6-14-2001

9-5-2001 (revised)

TITLE: It's a Kinda Magic
PART: Chapter Six
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://kikote_dhml.tripod.com

GENRE: fantasy, AU
RATING: PG
PAIRINGS: 1x2, 3+4, 5x Sally & Meiran, Cathy & Hilde,
WARNINGS: OOC, double-dealing, Suzu,
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: last of the revised chapters - tomorrow I start posting the new chapters... enjoy

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

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

CHAPTER SIX

 

An indistinguishable noise drew Quatre’s eyes curiously ceiling-wards. “What’s going on up there?”

Chuckles greeted his innocent question and he looked confusedly at his friends. “Well?”

“Heero and Duo are…” Mei paused, fumbling for words that wouldn’t upset the blonde boy.

“Enjoying their conjugal rites.” Hilde supplied with her usual bluntness. “You did know that with a God’s blessing on their bond they are lawfully wed?”

Quatre blinked surprised. “Well… I knew they were bonded… I didn’t realise that they’d received a God’s blessing… wow!”

Cathy looked from the innocent blonde to her brother and back, trying not to grin. “That’s understandable… not all soul-bondings are God’s blest. Heero and Duo enjoy something rare. Had you been told of soul-bondings at all?”

“No.” Quatre looked down at his feet, feeling suddenly very ignorant. “Such things weren’t discussed at home. Certainly not by my father!”

Trowa patted Quatre gently on his back. “Don’t fret it Quat. I’d never come across a bonding before I first saw Heero and Duo. When they met for the first time you could almost see the bond form… it was….”

“Miraculous.” Mei smiled, remembering. “It’s not something you see everyday and it doesn’t occur overnight but when it happens…” She shook her head, overcome with the memory. “It rocks your world.”

Nodding her agreement Sally snuggled closer to her sister and their husband, drawing strength from their presence. Healing Duo had taken a lot out of her. “It’s not something you see everyday… in fact soul-bondings are very, very rare…” She looked closely at Trowa and Quatre and stifled another smile. “But sometimes we’re blessed with more than one.”

Trowa frowned, wondering what the healer-mage was hinting at. He frowned even more when his sister started sniggering. “What’s so funny?”

Wufei joined his laughter to the others, even Hilde was chuckling softly. “They’re not so blind they who won’t see.”

“Stop quoting at me and explain!”

Cathy rolled off her seat and sat gasping for breath. “Oh, Little Brother… you have my blessing… really you do!”

Gazing from one laughing face to the next Quatre suddenly understood what they found so funny. The realisation made him gasp with shock and for several moments he felt as if the world had tipped itself upside down.

“Quat!” Trowa rushed to the swaying boy’s side and wrapped his arms around Quatre. “Are you all right?”

“Yes, I am now.” Quatre smiled sweetly at the Semahti and closed his eyes, centring himself in the sudden turmoil of his soul. This felt so right to him and he leaned into the other’s arms.

Trowa tightened his grip on the delicate blonde. “Are you sure?”

“More than ever before.” Quatre sighed softly, only just restraining himself from snuggling further into the other boy’s embrace.

Looking closely at the Awerunamian Trowa frowned slightly before adjusting his grip. It never occurred to him to release the smaller boy. It just felt so right to hold him so. “If you say so. You should rest though, you’ve been through a lot in the past day.”

Not bothering to open his eyes Quatre nodded sleepily in agreement. It seemed too much of an effort to say anything and he was so comfortable. He knew the others would be discussing the situation but he had little to contribute and decided that no one would mind if he slept.

A blanket was wrapped around the two boys made Trowa glance up to see his sister’s smiling face.

“Quatre looked chilled,” she offered in explanation, managing not to laugh at her brother’s expression. “You too.”

“I’m not that cold,” he protested.

“Sure.” With another smile Catherine returned to her own seat. “So, now what happens?”

