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Operation Shutter Bug: Camera Shy

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Location: Banks of the Seine River Paris, France

 

Bright lights flickered and swayed inside the crowded Pavillion, fashion journalists and photographers jostling to get closer to the stage. A hush falls over the gathering as a proud woman pushes past the curtains of the catwalk. She strutted over the narrow stage like it she owned the place, every step confident. Dressed in an olive colored blazer and trouser combo, with a cream lace shirt underneath, she was dressed to kill. She was the illustrious designer Lucrezia Noin

“Welcome one and all to the preview of my new Haute Couture Collection. Tonight you will get a sample of what I have in store for this year’s Spring Showcase in Sanc. It is guaranteed to blow the world away!” The crowd erupted with murmurs and excited chatter mixed in with clicking of a dozen camera shutters. 

“Miss Noin, Miss Noin! Any comments about the disappearance of top model, Zechs Merquise?” She turned to the reporter with a pout.

“While I’m concerned for his safety, I am sure it just one of Zech’s little temper tantrums and he’ll show up in time to make an appearance in Sanc, overly dramatic and fashionably late as always.”

“Miss Noin! What about the rumors that you’ll be next if you don’t withdraw from the show.” She snorted and tossed her head.

“Do be ridiculous. I’m one of the world’s best designers, and I’ve got the best security money can afford.” She spread out her arms and gestured to the six black suited men standing beside the entrances to the pavillion. “And there are three more backstage making sure my models are safe. So as you can see there is absolutely nothing to worry about.”  She flung her hands down into her hips and cocked it to one side. “Now if there are no more ludacris question, let’s get this underway shall we?” She turned on her heal, heading back down running, ignoring the shouts and calls for her to return. One deep voice in the crowd stood out.

“Noin! Look over Here!”

As she turned to look, a flash blinded the occupants of the tent and all that was left of the designer was an earring falling to the floor among panicked screams and shouting security guards


Location: Saint Gabriel University, Suburbs if Sanc

 

Duo Maxwell, master thief, king of stealth, G.U.N.D.A.M.’s number two undercover agent crept close to his target. Flexing his finger over the trigger he raised the lens to his eye, using a convenient body for cover. The mark was perfectly in frame, head down focused on the phone in front of him, seeming unaware of his presence. It couldn’t have worked out better if he tried. Not all he had to do was take the shot. Taking a deep breath he pressed down. The click of the shudder was lost in the the white noise of the cafeteria conversation.

“WOOH! I’ve don’t it! I’ve finally got one.” The lanky young man shot up from his hiding spot, not caring about the tables and trays he upends in his wake. Surrounded by scattered food and plates he crow triumphantly, waving the digital camera above his head as pointing at the man seated at the bench across from him. “In your face Barton. The prize for the photo competition is mine!” 

The subject of all this commotion turned to watch the scene in bemusement, his head on his palm and leg crossed at the knee, as other students moved away from the mess and noise.

“You sure about that?” The smug reply didn’t even phase the braided man as he charged through the mess to his friend.

“Hell yeah I am!.” Flicking on the view screen, Duo didn’t look as he shoved it into the other’s face. He is triumph turned to confusion when all he got was a derisive snort. “What? I finally managed to catch your ugly mug on camera!” 

“Check again.” Trowa leaned back against the table and picked up his phone, waiting for what he knew was coming. There was a beat of silence before camura was flipped around.Instead of picture of Trowa face in profile, the view screen displayed the back of his head and his left ear. For you see, Trowa was G.U.N.D.A.M. number one undercover agent, his reputation for avoiding being fully photographed had made him an asset to G.U.N.D.A.M.,  but also one of the subjects for Saint Gabriel’s annual Photo Scavenger hunt. 

The Photo scavenger hunt was one of the largest contests Saint Gabriel hosted, open to the entire school and used to promote inter connectivity (supposedly). The grand prize for getting a photo every item on the list was an all expenses paid weekend for two at the five star hotel on Sanc’s south beach. And Duo’s made it his mission this year to claim the grand prize this year. There was just a little twist in the hunt this time around though. This year’s outside of the usual hand full of events on campus and shots of Sanc’s important but hard to reach landmarks, to win also required full face pictures of the three most elusive members of the staff and student one of them being Trowa Barton.

“What the fuck man?” The glare sent Trowa’s way was vicious. “Just let me get the picture.”

“No.”

“Please.”

“Again, no.”

“Come on, I need this.”

“Uh uh, I don’t like pictures.” Green eyes glanced up from his phone to glare at Duo. “I told you if you wanted one, I said you were going to have to work for it.” 

