is Duo Maxwell,” Allen said while scritching her back. “Are you hungry?”

She shook her head and slipped down from his lap so she could run across the room and show Martha the tiny folded cat. “Duo Maxwell.”

Martha squatted down, studied the cat for a moment. “What color is your kitty?”

“Black, black, black.” Didi said, walking the cat across Martha’s hand, before running back out the way she came arms over her head, shouting in a language known only to herself.

Martha stayed crouched down, fingertips on the floor. “Fine. If he blows up my equipment, there will be no end to how angry I’m going to be.”

“I’ll talk to him,” Allen said, pushing himself up from the big black chair.

“You do that,” Martha challenged, “and I’ll make up some dart guns to put in strategic places. I will put his ass down if he’s a threat.”

“That sounds fair,” Joel said, while still looking a little taken aback.

“Just tranquilizer, right,” M2 asked worriedly.

“Of course!” Martha snapped. “I’m not going prison for killing some snot nosed brat.”


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