My body temperature was up. I noticed that before I even opened my eyes. Especially my neck. It was warmer than it should have been. I could also tell that I wasn't lying flat on my back, but it felt like I was propped up against some pillows. I couldn't feel my left arm, which was kind of disconcerting, but I didn't worry about that. If something terrible had happened, I wouldn't be able to wake up at all.
What I noticed next was that I had company. Trowa was sitting to my left in the chair that the volunteered nurse got to sit in, and Wufei was leaning against the wall by the window with his head down. He might have been meditating. Worse yet, I felt surprising good. And why was that bad? Well, I couldn't remember exactly what happened, but if Trowa and Wufei were watching over me, then it had to be something bad. I knew that either Wufei or someone else would watch over me. It doesn't take two ex-pilots to look after a sleeping one.
I completely opened my eyes and saw Trowa looking intently at me, not embarrassed in the least that I caught him. One side of my mouth quirked upward in a half smile, and the opposite side of his mouth did also. It felt good to have him smile back at me. It was slight of course, but coming from him, that's a big deal.
"He's awake Wufei," he said in his quiet way, not taking his eyes off of me.
I heard Wufei shuffle over and felt the weight shift as he sat on the bed. I turned my eyes to him, expecting some sort of smart comment on how I scared him or how many different ways he was going to kill Heero. But all I got was a frightened glare. He wasn't very happy. Again. Oh dear. "Wu, what is it?"
"Quatre, there's something you, Trowa and I need to talk about." I tried to shift to sit up some more, but Trowa placed his hands on my shoulders, stopping me.
"Talk to me? About what?" They exchanged looks. "What? Spit it out."
They both turned back to me. "Odin said that…let's start from the beginning. You two were walking to town, and you got into a fight."
He paused. "With each other."
I blushed. "Um…yeah."
At that, Wufei managed a little smile. My guess was that he wanted to hit Heero himself, but was glad that I did. Then he sobered. "I know about you two stealing the Bug then the van. The guy stopped and jumped out to take a piss, and you and Odin took it from there."
I furrowed my eyebrows in agitation. What was he up to? "Wu, what's your point?"
Trowa took over at this point. "There wasn't any brake fluid left. That's why Odin couldn't stop the van."
"What?! How? I don't understand."
Wufei continued as if he didn't hear my question. "That's not all of it. From the looks of things, the hose was cut in half, allowing all of the fluid to spill out, only it wasn't cut."
Trowa picked up the conversation again. "It was chewed through, but chewed pretty evenly, as if whatever it was had a scissors kind of mouth. Like a beak."
If my back wasn't already against the pillows, I would've fallen back and bumped my head. "So that means we were being watched the whole time. He knew what we were doing all along."
It was Wufei's turn. "There's more."
I closed my eyes. "Do I even want to know?"
"No, but I'm going to tell you anyway. Quatre, when you and Trowa were about to walk back to the house…do you remember how you did that?"
I kept my eyes closed as I went through my memory banks. "I vaguely remember being out there to begin with. But Trowa helped me out, then we were here. That's all." I sighed. "Look, just say whatever you're going to say."
Wufei let out a deep breath. "Quatre, you disappeared. You and Trowa."
Trowa didn't have time to push me back against the bed. I shot up the instant he said that and was shoving Trowa away with my right arm as he tried to force me down again. "What?! What do you mean we ‘disappeared?' Please tell me you're using that figuratively."
Wufei gawked before feeling insulted. "No I'm not using that figuratively! It's just what I said. Trowa was about to take you back because you were hurt in the roll over, you leaned into his chest, mumbled something, then you both fuckin' disappeared! Ask Dorothy if you don't believe me. She was standing right next to me."
"It's true Quatre," Trowa broke in quietly. "You said something about not walking back then I looked up and we were in here." He glanced around the room. "It took me a minute to figure out that we were here and that it wasn't something in my head. But still, it was…disconcerting because you didn't seem to care. In fact, I don't think you even noticed."
I tried to think back, mentally retracing the events. I remembered that Heero and I had the discussion in the van about Duo and Relena. Then he asked that question about Trowa. Everything after that was a blur, unfortunately. "No, I don't remember any of that stuff."
"Figures," Wufei said dryly. "Ever since that hypnosis thing, your memory has been all screwed up."
