by: Tanith
Disclaimer: No... no... nooooooooooo... *whimpers*
Yuukio: ...Tanith seems to have just found out the GW charas are not hers... forgive her.
Warnings: Description and lots of it! (When did that become a warning? hmm.)
Pairings: Eventual 1x2, 3x4 and possibly another... *cackles*

Crystalline Blue + Chapter Four

Trowa reached the girl first, catching her in his arms before she could fall in a heap to the ground. He tossed a brief, accusory glance at Duo before he stalked off into the groups of caravans Magda had appeared from. Quatre began to walk after his lover, motioning to Duo to follow, abandoning his staff with the willowy woman by the cooking pot.

Duo did not move, his body rooted firmly in place, a shocked look on his face. ::That is not the Magda I know... She would be bouncing with excitement when meeting a 'new' person. But... She looks exactly like her.:: Duo's thoughts whirled around in confusion, trying to puzzle out the drastic differences between this world and his own.

"Duo!" Evagail's voice broke through his thoughts. He blinked, clearing his head, focusing his attention on the tiny blonde as she stamped her foot on the ground irritably, his hands on her hips. "Duo! Come on! Don't you want to know that's wrong with that girl?!"

He gave a brief nod and allowed the blonde to drag him after her brother's retreating form. When they caught up with Quatre they were almost in front of a bright caravan, painted the color of the sky in Duo's original world. Quatre turned to the braided boy when they came to a stop before the cloth covered portal. "You shouldn't worry. Magda's a seer... when something comes to her she gets very weak with the strain of having her mind and body in different planes at once. Trowa's just a little over protective of her," he shrugged helplessly but his aquamarine eyes shining lovingly.

Duo nodded and pushed aside the thick cloth barring the entrance when Quatre motioned him in ahead of himself. Trowa was leaning over the redhead now reclining on a bed. He head turned, green eyes narrowing on the braided boy, looking tempted to tell him to leave but a soft moan broke free of Magda's lips. Her hand raised weakly to her forehead and she pushed herself into a sitting position, her brandy eyes fluttering open.

Magda's gaze immediately fell on Duo, her pale brow furrowing slightly. "You know me, but I know nothing of you... How is this?" she murmured almost hesitantly and Duo felt a pang in his chest at the sound. Where was the vibrant girl he had met in his world?

Quatre and Trowa were looking at each other in confusion, almost simultaneous turning their gazes to Magda. Evagail voiced an eloquent, "Huh? I thought you said she knew you, Duo?" from the doorway, only he glowing blonde head peeking through the curtain.

"You gave me a tarot reading," Duo replied. Magda bounced up, leaning onto her hands and knees, to get a closer look into Duo's face, her brandy eyes shining with an excited light, but still only a shade of her former luminance.

"I gave you a reading? Truly? Can you tell me of the cards? What were they like?" her voice was hushed, but evidently ecstatic. "My deck hasn't been completed yet. Nay, has not even been started. There is no artist to paint even if we had subjects to pose, and there was always something..." her voice turned mournful, and she sank back, sitting with her knees folded under her slight form. ::Something what?!:: Duo's mind screamed but he smiled at the girl as she looked back up at him. "I gave you a reading," she repeated and Duo nodded. She seemed to be waiting for something, but Duo kept silent, not wanting to go into details at that moment. Lush lips quirked a tiny smile. "But that explains naught of how you came to be here," her arms swept out broadly, her gaze examining him closely.

"Well... that part is pretty unbelievable. At least to me," he muttered wryly to himself. Magda lifted an eyebrow and he continued. "There are not many trees where I'm from, the landscape is mainly flat lands and hills... I guess pretty much like it is here. But there was a forest of oaks near where I... lived," he nearly choked on the word. "And in the center there was a a clearing, a lake sitting in the middle. I... well, I fell in," he trailed off, taking in Quatre's bewildered expression, Trowa's blank face and Magda's knowledgeable, almost eager brandy eyes.

"The Crystalline prophetess chose you?" she asked but it seemed she knew the answer as her voice brightened.

"Crystalline... what?" Duo stared at her blankly.

