Author's Notes: This one turned out...interesting. I was expecting Duo or Bai to take over in this one, with their rather forceful personalities...instead Kyoko took center stage and keeps it. You also get introduced to a character who has not left my head since I started this story. XD;

Just a warning - Though I will be pulling from Frozen Teardrop for background info (such as Heero and Treize's parentage), THIS DEVIATES FROM FROZEN TEARDROP. Big time. Heero was never frozen, etc.

Disclaimer: Gundam Wing belongs to Sunrise, Sotsu, Bandai, etc. Old World of Darkness belongs to White Wolf. All OCs that show up are my brain babies.

The Black Road

by KaidaPoi

Chapter Four: Puppy

It took everything she was to hold back. And make it look like she wasn't. Kyoko couldn't be the 'pint-sized punchbuggy' here...the sort of strength she had, even in her homid form, was beyond human and would draw suspicion. It was also very, VERY hard to not give the training instructor some memorable bruises...maybe a scar or two...

Sergeant Major Chang was a misogynistic bastard who, unfortunately, was damn good at his job and was still fair. How he managed that, Kyoko wasn't sure. But the way he talked to her just pissed her off. DAMN she was glad she was so much better at keeping her Rage in control than she was even two years ago. Last thing the sentai and Une needed was her blowing her cover. She sighed and ran a hand through her hair, which she'd had to stop dying. Her natural black was definitely showing. Of course, it didn't help that she kept it religiously short...cut to chin-length every month, keeping it out of her way. She flopped on the grass in the park attached to the apartment complex she was now staying in, taking pleasure in the small comfort of Gaia in the midst of the city.

"Hi! I've never seen you before!" Kyoko started, opening her eyes and staring at the grinning girl above her. No Wyrm-taint. Though there was something different about her.

"I've been really busy. I joined the Preventers a couple of months ago, and combined with errands and stuff...I haven't had much time to myself until recently." She sat up as the girl made a seat in front of her. "My name's Kyoko Akarui, what's yours?"

"Katrina Yuy! If you're a Preventer, you probably know my Otou-san and Uncle 'Fei!" Kyoko blinked, brown eyes widening a little. There was only ONE Preventer she had heard of with the surname 'Yuy'. And Heero Yuy was the epitome of a field agent, the sort of person most field agents aspired to be but knew they couldn't reach. The 'Uncle 'Fei' she was clueless on.

"Well...if your Otou-san is who I'm thinking of, I do know OF Heero Yuy. I've never met him, though. Not sure if I've met your Uncle 'Fei, though." Katrina giggled.

"Yup, that's my Otou-san. And of course you know my uncle! He's the training instructor." Kyoko was flabbergasted again.

"Your uncle is Chang?" The girl nodded, as an all-too-familiar voice to Kyoko came from behind her.

"That's Sergeant Major Chang, Akarui." Kyoko cringed as Katrina waved.

"I'm not on duty, though, sir!" Gaia's teeth! She turned, reigning her temper in. Though the unexpected nature of the 'visit' caused the Rage to flash through her eyes before she could fully reign it in...something that had the Chinese man who was her training instructor turning wary. The vaguely Japanese man next to him also went wary, Prussian blue eyes hardening. Kyoko noticed it, and resisted the urge to grin. So even the big bad Yuy and Chang could be put on guard by an Ahroun. "This is my day off." And she planned to spend it relaxing a little before she had to meet up with the rest of the sentai, to check in.

"She has you there, Uncle 'Fei! You're not supposed to pull rank off duty unless it's an emergency." Kyoko adored Katrina right then. Chang looked rather irrate at that, but nodded. Katrina grinned, and the next words out of her mouth were unexpected by all three adults. "Can she come with us to the beach, Otou-san?" Three pairs of eyes looked to Katrina with surprise, while Yuy and Chang started to frown. Before either man could say anything, Kyoko shook her head.

