'One Step Closer'
is the property of Linkin Park
WUFEI: They're just taking extra time to work out
something really hentai to do to us.
QUATRE: I don't know... they might
really be serious about liking hockey.
TROWA: Duo certainly
QUATRE: And we haven't seen them plotting.
HEERO: Doesn't mean
anything. They were out of the house, together
, for a total of over eight
hours on Saturday. They could have been plotting just about anything
QUATRE: Would plotting have made them hoarse?! They were at a game!
Before that, they said they were shopping, and they certainly brought back
enough stuff to substantiate that story!
TROWA: And the rest of the time,
they've been watching anime. It wasn't even us.
WUFEI: Well, I have to
admit that's true... except when they were doing that insane Buffy
[Quatre giggles. Heero shudders.]
HEERO: Don't remind
WUFEI: I thought you said you liked Spike?
HEERO: I also said
I'd never say it again. And I wanted to put most of the other characters out of
[He peers into the living room, where Mel, Christy, and Duo
are sprawled on the couch, watching TV and cheering as big men smash each other
into the boards. Legolas is occupying the beanbag, and appears to be trying to
work out the rules by observation.]
LEGOLAS: So... they're allowed to
skate straight over the ones wearing black and white stripes?
If the refs don't get out of the way, it's too bad.
LEGOLAS: Every other
sport I've seen on this TV thing seems to forbid that sort of
DUO: Oh, come on! That was not
[Heero leans back out of the living room and
HEERO: All right, they're not writing now
... but I still
don't trust them.
WUFEI: Definitely not.
QUATRE: I never said you
should. I just said they weren't plotting in secret... this time.
Even if they were, they usually give in to the desire to gloat and tell us what
WUFEI (grumpily): Too late to avoid it.
From what I've seen, they could tell you what they were planning a year in
advance, and it would still be too late to avoid it.
HEERO: I hope they
start writing about you.
MEL (standing right behind him): Writing? Who's
HEERO: AAAGH! Where the hell did you come from?!
living room. Duh.
QUATRE (muttering): And we thought Duo was the stealth
HEERO: Why aren't you watching TV?!
MEL: Ad break. What
was that about writing?
sighs and puts one hand over his eyes.]
TROWA (muttering): How the hell
did they ever manage to lie convincingly to OZ?
QUATRE (muttering back):
We weren't as scared of OZ. Only the fate of the world was at stake.
That reminds me... we're behind schedule. Hmmm...
WUFEI: Really, you're
HEERO: I'm sure the readers don't
WUFEI: You could probably just let it slide for a while longer. Go
see some more ice hockey.
HEERO: Read a few good books. Would you like me
to get you some?
CHRISTY (coming up behind Mel): Obviously you guys
haven't been reading our mail. We're being nagged.
ARDETH: In that case,
you definitely should write. Er, sticking to the stories you already have in
progress, that is. Starting new stories that might hypothetically involve
non-Gundam Wing characters or settings would probably be a bad thing.
MEL: Fluffy-sama's gonna come back and kill me if he ever
finds out I'm writing him into a story set mostly in
CHRISTY: Anyway, enough
procrastinating. We've got a lot of catching up to do, so, on with the
Demon of Justice
"Now that I think of it, we're going to
have to either get new transport, or come up with a very
for why four spoilt rich teenagers are driving around in a junker," Quatre said
Trowa glanced over at him from his position behind the steering
wheel. "A junker with an impressively customised engine, too. Perhaps we can say
that rebuilding abandoned cars is Heero's hobby, and this one is only half
"That should work," Quatre agreed, relaxing slightly. "I
should have thought of that before now, though!"
slightly distracted," Trowa pointed out mildly, turning a corner.
can't afford to be distracted when it's something that could affect our cover.
It's all very well for me to be worried about Duo, but that won't help him much
if I end up getting him killed because I forgot something important!"
wasn't that serious, Quatre. It'll even give Heero something to do apart from
hovering over Duo and checking his email."
"But what else
forgotten?" Quatre fretted, refusing to be comforted.
Wordlessly, Trowa pointed at the truck
driving across the intersection in front of them. 'THE CURTAIN SHOP' was painted
in large red letters across its side.
