Toy Soldiers
Part 3

[Won't you come out and play with me?
Step by step ... heart to heart
Left right left ... we all fall down
Like toy soldiers]

"GODDAMNSTUBBORSONOFABITCHBASTARDYUY! YEARGH!!!"

Quatre peeked into the VR control room and ducked as a small piece of machinery flew straight for him.

"DAMMITALLTOFUCKINGHELL!"

"Ummm ... I take it the talk with Heero didn't go as planned." Quatre winced at how lame he sounded.

"No SHIT, Sherlock!" Duo slumped to the floor with a growl. "He needs MORE proof he said. Dammit, Q, he was actually
TALKING to me like he USED to. What more does he want? The doll had no scars ... no dental records NOTHING. He can't
contact anyone because anyone could have been brought in on this master plan of ours." She sighed. "I blew it, Quat. I never
should have outright ASKED for the braid back. He stared at me for two seconds and then left. When I tracked him down, he
said he needed more evidence before he handed it over." Duo giggled a little. "I shouldn't be surprised. He's the kinda guy who
wants the tangible proof. Stuff he can see and touch. I think ... I think I would have been disappointed in him if he had handed it
over."

"HEEEEEEEEEEEROOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

"Aw HELL!" Duo stood up and walked to the door in three angry strides. "How the HELL does she do it? This is the absolute
LAST thing I need right now!" She headed for the source of the voice and glared at the person who had called.

Heero felt the tension in the room rise a notch and knew that Duo had walked in. She hadn't been all that happy twenty minutes
ago, and he could only hope that she didn't kill Releena.

"What the FUCK are you doing here? This is private property ... MY private property, to be precise." Duo strode up to Releena
and glared at the girl. "You are not welcome here! So get your prissy ass back into your Barbie-pink limo and get the hell off my
land!"

Heero raised an eyebrow. 'HER land? HER property? I thought the estate belonged to Quatre.'

Releena sniffed. "I don't know who you think you are, miss ..."

Duo smiled evilly. "The Angel of Death ... Duo Maxwell. But you knew this, didn't you? You wouldn't have come here without
researching where Heero was."

Releena glared at the girl. "So YOU'RE Duo. What? You cut your hair to put on that doll? I always knew something was off
about that thing."

"You know something? You're a pain in the ass, Lady."

Releena glared at Duo. "How DARE you! I am Releena Peacecraft ... princess of the Sanc Kingdom!"

Duo blinked and then smirked. "Oh? Then I do apologize ... you're a ROYAL pain in the ass. Better?"

Heero snorted and tried to keep his face neutral, but a smirk of his own was teasing the edge of his mouth.

Releena gasped at Heero. "I can't believe you encourage her! She's a deceitful snake from L-2. How can you believe anything she
says after the way she tricked you?"

Heero glanced at Duo and felt a small smile emerge on his face. "There is no way she can fake emotions. Although I want to
gather more proof, my feelings tell me that the only lie was the one we told ourselves." He turned his attention to Releena.
"Because once I have the proof ... that she IS Duo..." He turned back to the girl and stared at her while trying to find words.

Duo blushed at the unspoken promise. She suddenly felt her annoyance drain away.

Releena dragged her out of her musing. "All right ... I'll fight you for him."

Duo snickered. "FIGHT? Are you kidding me? No way!"

Releena sneered a little. "What? Don't you love him enough to fight for him?"

Duo frowned at Releena as she noticed the puzzled frown on Heero's face. "I have two very good reasons why I won't fight
you."

Releena paused. "Oh? Afraid you'll break a nail?"

Heero almost growled at Releena. 'She's underestimating Duo.'

Duo laughed at Releena. "Reason number one ... as good as the doll was, I had to be better. You, with your soft upbringing,
don't stand a snowball's chance in Hell against me." Then she shook her head sadly and gazed at Heero. "Reason number two ...
I love Heero too much to treat him like some prize to be won in a carnival. Same goes for Wufei. If either of them would be
happy with someone else ... I'll cry about it, but I'll deal." She turned back to Releena. "Heero would never be happy while posing
as a trophy. What do you want from him, Releena? You don't love him or you wouldn't be putting him in danger the way you do
by following him around." Duo blinked as Releena slapped her across the face.

