I laid in bed and twirled the fringed ends of the blanket as I waited for Wufei to return. The storm still raged on like it had been all day. We haven't received any word from Zechs, Sally, or Noin. Worse yet, we have been here six days. Six days with no word. Six days without a sign. Six days without another human being strolling by. Of course, I'm use to losing when it came to the odds game, but it did get to me every once in a while, whether I wanted it to or not.
Things were pretty hectic when we got back. Relena was upset that Heero wasn't responding to her attempts at slapping him awake, Wufei was mad at the entire world, Trowa was as silent as always, and Duo just about had a stroke. The only one that had any sense left was Dorothy. She had Heero put in his room, where Relena could rest with him since she was somewhat injured, and I stayed in the room that started this whole mess two years ago.
The door opened and closed almost in the same second as Wufei entered. I involuntarily sighed at his long expression. I already knew he had something to tell me, and from the looks of things, more than likely I wasn't going to be very happy about it. But at least I'm getting some Cream of Mushroom soup out of this. Too bad there wasn't any alcohol to go on the side.
"Here," he said as he balanced the foam bowl on my lap. "Eat it."
"I'm not hungry."
"I don't care. Eat it anyway."
Knowing it was useless to argue, I carefully blew on my soup, trying to stall for as long as possible. "So, tell me what's going on. You have your ‘I'm constipated' face on. Go ahead and say it."
He glared at me, but agreed nonetheless. He sat down on the bed next to me and placed his hand on my shoulder. "I've been talking with Duo about some things, and we've decided that it was time to let you know what we found."
"What you found?" I asked, placing the bowl next to me on the bed. "Found? What? When?"
He sighed. Loudly. It definitely didn't boost my confidence. "Remember that day when you and Odin went to the mall, and Duo and I went to the library?" I grimaced. How could I NOT remember that day. "Well, Duo and I found some things that weren't very...encouraging."
"Yeah. You see, we went there to find information on...ghosts, and ghost hunting."
I raised an eyebrow. "O~kay."
He squeezed my shoulder a bit. "Quatre, what's happening to you isn't suppose to happen. What's going on with you has never happened, or if it has, it's never been documented. What I'm saying is, this whole...whatever, technically isn't suppose to occur, and if it did, whoever it happened to died and therefore wasn't able to tell anyone about it."
I felt like my head was about to explode. "You better start from the beginning Chang."
He smiled then. "Fair enough. First off, we began our search with what causes ghosts, spirits, souls, whatever they're called, to linger in this world and where they can be found. Homes are the number one place on where to find ghosts. Then there's cemeteries, churches, schools, caves, roadways, things like that. We also noticed that they can stay in this world because of some tragic event or an incomplete task. This house is very old, and from what I remember, several tragic things happened here. So basically, this mansion is the ideal place for a haunting."
"So you think I'm being haunted?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
"Yes and no. You're being haunted, I believe, but the thing is Quatre, hauntings don't usually revolve around a person. More around a specific place. That would explain why he attacked us when we intruded in on him here, but him attacking you on the colonies isn't consistent to what we've learned so far. They usually don't show themselves. If anything, they would slam doors or move things to get our attention. And if they do decide to show themselves, it's a brief thing. Not the kind of manifestations that you've been having to deal with. This...ghost's behavior is not consistent with the theory."
I shrugged my free shoulder. "Theories can be wrong."
"Well, if this particular theory is wrong, we're screwed."
"Ah," I said, chewing on my lip. "Point taken."
"But why is he after me?"
Wufei grimaced. "I think it's better that you don't know."
I made a face back at him. Hopefully an angry one. "Wu, don't do this to me please. I know it's hard on you, but it's even harder on me. You've said this much, might as well tell me everything. I want to know everything. Can't you understand that?"
"Fine." He made a face back. "We're not totally sure why he's after you, to be honest. It has something to do with your soul though."
My eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "My soul?"
