Okay, this chapter has been inspired somewhat by the Kenshin OAV (or Samurai X as the dub is called). What else can I say about this part...Um, it's violent. Very violent and in some cases gorey. So, if bloodshed and gore squick you I really suggest you don't read this.
This story is a Rurouni Kenshin/Gundam Wing fusion. It's going to be an Alternate Universe fic and will definitely have a 1x2 pairing--I just have to slog through the set up of the story to get to that (Which will be the first couple of chapters). ^_^
Oh and Duo and the boys are about 16 in this fic.
Rurouni Kenshin is the property of Nobuhiro Watsuki and Mobile Suit Gundam Wing belongs to Bandai. I'm borrowing the characters and situations purely for entertainment purposes, not to make any money.
Mikhail Tubarov scowled as he took another sip of cognac, leaning back into the leather folds of his chair. 'Ah, that's better,' he sighed, feeling the tension in his body lessen as he propped his unshod feet on a nearby Ottoman. The chair coupled with the fire hissing and crackling in the mantle's brazier was just what he needed to relax after the day's events.
He'd spent much of the day stuck in the Assembly listening to his fellow senators babble about nothing of any consquence and watching the crown prince, Millardo Peacecraft, try not to nod off in the process. And that would have been just fine with him. After all, if the senators were too busy squabbling amongst theirselves then they couldn't upset the status quo and he and his associates could continue unchecked. Peacecraft and his sister offered no real opposition; they were mere figureheads for the regime. So long as they were given as little information and as much luxury as possible, they were content to let Tubarov and Dermail decide policy. Just as their father and his father had before them. The Peacecraft family for all their royal lineage and title hadn't had any real power for over a century. It was better that way. No family of mealy-mouthed pacifists was capable of making the hard choices needed to govern the Alliance. It fell to men like Tubarov to make the choices necessary to push the Alliance towards the future.
Not everyone saw things that way. Opposition was to be expected, of course. Within reason and then it had to be dealt with, some times the hard way. Resistence to a certain point was tolerated, even welcomed. Let it not be said that the regime was made up of tyrants who could not tolerate differences of opinion.
Even if that was true. Although Tubarov thought that the term 'tyrants' was a bit harsh. After all, it was their largess that kept the masses fed and entertained. Give the public their bread and circuses and they would follow like obedient lambs to the slaughter.
At least, most of them would. Occasionally, one would run into those who could not play by the rules, who wanted to change the rules altogether. Men like that were dangerous especially if they were truly intelligent. A case in point, the current leader of the newly formed 'People's Party,' Treize Kushrenada. Tubarov snorted. It was nothing short of amusing to see the aristocratic Treize get up there and spout off nonsense about the rights of the common man. Tubarov had known Treize's father; now there was a man who'd known when to tow the party line. He was probably spinning in his grave at his son's behavior, God rest his soul. The problem was that Kushrenada wasn't just intelligent, he was damnably charismatic. His charm was near legendary and quite a few times, Dermail had had to rein in Millardo Peacecraft in from doing some damn fool stunt because Kushrenada had talked him into it. The last thing they needed was for Peacecraft to think he had any real say in things--he might side with Treize's people and that could be dangerous.
Something was going to have to be done about him, Tubarov decided. Dermail had said as much after the General Assembly during their private meeting. Left alive, he was a magnet for the less desirable elements in society, those idealistic fools who wanted to take power from those who knew how to handle it and put into the keeping of a populace that was far too stupid to utilize it. Ah, well. It was a pity; Treize would have made a formidable ally and he did so hate to waste good resources. In this case, it couldn't be helped.
He reached over to refill his goblet when the room went dark. Tubarov rose swiftly to his feet and felt his way across the shadow-filled room to the door. "What the hell is going on?" he bellowed into the darkness.
"Power outtage, Minister," one of his bodyguards replied apologetically. "I sent Morgan to go see to it. I'm sure it's nothing."
Tubarov grunted, closing the door. Without the touch of the chandelier's soft light, his familiar study was now an unknown realm. He flexed his fingers, licking his lips nervously. The firelight once so comforting was now throwing demon shadows, each writhing with hellfire. 'Stop it,' he ordered himself. 'You're being ridiculous. You--'
There was a soft thud in the hall. Tubarov gripped the back of his chair, heart pounding in his chest so hard he had a metallic taste in the back of his throat. Step by cautious step, he inched closer to the door, pausing to grab a heavy vase before opening it. "Averil? Morgan? What was that?"
