+ Author: Vinyl Koneko
+ Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters.
+ see part 1 for warnings, notes
+ Part 2
Duo had problems sleeping that
night, having spent his entire life on dry land. The tossing of the boat
on the waves made him feel a little ill, although he wasn't going to admit
it to anyone on the ship. Duo just hoped he didn't look as green around
the gills as he felt.
The following morning had him in what passed as the crew's dining room,
drinking what he hoped was tea but didn't dare ask. Duo found himself
momentarily joined by several crewmembers he didn't recognize, and from
the looks of them didn't want to, so he took his tea to go stand on deck.
Thoughts of what passed between him and the captain still lingered on
his memory, and Duo would have been lying if he said he hadn't enjoyed
it, but something about it disturbed him nonetheless. The longhaired man
had never thought of himself as someone who could willingly belong to
someone else, but when Heero said that he would make Duo his... 'Just
a little too much excitement for one day, that's all,' he tried to reason,
but deep down inside he could tell that there was something else. He just
couldn't put his finger on it.
Duo pretended he didn't notice that when he left the mess hall a group
of five pirates followed him outside. They were maybe a decade or so older,
but in good shape. It seemed that Captain Yuy liked having a fit crew.
'But strength is useless without the right skills.' He smirked into his
cup, tipping it back for another sip. In the reflection in the murky liquid
he could see the man closest to him had a rapier drawn, the four behind
him flanking two on each side. Duo took in his immediate surroundings
before placing his cup down on the railing, turning to face the men.
"Can I help you?" he asked, trying to sound as irritated as possible,
realizing the situation would be easier if he had been given weapons,
as well as the change of clothing.
"Now that yeh menshun it," the man wielding the blade replied, "it gets
awf'lly lonely at sea, and afta a while all yeh look for is a hot little
mouth ta use."
Duo grinned wickedly. "You'll be lucky to have full use of your hand in
It seemed to take the older man a minute to figure out the meaning of
what Duo had said, and when he did figure it out was when he made his
first move, stabbing the rapier towards Duo's throat. Duo - having anticipated
this move - dodged to the side, grabbing the man's arm and snapping it
unnaturally back at the elbow, causing him to drop the rapier. The man
dropped to the ground heavily, clutching at his now dislocated elbow.
Duo hadn't known the other four men were carrying their own weapons, and
had to clench his jaw to keep from screaming out in pain as he felt the
cool metal blade slice by his arm, leaving a line of blood and torn fabric
in its path. Duo leapt onto the railing, grabbing the mast overhead and
pulling himself to stand on it, ignoring the pain that jolted through
his upper arm.
"Get tha little whelp!" the first man yelled from his position lying on
the deck, and Duo carefully ran down the mast, glad that the ship was
momentarily anchored so she wasn't at full sail.
Duo swung the rapier, jumping between available footholds to neatly slice
through the ropes that held up a cargo net that allowed the pirates access
to fold and unfold the sails. It successfully trapped three of the men,
leaving one final pirate for Duo to deal with.
He jumped back down to the deck, landing in a crouch position and launching
himself at the final man, rapier held in his bent arm, ready to strike.
But the pirate counter-attacked, turning and shoving Duo with his shoulder,
causing Duo to land on his side, the wind knocked out of him. 'Shit,'
was all he could think when a meaty fist was raised over his head, ready
to render him unconscious when the sound of footsteps on the wooden surface
of the deck came to Duo's ears.
"What the *hell* is going on here?" Trowa Barton had just stepped out
of the mess hall, looking at the four injured pirates, Duo and the blood
staining the white sleeve of his shirt, and the fifth pirate with his
hand raised up in the air. Duo let out a sigh relief as he saw Quatre
and Wufei appear from behind the taller man. "Quatre, take Duo back to
your quarters and see that he gets medical attention. Wufei, bring these
men to the gallows. I will go talk to Captain Yuy."
Duo allowed Quatre to help him up, watching Wufei draw his sword and hold
it against the other men, motioning for them to head below decks. They
send the longhaired man nasty looks before begrudgingly being led away
to an unknown fate.
