DISCLAIMER: I do not own Gundam Wing, or its characters. I just love playing with them.
Warnings: Swearing, angst, violence, some sap
Inspired by the pic by ASIA: http://www.endlessorbit999.com/Wing/GW38.jpg
Betaed by ShenLong Deb *hugs*
Archives: http://www.gundam-wing-diaries.150m.com/gw/SkyLark/gwSkyLark.htm and http://www.mizunoamy.bravepages.com/skylark/skylarkfics.html
"I don't know if I'm in the mood for that? What about Mexican.?"
A snort. "You don't want to be anywhere around me when I've eaten Mexican food. How about Chinese? That's always been a safe bet for us when we were just hanging out."
Thoughtful silence. "Since this is more than just hanging out, I was thinking something nicer than that."
Duo blushed just a bit. After spending over a year working with Heero at the Preventers, setting up their first date was not nearly as easy as he had thought it would be. He couldn't even get the word 'date' out when he brought the idea up to his partner. Instead, it came out as 'Hey, you wanna get together as more than friends at dinner some time?'
And even then, he rushed the words out so quickly Heero needed him to repeat himself a couple of times before he understood. Thankfully, though, he had accepted the suggestion with one of those smiles that he only showed his best friend.
There certainly had been enough dancing around between them over the months following the destruction of their Gundams that going out on a date should have come naturally. But then, neither of them had ever dated before and they were completely out of their element.
Wincing as he adjusted the collar of his thick bullet-proof body suit, Duo sighed, "Wish to hell these bastards would hurry up with the negotiating so we can get outta here. If it wasn't for training some of the rooks on how to handle these hostage take-downs, I would have stayed at home on my day off as I had planned before Une called me."
Heero shifted the large gun that he was hefting so that his right arm bore more of the weight and adjusted his ear and mic piece. Snorting, he remarked, "You hate your days off because 'there's nothing to do.' Well, now you have something to keep you occupied."
In all reality, even the ex-Wing pilot was not a fan of these jobs. They were so routine that most of the time that they were mundane. Especially indoor hostage situations such as this one in the O'Hare International Airport. These missions always turned out the same...
Contact would be established with the perpetrators. Negotiations back and forth came next. Meanwhile, through some form of distraction, a team of Preventers managed to infiltrate wherever it was the terrorists had blockaded themselves. Once they were in, the perps were taken down through whatever means necessary. The hostages would be released and ‘that was all she wrote.’
In this particular case, eight men had managed to block themselves in an entire wing of the busy airport with bombs strapped to their waists and guns in each hand. Sealing off the corridors with a haphazard barricade of everything they could turn over and pile up, they had with them anywhere between one hundred to three hundred people as hostages.
Every one of the men involved in the tie-up were on the most wanted list of every law enforcement agency for their known ties to some pretty dangerous organizations. Now desperate to get away when the noose was wrapping tightly around their throats, this was their only means of obtaining freedom.
All trained in flying both Earth-bound planes and shuttles through space, there was no question that a craft for their escape was one of the items on their 'wish list' for their negotiations along with a pretty large sum of money.
"Betch'ya those bombs on them aren't even real," Duo smirked as he rested his own machine gun on the rail at the start of the metal blockade. "If they were serious about blowing everyone here away, they would have done it before we had time to move in. They're not about to take their own lives."
Thinking along the same lines, Heero peered at his partner from the corner of his eye and stated quietly, "Best wait for an official word from our eyes above for a confirmation on that."
High in the ventilation ducts above them, there was a small handful of agents working on getting images on the situation beyond the wall. Gathering information on where the hostages were, where the culprits were stationed and close scans of their packs would all be taken by a tiny digital camera slipped down from an air duct.
The braided agent looked over his shoulder and couldn't help but snicker quietly at the worried expressions on the rookie team's faces. Each sweating, biting their lip or showing some sign of their nerves, it was almost a humorous sight for the seasoned professional.
Just then, a voice announced softly into the Preventers' headpieces, "The bombs are not armed. I repeat- the bombs are not armed."
While they had expected to learn as much, Heero and Duo still breathed quiet sighs of relief along with their teams. That was one potential hazard out of the way. But the guns were very real. And that meant, if provoked, the men would fire.
Amidst the hodgepodge of metal and furnishings that had been piled up, three agents were working on a carefully placed series of explosives to be used in a controlled blast to knock the barricade away. Finally linking their cords together in the center along with the last set of explosives, they gave each other the thumb’s up before falling back to the team.
Still waiting at the front of the Preventer wall, Heero and Duo continued on with their casual discussion when Lady Une’s voice spoke through their headsets, “The negotiations are underway. I will see that the head sergeant keeps our contact on the line as long as possible but get ready to move in. For our eyes above, give a layout of what you see and give word as soon as our ground team can set the explosives without hurting anyone.”
