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Title: The Bone Gate
Authors: Nix Winter and
LunarGeography (Amy the
Pairings: 1x2, 3x4
Rating: Mature adults only
Warnings: Angst, spooky occult
stuff, and boys who are not what they seemed to be. Post EW
http://www.therck.org, all others please ask.
Disclaimer: No infringement of
the copyright of Gundam Wing is intended. This story is purely for
Date: Posted 2 December 2006
Summary: After Endless Waltz,
the pilots are separated by the fears of the new government. But all is
not well with the G-boys. Old enemies may be pulling strings from
somewhere unimaginably far behind the scenes, and old friends may not
be what they seem.
[xxx]: Text on screen
The first 24 hours after he'd sent the message to Duo were the worst.
He'd had no idea what to expect.
Once 24 hours had passed with no reply, he knew something was wrong. He
knew to expect trouble.
This was familiar territory, at least.
Action was justified.
He smiled and turned to his laptop. Step one of dealing with any
trouble was to identify the problem.
He spent the next four weeks obsessively following Duo Maxwell's
activities. He noted every bank transaction, learning which grocers Duo
preferred, and noting that his diet was well-balanced, but somewhat
lacking in overall caloric consumption. Either he forgot to eat meals
on a regular basis, or someone was providing him with food free of
charge. Heero was supremely irritated to discover how far behind the L2
Preventer's medical department was in the mandated regular checkups. It
made it impossible to determine if Duo had lost weight.
He made a mental note to send a scathing note on the topic to Une
later. He read through each mission report Duo submitted. Read through
the mission reports Duo's partners submitted. Read through Duo's
performance reviews, psychological evaluations, e-mails, and expense
Everything seemed fine. In the eyes of those around him, Duo was
behaving as he always had. His performance at work seemed excellent.
But there were little things that made the hairs on the back of Heero's
neck raise. The apartment lease, pre-paid two years in advance was
atypical of Duo's mobile lifestyle, and something about the rider which
transferred the lease to a neighbor's name in the event of his death
gave Heero a chill. Duo had become unusually diligent in turning in his
expense reports and other administrative paperwork in the last week or
two, rather than letting them linger until the latest date possible.
Possibly most puzzling was the complete lack of financial transactions
during the vacation he'd taken a month or two ago. E-mails to coworkers
had indicated that Duo was planning to go camping, but even then, Heero
would have expected some transportation records, food purchases, or
even purchases of camping supplies. None. Nothing. It was like Duo had
been locked in a cellar for the duration.
Something was wrong, but Heero had no idea at all of what it was.
Heero's temper had gotten even shorter over the last five weeks. Agent
Saam had bolted from the men's room without even fastening his pants at
the glare Heero had given him. Heero had overheard the clerical staff
doing jan-ken-pon to see who the unlucky person was who delivered his
mail each day. His neighbor's dog had taken to rolling on its back and
whimpering whenever Heero passed by.
It occurred to Heero that perhaps he wasn't entirely well either. The
periods of sensory hyper-awareness were becoming more frequent, and
would sometimes leave him with a headache so severe that his vision
blurred with each pulse of pain. He'd developed trouble sleeping,
waking with so much energy filling his body that he was amazed he
couldn't see it arcing between his fingers in Jacob's ladders, and only
a long, long run, or hours of lifting weights, would ease the feeling.
And he craved the presence of the pilots, wanted them near him. He
wanted to see them, hear their voices, but even more, he wanted to be
able to smell them, touch them, know what they were doing.
He craved Duo most of all. He wondered if this was how an addiction
felt. He smirked to himself at the thought of Duo as a controlled
substance, and then decided it wasn't funny at all.
The throbbing in his head was almost intolerable. Quatre reached for
the bottle of ibuprofen he'd taken to keeping in his desk drawer, and
the simple motion almost undid his control over his nauseous stomach.
He sat perfectly, perfectly still, keeping his breathing as shallow as
He didn't want to embarrass himself by having to bolt out of his office
into the restroom yet again.