"Yes. You see, Duo is what's called a sensitive. He can feel the energy and presence of a spiritual being. When that...thing's around you, he can feel his presence. But at the same time, the spirit can feel Duo's presence too, and is drawn to his energy and life force. But there's another energy that's bigger and pulls stronger than Duo's."
"And what's that?"
He looked squarely at me. "Yours."
That simple statement had the weight of an atomic bomb accompanied with all five of our gundams. "Mine?!"
"Yes. You and Duo are like magnets together. That's why he attacks when you're by yourselves or together. He can't help it. The energy is too strong for him to overlook or ignore. When you two are around each other, it's like sticking a lit flare right up the guy's ass. He's going to know."
"So that's why Odin wants us to remain apart."
Wufei nodded. "Yes."
"But he doesn't target Duo just to do it. He had him before, but tried to use him to get to me."
"That's what we still don't understand. He really doesn't want Duo. There is something about you that seems to be worth more of his trouble and effort."
"I'm afraid I'm not flattered," I said dryly.
Wufei chuckled softly at that. "To be honest, I wouldn't be either."
"Well, why isn't he gunning for you and the others?"
Wufei shrugged, removing his hand from my shoulder. "I don't know, but I'm not going to question it."
I stuck out my tongue at him. "Easy for you to say. There is a problem though. Odin's plan is not working. Krahe saved me from under the snow."
Wufei leaned towards me with the widest eyes I've ever seen on him. "What?"
I could feel myself trying to sink through the mattress, but it wasn't working. "He saved me from the snow. You see, he dug me some of the way out, and then disappeared when you and Trowa arrived."
Wufei jumped up from the side of the bed and all but stomped his foot on the floor. "God damnit! I don't believe this!"
I stopped scooting backwards when my back collided with the headboard. "I just don't understand why he did it. I mean, I asked him, which is stupid I know, but he said something about there not being a portal, whatever that means–"
"A portal?!" Wufei screamed at me.
I managed to sink some more, but not enough for my relief. "Yeah, a portal. At least I think that's what he said–"
"God damnit!" he roared again. "You stay here." He marched determinately out the door and into the hallway, screaming at the top of his lungs for Trowa, and yelling at Relena to wake Heero up, or else he will do it for her. I clutched the blanket to my chest nervously as I heard Wufei's angry shouts echo throughout the house. I've never heard him that way before. He was scared and upset, and that frightened me even more. Wufei has always been the one to hide his feelings, and that became a great comfort to me. He would be scared or hurt and not show it, but I knew it and figured that if he could handle it, so could I. But with him starting to fall apart like this, and it didn't really involve him directly, it made me all the more uncomfortable and afraid.
Suddenly Trowa walked through the door, followed by Heero and a still steaming Wufei. He closed the door behind himself and planted himself in front of the window with his arms across his chest. Trowa stood to the left side of my bed, face blank as usual, and Heero seated himself where Wufei previously sat on the bed.
"He said there wasn't a portal there?" Heero asked the moment his butt touched the bed. So much for small talk.
"Did he say where they were or how many?"
I gave him a skeptical look. "No, and why would he?"
"You didn't ask?"
"No I didn't ask! And why would I? I don't even know what a portal IS. I just mentioned it to Wufei and then he went flying off the diving board."
"It's flying off the handle," Wufei corrected.
"Well, same thing. You went flying somewhere–"
"That's irrelevant," Heero interrupted, "but at least we can rule out one being there."
"What are you talking about?!" I asked, completely exasperated.
Heero scratched his forehead before looking back at me. "A portal is a doorway. It's a very controversial issue, but it's suppose to be a doorway from this world to the next and vice versa. Anything can go between them, if they know how to travel through it. We believe that this...being that's attacking you is using a portal to get around the house and to where ever he goes when he's not around. Except when he was at the colony. I think he used the crows for that. But we don't know where the portal is or how many there are. With the history of this place, there could be quite a few, and they can be quite powerful."
