+ Part 11 (cont)
* * *
Quatre had just joined with Heero at the rendezvous point outside of the
hangars and they were waiting for Wufei, already late, to make the Jeep
dash out of there when the small blond cried out without reason and caught
his leg with both hands, before clinging to Heero's arm with all of his
forces. The Japanese suddenly remembered that the small and so fragile
looking boy also had excellent qualifications to be a Gundam pilot, even
against his so nice behavior and every appearance suggesting the contrary.
His hold was steel-strong and would probably leave a pretty big bruise,
even with Heero's unusual healing speed.
Wing's pilot turned toward him, alerted, and only had the time to catch
him before his head hit the headboard. Quatre had just lost consciousness
under the shock. Heero put his hand flat on the boy's sternum, keeping
him sitting straight, and slowly pushed him back against the back of the
seat. He couldn't free his arm at first with such a tight hold, even in
Quatre's unconscious state.
"Quatre ?" he asked in a low voice, worried by the reaction,
so violent and apparently without any causes.
But the young man didn't answer. His breath was fast and dry, rough, his
pulse frantic and erratic, and his pupils had dilated so far that his
comrade only saw, under the eyelid he had turned over, a slim blue circle
around a wide black disk.
* * *
Awful pain in my chest, but not truly real, not really mine
but it is here
not in me, but... somewhere, in my little inner world I hurt in a place
that does not exist my heart beats too fast, too hard, violent, as if
it wanted to escape, fly away from my chest
in the oasis, reflections are dancing deep under the hidden water;
reflection of a silent forest, reflection of a lively flame, dancing,
so alive, reflection of an iced over lake where lava glows deep down
others, many others
and the proud mountain's image blurs
and then... erases itself and disappear
only the bottom of my heart, the bottom of the oasis
where the other lived...
pain again, like something torn out, like an amputation
like the fangs of a predator devouring me alive, there, deep down, where
the others are
* * *
When Quatre regained consciousness a few minutes later, slowly, painfully,
as if he had to drag himself awake, it was to stare, frightened, into
the confused blue-gray eyes of his friend. At first he had trouble recognizing
"Heero? " he muttered in a trembling voice. "Heero, I can't
feel him anymore"
"Nani?!" Wing's pilot exclaimed. "Iie" he refused
to accept what the other boy was telling him, refused to understand, shaking
his head, his hair flying messily in his eyes.
Heero had reverted back to his first language without even realizing it,
refusing to understand what the Wolf already knew.
Quatre lowered his eyes, and his lower lip trembled. To confirm this information
was the hardest thing he had ever done.
"I don't feel Wufei anymore."
* * * * * *
The man in the blue uniform approaching with a determinate stalk was guided
with deference toward the place they were keeping the catch of the day.
The little troupe of soldiers guarding the enemy pilot slowly stepped
back, clearing a path for OZ's absolute master, Treize Kushrenada.
The pilot, 05, Chang Wufei, from the black hair falling on his shoulders
and his face, was still laying unconscious at the foot of the wall, curled
up on himself, a leg pierced through by a bullet. Apparently it hadn't
hit the artery because the blood wasn't spurting, even if it flowed quite
fast. The boy's skull was bathing in a puddle of blood coming from his
temple, and another half-dry trace trickled from between his eyes. A scarlet
trail drew his head's trajectory against the wall as he had fallen on
Treize let loose a little surprised laugh. Poor Wufei, he nearly pitied
him... To be caught like that... Pure bad luck... He estimated the young
man who had had the courage to challenge him, and knew that his pride
would take a blow. He had already ill taken his defeat at the time...
Even if Treize didn't feel any shame in admitting that he had only won
because he was taller and heavier and that contrary to his adversary,
he had a good idea of his style of combat and how to beat it.
He motioned for a soldier to push the pilot with the end of his gun. Chang
didn't react. A second time didn't provoke any more changes in his posture.
"Step away and keep him in your sight," commanded Treize, leaning
over the pilot. "We cannot know for sure."
There was a murmur of protestation against the unnecessary risk the General
was taking, but Treize knew that it wasn't Chang Wufei's habit to take
hostages to save himself... And anyway, with the speed with which he had
probably hit the wall, he was probably not fit to gain the upper hand
He was still breathing, his breath making the fine hairs falling on his
nose dance; Treize hadn't been sure at first. The general took off one
glove and carefully put a hand on his cheek to push back the spilled hair
hiding his face. No, visibly, he wasn't playing dead, his face expressed
too much suffering for that. The man put two fingers on his carotid...
His pulse was feeble, sluggish. Probably because he had lost so much blood.
