Demon of Justice Chapter 6


                                                                                                                                                                                                      "It's All Been Done"



[Duo runs into the room, waving something over his head.]

DUO: Hey C-chan, these are really cool! Are they for me?

CHRISTY: NO! They're MINE! You've got plenty!

[She snatches the Something from Duo. It's a pair of black satin boxer shorts with big red hearts on them... only, the hearts have little demon horns and evil faces.]

CHRISTY (clutching the boxers to her chest): MINEMINEMINEMINEMINE!

QUATRE: Anou, Christy-san... why do you have men's boxers?

CHRISTY: Because they're comfortable!

QUATRE: Ah. I see.

[Christy drops her jeans.]


[Dark blue boxers with cute li'l frogs all over 'em.]

QUATRE: *blush* Um... I think I hear Trowa calling me! [zip!]

[Duo and Christy sit on the sofa and check out her frogs.]

DUO: Cool, there's one on a beach with an umbrella... one reading a paper... and one in a bad jacket and bow tie, carrying a flower. Is that one of those stiff fake shirt fronts?

CHRISTY (squinting): No... he's wearing a white glove. See?

DUO: Oh yeah! The Michael Jackson of frogs!

CHRISTY: Hey, I forgot. Where's Mel? We gotta start writing again.

DUO: Ummm...

CHRISTY: Oh come on, you've gotta admit things are getting better for you! And we're planning something _good_ for this chapter...

DUO: Really? Good by my standards or yours?

CHRISTY: Good by your standards, cross my heart and hope to have all my tapes erased by an EMP! If we don't get to it in this chapter, it'll happen in the next one.

DUO: ...okay. She's in the bathroom, swearing 'cause she's broken a tooth.

CHRISTY: How the hell did she do that?!

DUO: Chewing a jube.

MEL (in the distance): Why the hell couldn't it have been something WORTH breaking a tooth over?!

DUO: She's keeping the bit that came off.

CHRISTY: Ewwwww! Why?!

DUO: She doesn't have medical insurance, so it'll cost her at least a couple of hundred dollars to get fixed. After that much money, she figures she deserves a souvenir.

CHRISTY: Ick. Before I get any more squicky details... on with the fic!

"It's All Been Done"

Wufei dug around in Nataku's various compartments, checking to see if there was anything else he should take with him. There was a surprising amount of storage space in a Gundam; most was taken up with ammunition and spare parts, but there was still a lot available for the pilot's use.

I don't need any of the camping gear... certainly none of the espionage equipment! I left some clothes with Naiya, but I'd better bring the rest... there's my sword... hm? What's this? He pulled out a small padded cube with a shoulder strap. This is one of Duo's CD bags! What's it doing in here?

Unzipping the top, he found a stack of jewel cases and a short note.

Oi, Wu-man! Can you play some of these
during the next battle? Shenlong's external
speakers are better than my 'Scythe's at the

"That's because you keep using them to blast out 'Ride of the Valkyries' at fifty decibels over the intended maximum volume," Wufei muttered, shaking his head. Flicking through the CDs, he raised an eyebrow. "Metallica... Black Sabbath... Offspring... where does he find all this old stuff? What the-- Barenaked Ladies?! Oh yes, I remember that one. They Might Be Giants-- hm. I guess either he had a spare, or Heero didn't 'lose' it as well as he thought. Oh, how nice... he's given me a copy of 'Ride of the Valkyries'. The '1812 Overture'..." He flicked to the last few. "Oh, this is scary. 'Duo's Compilation CDs 1 to 6'. Don't tell me he owns a CD burner!" He looked for a playlist, but found only plain labels with notes like 'Funky' 'Depressing' and 'Random junk' written on them. "Do I even want to know? Not right now, that's for sure." Moving to close the bag, he glimpsed another label and blinked in surprise, eyebrows climbing towards his hairline. "'Dance Music'? Duo thought I might want dance music? In a Gundam?! Now I'm really frightened..." He shoved the CDs back into the compartment and closed it firmly.

