Warnings: Yaoi, Language, Violence, Strange hair styles
Pairings: That's a secret for now ;)
Disclaimer: I don't own them, never have, never will. Just borrowed, will be returned.
Notes: Okay, I goofed. Endless Waltz & Episode Zero did take place, Blind Target & Battlefield of Pacifists did NOT. (
"blah" = electronic dialogue
Trowa looked at the hotel vidphone and immediately knew there was something wrong. The circus had just landed on Earth for a vacation when the green-eyed man got a message to call Quatre. Now that he saw the blond's face, he knew his vacation was over. "Winner, report."
"Trowa, something's ... something's wrong with ... with Duo."
Trowa glanced toward his travelling companion and frowned. "What are you talking about, Quatre?"
"Duo ... he had to be rushed to the hospital. He's-" Quatre didn't get a chance to finish his sentence as the vidscreen spun and the camera came to rest on a young man with long, brown hair worn in a braid. He was standing a few feet away from Trowa, talking to Kathy.
"I don't know where you got your information, Quatre, but as you can see, Duo's fine."
Hearing his name, Duo turned to his friend. "What's wrong with me?" He glanced at the screen and grinned. "Hi, Q! Long time, no see."
"But- but- we just ... You and WuFei just ..."
Trowa watched as an unusual emotion crossed Duo's face, panic. "Duo ..."
Duo sighed, walking over to the vidscreen. "Is in big trouble. Damn brat."
Heero's face appeared next to Quatre's, glaring at the American. "Who the hell are you? and why do you look like Duo?"
"I am Duo. Someone you know as Duo, anyway." The brunette sighed, refusing to look at the man beside him. "What's going on?"
Heero frowned. "WuFei just called and said you had to be rushed to the hospital. We're on our way there, now."
"We'll be there as soon as possible, Yuy."
Trowa glanced from his companion, to the two men on the screen, then shrugged. He got the location of the hospital and was thankful that it wasn't too far away. "ETA, 20 minutes. Don't kill anyone until we get there." He turned off the phone, then turned to the other man. "Explain."
"It's too long an explanation to have to repeat. Short version ... G liked playing jokes." 'Duo' glanced back at the other circus members and frowned. He had known this day was coming ever since the day the so-called 'Shinigami' had reported back to G that he had come into contact with another pilot.
"Get your bags. I'll tell Kathy where we're going." Trowa walked over to the redhead and vaguely explained that Quatre needed them. He would call as soon as he could. As they walked out of the hotel to find a cab, Trowa grabbed the braided man's arm. "Are you really Duo?"
"You knew me as Duo during the war, but my codename ... is Solo."
Duo looked up from the hospital bed at his newest visitors and smiled. "Hi guys. Looks like the cat's out of the bag, huh?"
Trowa nodded slightly, moving to stand next to Heero. His companion walked over to the bed and hugged his double.
WuFei watched the two men for a moment before crossing his arms and glaring. "Ok ... now that we're all here ..."
"Sally won't give us long. She wants Duo ... um, the sick one ... in surgery." Quatre shook his head slightly as he looked between the two. "At least now I know why I kept 'feeling' double."
"I told you it wasn't a second personal-" Duo grabbed his side and grimaced. "Damned appendix ... what good is it, anyway?"
"Look, just let him go, I'll explain."
"No. Not until we know which of you is the real Duo," Heero replied. His right hand twitched and everyone knew it was a good thing he wasn't armed. Or at least, hadn't decided to reveal that he was ... yet.
Solo sighed. "We both are. Well, he's Duo, I'm Solo, but you called us both Duo during the war."
"Solo? As in ... the boy that died?" WuFei asked, glancing between the two.
Duo grinned sheepishly. "I never said he died ... just that he was gone."
"And why, exactly, are there two of you?" Heero's hand twitched again. Only now it looked like it wanted to be typing on the laptop.
Solo sighed, dropping into the chair next to his brother. "Because we're twins? We were both pilots, because G thought it was a good idea. Two identical, cloaked Gundams. Two identical pilots. But as far as the world would know, it was one pilot with one suit."
