Chapter 15: "Truth Hurts"
Heero knew something was wrong when he didn't see
Wufei waiting for them in the jeep.
"Ooo, coffee," Duo crooned happily, taking the
styrofoam cup from where it had been left on the dashboard. "Hey, what's
this?" He plucked a scrap of paper from the windshield while Trowa tossed
the ropes they'd used for Tom into the back of the jeep.
Quatre was massaging a headache from his temples and
looking around wearily. "At least we know they don't know much," he
pointed out. "Kushrenada gave them the order to find Wufei, but they
seem to know very little about him."
"Or why Treize is so intent on getting ahold of
him," Trowa added grimly. He glanced towards the back alley, where they'd
left their unconscious prisoner. "I still think we should take care of
Quatre gave him a hard look. "No," he said firmly.
"Let someone else find him and deal with him. We can't kill a man in
cold blood like that."
Heero sent Quatre a sideways look, but didn't
"Uh oh," Duo said.
Heero looked at him sharply. Duo offered a watery
grin, quailing a little at the intense stare Heero was submitting him
to. Heero's eyes went from him to the note and back again. His face
turned to stone, voice flinty. "Where is Wufei?"
"He, ah..." Duo cleared his throat, offering the
paper. "Well, look for yourself."
Heero snatched it from his friend and scanned the
note. His face grew darker and darker as he read. Duo prudently moved
around to the other side of the jeep, out of immediate reach, while
Trowa waited passively for an explanation.
Quatre tried to read the note over Heero's shoulder.
"What is it? Is something wrong?" His voice sharpened in alarm.
"Don't tell me they grabbed him while we were--"
"Yeah right," Duo snorted. "There'd be signs of a
struggle all over the place. Wufei ain't exactly the meek little
"No," Heero growled, crumpling the letter in his
fist. "Just the willing kind."
"What are you talking about?" Quatre demanded in
exasperation, reaching for the note. "What does it say?"
"Looks like Kush-boy came looking for Wufei
himself," Duo explained, face somber. "Unfortunately, he must be as good at
persuading in person as he is on TV. Wufei went with him."
Quatre's mouth dropped open. "What?? But-- but
"You can't blame him," Trowa pointed out, shrugging.
"We didn't give him many reasons to trust us. And perhaps he thinks
Treize will be able to answer questions that we can't-- or won't."
They all glanced at Heero. He was glaring in the
direction of the road, expression hard, eyes cold. The note, forgotten,
was crumpled in his tightened fist.
"Relax, Heero," Duo murmured, reading the barely
controlled anger in his friend's body language. "Don't flip out on us or
go all homicidal. Tro's right. We haven't explained jack shit to
Wufei, and technically, we did kidnap him. Kushrenada's supposed to be all
civilized and shit; can you blame Wufei for going with someone who
politely offered to answer all his questions?"
"Why would he have gone with someone who sends thugs
after him?" Quatre asked plaintively.
Trowa shook his head slightly. "Treize is rumored
to be a very honorable, polite man. Wufei would know that if he's been
keeping up with politics at all. If Treize promised to talk and then
part ways, it would have been hard to give up the chance to finally get
"Treize doesn't know everything," Duo put in
encouragingly, gesturing to the note. "Probably only things he's heard
in passing. Rumors, legends, shit like that. He won't be able to tell
Wufei much. Besides, Wufei said he'd meet up with us later."
Heero's glare could have melted paint. "If
he decides to after hearing what Kushrenada has to say," he finished
Quatre groaned, passing a hand over his face. "Well
it's too late to track them down now," he sighed. "Not that Wufei
would come with us if we did manage to find them, pull over the car,
and drag him out of it."
Duo winced. "He'd prob'ly be a little
uncooperative," he agreed.
