<wanders out> Hi, minna! <Emily would wave, except that she's very busy with a struggling muse at the moment> I found Bob (he was bothering Cas, as I had expected)! <snaps a pair of handcuffs on Bob's wrist> But, he won't be going anywhere for at least a little while.

<Bob pouts> Poor baby... you can go visit Cas again after you help me write this next part, okay?

NEway, this is obviously a crossover, (FY and GW), spoilers for FY ahead, AU, OOC, general weirdness, and angst, I s'pose. Oh yeah, and one another thing... I really *do* like Tamahome... really... just like to make fun of him, too... <snickers and runs away from the Tamahome fans>

Not mine, just borrowing them.

 

Okane and Omae o Korosu
Part Six

Heero fought his way back to the surface, dragging Miaka--who was emphatically *not* a strong swimmer--with him. Nuriko popped up next to them, grinning much more cheerfully than the situation warranted. The ship was lost in the darkness and the heavy rain. "Konnichiwa," Nuriko said.

"Baka. What the hell are you so happy for?" Heero snapped.

"You mean this isn't a great day to go for a swim?" Nuriko asked. As if the heavens were mocking him, lightning arced across the sky. "Ano... maybe not."

Heero searched the area, looking for the boat. No such luck, there was a strong current pulling them away from the area. "We've got to get out of the water... there. To that rock."

"Hai!" Nuriko set out through the water, swimming with steady strokes.

Heero followed him, towing Miaka, who had, at least, stopped trying to glomp him. Lightning shot across the sky again as the sodden seishi crawled out of the water. "Hurry up, get out of the water!" he called.

"The miko first," Heero commanded, handing her up. Nuriko yanked her out of the water, then extended his hand to Heero. "C'mon, Heero!" Heero grunted, pulling himself up--and then the lightning roared again, lancing down to wrap fiery arms around him. He could see the horrified expressions of Nuriko and Miaka, could hear his own voice screaming... then the world faded to black as a strong hand caught his wrist.

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"Tamahome?! Tamahome! Please, say something!"

"Ne, Miaka, he'll be okay... and he's not Tamahome right now, remember?"

The voices pounded in his head... his aching head... "Ch... Last time I drink with you, Duo," he mumbled, forcing his eyes to open.

A nearly naked miko threw her arms around him. "Tamahome, I'm so glad you're all right!" she exclaimed.

Heero glared automatically. "Let. Me. Go."

Nuriko gently pulled Miaka away. "Heero, daijoubu desu ka?" he asked, as Heero slowly sat up.

"Hai." He assessed the situation--they were in a cave, and someone, presumedly Nuriko, had built a fire. Their wet clothes were hanging off rocks, dripping. Both he and Nuriko were stripped to the waist, and Miaka was in her bra and underwear and blushing furiously.

"Well, I guess we wait here until they come and rescue us," Nuriko sighed philosophically. "I think this cave must be used by fishermen."

Miaka glared at Heero. "Stop staring at me, hentai!" she told him.

Heero blinked. "Nani?"

"You were staring at me! Stop it! Not even Tamahome gets to stare at me!" she told him.

"You don't have a problem with Nuriko looking at you," he pointed out reasonably.

"That's different. Nuriko's gay!" Miaka protested. "Now stop looking at me!"

Heero, trying not to let his face twitch, deliberately turned his back to her. "Is this better?"

"Much."

Heero glanced at Nuriko from the corner of his eye, and saw that the purple-haired man was blushing furiously. *So... he didn't want me to know.* There was a long silence, then Heero got tired of staring at the rock. He turned back around and moved closer to the fire. There was no sense in catching cold... it might impede the mission. He looked over at Nuriko. "Why do you wear *your* braid?"

"Huh?" Nuriko looked confused.

"My partner wears his braid for a reason. Why do you wear yours?" Heero pursued.

Nuriko smiled sadly. "Aa... When I was younger, maybe ten or so... I had a sister, Korin. We were very close, like twins almost... The same face, the same hair, the same eyes... Then, one day, she died. My parents told me that she was gone, and I should forget her, but I couldn't... So I became her, so that she wouldn't have to be gone forever."

