notes: I don't know shit about Wuwu's religion, I'm not even sure that
I know its exact name, I just have vague notions that I could have misunderstood
easily, so, no offense meant to practitioners , but I do that as I please,
because I don't know any better, so there ^__^
I'll list the songs used at the end, and really, they're great, lyrics
and melody *___*
+ Part 20
"...Fullmoon is on the sky
and ~He's not a man anymore... dadadaaaa, ladeeda..." the braided boy
was humming while moving around in the kitchen, dancing right and left
to retrieve the utensils he would need. "Full moon..."
Singing the lyrics that had been running around in his head since he woke
up this morning, Duo put the plate on the kitchen table and got rid of
his apron, then closed the oven with a light kick, before taking the soufflé
back and walking, humming, to the living room where Trowa and Quatre were
waiting for their meal.
"...In the mist of the mo~rning he cannot fi~ght anymore
Thousands moon or more, he~'s been ho~wling
Knock on the door, and scream that is soon ending
Mess on the floor agai~n..."
"Appropriate," said Heero's deep voice.
Duo didn't jump and scream, but only because he didn't want his hour in
the kitchen struggling with the cooking books and the diabolical oven
reduced to nothing, forcing him to do it again AND to clean the floor.
Frowning, he glared at the boy descending the stairs and blew him a raspberry
before walking to the living room once again.
"While you're up, Yuy, go fetch a plate and stuff... I won't move for
a latecomer," he ordered without looking back.
Heero gave a "hn" which could have been a yes, or simply an aborted laugh,
and jumped down the last steps.
"Go sit down," he advised the boy following him, "I'll go fetch plates,
knifes and forks."
Wufei would have liked being able to protest that he could do it himself,
but the fact was that he didn't know where everything was in the house.
Bah, it wasn't much anyway. Hesitantly, he looked at the two boys already
seated at the table. The lithe blond one was looking back at him, curiosity
appearing on his face, but his smile was too friendly for Wufei to get
annoyed at the inspection.
"Hello," he greeted him with a soft, high and melodious voice.
The Chinese boy hesitated for a few seconds before nodding. "Hello."
The boy with the bang over his eye looked up to glance at him, and the
Asian teen imperceptibly tensed. His eyes were so green, it was striking.
Wufei remembered those eyes. Over a cup of coffee, and vague sympathy
offered after a bitter defeat...
"Yo, Wu-man!!! How are ya? Dun just stand there, sit!!"
The Chinese boy tensed visibly this time, unnerved by the voice, although
he didn't know why, and found himself face to face with the boy with whom
Heero had talked, but from whom he hadn't been able to see more than a
vague shape. He was grinning at him, but for some reason Wufei felt that
it was not as mocking as it looked. He frowned, ready to put the other
boy in his place...
...the boy's momentum made his heavy plait dance behind him, placing it
in Wufei's sights.
Duo had been too lazy to braid it entirely this morning, after Quatre's
return. He had let it quite loose, and only braided to half the length
of his hair. A trail of long, free hair floated behind the elastic band,
for at least thirty centimeters.
"... that was you, the person Zechs made me think of..." muttered the
Chinese teen, momentarily hypnotized.
The American blinked.
They stared at each other for a while, Wufei submerged by a wave of memories
from his time as a guest of OZ and a few small flashbacks, Duo surprised
and pensive to see that his comrade wasn't as healed as he had believed.
"Go sit down," advised Heero, putting a hand in the braided boy's back
to gently push him forward.
Duo deposited the plate on the table while Heero installed the table set
he had brought, and Quatre began to serve them helpings. The atmosphere
was tense, impatient.
"Wufei doesn't remember everything for the moment, but it's coming back,"
Heero finally said after Trowa glanced significantly at him. "He just
needs something to anchor his memory."
"What do you mean?"
"When I see something that makes me think of another thing I knew before...
Until it happens, it's as if I just had never known. But once I had a
flashback, I can rebuild the entire memory from it, and then it stays
for good. When I have the time to think, I try to associate things with
it... A little like reweaving a tapestry," explained Wufei in a low voice,
strangely intimidated by those four strangers who were supposed to be
his closest companions.
"Do you remember their names, or do you want me to tell you?" asked Heero.
The Chinese boy was quite busy staring at the ground.
"I... am not sure..." he admitted in a low voice, annoyed and embarrassed
at the offense he did to people he felt were his allies with forgetting
"Hey, nothing to fret over, man!" Duo grinned back, giving him a big slap
on the back, making him falter and nearly fall face first in the table.
"MAXWELL!!! Damn it, you... Max...well...?"
The braided boy burst out laughing and slumped forward, the snickers rendering
him unable to stay correctly seated.
