+ Title: The Eye of Horus - Part 8
(Full Title: Heero Yuy and the Eye of Horus)
+ Author: Vinyl Koneko (Emily)
+ See Prologue for warnings, pairings...

The Eye of Horus + Part 9

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Beijing, China
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Trowa raised a questioning eyebrow when Heero and Duo entered Wufei's study, trying to look purposeful but seeming distracted. Just by Heero's body language could Trowa tell that things went well. A weight seemed to have been lifted from his friend's shoulders. Mei-Lan bombarded in after them, leaping into the chair behind her father's desk while the other four young men sat more comfortably on the sofa and chairs surrounding a low table stacked high with books on Egyptian lore and history.

"I gave Quatre the summary. If you would like any more information, I've dog-eared the books and can answer some questions as far as my knowledge goes," Wufei started, passing the documents around the table to spread the load more evenly.

Trowa noticed the longhaired man going for the mythology book, thumbing directly to the marked page and searching for something that he might not have found out previously.

"Duo, could we look at the scarab?" Wufei asked.

The other shrugged in response. "I'm sure we could, but I don't know how that might help. I tried everything I could think of, including making a mock-ankh with a lock pick, but there's no apparent hole and it isn't magnetized, so I'm clueless as to how the ankh would go about fitting with the scarab to begin with, but I guess there's no harm in you looking." Duo unfastened the buckle at the back of his neck and carefully handled the scarab over to Wufei, who slipped on a pair of glasses to get a better look.

It seemed to Trowa that he was the only one to have noticed that Duo's response seemed a little lengthy.

"Duo," Mei-Lan said in singsong, "could you tell another story?"

Wufei leveled his gaze with his daughter's. "Where's your mother? You should be in bed."

The small Chinese girl rushed over to stand before her father, resting her hands on his knees, pouting her lower lip, and gazing up at him with large, watery eyes. "Bai tong nei er!"[1]

Trowa caught Duo's widening smile out of the corner of his eye. "Aw, come on, Wufei, I know a nice little one and then she can go to bed."

Wufei leaned back farther into the chair. "Just make it quick. She has to get to bed."

"Will do," Duo said with a wink. "This particular myth is Roman. Everyone knows that Diana, Apollo's twin sister and goddess of the hunt, is also the goddess of night. How this came about is actually a sad story.

"You see, when Apollo and Diana were younger, Apollo obeyed their father, Jupiter, but Diana tended to be more of a free spirit. She all-out refused to brush her teeth, wash daily, finish her dinner, and the like, thinking that Jupiter would never punish her because he loved his children too much, but Diana's disobedience didn't just irritate Jupiter; it irritated Juno as well. Even though Juno was Jupiter's wife, she wasn't the mother of Apollo and Diana, so she didn't particularly care what would happen to the children.

"One night Diana refused to go to bed at the proper time, and Juno was fed up with the girl not behaving, so Juno cursed Diana to forever be the goddess of night, being awake during the darkest hours when everyone else was asleep, bringing forth a destiny of eternal dark and loneliness.

"And that is why, even in Italy today, all little girls and boys go to bed on time, for fear that they will live their whole lives wandering the country at night, just like Diana."

Mei-Lan blinked twice, absorbing all of what Duo told her. She thanked him for telling the myth, kissed Wufei on the cheek, and said a hurried good night to everyone in the room, hurrying to her own for the night.

"Maxwell, I just might want to keep you around for a little while longer," the Chinese man said with a smirk. "Do you know any stories that will get her to eat her vegetables?"

Duo shrugged. "I don't know. I made that one up."

"I found it," Heero announced suddenly. His attention hadn't focused away from the records since he received them. It was a translated list of special trade orders from the higher-ups in Egypt's past. "In the forty-second year of Ramses II's rule, high priest Khunbitet commissioned an item of jade and gold from Tuscany."

"Does it say what happened to the ankh?" Duo's expressive violet eyes were showing just how piqued his curiosity had become.

"There's a comment that says 'the Shadow of Ra looms over Life', but that's all."

Duo's brow furrowed. "The Shadow of Ra?" He quickly thumbed through the mythology text. "The Shadow of Ra is a high peak in the rockier part of the desert several miles outside of what would now be Cairo. The ancient Egyptians would have used it as a source for their stone if it wasn't for the fact that the mountain seemed to be a pyramid for Ra himself."

"Sounds like a good place to start," Trowa commented, wondering on the odds of Quatre meeting them in Cairo. The Maganac Corp was based in that city, after all, and to Trowa's lover, they were loyal friends and protectors. A sudden yawn forced Trowa to realize how tired he really was, and how tired they all should be after the long day.

"I'm sorry for not realizing this sooner, but there are only two extra beds." Sally was standing in the doorway with an apologetic expression. "Two of you might have to share a bed unless it's a problem; then someone could use the sofa."

"Don't worry about it," Heero started, only to be interrupted by Duo.

"Yeah, Sally, it's not a problem. I'm just grateful you were brave enough to feed me," he joked. "I tend to have quite the appetite." Duo looked around at Heero and Trowa. "I'm sure we can work *something* out."

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[1] "Please" in Cantonese...hey, that rhymes. ^_^

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