Category:  AU, Gundam Wing, based on the book, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, won't follow the plot much, but that's where the idea came from
Pairings:  1x2, 3x4, 13x6x5, I'm not sure about the girls yet
Warnings:  shonen ai, won't be much more than this in the fic, be warned, the characters are CATS, not people, but they have the same characteristics
Author:  Arigatomina

Into the Wild

Part 1

"Mommy, I want this one!"  

Bottom lip sticking out, the six year old boy stomped his foot as his mother eyed the cat warily.  Fine black fur was standing straight up on the young cat's back
and it was crouched as if prepared to pounce on any hand foolish enough to enter its pen.  Looking at the other two cats in the pen, she tried to divert her son
before he could throw a full-fledged tantrum.  

"What about this one?" she asked, pointing to the large cat curled in the corner of the pen.  

It had long white fur and lovely light blue eyes.  It was also much less dangerous looking than the young cat that was currently growling at them.

"No!"  

Face turning red as he screamed, the boy shoved the glass covering back before his mother could stop him and was reaching into the pen.  With a shout, his
mother barely managed to grab him before the black cat could latch onto his hand, long teeth bared as it hissed.  

Still crying, the boy was drug away from them and, after an apology to the attendant who quickly replaced the lid, out of the store.

Sniffing at the people's retreat, the cat moved to the back of the pen, curling in a ball and by all appearances, going to sleep.  

The attendant rolled his eyes.  Then he shoved the pen, glaring at the three occupants.  "You'd better straighten up, or you'll never get sold."

The black cat didn't twitch so much as a whisker.

- - -

"You know, we've had this shop for two months now and we haven't sold a single cat.  I don't know what to do."  Sighing, the man sat down at a table in the
back of the store.  

Shaking his head, the attendant glared at the door.  "They're rotten pets, no one wants them.  I say we switch to dogs and scrap those flea-bags."

"What I don't understand is why the owner chose those cats.  I've never seen such a collection of bad tempered felines."

"Well, he doesn't seem to mind the fact that we're not selling.  So long as I get paid every week, that's all that matters."  

A knock sounded on the back door, and the young man moved, groaning when he saw who it was.  "Not another one..."  

He took the cage and gestured for the woman to enter.  "What's the story on this one?"

"He's an absolute nuisance.  Every time someone buys him, they bring him back within a week.  It seems he has a habit of getting on everybody's nerves."

"And the boss sends him here?  That guy's got no sense."

"Hey, watch it," the other man said.

The man gave a glare at the attendant before sending the woman to the door with a smile.  "You tell the boss we'll set him up with the others."  

He smiled wider when she raised an eyebrow.  Then he shut the door after her and slammed the cage down on the table as he eyed the newest addition.  
"Great.  Where'll we put him?"

"Who cares?" the attendant groaned, shoving the cage and raising an eyebrow when the cat made no sound, rocking slightly before laying still.  "What's
wrong with it?"  

He grabbed the handle of the cage, shaking it roughly and watching the cat as it was thrown about.  It didn't lift its head, so he opened the lid.  He was about to
prod it when it suddenly leapt out onto the table, long tail swiping back and forth rapidly as its oddly violet eyes sparked.  

"Shit!  Get it back in there quick!"  

The other man shoved the attendant aside,  He reached down and grabbed the cat by the scruff of its long hair and shoved it back into the cage, cursing as
he received a series of long scratches for his efforts.  "I know just the place for this one."  

Eyes narrowing, the man smirked as he looked from his bloody arm to the feline.  "Come on, I'll throw this one in with the trouble-maker and we can go grab a
beer."

"Um, you sure that's a good idea?  He may not be alive in the morning."

"Don't be ridiculous, I'm sure he'll be just fine."

- - -

Duo hissed as his cage was tipped and he was dumped unceremoniously into a wood-chip-covered pen.  He glared up at the humans.  Getting to his feet, he
watched the men cross the room, shutting off the lights.  It wasn't until he heard the back door's bolts being drawn that he looked through the glass walls at the
other cats.  He was about to move for a closer look when he heard a rustling behind him.  

He turned quickly, crouching with his eyes narrowed to slits.  He peered into the darkness of the back of the cage.  A glint reached him, eyes the only thing
visible.  

He blinked in surprise and tilted his head, giving a cat's imitation of a grin.  "Hi!  Name's Duo, how ya doin?"  

Not receiving an answer, he took a step forward.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you."

Duo halted and turned to look across the isle, eyes catching on a cat in the corner.  "Why not?"

"Heero's not the friendly type."  

Blinking large pale blue-green eyes, a small pale yellow cat moved forward, close to the glass.  He gave a small smile and sat, tail curled around his feet.  
"Don't worry though, leave him alone and he won't hurt you."

Duo frowned, one ear cocked back, and shook his head.  "What's your name?"