"Shut up Fei," I said, a little sourly. "You just said I was in a roll over accident. It's not like I forgot my name or something." I laid back onto the mound of pillows. Then a thought came to me. "Did Odin break his leg?"
Both of their eyes widened, but Trowa answered. "Yes, he did."
"He set it too." Wufei grimaced.
I wanted to laugh. "Well, what's wrong with me?"
Trowa gently reached to me and touched my neck, and all of the tension that was there completely vanished. It took everything I had not to close my eyes and surrender to his touch. I wanted to though. Badly. "You have a slight case of whiplash, so I warmed up what was left of my clothes and wrapped them around your neck to act as a heating blanket. The muscles should be relaxed by now. The worst is that your Bowie nearly went through your arm."
That knocked me out of my sense of tranquility. "What?!"
"Sheath and all," Wufei said, a little too easily for my comfort. I'm starting to wonder if they practiced this conversation before I woke up. They both seemed to be filling in the gaps without talking over each other. "It didn't even reach the bone, but because it was the sheath that was forced in instead of just the blade alone, it didn't make a clean, straight cut. It might not heal well."
I carefully turned my head to the side and looked at the arm in question. I really couldn't tell what the damage was. My arm was tightly wrapped with the white bandage (I can never remember what it's called) and I could see the lumps of gauze extend from the inside of my elbow to my mid arm. Just about the whole bicep. "I don't think it'll ever be the same."
"It can be with physical therapy. Don't let it get you down." I stared at Trowa, surprised at his mini--pep talk. Here he was, trying to cheer ME up. And Duo calls me a ray of sunshine.
"Yeah, I think you're right Trowa." This time I let out a genuine smile. It felt so good that he was paying me such close attention. That's all I needed from time to time. Just a little attention from him.
"Oh I'm sick of this shit," Wufei said out of the blue.
I turned to him, exasperated beyond words. "What is it now Wufei?"
"Since two of the best soldiers in the universe are cowards, I'll do it for you. Trowa." He looked at him. "Quatre loves you. He's already told you so on several occasions, get it through your thick head. And Quatre," he turned to me just then, but I was too busy trying to keep my jaw from scraping the floor. That Wufei! "Trowa loves you very, very much. Now both of you can stop bullshitting. I'm leaving you two alone now, and you better figure something out before I get back." Wufei rose from the bed and walked out of the room and closed the door behind him, thereby shutting off anything we might've had to say. Trowa and I only sat there and stared at the door. I was horrified but I didn't know what Trowa was thinking. I swear, tactfulness and Wufei didn't meet very often. I don't know if they have ever met.
I was dealt another blow when Trowa turned to me, gazing at me with those amazing green eyes of his. I tried to let my mind drift from the here and know, wanting to forget my current situation. Why did he have to be so perfect? I couldn't begin to comprehend how someone could be so beautiful. It was mind boggling.
I was jerked back to reality when I saw his arm move. I was still in the same position I had been in since I woke up, with my left arm laid to the side of me, palm faced down. Trowa reached out to me, and used the tips of his fingers to lightly graze the top of my hand. I flexed my fingers to touch his as we both watched our hands work without our conscious thought. I could feel his calloused pads against mine.
"You know, you and I are the same Quatre," he said, tracing his index finger along my knuckles. "We are from the same puzzle. You complement me as I think I would complement you. But puzzles are meant to be put together for all to see. I know...I know I wouldn't be complete without you." He started to stroke my fingers, then slid his in between mine so that we were holding hands, palm to palm.
I was afraid to open my mouth, breathe, or blink. Worst than that, I didn't know what to say. There was a spell that had just been cast over us, one that allowed him to speak freely but inhibited what I wanted to tell him. I've waited so long for this, ever since I was aware of my feelings for him, but it has never gotten me anywhere until now.
I licked my dry lips, nervous that something was going to go wrong. Anytime that I have tried to get anywhere with Trowa, something happened to pull us apart. There was nothing that I wanted to say to him because I've already said it. There was only one thing that could satisfy me, and that was to be taken by him. "Trowa–"
There was a loud but short scream, followed by something being thrown. I didn't have a clue who it was. Trowa, caught off guard, jumped up from the chair, knocking it backwards. I sat up startled and yanked the covers off of me. That's when I realized I didn't have any pants on, just my boxers. "What on Earth?!" Why couldn't they leave my clothes ON?
