3-15-2001

Disclaimer: The G-boys aren't mine, but... *makes goo-goo eyes at Duo* (Heero growls and tugs on Duo braid, making sure the other pilot stays away from the 'psycho authoress') Ah-HEM. Anyway, I'm just babysitting them.

1+2/2+1... yeah. Comment, please! ^_^ *halo*

 

Imminent Fate, part 2
Shamera
sitafire@hotmail.com

 

"Pleeeeeeeeeease???? With whipped cream and strawberries covered with fudge and cherries on top?????? Pretty please??"

Heero sighed as he watched Duo attack the poor girl in the lunch line. Said poor girl was glaring weakly at Duo. Anyone who even glanced their direction knew that the girl would give in to Duo's pleas at any moment.

"If I let you before me, Duo," she started, her voice exasperated, "Then I don't think I'd get anything to eat! That'd be unfair to everyone behind me, also!"

There was a murmur to amused agreement to that. Nearly everyone in school knew of Duo's eating habits, even if he had only registered a little more than two weeks ago.

Duo held up his hands, a fake look of hurt on his face. "How 'bout my friends go behind me? I would NEVER leave them starving!"

The girl grumbled a little, talking about leaving only enough for four normal people. But grumbling did no good as the Gundam pilots suddenly found themself around the front of the line. How Duo did that each day, Heero did not know.

"You know," Quatre spoke, sounding amused, "Cathy's right. The rate you eat at the dinner table, there won't be anything left after you raid the caferteria."

Duo wrinkled his nose at the thought. "You can't really think that way," he explained to Quatre. "It's school food, after all. The kind of food that's probably been sitting around for months on end... either that or the food that they give before they feed the pigs. Who's to know what makes up caferteria food?"

Quatre's smile faltered a little when he heard about the things he had been eating and would be eating. "Don't be silly, Duo!"

Duo's only response was a cheeky grin.

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Wufei gave a low growl to the girl that hadn't stopped pestering him about her history homework. "What of it, onna?!" he demanded, more than a little exasperation creeping into his voice. "I'm not even in your class!"

The short brunnette gave a hurt look, but glared at him strongly. She wagged a finger at him, brown eyes flashing as she started yelling at him for being rude to the opposite gender and that he had a *sexist* opinion on everything. In truth, she outrightedly told him that he had a problem. A very bad one that should be seen to before someone got SERIOUSLY offended. Namely her.

Beginning to get very steamed, Wufei wondered just how many ways he could take justice out on her if she did anything wrong.

"Excuse me, Lucida, but could I talk to Wufei for a second?"

Both pairs of eyes turned towards a slightly smiling girl wearing a proper school uniform and carrying her books under both arms. She had long black hair tied behind her carelessly and friendly grey eyes. She had a thick chain necklace that dropped down to her chest, the bottom being weighed down by a metal circle with a star in the middle. She was taller than even Trowa.

Lucida stood stock still for a moment, then stammered an apology and began to leave as quickly as possible. The poor girl looked a bit pale.

Wufei bristled as he was shoved aside, but turned to look at the newcomer cooly, meeting her even gaze.

After half a minute of trying to gain the upper hand over each other, her face broke out into a smile. Wufei blinked, not used to such changes even though he lived in the same house as Duo Maxwell.

"My name is Artemis. I've heard quite a bit about you and your friends, Wufei." She smiled gently at him, not once moving any muscle except for the ones at her mouth.

Wufei opened his mouth to protest about being the rumor and mystery of the week when Artemis shook her head.

"I'm not here to ask for details if your friends are avaliable or not. In fact, it's more that my cousins want to invite the five of you to a party this weekend. Most of the grade is going. We'd be delighted to have you guys along with us. We knew you haven't really tried to make any new friends ever since you came to this school... well, except for Duo and Quatre, that is."

Wufei scowled at her, crossing his arms but not denying a word that she was saying. Great. Some onna comes up and invites the Gundam pilots to a party... one that would make them look suspicious if they didn't go to.

"I really don't know why you guys stick together and why you never talk with anyone," the girl said through half-lidded eyes, making her look more intimdating than she really was. "But you would be the only ones not going to the party...."

