Garou + Part 19 (cont)
Chase

* * * * * *

When Quatre arrived, calmly trotting by the path between the trees, the two boys felt intensely relieved. But the feeling didn't last. In all the time the cheetah needed to rejoin them on the terrace, there was no other four-footed being walking after him.

"Quatre? Where are the others?!" exclaimed Duo, throwing his cover back and dashing off to the edge of the terrace.

The big cat mewled while turning the corner of the wall and climbed the steps tiredly. Barely arrived, he sat back on his haunches heavily and yawned widely, showing off his fangs... and the fact that his chops and his throat were dirty with large, half dry blood splotches, as were his front paws and his ribcage. Duo barely had the time to blink that Trowa was already kneeling at the cat's side, his hands delicately, but with some urgency, feeling around in the fur to discover the source of all that hemoglobin. The cat blinked, surprised, then mewled, gently pushing the boy back with a paw on his arm before rubbing the top of his head on Trowa's arm to calm him down. Then he let his hold on the mind of the feline go.

A few minutes later, Quatre was lifting on them tired eyes, sitting butt naked on the cold slabs as he was, his hair all tangled, and little bits of dried blood crumbling on the ground. His mouth was circled with dark red tracks that gave him the looks of a fallen angel turned vampire. He yawned again, stretching, then shivered. Duo hurried to give him the cover he had been using to keep warm himself that was still on the swing. When he turned around, Trowa was verifying, obstinately, that the little blond wasn't hurt, despite the boy's tries to escape the inspection. Trowa was so worried that he didn't even realize that he was getting his hands all over a nekkid Quatre, laughed the American.

"It's ok, Trowa, I'm not injured..." the teenager reassured him as he was taking the cover and throwing it across his shoulders. "It's not my blood."

"From where did it come then?" asked the green-eyed pilot, chasing a patch of dried blood off the boy's chin.

A smile expressing absolute bliss completely took over the boy's face.

"I hunted, Trowa! There was a deer in a field and I caught it all alone! You realize? Me alone! It saw me and ran for the woods, and I knew that I'd lose it if I let it go, and I ran so fast, it was like I had been flying! It seemed like my paws didn't touch the ground anymore, I was running so fast... It's nearly better than the first time I flew my Sandrock! And I pounced on it, wham! It was a hell of a shock, but it was still able to get back up, so I jumped for its throat. It tried to run, but I didn't let go, even if ... well, ok, it slightly stepped on me, but I'm ok, Trowa, I assure you! It was so great!!!!"

" You ate it?" asked Duo, heroically fighting his laughter.

"Not all of it, but I hid it in the woods, I hope no one will take it... If those damn foxes try to steal it away from me, I'll dig them out of their burrow and I'll ... well, I'll..."

Quatre realized the childish glee with which he had been describing the events, and blushed like a tomato. He got up, using the hand Trowa was offering him to propel him up, and raked a hand through his hair. Some little bits of unidentified substance fell off and he grimaced.

"I think I'll go take a shower..."

"You'd better, yeah ... Wait, where is Heero?!"

"He... err... he thought that I was acting like a mad kitten and so, he went to track down Wufei alone... I explained to him, he agreed. He has better chances of finding him than me anyway, I don't have any sense of smell and I couldn't stay discreet... He wanted to follow him from a distance until the transformation wore off, I suppose it's happening now ... We only have to wait."

"Ok," agreed the American, before something hit him. "...Waittaminute."

Quatre turned around and gave Duo a curious look.

"Yes?"

"You said that you told him, that he thought... But you were animals, weren't you? So how could you..."

Quatre's eyes went wide for a fraction of a second. At the moment, he had not realized, but Duo was right... Quatre had again... Again... He gave Trowa a panicked glance, not knowing what to do to extinguish the braided boy's suspicion.

"Oh, err... Picked up his body language's clues... it's much easier when you're an animal... I'm going to take a shower. See you later!"

Duo blinked, surprised. Why had Quatre seemed so embarrassed by the question?

"That's strange..." he whispered.

Trowa only shrugged one shoulder, as if he couldn't even be bothered enough to shrug on both sides, and picked up his own cover before walking back inside. Duo's eyes narrowed.

"Apparently you know something that I don't ... Interesting."

It looked too much like a challenge for him to accept to just let it go.

* * * * * *

Heero was still half an hour away from the house when he felt the body on his back tense slightly. Wufei was waking up, muttering unintelligible words. Cautiously, the Japanese teen put down his burden on a patch of thick grass, supporting him in a half-sitting position with his right arm, and waited with impatience for his eyes to open.

The dark, thick lashes fluttered once or twice before slowly lifting over two still confused eyes. The light of early morning was falling on Wufei's face at a strange angle, making his eyes a golden brown, showing that his irises weren't truly black, only a very dark brown.

Heero caught his breath. Wufei seemed so fragile... Nude, his golden skin chiseled by the shadows and the light of dawn, his long ebony locks falling on his bare shoulders and across his face ... So frail, so... totally foreign.

The Japanese boy mentally crossed his fingers. He didn't know what he was hoping for exactly, but he was hoping with his whole heart that he wouldn't have to knock out the other teen to get him back to the house. If he would only accept to follow him...

The Chinese teen's eyes turned to the person leaning over him, and he narrowed his eyes, trying to clear his vision. Dark steel blue eyes were staring at him with intensity through tangled bangs.

"Heero?" he whispered, unsure.