"So that's why you turned gay?" Miaka asked curiously.

Heero caught the tiny flinch in Nuriko's eyes. "I thought that as long as I acted like Korin, she'd never leave me... but I'm thinking of giving it up. I've realized that nothing I can do can bring her back."

"Sou ka." Heero regarded Nuriko quietly.

Then the cave shook under the force of an explosion.

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*Miaka's world is so amazing,* Tamahome thought, staring at the magical box in fascination. *I wonder how these things work... How can she bear leaving all this to come to Konan?*

"Kisama." Wufei stalked in and flipped a switch on the magical box, glaring at him all the while.

"Nani? Make it come back," Tamahome complained.

"Iie. I don't know what passed between you and Maxwell, but it ends now," Wufei pronounced.

Tamahome's face darkened. "That--that--ecchi?!" he exclaimed.

Then he was staring up at the blazing lights, trying to remember the last time someone had actually managed to hit him. "Teme! What did you do that for?!"

Rough hands grabbed him and hauled him upright. Wufei glared at him.

"Maxwell is not ecchi, nor a teme. He will not bother you again. Until you go back to your god and your miko, which can't happen soon enough to suit me, kindly restrain yourself from insulting him. Do you understand?"

"He kissed me!" Tamahome snapped back.

"He thought you were Heero. It's bad enough that the real Heero barely appreciates what he has. Maxwell does not need a fake Heero threatening to kill him and insulting him at every turn. If you do so one more time, you will be dealing with me. Do I make myself clear?" Wufei growled.

"Hai." *Just give me five minutes with my seishi powers, Suzaku...*

Tamahome looked away from Wufei as the other boy released him. "I can't wait to go home."

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TBC...

And that was for all the people who wanted to see Wufei punch Tama-kins. <releases her muse> Now go frolic, Bob, for I must go to anime night... C&C always appreciated, minna... Be back after while!!

 

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<sighs and stretches> Oi, it's been a long weekend... Never thought I'd see the day when I wanted Monday to come so that I could slow down and rest... NEway, happy V-day to everyone.

Here's part seven of my GW/FY crossover; I've been waiting all day to be able to get around to writing it. Bob whapped me upside the head this morning while I was heading to class and it's been driving me nutso ever since. Not that that's a far drive.

<Bob smirks> Shut up, you... Hey, I thought you'd already left to go pay Cas a visit. <shrugs> Oh well. ... This is AU, OOC, yaoi, the odd language, there are spoilers for FY, and I'm not being very nice to Tamahome or Miaka. And whenever she shows up, I'm going to make fun of Relena too... None of these lovely folk are mine... not for lack of dreaming, though...

 

Part Seven

Heero pulled Miaka away from a section of crumbling rock, rolling to protect her with his own body. "Maybe we should wait outside," Nuriko yelled, dodging his own set of falling boulders.

Heero nodded, pulling himself and Miaka to their feet. "Get dressed," he ordered, snatching his own clothes and fumbling with the unfamiliar cut and fastenings. *The virtues of spandex and a tank top...* he thought absently. Miaka, he noted, dressed herself in that ridiculous school uniform much more rapidly than he would have ever given her credit for.

He seized her hand and ran to the mouth of the cave, where the storm and raging sea appeared to have only grown wilder. "Concentrate your ki on Chichiri!" Nuriko yelled to them. Miaka nodded, and Heero blinked. *Concentrate my ki on Chichiri?* He made a mental note to inquire further about certain things... if he survived.

The rock face next to Nuriko cracked, and water sprayed across them, almost bruising in force and threatening to sweep them all off the cliff and into the storm-tossed sea. The purple-haired seishi, ducking the gushing water, snatched at a large piece of flat driftwood, covering the fracture in the wall. "I hope they get here soon!"

Heero didn't feel the need to comment. He placed himself between Miaka and the water, reasoning that crashing waves posed the greatest danger to her. Besides, it kept most of the rain and wind from lashing her and Nuriko, huddled as they were in the small mouth of the cave.

Lightning exploded down from the sky, and the narrow ledge beneath Heero's feet began to crumble as the tiny rock shuddered under the impact. His eyes widened as he felt himself toppling backwards into the sea.

