<Bob steps out, looking amused, annoyed, and frightened all at once>
Bob: Hello, minna... Emily has returned from her mythology test, highly amused by its simplicity, and feels like celebrating. <looks disgusted> So she drafted me to help... The life of a muse. Ch. It's not all it's cracked up to be--

Emily: Stop whining, it's not attractive.

Bob: Anyway, here's a little piece of weirdness that struck her fancy. We sincerely apologize for the OOC, AU, and the abuse of certain ditzy characters. Try not to take this too seriously, because we certainly aren't.

 

 

Okane and Omae o Korosu by Lys ap Adin
Part One

(or, Why Suzaku Should Never Play Poker with Emily)

The regal red-headed god looked at his cards, smiling inwardly. Three aces and a pair of sevens... There was no way he could lose this hand.

"Let's raise the stakes," he said. "One favor from each of the losers, to be performed at the discretion of the winner."

Seiryuu looked at his hand and frowned. A measly pair of twos... Glancing at Suzaku's slightly smug face, he sighed. "I fold."

Genbu, who had dealt himself out of the game several hands ago after Byakko had cleaned him out, grinned. "Too rich for your blood, Seiryuu?"

"Hai... That peacock over there has already made me promise that his seishi will get to win this round of the miko game. No need to go any deeper into the hole," the blue dragon complained.

Byakko grinned. "Wise decision... I think I concur. Fold."

"How about you, Emily-chan?" Suzaku asked.

She frowned at her cards. "Aw, what the hell... How big a favor could you possibly want from me? Call the betting."

Suzaku smirked. "I have a full house." He laid his cards on the table.

"Damn you're lucky," Genbu complained. "Looks like you owe Suzaku a favor, Em-chan."

Emily sighed. "I guess... I can never remember what beats what in poker..." She laid her cards down. "What does a royal flush do?" She smiled at them innocently, blue eyes curious.

Seiryuu began to laugh, as Suzaku's jaw dropped. "It beats the peacock," he gasped, falling out of the chair at Suzaku's incredulous face.

"Shut up, Lizard-boy," Suzaku snapped. Then he sighed. "You win, Emily-sama... I owe you a favor."

Emily smiled brightly. "Honto? Yatta!" She paused to think. "I know just the thing, too..."

The four gods sweatdropped as she outlined exactly what she wanted Suzaku to do for her.

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"I swear, if I didn't know it was impossible, I'd fucking kill him for doing this... again..." Duo complained to Quatre. "Ch! There was absolutely no good reason for him to self-destruct! We were all on our way, there were only a couple hundred mobile suits, he could've last the two or three minutes! Ack!"

Quatre smiled at the ranting pilot, who was only just covering up his worry for Heero with the exaggerated complaint. "Don't worry, Duo... He'll be fine."

Duo sighed, letting the irritation slip away and the concern to surface. "Why does he do this, Quatre? Don't I mean anything at all to him when it comes to the mission?"

Quatre hugged Duo. "You do, I'm sure of it... I just don't think Heero knows quite how to deal with it yet... He'll come around eventually."

Duo sighed. "If he survives long enough..." Then his customary grin returned. "Oh well, time for me to go play nursemaid!" He bounded off, braid bouncing merrily.

Quatre grinned. Duo would undoubtedly make Heero regret pushing the self-destruct, that was for sure. Maybe it would be enough to get it through his thick skull that he meant an incredible amount to his violet-eyed partner.

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"Geez, Tasuki-chan, you didn't have to hit him so hard," Nuriko complained. "That's *my* job."

Tasuki sweatdropped. "I didn't think I did... Guess Obake-chan's not as tough as he thinks he is."

Mitsukake finished examining the unconscious Tamahome. "He'll be fine... he just got knocked on the head a little too hard."

"You two shouldn't play so rough no da," Chichiri scolded, as Nuriko hefted Tamahome's bulk easily to carry him to his bunk.

"Ch, we were just bored... What else is there to do on this damned boat, anyway?" Tasuki complained. "Besides get sick?"

