-Duo’s thoughts-
~Heero’s thoughts~
=Hilde’s thoughts=

Okay, the part near the end when Hilde comes in may be a bit confusing. Let me just say that the scene will switch from where Hilde is to the where the guys are so that you don’t miss any dialogue between them. Hope you understand! ^^;;
Angel by Pilot02
Part 5

The two angels moved quickly through the woods, dodging hanging branches and climbing over fallen logs. Heero eventually strayed from the beaten path, intent on taking a shortcut through to the safe house. ~After all, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.~

The trees gradually grew closer together and the underbrush became dense. Heero glanced at the sun; after some mental calculations, he decided there was about a quarter of an hour before the sun set completely. He quickened his pace and heard Duo stumbling along behind him.

"Heero, how much longer is it gonna take? I'm tired and hungry," Duo complained, wincing as a thorn bush tore into his hand.

"I don't know, Duo. It shouldn't take too much longer, though. Just hang on," Heero said, taking his eyes momentarily off the ground in front of him to glance back at the dark angel, who was letting out strings of curses under his breath. Heero shook his head bemusedly then returned his attention to the forest floor... or rather, the lack thereof.

"Shit..." came Duo's reaction to the minor dilemma. The forest floor had abruptly turned into a wide, abysmal ravine. The boys were on one side and, unfortunately, their safe house was on the other. "How're we gonna cross that?" Duo asked incredulously, peering over the edge.

"I would suggest we fly, but it's a little cramped on this side, unlike over there." Heero was right. While on the side they were on the trees grew right up to the edge, the other side had quite a bit of space in between the tree line and the drop-off.

Duo shrugged his way out of his pack, a slightly mischievous look growing on his face. Heero warily watched his longhaired companion. "Hey, Heero... Whaddya say we follow my pack?" He said, opening it up and positioning any breakable items in between clothes to serve as padding. When Heero glanced back at the obstacle in their path, Duo slipped his camera into his pocket. That done, he closed it back up and stood, pack in hand. An impish grin took over his face and he suddenly heaved the pack over the ravine. It sailed over and landed with a thud on the other side.

Heero's face went from surprise to confusion as Duo approached the edge. "You are suggesting we jump across a 20 foot ravine? From a dead stop?" Heero asked uneasily. If anything, Duo's grin grew larger.

"Yup. Boy, you sure are a smart one, Mr. Yuy," Duo said, still grinning like an idiot. Then, he took a step and jumped forward into the deep ravine. Heero's eyes widened and his heart skipped at least one beat as he watched Duo disappear over the edge.

"Duo!" He yelled and ran to the edge. He looked into the ravine and his eyes widened yet again as he took in the sight in front of him. Duo was in the air, wings beating silently, keeping him there. He had his hands over his mouth trying to refrain from laughing, his violet eyes bright with amusement. Duo, seeing that he had been found out, burst out laughing and took Heero’s picture with his camera.

“Whoa, Heero, man… You should’ve seen the look on your face! Well, you can as soon as I get the picture developed!” He said in between laughing fits and gasping for air.

“Why did you do that, Duo?” Heero asked, sounding calmer than he felt, his expression changing into a glare. Inwardly, he was extremely happy that the longhaired dark angel was still alive after his little stunt, but he was reluctant to show it. Upon seeing the glare replace the worried expression Heero’s face held earlier, Duo did what he thought to be the best option. He stopped laughing and became serious.

“Lighten up, Heero! It was a joke. Look, anyway, there’s not enough room up there,” he pointed to where Heero was standing, “to open your wings. You’ve gotta jump and open them down here.” Heero tentatively moved one foot into the air above the crevice and prepared to walk off the edge. “No! Heero! Ya gotta jump! Jump! That way you’re ready!” Duo said frantically, his violet eyes wide in panic. Heero barely suppressed a smirk as he heard the alarm in the dark’s voice. He returned his foot to the ground and his thoughts to the jump. He took a deep breath, and closing his eyes, jumped. His wings seemed to spread on their own accord and started beating quietly to keep him meeting his doom at the bottom of the crevice.

