9-1-2001

Title: Written in Blood
Author: AstroKender
Pairings: 5x2, 3+4, 1+2 and various combinations there of.
Catagory: action/mystery
Warnings: Oodles of Angst. (JUST ANGST, got it?)
Spoilers: None.
Notes: Okay people, I am not about to spoil the story here, but my warnings for this chapter ARE ACCURATE. If there was reason to put any other warnings for it, I would have. So just go with it, and reserve your judgement till the END of the fic. Things are not always what they seem, and I am not the type of author to drag you through more than 20 chapters and then suddenly knock off half the cast. So that said, enjoy.
Feedback: AstroKender@insight.rr.com
Disclaimers: GW isn't mine. I make no money from this. Don't sue me.

 

Part 29

 

Trowa watched the small figure walk away after Duo slipped under the water and his heart caught. The moon glittered off the smooth black surface of the water as Trowa strained his eyes to find even a ripple. A minute later when Duo still did not emerge Trowa threw caution to the wind and ran towards the pond at breakneck speed, not even pausing as he dived into its inky depths.

The icy water surrounded him as he flailed around, searching. Trowa opened his eyes but met with complete darkness. Cursing inwardly, the Latin boy felt about desperately, his breath quickly running out. Panic began to overcome the normally stoic boy as he realized he might not even be searching the right area of the pond. He had only seen Duo fall in from a distance; it was possible he totally misjudged the location. /Duo!/ his mind screamed. Just as he felt his lungs would burst, Trowa's hand brushed against something solid. Grabbing that object with both hands, he put his feet on the bottom of the pond and pushed off to the upward.

Breaking the surface with the American in tow, Trowa opened his eyes and hissed as they began to sting. Treading water, his hand reached up reflexively to rub them, but halted halfway as he stared at his blackened skin. Trowa shook his head and clutched Duo's cold body close before swimming for the closest edge of the pond. His vision hazy, the Latin boy struggled to pull the longhaired boy ashore.

"Duo!" he whispered harshly, shaking the other boy.

Cursing, as he received no answer, Trowa leaned over and felt for his friend's pulse. It was weak but it was there. Placing his cheek up to Duo's mouth, he frowned as no breath stirred against his skin. Quickly, Trowa flipped Duo onto his stomach and began to push on his back.

"Come on, Duo." Trowa climbed on top of Duo, pushing firmly on the American's ribs.

"Come on!" He pushed some more.

Push.

"Duo!"

Push.

"Answer me!"

PUSH.

"Damn it!"

Push.

"Please Duo.... Don't give up."

A sputtering cough erupted below him and Trowa almost sobbed in relief. Swiftly rolling off the longhaired boy, Trowa helped Duo struggle to his hands and knees as he proceeded to cough up two lungs full of water.

"Tro--a...." Duo choked as he leaned back against the Latin boy. Trowa's arms slid around the American's waist and pulled him close. Duo squeezed his arm silently in thanks. Trowa shivered as he held the coughing boy close, unwilling to let him go now that he knew that he was all right.

Looking at down at them both, Trowa frowned. Their entire bodies, clothes and all, seemed to be covered in some sort of black slime. Apparently Duo noticed as well, because he raised his black tinted hand to his nose and sniffed.

"Shit," he cursed.

"Really?" Trowa forced himself to chuckle. "I was under the impression that it was oil."

"Tro, why the hell is this pond covered with oil? Who pushed me in? Was it WuFei?" Duo pried himself out of Trowa's grasp so he could turn to look him in the eye.

"I don't know the answer to any of those questions," Trowa admitted.

"I can't believe-WuFei...." Duo's eyes clenched shut as his fist slammed into the ground. Sighing, he proceeded to pat himself down. "Did you bring a gun with you? I think I lost mine in the pond." The American stumbled unsteadily to his feet; his body weighed down by his saturated clothing.

"I think I left it in the truck. It's-"

"Over that way. I know." Duo looked around warily and, seeing no one, he began the painful trot across the yard and down the road. Trowa kept up a steady pace at his side.

"How did you-" Trowa's eyes widened. "You knew I was following you." He stated.

"Yup," Duo glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. "But I didn't mind. I'm glad you were there to watch my back. As you can see," he gestured to his soaked and blackened clothing. "I needed it."

"Then that settles it," Trowa stated, as he reached into his pickup's interior, grabbing his gun. "We go in together." He expertly checked the clip and made sure there was already a round resting in the gun's barrel, waiting to be fired.

"No."

Trowa looked up in shock, his eyes showing his confusion. Duo's expression was set firmly as he took the gun from Trowa's hands. "I'm going in alone. Stay out here and call for back up if you must, but you are not to go in there; it's too risky."

"I don't care about the risks!" Trowa growled. "I'm not letting you go in the alone!"

"Trowa-" Duo tried to explain, but the Latin boy refused to listen. His green eyes shining, Trowa wrapped Duo up in his arms. "I'm going with you," he whispered. "I-I would just as soon rip out my own heart than leave you to face this, to face him, alone."

