WARNING: I see a lemon floating around....

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Another Murder of Crows: Part 33

"Quatre, you should rest now."

"I don't want to rest. This is all my fault."

"No Quatre, it isn't."

"Yes, it is."

"No, it's not, and if you say that one more time I'm going to choke you."

I smirked at Wufei's reflection in the window, even though it really didn't have any humor in it. We were in the living and dining room area, where I sat in front of the large window in one of the Victorian chairs, staring at my reflection. Ever since Krahe gave me his "message" through Relena, I've been pretty withdrawn. I should've known that something was going on, judging by the way she was behaving. That's why she was acting so strange the other night. He had been telling her those things when no one was looking. Unfortunately she, not knowing what the voice was, involuntarily listened, and things blew up from there. It's not the fact that she believed Heero was up to something with Duo. It's the fact that she wouldn't have believed the voice if there wasn't some evidence that supported the idea.

And there was plenty of evidence, which was currently being thrown in her face. I didn't know what Krahe did to Duo, but he has been unconscious for the entire day. Dorothy said that when she put the necklace and ring on, he came out of nowhere and grabbed her by her jaw, preventing her from screaming. Duo came down the stairs, leaving my room after hearing the news about Hilde, and was caught when he tried to protect her. She said that Krahe grabbed him by the throat, jerked him once and that was that. Anyway, he hasn't woken up, and Heero has been a complete pain. He doesn't want anyone near Duo. You would've thought the man was made out of gold the way Heero has been acting.

Not only that, Relena had been taking this hard too. The fact that Krahe influenced her so much has really shook her up, so she blamed herself. As of now, Heero was doing an excellent job of supporting both Duo and Relena, but it's only a matter of time before he wears himself out. When that happens someone is going to get left out, and I don't want to be around for that. Worst yet, I didn't know who he would side with. So much has changed these past few days, I don't know anything anymore.

Dorothy was alright, as I knew she would be. She's upset though. The snowboots she was wearing when Krahe pulled her foot through the ice were worth more than my gundam. If their paths cross again, I know it's going to be a very interesting meeting. Not only that, I couldn't guess who would be the victor. Those two have a mean streak like nothing else. "Wufei, how long have we been here?"

He sighed. "Today was the ninth day."

"I see," was all I said as I watched the crows pick at my ring and Duo's cross. In a fit of anger, Wufei yanked the cross free of Dorothy's neck and pulled the ring off of her finger, and threw them into the fireplace. I was ready to have a stroke when three crows swooped down from the chimney of the fireplace and grabbed the jewelry, flying outside to where they have them displayed on the snow, taunting me to go and get them. I almost laughed when that happened. Wufei wanted to destroy them all along, and then it turned out that Krahe won't let that happen. Irony, I swear. "How low are we on supplies?"

"Low," he said. "I don't know what to do, but we're going to have to chance getting more stuff, or die trying."

I sighed. "I was afraid you were going to say that."

"Well, it's true."

He pulled a chair from the table and sat down next to me. I glanced out of the corner of my eye to Duo, who was laying by the fireplace. Heero was by his side until about five minutes ago, when I told him that I would watch Duo and that he needed to rest. He must've heard the shortness in my voice, because he didn't argue with me. He actually did what he was told. I have to write that down somewhere. "What are you planning?"

He folded his arms, the stretched out sleeves of his shirt hanging over his hands. "I'm not sure yet. But whatever I do plan, I'd feel better if you came along with me. I think between the two of us, we'll manage okay. I'm a good thief, and anyone would give you their last penny just by the way you smile at them. It shouldn't be too hard."

"Thanks for the compliment," I said dryly.

He snorted. "You're welcome. Besides, you have that innocent look to you. Gotta use it for something."

"Yes, something. Not stealing."

"Stealing is something."

"Well...something other than stealing."

"You know Quatre," he stuck his feet up on the window sill, "you and I have the dumbest conversations possible using three or four words. Do you realize that?"

I closed my eyes and dropped my chin to my chest. "Yes, I do actually."

"And do you also realize that I'm...sorry for hitting you in your stomach." The humor dropped in his voice and his tone sobered greatly. "I know you only...did what you did to save me. I just didn't know how to react."

