Not Quite Single
Disclaimer: I own neither Gundam Wing nor Captain America
“You’re right. There is definitely something there,” Hilde said. On the bridge of their little salvage craft, she touched the data display, the 3d image of the ice shelf they were exploring.
They were, technically, getting paid to disperse oceanographic sensors for the University of Tokyo. Doing a little salvage on the side was just a perk.
“What’cha think it is?” Duo asked, pulling his wet suit up over his shoulders. His hair was growing out again and was down past his shoulders if it wasn’t in a ponytail. Silver touched his temples, metallic and shimmery. Anti-aging technology kept him in peak condition, looking early twenties, at oldest. Anticipating his swim, the gills on the side of his throat opened, tingling pleasantly.
“Early plane, like fuck,” Hilde said. While she had always had a couple years on him, it didn’t show at all. Her hair was flame red curls now. One eye was completely artificial, though it was green for aesthetics. The eye allowed for a constant flow of high speed data and remote processing when she was in range of their server. “Like really early, maybe 18th or 19th century. I didn’t think they had anything this big back then!”
“Ah told you,” Duo said with a smirk as he strapped a knife to his forearm. “Think we can lift it?”
Hilde’s eyes blinked rapidly for a few seconds. “Yes, still processing. Take five grav lifts with you.”
“Will do,” Duo agreed, tucking the small blue circles in his tool belt.
A moment later, he left the dive room, through the circular port directly into the ice cold antarctic. In the seconds it took his compensators and gills to completely kick in, he sank in existential euphoria. When he peeled all that he was away, let everything other than his core float away into the dark freezing water, all that remained was a shrine to Heero Yuy. When the chill antarctic oxygen hit his brain, he woke to his current life with a powerful hunger.
Being in the water was weightless and as close to space as his parole was going to let him for a goodly while. It wasn’t completely like space though because every movement came with push back from the ocean, which claimed to be bigger and infinitely more powerful than a sarcastic little spacer boy.
He moved through the water as if it were home. The gene editing that had given him gills did make him powerfully at home in the dark water. The compensators that kept him warm only had so much power, or he’d consider never getting out of the water again.
“A lot of ice is gone, just since yesterday,” he said, swimming around the pinned craft. “Whoa. Hil, there’s guy in there.” As the plane had dipped into the the water, from having been frozen solid, things had started to move around
“Corpse,” she corrected, “There is a corpse in there. The steel that it’s made with says it’s from the 1940’s. No registered crew or flight plan. There’s nothing this big in the missing logs either. This thing is going to be worth a fortune. ”
The water wasn’t dark to Duo. This ability wasn’t due to genetic tinkering, but artificial retinas. So when he swam up to the cockpit, it was easy to study the man floating in the freezing water. Blond, handsome, hot as hell, if you could get past the being dead part. That part was kind of important.
Duo blinked a different set of lens into place and scanned for bio-damage. “Hey, Hil, this dude has no life threatening injuries and extremely minimal cellular degradation. I think we can revive him.”
“Then it’s not salvage anymore, Duo,” Hilde snarled. “This dude has been a corpse for like five hundred years. I didn’t hear him putting out any distress calls.”
“Come on now, have a heart. You’d want someone to revive your ass if you got frozen.”
“I vaguely recall someone having lost his medical license.”
Duo rolled his eyes. “Providing someone with first aid is within the scope of my parole,” Duo insisted as he opened the cockpit window with a small laser tool.
“You are tipping the balance of that craft It’s going to come forward,” she warned. “Duo, seriously, it’s shifting. Get out of the way.
As the plane shifted, a child’s round sled hit the window. Brightly painted in red and blue, Duo took an instant liking to it and grabbed it and the dead dude as water rushed forward.
“Duo! Forget the craft! Move! It will suck you down!”
The guy was, conveniently, wearing a harness which made it much easier to drag him back towards their ship. The sled weighed nearly nothing and Duo wondered if it was some kind of early gundanium. “On that salvage,” he said, “I may have found the earliest piece of gundanium.”
“You found a weapon,” she said, excited.
“Naw, it’s sled, you know like a kid rides down a snowy hill on.”
“Right,” Hilde said with a sigh. “A million dollar salvage and we get a corpse and a toy. Need I remind you that you go through money like.. well, like a lot of it.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Duo said, “Come down to the dive room and help me get him inside.”
“Oh gross! You can’t bring a dead body into the ship.”
“Well, I can’t just throw it back. Come on! Even if he doesn’t revive, he’s got to have family.”
“Fucking bleeding heart,” she growled.
A few minutes later they had him into the dive room. As Hilde examined the sled, Duo worked on his patient. Medical license or not, he still had medical lens. The dead body in front of him was cold, 29 degrees, and rising. The rising wasn’t that odd, Duo reminded himself. The temperature in the dive room and the rest of the ship was steady at 72. But then, right there on the screen he was looking at, there was heartbeat, a very slow heartbeat. “Fuck, Hil, he’s got a heartbeat.”
“No! Really? Also, this isn’t gundanium. I don’t know what it’s made of, but it’s not a sled. It’s a shield. Like for combat.”
“Yeah,” Duo said, rolling his patient onto his side. “And it’s getting faster. I don’t know what else he is, but he’s alive. Go get a weapon.”
The Steve vomited up water from his lungs. As he drew a full breath, his heart rate kept climbing.
The alert that Heero shouldn’t have been getting, because he wasn’t supposed to be stalking Duo, popped up on his monitor. He stared at it, not opening it. If he opened it, he was going to get fired. His supervisor had made that abundantly clear. His fingers tapped on the keyboard.
The subject, that he could read without opening it, read WWII agent located Duo Maxwell. There could be almost anything under that subject line.
James Barnes, whose desk nearly shared space with Heero’s desk, sighed. “Heero, are you going to give me feedback on that email before I send it?”
“Yeah,” Heero said, even though he hadn’t opened his friend’s email to read it yet. “You have extensive and personal knowledge of WWII?”
“Yeah, I suppose,” James said. “Why?”
“So,” Heero said, fingers still resting on the keyboard. “I may have mentioned my ex-husband.”
“Only about twice a day,” James said.
“Sometimes I get alerts that he’s... doing things.”
“Things, like sexually inappropriate things?”
“Not usually,” Heero said, jaw clenching. He was going to lose his job today. Being a professor could be boring sometimes anyway. “Usually more like grave robbing and assault.”
“Violent. I like violent,” James said, smirking. “So you say he’s single?”
Heero’s blue eyes narrowed.
James he’d up his hands. “I’m just kidding. It is more than evident that you are still in love with this man.”
Heero sighed, shoulders slumped. “So these alerts. I’m going to get fired if I open this.”
“What’s it say?”
“The subject line says, WWII agent located Duo Maxwell. It’s probably nothing, but I just feel, worried.”
James was around their desks in no time at all. “Open it please. I’ll say I did it by accident.”
Heero opened it and an image from inside the dive room, of Steve holding Duo by the throat, a foot off the ground appeared in low resolution.
“Oh my god,” James said, pushing Heero out of his chair so he could sit down. “That’s Steve Rogers. That’s Captain America! We have to go to wherever he is, right now.”
Heero hadn’t taken his eyes off the image of Duo struggling for his life either. “Yeah.”