"What would Duo say?"
MEL & CHRISTY: Oh, Heeeeeeee~rooooo!
(snickering, trying to imitate 'Mission Impossible'): If you choose to accept
this mission... er, Christy? What's the rest of it?
MEL: I'll just have to improvise. Um... Heero, if you choose
to accept this mission, great. If not, too bad! We'll send you
CHRISTY: Just accept the damn mission already!
still haven't told me what it is
CHRISTY: We've identified a new source of eye-candy. Go get
HEERO: You've been watching movies again, haven't you? Or was it
anime? I hope it wasn't anime.
DUO: Yeah, the last time you sent my
Hee-chan after another anime character, he got trashed!
CHRISTY: No no no
no no! Live-action movie, we swear.
MEL: It was
chitchat! We want Legolas, the *drool*
gorgeous elf from 'Lord of the
Rings'. Go get him or else.
HEERO: Or else what
?! If threats
worked on me, onna, OZ would have won a long time ago.
CHRISTY: Or else
we'll start incorporating plot twists from 'Ranma 1/2' into this story.
Specifically, the 'stupid misunderstanding leads to big argument between lovers'
type of plot twists.
[He walks out.]
QUATRE: I'm glad OZ never recruited you,
CHRISTY: Oh, they probably have... in some parallel universe,
[Wufei and Trowa walk in.]
WUFEI: Where's Yui
[Mel is bouncing around the room, singing.]
MEL: He's gonna
get us a ba-abe, he's gonna get us a ba-abe...
TROWA: Ah. Collection
duties. I'd better get out the big
first aid kit.
DUO: Our poor Hee-chan! *sob*
[He glomps onto
Wufei, sniffling. Wufei doesn't object.]
MEL: While we're waiting for
them to come back... on with the fic!------------------
"What would Duo
"My name is Krashnark." The
ten-foot-tall, faintly glowing 'man' allowed his arrogant smile to widen
slightly, obviously expecting a reaction.
"Am I supposed to be
impressed?" Wufei asked acidly, sword still up in a ready position.
smile lost some of its arrogance for a moment, then twisted into a sneer. "I see
Torframos' little pet dwarf hasn't told you much, if you don't even recognise
the name of the God of War."
"We've had more important things to
discuss." Wufei's eyes narrowed slightly, but he didn't flinch. I upset him
by not reacting the way he wanted me to. Good.
"I had worked out that you
were probably a god. The light show is a little clichéd."
He watched as
Krashnark bristled, obviously not handling the idea that a mere mortal would
even consider talking back in that manner well. Most of Wufei's thought
processes were concentrated on what to do and say-- 'keep him off balance' and
'what would Duo
do?' were his two main ideas there-- while a tiny corner
of his mind stood off and observed, amazed that he wasn't gibbering in
shock.I don't have time to gibber. I can do that later... if I
have a later. I know Uthmar said the gods can't interfere directly in the
world, but if that's true, what is he doing here?!
I wish I could
ask-- wait a minute. I can.
"I was under the
impression that gods weren't allowed to do things like this," Wufei continued, a
tiny circling motion of his sword tip indicating their surroundings. "Doesn't
this count as 'interference'?"
Back at camp, Karthan
was giving an informal report to the two Champions and Gunnar.
actually made slightly more ground than we planned for. The camp is completely--
"Karthan?! Karthan, what's wrong?!" Uthmar grabbed at
his arm, holding him upright as his knees threatened to buckle.
"Is it a brainstorm?" Arwen moved quickly to take the dwarf's
other side, peering into his wide, unfocussed eyes. He'd seen an old woman die
from a stroke once, and this almost
looked like another,
"Wufei's in trouble," Karthan gasped, eyes flicking from side to
side as he looked at something nobody else could see. "Serious
Can't you two feel
anything? He's talking to Krashnark right
"I suppose you could think of it that way,"
Krashnark replied cooly, getting himself back under control with a visible
effort. "Technically, it's not, since I have no intention of actually harming
you."That does not make me feel better about this.
sure you'll excuse me if I don't drop my sword, even so."
smile returned. "Why should I mind? It's not as if you could do me any harm with
"You might be surprised. Let me see now..." Wufei tilted his head
slightly to one side, making a show of frowning in thought. "You're arrogant, it
doesn't sound as if you like Torframos, you're violating the spirit of the
noninterference law if not the letter, and you either didn't realise or didn't
care that you just insulted me. Hmmm. I wouldn't happen to be speaking to the
God of War, would I?"
