From Far Away Part 24
"THE PERFECT SOLDIER HAS APPEARED AND DESTROYED SOME VILLAGES IN OZ KINGDOM!!!"
The couple looked at each other, surprise was obviously shown on their faces.
<<I didn't do it, Duo.>>
<<I know that. How could you destroy the villages while I held you all day and night, huh? I wonder who would dare to impersonate you though.>> Duo prayed it wasn't Alex Mueller again this time.
<<Aa, we need to find out. Whoever they are, they aren't an ordinary impostor.>>
Without a word, having understood each other with eye contact only, they leaped into the bathroom, cleaning themselves as fast as they could and putting on their clothes before dashing out of their room to find either Relena, Wufei, or the others they had trusted to be their friends.
<<Ne, Heero?>> Duo asked while they were walking through corridor, eyes scanning around, trying to find one of their friends.
<<I just realized we didn't use our telepathy while we were making love just now.>>
<<....aa.... I forgot about the telepathy. In fact, I feel I'm just an ordinary boy without any special power back there.>>
<<Yeah, me too....Oh!>> Suddenly Duo stopped and slapped his own head.
<<What?>> Heero also stopped walking and looked at his long haired lover in question.
<<I just remembered I can teleport to whomever I want to. Damn, we don't have to look around. I just have to think about one of them, hmm maybe Wufei and....>>
Wufei was scanning the meeting room's occupants. Relena was sitting in the head of the table while some important rulers sat on the right side of the table. Trowa, Quatre, Noin, Hilde, and him were sitting on the left side of the table while Sally sat next to Relena, ready to give her input of the situation. Wufei himself was standing next to Relena.
Satisfied with the room's security, Wufei was ready to signal Relena to begin the meeting when he felt a shadow looming over him. The next second the raven haired warrior found himself flattened on the ground by something heavy on his back. "Wufei!" He could hear Relena's worried voice and some exclamations from the others.
"Uh... oh... sorry Wufei."
Wufei blinked as the weight on his back disappeared as quickly as it came. He rolled onto his back and saw Duo standing before him, offering his hand apologetically. "Maxwell!"
"Yeah, it's me." Duo decided not to wait and grab Wufei's hand, helping the young man to stand. "Sorry, I didn't realize I had done the teleportation."
"Teleportation?" Wufei grunted and brushed his clothes. He'd read somewhere about the ability and could guess it was the same way how Duo arrived on their table yesterday.
<<Oops, Heero?>> Duo suddenly realized he was alone without Heero.
<<Who else? Where are you?>>
<<Sorry, koi. I think I teleported myself while we were talking. I'm with Wufei now.>>
<<Hn. Teleport back and pick me up.>>
Wufei widened his eyes as Duo disappeared before his eyes. He blinked in disbelief and saw Duo standing in front of him. Only this time, he was not alone. The braided boy was hugging the boy Wufei thought was too badly injured to be standing on his own. He could hear the gasps of surprise from the others and knew they also thought the same.
Sally was the most surprised between them. She had checked Heero and told Duo that Heero wouldn't be able to leave the bed for at least two weeks. She quickly approached the braided boy. "Duo! Why did you bring Heero? He is badly wounded and ....."
"I'm fine." Heero cut Sally's words.
"Heero is really fine, Sally." Duo released Heero to show how well Heero was.
Sally and the others stared at Heero, assessing the boy. Heero was wearing short sleeved tunic, revealing his now smooth arms which were full with cuts and wounds yesterday. That alone had made their eyes widen in disbelief. "How?" Sally croaked, disbelief still thick in her tone.
"I will explain it later. Right now, I believe there's something more important to be discussed." Duo looked at Relena, "What is this about the Perfect Soldier attacking some villages?"
"Look young man." One of the rulers, who had gotten over his shock at Duo's sudden appearance, spoke up before Relena could speak. "I believe it's a confidential matter that you don't have business with. I don't know who you are, but you're interrupting our important meeting." The man looked at Relena. "Can you ask your friends to leave so we can start this meeting?"
"Actually, Sir Howard. I think they have to be here since it's their business we are talking about." Noin pointed out.
"Noin is right, Sir Howard." Relena nodded and looked at the boys. "Please sit down, Duo, Heero. We are just about starting the meeting."
