DISCLAIMER: I do not own Gundam Wing, or its characters. I just love playing with them.
That Which Mends
Pairings: 2x1x2, past 2xOC, 5xOC, 3x4
Warnings for Overall Series: Angst, Violence, Sap, Lemons/Limes
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
[Well I came home like a stone
And I fell heavy into your arms
These days of dust which we have known
Will blow away with this new sun
But I'll kneel down Wait for now
And I'll kneel down Know my ground
-Lyrics to 'I Will Wait' performed by Mumford and Sons]
Straight A+ student. Known as Mr. Perfect amongst his peers. Agent Wing of the Preventers. Successful Counselor in the works. Boyfriend to Duo Maxwell... Assailant with a dangerous weapon.
That list of titles for the brilliant psych major had become pretty colorful, particularly over the last couple of days.
Sitting in the holding cell he and his friends were sharing for the evening, Yuy sighed deeply and leaned against the wall behind him. Hours after the fight that led him down a path that ended behind bars, he was still mentally reeling over how he had charged into danger to protect a certain braided officer.
How much more was Heero's life as he knew it going to change? Not all of the new occurrences and titles were bad... he just happened to not be a fan of playing life by ear, so to speak. And yet... just 'going with the flow; had become such a necessity as of late that he was almost getting used to it now.
Throughout the room, the Preventers that were being held along with him were marred with a few bruises and cuts while the scholar didn't have so much as a scratch on his person.
Quatre was sitting on the long bench across the opposite wall with Trowa. Arms folded across his chest, the blonde pouted as he harrumphed, "Well, this is extremely disappointing. I knew this was coming. It was only a matter of time. But what I imagined this would be like was so very different in my head when it came to my showing. A night in jail and all I have it show for it is a cut right temple from a sucker punch I didn't see coming."
Giggling from the bench along the flanking wall, Anna had her head tipped back with a fresh tissue pressed against her pinched off nose as she encouraged nasally, "Aw, don't worry, Tiger. You'll get 'em next time. There's no way of defending against cheap shots." Pointing at the injury she was nursing, she smirked, "Case and point." Winner gave her an appreciative smile.
Barton gingerly wrapped an arm around his lover's shoulders as he adjusted the icepack pressed against his exposed, black-and-blue ribcage. "She's right," he smirked with a wink. "I'd lean in to kiss you, but I still see spots whenever I move too much, so you'll have to wait for that." Laughing, Rock turned and closed the distance between their lips for a quick peck.
Almost afraid to ask, Yuy couldn't help himself when he inquired, "So how did Quatre earn the nickname Tiger from you, Anna?"
Peering over at him with bright eyes, the weapons expert replied, "Oh, 'cause when he's on the prowl when it comes to sex, he does this thing where-"
In wide-eyed horror, Heero cut her off by shaking his head vehemently, "Got it. Forget I asked. I should have known better." Shuddering, he fell back against the wall behind him again to the chorus of his friends' amused laughter.
Sucking in a deep breath through his teeth, Trowa winced. "Damn it, don't make me laugh," he wheezed through his chuckles as he clung to the ice bag on his chest. "Hurts... so... bad." His winded sentiment only made his teammates laugh all the louder.
Once they caught their breath, Wufei walked away from the barred door and stood before the weapons expert. Gently cupping her face in his hand to ease it into looking forward, taking hold of the reddened tissue so he could inspect her swollen nostrils. "Looks like the bleeding's just about stopped," he murmured. "At least the bone's not broken."
Accepting the tissue to hold it against her nose again, Downs tipped her head back and shrugged. Her tone still nasal, she commented, "I would have been able to set it back if it had been. I got off easy."
Her eyebrows going up, she asked excitedly, "Did you know many deaths by fights are brought on by brain injuries and internal hemorrhaging long after the fact? There would be a hell of a lot more cases of that if people knew exactly where and how hard to hit. Our own fists are probably the most underrated weapons out there. That whole ninety-nine ways of killing a person with one's bare hands isn't a myth."
Skin paling at her nonchalant report, Yuy swallowed roughly to find that her grinning cohorts weren't the least bit fazed. "Okay, so this kind of stuff seriously doesn't bother anyone else here?" he frowned deeply as he looked from one face to the next.
"Nope," Trowa smiled.
Quatre shook his head, "Perfectly normal Anna-ism."
Nodding firmly, Wufei chuckled, "It's all part of her charm. You'll get used to it after a while." He turned himself and sat down beside his sheepishly grinning partner, patting her leg while she rested her head on his shoulder.
