Chapter 38: "Truths and Distractions"
Wufei leaned back in his chair and set his empty cup aside, watching Relena keenly for her reaction. He had given her the same explanation he had given to Hilde, but wasn't sure what kind of response to expect. Hilde had known him long enough to trust him to tell the truth and not embellish, but he could see Relena as the type to go in denial about most of what he had recounted; especially the parts concerning her brother and Kushrenada.
Relena, seated across from him at the small break table, was frowning into her tea, hands clasped around the mug for warmth. Surprisingly, she had offered little interruptions during his speech, though her expressions had shifted from incredulous to confused at several points. After a long moment, she finally looked up and blinked. "Well..." she said slowly. "It certainly is quite a bit to swallow, isn't it?" She cleared her throat, glancing back down into her mug. "I admit, most of it sounds, erm, uncanny. Other parts are just plain puzzling. But..." she took a breath. "Hilde has vouched for you since the moment we left earth. And despite your temper, you have proven to be a decent man. I suppose I was just too strung-out and suspicious of everything to have noticed." She looked up at him steadily. "Thank you for telling me."
Wufei shrugged, reaching for the nearly empty teapot between them. "You had a right to know," he admitted. "For some reason Heero's employer thinks you need to come along. Leaving you in the dark will only keep you more suspicious." He shifted uncomfortably, feeling her words of faith deserved some in turn. "I guess I wasn't as patient as I should have been," he grumbled, pouring himself his fourth cup of tea. "I reacted similarly when Trowa took me away from my mother. It took me awhile to finally relax around these buffoons, and that was only after I'd gotten to know them better and they'd given some explanations."
Relena accepted the veiled apology with a small nod. "This business with Treize has me concerned," she murmured, taking a sip of tea. "Going so far as to put his daughter on board and give her free reign to do the things she did... It makes his intentions almost sinister. If peace was really all he wanted, couldn't he have contacted you once your journey was over? Instead, it's as you say-- he seems determined to influence you before you discover much more. As for my brother's men and their attack of your home colony..."
Wufei tensed. This was the one part of his story he didn't expect Relena to take well.
"Please keep in mind that my brother most likely had nothing to do with that," Relena said firmly, gazing at him pleadingly. "You even said that he seemed confused when you mentioned it on his ship. I'm sure he of course knows of what occurred, but my brother would never condone such an attack. Even Treize mentioned that those men acted on their own. It was a horrible deed, but please don't hold my brother responsible. I may not agree with him for the path he chose, but he is only trying to do what he thinks is right. But not with underhanded methods."
Wufei shrugged, frowning slightly into his tea. "I don't," he admitted in a gruff mutter. "He seems like an honest man, despite his role in this war. He only wants what's best for the colonists, so far as I can tell."
Relena smiled a bit shyly at him. "Thank you for telling me," she said quietly. "I'm glad you agreed to talk with me. Besides... I feel like I know you a bit better."
Wufei nodded absently, biting his tongue to keep what he wanted to say inside. He felt a compulsion to tell her to stay away from Heero, a thought deep in the sulking jealous part of his mind that he usually chose to ignore. But he could think of no way to request such a thing without making the other girl suspicious. What did it matter, anyway? Heero was obviously not interested in her. Nothing was going to happen between the two of them.
The door slid open and Heero stepped in, glancing at each of them, his face an expressionless mask. "Finished?" he demanded a bit curtly.
Wufei rose to his feet, relieved to be done. "Yes. What is it?"
Heero was giving Relena a slightly suspicious look, but he beckoned to Wufei. "We've been contacted. It's almost time for the rendezvous."
Wufei nodded slightly to Relena and followed the other boy into the hall. "Who exactly are we meeting?" he asked once the door was shut, leaving Relena gazing into space, lost in thought.
"That's what I wanted to talk about," Heero admitted, relaxing slightly once they'd left the girl behind. He led the way towards the main deck. "You'll be meeting people from your Clan, as well as a few from the Clans under your own."
Wufei took in a quick breath of surprise, his heart speeding up a beat or two at the thought of finally coming in contact with his long-lost people. "Will my grandfather be there?" he asked eagerly.