"But Your Highness...." Howard protested.
Quatre forestalled the man. "I will be responsible for them, Sir Howard. They are the ones who brought the news about Treize's death and they are also the only ones who know about this Perfect Soldier we are talking about."
"Fine." Howard sat back reluctantly, watching Heero and Duo take their seats on the other head of the table across from Relena.
The young queen cleared her throat. "Let's begin the meeting then. Let me introduce the rulers of the neighborhood kingdoms to you, Heero and Duo." Relena gestured to first person on her right side. "This is Sir Ron Shirin, ruler of Barge kingdom at the south of Sank. Next is Sir Howard, ruler of White Fang kingdom in the east. The beautiful woman next to Sir Howard is Lady Iria, ruler of Lunar kingdom in the north."
Duo smiled politely at the rulers. "Nice to meet you. I'm Duo Maxwell and this is my mate." He gestured to Heero who nodded his head in response, "Heero Yuy."
"Let's start this meeting then." Relena spoke up. "Sir Ron Shirin, Sir Howard, and Lady Iria. I invited you to my kingdom to discuss about Treize's death yesterday, however this morning, we received news about a creature calling itself the Perfect Soldier destroying some villages in OZ kingdom. My spies said it blew up hundreds of OZ soldiers in a single blow." Relena looked straight at Heero and Duo. Having understood the unspoken question, Duo shook his head no. It wasn't Heero's doing.
"The Perfect Soldier has started destroying ..... This is the beginning of chaos foretold in prophecy." Ron Shirin sighed in defeat.
"I think we also need to discuss that." Relena smiled at Duo, thanking for the answer and continued. "You have to know that this creature is not the real Perfect Soldier. It only borrows the name of the legendary creature in our prophecy."
"Wait." Ron Shirin spoke up. "How do you know it's a fake?"
"I have a trustful source." Relena answered calmly. "Whatever it is, we need to stop it before it takes anymore innocent lives and attacks our kingdoms. We have to cooperate and join our forces to defeat this creature."
"Hundreds of soldiers in a single blow...." Howard pondered. "My spies said the OZ palace was blown into pieces within seconds not long before this creature appeared. We all know there's no creature save the Perfect Soldier which has the power to do that."
"You're right, Sir Howard. However, I can assure you, this is not the Perfect Soldier." Relena explained patiently. "I need your help to defeat it. From what my spies told me, this creature is heading without any certain destination, destroying all the villages it passes by. It's hard to predict where it's going. We need the watchful eyes from each kingdom to anticipate its movement."
"I'm sorry, Lady Relena. But I need obvious proof that this creature is not the Perfect Soldier." Iria joined the discussion. "I don't want to risk my people's lives by ordering them to fight the unbeatable creature in prophecy. It's useless to fight when we know we will lose in the end." Ron Shirin and Howard nodded in agreement.
<<Stupid rulers.>> Duo growled telepathically. <<They are all cowards.>>
<<Tell that to them, not me.>> Heero snorted.
<<I intend to do that.>> Duo cleared his throat, drawing the others' attentions to him. "Sorry for interrupting, but I think it's better to form your armies than talking about the impostor. If you want obvious proof, I'll give it to you. You all know the prophecy says that Shinigami controls the Perfect Soldier. However Shinigami isn't said or spotted near the creature. That creature is working on its own and is definitely not the Perfect Soldier."
"Just because we haven't spotted the Shinigami doesn't mean that's proof it isn't the Perfect Soldier." Howard spoke up. "He just can order the Perfect Soldier to destroy and sit on one of the tavern, enjoying himself."
"The Perfect Soldier wouldn't leave Shinigami alone." Heero stated flatly. "He would protect Shinigami with his life."
<<I mean every word, Duo.>>
<<I know. And I will do the same to you.>> Duo smiled slightly. Hidden below the table, their hands gently entwined.
Their friends looked at them in respect, however the rulers seemed confused. "He? You refer the Perfect Soldier by 'he'?" Ron Shirin looked disgusted, however before he had a chance to continue, a dove flew in through the open window and perched on his shoulder. He retrieved the note tied on the dove's leg. His eyes were wide and his face paled when he finished reading it. "The Perfect Soldier is halfway toward the border between my kingdom and OZ."
