The Missing Links: Collecting the Pieces Pt. 1 Ch. 3

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When had the air in the room gotten so heavy? The space around him was feeling smaller than before as if trying to swallow him whole. A bead of sweat dribbled down his face and he reached up to wipe it away, noting that it shouldn't feel so hot in the room. Walking to the open window, he undid the first few buttons of his collar to try and help make himself feel less confined. It wasn't working. His eyes glanced at his wrist to his watch and he sighed, running a nervous hand through his hair.

Two hours. They had just gone to pick up the cake; that's what Aio said. That shouldn't take two hours. He paced the floor and checked his watch again, knowing it wouldn't show much difference than before. He gave a sigh of frustration that sounded more like a growl. He should have gone with them. He shouldn't have left them alone. Anything could happen; might have already happened. He mentally shook himself. He needed to stay calm.

The soft coo of the baby behind him reminded him why he had let her go alone. She had asked him to take care of Aiden while she and Thiana went off to town. So far it hadn't been a hard task. Aiden was a good baby. The child currently sat chewing on a random toy of his while drooling slightly and babbling happily as most babies do. Cleaning up the baby cereal had been an endeavor all its own as Aiden had seemed to prefer having puréed mush all over his small chubby hands. The memory of it would have made him smile if his mind was not already occupied.

Aiden's little blue eyes looked at him then. He was so small. It was amazing how someone so small and helpless could be so intriguing. Walking over, he picked the cooing child up and held him out in front of him, giving him a good once over. The child did have his eyes, though in all else, like his sister, he took after his mother. The child reached out his pudgy little hands and smiled toothlessly at him. At that moment his mind was made up. He didn't care what Aio said. When she got back they were leaving. All of them. He could never forgive himself if anything happened to her or his children.

He froze, shocking himself at his own thought. He couldn't place the time when his thoughts changed from her kids to his. He didn't know what was going on with him. Maybe it was because of Thiana's fuzzy halo of hair or maybe it was the quirky looks Aiden kept giving him. Somewhere between meeting them, and now, his outlook had changed.

The ominous caw of a Raven brought his attention to activity outside. The sound of vehicles in the distance completely broke his reverie. He gave himself a mental shake and turned back to the window. That was not the sound of Aio's simple car. Five armored, unidentifiable vehicles were making their way up the road. They had been found, and now he had to find a way to get out. Clutching Aiden to him tightly, he headed towards the pantry in the kitchen. He had made sure when he left Aio here the first time that there was an underground way out of the house and had made her promise to always have a bag packed in case a hasty retreat was needed. He opened the door and grabbed the emergency packs, slinging them over the opposite shoulder, hoping to god that she had packed all the essentials.

Climbing down the ladder at an efficient speed proved more difficult that he'd have liked with the addition of the bags and the child he clutched so closely. Aiden was, so far barely making a fuss keeping to the good temperament he'd displayed earlier. Odin pleaded silently to whatever deity was listening that Aiden would continue to be so.

Reaching the bottom he almost stumbled, but managed to continue on to the exit. He knew these tunnels well; had them memorized from his own blueprints. The dimly lit hall was specially wired to give just enough light to see without and danger of giving away the tunnel's position.

After what seemed like a small eternity he finally made it to the escape hatch, triggering it and making their escape as fast as possible. The exit closed behind him as the camouflage resumed its normal spot covering the opening. Setting down the bags he walked carefully over to an outcropping where he could overlook Aio's house. At least twenty men in unidentifiable uniforms swarmed the house, their weapons drawn and loaded. They were armed to kill. He cursed himself for being so careless as to not notice their approach sooner. He ran a hand through his hair and sighed, holding Aiden closer. He wondered what Aio would do when she returned. Would she realize that someone dangerous was at the house before it was too late? Would she arrive after the soldiers had gone only to find her home a mess?

He paused. If they had found her home, it was entirely possible they knew how and where to intercept Aio. He quickly retrieved his phone calling her hoping to reach her in time. One ring. Two. Three. He let it ring until it reached the sing-song sound of her voicemail. Growling to himself he tried again. No answer. Three times and still no one was picking up. He felt a chill come over him as the unfamiliar feeling of panic began to grip him. He had to find her. He only hoped he wasn't too late…

The sound of his motorcycle roared angrily through the afternoon air. The bike couldn't go fast enough. Behind him on a makeshift carrier, Aiden was sound asleep and had been for quite a while. His heart was beating a million miles an hour as he scanned the road ahead for any sign at all of Aio's car. With each passing mile he longed for a glimpse of some sign that she was alright. Unfortunately, he didn't find one.

