Toy Soldiers

Part 1

[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]


The orders came in as always ... they were to go and destroy a base and the facilities surrounding it.  The sheer size of the
facility required that all five of them to go.

Duo was just relieved that there had been enough time for his ass to recover from his last session with Trowa.

Things had been going well until the reinforcements had arrived.  Before they knew it, they had run out of ammo and were on
their last legs.  They were just barely keeping themselves alive as they tried to secure an escape route.

Duo looked out at the new wave of approaching suits.  "How many are there?"

Heero heard the tone in Duo's voice ... it was resolute. "About 50. Duo ... what are you going to do?"

Duo's voice answered him in a mechanical voice. "I'm going to cover your asses. Get the hell outta here. NOW!"

Quatre's voice was oddly undistressed. "We'd better do as he says. Good luck, Duo."

Four Gundams shot away from the fifth. Deathscythe stood its ground.

Had any of the other pilots seen Duo at that moment, they would have not recognized him. His face was lacking in expression
and his eyes were empty. "Well, Deathscythe old buddy, we fought the good fight. We did our best." With a resolution never
before seen, Duo punched the self-destruct button.

*****

Quatre frowned at the explosion. Whenever one of the others had been gravely injured, he had felt it. Even as the explosion
blossomed and the disbelief of the other pilots flooded him, he felt not one bit from the American. He wasn't surprised ... he
knew the reason why.

"DUO!!!" Heero couldn't believe it. Although the possibility had always loomed over them, he was not expecting the sting he felt
in his heart. Duo's smiling face flashed in his mind's eye and he clenched his hands into fists. 'Duo you IDIOT! You didn't have
to do that!'

Wufei's subdued voice spoke. "Heero ... there's nothing we can do for him. The idiot knew what he was doing. Let's get back to
the safehouse."

Quatre spoke up. "You guys go ahead ... I have a promise I have to keep."

*****

Quatre flew Sandrock back to the remains of Deathscythe as the others flew ahead. He landed and walked over the the form
lying in the rubble. With a resolute breath, he picked Duo's still form up and carried him to Sandrock and placed him in the back
before contacting the Maguanac.

Not twenty minutes later, Quatre was meeting with Rasid.  "You know where to take him."  He watched as Rasid entered his
own suit and flew off before Quatre headed back to the safe house.

*****

Quatre took a deep breath and slammed all of his shields and walls up.  As it was ... the sadness was so deep that Quatre felt
hard pressed to go in.  Still, he took a deep breath and entered.  He first went to the basement which had been turned into a
workout room.

Trowa was down there punching the bag so hard it looked like he would either break the bag or his hand ... whichever came
first.  His hands were already bleeding, but he seemed not to care.

Quatre sighed a little sadly.  He knew that Trowa had often relieved his sexual tension with Duo.  He also knew that Trowa had
always regretted not being able to give Duo more than that.  He cautiously approached Trowa and laid a hand on the tall pilot's
shoulder.

Trowa turned to him, and there was such anguish in his eyes that it tore at Quatre's heart.

Quatre did the only thing he could and wrapped his arms around Trowa's waist.

Trowa choked a little on a sob and held Quatre close.  "Why couldn't I love him the way he needed to be, Quatre?  He was such
a wonderful person ..."

Quatre rubbed circles on Trowa's back.  "You gave him what you could.  That's all anyone could ask of you.  He knew you
cared."

Trowa shook his head.  "I don't think it was nearly enough."

Quatre sighed and gazed at the broken skin on Trowa's hands.  "Come on ... let's tend to this before infection sets in."

*****

Once Quatre had tended to Trowa's hands and tucked him in bed to rest, he sought Heero out.  Of the two remaining pilots,
Heero was the most likely to do himself harm.  He knocked quietly before entering.  Heero was sitting on the bed staring out at
nothing.

Quatre sighed and walked over to sit next to Heero.  "Do you want to talk?"

Heero shook his head.  "What did you do with his body?"

