Another Murder of Crows: Part 5
I was in a really good mood surprisingly. I mean in one morning, I could've been bludgeoned to death with a pillow, by two people no less, I learned about a mysterious encounter that occurred in my life that I don't remember (not that I'm complaining), we almost killed each other in my room, and Relena stopped by with potentially bad news. I feel like I'm on top of the world and the colonies.
Of course, all of that died instantly when I reached the bottom of the stairs and noticed the hole Heero put in my wall the other day. My world came crashing down. I'll fix it later, I suppose. I should make him fix it but knowing Heero, I might end up missing the entire wall. It's safer, and cheaper, if I do it myself.
Wufei finally came down the stairs, facing forward now, and headed straight for the kitchen. I followed a step behind him, trying to fingercomb my hair into some type of acceptable appearance. For all I know, I look like I've been struck by lightening.
As I stepped into the kitchen, I noticed that Sophie still had breakfast hot and fresh, even though it was almost one in the afternoon. Not that I'm complaining. I'm in the mood for some bacon. She was pouring the grease into the sink and placing the skillet back on the eye when she noticed me. The smile jumped off her face and was immediately replaced with a scowl. I shuffled to her slowly, kicking at an invisible rock as I waited for my punishment.
In one swift move she picked up the skillet, hit me on the side of my head with it, and keep in mind it was still hot when she did it, and sat it back on the eye. "Sophie!" I cried, patting my head in an attempt to stop the pain AND the burn, "couldn't you use something else!"
"Master Quatre, you're lucky I'm not trying to kill you! If you and Duo ever do something that ridiculous again, I won't be able to control myself." She placed balled up fists on her hips, staring squarely at me.
"We won't. We learned our lesson." Oh Allah, the burn!
"You better not. Now give me a kiss." She turned the side of her face to me, where I promptly leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. Pulling back, she smiled at me and shoved a plate of eggs, bacon and toast in my hand with tea in the other. I hurried to the table to put my breakfast down so that I could continue to massage my burning head.
I sat in my usual place, but I noticed that across from me sat Wufei in the seat where Duo usually sits. Heero, with his plate of toast and a cup of coffee, sat with his back to the window, smirking at me over the paper. I turned to the left to face Duo, where I noticed the ice pack that sat on his head was in the same spot where I was hit. At least I'm not the only one.
Rashid soon appeared with an ice pack similar to Duo's and place it on my head a little rougher than what my head would have liked, but at least it was something cold.
"Don't you think you owe me an apology?" Duo asked out of the blue.
"An apology? For what?" I tilted my head slightly, trying to get the ice pack to lay somewhat flat against my skull.
"For yesterday in the conference room. When you walked in the first thing out of your mouth was, ‘Duo, what did you do now?' But I didn't do anything." He nodded his own head sharply in agreement.
"Duo, I said that because every time I get called into a conference with Relena and you're sitting there with her, it has always meant you did something."
"Hmm....let's see." I rolled my eyes towards the ceiling, tapping my index finger against my chin dramatically. "What about the time you got spit balls stuck to the ceiling in my office?"
"Hey! Hilde helped!"
"And what about the time a skunk was trapped in the basement and you set it loose in the laundry department?"
"Well....what else was I suppose to do? Take it outside?!"
"Or when you detonated stink bombs in the girls bathroom?" Wufei added for good measure.
"And don't forget when that cop came in to arrest Zechs and he actually turned out to be a stripper..."
"Alright! Alright! I get the point!" he hollered. "I don't need a run down okay? Sorry I brought it up. Geez, some people." Duo went back to shoving eggs in his mouth. I glanced at Wufei who only winked at me and smirked in his tea cup. Duo:8,739,416, Quatre & Wufei: 3.
"So, what did Relena want?" Wufei asked, breaking the silence.
I almost choked on my tea when he asked that. If he doesn't know, then apparently the information told to me was on a ‘some need to know, some don't need to know' basis. "I can't tell you. If she wants you to know, you will be contacted." I wasn't ugly about it at all. I knew Wufei would understand. It is the same now as it was when we fought during the war. Sure, we eventually started working together, but we all had separate agendas that the others didn't know about. Heero would understand too. The only person who also understands but doesn't care is....
