A Murder of Crows: Part 6
Someone was kissing me again. I was back in the car, squeezed roughly against the door. I couldn't open my eyes, but the feel of their hands on me deters me from trying. My arms were wrapped tightly around his neck, refusing to let him slip away from me in the slightest, but my efforts were in vain. He pulled back to breathe, and that lustful look on Trowa's face made me blush again. I was losing myself in those cold, ice blue eyes...
What? That wasn't right...
I sat up fast, startled, trying to distinguish reality from my dreams. As if I really needed to try. Trowa would only do something like that in my dreams. That should've been my first clue.
I got my breathing under control gazing out of the window. The only sign of the sun was a slight sliver above the horizon, indicating early morning. Leaning back against the headboard, I let my mind wander over the past few days, the information jumbled up inside my brain. Injuries will do that to you. You won't know night from day, up from down. You'll walk around in a complete state of confusion when it's dark. I wish my watch wasn't broken.
A slight noise to my left drew my attention. Trowa had moved the chair from Duo's side of the bed, to mine. He sat in his usual position: legs crossed, arms folded, face completely void of expression. How did he do it?
But I focused on his visible eye, the perfect shade of emerald green. Good. One less thing to worry about.
I realized that he was staring at me. Maybe he was waiting for me to say something? "Good morning, Trowa." I knew it was cheesy, but what else could I say? 'Trowa, I think I'm in love with you.' Right.
"Good morning, Quatre."
Frowning, something occurred to me. "You didn't sleep at all, did you?"
"No, but don't worry about it. I'm not tired. You needed the rest, though. You were moaning in your sleep all night."
Oh, please, I hope I didn't. "Did I say anything?"
"Nothing I could make out." Good.
Stretching out, I yawned, trying tactfully to look at Trowa from the corner of my eye. He was usually up before I was, or off on a mission, so I never had the chance to just sit and look at him. Speaking of looking at him... A deep blue mark on the side of his face caught my attention. Reaching across I instinctively clasped his chin between my hands, examining the bruise.
"Trowa, what happened?" Before he had a chance to lie to me, I recognized the small curvatures of knuckle across his chin, the one in the middle shaped like a big 'O.' Only one hand was small enough to do that. "Oh no, Trowa, I-I'm sorry! I didn't mean--"
I shuddered slightly. That happened sometimes when Trowa said my name juuust right. "Yes?"
"Don't worry about it. It wasn't your fault. You were stunned."
"Stunned? From what?"
He shrugged slightly. "Last night, Duo was possessed and attacked you. You were dragged to the pond where the...ghost, tried to drown you. But you fought him off."
"I don't remember. I remember the car, and Wufei getting hurt. But after that, I-I don't, can't remember--"
"Don't worry yourself. It will come back to you later on."
"Yes, you're right." Now, Trowa's stare was intense. I couldn't stand looking at him, even though he didn't blame me for hitting him. So I moved my glance to Duo lying beside me, taking up three fourths of the bed. His body stretched with his feet at one corner, to the other end diagonally. His arms sprawled across the bed, with his elbow resting in my lap. I laughed lightly at the pilot sucking his thumb. Some habits died hard.
Gathering my courage, I focused back on Trowa. "Where's Wufei and Heero?"
"They left right after your staring contest." An almost microscopic smile splayed across his lips, and I blushed a little bit. THAT I remember. "They're going to steal some cars, and hopefully get their hands on a bike too. We need to leave. Things are getting intense."
"Yeah," was all I managed to say. All of this stuff was happening, and the only thing I could think of was getting Trowa into bed with me. Focus Quatre, focus.
Trowa's intense gaze wasn't helping me in the slightest. The one visible eye had enough weight to pin me to the bed, so all I could do was stare back at him. And with the sun barely above the horizon, the orange light flowed into the room, casting a gold sheen across his face. Trowa was absolutely gorgeous. It made me sick almost. I would've never met him if it wasn't for this war.
If he would be with me, I would protect him from all harm. Even if he didn't want to be with me, I would still protect him from all of those things.
I loved him, and it was driving me crazy.
I had to tell him how I felt. I was so afraid though. What if he rejected me? I knew that things would probably go on as if I hadn't said anything, but that would always be in the back of his mind every time he saw me, wouldn't it? I knew I was being ridiculous. Duo and I have seen the way he looked at me sometimes, or the way he touched me when he thought I was asleep.  Trowa would not be the one to come out and say it. That would be up to me. But I couldn't. Not yet. Not until I had this business with Krahe figured out.
Duo, stirring in his sleep, brought my attention back to him. Thank Allah. His eyes opened lazily, and yawning loudly, he scratched his temples. He smiled at me with the warm, mischievous smile that I was used to, not with the one from the night before.
Suddenly, his eyes flew open. He jumped out of bed and stumbled back, facing me. "Oh god, Quatre. Stay away from me! I'm--"
"Duo? Duo, no. It's okay. It wasn't your fault. *I* couldn't defend myself against him. How could you?"
I started making my way towards him, on the bed. Trowa stood up, walking around to intercept Duo. But Duo only backed his way into the corner, repeating over and over, "I'm sorry."
