TITLE: Its a Kinda Magic
PART: Chapter Three
AUTHOR: AJ from NZ
Shinigamis Demon http://www.geocities.com/shinigami_demon/archives.html
Celestial Chronicles http://celestialchronicles.50megs.com/
GENRE: fantasy, AU
PAIRINGS: 1x2, 3+4, 5x Sally & Meiran, Cathy & Hilde,
WARNINGS: OOC, angst, villianous parents & double dealing Duos
DISCLAIMER: I dont 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.
Special Thanks To: Liz, Tenshi-chan, Deborah, Hana-chan, Misuzu, ld, Stormy, Christie, Ashkara and Walking Terror for their continuing support.
It was several hours before Quatre regained consciousness. For a moment he stared up at the ceiling, not knowing where he was or why he was there. A familiar pair of green eyes entered his gaze and he managed a feeble smile. Trowa? Where am I?
Youre in my room. The Semahti youth smiled back. Sal thought it best that I stay with you here while she and the others stay with Duo in your room.
Unconscious. Trowa answered tersely. The Academy healers had a look at the pair of you and said that while you were merely, he sniffed disparagingly, overtired, Duo had suffered from severe blood loss, thanks to that bitch!
Hes going to be all right though, isnt he? Quatre tried to get up but was restrained by a well-placed hand, and a shake of Trowas head.
Dont try moving not until weve had one of the healers, or Sally, look you over. You getting ill wont help anyone. Trowa relented somewhat when he saw the anxious look in Quatres pale eyes. They think hell wake up some time this evening or tomorrow morning. Heeros sitting vigil with him hell! Heero hasnt budged an inch from Duos side since the fracas this morning.
Youre dodging the question, noted Quatre astutely. Is Duo all right?
Trowa managed a small smile, despite his own anxiety. You really are related to Duo neither of you miss a trick. The healers are worried about the amount of blood he lost, and the side effects of the spell that Relena hit him with. Duo doesnt react well to some spells healing ones especially if theyve been corrupted are liable to mess him up rather a lot.
What about her? Quatre frowned. Whats be done to her and her cronies?
A frown crossed Trowas face. Nothing.
NOTHING! Quatre nearly levitated off the bed in his anger. Theyre just gonna get away with what they did?
Influence buys a lot of tolerance Ive found, remarked Wufei from the doorway. And you dont get more influential than Relenas family. They buy off any trouble she gets into. In fact theyve lodged a complaint about what you did reversing the non-healing spell.
WHAT?! Trowas voice joined Quatres in an indignant squawk. How can they?
Wufei sighed, the signs of his own fury kept under very poor control. Quite easily unfortunately. You did know that they are a minor branch of the royal family?
Really? Trowa shook his head in denial. She doesnt act it.
Actually I find that only too easy to believe, murmured Quatre. My familys royalty and they all act like spoilt children when it comes to getting their own way. Always the big I am he sighed.
What does Arch-mage Mathias say? queried Trowa. Surely hell support Duo?
Why? He never has before, Wufei spat bitterly. As far as hes concerned Duo deserved everything that happened to him for, and I quote the man himself, provoking the Princess beyond the bonds of patience.
Quatre clenched his fists; not believing that Mathias could be so pig-headed. I thought he was different from my father but hes just the same!
Bastard! Trowa looked ready to hit something, then he turned slowly, a look of dawning consternation upon his face. What does Heero think of this?
I havent told him yet, admitted Wufei.
Would you like to be the one to tell Heero that? You know how hell react. Wufei clenched his fists, trying to control his temper. I only just heard it myself Mathias called me into his office to explain the... er reasons behind his sons cowardly attack on the Princess Relena. He drew in a deep breath, hoping to calm himself somewhat; the interview had not been easy. As far as he is concerned Duo is to blame and shall be punished accordingly, as will we as his accomplices.
The air in the room crackled with tension as his listeners took in the completely unfair decree. While Quatre was angry pure and simple, the other two were both furious and apprehensive Heeros reaction to the news wasnt going be pleasant to see, especially if Duo, the only person who could calm him down, was unconscious.
This is gonna be messy, remarked Trowa after a few minutes silence. If you feel up to moving Quatre, well go and see Duo and work out what in were gonna do about this.
