Title: Slaves, emotional and otherwise (part 3/?)
Author: ME!!! (Sunday)...sun_sunday@yahoo.com
Notes: This part is shabby, I need to rework some of my writing…sigh…I redid the whole thing, it was gonna be WAY different then what you see here…as in, part 3 would have been the end, but after rereading part three last night, I became disgusted with myself. I mean, talk about unSun like. I've never read anything sappier. BLEH!!!..tho there is a nice tent scene…maybe I will use it…hmmm….
Warnings: 1+2 (Heero has it bad)

 

Slaves, Emotional and otherwise
Part3
by Sunday

 

I ride beside him…looking over him, as he is supposed to be looking over me. Looking over me, without once looking at me. He has remained quiet through the whole of the trip back, and not a single shard of the energy he had so exhaustingly displayed prior to this remains. I stop a sigh from escaping my lips. He is still staring forward, violet eyes trained to the road…those eyes, dark as the night sky. Their color, sister to the almost purple darkness that surrounds us…but, unlike the sky with heavenly lights that sparkle behind the night's onyx…his eyes seem to absorb all light that is around them selfishly…leaving naught for others to see. Others that are me. It did not bother me so before…so why now…?why do I feel like the desert man who had seen the ocean…had fallen in love with that abyss, and was then thrown into the dry sands. Drowning within that heat…as opposed to losing his life within that emotionless coolness. Is that what I am doing? Drowning. It can be said that one's breath is taken away at the sight of beauty…but surely not him. He is hardly what I would call beautiful…well perhaps. I frown

"Iris."

He looks at me, the lack of passion in those eyes disturbing those same emotions…the ones that I had not acknowledged having…not acknowledged until the spark that was his exuberance had disappeared.

"What is your name?"

He looks at me skeptically…as if I was some sort of trap, a lure…something to bring him down further then he had already fallen. Ridiculous, once a slave, always a slave…how much further could he fall…?after all, it had been I that had caught him, not one of the ruffians…. He should have been at least grateful for that…at least the pain I cause him is physical, as opposed to the autocracies of the others… He continues to watch me, impassively. Waiting.

"Speak…" again that clenching in my stomach…why is it that I feel this guilt when I am doing nothing wrong. Our every day actions…are autocracies when viewed in another light. What I am doing to him, is no less `wrong' then what others could have done…that cannot be right. Can it? But why the guilt…?I have killed men for less then what he had done…and felt nothing of it.

"My name is Iris." His upturned lips hint of the sadistic smirk he wears so well. I feel my emotions freeze. This again. The same tone, the same timbre of voice, as that which he wears for the interrogations. Those, after which, he is barely breathing…those, in which he plays dumb and mute…and succeeds… nothing is known of the kingdom's heir…and at this rate, nothing ever will be.

"Who is Duo?" He continues to look at me…waiting. I feel anger rise within me "You may speak when I ask you something." My voice so childish beside his own.

"That will be noted. I am Duo."

I frown.

"Do you lie?"

"I run, I hide, but I never lie." His grin grows… murder painting the violet in his eyes purple.

"You once said, that you had no name."

"I do now."

"What is it?" Impatience is getting the better of me. Is he trying to throw me into a maniac tantrum….is he attempting to infuriate me?

"Iris." I clench my teeth, apparently that is exactly his intent.

"Quatre asked your name, correct?"

"No…as much as it grieves me to say that you are incorrect…your Maj-esty…" His tone drips in sarcasm, and its caustic nature slowly tears at my nerves. Atop of those passions the low pitch of his voice awakens others of an opposing nature. "…he asked me who I was."

He pulls a hand through his messy bangs, allowing the silken threads to weave gracefully, between the equally graceful fingers.

"And you answered…?"

"A Duo."

I clench my teeth. Mirror indeed…the dry wit, is too familiar…possibly because I use it before I dispatch the enemy. I feel the muscles in my face stretch into a frown…is that what I am…?an enemy that he is readying for destruction. That is, if, he is mirroring me exactly… but then again…can one say that a mirror reveals the true nature of a person? After all, it shows, through cold fact, that which is right to perceive…I frown…or is it `that which is wrong to perceive'?…is not a person that which they see themselves as…and a mirror provides the wrong illusion…is there a right illusion? Hn. Yes. The boy before me is a right illusion, right in the way that everything I perceive about him is wrong. He like a mirror portrays that which he believes me to be…never the less, I am not what he is…surely there is more to me then what meets the eye. I frown…or is there? am I not as much a puzzle to myself as I am to others? And if that is true, is not the mirror showing the wrong me if not viewed by the right me… Much like an overbearing critic, staring at his expression in glass, constantly finding the wrong him in the reflection…one that is not the right one when compared to the image in his mind? Or is it the other way around?…once again a paradox. Somehow, the boy proves himself to be more and more of one.

