by: zillie
category: au fantasy/yaoi
pairings: 1+2, 3+4, 5+Meiran, 5x(surprise), SoloxSylvia, etc.
warnings: a little language, a little sex. nothing too bad.
thanks to: yumeko and yamiko for their unbeatable betaness.
feedback: i would love it right now. it would make my day. if you want to send me a cheer in an email (go go yaoi sex go! be erotic! be be erotic!) i wouldn't mind ;) <g> enjoy!

Journey in Blue + Part 2
Dragon


Dear Meiran:

I do not know how to say this-

(letter abandoned)

+

"It reminds me of her."

Wufei started; Duo had made no sound approaching him. "Of her?"

"Of Meiran, of course." He noticed Wufei stiffen; "Sorry. Of Lady Nataku."

Everything reminded Wufei of her; staring out across the lands she called home reminded him no more so than had staring at lands she'd never seen. Everything seemed to call her to his mind; she was, in herself, so much that in the whole world there was nothing unrelated to her. Sometimes he thought that nothing could exist without her-there would, for example, be no point to flowers if Meiran wasn't there to enjoy them.

He was a lovesick fool and, even more strange, he didn't mind at all.

"She's like that, though," Duo said, settling next to the Dragon. He nodded his head towards the mountains. "Proud. Unyielding. Beautiful."

"So much so it hurts to breathe every time I think about her," Wufei mused. "She is as fierce as these mountains in winter, and as sweet as them in the spring."

"As colorful as them in the fall and as sweat-inducing as them in summer?" Duo asked with a crooked smile.

"You invited yourself to hear my thoughts," Wufei said quietly. "Do not mock them."

"There was no mockery intended," Duo assured him, his countenance unusually sober. "Indeed. . . I wish you. . . joy."

Wufei thought of saying that the gods had assured him of that the day they had given Meiran into this world, but he had a feeling Duo would laugh at him. Hell. Before he'd met Meiran, he would have laughed at himself.

Last week, he would have laughed at himself.

"But that was before I saw these hallowed hills where she ran as a child," he murmured; Duo shot him a puzzled glance but said nothing. He ignored the braided wonder and turned his attention back to the setting sun; it reminded him of the fire in Meiran's eyes. Of the sizzle in her step. Of the way he felt burned when she touched him; of the way he longed for her touch. He felt his body harden and could not bring himself to care-how could anything she inspired in him be wrong?

"Trowa's looking for a sparring partner," Duo said a minute later. "Quatre won't fight, like usual, and Heero beats him too easily." There was no question of Duo fighting the Oz prince; the outcome was obvious. Trowa would win because Duo would be too afraid to truly fight him. Wufei longed to fight Duo for real; he did not think he was alone in this. He envied Heero the recent battles he had observed between the two-ever since Heero's illness a week before, Duo had not feared fighting him. And Heero had leapt into battle with a lack of fear and a newfound skill that made each fight fair if not easy. Heero had yet to beat Shinigami, but he got closer every time. Wufei longed to be the one holding the sword-against either of them, really-almost as much as he longed to be the one pressing kisses to Meiran's sweet breasts.

At the thought he flushed. What was he thinking?

"I'd be honored to fight his highness," he said, rising. He swept one last glance over the mountains, that rose and fell like the curves of Meiran's body. His own body pulsed with excitement at the thought of her-perhaps a fight would do him good.

+

The scared handmaidens gently slid each individual hair from her body with tweezers; Dorothy, Duchess of Catalonia, fought to control her annoyance. She wanted them to pull the hairs from her long, muscular legs; there should be no accomplishment without a little pain to make it sweeter. But very few people had ever understood her fascination with pain.

Her cousin was one of those few.