"...Actually, I did
curtains," Quatre admitted, watching the truck go past. "Um. And quite a few
other things for the house. Like our
chuckled. "Well, it's fixable. That truck's even turning into our street; if it
stops, you can get their phone number off of it."
"It has to stop in our
street," Quatre said absently, mentally working out a list of things the house
would need, and wincing at its length. "It's a cul de sac."
an eyebrow. "Heero won't like that. I'm not sure I
"Oh, it doesn't limit our exit routes," Quatre assured him.
"There's a small park down the road that we can cut through to reach another
street, and if that fails, we've got a straight-line run from the driveway
through the back fence to a three-way intersection. The fence isn't strong
enough to stop a car; I checked."
"See?" Trowa teased gently. "You're not
forgetting the important
"Remember that when you're
sleeping on the floor tonight... please?"
Trowa opened his mouth to
reply, then hesitated, frowning. "Are all
those trucks outside our
"...It looks that way," Quatre said slowly.Three
furniture delivery trucks were parked along the side of the road, and the
curtain truck pulled up behind them as the pilots watched, blinking.
I tell Relena to get curtains?" Quatre asked
didn't order them,
"I know I
really don't think Heero or Duo would have thought of it,
"Definitely not," Trowa agreed, pulling into the driveway and
"So why are they here?"
"Either it's a wrong address, or
Relena's improvising. Since I don't
think it would take three trucks to
deliver just the things Duo asked for, I'd say she's
"Pink," Quatre muttered darkly under his breath, and got
out of the car.
Before he could find out whether or not the furniture was
in fact pink, something pink arrived. Pargan parked the limousine behind the
delivery trucks and hurried up the driveway, looking mildly
"My apologies, Mister Winner, Mister Barton," he said, bowing
slightly. "I had intended to arrive before the deliveries, but circumstances
"We just got here ourselves, so you're not late," Trowa
pointed out. "I thought Relena had a meeting?"
"Three meetings, to be
precise," Pargan said dryly. "Miss Relena did
, however, manage to find a
moment to write a note, explaining what she has bought and where the various
items should go. She thought it might prove... ah..."
"Necessary?" Trowa muttered, watching as the deliverymen
opened the back of one truck, revealing a lot
of blanket-wrapped pieces
"Instructive," Pargan finished, handing over an envelope
with a slight smile.
Unfolding the single sheet of paper inside, Quatre
started to read the handwritten note, Trowa looking over his
I'm sorry I can't be there to
supervise the deliveries, but at
least I managed to stay out of meetings
long enough to finish the
shopping. And yes, I realise you didn't ask me to
get all of those
things, but you probably haven't had the time to think of
things a house needs... so, I expanded the parameters of my
"'Mission'?" Trowa muttered quietly. "She's
been following Heero for too long, I think."'Besides, very few men
can actually decorate!'
Quatre winced slightly at that line,
envisioning what Relena's ideas of proper decorating might be; then read on, and
his eyes widened.'I made some (hopefully correct) assumptions about
who would be
in which rooms: Duo in one of the ground-floor bedrooms, Heero
the other, and you two in the master bedroom upstairs. Please
the deliverymen to put the dark wood ensemble in Duo's room,
with the jewel-tone blue and purple linens and curtains. Heero's
the pale wood ensemble with cream and blue accessories, and I
earth tones for yours. If any of it isn't suitable, I made
manager of every single store swear on their mothers' graves it
be exchanged without penalty.
There are also a coordinating set of dining
and living room
furniture, bookshelves, entertainment center, kitchen
and so forth. After all, if your neighbors are friendly, you'll
something appropriate for them to sit on when they visit.
furniture at your last house was not appropriate, and it was
such bad shape that sitting on it wouldn't do Duo's knee any
(Speaking of Duo's knee, I understand that swimming is
exercise for that sort of injury, so I've organised a yard crew
clean the leaves out of the pool and hot tub, and to check the
quality. I didn't sign you up for a regular gardening or
maintenance schedule, though, since I thought you'd prefer to
that up yourselves. Or not.)