I chuckled to myself. "Yes Wufei, I know. When you hit or stomp your foot it's just your way of dealing with confusing things. You forget that I know you better than you know yourself."

I heard him shift in his chair. "Yeah. Thanks." He patted me on the shoulder. He's too cute when he's trying to apologize. Sally would die from grinning. "Anyway, I thought it was incomprehensible how you explained what it was like being in that...place. Now, it makes perfect sense."

I opened my eyes and turned to him. "How so?"

"Well, you said it was like whatever was opposite existed in the same place, and that's exactly how it felt. Like nothing and everything, light and dark, truth and lie. It's amazing."

"I know," I snuggled further into the chair. "I'm just glad you can relate to it. I don't feel so isolated anymore." I smiled at him.

He smiled back. "I'm...glad to share the experience with you too."

My smile started to fall. "But something wasn't right. Usually, I have to dig around or fight to get out of there. This time, it was like I was being kicked out. I don't understand why."

"Yeah I know. You've always come back frozen stiff. We were barely touched. Trowa also said that the timing was the same as in this world. They didn't have to wait hours for us to pass through. It was pretty instantaneous."

"Yeah," I said, chewing on my lip. "It must be the silver."

I heard him pop his knuckles. "What are you thinking?"

"Well, the guy at the mall was wearing a lot of silver. Since Dorothy was wearing silver, I guess he was able to get near her, he just didn't want to possess her. So, if anyone wears silver, it can bridge the gap needed for him to get near me, unless you and Heero are around."

He took a deep breath and said, "What?"

I snorted. "Okay. You and Heero are a turnoff to him right? With you around, it's harder for him to get near me." I snapped my fingers. "That would explain why we moved so fast through the portal. Even in that dimension, you are a force that can't be tolerated."

"Is that good or bad?"

I shrugged. "Beats me. Everything has a good and a bad side to it."

"Boy, aren't you being cryptic tonight."

"No I'm not."

"Yes you are."

"No, I'm not Wufei."

"Yes, you are Quatre."

"Both of ya'll shut your pie holes, I'm tryin' to sleep here," Duo mumbled sleepily from where he laid on the floor. Wufei and I only rolled our eyes at each other. He certainly has a way of making his presence known.

"Nice to see that you're ALIVE Duo," he drawled. "We've only been worried all day." The only response Wufei got was the finger before the hand dropped heavily onto the parachute covered floor. "Jerk."

"Leave him alone Wu. You know how he is when he wakes up. You and Duo are about as friendly in the morning as scorpion stings."

"Shut up."

"Well, it's true."

"Speaking of what's true..." He leaned back into the chair and fixed me with ‘the look'. I'm already unhappy about what he's going to say. "What really happened that night you went out to the tree? When Trowa and I undressed you...well, the marks didn't look encouraging."

"Wufei–"

"I don't want details," he interrupted. "I just want to make sure that...he didn't hurt you."

I sighed softly, and dropped my voice to a whisper. "No, he didn't hurt me. I just bruise easily."

He closed his eyes briefly. After a moment, he opened them again, letting out a strained breath. "Alright. This topic is closed for good. It will stay between the three of us."

Speaking of which... "What did Trowa tell you about it?"

"Nothing. I didn't approach him about it and he didn't approach me. But I also don't know him for kicking chairs and having fucking tantrums either. Now stop it. This conversation is over."

"Okay Wu. Don't have a hemorrhage."

He suddenly turned to me, removing his feet from the window sill. "What IS going on between you and Trowa?"

I stuck my feet on the spot that he vacated, and crossed my arms. "What do you mean?"

He scoffed. "Don't give me that Cat." He gave me a very cautious look. "What's going on? You two were at each other's throats for the longest and then last night I see you two on the pond, just standing there. Of course, I was ready to shit on myself for the two of you being that damn stupid," he nearly spat at me. "But it was very...sweet." He made a face. "I think."

I shrugged, more for myself than Wufei. "I honestly don't know. Everything's so jumbled up right now. I don't know what to think."