"They haven't even told you that there
isn't a Light God of War?!" Krashnark looked genuinely surprised for a moment,
then thoughtful. "Well, Korthrala has the title, but he spends most of his time
and energy taking care of his other areas of responsibility. I'm the only
God of War." A sly smile. "Perhaps they didn't tell you because they
didn't want a magnificent warrior like you choosing to serve the other
"Compared to some of the people I've had trying to mind-fuck me,
that little attempt at subversion didn't even rate," Wufei said crudely, and had
the satisfaction of seeing the god stiffen. I think Duo would be proud of me.
Thank you Kushrenada, thank you Une; the lessons I learned from you are suddenly
"Pick something more plausible next time. There is
the small problem of a language barrier that keeps them from explaining things
to me-- speaking of which, how is it that you're speaking to me in
"I'm not. You only think I am," Krashnark said in a tight,
controlled voice. "A god must be able to make himself understood to all of his
worshippers, after all."
"If you want me to worship you," Wufei growled,
tightening his grip on his sword, "you are definitely
going about it the
Krashnark's words weren't particularly sophisticated-- it had
been almost a childish attempt to plant doubts, Wufei thought-- but somehow he'd
sounded so reasonable
for a moment. Whatever he's doing, he wasn't
doing it when he was visibly angry. Perhaps he has to be calm to use it, or at
least controlled...? Making him angry might be a very stupid idea, but
the noninterference rule seems to be real enough, and Uthmar and Arwen are
Besides, it might be the only way I can keep him from
convincing me that he's right! Duo's lines, Duo's lines, keep thinking of what
Duo would say-- insolence seems to upset him most--
"So," Wufei said,
almost conversationally, "you're a Dark god. Good for you; somebody's got to
watch over all the people who belong under wet rocks. I do
another Dark god with an interest in me, you know. Sharna."
Krashnark's lip curled. "That would be my brother." The red glow around him
intensified for a moment.
"Did he send you down here to run errands for
"Gunnar, Karthan, go back to camp now
Uthmar snarled, running beside Arwen as fast as he could move in armour. "Naiya,
"No!" Naiya yelled, running just out of his reach. "Wufei saved
my life! I'm not going to abandon him when he's in trouble!"
that's an order
! You're talking about walking up and defying a
"Exactly. Going back to camp now isn't going to save me if
something happens," Naiya retorted. Gunnar and Karthan saved their breath for
running and let her do the arguing. "Besides, if he harmed us that would be
direct interference. What can
Anger blasted outwards from
the small copse of trees they were running towards, a feeling of rage and power
that was almost visible. It lay over Naiya like a smothering blanket, bearing
down, trying to force her to her knees--
Her vision cleared as the
pressure lightened slightly, and she realised that she was cowering, hands
raised to protect her head. The two Champions were still upright, but had
stopped running and were squinting ahead as if they were looking into the
"He can do that
," Arwen said
"My worthless little toad
of a brother?
?!" The power radiating from Krashnark was beating at Wufei,
burning at his mind and will, and he could almost hear a voice screaming at him
to submit as the god took a long step forward, across the narrow
stream.--kneel bow worship--He's a god, you
don't defy gods, they give commands and you obey!
The tip of Wufei's
sword dropped, just an inch.--submit obey kneel--
fool wants to kill you," Krashnark snorted. "I want you to serve
yourself over to my cause, and I'll give you battles worthy of your
Wufei froze, mind clearing slightly.
"Yes! As my Champion you'll be even stronger than you are
now. Compared to you, the Light gods' Champions will be weak, useless, easily
"The weak shouldn't fight," Wufei
Krashnark laughed, grinning triumphantly. "Not if they want to
live. Kneel and swear fealty to me, and--"
Wufei's sword came around in a
wild, inaccurate swing, arcing past the god's startled face, and he
automatically jerked back out of range. Stupid!
he thought, angry at
himself. I reacted as if he could actually do damage!
realised that Wufei's eyes were beginning to glow.
