The Final Murder: Part 16

I wasn't alone.

Still lying in bed, I gripped the handle of the Bowie which was under my pillow. In one fluid motion, I whipped it out of its sheath so fast it sang, rolled to my other side and let the blade fly. Heero caught the handle, and held the knife in place as he turned so that I could see his profile. The point of the blade was less than half an inch from impaling into his left eye. He smiled. "You still got it," he said. He threw the knife back, which I caught expertly, and slid it back into its sheath. Hey, Catherine wasn't the only knife-thrower in the family.

I was sputtering for a good minute before I decided on an insult. "You big monkey turd covered in rat piss! Odin, I could've killed you!"

"Monkey turd covered in rat piss?" he questioned, raising an eyebrow. "I haven't heard Duo use that one."

"He didn't. Kitty did," I grumbled, trying to calm my heart rate down.

He balked. "You allow your son to use that kind of language?"

"Only if he really means it," I said, and then thought about the time he used it. Yep, my son was pretty mad at Blue's Clues. "Odin, what are you doing here?"

"Several things," he said, ticking off his fingers as he counted them. "First of all, I'm here because Duo told me what happened," I gasped, but he ignored me, "and didn't want to face me. So he told me to go off and do something while he got himself together. Secondly, I'm here because Dorothy has been a royal pain in the ass about you being here by yourself, despite my assurances that you're not a virginal little girl. Thirdly," his voice softened, "I'm here because I'm confused about some things, and you're the only one that can clear this up for me."

"Oh Odin...I don't know how I could clear this up for you when I'm confused myself."

"You know more than you think you know," he said. "Clean up and get dressed. I'll get breakfast." He stood up and made to leave. "Wash that damn dye out of your hair too. Black is too harsh a color for you." He pulled the door closed behind him.

Oh, right. As if I'd take hair advise from someone who wouldn't know what to do with a comb even if it came with a manual.

Despite my snarkness at his comment about my hair, I went ahead and washed it out. It was the type where some dye rinses out with each wash, and after about four hard scrubs I got it back to a dull blond. My fingers were pruned skin, so I wasn't willing to wash my hair again. When I got dressed and stepped out of the bathroom, I saw that Heero had invaded McDonald's and attacked with a passion. He had food all over my bed: McMuffins the size of my face, apple danishes, sausage biscuits, with and without egg and bacon, enough hashbrowns to be its own army, pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, coffee, and everything else they could possibly have on their menu. I, since he spent his money on this, had no choice but to eat as much of my share as I could. After all, it was the only civil thing to do.

I sat at the foot of the bed and started to dig in. He sat at the head, and was working his way through a breakfast combo plate. We ate in silence for a good ten minutes before Heero sipped on his coffee, set his cup down on the night stand and stared at me.

That was my cue. "You know Duo and I kissed the night before?"


"And that it wasn't a brotherly kiss, but a ‘kiss' kiss."


I shrugged. "I'm pretty sure Duo told you everything. Why ask me?"

"Because I want to know your side of the story, and match it up with what Duo said. And I also want to know what happened to you." He nodded at my wrist. The swelling was almost gone, but it was nice and purply-black. "That looks fresh, and your throw was off a little because of it. You're also walking stiffly. Who attacked you?"

"I'll get to that in a minute." I waved his question off with my good hand. "Please understand Odin, that if anyone is to blame, it's me." He didn't move or comment. I didn't expect him to. "But at the same time, it wasn't something that I...I didn't intend for it to happen, okay? I...there is a theory he and I have. I'm sure he's told you, but if not, I'm going to tell you. Krahe is back, and he's up to something. Again. See, in the middle of the night, he ‘appeared' in my room and told me that he intended for Duo and I to sleep together so that my betrayal would break Trowa's hold over me and over him."

Heero raised an eyebrow. "Trowa has a hold over him?"

"Yeah. At least he says so. And personally, I believe him."

"What's the hold?"

"I don't know." I snorted. "You know Krahe. He's great at giving you information without giving you information."

"No, I don't. At least, I don't know him like you do."

I took a bite out of my sausage biscuit. That hurt me, but at the same time it was the truth. Heero was right, and he was trying to tell me in the only way he knew how: by throwing it in my face.