"He'd kick our butts," Quatre said firmly. He
turned a stern gaze on Heero. "There's nothing we can do right now but
wait. Give him some time to talk to Kushrenada. It's his choice. Trying
to change his mind-- especially forcefully --will only cause him to
lash out at us. I don't like it any more than you do, but what choice do
we really have?" He glanced at his watch. "We'll give him until eight
"Six," Heero cut in.
"Seven," Quatre compromised with a sigh. "If he
isn't back by then, we'll go find him. All right?"
Heero didn't look happy, but the other two boys
"No hero shit," Duo added, offering his friend a
warning look. "Pun not intended."
Heero scowled. "How do we know if Kushrenada will
keep his word?" he demanded. "Or if Wufei decides to stay with
Duo winced. "Our orders are to bring him back," he
allowed. "But we won't know any of that until seven, Heero."
"Maybe you won't." Heero turned on Trowa,
holding out a hand demandingly. "Give me your keys," he snapped.
Duo straightened. "What are you doing?" he asked
Trowa took one look at Heero's expression and handed
over his bike keys without a word.
"Trowa," Quatre gasped. He quickly stepped in front
of Heero. "Wait, Heero, don't do anything stupid," he said
"I'm just going to watch," Heero growled, stepping
around Quatre and striding towards the motorcycle. "If something goes
wrong, Wufei's going to need someone to get him out of the mess he got
himself into. And if he decides to stay, someone needs to drag him
back. I've been to Kushrenada's place once before; I know the layout of
the grounds the best."
"Oh, let him go," Duo sighed, looking aggreived.
"He isn't going to listen, anyway. If playing surveillance guy will calm
him down, let him do it." He raised his voice so Heero could hear.
"But if he isn't back by seven, we'll go in for both of them."
Heero ignored the warning, not even bothering to
look back as he mounted the bike and roared off.
Duo watched him go for a moment, hands on his hips
as he frowned disapprovingly. Finally he shook his head and offered his
friends a dry smile. "So! Who's driving this heap of junk?"
Wufei couldn't decide if Treize Kushrenada's house
was a mansion or a fort.
The house in and of itself was large and impressive,
but there were guards at the gate and a few patrolling the grounds, and
even a training field and building where military personnel practiced
with firearms, hand-to-hand combat, and worked on tactical vehicles.
Walking down the path towards the main house, Wufei
stopped to gaze in the direction of the mini base, eyes narrowing as he
took in the sight. Some of the men were in ordinary civilian clothes,
while others were in uniform. The hangar door was open, and he caught
a glimpse of what looked like an updated MS.
Treize also stopped, following his gaze and giving a
small smile. "Politics may be what drives me now, but I am a
General," he pointed out. "Most of these people went to the same
military academy as I did."
Wufei hesitated, then strode towards the building
decisively. This could be the only chance he got to see just what tricks
and forces Treize had at his disposal. He was surprised when Treize
followed him without complaint.
The men called out greetings to Treize as they
approached, and those in uniform threw smart salutes, faces shining.
Looking around at them, Wufei frowned slightly. The men were proud to be
under Treize, following his lead and practicing on his grounds. They
fought for him out of love and loyalty, not out of some contract or oath.
It had been said that Treize's forces were fiercely loyal, but seeing
that loyalty so plainly on their faces brought the point home more than
words. These men, Wufei mused, would die for Treize. He didn't see
any Suits, and wondered if they were inside the house or worked for
Treize through outside contacts.
Treize walked among his men, smiling and nodding,
occassionally stopping to give a suggestion, a comment, or inquire about
someone's family. He spoke to officers and enlisted equally, and while
he was occupied, Wufei took the time to get a closer look at the
hangar. The soldiers sent him questioning looks, but said nothing. Being
with Treize seemed to give him free reign of the "base", and he took full
advantage of it.
The hangar was filled with the newest version of the
war Mobile Suits, as well as a handful of tanks and smaller tactical
vehicles. Wufei stepped into the hangar and walked around slowly, gazing
up at the hulking metal giants with a frown. Across the hangar,
several men were working on an unfamiliar suit. Hesitating, Wufei looked up
at it curiously. He'd never seen anything like it on the internet or
the news, or in any of the military and mecha magazines Hilde had shoved
in his face. And something seemed.... off about it.
