Legends never die when the world is calling you
Can you hear them screamin' out your name?
Legends never die, they become a part of you
Every time you bleed for reaching greatness
Legends never die
Heero's neighbours in the small Brussels suburb likely had zero love for him as he puttered around the house, music blasting from every speaker in the house (there were quite a few speakers, Heero had hooked them up one day when bored). Unfolding another box, he dropped it on the floor and began the process of figuring out what to shove in it and (hopefully) not break it in the process. Relena, Millie, and Rori were out shopping for last minute moving things, and maybe to have a look around one last time before they shipped everything off.
EDM music at least made this process a little more tolerable. Heero didn't like how loud his thoughts were in a house now filled with boxes and disassembled furniture. The moving-stroke-shipping company would be here soon, and though Heero didn't have that much more to pack up, it was still more than enough. Any kind of moving, nowadays, was "more than enough" to him nowadays.
At one point in his life, seeing packed up boxes wouldn't have bothered him. Hell, at one point, he didn't even have enough possessions to warrant packing boxes. Now he had things. He had possessions. He had a house waiting for him in a foreign country he had last visited when he was a teenager, and he had made mistakes with a capital M there that he had tried to atone for in a misguided attempt at finding some kind of peace in his life.
Seeing his life laid out like this wasn't something Heero had ever expected to see.
They're written down in eternity
But you'll never see the price it costs – the scars collected all their lives
When everything's lost, they pick up their hearts and avenge defeat
Before it all starts, they suffer through harm just to touch a dream
The covertly placed Echo chimed.
"Turn down the music volume by fifty percent."
"Okay." A few seconds later, the music was now less floor shaking, wall shaking, neighbour rage inducing, just in time for the front door to open.
Who needs surveillance hooked up when you have a sixth sense?
Heero taped up the box after stuffing it almost to the brim, and labeled it in Sharpie with "the last of the baby clothes" before stacking it with the others.
"You've finished?" It was Relena, who now stood in the doorway of what used to be the nursery.
"I think so." Heero looked around the empty space. "Just need to leave the keys with whatshisface for the new owners and take my speakers and the Echo."
"Both of those came with the house originally, you just hooked them up," Relena reminded him, as she rested her hands on one of the boxes.
"They're not included in the house price, I'm taking them with me."
Relena laughed. "Whatever you say, Heero." She traced the letters on the box with a fingertip. "This doesn't seem real, does it?"
Heero shrugged. "Between the two of us, I'm sure we've been on a tour of half the universe when it comes to moving--"
She shook her head. "No, I don't mean that. All of this." Her eyes were swimming with all sorts of emotions, and Heero wasn't quite sure which ones were good and which ones were bad. "Did you ever think this would be your life, Heero?"
Heero didn't hesitate. "No." He chuckled a little. "But I have to say, it suits me."
Relena smiled as she reached for him, and Heero stepped closer so she could touch him. Her fingers laced with his as she moved into his embrace.
"Do you think the kids'll love New York?"
"The house has a huge yard, I think that's all they cared about when we were house hunting." He pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Millie seems excited, at least."
"Rori cried the entire walk," Relena said into his shoulder. "She was saying goodbye to the birds, to the lampposts, to the gum smashed on the pavement... She told the one pigeon that she's leaving 'forever and an eternity', and it's all because of her dad so 'blame him if you miss me too much'."
Heero shook his head in amusement. "She must take after you."
"I'll take the blame for her heart being so full for everything, but I honestly think she gets it from you."
Heero scoffed. "I never cried when I was uprooted from this place or that--"
"Your heart," Relena said. "She has your heart, Heero. Whether you admit you possess one or not."
"Don't let anyone hear you talk like that. I have an image to uphold, I can't scare anyone at Preventers into not misbehaving if they know I'm secretly some kind hearted father of two."
Heero couldn't get Relena to stop laughing. After a while he gave up and let her get it all out of her system in the safety of his arms.
"So is our stuff really gonna be there when we get there?" Millie asked for what felt like the millionth time, as Heero made sure she was strapped into her shuttle seat securely. He tugged on it to make sure it could hold his three year old, and then tightened it just a little more, just in case.
