Author: May Chang
see prologue for warnings. disclaimers

The Path Between + Chapter 5

Later that night, as we sat around the table about to start our evening meal, I noticed an old friend in the room.

"Oi! Sally! What are you doing here?" I yelled happily, bouncing out of my chair and hugging the woman.

Sally smiled shyly as I literally dragged her to my table.

"Sally, you remember Noin, right?" I said. Sally nodded a greeting to Noin, then looked at the others questioningly. "And these are our companions. Blondie is Quatre and the black-haired one who's going to kill me later this evening is his lover Wufei. Bang-boy is Trowa and the guy who's trying to bore a hole through my skull is Heero."

"It's a pleasure to meet you," Sally said, smiling at them. I motioned for her to join us and she took a seat between Noin and Wufei. She then ordered her meal and we got down to talking.

"So, Sal, how goes your healing journey in North Siner?" I asked, as I grabbed a piece of bread and began chewing through.

She smiled cheerfully at me as she took a sip of her golden wine. "So far it's going well," she replied. Then she frowned. "Actually, I've heard that the Kazarians have started mobilizing their army for some reason." I straightened up, looking at Sally with interest. The Kazarians only mobilize when they start feeling belligerent.

"What else has been going on?" Noin asked.

Sally's expression seemed to darken even more. "From what I've heard, the Kazarians have decided to enlist the aid of one Dekim Barton," Sally said.

I started to swear softly all the curses that I've learned. I think I actually hit a few that actually made Wufei pale slightly. Wow, I am good.

"That's not all. It would seem that they also are eyeing the Sanq Kingdom."

Noin actually has a dirtier mouth than I do.

"Duo, we have to get back to the Sanq Kingdom," Noin said, turning to me with a glint in her eyes that said that if I was to refuse, I would be seeing stars for the next some-odd years. I gulped, then nodded. Wufei seemed like he was going to comment something, but wisely held it back.

"Um...... sure!" I said, looking nervously at a glaring Noin.

Sally quirked an eyebrow, an amused look on her face. Then again, so did Wufei and Trowa. Quatre looked like he wanted to either burst out laughing or look serious. He was failing with the serious part. Heero, on the other hand, just glared at people, but I could see a glint of amusement in his eyes.

"Fine. That's settled," Noin said, getting up. She then looked right at me, a hard look in her eyes. "We are leaving for Sanq tomorrow and you had better cooperate, Duo."

"Eep?" I squeaked, tiling back on my chair a bit. I think I would fallen over just by the sheer intensity of Noin's glare. Hm....... I wonder who has a better glare, Heero or Noin? Ooh, digressing....

+

I woke up wet. No, not as in sweaty wet or sex wet, but as in water wet. Noin decided to pull all three of us out of bed.....via a bucket of water.

"ITAI~~!!!" I screeched, sitting up immediately, followed by a wet Trowa and Heero. Wufei and Quatre popped in their heads to see why, then quickly popped out. I think Noin was just a tad bit impatient.

"Get up already Maxwell! We have to get to Sanq by tonight!!!!"

Ok, Noin was berserk.

"Noin!" I yelled, pulling up the covers a bit. It didn't really help that they had become see through when wet. "Sanq has to be at least three days away! We can't make it to Sanq in one fucking day!"

Noin glared at me, making me wonder if she'd been taking lessons from Heero. That was truly worthy of his infamous Death Glare. "Duo, don't worry about that," she said calmly. I started getting nervous. "I have a shortcut."

+

She never mentioned that the shortcut involved a boat. And the fucking sea. Now, I was fine with the boat and everything, but there was just one itsy, bitsy problem.

I get seasick. Really bad.

"Duo, you look like shit," Wufei commented as I emptied my stomach for the tenth time today. I groaned out a reply as I hung on to the railing for dear life.

"Oooooooooohhh........" I moaned as I tried to get my feet under me. I wobbled on to my feet, a great accomplishment in my eyes, and staggered a few paces, then my stomach decided to rebel. Again. Wufei sighed as I once again hung my head over the railing, puking my heart out. As soon as I got my stomach under control, Wufei leaned over and grabbed my left hand.

"N-nani?!" I asked, eyes wide with shock. Wufei quickly put some pressure on my wrist and I suddenly felt better. I stared at the blade master in awe. How the hell did he do that?

"What the hell did you do?" I asked, dumbstruck. "And can you teach me that?"

Wufei snorted, eyes twinkling in amusement. "That was just a pressure point. I've been taught in their usage," Wufei explained. "I temporarily stopped you from loosing your lunch into the sea. And the way you do it is like this."

He showed me and I mimicked him. Hm..... I wonder if Sally knows about this?

Finally, I actually felt hungry. I politely excused myself from Wufei and headed down to the mess. There, I found Noin, Sally and Quatre in a deep conversation.

" -- use Zechs as some sort of bargaining chip," Quatre said, looking worried.

Noin shook her head as Sally quietly sipped her tea. I walked over, grabbed a cup and poured some tea. I looked at Noin, asking her if I might join. She nodded and I took a seat next to Quatre. He smiled at me then returned to the conversation.

Noin shook her head at Quatre. "No, I don't think Dekim would use Zechs as a bargaining chip. He would use Zechs as more as something to boost moral," she said. Quatre pursed his lips as he pondered that fact over. He then slowly nodded, eyes troubled.

"So, we all agree, we have to get to Sanq as soon as possible and talk to the queen," I said, taking a sip of my tea and making a face. Holy shit, was that stuff bitter! I reached over to grab the jar of honey and began to pour globs of it into my tea. Sally was staring in fascinated horror at the amount of honey I tossed in. I don't see the problem; I mean, what's wrong with ten spoons?

"Which leads to the second question," Quatre said. "How are we going to get a request to the queen?"

"Good point!" I said. "I don't think they're going to let us in if we say something like, `Oi! We're here to see your queen because her brother Milliardo has been taken prisoner by an evil chaos-master, who's striving to take over the word!' "

"Don't worry, I can get us in," Noin said. I blinked. She's that confident?

"How do you know?" I asked. She smiled.

"I was the captain of the Peacemillion Guards," she replied.

+

[ch. 4] [ch. 6] [back to Singles l - z]