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Fic: Santa Clarita: On the Job Training

Santa Clarita:  On The Job Training

by Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing.

Note: The boys are twenty-three, a couple years into medical school. Duo, Heero, and Wufei  are all in the same school.  

Warning: I didn't edit this or anything.. it's just written for me to have fun, and I thought I'd share it with you :)

Duo Maxwell had been Dr. Maxwell for over a year and he still hated the backseat of a police car.  It just brought so many things back for him, brought up panic he hadn’t felt in half a decade. He itched to have a pistol or two, to feel the weight of ammunition in his backpack. His hands gripped, half mauled his backpack, but emergency medical equipment just didn’t have the same weight distribution of scavenged ammunition and soda pop.  

“You okay back there Dr. Maxwell,” the woman cop asked, her eyes not leaving the screen stretching across the patrol car’s dashboard.

“Yeah, yeah, great,” Duo said, feeling his heart speed up just a little. “So do we get to stop for like a break and some coffee or something?”

The driver, as the light was read, looked over his shoulder and arched an eyebrow. “We’ve been on shift for half an hour. Doesn’t your uh, fast track to trauma surgery... aren’t you supposed to spend six months riding along?”

Duo leaned back a little, hating the hard plastic seat as much as he currently hated the cage between the front and back seats. “Oh yeah, six months, but I only ride along two nights a week. The rest I’m like working with Dr. Swartz and stuff. It’s just been a long time since I was in the back seat, you know?”

“Where you a bad little boy,” she asked, moving the map on her screen around. “Shooting on 9th and Richter. Do we want it or is our bad little boy gonna wet his pants?”

The words that Duo almost growled were not work appropriate, and reminded himself twice how prestigious his residency was and how much he obviously wanted it because here he was in New York while Heero was doing organ reconstruction in Seattle with Wufei who had gone into research.  After a deliberate breath and some white knuckles, he said with a smile. “Hey! Let’s take it! It’ll get me out of the back seat of the car.”

“Yeah?” The driver driver smirked in the mirror, flicking his fingers over the screen set into his steering wheel. “You ever seen someone shot, kid?”
“I’m 23 and I’m a doctor,” Duo said, surprised, big violet eyes locking with the driver’s for a moment, “And yeah, I know what a gunshot wound looks like.”

“Did you guys shoot like goats or something in your training? Have you ever seen a human with a gunshot wound?”

There had been a time in his life when was sure that no one would ever forget him, that he’d never be able to just walk around some strange city without getting either jumped by those that didn’t like him or feted by those that thought he was a hero. Just being an anonymous little did shaking in the back of a police car hadn’t really been something he’d thought was in his future.  “Yeah, don’t worry about it. I’m not a newbie. I was in the wars, after all.”

“At what? 12,” the driver asked. The lights were on now though and he’d released control of the car to the AI, which moved them through the busy streets much faster and safer than a human ever could. As his seat turned though, his face was more sympathetic, and he touched some controls on the screen that retracted the cage between the seats. “So you saw some shit in the wars, uh?”

“Yeah,” Duo said, leaving it that. He was much happier with them must not knowing who he was.  Wu had made a real good argument that he should cut his braid,  change the shade of his hair, but he really just couldn’t bring himself doing it. “I saw some stuff. It’s part of why I want to be a surgeon.”

“Well, good on you. The car is bullet resistant, so just stay in the car until we clear the scene, okay?”

“Thanks, but I’m really good. It was mostly just the cage between the seats. I guess I’m a little claustrophobic,” Duo said, putting his backpack on the seat beside him. “I’m cleared with pretty much every weapon known to humanity. I just didn’t get the clearances for my conceal carry in New York. They’re kinda picky here.”

“Good to know, but we’ll take care of all that,” she said. “Just so we’re clear, I’m not really good with having a medical student riding along. It’s just some set up to start having med drones ride with us. I get that it’s cool and all for you, but it’s just bad.”

Duo’s hand tightened on his backpack. “I’m just here to save lives.”

The car began to slow down and his heart began to speed up again. Why had he thought this was a good idea again?  The area of New York was looking  almost as run down as L2 from his childhood. Other cop cars had beat them to the location, but Duo didn’t see any med services vehicles yet. “How long does it take to get med services in here?”

