Demon of Justice Chapter 20
Christy are sitting on their writing couch as usual, looking quite calm and
composed despite the fact that the house is in ruins around them. Bits of the
rubble seem to be dissolving into hissing green puddles, and there are huge
MEL: He's gone, guys. Coast is
[Various Gundam Pilots, Ardeth Bey and Legolas slowly emerge from
under the sofa, along with three cats and a rather shell-shocked
LEGOLAS: Did the TV survive?
CHRISTY: Nah. We wanted to get
a bigger one, anyway.
ARDETH: What in the world was that thing?!
It looked like a giant dog, but dogs do not have acid drool and the
ability to fly!
MEL: That was Sesshoumaru. *sigh*
Otherwise known as Fluffy-sama. *sigh*
DUO: You sent my Hee-chan
after that thing?! Alone?! Without his Gundam?!
for you onnas, that's low!
MEL: Well... we didn't want Fluffy-sama to get
DUO: YOU COULDN'T HURT THAT MONSTER WITH A TACTICAL NUKE! And where
the hell is Heero?!
CHRISTY (pointing): Over behind what's left of that
[Duo runs off.]
QUATRE: Why did you want an immense demon
MEL: Because he usually looks like an incredibly gorgeous
almost-human guy. *sigh* Fluffy is a babe.
when he's mad. In hindsight, the dart gun and net may have been a
DUO (in the distance): OH MY GOD! Hee-chan! Speak to
WUFEI: That sounds like my cue.
[He picks up a first aid kit
and walks off towards Duo's voice. Trowa shrugs and trails after him, carrying a
bag of plaster bandages.]
QUATRE: I think it's time you stopped sending
Heero after incredibly dangerous people just so you can drool over
CHRISTY: You're absolutely right.
QUATRE: I'm glad you see
it our way.
CHRISTY: We're going to have to send you out in
QUATRE: After all, it's hardly fair to-- WHAT?!
so far Heero's had one success out of four tries. That's not exactly the best
win-loss ratio, now is it?
QUATRE: No, but--
MEL: So, obviously,
he needs backup.
QUATRE: No! He needs you two to stop doing
LEGOLAS: Or else pick people who wouldn't mind staying here, and
just get him to deliver invitations. If I'd known about that TV thing, I
wouldn't have shot him. Speaking of which, could you get a new one soon? There's
three documentaries and a movie coming up that I don't want to
[Christy rolls her eyes.]
CHRISTY: I never would have picked
you for a documentary addict.
MEL (whispering): At least he doesn't watch
daytime soap operas. Just don't get the new TV until after that
documentary on ocean life is over, OK? We don't want him wandering off looking
for the Sea.
CHRISTY: Good point. On with the
'Demon of Justice'
Duo drifted up out of
unconsciousness, slowly gathering the strength to open his eyes. He was feeling
strangely heavy, and everything except his right hand was
"...not likely to wake up for at least half an hour," he
heard, echoing as if it was coming from the bottom of a well. "Would you like to
take a break? The visitors' waiting room is quite comfortable, and you can get
something to eat."
"No," Heero's voice replied, and the warmth cradling
Duo's hand shifted. "I'd rather wait here."
"Really, sir, there's no need
for you to be here while he's still under the anaesthetic. At least take a short
walk to stretch your legs!"
"No," he repeated, politely but firmly.
"Thank you, but I'm staying here."
"He promised," Duo mumbled through
what seemed to be a mouthful of cotton wool.
"Duo? Are you awake?"
Heero's voice was suddenly closer, and there was a surprised exclamation from
the other person in the room.
fingertips gently stroked over Duo's forehead and through his fringe. "All
"Here," the other person said,
apparently recovering from the shock of having Duo wake up early. "Just a few
sips, until we're sure your stomach hasn't reacted badly to the anaesthetic, all
Duo managed to open his eyes a little as he sipped cool water
through a straw, and blinked fuzzily at the slightly out-of-focus faces of Heero
and a nurse, both watching him intently. The nurse smiled a bit sheepishly as
she took the glass away, and patted him on the shoulder. "My apologies, Mr.