The immediate smile he received in answer was... Dazzling. And totally unexpected. He blinked, perplex. Was he truly the person Wufei thought he was? He was positive that he had never seen him with that sort of expression. It was so ... disconcerting ... Yes, a total metamorphosis.

"Heero?"

"Hai," answered the other, his lips falling back in their usual place.... But the smile still dancing in his eyes.

"What the ...?"

"What do you remember?"

The Chinese pilot shook his head and briefly lowered his eyes ... and realized that he was totally naked, as was his comrade, and that said comrade was helping him to sit up by making him lean against his own, naked, body.

"Yuy?!?" he yelped, jumping back. "What am I doing in the buff in the middle of a forest and alone with you?!"

The Japanese teen blinked, then snorted. His comrade frowned, even more confused. It was definitively not the reaction he had anticipated.

"What do you remember, Wufei?" repeated the boy with patience.

"I..."

The raven-haired boy tried to put back in place the bits and pieces of memories he had from the night before.

But it was totally nonsensical.

"I woke up ... in a house, that I didn't know... And I heard voices that I didn't recognize. Wait, I did recognize you, but from Treize's garden, not from before... I took the bike to get away... And then I started to hurt, and I lost control of the bike, I fell... and after ... men... they were pissing me off so bad, I was feeling so good and they were bothering me, so I ... I..."

He lifted a hand to his head. A migraine was beginning to make itself right at home there.

"I struck..." he added, in an unsure-sounding whisper, unconsciously miming the gesture, his fingers clenched like claws.

He froze and stared at his hands in silence, his eyes wide, trying to conciliate them with his memories of two big, meat-hook-type striped paws, hitting, gutting, men screaming with terror.

"And then?" his comradeís low voice encouraged him.

"I ran..." he muttered, lifting a hand to his temple, trying to understand those flashes where he was sliding between branches, hunted on all four, flowed through bushes as easily as if he had been made just for that task.

He lifted incomprehension and fright-filled eyes on his comrade.

"I donít get it ..."

"Hey, calm down, everything will come back to you soon," whispered Heero, rubbing his shoulder, trying to be comforting. "No need to freak out, itís not that important..."

The Japanese boy patted his back, and with a tired sigh, Wufei relaxed and briefly leaned his forehead against the other teen's shoulder, silently asking for his support. Heero slid an arm around his shoulders and gave a brief squeeze.

"I can't sort out my damn memories... And some are just too unbelievable and just plain strange for me to know what to do with them!"

"Trust them, Wufei... Tell me only what you do remember, ok?

"I was running in the forest ... on all four, and I remember feeling strong, so strong... and I was the absolute master, nothing could touch me ... I felt so powerful, so sure of myself... I was the... the..."

"The predator on top of the food chain?" suggested Heero.

"Exactly! How did you...?"

"You know how, Wu ... You know how."

The Chinese teenís eyes widened.

"The wolf ... the wolf with the cold eyes ... And you ... But how? Itís impossible..."

"You donít remember what happened before?"

"Before?"

Heero bit his lip. He had been overjoyed when Wufei had remembered, but apparently, the teen still had gaping holes in his memories.

"I know what you felt tonight ... it happened to me too. Wu... What do you know about me? Donít think, just tell me what goes through your head."

The Chinese boy straightened up and disengaged from his comradeís loose embrace, slightly embarrassed to have relaxed so much now that he was getting back his self control.

"Firstly... You wouldnít call me Wu. You never called me that. You ... should be cold, and distant, not... Not smiling to me like that, not... touching me like that ..."

"Iíve changed since you met me for the first time," admitted the Japanese pilot with a little smile. "But I have to admit that the month you were missing was the one to see the most changes. We all were so worried... We didnít know what had happened to you, not even if you were still alive ..."

Wufei shook his head. It was so difficult to admit that Heero Yuy had really openly admitted having been dreadfully worried about him. He didnít know if he should feel flattered or concerned.

"Us?"

"Me and the other boys ..."

"The other voices I heard? ... I remembered a little just now, but I am not very sure ... There was... the silent one, he has... green eyes, doesnít he? And... and two others... but the only thing I have on them is that one is... nice ... and... when you called me Wu, I thought that... it wasnít like you to call me that, but more like "him", I guess this him is one of the two? But apart from that, I donít remember anything at all," he sighed. "I get memories sometimes floating around in my head, phrases, moments, but... I canít tie them to each other. I canít get a complete picture, just those bits of the puzzle..."

"It will come back to you when you meet the boys, donít worry..."

"Itís so strange ... When I look at you, I know that I know you. I know approximately what youíre going to do, how youíre supposed to react ... I know the words youíd rather use, your facial expressions, everything... but when I try to remember the way I acquired all that information, everything turns white and Iím not even sure I know it anymore, maybe Iím just imagining things ..."

"Relax and trust your gut feelings. Everything will come back to you."

Heero wondered if the boy remembered the Gundams and their fight, but he didnít want to add to his confusion just now. Heíd ask later.

"You've got time. Come on, we're going back."

He got up and gave his hand to his comrade. Wufei caught it, slightly blushing when the fact that he was naked kindly made itself know once again.

Heero couldnít help winking saucily at him, and nearly burst out laughing when his comradeís cheeks turned bright red. Turning around, he began to open a path. After a few seconds of hesitation, Chang followed.

"I just hope we won't meet any lost hikers..." he muttered under his breath.

Heero's laughter rang far under the trees.

+

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