Author: Asuka Kureru
Beta-ed by: Arabiana, that I love and without whom this wouldn’t even look like English ^^; All hail the mighty beta-reader!

Garou + Part 17

/a hunt in the forest of gray walls, the labyrinth of corridors

but the prey is me

run, fast

I don't want to run away, but no choice


I am not prey!!



Wufei woke up with a start, the phantom pain of the /shot/ pulsating in his thigh. He needed a few seconds to get his control on his respiration back. The ceiling was covered in white tiles, striped with long, narrow shadows. He didn't understand for a moment that they were the shadows of bars.

/prisoner I am a prisoner bars on the windows can't get out prisoner can't get out prisoner /
Every muscle tensed, he growled low.

The last thing he remembered was a discussion with Treize and ... /meiran/. And he found himself here, in a room with barred windows, and...

...tied down.

He pulled with force on the restrains keeping him tied to the bed, but the leather refused to give even one inch.

He turned toward the door...

... A chestnut-haired man, his short hair messed up, was sleeping at his bedside, his head resting on his crossed arms, his deep blue vest hanging on the chair's back.

'he's watching over me...?'

Wufei repressed the burst of moved surprise rising. It was true that Treize had always treated him well, that he had been nice and easygoing... But he had also put him, or let him be put, in this cage-room. He adversary. He refused to let himself be affected by the man's tired air, or by the fact that he had fallen asleep there, in that uncomfortable chair, rather than leaving Wufei alone. He would not stay at the mercy of anyone, friend or foe.

A silver flash against the chair attracted his eyes and he wondered for a second if he could catch and use the blade of the ceremonial sword to cut his ties...

The blade

/a man clothed in blue, haughty looking

I have to win

I get out the sword of my family, received of the hands of the Head of my Clan,

a pass, two passes, and suddenly surprise and the beginning of fear

he's heavier, stronger, his technique is too different, and

a flash of anguish when I understand that I am going to lose

blade under my chin; vanquished

at his mercy, fallen on my knee


the cold makes me shiver, and I look up to the adversary

his too blue eyes staring down at me, superior

I'd hate him if I didn't respect him so much, against myself


Wufei shook his head to chase away the flashback. It was official now; Treize had been his adversary. Well, that only sorted out the problem.

The emotions he had felt during the memory had been so violent, so alien. For a moment, he refused to believe that they could have been his, refused to think he may have known how to fight and maim and kill. And then he realized that his refusal itself was too violent for the calm and impassive boy he had believed himself to be. And the sword... he closed his fingers, experimentally, imagining with a precision that was all the proof he needed the weight of the weapon and the shape of the handle in his hand.

A deep horror against the idea of being that which he had believed to hate, a warrior, flooded him like a wave...

Then the wave flowed back, just like that, pushed back by pragmatism. If he knew how to fight, he would just use it to escape.

His bruised wrists reminded him of their existence and he gritted his teeth, suddenly furious like he had been in that memory. He did not want to think about abstractions! He needed to free himself, to get out! Preferably two minutes ago.

His nails drove in the leather straps with violence; the pain rose up to his forearms. He didn't care much about that pain; it served his purpose, to make himself more unnerved, thus stronger; too bad if he was ripping off his nails in the process.

His muscles were prominent, like ropes, tensed hard enough to hurt against the straps. He wouldn't stop before something broke, be it his hands or the leather.

The pain went up to his elbows in burning waves, and he wondered if he had succeeded in rupturing a tendon or tearing a muscle.

And then he nearly fell on Treize when the strap around his left hand tore and gave suddenly, making him lose his balance. His hand was shooting sharp shards of suffering and he stared at it for a few seconds. His nails hurt like hell. His wrist was bruised and rubbed nearly raw. And his hand itself looked strange ... then the impression of strangeness left, and he forced himself to use the hand to untie the other leather strap, not caring about his fingers' painful swelling and the deep pulsing feeling still beating through him.

He jumped off the hospital bed in silence and searched the room with silent, light steps he wouldn't have believed himself capable of. The door was probably being guarded. The corridors were surely littered with soldiers...

