Another Murder of Crows: Part 4
The chirping of birds was the sound that greeted my ears. I decided to keep my eyes closed for a moment to listen to their music float through the air, calming my soul with their sweet song. I tried to stretch when two things happened at once: something warm laid itself across my chest and pinned me down to the bed, and a sharp pain from my right hand ran up my arm. "Ow!"
Duo sat up fast from laying across me and reached for a gun at his back that hasn't been there for years. Wufei flew out of the papa san chair that it appears he was sleeping in, consequently tossing the huge green comforter over us, reaching for a weapon he no longer has either. Times like these make me realize that we will never be normal. Normal people, when frightened, scream or jump. Basic, non-threatening reaction. What do we do? We try to kill something.
"Damnit Quatre!" Duo angrily pulled the comforter off of us, spitting his hair out of his mouth. "What is wrong with you? You scared me to life!"
"Winner," Wufei started, retrieving his blanket and settling back into the papa san, "what are you trying to do, give everyone a heart attack?!"
"Sorry!" I yelled defensively. "I tried to move my arm but it hurts! All I said was ‘ow.' I didn't holler ‘oh my god white fang' or ‘Barney's here.' Give me a break guys." I lost count of the televisions Wufei has shot up because of that big purple thing. What is it supposed to be anyway?
"Sorry Cat," Duo finally apologized, sitting Indian style on the bed. "Old habits die hard, I guess. Didn't mean to upset you, just jumpy from lack of sleep. I've gotten used to sitting on my ass and eating corndogs all day. The only thing I lack is shooting something." He smiled weakly.
I know that face. Something is either wrong or bothering him, and with Duo it's usually both and then some. "Okay Duo, what's up?"
He stretched and yawned loudly before pointing at my arm. "That's ‘what's up'."
I followed the invisible b-line from his finger to my arm. My entire right hand was wrapped with enough gauze that it could've been a boxing glove. It hurt a lot too. "What happened?"
It was Wufei who let out a loud laugh, but it wasn't filled with humor. "Don't tell me you don't remember last night? You damn near broke my neck." He wiggled further into the round cushion, enveloping the comforter around him.
"You broke the mirror in the bathroom.....with your fist. Your bones aren't really broken, well, at least not in your hand. It's only cuts. The worry is your wrist. The force you hit the mirror with might have either cracked the bones or mashed them together real hard." Duo absently shrugged his shoulders while scratching his back.
"Oh man." I brought my left hand up that has my ring on it and lightly traced my lips with the cool gem, gathering my thoughts. "So let me get this straight. I went to the bathroom, smashed the mirror, and Duo came in to see what I was doing." Duo nodded in agreement, Wufei didn't move. "So, I guess either I was screaming or you were screaming, when Wufei came in and I started to fight the both of you. You two kept me pinned down until Sally arrived with sedatives."
Wufei then lifted his head up to peer at me. "You do remember."
"I thought it was a dream," I confessed. "I mean, I thought I dreamt it, but I guess it was the sedatives that gave it that quality."
"Whatever." Wufei shifted to sit up more. "But as long as it's not non-existent in your mind, then you're not going completely crazy. But just for that, I will be staying here until you get better. So is Sally. She's sleeping right now in the next room but Quatre, something is up with you, and since you and I and Duo are awake, we might as well get some things talked out."
Duo scooted closer to me, wrapping a blanket around his shoulders, and Wufei pulled up the papa san and cocooned himself in the comforter. Both of them leaned forward waiting for my explanation. Might as well. I couldn't look them in the eyes while I explain what happened, so I settled for facing my hands, twisting my ring. "I saw a face in the mirror."
I briefly glanced at them. Neither one made a sound or a movement. "It wasn't my face. It was....somebody else's. He had blue eyes, really light blue eyes, lighter than Zech's. And the smile he gave me scared me to the point where I broke the mirror. I don't think....I mean...I don't know where I know that face, just that I've seen it before."
Wufei threw the comforter away from him and started pacing the room, saying really really REALLY foul words. The combinations he came up with would've made Dennis Leary blush in his day. Duo sat there rubbing his forehead with his fingertips, seeming to be stressed. What is their problem?
"I fucking KNEW that it wouldn't work," Wufei said to the air.
"She did say that this was possible," Duo interrupted. "Something could've triggered the memory, or it wasn't completely gone to begin with. It was worth a shot--"
"No it wasn't!" Wufei spat back. "He should've learned to deal with it. Now he is going to have to get over something he should've gotten over a year ago!"
"Wu, he couldn't deal with it then. Maybe he can deal with it now. Pain passes with time, you know, and it's been two years. With the hypnosis and other things that have occurred since then, details are going to be fuzzy anyway."