"What do you mean ‘if she wants you to know you will be contacted?' How is she going to tell you and not Wufei, knowing she is going to need him to cover both of your asses anyway? How are we," he pointed to himself, Sophie, Rashid, and Wufei with his thumb, "suppose to know where you are? Something could happen to either you or Relena and I wouldn't have the foggiest clue in the universe as to where you could be!" He then pointed his fork in Heero's direction, allowing it to fling egg everywhere. "Heero, you better put Relena's ass in check, pronto, and I'm not joking."
In half the time it takes to blink, Heero was on his feet and leaning across the table, glaring at Duo. "Don't disrespect her again, or I'll have YOUR ass." When Heero said that, Wufei backed up from the table a bit, Sophie grabbed the skillet again, Rashid stood in front of Sophie, perhaps preventing her from plowing someone else upside the head, and I remembered that we were out of scotch. It can't get much worse than that.
"Heero, let me tell you something." Duo stood up in a similar position to Heero, leaning across the table. His ice bag was placed on the table next to my plate, forgotten momentarily. His cross dangled loosely from his neck, swinging back and forth from the momentum. "This is the first time and the last time I'm going to say this, so listen carefully, okay? I don't mean to disrespect her. Do you want to know the truth?" Heero didn't answer, so Duo continued, "I'm jealous of her. I am. I admit it. She has you, and it pisses me off to no end. I loved you. I still do. Hell, if I could grow tits I would! But from the word ‘go' it has always been a competition between me and her for you. From the first day I met the both of you, I was trying to save her and she took the side of the man that was going to kill her!"
Duo straightened up and took a shaky breath. I've never seen him this way before, and I was afraid that after all this he would do something destructive, and I'm in no condition to do anything about it.
Once he calmed back down, he continued. "Everything I love, I lose. Solo, Father Maxwell, Sister Helen, and now you." When he said that *I* almost cried. "I don't even have my god damn gundam anymore, don't you understand?" He grabbed my arm with one hand and Wufei's arm with the other, motioning at Heero to look at us. "You see them? They are all I have, and I will do anything and everything to protect them. I mean it. If I thought for half a second that someone might threaten their well being, I would kill them."
He paused a moment to let the statement sink in, and who that someone might be. "Let's make a deal shall we?" He plopped back down in his chair, where he put his bare feet in Wufei's lap, crossing them at the ankles. Heero sat down at this point, but continued to hover over the table. "When we guarded Relena and Quatre for their speeches, I was always on Relena's detail, and you were always on his. Wufei covered for us both. And our positions remained that way even after you and I broke up, and do you know why? Because she is important to peace, yes, but more accurately, I did it because she is even more important to you. And because I love you, I would protect her with my life to keep you happy. Above all else I want you to be happy."
Sophie came to the table to refill everyone's glass with orange juice or coffee, after she put the skillet away I presume, and lightly kissed Duo on the head before disappearing further into the kitchen. Wufei took this time to lean over and whisper something in his ear, and Duo nodded. Rashid appeared a split second afterward and was also whispered something from Duo. What is going on with all the secrecy?
After Rashid left he continued. "This is the deal. I would like for you to do the same for me. Whatever is going on that you know about that is going to involve Quatre, I want you to cover him personally, not only for Quatre's sake, but for my own. If you ever cared about me at all, you will do this. Agreed?"
Out of all the things that we all have fought through together, this was the hardest. It was a simple request, but the act itself was enormous. I've never heard Heero tell Duo that he loved him. I knew it by the way he looked at him or when Heero went through extra trouble for some video game or whatnot Duo wanted, so that he could see him smile. But Duo doesn't know. He never knew. There is a difference between following your emotions and expressing your emotions. I could never get Heero to understand that.
"Agreed." I could feel my eyes try to bug out of my head, but I kept my composure neutral as best as I could, considering the fact that I was wearing pink pajamas with an ice pack on my head. Sure. Heero agreed to Duo's bargain, and he was going to stick to it. So now I will go to Earth with Relena only to have Heero breathing down my neck the entire time. I would have it easier if I surrendered to White Fang.
