Author: Maldoror

Disclaimer: The usual, Gundam Wing belongs to its owners (Bandai, Sunset, and a whole host of others, none of which are me) and I'm not making any money off of them. Not a single peanut.

Rated PG-13: For violence, language, inexplicit sexual content

1x2, 3x4, 5xS and liberal lashings of luscious shonen-ai don't like don't read yada yada

Whee! Here we go again! Once I actually thought about a sequel seriously, it almost wrote itself (well almost), since there were a few things I wanted to put in the first fic that were never included. Plus now I get to do a proper get-together fic (the first one was a bit short on that). So, hope you enjoy this! If you do, you need to thank all my previous reviewers for their encouragement or I would probably never have thought of writing this. And now... the fic.

Two Halves: Circles + Chapter 1
The Wedding Night From Hell

Up until recently, marriage had never entered Duo's mind. He'd concentrated on claiming his pound of flesh from his dear uncle Septim, as well as saving the world. He hadn't had the time or inclination to cherish fuzzy thoughts about matrimony.

Since he'd been engaged to Heero he'd been thinking about it constantly.

His thoughts -too flighty and nervous to firmly pin down- had ranged from breathtaking to frightening.

None of his fevered daydreams had been quite as bad as this...

The talons at his throat tightened, jerking him another inch. He had a death-grip on the ornate sandstone pillar that decorated his bedroom, but in this tug of war, in which he was the rope, the king of Lin wasn't going to be a winner.

The creature was trying not to kill him, but his bruised neck was aching and air was only trickling into his lungs now. He couldn't cry out.

"Ssssstubborn... "

Blunt nails pierced the skin of his shoulder as the creature hissed and tugged at his arm. A warm trickle of blood oozed down his chest, under the ripped cloth of his dressing gown. Duo tried to roll onto himself, clinging desperately to the pillar. His vision was fading, this was bad. Behind the creature, the flickering light of an open teleport circle was seared into his thoughts. He tightened his grip again, nothing but death was going to get him through that-

There was a noise from the doorway. The grip on his throat and shoulder loosened as the creature turned. Duo gasped in some air, glomped the pillar with all his strength, reestablishing whatever ground he'd lost in the past three minutes -the creature above him hissed in annoyance- then dared to hope as he also turned towards the doorway.

Heero was standing there, the door swinging shut behind him. He was wearing riding clothes, his hair dusty from the road. He was carrying his cloak in one hand, and a bottle and two glasses -Duo wished he could feel something other than huge relief at this point- in the other.

The creature was hesitating. Possibly because it expected the human to start shouting and screaming and running away, and Heero looked like finding a fiend in his husband's bedchambers was in fact perfectly normal.

Duo rephrased that to himself, now that he was getting oxygen back to his brain. This was Heero. Facial expressions were as alien to him as fiends were to Duo's bedroom thank you very much!

Heero said nothing. He draped the cloak on a chair near the door and put the bottle and glasses on the chimney piece. Incidentally putting him at an angle where he could attack the creature without Duo getting in the way, and also placing himself nearer the fiend's exit point.

"Ahhhh... " It sounded like the rush of air from a newly opened crypt. "Yoouu musst be the husssband... "

"Hn." Heero loosened the thongs on the collar of his dark green leather vest with a jerk and drew his mage blade in one fluid movement.

"Weapon's ward!"Duo hissed, a second before the fiend gripped his throat again.

Heero froze, his eyes widening, glancing from the fiend to Duo and back again. Only the mightiest of sorcerers could hold both a weapon and a magic protective ward, so if the creature was warded against weapons, it had to be vulnerable to magic. Yet Duo hadn't turned it into a lump of charcoal...

"Magic's gone!" Duo managed to grind out. Not much of an explanation but he didn't have any better. Since the creature had grabbed him, five minutes ago, he'd been unable to do more than bite and scratch, and not much of that either.

Heero's eyes narrowed. The mage blade returned to its scabbard in the same smooth movement, and he slowly started to move away from the chimney... and away from the fiend's path to the portal.