"Duo, please," I pleaded, trying to will him back towards me. "Please don't walk away from me." Off the bed, I grabbed his hands, squeezing so hard my fingernails bit into his palms. To walk away from me, he was going to have to rip my hands off.
"Quatre," he started. "He's evil. The bastard did this to get back at me, and he won't stop until he has you. Do you know what his soul said to me?" Not expecting an answer, he continued. "It told me to let you go, that you want him and only him. It said that we should leave, because you are going... home...with him. He thought you and I were, were...uh...lovers."
I let my head drop to my chest. I figured as much. He might think that since Duo and I spend almost all of our time together, and since we've been here, Duo has slept in my bed.
The next sound echoing in the room was laughter. It started out as a weak chuckle, then slowly grew to a painstaking roar. Duo was laughing. Hard. I looked to Trowa, who just returned my look and shrugged. I was beginning to think Duo had lost his mind.
"He-he hah, he thought you and I were LOVERS!" His hands fell away from mine, and clutched his stomach. As he rolled around on the floor, a few weak chuckles passed my lips while I dropped to my knees, suddenly feeling drained. I could certainly see the humor in this. Of course, nobody else did, but Duo and I knew better.
"Hoo! Oh man, that was great." He stood finally, brushing his pants off. Then he held me by the wrists to help me up. When he let go, blood clung on my wrists. He opened his hands to see some blood flaking off of his palms, but he didn't have any cuts. I opened my hands to see even more dried blood, with small tears in my skin.
"Quatre, what happened?"
"I don't remem--oh yes I do. I was praying for you last night and I guess I held your cross too tightly." He glanced down at his bare chest, the silver contrasting greatly against his tan skin, and saw small traces of blood on it.
"Trowa, could you leave us alone for a minute?" Duo asked, but was already shooing him to the door. Without another word he was out, closing the door firmly behind him. Duo returned to me, eyes on the floor. Then he stopped a foot in front of me, and stared. I knew I was only clad in my blue pajama bottoms, which he has seen and borrowed, so that wasn't it. Following his gaze, I realized he was looking at my chest. I had a long, jagged cut that went from the middle of my chest, down to my belly button. A few other cuts here and there, along with scraps, also decorated my abdomen. The long cut surprised me though. I couldn't remember how I got it, and it wasn't there yesterday.
He then stepped up almost nose to nose with me, and touched something hard on my forehead. It felt like a knot. I flinched. I was afraid to look Duo in the eye in case I saw my reflection. From the expression on his face, I looked terrible. What on Earth and the Colonies happened last night?
Whatever it was, he shook it off, and yanked the chain free from around his neck. With the sharp edge on one of the clovers, he dug it into his palm and made a small cut. I gasped.
"Duo, what are you doing?"
He didn't answer me, only focused on his bloody palm. After that, he turned my palm over to reopen the cuts. I didn't resist. Then, taking my ring off, he shoved it, along with the cross, into his pocket, and held my hand at shoulder level, palm to palm.
"Now, we're blood brothers. You can't die until I do."
With that, I squeezed his hand harder, making sure the blood mixed. I have twenty nine sisters, and have been the only boy all my life. Now I would finally have a brother. No longer friends, but family.
I was sure Trowa was confused, even though he didn't say anything. Duo and I sat next to each other, side by side, our left hands completely wrapped in gauze, grinning stupidly at each other. The gauze almost swallowed my ring entirely. I had to keep readjusting it in order to prevent it from cutting off my circulation.
Heero's cell phone rang, scaring the living daylights out of all of us. It was only temporary, since no one really called an unlisted number, and if they called this one, it could only be one of five people.
"I'LL GET IT!" Duo launched himself over the table, and landed next to the phone. He casually swiped it from the floor and answered it. "Duo here. Yo Wu-man, what's up? Uh huh. Uh huh. Uh-huh."
Listening to a one-sided conversation was maddening, especially with Duo. He didn't give any answers that would suggest the content of the conversation. So I waited until he slapped the phone closed, and gingerly made his way back to the table.
He sat there, totally oblivious to me and Trowa waiting as he inhaled his Cheerios. "What?"
"Duo, what did Wufei say?" I was about to throttle my new brother.
"Wufei? Oh yeah! He said that he and Heero managed to get their hands on a 4-Runner. After they pick up some supplies, they will be on their way back here. Heero wants to leave time they get back, so be ready."
"When will they be back?"
"Later on tonight, tomorrow morning at the latest."
"Why so long?"
"He said OZ is all over the place, fingerprinting, taking pictures. Heero managed to get the film from the officer that took their pictures and names. They will have to lay low for a while before sneaking out."
"Where are they?"
"As long as they're okay."
"They're fine. Between 'Justice Boy' and the 'Perfect Soldier,' I wouldn't worry about anything."
"Yeah, well, let's clean up and wait for them to get back. All this snow is starting to get to me. What needs to be packed? I know I packed my bag last night. It's in the wagon--" I gasped. I did not want to go out there to get my bag. It all crashed down on me at once: me and Duo in the car; Wufei; Duo's worn body face-down on the ice; the crows attacking them; Krahe falling through the ice; me, almost drowning...