"Well, you've upset Miaka," Chiriko piped up. "Now she's all worried about Tamahome."

Tasuki shook his head. "Women... Oi..."

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Surrounded by brilliant crimson light, Suzaku shook his head. Why in the multiverse would Emily want him to do such a strange thing? Oh well, there was no way out of this one. Honor would not permit it. *Who do gods pray to?* he wondered, maneuvering the two souls between their respective worlds. *Whoever's listening to this one, please don't let it be complete disaster!*

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Damn, he hurt... all over... It felt like Tasuki had used that damned tessen to fry him, then Nuriko had joined the fun and beaten him, too... Ch. Why hadn't Mitsukake done anything to help him yet? Tamahome groaned quietly, promising himself that he'd come down on the two of them like the wrath of Suzaku... Just as soon as he felt better...

Hm. Odd. Why had the boat stopped rocking? Had they reached Hokkan already? Ch. That baka bandit must've hit him harder than he thought.

Tamahome grunted and opened his eyes, just as a heart-shaped face with wide indigo eyes swung into view. "Ohayo~, Heero!"

"GYAAAH!" Tamahome, scrambling away as quickly as his battered body would allow. "Teme! Who the hell are you?!"

The other boy blinked, looking hurt. "He-Heero... I'm Duo... Geez, did you self-destruct your brain along with Wing?"

Tamahome stared at him. "You're with Seiryuu, aren't you?"

The boy--Duo--cocked his head. "Ano... Heero... I don't know what you're talking about."

"Stop calling me that! My name is Tamahome!"

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Heero, feigning sleep, listened to the quiet voices around him. He had awakened just moments ago, but something was wrong. His head only ached slightly, and that was the extent of his injuries. Considering that the last thing he remembered was self-destructing, that wasn't right. And he was lying on a rocking surface--almost like a boat. Finally, there seemed to be two women talking nearby... about someone named Tamahome. He wasn't restrained, however, which was one advantage...

"Miaka, I think he's coming around," one of the women said.

Damn damn damn... Heero's eyes flew open, and he rolled out of the bunk, prepared to go into a fighting crouch. Several things went wrong with that.

First, the floor beneath his feet rocked suddenly, and he lost his tenuous balance.

Second, he was not dressed in his typical spandex, but long, ancient-typeclothes, and this threw him off a touch...

Third, everything and everyone around him seemed just as ancient as his own outfit, except for the girl who had just thrown her arms around his neck and was sobbing in relief.

Sprawled across the floor, Heero blinked, thanking whatever powers existed that Duo hadn't been around to witness this. He pushed the girl away roughly. "Who are you? Where am I?" he demanded, coldly.

The other woman--no, man--he corrected himself, looked at him with wide purple eyes. "Ne, Tamahome-kun, what do you mean? That's Miaka, and I'm Nuriko. Did Tasuki really hit you that hard?"

Heero glared at them both. "My name is Heero Yuy. Omae o korosu."

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TBC...

Ne, what do you think?

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Bob: <speaking solely for Emily now that she's finally lost it due to too many technology problems in too short a time period> Ano, minna, here's the third attempt at part two this evening... <eeps> Emily! Let go of my ass! <pauses to detach the deranged fic writer> NEway, this is AU, OOC, and all that wonderful stuff... And now I have to go put Em-sama to bed, she's a little stressed at the moment...

<walks off, pulling a gibbering Emily with him>

 

Part Two

Nuriko just stared at Tamahome. Had the other seishi really just shoved Miaka aside and then declared that he would kill them? "Tamahome, what in the name of Suzaku is *wrong* with you?" he demanded.

The other seishi glared at him with cold eyes, and stood. "I am not Tamahome," he gritted out coldly, in his nasal monotone. His hands twitched, as he made to reach for something that was not there. "Where am I, where's my gun, and who the hell are you? Are you working for OZ?"

On the floor, Miaka was close to tears, but restrained herself. How could Tamahome know about guns? "Ne, Tamahome..." she began.

"It's Heero." He glared down at her, no traces of the normal warmth in his eyes.

