disclaimer: i don't own gwing.. my bad. again.
pairings: 1x2x1, 3x4x3
genre: AU, fantasy, aka no spoilers
warnings: angst. oddness. read previous parts for rest of warnings and
+ Part 10
Fate is written in stone,
but even the hardest of stones can break and shatter under the right guiding
Most days, Milliardo slept well past noon since he spent his nights poring
over documents necessary for running a kingdom. His father, the one who
was king and supposedly responsible for taking care of those documents,
was too old and senile to do anything so it had fallen to him and Relena
to take care of the kingdom. And with Relena safely out of his way of
ascension to the throne and everyone else in line, he was effectively
in charge of the kingdom. Dorothy's promise of helping him achieve the
throne seemed unneeded now, but he would not take the chance of breaking
his end of the bargain in fear that she could prevent him from becoming
king. It was a hard business being a prince, especially today.
The sun was barely up and he had not slept more than an hour when a guard
came into his room to announce in a tremulous voice that the two prisoners
he had captured for Dorothy and Noin had escaped the dungeons. There was
nothing to do but for him to order an all out search, as discreetly as
possible of course, and then figure out a way to keep this bit of bad
news from the ladies. Milliardo watched the guards exit his room with
undue haste to carry out his orders and pondered if he should go with
the search team himself to make sure the job was done right. However,
with the ladies Noin and Dorothy as his guests in the castle somewhere,
it would be very unseemly to leave. The rules of etiquette held him in
the castle in the end.
When a guard came in several hours later, the news was not good. It was
as if the two had disappeared completely, like a breeze in a hurricane.
No one could figure out how they had managed to escape from the dungeons
either and the mystery of them deepened. After hearing the news, Milliardo
decided to talk to the ladies; if they found out on their own later, it
would certainly do him no good.
Formulating a suitably apologetic yet defensive speech within his mind,
Milliardo walked towards the guest quarters of his lavish palatial castle,
each step echoing off the marble walls in sharp ringing beats. He had
already decided that he would apologize to the Lady Noin first since it
seemed that she was in charge, then offer a solution of sorts. What solution,
he was yet unsure since it seemed that those two were completely out of
his hands, but he had to say something or incur their wrath.
Sometime during his long thought processes, he had reached the large double
doors of cedar and gold leading to the rooms assigned to the ladies. Usually,
the doors did not seem so imposing, but with the news he had, they looked
like the gaping maws of hell to him. For some reason that even he could
not clarify, he was afraid of the two ladies. They were slight in stature,
willowy and beautiful, exuding grace and culture unlike any women he had
ever met. They should not have caused him any fear, only appreciation
and perhaps some lust. However, something about the way they talked, the
way they seemed to have knowledge far beyond the mortal sphere..
Swallowing his fear and reasserting his manliness, Milliardo knocked on
the double doors and awaited permission to enter.
"She isn't vindictive, Noin. She's just as desperate as we are."
Snarling, Noin pushed past Dorothy and continued to stalk around the room
like a maddened tiger on a leash. It was quite unacceptable, no matter
what Dorothy said to excuse Relena's behavior. Just earlier, not even
half and hour of human time ago, her delinquent sister had woven the threads
to let the two chaotic elements escape from their clutches.
"How dare she do this to us? She wants chaos? She wants to lose everything
Dorothy could do nothing as she watched her oldest sister rant on about
the end of the universe. She might have laughed at the display Noin was
putting on had the situation not been so dire. And honestly, she had never
thought Relena would go that far either. Yet, Dorothy had to wonder, if
the two were really as bad as Noin thought they were.
"Noin.. if they do manage to escape the Raduleum, would it be as
terrible as you say?"
The thick and tense silence was almost unbearable as Noin stared unbelievingly
at Dorothy. It was enough that Relena had completely defected from their
cause, but to have Dorothy question her was too much. But Dorothy had
questioned, the one who should have supported her through the end with
the Raduleum. If she questioned now, what could be in store in the future?
"Do you even have any idea what you are asking? Dorothy, two mortals
are without destinies. They can muddle all the other threads! They are
like a drop of water in a still pond, seemingly small and insignificant
until the ripples dance through the entirety of the pond. They are already
damaging everything! Look what has happened to the threads of those mortals
they've touched already. Nothing is going the way I planned, the way Relena
should have planned!"
Dorothy listened to Noin rave on sadly, knowing that her sister was right
about everything but still feeling that nagging guilt in the back of her
mind. She had not known Heero as well as Noin nor loved him like Relena,
but she had never felt animosity for him. He had never done anything to
her and he was family. Dorothy could care less for the mortal... they
came and went so frequently that she couldn't really be bothered to remember.
But Noin was talking about Heero. The one who had been with them since
the beginning, if there had ever been one.
