Title: Desperado -- part 5
Author: Jade
Pairing: 1x2
Warnings: yaoi, lemon, AU
Disclaimers: Don't own, don't sue, don't ask, don't tell

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They talked for what seemed like hours; at first, Heero had decided to just tell Duo a bit about himself. But once he started, he realized he had never told anyone the whole truth, ever. There was no reason to lie to Duo. He didn't have to twist facts or put a better light on things or get Duo to see his point about anything; he just told the story. And Duo listened; listened with an intensity that seemed to say he was absorbing every word Heero said. He had never had anyone listen to him like that before, like every single word that came out of his mouth was important. So more and more of the story came out, gradually; it was almost cathartic, and he felt better each time he gave up another morsel of his life.

Duo asked few questions; there wasn't much need as he quickly grasped how every chance at a normal life had been ripped from his captor. He could also read between the lines; though Heero's voice was nearly emotionless as he related his tale, he could see that the one thing Heero truly longed for was acceptance. Something that had eluded the boy his whole life, and something Duo had been missing as well. For on the surface it seemed that Duo had everything Heero didn't, it was an empty shell. For parents who thought appearance was everything, he appeared to have a normal, happy life. But they never even made an effort to know their son, to be a part of his life in any other way than financially. So wrapped up in their own lives and work, they left his upbringing to a series of hired help that, though some of them did truly care, never lasted long enough to make a difference. Duo's life was a vast wasteland like Heero's, though his was populated by more material things. It was still empty. Though a gulf of light-years seemed to separate them, they were more alike than anyone would have ever guessed.

"So that's it. I was going to be expelled and sent to Juvi. I wasn't thinking straight. Then I saw you. Like before, you were just there. So I grabbed you. I'm sorry." Heero finished, staring down into his now-cold coffee.

"So that WAS you!" another piece of the puzzle fell into place for Duo. "I knew it!" Duo loved to lose himself in romantic stories, and though they were never about two boys, they all shared a common theme: the lovers were destined to be together. Duo believed in fate. And here was his. He placed his hand over Heero's once again, and the cobalt eyes looked up at him tentatively.

Heero had told most of his story with eyes downcast, but he looked up now, expecting rebuke on that beautiful face but saw none. His face twisted into a rueful smile, and said, "Pathetic, isn't it?" he wasn't prepared for the intensity of emotion he got back.

"NO! You're not pathetic, and neither is your life. None of it was your fault. Life isn't fair, but it's really fucked you over. You never had a chance." Duo stopped, eyes blazing, and Heero stared back. "My parents never gave me anything except money, but here's a chance to do some good with it." He appeared to make a decision. "That's it, Heero, we're gonna do it. We should get started as soon as possible."

"Started? Do what?" Heero was taken aback by Duo.

Duo thought hard. "We need an internet caf�... or, better yet, library computers. You're an expert hacker, that much is clear. With what I know, we should be able to get into a least one or two of my accounts." He stood up. "Let's go!"

Heero looked up at Duo, amazed and amused. This might actually work... Duo knew the banks' names and approximate locations, might even know account numbers and possible passwords... He started to think. His mind sprang to work, building contingency plans. But... he raked his eyes over the lean form and said, "You might want to get dressed first."

Duo grinned evilly as he noticed Heero looking at him. "I suppose," he drawled, "Unless you like me this way, He~ero," he said, putting a teasing lilt into his voice.

Heero blushed immediately, and Duo giggled, letting the other boy off the hook as he turned and wiggled into some clothes.

Heero busied himself with looking in the phone book for the nearest location where they could access a computer.

+

They decided to try an internet caf� first, just to do some exploratory searching. Heero settled at the keyboard and started his magic, while Duo leaned in close and watched with awe as his fingers danced over the keyboard. Duo supplied the names of some banks he remembered while reveling in being so close to Heero. He could feel the heat from the other boy's body, and he moved closer and closer, until soon he was resting on Heero's shoulder, and his hand had sneaked up to lay on the other boy's arm, thrilling in the hard muscle. God, Heero had the most incredible body, and he wanted to touch it everywhere.