The fiend... laughed, it was to be supposed. It was vaguely humanoid, taller than a man by a good head, and covered in thick plates of grey hide that coiled around its limbs and torso in uneven sheets, wrapping its head in a mess of scarred grey spongeous flesh from which an eye and a mouth writhed as if drowning. It looked like the flesh had been cut from them, repeatedly in fact, as the scars were concentrated around them.

Duo had become familiar with conjurations, the magically summoned slaves of the sorcerers of Lin who specialized in this type of magic. There were a few around Linheights. This one was different. It could talk, words slithering from the scarred mouth like snakes. And it wore a huge bulking grey cloak, so that it might almost appear normal from a distance once the hood was drawn. That was way smarter than most conjurations, who stuck at the mathematics of adding breathing to walking.

The mouth was empty of teeth, pale grey gums making the sibylline hiss mushy and even harder to follow. The 'hands' gripping Duo had a serviceable set of fleshy extrusions that were more horny flesh than claws but were still hard and sharp enough to pierce skin.

"The husssband from SSsss-"

"Sanq." Snapped Heero. He was putting distance between himself and the creature, and now was angling so that Duo was at the creature's side instead of behind it in relation to him. The creature's scars coiled in a smile.

"I wassss hoping you would attack me with that pitiful sssword. I ssseee you are sssmart. You can ssseee there's no way you can-"

"Drop him." Heero jerked a chin at Duo.

The creature made a sound like a swamp sucking down a horse. "Ooor whhat? You will ssspit at me? Sssanq hasss only whhhite magic, and I hear you're not even good at thattt."

"Duo?"

Duo squeaked.

"Do you have your magic wards up?"

Duo swallowed.

The creature did the swamp noise again. "I don't neeed to ussse magic against the little kingling. My talonss sssufice." It glanced down at Duo, who had whispered 'Yes' and dropped the pillar to put his hands over his head.

The creature gurgled in surprise at that, and at the finger Heero was pointing at it.

It didn't even have time to flinch as pure darkness shot from Heero's hand, channeled down the finger and lanced towards it.

The shot was narrow, and not all that powerful, but very, very well aimed. The head of the thing exploded into boiling mush and smoke, and the claws around Duo's throat convulsed once then loosened.

"... I'm not good at white magic... " Heero agreed with the smoking mess, flexing his fingers.

Duo gasped and took a deep breath, then regretted it. The air was thick with smoke that made burning garbage smell like the perfumes of Saoun.

Strong arms grabbed him unceremoniously and dragged him away from the thrashing creature. Duo stumbled and righted himself, gripping Heero's shoulder for support.

"Are you o-... kay... "

Duo blinked at Heero's unusually hesitant tone. No, more than that. There was a slight tinge of unease in it. Duo spun around to see what had provoked such a strong reaction from his husband.

The creature had stopped its death-throes... but now it was... squirming. It looked like maggots were eating it out from the inside, the body's skin rising and falling in turn... then they realized it was the plates of the creature's hide that were coiling against each other. One of the chunks of hide flipped over, falling from the chest in a peel the size of two plates. The underside was dead-flesh white, slimy, with trails of... something from inside the dissolving creature clinging to it.

Duo had seen a lot in his time in Lin but his stomach was roiling faster than the creature's bits.

Then the part that had flipped over started arching and twitching, causing it to slither towards the pair standing, horrified, nearby...

Duo lost it, and reacted the only way he knew how.

The backwash of the explosion blew out all the candles in the room, scattered the logs in the fireplace, and shot the papers on the desk across the room like grouse breaking cover.

"Duo... " Heero's voice held a tinge of weariness. Duo gasped and spun around.

"Heero, did I hurt you?"

Heero had been bowled back by the force of the confined explosion, but fortunately his clothes weren't on fire. He was looking at Duo with a scowl, trying to make him out in the sudden darkness of the room.

"I thought your magic was gone."

"Well... " Duo blinked and stared at his fingers. "It seems to be back!"

"Lucky me." Heero rubbed his back as he stood up, and stared glumly at the calcinated remains. "Do you have any idea-"

The door behind them slammed open, and Heero's sword was drawn in an instant, flashing towards it in a deadly arc.

[chap. 2] [back to Maldoror's fic]