"The weak shouldn't
fight," Wufei repeated, voice growing stronger. "The weak shouldn't have
to fight, because it's the duty of the strong to fight for
Krashnark took another step back as shadowy armour started to
flicker into view around the small human/demon. He could feel power gathering,
turning his own power aside, and now Wufei's sword was beginning to glow as
he thought, anger and arrogance draining away to
leave him feeling merely tired. This didn't go at all how I
"I don't wish to fight you," he said quietly. "I
harm you, you know that."
"We could always find out if
can hurt you
," Wufei suggested, lunging forward. The glowing
figure vanished and Wufei's sword stabbed into nothing; he swore, falling back
into a defensive stance and staying alert, turning slowly to scan his
=*I didn't intend to anger you,*= Krashnark's voice
continued, coming out of thin air. =*I certainly didn't intend to insult you.
I... apologise.*= The word sounded as if it had to squeeze out between his
teeth, but it was said, and Wufei blinked in surprise.
intended it or not, you did it," he said sharply, wary of another possible
attempt to influence his mind.
to greet you, give you
a gift, and let you think about it for a while,*= Krashnark finished. =*It may
now be harder to convince you to serve me, but I haven't given up. So...
His hand reached out of nowhere, right in front of Wufei's face,
and touched him lightly on the forehead before he could react. There was a
sudden, sharp pain behind his eyes, then everything went black.
* * * *
Heero had told Duo he'd take a nap after the shopping trip, so he
did... but he hadn't said he'd get a reasonable amount of sleep that night.
Instead, after everyone else went to bed, he started looking up medical
databases.This is stupid,
he told himself, hacking into a major
hospital's records and looking up statistics on knee operations. Dr. Modi
explained the operation and all the possible complications, so I don't
need to look that data up. Duo wants new crutches, and I'm certainly not
going to tell him 'no', so looking up statistics on how safe elbow crutches are
compared to full-length ones isn't going to change anything... and if he finds
out I'm doing this, he'll probably be annoyed at me. So why am I doing
Because I'm an idiot, that's why,
he told himself sourly,
following a link to a collection of case studies. A paranoid, obsessed,
anal-retentive idiot who can't-- eh? What's this?
The case studies
listed all had short summaries on the index page, and one noted 'patient
recovery rate increased noticeably after purchase of custom-made crutches'.
Heero went for that
one first. Twenty seconds later, he had the URL for
the homepage of the company concerned; two minutes after reaching the site, he
knew the proper name for 'elbow crutches' was 'forearm crutches', that most
people with decent upper body strength found them easier to use, and that they
were available in a wide variety of colours, designs and finishes.
is the sort of thing Duo would like," he muttered, eyeing a picture
of a silver-and-black pair of crutches with what looked like racing stripes
running down the shaft.
At five-thirty AM, Quatre
yawned his way into the kitchen and started making coffee. We have to get Duo
into the hospital by seven, so that gives us an hour to get everyone up and
ready to go,
he thought blearily, watching the coffeemaker as it began to
make gurgling noises. Normally, that wouldn't be any problem, but Duo's not
going to like having to do without his usual three coffees with breakfast... And
he really won't like going without breakfast.
odd. The way Heero's been acting lately, I would have expected him to be up by
now, and getting ready...
He found Heero slumped over the desk in his
room, in front of his laptop. What's so important that he'd fall asleep in
his chair trying to finish it?
Quatre wondered, carefully tiptoeing across
the floor. If that's a spreadsheet titled 'Mission: Duo' or anything like
that, I swear I'm going to wake him up by breaking another laptop, only this
time I'll smash it over his head--
Peering suspiciously at the
screen, Quatre blinked, then smiled. Not 'Mission: Duo' material,
mused, sneaking out as quietly as he'd entered. More like 'Show Duo I Really
Care' material. It looks like he's really learning!
The second time
Quatre entered the room, he was walking normally and carrying a large mug of
coffee. Heero blinked awake as the mug clacked down next to his head, and would
have jerked upright if sudden muscle spasms hadn't stopped him after moving less
than an inch.
