~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Drift - Part 1~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Quatre really couldn't tell this time whether he was dreaming or awake. He tried to open his eyes, but they parted very little. In fact, he felt like the very skin on his face was about to crack into a thousand tiny pieces. Trying to move, he moaned as the not-so-dull pain poured over his stomach like liquid fire. He stopped abruptly.
'I can't... remember... where am I? What happened...?'
"Wake up, little darling."
Quatre's eyes snapped open. Yeah... it was *that* *voice*. The strange, silky, unnerving one he had heard before he had felt... the pain..
He could see fairly enough the color of the blindfolds over his eyes. His mouth was unbound...
"Where... where am I?" He tried to reach for the blindfold. "Who are you?"
A throaty laugh. "Kekei. Remember the name... you'll be hearing it enough... or saying it, rather..."
*She* trailed off into another throaty laugh. When Quatre shivered she took a long, skilled finger and traced his lips softly before she came closer. "I'm one of patience, little boy, but Akimiko isn't so... *nice*... " She roughly smacked him and threw him to the floor, ripping off his blindfold and binds, shoving him into another room and locking him in before he could get a clear focus on her face.
'*Never* underestimate a boy...' She smiled slowly and leaned against the door. 'If only he was like Trowa....' She sighed and left.
"You'd better get cleaned up.. Akimiko doesn't like dirty boys." And then there was silence on the other side of the door.
"Who is Akimiko?" thought Quatre dully as he tried to get back up. He couldn't get up to much, but managed to get his knees bent under him. He would have been sitting on his heels if he had enough strength to get his face off the floor. If only he could see... it was so dark....
Suddenly a light went on overhead, and regardless of being dim nearly blinded the blond pilot. He could see the floor... and smell it too. It looked like.. mud had been splattered and dried all over the tiled floor, but it smelled like... blood?!
Quatre used all of his strength to push himself off the floor and went back on his heels, propped against the door. But still the smell was *everywhere*. He felt it *inside* of him...
Immediately the urge to clean himself overwhelmed a good deal of how tired he was and his eyes lighted on the shower to his left. He stumbled over to the shower and twisted the crystalline knobs all the way on the hot side. Clear, searing water rushed over his burning face and hair, then the rest of his trembling body. He managed to turn it down a little and slid to the bottom of the porcelain shower, closing his eyes, breathing heavily. He slowly rocked his head side to side, allowing the cleansing blanket come over him over and over and over... the warmth, immediate and unyielding made him think of... Trowa..
"Oh... oh... T... Trowa?" Quatre gasped sharply. He lifted his head and clutched at his chest , just about where his heart was. Trowa's low voice began to drift listlessly through his mind, slowly, consistently, like a mental life line unaware. Quatre closed his eyes again. "Trowa... what's happening?" He curled up in a small ball, the water falling on him like rain from a storm, clothed in thin, black pants and none else... he wrapped his arms around himself. "Why is it that in this place I feel fear, but I feel like you're calling out to my heart? Is it urgent? Am I... in danger?"
"Trowa." Duo popped his head inside the door for the second time in 24 hours and grinned reservedly. The lean pilot slowly turned to face him, not a trace of his immense weariness on his face. The braided boy waved his hand. "Despite various injuries, breakfast is served. Come down, ok? The food will cheer you right up, and you'll be able to think a little clearer."
"If you're not dead," interjected Wufei ritually. He shoved aside Duo and peeked in. He nodded slightly. "He made something new, so don't expect me to be there."
"Maxwell, how DARE you?! That's IT. Katana time!!"
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!" Thundering steps echoed throughout the house followed by about six or seven loud, hard thumps.
"STOP IT!" heard Trowa-- Heero's voice. Then there was silence. 'Somebody's going to get it this time...' He curved his head back outside and saw that it was a bright, sunny day. He glanced at the scores of flowers growing on the lawn. 'Quatre would be saying something about them now...' He stopped short, mouth straightening into a line. 'No--I won't think about it right now. I've just got to keep remembering that you're a lot stronger than you let on. You are so much stronger than I...' He closed his eyes. '... and the guys are going to help me. We'll get you out...'
"Trowa." Heero. He had been standing there for a few minutes. He gave Trowa a murderous look. "Duo's head is stuck between the refrigerator and the door and Wufei is about to disembody him. Care to help?"
Trowa thought a moment, then gave a slight nod. He lifted himself from the sill and trod a little past Heero, stopping, head down. "You know I'm going to kill whoever did this to him. You hear me, Heero?" When Heero didn't answer, Trowa continued, undaunted, downstairs, mind set momentarily on the task at hand. The Wing pilot shut the door behind him and watched Trowa's thin frame walk steadily downstairs, the familiar gait highly visible to his eyes.
"Take care of yourself Trowa... just take care..."
"Anytime this YEAR, HEERO, if it's not TOO MUCH *TROUBLE*!!!" grated Duo loudly, both feet on the wall, trying to pull his head out of the small space. Wufei took aim behind him.
"Any last requests?"
"Yeah. LET. ME. OUT!"