"Okay! Now that that business is taken care of, on to better things. Ha!" Duo jumped up from his seat and did a pose of Austin Powers, which was pretty weird looking, since he was only wearing his boxers and his hair was held in a bun by a pencil. I'm gonna have to burn or bury that tape, burn preferably. But there was something in his voice that bothered me. Duo's cheer seemed very strained. Maybe it was Heero. I don't think so, but it could be.
"Oh Quatre! Me and Wu-babe are going to the library and will probably be gone all day. Heero is off today, and it would be good if you two went to the mall or something. Both of you need some new clothes. So Heero, your first mission is to get Quatre laid."
"Duo!" I yelled clear across the colonies, I swear.
Heero didn't help the situation by giving me that cold, non-emotional glare before he responded, "Mission accepted."
"Oh no, not you too!" I cried.
Wufei quietly stood from his seat, taking his plate to the dishwasher. While taking the rest of our plates, he commented, "You know Quatre, Heero never fails a mission."
That did it. I put the ice pack down on the table on top of Duo's. With the remaining blood that was circulating in my hand, I flipped off all three of them. I don't do things like that, they are rude and vulgar to say the least, but an exception will be made this time. Unfortunately for me, it didn't work. I was awarded with laughter from all three boys. So much for vulgarity.
"Flippin' us off Quatre?" Duo snickered. "That's the whole idea behind the mission silly!"
That's it. That tape is as good as charcoal. "Well, I'm going to take a shower now. And guys?" I stood up and tucked the chair back under the table, gaining their attention. All three peered at me, eyebrows slightly raised. "Do me a favor. Don't kill each other, don't attempt," I had to emphasize this to Heero, "to kill each other, and don't break anything." Again, for Heero.
"We'll try," Duo said with a smirk. I sighed. My house is doomed.
For a brief second I prayed to Allah, asking that I have a home when I get out of the shower. Once that was done, I left the kitchen for the indubitable safety of my bedroom.
I know why I'm so skinny. It's the stairs. Why I decided to live in my father's home where it takes eight years to get up a flight of stairs is beyond me. Must be sentimental. But anyway, I could've taken the elevator, but from where I was in the house, the walk to the elevator would take as much time as climbing the stairs, so here I am, huffing and puffing up my white marble stairway, telling myself that a trip to the gym every now and then wouldn't kill me.
I finally made it to my room where I promptly closed the door. I decided against locking it, since if Duo really did want something from my room, he wouldn't hesitate to break the door down, or the lock. I know this from personal experience. The bird wasn't at the window any more, but I figured I'd see him again. This was the second time I've noticed him in the past two days.
I walked over to my closet where the mirror door easily slid aside to reveal my wardrobe. The clothes to the left were things that I usually wore: my slacks, vests, shirts and whatnot. On the right side was some of the stuff Duo bought me, which were not very....um....appropriate for daily events.
I selected one of my favorite sweaters, a burnt orange color, which was thin, and the collar of the sweater came down to around my collar bone, so it wasn't too warm. Some blue jeans were chosen, along with my brown hiking boots. I don't know what it is, but I feel more secure in boots. I can still run in them without them slowing me down too much, but also I can fight better with them on, and because they're boots you can do more damage. I know we live in a time of peace, but there are certain things taught to you that can never be undone. One of these days I intend to get Duo to sleep without a gun under his pillow.
Next I went to my drawer and pulled out a pair of socks that I immediately threw over my shoulder. They landed on top of my bed next to my clothes. I couldn't decide on whether to wear boxers or briefs today. I'm usually pretty comfortable with both, but since my jeans are a little close fitting, I suppose I'll go with the briefs. That's all I need is to have my boxers riding up and have to constantly dig them out of my behind.
After that was over, I padded across the blond carpet and into the bathroom. Wufei has never stepped foot in my bathroom because it's pink. So what would happen if I painted the refrigerator pink? Too bad something like that wouldn't stop Duo. Anyway, I don't consider it pink. It's more of a mauve color. The tile of the walls are mauve, where the sink is white but has the stains of mauve in it, if that makes sense. The sink matches the three steps that lead up to the shower stall, where the shower floor is also tile. I don't have a curtain, but glass doors do just as well to keep the water from spilling out. Above the toilet I have a little white cabinet where I keep my extra towels and such, and that's it for my bathroom. Nothing extravagant.
