11-15-2001

Title: Written in Blood
Author: AstroKender
Pairings: 3x4/4x3,1+2, mention of 5x2 and Mx5
Warnings: angst and endings. this ending was written at 3am so please excuse any errors. >.<
Spoilers: None.
Notes: Well, after over a year, this thing is finally finished. And before you ask, no! there will not be a sequal! LOL. Thanks to everyone who has read and commented on this fic, and thanks especially for the encouragement that kept me working on this Goliath. I hope you enjoy the ending of WiB. Thanks all!
Feedback: AstroKender@insight.rr.com
Archived: GWA ( www.gwaddiction.com )
Disclaimers: I don't own GW or it's affiliates. This fic is written for entertainment purposes only and is not meant for sale. Don't sue.

 

Part 36 (the end)

 

"Duo! Look out!" Quatre called as he clutched onto Trowa's sinewy form. Closing his eyes, the blond hid his face in the Latin boy's shoulder, unable to watch as the sound of metal crashing against metal echoed throughout the atrium. At his side, Trowa stiffened and a gasp slipped through his tightened throat.

"Tallgeese...." He whispered incredulously.

"What?" Quatre's head jerked up and he leaned dangerously over the side of the side to get a better view. "It can't...be...."

The fallen colony model had smacked against a giant titanium hand only to bounce harmlessly away, crashing into a display a dozen feet away. Tallgeese's eyes glowed softly as the hand was slowly turned upward, like the petal of a flower, revealing the tiny figure underneath.

His ears ringing from the deafening clang, Duo slowly lowered his arms from in front of his head and gazed up in astonishment at his mechanical savior. The American struggled to his knees and reached a hand out tentatively towards the metal monster. "But, why...? How?" Behind him Meiran stood stunned, her face gone pale.

"H-he couldn't have...."

"What? Survived?" A long unheard voice bounced off the walls with a startling strength. "Why not? You did." Tallgeese's hatch opened with a loud hiss, slowly revealing the speaker. "It is a continual weakness of yours to underestimate your opponent. I suppose I have one last lesson to teach you, Meiran." WuFei stated dispassionately as he stepped out onto the hatch. "This will be your final defeat, from it perhaps you will learn that neither man nor woman has the right to play God and decide who lives or dies; that is always a decision that the person themselves should be able to make. You have chosen your fate long ago. This time," WuFei raised his hand, revealing a small detonator. "Your death will be real."

"WuFei...?" Duo whispered, incongruously thankful that he was already on his knees. The room around him spun crazily and he struggled not to blackout, sure that the colony had indeed fallen on him, and now the Chinese boy had come to guide him to the afterlife.

Meiran stumbled forward and fell before the mobile suit's feet. Forehead to the ground, she supplicated herself before her husband. "B-but, this time I---I was doing this for you! I was fighting in honor of your name, in revenge for your death, just as you had once done for me."

His hair is shorter, Duo thought dazedly. And what's with the long sleeves?

"There is only one problem with that, Meiran." WuFei spoke, his tone hard enough to cut steel. The Chinese girl rose her head in shock. "You were not dead..." The former Gundam pilot pushed the button that he never had to press during either war he had fought in. "And neither am I."

With a speed and dexterity akin to running leopard, WuFei raced down the extended arm of Tallgeese as the mobile suit's cockpit began to glow. Never slowing, the Chinese boy reached out and scooped up the unprotesting Duo and launched himself over to where Heero lay. Throwing the American down, WuFei swiftly covered both he and Heero with his own body as the Tallgeese exploded.

The blast reverberated throughout the museum, shattering glass display shelves and windows. Trowa and Quatre held on frantically as the small model of the moon they had jumped onto began to swing violently. Meiran was blown backwards and crashed through a plate glass display window where she lay, unmoving.

Eventually the rain of bits of metal and plaster stopped and the smoke cleared, revealing remarkably little damage to the museum itself. But Tallgeese had been completely destroyed. Raising his head, WuFei smiled at his handiwork. It hadn't been easy to wire the lesser grade explosives into positions that would make them strong enough to take out the suit, but not blow them all away in the process. It was a risky gamble, but it had worked.

"That was the last mobile suit left in existence;" The Chinese boy murmured. "The last icon of a dead age. It was past time that one last icon disappeared into history along with the war that tarnished our souls. Now we may step forward into the peaceful future that lie before us."

"Nnnhhh...." Duo groaned below him, hesitantly opening his eyes. "What hit me?"

WuFei sat up enough to let the longhaired boy breath and gently cupped the face that he hadn't seen in what seemed to be ages. "Are you all right?" he asked softly.

