Pairing: 1x2, 3+4, 13x6x5
Warning: AU, angst, humor, sap, fighting, blood, you know the whole shebang. I don't feel like telling you the entire list.
Summary: When the worlds have progressed beyond that of earth and the colonies, one ship, called the Phixieous, manned by one gifted engineer and pilot, make their way to the system that of Pars and find themselves in a bigger fix not even the Intergalactic Prefect Law Enforcers can fight, until one agent, codenamed Heero Yuy is sent to deal with it.
Chapter 3: Meeting Heero
Civilian territory was basically the only place dockers could have free reign without the hassle of the Intergalactic Prefects Law Enforcers coding them every 2 seconds. Basically it was a rather large city that fitted any number of needs for the ship dockers to waste the time away. Stores for both necessary and unnecessary alike. One store Duo had a pension for was the local parts warehouse. Sometimes you could find the best of junk on hand there.
There was also a wonderful book store that both he and Trowa visited frequently during their visits. Reading was an easy pastime for someone working 24-7. If you wanted a break, dig out your mystery disk and pop it into your drive.
"Now Duo, before we can do any recreation we have to pick up provisions. So don't go wandering off like you did last time." Trowa found a directory on the side street and asked it the location of a local provisions depot. "It says it will take at least ten minutes to get too if we go on the boardwalk so let's just take the beams." Trowa walked over to the pods situated at intervals in the city. There was already a line forming around the ten open.
"You know Tro-bear, no matter how much I hate these Intergalactic no it alls…this place is kind of cool." Duo stated as he bounced ecstatically on the balls of his feet as they waited in line. "I hate these lines. They always take forever."
"You know Duo; if you'd just learned to take your patience with you once you leave Phixieous, life would be that much easier for us." Trowa walked forward, looking ahead and counting only 23 more heads in line, excluding the one with two personal heads attached to the first.
"That's harsh." Duo paused glancing around at the many different creatures about. "You know what's really strange?"
Trowa glanced behind him briefly, eyebrows rising in a silent ascent. "What is that?"
"Well, that 'wonderful' Intergalactic Prefect officer didn't find one more project I've been working on." Duo watched fascinated as Trowa whipped about, eyes wide.
"Oh, don't get your panties in a twist. I just had a break through a few months ago and I started putting together a little something that would no doubt warrant a direct prohibition on their oh so mighty scale until they figured out what it was and stole my idea. I just hope they don't find it when we leave." Duo thought, fingers scratching ideally at his ears.
"What new project?" Trowa's face had now turned a very pretty shade of red…a sure sign of deep anger to come.
"Oh, I'll tell you later. This kind of conversation was not meant for the entire public of the Intergalactic Prefect Law Enforcers to hear thank you very much." Duo walked past the still irate Trowa doing a wonderful impression of a redwood and smiled as there were only five more creatures ahead of them. Things were looking up. One thing that he really didn't understand though was how they hadn't picked up on his secret and most likely, illegal project.
The IPLE didn't take kindly to unknown modifications for valid reasons. One, it could be used to gain the upper hand on the IPLE's own limited knowledge, two, they wanted any ship that was under their thumb to give them the knowledge so they could 'steal it' for a lack of a better word before the original creator could receive a patent. Tricky they were. Three, the fact that others would be smarter then the IPLE's own team of specialized scientists probably got on their nerves. That's what Duo could only perceive as to the reason for such unlawful tactics. Yes they protected the universe from the big, the bad and the ugly but sometimes they had their strings a little too tight when it came to their universal charges.
"Finally!" Duo ran towards the now open 'elevator beam' and grinned at Trowa. "Well let's go slow poke. We don't have all day." Trowa ambled into the glass shoot, blue light immersing them as Duo punched in their destination.
"Please stand by. You will reach your destination, Al's food depot, in one minute." The voice switched off and they each closed their eyes as the glass shoot closed its door. A sensation, not unlike that of jumping high into the air, surrounded them; twisting and turning until they each touched back down. A pleasant draft accompanied the silent trip, like it was trying to catch up to the two that had flown so far in such a short distance. The door swished open on its power wheels to emit them to a brighter part of town. "Please, welcome to the red district where all your kitchen shopping needs are met."
