6-8-2001

9-5-2001 (revised)

TITLE: Its a Kinda Magic
PART: Chapter two
AUTHOR: AJ from NZ
E-MAIL: firemooncatblue@hotmail.com
ARCHIVES:
Liz http://www.geocities.com/liz_shinigami/ajfromnz.htm
Shinigami’s Demon http://www.geocities.com/shinigami_demon/archives.html
Celestial Chronicles http://celestialchronicles.50megs.com/
DHML http://kikotei_dhml.tripod.com

GENRE: fantasy, AU
RATING: PG
PAIRINGS: 1x2, 3+4, 5x Sally & Meiran, Cathy & Hilde,
WARNINGS: OOC, mild language, mild violence, Duo suffering, villian alert ^_^
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own GundamWing and am using the characters from that anime series without permission - all other characters and locations are the intellectual copyright of this author.
AUTHOR’S NOTES: revised chapter two... nothing major...

Special Thanks To: Liz, Tenshi-chan, Deborah, Hana-chan, Misuzu, ld, Stormy, Christie, Ashkara and Walking Terror for their continuing support.

=========================================

CHAPTER TWO

 

After spending most of the night talking to his cousin and his friends, Duo found it difficult to wake up the next morning. Not that this was in any way unusual –in fact Duo found it difficult most mornings – not so much to wake up, as to get up. He was not a morning person at all. It was then his misfortune to be sharing a room with a crowd of morning people. His frail hopes that Quatre would prove to be like him were rudely shattered when he heard his cousin’s voice, obscenely cheerful for the time of day that it was, call out to him.

“Hmmm,” he muttered, not quite up to speech. “Nnnnnng”

“Duo?” Quatre sounded worried. “Are you all right?”

“Ignore him Quat,” advised Heero as he walked into the room wielding a towel vigorously. “Mornings are a form of inhumane punishment to my aroha… he’s never at his best… though he was last night.” A mischievous glint entered his dark blue eyes as he looked over at the unmoving mountain of blankets that Duo was hiding in. “Duo, are you gonna come out of there on your own… or do I need to use force?”

“Nnnnnnnng,” came Duo’s reply. “I’m not alive and none of you have the right to be alive at this hour of the morning either. It’s not natural!”

“Poor, poor Duo,” cooed Sally, winking at her sister who was plaiting her hair. “It’s terrible when they go like that… next you know he’ll be using a walking stick.”

“At his age too,” mourned Meiran, returning the wink. “Its such a shame… and a waste of manhood.”

“All right, all right!” Duo surged out of his cocoon of blankets abruptly. “There’s no need to talk about me as if I’m not here!”

“But we’re not,” corrected Sally sweetly. “We know perfectly well that you are here.”

“And are talking accordingly.” Her sister agreed, smiling sweetly at the disgruntled boy. “You know we’d never talk about you behind your back.”

“No,” agreed Wufei with a nod at his wives. “We much prefer to talk about you to your front… if we spent too much time looking at your rear view, Heero gets jealous.”

“Damn straight I do,” huffed Heero. “Only I’m allowed to admire his rear perspective… it’s mine!”

“Can we say possessive?” queried Trowa, poking his head into the room. “Morning all! How are you feeling about facing the rest of the student body today Quatre?”

Quatre smiled at the tall green-eyed boy – the only one of the crowd who’d left the room after lights-out had been called. It didn’t really surprise him that the bonded couples would be sleeping together... in fact he’d expected it. He’d wished that Trowa could have stayed though… and then spent a good portion of the night wondering about that. “I’m lookingforward to it!”

Trowa smiled at the smaller boy’s enthusiasm. “Glad to hear it. After this mad mob it’ll be a breeze.”

“Who’re you calling mad?” demanded Duo, indignantly. He struggled out of the bed, shaking his loose hair to free it of any knots. “I am perfectly sane.”

“Says who?” Wufei looked around curiously. “I’d call you perfectly crazy myself.”

