AUTHORS: Mel & Christy (and their muses)
WARNINGS: Language? Violence! 'They Might Be Giants' songs! Collateral Damage!
PAIRINGS: 1x2, 3x4, 5x?
DISCLAIMER: They still aren't ours. We tried theft, but the security systems were too good. Wufei was slightly injured during the making of this fic, and Duo got a concussion, but they got better. (And Trowa just brushed his bangs back into order.) No money is being made from this fic, and if there was we'd just spend it on more tapes, so that's OK.

Demon of Justice + Chapter 2

The living room was quiet except for a soft murmur from the TV, sound turned down low, and the -takatakataka- of the keys on Heero's laptop. Trowa, having sent off messages to the five doctors, was surfing the news channels for any mention of their battle; Heero had hacked into an OZ computer and was searching for any mention of Wufei's presumed capture.

"Anything?"

Heero's eyes flicked up from his screen momentarily. "Not yet. They took serious losses in the fight -- mostly due to the explosion. They're still tallying up the damage."

"Ah."

"You?"

"The explosion's been reported, with speculation on what could have caused it. The current theory is a train crash involving volatile cargo."

Heero snorted. "Well, the train crashed... and the cargo was certainly explosive."

It was hard to tell in the flickering light from the TV screen, but Trowa might have smiled at that. Just a little.

Heero looked back at his laptop, fingers flying over the keys. He was running his searches on autopilot, though; his mind was very definitely elsewhere.

"Mmm... tha'ss good, Heero. Wish I had the guts to do that in real life... but you'd prob'ly kill me. Guess I'll just have to settle for dreams, huh?"

...

Duo kissed me.

Why did he do that?

Part of Heero's mind gave him an answer. 'Maybe he likes you.'

...

'Admit it; you like him too.'

He's... a friend. That's all.

'Think about it. He rooms with you all the time. He spends most of his time with you -- more than with the others. He keeps trying to get you to do things with him. He touches you every chance he gets...'

'...he says he loves you.'

Heero came up with an objection to that one quickly. He just does that to be annoying.

'Are you sure? He did say he wanted to kiss you "in real life".'

He's concussed!

'But he never lies.'

...

'Admit it. You liked it. And you didn't want him to stop.'

Trowa looked up from checking his computer. "Heero."

"Hn?" Heero answered almost eagerly, glad of any distraction from the path his thoughts were taking.

"Time to wake Duo up again."

Some distraction THAT was.

"...you do it."

'Oh, now that's facing the issue boldly, isn't it?'

----------

Trowa slipped silently into the bedroom, moving immediately to check on Quatre. The blonde boy was sleeping peacefully, curled up hugging his pillow, covers kicked down and tangled around his legs.

Trowa's mouth quirked into the faintest possible smile. He was... intimately acquainted with Quatre's sleeping habits, and was used to waking up in winter with no blankets, or being nearly choked as his lover used him as a big huggy toy. He gently untwisted the blankets and pulled them up, smoothing his fingertips over Quatre's cheek as he stirred and muttered something incoherent. The beginning frown melted into a little smile as Quatre sighed and slipped back into deep sleep, reassured.

Assured that his lover was resting comfortably, Trowa straightened and moved to the other bed. Duo was flat on his back, one arm thrown over his head, other hand clutching his braid. Trowa examined the areas visible above the blankets, and came to the same conclusion Heero had; the left cheek was the only undamaged part.

<patpat> "Duo. Wake up."

Pause. No response.

<patpat> "Duo."

"Mmmh..." Without opening his eyes, Duo reached up and wound his arms around Trowa's neck, pulling him down into a warm embrace. Green eyes widened as Trowa suddenly found Duo's face very close to his own.

"Nnn... Heero..." Violet eyes opened, blinked, then widened in dismay. "Aw man... the dream changed! Trowa... change back into Heero, damnit, I want another kiss!"

Trowa blinked, bemused, as Duo first thumped his shoulder then shook him, as if he were trying 'percussive maintenance' on a stubborn TV. Finally, he gave up.

"Fuck... I can't even get lucky when I'm asleep," grumbled Duo, turning over and going back to sleep.

<<blink>><<blink>>

Trowa considered his options.

He could wake Duo up and demand an explanation; but somehow he didn't really think he needed one.

It was all rather amusing, really.

Smirking slightly, Trowa walked out, closed the door, and went back downstairs.

* * * * *

The robed man gloated up at the demon he had summoned, basking in the warm glow of a job well done. He never knew what he'd get when he reached into the void between worlds -- large, small, weak, strong, there was no way to tell. A strong sacrifice meant a strong summoning, which in its turn made it possible to get a strong demon; but there were no guarantees.

This demon was magnificent.

I must write down every detail of what happened in this ritual, he mused, scratching idly at a drying trickle of blood on his chin. And I will ask the others if anything different happened during the preparations. This sacrifice was not particularly strong; yet look at the results! I must find out what made this possible.

He stepped closer to the demon, trusting the residue of the summoning spell to keep it trapped and harmless until it could be properly bound to his service, running greedy eyes over its form. More humanoid than most, and larger than any he'd previously summoned, this demon had the form of an immense warrior clad in armour of some shiny metal, coloured blue, red and white. Or perhaps the metal was its true substance? He could see no gaps...

