by girl starfish
Disclaimer: I do not own GW, am using these characters without permission
and for no profit, for that is the definition of Fanfiction.
Warnings: shounen-ai, fantasy, AU
+ Part 1
Heero groaned, opening his
eyes. Darkness greeted him.
"Where am I?" he wondered aloud.
"Shush," a gentle voice said. "Just relax." A hand brushed his forehead,
followed a moment later by a warm cloth. "You had a nasty fall," the voice
continued, and Heero allowed himself to be soothed by it. "But you're
okay now. Rest."
Trusting that voice implicitly, Heero did as he was told.
The next time Heero opened his eyes it was to gentle candlelight and the
sound of laughter. He lay where he was, taking stock of his situation.
He was horizontal, lying on what appeared to be a nest of rough blankets.
The wall beside him was rough rock, the light playing over it showed it
to be a cave wall, rather than that of a constructed object. He attempted
to sit up and instantly regretted it.
The laughter broke off. "Trowa--"
"I've got it."
Two arms suddenly encircled Heero.
"Lie back down," he was commanded. "You were thrown from your horse, we
fear you've broken at least one rib. You must be still."
Heero didn't argue, letting himself be pushed back down. "Wing?"
"Trowa, I think he means the horse--" Heero didn't recognise the voice
from his first waking immediately, the worried tone altered it completely.
"That's right," Heero said, slightly alarmed by the hesitant tone. "Has
something happened to him?"
"Uh, well... you might say that."
Heero was held down roughly as he attempted to sit again. "Is he hurt?"
At the edge of the extent of the dim candlelight, Heero caught sight of
a dim figure, twisting the edge of his black tunic. "Not really, no. In
fact, you could say he'll never hurt again--"
"Wing," Heero shook his head. "No."
"I'm really sorry--"
"No!" Heero yelled. "Not Wing--"
"It'll be all right," Trowa said, struggling to hold back down on the
bed. "You'll find another horse."
Heero fought against the youth furiously. There seemed to be something
almost inhuman in those green eyes, almost obscured by the thick fringe.
"You don't understand! Wing was my friend!"
He'd said was.
Heero gave up the fight, falling limply back onto the blankets. "No--"
"These things happen," the brown haired boy calmly pulled the blankets
up around him. "You'll be fine."
"Leave me," Heero ordered cursorily. When the boy hesitated he glared
at him. "I said leave!"
"Come on, Trowa. Let's give him some space," the figure by the wall said.
The green eyed boy nodded, Heero's eyes following him as he crossed the
space illuminated by the candle, apparently quitting the cave by stepping
through another passage. The figure by the door leaned over and blew out
the candle, leaving Heero in darkness.
Heero waited until he heard the footsteps of the second person grow fainter.
Only when he was sure no sound could be heard did he allow himself to
Heero lay there.
He'd cried himself out a long time ago. Truthfully, that hadn't taken
long. Although Wing had been his most trusted companion and he grieved
his loss sorely, J had done simply too good a job at training the youth
in the ways of the warrior. He'd resigned himself to his loss. That didn't
make the dull ache in his heart go away any more.
A soft rustle of fabric alerted him to the fact that he had a visitor.
Heero grunted in reply. He felt a weight near his feet as his guest sat
"So, how are you doing?"
His guest gave a shaky laugh. "That bad, huh? Look--I'm really sorry about
"Huh?" The surprise in that voice was evident.
"You didn't know Wing," Heero said coolly. "You don't hurt that he's gone.
Why be sorry?"
"I hurt more than you know," the voice replied evenly. "Man, I--" A sigh.
"Why don't you tell me about him?"
"What do you mean?"
"It's obvious he was more than a horse to you."
Heero laughed coldly. "He was my friend. Perhaps my only friend--"
"He wasn't just a horse, you see. He was my partner--"
"--if it hadn't been for Wing, that Siren would have got me. But we got
her in the end. The townsfolk thought I was nuts when I asked for half
the reward in oats--but Wing deserved it. He was worth every bit of it."
"You two sound like you made an incredible team," the voice said wistfully.
"It must be nice to go off and have adventures like that--"
Heero considered that. Was it nice?
"I can't help but notice though, you and Wing fought an awful lot of monsters,"
Heero's unseen visitor remarked. "Does that make you monster-hunters?"
"J prefers the term 'extreme pest control.' He thinks it gives us a more
Heero considered that. Those last few words didn't sound... happy.
"Are you all right?"
"Yeah, I just... What do you consider a monster?"
It was an unexpected question. Suddenly Heero put two and two together.
The dimly lit room, Trowa's vividly green eyes, and the concern in his
companion's voice. "You fear that I will eliminate your friend?"
The sharp intake of breath was all the confirmation he needed.
"I noticed before. Trowa's eyes are too green to be human. Is he a wood
"Dryad," the voice acknowledged. "But he wouldn't hurt anyone. He's gentle,
he'll only fight to protect the wildlife, or an animal in trouble--"
"Provided he does not make a practice of harming humans, he need fear
nothing from me," Heero said.
