Special thanx to J-chan and kat for proof reading and telling me it wasn't a piece of crap~ *snickers* all spelling/grammar mistakes are my own though ^^;;
Standard Disclaimers Apply: Don't own anything used here... except the fantasy setting ^_^... oh yeah... if anyone's seen my sanity and my mind, tell them to bring me a present back from their elopment...
This takes place a few days after interlude 1 no da!
Interlude 2 of Tsuki no Uta
Quietly, Sally gathered them into the room.
Hirde sat crosslegged on the floor, leaning against the legs of a table as she stared through the huge glass walls of the tower. Sally stood next to the glass table, lightly brushing the surface with her fingertips, almost nervously. Noin remained standing, ostensibly staring at the extensive collection of books in Sally's work room. All three women avoided looking into the scrying table.
Hirde was the first to clear her throat, "Sally?"
"There is... a slight problem." The blonde frowned slightly. "A barrier has formed all around Saiki, and we aren't allowed to access to it." She tapped a finger lightly where Saiki and Erosu stood suspended in mid air, their respective glows of blue and red pulsating gently in space. "We won't be able to contact the Dragons on those planets as well. Relena, Treize, and Wizard J have already been alerted as to the circumstances. We'll just have to wait and see what happens next."
Hirde let out a soft sound of exasperation. "Then what was the entire point of separating the dragons and wiping out everyone's memory of the "incident" if this is the result?" She rose from her seated position and joined Sally in staring down at the scrying glass.
Sally replied calmly, "Then we'll have to focus on better preparing the other two dragons to balance things out." Inwardly she winced at Hirde's snort of disbelief. Everything was going wrong. First the dragons had awoken too early, it had been necessary to put them back to sleep, gently wiping traces of their last encounter together from their minds. Erosu and Saiki were much closer to each other than the Ancients had written of and now.. the barrier...
Neither of the women standing in the centre of the room noticed Noin as she smiled quietly and slipped a few of the books from the library into her robes before turning to join them. Dorothy had delievered her promise of tipping the scales towards Erosu's survival; these books would be handed to Zechs, to better prepare *him* for the unfolding of the Prophecy. The Dragons had the protection of the Temple and her other two siblings.
8 years later...
Silently, the boy fled from the chase. Almost, he was almost free.
But as always, they caught up to him, laughing loudly, roughly catching him up by the collar of his ragged shirt and placing him once more back in the rancid cage. There, he would remain huddled and still until the next 'hunt', one the local nobles played for amusement, the prey being a human boy.
Trowa fell into a fitful sleep, closing his eyes and giving into the dreams that lurked within. Dreams of warmth and sunshine, then of chaos, loss, and then a grey emptiness.
And unseen to anyone, not even the dozing boy, a gentle breeze ruffled the strip of cloth across his left shoulder, revealing the dull, dirt covered mark of faint green. The caressing breath of wind then pushed the cloth back, carefully ruffling some straw over the now slumbering body.
"What are you doing?"
Guiltily, Quatre juped up from his kneeling position by the water. It was Heero, dressed in the training outfit he usually wore for arms practice. Wistfully, the blonde boy stared at the practice sword in the prince's hand. He would have liked to learn... but the Sisters from the temple wouldn't hear of it, protecting him as always. A resentful voice from within retorted bitterly that they were *smothering* him. He tucked that thought behind a pleasant if rather blank smile.
"What are you doing, " repeated the dark-haired boy rather impatiently. Quatre had been leaning over the water, his lips moving silently. It had drawn Heero's curiosity, the intense look in the other boy's usually mild eyes. The Sisters would be amazed at the look of calculation and rage that had passed over their darling mascot's feature before settling once more into his usual gentle look. It was almost amusing; the boy would have done well at court.
"I was..." On impulse, the blonde boy motioned Heero over. He felt a certain kinship with the silent prince. They were both dragons, even if *he* was, Quatre's lips tightened in memory, "Unknown." For better or worse, they would have to work together eventually.
Besides, having the prince of Xednaps and the Wind Dragon as a possible ally was not a chance that would come up every day. And... it was lonely here with only the Sisters as company, treated more as a pet than anything else. Which was why the blonde boy oft found himself browsing through the temple's vast archives and practicing there. Which was why he would confide in Heero today.