I stepped in and surveyed the floor, making sure there weren't any shards left that might have been missed during the night. I looked up to see what was left of my mirror. There was a huge hole in the middle of it, about the size of a basketball, but the rest of the mirror held onto the wall for dear life.
Standing in front of what remained of the mirror, I unwrapped my hand and let the gauze fall into the sink. I was fairly surprised. It didn't look too bad at all. There were numerous cuts, but they were short and clipped, hardly breaking the skin. The cuts that were of concern were the ones between my knuckles, where I guess the glass was smashed in between the bone. Those cuts were still bright red and sore. Just moving my fingers made them hurt.
I walked over to the shower where I turned on the hot water, testing it with my wrist. Once the temperature was where I wanted it, I took off my pj's and tossed them into the hamper that sat beside the sink. I entered the shower, moving in and out of the hot water until my body adjusted. When the water completely drenched my hair, I popped the top of my shampoo bottle and poured some into my palm. This one was a Paul Mitchell brand, awaphi shampoo. Mostly I just liked the smell, which was faintly of ginger.
After I conditioned my hair, I started with the rest of my body. I love showers. They're great, and I don't mean in the sense that if you don't shower you'll smell like a foot. For me, it gives me time to sort out all of my thoughts and reflect on whatever is going on, even daydream. I have complete privacy to be by myself and to be myself. It's the only true peace I have.
All too soon my peace ended, and I turned off the shower before Heero decided to come up here and get me out himself. I know that from experience too. Before I opened the shower door, I felt a cool breeze whip about me, dancing across the skin on my back and flowing along my chest, causing the hairs on my arm to rise and my nipples to harden. Yes, taking a shower is great, but the aftermath is not fun at all. I'm going to freeze to death. Also, it's kinda weird to find a breeze going through the bathroom, since the door is closed and there isn't a window, but all I can do is shrug. Stranger things have happened. 
I crossed my arms in front of my chest in a feeble attempt to keep warm. My shivering hardly helped the situation. Anyway, it took me maybe five minutes to open the shower door since I wouldn't unfold my arms to use my hands. Elbows, I discovered, have several uses: breaking windows, opening shower doors, closing car doors, nudging your best friend when he falls asleep during a meeting...you know, that sort of thing.
I finally got the shower door to open when I felt the cool breeze swirl around me once again. I ignored it for the time being and reached for a towel that hung on the wall and began to dry myself off. Starting with my hair, I squeezed it with the towel to absorb some of the extra water, then buried my face in it, inhaling the warm fragrance of Downy. Ah, I love this stuff. As I continued to dry myself off, I hummed one of the my favorite pieces, the Great Gate of Kiev by Mussorgsky, and thought about what we should do at the mall. I'd like to go to an arcade and play some air hockey, or maybe skeeball and win a Scooby Doo stuffed animal. Mariemaia would love the stuffed animal.
I was standing on the top step of the shower stall with my hand against the wall. Bending over, I started to dry off my left foot when the breeze came one last time, except the whole situation wasn't right.
Something pinched my cheeks, and I don't mean the ones on my face.
"Ah!" I yelped and bolted up straight, only to slip and fall. Grabbing at the towel rack, I managed not to crack the back of my head against the tiled stairs, but the rest of my body wasn't so lucky. My back made an interesting sound as wet skin collided with the dry, solid floor, knocking the wind out of me. The towel fluttered lightly in the air for an instant before landing on my face. I am stark naked and wet, laying on a cold, hard floor, with a towel blinding me. I should've stayed in bed.
"Quatre, what the hell are you doing?!" That could only be one person. Wufei.
"I'm getting out of the shower!" I yelled through the towel.
"Since when did getting out of a shower require you shrieking?" he shouted through the bathroom door.
"Sorry, I didn't realize I was that loud."
"You weren't. I came in to tell you that Duo and I are leaving now, and won't be back until later on this evening. Of course now I'm skeptical of leaving you alone since you feel the need to scream when getting out of a shower."
I rolled my eyes--well--tried to roll my eyes since they were closed, and sighed. He can certainly rub things in. "Next time I'll make sure you aren't in the vicinity when I do this."
I heard him snort, then nothing else. He must've left. I'm curious though as to why, of all people, Duo would go to a library, and even more curious as to why he would stay there all day. He must have something up his sleeve. And if that is the case, so does Wufei. Oh well.