Both Nuriko and Miaka flinched.

"How do you know what a gun is?" Miaka asked.

"Hn. Baka. Everyone knows what a gun is." The young man looked disgusted. He glanced down at himself and continued. "And where are my clothes? I can't where this!"

"Ne, Miaka... I think I'd better go get Mitsukake... Tasuki must've hit him harder than we all thought," Nuriko said, backing away slowly.

"Iie!" Miaka said. "Don't leave me alone with him!" She stared at the person who was and was not Tamahome. "This isn't the Tamahome we know."

Heero mentally sighed in relief. Apparently the girl wasn't as empty-headed as he had first thought. Then he was dodging the purple-braided one, who, at Miaka's statement, had swiftly pulled the girl out of harm's way and tried to tackle him. Heero cursed roundly as he rolled out of the way and crashed to the floor again as the floor--he was definitely on a boat, he decided--rocked again. Then the other young man seized him in an gundamium-strength grip.

"All right, you Seiryuu bastard, what have you done with Tamahome?"

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Duo stared at Heero after his partner declared that he was Tamahome. "Tama-what?" he repeated slowly. "Eh... you sure about that?"

Heero glared at him, hostility written all over his face. "I am Suzaku no Shichiseishi Tamahome," he declared proudly.

Duo laughed nervously. *Oh, God... he's finally lost it... One too many self-destructs for our perfect soldier...* "Um, okay... if you say so..."

Heero glared at him. "So, are you, uh... feeling better?"

Heero--or Tamahome--gave him an incredulous look. "Should I be? I don't know what you Seiryuu lackeys did to me, but I hurt like hell!"

Duo laughed, bitterly. "What we did to you? Ch, Heero, you self-destructed... It's your own fault you feel this bad." He paused. "And what the hell is a seiryuu, a suzaku, and a shichiseishi?!"

Tamahome stared at the boy, who was twisting a long brown braid in his hands agitatedly. He seemed utterly serious when he demanded to know what he was talking about. "You don't know who the gods are?" he asked carefully.

He snorted. "What the hell kinda question is that? You know me better than that, Heero. The only god I believe in is Shinigami."

Tamahome gritted his teeth. "My name is Tamahome, teme."

The other boy flinched, again looking hurt at the insult. "Geez, can't you even call me by name anymore?"

"I don't know your name."

Wide indigo eyes fastened on his, pleading in them. "You honestly don't remember, He--Tamahome?" he asked.

"Why should I? I've never met you before in my life."

"Duo Maxwell." Duo sighed heavily and turned away. "I'm a Gundam pilot,just like you... and believe me, we have definitely met before."

"What's a Gundam?" Tamahome was beginning to relax. He still had no clue what was going on, but something about the vulnerability on Duo's face just now convinced him that he wasn't currently in danger.

Duo began to laugh. "You don't even know what a Gundam is... Ch. This is just great... Look, it's a long story, and you're in no condition to be up and about. Why don't you just lie down for a while and we can discuss this..."

Tamahome suffered himself to be tucked back into the bed... then he stiffened as Duo crawled in next to him.

"*What* are you doing?"

"Making myself comfortable, what does it look like I'm doing?" Duo flashed a cheeky grin at him. "This is a long story. Besides, you're absolutely adorable when you're befuddled." Tamahome's eyes widened as Duo planted a kiss on his nose.

"Teme! What the hell did you do *that* for?!" Duo's grin vanished.

"Because we're lovers."

Tamahome's eyes rolled back in his head as he fainted.

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Heero struggled ineffectually against the impossibly strong man's grip as the girl--Miaka--hung back, eyes wide. Then other people began filing into the cabin--the first a man with powder-blue hair and gravity-defying bangs, the second a red-head with fangs and a fan which he seemed inordinately proud of, and the third a tall, serious-looking man carrying a cat. Following them was a young boy, his eyes wide with curiosity.

The one with blue hair spoke. "Be careful, Nuriko. That's not Tamahome no da!"

"I know," Heero's captor--presumably Nuriko--replied grimly. "He threatened to kill us."