"To make his suit and his pilot look better than the rest. He loved trying to one up the other idiots," Duo continued. "A lot of what you know is the truth, in the vaguest sense."
Solo sighed at the looks the twins were getting. "We were born in the L2 Cluster. Orphaned at age 3, sent to a government facility. Ran away at age 7. Sent to the Maxwell Orphanage at age 8. A woman that worked there, Helen, adopted us. Everyone called her 'Sister', even though she wasn't a nun. At about age 11, this idiot decides to run away and gets caught by Howard. I, ever more the idiot, followed him."
Duo nodded. "He got caught, too. When we wouldn't tell him our names, he came up with the whole Solo/Duo thing. He went to see G, who, when he saw us, came up with the idea of making a second suit from the spare parts he had for the first one."
Sally came into the room then and didn't even blink at the two braided men. "Ok, you boys have had long enough. If I don't get Duo into surgery now, things could get worse." She smiled slightly at the man in the chair as orderlies came in and started moving the bed. "I hope we don't need to make this a double, Solo."
"Of course I knew, Yuy. How could I not know when someone ... or rather, two someones ... have been my patients since before the end of the war." Sally smiled at the blue-eyed man, then placed a hand on Solo's shoulder. "Don't give him a hard time. Neither of them ever thought they'd know you long enough for this to come out."
Heero frowned as the blonde doctor left. "Then what?"
Quatre rolled his eyes at the Japanese man. "Maybe we should take this to the cafeteria, or somewhere?" he replied, waving his hand around the small exam room. "This isn't an interrogation. Besides, once Duo's out of surgery, he'll be moved to a regular room."
WuFei nodded, turning toward the door. "There's a coffee shop across the street. It will be much more private than the cafeteria."
"Who got captured on the Moon?"
"L2?" Heero asked.
"Solo," the braided man replied.
Heero frowned. Since they had entered the diner, he had been trying to get as much information from the braided man as possible. "So it was your Gundam that was destroyed. Were they both named Deathscythe?"
"Yes, it was my Gundam. No, they had different names. His was 'Death', mine was 'Scythe'," Solo replied. He glanced at the others and wondered why they had stopped trying to ask questions of their own.
"Which of you were at New Edwards?"
"Both. One cloaked, one visible."
"Who shot Heero?" The Japanese man asked.
Solo smirked. "Duo. That was why we had to go by his name. He was the first one you met."
"Who went to school with Heero?"
"Solo. I was under orders to watch you. G didn't trust J's methods."
Heero nodded slightly. They were all aware of the antagonism between the scientists. "Why did we never see both of you at the same time?"
"We were hardly ever in the same spot. In fact, the only times we were during the war, were New Edwards and Siberia. And at Luxembourg."
"But we never saw reports of a sixth Gundam."
"A lot of what G had us do, didn't involve the Gundams."
"I thought you never lied."
Solo sighed. "It wasn't lying. It was an omission of facts on orders from G. Besides, no one ever asked if there were two of us."
"Which Gundam was destroyed after Mariemaia's coup?"
"Neither. It was a decoy. Built from spare parts."
"Where are they?"
"I'm not telling," Solo replied, frowning.
Heero was silent for a few moments. "Who was at Luxembourg?"
"Same as New Edwards."
"And before that, at L2, with Hilde?"
"Where was Solo?"
"Sweeper base on another L2 Colony," the braided man replied.
Heero thought for a moment before asking, "Who fought White Fang?"
"Duo. Solo was injured."
"Why are you referring to yourself in the third person?"
Solo shrugged. "I don't know. Why is Heero?"
Quatre chuckled slightly. He was seated between Heero and WuFei, the latter being more than a little nervous around the copy of the man he lived with. Trowa was seated next to Solo, but was at the edge of the booth.
"Because that's what Heero's do," the blond replied. He ignored the blue-eyed glare and reached across the table to put his hand on the other man's arm. The braided man tensed, but didn't move away. "You were the one that stayed with me at the Maguanac camp, after Siberia."
"Yes," Solo replied. "Duo was shaken by what happened. He thought he might let something slip if he was in close contact with anyone. In fact, I think he ... followed you, WuFei."
WuFei jumped slightly. "Followed me. Why?"
