A Gundam Interlude(In several Parts) by Leejeeg

Disclaimers: No part of me owns any part of Gundam. This is just for fun-no

money involved.

Sue me only if you realllly want my vast collection of bovinity.

(I hoard cow knick knacks)

Warnings: Not my first ff, but definitely my first concerning the G boys. The story or ficlets, depending on how you look at it is during an AUish imagined interval of peace. This is my take on some of the things that might have occurred. Weird because each segment takes on different writing styles, yet is cohesive. Fun to write-hopefully fun to read. P.S. Poor Wufei really gets some abuse in this one. Sorry Wu-man; just the way it panned out :0 Ohhh yeah, nearly forgot-definitely lemon (eventually, hehe). The usual pairings. And Looooooooonnnnnnnnnnng.

Ruminations (1st Part)

It was damp and cold in the small cell. Dank, was the word, Heero thought to himself. It was damn stupid of them to have gotten caught, and this time he couldn't even blame the braided baka. Speaking of whom, Duo leaned, slumped over on the wall on the opposite side of their tiny confinement, groaning.

It was Duo who had urged Heero to go on without him. Heero, against all his training and better judgment had refused to do it. He went back for his fellow pilot and now they sat in an Oz cell, awaiting their fate.

Duo groaned again. He had a gash on the left side of his forehead and looked as pale as a ghost, except for the vivid streak of scarlet that ran down the side of his otherwise flawless face. Flawless? Why am I thinking such foolishness now? Heero shook his head to clear away frivolous thoughts. He studied Duo for a moment. The boy was sweaty and looked like he was on the verge of passing out. Rising stiffly Heero went over to him and tilted his face up. "Look at me," he commanded in a monotone.

Duo obeyed, violet eyes shifting upward, strangely comforted by Heero's voice. He was used to the cold tone and it helped to hear it here in the cold and the dark of their prison. Heero examined him briefly and perfunctorily, but Duo was reassured by his strong yet gentle touch. "You have a mild concussion, Duo."

He grunted in response. He felt Heero settle down next to him instead of returning to his side of the room.

Duo glanced at Heero. He was grimy and there were a few scratches and bruises along the length of his arms and on part of his muscular chest. Other than that he looked no worse for wear. His brain tried to sort out recent events.

They had had their mission orders, as per Heero's laptop as usual. Break into Oz weapons factory, blow it up, yadda, yadda, yadda. As luck would have it-bad luck, that is, they were discovered before they could get away. The mission was a success, but they got caught. One of the Oz guards managed to clip Duo soundly on his forehead with the butt of a rifle. Duo was still wondering why he hadn't been shot. He'd nearly blacked out, cursing himself for his weakness. Heero was a few yards ahead. "Go!" Duo yelled when he saw Heero look back for him. Much to his utter astonishment, Heero doubled back and hoisted him to his feet, dragging him along.

He came back for me. Only a real friend would do that. Duo bent forward at the waist as he was overcome with a wave of dizziness.

Heero observed him, concerned. He knew it was necessary to keep Duo awake, at least for the next few hours. Then he caught himself. Why? They had no means of escape and would probably die soon. Because, his mind supplied, there is always hope. Heero was certain that Duo would think so. Anyway, reluctant as he was to admit it, he would rather listen to Duo's inane chatter than this empty silence before the end came.

He used to think that when his duty had been accomplished, he would welcome the inevitable peace of self-destruction. That is, if he could actually succeed. He was trained and engineered to be the perfect soldier. Emotions were distracting and could endanger a mission. Apart from his objective, what more was there? What life was there? He was not interested in others, in being sociable. He was cold and efficient-like a machine. Except that somehow he'd manage to acquire Duo and the other three pilots as friends. He did not understand, but he did not hate it either. Ever since meeting Duo and the other three Gundam pilots, he'd revised his opinion about self-destructing. Without realizing it, he'd altered his "mission".

Duo moaned pitifully, snapping Heero's attention away from his thoughts. "Duo, tell me about L2."