"What do YOU know about love? Has Heero ever saved YOU?"

Duo laughed again. "Of course he has! I'm his partner on most missions! It's his job to watch my back even as I watch his. He's
saved my ... or rather the doll's ass more times that he's seen you. I'm not foolish enough to see his sense of duty as an act of
love. He saves you because of who you are ... PRINCESS. You're probably the only person who can bring peace in the middle
of this chaos. Pacifism and peaceful thoughts are needed to soothe the storm a little. You're deluding yourself by thinking he
loves you."

"Releena?"

Releena turned to Heero and smiled. "Yes?"

Heero's mouth quirked into a smirk briefly. "Go piss up a rope!" With that, he walked past the stunned princess and the
snickering Duo, pausing only to grab Duo's wrist and drag her along and checking to see that the other pilots followed.

Duo followed willingly and without question as Heero led her to the hangar. She sat when instructed and watched as the others
walked in.

Heero leaned against the wall as the other three pilots sat at the table. "All right ... what did you mean that this estate was your
property? I thought you were an orphan from L-2. Where'd you get the money?"

Duo ducked her head and smirked. "I embezzled it from Oz and the Romafeller Foundation ... and I managed to tap into G's
account. When I'm particularly miffed ... I swipe some money from Releena." Then she sighed. "Listen ... when this war is
over, you can each go into various fields. Heero is a fabulous mechanic and computer technician. Trowa can go to the circus if
he wants to. Quatre has his family's company and Wufei has his hand-to-hand fighting style. None of you has the record I have.
I'm known on L-2 and the other colonies. There's no way I'll be able to get a job no matter HOW qualified I am." She waved to
the hangar to indicate the entire estate. "I got this place so that, after the war, you guys could come and crash whenever you
needed to get away from whatever."

Wufei snorted. "So you steal from the enemy?"

Duo shook her head. "I don't view it as STEALING, actually. I look at it as taking just reimbursement for services rendered. Are
any of you getting paid for putting your lives on the line? I highly doubt it. I took the liberty of checking to see what Oz top
officials made and took an equal amount. All THEY do is sit behind a desk ... YOU'RE on the front line risking your asses in
grossly unfair battles. Now with me well enough to fly Deathscythe Hell, I'll be right out there with you." She played with her
bangs a little. "I took money from G because it was HIS fault I was so sick in the first place. He should have spaced any jerkoff
who complained about the fact that the pilot he chose was a girl."

Trowa nodded. "So ... you really have no skills outside hacking and piloting a mobile suit."

"That's it in a nutshell. I could probably become a great assassin, but ... I don't want to kill anyone again once this war is over.
So if I don't take the money, I'm screwed ... literally." She swallowed. "I hold no illusions as to what'll become of me if I can't
support myself. There's always a call for a warm, if not willing, body." She shrugged. "I'd rather not fall to that low. And I don't
want to steal when this war is over. Right now I see it as a necessity."

Heero frowned at her logic, but couldn't argue with it. Truth be told ... the thought of any girl whoring herself because she
couldn't make money any other way made his stomach churn.


*****

Later that night, Heero was disturbed by a light tapping on his door. Light enough that, had he been sleeping, he would not have
noticed it. He frowned as he walked to the door and opened it. He came face to face with Duo. She looked tired and worried.
"What is it?"

"Are you working on your laptop?"

Heero blinked in confusion at the hopeful tone in her voice. "Yes ... why?" He hoped she wouldn't ask what he was working on.

She bit her lip. "Ummm ... I know this'll sound crazy ... but would you work on the laptop in my room? I got so used to hearing
it at night that I can't seem to sleep now. I'd ask to sleep in here, but..." She let her mouth drop open as Heero cleared off the
spare bed.