Maxwell; I was sure you were going to be asleep for a while yet, and I was
trying to drag your friend away for a break. Luckily he knows better than me,
"I know Duo," Heero muttered, managing a crooked grin. "I'd
listen to you if it was anyone else, but Duo always manages to surprise
"Smart guy," Duo told her, squinting slightly and feeling a mild
surge of triumph as he managed to bring them into focus. "He's been payin'
"That's always a good thing," she chuckled, checking
his pulse. "Mm-hmm... are you feeling up to raising your head a
"Dunno. Less' find out."
A few seconds spent fiddling with
the bed's controls later, the head of the bed had lifted up about twenty
degrees, and Heero was helping the nurse rearrange Duo's pillows behind him.
"Feels all right," Duo said, shifting experimentally and
looking curiously at the long bulge under the covers where a frame was keeping
them off his leg. "M'sorta fuzzy-headed, but thass' going-- ulp!" A queer
expression crossed his face, and he swallowed hard. Before Heero could work out
what was happening, the nurse had whipped a paper cup in front of Duo's mouth
and was steadying him as the water came back up.
Automatically, Heero clutched at Duo's hand again, quickly assessing his vital
signs. No blood in the vomit-- colour's good-- temperature's OK-- pupils
dilated but tracking-- he's coherent-- It's just a drug reaction. That's
all! His heart slowly settled back into its proper place as Duo stopped
heaving and blinked, looking confused.
"Whoa," he muttered, pressing one
hand to his stomach. "Thass' weird. I don' feel sick..."
thirty percent of the population react that way to this anaesthetic," the nurse
said comfortingly, handing Heero the vomit cup and taking Duo's pulse again,
then making a note on a datapad. "Most people's stomachs settle down in under
ten minutes. If you still can't keep water down after half an hour, or if it
gets uncomfortable, I'll give you something to fix it, all
"Sounds fair t'me," he agreed, still rubbing his stomach. "Can I
have 'nother blanket?"
"Feeling cold?" When he nodded, she frowned
slightly and felt his forehead, then his hands. "There's extra blankets in the
cupboard, but I think this is another side effect, sorry. It won't make much
difference." She still got him the blankets,
Twenty minutes later, Heero was nearly frantic.
Duo was thirsty and dry-mouthed, so he kept taking sips of water, and then
bringing them straight back up. The only thing stopping Heero from charging out
into the corridor, grabbing the first nurse or doctor he saw, and demanding that
they do something to fix this was Duo's repeated assurance that it wasn't
"I don't feel sick or anything," he insisted, pulling the
blankets back up around his shoulders and shivering. "Normally throwing up makes
my stomach hurt, but not this time. It's like everything is working just fine,
except that anything I swallow gets stamped 'no such address' and returned to
"By express courier," Heero said, trying to smile in
"'When it absolutely, positively has to get out of there NOW',"
Duo quipped, imitating an ad's voice-over, "'use HurlMail and'--
Heero got the vomit cup in place and sighed, shaking his head. "I
think that was tempting fate just a little too far, Duo."
* * * *
Relena lingered at the breakfast table long after she would normally
have left for her office at the Ministry, picking at the cold food on her plate
and ignoring the stack of mail still waiting to be read.
all right, Miss Relena?" Pargan eventually asked, beginning to be seriously
"...I don't know," she said quietly, putting her fork down and
"I don't understand."
"Neither do I, Pargan. That's
the problem." She began to turn away, then looked back at him. "I don't have any
appointments or meetings today, do I?"
"No, Miss Relena, you do
"Good. I won't be going into the office today, Pargan; please let
my secretary know."
"Certainly, Miss Relena. Will you be going anywhere
else?" he inquired, smoothly passing her to open the door.
decided yet. That will be all for now, thank you."
Normally, when Relena
needed to think, she would close herself off in her study; but the scent of
burnt plastic and smoke was still too strong, and a maid was busily cleaning
ashes out of the ornamental fireplace. Relena's search for privacy took her out
into the garden, to a quiet spot with a bench to sit on, where she began to
examine her own motives for the first time in years.
I preach pacifism
and tolerance, she thought, looking at the beautiful view in front of her
without seeing it. I tell people to be kind to each other. Two days ago, I
even did a live broadcast to the entire Earth sphere, saying that we can all get
along peacefully despite our different backgrounds... and yet I was willing to
ruin Duo's life by raking up the worst parts of his background, because I
want what he's got.