"Heero!" Holding one hand to the piece of driftwood, Nuriko stretched out the other and *just* managed to catch Heero's wrist as the other fell into the sea. He grimaced, feeling the force of the water pressure behind the board and the tug of the current trying to snatch Heero's body away.

Staring up at the strain on Nuriko's face, Heero made a decision. "Let me go!" he shouted over the noise of the waves and fury of the sky. *Gomen, Duo.*

Nuriko shook his head in denial. "No chance!"

Lightning flashed across the sky.

"If it hits me again, you'll be caught too! Let me go!" Heero yelled.

"NO!" Nuriko gritted his teeth, exerting all his strength in order to defeat the current and rescue Heero from the water. *Suzaku, please...*

The bracelets on his wrists flashed brightly, even in the bleak darkness of the storm, and metamorphosized into gleaming red bracers. With an extra burst of strength, Nuriko yanked Heero from the waves, just as another bolt of lightning sizzled past.

Miaka's eyes were wide as she stared at the bracers. Nuriko grinned at her rakishly. "Just like Taiitsu-kun to give me a gift to suit my personality--beautiful and useful, too!" The bracers flashed and became mere bracelets again.

"Hn. Baka." Heero stared out at the water, face inscrutable. Nuriko grinned at him cheerfully. "Maybe, but I'm the baka who just saved your life, Hee-chan!"

Heero turned to look at him, incredulously. *Did he just--?* "Omae o korosu."

Nuriko just rolled his eyes. "Whatever you say, Hee-chan!"

"The boat!" Miaka cried, pointing through the gloom.

"It's about time they got here," Nuriko sighed.

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"Duo? Are you in here?" Quatre called into the darkness of the hangar.

"Dinner's ready. We're having pizza."

There was a very long silence. Then, "Pizza?" emerged faintly from somewhere among the still gundams.

"Hai... deep dish, pepperoni, with triple cheese," Quatre said coaxingly.

"And lots of breadsticks, too."

"With the garlic butter?" Duo's voice sounded a little bit louder, and definitely intrigued.

"What would breadsticks be without lots of garlic butter?" Quatre replied.

"And for dessert..."

"Dessert, too?" Not only did Duo sound intrigued, he sounded a little bit more cheerful and like his normal self.

"Naturally. For dessert, chocolate cheesecake," Quatre finished.

"Honto ni?" A braided figure came flying out of the darkness, grabbing Quatre. "Chocolate cheesecake?" Duo looked at him with hopeful indigo eyes.

Quatre pretended not to notice that Duo's eyes were somewhat red and puffy. "I wouldn't make up something as important as chocolate cheesecake."

"Wai!" Duo raced away, his braid flapping behind him.

Quatre smiled, glad that at least a measure of good humor had returned to Duo. Wufei had apprised him of the situation *after* his conversation with Tamahome. Realizing just how deeply this entire odd affair had *gotten* to Duo was something of a shock to Quatre. It was so easy to underestimate the braided pilot, to believe that he was nothing more than a shallow, joking loudmouth.

And a little food--even his favorite foods--wasn't going to make the pain go away, either. It would just make it a little easier to cover it up. Quatre just hoped that Heero would return to them soon, before Duo exploded or Tamahome forced them to kill him.

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"You guys were really hard to find no da," Chichiri scolded them mildly, once they were safely aboard the ship. "Especially in this storm no da."

"Well, if Tasuki-chan hadn't fallen overboard, then we wouldn't have landed in the water," Nuriko chuckled. "But I guess it's not his fault that he's no good on boats."

"Oh, shut up," Tasuki grumbled. "I hate boats."

"Minna!" At the high shout of warning, the seishi turned to look at Chiriko. "We're about to hit that rock!" He pointed straight ahead, to the looming mass directly in their path.

Heero barely had the time to grab Miaka and brace himself before the grinding impact.

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Duo bounded into the dining room. "Pizza!" he cried, making a grab for the cardboard boxes Trowa was holding. "Yatta!"

Trowa lifted the boxes out of Duo's reach. "Maxwell, calm down," Wufei told him, sounding disgusted as he carried cans of soda into the dining room. "Sit down, it'll only be a couple of minutes until you can eat."