Maybe, maybe he could take Treize hostage...?

No. The man was still deeply sleeping, visibly spent from his watching over him, and his ruffled hair made him nearly vulnerable-looking. Plus he had always been honest with Wufei... even during their fight he had been fair and honorable. He couldn't attack him while the man was asleep.

His hand stopped a few inches shy of Treize's shoulder when he realized that he had been stretching it out to touch him. The man may have stayed at his bedside, but he was still an enemy. Wufei wouldn't attack him if he could do otherwise, but he would certainly not facilitate his own capture.

Leaving the man to his sleep, Wufei examined the window's bars for a few minutes, staring at them from every angle, but he came fast to the conclusion that even if he was stronger than he had believed himself to be, he wasn't yet strong enough to bend steel with his bare hands. He was strong, yes, but certainly not as much as /...wing.../

As who?

/ eyes blue as ice, blue like outer space, deep and cold/

Wufei lifted a hand to his head and had to keep himself from moaning under the piercing headache that had just awakened with this strange piece of memory. He fell on his knees, and closed his eyes.

/fight, fury, explosions of fire

blackmail, injustice

seems so frail, he who was so strong, stronger than me

pushed down by the explosion, tossed down his...

...his ... angel ? /

/ and his unexpected return, months later ... /

/... immortal ... ?/

With an effort, the Chinese boy chased the memory away. He didn't have the time. Not now. As soon as he was out of here, he would try to find the name of this strange boy and the relation he had to him. What was the /thing/ /angel/ of metal he had seen explode into little pieces, fallen, broken. For the moment his escape was more important.

"...Wufei...?" whispered Treize's still ill-woken voice.

He whirled around, a chair in hand; ready to crash it on the man's head.

Treize was staring at him, looking stupefied and incredulous. His eyes were so unguarded, so vulnerable when he was waking up, that the Chinese boy stopped himself short, against his better judgement. He couldn't find the resolve to hurt him.

The general half-got up, but went still the second he saw Wufei tensing, ready to hit. Treize stared for a long time at the black-haired teenager, extremely serious. He seemed to be searching for something on his face, as if he could read Wufei's thoughts, and, feeling menaced, the boy clenched his hands on the chair's back until his joints turned white.

"You remember?" he asked at last in a low voice, when he finally admitted that it really was hostility that he saw on his dragon's face.

Wufei shook his head, chasing his ebony locks from his face.

"Enough to know that I can't stay here," he answered in a voice just as low, but more intense.

Treize sighed and lowered his eyes briefly, then looked up at him again.

"I can't let you run away, Wufei. You know that," he said in a regretful tone. "Not as long as I'm able to stop you."

The Chinese boy was clenching his hands so hard now that you could hear small splinters of paint and wood come off the back of the chair. He didn't realize that the ends of his pointed nails were beginning to pierce through the wood, nor did Treize, too focused on the boy’s face.

Straightening up, the man took on a dignified stance, walked closer to the bed, and closed his eyes ostensibly, turning his back to him.

After a few seconds of stupefaction, Wufei approached in a light step. After much thinking, he decided not to use the chair. It would be much too painful.


Gently, he turned the man back toward him and put both hands on his cheeks. Surprised, Treize tried to open his eyes again, but Wufei prevented it by leaning a hand across his eyes.

Blushing like mad, he raised himself on his tiptoes, slid his hands around the neck of the general he now knew to be his enemy, and pulled him forward, then softly brushed his lips against the man's. Stupefied, Treize half-opened his mouth, and in an audacious moment, the adolescent transformed the simple brush into an exploration.

Totally floored by the surprise of the unexpected gesture from the teenager who troubled him so, and by the slightly inexperienced but delicious kiss he was receiving, the blue-clad man never felt the exact moment when Wufei's thumbs pressed on his carotid, cutting the blood flow to his brain, and when he lost consciousness.

Wufei let the soldier fall back on the bed and tied him down with what was left of the second strap. He hoped that it would prevent him from getting in his way too early on in his evasion tentative. He was slightly ashamed of having used a kiss to render the other man unconscious, but Treize had already given him his tacit permission to do it with a chair, the man wouldn't resent him if he used a less painful way.