I have everything. He has almost nothing. And I'm
And what am I jealous of? Heero's in love with
So... I was willing to ruin Heero's life too, wasn't I?
she suddenly realised, eyes widening. I love... no. I kept telling
myself I loved Heero, but I never once considered that if he loves Duo -- and he
does, I saw it so clearly -- then the best thing I could do for him would
be to leave them alone!
Do I love Heero?! I've believed that for
two years, but...
Slowly, Relena thought back over all the times
she'd spoken to Heero. What he'd said back. The way he acted. How they'd
...I never really listened to him, did I? I never paid
attention. I hung on his arm, and watched his every move, and memorised every
expression... I told him everything I thought and wanted, and I assumed that of
course he agreed with me, but... I never asked. He'd look at me as if I
was stupid, sometimes. I memorised that expression! And I never, not even for a
second, stopped to think that maybe that expression meant he really
did think I was stupid!
That's not love. That's blind
I met him in an incredibly dramatic way, and I fixated on him.
All the things I've hoped for since, the plans I've made for the future, how
he'd finally be able to let down his masks and admit he loved me... I made all
of that up inside my head, and never thought to find out if my plans had any
resemblance to reality. I never even thought of consulting Heero to find out
what he thought, because I was so sure I was right. I've been viewing
everything to do with Heero through my own set of warped assumptions, and never
realised just how far it's twisted my own behaviour.
I'm a pacifist, but
I told Heero it was all right to kill someone, because he was trying to kill
Heero. If it had been anyone else, I would have tried to make them both stop...
I would have said nobody should die... but he was threatening Heero, so
that made it all right for him to be killed.
I think of Quatre as good,
because Heero respects him. I think of Duo as bad, because the first time I met
him, he shot Heero...
Now, that is
Relena dropped her head into her hands,
shaking as the full impact hit her. Duo saved my life. I should have been
grateful. I should have thought of him as some sort of hero... but I hated him,
because he shot Heero. He wounded Heero to save my life, and I made him
into the bad guy!
And I kept chasing after Heero. I was still convinced
that we were in love! He pulled a gun on me, and it didn't shake my
fixation a bit!
What is wrong with me?!
If I'd met Duo
first... would I have fixated on him instead? Would I have cheered him on when
he shot Heero? Would I be digging into Heero's past to find something to use
against him? Or Quatre... if I'd met him first, would I hate Trowa now?
What about Wufei? If I'd fixated on him, would it have survived the sort of cold
politeness he could turn on when he didn't like someone?
used it on me often enough and I just ignored it.
So what do I really
want? Am I so desperate for love that I'll invent it when it doesn't turn up on
...No. Not love, she decided. I wanted Heero, and I told
myself it was love, because that fit all the stereotypes and stories I knew. So
what was I really after?
* * * * *
"You know, that's the first
time I've ever been grateful to someone who's just stuck me with a
needle," Duo commented, sipping at his second glass of orange juice. Thanks to
an injection from a nurse, the first glassful had gone down and stayed
"Now if they could just do something to stop you feeling cold, it'd
be perfect," Heero muttered, tucking the blankets in around Duo more
"I don't mind just waiting it out," Duo shrugged. "At least now I
can stay still and keep the blankets in place."
"Still..." Heero grimaced
and sat down again.
"Did you get hold of the guys?"
pilot nodded. "They'll come in for a visit later this afternoon, when they've
finished moving our stuff."
"I'm surprised you didn't call them earlier,"
Duo said absently, examining the multifunction remote control attached to the
head of the bed. "I would've expected Quatre to be just about vibrating with
impatience until he found out how it went."
"I didn't feel like calling
him and telling him 'Duo is throwing up every thirty seconds, but that's nothing
to worry about'," Heero said dryly. "He wouldn't have taken it well." And
there was no way in hell I was going to leave you to find a payphone before that
"Good point." Duo yawned, surprising himself, and scowled
indignantly. "This is ridiculous! I just woke up and I'm sleepy again? I haven't
even had lunch yet!"
