Blood in Siberia
Chapter 9: Introducing Otto, Alphagué of L2
Before I even gained consciousness, I knew the first thing Wufei was going to do when he got me back: Kick. My. Ass.
I opened my eyes and groaned. Right from the go, I could tell that I was as far from anything resembling civilization as possible. We were in a field where the grass was waist-high, with trees and bushes closing us in. My short but deep naps were healing my mind's eye, so I nearly howled in happiness when I was able to 'tune in.' Unfortunately, what I was picking up wasn't so great. A big something was heading my way, with another big something following. Not exactly encouraging if you ask me.
The moon was my only source of light, and because it was a half-moon, the lighting wasn't so great. Shit. But when I sat up, I was suddenly struck by how comfortable I was. Feeling around (and squinting my ass off), I discovered that I was lying on a huge pile of ribbon grass. It smelled as if it had just been pulled from the ground. Glancing around, I found the shape-shifter standing a few feet from me, with his face turned up to the moon.
"How do you feel?" he asked, turning around. He started walking towards me. "Any vertigo?"
I shook my head a few times. "Nope. I feel pretty good."
"Good." He sat down on his own pile of grass, and stared.
Umm... yeah. "Say, where are we?"
"Temple?! Are you shitting me?!" I threw my hands in the air, ready to go absolutely ape-shit. I couldn't fuckin' believe this. "Holy hell!" I shouted, rolling to my feet. "Something hairy just touched me!"
The shape-shifter, lightening fast, reached out and snatched the thing that touched me. It was a mouse. Dangling it high enough for me to see, he tossed it over his shoulder. "There."
I shook my head in amazement, and plopped back down. "How'd you even see it?"
He shrugged. "I can see in the dark. All of us can."
Ch'. Fucker. "Well, it's too bad there wasn't a huge-ass pane of glass in the sky. Bet you wouldn't have been able to see that."
His eyes widened, and for a moment, I thought he was going to eat me. But then he tossed his head back, and let out a laugh that hadn't been used in what sounded like forever.
"No, I probably wouldn't have," he agreed, when he settled down. "Whoo. Thank you señior. I haven't laughed like that in over five hundred years."
I swear, my mind opened like a door. Questions were pouring into my head like a waterfall, and I was suddenly fascinated by this man. "You called me 'señior,' " I blurted out, as if that was the most important thing in the world. "Where are you from? Your accent sounds very... American."
He smiled at me. It was radiant. "I am originally from Spain. I came here on the Santa Maria."
Oh my god... "You came over on one of Christopher Columbus' ships? Holy shit!" My hands started shaking, and my mouth started babbling nonsensical sounds. It felt like I was talking to Quatre, when he would tell me about life a thousand years ago. But this... this was documented history! "W-w-well, what was it like? What was Columbus like? What were the Indians like? What--"
"One question at a time," he told me with a grin. Then the grin faded to a frown. "The trip was long, and hard. We were on the verge of mutinying." He frowned some more. "We were afraid we were going to fall off the edge of the earth."
I thought back to Wufei, when he told me about how the Lagranges were arranged because they thought the same thing. "Wow. I can't imagine thinking that."
"Yes. I sometimes can't believe how... advanced this world has become. It frightens me."
I nodded in understanding. I remembered my feelings when I learned werewolves were real. Having your entire belief system proven wrong was a jarring experience, no matter what species you were. "And Columbus? What was he like?"
The shape-shifter frowned some more. "Troubled," he said. "He worried much."
Wow. That was something I wouldn't have equated with the discoverer of the New World. I'm sorry, but 'troubled' and 'Columbus' were not words that I would've put in the same sentence. "What was he worried about?"
"The same things we were." He brought his legs up, wrapped his arms around his shins, and rested his chin on his knees. I was struck by how human the gesture was. "Food was rotting, wine was turning to vinegar, sea madness, rodents." He shrugged. "He feared we would die of starvation, or kill each other from madness."
These memories weren't happy ones, so I tried to move it along. "And the Indians? What were they like?"
If anything, that seemed to make his mood worse. "Beautiful, caring people. What has happened to them because of us is... unforgivable."
Hmmm... why did I have the feeling that there was more to this? "You fell in love with one of them, didn't you?"
The surprise on his face had a shit-eating grin spreading across mine. "Yes," he admitted, after what felt like a year. "Yes, I did. She was the granddaughter of the Chief."
He paused for a moment, as if considering whether or not he should continue. I held myself still, and tried to be patient. I couldn't tell you why, but I just felt this overwhelming urge to know everything about this woman. What was her name? I bet it was something special. How did she die? It was obvious to me that she didn't die of old age. And what he's been doing with himself all this time? But first... "What's your name?"