“What the fuck do you have against cameras?” 

“Why do you feel the need to destroy half the cafeteria was a good idea?” They both turned to look at the figure radiating irritation at the both of them. Both boys smothered a loud groans. Wufei Chang was the bossiest member of the student body representatives, G.U.N.D.A.M.’s number 3 undercover agent and, unfortunately for Duo and Trowa, he was also their roommate. 

The shorter man surveyed the mess and the camera in Duo’s hand. 

“Are you two worrying about that stupid photo contest?” He glared between the two of them.

“Yes.” “No.

“For fucks sake, this is getting out of hand.” Wufei groaned and rubbed his face with both hands. “You two are menices, I swear.” He surveyed the mess around them again. “You’re cleaning this up.”

“Sure,” Trowa shrugged, glancing back down at his phone.

Duo just stuck out his tongue at Wufei but slowly started to raise the camera in Trowa’s direction again.

“Don’t even think about it.” Trowa didn’t look up from his phone, pointedly ignoring Duo’s pouting face. He smiled before typing a quick response and shoving it back down into his jeans pocket. “Will you grab us some brooms, Wufei.”

Duo swung his head to give Wufei the biggest puppy eyes he could manage. He did get some small glee from the twitch starting under Wufei’s left eye. 

“Fine fine I’ll help,” he grumbled. “I don’t know why the hell I put up with you.”

“Because you like us.”

“Debatable.” 

Once Wufei had walked a short distance away, Duo slid into Trowa’s space, an arm slung over the taller boy’s shoulders.

“Seriously man, what do you have against cameras anyway?”

“I don’t have a problem with cameras.” He crossed his arms over his chest.

“The fact that there doesn’t exist a clear picture of your face says differently my man.” Trowa snorted and shrugged him off, face closed off.

“I don’t have a problem with cameras. I have problem with--” Anything that was said after that was cut out by a loud, startled shout from the supply closet. The pair shared a side-long glance before jogging over to the sound of their distressed friend. 

There was no sign of Wufei outside the closet, just a pile of toppled over brooms and mops and a black void where the back of the closet should be. 

On guard, they leaned in closer to get a better look. Almost as soon as they passed the threshold a strong wind sucked them both into the closet and pulled the door closed behind them.

 


Location: G.U.N.D.A.M. Headquarters 

 

“Lady” Une, the current director and head of operation for G.U.N.D.A.M., rested her chin on well manicured nails as her three best agents came crashing through the ceiling of her office and dump onto the couch in front of her. 

“Afternoon Agents. How is the photo hunt going?” She gave them tight, if not pleasant, smile, as if she knew exactly how thing where going. The reply came in the form of the growl from the bottom of the couch pile.

“Couldn’t have called us in like a normal human being?” Wufei shoved his two heavy partners off of him, sat on the end of the couch. 

Once they’d detangled themselves, Trowa situated himself on the opposite end to Wufei and Duo flopped back in the middle of the couch. Their poster more relaxed than tense. After all their boss wouldn’t attack them there unless she was brainwashed. Again. 

“This was much quicker, and more fun for me.” She snapped her fingers before anyone could retort and the lights dimmed, a screen descending behind her. “As you may be aware several high profile models and designers have been disappearing mid-show, all without a trace." A grid of 28 men and women appeared on the screen. A range of middle to high profile designers and models. At the bottom of the grid were two new faces, Zechs Marquise and Lucrecia Noin.

A devastated howl from the side of couch. 

“No~! Noin was just about to release their Spring collection!” The whine that escaped Wufei was pitiful. He sagged forward his head, hanging between his knees as he sobbed. “She was going to show off her lasted floral design.”

Duo and Trowa shared a glance over Duo’s back. Trowa merely shrugged and as Duo started rubbing the distraught man’s back.

“There, there buddy, there’s always summer.”

“I didn’t take you for a fashionisto Wufei.” Wufei’s shot up immediately and directed a look of sheer indignation in Trowa’s direction.

“Of course I am! How haven’t noticed that I’ve got better fashion sense then you degenerates?” The hand on Wufei’s back stopped as they both half glared at him.

“Can you all focus please? You can pick on Chang’s fashion sense later.” Une waited for their mumbled apology before continuing. “As I was going to say, the only thread connecting all these designers and models together was their invitation to the Sanc’s Annual Fashion Showcase, hosted by Princess Relena of Sanc.” She snapped her fingers again, the screen changing to show three new pictures. An up-and-coming designer by the name of Sally Po, the model and youngest billionaire Quatre Raberba Winner, the fierce visage of Designer and CEO Treize Kushrenada and his equally frightening model, and cousin, Dorothy Catalonia. “Of the V.I.P.s invited, these four are the only one who haven’t been gone missing.”

