Born in Chaos Part 16
"If Quatre thinks we should go now, then I say we do." Duo spoke up to the small group that had assembled in the little house.
Milliardo nodded and turned to Olwyn. "Can our guide be ready quickly?"
"I'd dare say he's already ready." The elven man replied. "And it seems that Essylt will be going with you."
"I don't think that's wise." Heero replied.
"It's dangerous enough without us having to watch out for a woman." Wufei added.
Olwyn chuckled. "I don't think you have much to worry about. My daughter is as good a fighter as any one of you."
"It might be an advantage to have another sword along." Trowa spoke up.
"I agree," the mage said. "And the elven fighters know more about the dangers of this are than we do."
A short time later the group had assembled at the edge of the village. Olwyn's daughter, Essylt, a small woman with silver hair and fierce blue eyes, accompanied Trill, a young elven male with black hair and deep brown eyes. Ceris stepped forward and embraced each person, speaking softly to each of them as she did so. Wishing them courage and luck on their journey.
Once the good-byes were said, the group walked from the small village and turned north, Trill telling them that their first destination was the cave of souls, three days from the village. There, in turn each of them must seek the talismans that they were told about.
As they walked, Milliardo fell in step with Wufei, the pair talking quietly between them. Heero stayed up front with Trill and Essylt, his cobalt eyes constantly surveying the landscape. Duo was in the back talking to Quatre about what Ceris had taught him. Trowa, walked just behind his lover and the thief, his green eyes frequently flicking back to Quatre's bright hair. Every now and then, the brunette felt the gentle touch of the healer in his mind, telling him that he was aware of him always.
The first day of travel went quietly and by nightfall, Trill had located a small lake for them to camp by. They fished the waters, quickly catching their dinner from the clear waters, then building up a fire to cook the food, they sat around it in silent companionship.
Eventually, the group started to split apart, Heero and Milliardo going with Trill and Essylt to plan the route for the next day.
Quatre glanced up in surprise as a blanket landed in his lap.
Duo smiled down at him. "Thought you could use an extra one."
"What for?" The healer asked.
Duo nodded his head at Trowa and Quatre blushed. "If you two get any hotter... we won't need a fire. If the pair of you didn't think we didn't know... well... most of us do anyway. It's pretty easy to see on your faces."
Trowa got to his feet, his eyes glittering as he approached the chestnut haired boy. Staring at the thief for a moment, he lowered his head. "Thank-you, Duo." He said as he turned and held out his hand to the blonde.
Quatre allowed himself to be pulled to his feet and led into the woods beyond the camp.
Duo watched them disappear and smiled to himself. He genuinely liked the pair and he felt that they, in some way, completed each other. Why shouldn't they spend what time they could with one another? Looking around the camp he shrugged and wandered off in the opposite direction to the lake's shoreline.
The lake's shore was cut in such a way that it gave an impression of having had a higher level of water at one time. The ground cutting away, leaving a waist high drop that met with a gravel shore running to the water. It was behind this drop off that Duo chose to sit. Leaning his back against the wall of earth and closing his eyes he let the gentle sounds of the water soothe him.
He didn't move as he heard the light footsteps on the grass behind him, nor did he open his eyes when the gravel crunched beside him as who ever it was jumped down. They sat beside him and he waited silently for them to speak, wondering why this person had sought him out.
"What is it, Heero?" He finally opened his eyes, unable to take the heavy silence any longer.
"I was wondering what this would look like cast in something other than this grey we know as day."
"I guess we'll find out when we restore the guardian."
"If we restore her."
"You didn't come over here to talk to me about the lack of light," Duo said flatly, staring at the warrior. "Here to warn me away again?"
"No." Heero leaned forward and stared out into the dark. "I'm here to ask you about your past."
"I thought you had that all figured out." The violet-eyed boy replied bitterly.
Heero snorted. "So did I. I've been told I figured wrong."
Duo stood suddenly. "Maybe you should have asked me about it before you formed your opinion. I don't really feel like talking about it." He spat before whirling around and stalking down to the water.
Heero saw a small light orb flash to life as Duo knelt by the water, his fingers trailing gently through the cool liquid. He frowned and got to his feet, jumping back up to the higher ground. Ceris had told him to speak to Duo and he had tried. Without another word he walked to the fire and sat grimly before it.
Milliardo was crossing the camp area when small bursts of light caught his attention. Looking carefully he realized that what he was seeing were small flames, suddenly flashing into being and then flickering out.
"Why are you out here alone?" The mage asked quietly as he approached Wufei.
The raven-haired boy looked up from where he'd been leaning against one of the trees, a frown on his face. "I never feel very comfortable around them. They are all seething with such... emotion." He replied after a pause.
"And that's wrong?"
"Not wrong... just... different. I don't fit in with people that feel so intensely."
Milliardo leaned on the other side of the tree, his shoulder almost touching Wufei's. "I think you are wrong there. I sense great emotion in you." He said with a small smile.
Wufei sent another burst of flame into the air. "But, I don't show it."
"Neither does Heero."
