RR2 – Everyone Needs A Hero
Chapter 43 - Discussions
You recognise it… I don't own it.
Heero carefully read the message Trowa had sent. Weighing up the risks he chose to print one copy, before eliminating all trace of the message.
He knew he would have to discuss the message with the others, but he would not let Harry find out about it yet.
Had J been present and known of the thoughts going through Heero's brain, he would have deemed his Perfect Soldier a failure. Heero not only had emotions, but was considering the emotional impact of things on others.
Though Heero would not have said whether it was the effect on Harry or Duo that affected his decision the most.
That night, after Harry had gone to bed (partially aided by the mild sedative Heero had slipped him), the four Pilots looked at the message their fifth had sent.
"Okay," Duo frowned, "Cub is simple, Harry. And the Desert Cat is Quatre. Hunters have to be Oz. Trowa is the Lion, though why I don't know… And I'm probably the Panther. But who's this Wolf? And what is a Panther?"
"You don't know?" Wufei was shocked.
"Didn't exactly have a lot of education," Duo shrugged, "Mine's mainly mechanical in nature. All chemistry and maths and physics. With a huge dollop of languages and weaponry. I don't know much about animals."
"It's a type of cat," Quatre explained simply, "Black fur. Stealthy."
Inwardly Heero agreed with the description. He only wished he dared find out just how 'cat-like' the braided boy was.
"Wolf can't be Heero," Quatre carried on, "It almost seems like there's another person involved. One who has ties to both OZ and Harry."
"There is an on-going research project in OZ," Heero spoke slowly, as he tried to remember the details, "It is entitled 'Wolf'. I came across it a few years ago."
"What was it about?" Wufei pressed.
"Super-soldiers," Heero recalled, "All senses enhanced. They were trying to reverse engineer someone else's work. All Doctor J would say on the subject was that there were serious draw-backs that they would not be able to overcome. Therefore I shouldn't worry about it."
"Could this 'Wolf' be the original subject?" Duo cut to the chase.
"Probably," Heero nodded, "It would explain the high number of geneticists assigned to that base."
"And he just let someone give Harry away?" Wufei was slightly in shock, "He has no Honour."
"What do we tell Harry?" Quatre asked.
"Nothing." Duo growled.
"He has a right to know, Maxwell." Wufei countered.
"To know what?" Duo retorted, "That his parents probably loved him. And when they died their friends let Harry be given to those monsters? I don't want to keep things from him. But I will not allow him to be harmed either physically or emotionally. How do you think he will interpret this? As him being a bad kid. It would do more harm than good at this point, Chang."
"Agreed," Quatre nodded, "Emotionally, he's very unstable right now. And he will be for some time… When he's stronger."
"Not just emotionally," Duo came in, "Unless it is an absolute emergency do not allow Harry to heal anyone!"
"Why?" Wufei frowned, "Maxwell, the child shows great courage in defying what he has been told to aid others. You would interfere with that? He has shows great empathy and compassion."
"The injuries don't vanish," Duo sighed, "They are simply transferred."
"Allah!" Quatre leapt to his feet as he figured it out, "And you haven't treated him?"
"Calm down," Duo ordered, "Injuries on him heal quicker and cleanly. He's already healed. But he still goes through the pain… Coupled with the energy it takes…"
"He has a strong spirit." Wufei breathed in awe.
"That he does." Quatre agreed.
"So what do we do now?" Duo asked, "I mean OZ destroyed my buddy. Cattie's is gone as well."
"Nataku is also destroyed." Wufei added.
"So we're four Gundam Pilots with one Gundam," Duo summarised, "Great!"
"Soon to be two." Quatre announced.
"What?" Duo blinked.
"How?" Wufei frowned.
"Instructor H," Quatre smiled slightly, "Left me blueprints for a Suit called Gundam Zero. While I can never truly replace Sandrock, once he was destroyed I sent orders that Gundam Zero should be constructed… Before I was captured. The men doing it had the parts already. So it shouldn't take that long."
