by: Tanith
see prologue for warnings, disclaimer

Kiss of Fate + Part 6

Heero slammed into the great hall, his eyes falling on the closest man at arms.

"What's the emergency?" he demanded, glaring irritably up at the suddenly pale taller man. He did not want to be here, he did not want the responsibilities that came with being Crown Prince[1], he just wanted tomorrow to hurry up and come already. He was not happy. And when he was not happy, people knew it. And cowered.

"Emergency, m'lord?" The man swallowed and visibly backed up when Heero's cheek began to twitch.

"Hai. Emergency. A guard sought me out and told me there was an emergency I needed to deal with. What is it?" Heero managed through gritted teeth.

"The only guard to leave the premises, sir, was one of Lady Relena's personal men at arms. Maybe you... should -- -" the guard blinked, wondering where Prince Heero had disappeared to. Wondering how Prince Heero had disappeared. ::Oh, well.:: he shrugged. As long as he wasn't at the receiving end of that almost physically powerful glare anymore he was fine.

+

Heero tore up the staircase leading to Relena's room, a growl trembling in the back of his throat. ::Relena...:: his eyes narrowed. She was a nuisance, an unneeded and unwanted disturbance forced on him by his parents. She needed to learn her place. Stopping before her door at the top of the stairs, Heero took a deep breath, determined to control himself and see if she actually did need his help with whatever petty task she could think up before he killed her. A small, anticipatory smile flitted over his lips at that thought.

Throwing the door open, his eyes widening on the mirror directly in front of him. It was impossible, or at least it would have been if he weren't seeing it with his own eyes. On the surface was himself, pulling away from the beautiful damp creature that could only be Duo. "Meet me here tomorrow, just after noon?" filled the silence of the room, and Heero saw Duo nod. Then the mirror went completely blank, matte silver surface not even reflecting it's immediate surroundings. The door slammed closed behind Heero; he tried to whirl around but found he couldn't so much as twitch a muscle. Relena stepped in front of him, a sardonic smile twisting her lips. "Hello, Heero. So nice of you to join me."

+

"You missed supper," Quatre's voice floated out from the cottage's small parlor as Duo vainly tried to close the front door quietly, but only succeeded in making a louder than normal noise. ::Gah, why does it never work? Maybe the hinges are rusty or something..:: Duo rolled his eyes, his gaze moving over the room, falling on Wufei. The black-haired boy was still sitting in the window seat, staring out at the dark forest with a wistful light in his onyx eyes.

Duo opted not to disturb the boy, not wanting a repeat of that morning, and wandered quietly into the parlor. "Hey Quatre, Trowa," he greeted absently, his mind moving over that day's previous events. ::So my dragon is Nataku. Always wondered who Wufei was always screaming for...:: A soft, nearly inaudible gasp broke through his thoughts and Duo looked up to see Trowa's one visible dark green eye trained on him intently. Duo blinked; then grinned. ::So that's why...:: "Oi, don't mind me, I'll be gone in just a moment, then you two can get back to whatever it was you were doing," he chuckled when Quatre automatically flushed crimson.

"We weren't -- " the blonde boy started, fidgeting slightly and not even looking at his taller lover.

Duo waved him off, eyes sparkling, "Uh huh, that's why the door slams no matter how hard I try to do otherwise whenever I come home and you two are in a room together. Alone." He smirked, meeting Quatre's surprised aquamarine gaze.

Trowa just raised a reddish eyebrow. "He's more perceptive than we gave him credit for. This could be a bad thing. I think, Quatre, we should have bypassed educating him and stuck with the "beauty without brains" idea," he commented in a near monotone, glancing over at his blond lover.

Duo gaped at he taller boy, not only because he didn't think he's ever heard Trowa say that much in one sitting and he could have sworn -- "Tro-wa, was that a joke?!" he choked out. The banged boy just crossed his arms over his chest and remained silent, a small smile teasing his lips. "Hmmph, well, if that's how it's going to be, I'm going to bed," Duo tossed his rebraided chestnut hair over his shoulder, huffed playfully and walked out.

Once they knew he was up the stairs and the boys heard his bedroom door shut loudly, Trowa walked to the door of the parlor. "'Fei," the banged boy called softly, motioning Wufei to come there when the black-haired boy finally looked up.

