Author: Sunday
Warnings: Yaoi/shonnen-ai, 1+2+1, weird little universe, AU!!!!!
Disclaimers: I do not own Gundam wing, I do not own the boys with which I am playing, I do, on the other hand, own the way in which they play. Furthermore, I do not own the technology and magic of 'The Red Star', of which this is loosely based. But damn, I wish I did. Notes on the actual story: A space furnace is a large air ship, kinda like a plane, that looks like a gian floating brick. What keeps it afloat is a)magic b) giant ovens at the bottom of the ship, that can also be used as weapons. These ovens are insanely hot, and very very nifty looking.
Notes: I have not resolved my problem, WHY Are you all so nice to me!! * bursts out crying* this story is going out to the five people that made sure it would be continued. *Brighnasa *Dacia *LdySowan *Misuzu *Munchkin Thank you all for replying. Now I go beat the next part out of my muse.
Jaden: hey cool, the writing style changes in this part... again. Yess!! This fic is looking more and more like a patched up quilt in each passing second. Look this part does not match the last one, and looks a bit more like the teaser.
Sun: heeey... .evil muse of death is right... .coool.
Jaden: wow... this looks like Frankenstein's monster, I haven't seen something this patched up since your first attempt at HTML.
Sun: oh yah... bring THAT up. Well...these notes have NOTHING to do with the story. SO I will finish with the following: Orange juice is good.Comments?

Of Bullets and Barrels + Part 2

So I was in the ship, trying to focus on some insipid ideal.

Grasping futilely at the puerile naivety that had driven me onward up to this point. I don't remember what it was. I have no idea. None. Damn, you can't understand what it is to be strapped to a machine, starring death in the face, and knowing for a fact that you were not going to survive the protocol to the attack, because the I-field was fluctuating too wildly, and they were already pouring coolant over your naked shivering body.

And I was still searching. I was searching for the idiocy that I had entered that war with, that I had entered the ship with, that I had stepped into that isolation tube with. It was gone.

I knew death.

I knew fear.

Before me, in the opposite ship, I was watching a star die.

I was watching as a sorcerer in his prime fell.

A sorcerer, the freaks of nature do not survive nearly as long as the women in their fields. We had hit his ship, had watched as the ovens, which propelled the ships above ground, begin to fail, the air- furnace crashing to the earth, beginning to crumple. The things were miles and miles long, the air-furnaces, I mean, they had staff in the thousands, if not hundred thousands, and it was falling from the air like the Lucifer we were made to believed it to be.

And he was falling with it. The I-field was gone from around his body, his power kept the ship in the air, long enough for me to watch... our isolation tubes aligned...

I was scared out of my mind.

My I-field was beginning to shut down.

I was to be killed, and I was watching a star die, collapse.

He was running a protocol, I don't know what it was, but at that level of pain, it had to be something small, inconsequential. He was willingly becoming a bomb.

I can tell you the exact moment his heart stopped beating. The power tore from his body, unable to remain in the shell he had left, it tried to pull back, the ship squeezing down, falling inward as a momentary rip in reality opened before us.

He was beautiful.

Even when his power ripped upward, crashing into our ships. Liquefying the metal around it, before turning it into plasma. The air around us, around all of us, burned red. The air burned! The hydrogen fusing, furthering the heat, driving the attack onward long after he himself evaporated. Long after his soul scattered into the acrid smell of the air, the stench of burning flesh, of evaporated metal, of burned coolant.

I watched the death of a star.

I watched a man shatter his own soul.

I watched him pursue protocol, damning himself to oblivion. To the fate of the Wilds.

I watched him willingly destroy himself to further his beliefs, to drive a cause he had adopted as his own.

It was there, soaked in coolant, the space-furnace a wreck around my pale body, my breath heavy in my lungs, my blood slick against my skin.

It was there, that I acknowledged my failure.

Relena Peacecraft.
Former Queen of the world.
Former vice-foreign-minister.
Sorceress,
Class 1.
Pure breed.


+

A faint clatter, like something metallic falling, echoed in the air. The sound was hollow, tinny, proving it to have originated further away, bouncing off the walls to meet his ears, leaving only the memory of the event. Another groan pierced the air, this one of labored metal. It too ricocheted off of the walls before falling into stillness.

Heero moaned lightly, his heart racing and his head pounding. He could hardly move, his limbs seemingly paralyzed against the smooth warm sheets. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, he noted that something was missing, although the identity of the loss was hidden away beneath a headache and the feeling of an unfamiliar room. His eyes opened slowly, pools of ice blue searching the room, attempting to identify the unfamiliar surroundings, before falling closed.

