Lawless Hearts

Part 2: Hand
by Kracken


Disclaimer:Don't own them, don't make any money off of them.
Warning:Male/male sex, graphic, language, violence.

Lawless Hearts


I woke with a pounding headache and a crawling sense of disorientation. Keeping still, my training still very much a part of me, I listened to my surroundings before opening my eyes. There was breathing very near, male breathing; heavy. Paper rustled, the pages of something being turned. A chair scuffled to my right and someone sighed irritably. I played that sigh over in my head twice before my brain kicked into gear and recognized it as Chang Wu Fei's. That recognition supplied me with place and circumstances. Preventer lock-up, interrogation room, Heero, Wu Fei, set up, deal done... oh, yeah, and passing out.

I opened my eyes then, blinked against a bright, overhead light, and then turned my head to see who was closest to me. A man in a white doctor's coat sat with one butt cheek on the table I was stretched out on. The man was crew cut and young, his whole attention on one of my magazines. Swiveling my head a bit, I could see Heero leaning back in his chair staring at nothing, looking tousled, handsome, and very bored. Wu Fei was seated next to him in an attitude of someone who was about to explode with frustration. He always did have a nuclear temper.

"Guess I took a little nap," I said hoarsely.

Everyone looked at me. I tried to sit up, but the doctor reached out and put a hand on my chest. "Not so damned fast, boy," he warned and checked my pulse against his watch, the magazine forgotten in his lap. He wasn't that much older than me and I bristled and struggled up anyway, shoving his hand off.

"You should do as he says," Heero said as he stood up. His hands fussed with his coat, as if he wanted to reach for his gun, maybe that uncertain of me. I didn't let the grin show. Yeah, be scared asshole, I thought.

"I'm okay," I grumbled as I pulled the ragged remnants of my tank top into some sort of order. I pushed back my bangs from my face and glared at the doctor. "That is MY stuff!"

"Sorry," the man said as he finished taking his reading. He stood up and tossed the magazine back into the box. "That was one of my favorite issues." It put me off balance, made me embarrassed. I wasn't sure whether he was making fun of me or not.

"Is he allright?" Heero asked him.

The doctor frowned. He took out his stethoscope and listened to my heart despite my stiffening at the invasion of my personal space. "Hmmm," he said after listening for a moment. "Sounds good, but Mr. Maxwell is displaying several symptoms that make treatment imperative."

"Imp-," I didn't know what that word meant, but I did understand that something was wrong. "What kind of treatment?"

The man fished in a side pocket of his coat, pulled out several candies and a wrapped sandwich, and tossed them into my startled hands. "Eating regularly and repeatedly, Mr. Maxwell. That's my prescription." He nodded to the food. "You can start with those. Follow up with some vitamin supplements and a few protein drinks."

I blinked and didn't know what to say as the doctor stood up, nodded to Heero and Wu Fei, and said as he left, "Any more dizziness, see the clinic."

There was a long silence. I unwrapped the sandwich and started eating, not looking at Heero or Wu Fei. I was starved. I heard one of them leave and then come back. A protein drink was placed on the table by my leg. The hand holding it had been Heero's.

"Why haven't you been eating?" Heero wanted to know. I shrugged and said nothing. My financial difficulties were none of his business.

I swallowed a bite of sandwich and said, "Okay, before I took a header on the floor, we were talking about how you framed me and how you wanted to force me to be your stoolie... I think compensation was talked about too. You'll get a lot more out of me handing out credits instead of threats."

Wu Fei made a noise of disgust.

I eyed him as I uncapped the protein drink and took a long swallow. Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand, I said, "What's wrong with wondering if getting paid is part of my employment package?"

Heero frowned as he took a wadded up coat from the table behind me. It was Wu Fei's. It had been my pillow. He tossed it to Wu Fei and Wu Fei caught it and shook it to get out the wrinkles.

"I told you that you are looking at a very long prison sentence," Heero said. "We are giving you the chance to avoid that. I don't understand why we are talking about money now."

"Because I know your game now and I know you need me bad," I told him with a smirk.

Heero was genuinely puzzled by my logic. "Why do you believe that?"

