Born in Chaos Part 28
"Are you sure you feel up to this?" Milliardo asked worriedly as he helped the black haired boy down a steep bank leading to the lake. "You haven't been awake for very long, you are still pretty weak."
"I'll feel a lot better when I'm clean!" Wufei grumbled irritably. He chafed at the idea that he had to depend on the blonde mage for help.
Milliardo nodded silently in understanding, he knew how the boy felt and worrying over him would just make him even angrier. Reaching the water's edge he slipped his arm from around Wufei's waist and stepped back. "I'll be over by those trees," He indicated as small standing of trees off to the right. "If you need help..."
"I don't need any help!" The boy snapped.
He watched the blonde out of the corner of his eye making sure he was gone before he slowly started to remove his clothing, cursing softly at his dizziness. Dropping the tattered cloth on the shore he slowly waded into the water a hiss escaping from his lips as the chill of the water stung his skin. Sitting in the water he closed his eyes and sighed, the chill drawing the aches from his body. They said he'd heal. Quatre had supposedly brought him back from the brink of death and had done all that he could for him. The rest was up to him... and he was tired.
He leaned his head back in the water and ran his fingers through his shoulder length hair, coaxing the blood and dirt from the long strands. What had happened to him? He frowned and searched his mind, finding nothing but a haze of pain. Why couldn't he remember? A sharp searing pain shot through his temples, accompanied by a fleeting vision of eyes so vivid blue they seemed to burn into his very being. Crying out he gripped his head clenching his eyes shut.
There was a splash in the lake behind him. "No!" He screamed. Spinning around his flames leapt to life. "You will not touch me!!"
"Wufei!" The black-haired boy's flames slammed into the barrier that Milliardo barely had had time to throw up. Even in his weakened condition Wufei was strong; it took all of Milliardo's strength to keep a barrier up that would turn aside the blast of white hot fire.
It was almost more than Wufei's body could take. Panic overwhelmed him as his power lost strength and he sagged to his knees in the water. He couldn't let them take him again! Hands gripped his shoulders, he could hear a voice calling him and with a hoarse cry he fought the tight embrace that he found himself in.
"Wufei," Milliardo spoke evenly. "You've escaped... you're safe." He grabbed the boy's chin with one hand, forcing his face upwards to stare into Wufei's sightless eyes. "Listen to me! Listen to my voice!"
Panic faded as he recognized the voice that spoke to him. Not an enemy, his mind insisted. Blinking his sight cleared and he found himself clasped against the mage's body, the man's ice blue eyes watching him carefully. "D-didn't escape..." He gasped, the black edges of unconsciousness creeping up on him. "Didn't.... can't escape... ever..." His body went limp. "H... help... me..."
Saron sat on a large boulder at the top of the rocky slope and watched with admiration as Sally struggled up last of the steep trail. Even with her injured leg, which he knew must be in agony, she kept going, uttering not one word of complaint. By human standards or elfin, she was an extraordinarily strong woman and that strength had finally won her the grudging respect of the grey-eyed elf that had appointed himself her guardian.
Sweat starting to bead on her forehead, Sally reached up and gripped the rocks ahead of her pulling herself forward. As she stepped ahead her leg gave out and she reeled backwards bracing herself for the impact that never came. Opening her blue eyes she looked up into the stormy grey ones of her companion, a slight smile touched his lips as his hand gripped her wrist tightly holding her in place.
"I'm beginning to think my grandmother was right about you," Saron said quietly as he pulled her up the rocks.
"And what do you mean by that?" Sally asked as she scrambled to her feet to glare at him.
"That your elfin blood runs true, no matter how faint it is. You have the strength of one of our own."
A dark eyebrow shot up as he studied the blonde woman. "Don't tell me you don't know your own ancestry?"
Sally looked away. "I didn't know my family. They were killed when I was an infant. It was only by the good graces of the former king that I was raised at the palace as Queen Relena's companion."
"I see." Saron turned and walked past her, his eyes scanning the landscape. "There's a small cave in that rock face there," He pointed off to their right. "It's a good place to stay the night."
"I don't think we should stop," Sally protested as he picked up his pack and looked at her. "We need to catch up to the others."
"We're not going to catch up to anyone if you don't rest that leg!" He snapped.