"He couldn't make the trip," Heero said. "He's too old. He'll be waiting for us on the new colony. I think your Aunt will be there, however. I doubt you remember her-- her name's Mingzhu."
Wufei wracked his mind, but could only think of one dream where an aunt had made an appearance. He related his memory of the conversation between his aunt and another woman. "They must have been talking about Duo," he finished. "My aunt didn't like the idea of him becoming a Guardian."
Heero nodded decisively. "I don't really remember that conversation, but I do know Mingzhu has never approved of Duo. The other woman was probably your old nursemaid, Yingtai. I remember her defending Duo a few times, and sticking up for the two of us when we'd pull stupid pranks. Though she probably only spoke up for Duo because of you. No one was happy when Duo was accepted. Including Duo." He snorted at the memory. "When your father gave the order for him to be brought to L5, he was dragged in kicking and screaming. He threw tantrums for days, demanding to be let go. Then suddenly he just calmed down. I'm assuming your grandfather had a talk with him."
Wufei barely heard him. He'd gotten caught on the word "father". "Why is it," he asked quietly, gazing straight ahead, "that out of all these dreams, I've never once had one of my parents?"
Heero glanced at him quickly out of the corner of his eye. "You were pretty young," he hedged.
Wufei shook his head sharply. "I've recovered memories relating to my aunt, my nursemaid, Zhao, and my martial arts instructor. Why would I remember them and not my own parents?"
Heero took in a slow, deep breath. "Did it ever occur to you why you got amnesia?"
Wufei shrugged. "The shrink my mother-- foster mother --took me to said it could have been a head injury, or some other trauma. He said I could have blocked the memories because of something painful." He stopped, thinking suddenly of fire and the scent of burning flesh.
He must have made a strange face, because Heero stopped and took his elbow in a light grip to stop him. "You said once you'd dreamed of fire," he pointed out quietly. "And that you thought someone in the dream might have died." He hesitated. "Was it a woman?"
Wufei nodded once. "There was a man," he forced himself to say. "I think it was her murderer. I don't remember what he looked like, though." He swallowed hard, feeling dread well in his chest. "That woman--"
"Your last day on L5 was a horrible one," Heero said. "When we found out you had no memory of your past before Earth, we weren't surprised. You probably didn't want to remember what happened that day. It was traumatizing for a boy that young. Parts of it are a bit hazy to me, too-- though mostly because for the most part I was looking all over the place for you. I was a little too panicked to pay much attention to what was going on."
"That woman," Wufei interrupted sharply. "She was...?" he couldn't make himself say it.
Heero studied him solemnly for a long moment. "Your mother," he finished in a murmur.
Wufei looked away quickly, clenching his teeth so hard it hurt his jaw. "I think a part of me thought as much," he said through his teeth. "I just didn't want to accept it."
Heero frowned. "That man... You said you don't remember his face? It was never found out who was ultimately responsible for that day. Some of them were apprehended, but we never found out who led the revolt. I don't remember any man being in the room when I finally found you."
Wufei struggled to concentrate on his blurry memory of the man instead of the burning body that had been behind him. "No," he admitted slowly. "Too much smoke. I just remember he had a blade of some kind, and it was covered in blood." He curled his hands into fists. "Her blood."
"Never mind," Heero said suddenly. "I didn't mean to make you think about it."
"No," Wufei cut him off. "It's better that I know." He forced himself to unclench his fists and started briskly down the hall again. "You said revolt. What happened that day?"
Heero was silent for a moment, organizing his thoughts. "I'm assuming Treize told you a bit about L5, and the goverment's interest in them in the last war."
Wufei nodded. "L5 was a political blemish," he said shortly. "Some saw it as a threat."
"Right. L5 didn't win any popularity contests that year. They even refused to fight in the war; they thought the reasons behind the war did not justify the actions of either side. Apparently the war held no interest for them, so they remained neutral. Since that meant they were doing business with both sides, a lot of people were unhappy with them. Most especially Earth's government. Some of the people of the Clans thought that a side should be chosen. They wanted to be recognized as an official major colony. They thought that if the colonists won, they'd have a better chance at that right. They didn't trust the Earth's government to keep their word. But your Clan's decision was final. No sides were officially chosen."
