by: Tanith
Author Note: Sorry if they're overly OOC and this bothers you. Quatre is purposely like that. ^.^ Anyhoo. C&C will get you a cookie!! XDD ~Tanny
Disclaimer: I uhm... Don't own them. ;.;
Pairing: eventual 1+/x2. 3x4.

Crystalline Blue + Chap 3

Duo felt his gaze wander in avid curiosity, violet eyes taking in everything he could see in the small circle of line he was walking in. The darkness outside of the rim hovering as if to swallow them hole at first sign of a waver in the brightness. At first glance the trees looked to be the same as any other he had seen, but on closer examination there were subtle differences. The bark was rough, but closely entwined were lines of smooth, swirling in patterns much too random to have been anything but natural. The dull brown tree trunks and verdant leaves carried flecks of silver, streaks of gold and copper as naturally as what Duo was used to, as they glinted in the dim light Quatre was maintaining.

A small, almost catlike animal darted out from behind one of the larger trees with a surprisingly loud squeak, coming to a halt before the two boys, it's molted green fur glinting in the light. It blinked large, magenta eyes up at Quatre and Duo as they came to s stop, inclining it's head and making a curious, keening noise in the back of it's throat. It blinked it's enormous eyes once then padded over the blonde boy. Quatre sighed, bent and picked the little creature up. "Evagail," he called as the animal butted it's fuzzy lime head against Quatre's neck, making a sound strangely crossed between a purr and whine.

"Evagail," Quatre repeated. "Get out here now, your beast has given you away." The creature in Quatre's arms gave an indignant squawk, batting one thin arm at Quatre's ear. The blonde boy chuckled softly scratching a finger behind a flattened verdant ear and the tiny animal melted in the boy's arms contentedly, all ill feelings vanishing. A rustling came from their right and a tiny blonde girl came stalking our, her posture sulking, her cornflower eyes stormy.

"Kanilya you traitor," she hissed, her eyes alighting on the green animal curled against Quatre's chest. She just rolled her magenta eyes and cuddled further into the blond boy, her tiny, pointed nose twitching slightly. Evagail skewed up her face at the animal then whirled, wide blue eyes falling on Quatre. "Quatre! I know you told me to go back to the village and wait for you to get back, but I was curious," she started. "And I was worried about the silly human, and I wanted to know why he was there."

"Eva," Quatre tried to cut in, but his soft alto was lost in the rush of the girls words and she turned on Duo, beginning to circle him with curious eyes.

"Why were you there, human? You should know better!" she exclaimed.

Duo's wide confused eyes followed her until she disappeared behind him. He felt his braid lifted from his back and it was tugged softly. "Why is your hair so long, human? I thought only human women were aloud to grow their hair long. Why is yours?" she repeated, releasing his hair and walking out in front of him again, coming to a stop. She seemed to be waiting for an answer. Duo raised pleading violet eyes to Quatre, for once in his life unable to think of anything to say.

"Eva, leave the poor boy alone," Quatre chuckled, his aquamarine eyes alight with amusement. "And stop calling him 'human'. It's very rude."

Evagail spun to face Quatre, her almost loose blonde hair flying out behind her. "Well, if I had something else to call him, I would, brother," she smirked meaningfully over her shoulder at Duo. Duo's cheek tinted pink when he realized he hadn't even given his name to Quatre, much less the hyper blonde girl. "I'm Duo. Duo Maxwell," he grinned, dipping a mock bow, causing Evagail to giggle lightly.

She turned away from her brother, tilting her chin up so she could look Duo in the eye from her tiny height. "And the hair? Human men are forbidden to grow their hair longer than their shoulders, why have you? Quatre, you're not taking him to the village are you?" wide blue eyes widened enormously, rivaling the animal still curled in Quatre's arms. "If we are, we'll have to cut it!"

Duo blinked slowly, his hands unconsciously dragging his thick braid in front of him, cradling it protectively in his hands. "I have no idea what you're talking about, but no one comes near my hair with scissors or a knife or whatever the heck you people use to cut hair."

Evagail just stared at him with wide eyes as if he was the most foolish creature in the world. The her pink lips parted on a tiny exhalation. "But if you do not, and you enter the city, they'll either confine you or worse. It's one of the laws the new king has issued directly."

"Why would someone create such a pointless law?" Duo demanded, amaryllis eyes narrowing slightly as something began nagging at the back of his mind. He did not care if this was not his world, that just was not right by any standards.