Surprised gasps were heard in the room.
"Judging from the speed, I estimate this creature would reach the border tomorrow morning." Trowa spoke up.
"My kingdom is doomed." Ron Shirin looked panicked. "I didn't do anything to Shinigami and yet he targets my kingdom as his Perfect Soldier's toy."
"The Shinigami wouldn't do that." Duo threw a grateful look at Wufei as the raven haired warrior defended him.
"How can you be sure that he won't do that? You don't know him." Ron Shirin pointed out. "No one knows how he looks like. We don't know whether he is a bad person or a good one."
"Lord Shirin is right." Iria spoke up. "How can you be so sure Shinigami wouldn't do that and taht this berserk creature is not the Perfect Soldier? This creature destroyed OZ palace within seconds. It's enough to prove it is the Perfect Soldier."
"No, it's not. " Duo tried to answer calmly while inside all he wanted to do was to thwap each ruler for their cowardice. "OZ palace was destroyed by a huge explosion. I was there, I saw it crumble into pieces and I saw no sign of that creature until I left the place."
"Young man, you have to be smarter if you want to lie." Howard looked at Duo sharply.
"I'm not lying." Duo glared back at Howard.
The man snorted. "You can't travel from OZ to Sank within one day, even if you use Sagitarius to teleport to get here. Only white doves from Barge kingdom can travel that fast, sadly they can't bring you on their back. You must be a liar."
"I did teleport to get here but I didn't use Sagitarius. I can teleport by myself." Duo looked at the man furiously. He hated it when someone called him a liar. He teleported himself next to Howard. "Do you see me holding any Sagitarius right now?" Before the man could answer, he teleported back to his seat, sitting down and daring Howard to say something.
Howard looked long at Duo while Duo looked back at him sharply, not breaking their gaze. The man finally relented and looked away. However Iria didn't give up easily. "Let's assume you did teleport from OZ to Sank. What proof can you give us about Treize's death? I know he is a powerful man. He can't die easily. It could be him who planned all of this and you are simply his pawn to carry out the plan."
"Lady Iria, you can't accuse Duo like that." Hilde tried hard to control her patience and keep the peace in the discussion. "Duo is..."
Duo held up his hand, stopping Hilde and looked coldly at Iria. "Look Lady. Treize is dead. I saw it with my own eyes. He was killed by his own greed. Is it so hard to believe that this creature is not the Perfect Soldier? Are you too cowardly to fight it, just because the rumor said it's the Perfect Soldier."
Iria's eyes flared as Duo called her a coward. "It can destroy OZ palace within seconds!"
"I told you an explosion destroyed the palace, not that creature." Duo growled.
"And who can make a great explosion like that? No one! Except the Perfect Soldier! This creature also could kill hundreds of soldiers in a single blow. That's a very obvious fact that this creature is the Perfect Soldier." Ron Shirin pointed out.
Duo sighed exasperatedly. "Fine! Better to tell the whole truth, it's the only thing that will satisfy you."
"Duo..." Relena looked worried.
"It's okay, Relena."
<<Don't stop me, Heero>>
<<I won't. Just remember I'm right behind you.>>
Duo smiled and squeezed Heero's hand. He looked at the stubborn rulers. "How about looking at it from my point of view so you will believe me. That creature is not the Perfect Soldier because the Shinigami never ordered his Perfect Soldier to destroy any villages."
"And how do you know the Shinigami never ordered it?" Ron Shirin asked, raising one eyebrow.
"Because I'm the Shinigami." Duo glared.
Ron Shirin paled for some seconds before bursting out laughing. "Nice joke, boy. You have to do better than that to convince us. Where's your Perfect Soldier if I may ask?"
"I'm not joking. I'm the Shinigami and my Perfect Soldier will show himself if he wants too." Duo looked sharply at the laughing man.
"Nice try. You even can't even order your Perfect Soldier to show himself." Ron Shirin chuckled but suddenly he yelped as fire appeared out of nowhere and danced in front of him. He backed away as far as he could until his back was pressed against his seat, but the fire followed him, circling around him so the man had to keep still or he would get burned.