The sound of footsteps approaching brought everyone's attention to the door just before it opened to admit Duo. Walking past the guard that had escorted him to the cell, the braided officer was sporting a nasty bruise on his left cheek and partially fattened lip as he grinned, "We're in luck. Lady Une and Treize happened to be out and about not far from here when I rang them. Shouldn't be too long and they'll be posting bail."
Violet eyes settling on the intern across from him, Agent Scythe gushed, "There's my hero." Hurrying to take up the one place on the bench with him, he threw his arms around his snickering boyfriend and batted his eyes. "How eva can I repay ya fer savin' my life, Mista?" he asked in an imitated southern belle's voice.
Another round of howling chortling filled the air, which was highlighted with Barton wincing anew and yelling, "Ow! Still... hurts... to... laugh, you bastard!"
Rolling his Prussian eyes, Heero gently pushed at his lover with a half-hearted, "Get off of me. Apparently, my instinct to protect the helpless outweighs my logic when there's not a lot of time to consider consequences."
"Well I for one thought that was pretty bad ass of you, Wing," Winner decreed as he helped his fiancé adjust the straps that were holding the ice pack against his chest. "I had no idea you had it in you to break up a fight that way."
Arms flailing in the air, Yuy insisted, "I don't have it in me! It was just a lapse of reason in the heat of the moment!" His comrades weren't about to believe him one bit, if their smug grins were any indication.
Sighing deeply, it was his turn to pout and fold his arms across his chest as he grumbled under his breath. "However you cut it, my record is permanently marred thanks to what I pulled," he muttered. "Once the school directors got wind of this..." he cut himself off, cringing just thinking of what punishment they might lay on him.
With a sympathetic smile, Maxwell told him, "Aw, I wouldn't worry about that, 'Ro. I'm sure that'll get sorted out." Hugging his partner against his side, he grinned, "For, now just be happy we're all in this together like the big, happy family we are."
Heero snorted, but quickly sobered when it hit him how not long ago the Preventers might not have been the team they were now only a few months before. Biting his lip, he ran his gaze over his friends, once again admiring their tenacity to stick together despite their differences.
* * * *
There were few other times Duo could recall being so physically and emotionally exhausted as he was sitting before the board of directors after his testimony of the events leading to Meiran's death. The painful images and raw feelings that rushed back as he spared no detail had wrecked him.
In so many ways, the timing of this witch hunt was unfair...
Anna was still on the long road to recovery after she could have easily lost her own life during that fateful mission. Trowa was quietly undergoing a personal battle into sobriety after his undercover ordeal. And Meiran wasn't in the ground for more than a handful of months- not nearly long enough for her fellow team members to fully accept or process life without her as their profiler and their friend.
Now the men and women across the table were looking to destroy what was left of the Preventers by taking Chang out of the picture as well. And if that happened...
The Moderator tilted his head, frowning, "Your point of view and your answers to our questions on the mission are most appreciated, Agent Scythe. But you seem especially distracted at the moment. Is there anything more on your mind that you wish to discuss before you are dismissed and we begin our deliberation?"
"Oh, actually, there is one thing," Maxwell replied, casting his violet eyes up to meet the man's gaze. Rolling his shoulders back and lifting his braided head high, he stated. "There's someone else you need to interview before you have your pow-wow and probably send Agent Wolf packing."
As the only other person prelude to her agent's plan, Lady Une grinned at the backs of her supervisors as their eyes grew and they looked to one another. "This is not an open trial to anyone outside of your team," the Moderator responded when he focused back on the young man across from him. "As for Agent Wolf's fate, we have not come to a conclusion-"
Unwavering, Scythe waved a hand in the air with a curt, "Yea, yea yea, sure you haven't. All of this is just a formality you need to have in the books before you hand Chang his walking papers."
His eyes narrowing, he pressed, "But you're making a mistake if you don't hear from this witness. I received a text from her before you called me in that they're downstairs in the lobby. They'll stay down there for as long as it takes to be heard. You all owe this person at least that much."
"She?" the younger male director at the end of the line repeated. "Who is ''she' and what does her testimony have to do with this case?"
Maxwell informed, "Her name is Tasha Ryzhov. And her testimony has everything to do with this case because she is one of the girls my team and I got out of that hell under Wufei's direction."
Gasps filled the boardroom and eyes grew anew at the announcement, but Duo went on, "You're all so worried about what happened around the shooting that killed Meiran when you need to look at the whole damned picture from every angle. That includes speaking to one of the survivors who volunteered to come here as a reminder to why we all went onto that dock in the first place."
There was a mix of expressions on the faces of the supervisors, some revealing interest and others cold over the prospect of having the protocol of their system challenged in such a manner. But in the end, it was the choice of the graying man at the center of it all who would accept or deny the motion.