"No hatch," he realized out loud.
Treize had come up behind him, hands clasped behind
his back. He gazed up at the strange MS almost fondly. "Good eyes,"
he approved. "You're familiar with MS models?"
"Vaguely," Wufei admitted gruffly. "I'm no
"What do you think of them?"
Wufei shook his head. "They're weapons," he said
bluntly. "No matter how humanoid engineers try to make them look. But
they give men the chance to walk into battle and fight each other hand
Treize nodded in agreement. "I look at them as
suits of armor," he said. "They put a man at level ground with large
tactical vehicles, but also put him in the position to stride into war and
fight each other. And loss of life is less than it would be if we ran
across a field at each other waving guns and swords as they did in the
past. You can cripple an MS and leave its controller alive." He gave a
quiet sigh. "However, they can also be dangerous. If one is
destroyed, the pilot is destroyed along with it. And men can be unpredictable.
Putting the wrong man at the controls could get innocent people killed.
Did you hear of Robert Gray?"
Wufei scowled. "He was in the news last year. A
soldier that went berserk; went through an unprotected town in an MS and
laid it to waste. He killed almost thirty innocent civilians before he
"Yes." Treize's face was grave. "That is a risk I
cannot accept. That and the dangers to the men inside. And of course
an MS isn't that easy to control. Only our best pilots and controllers
are given an MS in a wartime situation. Most men are just too
Wufei followed his gaze to the unfamiliar MS. "Is
that suit supposed to change that?"
"Yes. I call it a Mobile Doll." Treize gave a small
smile. "You've noticed there's no hatch. That's because these
versions don't require a pilot. They are completely automated."
Wufei stared up at him in surprise. "You'd send
robots to fight your wars for you?" he demanded incredulously.
Treize sighed. "As much as I would like to go over
the specifications and ramifications of the Dolls, I believe you are
here for another reason. We can talk about this later. Would you like
to go to the house now so we can talk?"
Wufei nodded jerkily and followed Treize out of the
hangar. He sent one last look over his shoulder at the Doll, feeling
his mouth twist in scorn. The Mobile Suits were weapons, yes, but they
were as Treize had described them: enormous suits of armor that helped
balance things in war. But to be so arrogant as to let a mindless,
emotionless robot go into battle....
He forced the topic from his mind, ignoring the
soldiers as he trailed after Treize to the main house. Kushrenada was
right, he reminded himself firmly. He wasn't here to question the nobility
of war. He was here for a much more personal reason. And if Heero
wasn't willing to answer his questions, he wasn't about to pass up the
chance to talk to someone who would.
Heero, he thought dryly, must be very angry at him
Almost carelessly Heero tilted the unconscious gate
guard off of his chair and onto the floor, his eyes already scanning
the monitors connected to the surveillance cameras.
These were the basic ones; they only showed the
grounds and just outside the fence. He claimed the newly vacated chair and
tugged the keyboard into his lap, eyes glued to the screens as his
fingers flew across the keys, searching for a way inside. There had to be
a main surveillance room that had cameras everywhere. They were most
likely sharing the same camera and line to see the grounds. If he could
hack into that feed, he should be able to see the rest of the
He tightened his jaw and scooted a little closer to
the desk, eyes flicking towards the window to make sure no one was
This could take awhile, he mused.
"We'll talk in my quarters," Treize announced as he
led his guest up the stairs in his mansion. "It should be more private
Wufei grunted his acknowledgement, eyes already
flicking left and right, taking it all in. The decor of the place was
screaming sophisticated money, though at least he saw maids more often than
he saw random guards patrolling the rooms.
They took the spiral staircase up to the third
floor, and when Treize held open one of the doors for him, Wufei only
hesitated a moment before entering the room.
