Deliveryman + Part 7Heero and I had finally managed to get out of bed. Luckily for me, he was off that day, and hey, if the packages are a little late, who's really going to complain? Nothing was pressing. We were in the kitchen having breakfast and sharing the paper when the phone rang. Heero grinned when I told him that I wasn't planning on being home to anyone but him that day.
So, my machine got it.
Big mistake on my part.
"Hey Duo! This is Jess! I'm sure you remember me- the guy whose truck you rammed with yours on L2?" Shit. I focused my gaze on the paper in front of me, trying not to look guilty. "I was wondering- I have another delivery I'd like you to do for me. Nothing fancy, just an Earth to L4 run. If you can do it, give me a call back..." And he rattled off a number. Silence fell over the kitchen as I waited to see if Heero would say anything. After a minute or two, I thought it was safe to look up. Heero was regarding me with a slight frown.
"You had an accident on L2?" Guess it wasn't safe.
"Yeah, just a fender bender, no big deal." I looked back down at the paper. Remember what I said about Heero being hard to fool? This guy was trained to think like a terrorist from a young age- unfortunately for me.
"And you made a delivery for the truck that you hit?"
"Yeah, they weren't going to make their shuttle on time. No big deal." I still didn't look up at him. I heard him let out a breath. Was he going to drop it?
"They wouldn't happen to be the guys who wanted Trowa's circus to do the delivery for them, would they?" Shit. I didn't look up, I just kind of shrugged, again hoping he'd drop it.
Yeah, totally delusional, I know it. Heero Yuy does not just drop anything.
"Duo," Heero reached across the table and grabbed my chin. "Look at me." I had to look up, or risk a broken jaw, so I met his gaze with mine. "Just tell me yes or no." G. was going to kill me, but I couldn't lie to Heero when he asked me direct questions.
"Yes," I muttered.
"You hit their truck?"
"And offered to take the delivery?"
"Did they know who you are?"
"Yes." His frown deepened a bit.
"That was quite a risk."
"It worked, didn't it?" I asked, wishing he'd let me go. "They want me to do another one."
"Are you going to do it?"
"Yes," I pushed his hand away from my face. "I'm trying to get them to trust me." Heero was silent for a long time. I sat there, staring at the same paragraph in front of me, inwardly cursing. This sucked. "The Preventers can't get involved yet," I said when the silence had gotten too much for me. "You know that. We need to give these guys some rope to hang themselves with." I made myself close my mouth and stop babbling.
"All right Duo." I looked up in complete shock. Heero was frowning slightly, but he seemed calm. "You'll let me know when you have the rope?"
"Of course," I told him, wondering if I should be frightened.
"Good." Heero went back to the paper. I watched him read it for a moment or two before looking down again.
Heero stayed with me for most of the rest of the day, leaving around late afternoon. We didn't talk about White Dog again. He helped me do my laundry and clean up my place. It was a bit surreal having him there. Were we dating? Friends with benefits? What?
Yeah, like I was going to ask, give me a break. If I even tried I would probably spontaneously combust from embarrassment! I'm not a girl, for Christ's sake!
I waited for a little while longer before calling Jess back. He wanted me to meet one of his 'coworkers' to get the package and bring it to L4. Sounded like a cakewalk.
I got the package easily enough, though I didn't like the way the 'coworker' was eyeing me. The trip itself was uneventful. I left the package alone, only scanning it once to make sure that it wasn't going to explode on the trip. That was a standard scan, nothing they would be suspicious of- and at this point I wasn't going to give them anything to be suspicious of.
I knew I would have to do several of these package runs before they trusted me enough to do anything. That's why I was a bit surprised to be invited by Jess to come and have a bite with him when I dropped off the package on L4. I went of course, I had to work on getting these guys to trust me.
I certainly didn't expect him to knock me out in the parking lot. Should've seen it coming.
