by: Tanith
Disclaimer: Not main... No!
Pairing: 1x2 (sooner or later) 3x4 5xOC

Crystalline Blue + Chapter Six

Duo sighed, reaching over to the bedside table to snuff out the flickering candle there, not having moved since Magda had left him. His eyes closed wearily against the proceeding darkness. He had told Magda he would think about it, but there was really nothing to think about now that he had come down from his first irrational wave of anger. He knew he would not be able to live with himself if he did not do something to help these people, even if he did not truly believe he had the power they thought he did.

And something was pulling him... Something he could not explain if he tried. Like, for once he belong... that he was finally at home somewhere. That would not be taken away from him. Weariness settled in, forcing his mind to stop rushing through different thoughts, different possibilities as he slowly drifted to sleep.

~+~+~

"You're just the most adorable baby, and you know it, don't you?" A tiny red head lifted a squirming child over her head, her pert nose scrunched, her eyes crossing at the babe, inticing a bubbling giggle from his rosebud lips. "So young... The ladies will love you when you're older. It's too bad you won't feel the same way," the red head beamed, straightening her face, bringing the child down to cradle against her still meager young chest. Her smile faded when the bright violet eyes could not see her any longer, stroking a small hand over the soft chestnut hair covering the baby's head. ::What will happen to you, my prince..? I can't see...::

"Ma?" the child's sweetly piping voice came, muffled against his nursemaid's chest. Plump arms pushed against the redhead as the babe propped himself up, titling backward to look up into the young girl's face. Wide violet orbs blinked up at her innocently. The tiny face scrunched into an adorable pout, one soft hand reaching out to lay on the girl's cheek. "Ma?"

The nursemaid's heart clenched at the insistent utterance, suddenly serious as she looked into the upturned face. She sighed, tapping a finger against the baby's nose, a chuckle forming in her throat as amethyst eyes crossed, trying to focus on the digit. "Magda, princeling. Not 'Ma', Mahg-dah. You know it distresses your mother to hear you call me that, you spiteful babe," Magda smirked, wiggling her fingers in front of the child's face.

Amethyst moved to focus on the redhead briefly, the open face tilting to the side before retreating back to Magda's raised hand, capturing it between two chubby fists. "Ma!" he crowed triumphantly, dragging his captive closer the stick two of Magda's fingers into his mouth, grinning merrily around the digits.

"You're impossible..." Just shy of a year old, that was only thing the young prince could say and he was quite proud of the fact. Much to his mother's dismay as he refused to call her anything similar. ::And why should he when the nursemaid is more of a mother than the actual mother is?:: she thought, disgusted.

"So serious, Magda?" a deep voice broke through her thoughts. The redhead whirled around, her eyes glinting happily as they fell on the silver-haired man leaning against the frame of the door.

"Dristan!" she beamed, stepping toward him, only briefly acknowledging the silence her inner senses always fell under when Dristan was near. The man gave a small smile, shaking his cheek length hair from his eyes.

"A walk, my dear?" he questioned softly, eyes shooting quickly to the window then back again. "I'm sure Prince Darius would enjoy getting outside," he turned his smiling face to the child now cuddling close to Magda's side, shivering as if cold.

The redhead wrapped her arms more tightly about the baby, lending him her warmth as she nodded at Dristan, following him out of the room. [1]



Duo woke from his dream with a start, quickly rolling out of bed and crouching low, taking in his at first unfamiliar surroundings through narrowed violet eyes. He sighed softly, straightening his form after a moment, running a hand over his face tiredly. The vision of a tall, silver haired man lingered in his mind, a shiver coursing through him as he remembered the expression in those amber eyes. And Magda... ::Why..?::

Duo shook his head. It was just a dream. Quickly dressing in the jade colored tunic and dark brown leggings that had been laid outside the bed sometime during the night, he turned and left the caravan.

+

Heero frowned down at the large yet surprisingly light weapon in his hands, meticulously scraping a hard gray rock over the gleaming silver blades. He put the stone aside once he was sure it was a sharp as he could make it without sanding down the blades beyond repair. His hand immediately moved to the oil cloth at his side, rubbing it over the glistening silver surface. He stood after a moment, his hand clenched tightly over the groove in the center of the dark oaken pole connecting the two deadly curving blades. Whirling around, the blade swung loosely at his side, arching out and upward toward some invisible object, whistling shrilly as it cut through the air.

The dark blue glare deepened and he brought the glaive out before him, gripping it in both hands now as he lunged forward, the tip of one curved blade thrusting outward before he melted into a side step, the gleaming blade swooping to his left. Heero straightened from the half crouch he had fallen into, his lips pursed and his arms lowered before sinking to his knees to lay the glaive harmlessly on the ground. "Clumsy," he grunted and shook his head.