"But I'm hungry *now*," Duo complained. He sat down, pouting and fiddling with his braid.

Wufei rolled his eyes and tossed a can at him. "Here. Drink this instead."

"Hai!" Duo popped open the tab and took a slurp.

Tamahome walked in as Trowa set the pizzas down and Quatre entered with napkins and plates. "What... is it?" he asked, as Duo eagerly opened the boxes and snagged a slice.

"It's called pizza, and tastes a lot better than it looks," Quatre explained. He blinked as Duo reached for a second slice. "Duo... slow down. It's not going anywhere."

Duo smirked at him from around a huge bite. Swallowing, he said, "You don't know that for sure." He seized a breadstick and a container of garlic butter.

Tamahome's eyes widened. "It's like watching Miaka eat..." Quatre cocked his head. "Miaka?"

"Suzaku no miko... the woman I'm going to marry," Tamahome replied, laying a slight stress on the word "woman."

Duo's eyes went momentarily blank, then he took a long slurp of his soda.

"That's nice." He attacked a third piece of pizza.

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"What the hell are you doing in here?" Tamahome demanded as Duo unconcernedly walked into his bedroom.

Duo flashed him a little grin. "This is my bedroom, too, you know," he said sunnily.

Tamahome's eyes bulged out. "Nani?!"

"Well, it *is*..." Duo walked over to the bed and flopped down, stretching. "However..." He sat up and grabbed three of the four pillows,

"I'm only here to get my stuff. Don't get your spandex in a knot."

Standing, he rummaged around in a bureau drawer and retrieved a huge sleep shirt. "G'night, Tamahome." With a cheerful little wave, he walked out the door.

*I wanna go home,* Tamahome thought in despair.

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TBC...

Well, that's all for now, folks. Comments and criticism always welcomed, of course. Happy V-day to all of you. Ja!

 

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<waves insanely> Hello~!

Bob: <amused> She's certainly in a good mood tonight.

It's the first and only V-day that I've ever enjoyed.

Bob: Aa. Sou ka.

NEway, I'm feeling inspired to write some more FY/GW crossover fun, so...

AU, OOC, yaoi, spoilers for FY, and so forth... I'm not being terribly nice to Tama-kins...

Not mine, no money, don't sue.

 

Part Eight

Tamahome stretched out on the unfamiliar bed with a sigh. He was physically and mentally exhausted, not to mention incredibly sore from injuries that weren't even his, but sleep refused to come. Why had he been banished to this strange world and strange body? What had he done to deserve such a punishment? Why would Suzaku have exiled him from his beloved miko?

Why did he have to be the object of a braided teme's affections?

If he didn't know better, he'd *swear* that Nakago had had something to do with the entire mess...

Tamahome rolled over with a sigh and a grunt, wondering if Miaka was missing him as much as he missed her. A sudden thought struck him. What if she were to fall for this other boy, Heero, while he was stuck in her world?

All thoughts of sleep fled.

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Heero released Miaka as soon as possible, scanning the rest of his companions for injury. None. Good. Then Mitsukake raised his hand and pointed up, shouting a warning to the rest of the party.

Standing at the crest of the rock they had struck was a figure wrapped and muffled with a dark cloak. For some reason, Miaka and Nuriko turned to look at Heero, unreadable expressions on their faces... almost as if they expected him to explode.

"Who the fuck are you?!" Tasuki demanded, whipping out his tessen.

The figure above them laughed. "Seiryuu no Shichiseishi Soi!" Soi threw off the cloak, finally revealing herself.

Heero blinked. Was there a blue, glowing character on her *leg*? He was definitely going to have pull Chichiri off to the side and get him to explain a few things...

He snapped his attention back to the moment. Soi was laughing and threatening them. "Now you die, Suzaku no miko!" As she raised one hand to the sky, he could see electricity coalescing around her fingers.

Not good. So definitely not good. What he wouldn't give to have Wing for just a few minutes...

Then Miaka sprang forward, holding a drawn sword in her hands. As Heero, and the seishi, watched in disbelief, Soi cast her lightning bolt down--and the sword absorbed it, throwing it back to its origin.