"And they didn't like that," Wufei surmised. "Those people that wanted to join with the colonists."
Heero nodded. "There were other issues already; the war just made things worse. You'll learn more about most of this later. Anyway, one day several people of the outer Clans just suddenly revolted. We think now that they made a deal with Milliardo, or some of his officers. There's no way to be certain; all the men that were in on it that we know about were killed. But we still have no idea who orchestrated the whole event." He hesitated, then continued, "The attack on the colony from Milliardo's men came in the middle of the revolt. Whether that's how it was planned or if they struck too soon isn't certain. Very few managed to escape. I think you and I were the last two people, on the last ship that managed to clear the colony in time."
"And my father?"
Heero shook his head slowly. "He was one of the first people killed," he said quietly. "It started the fighting. That's when I went looking for you, but things got chaotic fast." He took a quick look at Wufei's expression and said abruptly, "You'll learn more from your grandfather. It's better that you hear it from him, anyway."
Wufei nodded, struggling with the emotions churning inside, fighting to keep them suppressed. This was not the time to mourn or rage. He needed more information, and more private settings. Once he had been told everything, he promised himself silently, he would find a room and let himself think more clearly about it all. But for now, he had to put on a strong face for the people he was about to meet. A lot of trouble had been gone through just to get him back with his people. He wasn't about to disappoint them if he could help it.
Heero glanced around the empty hall, then snagged his shirt collar and pulled him up short.
Wufei squawked indignantly, stumbling back into the other boy. "Yuy, what are you--"
Heero smothered his protests with a quick, rough kiss. Wufei flushed, staring up at him when he pulled away a moment later. "What are you doing?" he muttered, embarrassed.
"Getting your mind off of it."
Wufei made a face, smacking Heero in the arm as he pulled away. "Idiot," he growled. He hesitated. There was no telling how much privacy they would get on his Clan's ship. And from the way Trowa reacted to any signs of... less-than-professionalism between them, obviously the privacy would be even harder to find on-colony. Impulsively he seized his friend's arm and dragged him back the way they had come.
Wufei found what he was looking for-- one of the smaller workrooms that was rarely used in preference to the larger, more equipped ones. He yanked Heero inside, slid the door shut, and activated the lock. He stood toe to toe with his baffled partner and slid his hand up a strong arm to dig his fingers into a broad shoulder. "Fine, distract me," he commanded.
Heero blinked, obviously taken off guard. Wufei faltered, a little surprised at his own boldness and wondering if he'd moved too soon--
An instant later the breath was whooshing out of his lungs as his back collided solidly with the door, one calloused hand clasping his jaw, the other pressed to the jut of his hipbone. Wufei gave a little huff of mingled surprise and amusement against Heero's mouth and shifted to free his own arms, looping them around a slender waist to tug the other boy's body firmly against his own.
Their first kisses just hours earlier had been exploratory and somewhat hesitant. Now need and a quiet edge of desperation made both their mouths hungry and rough. Teeth scraped against lips, tongues fought fiercely, and Wufei forgot whether or not he was supposed to be breathing at all. Heero leaned into him heavily, instinctively angling his hips against Wufei's own and a moment later-- god --he began to move.
Wufei couldn't stop the small sound that rose in the back of his throat at the sensation, digging his fingers painfully into a strong back as Heero's hardness rocked against his own roughly, again and again. He gasped, tearing his mouth from Heero's and jerking his hands up to clutch at his partner's shoulders desperately. Heero's mouth was against his jaw, close to his ear, his breathing quick and heavy. It sent a rush of heat through Wufei's body. He was the one affecting the untouchable Heero Yuy this way. He was the one making it difficult for the other to breathe, making him hard, making him feel this-- and jesuschristitfeltgood.
Wufei gave another sharp gasp as the movement of Heero's hips grew faster and stronger, crushing him against the door even as his own pelvis arched forward of its own accord, desperately seeking even more friction.
