Title: Belle is the Only Word
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing doesn't belong to me. Don't remember who it belongs to, but it ain't me. This is MAJORLY AU (although the names are the same as we've always known and loved) with concepts drawn from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This is the result of listening to Notre-Dame de Paris one time too many The song "Belle (Is The Only Word)" triggered this story. Enjoy!
// .// = thoughts
Is the only word I know that suits her well
When she dances, oh, the story she can tell
A free bird trying out her wings to fly away
And when I see her move I see Hell to pay
---"Belle (Is The Only Word)", Notre-Dame de Paris
Heero Yuy walked the streets alone, silently, his hands folded beneath the dark folds of his priest robes. The silver cross that hung from his neck slammed into his chest with each step. It was not customary for a man of his station to wander the streets of Paris without an escort. Unfair rules said the "Judge Priest", as he knew people called him, had to be with an escort at all times. For the first time in a long time, Heero was alone.
He allowed his mind to linger on the word "alone." The Judge Priest always had to be alone, standing apart from the rest. Alone. Always alone.
//What am I coming to?// Heero asked himself. //How is it that I can walk the streets without an escort by my side?//
Simple, a voice inside him answered. You, Heero Yuy, are the Judge Priest. No one dares to question you for fear of incurring your wrath.
It made sense now that he thought about it. He had killed in the past, mostly gypsies. He had watched, pleased, as the flames danced gracefully about the body tied to the stakes, climbing hungrily upwards to the Heavens. How had he taken pleasure in this? Judgment was his to give as he pleased; a pardon was his to pass if he so chose. Heero sighed. His mind was twisted; there was no denying it. Those that offended him, he disposed of. It was a simple system.
In his mind, he conjured the image of the last gypsy he pulled off the street. Her lithe figure was clothed in shimmering cloth, taunting him. Although he thought he had been very persuasive, she refused him, denied him, refused to tell him where the gypsies hid. Loyal, he remembered telling her later, but terribly stupid. In response, Heero ordered her death. He could still hear the screams, begging him for mercy. He saw nothing but red hatred as the flames licked her tan flesh, consuming her.
How had he appeared to her, he wondered. Did she see his hate-filled eyes glaring at her through the smoke and flames?
//God, grant me mercy,// Heero prayed.
Music drew him from his thoughts. He stopped, listening intently. The faint sounds of a violin and a flute twirled together, their melody as seductive as the Devil himself. Now, a tambourine keeping the time. The music only meant one thing. Gypsies!
Quickly, Heero tucked the cross into his robes so as not to be recognized as a priest. He saw a crowd gathered at the edge of a nearby square. He hiked up his robes in order to run.
//Why do these damned things have to be so LONG, anyway?//
Before he knew what had happened, Heero was at the edge of the crowd. He had to see what was in there. The natural response, push through the crowd. Finally, he was able to make out people. In the middle of the circle formed by the crowd were four gypsies, all male. A man from the Orient was performing marvelous acrobatics. A blonde man and a man whose brown hair hung over an eye were playing the violin and flute (respectively). They all had made room for a man whose brown hair was pulled into a braid, and was dancing seductively. It was he who held the tambourine, beating it occasionally to keep time for his instrument-playing friends.
Heero couldn't stop looking at him.
He watched the man pass the tambourine in front of his face to the other side of it, then shake it over his head. Heero felt his breath catch in his throat. The man beat the tambourine once, casting a playfully seductive look at his audience. Did Heero imagine it, or did the gypsy boy look right at him? Heero licked his dry lips. Why was a boy entrancing him so?
//God forgive my thoughts. Forgive my scandalous and sacrilegious mind //
It occurred to him the violin and flute changed their song. The music now was softer, sadder. The blonde with the violin brought Heero Yuy of all people near to tears. It sounded as though the violin itself was crying, weeping for lost souls. Then, as suddenly as it had started, the music stopped. The acrobat cupped his hands together. The dancer stepped up onto the cupped hands with one foot, tossing the tambourine to the flute player. He caught it and proceeded to beat out a drum roll. The dancer used his free foot to push off the ground, pushing up and out of the acrobat's hands to execute a neat flip in the air. The flute player tossed the tambourine back to the dancer who caught it in mid-air as he landed. The music instantly started up again the second he touched down on the ground. He started dancing again amid applause from the crowd.
Heero felt himself grow faint, his blood boiling with desire. He wanted to posses this boy, to love him with every ounce of his God-given being.
//Help me Father this boy this boy is a demon //
Black edged his vision. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught the flash of a brown braid and a feathery touch on his arm. Before he lost consciousness entirely, his mind only registered one thought.
The boy was beside him.
"This is a bad idea, Duo!" Quatre protested.
Duo marched straight from the square to the tent he had set up for himself for the festival tomorrow morning, the unconscious man in black robes in his arms. Duo wasn't sure what had drawn him to this man. Maybe it had been the way he had watched him dance or maybe it was the fact that, with his eyes closed, he looked just like a little boy.