Damn it! How did she know what he was thinking?

"...but if you want to maintain that mysterious outlook, you don't have to go. But just loosen up a little, okay? Teenagers have fun, after all." She gave him a half smile, and turned to walk away.

Wufei frowned as she was surrounded by other girls, all of them asking about various things, Artemis being the center of attention.

Damn onnas.

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"Duo!"

The boy turned at the sound of his name, nearly face to face with the one who hadn't expected him to stop running.

"Hi Diana!" He said cheerfully, shifting his books so that they weren't so uncomfortable when he stopped moving. "Whuzzup?"

Diana, whom Duo swore had to be Quatre's twin, all the way down to the short blond hair, looked nervously at Heero, who was standing besides Duo, having also stopped. She offered back a shakey smile and handed him a piece of paper. "My cousins are holding a party this weekend. Everyone's going. Wanna come along?"

Duo read through the paper once, looking at the times and if this was going to be one of the 'parties of the year'. It was.

Stealing a glance at her through his heavy bangs, he saw her fingering that silver star necklace she wore, and gave a lopsided grin. "Hey, sure, why not. We're not doing anything, are we Heero?" He glanced at the Japanese boy besides him, and then shrugged. "Quatre and Trowa might want to go too, but I don't know about Wufei-"

"Oh! Artemis already asked him. He's going." She gave a confident smile that made Duo more than a little nervous.

"Ummm... alright. If you say so."

Diana gave him a grin. "Don't look at me that way. If my sister did something that I don't know about, my cousins would surely know about it. Not to mention my parents..." she shuddered. "She's not allowed to have even hit Wufei to convince him to go." She paused. "Too bad though."

Duo laughed. Artemis was one large girl, towering over him with at least a good half feet. Having beaten most boys easily in strength games, there was no one who wanted to challenge her. The fact that her last name was 'Delos'(1) only helped that reputation. But she was kind enough that the girls flocked around her, the guys ever weary.

"Don't be so hard on Wu-man." He stated. "He still needs to learn that girls can, sometimes, take down a moble suit by themselves if they want to. Just because he doesn't know yet doesn't mean anything. Give him time."

"I know. I really don't care for his attitude, but-" she was cut off by a low moan that sounded behind Duo. Duo whirled around as Diana's eyes grew wide to see a man with the wings of a bat, beating those worn wings repeatedly and shrieking loudly as he dropped to the ground.

"Great Goddess," Diana muttered, her bluegreen eyes wide with disbelief. She was clutching her necklace tightly.

Duo gaped for half a second, ignoring the look that Heero had thrown him, and then raced to where the creature had fallen. However, the moment that he had reached out to touch the fallen creature, it turned to dust and disappeared.

Duo pulled his hand back sharply, holding his breath as the dust blew past his face. There was a slight numbing feeling that passed as soon as the wind did, and left him cold and tired.

Turning around to meet Diana's wide eyes and Heero's impassive stare, he demanded, "What the hell was that?!"

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Quatre and Trowa were sitting on the roots of the tree as Duo aruged to Heero about some sort of demon that they had seen. Wufei was sitting quietly on one of the higher branches while Duo was sitting on a low branch and Heero was standing up.

"He had black wings... y'know, like DeathScythe's wings... I wasn't sure, but I think he had a rat's *tail* too..."

"Duo." Heero cut in, voice just a tiny bit exasperated. "There was nothing there."

"Yes there was!" Duo stood up on the tree branch, not bothering to gain his balance before he hung on to a higher branch and pulled himself up. "I saw it, Diana saw it... I don't understand why no one else saw that thing! It had to be a demon or something!"

Heero reached out a hand to stable the swaying branches that had been viciously attacked with Duo's each move. "Diana saw *something*." There was a strong emphasis on 'something'. "She didn't know what it was."

"It was probably the glare of the sun," Quatre suggested helpfully. "There could really have been something there but you thought you saw something else in the glare of the sun."

Duo blew his bangs from his eyes as he learned on the tree trunk. "I was facing away from the sun, Quatre. There was no glare from anything getting in the way. I swear I saw what I saw, and then I saw that man turn to dust as soon as he hit the ground!"

