by Maldoror


Chapter nineteen:One degree of Seperation

Quatre drew his gun and lay it on the side of the table within easy reach before he sat down. He checked all the newly installed perimeter alarms with care. They only had the one monitor, it would flick through the four cameras in turn. He'd have to rely on the motion detectors for a more serious warning but the cameras gave him a visual reference.

One camera was on the Gundam's hideout. The machines were hunkered down in a strong dip in the forest floor, tall black spruce (and clever camo) arcing above them. It had been a pain moving them there without disturbing too much foliage. Ever make a Gundam crawl? Quatre sighed. At least they'd be here for a couple of weeks. The constant moving was tiring them all so-

The camera's slide show caught movement near the Gundams. Quatre's attention was immediate and acute, but it was just Heero. He was settling down on the grass in a small patch of sunlight streaming through a break in the forest canopy that Heavyarms had caused to exist with an injudicious movement. Tree plus gundam equals kindling.

Quatre let the monitor flick through the other cameras.

When it came back on Heero he spared another glance at the sombre pilot. He looked... so young like that. Like a kid working over a puzzle. Apparently his beloved Wing had thrown up a real hairball this time, judging from his air of intense concentration. The piece he was working on was too small for Quatre to make out, probably a circuit board since he had his laptop out too, on the dust sheet he normally used to protect Wing's more fragile components from other repairs.

Maybe he'd take whatever it was in with him later, when the light faded. Maybe he and Duo could work on it together.

The camera flicked again. Heero reappeared, the shadows of trees caressing him, slowly moving behind him...

Maybe that would finally break that strange tension ­which Quatre found himself completely unable to define- that had erupted between 01 and 02 a few months ago and was now hovering at what the Arabian considered to be an unhealthy-

What does he think he's doing!!

Quatre grabbed his gun purely by instinct and rammed it into his shoulder holster as he ran for the door, the image of a stalking Duo creeping slowly, menacingly, up on an unsuspecting Heero printed on his panic.

Allah he's going to die!

One of them is going to die!

Probably Duo but Allah what does he think-!

Quatre hesitated to grab a medical kit, decided against it and thundered out of the house. He was either going to stop this, or the first aid kit and bandages would be ludicrously insufficient.

I knew something was brewing up, Allah forgive me, why didn't I say- do- what is he thinking I didn't think it was so bad-

The hideout was a good ten minutes away from the safehouse. Quatre made it in less time, panting so hard he was unable to yell like he wanted to.

No gunshots- no screams- no- shit!

He stumbled against a root rearing out near the top of the dip, falling to his hands and knees, scrambling through the mulch of old leaves and undergrowth to reach his friends before-

'Allah no! I'm too late!' He screamed in his mind, seeing two prone bodies.

Two struggling prone bodies-

Two... er... .

What the hell... the uncharacteristic sentence echoed inside a big hollow rapidly forming between Quatre's ears.

On to chapter Twenty

Back to chapter Eighteen

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