I was tempted to stay there until Heero came up to see what was taking me so long, but after another minute of freezing my behind off, I decided that I couldn't wait. I forced myself to a sitting position, where the towel promptly fell off my face and into my lap. With shaky hands I pushed myself up to my feet, mindful of the slick floor, and made it to the safety of a carpeted room.
Once to my bed I laid face down on it, tossing the towel on the floor, trying to will the pain away from my back and behind. / What was that? / My mind kept replaying the incident over and over again, trying to make sense of what occurred. I know I didn't pinch myself. One hand was on the wall and the other was drying off my foot. I don't think I grew a third one. It doesn't make sense. I felt it. Not only did I feel it, but it HURT. That was a hard pinch. A little prick or something I could brush off as a muscle spasm, but this? I don't get it.
There was a gentle knock at my door, and I turned my head to face it. "Yes?"
"Master Quatre, Master Heero-"
"Abdul, tell him I'll be down in T minus five minutes."
I quickly rolled on my back and stood up to get dressed. Soon I was done and looking at ten of me in the mirror as I brushed my teeth and combed my hair. In four minutes and forty five seconds I was hurrying down the stairs with a wallet in one hand and the nitroglycerine tablets for my heart condition in the other. Heero waited at the door for me, staring at something in the wall.
"Odin?" I approached him but left about a foot between us in case I needed to run for some reason. I know that's a cruel thing to think about him, but this is Heero. He can accidently kill with you with his hands as much as he can intentionally.
He glanced to me for a brief second before he faced the wall and then me again. "I'm. Sorry."
I was taken back when the words hit me. "Sorry? For what?"
He glanced back to the wall and stuck his finger in the hole, tracing the inner edges of it. "I'm sorry for this."
I shook my head and tucked the hair that escaped back behind my ear. "Don't worry about it. Rashid will have it fixed while I'm away. I'm afraid the smell of fixing it will aggravate my condition. But you will make it up to me."
One of his eyebrows raised to his hairline as he crossed his arms in front of his chest. "Oh really? And how am I making this up to you?"
I tried to smile sweetly and batted my lashes. "Play air hockey with me."
His arms dropped to his sides while the growl tore away from his throat. "Air hockey? You know how much I hate that game."
"Come on Odin! It'll be fun."
I didn't want to do this, but it looks like I have no choice. I started out with a small pout. Heero just crossed his arms and gave me a hard look. I pouted some more and added the ‘lost puppy dog' eyes, then made my lip tremble a bit. The hard look he gave me softened, and I moved in for the kill. "P-p-please play air hockey with me?"
His resolve crumbled like the Berlin wall. I am good. "Fine. But if you tell anybody-"
"I know I know you'll kill me blah blah blah let's go already!" I beamed.
Heero only smirked at me then opened the door, ushering me out. Once the door was firmly closed and locked, we began the twenty foot journey to the car. "Is Relena going to meet us there? It would be nice if we could all spend some time together."
Heero seemed to consider this. "I don't know. I can give her a call once we get to the mall, see if she'll meet us in the food court or something."
"Yeah. She needs some down time too."
"That would be nice. She would appreciate that Quatre." He gave me a genuine smile and mussed my hair. He always does that. I think he has a thing for blondes, who knows. But anyway, as much as I could talk about Relena or the weather, I couldn't shake the feeling that we were being watched. I can feel eyes burning into my back, and the itching between my shoulder blades was enough to make me want to jump out of my skin. I tried not to quicken my pace or run back into the house for Duo's gun. This feeling is driving me nuts.
Suddenly, Heero wrapped his arm around my shoulders and pulled me close. He tilted his head towards me as he whispered in my ear, "It's okay Quatre, I feel it too."
I calmed down immediately and fell into his embrace. It wasn't romantic by any means, just one of brotherly love. He is my friend, and wouldn't let anything happen to me. Still, I immediately became worried for Heero. I felt the steel gaze shift from me to him.
It felt like jealousy.
 Does anybody else have this problem? Every time I get ready to get out of the shower, this breeze comes out of nowhere, and I'm like ‘okay, there is NO window, NO air conditioning duct, what the hell?' Just wondering if I am the only one.