"Why?" Duo asked, laying the unconscious man down on a blanket spread on the ground. "Why is this a bad idea?"
"What if he wakes up?" Wufei demanded. "He'll think we kidnapped him."
"You don't know that."
"Duo," Trowa tried, looking at him, "try to understand this from our point of view. We don't need anyone else thinking we're evil."
Wufei knelt by the unconscious man and, reluctantly, checked to see if he was breathing, resting a hand lightly on his chest. His eyes widened in surprise and he grabbed a chain hanging around the man's neck, pulling it into view. Dangling from it was a silver cross.
"I don't believe it. He's a priest!" Wufei hissed in shock. He looked up at Duo. "There! NOW do you see why this is a bad idea?"
Before Duo could respond, the priest moaned slightly, his head turning slowly from side to side. Quatre gently touched Wufei's shoulder to make him back away.
"We'll be outside, Duo, if you need us," Quatre announced, practically having to drag Trowa and Wufei outside. "I, for one, want no part in this."
Duo sighed, watching their retreating backs. "Yeah. Go on. I'll be fine "
Finally, the priest opened his eyes and stared at Duo, confused. Duo almost smiled. Now, the priest looked even more like a boy than he had before. Duo's smile turned into a frown as the priest tried to sit up.
"Nuh-uh," Duo ordered, placing a hand gently on the priest's chest and guiding him back down to the ground. "Not until I say otherwise, priest." The confused look came again. "The cross kind of gave it away."
"Oh " The priest looked around the tent. "Where am I?"
"My tent," Dup responded.
There was a panicked look on the priest's face. Duo shook his head. He couldn't say he blamed the priest. For all the priest knew, Duo raped him or kidnapped him. Duo laughed as that thought crossed his mind.
"No, no, its okay," Duo assured him. "I didn't do anything wrong. You haven't been kidnapped and I didn't rape you or anything, so you don't have to worry. You fainted in the middle of my performance." He wagged a disapproving finger at the priest with a playful smirk on his face. "That's bad for business, you know."
The priest said nothing, just stared at him with confused eyes.
"How are you feeling?" Duo asked, trying to make conversation.
"Fine," came the stiff reply from the priest. "Now, if you don't mind, I have to get going."
Duo shook his head. "Not 'till my say-so, remember? With all due respect, Your Holiness, I don't believe you."
The priest narrowed his eyes, eyebrows forming a V and knotting together at their tips. Duo couldn't quite place the emotion. Was it anger? Or was it something else?
"You can't keep me here," the priest snapped.
"I have a dagger here that says otherwise," Duo replied, removing the dagger from his boot. "So we could do this the easy way or the hard way. Your choice, Your Holiness."
"Can I at least sit up?"
Duo nodded. As the priest propped himself up on his elbows to get into a sitting position, he looked at Duo again.
"What?" Duo asked. "Do I have something on my face?"
"No," the priest replied. "But I have a name, so you can stop calling me 'priest' or 'Your Holiness' as neither of them are correct."
"What is it?" Duo asked him, eyeing the priest curiously .
"Heero," the priest replied. "Heero Yuy."
"I'm Duo," Duo told him, offering Heero a hand to shake. Heero swatted it away.
"I don't like to be touched," Heero said, his voice daring Duo to try it again.
//Heero Yuy why does that name sound familiar?//
Suddenly, Duo's eyes widened as realization hit him like stone.
"You're the Judge Priest!" Duo exclaimed, falling unceremoniously onto his butt. "Man, oh, man! Why didn't I listen to them when I had the chance?"
"'Them?'" Heero asked, a smile creeping onto his face.
"My friends," Duo replied. He stood, dusting off the back of his pants. He began to pace the tent. "I'm---I'm not gonna get in trouble, right?"
"Get in trouble for what?" Heero wondered. "Helping me? No, of course not. That action redeems you in God's eyes, after all."
Duo sighed. "I um hope you feel better. I mean, you did faint right in the middle of our " Duo took one more look at Heero. The way the light hit his hair was entrancing. Duo shook his head. He couldn't be thinking such things about a priest, especially one who wanted to kill all of them. He walked to the tent flap, then turned around to meet confused eyes. "I have to go."
Quickly, Duo pushed the tent flap aside and bolted from the tent. He took refuge under the shelter of a tree and, once he had gotten his breath back, he wrapped his arms around his chest, hugging himself as he leaned against the tree.
//What's wrong with me?// Duo wondered. //What is WRONG with me?!//
He punched the tree in frustration and didn't even feel the pain as his hand made contact with the firm bark. He closed his eyes and he could still feel the confused eyes burning into him. What was it about that priest that Heero Yuy?
Was he in love with him?
//No,// Duo thought. //No way. There's no way I could be falling in love with a priest // He frowned, leaning against the tree bark. //After all, I just met him once! I can't be can I?//