He cleared his throat to break my thoughts. "What's the theory? Duo didn't explain and I didn't get the chance to ask."

I welcomed him getting me back on track. His comment still bothered me though. "Theory is, he's manipulating our feelings so that Duo and I are...sexually attracted to each other," I said this with a blush that was burning my face alive.

He smirked. That turd.

"When Krahe's around, it becomes physically painful to deny it, but that's what we've been doing. We couldn't talk about it because...I guess..."

"Duo ran away from it," he said. "Don't try to cover for him. He told me flat out, and I know that he would. Hell, he does it all the time with me."

"Yes, but--"

"Don't make excuses for him. Go on."

"Fine," I huffed. "This stuff with Hrncir has been one heck of a distraction, and that has made things easier for Krahe because Duo and I had to spend a lot of time together, doing whatever we could think of to cover our asses. After the shoot-out, when we were at the trailer, we finally felt safe and thought that everything was going to be alright. The relief..." I looked him in his eyes. His face was neutral. "Duo loves you Odin. If he had to choose between me and you, he'd choose you without hesitation. You do know that, don't you?"

His face was neutral for another moment, then he smiled softly at me. "Yeah, I know. It's just that I'm always afraid he'll leave me for someone else, and so I feel...insecure a lot." He ducked his head. I was in total shock. For Heero to admit something like that, he had to be very shaken by mine and Duo's...oopsie.

"Odin, please know that I love Duo, but not like that. Only Trowa fits in that place. And that's the way he feels about you." The mood needed to be lightened. "I don't know how you do it, honestly. He's my best friend and all, but he's a major pain in the ass."

Heero roared, and I almost fell off the bed in surprise. He looked at me, and his eyes were crinkled, just the way they should've been. "Yeah, I hear that all the time. But he's worth it."

"I'm glad you think so." I was still surprised at his admission. "Odin, why are you afraid he'll leave you?"

He frowned, and for a moment I thought he wasn't going to answer. "Because I left him to be with Relena," he said quietly. "He's such a beautiful person, inside and out. I don't understand how no one else sees that, but then I'm afraid one day someone will." He shook his head, as if denying the possibility. "It would serve me right."

"Yes, it would," I agreed. "But you have to remember that even then he stuck by you, and you were in the wrong. I don't think he'd leave you, for anyone."

He sighed. "Yeah, I know."

"Then quit worrying about it," I said a little gruffly. Jeez. Heero could certainly be a whiny baby when it suited him. "Did you find any discrepancies in our stories?"

"No. Except he said it was his fault, and you say it's yours. Other than that, no."

"No? Not even when Krahe showed up?"

"No. Duo told me he felt him while you two kissed and in the middle of the night, but for some reason he had the feeling to lay low and not interfere with whatever was happening."

Thank Allah for small miracles. "Wow. His instincts still amaze me, even now."

"Tell me about it."

"Are you mad at us?"

"No, but Krahe has definitely pissed me off this time."

"Were you mad when Duo told you?"

"No, I was just surprised. I may be afraid that Duo will leave me, and my emotions may cloud my judgement about him, but I know you Quatre. There had to be an interesting reason why this happened, and I wasn't disappointed. The two of you are more upset about it than Trowa and I could ever be." He shrugged. "It was just a kiss. No big deal. And Trowa will see it the same way, once you explain everything to him."

I remembered being paranoid about it, but now that I thought about it, I believed the same to be true. Trowa would raise an eyebrow, give me a spanking I would enjoy immensely, then would prepare to kick some ghostly ass. "Yeah, you're right. I just...I'm concerned about Wufei too."

"Let him cool off for a bit. Once he sees Trowa and I don't give a shit, he'll forget about it."

"What about the girls?"

"Hilde thought you two had an ongoing affair. Dorothy said it turned her on."

"Figures." From there I told him about how Duo and Hilde ditched me and Dorothy (which he already knew, since he was on the plane with them. He was also the cameraman for Duo's interview with Hilde, by the way). Then I told him about mine and Dorothy's ‘debate' in the women's bathroom (except for the kiss. I was still in shock about that). Next was the short story with L2's finest, then the encounter with the three homeless men and its tragic end. Then he explained how he found me. When Dorothy told him I was headed for L1, he figured I was going to stole-away on a shuttle. He only had to look for one of my aliases once he arrived. Yeah, I did make it easy for him.

