Encounters

By Mannd

I do not own Gundam Wing nor Harry Potter This will have one slash pairing much later in the story.

Duo, played with the end of his braid as he glared at the large purple faced man who was talking loudly to his horse-faced wife.

"Come along, Petunia, dear," the man said, making his voice echo up and down the quiet, early morning street, and Duo, from his hiding place between the meticulously cut hedges of #3 and the house, saw several neighbors looking out their windows, glaring at the man. "We need to leave so we can get to the ski slopes on time."

"Coming, Vernon," Petunia made sure her voice was just as loud, "I'm so glad your vice president position pays for a week's vacation in Switzerland."

The next door neighbor rolled her eyes and closed her bedroom window with a loud snap. Duo hid a snicker at the disgruntled looks on Vernon and Petunia's faces.

"Dudley!" Vernon bellowed. "Let's go!"

"But I'll miss my shows," whined a huge boy who walked out of the house, his eyes filled with tears.

Duo noticed with disgust that the boy really needed better acting skills to properly pull off the pout and puppy eyes. 'Heero could make better ones than that kid.' He thought, then snorted in laughter as he tried to picture them, He watched as the family, after five more minutes of fussing and loud talking, finally pulled away and left the house empty.

"They are lucky that I am going to be here to housesit," Duo murmured as he looked at his watch, marking the time, "otherwise with everyone knowing that they're gone, the house would be stripped down to the paint." He shook his head, and then pulled his jacket collar up just a bit higher, as a cold wind made its way down his back.

Ten minutes later, Duo scaled the back garden wall and quickly moved to the back door. After a few seconds with his lock picks, the back door silently swung open and Duo stuck his head in and crept into the dark and quiet house. He quickly looked through all the doors on the main floor; living room: stiff, formal, ugly; parlor: same; dining room: table, scrubbed; kitchen: surgically spotless; laundry: enough soap for a few loads. Upstairs, he shook his head in disgust, three bedrooms, one storage room, and a bathroom. 'That kid needs to learn what it is like to want," he mused to himself after seeing several broken toys and a new, state-of-the-art television that had obviously been smashed with a foot.

Duo quickly let himself back out of the house, locking the door behind him. He shimmed over the wall and followed a trail that he had made for himself. He looked under a tall tree and knelt next to a large bush beside it. He smiled softly as he stared down the barrel of a gun at the small blonde hidden there. "Hey, Quatre," he whispered softly, "it's Duo. How you doing, buddy?"

Quatre lowered the gun he had raised when he heard someone moving around and tried to smile at his braided friend, but it came out as more of a grimace instead. "Fine," he panted in pain, "can't wait to go skiing."

Duo laughed, and then carefully helped his friend stand. The two of them began moving back the way Duo had come from. "I found a place we can stay," Duo said. "The people in it let everyone know that they will be gone for at least a week."

Quatre didn't say anything; he just concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. He had several broken ribs, deep cuts on his legs, and a sprained wrist. His moblie suit was a smoking pile of metal, but Duo swore that he would find a way to get it up and running, at least until they could make it to the ocean a few hundred kilometers away. Duo's friend, Howard, was to meet them at the dock in four days. Quatre bit back a groan as Duo carefully helped him over the wall, panting as they slid down the other side.

"Almost there, Quat," Duo encouraged his friend and gently brushed Quatre's sweat soaked bangs out of his eyes. Quatre nodded. The pair moved to the back door, and were quickly in the house. Duo eased Quatre onto a kitchen chair and then darted back out. Five minutes later, all of their equipment bags sat on the living room floor, a thick blanket covering the couch. Duo locked the door and made sure that the blinds were pulled tight. "Come on, Q-chan," he said, helping his friend to his feet. "Let's get you on the couch."

Quatre nodded and the two of them made their way into the dark living room. Duo bustled around, closing shades, sealing them with tape. He then turned the living room lights on and helped the blonde pilot take off his shoes, then pants and shirt. Quatre smothered several gasps as Duo gently probed his ribs, pulled out a medical kit from one of their bags, and quickly taped the other boy's ribs. A brace was made for Quatre's sprained wrist, and his cuts were bandaged. Duo hid it well, but he was more worried about the wrist than the ribs at the moment. The ribs could be bound and stabilized for the brief flight to the docks to meet up with Howard, but the wrist was going to be needed for the delicate landing on the salvage vessel. Duo finally handed Quatre a small handful of pain pills, and held the cup for him to drink them down, then gently laid the boy back on the couch. Quatre took a careful, deep breath and closed his eyes, willing himself to sleep. Duo watched his friend for a few moments before picking up one of the bags and slipping back out of the house. He had a Gundam to fix.