To consider erasing him from existence completely was somehow unsettling,
too close to home. If they could find a reason to erase Heero, why not
another? Then another? It seemed like a line of immeasurably long dominoes
hovering before her and Heero the first in line to get tipped. The prospect
of Heero's escape from the Raduleum was horrible, most definitely, almost
as much as the prospect of erasing one of their own. Now, Dorothy was
having doubts about their plan.
"You will not be betraying me too, are you?"
Dorothy turned her head sharply towards Noin who stared at her with wide
eyes. More than the look in her eyes, it was the tone of betrayal and
hurt present in Noin's voice that put it through to her that her sister
was more fragile than she appeared. Noin may have been ranting and raving
about the order of the universe and being adamant about Heero's erasure,
but Dorothy suddenly knew that her older sister was not as gung-ho as
she wanted others to believe. Noin was as uncertain, if not feeling more
guilty, about this whole venture.
"I would never betray you, Noin. But only if Relena had talked to
us before she gave Heero the Pendulum.."
"Love makes all of us do foolish things."
There was nothing truer in the universe than that.
"Enough of this idiocy. We must find Heero."
And the work began again, both Noin and Dorothy rippling through the threads
of mortal fate in an effort to recapture and put the world back on its
Strands of blond hair floated in the air, wafting gently to the ground.
Quatre stared at his hair which had been attached to his head only seconds
ago as they danced in the air before him, ignoring the sharp knife whizzing
just beyond his face. He managed to just get back out of staring at his
hair in time to avoid the backward slash from the same knife and then
he shoved a poniard through his assailant's heart with a professional's
The sun was setting in a splash of oranges and pinks in the western sky,
but no one was watching the lovely display of nature. In fact, everyone
was much too busy fighting off yet another wave of Milliardo's recovery
squad. They had all met up again without incident just after the sun rose
at the appointed meeting place, Heero and Duo in one piece as they were
supposed to be. Then soon after, they had found themselves hiding from
the castle squads as they searched high and low for the missing twosome
until finally, they had broken cover and had run for it. Now, they were
fighting off wave after wave of what seemed to be an endless group of
soldiers, just fighting to keep their lives.
The one bright spot in this desperate flight was Relena's presence as
she desperately wove and rewove countless threads to help them out, thwarting
her sisters' plans. Wufei and Sally stood around Relena as she concentrated
on forming the pattern, defending her body and her concentration. Duo
and Heero fought as one as they always did, each a smooth extension of
the other, moving fluidly and continuously in one constant body. Quatre,
besides losing a bit of his hair, was doing just fine, but he was distracted
ever so often by Trowa's presence, his resolve to stand his ground breaking
every time the green eyed boy was in any remote danger. Thankfully, Trowa
fought with caution and expertise, knowing of his blond lover's concern.
After what seemed to be an eternity, the skirmish was over and they were
on the move again. Relena ran along with them, lifting her silken skirts
above her knees to keep from tripping, keeping pace with the more experienced
crew. When she had suddenly shown up before Sally and Hilde as they ran
around the castle to help out, it had been a miracle that her sisters
had not pounced as soon as the threads had started moving again. Then
it had been touch and go, constantly trying to out-think Noin as they
ran. It did help that Duo and Heero were free from Noin's meddling...
what they did, Noin could not control. More than that, it had helped that
they were both very skillful fighters, able to hold their own against
The Raduleum.. Relena could only shudder at the thought of using that
against anyone, especially one of their own. Noin was quite adamant, however,
and Relena had no choice but to go against her. For better or for worse,
Relena could not help her sisters wreck Heero once again. So she ran desperately
alongside her new group, determined for the first time in her life to
defend something other than herself.
The couple of days ran out for all parties involved in a haze of battles,
hiding and strategizing. Noin and Dorothy became more overt in their actions,
sending out mortals in a whim to find the errant chaotic elements, using
Milliardo's thread shamelessly in an effort to recapture Duo and Heero.
Relena was no less unscrupulous, constantly barraging selected mortals
with horrible futures in an attempt to keep them away from Heero and the
group. She personally felt bad for a couple of the mortals whom she had
set off on a path to a terribly painful death, but it was all for saving
her friend. It had to be worth the suffering others felt.
They only had a few hours left until the Raduleum would be ineffective
and all they had to do was run until time ran out on them. Once they passed
the appointed time, then the Raduleum would be unusable for a hundred
and some years, enough time for Duo and Heero to live out their mortal
lives in happiness. Relena wondered even if the Raduleum was not used,
if her sisters would be able to leave the two of them alone. Noin was
not the type to give in easily and she definitely did not appreciate mortals
who warped the pattern. There were so many things to worry about, but
that would have to wait until after they were done running from Noin.