Duo bounded out of the compartment noting another set of tubes on the opposite side of the street where more lines were being made. "Let's go find food." Duo wandered off taking in the sights before him like oxygen. The stores were set up almost as if the builder had been high, or at least too brilliant for normal terms. The buildings were basically stacked one on top of the other with stairs on the side to get to them. The smallest stores only had three layers. The biggest had at the most ten. Probably wanted to squeeze in as many as they could in such a vast area, Duo had thought during their first visit to the station. There was a store to their right selling only appliances, such as microwaves, which now where made to heat 'micro meals', a new invention that made things such as a whole turkey for thanksgiving or a portion of scrambled eggs, all packaged in a tiny little 1x1 inch square. On their left was another store selling fresh fruits from any known planet in the y sector. Some were a yellow puckish color and some seemed to bounce right off their shelves. To say they steered clear of such strange food was a wise choice in deed. If you were going to eat something, you wanted to make sure it stayed on your plate.
A little ways up they found Al's Food Depot where all your flying meal needs were met. It was a second story building of three, meaning it was larger then the average stores. They climbed the stairs bypassing the milling crowd also going up and down. Inside was a mirage of endless shelves. Moving walkways were provided for people that didn't know how to get to a certain product and large hovering directories pestered you at the beginning of the store until you reached the starting point of 'Grains'.
"I'll go to the vegetable and grain section, since you never pick out anything healthy and you go to the meat and dairy section. Find 'quality' things Duo…not just ground beef. I'll meet you in fruits." Trowa ambled away again, walking faster then the moving walkway towards the left side of the store. Duo grumbled on about eating awful vegetables and picked up a basket. He pressed the activating button on the handle and headed towards the meat department. By activating the basket, you not only calculate the price of the items you selected as you go but also enable the basket to become weightless no matter how heavy the items or quantity. Yep, people had become lazy now a day.
Duo ambled past the Antarian section, as well as Olta's, Veters, Mecha's, and plenty more species whose names could not be pronounced in the human tongue before he arrived at the aisle safe for human and or humanoid consumption. "Gotta love these wonderful ways of organization."
"Let's see, I believe this will do." Duo picked up a packet of 70 Micro Meals, steak-cut 5x6, and then a packet of 100 Micro Meals, pork chops-cut medium. "Well, where are those corn dogs he likes so much?" Duo went about the long aisle reading the titles of cow/nor tongue, yuck, ribs, snatch two of those, liver, double yuck, ground beef/norrf, snagged one of those, and hot dogs, can't stand plain ones anymore, he thought not seeing any corn dogs anywhere. Corn dogs as well as hot dogs had become a universal food that had been taken from earth as ingenious. They were famous but it was getting harder and harder to know what was in the regular hot dog, corn dogs were easier to judge because Trowa had basically grew up with them. He said they were safe, so Duo naturally believed him. "Where the heck are the corn dogs?"
"Are you looking for these?" A deep voice cut through his musings and Duo looked to his right to find a packet of 200 count Micro Meal corn dogs under his noise.
"Oh, great. Thank you. I thought they were out or something." Duo dumped the packet into his already loaded basket and looked up at his 'savor', who knew what Trowa would do if they didn't have his annual fix. Their storage had run out several months ago and they never restocked their supplies until their entire stock ran low enough to be in the red, meaning ten year old cans of beans, sprouts and creamed beef, yep, they had been in there for a long time.
The man before him, for that was what he was, a humanoid type akin to Trowa and himself, and nearly dropped the basket in his arms. When he thought of homing in on a thirty minute hotty for their two day 'vacation' he didn't expect to find the universes god standing not two feet from him. Tall, dark and handsome were his favorite combinations just like his coffee, another earthly item taken as a blessing. A good dose of caffeine in any ones blood, human or no, was a brilliant thing, and the smell, now that could just wake you up alone.
And to mention smells was this exceedingly good looking stranger wearing cologne…aftershave? He smelled spicy, heady in an almost hot and cinnamony way. Very intoxicating. Duo shook himself, blinking back to reality…maybe to intoxicating.
The man was at least a good two feet taller then Duo's own 5'6, and had a head of unruly chocolate brown hair. Oh yeah, got to remember the chocolate, Duo thought, sidetracking at the thought of having the sweet creamy goodness again. The hair fell over two eyes of the strangest blue Duo had ever seen in his life. It was akin to the electric blue the 'elevator beams' produced but with a less glowly look. His eyes spoke volumes…he was dangerous…that's what they said.