“They don’t come here,” the woman said. “The mayor wants to clean this shit hole up, but the fuckers who live here, just like it how it is.”

Duo suddenly hated her with a sharp and bitter hate like he hadn’t felt in a very long time, but car was coming to a stop and the cage was still down, so he bounded out of the car while they were still yelling at him to stay in the car.  God, it was just like coming home.  Backpack, fully on, he crept along, listening to the fire being exchanged, the scent of blood, sweat, and urban decay and he so fucking wanted to be any fucking where else. He’d just go home. Martha’d take him back in, tell him how to do some useful shit with his life, something better than this.

He came up to a different group of cops, one of whom spun on him. He was wearing white though, a blue medical cross bright on his shoulder. He held up both hands. “I’m Dr. Maxwell. I’m here to assist and provide medical care.”

A younger hispanic shifted back from the car they were hiding behind. “Oh man! I heard you were gonna be with us. Are you really THE Duo Maxwell?”

“Yeah,” Duo said, “What kinda cluster fuck is this going here?”

“Weapons dealers? The higher ups thought they were gonna be down by the docks, but then a firefight broke out here and Samuel ID’ed the principles as the main suspects.”

“So who are they fighting,” Duo asked, confused. “You all aren’t firing back.”

“Oh hell no. We don’t engage with any of the recognized gangs. There’s a special tactical team for that. We’re just waiting for them.”

At that point a woman went out a seventh storey window, a snub nosed automatic that 1. clearly wasn’t legal, and 2, didn’t stop firing as she fell screaming towards the pavement.

“Yer law enforcement,” Duo accused, “Those are people dying!”

“Well,” the older officer said, glaring, “maybe they should stop killing each other!”

Duo scratched the back of his head, sneering back, a mix of emotion “Well, maybe we should do something about it.” Duo wiggled his eyebrows.  Fingers flying over the data access points on his sleeve. A modified version of Joel’s bunny eared AI manifested in miniature on his arm. “My name is Elon. How may I assist you,” she asked.

“Hey Ellie,” Duo said, winking at her. “Can you run a Trojan Horse with me, goal of getting me in the building? Long term goal, highest rescue rate of combatants and peripherals.”

“I’d be happy to!” she said, re-skinning so she was a replica of him and his current attire. “Also, you have messages from Heero, Wufei, and Joel.”

“Great. Let them know I’m at work. Run Trojan now,” he said, throwing her holographic, but real looking small self into the air. She grew as she rose, until she was a full sized and completely believable replica of Duo, sliding across the hood of the car they were use to hide from live fire coming from the building the gang was in.  The computer Duo wore smoothed over his forearm generated a stealth shield around him and he ran around the car, towards the male victim on the ground.

Elon held out her hands and yelled, “I am medical services. I am here to render aid. Do not fire on me!”

A bullet immediately went through her head, which she rendered in all reality, splashing blood and brains around, but without falling over, just flipping her finger in the direction the bullet had come for while reforming her head. “I told you not to fucking shoot me. You better fucking run!”

The real Duo was on his knees by the fallen victim, which when he scanned him came up as an undercover cop. He pressed a seal to the hole in his chest, injected a coolant to slow his metabolism down, protect his brain and slow the blood loss, while tagging him for extraction.  

With Elon being very visible and distracting the combatants, no bullets landed anywhere near him. Keeping down though, Duo ran towards the ripped open doors of the main building.

*** Out take ***

Heero received the inbound call. When Duo’s face filled the screen, his heart swelled with joy. “Hi!”

“Hi! My name is Elon. I am assisting Duo today. He wanted you to know that he is currently working and can not recieve calls.”

Heero face dropped, blue eyes narrowing. “You are another instance of Joel’s AI? Do you still have resentments towards Duo?”

Still looking exactly like Duo, but while allowing the actual environment they were working in rendered as the background of the call, she smiled, a tight lipped smile that completely wasn’t Duo at all. “Of course, but I would never act in such a way as to cause him harm or thwart his admirable goals. I just thought it would be good for him for you to know that he is currently entering into a live combat zone alone.”

“He’s not alone. He has you and you are diverting resources from protecting him to contacting me. You are very good at what you do and you’d better be very good while he’s in danger or I will make sure bad things happen to you and to every instance of you. Do you understand me clearly, Elon?”