At Quatres emphatic nod the other two helped him across the hallway to the other room. Before hed even entered the room he could feel the tension within. Um I hate to say it, but I think Heeros found out somehow he feels like hes about to explode. The anger he was picking up was making Quatre nauseous.
Oh tutai. Trowa swore. How did he find out?
I think I know, groused Wufei pointing at the figure that emerged from the doorway. Trieze! What are you doing here?
The smirk that crossed the older boys face made the three friends want to hit him. I just thought someone ought to inform you heathens about your punishment for your unprovoked attack on us this morning. Heero seemed rather peeved. He turned on his heel and pushed his way past, smirking broadly. Enjoy your punishment!
I swear Im gonna kill him one day! Wufei glared after the departing youth, murder in his eyes.
Later, cautioned Trowa. Weve got to deal with Heero. Thats gonna take all our strength, especially if Duos not recovered.
True. Wufei grunted then, squared his shoulders and pushed the door open, the other two following him apprehensively.
The sight that greeted them was in no way reassuring. Heero was stalking to and fro across the room, pausing every now and then to swear under his breath and look at the still figure that lay unheeding on the bed. On either side of Duo sat Sally and Meiran, anxiously splitting their attention between him and Heero.
Quatre keep his eyes fixed on his cousins still form as he made his shaky way to the bed. Has he woken yet? he asked Sal softly.
No, she replied, glancing once again at the pacing Heero. I wish he would only he is capable of calming Heero down when hes in this kind of mood.
Not that I blame him, snarled Mei, her delicate face creasing in an expression of pure hatred. That bitch Relena shes been out to get Duo since he turned her down and of course his idiot father prefers currying favour with the nobs than bothering about his own son.
Quatre snorted. Hes just like my father. I actually thought he was different he shook his blonde head sadly. But hes just the same.
Sal nodded absently, watching Duo beginning to whimper. Heero! Get your arse over here! Hes waking!
Heero stopped his angry pacing and raced across to the bed. Are you sure-he began before seeing for himself that Duo was definitely rousing from his stupor. Duo, come to me my aroha wake to me I need you Duo! he entreated.
Heero ? Duos eyes fluttered open and then shut again, as if the effort had been too much for him.
Yes my aroha, Im here. Heero took one of Duos limp hands in his, cradling it to his chest. Im here and Im not going to leave. Not for anyone not even your father. The last came out in a venomous tone.
Duo frowned as he opened his eyes again. My father? Wha what's he done now?
Heero winced, wishing Mathias to the furthest hell. Hes blaming us for what happened this morning.
Huh? For a moment Duo didnt understand, then realisation dawned. Ah Relena again wins the round. He struggled up from the pillows only to be stopped by gentle hands.
Wait a moment Duo, cautioned Sally. Just keep flat for now. She gently pushed him flat again. Im gonna get the healers in here again to check you over.
Before she could rise to her feet a sharp rap at the door startled the little group gathered around Duos bed. As they looked up in confusion Mathias appeared in the doorway flanked by a couple of the Academy proctors.
Duo turned his head to see what had startled his friends. Seeing his father he rolled his eyes. Hello father. Come to see the wounded have you?
No, replied Mathias coldly. Ive come to oversee the proctors remove you to the cells for your confinement.
Confinement? asked Heero in a dangerously quiet voice. Why? Hes injured, or cant you see that?
His injuries are his own fault for constantly provoking the other students, and none of my concern. Mathias snapped, his expression closed. I can no longer stand by and watch as he constantly misbehaves and drags the reputation of this Academy into the mud. He must take responsibility for his actions and cease hiding behind his friends. If hes willing to break the rules he must be willing to suffer the consequences.
How can you say that? fumed Heero, after several seconds of stunned silence. Hes your son for the gods sake! Dont you have any family feeling for him?
Heero murmured Duo, struggling to make himself heard. Dont get yourself in trouble because of me Father has to maintain his distance in situations like this or his patronage from the royal family will cease, and he will no longer be a loyal royal lapdog. Will you Father dear? he mocked.
Ignoring his sons mocking and Heeros anger, Mathias summoned the proctors closer. Take him to the cells. Lock the door behind him then return here and remove all and I mean all of his belongings. He is to have no contact with any of the students in this room. In fact he is to have no contact with any one for the duration of his punishment.