Duo allowed himself to lean again Trowa for a long moment, gathering up his strength. Raising his head, he brushed his lips softly across the other boy's own, before drawing his fist back on plunging it into the Latin boy's midsection.

Eyes widening, Trowa's legs gave way and he fell into Duo's waiting arms. The last thing he heard before he lost consciousness is Duo's sorrow-filled voice.

"I'm sorry, but I don't know if I'll make it out of this. And I'm not really sure I want to. But I know I could never forgive myself if anything were to happen to you. As Heero once said to me, 'It's for your own good.' " Slipping the lanky boy into the cab of the truck, Duo gently kissed Trowa's forehead and shut the door.

Holding Trowa's gun in a white knuckled grip, Duo squared his shoulders and strode towards the restaurant's entrance.

***

"You are not Nataku," WuFei murmured, his eyes wide. "You are a demon that has taken her form." WuFei pulled his gun from the depths of his coat. "I cannot allow you to continue to desecrate her memory. I shall kill you, Demon, and banish you from this world."

Meiran glanced at the gun and chuckled softly. "My dear husband, I forgot how amusing you were. After all this time, you still hold onto you old ways. Instead of facing your fears, you run from them like a coward!" The pale hand that held her cup clenched, causing the porcelain to shatter and splash tea across the table.

WuFei's eyes narrowed and he raised the gun until it was level with her heart. "Then I suppose it is time for me to stop running."

Meiran stood gracefully and walked to the far wall, facing he back towards WuFei mockingly. "My poor husband, it is too bad you found your courage too late. I see now my mistake." Raising her arms, the small Chinese girl carefully pulled one of the ornamental torches from its sconce. "I had originally believed that you would join me in my cause. The people that encouraged our colony's self destruction deserved to die. I was going to kill off every world leader and then make my way into the colonies, delivering justice in the name of our people. And you would have joined me at my side. But...." Meiran turned back to face him, and WuFei was astonished to see tears streaming down her delicate face. "Those were just wishful dreams of a foolish child. The only way for us to be together..." Her black eyes hardened. "Is for us to die together!"

With a grunt, she hurled the torch into the indoor pond. The torch floated in the inky blackness for a moment, before the oil caught and flames roared to life. Meiran stood before him, fists clenched at her side.

"Why, why couldn't you be the man I always wished you to be, WuFei? Why did you have to fall in love with that American?"

WuFei regarded her sadly for a moment, before dropping his gun arm. "If this is how you wish it to be.... I cannot help who I am, Nataku, nor can I help who replaced you in my heart." The fire flared up brightly, igniting the walls.

With a cry of rage, Meiran's hand flew up and smacked against WuFei's cheek. The Chinese boy made no comment, just continued to stare at her with sad ebony eyes. Her hand raised to strike him again when a crash was heard at the front of the restaurant.

Duo broke open the front door and ran inside. "WuFei!" He yelled, struggling to see through the smoke.

WuFei's eyes widened. "Duo?" Beside him, Meiran's eyes narrowed.

The American skidded to a stop in front of the pair, coughing. "You-have some explaining to do," he growled, raising he gun.

***

"He's not answering," Heero cursed. Beside him, Quatre's frown deepened and he pressed his foot down more firmly on the accelerator of their stolen car. After retrieving the Japanese boy from his confinement, the blonde had phoned the Maguanac that he had following Trowa, and got the exact location of both he and Duo. He had ordered Ahmed to pull back and now he and Heero were rushing to the scene.

"We know where they are," the Arab said reassuringly. "Don't worry. We'll be there in less than ten minutes."

Heero's fists clenched but he didn't reply. Staring out the window, he prayed to any god that would listen to him.

"Please... please, don't let us be too late." He whispered.

***

WuFei opened his mouth to speak but Meiran beat him to it as she threw herself on the floor in front of the longhaired boy. Duo stared at her suspiciously until he caught site of her tear-streaked face.

"Please help me," the Chinese girl begged. "That man poisoned everyone here and then pulled his gun on me!"

"Who are you?" Duo asked, his gaze switching between the prostrate girl and WuFei.

"I am an aid to Vice Minister Relena Peacecraft. I was supposed to meet her tomorrow morning," she sniffled. "We were to discuss how we could possible get anyone to attend her next function after what happened last night. Miss Relena is a frightful mess, I-I just wanted to help her, and now that man," she pointed behind her. "Is saying that he is going to kill her!"

Duo frowned and gestured towards the door. "Get away then, I'll take care of him."

Meiran looked at him with wide eyes. "I can't go through all those flames!"

Duo looked back and cursed. The flames were traveling across the floor now, and had almost completely blocked the doorway. A bead of sweat ran down the Americans face as he motioned to the girl with his gun. "Just get behind me, I'll get you out of here safely."

Meiran nodded, her expression full of gratitude, as she darted behind Duo's slender form. That taken care of, Duo switched his eyes to the Chinese boy in front of him.

"There is a lot you haven't been telling me, lover." Duo growled; his eyes narrowed into slits. His gun was leveled square in the middle of WuFei's chest.

"Yes, there is." WuFei stood calmly.