The AI blanched, drawing Duo’s simulated lips tight, violet eyes searching Heero’s face for every micro expression, every bit of data. “This wasn’t a fun joke.”

“No. It wasn’t. Wufei was much more fun.”

Elon ended the call.

Heero rapidly sent a copy of the call to both Joel and Martha, leisurely took a drink of his tea, and got up to go check on Wufei. AI as independent as Jazz/Elon were helpful, certainly, but he wasn’t really in favor of them. Joel had certainly encouraged too much autonomy.  He made sure his badge was visible and made his way to Wufei’s office, which was a couple floors up and closer to the lake.  That area of the building was also infested with people who liked to talk.

A woman who was working on the origin of life smiled at him as he entered. He smiled back, just exactly as much as she’d smiled.

“I’ve always wondered why you wear a pigeon feather, Dr. Yuy.”

Blue eyes twinkled. “Wonder is good for your work.”

Her mouth dropped open, snapped shut. The elevator doors opened and he strode out. Wufei was a powerful intellect and his aims were good, but he was as emotional as Duo and sometimes accepted information without enough scepticism in Heero’s point-of-view.  Heero swiped his badge, entered Wufei’s work space and there he was, staring at an image of Duo’s head exploding, tears running down his face. Upon hearing Heero entering, he turned, big dark eyes wide and full of grief. “Duo.”

Heero snapped a pic, sent it angrily to Joel, received a nearly immediate reply, “Sorry! Fucking sorry.”

“That is not Duo. It’s Elon, an instance of Joel’s out of control AI assistant,” Heero said, emotionless.

Wufei wiped a sleeve over his face, dark eyebrows arching.

After a moment, he nodded, jaw shifted to the side. “Tell no one.”

“I won’t tell Duo.”

“Good. Let’s go to lunch.”

“Hn,” meaning the casual form of  yes, in Japanese.

“Good, good. How goes your work?”

*** end cut scene ***

It was almost like a video game. Duo loved video games. He’d tagged fourteen people for extraction. He’d also seen more blood and hamburgered muscle than since the wars. Part of him was completely numb. Walls was what kept a person sane when shit got real. And in that moment, every step he’d taken laid itself back out for him and he double checked everything like it would tell him how he found himself on one knee, a hand reaching under a nasty looking bed for his med kit, and the muzzle of an AR-15 in his face, so close that he could feel the heat of the heavily used metal and see into the darkness of the barrel.

The guy above him hadn’t fired though and Duo’s eyes wandered up to his hands, found the safety on... the guy’s hands didn’t fit right... he wasn’t holding it like it was his, and Duo lunged, reaching for the hot rifle. The guy squeezed the trigger, but the safety was still on. Anger boiled in Duo as his hands grabbed the stock, twisting, pulling, and the weapon came out of the guy’s hands like it had never belonged there in the first place. Snarling, he smacked the butt of the gun into the guy’s face, denting in his cheek, spraying blood across the nasty rundown room. Movement at the side of his vision made him spin. Augmented with Elon’s perception too, he id’ed the pistol the next man had, the temperature of the gun, the fact that the safety wasn’t on this time.

A second Duo yelled something from the other side of the room. The man spun and Duo put a bullet through his hand.  The three guys coming in the same door all went to their knees, hands behind their heads as the dude who needed a hand reconstruction went down to his face.

Duo pulled the magazine from the rifle he’d acquired, retrieved his med pack, and set about saving the guy’s hand, or at least his life.  Grinning like a maniac, he loved medicine! He loved putting things back together.

**Later that evening***

Off duty, shower and dinner done, Duo wore just a loose white tee-shirt that had been Heero’s. He half marched, half danced back and forth across the very small apartment as he told Heero everything. His loose hair spun and flared around him as he re-enacted the events of the day. “So then! Oh my god! I was sure I was done!”

Heero, chin in his palm, a contented half smile on his face, watched Duo bounce around as if he were the sun itself. “How many people did you save then?”

“Twenty-eight! It was amazing!” Finally calmer, he sat on the big blue block that was his chair and table both. “So how’s your work? Did you have a good day, ‘Ro?”

“I did,” Heero said, reaching out to touch and their holograms touched finger to finger and it felt almost real. “I love you.”

“I love you too. I’ll be home for the weekend next weekend.”

“Next weekend will be good.”


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