"He's starting to. Being around all of you is changing him, even if he can't see or admit it." He sighed and created an intricate set of fire rings, making them spin wildly around each other. "I feel different... like I don't belong on this quest, if that's what you'd call it. The further we proceed, the more I feel like I shouldn't be here."
Milliardo leaned his head against the rough bark, watching the display of fire. "It was confirmed that you are one of the warriors."
"I know this." Wufei replied as the rings of fire merged and created a small dragon that sailed around them. "It's like something is calling me away from here."
The blonde mage pushed away from the tree and moved to stand in front of the boy, his ice blue eyes studying him intently. Finally he reached out and placed a hand on Wufei's shoulder, murmuring a few words. As he did a soft red glow enveloped the pair and then faded with the mage's chant.
"W-what did you just do?" Wufei asked warily.
"A minor protection spell." Milliardo said simply as he stepped back. And something to warn me if you are in trouble.
"What would I need that for?" The boy questioned stiffly.
"The same reason we all do." The mage replied as he walked away.
Wufei scowled darkly as he watched the man leave. He hadn't seen the spell performed on any of the others.
"I was a thief."
Heero's head snapped up at the sound of Duo's voice. "What?"
"I lived by doing the very thing you caught me doing. I stole." Duo said sitting down beside Heero and looking into the fire. "Whatever I needed, I found a way to get it. Food, clothing... it didn't matter. I made a promise to someone along time ago that I wouldn't allow myself to turn to selling my body to survive. There's been many times that I've gone hungry or cold, even been sick, but I never broke that promise."
"Who ever it was must have been very important to you, for you to go through so much not to break a promise."
Duo looked at him, his violet eyes damp. "She was." He said simply.
The pair was sitting in silence when Milliardo walked into the circle cast by the flame's light. Duo looked up at him and then over at Heero before standing.
"You wanted to know. I've told you. It's up to you whether to believe it or not, I don't really care." The thief said quietly before nodding to the mage and seeking his bed.
"What was that about?" Milliardo asked turning to Heero.
"Clearing up a misunderstanding." Heero stood. "I'm going to sleep."
"Where are Quatre and Trowa?" The mage asked.
Heero turned back to him. "I don't know. They disappeared a while ago."
"The healer and his paramour are not far from here." Essylt said walking up to them. "The healer's light protects them. I made sure before leaving them alone."
"They should be here in the camp." Milliardo frowned.
Then a look of surprise crossed his and Heero's faces at the same time.
"Paramour?" Heero asked.
Essylt nodded. "Yes. You both are blind if you haven't seen it. They are safe, but I wouldn't disturb them." She smiled before going to seek her mate.
Heero and Milliardo looked at each other, astonishment on their faces. "Trowa..."
"and Quatre?" Milliardo finished.
Quatre snuggled in Trowa's warm embrace, a smile of satisfaction on his pale features. A ball of soft light hovered above the lovers, holding the dark of the night at bay. All around they could hear the sounds of the night creatures, the sounds of the lake and the hum of voices from the camp.
"Quatre?" Trowa said gently.
"Hmmm?" The blonde responded sleepily.
Trowa shifted and sat up, reaching for his clothes.
"What is it?" Quatre sat up beside him his blue eyes worried. "Is something wrong?"
"No," the brunette leaned back and kissed him. "Everything is right. I had the elven smiths make something for me, to give to you." He explained as he pulled something from his cloak.
The healer's eyes widened as Trowa held out his hand. Sitting in the palm of the wind warrior's hand was a small silver band. And arm circlet, it's surface designed in intricate knots of silver and sitting in it's center was a large smooth sapphire. Trowa held the band up to the light and the center of the sapphire flared to life with a brilliant star set in its heart.
Quatre realized he had seen similar objects before, worn on the arms of many of the elves at the village. His heart pounded as he looked into Trowa's green eyes.
"Do you know..." Trowa started.
"A mating band." Quatre finished softly.
"We're already bound to each other, on a level unlike anything else. I wanted you to have something to represent that."
"You should have one too." The blonde said.
Trowa's heart leapt. "Then you'll accept it?"
"With all my soul." The healer told him. "And when we return to the village, I want one made for you."
"I had Essylt teach me the words to speak when it is given. She said it's a spell, binding and unbreakable."
Quatre held out his arm. "Teach it to me, so I may say it with you."
Trowa spoke to the healer in a low voice, repeating the words that Essylt had taught him. Then he sat back and took the arm band in his hand. His green eyes glittered as he placed the band on Quatre's arm and they spoke together.
"If aught must be lost... 'twill be my honor for yours."
The band started to glow softly, infusing its wearer with a comforting warmth.
"If one must be forsaken, 'twill be my soul for yours."
Quatre looked up Trowa and the brunette smiled at him as their voices blended.
"Should death come anon, 'twill be my life for yours."
The mating band sealed itself on the blonde's arm as their voices drifted through the dark... completing the verse.
"I am Given."
Author's Notes: The spell that Quatre and Trowa used was taken from the novel: "The Kiss of the Highlander" by Karen Marie Moning. © 2001 Dell House Publishing, a division of Random House, Inc. Used without permission. The author claims it to be a Druid marriage...whether this is true, I'm not sure. I haven't been able to find any information on it.
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