Now, here’s Duo again! After all this is my story!!! Okay... After a few weeks, we had all gotten used to our wings. We had learned, that they actually were there. All together, Trowa and I had knocked down four vases, two alarm clocks (one of them twice), about five or six glasses, and with my big wings I had succeeded in even breaking the bathroom-mirror. Don’t ask.
There was so much to discover in the higher levels of Yagen at the beginning, that it didn’t really occur to us, to take advantage of the new freedom and explore the vast lands. Finally, we did, though. Not without our weapons, of course. Trowa and I lightly flew over the wide space, exploring more than we had ever seen. Of course we knew what it looked like, we had a lot of maps and things at home, and one could overlook the deserts from the roof of our house. Yet, seeing it all real and close was different. We didn’t need to coordinate ourselves, really, Trowa and I had the same direction in mind: Always towards Cleeve Hills. Maybe we could sneak in?
We stopped close to the gate and walked by foot towards it. The Cleeve Hills looked huge in comparison to Yagen Valley! We carefully approached, and sneaked along the wall to the entry, squeezing ourselves through it in the shadows.
“Stop right there!” a voice demanded. I looked up. On top of the gate sat a white-winged angel, obviously relaxed. Not only, that I had never seen a Shouriwing before, and could not imagine what white wings looked like, in addition this angel up there was not older than myself!!!
“Shouri!!!” I growled in a most harsh way.
“Shinisoul!” he barked back. “Do. You. Want. To. Fight???” he snarled.
“Anytime with a white-wing!” Trowa growled at my side.
“Fine!” The angel jumped down in front of us. He had huge wings, almost as huge as my black ones. He was slender, yet muscular, had short black hair and looked very determined. His weapon was a sword. I remembered these looks from a description...
“Heero Yuy...” I growled, remembering the enemies name.
“Duo Maxwell and Trowa Barton,” he snarled, being as well educated as we were. Without me even taking note of it, we were dragged out into the neutral land. Now, don’t believe, neutral means ‘no fighting’... it just doesn’t belong to anyone. But here was, were the bloody war most of the time took place.
“You really think you can win against the two of us?” Trowa smirked lightly.
“He doesn’t have to!” another voice said, and another angel with white wings and a grayish shimmer to them fell down from the sky, next to Heero.
“CHANG WUFEI!” I yelled, heading towards him with my scythe.
“STOP IT RIGHT NOW, KIDS!” a harsh male voice yelled right behind us. I stopped in the middle of my attack and turned around. Treize was floating right above us, angrily glaring.
“They are Shouriwings!!!” I protested. “They deserve being ripped apart!”
Treize heavily let himself fall between us. His black wings formed a wall, separating us. His face was towards the enemy, but he spoke to us. “I have business with Milliardo. I don’t think it would make a good impression, if we just had killed two of their brats.”
“DIE!” Wufei screamed attacking Treize head on. Treize pulled out his fencing sword and hit the katana from the side, leaving Wufei unarmed. “You better exercise some before next time, Chang Wufei,” he said coldly and slid his sword back inside the sheath. Wufei growled and retreated, grabbing his katana.
“All of you, go home now!” he demanded. Trowa shrugged at me and we took off into the sky towards Yagen Village. There was no point in arguing with Treize, we knew that very well. Stupid leader! And I had thought we were supposed to fight the enemy! Turning around, I saw two white winged creatures take off in another direction, closely followed by Treize on his way to a negotiation... which wouldn’t lead anywhere – as always!
Life went it’s way. I happened to fight Heero once, in the vast land, though, but the fight was not serious. I couldn’t yet imagine to seriously injure anyone. He could, I guess, but I dodged his attacks good enough to be unharmed. The fight lasted for hours and we didn’t speak one word. Eventually, our attacks became only the mere try to bat the opponent. We were laying on our backs, panting, weakly trying to even stand upright. Both of us had their tiny little scratches, both of us were unable to strike or really make move.
“Tie!” I gasped.
“What,” he panted back, “You are already giving up?”
“No!” I protested. “I... still... want to settle...this fight with you...”
“Ha! Look at yourself... as defeated.”
At that point, Hilde, who had been searching for me, found us. She picked me up from the ground. I protested weakly, telling her that I had to win a fight, and that I couldn’t leave Heero like this. At this point a white wing appeared, the one they called Sally, as far as I remembered. She looked at Hilde, as she picked me up.