An eyelid moved lightly, then Wufei slowly bent the end of his fingers,
moaning in a nearly inaudible way. Surprised by the speed of his remission,
Kushrenada stood and stepped back, prudent. It was better not to be in
reaching distance when he regained consciousness fully...
The boy opened an eye and closed it at once, visibly hurt by the bright
light. His nearly black eyes made it difficult to judge of the state his
pupils were in, but the nasty bump had probably reduced them to pin-sized
points. He gave a pained cry when he tried to move his leg, and lifted
his head, trembling under the strain of maintaining it straight. He shook
his head as if to put his thoughts back in place, his dark eyes sweeping
without seeming to really realize that there were soldiers ready to shoot
him all around.
"Well, well, Chang Wufei, it seems like it's the end of the game
After several tries, the Asian boy succeeded in keeping his eyes on the
tall chestnut-haired man who had talked.
"... Chang... Wufei ...? Game? Which" mumbled softly the Asian
Treize frowned. There was something abnormal in the pilot 05's behavior,
apart from a possible concussion. He couldn't quite pinpoint it yet, but...
"It... Huuurts," moaned Wufei, lifting a hand to his head.
He removed it stained with blood and stared at it for a few seconds, incredulous.
". . .All that... red... "
"Wufei?" called Treize experimentally.
The boy didn't even turn his head toward him. He was still observing one
after the other his blood-covered fingers, then the floor where a puddle
was growing slowly, then his thigh, with an expression that was strangely
fascinated and detached at the same time.
Treize suddenly understood what it was that bothered him in the boy's
body language. For once, his face indicated his age. It was not the visage
of a fiery fighter, but that of any normal fifteen-year old boy. Totally
normal... Except from the pain of course. But even that pain was indicative...
The pilot he knew would have preferred to die rather than clearly show
in front of an enemy any sign of weakness or inferiority.
"Wufei, I am talking to you," repeated the general dryly, crouching
at his side.
Even if he had been looking at him, the prisoner needed a few seconds
before he understood that the tall broad-shouldered man was really talking
"Wu... Fei," mumbled the boy, trying to straighten up. "Wh
Then, with a scream torn from his throat by the wound he had stretched
by not paying attention, he lost consciousness.
* * * * * * * * *
They had waited for Wufei's return for four entire days, a total breach
of normal security procedures, and he had not come back. Not any news,
not any clue allowing them if only by supposition to know where he was
and in which state. Their snitches didn't know a thing, the OZ communication
channels they could access didn 't either, the TV was no help... They
didn't know if he was dead or alive, or hurt, free or a prisoner...
Duo gave a strangled scream of frustration, confronted with the uselessness
of their searches, and finished packing his comrade's few personal things.
They had to leave this hideout; it was becoming too dangerous to stay
at the same place. They couldn't leave anything between them either, so
one of the four of them had had to take care of Wu-man's things... Wu-man,
how he hated that nickname. Oh, how he wished he was ok...
But after the pain, exploding in Quatre's leg, and the confusion he had
felt briefly after the shock, the boy hadn't felt a twinge. As if Chang
Wufei had ceased to exist. Not even as if he had died, no... In that case,
Quatre insisted that he would have felt it; but there... Wufei had simply
been, as the psychic said, "disconnected" from his Uchuu no
Kokoro. Out of perception.
Quatre had been so traumatized by feeling the boy vanish from his mind,
he who was already so shaken by the recent happenings and barely recovered
from his last bout of lycanthropic fever, that they hadn't even thought
about asking him to pack Wufei's things. It would only shake him further.
So Duo had volunteered.
And he regretted it. Having to dig into Wufei's possessions was already
serious; he knew that if he had been here, the Chinese teen would have
screamed bloody murder at this violation of what he still had of his private
life. And the silence, following each of his actions in the room instead
of the outraged bellows he was waiting for, hurt surprisingly bad. But
that wasn't the worst. The worst was precisely that private life spilling
in front of his eyes, that taught him little things he would probably
have never known, painfully reminding him with each discovery, like a
slap in the face, his friend disappeared the gods only knew where.
His eternal white garb. Contrary to what you could think about an ex-gutter
rat, Duo had some notions about his friends' cultures; after having met
them all, he had found information, and knew fairly well that in China,
white was the color of mourning.
Wufei had been in mourning for as long as Duo remembered. Even before
his colony changed itself into little space trash bits.
Books everywhere. Philosophy mostly. Some written in mandarin.
Exercises books full of an elegant and artistic calligraphy.