Quatre frowned slightly, his bright blue green eyes darkening. "He has no reasons, he just does. Some say it's because he fears... something," the blonde boy trailed off vaguely. "In any case, that doesn't concern you at the moment. We're not going to the villiage, Eva."

"Then where?!" she demanded petulantly, then her eyes widened in revelation. "Quatre, we are not!" she exclaimed, drawling a slightly bemused expression from Duo. ::Someone who's more hyper than I am... Will wonders never cease?:: he smirked inwardly, wondering what she was so excited about.

"We are," Quatre sighed.

"Quatre! You never let me go to the encampment!" Evagail was literally bouncing, her face glowing happily.

"And you wouldn't be going now, if you actually listened to me and went home when I told you to! Father has -- "

"What does Father know?" Evagail giggled, cutting him off with a wave of her tiny hand. "Besides! I want to meet this boy you're talking about!" blue eyes sparkled up at Quatre mischievously. Duo smiled.

They had all but forgotten about him, but he was definitely enjoying the show.

Quatre closed his eyes. "And that's exactly why Father doesn't want you to go to the encampment," he said resignedly, but when he reopened his eyes aquamarine sparkled with laughter and he let out a soft chuckle. "But I want
you to meet him too," he grinned teasingly.

Evagail jumped and rushed ahead, Kanilya jumping from Quatre's arms and darting after her with a noisy squeak. Duo turned to Quatre and raised an eyebrow. "Excitable."

"An understatement," Quatre laughed, staring after his retreating sister.

"Reminds me of me!" Duo beamed and Quatre groaned.

"Gods, not two of you!" he exclaimed, starting off after Evagail. Duo nodded enthusiastically, quickly stepping into pace with Quatre, a grin stretching his lips. "So where's this encampment were're going to? Is Magda there?"

"It's just east of here... A small band of Rovers have been living there for years now. The roads have all been covered in marshes and the ones that are clear have taxes too high for most of the higher class to pay, so they haven't been able to move on," there was a strangely pleased inflection to those words. "And, yes, Magda is there. That is the reason we're going, after all," Quatre smiled.

"Really? I thought we were going to meet a boy?" Duo questioned, all innocence, finding it easy to tease the kind elfin boy.

Duo tossed a glance sideways toward the boy after he was silent for a moment, noticing the slow blush that was creeping into Quatre's cheeks. The blond boy opened his mouth to reply but a squawk interrupted him as Kanilya zoomed up, hurling her tiny green body into the air. She landed perfectly on Duo's shoulder, cooing happily into the violet eyed boy's ear as she tugged a length of Duo's thick chestnut braid onto his shoulder. She contentedly settled itself onto the silken mass, using it as a bed as she curled into a tiny ball, completely undisturbed by the rise and fall of Duo's steps.

"What just happened here?" Duo asked, an adorably bemused frown furrowing his brow.

Quatre couldn't help but laugh at that but before he could reply Evagail was back running back toward them, a hyper bounce marking each stride. "Slow, slow, slow! Come on..!" she cried, grabbing Duo's wrist and yanking him after her as she turned and sprinted ahead again.

The trees blurred slightly as they ran, the little animal on Duo's shoulder completely undisturbed by the jolted steps. She just gave a contented sigh and burrowed deeper into his chestnut braid, staying on the boy's shoulder as if some majick force kept him anchored. ::Hell there probably is...::

As they came to the break in the trees, Evagail finally slowed down, releasing Duo's wrist with a cheeky smirk. "Hey, hey! Warn a guy next time you think to do something like that!" Duo grinned, making a show of rubbing at his shoulder as if her pulling his arm had caused it to stiffen. On the other shoulder Kanilya slept peacefully on her makeshift bed.

"Serves you right for being slow!" the little blonde girl stuck her tongue out playfully. "Gods, don't tell me I'm going to have to go back for my brother..!" cornflower eyes darkened impatiently as she stared at the tree they had just coming out of, crossing her arms over her slim chest, shifter he weight from leg to leg, waiting for Quatre to rejoin them.

Duo looked around as they waited, his hand coming up to absently stroke Kanilya's soft fur. Thick grass covered the ground, liberally dotted with lush green clover, their dainty lavender flowers peaking up shyly. There were no trees aside from the forest they had just exited, the ground rolling in slight waves, hilly clusters of different shrubs lining the horizon. Duo's gaze wandered upward and amaryllis eyes blinked slowly at the cloud covered shy. Light purple swirled around the clouds, mingling with a shade of blue he had never seen before, the combination so completely unlike the light blue he was so used to seeing floating overhead.