Dropping to the ground and slipping out from behind the camouflage sheet he'd dropped over Nataku, he nodded to Terrin. "Go now?"

Terrin nodded, glancing apprehensively back as they left the cave. The sooty gray-black night camouflage blended perfectly with the shadows, making Nataku invisible even if someone did find the cave; you had to approach within a few feet before you could be sure the looming bulk wasn't just the entrance into another chamber. He'd seen and touched the thin, light material, even helped tuck it around the huge demon, but it made him even more nervous than riding in Nataku's hand had - or anything else Nataku had done that day.

As they started down the rocky slope towards the path, Wufei shifted the strap of his duffel bag irritably. It was rubbing against one of his 'phantom' injuries, and that felt... weird.

The various 'wounds' no longer hurt, now that he'd repaired or replaced all of Nataku's damaged components, but the spots were still unnaturally sensitive. Even when he knew they were covered by his clothes, they felt like every passing breeze was tickling its way across exposed nerve endings; it was almost as if he was missing a couple of layers of skin.

I suppose it makes a strange kind of sense, he thought grumpily, finally facing a topic he hadn't let himself approach for a while. If I accept that I have developed some kind of connection to Nataku... if I accept that I am feeling damage to Nataku as if it happened to my own body, and not going insane... the armour in those areas is still breached; I can't fix it. So my senses are telling me that those areas are vulnerable.

I wish it didn't tickle.

Apart from the damned tickles, though, I'm remarkably healthy. All of my real injuries healed ludicrously fast - even that stab in my thigh. Is my link to Nataku responsible for that, too, or is it something separate?
He sighed. Without more information, I can't do more than guess; and I don't see any way to get more information quickly. I suppose I could injure myself in various ways and see what happens, but that's not an attractive idea!

Swinging onto the trail behind Terrin, Wufei shook his head. Perhaps later I'll find someone who can explain all this... once I know enough of the language to understand them. The villagers certainly weren't surprised that someone would be sacrificing women in strange ceremonies - outraged, but not surprised - and that robed man wasn't surprised that it worked. Something I don't understand is in regular use here, whatever you end up calling it; psionics, metaphysics... magic... He snorted softly, drawing a questioning look from Terrin. Magic. Ha! I never thought I'd seriously consider something so illogical; but what else am I going to call it?

Duo should be here. He'd love this...

Thoughts turned in another direction, he began singing softly.

"I-- met you-- before the fall of Rome; and I-- begged you-- to let me take you home; You were wrong, I was right; You said goodbye, I said goodnight-- It's all been done... It's all been done... It's all been done... before--"

* * * * *

Trowa settled back in his seat, shifting gently with Heavyarms' motion. He and Heero hadn't had any problems on the mission; OZ's forces were in complete disarray after Treize's suicide and Lady Une's surrender. Many had deserted, and the rest weren't in any state of mind to check IDs and maintain proper security. The two pilots had simply hidden their Gundams nearby, dressed in stolen OZ uniforms, and walked into the supposedly 'top secret, high security' base.

I think Heero was actually disappointed, Trowa mused. Having to kill our way in would certainly have been a good distraction from his problems.

They had found and downloaded the required information, transmitted it to the doctors, and were on the way back.

And Heero's said even less than he usually does on a mission... and not a word about Duo. He's doing a pretty poor job of pretending nothing's wrong; let's see what a gentle prod or two will do. He opened a com channel to Wing, and Heero's stony face flicked onto the screen.

< < What? > >

"One of our more successful missions, don't you think? Duo would have hated it... he prefers blowing things up."

A confused series of emotions flickered across Heero's face; Trowa thought he saw guilt, grief and sorrow in the instant before it settled into anger.

< < It's a good thing the baka wasn't along, > > Heero snarled. < < He'd have found some way to screw things up! > >

Trowa's eyes narrowed as fury swelled within him. "As if he's ever--" he began hotly, then controlled himself with an effort. Fuck it. To hell with the 'gentle prod' idea. I'm telling him exactly what I think!