“I’d just call him perfect.” Heero smiled at Duo, admiring the hair that swirled in a silky chestnut waterfall around his lithe figure...

“Ahhhh.” Duo sighed happily, smiling at his lover. “You say the nicest things my aroha.”

“Aroha?” Quatre repeated the unusual word. “What does that mean?”

“It’s a Southlander term for one’s beloved.” Heero shrugged. “I find it rather apt.”

“Since Duo spent his younger years in the Southlands, he’s introduced us to entire new vocabulary of useful words,” supplied Sally after seeing the confused look in the new boy’s eyes. “And it sets us apart from the local Jafas – especially as none of us are actually from here. We’re all from various outreaches of Khorosa.”

“Sally, Wufei and myself are from Senroc; Heero’s from Areumer and Trowa was born and bred in Semaht.” Meiran continued the explanation. “And now with you coming here from… um... Where did you come from?”

“Awerunam,” said Quatre.

“Awerunam,” repeated Meiran. “Well we bring a very foreign influence into the rather exclusive atmosphere of this Academy.”

“And unfortunately that outside influence isn’t always appreciated.” Duo finished dressing himself in the uniform of tunic and loose-fitting pants that the others had already donned. “The Jafas believe that anyone born outside of the Yabmob Ranges is a complete and utter barbarian.”

“And anyone born outside of the Ranges believes that the Jafas are so far up themselves in terms of snobbery that they couldn’t find the way out with a map and a guide.” Heero said, smirking. “The lower-born aren’t that bad, aside from a certain pride in their city which is to be expected… but the nobs…” He groaned, a sound echoed by his friends. “Great Gods and Goddesses, you’d think the Gods themselves lived here!”

“Oh dear me,” mourned Quatre. “And everyone knows that they live in Awerunam.”

For a moment the room was silent then the other six howled with laughter. Quatre preened.

Wufei sighed and shook his head in sorrow. “And we had such high hopes for you Quat, but there you go, following blithely in your cousin’s footsteps.”

“Yes,” grinned Trowa, his emerald eyes dancing. “There’s no doubting that you and Duo are cousins, no doubt at all.”

“You say it as if it’s a bad thing,” Quatre noted.

“They’re just jealous cous.” Duo winked at him. “They just wish they were us.”

A pealing bell interrupted them, and the group moved slowly out of their room. Quatre followed though he didn’t know where they were headed, he just trusted that his friends wouldn’t lead him too far astray, for the moment at least.

They joined a flood of students that moved down the corridor of their hall towards a large and lofty room, from whence came some tantalising smells.

“This is where we eat,” intoned Duo. “We all sit at that table in the corner there… us and some other barbarians – you’ll meet them soon.”

“The Jafas don’t like it if we sit too close to them, they think our non-Jafa-ness might be catching.” The scorn in Heero’s voice was thick enough to cut. “We think that their Jafa-ness might be equally as infectious… none of us want to become a Jafa, not this late in life.”

Quatre caught the undercurrent of fierce pride and equally fierce dislike in their lightly mocking tones. He gathered that there was discord between the two groups of students, and wondered why.

Duo led them to their table and they waited for the servers to bring their meals. As they waited they took turns in pointing out various points of interest that could be seen from the dining hall to the newcomer.

“And on the left of that court is the herb garden where we gather- oww!” Meiran jerked her head to one side as something fell on top of the table with a faint pinging sound. As Duo reached for the object he flinched when he too was struck.

“Damnit!” Duo touched his cheek with one hand as he glared furiously around the hall. The hand came away with blood on it. Whatever had hit him had broken the skin. Heero growled deep in his throat and he glowered with anger. No one hurt his aroha, no one!

While Sally tended to her sister’s rapidly bruising face, Wufei and Trowa rose in their seats and looked angrily around the hall, seeking those responsible for the attack. Quatre looked around also, not understanding what had just transpired.