"It's nice to know that my name is forever associated to your need to
make me leave you the hell alone!" he snickered.
Heero snorted and Quatre had a little smile that he tried to hide, not
sure of the way it would be taken.
"You're called Maxwell..." repeated Wufei, blinking slowly, visibly surprised
of this revelation he had had; the name had come by instinct on his lips...
"And your first name?"
"Duo. Duo Maxwell."
"And you have the gall to call yourself by a God's name" added Wufei,
nodding firmly. That he was sure of, for some reason.
"True. I'm the God of Death! And them, do you remember them?"
"I am sorry ... No," answered the boy, shaking his head.
"It's not important," assured Quatre with a warm smile. "I am Quatre Winner
and here is Trowa Barton."
Wufei nodded as a salute then sat down at the table, embarrassed, not
too sure of his place in the group.
"We've been scared shitless 'bout ya, pal... Well, you don't seem to have
had troubles getting by alone, did you? didn't you? Did you?"
"I didn't have too many problems, no..."
"Can you give us a report on what happened? What do you remember? Start
with the first day."
The Chinese boy took on a thoughtful pose.
"I woke up one day in a bed, and I knew that my thigh would hurt, though
I didn't know how I knew it. So much that I couldn't move. I had bruises
everywhere, but even now I do not really remember how I received them...
A chase, a shot... I don't remember anything else."
Quatre nodded, lowering his eyes. He was ashamed; while what Wufei was
saying happened, he had been sitting in a car.
"There were guards, and I didn't know why they looked so cautious. I was
tied down to the bed..."
"At least you had a bed," muttered Duo, remembering his sojourn in a stinking
little cell, before Heero came to get him out of there.
Wufei stared at him strangely.
"And then?" asked Duo, not wanting to talk about that for now.
"Treize came to see me."
The other pilots glanced at each other, puzzled, when they heard the way
Wufei was referring to his old enemy. No General Kushrenada, no Him...
and the tone, vaguely softened, nearly imperceptibly moved.
"He understood that I didn't remember... He was the one to tell me my
name. He was treating me very well... He ordered the soldiers to untie
me, first. I was examined by psychiatrists to determinate if my amnesia
was faked or not. Then, when they discovered that it was not, I was given
more freedom... Even if He always had people following me around," he
added with a touch of bitterness.
Treize had thought that Wufei didn't realize that he was followed; but
he had just acted as if. He had been disappointed that Treize would not
trust him ... but now that he knew that they had been adversaries, he
better understood why. In fact, the man had been right not to trust him.
"You weren't mistreated? Tortured?"
"Tortured?!" he repeated with a touch of horror. "Gods no!"
He stared at the boys, who were looking at him, serious as ever. They
were not joking.
And then he remembered the hateful glares some soldiers gave him, the
circumspect way Zechs had treated him, the refusal to address him in any
other way than a highly impersonal tone from Treize's help, Lady Une,
and told himself that yes, they had all treated him like an enemy they
were forced to tolerate. If they had been able to... maybe not Zechs,
but maybe the Lady... There were moments when her eyes shot thunder bolts,
and when she was like that, he was under the impression that she could
do anything without blinking.
"No... Treize protected me. He said that since I didn't remember, it wasn't
of any use. In between, he would treat me as a guest, not any other way.
I... think I... I didn't fully understand the situation," admitted the
Chinese boy, lowering his eyes on his plate.
"Well, I still think that those nobles and knight-y conducts are bloody
stupid as part of a modern war, but I'm not about to complain when they
come from the enemy," laughed Duo, balancing on the back legs of his chair,
his hands crossed behind his head. "Well, not to be annoying, but it's
cooling down! So for the one time I'm cooking..."
Heero stared suspiciously at his plate.
"Yuy," announced the American in a nothing less than pleasant tone, "if
I hear you utter ONE comment on my culinary gifts, I'll make you inhale
your part by an extremity that is more adapted to evacuation, if you catch
Heero snorted and looked circumspectly at Duo.
"I am not quite sure that it will truly do more damage that way anyway..."
"Arrrrrrgh, you..." growled Duo, getting up to give him a noogie.
Heero ducked and pushed his hand back, nearly making him fall off his
"I was joking, Wufei," he said when he saw the distrustful expression
the Chinese boy was glaring at his plate with. "He isn't so bad in the
"Ha!" exclaimed Wufei. "It can't be so hard to do better than this fiasco
with the ham cake..."
"Hey! Not my fault if the oven had decided to heat up on one side but
not the other!!"
"And the sugar instead of salt was, without a doubt, because they had
decided to change boxes in the middle of the night?" said back the Chinese,
"Bleeedah... Nice to see that you didn't forget that... Traitor!"
