Born in Chaos Part 18
All around all he could see were undulating shadows, reaching out to brush across his icy skin and then withdrawing only to flick back in. He struggled to move only to find himself bound to something made of rough stone. In the completeness of the dark, he couldn't tell if he were upright or lying on some stone slab. He shuddered as the tendrils of shadow coiled around his limbs, trying once more to free himself from his restraints.
"It will do you now good. You can not escape them," A smooth voice rolled through the dark, "neither the chains that bind your body, nor the shadow that binds your heart."
He recoiled as something brushed his cheek and then leaned forward as he sensed the presence of warmth.
"You feel it, don't you? The bond between us." The rich voice soothed.
"Yes." He sighed leaning into his captor's warm hand.
Duo sat up rubbing his tender jaw and glared at Heero. "What the hell did you do anyway?" He grumbled.
Heero just turned back to his conversation with the elf guide, ignoring the violet-eyed thief.
"It feels like my jaw was broke."
"It was." Quatre knelt beside him, handing him a cup of water.
Duo just stared at the healer as he took the cup from his hand. Suddenly he dropped the water, jumping to his feet. "Wufei!"
"He's beyond our help for now." Trowa said quietly. "Trill tells us that all we can do is try to find the talismans. With those we may be able to help him."
The chestnut-haired boy slumped against the stone. "What can we do without him? Don't we need all five warriors to rescue the guardian?"
"Your mage can take Wufei's place for now." Essylt spoke up.
"Lovely." Duo mumbled his eyes falling on the silent platinum haired man.
Quatre smiled painfully at his mate. He understood what the thief was thinking, the same doubts were running through all their minds right now. Trowa laid a reassuring hand on his arms before turning to walk to where Heero and Trill were kneeling on the ground, their heads bent over something between them.
"What do we do now?" He asked bending over Heero's shoulder to peer at the marks they'd scratched in the dirt.
"We go after the first talisman." Trill looked up at the green eyed boy.
Trowa raised an eyebrow. "You make it sound almost easy."
"Far from it," Trill replied. "You will each have to face your past before you can embrace your future."
"Again with the riddles!" Duo stormed. "I'm getting really sick of everyone around me talking in riddles!!"
"Duo," Quatre placed his hand on the thief's shoulder, a calming sense flowing from him to the angry boy.
Out of the corner of his eye, Heero watched Duo sigh and then move away from the group to stare out over the mountains. It seemed the thief was more concerned about the situation than he thought he would be. Maybe there was more to the violet eyed boy than he thought.
Pushing that thought out of his mind he turned back to his conversation to Trill.
"Aaaaarrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!" Wufei's body arched away from the wall, his muscles stretched almost to the tearing point.
Treize slid his fingers across his face. "Why do you fight? It would be much simpler to let me in." He leaned forward, his breath fanning across the boy's skin. "You know you belong with us...let me into your mind. Let me see the things you have."
The black haired boy's reaction was to turn his face away and laugh lowly. "There's no pain you can inflict upon me that I haven't already felt."
"Don't be so rash to speak young warrior...I can create pain unlike anything you have ever even imagined." Treize's eyes narrowed angrily tightening his fingers on the boy's face.
Wufei grit his teeth his body going taut as he felt the dark lord burrowing into his mind...pain flashing through every limb as barriers were torn down.
He was going to lose this fight.
Heero crossed his arms and glared into the cave opening. "What can I expect to find in there?"
"That I cannot tell you." Trill told him. "For each person it will be different. The beings that protect the talismans can see into places within you that no one else can. They will choose your trial from what they see there."
Milliardo laid a hand on Heero shoulder, his eyes wary. "Go with caution." He said quietly.
Heero nodded silently.
Quatre found his fingers clasped firmly in Trowa's as they watched the dark-haired boy disappear into the shadows of the cave. Looking up he smiled nervously into his mate's green eyes.
"It will be alright." Trowa said softly.
Inside the cave Heero traveled along the narrow passage...the complete absence of light making it hard for him to gauge how far he'd gone. He stopped and glanced behind him, noting that he could no longer see the dim shape of the entrance and then with a determined sound he pressed forward; the darkness inside the damp rock felt like a heavy curtain that he had to push aside to proceed.
Suddenly a soft, warm breeze caressed his cheek and ahead of him he could see the dim outline of an entrance. Moving forward, he stepped through the opening to find himself standing in a field.
Ahead of him he saw himself, younger...much younger...kneeling in the grass, a young woman leaning over him.
"Heero," She whispered, pushing her dark hair from her pale face. "I need you to stay here for a while, alright? I'll come for you when it's safe to come back."
He looked up at her; his face that of a trusting child, and nodded solemnly. She smiled at him, her dark brown eyes sad, and turned away. He watched her disappear into the trees before jumping to his feet and following her.
Heero wanted to warn the child not to go...but he wasn't sure why he felt the need to call out the warning. He knew that in his mind, back then, that he felt a strong need to protect the woman he knew as mother.