"Quatre, say something. Quatre!"
"Huh, wha--" Duo was on his knees, holding me in his arms. Trowa was on my left, gently trying to shake my shoulder. Looking up towards the ceiling, I realized I was on the floor.
"One minute you were spouting orders, talking about packing, and the next minute, WHAM! On the floor sprawled out like a rag doll. What's wrong with you man?!"
"I, I just, sorry." I didn't want to think about it.
"Sorry my ass! You better tell me what's going on with you, quick-like."
I sighed in defeat. "It all came back to me. Everything from last night."
"Oh," Duo stated, the shock from his face wearing down.
"If you want me to," Trowa spoke up, breaking his usual air of silence, "I'll get the stuff out of the car. You can finish up whatever is upstairs. Duo and I will handle things outside."
"But how can you? Wufei and Heero took the 'wagon--"
"No," he interjected. "I dropped them off near a town and drove back. Heero instructed me that if he and Wufei did not return in two days, or if we did not hear from them, we were to leave with the ‘wagon."
"Oh. Alright," I murmured feebly. I still felt drained, but that came with the territory. All these months of fighting, I would be grateful when the war was over. "Help me up then."
Duo and Trowa grabbed their respective elbow and brought me to my feet, as if I didn't weigh a thing. Straightening my clothes out, I decided to go upstairs and get anything that could be useful.
My concentration was broken when I noticed that Duo had his devil-grin on his face. Oh no. I was afraid of what he was going to do, so I held onto a chair, in case he felt compelled to drag me off somewhere. Instead, he looked up at the ceiling, and his grin widened even more. Now we were in trouble.
"Duo, what are you grinning about?"
"Oh, nothing. I just remembered a detail about last night too."
For some reason, I got very, VERY scared. "Oh? What was that?"
Duo slowly licked his lips, switching his glare between me and Trowa. It wasn't the type of Death Glare Yuy would give, but more of an inquisitive look. After he moistened his lips, he embarrassed me like never before.
"Yeah, I almost forgot about me and Quatre in the car last night because of that sicko." Then Duo turned his cool look on Trowa, smacking his lips. "But I have to say, Trowa, that you don't know what you're missing." He said that while winking and tilting his head in my direction. I was too embarrassed to look either of them in the eye. Turning a beet red color, I walked stiffly out of the kitchen towards the safety of upstairs, while Duo's maniacal laughter echoed behind me.
I could feel eyes. Lots of them. Walking through the dining and living room, their gaze burned my back. On my way up the stairs, I could hear whispers, but whatever was said I couldn't make out. At my room, I noticed that the door was cracked. I pushed it open with my foot, slowly, and let it stop itself against the wall. I was surprised to find that the room was perfect: the bed was made, and the candle was still lit, the wax as perfect as if it was freshly made. That was disturbing, since it had been left burning all night.
I strolled over to the candle, and ran my hand over the flame. I didn't know why I did that or what possessed me to do it. But I was shocked to find that the flame didn't emit any heat. It was like the light was my imagination. It flickered when my hand moved above it, but it didn't burn. Actually, it was very cold. A flame giving off cold? That wasn't possible.
I turned away from the candle and saw the fireplace. There it was with the boy, stretching out his arm to the crow, smiling sweetly, the tree like a haven for them both. What a crock! He was about as sweet as a rabid pit bull.
/ Fine then. /
I swung around too slow. Who said that? It sounded audible, but it might have been in my head. Duo and Trowa were outside, and I knew I wasn't speaking out loud.
The sound of fluttering brought my attention to the window. There were hundreds of crows outside; on the tree, on the gutter, and on the snow. I should've known better. After the 'incident' last night, there wasn't a trace of them anywhere. Now they were back with a vengeance.
/ Quatre. /
I swung around again for the voice. At first, it had started out subtle; a whisper from this corner, then that, followed by a few cackles from the crows outside. Now, it was overwhelming. The crows were cawing loudly, the voice repeated my name over and over, but not in the same place or direction. I spun around again and again, frantically trying to locate the source of the voice, even though I knew I was alone in the room.
That was it! I've had enough.
"You will not defeat me!" I shouted with more conviction than I felt, but it had an effect. The crows stopped with their noise, and the voice quieted. I felt relief briefly, before the sensation of intense cold brushed against my back. Bright light blinded me, forcing me to cover my eyes. The intense cold brushed against me again, and I stepped forward to avoid its touch. The cold waves followed my step, coming up behind me, flowing against my hair, skin and ears. I move forward, trying to shield my eyes from the light, and to avoid the cold feel of whatever it was touch me.
Something was in my way. I pulled a latch open and stepped through whatever opening I made. The coldness intensified to the point where it bordered on pushing. I moved forward again to avoid it, and felt suddenly weightless. Something was screeching, but I couldn't hear it clearly.
The brightness died, so I uncovered my eyes in enough time to see a white background outlined with crows, before my world went black once again.
 This refers to chapter 3, when Trowa watched Quatre as he slept.