The headache worsened, spiking for a moment before returning to an ever-present ache at the front of his head. It hurt to breath, every dry gasp rattling his lungs, and pressing painfully against his ribs. He forced his eyes open again, allowing them to roam over the darkened walls of the room. Small lights imbedded into the wall emitted a faint glow, and he could vaguely make out a dresser opposite to him, and a small arm chair to his left. To his right, in the black of the shadows there appeared to be a door, or hallway. The dim light did not allow him to identify which.

Painfully he pulled himself up, gripping the sheets to his naked body. His skin protesting the movement. He winced as he felt a wound open, the slickness against his skin telling of the warm blood trickling down his body.

"Lights." He rasped, watching as the room came into better resolution.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Yuy."

"Date."

"April fourth, A.C. 195."

He let his feet fall to the carpeted floor. His body ached, and he leaned down, taking a deep breath, ignoring the nausea that the action caused within his body, and the pain it allowed to whisper down his back, as the skin audibly gave, tearing open at his shoulder blades. He did not allow his body to acknowledge the pain, opting instead to stand, the covers falling to the floor at his feet, as he surveyed the room.

He was aware of what had happened in his last moments of consciousness, and he highly doubted himself dead. His eyes surveyed the Spartan and somber furnishings of the room, and the dark colors of the walls.

"computer."

"Mr. Yuy."

"Location."

"I'm sorry but you do not have access to that information."

The nausea in his stomach increased, and he could identify it as a mixture of hunger and nervousness, he ignored it. The last thing he needed now was to act irrationally; idiocy had already caused him to become a prisoner. He harbored no doubt of his imprisonment upon Deathscythe Hell, or another ship under the pirate's power. Any Oz ship would have allowed him access, after all, he was their highest placed sorcerer, his clearance stopping short of only the most guarded black ops files.

Slowly he picked the sheet off of the floor, scowling at it, and calculating the hindrance it would provide in face of a confrontation, but acceptant of the modesty it offered, the nonexistent protection that his mind craved. Standing, he began to walk towards a small hallway, which the light revealed. He pushed lightly against the first door to his left, which opened with a slight hiss, revealing a bathroom. He stepped gingerly into it, looking for a likely weapon, his frown stretching, as he could find nothing, everything in the room had been soft, everything in the bathroom was attached to the walls, and smoothed out. He shook his head, before looking into the mirror and stopping. It had been there.

He felt it. It had been there at the edge of his memory, just shy of remembrance, and realization. But he knew, on some primitive level he had realized, and was looking for a physical weapon. He swallowed heavily. His breath coming in short gasps.

"Protocol... 456beta-2alfa 9... self destruct." His body quivered, as the headache increased tenfold, and the air around his shivered. Slowly his skin began to glow, split, before the air shimmered green, and the energy was forced back into him. Subsequently the glow dissipated, leaving him panting and sweaty, collapsed on the floor. He pulled his legs underneath him him, as his skin screamed in protest, wounds opening further.

Gingerly he stood, clutching at the sink for support, as he leaned against it, staring into the mirror, looking at his ragged appearance.

He looked like shit.

He felt like shit.

And he was utterly useless. He could not even kill himself properly. The power, which had always been present within his mind, in his blood, was no longer under his control.

Slowly he walked from the bathroom, his body swaying under the effort of walking. He knew what was causing his headache, the I-field within the room sticking to the air, sticking to his skin. It was making it hard to breath.

He pushed on the last door in the hall. Collapsing against it.

"Access denied."

He exhaled loudly. Pulling himself up, and walking into the bathroom.

He would not let them win.

He would NOT fall into the enemy's hands.

With an enraged snarl, his hand's seized the sink, before pulling it from the wall. He stared at the pipes that his anger exposed. His fingers clenched around them, as he ripped the steel apart, the metal groaning in protest. The pipe came apart in his hands, the metal thin and sharp, where it had stretched before it had ripped.

Looking at it carefully, he plunged it into his wrist, slicing up towards his elbow, watching the blood pool on his skin, and trickle to the floor, more clumsily he repeated the move on his left arm. The pipe fell to the floor, and he became aware of the green field surrounding him once more. The I-field detecting a raise in power. Slowly he focused, searching for the euphoria.

"Protocol 345beta, training protocol 1, radius 10 cm, levitate, object: non, run protocol." They would not be able to throw the energy back into a dead body. The heat around him scorched his skin; he felt the floor beneath his hands melt, the metal of the walls glowing an angry red.

And then cool arms wrapped around his scorching body, and held on, pulling his against a cold chest.

A scream filled the air, as the smell of burning flesh filled his senses.

"idiot." A hoarse voice whispered in his ears, even as the energy began to fail, his body systematically healing itself. He tried to pull away, managing to throw the other backwards into a melted wall, watching in satisfaction as Shinigami's right arm was ripped open by sharp metal. The other man cried out in surprise and pain, before throwing himself forward, pulling his arm off of the sharp spike. Heero stood shakily to his feet.

