Another Murder of Crows: Part 27
I slowly woke to the feel of being a taco. Something had me wrapped up in every which way possible. But I wasn't in the mood to open my eyes. I felt extremely warm and unaccountably safe. Whatever it was that surrounded me was making sure that I wouldn't get swept away in my sleep. Of course, I had to ruin my sense of tranquility, because I knew where I was and knew that such feelings were an illusion in this place.
I was surprised that the first thing I saw was Trowa's sleeping face. He was so close his bangs were touching my forehead. It was a good thing my libido was totally shot, because he was absolutely beautiful in his sleep. The candle highlighted his face perfectly. His black lashes contrasted majestically against his caramel skin, his arched eyebrows made his expression even more serene, and his pink lips were parted just enough to plant a sweet kiss. But I had to pass up the opportunity. I had other things on my mind. Duo and Relena. I still didn't know where he was, and I knew that Wufei would kill her if I didn't come up with something soon.
I turned my head and realized that we were actually in my room. It was totally black outside, so I didn't have a clue as to what time it was, except that it was night. A lot of good that did me.
I found out that not only was I tangled in layers of blankets, I was also wrapped in limbs. Trowa had his right arm and leg wound so tightly around me, I was afraid the only way I could get free was to wake him up. But thanks to some tips Duo gave me about slipping out from under a drunk and passed out ‘acquaintance' (you don't want to know) I was up and out in a matter of minutes. I could see that a pair of snow pants were on the floor and that my boots were towards the foot of the bed near the pants.
I quickly shimmied into the pants and realized by the way they fit that they were Wufei's. When I started to put my boots on, something sharp stuck me in my side. I unzipped the pocket and found that it was my Bowie that stuck me. That jerk! What else of mine did he have? Anyway, I had my pajamas on with the pants. I knew my coat would be downstairs and then I would be ready to go. I just had to be quiet about it. If Wufei or Heero knew what I was trying to do, they would tie me to the bed for sure.
I dug around in my duffel bag and found my flashlight. As stealthily as I could, I tip toed to the door and managed to crack it open enough for me to slip through without making a noise. Before I left, I took one last look at Trowa as he slept. He looked so peaceful sleeping like that. I could watch him sleep like this for the rest of my life. I just wish the feeling was mutual.
I closed the door behind me and flicked on my flashlight. Everything was quiet and clear. All of the bedroom doors were closed, and I didn't hear anyone moving about. I hope they're all asleep.
I started down the stairs at an easy pace, listening to my own footsteps echo through the house. When I made it to about halfway down, I noticed something shiny on a step. I crouched down to study it further and realized that it was ice. There was ice frozen on the step.
"That's bizarre," I said to myself as I touched the ice in disbelief. But my touch only confirmed my suspicions. This was ice. Frozen ice on the step in the middle of a room temperatured mansion. That didn't make me feel any better.
I continued down the stairs until I reached the living and dining room area and gasped so loud I'm surprised I didn't wake anybody. The place was totally wrecked! The logs in the fireplace were strewn around the entire room. The long table was broken into big chunks, and all of the chairs were broken, either thrown against something like the wall (from what I can tell) or against someone. Both options were very likely. Everything else was just destroyed.
After I found my coat and put it on, I closed the house door behind me and walked out into the night. The snowstorm had passed, leaving only a small gust of wind in its wake every other minute or so. It was calm enough for the crows to be out tonight. They were stacked up everywhere, either on the snow or along the house itself. But they did appear pretty mellow. They didn't notice my presence and if they did, they really didn't care. It was all the same to me.
Feeling comfortable with the atmosphere around me, I went ahead and turned off my flashlight. The moon was so bright that it reflected off the snow enough for me to see. Plus I didn't want to draw any attention to myself. As far as I knew, everyone was asleep.
I shoved my hands in my pockets and started for my destination, listening to my breathing to keep me company. The snow was very soft and flaky, tempting me with the urge to fall right into it and make snow angels. I suppressed the urge (barely) and continued forward to the tree.