Slowly, the urge to vomit passed, and with much greater care, he
retrieved the bottle and took twice the recommended dosage. It was the
same amount he'd taken just two hours before. It was silly to think the
painkiller would start helping now, but in order to get anything more
potent, he'd have to see a doctor. The trusted family doctor, of
course, and while he didn't think she'd actually break confidentiality,
his sisters would find out that he had scheduled an appointment. Then
he'd be asked, oh-so-solicitously, whatever could be troubling him. And
then would come the hinting that he had lingering troubles from the
war, that he needed to seek treatment and therapy, and perhaps needed
to reconsider what else in his life right now might be due to trauma...
Such as his filthy, blasphemous, sexual relationship with another man.
Coming out to his sisters had not gone nearly as well as he'd hoped it
Coming home to his sisters had not gone nearly as well as he'd hoped it
would, either. He'd taken to thinking of them in political blocs, which
he felt bad about – but it really was an apt metaphor. There was the
block that were still angry over his defiance of Father's wishes. That
one could be broken down to the bloc who wrote the whole thing off to
an act of adolescent rebellion, and thought he needed to be sent off to
a rigidly disciplined school until he finally displayed some signs of
maturity, and those who were still emotionally enraged by his betrayal.
Amihan had gone so far as to accuse him of being just the same as the
people who'd killed Father, implying that Oz wouldn't have had to go so
far if it weren't for the Gundams.
Then there was the bloc of sisters who were very active in WEI, and
resented that Father's will had dumped the controlling majority of
stock into the hands of an inexperienced boy who knew nothing of
business and whose sole qualification for a the privilege was the
possession of a penis.
He completely understood their anger, and was willing to work with them
– perhaps to put his stock into a trust controlled by them until he'd
completed university, or even to sell it to them outright. If his Y
chromosome conferred magical powers of executive decision-making, he
hadn't noticed it yet. Perhaps having had Trowa's cock buried deep
inside his ass had negated that particular power.
No. He wasn't going to get caustic and bitter. He wouldn't let the
situation change him like that. Trowa wouldn't like it.
The pang of longing that thinking of Trowa invoked made him gasp aloud,
aggravating his headache. He wanted Trowa next to him so badly
sometimes that it felt as though some tiny bright part of his soul fell
dark and died each time he finally made himself accept that it just
couldn't happen. Sometimes he was afraid he was running out of those
tiny bright parts.
Really, he told himself yet again, it would be wrong to have Trowa join
him here. It would cause political problems – political problems that
would have very personal effects on Trowa, with his undocumented status
and total lack of citizenship. In return for his co-operation, Lady Une
was blocking the war crimes investigations into the mercenary group
with which Trowa had been affiliated. It wouldn't matter to some people
that Trowa had only been a child, that he was just following the orders
of the only people who would offer him a bed to sleep in and food to
eat. As the sole survivor of the unit, they'd punish Trowa for actions
he couldn't possibly have stopped.
Even if they could get around that – and Quatre had a few thoughts on
the matter – how could he possibly bring his lover into the poisonous
atmosphere his family home had become? The most frightening block of
his sisters, the ones who were horrified that the darling baby boy of
the Winner family was homosexual, would rip Trowa to shreds. They'd try
to convince him that he'd corrupted and dirtied Quatre, that he wasn't
good enough for Quatre, that his very existence was bad for Quatre.
Trowa was strong enough not to let them destroy him, not to let them
push him away from Quatre... but they could push Trowa away from
himself. Trowa would bury his true self beneath his silent, blank mask
again, and Quatre couldn't bear that happening again. Not when it would
be his fault.
No, he couldn't bring Trowa here.
Quatre found himself walking over to one of the vases filled with red
roses that filled his office. He bent down and literally buried his
face in the blooms. The velvety petals were the most gentle touch he'd
felt since he'd come home, and he let the scent drown the
thoughts and longings. Even his headache seemed to ebb a little when he
was enveloped by the roses.
It was funny, he thought, as drowsiness began to fill him. A vase of
red roses had simply appeared in his office a few weeks ago. He hadn't
known if they were part of some new decorating scheme, or possibly been
given to him for some holiday he'd overlooked. They were just there. He
hadn't liked them at first. The ornate scarlet blooms looked like blood
to him, and they hadn't fit at all with the lighter color scheme he'd
chosen for his office.
