Disclaimers: We do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.
Notes: Duo goes home.
Quatre fought the urge to shout and dance around in pure delight. But, the last thing his friend needed was for him to start
acting like a lunatic. Instead, he helped Duo to his feet and led him out of the room to join the others, politely saying goodbye to
the lawyer before they departed. The man was quite understanding and had wished Duo all the luck in the world, saying that he
would be in contact with them within the week to finalize some paperwork.
Quatre felt himself smiling as he studied Duo’s profile. He couldn’t help but chastize himself for not seeing it before. He had
known Daniel Croft as a boy. The two of them had been so close that they were almost brothers, and hearing of the accident
that had taken the life of Daniel’s parents, and Daniel’s own disappearance, had been especially hard on Quatre. Now that he
was looking though, he could see flashes of the child that Duo had been. And it wasn’t as if they had lost that bond between
them. They were still like brothers.
Heero was the first to approach them. “What happened?” he asked, looking ready to throttle anyone who had upset the
Quatre smiled to placate Heero. “Duo’s just had a bit of a shock. I expected the inheritance to be some small amount, or
perhaps a trinket. I think Duo did as well.”
Wufei helped Duo into his jacket. “I take it that it was somewhat other than what you expected. It would have to be for
Maxwell to be in this state. He does not shock easily.”
Quatre nodded. “You’re right. I’ll explain everything in the limo.” With that, he headed for the elevator, his arm around Duo’s
Heero and Wufei both simply blinked in confusion before following.
Trowa frowned as the doors slid closed. “Where are we going in a limo?” he asked.
Duo’s voice was soft. “England.” His eyes were glazed as if he were fighting for some grip on reality as he looked around.
“Th-this is a joke, right? Come on, tell me it’s some sort of joke Une cooked up to get back at me for all the trouble I’ve
Heero shook his head. “Duo, Une would never make up a joke about any family you have.” He placed a hand on Duo’s
shoulder. “Duo . . . why are we going to England?”
Quatre answered when Duo looked to him for help. “It’s a matter of Duo’s inheritance.” He stepped out of the elevator with
the others and saw the limo waiting outside.
The chauffeur smiled amiably as he opened the door to the limo that was bearing English flags. “Good day, gentlemen. Young
Master Winner, it has been some time.”
The blonde Arabian smiled warmly. He had recognized the man right off. He had been the Crofts’ driver when Quatre and
Daniel had been friends. “I didn’t know you would remember me.”
The man let out a laugh. “How could I forget the seemingly innocent young rascal who thought it would be a lark to bleach all
of my clothes and then turn them pink?”
Quatre let Heero guide Duo into the limo. “It wasn’t MY idea. I don’t know why everyone blamed me just because I liked the
color pink,” he said, feigning innocence. Nodding to the driver, he ducked into the limo and sat beside Duo - who was looking
at him in an odd way.
As the car started moving, Duo softly spoke. “Did we . . . did we know each other?”
Quatre sighed, reaching over to take Duo’s hand into his. “Yes, we were brothers in almost all ways. You were an only child
and I was the only boy in an army of girls.” He felt a swell of emotion as Duo gazed at him. Old memories kept returning to
his mind, the pain of losing his best friend. “When we heard . . . when I thought you had died . . .” He shook his head and
smiled at Duo. “But that doesn’t matter. I have my brother back now.” He stroked his fingers along Duo’s face, brushing
back the hair that had fallen into his eyes.
Duo leaned back and nodded. “That explains why you seemed familiar to me. That day we met . . . when we were fighting . .
.” He turned to look out the window, leaving the conversation hanging.
Wufei let out a breath that held the sound of impatience. “Well, is someone going to tell me why we’re going to England? How
do you know Maxwell? What is going on?”
He felt tired, but Quatre answered anyway. Things had been upturned so quickly. “Duo’s real name is Daniel Croft. The
Crofts have been friends and business associates with my family for generations. So, naturally, Daniel and I became best
friends, as close as brothers.” He waited a moment as the other three digested this information. “The Crofts are an old family,
a very old and wealthy family. Duo, being the only heir, has inherited everything. If he were to liquify all of his assets, he
could buy WEI out several times over and pay every single employee a substantial severance package.”
Quatre paused and looked through the pages of the papers the lawyer had given Duo. “Actually, Duo should already have some
stock in WEI . . .” He smiled and nodded. “Yes, I knew it. He has several voting shares.”
Trowa frowned. “Hasn’t anyone ever looked for him?”
“Oh, yes.” Quatre nodded. “As a matter of fact, they never stopped looking since the bodies of his parents were recovered and
his wasn’t. L-2, however, is not famous for turning in orphaned children. According to this report the lawyer attached with
the inheritance list, the investigators got a lead on him several years ago . . .” Quatre was about to say when, but he couldn’t
manage it as he read through.
Duo’s too quiet voice spoke up again. “Let me guess . . . a child matching Daniel Croft’s description was reported to be
residing in the Maxwell Church.”
Quatre felt terrible for his friend. “Yes.” He cleared his throat. “Anyway, we’re going to England to inspect the Croft estate.
We’ll probably stay in it for a night or two. Things should be in relatively good shape since there are still servants staffed
there. Though, the paperwork does mention some minor damage from the wars.” He rubbed Duo’s arm as Duo nodded
numbly. It was odd to for him to see his friend look that lost. ‘From rags to riches . . . pauper to prince. I don’t blame him
for being shocked.’