"That didn't look like a comfortable position to be
sleeping in," Quatre observed, watching as Heero slowly levered himself off the
desk to the accompaniment of several loud cracking noises. "Got a crick in your
"Substitute 'several' for 'a' and you'd be closer to the truth,"
Heero gritted out, managing not to groan out loud. He was more surprised that
he'd managed not to snap back a rude retort to Quatre's mildly sarcastic
comment; the wonderful smell reaching him from the mug probably had something to
do with it. "...Thanks for the coffee," he muttered.
Quatre muttered back, on his way out of the room.
The three other pilots
had decided between themselves that it was probably best to let Duo sleep
through breakfast, since he couldn't have any, and Heero was pretty sure that
Duo hadn't set his alarm... so he was rather surprised when he knocked quietly
on Duo's door and peeked in to find that the braided teenager was already awake
and dressed, sitting on the edge of the bed and staring blankly out the
window.Shit, he looks depressed...
Without really thinking about
it, Heero found himself climbing onto the bed behind Duo and gently pulling him
backwards to lean against his chest, carefully wrapping his arms around him in a
loose hug. "Ready to go?" he asked quietly.
One hand came up to rest on
his as Duo took a deep breath and shrugged, forcing a small smile. "Well, I'm
," he said wryly. "I don't know that I'm ready, but sitting here
isn't going to make me any readier!"
Heero tightened the embrace for just
a second before releasing him and standing up. "I'd be willing to bet that
you're tougher than anyone else Dr. Modi's done this operation on," he said
awkwardly, looking around for Duo's crutches. "You'll be fine."
never had an operation before, you know," Duo said quietly, fiddling with the
end of his braid.
"Hn?" Heero bit back an automatic 'Sure you have', and
thought about it for a moment. I don't know of any since I've met him... and
from what I know of his past, he would have been very lucky to get one if he
"Yeah. Plenty of stitches, a few broken bones
and stuff, sure, and I've had a few bullets dug out of me, but no honest-to-god,
general anaesthetic, lie-down-on-the-table-please-sir genuine surgery
mean, I've still got my appendix, for crying out loud. Tonsils,
Heero was silent for a moment, struggling to think of a response,
and Duo sighed. "Pass the crutches, would you?"
"I don't have my appendix or tonsils," Heero told
him. "Dr. J decided they were a possible liability, so about half-way through my
training I had surgery to remove them."
It was Duo's turn to be silent
for a while; then, "What's it like?"
"Unsettling," Heero admitted,
sitting down next to him. "I didn't like the idea of being in such a vulnerable
position, even though I was among allies, and after I woke up I was fairly
uncoordinated for a while. So, no, it wasn't an experience I'd care to repeat,
but... Sally wouldn't have recommended this hospital if she thought it was
dangerous, and..." His voice dropped almost to a whisper. "And you won't be
alone. I promise."
Before Duo could respond, Heero had bounced up from
the bed, face reddening. "I'll get your bag and crutches downstairs first," he
muttered quickly, grabbing them up and heading for the door.
"Yeah?" He paused, not looking back, knowing he was
* * * * *
Relena always dealt with
the early mail delivery at breakfast, and today when she came downstairs, there
was a large special delivery package sitting on top of the neat stack next to
"Good morning, Miss Relena," Pargan said, lifting the silver
coffeepot as she approached. "Would you prefer scrambled eggs,
"Hold breakfast for a while, please, Pargan," she said absently,
walking straight past him to pick up the package. "I'll be in my study if there
are any urgent messages."
"...Certainly, Miss Relena," he said to her
back as she hurried away.
Safely in her study with the door locked behind
her, Relena found a pair of scissors and got the package open, breath hissing
between her teeth in exasperation as the tough plastic resisted the attack.
Finally, she had a stack of computer printouts and photocopies, two data disks
and a cover letter from the private investigator.
'Miss,' it began,
'despite the elapsed time since the subject left L2, I was able to find a
surprising amount of people who remembered him. His appearance is distinctive,
and it seems he tends to make an impression-- good or bad-- on everyone who
meets him. As previously suggested, I was also able to find numerous references
to the subject in law enforcement records.
'Due to these circumstances, I
find myself able to present my preliminary report sooner than expected. My bill
for services rendered to date is enclosed; please inform me soonest if you
require further inquiries to be made.'
