Ch 6: In Your Eyes
"You can't have that! Keep away from it!" I ignore Kiniger's frantic shouts, leaving it to Heero to hold him back as I slowly circle the gleaming mirror, looking it over thoughtfully. Hmm, we should be able to carry it...
"You want to take that thing with us?" Quatre looks dubious. "Is it some kind of new secret weapon?"
"Iiiya.." I say lazily, finally halting and running a hand over the perfect surface, smiling slightly into the glass. My reflection grins wolfishly back, and I laugh at it, turning away. "But it is still very dangerous. We should take it with us and put it somewhere safe where it will never be bothered again. But before we do, I think you three should look into it." I stare earnestly at my friends. Wufei balks, Quatre looks apprehensive, and Trowa's eyes narrow slightly.
"I just think you should." I shrug, motioning to Wufei. "Ne, Wu-man, come gimmie a hand, will ya?"
He frowns, but does as I ask despite Kiniger's frantic protests. I grip the top of the mirror and lower it so it's almost lying down flat, and Wufei grabs the legs. Carrying it between us, we shuffle after the others, Heero leading the way with Kiniger at gun point.
"Ano...Duo? What exactly.. *happened* when you looked in the mirror?" Quatre asks hesitantly after a few moments, peeking at me from around Trowa, who is still half-carrying him without complaint. "What was all that about Shinigami?"
I flash a grin and don't answer.
"And Heero," Wufei adds, obviously unable to hold back his curiousity any longer. "If you're claiming to be Shinigami, what the hell happened to *him*? How did he bend the bars like that?"
I smirk back at him, and he scowls. "You're questioning the abilities of the Perfect Soldier? C'mon, man!"
"Duo..." he says warningly.
I laugh and shrug a little. "I'll tell you guys later, ok? Right now we need to get out of here."
Trowa nods silent agreement, and we lapse into silence as we hurry towards the exit.
"What do we do with him, now?" Quatre asks weakly, glancing from me to Kiniger. We stand around our Gundams, ready to depart. Heero is holding the doctor in a headlock, watching me with a dead-pan look, ready to do what I ask. I look around, as if bored with the whole thing, reaching out to pat Deathscythe's leg absently. "Hmm... Well he's not much use to us anymore, is he?" I muse.
Quatre's eyes widen. "Duo! You're going to kill him?"
Wufei shoots him a look. "You have a short memory, Winner," he growls. "He's the one that oversaw what those idiots did to us. Did to *you*."
"Yes.. but..." He looks torn. I laugh, waving my hand.
"Daijabou, Q-man! Oi, why don't you guys go ahead and get out of here? I'll be right behind you." I reach an arm towards Kiniger, who's looking ready to shit his pants any moment now. How amusing. Quatre, Trowa, and Wufei glance at each other hesitantly, then at my cheerful face and Heero's serious one. Trowa turns and walks quickly towards the other gundams, still with Quatre in tow. Wufei follows without looking back.
"Ne, Heero, hand over our dear doctor an' go on ahead," I quip, smiling widely, still holding out my hand. "I'll take care of this."
He stares at me in silence, refusing to release his hold on Kiniger, who is struggling weakly.
I blink, then frown slightly. "Oi... Heero, man, let 'im go. I'll take care of it. You can leave, I'll be right behind ya."
I begin to feel uneasy. "Heero..."
Suddenly he twists his arms in a precise, violent wrench. There's an audible snap, and he releases the man in his arms, allowing the now lifeless body to crumple by his feet. My eyes widen in surprise. "Oi! What'd you do that for?! I told you to let me do it!"
Suddenly his face in mere inches from my own, hot cobalt eyes searing into mine. I feel my eyes widen once more, and stumble back. "H-Hee--"
"Do you really want to?"
His emotionless voice brings me to a halt. He stares hard at me, completely ignoring the body behind him, mouth a straight line.
"Shinigami gets too much pleasure out of killing," he says calmly. "Do you want to enjoy it so much?" He steps forward again, and again I retreat, heart pounding. I have never been afraid of him before... So why...
"You feel guilt. You hate the destruction that inevitably follows you, in the end." God, I wish he wouldn't look at me like that.. "If you allow yourself to kill out of whim and pleasure now, you won't be able to stop."