< < All right, shithead, shut up and listen. > >

Heero could hardly believe what he was seeing. The normally unreadable Trowa was glaring out of the screen at him, rage and disgust clearly displayed on his features. His one visible eye was narrowed and cold, his top lip curled in a snarl; Heero almost expected him to start growling.

< < We're sick to death of the way you treat Duo. It was bad enough when you just ignored him; you seemed to be getting better for a while, but now you're taking every opportunity to hurt him, and there's no way Quatre and I are going to just sit back and watch. Quatre thinks you do care about Duo, somewhere in that frozen soul of yours, so you get one more chance before we do something about this. > >

"What the hell do you think--"

< < Shut the fuck up and listen, Yui, I'm talking here. You're damn lucky Wufei isn't around to see the way you're acting. If he was, either you'd already be dead or he would've taken Duo so far away you'd never have found him. > > Trowa paused for a moment, studying Heero's expression, and his lip curled further in contempt. < < Surprised? Didn't you ever wonder why Wufei always had a spare bed in his room when we stayed at one of Quatre's properties? He asked for it. Never said why, but we knew it was in case Duo got tired of waiting for you. He's had a thing for Duo all along, just never made a move because we all knew Duo was in love with you; unlike you, he's honourable. > >

Part of Heero winced at that; the rest of him was too busy with staring open-mouthed.

< < You know, for a trained assassin, infiltrator and espionage expert, you really suck at reading the people around you. You never noticed how Duo and Wufei felt, did you? You seem to do just fine out on missions, with people you don't know, so I guess it's a case of 'familiarity breeds contempt'. You certainly treat Duo with contempt. Do you have any idea how many times Wufei's nearly attacked you for treating him like an idiot or brushing him off? Of course you don't. Duo's hung on through it all, hoping that some day you'd open your eyes and see what was right in front of you, but too afraid to tell you how he felt in case you hated him for it... and now you've finally broken him. I hope you're proud of yourself. > >

Trowa eyed Heero coldly, and continued in a slightly calmer voice.

< < You'd better make up your mind pretty damn quick how you feel about Duo, because Quatre and I aren't going to wait around for you to hurt him again. We would be more than happy to take him away from you and treat him the way he deserves. > >

Something snapped within Heero. "Duo's MINE!" he snarled, lunging against his safety harness.

< < Start acting like you believe it, then. > > *click!*

Heero was left staring at the darkened screen, slowly sinking back into his chair as he absorbed what he'd just said.

I said it. I admitted it.

I do... care...

A little voice he hadn't heard for a couple of days spoke up quietly in the back of his mind.

'Well. That took you long enough. Now what are you going to do? You have to get Duo to forgive you... if that's possible.'

Heero scowled, hands flying over the controls as he increased Wing's speed.

"Ninmu ryoukai."


Trowa slumped back in his seat, breathing hard.

Whew. Didn't expect that. Never mind prodding Heero to find out what I could stir up; he stirred me up!

I guess I care about Duo even more than I thought.

He sat quietly for a few minutes, thinking back over what he'd said; then a small smirk curved his mouth up.

Heh. Maybe I exaggerated Wufei's feelings for Duo... a little... but the rest of it's true enough. And if Heero doesn't do something after that lecture, he doesn't deserve to get Duo back!

* * * * *

As soon as they got back to the village, Wufei nodded curtly to Terrin and stalked off towards Cord's house, ignoring the several children who were calling greetings and questions. Terrin chuckled as he slowly lowered himself onto the bench in front of the tavern, then stretched his feet out in front of him with a hiss of mingled pain and relief.

"What's up with you?" his twin Derrin asked, sitting beside him. "Don't tell me you're footsore!"

"I won't then," he said agreeably, "but that lad's nearly walked the feet off my legs. And look at him! I swear he's not even sweating!"

"Now don't tell us he made you run along behind his big friend," Royce put in, coming over with a couple of tankards, "for I won't believe it." The rest of the usual evening gathering clustered round.

