Title: Thanatogenesis

Author: hoshi-tachi

Category: Movie Crossovers (Gundam Wing/???)

Rating: R

Pairings: 2-5, 3x4.

Summary: When a mission goes terribly, terribly wrong, the G-boys will have to use every ounce of their skills and luck to survive it.

Warnings: Profanity; violence; gory violence; possible character death; shounen-ai and mentioned yaoi.

Disclaimer: Gundam Wing, and all its particulars, is owned by Bandai Entertainment. The as-yet-unnamed crossing movie has been copyrighted by Screen Gems Inc., Constantin Film Produktion GmbH, and New Legacy Films Ltd. /cocks head to the side/ Is that enough to keep me from getting sued?

Okay, umm… world peace, Trowa laughing, Relena as a Goth… crazy, impossible things, but things he needed to think about, needed to think about something, anything, but the big. Honking. Needle headed right for his vein…

Duo flinched as he felt the cold metal penetrate his skin and the plunger depress, sending the latest flu vaccine deep into his body. God, but he hated needles…

"There we go, dear. All finished," the grandmotherly old nurse said cheerfully, swabbing his arm down again with the alcohol pad and fastening a bright little orange Band-Aid over the puncture mark.

"Thanks," the American said with a weak smile, tossing his braid over one shoulder. "So ya happy, ya old geezer?" he asked the mushroom-haired man sitting in the corner.

G laughed. "Yes, yes. You can go back to your friends, brat."

"'Bout freakin' time, Pestilence. I've got better things ta do than play pincushion for ya." Duo hopped up off the table and grabbed his duffel. "Why'd the hell I have to get a full physical, anyway?"

The scientist smiled at his young protégé. "No reason, it's just the annual check-up. It really wouldn't do for you to survive however many gunshot wounds only to have you drop dead of pneumonia after all the money we spent training your sorry ass."

With a snort, Duo flipped his mentor the bird. "Yeah, right. Now, if ya don't mind, I'd like to get back. Which safehouse are the others staying at?"

"USI-7," G answered from memory. "There's a flight waiting to take you to Chicago."

Duo just nodded, eager to be out of the laboratory, with its unending, oppressively white walls. "Gotcha. See ya later, old man."

G watched the long, chestnut braid vanish through the doorway and prayed he was doing the right thing. "I hope so, my little demon. Oh, I hope so…"

It was with a profound sense of relief that Duo finally slipped through the door of one of their Illinois safehouses.

"Duo? Is that you?" a voice called from further inside the house, and the boy grinned.

"Yeah, Quat, it's me." The pilot locked the door with a soft click, and slipped the key back into his pocket just in time to give Quatre a big hug as the blonde stepped into the front hallway.

"Duo," he managed to squeak out after a moment. "Duo! I need to breathe!"

Properly abashed, Duo let the little Arabian loose. "Sorry, Q," he said sheepishly. "I'm just… really, really happy to be back."

"I noticed," Quatre said dryly. He gingerly felt his ribs, and once he was sure they were all intact, he gave the American teenager a genuine smile. "So, how went the physical?"

Duo grimaced. "Oh, it was just positively wonderful. There's nothing better than havin' a good time doin' tests an' getting stuck by big fucking needles every time you turn around."

The blonde winced, at both the profanity and what the other boy had actually said. "And we all know how you feel about needles…" he muttered softly. His lips twitched at Duo's confused look. "Remember a couple months ago, when you managed to get rather well-sliced by that mobile doll? Wufei had to dose you with half our supply of painkillers before you would let him stitch your wounds, and even then you objected loudly enough to burst our eardrums."

"Oh…" After a moment of embarrassed silence, the braided boy glanced around at the silent house. "Erm, speakin' of Justice Boy, where is he? Where's all of them, in fact? A mission?"

"In a way," Quatre answered evasively. Tired of standing around in the front hall, he led the other pilot into the living room and settled gracefully onto the single couch. "We were running low on supplies, so I sent them on a grocery run."

For a full five seconds Duo's mouth flapped helplessly, and he fell back into an armchair with a thud. At last, he spoke in a quiet voice. "Let me get this straight. You sent Wufei, Trowa, and Heero out into public, together, without one of us along?! Are you trying to traumatize the poor store employees?"

The young billionaire smiled uncomfortably. "Well, the girl at the cash register was rather rude the last time it was my turn to go shopping…"

Shaking his head slowly, Duo stared at him. "Quatre Raberba Winner… I'm so proud of you!" he finished with a squeal and a big grin, clasping his hands beneath his chin like a schoolgirl.

Quatre blushed, studying the floor intently.

