Demon of Justice + Chapter 4 (cont)
Happy Christmas (War is Over)

When Trowa walked into the hangar, Heero was just walking out from behind Deathscythe.

"What were you doing back there?"

Heero didn't look at him. "Disabling the self-destruct."

"Ha!" Trowa muttered, just loud enough to be heard. "First good idea you've had all day."

As Heero swung himself into Wing's cockpit, a familiar little voice spoke up. 'So, you finally realise what you've done, hm?'

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Quatre moved gracefully around the kitchen, keeping up a steady stream of chatter as he assembled breakfast. Since he was trying to get a response out of Duo, he was concentrating on two topics that normally would have been guaranteed to start up a lively discussion: food and the mission.

"I know I'm not exactly the best cook, but I think I can manage pancakes. We have maple syrup, or would you prefer lemon juice and sugar?"

"..."

"There's bacon and eggs, if you'd rather have that."

"..."

Since the topic of food wasn't getting him anywhere, Quatre switched tactics.

"I hope the mission is as easy as Trowa thinks it will be," he said, putting a glass of orange juice down in front of the braided boy. "The doctors want them to break into an OZ research base located near where our last battle was; they think it's where that new energy weapon was developed. They want to get full info on it before OZ can destroy all their records." He glanced sideways at Duo as he piled pancakes onto two plates and poured maple syrup over the top.

Duo didn't say anything, but he reached out and started turning his empty coffee mug around in his hands.

That might have been a response...Quatre thought, frustrated.

He sat and ate his pancakes in silence, trying to think of something -- anything! -- that would get a reaction out of Duo. At the other side of the table, Duo shifted bits of his pancakes around and drew patterns in the syrup with his knife.

I have to get through to him somehow. Almost anything would be better than this! Even if I make him angry at me, if it gets him out of this withdrawal...

Well... Trowa did say it was okay...

Making up his mind, Quatre stood up and walked around to stand next to the other boy.

"Duo?"

There was no answer, so he reached out and gently tipped Duo's chin up, forcing him to look away from his plate.

"Duo..." And he leant down and kissed him on the lips.

Quatre didn't try to make the kiss any more than a gentle, friendly pressure, but he stroked his fingertips along Duo's jaw and down the bared throat, trying to show without words exactly how much he was offering. He drew back slowly and looked into wide violet eyes.

Okay, confusion is sort of a response. It's a start, anyway. "Duo, if you want to talk... or anything... Trowa and I--"

He broke off as confusion shifted to sorrow, unshed tears glittering in Duo's eyes; then the shutters came down again and Duo stood, blank-faced, and walked out.

Quatre was left standing in the empty kitchen, looking at the congealing syrup on Duo's plate. He sighed, raking one hand through his hair. "Well, I got a response. It wasn't the one I wanted, but it was a response." He started clearing the table. "Damn it, Heero Yui, when you get back... omae o korosu!"

* * * * *

Wufei scrubbed his hand briefly over his eyes and blinked, struggling to focus properly.

How long have I been awake?

It took a while, but eventually he worked out that it'd been well over twenty-four hours since he had last slept -- at least, if he didn't count passing out after the explosion -- and it hadn't exactly been a peaceful time. What with adrenaline fatigue, injuries and plain tiredness, he was well on the way to passing out on his feet.

I don't have time to be weak! he thought angrily, and tried to concentrate on what the grey-haired man, Royce, was attempting to explain.

----------

Naiya scowled, concerned, as the small demon swayed slightly on his feet.

"All right, that's enough for now!" she said abruptly, stepping forwards. Royce and demon both looked around at her; the demon scowled, but it's hard to look threatening when your eyes are crossing with fatigue, and Naiya wasn't about to be afraid of someone who only came up to her shoulder, demon or not.

"Lass, we need to--"

"Can't it wait until he's slept?" She waved a hand at the startled demon. "Look at him! Gods know I'm tired, and I haven't done half of what he has! He's exhausted, he's wounded -- I think they were fighting before they were summoned, the big one's armour is damaged and seeing as how it's so hard that must've been a dangerous opponent. Even if he culd speak our language, right now I don't think he's in any shape to answer questions!" She spun around to look at Cord. "Father, he can stay with us, can't he?"

Cord spread his hands helplessly. "Aye, girl, he can stay."

"Good!" Naiya turned back to the demon. "Wufei, yes?" She pointed at herself; "Naiya," then at her father; "Cord." Then she simply reached out, grabbed Wufei's wrist, and started walking.

He yelped in surprise, stumbling after her. "Onna!"

"No, it's 'Naiya'."

He sighed and dug in his heels. "Onna, onna, onna, onna, onna," he said, pointing to various women with his free hand; then he started pointing at men. "Otoko, otoko, otoko, otoko, otoko. Ne?"

"Ah... I see!" She started pointing, starting with herself. "Woman, woman, woman, woman, woman; man, man, man, man, man." She mock-glared at him, slanting her ears back. "But it's not polite to just call me 'woman'. Nai-ya!"