And before the others got over their surprise, the fire disappeared as suddenly as it appeared, leaving the room now in stunned silence. Duo blinked and closed his jaw, which had dropped in surprise. Knowing who the culprit was, he turned to look at his lover, only to watch Heero stand up.
"Duo doesn't need to order me. I have shown myself. Are you satisfied, now?" Heero's tenor voice sounded so loud in the room. He looked at the trembling Ron Shirin expressionlessly.
"Now you know why I invited both of them to join this discussion. I think I need to remind you not to make the Shinigami and the Perfect Soldier angry." Relena had to stifle her giggles at the shocked expression of the neighborhood rulers while the others snickered and smirked.
Howard, the first one to get over his shock and process what Heero had said, looked at the short haired boy in disbelief. "Are you telling me that you are the Perfect Soldier?"
"Th...That's impossible." Iria, who also had gotten over her shock, stammered, "I know some peoples who can make fire like that. It doesn't prove you are the Perfect Soldier."
Heero growled in irritation. No wonder Duo was furious. These rulers were as stubborn as a rock.
<<Stubborn aren't they?>> came a chuckle.
<<Hn.>> Heero sat back and glared. "Do I need to destroy a palace to prove myself?"
"Not, my palace, Heero." Relena spoke up and then looked at the other rulers. "Maybe one of you wants to sacrifice your palace to prove the obvious fact."
Ron Shirin, Howard, and Iria paled.
"There's one way to prove you are the Perfect Soldier." Ron Shirin spoke up nervously.
Heero raised an eyebrow. Waiting.
"My prophet told me long ago that the Perfect Soldier was born in one of the villages in my kingdom."
At hearing the statement, Heero's expression became dark.
Ron Shirin swallowed before continuing, "It's a secluded village where I can't find the hidden entrance, until.... Until... "
"Until it was burnt six years ago." Heero answered flatly, ignoring Duo's worried look. His eyes were looking far away. "The village's name is Elwan. Its chief made a promise with the Dark Lord and got his wife pregnant with the Dark Lord's seed. As the exchange of bearing the child, all the villagers were rewarded with wealth and fortune with one extreme condition. The born child had to stay in the village until Shinigami claimed him, no matter how he was hated, feared, and ignored because of his Power." Heero was silent for some seconds.
<<Heero, that's enough.>>
Heero didn't answer to Duo, instead of that, he spoke up gravely. "The child escaped from the village before the time because he couldn't stand the situation anymore. The promise was broken and all the villagers got killed. Because of the child."
"Heero, stop." Duo squeezed Heero's hand, trying to break Heero from his haunted past.
"I killed all of them." Heero's eyes lost all the emotions when he said the last sentence.
"Enough!" Duo snapped and put his hand on Heero's shoulder while throwing a dark look to the rulers, focused on Ron Shirin. "I believe you have got your answer. Relena, we'll be in our room if we're *really* needed."
Relena watched as Duo and Heero disappeared from their seats before turning to look at Ron Shirin and speaking flatly to the man. "Have you been satisfied now, Sir Ron Shirin?" The other followed her suit and looked at the pale man.
Ron Shirin swallowed. Guilty flashed on his pale face as it was on Iria and Howard. "Yes, he is the Perfect Soldier."
Ten minutes later, the meeting was over with Sank gaining the full cooperation from Barge, White Fang, and Lunar kingdoms.
Duo appeared in his room with Heero in his arms, who refused to look at him. The braided boy gently lifted up Heero's chin and kissed his lips gently. "It's not your fault, Heero."
"I killed them." Heero finally looked at his lover. His face held no emotions but his eyes betrayed him. Duo could see anguish, regret, and guilt reflected by the blue orbs.
"Stop blaming yourself." Duo ran his fore finger over Heero's face, brushing his lips and cheeks. "I saw it in your dream. You didn't do it intentionally. You left because you thought it would free your mother from her misery."
"Whatever I thought won't change the fact I killed them all."
Duo growled and tightened his grip on Heero's chin. "You didn't do it intentionally. Don't you understand that?! It's NOT your fault!"
"No but! Can't you for once forgive yourself? If you can't do that, how can I forgive myself? Do you want me to drown in guilt and regret like you too?....... oh damn!" Duo just realized what he had said. He released Heero and sat down on the bed, burying his face into his hands. "Gomen, koi...."
