+ Title: The Eye of Horus - Part 17
(Full Title: Heero Yuy and the Eye of Horus)
+ Author: Vinyl Koneko (Emily)
+ See Prologue for warnings, pairings...

The Eye of Horus + Part 17

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Cairo, Egypt
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"You want the scepter?" boomed the god, looking back and forth between the two sides.

"Why else would we be in this hellish country?" Treize replied, and Heero noticed Ra's head feathers ruffle slightly. Egypt was his domain, after all, and the general had just insulted it.

Ra's eyes narrowed fiercely. "You have no right to discredit what is not your own!" A roar of thunder and lightning cracked outside, sounding louder as it echoed through the cavern, acoustically enhanced.

"Good job, General, piss off the god and see how far that gets you!"

"Mein schönes Haustier[1]," a sinister smile grew on Treize's face, "didn't I tell you I was going to kill you?" General Khushrenada pulled his gun back up to aim it at Duo, but Heero was faster. With the flick of his wrist, the bullwhip was in his hand and the tip snapped in Treize's direction. It hit the older man's wrist, causing him to drop the gun in pain. It went spinning away from the general.

"Go for it and I will kill you," Heero threatened darkly. He caught Zechs move out of the corner of his eye and disarmed the blond man in the same way.

"Doctor Yuy, I don't think you understand," Treize motioned to the other corridors that spiraled up and away from the main room. "We have you largely outnumbered, so any motion on your behalf, and I assure you, someone will kill you. I doubt you can dodge that many bullets." OZ soldiers began stepping out to be seen in the arches, guns trained on Heero, Duo, and Trowa below. "We will walk away with the Eye. You, on the other hand, will be fortunate if you live that long."

Ra looked about, unperturbed by all the soldiers surrounding him. He looked between Treize and Heero. "You both want to claim the Eye of Horus?"

Treize nodded, "Please, mighty Ra, those people will only use the scepter for their own evil ways. It will be safer with myself, making sure no one will ever use it for their own devices."

The sun god let out a bark of a laugh. "You insult the nation of Egypt and now you expect me to believe your reverence? Do you think I'm an incompetent idiot?"

"Apparently so," Zechs commented, getting a lethal glare from the OZ general.

Ra looked towards Heero. "I suppose your story is the same?"

"The Eye should be locked away from the greed of mankind."

"Only one way to settle this, then," Ra scratched his beak thoughtfully. "A test seems to be the only solution."

"What sort of test?" Worry was evident all over Duo's features.

"A challenge, a duel, whatever you prefer to call it. Not a physical one, of course, because the stronger man in form isn't always the better man in being." The god turned his head, focusing on each of the two groups. "Any volunteers?"

Heero stepped forward. "I'll go."

"As will I," Treize followed suit. "Zechs, your duties are no longer needed. You may leave. You'll get your pay as soon as I get the Eye." Before Doctor Marquise could protest, OZ soldiers had a grip on his arms and were leading the blond man away from the room to the outside.

Heero turned to his friend and his lover. "The two of you should leave, as well. I don't want you to get hurt if anything should happen to me."

"Heero!" Duo clung to him frantically. "I know you need to do this, but be careful, okay?" The fear hidden deep in the longhaired man's eyes struck Heero. He had never actually seen how much he meant to Duo. "I love you, okay? So don't do anything brash or else..."

"Or else what?"

Duo forced himself to smile. "I...I haven't come up with that part yet, but believe me, Yuy, it's won't be pre-"

Heero forced the other man silent, pressing his mouth against Duo's in a silent vow. When they pulled apart, Heero could see that Duo's eyes were glistening his unshed tears. He kissed each of the indigo orbs. "I'll be fine. Now go."

The American nodded slowly, kissing Heero's knuckles before allowing Trowa to bring him back outside.

"Well," Treize smirked, "I knew the two of you were close, but just how close I wasn't fully aware."

"If for nothing else," Heero snapped, "I'll kill you for what you did to him."

"We'll do this one at a time," Ra said, bringing his arms up over his head. The ceiling opened up overhead, revealing a swirling thunderhead that expanded to fill the space until it surrounded the trio, lightening dancing in the shadows. The god began to chant in Egyptian, Heero not understanding what he was saying but preparing himself for anything. The cloud soon enveloped everything, leaving Heero so he couldn't see Ra or General Khushrenada, just the space within three feet of him. A figure soon emerged from the storm.

"Duo, I told you to go outside with Trowa!"

The longhaired man's expression looked melancholy. "Would you ever lie to me, Heero?"

"No, what would I have to gain from it?"

Duo shrugged. "You lied to me before, though. You told me you'd return." Lightning flashed, jumping across the space and passing his shoulder.

"Those were circumstances beyond my control."

"Would you change it if you could?"

"Yes!"

Duo placed his forefinger to his lower lip thoughtfully. "You know the Eye of Horus gives you the power to change that, right? Would you change what happened knowing now that you can?"

Heero shook his head. "What's done is done. You wouldn't learn anything if you could just erase your mistakes."

"But with the Eye," Duo continued, "you could do far more than erase your mistakes. Your imagination is the limit. You could control, kill, and take over. With the scepter alone you could destroy General Khushrenada and Doctor Marquise. You could make OZ yours; you could make me yours. You could live eternally."