“Sally. Go. Take care of your portion, I’ll take care of mine. Children are not supposed to die on the battlefield,” Hilde said and turned around. The other one carrying Heero nodded and went her own way. While Hilde was carrying me, I sacked out into sleep. I was too exhausted. I was too weak, to understand, that white and black-winged angels could meet without fighting... just as Hilde and Sally had under the unusual circumstances.
The only one ever sneaking into ‘enemy territory’ was Quatre. I have no idea, what went on in that little brain of his, but he managed to sneak past our guards and into the house. Whether he was just nosey or what, I have no idea. It must have been a few months after my fight with Heero, when it happened. It should give the war a totally different meaning. Quatre is quite a sneaky type, I guess. His wings are as bright as the sun, but he anyway managed to get inside unseen. He had the bad luck to be caught by Treize in the corridor. Well, he couldn’t have possibly hid anywhere, not with these wings! I still don’t understand what made him do this, so unprepared, so young – he had no chance in the enemy territory, this practically was suicide. Don’t get me wrong – when it happened I had no idea of the meaning behind the word ‘suicide’ or even ‘death’. I was an angel, was I supposed to? However, when Quatre bumped into Treize, I was on the stairs and could watch them from where I crouched down. I really could not see much more than their feet, but it was quite interesting for me.
“Shouriwing!” Treize said harshly, Quatre was frozen on the spot. By then, I didn’t know it was Quatre, I only knew it was a white wing, for the white, shining feathers were visible from my hideout. Quatre gasped as Treize stepped closer.
“I don’t know how you’ve gotten in here, but you will see where it leads you.” There was a thud and the legs of the white wing gave away. Treize caught him before he fell down and dragged him away to his and Une’s room. I seriously wondered what would happen to the little Shouri. I immediately told Trowa that a shounen white-wing had entered our house and Treize caught him. We figured it must be Quatre. We knew of Quatre’s existence but we had never ever seen him before.
We sneaked to the upper corridor, trying to peek through Treize’s door, or listen what they would do with him. Quatre had received quite a blow, he might be out until the next day. It was already late in the night, but there was nothing from Treize’s room. It made me and Trowa all itchy not to know what was going on. We stayed until we had to surrender to sleep.
When we awoke, we had seriously forgotten about Quatre, until shortly before the morning assembly. We didn’t need to ask ourselves, what had happened to him- he was displayed on the stage, strapped to a chair, his wings taped to his body. He didn’t even struggle anymore. Despite his battered looks, I was immediately caught by his appearance. Not only had he the whitest and most sparkling wings I had ever seen, he also had the most angelic face, water-blue eyes and blond hair, with bangs almost falling into his eyes. I knew he was an angel, we all were, but he even looked like one! It was an angel, human beings would draw...
Trowa gazed at him in just the same way. All the others were pretty interested, but not as shaken by his looks as we were. They saw the enemy in him. Treize angrily went to his speech. He told the audience how Quatre had sneaked in and been caught, and he asked for suggestions to punish him and his clan for that.
First, there were a lot of little suggestions like “paint his wings blue” or “shave his hair!”, some of the mean kind, you know. But the ideas got more and more evil, from “fleece him, take all the feathers!” to “plain kill him, he deserves it.” When the most horrible suggestions came from my fellow clan mates, I was quite shocked. He was our enemy, yes, but he was a boy like me, he was a fifteen-year-old angel, and he looked damned innocent!
“Re-wing him!!!” was a final suggestion from a back row. Treize raised an eyebrow at the idea. “Quite a good suggestion, don’t you think? Tomorrow?” he asked coldly. Quatre obviously was frightened by the thought. His eyes flickered wildly and he grew pale. Re-wingnation... I can’t even explain what it means. Whatever they do, it makes you change the color of your wings. Blue maybe, or red, or yellow, or dirty brown, I don’t know. But whatever it is, it makes you neither a Shouri nor a Shini. Isn’t too bad, actually, when you still know where you belong to. But there are gates in front of Cleeve Land and Yagen Valley, only letting angels go through, and when you are re-winged, you are not counting as an angel. For Quatre, who had just gained his wings, it would mean, he’d be an outcast, and would have to live in the vast lands. Quite an unpleasant thought for someone his age. And it was quite questionable whether he would still be able to fly after the procedure.
