"Trinity.." the name left Duo's mouth in breathless whisper.
Everyone was staring at the young boy standing beside Trowa, his grey eyes focused intently on Davarius. All signs of fear had left his visage. He stood straight and stiff, fists clenched loosely at his sides. The air around him almost seemed to crackle- the same as it had when Quatre had emerged furiously from the midst of the black circle.
Trinity was the other half. Trinity was the night.
Duo gaped helplessly at his old playmate. Masaka. Davarius had almost had him convinced it was Trowa... and even if not him, then certainly someone else. He had never suspected...
Duo swallowed hard. The 'other half' had been under Davarius's nose all this time- he had even had him as a captive -and he had never even realized it.
"The goddess is not without a sense of humor," Davarius remarked dryly, and Duo glanced at him quickly, noting the wary look to the older boy's hooded chocolate eyes. "Ironic also how you should realize who you are just by witnessing the death of a fellow Old Soul." He flicked a glance down at the seer and his dead partner, sneering slightly. "Though don't be foolish enough to think you can stand up to me. It's daytime, little boy."
Trinity lifted his chin, his grin wickedly taunting, not like his normal small smile at all. It sent a chill down Duo's spine. "How ignorant are the goddess's younger children," he said, tone dripping with darkly amused scorn.
Davarius did a flip.
Or that was what it looked like. His body jerked up into the air and backwards at the same time. He landed heavily on his back, giving a strangled cry. Duo gave a little jump, feeling his hair stand on end as he shot a frantic look towards the young pilot. "Trinity-" he gasped.
Trinity ignored him, watching Davarius struggle up with eyes lit with eagerness. Trowa stepped away from him, his grip tightening on Quatre's limp form, eyes narrowed slightly in instinctive caution. Wufei, still slightly in front, also stepped aside, gripping his sword tightly and staring at the boy as if he had never seen him before. Behind them, Heero's eyes were slitted with the same wariness, but there was something like fierce satisfaction in the back of his prussian eyes. He said nothing, and made no move to intervene.
All the hooded members of the Red Crystal gaped, unsure of what to do now that their new leader seemed to be at a disadvantage. Seeing their will to fight slacken, Avarion turned their attention more fully on the confrontation taking place between the two Old Souls. Silverwolf looked on from the sidelines with a faintly surprised look on her pretty face.
"You have abused the gifts given to you," Trinity accused, sounding like a mother scolding a naughty child, though the bright light in his eye showed otherwise. "You have harmed others in your selfish quest for power and recognition. Doing so, you have ruined your chances for any kind of decent afterlife. Your next lives will be cursed- all thanks to your own stupidity and arrogance."
Davarius snarled a curse, throwing his hand outwards, eyes widening, and Duo tensed, realizing he was using his mind trick, the same as Trinity had done.
Trinity flinched, pushed back about half a foot by a forceful, invisible blow, but kept his feet. He laughed quietly, eyes hooded. "I'm older than you," he reminded the startled boy. "And this day and this night are for Quatre and I alone." Hate flashed in his eyes. "Not for you."
Davarius screamed as a particuarlly vicious blow sent him crashing several yards into a pile of rocks.
Atreusio looked up at Trinity's quiet voice.
The young boy was still watching Davarius, but his voice was gentle as he spoke to the tearful boy. "Take Pheonix away from here. Take him to Silverwolf. Trowa-kun, please bring Quatre, also. I will take care of Davarius."
Atreusio hesitated, watching Trinity with eyes still shattered with pain. After a moment, he glanced towards Duo pleadingly.
Duo stooped immediately, helping the dark-haired boy to pull the body of his partner up. They each pulled a limp arm around their shoulders and dragged him slowly towards where Silverwolf was waiting silently. Trowa followed quickly, and after a moment of indecision, Wufei sheathed his sword and fell in step behind Heero.
Davarius was on his feet now, and watched dumbly as slowly the rest of Avarion backed away, still watching Red Crystal warily. The hooded wiccans, however, were still watching Trinity with gaping mouths, the fight in them gone.
Trowa spotted the two girls he and Duo had 'saved' from the caves out of the corner of his eye and flicked them a cool glance. They looked at each other in desperation, but seemed rooted to the spot. Trowa passed them by without a word.
Duo forced himself not to look back as he carefully deposited Neo's body at Silverwolf's feet, looking up at her mutely.
She gazed down at the dead boy with a strained face, sympathy for Atreusio and pain at the needless death swimming in her eyes. "He will be taken care of," she assured the seer gently. "But first we must get everyone out of here. I am not sure what Trinity is going to do."