Letting a rare smile curve her lips, Dorothy considered Treize Kushrenada, former Duke of Catalonia, current Emperor of Oz. He was a beautiful man, but that had made no difference to her when she had decided to take him as her lover. Nor, despite what most gossips said, had it been the title he had assumed upon his marriage to the king's daughter. He had been Prince Treize when he had returned to Catalonia for the funeral of Dorothy's father; he had known at once what she had done and his knowledge had excited her. She had been happy to accompany him back to the capitol, and, dressed in her dark mourning clothes, to administer poison in small doses to King Dekim. She had known then that the best way for him to control her would be to kill her, too; instead, after putting the first dose of poison into Dekim's wine, she had made her way to Treize's bed. She still remembered the sight of him; he had entered, naked, after his nightly try at impregnating his wife. He had been wet from Leia's body, limp from her weak embraces. And he had seen Dorothy, sprawled across his bed in all her pale glory, and it was as if something inside him had awakened. Not just his cock-something had stirred in his eyes. He had fucked her raw with none of the tenderness reserved for his royal wife or the skill reserved for his assistant and sometimes lover Lady Une. No-with her he had been rough, close to brutal, and alive. And it had been that-that life, that tangible power that had nothing to do with his rank and title- that had attracted her to Treize.

She had always loved power; she knew not why, only knew that it stirred her in a way that nothing else ever had. She'd been petted as a child, plied with dolls and dresses by her doting parents- they had never understood what drove her to play soldiers with the dolls and ruin her dresses watching the nearby armies train. She had not understood it, either; nor had she understood them, with their comfortable morality. Morality held little interest for her; she cared only for truth. And power, she had come to see, was truth in its purest form. And the Weapon-that was the purest form of power in existence.

She had been thirteen when she had killed her mother.

It had been an experiment-no, an amputation. Because despite herself she had loved the woman deeply; because when she had felt weak she had wanted to run to her mother for shelter. She refused to need shelter; she had made sure that there would be no shelter to tempt her. In killing her mother she had killed whatever part of herself needed shelter. She had yet to regret it.

Her father, after the loss of his second wife, had retired to his library to mourn his losses; his first wife and their two sons, his second wife. Dorothy found it amusing that of the four he grieved, she had killed two, but she kept that to herself; the servants had asked enough questions when four year old Dorothy had been found with the body of her six-year old brother. She had not at that point been old enough to dissemble, and people had talked. But then people always talked about Dorothy Catalonia.

Sometimes-like now, she reflected as the girl gently pulled another hair and took up another hour of her precious time-she wished that she'd been born a man. That she didn't have to hide any of her lusts. Not her lust for Treize-not her lust for blood-not her lust for power.

And not her long-time lust to know more about the assassin known only as Shinigami.

"Your Grace."

Dorothy yanked her thoughts away from the enigma who had fascinated her for the past few years-the Sanc-based killer who bore the name of the God of Death. Her kind of man. "What is it?"

The page, his eyes discreetly downcast, held out a box. "A gift. From the Empress."

Dorothy sat up, swinging her bare legs around so that she sat, facing the man. "From the Empress?" Leia? Sending gifts to her husband's favorite mistress? Atypical, to say the least.

"Yes, your grace," the man said, sneaking a glance at her long, bare body. She let his eyes drift up to find her welcoming smile, and then lashed out with a foot, crushing his windpipe. He fell back; the box fell with him, coming to rest on his stomach. She walked over and leaned to examine the contents.

What she lifted out was of the best quality gold-it was an anklet, set with small golden bells. When she moved her hand it jingled.

It was a whore's anklet.

The jewelry was worn by prostitutes on the streets to advertise their status.

And the Empress had sent it to her.

Dorothy closed her hands around it. And laughed.

At her feet a man gurgled in pain.

+

It was amazing to watch Heero discover himself; amazing to be the watcher when for most of his life he had been the watched. The one with the gifts. The one who was a little more than human, somehow; the one who was a little less than trustworthy. A little less than loveable. It was amazing to watch, and humbling. He could not help but think of the times he had hurt those around him, his loved ones, in fits of untrained rage; he could not help but be ashamed over the blood he had spilled more than once and the tears he had caused more than that.

But watching Heero was more than that. It was, somehow, the first sign he had ever had; the first inkling that he was not alone in the world.

Because, despite his father, despite his sisters, despite the three wives he had been married to as a child, Quatre Raberba Winner was completely and utterly alone.

