12-30-2001

TITLE: It's A Kind Of Magic
PART: 7 / 24
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/

GENRE: fantasy, AU
RATING: PG
PAIRINGS: 1x2, 3+4, 5x Sally & Meiran, Cathy & Hilde,
WARNINGS: OOC
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: Well... its been a fairly long time since I posted any of this... put it down to Real Life being a major bitch. The last two months have been hell - both of my remaining Grandparents died within eleven days of each other, my Mother went to hospital with a dangerous type of pneumonia, my sister had her car stolen, striped for parts and then burnt out, I spent my Thirtieth birthday at my Grandmother's funeral, my cousin had to have her baby induced and my brother's been called to a tour of duty with the UN in East Timor (which is hard for the East Timorese - what have they ever done to deserve that?)... oh and I spent Xmas day suffering from a dratted cold - in the middle of SUMMER!... Consequently I haven't really been in the mood to write...

The first part of this chapter has already been sent to most lists...

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

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CHAPTER SEVEN

 

As they slowly made their way from Hilde’s, Duo protested at their speed… or lack thereof. “Can’t we go any faster than this?”

“No,” said Heero sternly, fixing his lover with a steely look. “It may have slipped your mind but both you and Quatre aren’t in the best of health at the moment and while I don’t know Trowa’s thoughts on the subject I’d rather not have my lover collapsing exhausted.”

“Trowa?” Duo looked curiously from Trowa to his blushing cousin. “Is there something going on here that I’ve missed?”

“No… not yet,” replied Trowa with admirable calmness and only the faintest hint of a blush tingeing his cheeks. “Despite what Heero might think there is nothing going on between Quatre and I… yet…”

“Yet...” repeated Duo grinning broadly. “What a wonderful word that is…”

“Duo!” Quatre didn’t know who he wanted to hit the most – his cousin, his cousin’s lover or the green-eyed boy who was currently giving him a sidelong look that made his toes curl. “We… I mean I… grrr!!!!”

“He growled!” Wufei tilted his head to one side, regarding Quatre curiously. “Beyond a doubt he is Duo’s cousin… only one of his relations could growl like that…”

“Cute.” Sally grinned at the mortified boy. “I agree with ‘Fei…”

“Don’t you always?” retorted Quatre, forgetting his embarrassment.

“No.” Meiran answered for her twin. “You haven’t seen them have one of their spats yet… luckily.”

“I shall look forward to it with great pleasure,” promised the small blonde. After a moments silence he frowned slightly, biting his lip.

“What's up Quat?” Duo asked curiously.

“I’m just wondering…” he faltered to a halt, uncertain of how to express himself. “Wondering…”

“Wondering what?” prompted Duo helpfully.

“Well…” Quatre drew in a steadying breath and looked solely at his cousin. “I’m just wondering why that stranger with your father wanted you… do you have some strange power or something?”

Duo snorted. “Hardly. My powers, such as they are, are mainly in the area of fire… summoning, controlling – barely… and dispelling. The doppelganger effect is merely an added bonus.”

“Hmm.” Quatre mused over this. “What about the rest of you?” He looked from face to face, his curiosity obvious. “What can you do?”

“I specialise in karmic balance… dealing out justice to those who deserve it,” Wufei smirked. “Its amusing to see people react when their own evils are returned to them.”

“Oh.”

“Sally is healer,” began Meiran.

“But I heal the soul, not the body,” interrupted Sally. “Meiran’s speciality is controlling spells… which she used judicially…”

“Can’t help but be careful when your husband is a justice freak.” Meiran grumbled good-naturedly. “We all have basic magic as well… just like anyone in the Academy.”

“Not that we’re there anymore,” muttered Heero. “I’m basically a battle-mage. I can control people’s urge to fight… useful in war.” A shadow crossed his face, easing only when Duo laid a comforting hand on his arm. “I was supposed to be sent to the King’s army… and trained there once I’d had basic training in general magics… but then Duo and I bonded… and our bonding was blessed by the Gods… and the Army wouldn’t take me.”

“For which we were all relieved.” Duo’s usually pleasant expression had changed to one of remembered anger. “I’ve heard of what they do to the battle-mages there… and it isn’t nice. They would have destroyed Heero completely until only a shell remained.” He shuddered and huddled into his lover’s arms.

Silence fell on the group for a while as they continued their journey. Finally Quatre looked at Trowa. “What about you?”