Lugh stepped forward solemnly and lifted Neo carefully. Atreusio scrubbed at his face and nodded jerkily. Duo glanced up as Heero appeared at his side. "Thanks," he murmured.
Heero looked at him. "For what?"
"Coming after us." Duo's smile was forced. He reached out, snagging the other boy's sleeve. "Come on." He took in a surprised, shaky breath as Heero's hand turned, fingers wrapping loosely around Duo's. He looked up quickly into Heero's emotionless face.
"Let's get out of here," Heero agreed.
They all turned and slowly began walking down the hill. Duo glanced over his shoulder once more, hoping to catch a glimpse of Trinity, but Wufei was walking behind him, blocking his view, and he looked forwards once more, swallowing hard. Heero's fingers were warm and calloused, and if he hadn't been so emotionally exhausted and uptight, he would have blushed at the long awaited-for contact.
They hadn't even gotten halfway down the hill when Morgana suddenly shot out a hand, crying, "Look! It's Lucias!"
Duo's head snapped in the direction she was indicating.
The older boy was almost at the base of the hill already, running for his life with a slight limp.
"Isn't that the one who's been pretending to be Davarius?" Griffin asked sharply, watching him run.
"He's too far away, now. A pity- the slimey bastard," Cateye said regretfully.
Heero glanced down quickly at Duo, noticing how rigid he had gone.
Hadn't Duo said he was looking for Lucias?
Lucias... had pretended to be Davarius?
'I think Davarius raped Duo.'
That had been right around when 'Gable' had shown up.
Lucias. Lucias had posed as Davarius... and tried to rape Duo.
Hot fury washed over Heero. He released Duo, starting down the hill at a dead run, acting without thought, already reaching for his gun.
Suddenly someone was racing past him in mad flight, and he stared in surprise. "Duo!" he tried to call him back. The other boy didn't pause.
Duo's breath came harshly as he ran head-long down the steep hillside, leaping rocks and twisted dead limbs of trees, coming perilously close to falling and rolling roughly downhill. He was exhausted from fighting, and Lucias had a good head start. Frustrated rage welled in him. He was never going to catch up!
Something in his pocket dug into his hip as he leapt over a large rock.
For a moment he was taken back to the dusty shop, hands running through a rainbow of stones. 'Citrine,' the woman had said. 'For energy and physical strength. A lot of atheletes use it.'
Duo dug the rock from his pocket and clenched it in his fist, concentrating fiercely on the feel of it in biting into his palm, on the meaning of the stone.
A sudden kick of adrenaline surged through him, pushing his weariness back, and his leaps became easier, his legs moved faster as he gasped for air. He reached the bottom of the hill and almost crashed, but instead kicked off of the ground, sprinting into the woods after his quarry.
He caught up in moments.
Reaching out, he managed to grab a fistful of curly hair and yank the older boy back by it. Lucias howled in furious pain, but in his sudden rush of hate and triumph, Duo barely heard him. He slammed the other boy into a tree with all his strength and proceeded to beat the shit out of him.
"You'll never touch me or anyone else again, you sick bastard," Duo snarled, striking again and again at the yelling boy's face and stomach. His knuckles began to slip on the blood all over Lucias's face, so he grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him roughly aside, ignoring his blubbering. He was panting, but the rush from his fierce sense of revenge pounded through him, burying his fatigue. He reached for his gun before remembering Davarius had taken it, and bent over instead to pick up a large knotted stick.
Lucias barrelled into him from the side, catching him off guard, and he spat curses as they rolled on the ground, fighting furiously.
Lucias was bloodied and battered, but he was bigger and stronger, too; in the end he overpowered Duo, rolling on top of him and hitting him hard on the side of his head a couple of times. Duo went limp for a moment, struggling not to black out. He blinked dazedly, Lucias's snarling, damaged face swimming before his eyes. He watched weakly as Lucias reached for the stick with one hand, keeping the other wrapped tightly around Duo's throat.
'Shit, he's gonna kill me,' Duo realized, and twisted his head aside, pushing at the boy atop him desperately to no avail.
Needless to say, the sight that greeted Heero's eyes as he burst into the woods a split second later did nothing to help his temper.
His heart jumped into his throat with unexplainable fear at the same instant the fury in his stomach grew hotter and larger. He didn't pause, but ran straight at them.
