Another Murder of Crows: Part 18
"Do we have anymore gummi bears left, Odin?"
"Um, let me see....no, just some licorice and Twizzlers."
"Oh, um, let me have the Twizzlers then." He tossed me the pack of Twizzlers and I practically leapt onto the package, ripped it open and allowed several of them to fall out and along the bed. It doesn't matter though, they're about to be eaten anyway. Heero was sitting in a recliner next to the bed, balancing peanut M&M's on his nose before eating them. My hotel room was a complete disaster area: half eaten burgers and fries were sitting around the room, either on the floor or on the bed, lettuce littered the floor, salad dressing clung to the wall (we had a food fight earlier) my near devoured plate of eggs and bacon sat on the television, and whatever area wasn't covered by food was currently covered by candy.
After the incident in the lobby, and when I had calmed down a bit, Heero carried me upstairs to my room. He managed to get me snuggled up in bed when Duo finally broke free from Wufei and came pounding on the door. Once that adventure was over with, meaning Heero had to sedate Duo to calm him down, he and Wufei got him wrapped up in Wu's room and Relena came by to talk briefly with Heero. I guess he told her he wasn't going to be back in tonight, cause its 3:31 in the morning and he's just here watching tv with me like he doesn't have a care in the world. We ended up ordering some food–well, a lot–had a food fight (which HE started) and now we were totally relaxed and full. Sometimes, being with Heero can be so calming. I swear, he's a walking sedative.
I flicked a piece of tomato out of my hair and buried myself further underneath the covers, trying, with some success, to keep my feet warm. Heero had a blanket wrapped around him, and he seemed pretty comfortable in the chair as we sat back and watched another episode of ‘I Love Lucy'.
"She is annoying," he said, throwing a M&M at the tv. "How could anyone stand her? No wonder they built the colonies. They were trying to get away from her!"
I laughed, and threw the tomato at him, but missed. "Well, this was made in the, uh, 1950s I think. At that time, they didn't even show a married couple sleeping in the same bed! So of course their humor is going to be a little, I don't know, degrading."
"How about just loud and annoying?"
I opened my mouth and he threw a M&M in it, right between the teeth. Yum! Chewing, I shrugged. "I guess. If you say so."
"Hn. You think Duo is going to be mad at us for eating all of his candy?"
He threw another M&M, which I caught between the teeth again. Man I'm good. "Nah, this isn't his secret stash. I don't know where he has it this time, so we should be okay. Hey, I'm thirsty."
Heero reached to the side of him and pulled out a black squirt gun, and shot some cherry Kool–ade in my mouth. "Thanks."
He took three shots then sat it back on the night stand. "No problem. So, how are you feeling?"
I wiggled further underneath the eight thousand covers Heero put on me and sighed, toasty warm and comfortable. "I feel great and much, much better. Thank you, and I'm sorry for reacting that way. It was uncalled for."
"No need to apologize," he said, while putting the tv on mute, "how were you suppose to react? I mean, how can you tell what's real and what isn't?" He pulled the blanket up around his shoulders, covering his entire body. He turned his head to the side, matching my gaze as he leaned back in the chair. "We're in Oslo. He moved from Earth, to the colonies, to your home, to Sanc, and then here. Where can you hide? Where can you retreat to? He moves as fast as we do, if not faster." He looked to the floor. "We can't keep doing this. You and Duo can't live like this." He looked back at me. "Something has to be done."
"Like what?" I asked curiously.
"I don't know."
I shook my head. "You have something in mind, but you're not telling me."
He smirked. "You know me too well. Yes, I do actually, but its something...drastic."
"Like what?" I asked again.
He sighed. "You might have to walk away from your company."
I sat up. "That is something I will not do."
He raised an eyebrow. "You were willing to disinherit yourself for the war, why not for your life?"
I rolled my eyes and sighed loudly. "I was doing that for peace. Why sacrifice many lives for the sake of one? And now I have my sisters to think about since my father is dead, and my son. The only thing that is going to pull me away from my company is another war or my death." I laid back down on the bed, trying to get into the same comfort spot I was in before.
Heero only stared at me, pouting a little in thought. "Alright. I'll think of something else. In the meantime, you and Duo should stick to me and Fei until something else is figured out, okay?"
"Odin, I don't need a babysitter."
"I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, and so is Duo."
"Are you even listening to me? Are you even trying to listen?"
I sighed. "Fine."
"Good." He stretched his legs and arms out quickly before scratching his head and facing me again. "So, how did Duo twist his ankle and dislocate his shoulder?"
My eyebrows shot up to my hairline, if not higher. How in..."What do you mean ‘how?'"