"Magda, what are you talking about?" Quatre asked, his tone bewildered and even Trowa was looking at the red head in confusion. She rolled her brandy eyes, some of the girl Duo had met before showing through her dimmed exterior. "The lake you fell into, was it inside of the Midnight forest?"

"That's where I found him," Quatre responded when it looked as if Duo did not know the answer. "Magda?" he questioned when the girl seemed to retreat within herself for a moment the air around her thoughtful.

The tiny redhead smiled slightly, bracing her hands on her folded knees, "The Crystalline prophetess is what mystics call the lake Duo fell into," she explained quietly. "It's a portal through time, but it will only transport you if it chooses you, and even then only if you do not intentionally step through."

"Not even the Elders have catalogued this portal," Quatre whispered, but he knew better than to question Magda. The seer knew many things others did not. "But, why did it choose Duo?"

"Yeah, why me?" Duo muttered, his violet eyes narrowing on the redhead. "I mean, I nobody special, just an orphan. What does it possibly think I could do in this world?"

Magda gazed intently at the braided boy for a few moments, the hidden knowledge in her reserved brandy eyes. Then she turned her eyes to Quatre, raising a slim red brow slightly. "Look at him, Quatre," she murmured.

Duo suddenly had bright aquamarine eyes staring into his own violet ones as the blonde boy looked at him, his brow furrowing slightly. Duo fidgeted, squirming under the weight of the searching stare, a nervous giggle welling up in his throat. His eyes moved all around the caravan, noticing the strangely silent Evagail, laying on her stomach, her elbows braced on the oaken floor as she took in the proceedings with rapt attention. "Uh.. Quatre?" he asked, pulling his braid before him and fiddling with the end. The blonde boy's eyes brows raised after a moment, his expression rapidly changing from confusion to awe.

"You have a red aura," Quatre stated reverently, only managing to confuse Duo further.

"Not just red, but there are veins of black intermingled if you look deep enough," Magda stated and just Quatre gaped at the girl.

"What the Hell? Man, just how weird is this world?" he frowned when Magda chuckled, the happy, tinkling sound filling the air. Trowa started, the silent boy's gaze flying to the red head, deep green eyes just staring at her for a second, as if to catalogue her beaming face in his mind forever.

"Methinks, not so weird compared to your world, at all... This is, after all, only a previous time. The prophetess doesn't transport between worlds, only times. You just haven't been looking hard enough for the majickal, if at all."

Duo's hand raised to his head, rubbing at the temple that had begun to ache slightly again. "Could you please explain this aura thing?" he asked quietly and surprisingly enough Trowa nodded as well, his green gaze shifting between his love and Magda.

"It's simple really," Magda stating airily. "Normal people have clear auras. Really only a faint glow surrounding them, but persecution throughout the years caused beings of majick to evolve, their auras developing a distinct color so they could tell between their friends and foes."

Duo nodded, absorbing everything quietly, his arms crossed over his chest. He knew better than to question it, just as Quatre did. The only thing there was was to accept. Magda stood, taking a shaking step away from the bed, making her way toward Duo. She stopped immediately in front of him, craning her neck just to meet his violet eyes. "Red is the color of Life and Death interwoven. It's the blood spilled in both childbirth and injury. Red harbors defensive majicks. Fire, passion, courage, protection," he listed, counting them off on her fingers.

"Normal people may only have a dim glow, but normal mystics only have one color thread. You have something that no one has ever heard of before; a mixed aura."

"Is that a good, or a bad thing," Duo questioned. "You said the other color was what... Black?"

Magda found herself unable to prevent another chuckle, "Neither a good nor a bad thing, Duo. It just is. Black is an odd aura to have, true, as not many people can handle the effects it has. Absorbing negativity into yourself can be an exhausting thing, and to have that every time you come into contact it a black emotion could be devastating. But banishing that negativity is draining, the strongest of mystics have only been able to do that once in a few days. Every few seconds would kill the average man. But that's what black does, absorbs and banishes, and the barer is none the wiser, unless the emotion being absorbed is so pure and strong it has a physical affect."

She took on an almost reflective air, seeming to see through Duo as she murmured the next, "A red aura is very rare... Only one person has ever been recorded as having one and he supposedly died as an infant, not quite fifteen years ago," Magda blinked, focusing on Duo and raised a delicate eyebrow at the braided boy, her penetrating brandy gaze almost unsettling.