"Will you stop talking like I'm not here!" I shouted hoarsely. "What are you two talking about?!"
They looked at each other momentarily before Duo asked, "Do you want me to tell him, or do you want to do it?"
"You do it," Wufei didn't hesitate. "I can be too...cold. He should hear it from you."
Duo seemed to slump internally and turned to me again, with a beaten look on his face. Wufei sat back in the papa san, and wrapped himself in the comforter once again. He didn't even look at me. "Quatre, do you remember a mission in Moscow about two years ago?"
The question caught me off guard. Of course I remember it, that was a very trying time for all of us, and I remember us coming out of Moscow as a real team. I also remembered that it was probably the coldest place on Earth besides Antarctica. "Yes. Why?"
"Tell me what happened."
"Well, okay." I tried not to sound suspicious, but I'm afraid I failed. "We had a mission in Moscow that was successful, but we couldn't leave with the carriers because of a snowstorm. OZ was chasing us, so we fled.....somewhere. You and I got in an accident and went to the hospital, but you and I were the only ones in the car?" It came out as a question, not a statement. I don't understand. We were all in a hospital room together, but Duo and I were the only ones hurt. There seems to be a gap. "How did we get in an accident in Moscow, but end up in a hospital in London? I must have my cities mixed up--"
"No, you don't Q." Duo sighed heavily and held my hand, the one that was bandaged, but looked outside through the window next to my bed. "The mission was a success. That you have right. But we fled to an abandoned house in Frankfurt which turned out to be possessed. The ghost, spirit, whatever you want to call it, tried to kill us but we fought back and won. The accident was when you and I tried to get to Moscow...after you jumped out a window." I felt my eyes widen at that, but he didn't notice. "You saved our asses when you found a key to a locked door, the black one you take with you everywhere, and managed to get us the hell out of there. I blew up the house while you all took a train to the gundams and went to the hospital. Heero found me, then met up with the rest of you guys in London." He shrugged. "That's it. The ghost that did that sounds like who you are describing. He had ice blue eyes and light brown hair."
I sucked in air through my teeth. "How did you know his hair was brown?"
His grip tightened around my hand. "Because he is real Quatre. Was real. Even months after this happened, you continued to have nightmares, your body temperature would drop suddenly without reason, your heart condition became more prominent, and you were always cold. No matter what we did, your skin was always cold. So one of your sisters hypnotized you to forget a lot of the details. But she warned us that something could trigger the memory and bring it back. Looks like that happened." Duo finally turned to me, his face unreadable.
"Why did you keep this from me?" I'm virtually near tears.
Wufei answered me. "You asked us not to ever remind you or tell you. You wanted to forget and get on with your life. For a while it worked." He shrugged vaguely. "It's not working anymore."
"Did it have something to do with crows?"
Both of them were shocked at my question, but Duo answered. "Yes, it did. The memory wasn't completely erased then. She did say it was hard to put you under, your mind is very strong willed, and that you probably will retain some knowledge of it."
It was my turn to shrug. "Whatever. But I still don't remember all of that. It seems pretty far fetched to me, but you never lie Duo, so if that's what happened, then okay."
Wufei was confused by my answer. "So what are you going to do about it?"
I traced my lips with my ring again, thinking about the question. "Nothing. It occurred in the past, and that's where it will stay. We have more pressing issues at hand." I nodded, satisfied with my conclusion, then laid back down to go to sleep. Duo released my hand and laid down next to me, dozing off almost as soon as his head hit the pillow.
I stared up at the ceiling for a while, trying to digest all the information that I was told, until I noticed Wufei watching me. "What is it Fei?"
"Are you sure you want to ignore what Duo told you?" he asked incredulously.
"No, but what can I do about it?"
"Nothing, I suppose. I don't want you to ignore it though."
"I won't then, okay?"
"No. That's not good enough."
"Wufei," I sat up, wincing a bit when the pain shot up my arm again, "you're being impossible. I don't remember, alright? A few sketchy details and Duo's interpretation is not much to me, okay? What am I supposed to do about it? It was two years ago, on Earth. What am I suppose to do with that information?"
"Quatre, don't get pissy with me. I'm trying to look out for you. I don't want you to get hurt. I don't want you to hurt yourself or anybody else." Duo sat up then, watching us argue back and forth.
"I won't hurt myself or anybody else--"
"That's not true! Look at your hand Quatre. Look at your hand." I glanced down at my hand to see various pink stains decorating the white gauze. "You almost broke it. You put up a real fight last night. I wasn't kidding when I said that you almost broke my neck. Duo had to put you in a chokehold so that you would let go of me, and it took three times the amount of sedatives it normally takes for someone your size to put you down! There is something wrong up here," he started poking himself in the temple with his index finger, emphasizing where ‘here' is, "and we have to do something about it before it gets worse."