“I all invite you to a re-wingnation, tomorrow morning, right here. For today and the following night, Quatre Raberba Winner shall be seated right here for you to take a last look at a white-winged boy.” Quatre closed his eyes, as if he didn’t want to be here anymore. He had to listen, anyway.
When the hall finally cleared, people passed the chair and the strapped angel, calling him names, and giving him horror-visions of the upcoming treatment. Trowa and I were unable to move. Somehow I understood the point, and somehow I didn’t. Quatre could not sneak in here unpunished, of course not. He could have found, I don’t know what... information, he shouldn’t have. He could have made anyone sneak in here, once he figured out, how! No, of course he had to be punished for all the evil he had done the last night. Maybe, he was not the angelic boy he seemed to be. On the other hand, re-wingnation? Wasn’t that a little too hard? I finally understood, that this war was no mere game – this war was serious. Really serious. Remembering all those hate filled faces, who still could scream at the innocent appearance of a boy, I understood, that there were only two ways. Either there’s a merciless war, or there’s none. No compromises. I tried to accept my relatives’ decision.
Trowa and I spent a lot of time outside. We helped with the fields, trying not to think whether what we were doing to the Shouriwings and to Quatre in particular, was right. A few times that day, we ended up in the hall, where he was still strapped to the chair. We watched him, never daring to come close. He must have been terribly tired and sore – who knew how long the ropes and tapes had forced him to sit in this upright position. I couldn’t even think about how he felt... people were occasionally walking up to him, talking to him in mean voices, and with mean words.
Trowa and I went to bed early, being worn out by all the work on the fields, and not really knowing what to do, or think about the blond angel. The strange situation was beyond our ability to understand or cope with it.
With a strange feeling, almost as if I was going to be re-winged myself, I walked to the hall with Trowa the next morning. We entered... and the chair was empty. Quatre had fled. Maybe, after all, he really wasn’t the innocent angel he seemed to be. Treize was pretty angry, talking about a traitor among us. I somehow felt relieved. I hadn’t looked forward to see any re-wingnation.
Indeed, I had managed to get away from the Shinisouls, having spent one day and half of a night strapped to a chair to the display of all Shinisouls around. Their words made me fear and cry... they were talking about being an outcast, about pain and about loosing the feathers of my precious wings. I knew what re-wignation meant. Everyone does. Some of the ugly black-wings were even plucking some feathers from my already battered wings.
The night was horrible. I hadn’t slept for ours, there were strings and tapes around my body and my wings hurt, and it kept me awake! I couldn’t move even one of my sore muscles, I couldn’t relax. I felt like crying because of the internal and external pain. The hall was dark that night, and here I was, a lonely little Shouriwing, who had just wondered, how easy it seemed to be, to sneak into Shinisoul territory, and to whom it hadn’t even occurred that something bad could happen to him. No, nobody would come and safe me... Nobody. They didn’t even know where I was.
I had been in the darkness for hours, seeing shadows move around me – probably a hallucination due to the fact, that I hadn’t slept for hours. But they made my stay quite creepy. The door opened and a tall, young angel entered. He had dark black wings, so he was none of my clan. Another one to tease me... in the middle of the night. Seemed these devils were never sleeping.
Something was shining in the boy’s hand. As he came closer, I recognized a dagger. I struggled to get free, fearing, he would just come closer and stab me. But then I realized, of all fates this war held for me, dying was probably the best. I had never even been able to grope the depth of this war. Now I understood completely... it was bloody and cruel.
The boy with the dagger came closer. I lowered my eyes and waited for the final blow. With one slash, all the ropes around me fell down the chair and onto the floor. With his hand he freed me of the tape on my mouth and my wings. All my muscles were in some sort of sleep and I just slumped forwards, unable to hold myself upright any longer. The ropes had left bloody streams on my white wings and my arms. The boy caught me just in time.
“Get out of here!” he said harshly. I looked up into emerald eyes. Emerald... I remembered a descriptive document... emerald... so this was Trowa Barton, one of the two new Shinisouls. I pulled myself to my feet and nodded. The long brown bangs hid his face in shadows. I made a futile attempt to fly, but I could neither coordinate my muscles, nor were my wings in any shape to fly. The feather-layer was totally out of order, leaving holes in the usually smooth surface, through which the wind could blow the air that was supposed to carry me.