Wufei couldn't help but scowl as he slammed the trunk lid shut with his one free hand. Juggling the final, overflowing bag of groceries in the other, he wondered what the hell the store manager had been thinking when he hired that damn onna. Relena had more courage in her little finger than that girl had in her entire body.

Unbidden, his lips twitched. Still, it wasn't every day that someone fainted at the mere thought of having to help your group… And he supposed he couldn't truly blame her. Even if you didn't know what they were, being confronted with the three most antisocial Gundam pilots would be rather… alarming.

As he thought, the Chinese pilot came to the front door, and with some careful maneuvering he managed to get it open and then shut again without spilling any of the precariously positioned groceries. Of course, all his caution nearly came to nothing when he turned abruptly and jumped in surprise as he found Maxwell standing behind him.

With the quick reflexes that so often startled those who had only perceived the American as a lazy teenager, Maxwell snatched the few packages that tumbled from the bag in midair. "Sorry, 'Fei," he offered with an apologetic little half-grin. "Didn't mean ta scare ya…"

For a moment, all Wufei could do was stare silently at his crush as his heartbeat raced. Then the words percolated through his adrenalin-fogged brain, and he broke out into a scowl. "Urusei, Maxwell! I just wasn't expecting you there!"

He was barely able to hold in a mental wince. Kami, but that sounded lame, even to himself…

And sure enough, the bastard only smirked. "Sure, 'Fei. Sure…" Grimacing, Wufei strode past him into the kitchen, completely missing the wistful expression that momentarily clouded amethyst eyes.

Much later that night, long after darkness had fallen, the Chinese teenager lay back against the headboard of his bed, holding a book in his hands. He was trying his best to actually read it, as well, but that imbecile of a bird that kept chirping outside his window wasn't exactly helping his concentration.

He lifted his irate gaze from the pages as the thing let out a particularly obnoxious chirp. Honestly, it was as if the idiot bird didn't realize it was nearly midnight…

Apparently it didn't, as it set off on another trilling run of notes, one that was abruptly cut off by the sounds of a struggle. Wufei smirked briefly as he realized one of the members of the endless pack of stray cats that frequented the neighborhood must have just received dinner. Relieved, he turned his attention back to the book.

But, as the universe is never so kind as to allow a good thing to continue, Wufei's relaxation was soon interrupted by another, far different sound. It was a moment before he recognized the mumbling and quiet cries of distress for what they were.

Concerned and not a little curious, he set the book aside and padded quietly to the door. He opened it and cautiously stuck his head outside.

Only a few seconds later a second door opened up, and Winner peered out into the hallway from the room he shared with Barton, fair hair sleep-tousled. The Arabian's face was worried, and he was pressing a hand to his heart. "Wufei?"

"Winner," he replied with a nod. "What's going on?"

"I'm not sure," the blonde answered, voice strained under the pressure of his space heart. He glanced at the door to the room next to Wufei's. "But I think… I think it's Duo, and he's scared…"

Wufei blinked, unable to connect in his mind the thoughts of fear and the American. Maxwell was never scared- manic and annoying, often, but never afraid… It was like a law of Nature, akin to such as Gravity and Murphy's Law.

Frowning, he shook his head and walked over to the braided pilot's door. He grasped the handle and, finding it unlocked, opened the door.

Inside, all was dark save for the single narrow stripe where light from the dim hallway fell. As Wufei opened the door wider, so the streak widened, almost immediately revealing the room's single small bed and its occupant.

Duo's pale skin seemed to glow in the dim light, forcing the Chinese teenager to hold in a gasp. Then a gasp did sound out, but it came from behind him. Winner was staring at the braided boy, eyes concerned, and it was only then that Wufei saw the terrified expression on the sleeper's face.

Instantly he was across the intervening space between them, holding the other boy by the shoulders. Almost as quickly, Winner had crossed the room and was turning on a table lamp. In the comparatively harsh light of the lamp the lines fear was making on Duo's face deepened, and a thin whimper made it past his bitten lips.

Wufei shook him gently, and frowned when nothing happened. He did it a second time, harder, and this time Duo's eyes flickered open. They were glazed, though, and there was no recognition in their amethyst depths as they gazed up at the pilot.

"Duo…?" he whispered cautiously, something deep inside him frightened by that horribly blank stare.

The violet eyes shifted, coming to rest on his own, and the pink lips below then parted slightly. Duo mumbled something, a single word, low and indistinct.

Wufei bent a little closer. "What?"

The lips parted again, and this time the boy's voice was stronger. "Run…" As Wufei straightened, startled, the eyes beneath him changed, filling with a kind of resigned, fearful despair, and Duo spoke a third time. "Run, it's inside me…"

The other two pilots exchanged puzzled glances, and again Wufei took the American by the shoulders. "What? What's inside you?" he demanded, giving him another shake.

