Violence, attempted homicide and a very mild DuoxQuatre lime. You have been warned.
The Final Murder: Part 4
“Thank you so much Relena,” I said as I put the last of the hot pockets away. This one I found in the folds of the curtain. “If you hadn’t come, Duo and I would be hiding up a tree by now.”
“Yeah, thanks ‘Lina,” Duo called from the depths of the pantry.
“No problem guys,” she answered as she tossed a washcloth in the sink. “Actually, I should thank you instead. That was the best laugh I’ve had in a long time.”
And laugh she did. When I told her she was needed immediately, she didn’t hesitate to come over. When she entered my house she was horrified, thinking that we were attacked and no one else was available except her. When I told her WHY she was needed...well, let’s just say that she canceled her appointments for today. She didn’t think she would be able to breathe for awhile, but I guess she recovered sooner than she thought.
Things were kind of rough when she first got here. Neither Duo nor myself wanted to explain to her what the emergency was, but Relena being Relena barged into the house to knock out whoever it was that ‘dared to disturb an ill man.’ It was then that I interrupted her and explained the problem. Well, Relena laughed so long that I was able to plant my cactus by the time she calmed down.
“Are you alright in there Duo?” she called from the living room.
“Yeah,” he called back from the pantry.
“Quatre, are you alright? You still look a little green.”
“Yes Relena, I’m fine.” I gave her a weak smile and hoped that it would be enough. When she was able to speak coherently, she told us she wasn’t afraid of it and would get rid of it for us. She just didn’t tell us how. So I went into total shock when she moved the pack of Dr. Pepper out of the way and picked the roach up with her bare fingers. Well, Duo ran screaming into the pantry, and apparently I passed out. The next thing I was aware of was waking up and realizing that I was lying on the couch. Relena was humming quietly to herself as she cleaned up our mess while Duo remained in the pantry. In fact, I don’t think he ever left it.
“Okay. Well, I guess I’ll see you two later, and I hope it’s under less...strenuous circumstances.” She grinned, but all I could do was smile back. I knew it was funny, but I didn’t feel that way at the moment. I’m sure I’ll see the humorous side to it in about twenty to thirty years.
“Here. I’ll walk you out.” I received a peck on the cheek, and waved as she drove out of my driveway. Closing the door, I took a quick survey around the room. Everything was in order. There weren’t any bug guts mashed to anything, no red appendages stuck to the wall...all and all, pretty good.
“Except the coffee maker,” I said out loud. “Duo, get out of there and get to the store before you forget and I have to kill you.”
He slowly came into view. “Man, no matter what I do I still see Relena reaching and...ugh!”
“Man, she has a set of balls hidden in those pants.”
“No, she just doesn’t turn into a terrified wreck like we do at the sight of an insect,” I said as I made my way upstairs. “Jeez, I can’t believe I stuck my finger on that cactus.”
“All I know is that you need to get an exterminator in here,” Duo said as he followed me. “I mean, those things are like cops. There’s never just one.”
“Yeah, I’ll call an exterminator in a minute. And that wasn’t a nice thing to say about cops Duo.”
“It’s the truth!”
Once in my room I went to the bathroom to wash my hands. My finger was a little bit red but nothing else other than that. Stepping back into my bedroom, it occurred to me that I didn’t know why I came up here. I guess it didn’t matter.
A quick call to information resulted in an appointment tomorrow morning at eight with an exterminator. Thank Allah. I leaned against the wall and blew my breath through my bangs in frustration. I realized that I had completely wasted this day. I didn’t go to work to get any work done, I didn’t work on what to do about Hrncir, and I didn’t do any work I had here at the house. How pathetic was that?
All of a sudden I became aware of myself. Rather, I became aware of the environment around me. Birds were no longer chirping, the sound of children playing ceased, and Duo was standing close to me. Very close to me. Face to face close to me. “Duo?”
His eyes were so wide only the pupil was visible. He was biting his lip in what appeared to be indecision, and he had his hands clenched into fists at his side. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought he was about to hit me. But I’ve seen that look on his face before, and just like before it was directed at me.
I didn’t know what expression I wore, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was similar to his own. I could feel my breaths come out faster in short, shallow puffs, and it was becoming unbearably hot in the room. My back was also against the wall, preventing any real escape if he didn’t want me to move. This excited me, this feeling of being trapped.
