Heero moved through the house silently, listing to himself who was located where and being sure to avoid them. He wanted to go check on Wing, and didn't want any questions or distractions.
He made it to the living room where Touma sat on the sofa, eyes closed, large black headphones over his ear. A curling black wire trailed from them to the stereo setup on one side of the room.
Heero stopped and looked. He appreciated the other teenager's obvious intelligence and honesty. But Touma was not a factor that Heero could understand. None of their acquaintances from this era were.
"Normal," Heero said aloud.
"Duo, come back here!!" The familiar cry came from an unfamiliar voice and gave Heero just enough warning to step out of the way before Duo barreled into the room at top speed, Shuu running after him. "That's my Twinkie!!" Duo vaulted the headphone cord; Shuu however ran into it, ripping it out of where it was plugged in.
Loud music blared into the room at a high volume, pausing his pursuer while Duo made an escape out the window.
"Dammit, Touma, you trying to deafen yourself?!" Shuu demanded as he turned the volume down.
"I like Pat Benetar!" Touma replied. Heero stared at the twinkling lights of the CD player, his mind tracking and translating the English lyrics.
--We can't afford to be innocent, stand up and face the enemy--
--It's a do or die situation, we will be invincible--
Reality Storm: Chapter 6
released 31st August 2000
Trowa carefully tightened the bolt, then looked up at the cockpit. "How's that?" he called.
Machinery hummed to life beneath his hands; he watched its motion closely, making sure that the gears were running smoothly, no sparks, checking their placement and speed. Then the mobile suit was shut down and the motion slowed, dying to stillness.
"It seems to be fixed," Quatre replied, coming out of Sandrock's hatch.
"One problem down, ninety-nine to go," Trowa told him with a faint hint of amusement in his voice. He straightened and looked through the trees to where he could see Duo working on Deathscythe. Faint chatter drifted through the air as pilot 02 kept up his usual monologue.
It had been hard to tell whose Gundam was the most badly damaged, but Wing and Shenlong seemed the forerunners for the position. Heavyarms, despite having run empty on armaments during the battle, seemed to have gotten off with the least damage. After making the few repairs which allowed his Gundam to at least be mobile, Trowa had sought out Quatre, for reasons he couldn't explain even to himself, and offered his aid.
The blond pilot, a smudge of oil darkening his left cheek, had accepted with the happiest of smiles.
"Shit," Duo Maxwell cursed, up to his braid inside the Gundam, struggling to reach the cracked disk he needed to replace. "Shit shit shit shit shit, and have I mentioned I hate being short?" His fingers touched the disk and he wriggled a few more inches forward. "Almost... got it... damn it, where's Howard and his guys when I really need 'em?" His fingers closed on the object and he grinned triumphantly. "Gotcha! Hey, Deathscythe," he called to his partner, "anyone ever tell you you're a bitch to repair? That's why I let Howard fix ya up. Unlike a certain antisocial 'no one touches my Gundam but me' pilot. You think maybe he's using Wing to represent something else? No? Well, I do. That guy's got a control issue so big that--"
"That what?" Heero Yuy's voice asked from outside of Shinigami's right knee joint.
Duo's head jerked up and hit a block. "Ow... fuck," he cursed, pressing one hand against the back of his head. "Heero, do you always have to sneak up on people?" he asked, wrenching the cracked disk free of its last clamp and beginning to wriggle backwards.
"You were making so much noise you wouldn't have noticed an army of Leos," Heero acidly replied as Duo emerged.
Duo glared. "Fine, what do you want?"
"Lunch is here." Heero dropped to the ground and began walking away.
The promise of food evaporated Duo's bad mood in a heartbeat.
Lunch had appeared in the form of two picnic baskets carried by Shuu, who led the other twentieth-century natives unerringly to the Gundams. Wufei raised an eyebrow as he saw how much food had been layered into the two baskets, and how heavy they must be. Shuu just grinned at him in response and offered forth a braggart comment about being able to bench-press a bus.
And as they ate, Wufei worried. The mechanical parts Heero had acquired, despite their primitive make, were sufficient to return most of the Gundams to mobile status. However, the flight systems of all the suits had been damaged, as well as sensor arrays, communications monitoring, and weapons control. The odds of being able to repair delicate circuitry systems with 1989 parts were so low as to make the task impossible.
Even the delicious taste of strawberries and cake melting in his mouth wasn't enough to distract Wufei from these thoughts.
Quatre blinked, his right hand creeping to his chest.
"Quatre?" Trowa asked.
"Something's... not right," he said unsurely.
Seiji's eyes met his from across the clearing. The other blond closed his eyes in seeming concentration. Then their shock of violet opened. "Something is coming," he agreed.
Forks were hastily laid down. "Nasuti, get back to the house," Touma ordered. The woman nodded and turned, starting to run.
Something rippled in the sky, feeling so wrong that Quatre gasped, his hand fisting over his heart. And when he looked up, he understood why.
"What are those?" Shin asked, his tone awed but his eyes sharp.
"Aries," Duo spat out. "Damn Treize anyway!" He turned and, following Wufei's example, sprinted to his Gundam.
"You should go, too," Trowa told the five boys who belonged in this time. "This is not your fight."
"Maybe it wasn't," Ryou agreed, taking something from his pocket. Quatre recognized it--a crystal sphere. All five of the young men seemed so have one. "But they just made it ours."
Light flared, and Quatre's eyes widened.
Hot Fudge Productions (Mel, Ali, bow-worship) made the Invincible video;
Sandy did the Twinkie and the bench-pressing of the bus.