Duo blinked and raised his hand to cup the warmth caressing his cheek. "WuFei? Are you really here or did I take one too many blows to the head?"

"I am really here, Duo." WuFei smiled.

"Oh...well in that case-"

PUNCH.

WuFei sat up swiftly, cradling his aching jaw. "I guess I deserved that."

"You deserve way more than that you sorry son of a bitch!" Duo jumped up to his feet and quickly toppled over again as all his bruises loudly announced their presence. Growling, Duo consoled himself with scooting a few feet away from the dark-haired boy and curling his knees up to his chest. "Why in the hell did you let me think you were dead all this time!" he hissed. "I almost went crazy for Christ's sake! How did you get out that night? How did you even survive that gunshot? Better yet, how did that nutso chick live? She got shot too!"

"Duo-" WuFei reached out.

Duo clutched his knees tighter, slowly rocking back and forth. "I wouldn't touch me unless you want punched again."

WuFei's hand paused on its way to Duo's shoulder and changed course to run with bemused exasperation through the Chinese boy's short hair. He slowly lowered himself to the ground a few feet away from Duo. "I do not blame you for being angry. Actually, I believe you are being to easy on me."

"Just because I'm not wailing and hitting you doesn't mean I am letting you off the hook." Duo made it a point to avoid looking at him, instead turning to check on Heero, who had lapsed into unconsciousness but seemed to be breathing easier. "Now answer my questions."

WuFei sighed heavily. "Meiran survived that night because I was not aiming to kill. I merely intended to prevent her from attacking you but she fell into the fountain and then I had other problems to worry about." The Chinese boy rubbed his chest in remembrance. "Fortunately even a Gundam pilot cannot aim properly with their eyes closed so your shot missed my heart though I did black out temporarily. When I awoke my lungs were burning from the smoke and flames were consuming almost every inch of the restaurant. I did the only thing I could think of, I jumped into the fountain and swam through the connecting canal and into the pond outside."

"But the pond was on fire," Duo pointed out dazedly.

"So I noticed. It was the reason for my new hairstyle," WuFei fingered his chin length locks ruefully. "And also the reason I now choose to wear long sleeves."

Duo hissed as the dark eyed boy pushed up his sleeves to reveal angry red scars covering his forearms like a spider's web. The American reached out tentatively and touched the razed flesh gently, imagining the pain WuFei must have went through. Swallowing harshly, he jerked his hand back and turned his head away.

"What about Meiran? Did she survive the same way?" he asked, glancing over at the unmoving figure surrounded by snowflakes of broken glass. "She seemed to get a new hairdo too, though with her I can't say it's an improvement."

"I assume she escaped the same way, yes, but at the time I was ashamedly more concerned with my own condition. I managed to drag myself across the street and stole a car, and I broke into a doctor's office to patch myself up. I stayed there till morning and knocked the doctor unconscious just as he was entering the office. From there I had moved from one place to the next, hiding, but also searching for Meiran's whereabouts. It was only when I found her that I discovered the new twist to her plan. I knew I had to stop her so I revealed my presence to Lady Une in order to get a hold of the explosives necessary to destroy The Tallgeese." WuFei coughed slightly, unused to talking at such length.

Duo sat silently for a moment, absorbing all that he had learned. "One more question," he asked finally. WuFei nodded and the longhaired boy to a deep breath. "Why didn't you let one of know you were alive?"

"Well, for one thing, I did not know whether you were going to try to kill me again or not." WuFei smirked before turning serious. "But the main reason was that I was less than proud of myself for what I had done. I had knowingly let a terrorist kill in order to get the object of my desires; I could not have acted more dishonorably. So I figured you would be better off thinking that I was dead."

Duo looked like he was about to hit him again and WuFei flinched. But the blue-eyed boy only enveloped him into a tight hug. "You are the biggest fool I know," he whispered. WuFei wholeheartedly returned the embrace, tears dancing on his eyelashes.

"I've missed you," WuFei murmured brokenly. Duo's arms tightened in response.

"Well," Duo pulled back after a moment. "You should go see if Trowa and Quatre are having any luck in getting down from up there while I check on Heero."

WuFei nodded and rose but glanced back after only a few steps away. Duo had Heero's head on his lap and was gently talking to him, trying to get him to wake up. WuFei's eyes lowered in sorrow. Despite apparently being no longer angry with him, the American had been treating him with a reserve that had not been there before. He had felt it in their hug; Duo's arms were no longer those of a lover, but those of a friend. Turning away, WuFei continued across the floor. It was better this way, he told himself.

"Hey Heero," Duo carefully nudged his friend. "Come on, buddy, wake up."