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

It was somewhat later that Heero, with Duo once again in his arms, returned to where the others were gathered. Both were smiling and there was an air of contentment about them that hadn’t been there before.

Their arrival woke Quatre, who looked up and smiled a welcome at his cousin, glad that he was now on the way to recovering from the injuries he’d received earlier. “Welcome back Duo.”

“Thanks Quat.” Duo replied softly, still weary. “Thanks for reversing Relena’s spell – if you hadn’t…”

Heero held Duo closer, as if he could ward off the thought of what could have happened. He nodded at the small blonde though, adding his silent thanks to his lover’s. Sitting down with Duo still ensconced in his lap he looked from face to face. “What’s been decided while we were busy?”

“We, in the company of Cathy’s troop, will be going to Howard’s come first light.” Surprisingly it was Hilde who responded. “From there… who knows?”

“You’re coming with us Hilde?” Duo looked curiously at the petite Healer. “I thought you’d be staying here?”

Hilde smiled gently at her friend. “No Duo. I’m coming with you… something tells me you might need the services of a healer and besides…” She suddenly blushed, the flush brightening as Catherine laughed. “I’ve signed on with Cathy’s troop… I’m tired of being parted from her for great lengths of time.”

A broad smile crossed Duo’s face. “That’s great!” He leaned out from Heero to hug the dark-haired girl. “Congrats!”

Heero chuckled and pulled Duo back against him. “I was wondering how long you’d enjoy being separated after you’d declared your bond.” He smiled smugly down at his lover. “You owe me.”

“Yeah, yeah… I’ll pay up.” Duo didn’t mind losing the bet; he was enjoying his friend’s happiness too much. At heart the longhaired boy was an inveterate matchmaker and there was nothing more he liked than to see one or more of his friends happily joined with someone. Now that Cathy and Hilde were officially a couple that left only two of his group alone… He sent a measuring look over to where Trowa and Quatre sat, and then smiled gleefully. His cousin was curled up on the taller boy’s lap, and Trowa’s arms were wrapped protectively around the blonde. He wondered how long it would take them to acknowledge their bond.

“So, what do we do now?” Wufei looked around the room at the others. “We’ve got to get out of town before Mathias and the other man discover where we are.”

Mei grimaced. “I thought we were going to go to Howard’s?”

“We are.” Heero confirmed, after a sidelong glance at his lover. “From there, well, the best I can think of is if we head north. That’s the least likely direction for us to go, seeing that none of us has any connections there.”

Cathy frowned, considering something. “My next contract is with the Duc d’Artemi – his northern estates back on to the Tepahu Ranges and he’s hired us to deal with the bandits that come down from there. We can go there.”

“Sounds like a good idea to me.” Duo looked around for objections. “Anyone have problems with that?”

Most of his friends shook their heads but Wufei and his wives hesitated. “We may have a problem if the Duc is going to be there. He knows me by name and sight. I was engaged to his eldest daughter remember?”

“Oh.” Having forgotten this Duo worried at his lip. “Damn, and it seemed such a perfect solution.”

“Don’t work yourselves flustered over nothing.” Hilde smirked. “First off, the Duc won’t be there… he’s busy here, haranguing the King over some ancient law he wants brought back into use; secondly his daughter has long since been married… to the son of Magan de Morte.”

“de Morte?” Wufei frowned. “Isn’t he a Death mage?”

Hilde nodded silently.

“Poor her.” Meiran tightened her hold on Wufei’s arm. “I’d hate to be married into that family.”

“They don’t have a great reputation,” agreed her sister. “The only attraction is their wealth and power.”

“Well, that’s as may be, but let’s try and concentrate on our situation shall we?” Duo reminded the others. “Worrying about some stupid courtier won’t get us anywhere.”

“True.” Wufei smiled at his wives. “If the silly woman is married off, then so much the better, for everyone.”

Sally returned the smile, as did her sister. “Better for us anyhow.”

Heero coughed politely. “I thought we were supposed to be planning our departure, not reminiscing?”