"You shouldn't be walking around unaccompanied," Quatre scolded, unlocking
the door to their shared room and having Duo sit on the bottom bunk. He
rummaged through a bureau before pulling out a strip of gauze. Quatre
then came over to kneel beside the braided man, using a small dagger to
cut off the sleeve of his shirt. "You should be careful not to ruin every
shirt I give you or you might end up wearing that dress until we berth
somewhere and can get you a new one."
"Sorry," Duo mumbled. He watched Quatre as washed and started to wrap
the wound. "You said no one would lay a finger on me."
"Well now they definitely won't," Quatre tried to joke, but Duo clearly
wasn't in the mood. "Just stay with Heero, Trowa, Wufei, or me and no
one will bother you. You aren't an official member of the crew, so to
the rest of the men and woman you're vulnerable."
"Chang doesn't seem to be an official member, either," Duo said, tapping
the rim of his ear. "I didn't see the earring, and that's the Black Wing's
mark, isn't it?"
"Wufei's an honorary member. His clan comes first so he can't be on the
crew full-time. There's a tattoo on his arm - a black winged dragon, the
dragon for his clan and the color for the ship."
"And what if I decide not to join?"
Quatre hesitated, Duo arching an eyebrow questioningly. "I don't think
I should be the one to tell you this," he moved to stand, but Duo was
faster, blocking Quatre's way to the door. 'I need some answers and I
need them *now*!'
"Who else am I supposed to ask? Captain Yuy? Quatre, who the hell am I
going to tell if you told me what I need to know?" Duo pouted his lip
dramatically, batting his eyelashes in a way that he had used his entire
life begging money off of people. "It could help me decide if I stay or
The blond man gave Duo a look that seemed to say okay-fine-you-win. "Just
don't let anyone know I told you...especially *not* Heero because you
are not supposed to know this." Quatre took in a deep breath before continuing.
"My full name is Quatre Raberba Winner; my line is an old one, and because
of this we still have knowledge of things that people these days just
tell stories about."
"Such as?" Duo asked, waving his hand in a circular motion to try and
draw out what, precisely, Quatre was talking about.
"Such as magic. I can't turn people into frogs or disappear in thin air,
but I *can* dream about the future. That's my use to Heero and the ship
- he likes to know what his enemies are planning even before they do."
Quatre stopped again, making sure Duo was still paying attention. "About
a year ago..." he began slowly, "I had a dream about a man who Heero would
love, and this man would either love Heero in return or kill him."
Duo felt his mouth go dry. "Wait a minute... How do you know that this
man you're talking about is me?"
Quatre's aquamarine gaze met his, daring Duo to call him a liar. "The
man in my dream had violet eyes - an extremely rare trait for one to have.
We've also been watching you for a while, Duo. If you were the wrong person,
I would have been able to tell. It was no accident that you ended up in
that carriage with Wufei yesterday."
Duo suddenly felt overwhelmed, fighting between belief and disbelief.
'But Quatre doesn't seem like the type to lie, and I think I'd be able
to tell if he was.' "I..."
"...need to rest," Quatre interrupted. "You probably didn't sleep well
last night, and you've been through a lot all ready. I'll bring in some
food and water should you wake up needing them. Heero did request that
you come have dinner with him, but only if you want to. I'll come get
you when the time comes. He might still be busy dealing with this...incident
of yours. I will let you know."
"...Okay," Duo replied, still confused by the whole thing. He couldn't
imagine wanting to kill the pirate captain, but he wasn't seeing himself
loving the man anytime soon, either. Quatre's little confession of the
dream actually terrified Duo. Quatre nodded a quick goodbye before heading
out the door, shutting it quietly behind him.
Duo sat back down on the bunk, listening to Quatre outside, who seemed
to be talking to either Chang or Barton, but the braided man couldn't
tell through the wood of the door. He felt rather tired all of a sudden,
lying down and being mindful of his injured arm. He somehow managed to
forget about what he had gotten himself into long enough to doze off,
catching up on his missed sleep from the passed evening.
Quatre came back as he said he would, waking up Duo to let the braided
man know it was nearly dinnertime. Duo blinked wearily at the blond man,
wishing to go back to sleep. He hardly ever felt the motions of the ship
on the water anymore, and he mentioned this to Quatre, who just laughed
and said he should wait for a storm.