“Me?” Trowa looked momentarily puzzled. “Oh… my powers… well… I’m a nature-controller. I can make the land react… animals too…”

“Wow…” Quatre looked impressed. “I wish I knew for certain where my skills lay.”

“Don’t you know?” Wufei regarded Quatre, frowning slightly. “Weren’t you tested?”

“No.” Quatre shook his head. “My father didn’t approve of magic… he wouldn’t let me be tested or taught… just punished for something I couldn’t control. Then Uncle Mathias didn’t seem interested in having me tested… tho I asked several times… he kept putting it off.”

“Well from what we saw earlier,” began Heero consideringly. “I’d say you had a certain talent for reversal spells… similar to Wufei’s karmic ones… the rest…” he shrugged. “Howard would be the best person to ask.”

Duo nodded his agreement. “Yes, Howard would know… tho its strange that father didn’t tell you or test you… very strange.”

“And this, from your father is unusual how?” jeered Heero. “Your father probably forgot or decided it wasn’t important.”

Shaking his head in disagreement Duo frowned slightly. “No, Father wouldn’t do that. He takes his role as Arch-Mage too seriously to do that… and look at all the trouble he went through to get Quatre. There has to be more to it than that…”

“Much more,” agreed Wufei, also frowning. “In fact it simply doesn’t add up.”

Duo frowned again. “Nothing my father’s done over the last few years adds up.”

“Don’t fret about aroha,” comforted Heero. “We ought to be at Howard’s soon and then maybe he can shed some light on what's going on.”

Duo looked around the small group and nodded. “I hope he can.”

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Magan glared at his daughter as she entered the room. “And just where have you been? I had to send your pet out to look for you!”

“I went to track down a possible lead to the whereabouts of our missing lad.” Suzu smiled smugly at her father. “I have it on very good authority that he’s heading to the former Arch-Mage’s estates. Apparently they’re good friends and the old man has agreed to shelter them at his Southern Estates.”

“Oh.” Magan stared at his daughter for a moment. “Just who gave you this information?”

“Someone I trust to tell me the truth father dearest. Someone whom I have a strong hold over and who would never dare to lie to me!” Suzu lied through her teeth, hoping her father wouldn’t question her any further. She was playing a deadly game and the last thing she wanted was to slip up.

After one last searching look Magan let the matter drop. “Southern Estates eh? Did your source tell you exactly where these estates are? South is a rather vague direction.”

Suzu smirked. “It took some doing but I persuaded him to elaborate. Our little runaways are headed to Agnaruat. Which, coincidentally is near Areumer – Heero Yui’s home. That’s probably the next place they’ll run to. Somewhere they’d be welcomed and protected.”

“Ahh… yes… Duo’s soul-bound to him isn’t he?” Magan narrowed his silver eyes in anger. “Damn that fool! Why couldn’t he control his son?”

“Because he’s a moron, and an easily manipulated moron at that. Those were the deciding factors in you choosing him after all Daddy. Don’t forget that.” For a moment Suzu wondered if she’d gone too far in taunting her father but he was still fuming over Mathias’ idiocy. She stifled a sigh of relief, cocking her head to one side and looking curiously at her father. “So, what do you want to do about these latest developments?”

Magan scowled. “I want you to stay here – I need someone here that I can trust… and unlike that idiot Mathias you do know what to do. I’ll take your stupid pet and follow our prey. Hopefully it won’t take too long to catch up with them.”

Suzu nodded. “Just don’t damage my pet too much Daddy… I have plans of my own for him…”

Magan chuckled. “I wouldn’t dream of it my dear. I gave him to you and I won’t interfere with your plans for him.” His good humour returned he turned on his heel and left the room, calling back as he did so, “Send your pet to me when he returns.”

“Yes Daddy.” Suzu replied dutifully. Only when she was sure that her father was no where near did she allow herself to sigh with relief. “What now?”

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Hilde waited impatiently for Cathy to return with her troop. Suzu’s surprise visit had shaken the usually calm Healer’s composure and she fretted about the new information she now possessed… information that the others had to hear. She shivered at the thought of becoming involved however distantly with any mechanism of her insane father.

It was with a great deal of relief that she heard the unmistakable sounds of the merc troop’s arrival outside her house. Fretting with impatience she jerked the door open and signalled to her lover. “Cathy! I’ve got bad news…”

 

TBC