"Stay here Quatre," Trowa said as he placed the chair on all its legs and tried to cover me back up. I continued to slap his hands away, inching closer to the edge.
"I will NOT stay here. Move!" I managed to squirm free from Trowa's grasp and started down the stairs, hunched over a bit because my back did not agree with me getting up. Trowa was virtually on my heels, just about ready to throw me over his shoulder. I can't help it if I can't move as fast as him. That's what he gets for having long legs.
The sight downstairs was interesting. That's all I could say about it. What surprised me was that it was Wufei who had to hold Relena back, and he was having a tough time doing so. Dorothy was pushing against Duo's chest, trying to keep him back as well as Heero stood between the both of them, calm. I didn't know whom was fighting with whom.
"That's it! I can't take this anymore!" Relena screamed from her corner of the room.
"Damnit Dorothy! Move!" Duo screamed from his area. Heero remained quiet.
I stood there and scratched my head, confused about what was going on but not really wanting to make an effort to find out. It's obvious what this fight was about, but as for details...I didn't want to get involved. However, curiosity reared its head, and so I went ahead and asked. "What is going on? Wufei, let her go. You're going to hurt her."
He did as I asked and released her, where she promptly walked up to Heero, reached back and slapped him across the face. The sound of flesh hitting flesh echoed across the room, seeming to reverberate again and again. My jaw fell off and my eyes rolled out of their sockets at the spectacle. I would've never, and I mean NEVER thought Relena would ever raise her hand to Heero. Never ever. But she slapped him so hard *I* felt it. I'm not kidding. That's why my jaw fell off. I didn't care how good of a soldier Heero was, I knew that hurt him.
There was a strained sound that I recognized as a battle cry as Duo shoved Dorothy away from him and charged at Relena. Trowa and Wufei intercepted him before he was able to reach her, and were trying to hold him back. Trying being the key word. Very.
I jogged over as quickly as I could to Dorothy and helped her stand up. Duo was still trying to get to Relena as she stood in front of Heero, panting heavily and clutching her hand. I walked with Dorothy over to one of the Victorian chairs and seated her as the others continued to fight against one another. Guess it's up to me now.
I stuck my index and middle finger in my mouth and blew, whistling as loud as possible. That stopped everyone cold in their tracks, even Duo. Maybe I should do this more often. "Now," I said quietly, "what is going on? You all are acting insane."
Trowa and Wufei released Duo, where he slumped against the wall, exhausted. Relena turned back to Heero, anger and rage dancing within her eyes. "Heero, how could you say such a thing?"
He blinked. "I was only telling the truth."
She shook her head in denial. "No. Don't give me that. You spend all this time with me, and then you tell me that you don't know what you want? I will not accept that. I will not be easily tossed aside for your convenience Heero. I have too much respect for myself to allow that."
"Yeah sure. He was about to kill YOU then you jump in front of his bullet when I tried to–"
"Shut up Duo," I said, softly but firmly. Relena's finally speaking her mind, and I wanted her to get it all off of her chest. "This conversation doesn't concern you." His eyes widened to a painful intensity, but his mouth snapped shut nonetheless. I'm glad he listened. I wasn't in the mood to get into an argument with him. "She has something to say, and it's about time she said it."
Without sparing me a glance, Relena started to speak again, but I couldn't hear her because she lowered her voice. I wasn't interested in what she was saying anyway, I just hoped she was going to chew him a new one. I felt terrible about the situation she was in, but I was helpless and unable to rectify it. That was up to her.
So instead I turned my attention to Dorothy. She seemed even less interested in the conversation, perhaps down right bored. All she did was pick at her nails. "Dorothy?"
She turned to me slightly. "Yeah?"
She rolled her eyes. "She and I were in front of the fireplace, poking at the logs when Heero came down. He said he wanted to speak to her so she told him to go right ahead, not even concerned about me being there." She made a face. I couldn't tell if she happy about that notion or not. "He told her he didn't know whether he wanted her or Duo, and that he didn't want to be with either of them for the time being." She sighed. "Then Duo came down and the two of them just stared at each other until Relena got pissed, screamed, and threw the busted flashlight at Heero. The rest is pretty obvious." She slumped back into her chair. "I don't think he deserves either of them, and I would tell him myself if I didn't think he'd break my neck over it."