Trowa and Quatre glanced at each other and smiled. Everything was back
* * * * * *
/ The man-cheetah had discovered a little
place in the tranquil forest he so liked to visit, where he felt even
better, even more in peace. A little pond, with a stream cascading into
it and running away on a bed of stones that made it sing and glisten in
the light of dawn. in this particular dream, he always spent most of his
time sprawled in the cool and slightly humid grass of the riverbank, his
back paws trailing in the fresh water, his fingers drawing scintillating
lines on the surface when he brushed it with his claws, in a state of
calm and total contemplation. This particular dream always supported him,
calmed him when he was stressed out, when he was afraid, when he was tired
to have felt too much all the emotions and passions of other people than
And then the reflection in the little stream blurred, reflected briefly
mountainous, snowy heights, so high that they were becoming blue. And
the sadness of loneliness./
A gentle wave of surprise awakened him from his dream, surprise that then
colored with relief and bittersweet consolation. The Arab sat up in his
bed and blinked, briefly confused. He had troubles recognizing it, but
still, he knew exactly from who it was, without even needing to think
about it. The empty place at the bottom of his empathy was taken once
The surprise was tinted with sadness, and he got up in silence, slid into
a robe and sneaked barefooted along the corridor, to the source of the
He hesitated, then softly knocked on the door.
"Wufei?" he whispered, half-opening the door.
The Chinese boy was bent over the box containing his little offerings
shrine and his possessions that Duo had managed to grab in his old room,
nearly a month ago. He had a white ribbon in his hands, and his eyes were
staring at an old picture.
"Oh, Quatre... Come in."
The blond-haired boy stepped in the bedroom, then stopped.
"Duo assembled everything he could find when we had to leave the last
safehouse in a hurry," admitted the boy in a low voice. "I hope he didn't
forget anything important, I should have helped him..."
"No... No, nothing essential," answered the Chinese boy, looking pensive
and still saddened.
He closed his eyes, as if to chase away the painful memory the picture
was evoking in him, then took a deep breath and gave a small smile to
"I will have to thank him."
"I can go and get you matches if you want," offered the Arabian boy when
Wufei found the little shrine in the box and put it in place against a
Wufei stared at him for a second, then nodded, and his eyes expressed
for him the gratitude that the education he had received prevented him
from transforming into words or actions.
The blue-eyed boy disappeared in the corridor, ran to the kitchen and
grabbed the matchbox, then ran back, grabbing an orange in passing, running
past a barely half-awake Heero without explaining his haste for the puzzled
Heero scratched his skull, then continued in his hunt for the elusive
coffee mug. No one should hope that he would be able to line up two coherent
ideas before having had his daily dose of caffeine.
Quatre knocked at the door then entered the room as silently as he could.
Wufei was kneeling in front of the shrine, contemplative. He glanced up
to his comrade, and smiled slightly in thanks for what the boy had fetched
for him. The orange made his eyebrow shoot up, though.
"Offering for the Ancestors," explained the lithe blond, blushing.
Wufei didn't answer for quite a long time, and Quatre thought that he
had offended him somehow, putting his nose in Wufei's business. But finally
the Chinese teen moved... deeply bowing in front of him, thanking him
without saying a word. Quatre bowed back, then got out of the room, leaving
him alone with his memories.
* * * * * *
When Quatre came back in the kitchen, Trowa was seated beside Heero and
they were sipping at their coffee mugs, apparently without even realizing
that they were synchronized. The Arab snickered, amused, and slid on the
bench in front of them. His radiant smile attracted the two brunettes'
attention, who exchanged a puzzled look that conveyed a whole silent dialogue.
Quatre burst out laughing. Their exchange said so clearly "you ask or
I ask?" he just couldn't help it. When Trowa stared at him and lifted
an eyebrow in his direction, the boy was still snickering and giggling.
It would have been strange from anyone else, but from Quatre it was just
"Wufei is back!"
The two brunettes glanced at each other once again, more circumspect.
This time it was Heero who answered.
"... Quatre, he was back yesterday already..."
"No, I meant here!!" exclaimed the Arabian, pressing a hand on his heart,
unable to explain in another way.
"You can perceive him again?" asked Trowa, surprised.
"Yes!" answered the blond-haired boy with an even more radiant smile.
"And he is nearly like he was before, except... Less... well, more...
Haa, it's hard to explain! Slightly different. But it's still him, he's
here again with us, and I... oh, darn, I think I'm going to cry ... I'm
Trowa leaned over the table and put his hand on Quatre's arm, and the
boy put his own hand over Trowa's, a gigantic grin on his lips and tears
in his eyes.
"Ah, I'm so emotive, it's atrocious ..." he muttered, pressing an arm
across his eyes.
"How is he different?" asked Heero to distract him from his embarrassment.