Harry Potter held his breath as the braided teen walked by his cupboard again, this time carrying the comforter from Aunt Marge's bed. Harry carefully slid the vent screen open a crack and watched as the teen moved the antique ("Never touch it, boy!") coffee table and made up a bedroll next to the sleeping blonde, before flicking on the telly, turning the volume down low and flipping through the channels.

Harry recognized the pilots from the pictures that had been in Uncle Vernon's newspaper the day before. They were Gundam pilots, and wanted criminals. Harry chewed his lip, and then took a sip out of one of the bottles of water his Aunt had handed him that morning. He had to make the water last for the eight days he was here. He was grateful that Aunt Petunia had snuck him two extra bottles and several packages of the peanut butter and crackers that Dudley didn't like anymore, when Vernon had been loading their luggage in the boot.

Harry took one of the packages, pulled it under his blanket, put his pillow on top, and then carefully opened the crinkly package. He watched the braided teen carefully, stopping when the teen frowned and muted the television, looking around. Harry made sure to breathe slowly through his mouth, and sighed silently when the teen unmuted the telly with a shrug, and went back to watching the news.

Harry pulled the six crackers out from the package and nibbled on them, trying to make them last and fill his empty stomach. The braided teen, he learned was named Duo, had made a wonderful smelling soup, that Quatre, the hurt teen, had complimented, and had made Harry's mouth water.

After the crackers were a memory, Harry quickly took care of business in the old coffee can that his aunt had left him, and then snuggled down to sleep. He froze when the cracker package crinkled; he had forgotten it was there! "Mice?" he heard Duo say as the telly was muted again, and the teen walked by the cupboard and into the spotless kitchen. Harry swallowed hard and listened as Duo looked around the kitchen before muttering and quickly moving up the stairs. Harry carefully pulled out the package and put the crinkling paper at the foot of the steps, and lay back down again. He was drifting off to sleep when Duo came back down the stairs, muttering to himself.

Harry jerked awake, he had been nodding off, his mind happily placing himself in the torn up book that currently sat on his lap.

"Duo!"

Harry quickly flicked off his flashlight. He moved to look out the small vent and realized that Quatre was delirious with a fever. In his thrashing, he had knocked over the bottle of water that Duo had left and it had spilled before rolling under the couch. Quatre quieted down, muttering to himself in another language, and then thrashed again, hissing in pain. Harry blinked back tears at the boy's obvious distress and pain and hoped Duo would come back from wherever he was. Quatre whimpered in his sleep and Harry gently pushed against the cupboard door. Last year, when the Dursleys had left him in the cupboard overnight, Harry had pushed against the door and the lock had somehow slid open. When the Dursleys didn't say anything about it the next day, Harry had tried it again. Somehow, the door was able to unlock and relock itself, almost like magic. Harry knew better than to use this 'skill' every time he was locked up, he didn't want his Uncle or Dudley to catch him out.

The lock quietly snicked open and Harry pushed the door open an inch, watching the door to the kitchen, but Duo didn't appear. He crawled out and shut the cupboard door, then moved into the living room. Staying low on his hands and knees, he picked up the empty bottle, and slipped into the kitchen. He turned the tap on low and filled the bottle up, then picked up a towel and returned to the sick teen's side. He carefully put down the bottle, tightened the cap, and then began to mop up the water. "Heero?" Quatre said and Harry froze looking up. "Trowa?" Quatre's fevered eyes were on him and the boy backed away in fear. "Who are you?"

"No one, sir," Harry whispered as he quickly moved out of the range of Quatre's seeking fingers, nervously clutching the wet rag. "I'm no one."

Quatre closed his eyes and sighed, seeming to go back to sleep. It took several minutes for Harry's shaking to subside before he moved back to the small water puddle and finished cleaning it up. Harry debated whether or not to go back to his cupboard, but after a few more soft moans from Quatre, he sat down on the floor at Quatre's feet and watched the fevered teen sleep.

"There's someone in the house," Quatre whispered in Arabic to Duo, as Duo helped him up the stairs to use the bathroom.

"What?" Duo looked shocked, and wondered if the Sandrock pilot was really so feverish that he was hallucinating. "Who?"

"Don't know," Quatre said, steadying himself against the wall as Duo led him down the hall. "A boy, black hair, green eyes, says his name is 'no one'."