"And he didn't," Terrin nodded, pausing for a long drink. "Ahh, that's good... No, Nataku carried me all the way there - and I tell you, if anyone can follow him to the cave, they're using magic."

"Oh? Wufei's that good at covering trails?"

"No," Terrin grinned. "There wasn't a trail to cover."

Royce quirked an eyebrow at him. "Oh?" he drawled. "And how did that come to be? I can't see that great lump fairy-footing it over the ground without leaving prints. Out with it, man, it's clear you're itching to say it!"

He prolonged the moment by taking another mouthful of beer, then set it aside. "Nataku leaves prints all right; great big 'uns, and deep. They don't show so badly here in the village, where the ground's packed, and I see the lads have done a good job of hiding them; but out on the trails they're clear.

"I'll tell you what those two did.

"We went a ways out from the village, and Nataku wandered around and muddied up his own tracks from when he arrived, 'til it looked like he prowled all 'round the village but never came in. We'll have a fine story to tell the lords when they come, eh? Then he carried me along the Spinewall trail, until we got to the right spot, and I pointed out the cave; he nodded, but didn't stop. He went on a good way before he put me down and nudged me off the trail behind a rock; then he said--"

"Hold up a moment, man!" Cord rumbled. "Are ye saying Nataku spoke?"

"As to that, I'm not sure," Terrin shrugged. "It sounded like Wufei's voice, only deeper and louder than I've ever heard from him. There was... more to it, somehow; he spoke soft, but it rumbled."

There was a pause as the gathered villagers thought about this; then he continued.

"Anyway, whether it was Nataku or Wufei, he said. 'Stay. Loud. Not run, yes? Not hurt.' And that's when he did it. That's where the trail ends." He smirked.

"Nataku... can fly."


Terrin grinned around at the wide-eyed faces, well pleased with the reaction he'd got, and took another drink.

Eventually, Manten found his voice. "But... he don't have wings!"

"Didn't stop him," Terrin said cheerfully.

Royce opened his mouth, but Cord beat him to it. "All right, man, it's all very well to be drawing your story out like a real bard and all... but you've had your fun. Now spit it out!"

"All right, all right!" Terrin laughed, then sobered and spoke seriously. "There was a strange noise; it started as a whine, but got louder and deeper until it was a roar. It was loud all right! I had my hands over my ears and they didn't do hardly a thing to block it out. And there was a hot wind with the noise; it blew out and down from Nataku and built until it would've blown me away if I hadn't been behind that rock. It blew everything else away; dust, stones, grass, leaves and branches off the trees... I peeked up over the boulder, and Nataku was just... floating there." He paused, squinting down at his hands, then looked up. "There are these slots on his back and sides, and they were glowing like the inside of Cord's forge on a busy day. I think that's where the wind came from; and I think maybe Nataku flies by... I don't know... balancing on the wind?" He shook his head, and continued. "However he does it, it's impressive! He sort of drifted upwards until he was above the trees and scrub that lie between the trail and the Spinewall; then he just leaned over and kicked out, kind of like pushing off from a rock when you're swimming, and swooped off. He was at the cave in no time at all, and dropped down at the mouth of it easy as a cat jumping off a wall. By the time I got there, he was well settled. And the traces he'd left behind..." He chuckled. "I'd like to be there when they try to work 'em out! There's that last set of footprints, and everything around them for forty or fifty feet is blown out like the spokes of a wheel!"

A slow grin spread over Cord's face. "Now, there's something I'd give a lot to see. Both of 'em - Nataku flying, and a pack of lords, Champions and god-soldiers scratching their heads over those marks!"

After a couple more rounds and a lot of animated discussion, the subject of Nataku's flight was beginning to pall. It wasn't exhausted as a topic of conversation; it would be brought out and turned over again and again, but you can only discuss one thing for so long before you start repeating yourself. So, the subject changed slightly...

"And Wufei walked you off your feet? That's hard to believe," Manten sneered.

"What's so hard to believe?" Terrin asked, stretching back against the wall. "I've admitted it. I would've said there wasn't anyone in this village who could outwalk me except Cord, but Wufei did it today."