Pargan knows the layout I planned for
each of the rooms, and I've
asked him to stay and help direct the
deliverymen. If I've forgotten
to tell you anything, I'm sure he'll
Please, if there's anything else I can do to help, don't
to ask. I'm glad I could do something, and I genuinely would like
"That's a note?" Quatre
muttered under his breath, looking over the neatly-written page. "Notes are
... and there wasn't any mention of pink or ruffles."
Total Pacifism," Trowa murmured in his ear, and Quatre had to disguise a laugh
as a cough.
"Trowa!" he hissed, struggling not to laugh
"She's worked it into conversations on almost every other topic
before," Trowa pointed out, voice barely above a whisper. "Why not this
Pargan cleared his throat. "Sirs, if I might make a
suggestion...? Perhaps if we were to move the furnishings into your room first,
you could then make a start on unpacking your belongings, while I supervise the
rest of the delivery."
"In other words, let's get started before the
drivers start charging overtime," Trowa said dryly.
"If sir wishes to
interpret it that way..."
Once things were explained to the deliverymen,
the unloading got underway. Some of the items that were moved out of the trucks
and temporarily placed on the lawn, awaiting their turn to be carried inside,
got a slightly concerned glance from Quatre.
"Those bookshelves might be
too tall," he said slowly, comparing them with his hazy recollection of the
"Everything will fit in its proper place, Mister Winner,
I assure you," Pargan said calmly. "Miss Relena was most particular about the
"What did you do?" Trowa asked. "Look in through all the
windows and make estimates?"
"No, sir. We went inside and made use of a
tape measure," the elderly man replied. His tone of voice supplied the unspoken
'of course' at the end of the sentence.
"But... I didn't give Relena a
key," Quatre said doubtfully.
Pargan's moustache twitched slightly, and
he raised one eyebrow a fraction. "At the risk of sounding flippant, sir...
since when has that
made a difference?"
"Regardless of my employer's gender, Mister Winner, I am
a gentleman's gentleman," Pargan said serenely. "My duties can be nicely summed
up as 'whatever proves necessary'... including, sometimes, surreptitious entry
into locked premises. Miss Relena was rather surprised, but not
"Pargan, I never knew you had it in you," Trowa
"On a personal note, sirs..." Pargan paused, looking slightly
uncomfortable, then cleared his throat and continued. "I would like to thank you
for enlisting Miss Relena's assistance. She found a great deal of enjoyment in
choosing furniture and fabrics to suit each of you, and I honestly don't think
I've seen her that happy for quite some time."
"Er... really?" Quatre
"Really, sir. Miss Relena is good at concealing her
true feelings, but I have been aware for some time that she is not at ease. More
recently, something happened which first angered, and then depressed her.
Whatever the underlying problem may be hasn't gone away, but for a few hours
yesterday she was able to forget it." He frowned, watching the deliverymen
without really seeing them. "I wouldn't have mentioned this, sir, if I had any
doubts at all about your discretion, or if I did not hope that you might be able
to help in some way."
"Pargan... I'm flattered, but I honestly don't know
how we can," Quatre said, exchanging glances with Trowa. This probably has
something to do with Relena apologising and seeming worried about Duo, but we're
no closer to finding out why!
"Perhaps, if there is anything
else Miss Relena can assist you with...?" Pargan suggested hopefully. "Being
able to help you did
seem to help her, after all. This would also enable
you to spend more time with Mister Maxwell... a topic which seems to concern
Miss Relena at the moment." He cleared his throat again, carefully not looking
at Quatre and Trowa. "Rather more than anything else seems to concern her, in
Exchanging another startled, thoughtful glance with Quatre, Trowa
nodded slowly. "We'll see what we can do."
Pargan's tense shoulders
relaxed a fraction, and he smiled. "Thank you, sirs. I can't ask for more than
that. ...Well. The furniture for your room seems to have been moved in now, so
perhaps you would care to unpack while I continue to supervise out
* * * * *
Uthmar blinked in surprise at Wufei's tone
of voice. It hadn't been angry, or rude. What it had
been was cold and
controlled, with a definite overtone of 'NOT NOW' about it.
something... wrong?" he asked delicately.
