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Breaking Point, Chapter 4

Oh look!  New icons Cy made for me.  <3 <3 <3  I do adore her.  And I think since I'm through with the rp stuff, I'll just keep posting chapters of this to get it out of the way.  Hopefully once I'm through with the fics I can get to posting new stuff.  

Anyway, on with Chapter 4!


Breaking Point:
Prologue Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three
Chapter Four - The Truth of the Matter

Gundam Wing Fanfiction
By: Memory Dragon
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing belongs to Sunrise and Bandai. I don't own it and make no claim to.

"Kill one of the pilots?!?!" Duo was hard put to keep a huge grin off his face. Inside his head he did a victory dance while adding some scorn to his voice. "That's impossible. The pilots are too good at hiding themselves." There was a chance that this girl had nothing to do with the faction that kidnaped Heero... Ah hell, what was the chance of that?

"What if I told you that the group I represent already has one pilot in custody?" Score! Don't be to quick to react... or too believing either.

Duo's face showed first shock then disbelief. "Really now? Have any proof?" She pulled a piece of paper out from a bag that was slug across her shoulder. On it was a picture of Heero, unconscious on the floor.

If any concern showed on Duo's face, neither of the teenagers noticed. "This kid is a Gundam pilot? He looks about our age... if not younger..."

"Does that make you feel pity for him?" the boy asked, contempt written all through his voice and face.

Duo just barely managed to stop his hand from trying to play with a braid that wasn't there. "No. I know I'm capable of killing someone. I was when I was fifteen and the war was going on. Age doesn't make a difference." Heero would not want pity. Besides, he didn't look too bad in the picture...

All he had to do was pump these two kids for information and be on his way. No problem. Just stay away from corners that would force him to lie. "I'm Duo Ma-"

"Duo Maxwell. We know, you were on file." Duo wondered just how extensive that file was... The girl continued. "I am Adéle de la Rôchelle and this is my brother, Simon de la Rôchelle." French names? "We belonged to the X-cybers."

He raised an eyebrow slightly at the use of past tense. "And why don't you belong there now if they have a Gundam pilot?"

"This is not good place to talk. Our apartment isn't too far away, if that suits you." He merely nodded in consent and Simon led the way through the white world.

On the walk to the apartment - which was really only two blocks away - Duo had the chance to study the two siblings in the lamp light.

Simon was very well built for someone so young. He looked like the perfect example of a jock. Wavy blond hair, blue eyes, muscles abound. Stubborn and hotheaded, no doubt. A likeable kind of guy. He seemed fairly intelligent, but Duo reflected that he would do anything his sister said; intelligence or no. He could easily tell they both adored each other.

She could easily pass for beautiful, with her long blond hair reflecting the moonlight. Emerald eyes showed the passion and just a bit of wistfulness one would expect from someone of French descent. Duo could almost picture Adéle standing at the head of the Women's March Upon Versailles, dressed in that red color the French were so fond of...

Their clothes were a reflection of the neighborhood, a far cry from Quatre's wardrobe. They were old and worn, in some places torn, but not so much that they would be considered rags. With all the snow on the ground, they had to be far from warm... These two were not the wealthiest people on earth. So how did they manage to get Heero...

Well, that was easy to figure out if Duo actually thought for a change. He felt like an idiot for not thinking of it sooner. If all the group's money was being spent on attaining the pilots... No wonder the members would look like beggars, they probably didn't have much to begin with.

Their apartment was in a run down building that might have once been nice. The paint had long ago started to come off the walls and the carpet left much to be desired. Duo didn't even want to think about what could be crawling on the other sides of the walls. He also dreaded seeing the apartment itself.

But he was pleasantly surprised. When they got to the third floor, Adéle unlocked the door to the apartment on the right end of the hall. While outside, Duo couldn't guess how many layers of dirt was on the walls and floor, inside it was clean. The carpet had some stains, but looked as if someone tried to salvage it. It was warm too. Either they found an apartment with a working heater, or they had enough money to fix it.

The living room looked a lot like his and Hilde's. Cheap, but comfortable. An old TV rested in the corner facing a blue flowered couch. The coffee table in front of the couch wasn't balanced, but an old book under one of the legs fixed that. A patched up maroon lazy boy had a two headed lamp next to it. One of the light bulbs was broken, but the other one still worked fine.

There was a bookshelf with well read books stood against the wall opposite of the TV. The books ranged from good condition to falling apart and were mainly romances with a few science fiction books scattered here and there.