Hands shaking slightly, Relena
began leafing through the printouts.
L2's police had apparently first
noticed Duo when he was only four or five years old, as a member of a gang of
street children. Relena scanned the investigator's summary attached to that
printout and frowned, pushing it to one side. Nothing worse than minor
shoplifting and public nuisance complaints,
she thought, reaching for the
next document. Heero wouldn't care.
The next document was just as
disappointing. Copies of orphanage records... useless! All right, he wasn't
adopted, but I can't exactly tell Heero 'Nobody else wanted him, so why
Relena fumed, tossing it aside. I need something he
did, something unforgivable--
The second section of Duo's
police file, reopened after the Maxwell Church orphanage was destroyed, was more
detailed. No convictions... not even any arrests, but look at all these
she thought, flicking past the summary page and thumbing through
the inch thich printout. 'Suspicion of theft'. 'Suspicion of juvenile
soliciting'. 'Known associate of gang members'. Another 'suspicion of
juvenile soliciting'... and another... I need more than just suspicion!
Tiring of squinting at the small print on the poor quality printouts, Relena
turned back to the summary page. Is there anything concrete in
'During this period, the subject would undoubtedly have been
arrested several times if the local law enforcement personnel were genuinely
interested in doing their jobs,' the summary began. 'Several retired police
officers remember the subject as a regular source of bribes to prevent either
his arrest or the arrest of members of the child gang he protected (see
interview records #3-7 on disk 2). The gang appears to have been supported on
the proceeds of the subject's thefts and occasional prostitution (see related
medical file on disk 1)..."
Still reading the summary page, Relena
grabbed one of the disks without really looking at it, feeding it into her
'...I was able to locate a previous member of this gang, now
living in a charity orphanage...'
The computer beeped as it opened the
only file on the disk, and Relena glanced up at the screen, frowning as she
realised she'd grabbed the wrong one. No, that's the medical data-- I want
the interview records first--
She snatched up the other disk, impatiently
opening its protective case, automatically reading another line of the summary
as her eyes panned across it.
'...subject reportedly refused to allow
other members of the gang to solicit, insisting it was too
Disk in hand, Relena looked back at the screen just as the
first clinical photograph popped up.Oh my GOD...
Duo, perhaps twelve years old, was lying naked on a hospital bed, glaring
defiantly into the camera out of the one eye that would still open. His body was
covered with bruises and bleeding welts, one knee visibly swollen, and even with
all the damage it was obvious that he was far too thin.
One hand over her
mouth, Relena fumbled for the mouse to close the document, but missed the proper
button and only succeeded in scrolling down. That got the photograph away from
her horrified gaze, but brought up the 'initial evaluation' section of the file.
Random words and phrases met her eyes.
'...moderate to severe trauma...'
'...beaten...' '...brought in as a charity case by three other juveniles,
approximate age 6-8 years...' '...sexual assault...' '...ample evidence of
The cold official jargon only slipped in the field
marked 'Other Comments'. 'Hooking to get food money, picked the wrong john and
didn't even get paid. Won't be the last time. I've tried to get kids like him
into government programs before, but as soon as they get a sniff of
prostitution, nobody'll touch them...'
Relena wrenched her eyes away and
stabbed at the keyboard, managing to close the file on her second try. Breathing
heavily, she looked at the stack of papers, at the disk still clutched in her
hand, thought about the use she'd intended to put them to... and suddenly felt
sick to her stomach.What am I
The high pitched shriek of a smoke
detector brought Pargan to the study door. "Miss Relena? Miss Relena, is
everything all right?"
The lock clicked, and she opened the door. "Quite
all right, Pargan," she said, face pale but composed. "I'm just... taking care
of a problem. Could you turn off the smoke alarm, please?"
certainly, Miss Relena, but what...?" Looking over her shoulder, his eyes
widened as he saw the small fire in the grate of the fireplace. Most of the
smoke eddying into the room seemed to be coming from two melting data disks.
"I'll get the fire extinguisher--"
"No!" Relena snapped, then controlled
herself. "No," she repeated softly. "Let it burn."
"But Miss Relena, the
fireplaces are only ornamental now," he protested. "The chimneys were all
blocked for security reasons years ago! The smoke has nowhere to
"I'm aware of that, Pargan, but it can't be helped. Please just
disable the alarm."