Silence. He swallowed, stepping fully into the hall. "Averil--"
He froze up. There was no other way to describe it. OhGodohGodohGod, his mind started gibbering as he stood there, unable to tear his eyes away from the sight of bodies strung out across the hall. Two of his men were sprawled across the carpet, dark stains pooling around them, one from a cut throat and the other from what could only be described as disembowlment. Blood was black without light, his shocked mind produced. The dark fluid spurting up from the wound in his chest told Tubarov that he hadn't died from the disembowlment. Beside the door, Averil was slumped over in an unnatural pose that nothing living could have. And all around him, the night was still and silent.
Until one of his dogs howled and broke his trance.
Gagging, he jerked back into his study, locking the door shut with clumsy, trembling hands. 'Help, I have to call help. Oh, God, what could do that? Who could do that? And where is he?' Tubarov wrenched himself away from the door in panic, backing up a few steps before turning around...
...to receive the second surprise of the evening.
There was someone standing in front of his desk. The light from the moon outside stole in from the open curtains, framing the person in shadowy light. From where he was, Tubarov could only make out a few details. Dark clothes with a white collar, a long braid, and the glint of a sword as it was lifted. Tubarov opened his mouth to scream only to find himself falling to his knees as the impact of a blow hit his mid-section, happening so fast that the pain was delayed. He grasped at the torn skin, feeling something ropey and slippery brush his hands and realizing it was his intestines.
"I meant to kill you more quickly than that," a soft voice observed. "You moved."
"Please," Tubarov rasped. "I can pay you--anything... Anything you want--"
"No," the voice was cold, unwavering. "You could not. You cannot repay what has been stolen. You will steal no more futures."
The blade arced upward and Tubarov was helpless to do anything but watch as it sliced through the air towards his neck. The last thing he registered was a pair of eyes glittering gold fire in the darkness.
At the opera, Treize felt a tap on his shoulder. He lowered his binoculars and took the note from the silver platter offered to him. He opened the paper, scanned the contents, then pocketed it with a brief smile before returning his attention to the stage where Lucia di Lammermoor was hitting the high note of her dirge.
Chang Wufei leaned against the outer wall of the house, head bowed in contemplation as he waited. He hated the waiting more than anything else about these assignments, but he would be the first to admit that this was not a job he would rather be doing. He was a warrior and there was something sneaky, something treacherous about assassinations that made his blood curl. Even if it was for the best of causes, namely liberation from the Alliance's oppressive hold. He trusted Treize, even if he disagreed occasionally with the man's methods, so he would hold his tongue and do whatever was necessary to bring about the revolution that would cleanse them all.
There was a hint of wind at his shoulder. "Is it done?" he asked without opening his eyes.
"Of course," came the sedate reply. Wufei cracked one lid to gaze at the man beside him. To see him, one would never know that Duo Maxwell was probably the most dangerous man you could ever hope to meet. No, to look at him one would see a smiling sixteen year old boy with a ridiculously long braid, dressed like a priest. He did not fit Wufei's idea of a killer but that was what he was.
Wufei repressed the shudder that longed to break free at the sight of Maxwell's gold eyes. The eyes of a killer, a demon. No one knew quite how Maxwell could accomplish what he did so well and to be perfectly honest, Wufei wasn't sure he wanted to know. What he did know was that those cold, yellow eyes haunted him, chilling him in places he'd never known. When Duo killed, he was a completely different person and not one to be trifled with. 'I know Treize trusts him implicitly but I think we'd be better off without him,' Wufei thought. 'He's a wolf on a leash. For the moment, our leash. What will happen if that changes?'
"Any other orders?"
"Why, do you have such a thirst for blood that it cannot be quenched with that?" Wufei snapped, jerking his head towards the house.
Duo kept quiet, waiting. He always did that after a job. Later, the demon would vanish into the laughing boy-man he hid in, but now it was on the surface and it was up to Wufei to direct him.
'Treize,' he thought. 'You and I are going to have a long talk about this one of these days, one that Maxwell may not survive.'
***end of Chapter One