"You are dead."

He launched himself forward, pushing Maxwell back into the wall, satisfied by the scream of pain he wrenched from the other's throat, as the metal spike pierced through his back. Blood ran black down the wall. The only light illuminating the wreck of the room was the I- field that sparked against the walls and the blood like electricity.

"Bastard." Shinigami snarled, blood pouring sluggishly from his mouth. "Protocol, delta 5 trap 78 radius, 2 meters."

Heero stared back as the man spoke, watching Maxwell pull himself from the wall, collapsing on one knee. He bled black within the dark of the room.

The field was near immediate, and Heero was thrown to the opposite wall, falling into the tub, his head hitting the ceramic tile, cracking it. He was swiftly pulled up and pulled against it. The green field burning furiously around him.

"Hirde... get the healer... and 'Fei... the bastard just about killed me." The sound of the other's breaths filled the air, wet and shallow. He had collapsed a lung. Maxwell slumped, his hands falling to the cold ground. The green field around Heero faded, loosing its intensity, but not releasing him.

"Shit... Hurry. Get Wufei before I blow this ship to bits... I can't hold him up and die at the same time... "

The lights in the room glowed brightly once more, and Heero closed his eyes, opening them in time to see the source of the light. A woman stood in front of the fallen man, her body and power reacting with the green causing a physical representation of an aura that was strictly spiritual.

The light fell quickly.

A scream filled the air.

The bonds around him collapsed.

He watched as Duo fell to the ground, his eyes wide and unseeing.

Heero fell into the tub, his body screaming in pain.

The wounds on his wrists opening again.

He attempted to focus his energies again. His breath thunderous in his ears, and his blood pounding in his veins.

A hand grasped his wrist, and he stared up at a woman, her short air picked up by the electric field, her body pushing the field back. He felt as if his head was about to explode, the air was impossible to breath, and he became aware of something wet running from his ears, down his neck, dripping red against the tub.

There were voices in his head, and screams within his nerves. Protocols lay forgotten within his memories, and he could access nothing within his memory.

He had finally found it. The source of the I-field.

+

Thirty years ago, I had the honor of witnessing the death of a star. Watched it glow red, and collapse in on itself, from billions of miles away. Through mirrors, and screens, and electronic signals, even underneath all that technology, it was unbelievable. I have never been a poet.

I cannot describe the emotions that coursed through my body, the way in which my heart beat. I cannot.

I never thought I would again see something of equal beauty. I was wrong.

Doctor J.
Status: deceased.
Research: unknown.
Pupil: Heero Yuy.


+

He awoke to the uncomfortable feel of something in his mouth. His hand reached blindly, sluggishly to his lips, brushing against something plastic. With a groan he willed himself to open his eyes, and found he could not, he thrashed, realizing that he was laying against nothing. Frantic, his hands pulled slowly and heavily through the space around him, finding nothing but the tube that sat in his throat. He could not remember anything. He did not know how he had found himself in the empty hell. Fingers once more brushed against the tube, this time more insistent, attempting to pull it out. A murmur, another, sounding more an more frantic, as he clawed at whatever was in him mouth, ripping it from his throat, even as he felt a blast of cold hit his skin, and his body fall limply forward. Another shout pierced the air, but he could not figure out what it was saying.

He began to cough, liquid running from his ears and nose, and he became aware of the sweet smell of coolant.

"Heero."

"Open your eyes."

"What the hell is wrong with him?" A woman's voice pierced the air. "He nearly killed us, I told you, we should have thrown him into space."

"Shut up... he can hear you. Heero, hon, wake up."

"I'm getting Wufei."

"Oh for God's sake... just get Hirde, we need her here more then we need Wufei... that and Wufei is rather busy with Duo. Heero... that's a good boy. Open your eyes, son."

Fast footsteps. Somewhere. He could not tell if they were coming or going.

"Open your eyes. Come on."

He tried to reach up, his lungs burning, and his body shivering with cold.

"No, no dear... put down your hand. Open your eyes."

Slowly he became aware of the red behind his eyelids. He opened them, and closed them as quickly, assaulted by light.

"Okay, that is good... now for a little while longer, okay. I need to see your eyes dear."

He opened his eyes, attempting to identify the unfamiliar voice. He gazed back into the blue eyes of a woman, her face framed by golden curls, shining brightly in the light of the examination lamp. A smile curled over her rouged lips. Warm fingers ran across his skin, as she gazed into his eyes.

"There is a good boy. Now don't panic. Hirde needed to play around with the field around your body, that is why you are so confused. Deep breath. Good. Does anything hurt?"