My mother could fit her living room and
kitchen in here, Wufei thought drolly as he took in the impressive bedroom,
complete with lush tapestries and canopy bed. He thought he even
spotted a jacuzzi through the bathroom door. Beside the fireplace was an
ornate swordrack with several katanas, a broadsword, and a wide-bladed
saber. Wufei eyes lingered on the weapons, his hands itching for the
security of a hilt in his grip.
Treize was watching him with a small smile. "I like
to be comfortable," he murmured when Wufei arched a brow at him after a
moment. He gestured to the bed. "Please. Take a seat. I'll be with
you in a moment." He disappeared into the enormous walk-in closet.
Wufei hesitated, eyeing the bed warily, before
perching on the edge stiffly, ready to jump up and leave the moment he heard
or saw something that didn't agree with him.
"How much have your captors told you?" Treize called
from the closet.
It took Wufei a moment to realize he was referring
to Heero and the others. When, he wondered a little irritably, had he
stopped thinking of them as his kidnappers? It wasn't like they were...
well, friends or anything. "Next to nothing," he admitted crisply,
admiring a tapestry hanging by the bed. "Most of it I've had to try to
figure out on my own."
"I figured as much," came the dry reply. "Their
orders must have been very specific: find you and bring you to their
employers without giving anything away. Foolish, I think. How can you
trust a man who won't even be honest with you?"
Wufei glared towards the closet. "And you?" he
demanded. "Do you plan on being honest?"
Treize emerged from the closet, straightening the
front of the uniform he'd changed into. "As honest as possible," he
answered smoothly. "I'm afraid I don't know everything about you or your
kidnappers, but I do know something about your employer. And I know the
rumors concerning you and your... 'return'."
Wufei frowned at the change the other man had
undergone. While he had seemed like a sophisticated aristocrat in his
three-piece suit, the uniform made him look commanding and confident. Though
no less cultured. "Such as?"
"First I must know how much you know," Treize
pointed out, buttoning up his sleeve cuffs and studying Wufei with a
calm but thoughtful expression. "Do you know who Mr. Yuy's 'employer'
"Family." Treize finished with his buttons and
padded over to his dresser mirror to fix his hair. "They are working for
one of the few remaining relatives you have left. I suspect it's your
grandfather. He always was a tough man, and I can't imagine him letting
something like war end his life."
Wufei took in a sharp breath. Family. He'd
wondered if he'd had any remaining family left, but had never dared hope too
much. And a grandfather? He felt his heart quicken a little in
excitement. His grandfather was the one behind all this? He was trying to
see his grandson again? A moment later his mouth pulled down in another
dark frown. "If that's true, why all the secrecy?" he snapped. "If
Hee- If Yuy had said my grandfather wanted to see me, I would have gone
with him willingly."
Treize was quiet for a long moment, finishing his
hair before turning towards Wufei with a solemn face. "I'm going to tell
you something important, Wufei," he said gravely. "There are very few
people that know your family still exists. Common knowledge is that
your entire family was wiped out during the last war when your home
colony was destroyed."
Wufei felt his breath freeze in his lungs. It was
several moments before he could get his voice to work, and when it did,
the words were harsh and strained. "You're lying."
Treize looked vaguely disappointed in him. "I've
already assured you I'm willing to be as honest with you as possible," he
said quietly but firmly. "I'm sorry you have to find out like this,
but as I said, I don't know how much about your past and family you
already know. I know great pains have been taken to keep you sheltered and
in the dark, and I've heard a rumor that you seem to remember nothing
from before you came to earth, but--"
"Which colony?" Wufei interrupted.
Treize hesitated, then sighed, giving Wufei a
sympathetic look. "L5."
Wufei blinked. "L5?" he repeated incredulously.
His eyes narrowed. "Do you think I'm an idiot?" he spat. "There's no
such colony. The Federation had the first colonies named L1 through L4,
and the rest of the colonies had random numbers."