As the flash of light cleared, they saw that Soi had disappeared... and the rock barring their path had split, revealing land.

Chichiri spoke first. "Hokkan, no da."

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Apparently, Hokkan was quite a bit colder than the rest of the Suzaku seishi were used to, as Nuriko coaxed Tasuki into using his tessen to warm him.

Heero eyed their antics, the reality of the situation finally hitting home. He was in a completely foreign world, where women could throw lightning around and metal fans could spit out fire. And logic didn't necessarily apply. He shivered a little. *Duo should have been the one to come here. He'd be right at home...*

"Your world is much different, isn't it?" Chichiri asked him as he surveyed the large valley before them.

"Very much," Heero replied, noting the absence of the monk's peculiar speech pattern. "No magic. Just technology... and war."

Chichiri glanced at him, his perpetual smile reminding Heero of something... rather, someone. Chichiri's smile never seemed to waver, much like a certain braided baka's... Heero forcibly turned his attention away from thoughts of home. They were only distractions from the mission.

The mission. Yes. "How do I use this body's seishi powers?"

The monk chuckled. "So very direct... You *are* a soldier, no da."

Heero looked out over the valley. "I'm the perfect soldier," he replied quietly, voice emotionless.

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Sleep just wasn't working for him. Duo stared up at the shadows of the ceiling, frustrated. God, he hated insomnia. He punched a pillow into submission, rearranged himself in the blankets, and sighed.

What made it worse was knowing exactly *why* he couldn't sleep. He hadn't been sleeping well since the day Heero had self-destructed. It was stupid, of course, to have allowed himself to grow so damned attached to the pilot of Wing. He *knew* better. They were terrorists, damn it.

The probability that either of them, much less both of them, surviving until peace came was slim. Especially when they had been trained to self-destruct rather than surrender to the enemy.

*I guess I've always been stupid this way,* Duo decided. *Falling for the perfect soldier, though, has got to be the absolute fucking dumbest thing I've ever done...*

He folded his hands behind his head contemplatively. It still surprised him sometimes that Heero had opened up enough to allow himself to be seduced... that he'd managed to establish *any* sort of relationship with Heero. Duo sighed. *For him it probably falls under the category of "Stress Reduction" or some shit like that.*

Two minutes. He and Quatre would have been there in two minutes, and even against as heavy odds as Heero had been facing, two minutes wasn't that long. So why the hell had Heero self-destructed, anyway? Duo growled softly. *You bastard. You *know* your life has value--to me, if no one else. Didn't I tell you as much?*

Duo sighed again, remembering the moment with clarity. Just a few days before the last mission, lying curled around a Heero whom he'd *thought* was asleep, he'd dared to mutter the things he'd never have been able to say had he known Heero was awake. "Suki da, Heero... suki da..."

"Then you're an idiot." Not quite the preferred reaction, that. Duo winced just remembering the awkward moments passing slowly as he had tried to react to Heero's callous response.

*Why him? Why not... Hirde, or ... or... Wufei?! Why the psychotic spandex boy?* Duo asked himself.

There were no answers to that one.

And now he had to deal with Tamahome instead of the perfect soldier.

All things considered, he'd prefer Heero. For the most part, *he* didn't mean his death threats.

Hell, when one was dealing with Heero, one took what he could get.

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As they moved inland, Chichiri explained the special abilities of the seishi to Heero more fully, dwelling as much as possible on Tamahome's use of his powers. No one was really certain if Heero would be able to use Tamahome's seishi powers, but Heero was firm about learning the maximum about each potential resource. And if that meant using the powers granted by Suzaku to his host body, so be it.

The first signs of civilization that they found was a small hamlet, surrounded by herds of horses. The homes seemed to be large, circular tents, of the nomadic sort. As the group approached, a small boy, evidently playing, caught sight of them. With a gleeful shout, he ran forward, waving his hands at them and smiling broadly. He was nearing the group when a horse, spooked by some unidentifiable cause, reared suddenly and plunged forward, the boy directly in the path of the flailing hooves.