Relena looked about her surreptitiously, noting that her companions were
worn and tired, but still determined to run for all they were worth. She
checked the threads and found that she had given them all paths of freedom
and long lives in her efforts to help Duo and Heero. There was nothing
Noin could do that could damage the paths she had set out for them at
this point and that made her smile. In the past, she could have cared
less for mortals that she chose futures for, always looking at the pattern
instead of the individuals. But now, after spending so much time around
this group, she felt like she had done well with her choosing for them
instead of the pattern. Surely she had sent a few others down treacherous
paths in an effort to secure these friends of hers a happier future and
she had most definitely messed up the pretty picture of the pattern, but
it satisfied her to know that her friends would not suffer due to her
It was worth it, she decided. Even after spending time on the mortal plane
living out mortal lives as she wished, she had never felt connected to
any one person outside of her family. Even those she was supposed to consider
her mortal family had never touched her heart in any way, but had only
served to be props in her little play at living like a mortal. The man
who was supposed to be her brother, Milliardo, merited less care from
her than a grasshopper, especially since his path had shown that Noin
had used him to get her out of the mortal realm. She did not blame him
for killing her, no more than she blamed Duo for carrying out his orders,
but it rankled that someone who was supposed to be her brother had ordered
her killed for something as paltry as the throne. She looked at Wufei,
noting again that he would never be able to do that to anyone he considered
family. No path she could have chosen held that type of a future for him,
his thread and personality being devoid of betrayal of any sort. The same
went for Trowa and Quatre, the two silver threads that she had woven so
finely together as lovers. They also held nothing that could have turned
them against anyone they loved. Sally and Hilde were also of the same
kindred and nothing she could have chosen from her infinite will could
have turned them into betrayers. She had fallen in with a most honorable
crowd of mortals and she felt more at home with them than she had with
"You look like you're way too deep in that thought."
Relena swiveled her head towards the amused tenor voice and saw a smiling
face dominated by violet eyes. As bewildering as it was to her, she had
begun to like Duo Maxwell, seeing finally what Heero had fallen in love
with so completely.
"I'm just trying to sort things out."
"Well," Duo said with a serious face, "if you think too
hard, your head will explode.. but you're a god, you can put yourself
back together pretty fucking well, right?"
Relena laughed, letting the delighted sound echo around the small clearing.
The others in the group looked up, puzzled at the strangely merry sound
coming from Relena. She had been so silent in the past couple of days,
always too busy working her Fates mojo to converse or laugh.
"You still have a mouth that should be cleaned out with soap and
a scrub brush, Duo Maxwell."
"Yeah, but I'd rather Heero do it with his tongue, if you know what
Relena rolled her eyes melodramatically, getting in the rhythm of repartee.
"How can I not know what you mean? It's not even a single entendre,
let alone a double."
"That would be a point to Relena."
Both Relena and Duo cocked their heads towards Heero in unison, nodding
in agreement. Then Duo sauntered over to Heero, his hips swaying overly
indecently, and gave his lover a sound kiss on the lips.
"One of these days, I will beat her in this game of wits!"
"Yes, Duo," Heero replied stoically, but failing to hide the
twinkling smile from his eyes, "you will. When you have lived as
long as she has."
"Are you calling her an old lady?"
Wriggling his eyebrows, Heero turned slowly to face Relena with Duo still
draped around him and gave her an appraising stare that made her blush
"Old, yes. Lady, never."
They both heard Relena grumble almost inaudibly.
"Point to Heero.."
"That was a low shot and you know it."
Sally jumped into the fray with professionalism, picking out her targets
and getting set to defend herself. They all needed this light hearted
break before the pressure mounted again.
"Low, but effective." Wufei replied.
"That's what a man would say."
"Yes," Relena continued when Sally gave her a look to go with
it, "men have absolutely no sense of dignity, verbally abusing women
in such a manner. Are we three women not delicate creatures, as subtle
as the spring wind, as ethereal as the air?"
"Delicate my ass," said Quatre, "and subtle? Are you sure
you're talking about the three of you, not angel food cake?"
"Oh, shush, you blond puff."
"Now, Hilde," Sally said in a mock school teacher tone, "be
more creative. Blond puff isn't acceptable."
"Don't think of anything creative for my sake," Quatre said
before Hilde could get herself together, "because that effort just
may short fry your delicate feminine brain filled with ethereal air."
"When did Quatre get so good at this, Heero?" Duo asked, mildly
surprised at his blond friend's wit.
"Duo, if you paused enough during the admiration for your own voice,
you might have noticed that other people can talk as well, if not better,
"Damn," Duo mumbled, "point to Trowa."
And so went the clever game of wits, each contributing biting remarks
and humorous interludes. Relena had never had so much fun, matching wits
with her friends. Her mortal friends. More than ever, she was determined
to protect this group from her sisters. She would not allow anything to
happen to them and she would keep vigil over their souls for as long as
there was time.
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