Chapter 13:Rights


by Kracken

Disclaimer: I don't own them and I don't make any money off of them.
Warnings: Male/Male sex, graphic, language, violence.

The news vids were full of our return trip, the report of my 'assault' on the manager, and speculation of whether his impending charges would finally cause a rift between Duo and I, one that would separate us. They didn't seem to care that the manager wasn't pressing charges or that we were clearly together, and happy, whenever we went into public. We tried to ignore it, as usual, but it was hard when our faces were plastered on every news source. Someone conveniently leaked the news that I had visited my therapist, as well, with a photo of me leaving the office, to confirm it. Duo was furious, of course, but I only speculated about how much money this person had gotten, and laughed it off. They could make me angry, but letting them ruin my day was only letting them win, in my opinion.

I was ridiculously glad to return to work. As we parked the car in the garage and climbed out, it was like coming home, and I felt an eagerness to start that made Duo laugh at me, even though he was feeling it to. He wanted to get back to the hero business, and was hoping for a new mission, I was sure, and I was eager to get back to my own mission of hunting down the facts that the agents needed.

I was expecting the worst when we parted ways in he halls and I opened the door of my office. There would be hundreds of sticky notes with insults, I was sure, and mindless acts of vandalism. I was surprised to find everything as neat and as orderly as when I had left it. Hardly believing it, I even opened the drawers of my desk, cautiously, but didn't find anything there either.

I started through the work that had accumulated during my absence, and found, right away, several requests that should have been taken care of days ago. I stacked them and headed for Research. When one of my coworkers gave me a friendly, "Hey, Yuy, how's it going?" as he passed me in the hallway, I couldn't help a lame mumble in reply. I turned to stare after him. Jim Dougan had never been friendly towards me before.

Shaking my head in confusion, I continued on my way, and received two more greetings, before I reached the main office, where my old desk had used to be. I felt unnerved, as if a joke was being played at my expense, and half believed that. They couldn't be sincere, I felt. Something big was waiting for me, somewhere, some ultimate insult. I felt vindicated when I saw the very large group of people facing towards my old desk. Here it was, I thought to myself, and braced myself for what was coming next. I didn't expect to hear Duo's voice.

"Just relax, buddy, so no one gets hurt."

"Someone's going to get hurt," a rather high pitched, man's voice replied, "and it's for your own good!"

"Holding me at gunpoint is for my own good?" Duo asked as I started anxiously through the crowd.

Hands reached out and stopped me and two taller coworkers moved to stand in front of me. "Hide!" a woman's voice hissed. "He's after you!"

I recognized the woman that I have saved from suicide. Her expression was terrified, but still anxious for my safety.

"He's a filthy pervert! A coward!" the shrill voice replied. "You're a hero. You should be honored. That disgusting bastard is trying to drag you down. He wants to destroy you."

"Can I get a name?" Duo asked, as if amused. "Nobody I know fits that description."

"Heero Yuy!" the man shouted. "He has you fooled, but not me, and not those who honor you. I'm going to make sure that he doesn't hurt you any more."

"He saved the Earth and the colonies," Duo growled. "If anyone deserves honor, it's Heero."

The man snarled back, "That's in the past, before he decided to make you his-"

I went red in the face, used to insults, but nothing that crude.

Duo's voice, when it replied, was as cold as ice, as he said, "If you touch Heero, I'm going to show you why they called me 'Shinigami' "

"Do to me what you like," the man replied. "I don't matter. It's Earth and the colonies that need you. I'm saving you for them. Now, get him here, or I'll start shooting these people, one by one."

"I here," I called out and shoved people aside until I reached the front, and my old desk. The new occupant was huddled in the chair, terrified, and watching the small, balding man, in front of the desk, threaten Duo with a gun. It seemed that the gunmen hadn't been aware of my new office assignment.

Duo looked exasperated with me, but purposefully kept the situation calm with a joke. "Do you always have to sacrifice yourself for everyone else?"

"Yes, just like you do," I replied with the same calm. "It's who we are."