“But reminiscing is such fun!” said Wufei with a wink. “Especially when you’re remembering how you got out of an arranged marriage to some ditzy Jafa and instead married the women of your dreams.”

“Well saved Fei,” cheered Duo, grinning. “But Heero has a point. The sooner we can get things sorted out the sooner we’ll be away from my beloved father.” He sobered. “I wish you others hadn’t become involved though… you could end up in some serious trouble…”

Quatre moved across to his cousin, laying a comforting hand on his shoulder. “Duo, we wouldn’t be your friends if we left you on your own when you needed our support the most. ‘Sides, I don’t want to stay there without you…”

Nodding his thanks at the small blonde, Heero hugged Duo gently. “Don’t hold yourself responsible for our actions Duo. We came of our own free will.” He looked into his love’s troubled eyes. “Quatre’s right, you’ve always stood by us when we needed it, now we’re just returning the favour.”

Duo looked at his circle of friends and could only see complete agreement on each face. He managed a somewhat shaky smile. “Thanks, I only hope that nothing bad comes of this… I couldn’t forgive myself if it did.”

“It won’t.” Hilde stated firmly. “Now get your lazy butts over to Howard’s. He’ll be able to give you more advice about what to do regarding that idiot father of yours. Cathy and I’ll bring the troop around and meet you there in two hours.”

Trowa nodded at his sister’s lover. “Are Quatre and Duo up to it?”

“Yes.” Hilde looked at the cousins. “As long as they take things easy for the moment, things should be fine.” She fixed a stern look on Heero and Trowa. “Its up to you two to make sure that they don’t over do things. Understood?”

“Yes.”

“Why look at me?” Trowa couldn’t understand why Hilde singled him out… Heero he could understand, but why him. “I’m not Quatre’s keeper.”

To his surprise the normally solemn healer sniggered before answering. “Just keep an eye on him Trowa, you can do that much can’t you?”

“Yes,” he replied, his confusion made worse by the fact that Quatre was blushing and the rest, including his sister, were stifling their laughter. “What?!”

“Nothing.” Catherine tried not to choke on her laughter as she pushed the obtuse boy towards the door. “We’ll meet you in a couple of hours. I hope Howard can help.”

“So do we,” answered Duo before he turned and led his friends towards their next destination.

Catherine watched them till they were out of sight then turned to her lover. “I’ll round up my mercs then. They’ll be more than happy to leave –they’re getting restless. You’ll get our things ready?”

“No problem. Actually I’m looking forward to leaving here too,” said Hilde thoughtfully.

“It won’t be all fun on the road y’know,” cautioned Cathy.

“I know, and I’m ready.” Hilde smiled at her lover. “Now go and get the troop together. I’ll be waiting.”

“All right.” With a jaunty wink Catherine marched off to find her missing mercenaries.

Hilde waved and turned back inside, mentally listing what she’d need to take with her. Her musing was interrupted by a sharp knock on the door. She opened the door to be confronted with a sight she’d been dreading since first arriving in Jafa. “What are you doing here?”

Silver eyes dancing in amusement, Suzu smiled sweetly at the stunned healer. “Now is that anyway to greet your sister?”

“Half sister,” corrected Hilde automatically. “How did you find me?”

“Really little sister,” purred Suzu, pushing her way past the shocked healer. “It’s not like it was difficult.”

“Hey!” Grabbing her sister’s arm Hilde swung the taller woman around and pushed her up against the wall. “What the hell gives you the right to come pushing your way into my house and my life? I thought I made it abundantly clear at our last meeting that I want nothing to do with you?”

Suzu looked down at her fierce-eyed sister and smirked. “You made your thoughts perfectly clear on that occasion sweet sister. However, times change and so do situations. I need your help.”

“You what?” Hilde released her sister’s arm and rubbed tiredly at her temples – suddenly she had a headache. “You need my help? You – the great, wonderful all-powerful Suzu Margarita de Morte actually need the help of your despised little sister?”