Heero groaned and slowly opened his eyes. Frowning hazily, his hand shakily rose and plucked the piece of cloth out of his mouth before letting the arm drop back limply to his side. Watery eyes peered up at his makeshift pillow.

"Hey," Duo smirked. "You're still alive."

"Aa...I promised, didn't I?" Heero smiled faintly. Duo hesitantly ran his fingers through the Japanese boy's hair. "Listen," he said seriously. "What I said before, about hating you, it wasn't true."

"Are you telling me the Great Duo Maxwell, he who runs and hides but never lies, told a falsehood?" Heero asked, amusement lacing his weary voice. Duo nodded shamefacedly and Heero unconsciously relaxed. "I forgive you, though now you need to come up with a new catch phrase." Heero's hand lifted up once more to gently caress Duo's face with the back of his knuckles.

"How about: Duo Maxwell, I run, I hide, and I'm a complete jackass?" Duo clasped Heero's hand in his own.

Heero laughed weakly. "It has a nice ring to it."

The two sat in companionable silence for a moment, still holding hands. But the peace was soon broken when WuFei returned. Duo felt Heero stiffen before he was cast roughly to the ground.

"Trowa and Quatre are on their way down-" WuFei stopped short as his face was suddenly full of a vaguely familiar gun.

"You're still alive," Heero's eyes narrowed as he stood in front of Duo protectively, his finger twitching on the gun's trigger. "I'm not too surprised."

WuFei raised his hands slowly in surrender as Duo struggled painfully to his feet. "Damn it! Why is everyone treating me like a sack of potatoes tonight?" His eyes widened as he saw the gun. "Heero, what are you doing?" Heero ignored him.

"Chang WuFei, you are a threat to the peace of both Earth and the Colonies and also the people I care about. Surrender yourself now or I will kill you." Heero's grip tightened on Trowa's gun.

"Heero-" Duo tried again.

"It's all right, Duo." WuFei cut in. "I surrender." With slow and careful movements he removed his own gun and dagger and tossed them away. Looking steadily into Heero's eyes, he spoke. "Its long time we resolved our differences, Yuy. We've treated Duo like a contest between us and by all rights he shouldn't want anything to do with either of us but I concede that my actions were inexcusable and leave myself up to your judgment."

Heero stared at him for a long moment before lowering his gun. "I didn't treat Duo like a contest, I treated him as an equal, and a friend."

"Heero may have been jealous what you had with Duo from time to time but his actions were only those of someone who wanted to protect Duo, not someone who wanted to put him in danger in an effort to obtain his affections." Trowa seemed to appear from nowhere and stood beside the Japanese boy pointedly.

WuFei nodded, weariness etching his features. Turning to Quatre, who had been standing at the sidelines, he nodded. "And you?"

The blonde bowed his head. "I-I can't just welcome you back.... I'm sorry." He walked over to stand beside his lover.

"Yo! Hello? Still in the room?" Duo pointed to himself before moving in between WuFei and his other friends. "It is not up to you to judge WuFei. He just saved all of our lives plus the lives of hundreds of people that Meiran would have killed before finally being taken down. While this by no means erases what he did before, it should be taken into consideration." The blue eyed boy chastised. "WuFei is more than aware of what he did and trust me, whatever penance he thinks up for himself will be far worse than what you or even the government could lay on his shoulders. As long as he doesn't try to kill himself," Duo looked back pointedly, "I have no problem with letting him go free."

"But Lady Une-" Quatre started.

"Already knows." WuFei finished. "I told her everything this morning. She has given me a temporary leave of absence after this case has been resolved."

Duo stared hard at his friends "See? Lady Une knows what it's like to make the wrong decision. She believes WuFei can still be trusted, and so do I so just knock it off already." Duo slumped over to Heero wearily, supporting the Japanese youth as he swayed weakly. The other's relaxed and WuFei lowered his hands.

Heero turned to Trowa and Quatre. "You should find a phone and call both Relena and Lady Une." He ordered. The two nodded but didn't move. Heero frowned. "What's wrong?"

"I-I'm glad you're back with us, Duo." Quatre stammered.

Duo smiled. "Same here. Sorry for all the trouble I caused."

Quatre gave him a swift hug before starting off to do as Heero asked. Trowa turned slowly and started to follow but Duo stopped him. "Hey Trowa?"

"Yes?" The Latin boy stopped, but did not turn around.

"Thanks for taking care of me, and trying to slap some sense into me when I needed it. I really owe you."

The Latin boy did turn around at this and offered him a small smile, his eyes soft. "It's no problem. Just don't let it happen again."