Solo smiled sadly. "Because he was afraid you were gonna pull the same stunt Heero just had, or something like that. I was with Quatre. Trowa ... Duo didn't really like you at the time. Plus you had the circus ... and what we thought was a dead body. Had seen enough of those by then. We had followed all of you, at least once. WuFei was alone ... as usual," he replied. "Which, as a twin, isn't something either he or I really understood before the war."
"I wondered why he ... or you ... one of you, was always so ... clingy." WuFei replied. He sighed, glancing up at the clock. It had been two hours since they had left the hospital and he was starting to get worried. "Sally said it shouldn't take long. It's fairly routine, but ... she hasn't called to say he's out, yet."
"Maybe she wants to give us time to ... get used to this," Trowa replied. It was the first thing he had said since they had arrived. The first thing he had said since he asked Solo who he was. It made the entire table jump.
"Damnit Barton," WuFei began, glaring at the green-eyed man. "You need to speak every once in a while or people will forget you're here."
Solo smirked. "I think that's the idea."
Trowa nodded, glancing over at the braided man, then to the other three.
Quatre chuckled. "So anyone got a problem with there being two Duos?"
WuFei grimaced. "Can I buy earplugs?"
"This one doesn't talk as much," Heero replied.
"How can you tell?" Quatre asked, glancing at the braided man then Heero. "You've done nothing but ask him questions since he arrived."
"Who here, besides Trowa, knew he was travelling with the circus?" Heero asked. He already knew that none of them had had a clue. "Now, who knew the other Duo was living with WuFei?"
WuFei sighed, glancing over at Solo. "How did you manage to pull that off?"
"Easy. I lived on my own until three weeks ago," Solo replied.
Quatre frowned. "But ... why? Why wait so long to tell us? You could have ... you didn't have to be alone."
"I've gotten used to it. Duo's more clingy, he needed someone to stay with. That meant his shadow couldn't be seen. It was easy enough, you were all on Earth, so I went to space." Solo sighed slightly, glancing at his hands. "I stayed in touch with Duo when I could, he kept me informed of what was happening. However, I didn't realize the circus had come to the Colony I was on until I ran into Trowa. It was right after ... Duo and WuFei had fought."
"But Duo didn't leave ... I did," WuFei replied. "I was gone a week. Barton, you never said a word."
Trowa shrugged. "I thought, under the circumstances, that it was best." 'Besides, you haven't spoken to me since I called you an ass for yelling at Duo.'
Quatre smiled slightly at the two men across the booth when three of the five cell phones in the middle of the table started ringing. The other two were vibrating.
"Your brother is no longer allowed to touch electronics," Heero growled, grabbing his phone. He turned off the silent ringer as he glared at Solo.
Solo shrugged, grabbing his own phone, and decided not to tell Heero that he was the one that had programmed the phones for Lady Une. The Preventers' Commander had learned the twins' secret shortly after the war and had been helping them keep it a secret ever since. After the Mariemaia Incident, she had given them each a cell phone that would allow her to reach all the pilots at once, but only in case of an emergency. She had been using the phones regularly ever since.
WuFei glared at his phone as he silenced it. "I don't know why I keep this damned thing."
"Because she'd just give you another," Quatre replied. Seeing that no one else was going to answer, he sighed and grabbed his phone. "Yes, Lady Une?"
"Winner. Are the others with you? They're not answering."
"Yes, Lady Une."
"Good. What's this about Duo having a double?"
Quatre glanced over to see Solo staring at the table again. Even though they looked alike, the two couldn't be more different. "Lady Une, I'm sure that I don't know what you're talking about. We're just sitting in the coffee shop waiting for Duo to get out of surgery."
"Sally said that ... nevermind. Duo's in Recovery. Find Sally, she'll give you the rest of the information."
"Thank you, Lady Une. Oh, and by the way ... Solo says hi." Quatre ended the call before she could reply. He grinned when the braided man glanced up. "How long has she known?"
"Since the end of the war. How do you think I managed to get around undetected?"
"You've been working for her."
Solo nodded. "Undercover work is always easier when no one knows you exist."
"Duo's out of surgery. We should go check on him."