I've never heard of a metal demon; but then, I've never heard of one wearing metal armour, either. Nor have I heard any rumours of demons that are undetectable by magic, and this one seems to be undetectable when it isn't calling. Once it is properly bound, I must question it... find out if there are more...

There was a scraping sound of metal against rock as the demon shifted, tilting its head down to look at him. Its eyes glowed white, he noted, and a third glow flickered into life, coming from some sort of crest on its head.

He smiled up at it. "I'll have all your secrets soon, my pet. I'll find out how to summon more like you. What couldn't I do, with an army of your kin?"

He turned with a dramatic sweep of his arm, gesturing commandingly at his servants and soldiers.

"Prepare the second sacrifice!"

* * * * *

Wufei gazed, fascinated, at the two moons hanging in the sky.

Well... I am certainly not on Earth any more... as if I actually needed the confirmation, after everything that has happened in the past few hours! He shook himself and blinked, dragging his eyes away from the sight. There will be plenty of time to stare at the sky later! he thought, shifting the controls so that Nataku's head (and main camera) turned to survey the area directly in front of him. Right now I have more important things to do, like finding out where I am and what is... going... on...

He trailed off in horror, staring wide-eyed.

He was in a box canyon, Nataku sitting propped up against the end wall. He already knew that. That wasn't a problem.

The area was lit by dozens of burning torches and a few oil lamps. There was a cluster of people, some in uniform and some in tunics, pointing up at Nataku and talking excitedly. Behind them, he could see several horses, some way down the canyon, hobbled and tied to a picket line.

That wasn't a problem either.

Directly in front of Nataku's feet, staring up with an unpleasantly hungry grin, was a man wearing a long flowing robe. And behind him...

Behind him...

Wufei wrenched his eyes away, swallowing hard.

He wasn't an innocent. He'd seen death in a multitude of forms... caused much of it himself. And he'd seen the results of torture. He'd been tortured; he had even been taught, in theory, how best to go about it himself, should it ever be absolutely necessary.

When he thought about it, which wasn't often, he was very glad that it never had been necessary. He'd made threats, a time or two -- when lives were on the line -- but never had to carry them out.

But this... this went beyond anything he'd ever encountered.

His attention was drawn back to the viewscreen as the robed man said something in a smug, gloating voice, then turned and called loudly to the cluster of people. Several broke away from the group; two, in tunics, moved to the slab of rock behind the robed man, and started to untie the ropes that still bound the tattered remains there. Three, in uniform, moved to a shadowed area by the canyon wall.

Wufei's head snapped up as a definitely feminine voice rose, yelling. From the tone, he _didn't_ think she was being polite. Another, more frightened voice joined in... then he saw them, as the men (soldiers?) dragged them into the light. Two girls, barefoot and wearing shin-length plain dresses, hands tied behind their backs. One was considerably taller than the other -- taller than the men holding her, in fact -- and had...

...long, pointed, furry ears?!

He rubbed his eyes, then looked again. Yes, the girl was well over six feet tall and had long, pointed, furry ears. Now that he thought of it, a couple of the soldiers were... overlarge... as well...

The robed man pointed at the taller girl, and the two soldiers began to drag her towards the now-vacant stone slab. Wufei snarled, snapping out of his dazed state. "Chikushou -- what am I doing?! Just sitting here watching? Fuck that!"

Green smoky light coiled around Nataku's torso and legs, holding the Gundam down as it moved to stand. Wufei swore again, fighting the controls. "Kisama! Damn you -- damn you to hell, you sadistic bastard -- I won't let you--!"

The robed man grinned up at him again, insultingly, then moved to stand behind the sacrificial stone, pulling a knife from his belt and testing the edge with his thumb as the soldiers lifted the struggling girl onto the altar. The men in tunics moved in to tie her down.

Deep black eyes glared ice-cold hatred at the image in the screen as Wufei lifted his right arm to point at the robed man.

"Over your dead body."

----------

Naiya yelped, cut off in mid-curse as something huge flashed past just above her struggling body. There was a loud crunching noise, a moment's pause, then a chorus of horrified shouts and screams from the priest's men -- and suddenly she was no longer being held. Quickly, she rolled off the altar (on the side AWAY from the priest), then peered upwards and over the edge.

The priest's servants were all running, and most of the soldiers were demonstrating that military training meant they could run faster. A couple were backing away with their swords drawn, staring at something above and behind her.

Naiya turned around.

The giant demon's arm slowly moved back over her head. It was... longer, and... had more joints... and the hand was... She blinked as the briefly-glimpsed fanged head unfolded backwards and the hand reappeared, the extra joints in the arm somehow folding themselves away.

Ha! Seems like that bastard priest doesn't have it as trapped as he thought! Naiya laughed to herself. He won't be happy... hm. Where is he?

Cautiously, she peeked back over the altar, and spotted the priest almost immediately. He was sprawled on his back some distance away, arms and legs at odd angles; as she watched, he coughed up blood, gasped, and stopped breathing. As he died, so did the magic holding the giant demon prisoner -- and it stood up... and up... and up...

Oh gods, she thought, pressing back against the altar stone. It's even bigger than I thought!

----------

[cont]