Disclaimer: i don't own gwing.. my bad. again.
Pairings: 1x2x1, 3x4x3, wufei's single, ladies!
Genre: AU, fantasy, aka no spoilers
Warning: this is for all the parts, generalized. look out for language
abuse, strange philosophical rants, random tidbits and above all, ANGST
Notes: i didn't have time to get it betaed or even reread it, so please
excuse plot holes, grammatical ickiness and other unforgivable acts of
+ Part 8
In the game of war, one
must never fight to win, but to survive.
The warp and loom were silly superstitions that mortals associated with
the Fates, imagining three crones over a machine, constantly threading
and weaving a tapestry. In reality, the Fates worked like any other immortal,
vast in mind and detail, plotting lives without a twitch of their lovely
fingers. The sunlit room looked warm, but there was nothing warm about
the expressions on the faces of the Fates who sat there. The rose tinted
windows did not soften their angered features nor gave comfort to their
"Time grows short, Dorothy. Why hasn't Milliardo captured those two yet?"
Dorothy polished her nails with a soft cloth while she pondered her sister's
terse question. She looked into Milliardo's path that Relena had set before
this whole mess began, glimpsing his future of greatness that her sister
had graciously laid out for him. Then she flipped through her own knowledge
of his past and found that nothing, whether it be in the past or the future,
showed that Milliardo would be a failure. His ambition was too great.
"It's hard, Noin. Isn't it your job to guide him along anyway?"
"I can hardly be blamed," Noin said with disgust lining her voice, "since
the two radicals are ruining all my carefully laid plans. So far, they
should have been captured according to my weaving, but there is just too
much chaos around those two. Every decision I make is being thwarted either
by Relena who keeps changing paths on me or them who have no respect for
It was the longest sentence Noin had spoken in the past three months of
searching for the elusive rebels of destiny. Until now, she had concentrated
all her efforts on guiding certain mortals to her cause, trying to find
these two Relena had set free upon the world. However, it seemed that
nothing was working out for the Fates.
"My dear sister," Dorothy said rather gently, "we will have them. They
are just mortals, even if they are free. They can't evade us forever.
And besides, haven't you been working on the mortals who travel with them?"
A frustrated snort answered Dorothy's question. Noin's pained expression
was a study of rage and impotence rolled into one, a look that should
never have graced a Fate.
"I can't do it by myself! The three of us always must work in conjunction
with each other to make it work. With Relena's defection, we are an imperfect
team, pitted against each other. I can only work within Relena's parameters
and she is not giving me any choices that would be helpful."
"It is a tangled skein we weave, Noin."
"I don't need your fucking metaphors, Dorothy!"
The younger Fate shrank back at her sister's loss of control. It was frightening,
something she had not seen in many millenniums. The situation must have
been more dire than she had previously thought.
"Calm down, Noin. I swear to you, Milliardo will have them!"
"How can he have them," Noin bit out, "if I cannot see it!"
A tense silence followed as Noin got up from her seat and paced around
the room agitatedly. Dorothy merely plucked at her dress with a bland
expression that hid her inner turmoil and fear at the situation.
"It's nearly the end of three months. We have only another week and a
day before time runs out! If we can't use the Raduleum.."
Noin let her sentence trail. The consequences need not be spoken for it
was obvious. In exactly a week and a day from this day, they had to use
the Raduleum to erase the free mortals' souls or they would be free for
another century and then some before it could be used again. And that
was not acceptable to them.
"Have faith, Noin."
The irony was not lost on the two Fates.
The darkness did nothing to hide the presence of an ambush from the professional
assassins who knew night as well as their own hands. The ambush ended
with seven dead ambushers, all killed within moments after their failed
Trowa picked through the bodies carefully, letting his trained eyes roam
over the bloodied corpses in a dispassionate way. They were all soldiers
from their style of dress and haircuts, professionally trained and well
equipped with fine weapons. None of that had helped in the end.
"Prince Milliardo's personal guards."
With Trowa's announcement, all eyes went wide with confusion.
"The Prince's own? What the hell are they doing hunting us?"