Despite the disturbance, the other students in the dining hall were seemingly oblivious to what had happened. All but one table. Those students, three female and two males, shared smug smirks as they watched Duo’s friends scanning the room.

“Why did they do that?” Quatre looked at Trowa to find the taller boy had slipped back into his seat and was now staring blankly into the distance. Sensing that his friend was working some sort of spell, the blonde remained quiet and went to look over at his cousin. As he turned he felt something brush past him, making him jerk his head in reflex. Another ping was heard as a third object hit the table. Without thinking Quatre grabbed the object to look at it closely.

It was nothing more than a small piece of glass. When he looked at it with his ‘other’ eyes he could see that it gleamed with the negative emotions of the thrower. He could also see that it had been intended to hit Trowa, not him. This made him frown. His frown deepened when he touched the piece that had hit Duo. The hatred on that forced him to drop it as if it were a white-hot ember. He wiped his hand on his tunic, feeling besmirched. Besmirched and furious. “Tutai-upokos!”

Sally jerked her head around to stare wide-eyed at the little blonde, not expecting his snarl of anger. “Quat?”

“It was meant to scar… there’s some sort of mild poison on this thing.” The thought of anyone harming his cousin sickened him. Despite their somewhat rocky start, Quatre found himself developing a deep affection for his longhaired cousin. And along with that affection came a surprising feeling of protectiveness. “Why’d they want to do that to Duo and Meiran?”

“As we said earlier, the Jafas don’t like us.” Sally removed her hand from her sister’s face. The formerly bruised area was now normal again. “They don’t like us… but they hate Duo.”

Heero pushed Duo back onto the seat and held part of the tablecloth to his face to staunch the bleeding. “Hey, Sal, could you come and have a look at this please? If Quat’s right, there could be something keeping it bleeding.”

“Coming!” Sally moved behind the other two boys ignoring Quatre for the moment to kneel beside his cousin. Duo looked up at her, his eyes not focusing properly. “Just sit still Duo… I’ll fix you up while Fei and Trowa deal to those bastards.” As she spoke she laid her hand on the wound, a soft glow emanating from it. After several moment she frowned. “Something’s stopping me from healing him!”

Wufei frowned as he heard that, then concentrated on the Jafa students. He’d been layering them around with the karmic spells that were his speciality and now increased the power behind the spells. Trowa moved up beside him, his green-eyes determined. The tall Semahti released the first of the three spells he’d prepared as soon as they were attacked.

At the Jafa table one of the girls, a blonde with strangely shaped eyebrows suddenly began jerking like a marionette. As the other four turned to look at her in surprise she tried to speak only to have the words emerge as garbled nonsense.

“Dorothy what are you saying?” The smaller of the men, his white-blonde hair almost as long as Duo’s, looked curiously at her. “Are you all right?”

“Zechs you idiot!” exclaimed the second blonde girl angrily. “It’s those filthy Outlanders! They’re attacking us!”

The third girl, a small brunette, rolled her eyes. “Do you blame them Relena?” She sneered. “After all you did just hit Duo with a non-healing curse. And you know how that lot feel about him – they treat him like some little godlet”

The fifth member of their group just watched, a bored expression upon his face. “Oh wise up for heaven’s sake. I told you this wasn’t the time nor the place to start something.” He suddenly jerked and began copying Dorothy’s marionette movements.

Before the remaining three had time to come up with a countermeasure they too started the jerking movements. Helplessly they were forced to move towards Trowa and the others. Try as they might to fight the compulsion, it was clear that the Semahti youth had the upper hand on them. He brought them around to stand in front of the still bleeding Duo.

“Which one of you is responsible for this,” growled Heero gesturing at the gash on his aroha's cheek. The look in his eye boded ill for the culprit. “Trowa, release them!”

As Trowa’ s spell dissipated, the five Jafas found they were not yet free. Another spell bound them in place and helpless. The look in Meiran’s obsidian eyes proved that it was of her doing. “Talk!”