“You think they could be targeted as well or do you think they’re connected to a disappearances somehow?” Wufei, having recovered from his crying fit, spoke up first.

“We don’t know yet. But with people vanishing after being invited to an event by the future Queen of Sanc, G.U.N.D.A.M. isn’t prepared to take that chance of it being just some industry sabotage.”

“So our job is?” Duo twirled his hand lazily, ignoring the warning look Une sent is way.

“You’re job is to tail the remaining guests, make certain they are all on the up and up and don’t vanish like last months fashion trends.

“Hold on a second.” Trowa held both his hands up in protest. “How exactly are we going to get it?  Last I heard, the Show was closed to the public. It’s in two days, and it’s industry and invites only.” 

Trowa realized his mistake only after his finished speaking. Given the last five years he had worked G.U.N.D.A.M, he'd seen a lot of strange and out there things, but nothing was ever as scary as the slow, wide smile that crept onto Une’s face when she knew she was sending him somewhere he was certain he wasn’t going to like.


Location: Fashion Plaza, Royal Gardens, Sanc

 

Trowa should really listen to his instincts more. As it sood he could barely contain his growing sour mood as he watched the thin crowd of models and designers mill around the garden. It wasn’t that he hated undercover missions, in fact it was where he thrived. What he hated was being in front of a camera. 

Their roles in the mission had all come done to a simple matter of logistics. There covers were a fashion journalist, a designer, and a model. Since Duo had destroyed spy gear on nearly every mission, Une was not about to trust him with the very rare, and very expensive, X-ray camera. While Wufei’s fashion knowledge was frightening impressive, he lacked the stature (or temperament) to blend in with the gathered models. 

He snorted, as his eyes flicked to the sketches for the couture that would be gracing the catwalk tomorrow afternoon. Gaudy did not even begin to cover it. Duo’s comment about ‘literally clown make-up not being good fashion design’ as grounds to take designer from Trowa severely unwarranted. The posters showcasing the works on display would make even the most dedicated clown turn in their shows and nose. 

Playing the model wouldn’t have been a problem, if it hadn’t been for the camera’s everywhere. Being the master of espionage he was, he’s managed to avoid most of the lenses that had been pointed his way, but he still could shake the feeling of being watched. Not something he was used, especially on the job. He was used to blending in, not sticking out. The irony of having to mingle amongst people who thrive on standing out was not lost on him. So a strategic retreat had been necessary. He’d retreated to the balcony to both survey the gathering and take a break from dodging pictures.

He watched as Duo, dressed an outrageous electric green and black shirt and oval shades,  flit from group to group, only pausing to flirt with Quatre Winner. The blonde was clearly charmed by his antiques, if his giggles and the scowl of his bodyguard where any measure of success. At least it wouldn’t be hard for Duo to keep tabs on him if actually enjoyed his company. The same could not be said of Wufei.

Always down for a good argument, the asian man had gotten into a heated discussions with Sally Po and another designer, Hilde Schreiber, over, of all things, overalls. Trowa turned out the conversation almost as soon as heard it. From what he could see from his vantage point above the garden, it was still going. He would have gone back to ignoring it if Treize Khushrenada hadn't joined them, something that clearly startled the trio, Wufei’s eyes widened before narrowing sharply. Khushrenada hadn’t been at the right angle for Trowa to read his lips, but he would hear all about it in the hotel room tonight. The elegant man left almost a quickly as he came, leaving a disapproving Po and a fuming Wufei is his wake.

After that Trowa had taken keeping an eye on the CEO. There was nothing out of the ordinary at first, polite conversation interlaced with the cattiness that was prevalent amongst the fashion industry.  It wasn’t until the man’s cousin made an appearance did things change. As soon as she was beside him they excused themselves and moved to the edge of the crowd, further out of Trowa’s line of sight. The way they leaned in to one another and got quiet when over someone got to close rose Trowa’s interest. He leaned forward not caring if the silk shirt and white pants got dirty as he tried to read Catalonia’s lips. Something about a camera lens...

He’d been so caught up in the moment that he didn’t hear the click and whirl of the camura until it was too late. He was suddenly not alone. His eyes narrowed when he slowly turned his towards the person intruding on his solitude, only to be met with messy hair and a very familiar set of blue eyes.

“You know, for someone who doesn’t like being in pictures, you picked a rather conspicuous hobby.” The new comer cradled the camera in his hand, his hip resting against the concrete banister Trowa’d been leaning over. He wasn’t bother when Trowa sauntered towards him.