He was reminded of this fact every time Trowa's eyes lingered on someone else.

+

They crossed over the Shen Liang River into Dragon territory. Wufei felt the knowledge of his homecoming slam into him as he urged his horse up out of the water; it ripped through his body like the thought of Meiran, leaving him in the state he had been in for the past several days.

Uncomfortably-no, ridiculously-aroused.

+

My lady Nataku-

I do not know what to say to you here. Something has-


(letter abandoned)

+

She awoke to find him preparing her body for his penetration, for her engulfment.

"Solo," she gasped.

"I missed you," he said, his breath hot against her breasts.

She arched her hips as he slid two fingers into her body, trying to pull thoughts together amidst a haze of lust and sleep. "Solo," she said again.

He pressed his tongue to the flat of her body between her breasts and swirled his fingers in her like a child might play in a fountain. "Poe."

"What are you-you shouldn't-oh-you know you shouldn't be here."

He added another finger to stroke her in counterpart. "Right here is exactly where I should be."

"If they find you. . . you'll be in trouble."

"You're worth it," he murmured, slipping inside her body; the familiar feel of him was enough to sting tears to her eyes.

"You'd take a night with me even if it meant risking a life without me?"

He paused, pulling back. "Sylvia-"

He only called her by her birth name when he was going to say something she didn't want to hear. She knew what he would say: that their future together was looking less and less assured. She didn't want to hear it.

"Shh," she said, and pulled him to her, tightly, until he was as close to her as the gods would permit. She pulled him to her and held him, and wished for nothing more.

+

My lady Nataku-

In all ways you have been the owner of my heart since I met you; when I first looked upon you I felt my ingrained disdain give way to something infinitely rarer, impossibly precious.

I cannot face the thought of not having you.

But I must be honest. I must tell you-


(letter abandoned)

+

At the inn that night the proprietors knew Wufei; they bowed deeply with respect and welcomed him into their establishment. Duo watched cynically as a pretty daughter shot the Dragon a coy look; he'd seen gentry in action before. Hell, he'd been part of some of that action.

Wufei, however, did not look twice at the girl. He was polite to her mother, respectful to her father, and discussed economics with her wily grandmother.

It occurred to Duo-a rather shocking thing to realize, really- that he was looking at a good man.

There was no money thrown around, no expectation that a Clan Heir should have the world put at his feet before he even thought to step on it. There was only an honest business transaction and mutual respect.

Duo wasn't used to good men; he especially wasn't used to good men who were also nobility.

He found his eyes drawn again and again to Heero.

"You're not sick often, are you?" he had asked, his voice rough, his body breathless. They had been entwined on Heero's elaborate childhood bed that night, after their impromptu midnight swordfight; the room still smelled of the medicines that had been given to him.

"Hardly ever," Heero had said.

"That's good," Duo had said, his tongue strangely heavy. He had not been able to slip into his usual glib groove; instead he had felt awkward, uncertain.

Like a normal person.

It was not something he enjoyed.

That night the remains of the fever had shown themselves in Heero's bright eyes, in the warmth of his body. That night, Duo had not been concerned about Heero. He had no reason to be, no need to be. He had told himself that several times. Who he had been concerned with-or so he had told himself-was himself. Duo. Shinigami. Solo's Darling. The Second of the Three and one quarter of the Quartet. One fifth of a mission to save a country for a would- be queen. The best killer, the best thief, the best fuck in the Sanc Kingdom-bar none now that Solo had settled down a little. He was not settled. He was not tamable. He was not thinking of Heero as anything more than a particularly good fuck.

He told himself all that several times, too.

In the inn, as Wufei seemed to force his unusually bright eyes away from the flirtatious girl, Heero's gaze met Duo's.

Duo's eyes were the first to drop.

+

The thing about the Empress, Dorothy mused as she waited for it to be time, was that the silly girl actually thought that she could win. She thought that she could have Treize; she thought she was worth something. She did not realize that she was a title, nothing more.

Dorothy felt oddly sorry for her.