"Come, sit." Heero raised an eyebrow at the peremptory tone of the other boy used but walked over nevertheless. He *was* curious.
Quatre took a deep breath and closed his eyes, bidding the prince to gaze into the water. He smiled briefly at the sharp intake of breath from the dark haired boy by his side but did not pause in his spell, calling upon Trowa's image.
Heero stared, fascinated, above the surface of the water. A ghostly image of another boy, his age, but painfully thin emerged. He was fast asleep. The image shimmered under the sun, made of water, but transluscent and flexible, almost as if it could be molded like ice.
"Who is he?"
Without opening his eyes, Quatre replied quietly. "The Earth Dragon."
The other boy let a brief smile pass over his face before suggesting, "I can teach you how." Something told him that the Wind Dragon was trying to find a way to broach the subject himself.
"But the person you seek can't see you. You can appear in their dreams, but they won't remember you once they awaken. They always forget."
Heero paused briefly before nodding brusque agreement. It had been nearly five years since he had last seen Duo, at the fair.
Glowing wings, floating, floating.... with five others, like him...
He frowned slightly as a memory briefly surfaced, slippery and hazy before falling once more beyond his reach. Not that he hadn't tried to contact Duo, but the spells that the violet eyed boy seemed to cast with such ease, during those far away times next to the lake, were impossible for him. So he worried, concentrated on Wizard J's lessons, and dreamed. He had been taught to be strong, for both the kingdom and the prophecy; he had to be more skilled, wiser, craftier, to recapture his throne, to preserve the name of his line, to protect...
And somehow, he felt that Duo was probably getting in and out of mischief at rates which would raise the proverbial hair on his chest... if he had any. But Heero thought, no.. *knew* that Duo was safe. He would know if anything had happened to the other boy.
A gut feeling one could say, and Heero smiled faintly, much to the astonishment of his forgotten audience. "Ryoukai."
The two boys struggled to keep their balance in the windy tunnel. Quatre had suggested that they try somewhere where Heero's element would be strongest and for other reasons as well, which he explained on their long trek.
"Why not at the palace?"
"I heard, from the Sisters, that no one can access Saiki, but I, and probably you, can. I'd rather keep this between us, and since neither of us have the skills for shielding... we need to be in a place where your powers would be the strongest. Then you can gradually start to try it elsewhere. It would help if you had a physical focus point." Quatre paused in his rambling to look questioningly at a rather stunned looking Heero. "Do you?" The Wind Dragon shook his head. "Ah, pity. The focus point would perhaps, with time and practice, allow either of you to manifest physically despite the barrier."
Heero listened intently, noting that the blonde boy was *much* more talkative and confident went talking about magic and was beyond the influence of the Temple. "How did you learn all this? Surely not from the Sisters..."
Quatre made a smalls face. "The Sisters won't even teach me the basic lighting spells, much less, " He waved a hand about, taking in the windy tunnel and their preparations for Heero's first foray into casting, "other stuff. I learned it on my own."
The prince nodded, impressed despite himself with the frail looking boy before him. There was obviously more to him than the Sisters, or even Sally, had cared to look into. He hesitated briefly before asking, "I have.. nothing to offer in return..." He hefted his practice sword, noticing the way Quatre seemed to lock on the weapon with a wistful, hungry gaze. "Except this... Perhaps, you would like to...?" He let his words drift off on a questioning note.
Quatre nodded enthusiastically, the solemn features melting into that of one more appropriate for his age, if such a term could be applied to either of them. Then, "The first step is to find a focus, seek out your memories..."
What color are his eyes
What color is his hair
Not one color... Rich brown threaded with gold, turning pale when the sunlight strikes it... a dully gleaming silver in the moonlight...
Do you remember anything else
His smile. Gods... they could warm a person, like no mortal flame could...
And Heero reached and stretched with his senses, feeling himself grow thinner yet expanding, searching... seeking...
Currently the object of Heero's mission, so to speak, was cursing his very pretty head off at being caught so easily, by a group of amateurs no less.
