LETTERS FROM DUO
for the Death and the Dragon Arc)
By: Mel and
way through his usual morning collection of emails, Master O paused as he read
Wufei's latest report. The coldly polite formal phrases were... not exactly
depressing, but certainly...
*Disheartening?* he mused, saving
that message and moving on to the next. *Perhaps I understand why he acts the
way he does, but I cannot help wishing that there was room in his heart for
something other than duty and honour... and self-disgust. He hides it well, but
I see it.*
Sighing, he went on, reading messages, deleting some and
forwarding others to where they would do the most good, until he came to one
that made him blink in surprise.
*That is not my email
SENT: 20:06 December 18, 196AC
assistance is needed
I know this is kinda breaking protocol, but Quatre and I need to ask
you for a favour, and since Chang only takes orders from you, it's not like G or
H could do it for us. It's a really big favour, too.
See, none of us have
missions from December 23rd through December 25th. Heero & I have one on the
27th, but you really didn't want to know that, eh? Anyway, G and Dr. J can't
find anything that might need 'attention', so they're giving us a few days
downtime, as is H and S. Since the 24th is Christmas Eve and the 25th is
Christmas Day, we thought we'd throw a little Holiday thing- presents,
decorations, lots of good food. Anyway, I know you guys don't really celebrate
it, but we really want Wufei there with us.
So, can you please, please,
please order him to safehouse 18- the one in western Massachusetts, USA? Tell
him to be there on the 23th and to stay until you send him new orders (no orders
until the 26th if you can help it)? Quatre and I would really appreciate it.
We'll even owe you one.
Thanks, in advance.
* * * * *
softly, O leaned back and studied the screen, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.
*So, the boy hacked a new alias into my email account. Interesting. Very
interesting. Even more interesting is the fact that he has unwittingly presented
me with a possible solution to young Chang's excessive detachment and
self-focus. If 02 cannot do something to draw him out of himself, I had better
give it up as a lost cause.*
He hit 'reply' and bent over the
keyboard, thick fingers moving with surprising grace as he quickly typed an
"Well, he answered," Duo told Quatre, peering
nervously at his laptop's screen.
"What did he say? Yes or
"Dunno. I'm scared to open it."
"What?!" Quatre's tousled
head popped up from behind the large pump he was rewiring, yellow hydraulic
fluid smudged on his cheek. "Why?"
"Well, O's really big and quiet and...
dour," Duo explained, waving his hands. "And he's got a mean right hook.
I asked him to order Wu-man to do something frivolous, for crying out
loud! What if he's offended?"
"It's a bit late to worry about that now,"
Quatre pointed out dryly.
"True." Biting his lip, Duo opened the
SENT: 08:52 December 19, 196AC
SUBJECT: Re: Your
assistance is needed
for using your personal name without invitation, but I feel that a punch in the
stomach counts as a full introduction. In any case, G's correspondence has
accustomed me to seeing you referred to as 'Duo' or 'my boy', and the latter did
not seem appropriate.
I see no reason why I should not assist in your
plans. Chang Wufei is more than due for a short rest, and is unlikely to take
one if I do not force the issue. I will send my contribution to the festivities
along with him; although Christmas is not, as you noted, celebrated in my
colony, we do make a number of Festival sweets and delicacies that I am sure
will be appropriate.
One question, if I may... I understand the reasoning
behind the new email address you seem to have assigned me, and the first part of
your chosen designator is self-explanatory, even if I cannot identify the
reference, but I must confess complete bewilderment as to the meaning of
shoot!" Duo groaned, torn between dismay and laughter.
"What's the matter
now?" Quatre asked, reading over his shoulder. "He definitely doesn't seem
offended, and he did say 'yes'!"
"Yeah, but now I have to explain Terry
Pratchett to him! Do you know how long it took me to explain Pratchett and Binky
"And it was completely self-inflicted, so don't whine,"
Quatre pointed out, supressing a grin. "Just tell him to read the books. You
made _me_ read them, after all."
Pratchett is the marvelous author of the extremely popular 'Discworld' novels.
If you've never read them, Mel, I and a whole lot of other authors/fans highly
recommend them. The series is filled with dry humour, adventure and other fun
stuff. We figure it's exactly the sort of thing this portrayal of Duo (and G)
would be a fan of. For example... Death rides a pale horse, right? Well, that
pale horse's name is Binky. Jacket excerp from 'Thief of Time': "...comes
complete with a full supporting cast of heroes and villains, yetis, martial
artists and Ronny, the fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse (who left before they
became famous)." Go read them!