"... Hard to explain. For example, you have feelings that are... Sharp,
like ice shards sometimes, and when I think of a color to give them, I
think white or clear blue, but violent, you see? Like a police torch or
a lighthouse. Duo is like a flame, it's always dancing and very beautiful,
but impossible to catch or to give a definite shape to. Red, often, passionate
and dangerous, sometimes black or dark purple when he's sad or in a bad
mood. Trowa... I don't know. Soft, anyway. Green and white, pastels mostly,
sepia sometimes. But Wufei... His emotions were as sharp as yours, Heero,
but now, they're a little bit more round on the corners. A little duller
maybe? I don't really know to what it corresponds... It's something to
feel, not to explain."
"Hmmm.... Well, you're the specialist. As long as you understand what
you feel, it isn't important to put it in words," assured the Japanese
Quatre sighed lengthily to evacuate his tenseness and smiled at him, before
jumping on the coffee pot for his daily dose.
* * *
When Wufei descended in the kitchen, the four boys were sitting at the
table and having breakfast. He hesitated imperceptibly, not sure to really
be part of the group, but the grin the American and the Arab sent his
way and the chair Trowa kicked out from under the table for him proved
that he was welcomed.
"How are you?"
"Fine, thanks," he answered with a smile, taking his place among them
and reaching for the coffee maker.
The discussion by morning was more often than not calm and sporadic, about
the political news, and the plan for the day ahead. Wufei occupied himself
with listening to them without really participating, absorbing the information.
He had missed so many events during his ... vacation in OZ.
He had so much information to sort out, about what he had missed in the
outside world, or... what he remembered. It wasn't in order at all, but
one way or another, the mental blocks were wearing thin and he was rediscovering
entire moments of his life, as if it was the first time. It was strange
to remember like that, nearly as if he was receiving them from another
person, or from a past life. He wasn't quite sure yet that they were truly
He had stared at himself in the mirror before meeting them in the kitchen.
His image felt familiar after that month at the Oz base, but when he had
been staring at himself today, tons of memories had come back on his previous
appearance. Hair unbound and messy, a scar between his eyes, rebellious
bangs, too short to put behind his ears and that were constantly dangling
and traveling all over his face... He had stared at himself for a long
time, had measured and classified the differences, had brushed that scar
with his finger... Then had resolutely brushed his hair back, tied it
tight, with a red band that was lying on the table. A warrior could not
have his hair going in all directions; it was too dangerous and could
cause too many problems. Even Maxwell knew that.
It felt strange to be once again the Wufei from before... He wasn't used
to having his hair pulled back anymore, and he found it strangely restrictive.
After a few seconds, he had brushed his hand the wrong way in his hair,
dislodging the shorter strands, had arranged them so that they would fall
framing his face, like an echo of the ebony curtain he had gotten used
He had stared at himself once again. There, that was better. The scar
and the wild strands, with the tight ponytail of the warrior. A mix.
Pensive, he brushed a fingertip over his scar, following the light rise
of skin. Luckily, it was not a hideous pucker, just a line of darker skin,
just slightly thicker.
"I wonder why it hasn't disappeared yet," he whispered to himself.
A lull in the conversation let the other boys hear him and he turned pink.
He glanced at them, one after the other.
"What’cha talking about? Your scar?" asked Duo.
Wufei nodded briefly.
"You got that during your capture?"
"I think so, yes. I'm not quite sure."
"Just before. One of the guards had a blade, I think," answered Quatre.
"But it wasn't deep, you told me so, it should have disappeared ... Was
it badly healed?"
"Not at all. But in a month it barely blurred a little... I just found
that strange, that's all," added the Chinese pilot, shrugging.
"That the wound from where you received Quatre's blood?" questioned Heero,
putting his mug back on the table. "The place where I was bitten stayed
visible too. Maybe it has a relation."
"Probably," answered Quatre, pulling on his sleeve to show the little
white points, the discolored skin, where Heero's fangs had pierced his
skin months ago. "Didn't disappear either. Perhaps it is the first contact
with the virus ... What do you think?"
"Mmm, maybe. Maybe it is the place from where I received your blood...
I don't remember it yet."
"We were talking about that and your health in general the day before
yesterday," answered Quatre. "Do you remember Sally?"
"Now, yes..." said Wufei, discovering details about a very specific woman
in his mind in a place where he hadn't even been aware that there had
"She's in the USA, she helps the local Resistance net to organize, to
create links to their Chinatown and the resistant groups in China to whom
she was a part of ... Well you see the kind of job. We were saying that
it would be good that a doctor on our side knew about our... particularity,
Heero, you and me. And with your captivity and your amnesia, even if as
long after the fact, she can't do much anymore, we never know, it would
be better that she sees you, don't you think so?"