Pairings: 1x2x1, 3x4x3 so far
Warnings: AU, violence, angst, potty mouths, philosphical crap
Notes: thanks to snow for telling me that i'm not entirely insane just
+ Part 4
If death is so final, why
do we let ourselves die a little each day?
Wufei tensed up his legs and launched himself forward, his daggers in
hand. His target went down under him, flailing his limbs and gave Wufei
the perfect opportunity to plunge one of his daggers between his ribs
into the heart. He checked on the others and saw that they were managing
just fine as well, even Heero. In fact, Heero's addition into their pack
had helped immensely as much as he hated to admit it. He was more than
a competent fighter and he seemed to possess battle instincts that surpassed
even his. If anything, watching Heero fight had made him believe that
he was a god.
Soon, all the assassins that had been sent after them were dead. Wufei
had killed two while Trowa and Quatre had taken care of the large and
skilled assassin they had only known as the Bear. Duo and Heero, surprisingly,
had fought well together as a team, taking down the other three assassins
with uncanny ease.
Wufei walked over to Trowa who was busy checking out the bodies of the
dead. Even on the run, old habits and rituals died hard.
"So, Trowa, know them or what?"
Nodding, Trowa proceeded to tell them who each and every one of them had
been in life. The Bear was an assassin who was too big for sneaky work
so he had killed in crowded streets or in fake bar brawls. He had been
a dirty, large man and quite a hard kill for a slender witness and the
small blond assassin. Wufei's two were the Twins, Mika and Mera, the brother
and sister who had specialized in tracking, killing with a deadly swiftness
that nearly emulated Duo in style. Duo and Heero's victims were Yaska,
Songstress and the Gash, quite noteworthy assassins but still not skilled
enough to take any of them down.
"These were no beginners," Trowa said with deep concentration,
"but real professionals. They all have been in the job longer than
us. Hell, Yaska was an assassin before any of us were born. The guild
is not happy with us."
Duo smirked away Trowa's concern and continued to wipe blood of his knife
blades. He tried not to notice the way Heero stared at him in mute concern,
his eyes roving every surface of his body in an effort to find a wound
"Well, if that's the best they can send, we shouldn't worry so much."
"That's no reason to let our guard down, however." Quatre admonished.
Duo's smirk gave way to a sour grimace. Of course he knew that they couldn't
slack off. If anything, they had to intensify their guard and be on their
toes. Even though these guys had been the first assassins they had taken
care of, there would be more. The guild would not stop until they were
dead, even if it meant they had to send everyone in the guild after them.
As Wufei would say, it was a question of honor.
Shrugging his shoulders, Duo sauntered out of the clearing that they had
fought in, leaving his companions and dead bodies behind him. He wasn't
going anywhere far, but he wanted to be alone. His life was definitely
not what he had planned when he was younger. He had wanted to make enough
money as an assassin, get out of the guild and set up a new, peaceful
life somewhere in the grassy fields. Hell, he had even wanted horses and
chickens. But now, he was on the run, perhaps for the rest of his short
and miserable life.
"Shit. Why does my life always take the worst possible turns?"
"Perhaps that is your destiny."
Duo turned towards Heero. Heero was yet another part of his life that
was complicating. They had been on good terms for the past two weeks of
running, even talking for hours like old friends. In a way, he supposed
that they were old friends.
"Destiny, you say? What is it about destiny that pisses me off so
Heero cocked his head quizzically at Duo's bitter tone. He had been trying
his best to get to know his beloved better, trying to get him to open
up to him. His lover had issued an ultimatum and he wasn't going to fail,
but at moments like this when Duo seemed introspective and cynical about
life, he had no idea what to say. So he just let him speak.
"I know all humans have destinies. I know it. We are all supposed
to fit in the lovely tapestry of the universe and all that. But damn it,
what does that leave me? What the hell am I? A fucking puppet? Do I even
make choices or am I just walking on a path that someone already laid
out for me? Shit, Heero, you're a god. No one controls what you do. How
does it feel to be completely free like that?"
"I don't know what you mean," Heero replied, "but being
a god is no better. It's not about who has control. It's about enjoyment,
isn't it? As long as you enjoy what you have, does it matter who chose
it for you?"
Shaking his head, Duo sauntered over to Heero and clasped his hand onto
his shoulder. Heero looked startled for Duo never voluntarily touched
him. This was the first.