"I'm perfectly happy without any of those things. Duo..." Heero stepped closer to the other man. "I couldn't own you. You need your freedom. I shouldn't have to supernaturally force you to be with me. You should want to of your own free will."

"Are you telling the truth?"

"Of course!"

Blue-violet eyes narrowed skeptically. "Why wouldn't you want to control the entire world?"

"Because I'm not a power-hungry megalomaniac like Treize! Duo, what's going on? You know me better than this..."

"I'm just making certain whether or not I feel you should bother trying for the scepter." Duo shrugged. "It is the fate of the world, after all. Wouldn't want it placed in the wrong hands."

Heero's eyes narrowed. He couldn't figure out why Duo was so concerned about this. If the Eye of Horus were to be recovered, Heero would have it locked up just like the Ark. He thought it was just a myth at first, but that had all changed with his face-to-face encounter with Ra himself, and earlier with Duo's accounts of the enchanted scarab. "May I go on with my test now?"

Duo smiled, nodding slowly. "Only if you feel you have already won." Without another word, the longhaired American disappeared back into the storm, leaving Heero to stand by himself. The clouds seemed to be getting thinner, evaporating into the air with the last stray bursts of lightning. He was able to see the rest of the room again. The ceiling had closed up, and Ra was gone. The OZ soldiers were looking around in confusion, and Treize just stood where he last had been, looking around in anticipation as to what was going to happen next.

All around them the walls began to fall. Heero swore under his breath. The cavern was crumbling and he'd be trapped if he didn't find a way out quickly. The soldiers began to panic, some running back the way they came while others were disoriented and ran through the archway over the pedestal, falling to their deaths.

Heero forced himself to run, ignoring the pain flaring through his side as he dodged boulders and shards of gold. He could only hope that the others had left the ropes down and were waiting for him. A large crack was opening up in the ground seven yards ahead, causing Heero to curse once again. He grabbed the whip at his side, looking for a steady hold to snap it against, but nothing was there. He looked around as he ran, hoping a hold would reveal itself before it was too late. About eight feet up, a larger boulder was starting to come out of the wall, and Heero got an idea. He picked up his pace before it fell, snapping the whip at the boulder. He felt it wrap around and hold seconds before he jumped, swinging across the crevice. He released the whip, quickly wrapping it as the boulder fell down into the expanding crack. Heero could see sunlight streaming in ahead. He was almost there.

"Doctor Yuy!" At the panicked call, Heero turned around to see Treize Khushrenada standing on the other side of the gorge. "You're not going to leave me to die here, are you?"

Heero's eyes turned cold, voice just as cruel. "I told you that if for nothing else, I'd have you die for what you did to Duo. Killing you indirectly seems just enough for me." He kept on running, blocking out the primal scream of agony and terror that echoed after him.

He rounded another corner, seeing the exit, but where was the line? "Damn it!" Heero shouted, cupping his hands around his mouth. "Now's is not a good time for games!" He saw a silhouette tossing the rope down, and he grabbed it the second it was within reach. Heero pulled himself up the rope as quickly as possible. Smaller stones from the mouth of the entrance were beginning to crumble off, some getting larger as they tried to knock Heero back into the cavern to die with it.

Three feet away from the surface, a rock jarred loose, striking Heero's left hand as he reached up with his right. From the pain, his hand reflexively let go of the rope, and Heero felt himself beginning to fall back to the bottom of the cave. His body jolted. Something was keeping him from falling. Looking up, Heero saw Duo smiling down at him, hand gripped tightly around the archaeologist's forearm. Heero grasped Duo's arm similarly and allowed himself to be pulled up.

As soon as his feet touched the ground, they hurried up and ran to the land bridge, across to the other side of the canyon. The ground shook, and from the other side, Heero and Duo watched the half of the canyon with the cavern collapse into dust, billowing and settling in the breezeless air. The land bridge still stuck out, reaching into midair.

Heero felt his love pull him into an enthusiastic hug. "Heero, you're all right! What happened?"

He understood all of a sudden. That wasn't really Duo he had been talking to in the storm. That was his test, and based on Treize's fate, he had passed and the general hadn't. "We won." Heero grabbed Duo's hands in his own. "It's all over, and Treize is dead." He saw Trowa and Quatre approaching, and the Maganacs were all watching, waiting for a sign of what had happened. Heero smiled. "The Eye of Horus is no longer anything we should worry about. It has been destroyed, and we can go home."

"But what happened?" Quatre asked. He hadn't gone down in the cave. Only those that had been there saw Ra, and only Heero and Treize fully understood the god's power and wisdom. Ra had wanted honest answers about what the victor would do with the Eye, so he manifested a form of the person closest to the the test taker. Heero had thought he was talking to Duo, and Ra preferred the scepter to be kept away from mankind for all of eternity to whatever General Khushrenada had confessed he'd use it for.

"I'll tell you later," Heero replied, squeezing Duo's hand. "Right now, though, let's get out of here."

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[1]"My beautiful pet" according to FreeTranslation.com, not me. ^_^

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[part 16] [epilogue] [back to the Singles page]