“Heero… Is there anyway I could persuade you to delete that and pretend you never saw me here?” Trowa stopped when he was barely an inch from the photographer. The smug turn of Heero’s lips did things to Trowa that were not appropriate for public spaces. Heero didn’t say anything at first, just let Trowa kiss him and moved his camera out of his reach. He smirked at the pout he felt as he stepped back.

“It won’t make it into the university paper if that’s what you’re worried about.” He turned his back to the crowd below them. “I thought you had work this weekend?”

“Would you believe me if I told you this was for work?” Trowa had never disclosed to Heero exactly what his job actually entailed, just that he had one. But the flipside was that he’d never told his partners who he’d been dating since the new year.

Heero hummed lowly and nodded. “Be careful.” He face was knit in consternation as he fidgeting with his camera. It was a rare show of uncertainty from someone who, in Trowa’s experience, was normally unflappable. Trowa slid an arm over his waist, pulling him against his side.

“Something I should be worried about?” 

“...” 

“Ro?”

“Remember me telling you I was working part time at Oz Magazine?” Heero waited for Trowa’s nod before continuing. “Something strange has been going on since I started there.

“Oz is… Overwhelming Zeal isn’t it? Treize Khushrenada’s magazine?” Heero nodded.

“My cousins’ company.” Oh… well, hadn’t expected that. Heero didn’t talk about his family much. “Anyway, since I started, Treize and Dorothy have been hiding away in his studio for the last few months working on the ‘perfect camera’ for his ‘ultimate design’. But something about it’s been off and-” Heero paused, glaring down at his own camera. Taking a deep breath he started again. “Every assignment they’ve sent me on with that camera, someone’s vanished.” That set Trowa in high alert. He watched his boyfriend, mindful not to tip him off to his own agitation. 

“You think they have something to do with it.” Trowa hadn’t meant to make it sound so much like a statement, but Heero nodded all the same.

“It happened to often to be a coincidence.” Heero fiddled with something on his camura. He leaned into Trowa’s shoulder. “I don’t know what your job is, but if something happens during shoot tomorrow-” The whisper was cut off by a high pitched, hauty voice. 

“My, my, what an adorable sight!” Dorothy Catalonia cooed at them from the top of the ground below them. “It’s so good to see my baby cousin finally showing an interest in someone, and so handsome,” she titter obnoxiously. “I thought you didn’t date model, Hee-chan.”

They didn’t jump, but Trowa dropped his arm from Heero and took a step back to stare down at the blond. Heero only sighed in exasperation. 

“What do you want?”

“Now now, no need to be rude~! I’m just being friendly. Will you introduce me to your friend?” Something about the sing-song way she spoke and batted her eyelashes at Trowa set his teeth on edge. And what was up with her eyebrows? Trowa was starting to understand why Heero didn’t mention his family much.

“No. What did you need Dorothy?” 

“Fine,” she huffed, tossing her white blond hair over her shoulder. “Treize wants to run through the itinerary for tomorrow’s photo shoot with you.” 

“Now?”

“Uh-huh.” She cheerfully rocked back and forth on her heels. Heero glared down at her like he was looking for some kind of ulterior motive. 

“All right.” He pushed off the railing and away from Trowa. “I’ll text you later.”  He gave Trowa’s shoulder a squeeze before descending the stairs to follow his cousin. He gave Trowa one last longing look before he melded into the crowd. Trowa was a little proud at how easily his boyfriend blended in with the throng, even if Trowa would miss his company. He wasn’t allowed to miss Heero’s warmth for long when another body took his place.

“So your mystery boytoy is that nerd from the computer science department and the school newsletter?” 

“One word about this, and I will tell Duo it was you who ate the last of his Halloween candy.” Trowa side-eyed his fellow agent, daring Wufei to call his bluff.

“Calm down Barton, I won’t tell him you’re dating his rival.” The smirk was audible, and gone as soon as it appeared. “So did you manage to find out anything before came up here to hide.”

“I wasn’t hiding.”

“If you say so.” 

“And Heero was more help than the models anyway.”

“Huh…” They both grew quiet as they watched Duo strike an animated conversation with Quatre Winner and three of his entourage. All four of them were hung off of Duo’s word as recounted some story or another, as did a few passersby who had been in earshot of the braided man. 

“Duo is better at mingling than us.”

“...Yeah…”

“We’re never telling him.”

“Hell no.” 