"How can you call that clumsy?!" a soft tenor spoke out incredulously. Heero's head shot up, blue fire immediately falling on the slight boy standing at the edge of the clearing. The expressive amethyst eyes were wide, moving quickly between Heero and the glaive, his brow furrowed. "You weren't clumsy at all, your movements were too smooth," Duo continued when Heero still had not said anything after a few moments.

Heero snorted, rising to his feet in one swift, catlike movement. "Not smooth, practiced," he muttered, his arms crossing over his chest, an unknown emotion lighting his gaze. Duo stared at him fore a moment before shaking his head in wonderment.

"What's the difference?"

Heero stalked closer, an amused tilt to his lips. "One is but a dance It's completely useless inside battle, when everything falls to instinct and how well you can defend yourself without thinking about the weapon you wield. The weight of the weapon is too light for me, the weapon itself fits oddly in my hands, causing a distraction." The taller man was now standing directly in front of Duo. "When your mind focuses away from the fight, it leaves every part of yourself open for attack, for a battle is nothing without a mind to plot and strategize each movement your opponent makes before it makes it."

Duo listened carefully, something within him telling him that he might need the information someday soon. The cobalt eyed boy continued, watching the braided boy closely. "But that glaive is different," Heero motioned to the weapon, the curving blades on either end of the oaken staff glinting in the bright sunlight. "You need a natural skill, a certain grace to use it correctly."

"Then why do you have it? I mean, if it's of no use to you..?" Duo asked, tilting his face up to look into Heero's eyes, an faint tickling at the back of his mind coming and going in one instant. He shook his head, focusing on Heero's quiet reply.

"I'm keeping it for someone I once knew."

"Who?" was Duo's immediate response, the thought barely entering his mind before it left his lips. Heero was already walking past the boy before the word had completely left his lip, a scowl falling familiarly over his beautiful features. Duo stared after him for a moment, his violet eyes dark with confusion. Then he turned with a shrug, intent on finding Magda when a flash of light glinting off a smooth silver surface caught his eyes.

He turned, his gaze immediately falling on the glaive lying on the ground where Heero had left it. Looking back after Heero an exasperated sigh tumbled from his lips as he watched the man disappearing steadily into the encampment. "That he could get so upset over me asking who the damn thing belonged to and then just leave it! Gods..."

Duo stepped over to the weapon and bent, his hand hovering hesitantly over the center of the smoothed oaken pole before taking it in his grasp. A faint tremor coursed up his arm and through his body, the almost warm, living feel the wooden staff held unnerving him. He stood, lifting the polearm easily even though it was nearly as long as himself, his breath catching in his throat when it nearly slipping out of his loose grip.

His hand tightened comfortably on the grooved center as he began walking hurriedly after the other young man. "Heero! You forgot your... glaive." ::I think that's what he called it. It sounds... right, anyway.:: he thought, watching as Heero's shoulders stiffened briefly before he turned to face the braided boy.

Duo finally reached Heero, stopping before the taller man with a slight smile. Heero reached out and took the glaive from Duo's hand, his dark blue eyes closing as he held the long weapon horizontally before him. A faint glowing began from his palm surrounding the glaive almost instantly, enveloping Heero's wiry form completely.

The glow suddenly became nearly blinding, then extinguished completely in the same instant, the glaive disappearing from Heero's now opened palm with it.

Wide violet eyes flew up to meet his own, the boy's full mouth parted slightly. "How did you do that?"

Heero just raised an eyebrow, staring down at the braided boy, faint amusement light his cobalt eyes.

"You're not going to answer me are you?" Duo asked after a moment of silence, his eyes narrowing up at the other irritably.

"You should be able to figure it out by now," Heero replied.

"But what if I can't!?" Duo threw his arms up in exasperation. "Sure, you used aura, I guess, but I'm new at this! That doesn't explain what color, or whatever, you are! Or why Magda can't see what color you are."

"Think," was all Heero said before he turned around, walking back in the direction of the encampment, leaving Duo staring after him.

"Infuriating!" Duo growled once the dark-haired man had disappeared, his arms folding over his chest, amethyst eyes closing. "Think he says," the braided boy mumbled after a while. "As if I have some secret knowledge of all this stored in the back of my head," he snorted lifting his face to stare up that the lavender-blue sky.

"You do," an strangely familiar voice answered kindly behind him, it's inflection slightly comforting.

"Yeah right," Duo muttered, not bothering to turn, his gaze falling to the ground. "I don't even belong in this place."

