Warning: Weak kissing scene.

Another Murder of Crows: Part 6

We made it to Wet Desert Mall without anything major happening, which was both good and bad. Good in the way that Heero and I weren't in any immediate danger, but bad in the way that there might be danger ahead. Regardless, I forced myself to shake off the negative feeling and enjoy the day. It has been a while since I was able to spend time with Heero.

On the way to the mall, I let Heero use the car phone to call Relena and invite her to come along with us. She and Dorothy were at the office, going over the arrangements for the trip to the Sanc Kingdom. They were leaving Thursday evening around seven or so, and I will join them Saturday afternoon. Anyway, the two of them will meet us at around five o'clock in the food court. It's a little after three now.

The other pilots, especially Duo, have always commented on how Heero and I made the perfect team when it came to being in pairs. We always complemented each other. If I was day, he was night. If he pushed, I would pull. Our bodies and minds seemed to be in tuned with each other in a way that even I don't understand. Colleagues at the Preventers made the same jokes too, often going as far as to say that we were telepathically linked. I knew exactly what he wanted when he wanted where he wanted without him so much as blinking. The same rang true with me. Une always stuck Heero and I together for any type of project because of this understanding. The trip to the Sanc kingdom is going to be the same.

Whatever the case, the force was very much awake now as we maneuvered through the crowd. I would slow down knowing he would speed up to cut in front of me, and he would stop and parry to the side just enough for me to glide past him, cross in front of him, and take the lead again. Our movements were smooth and fluid as we slivered our way to the game arcade room.

Our resolve at being mature died instantly when we stepped over the threshold. The sound of beeps and buttons, with bright, colorful lights flashing from numerous machines had me drooling like an infant. In another split second I darted to the race car driving game (no matter how many times I play it, I can never remember the name) and jumped into the driver's seat on the left. Heero was a split second behind me jumping into the right seat. On an almost primal level, I dug in my pocket and revealed four credits, where Heero immediately swiped two and inserted them in his slot. I inserted the other two in mine and soon the image of a woman wearing a pink bikini and black high heels appeared, counting down from five to go.

After thirteen games (Heero won 7, I won 6), we decided to go tackle the arcade games. We played X-Men so many times we could beat the game with our eyes closed. Terminator 2 was broken, and I knew better than to go anywhere near a dart board when Heero was around. Call me, oh, I don't know, sane. The skeeball machine lanes were all occupied, so we decided on Mortal Kombat. The game of games. Ah. I am in heaven.

We just finished the third game when I realized I was out of change. "Do you have a few credits on you? I'm out. I thought I had more."

"Yeah, but they're in the car. I'll have to go get them. Of course, I shouldn't do that for a cheater."

"Cheater?" I asked, laughing in his face. "Just because I won all three games doesn't make me a cheater."

He almost pouted. "I can't believe you beat me, and you did it using Sonya!"

"Well, you always pick Scorpio and you always do the same moves! It gets hard not to notice when you're about to pull the mask off and shoot me with flame, Odin." I placed my hands on my hips with a sassy smirk on my face. He is such a sore loser.

"Fine. I'm going to the car and I'll be right back." He pulled out some credits from his pocket and handed them to me. "Stay out of trouble until I get back."

I tried to look appalled, but I'm sure I looked more like a big mouthed imp. "I can't believe you think that I will get myself in trouble. I'm not you or Duo you know!"

He turned around with a smug grin of his own. "Yeah, but you hang around me and live with Duo, so what does that say about you?"

His smirk got even more smug before he turned and jogged his way out of the dark blue room. Unable to get the last word in, I stomped my foot in irritation. I guess he's not the only sore loser after all. Argh!

Slightly flustered from not getting the last word in, I turned back towards the game and inserted the few credits Heero handed to me. I guess the best way to deal with my misfortune of losing a verbal battle, which is worse since I work with a lot of politicians, is to take out all my frustration on Reptile and Sub-Zero.

I delivered a swift roundhouse kick to another character's jaw when the joystick of the machine got stuck. Again. That has to be how they make their money. The game is old enough to where everyone on Earth and the colonies could beat it easily, so instead of conjuring up new games, they make the existing ones difficult to use. Right. I'm going to end up buying the mall just to fix this thing, if I don't own it already.

