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Chapter 6: He hit the ground again, unconscious this time.

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"Where are Heero and Duo?" Quatre asked, puzzled, as everyone else took seats at the table.

"Is he still chasing Maxwell around the garden?" Wufei asked, not sounding very surprised.

"Yes." Trowa answered.  "I just checked on them.  Heero has Duo treed.  He says he won't leave."

Relena sighed and stood up.  "All right, who wants to come with me?"

"I'll go" Sally said immediately.

The two girls found Heero and Duo in a corner of the garden.  "Don't you think it's time to come in, boys?" Sally called.  "Dinner's ready!"

"And I really, really have to go to the bathroom!" Duo wailed.

"Then come down" Heero suggested coldly.

"It's not worth dying over!"

"For crying out loud" Relena groaned.  "Heero...please come inside.  Leave Duo alone.  What ever he did couldn't have been this bad."

"He snuck into your room." Heero announced, eyes glinting.

"What!" Relena and Sally shrieked.

"Ah, er..." Duo shifted uncomfortably on the branch.

"Duo!  What were you doing!" Relena called.

"You and Heero are sleeping together!" he shouted in self-defense.

Heero began to climb the tree.

"You never told me!" Sally turned to Relena, sounding hurt.  "And after what I told you!"

"It's not that like!" Relena protested.  "We sleep together, but...that's it!  Just sleep!"

Heero and Duo, in the tree, exchanged a glance.  "That's great" Heero grumbled.  "Tell the whole world, why don't you!"

Duo grinned at him.  "So...what, Heero?" he said so only the other boy could hear him.  "You two cuddle all night?"

Heero lunged.  Duo backed up, but fell backwards and out of the tree.

He wailed on the ground.

Heero laughed to himself.  Relena and Sally glared at Duo, who was slowly pulling himself off the ground, rubbing various parts of his body.

With a large puppy face, he wandered off to call Hilde.  Relena, Heero, and Sally, sworn to silence, went back up to dinner.

~!~

He could see it, feel it, glinting across at him like an oasis.  An oasis in the desert of his misery.  He grinned.  Victory was near, he could taste it on the wind.  No time at all, now, and She would be his.  They would be together, She would be with him, where She belonged.

~!~

"What did Sally tell you?" Heero hissed, as they walked back to their room after dinner.

"I'm still not telling you, Heero.  That was said to me in confidence."

"I might need to know, for your safety--"

"Heero, believe me, it has *nothing* to do with me, or you, or anything except Sally and Wufei."

"So it has something to do with Wufei as well?"

"Er--, ah, sort of.  Not that it's any of your business."

"And it is yours?"

"That's different."

"I don't see how."

Relena scowled and crossed her arms as they walked.  "Sally told me, not you.  So yes, Heero, it is different."

They had reached the bedroom now.  "Go ahead" Heero opened the door for her.  "There's something I want to discuss with Quatre first."

"All right.  See you in a few minutes?"

"Yes."

Relena went in and changed into cotton pajamas, then sat on top of the bed to wait for Heero.

~!~

Heero found Quatre and Trowa in Quatre's study.  Heero stayed only a few minutes, to see if any new information from the Preventers had come in.

"Some one's been hacking into Preventer communications." Quatre announced grimly.

Heero frowned.  "Does he know where she is?"

"Probably."

"How long ago?"

"What?"

"We need to know how much time we have until he gets here."

"It's been 24 hours" Trowa said.

"He could be here already."

Heero turned and headed off for Relena's room at once.  He had only reached the corner, however, when everything went dark.

~!~

Sally entered one end of the long hallway, only to see Wufei at the other end. She turned quickly, hoping to escape before he noticed her.  But the hallway went black.

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Duo frowned and smacked his monitor.  The vidphone in his room had suddenly gone out, right in the middle of telling Hilde about the tree.  He got up to go find another one, but stumbled over his shoe in the dark.  Scowling, he reached out and hit the lightplate on the wall.  Nothing happened.

"What the hell?" he muttered.  Duo reached for the door, but a loud bang came from behind it.  Duo used the door to block his body, and carefully pulled the door open.  It was pitch black in the hallway too.  Cursing, Duo moved to slip out the door, only to find there was a steel wall where the doorway should have been.  He hit the ground again, unconscious this time.

  

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