Heero didn't stop to think, hurling himself forward with as much strength as he could muster. Diving, he scooped the child into his arms, rolling out of the horse's path and coming to rest a few feet away, staring up at the sky with the little boy wrapped securely in his arms. After a moment of stunned inaction, during which the horse quieted, Nuriko hurried forward. "Oi, Heero, daijoubu?" Heero sat up and nodded silently, examining the little boy for injury.

"Heh," Tasuki muttered to Mitsukake. "Maybe he's human after all."

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TBC...

<blinks and looks at the time> Eep. How did it get this late? <shrugs>

Oh well. Well... I finally got them off the boat! <does a little dance of joy> C&C, anyone?

 

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My goodness, where *did* the afternoon go? <Emily looks at the clock: 4x5x3... oh my> Imagine that, how *did* I manage to flitter away the time like that? <shrugs> Oh well. In any case, here's P9 of the GW/FY crossover.

There are spoilers ahead, but this is gradually (d)evolving into my own brand of AU. OOC, of course, and yaoi, and the bashing of various characters who are just too damn easy for their own good to bash.

Bob: She's just sick and twisted is all.

Shut up, you, they don't need to hear that. NEway, I don't own 'em and I'm not making money, so please don't sue. All I've got is a psychotic muse with a tight ass, anyway...

Bob: Hey...

And I don't own the song, either. More's the pity...

 

Part Nine

Heero had just managed to de-glomp the slightly-traumatized little boy when a woman emerged from one of the tents and hurried over to them. Seeing her, the child ran over, the story of what had just transpired bubbling out exuberantly. Her eyes widened, and she immediately welcomed the group into the village.

Nuriko elbowed him very gently as they strolled through the wide avenue between the tents. "Way to go, Hee-chan."

"Don't call me that," came the automatic response.

"Why not? It's cute, and you make a good Hee-chan," Nuriko teased.

"Hn. Baka."

Nuriko just laughed.

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Duo came awake instantly as a hand touched his shoulder, one hand sliding automatically under his pillow for the handgun hidden there. Then he relaxed. It was merely Quatre, looking down at him with a serious expression. "Mission."

Duo sat up, clearing the cobwebs of too-little sleep away. "K'so. What are we going to do about Tamahome?"

"Somebody will have to stay with him," Quatre told him. "Fortunately, three of us can handle the mission."

"So, who's going to stay behind?" Duo asked. The grave expression on Quatre's face, however, gave him a fairly good idea who it would be.

"Trowa, Wufei, and I are the best-suited to carry out the mission," Quatre said, confirming his suspicions.

Duo winced. "Ryoukai," he sighed. "When do you leave?"

"Very soon." Quatre paused. "He likes to watch TV."

Duo grinned. "Thanks. Guess somebody who likes TV can't be all bad, ne?"

"At least not in your world view." Quatre smiled and left Duo to untangle himself from his nest on the couch.

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Upon awakening, it took Tamahome several long, panic-stricken moments to remember where he was. At length he recognized the room, and realized that waking up in somebody else's body and world had not been a terrible nightmare. Unfortunately. After making use of the bathroom (the novelty of running water indoors still boggled his mind), Tamahome sallied forth to face another day in Miaka's world.

The house was amazingly still, feeling almost--desolate. Tamahome's brow furrowed, as he wondered where everyone--except Duo--was. Then a wave of sound rippled through the house. Pouncing upon the noise (he supposed it might have been considered music, but it was nothing *he* had ever heard before), he followed it to its source: the kitchen.

He stopped short on the threshold. Duo was digging around in the refrigerator, while a couple of pots bubbled on the stove, water ran in the sink, and the ... music... blasted loud enough to deafen. And Duo was singing along to the words, which were in a language that Tamahome didn't recognize.

Duo obviously found what he was looking for, and emerged from the fridge, arms loaded with food. "Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my--eep!"

He caught sight of the dumbfounded Tamahome, and blushed bright red. Quickly, he deposited the bottles and containers on a handy spot on the counter, and switched off the music. "Ohayo, Tamahome."

"Ohayo. Where is everyone?"

"A mission came up," Duo replied, busying himself with one of the pots on the stove. "They had to go. They'll be back in a few days, tops."