"Did we really need to have our own private shuttle?" Rori asked, her voice rather squeaky for four in the morning. The two and a half year old rubbed sleep from her eyes as she hugged her blanket closer.
"No," Heero said, moving to the seat in front of his so he could strap Rori in. "But I may have spoken to someone at Preventers and told them that the Vice Foreign Minister Darlian was going to be on a flight headed for New York, and that for security purposes, it would be best if her and her family had a private booking..."
Relena looked like this was the first time she had heard of this. "I...I beg pardon?"
"They wanted to send a security detail," Heero continued, as he all but superglued Rori into her seat. A jostle or two and he was satisfied that his daughter could not come out of her seat with anything short of the Jaws of Life. Or him undoing her harness. If anyone had to survive the potential that the shuttle crashed, it had to be his children.
"Think that should do it. You will survive in case this shuttle goes down, or someone in a mobile suit decides to cut the shuttle in half."
"The explosion wouldn't--"
"No, we would be seated far enough that the only casualties would likely be the pilot and co-pilot."
Relena gave him a look before sighing and shaking her head. "I don't think there are any fifteen year olds who are rash enough to do something like that anymore."
"I hope not, I'd have to neutralise him."
Millie tried to move in her seat, but found that she could not.
"Why no agent people?"
"Your mother has her own private security." He smoothed Millie's hair, which was dark like his.
Relena strapped herself in, though not as tight as Heero would have liked. "I do?"
Heero folded his arms. "I seem to recall you married your bodyguard."
Millie's eyes got real big as Heero sat down next to her.
"Mama, you married your bodyguarder?!"
Relena flushed as a shuttle attendant came through.
"Would you like some wine or other refreshments? We have some fine vintages if you'd care to look."
Relena looked at no one in particular when she declined the half a glass of wine she would normally have and opted for water instead. Heero cocked an eyebrow at this, but said nothing as he seconded his wife's drink order.
"It's a bit early for a glass of wine, isn't it?" Relena asked. "Four in the morning and all..."
"You've had a glass or two on flights you've taken at 2AM," Heero said. "You don't need a reason to not drink."
"It helps when I do," was all she said, as she sipped at her water and tried to relax. Rori tried to rest against her, but the straps on her seat prevented that, so Relena wrapped an arm around her instead.
"Can I sleep, Daddy?" Millie asked.
"Of course, sweetheart."
Heero barely finished his sentence when Millie's head drooped forward, and she slept sitting up with her little arms folded over her chest. Relena smiled.
"Like father, like daughter," she mused.
"How unfortunate for her," Heero remarked, before he turned to look out the window just as the shuttle started takeoff procedures.
Heero rubbed his face and, upon looking over, saw the shuttle attendant looking at him with concern.
"The shuttle has landed for a four hour refueling in Ireland. You may deplane at once to stretch your legs, get a bite to eat, or do a little bit of tourist activities before continuing on."
"Thanks." Heero unbuckled himself and helped Rori, who was struggling against the bonds that kept her in her seat, and Millie, who was still half asleep, with their child seat harnesses. Relena was already out of her seat and stretching her legs in the aisle.
"I didn't know there was layover on a private flight," Relena said, with just a hint of amusement.
"I came here once on a Preventers assignment with Duo and your brother," Heero said, as he stood and stretched. "I liked the atmosphere here, so I figured I'd show it to the kids a little before heading on...if that's okay."
Relena smiled as she took Rori's hand. "I think that's a wonderful idea."
"Can we buy gifts for Uncle Duo and Aunt Thalia?" Millie asked. Rori sniffled.
"I miss Uncle Duo!"
Relena caressed her daughter's head as they made their way to the shuttleport.
"They'll be the first ones to visit once work allows, I'm sure," Relena reassured.
Heero pulled out his phone and sent Duo a quick text: Arrived in Dublin. Four hour layover. Think you can make it to the house and set up the place before we arrive?
Half a moment later: No shuttle'll get me there in 4 fuckin hrs, Ro what do u want me to do, steal a Preventers jet???
Maybe, he texted back.
Heero chuckled as another message came in. U fucker I'll be there in 3.5 hours or I owe u dinner.