"Well, find out. You two can't keep guessing about each other." He stuck his feet back up on the window sill, but folded his hands behind his head. I stared back out of the window, watching as a crow tossed my ring around with its beak. Wufei and I only looked at each other's reflections. "Trowa loves you Quatre. I know he does. But just because he loves you doesn't mean he can act like a dick about it. And you love him. I've always known that. But just because you do doesn't mean you should forgive him. Some things just can't be fixed."

I held myself tighter. "Do you think it can be fixed?"

"Yes," he said shortly. "But it might not last. If it took all of this to get him to start opening up, the relationship might be pretty one sided."

"Uh huh. You seem to know a lot about relationships Wufei."

He shrugged one shoulder. "Well, I screwed up a lot with Meiran. I know what you shouldn't do because I've made all the mistakes." He reached over and pulled my chair closer to his, so that he could lower his voice while I could still hear him. "Everybody has a soul mate Quatre. Mine is Sally, but I was lucky enough to make my mistakes before her. I think Trowa is your soul mate, but you can't afford to screw up on him."

"Well, he's the one that said he didn't want to be with me." It's a weak excuse, but an excuse.

"Quatre, you know how he is. You've always known that he cared about you, and that he had feelings that were beyond mere friendship. He was unable to express that, so it was up to you to do it, but you didn't say anything either. So he made the decision that has hurt both of you for some time. This is your fault as much as it is his. You should've fought harder."

I grimaced. "That's exactly what Dorothy said."

"It is?" I could see his eyebrows jump up to his hairline through the window. I nodded, trying my best not to laugh. "Dorothy and I agreed on something. The world must be coming to an end."

"Oh Wufei, you're so dramatic."

"No I'm not."

"Yes you are."

"No, I'm not Quatre."

"Yes, you are Wufei."

"Shut. Up." Wufei and I glanced over our shoulders to Duo, who was once again trying to discipline us from the confounds of his blankets and pillows. I shook my head in pity at him as I got up to stretch.

"Quatre, where are you going?"

"To tell Odin that sleeping beauty is awake, commanding the world to pledge their allegiance to being quiet so that he can sleep still."

"I'm sure he'll be happy," Wufei said dryly as he leaned back into the chair once again, about to take a nap himself. I shook my head at him as I started up the stairs to Heero and Relena's room. On my way up the stairs, I couldn't help but look around the house. It was so beautiful that there weren't any real words to describe it. The carvings, the colors, everything, had given this place the feel of something dark, but even with that, you couldn't help but get reeled in by its beauty. I just couldn't believe that this place has stayed hidden away for so long.

As I neared the top of the stairs, I could see a mossy head of hair coming into view. I stopped about the fourth step from the top and stared at Heero, crossing my arms and tapping my foot in mock annoyance. He sat against the closed door of his room with one leg stretched out as the other was tucked underneath him. Next to him was a candle with barely enough wax to hold the wicker, flickering weakly in the hallway. All he did was stare at it. I don't think he even heard me approach. "Odin?"

"I heard him tell you to shut up." He chuckled softly. "Yeah. Duo is something else, isn't he?"

"Yeah, he is. Now I thought I told you to rest. This doesn't look like you're resting," I said, trying to avoid where this conversation could be heading. Right now was NOT a good time to go tromping down memory lane. Even if the others thought Heero was back to normal, something still didn't sit right with me.

When Duo and Heero used to be together, Heero had this...way of looking at Duo. In his eyes, you could see all of the lust and love he had for Duo. They could be walking ten feet away from each other, and you would know just by looking at Heero how he felt. You practically smelt it in the air.

Then the times changed. Heero still did look at Duo that way, but something was missing. In all honesty, I think he was just hurt. They had a strong bond of trust in comradery, just not on an interpersonal level. But now that the hurt has healed, followed by threats to Duo's safety, I see that spark back in his eyes. They're starting to burn like they used to. Trouble trouble trouble.

"I'm going to relieve Wufei," he said, standing with the candle in his hand. I finished going up the last few steps, ending up almost nose to nose with him. It was very dark, the candle providing the only light, and that wasn't much light to begin with. "I'm sure he wants to think over the things that happened today. Plus if Duo tells him to shut up again, there might be blood."