Trowa came over to me and held me by my sore wings. I surrendered to the pain and fell backwards on my bum like a drunkard. He quietly wrapped up some of my most serious wounds and brushed over my wings to smoothen the surface with a soft brush. You know how angels feel when their wings get brushed... I couldn’t help enjoying it.
“Go now,” he said, after he had made me fly-able again.
“Why?” I asked, moving towards the window.
“Re-wignation is a sentence too hard for your intruding. I don’t want you to be re-winged,” Trowa stated shortly. I pushed myself out of the window, catching myself in the fall and fluttering around like a butterfly on my way home. I didn’t make it to mine, Heero’s and Wufei’s room, I admit. By then, I hadn’t slept for thirty hours, and my whole body ached. I collapsed on the lawn next to the lake, and was found there the next morning. I wondered why a Shinisoul would safe me. But he had... And when I finally had caught up with all the missed sleep, recovered from the ache, I slowly started to question this war. I figured, since it had always been this way, there must have been a reason, why things turned out as they did. For all I knew, the Shinisouls had started to attack and killed our leader from the ancient times, called ‘J’. They had demanded the Shouriwings to leave their home, and were still claiming it was theirs. So we were defending our grounds and fighting for the principles, I didn’t really know in all their depth. I didn’t know much about our tales. We never have been told.
When I met Trowa next time, I had already recovered. I met him on a hill in the neutral lands. I had been walking up there, just to enjoy the environment, by slowly wandering through the soft green hills. Even though the vast lands were deserts, they were beautiful. I usually used the time on my walks to rest my wings and think about the life I had in the Cleeve Hills. I kept thinking about Heero, who had grown one of the strongest fighters with his sword, in the last few months. The angels were expecting either him, or our brave friend Wufei to attack Treize Khushrenada some day.
Trowa, the black-wing must have been doing something similar to my habitual wandering-and-thinking, because I reached the top of the hill, and stood face to face with him.
“Trowa!” I tried not to sound shocked, but evil, ready to fight.
“Quatre Winner... so close to Yagen Valley again?” he answered darkly, pulling out his light-shooting gun, the weapon of the Heavyarms star. I grabbed for my blades. It was quite a pity, he had a long distance weapon and my blades were for close fighting mainly, but maybe I could use that to my advantage. He immediately catapulted back by a skillful flap of his wings, aiming at me. I threw a blade at him, scratching the black wing and an arm, which caused Trowa to fail his aim. But my wings were large enough to get hit anyway and I tumbled down onto the ground. Already, my left wing had been put out of order by a burning pain. The weapon he had was dangerous, even when it failed it’s target.
From my position I hardly had a chance, I could neither follow, nor flee from him, unable to fly, as I was. I sent out rays of heat from the blades. He easily dodged my weak attacks. He fired back, hitting my shoulder, as I jumped aside. The look in these emerald eyes was determined. Determined to what? I didn’t know, to kill me, maybe... I sent out more rays, missing him again, as a bullet of light shot threw my other wing. Leaking blood colored the feathers on my side. I clenched my teeth in pain and started another attempt to hit him with my rays. But on long-distance my curved blades, despite their heat-radiating abilities, were quite useless... and the pain made it hard to concentrate. I wondered, whether I anyway really wanted to hit that angel. I hadn’t figured out, what the sense of this war was, yet, and why the younger generations were still affected by ancient disagreements... but there had to be more. The adults wouldn’t let us fight, if it wasn’t about more!
Another bullet smashed my ankle, though only a little, it didn’t quite hit. I fell forwards onto my knees. In an angel-reflex, I crouched down and my wings spread above me like a shield.
“I GIVE UP!” I cried, when another bullet destroyed the lawn right next to me. I was afraid, I started to understand, what fright really meant. “Do anything...kill me... just stop scaring me!” I cried from under my bloody shield.
For a moment, there was dead silence. I felt the other come close to me. A soft hand rubbed over my wings. I pulled them back in surprise, staring into mild eyes.