Slowly, oh so slowly he moved forward, brushing his body lightly against mine. I wanted to gasp but didn’t, and I wanted something to hold onto, but all my fingers could reach was the smooth, flat wall. So I did the next worst thing. Reaching out, I carefully slipped my hand underneath his T-shirt to rest on his lower back. When he didn’t protest, my other hand joined the first, slightly massaging the skin there. Duo placed both of his hands beside my head on the wall, and allowed some of his body weight to press against me.
I was an inch taller than Duo, but he was heavier in build than me. So even though we were eye to eye, I couldn’t help feeling dominated by him. That feeling increased even more as he began to gently touch his nose to my face. He circled my cheek slowly, before he ran the tip underneath the skin of my eye. He then rubbed his nose against my nose, sweeping side to side against the soft flesh. After he was through there, he moved to the skin under my other eye, and then my other cheek.
Afraid of my own boldness, I brought my face forward so that I could touch the skin of his cheek with my lips. I left a slightly moist trail down to the side of his mouth, and I knew I aroused him when he moved his hands from the wall to grip the sides of my head. He tangled his fingers in my hair and rested his temple against mine, purposely not looking at me. Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no....
“Quatre,” he breathed in my ear, “....can I kiss you?”
My grip tightened on his back, inadvertently bringing him closer. “Yes.”
Judging by the way Duo pressed his complete weight against me and the way his grip tightened in my hair, I knew he was about to lay a kiss on me that would set my upholstery on fire. I couldn’t help the moan that escaped as he pulled my head closer-
The phone rang.
The weight on top of me disappeared so fast I thought my lungs would explode from the sudden intake of oxygen. The only way I knew for a fact that Duo left the room instead of disappeared was from the glimpse of his braid that I saw flowing behind its owner in the doorway. At the second ring I finally came to my senses and answered the phone. “Hello?”
My son’s cheery face popped up on screen. I don’t believe this. “Hi daddy!”
“Hi Kitty,” I said, not having to force any happiness in my voice. “How are you? Did you have fun with Auntie Cathy and the lions?”
“Yep!” he squealed, bouncing in the copilot’s chair. My son was every bit the look of innocence: clear, flawless white skin, bright blue sparkling eyes, a huge smile and long blonde hair that he kept in a braid just like Duo’s. However, he had a streak in him that screamed ‘gundam pilot’ if he had been born twenty five years earlier. “We’re bringing home a new pet!”
I know I didn’t hear what I thought I just heard. “What?”
“We’re bringing home a new pet.”
“I heard what you said son,” I said, trying not to faint again. Another one! “How many legs does this one have?”
“It doesn’t have any!”
/Oh no/, I thought, REALLY trying not to faint now. “Where’s your father?”
“I’m right here.”
The screen split in half, one side showing my son petting...something, and the other showing the slightly smirking face of Trowa. “Trowa, what new ‘pet’ is he bringing home?”
“A snake?! Trowa--”
“I promise it won’t eat the hamsters, or the gerbils, or the bunnies, or--”
“Okay okay, fine. But if it sheds its skin on my couch--”
“Then you’ll skin me. Yes, I know.”
“So long as we have an understanding.” I smiled as he graced me with one of his smirks, and I couldn’t help turning into a slight pile of goo.
“How are you feeling?”
That’s right. Rashid called him. “Fine. I was never sick, just really tired.”
“Overworking as usual,” he said. I wasn’t going to dignify that with an answer. “But I’ll try to keep things quiet so that you can rest this weekend, okay?”
“Good.” He gave me a small nod. I finally learned over the years that when he nodded like that, he did that as a sign of respect, not just acknowledgment. “Rest. We’ll be home tomorrow morning after eleven. See you then. Love you and take care.”
“Love you too. Behave Kitty.” He wasn’t paying me any mind. He was still petting that...thing.
I chuckled as Trowa poked Kitty in the forehead before giving me a Look. He then disconnected the call. I was laughing quietly to myself until I remembered what I was doing, and most importantly, what I was about to do when they called. Without thinking twice, I charged out of my room and down the stairs, looking for Duo.
“Duo! Duo, please, we have to talk about this.”
I stood in the center of my living room, obviously talking to myself. I was about to check the other rooms when I noticed something on the kitchen table. Looking closer, I saw that it was money. Fifty credits.
I guess I was going to have to get my own coffee maker.
I flopped in my bed once again, trying to find a cooler spot. Glancing at the clock, I saw that it was one in the morning, and I was still as restless now as I was when I went to bed at eight. I couldn’t help myself either. So much was on my mind that I wanted to get out of bed and not come back home until I had everything dealt with, and I wanted to do it now. Thing was, I didn’t have any solutions for my problems.