He gave me a ‘you're so full of it' look. "Duo may be a loud, talkative, long-haired pain in the ass, but he's not clumsy, stupid or weak. He could keep up with Trowa on a high wire, and I'm supposed to believe that he hurt himself jogging?" I could hear the incredulousness rise in his voice. "And that you were with him? So that means you went jogging," he did his fingers in quotation marks, "right after you and I had our little disagreement."
I nodded. "Yeah."
He continued to stare at me, and I could feel my will to keep quiet slip away. "Quatre, you're a terrible liar."
I threw my hands up in the air. "I know this! Everyone knows this! Why do you and Duo keep bringing it up like its news to me?"
He laughed softly. "Because you keep trying to lie."
"AH! You're going to make me pull my hair out!"
Oh no, now he has that hurt chibi–eyed puppy dog look on his face. "Well, if I do, you have to promise me that you'll talk to him, but act like you don't know anything."
"Here goes everything." I sat up in bed and turned my entire body to face him, clasping my hands together as if I was praying. "Odin, when you and I were having our...heated discussion," he snorted, I smirked, "Duo overhead us. He was hiding in the bushes."
"What?!" He jumped out of the chair and walked towards me, losing his footing a bit when his heel brushed against some ketchup. "Why didn't you tell me to shut up or move or something if you knew Duo was there?"
"I didn't know! I saw him after you left because I was sitting on the bench, trying to calm down when I heard him crying."
"He was crying?!"
I started to open my mouth and clamped it shut when I realized what I said. I admitted that Duo cried. Duo would never admit that he cried. Never ever. Especially over Heero. I screwed up. Again. "Ah shit!"
"Why would Duo cry? What would make him do that?"
"You," I whispered.
"Yes!" Is he dense or what? "Odin, he loves you very, very much. Things did not end well between you two, but it hasn't been righted either. It's one thing to know that you and Relena are dating, but its another when you want to marry her. That means he doesn't have a chance. At all."
Heero grabbed the blanket he had earlier and sat on the bed, wrapping himself up in it. He had his legs crossed, and leaned forward to dig his elbows into this knees. It might've been the lighting of the moon shining on his face, but Heero looked very pale, in a ‘not because of the moon' kind of way. "Odin?"
"I didn't mean to hurt him," he said softly.
"I know you didn't–"
"I never meant to hurt him, but, damnit, he would provoke me."
I shut my mouth with an audible click, and decided to just stay quiet until he said everything he wanted to say.
"I would never intentionally hurt him. I would die thousands of times over before I hurt him. I didn't want him to find out this way. He...he deserves better than me."
I decided to interrupt then. "No, he needs you. Odin," I took his hand in my mine. He only stared at the bedspread, "you two are cut from the same cloth, don't you understand? He fills in your shortcomings, and you fill in his. I don't think that you and Relena would work, not because of lack of love, I know you two love each other, but because pacifism and war can't co–exist together. It's either one or the other."
"But you come from a pacifist family," he stated calmly.
"Yeah, I did, but guess what? I don't claim to be a pacifist anymore. I leave all the peace talks and such up to Relena. It would be contrary for me to deliver speeches about peace when I am responsible for so many deaths. So are you. Relena is not. That's why you and Duo are perfect compliments of each other. I don't get it. He understands you more than anyone else, and you use to worship the ground he walked on. What happened?"
"Things are bad between us, Quatre. They're bad between Duo and me."
"Then make them good."
I shrugged. "Only you two can figure that out. Talk to Wufei, maybe he can help you. He's more protective of Duo and I than anybody."
"I know," he said grimly. Then I remembered the argument between Heero and Wufei. Oh yeah. He did say that, didn't he?
"Oh yeah, silly me."
I smiled and gently squeezed his hand. "It's my pleasure."
We sat there in a companionable silence before Heero finally broke the mood by placing his hand on my forehand and with one thrust, pushed me down on the bed. "It's after four. Go to sleep."
"Yes daddy," I said playfully, which earned me a nuggie. "Ow! I'm gonna have a bald spot by the time I'm twenty!"
"Well, it was either that or a wet willy, take your pick."
I mumbled something, but it was lost in the pillow as my eyelids involuntarily started to close from being open so long. I forgot that I didn't sleep the night before, and at that time my body completely shut down and surrounded itself in the warmth of the blankets and the softness of the mattress.
I did however, notice a sudden change in the room. The last thing I remember was the soft touch of fingertips grazing my temple and hair, and the faint scent of Cool Water as I finally left consciousness.
"Okay, everyone get on the plane! We're leaving in five minutes!" Wufei stood on top of one of Dorothy's suitcases, which the rest of us called a trunk, and hollered for everyone to get going. It was around three in the afternoon or so, and the day was bright and sunny, but cold. I know Dorothy and Relena are a little lost, the rest of us didn't even roll over til about noon or so, and even then it was obvious something happened. Of course, five of the most secretive persons on Earth were together, so they knew pretty much that whatever happened was going to stay a secret. Poor girls. Sometimes, I wonder why they bother with us.