"Phew! I tell ya, that's a weight off," Heero felt himself smile at the
relief in the voice. "Trowa's my best friend--hell, my only friend," the
voice acknowledged, confidentially. "Without him, I'd go nuts. You wouldn't
believe it, but I have a hard time keeping friends--"
Heero let himself been drawn into the other's story. It felt relaxing,
peaceful, just to drift--
"--and then the Harpy said, 'But this is my evening dress!'"
"That was a joke, Heero. You're supposed to laugh."
"I don't understand. What did it matter if the Harpy's feathers were soiled
"You don't have much of a sense of humor, do you? When I told that one
to Trowa, he just about split his sides laughing."
"Don't be. Maybe I just need to work on that one some more."
Heero smiled. Duo never seemed to give up on anything. It was one of his
friend's--yes, his friend's--more endearing traits. Trowa, too. During
the days since the accident he'd been closely tended by the two of them.
Trowa had tended his wounds by candlelight; Duo had kept him company in
Heero sought out Duo's hand by touch.
"Sing that song for me," he requested.
"Sure thing." Heero sighed wistfully as Duo cleared his throat and began
to sing. He had an amazing voice--he'd used it to lull Heero to sleep
on many occasions. In fact, and Heero blushed as he remembered, that voice
had been the source of not a little embarrassment.
It was so sweet that he'd naturally assumed the voice belonged to a female
and had addressed Duo as such. His friend had howled with laughter. Trowa
eventually had had to explain. When Heero, horrified at his mistake had
tired to explain, Duo waived all apologies.
"Don't be sorry," he'd said. "I've never been called a fair maid before--definitely
not to my face at least. I'm taking it as a compliment."
"How are you feeling?" Trowa asked, entering the cave.
"Not bad," Duo said. "And you?"
"Idiot." There was a scuffling sound, as Trowa felt his way over to the
"I'm fine," Heero said.
"Good. I'll take a look at your wounds. Hang on..."
A light was struck. Although Heero looked up as quickly as he could, all
he could catch of Duo was the edge of a black robe disappearing down the
passage. He sighed at another missed chance to see Duo. Although the two
of them had spent hours discussing their respective lives, Duo had not
allowed Heero to see his face at all. When pressed, he just refused point
blank to talk about it, telling Heero he had very good reasons for not
It disappointed Heero. Duo was so kind and funny and full of life that
he'd become quickly infatuated with him, when he thought he was a girl.
Even now that he knew different, he sometimes caught himself thinking
"Your ribs are healing nicely. I think you may be ready to leave us soon,"
Leave? Heero had not thought of that possibility. Of course it was inevitable,
but to leave now--without having even overcome Duo's strange reluctance
to show his face?
"But I can't leave."
"You'll be fine. I can guide you safely through the forest. There's a
town nearby, they can help you find your friends."
But--you're my friends, Heero wanted to say. But--perhaps, they didn't
want him? Was that why--
"Trowa. Is Duo... ugly?"
"Ugly?" The gaze Trowa threw on him was alarmed. "He didn't say that,
Trowa's grip around Heero's arm tightened uncomfortably. "You better not
have said anything. If you knew how hard it was to convince him that he
was not hideous--"
"I didn't. I just wondered. He never shows his face to me and I thought
that maybe he was ashamed--"
"Duo has nothing to be ashamed of," Trowa answered promptly.
"He's not ugly then?"
"Not at all. He's not got typical looks but to some tastes... I'd go so
far as to say he's downright beautiful."
"Is he cursed?"
"Not as such. He was just born into the wrong family," Trowa sighed as
he tied off a bandage. "All done!"
Heero frowned as he tested that bandage. "Is it me then?"
"Heero... I can't explain. But trust me, Duo has a very good reason for
not showing you his face. Please, whatever you do--respect that." Trowa
rarely said anything he didn't mean. Heero nodded solemnly, he would take
The dryad smiled, then left Heero.
The candle remained, small light flickering as Heero considered what he'd
learned. He would leave soon. Duo was not ugly.
After a moment's thought he reached over and carefully extinguished the
A few minutes later, he heard the slight noise of Duo's return.
"Heero--Trowa tells me you're almost better. Guess you'll be leaving us
"I'd rather stay," Heero said.
"I know. I wish you could but--it'd never work."
Heero didn't know why Duo sounded so sure but it hurt. Still... "Duo?
Could you come over here please?"
If Duo thought the request strange, he didn't show it. Heero put a hand
out to grip his tunic and carefully felt for Duo's face.
"Uh, Heero? What are you doing?"
Heero decided to answer the question by showing Duo exactly what he was
doing. Once his hands had found Duo's mouth, Heero bent his lips to them.
It was awkward--he wasn't what you'd call experienced in kissing, and
the fact there was no light made it worse. However, the results were very
worth it. Duo seemed to enjoy it too--at least, he didn't pull away, until
Heero had finished.