Location: Moonboard Hotel, Cartina, Capital City of Sanc

 

It turned out that Heero’s intel had been the icing on the cake for mission. Duo had  managed to learn a few things between flirting and telling embarrassing stories about Wufei and Trowa (something he would pay dearly for later). According the young Mr. Winner, (“please, call me Quatre.” “Can I call you Q-tie?” “S-sure.”), Treize had lost most of his models over the last year over grievances with Khushrenada and his designs (“too rigid, too impractical, and too formal.”) The final straw had been losing Zechs Merquise to Lucrezia Noin last fall. Zechs had been the last major model Treize has working for him. All the missing models had worked at the magazine.

Dorothy hadn’t been much better. She clashed with nearly every designer that was brought in. None of them meeting her bizarre and exacting standards in one way or another. She’d clashed hard with both Noin and Po over the merits of making high fashion more affordable. (“‘Why on earth should we cater to the masses?’” Sally’s falsetto mimicked Dorothy’s voice too well for Wufei’s liking. “‘Fashion is about showing off the best of humanity, if they can’t afford it, then they clearly aren’t it.’ I was ready to punch a child.”). Catalonia was apparently as much nightmare to work with as her cousin. This show was supposed to be their last chance to salvage their ruined reputation with the rest of the fashion world. 

All this combined with Heero’s suspicions, they had more than enough evidence to investigate O.Z.’s dealings. Just as well they were on the suite two floors above theirs.

Going from fashionisto to spy  was made easy by G.U.N.D.A.M.’s patented cloaking wrist watches, which disguised their suits for 15 minutes before it needed recharging. Breaking in would be handled with the Ever-stick suction Boots,  the diamond edge nail file and the lock picking kit Duo kept hidden in his hair. All they needed now was a distraction…

Wufei was cursing both his partners under his breath as he waited outside the door to Khushrenada’s suite with a bottle of wine and a tape recorder. The Fashion mogul had invited him to his room earlier in the afternoon, for a “private” interview. The innuendo made the the spy shudder at the memory. Duty it was a mission and his duty to see it through to the end, even if it did make Wufei’s skin crawl and want to punch the millionaire in the face. 

He was in the middle of swearing in his fifth language when the door open. Treize’s hair was damp and he was wrapped nothing more than pink bathrobe that was obviously not long enough for him. 

“Well your a pleasant surprise.” He leaned in between the gape, invading Wufei’s personal space. “The way you spoke earlier I thought spending time with me was the last thing you wanted to do.” 

Everything in Wufei was screaming to abort this, find some other way to sneak into the room. As he tried to look anywhere but at Treize and his painfully short bathrobe, caught the barest hint movement beyond the suites window. He’d forgotten just how fast his friends could climb. Too late now.

 Wufei cleared his throat before speaking. “ I can’t let me personal opinions get in the way of completing my work. An interview is an interview.” He couldn’t help the red creeping up his neck when his eyes caught Treize again. “Maybe I should come back later.”

“Nonsense. As exciting as I am sure things are going to be tomorrow, we may not get another chance to speak.” Treize stepped aside to allow Wufei just enough room to get in. “And if the wine was anything to go by, it can’t be all business. Though you’ll have to forgive me, I just finished my bath.” He was close enough that Wufei could small the rose scented bath oil and feel how warm and damp his skin was as he passed. 

The hotel room looked more like a penthouse apartment, with a stylish kitchenette and luxurious, plush looking couches. If the vast living area and the number of doors was anything to go by, the suite took up the entire floor. He couldn’t help but be a little envious as he thought about cramped, two bed room he was sharing with Duo and Trowa down stairs. He felt a little cheated.

His seething was interrupted by the wine bottle being gently tugged from his clenched fist. “I’ll just pour us both a glass shall I? Make yourself comfortable.”  

Using any excuse to get leave Treize’s immediate vicinity Wufei bolted for the loveseat next to the window. The fucking couch was heated. Life was just not fair. 

Life got doubly unfair when Treize sat down beside him on the couch, thigh to naked thigh. It was getting much harder to ignore that little voice in Wufei’s head that was telling him to punch Treize in the throat. Instead he scooted against the arm of the couch. 

“Miss Catalonia won’t be joining us?”

“No, Dorothy is out running an errand for me.” He could see that hand wanting start to inch towards Wufei.

“And you’re other cousin?” Anything to nip this in the bud.

“You know about Heero?” The look of surprise was brief, but it was clearly enough to halt the CEO’s advances. He smiled and leaned back in own seat. “I’m surprised you know him. He’s not particularly social, but he does have an exceptional skill for photography.” He pulled out 8x10 from the pile of photos Wufei has missed in his haste to get away from Treize. “You could say he capturing the essence of his subjects.”