"So what does it being powerful have to do with anything?"
"It determines the swing of the door," Trowa piped up from his corner. "If they're very powerful, it can swing both ways. If not, it's only one way, and another door is needed to be the exit."
"So, what you're saying is that if the portal's not very powerful, it can swing in or out, but another door is there in conjunction with that one. But if it's strong enough, it can be an entrance AND an exit."
"Exactly." All three of them answered me at once.
I just sat there and bumped my head against the headboard again, and again, and again. "Trowa, how do you know all of this?" I stopped bumping my head when I asked.
He gave me a questioning look. "Odin told me."
He glared. "Wufei filled me in on their findings from the library, when you told them about the incident at the mall."
I snorted. "So, all of you knew this and didn't tell me. You didn't say a damn thing to me."
Wufei almost lunged at me. He knew that when I resorted to swearing I'm truly upset. "Quatre, don't start! Now is not the time."
"Don't give me that Wufei!" I sat up completely and shouted. "I can't believe this! You all knew this and didn't tell me a thing! Even Trowa knew, and he hasn't even been here!"
"We had to tell him Quatre," Heero cut in quietly, although I could hear the tightness in his voice. "He had to know what to look for in order to protect you–"
"Fuck you Odin!" I shouted, and threw the bowl of soup at him, which he managed to dodge. Of course, it would've sounded more authoritative if my voice wasn't cracking. "You have lied to me and kept things from me before I even stepped foot on my plane to Sanc!"
"He didn't have a choice Quatre! He wasn't left with many options."
Trowa response in Heero's defense shocked me so much I couldn't even answer to that. Fortunately, Wufei didn't let him have the last word. "No! Fuck YOU Trowa! Why did you bother to come now?! You break his heart and leave us to pick up the pieces, then show back up to do what? Translate? Hell, anybody could've done that. We didn't need him Odin."
Trowa actually screamed back at him. "He only trusted ME to do the job Wufei," he sneered. Allah's honest truth, he sneered at Wufei. "And when I hurt Quatre, that broke my heart too god damnit!"
"That's enough!" I didn't even hear Duo come in. Probably because of the argument, but there he was, leaning against the door's frame, watching us with little interest. "Everybody. Out." No other word or look was exchanged as everybody turned on their heels and left the room. Heero was last, so he had the opportunity to glare at me briefly before closing the door behind him. Asshole.
I flopped back on the bed and let the tears run freely down my face as I absorbed what they all told me. There were portals. Portals help him get around and jump from one level of consciousness to another. The crows help him move about otherwise, and he uses them as a tool. That, they didn't need to tell me. That was obvious from the get go. But portals swing one way, unless they're really powerful. Hm. He didn't let me die because a portal wasn't there. So if one was there, he would...what? Let me die? Take me through the portal?
I thought about the last time we were here and the various things done to me for my own destruction. The portals existed even then I'm sure. So how do we find where the portals are?
On unsure feet, I calmly put my shoes back on (I took them off when I got into bed) and tied them up before I walked to the window and opened it. The storm still raged in unexplainable fury, but it wasn't as bad as before. I was able to see Heero, Duo, Trowa and Wufei outside, about to fight possibly, and the tree a few meters ahead. It's now or never I suppose.
I easily climbed out onto the ledge, trying to steady myself by holding onto the gutter above me. Once I was securely in place, a crow came into view and landed next to my foot, watching me with unblinking eyes.
"Okay," I said to myself, knowing that this probably wasn't going to work. But I have to try. This has to stop. We can't keep living this way. *I* can't keep living this way.
Expelling a final breath, I stopped trying to stand upright and let gravity pull me down, headfirst. I could hear the horrific screams of somebody, probably Duo or Wufei, as I let myself fall to my death. Even though my eyes were closed, I covered my face with my forearms until the brightness of the snow vanished and I was surrounded by silence once again.