Born in Chaos Part 7

Quatre sighed and shifted in his saddle, his blue eyes taking in the barren landscape around him. It had taken them close to three days to finally reach the northern Sanq border and then cross into this land. Now, for as far as anyone could look, there was nothing but dead soil... no signs of life plant or otherwise.

He wondered to himself... was all the areas around Sanq like this?

As soon as they had entered this land, Heero had sensed the direction they must go in. His cobalt eyes had been determined as he told them that they must head for the mountains.

At least another day's ride away.... a day's ride without stopping. They didn't dare. It was too open here, there was no way they could safely make camp. The healer sighed and sifted again.

Milliardo glanced to the young boy at his side as he heard the barely audible sound. Quatre was starting to worry him. Since the healing, he'd become more and more pale and withdrawn. Gone was sincere, cheerful outlook... and Quatre refused to speak of it. The mage was starting to wonder if he'd been wrong in advising Trowa to keep his distance from the healer. It seemed to be doing more damage than good.

Trowa rode off to the other side, always keeping as much distance from Quatre as he could. Milliardo could feel a profound sadness in the brunette, but also a grim acceptance of his situation.

He then let his senses fall back until he was assured of the foreign boy's presence at the rear of the group. An enigma. Milliardo had not been able to discover anything about Wufei's pendant and that worried him. There wasn't much magic that could stand up to his. But, despite this, Wufei seemed genuine in his desire to aid them.

And, despite the beliefs that such things were not for him, Milliardo's many conversations over the last few days with the black haired boy had stirred feelings within him.

His attention was suddenly shifted to Heero, a sudden wave of violent feelings radiated from the stoic boy. Duo had tried to talk with him again... the chestnut haired boy seemed to be drawn to Heero despite everything. Heero could barely stand his presence and Milliardo was concerned that eventually they cobalt eyed warrior would hurt the other boy. He'd have to discuss this with Duo when they finally stopped to rest.

"There they are!" Duo cried happily as they finally rode close enough to see where the mountains me the ground.

Before anyone could say a word, the chestnut haired boy urged his horse forward, riding swiftly towards the jumble of rocks.

"I've never seen a mountain range like that." Wufei muttered, drawing up alongside Quatre. "No foothills, nothing. Just rock meeting the ground. More like a wall than anything."

They pulled up behind Duo, who was staring up at the sheer rock face. "What the hell is this?" He asked nervously. "Don't tell me we are going to have to climb."

"Afraid of heights?" Heero asked sarcastically as he jumped down from his horse and strode to the rock wall.

Wordlessly, the brunette placed both of his hands on the jagged rock and closed his eyes. Leaning in, he pressed his cheek against the cool stone and his pendant began to glow softly. After a few moments, he turned and faced the astonished group.

"Just down that way," He indicated to their east. "There's a crevice in the rock that leads into the mountains. You can only see it when you are directly in front of it."

Duo opened his mouth to ask the question that everyone was thinking.

"There was no need until now." Heero said icily, cutting the violet-eyed boy off before he could speak.

Heero silently mounted his horse and headed east along the wall. The rest of the group glanced at one another and then followed him.

Riding up beside Heero, Milliardo eyed him a moment before speaking. "Just exactly what is it that you did back there?"

"I asked the rocks if there was a way through." Heero replied, not even looking at the man. "I can communicate with the things of the earth, in a sense."

"Innate magic." Milliardo mused quietly. "For generations there has been no magic born in the children. Then all of a sudden there is... first Quatre and now you. I wonder..." He thought about the others. Is it possible that all of the light's children possess innate magical abilities?

"There." Heero stopped and gestured towards the wall.

Before them, set into the solid rock, was a narrow crevice. Big enough for them to slip through on foot, but not their horses. "Looks like we walk from here." Milliardo commented. "Gather only what we have to have and that can be carried."

Heero jumped down and started to reply when a sharp cry cut him off. Whirling around they saw Quatre kneeling on the ground, his arms wrapped around his trembling body.

"Quatre!" Duo cried, jumping down and rushing to the healer's side. Behind him Trowa and Wufei drew their weapons as their feet hit the ground.

"Dark!" The blonde gasped. "It's so dark and cold... the shadows are alive!"

As he spoke, the darkest of the shadows clinging the craggy surface of the wall started to break away and take shape before them. "Furies!" Heero yelled as he leapt forward, shoving the healer out of the way. The shadows had taken on the shape of large panther-like animals with eyes the color of red hot coals, their furious screams echoing around the party.

"Thief!" He growled as his blade sliced through the air. "Make yourself useful.... get him out of the way!"