"Were the men punished?" Duo asked, trying to play down the morbid curiosity
he felt on the subject. 'I hope they were made to walk the plank after
their arms were cut off to attract sharks...'
"I believe Wufei's ruling was justifiable for their actions." At Duo's
raised eyebrow, Quatre elaborated further. "They took one of the rowboats
- the one that we suspected had termites, but they don't know that - and
had them set off with a day's supply of food and water for one person.
No compass, but a pistol with four shots."
The longhaired man blinked, confused. "So there was no, 'Aargh, matey,
down to the depths of Davey Jones's locker, ya scurvy curs'? Instead they
get a boat, food, water, and even a damn gun."
Quatre waved his finger as if Duo was missing the point. "Really, where
do you mainlanders get these ideas about pirates? And think about it,
Duo. They're boat isn't going to last to long. There are five people dividing
a day's supplies for one. They don't have a compass, so it'll be a miracle
if they find land, and then the pistol has four shots. It's a race against
time, how long their supplies hold out, and how long their patience lasts."
"Oh," Duo replied, eyes narrowing slightly as he thought. "I guess that
seems...justifiable." He intentionally repeated the word Quatre had used
earlier. "Does Captain Yuy still want me to dine with him?"
The blond man smiled. "You make it sound like such a burden. We've been
friends as long as I can remember. If he was a bad guy, I would have told
"Yeah but...that thing you said before - the thing you weren't supposed
to tell me... I don't want to feel obligated to anything, you know? This
whole thing is confusing enough for me as it is, and then you tell me
that some greater power told you that Heero would love me and his life
rests in my hands."
Quatre sighed deeply. "And this is exactly why I didn't want to tell you."
He frowned slightly. "Can't you just forget about it? You're a professional
con artist, Duo; I doubt playing along with a bunch of thieves would be
hard for you."
Duo scowled. "This would be *much* easier if I didn't find him so damned
attractive," he grumbled, which drew a smile out of the blond man.
"Heero has that sort of air about him and he hates it. Even the Princess
found herself drawn to him... She's still saying that if he returns to
follow through with their arranged marriage she'll forget all of his and
the crew's crimes."
"Has he ever thought about going back?"
"No," Quatre replied, "but even the captain of a pirate ship feels lonely,
and that's why you are here."
Duo felt himself blushing. "You didn't have to remind me."
"Sorry," Quatre said, a smug expression gracing his fair features. "You
should head up to his dining room, now. It's on the upper deck and hard
to miss - the door has stained glass on it."
Duo pulled himself off the bed, grabbing a shirt - one *without* his blood
on it - out of a trunk and tugged it over his head, patting his braid
self-consciously to make sure it seemed to be in some sort of order. He
left the room without another word, heading up the wooden staircases and
rounding a curve of the ship to see an ornately carved door with a scattering
of stained glass decorating the window. Duo hesitated upon reaching it,
unsure if he was supposed to knock or just let himself in. Heero must
have seen his shadow through the window because a deep voice bid him to
enter, which he did immediately.
The room was the most beautiful and exquisitely decorated he had ever
seen. All the surfaces were wood, still, but the obvious level of workmanship
was what made it so unique. The stained glass on the door had a reoccurring
theme in the portholes, which were larger, more like windows, and still
held the scattering of color, causing the sun to cast multicolored bits
of light across the room. Heero was seated in a straight-backed chair
that looked like it had been stolen from the dining hall of any of the
lord's houses Duo had seen, but Heero seemed oblivious to the glamour
around him, his gaze fixed solely on Duo - who was still standing in the
"You may shut that," Heero said, voice a silken purr. Duo closed the door
behind him, and Heero smirked. "I meant your mouth."
"Sorry," Duo managed to mumble, clearly embarrassed as he sat at the only
other chair at the table, next to Heero. He had never seen such a display
of wealth in this small of a space before, and it made his fingers twitch
with the thought of how many crowns just *one* of the pieces could bring
in. His attention was then drawn to the spread on the table. It seemed
to be some sort of fish in a rich, lemony sauce - the scent alone causing
him to salivate. Heero then procured a bottle of wine, and Duo watched
him uncork it warily.