"Bits of you have had a busy morning," Heero pointed
out. "If you want a nap, I'll wake you up when the food arrives. Assuming
they're planning to feed you, that is," Heero added, suddenly uncertain. "I know
they don't let you eat before an operation, but I don't know about
"They'd better," Duo growled, stabbing at the remote to lower the
head of his bed. "Otherwise, knee or no knee, I'm going out for junk
"You will not! You will assign me a search-and-acquire
mission on the kitchens. Or on the nearest pizza place, if the food here lives
up to the usual hospital stereotype."
Duo had been about to snap an angry
reply to Heero's first order, but the rest of what he said made him chuckle.
"Sounds good," he yawned, settling down and adjusting his pillows. "I've got a
loaded Heero and I'm not afraid to use him..."
* * * * *
you to be his Champion," Uthmar repeated flatly.
"I'm not exactly ecstatic about it myself!" Wufei
snapped back, then winced and lowered his voice again. They'd returned to camp,
so he'd been able to get at his medical supplies, but the painkillers weren't
making much of an impression on his headache; it looked as if he was going to
have to wait it out. Discussing the cause of that headache couldn't wait,
however, so he and the two Champions of Torframos had found a private spot a
short distance from the camp. "I don't know where he got the idea I'd want to be
his champion, though. Even if he's been watching me somehow -- which shouldn't
be possible, if what you said about your god not being able to sense me
at all unless one of you is looking at me is accurate -- I don't think
I've been acting like a good prospect for recruitment."
Uthmar and Arwen
exchanged looks, hesitating for a moment, before Arwen replied. "Er... the way
you act wouldn't necessarily have anything to do with it. Neither would the fact
that you don't want to serve him."
"Gods don't just pick Champions from
their most devout followers, Wufei," Uthmar explained.
"If they did,
Vaijon would have become one years ago," Arwen muttered.
look at our souls and see something... different about us," the dwarf continued,
glaring briefly at his fellow Champion. "Torframos once told me that it's like
seeing a spark, the same colour as his power. It's what lets him act through us
without destroying us. If Krashnark offered to make you his Champion, then
something in your soul matches his nature."
"Which also means he probably
can see you," Arwen added.
"...Great," Wufei said after a long,
shocked pause. "That's just what I needed to hear. Part of my soul 'matches' a
Dark God. Do you have anything else morale-boosting to tell me about
"It's not as bad as it might seem--" Uthmar started.
do you mean, not as bad?!" Wufei almost screamed back. "I'm being stalked by an
evil god because he likes the way my soul looks! How would you
"Terrified," Arwen said bluntly. "Uthmar's right, though, it
could be a lot worse. Sit down and listen, okay? There's a lot you need to
Wufei took a deep breath and held it, fighting down the impulse to
keep shouting, and rubbed at his temples in a futile attempt to ease the
pounding headache. He didn't let out his breath and speak until he was
reasonably sure he could do so without losing control again. "Arwen," he said
carefully, "at this point I don't think there's anything you could say that
would make me feel better about this."
"Krashnark isn't actually
"...What?" Wufei blinked at him, then shook his head, grimacing.
"Wait a minute. He's not a Light god, so--"
"I mean it. He's a
Dark god, yes, but all that means is that he was born into the Dark pantheon and
serves his father, Phrobus. Hells, Phrobus was born into the Light pantheon, but
that didn't make him good! Krashnark is ruthless, and he can be cruel, but he's
also honourable. He's the only Dark god that the Light gods actually respect.
Wufei, that's probably why you 'match' him well enough to be a possible
Wufei finally took Arwen's advice and sat down, leaning back
against a tree and taking several deep breaths as he organised his thoughts.
"You're right," he admitted. "That is better than it could
"Definitely," Uthmar agreed. "You could have attracted Fiendark's
attention; he's easily amused by anything that upsets his siblings, so the fact
that you destroyed several of Sharna's servants might have got him interested in
you. Or, gods forbid, Phrobus could be after you himself."
doesn't mean I like the idea of having any Dark god even know I
* * * * *
"You'll change your mind soon enough," Krashnark
predicted, 'watching' the conversation through a shimmering image he'd called
up. "I'll give you a little time to calm down, and then..."
