against cracked windows, cold wind creeping through rattletrap wooden
frames. Duo shivered.
Clouds blotted out the stars, and the night waited, cold and hushed, for
snow to begin. Treize leaned out of the window, looked over his rose garden
where a few canes scraped against walls in the thin wind. He'd left the
mountain base shortly after Duo and Heero, distancing himself from the
fiasco of the mobile dolls. He returned here, to his estate, but the rooms
and gardens seemed colder and emptier than before.
Will everything seem cold and empty from now on?
He shivered and turned away from the open window. A fire glowed on the
hearth, and he crossed to it, watching the flames flicker in the cold
draft. I ought to shut the window, but it feels appropriate somehow.
Staring into the fire, he thought of the two pilots, wondered where they'd
gone. Wondered if he'd ever know their like again. Could he possibly find
someone with Duo's passion, Heero's single-mindedness?
He sighed. You're wallowing, and it doesn't become you.
Dead leaves rustled in the wind, scraped across the balcony outside his
windows. In the garden, a twig snapped. He straightened, suddenly alert.
Treize turned slowly toward the speaker. The Chinese youth crouched just
inside the window, his naked sword a gleaming slash of steel in the firelight.
"I told you I would be back to fight you. I will fight you until I defeat
you, or until you kill me. Which will it be?"
Black eyes glittered in a face both delicate and deadly.
A tiny flicker of warmth blazed up in Treize, kindled by the intensity
in the boy's challenge.
And so...it begins.
[part 10] [back to Razorqueen's