I was mostly angry with myself as I kicked a patch of snow that landed on my foot. I felt too comfortable. I felt like I was at home, and I wanted that feeling to make me nervous, but I couldn't bring myself to feel nervous. There were crows all around me, but I wasn't afraid of them. I knew that I didn't have to be. They weren't going to harm me. I knew where I was going and why. I wanted to be irritated about the whole thing but I couldn't.
So as a distraction, I turned my conversation with Wufei over and over in my head. He said that none of this stuff made any sense, when in actuality it made perfect sense. To me. Krahe said it himself. There wasn't a ‘why' attached to anything. Things were the way they were because they were. That was it. It was as simple as that. It's just that the human mind couldn't accept it. It refused to accept it. We as a species were given thought to be able to find logical explanations for anything we wanted to find an explanation for. It's not conceivable that we may in fact one day find something that will never be explained by someone of this world. Won't THAT be an interesting topic for the Discovery Channel.
I stopped a short distance from the tree just to look at it. I couldn't help but think of it in the classic ‘Poltergeist' style. The branches of the tree were branched out and knotted up like the fingers of an old woman. The crows rested on various branches and split chunks of bark, scouring the area for who knows what. I could vaguely see where the wood split from the time I climbed up there to find the key….which I don't remember putting away after we went to the attic. Wufei must have it again.
I pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind and walked up to the tree, where I leaned against it and faced the house. That sight was even scarier. It actually looked like a haunted house. The boards that were broken off or falling off gave the mansion an appearance of something that was old and unbecoming. The light that was visible from the lit candles shone through the windows in such a way that it gave an eerie quality of something that was surreal, but not in a good way. I think that if we saw this place at night, we would've never stayed here.
I kept my hands balled up tightly in my pocket and unbuckled the snap of my sheath. The Bowie slid out of its case without a sound and right into my palm. I knew that the knife wasn't needed and that I would lose in a physical battle anyway, but just the feel of it made my anxieties lessen. I don't get myself sometimes. I go from not feeling anything at all to being scared out of my wits. I'm starting to believe that I told Dorothy wrong. Emotions were highly overrated.
"So you came."
"How do I get him back?" I asked coolly, staring ahead of me at the house and trying to act as if his presence didn't affect me. I didn't think he would come this soon.
"Tsk tsk Quatre, I'm disappointed in you." He came into my peripheral vision but stood there with his hands in his pockets, staring at me. I continued to look at the house. "I've given you all that you need to get him back, but you're not putting the pieces together. I know you're smarter than that."
What I would give to be able to kick him in the forehead. "I think you're overestimating me. And I also think that you're going about this the wrong way. Kidnapping my best friend is not the way to win over my affections." I turned my head to face him. "So give him back." I turned back to the house.
He laughed. What made it worse was that the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, but it wasn't because of fear. It was from…something else I'm not willing to admit. "I don't have to win your affections angel. You've already given them to me. You just haven't accepted that fact yet."
I didn't want to take the bait, but I did before I was able to think about it. "How so? I've done everything in my power to show you how much I despise you."
He laughed again, and I started to get very warm. "I'm happy to announce that you've done the exact opposite. You've done everything in your power to show me how much you want me."
"Oh really?" I crossed my arms across my chest, forgetting about my Bowie, and looked him straight in the eye. Two can play this game. "I'm curious as to how I did that."
"Alright." He easily strolled to me, leaving about half a foot of distance between us. "You've always dreamed of me." He took a step forward, decreasing the distance to about five inches.
"More like nightmares."
"That man at the mall. You let him kiss you and even returned it. By doing that you kissed me."
"I didn't know it was you."
"Your subconscious mind did."
I huffed. "That doesn't count."
"Of course it does! You think you remember all of what happened here because I gave it all back to you? No! You remembered it because by my act I was able to help you wake up and realize what you already knew but were having problems acknowledging. Now you're stronger. You can handle all of this. You want it."
"I don't want anything from you except Duo."
"Oh?" He bent his face towards me, leaving a space of about three inches between our noses. "What about the night we made love?"
I tried to jump back but remembered that my back was against the tree. "That was a dream. It didn't happen."
