+ Title: The Eye of Horus - Part 12
(Full Title: Heero Yuy and the Eye of Horus)
+ Author: Vinyl Koneko (Emily)
+ See Prologue for warnings, pairings...

The Eye of Horus + Part 12

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Cairo, Egypt
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Duo was too shocked to try and fight the OZ soldiers. The sound of the gun echoed through his ears, accompanied by the image of Heero falling to the ground. It just wouldn't stop. He barely even registered when he got put in the OZ jeep and brought away from the Shadow of Ra.

'Is Heero dead? I couldn't tell where he got shot... Where the hell did Abdul go? Shit, Heero...' The farthest thing from Duo's mind was the fact that Marquise had the ankh and would more likely than not going to take the scarab away from him, as well. The longhaired American looked up and glared when Zechs Marquise narrowed his gaze in the other man's direction.

"You must be Duo Maxwell."

Duo clenched his fists so tightly he could feel his nails digging into his skin, creating red lines on the surface.

"We have found your journal. We know you have the scarab." Zechs frowned at Duo's lack of response. "We also know that you and Yuy have had a history of some kind. He may still be alive. I can have it ordered that he won't be."

The last threat made Duo snap. "Fucking prick, you're an archaeologist, not some OZ piece of shit! Why the hell do you side with that scum, anyway?"

Marquise smirked slightly, "Calm down, Mister Maxwell, you don't need to lose your temper. It's not like it's the end of the world. To answer your question, in this field, it pays to know who holds the key to power."

"You wouldn't be in the field if you were just after money."

"On the contrary, both of us know that while money isn't the issue, the rewards are always great. Money and fame are what get you anywhere in life, though. Don't know how you managed to get this far, being a war orphan [1] and all..."

Duo's expression hardened, eyes becoming dull. "Fuck you."

Zechs sneered in reply before turning around to face forward again. Duo sat, quietly fuming as the vehicle entered the outskirts of Cairo. Flames from candles flickered in the windows of distant dwellings. A lot of the people could barely afford to live, forget electricity.

They stopped at a centralized building. It looked cleaner and more kept up than the rest of the city. OZ soldiers were standing at the entrance, standing ramrod straight and at attention, saluting sharply when Zechs stepped out of the jeep. Duo couldn't help but snort at the pretentious display.

Marquise waved a gloved hand in Duo's direction. "This man is under our supervision. I'm bringing him to see General Khushrenada."

The taller of the two guards nodded quickly, lowering his hand, and removing a key from a hidden pocket to unlock the door. The other guards from the jeep fell in behind Zechs, who grabbed Duo's arm and pulled him towards the door.

'No way in hell am I going to meet Khushrenada without a fight.' Duo kicked and spun out of the blond man's grasp, tucking and standing back up with his gun in his hands in one swift motion. He aimed at the soldiers, not caring if the shots were going to be fatal or not, and fired. He got in six quick shots, seeing two fall dead and three more grasp their injuries in surprise, but he couldn't see the last soldier until it was too late. Duo felt something heavy connect with his head. Clouds blurred his vision, and he fell to the ground unconscious.

*~**~*

Duo's first thought upon reawakening was that maybe the night's ordeal had all been a dream. He could feel sunlight streaming across the room, heating the air, and judging from the feel of the surface he was on, it was a fairly comfortable mattress. Indigo eyes shot open. The room was anything but familiar, causing Duo to sit up, but he just as quickly lied back down, rubbing his head which was throbbing from the sudden movement. He felt a bump on his head which was tender to the touch and from the way his hair around the wound felt crusty, had bled for a bit. The sound of a door opening jarred his attention from the injury on his head to whoever was intruding.

The man that entered held himself with a regal confidence. Even though he was wearing simple khakis and a navy, button up shirt, Duo could still tell who it was. The man was seen as a tyrant and menace throughout the American newsreels, and while he rarely allowed himself to be seen by the papers, General Treize Khushrenada's face was well-known throughout the world.

"Mr. Maxwell, it is rather unfortunate that we had to have met like this." Duo had to fight the urge to back away from the other man's gaze. It seemed...predatory. "I would have preferred our introduction to be on more pleasant terms."

"I can't imagine any circumstance that would have me on your side," Duo replied smoothly, sitting up carefully and hoping the wave of nausea wouldn't return. He didn't trust Treize as far as he could throw him, so he didn't want to be an invalid during whatever the general was there for.

Treize narrowed his eyes as Duo got out of the bed, trying to position himself towards a door, window, or anything that meant escape. The older man took a step forward. "I read your journal. I couldn't imagine what a young man as intelligent and attractive as yourself would be doing with Heero Yuy."

Duo noticed how General Khushrenada had seemed to be purring until he said Heero's name, which he spat out. It brought a slight grin for his face, hope surging up with the knowledge that Heero couldn't be dead. Not when Treize was still around for him to harass.

"What do you want with me?" Duo snapped, trying to put as much anger in his voice as possible. He didn't want to risk the chance of sounding afraid to the other man, even if it was Heero's well being he feared more than his own.

"Well, I did just want this," Treize's hand motioned to an object around his neck. It took Duo a moment to figure out exactly what it was, but when he did, his hands moved to his collarbone in disbelief. The comfortable weight around his neck was no longer there. OZ had the scarab and the ankh. "You see," Treize stalked forward, "I had just wanted this little scarab, at first, but then I realized..." Duo's eyes widened as General Khushrenada traced the back of his knuckles along the American's jaw line, stopping to grasp his chin. "I realized I wanted you." The other grinned devilishly. "Then, I'll have taken three things from Yuy that he treasured."

Duo didn't realize he had been backing up until he hit the wall and found that he could go no farther. He looked at the door longingly, wondering if it would be better to kick Khushrenada in the jewels and run for it or just play through and hope for the best.

"General?" a voice rang up, and from the way it echoed, it sounded like the room was at the top of a staircase, but how far from the ground they were, Duo wasn't positive. "The ankh has been fully recovered. Doctor Marquise would like you to see it."

Treize sighed deeply. "And yet I have duties to attend to." The older man bend forward, brushing his lips over Duo, causing the American to freeze, holding his breath. "I'll be back later." With a sly smile he left the room, closing and locking the door behind him.

Duo collapsed to the ground, wrapping his arms around his knees and trying to fight back the emotions spewing forth. It left him trembling on the floor, wanting a catharsis but too stubborn to let himself cry.

*~**~*

A/N: Stacy drew me a picture! Go to http://www.shdlm.net/images/horus.html if you want to see it!

[1] This takes place in 1939, so the last war would've been WWI. Duo's in his early 20s, making him born towards the end of the war. Children whose parents died because of or shortly after the war would still be considered war orphans.

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[part 11] [part 13] [back to the Singles page]