For a moment, it seemed as if
Wufei was about to go for the dwarf's throat, as he directed a seething glare in
his direction; then, he took a deep breath and straightened up, visibly
controlling himself.Wrong? Yes, you could say that,
bitterly. I am frustrated because I have to keep Nataku down to the marching
speed of a group of people with very short legs. I am not used to working with
anyone other than another Gundam pilot. I miss the ability to call the other
pilots... I miss them calling me just to say 'hi'.
Duo calling me. Playing his music just makes it worse at times.
have liked to talk to someone during the day's march, perhaps find out some more
about this world and what's going on in it... but I don't want to use the link
to Karthan if it isn't absolutely necessary. I can't use the external speakers
without scaring the horses and announcing our presence to the surrounding
countryside, and I definitely don't want to let anyone into Nataku's
cockpit in case that somehow forms another link to them...
...and all of
that would have been bearable, if it wasn't for one other
," Wufei corrected himself, jabbing an accusing
finger upwards, "has been... annoying
"He won't take 'no' for an answer," Wufei explained
grimly. "At least, not for more than ten minutes at a time. He turns up every
time I think his name, or think of a question he can answer, and if he's thought
of a new reason why I should be his Champion since the last time I got him to
shut up, he won't go away until I do the mental equivalent of sticking my
fingers in my ears and singing at the top of my voice!"
"I can see how
that would get on your nerves, yes," Uthmar said calmly. "If stuffing wax in
your ears would be any help, I'd offer you a candle. Since it isn't, would you
like to get drunk instead?"
The Chinese pilot looked at him incredulously
for a moment, hovering between surprise and anger. Surprise won, and he laughed
weakly, running one hand back over his hair. "Somehow, I don't think that will
"Well, it wouldn't stop him talking to you, but it might
stop you from caring," Uthmar pointed out with a sympathetic smile.
sighed, managing a half-smile. "The thought is appreciated, Uthmar,
"If he wasn't at least considering the offer, the god wouldn't
keep pestering him," a voice muttered from behind Wufei, not quite
enough to go unheard. "I said
we couldn't trust anyone a Dark god would
want to recruit."
Wufei could feel his face freezing into a cold, blank
mask as he slowly turned around to look behind him. The blond
knight-probationer, Sir Vaijon, stiffened and glared back aggressively, refusing
to back down.
"And just what would you
know about it?" Wufei asked
Part of him was aware that, given his background and
worldview, Sir Vaijon had a perfectly legitimate concern and shouldn't become a
target for his temper just because he distrusted Wufei.
The rest of him
had other ideas. He's-- supposedly-- a responsible adult. He's been told by
people he should regard as competent authorities that my trustworthiness is
not in question. He could have severely injured Karthan during his little
temper tantrum yesterday, and he's been sulking ever since.
he's going to make comments like that within earshot of the people he's talking
about, he has to learn to expect repercussions.
"I know that if you
just told him 'no' and meant
it, he'd leave you alone!" Vaijon snapped
back. "The gods aren't interested in unwilling Champions."
raised one eyebrow and eyed Vaijon skeptically. "Did they tell you that in
"Everybody knows it!"
"Then I'd appreciate it if you
would be so good as to tell K-- him
," Wufei snorted. "He doesn't seem to
have gotten the message. In fact, he told me that the only way I can get him to
stop nagging me is to give in and say 'yes'. Since he is a god, and I am
unwilling, it looks to me as if 'everybody' is wrong."
think 'everybody', in this case, means 'minstrels who have no idea of the
truth'," Arwen drawled, strolling over. "There are a lot of ballads out there
where the hero either decides very early that he should be a Champion and goes
out to prove his worthiness, or is approached by a god and leaps at the chance.
I haven't heard even one song where the god has to argue with his chosen
representative to get him to accept the position, but that seems to be far more
"Nobody would try to refuse such an honour!" Vaijon said
incredulously. "Nobody would dare
"I did," Arwen said, smiling
Vaijon's jaw dropped. "You-- but-- how could--"
see, I used to believe that only people who were already high ranking-- knights,
nobles and so on-- could possibly be worthy of being Champions," the ex-peasant
Champion said dryly. "I certainly didn't think I
measured up to the
proper standard. Torframos disagreed, but it took him three months to get me to
"It only took him two weeks to get me to say 'yes',"
Uthmar put in, "but I kept asking him if he was sure he'd made the right choice
for about a year afterwards."