Heero groaned, quietly and low in his throat, and it sounded suspiciously like Wufei's name.
"Shit!" Wufei hissed, his grip on Heero's shoulders numbing. It was hard to see, hard to breathe, hard to think... Then suddenly the rapid pleasure exploded all at once, and he buried his face in a taunt neck and bit the flesh there fiercely to keep back a sudden cry.
Heero jerked in surprise at the sudden bite, then gasped loudly, arching into the curve of Wufei's body with one last twist of his hips. Then he sagged abruptly, panting for breath, his hands on the sides of Wufei's waist shaking slightly.
Wufei leaned his forehead on Heero's shoulder and concentrated on getting his own breath back, eyes closed in the aftermath. He let his arms fall limply from Heero's shoulders, brain still frantically trying to catch up with his body somewhere. But he refused to let himself be embarrassed by what had just occurred. He blew out a long breath of air, and all that day's tension seemed to go with it. A lazy smile twitched at the corner of his mouth. "Not quite what I was expecting," he murmured, "but that works, too."
"Hn," Heero snorted quietly, jabbing him in the stomach with a thumb, still refusing to release his grip. "You're the one who dragged me into an empty room."
"Pervert," Wufei accused, but with a note of humor in his voice.
"You're making me one," Heero shot back.
Wufei chuckled, lifting his head. He frowned in discomfort as he became aware of the cold wet spot making itself known on the front of his pants. "Damn..."
Heero leaned back slightly, frowning down at his own waist. "We should probably clean up and change before meeting with the others," he observed.
"Yes, this would make a great first impression," Wufei drawled.
Hilde was trailing after Trowa and Quatre towards the main deck when Duo popped out of the restroom and caught sight of her. She avoided his gaze, but he snagged her sleeve as she walked by. "Hil-- wait." He glanced towards the other two, who had stopped to wait on her. "Um, can we talk? In private?"
Hilde carefully tugged her arm free. "Not now, Duo," she said quietly.
Duo took her elbow in a light but insistant grip. "It will only take a second."
Hilde stared up at him for a moment in silence, then shot a glance towards the others. Quatre caught the hint and touched Trowa on the arm, starting down the hall again. Trowa followed without comment. Hilde watched them go for a moment, stalling. "Trowa doesn't catch on very quick, does he?" she observed quietly.
"What? Oh..." Duo glanced over his shoulder to watch the two of them ruefully. "'Fraid not. Him and Heero are a little dense when it comes to things like that." He cleared his throat. "Look, about... earlier...."
"You scared me, Duo," she said firmly, staring him right in the face, expression solemn. "That was a side of you I wish I'd never had to see."
Duo winced, eyes flinching away from her steady gaze. "Yeah, um..." He scratched the back of his head nervously. "I know. I didn't want you to see that, but..."
"No, I'm glad I did," Hilde interrupted calmly. "Relena was right. I needed to see that darker side of you." She paused. "It cleared things up a little. This..." she made a vague gesture between them, "was obviously a mistake. We barely know each other-- you proved that. It was just hormones and silly teenage crushes. Jesus, Duo, we're not even really 'dating'. We just.." she blushed a little, "make out every now and then."
Duo looked uncomfortable. "Yeah, um... Dating isn't really my strong point," he admitted. "I mean, it's not cuz I think I'm some kind of player or anything. I do have my reasons."
"Being a Guardian," Hilde guessed.
"That's part of it," Duo edged. "It's just that... well, the future's pretty uncertain for all of us. But more so for me, I guess."
Hilde frowned, puzzled. "Why? Actually, I'd think the one who'd be most uncertain about their future right now-- of the four of you --is Heero." Her expression creased in sympathy. "Poor Wufei and Heero... it's obvious something's going on. But from what I've heard and the way I've seen Trowa watching them like a hawk, I get the feeling that once we get to wherever we're going, things will be a lot harder for them. It must be hard for Heero to accept. He has to be Wufei's bodyguard, but he won't be allowed to be anything else."
"Yeah, I feel for him," Duo agreed, eyes shadowed. "I thought that retard would never feel anything for anyone. Not in that way, anyway. But there's no way a relationship between them would be tolerated by the Clans."
