Author: 0083
Pairings: 1x2x1, small amount of 3x4x3
Warnings: language, blood, rambling on my part
Disclaimer: if i owned gwing, i would never work again and spend my days sipping pina coladas on a beachfront property. but i'm not.
Notes: Sorry this part took so long to get out, but it really wasn't cooperating with me... and no beta, so excuse the blunders.

Evergreen + Part 5

If you only concentrate on pain, then you forget the joys of life. That is the greatest mistake of all.

Far outside of the town, far beyond the chaos and the scene of a gruesome killing, five boys rested and fought for breath. The running had been frantic, none of them stopping until they had finally run out of energy. Quatre sat hunched over slightly, his hands resting on his thighs limply, his breath coming in pants. Wufei and Trowa were no better off since they had practically dragged a nearly inanimate Duo from the restaurant until he had finally come to his senses and ran on his own.

Duo stood and watched Heero gently put down the body he had brought with him. For anything, he could not understand why Heero had brought that corpse with them. He would not ask why, but wait for Heero to explain his behavior. And if he liked the answer, perhaps he would tell Heero why he had acted so out of character by giving into his rage and killing someone he had already killed once.

While everyone was striving to attain normal heartbeats and breathing patterns, Heero sat near Relena's body and thought very hard. He did not know what had set off Duo so suddenly, but the trouble they were in now was much greater than what it had been. An entire restaurant filled with people had seen Duo kill Relena. And no matter how backwater the town was, the news would travel along with their descriptions. Somewhere, someone of consequence would find out that Relena Peacecraft had been murdered and she would not be able to return to her former life as a princess. Even more pressing, they would have the local authorities looking for them on top of being chased by the guild's assassins.

This whole situation was a horrible mess.

"Duo," Heero said suddenly, "why did you kill her?"

It was a simple question, a logical one even. But for some reason, Duo had not been expecting it. What could he tell Heero, that he had already killed the person he had carried out from the restaurant with a knife planted in her head? Then he remembered. Heero was a god. He would believe, if not give him the benefit of the doubt. But something nagged at him. Just before he had seen who had approached their table, Duo had seen Heero's eyes flash with a recognition, friendly yet wary. Then he had seen Relena standing over them and had lost his proverbial shit. All the stress of running had come boiling over in that one moment, the frustration and anger focusing on the one specter of a girl who had literally ruined his life. The facts spoke for themselves, really. Heero knew the dead girl.

"You knew her, didn't you," Duo said, trying to keep the accusation out of his voice, "and you tried to protect her."

"I ask you once again," Heero replied with steely fire behind his voice, "why did you kill her?"

"Because she's already fucking dead, Heero! I killed her weeks ago! Trowa fucking confirmed it. And if it weren't for her.. none of us would be running for our fucking miserable lives!"

Several things connected in Heero's mind at once. First, he finally realized that Duo had been the assassin who had killed Relena that first time around. Second, he recalled the careless suggestion he had made to Relena about just ignoring her death and going on with her life. Third, he had not told Duo anything about Relena's incapacity to die nor her participation in the current situation.

The horrible mess of a situation had just transformed itself into a catastrophic mess of a situation.

"Oh, shit."

That was the best Heero could do under the circumstances. Had he more time, he would have become more articulate, but Relena chose that exact, awkward and terribly mistimed moment to reenter the land of the living.

"Ow."

At her utterance, four sets of disbelieving eyes turned to what was supposed to be her corpse. Relena was slowly standing, the knife still firmly entrenched in her head, the dried blood flaking off as she grimaced. Heero winced as Duo lost muscle control of his legs and literally plopped onto the ground. Trowa , Quatre and Wufei weren't doing much better.

"I can't see. What's going on?"

It was almost too funny to see Relena grope around, but enough was enough. Duo looked as if he would go into a hysteria fit and Heero would not have his love lose his mind over something as common as a god coming back to life. It happened all the time and he had done it several times himself. Although he had to admit, he never did come back with mortals around.

"Please tell me I'm fucking seeing things. Tell me I went insane."

The nip of panic was evident in Duo's trembling voice and it was echoed by Wufei who was pinching his leg in an effort to prove that what he was seeing was not real.

"Duo, if you're insane, so am I. And I swear, we're probably having the same hallucinations."