"I know it isn't much, but it's the best we can afford..." Adéle said, blushing slightly. Duo assured her that it was how he was used to living. She then lead him to a similarly furnished kitchen and motioned him to sit in one of the chairs at the table. She sat across from him, with Simon on her right. "We are part of the organization, X-cybers. Our parents were murdered by the Gundam pilot 01, while our mother was visiting papa on an Oz base in the colonies."

"You're from the colonies?" Duo asked, mildly surprised. "How did you end up on earth?"

"Dr. Kotanay found us and brought us here. He has been all over the world and colonies looking for people who hate the Gundam pilots." Simon shrugged. "His wife was killed by the pilot 01 and he's spent the last three years learning all he could about that Heero Yuy."

Duo decide some mock innocence would work in his favor. "Heero Yuy? I thought he was assassinated a long time ago on the colonies?" He looked for surprise or blank stares, but instead received surprised of his own.

"That pilot," Adéle spat out, "uses Heero Yuy as his name. It is a great disrespect to a man of peace, if you ask me." Dr. J obviously didn't think so when he gave Heero that code name, but Duo kept that thought to himself.

So these two knew their history well enough to respect Heero Yuy. Too bad they were after his best friend; they might have been sympathetic to they pilots had the war not ended their parents life. "So what happened?"

Simon's eyes lit up. "We captured the pilot!" The smile on his face was one of cruel intent. Duo barely contained his surprise at how fast the transition from nice guy to blood lust went. "I was there! It was so amazing!"

The braided pilot felt queasy. Not only was the kid revenge happy, but he was at the kidnaping? Did he suspect Duo was the other body on the ground when they took Heero away? "You were not allowed near the fight." Adéle added smugly, easing some of the butterflies in Duo's stomach.

The younger sibling stuck out his tongue. "You weren't even allowed to go!" Adéle scowled while Duo laughed. "I helped stand guard over the pilot. I still do!" Simon added with pleasure of the responsibility.

"If you have the pilot, what's the problem?" He was very confused on that point. "Why do you need me?"

Adéle was about to answer, when Simon cut in. "They won't kill the bastard!" he said, pounding his fist on the table.

"They want to torture him first." Adéle's face mirrored her brother's frustration. Duo tried not to choke on the word 'torture.' At least he knew Heero was still alive... "Everyone pooled their money together to pull this off! Even the members who want to kill the other pilots! And now they waste it on the chemicals to torture 01. The money would be better put to use to go after the other pilots!" That was implying someone wanted him dead. Interesting...

"So, you want to go in and kill him on your own?"

"Yes." Adéle's voice was just above a whisper. The brunette could see the passionate fiery anger in her eyes. Duo wanted to make sure she could trust him absolutely, but he could never even try to mimic an emotion that strong...

Besides, that would be lying.

"Why me? Why not just kill him by yourself? I mean, I could be a spy from the other side trying to help rescue the pilot." Duo would have to step carefully over the thin ice. Make them trust him, but not by lying... Why did he have to be so opposed to lying? This would have been so much easier... "Why trust me?"

Simon faltered. He started to speak, but no sound came from his mouth. Adéle thought a moment before answering. "Well, you've lived on the streets. That's obvious. Those mad scientists who created the Gundams would never let a street rat near something so valuable. He might steal it or something." Oh, if she only knew... "Second, you don't seem like the type who could lie very well." Truth again. As long as she didn't ask if he a Gundam pilot... "I'm a fair judge of character. Since I've never been wrong before and we've really got nothing to lose, I trust you. We need you because we can't do it alone."

She was a good judge of character. She had Duo down to the T. As long as Duo could convince himself that he was telling the truth, twisted thought it may be, Adéle would never suspect a thing.

Simon nodded in agreement with his older sister. He looked about fifteen, though he could be younger. The same age Duo was when Doctor G told him to steal Deathscythe... "Okay then. You have my help." The statement earned a grin from Simon and a half smile from Adéle. "But we do this my way. First, don't mention me to your doctor friend. It cause too many questions and get you guys in trouble." Simon was surprised, but his sister nodded in consent. Good. She had probably thought of that before. "Second, I need a map of the place pilot 01 is being hidden. This will help us formulate a plan and a good escape route. I also need to know when Simon's shifts of guarding the pilot are."

Adéle sat back with a thoughtful expression on her face. "Well, Simon's schedule is easy enough, but getting a map would be harder..."

The kid piped up, sensing he could help. "I could draw one! I know every nook and cranny of the old sewer systems!" Duo noted the prideful way he held himself as the young french boy said it. Deathscythe's pilot was almost in shock over his luck. Not that any of it was apparent on his face.