"Dammit! I can't belive this. Me, Duo, the bane of all merchants, fat men, and fruit stands everywhere, caught and hauled off like a common thief. Where's the justice?!"
"Duo. Shut. Up."
"Oi, Wu~fei! You're awake!"
A dry voice drifted out from the bottom of the jostling wagon, "Your voice could wake the Ancient Ones from their slumber. Get me out of here."
"Yeah, yeah." Duo hurriedly shoveled through the piles of hay stacked along the enclosed wagon until he felt something solild and yanked, *hard*. With a splutter, Wufei emerged from the straw, pieces and bits hanging from his hair, clothing... mouth.
"Thank you." Sarcasm dripped from the black haired boy's every syllable.
"Welcome, " was the obnoxiously oblivious answer. Wufei rolled his eyes and glared all around his surroundings. The two boys were trapped, wrists loosely cuffed together in iron, with feet chained to the floor of the wagon. All around them were piles and piles of hay. The 'prison' they had been shoved into..., well, Wufei had been thrown into it, being unconscious at the time, had bars on one end. The two boys could barely make out the landscape from the dark shadows that the night cast along the countryside, as the wagon, a mobile prison, made its way rapidly across the terrain.
"Where d'you think we're headed, Wu?"
He simply shrugged in response, Wufei didn't bother to correct Duo's shortening of his name. From his short acquaintance with the enthusiastic boy, he knew better to insist on something Duo was bent on.
"Ah well." Duo flung himself back into the straw, ignoring the drag of the chains and trying to ignore the unease that stirred despite his initial bravado. He had a bad feeling about this...
Wufei continued to stare out into the darkness, how was he to continue his search.... for something lost to him, something dear... He didn't remember what, or even who, it was, but the boy was sure he'd recognize it... her... He leaned against the cool iron bars, willing himself to remember.
Absently, Duo played with his hair, a neatly braided length that fell to mid-back as he watched Wufei from beneath partly closed eyes. *That* boy was a mystery, having a certain sense of dignity and aloofness despite being chained, imprisoned, and headed for parts unknown. Sort of admirable actually. The chestnut haired boy yawned and settled more comfortably against the straw. Man... nothing could be done now, he would wait until they arrived at their captors' destination and then, perhaps, Duo chuckled and smoothed down his hair, nimble fingers, despite the manacles, carefully searching for any tell tale lumps or clues that would show his impressive range of lock picks and "distractions" he had amassed. His hair might be a nuisance at times, but it wasn't *totally* useless.
And Duo drifted off to sleep, eyes fluttering shut, a gust of wind ruffling over his hair almost as if in greeting.
"Baka!!" Duo started awake, violet eyes opened wide, blinking constantly. Wha-?
A nasal, distinctly annoyed voice rang out through the darkness that surrounded the startled boy. "Baka. Idiot. Moron. How the hell could you have let yourself be caught like that?"
Duo blinked and blinked again, a trace of irritation crossing his normally cheerful features. He was feeling bad enough as it was without a voice from his thrice bedamned *dream*, which he had figured himself to be in, scolding him like this.
"The hell... Whoever you are, I *know* that already." Sulking a bit, the dreaming boy muttered, more to himself than to the disembodied voice "'sides I was sleeping, and they used some sort of gas or something."
"Hn. Baka." But the voice seemed more amused than annoyed now, and it was closer. Narrowing his eyes, Duo peered out into the dark, trying to catch a glimpse of...
"Heero!" The surprised squawk nearly sent Duo tumbling backwards in shock. It also *almost*, brought a smile to the other boy's face. As it was... Heero barely repressed the urge to laugh at the awkward way Duo was gawking at him.
So he remembered... at least in his dreams. Heero frowned a bit, still unsure as to the 'rules' and explanations with Quatre had hastily recited to him. Duo wouldn't remember any of this except perhaps as a memory, and the longer Heero remained he too would forget his purpose and lose himself in this dream.
Duo wasn't sure who made the first faltering step to the other, but the long haired boy was sure *he* was the first to reach out, hesitant to touch but needing to know. Heero's arm didn't fade against his grip, his face didn't disappear against his fingers, his lips didn't fade into the landscape under his touch. They smiled rather giddily at each other upon the realization.
