When Fallen Angels
Fly - Seven of nine
Warnings:Duo's potty mouth and lime.
Random inane comments:I've noted that the realizations Wufei comes to
in this chapter would probably change the rest of the series and Endless
Waltz stuffs. (Not that I've got to see the OVA yet. ::pouts:: But
I've read spoilers. ^^) I think had this really happened, he might
have been different. But then, this is why it's AU! And I love AU. ^^
And I love my muse! ::gives her muse a big fat smooch::
Fallen Angels Fly + Part Seven
Duo awoke to warm hands probing
around the area of his wound. One finger pressed in a little too hard,
and he jerked up, shoving it rudely away as he tried to clear his head
Strong hands pushed him back down. "Lie still, Maxwell."
Despite himself, Duo relaxed.
"Your knee is the size of a small melon," the Chinese boy observed, so
"That's nice," Duo replied, grimacing as he covered his eyes with the
back of his arm.
Wufei continued to poke and prod, his hands sliding around Duo's leg just
above and below his knee so as to gently straighten it. Agony shot through
him like wildfire, and he was unable to hold in a hiss of pain. This injury
was going to make walking a lovely venture for quite some time. But, at
the moment, it was worth it to have Wufei's hands against his bare skin.
He doubted he would get this chance again anytime soon.
Shifting slightly, he realized he was holding his breath. He was waiting
for the lecture.
"What were you thinking?"
Here it came.
"I didn't exactly say, 'c'mon guys, shoot at me, and while your at it,
why don't you bash the hell out of my knee'. Some soldier got snoopy and
I couldn't con my way around him."
The Nataku pilot grunted in response.
Letting his arm slide away, Duo eyed Wufei through slits in his fingers,
noting as he did that he had a horrendous headache. There was a deep expression
of concentration on the other pilot's face as he probed the knee, apparently
wanting to make certain it wasn't broken. Duo just wanted him to be a
little more gentle.
"Ouch! Gee, Wu, why don't you see if you can break it the rest of the
"I just might," Wufei murmured, earning another stare.
He closed his eyes again, but not before noticing that he was lying on
the living room floor of the house they shared. Apparently, Wufei had
managed to get them home without him being aware of it.
He also realized something else, as Wufei moved away from him, creating
a slight draft. He wasn't wearing any pants.
Despite his pain, he chuckled. "Hey Wu, looks like you got me out of my
pants after all."
"Shut up, Maxwell!" Wufei hissed, his tone so harsh, that Duo turned his
head to the side so that he could open his eyes again.
"I was just joking..."
Wufei was wound tighter than a watch. Duo could see it in the short, jerky
movements the Chinese pilot was making.
Releasing some of the air that was trapped painfully in his chest, Wufei
settled an ice pack on Duo's knee with more care than he felt like using.
All those emotions were pressing to get out again. It was a mixture of
everything.. Of his fear at the thought of Duo being killed, at his guilt
over having killed those scientists...
"You're hurt," Duo suddenly remarked, pulling himself to a sitting position
with less speed than he normally would have been able to manage.
Wufei regarded him blankly for a moment before realization dawned and
he turned to look dismissively at his arm. "It is just a scratch."
Duo leaned forward. "Still-"
Wufei's hand cut through the air. "Stay where you are."
Puzzled, Duo settled back. "Okay..."
He couldn't hold it in anymore.
"You could have been killed!" He exploded, hands bracing himself on the
ground as he jerked toward the Deathscythe pilot.
Duo shrugged. "Yeah... that's the risk we take."
With a speed that both startled and stunned him, Wufei leaped on him,
somehow managing to keep Duo's wounded legs between his own as he reached
up to grip his shoulders and shove the American boy's face so close to
Warm breath fanned across him, and Duo trembled both from it and being
confronted with the fury etched in Wufei's face. He had never seen the
other boy so angry before.
"No. Do not be so careless with your life," the Chinese boy bit out, his
words striking Duo like physical blows.
And then startling him further, Wufei pulled him into a crushing hug.
Duo was too shocked to react at first. After a few seconds, he slowly,
hesitantly, brought his own arms up to wrap them around Wufei. Warmth
and something else passed between them. Both stilled and tensed with the
knowledge of it, neither wanting to let go of the other just yet.
But Wufei did. And when his eyes locked with Duo's, the other saw a gentleness
there that softened the harsh lines of his face.
Wufei became suddenly aware of his proximity to Duo, and how the other's
bare legs were pressed on the inside of his own. The sharp flash of desire
caught him like a fist to the stomach and left him frantic with the need
to get away before he did something he regretted, before Duo saw.