But Treize was shaking his head slowly. "History is
how people write it and remember. Or how people want to
remember it. In school they teach that there are only those four major
colonies, but in truth there were five of them."
Wufei shook his head fiercely, but couldn't think of
a denial that wouldn't make him sound ignorant.
"L5 was destroyed in the last war," Treize continued
quietly. "When you were very small."
"If it wasn't that long ago, why don't more people
know about it?" Wufei demanded harshly.
Treize gave a slight shrug. "For one, L5 wasn't
technically recognized as a major colony by most people. While the other
four colonies are populated by many different denominations and races,
L5 was run by one family, commissioned for and funded by one of your
Wufei opened his mouth and closed it again
Treize walked over to the window and gazed outside,
hands clasped behind his back. "Politically, L5 was a thorn in the
foot. They governed themselves, and pledged allegience to neither the
Federation nor Earth. They were a colony unto themselves. It was run and
inhabited by your family and their retainers. There were many wild
rumors and legends about your people, but as very few outsiders were
allowed on the colony, not much was really known about them. Your family
has always been full of warriors, and they have always been wealthy,
which got them some of the best technology available-- including Mobile
Suits to help discourage pirates and other overly curious people from
getting too close to their borders."
"Why?" Wufei's voice was almost a croak. His head
was spinning with all the information. "Why was L5 destroyed?"
"As I mentioned, they were a political blemish,"
Treize admitted. "It isn't surprising that they were targeted during the
war by a rogue faction of the Federation." He frowned slightly, still
gazing outside. "Some of Milliardo's men who decided to take the war
into their own hands. I'm sorry to say there was very little warning.
Many people-- many of your family and friends --were killed. Only some
managed to escape. Including you, obviously."
Wufei felt sick. The same man he had secretly felt
sorry for, the man he had thought was fighting for a real cause, had
been behind the destruction of his home and family. He opened his mouth
to speak, and through his mind flashed--
Fire, explosions rocking the stars, bright red
flames seen through wet eyes, smoke in the lungs, making it hard to
breathe, everything so hot.... A woman screaming.
Heero's face, young, a child. Eyes wild, his grip
on Wufei's arm numbing as he pulled at him, pulled him away, away from
the flames. Panic on a face he'd thought was unable to express
Wufei took in a sharp breath, closing his eyes
tightly and clenching his teeth furiously as he pushed the images back,
digging his fingers into the bed's comforter to root himself to the
No-- not like this. This wasn't how he wanted to
recover his memories. And what made it worse was that the images only
gave Treize's words more truth.
Treize, who was still facing the window, didn't
notice his reaction. "You were sent to earth so you could hide and be
safe. I suppose they figured they could bring you back when things were
"What do you mean 'settled'?" Wufei managed to
"Well, obviously, they had to find a new place to
live," Treize pointed out. "I've heard rumors that they've been
rebuilding, but their exact location cannot be found, even by military
Wufei stiffened, looking quickly at the older man.
Suspicion churned in his gut. "Why would anyone care?" he asked
slowly. "They're no longer a threat, are they?"
"They could become one," Treize said gravely,
turning to face him again. "Some people are worried. Even Senator
Peacecraft has raised the question a few times. They don't teach students the
tragedy of L5 because they don't want history to repeat itself. L5 was
more of a myth than anything else to the majority of the people. But
there are people in the government who know. And while Senator
Peacecraft wants to settle things peacefully, he still worries about the
future. As do we all."
Wufei could only glare at him in silence.
"You must understand." Treize's voice was soothing.
"Your family was one of fierce warriors. It was a large family,
influential and wealthy. There were whispers that they might try to revolt
against the Federation, or take over trade between Earth and space, or
even just between the colonies."
"My people were wiped out over rumors?" Wufei
growled from behind clenched teeth. "Because the government was
worried about money?"
