Ch 12: Taken

"Not really." I bare my teeth in hatred, glaring at the handsome man. "Long time no *smell*, kisama."
"Now, Shin," he tsks, giving me a wounded look. "Is that any way to speak to your own cousin?"
He combs his shoulder-length red hair from his face, his silver eyes never leaving mine. Taller than me by more than a head, undeniably pretty and cold to the core, I have not been able to forget him, damned as his memory is.
"Irdarr," I say the name like a curse. "What the hell are you doing here? What do you want?"
"I'm sorry, was I interrupting something?" he says innocently, with a malicious smirk. "Busy seducing your newest boytoy?"
I bite my lip to keep back a sharp retort, glaring.
"Don't glare daggers at me, Shin," he says calmly. "No matter how often you wish me death, a diety may not kill another diety, and you know it."
"Shredding you is another thing," I growl. "Answer my questions. Now!"
He shrugs slightly, expression unconcerned as he bends slightly, hands in the pockets of his slacks, to inspect the crumpled figure by the tree. "Quite a handsome one you've picked out this time. You always were a sucker for the pretty ones. But this one is younger than most. Anyway, I came because for once in your life you have something interesting. Something I want."
"Besides the mortals I could coax to bed when you couldn't?" I sneer.
Unfortunately, he is undaunted by the jab to his ego. "You know what I'm talking about. The Mirror. I want it. And I'll have it. Not that you haven't scooped up something valuable right here..." he prods Heero's unconscious form with his shoe, "but right now I'd prefer one of the five most coveted treasures in the universe."
"Tough luck," I snap, keeping a careful eye on Heero, edging slowly closer, wings half-extended in a threatening pose. "You're not getting your smelly hands on it."
"Give it to me," he prompts quietly, "unless you want to see your lover here ruined beyond repair..?" He draws a hand from his pocket, flexing long, sharp claws, glancing up at me from under hooded lids. "Will you still take him if he's pretty no longer? Will you be able to stand the sight of him once I'm through with him?"
I halt in my tracks, forcing myself to calm down.
I can't let him hurt Heero.
Not Heero. seems like my worthless kin doesn't know where I'm keeping the Sugatami no Naisei.
Perhaps I can use this to gain some time.

I try to look as nonchalant as possible, at the same time sending a thought towards the house with a quick burst of Power.
~~Quatre, hide the mirror and guard the others.~~
"What do you want with it?" I ask coolly, eyeing him. "Just to keep it for yourself? To have what no one else has?"
"In part." He inclines his head briefly, a small smile flitting across his lips.
Always the gentleman.
"But you don't seem to understand its full potential, little cousin," he says quietly. "You honestly think it is meant only for mortals?"
I frown slightly, narrowing my eyes in puzzlement. Is he trying to say that it can be used on dieties-- even Realized ones like Quatre and myself? But to do what?
~~Duo, what's wrong?~~ the nervous voice in my mind is strong, used to this form of communication, despite the years without practice.
~~We've got company. Family matter. Just do it.~~
I quickly block him out, before Irdarr can pick it up.
"What are you talking about?"
"Now that is none of your business," he says simply, snapping his fingers. Immediately half a dozen squat little goblins appear from the trees, grinning like fiends, their warty green faces hideously distorted as they giggle, sending a shiver up my spine. I curl my lip in disgust.
"Yes, you always were one to surround yourself with beauty," he observes calmly, undisturbed by the appearance of his cohorts.
I stiffen as the little monsters surround Heero, two of them stroking his lax face with gnarled hands.
"Get your claws off him," I snarl, my wings snapping open, my eyes narrowing dangerously. A low growl escapes my throat, and the goblins send me wary glances, pulling their hands away from their prey and shuffling closer to their master.
Irdarr laughs quietly, lowering his head so his hair hides his shadowed face from view, all but the sultry, unpleasant smirk. "So defensive," he purrs. "You get so protective about the ones you favor. Like that little fallen angel..what was his name..?"
"He's not Fallen," I snap, baring my teeth, fists clenched. "At least *I* don't sleep with the unwilling or overeager. If you can't find some *slut* to occupy your time you take the innocent."
"Yes, it's fun, you really should try it," he says conversationally.
I want to tear his eyes out.
"Where. Is. The Mirror?" he asks, voice deepening slightly, an edge of warning to the tone.
I toss my head back defiantly, sneering. "You really think I'll tell you?" I scoff. "You're not getting it, that's final. Who knows what the hell *you'll* do with it."
"Something fun," he says simply, then turns away, as if bored, walking away, but lifting a graceful clawed hand and beckoning lazily. "Bring him."
My heart leaps into my throat as the goblins surround Heero once more, gathering his limp form in their twisted but strong arms and lifting him above their heads. His head lolls to the side, face smooth in unconsciousness, tossled chocolate hair falling against his closed eyes and round cheeks. A great fear mingled with fury seizes me and I leap forward with a cry of anger, reaching desperately.
"No! Don't take him--!"
He whirls around quicker than thought, throwing out his hand, and I crash against a tree on the other side of the clearing, caught off guard and unable to bring up my wings in time. I grunt with pain as my skull cracks against the trunk, the world going dark, then gradually fading into light again. I blink groggily, struggling to sit up straight, reaching uselessly towards the retreating figures.
Damn this mortal body...