/and he'll have a good souvenir when he wakes up/

'Oh, you, enough already'
he thought, flushing scarlet.

Did the fact that he didn't remember the previous ones, if there had been any, make this his first kiss? And then he hit himself over the head and berated himself for thinking about such frivolous things. He was behaving like a romantic damsel, it was really ridiculous. A kiss was a kiss; two sets of lips in contact, and this one hadn't had any meaning at all; it had just been a diversion.

/yeah, yeah, we believe you/

Why his subconscious mind chose to express itself with an American accent was beyond him. But damn it, it was even more annoying.

/which is kinda the point, buddy/

'silence, already!'

Ok, now, where to go?

* * * * * *

Heero took a burning shower to get rid of the soil that had been covering him since after his escapade. He felt, for once, relaxed, relieved of the animal force which had been accumulating since the beginning of the month, purged from his need for violence; in peace, nearly.

Quatre being a cheetah hadn't been digested yet... But he had to admit that it probably corresponded more to the Arabian teenager than being a wolf. Cheetahs were, after all, the only felines calm and friendly enough to be somewhat tamed. They usually lived in desert areas, in small, unstructured families. That fit with Quatre's gregarious preferences and his distaste for social ladders.

They would have to find grounds other than a forest for the other Were; it was obvious that it didn't agree with him. His golden coloring made him likely to be spotted miles away on the dark green and brown of the woods; plus he didn't have any endurance. His long, thin paws were adapted to flat ground with little to no obstacles. He was a sprinter, not someone made for long runs, not a stalker like the Wolf.

Heero was a little worried about him. After all, he didn't know felines. Maybe it was too different for him to be able to understand the other Were... Maybe he would not be able to help him at all...

Well! They would just have to see.

He got out of the shower and walked to his room, vigorously rubbing at his hair with a towel.

On his way, he walked past Quatre who was leaving his room just as he approached, and who only gave his still nude and now damp body one glance, before he turned scarlet and disappeared back into his room.


Heero authorized a small smirk to come to his lips. Quatre hadn't dared look at him in the face since they had woken up this morning. When falling asleep, they had not had any problems with piling up on the couch, their bodies melting into each other as if they were totally boneless. The predators in them seemed to appreciate contact. But when Quatre had awakened, his arms hugging Heero's waist, his belly pressed tight against the curve of the Japanese boy's back and their thighs entangled... Heero was not bothered in the least by a skin to skin contact, quite the contrary, he found the new sensation nice, the warmth comforting; but apparently, the young Arab had not yet integrated in his human psyche the total lack of body shyness of his animal side. His quick uptake on it was probably due to the lack of modesty Heero had already possessed, opposed to the puritan education Quatre had received.

Well, anyway, from the moment the blond had woken up spooning the Japanese's back (and lower back), and he had left running for his room, he had categorically refused to look at him even once. True, Heero had at least learned of many interesting swear words in Arabic. And to think that Quatre Winner usually looked so nice and polite ... Heero chuckled.

The pilot entered his own room, put his towel around his neck, and walked to his closet.

He was already in his shorts and was in the process of reaching for a tanktop when his laptop beeped urgently at him. Frowning, the Japanese pilot opened the screen. If it was a mission proposal from G, he had already decided to refuse it. As long as they weren't whole, the team would not take another mission. That present one had priority.

* * *

Trowa put the mugs and the coffee maker away methodically, before turning around to face Duo, who was still staring at him, half-laying on the table.

"You think Quatre will dare to face us again someday?" asked the American.

"After a situation like this one?"



"Poor dear...Traumatized!" Duo cracked up.

To avenge his friend, Trowa sprayed the laughing boy with water drops from the sponge.


"You brat," said Barton.

"Ahaa, you wanna play that game, huh..." muttered the American, slowly getting up and stretching a hand in the direction of the towel used to dry the dishes.

Trowa stared suspiciously at him and went into a position allowing him to evade the oncoming attack.

But at the precise second Duo had been going to declare war on his comrade, a shout was heard.


* * *