"Quatre," came the soft response.

"Well, Quatre, I am the friendly type."  

Duo grinned and turned back, eyes now taking in a dark shape as he crouched facing the cat.  His tail twitched.  Then he batted a paw at him.  He lept back
just as a dark brown clawed arm shot out at him.  The swipe was accompanied by a low growl.  

"Be nice," Duo purred, tail swiping back and forth faster.

"Omae o korosu..."

Blinking, Duo tilted his head.  "What's that mean?  Oh, I get it.  You don't speak English?"  

He sniffed when he didn't get a response.  "Fine, there are other ways to communicate."  

With a wide grin, he swiped a paw at him again, watching the dark form carefully.

"You leave Heero alone!" a shrill voice ordered.

Turning at the call, he was caught in the side when Heero pounced on him.  Grinning up at glaring cobalt blue eyes, he stretched his neck as he sniffed at
him.  "Got a girl protecting you?  That's hardly fair."

"You just leave him alone."

Ignoring the female voice, Duo brushed his face against the thick fur at Heero's neck, grinning when those eyes widened and he jumped off him quickly.  
Purring deep in his throat, Duo got to his feet.  "What's the matter?  Don't want to play?"

Ignoring him, the cat turned and moved to the back of the cage, curling up.

Following him, Duo paused when the head lifted, a low hiss reaching him.  Purring louder, Duo moved to his side, one paw pushing on his shoulder as Heero's
eyes widened in shocked disbelief.  Smirking, Duo sat down, both front paws lying on Heero's back as he waited to see what the dark cat would do.

Glaring, Heero growled deep in his throat, claws extending as his body grew tense.  "Get off me *now*."

"Why?" Duo asked, resting his head on one arm as he smiled at those furious eyes.  "You smell nice."

Eyes narrowing, Heero shoved the cat away, getting to his feet and stalking to the other corner of the pen.

"Heero?  What is he doing?  You leave him alone!  You hear me?"

Glaring, Duo looked around until he spotted the female.  She had long tan fur and light blue eyes, and she was glaring at him from the pen beside them, her
fur raised.  "Why should I listen to you?  We're going to be sharing a house until I can get out of here so he has to learn to get along."

"You can't bully my Heero!"  Hissing, she got as close as she could to the glass.  "I won't let you."

Glancing at the dark-haired cat, Duo frowned.  "Was I bullying you?  Sorry, I was just playing."  Sighing, he moved to the side of the pen, standing on his hind
legs as he scraped his claws against the seam of the sliding glass lid.  

"What do you think you're doing?"

Ignoring the question, Duo twisted his body till his shoulders were pressed against the glass as his claws curved into the crack.  Pulling, he hissed from the
pain in his claws as the glass slowly slid back an inch.  Shoving his paws through, he pushed again, freezing when Heero suddenly joined him.  Grinning, he
opened the lid easier with the help, leaping through the crack as soon as it was wide enough.  

"How the *hell* did you do that?"

Turning, he saw a black cat watching him, dark eyes glaring daggers.  "I learned that one a long time ago.  There's no door or cage I can't get open."  Giving a
sharp cry as Heero jumped up beside him, inadvertently landing on his tail, Duo sniffed, licking the abused appendage as he frowned at the dark brown cat.  
"That hurt."

Eyes wide as he watched the small pink tongue lap at that long tail, Heero didn't answer.  It wasn't until Relena called out that he blinked, tearing his eyes away
from Duo's long golden-brown fur.  "I don't know why I didn't think of this before."

"Heero!  Save me, Heero," the female called, her tail swiping happily as she smiled at him.  "You're so wonderful.  I knew you'd escape eventually."

"Hey!  I'm the one who knew how to open the door."  Glaring at the cat, Duo sniffed.  Then he stood and his eyes moved around the room, looking at its
occupants.  There were quite a few of them, and they were all watching him with very wide eyes.  "You guys never tried to escape before?"

"We're cats," one of the males said smoothly, shaking his reddish-brown fur as he got to his feet.  "Our lives are designed so we are pets.  What good would it
do for us to escape?"

"What an attitude."  His nose twitched, and Duo suddenly hopped onto the floor, not looking back as he padded to where the pale cat was.  He sat for a
moment, then smiled up at him.  "Hey, Quatre.  Want out for a while?  Get some exercise?"

"Please."  Quatre purred softly as the longhaired cat quickly hopped onto his cage, and he tried to repeat Duo's move as the lid was pushed back.  "Thank
you," he said quickly, then he jumped to the floor and nearly ran across the room, leaping onto another glass cage.  

Duo watched for a moment, then he moved sharply when another feline leapt up beside him.  He hadn't even noticed her, as she'd been curled in the back.  
She too had long fur, and it was almost the same color as Quatre's.  "Hi there."

