AstroKender (AstroKender@aol.com)
The Chain
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//Song lyrics// The Chain is by Fleetwood Mac. GW is owned by Sunrise, not me.

A slim figure bowed low before the prince, heedless of the dirt that might stain the transparent silks that clung to his well-toned body. The brightly colored cloth wrapped lovingly around the smooth, tanned chest; revealing more than it concealed. The color of the tunic was indeterminable, for its hue changed with every flicker of the campfire's light. Tight black leggings encased the well-muscled legs of the captive and bells jingled with every slight movement the figure made, but the braided boy dared not look up at the nobleman.

"It is well know that gypsies are not allowed in my kingdom. Tell me again why I should spare your life."

The prince stood commandingly before the boy, despite the fact that his once immaculate clothing was now dirty and rumpled from where his horse had thrown him. The beast was nowhere to be found but the prince had more pressing concerns at the moment. He raised his sword and pointed it once again toward the delicate throat of his prisoner.

"Forgive me my lord," The melodic voice pleaded to the ground. "But I was drawn here by a will that was not my own, as were you." Chestnut strands broke free from their confining braid to dance wildly upon the breeze.

The prince's eyes narrowed dangerously. Prussian-blue orbs stared thoughtfully at the traveler. "How do you know that?" He asked quietly.

"Is often that my prince walks the woods this far from his castle?"

The boy finally raised his head and the prince gasped, captivated by the fey creature in front of him. Stay tendrils of chestnut silk framed the delicate heart-shaped face. Large eyes the color of twilight peered up at him from beneath dark lashes. Soft lips were curved up in a small smile.

"No." The prince conceded.

"Does he often stay from the comfort of his bed to ride upon the night winds?"

The gypsy was right; something had drawn him to this glade. He had left during the darkest hour of the night; not even his retainers knew he was missing. He realized the potentially dangerous situation he was in.

"You've made your point but you have yet to convince me that you should live."

The smile disappeared and the prince felt oddly ashamed. "Forgive me sire. I have little to offer which you do not already have. But, for my life, I would offer you-"

"Your body?" The nobleman asked, eyes raking across the prone figure possessively. Surprisingly, the gypsy chuckled and shook his head nay.

"A dance."

"A dance?" The prince asked incredulously. "But you have no musicians."

"None are needed, sire." The dark indigo eyes pinned him with their gaze. "Do you accept?"

The prince lowered his sword and sat down on the gypsy's bedroll, trying to get comfortable. The sword rested across his lap, drawing in the light of the fire and reflecting it back into the chiseled face. He gestured to the boy.

"Dance. And then we shall see if I will let you live. But I warn you, make any move that I deem suspicious, and you will be dead before your body hits the grass."

The braided boy bowed humbly. "Understood sire."

Rising gracefully to his feet, the gypsy stood, arms outstretched. Violet eyes closed in concentration and a mysterious harmony flowed through the glade, as if coming from the earth itself. Bowing once more to the prince, he began to move, bells tinkling softly in accompaniment.

The prince had never seen anyone move so fluidly and sat silently, entranced. The dance was at once seductive and commanding. Hips swayed to the firm beat as the boy held his slender arms over his head. His eyes opened to show a passion, a fire, never seen before by mortal men. The delicate mouth opened and velvet soft words flowed out.

"Listen to the wind blow
Watch the sun rise."

"Running in the shadows
Damn your love, Damn your life."

The prince's eyes widened as the forest seemed to come alive to sing with the fey creature that moved before him. Beside him, the fire flared, casting the clearing into a dizzying light. The nobleman blinked his eyes in confusion and the world snapped into focus, revolving around the figure dancing for him and for the night.

"And if you don't love me now,
You will never love me again."

Another wave of dizziness flowed over him and he struggled to lift his sword, sure that he had somehow been drugged. But the boy continued dancing, unaware, and the sword fell from nerveless fingers.

"I can still hear you saying we would
Never break, never break, the chain."

Suddenly, the nobleman found himself in another place. He was running, in a forest similar to the one that had surrounded him. The gypsy ran beside him, but he was dressed differently, all in black. He looked down at himself and saw that he was wearing nothing but a sleeveless green tunic and black leggings that only reached mid-thigh.

The gypsy flashed a grin at him as the forest behind them exploded. The prince threw himself at the braided boy and they fell to the ground just as a large hunk of metal flew over their heads.

"And if you don't love me now,
You will never love me again."

They lay there for a moment, breathing heavily. A great rumbling shook the ground and the braided boy's eyes turned serious. The black clad figure passed him a flat, circular disc. Eyeing the disc in confusion, Heero looked up questioningly. The braided boy smiled sadly and pulled the boy to his feet. Giving him a shove, Duo turned to face the mechanical monsters that broke through the tree line.

"I can still hear you saying we would
Never break, never break, the chain."

Heero ran, jumping over fallen logs and splashing carelessly through shallow streams. Behind him, he heard the whine of engines as the mobile suits came closer and closer to their quarry. In his right hand he held the hard-won disc with its vital information. But in his left hand was clenched something infinitely more precious. A silver chain glittered in the moonlight as he ran. Attached to that chain was a small, silver cross.