"Sure and that's why you were so able to climb the last of those rocks," Saron said sourly. "I say we rest!"
"Go ahead, but I'm not!" Sally muttered starting to limp up the trail.
"Idiot woman!" Saron growled. He walked over to the cave and stuck his head in the entrance; listening carefully until he was satisfied that nothing inhabited the dark space and then tossed his pack just inside.
Whirling back around he watched Sally walking slowly along the narrow uneven path, her face set in determination. Then with a low curse he strode swiftly up the path until he was walking beside her. "You aren't going to stop are you?"
"You really are a stubborn fool!" He turned and Sally let out a small squeak as she found herself swept up in his arms.
"Let me down!"
"I think not," Saron held the struggling woman tightly and carried her back down the trail to the cave.
Stepping inside the entrance, he deposited the woman on the ground and before she could jump to her feet, he dropped to his knees, straddling her legs, and leaned forward, his hands on the rock wall on either side of her face. Her eyes widened as he leaned in so that all she could see was the anger glinting in his grey eyes.
"If you don't stay put while I gather some firewood for us, I will tie you." He said in a low voice. "Understand?"
Mutely, for once unable to think of a retort, Sally nodded.
Saron searched her face, surprised that she didn't have anything to say, looking for any hint of deception. As she shifted uncomfortably under his scrutiny her leg brushed against the inside of his sending a jolt through him. Recognizing the feeling Saron swore angrily and launched himself backwards and to his feet.
"Stay put!" He snapped before stalking out of the cave.
The blonde woman wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. She had recognized the sudden look that had come into his eyes right before he got up and it frightened her. If he suddenly decided to act, right now she was defenseless against him.
"Are you telling me the truth?"
Duo looked up from the fire, startled as Heero's voice broke into his thoughts. The cobalt-eyed boy glared down at him for a moment before sitting on the ground beside him.
"Are you?" He asked again.
"What do you think?" Duo replied turning away to gaze back into the flames.
"What reason would you have to lie? That's what I keep asking." Heero drew his knees up to his chest and studied the chestnut-haired youth. "All I have is the sword I carry; it's not that I have anything that would make you want to get close to me." He tilted his head sideways slightly. "No... I think you are telling the truth."
Duo started at the sudden change in Heero, but he remained quiet, not wanting to break whatever mood the boy was in. The pair sat in silence, Duo staring into the fire and Heero watching Duo, and turning over his thoughts.
"What are you then?" Heero finally asked quietly.
"Nothing," Violet eyes turned to him. "I'm an orphan... I grew up by stealing what I needed... I'm a thief. That's all... as simple as that."
"Yet we were told you are destined to be the next guardian, if we fail in our journey." Heero pointed out. "It's hard to understand that the heir to the light would be nothing more than a common thief."
"Nonetheless, nothing is what I am. Until recently I was unimportant to anyone except the daughter of a local merchant."
"Lover?" Heero asked.
"Hopeful," Was the reply. "I told you before; I've never let anyone touch me." Duo looked away from him. "Besides, girls don't hold my interest much. Maybe, in a few more years, I might have considered marrying her to get off the streets, but it would have been a bad choice."
"What do you want from me?"
Duo jumped slightly, turning his gaze back to Heero. That question he was not expecting. What did he want? He was attracted to Heero; there was no question about that. But what did he truly want from the boy? "Friendship," He finally answered, deeming that the safest response.
Heero leaned over and cupped his face in his hand. Staring into Duo's startled eyes for a moment he leaned over more and brushed his lips across Duo's. "Do friends desire other friends to kiss them?"
"N-no... not generally,"
"Then what do you want from me?"
"I-I don't know," Duo whispered, his body starting to tremble.
Heero dropped his hand and got to his feet, stopping for a moment to stare down at the startled boy. Then he turned away to leave the camp. "When you can answer that, let me know."
Duo raised his hand to touch his fingertips to his lip as he watched Heero leave. "What was that?" He murmured to himself. It was like something had changed in Heero in the span of the few hours since he'd seen him. There had been something different in the way Heero looked at him just then. His eyes.... they lacked the usual coldness... he looked almost as if he yearned for something.
He rested his chin on his knees and raised one hand, creating a small glow of light. What do I really want?
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