"Are you sure you can trust them?" Heero was worried about security.
"They constructed Sandrock." Quatre countered. "I trust them. They don't know who I am. Or where I am. We're safe."
"So we will be at half strength." Wufei sighed.
"Not for long." Duo smirked, "I didn't say anything earlier… But I guess there's no harm in it… I got a message from G today. Don't worry about security. Pestilence is canny. He said that he was sorting out my toys. He's fixing Deathsycthe and, knowing him, Nataku as well. We just need to wait for the sign that they're ready. Then we bust in and pick 'em up."
"And you didn't say anything because?" Wufei growled.
"Because I thought it was only my buddy." Duo fired back, "My problem. But you deserve to know. Yours is at stake too."
"You and Wufei need to stay in space," Quatre stated, "Nearby for when your Gundams are ready. Every moment they are in OZ territory is a risk. When word comes, you're going to have to move fast."
"We can't stay all together," Heero announced, "Too big a target."
"Agreed," Wufei nodded, "However Maxwell and I will need to co-ordinate our actions."
"Cattie," Duo frowned slightly at the blond, "You have a plan. What is it?"
"Through a series of links," Quatre started to explain, "I have received word that former Lieutenant Noin is seeking our aid in protecting the Sanq Kingdom. My suggestion is that Heero and I go there."
"No." Heero replied quickly.
"They need our help." Quatre countered, "They don't have any defences."
"No." Heero repeated.
"Noin isn't part of OZ anymore," Quatre declared, "She's in charge of Relena Peacecraft's guard. The Queen of Sanq."
"She's a security risk." Heero scowled.
"Noin?" Wufei sniffed, "She does not count as a soldier. She does not have the strength of will."
"Relena!" Heero almost spat.
"She's that Relena?" Duo gulped.
"You know her?" Quatre was surprised.
"She's a walking security nightmare!" Duo snarled.
"How so?" Quatre was confused.
"She drives around in a pink limo." Duo started to count off on his fingers.
"She's Zech's sister." Heero added.
"Really?" Duo was surprised, "Didn't know that. She's famous. She knows both Heero and I are Gundam Pilots… And she has a huge crush on Heero."
"How huge?" Quatre pressed.
"Stalker-huge." Duo replied.
"She physically assaulted Harry upon discovering that he might know my location." Heero stated.
"What?" Quatre exclaimed.
"She shook him," Heero explained further, "A small child dressed in duck covered pyjamas."
"We still should go." Quatre argued, "You may not like her. But right now… She needs us. She's becoming a beacon for peace. It's another way of fighting. Only with words not actions. Her actions are pacifist… But she doesn't realize the fires her words are starting."
"I will listen to Noin." Heero agreed after much discussion from Quatre.
"Thank you." Quatre smiled.
"Who will take Harry to care for?" Wufei asked.
Duo dissolved into giggles. Falling from his chair in his laughter.
"What's the matter?" Quatre frowned.
"I just thought," Duo pulled himself upright, "OZ are terrified of us… How do you think they'd react if they found out that we dealt with child care along with fighting this war?"
"They wouldn't believe it." Heero replied softly.
"If Harry was to stay with Wufei and I," Duo declared, "He'd probably be nearly constantly moving. He'd stay safe that way. OZ would never get near him, because he'd never be in one place long enough to be noticed."
"My plan," Quatre countered, "Involves taking Harry to Sanq."
"OZ would notice." Duo countered.
"Blue contact lenses," Quatre stated, "And small children are pretty androgynous. Harry becomes my one of sisters' daughter Harriet. A little tomboy. My father has dark hair, so the hair colour wouldn't be totally out of the question. I could sell it to anyone. At least for a couple more years."
"Harry decides." Duo announced, "He's gotta have a choice. No leaning on him."
"Agreed." The nods went round the group.
"And we hold off the decision about Sanq, until Noin has her say." Quatre added.
"When will that be?" Heero frowned.