All I have
to do is wait until he comes around to my way of thinking, he thought
complacently, and keep talking to him in the meantime. We're too alike for
him to reject me forever. Given enough time, he'll like me.
already like him... but, after all, I can see everything I need to know
about him in one glance, he mused, changing how he looked at Wufei and
smiling as the emerald-green fire of Wufei's soul became visible. A deep red
spark bobbed within the green, flaring and dimming unpredictably as Wufei
gestured and spoke. He's perfect. It'll take him a while to realise just
how perfect he is for me... and the way I mishandled our first meeting
will make it longer.
Never mind. I can wait.
* * * *
"Excuse me, sir?"
"I'm a lay brother, not a knight, Sir Vaijon,"
Gunnar said, twisting to see the tall, golden-haired human standing behind
"Nevertheless, you are my superior in the Order," Vaijon said
stiffly. "'Sir' is therefore appropriate."
You've just got to
pigeon-hole everybody, don't you? Gunnar thought behind a bland expression.
And it really bothers you that a mere lay-brother dwarf does outrank
you. "If it makes you happy," he drawled, and watched with amusement as
Vaijon flinched a fraction of an inch. "What do you want?"
ominous feeling earlier," the knight-probationer said slowly, choosing his words
with care. "It occurred while you and the Champions were out of the camp,
responding to the... ah... apparent danger to the demon Wufei. I assume you were
aware of it?"
Probably more so than you, boy. "Yes."
paused for a moment, until it was clear that Gunnar wasn't going to volunteer
any information, then continued. "We have received no explanation of either
happening, sir, apart from 'don't worry, it's been taken care of for now'. Might
I inquire as to the cause of these events?"
"You know, Sir Vaijon, that's
the most convoluted way I've ever heard someone ask 'what the hell happened?',"
Gunnar said dryly.
The knight-probationer stiffened indignantly, face
reddening. "I was brought up, sir, in the belief that a certain formality
of manner is appropriate when addressing one's--"
"Yes, well, that's all
very well in court," the dwarf cut him off, "but in the field it's better to get
your meaning across quickly and damn the flourishes.
"Ask Wufei to ask Uthmar if we're making what
happened public, will you?"
"I need a better idea of
what gods exist and exactly what they do," Wufei was saying, rubbing tiredly at
the back of his neck. "It doesn't do me much good to ask 'who was that'
after a deity pops into view and does whatever they came for. You
mentioned-- eh?" He cut himself off and frowned for a moment, then managed a
weak chuckle. "Uthmar... Karthan says Gunnar is 'trying to adjust Vaijon's
"Are they fighting?" Arwen asked, worried.
"That's worse," Uthmar said darkly. "More effective, probably,
"Gunnar wants to know if he can tell Vaijon what happened, or
are we going to try and keep it a secret?" Wufei finished.
there's a question," Arwen muttered. "Uthmar?"
"Why are you asking
"You're senior. I bow to your superior
"There's a first for everything." Uthmar snorted and turned to
Wufei, becoming serious again. "I think it's really up to you, Wufei. Which
would you prefer? You're the person most affected by this, after
Wufei sighed, leaning his head back against the tree and closing
his eyes. "It won't make it any easier for people to trust me... but... if we
try to keep it a secret and it gets out, that will be much worse. Won't
"Yes," the dwarf sighed, sitting down next to him. "And it won't be
an easy secret to keep, if Krashnark decides to come talk to you in person
"I got the impression that that's exactly what he intends," Wufei
muttered. "Besides which, I don't like lying, even by omission."
don't have to tell everyone, though," Arwen suggested. "We should tell
the men, I agree-- and Sir Terrian, when we eventually reach the Motherhouse.
They need to know, especially if it's going to happen again... but
there's no real reason to tell anyone else, is there?"
"Go on," Uthmar
said, and Wufei slitted his eyes open to look at them.
you," Arwen emphasized. "If we couldn't, I think we'd know. That's part of what
being a Champion is about; you're a demon, and if you were an evil demon,
we'd sense it. Members of the Order will take our word for it-- or they should
if they want to stay members!"
"Softly," Uthmar warned, but he was
grinning behind his beard.