"Yes, Miss Relena," he sighed, beginning to climb
onto the desk as she sat in front of the fireplace, turning the burning paper
over with a metal ruler to make sure it was all destroyed.
button on the smoke alarm wouldn't be of any use with all the smoke still in the
air, Pargan knew, so he disconnected the power supply and backup battery.
Hopefully, the air-conditioning system will draw it out of the room instead
of letting it out into the hall to set off the other alarms,
sighed to himself. It does seem to be drawing it into the vents...
have placed that in the
classified waste bag to be destroyed."
"I know, Pargan."
I may ask..."
"This was just something I needed to do myself," Relena
said quietly, crushing the last blackened sheet of paper into ashes.
* * *
"If you'll just get changed, we can start the drip for your pre-op
medication," the nurse smiled, handing Duo a neatly folded patient gown. "Do you
need any assistance?"
"Nah; if I have a problem, one of the guys can
help," Duo told her, then he cleared his throat and looked pointedly from her to
"Oh! Well, I'll be back in about ten minutes to start your
drip," she said brightly, walking out.
As soon as the door closed behind
her, Duo balled up the gown and threw it across the room, dropping it neatly
into a rubbish bin. "Gimme the shirt."
Heero reached into the duffle bag
at his feet and pulled out Duo's evil smiley-face boxers and an oversized white
t-shirt. "Good thing we found that custom print shop yesterday," he commented,
smirking as he passed them over.
"I would've thought of something else if
we hadn't," Duo grinned, shaking the t-shirt out and admiring the printed
slogan. 'Patient gown? We don't NEED no @#~%ing patient gown!'
"I can see
that you're going to be a very
popular patient," Trowa
"Hey, my physical therapist is going to love
growled, starting to get changed. "Everybody else can just cut me a little slack
or face the consequences."
"I'm not going to ask what those consequences
are," Quatre sighed. "I'd rather not be an accessory before the
"You guys don't need to hang around," Duo muttered, concentrating
on undoing his bootlaces. "I mean, you need to start moving our stuff, and I'm
going to be doped up in a few minutes anyway, so..."
Quatre said reluctantly. "We'll be back this afternoon, after you're awake,
"Yeah. See you."
"It also means we get clear before the
nurse comes back," Trowa pointed out, leaning over to give Duo a quick hug.
"Break a leg," he added, straight-faced.
"Get outta here!" Duo laughed,
half-heartedly swatting at him with the thin pillow from the
Thirty minutes later, after a heated argument with the nurse over
the patient gown (which Duo won with Dr. Modi's assistance), he was starting to
drift off. The first dose of sedative had taken effect, a different nurse had
come in to inject a second dose into the drip line, and everything was starting
to go fuzzy around the edges.
"I hate sedatives," Duo mumbled, eyes
drifting closed. "Make m'mouth all furry... an' I don't like knowing I can't
"I know," Heero said, and Duo felt him take hold of his hand.
"I'll be here when you wake up."
"I know," Duo sighed, feeling his mouth
curve into an involuntary smile. "Y'promised..."
* * * * *
first thing Wufei was aware of was the worst headache he'd ever had in his life,
a dagger of pain stabbing straight across from one temple to the other every
time his heart beat. The next thing to filter through was that he was lying on
his back with his head on something soft and his sword hilt clenched in his
hand, so tightly that his fingers were beginning to cramp.
thing to come to his awareness was a voice.
"If he isn't hurt, why isn't
he waking up?"
"I said he didn't seem
hurt, Naiya," Uthmar's voice
replied; he sounded strained, as if he was worried, but trying to keep sounding
calm. "There's no trace of Krashnark's power left on him, but that doesn't mean
he didn't do anything."
"What in the name of all the hells happened to
the whole thing about gods not being allowed to interfere?!"
," Wufei groaned, one hand going up to press at his forehead. It
didn't help the headache, but at least that way he could be reasonably sure the
front half of his head wasn't going to separate from the back.
all right?" Karthan's voice broke in. Wufei risked opening one eye a crack, and
made out five dark shapes bending over him, silhouetted against a dazzlingly
bright sky. "What happened?"