Heero was surprised at Duo's sudden change. Forgetting about his guilt, he sat down next to Duo and looked at him in worry and curiosity. "What do you mean?"
"Nothing....." Duo mumbled.
Heero put his hand on Duo's thigh. "Don't start to lie, Duo."
There was a silence before Duo took a deep breath and lifted up his head. He put his hands around Heero's waist, pulling the boy closer, and looked straight at his lover. "I stabbed you with the swords, ripped your wings, and made you so much in pain, Heero. I hurt you with my own hands."
Heero shook his head. "Treize controlled you. You didn't hurt me intentionally."
"You didn't kill your villagers intentionally too."
Duo watched as Heero opened his mouth but no words came out. Duo sighed and caressed Heero's cheek with the back of his hand. "How can I forgive myself for hurting you if you can't forgive yourself, Heero? I can understand how you're feeling because I'm feeling the same. I really hate myself for hurting you."
"Don't...." Heero took Duo's hand and held it tightly.
"I know." Duo rested his forehead against Heero's. "I stopped blaming myself yesterday. That's why I don't want you to blame yourself either. I long ago realized regretting won't fix what have I done so I did the best thing I can to redeem it."
"Redeem?" Heero asked hesitantly.
"Yes, a redemption for hurting you." Duo kissed Heero gently. "I settle to do my best to make you feel loved anytime and anywhere."
Minutes passed in silence. When Heero didn't show any sign to answer soon, Duo kissed him again and slowly leaned back, pulling Heero with him until he was lying on the bed with Heero on him, his head resting on Duo's chest. <<I know you're confused. You want to forgive yourself and at the same time you still blame yourself. Let me tell you a story while you battle with yourself in there.>>
Duo looked at the ceiling while one hand caressed Heero's messy hair. <<There was once a child who had been alone as long as he remembered. He didn't remember his parents and only knew he had to fight with the other boys to get a piece of bread from a bakery's dustbin. He was caught stealing by a man who then took him into his care and raised him like his own son. The man often tried to hug or pat him, to show him his love, but the boy dodged the touch. He never let the man touch him if not necessary. They lived in the man's house for a month and during that, the closest touch he ever allowed is shaking hand with the man.>>
Duo paused for some seconds, his hand stroking Heero's hair lightly. Heero tugged on his tunic, urging him to go on.
<<One day, the boy got home from school only to find the man died of heart attack. He cried for the first time he ever remembered when he realized he had lost the only person he loved and loved him back. During the funeral, he wished he had done something better for him. He wished he didn't shove the man's hand away when the man tried to comfort him. He wished for many things but in the end, it was too late. The man was gone. He could do nothing to change it. He took the man's last name as his own name and obeyed the first advice the man ever told him. Never lie. He wandered alone for a few months and then was taken into an orphanage where he met an equally kind woman and lived with her till fate brought him to meet his beloved. He then vowed not to fail this time. He would do as best as he could to his loved one know they were truly loved.>>
Duo closed his eyes and buried his face on Heero's hair, nuzzling the silky brown threats. Heero didn't speak and Duo didn't either. They basked in the peaceful silence for some moments until Heero looked up and kissed Duo in a sweet and tender way.
<<Thank you for the story, Duo.>> Heero spoke telepathically as he pulled away from the kiss.
Duo smiled. Looking at those Prussian blue eyes, he knew Heero knew who was the boy in the story. Words often failed to express the feelings where the eyes succeeded.
<<Does it help you to not blame yourself for what happened in the past?>>
<<Aa.... >> Heero looked hesitant. <<I still can't forgive myself fully, but I'll try, Duo. I will.>>
Duo nodded, smiling a little wider. <<How about trying to save Barge's people from your impostor's attack as your redemption, love?>>
<<I'll do that.>> Heero nuzzled Duo's neck. <<I'll do my best to do that.>>
<<*We* will do that, love.>>
<<Yes... we... together...>>
After that, there was no word exchanged, verbally and telepathically. They stayed where they were, feeling contented in each other's arms and wishing the time would stop.
But sadly, time couldn't stop and another battle was waiting for them.
 Borrowed from A-chan's fic, El-wan = L-one = L1 ^_^
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