Fic: Poison Gas

Poison Gas
By Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing



Duo arched an eyebrow, thin lips narrowing.  “Your plan is shit.”  He followed it up with a smile, a tilt of his head, and an actual batting of dark lashes.

The situation commander, who had been on a special weapons and tactics teams a decade before Duo had even been born was having none of it.  “Dr. Maxwell,” he said, the edge of his nose twitching. “I didn’t ask for Preventer support and we don’t need any medical services right now, so if you’ll just wait here where it’s safe, my team will clear this building and then, maybe, we’ll have something you can help us with.”

A  hostage situation two blocks from Preventer headquarters definitely warranted Preventer intervention, as far as Duo was concerned.  He wagged his finger at the older man, then pointed to where the teams were position, to the windows of the old style brick building.  “Your tactic is textbook and completely obvious. Didn’t you feel the vibration in the ground, like ten minutes ago? They have a mech in there.”

“Look here you uppity little asshole,” the commander snarled. “This is a bank robbery. You shut yer cake hole,” the older man pointed to his own mouth, as if to explain the old world slang, “or I’ll have yer idiot ass in cuffs. I don’t know why anyone would let a terrorist bitch like you into medical school anyway.”

Duo, who was all of twenty-four and had had a very accelerated medical education on L4, was familiar with what failure looked like, with what impending disaster looked like, shrugged. “Don’t even try to say later that I didn’t fuckin try ta warn ya.”

“Just shut the fuck up,” the commander growled. He touched his ear, his thumb activating his sublingual and his team started his plan, which amounted to a frontal assault when the enemy had higher ground and if Duo was right, better weaponry.

Duo held up a hand in surrender and found himself a position behind a moderately armored SUV. He touched his own earpiece, gave the voice command, “Wuoodles,” and it placed a call to Wufei.
“Maxwell,” the other man said, preoccupied with the complicated case he and Heero were working on.

“Hey,” Duo said cheerfully as gunfire and small explosions went off behind him. “So, Ima gonna be a little late with those coffees and snacks. There’s some shit going down at the bank and you know how I am.”

Wufei grunted. “You really should learn to mind your own business, Maxwell. Is that rifle fire I hear? Heero wants to know if you need assistance.”

Duo peeked up to look through the windows of the SUV, at the smoke now billowing from the upper windows. The ground started to rumble again, subtle and with a set pattern.  He thought... it was a taurus, with heavy weaponry.  It wasn’t the same as Heero’s battle. It wasn’t even remotely the same kind of weaponry. For a moment he crouched there, Wufei’s voice nagging in his ear, but in his mind he saw Heero falling, bleeding, dying. “Naw, don’t come over. Everything will be fine,” Duo said because he didn’t think he could stand seeing Heero getting hurt again. “The dude in charge says it’s just a bank robbery.”

“Maxwell,” Wufei said, suspicious and irritated. “Are you robbing a bank?”

Duo wrinkled his nose, crouched a little lower as a bigger explosion went off, bricks raining down on the SUV. “I’ll be back with coffee as soon as I can,” he snapped, slipping under the SUV as a second volley of bricks rained down. “Until then, fuck you!”

<><>

Heero’s desk was adjacent to Wufei’s and he studied his friend, trying to understand what Duo was up to. Duo. That smile was sunshine and it was probably bad for his health. It made his heart feel like it was having a heart murmur or something.  “He is coming back with coffee?”

“Yes,” Wufei said, going back to the data in front of him. “He is likely doing something stupid first, but you know how he is.”  Wufei wrinkled his nose and went back to looking at power fluctuations in the industrial quarter of a colony in L3, looking for suspicious surges to find the criminals they were looking for.

“Yeah,” Heero said, imagining Duo flirting with some girl, setting off faux fireworks to make her smile, or something like and his heart clenched, acid in his veins. Duo flirted with everyone. He smiled at everyone. He glowed. He was physically perfect, brilliant, and kind. Maybe he was out saving some dog that got hit by a car, Heero mused.  No one robbed banks in person anymore, so that was clearly a metaphor. “Do you think he’s found someone to date?”

Wufei glared at Heero, one eye squinting. “Who would date that short, arrogant, verbose, ugly little man?”
“I don’t think he’s ugly,” Heero said, fingers tapping nervously over his keyboard.

“Your education is remiss,” Wufei said. “His face is clearly too narrow, his nose too curved, and his expression is always contorted somehow. He’s graceless,” Wufei pronounced, calling up a feed on the local police, “See? Not dating someone. He’s gotten involved in this local incident.”

Heero’s heart clenched and he also called up the feed. Duo was a doctor, a field medic. As Heero thought it through, he started moving faster, taking out his service weapon, grabbing the vest from the back of his chair.

“Where are you going?” Wufei half squeaked, “He’s got a whole squad of local police there with him and he’s a medic.”

“Back up,” Heero said. He was running by the time he got to hallway.

<><>

From under the SUV, Duo watched the local special forces scatter as the mecha busted out of the building.  “Get some coffee they said,” Duo muttered, as he tried to figure out what kind of weapons were actually on the thing.  Artillery for sure, but there were canisters. Gas.  Duo’s stomach went cold. Big canisters.

He had a the blade he always carried. He had no medical supplies. Tongue worrying at his lip for a moment, he planned his route. He shimmied out from under the SUV, relieved a downed officer of his pistol and then for a moment he was the only person who wasn’t running or down and the pilot of the taurus looked right at him and the stood there. A short, arrogant, ugly little man with a pistol and a buck knife glared at a mecha with enough artillery to be HeavyArms’ baby cousin.