In the time it took me to unlock the joystick, I was defeated. I had ten seconds to add more credits when I noticed that I was out and Heero wasn't back yet. Completely exasperated, I pouted at the screen when a hand came out of nowhere and inserted two credits for me. My palm slapped across the white start button and kicked the game back into life. Once a safe distance away from the enemy, I paused the game to see my savior.

"Thank you so much! I've never made it this far up in the level before and I'm so happy you had an extra credit. Hold on just a minute, my friend will be here any second and I can pay you back." I tried to be as nonchalant as possible, considering the way my heart was starting to tingle with pain. That was kind of weird. After another second I realized there was something wrong about the guy. He was of Middle Eastern descent, that much was for sure, but he seemed to be from Earth rather than the colonies. His skin was brown, about the shade of honey, and his eyes were bright hazel. His black hair was almost purple as it extended down to the base of his neck. All in all, he was cute. However, he wore silver. I know that my ethnicity would never wear silver, only gold, and this guy had on so much silver it was almost blinding. His smell was also familiar. One of cool, running water. I know that scent from somewhere.

He responded, shaking his head slowly, but his eyes never broke contact with mine. "No, that is not necessary. It is nothing."

Another thing that was familiar was his voice. It was deep and sensual. Very sensual. He had one of those low, tenor voices that could carry across a crowded room, cutting through any conversation a group of people could be having. It also made you weak in the knees just by its clarity and smoothness.

"N-no, I insist that I pay you back." It's getting harder to move.

"Oh, you will pay me back, but not with money." He took one step closer to me and traced my face with his fingertips. He started with my eyebrows, smoothing them back into place, then his thumb trailed down to my cheek, where it glided down to my chin. Once at my chin, his thumb slid up to my lips, where he started tracing them. At the same time, he closed his eyes and leaned forward, kissing me on the bridge of my nose. My breathing became fast and hard as he tried to gently pry my mouth open with his thumb, and the heat and the smell of cool running water flowing off of his body was intoxicating.

I wanted him. Badly.

He must've sensed this because he used his bottom lip to make a moist trail down my nose. My eyes slid shut as I felt his soft lip continue down until he captured my lips in a tender kiss. And then I did the unthinkable.

I kissed him back.

At first it wasn't anything major. I mean, our mouths were still closed for the most part, just him taking my lip between his and vice versa. But then my fingers started itching to touch his skin, and I seemed to be wearing way too many clothes. I wanted this so badly, but I am destined to be tortured. As soon as I lifted my hand to touch his face, the cool water and heat disappeared, leaving me thirty and cold.

I opened my eyes in enough time to see Heero slam his body against the wall. The man landed loudly against the wall, where he caught himself on his hands and knees before falling face down on the floor. Heero placed himself between the other boy and myself, but not before shooting me a very very VERY nasty glare. Uh oh.

It wasn't long before the young man made it to his feet. He wiped what little blood he had on his lip away with the back of his hand, and preceded to examine it like he had never seen blood before. After a few more seconds he glanced up at us, seeming to straighten out his hair and clothing.

"I'm sorry, I didn't know he was taken," he replied wryly and gave Heero a sinister smirk. Double uh oh. Of all the people to talk trash to, he picked the worst one in the universe. Heero didn't answer though, he just waited for the mysterious boy to either comment some more or throw a punch. Allah was on my side today, for the youth only chuckled softly and left the arcade, coughing a bit from the force of the throw. And that was the end of that.

I wasn't aware of the crowd that surrounded us until the other man's departure. I couldn't stand the quick glances and quiet whispers that the other occupants of the arcade room gave, so I covered my face in complete humiliation. I know, that doesn't do a whole lot of good, but at the time it made me feel better.

Heero's rough hands grabbed and squeezed my shoulders, ushering me out of the arcade room and into the hallway of the mall, since I didn't want to uncover my face. Once again we were in our rhythm. Heero and I coiled easily around each other, making it through mall traffic with ease. Once at the food court he guided me to a table where he sat me down and disappeared. I finally uncovered my eyes to allow them to adjust to the bright lighting. Soon, Heero came back with two lemonades. He sat one of them in front of me, as he took his straw and poked it through the plastic top. He took a quiet sip before placing the cup back down and staring at me. I took a sip and tried to shake off the chill I was having, and the twinge of pain that I felt earlier had dissolved to a very slight tightness.