"How are you a Duo?"

"How are you a Heero?" His smile is widening, and now all of his attention is trained on me…his muscles

taught, ready for me to stop the horses, and lunge at him…or perhaps he thinks me too prim to do it myself…instead, readying himself for one of my men.

 

`You are appear the same way' Wufei's voice still rings too true in my own ears…I, like the boy, appear rather harmless, but I am not, and he by the hour is proving the same….does that make him a more exact mirror of myself?…or is this really him?

"It is my name…it is what I am."

"Duo is what I am." His smile disappears, and is replaced by a slight frown. "Don't you understand? You seem to like puzzles so."

He is a Duo like I am a Heero? I stare at him…his smile may have disappeared from his lips, but it had grown within those eyes…eyes that I realize now, reflect my image…twin images of me…formed from the dying light of the torches carried by my men….two…a Duo…I am two within his eyes…I too am two…one of them the prince, and the other the over analytical boy, that tries to find the meaning of his life, within the existence of his enemy. But his enemy won't ever see it will he? After all, Duo…Iris, the reflections in both those eyes are the same…the boy is once again overpowered…left alone.

 

Always around others, and yet forever alone…caught in this cage of men…of human flesh…where my own family serves as the bars…and the lock is my birth right. He said that he was caged…as am I. But these thoughts are wrong…too involved…to painful…Better to suffer another's pain, then my own.

 

The mirror…it is better to find the wrongs in the mirror, after all, it is merely physical…you can always change the physical. And I am forever trying to change, Iris…Duo, my living mirror.

 

"Puzzles? How is this a puzzle?" I attempt to sound

far more controlled then I feel. He laughs, before speeding his horse up a bit, calling over his shoulder that he is going to make sure that the scouts had not fallen asleep on their horses.

Leaving me alone. With my thoughts. Alone. One. Heero. Someone had once told me how odd a name it was to have…of my five brothers…the last to be called Heero…the oldest to be called Wufei…Wufei being five…and Heero being one. So Duo is two.

He is a Duo as I a Heero?

He is two like I am one?

My one is my birthright.

His one is Iris…then…two birthrights? Then one is Duo…but who is Duo…or does Duo simply stand as a symbol…being two?

I catch up to him…he is animatedly talking to two of the guards, making wild expressions with his hands…the men laugh…He notices me. Turns to the men, excuses himself, and slows, so to ride beside me…the laughter fading from his face, like the sun being eclipsed by a cloud…quickly, and with the same darkness resulting.

"Duo…who is your second?" He looks perplexed for a moment, before turning back to the road.

"The one I don't remember."

 

I feel the reigns of the horse dig deeply into the palms of my hand. Ridiculous…that is how I feel. Here I thought that I had penetrated the barriers that he had held up for however long, only to find that my curiosity had rebuild them. The actions he displayed by Quatre have been justified, without actually being so…he had not given me any indication of why.

"Let me rephrase this for you…for your sake, I suggest that you tell me who you do not remember…or I will cease using yourself to dull my whip."

"I can't very well sharpen it for you."

"No…but I assure you, my men would find you infinitely amusing."

"Would…? Fair Prince, they already have."

I smile at him…cold…he looks startled…interesting, perhaps I ought to smile more, instead of whipping…after all, he looks far more uncomfortable now then after any amount of physical pain.

"Not all three thousand of them."

He looks sickened for a moment, before lifting his chin up in the fashion I had painstakingly attempted to chisel out of him. "Well then, who am I to stop your supreme wishes? But one small favor…I am allowed to fight back."

I snort, as we proceed through the fields. I watch his face…it does not change…not a hint of the disgust previously displayed…nothing. I look to the horizon…light stretches lazyly through the night sky…the sun…is it so late already?…another day of ridding and we shall be in the South quarter of the South Kingdom…my home. I smirk…and then I can teach the boy manners…Throwing him to the idiots is not quite what I have in mind…well perhaps not entirely…I would quite enjoy watching his attempt at fighting.