The sight before him made him come to a screeching halt. As fast as possible he dismounted the bike, careful not to hurt Aiden. Setting the child down gently in the grass he ran to the car and threw open the door, hoping beyond hope for the best.

Aio wasn't moving. Her face was too pale, a huge crimson stain spread out across her shirt like an eerie flower of death. He slowly reached out, his hands shaking. Time seemed to slow down. The whole situation seemed completely unreal. His fingers touched her ice cold face. Her eyes twitched, her face slowly developing into a small grimace of pain. She groaned softly.

"Aio?" He undid the seatbelt and pulled her out quickly, trying carefully no to hurt her further. "Aio, speak to me." He knelt holding her close to his chest, his eyes searching her face for a sign of the life she still possessed.

"O-Odin?" The sound was all but a whisper on the wind. He was sure he would have thought it his imagination if he hadn't seen the barest of movement from her lips.

"Aio… I'm ... I'm here." He was finally able to reply. He lightly brushed her hair out of her face as her body contorted in pain and her breathing stopped for one brief moment.

"AIO!" he screamed into her face not knowing what else to do. He needed her. Oh how he needed her. She was the only thing that made him keep going and now she was dying in his arms.

"Thiana…" her voice broke both from the pain and the raging anger of what had happened.

"Odin… They took our daughter." Her body shook as she was attacked with a coughing fit. Blood ran down her chin and Odin clung to her like she was the only stable thing in his life. "They took my little pea-pod." Tears were running down her ashen face.

"Ssh. My Aio…hush now you need to be quiet" His voice caught in his throat as he wiped away her tears.

"No…" She reached up grapping his shirt pulling him in close. "Odin…I'm dying I know that…" She had another coughing fit. "They were never after us. It's always been our children. Our beautiful wonderful children. " Her voice was weakening with each second that passed. "Get her back."

"Stop talking Aio, Aiden's here and he needs you…I need you. You'll be here to help me get her back and raise our children."

"Oh Odin… You called me the dreamer." She started to laugh but it ended in her body being held in intense seizures .

"Aio!" That one word was all he could get out before she weakly lifted her hand after the seizures passed to quiet him.

"Find Thiana, kill those Bastards, and raise our children the way they deserve. You're all they have now…" Her hand dropped as she was losing the last of her strength. "Please don't close your heart to them. They're a part of you and you all need each other…"

"Aio you can't leave me. You can't leave Thiana and Aiden… AIO!" He gave her body a shake as her eyes started to slide close.

"I lov…"

He couldn't comprehend it. She couldn't be. No, she was still crying… Or was she? He touched his face and felt the salty wetness of his own tears and realized it was him.

"My Aio…" He crushed her lifeless body to his as he screamed his anguish to the skies. They took his daughter, killed his love, and were now most likely destroying their house in search of his son. He'd kill every last one of them. He owed that much to Aio and they deserved so much worse. The whimpering's of Aiden were the only thing that would and did brake him out of his trance.

"It's alright Aiden…Daddy has some unfinished business…" He gripped his gun, his eyes showing his intense focus for his newest target.

The glow of the television screen lit up the small room as he packed his bag. The one o'clock news anchor was prattling on about random current events and the weather man gave his newest prediction about the weather. The sound of the News anchor reporting breaking news caught his attention.

"This is Sally Burtenelli with breaking news. A woman and her two children have recently gone missing. The Granddaughter of the late Heero Yuy, Aio Yuy's car was found abandoned on the side of the road today with no sign of the former occupants. Upon investigation of the victim's residence, twenty armed men were found dead; their unmarked vehicles left outside the residence. Authorities are currently looking into these events. Our prayers are with their friends and family in this tense time. "

Odin sighed. Friends and family. That was a laugh. What could they possibly known? They couldn't even begin to understand and hearing them report on the issue with such calculated ease only upset him more. No matter. He gently grabbed up the sleeping infant, collected his passport and tickets and slung his bag over his shoulder.

"Thiana…" It was time to be on the move. He had a lot of ground to cover with his self-assigned mission. Walking to the door he closed it on his old life, starting both he and his infant son down a path to a destiny he couldn't begin to imagine.