His glasses. He only wore them to read, and couldn't stand being caught
with them on his nose. It bothered him, to look like a scholar. As if
he forbid himself to be one.
Everything in him screamed that he had been one, when, too rarely, he
Incense sticks and an orange in a sort of little closet decorated with
dragons, which was, from what he remembered, a little portable temple
to give offering for the dead.
In one of the books, a picture. Wufei, thirteen year old, and a young
girl his age, walking in front of a big group of Chinese-typed people.
The girl doesn't look toward him, angry. But he glances at her, from under
his lashes, a little look exasperated and worried at the same time. They're
clothed in a traditional costume. Behind, only a few ideograms, translated
into romaji under it, and those names: Shirin Meiran and Chang Wufei.
In a little box, a golden chain, with two simple rings, like two alliances,
European style. To the chain a white ribbon was intricately wound around,
stained with the dark brown of old, dry blood.
The girl on the picture had white ribbons around her buns.
Trembling with powerless anger, Duo assembled what he thought important,
the temple, the picture and the rings, then closed the door to the empty
room with a bang and stalked toward his own room, teary-eyed.
He furiously wiped his eyes. He refused to cry for Wufei yet.
He took his own backpack and went to rejoin the other pilots outside.
Heero was leaning against the van on the driver's side, and through the
back door he could catch glimpses of Quatre sitting on the bench running
around the vehicle's trunk, and Trowa's long legs, showing that he was
sitting in front of him, against the backdoor to be able to keep guard.
Quatre didn't wear any expression. His eyes were empty, a bottomless sadness,
his eyes red, and he had his teeth clenched hard.
Duo stopped for a few seconds, worried for his empathic friend. Wufei's
disappearance had hit him harder than the others because he believed that
he could have stayed to help, and in a way, he had been there, had lived
through it. Duo wondered if he should keep him company. After all, it
was his role... right?
But he didn't feel the courage.
He glimpsed a blue-clad shoulder and a fine-boned hand landed on the blond
boy's knee, attracting his attention. He looked up at Trowa, and Duo saw
his expression change slightly. Finally he sighed and shook his head.
But he didn't seem quite as empty anymore.
Trowa would take care of Quatre... His eyes left the back of the van and
landed on Heero who was still waiting, and who was looking back at him.
He realized with a start that he had stopped to observe them in the middle
of a movement and had stayed standing stupidly in the path... and that
the Japanese boy hadn't ceased to observe him once since he had walked
out of the house.
The dark blue eyes on him bothered him. Yuy had to find him so silly;
or maybe he was irritated by that distracted, vacant air he had taken
on. He forced his face to go back into the mask, walking to the vehicle,
but saw the eyes under the dark bangs narrow suddenly. Hadn't worked...
He hadn't thought it would.
Heero shook his head. Duo was trying once again to hide his true feelings;
but there wasn't a need. He knew what was behind the mask. And even if
he hadn't known the American enough to realize it, he could have smelled
it, or felt it with his body language. Duo's steps had something tired,
flat, lifeless. Even his braid seemed submitted to this invisible weight
on his shoulders, miserably dropping, without oscillating behind him in
wide arcs like always.
Wing's pilot stared at the American, concerned, and faintly frowned, pensive.
Duo's eyes widened when he saw the sadness etched on his visage, like
a reflection of his own, and with a sigh abandoned the mask. Heero knew
that he wasn't being truthful, so what for?... Furthermore, he knew that
the boy, who had perfect control of his non-expressions, had only let
it appear to show him that he wouldn't think less of him if Duo let go
of the act.
The two pilots looked at each other for a few more seconds, unmoving,
then Heero blinked and the moment was broken. He turned around and took
his place behind the wheel, revving the engine. A few seconds later the
American had joined him in the cabin. They left the area in silence, without
looking at each other, without looking back.
The bomb used to wipe out every trace of their presence would only explode
in a few hours, when they would be far enough away.
"Ninmu shippai" means "Mission failed" or "mission
failure", or, well, you get the idea. ^_^
Hey, I answered to the latest answer on the last part... but my comp ate
it ;__; and then I didn't feel the courage to rewrite *sniffles* As far
as I remember I was just teling that in my mind J and G had been much
like Heero and Duo in their twenties, one brillant yet highly erratic
joker and one overly serious stick-up-the-ass. Problem is, G didn't get
through J's thick skull and J never got better. But J was a cold bastard
from birth, Heero was just forced to become like that by his life and
his teachers. And G was less optimistic than Duo, a little bit more on
the sarcastic side... so, well, he couldn't reach. I don't think they
were more than friends, it's just that Duo has a dirty mind.
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