"Did I just hear a joke from you?" I asked, nearly floored. Heero made a joke?! Now I know something's wrong with him.

"Yeah, I made a joke." He rubbed the back of his neck. "And I prefer that you're near Trowa or Wufei, and that you stay there. I don't want you leaving their side for anything, especially to go near the tree."

I should've known better. "So you know?"

"I know that you've...done something that you're not proud of, and that it has worried the hell out of Trowa and Wufei. They just don't know how to express it, besides being angry."

I cocked my head to the side in the fading candlelight. "Wufei is pissed at you, so I know he didn't tell you anything, meaning Trowa did. Now, why would he tell you and not talk to me about how he feels?"

Heero picked my hand up, palm side facing up, and placed the candle in it. "Because I'm not the one he's in love with." He easily stepped beside me and walked down the nearly sightless stairs.

"Look who's really being cryptic," I said to the candle as I stared after his form, in shock mostly, at what he told me. He went from not caring, to friend, to would–be lover, to soldier, to zombie, to Mr. Know--It--All in nine days. Sure. If that's the case, I'm Mary Poppins.

I turned to the candle and watched the flame as I waited for Wufei to come up the stairs. It was night and since there wasn't any electricity in the house, we relied on candles and flashlights for everything. We were trying to save the flashlights for when we might really need them, but the candles were being used up quickly. Wufei's right. We can't keep going like this.

"Wufei, come on," I said quietly down the stairway, not wanting my voice to echo through the house. But as I switched the candle from one hand to another, I didn't feel any heat being given off. The wax looked like it was melting, but that's about it. Curious, I ran my fingers briefly over the flame and realized that it was cold. I did it again, except this time slower and came to the same conclusion. The third time, I rested them over the flame, watching as it licked and tickled my fingers without any pain.

"Quatre, what are you doing?"

I pulled my hand back quickly, not knowing that Wufei had come up the stairs. The wicker was just about gone now, save an inch or two, and Wufei's face was all that was visible. I stared wide eyed at him, not really knowing if I should say anything or not. I've never really mentioned to him, or to anyone for that matter, about how candle flames tends to be cold whenever Krahe was around. "Wu, I don't know if you'll believe this."

"Believe what?" he said as he ran his fingers over the flame. He stepped back and gave me a shocked look, before doing it two more times. Finally, his hand dropped to his side as he gave me an incredulous look. "Quatre, the flame's cold."

Then the candle, after two flickers, died.

***

I was studying the legs of the dining room chairs since I couldn't sleep. After Wufei and I crawled (in complete darkness I might add) to his room, we found another candle that was nearing its final days, but still had enough wicker to last another night or two. Despite the fact that Wufei was thrilled about experiencing the portal, it wore him out a great deal. He was asleep within five minutes of reaching the bed. After rolling around enough times, I decided to go downstairs. I didn't feel like sitting still and I didn't want to go into my room because Trowa was there. I didn't want to bother the girls, and I didn't want to be alone. So here I am now, counting the rings on the chair leg.

Heero was awake when I came down, only giving me a curt nod before laying down next to Duo and pretending to sleep. I laid on the other side of the room, with my back to them, completely absorbed in my own little world. It was quiet, but the crackle of the logs in the fireplace and the crows were making enough noise to keep it from being too quiet. Speaking of crows, the last time I checked, two new ones were now overseeing the jewelry, making sure it didn't grow legs and walk back in here I presume. Whatever Krahe has up his sleeve now I'm sure we're not prepared for.

I stuck my finger in the wax and created a tiny moat, trying to allow more room for the wicker in order to have a higher flame. A higher flame meant more light, and that was what I was aiming for. More light, less cold, no Krahe.

I felt like the Earth was against me tonight. The stars weren't shining and the moon was hiding behind a cloud, as if both were deliberately trying to keep this night as black as possible. I knew this wasn't purposely being done, but it sure felt that way. I think I'm just crabby. This entire evening I've been feeling pressured. If Krahe would come after me, fine. He wants me, and I can deal with that. But lately he's been taking a shot at the others, and that was something I couldn't handle. Duo's kidnapping had everyone shook up, and now him going after Dorothy...that was just unacceptable. Not knowing when he was going to attack was one thing, but now, not knowing WHO it would be was something else altogether. Not only that, we have been lucky, and we know it. Next time...I didn't want to even think about a next time.