At the poor attempt at humor by Wufei of all people, Trowa let out a small laugh tinged with a whimper. Quatre merely put his arm around the taller boy and squeezed him lightly, giving him reassurance that even though there were crazy things happening before his eyes, he still had his blond beloved to support him.

"No one's insane and there are no hallucinations," said Heero, "since Relena can't die."

Four gasps of surprise accompanied Heero as he moved to Relena and helped her sit. His long time friend let him guide her since she still could not see.

"Heero, I have the most awful headache."

Duo could not hold back his laughter at that. Of course she had a headache, she still had a knife in her head, through her brain!

"I know, Relena," Heero replied, keeping out the long suffering sigh out of his voice, "but you'll be fine. Once we get you cleaned up, we all have to have a talk."

Heero felt four pairs of eyes watching him with fascination as he grasped the knife handle and yanked for all he was worth. He felt bad when Relena whimpered in pain, but it was for her own good so he continued to pull. Soon, Heero was successful extracting the knife and Relena was relieved of a massive migraine.

The mortals were back to being silent and in shock, unable to process the fact that Relena was now sitting on her own with a gash in her forehead. Then when her wound started to close on its own rapidly and quite neatly, four sets of jaws hit the ground with an audible thump.

"Okay. I have officially seen everything."

Duo craned his neck towards Trowa who was still standing only with Quatre's support. As a witness, Trowa had seen more than his share of the unusual and the gruesome, but this act of resurrection must have been the one thing he had not counted on seeing in his lifetime. Then again, none of them had expected to meet a god either.

This was turning out to be the most bizarre adventure-run-for-their-lives situation.

The spell hovering over the four boys which had paralyzed them with shock came to a sudden end when Relena recovered enough to notice the state of her dress. Her beautifully sewn lace and fluff concoction of silk was ruined, stained with blood, mud and grime from the restaurant floor.

"Oh geez! Look at my dress! I love this dress! Why do these things happen to me?"

Her complaint about the state of her clothing seemed so incongruous to the current mood of everyone else present that it actually brought Quatre to the verge of laughter. He manfully held it back, but he nearly choked on it. Trowa thoughtfully patted his beleaguered love on his back to prevent him from dying by suffocation.

"Is that all you can say after dying?"

Relena turned to the incredulous voice. Her eyes encountered a set of dark, brown eyes with dilated pupils, peering at her like a hare caught in a trap. She noticed that his dark hair was pulled back into a tiny but stylish ponytail and she absently noted that his hair could use the services of a brush.

"I die often. I don't usually ruin my best dress, though."

Once again, speechlessness abounded. There really was nothing they could say to that.

"Relena," Heero finally interjected, "they don't know that you are a god. You shouldn't play around with them."

This time, Quatre could not hold back his laughter and it sparked the others to burst out in laughter as well. Wufei collapsed onto his knees next to an already sitting Duo, holding his stomach with his arms as he shook in mirth. Trowa's shoulders were shaking in what was a soundless laugh, barely holding onto Quatre as they chortled in unison. Heero and Relena threw the laughing mortals a wide eyed glance – they had not been expecting this reaction at all.

"A god," Duo breathlessly let out, "another fucking god. I swear, this is something! All my fucking life, I go through it normally and boom! In a space of two fucking weeks, two gods! What the hell?"

Heero hesitantly approached his giggling love, uncertainty shining out of his cobalt eyes. Duo seemed a bit hysterical and his eyes were glassy, as if he was in complete shock.

"Are you okay, Duo? I know this is a bit of a shock-"

"A bit? A fucking bit? Do you even know what's going on in my fucking head right now? Shit, Heero! I finally come to terms with you being a god and now another one's just been thrown into my fucking face! And to top that off, it's the same chick who ruined my fucking life! So don't tell me that this is a bit of a shock!"

Duo stopped his ranting, pausing to regain his breath. He had shouted at Heero and the world in general, exhausting his already taxed lungs. He breathed hard, noting absently that Heero had the most pained expression on his face. He wished that Heero would say nothing more, just hoping that Heero would keep quiet and not ruin any more of his reality. However, Relena had other plans for Duo's sense of sanity.

"I ruined your life?" Relena huffed out indignantly. "That is untrue! Who is the one who stuck a knife into my head back there? Who ruined my precious dress? And all I wanted to do was help out Heero!"

