Disclaimers:  I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  It’s been about a day since the last part.  Odin gets scared.

Young Hearts

Part Thirty-Seven

Odin yawned as he blinked his eyes open.  He must have fallen asleep while playing his new game, and it looked as if Heero had
saved the game and shut the laptop off, because it was sitting there on the night stand looking as innocent as ever.  Heero was
asleep too, breathing loudly through his mouth.  And when he looked over to Duo’s bed, he saw that both Duo and Chibi-Duo
were sleeping soundly.

Odin chewed on his lower lip for a moment before he slowly pushed himself to a sitting position.  He carefully reached to the
table for Heero’s laptop.  He just wanted to play a little more, and Heero hadn’t told him not to touch the laptop.  So Odin figured
it would be all right as long as he was quiet and turned the sound off.  It was fun listening to the voices, but the subtitles made
the sound unnecessary.

Being very careful, Odin leaned over to get the laptop.  He didn’t want to move too much and wake Heero up.  After all, the
older boy was sick and needed as much rest as possible.  Odin swore to himself that he would stop the game immediately if he
started to feel drowsy in any way.

He had his fingers curled around the edge of the laptop and started to pull it close, and then discovered that it was heavier than
he had originally thought.  He could feel the slim piece of electronics slipping out of his hand and he frantically tried to get it
back where it had been, only to overcompensate.  With a loud clatter, the laptop fell to the floor.

Odin froze for a moment when Heero mumbled in his sleep.  Odin jerked his head to the side, his heart hammering even though
Duo and Chibi-Duo were still asleep.  Perhaps the medication they were all taking had resulted in this deep sleep.  Still, a wave of
panic had overwhelmed him.  He would get in trouble for this, he knew it.

Trembling, he slipped out of bed and knelt down next to the laptop.  He held his breath in the hope that it was undamaged, that
the carpet had been enough to soften the fall.  However, the rattling that came from it, along with the crack along the casing,
told him that it was broken.  ‘I have to leave,’ he thought to himself. ‘He won’t want me here anymore knowing I broke
something of his.’  With that thought, Odin spun and ran out of the room and to his own.  He quickly got on some warm clothes
and a pair of socks before donning his jacket and shoving his feet into a pair of shoes.  The only thing he could think of was to
run to L-1.

If Heero had been telling the truth when he had said that Odin Lowe was dead, then he couldn’t go search him out.  But, that
wasn’t his intention.  Odin remembered Lowe’s employer, though the memories of him were sketchy at best.  Odin remembered
that the elderly doctor had not been nice, that his tests and experiments had been unpleasant and more often than not painful.  It
had almost been a relief when J had left him alone in that forest for Lowe to find him.  It had been time for his training to
commence.  Odin Lowe was to have been his instructor, teaching him the methods of assassination.  After which, he would
have been returned to J in much the same manner as he had been handed over to Lowe, as if it were merely a chance meeting of
two strangers.  Odin only knew that when he was to be handed off to J, he was supposed to walk along a particular street on L-
1, and that he would be approached by J who would utter the code phrase.

None of this mattered now though.  J would not be waiting for him now.  No, Odin would just have to find the old scientist
himself.  L-1 was simply the most logical place to start his search.

He rubbed his hand across his nose as he shouldered a backpack that Heero had purchased for him, in preparation for when he
would be expected to attend school.  He had filled it with some clothing and a small throw blanket.  Then he snuck downstairs
by means of a back staircase, probably meant to be used by servants.  He made his way to the kitchen, peering in and gratefully
finding that no one was there.  Quickly, he grabbed some foodstuffs and stuffed them into his pack, just a loaf of bread and a jar
of peanut butter, but he figured it would last him until he reached L-1.  Then he left.  No one saw as he slipped out a side door
and crossed the snow-covered lawn.


Heero yawned as he forced his eyes to open.  Normally, the fact that he wasn't instantly alert would worry him.  However, he
knew the factors that led to his slow response time and continued drowsiness, so he remained unconcerned.  He was ill.  It was
expected for there to be some inconveniences.

He glanced over to the bed where Duo and Chibi-Duo were resting and was relieved to see that Duo's coloring was more
normal.  He wasn't as pale, or flushed as he usually was when injured or sick.  Heero took a brief moment to admire the
American's beauty, and feel grateful that Chibi-Duo would have an easier life with people who loved him.

Heero looked around for Odin briefly, but didn't see the boy.  This didn't really concern him.  He figured that Odin had just
gotten up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water.  There were numerous innocent reasons to explain Odin's absence.  So
Heero simply got out of bed and stood there momentarily, trying not to fall back down when a wave of dizziness passed through
him.  He moved to take a step, only to pause and look down when the side of his foot brushed something hard.  There, beside
his bed was his laptop.  He knelt down and picked it up.  From the rattling, it sounded like something had come loose inside.  He
wasn't overly concerned about it since he regularly backed up any information stored on the device.  If he couldn't fix it, then it
could easily be replaced.  He simply put it on the bedside table and continued on his way out of the room to the bathroom.