I awoke in a tiny room with a pounding headache. The floor beneath me was cold and concrete; my muscles had tightened up from lying on it. Damn it, damn it, damn it. I was slipping. But in all honesty I had expected them to try and recruit me, not this crap. Damn my head was pounding. I tried to raise my right hand to rub my forehead, but my arm couldn't move that high.
I looked down to see that I was shackled to the wall. Not an immense problem- as long as they hadn't found my lock picks. But should I try and get free or wait and see what they wanted me for? I struggled to sit up against the wall.
I didn't get much time to decide. The minute I managed to sit up, I had some visitors. Jess, of course, but with him was Jones- that mechanic of Howard's that had supposedly died. I blinked up at them. Jess was holding a sawed off shotgun. Kind of overkill in my opinion, but hey, I hadn't predicted any of this right so far.
"Jonesy?" I said to the one, trying to look surprised. "Howard said you were dead."
"You do remember me?" He knelt down in front of me. "It's good to see you Duo."
"Wish I could say the same." I frowned at them. "Any particular reason you guys knocked me out and chained me up? I'm not into bondage." Jess frowned, but Jones laughed.
"Same old Duo." He shook his head. "We have something we need you to do for us."
"You could've just asked."
"We don't have time." Jones reached out and unlocked the shackles from the wall, pulling me to my feet. "Come with us and we'll show you."
"Not like I have a choice anyway." I muttered.
"No, you don't." Jess glared back.
My hands still cuffed in front of me, they led me through a maze of hallways. Jess walked behind me, occasionally poking the barrel of the shotgun into the small of my back. After about the third time I was good and ready to turn around and shove that damn thing down his throat. I refrained, knowing that I wanted to see what they were going to show me. I had a pretty good idea already, judging by the parts I had found in that other box back on L2.
"Hey, can I ask where we are?" I tried. Jess poked me with the shotgun again, but Jones just grinned.
"We're on a resource satellite near L4."
"I was out for awhile then."
"Only about a day." We finally reached a huge hangar where many people were busily working on a giant mobile suit. I wasn't too surprised to see it, but it still was enough to freeze me for a second- it was like seeing a ghost.
It was Deathscythe.
They had rebuilt him exactly as I remembered him. They had brought my old war-buddy back from the grave.
"Pretty impressive," Jones was smiling, "isn't he?"
"He always was," I replied without thinking. "You- built him?"
"Of course. I was one of the main engineers on your suits. I made sure to keep copies of the plans. I knew after the wars that someone would find them useful."
"Why? What do you need a gundam for?" I turned my head to look at Jess, remembering that I was not supposed to know about White Dog.
"The colonies are still suffering. They need a gundam. And a gundam pilot."
"Are you asking me to pilot 'Scythe?"
"No," Jess poked me with that damn gun again. "We're telling you. You are going to pilot it. You are going to go and attack the World Nations Headquarters."
"If I say no?" I moved slightly as he tried to shove the gun in my back again.
"Then you're useless to us."
"What's to stop me from just taking the gundam and blowing up this place with it?"
"We have control of your self-destruct mechanism," Jones told me smugly. I almost laughed in his face. I had been a gundam pilot. I had hit that button on my own before. Did they honestly think that I wouldn't give my life to stop them from starting another war? As I've said before- idiots! All the smart people in this organization must've gone down with the Libra.
"I guess I don't have much of a choice," I told them. "I do wish you had just asked me." I let them take that comment anyway they wanted. It wasn't a lie, after all, but they might interpret it as favorable to their cause.
"Good. Scythe will be ready in a few days." Jones led me over to where the mechs were working on the cockpit. Jess a watchful shadow behind us. "As you can see, we're still installing the last of the flight programs."
"The same ones from before?" I asked, curious.
"Not exactly." Jones grinned. "I managed to get my hands on the best program ever developed for these suits." My blood ran cold.
"The Zero system."
[part 6] [part 8] [back to Merula's fic]