"Quatre, you okay?" I whipped around to see Wufei looking curiously at me, even as he put Dorothy's ‘suitcase' in cargo.
"Oh no reason, just checking." He closed the door and locked it. "You were really gone last night, and I was worried that I hurt you when I hit you."
"Oh don't worry about it Wu, I needed it, and besides," I rubbed my sore cheek, "I like the shade of blue the bruise is. I think it really brings out my eyes, don't you?"
He scoffed. "Moron."
I smiled way too big for it to be natural, and blinked rapidly. "And that's why you wuv me."
He exhaled, exasperated. "No matter how much I hate to admit it, that's true. Now get your ass on the plane. We're leaving."
"Wait. Who's piloting?"
"Heero and Duo, I think."
I gawked at Wufei. "You've got to be kidding. Why don't you and I pilot?"
He returned my look. "Us? With those two hogs on the wheel? Please. We'll be lucky if we get to touch the control panels." He then turned around and helped Relena on the jet, with Dorothy helped up by Trowa. Then Wufei hopped up, doing something up there that I couldn't see, when I noticed Trowa still standing there, waiting for him to move. Clearing my throat, I walked up to Trowa and tapped him gently on the shoulder. Even though he had on a light polyester jacket, my fingers still tingled at the touch. "Trowa?"
He didn't seem surprised when he saw me standing next to him. Of course, he and Heero are neck in neck over who can be the most expressionless. "Yes Quatre?"
I can't believe I'm nervous. What do I have to be nervous for? "I wanted to apologize for last night. It was uncalled for, and I know its hard enough when you are called away from your home to help and have to deal with, with what you saw last night..."
"Quatre, you don't owe him shit, therefore he doesn't need an explanation." Wufei stood in the archway of the plane, arms crossed and looking VERY unhappy. "Barton, if you don't like it, that's too damn bad for you."
"It's okay Quatre." My head snapped around to see Trowa smirking, yes smirking at me. "Wufei's right. You don't owe me an explanation. I'm just glad you're okay now." And with that, he got on the plane and disappeared behind Wufei.
He tried to look innocent. Tried being the key word. "What?"
"Don't play dumb with me! You know what you were doing."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," he said flatly, even though he was grinning from ear to ear. "And tell Yuy and Maxwell to stop making out and get their butts over here."
"What?!" I heard Relena's shrill from where I stood, and I used that as my cue to go find them. Spinning abruptly on my heels, I basically ran from the runway of Oslo's small airport and to find the two missing pilots in question. What I did find surprised me. Off to the side of the runway, behind one of those metal staircases, Heero and Duo were talking. And I mean talking, as in a conversation. Not screaming, not shouting, not threatening bodily harm. I stayed behind the staircase and tried my best to listen in. I know I know, that's not right but what do you want? I wasn't nosey until I met Duo. Blame him.
Anyway, the conversation, which I couldn't hear at all, lasted maybe another half a minute before Duo wrapped his arms around Heero and held him tightly, digging his fingers into Heero's back as he held him. Heero returned the embrace somewhat, not nearly with as much enthusiasm as Duo had, more like hugging an acquaintance, not an ex–lover.
That hurt me, and I know for sure Duo's hurt too.
I was extremely surprised to see that Duo released Heero first and stepped back to shake his hand. He said something, which I still didn't hear, and Heero waved his hand in the air as if dismissing something. Anyway, Heero swiftly turned around and walked away, making a b–line for the plane. Duo stayed behind, bringing his hands to his face as if he was about to cry. At that thought, I jumped from behind the metal stairs and briskly walked to him. "Duo, are you alright?"
He jumped, startled, but laughed when he saw it was only me. "Geez, man, you scared me again. What is it about you trying to inflict heart attacks?"
I could see that the humor was genuine, but his eyes were stained pink around the rims, and it looked like he didn't sleep too well last night. "Duo?"
He sighed out loud. "God, you're as persistent as Fei, I swear." He wiped his face with his hands and took a deep breath. "Heero, pulled me aside and said he wanted to talk to me. I said sure. Um, he told me about his plans with Relena, and then he said that he was sorry for ever hurting me." I could see the tears welling up in his eyes, but I didn't say anything. "Then, damn this is hard, he told me he wanted to be friends." He shrugged his shoulders. "I said I'd like that, then I hugged him."
"Its okay, its okay, I...I just needed to hold him one last time before I let him go. Before he went, before he went back to her. Look Cat, I don't want to talk about this right now. Let's just go, okay?"