“I don’t even know why we are fighting,” Trowa said. He reached out a hand to help me up, “And I can’t kill you, if I am not sure, I am fighting for the right thing.” I stretched out a hand and pulled to my feet, carefully, not to put weight on my injured foot. Once again, Trowa did let me go. Once again, I would have been dead without his help. I didn’t understand the world or the war anymore.
“Thank you, again. I missed to say that the first time,” I said. There was some sort of friendship between us.
“You better go, before we are found.”
I nodded and was about to turn around, when something pierced through my wing and into my shoulder. A breathtaking pain and a certain warmth spread over me. I felt like vomiting for a moment, because blood stuffed my throat. I turned around to see the attacker. A Shinisoul, older than Trowa, held his bow still ready to shoot, but the arrow had already hit it’s target badly enough.
Suddenly, Wufei flew up behind a hill, fluttering wildly, the katana stretched out towards Treint, the black Shinisoul with the bow. There obviously was a fight going on, and I had just happened to be a white-wing in the way, he decided to kill, while he was at it. My sight became blurry, I spat blood and my senses vanished.
To be quite frank, I had no idea what Trowa had gone through, when I returned from the fields. For me, it had been a quiet evening. I had been caring about our crops all day, the long chestnut-colored braid, I was almost as proud of as of my wings, was filled with soil and dirt, I longed to wash.
You can tell, I was quite surprised, when I found a Shouriwing in Trowa’s bed, instead of Trowa! It was Quatre, the intruding shounen. I was surprised, that he would come back here again. I considered either chopping his head off with my scythe, but figured it was not quite fair to a sleeping body, or tell Treize about his second attempt, to sneak in. I remembered the re-wingnation idea and dismissed that plan. I still didn’t want anybody to be re-winged. I wondered why Quatre, after intruding, would sleep in Trowa’s bed, though. It didn’t quite make sense for the enemy to sneak in and lay down in a room, sleeping peacefully. Now, did it?
It was for Quatre’s better luck, that Trowa entered, bringing bandages and band-aids. He ignored my presence and started cleaning the young angel’s wounds. Quatre only was in nothing but underwear, his blood-stained clothing was piled up beside the bed. Trowa was totally engaged in helping the enemy! I was bewildered, confused, surprised, astonished, and more. Whatever Trowa was doing, he had his reasons. He never acted without reasons. Despite of my usual nosiness and my current confusion, I decided not to ask him just now.
“Trowa, whatever has happened, I have no intention to question you right now,” I explained and caused him to finally acknowledge my presence in the room, “You can’t keep him here however. I don’t want to get in trouble because of your mental disorders. I give you one hour to get him out of here, and I don’t care where you take him to. Just note, if he’s still here, I am bound to tell Treize.” Trowa understood my thread, and nodded. I turned around and walked away. I didn’t want to have anything to do with this, really.
I left Yagen Valley and hovered over the deserted land, swinging my scythe in a playful way. Trowa could do whatever he wanted, I still was fighting my battle. I flew a few loops and jumped around the trees, waiting for an hour to pass by. I settled down at a faint stream of water and drank a few cupped hands full. Suddenly, there was another reflection in the water... On the other side stood nobody else but Heero Yuy.
I immediately jumped back and made my scythe ready for defense. He had his sword drawn, ready to slay me.
“Heero,” I snarled, “You haven’t had enough yet, have you?”
“I have enjoyed all of our twenty fights so far, Duo.”
“Really? I, for my part, have grown tired of your attacks.” That sent Heero into the air, trying to hit me from above. I dodged his attack, so it only hit the lawn. Flapping my wings I moved above him and let my scythe rush down. A metallic clang was heard as sword and scythe met. I tried to push him onto the floor, but he withdrew his sword, and moved back into the air. I stormed towards him, attacking the white wing, but he dived through under me. Just in time I could prevent his sword from ripping my torso into two by ramming the dull end of my scythe into Heero’s side.
He tumbled down onto the soil and rolled down the hill. A hand pressed to his side as he got up and started into the air again. I used my advantage to draw my wings back: Using gravitation, I dashed down from above him. The scythe connected with his wing, resulting in a large stream of blood and a painful scream from Heero. I cheered about my successful attack a moment too long: The sword hit my shoulder dangerously close to my neck, hardly missing the most important vein. I couldn’t really tell, but I think my collarbone burst.