Quatre let out a breath, relieved that Heero seemed to be taking things in stride.  "Rasid took him someplace where he'll be taken
care of.  That's all you need to know."  He stood up.  "Will you be okay?"

"I wanted to love him, Quatre ... I just couldn't make myself desire him in that way."  He sighed.  "Do you think he knew that I
cared?"

Quatre nodded.  "I'm sure of it, Heero.  I'm sure he knew we all cared."  He turned the blankets down.  "Now ... lie down for a
while."

Heero shook his head.  "Maybe in a little while.  I just want to think for a few minutes."

Quatre smiled sadly in understanding.  "All right.  If you find that you need me for anything, don't hesitate to come get me."

Heero nodded a little.  "Thanks, Quatre."

*****

Quatre sighed as he walked outside.  Wufei was swinging his sword in what would have normally been a beautiful display.  At
the moment, however, Wufei seemed to be aiming his strikes at vines and the bushes surrounding their safe house.  It was as if
causing this small amount of destruction would help.  Still, Quatre wasn't afraid that Wufei would slip and hurt himself.  Wufei
had too much control for that.

Wufei surprised him by talking first.  "He was the only one who always said 'after the war ...' as if he believed he would survive
it."  His eyes were dry, but full of sadness.  "He didn't deserve to die.  He was going to go to college ... and find someone special
to share his life with.  He was going to make enough money to have a big house so the rest of us could visit him or just live with
him."

Quatre smiled.  That sounded just like Duo.  "I think you and I are the only two people he shared his dreams with, Wufei.  We
were the only ones who he trusted enough to show his serious side to."

Wufei nodded.  "And he always told me I was too uptight.  He was always trying to get me to relax more.  He knew which
buttons to press and when not to press them."  He looked back out to the landscape.  "He was a good and honorable person, and
he died saving the rest of us."  He nodded.  "Given the choice, I would have done the same.  I can only hope that he didn't suffer
too much at the end."

Quatre nodded in agreement.  "I'll be inside if you need to talk.  I need to contact the place I've sent ... well you know.  Let them
know what's on the way.  After that, I'm going to check in on Heero and Trowa, make myself some warm milk and take a little
nap.  You should take a little down time, too."

Wufei gave Quatre a kind look.  "I plan to get some water and meditate in a little bit and then take a shower.  Thank you, Winner,
for coming out.  I appreciate it."

Quatre smiled and inclined his head before turning into the house.  He had a call to make.

*****

Quatre waited patiently as the other end rung.  He forced a smile when the image on the display flickered before a familiar face
popped up.

"Hey there."

Quatre took a deep breath and let the smile drop.  "The package is on the way."

"Aw hell, Quat ... I didn't plan for it to go down like that.  You know I wouldn't do that to you guys."  There was a pause.  
"How are they taking it?"

Quatre sighed.  "Not too good.  Trowa was trying to break the punching bag ... either that or his hand, I'm not sure which.  
Heero was sitting in his room doing nothing and Wufei was doing some violent gardening."  He shrugged.  "I'm going to check
on Heero and Trowa in a bit.  Wufei seems to be coming to terms."

The person on the other end looked relieved.  "Trowa ... well you know his feelings.  Wufei will probably go polish his suit for a
while.  The one I'm worried most about is Heero."

Quatre shrugged.  "I understand.  When should we relocate?"

"Not yet.  Let them grieve, Quatre.  I'll let you know when I think it's time.  You go take it easy.  I'll see what went wrong when
the package gets here.  It shouldn't have taken that action."

Quatre frowned.  "You mean you weren't in control?"

The other person shook their head.  "Only partially.  I've been having more and more problems lately.  I don't know."

Quatre pursed his lips.  "Odd ... well I'll be going now.  Take care of yourself."

"You too.  Bye!"  Then the screen went dark.

Quatre frowned deeply as he wondered what had happened to make things go the way they had.


END OF PART 1