As Heero stepped into Stewart International in New Windsor, New York, he was impressed by how large it was.
"They said this was a civilian port before the Alliance got their hands on it," Relena said. "It was mostly a military launch for mobile suit carriers and the like, hence why they expanded it--they needed the additional personnel, plus space for the additional hangars. Once the war was over, they converted it back for civilian shuttle usage, but opted to not downsize it. Now, it's a major travel hub."
"When I booked the flight, one of the loading page 'tidbits' was about how this airport is one of the biggest in the country in terms of traffic," Heero said, stopping at the baggage claim, hoping that after flying for eleven hours straight, he remembered what their luggage even looked like.
"Despite that, it looks like few people are traveling," Relena marked. Outside of TSA agents, there weren't many passengers.
Heero grabbed his daughters' luggage first, seeing as no one would be able to miss the Hello Kitty and Eevee themed suitcases in a sea of rather boring coloured ones that all looked the same, not that there was other luggage outside of theirs.
"I may have also had a hand in that."
Relena shot him a look. "Heero, you can't be serious."
"Preventer Agent Yuy absolutely needed to make sure that the Vice Foreign Minister Darlian and her family were safe, so to do so he had them close the port down so that there were no threats to analyse."
Relena just sighed. "Heero."
"That's Agent Yuy to you, ma'am. I am here to escort you and your daughters Milliarda and Aurora to your destination safely."
Millie and Rori looked at each other and then to Heero.
"Daddy, it's weird when you switch to Work Daddy like that," Millie said.
A TSA agent approached Heero and saluted before speaking. Preventers held leverage over every other type of enforcement agency, so Heero was, in effect, the TSA agent's superior.
"The port is under lockdown, sir. The vice foreign minister and her family are free to move about without any reporters, paparazzi, or potential threats. Zero-Two has a car waiting for you outside."
"Once you're away from the area, we will reopen the shuttleport and resume normal operations. To be honest, my boss was a little...leery about doing this, until I mentioned it was a favour on the behalf of Queen Relena. He changed his tune then."
Relena stepped forward then, to join her husband, their kids not far behind.
"Mrs Heero Yuy thanks you," she said, "although I find this all a bit unnecessary as someone who no longer holds any of those titles."
"What does the car look like?" Heero asked.
"Consider who the driver is."
Heero didn't even pause. "Black, sleek, and at least halfway practical. Cadillac SUV?"
The TSA agent grinned. "You never cease to amaze me." He ushered them on. "Safe travels, sir. Ma'am."
"Thanks, Kyle. I'll inform Agent Po about your sister and see what she can do. I owe you that much." Heero took hold of Millie's hand as he led the way out of the shuttleport.
There was a light rain somewhere between a slight misting and a maybe drizzling. The only car around was waiting right next to the NO IDLING sign. The driver casually leaned against the passenger side front door, arms crossed, sunglasses hiding his eyes. The heavy duty leather jacket was probably way too warm for this time of year, but Heero knew his partner in pretty much all things usually ran cold to his scorching hot.
"You called for an Uber, boyo?" The man had a rather exaggerated Brogue. "I've got you an Uber, the best of its kind, really, but it'll cost you."
"Who's this funny talking guy?" Millie asked.
"The Uber I contacted whilst we were in Dublin," Heero answered.
"I've got nothin' but 100 percent positive feedback, I'll have you know." He opened the front passenger door. "The lad payin' sits shotgun up with me, and you three lassies can sit in the back all nice and cozy like."
"Aren't you hamming it up a bit too much?" Heero whispered to him, as he got in. All he got in response was a grin as the so-called Uber driver helped Relena and the girls into the black, very sleek Cadillac SUV.
"Alright, folks." The driver hopped onto the seat and buckled himself in. "On the way here, I discovered possibly every pothole on the interstate, so just think of it as one really bumpy roller coaster."
"The TSA agent mentioned that a 'Zero-Two' was the one who procured us the car," Relena said.
"Oh yeah, that was my contact. Agent Yuy here texted him or some such and next thing I'm getting a call from some loudmouth who didn't even give me a proper top o' the morning, I'll tell you what. And here I am, something about dinner he's owed when this is all done because he made all these arrangements in three and quarter hours..." He shrugged. "Anyway, what's the location you'll be wanting me to motorvate you to?"