I grabbed his hand and squeezed it hard. "Lead the way." Soon enough, we were on the plane, the hatch closed, the runway cleared, and off, 35,000 feet in the air on our one and a half hour flight back to Sanc. The first few minutes of the flight were quiet, except for a startled gasp that came from where Relena and Dorothy sat every once in a while, probably some gossip. Trowa sat diagonally from me, Wufei sat in the seat across from me, and the girls were in the front row, behind Heero. I only looked out the window at the landscape we were passing over, completely lost in thought. Suddenly, there was a hard ‘whap' on my arm and I turned to see Wufei holding a rolled up magazine in his hand.
"Quatre, you okay?"
I smiled slightly. "Yeah, just a little tired."
"Alright. What about him?" He jerked his head in Duo's direction. Duo only sat at the control panels, completely oblivious to us talking about him.
I let out a slow breath. "I don't know Wu. He's not saying anything to me."
"Hn. He's not saying much to me either. He must be pretty beat up inside."
"He is," I said slowly. "I don't know what's going to happen when we get back to Sanc."
"Shit, me neither, but I know it probably won't be pretty."
"It never is when it comes to us," I murmured under my breath. I saw out of the corner of my eye that Wufei nodded, hearing me, and I also saw Trowa looking at me out of the corner of his eye. I wasn't going to say anything though. Nope. I'll ignore him. Yeah, that's it. Even though I can't get the image of how he looked in his tuxedo out of my head, I'll still ignore him, and be stronger for it.
Half an hour later (and slightly horny), the flight to Sanc was still quiet, but now the image of Trowa wearing just the bow tie from his tuxedo danced in front of my eyes. I shifted in my chair, restless, upset, irritated, and trapped. I wanted off of this plane and I wanted it yesterday. Several times Wufei asked, quite loudly, what Trowa was looking at. I don't know if he embarrassed him, but he sure did embarrass me. Trowa only said he was looking at the seats, or some other mundane item that's the same on all planes. How can things get any worse?
Alarms and sirens went off immediately, and red lights flashed all over the control panel. Without even thinking, I unbuckled my seatbelt and made my way as quickly as I could to Relena and Dorothy. Wufei was a step behind me, and I saw Trowa head towards the back. We unbuckled the girls and made our way to the back of the plane, where Trowa had already set up the crash area. In these planes, since they are so small, Heero and Zechs had a little area built in the back with padding and such that offered some protection from glass and other objects that could fly around and hit you. They were little seats, on the floor, with a seatbelt like a car's, and a balloon type object surrounds you and zips closed to keep you protected from shrapnel. It's been tested, but never used before. Oh joy.
We got the girls buckled in, then the three of us went back up to the front.
"What the hell happened?!" Wufei yelled. I could barely hear him over the sirens.
"There was a group of crows that were flying by, then they made a U–turn and plowed right into the engine!" Heero hollered back.
"1 and 2."
Wufei blanched. "But there's only two engines for this plane!"
"No fuckin' duh Fei!" Duo supplied helpfully.
"It's useless, everyone to the back! Heero, Relena's scared!"
Heero gave me a curt nod and got up, fumbling his way to the back on the unsturdy plane. Wufei was right behind him, and then Trowa. I started to go, but stalled when I saw that Duo didn't get up from his seat.
"You go!" He hollered. "I'll stay! If there's a chance to get this thing going, I'm gonna find it!"
"Damnit Quatre, just do it!"
I quickly turned around and started to run towards the back, and Trowa started to walk again when he saw that I was coming. Looking back, I saw Duo frantically trying to restart the plane.
We made it to the back, the ‘bubble' unzipping as Wufei hopped inside. Heero was already seated next to Relena, holding her hand, and Trowa held the bubble still, waiting for me to get in. Of course I had to screw that up.
Instead of getting in, I pushed Trowa in, causing him to splay all over Wufei and Dorothy's lap. Zipping up the bubble, I twisted the zipper and broke it, making sure no one could get out of it after me. Of course, that meant that Duo and I couldn't get back in either, but I figured that he didn't have any intention of getting in the bubble. He was going to fight to the death. I was not going to let him fight alone.
I stumbled to the front and hopped in the co–pilots seat. He looked up sharply at me, and I smiled, flipping switches to restart the engines. He smiled back and continued with what he was doing, scanning the frequencies for help. I chanced a look out of the window and saw the engines, and both of them were on fire.
There was no possible way to restart them. Duo knew that.
I buckled my seat belt and took control of the wheel, trying to keep the nose of the plane up. So far we weren't having any luck, and I could see the snow on the ground coming closer at an alarming rate. The blood tasted harsh in my mouth as I gritted my teeth, pulling the wheel up as hard as I could, my muscles feeling like they would rip apart at any second. Duo scanned desperately at the frequencies, trying again and again to restart an engine, or at least to slow our descent.
"Brace yourself for impact!" I opened my eyes at Duo's hoarse shout to see the white background reach up before I closed my eyes again.