I held up a finger. "One, you set up a nice big sting operation just to catch a two bit junk dealer. Two, you aren't hauling my ass to jail. Three, I bet I can bring charges against you right and left now. You aren't a sloppy guy, so you know it and you don't care. Charges against me are the last thing on your mind... in fact... it never entered your head, am I right?"

Wu Fei threw a look at Heero and snorted. "You have been unprofessional from the start and now we don't have anything to make sure of his loyalty. If you had waited instead of blowing cover so soon back at the scrap yard, we could have filed firm charges against him. He would have accepted the shipment on record and we could have tapped his communications to follow his search for a buyer."

"Wrong," I told him. "I wasn't going to take the shipment. I was about to refuse when Heero stuck his gun up my nose." I shrugged. "Not that it matters. Cops make up the story and people go to jail anyway." I pointed to a vid camera high on one wall. "What went on here is on tape though, so I have some ammunition for getting out of this mess now. You threatened me, kept me here instead of sending me to an infirmary, and tried to cut a deal with me. I think I have enough to walk out of here with."

"Leave us alone," Heero suddenly requested.

"Yuy," Wu Fei warned.

"I know, another rule broken," Heero snorted as if amused.

Wu Fei looked exasperated. "He has no honor," he pointed out. "How can we trust him?"

Heero's face tightened. "I want to talk to him."

Wu Fei nodded stiffly, clearly angry, and left the room.

I blinked at Heero. "Okay.... What's up?"

Heero brushed a stray lock of chocolate brown hair from his eyes and slowly paced the room as he said, "Wu Fei is right. I could have waited. We could have brought firm charges against you. I didn't want that , though, so I broke cover."


Heero pulled at his coat. I wondered if his gun was like a security blanket. I remembered, during the war, how he had never been without it. "I didn't want you to be arrested," he told me. "I didn't want Duo Maxwell's record to include, attempted resale of contraband weapons. The penalties for that crime are very serious. Even if you had helped us, I could never have convinced a jury to be lenient with you. You would still have served time and you would have been under watch for the rest of your life. I had hoped to threaten you, to make you believe that you were going to serve time... "

"You have the power," I said. "You can say and do anything you want, but, right now, what we have here, is a pissing contest, Heero. I want out of here in one piece and you need me for something. Let's work this out and both get what we want. You don't have to talk about how none of it was legal. No shit and all of that."

"It was legal," Heero argued, "Until I lost my nerve."

"So, being buddies during the war did amount to something after all? It made you feel guilty for trying to screw me over." It would have been nice to believe that, but it would have been nice to believe in tooth fairies too. I was just being sarcastic.

Imagine my surprise when Heero admitted, "As important as this case is... I couldn't ruin you."

Where was the bad cop? Where was the stone cold killer? This Heero Yuy, who was acting as if he cared what happened to my life, was weirding me out. I wanted back to safe ground. I wanted back where I was familiar with the lay of the land. I said, "Okay, so let's cut out the strong arm bullshit and get down to bare metal. What the hell do you really want from me and why don't you think I'll go along with it without a big stick over my head?"

"Wu Fei thinks you'll cut and run, or alert your contacts, at the first opportunity," Heero told him, "It was his plan to initiate the sting operation."

"Of course," I said and rolled my eyes. I rubbed at my aching head. "You know, I said it during the war, and it's still true. You guys suck! I spent a war sacrificing for the colonies." I jabbed at the thick scar on my shoulder. "I'm covered with these, mementoes from taking hits, from giving my all, from thinking my life was worth giving to make a bunch of ungrateful assholes free. Why do you think I wouldn't do it again? "

"Because we thought that you might be one of them," Heero told him. "Your hacking skills were phenomenal. Your contacts were far and wide. Your past and reputation made it hard, still makes it hard, for us to believe that you actually are running a poor scrap yard. We have been searching for hidden bank accounts, hidden money transfers... We've been watching your every move."

I flushed, angry and embarrassed. "Yeah? What did I do that made you think I was actually rich and running contraband?"

"Nothing," Heero admitted.

I arched eyebrows. "Nothing?"

"Wu Fei thought that you were aware of us, that you were purposefully staying undercover."

