Another Murder of Crows: Part 12

"How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood. How much wood would a wood–oh forget it!" I rolled onto my stomach, my face buried in the pillow, and started pounding on the bed with balled fists, screaming into the pillow. It is now–I glanced at the clock–two thirty eight in the morning, and I'm awake. Wide awake. Wide awake and aware. Utterly wide awake and aware.

Wufei left me alone to sleep, and I have done everything except that. I repacked my clothes, rearranged the clothes in the guest closet, moved the furniture around a bit before returning them back to their original place, twice, and dusted the window. Not only am I awake, I'm also bored. Oh yeah, I managed to jab myself with the Bowie a few times, if not to make me bleed then just to keep me up. Yay.

I flopped on my back and stared at the ceiling. I already tried to count sheep. That didn't work. I recited the alphabet in English and Arabic. That didn't go over too well either. Gah. I hope Relena doesn't have anything important planned for tomorrow, because I will be completely useless. That's all I need to hear. I can see it now, ‘Peace attempts fail: Billionaire Quatre Winner snores through Convention.' The papers will eat it up.

I decided to get out of bed, since I wasn't sleeping anyway, and paced the room, trying to find the root of my problem. I'm usually out like a light when my head touches the pillow, but tonight seems to be the exception. What's my problem? I know what it is, but I don't want to face it. Trowa. That's my problem. I'm worried. I know his abilities. I know his strengths. Statistically, he is fine. I should share in Duo's and Wufei's confidence, but I can't. That's just me. He has always come out on top, never really been defeated, and the one time he was, it was because of me. So why am I worried? Because all it takes is that one time. It happened before, so it can happen again.

After I stubbed my toe on the legs of the bed, for the umpteenth time, I decided to sit down. I don't need a broken foot to add to my list of woes. So, sitting on the edge, I began swinging my legs, a sudden burst of energy flowing through my veins. Pretty soon, I'm going to have to be scrapped from the ceiling. And to add to my troubles, I know that Iria actually practices our religion, so there isn't a trace of alcohol in the house. There goes my chance of drinking my way to oblivion.

I hopped off the bed again, this time intending to go downstairs in search of sleeping pills when the phone rang. That, in itself, nearly gave me a heart attack. I'm staying in one of the guest rooms, where the main phone line is usually called and transferred up to this room, not calls coming here directly, adding to the fact that its nearly three in the morning. However, since I'm up, and have nothing else better to do, I might as well answer it. For all I know, it could be the sandman.


"So you are awake," came the simple reply. The screen was then illuminated somewhat by nearby candles and I could see Heero's face appear in the soft glow.

"Odin! How was your trip, and what are you doing up?"

He ran his fingers through his hair, for it to only fall back to its previous place. "It was fine, and I couldn't sleep. I figured you couldn't either. Everything okay?"

I shook my head slowly, a smirk tugging at my lips. "And they say I'm an empath."

He smiled back. "I only have a connection with you and a very select few. That doesn't make me an empath. I think its because of being around you for so long."

I snorted. "Whatever."

"So what's bothering you?" He crossed his arms across his bare chest and leaned back on what appears to be a papa san. "Something's obviously the matter, else you wouldn't have even answered the phone."

I tucked some loose strands of hair behind my ears, and looked back at the vid–screen. "I got some bad news today."


"Yeah, Catherine called today. She said that....that. Huh. She said that her brother is missing."

Heero stiffened. "Trowa?"

I rolled my eyes. "Duh Odin. How many brothers does she have?"

He stiffened even more. "Why did she call you?"

I snorted again and spread my arms out in bewilderment. "I don't know! I guess she thought that I could track him down or something," I shrugged, "but Duo and Wufei think he just split again, maybe because of crazy carnies was Duo's explanation. In either case....I'm worried."

Heero's jaw seemed to be set in a tight lock for a moment before he spoke again. "How is Duo?"

I managed not to smile...from ear to ear. "He's fine, just great. But he and Hilde are starting to drive me crazy. How's Relena?"

"Fine." His response was very clipped.

"What happened now?" I swung my legs around me so that I could lay on my stomach, and prop up on my elbows.

This time he ran both hands through his hair. "She and Noin wanted to see a play today. It was called the Nutcracker."

"Yeah, it's a classic."

"Well," he stopped looking at me and started staring at his hands, "she and Noin made me and Zechs go."

I choked on my spit from my sudden outburst of laughter. Oh, what I would give to have seen the look on his face when he had to go. It's almost worth fighting another war. Almost.

When I finally calmed down, and was able to breathe again, I saw that Heero did not seem happy. Whoops. "Odin," I managed to say past my chuckles, "its just a play. That's not the problem though. If Wufei or Duo ever found out you went, you'll never live it down."

He blanched slightly at that thought, and that sent me on another round of choking/laughing. When I finally got back in control of myself, which was still very, very shaky, I saw that he had a small smile on his lips. "Go to sleep," he whispered, "you will have a rough day tomorrow."

I didn't want to ask what he meant by that, but I trusted Heero with my life, so I'll take his word for it. "Okay, good night Odin. Kiss Relena for me."

He gave me another small smile before bowing his head slightly and disconnecting the call. I decided to go for a small walk around the house, or better yet, relax on the balcony before going to bed. So, getting up and walking out of the room, I quietly sidled down the hallway, sure not to wake up anybody, or that if someone was awake, they would know I'm walking down the hall and not trying to break in and steal something. Anyway, I turned the conversation over in my mind, stifling the laughter that keeps trying to escape. I hope to Allah Dorothy or somebody took pictures. Heero in a tux is something I can't possibly imagine.

