Blood in Siberia
Chapter 36: Bring On the Wonder
The cab didn’t even get the chance to come to a full stop before I kicked the door open and jumped out. What remained of my clothes were in the trunk, but the cab driver could have the shit for all I cared. It wasn’t important.
I ran from Wufei’s yard, taking the path that led around the pet cemetery and into my backyard. I waved my hands and yelled, hoping that both of them were home. “Hilde! Uncle Howie!”
I was just to the back porch door when it slammed open, Hilde blurring through it. My twin slammed into me hard, knocking me back several steps. She cried, calling me all sorts of well-deserved names. A few seconds later another pair of arms wrapped around me, and I held onto my family as tightly as I could. Gasping, I could only apologize over and over. I didn’t even realize that we were kneeling until we started rocking from side to side.
“Duo...” Hilde whispered, tightening her hold so much I was nearly strangled. “Duo...”
I couldn’t speak anymore. I understood. She almost couldn’t believe I was here, and I felt the same way.
“Hearing him cry must’ve been the most beautiful sound you’ve ever heard,” Hilde said, sipping her tea.
After our tearful reunion, we moved to the house. At first we didn’t speak. I took a long overdue shower and dressed in my pajamas. Hilde cleaned the house. Howard pretended to watch porn, but every other minute he walked past my bedroom door as if to make sure I hadn’t jumped out the window again. I felt sick that he felt the need to do that, because *I* put that fear there. Then things started falling into place. Hilde started fixin’ dinner. Howard’s deaf ass missed two phone calls. I talked to my beer before I drank it. Eventually we made it to the kitchen table, where I laid everything that had happened out.
“It was,” I told her, rubbing my shoulder. “It was a relief and... it felt like the cumulation of all that I had gone through, you know? That the point of all that I had endured was to get that child back to where he was supposed to be.” I shook my head. “I’ve never felt anything like that before.”
“Hmm.” Hilde took another sip of tea. “Meizer told me once that to save a life is the greatest feeling in the world. He said that it is a high no drug could compare to.” She looked at me squarely. “Is that what you felt?”
I shook my head. “No, but I felt as if the world was saturated in color. It was the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere with only a small campfire for light.” I sighed. “Yet I felt as if had I seen anything, I would have gone blind by the richness of colors.” I looked at Hilde. “It was almost as if *I* had given birth to him. Weird, huh?”
“Well, you did in a manner of speaking. Being with... Noin when she gave birth. Comforting that child when he needed. Caring about him.” She shrugged. “Seems to me like you gave a damn more than his mother did.”
“I don’t know.” I sat back and scratched my head. “I don’t know what to think anymore.” I looked to Hilde first, and then Howard. My confusion was written all over my face. “I’m lost,” I said, tears in my voice. “I did things that I never thought I’d do.” I looked up to the ceiling in an effort to stave off tears. “I’d seen things that were beyond my imagination and horror. Things that I felt...” I closed my eyes to get control of myself. Taking a deep breath, I exhaled. “This experience changed my life, and I’m not so sure that it was for the better.”
Hilde leaped out of her chair and threw herself at me again. Howard watched on, completely silent. With his sunglasses off, I could see the tan lines around his eyes. He looked the opposite of a panda bear. The wrinkles were deep and made him appear weary. His shoulders sagged because his exhaustion was a palpable weight. Just like when we were kids, he didn’t sleep the entire time I was away. I could feel in the air how he was at a lost on what to do to protect me.
“It’s not your job to,” I told him, holding my hand out. He grabbed it immediately. “It’s not your job.”
“I think of you as my child,” he whispered. “Both of you.” He reached out and placed his other hand on Hilde’s shoulder. “And a parent’s job is never done.”
I felt the conviction in his words, and said nothing more.
I wanted to know.
I didn’t know how he would tell me, but I felt confident that he would get the point across if there was a chance I’d make Wufei suffer for it.
Silver Water was here as an observer. I didn’t know why I Called him. I guess I felt vulnerable. After all of the horrible things we did to Oburi, I didn’t know what he would do. I expected a range of possibilities, anywhere from him swearing at me to an attempt at violence. I didn’t get any of that. The wizard was completely apathetic. I could sense how much he wanted all of us to eat shit and die just so we would leave him alone.
It was interesting having both supernatural beings together. There wasn’t a heaven and hell for them as there was for humans, as far as I could tell. They existed on in a world of their own making, I guess. Silver Water was happy in his afterlife with his beloved, Song. Oburi, dead for almost three days, was as bitter as tar. His foulness enveloped him like a cloud, making my head feel sluggish and full of something sticky and slimy. This would be the last time I would contact him.
/ What did he do? /
I thought of Wufei and of a question mark.
Oburi understood right away. He thought of Wufei, gestured to his mouth and then pointed at himself. He did this several times until I understood.
/ He told me. /
Okay. / What did he tell you? / I mimicked his actions, then shrugged as if to way, ‘what?’
He pursed his lips and blew.
He pretended to pick dirt off of the ground.
Oh my god.
Judging by the look on my face, Oburi knew I had figured it out. The wizard nodded once, then melted away as I released him.
/ What are you going to do? /
I looked to Silver Water. / Now? Nothing. Wufei may have told him how to use Earth Magic, but Oburi’s actions are all his own. / I paused. / However, if Wufei does something like that again, I won’t be there to bail him out. /
/ I see. / He nodded. / Until next time... / Silver Water’s voice echoed as he faded away.
Yes. Until next time.