"That's what I
was going to ask," the
Chinese teen mumbled. "Uh... I think... I made him mad."
"Seemed like a good idea at the time. Tried to fight him, but
he just vanished... then he apologised for insulting me..."
made startled noises, and the silhouettes shifted as if they were looking at
each other. "That's
not usual," Arwen said dubiously.
me, too," Wufei grunted, blinking. The dazzle seemed to be clearing up, and
unless it was just wishful thinking, he thought the headache was fading
slightly. "He said he'd intended to give me a gift... then he reached out of
nowhere and touched me," he finished, waving his hand at his forehead in a vague
illustration of what he meant, before going back to holding his head together.
"He said he wanted to give you a gift
?" Naiya asked,
puzzled. "What sort of gift?"
"No idea," Wufei would have shrugged, but
another trickle of situational awareness made it through the headache. My
head's in Naiya's lap?! Uh...
Not sure how to react to that, he settled for
ignoring it until later. "All I know is that I have a massive
"Er... Wufei," Karthan said slowly, "I don't think our link's
open right now..."
"It isn't," he agreed, after a moment of
"So... how can you be speaking Spearman so
Wufei squinted at him for a moment, bemused; then his eyes
opened wide as he thought back and abruptly realised that according to his
memory, the entire conversation had been in Chinese."...how is it
that you're speaking to me in Chinese?"
"I'm not. You only think I am. A
god must be able to make himself understood..."
something in another language," he snapped, levering himself up into a seated
position, headache or no headache.
"Uh... it's a beautiful day, isn't
it?" Naiya said. Now that he was concentrating, Wufei could hear that it was a
different language-- rather musical, he thought-- but he understood it as well
as if it had been his native tongue. And now that he thought about
"Yes, it is, if I ignore the fact that my head is trying to fall
apart," he replied in the same language. "What am I speaking
"Hurgrumese," Naiya told him, eyes wide. "Like a
"Right. That makes it fairly clear," he said, switching back to
Spearman. "He gave me the Gift of Tongues, or something similar, and a massive
headache. Remind me to put him on my Christmas card
[Heero is sulking in one of the lounge
chairs, leaning stiffly to one side and with a couple of soft pillows under his
rear. Duo is fussing over him, Trowa and Quatre are looking with interest at a
large pistol with an arrow stuck THROUGH it, and Wufei is watching as Mel and
Christy introduce Legolas to the concept of channel-surfing.]
would have guessed that keeping your gun in Spandex Space would end up being
useful as armour?
HEERO: Shut up.
QUATRE: I still want to know why
it doesn't leave a lump.
HEERO: Shut up
QUATRE: I mean, we
can see your muscle definition through those shorts. Why can't we see your
HEERO: Shut up
want to know why I can
HEERO: Shut-- oh, never
[Ardeth walks in and does a double-take when he sees
ARDETH: You got him? Does this mean I can go home
CHRISTY: Not a hope in hell, bucky. Come say hi!
[He's not very enthusiastic at first, but ends up in an
absorbing discussion of the various Australian TV channels' different
programming styles. Mel and Christy hand over the remote and stand back to
watch, sighing occasionally.]
MEL: Well, Leggy-babe seems happy enough to
Leggy is right! Look at those
CHRISTY: Who knew
he'd turn out to be a TV addict?
MEL: I guess it's the novelty value. It
also helps that Heero seems to have got him from after
the whole Ring
quest was over, or else he'd want to go back to finish it. *sigh*
admire his devotion to duty...
CHRISTY: ...so long as it doesn't
interfere with what we
suppose we should reward Heero somehow.
[Mel grins evilly.]
Well, you know what they say in the military. 'The best reward for a job well
done is another job.'
CHRISTY: Brilliant idea, Mel-san. Let's send him
after Aragorn next!
MEL (with an even more evil grin): You're thinking
too small, Christy-dono. Why don't we send him against the real big
[Christy raises an eyebrow at her. Mel raises an eyebrow back, and
pulls a volume of 'Inuyasha' out from behind her. Both of them look down at the
picture of Sesshoumaru on the cover.]
MEL & CHRISTY:
[Somewhere, an incredibly powerful
(and rather nasty, but GORGEOUS) youkai lord sneezes.]