I also turned over what he meant by a ‘rough day' tomorrow. Could it be that something happened? If White Fang attacked, surely we would've been the first to be notified. That can't be it. I should've asked how, but knowing him, he wouldn't say anything over an unsecured line. Might as well not worry about it.

I finally made it to the balcony, and stepped through the glass doors just as the cold wind nipped delicately at my skin. Turning my nose up, I inhaled the ventilated air, enjoying its scent but longing to smell that of purity, which is only found on Earth. I opened my eyes to see the moon–well–you can't help but see the moon, and traced over its cracks with my index finger, memorizing its secrets. Tomorrow, I will see it from afar, and the details won't be there.

I heard footsteps stop right behind me and before I realized what I was doing, I reached over to my side to grab the knife, which wasn't there. I left it upstairs. Quickly, I turned around and saw Wufei standing there, with a smug smirk on his face.

"And you say Duo and I are jumpy."

I smirked back at him. "Shut up. Why are you awake anyway? Heard from Sally?"

He walked up to the rail and leaned against it, facing me. "Yeah, I called her from the office. She's doing fine. They all are, and the situation is just about under control. Nobody else is getting sick and everyone who is sick is getting treatment. Besides that, I'm just awake. Must be a case of insomnia."

I nodded my head. "That seems to be going around tonight."

Wufei raised an eyebrow at me but didn't comment. "So what's up with you?"

I shrugged my shoulders. "Barton. What's yours?"

He sighed irritably but didn't comment. "It's not worth bringing up."

I slowly walked up to him and shook my head. "You're breaking the rules Fei. Talk."

Wufei's entire demeanor changed. Suddenly, he seemed very angry and frustrated, perhaps even violent. Pacing the length of the balcony, he began his rant. "This whole thing," he growled, "is a god damn cat–and–mouse game."

"What is?"

He stopped in front of me and flailed his arms about wildy, trying to point in every possible direction. "This is. Everything was so subtle at first. A crow showed up, then you and that guy at the mall. Now the shit's getting bigger. The mirror and the hole in the wall, and now you being attacked on a train? That's bullshit! Quatre, you are a great fighter, one of the best in the universe, don't you know that? Some smuck off the street can't just up and kick you ass on a whim! Not even beating you up really, just trying to...trying to..."

Wufei only distastefully spit at the ground, unable to complete his sentence. I glad he didn't, I really didn't need the reminder. I'm reminded every time I look in the mirror, or at my wrists.

"He's playing a game," he finally managed to say, his head dropping to his chest, "he's playing a game with us. We're the mouse. He lets us run around in our maze a little bit before he slams his paw down on our tail, then releases us so that he could catch us again. He's playing a fucking game with us. He could've had you and has had you without you even realizing it. It could've even started before Duo or I ever noticed it. The next time something like this happens, when it happens, he might decide that enough's enough, and someone could die...." He looked up at me, his shoulders slumping in resignation.

I stared back at him. What do you say to that? I'm sorry? It's not my fault? Those words mean nothing now. It doesn't matter how or why it happened anymore, just what do you do to fix it?

"I'm worried about you," he confessed, "I'm worried you might get killed. Okay? I'm worried something might happen to Duo in the process. You are important to peace. You and Relena are the key to peace, but as you know, this peace is a delicate one. If anything happens to you, or to Relena and her brother, everything we ever fought for, and every one who died for it, will die with you, and we can't wait another twenty years for another great leader, like your son, to come along and set things right again."

He then grabbed both of my shoulders and shook me a bit. "Also Quatre, you are one of my best and closest friends. It would ruin me if I lost you. Go to bed now. Tomorrow's trip is going to be long and you'll need your rest." Wufei gave me one last shake and left me, presumably to go back to his room. I didn't turn to watch him leave, I just stood there staring straight ahead at nothing. Wufei's words touched me deeply, more so than anything ever has, and I wanted to absorb them and keep them locked away in my memory, because it was likely that what he said he would never say again.

With tears stinging my eyes, I dragged myself into the kitchen for sleeping pills. After flipping through a couple of cabinets, I finally found what I was looking for. On my way back upstairs, I passed through the living room, trying to get a glimpse of the moon before I went upstairs, when I heard something move. I paused, wanting to make sure that it was some noise the house made or that I was hearing things. I heard it again, and when I turned my head, I saw Duo's head pop up from the couch, before he completely stood up to look at me.

"Cat, you alright?"

I shook my head at him, trying not to laugh at his disheveled braid and boxers, which were this time black with silver scythes all over them. "Yeah, having trouble sleeping. Just needed some sleeping pills."

"Well, alright then."

"Duo, what are you doing down here?" Suddenly, another head popped up. This one belonged to a young boy, about our age, dusty blonde hair, with bright blue eyes. Must be the cook.

"Oh, uh, sorry," I replied quickly and scurried out of the room, hoping to Allah that they didn't see my blush.

Once I was safe in my room, I found my Bowie, which was this time under the mattress, and placed it on the night stand next to the clock. I had this insane urge to lick it, but I fought it off. Pulling the covers back, I slid in the bed and encased myself in, letting the bottle of sleeping pills sit on top of the clock. Fluffing my pillow until it was just right, I laid my head down and in three seconds flat I fell asleep.

I was exhausted.