I saved myself into the air, but Heero, ignoring the pain in his wing, followed closely. For a long moment, we only fought by hitting the blades against each other, not getting very far. We were both still recovering and assembling energy to start a serious move.
When I launched another attack, I found Heero caught by surprise. He had just enough time to put his sword in the way. The tip of the scythe rammed into his leg. I tried to attack right again, when someone bumped into me, falling to the floor with me. Me and the new attacker rolled down the hill together, my scythe got lost on the way. We came to a halt and I stood up, completely defenseless. I felt the tip of the katana on my back, ready to pierce my heart. Heero landed in front of me, laying the tip of his sword against my chest. He was panting as much as I was.
“Guess I am the first person getting killed by two people,” I said, forcing a smirk. Heero narrowed his brows, his cobalt blue eyes fixed on my purple ones. For a moment, nothing happened. I awaited death, and they kept me struggling. How ungrateful!
“Will you go ahead some time?” I tried to provoke them, “You have been prepared to fight for your cause all your life, it is time to reward yourself, or not?”
Heero’s eyes flickered over my shoulder to Wufei for a second.
“Here, come on, kill me!” I babbled on senselessly, “Death is what we are fighting about, and you win. You know what we are battling for...!”
Heero looked at me bewilderedly. For the first time in my life I could read the expression on the usually expressionless Shouriwing. The sword sank down next to him. His eyes turned to Wufei in an unsure move.
“You don’t know what we are fighting about?” I asked Heero straight away. He looked at me even more puzzled. He didn’t know... he had no idea what we were trying to kill each other for. Poor boy.
“Maybe you know, Wufei? We gotta settle this, so Heero-kun can eventually kill me,” I jested.
“You are a Shinisoul, isn’t that enough?” Wufei snarled, but the tremor in his voice could not be missed. I wondered whether I had a chance to get out alive. Not because I wanted to survive, but I wondered whether I could manage to get out of something that looked as much like death as this here. It would be quite a success.
“I don’t know,” I shrugged, “I have to admit, I have no real clue what we are fighting about either. Just like you two.”
“I know it,” Wufei said dryly. I swallowed some.
“Kill me, then.”
“I... I am not sure... whether what I know... is right... is all...” he stuttered. The threatening pressure of the katana eased. I took one step out of their middle, facing them both. There we stood, four fifteen year old boys, and wondered, what the hell we were doing. It was tradition to kill each other, but had this tradition the right to be kept up? There was a moment of silence. I wasn’t sure whether I should dare to go, laugh, or cry.
“Quite dumb...” I stated. Heero just looked at me. Wufei scratched the soil with his katana, his dark eyes fixed on the ground.
“I’ve got a suggestion,” I said. “Why don’t we leave this fight open, figure out what’s this war about and then we can kill each other?!” The suggestion sounded just as dumb as I had intended it to sound. I slowly turned around, walked back up the grassy hill and grabbed my scythe on the way up. I didn’t turn around. They could have stabbed me, if they wanted to, but they didn’t. I slowly walked home, my wings neatly folded on my back. I now felt the pain on my collarbone, once my concentration had eased a little – and it hurt mercilessly. Still, I couldn’t get the look on Heero’s face out of my head. This bewildered expression, as if he had never even considered asking himself, why we had been brought up with a hate on each other, what had happened in the past. And Wufei... He had been fighting with his inner self when the issue came up. In the moment, they could have stabbed me, they both hesitated, because we all asked ourselves: Was there really a reason to do this?
Whom could I ask? Treize would be my first address, I assumed. He should know why. All the explanations I had ever received from the others limited themselves to the mere ‘the Shouri killed Romefeller and stole our land’-thing. If this was a war, though, there had to be a much bigger reason, or why would it be a war, then?
I came to the entry of Yagen Valley, dragging my scythe after me. I almost bumped into the spirit Meiran. You see, Meiran was one of the few habitants of the vast lands. I don’t really know what spirits do, and I never asked. I got used to the fact, that she was some strange, transparent creature. I mean, visibly – you could see right through her, as if she was a ghost. Yet, one could tell, her eyes were dark, just like her long, thick hair. She actually was a good friend of both, the Shouriwings and the Shinisouls. She was nice enough not to speak about the Shini with the Shouri, and the other way around. Guess people liked her because you could chat away with her about other things than the war. She had grown a good friend of me and Trowa, too.