But the scent relieved his headaches, and he'd begun to order more. He
had a half-dozen vases of the things in his office now. He couldn't
quite believe he'd ordered that many, but it had been his signature
there on the order forms. When his headaches were really bad, he
sometimes didn't pay enough attention to the details of what he was
doing. When they were at their worst, he couldn't even make his eyes
focus properly. It was amazing that the worst slip-up he'd made had
been ordering an overabundance of roses...
He was asleep at the table, head next to the vase of roses, when one of
his executive assistants rapped on the door sharply and entered
without being acknowledged. "Mr. Winner? Sorry to disturb you like
this, but there was something on the news I knew you'd want to see
Heero was finishing his highly-illegal download of Lady Une's personal
files – the last place he had left to look for information about what
was wrong with Duo – when the reply came.
[No, but I will be.]
Heero didn't know how long he would have stared at the message window
on his laptop if an alert hadn't beeped. He'd been staring long enough
to have an afterimage of those words burned onto his retinas, at least.
The programmed agent that alerted him when any of the pilots were in
the media opened a window of live news feed from L2.
The sounds of the news anchor blathering and the cameraman violently
retching were drowned out by the crash as Heero's fist shattered the
surface of his desk.
The laptop sat on the floor among the debris of the desk, showing that
long, long, fall, that shuddering collision with the sign, the
shattering thud of landing over and over.
*He wouldn't do that. Not Duo. He wouldn't. He can't be... "No, but I
will be". Will be what? Will be dead? Is dead well? He wouldn't think
that. Would he? Wouldn't he? Could I have faked something like that?
Could he? Yes... yes.... But. Oh, god, Duo!*
That long fall, shown over and over...
When the vidphone rang, he stabbed the answer button with enough force
that his claw sent a chunk of it flying. What remained of the button
was stained red with blood from clenched fists.
An image of Quatre, deathly pale with his fist pressed against his
sternum appeared. "Heero!" Quatre's eyes widened further, and he sucked
air in an audible agonized gasp. "You.. you saw."
Heero nodded once.
"Would Duo... would he really...?" Quatre's hand apparently spasmed
against his chest, flashing the signal for 'More data required.' "He
wouldn't, would he?"
"I don't know." Heero flashed the sign for 'assemble at safe house,'
but he was far beyond registering the actual snarl in his voice. "But I
will find out."
Quatre's eyes narrowed slightly, as he gave the barest of nods, but he
continued to speak for the benefit of anyone tapping the line.
"Heero... I think we need to be together to deal with this. I want us
to be able to support one another."
"Ryoukai. We will gather at your location on L4. After. First I'm going
"Heero, I really don't think you should be alone right now."
"I'm going to L2. Now. Gather the others. Make sure they are..."
Heero's lips twisted in a bitter smile. "Make sure they are well and
wait for me on L4. I'll join you later."
He didn't wait for Quatre to acknowledge that before he cut the
He picked up the laptop from the wreckage of his desk. He booked
passage for L2, and sent out a message to Quatre, Wufei, and Trowa on
his secure network.
[Go to Quatre's. Stay until further orders.]
He needed to know the other pilots were well. Needed to know his... his
pack... were gathered, that he could join them, have them safely under
his aegis. His pack? Yes. That was the term his heart had for them.
More then friends. Almost family; almost, but the need to protect them,
to lead them to have their scents and voices near him, all made him
chose the word pack.
J had always said he wasn't entirely human. What was the point in
He needed his pack together, but could not wait for them to join him
before he want to find Duo. Yes, They should gather to protect one
another, and as soon as he could, he would join them. Hopefully with
their last pack mate at his side.
Another message to Duo.
[I am coming for you.]
His hand shook as he hit the send key, and his vision blurred the
[Message sent] notification with unshed tears.
*Duo... please, please get that message. Be alive. Don't let me have
waited too long.* Grabbing his emergency travel duffel he had always
kept in the office, he headed towards the Port. He had an entire flight
to look through Une's purloined files.
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