"... Anything new with you?"
Heero let out a little laugh, feeling for the first time in a long while, free to do so. "This and that, this and that."
Quatre sat, cross legged by Heero's prone body, occasionally checking the other boy's vital signs. Travelling through the dreamscape was dangerous enough without Heero being caught up in his own dream. He huddled depper into his coat as the violent winds swept past their little shelter within the wind tunnels. It was cold. The blonde boy inched closer to Heero with a sigh, he wanted to see Trowa again.
Noin nearly fell out of the rafters as Hirde materialized behind her. She glared at her younger "sibling". "Present, don't you have better things to do?"
Hirde mimicked Noin's tone, "Past, don't you have anything better to do than gawk at blondes?" Noin flushed as the blonde in question suddenly looked up from his studies as if he sensed them. Hirde speculatively eyed the teenager. With the blood of his dragon ancestors, no matter how weak the link, it was possibly that the teenager could sense them. She stuck her tongue out at him, then shrugged and lazily floated behind the boy, peeking over his shoulder at the text which he was so laboriously pouring over. With a squawk, she nearly collapsed in an undignified heap on the floor.
"Noin!!" For once, she did use her elder sister's name. "Why does this little human have a copy of the Prophecy?"
The two entities glared at each other, one defensively, the other in shock, before Noin's gaze faltered. She lifted her chin ever higher. "I thought he should know about the prophecy, about what will happen."
"Idiot." Hirde practically spat out the word. "Do you even realize how much work was ensured so that *no one* knows... remembers the prophecy. How much power even Sally had to use to ensure that?"
"But they should know what will happen to their worlds when the prohecy unfolds."
Hirde tried to keep her voice steady, though her hands still trembled. "Think for once with your brain and not with that quivering bleeding heard of yours. This boy is under the influence of the Usurper. The one who wants to take over the world? Hellooooo? Meglomaniac?? Do you think *he* would stop at merely taking over this planet if he knew Erosu existed?"
"He should know. They should all know." Noin steadfastedly held onto that single thought.
"Oh!" Hirde threw her hands up in exasperation. "You and your hangups. Noin, listen carefully." She stared right into the older entity's eyes. "The prophecy will happen, whether you will it or no. Your actions... are just complicating everything. Let. It. Go."
"I can't." Noin looked down at the teenager once more.
The younger girl sighed and faded out as quietly as she had appeared. "Then be prepared to have your heart broken, sib. There's nothing more we can do."
The silent figure left in the room spoke quietly to herself. "But I can try... and hope."
"Oi, Duo. Wake up." Wufei hissed the last, emphasizing it with a firm nudge of his foot. The wagon had stopped, and their captors were fumbling with the locks. Probably soused thought the boy scornfully.
"Gaaaah." Duo woke abruptly, wincing as his attempt to stretch was abruptly halted by the chains. "Erk. So where is here?" Despite their situation, he had a complacent smile on his face.
Trowa sweatdropped as the sudden, gleeful cry abruptly ended with a thump. The stranger had been casually punted into the cell, flying through the air quite cheerfully before his flight ended suddenly with his face planted in the floor.
"Oooo... need to work on my landing, ne Wufei?"
Wufei, the black haired boy noted Trowa, was steadily cursing the captors, their family, their ancestors, and a few improbable conjectures concerning their assignations with certain barnyard animals.
"Heeeeeeey." Suddenly, the long haired boy popped up next to Trowa, "Hiya!"
He received a near fist in the stomach for his efforts. Duo simply danced out of reach, all the while grinning. "Oh, Wuuuuufei, you can finish dissecting their family tree later. Lookie, I've just met the host to our lodgings for this evening."
Wufei turned, eyebrows raised in question. There was indeed a boy with them. By the look of him, he had been incarcerated here for a good long while.
"My name's Duo. This is Wuuuuufei."
There was a long silence as the two boys waited for the other's introduction.
"Trowa." The green eyed boy spoke as if unused to doing so. Considering his previously isolated state, Duo wouldn't be surprised if they were the first to actually strike up a conversation with him.