“Hey Meiran!” I greeted politely, as her transparent, gleaming shape floated up before me in front of my gate. “You want to come in to--- ah, oops sorry. Forgot you can’t pass the gate to the Valley!”
“Never mind, Duo,” she smiled, twinkling. “I watched you fighting,” she said.
I smiled some, not sure whether this was a bad or a good thing. I decided to at least make it look good. “Anou... I happened to come out alive from two armed white-wings, completely defenseless myself. I should be celebrated!”
“All three of you, should. Duo, you are my hope...” she said, floating closer to me. “Will you visit me in my cave? We’ll dress your wounds and I’ve got some interesting talking. There’s something I need to tell you.”
I was pretty surprised by this invitation, but I gladly took it. She basked me to come right then, since it was already getting dark. I nodded, and flapped my wings. There was a stinging pain in my shoulder, as I did so, and I noticed, I wouldn’t fly for quite a while - too painful. Maybe the slash on my shoulder had inflicted more injury on me, than I had been aware of in the first place. Meiran said, I should take my time walking over to her, and the bones would be taken care of, once I was there. Finding that walking did not hurt too much, I agreed. The dressing of the wounds could wait. As long as nobody touched or moved them, they were quite okay. I could live with the pain around my collar bone, I decided.
Meiran herself left me at this point, saying she’d come back in no time. I checked the sun, remembering her cave was situated in the east. With the rays of the sun in my back, I found a path which would probably lead me there. I had anyway no intend to go home. If there weren’t any answers to be found, any tales to be told, by Treize or whomever, I didn’t want to find that out right now. A visit at Meiran’s was always relaxing, just what I needed in that very moment.
I found the cave about ten minutes later and crawled inside the narrow entry. I moaned in pain as my wings scratched the walls of the passage. Since I had to crawl and put weight on my shoulder, the pain there returned, too. I gasped with every step I took. Damned blades! Really! If I had behaved like a real warrior and pulled away in time, after I had hit Heero, I wouldn’t have to deal with this now. I finally reached the larger inside of the cave, where a little fire was burning.
“Duo...” it was Trowa. On a blanked next to him sat Quatre, looking quite battered, still. The light of the flames was playing on his face, producing weird shadows. I coldly looked into water-blue eyes, but since there was no harm coming from him, and I still had to deal with my injuries, I decided to just accept he was there. And for Trowa’s sake, maybe.
“You’re injured!” Trowa said concernedly and moved over to me. Quatre was just staring.
“Don’t touch me!” I yelled harshly as he came close. I don’t know why I had grown so angry all of a sudden. Maybe it was due to the pain, maybe because I had to figure out how I could sit with Quatre in the same room, or maybe because I didn’t understand the world anymore.
Right then, Meiran came flying through the passage. A few shoving noises could be heard, before Heero’s head popped up in the cave, then Wufei’s. Great, now we were stuck with three Shouriwings in a cave, and I couldn’t even mind anymore. Heero snarled at me and Trowa.
“No... it’s okay,” Quatre said, “No fighting in this cave.” I think it was about the first time in my life I had heard him speak. And I hadn’t even realized that. His voice matched his innocent, young appearance perfectly well. Wufei and Heero sat down between me and Trowa, carefully keeping some distance to us. Meiran pulled out some bandages and tossed them in the middle between me and Heero. I made no move, but Heero immediately grabbed one and started bandaging his leg. I just watched. Wufei wasn’t really injured and let his scratches heal without bandages. Heero had some problems reaching his wings, though. It was quite interesting to see him trying to pull them into a position, which would make it possible for him to bandage them. Since they were attached to his back, he couldn’t really.
I grabbed the bandage from him. “May I?”
He looked at me in complete surprise, but I figured, no fighting in this cave meant peace from the ever lasting war. I could as well help him. He let me do that. I carefully grabbed one wing and spread it. Never in my life had I touched a feathery, white wing. It felt interesting, very light, almost fragile. I carefully cleaned the white feathers from the blood with a wet cloth and bandaged them neatly. Nobody spoke. They had been silent all the while. While I was working on the wing, Meiran sat down on the other side of the fire, next to Quatre.