Duo reached out for him as he was pulling back, curling his hand around
the back of Wufei's neck. He wasn't getting away. Not this time.
Wufei allowed himself to be drawn only so close. He couldn't allow this
to happen. Somehow, he knew that if they touched this way, there would
be no going back. He couldn't chance that yet. He wasn't ready for it.
He shook his head.
Duo's eyes clouded with both confusion and hurt, though he tried to fight
it.. It wasn't just his imagination. He was sure Wufei felt as he did...
"This is just a result... of battle," Wufei forced himself to say stiffly.
"We are just feeling relieved to be alive."
Temper snapped in Duo's eyes instantly. "Oh, really? Let me tell you something.
You may not be comfortable with, or even realize your feelings, but I
know what mine are."
The face that had been flushed with beautiful desire only moments before
closed off and Duo averted his gaze before Wufei saw just how much his
words ate at him.
"Please leave, since I can't get up myself."
Wufei seemed about to say something, but moved back and pushed to his
feet, staring down at Duo.
And he didn't watch him as he walked away, because right now, that hurt
more than this blasted injury.
Wufei rested his arms on the railing, clasping his hands together as he
stared out into the darkness. From here, he could see only the faint outlines
of the trees in the light provided from the moon and the spattering of
stars in the inky black sky. The cool air caught the perspiration covering
his bare skin and was a welcome relief from the stifling heat of the indoors.
His mind was a whirl of thought and confusion, the feelings Duo had stirred
in him awake and hungry, with no signs of quieting anytime soon. He had
never felt this before, not even with Meiran.
Allowing himself a rare sigh, he felt some of the pressure release from
the tension in his chest at the act. It was time to stop running. It was
time to remember. Because if he could not let go of the past, then he
would never be free to give himself to Duo without question. He knew that
was what he wanted. For the first time in as long as he could remember,
Wufei Chang wanted to forget caution and give himself completely to something.
No, to someone.
He had never had that in his marriage to Meiran. Theirs had been a union
between two children, not ready to commit to their complete personalities,
much less each other for all eternity. But it was tradition, the way things
had been done for generations, and so they both accepted it. It had been
a marriage in name only, however, because neither of them had been willing
to share a bed when they could not even share their hearts.
They were very different. Their notions about how life should be lived
and the ideals one should carry brought them frequent conflict. While
Wufei sought refuge from their constant arguments in the comfort of his
personal library, Meiran took her frustrations out in the practice fields.
Her family was a family of warriors, as his was, and though she had been
born a woman in a long line of men, she was no exception.
Their marriage had not lasted long, and it had not been a pleasant coupling.
Neither had made a great deal of effort to try to understand the other,
and most of the words they had exchanged had been terse and hurtful. It
had gotten so that living together was too much of an effort. It was much
easier to live near separate lives rather than having her encroach the
sanctuary of his library to extend an invitation to practice with her
when she well knew he had no desire to have her criticize his form and
offer him tips. Wufei had only made the mistake of accepting that offer
When she had died a death fitting of a warrior like her, he had only felt
enormous guilt. They had never loved one another, not in the true sense
of the word, but he had not hated her. He felt too, that he had failed
her as a husband and as a man. He had not been there for her when she
needed it. He had clung to his ideals of pacifism and she had died for
her ideals of fighting
"Forgive me, Nataku... I cannot bring you the justice you deserve, and
for that, I am weak. Every time I kill, the ache grows more and I feel
emptier. It can't bring you back. It can't bring you justice. I am not
the warrior you were. I never can be, no matter how I pretend. And I no
longer have a purpose for fighting... or the right to be a pilot. No one
who is weak and confused has a right."
"That's not weakness."
Tension snapping through him like a whip, Wufei spun around and crouched
into a defensive position. A lean, lithe form unfolded itself from the
shadows and emerged slowly, arms crossed over a narrow chest. Duo Maxwell
was not smiling, and as he limped over to stand next to Wufei, the other
could feel the anger radiating from him in great, engulfing waves. But
somehow, Wufei knew that this had more to do with his words now than his
Easing some of the tension from his coiled muscles, he straightened and
replied quietly, "I do not know what you mean."
"Bullshit." Duo bit out. "You're intelligent, so why haven't you figured
it out yet? Strength is admitting to weakness. We're all weak,
Wufei. We all have bodies capable of failing us, and moments where we
feel we can't fight and we wonder why we're even alive. Can't you see
that our personal reasons for fighting aren't worth shit? We fight for
the colonies, so the colonies don't have to fight. We fight so Relena
can preach peace. That's what we do. That's why we're alive. So you have
your purpose, not this ridiculous justice."