"I wish I knew, Wufei," Trowa answered without taking his eyes off the
bodies, "but I don't think they'll tell us."
"Relena posed as a Peacecraft princess, didn't she?"
Trowa nodded grimly at Duo's observation, and there was only one conclusion
that he could draw. As far as they knew, Relena was dead to this world
since the news of her demise had traveled quite quickly. Therefore, Prince
Milliardo must have sent out his own guards to capture those who were
responsible for her death. The mystery was how he knew that it was they
who killed her that second time. Their descriptions had not been on any
wanted poster they had seen so far.
"I don't think this is vengeance."
It still surprised Trowa when Quatre seemed to read his mind like that.
However, he acknowledged that his lover had a point. For a vengeance,
the pieces did not add up.
"I agree with Quatre," Wufei said gravely, "since these guys weren't acting
like they were going to kill."
"A capture mission, then?"
A silent nod answered Hilde's question, but other questions hovered in
the air. Why a capture mission for a bunch of disgraced assassins? What
was the plan? What was Milliardo up to?
"You know, it would be really fucking nice if Relena showed up with some
fucking information now and then!"
Heero put a restraining hand on Duo's flailing arm, calming his lover
down with a simple touch.
"She is busy, too, Duo. We can't rely on her for everything."
Duo knew that Heero was right, but that did not help his frustration level
at all. He was tired of being ambushed, of being on the run. He just wanted
to settle down somewhere with Heero and have a happy, fun life. Was that
so much to ask?
"Wait, I found something."
Everyone leaned in closer when Trowa retrieved something from one of the
bodies. It was a small scrap of paper folded many times, worn around the
edges and turning brown from dirt and blood. It seemed like nothing until
Trowa unfolded it.
Heero agreed with Duo. On that small piece of paper was a perfect rendition
of their faces, down to the stoic expression on his and the smile on Duo's.
The colored sketch had a wayward looking scribble on it on the bottom,
almost illegible from the smudging.
"Wanted alive. The rest are of no consequence."
Trowa's serious voice added weight to the already dire words. It was chilling
how such short phrases could clear up a situation.
"The Prince wants just us two, Duo. It must mean that he's working with
the Fates to bring us in for the.. eradication."
Swallowing thickly, Duo clutched Heero's arm for support. No matter what
kind of front he put up for everyone, the idea that he and Heero could
just be erased from existence frightened him.
"I guess we're expendable then."
Sally sounded matter-of-fact, not bitter at all that the Prince considered
them of no consequence. It was a nicer fate than the one laid before Duo
and Heero certainly.
"I knew you guys should not have come with us! I knew it. This is just..
Wufei waved aside Duo's worries with a flick of his wrist.
"Don't say that! We asked Relena to thread us in like this and this is
the way it is. We're family, are we not?"
"Well," Duo said with a hint of chagrin, "if you put it like that, how
am I supposed to argue with you?"
"You don't. Just shut up and accept it, okay?"
Duo did not resist his urge to stick his tongue out at Wufei, but he did
appreciate everyone's loyalty for them. Even knowing the dangers ahead,
his friends had stuck with them, giving up their chances to be free of
this mess. It was more than he could have asked for and it humbled him
in a way he did not think was possible.
"So what do we do now? Let the Prince come after our sorry asses?"
It had been meant as a joke, a stupid and careless idea that Duo had tossed
out to cover his reaction to Wufei's short but meaningful words. However,
Heero did not think it as a joke; in fact, he thought it was a capital
"We should get captured. It's a sure fire way of running into the Fates."
Jaw slack at Heero's determined statement, Duo stared at his lover in
surprise. He could not be suggesting that they just give themselves up
to the Prince for what the Fates had planned for them. When they had decided
to meet the Fates, Duo had assumed that it would be on their terms, not
the vicious Fates'. Getting captured and being dragged into confinement
was not his idea of being on their terms.
"Are you fucking crazy, Heero" We can't just.. I mean, what the hell..
Shit, we'd be handing ourselves over on a fucking silver plate with ribbons
"But we'll have our confrontation, Duo. That is what we wanted."