My back smacks into Deathscythe's leg and I curse under my breath, my heart rabbitting in my ribcage as Heero slowly advances until once more we are only a handswidth apart. I try to scoot sideways, and his arms snap up, hands slamming onto the metal either side of my head, trapping me. I yelp with surprise, staring up at him in a mingle of surprise and fear. "H-Heero, yamero!" I gasp. "How would you know what Shinigami thinks? You're--"
I snap my mouth closed obediantly, swallowing hard. He stares hard at me for a long moment, an eternity, then the tension in his arms lessens somewhat, and something in his eyes softens. My breath catches in my throat at this subtle change. "Heero..?"
He leans forward slightly, touching his forehead to my own, and I find myself gazing into pools of blue so deep I think I'll drown if I look too long. "You are..." he murmurs, "Shinigami. But you are also.... Duo."
Another small eternity goes by. And then...
A gunshot goes off, and there is a ping of lead against gundanium a little too close for comfort. I jump, startled, and his eyes harden immediately, flicking over his shoulder at the guards rushing out of the building, yelling orders. "Kuso," I hiss, pushing him away. "We gotta go, man!"
He grabs my wrists, yanking, and I stumble forward, caught off guard and off balance, an airy squeak escaping my lungs. A feather-light touch brushes my forehead-- oh god! --then his grip loosens and disappears as he turns and sprints towards his gundam. I catch my balance and take in a gasping breath. Did he... why...
Another shot echoes, hitting close to my feet, and I leap into action, whirling and scrambling up the emergency ladder into my gundam, cursing. "Damn freaks, watch it, you could hurt someone!!" I vault into the cockpit, slamming my fists onto buttons and grabbing the controls as the lid shuts on me. Safe.
I cackle, whirling around and weilding my scythe of death. "In space no one can hear you scream!" I whoop, swinging it just enough to send the men racing for cover screaming for their mommies. With Deathscythe's free hand I scoop up the mirror, cradling it in the big hand protectively as I turn towards Wing Zero, already suited up and ready to go. The other three have already gunned their engines and are shooting upwards. Behind me, orders to deploy the Dolls are being shouted out. "C'mon, Heero, let's blow this joint!" I shoot into space, not bothering to check and see if he's following, still laughing loudly.
It is only afterwards, when all is quiet and we are descending towards earth that I reach up a trembling hand and touch the place where Heero Yuy's lips touched.
"....Naze...?" I whisper to nothing, staring down at the controls in front of me. "Heero... The Perfect Soldier is not supposed to.....
"Ahh, much better!" I stretch, grinning broadly, and Wufei glances up at me briefly.
"You're pathetic, Maxwell," he grunts. "If you ever die all we have to do is shove food down your throat and you'll revive again."
"Oi, Wu-man, dontcha know death can't die?" I laugh, thumping him on the back. He glares. I turn towards Trowa, who is just now appearing in the doorway, looking tired. I raise an eyebrow, grinning. "Finally left his side, eh? You look like you could use a nap."
He doesn't even dignify me with an answer, making a beeline for the fridge. I chuckle, continuing my teasing, waving my Coke can in the air. "Maybe if you would look after *yourself* once in a while you wouldn't be so pooped, ne, ne? You spend any more time by his bedside and you'll fall asleep there, hehehe!"
I grin widely. "Haiiii~?"
"Oi," Wufei says quietly, frowning in the direction of the door. We both turn to look, and I slam down my can.
"Oi, Q-man, what are you doing up?! You're supposed to be in bed!"
Quatre leans heavily against the doorframe, breathing a little hard, smiling weakly. "I'm all right," he says cheerfully. "I wanted to come downstairs, that's all. I've been in bed for two days. You guys are overreacting."
Trowa frowns at him, walking towards him, laying a hand on his shoulder. "You were hurt more than we were," he says quietly. "You need rest."
Quatre's smile is shy as he looks up at the taller pilot. "Thank you for watching me... But I'm all right, really." He smiles winningly at us all, trying to convince us. I grin back, shaking my head.
"If you're up and walking around, I guess you're getting better," I admit. "But you shouldn't exert yourself."
Quatre nods, and Trowa reluctantly steps back, allowing him to enter, though I notice he stays close and keeps a watchful eye on him. How sweet. ^_^
"Duo.." I turn to Wufei, raising my eyebrows questioningly.