"It does to me."
Violet eyes trapped cobalt in an intense fire and for Heero, there was
nothing else but Duo's eyes and his voice.
"If I love you, I want it to be because I chose it. Not destiny,
not fate. I don't want to be destined to love you. That takes out all
the things I hold dear, doesn't it? If I was destined to love you, I would
do it no matter what. Whether you were a total asshole or a fucking prince
charming, I would love you because I had to. I don't want that. It's all
about me, you see? I want to. I choose to. Me. And that's what I hate
about this whole fucking situation."
"What do you mean?" Heero said, his voice no more than a raspy
"I mean, my soul cries out for you. Something in me is compelled
to love you. Ever since I saw you, it has been there, telling me that
you are my destiny. But I don't want that. I don't want to love you because
my soul in another body loved you thousands of years ago. I don't want
to love you because the Fates decided that I should. I want to love you
because you have beautiful eyes, a stoic sense of humor, a poetry about
you. Do you see?"
Heero nodded slightly without breaking their eye contact. He could understand
what Duo was saying. It was admirable of his love to want to be free,
to break out from the chosen path. But at the same time, it was frightening.
What if he did escape destiny? Then would he love him at all?
"Duo, if destiny didn't control you, would you still want to love
"I don't know, Heero. But I would like to see if I could. I like
you. You are a good guy, if a bit off your rocker. And you chose to love
this soul of mine for a long time. That does mean something, whatever
I say to the contrary. But tell me, Heero, when you think of the one you
love, do you really think of the soul?"
Heero almost blurted out yes. He had meant to, but the answer never made
it to his lips. He did love the soul, of course. His love's soul had been
the most beautiful thing, pulsating with warmth and life that seemed endless.
Duo had that soul in his body now, with the same glow, the same intensity.
But the more he thought, the more he realized what he missed in his love.
He had loved those green eyes filled with joy, the red hair that glinted
like copper under the sun, the pale skin that showed hints of blue veins
beneath. He had loved the touch, the feel, the taste of his love as much
as the brightness of the soul. He had longed to hear his uninhibited laughter,
undisguised excitement in his voice. He had wanted to bask in the glow
that was his love's warm and encompassing personality.
He had loved so much more than
just the soul. He had loved the entire being.
"No answer, eh, Heero? Then try this on for size. What do you love
"I.. I.." Heero stuttered, stunned by the question. What could
he say? He knew that he loved Duo, but was it really only because he had
been chasing his past lover through time without knowing the full import
of love? Heero thought hard as he stared into Duo's inquisitive yet sensitive
eyes. Then without conscious thought, words flowed out.
"I love the way you smile when you talk to your friends. It begins
slowly at the corners, tilting only until your teeth barely show. Your
eyes light up and you seem to glow. I love the way you talk, all crude
words and harsh language that try to hide how deeply you think and how
intelligent you are. I love the way you challenge me, making me come up
with answers to questions I never asked myself. There is more, too much
more for me to say."
Duo released a breath he had been holding. When Heero wanted to, he could
really knock his mind for a heady loop. No one had ever said anything
about him even close to what Heero had just told him. Not his parents,
not his friends, not his victims begging for their lives. It touched him
to the heart, each word embedding itself firmly into his brain. Smiling,
Duo tugged Heero towards him and then they were leaning into each other
in a tight hug, reveling in the sensation of being held by each other
for the first time.
"Heero, I think you love me," Duo whispered into Heero's neck.
Heero tightened his hold on Duo and buried his head into the rich, brown
hair. He was finally getting a small inkling as to what love really should
be. Fifteen hundred years of pining and suffering had taught him nothing,
but the past two weeks with his active beloved had given him a new view
"I think so, too."
And for now, that would be enough.
Trowa nudged Quatre lightly with his knee under the table, eliciting a
shy smile from the blond. They were flirting with each other subtly, trying
to drive one another crazy during dinner without alerting the others.
It was hard work, trying to keep their romance subdued during these desperate
times, but it was also adventurous and fun. They were so absorbed in each
other that they missed Wufei rolling his eyes at them.
"Do you two mind? I'm trying to eat here."