He pouted playfully, not that I was happy about it. "Oh, so you think that was actually a dream?"
I didn't say anything. I refused to rise to that comment. But all the same, I could feel my hands shaking in annoyance and fear. That couldn't have been real. Couldn't have been….
"Oh, but it was," he commented, resting an elbow against the tree so that he could play with a strand of my hair. "It had the components of a dream because you woke up in bed, but the activity did occur. Your mind just couldn't take it in anything else than the form of a dream."
"No, I'm not."
"Well, I had to give a piece of myself to you so that when you came back here, you could fit in more easily than before."
I decided to ask the question that I've been dreading since the first time I saw him. "Why me?"
He smiled. "Because you are the brightest light I have ever seen. You bring such…peace that I won't allow it to be taken away. And you're gorgeous too. That's even more rare. I want the same for you. I want you to want to be near me. If not, I want it to cause such pain that you can't stand it and would sooner die than not be by my side."
"You can't do that."
"I can and I have. Tell me Quatre, have you had any heart problems lately? It's been about two weeks since you have, right?"
My arms fell to my sides at their own volition and my jaw just about unhinged itself. "Don't tell me--"
"Yes," he said slowly. "The closer you are to me, the less pain there is to feel."
"That's easy to settle then. I could take one of the guns to my chest and blow it out. That will solve the problem."
"Yes, but if you do that, Duo will die. Either way he will die."
The next thing I knew I had Krahe on his back and I straddled his lap with my hands nearly strangling him to death by his collar. "Don't you dare threaten his life to get to me!"
He chuckled softly and easily removed my hands from his collar, holding them in one of his hands as he sat up with me still on his lap. "No no no. You have it all wrong Quatre. If you die, because of where he is now, he will die too. It is your life that sustains his. It has nothing to do with me."
He chuckled. Again. That was really starting to get under my skin. "I'll tell you where he is, but it has a price tag on it."
I nodded. I said I would do whatever it takes, and I'm not going to back out now. "Fine."
He smirked and laid back down in the snow. "It's your life force. I figured you would've figured that out by now. But anyway, he is alive because of you. His attachment to you is so strong, that even I can't break it. If anything were to happen to you, it would affect him as well, not because he would rather be dead than live without you. That's not the case. But because of where he is physically and spiritually, he can't help himself. Only you can."
"Because you have been touched by me." He smiled a little as a crow trotted by, dropping a twig near his head. "Quatre, think about this. If one of the others tried to jump into the portal like you did, they would die."
He gave me a confused look as he started to chew on the twig the crow gave him. "Because they would break their necks when they hit the ground–"
"No no no. Why wouldn't they go through the portal? Why would it kill them?"
He lightly smacked himself in the forehead. "Oh. Because they don't have access like you do. By giving you a piece of myself, I have given you the ability to do whatever you please. Hell, some of the things you'll be able to do, I won't be able to do myself. See Quatre, I'm giving you the best of both worlds."
"But you tried to get me to jump before."
"When I kissed you, I gave you a piece of myself that stayed with you where ever you went. Sex makes it even stronger. You're not intimate with the others, so they won't have the talent. But even if I didn't touch you physically, I would've been there to catch you in the portal. I'm not willing to do the same for them. They'll just die."
"What about possessions? Is that considered touching them?"
"No. It's purely spiritual."
"Then why is Duo still alive? Or are you lying?" I asked angrily. "You still haven't told me where he is. And how can I believe you? You said that he will die either way."
He finally stopped chewing on that twig and sat up, facing me almost nose to nose, and held on to my wrists with both hands. "You know where he is. You know these things Quatre. If you would stop trying to fight me it will come to you. And he will die because he's not suppose to be there. Actually, it should be impossible for him to be in between worlds like that and live without having been touched by someone like myself, but your love binds him to you, and you have been touched by me, so he lives…for the time being."
My chilled eyebrows furrowed in consideration. "That doesn't make sense to me."