Shocked didn’t begin to come close to describing how Duo felt at the moment. He wasn’t aware of much, but he somehow
knew that if the guys weren’t there, he’d be having a nervous breakdown. Even with them present, he was only holding onto
his wits by a thin wire. Oddly enough, Quatre’s gentle rubbing of Duo’s arm was helping Duo to remain anchored.
“Umm, guys would you think me rude if I closed my eyes for a few minutes?” Duo asked, blearily looking around at the guys.
Quatre’s features softened as the blonde smiled. “You’ve been through a great deal. You’re entitled to a rest.” That was all
Duo needed to hear to close his eyes and give in to the bone-deep physical and emotional exhaustion that had been setting in for
He lost track of everything, but a slight jolt caused him to open his eyes. There was a feeling of disorientation as he forced
himself to look around. He didn’t recognize his surroundings in the least and he was alone. “Wha? Where are we?” he asked,
wondering where everyone had gotten to.
Heero was beside him instantly. “You’re on a private jet. I think the chauffeur said it was yours. We didn’t want to wake you
because you looked so tired.” He frowned and placed a hand on Duo’s forehead. “You still look tired and you have a fever.
Rest now. We’ll wake you when we arrive at the estate.”
Duo smiled and glanced around. “Thanks, I don’t wanna deal with this right now.” He sighed as Heero placed a damp
washcloth over his forehead. It helped a tiny bit with the throbbing piercing his skull. “Thanks, man.”
Heero’s voice took on an odd soothing tone. “Sshh, just rest, Duo. We won’t let anything happen to you.”
Duo had the oddest urge to ask his friend what he had done to the real Heero Yuy, but he knew better. Heero did have a caring
side that he rarely showed. Duo felt humbled and honored that his normally stoic friend would let him see that side. He simply
smiled and closed his eyes. It was good to know that in the midst of the world that had suddenly gone insane, his best friend
and partner could still be counted on to take care of things. So he closed his eyes and let the hum of the jet’s engine lull him
back to sleep.
Duo didn’t mind it when he was roused slightly as someone picked him up. He heard Heero’s voice telling him to go back to
sleep, so he did. He slept somewhat peacefully until someone shook his shoulder. “Hmm?” he asked, blinking his eyes only,
only to blush when he found out that he was lying down with his head pillowed in Heero’s lap.
Heero chuckled softly. “We’re here.”
Duo yawned and managed to exit the limo under his own power. True, his limbs all still felt as if he had twenty-pound weights
attached to them, but he hoped to be able to lie down again soon.
The other guys piled out of the limo, moving to surround Duo. Their presence offered him a sense of security. After a
moment, he became aware of an elderly man approaching them.
“Master Daniel . . . oh, it IS you! When the call came that you had been found, the staff could scarcely believe it. Everyone
has been in a twitter getting everything ready for your arrival. Your room has been cleaned and aired out and fresh linens have
been put on the bed.”
The old man started going on about how rooms were being made ready for the rest of them, when Duo interrupted him.
“Excuse me, but . . . who are you?”
The old man blinked in confusion before smiling sadly. “Ah, yes. You were so very young. I am Hillary, your butler. My
family has been serving the Crofts for generations . . . all the way back since before the great Lara Croft’s time.”
Duo frowned. He felt that he should know the name Lara from somewhere. “Lara Croft?”
Hillary nodded. “Yes, this way, sir.” He looked past Duo, a smile coming to his face. “Oh! Good to see you again, young
Master Quatre! I do hope you have outgrown some of your tomfoolery. If you haven’t, then poor Martha will be at her wit's
end.” He gestured for the group to follow, then began to lead them onto the grounds of the estate.
Quatre’s voice was as warm as if he were greeting an old and dear friend. “I’m not the one you have to worry about, Hillary.”
Duo felt his cheeks warming as he followed the chuckling butler. “I am not that bad, Quatre.”
Quatre laughed outright. “Duo, when you stayed with me during the war, you slid all the way down the grand hall in your
socks right after the floor had been waxed.”
Duo sniffed and tilted his head so he could look down his nose at Quatre. “Well, at least I didn’t make a mess of the master
bedroom when someone initiated a pillow fight.”
Quatre let out a squawk of indignation as they neared the monument in front of the estate. “That's only because someone took
the case off of my pillow and put it onto his.”
Hillary, who had been on the verge of outright laughter, quieted when he motioned to the monument. “This statue was
dedicated to the great Lara Croft when she disappeared for a time. She was thought to be dead.”
Duo felt his heart stop as he looked up at the statue. It was of a woman with long hair in a braid streaming behind her. She had
two guns pulled and she looked like she was ready for anything. Duo glanced down to where a simple plaque shone from its
setting. On it was a simple engraving. “The Legacy Lives On,” was what it read.
Ignoring the concerned questions from Quatre, Duo looked back up at the stone face. It was a face he knew well. Now he
understood why the name Lara Croft had been hauntingly familiar to him. He had known her since childhood, and she had
taught him everything he knew. He barely heard his own voice as he spoke. “Wufei?”
Wufei was suddenly beside him. “What is it?”
Duo could actually feel all of the blood flooding from his head. “You wanted to meet the woman who taught me everything.
Well, here she is.” Before Wufei could ask him what he meant, a welcome blackness engulfed him.
To Be Continued . . .