"How could I forget," Adéle said as she reached over to ruffle her brother's hair. "I can vouch for that." Simon, though annoyed at his sister for touching his hair, basked in the praise which evidently wasn't given lightly.

And now, the true test. "And finally, I need you to promise not to kill the pilot on sight."

"What?!?!" Her voice was raised to a shriek. Duo shrank back in his chair slightly. "We brought you here to help us kill him, not to let you have your fun with him!"

He held his hands up in and effort to pacify her. "Hey, hear me out!" She nodded after growling slightly. He wasn't about to let her have the chance to change her mind! "We have to make sure neither of you are suspected." Duo gulped and hid his anxiousness. He had to pull this one off. "If you guys kill him there, some one might point the finger at you. But if we get him out first, we can frame the other Gundam pilots and you two are never suspected." He clasped his hands together. It was the only sign behind the poker face of a nervous breakdown and panic that flew through his head.

Lady luck must be enjoying Duo's company for Adéle nodded after what seemed like an eternity.

And what could be more lucky? Where his contacts failed, he'd found two kids who happened to know the entire layout of the place they were holding Heero. He hadn't been forced into a lie yet and the kids trusted him completely. So, when was this streak of good luck going to end?

Maybe they trusted him because he was their age. This doctor had to be way older then them. Possibly they just had no one to relate to? Or maybe he was just a reliable kind of guy.

All that really mattered was that they trusted him.

But Duo hated taking advantage of them like this. Simon's eyes lit up whenever Duo complemented him and even Adéle was loosening up. They would hate him when they found out the entire truth. Heck, he hated himself for it. Of course they would hate him.

But then, no one liked the God of Death very much in the first place.

* * *

Duo listened to Adéle's and Simon's soft breathing. They had offered him a place to stay and he couldn't have refused as he said he was staying at a hotel. If they kept him here, there was less of a chance that he could contact anyone if he was a spy. Unfortunately, that meant he couldn't contact any of the others. And it meant sleeping on the floor with nothing but a few blankets. He'd gotten used to a soft bed. Just because he was putting on the appearance of being low on money... The things he did for his friends.

His mind wandered back to his eventual betrayal as he stared at the ceiling. If he didn't do it, someone else would have come along and broken their hearts. He might as well save that someone the trouble. Duo sighed in frustration. It wasn't his fault they trusted him so completely and didn't ask the right questions! He hated justifying himself.

This was Trowa's line of work. He shouldn't be the one going behind the scenes. If he didn't need these two to show him the way (they wouldn't tell him anything until the time came to make a plan), then he could have just busted in a long time ago. But that was where Lady Luck left him. Well, he guessed he couldn't have everything.

The pilot was so caught up in his own thoughts that he did not see Adéle until she leaned over and waved at him. Duo bolted foreword, accidently hitting her head with his. "Ack... I-hey. Sorry about that..." She looked annoyed, but slightly amused at the same time. "You startled me..."

Adéle motioned for him to be quiet by pointing to the still sleeping Simon. He nodded and followed her to the kitchen. She turned on the light and sat down at the table, waiting for him to sit across from her to start the conversation.

"Can't sleep?" Duo shook his head, hoping she would not ask why. "Neither can I. The thought of pilot 01 being so close to death..." The was silence for a time before she spoke again. "Why do you hate the Gundams?"

Duo constrained the urge to bolt out the door and run. He had to think of some story or she would be able to tell something was going on. Then Heero didn't stand a chance of getting any help from his direction.

"You are going to lie to me, are you not?" Adéle interrupted, handing him a cup of water. "I want the truth."

Looks like Lady Luck was completely gone from him now. Duo took a deep breath and decided to make his own luck. "I never had parents. At least, not that I knew of. I grew up on the streets of a drifter colony in L2. No one wants a street rat, but no one wants one running around loose stealing things either. Just before they decided to go through the trouble to 'get rid' of me, Father Maxwell stepped in.

"Father Maxwell was a Catholic priest who ran a little church with the help of Sister Helen. They took me and the rest of the gang I had in until we were adopted. Course, I was too much trouble so I kept getting sent back to the Maxwell church. He was pretty old I guess, but he decided to keep me there. Now that I think back on it, I don't know how he put up with me either...

"So I stayed at the church; making mischief, questioning everything in the church doctrine, and giving Sister Helen a royal headache. I think that Father Maxwell was planning on turning me into a priest actually. To follow in his foot steps or something. But I just can't see me as a priest," besides one from the order of the God of Death, he added silently. Father Maxwell was probably turning in his grave.