That proved to be too much, though. With a shudder, awareness flooded back into his violet eyes, and Maxwell blinked up into Wufei's face. "'Fei?" he murmured, confusion evident in his voice. "What-?"

Immediately the Asian pilot let go of him, relocating to a distance that was safer for his hormones. Unseeing of the vaguely hurt lines of Maxwell's face at his action, he frowned. "You were having a nightmare," he said gruffly.

The braided teenager seemed startled as he sat up. "I was? But I don't…" he shook his head, running a hand through his unruly chestnut bangs. "I don't feel like I did…"

"I could feel you from my room," Winner said quietly from his station next to the glowing lamp. "And Wufei could hear you."

"Oh…" Maxwell's voice was very small, and very bewildered. He stared down at his lap for a few seconds, then looked up, an apologetic grin firmly on his face. "Sorry 'bout that, guys. Don't know what got into me…"

Just a little surprised by the boy's sudden change in demeanor, Wufei nodded slowly. "It's fine…" He frowned again, studying him carefully. Maxwell never lied, just as he often said, but he was the best person the pilot knew at telling half-truths. "You're sure you can't remember what you were dreaming about?"

The American shook his head. "Nope. It doesn't even feel like I had a nightmare." He looked between them curiously. "Don't suppose you'd have any idea what the hell I was dreamin' about?"

"You were telling us to run, because something was inside you." The blonde Arabian moved a little closer to the bed, looking at his friend with concern. "Do you know what you were talking about?"

Maxwell cocked his head to the side thoughtfully. "Nothing's comin' to mind," he said frankly after a moment. "Sorry," he said again with a shrug.

"Oh, that's all right, Duo, I was just wondering if there was anything we could do to help." Winner yawned abruptly, and Maxwell laughed.

"You'd better get back to bed before you fall over, Quat," he said cheerfully. "And you too, Fei-kun."

Wufei nodded even as he suppressed the habitual scowl that came whenever the American butchered his name. He stepped back from the bed as Winner walked to the door and tossed a sleepy smile in his direction, before walking out the door. About to follow the billionaire's lead, he was halted by Maxwell's voice.

"Hey, Wufei?" The Chinese boy automatically turned, a bit stunned to hear his proper name come out of the annoying pilot's mouth. Maxwell smiled at him, one fiddling with the end of his long braid. "Thanks, man."

Unsure of how to respond, Wufei simply nodded respectfully and left the room, relieved that the dim light hid the very faint flush of his skin.

Duo held onto his mask for a few minutes even after the others had left, not because he believed they would come back, but simply out of habit. Then, at last, he let the frown that wanted to come out show on his face. Sighing, he flopped back down on his pillow.

What could possibly have possessed him to wake the other pilots like that? He still couldn't quite believe he'd been so loud. Sure, he talked a lot when he was awake, but any potential tendency to sleep-talk had been trained out of him the instant Dr. G decided to make him a Gundam pilot. Mumbling top-secret stuff in your sleep was a sure way to blow your cover…

The nightmare part of it didn't really surprise him all that much, simply that he'd been so vocal about it. Nightmares were a part of the life of any soldier, let alone one as… active as he was. He knew the others had had them, too, occasionally.

Brooding, he got up to turn off the lamp, and paused thoughtfully. Still, though, he'd managed to make Wufei worry about him. The Chinese boy hadn't said anything, but the concern in his eyes couldn't be masked, and even as Duo clicked off the light, he brightened at the thought that maybe he and Wuffers were getting to be friends after all. And once the first step was taken…

He lay awake in the darkness for a few minutes more, smiling. Just before he faded back into sleep, though, it fell away as he frowned at the question murmuring in his half-asleep mind.

Just what the hell had he been dreaming about…?

A/N: There, finally… /stretches and winces as joints pop/ Okay, maybe I shouldn't have stayed up so late finishing this, but I was on a roll and didn't want to stop… /looks sheepish/ And, yes, I know I have eight other stories I should be working on, but I consider this one my stress reliever, as well as being good practice for both more blatant yaoi/slash bits and action scenes. I hope you don't mind…

Before anyone tries to point out inconsistencies with the characters, such as Wufei referring alternately to the braided baka as Duo/Maxwell, that is intentional, and meant to show strong emotions. /shrugs/ Just thought I'd clear that up for ya…

And no, I'm not going to tell you what movie I'm crossing this with just yet. I want to see just how good all you guys are at guessing.

Hope ya'll enjoyed it, so much that you'll want to send little ol' me lots of pretty reviews…

4 December 2004