"But... he's short," Manten objected, waving his hands. (He was nearly six feet tall, and proud of it.) "Short legs. And, and... he's pretty. Short and pretty. He looks like a girl." He hiccupped.

"Good thing for you he didn't hear that," Derrin commented.

"Aw, he wouldn't understand..."

"Not yet, maybe, but he's got a very good memory. You're just jealous because Rami's been making eyes at him," he grinned.

Gwent sat up straight with a yelp. "My Rami?!"

"Know any other Ramis around here?" someone muttered; Gwent didn't notice.

"My Rami and that-- that-- well, I mean, he's a good man and all, but he's a demon!"

"Calm down, man," Cord said soothingly. "He doesn't seem to have any such intentions at all, at all. I don't think he's even noticed; it does no real harm to let the girls sigh a little. Last year it was that minstrel, and I'd say he was more of a danger!"

"At least they were sighing over his voice, not his looks and 'heroic actions'," one of the younger men grumbled.

"Wufei's got a good voice," Terrin said absent-mindedly, moving to take a sip; then he sputtered and nearly choked on his beer. It took him a while to clear his throat and stop coughing, because he was laughing so much.

"Oh! Oh, that's right, I meant to tell you... that's what got Wufei started walking my feet off!"


"He was thinking hard about something as we started back - you know how it happens, you end up nodding and shaking your head and muttering to yourself? He was doing that. And then he started singing to himself, absent-minded like."

"Singing? Singing what?" Royce asked.

"How would I know? It was in one of his languages. Anyway, he'd start one song and get some way through it, then trail off; a hundred paces later, he'd start a new one, all the time staring at the trail and frowning like his mind was miles away. He repeated himself a few times, and I got to know some of the tune of one song; it's pretty simple. 'Dah-- dah dah-- dada dada da daa...' So the next time he started it, I hummed along. And he gave me such a look! It started out confused, and then he realised, and it was like-- like--" He snickered. "Like, 'oh gods, WHAT have I been DOING?!' And he blushed bright red, put his head down, and took off down the trail. He was still walking, not running, but it's the fastest walking I've ever seen!"

"Wufei blushed?" Manten asked, blinking.

"So he's a good singer?" Royce mused. "Why would he be embarrassed about it?"

"Wufei blushed?"

"Maybe demons aren't supposed to sing?" Terrin shrugged.

"Wufei blushed?"

"Maybe where he comes from, he's not considered good," Derrin said. "Or he could just be upset he was doing something without realising it."

"Wufei blushed?"

"Yes, Manten, Wufei blushed! Why is that so startling?" Terrin snapped.

"Only girls blush! I told you so!"

"All right, lad, no more for you," Royce said firmly, moving Manten's mug well out of reach. He might have protested, but fortunately - or unfortunately - something across the square distracted him.

"Hey! Wufei! C'mon over and have a drink!"

"Oh no," Terrin moaned softly as the small demon paused, then walked towards the group. "I wish I hadn't mentioned that bit."

"Never mind," Derrin said, patting him on the shoulder. "Manten's had enough that he likely won't remember any of this in the morning."

"No, but he will!" Terrin hissed as Wufei joined them.


Wufei eyed Terrin a little suspiciously as he approached, but the hunter didn't seem to be laughing; instead, he was watching one of the youngest men with a slightly worried expression. Perhaps he didn't think it was interesting enough to tell... hm. Manten seems to have had a bit too much.

The teenager was certainly acting drunk; he was babbling something incomprehensible, waving vaguely at his face and then grinning at Wufei as if he expected some sort of reaction.

Whatever he's trying to say, I have no idea. The other men were trying to shut him up; Wufei shrugged, accepted the large mug Royce offered him, and ignored the background noise.

That is, until he had to pay attention.

