* * * * * * * * * * *
Dodging in and out of traffic, Duo managed to keep up with Zechs and Treize.
He didn't think they had seen him, but he couldn't be sure. He tried
desperately to think of a plan. He couldn't concentrate, though; it was all
he could do to keep the car on the road and keep the truck in sight.
Finally, the SUV turned off the road into a parking lot. It rolled to a stop
in front of a warehouse that seemed run-down and unoccupied. Duo couldn't
turn in time, and also he didn't want to be seen, so he drove past, to the
next light, where he turned around. He kept an eye on the rear view mirror,
and saw which door the trio disappeared into. He parked the car out of sight
of the building. He got out of the car and ran quickly to the warehouse. Now
that he knew where they were, he had no idea what to do. But the first thing
to do was to make sure Heero was ok. He went to the door the men had gone
through, and gently tried the handle. It was locked. He looked for a window,
any way to see into the building. But, being a warehouse, there weren't many.
He finally spotted a door with a small window, way up on the side. There was
a fire escape that led to it. It looked old and rusty, and Duo looked at it
with trepidation. He put one foot on it, and the metal groaned under the
weight. But it didn't give, so with a deep breath the longhaired boy started
He climbed slowly, certain the steps were making way too much noise; but he
had no choice. After what seemed like hours, he reached the window. It was
cracked and dirty, but if he leaned close he could just see through it. He
squinted; he thought he could make out figures. He leaned closer, and he
could hear voices. He could hear Treize's unmistakable, deep voice.
"You didn't think we'd just let the two of you go like that, did you, Heero?"
Treize was saying. Either Heero didn't answer, or Duo couldn't hear him,
because the next thing he heard was Treize's voice again. "I'm not stupid."
Duo leaned forward farther; he still couldn't see. Just one more inch, if he
could lean over one more inch, he would be able to see through a broken
pane... Duo took a chance and took one more step. Unfortunately, that was one
step too many.
With a horrible, screeching groan, the metal steps failed; slowly the mass of
rusty metal toppled, twisting and rending. Duo scrambled back, trying to
avoid the jagged ends as they writhed toward him. He slipped, just managing
to grab onto the railing as it fell. He watched, dangling, as the ground
approached and looked for a way to jump off before he was trapped. Luckily
for him, the steps collapsed relatively slowly. He saw an opening and leapt
as quickly as possible. He hit the ground harder than he planned; he had
misjudged the height. His ankle twisted painfully underneath him, and he
collapsed back to the ground, trying not to cry out. He scrambled forward on
his hands and knees, trying to get away from the twisted metal. He had to get
away. There was no way Treize and Zechs could have failed to hear that. He
only had seconds to get away. He was almost free; the pain from his ankle was
bad, but he had no choice. Looking up, Duo couldn't see anyone coming after
him yet. All he had to do was get around the corner, out of sight...
Then, the one physical trait that had attracted Heero to Duo most strongly,
the one thing that Duo was really proud of, was his downfall. His braid had
caught on a jagged piece of metal. His head snapped back as the chestnut
strands wrapped around the metal, refusing to let go. "Shit," he cursed under
his breath, as he heard a door slam and running feet. He reached behind him,
blindly trying to disentangle his braid while the fire escape continued to
shift around him. He was lucky to be alive, lucky not to have been
decapitated by the rusty mass of metal. But now this was almost as bad; he
was stuck, and Treize and Zechs had seen him. He was fucked.
Heero had heard the screeching sound of the metal collapsing, and his heart
had pounded in a mixture of fear and hope. Hope that Duo could find him, and
fear that his love had been hurt. The second they had heard the sound, Treize
had checked once again that Heero was tied securely before they ran outside
He had been in and out of consciousness the whole ride. When he had walked
into his apartment, he had seen Treize and Zechs in the act of ransacking it.
He had no doubt what they were looking for, and he tried to run out the door.
But the two men were too quick for him. Zechs had tackled him, and they went
down on the floor. Heero fought viciously, but Zechs was much larger than him
and he didn't have a chance. Zechs had landed a punch to his face that had
disoriented him, and before he could recover they were dragging him to the
elevator. He tried to struggle, but now there were two full-grown men holding
him, and his head ached.
He found himself in the car before he knew it, with only Zechs holding him.
Treize was driving. Of course, there was no time to buckle, so when Treize
went around a corner fats, Heero and Zechs slid all the way across the back
seat. Heero tried to use this to his advantage, but once again Zechs was too
strong. He got Heero in a choke, and soon the edges of Heero's world were
going gray. He tried to watch where they were going, but he couldn't see
clearly. He lost track, and stopped struggling, slumping to the seat. He felt
a line of moisture trickle down the side of his face. He must be bleeding, he
thought in a detached manner. The next time he regained consciousness he was
tied to a chair, and he could hear Treize and Zechs arguing. He tried not to
move, to give away the fact that he was awake. The room spun around him,
though, and he couldn't focus clearly. That, and his head felt like it had
been run over by a truck. He felt like he was losing consciousness again, but
he couldn't let himself. He had to stay awake.