The bed in my house was cramped with Wufei and I in it, but I didn’t think either of us cared. I needed to be under the same roof as my family, and I needed Wufei by my side. It was obvious that neither Howard nor Hilde were happy about Wufei being in the house. It was also obvious that they did not want me any further away than the kitchen. So, in the house Wufei would stay until we could all calm down and feel secure that I would not be forced on any more impromptu trips.
Shifting, his arm tightened around my waist as he slept. I remained awake, trying to figure out how I felt. I learned that I felt at peace with my decision. What was done was done. Oburi was responsible for his actions, despite what Wufei did. I meant what I told Silver Water, however.
If Wufei ever tried some bullshit like that again, I was gone.
A Few Days Later...
I was on my porch, sipping on a Shiner Bock as I worked through a crossword puzzle. For the moment I was alone. Everyone was either at work or at school except for Quatre. He was in the living room watching General Hospital. Fearing for my safety, I let the shape-shifter have free reign of my house as I bided my time.
The day was a typical Texas day, with the sun providing the perfect temperature for sitting outside, doing nothing. I sighed as I saw how much I wasn’t able to answer. I sucked at these. I didn’t know what I was thinking. Even using a damn dictionary I was terrible with crossword puzz--
I was distracted as the UPS man drove up. Smiling, I dropped my crossword next to my chair and strode down to meet him halfway. Signing for my package, I went back up to the porch. Glancing inside the house, I was able to see that Quatre was fully absorbed in his show. I settled back into my rocking chair. Ripping the package open, I smiled again.
The first object I pulled out was the bookbag given to me by Chris. Reaching inside, I felt around for the small, skin-covered book. It was there. Perfect. Setting that aside, I dumped the heavy item out of the package and into my lap. The tome was blood red in color and devoid of any identification marks. It had the length and width of a magazine with the thickness of several dictionaries. On top was a sticky note.
'Page 5, 280' was written in Haru’s blocky script.
I turned to the page (which was quite a feat) and sighed when I saw what he wanted me to see.
What was on page five thousand, two hundred and eighty was a blown-up picture of me. My face was up and towards whoever took the picture, but I wasn’t looking directly into the camera. A red circle had been stamped around my face, and right above the picture was my name in courier script: Duo Maxwell. My statistics were listed below my picture.
Allegiance: Siberian; Under Investigation.
Classification: Wizard Apprentice; Under Investigation.
Creature: Unknown; Under Investigation.
Nationality: Unknown; Under Investigation.
Special Abilities: Unknown; Under Investigation.
There were other things too, such as my height, hair, eye and skin color, what languages I spoke and possible weaknesses. All were listed as ‘unknown’ and ‘under investigation.’ I snorted. With so much unknown about me, it made me wonder why they bothered listing me in the first place. Shaking my head, I focused back on the picture.
I remembered the night it had to have been taken. I had just learned that G knew what I was and had run out onto the balcony during a panic attack. G was standing next to me, so close that I could see why they thought I was Siberian and an apprentice of G’s. Even though we weren’t touching, the moment seemed almost... intimate.
Sighing, I closed the book and thought about this new development. At least now I knew why the Hunter recognized me.
Apparently, I had made it into the Creature Catalog.
I closed the door behind me. “Heero?”
It was late. Really, really late. This time, Howard, Hilde and I were staying the night over at Wufei’s place. I woke up thirsty and had gone downstairs to get a drink when I noticed that someone was sitting on the steps of the front porch.
He gave me a small smile. “Hey.”
“Hey.” I sat on the step beside him. “You okay?”
“Yeah, just could not sleep.” He scratched his shoulder. “You?”
We were silent for a moment. “Heero, what’s up? Really.”
He sighed and looked up at the night sky. Faintly, he admitted, “I miss him, Duo.”
Ah. “Yeah well, I bet he misses you too.” I snorted. “In fact, I’m sure of it.”
“Hn.” He dropped his head down and stared at his feet. “He has a son.”
“Beautiful, beautiful boy.”
“Werewolf children are very hard to come by.”
He had to pause. The lump in his throat was so hard to swallow that I could see his struggle in the dark. “It should be me beside him.”
I pressed very tightly against his side, and whispered, “...yes.”
Heero’s chin dropped down to his chest. I was able to sense his pain, how he felt torn between his loyalty to Wufei and his love for the Prince. “You saved him, you know.” He leaned against me. “You saved all of us. Thank you for that. For him.” He sighed. “I would have died for that child.”
I leaned against him even harder. “I know.” I frowned in thought. “In a way, I think we all would have. I don’t think any of us really cared who his father was. We just wanted the baby to live.” I shook my head to myself. “There is just something about a baby or a child. We want them to make it, you know? Even if it means we have to sacrifice ourselves.”
He nodded in agreement. “Yeah.”
I dropped my head on his shoulder. “I can’t believe we made it through all of that. We really are awesome, Heero.”
I felt him smile. “Yeah, we are.” He dropped his head on top of mine. “Stay out here for a while?”
I smiled. “Sure.”
‘A while’ turned out to be the rest of the night. As the sun started to approach the horizon, we were joined by other members of the Privileged: Quatre, Trowa, Catherine, Sally, Mariemaia, and lastly Wufei. Then in a surprising show of camaraderie, Howard and Hilde sat with us.
I leaned back into my lover’s arms, breathing in the fresh morning air and basked in happiness. I was home, safe, surrounded by people I loved and who loved me, and more than happy to have closed the book on Siberia.