"Sorry kiddo, but I'll have to pass on that. I have friends to meet up with today. And I haven't seen them in WEEKS." Katrina nodded in understanding, and when she wasn't looking, Kyoko gave Yuy a sympathetic look. He nodded in gratitude; she'd just saved him having to convince his daughter why it was bad to drag a stranger along on a family outing. Kyoko stood up. "Well, I'd best be going. It was nice meeting you, Katrina. And it was nice seeing you off duty, Chang, Yuy." She trotted off, and sighed once out of hearing range. She so would have liked a trip to the beach. And maybe try and figuring out what that...oddness about Katrina was.

A couple of hours later had Kyoko flopped across most of a couch in the study the sentai had first met in upon arrival in New Port City, head in Kid's lap as he pouted and ran his fingers through her blackening hair.

"You're so pretty in green. It's not fair." Kyoko laughed.

"Don't worry 'bout it, Kid. Once this is over, it'll be green again." Kid still pouted, and Jacqueline rolled her eyes, seated in the same chair she had been from the meeting. The others of the sentai were scattered about the study, close enough to hear or speak.

"Report, Kyoko." Kyoko took a breath before starting.

"We are definitely NOT dealing with a coincidence, guys. I visited the locations Une had said were the safehouses for those they've captured so far. Every single one, even the ones where no fomor or Black Spirals were captured, REEKED of the Wyrm. Without a doubt, The Black Road is founded, funded, and run by the Wyrm's minions." Jacqueline's frown spoke volumes.

"Then we cannot leave the Preventers to deal with this alone. Boys and girls, this is officially our mission. I will contact Une, so she can start getting things shuffled around. Kyoko, you will remain in the Preventers as our liason and informational contact. You will continue as normal. And I commend you for holding your Rage in check." Jacqueline looked to Duo, Bai, and Stick.

"You three are our most cunning and sneaky. Information gathering outside of the Preventers' reach is your task. We need to know where they recruit from, how far down the roots of this run, and how widespread it has become. Kid, Eyes, Ming...you three are our eyes in the spirit world. Ashoka and Shadow, you will join me in compiling the information gathered, putting together the larger picture and forming a strategy. Does everyone understand their roles?" There was a rousing chorus of 'yes' in four different languages. "Very well than." She stood...and looked to Kyoko curiously when the teenager raised her hand. "What is it?"

"I met the daughter of the top Preventer field agent today, Jacqueline." Duo's attention was on Kyoko rather quickly. "There's something...odd about her. Not even the smallest taint of the Wyrm on her, so I know it isn't that but...I don't know. It's familiar almost."

"If you're talking about who I think you are, leave her alone." Kyoko blinked and looked to Duo, curious.

"Katrina Yuy? I don't intend to drag her into anything, Duo. I just want to see what that weirdness is." Duo looked torn, but sighed and nodded. When Kyoko's attention was snagged, it was snagged.

"Just...be careful. Her parents are among those I call 'friend'. And they're also ones who CAN'T know about what I really am. Especially her mother." Kyoko placed a hand on her comrade's shoulder and nodded.

"I'll be careful, Shini. So...is Sergeant Major Chang a friend of yours too?" Duo nodded, then laughed when Kyoko groaned.

"Got him for training huh? Don't worry...he's not as bad a guy as he wants others to believe." Her look of disbelief had him laughing. "I'm serious! He's a trainer because he cares, in his own twisted way. You probably intimidate him. He may not have a clue about Garou, but someone with as much training as him would be blind if they couldn't tell you were born to fight and kill." Kyoko nodded and sighed.

"And that's part of why I want to know what it is about Katrina that's so DIFFERENT, Duo." She looked bewildered. "She...she wasn't intimidated, or scared, or wary of me. Not in the least. Shini, you have it easy because you're a Ragabash, a New Moon. Me...I'm an Ahroun, born Full Moon with full Rage. Most humans will never really be comfortable around me. Nor will most animals." The braided ex-pilot sighed and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. He couldn't help but feel sorry for the kid.

"You've got friends and people to call family, Puppy. You have us in the sentai, and Jackie's family. And one day, you'll find something like what me 'n' Hil have. I promise."

Translations

Nothing this time around.