The big guns slowly rotated in Duo’s direction and he ran straight for the mecha, drawing his blade as he went. He ran right up the foot, jumped to the inside of the thigh. He’d spent years in the motorpool as he made his way through school, and he’d pulled apart enough of them to know where there were ledges, where the edges and hydraulics were. A hard thrust of his blade into the center seam and he knew he’d hit a main hydraulic line when his blade came right back out from the pressure.

The taurus started to run, trying to knock him off, but Duo jumped, landing on the first canister, easily finding the release mechanism and disabling it.  Hands bleeding from the sharp edges that weren’t meant to use for climbing holds, he made it up to the shoulder. With his blade, he started opening the panel that would let him disable this arm.

Mecha work best in groups, so you can shoot the ticks off.

He was so intent on his work that he didn’t hear the cockpit open, but he heard the bullet go by his neck. “Somebitch,” he growled, pulling the weapon he’d taken and firing back. “Crazy bastard! What the fuck is wrong with you?”

Hands slick, he started to fall towards the back and it was a long way down. He over corrected and fell forward, only to catch himself on the open cockpit. The boot that stamped on his hand came as no surprise and in that moment he didn’t have much for emotion, one way or the other. Dangling by throbbing, bleeding fingers, he aimed his pistol and carefully put a bullet in the face plate of the pilot’s helmet. This flipped them back over and they fell towards the distant ground.

Duo threw the pistol into the cockpit and pulled himself up into it. He put the thing on its knees and started the powerdown sequence. As soon as he pressed the last button the small area filled with yellow gas.  The mecha was already on its knees, so he clapped his hand over his mouth and nose, even as his lungs turned to fire. He jumped, running in the air as he fell the rest of the way to the debris scattered ground.

He knew the gas.

He had fifteen minutes. His breath was already a wheeze, hands shaking as he pushed up to his hands and knees. Fourteen minutes. There were so many things undone. He never had a dog. H never kissed Heero. He hadn’t delivered a baby yet.

Thirteen minutes. He dropped back to one elbow and looked at the disabled mecha. There wasn’t enough gas to hurt anyone else and the the larger canisters were safe at the moment.

It was okay. Saving people was good. He let himself lay down on the ground, kicked a brick out of the way. Resting would give him more time.

Twelve minutes.  With a shaking hand he reached to his earpiece, but it didn’t understand him when he told it to dial Heero.

Each breath burned so badly and he didn’t have the breath to even groan. His chest arched, mouth wide, saliva and foam dripping down. He imagined sitting on the edge of Heero’s desk, promising to bring coffee, promising anything that would make Heero look at him for a moment. Just a moment. Just love me for a moment. If you could just love me for a moment, then I’d be happy.  His breath was a squeak, ragged and god, why were there ten minutes left.

He didn’t deserve ten more minutes of this! Hadn’t he tried? Hadn’t he been good?

The hand under head lifting him made the world slip sideways and he tried to vomit, filling his throat. He was rolled, but the world was dark and he didn’t care, just as long as the pain stopped. Please, just top the pain. It was okay. He could go. It wasn’t like someone like Heero could ever love him anyway.

Strong arms pressed his chest and he was suddenly back in the burning agony he’d been in before. He’d heard that in the last moments, you get what you’ve always wanted. It was a trick of the mind. He could see Heero standing there, blue sky behind him, holding out a hand, that rare smile on his face and he reached out to take that hand. To take this moment of what he’d always wanted because this was the only way he was going to ever get it anyway.

“Fucking breath, Duo,” Heero’s voice growled angrily in his ear.

Duo grunted soundlessly. That was not his perfect fantasy! If he was dying, he wanted a loving and adoring Heero, not this cold fuck who yelled at him.

“I know it hurts,” Heero said, pushing his chest, making him draw in fire for breath, “It’s antidote! Breath, god damn it, Duo, please, please, just try, please try, please Duo!”

He did try, wheezing and trying to draw fire into his lungs for Heero. He’d do anything if Heero asked him.

A hand smoothed over his sweating face, pushing hair back, then pressed hard plastic to his face again. “If you breath, I’ll give you anything, do anything you want, please breath. You have to breath it in or it won’t work.”

Duo’s eyes fluttered open as he took another wheezing attempt, this time more successful. Heero’s hand was pressing the mask to his face. It was Heero’s arm under his head. His eyes opened wide and he felt stupid and embarrassed.

A medic he didn’t know knelt in front of him, holding his hand with an oxygen meter on his finger. “It’s working. Keep breathing Dr. Maxwell.”

He smiled, crooked, silly, and Heero growled in his ear. “Breath.”

The next breath barely hurt at all and Heero was holding him. If he was alive tomorrow, he was going to tell Heero he loved him then.

Heero’s fingers moved through his bangs, gentle, loving and he leaned close and whispered. “I think I love you, Duo Maxwell. Please don’t die.”

Duo only barely finding breathing easier, and words beyond him, he reached a shaking hand up to Heero’s hand and drew a bad heart on the back of his hand with blood from his cut fingers.

Heero looked at his hand, blue eyes narrowing. “You love me too?”

Duo nodded, making extra show of breathing so Heero would know how hard he was trying.

Heero grinned stupidly. “Just keep breathing,” Heero said laying his head lightly on Duo’s. “Everything will be okay.”

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