"You mean... it's just me... and you..." Tamahome winced. "Oh, Suzaku..."

At the stove, Duo's back stiffened. Very slowly and deliberately, he turned around, a wooden spoon held in one white-knuckled hand. "Yeah, it's just me and you, Tamahome. You got a problem with that?"

"Just stay away from me," Tamahome grunted. "I don't want to have anything to do with you."

Duo snorted. "Shit, I used to think *Heero* was one cold son of a bitch. Look, Tamahome, I know you don't like me. We got off to an extremely bad start. You're obviously not interested in men, that's fine. And to be quite honest with you, I'm not the least bit interested in you. So stop acting like I'm going to jump you!" To emphasize his point, Duo waved the spoon at intervals. He turned back to the stove. "Ch. I miss Heero."

Tamahome, having nothing to say to this, was about to walk away when Duo spoke up. "Oi, you hungry? There's enough here to share."

"No, not right now." Tamahome wandered away to go watch television.

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Entering Hokkan's capital, Heero breathed a silent sigh of relief. At last they were getting closer to obtaining the Shinzaho... whatever it was. Soon he'd be able to go home...

"Ne, Hee-chan, whatcha thinking about?" Nuriko asked.

"Don't call me that... The war at home," Heero replied, a little less begrudgingly than he might have answered anybody else's prying. The braided seishi just seemed to have that effect on him. Much like Duo... No. Mustn't think of Duo, mustn't remember how much he was actually missing that baka...

"Aa. One of those perfect soldier kinds of things, huh?" Nuriko teased gently. Heero said nothing.

The sun was going down as they found a suitable inn at which to spend the night and discuss search stratagems. Sitting around the table, the group laughed and cracked jokes, poking gentle fun at one another. All in all, Heero felt like an outsider. No matter how much Nuriko exerted himself to include the pilot in the circle, it just wasn't quite enough. There was just too much history among the members of the Suzaku seishi.

Heero wondered briefly if the real Tamahome was having as much difficulty adjusting to life among the Gundam pilots.

Eventually they decided that they should split up into pairs in order to search the city for the Shinzaho. Chiriko went with Mitsukake, and Tasuki with Chichiri. Stony-faced, Heero indicated that he would guard Miaka, leaving only Nuriko without a partner.

"I'd better go with Hee-chan," Nuriko decided at length. "Don't want him to get into trouble, y'know."

Heero just snorted.

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TBC...

Oh, yeah, the song was "Sympathy for the Devil" and it belongs to the Rolling Stones, not me.

 

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Official stuff: GW/FY, AU, OOC, yaoi, spoilers for FY, and generalweirdness. Not mine, no money, don't sue!

 

Part Ten

When Heero walked into the large common area of the inn for breakfast the next morning, he was just in time to witness Nuriko's "polite" refusal of certain unwanted advances. As the ruffian who had been pressing his attentions on Nuriko picked himself up from across the room, Heero sat down, with a slight smirk on his face. "Trouble?" he asked.

Nuriko returned to his seat, dusting his hands off and sniffing. "Some people have no manners," he replied.

Tasuki chortled. "Ne, Heero, you're going to have your hands full today,with all the people hitting on your two pretty ladies. Hope you can handle all of that trouble."

Nuriko's eyes darkened, and he picked up a knife sitting on the table.Before anyone had realized what he was doing, he had sliced his braid off, holding the braid and knife with an enigmatic smile on his face.

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Nuriko talked cheerfully as he, Miaka, and Heero methodically moved up and down the city streets searching for clues to the whereabouts of the Shinzaho. His conversation was mostly with Miaka, since Heero remained uncharacteristically silent, even for him.

Then Miaka caught sight of the monument with ancient writing and the symbol of Genbu written all over it... and Heero found himself separating from his two companions in order to follow a seedy young man into a disreputable part of town, just to find someone who *might* be able to translate the writing... When, the pilot wondered, had he lost the nagging little voice that insisted that every mission be carried out with utmost efficiency and minimal risk? Because it would surely be screaming at this point.