"Anyway, war seems to look for the happy people in the colonies. I guess it likes to plague them 'cause they don't need it. One of the Gundam pilots was stirring up trouble." Duo closed his eyes. He hadn't known he was a Gundam pilot at that point. He'd only known life on the street and that Sister Helen and Father Maxwell would always be there to laugh at his questions and braid his hair. Behind his closed eyes, he saw himself sitting in Father's lap, the two of them smiling down at him. And he was always stirring up some sort of trouble. Truth.

"I made a deal with the rebels. I'd get them a mobile suit; then they would leave. They didn't think a seven year old could do it, but I did. I may run and hide, but I never tell a lie. I stole one from the military base on the colony. I thought I could help the two people who had cared for me.

"But when I got back I found the place in shatters. Some one had dropped a bomb on the church to get rid of the rebels. As far as I could tell, the Gundam pilot had just left them there to die."

More images filled his head. Driving the truck up to the church, just barely being able to see where he was going with blocks tied to his shoe to reach the pedal. His younger self jumping out to pronounce his victory only to see dead bodies and other ruble scattered around where the church once stood.

Among the rubble, he had found Sister Helen. He'd been surprised at how young she looked. And pretty too. It was the first time he'd ever seen her without her habit. "I found Sister Helen just before she died. She told me what happened. It was all that pilot's fault for not doing anything..."

Her last words echoed in his ears as well as the piercing cry he had let out after it. "The Lord bless you and keep you," she said. He didn't believe in God anymore. The only thing he believed in was death.

And it was his fault for not being there. He had the sin of surviving.

* * *

Adéle was silent while the boy she had just met today poured out his life to her. He was not lying now. Yes, there were some parts he had left out, but all of it was truth. The blonde realized that he had never told this to anyone before. She guessed talking to strangers really was easier than someone you knew...

The silence that fell afterward was uncomfortable, to say the least. She wasn't sure what to do. Duo opened his eyes and stared to gaze out the window at the moon. He finally broke the quiet. "I don't think I believe in much anymore. Only death."

She thought back to her own childhood, remembering the happiness Adéle had felt before her parents died. "That's not true though. There is much to believe in," she said softly. "Maman... She always told us that if we keep people who are gone in our hearts, that they would live forever. A way to beat death..."

Duo was visibly startled. "That's the innocent's way of dealing with death. If you believe that, then why did-ya turn to revenge?"

"Dr. Kotanay said our family would want that. That they could not rest until we got revenge for them." The truth was as plain as that.

It annoyed Adéle not to be able to read the brunette. She could never tell what he thought of her and her brother. She knew when Duo was thinking about them. He got a far away look in his eye and schooled his features into a continual smile. But then, the Adéle felt lucky to even get as far under his masks as she did. She got the distinctive feeling that he didn't let many people do that.

"Adéle..." he paused, as if unsure whether to continue. "Can I ask you something?"

"What is it?" She asked carefully. He would only pause if he was going to ask her something she would not like. She was not going to let her guard down when his voice betrayed uncertainty. She doubted that he even realized it was there.

"If you ever kill, make it clean."

Adéle watched as he held his breath, waiting for her answer. This meant a lot to him. She couldn't guess what brought this up. "Why do you think we asked for your help? I want our family to rest in peace as soon as possible." She was sure of what she was saying and put all the confidence in her voice that she could to prove her sincerity.

Duo let out a sigh of relief. "Well then, if you don't mind, I think I'll try going back to sleep. G'night!" He waved cheerfully and moved back to the bed room.

Adéle stayed in the kitchen and hugger her knees closer to her. She hated to admit it, but he made her feel warm and secure. She beginning to wonder if she was falling in love him...

That was ridiculous.

He was still hiding something. She could tell, but Adéle decided she would not push the issue. Telling her his history had cost him and she was surprised he was not emotionally exhausted from the talk.

Or maybe he was just so good at hiding it behind that cheery expression and smile. He was good at hiding.

Eventually, Adéle followed after Duo. By the time she got in, Duo was a sleep. But he had changed beyond recognition.

Awake, she'd assumed him to be about twenty-five. But in sleep the years faded away till he looked about her age. She had been told that men looked more innocent in sleep, but she had never given it any credit until now...

He said he did not believe in anything other than death and denounced God. But Adéle privately thought he was just a fallen angel.

~TBC~

"But right now would be the worse time to be discovered so it was logical it would happen now. Like I said I don't believe in luck. *hits the wall and the control panel they were looking for appears* On the other hand..."
--Marcus Cole, Babylon 5