"Telling people in general will just make them
distrust you for no good reason," he finished. "If we can keep the knowledge
within the order for a while-- without lying, yes-- that gives you a
chance to build up trust. If you have a reputation as a good, honourable man, it
will be much easier for people to accept it. Right?"
Wufei managed the
ghost of a smile. "I suppose it might work. We'll tell
Karthan raised one eyebrow as Wufei's agreement
reached him down the link, and suppressed both a sigh and a smile. Trust
Uthmar to be out of the way when Vaijon reacts, he thought
...I haven't seen enough of him to have a clear idea of how
he'll take it, came Wufei's reply. He's the 'Golden Boy' type,
That's a perfect description, Karthan snorted, rolling to his
feet and dusting himself off.
And he's going to take this badly?
Wufei asked, resigned.
Badly? Karthan scooped up his axe and swung
it over his shoulder, hooking it onto his weapons harness. He's not going to
'take it' at all. He's going to hear the word 'Krashnark' and... what was it
again? Ah, yes. Four hundred years of Almerhas blood, honour and tradition will
rise up and demand that he, as an Almerhas of Almerhas, take 'proper action'. In
the process, that four hundred years of Almerhas bushwah will negate what
intelligence he possesses. To be fair, he added, shrugging his shoulders and
stamping his feet to make sure his boots and weapons harness were properly
settled, he is intelligent. He just doesn't use his intelligence very
often, because his Almerhas history and training almost always provide a
'proper' response without him having to think.
Judging from your
preparation, the proper response is going to be violent.
certainly not going to consider the fact that you could defeat him without
working up a sweat-- assuming he realises that fact. He probably doesn't. It's
been a long time since he's lost a fight, and he doesn't really think of the
possibility any more.
That is stupid, Wufei thought
disgustedly. Under the right-- or wrong-- conditions, anyone can
I know that, and you know that, but he is an Almerhas of
Why do I get the feeling that I'm going to grow to hate that
Because you have a low tolerance for inane repetition?
Karthan scratched at his beard, hiding a grin behind his hand as he felt Wufei's
mingled amusement and exasperation, and then stretched. I should tell Gunnar
he can tell Vaijon before his well-bred Almerhas patience evaporates... and then
I get to try to keep him from storming off to kill you, long enough for Gunnar
to pound some sense into his head.
Wufei's mental 'voice' was
concerned. You could leave this until we get back... then the Champions could
tell him directly.
If you're not right in front of him when he hears, he
can't go for your throat, Karthan pointed out dryly. You might want to
start back now, though. "Go ahead, Gunnar," he called out, taking a few
steps sideways to place himself directly between Vaijon and the path the
Champions and Wufei had taken.
Gunnar looked consideringly up at the tall
human, who was waiting with at least the appearance of patience for his query to
be answered, and apparently decided to give him the short version of events.
"The ominous feeling was Krashnark being annoyed when Prince
Wufei turned him down."
For about five seconds, Vaijon just stood there,
blankly looking at Gunnar and waiting for the rest of the explanation. Then he
realised there was no more to it... then he finally processed what Gunnar
had actually said. To Karthan's surprise, there was no outraged bellow; he just
stiffened, eyes widening, then narrowing, glittering angry blue. He even nodded
sharply to Gunnar before spinning on his heel and stalking towards Karthan with
his hand on his sword hilt.
His family really did drill manners
into him, didn't they? the dwarf thought incredulously, holding up empty
hands and hoping he wouldn't have to pull his axe. "There's no
"Stand aside," Vaijon snapped, pointing his free hand. "I won't
listen to you if you try to dissuade me from my clear duty! You've been
tainted by that demon and are not to be trusted!"
Hells. I should have
seen this coming. "Your 'clear duty' is to support Torframos's
Champions in their decisions and actions, Sir Vaijon, and they have accepted
Prince Wufei as an ally!" Karthan retorted, emphasizing Wufei's rank in the hope
that it would help.
"If you think I'll believe--"
"The whole point
is that Prince Wufei refused," Gunnar rumbled from behind Vaijon.
"Weren't you listening?! The Order of Torframos has a duty to
support such a courageous warrior, not try to kill him!"
whose word do we have that he did refuse, other than his own?" Vaijon
shouted, whirling around to glare down at Gunnar.