"Stop."

I turn to face him…but his eyes had drifted from me and are scanning the horizon. He frowns, before stopping his horse, and slipping from it…like silk falling upon the floor…graceful. Black silk. He tilts his head back…inhaling deeply, as if trying to catch a sent…

"How far ahead are your men?"

I simply stare at him. He licks his lips, and crosses his arms…he glares at me coldly. "How far are they."

"The bulk of the army is a day ahead…they have already reached the kingdom…the escorts are behind by an hour…." I scowl. "…and the fact that you will be playmate to my army does not allow you to be disrespectful." I land on the ground beside him. He merely wrinkles his nose in distaste, before turning back to the horizon.

"Look at me."

"Give me one good reason to do so." I stare at him in disbelief…very well, so he wishes to act in this way…it furthers my resolve to dispose of him. No matter the loss. But first one cannot have a conscious scheming lunatic at his side. It is a pity that he would

be joining the ranks of the other man servants. I sigh, before drawing back my hand, and thrusting it forward…

 

It takes a moment to register that it had not reached it's target…moment enough, for the boy to tighten his grip on my fist. He scowls at me.

"Spoiled Brat." He hisses through clenched teeth. "I was sworn to protect you, and no matter what my distaste of that matter is, I will not have you walking into your death. Open your ears and hear…breath in the air that holds the scent of your people's burning flesh. The kingdom of the South is under siege."

 

We watch each other's eyes, the distance of one arm separates our bodies…and yet our thoughts have intermingled…I sniff the air, and cringe at the odor. The smell of cooking flesh assaults my nostrils…it is then that the light on the horizon begins to make sense…it is no early sun…that is the last of the fires that had taken my peoples lives.

I feel it…inside of myself, something about to snap…my family, dead…my brothers…the ones that I love, gone. And I am spared, because of my greed…because of a fight, after which I had stopped to pick up my possession…the symbol of everything that is corrupt about me…my Duo. I am alone. The ones I treasure are gone? What good is everything in the world when no one is there to enjoy it with you…when no one Is there to make fun of your actions…to point out your mistakes…to enjoy your success. What of the only one who can make fun of me, Wufei? No…no they cannot be dead, surely they cannot be…they are strong…he…is strong. Somehow…

"Well?" Coldness…is he expecting me to break down…to beat him for his lack of sorrow. No. Right now, only planning can save any hope of them alive…

 

"We wait for the escorts." I say coldly, drawing back my hand. The boy looks startled…boy…man…he is after all no younger then myself…and it has taken him acting with far more maturity that I gave him credit for, for me to notice. He warned me, to save my life.

"No, we wait for nothing. We run the horses to the ground if we have to, but we are to warn Quatre, judging from the lack of markings on this side of the land, they are moving towards the south. Delaith is next."

I nod at the cold tone in his voice…something within it turning me away from the knowledge that my family may be dead… that they may all have died in the way that this boy had watched his employers die…his love?

"His army is hardly battle worthy…they can protect him, and a bit of the castle…but hardly stand up to a siege. How is the Delphi army?"

"You defeated them in a matter of hours."

"Hn. I did not ask about the army that protected the trade centers…after all…they were related to the traders…I am asking about the army we daren't touch. The one that your people hide in the mountains…along with the true population."

He nods a bit in contemplation…he turns around to face me, a smirk on his face.

"10 thousand strong…and that is the one that is trained… if the populace is involved…then we are looking at millions…even the children know how to gut a man."

I nod. "Will they let me in…help me?"

"You killed that which they held most dear."

"Those you pretended to forget."

He looks startled. His eyes growing wide, and his lips parting lightly…even his skin whitens. And I, for the first time understand.

Those he wished to forget.

Those he forgot.

He is that which he forgot.

I smirk.

"Well, princess…what do you think…will they attempt to gut me or no?"

 

* * *

Not, this is not a `sex change' fic…Duo is quite male…it is just that I didn't want to give away his royalty at the beginning. I did not want to give it out for a good long time (if anyone wants to read the now scrapped part3 e-mail me [sun_sunday@yahoo.com]…I warn you it sux….)

But anyway, I am sorry that this part is so long and tedious…next part will have action…I promise. Duo gets a weapon (yes I AM that predictable)

Oh one more thing…who figured out the identity of the princess before Heero unraveled the two to one puzzle….I need to know how predictable I am…sigh… And another thing…how confusing did you find the mirror bit…?