The shifty-looking young man led him into a tavern that seemed to have gone through better days in the distant past, and then laughed off Heero's inquiry about a possible translation. Then he turned away as the group of hired thugs surrounded what looked like an easy prey...

*What this situation requires is a gun,* Heero thought wistfully, ducking the first powerful swing and slugging the other man solidly in the gut.Then he tossed another thug, who had tried to jump him from behind, over his shoulder. *Or somebody at my back...*

Somehow, a fight just wasn't the same without a certain someone's maniacal laughter to fill the air with promises of imminent doom for the enemy.

Heero sighed softly and set about teaching his attackers a lesson about presumably "easy" targets.

Moments later, his erstwhile guide felt a heavy hand land on his shoulder, spinning him around. Icy grey-purple eyes bored into his. "Now, you were saying something about a translator?" Heero growled.

"I--I--" The trapped man struggle ineffectually against an unbreakable grip.

"Omae o korosu." Heero tossed the criminal aside, disgusted.

"There's hardly any need to go to *that* extreme," a slurred voice told him. An old man, sitting hunched over a bottle of sake, smiled at him sardonically. "Granted, he's as worthless a boy as ever lived, but I'd rather you didn't kill him. His mother would never let me hear the end ofit."

"He promised me a translation," Heero gritted.

The old drunk snorted. "Aa. What of?"

"There's a stone monument, a few streets over. I need to know what the writing says," Heero told him.

The old man nodded and took a sip of his sake. "I'm familiar with it. He--" nodding at the young man now backing away from Heero "--brought you to the right place. In my better days, I was something of a scholar."

"So. What does it say?" Heero asked impatiently.

The old man smiled at him. "Sit down, have a drink, and I'll tell you all about it..."

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Silently cursing old men who liked to spin long stories to soldiers on a mission, Heero finally left the tavern, with a thorough knowledge of the monument, the translation of the writing on the monument, the local legends about Genbu no Miko, and various bits of lore regarding the Shinzaho. More information than he really needed, but... the more one knew about a mission, the better the chances for success. His customary scowl in place, Heero set off to rendezvous with Nuriko and Miaka.

Hurrying down the street, Heero had barely registered the presence of the blonde girl staring at him before she accosted him. "Tamahome? What are you doing here?" she asked, voice sounding at once hardened and wistful.

Heero tensed. Was this girl someone Tamahome knew from his ordinary life, or a member of the Seiryuu no Shichiseishi? Measuring the girl with indifferent eyes, he noted that she appeared to be about the same age as Miaka... He ventured a guess. "Yui."

"So. You're after the Shinzaho as well," she replied, her tone chilly.

Aa. It had been a good guess, apparently. "And if I am?" he asked.

She sniffed. "It won't do you any good at all. Seiryuu *will* win."

"Hn." Heero blinked, a thought occurring to him. *Without a miko, theSeiryuu seishi won't be able to summon their god...* Surreptitiously, he scanned the area. K'so. There were far too many people to even *consider* kidnapping the opposing team's miko.

It was a shame that such a fine plan had to be scrapped for the mere sake of its impossibility.

Yui smiled; there was a hint of madness lurking in her eyes. "And when I summon Seiryuu, Tamahome, do you know what? I'll make sure you and Miaka are never together ever again."

Heero snorted again, deciding that throwing Yui off-balance just a little bit might have its benefits. "Baka. *I* couldn't care less about Miaka, or spending time with her."

The girl gaped at the emotionless words and the impassivity of his face."You're joking."

"Ch. Why should I joke?" Heero inquired. He moved to brush past her.

She clutched at his arm. "You don't care about Miaka at all?" Yui asked feverishly. "You don't love her?"

Heero glared at her until she released her grip. "Hn. I prefer men."Then he melted into the crowd, thoroughly satisfied that he had left the other miko reeling.

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TBC...

<blinks> Oi... in two hours I will have been up for twenty-four hours straight... My goodness...
Bob: <snoring and curled up around Cas>
Feh. He's such a lightweight. NEway, if the last part was a little, erm,weird... well... I've been up for twenty-two hours and I'm currentlyrunning on expresso, Ben & Jerry's, and mint tea... C&C are welcome...
<staggers off to bed>