"That's only a part of it," Treize cut in. "And of
course not all of us thought that. And as I told you before, it was an
independant faction that took out L5. There was no order to do so,
only whim. A whim driven by fear and distrust and hate."
Wufei leapt to his feet, fists clenched. "I think I
see where this is going," he snarled. "You want me to show you where
their new home is. Do you think I'm stupid?"
"We wish only to speak with them," Treize assured
him smoothly. "Settle things in a civilized manner before things come to
a head. It's not just the government; obviously your family has a
reason to be angry and desire ramification for what was done to them. If
anything, they're more dangerous than before." He paused. "And then
"What about me?" Wufei demanded. "I'm just your
map, right? I let Yuy and the others drag me to my grandfather, and you
"I would appreciate that," Treize agreed. "I won't
lie to you. But wouldn't you rather it be me and my men that went?
Besides..." he smiled, "you are much more than just a 'map', Chang
Wufei's eyes narrowed. "What are you talking
Treize started towards him slowly, never taking his
eyes from Wufei's. "The legends, rumors, and general stories about
your people are quite interesting," he murmured. "And coincidentally, you
happen to be right in the middle of said legends."
"Your people have a code of honor all their own,"
Treize went on, ignoring the question. "I think it goes, 'Honor comes
not in the strength to wield the sword, but in the strength it takes to
defend the weak'."
Wufei balked, taken aback as the words he'd read
countless times from the dragon blanket were thrown at him. "How--"
"It makes me think better of your people," Treize
admitted. "They sound very honorable. Obviously they see violence only
as a means to protect, which is admirable. Those words, however, are
doubtless meaningless now. Your family is angry. They have every right
to be. And we are in the middle of a war. It is the perfect
opportunity for them to strike."
Wufei had heard enough. It was obvious he was
useful to Treize only as a guide. And he'd be damned if he'd lead a full
military force to his people.
He dodged around Treize and leapt across the room to
the fireplace. Snatching up the saber, he rounded on the older man,
sword snapping up in a defensive position. "You're insane if you think
I'll help you," he snarled. "It's because of people like you that I'm
here. It was people like you and your damned soldiers that took my
family from me. I'm leaving. And if you try to follow me, I'll kill
Treize looked amused rather than disappointed. He
came forward slowly, and Wufei circled around him, looking for a clear
path to the door. He was irritated that Treize didn't seem in the least
"It doesn't have to be like this," Treize said
softly. "I admire your people, and to be quite frank, you fascinate me. I
wanted to meet you, to see what this focus of so much fancy and legend
"I don't know what you're talking about," Wufei
snapped, "and I don't care. If you're going to keep insisting about this
nonsense, then get yourself a sword and we'll settle this once and for
all. And after I defeat you, you can tell your damned Suits to stay the
hell away from me."
Treize only smiled. "So violent," he chuckled, and
retrieved the broadsword from the rack. He held it up straight in a
salute, a smile still hovering on his lips. "I must admit, I'd almost
hoped this would happen," he said almost apologetically. "To fight a
Chang one-on-one is a rare priveledge. En guard." And he sprang forward,
sword flashing to the side in a deadly arch.
Heero had his gun out and aimed at the doorway the
moment he heard the scrape of feet on gravel, his eyes still on the
computer screen before him. The sound of a round being chambered was very
loud in the small room.
The person in the doorway froze, and out of the
corner of his eye he saw hands raise to the sky. Then came a familiar
chuckle. "Whoa, simmer down, Heero, it's just me."
Heero put his gun back on the desk, eyes flicking
towards his unwanted visitor as his fingers continued to fly over the
keyboard. "Duo. What are you doing here?"
Duo grinned, dumping himself in the other chair and
using one of the unconscious gate guards as a foot rest. "I figured
you might need a little backup if things got crazy. And I was bored,
so..." he shrugged. "Quatre an' Tro are waiting for us at a hotel about
an hour away from the shuttle port. What's happening so far?"