Her thoughts settled on another princess; Relena of Sanc.

A pretty girl, she acknowledged. A sweet girl. Had the circumstances been different Dorothy would have liked to have bedded her, to have taught her a little bit about pain and about giving. But there were other plans for Relena Peacecraft; Dorothy smirked at her reflection in the expensive mirror that had been a gift from Treize. As had everything else in the room, with the exception of a certain gold anklet. She ran through the plans for the Sanc princess and slowly smiled.

Relena would learn enough about pain; there was no need for Dorothy.

"Your Grace," a page said, bowing low, keeping his eyes decorously averted from her dangerously revealed body. "If I may have the honor of announcing you."

She walked forward, letting her body brush his, enjoying the way he stiffened with fear and. . . other emotions. "I'll walk in. You're to count to forty-not a second more, not a second less. Then you may announce me."

He raised his eyes, confused; the sight of her proudly triumphant face made him drop them again quickly. This was not a woman who wanted to be reminded of protocol; if she wished to have herself announced in the style of a queen or a bride, well, he liked life too much to gainsay her. "Yes, Your Grace; I will be honored to do so."

She said nothing; of course he would be honored. She strode forward; he grappled with the door and managed to open it. Never pausing, never breaking stride, Dorothy, Duchess of Catalonia, stalked into the grand hall.

The room went silent.

She stood there wearing nothing but a proud smile, a dress composed of sheer gold scarves in the manner of the houri of the west, and an exquisitely wrought gold anklet-the kind favored by whores.

The emperor's hand went limp in his wife's grasp; his eyes were glued to Dorothy's slender figure. Beside him Leia seethed; the emperor's wife had just been outdone by the emperor's mistress and, given the climate of the court, everyone would know by tomorrow if they didn't know already.

It was not to be borne.

Dorothy's eyes cut across the room and met the powerless empress's.

It was in no way to be borne.

Dorothy swept her eyes down and slowly back up the woman's body. Leia, Empress of Oz and wife of Treize Kushrenada, sank into her seat.

There was nothing to do except bear it.

Dorothy smiled.

+

The night was hot; unusually so for the mountains. His skin was damp, his sheets damp, his skin sensitive against the coarse fabric. His body full and hard.

Wufei bit back a groan, shifting, sitting to look out the window.

A warrior, he told himself, must not be distracted by such things. Especially not when he is on such an important mission. He dropped his head back onto the pillow. The stars out resembled her eyes so much that he could hardly bear to look at them; when he lay back the stars seemed to follow, seemed to swirl in front of his eyes.

The heat was unbearable.

The stars, moving and shifting, shaped themselves into her face, into her body, into her smile.

His eyes drifted toward closed.

Then the stars abandoned their shape and spiraled down towards him; they brushed against his sensitized skin; he bit back another groan. They slid along his sweaty body; he arched his hips helplessly. They slid under his skin and he stiffened, his body locking as if in a seizure; he bit down but still the groans escaped from his lips.

It was too hot. He could not bear it.

The door, opening; he could not bring himself together, could not raise his head to see who it was.

Duo's voice swept across him like a sweet, cool breeze.

"Aye and you all right in there?" he asked.

Wufei groaned again.

The other boy approached the bed, and Wufei, in the part of his mind that was functioning, realized that he didn't need to move, didn't need to sit up and look to know what was going on. He could feel it; each movement the boy made as he stepped closer burned across his skin; everything the boy felt he could smell; every sound the boy uttered hit every atom of his skin and every one was attuned to Duo.

"I heard you from the other room," Duo said, coming closer. Wufei tossed his head slightly; the heat was destroying him, breaking him down. "Heero's not back yet and I couldn't help but hear you. . . . You sounded like you were in pain."

Wufei managed to bring his eyes into contact with Duo's.

The Shinigami knew; his mouth was curved in a half-smile, and his hand, when he sat down on the bed, came to rest dangerously close to the Dragon's body.

"I came to make sure you were all right," he said again, "and to help you out if you weren't."

+

[ to be cont ]