Sputtering at the airtight logic, Duo looked around to his friends for
some help. Unfortunately, all his friends were taking Heero seriously,
contemplating the supposed plan with sincerity.
"Did everyone go insane while I wasn't watching?"
Quatre shook his head in denial as he explained.
"Duo, this is the best chance we have. You'll go straight to the source
and you know you won't be killed until at least you see the Fates."
"Shit, Quatre, it isn't death I'm worried about! It's that other thing
they have planned! Besides, they want only me and Heero. What about you
guys? You aren't suggesting I watch while the rest of you are killed off,
"No, that would be fruitless," Quatre replied, "so the plan should be
that we split up and follow you from a distance."
"Then we rescue you two if you need rescuing." Trowa finished Quatre's
"I don't fucking believe this shit. You can't expect me to go along with
Despite Duo's misgivings, the plan was approved by a vote of six to one
and plotting began immediately. Duo could only watch and listen as his
friends and lover outlined the plan.
"The trick is to find the Prince's patrols. We don't know where they are."
Heero was deep into the logistics of finding a group of would-be ambushers.
He explained that he and Duo would just walk up to them and make them
take him and Duo to the Prince whereupon they would meet up with the Fates.
Duo shook his head to make sure he heard right. He had just suggested
that they just stroll up to a bunch of armed and dangerous men and ask
them to take them to their leader. He loved Heero dearly with all his
heart, but he was beginning to have doubts about his sanity.
What was even more disturbing than the crackpot plan was that the rest
of the group was fine with it. Sally outlined her and Hilde's role to
trail them to their place of confinement to lie in wait for the perfect
time to break them out. Wufei drew up battle plans if such a contingency
arose and Trowa was busy calculating the likelihood of a Peacecraft ambush
at certain spots along the road. Quatre was supervising the whole hair-brained
scheme like a general over major war plans.
Duo was convinced that he was the only one with his head screwed on just
"So, we split up at dawn. Duo and I will continue walking along the road
and watch for signs of the Prince's soldiers. Sally and Hilde will be
our trail and the rest of you cover for them. Good plan."
Heero sounded so damned congratulatory of this lame idea that Duo could
only stare in mock horror. His friends also had that same look as Heero
though, as if they considered this plan somehow feasible. It was crazy.
"May I just fucking reiterate that all of you have lost your goddamned
"Point noted and ignored. Next?"
It was a wonder that no one heard Duo's jaw drop to the ground.
Heero sighed at his lover's truculent face, noticing for the fifth time
in that many minutes that Duo was angry with him. He still did not agree
with the plan even if he was going along with it and he let it be known
by being silent and moody. Heero wondered why his smart and generally
clever lover could not see the plan for what it was.
"How long are you going to be angry, Duo? It has been six hours since
we split up."
"I'm not angry. I'm fucking pissed."
That was the only sentence Duo had spoken in the past few hours and it
was laden with icy rage. It wasn't pleasant, but at least he was talking.
"You know this plan is not a bad one."
"Hah! Right! This plan is so shitty I don't know why I'm going along with
Heero could feel his own temper fraying at his lover's stubbornness. Why
couldn't he just admit that the plan had merit and that it was probably
their only option to find the Fates?
"Duo, stop being unreasonable. What is your problem with this plan?"
As soon as the question finished, Duo stopped walking and stood on the
road, still as a rock. Heero stopped walking as well, staring at his lover
with frustration in his eyes. He nearly snapped at Duo when he refused
to move after a few minutes, but then he noticed that Duo was shaking.
Concern immediately overrode irritation and Heero went to Duo's side.
"What's wrong, Duo? Won't you tell me?"
Violet eyes looked up and to Heero's surprise, they were dry. From the
way Duo's body had been shaking, he had been certain that Duo was crying,
or at least on the verge of tears. However, his eyes were completely void
of liquid and glittered in furious whirling colors.
"This.. plan is stupid, Heero. What if they find out about Trowa and the
guys and kill them? What if they can't get us out before the Fates have
their way with us? What if one of them dies because of some stupid shit
we haven't thought of? Have you thought about any of that shit, huh?"