+

Duo bounded down the stairs, two at a time, the bright, noonday sun warming his face through the numerous windows scattered about the cottage. He was clad in a soft purple tunic, and he adjusted the too long sleeves where they hung to the middle of his hand. He reached the bottom and made to dash out the door, but came skidding to a halt, nearly toppling the blond boy who was now standing in his way. Wufei and Trowa came to stand on either side of Quatre. "Where do you think you are going?" Wufei demanded, scowling slightly as he crossed his arms.

Duo frowned, confused. "For a walk," he said simply, shrugging and trying to move around the three, but finding his way blocked again by Quatre. The blond sighed and looked up at the slightly taller boy, meeting him directly in the eye. He did not like to use his power and could completely control it, unlike Wufei with his constant flashes of a future that always seemed to be against him. Trowa could put a block on his mind but sometimes even he was overwhelmed by a ceaseless barrage of other's thoughts. But the three boys had had a discussion last night and needed to know what was going on.

"Duo... Where are you going?" he asked softly. Duo's violet gaze clouded over, becoming unfocused. His mouth opened and closed before foggy sounding words finally escaped.

"To meet Heero. To meet my love." The chestnut head shook softly, amethyst blinking dazedly. "What?" he looked at the three boys in front of them, wondering why they were frowning.

The three boys shared a look before Quatre stepped forward. "Duo, I think we should talk," he said and the other two nodded silently. Duo nearly accepted when he looked out the window, catching a glance a how much the sun had risen. "Ack! No time, I've got to go!" He barreled past them and was out the door before they could stop him. He made his way to the lake quickly, plopping down on the rock that Heero had been sitting on when he'd kissed him. He fiddled with the trim on the hem of his too-long sleeve, absently staring out at the glistening lake as he waited for Heero to join him.

+

Wufei crashed out of the house and into the forest only a few minutes after Duo, a haunted look creeping into his eyes. He pushed through think foliage, pristine white clothing catching unnoticed on low-hanging branches. He wandered unmindful of his surrounding until he managed to stumble into a small, barely lit -- even in the noon day sun -- clearing.

He stood in the center of the clearing for a few moments -- back stiff, onyx eyes scanning the tree tops -- before his pride deserted him. He sunk to his knees, head falling onto his hands, shoulders shaking with tears that refused to fall. Then he threw his head back, a silent sob trembling on his lips as he gazed up at the leaves overhead. "Nataku!" he cried, his eyes clenching shut briefly. "Show yourself!"

+

Amber eyes watched fondly as the young prince dipped a bared toe into the sparklingly warm waters of her lake as he awaited his love. And then a low mournful cry reached her ear and threatened to shatter her heart. ::Wufei...:: Nataku's eyes closed tightly. She needed to watch the prince but Wufei's need was steadily sapping her strength and crushing her heart. An all too familiar voice crying her name in an echoing anguish made up her mind for her, and with a last look to the peacefully sitting Duo, she quickly made her way to Wufei.

+

A twig snapped behind Duo and the braised boy sprang to his feet, quickly turning his bright violet gaze hopefully searching for a glimmer of cobalt. "Heero?"

"No," an almost familiar voice replied and a blonde woman stepped from the shadows before him, her lips curled scornfully. "I'm afraid Heero won't be able to see you again.... Ever," she flipped her hair over her shoulder haughtily.

"What are you talking about?" Duo's eyes narrowed, his normally cheery voice freezing over.

"Oh, come on, boy! Do you honestly believe a prince could fall in love with... well... a boy?! And a peasant at that," she stretched out the word to make it sound completely loathsome.

"But I'm not -- -"

"Kami-sama!" she spat. "You just do not get it do you? I hadn't wanted to, but it seems you need a little undeniable proof." Duo raised an eyebrow. It had sounded like she wanted nothing more than to show him this "proof". A mirror[2] materialized from thin air before the blonde and slowly floated toward Duo, circling him before coming to a stop a foot away from his face, but not reflecting him at all. "Look," the woman's high pitched voice commanded as a picture appeared on the surface.

+

"Nataku... please..." Wufei trailed off piteously, shaming himself, but for the moment he did not care. His upper body fell forward, tightly clenched fists landing hard on softly moist dirt so that he sat on his hands and knees. "I... just need..." his black eyes burned with dry tears, his head shook. ::Trowa said Duo had seen her. That she was here. I must shame her... I am too weak for her to want to see me.:: "...Need..."