He sighed, slightly irritated. Good. "It's like he's a frog in one of your deserts. He's not suppose to be there and eventually the environment will kill him unless he's saved by water. But his hold to you keeps him alive. You two have kissed before, yes?" I nodded. "That's where part of it comes from, but the other is his attachment to you, like I said earlier."
Then it struck me. "Wait, you said only I can help him."
"Why can't you bring him back? You took him!"
His grip tightened around my wrists. "In all honesty Quatre, I knew he would live and that you would come after him, but I knew that I couldn't bring him back. If you can't either, he will die."
"Why can't you bring him back?"
"There is no ‘why' Quatre. I just can't."
"I thought you said the possibilities are unlimited."
"Then you should be able to bring him back."
"Quatre, I can't."
"You can't or you won't? If you won't, I'll exchange myself for his place."
He sighed tiredly this time. "I. Can't."
I saw in his eyes that he was telling the truth. He couldn't do it. Not everything can be reversed. You can spend time but not get it back. You could cut your leg off but not get it back either. I guess it works the same way. "How much longer does he have?"
He shrugged coolly. "I don't know. He is very strong, but he won't last any longer than a few days or so."
"Then I must hurry," I said to myself, running the plan over in my head. When I thought that I had it figured out, I noticed the silence around me and realized my current situation. We were outside in the cold. I was straddling Krahe's lap, with him still holding onto my wrists. Our foreheads were nearly touching and I was staring directly into his azure blue eyes. I didn't notice how close we were. And worse yet, the hairs on my neck were still standing and my body started to get even warmer.
"Let me go," I commanded calmly.
"Make me," he replied, a slight smirk on his face. So I did the only thing I could do.
I kissed him.
He was very responsive (not to my surprise), and kissed me back. He still had a firm hold on my wrists, so I used that to lean my weight on and pushed him on his back on the snow. He then let go of my wrists and I placed both of my hands on either side of his head, rubbing both of our bodies together as I stared openly at him in his face. No matter how much I hated to admit it, he was gorgeous, and nothing was going to change my physical attraction for him. Not. A. Thing. But that's neither here nor there anymore.
I kissed him again, gently this time, and shifted my weight so that one arm was free to undo the buttons of his coat. Once that was done, I sat up on his waist and he sat up along with me to let the coat slip from his shoulders. I took the opportunity to hold his face between my hands. Pausing, to make sure he was watching, I stuck my tongue out and used the tip to lick his lips and trace an outline on them. I felt him grab my rear and squeeze me so hard that our erections rubbed against each other. Moaning, I quickly stuck my fingers under his vest and all but ripped it off, and flipped his t–shirt over his head, where it landed...somewhere. I really didn't care where.
All he had on now was his blue jeans and boots, but I was on his waist at the moment, so I really wasn't worried about that. I felt his erection rub against my opening and had to bite my lip to keep from moaning out loud. The fact that he said the other time wasn't a dream...I couldn't believe it, but I knew it to be true. I also remembered how good it was. I wanted that feeling again. He wasn't my enemy right now. I wanted to call a truce. Just for a while.
I rose up and down and wiggled a little on his lap as my hands roamed over his chest. His shoulders were built without being bulgy. His chest was swollen with hidden strength but smooth and hairless. He was chiseled and cut perfectly. In fact, his body was built a lot like Trowa's....
In a flash I was thrown onto my stomach, face down on the snow. Krahe buried his fingers in my coat and yanked it off, nearly taking my arms with it. He dug his hand in my pocket and pulled out the Bowie, where he used it to cut the snow pants down the middle and easily pulled them off. My pajama shirt was roughly pulled off next, where I could see the popped buttons glistening softly on the snow. Then I felt his hands on my hips, and he pulled my rear end up into the air.
"Don't move," he commanded. I obeyed. He pulled my pajama pants down, where they stopped at my knees, and dug around in his coat. Soon, I felt him place his knees between mine, thereby spreading my legs further apart, and a slick finger enter me. I flinched at the contact.