Rubbing his stubbling chin, the Moderator took a long pause to consider. Finally, he nodded firmly, "Very well. Please see Miss Ryzhov in through the back entrance."
~ ~ ~ ~
Down the hallway, three very anxious agents were waiting around when the board room door opened down the corridor. Spinning around and all but jumping to their feet, Agents Night, Fire and Rock gasped with slack jaws when they were greeted by two familiar faces instead of one.
The lovely blonde that Maxwell was leading towards them was nearly unrecognizable with her hair and skin clean of any dirt and bruises. Instead of mangled and chopped to her shoulders, her hair was growing in and tied up in a neat ponytail and she even had a hint of makeup on her striking face and wore a figure-hugging red dress that fell to her knees.
But the most drastic difference in her was how she walked with determination instead of apprehension with her head high instead of lowered in shame and fear.
"Tasha," Trowa breathed as he recognized the girl that he had guarded over during his time undercover. Long gone was the terrified girl that he had to pin down as she was raped as a test of Donovan's loyalty. Now, this vivacious girl was grinning from ear-to-ear with understanding and relief in seeing him again.
It was the first time Night had seen her since the day she had been rescued and his knees trembled in laying his shimmering emerald eyes on her once more. Sniffling, the beautiful Russian threw her arms around him while she whimpered a heartfelt 'Thank you' in her native tongue.
The other Preventers smiled and stepped aside to give them their space for their happy reunion.
Walking around the corner, Anna grasped Duo's wrist as their eyes locked. "H-how in the world did you find her?" she whispered while Quatre neared them.
Maxwell shrugged, smirking, "Oh, I know a guy who knows a guy-"
Blue eyes rolling, Downs giggled as she finished, "Who knows a guy... of course." Shaking her head, she frowned, "As extremely grateful as I am that she's here, for her to come all this way to speak to the board and relive what she went through..."
Knowing where her line of thought was going, her braided teammate reassured, "It actually didn't take much to track her down because she and most of the other girls have been seeking us out now that they've had time to reconnect with their families and start to pull their lives back together. I might have mentioned to Tasha what was going on here, but she was the one who insisted on being here to speak to the directors. She wouldn't have taken 'no' for an answer to being here today."
Winner chewed on the inside of his cheek and inquired softly, "How did she hold up?"
Facing Rock, Scythe smiled, "Like the little warrior that she is. I don't know if her testimony will help, but she didn't leave a dry eye in that board room by the time she was done and gave the directors a lot to think about. At least now Fei might have a fighting shot-"
He stopped himself when he heard a door closing followed high-heeled shoes clicking in their direction reached their ears. Lady Une had just been excused so her supervisors could conduct their next order of business privately.
"Sounds like the directors just began their deliberation," Anna muttered as she rubbed her arms nervously. Her former lovers flanked her for support, Duo wrapping an arm around the small of her back and Quatre lopping one around her shoulders.
Maxwell sighed, "Yea. Now comes the really sucky part of the waiting game now that the ball's in their court and there's nothing more we can do now. At least we can all say that we did literally everything we could."
And despite all of that, what the verdict for Wufei would be was still anyone's guess at that point.
* * * *
"Your bail's been posted, gang," the policeman announced as he opened the cell. "You can pick up your personals at the front desk."
When the Preventers and the psych major filtered from out into the hallway to follow their escort, they passed another cell along the way. Inside, Zechs and his band were perched on the benches inside. Every one of them looking worse for wear than their younger adversaries, they glanced up and shot daggers from their fierce glares.
Trent in particular snarled at Yuy as he continued to hold an icepack against the top of his head. This being the first time he had a clear enemy, the counselor hid his gulp and did his best to appear unaffected.
Instead, he gathered his courage from his friends surrounding him as they put on wide smiles that they aimed at their rivals and waved with one hand while extending their middle fingers with the other.
Those banged up faces behind the barred door snarled all the more threatening and filled with hatred, but the FBI agents could do no more than that in their predicament. No, they were going to have to spend the night in jail because they couldn't inform their supervisor of what had happened and risk being reprimanded... which made watching their younger adversaries walk all the more infuriating.
Out in the lobby, Treize and Lady Une stood with small smirks on their lips as their heads shook at the arrival of their team after they had picked up their personal items and were officially released.
The Commander sighed, "To be honest, I'm surprised this is the first time I've received a call to bail you all out of jail. But I'm still docking all of your fees from your next paychecks to have it on record that I'm not condoning this kind of behavior." Spinning on her heels, she waved for her charges to follow her out of the station and into the warm, early-June night.
