Under a Blood-Red Sky Part 2
II.: The Plan~

Heero woke the next morning to a delightfully familiar voice wailing, "HERO!! NO!!! Down! Stay! Sit! Not there!!!" He was not, however, appreciative of the wet *something* dripping on his face. Nor was he happy about the two hundred pound bulk that settled on his midriff.

His eyes bulged--it'd been at least nine hours since he last went to the bathroom...! Heero somehow managed to wiggle out from beneath the weight and fell off the bed onto the carpet of Duo's guestroom.

The American stood over him, eyes concerned and hand clutching the end of a leash that looked as if half of it had been ripped off. He pulled Heero up and glared at the dog on the bed.

The animal bearing the missing half of the leash grinned, wagged its whip-like tail and lowered himself into a play bow.

There was a silent war between blue and violet--innocence and adoration vs. anger and scolding.

Heero looked back and forth between the two, wondering if this was a common occurrence.

Finally, Duo sighed, tossing the useless leash over his shoulder and stalking out of the room. The dog bounded after its owner happily. It was truly amazing how it seemed to take after Duo. Heero was sure that had it been human, it would've been in ballet slippers and dancing on its toes.

Twenty minutes later found the ex-Wing pilot at the breakfast table with a plate of runny eggs and something he couldn't identify before him. He poked it with his fork experimentally.

"What is this?" he asked cautiously.

Duo looked up, face a little pink. "Sorry, I don't cook. I usually go out and get something to eat, but I didn't get the chance to yet."

Heero become aware of a furry muzzle sniffing his arm, then settle on the crook. He looked up at the American. "He wasn't here yesterday."

"Nah, he had a yearly check-up. I picked him up this morning while you were still sleeping off your travel."

Heero scratched the thin ears. "Very friendly dog. What breed is it?"

Duo called his pet over and dropped a piece of ready-cooked sausage into the eagerly waiting mouth. "Tosa Inu."

Heero blinked. "The Japanese fighting dog?" Surely an animal with the history of a killer wouldn't be so lovable.

"Yup. They were banned in many countries in the twentieth century because of their background. But recent selective breeding has brought up the numbers as well as practically eliminating the traits of their ancestors. Did you know that the Tosa was called 'the Labrador Retriever of the colony times' by several organizations?"

The Japanese let out an amused noise, turning the big dog's attention back to him. Or rather, the toast he held. Heero sighed. "He certainly loves food like a Lab." Something occurred to him. "What's his name again?"

Duo's spoon stopped halfway to his mouth, and for reasons unknown, he blushed. He set down the utensil and mumbled something. Heero raised an eyebrow.

"Excuse me?"

"Hero, OK?" Duo prayed that his friend wouldn't think it significant. In truth, he'd gotten the dog because of its eyes. So blue, so deep, and so much like the Wing pilot's. One look into them and the American had known there was no backing out of keeping it.

"How did you get him?" If Heero DID notice anything, he didn't let it show.

"He was an abandoned pup that was living in my back yard until I took him in. He had leash-phobia like you wouldn't believe. Come to think of it, it took me a long time to get him over fear of sticks too. I think he was abused."



Duo mentally kicked himself. This morning had been a perfectly good time to tell Heero about the new events. But he looked so relaxed, so happy, that the American would've hated himself to change that after-war Heero.

He leaned heavily against his bedroom door, fists clenched and teeth grinding.

"I have to tell Heero," he hissed at himself. "I have to."

"Daijoubu, Duo." The new voice surprised him. "What do you have to tell me?"


Said pilot nodded. "What is this that I should know?"

Duo waved his hands dismissively. "Nothing! Nan demo."

It was obvious Heero wasn't buying it.

He sighed, pushing himself into an upright position and gathering up his courage. "Just a minute." He disappeared into his room and returned a few moments later with a piece of paper in hand. He gave it to Heero. "This is a forwarded letter I got from Relena."


Nine years before, the Gundams were destroyed and the pieces sent on a final journey to the sun. About six years ago, a number of carriers disappeared. All in the same area--approximately two-thirds of the way from Earth to Mars. The carriers share one common trait: they were all transporting Gundanium Alloy when--we believe--attacked. The colony delegates had not released the information, for we do not wish to alarm the people. However, there have been recent reports of several mobile suits near colony Halo. When questioned, the government there showed no knowledge of such suits. Therefore, the public release of this will not take place until we can be more certain of the facts.

In AC 195 and AC 196, five juvenile colony-born boys were sent to end the wars, and have succeeded. We have reasons to believe that this may end in a war and may need the Gundam pilots.


Heero handed the letter back to Duo. "Is this what I should know?"

The American bit his lip and nodded. "This was written about six months ago, but now they're sure that there's something going on besides just a playful run with banned mobile suits."

"Sou ka. Why wasn't I informed of this earlier?"

Duo looked at his friend and, "None of us knew where you were until you flew Winner Air to this colony and one of Quatre's sisters saw your name."

Heero crossed his arms and leaned against the wall, eyes closed. "What's the plan?" He asked the simple question.

Duo shrugged. "Relena suggested that we visit Halo in secret. Her theory is that there's some sort of illegal underground mobile suit manufacturer there." He touched his friend's arm, feeling the muscles tense under his hand. "Are--are you OK with this? I mean, maybe there's a way you can stay under-cover and not get yourself into this..."

"Why would I?"

The American snorted. "So you ARE willing to go with this?"

Heero nodded. "I never backed out of a battle before, did I?"

A grin. "No, I guess not." Duo changed the subject abruptly, blurting out: "Why did you come back? You didn't know about this new change until just now, but you still came back." He'd tried to contain his curiosity, but damn he wanted to know!

"Do you really want to know?"

Duo blinked. Heero's expression was overshadowed by his bangs. "Yeah."

Deep blue eyes regarded him intently and Duo felt tingles run down his spine. "When we first met, you helped me. And as we went through the war together, you were always there when I needed someone. You took care of me even when I was such a..." His lip twitched, "Anti-social, uncooperative jerk."

His callused hand stroked Duo's cheek and brushed a loose lock from the bewildered, heart-shaped face. Slowly, almost as if in a movie, they leaned closer until Heero held the slender body in a tight embrace.

They'd never hugged before.

Duo brought his arms around the powerful chest. "Gods Heero. Nine years...it's too long. I missed you."

When they pulled apart, the violet eyes were suspiciously bright.

Hero whined.

Duo laughed at the dog. "Oh my, it's your dinner time isn't it?"

With that, he skipped off to the kitchen, and the Tosa gave Heero an astonishingly human look before loping after his master.


>.< That HD scene didn't go as well as I'd hoped. *whaps self* The original version of it was better!!!!!!

Oi, did anyone notice that I changed the breed of the dog Hero? He used to be a German Shepherd, but recently, I've been having this fascination with fighting dog rescue programs (I DESPISE those people who make dogs fight for their own sick enjoyment; My labby Clara--thus how I met my E-pal Clara ^_~ --is the #1 member of the family!), and I noticed that one of the most feared was the Tosa Inu (no, I wasn't joking when I said that they were banned in many countries. It's right here: *points to 'The Encyclopedia of the Dog' by Bruce Fogle*).


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