Heero gave a small grunt of satisfaction as the view
on the video screens around him changed abruptly to rooms in the house.
Duo leaned forward curiously, studying the images. "Not bad. I don't
see 'Fei anywhere, though."
Heero ignored him, tapping in a few more commands,
eyes glued to the screens.
"Wait-- there," Duo said sharply.
Heero lifted his hands from the keyboard sharply and
leaned forward slightly to look at the screen Duo was pointing at.
"Uh oh," Duo muttered, face suddenly grim. "Looks
like they're not hitting it off too well after all." He grabbed Heero's
wrist before he could seize his gun. "Hold on a second, Heero. You
know Wufei can handle himself. And what reason does Kushrenada have to
kill him? Just hold on a minute."
Heero had to fight to keep still, his mouth
tightening as he watched the fight on the screen with his heart in his throat.
What if Duo was wrong? If Treize decided Wufei was better off dead...
He forced himself to keep his seat. No. Another man might want Wufei
out of the picture, but that wasn't Treize's way. And if he had
promised not to harm the other boy, he would keep his word. Hopefully.
Treize and Wufei were dancing across the room on
screen, swords flickering and smashing at each other. Wufei's face was
contorted in rage, teeth bared as he threw all his strength into his
attack. Treize remained composed, a faint smile on his face as he met
Wufei blow for blow. This went on for only a few minutes before Treize
suddenly began hacking at Wufei with more strength and speed. It wasn't
long before Wufei was forced to go on the defensive, pressed back under
the savage assault.
Duo drew in a sharp breath as, with one thundering
blow, Treize knocked the sword from Wufei's hands and sent it spinning
across the room.
Wufei couldn't hold back a gasp of shock as the last
blow struck his sword away, leaving his hands numb and ringing. He
stumbled back, clutching his right hand unconsciously and gritting his
teeth against the pain as he glared furiously up at the man who had beaten
Treize offered a slow smile, placing the tip of his
sword to Wufei's chin so he was forced to lift his head and meet the
older man's gaze. "Not bad," Treize complimented. "And don't feel
disappointed; I've been trained in the art of war since before you were
born, no doubt. It's simply more experience."
And strength, Wufei thought sullenly, hands starting
to throb. He glared in silence.
Treize's smile widened. "You know, in these legends
I spoke of earlier, there's mention of... a weakness. Your
Wufei bared his teeth in a silent snarl of defiance.
"Do you think this is some stupid game?"
Treize chuckled. "No. No game." He applied more
pressure to the blade, and Wufei was forced to tilt his head even
farther. Treize stepped forward, into his personal space. Wufei quickly
retreated a few steps, as much to remove the sword from his skin as to get
away from the older man. But man and blade followed, and after two
more backwards steps, the backs of his legs hit the edge of the bed.
He lowered his fists by his sides and glared
venomously up at Treize. "What do you want with me?" he demanded. "What are
these 'legends' and rumors you keep babbling about?"
"Now that's something you can find out on your own,"
Treize pointed out, amused. "Now that you know what to look for..."
The swordtip skimmed down Wufei's chin and pressed warningly against
Wufei's throat. Wufei held his ground until he was sure the blade was
about to cut into him, then slowly forced himself to sit on the edge of the
Treize turned the sword sideways so the razor-sharp
edge was against Wufei's throat, and pushed abruptly. Wufei jerked
back to get away from it, and tumbled onto his back. In a flash Treize
was on the bed with him, knees on either side of his hips. The sword was
lifted, and a hand twice the size of his own seized a fistful of shirt
and hauled him up so that he was lying in the center of the bed.
"Hey-!" Wufei squawked, twisting quickly to roll
off, already struggling to pull the hand from his shirt. The hand left
his shirt to snatch his wrist. He jerked his free hand up to get a blow
in, but Treize dropped the sword and snatched that arm as well.
Then Treize was leaning over him, pinning his hands
to the bed by his shoulders. Wufei went tense as a wire, staring
wildly up at the face only inches from his.