I felt a pair of eyes run up and down my back. Before I could stop myself, I rolled on my back and saw that it was Duo who looked at me. When I turned to see who it was, he was turning back to the fireplace, so he didn't see me roll over. Of course, he was a bit preoccupied.

Heero was propped up on his elbow, but over Duo's body, looking down at him. He had on his green tank shirt, but his jogging pants couldn't be seen because of the blankets. I don't remember what we had Duo wearing. I think he had on one of Wufei's shirts, but his hair was unbraided, allowing it all to splay across the floor. Not only that, the way the fire highlighted their forms was very beautiful. I'm sure it looked even better from with their views.

"How's Cat doing?" I heard Duo ask.

"He's fine," Heero said. "Just worried about you."

"He's worried about all of us. You know how he is. I hope he doesn't spaz out though. That would suck."

"He won't," he said, running his fingers through Duo's hair. "He'll do anything to protect you, Wufei, and the girls. We just have to make sure he doesn't do anything crazy."

"Heero, don't." Duo reached up and pulled his hand from his hair.

"Don't what?"

"Do. That. Don't do that. You know how it made me feel when you played with my hair."

"I know. That's why I'm doing it. You loved it when I did that."

"Yes. LOVED. As in past tense. Not anymore. We're not lovers anymore." Heero started to run his fingers across Duo's neck, slowing a bit when he reached his collarbone. "Heero?"

"Please don't call me that," he whispered against Duo's neck, rubbing the tip of his nose lightly against the flesh there. "Use MY name. Say it like you used to."

"No, I can't," Duo started to choke, feebly pushing Heero away. Very feebly I might add. "It hurts too much."

"I'll make it better. I promise." That's when Heero bent down and kissed Duo. Hard. They way he was going, I'm surprised he didn't swallow the poor boy.

Anyway, I watched in horror as Heero and Duo passionately kissed, obviously not caring that I was a few feet away from them or that Relena was above them and could come down at any point in time. This was unbelievable. Of all the places for this to happen, it had to be here. I was very tempted to stab myself in the eye with the stick of wax, and would've if we didn't need it so badly.

A low moan caught my attention and I saw that now Heero was kissing Duo along his jaw line, and neck, slowly trailing down to his chest. Duo moaned slightly and shifted, putting himself further under Heero. Heero, feeling encouraged, sat up and yanked his shirt over his head, dropping it somewhere in the dark room. Duo, dying of anticipation, sat up and quickly divested himself of his shirt, holding Heero's sides so that he could flick his tongue out to taste his former lover. Heero, incredibly aroused, pushed Duo back into the blankets and laid down on top of him, both of them gasping at the friction of their skin touching after so long.

The two started to kiss again, both of their hands roaming over the other's body, still feeling unsure but steadily falling back into the familiarity of it. Heero, kissing his way down Duo's chest, paused to tease one nibble with his tongue as his other hand caressed the skin of his spine, causing Duo to arch his back. Duo, enjoying the attention, pulled Heero's hair roughly before digging his fingernails into his shoulders and running them down his back. "Oh...god...Odin..."

"I've missed your body so much." He came up and kissed him, nearly suffocating them both. "I've missed YOU."

"Please don't tease me, don't say this is a joke," Duo pleaded, sliding his hands up and down Heero's body.

"This is not a joke. I want you."

"Say we can do it. Please? I need it. I need you." He wrapped his legs around his body, pulling them closer together.

"Duo, we can't. We don't have any lubricate."

"Please?" He pleaded once more, licking the tip of Heero's nose.

That was it. Heero was done for.

In the blink of an eye, Heero was under the covers, his head bopping up and down with motion, while Duo threw a pillow over his face to stifle his moaning. I, on the other hand, was ready to hurl everything I have ever eaten in my life. I love them to death, but this was NOT my idea of a good time. I didn't want to see them like this. This was something private that should stay between the two of them. Not only that, I was extremely turned on. I wanted to march upstairs, rip Trowa's clothes off and give it to him like nothing ever had before. This was not helping me very much.