As they descended the front steps, Barton spoke up for his friends by replying, "That's fair. Thanks again to both of you for taking the time to get us out." The others nodded vehemently to second the sentiment.
Shrugging, Khushrenada snickered, "Oh, what night would be complete without getting one or all of you out of some trouble? Besides, just the mental picture of Heero smashing a bottle on Trent's head was well worth our going out of the way." The Preventers laughed as he faced the less than amused counselor to tell him, "Nice job, by the way. Your first bar fight and you handled yourself like a professional bruiser."
With a bark of a laugh, Yuy declared, "Yea, well that's the first and last time anything like that will happen again." He sagged heavily, muttering, "One strike on my record is bad enough-"
Lady Une peered over her shoulder, blinking her brown eyes at him. "What strike? There are no arrest charges against you on your record," she smiled slyly.
Freezing in the middle of his next step, the intern gawked at her. Pointing at the Commander, he stammered, "Wait... you... you took care of that for me? You can do that?"
"Can? it's already done," Middle giggled with a wink. "Fortunately, there was security footage that proved that all of you were all acting in self defense since no one threw a punch... or bottle without being justified. The argument was an easy one to make in seeing that none of you have what happened tonight over your heads."
The distress that had all but crushed Heero evaporated at that now that he knew his school board would never know about the incident. He managed to breathe a most genuine, "Thank you."
At that, the Commander grinned, "You're family. And family takes care of their own, even if that means smudging a rap sheet or two..." Raising an eyebrow to the rest of her crew, she snorted, "...Or six." The bruised, cut faces peering back grinned sheepishly.
'Family,' the counselor thought to himself. He had heard his friends refer to their group as such many times before that. They had included him as part of that picture. And yet somehow, this was the first time it really set in.
Stopping before she and her husband crossed the street for the parking lot when they reached the end of the block, Une informed, "I took the liberty of calling all of you cabs, since I knew that was how you got to Charlie's They should be at this corner soon. Take them straight home and sleep off everything that happened. We have a big day on Monday that includes a chat with Sweeney. I want all of you on your A games, so try and stay out of trouble until then."
With smart salutes and exchanged 'Good nights,' the officers waved their boss and the Senator off. Lowering his hand back at his side, Yuy had a lot to mull over... namely how he felt less and less alone in the world now that he had such an unruly pack that he could now say he felt to be a real member of.
* * * *
"Home sweet home," Duo sighed out as he led the way into his complex. Arms stretching over his head, he let out a wide yawn as he stretched. "You know, Fei was right, that stay at the cop shop wasn't too bad at all."
Shaking his head as he locked the door behind him, Heero huffed out in a weary laugh, "No, I suppose it wasn't. But at the same time, I'm not planning on ever doing that again." He flopped down onto the recliner as his roommate fell back onto the long couch at the opposite end of the living room.
After one of their companionable silences, the scholar said, "I noticed Anna didn't give us away or seem to push what's going on between us even though you had called her earlier."
Violet eyes opening, Scythe made no move to lift the side of his head that was lying on the cushion below him when he mumbled, "No, and she won't until we make it known to everyone. I'm sure she's chomping at the bit for it to get out, but she'll respect our privacy and keep our conversation to herself until we're ready to announce anything." His boyfriend nodded shallowly.
Propping himself up on his arms beneath his chest, Maxwell looked to the clock overhead to see that it as just before midnight. "I'm not used to going to bed this early on a Saturday, but I'm wiped," he commented with a yawn at the end of his thought.
Yuy snickered, "This is well past usual bedtime, so I need to turn in, too." Groaning in effort, he pulled himself up at the same time that his lover stood so they could take to the hallway, turning the lights out along the way. "Good night," the scholar offered when he stopped at the closed door of the guest room.
A few feet ahead of him, Duo turned back to blink in confusion at him. "Oh," he chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck. "Here I just figured you were going to be staying in my bed with me tonight since it's your last night and we're... well, dating and all."
It was Wing's turn to blink widely at that as he dropped his hand from the doorknob that he was holding onto. "I wasn't aware the option was on the table," he said with an embarrassed grin. "I'm still new to this whole being in a relationship thing, so I don't know how it works."
Easing at his partner's uncertainty in how they should behave now, the braided agent smirked, "I'm just as lost here since this is new for me, too. We did kinda put the cart before the horse by jumping into the sack first... and this would be the first time I'd ever share a bed with someone with the intention to just go to sleep..."
Maxwell stalled by chewing on the inside of his cheek to get his feelings together before he admitted quietly, "I did like waking up with you this morning." The burning of his cheeks had him ducking his head in a rare shyness that crept up on him.