He jerked backward, as if the words themselves held electricity. Then, he tilted his head from side to side, just like a bird would. This time, I was struck by how nonhuman the gesture was. "My name is Silver Water," he told me at last.
I nodded. "And my name is Duo Maxwell." He nodded in return. After that, we sat in silence as we allowed what was happening between us to sink in. This wasn't supposed to be happening, and we both knew it. What was supposed to be a chore for him was turning into some kind of redemption, and what was supposed to be hell for me was becoming a spiritual experience. He wanted to shove the whole universe down my throat, and I wanted to swallow it all up.
"Silver Water isn't a Spanish name," I began, breaking the ice. "Is that your Indian name?"
"Yes," he answered, shocked again at my perception. "My birth name I don't remember anymore." He wasn't callous about it, merely stating a fact. "When we first arrived... the Indians were very spiritually aware," he began. "They took one look at me and knew I wasn't what I seemed. When the other men went to camp in the evenings, I was taken to the Chief's tent. They were very curious about me, and asked many questions. It was very comical. No one spoke the other's language." He chuckled to himself. I smiled. "But we got our points across. Then one day, the Thunderbirds came." His voice changed then, from a soft breeze to a harsh wind. "I had never seen creatures like that before. It was dark and raining, but I could see clearly what they looked like, and I was fascinated. I wanted to fly among them. But then... one swooped down and picked up a woman. Then another came and grabbed a man. And on and on. The tribe was terrified. I ran for my beloved, and that was when one grabbed her." His hands clinched, and I held still as I waited for him to calm down.
It didn't take long. "I was infuriated," he said, continuing his narrative. "So much so, that I changed into one of them and attacked. It took me all night to find everyone, but I was determined." He looked up from the ground, and smiled. "I brought the last one back by morning. For my bravery, I was welcomed to the tribe, and the Chief was honored that I wanted to be with his granddaughter."
I couldn't help the smile that split my face. I wasn't a romance lover, but that was a hell of a love story. "So your wife named you?"
"No," he said, smacking himself lightly on the forehead. "It was the Chief's wife that gave me my name. When I landed before the tribe, I had water clinging to my wings from the storm. But my wings were so black, she thought that the waterdrops looked like balls of silver. So she called me Silver Water. I have been called that ever since."
"That is amazing," I told him, awe completely written on my face. "Wow."
I smiled. "What was her name?"
His eyes shone, but there was nothing there. His soul was dead. "Her name was Song."
My eyebrows went up. "Song?"
"Yes," he said with a tearful smile. "Her grandmother told me that when she was a baby, her cries sounded like she was singing. So they named her Song."
Truthfully, I thought that was a pretty kick-ass name. "She must've been something else."
Okay. Now, for the biggin'. "How... how did she die?"
"She caught the flu. Others did too. I think only a third of the tribe survived."
"I know. So silly, right? There are people walking around with AIDS and cancer, yet she died from the flu. People died so easily back then." He rubbed the back of his neck. "And then the rest of the tribe were killed in battles, and I survived those too." He shook his head to himself, and turned back to me. "Duo."
My eyebrows went up again. "Yes?"
"Your relationship with your Packmaster is impossible."
I didn't know whether to be offended, or... hell, I didn't know what to think. "Excuse me?"
"You are mortal," he explained, as if that was news to me.
"And your Packmaster isn't. Your relationship will not work as it stands now. The beliefs you follow and the way of the werewolf are too different. Your two worlds conflict with one another. Your relationship is doomed."
Okay. I decided to be offended. "Look pal! You don't know what we feel for each other, and I sure as hell ain't gonna--"
"Do you want to be a Were?"
The question totally derailed my train of thought. "No." I held my hands out in bewilderment. The thought never even occurred to me.
"When you die, do you want your Packmaster to mourn you for eternity?"
"No, of course not!"
"Then you want him to forget you?"
The thought that Wufei may forget me damn near made my heart stop. "No. I hope he never forgets me."
He placed his hand over his heart. "I have mourned for Song since the day she died, and I have been unable to love another since her. Our love was doomed because she was mortal, and I was not." Slowly, Silver Water got on all fours and crawled towards me. The movement wasn't sexy, but he was just as graceful as I expected him to be. However, I became nervous when he crawled on top of me. I became even more nervous when we were face to face. His lips were touching mine, but there was nothing sexual about it. Uncertain about what was going on, I had leaned back on my elbows to support my weight. Silver Water had his hands planted on either side of me, to support himself. Thank God for that. There was no way I was going to be able to hold his heavy ass up.
"The same will happen to the two of you," he whispered, his lips brushing mine. "You will die. It is inevitable. He will live on. It is fact. He will either mourn you for eternity, or he will have to forget you. If he doesn't, he will not live. He will only exist."