"Duo," Heero said quietly, "these are concerns that have always been present,
even before the plan. Why are you so reluctant all of a sudden?"
Instead of answering, Duo looked away, his eyes focusing on something
beyond Heero's shoulder. He bit his lip, worrying the flesh between his
sharp teeth and his brows contracted in thought. Duo knew Heero was right,
that he was being a paranoid idiot, but he couldn't help it. There was
so much at stake and everything was coming to a head.
"I'm just scared, Heero," Duo admitted softly, "and I don't know what
to do. It was easier just looking, not actually having the possibility
of finding. I know I'm being a moron, but.. I just don't want anyone to
Heero moved to put his arms around Duo and felt his lover sag into his
body. There was so much tension within him like so many coiled springs
ready to snap.
"It will be okay. I know it."
Duo sighed at Heero's reassurance, knowing that Heero could not possibly
predict that it would all turn out fine. However, his heart believed Heero
and told the rest of him that those words were not empty and hollow of
meaning, but that they were a promise to him. It took away the greater
part of his fear and chased away the desperate thoughts in his mind.
"You better be right or I'm going to fucking strangle you, got it?"
Chuckling, Heero nodded into Duo's hair and rested his forehead in the
full mass. His lover was coming to his senses finally, his fear having
washed through him and leaving his system.
"I'm glad you're okay now, Duo. I thought for a moment that you'd cry."
It was supposed to lighten the mood; it was supposed to be a small teasing
comment. However, Duo stiffened and turned his head to look into Heero's
eyes with a deadly look in his violet eyes.
"I don't cry, Heero. Ever."
There was nothing to do except nod uncertainly at Duo's clipped response.
Then suddenly, Duo smiled big and his eyes twinkled with determination.
"Shit, we can't just stand here! Let's get going Heero."
So they continued to walk along the road, only this time, they were of
one mind about the plan. The tension and the anger had disappeared in
one moment of confession and they walked hand in hand once again, eyes
set on the future.
It was with relief and some amount of disbelief that the captain of Prince
Milliardo's Fourth Unit Guards watched as two figures leisurely sauntered
up to them in a measured pace. To make sure, the captain looked at the
sketch and then back at the boys, making sure that they were the ones
who were to be captured. Unlike the previous description of their mode
of travel, they were alone, none of their purported companions anywhere
When they stopped just in front of the Fourth Unit captain without having
drawn a weapon or even getting into a defensive posture, it was obvious
to the brilliant captain that they meant to be captured. Though he was
somewhat suspicious of their actions, he wasn't about to curse the good
Fates for landing him an easy capture. The previous group had died rather
quickly and he did not want to test out these two's skills.
"I am Heero, this is Duo. You are from the Princes Guard Unit, are you
There wasn't even a hint of fear in that well modulated tenor voice and
it should have tipped off the captain that they were up to something.
However, it did not matter much to the captain... it was his mission to
capture them and here they were, just offering themselves up.
"I am the captain of the Fourth Unit. We are under orders to take you
to the Prince."
"Well then," the long haired boy said with a half smile, "lead the way,
The captain ignored the mocking tone and pointed them towards a small
wagon just beside the road. It was equipped with bars and an inch thick
chain that served as a lock. It was an inescapable prisoner transport
system, sturdy and strong.
"Say, Heero, looks like we're going to travel in style."
Quirking his lips in what could have been a smirk, Heero opened the barred
door to the wagon and stepped inside, his eyes looking around their accommodations
with appraisal. Duo followed closely behind him and sat unceremoniously
by the corner farthest from the horses, squirming around to get comfortable.
"So, captain.. take us to your leader!"
Duo received neither a smile or a laugh at his light-hearted comment.
Instead, the captain signaled his soldiers to lock the door and to check
the hitches on the two horses responsible for dragging the wagon to wherever
Milliardo was. When everything was done with soldier like efficiency and
candor, the group of soldiers formed ranks around the wagon and then they
were on the move.
7] [part 9] [back
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