"I'll agree to that, actually. But I can do nothing for that. One must keep his promises, after all..." Duo's brow furrowed in confusion, not understanding what the man meant. There was movement behind him, then lips pressed against his ear, moving slowly as that dark voice murmured softly. "Sleep."

~+~+~

A piercing wail filled the clearing as the small child was dragged away from Magda's arms, making the small woman's heart clench as she fell to her knees, unable to bring her limbs to move. She watched helplessly as the man backed away, his silver hair falling into piercing amber eyes, a sneer twisting his lips.

Tears tracked wetly down Magda's cheeks as she watched the tiny babe strain his tiny arms toward the redhead, wracking sobs forcing their way from his young throat.

"Come now, princeling, quiet," he muttered, backing away from the woman and toward the center of the clearing, cradling the child against his chest almost gently.

"Why?" Magda whispered, looking up into those mocking amber eyes.

A harsh laugh forced it's way from Dristan's throat, "It should be quite obvious, my dear. We can't have young Prince Darius there to witness the death of his family, can we?" he smirked, when Magda's eyes clenched tightly.

"What's the matter, dear? The man you love shall soon be king! And you helped get me here," he mused, chuckling softly to himself. "You should be honored!"

Her eyes snapped open, brandy eyes flashed hotly with disbelief, "I trusted you!"

"Yes... And who's fault was that? Not my own, surely," he grinned rakishly. "But you must admit, you were far too young for the task you were given. The prince's supposed mystic guardian merely a child herself. But that just can not be changed."

Dristan held the child away from him. "Hush," he growled and the child's loud wails faded into tiny, mewling whimpers as he was turned to face his redhead nursemaid. "Say goodbye, my dear," Dristan murmured.

Magda's lips parted, tremors racking her slight frame, her eyes widening in denial, "You're not--"

"No," Dristan snorted, "I can't kill the brat, unfortunately," he glared at the soft chestnut head. "But I can send him to a living hell," his amber eyes glinted merrily at the prospect. Magda shook her head as Dristan's hands began to glow, the faint light slowly consuming his entire body, swallowing up the hoarse cries now barely making it past quivering rosebud lips.

All noise ceased as the light brightened blindingly then disappeared completely, leaving only the mocking form of Dristan in it's wake, his arms folded loosely over his chest, a laughing twist to his lips. He moved forward and Magda was slowly lifted, a finger under her chin raising her eyes to Dristan's.

"Well, now that that is done with, what are we going to do about you, Magda?" he raised an eyebrow. "Shall we have you forever a child? Considering your naivete, that would be quite fitting, what say you?" he chuckled when Magda didn't respond, her brandy eyes blank of all emotion now. "And it would be such a pity to see that beauty die, my dear. After all... one day you shall be my queen. Yes, I do believe this is quite fitting. A child until she dies."

He let go of her abruptly, letting her slight frame crumple limply to the ground. "I shall be back for you, Magda. Until then, my dear, I have a thrown to claim," he laughed and disappeared into the trees.

+

Strong arms picked up a tiny, quivering mass laying on a pile of damp leaves. Whimpering moans slowly forced themself from the baby throat between shuddering breaths as he was drawn close against a protective chest.

A smoothing hand ran over the soft hair on top of the baby's head, cobalt eyes moving over the swollen face for any sign of injury as the man began walking, carrying the baby through thick foliage, suddenly breaking away from the forest and into a small town. The baby quieted after a while, solemn violet eyes peering up at the face above his.

The boy smiled softly down at the baby before he stopped in front of a small black building, cradling the child in one arm as the other reached out to knock hard on the door. Footsteps were heard on the other side, latches turning loudly before the door opened, a wizened old face peering out through the crack.

"May I help you, young man?" the man asked kindly, opening the door fully.

"I found this child in the forest, father," cobalt eyes gazed softly down at the chestnut head pillowed in the crook of his arm before they moved back to the priest. "Is there any room for him here?"

"Oh dear... Of course!" the elderly man exclaimed, moving aside and motioning for the boy to enter. The boy shook his dark head, simply handing the babe over to the priest and taking a step backward.

"Call him Duo, it suits him," the softly nasal voice murmured before the boy turned, walking back into the forest without a backward glance.

+

1. Well... okay, I've decided to explain the characters ages now as I don't believe I've mention the fact that I completely screwed them over in that department. ^^
Duo - 15 only a few months from 16 but he doesn't know his actual birthday.
Heero - 17 but everyone thinks him much older, no one's actually gotten the guts up to ask him. ^.~
Quatre - 16
Trowa - 16
Wufei - 19 ... or around there, but he is definitely the oldest. Why? Because I want him to be. ^^
Magda - 17

[part 5] [part 7] [back to Tanith's fic]