Prussian eyes growing slightly at the confession, Heero smiled. "Okay," he nodded, "Give me a minute and I'll be in there." With that decided, he headed for the master bathroom and closed the door behind himself. Seconds later, the muted sound of running water from the adjoining bathroom's sink filled the air.
Releasing the air that he had been holding when he was alone again, Agent Scythe rubbed his chest anxiously and set himself to task his night routine. Brushing his teeth in his private bathroom, he went about turning out the lamp on his nightstand. In the dark, he shed his clothes down to a plain white tank top and black boxers, he sank down under the covers of his bed.
Now long after his braided head hit the pillow, Maxwell's heart pounded at the sound of his door opening. In the dim, natural light seeping through the drawn window shades, he could make out Heero's athletic frame in a similar white tank and blue plaid boxers round the foot of the mattress to return to the side it had slept on the night before.
Unsure as to why he was so very nervous, the officer's tension faded away the instant his bedmate curled up beside him. There was nothing awkward or strange in how easily they settled back into their loose cocoon of arms and legs with Yuy's head falling onto his chest. That contact was the last reassurance Maxwell needed to physically and mentally settle himself.
For Heero's part, he couldn't stop the small smile curling his lips over how... natural their lying together felt. Closing his eyes, he murmured, "G'night."
"Night, Ro," Duo replied in kind as his eyelids drifted shut.
* * * *
The following afternoon, it was time for the psych major to return to his dorm room to finish pff the rest of his semester on campus. His bags packed and waiting by the front door following a nice lunch out with his boyfriend, the time had come for them to part ways.
On the fence as to whether or not he was looking forward to getting back to some sense of normalcy, Yuy was still a young man set in his ways and already thinking of his upcoming classes. Still, there was something in him that was going to miss staying with Maxwell.
When he turned to face his host standing in the living room doorway, the counselor grinned, "Thanks again for letting me stay. This was... actually a lot of fun," Flushing, he quickly added, "Well, fun for more reasons than just that one night, of course."
Maxwell laughed, "Yea, I know what you mean. This was a hell of a lot better than I originally thought it might be, too." Taking that for the hell of a compliment that it was, the intern's smile grew.
Suddenly loathing their having to part, the Preventer cleared his throat and lowered his gaze a bit. "Well, ah, good luck with your classes tomorrow," he grinned sadly. "When will you be reporting into the office?"
"Around the time you and the others should be getting back from lunch, so we'll catch up then," Heero answered. Bending at the waist to gather up his belongings, he threw the strap of his laptop pack over his shoulder and nodded firmly, "I'll see you tomorrow."
It had been Duo's intent to not make a big deal of his guest's moving out. But when Yuy took hold of the doorknob, he heard himself call, "Wait." His feet were moving without his knowing that he had told them to do so. And by the time his partner had turned towards him again so Scythe could cup his face in his hands, the agent moved in for a sound kiss.
Taken aback, but quickly recovering, Wing's enlarged eyes closed. Dropping his duffle bag at his side, he held onto the Preventer as the kiss deepened and sighed against his best defenses.
Once they broke away for air, Maxwell smirked, "Sorry. I couldn't help myself."
"I'm not complaining," Yuy chuckled windily. Bowing his head, he bid adieu with a wave and headed out.
At the closing of the door, the braided agent's smile fell away. Smacking his right cheek, he grumbled, "Come on, Maxwell. Get over it. He doesn't live that far away and you've wanted to have the place back to yourself."
Sighing, he faced his living room and spacious complex... only then realizing how big and empty it felt without someone else there to fill it.
Finally, Duo headed for the door to take his car keys off the wall ring holder and headed out to get away from the quiet and the looming lonely feeling that was setting in.
* * * *
An hour later, Heero had finished unpacking his things and lowered himself into the chair at his desk to appraise his dorm room.
There were a half dozen things he could do to occupy himself for the rest of the day. He had lessons he could continue to get ahead of, there were books to read, he could catch up with Odin, then there was the paper he was working on for his own analysis as a counselor to the Preventers...
...but he had no motivation to do any of those things.
All his life, all that he wanted was this simple, quiet, planned out existence. Only now, he was missing the adventurous, unpredictable experiences he was having with Duo and their friends.
More than any other unpleasant sensation, Heero loathed uncertainty. But that's where he sat, uncertain as to what it was he really wanted to do with himself.
Reserving his questions for another time, the scholar changed into his running gear and headed out for a long jog to jump-start his return to normalcy... the very thing he wanted above all else.
At least, that was what he told himself.