"No!" Quatre cried, pulling away from Duo. "I can fight! I'm alright!" Calling on the magic that he'd been taught, streaks of light burst from the blonde's fingers, knocking the creatures back but not destroying them.

Suddenly he found himself fighting back to back with Trowa, knowing unconsciously that their bond had guided them to each other. He leapt backwards to avoid the furie's razor-like claws, suddenly surprised when a blade swept down past him, knocking the beast away. Quatre glanced up to see Trowa smile quickly at him as he turned to block another one of the shadow cats, engaging in a vicious battle with the screaming creature.

A sharp cry drew the healer's attention and he saw that Duo had been knocked to the ground. His knife slashed desperately at the beast, but to no avail. "Duo!!" He cried rushing towards the boy.

At the same time he saw Wufei struck down, blood flowing from a gash in his leg. With a silent prayer, the blonde stopped and murmured under his breath, throwing his hands out in the direction of the black haired boy. Relief washed through the healer as the cat leapt and was thrown away from Wufei. His barrier had held. With his defenses and attention elsewhere, he never saw the fury that crept up behind him.

"Quatre!" Both Trowa and Duo cried as they saw the beast drag the blonde to the ground.

Trowa turned and started trying to fight his way to the healer, his heart slamming against his chest as he saw the beast rip the boy's pale skin. Duo desperately tried to throw the creature, he was fighting, off of him, tears streaming down his face.

"Won't anything kill these things!?!?" He screamed, oblivious of his own wounds. "Somebody... HELP HIM!!! He's going to die!!!"

Trowa, for all his efforts, could not get past the beasts to the blonde. Heero had stepped in the help Wufei. If he left Wufei then the black haired warrior would be next to die. Milliardo, light flaring from his hands, was doing all he could to hold several of the furies at bay. No one could get to the slender blonde.

Anger and frustration welled up in the chestnut haired boy. He had to get to Quatre. Suddenly something inside him snapped and the pendant, around his neck, flared to life, pure, brilliant light spilling out from its amber depths.

Trowa fell backwards as the two animals, he was battling, roared and disappeared in a flash of white light. Steadying himself, he looked up his green eyes widening. Standing near the rock wall, Duo braced his feet, and holding his hands up, pure light formed between them, spilling out between his fingers. He then turned towards Heero and Wufei and thrust one hand forward, palm out. A shaft of light burst forward, tearing into the furies and destroying them.

The beasts destroyed, Trowa leapt forward gathering the limp, bloodied form of the healer in his arms. "Everyone, into the crevice!" At least there we are protected on two sides." He cried running for the opening, the rest of the party close behind him.

Once into the dark passageway, Milliardo cast a spell, creating a glowing ball of light that illuminated the area around them. Duo sank to his knees, staring numbly at his hands as Wufei limped over to check on him.

Trowa looked up from Quatre, at Milliardo. "He's still bleeding! Why is he still bleeding?"

Milliardo, pressed a hand against the blonde's forehead. "His healing is not as strong with himself as it is with others." He jerked his cloak off. "Lay him down, we can use this to bind his wounds and slow the bleeding."

Heero came forward, laying his own cloak on the ground for them to place the healer's limp body on. As the three worked swiftly to bind the blonde's wounds, Duo looked up at Wufei, as the boy finished tying off a strip of material around his leg.

"I-I don't understand...." The violet-eyed boy whispered.

Wufei sighed and sat down beside him. "You serve the light, the same as the rest of us. This ability has been within you since you were born, for some reason you didn't discover it until now."

"Can you?"

"We all can, just not the same as you. I work with forms of fire... Quatre is a healer... Heero speaks with the land and I'm sure sooner or later, we'll find out what Trowa's is."

Duo's head snapped up as Trowa sat back and fixed his gaze on the chestnut haired boy. "I control forms of water and the wind speaks to me." He said evenly, having overheard the conversation. "You saved his life," he gestured at Quatre. "Thank-you."

Milliardo's ice blue gaze settled on the brunette as Trowa reached out and brushed a lock of golden hair from Quatre's pale face. Then with a frown Trowa stood, "I'm going to go see if I can salvage any of our supplies."

"Heero..." Milliardo spoke.

"Aye... I'll go with him." The cobalt eyed boy replied, following Trowa down the passageway.

Wufei tossed his ripped cloak to Milliardo and the mage gently lay it over Quatre's still form. "You both need to rest." He stared pointedly at Duo and Wufei. "There's nothing more to do... all that's left is to wait for him to heal himself."

With that said, the mage settled himself so that he could watch both directions of the passage and Quatre at the same time and waited.



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