All he needed was time.
Time that he did not have -- which was galling, and maddening, and probably a dozen other stupidly overblown words that of course his overclocking brain was throwing at him while he was trying to work, damn it all --
Sure, it wasn't a bomb or anything. But racing against time trying to stop every seal on the damn cockpit from rupturing at once, with Deathscythe barely running and an unconscious son of a bitch stuffed into what passed as a cargo space behid the seat?
Yeah. You could say that Duo was feeling a pinch here.
Just a little one.
How the hell do I always wind up getting in this guy's messes these days, seriously ...
Bah, never mind. Focus on the work, Maxwell, or the lunatic blonde's fucked and you might not be far behind ...
A tiny welder slipped its plasma flame along the fissuring seal seams of the hatch, weirdly reassuring. Pleased at his own steadiness -- no shaking hands here! -- Duo focused all his attention on the glowing lines of alloy, smoothed the welds as he went with a shard of gundanium he just so conveniently had stowed under his chair (best shiv in Earth orbit, hell yes), and ignored the sudden groggy, growling murmur from somewhere behind him. And, from the corner of his eye, he saw pale ivory tendrils waving in the zero-g.
... Oh hell no.
You stay asleep or drugged to the gills or whatever got done to you, asshole, Duo's got work to do. Stay down and out of the way -- stay put damn you --!
A shaking hand appeared around the edge of the chair, grasping at the restraint straps. Even half turned away as he was, Duo saw the bruising that wrapped around his passenger's wrist, blue-black and weird-looking, like a brand from being grabbed.
Which was because he was grabbed, but whatever.
Weirdly easily broken, this one.
Production standards not up to snuff, he assumed.
"Get back there and stay out of the way!"
"... If that's what you want ...?"
"Fuck yes that's what I want! Seriously if you want to survive this clusterfuck just ... God, man, just stay low and let me get this done. Come on."
A scuffle; the hand, the pale locks disappeared out of sight. Duo spat a curse at the weld and got back to work.
He just needed to get to CL1-737478 with himself, his buddy, and his little surprise intact. That's all. All that they needed to break the Alliance's creepy Foundation wide open.
Just a little more, damn it ...