"Dorothy," she said quickly as she slowly stretched her limbs one at a time.

Scrambling at the glass, Quatre's purr grew louder when the lid slowly moved back.  Then he was twining himself around the tall cat that joined him.  "Trowa..."

His green eyes glinted, and Trowa ducked his head, rubbing his cheek against the pale cat's neck before he forced himself to move back.  His sister was
frowning at him, and he whispered in Quatre's ear as he knew she wouldn't approve.  "Let's go over there, all right?"

"Of course."  Following him, Quatre nearly ran until they were shielded behind the cashier's desk.

Duo stared as loud purring filled the too quiet room, and he would have flushed if he could.  As it was, he couldn't help but grin.  Then a loud wailing had him
tipping his ears back in distaste.

"Heero!  Save me!"  Relena's eyes were narrowed, and it was obvious she was angry.

"Maybe if you shut up, he would," Hilde spat, standing as she shoved the female aside with her shoulder.  Stretching out, she tried to force the glass back as
the strange cat had, but she wasn't strong enough.  "Why don't you help yourself and help me?" she asked Relena angrily.

"But Heero..."

The cat in question was on the other side of the room, crouched over Wufei's cage and Hilde shook her head.  "He's busy.  Hop to it, now!"

"I really don't see the point of getting out," Treize murmured as he nodded to Heero before joining him on the top of his cage.  "After all, it isn't like we can go
anywhere.  And how will we get the lids back on?"

"Finally!  I can get away from these...cats!"  He said it as if he wasn't included in the category, and Wufei moved away quickly.  

"He's being feisty," Zechs said slowly, following the black cat's progress before glancing to the tall cat beside Heero.  "Shall we?"

"Absolutely," Treize purred.  

Duo stared as the two cats suddenly chased the black one, and it wasn't until they were out of sight behind one of the cages that he blinked.  The loud hisses
and growls didn't sound good, but there was also plenty of purring.  "Damn.  You guys need to get out more."

"How is it that you knew how to get out?"  Frowning, Heero sat on the empty cage as he looked across the aisle to where Duo was.  

"Hey, I'm a street cat.  I don't take to cages.  I'm used to running away from bored teenagers, this place is nothing."

"Then why are you here?  Obviously they caught you."

Duo smiled at Dorothy, then glanced to Heero again.  "I kinda attacked someone and they got mad.  I've been shipped all over since then.  But I think I'm ready
to go back to the streets.  It's no fun being sold."

"I wouldn't know," Dorothy smirked, raising her head as she looked at him from the corner of her eyes.  "I've never been sold.  I just scratch whoever thinks
about it and--end of story."

"Yeah, me too.  Though I try being nice until I get a chance to escape.  Problem is, I keep getting bought by people with brats.  They're monsters."  The female
nodded, and he sighed.

"So you're going to go back to the streets?" Hilde asked, she and Relena finally having gotten the door open.  It would have been easier, but the female wasn't
much help.  Too bad her pride kept her from asking for assistance.  "What's it like?"

"Well, it's hard," Duo admitted, glancing over at the black-haired female.  "I was actually thinking about trying out the country or something.  I mean, it's not like
I can't catch my own food and it would be nice to live away from people."

"You'd have to get out of this store first," Heero said slowly, staring at him with narrowed eyes.  "Can you?"

"No problem.  Hey, you guys wanna escape?"  His question was directed to *all* of the room's occupants, and he hoped it carried to those who were currently
busy.  All he got was glares, and he assumed their unspoken message was that his question had been a stupid one.  "Right.  Well, let me look at the locks."

* * *

"So how long before we test them?"  The man frowned as he glared down the length of his long, pointed nose.  His gray hair fell forward over an eye, the rest
of it hanging down in a circular manner that resembled a mushroom.  "The new one hasn't shown any changes, and we gave him twenty cc's."

"Be patient," Doctor J said smoothly, reading the report.  "Our men have said that they are acting very hostile toward potential owners.  That could be a sign of
increased intelligence."

"Or they're bad pets.  We should have just kept them in the lab.  This subterfuge is infuriating."

"Now, now.  We can't take the risk."  J glared for a moment before setting the paper down on his desk.  "The authorities are watching us too closely.  If they
found we were experimenting again, they'd have us arrested.  No, this is the perfect plan.  By mixing the chemicals in their feed, we can have our results and
the blame, if we're caught, goes to the fake *owner* of the store.  It's ingenious."

"You just say that because it was your idea," the other man said snidely.  "Fine, but how long before we can run actual tests?"

"We don't want to be premature," J said, "it's only been a couple of months.  If we took the risk of running them now, and the drugs haven't taken effect yet,
we'd ruined our research.  Give it another week, at least.  Then we'll know."

"Fine."

.-.

PART 2

.-.

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