"What do you need, dragon?" a soft achingly familiar voice came from above Wufei, but he didn't look up, not believing he had truly heard his Nataku. ::Too weak...::

"You," he answered anyway, quietly, truthfully. His honor would allow nothing else, even if he was shamefully weak he still had his honor.

"I am here, Wufei," she whispered and placed a hand gently onto the boy's shoulder.

+

Duo's eyes widened on the looking-glass, his head shaking slightly. Heero -- his Heero -- lay on a bed covered in what looked to be pink satin sheets, fully unclothed and writhing, his face clenched with an unknown emotion. But before he could bask in the glory of a naked Heero a blonde woman crawled over his, her hands running over smooth skin. Heero's dark blue eyes blinked open and darkened further with an undeniable lust as he looked at the woman. Duo's eyes flicked between the mirror and the smirking blonde still standing in her original position. His face paled, unwanted understanding creeping into amethyst eyes.

"Now if that's not proof enough, I don't know what is," the woman spoke over the deep moans the mirror was now emitting. Duo refused to look back at the looking-glass to see what was happening.

Duo tried to swallow back the nearly unbearable ache in his throat, "What is it you wanted?"

"Oh, I think my task here is done," her thin lips twisted cruelly and something flickered in her eyes briefly as she turned and left, the mirror vanishing from sight as she did. Duo fell limply to the ground, his legs folding beneath him to form an uncomfortable chair as he stared blankly out before him.

<<What are you going to do now, Duo?>>

The braided boy didn't even blink as the mocking voice echoed into his head, coming form no where and everywhere at once. ::I don't know.:: one shoulder lifted, only to fall limply again.

<<You cannot have him, Duo.>>

::I know that... now.:: the softly pink lips pursed.

<<He does not want you, Duo.>>

::I know.:: the violet eyes closed.

<<You cannot have him, Duo -- >>

"I know, damn it!" he screamed. Or rather, attempted to scream, but all the escaped those lips was a weak whimper.

<< -- Only in your dreams.>>

"Dreams?" he whispered, amethyst blinking open.

+

Wufei's onyx eyes opened, head lifting, gaze meeting haunting amber. "Nataku?" he whispered, hardly believing. The girl nodded, long black hair falling over her shoulder and tickling Wufei's nose.

"I have missed you, my dragon," she whispered in her musical voice, it's sad tone unmistakable for anything else.

"I kept calling... You never came. I gave up, I was unworthy..."

"Never," she denied vehemently. "I was unable to come. I wanted to.. Gods, I wanted nothing more. But I had to watch over your charge, so your task would be completed and she would not get to him. And I -- " Wufei rose to his knees and placed a finger over Nataku's mouth and gathered her tightly into his arms, hands gliding familiarly over her fine black hair. "I have been so lonely," Nataku breathed into his chest. ::My dragon. My strength.::

::So have I...:: he thought, clutching her tighter but would not say it.

+

A spinning wheel appeared before Duo, it's needle glinting sharply in the light.

<<If you touch it, you will dream endlessly.>>

Duo rose weakly to his feet and stepped toward the wheel.

<<Dreams of him.>>

His hand reached out, hovering tremulously over the sharp point of the needle, hesitating.

<<Dreams of what you cannot have.>>

His hand lowered, a finger pricking itself mercilessly. His hand lifted and Duo stared in fascination as blood welled up over the cut and dripped off his finger, before he fell bonelessly to the ground, eyes drooping shut.

<<Dreams. An eternal sleep.>>

A malicious cackling filled the air and the spinning wheel disintegrated.

+

The birds stopped chirping. Squirrels and chipmunks huddled fearfully into their holes, ceasing to chitter happily as the cackle tangibly filled the air. Wufei and Nataku pulled apart, their eyes meeting with a knowledge they wished they didn't possess.

"Duo..." they whispered simultaneously then leapt to their feet and rushed to the side of the young prince, hoping they weren't too late.

+

1. Here's where I guess I should explain that most younger princes got the role of master of the guard. And when a Crown Prince has no younger siblings he gets stuck with the role, along with political duties and all the other great stuff dignitaries do. Fun, ne? I think maybe I should have said this earlier?
2. By now I'm sure we all realize... Relena wuvs Relena's mirror
3 ... Okay, now, that irrelevancy aside, on with the fic! Dristan and Yuukio: Together now -- I-N-S-A-N-E Tanny: *Blissfully ignores her muses*

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