"Well..." Wufei appeared to think, making Duo hopeful, but then shook his head. "No. YAAAIIIIEEEE!"
Trowa appeared out of nowhere and kicked the sword out of Wufei's hands, flipping to use his full body weight to knock and pin the Chinese boy to the ground. He straddled him and gave him a neutral look.
"Get a hold of yourself, Wufei. It's not worth it." He easily held him down, the boy unsuccessfully trying to squirm free, then giving up and closing his eyes. Trowa rolled away and stood behind Duo, who hopped nervously from foot to foot. Meanwhile, cursing, Wufei collected himself and his sword and walked back upstairs, going back into his room to clean the mess. Duo was *very* nervous.
"Hey, what happened? Where is he? Is he dead? Did you tie him up? Hey, somebody get me outta here!"
After a moment, Heero came down and stared at Duo's rump. He smiled ever so slightly, then shook his head and walked away. Duo stopped. "Hey... Heero, I know you're there. Heero, you wouldn't dare leave me here! HEERO! HEEEEEEROOOOOO!!"
Trowa smiled slightly too. "It's no use. I don't think he's going to get you out."
Duo paused, then smiled in his confined spot. "Hey, Trowa, among the living! Hey, you wanna help me out?" When Trowa was silent, his smile faded and he panicked. "Aww, c'mon, Tro-man. I *love* you, man! C'mon WaaWaaaa..."
Trowa twitched at the nickname, ready to leave, but instead in a characteristically swift movement, grasped the boy's braid and gave a hard tug to the side. Duo's head popped out and his butt collided with the floor. He rose slowly, rubbing the offended part with both hands. He gave Trowa a wink and a thankful look. Suddenly he ran over and threw his arms around him in an affectionate hug.
"Thank you WaaWaa..."
"My bum hurts."
"Can you kiss it?"
At that precise moment, Heero stalked in, acknowledged Trowa, and with an unreadable look on his face grabbed Duo's braid, dragged him unceremoniously upstairs, into his room, and shut the door.
Trowa's heart stopped.
"Trowa, what's going on?! TROWA!"
His vision went black.
He couldn't move an inch.
They sounded like... gunshots, but... after the third BAM there was a loud crack.... and a moan....
Trowa's eyes widened and he talked as if sleepwalking. "Quatre... Quatre, are you there?" Silence. His heart squeezed the last air out of him and an unnatural hint of panic entered his voice. "Quatre. QUATRE."
"Oh God, Quatre, I'm sorry!"
"TROWA!!!" Wufei grabbed a tighter hold of Trowa's stone cold shoulders and began to shake him back and forth. "Trowa BARTON, snap out of it!" hissed he. "Wake up! Quatre is not here!"
"You d-don't..." he faltered, then swallowed. "You don't understand." He fixed his vision on Wufei, but the look was distant. "You don't understand! We have to save Quatre! He's in serious danger!"
Quatre's eyes flew open as much as they could in the still scalding hot water. He sat up with a gasp and looked around him, confused. "T-Trowa? Where are you? I heard your voice.. where--" He stopped short when he looked up and saw the shower and the still dim lights. Suddenly crestfallen, the blond sighed and stood, clutching his stomach and leaning on the shower wall, feebly twisting the knob off. He panted a little, then rubbed his right hand on his eyes roughly, trying to 'wake himself up.'
*This can't be real... I don't believe it... I feel like I'm in a terrible nightmare.. the kind where you feel it so vividly that you can even feel the roughness of the walls under your fingers...* He stared hard at everything, trying hard to convince himself. *That's not a wall, that's dream space, created out of my deepest, darkest imaginations, and the shadows floating freely around this place--* He could feel the darkness so thick that it nearly choked him but he stood through his panic and he fixed his eyes on the now open... door...
"Open....? Hey, who's there?" he called suspiciously. He took half a step forward. "Hello? Ki... Kekei? Is that your name? Are you there?" Silence. "Anyone?" He took a few more steps forward and looked around the little dark room. It wasn't dark anymore like it had been before... in fact, there was a light in every corner, and the dark green marble ceiling, walls, and floor glistened and sparkled like in a child's favorite dream. The bed that he had been on before was the only dark and disheveled thing in the place. The borders of the marble were grey, and there were gold crescent moons and stars in the center of each block of marble...
Quatre uneasily crossed the room and peeked out of the open door. Down the left hallway -- same marble designs, endless passages -- down the right hallway, black and grey designs. Gold moon crescents and stars. He moved out of the doorway and a little down toward the left passage, confused. He half expected to hear screaming and tortured moans radiating through the walls for some reason... the way all of that blood had been all over the floor...
"I wonder... if they're all gone?"
"WHO ARE YOU?" snapped a shrill voice behind him. He spun around and looked at the newcomer, poised and ready to attack as he had so many time before, but only a child of six or seven was standing there. She had a terribly disapproving look on her face and a glare that was worthy to challenge Heero Yuy himself. Her curls were weighted down by the long, ankle-length of her dark blond hair and her dark blue eyes were everything but welcoming. They were weighted down by a darkness that radiated deep within her tiny little body. Her cute little nose wrinkled in digust and her lips were covered in black lipstick. she let go of her tight black dress and balled up her fists. "I SAID, WHO ARE YOU?! How dare you come out here at this time!"