He stares at me. "When are you going to explain the whole mirror thing?" he demands. "I want to know what happened."
"Don't worry, I'll tell ya soon," I assure him, flicking my braid over my shoulder and grinning. "Jus' wanted to make sure Q was up to it. But remember, I want you guys to look in it, too."
"Ne, where's Heero, anyway? I haven't seen him today." I look around eagerly.
"I think he's outside," Quatre offers, seated now and reaching for the basket of fruit in the middle of the table. Trowa helpfully pushes it closer, earning a sweet smile as thanks. "I saw him out the window."
"Domo!" I snatch up an apple, setting down my coke and jogging towards the kitchen door. "See you guys later!"
The safehouse we're staying in isn't a bad place. Set close to a woods in a tiny quiet neighborhood, it is the perfect place to heal and regain our strength. Though Heero and I are relatively untouched-- Heero with a scratch from the explosion of the door, I with a bruised jaw --the others needed the respite, and it is good to see the many slashes and bruises slowly heal.
I hum to myself as I stroll around the house towards the back yard after checking to make sure Heero isn't in the front. Munching on the apple, I turn the corner and spot him sitting beneath a tree, head back to absorb the sunlight filtered through the leaves, eyes closed in peaceful slumber. I still, simply standing and watching him, amazed at the transformation sleep does to his face. All creases, all signs of hardness and coldness are gone. His brow is smooth, lips slack instead of firm, looking almost..soft. He is, in a word..
I step forward silently, holding my breath, and carefully crouch beside him, my eyes never leaving his face. I devour him hungrily with my eyes, memorizing his features in this relaxed pose, acutely aware that I may never see him like this again. Finally I cannot stand it any longer. I reach out slowly, tentatively, and touch one cheek just barely. It is softer than it looks. I trail my fingers down his jawline, feeling an ache in me that makes my throat clench. I thought the Perfect Soldier was not supposed to feel... but damn it, neither is the God of Death.
I sigh quietly, allowing my thumb to lightly brush his lower lip.
His eyes snap open, and he flies into action.
I yelp in surprise as he surges forward, snatching my wrist in one hand and yanking hard so that I fall off balance, his other hand going to my throat.
We sit there, frozen like this, both our hearts beath swiftly, myself almost spilled into his lap because of his sharp tug, his grip on my throat not painful but firm and prepared to flex in a deadly vise. Slowly the menace fades from his eyes and he blinks. "Duo...?" He releases me, and I rock backwards, rubbing my throat ruefully, managing to force a laugh.
"Man, chill out, Heero, it's just me! Thought I was an assassin or something?"
His gaze is no longer tranquil as it was in sleep, but the shielded stone look I know. "What do you want?"
Same icey tone. How charming. Really turns me on.
"Aw, don't sound so hostile," I tease, poking his immobile arm. "Jus' wanted to see what you were up to, that's all. Quatre's up, by the way."
Nice grunt, caveman. I want to shake him.
"Hey, why don't we go do something today?" I gush, eager to have the Perfect Soldier all to myself.
He offers me a Look. "Duo.."
"There's this awesome movie out," I continue prattling, tugging at his arm eagerly. "About this girl who goes phsyco when her boyfriend dumps her and starts killing off all his friends with a axe and then starts killing off her family cuz she *really* goes over the edge and he knows it's her cuz his friend told him right before she found him and chopped him into little itty bitty pieces and hid the pieces in the yard but later the dog dug them up and it stunk so bad the cops came and then--"
A hand swiftly covers my mouth. "You sound like you've seen it already," Heero says in a monotone. "I don't want a detailed summary."
I pull away, grinning hopefully. "So you'll come?"
I nearly facefault. "Awww, why not?! It'll be fun! Ooo! Or there's this OTHER one we can see about this sweet little kid that gets adopted but then the pets in the neighborhood start disappearing and it turns out she's killin' them with a pair of scissors and eating them in her room and they're all piled up in her closet like toys and when her adopted mama finds out she--"
Once again a calloused hand interrupts my rant. Heero gives me a strange look. "You have a tendancy to watch overly-dramatic horror films," he notes in a dry voice. "I'm not interested, Duo. Leave me alone."
I make a long face and open my mouth to argue.
"Oh, Heero," a voice suddenly calls. My heart goes cold. "I've found you again!"
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