It was shot of Lucrezia Noin, from her show in paris. She was looking straight at the camera, the only thing not in frame was her right earring. The photo got stranger the longer Wufei looked at it. She was the only part of the photo that was in completely in focus and in color, everything around her was blurred to the point of unrecognition. His eyes flicked to the other pictures, Zechs’s face graced the top of the pile, clearly startled by something. Beneath and scattered about he could make out the profiles of other missing models and designers. Wufei didn’t like the way his stomach sank as the pieces started to fit together with what Trowa has told him earlier. 

“He took all of these with his camera?”

“Yes, but not with the inferior one he had this afternoon. That’s his personal camera. The company camera is of a much higher caliber. He’s the only one with the skill to pull this off, besides Dorothy and myself, of course. But Heero does have the better eye.” Treize hummed and set the photo down back down, picking one of the wine glasses instead.  He racked his eyes over Wufei’s skinny jeans and floral covered torso. “Enough about him. You’re here for me, aren’t you?” Wufei grit his teeth. Did he have to put it that way? Everything about Khushrenada threw Wufei off is game. 

“Right.” He set the tape recorder on the table and started the recording. “There are rumors going around the OZ as a design house has been on the decline recently. Any way to substantiate or disprove those claims?”

“You cut to the chase. I appreciate that. To answer your question, it is true that we at OZ has recently fallen into a bit of a slump. But I have faith that what we unveil tomorrow night will set the standards for the fashion industry, if not the world, for years to come.” 

“Don’t you think it’s odd that most of your competitors have disappeared right before this show?”

“I am sure they are missed, but the fashion world stops for no one. As I’m sure you’re aware, you do have to be present if you want to make a statement.” It was a blatant crock of shit, but Wufei had more important things on his mind. Like praying that Trowa and Duo hurry the fuck up. “Even if they don’t show up their legacies won’t be forgotten.”

“You think they’re dead?” Worse case scenario was already playing through Wufei’s mind. Apparently Wufei’s horrified expression amused Treize because the millionaire started chuckling.

“Oh no~! Nothing that dramatic, I’m sure. You know just how dramatic most of the industry is. I am sure they will turn up… Eventually.” The sharp edge to his smile was anything but reassuring to Wufei. What was less reassuring was seeing Duo falling down the side of the building behind Treize’s head. Clearly the surprise was written on his face because Treize turned around. He regarded Wufei with a raised eyebrow. 

“Sorry, I thought I saw a bat. Anyway, you aren’t  you at all worried that you might go missing the same way they did?”

“Are you worried about me?” Treize was leaning in to Wufei’s space again. “That’s kind of you.”

“Answer the damn question,” Wufei growled, leaning back from him.

“Well just say I have insur-” A bang rang through the room before any further conversation could be made. 

 Dorothy stood outside, scowling fiercely, with a bulky, monstrous camera in her hands. The door now sported a hole where her heel had connected with it. 

“Someone tipped off Po and Winner!” Her voice was shrill and full of frustration. “The pathetic little worm had all forty of his entourage blocking my view and Po hasn’t left her room all night!” She clearly hadn’t cared or noticed that Wufei was there. 

Treize however merely coughed to get her attention and turned off Wufei’s recorder before anything further incriminating statements could be said.

“I think that’s enough for now.” He handed the recorder back to Wufei. “I think it best I deal with my distraught cousin. Perhaps you and I could continue this conversation another time when we’re less likely to be interrupted.” He winked at him and helped him to his feet ushered him out he how the door before he could protest. Wufei turned just in time to see the door close in his face. As he did the panic rose in his chest. Where the fuck was Barton?!

 


Trowa was panicking. Getting into the rooms hadn’t that difficult. One of the bedroom windows had already open and seemingly unoccupied. So there would be no problem slipping in right. The first mistake had been not doing a more thorough review of the floor plan. The second had been not checking that the connected bathroom was empty. The third, and the one that was purely Trowa’s fault, had been in not warning Heero that they’d be dropping in.

Once inside Duo and Trowa made quick work of rummage through the few duffle and camera bags. 

“It doesn’t look like it’s in any of these,” Trowa groused. Carefullying pulling out pieces of camera equipment. He wasn’t even sure what he was looking for if he was honest. He turned to Duo who was fishing through the duffle bag on the california queen bed.

“No luck over here.” Duo held up a pair of sleek black briefs, whistling wolfishly. He winced when a sharp knuckle taps him on the head.

“Behave, this is important remember?” Trowa surveyed the room  once again, eyes lighting on a laptop on the corner desk with a camera hooked to it. “Bingo.” Pulling out the chair he starts typing away, be brings up the load out easily. 