"Relax, Duo, if I wanted to poison you I would have done it much earlier
under different pretenses," Heero poured the blood red liquid into a glass
in front of Duo's plate before pouring some into his own. "Have you made
a decision on my offer?"
"I haven't decided yet," Duo said, grabbing the stem of the glass gingerly
before taking a sip. The rate things were going so far, he'd have an easier
time dealing with the situation completely drunk. "Certain members of
your crew haven't done a very good job at trying to make me feel at home."
"They've been dealt with - I thought Quatre would have told you."
"Oh, he did," Duo said, reaching out with his fork for a piece of the
fish. He had suddenly remembered that it had been a while since he had
eaten, and Duo wasn't one to let an opportunity such as this go to waste.
"But it could happen again." The braided man decided to switch gears.
"Why didn't you want to marry the princess?"
Heero seemed to reel from the question, as if he didn't believe that Duo
would ask something so direct. "Do you believe in fate?" he tried, answering
the question with a question.
"Not particularly," was Duo's response, secretly hoping the statement
hurt the captain, because if Quatre *had* been telling the truth, a matter
of fate was the reason Duo was on the Black Wing to begin with. "Did you
think it wasn't 'meant to be'? Every other man in your position would
have jumped at the opportunity."
"Would you have?" Heero asked pointedly, once again avoiding the answer
with another question.
"In no way could I have ended up in that position. Poor street brats don't
usually end up anywhere *near* the royal castle. And even if they did
it wouldn't be much higher than a stable boy." Duo looked up from his
plate and over at the other man. "So why didn't you?"
"She wasn't a good person."
Duo arched an eyebrow, his expression full of doubt at the captain's response.
"She wasn't a good person, so you run away and join up with *pirates*.
Did you think you'd find good people there?"
Heero smiled at Duo, as if realizing the paradox of his actions, and the
longhaired man found himself having to tear his gaze away from the pirate
captain's. 'Damn it...his eyes are so captivating... Quatre was right
when he said Heero had a way to draw people.' Duo blushed again when he
realized the pirate was still scrutinizing him.
"How come you aren't a pirate already?"
Duo looked up, startled. He honestly hadn't been expecting that question.
"I..." he floundered, trying to come up with a good excuse. He didn't
really have any besides the fact that a life at sea never really struck
his fancy. "I just can't imagine a life off of land. Could never really
afford a sword... All those stories they tell people about how pirates
are cannibals and they drink the blood of virgins just never appealed
"Is your blood at risk for being drunk?" Heero asked, a roguish grin spreading
across his face.
Duo gasped, not believing that Captain Yuy was asking if he was a virgin
or not. "I think that's too bold of a question."
"You asked why I didn't want to marry Relena."
"That's different. This has nothing to do with you!"
Heero quirked an eyebrow. "So are you saying my not marrying Relena has
to do with you because you asked and I answered?"
Duo's mouth gaped open. He was rendered speechless by Heero's logic. 'My
wits are normally better than this... What is it about this man that sets
me off so much?'
"Was it a man? Or a woman? Or maybe even both?" Heero was tormenting him,
seeming to enjoy the other man's current state.
The longhaired man scowled. 'If he wants to play this game, I can play
it right back.' "Is that what this is all about? Did you fuck your little
princess, and then you got sick of her so you joined a ship where you
got fucked by your captain? And then you got bored with that, so you got
your *own* ship and now it's been so long that you can't sleep at night
so you set me up just to *fuck* me too? That's what this is about, isn't
Duo didn't even see Heero move. One minute he was taunting the pirate
- which, in retrospect, was a really bad idea - and the next he was kneeling
on the floor, clutching the side of his face with a bleeding lip. Heero's
hand was raised about him as if he were about to strike again. The other
man was glaring down at him, and Duo was returning the gaze just as darkly.
Heero schooled his expression into one of indifference, slowly lowering
his hand back to his side.
"Get out," he said, voice full of ice, and Duo stood slowly, trying to
keep his pride together as he strode out of the room, childishly slamming
the door shut behind him and hoping he caused something to fall and shatter
on the floor.
Duo never noticed Trowa Barton watching him from the shadows.
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