Hearing Duo chuckling he hesitantly opened one eye, looking down, and when he saw that he wasn’t falling, opened the other. A pair of bright amethyst eyes about three inches away from his own filled his vision. Startled, he flew back several feet, disappointment flashed briefly across Duo’s face. ~Dammit… I shouldn’t have moved back…~ Heero thought angrily.

Duo covered his disappointment with a small grin. “Ah, well, let’s get going, shall we? We can fly up there,” he pointed to the far ledge, “and then continue on from there. I’m ready to climb into my bed and sleep for a month!” He babbled on, starting to fly up to the aforementioned ledge. Heero momentarily appreciated the dark one’s head start as he stared at the good-looking rear ahead of him, then shook his head and followed the dark one out of the ravine.

Duo was a bit more quiet than usual after they left the ravine, but it was only because he was engrossed in his thoughts. -I must’ve freaked him out or something… He was worried when I jumped, after all… But, was he worried me, or just the mission? Grrr… Why do light angels have to be so damn confusing?!?! Does he know he’s sending me conflicting messages? Hhh… Well, I guess it’s time to put some of my wonderful Maxwell subtlety to the test and try to get some answers out of him.- Duo smiled inwardly and then tried to prepare a nice, subtle question. –Ah, screw it. Heero’s in front of me anyway, and I doubt he’d turn around, even to strangle me if I ask a dumb question. Okay, here goes nothin’.-

“Heero, back at the ravine, were you worried about me or the mission falling to pieces?” Duo asked, mentally smacking himself in the head when he noticed that Heero tensed up at the question.

-Oh yeah, that’s subtle…-

Heero sighed. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t want the mission to get ruined, but I also did not want you to get hurt.” ~Definitely not you… Um... Maybe I should have reversed the order of what I just said… He is, after all, much more important to me than some dumb mission is.~

Duo smiled brightly, then resumed his usual chatter, his mind secure in the knowledge that Heero cared at least a little.

*     *     *


Hilde stormed about in a rage after witnessing the two angels interact. She had bribed some of the Watchers into letting her use one of their old watching devices, which were basically a bowl filled with water supposedly from the river in the Light’s realm. At any rate, water from the river or not, Hilde had gotten one and had been watching the boys all day. Though the picture was hard to see due to the darkness of the Earth and static--it was an old bowl, after all--she still had a good idea of what had gone on. And she was not happy. She was very upset. She wanted to rip out the light angel’s wings then laugh over his battered body as he bled to death. She wanted him to stay away from her Duo.

=Grrrr… If that… that thing does not get away from my Duo, I will go down there and make him leave my Duo alone! Any half-brained imbecile can see that the thing is attracted to my Duo… Grr… I won’t have any of this! I won’t have my Duo being chased after by some lovesick light angel… Er…thing…=

“Aaagh!!!” Hilde cried out when she saw Duo and Heero talking, then Duo slipped and got a small twig stuck through his wing.

*     *     *
“Ooouch…” Duo said, scrunching up his face in pain. Heero ran over to him and gently pulled the twig out, leaving a small hole about the size of a pencil eraser. Carefully brushing any dirt away from the wound, Heero wrapped it as best as he could with a bit of gauze from Duo’s pack.

“Are you okay, Duo?” Heero asked, concern evident in his voice, no matter how much he tried to conceal it. Duo nodded, and Heero held out a hand to help Duo up. Though the gesture was a simple one, both of the boys knew on an unconscious level that it was a promise of things to come.

*     *     *
Hilde watched in horror as ‘her’ Duo took the thing’s offered hand, and then continued to hold it for a few more long seconds after he could’ve dropped it. Hilde was appalled at the way the two were looking at each other. =No, I’m not going to be too late. I shall start as soon as I can to teach that thing that no one messes with me or my Duo!= Hilde’s mind voice was nearly hysterical.

=That thing must die.=
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