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Breaking Point, Chapter 5

Now on to Chapter 5.  Trust me, when I'm posting normally you'll be reading a lot more notes because I like to talk a lot.  You're just lucky since I'm doing things quickly.  XD

Breaking Point:
Prologue Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four
Chapter Five - Time to prepare.

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

Duo woke up to see a pair of anxious eyes staring at him. Or rather, the top of his head. “What?” he asked testily.

“Why do you sleep with a baseball cap on?” Simon asked, pointing to the object of his fascination.

Crap.

“I just forgot it was there!” He pulled the Yankees cap that had come off slightly in his sleep back into place. The thought disturbed him. It was true...

“Well, Adéle said to tell you breakfast will be ready soon.” With that Simon left Duo quite unnerved.

The fact was, he had not even thought about his braid since he had met the siblings. He had grown used to having the weight and balance missing. Duo felt a chill run down his spine.

Checking to make sure no one would come in and see their friend with waist length hair, Duo took off the cap and undid his hair. Reassured that it was still just as long, he moved around a bit. Just to make sure. Sighing, he put his hair back in the flat bun. With the cap back in place, he headed out for breakfast. Duo also made himself note the difference in balance without the braid there.

The things he did for his friends.

Breakfast consisted of dry cereal and a bagel for each of them. “I’m sorry, but we don’t have much...” Adéle said, flushing softly.

“It’s more then I used to get back home. You guys are much better off than I was.” The brunette sighed. Adéle paid for the meal with money from her part-time job, but Duo hadn’t been able to get a job when he was younger. He had been forced to steal for his meals because of his youth. One too many times he’d gone hungry because of getting caught. This really was much better off than he had been. Much better.

Simon received a love thawp from his sister for not chewing with his mouth closed. The pilot grinned at the fight that followed and wished he could remember his family. A family that could never have existed for all he knew... Oh well. Father Maxwell and Sister Helen were family enough when it counted. But even they were dead.

The God of Death had no need for family, he reminded himself firmly. Hilde once commented that it was a lonely existence, but Duo preferred to have himself suffering than anyone else. If he did all the work, then no truly innocent person had to. And there was a chance that no one else like him would be needed if he did it right.

“Duo, are you listening?” An angry voice cut through Duo’s thoughts.

Brought back to the present, he looked around to see a very annoyed Adéle. Simon just seemed relieved that she was off his case. Duo laughed nervously and admitted that he hadn’t been.

He was far from prepared for what happened next. Adéle flung herself at Duo, knocking him out of his chair. “Wha?” He found himself on the floor with a strong pair of arms around his neck. After a dazed moment, he heard some giggles from Simon’s direction. Adéle had him pined underneath her and she was far from happy with Duo at the moment...

“Uh, sorry?” he asked timidly, glad for the fact that none of the other pilots were here to see this. Not only had he been caught off guard, but by this naive girl? His pride was wounded enough as it is.

Adéle blushed and scrambled off him. “I’m sorry-” she stammered. “I lost my temper. I’m not really a morning person.” She dusted herself off and pulled her hair back behind her ears. Her blush deepened as she returned to her seat. “Please forgive me...”

He got up and right the chair. Duo then made sure his cap was still on properly before answering with a no problem. “So, you were saying?”

She stared at her fists which were balled up in her lap, refusing to look at the young man who sat across from her. Duo wondered what had her so stressed. “I said, aside from the map, is there anything else you need? Both Simon and I are horrible at planning, so most of that will be up to you.”

He thought for a moment. “I need a schedule of the guards and where they are posted. I’ll get anything needed for distractions while I’m out. The rest can wait until we have a better idea of what we’re going to do.”

* * *

Adéle was at the library looking for architectural plans of the sewers that Heero was being held in to back up Simon’s hand drawn map. Simon was checking to see when his next time to guard was and getting a complete list of where all the guards were posted. And Duo was left to his own devices.

The first thing he did was get sleeping gas and handkerchiefs that should be thick enough to keep them from breathing in the gas. He also picked up some flashlights and a couple more lock picks.

Deeming he had everything he would need for the moment, he stopped by the hotel he had been staying at. It was fairly cheap, but one of the nicer hotels on the street. This is where Duo told the others he’d be if they need to contact him.

He waved to the clerk on duty and went up to his room. It was small but nice, painted a pastel blue and held the bare minimum of a single bed and a com unit. And it had a working heater. There were times when all Duo needed was a nice heater. As pretty as snow was, it was cold. Much too cold for Duo’s tastes.

Duo sat on the bed and took off the cap, letting his hair out of the bun. Then he carefully braided it into one neat braid. After bouncing around happily and rejoicing in the added weight for several minutes, Duo went over to the com unit and dialed the number Quatre had given him.

But it was Trowa, who had a rather nasty bruise on his cheek, that answered the call. “Hello, Duo.”

“Hey, Trowa! What’s up?”

“Keep it down,” Trowa said quietly, putting a finger to his mouth.

Somewhere outside Duo’s range of sight, someone moaned and told Trowa to turn off the bright light. “Quatre?”

“He’s got a hangover.”

Duo knew his jaw had dropped and was hanging there very rudely. “Hang on a sec. Quatre has a hangover?” It was a good thing he had an ocean between himself and the blond because when the braided pilot fell on the floor laughing, Quatre was ready to kill.

Trowa had taken cover when the usually gentle Quatre started to throw things at the screen. He sighed and waited for the idiot on the other side of the line to stop braying like a donkey. When he viewed it safe to come out from behind the chair, he saw Duo holding his side with watering eyes. “Was there a purpose to this call?”

“Course!” Duo said, grinning. He held up two fingers in a sign of victory. “I’ve infiltrated their base and will have Heero back with in a day or so!”