Trowa saw that Duo was staring at Relena with murder in his eyes, but it seemed that the assassin could not yet speak or move. Being the good witness that he was, Trowa decided to barge into the conversation.

"You ruined our lives, Miss Peacecraft. Duo killed you weeks ago and had we known that you were a god and could not die, we wouldn't have bothered. Now, thanks to you, we're running for our lives."

Relena regarded the boy who had spoken in cold silence. He was nothing special in her eyes, not like Heero and her kind. Just an average human with green eyes that hid behind a wealth of hair.

"Is that so," she said in a voice laced with contempt. "So it was you and your rabble that killed me in the first place! Well, you deserve all you get! Thank the heavens that Heero suggested I punish you like this!"

If there had been shock and disbelief before, her last statement allowed those two emotions to deepen to levels yet unattained. Eyes shining with shock swiveled towards Heero and he squirmed under the scrutiny. However, the worst was when he turned his pleading eyes to his love and found that the violet orbs were etched in anger, shock and betrayal.

"You? You did this to me? To us?"

Nearly crumpling at Duo's venomous tone, Heero tried to explain. He had to make Duo understand before all the work of the past weeks dissolved underneath this one gigantic misunderstanding.

"No! I didn't mean to.. I mean, when I told Relena to just pretend nothing had happened.. I didn't know it was you! I swear, Duo. I had no idea who had killed her."

"Like that matters now? You and Relena single-handedly ruined four lives!"

Fuming at the braided mortal's insolence, Relena could not help but defend herself and Heero.

"You have no rights blaming Heero for this. He only lived to find his beloved! Nothing else mattered, not even his own kind. And as for ruining your lives, it was fated to be this way. Nothing Heero and I did can change that!"

Duo finally stood and whirled to face Relena. She had said the word that he resented the most and had thrown it into his face.

"Oh, now I get it," Duo said heatedly. "I was fated to lead this shitty ass life! I was fated to be an assassin! It was my fucking destiny to run for my already miserable life! Nothing I can do, is that it? No matter what choices I made, what any of us did, we were meant to be hunted like fucking dogs?"

Relena turned her nose against Duo, disdain dripping from her face in buckets.

"Look, you foul-mouthed mortal, fate is something that you must accept. I should know!"

When Relena had insulted Duo, however slightly, Heero took exception. No one, not even one of his oldest friends from the family, could speak like that to his beloved and expect to get away with it.

"Relena, don't you dare. You may not speak to my beloved thus."

A small wrinkle appeared between Relena's delicate blond brows as she took in Heero's firm warning. Understanding dawned soon afterwards and she gaped as she stared at the bad mannered boy who had spoken to her. She took in the long, honey streaked brown hair in its plait, the cold and hard violet eyes, the lean body and snarling mouth in one sweep and let out a high pitched noise.

"Him? This one? This is your long lost beloved? Heero, I thought you had better taste! You wasted your immortality on this one?"

"Shut up, Relena!"

But it was too late. Heero turned in horror to look upon his beloved's incredulous face, caught between relief that he finally knew and the stinging fear that Duo would think less of him. Sometimes, his own family seemed to conspire to make his life more complicated than he had planned.

Duo saw Heero's face frozen in too many emotions for him to sort through. He had heard right, though, if his friends' faces were any indication. Relena had said that Heero was no longer immortal. More than that, Heero had given it up for.. him.

"Is.. is that true? Heero, tell me, is it true?"

Guilt wracked Heero. Duo had sounded betrayed, echoing that look in his eyes. The broken and wary voice was so unlike his beloved's usual cheer and sarcasm. But it was no good to lie. Heero tried to prepare what to say. It had to be just right or Duo may never speak to him again. Heero's efforts were foiled yet again.

"Of course it's true!" Relena replied in Heero's stead. "You are one ungrateful and unbelievably selfish mortal! Heero gave up being a god for you and you are still yelling at him, making him feel bad!"

Without waiting for a reply, Relena whirled on Heero. "And you! I told you so, didn't I, Heero? I told you that the pain you will feel after finding him would be a thousand times worse than what you felt without him? Why didn't you ever listen to me? Now, it is just a big, huge mess! You are mortal, your beloved doesn't seem to even appreciate what you did for him, and to top it all off, my sisters want to obliterate you!"