"Damnit Fei!" Duo jumped in, "there is nothing wrong with him. Stop being a dick!"
"I know you just didn't call me a dick!" Wufei jumped out of the chair this time while Duo stood up on my bed. I was going to lay back down to sleep and let them fight it out when there was a hard knock at the door.
"WHAT!!!" All three of us shouted.
"Master Quatre, Miss Relena Dorlian, Mr. Marquise and Mr. Yuy are here to see you." Rashid's voice was muffled through the door.
"Tell them to fuck off, we're busy here!" Duo shouted back at the door. He must be really upset to tell Heero where to go.
Instead of an answer, the door flew open to reveal Relena already walking in the room, with Rashid trying to hold her back without really touching her. Behind him was Zechs, looking very unhappy. Heero wasn't anywhere in sight.
Relena stopped about two feet in the room when she saw us. I was in bed, but I had on my light pink pajama shirt with matching pants, Wufei was wearing loose purple pants, maybe silk by the way they flowed when he walked, and a large, unbuttoned loose white shirt that was also silk. Duo had on his black Garfield and Odie boxers, and his hair was unbraided, coming down to the back of his thighs. Now he's going to be REALLY mad. He doesn't like people to see him with his hair down.
"Gee, I could've sworn that I said we were busy," Duo stated none-too-gently.
"I need to speak with Quatre, Duo. Alone," Relena replied back, unfazed. "And the last time I checked, you weren't his keeper."
Relena! Oh man, some blood is about to be spilled now. I have to do something quick.
"But I am his keeper, for the time being."
Everyone in the room turned around to see Sally in the doorway, hands on her hips. "Forgive me, Miss Relena, but Quatre is ill and managed to cut his hand cooking yesterday. Why he was in the kitchen is a mystery to me." She winked at me for effect, but I got her message loud and clear. Keep your mouth shut. "He needs some time to rest so I'm afraid that your meeting with him will have to be brief, so he can do that. And Duo, Wufei I want to talk to you two. Now."
I had to suppress a shudder from the tone in Sally's voice. When she spoke to Relena, she had the air of professionalism in her voice. But when she called for Wufei and Duo, ice dropped from her lips. I feel sorry for those two.
Wufei immediately left my side and walked out into the hallway, holding his shirt closed. Duo casually moved to the edge of my bed and jumped off, his hair flowing like a cape behind him in a nonexistent breeze. He moved seductively to Relena, bumping his shoulder lightly against hers before he was through the door. I'm going to kill him.
Sally and Rashid left, leaving Relena and Zechs. She moved towards the bed and sat down in the chair, while Zechs remained standing by the door.
"I'm sorry about my appearance Relena," I started, "but I wasn't expecting you until noon."
She looked at me questioningly for a moment before she spoke. "Actually, it's 12:30."
My eyes bugged out of my head and I turned to see that it was, after all 12:32 in the afternoon. "Oh Relena, I'm sorry. I was..."
She placed her fingertips across her lips, asking me nonverbally to be quiet. "No need to apologize. We could hear that you three were having a...discussion when we arrived." My blush was so strong I thought my cheeks were going to burn off my face. "But I had to interrupt. First, I owe you an apology for my behavior yesterday, it was uncalled for."
"It's all forgiven Relena."
"I know, but still I owe you an apology. Things are not going well, and suddenly I get Duo's resignation and then yours, so it was frightening." She stood up and paced the room for a moment, before stopping at the foot of my bed and facing me. "Quatre, do you remember when you and Heero were at the Sanc Kingdom, and I was on my way back from meeting with Romafellar, and they attacked the limo?" I nodded my head. I was ready to claim blood over that incident. "Well, you and Noin saved me that day. You especially. I was ready to give up on my ideal for total pacifism when you told me that I had to continue in the path that I believed in. Now look where we are. There is peace on Earth and the colonies. Total pacifism, and that would not have came about, at least I wouldn't be the vice foreign minister, if you didn't tell me what I had to do." She stepped closer to me. "Now it's my turn to save you."
"Save me?" I leaned back some to analyze her face, trying to see where she was going.
"Yes. You need to follow the path that you believe in, and I want to help you find your way."
"I appreciate your concern Relena," I smiled gently, "but I am following the path that I believe in, it's just different from what I originally thought."
She shook her head, smiling softly. "I don't think it is, but we will see."
"Yes, we will," I added for effect. "Now, what else did you want to talk to me about? You said something frightened you. What was it? Has some one tried to hurt you? Threatened you in any way?" My heart started pacing a mile a minute in fear. I will kill anyone or anything that could possibly be a threat to her.