He was savouring his third mouthful and nodding approvingly to Gwent, who seemed to be asking if he liked it-- Of course he wants to know, he's the one selling it! It's rather like Chinese beer, actually; low alcohol but a good flavour and a little sour; --when something hit him on the shoulder. Manten had slung himself halfway across the low table and was swatting drunkenly at him, trying to get his attention; when Wufei turned and glared, he slid back onto the bench, put his elbows on the table, raised his right hand and grinned.

Wufei raised an eyebrow and snorted, waving his hand negatively. "I don't arm-wrestle with drunken idiots," he said pleasantly in Japanese, and turned back towards Gwent.

Manten said something in a loud voice, and everyone froze.

That sounded like an insult. Wufei glanced at the other villagers and found most of them slowly setting down mugs and pushing back from the table, eyes flicking nervously between him and Manten. Royce, Cord and Terrin were glaring at Manten, who was grinning nastily. Yes, I think that was definitely an insult.

Keeping his face carefully blank, Wufei took one more swallow of his drink, put the mug down, and shifted along the bench slightly until he was directly opposite Manten.

He's not a weakling, but he's not a Gundam pilot either, he thought as he settled his elbow on the table and offered his hand. Besides which, he's drunk. If I can put him down quickly, he shouldn't want to try again--

Royce counted down from three, holding out fingers to make sure Wufei understood, then slapped the table.


Wufei blinked at the dent his knuckles had left in the table, then leaned forwards to watch Manten rolling on the ground, clutching his arm in pain. Raising his head, he looked into Royce and Cord's surprised faces.



"Come on, Terrin, you give it a try!"

"Not even if you pay me. He's already walked me off my feet; I'm not giving him the chance to sprain my elbow!"

Wufei had broken at least one bone in Manten's hand, and wrenched his elbow; Cord had walked the teenager back to his parents' cottage to get bandaged up and sleep it off. When he returned, most of the village men seemed to be clustered around the table, lining up to have Wufei smash their hands into the wood. He hadn't sprained anyone's elbow yet, but Gwent had put down a couple of folded cloths to cushion the impacts a little.

Cord stood back slightly and watched, frowning. Wufei seemed... bemused by his success; in between bouts he frowned down at his hands, flexing them slightly, or looked around at his opponents, studying them with a puzzled expression.

He didn't think he'd win so easily, Cord thought, rubbing his chin. Did he expect humans to be stronger? No... he's seen some of the men working, lifting loads and such. I'm thinking he didn't expect himself to be so strong. But how could that be?


This is far too easy.

Wufei frowned down at his hands, barely hearing the excited chatter around him. There's hardly any effort to it. They aren't weak! They're farmers and foresters, damn it, they work hard every day!

But... I'm not this strong! At least... I shouldn't be...

Is this because of my link to Nataku? And how the hell did I get a link to Nataku, anyway?!

A sudden commotion made him look up, to see Royce and Derrin pushing Cord towards the table, answering all his objections in cheerful tones. The man who'd just sat down stood up and jumped out of the way, and bets started to change hands.

Still protesting, Cord was pushed down onto the bench; then he shrugged, and gave Wufei a sheepish grin.

Well. This should be interesting.

Sitting back for a moment, Wufei studied his opponent. Nearly eight feet tall and heavily built, muscles bulging in his arms, the hradani blacksmith was definitely far stronger than any of the human villagers... but exactly how much stronger?

Smiling slightly, Wufei offered his hand.

They spent a few moments adjusting their grips, hampered by the vast difference in their hand sizes and lengths of arm; then both nodded to indicate they were ready, and Royce signalled for them to start. For the first few moments, their clenched hands didn't move; then Cord grunted with effort, sweat springing out on his forehead, and slowly began to force Wufei's hand down.

Wufei squeezed his eyes shut, breath hissing through clenched teeth, and heaved against the immense pressure that was pushing his hand back. It didn't matter any more that this was just an experiment of sorts, a contest he hadn't wanted to start and Cord had been pushed into finishing; it was a fight, and he wanted to win.


Miles away, Nataku's eyes glowed.