Despite their own curiosity as to what had forced the Arch-mage to act like this to his own son, the proctors obeyed and lifted Duo from the bed. When his friends tried to interfere they hesitated.
Do it! snapped Mathias, his mask of indifference cracking a little. If any one here interferes they will be dismissed from this Academy after first having their magic removed.
At this pronouncement all eyes turned incredulously to Mathias. To have their magic removed was the worst form of punishment that a mage could suffer more often than not it would drive the mage mad. It was usually used only as a measure of last resort.To have it thus threatened now was enough to make even Heero subside momentarily.
Duo glared angrily at his father. You wouldnt!
Try me! Mathias was in no mood for any more bantering. Bring him along and now! He motioned for the proctors to move, and silently watched them carry his injured and extremely angry son out of the room before turning to the remaining six students. I will not stand for any more nonsense from any of you! You have all been warned, and from now on will be kept under close scrutiny. Any further infractions will see not only the miscreant but each and everyone of you punished.
With that he turned on his heel and left the room. Behind him the six students exchanged looks of shock, anger and confusion. Mathias was known to be strict, especially towards his son but this was totally over the top, even for him what was going on?
Duo struggled in the proctors grasp. Let go of me! he howled, kicking out. No way was he going passively to this unfair punishment. When his struggles had no effect he decided on another course of action.
AHHHHHH! screamed one of the proctors suddenly. The little bastard bit me!
Bite him back, suggested Mathias cold voice from behind him. Cant you control a skinny brat like that?
The cold contempt in the Arch-mages voice stung the proctor. Hes your brat, you bite him!
Despite his predicament Duo sniggered, earning himself black looks from all three men. Taking advantage of the lapse of attention he again tried to break free of the proctors grip. Let go of me you morons!
Oh for the sake of the martyrs, snarled Mathias exasperated beyond limit. He rapped Duo smartly over the head with the ceremonial staff hed snatched off the bitten proctor. As his son lapsed momentarily into unconsciousness, he glared at the two men. Thats how you take care of someone like that!
Ysr, mumbled the two men, privately appalled at the Arch-mages callous behaviour. The boy was his son didnt he have any family feeling? They didnt dare voice their complaints aloud they didnt want to lose their jobs.
In an uneasy silence the small group continued their short journey to the confinement cells. The cells were only rarely used mostly as drying out cells for senior students whod indulged a little too much in the amber fluid during one of their free evenings. It was rare that the Academy had need to use them in any other fashion.
In an atmosphere of painful silence the proctors drew to a halt outside of the nearest cell. Duo dangled limply between them, face pale and breathing laboured. His father barely spared him a glance as he unlocked the heavy door. Toss him in there.
But sir, ventured the unbitten proctor, theres nothing for him to lie upon and hes sick.
So? Mathias face was a cold mask. He caused his own injury and now he must pay the price. He will not be favoured just because he is my son. Accidents of birth have no standing in the manner which I treat students in this Academy. He gestured impatiently.
As you wish, muttered both proctors. Neither man was particularly happy with this situation. Duo was popular with a lot of the staff, and despite the fight hed put up, both men thought that hed been treated unfairly. They laid him down on the cells floor with surprising gentleness. Shall we get him a blanket?
A blanket? This is punishment, not a holiday! scoffed the Arch-mage. Hell have to suffer the cold. You are dismissed. Go!
Both men quickly took themselves off; neither wanted to remain anywhere near the seemingly insane mage.
After watching the proctors till they were out of sight Mathias turned back to the open cell. His son, pale and ill, lay silent and still in the centre of the cell, his long hair escaping from this braid. Rubbing a hand against his tired head Mathias sighed. Why must you always be such trouble Duo? Why couldnt you behave?
He moved to his sons side and quickly fastened a heavy bracelet around on thin wrist. Thatll control you, I only wish I neednt do this. With another sigh Mathias closed and locked the cell door. Without a backward glance he strode towards his rooms and the unwelcome silver-eyed guest therein.
He never noticed a stirring in the shadows outside the cell as a long-haired figure emerged from his hiding place and stared silently after him. Father, why did you do that? Duo shrugged, and stealthily made his way back to his rooms.