She had a captive audience, listening to her impassioned speech. Trowa and Quatre listened with rapt attention, her passion carrying them along in a river of emotions. Wufei could only respect Heero for the ultimate sacrifice he had made, but he still could not fully accept the truth that Relena offered. Duo, for his part, was in so much shock that his body and mind were barely functioning.

Heero seethed at Relena's assumption that she could speak for him. He could see that she was doing more damage than good by trying to defend him. While he appreciated her efforts, it was not what he needed at this moment in time. What he needed was a moment alone with his beloved so that he could explain things more fully, with more attention to detail and care towards Duo's overloading emotions.

Then a small detail that had escaped all of them seemed to snag in Duo's faltering consciousness and he saw fit to ask a question on it.

"You.." Duo coughed and began again, forcing his voice to be less rusty. "You said.. your sisters? They want to.."

Despite the shock and betrayal still coloring his tone, Relena could sense a world of concern and worry beneath his unfinished question. She may have been right in predicting that Duo did not care for Heero as he cared for Duo, but she could see at least that Heero mattered to Duo. Even if the foolish mortal would not admit it to anyone.

"My sisters are after Heero. And you. Duo, you said your name was? Right?"

When she received a feeble nod, she continued. "Well, Duo, you and Heero are my sisters' targets and I came here to warn Heero about it when you decided to sheath your knife into my skull. I'm not at all sorry about you being on the run, though! You killed me and you deserve all the punishment you get."

"How could I deserve it," Duo said wryly, "if I was fated to do it, eh?"

There was no swift come-back to his almost too logical statement. Relena thought hard to bring down the mortal for his sin of mercilessly assassinating her, but there was nothing to say. This time, Heero spoke in Relena's stead.

"That's right, Relena," Heero drawled almost too smugly, "since you're the Weaver of the Future. I'd say, if anything, you were responsible for your death."

After a moment of huffy and offended silence, Relena retorted sharply.

"That is not true! I only set them on their course, not set out every single choice they make! That's Noin's job!"

As soon as she had spoken, she realized that everyone was staring at her, Heero with sardonic amusement and the mortals with astonishment. It was Wufei who recovered first with powers of speech.

"You are a Fate? A true to life, orders-us-to-do-shit kind of Fate?"

Relena nodded tersely even though she did not like the description he had given. Her acceptance of her status sparked something in Duo, however, because he once again lunged in and grabbed her by the arms. Thankfully, he did not plunge yet another sharp pointy object into her face, but he spoke to her in low tones as sharp and deadly as any knife.

"You. If anything, you are to blame. You fucked with my life so it would be like this and you have the goddamned nerve to tell me I deserve to be punished?"

Again, Heero separated the two, putting his body between the enraged boy and the gaping Fate. "Stop it, the both of you! Duo, it is not her fault that she controls your life, that is her job. And Relena, Duo's not at fault for your death, that was what he had to do. Can't you both just let it go?"

"Shit, Heero," Duo spat, "how can you say that? Don't you understand me at all by now? Don't you realize how much I hate being controlled like this? Who the fuck knows? The way I started to feel about you is her doing, right? Everything that's happening is all her and her fucking sisters, right? So how the hell can I just let it go?"

Instead of waiting for Duo to calm down or Heero to explain, Relena spoke. This time, she did not inflame the situation further, but actually worked to quell the raging emotions.

"Duo, stop being angry with Heero. Isn't it enough that he gave up everything for you? And more than that, you are no longer under my control. That is why my sisters want to have you and Heero banished from existence. Not dead, but gone. Wipe out your souls."

That brought everything to a halt. The anger died out from Duo's eyes as swiftly as a doused fire and Heero was able to finally hear what Relena was saying. Trowa, Quatre and Wufei watched the exchange closely, their curiosity peaked and their mind whirling with possibilities.

"What?"

With Duo's intelligent opening gambit, they were finally able to sit and talk the matter over. The night would be a long one filled with revelations and future troubles, but finally, there would be an understanding within the group.

However, throughout the long night, none of them would notice two pairs of bright and interested eyes watching them from the shadows of the woods.

+

[part 4] [part 6] [back to 0083's fic]