“That is our father talking Hilde, not me. I never despised you… hell you’re the only sister I have, and the only sibling that I can hold an intelligent conversation with. Unlike Treven you have some brains between your ears.” Suzu dropped the smirk and looked suprisingly serious. “Our beloved Father has some crack-pate scheme in mind and is causing no end of trouble…”

“Why should I care?” Hilde sighed and closed the door behind her sister. She directed Suzu to a seat and sat opposite her. “You know Father hates me.”

“That’s as maybe little sister but if father goes through with this scheme of his we all stand to lose. Even you. Anyone with the de Morte name will be branded a traitor to the crown.” Suzu fastened her silver eyes on Hilde and hoped the other would see sense. “I’m really going to need your help Hildebrande.”

“Don’t call me that!” Hilde flared. “Don’t ever call me that.”

Holding her hands up in a pacifying gesture Suzu smiled. “Calm down. I won’t call you that if it affects you that strongly.”

Hilde shuddered. “No one’s called me that since Mam took me away from the estate. I’m Hilde Schbeiker here, healer first-class. Hildebrande Melissande de Morte died years ago.” She drew in a calming breath. “So, what exactly do you want me to do, and just what is he up to this time?”

Drawing in a calming breath of her own Suzu spoke. “He’s going to do a conjuration at the lunar eclipse using the old magics – Death Magic. He’s already got a victim chosen, the son of the Arch Mage of the Academy no less.”

“What!” Hilde looked at her sister in shock. “The Arch Mage’s son?”

“Yes,” replied Suzu calmly. “ The Arch Mage agreed to this, not that my dear pet had much choice in the matter.”

‘Your pet?” Hilde wondered if this was all just a terrible nightmare. She pinched herself hard and hissed in pain. “Damn!”

Suzu frowned at her sister. “Yes, Mathias is now my pet… his own fault Hilde, he tilted the scales and he lost protection when he tried to give his son over to Father. The Gods no longer want him.”

Hilde shook her head in confusion. “Whatever. So what do you want me to do? I’m only a healer?”

“You also happen to be a friend of young Duo’s, and I know for a fact that he came here for healing. Unlike our moronic Father I do have some brain cells and did a little research on his chosen prey. Research that revealed that his friend Trowa has a sister and that sister happens to be bonded to a certain healer of my acquaintance. I just put two and two together and came up with the logical place for him to run to.”

Hilde looked suspiciously at her too calm sister. “So, having come to this conclusion, what are you going to do about it? Tell Father?”

Rolling her eyes in frustration Suzu glared back. “Hilde! I don’t want Father to get his hands on that boy! Father intends to overthrow the King and take his place. Now I know as well as you what a useless monarch our current king is, but do you really think our Father would be any better?”

“No,” Hilde had to admit that Suzu’s argument made sense but she couldn’t bring herself to trust her sister. “What I can’t get is why you are betraying him to me.”

“Because you have the means at hand to stop the whole mess. You know the boy, you can warn him and keep him out of Father’s clutches.”

“And while I’m doing this what will you be doing?” Hilde narrowed her eyes.

Suzu smirked again. “Keeping Father and Mathias occupied and hopefully out of your hair. And trying to get someone in the Court to listen to me… unfortunately Father has most of them under his thumb and unfortunately my reputation precedes me…”

“I’ll do what I can.” Hilde looked her sister over, wondering Suzu was telling the entire truth. It was never an easy task to read her. “You’d better go now before anyone sees you.”

“Thank you for your graciousness in this little sister,” mocked Suzu as she swept by Hilde and out the door. “Just keep the boy safe… unless you want Father to get his hands on him… and you know what Father is capable of… you’ve seen the results of some of his spells…”

“Yeah… I know,” Hilde shuddered at the memories. “Go with the Gods Suzu.”

“Oh, I will, never fear that.” Suzu laughed softly as she walked away. “It’s not like I have any choice.”