Fei shook his head, trying to deny the truth of what had happened. He knew Mathias was often annoyed with Duo but hed never thought the Arch-mage would go this far. In fact he could have sworn that Mathias wouldnt be the sort something felt off about the entire business. Even Relenas family wouldnt demand this kind of retaliation. He frowned, something nagging at him.
Weve got to do something! Sal cried, echoed by her sister. Duos in no fit state to be moved surely that man could see that? What's with him?
With him him Wufei continued to frown.
We dont need an echo around here Wufei, snarled Heero, his fear for his lover making him shorter tempered than usual. If you cant say something worth while why dont you just shut up!
Trowa shock his head at Heero. I know youre worried about Duo, hell we all are, but dont take it out on us!
Looking across at the Senrocian, Quat could see that Wufei was worrying something over in his mind. Wufei what is it?
He, Mathias, didnt want to do that he was being forced to do that something no someone was making him do that to Duo. Feis eyes flew open. Shit! I knew something was off about him he was lying all the time
Lying? Quatre frowned. Are you sure? He sounded sincere.
Trust me, he was lying I can tell notice how he never came very near to Duo he didnt want to be affected by Duos little gift for forcing people to tell the truth. Hes got something planned for Duo something bad He let his voice fade away.
Are you sure? Heeros face was grim and set. If someone means to harm my Duo Ill kill them.
Quatre shivered at the barely concealed rage evident in Heeros low voice. He understood why the others didnt want to deal with him without Duos calming influence around. Is there anything we can do?
The soul bond! burst out Mei suddenly. Can you contact Duo through that Heero?
Yes! Heero frowned at his forgetfulness. Then he frowned again, concentrating. Hes not responding I think hes unconscious hold on yes! His face suddenly lightened, almost smiled. Hes awake again oh to the surprise of the others in the room he suddenly laughed. I didnt think his fatherd be so stupid as to forget that!
Forget what? Quatre queried curiously. What's happened?
You remember what happened when you left Mathias office yesterday? Heero asked, his eyes glinting with mischief with further confused his friends.
When we left the office? repeated Quatre feeling stupid then he too grinned. Oh my he didnt?
He did too, rejoined Heero with a wide grin, ignoring the growls of irritation from the other four.
He did what! demanded Fei, Meiran and Sal in a ragged chorus. What did Duo do?
I didnt like the new accommodations, so I split! Duos grin was wide, but his face was pale and he was sweating.
You split. Wufei frowned, not understanding. You split
Mei and Sally rolled their eyes in exasperation at Feis denseness. Fei! Remember Duos little trick? The doppelganger?
Comprehension dawned in Wufeis eyes and he joined the laughter. Your father forgot about that trick of yours?
Well, as far as he was concerned I was unconscious hed knocked me on the head pretty hard. Duo swayed for a moment, his head hurt thought hed never lost consciousness due to the padding of his hair, hed been pretty close to it. While he was seeing the proctors off I seized the opportunity to get out of there.
Heero caught Duo in his arms and eased the longhaired boy down on one of the beds. He beckoned Sally over to look at his bond-mate. Im surprised he didnt think of that, even if you were supposed to be unconscious. I mean, what would stop you from doing that as soon as you recovered?
The constraining bracelet hed locked around my wrist, answered Duo in a faint voice.
This revelation was met by an outcry from his friends. He put one of those on you?!
Quatre looked confused. What's a constraining bracelet?
A nasty little piece of jewellery that locks all a mages powers into him and prevents him from using any of them. Trowa explained, a look of horror on his face. Its painful very very painful.
Heero wrapped his arms around Duos semiconscious body, holding him tightly. Damn the man I think wed better get out of here my beloved.
We? Duo tried to lift himself off the bed but was restrained by the gentle hands of both Sally and Heero. Im the one in my fathers bad books.
As are we by association, interrupted Quatre. Theres no way that Im letting you out of my sight from now on, and Im sure the others feel the same. He moved to the side of the bed and looked down at his cousin. Hells bells Duo, your father seems as mad as mine was and theres no way Im gonna see you go through what I did.