After he was done in the bathroom, he headed back to his room, only to be stopped by a very worried-looking Sally.  She
seemed agitated and spoke before Heero could part his lips to question her.  "Heero, do you know where Odin is?  I went into
your room about ten minutes ago to check up on the four of you and Odin wasn't there.  I've looked all over the house and
there's no sign of him anywhere.  And when I went into his and Chibi-Duo's room, I found that some of his things are gone."

Heero's mind ran through a list of possibilities.  Worry began to creep over him, seeping into his pores and clouding his mind.  
Odin was just a child, but he knew that the boy was more logic-minded that most adults Heero had met.  It had been a part of
Heero's training after all.  Doctor J, and then Odin Lowe had beaten the feelings out of him, taught him to look at things
analytically.  Young Odin would have those memories.  At least he didn't remember being returned to Doctor J's hands following
Lowe's death.  Those memories, Heero himself wished he didn't retain.

He took a deep breath, pushing down the worry.  He thought about it clinically, going over the evidence he had.  He needed more
information.  "First thing is to keep calm, Sally.  Is there any way of telling how long he's been gone?"

Sally shook her head.  "No, not really.  There are footsteps in the snow, but it's been snowing again so they're mostly covered.  
If I had to guess, I'd say a couple hours or more."  She bit her lip, her worry evident in her features and actions.  "Why would
he run off like this?"

Heero frowned as one possibility came to mind.  'He probably ran when he damaged my laptop.  Such errors were deemed
unforgivable when I was a child.'  He shook his head.  "I think I know why he left."  He felt a small amount of relief fill him as
he headed back into his room, though that fleeting relief was quickly quashed as he realized Odin would likely try to return to J.  
"And I have an idea as to where he's gone."

Duo groaned as he pushed himself to a more upright position in bed.  "Where who's gone?" he asked, his voice strained and

Sally glared at Duo.  "Don't use your voice or you could hurt yourself!"

Duo rolled his eyes, but then gave Heero a questioning look.

Heero went to his dresser and pulled out some clothes.  "Odin ran away."

Chibi-Duo gasped in alarm.  "Odin's GONE?  Where?  Why?"

Sally spoke before Heero could reply.  "What do you think you're doing, Heero?"

"I'm going after him," he calmly replied, opening another drawer and finding two pairs of socks.  It wouldn't do him any good to
go without sufficient covering.  The weather outside could damage his health further.  He needed to find Odin before the boy got
himself hurt, or worse, before he could locate Doctor J.

Sally's hand grabbed his wrist, easing it away from the drawer.  He looked up at her, confused as to why she would try and stop
him.  Didn't she want Odin to be found and brought back?  "I should go.  He's probably managed to get on a shuttle by now."

Sally shook her head.  "You are not going anywhere until we all talk about this.  You can't possibly go alone, not when you're

Heero pulled his hand back.  He nodded, thinking perhaps it would be a good idea to listen to her.  A definite plan could be
useful.  Still, he didn't like the head start Odin already had and every minute passed only put the boy in further danger.  He
moved over to the bed and sat, laying his clothes on the surface beside him.  "Make it quick.  You have approximately five
minutes to gather everyone for this discussion before I leave."

Sally didn't skip a beat.  She turned and hurried out of the room.

Heero looked over to where Duo was trying to get up.  "Duo ..." He sighed as Duo turned his beautiful eyes to him.  "You are
not coming with me.  If you weren't so ill, I'd have you watching my back in an instant.  You are the best partner anyone could
ever hope to have."  Then he cleared his throat, feeling a sense of awkwardness.  "But you need to stay here and rest."

Duo grimaced and said one word in his hoarse voice.  "Hypocrite."

Heero paused and let out a single chuckle.  "Maybe so.  But Odin is my ... my brother.  If it were Chibi-Duo who had run away,
I wouldn't dream of stopping you."

The little boy turned widened eyes to regard Duo.  "You'd come look for me?"

Duo's response was to pull the boy into a firm hug, as if to reassure the child.  "In a heartbeat," he rasped.

Chibi-Duo leaned into the embrace, resting his body fully against Duo's.  He seemed content to just lie there, safe in the embrace
of his father.

Heero sat on his bed, rubbing the back of his hand across his nose as he attempted once again to inhale.  His sinuses were still
clogged, his head feeling hazy at best.  And his body ached.  But none of this would stop him from going after Odin.  No matter
what Sally and the others offered in this little meeting they were going to be having, Heero was going to go.  Odin was his
responsibility and it was Heero's heart that ached with worry not knowing whether the boy was safe or not.  He couldn't pass
this mission off on anybody else.  He would get Odin back and somehow make sure that the boy felt safe and secure enough
never to flee from him again.

To Be Continued ...