“You piece of filth! Who do you think you are to order me around like that!” Relena’s imperious voice echoed loudly throughout the silent hall, waking the hither-to oblivious students out of their stupor, and setting them muttering among themselves. “I am a princess, and you are nothing!”

“Bullshit!” Swaying slightly from loss of blood, Duo lurched to his feet and confronted the girl. “Mei’s worth seven of you!” He swayed again before Heero and Sally pushed him gently back into his seat. “You cast the bleed spell didn’t you?”

“Yes!” Relena seemed startled at her own confession. “Wha-?”

“You forgot about his problem with lies didn’t you?” sneered Mei, stalking closer, moving like a jungle cat. “He can’t lie… and no one can lie around him.”

Relena swore silently, still fighting the other girl’s compulsion to remain in place. She wanted nothing more than to flee this hall. Flee the scene of her latest defeat in the never-ending battle between her Jafas and Duo’s Outlanders. She narrowed her eyes in anger. “Yes, I cast the non-healing spell. With any luck that little thief will bleed to death! Its no more than he deserves!”

Quatre could take it no more. This was the mad bitch that was causing his cousin so much pain. He could feel the other spells cast by his friends taking effect on the Jafas, but despite their best efforts it seemed that they couldn’t break her non-healing spell, and he could see that Duo was fighting to remain conscious. He wouldn’t be able to last much longer at this rate. He stood up and moved until he was between the two of them.

“If you won’t take the spell of Duo, maybe you’d like to take it off yourself?” Quatre suggested in a mild voice as he began to force the spell to rebound back onto its caster. He gasped in pain as he felt the spell rip through him, but managed a shaky smile when he saw the gash leave Duo, who promptly fainted, and appear on Relena’s formerly blemish free face. “I’d get that seen to if I were you,” was his last suggestion as he too lost consciousness.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

INTERLUDE

Mathias looked down at his desk and sighed. Why was it always Duo? Why did the boy have to cause problems? If he’d only learn to control himself. He sighed again and turned back to his most unexpected and unwelcome visitors. “I’m sorry Mi’Lord, but you know what my son is like. His upbringing-”

“Stop making excuses mage.” The man who interrupted glared at the Arch-mage. “If you hadn’t been so stupid as to send him away at birth this crisis never would have arisen. Thanks to your negligence the boy is now beyond our reach, beyond our control.”

“But I thought-”

“You thought... always a big mistake Mathias. We don’t pay you to think we pay you to obey. We paid you to breed a son and then give him to us. Instead you let your wife send him away and that ruined our plans. Plans that had taken years to reach fruition, ruined because of your stupidity!” Instead of shouting the voice had grown progressively quieter. For some reason that just made it worse. “You are fast outwearing your usefulness. Only the fact that we still need you and your son keeps you alive.”

“I… I’m sorry Mi’Lord,” faltered Mathias. “What if-”

A hand rose, effectively cutting off his words. “No, Mathias. No suggestions from you. Not at this stage. Your son has been injured. He is currently unconscious. You will bring him to us this evening before he regains consciousness. You will then go and hang yourself like a good little automaton… after all what kind of father are you to be knowingly sending your precious only child to his death?” The speaker turned and looked Mathias in the face for the first time since he’d entered the room. “And you know that I will kill him… you knew that when you raped his mother… and impregnated her with your sperm. You knew all along what I intended for him, and you agreed. What did you have to lose from the deal?”

“Nothing,” mumbled Mathias. He desperately wanted to look away from the silver eyes that controlled his soul but lacked the strength to do so. “I had nothing to lose and everything to gain from our allegiance Mi’Lord.”

“Quite right, and you’d do well to remember that.” A cold smile quirked his face as he watched the Arch Mage of Khorosa grovel before him. “Remember it until the second that you die. I own your soul. I own you. And soon I will own your son.”