"You idiot! He's bleeding! What the fuck did you do to him?" Heero had never
heard Treize this angry.
Zechs sounded defensive. "I couldn't help it, he's stronger than he looks..."
Treize cut him off. "Fuck that. He's been unconscious for too long. If he's
damaged, you're dead." Then Heero heard Treize walk closer to him, and
suddenly his head exploded into more pain. Treize had buried a hand in his
hair and pulled his head up hard. "You awake, loverboy?"
Heero couldn't stifle a whimper of pain.
"Ah, you are awake..." Treize said nastily. "Good. Now you can tell me where
the negatives are."
Heero just stared at him as fiercely as he could, given the situation. To
tell the truth, he wasn't sure if he could talk coherently.
"Yes, well, I didn't think it would be that easy. But it's very simple. If
you ever want to be free again, you'll have to tell me where they are. I know
they're not in your apartment." He paused for a long moment. "And of course,
if you're not concerned for your own safety, we can always use your pretty
little boyfriend to convince you." Treize smiled at Heero then, and watched
as the boy struggled feebly with his bindings. "And I wouldn't bother
struggling too much. Zechs tied you, and he's somewhat of an expert with
Then the screeching crash had sounded, and all hope left him. Duo! Duo could
be hurt, and if not, he was now Treize's captive as well. His mind raced with
plans, ways to get them out of this. But if Duo was hurt...
His head snapped up as he heard voices, then winced as the pain blossomed
afresh. He was sure he had a concussion. Then the door was flung open, and
Duo was pushed inside by Zechs. The longhaired boy stumbled on his injured
ankle and fell as the blond man pushed him again. Heero seethed and pulled at
"Heero!" screamed Duo, ignoring the pain, getting up and racing over to
Heero. But he was stopped short. Zechs, enraged and tired of being a punching
bag for teenagers, had lost it. He grabbed Duo's braid as the boy raced past,
yanking on it savagely and pulling the boy back to him. Duo had struggled as
much as humanly possible, trying to resist the blond's efforts to retrieve
him from inside the broken metal framework, and had got in a few good kicks
and jabs before Zechs had gotten him under control. He had had enough.
"That's far enough," Zechs growled, one hand in Duo's hair and the other
around the boy's chest, pinning his arms to his sides. Duo struggled in vain.
Heero growled and finally spoke. His voice was raspy, but steady. "Get your
hands off him. NOW."
Treize laughed. "You're hardly in a position to make any demands, dear boy.
We don't want to hurt either of you. I just want what's mine."
Heero laughed, a sound completely devoid of humor. "There's where we're
different, asshole. I DO want to hurt you. And I will, if either of you harm
one more hair on Duo's head."
"Heero! Are you ok?" Duo squeaked out, still wiggling in Zechs' huge arms.
Heero spared one glance at Duo. He wanted to comfort the boy, but he couldn't
afford to now. "I'm fine, Duo. Everything will be fine."
Treize said, "See? We're all in agreement then. So all you have to do is give
me the evidence, and we'll all be happy."
"Yeah right, and you'll let us go and everything with be back to normal
again, right?" said Duo bitterly. "Even I don't believe that."
Treize turned to the longhaired boy, and smiled a cold smile. "Well, you
don't have much of a choice, now do you, Duo?" He stepped closer, menacing.
"So I suggest you hand over the evidence as quickly as you can, while I'm in
a good mood."
Duo looked up at Treize. "I don't have it."
Treize shrugged. "Then get it." Then he walked over to where Heero was tied,
stopping next to his chair. "I can wait a while. But I get bored easily, and
I just might have to..." he paused, running a finger significantly over
Heero's chest, "Entertain myself."
"Bastard!" hissed Duo.
"Duo..." warned Heero. He had to tell him, they had to be able to talk, to
plan... but they couldn't. He would have to trust Duo to figure out how to
"I'll just keep Heero here, shall I? You can go wherever you need to go, to
get the evidence. All of it. Be back here in no more than two hours. Or
there's no telling what I might do to entertain myself..." smirked Treize,
standing behind Heero significantly. He looked at Duo. "Oh, and don't get any
stupid ideas about going to the police. What do you think would happen to the
two of you if this came to light? You'd be in juvenile detention till you
were 21, at least, and you'd never see each other again. And what do you
think would happen to those cute little asses in juvenile jail?" He laughed
at the look on Duo's face. "Be back here in two hours, or I'll give Heero a
preview of what it will be like." He nodded to Zechs, and the blond pushed
Duo out the door.
Duo twisted as the door shut behind him, trying for one last glimpse of
Heero. He saw him then, just for one second, looking back at him with hope in
his eyes, mouthing words.
Heero looked at Duo, hoping the longhaired boy would figure it out. "I love
you," he whispered, then the door shut and he was alone with Treize and Zechs
Duo watched the closed door for a long moment, then turned and limped as fast
as he could for the car. He had two hours.
Continued in part 19