Heero concentrated as best he could, but he couldn't completely ignore the sexy boy next to him. Any closer, and Duo would be on his lap. Not that that would be a bad thing, but... he forced his mind back to the task at hand. He had located the banks; he could check the balance of one of the accounts (Heero gaped at the amount of money in just that one account, but Duo assured him there was much more where that came from) that Duo remembered, but to transfer any money would require further passwords, and Heero wouldn't risk that here. What he did do was set up a provisional account at the same bank, one that he would transfer money to from another terminal. They worked for about two hours; any longer, and they might draw attention to themselves. Heero knew they were on borrowed time. Duo's parents would know he was missing by now. But without a ransom demand, they would think he had just run away again, something Duo admitted he had done several times. It was unlikely that anyone would relate the two boys' disappearances just yet, seeing as they had never met previously.

Next, they went to a public library and Heero found an out-of-the-way terminal. He first went to an IP randomizer site that masked your true IP address, then went back to the bank site. He went to Duo's account, and said, "Do you have any idea what the password might be, Duo? Most people use obvious ones, like birthdays and anniversaries."

Duo thought for a moment, then wrote down his birthday, his social security number, his parent's anniversary, their street address and a few other numbers that might be significant. Heero got to work.

It only took a few tries before Heero was into the account. People were so careless with passwords. A few keystrokes, and he had transferred nearly half the balance to his new account. These were offshore banks, so as such were not subject to the US regulations about reporting large money transfers. Heero was still careful, though; too big a transfer might alert the bank itself. It was doubtful that would happen, though; these type of banks were not on the habit of contacting their customers, as many of them were not keen on being found. These banks dealt with privacy; if you had money, they would keep it for you. And if you had the account number and password, they would give it to you. Simple.

The next account was slightly harder, but with Duo's knowledge and Heero's talent, another large sum of money was transferred into the new account. The next step was to bounce the money through a few more accounts, in small amounts. The technique was usually used by money launderers to get around the US regulations controlling money transfers. But smurfing, as it was sometimes called, also proved useful for erasing money trails. Soon, Heero had a total of about 100,000 dollars in several different accounts. He sat back and looked up at Duo. "I think that's about all we had better do for now." In truth, it was a huge amount of money to him, enough to live on for a while. He didn't want to risk any more yet, at least while he was still in the country. That was the next problem.

"Let's go get something to eat," Heero suggested, realizing they had only had the coffee and doughnuts all day.

They found a 24-hour restaurant, and settled into a corner booth. Heero found he was starving suddenly, and ate as much as Duo. Something strange was happening; he found he was truly enjoying being with Duo. Just being near him, he felt calmer. No one had ever made him feel this way before. Maybe it was because he'd never told anyone all his secrets before; he had hidden nothing from Duo, therefore he didn't have to worry about revealing too much. For the first time, he could truly be himself. He wasn't sure who that was, though.

Duo was having a great time. It all seemed like a big adventure to him; he was sitting with the most gorgeous boy he had ever seen, and they could do whatever they wanted. No adults to answer to. No disapproving parents. No teachers. It was heaven.

"So what's the next step?" wondered Duo. He trusted Heero.

Heero looked over at the longhaired boy, trying to drag his eyes away from the enticing way that he licked his lips. "We... I... need to get out of the country," he replied, suddenly unsure.

"We," Duo said firmly. "You're not getting rid of me now. You don't want to leave me behind, do you?" he said, looking at Heero hopefully.

"I wasn't sure if you still wanted to, that's all," Heero said, looking down. "It could be dangerous." He was startled into looking up when he felt Duo's hand on his.

"Heero," whispered Duo, scooting closer. "I want to be with you. No matter what."

"You're sure?" Heero asked, trying to keep the note of hope out of his voice.

"Absolutely," replied Duo, looking deep into cobalt eyes. "What do we have to do?"

Heero smiled shyly at the longhaired boy, his heart almost ready to burst from happiness. He wasn't used to this feeling. "Oh, Duo..." he sighed. Then it was back to the problem at hand. "We need new identities. Passports, mainly. Or we can't get out of the country."

"I have a passport, but it's at home," Duo said.

"We need new ones anyway," Heero explained. "You can't use your real name. Soon they'll be looking for you."

"Oh, I didn't think about that," Duo mused. "How do you get a new identity?"

"A new passport should be enough," replied Heero. "And we have to pay someone who can make one."

"People can do that?" Duo asked, amazed.

Heero nodded. "For a price, of course. Probably about ten grand for both."

"You know someone who does that?" Duo asked. He felt like he was in a movie again.

"I used to," said Heero. "I hope he's still around. He was the best. I just need to contact him, and also find a place to get that much cash without suspicion. That will be the hard part."

Duo looked amazed. "You're incredible, Heero."

Heero couldn't help but smile in the face of such a compliment. "I'll do my best. Tonight we go find Jack."

Continued in part 6