"I did some research after I finally
agreed," Arwen continued, smile widening as Vaijon continued to goggle at him.
"I had full access to the Order's records then, so it wasn't hard. Every single
Champion of Torframos, all the way back to when the archives were rebuilt after
the Fall of Kontovar, has expressed doubt that they were 'good enough' to serve.
Most have tried to refuse... and the occasional afternoon I've managed to spend
in other Orders' archives suggests that the same is true for the other Light
gods' Champions. It seems that reluctant Champions are exactly
"Of course, the Dark gods are different," Uthmar said, moving up
to stand next to Wufei. "We don't know very much about how they select their
Champions, apart from the obvious requirements that they have to somehow 'match'
with the god in question, and
be strong-willed enough not to go
"--or, at least, they have to last long enough to be useful
they go mad," Gunnar added cheerfully, grinning at
"--but what we do
know seems to suggest that they usually
choose people who will leap at the chance to get the sort of power that comes
with being a Champion," Uthmar finished, glaring briefly at his
second-in-command. "They also tend to be very
nasty pieces of work. Sir
Wufei is not
typical. And perhaps, before we get into another argument
about what he may or may not be concealing, I should point out that Torframos
him!" he added quickly as Vaijon opened his
"Yes, Vaijon, I've been saying 'no' and meaning it," Wufei said
sarcastically, starting to relax, but still wanting to slap the idiot down a
bit. "Unfortunately, Krashnark doesn't seem to subscribe to the principle of
'Just Say No', and... oh, shit
Wufei lifted one hand to cover his eyes, shoulders slumping. "Speak of the god
and he appears. Damn. He's standing right behind me, isn't he?"
Gunnar said, looking up at the faintly glowing figure looking hopefully down at
The lay brothers and knights of the Order slowly began to back
away as Wufei turned around to confront the god. "No. No! We are not
going to start this again! I refuse! That's it! No 'maybe', no 'someday', no
'later', the answer is just NO
"But it's the wrong
answer," Krashnark said gently.
"The only thing you are accomplishing
here is to make me even more determined to keep saying NO!" Wufei shouted up at
him. "Gods are usually supposed to have enough patience to wait thousands of
years for something to happen! Why are you so determined to have me as your
that you'll turn up ten times in one day to annoy
"Because I don't have
"You may be a demon, but you're also human,"
Krashnark said seriously, a faint crease appearing between his eyebrows as he--
almost-- looked worried. "Humans are... fragile. Ephemeral. Even if you live out
your full lifetime, that's barely the blink of an eye by my standards... or you
could die tomorrow, in some stupid accident, and there wouldn't be a thing I
could do to prevent it. You're the first mortal being worth paying attention to
I've seen in over three hundred years, and I don't want to lose whatever chance
I may have because you trip and hit your head, or something equally
Wufei blinked, momentarily speechless, and Krashnark leaned
closer, voice shifting to a coaxing tone. "If you become my Champion, though, I
"NO! Forget it!" Wufei yelled, throwing up his hands in
exasperation. "Do not nag me! It will not
"I'm sorry I ever compared you to Relena! It was an
insult to her
! She at least has enough sense to go away when people are
at her!" Wufei spun on his heel and stalked away towards
Nataku, glaring back over his shoulder to deliver one parting shot. "You are
even more annoying than Duo at his worst, and he tries
to get people
Krashnark watched him go until Nataku's hatch swung closed behind
him; then he frowned, and directed an accusing glare at Sir Vaijon.
wouldn't be that upset if you
hadn't been annoying him, you know," he
said bitterly. And he vanished.
There was a long, stunned silence. Vaijon
was staring wide-eyed at the spot where Krashnark had been,
Torframos' voice said in the back
of Uthmar's and Arwen's minds. =*That was
Wufei flung himself into the pilot's
chair and slapped the control to close the hatch. Sitting back with his arms
folded across his chest and his jaw clenched, he glanced upwards and started
counting under his breath.