Wufei watched his words swim over the two love-bird's heads as they inched
closer to each other. He could not believe that they thought they were
being subtle. Moreover, they were in a public setting, trying to blend
into the dinner crowd at the small restaurant they had deemed safe enough
to eat. Unfortunately, his friends were not trying to blend at all. With
a long suffering sigh, Wufei eyed the other pair at the table. Unlike
Trowa and Quatre who were too sweet for words, Duo and Heero gave off
waves of heat. It was almost too intense for him, the way they would just
stare at each other without words.
When Heero had first shown up, Wufei had disliked the idea of him following
their rag tag team. Now that Duo seemed to be warming up to him, he didn't
mind the idea so much. He had to concede that Heero was a good fighter
and not much of a liability when it came to defenses and running. More
than that, the guy was a god. Not only was he incapable of dying, he probably
had powers that Wufei had only dreamed about. But all that aside, Duo
seemed to genuinely enjoy Heero's company. They talked all the time when
they were alone, or so Duo had told him, and Wufei had sensed a change
in Duo. He didn't glare at Heero with mistrust in his eyes anymore. Instead,
there was a soft light in his eyes that changed his intense violet eyes
to clear amethyst. The biggest change, though, was that they touched.
Before, Wufei had to keep Heero away from Duo in an effort to keep the
errant god from accidentally brushing up against his best friend. It had
been Duo's request. Then, little by little, Duo had let Heero come closer
to him until one day, Wufei had caught them holding each other. Neither
knew that he had seen them in their intimate pose, but it had warmed Wufei's
heart to see Duo held so tenderly. It seemed that Duo was finally accepting
the love Heero had so arrogantly and selflessly offered.
"I wonder if they even know that it's so obvious that they are in
Wufei started from his revelries and glanced at Duo. He was staring at
Trowa and Quatre who were still cooing at each other with amusement glinting
in his eyes. He also had his left hand resting on Heero's right hand,
holding onto the fingers loosely. Wufei smirked and wondered if Duo knew
how obvious it was to others how he was beginning to feel about a certain
cobalt eyes god.
"I don't think they care. I mean, look at them. Do they even know
we're talking about them?" Wufei countered.
"We hear you perfectly fine."
Duo chuckled at Quatre's rather annoyed retort and saw that Heero was
trying to conceal his smile. Wufei laughed outright, not bothering with
"Then stop the madness before I get sick! There's only so much a
guy can take, you know?"
With Wufei's gentle jab, so began the evening repartee among the four
boys and one ex-god. The other patrons in the restaurant watched them
indulgently, all of them thinking how it was wonderful to be young and
Hilde watched from the shadows, her face buried deeply into her cloak.
Her table at the restaurant was in the far corner where many could not
notice her, but with a good view of the table with five boys. Her companion
sat next to her seemingly interested in her stew, but she was also looking
at the five boys.
"Sally, you are sure that we're only supposed to kill the two."
"That's what the guildmaster told us, but how are we supposed to
kill just the two and let the other three live? I'm sure they'll try to
defend each other. Look how close they are."
Hilde nodded in agreement. Their assignment had been to kill Duo and Trowa,
otherwise known in the guild by their work names, the God of Death and
the Silent Watcher. She could not understand how they could have failed
in their assignment. They had the reputations as the best in their guild,
always succeeding even in assignments that others had deemed utterly impossible.
But orders were orders, and the guild had offered them a hefty sum after
the previous group of assassins had failed to return alive.
But there had been conditions, of course. She and Sally were forbidden
from killing the Angel or the Warrior. She had no idea what their real
names were, but the that's what they were known as in the guild. The Angel
was a green rookie from what she heard, all blond and nice, probably their
weakest link. The Warrior, however, was almost as legendary as the God
of Death himself in combat and skill. He would not be easy to keep alive
if he chose to fight. And the fifth guy, they had no idea who he was or
what he was like in combat. He just seemed very, very close to Duo.
"Our best strategy," Sally began in a low voice, "would
be to separate Trowa and Duo from the rest of the group, but from what
we have seen, it would be nigh impossible to get blue eyes away from the
God of Death and the Angel seems attached to the Silent Watcher."
They had been following the group for three days now and still they had
no viable strategy. All the constraints on not killing the Angel and the
Warrior complicated a relatively simple if not completely dangerous assignment.