Duo snorted softly, "Are you sure?"

Quatre hummed softly, "I knocked over the water bottle and spilled it." He gasped in pain as the door to the bathroom was opened and he was ushered in. "He cleaned it up and got me more water. I watched him for a bit. He left the room just before you came back, and I heard a soft rattle."

Duo nodded. "I'll do another check," he said and left Quatre to do his business as he did another quick sweep of the house. He was leaning against the wall when Quatre emerged, and he helped the teen back down the stairs. "A kitchen towel is wet and lying against the sink. The cabinets show evidence of someone sneaking something out, but no sign of anyone yet," Duo sighed. "I'll leave you a transponder; call me if he shows up."

Quatre nodded, and was glad to be lying back down.

Harry emerged from his 'room' a half an hour later, after Duo had left, and drifted back into the living room. Quatre was asleep, the telly remote in his hand; the channel volume on low. Harry sat on the floor, drawing his knees to his chest, and watched the screen. He froze when he felt fingers touch his hair. "So nice," Quatre muttered sleepily. "You're not no one," he smiled. "Don't be afraid; I won't hurt you, we won't hurt you."

"I'm sorry," Harry said, trying to stop his shaking. "I didn't mean to wake you." Harry tried not to hunch his shoulders. "Please don't tell the Dursleys that I came out."

"I won't," Quatre said, reassuring the frightened boy. "What's your name?"

Harry swallowed hard, "My uncle calls me boy, but my name's Harry."

"Well, Harry," the blonde pilot smiled, "my name's Quatre, and my friend is Duo." Harry nodded his head. "Can you get me some more water?"

Harry smiled and took the empty plastic bottle and ran to the kitchen. He turned on the tap and began filling the bottle up when the back door swung open. Harry gasped in fear and ran, his sock covered feet sliding on the linoleum. He hit the swinging kitchen door and scrambled into his cupboard just as the kitchen door opened. He crawled as far under the steps as he could, his knees to his chest, shaking in fear. His uncle had caught him out and about, and he left his new friend... Harry was so ashamed, but he was so afraid. The door to his cupboard opened slowly. Harry whimpered and tried to push his way further under the steps, his socks slipping on the floorboards. He watched as someone came into the cupboard, and blinked in surprise when he noticed the person didn't have the bulk of his uncle and was talking gently to him.

"...didn't mean to scare you, kid," the braided pilot watched the terrified eyes come back from wherever his mind had taken him. "My name is Duo. Why don't you tell me what your name is?"

"Harry, sir," Harry said through his chattering teeth. "Harry Potter."

Duo smiled at the boy and leaned up against the wall, stretching one of his legs out so that it was in the hall, the other bent at the knee. He looked around the 'room', his face darkening momentarily as he took in the colored picture that proclaimed the small room to be Harry's. He looked back at Harry, and sighed. "I'm glad you are helping me take care of Quatre," Duo said, his voice still soft, "I have to be out doing things, so it's good to know that someone is here if something happens."

"I'll just make him worse," Harry mumbled into his knees.

"Naw," Duo said, shaking his head, his braid bouncing a bit, "you are actually helping me a great deal."

"Really?" Harry had uncurled a bit and Duo nodded.

"Yep," he said and motioned Harry closer to him.

Harry hesitated for a few seconds then crawled out from under the steps and crept closer to Duo. He sat down, subconsciously copying Duo's relaxed pose of one leg stretched the other bent. Duo suppressed a grin at that.

"How can I help?"

"Well," Duo said, rubbing his chin, pretending to think. "You can help Quatre with eating, and getting him water, and..." he leaned over and whispered in Harry's ear, "taking him to the loo."

Harry giggled behind his hands.

"Really?" Harry asked again, moving closer to the pilot.

"Yep, and do you know how you can help me right now?" Harry shook his head. "By coming out and helping me fix dinner. What do you say, champ?"

"Brilliant!" Harry exclaimed, then stopped and whispered, "Can I eat some of it too? I won't take much, just a few bites, I have crackers and..."

Harry stopped babbling when Duo put his finger on Harry's nose, "You, kid, are eating with us!" Harry's eyes became huge, and he mouthed, 'wow!' "So come on, let's cook!"

Harry watched in concern as Duo muttered over the thermometer that he had pulled out of Quatre's mouth the next morning. "Mr. Duo, sir?"

"Just Duo, kid," Duo said as he pulled out his laptop and quickly logged on. "What's up?"

"He's really sick, isn't he?" Harry put a wet cloth on the blonde's sweaty brow and watched him nervously.