Heero ignored the fact that 'motorvate' wasn't a word and gave him the address, although he was well aware the driver already knew it.
The drive took over a half hour and was, for the most part, traffic free and uneventful. Heero was surprised by the sheer number of trees and mountain views the interstate provided, and he had lost count of how many deer crossing signs he had come across.
"Do deer frequently jump into the road?" Heero asked.
"They have no fear," the driver said. "Absolutely no fuckin' fear. Just dart right on out and end up totalling a perfectly good car."
The GPS blinked to life then with a little beep before saying, "Take exit 53 for US-6/US-209 toward Matamoras in point five miles--"
"How's about no ," the driver said, and got off at Exit 1 for US-6 West.
"Isn't it bad to ignore the GPS lady?" Millie asked.
"I'm assuming the driver knows this area better than we do," Relena reassured, as the car took the left turn a little sharper than was probably intended.
"Oh I've only been in this area for like, 30 minutes tops," the driver said, losing half of the Brogue he had. "But I did hit up Google for some easier directions." He blew through the amber-to-red traffic light at an intersection Heero could only describe internally as a 'clusterfuck' and hit a major pothole.
"That's to let you know you're now in Port," the driver said to his jarred passengers. "You know. 'Welcome to Port Jervis, New York, fuck you and your front wheel axle'."
"You talk like Uncle Duo," Millie said.
"You don't say," the driver said, as he continued driving like he lived there all his life. "Where're you guys from, anyway? You don't sound like you're from 'round here."
"Brussels!" Millie exclaimed. "We were on a shuttle for ever and it was the longest thing ever."
The driver chuckled. "Brussels, huh? I picked up a guy and a gal and their kid from the shuttleport. Also from Brussels, although the guy sounded like he was from L2 and the girl sounded waaaay too refined to be with someone like him."
After driving a few more blocks, the driver pulled up in front of a rather old, yet very charming Victorian that needed some work, but was certainly serviceable. It had a rocking chair front porch, plenty of natural light, and concrete out front the kids could do hopscotch on or something.
"So about that dinner, 'Ro..." The driver shut off the car. "I was thinking something fancy, but not too fancy, maybe Italian--"
"Wait." Relena was in the process of exiting the car when she had heard the overly familiar nickname for Heero. "'Ro'?"
"Ah, shit. Was supposed to be 'Agent Yuy', yeah?" The driver removed his sunglasses. "Surprised no one noticed the accent slip."
"Good job, Agent Maxwell." Heero left the car and held out a hand for Relena to take. "This is why you don't do undercover anymore."
Millie launched herself out of the vehicle and into her "uncle's" arms, Rori not far behind.
"Remember when I told you all the ladies dig me, 'Ro?" Duo said with a wink as he knelt down and pulled Millie and Rori close. "You guys missed me that much?"
Duo frowned as he turned to Rori. "Aww, my poor baby, I'm sorry you had to leave me, even if it was only for a few hours tops. Well, Uncle Duo is here to stay, so no more crying, okay? Ain't goin' nowhere." He picked them up, one in each arm.
"I don't tell lies, babe. I may be a lot of things but a liar ain't one of them."
Heero cleared his throat. "Duo."
Duo turned his attention to Heero. "Yeah?"
"I'd like to have my house keys back."
Duo grinned. "Oh sure, sure. Mills, in my back pocket, there's a set of keys. Can you grab 'em for me? Got my hands full."
Millie reached around and pulled a keychain with four keys out.
"These ones are yours. Toss 'em to your dad?"
Millie tossed them overhand and Heero caught them with ease. Upon examining them, he frowned.
"These aren't the ones I gave you."
Duo came around the car and up the front porch steps. "Well, they are. Sort of. They're copies. 'Lena's are on the kitchen table inside."
"And the originals?"
"Relax, 'Ro. I'm keeping the originals. You've never had a problem with me having a key--"
"I haven't, and I don't. I just wanted to know where they were." Heero shoved the key into the lock and turned it. The sound of several locks clicking could be heard before the door opened a little. He cocked an eyebrow.