I managed not to smile even though I wanted to. That's the truest thing I've heard all day. It's not that Heero didn't like Dorothy...which he didn't, but that he tolerated her because she and Relena have become good friends. If he doesn't plan on getting together with Relena, someone here might end up neckless. "Dorothy, how do you feel?"
She raised a gray eyebrow. "Fine. Why?"
I reached down and grabbed her hand, pulling her to her feet. "I need you to come with me."
As I turned to the others, I could see Relena and Heero still in a heated discussion, Trowa and Wufei were watching them with some interest with Duo in between them. He caught my eyes and gave me a questioning look, ready to walk towards me to see what I was up to. I held my hand up and he stopped, where I swiftly turned and headed for the kitchen.
"Where are we going?" Dorothy asked as she followed me into the kitchen.
"I'm going to the attic."
She shot in front of me and held her arms out, preventing me from walking around her and to the attic stairs. "What do you mean you're going to the attic? I know you don't have the key, and this time Wufei doesn't have it either. Trowa or Heero do."
"Did you see me disappear or not?"
All of the color left her face. "Yes."
I lifted my hands slowly and placed them on her shoulders. "I...didn't know how I did that or that I even did it in the first place." I started to bring her arms back down to her sides. "I need to know how I did that and how to control it. It might be a useful tool."
I managed to get her to step to the side so that I could get through. "How do you know he'll tell you?"
I walked in and was standing at the base of the stairs with Dorothy to my back. "Because he is crazy enough to tell me, and I'm stupid enough to listen." I went up the stairs as fast as I could without making too much noise. Dorothy was a half step behind me. In a matter of seconds we were at the door.
"How do you intend to open it? You don't have the key."
"I don't need to open it. I just wanna ask a question." I took a deep breath and touched the door. It flinched under my touch, but seemed to melt into my hands. "Krahe?" I whispered, as if I spoke too loud it would hurt his ears. Yeah right. "Krahe, answer me. How did I do that? What's it called?" I thought of something else. "Is that what you did in Oslo? Why we were on the bench and the others couldn't see me? Krahe?" I pounded on the door. "No, you brought me here and you will answer me!" Just like the first night we were here, I grabbed the knob of the door and turned it, apparently to break the door down if I intended to.
There must be something meaningful in that action, because like before, the door yanked itself open and Krahe's soul ran through me again, eliciting that searing pain I'm experiencing more than I care to. I felt every organ in my body contract and hold as I fell to my knees. The experience was cruel but necessary as the knowledge and possibilities of it were being etched into my memory. Yes, it was clear. Finally.
I was waiting for my back to hit the rough floor but instead I fell against a warm chest. I blinked a few times, trying to bring the scene before me into focus as Dorothy's frightened cries along with Duo's swearing dominated the sound in the room. At least things were somewhat normal.
I shook my head twice, knocking the rest of the spiritual dew out so that I could think and see clearly. Looking around, I saw that Dorothy was standing behind Wufei, glaring at me for all she was worth, Relena standing behind Heero, and Duo was crouched down in front of me, so that only left Trowa to be the one holding me. Not that I was complaining.
"Quatre," Duo asked, a little too carefully for my comfort. He probably thought I was possessed or something. "Are you alright?"
I flexed my fingers and wiggled my toes, feeling that they were working as good as could be. I started to flex my arms when I felt an unusual feeling in my left arm. I forgot about the stab wound. At least, I thought it was a stab wound. I didn't know what else to call it besides a really, really bad boo boo. "Yeah, I'm fine." I started to sit up but decided not to at the last second. Trowa was so warm...
"Good. That means you're going to be in top shape when I kill you!" Duo, as fast as lightening, clasped his hands around my neck (very tightly I might add), and attempted to strangle me in front of everybody. It took both Trowa and Heero to pry his fingers off my neck, then it took Heero and Wufei to pull him off of us!
"Quatre," Wufei spat as Heero was finally able to pin Duo to the floor. Duo had managed to pop Wufei in the mouth before he was subdued. "What the hell is the matter with you?! Are you trying to kill yourself? If you are let me know please, that way I can stop risking my ass for you."
I nearly smacked myself in the forehead when I remembered why I came up here in the first place. The things I forget. "I know how to do it now! He told me."
All six of them at the same time went, "What?"