"As a poor assed scrap dealer?" I wasn't sure how to handle that. I ended up laughing. Heero stopped his pacing and looked at me. Suddenly, he laughed as well. Even though it was more serious and short, it still sounded good. When I stopped laughing, I said, "Thanks for not stringing me up, Heero. I'm mad about getting roughed up, but, I can see you have some serious bad guy stuff going down." I shoved my dirty braid behind me and looked down at my filthy self. "Tell you what, let me go the hell home and clean up. Let's try this again in the morning with me on the right side of the law." I gave him a hard look. "I've been running the edge a few times, buddy, but I have been missing meals and just getting by trying to stay honest." I really glared now, "And Duo Maxwell doesn't cut and run, Goddamit, and you can tell Wu Fei to stick it for thinking it!"

Heero nodded and then asked, "Are you sure that you are allright?"

Heero's face did something, made a little worried frown that had me staring, knowing it was for me. What the hell? "I just need a few square meals, just like the doc said," I told him while my mind tried to sort that look out, tried to square it with the guy I'd known during the war. It was too hard. I was tired, hungry still, and turned inside out mentally. I had gone from being arrested by two goons who didn't give a shit about me, to being confronted by a Heero who cared. I wasn't in any shape to make those kinds of mental switches in gears.

I slid off the table and onto my feet. I felt shaky. I must have looked pale. Heero said, putting a strong hand under my arm. "Let me take you to the commissary. I can..." There wasn't any good way to offer charity, but as hungry as I was, I was willing to stomp on my pride and accept when he finished, "I can buy you lunch."

I pulled at my clothes. "I don't really want to go anywhere around here looking like this. If you can float me a few bills, I'll snatch something on the way home. I'll pay you back."

Heero dug in his wallet and then handed me four twenties. I blanched and handed three back. My pride wasn't that much down for the count. "I don't eat that much," I told him and pocketed the twenty. He stared at me, the extra bills still in his hand.

"What?" I wondered.

Heero put the bills back in his wallet and said as if he were ashamed, "I shouldn't have listened to Wu Fei. I want to... I want to apologize."

"For setting me up and making my fellow scrap dealers wonder what kind of guy they have in the business next to them? For roughing me up, booking me with false charges, and dragging my ass downtown? For spilling out my personal stuff where anyone can paw through it?" I picked up my box. "You're apologizing?"

Heero looked almost ashamed. It was really freaking me out now. "Yes, I apologize."

I could have run down the hall and had his ass strung up right then and there and he knew it. Wu Fei didn't trust me, but, for some reason, Heero Yuy did. "Accepted," I told him firmly and grinned as he looked up, startled. "I don't hold grudges," I told him, but then frowned, "Well, not most of the time."

We went to the door and Heero opened it. Wu Fei came in instantly. "What's going on?" he demanded when he saw me there with my box in my hands.

"I'm going bye, bye until tomorrow," I told him, "and then I'm coming back and you are going to cut the bullshit and level with me."

"Yuy!" Wu Fei barked, "He'll run for it. You can't trust-"

"You'll have to," I told him with a grin. "You screwed this up big time and I get to go home, or else. So, outta the way, Chang. Maxwell is coming through."

"Sally Po is not going to like this," Wu Fei snarled at Heero and I felt kind of bad for the man. Because of me, he was going to catch hell. "We spent months setting this up and you brought it all crashing down on our heads because you let your emotions dictate your actions."

I snorted. "In or out of the law, Chang, you're no match for me. Don't be too hard on old Heero there." I waved cheerily. "Bye, bye!"

I left them arguing hotly and sighed, feeling exhausted. What had just happened had been worse than a circus and it had all happened because Heero Yuy felt something for me. What that was, I wasn't sure, but I wanted to know. As for whatever they thought that they needed from me... you know, I was pretty damned confused about that too, but I was kind of excited and curious about it too. I had spent a couple of years in a kind of dust bowl of small triumphs and loneliness. That world had been sliding into something else, though, something I hadn't really wanted to face. The word 'failure' didn't want to come to mind, but I had been failing at something that simple. Maybe I wanted something else, something bigger, something to take me away before I did have to face reality and say that word.

"Yuy, you are an idiot!" I heard Wu Fei's voice shout behind me. I thought I heard Heero laugh in response, but I wasn't sure.

see Kracken's original, published yaoi fiction, The Angel Within, at under Kracken
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