"You're welcome," Duo said cheerfully, as he pushed the door open the rest of the way with his foot. "I got you one of those Nest things, it's got an app where you can control everything, and you can program it with that Alexa thing you got. All of your lights and thermostat and whatever can be controlled at the touch of a button... The doorbell has a video thing on it so you can see who's ringing it at like 2AM..." Duo set Millie and Rori down in the office area of the first floor before closing the front door, which gave access to the living room.
The very, very messy living room, filled with pieces of cardboard and tools.
"I took the liberty of reassembling things. Thalia's in the kitchen putting things away and wiping everything down. I got the cable guy and appliance delivery coming in a couple of hours..." He turned to Heero, his face absolutely radiant.
"This...wasn't what I had expected of you," Heero said, complete shock registering in his voice.
"What did you expect from me?" Duo rested his hands on his hips. "To not follow through at all? You know me better than that--"
"That's not it," Heero interrupted. "I just didn't expect you to actually pull through for me, completely last minute."
Duo sighed and patted Heero's shoulder. "Look. You texted me all 'hey can you beat us here to be here when my shit arrives?' and I rose to the challenge and exceeded expectations, that's what every eval I get annually says, signed by Une herself. I arrive here fifteen minutes before your arbitrary time, which means you owe me dinner, and I got all your shit set up, you know, hooked up some things, ordered some appliances, got your bedroom all set up, painted a little..."
"But no shuttle can go that fast," Relena said. "What you did wasn't...it wasn't possible."
"The impossible is what I do," Heero said.
"And yet here I am, right before you." He used Heero's shoulder like an arm rest now. "It ain't possible in a shuttle. Commercial aircraft can go pretty fast, but they ain't allowed to because, you know, g-forces, cargo, all that shit. So I sent Thalia and Hel' ahead of me, and I paid a visit to Preventers' air field..."
Heero, who was only half listening at that point, instead focusing on what curtains to put in the living room, and what colour to paint the walls, felt his blood run cold at the mention of 'air field'. He shrugged Duo's arm off and looked him directly in the eyes, his own narrowed in such an accusing and suspicious way that Heero only reserved for criminals.
Or, well, misbehaving Preventers agents.
"Let me get this straight: you stole a jet?"
Duo shook his head, a grin plastered on his face once more. "I, uh, borrowed it. Without Une's permission."
Relena looked from Heero to Duo and back. "By jet he means a passenger jet, right?"
"If only," Heero replied. "Duo stole a freaking fighter jet."
"Borrowed without Une's permission!" Duo corrected. "Zechs said he'd cover for me, that it was no problem--"
Relena gasped. "My brother?"
"You're full of shit." In Heero's eyes, Duo was no longer his best friend, he was his Preventers partner who was always getting into trouble one way or another and had to be dealt with via reprimands.
"You're wrong again, 'Ro. I said to him that it was a favour for Relena, and he handed the keys over. Go on and ask him yourself if you don't believe me!"
Heero wasn't convinced.
"Une is gonna kill you," Heero said, just as Duo remarked, "Gotta admit, though, I haven't piloted a jet in ages, and I had so much f--"
Thalia poked her head out of the kitchen, a damp towel in her hands. "I was just about to get dinner ready. Are you hungry?"
"Uncle Duo stoled a jet plane," Millie whispered. "Sugoi."
"Sugoi ja nai!" Heero said. He glared at Duo now. "Omae wa totemo baka na hito da!"
"Yeah, I think the word you're looking for is 'kakkoi'," Duo said, completely butchering the Japanese pronunciation with his Dutch influenced L2 drawl, which sounded so out of place outside of Belgium. "But what do I know?" He winked.
"Verpiss dich," Heero said, as he headed for upstairs. Duo watched him go before sighing.
"Geez, and you say I'm a terrible influence on your children."
"Where are you going?" Relena called up the stairs after him.
"Away from him."
A few minutes later, despite having just a cheap wireless bluetooth speaker as his lone external sound device, the entire house was filled with EDM music.
"That means Daddy's unmoving everything," Millie said, as she sat at the recently reassembled kitchen table.
"You still owe me dinner, 'Ro!" Duo shouted up the stairs. Heero ignored him.