"Sorry about that. I'm just anxious," he said conversationally. I didn't see the need to answer. "I hope the cold air isn't bothering you. In fact, I'm sure it's not at all, and it hasn't bothered you in some while." After another moment of silence, he added a second finger. It took everything I had not to moan and beg for more. "You know what I like about you Quatre? It's your duality. I like how you took control. I like how you wanted me. But what I like the most is that you'd rather not be aggressive. You'd rather have someone control you. You like being dominated over." He added a third finger. I couldn't help but moan then.
"You know I'm not going to tease you Quatre." He removed his fingers promptly and before I could blink, he placed the head in and lurched all the way forward in one thrust. I gasped from the sudden pain, and started to breathe heavily as I wanted for the stinging to subside. "Yep, that's what I like the most. The domination. Believe it or not, you're not easy to overcome, and that makes it all the more sweeter." I tired to wiggle and back up to signal that I was ready, but his knees kept me in place. He took the hint all the same, and started to thrust slowly. "Oh yeah. God that's good. And you like it too. I know you're enjoying this. You like your ass in the air like this, don't you?"
I bit my lip so hard that I tasted blood in my mouth, and nodded weakly.
"I can't hear you."
"Yes," I whispered hoarsely.
He started to pick up the pace. "And you like being told what to do, don't you?"
My fingers scraped at the soft snow for something to brace myself against, but to no avail. "Yes."
"I can't hear you."
"And I know you like the feel of the cool air blowing against your skin. You like being exposed, being vulnerable. Don't you?"
I moaned in spite of myself. My tongue darted out on its own to lick my dry lips, and that action stimulated me even further. Every action around me, whether I did it to myself or Krahe did it to me, had turned me on in ways that I've never been before. I've always been the seducer, never the seduced, and I didn't know that it would be like this. I didn't want anything else. "Yes, I like it."
"Then you should enjoy this." He reached around me and started to stroke me, and I lost all sense of time and reason. I cried so loudly that I frightened the crows. Krahe continued to stroke me in time with his thrusts and before long I was thrown over the edge. A few seconds later I felt Krahe stiffen and groan.
We stayed that way for a few seconds more before he pulled out and got dressed. I pulled my pants up and tried to keep my pajama shirt closed by tying it in the front by the ends. The sweat pants were totally ruined, but I put them on anyway as best as I could and then my coat. When I finally stood up I noticed that Krahe was just standing there and watching me with mild amusement. "What's so funny? You said that information had a price."
He laughed out loud, and I jumped at the sound. "I didn't tell you what the price of the payment would be. All I wanted was for you to tell the others to stop tearing up everything in the house. The Chinese one, Wufei," he raised an eyebrow, "and the one you call ‘Odin' were having a very ugly physical dispute earlier and tore up everything. I wanted you to tell them to stop it, for their sakes."
I leaned my forehead against the tree to prevent myself from falling face first on the snow, or throwing up, or both. "You mean, you didn't...you weren't...."
"No. You did that all on your own angel." I could feel his smirk without looking at him. "That is what I'm trying to get you to see. You are willingly giving yourself over to me. You do want something from me. But as far as using sex as collateral, I will not ask such a price of you unless you offer it. Then I will accept. I wouldn't make you decide like that."
I swung around to face him. "Oh, but I have to choose between myself and the others!"
He didn't hesitate to growl back. "I will do whatever it takes to get you! But I do understand that I won't be able to do that to keep you. Repeated threats lose there shock value. But believe it or not, I want you to like me and love me." He came in front of me and gently caressed my cheek. "I care for you, and I want you to care for me."
I didn't say anything to that. My mind reeled at the realization. He was right. He didn't ask that of me. I willingly gave it to him. Duo was dying, and I was here playing someone's fool. I allowed myself to be the fool. "What have I done...."
Krahe used both of his hands to lift my face up so that we were looking at each other eye to eye. "Nothing that will end the world." I couldn't help the slight tugging that occurred at the corner of my mouth, and scowled when I realized I almost smiled. He chuckled back at me, playfully bopping me on the nose. "There you go, trying to be in control again, but I know better." He stuffed his hands in his pockets and winked before disappearing. No matter how many times I've seen that, it surprises me just like the first time. That is something I'll never get use to.