He was wearing 'civilian' attire and not that of an IPLE worker, thank god, Duo put in, don't want to open a can of worms like that on my social life. It was a strange set of clothing, most likely from one of the neighboring planets in the y sector. He wore a pair of regular black pants but with electric blue straps crisscrossing over each leg in an appealing, haphazard kind of way. Then there was the shirt, one of those second skin kind of dealio's the color of earth's blue sky gone stormy. Over that was a leather jacket, which surprised Duo since he hadn't seen much leather lately, thinking it was used for better things such as gun holsters and boots. If he owned a leather jacket, it could only mean immense cash flow…not that that was what Duo looked for in a playmate. Money was never a good thing to dig your hands into, especially if that person was a greedy sun of a bitch.
And looking down briefly Duo noticed that the man did in fact have on leather boots, shining brightly in the warehouses brilliant fluorescent lights. Yep, rich radar alert, rich radar alert, step back from the rich hot man and make a run for it, Duo's inner monologue took over, warning him about the many times he had disobeyed and gotten into trouble and hurt himself both physically and emotionally.
"Um, well thanks then. Excuse me." Duo gave the man a smile before walking past him, tail twitching unconsciously behind him. He didn't like having something that good looking being flaunted right under his nose, and he couldn't do more then look. Duo began his search again, aware that he had to get over to dairy and then meet Trowa over in the fruit aisle shortly. Oh, good, one of his favorites, 150 count Micro Meal chicken/avika/terra-cut to breast, wing, thigh and drum stick.
Duo glanced up after looking at the price of the items in the basket that had reached about 200 Antarian dollars, which wasn't too bad considering Antarian dollars had gone up in value over the years. The man was still there; actually he was picking up a packet of the chicken himself only a 100 count instead. "You know, the 150 count has smaller chickens then the 100." Duo felt his ears perk at the knowledge. He didn't know that, he just thought that the chickens were chicks…or something…they tended to kill the smaller ones and let the older ones live so they could harvest the eggs. Shows how much he followed food politics.
"I didn't know that." He said politely as he rechecked the aisle's, moving slowly away and towards the end where he would then turn and hit dairy. Finally he found the last items he was looking for, sausages, bacon, corn beef, and salami. Meat done! "Well, it was nice meeting you…um…"
"Heero, Heero Yuy." Duo glanced briefly to his left, his glasses showing no sign of ill begotten information trying to be passed by him in the form of a truth. So the man's name was Heero Yuy. The man walked back up to him, casually holding out his right hand, his left still holding the chicken. "Are you stocking up, or do you just get that hungry." Heero hadn't smiled, not once since their meeting, and with that kind of sarcastic statement one would expect a grin at least. No the man's face was immovable, but his eyes portrayed the humor in his comment instead.
"Yeah, stocking. All we had left was sprouts and creamed beef. Not exactly healthy if you ask me." He took the man's…Heero's, hand and shook it, surprised by the strong grip returned. Heero's strength was subtle but there none the less… Could probably bend steel…maybe even Gundanium, Duo thought privately as he slackened his grip, waiting for the other to do so as well.
"Hope to see you again sometime…" the man walked away, not even waiting for Duo to give him his name. All for the better though, best not to get involved…he nodded to himself, glad that the decision was taken out of his hand. Plus, it wasn't exactly a vacation; they had a lot to do to get ready for the new delivery that would need all his concentration. Plus tomorrow they would have to haul their butts down to the main registration office to pick up the GO notice that Demavont had surely sent at the last minute. Sometimes he just wanted claw the man until he was bloody.
Duo, none the less, sighed as Heero Yuy walked away, eyes taking in the information his glasses were labeling about the stranger's body. No diseases of any kind, in perfect condition, stressed on the perfect, but there was something his glasses couldn't get a grip on. The man was not just a humanoid, he was also tampered with on the genetic level like he and Trowa had been but beyond that Gizmo could pick up nothing else through the glasses.
"Alright. We only need milk 500 count will do, cheese-50 count, and yes…cottage cheese-20 count. Don't want Trowa getting all hissy." Duo said to himself as he made his way out of the aisle, heading for fruits. He could see Trowa, a sore thumb amid a group of blob like creatures that were sniffing the dry packages as if they could smell the fruit right through them. "Hey love, how goes it?"
The difference between meals that could be cooked in a microwave and those that were served cold were either to put it under cold water or immense freezing air. That way the moisture would be taken back into the cold product and pump itself back to its original form.