“This the culprate?” Duo stopped his digging to lean over Trowa’s back.

“No… this is Heero’s rig.” Long fingers navigated the home screen with ease. “It looks like he’s downloading something from a nearby computer and masking the exchange by uploading his photos from today.”

“Can you tell what he’s getting.” He leaned further against Trowa’s shoulder

“Give me a minute, anti-encryption is not my forte.” Many furious typing and some furious clicks later, the schematics for an insidious capture device where displayed on the screen. “It looks like the blueprints for the camera ‘Ro warned us about. But why would he need to download them?”

It was the extra bit of warmth in the air that tipped him off that they had company. The soft click of a gun confirmed it. 

“Hands up where I can see them. Both of you.” Trowa tilted his head back to look over his shoulder. 

Heero stood behind them, naked as the day he was born, a glock pointed right where Duo’s and Trowa’s bodies crossed. Trowa suddenly wished their spy suits where not so skin tight.

“Easy pal! You don’t want to do anything rash, we’re on your side here.” Duo turned around, only to have the barrel of the gun move to his face. He hadn’t heard Heero move in closer. His cocky grin changed to a full sulk. “It had to be you.” Heero just scowled and glanced at the schema displayed on the screen. He locked eyes with Duo.

“You need that to stop Treize right?” When Duo nodded, Heero move forward, not lowering his gun or dropping eye contact with Duo. He wasn’t even looking as he pulled up the computer command prompt and punched in a command one handed. There was a soft beep before a Micro SD shot of the side. He tossed the chip to Duo, who clumsily caught it. “Now get out.” Gesturing with the gun to window.

“Wait seriously?”

“That’s how you got in isn’t?

“Not even a ‘Hi, thank you trying to stop my crazy boss.’?” Duo looked at the still sitting Trowa. “Why doesn’t he have to leave?”

“If you don’t leave now, I am going to throw you out that window.”

“I’d like to see you try.” 

Trowa knew, deep down, that he could have stopped this before it got to the point. But as he watched his boyfriend drop his gun, dodge his partner’s swing, then grab him by the scruff and his belt loop, all while naked, Trowa couldn’t think anything beyond how sexy Heero looked at the moment. His focus was completely destroyed. Damned libido.

 In a further show of strength and skill, Heero lifted Duo off the floor and all but chucked him out the window. Which was alarming, only because Heero couldn’t know that their suits had built in parachutes. 

That settled, Heero turned his attention back to the man in the chair. 

Trowa hadn’t moved accept to watch the proceedings. His self-preservation skills started coming up with possible escape routes. He could follow Duo out the window, but with Heero in the way that wasn’t an immediate option. Neither was going out the door or bathroom. So he was at Heero’s mercy. Which his cock didn’t see as much of a problem as the rest of Trowa. And judging by Heero’s heated look and slowly growing erection, he didn’t mind either.

“So you’re...”

“A spy for an international peace-keeping organization.”

“Ah.” Heero move in close and turned the chair so that he was standing between Trowa’s legs. The way Heero looked down at him with such an intense and demanding expression made Trowa’s cock twitch painfully in his suit. Having those shower warm muscles in his face didn’t help things either. This was probably why Une advised them against dating while in service. And since Heero didn’t seem inclined to move any time soon, Trowa cautiously lowered his hands down to Heero’s hips. He liked that playful curl that was coming to Heero’s lips.

“I’ve caught you, now what?”

Outside, there was a bang and screech. “Someone one tipped off Po and Winner!” Reality crashed home for both of them. 

“Now, I hide.”

Heero spun around Trowa to the door, quickly locking it while Trowa moved to window just in catch a glimpse of Wufei being ushered away from the window.

“Can you go out the way you came?”

“Not without risking of one of your cousin’s seeing me.” He was more concerned about Heero. He started racking his brain for a possible out that wouldn’t put his boyfriend in more danger. Nothing about this mission was going smoothly.

“Take off your suit.”

“What?” 

Heero just gave Trowa look that he’d usually seen leveled at Duo. One that read ‘I can’t believe you’re this stupid.’ It took a moment for the idea to click. Dorothy had seen them together earlier. 

At the sound of approaching footsteps, Trowa turned the cloaking on. The slim dark teal catsuit shimmered, and changed to a pair of tight jeans and an open, disheveled shirt. He dove for the bed as Heero closed his laptop, just in time for their to be a sharp pounding at Heero’s door.

“Yuy, I need to talk to you!” It was Dorothy, again. The door shook as she tried to open it. “You ingrate open this door!”

