by Kracken


Disclaimer:I don't own them and I don't make any money off of this.
Warning:Male/male, graphic, violence, language



Bullets flew. Duo took his time, unloaded an empty clip, slammed in a new one using one hand and a bruised hip, and then took careful aim. Bullets whizzed by close enough to stir his hair as he fired back with his glock. Music blared from his player, a primal beat that kept him grinning, blood and adrenaline pumping through his veins hard and fast. He knew it unnerved them, the music and his devil smile. He could tell by the frantic pattern of their bullets and their caution in showing themselves. They were running out of time, though, and it was up to them how badly they wanted the woman crouching at Duo's feet, hands over her ears, and blonde hair hiding her panicked, blue eyes.

The car wasn't much protection, or the body of the dead driver that he had flung on top of it to give himself extra cover. The two bombs, that had taken out the escort, front and back, made escape impossible, but it also gave Duo a bit of an edge. They couldn't cross those pits and smoking wrecks easily, either, not with him laying down fire. Help was on the way as well, summoned by a simple touch to an alert system.

Another clip gone. Duo let it fall. It clattered next to Relena Peacecraft and she flinched violently, sobbing in a panic. She didn't want to die this way anymore than Duo did, though he supposed most of her shock was caused by the deaths all around them. They were both blood spattered. Duo was sure that the gore covering her dress coat was from the unfortunate dignitary that had been sharing her seat. He had unknowingly given his life for her, blocking the blast through the bullet proof car window that he had been seated beside.

Duo had been luckier. He had seen the one car explode and had exited his vehicle not a second before it had shared the same fate. Rolling and then rushing for Relena's car, he had taken car parts in his back. His flack jacket had saved his life, but there was still damage done. It hurt to breathe and one arm hung limply, a jagged, drumbeat of pain shooting from his fingertips to his shoulder.

"Oh, God!" Relena's voice sobbed.

Duo glanced down and saw how his blood was pooling on the asphalt and making a beeline to her white dress shoes. His grin widened. It amused him to shock her, especially when she had given them all her assured little speech about how very unnecessary their escort was. She had dismissed him to the rear car with a flick of manicured fingers, an annoyed frown, and a reprimand for having brought not only his glock, but a pulse rifle slung over one shoulder. That pulse rifle might have saved them, now, but it had caught on the car door during his quick exit and it had been lost in the explosion.

"Please... the music...," Relena protested. "Turn it off."

Duo ignored her. He didn't have time and the music kept him sharp, kept him from thinking about dying. They wanted her alive, not him. They'd kill him as soon as he ran out of ammo. His life was now measured in shots.

Hands touched Duo's leg. He fired off a precious shot and looked down. She had taken off her scarf and was binding it around a leg wound he hadn't noticed. She probably thought that the blood was coming from it. Duo didn't tell her that it was from another wound. "Leave it," he grated. "Won't matter in a minute."

Her big, blue eyes looked back at him, fearful, her hands frozen. She pulled away, then, her scarf and hands bloody. "I'm sorry," she said softly, a movement of lips without sound enough to carry over the music.

"Yeah," Duo grunted irritably. "Shit happens and then you die."

She flinched, clutching the bloody scarf to her chest without thinking.

Duo weighed options in his mind, and only found one that had any chance of Relena surviving. He ordered sharply, "Start running."

Relena blinked, confused.

"I'm blowing the gas tank," Duo told her matter of factly as he leaned to open it. "That'll give you some cover. Take off your fancy heels and don't look back."

"I can't-" she began, looking from the open tank to Duo. "How are you going to do that and escape?"

"I'll manage, " Duo lied, but she wasn't that stupid.

Relena was standing up, then, and shaking with reaction. Tears were in her eyes.

"I said, run!" Duo barked. "I've got one bullet left and it's going in the tank!"

Relena took a shuddering breath and then leaned in and kissed Duo on the cheek. She smelled of perfume and powder. Her eyes said thank you, even though she was beyond words.

Duo sighed as he watched her run, scrambling down into the asphalt hole and then back up again, her dress ripped and filthy now. She was fast, he had to give her that, but he still doubted that she would make it. It was hard to think that his sacrifice was probably going to be in vain, but he'd always rolled the dice whatever the odds.

Duo turned up his music. He could imagine the enemy creeping cautiously forward, emboldened by his lack of response. He stuck the muzzle of his glock into the tank opening and then laughed, thinking about all of his hopes for his future about to go up in a fiery ball of flesh and car.

"Fuck you, Heero, this was my day off!" Duo grated as he leaned against the car and tried to convince himself to pull the trigger. It was true enough, though they were always on call in the Preventers. Duo had planned a day at the beach with sun and fun, not riding shotgun on Relena at Heero's request. He never could turn the man down, though. Another thing to blame Relena for. It had been her orders that had sent Heero up ahead to supervise security measures at the meeting place. She had been that sure about her own safety, that sure that no one wished her ill.

A hand closed over Duo's. Duo flinched and almost pulled the trigger, but iron strong fingers were latched onto his, effectively preventing it. He turned in a panic and saw that the hand belong to Heero. If he had spoken, Duo knew that he might have fired in surprise. Heero had risked his own life to stop him.

"What the hell?" Duo exclaimed in shock, just as helicopters buzzed by overhead and began landing. The good guys had arrived.

Heero's eyes narrowed at Duo's face. He reached out and rubbed liptsick from Duo's cheek with his thumb. "Cheating on me?" he grunted as if he were completely serious and they had not been about to die.

"Well, you know," Duo snickered weakly. "Rulers of the Earthsphere just can't keep their hands off of me."

Duo collapsed then, wounds taking their toll. Heero caught him and his falling gun with easy strength. "A medic is coming, "Heero assured him, looking concerned now.

"How's Relena?" Duo wanted to know as he let himself rest in Heero's arms.

"Safe... scared... grateful..." Heero told him as a calloused hand began checking Duo's wounds.

"You owe me a day at the beach," Duo slurred, blinking at Heero as he tried to keep focused.

Heero reached and turned off Duo's music. The silence, except for the sound of troop movements, was strange.

"Don't die and I'll make it up to you," Heero promised.

"Done deal," Duo grinned. He tapped his cheek with a bloody finger and left a mark there. "You can replace the kiss you stole, too."

Heero leaned over and kissed Duo on the lips instead. "I don't want seconds."

"Don't blame you, there," Duo replied and then, as the medics arrived with a stretcher, "Don't leave, okay?"

"Never," Heero promised and lifted Duo onto the stretcher himself.

A soldier appeared, saluted Heero smartly, and announced, "You're wanted with the new security detail, sir. We're to form up and escort-"

Heero glared, gripped Duo's hand, and replied, as he followed the medics to an emergency helicopter, "Hadn't you heard? Relena Peacecraft has said that she's perfectly safe, and that a military escort is an anachronism."

Duo snickered as they left the stunned soldier behind. "Good one," he whispered.

"I'm where I'm needed," Heero told him, squeezed Duo's hand, and then climbed into the helicopter with him.


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