Once everything was settled, we began to polish off our rapidly cooling breakfast. Heero's comment about how well I knew Krahe was eating at me, and it continued to do so for the rest of the meal. Heero and I finished, cleaned up, and were just going to hang out at the motel until tomorrow. From there I would check into a few hotels, run to the bank and get what I needed, then bounce back to L4 and put on a boring show that would get the people to change the channel and the reporters to lose interest.

The day passed by slowly and peacefully. Heero was stretched out on his stomach on the bed, watching TV with his chin resting on his arms. He chuckled every now and then. I was sitting on the floor at the foot of the bed, playing a game of solitaire. It was nearing dusk, and the sky was a pretty blend of pinks and purples, slipping slowing into blue in the far, far west.

Heero's comment from earlier had plagued me all day, but the reality was that the truth had been plaguing me for ten years now. I needed to get this off my chest, once and for all. "Odin?"

"Hn?" He kept his eyes glued to the TV.

"Remember that day at The Oasis, right after my honeymoon?"

THAT got his attention. He asked something of me that day, and it was about time I answered his question. He fumbled with the remote, and managed to turn the volume on mute. Glancing at the television, I saw he was watching South Park reruns. He fixed with an attentive gaze, but stayed right where he was. That was helpful to me. He was such an imposing man, I thought I would feel crowded if he got close to me.

I started from the beginning. "When I first met Krahe, I didn't understand what he was. Looking back, I don't know if it was because I was ignoring what I was seeing, or what. It didn't really connect until Duo shot him and he came back and kicked our butts." I snorted. Duo was still mad about that to this day. "What also got me was the fact that he...he liked me." This time Heero snorted. Yeah, I know, ‘duh, tell me something I don't know.' And I was about to. "But I liked him back Odin," I told him, trying to plead with my eyes not to hate me. "I couldn't help myself. Despite everything else going on, I needed the attention. I craved it. Ch'." I rubbed the back of my neck. "If he didn't try to harm you all the way he did, things may have turned out very differently."

He blinked.

"Before we even went back to Earth because of the possible threat in Oslo, I...I dreamt about him. About sex with him." I dropped my head. Damn, this was embarrassing. "The first time took place on a train, and I don't know to this day if it was real or not. It was a dream but I swear I was there. I felt his touch..." I had forgotten about that, and I lost myself in the memory. "And when we were stuck in Frankfurt, it really did happen. There were other things too Odin. I was attracted to him, and at the same time I was repelled by him. He's just...he's one of those people I guess, that brought out both the best and the worse in me. We constantly blew hot and cold."

Heero scratched his butt.

"A lot of things happened between us that I wish didn't. I was young, and both of us were inexperienced. I was resentful, and he thought he knew what he wanted and knew how to make it work. When it wouldn't or when I frustrated him, things got out of hand. The fights we had would've put your battles with Zech to shame."

He raised an eyebrow.

"We would threaten each other, beat each other up and put each other down. I would swear up and down that if he were alive, I would slit his throat. Gosh, how many times did I tell him that?" Even after all these years, I still felt the shame. "It would hurt him each time, but I would say it anyway. I was determined that he would have to either kill me or let me go."

"But then?" Heero asked softly.

I sighed. "But then he would do something so...endearing that I would wilt. He would've been such a great human being if it wasn't for his father, Odin. And that is why he keeps coming back, I believe. I have a strong soft spot for him, and despite everything we've been through and the harm he's caused, that spot is not going to go away. And I...I don't want it to." I shrugged. "I'm sorry."

He reached out and placed his hand on my head, as a father would to his beloved son. He looked me right in the eye. "Don't be."

For the rest of the night we watched TV in silence. Heero fell asleep during a commercial, and I covered him up with a blanket. I remained awake until early morning thinking about what I said, and how I felt about it. Heero didn't think any different of me, and for that I was grateful. *I* however, thought differently about me. By saying those words out loud, by giving them my voice, I realized that I was still hanging onto that past, and I couldn't figure out why. I had Trowa, Kitty, my friends, and my life.

What was I losing in letting Krahe go?