Head down and eyes closed, Cord was throwing his full strength against Wufei. The small demon was incredibly strong, but slowly losing ground--


--and then he was thrown back, knuckles slamming down onto a padded surface. Cord's eyes flew open in surprise, and he found himself staring directly at Wufei; he gasped, hearing it echoed by the other villagers. There was a faint haze of colour around Wufei, blue and white and red sketching out the outlines of massive armour, a spiked gold crest rising above his forehead; he opened his eyes, and they were glowing greenish white--

And then the illusion vanished, and he was just Wufei, dripping sweat and staring wide-eyed at Cord as he gasped for breath.

* * * * *

Trowa hadn't yet landed Heavyarms when Heero flung himself out of Wing's cockpit and stalked into the house, straight past Quatre and towards the stairs.

"Welcome back, Heero," Quatre muttered under his breath. "I'm fine, thank you; Duo's doing better; so nice of you to ask." Raising his voice, he called out, "Duo's probably asleep; I know he took a couple of pain pills after dinner. Don't wake him up."

Heero paused for a moment, hearing the cold steel in Quatre's voice; then he continued on up the stairs, walking more quietly. Outside his room, he stopped for a moment, glaring at the door; then he scrubbed his palms on his jeans, grasped the doorknob, and eased the door open gently.

Downstairs, Trowa was greeting Quatre.

"How's Duo?"

"A bit better. He--"

Footsteps thundered down the stairs, and Heero came into view, face set. "Where's Duo?!" he snarled, gripping the handrail so tightly his knuckles were white.

"Upstairs," Quatre said calmly. "What's wrong?"

"His bed's stripped and his stuff is gone. Where is he?"

Quatre blinked. "Upstairs, I told you. He didn't say anything about moving his things," he said truthfully.

Heero ran back upstairs; Trowa raised an eyebrow at Quatre, who smirked back at him. "Just a minute; I want to hear what he does when he finds Duo," he whispered.

Back upstairs, Heero stalked straight for Trowa and Quatre's room; Trowa's lecture was at the forefront of his mind. "We would be more than happy to take him away from you..." About to slam the door open, he stopped, struggling for control, and then silently turned the knob.

No Duo. The big double bed was empty.

"Didn't you ever wonder why Wufei always had a spare bed...?"

Duo was in Wufei's room, all his belongings in a pile in the corner, curled up into a ball under the covers of the spare bed. Heero stood next to him for what seemed like a very long time; then he reached out and gently smoothed his fingertips over Duo's hair.

"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I'll make it up to you... somehow."

Duo sighed and shifted his weight, and Heero quickly backed away, shutting the door behind him and walking back to his own room. Quatre's right, he thought; I shouldn't wake him.

Besides, I need a mission plan.

end chapter 6

DUO: That's it? That's your 'something good'?

MEL: Well... yeah! What's your problem? It's an improvement over the last couple of chapters, isn't it?

DUO: Yeah, but... that's all?

MEL: Nope. It gets better; we just couldn't fit the next bit into this chapter.

DUO: Why not?! I want it now!

MEL: Oh come on, this is already the equal-longest chapter we've done! Our exploration of Wufei's Semi-Metaphysical Predicament And Some Of Its Ramifications took a bit longer than we planned. You'll get the better stuff next chapter.

DUO: Mel... why did you say that bit like it was a really bad horror B movie voiceover?

MEL: Because I could!

DUO: You're happy today.

MEL (shrugs): My tooth is fixed. It only cost me $95, and if I'd had someone like that dentist twenty years ago, I wouldn't have a phobia today.

DUO: Gotcha. So, is the phobia gone?

MEL: Heck no. One non-horrifying visit to the dentist does NOT erase fifteen or so visits to the Dental Nurse From Hell in my formative years. Besides, the painkillers are wearing off. The good mood may not last.

DUO: I'll just go then, shall I? [zip!]

MEL: Chicken. [turns to readers] All right, listen up! Feedback! We want feedback! Or... hell, I dunno, maybe I'll make Heero go back to being a jerk! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!



Chapter 7

Gundam Wing


















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