She slumped back in the chair while Zechs stepped forward with the details. "Old members of White Fang are getting together to lead another revolution, but there are disputes within the organization because they can't decide on a leader. I only know this because they contacted me to lead them, but I haven't given them an answer yet."
"Oh dear. Security needs to be heightened Relena. They could try to kidnap you."
"I know," she said, messaging her temples in contemplation. "I need you to accompany me when I talk with them about their grievances, and we need Duo and the others to watch over us both. I ask that you ask him about it. He would do anything for you." She was right about that. Duo is the best.
"You can ask him yourself Relena," I told her. "He might not be showing you much," I hesitated, trying to think of the right word, "decorum on a personal level, but you are what keeps peace alive, and as long as you do that, he will defend you with his life."
She sighed loudly, but didn't protest. "I guess you're right. You know him better than anyone else. Now, one other thing." I tried to look interested, which I was, but at the same time I could feel my stomach attempting to growl VERY loudly. You know, like when you are in class trying to take a test, or you're in a crowded room that is quiet, your stomach decides to talk then. I don't understand human anatomy sometimes. "It was suggested by Zechs and Noin that you and I regroup on Earth in the former Sanc Kingdom. That way we would be in a safe location, along with plenty of room to rest and go over possible strategies."
"Do they have any demands?" If Zechs wants to plan strategies, it might be another war brewing.
"No," Zechs answered, "they aren't aware that I work for the Preventers. They contacted me through Epyon," Relena shot him an angry glare. I'm letting everyone know right now, whatever the dispute is between those two, I'm out of THAT one, "but it is only a matter of time before they figure it out, or before they decide on a leader. In any case a defense system will be needed. We don't want another Mariemaia incident."
I nodded my head. The argument was sound. Even the idea of leaving space. "When do you want to leave for Earth?"
"Well," she shifted some in the chair, smoothing out her uniform jacket, "I was hoping that you could arrive Saturday afternoon for a debriefing. By then Zechs would have contacted the White Fang and have the situation in some sort of control. But he wants us on Earth just in case." She stopped fidgeting with her uniform and focused on me. "I know you aren't feeling well Quatre, and now it looks like you've hurt your hand, but..."
It was now my turn to hold my fingers up to my lips to gesture for silence. "I will be there. This is for the peace of Earth and the colonies. We have fought too long and too hard to let it slip away now over a misunderstanding."
She nodded her understanding, and stood to leave. "Thank you Quatre." She was heading for the door when I called out to her, forcing her to stop in her tracks. "Whether I work for you or not Relena, I want you to know that you can always count on me. For anything."
"I understand," was all she said, and within five seconds they were gone. Their timing was perfect. As soon as the door closed my stomach screamed to be heard. Literally. I chuckled lightly before leaning back against the headboard and sighing. "Down boy," I told it. Oh Allah, now I'm starting to talk to my body.
The door opened again and Wufei came in, dressed in dark blue jeans and a black t-shirt. He had his hair pulled back in its customary ponytail, his furrowed eyebrows complementing the stern look on his face.
"What happened?" I asked.
"Sally chewed me and Duo a new one," he stated in defeat. I tried not to laugh, but I couldn't help it. "So it's funny huh?" he asked, throwing his hands on his hips.
"Yep!" I jumped out of bed and hugged him. He returned the hug quickly, almost crushing me as much as Heero does.
"I'm sorry Quatre, for being a....dick," he began. I snorted in response. "I'm just worried about you and I don't know how to deal with it. This is your department, not mine."
I pulled back to look him in those slanted, ebony eyes. Sally's a lucky girl. "No big deal. We've argued before, we'll argue again. Family does that."
"Whatever you say," he told me with a grin. "But come down and eat, you must be starving." To prove him right, my stomach growled again, sounding like a dying toad. I quickly crossed my arms across my stomach, trying to shut it up. He only laughed. "I rest my case."
He turned to walk out of the room with me in tow when I heard tapping against the window. I stopped and twisted my head around to see what the noise was. A crow was at the window tapping against the pane. I smiled and tried to get a closer look when Wufei grabbed my arm.
"Come on. If you don't get your butt downstairs Sally is going to wring my neck! And put some clothes on, or would you rather pull a ‘Duo' and walk around half-naked all day!" he nearly shouted.
"I wear more clothes than he does anyway, and I'll come down in a second. I'm looking at this bird. I don't know what kind it is."
"Let me see." Wufei took maybe two steps towards it before he stopped in his tracks. He stared at it momentarily, as his eyes got wider with each passing second. "I thought crows didn't exist on this colony?"
"They don't, so it can't be a crow. I have no idea what breed it is."
He gave me an unreadable expression before glancing back at the bird then at me. "Let's go downstairs already."
Without another word from me I started walking out the room, only to notice that on the way out, Wufei never turned his back to the window.