With a growing sense of dread, Heero followed the younger form of himself through the woods until he came to a small cabin. The child lay his hand on the door handle and then jerked it back as the sound of a woman crying out in pain echoed around him. His eyes huge he crept around to peer into one of the dark windows.
"That was the day everything changed for you wasn't it?" A soft voice spoke from beside him.
Heero started and turned to stare at an older, female version of himself. "W-who!" He growled, grabbing the hilt of his sword.
"Look deep within yourself, Heero and you will know me." She smiled softly.
He stepped back his eyes widening. "I don't believe..."
"There have always been a lot of things you never believed." She took his hand, her warmth seeping into him. "Are you strong enough to face your own past, Heero? Can you face the truth of what happened when you were only ten years old?" She turned back to the scene below. "If you can...then you will have a choice...make it wisely." She reached out and placed two fingers on his forehead and a bright light flashed through is mind.
He was now staring into the window, his mind inside that of himself as a child. Seeing the scene before him, his memories tore through him, razor-sharp and burning.
His mother...his beloved mother...had given herself to these men in order for her and her son to be allowed to stay on this land. In return, he suddenly realized that they would kill her...and he had watched the entire thing through the dim window of their cabin.
As the brutal scene unfolded before him, he had been paralyzed with terror; unable to save his mother...instead he had run away...as far as he could. The horror of what he'd seen and his inability to aid her, wiped from his mind by his own terror and guilt. He'd wandered aimlessly from one town to the next until he found himself standing outside the gates to Queen Peacecraft's castle.
A light flashed before his eyes and he found himself watching the scene again. With a sound of despair, he fell to his knees. "I couldn't save her...I was too weak."
"You were but a child. They would have killed you too." The woman knelt beside him. "The hurt run deeper than that though, doesn't it, Heero."
"I couldn't believe she'd do such a vile thing." He said flatly.
"She did it to try and protect you. It's the same that any mother would do for a child."
"Who are you?" Heero demanded looking up at her, and then he stopped and stared into her eyes. "Guardian..." He murmured. "Ancestor..."
"I am Kiana Yuy...the mother of the man that became your father...the soul of the sleeping warrior of the earth slept within me and then your father and eventually within you. I died protecting your father, as your mother did protecting you." She stood and pulled him to his feet.
"You have a choice, Heero." She held out her hand and a glowing sword appeared in her grasp. Holding the blade out to him, she continued. "This sword was forged ages ago for your hand...you can use it to change the course of what happened that day...take it and defend the woman and child....or you may take it from this cave and let the past lie and start to heal."
Heero took the glowing blade from her, his eyes going to the scene below him. To save his mother...and himself....to have the memories of a childhood he'd lost. He gripped the hilt tightly and took a step towards the house, his heart clenching as he heard another scream from inside.
"No." He said finally. "I can't change what has happened." He turned back and stared at the woman. "I will not interfere with my own past."
She smiled. "Then leave this place, Heero. Take the sword of protection with you and go. The talisman is yours." She waved her hand and he found himself standing in a large chamber inside the cave...the light from her form showing him his surroundings.
The started to leave the chamber and then turned to look at her. "What would have happened if I had gone in there?"
"She would have died anyway...and the child seeing you would have rushed forth to help and perished himself. You would have been lost to this time...the men were creatures of shadow...set out to destroy the children of light. Your mother knew that."
He nodded silently and turned to look down the corridor. He saw the fading light and looked over his shoulder. The woman was gone...but new warmth radiated from the sword he now held in his hand.
Duo glanced up as he heard a sound from the cave. Heero had been gone for hours and he was beginning to believe that the dark-haired warrior was not going to return. Quatre let out a soft sound, raising his head from Trowa's shoulder as Heero emerged from the cave, a slender blade grasped in his hand.
"You did it!" The small healer cried.
Heero looked at him, his expression unreadable. "Yeah."
"What happened in there?" Milliardo asked.
"Nothing that I expected and everything that I didn't." Heero replied, removing his old sword from its scabbard and placing the new one in its place, noting that it was a perfect fit, even though the blade was different.
"Was it a bad fight?" Duo asked cautiously.
Heero turned to stare at the thief, something shifting in his eyes. "There was no fight...not in the sense that I expected."
"Somehow, I don't think that it's something we should talk of." Trowa stopped Quatre from asking more questions.
Heero looked up at the dim sky. "Yeah. You're right."
In the creeping shadows of approaching night, a slender figure darted silently from a hidden entrance to the old keep. His dark eyes scanned the dark around him as he slipped into the cover of the forest surrounding the building.
High above him the dark lord and his consort watched.
Reaching the cover of the forest, Wufei stopped and leaned against the rough bark of an old tree his breath coming in gasps. Looking down at his bleeding wrists he swore under his breath as he jerked his shirt off, tearing it into strips. Quickly binding the raw wounds, he looked around him, letting his senses reach out.
North...they had moved further north. With fresh determination, he started in the direction of the mountain range known as the Dragon's Teeth.
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