“Now Dorothy, while it’s saddens my heart that Heero doesn’t trust us, I am sure our dear cousin has a reasonable explanation for why his door is locked. He is our family after all, he wouldn’t betray us like that.” Trowa could see Heero roll his from his spot on the bed. This was old hat apparently. But they were on a timer.

“Yes he would! He always sided with Po when we argued. I bet he ratted us out to her during the luneon! Open up you bastard!” That was apparently enough because Heero unlocked the door and flung it open.

“What do you want? I’m in the middle of something.”

Trowa had to admire Heero’s balls. He was still naked, facing off his family like it was nothing. Trowa rolled over to get a better look at their faces. Dorothy’s went from rage to confused delight. Treize’s face was etched in disappointment and caution.

“Oh~ It’s the model from earlier,” she chortled. She waved at him with an insipid giggle. Trowa put on his more charming smile and a two finger wave back, sending her into another fit of giggles. Treize looked less impressed.

“When did you bring him in here?”

“While you were in the bath,” Heero looked at Trowa over his shoulder. “We talking about a job offer before we got… distracted.” Not a complete lie. 

“I see.” Treize wasn’t convinced then. Trowa rose gracefully from the bed and presses against Heero’s back. 

“He’s told me about your design house, and I think OZ has potential to come back on top.” 

“Is that so?” Treize flicked up and down Trowa’s form. “I’ve never seen you before and I’m not sure you’re OZ materially. We do have high standards.”

“How about we to a test shoot tomorrow?” 

Oh no. No. He knew Heero was trying to help, but this would go down faster than a lead balloon he actually tried to model. If where anything but a master spy, the panic that he was feeling would have shown on his face. As it was Treize looked interested and Dorothy was almost vibrating in delight.

“Alright. You’ll do a test shoot with Dorothy and Heero tomorrow before tomorrow’s  main event.” 

“Oh how splendid~!” She flunger self at Herro and hugged his shoulders, completely ignoring his startled ‘I’m still naked woman!’ “I knew you’d come around to enjoying this. I can’t wait.”

Treize shook Trowa’s hand. “While I am disappointed Heero didn’t tell me you were here, I’m glad to see him taking initiative with recruitment.” He gave Trowa’s hand an unfriendly squeeze. “Since we have such an early start, I’m afraid I need to ask you to leave.”

“Of course.” Trowa shook his hand playfully before, as if Treize’s grip had actually hurt. “See you tomorrow.” He pressed a kiss to Heero’s cheek, taking his chance to whisper in his ear. “Text me.” If his exit was faster that was probably polite, no one commented on it. But did get to hear Dorothy quietly ask why neither of them were wearing pants.

Seemed his hasty exit had been warranted. As the door to the elevator closed the cloaking faded and he was back in his suit. He could already feel the judgement stares Wufei and Duo would give him once he was back in their room. The week has gone from bad to worse in a matter of two days. 

To get his mind of the potential ridicule he was going to receive, his mind turned towards tomorrow’s event. He was hit with a growing sense of dread as every picture taken of him after the age of seven flashed in his mind. The ache, the braces, crossed eyes, the horrid complection, the falls, unintentionally weird faces. (All of which Heero has seen thanks to Trowa’s oversharing sister). All these images flew by in his head like shitty version of ‘This is Your Life.’  The had gotten so bag that by the time he was 15 he’d grown out his hair to cover his face and avoid cameras like he was allergic to them. It his photo didn’t come out any better since then (thankfully everyone’s driver’s license looked like an awkward mugshot), but at least he’s managed to make a career out of avoiding. But now, all that work was going to be shot to hell because of one stupid case.

Wallowing in his anguish he almost the the little whistle of his phone alerting him to a text. He was pleasantly surprised to Heero had texted him already.

‘Don’t worry about tomorrow. I’ve got you covered. -See attached-’ It wasn’t uncommon for Heero to send pictures from the locations he visits. Trowa was expecting to see some of the palace gardenscape, but no. It was the picture of Trowa from early that afternoon. And instead of some bizarre upshot with his nostrils on full display, it actually made him look… nice.

The breeze was blowing his hair away from his face. Instead of looking squinty and harsh, Trowa looked intense and almost regal. The sweater he’d worn didn’t make him look blotchy or too red like it had when Trowa had been told to try it. The picture almost looked magical. Before he could analyze the picture further was another whistle.

‘You’re going to the beach with me. -See attached-’ This time the attachment was a completed checklist for the school scavenger hunt. He felt the smile slowly come to him as he thought about spending a weekend with Heero in a secluded beach all to themselves. 

Well… maybe Trowa could handle a few photos… for the sake case.