I allowed myself to fall against the tree for support as I stared at the night sky. I couldn't even say I screwed up. I'm just as confused and as lost as ever. I knew what I did wrong. I enjoyed what I did. I'm not sorry for it, whether it was a misunderstanding on my part or not. Deep down, I wanted Krahe inside of me, because no one had been there before. He knew what I wanted and how I wanted it. It was enough to drive me crazy that he knew such personal details and thoughts. Things I only thought to myself and said in private with a select few (like Heero's real name) he knew. He probably knew more about what was going on with the others than I did. That's not good. Worse yet, these were Wufei's snow pants. He's going to kill me.
At that thought, I groaned and started to bang the back of my head against the trunk when something gently tapped my foot. I looked down to see a crow standing there, watching me but at the same time turning its head to the right. I followed the direction and saw that the Bowie was laying on the snow from where Krahe dropped it. I bent over and picked it up, gesturing my thanks to the crow. "I guess you're telling me to go huh?" I asked it. Of course, it didn't answer, but if it did I don't know what I would've done. Stab myself in the neck probably.
I sauntered back to the house, moving slowly because I was SORE for one, but also because I was feeling slightly off. Something was different again, but I wasn't in any mood or frame of mind to figure out what.
When I was closing in on the door, I saw something vanish around the side of the house. I wasn't curious, but at the same time I was tired of surprises, so I followed it in hopes that it was either Krahe or one of the others. When the thought that it could be Duo crossed my mind, I eagerly ran around the corner to catch up with the phantom. It turned out that I was surprised again. I'm starting to hate surprises.
Heero was sitting in the snow, with his legs crossed but rocking back and forth. He had one arm wrapped around his body, hugging his coat closer, but the right hand held Duo's cross. He would kiss the cross gently before holding it in front of him and wiping something away with his thumb. I watched him for a moment and then decided that I should keep an eye on him. He wasn't acting...normal. "Odin?"
He jumped at his name which, let's face it, he doesn't do. When he turned to me I gasped in horror at his lips. They were bloody. The cold weather probably chapped his lips and with him kissing the cross, it made it even worse, cutting and splitting them apart. "Odin! What are you doing?! Get inside!"
"H–H–He's gone." He faced ahead of him, staring into nothing and continuing to rock. "He's gone. I didn't save him. I failed."
I went to him and dropped behind him, intending to give him some of my warmth. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and waist, and rested my chin on top of his head. If he wasn't going to move, I didn't want to leave him alone. He wasn't being reasonable right now. He shouldn't be alone. "No, you didn't fail him. I did." I stared ahead into nothing then. I didn't know how he would react, whether he would denounce the statement or turn and try to take my head off. He didn't do either. All he did was rock back and forth and kiss Duo's cross with his bloody lips.
"I love him."
"I know you do. I've always known that and so has he."
"He loves you Quatre."
"He loves you too Odin."
"If we don't find him...I don't want to live."
"If we don't find him, Relena will die."
He stopped rocking. "Will you stop him?"
I sighed heavily in his hair. "No."
He was silent for the moment. "He blames her, doesn't he?"
I sighed again. "Yes."
"Do you think it was her fault?"
"No, I don't."
"But you won't stop him?"
"But what if I asked you to?"
I squeezed him tightly and pressed my cheek into his hair. "Then my answer would be no."
"Well, if you don't stop Wufei, who will?"
I snorted. "You will. You'll have to." We were both quiet before he started to rock again. I held onto him tightly, but more for myself than for him. I was losing them. I was losing them all. Duo was taken from me, and now Heero was slipping away. My strength and shield were falling apart. I didn't know what kind of state Wufei was in, but I knew he wouldn't be at his best, and if they were weakened, so was I. If they fell, there wouldn't be anything for me to fall back on. I would lose, and then I would have to face HIM alone. I couldn't trust myself alone with him. I didn't want to say ‘no' anymore.
So I held onto Heero and cried quietly in his hair as he rocked to the inaudible music and kissed Duo's cross with his blood smeared lips.