Heero's unwavering stare didn't help at all. I know you must be thinking that he is not the boss of me and that I shouldn't take this from him, but the reality of it isn't that way. We are a family after all. Dysfunctional to the fullest, yes, but a family nonetheless. Heero's an older brother to me. Actually, they all are. It's like this: Duo is the type of brother that would let you drink beer, even though you aren't old enough, and sneak you into rated R movies, stuff like that. Wufei is the type of brother that will be stern with you, making sure you did your homework and had good grades, but knew how to relax at times. Now Heero is the type of brother that is a bully. Nobody would dare lay a finger on you because he would beat them up, but at the same time he would beat you up too. Not to say that I'm afraid of Heero, but that fear has been at the back of my mind. I would've never thought he would ever lay a hand on me, but from the few times he beat up Duo, I really can't say that anymore.

It didn't take too much longer before he reached his limit. "Explain."

I took a careful sip of my lemonade before beginning what I knew would be a very long conversation. "What time is it?"

"Just about five. Explain." I could never change the topic with him.

"Explain what? There is nothing to--"

I didn't get much further than that. Heero raised his hand and slammed it violently against the table, nearly knocking over my lemonade. My quick save was the only thing that prevented it from spilling. The sound of flesh smacking against a fiberglass table echoed throughout the cafeteria. Once again, we were the center of attention.

"Don't you even think about giving me that shit," he growled. "I know everyone you know. I know practically every person you ever met, talked to and slept with. I know all of your business contacts, employees and relatives. Out of all of those people, his face does not ring a bell. Not a single one. And by the way you reacted, I don't think you know him either. Duo would not appreciate it, so explain."

I gawked. What does Duo have to do with this? "Don't tell me you're going to accuse me of sleeping with Duo again? And by the way, you still haven't apologized for that! Also," I leaned forward across the table, forgetting the people watching us, "I don't appreciate you and Duo talking about me this morning like I'm some kind of....of omnipotent entity that needs to be protected! I'm not. I was a gundam pilot too you know! Sure, I'm not as strong as you or Wufei, but I can hold my own."

"Quatre, the key word is that you WERE a gundam pilot," he said, as if this didn't apply to him. "Now, you're the owner of Winner Enterprises, and a diplomat. Diplomats are not soldiers. And for the last time, explain."

I noticed then that I was standing over the table, and I don't even remember getting up. Heero's voice, throughout this whole conversation, has not risen one bit. He stayed as calm and collected as if he was telling me the weather. I don't have that talent. My shouting could be heard in outer space, I'm sure of it. "Well, this diplomat IS a soldier, and I don't have to explain shit!"

"Quatre!" The sound of Relena's voice brought both of us at attention. I turned wildly to face her, almost losing my balance. She and Dorothy had the look of absolute horror on their faces, and I felt terrible, since I was the one that put it there.

"Relena!" I tried to hide my anger and embarrassment with delight. "I'm so glad you could make it. Hello Dorothy." I moved towards Dorothy where I kissed both of her cheeks as our greeting. She kissed back but when I pulled away, her face was a clear reflection of how confused she felt. I moved to greet Relena when she held up her hand, gesturing for me to stay right where I was. Not a good sign.

"I think," her voice trembled slightly, as if she was trying not to cry, "that Dorothy and I would like to enjoy the rest of the day...alone. It appears that you two have some things that need to be worked out. It would be nice if you did so before Saturday, or at least come to a compromise."

"There isn't anything to compromise," Heero said coldly. I would think he could have a little more animation in his voice when he talks to her, at least.

She shrugged her shoulders slightly. "Maybe not. Of course, it isn't my concern though, is it Quatre?" She turned to face me a moment, I guess anticipating a retort. I didn't give one. "Well, good day gentlemen." And as quietly as she came, she left with Dorothy in tow.

My legs gave out and I fell back into the chair, dropping my face in my hands. If I could kick myself in the forehead, I would. Instead, I ran my fingers through my hair, pulling on the strands hard, almost to the point of ripping them out. I want to go home. Home. Good idea. The best I had all day.