And they had no idea if that fifth guy was expendable or not. The miracle
was that the five of them had not yet recognized the fact that they were
being tailed. Hilde was good and Sally was one of the best in tracking,
but they had been apprehensive that they would have been noticed long
"I could put a sleeping potion in their drinks and we can just kill
the two while they are all asleep, but they don't ever drink out of the
same cup twice or the same pitcher. They know all our tricks. And since
the God of Death knows you and the Warrior knows me, we can't just saunter
up to them like girls looking for a good time either."
Hilde nodded and pondered the situation. If they didn't kill the two soon,
it would be they who would have to run. The possibility did not sit well
in her stomach she hated running.
"So what do we do?"
"Watch and wait. That's all we can do for now."
So they sat in their dark corner, sipping their wine and eating their
stews, waiting for someone in the group to make a mistake.
Relena sighed as she felt her lovely leather boots sink into the mud and
soak into her silk stockings. The town was a miserable, little place filled
with vermin and other unpleasant bugs, but she had to warn Heero. She
had to tell him that her sisters were plotting against him and his lover.
She imagined her sisters would not be happy with this course of action
either, but after everything that had happened, it did not matter. She
could not stand idly by as her sisters once again ruined Heero's life.
Walking delicately through the mud, she looked up at the door. The lacquered
wood was chipping at the corners and showing signs of age, the hinges
rusted by many a rainstorm. Why Heero had chosen to come this way, she
did not know, but she had never understood some of his idiosyncrasies.
She looked at the door in distaste. The letters saying 'Mishia Restaurant'
were almost all scraped off, the red paint practically bleeding in the
incessant humidity. Breathing out through her mouth to avoid the stench
of the mud and whatever else was mixed into it, she opened the door with
one delicate hand and stepped into the restaurant.
At first glance, she did not see Heero because the lighting was dim. There
were random lanterns and a fireplace in the middle with a pig rotating
on it, but they did not help with the lighting. When her eyes adjusted,
she saw Heero at one of the tables near the spit, his hand wrapped in
another's. He looked reserved, but she could sense that his pain was considerably
less than the last time they had spoken.
He had not sensed her presence, but he was a mortal now, so it was to
be expected. Gathering her courage and her skirts, she walked over to
the table where Heero was, her steps measured and careful. When she was
close enough to the table to reach out and touch Heero, he suddenly turned
his head and saw her. She saw his eyes widen in surprise and she began
to smile warmly. There was no trace of malice or the previous pain in
those blue eyes, but a long missed look of quiet contentment.
"Heero, I have some news for-"
Relena never finished her sentence for as soon as she had opened her mouth,
the one holding Heero's hand had bolted from his seat and grasped her
by her upper arm. One of the others at the table had also stood with a
disbelieving and wary look in his one green eye uncovered by his long
brown hair while the other two merely stared at her like she was a ghost.
Heero was watching with confused interest, not quite knowing why Duo and
his friends were acting so strangely.
It was a hissed whisper filled with venom and Relena flinched from the
sheer force of anger behind the word. The grip on her arm tightened and
she tried to shake her arm out of the bruising hand, but it was firmly
grasped. She was about to use the last resort to pull out of the situation
when Heero stood and separated her from her assaulter.
"What is the matter with you?" Relena spat out from the relative
safety provided by Heero's shielding body. "You can't just grab a
lady like that!"
"Fuck you! You hear me? Fuck you. You fucking dead woman! You are
the reason why we are like this! So.."
Heero saw what Duo intended to do, but he could not stop it. His love
was a professional assassin and moved faster than he did, especially now
that he was a mortal. He watched as Duo reached around him to yank Relena
out from his protection and bury a blade between her eyes. The restaurant
patrons watched in horror, much like his companions at the table as the
apparent murder of a lady took place. Heero did not notice the two darkly
garbed figures at the corner of the restaurant make a hasty exit. He only
saw Duo with rage blazing from his eyes digging the blade deep into Relena's
Suddenly, everything seemed to move faster. While the restaurant goers
still gawked and gaped, Trowa and Wufei grabbed Duo by his arms and dragged
him out as quickly as possible while Quatre gathered their belongings.
Heero picked up Relena's body and followed them, ignoring the stuttering
crowd behind him.
There would be a whole lot of explaining to do by both Heero and Duo when
Relena came back to life once again.
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