Duo looked at him. His vision was a little blurry and now he was hearing things. He thought he heard Heero ask him to talk to him. He laughed, his voice hoarse. "It's funny, Heero, but I could'a just sworn you asked me about L2."

"I did, baka. Talk. Keep awake."

He had a concussion. Of course. He took a shaky breath. "Okay."

Duo talked for quite some time. He told Heero all about his life, the homelessness, the fear, the thieving, the hunger, omitting some of the darker edged aspects of his "stay alive at all costs existence" and what had happened to Maxwell Church. It felt kind of good to tell someone-Heero. It felt good to tell Heero these things. Exhausted, he quieted. He felt something nudging him and he looked down; Heero's foot. "Stay awake."

"Right. Why don't you talk now."

"Hn."

"Your life story too boring? Maybe you're right-after all you said I have to stay awake." Duo grinned devilishly and absurdly Heero was relieved. "Baka."

Duo looked like he was going to pass out again, so he began talking, telling him the sad story of his own life, things he had never told another living soul. It was easy since he was convinced they would not be alive much longer. They talked about the little girl. Duo was sympathetic. "It wasn't your fault. You didn't know."

Maybe it was true, but that didn't make him feel better, nor did it change the fact that he had nightmares about it. Heero did his job but that did not mean he liked it. He did not like killing people. Despite all appearances he was human.

Duo tried to sit up straighter. Heero reached under his armpits and lifted him carefully, trying not to jar his head. "This war has made us all do things we regret, Heero. But ultimately there will be peace however hard won, and it will be in part because of what we did."

"Hn." Heero rested his own weary head against cool steel. He could bend steel, but at the moment he doubted he could bust through an entire wall.

He considered Duo's words. This was the first time they had ever had such a conversation and he was dumbfounded at the acuity of Duo's perceptions and his overall intelligence. He acknowledged that his fellow Gundam pilot was good at his job. He was skilled and always did his duty-always got it done. Shinigami was no one to take lightly, and he did not make the mistake of underestimating him, as others did. Suddenly the proverbial light went on in his head. Duo Maxwell was no fool. Far from it. His constant chatter, his jokes and capriciousness were all a component of a carefully constructed mask. But Duo was also full of life, with an indestructible spirit despite his background. He somehow found a way to be happy and have fun. Life would be incredibly boring without him.

Heero looked all around. There had to be some way out of this box. He turned towards Duo, only to find him slumping again. He gently shook his shoulder. "Duo. Duo, wake up."

"Why?" Deathscythe's pilot said groggily. Heero shook him again. "Wake up!"

Duo started. He had begun to lose consciousness, thinking about Heero. Heero had demonstrated that beneath his cold "perfect soldier" exterior, he cared about him if only a little. Of course, his seeming "concern" could just be because he was an efficient soldier and wanted to ensure that they could still do their jobs if they could escape. Duo preferred to think the former. Everyone thought Heero was not much more than a flesh and blood automaton, but Duo saw beyond that. For all the insidious "training" J put him through, Heero was still more than just a soldier. He was a teenage boy, he was human. Heero's coldness was his mask, and now Duo saw through it, as surely as Heero had seen through his. "You know, Heero, you're my best friend."

Heero's eyes went wide. How could anyone consider him a "best" friend? He thought about it. They had been through a great deal together, not all of it pleasant and still managed to derive camaraderie from their association with one another. Although he was friendly with the other pilots he considered Duo to be his "best" friend, even though he would never admit it, could barely admit it to himself. He wasn't even sure what this "friendship" actually meant, but still he felt warmed by Duo's words. All he could manage was another, "hn." But Duo understood, and grinned a little.

They both started when they heard movement beyond the cell door. This is it, was their simultaneous thought. Duo lifted his arm with a scrape against the wall. It landed heavily on Heero's shoulders. They braced themselves as the heavy door swung open with a bone chilling creak.

Duo's shoulders sagged with relief at the sight of a familiar blonde head. "Q-man!"

Heero stood immediately. "Quatre, Duo has a concussion. We need to get him to a hospital." With that he scooped Duo up in his arms. Trowa and Wufei were guarding the hall. "Hey, guys!" Duo said brightly before passing out.