"Supposedly died?"

"Yes, the current king murdered the royal family that had reigned here for centuries so he would come into power. He is one of the strongest mystics ever born, but it is said that not even he could kill someone with a red aura. Even if that someone was only an infant." She tilted her head to the side as she looked up at Duo.

"Then where is the child now if he is not dead?" Duo scoffed, though he knew he should keep his mouth shut about something he did not fully grasp at the moment.

"The king controls time. A white aura for a black heart." The girl's eyes darkened considerably. Duo's disbelief rose, his thought circling around all of the information he was just forced to take in at once, tying in the different pieces she had laid out for him.

"You can't think that, I'm..." he floundered, grasping for some way to complete the sentence, but his mind had blanked. Magda merely inclined her head, her eyes still dark and thunderous as before.

"And do you mean to claim you are not?!"

"I might have to agree with Duo, Magda. It's too unbelie--" but he was cut off when the diminutive girl turned on him, eyes blazing.

"It all fits! The Crystalline Prophetess choosing you, your aura, damn it have you looked at his eyes, Quatre?! Look!" she demanded.

Quatre obeyed immediately under the force of that irate brandy glare. Aquamarine touched astounded violet as the blonde boy really looked into those unusual eyes in full light, his mouth falling open. "Purple. Gods, he has the royal eyes."

"Yes!" Magda crowed, practically bouncing, showing the most emotion in the past five minutes then she had since Duo first met her in this time. There was a sinking in the pit of Duo's stomach. ::Too much...:: --You wanted people to accept you, but perhaps this is too much? Gods, you fickle boy, make up your mind.-- Duo's thoughts seemed to sneer at him. He backed up a step, toward the door, nearly tripping over Evagail as he pushed aside the curtain, leaving the caravan with a shake of his head, long braid trailing behind him. Magda made to follow him, her temper evaporating steadily into concern, but a strong hand fell lightly onto her shoulder, squeezing it reassuringly.

"Magda," Trowa uttered quietly, his keen eye taking in every nuance of Magda expression. Magda turned to her self-proclaimed protector and smiled, meeting the understanding in those dark green eyes with a quiet warmth. She nodded and he stepped back to stand beside Quatre.

There were light footsteps outside the curtained doorway and the heavy cloth shifted to the side as someone walked in. They did trip over Evagail. "I'm so sorry!" the blonde scrambled up, helping the willowy auburn haired woman from the fire to right herself.

Evagail circled the woman, chattering as she examined her, until the woman planted her hands on either Evagail's shoulders, stilling the hyper blonde girl. "I'm all right, I'm all right!" she said chuckling. Evagail blushed, her mouth snapping shut and she walked swiftly to stand behind Quatre and the auburn haired woman turned to Trowa. "Trowa... there are guards here looking for that boy Quatre brought."

The banged boy nodded slowly, "Thank you, Catherine." She turned to leave, seeming to hesitate for a moment before walking quickly to the curtain and exiting.

Magda's fists clenched, the only outward sign of her emotions. "He wastes no time, does he?" she almost growled, walking to the doorway and storming out, not thinking clearly of what could happen.

+

"I have no idea who you're talking about," Magda muttered icily, facing down tow men who towered above her. Dizziness was creeping into the back of her head, a feeling she had grown to recognize over the years. ::Too many people... Too many thoughts...:: Her mind swam, but her outward appeared didn't falter, her brandy eyes veritable chips of eyes.

"And we know you do, Rover. We're not leaving until we take the longhaired male with us."

Magda's vision was blacking in and out by then, but she kept her slight frame from wavering, stiffening her shoulders and raising her chin. ::people... Can't... I can't...::: "There is no one like that here!" even she had to wonder how her voice kept from being thready, how she kept her breathing even against her pounding heart's wishes. "Rovers have been looked down upon enough without harboring criminals," she ground out. "Leave my camp."

"Bloody thieves are criminal enough, what's one more?" one sneered, taking a step forward, his hand falling to the sword on his belt drawing it out it's scabbard a few centimetres with the sharp sound of metal scraping metal.