"It's what we do," Duo chuckled, agreeing, but I could see the fear for me in his eyes.

"Shut up!" the man snarled at us both, and then motioned with the gun at me. "Get over here, so that I can blow your brains out and finish this."

"I think I finally get it," one of my coworkers said, as if amazed at himself. He looked at me as if in awe. "You're not a coward. You've just done enough. You deserve... rest."

"Yeah," another man said and nodded. "You've done enough, Yuy. It's time that we took care of things ourselves and let you take it easy."

"They're a team," a woman spoke up. "Yuy isn't keeping Agent Maxwell from doing his job. They do their job together."

"That's a lie!" the gunman shouted angrily. "He's a goddamn pervert. A coward!"

"No," Duo said, "he's not."

Everyone began shaking their heads and saying, "He's not. He's not a coward."

A man who had tormented me for years, swallowed hard and stepped between me and the gunman. Treakel, my ex supervisor, was volunteering to be my shield. Slowly, other agents, and office personnel, began stepping forward to join him. I was suddenly walled off from my attacker.

"I'll shoot all of you!" the gunman screamed at them.

"You'll have to shoot me first," Duo told him and added his body to my shield, turning to block the gun with his chest.

"Why!!?" the man begged, mentally falling apart with confusion.

"Because," Duo replied, "I'm gay. Heero didn't talk me into it, drug me, brain wash me, or any of that. Duo Maxwell is gay, understand? I always have been. Heero is, too, which is why I'm such a lucky, lucky man, because I really love the guy. I am willing to die for him. So, if you can't accept that, then go ahead and shoot me. Just understand, that I fully intend to take you with me, just to make sure that you don't hurt Heero, or anyone else here."

The gun man's hand shook, and sweat beaded his forehead. The gun wavered and that's when Duo hit him with a right cross that sent him flipping back over the desk. He was unconscious when he hit the floor.

"I think he was changing his mind," I pointed out.

"Well, I had to be sure," Duo snickered as he rubbed his sore knuckles and pushed through the crowd to get to me. He hugged me tightly, then, and we smiled at each other.

"Nice to be back to work," Duo said.

"I agree," I replied and then looked around me at the people who were coming to terms with the knowledge that they could have died protecting me.

"Thank you," I said and it was heartfelt. I said other things, hardly able to express my gratitude, but didn't ask the one question that I truly wanted an answer to. It seemed out of place, after all, to ask why, after years of abuse, that they had found a change of heart towards me.

"I think we need a break," Duo said, as he watched agents take the gunman away. "Let's go to the commissary for coffee, before we make a report to Une."

On the way, I asked, "Why did they do that?"

"Maybe they finally realized what a great guy you are?" Duo suggested. "Maybe, while you were gone, they realized how much damn work you do?"

"Are you suggesting that paperwork makes people want to throw themselves in front of gun wielding mad men?" I wondered sarcastically.

"Sometimes, I'd rather do that than fill out one more report," Duo sighed.

"Everyone's attitude has changed towards me," I told him, perplexed. "Even before the gunman... I'd like to know why, that's all."

We reached the commissary and Duo smiled as he gestured to one wall. "Maybe that has something to do with it?"

I moved closer to look at the bulletin, and realized that it was a list of everyone at Preventers. Beside their name, was a listing of their duties and accomplishments. Several people had a very long list of accomplishments, including Quatre, Wu Fei, and Trowa. Duo had, by far, the most, running in a seemingly endless line away from his name. Only one man had kept up with him, though they had only reached the halfway point of Duo's list. That name was mine.

"I think people can see, now, " Duo said, as he took my hands in his, "That you belong with me, that you are good enough, and that you aren't a coward."

I didn't fool myself into thinking that everyone had been convinced by Une's strategy, but enough minds had been changed to save my life, and Duo's. "I'll have to thank, Une," I said, hardly able to speak through my emotions.

He tugged me towards a table. "Later," he said as his hands tightened in mine. "Right now, you're mine."




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