*K'so. What I wouldn't give for a self-destruct, right now...* Heero gave his best glare to the group.

"Definitely not our Tamahome no da... But who is he no da?"

"Chichiri, I think he may be from my world," Miaka said softly.

"Then how the fuck did he get Tamahome's body?" asked the red-head, looking confused.

Heero ceased struggling, since it was futile. "Your world?" he repeated slowly, processing the information.

Miaka nodded. "There are two worlds, this one, which is a lot like ancient China, and our world..."

Heero's eyes narrowed. "How did I get here?"

"Maybe Seiryuu did it," Nuriko suggested, "trying to stop us?"

Miaka shrugged. "Can you remember a red or a blue light of any sort?" she asked.

Heero considered it. As he had pressed the self-destruct, he recalled, there *had* been a red glow... He'd just assumed that it meant that he was really dying this time. "Yes. I self-destructed, and a red light surrounded me. Then I woke up here."

The group exclaimed and muttered uneasily about this. "Suzaku did this no da?" the one called Chichiri asked. "Why?"

"If Suzaku did this, then he's not a threat to us," Miaka said, scrutinizing her beloved's shuttered face. "You can let him go, Nuriko."

"Demo, Miaka--" Nuriko protested.

"Let him go."

"This is not a good idea," the purple-haired seishi muttered. He loosened his grip on Heero reluctantly.

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*He FAINTED?!* Duo stared down at the unconscious Heero. "This is *so* not right..."

Crawling out of bed, he went in search of Quatre. Whatever was wrong, Heero definitely needed help...

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TBC...

This was so not what I had in mind earlier this evening, but various problems with my connection have wiped out what I *was* going to do. Gomen if this part isn't as good, minna...

 

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<deep sigh of relief> I got that wretched part two done. Now I can relax and play with part three... and my telnet account came back to life, even! <goes chibi and performs a dance of joy> Oh, Bob~~!

<long pause. no response> Hm.. Kim's miko must have captured him. Oh well. They should get along well together... I hope...

AU OOC weird, yaoi, etc...

 

Part Three

Surprisingly, Quatre found Duo. "Ne, Quatre--"

"I know. There's a problem with Heero, isn't there?" the blond pilot interrupted. Duo exploded.

"A problem?! I'll say there's a problem! He's in there calling himself Tamahome and saying he doesn't know what a Gundam is! He keeps calling me Teme and when I kissed him, he passed out!"

Quatre nodded. "I don't understand it, but that's not Heero in there. My uchuu no kokoro tells me as much." Duo heaved a great sigh.

"Well, that's a relief! I know I don't mean a whole lot to Heero, but for him to forget my name... that's fucking unforgivable."

"Gather the others; we need to discuss how we're going to deal with this," Quatre instructed him. "And we have to figure out where the real Heero is."

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Heero eyed the group warily; they in turn looked at him distrustfully--except for Miaka. *She* smiled at him warmly.

"My name's Miaka Yuuki, and I'm Suzaku no Miko. These are Nuriko, Chichiri, Tasuki, Mitsukake, and Chiriko, the Suzaku no Shichiseishi. Your name is Heero Yuy, ne?"

"Hai." Heero regarded them carefully. Nuriko, the one with the braid, was phenomenally strong. He'd have to remember that. Perhaps the others had similar hidden talents... he'd have to watch himself. "Who is this Tamahome?"

Miaka grabbed a large backpack and began rummaging through it. Pulling out a small compact, she handed it to him. Heero silently opened it and glanced into the tiny mirror. Ragged teal hair falling into violet-grey eyes, a handsome face, a familiar dark scowl. He returned the compact to its owner without comment.

"Tamahome is also one of the Shichiseishi no da," Chichiri said.

"And you *were* Miaka's boyfriend, but you got dumped," Tasuki drawled, grinning.

"What is a shichiseishi?" Heero asked, ignoring Miaka's blush entirely.

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When Tamahome came to, four pairs of expectant eyes were boring into him. Including those of Duo Maxwell.