"A few of his cuts are infected, I need to get some antibiotics for him," Duo bit his lip, "but where?"

Harry frowned in thought, listening as Duo muttered about what could happen if he broke into a pharmacy. He knew that OZ was looking for the two pilots; they had watched the evening news report, before Harry had bedded down with Duo on the living room floor. Harry had giggled, he had never been allowed to go to a sleepover and he had wondered if that was what they were like. His eyes lit up and he ran up the steps to Aunt Petunia's bathroom and, opening the medicine cabinet, found a bottle of pills that had been there for a month.

"Duo, sir," Harry said, coming down the stairs, "is this what you need?"

Duo took the brown bottle from him and looked at it, then up at Harry.

"Where did you get this?" he asked.

"Uncle Vernon was sick last month and the doctor gave him those, but they made Uncle Vernon break out into a bad rash, so he got a different 'scription," Harry said breathlessly.

Duo quickly typed into his laptop and held his breath, waiting for a response. Within five minutes he was grinning as he pulled Harry into a hug. "This will work," he said, and Harry laughed.

Four days turned into six, as Howard's boat had had to fight through a small hurricane outside of the former United States' southern states. Tomorrow they were leaving, and the three friends had had a pizza, ice cream, and movie party as a kind of farewell party. Harry had fallen asleep halfway through the second movie, his head resting in Duo's lap. Duo frowned as he watched Harry sleep. "What are we going to do, Quat?" He touched the boy's hair. "I don't want to leave him here, but we can't take him with us."

"I know," Quatre sighed, he had been thinking the same thing. "But I think we can help him."

"How?" Duo asked.

Quatre flipped open his laptop and began typing, they had been in constant communication with the other pilots and Sally since they had been in Surrey. Quatre felt well enough to pilot SandRock to the boat. He might not be able to land it on the boat due to his wrist, but the salvage boat would be able to pull his suit out of the water. "I am asking the other pilots to help keep an eye on him. We can help him when the war is over." He showed Duo the responses that he had received. Heero's had been the usual 'mission accepted', Trowa's had been a one-word answer of 'yes', and Wufei's was a terse agreement. "Harry's eye glass prescription needs to be updated," Quatre said. "I think that is important. So when we get a lull, whoever is free needs to take him and get him new lenses."

Duo nodded, "I've got some money I was going to leave for the kid." He frowned at Harry's ragged trainers. "He can go to the second hand store and buy some clothes that fit him and, if they look ratty enough, these guys would never know."

"I wish we could leave him a laptop, but I don't know how often they check his 'room'," Quatre's mouth twisted in disgust at the word. "I am going to leave him our e-mail addresses, and an emergency phone number."

"Really?" Harry said sleepily as he opened his eyes and stared tearfully into his friend's face. "But why would you do that for me?"

Duo pulled Harry up so that he was sitting on Duo's lap and hugged him. "You are special, kid," Duo said softly but compellingly to Harry. "Never let anyone tell you different."

Harry hugged Duo hard, "You're my bestest friend, you and Quatre." Harry sniffed, "I hope you won't forget me."

"Never," Quatre said, running his fingers through Harry's hair.

It was with a great pang that Duo locked Harry's cupboard behind the boy early the next morning. Duo had already taken their bags to the Mobile suits, set the house to rights, and made it look untouched. Quatre was leaning against the wall, holding his ribs, trying to hide his pain. Harry had hugged his arm, rather than his chest, and then hugged Duo just as hard before slipping into the small space. Under the picture of Harry's room was a new picture that he had drawn of all five of the pilots and himself, and on the back of that was an e-mail address and a phone number. "Only for really big emergencies," Duo had cautioned, and Harry nodded. In two months he was going to meet another pilot, who was going to take him to the eye doctor and get him new lenses. He would be able to see the blackboard at school!

Quatre blinked back a tear as Duo touched the door, his face full of anger and anguish. "It won't be long, kid," Duo promised.

"I know," Harry's muffled voice came through the vent. "Be careful."

"Duo," Quatre said, his eyes looking to the front of the house, where a car had pulled into the driveway. "We have to go."

Duo nodded and rapped lightly on the door, "See you soon, Harry!"

"Bye," Harry said, but the two were already gone. The back door's lock clicked into place as the front door was banged open and the Dursleys came in, dropping their luggage at the door, Petunia fussing over Dudley's broken leg.

Comments and Criticism Welcomed

AN: thank you to my betas!

Edit: Nov 19 '09 - I hate FF formating!