Heero sat down at the desk. "It's more efficient to have you sleep in here then it is to close everything down and go to your
room." After about ten minutes of silence, Heero looked behind him and walked over to the spare bed. He couldn't fight the small
smile that tugged at his mouth as he pulled the blanket over Duo's shoulders. "Oyasumi, Duo-chan."

Duo mumbled a reply before she snuggled into the blankets with a small smile on her face.

Heero turned back to his work and smiled as he found what he was looking for.


*****

The next morning at breakfast, Quatre looked up when he felt the weight of Duo's eyes on him.

Duo quirked an eyebrow and nodded her head to Trowa in question.

Quatre felt his cheeks flame as he remembered the previous night and he ducked his head with a bashful smile before meeting
Duo's eyes again.

Duo smirked as she took a bite out of her muffin.

Quatre shot Heero a glance and tilted his head when he looked back at Duo.

Duo put the muffin down and sighed while she shook her head.

Quatre let his eyes fill with sympathy for Duo while giving her a small smile of encouragement.

Duo smiled back and finished her breakfast. "See you all later!"

Quatre kissed Trowa on the cheek before leaving.

Trowa was still frowning. "I don't know what makes me more nervous. The fact that those two just had a silent conversation,
or the fact that I understood it."

Heero looked up and Wufei frowned. Heero broke the silence.

"Care to share?"

Trowa put his coffee mug down. "Basically Duo asked Quatre if he and I were doing what she thought we were doing. Quatre's
answer was in the affirmative. This came as no surprise to her ... apparantly she heard the two of us. Quatre was then
wondering what her status with you was, Heero. She replied that it wasn't going as well as she hoped it was. Quatre's reply was
to not give up. Duo then thanked him and excused herself from the table. I think that covers it."

Heero nodded and carried his empty dishes to the sink before heading for the hangar.

*****

Heero paused when he entered and frowned as he listened to Duo singing.

"You took your coat of ... and stood in the rain
You were always crazy like that
I watched from my window ... always felt I was outside
Looking in on you ...

You were always the mysterious one with dark eyes and careless hair
You were fasionably sensitive but too cool to care
You stood in my doorway ... with nothing to say
Except for some comment on the weather.

Well in case you failed to notice ... in case you failed to see
This is my heart bleeding before you ... this is me down on my knees
And these foolish games are tearing me apart ...
And your thoughtless words are breaking my heart ..."

Heero loathed to interrupt her, but he had to talk to the girl. "Duo."

Duo's head popped out of nowhere and she blushed. "Ummm ... you're ahead of schedule. D'ya want me to book?"

"No ... actually I wanted to talk to you."

Duo nodded and shimmied down Deathscythe Hell. She landed gracefully near Heero and watched as he circled her. "Uhhh ...
what are you doing? You look like you're impersonating a vulture."

Heero suddenly grasped her right arm and pulled it up to examine it. There it was ... just as he had seen on the video feed. An old
scar about two inches long by a quarter of an inch wide running along the middle of her lower arm. "How'd you get this?" He ran
a finger along the smooth pink scar.

"I was playing with one of the smaller kids and a few bricks started to fall off a building. It was a split second decision. My arm
or her head. Guess which decision I made." She shrugged. "I was lucky ... some doc who liked helping the street kids happened
to be doing his monthly rounds at the time. He stitched it up real nice so it didn't get infected." She gulped as she realized Heero
was staring at her. "Heero?"

Heero released her arm and cupped her face with his hands. "Don't you EVER scare me like that again. Do you understand?"

Duo started trembling under the intensity of Heero's gaze. "Heero?"

Heero started to close the distance between them.

"HEERO! YOU HAVE A MISSION ... Ooops!" Quatre blushed when he realized he'd interrupted something.

Heero froze. "Damn!"

Duo whimpered as Heero pulled away. 'So close ... but so far away.' She glared at Quatre and felt a small thrill of satisfaction
when the blonde gulped. She sighed when Heero left the hangar. "Quatre ... you really hafta work on your timing."


END OF PART 3

Song is "Foolish Games" by Jewel ... it fits Duo's feelings for Heero, ne?