Pain lanced through his chest. He gasped .

"Your chest... " she whispered, staring into his eyes still. "... Hold still, this will feel strange, but just for a minute. Protocol Healer delta 5... "

He felt the edge of his vision grow dark, before his eyes slipped shut.

"... Heero... open your... "There was something off about his surroundings, and he could not identify it. Something felt hot and cold at the same time, tickling at his nerves. It was like static energy, as if the air was impregnated with it.

"Do you think he will wake up?"

"He's a strong boy." A woman's light cool whisper filled the empty air.

"How's the idiot?"

"Bleeding. Sally has been patching him up for days... "

"Fuck."

"I know. It is alright... "

"Serves him right. I realized what the idiot was up to five minutes before he did it. He must really be Shinigami, it was pure luck that Hirde was already strapped down for attack, or we would have lost them both... and then, he ran right out of the infirmary, you realize that? And then the ridiculous fiasco in the room; what idiot walks into something like that? He was still hurt. idiot. IDIOT."

"If it is any consolation, I too, was afraid he would die."

"I was not worried."

"Chang."

"It was more like scared shitless. He is my best friend."

"It's Duo, he has pulled out of worse, I mean, he survived walking in on me changing."

"Yes, I can see how that is much worse."

"A girl needs her privacy."

A sharp intake of breath.

"-fei... it will be alright."

"I know. Ah, Fuck this, I am being comforted by a woman."

"Oh for crying out loud. Chang! Take that back this instant."

"Thank you. Relena."

"You are welcome, you ungrateful chauvinist."When he finally woke up he was not surprised to find himself strapped to a bed. He was cold, and the air around him buzzed with the I- field. The sheer intensity of it was impressive; a slightly green tint to the air was visible, suggesting an enormous amount of energy being expanded in the area.

Slowly he turned to his side, staring at the man beside him. Shinigami. Up close, he was stunning. His eyes were large, their hue something balanced between deep purple, and frozen blue, the eyes of a true wild. His hair hung loose around his shoulders, in long silken waves. But it was not his beauty that caught Heero's eyes, rather it was the scars, still bleeding beneath the bandages, pressure cuts, were the skin had tore off of ligament, away from muscle, in a process that the emergency crews called 'de-gloving'. He was ill, and had lost a considerable amount of blood. Which was not surprising considering what he could remember form snatches of overheard conversations, and the damage he himself had inflicted.

"How are you?" The man asked, his body slumped forward, tiered, if not defeated. The light brought out the circles beneath his eyes. Heero frowned at the man he had failed to kill. Shinigami. The enemy.

"Why am I here? What do you want with me?"

"You're a weapon, and that is what I steal... weapons." A slightly mad laugh tore from his slender throat, and he lowered his head. Long chestnut strands veiling his face.

"Your fucking powerful too, Hirde was barely able to contain both of us in the I-field. You very nearly killed me... although that would have saved me from the talk ojou-san and I had... the second I woke up. Consisted mostly of 'what the hell were you thinking' and 'idiot'." He grinned, making light of the situation, failing miserably, as Heero watched him, impassive.

"Hirde Shlebecker, Semi-wild. Wanted. "

"Yah."

"Wufei Chang, full Wild. Possibly the oldest of his kind. Who else?"

"Relena Peacecraft, former queen of the world, former vice foreign minister, pureblood sorceress, class one. Most powerful woman her age, and a serious mental case. Dorothy Catalona, the only person on this ship that physically tried to drag you into raw space. Then there is the rest of the crew. Mostly L2 and L5, although there is also L3, L4, L1, and sweepers personnel."

"Colonies."

"Yes... colonies... and me."

"And myself."

"You are powerful, the most powerful of the pure magic, or any magic, for that matter. No one's favor is more sought out in the galaxy."

"And you thought you would just add me to your collection?"

Duo looked at him, clear eyes regarding him thoughtfully. "I am not collecting Heero. At first, I too sought you out, except that my methods tend to be more direct. If you joined me, you could have had nearly anything, prestige, women, riches... a clean conscience, and the knowledge that you weren't someone's bullet. Something that will be blamed for the death of all the innocent, when your side loses."

"Oz will not lose."

"... No... perhaps you're right. But in the end, you will not be a soldier to be exalted, you will be nothing more then a bloody dagger that the populace will have no qualm in burying. Not that it matters. Not anymore. We are shipping you to Romafeller next week. I can't handle you in this ship for much longer, nor can Wufei." He stood up slowly, the process appearing painful. His bones cracked, and the smell of fresh blood stirred anew in the air. Carefully he walked to wards the door opposite Heero's bed. "I guess I'm getting too old for this."

And with that, a man who Heero knew to be a year younger then himself, walked slowly from the room.

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