"And will you start explaining things now?" Duo asked, his finger twitching on the trigger of his gun.

"I'm afraid such an explanation would take more time then we have." Little flaming bits of the ceiling started to fall around them.

"I see," Duo swallowed. The braided boy took a hesitant step forward and his aim wavered slightly. "WuFei-"

The Chinese boy swiftly raised his gun. "I wouldn't do that, if I were you." He warned.

Duo's eyes widened before he grasped his gun in both hands, biting his lip in determination. "If that's the way it has to be...."

"No. This wasn't the way it had to be. If I hadn't allowed my judgment to lead me astray once again, none of this would have happened. This is all my fault and now I intend to rectify the situation." Duo heard the click of a bullet entering a gun's chamber and he tensed.

"Goodbye," WuFei's eyes narrowed and he fired.

***

Trowa woke up slowly, his stomach aching. Reality dawned on him and he sat up quickly, banging his head on his truck's roof. Rubbing his head, the Latin boy opened the door and rolled out, looking about wildly.

"Duo?"

Trembling fingers touched his lips, recalling those last few minutes of consciousness. His eyes widening, Trowa whirled around and stared at the restaurant, both it's building and pond now engulfed in flames.

"Duo...." He croaked, taking a stumbling step forward. Shaking himself, he began running towards the inferno. "Duo!"

He didn't even notice the car squealing to a halt behind him, nor the clap of feet as a body hurled itself at him, knocking him to the ground. Trowa struggled frantically, attempting unsuccessfully to throw off the weight holding him down. "Let me go!" he cried.

"Trowa, stop!" Quatre held onto him tightly. "I can't let you go in there!"

Trowa stopped struggling and gaze up at his lover, his eyes pleading. "Duo is in there."

"I know," The blonde pulled him close. "Heero will save him." But his voice wavered, giving away his uncertainty. Trowa watched desperately as Heero, he hadn't even spared them a glance, rushed towards the fiery building. Trowa went limp in Quatre's arms.

"Duo...." He whispered.

***

Clenching his eyes shut, Duo returned fire and braced himself for the searing pain of a bullet. A pained groan erupted behind him and his eyes snapped open. Whirling around, Duo watched as Meiran dropped the long dagger that she had raised above her head. Hands as delicate as porcelain touched her blood covered chest and she stumbled backwards.

"How is it that I cannot seem to kill you?" She asked, before falling backwards into the flame covered pond.

"Because he is Death, Nataku." WuFei chuckled weakly behind him. "And his powers surpass even your own."

Turning, Duo watched as his lover slumped to the ground. "WuFei!" He cried, dropping his gun ad rushing over to the fallen Chinese boy. He spied the dark red splotch blossoming across WuFei's chest and fell to his knees. "Oh, God, what have I done?" he whispered.

"You did the right thing," WuFei coughed. "I was just as guilty as Meiran was for those murders. For though I did not kill them with my own hands, I made no move to stop her."

Duo began shaking as he tried to ineffectually staunch the bleeding with a cloth napkin he found on the floor. "We'll talk about that later. Right now we've got to get out of here."

WuFei's blood covered hand came up and twined with Duo's own. "Forgive me, Duo. I was never worthy of you. But, you must know, I loved you with all my being."

"WuFei...." Duo's eyes widened as the Chinese boy's hand slip to the floor and his eyes closed. "WuFei! Don't die on me! I love you, you bastard! There, I said it!" Duo shook the still form wildly. "Don't do this to me, Fei!" he coughed, his eyes tearing up from the smoke.

"WuFei...." Duo whimpered, his hands clenching onto the black-haired boy's shirt. He laid his head down on the blood-covered chest, closing his eyes as silence greeted him underneath. He lay there quietly, uncaring of the flames that crept steadily closer.

"Duo!" A voice shouted hoarsely from the doorway.

Running through the restaurant, his clothing singed, Heero cast about desperately for the American. "Duo, where are-" Heero spied Duo's form on the ground and his heart sunk. The Japanese boy ran over and gasped in relief as he saw the longhaired boy stir.

"Duo," Heero bent down and touched the American's shoulder. "Come on." The Japanese boy glanced down at WuFei's still form with saddened eyes.

"I'm not leaving him," Duo whispered, his voice almost lost in the roar of the flames.

Heero's jaw firmed and he grabbed the other boy, picking him up in a grip of steel. Duo struggled and kicked frantically as Heero ran towards the closest rice paper covered window, the paper was almost completely on fire now, but it was their only chance.

"Let go of me!" Duo screamed.

Heero covered the struggling boy as much as he could as he ran towards the flames. Both Trowa and Quatre jerked up in shock as the two burst through the thin paper and landed unsteadily on the ground. Heero kept his hold on Duo until he had reached the others before he dropped wearily to his knees. Duo immediately scrambled out of his grasp and tried to run back towards the restaurant but Heero stopped him.

"He's dead Duo! He's dead."

Duo collapsed onto the damp lawn in front of the burning remains of the restaurant, his eyes dead. Fists clenched in agony, the American's head titled back as he roared out his agony to the heavens.

"WUFEI!"