"So umm.. Trowa, why are you ..." Duo trailed off, letting the question hang in the air.
"They enjoy hunting."
Duo sweatdropped. Short and to the point, gee how'd he always end up with the charmers?
"They? The nobility?" Wufei had caught a glimpse of the towering castle as they had been half shoved, half carried to the lower floors.
"Ah." Duo and Wufei briefly recoiled from the sheer force of hostility and malice in his voice. "They grow fat and rich and *bored* with the amusement of hunting animals. They prefer the more amusing hunt of humans, assuming that a few slaves will not be missed."
Duo swallowed audibly in reaction and Wufei repressed a shudder. Trowa answered their unspoken question. "I've survived this far by being the best, their favorite 'hunt'." There was no pride in his voice as he spoke calmly.
Suddenly the long haired boy laughed, breaking the growing tension of the moment, though the sound was a bit hoarse and forced. "Well, then Trowa. What say we give them the best hunt of their lives?" He casually whippped out all the various devices and picks from his hair. Long hair was more than just a vanity.
Damith felt his horse shift nervously beneath him as the night breeze sifted through the trees. They had decided to amuse themselves by setting loose one of the newer prey, the black haired youth who had put up such a resistance. The other two were securely locked away beneath the castle floors. He had been unsure in letting loose prey that was still fresh and had not been worn down, but Duke Dermail had been adamant. *He* was bored and desired amusement.
The young man sighed as his gaze drifted towards the trees above him. He caught a brief glimpse of glittering dark eyes through the foliage before darkness over came him. Damith never heard the satisifed cackle of his captor.
Wufei smiled grimly in satisfaction as he surveyed the trussed up nobles, ten in all. Duo was rounding up the last few strays. Trowa was pacing around the room, since his goal of freedom was almost at hand... he couldn't bear to remain still. Wufei couldn't blame him.
"Yosha!" Duo cheerfully rolled in the remainder of the hunting party and eyed his handiwork thoughtfully before flashing a V sign. "I still haven't lost my touch. Best knots this side of the ocean." He sweatdropped as Trowa continued pacing and Wufei continued staring out the window. His kingdom for an actual conversationalist.
"So exactly what do we do with 'em?" asked Duo absently poking the tied up men gleefully with a stick. That'd teach 'em to throw *him* around willy nilly, never mind that he had enjoyed the brief flight lessons. "Can we roll them tied up down a hill?"
"Can we stick 'em in barrels filled with honey and drop a few hives and THEN roll them down a hill."
"No." This time Trowa answered the braided boy.
Duo sighed in frustration. "Well, can we strip 'em naked and send them running through the town?"
"No, and Duo..."
"Do you *really* want to see them naked? Much less get close enough to strip them?" asked Wufei with an amused tilt in his voice. Trowa was slowly relaxing under Duo's inane banter.
The violet eyed boy eyed a particularly ugly specimen. "Good point."
"Don't I always?"
Duo twitched slightly at the smug tone in his friend's voice. "Yeah, yeah. Know - it - all."
"You.. you... Wufei you!"
Trowa sweatdropped and then cleared his throat. He murmured, "Are you two siblings?"
They both answered, "NO!" And then eyed each other suspiciously.
"Ah. So." A vague sort of silence settled amongst the three boys.
Duo winked, "Oi, Wufei, I think Trowa wants to know how we met."
The black haired boy noticeably reddened and muttered something vague which Duo took to be agreement. The other smirked, flicking his long braid back with a casual flick of his slender wrist. He settled into the story with all the gust and flair of a natural story teller, animated face, limbs and body expressive. Wufei's face and body, on the other hand, was set in stony resignation.
"So here I am, setting to nab this fat arse -faced merchant's money purse when this strange, dark haired boy, " Duo nodded in the boy's direction, "grabs my hand. First thing that comes to *my* mind is that this kid's just as hungry as I am, dirtier probably and smeeeelly." Wufei harrumped, and Duo went on not so obliviously, enjoying himself hugely. "And then he tells me, all seriousness. It is dishonorable to steal a purse." Duo set small fists on hips and demanded a bemused Trowa, "Now, you tell me what 'dishonorble' is. Here I am, a street kid, starving with no place to go *helping* himself to a little gold, which the overweight pompous idiot would hardly miss." Here the boy paused, and Trowa nodded, a little dumbfoundedly. Duo seemed to be expecting the gesture.