"Three... two... one..."=*I'm only
trying to do what's best for you.*=
"Right on time," he
muttered sourly.=*I beg your pardon?*=
"My idea of what's
best for me is very different from yours," Wufei growled. "Go away and leave me
!"=*I realise that you're annoyed at that arrogant blond
idiot, but that's no reason to take it out on me.*=
sputtered incoherently for a moment, and Krashnark's mental 'voice' went on
obliviously.=*I can arrange for something to be done about him, if
"YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND!" For a moment, Wufei wished
Krashnark was physically present and visible, just so he could try to beat a
little self-doubt into him. "I am angry at you
! At your nagging, at your
refusal to admit that I might have a valid point of view, at your arrogance--
and you had the absolute blind gall to call Vaijon
arrogant! Compared to
you, he's positively modest and self-effacing! You've been coming up with dozens
of reasons why I should become your Champion, and they all boil down to 'Because
I Want You'. Well, you may be a god, but you are not my
god, and I
couldn't care less what you want! I will do what I
want to do, according
to my own values and within the limits set by my own honour, and that does
include becoming your Champion and leading a crusade for
Krashnark didn't answer immediately, but Wufei could feel that he
hadn't left. He wasn't really surprised that it was taking the god a little
while to formulate a reply; he rather suspected that he'd finally managed to
come up with something Krashnark couldn't just brush off.I think
that's been building up all day,
he thought, trying to bring his breathing
back to normal. If I'm lucky, he'll have to go away and think about it. If
I'm really lucky, he might actually pay attention to what I've said,
=*You'd understand if you could just look at this situation
from my point of view,*=
Krashnark told him.--that,
finished with an internal grimace. "No," he said out loud, flicking open a small
storage compartment and reaching inside. "You've got that the wrong way around.
would understand if you took a few seconds to look at the situation
point of view."=*But you don't realise
"Do you know what I find most annoying?" Wufei said
conversationally, pulling out the bag of CDs Duo had left him and opening it.
"It's not the fact that you're treating me as if I'm incapable of making my own
decisions. It's not the way you ignore my arguments because I'm not parroting
back what you say and therefore I must
be wrong. It's not even the way
that you didn't realise I was angry until I literally screamed at you-- which
made me look stupid
-- and then you didn't even consider that I might be
angry at you
." Finding what he wanted, he pulled out the disk labelled
'LOUD!' and shoved the bag back into its compartment, reaching over with his
other hand to switch on Nataku's internal speaker system.
annoying little smug undertone that's always in your voice," he continued,
almost cheerfully. "The one that says 'I know
I'm going to win this
argument'."=*I don't have--*=
"There it is again!" Wufei
said brightly, feeding the CD into the proper slot and hitting a random number
on a keypad. "I'm really sick of hearing it."
The first notes of the
selected track played out of the speakers, and a slightly manic grin spread over
Wufei's face as he recognised what song it was. I must remember to ask Uthmar
if there's a god of Luck, or Chance. I think I may have just received some
This is possibly one of the stupidest things I've
ever done, and it's going to hurt. Dealing with Krashnark seems to inspire me to
new heights of stupidity. It's worth a try, though... and I should at least heal
=*...What are you doing?*=
Krashnark asked, a note of doubt
finally creeping into his voice.
"Blocking my ears won't work, since you
can talk inside my head," Wufei told him, reaching out for the volume control.
"So I decided to see what happens if I can't hear myself think." And he turned
it up as far as it would go.I cannot take this any more
everything I've said before
All these words they make no sense
bliss in ignorance
Less I hear the less you'll say
But you'll find that
The music was loud enough to be felt as a physical
blow, vibrating through Wufei's ribcage as he rocked in his seat. His eardrums
seemed to be trying to meet in the middle of his head, but it was working;
Krashnark was saying something, but Wufei couldn't make out any more than a few
broken fragments of words. Grinning, he rocked harder and screamed along with
the chorus.Just like before...
Everything you say to
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break!
a little room to breathe
'Cause I'm one step closer to the edge
about to break!
"I hope you're paying attention for once, Krashnark!"
he shouted, laughing.I find the answers aren't so
Wufei sang through the next verse and chorus, straining his
throat as he automatically tried to sing loud enough to hear himself. At some
point his left eardrum burst; he didn't realise what had happened until he felt
something warm dripping down his neck, looked down, and saw blood. Shrugging, he
gave the volume control an extra nudge to make sure it was right up there, and
Then there was a momentary lull in the song, and Krashnark
could make himself heard again.=*--injuring yourself! This is insane!