"Wufei's the same. He's never looked twice at anybody." Hilde felt a surge of indignation on behalf of her friend. "Why?" she demanded. "Why can't they be happy? Are the people we're meeting really so old-fashioned and bigoted that they can't allow two people who have obvious feelings for each other to be with each other? It's not fair."
"It's not like that with all of them," Duo assured her. "There are some that I don't think would give a flying flip. If it was anyone but 'Fei, that is. He's too important to them. They've got big plans for that guy. A relationship with his Primary Guardian-- his male Guardian --doesn't exactly fall into that plan anywhere."
Hilde's eyes narrowed in suspicion. She was not third in her class for nothing. "You know, I can think of only one excuse behind all this paranoia about Wufei being in a relationship 'outside of plans'," she started to say.
Duo held up his hands. "Whoa, I can't talk about this," he said quickly. "And I suggest you don't bring up any of your theories with Wufei. If you're wrong, you could get him all worked up for nothing."
"I'm having a hard time thinking of ways I could be wrong," Hilde growled. "Just what the hell are you getting him into? Why's he so goddamn important?"
A frown tugged at Duo's mouth. "Hey, I thought we were supposed to talk about us."
Hilde averted her eyes. "There's nothing else to talk about," she muttered. "You made me realize I don't know who you are. And all this secrecy makes it plain I can't even trust you completely."
A flash of hurt crossed Duo's face, but was gone before she looked back at him.
"Wufei warned me once that you're a dangerous man," she said quietly, lower lip trembling. "So did Relena. I guess I just refused to see it."
"You think I'd hurt you?" Duo blurted in disbelief.
Hilde hesitated, then shook her head briefly, biting her lip and blinking hard to disguise the moisture in them. "There's no way for me to know," she admitted. "And after the way you treated Heero-- your best friend --and the way you looked at Wufei when you were arguing about... whatever it is he has that you want..." She tightened her jaw. "I don't even know if I trust you with Wufei's life."
"I like you, Duo," Hilde blurted. "But Wufei is my best friend. We've known each other for years. And at this point, if it comes down to you or him..." she took a deep breath, "I'm with Wufei. I'll always be there to watch his back, whether he wants me to or not. I'll protect him as well as I can. Even if that means protecting him from you one day."
Duo took in a slow breath. "Look, Hil, I'm glad you're so loyal to the little pincushion," he admitted. "But I would never turn on Wufei."
Hilde hesitated, considering the sincerity of his tone. "You told me once that you never lie," she said at last. "So I would like to believe that you're as loyal in your Guardianship role as you claim to be. But you need to answer me one thing, or I might never talk to you again, Duo Maxwell."
"Fire away," Duo said with a sad attempt at casualness.
"That man back in the shuttle port on earth. The one Heero left you to question..." She looked him right in the eye. "What did you do to him when he didn't talk?"
Duo gazed back at her for a long moment, face shifting into something almost eerily calm. "I cut his throat," he said simply.
"Hey, you two!" Relena came hurrying towards them from around the corner. "The other ship's just been spotted. Some of the passengers will be boarding soon to meet us. Howard wants everyone in the control room."
Hilde tore her eyes away from Duo's, clearing her throat. "All right."
Duo looked away, stuffing his hands in his pockets. "I'll find Heero and 'Fei," he said in a monotone.
Hilde barely nodded in acknowledgement, already leaving with Relena. Duo turned on his heel to watch them leave, mouth set in a tight line, head ducked slightly to hide his expression within the ragged shadow of his bangs. Whatever thoughts crossed the mind of the enigmatic thief were tucked carefully away out of sight, buried deep with his secrets and his half-truths.
Author's Notes: mwahahaha some smut at last XD
Also, for anyone that flared up at Hilde after that last conversation btw her and Duo... *pets her protectively* good lord, can you blame the girl? @_@; She needs time to sort through this on her own.
Next chapter up fairly soon, I hope ^^ This one was stalled by a horrible few days at work that put me in no mood to write smutty 1x5ness ^.^;;; Ja~
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