"Listen to the wind blow
Down comes the night."

Firelight caressed the tan skin as the boy danced. Bare feet seemed to not even touch the ground as the gypsy moved, but seemed to glide over the dewy blades of grass. The full moon shone down on him, giving the dancer an ethereal appearance. Hair flew out in chestnut waves, completely freed from its braid.

"Running in the shadows
Damn you love, Damn your lies."

Shadows danced around the figure, brought to life by the flickering fire. The violet eyes never left the prince as the lithe body moved to the beat. Fireflies blinked in and out of existence, filling the clearing with mysterious glittering lights.

"Break the silence
Damn the dark, Damn the light."

The scene blurred and Heero was once more running through the woods. Scratches covered his toned skin as he forced his legs forward, ignoring the briars that clawed at him. He tripped, and struggled to his feet, cursing. The moon had hidden behind the clouds and the forest was now cloaked in darkness.

"And if you don't love me now,
You will never love me again."

Silk clung to damp flesh as the dancer picked up the tempo. The whole forest seemed to vibrate with energy as the violet-eyed boy, at once strange and familiar, flung his arms up to the heavens and sung with his whole being, the words seemingly torn from his throat.

"I can still hear you saying we would
Never break, never break, the chain."

Heero fell again, and this time did not rise. He was tired of running, tired of ignoring the soul-wrenching pain that permeated his chest. The disk slipped from nerveless fingers but the boy didn't care. The silver chain was still clenched in a white-knuckled grip.

"And if you don't love me now,
You will never love me again."

The Japanese boy heard the sound of breaking twigs and glanced up dully, defeat shining in his dark eyes. A figure stumbled into the clearing and nearly fell. Blood stained the torn black clothing and dark eyes showed pain and exhaustion. But the exhaustion fled when he spied Heero. Running over, he dropped to his knees in front of the fallen boy.

"I can still hear you saying we would
Never break, never break, the chain."

Heero stared at the bedraggled boy in front of him; positive it was an illusion. A trembling hand came up to pluck a dried leaf from the tangled chestnut hair and then dropped to caress the dirty, bloodstained cheek. Prussian-blue eyes widened as the figure threw himself at him. After a moment, he awkwardly returned the embrace.

"And if you don't love me now,
You will never love me again."

Different visions filled the prince's head as the gypsy continued to sing. Each glimpse showed a different time and a different place. They all showed himself; and at his side, always, was the braided boy. Hundreds of lifetimes flashed through his eyes.

"I can still hear you saying we would
Never break, never break, the chain."

Duo danced more frantically, breathing heavily as sweat beaded across his heart-shaped face. The haunting music reached it crescendo and the gypsy spun, jumped, and twisted, totally held captive by the thundering beat. Lightning flashed in the distance and the campfire flared to new heights, casting an unearthly glow to their surroundings.

"Chains keep us together."

Heero heard the mobile suits returning and pulled Duo to his feet. They were both beyond exhaustion, but their rest would not come so soon. Still holding the braided boy's hand, he ran through the night, pulling Duo with him. Nestled tightly between their clasped hands was the delicate, silver cross.

"Chains keep us together."

The gypsy twirled, hair flying about him in billowing waves. Lips parted as the boy took panting breaths of the cool night air. The prince had never seen anything more beautiful and wondrous. This night would be forever burned into his memory.

"Running in the shadows."

Two figures ran through the forest, hands held tightly.

"Chains keep us together."

Dangling bells flashed in the fire's light.

"Chains keep us together."

A silver chain flashed in the moonlight.

"Chains keep us together!"

The gypsy fell to the ground and the prince rushed over to him. Leaning over, he gathered the boy into his arms, holding him tightly. The fire's light glowed across damp skin as the boy took shallow breaths, his face pale.

"Duo? Are you alright?"

Violet eyes glowed up at him and a soft smile lit the boy's heart-shaped face. Wrapping his arms around the nobleman's neck, he pulled him closer.

"Do I win my life, my lord?" He whispered.

Heero looked down at the beautiful creature in front of him, overcome with emotion. He kissed the damp forehead and moved to whisper his reply in the boy's ear.

"You may have you life, young gypsy, but you have also stolen my heart."

He bent down and captured the boy's lips. Silence filled the night and the forest watched as the two boys explored each other under the light of the moon. Later, as they lay in each other's arms the gypsy smiled up at him.

"I must go."

The prince looked down at him in sorrow. The first light of dawn was just beginning to his the treetops. He knew his retainers were probably worried sick about him, but he didn't want to release this boy he held so tightly.

"Will I ever see you again?"

"We will meet again, as we have for thousands of years before." Violet eyes sparkled. "Love is a chain that cannot be broken. It will endure for all ages."

Their lips met one last time as the sun touched the clearing. A bright light flared and the prince found his arms suddenly empty. Glancing around in confusion a flash of light drew his attention to the bedroll. Glittering in the sun's rays was a silver chain, adorned with a simple cross.

A soft breeze blew by as he picked up the cross, ruffling his hair. On that wind he could swear he hear a familiar musical voice.

"We will never break the chain."