"Yes sir!" Duo mock saluted. Trowa's smile widened and he turned and headed after his lover. Duo sighed and slumped gratefully against Heero, who seemed to be regaining his strength.

"It's over." Relief flooded into his voice.

"Not yet." WuFei's fists clenched.

Duo followed his gaze over to the shattered display where Meiran was slowly stirring. "You have got to be kidding me."

"I-won't-let-you-win." Meiran muttered as she slowly extracted herself. Kneeling weakly on the floor, she glared at them as blood slowly ran down her face from a cut to her forehead. "I will revenge my people!"

Heero raised his gun but WuFei stopped him. "It is pointless to shoot her, she is already dying."

"Wha--?" Duo started. "But she doesn't look that injured, which is a wonder by itself considering the blast she was hit with."

WuFei shook his head and began walking towards his wife with slow and measured steps. "She was dying long before that due to her own actions. Thinking her female body weak, she stole from Dr. O hormones and other physically altering chemicals much like what Heero was given and injected herself with them. But foolishly, she used these all at once and her body was unable to handle the strain and began breaking down. She keeps herself alive with a series of injections but they don't seem to be working anymore, do they, Meiran?"

The Chinese girl clenched her fists. "It's not fair! I was meant to be a warrior but because I was born a woman the only future I had to look forward to is mending clothes and spawning a couple of brats, all the while the men went out and fought for the honor of our people! I could have stopped our colony's destruction if only I were strong enough!" Meiran bowed her head.

"We do not choose our destiny, Meiran." WuFei said softly as he stood before her. "No amount of strength could prevent the death of our people. But you were unsatisfied with who you were and instead of working to change yourself; you fought to change everyone's perceptions around you. Now you are paying the ultimate price for your greed."

"I am your wife, WuFei!" Meiran cried out.

"No. My wife died long ago protecting the home that she loved. You are only her shadow, one that will fade away in the light of dawn. Goodbye, Spirit. May you rest in peace." WuFei turned to walk away but was stopped by the Chinese girl's surprisingly strong grip on his wrist.

"As I said before, I will not be happy unless we die together!" Meiran reached into her clothing and pulled out a second syringe and plunged it towards WuFei's arm. WuFei grabbed the deadly needle effortlessly and reversed it, stabbing it into Meiran's pale skin.

"And as I have told you, I no longer care about your happiness." He said coldly before prying her hand from his wrist and walking away.

Stunned, Meiran stared after him before breaking into tears. Curling up into a ball, the Chinese girl cried silently as the poison began to course through her system. "I'm sorry." She whispered brokenly.

Heero and Duo watched as WuFei stopped, tears running unchecked down his cheeks. "So am I."

***

The three stood outside the museum many hours later, watching as the authorities bustled about hurriedly. Trowa and Quatre had already left to fill Relena in on the details, since she would have to give a report to the press over the incidents.

Duo hugged WuFei tightly. "Are you sure you won't come with us?" he asked. The American's injuries were bound heavily, among them a few broken ribs and a cracked ulna.

WuFei nodded and stepped back. "I am going to go do some soul searching." He said. "Hopefully the Chang WuFei that comes back to you will be worthy of your friendship." WuFei raised his hand to forestall any protest. "No, I'm not putting you up on a pedestal this time, Maxwell. I am only beginning to pick myself up off the floor." The Chinese boy turned and began walking down the crowded stretch of road. "Take care of him, Yuy." He called back.

"Aa." Heero whispered, sliding his hand into Duo's own. Duo smiled at him and gave his hand a slight squeeze before turning back to WuFei's retreating form. But the Chinese boy was gone.

"Take care of yourself, WuFei." Duo called out softly, his eyes etched with sorrow. But when he turned back to Heero, he was smiling. A real smile, even if it wasn't a large one. Sighing, he scratched his head with the arm not held in a sling.

"I seem to be lacking a place to stay, Heero. I'm sure Quatre would take me in but you know how his sisters can be when they visit. Plus he and Trowa have a lot of private time to catch up on since I've snapped out of whatever little world I was floating in so I was wondering...."

Heero wrapped one arm around the longhaired boy and guided him to the Jeep. "Come on, baka. Let's go and dig the cot out of the closet."

"But Heero!" Duo whined, trying not to grin. "You know I can't sleep on that thing!"

"I know, Duo," Heero sighed heavily. "The cot is for me."

Pushing Duo into the passenger seat, Heero walked around the Jeep and opened the driver's side door. Glancing into the shadow of a nearby building, he nodded slowly, before getting into the vehicle and starting the engine.

WuFei watched from the shadows as the black Jeep rolled away. Lifting his hand in farewell, he turned and, pulling his jacket closer around him, continued walking down the road.

 

Owari.