"Duo..? Duo, daijabou ka? Shin-chan, speak to me!"
I'm tired... my head hurts... go 'way.
"Shin-chan! Onegai...are you all right?!"
Damn it all...
Never could resist that sweet panic-stricken voice.
Reluctantly I drag myself to the surface of consciousness, forcing my eyes open slowly.
"Ow, dammit," I curse as light immediately invades my eyes. I quickly squeeze them shut again. "Turn off the damn light."
"Well he doesn't *seem* to be too bad off," I hear Wufei comment dryly, "if he can still complain."
"Love you, too, Wu-man," I mutter, flinging an arm across my eyes and wincing.
Gods, my head hurts..
I hear a click, and can sense the room grow dimmer as someone turns off the light. I tentatively raise my arm, opening my eyes and squinting as I try to adjust to the dim light.
Quatre is hovering over me, ivory colored wings arching protectively over me so that I can't see who is behind him, though obviously they can't see this part of him. His face is relieved, with signs of worry in his azure eyes. "Thank the gods..." he breathes, smiling brightly. "We were afraid--"
"Heero. Where's Heero?" I sit up quickly, pushing him aside. Too quickly.
The room spins, and I groan, collapsing against the-- couch? --I'm on, clenching my teeth and shutting my eyes against the naseau and pain. "Ohh... dammit..."
"Don't sit up too fast," comes Trowa's brilliant advice nearby. I open my eyes painfully to see him standing beside Quatre now, staring down at me solemnly. "What happened?"
"I..." I glance at Quatre, and he nods anxiously.
~~What were you warning me about earlier? What *happened* out there?~~
"Where's Heero?" he asks aloud.
"Shit.." I heave a heavy sigh, tilting my head up and staring at the ceiling for a moment, mentally rattling off every bad word I know. "He's been kidnapped," I say quietly.
"Heero? Kidnapped?" Wufei arches a brow incredulously. "This is Yuy we're talking about, right?"
"Yes. He was knocked unconscious while we were.." a brief hesitation, "..talking. He was taken by an old *aquaintance* of mine." I make a face to show just what I think of this "aquaintance".
"Why?" Quatre looks baffled. "Who would want Heero?"
I glance at him wearily. "Someone interested in getting their hands on the Mirror."
"Duo.." Trowa is staring at me intently, lips a tight line.
I look up at him, knowing what's coming.
"I think you'd better explain this whole thing...and let us take a look at this Mirror."

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