"Krashnark would hardly
have been that angry if he hadn't!"
"Besides which, I don't think he
could have hidden his new status from two other Champions if he had said
'yes'," Karthan snorted.
"Exactly," Arwen's voice came coldly from behind
him. "His Highness, Prince Wufei, has the full confidence of both Sir
Uthmardanharknar and myself. He carries no taint from Krashnark's attempt to
recruit him, and is not, himself, a threat. Have I made myself
The watching lay brothers and knights all nodded and rumbled
quiet agreement-- doubtfully in a few cases, but it was still agreement. Vaijon
spun around again to stare open-mouthed at his commander, and Karthan choked
back a badly-timed snicker as he wondered how long it would take before the
knight-probationer got dizzy.
"But, Sir! If he--"
"Have I made
myself clear, Sir Vaijon?"
"How can you trust him if a Dark god
wants to recruit him?!" Vaijon screeched, flinging out one hand to point wildly
at Wufei. Unfortunately, his position at the time meant that the easiest hand to
point with was his right... the hand that was still clamped on the hilt
of his sword. Only Karthan's reflexes saved him from being struck in the head as
he snatched up his axe and turned away, feeling the axeblade thump against his
back as he blocked the accidental blow, and Vaijon was left staring aghast at
what he'd almost done.
"I'll tell you one thing, Sir Vaijon," Karthan
said into the frozen silence, slowly settling his axe back into place. "I trust
him not to forget about innocent
[Mel and Christy are slumped on the couch,
lazily fanning themselves with pieces of paper, as they stare off into distance
with glazed eyes. Miraculously, the house is fixed.]
DUO: What gives? I
thought they were going to send us off after some other ludicrously powerful
ARDETH (nodding): And why are they fanning themselves?
It's not that hot today.
MEL: Ohhhhhhhh yes it is.
CHRISTY: We already got our dose of eye-candy for the week, guys,
QUATRE: Eye-candy? Who?
MEL: Who wasn't
CHRISTY: The Pacific Islands section of the Multicultural
MEL: Fijians... Maoris... Tongans... Samoans... big
muscly men in grass skirts...
CHRISTY: Sweat glistening... You know, some
of those guys could win a limbo competition if they didn't have those big things
MEL: They were waving spades, or
fans, or something. Get your mind out of the gutter, Woofers!
Thighs... pecs... bronze skin...
WUFEI: Get your own minds out of
MEL & CHRISTY: Why?
LEGOLAS (eyes fixed on the TV
screen): You can't win. I've only been here a chapter and a half, and I already
know that. (He changes channels and finds Olympic coverage.) Hm! Nice
ARDETH: What've you got? Women's ice skating?
don't see any point in whatever it is they're doing, but they've got good
ARDETH: Legolas... that's bobsledding. Men's
LEGOLAS: So? They've got good legs.
[Duo exchanges a
speculative glance with the onna authors.]
DUO: You don't suppose...
LEGOLAS (oblivious): I wonder what sort of training they
do? I want legs like that.
DUO: ...or maybe not.
legs are already better than theirs, Legolas. Trust me.
conversation looks like it's going to degenerate into a discussion of the
relative merits of muscly vs. trim thighs, when the coverage switches from
bobsledding to ice hockey. Christy is immediately captivated.]
Woo-hoo! USA vs. Russia! Mel, you know how to haka, right? I wanna haka* at the
MEL: They can't see you.
CHRISTY: I don't care, let's do
it! --I refuse to do the tiki-face, though.
MEL: Fair enough. We can feed
Heero a chili dog with Vegemite on it and he can do all the tiki-faces we
CHRISTY: Oi! Russian team! We haka in your general
DUO: (ignoring the insane women): U-S-A! U-S-A! Oi, Ref, that
was a high stick, you moron! If I was there and had my
[Everybody else trades significant looks, and they quietly sneak
out of the room, leaving the three hockey fans and the TV addict
* For those who don't know: a haka
is a Maori concept where you line up in front of your enemy and try to scare the
living daylights out of them by stamping and chanting and making faces... it's a
heck of a lot of fun, actually. If you've ever seen the All Blacks play,
that is a haka, only they have to get by without the spears and facial
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