"Maxwell," Wufei's annoyed tone came from above. "Maybe you just need a vacation. Consider this one."

Duo looked up and growled. "I wasn't hallucinating!"

Quatre sighed, "What did you see, Heero?"

Heero turned to Quatre and Trowa, then answered, "Black dust."

"There wasn't just black dust," Duo repeated, sounding like he already had it with the rest of them. "There was a *man*. I'm sure of it."

"What you described wasn't a man, Maxwell." Wufei said. "It's more like a monster."

"Man, monster, whatever you want to call it." Duo interfered. "But I know what I saw and it wasn't just dust. There's something very strange with this school."

Quatre eyed the long-haired boy questionably. As much as he hated to admit it, Duo really needed a break. "Maybe we should just finish this mission and move back, then." He said. "You can relax, Duo. This mission doesn't require all five of us..."

"I'm not crazy!" Duo exploded. He gave a low growl in the back of his throat. "Why does everyone think that I'm crazy? Besides obvious reasons, that is. There was a man. He had wings. He fell to the ground and turned to dust. That's all I'm saying."

"And that's why we're so concerned, Duo." Quatre clamped his mouth shut after that one. Had he actually said that aloud?!

Duo considered just shutting up about the whole incident then. If Quatre was so exasperated with him, then... He grit this teeth. Oh, he was *never* going to tell them anything ever again.

"Oh. Oh no. I didn't mean that, Duo. But... what you're saying... it's just hard to believe, that's all."

Duo gave up. "Fine. But when I talk to Diana about this... and she confirms what I say- THEN I'm going to laugh in your face and say 'I told you so.'"

He glared down at Heero. "I find it too hard to think that the 'Perfect Soldier' didn't see something as obvious as that. But it MAY have been a trick of the light, like Quatre said. I'm willing to believe that you might not have seen it, and am not trying to make a fool out of me."

Heero gave him an impassive glare.

Duo jumped off the tree, landing on his feet lightly despite the length from where he had jumped.

"I'm going to have a talk with Diana. Maybe with Artemis as well."

With that, he walked away, leaving the other pilots to contemplate over what he had said.

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Duo approached Diana Delos sitting quietly with Artemis Delos. They were both writing their homeworks on the benches near the front of the school, looking like nothing strange had ever happened.

"Yo, Diana!"

Diana turned her head when she heard him and offered him a shy smile. Artemis also looked up, but she grinned openly at him.

"Diana... can I talk to you for a second?" Duo asked.

Diana set her homework aside. "Sure, Duo. What can I do for you?"

Duo breathed a sigh, for he knew that Diana wasn't going to leave her sister just sitting there. "Oh, well. I wanted to ask you about that strange thing that we saw this afternoon..."

Diana's eyes turned wide. "Oh.. That."

"Yeah, you saw it too? Of course you did. I was talking about that with me friends and they wouldn't believe me. Huh. Imagine that. Heero said he didn't see anything, though I think he's lying. I don't know what's he's lying for when he said that all he saw was some black dust but I remembered that you saw it too, so I came here to make sure I wasn't going crazy when I told the others what I saw-"

"Duo." Diana stopped him with a hand on his arm. "I don't understand what you're talking about."

Duo gave her a shakey grin. "What we saw this afternoon? That man with the wings?"

Diana gave him a concerned look. "I don't know what you're talking about, Duo. I saw a giant, black cloud that passed through you. That's all."

Duo froze. "Y-you... what?"

Diana's eyes grew even more concerned. "I saw a cloud. It could have been the dust that Heero was talking about, but that's what I saw. Then that cloud seemingly dropped to the ground... you walked up to it and tried to touch it, and it went right through you."

Duo's violet eyes grew clouded. "That's all you saw." It was a statement, not a question. "A dust cloud."

"It could have been."

Standing still for a moment, then nodding his thanks to Diana, he turned and walked stiffly down where he came, ignoring the concerned looks both Diana and Artemis were giving him.

 

End part 2.

1. I REALLY hope that everyone figured the name joke out by now. Both Diana and Artemis are names (Greek or Roman) that mean Goddess of the Moon. 'Delos' is the island where Artemis and Apollo were born, keeping them safe from Hera, Queen of the Gods.