"Hai, hai, wakatta,"[3] he said, rolling his eyes, a slight smile twitching one corner of his mouth up. "Naiya."

"Good!" She smiled brilliantly at him, then started walking again.

"Oi! Nani o shiteiru?! Doko e?"[4] He twisted his arm free and glared.

"I'm thinking you'd best try to explain, lass," Cord said, amused.

"All right... um... Wufei, Naiya, Cord," she pointed at their house, "over there; eat, then sleep," she said, miming.

He looked doubtful for a moment, but nodded; then he pointed back at the giant demon. "Matte, kudasai. Nataku ni chotto..."[5]

"Um... I don't know what we can do about him--" Naiya watched nervously as Wufei walked over to Nataku and reached up, patting at the giant leg; he caught something that swung down to him from the opening and was lifted into the air, rising smoothly until he could step onto the sticking-out armour plate. He vanished inside, and it closed behind him; then Nataku's eyes glowed to life again and it/he stood up. It moved only a few steps, over to the ancient tree that shaded one side of the square, then sat down and cautiously leaned back against the trunk. It creaked loudly, but held.

The glow in the eyes died again, the armour opened, and Wufei stepped out; this time, the opening closed behind him as he jumped down to the ground and walked back.

Royce intercepted him. "Uh... does Nataku need to eat? Food? What does it want?"

Wufei looked surprised, then tiredly amused; he shook his head. "Iie. Nataku wa... neru.[6] Sleep," he said, carefully pronouncing the foreign word.

"Oh. Well, that's a relief," Royce muttered.

----------

Naiya studied Wufei as he nodded over his half-eaten bowl of stew, spoon slipping out of his fingers. He's even more tired than I thought! she mused, fighting to keep her own eyes open. He looks much younger when he isn't glaring... rather handsome, too, even with those strange eyes.

She considered her strange guest...

He looked almost human, except for his eyes -- slanted and black, an impossible colour and rather frightening -- and the warm gold tint to his skin. Humans came in a wide range of shades, but none quite like him; and although black hair was possible, she'd never seen anyone with hair so uncompromisingly straight. A wisp had escaped the tight, short tail at the base of his neck and fallen forwards over his eyes, incredibly fine strands drifting in every current of air. Naiya had to stop herself from reaching forwards to touch it and see if it was as soft as it looked. Yes, with those threatening demon eyes half-closed and veiled behind long black lashes, he looked much more approachable.

His clothes were strange too, cloth finer than anyone but a lord would own. A tight black sleeveless top clung to his torso, embroidered with a multicoloured twining snaky beast; it was tucked into high-waisted white pants tied with a black sash. Black leather wristbands and low black soft slippers made up the last of his outfit.

There were fresh scrapes and cuts down his arms, along with a few faint marks of old injuries; a giant bruise was purpling one shoulder under the top, and a bloodstained tear in one pants leg hinted at worse injuries, but he'd ignored them all as he moved earlier. Perhaps, to him, they weren't anything to speak of? The damage to the giant Nataku's armour certainly suggested that far worse was possible where they came from...

Cord interrupted Naiya's revereie with a gentle hand on her shoulder. "I'd best get the lad to bed before he falls flat on his face," he said softly, "and you should sleep too. He can have my bed; I've work to do in the forge. Nay, leave that!" as she started to clear the table. "I'll take care of it before I go."

Wufei jerked upright and blinked hazily as Cord shook him. "Come on, lad; time to go..."

----------

Wufei settled into warm softness, barely aware of huge hands drawing the covers up over him. As much as he wanted to stay alert and wary, his exhausted body had its own ideas.

I wonder... are the others okay? he thought as he slipped into sleep. Did they win?

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[1] well, duh.

[2] "Pleased to meet you." (Literally means something like 'please be good to me'!)

[3] "Yes, yes, understood."

[4] "Oi! What are you doing?! Where to?"

[5] "Wait, please. I'm just going to Nataku for a sec..."

[6] "No. Nataku will... sleep."

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OUTTAKES FROM 'DEMON OF JUSTICE' CHAPTER 4:

Alternate attempts at seduction:

---
"Kiss me, you fool!"
"Ew! Quatre!"
---
Quatre moved Duo's plate away and threw himself onto the table in front of the braided boy. "If you don't want to eat breakfast, how about me?"
---
"..."
"Ooh, you sound just like Trowa... makes me hot!"
---

Alternate results:

---
Quatre put his hands on his hips indignantly as Duo walked off. "Well! What am I, chopped liver?"
---
Duo grabbed Quatre, kissing him passionately.
"Ack! Duo! This isn't in the script!"
"So? I haven't gotten any in this fic yet! And you said you were interested..."
"Well... yes..."
"Good!" *GLOMP!*

[part 3] [back] [part 5] [back to Mel and Christy's fic]