Krahe was close by. He wasn’t breathing down my neck exactly, but he definitely had me in sight. I didn’t know how I felt about that. This time around it’s different. I’m different. I wasn’t afraid of him like I used to be. I wasn’t pining after someone I thought I couldn’t have, and accepting just about anyone to fill the void. In fact, I viewed his presence back into my life as a severe irritation, and I was in no mood to deal with it. If he decided to come anywhere near my son or my husband I was going to plant my foot in his ass, dead or not.
The thought of Hrncir however, put me into a rage. This was going to have to be done so carefully that the only thing I could compare it to was building Wing ZERO. He was sneaky, but he had too many expendable people around him to take the fall in his place. And it amazed me that his people couldn’t see that. I didn’t have those advantages (not that I’d ever use them) but those were things that worked against me, so I had to consider them. And the more I thought about it, the more depressed I became. I started to come up with plans that could deal with this, but they were all...unconventional to say the least. Ever since the wars ended, I’ve tried to do everything the way a law-abiding citizen should. But to handle this the illegal way was more practical than the legal one.
And then there’s the problem with Duo.
I’ll have to come back to that.
Okay. It was obvious that I wasn’t going to go to sleep without a little bit of help. So I got out of bed and headed for the kitchen, thinking that maybe a warm glass of milk (or scotch) might get me to relax. As I made it down the stairs though, I realized that someone had broken into my house. The windows and door were locked, and even the alarm was set. But there was an unfamiliar odor in the air...cigarette smoke. It was faint, but there. Duo didn’t have any cigarettes today, and even if he did, that wasn’t his brand.
Just as I turned around a large figure rammed his entire body into my chest. I fell hard, banging my head on the wooden floor and knocking the wind out of me. Before the pain could even register, a thin wire was quickly thrown over my neck and tightened with a force that I could never describe. All I knew was that the survival instinct born into all humans and not just trained soldiers kicked in, and I began to fight wildly.
The man was huge. He was so much taller than me that my arm was nearly fully extended when I tried to claw his eyes out. He was thick too, wide as he was tall. So many of the moves Wufei taught me were compromised because of our height difference, and also because as one of my hands tried to fight, the other tried to pry the wire from my throat. I was not having much luck in either area.
I was starting to panic as well. He had completely cut off my airway. I was excited, which caused my heart to beat fast even as no air was being supplied. I could hear my breath coming out in horrifying gasps that were signaling the end of my life. I could also hear other things in the background: the smashing of the lamp I knocked over as one of my arms flailed out, his yell as I grabbed his balls and squeezed, the thud of him slamming my head into the wall, so that I would let go of his balls, the way the table scraped against the floor as I desperately tried to grip it...
I also felt things, like how my lungs felt as though they were about to explode, how my heart felt like it was going to burst, and how his lips felt against the tip of my ear as he whispered to me.
“Mr. Hrncir awaits your answer.”
My hand brushed against something that seemed very small but solid. My new coffee maker. Without even thinking, I picked it up and raised it above my head, aiming for where I hoped his face would be. It stopped against something and he yelled. Good enough. So I did it again. And again. And again. And again.
I didn’t know how much time passed, but right when I thought I was about to die the wire loosened enough for me to take a deep breath and twist so that I could face him. Seeing that I could fight him better this way, he simply let go of the wire and started to strangle me with his bare hands. The feeling of his broad thumbs digging into my throat was worse than the wire, and I dropped the coffee maker in shock from the pain. Desperate now more than ever, I kneed him in the groin. This made things worse for me, as he tightened his hold even harder to compensate for not being able to grab himself.
Feeling completely unoriented and heavy, I began to fall to my knees. My assassin started to lower me down to the ground, I guess to avoid straining his back. One of my knees didn’t touch the floor however, instead resting on top of the coffee maker. Giving it everything I had, I pulled it out from under me and smashed it dead into his face.
He screamed this time, a scream that I haven’t heard since my gundam days. Letting that part of my personality awaken, I hit that man in the face three more times. He still had a grip on my throat, but it was loosening. So I hit him over and over until he suddenly let me go. Unprepared for that, I fell backwards onto the kitchen floor, and my head was roughly turned to the side by gravity.
I blacked out.
I woke up sometime later, although I didn’t know why. I cracked my eyes open, and all I could see in my immediate view was a pair of dark tan hiker boots. I didn’t think about who they belonged to and why they were here, just that there were boots in my view. In fact, I didn’t care who they belonged to or why they were here. I just wanted to be left alone.
I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.