"Um, Heero? You haven't forgotten the whole not a girl thing?" Duo asked
hesitantly as they stood, trying to sort out their reactions to that kiss.
Heero snorted. "No."
Heero yelped as he was suddenly and enthusiastically jumped, thrown back
onto the bed. He had no time for protest, as Duo's lips effectively claimed
his--Heero moaned, letting Duo deepen the kiss. He wrapped his arms around
Duo, even as his tongue explored Duo's mouth. Heero winced as his tongue
caught on something sharp. What--There was a matching protrusion the other
side of Duo's mouth. Fangs then--which led to another explanation of why
he wouldn't show his face. Fear of Heero. The monster hunter pulled Duo
closer--when they had finished the kiss, they could have a chat about
Duo ran his fingers through Heero's hair, pulling out of the kiss to murmur,
"So soft," against Heero's cheek. Heero smiled, taking the opportunity
to explore Duo's face with his fingers. The skin that met his was smooth,
the features, as far as he could judge, evenly formed--it would appear
his hypothesis was correct, that it was fear of Heero not shame--
Duo hissed and fell off the bed.
Heero sat up worriedly. "Duo, are you all right? Did I do something wrong?"
"Ow..." Heero could hear Duo picking himself up slowly. "I'm okay. My
butt's a little sore but I can deal."
"What happened?" Heero asked.
"You just surprised me. I should have warned ya. Head and shoulders are
off limits, okay?"
'You don't have to be afraid of me, Duo."
Heero reached for Duo again, but this time the boy didn't respond. "I
felt your fangs when we kissed. I know you're a monster. But you've been
good and kind to me... I'd never hurt you."
"If only it were that simple," Duo sighed. "Heero, I'm afraid... once
you leave, it would best if you don't return."
"Don't you want me to?"
"I'm doing us both a favor here. Trust me, it's best this way. We may
not like it, but--"
"Duo, what are you?"
There was silence after Heero's sudden question, then Duo sighed and answered.
Heero heard his footsteps fade away.
Although he spent the next few hours lying in complete darkness, he remained
alone until Trowa returned to guide him out of the tunnels and back to
the human village.
"Pardon me, sir, but I couldn't help but notice your sword--"
Heero grunted, scarcely looking up at the blonde girl standing beside
him his table.
"Are you a warrior?"
"On occasion. Mostly I'm a monster hunter."
"Even better." The girl sat down. "Are you currently on a quest?"
Heero grunted in the negative. He really wanted to be left alone. First
Wing, and then Duo--he hadn't even said goodbye--
"My name is Relena. I'm the ruler of this city."
It was really more like a town than a city, but Heero didn't point this
out to her. "You have a job for me?"
"Yes. Tell me... have you heard of the gorgon Medusa?"
It was creepy to say the least. Wandering through a forest that seemed
to consist of equal parts of trees and statues. From the drawn swords
that a lot of the statues carried, Heero realized he wasn't the first
soldier Relena had employed on this quest. That didn't bother him overmuch--he
was used to doing things that other people couldn't.
There were not just statues of people, Heero noted. A fair few woodland
creatures stood petrified. And over there, that looked like a--horse?
Heero hesitantly approached, not wanting to see his fears confirmed but
unable to turn away. "Wing--"
His companion stood on his hind legs, shying at the sight of something.
Frozen. Heero reached out his hand to the horse that was so much more
than that--drawing it away quickly at the cold feel.
Turning away quickly he drew his sword. The gorgon would pay for this--she
would pay dearly indeed.
It was not long after that he began to find recent marks of someone walking
through the forest. Since most people were too afraid to come near the
woods because of the gorgon, that left only one option--
Using the back of his highly polished shield to scour the surrounding
area, Heero approached with caution. A faint noise from ahead told him
that his prey was indeed close--finally he caught sight of his target
in his shield. The gorgon knelt by a pond, her back to him as she stared
at something within the water. In place of hair, several snakes wound
their way back and forth, eyes flicking across the clearing, although
they did not seem too interested in keeping watch.
Heero approached carefully. However, he had not fully anticipated how
hard it was to approach the Gorgon without looking at her directly. Concentrating
on her image in the shield he completely forgot to keep his eyes on the
path--and immediately stumbled over a large rock.
Heero cursed as he fell, knowing the noise would alert the Gorgon to his
presence. He scrambled up right, hurrying to get his shield back in the
He whipped his head up incredulously at that voice. "Duo?"
Stricken violet eyes met his. "Oh no! I'm so sorry--"
For what? Heero wondered until a growing stiffness in his limbs told him.
"I'm so unbelievably sorry, Heero--Believe me, I never meant for this
to happen," Duo wrapped his arms around Heero and sobbed. Heero felt a
tear of Duo's run down his cheek.
"Trowa was right," he said, pulling Duo away from him to look at him.
"You are beautiful."
"Heero," Duo whispered, bending to his lips.
A brief moment of warmth and then...
Heero knew no more.
[part 2] [back to girl_starfish's