"Anyway, the fat guy suddenly screeches like someone goosed him, in his dreams he's so ugly, and starts yelling for help. He grabs Wufei by the shirt and starts shaking him. Like so." Duo grabbed hold of the back of his own shirt collar and made a choking/gagging face, all the while talking away. By this time, Wufei's face was beet red, and the boy seemed to find an inordinate amount of interest in a dry, miserable looking clump of weeds by his feet.
"This strange kid's spluttering and protesting, saying he *stopped* the thief." Duo snorted, a look of cynicism briefly crossing his face. "Yeah, like anyone's gonna believe one of *us*. So, I decided to help the poor guy out and stuffed a huge rat down the front of the geezer's pants." The boy paused here to snicker. "Heh... Never heard *anyone* that big squeak *that* high before." He seemed to be winding down in his narration. "So I grab Wufei by the arm-"
"You grabbed the back of my pants. Moron."
"Ahhhhh, you're right! " Duo surreptiously winked at Trowa. "Well, by the back of the pants then, and we break for it." The long haired boy made a little bow, snapping his heels together. "And there is the story of our first meeting."
"Are you *quite* done yet?"
"Wuuuufei, don't be like that. I know you really love me." He fluttered his lashes in imitation of a simpering countess he'd seen one day. Duo had also nabbed a lovely, heavy silver comb from her that day.
Wufei whapped him in the face with a burlap sack. "Hn. Do something useful and start gathering supplies." Trowa noted that his tone was one of affection, grudging or not.
What an interesting pair.
Eventually the threesome decided to let the servants have at the nobles. Considering the poor treatment they had received at their masters' hands, it seemed appropriate. Then the three boys made their way onto the road. Duo whistled and looked upwards at the clear sky above them. Hard to believe that a scant 5 hours ago they had been prisoners. Trowa and Wufei were walking to the left and right of him respectively, the taller boy obviously taking a deep pleasure in the scenery around him. His tattered and soiled clothes had been replaced, and each of the three boys carried with them a decent amout of supplies.
"Soooo, Wufei... Where're we off to today?"
The dark haired boy shrugged, trudging aside his whistling companion. "What? We need a plan?" Both boys then paused to look furtively at the silent one walking a bit ahead of them.
Trowa hesitated, then threw in his lot with them. He felt.. recognition, no, kinship with these two. "Ah. There's a little shelter up this way... We can use that."
Duo broke into an ear splitting grin but for kept his own counsel. Wufei quietly spoke. "Good idea. We should make it there by noon and avoid the hottest hours of the day then."
Eventually, the three boys were taken in by the Maxwell orphanage and spent three happy years there, becoming more like brothers than one would expect in from their different personalities. Then, one day, due to a pointless show of power on the part of a local duke, in protest of the king's support of a certain policy, the orphanage was destroyed. Wufei, Trowa, and Duo were away that day, at the next county's trading market. They decided to disappear, after burying their family.
Heero and Quatre continued learning sorcery and swords from one another. They both grew stronger and continued to visit their counterparts in dreams. It was always a bittersweet experience, one that was always forgotten.
Treize watched, with much sadness and a quiet sense of eventuality as his young friend, Zechs, was slowly influenced by his adopted father's ways. Eventually, the Usurper spirited the teenager away back to his stolen kingdom. The light haired man continued his studies of the Ancient's prophecy. The last part of the translations always eluded him.
And as they had always done, Sally, Noin, Hirde, and Dorothy, from wherever the blonde entity resided, watched the events of the next five years unfold.
And the two planets, Erosu and Saiki, gravitated next to each other, each bright star bathed in the others' glow. They seemed poised on the point of joining, waiting only for the legendary waking of the Dragons.
The boys would be 17 soon.
End Interlude 2 and the Interludes, to be continued in the Main fic "Tsuki no Uta" Geh.. I'm sorry for the cliches in this one folks -_-;;
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