Wufei stiffened. But he listened without comment, because he was incapable
of forming one. He had never heard Duo sound this terse, nor was it often
that the other pilot said his full name. Shinigami usually only came out
"Don't get all mad about it. Life is shit, Wufei. It's confusing, and
you aren't ever going to figure it all out. Not even a super brain like
you. I'm not the smartest guy around, but I've learned something. Death
is inevitable. It's going to happen no matter what. So you have to cling
to life, and you have to form connections and love. Caring doesn't make
us weaker, it makes us stronger. It gives us purpose. I love the colonies,
so I fight for them."
At his silence, Duo continued. "The enemies aren't always the same faces,
but I know they're the ones that want to take away the right for freedom.
The colonies deserve that as much as Earth does. So yeah, maybe it's really
simple among all the complexity. I don't really fucking know. All I know
is that I'll continue fighting. I'll continue fighting until this war
has ended. We do what we can on our battle field, Wufei, and Relena does
what she can on hers. And somehow, they'll all come together one day."
Duo laughed suddenly, harshly. "See? I'm not even making sense now. So
don't think you're the only one who's fucked up."
"You're making sense," came the quiet reply. "It's simple if we make it
The night wound its spell around them, trying to offer comfort in the
cool serenity of the dark. But comfort was something both of them were
beyond at this moment. There was still much that needed to be worked out
Rubbing at the back of his neck, Duo regarded Wufei's profile in silence,
never having felt so old as he did now. They had both dropped their masks
completely. The God of Death and the Solitary Dragon. They had revealed
themselves to be nothing more than what they were, two confused boys whose
maturity made them soldiers and whose confusion made them human. The strain
of the responsibility put on them had made them weary, and their loneliness
in the midst of battle had made them hungry for affection. And they were
both learning that answers only led to more questions, that only together
could they find the strength they needed to continue.
But it was more than that.
Duo cared for Wufei because of everything that Wufei was, not what he
represented, or what he tried to be. Behind the mask, Wufei was kind,
generous, and cared deeply. He was stronger than he gave himself credit
for, smart in ways Duo never could be, and far too honorable for his own
good. He also made him feel things he had never felt before. Intense desire,
that left his knees weak, and his skin humming and burning for just the
light touch of the Chinese pilot's fingers. What Duo saw in Wufei, was
a different kind of completion from the one he shared with Deathscythe.
And he was not about to give that up.
Not to the war, and not to the ghosts of Wufei's past.
Unused to such seriousness from Duo, Wufei wasn't able to form a suitable
reply just yet. Duo's words to him reverberated around inside mind, clashing
and twisting and forming new ideas.
Meiranís death had hit him hard, wounded him deeply, not because he had
loved her deeply, but because he had been unable to prevent it, and because
someone as strong as her had died, while someone as weak as he had lived.
If that were possible, then what did it say for the rest of them? Where
was the justice in letting someone as strong as she, someone who could
have made a difference die? Meiran had her ideals, and she had accepted
that fighting for them could bring her death. And so Wufei had adopted
those ideals for her, because he wanted to honor her, and to bring the
justice she had never been given the chance to achieve.
Meiran had called him weak because he had refused to use his skills for
fighting. She had told him often that inside him was the potential for
the warrior, he was just too weak to allow him out. She has asked him
how his books could protect him when OZ came to attack his colony? How
could adopting peace, and then sitting back and doing nothing save them?
Perhaps, in some ways she had been right. But at the time, Wufei had been
too blinded to see what was really behind her words. He had been young,
and hurt, and her words threw him off balance. His wife was stronger than
he was. That was all he had been able to think. That, and he was weak
for allowing her to fight while he remained behind.
Now, he could see that in her own way, Meiran had been scared. She had
not understood Wufei any more than he did her, and that had lent itself
to having her lash out at him, to deal with it the only way she knew how.
They had both made their choices, and he could have no more stopped her
than she him. For the first time then, it occurred to him that it might
have been she who was wrong in her notions of strength, weakness,
and justice. What Duo said, made sense, because in his heart, where it
mattered, Wufei felt it.
Strength was not physical strength, it was not the complete removal of
fear. It was fighting for what you believed in, even when you were
afraid. Strength was acknowledging your weaknesses, and compensating for
them in any way that you could. It was admitting that you needed someone,
that you could not do it all alone, and then accepting that, no matter
how confused it made you. Everyone was strong in their own way. Heero's
solid strength, Quatre's gentle strength, Trowa's silent strength, and
Duo's boisterous strength.