I scrambled out of Trowa's arms and ran down the stairs, waving at the others to follow me as if I was a small child showing off a new toy. "Come on!" I jumped the last few steps, ran into the dining room, and stood in the center of it, waiting for the others to catch up with me. Their pace was far more sedate than mine, but eventually they came into the room, all of them cautious of getting too close to me. That's okay though. They probably thought I lost my mind.
"Alright," I started, trying to slow my breathing down. "Whatever happens, just stay where you are. Any distractions will break my concentration." I exhaled the breath I had, and closed my eyes to go back to that place.
I thought of being outside with Trowa, with my arm hurting me, the cold wind freezing my ears, the pain in my neck and back, and the depression. The depression. That was the key.
/You have to give up/
That's what Krahe told me, so I tried to give up.
/You have to forget your body/
Because of the pain I was experiencing, I willed it away by ignoring my body altogether. It's a little bit harder now since I'm not in any immediate danger or pain, but I'll do it. I have to do it.
/You have to not care anymore/
I didn't care at that time what happened to anyone else. All I wanted was to rest. Sleep. At that point, I didn't care whether it was the eternal kind of sleep or not. I just wanted it all to end.
/Set your target in your mind/
I'm glad that I thought of a bedroom instead of a grave. Especially now since I ended up teleporting Trowa with me.
/Use the one thing you want to move you/
Trowa. He's what I want above everything else.
I crossed my arms across my chest, resting my hands on my shoulders as if I was in a coffin. I bowed my head and tried to concentrate to get the type of reaction I wanted to get. I would disappear and reappear on the table. That should be easy enough. At least I hoped. Before, I did it automatically because I was so mentally exhausted. It's a totally different story when I have to make a conscious effort at it. Plus I couldn't tell if I did it or not. I didn't feel myself disappearing, whatever that's supposed to feel like, and I didn't feel myself being transported anywhere. Not very helpful on your first effort.
I felt myself fall and land on a hard surface, which knocked the air out of me. The back of my head landed next and that put my neck out of alignment. Again. On top of my coughing because I couldn't breathe and the spots floating in front of my eyes, I rolled partially on my wounded arm, which gave me another jolt of pain.
Somebody's arms were around me again, and they helped me sit up, but stayed close enough so that I could lean against them. I opened my right eye, straining to see around the spots. I was laying on the dining room table, with everyone crowded around me, looking at me with saucer eyes. Wufei and Dorothy were to my left, and Duo, Heero and Relena were to my right. Trowa was the one holding me again. At least something good came out of this. I then turned my head very, very slightly, and glared as best as I could at Duo using only one eye. "Duo," I said through gritted teeth, "didn't I say not to distract me?"
He threw his hands up in the air. "Sorry Quatre, but shit! You disappeared into thin fuckin' air man. What was I supposed to do, bake a cake? I mean I knew you were going to try it but I didn't think you'd do it! And why the hell did you land on the table?"
"Duo, if you wait half a minute, I could answer your questions. We've talked about that before, remember?" I tried to raise an eyebrow, but I don't think I gave him the inquisitive look I was striving for. I'm sure I looked like an idiot.
"You'll have to get your answers later. He's going to bed." Trowa, as always, knew when to interrupt and picked me up, cradling me against his chest with ease. It was completely undignified to say the least. Yes I was hurt, but I'm not a baby!
I opened my mouth to begin complaining when I saw Wufei shoot me a very nasty glare, which told me implicitly to remain quiet. I crossed my arms and pouted all the way up the stairs. It didn't do me any good, but it was all I could do.
Wufei opened the door for Trowa as he brought me into the room. The covers were all ready pulled back from when I darted out of bed, so he didn't have any hindrances placing me into bed and covering me up. I think I saw a spark of a smile on his face when he saw me pouting. That'll just be something else I will complain about when I feel up to it. For the time being though, I will just rest.
As soon as Trowa placed me into bed, I felt my eyelids gain a few pounds. They closed on their own and my body refused to fight any longer. I fell asleep in a matter of a few seconds. My body now ached from Krahe running through me, which hurts like you wouldn't believe, not to mention feeling drained from teleporting to the table. Both activities wore me out, and the injuries from the accident further complicated things.
I felt Trowa brush the hair out of my face as he whispered something in my ear. I couldn't help but smile as I let myself go, because I knew Trowa didn't think I would know what he said to me. It was something that I learned from listening to the pilots in Oslo.
He said, "Sov min kjærlighetsøvn."
Sleep my love, sleep.