"Touch me again, teme, and I will kill you," he snarled, glaring at the braided boy.

The boy with dark hair pulled tightly back chuckled. "Well, he certainly *sounds* like Heero."

Duo looked away. "Shut up, Wufei." His shoulders slumped. This definitely wasn't his Heero, but still... it hurt. "Gomen nasai, Tamahome. It won't happen again."

The blond spoke up. "Tamahome, could you tell us how you came to be inhabiting Heero Yuy's body?"

Inhabiting someone else's body? Tamahome looked down at his hands... calloused, traced with faint scars and injuries he didn't remember receiving... The boy with jagged bangs offered a hand mirror, which he accepted. The face staring out of the glass was handsome, with brown, messy hair and confused blue eyes. But it wasn't his face.

Tamahome let the mirror fall, and looked up at the four. "How?" he whispered. "I don't know how... I'm just one of Suzaku's seishi... One minute, Tasuki and I were wrestling, the next... I'm here, with that weirdo over there..." Duo flinched again.

Wufei blinked. "Excuse me, did you say Suzaku?" Tamahome nodded. "The phoenix god?"

"Of course." Tamahome wanted to add a comment about obvious facts, but refrained.

"You are familiar with the name, Wufei?" the blond asked.

"It's an ancient Chinese myth about the four gods, Genbu, Byakko, Seiryuu, and Suzaku. Each of the four has four constellations... as I recall, Tamahome is the name of one of these constellations," Wufei replied, brow furrowing as he recalled the story.

"Myth?!" Tamahome sputtered. "Suzaku is no myth!" He paused, a thought occurring to him. Suzaku was no myth... in *his* world... perhaps, though, this was Miaka's world?

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"Ninmu ryoukai," Heero said, after Chichiri finished explaining the concept of seishi, mikos, shinzahos, and the summoning of animal gods.

"What the hell does that mean?" Tasuki demanded.

"I will help you summon your god, and you can send me back to my world with one of your wishes," Heero explained. "It is possible that Tamahome was sent to my world... when the mission is accomplished, we can exchange places again." *Unless I'm really dead and this is one hellish afterlife...*

Nuriko shot a puzzled look at Heero. "Ne, Heero, you talk like a soldier," he complained. "Don't you ever smile?"

"I am a soldier," Heero replied. "Soldiers have no need for showing emotions. They are weaknesses which enemies can exploit." A stunned silence followed. "Tell me about the Seiryuu no Shichiseishi. They are in pursuit of the Shinzaho as well, ne?"

The seishi exchanged uncomfortable glances. "Oi, are you even human?" Tasuki demanded.

Heero stared at him. "Iie."

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Quatre sighed as he tried to explain yet another technological concept to Tamahome--what kind of preindustrial backwater country did the boy come from, anyway? There was no way he'd ever be able to pilot Wing, that was certain... at least, after it was rebuilt... This could work to their advantage, though. If OZ believed Wing destroyed, and it's pilot killed, then getting the real Heero back would be an enormous blow to their self-esteem. Yes, this could work. He glanced at Duo. And they'd have to get Heero back soon, so Duo would be able to function...

If only he had a clue how to go about it...

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TBC...

Comments, anyone?

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Hello, minna! <waves enthusiastically> I've been getting lotsa feedback about this little crossover, so here's part four. There's probably a lot of OOC, and it is AU, but there's probably going to be some spoilers for Fushigi Yuugi in here. So... be warned, ne? <hauls Bob back by his leash as he attempts to sneak away to go visit Kim's muse> And now, bring on the bishounen!

 

Part Four

It was all just so wrong. Duo scowled viciously at the laptop--Heero's laptop--and punched the keys angrily, sending a highly modified report of his partner's medical condition to the good doctors. Officially, until they got the real perfect soldier back, he was badly injured from his self-destruct and far too impaired to even think about flying any missions. It was a good temporary fix... the four of them just hoped they'd be able to figure out how to get Tamahome out of Heero's body before the lie became too obvious.