“We’ll be there soon. Why don’t you wait until we arrive?” He didn’t need to say that if Duo messed this up, the chance of getting Heero back would be lost forever. “And how come so suddenly? You’ve been there for a week with no leads and now out of the blue you’ve found the base?”

“Relax, I’ve got it covered!” Trowa was going to express more doubts but Duo cut him off. “Don’t worry about it. Oh and pass this on to Wufei. If you see me here, you don’t know me. Unknown acquaintances could blow my cover. Bye!”

He cut the transmission before Trowa could respond and deleted the call from the computer log. Duo didn’t want to tell the others about Adéle and Simon. The less said about them, the better. Even knowing that they wanted his best friend dead, he couldn’t bring himself to wish them harm. He could only hope they would forgive him.

This peace was making him soft.

Trowa and Quatre would fly to New York as soon as the blond could move, or before that. Duo assumed Wufei would do the same once he heard. Trowa’s doubts only made him want to prove that he could do this alone. That gave him only a day or two to work.

Sighing regretfully, he put his hair back in a flat bun and put his Yankees cap over it. Back out into the freezing weather... On the way back to Adéle’s apartment Duo picked up some explosives to be part of the distractions he had planned. He bought a special gun for Adéle. One that he hoped she would not use.

Time to prepare.

* * *

Adéle was sitting at the kitchen table when Duo made it back. “I couldn’t really find anything. I guess Simon’s map will just have to be enough...” she said, fidgeting slightly.

Something was on her mind. And it wasn’t just the fact she didn’t find anything. “Hey, what’s wrong?” He set the box he’d been carrying down by the door and slid into the chair next to her. He half expected her to brush him off, saying she was fine. He also had a feeling that what came next would not be good.

She approached the subject with care, making Duo nervous. “What do you think about me, Duo?”

Oh. Well that was a relief. She just need a confidence booster. Piece of cake. “Well, you’re definitely not a morning person.” He winked at her, to show he was joking. “You’re brave and a good sister. You’re a very sympathetic listener and an all around good person.” She absorbed the information as Duo added playfully, “And your eyes are to die for. Just like two glittering emeralds.”

“Duo, I-” she faltered and looked up into his eyes. “I don’t know how to say this, but...”

When it hit him where this conversation was going, all Duo wanted to do was strike his head against the wall for making that last statement. He also realized just how close they were. “Adéle... Stop. Just don’t say it.”

“Why? Why not? Duo, I really li-”

Duo put his fingers on her lips. “Adéle. You’re in over your head. Believe me. You really don’t want to say those words.” Tears began to fill her eyes. Great. Not only was he losing his one chance to find Heero, but he was making the girl cry. Why couldn’t he just use this and make her happy for the day or so he needed to get Heero back?

Because that would be the worst kind of lying.

She ran off, leaving Duo alone in the kitchen. Sensing there was nothing else he could do, he got up and made a sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly. She’ll see what a mistake she made by getting a crush on him was. Soon enough. Right now, he just wanted some food.

* * *

Luckily for Duo, Adéle did not mention his rejection when she came back. She still wanted him to plan out the escapade. The plan was as follows.

Adéle and Duo would wait until Simon was on duty tomorrow night. After about thirty minutes, they would gas the hall. Simon would be knocked out with the other guard on duty, but it would take the blame off him and his sister who would never think of harming her dear brother. Simon was slightly put out by the fact, but Adéle was relieved, even pleased, and talked him around.

There was a general meeting that day for the X-cybers to supposedly show off the results of the torture. Adéle was to leave early with the excuse that she was feeling sick. She would then walk home, slip out the back door, and meet Duo at the entrance of the sewers. They would start setting up the explosives to be used as distractions to help them get away.

After the gas was released, they would pick up the prisoner. If pursued, they would detonate some of the distraction bombs and spilt up with Duo taking the Gundam pilot, then rendez-vous behind a Dunkin’ Donuts shop at the other end of town. If not, they would proceed to a random dark ally, kill the pilot, and leave the body where it could not be found. It was supposed to snow that night, so footprints shouldn’t be a problem. Even if it didn’t, New York was crowed enough that footprints would be impossible to follow.

Duo’s real plan slightly differed. If pursued, he would shake the X-cyber member following him and depending on Heero’s health, get him to a safe place. Then he would return to the base and kill the key leaders. If not, he’d shake Adéle and do the same. Just in case Heero was too hurt to leave alone, Duo would set up some extra explosives to give the X-cybers an unpleasant surprise.

The night and day in between the plan and the action passed quickly. Adéle and Simon were getting into place as Duo settled into a little niche he’d picked out earlier to wait for Adéle. She had been acting normal towards him, so he figured that she was over her crush. Hopefully.

Treize Khushrenada once compared life to the stage; each person playing their role to the fullest, add-libing when one forgot a line. Well, he probably wasn’t the first person to make that metaphor, but Duo couldn’t think of where else he’d heard it. He reflected, as he sat in the dark corner preparing the explosives, that this drama was about to play out.

The time to prepare was over. Now was the time to act.

~TBC~

Quote of the Chapter:
Marcus: "So, I went to the effort of preparing this chart. Now then, here's you right here at the heart of everything and why not. And here is me. This is the captain and here's Franklin. Here's my mom and dad. There don't actually have anything to do with it. It's a very good picture of them, don't you think?"
Ivanova: "Marcus."
Marcus: "I actually think I have come up with a way to explain the organization structure of Babylon 5 using the Ottoman empire as a model. It gets a little confusing around this bit here, but one has to start somewhere."
--Susan Ivanova and Marcus Cole, Babylon 5