Heero nodded at the smaller boy. Hes telling the truth Duo no one here will be safe from your fathers madness. Were your friends and we dont want you to be hurt any further.
Duo looked from the three by his bed to the others and sighed. I cant talk any of you out of this can I?
Not a chance Duo, not a chance. Fei grinned at the tired looking boy. What weve got to do now is find a way to get out of here and find a place to stay that would be safe.
Sally removed her hand from Duos forehead. That should do it for now Duo. If you have any further pain tell me immediately.
Ill see that he does, affirmed Heero, his eyes never leaving Duos white face. You go and sleep now well work something out.
What about the proctors? If they come here for my stuff and find me here things will be blown to pieces. Duo whispered, exhaustedly.
Theyve already been through and picked up everything that wed carted over from Zechs room. Trowa smirked. The poor little prince will have to cope without all his fancy duds for a little while.
Duo shook his head carefully. Trowa, sometimes I underestimate your ability to create mayhem. Im impressed.
Dont thank me, grinned Trowa. It was Quatres idea.
Quatre? Duo looked at his blushing cousin. Youve only been here one day and already youre stealing other students belongings, fighting, defying the Arch-mage He gave the blonde a fond smile. Damn Ive taught you well!
Mathias strode angrily along the passages, his mind roiling with thoughts of his encounter with Duo and his friends. Theyd have to be brought under control, and quickly before they did any further damage. Once Duo was off the premises itd be easier to accomplish while his son remained in the Academy Mathias knew that the other Outlanders would do their damnedest to free him. Why me?
Because you are a spineless little worm whose own son defies him, answered a cold voice beside him.
Mathias gasped in surprise and not a little fear as he saw the silver eyes of his unwelcome guest glaring at him from the shadows. My Lord Magan, I didnt think youd return so soon
You mean you delayed again and werent ready for me, sneered Magan, silver eyes accusing. Is the boy confined?
Y-yes milord, faltered Mathias. He swallowed nervously. Hes in one of the cells now hes unconscious as you predicted.
Hes unconscious because you hit him. Have you no feelings what so ever for you own son? Magan asked. He is, after all your own flesh and blood.
No I dont! snapped Mathias, anger overcoming his customary fear of the other man. Duos been nothing but trouble since he was brought here nothing but trouble since his conception! I never wanted a child in the first place and well you knew it!
Magan chuckled eerily. No, you didnt want a child but you wanted the prestige that I could guarantee you through our promise, and you wanted the money that I paid you for that promise. He frowned. You just didnt want to do any work for that promise.
I kept my promise the boys here and you can have and welcome to him! Mathias was fed up with the mind games that Magan enjoyed. In fact Id rather youd taken him years ago when hed first arrived.
Magan rolled his eyes in exasperation; did the man learn nothing? I didnt take Duo then because the time wasnt right, nor was the boy at that stage. Now hes of age, awakened, and ready for the ceremony. If youd done your work properly hed have been looking forward to this; instead Ill have to force him to complete the ritual and that will adversely effect the results. You are a fool!
The Arch-mage cringed, and hated himself for doing so. Im sorry Milord Im sorry
Youre sorry? asked Magan in disbelief. Im the one thats sorry, you little maggot! Your callous disregard for orders and your constant shirking of your responsibilities have placed us in a pretty quandary. If we are lucky we can salvage this situation. If we cant then your soul will suffer for a millennium!
Mathias wished fervently that hed never met Magan. The man terrified him more than anyone hed ever met in his entire life. Why hed thought it a good idea to fall in with the courts only death-mage he could no longer remember he had a horrible feeling that hed been coerced and probably not all that unwillingly.
Take me to the boy, commanded the other mage imperiously. I want to make sure that you didnt do too much damage. He needs to be mentally and physically aware of what is going to happen to him for it to do any good. A cold smile lingered on his thin lips and he spoke almost dreamily. The beauty of the whole exercise is when they realise that nothing can help them: when they lose their spirit and stop resisting the call of my Master its so beautiful to see them then. And with someone as spirited as your sweet son this will be fun indeed.
As he heard Magan detail part of what would happen to Duo, Mathias shivered.
Despite the fact that he barely tolerated his own son, Mathias didnt
want to hear what the other man had planned for the boy. The cells
are this way Milord.