He kicked Lucias as hard as he could, relishing the boy's sharp cry of pain as he fell from Duo, probably with a cracked rib or two. Stepping quickly over his partner, ignoring his exclamation of surprise, he grabbed Lucias by the front of his shirt and hauled him roughly to his feet.
This was the one who had been responsible for Duo's bruises. He was the one that had tried to rape Duo. He had tried to kill Duo.
Heero pulled out his gun and shoved the barrel into Lucias's mouth, muffling his terrified cry.
Duo opened his mouth to shout, but whatever he had been about to say was drowned in the explosion of gunfire. He flinched instinctively at the sound, and watched numbly as Heero released Lucias's limp body with a push of disgust, turning away to face him even before the corpse hit the ground.
For a moment there was an awkward silence as they stared at each other from mere feet away, Duo gazing up from the ground at his stone-faced partner.
He killed Lucias for attacking me, Duo thought dazedly, and felt his face grow heated. Turning aside to break eye contact, he sifted quickly through the loam around him for his citrine, which he had dropped at some point when he was kicking Lucias's ass.
He heard footsteps and glanced up hesitantly at Heero as the other boy crouched beside him, staring at him with the same intense blue eyes that had first piqued Duo's interest that night on the docks when they had first met.
Heero's question was quiet and unexpected, and Duo cursed himself internally as he flushed again. "A-aa," he replied, his voice shaky.
Heero glanced down at the ground beside him and picked up something, offering it silently.
Duo saw the sparkle of yellow and gratefully accepted the stone, clenching it in his fist. Heero took hold of his arm and helped haul him to his feet. Duo leaned against him, using his exhaustion as a happy excuse to do so.
Heero didn't object; neither did he release his careful grip on Duo's arm. They stood there for a few moments in silence, and Duo turned his head slightly so that his face was burrowed against the other's neck in a bold search for comfort. He felt the pulse in his partner's neck speed up in surprise, and smiled happily as he felt a hand fall carefully and uncertainly on his back, between his shoulders.
'Heero doesn't hate me,' he thought blissfully. 'Heero came after me... to protect me.' He couldn't help but frown sadly. 'Too bad it's just that he's decided wants to be friends,' he thought gloomily. 'I saw the way he looked at me and Davarius. He's a homophobe...'
'Unless he was just jealous.'
The calm, quiet voice in his mind startled him; it was almost as if the thought had been someone else's. He thought briefly of Trowa for some reason, and blinked in surprise. Before he could wonder about it, however, Heero shifted.
"Come on," he said, voice still quiet but not as soft as when he'd first spoken. He pulled away, and Duo felt like kicking him in the shins for the loss of delicious body warmth. "We need to catch up with the others."
Duo hid his disappointment with a cheeky grin. "Hai hai." They turned to go.
Duo jumped a little on seeing a glowering young man standing beside a tree, blocking the way they had come.
"I certainly hope you're not with Davarius," he said coolly. There was a rustle of leaves, and Heero's grip on Duo's arm tightened as he flicked a quick, narrowed glance around. A handful of people emerged in a circle around them, all of them older than the two pilots.
"Of course we're not," Duo snapped. He was tired and dirty and confused and sick of being surprised. He pointed impatiently towards Lucias's bloodied body. "Just ask him."
One of the women bent over the body briefly before rising, turning calm sea-green eyes on them both. "I see," she said quietly. "You must be with Silverwolf."
Duo raised an eyebrow at her, noticing for the first time the strange pendant she was wearing. Glancing around, he spotted a familiar face. "And you must be Earthfire."
Some of them looked surprised, but Duo was looking at the man he had released from the caves.
The man smiled at him. "Ah, Duo. I'm glad to see you're still kicking," he said honestly. He nodded at the man who had first addressed the two bedraggled pilots. "These two are friends of Quatre, Ash. This boy is the one I told you about- the one who got me out of Davarius's caves."
Ash relaxed, beckoning to them, though his eyes were still emotionlessly hard- very much like Heero's, Duo mused in faint exhaustion. "Very well. Come- we should catch up to Avarion in a few minutes and then we can finish this."
Duo gratefully fell in step behind Ash, and the other wiccans grouped themselves around them, acting as a living shield as they walked silently through the woods, leaving Lucias's body behind, ignored.
Heero did not release his loose grip on Duo's arm as they walked, and Duo took advantage of it, shifting his arm upwards and wrapping his hand around Heero's calloused one. Heero's hand didn't respond, but he flicked a dark-eyed gaze sideways at Duo, arching a brow. He didn't pull away.
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