Duo didn't even want to think about the prospect of Heero never being himself again... Never being held by those strong arms again, never being able to tease his taciturn partner again, never feeling a demanding tug on his braid again... The thought of facing the true hostility instead of the normal, feigned disinterest in those beautiful Prussian eyes made Duo shudder. To think of all the times he'd complained about being called a baka! Being a baka in Heero's opinion was better than a teme, that was for damn sure. Even if it wasn't Heero saying it, it was Heero's angry face, Heero's furious voice, and it was all a little too real for him to dismiss it entirely.

Duo rubbed his eyes and sighed. *I don't know where you are, Heero, but please... come home soon...*

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The boat pitched and tossed uneasily beneath the angry sky. The wind tossed waves against the frail wooden hull, and the wind screamed through the rigging. All in all, Heero didn't like it. He didn't want to die of drowning on this wretched boat on this technologically-deprived dirtball. After all, that's what self-destructs were for.

And he felt somewhat nauseated, and couldn't figure out why the group of them should be standing on the boat's deck during the prelude to a storm. Not that he'd complain about it... the fresh air was the only thing keeping him from embarrassing himself in front of the seishi and their miko.

"Ne, Heero, daijoubu?" Nuriko asked him, smiling warmly.

"Hai. Daijoubu." That was another thing. They'd accepted him... no questions asked. He'd offered his aid, and that had been good enough, even in light of the episode with the Seiryuu seishi Amiboshi. Not used to trusting--or being trusted--easily, Heero found this most disturbing. "Not used to traveling on boats, are you?" Nuriko asked, undisturbed by the terseness.

"Hn." *No matter where I go, I'm surrounded by braided motormouths...* Heero thought as Nuriko continued chatting with him, seemingly unconcerned by the growing storm.

The seishi grinned at him. "You don't talk very much, do you?" His eyes widened as something flickered in Tama--Heero's--chilly eyes. "Ano, what did I say?"

"Duo says things like that all the time," Heero volunteered slowly, so quietly that Nuriko barely caught the words.

"Ne... Duo is important to you?" Nuriko asked.

"He's my partner."

"Aa. You miss him?" Nuriko pressed. *Maybe he's not so unhuman after all...*

"You remind me of him... He wears his hair in a braid, too." Heero scowled at the dark sea, unwillingly remembering the fragrance of shampoo that clung to Duo's braid.

Nuriko grinned cheerily. "Well, don't worry, all we have to do is find the Shinzaho and then send you home! No problem!"

*A lot like Duo... Ch. I have to focus on the mission, then I can think all I want to about that braided baka.* Heero ignored Nuriko, moving away in search solitude.

Nuriko shrugged as Heero moved away. He'd gotten the man to open up a little, at least... That was something. He turned to go talk to Miaka, who wasn't taking Tamahome's disappearance too well. "Miaka-chan!" he called, stepping in her direction.

The ship rolled on a particularly violent swell, and Tasuki, who had been hugging the rail as he was sick to his stomach, shouted as he lost his grip and fell overboard. Miaka screamed. "Tasuki!"

Heero whirled around at the sound of Miaka's shriek, and cursed as she threw herself into the water. "Baka!" he shouted, seeing the mission failing before his very eyes. Then he vaulted over the side after her and the redhaired seishi.

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TBC...

This part is a little short, gomen, but I wanted to get something posted before I went out for the evening. C&C welcomed with open arms!

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Ne, has anyone seen my muse lately? I left him tied to a tree with his leash a little while ago, but when I came back... all I found was this. <holds up a leather leash which has been chewed in half> So, if you see a bishounen running around, about six feet tall, blond hair, green eyes, tight ass, and wearing a collar and tag that reads "Property of Em-sama", be so kind as to accost him and send him my way. Probably in the area of my miko, Kim, and her muse, Cassia.

In his regretable absence, I must carry on in the pursuit of my GW/FY crossover... AU, OOC, never written an FY fic before in my life, gomen if I step on anybody's favorite characters, there will be spoilers for FY, though. And I am a firm believer in the power of yaoi.

And I don't own a single one of these delicious characters... sigh. The multiverse, she is not fair...