Quatre was a little dumbfounded by the young child's outburst. "I'm s-sorry. I didn't know!" He stepped toward her desperately. "Where am I? What is this place?"
"Eeew, don't TOUCH ME!" shrieked the girl, recoiling from his outstretched arm. She glared murderously at him. "I don't like dirty boys! I don't like disobedient dirty boys either! You will pay! Kekei! Come here!" She stomped her foot like a spoiled little 2 year old. "Kekei!" Her voice rang through the hall like a loud speaker, strangely echoing through the walls as if it was a part of thier organics in the first place. Only after a moment did Kekei suddenly appear behind Quatre and immediately went down on her knees before the child. The girl's eyes began to glow a bright blue and the hair began to shimmer and wave. "Did I not instruct that THEY stay in thier PLACES during the day?! Did I NOT?! What a disgraceful, poorly trained boy!"
Kekei was basically laying on her face. "I'm sorry, Mistress, forgive me Mistress! He is a new one -- I haven't had the time between him and the preparations! Forgive me, Mistress -- "
"Stop your snivelling!" snapped the girl, hair and eyes slowly returning to normal. "I suggest you hurry up and make that disobedient little piece of dirt the slave he is! Do you hear me?!"
"Get up and GO!" The girl gave Quatre one last glare, and in a light of black mist, disappeared from thier sight. The moment she was gone Kekei rose and smacked Quatre dead across the face.
"What the hell are you trying to do, get us BOTH killed?!" yelled Kekei. "Get back in your room!"
Quatre stared angrily at her. "Not until you tell me what this place is! Who are you really? What's going on?!"
Kekei pulled something out from behind her and before Quatre could react, she jammed the sharp object into the sore part of his stomach and twisted. He screamed and tried to knocked her away but the pain was overwhelming. "THIS is what we are! We are PAIN! We are TORTURE on your heart, the physical kind that cuts like a double-edged sword right down into your soul and breaks it into a billion shrieking little peices! This is what you will be a part of!! Are you happy now?! Are you happy now that you know?! Tell me!!"
"L-let me GOOO!" gasped Quatre, but the pain was too much for him to continue and he hung there, hardly able to catch his breath except for pained moans like a sword stocked roller coaster that just keeps going straight down to hell. The pain in his stomach over encompassing and would not give him to release enough to black out. Eventually, without him noticing Kekei grabbed his hair and dragged him into his room. To teach him some... manners..
Heero came downstairs to see what the racket was, and when he saw Trowa's face he came over to Wufei. "What's wrong with him."
"He keeps saying something about Quatre! It's NOT like him!"
"Hey, Trowa, snap out of it!" yelled Heero. He smacked him across the face. But when it yielded no response, he grunted and dragged him into another room, away from the alarmed Wufei. After a moment of silence, he said softly, "I think it's about time you told us who has Quatre." Heero stood directly in front of the lean Heavyarms pilot, arms crossed and face set. "Who are they?"
"I thought you said it was none of your buisness and you're absolutely right," said Trowa lowly.
"I didn't ask about how he got there," said Heero nuetrally, "I asked who has him. We're in the middle of a war, Trowa. They could have taken him to question him for all we know right now. They could be--"
"They aren't IN the war," whisphered Trowa, mind whirling. "They don't care what happens to anyone. They aren't Oz, they aren't rebels, they aren't really anything except to those who are with them. And me..."
"Who are they?" repeated Heero. When Trowa didn't answer, he dropped down to look directly in his eyes. "Because whoever they are, they've got Quatre, NOT you, and if that's not enough for you, I don't know what else to say."
Trowa was silent for a few more moments and Heero started to walk away when he said slowly; "Akimiko has him."
Heero didn't turn around, but didn't say anything. Trowa looked toward the window. "I can't even begin to tell you the horrible things that Quatre will go through if we leave him there any longer. And it has *nothing* to do with questioning."
"Where is he then?"
Heero turned slightly. "What?"
Trowa sighed and stood to go to the window. "Call it her odd sense of humor and leave it."
"It's what she calls her... her.... whatever you want to call that place. It doesn't deserve a name."
"Enough. Do you know where he is?"
Heero sniffed. "Good enough. We've done stuff like this before with much less information, ne?" Leaving the question in the air, he walked away to his room to prepare.
Trowa simply sat down and stared at the window, over and over again, because where he was going there were no windows to jump out of, not even to let his soul be free....
*We're finally coming Quatre.. hold on...*
Wow! I wrote another part! Thank you SO MUCH for the comments! It's makes
me so HAPPY! ::giggle::
Wufei: ::breaths:: Baka.
Ya know what? I'm confused. Is it supposed to be 'kisana' or 'katana' for the sword? I've heard it a billion times both ways.
Wufei: Katana, I say! Katana! Meaning you will *have* to revise every single other story that you have created with me swinging my beautiful sword at Duo!
Wufei: ::glares:: Silence.. not. a. WORD.
Back to Prologue
On to Part 2