So I closed my eyes and pulled the covers over my face, wishing that I would just vanish. Why didn't I leave earlier? Why did I come down in the first place? I could've been spared this humiliation if I had stayed put with Trowa or Wufei like I was supposed to do. Like everything else, this was totally my fault. I put myself in this situation. Argh.

Not soon enough there was a very loud moan, one that even ten pillows over the face wouldn't have stopped. I blushed on their behalf, feeling embarrassed that later on they'll realize I had to have heard that. Even the people on MY colony heard it.

Heero, using Duo's...uh...yeah, started to prepare him. At this point I uncovered my face, but kept my eyes closed. I couldn't stand being under the blanket much longer. The heat of my breath was being blown back into my face, burning me. I didn't want to suffocate on their behalf, so I figured if I kept my eyes shut tightly enough, I wouldn't see anything. Needless to say, that didn't work very well.

Because they were making love in front of the fireplace, the fire was bright enough and they were dark enough that their forms were projected onto my eyelids. I could still see them moving. Great. I started to roll on my other side so that my back would be facing them, but now my blankets were tied around my waist. There was no way for me to turn my back to them without sitting up and untangling the blankets. Only one thought crossed my mind.

SHIT!

"Please...Odin...just do it. I can't wait," Duo whimpered, drawing my attention back to them.

"But Duo, you aren't prepared–"

"Please, I can't stand it. I need you. Now. I can't wait."

"I don't want to hurt you."

Duo ran his fingers through his hair and out, spreading it over the both of them. "You would do anything I asked with my hair down."

Heero growled, low, before positioning himself between Duo and slowly forcing his way in. Duo hissed at the intrusion, but that was it until Heero was fully sheathed. He waited for a moment until they both had adjusted before he started to rock back and forth, impaling himself into Duo.

"Oh...god, Duo, you're so, uhhhhh...tight."

"Please, harder, you know how I want it."

"Oh god, like this?"

"Ummmmmm...yes."

"And this..."

"Oh god. Yes. Yes."

"And this!"

"Yes! AH!" he screamed, stiffening. A microsecond later Heero stiffened and I thanked everything that was holy and unholy alike that they were done. I hoped.

"I love you," Duo whispered sleepily into Heero's neck.

"I love you too, always," Heero said back, holding Duo close.

I waited a good twenty minutes until I was pretty sure that they were both in a deep enough slumber to sit up and untangle myself. Since the time they started until now, the fire in the fireplace has nearly gone out. Usually, someone will throw a few logs in there twice to three times a night, but of course that didn't happen. I don't mean to be a jerk, but I was not going into the kitchen or outside to get the logs and throw them into the fireplace, timing myself to every thrust Heero did to make sure that I could get the logs in without burning myself or getting caught between those two. I'd rather freeze.

All too soon the fire completely died, throwing the entire room into darkness. Cursing myself for the umpteenth time that day, I used my hand to pad around for the lighter until I found it about an arm's length away from me. I was laying down when I laid it next to me, thinking I would still be laying down when I reached for it again. So much for that.

I wiggled around in my blankets and crossed my legs, preparing myself to be able to stand and turn towards the direction of the kitchen without tripping on my blankets or dropping the candle. Not only that, I didn't want to see anywhere near their direction. I did not want to see them at all.

After the third try, I finally got the lighter to work and lit the candle. The moat around the wick did well to allow the flame to have more room, therefore shine brighter. It allowed me to see about six inches in front of me, right into Krahe's unrealistically blue eyes.

I was so frightened I incidentally held my breath, waiting for him to do something. I couldn't see his body, only his eyes, nose, and lips were visible, with a little bit of his cheeks but that's about it. He didn't do anything though, only stared at me. For what I wasn't entirely sure. He just stared. And stared. And stared some more. Finally, when I was on the verge of passing out, he spoke.

"Time is running out."

Using my first burst of breath in almost a minute, I blew the candle out.

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