Wide wings glided over Duo's vision, the shrill cry of a bird of prey soon following. Duo's attention was diverted from the circling raptor when Quatre stepped away from the trees. Evagail stopped shifted, bouncing over to her brother instead with an irritated light to her blue eyes. "It's about time, slow poke! You'd think you were deliberately making me wait. Torturing me!" she huffed.

"Eva, I... was," Quatre smirked lightly.

"Gah! Quatre you -- "

"How far until the encampment?" Duo cut in with a grin before the little blonde could explode, the red tint her face had developed frightening him slightly. Brother and sister stared at the braided boy for a moment, Evagail's mouth was hanging open in shocked disbelief. Quatre snapped out of it first.

"Not much farther," Quatre smiled, pointing to the sky behind Duo. His gaze followed the extended arm, falling on curling wisps of blue- gray smoke as they floated toward the sun a short distance away. He could just make out the shapes of long wooden structures over the crest of a larger hill.

Then there was another shriek from the bird circling above and the loud noise of flapping wings became nearer. A wide grin appeared on Quatre's face, his left arms coming out as the falcon swooped downward, gracefully landing on the white cloth of his robe. The thick material protected him from the sharp talons as they curled around the blond's delicate looking wrist. Kanilya squeaked, burrowing itself into Duo's neck, shivering and timidly peeking through the fringe of chestnut hair hanging over Duo's ear.

"Qua~tre! Your bird is scare my fenrix!" Evagail whined, her blue gaze trained on the small, quivering black nose and huge magenta eyes barely showing behind a thick fall of hair.

"She'll be fine. Corin is not my falcon, Eva," the blonde boy smiled fondly at the bird as it's head cocked sharply to the side. Quatre leaned forward and crooned something in the falcon's ear, then jolted his arm, sending the bird back into flight. He cried shrilly once before flying off toward the encampment.

Quatre started walking past them then, throwing a looking back over his shoulder. "Well, come on!" he chuckled, imitating his sister's impatient tone.

"Yes!" Evagail cried and hurried after, Duo and his green cargo close on her heels.

+

They arrived to the encampment shortly after. Duo followed Quatre with wide violet eyes, not saying anything as they weaved through the brightly painted wheel less caravans toward the crackling fire in the center of the settlement. There were only two people standing near the fire when they reached the clearing -- a tall boy with soft forest green eyes and reddish brown hair which fell oddly, covering half his face, and a willowy auburn haired woman who was standing over a black pot that hung over the fire, poking the contents randomly with her wooden spoon.

Quatre broke away from his companions Duo and Evagail, running the short distance between himself and the green eyed boy. "Trowa!" The blonde boy launched himself at the other boy and was quickly caught up in strong, slender looking arms.

"Welcome back, little one," Duo could hear Trowa murmur softly as he continued to walk closer. A faint smile curved Trowa's lips when Quatre nuzzled his nose into the taller boy's neck before the two separated.

"Aww!" Evagail squealed, bouncing on the balls of her slippered feet. "Quatre, you can be so cute sometimes!"

"Eva!" Quatre blushed and Trowa raised an eyebrow

questioningly. "Trowa, meet my youngest sister, Evagail," he introduced a little drily. Evagail opened her mouth to respond, but Quatre continued before she had a chance. "But we're not here for her," he smiled when Evagail's mouth snapped shut with an audible click. Motioning toward Duo, he continued. "The is Duo Maxwell. He says he knows Magda and needs to see her."

"Quatre..." the tall boy started but the blond laid a gentle hand on his arm.

"I have reason to believe him, Trowa," he murmured, giving Trowa a knowing look, silently relaying what little his empathy had picked up about the other.

Trowa gave a short nod and seemed about to say something when a soft, quietly feminine spoke up from behind them, seeming familiar to Duo, but infinitely different too. "Trowa..?"

The group turned as one. Duo's eyes moved over the tiny redhead standing at the edge of the cleared caravans, her familiar green dress falling haphazardly off of one bony shoulder. Violet eyes locked with brandy and the small girl took a step backward, the skin on her cheeks paling slightly. "Who are you?" she seemed to force out from between numbed lips, looking as if she knew the answer but her voice was tinged with disbelief. "Who..?" then her eyes blanked out, her too slim frame crumbling.

+

End Note -- I thought this part kinda.. well... sucked. The next ones will definitely be more eventful, never fear!

[part 2] [part 4] [back to Tanith's fic