Wufei? WUFEI! Stop this! There's no need for you to do this to
Wufei's grin widened slightly as he bobbed his head in
time with the music, waiting for the next vocal line.=*Are you even
paying attention to me?! I--*=
UP WHILE I'M TALKING TO YOU!
WHILE I'M TALKING TO YOU!
I'M ABOUT TO BREAK!
Wufei sang along
with the last chorus-- after all, why should he stop when he was having fun for
the first time that day? --then shut the sound system down and ejected the disk,
careful not to get blood on it. There was a hollow ringing tone echoing through
his head, and when he dropped the CD case onto the floor, he didn't hear
it.I wonder how long it'll take for my hearing to come back?
thought mildly, swiping his hands over the sides of his neck and examining the
bloody smears with detached interest. I suppose it doesn't really matter...
Karthan can let me know what people are saying, and I can probably manage
something with my link to Nataku and her sensors...
"Have I made my
point clear?" he asked out loud, speaking slowly and carefully because he
couldn't hear himself.=*...Yes,*=
Krashnark replied quietly into
"Good. Am I going to have to repeat this little musical
exorcism, or--"=*No! No... I understand. I... won't nag you. I don't
want you to harm yourself again.*=
"I will, if I have to," Wufei said
grimly.=*You won't have to.*=
in the camp were on Nataku as the hatch opened and Wufei climbed out, making his
way unsteadily over to where the Champions had set up their
"Wufei, what happ-- he's bleeding!" Uthmar exclaimed,
scrambling up. Karthan and Gunnar were immediately by the small demon's side,
steadying him as he walked to his own bedroll and cautiously sat
"Are you all right?!" Naiya called, hurrying over.
"I don't think he can hear you." Arwen took a quick look at
Wufei's ears, then gently turned his head to face him. "Wufei? What happened?"
he asked, speaking slowly and clearly.
He had to repeat the question
before Wufei focussed on his mouth and understood it, but then the human/demon
"I finally found a way to make him shut
WUFEI: ...You popped
CHRISTY: No we didn't.
MEL: You did that to
WUFEI: You wrote me into it!
MEL: Well... it was for the
best, wasn't it? It got Krashnark off your back.
WUFEI (nastily): Might I
point out that he was only on my back because you
wrote him that way?
It's still your fault.
CHRISTY (ignoring him): Exactly, Mel. We did it
for his own good.
WUFEI: I've just realised
WUFEI: This is exactly like the
conversations you made me have with Krashnark, including the strong desire to
scream at you.
WUFEI: You're making him channel
CHRISTY: He's such
a bright boy, Mel.
MEL: I knew
there was a reason I liked him.
CHRISTY: Oh, Krashy-baby... we've got
your lines for the next chapter ready so you can rehearse!
saunters over in a godly manner, radiating insufferable smugness and
WUFEI: I thought I beat that out of you. Metaphorically
KRASHNARK: Only in the fic.
MEL: Krashy-baby, my tea's
gone cold. Would you zap it for me?
KRASHNARK: My pleasure.
zaps Mel's tea with one hand while holding his script in the other and skimming
WUFEI: I hate you onnas. You do realise that,
MEL: Oh, cheer up! We're not going to make Krashnark channel us
any more, if that makes you feel any better.
KRASHNARK: ...It doesn't
feel better! These lines are-- are--
KRASHNARK: --wishy-washy! I was having
fun, damn it!
[He zaps Mel's tea and Christy's coffee, freezing them
instantly, and stamps off.]
CHRISTY: But Krashy-baby... think of the
possible fringe benefits later! You just have to be patient!
comes back and stops the heater working. It's winter in Canberra. This is not
KRASHNARK: You're the ones writing me as impatient! Deal with
CHRISTY: Brat! Get back in the props closet!
MEL: So, Wu-babe,
feeling better now?
WUFEI: I was starting to, until you mentioned
Krashnark's future 'fringe benefits'. Now I'm feeling worse
You're just never satisfied, Wufei.