::Gods... I...I..:: Her knees finally buckled under her weight, the ground steadily raising up to meet her. And then it stopped, a strong around sliding under hers, around her side, cradling her slight form against a finely muscled side. Her eyes slid closed weakly, but she forced herself from passing out completely.

"Who trains such dishonorable curs that they would draw a sword on a woman?" a loud, deep voice rang out.

+

Duo wandered, trying to sort out everything he had just been told. It was just all so farfetched. Duo Maxwell, and unwanted orphan, they were trying to tell him he was an abducted prince in a time centuries before the only one he had ever known previously.

He found himself edging a forest after a while, though it was definitely not the same as before. The trees were sparse and mostly pine, deep sweet smelling bristles waving down at him, oblong shadows clinging to their sides. When Duo decided to stop walking the sun was setting, casting an amethyst light to the lavender-blue sky. He sat down, his legs crossing beneath him, falling back to stare up at the strange sky.

His eyes slid closed, almost against their will. He lay their, drifting between his thoughts, loosing track of time completely as the shadows on the trees detached themselves. They floated toward the braided boy, circling him, hovering over him, wispy black tendrils caressing him, clinging to his flesh.

+

"The woman said to leave. I suggest you do so," the black haired elf demanded imperiously, glaring daggers at the two men across from him.

"Be gone Paladin, you have no business here," one man jeered caustically.

"And neither, it seems, do you. This woman has no idea as to what you speak of. The king is training brainless fools if you cannot see what is so obvious for yourselves!" the back eyes narrowed mockingly.

One of the man uttered a brief curse, drawing his sword completely and adopting a fighting stance. "Enough, Paladin. You have brought this on yourself. Come and fight, prove yourself the man your words claim you are," he leered down at the elfin man.

The black haired paladin stepped back, passing Magda into Trowa's waiting arms. Then he moved toward the man, drawing a long, curving sword from the leather loop that attached it to his belt. "A true man does not fight with swords, but with words," the elfin man countered. "It takes a coward - a weakling! - to deliberately do battle with one whom they think to be less capable."

With a growl the man lunged at the paladin, his sword swiping out carelessly in a curving blow meant to sever a head from it's body. The elfin paladin merely stepped back, his own curved sword coming up almost lazily, twining with the other's blade, catching and holding it fast so that not even the man's sword arm could move. "Sloppy. Too simple, you should better your skills before you become so anxious to seek out fights," the paladin advised. He gave a sharp tug, twisting his blade so that his opponent's hilt flew from his hand, twirling haphazardly in the air before the paladin reached out, snagging the hilt. He turned to sword, sticking it into the packed dirt at his feet.

"Leave. Now. Or are you so eager for your worthless lives to end?" The swordless man stumbled backward, turning midstep and stalking toward the gates of the city, his expression deadly. His companion followed shortly after, tossing an almost awed look at the black haired paladin.

The elf turned toward Trowa, noticing the woman's now opened brandy eyes. He bowed at the waist shallowly, his black eyes never wavering from Magda's. "I am Wufei. I see you have need of my services."

+

Duo's eyes snapped open, his breaths opening short pants, teeth chattering from the sudden chill. He sat up quickly, eyes unseeing, staring blackly ahead, a keening wail trembling on his lips. The shadows shied away silently screaming, but they were not quick enough, as they were slowly sucked into the boy's very being.

Duo trembled, head falling back, lips twisted in a grimace of pain, a full scream breaking from parted lips as a bright light flashed in the darkness, followed by an immense black, that seemed to suck the life out of everything near it.

The boy fell back limply to the ground, his eyes shutting wearily, lungs dragging in a long ragged breath. A lone figure crept toward the boy, deep blue eyes narrowed intently on the slight form. He hunched over him, checking his pulse before picking Duo up, cradling him against his chest.

"That's a strong one, Heero," a laughingly mocking voice called from the trees, musical majick trickling from its words. "Very unusual. Better keep him safe..!" the voice taunted and with a sharp caw of a carrion crow, the few shadows that remained clinging desperately to the trees faded from memory.

+

[part 3] [part 5] [back to Tanith's fic]