“Understood, Commander. I see three of our perps gathering together around the cell phone they are calling from,” their man above replied. “To the other Preventers, the civilians are all seated. Our targets are on their feet and pacing around them. Aim for the ones standing when you first break in. This side of the wall is clear whenever you’re ready.”
That meant Heero would be the one to make the call. Looking over his shoulder to the agent with his finger over the detonator button, he raised his hand. Duo’s violet eyes narrowed on the barrier as a smirk curled the side of his mouth. All around, the remainder of their team was in tense attention in readying themselves to strike.
His own head turning to the haphazard wall, the ex-Win pilot lowered his hand and the trigger-man pressed the detonator. Instantly, a chain reaction of explosions moved across the barricade and it collapsed at its center to deteriorate from there.
Screams and cries rose from the other side as the Preventers charged inside. First to cross over what remained of the wall, Heero took aim with his gun to take out the first two armed men on their feet at the left of the room. Right behind him, Duo shot two more on the right.
Men, women and children were sitting all around with their arms covering their heads. It gave the agents what they needed to distinguish the threats from the innocents. One after another, the armed men fell at the bullets from the troops coming in on them.
Before long, however, some civilians people rose to their feet and began to run in their sheer panic. Those few became many and then the whole mass was suddenly charging for the opening that the agents had made.
In a wave of noise and confusion, the Preventers found themselves separated from their teammates while trying to keep from being trampled by the stampede. Frantic to hold their ground while the crowd ran past, agents began yelling questions into their headsets.
“How many were taken out?”
“I saw six go down!”
“Seven! I saw seven taken out!”
“Can anyone confirm that we brought down eight!?” Heero hollered as he dodged and weaved around the swarm of bodies hurrying around him. Several negatives replied in his ear from his team.
Finally, the herd thinned out as the last of the civilians charged for their escape. Left without any shield, the last of the armed men was finally in sight. The fake bomb jacket still on him, the man smirked darkly when he caught sight of Duo when the braided agent was out in the open.
Knowing that he was not going to be able to get away, the terrorist was content to at least take a Preventer down with him. He raised his machine gun just as Agent Scythe spotted him. Violet eyes wide, he gasped sharply when he found himself staring down the barrel of the weapon.
The perp smirked darkly as he pulled back on the trigger. Suddenly, a spray of bullets riddled the man’s body to shred him before he could fire his own gun. Mouth open and eyes wide, the bloodied body fell back to land on the tiled floor in a heap.
Nearly falling to his knees, Duo panted heavily with sweat dripping from his brow. He was just regaining his senses when he registered Heero’s voice crying his name frantically just before his partner ran up to him.
With his own breath coming in rushed puffs, Agent Wing cupped his stunned friend’s face. “Duo,” he breathed. “Are you all right?”
Turning from his worried comrade to the dead man a few yards ahead, Maxwell nodded. “Yea,” he answered quietly. “I’m all right.” Finally coming out of his stupor, he grinned at the cobalt eyes watching him, “Thanks.” Smirking, Heero patted his partner’s braided head.
* * * *
Routine returned following the airport hostage situation. There were the cleanups, debriefing interviews and other red tape that came after such a take-down. All were a welcome relief after the exciting afternoon’s turn of events.
Following his debriefing, Heero stepped out of the interview room and into the long hallway of Preventer’s headquarters. Thoughts of that afternoon’s events replayed through his mind as he rubbed his face with his hands.
Thoughts of seeing that terrorist preparing to shoot Duo flooded his memory. In the second that it took to blink, his partner… his best friend could have been killed. And it was more than unsettling to know how close that call had been. Life was never something to be taken for granted, but it took moments like that to be reminded of that once in a while.
A door opened a few feet away and Heero looked up to watch his partner stepping out into the hallway.
Their eyes met.
And in that moment, the ex-Wing pilot decided he was through with taking every blink for granted.
Quickly closing the distance between them, he pulled his stunned, braided friend close and kissed him deeply. Surprised for only a moment, Duo’s own eyes drifted closed as he returned the exchange with as much fervor.
When they pulled back only for air, breathing in pants, Heero grinned, “About that date tonight?” Unable to trust his voice to be as steady, his partner nodded. Gently brushing back the long bangs falling in those violet eyes, he suggested quietly, “Why don’t we just order pizza and stay in tonight?”
Smiling widely, Duo replied, “Sounds good to me.”
They left headquarters hand-in-hand into their new life as ‘more than friends’ and never looked back. From then on, not another blink was wasted between them.