Trowa looked up from his search and smirked at the rather flushed look on his companion. Food always seemed to brighten his half-breed Kitsuna. "Not bad. I found mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower for you."
"Really, awesome…cause I grabbed the cheese!" Duo held the packet up happily before tossing it back in the basket. "Now, I know that we can only get two fruits so how 'bout you pick one and I pick one? How's that?"
"I was just about to suggest that anyway Duo." The man went back to looking through the banana packages, causing Duo to groan miserably. Banana's…nasty. Trowa gave him a look before he skittered away a little further down the aisle looking for a particular red fruit he had come to enjoy. It almost tasted like a mixture of cherries and grapes. It was harvested from a planet that was basically all plant life. Raining constantly with a sun much like earth's on the off days. It was called Oltava passion. The red was a sweeter variation while the white was dry…like white wine.
Finally, one of the last ones left, Duo pounced triumphantly and held a 30 count of a serving size of 4 in each cube. Just add water and they were as good as the day they were picked. It was a good bargain for sure.
"Did you find your sugar?" Trowa appeared beside him, looking at the package clutched in Duo's claws.
"It's not just sugar, thank you very much. It's very healthy." Duo placed it reverently among the other items in his basket and took a look at Trowa's. "Oh, man, you got asparagus? Yuck."
"Would you rather I got watered spinach?" Trowa asked sweetly as he took the asparagus out of his basket heading back towards the vegetable aisle but Duo grabbed a hold of the packet and put it back in Trowa's basket.
"No need for that crap getting on Phixieous. It'd kill her…and me." They then headed towards the back of the warehouse where all the dried and miscellaneous foods were kept.
"Now, please read the labels before you blindly start to throw things into your basket this time. I'd rather not have to deal with that whole dried arachnid problem again."
"Yeah, yeah. Let's see, we need ketchup…salt and pepper. What else?" Duo went over to Trowa and peaked about as he took a small clear bottle off the shelf labeled mustard.
"For the corn dogs." He said in a tiny voice as he walked back towards the front of the store where the cashiers were waiting. Before Duo followed he ran to the back of the aisle and grabbed a cube the size of his hand containing the gut rot he enjoyed so much. Caffeine through sparky cola, galaxy's best made soda. They still needed to get water but since they would need vast amounts of it they'd go to a store down the way that specialized in water and shipment.
Their total caused Trowa to glance sharply at Duo, who had snuck at least a years worth of chocolate and coffee into their baskets. "I need my caffeine." He said petulantly as Trowa reluctantly paid the smiling humanoid behind the counter. They watched as their groceries were loaded into a tube near the girl, ready to be sent to their ships docking loaders. Special treatment for those that asked for it. Some creatures absently thought to carry their bundles around with them everywhere not knowing that their docking fees covered the loading service.
"Now, the water and then you can go gallivanting off. You have your ear piece turned on?" Duo nodded and they headed over to Water Works for 'All Your Dehydrating Needs'. The main area was fundamentally a walk in fish tank, except they were the fish. They went to one of the individually manned stations and ordered the amount of water by selecting which package they desired. In the end they received a total of 6000 gallons to put into Phixieous' tanks for drinking, bathing and other tedious needs required around a ship.
"Now can we go play?"
"You know. For a brilliant man, you sure act like a child often enough." Trowa and Duo walked out of the store heading back towards the 'elevator beams' that would take them to their separate entertainments. "When you're done, head towards the mess hall in say about and hour or so. Don't dawdle. We should get as much rest as we can tonight." They had reached the lines, which were not as bad as the first ones were.
"Righty'o there. Never want to miss a meal with good ol' Dr. Alan Shear. Haven't seen him in a long time."
"Duo…I know this man was…is, an old friend, but still be careful of what you say to him…or what you say in that mess hall. Remember it's not a civilian diner. It's for IPLE workers."
"Yeah, I know that mother hen. Plus, Shear's been a good, faithful man to us for several years, keeping his mouth shut about anything he learns. Nothing bad has come up so far. Why start thinking bad things about him now?"
"Its not that I'm thinking bad of him, it's that, with the IPLE tightening its belt now, you may want to take it easy on who you share your…talents with." Trowa worriedly put an arm around his friend's shoulder, his one visible eye twinkling with sincerity.
"Alright Tro-bear. You don't have to give me that look to get your point across." Duo crossed his arms over his chest, leaning into the comforting shoulder. Sometimes, Trowa just seemed to press all the right buttons unknowingly.