I stood up and pulled the top off of the lemonade, downing it. Tossing it in the trash, I started making my way for the parking lot, with Heero two steps behind me. Just like before, we navigated our way through the crowd with ease, and soon we were rapidly approaching the vehicle that will take me away from here.

At that thought, I started running.


I moved from lane to lane, trying my best to get around all of these cars that seem intent on slowing me down. I wasn't speeding, but I was right on the borderline. It was a twenty minute drive to the mall we went to, so hopefully the drive back will be even shorter.

I was coming up on the bumper of the car in front of me, intending to jump in the right lane in front of another car to race to freedom. While about to make my move, flashes of something, a memory, a dream, I don't know, appeared right before my eyes. What bothers me the most is that it wasn't complete. One flash showed that I was in a car, a stationwagon actually, and Duo was there. Another was us in the car, kissing. Well, you can't call it kissing. We were on our way to having....you know, in the car. Anyway, another one was of Wufei trying to pull me out, but for some reason Duo was trying to keep me in. The last one was of Duo bashing my head against the dashboard?


I just about ran into the car in front of me and had to stomp on my brakes to keep from crashing. My sportscar is so light that while moving the clutch to first gear, I broke something in it. It swirled out of control until I managed to pull over on the side of the road, out of harms way. Running out of the car, I popped the hood open to see the steam rising out of it, and noticed that the smell of something burning was not a good smell, even for a car. I had to resist the urge to lay my head across the engine and let the hood drop on me.

Heero was beside me in a few heartbeats, going over the engine with an expert eye. I didn't care what he wanted to do, and I didn't care what was wrong. I was just mad that I broke it, and it would take longer for me to get home.

"Get in the car." I sucked my teeth in irritation for a moment before I complied with his order. Arguing now is not going to help me get my car fixed sooner, so I would let him do whatever he felt he had to do to get it going again.

Sitting in the passenger seat, I slammed the door and sat with my arms crossing my chest. I watched as car after car went along the freeway, completely oblivious to us stranded alongside the road. Many of the cars that passed us I cut off, so maybe they thought that us being stuck was justice. Ha. There are more and more Wufei's in the world.

Heero came back and sat in the driver's seat, starting the ignition. The engine wouldn't turn over, so he paused, waiting for it to cool before starting it again. I continued to watch the cars go by.

"What the hell is wrong with you?"

I acted as if I didn't hear the question. I don't want to talk to him right now. He tried the ignition again. It still didn't turn over.

"Damnit Quatre, I'm tired of arguing with you--"

"And I'm tired of arguing with you!" I snapped and went back to watching the cars. He tried again. No luck. He sat back hard in the seat, causing the car to rock a bit. I didn't say a word.

"What do you want from me, huh? Do you want me to apologize about accusing you and Duo of being together? Do you want me to break my agreement to Duo? What?"

It's so hard to listen to Heero when he talks in that monotone voice of his. It makes me want to scream or hit him or something, anything to get a real reaction out of him. A lot of people don't understand Heero. They think of him as a cold, one-track minded person. I know differently. I was there when he got sick, whether it was the flu or just a cold. I was there when he woke up screaming from nightmares, either from the war or from his training. I was there when he called out for a dead girl and her puppy, crying like he would never stop. And it upsets me when he reverts back to what I call a 'machine frame of mind.' Emotionally, it's like he moves up one but then steps back two.

I turned to him then, and I could feel my eyebrows draw together in anger. His features were totally slack and passive. Typical. "No. I don't want you to apologize unless you mean it. You should apologize not because of what you said about me and Duo, but because what you said crushed him and hurt me! And I don't like your agreement with him. You should want to watch after me because YOU don't want me to get hurt, not because it's your job or that someone else put you up to it. Now take me home!"

I stared back out to the freeway and watched the cars zoom by. I heard Heero turn the key and the car started with a jump. Pulling out carefully, we managed to ease onto the freeway, but the transmission was shot, so we were stuck doing fifteen miles an hour.

With a very long drive ahead of us, I leaned back into my seat and thought about my newest revelation, contemplating how much Duo's kisses tasted like that guy's.


Here's a pic of Quatre's car.