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Part Five

It had been an eventful few hours. Heero had woken up but not as himself. He, as Tamahome, had threatened grievous bodily harm on Duo several times during the ensuing hours. He had hobbled around the safehouse, utterly amazed by the magic of the miko's world. Quatre was becoming sick of dealing with him... Especially since he never missed an opportunity to glare death at Duo whenever the braided boy chanced to walk by. At a stroke of genius, Quatre dragged Tamahome into the living room, and switched on the television.

The other boy stared at the screen, utterly mesmerized. "This is better than one of Chichiri's spells..." he breathed.

Quatre sighed in relief. "Why don't you sit down and watch it for a while?"

"Hai..." Tamahome dropped himself onto the battered couch unresistingly. Quatre hurried away, needing a moment of silence... he'd never realized that Heero could talk so much... even if it wasn't precisely Heero...

*I wonder how Duo is handling this?*

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Wufei, entering the hangar where the four surviving Gundams were standing still and grim in the shadows, stopped short as a crash echoed through the room, and a can sailed across the open space, striking Wing's empty berth with amazing accuracy. A medley of curses, in more languages than Wufei had thought Duo knew, accompanied it. Wufei raised an eyebrow in the silence that followed, and was about to make a comment when a soft sound restrained him. A sound suspiciously like that of a sob.

Moving soundlessly, Wufei traced the source of the previous cursing and found Duo sitting with his back against one of Deathscythe's legs, his knees drawn into his chest and his head buried in his arms. Even as Wufei watched, jaw hanging slightly ajar, Duo's frame shuddered with a repressed sob. *I'm not seeing this...*

"Baka... baka baka baka..." Duo mumbled. "He's not really Heero... that bastard is *not* my Heero... baka..."

Wufei retreated as silently as he had arrived. He had no right to intrude on such a private moment... and he had to go punch Tamahome...

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Heero surfaced, spitting out seawater, and peered around for Miaka and Tasuki... There, at the crest of another swell. The bandit was thrashing around and sinking fast, and Miaka was trying to help him. Heero groaned mentally and began fighting his way through the waves.

Tasuki had just gone down for the last time when Heero reached him.

"Baka," he growled, grabbing the seishi's waterlogged collar and hauling him back to the surface. Then Miaka glomped them both, no easy feat to accomplish in a storm-tossed sea. "Let go!"

"Tamahome!" she sobbed with relief, forgetting in the heat of the moment that she was *not* dealing with the proper personality.

With difficulty, Heero dislodged her before she could drown the lot of them, just as the boat swung past them and the end of a rope smacked into the water next to him. "Climb up the rope!" Nuriko shouted down to them.

"You first," Heero gritted, grabbing it and placing it in Tasuki's hands (reasoning that he was the least efficient swimmer and should be removed from the water before he drowned himself). Tasuki complied, coughing up seawater and curses all the way. Then he shoved Miaka through the water.

"Up!"

Miaka began the arduous task of pulling herself up, painfully slowly, and Heero cursed inwardly. Of *course* she wasn't strong enough to climb up by herself... He began climbing up after her, intending to grab Miaka and carry her up himself.

A nearly gale-force wind rocked the boat, causing the rope to swing wildly. Nuriko, standing on the deck and bracing himself, lost his own balance and struggled to hold on to the rope in his hands. Another wild gust of wind, accompanied by the first fat drops of rain, tugged him completely over the rail.

As Heero fell back through the air, Miaka and Nuriko just above him, he sighed. *I never should have gotten out of bed this morning...* Then he hit the water again...

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"Wufei, have you seen Duo?" Quatre asked as the other pilot stalked past him in the hallway.

"Hai. He is in the hangar, but probably wants to be left alone at the moment," Wufei replied. "Where is Tamahome?"

"Watching TV," Quatre told him. "Why?" Wufei's eyes narrowed. "No reason..." He walked away.

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TBC...

<blinks> Hm. Y'know, I have no clue what I'm going to be doing with this next... guess that's what happens when Bob runs off. C&C, anyone?