Treize's eyes scanned his face almost thoughtfully,
mouth still quirked in a tiny smile. "I've wanted to meet you for a
very long time, Chang Wufei," he admitted in a low, rumbling tone. "And
now here I am. Meeting the legend, as it were. You fascinate me."
Wufei's mouth felt dry as cotton, and it was a
struggle to swallow, much less keep his breathing even. He tested the grip
on his wrists, but Treize had weight and strength against him. He
tried to relax, to prepare himself for an opening, but tension was humming
through his body, his muscles stiff and unresponsive in shock.
"Get off of me," he managed to grind out.
"You must understand," Treize murmured, lowering his
head so that he was speaking in Wufei's ear. "I, like Senator
Peacecraft, would prefer a peaceful end to all of this. But I need your
cooperation to do this. I need your help. You must be the go-between. Your
family must be willing to talk."
Wufei twisted his head to the side in an attempt to
get away from the mouth brushing his earlobe. "Stop it," he gasped,
"Unlike Senator Peacecraft, however," Treize
continued, moving his mouth so that his lips hovered just over Wufei's throat,
"I am willing to do what must be done for the good of mankind. If your
family poses a threat, it will be I that is forced to deal with the
problem. And I would really rather not."
Wufei strained, struggling to free his arms from
Treize's firm grip. "You'd do it again?" he shouted. "Wipe them out like
cockroaches? Get off of me!!"
"Pity," Treize sighed, barely audible. He released
one of Wufei's wrists.
Wufei brought his fist down hard and quick for a
blow to the temple, but evidently Treize was anticipating it; he jerked
his head to the side, at the same time sliding his hand between Wufei and
the bed and up under his shirt.
Wufei gasped, mortified. "What are you--"
Then tapered fingers brushed against his Mark, and
pain exploded up and down his spine.
Wufei screamed in shock and pain, arching off the
bed. Treize lowered himself more so that Wufei was forced back down, his
voice calming. "Shh. It's all right. I can't have you creating
havoc." He pulled his hand away.
Wufei lay gasping for breath, his body shuddering in
the aftermath. It was as if someone had taken a sledgehammer to his
lower back. Not only that, he felt as if he'd barely escaped drowning.
His breaths were ragged, and exhaustion was in every limb. Only
stubborn pride kept him conscious.
"Interesting," Treize was musing. "I'd wondered how
it would work, exactly." He lay there for a moment more, still studying
Wufei's face and tapping his fingers thoughtfully against Wufei's pale
cheek. Abruptly he rolled over and rose to his feet in one fluid
movement. "Please accept my apologies," he said, voice back to its normal
confident tone. He straightened his uniform, watching the gasping boy
on his bed with hooded lids. "I have no wish to kill you. You should
consider yourself fortunate that it was I who found you. All I have
done is made sure you are no longer a threat."
Wufei attempted to sit up and fell back with a sharp
gasp of pain. He closed his eyes tightly and clenched his teeth,
trying to concentrate on anything but the exhaustion and the agony still
rippling up and down his spine like an aftershock. "What... did you... do
to me?" he gasped.
"Your Mark is vulnerable right now," Treize informed
him, heading over to his desk to collect a few pieces of paper. "I
suppose it won't have its own defenses until you're of age. You may rest
here; you're not really in any position to leave. If you still wish to
meet those children, you may leave when you feel up to it. I would
prefer it if you would stay, however." He turned to offer Wufei a small,
polite smile. "If you'll excuse me, I'm afraid I must go. I'll return
in an hour to--"
Outside, the birds cut off their songs abruptly as
the sounds of gunfire exploded on the air.
"What in the--" Treize strode to the window and
whisked the curtain aside, looking out into the grounds with a small frown
on his aristocratic face.
Wufei wondered why there was no doubt in his mind at
who it was causing all the fuss.
His mouth twisted into a painful but savage
Heero had come after him, after all.
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