"Tomorrow," Quatre shrugged, "There was no risk. She is to be in a small shuttle, on her own at set co-ordinates. All we have to do is not turn up… But I believe it is in our best interests to do so."
"Albus," McGonagall looked at the Headmaster, "I didn't see Remus at the meeting. Do you know where he is? I'm worried about him. After that night… Well, he has no one."
"Remus is fine." Albus dismissed the remark, "I must go. I have a meeting at the Wizengamot."
Albus left, while Minerva was still drawing breath to press further.
"Sometimes," Minerva sighed, "I don't think he even listens to me, Fawkes."
The phoenix gave the professor a look that almost seemed to say: 'And you think he listens to me?'
"Could you take a message to Remus?" Minerva asked, "You don't have to. I'm just worried. Remus doesn't have much to live for. He's always been one of my students that I looked out for more than most. Not just for the obvious reason."
Noin's small shuttle landed on the Sweeper ship the next day.
She willingly let Wufei check her for weapons, before entering a discussion with the Pilots about the need for security in Sanq.
Things seemed to be going well, when the peace was slightly shattered.
"Wufei!" Harry came tearing into the hanger, waving a piece of paper, "I did it! I did it!"
"A child?" Noin turned to face Harry, who had slowed upon seeing Noin, "And you called me weak willed? You called me a bleeding heart! You who drag around a child with you?"
Harry had reached the Pilots. His eyes not moving from Noin as she continued to yell.
"Just what do you think you are doing?" Noin snapped, "Dragging a child into all of this?"
No one said anything.
Noin continued to rant. Her anger almost tangible. Quatre was desperately trying not to sense it.
Harry was clinging Duo in fright. Too scared to cry out. Desperately keeping silent, even as tears poured from his eyes.
Duo lifted Harry, so that the boy could cling tighter to his big brother.
"I mean, I knew you were reckless, but this is sheer idiocy! He isn't safe. Let me put in an orphanage."
Heero, Quatre and Wufei closed ranks, blocking the furious woman from getting near the pair of braided boys.
"Duo," Quatre snapped, "Get Harry out of here."
Duo ran from the hanger. Not even bothering to look back in anger.
With the exit of Duo and Harry, Noin was left with nothing to focus on. Glancing around, she started to realize that she might have said something wrong.
Heero had a gun in his hand. And while it wasn't yet aimed at her. It didn't seem as if he would hesitate if she pushed him.
Wufei's fingers were clasped around his sheathed sword. The tension in his arm made it clear that only Quatre's words prevented him from drawing it.
Quatre's face was cold. His eyes hard and fierce.
And it wasn't just the Pilots. There was complete silence in the hanger bay. Not one single Sweeper was so much as tightening a screw. However they all held a tool in their hands as they stared at Noin.
"Miss Noin," Quatre spoke slowly, clearly and firmly, "Do not presume that in this instance we desire or care for your opinion. Kindly keep your remarks to yourself. Understand this, we have our reasons. They are not for us to explain or justify to you. It would do you well to remember that it is you who has come to us desiring aid. Insulting my brother does not incline us to listen. Let alone agree."
"A brother?" Noin frowned, "You are the Winner heir. You have twenty nine sisters. You don't have any brothers."
"Duo is my brother. For he has shed blood with me. As have Heero and Wufei." Quatre deliberately did not mention Trowa, "Harry is Duo's brother. And I claim him as my own. None of us contest the relationship and you have no right to."
"Need any help, boys?" Howard asked, his words light, but his eyes were cold as he fiddled with a spanner.
"We've got it, thank you, Howard," Quatre smiled slightly, "Though I think Harry might need his grandfather."
"You think I'm that old, boy?" Howard teased, "I get it. Don't worry. The kid doesn't understand kind uncles."
Well I had to work in Gundam Zero somewhere. And the Noin scene has been floating around on my hard-drive for a little while.
Okay, now I'm off to coral my muses for my other stories. They're being a little… Intermittent.