Suddenly, my head was filled with a presence that I had never felt before. It had the power of Trowa, and for a second, I thought it was Trowa. But there was something different to the essence, something 'off.' I couldn't explain it. I just knew that it wasn't my friend barreling down the road.
"He's here," Silver Water whispered, right when I felt the presence in my head. Slinking back to his heels, he stood gracefully, facing westward.
"Who's here?" I looked in the same direction. I couldn't see anything, but that made my fear go all the more wild.
"Oh my god." The realization hit me over the head, hard. This was it. "I... no. No!"
I didn't know where the panic came from, but I was filled with it, full force. Faster than a bobcat, I sprang to my feet and took off running. Silver Water, expecting my move, snatched me right off my feet, and held me under his arm like I was a damn two year-old. Angry, I started kicking out and squirming, but that didn't do me a damn bit of good.
"Duo, calm down," he told me, and used his free hand to pet my hair. That, combined with the sound of his gentle voice, had me relaxing against my will. "Everything is going to be fine. You'll see. Just be patient, and have faith in your Pack."
Shocked, I twisted my head up at him. He had a kind smile on his face, and I could feel in the air around us, that he was asking me to trust him, urging me to trust him–
Oh my god. He knew what I was.
As if he knew I had figured it out, he settled me on my feet. Gripping me by my shoulders, he pulled me face to face with him. I could see in his eyes the urgency that I felt before. "I will take your secret to the grave," he told me fiercely. "But don't let them know what you are. If so, they will fight the Shenlong to have you, and your Packmaster will never willingly let you go."
In other words, I'd be the reason for war. "Who's 'they'?"
"Shhh. Not so loud, he'll hear you. And don't interfere with what happens next," he told me as he gently cupped my cheek, and looked into my eyes. "It is what I want."
I didn't understand. I didn't understand! "But who's 'they' Silver Water?!" I whispered harshly.
He didn't answer. Instead, he kissed me on my forehead like a loving brother would. And in that kiss, was a sorrow as old and as deep as the ocean. It made tears come to my eyes.
I wasn't psychic, but I knew that we would never meet again.
Without warning, I was spun around. Silver Water held one arm across my shoulders, and the other across my stomach. I kept my hands down at my sides, in fists, to help with the shaking. I was terrified beyond belief. There wasn't any sound signaling his approach. The trees and bushes weren't swaying to his movements. I was only staring at the darkness, waiting for a monster to step through.
But a monster he wasn't. If anything, he was beautiful.
I was standing there, juuust about to fall asleep, when I saw a flicker of movement. I opened my eyes, and stared at him in absolute awe. He was six foot seven, if not taller. He wore tight-fitting white pants, which did nothing to conceal the power his long legs held. Black boots reached his knees. He wore a uniform jacket of some sort, dark navy was my guess, with goldish-white buttons, and maroon and gold decorations on the shoulders and sleeves. I expected that a cap went with it, although he didn't have one on, which allowed his wavy brown hair to blow in the breeze. But what caught my attention the most, was his face. He had what looked like stars around his eyes; a star was at the corner of the eyelid, right next to the bridge of his nose, and the rest followed the trail of cheekbone, to his hairline. He did not have irises; his eyes were the washed out silver-white color of the moon's surface. It reflected light in a way that made me think of cats' eyes.
As he stepped towards us, I remembered Darlian's words. 'Blatantly nonhuman' my ass. There was no way this guy would pass for anything except otherworldly. If it weren't for my clairvoyance, I wouldn't have even believed he was a werewolf!
"Good evening," the Were said, in a very...let's just say he had a very, very nice voice, okay?
Not giving a damn if I was rude, but not wanting to make my situation worse either, I responded. "Good evening."
"Hmmm. You are more beautiful than your picture, especially in the moonlight."
Well, if I had doubts before about who wrecked my uncle's house, I didn't now.
"Allow me to introduce myself." He bowed low to me, as if he was at a fancy ball. For a second, I thought he would look up and have a rose in his mouth. Tee hee. "My name is Otto, Alphagué of L2."
My heart sank to my feet. I could've sworn that I stopped breathing. "The Siberian Werewolves," I whispered.
A slow, devious smile crept across his star-studded face. "Yes."
I closed my eyes, and exhaled slowly out of my mouth. The one that has been AWOL for a month, the one that dispatched this Were to find me in another Were's territory and country, the one who ordered the death of many to catch me, was the granddaddy of them all: Prince Milliardo. The Packmaster of Packmasters was seeking his retribution, and I was going to be IT.
Thanks Wufei. Thanks a whole damn bunch.
 Temple is another city in Texas that is really growing. Gorgeous place. About two and a half hours north of San Antonio.