No you're not losing your minds dear readers. This IS another update. Couldn't resist. I do hope you enjoy and a few things do have to occur in this chap to begin the next cycle so please to hate me too terribly much, I promise it won't hurt too much. I appreciate everyone who read and especially those who reviewed:
To Topaz: To quote what I said to my boyfriend when I read your review, "I have a very clever reviewer on my hands...I'm going to have to take her out!" but then he pointed out I'd be then losing a reviewer, so I'll not to that... Other that, I shall not confirm of or deny but will simply refer to you from here on as the Clever Dragon.
Rose-chan: That too, I cannot confirm or deny. Sorry to be elusive. The tying together is now on the horizon and I'm glad you're enjoying it. You guys deserve to be spoiled after my long hiatus. It's funny, I actually forgot I had Rei say that, I even went back and reread the chap I put that in. Glad someone remembered cause I sure didn't!
Anyways, I know Nerf is still out there, so thanks to you none the less! Other then that though, Jack and Chibi luv are making me hurry because they want to get back to reading MegaKat's rewrite of BDC, so without further adieu... we present to you...
You're My Kryptonite
Searing pain, a bone cracking strike against flesh, ignites the visible world in a rainbow of colors with a large pop of white and sense that ones head is about to explode. Breath labored under the force of the impact, the will to not moan in pain runs deep as another strike is laid just as heard as the first, causing the blur of stars once more. The taste of bile on parched tongue lingers with the blood well and caked at the corners of the lips and along the gums, the punishment having carried on far longer then most would ever consider humane.
Six days on now since it all began, or perhaps even seven, the days have blurred into an expected routine. Drug from the cell in the early morning hours, fed a glass of water and a bite of food to stay alive, followed interrogation, torture, and interrogation some more before late in the night being unceremoniously dumped back into the cell to recover from any inflicted wounds. Thus far little knowledge has been gained or lost as the frustrations of the captors mounts with each strike weighed on flesh.
Half delirious from lack of sleep and loss of blood, Hiiro's head hangs low as a new stream of blood drips from his chin. Having endured endless days of the same monotonous abuse, he leans slightly forward in the now familiar metal chair with his wrists cuffed to the seat back, the muscles of his bare arms ripple under the strain, having long since lost his shirt and collar in the initial interment of his person. He now sits solely in his white tank top and black slacks and shoes with Trowa's silver cross still hanging around his neck.
A day or two after arrival, they had unceremoniously ripped the ocular piece from his eye at the time leaving a raw welt but has since turned to a garish bruise to match the other riddle of bruises he's received. The most recent delivered as a fist connected to his temple and sending him rattling to his side, landing with a sickening thud on his bare shoulder with the chair in tow. Grunting minute, he sucks in a breath between his clenched teeth, unwilling to allow the enemy to get an ounce of response from him, no matter their efforts.
Burning inside, he barely has time to flex his fingers before he's roughly turned upright again, the bonds binding his wrists cutting into his skin and he can only imagine another bit of blood. The occasional drips from his chin have stained his shirt just as well, along with the sweat from the times they tried to break him with raw heat. No matter though, the defiance in him reflects like a towering blaze deep in his Prussian eyes. Raising his head with an excruciating strain of his exhausted muscles, he's just as soon rewarded with a bucket of icy water being unceremoniously doused over his head.
"You're looking tired Yuy, wouldn't you like to finally rest?" A long since familiar voice purrs as he shakes the water from his head, the last of the color in his hair running away and stinging his eyes as he glares back at the infuriating woman.
Snorting back a sneer, he holds his tongue, instead tasting the blood on his lips, "Hn."
"We told you before, Hiiro-kun," a second woman chides, earning a more vicious glare in response to her flagrant familiarity. "Tell us what the Desert Prince is building, and will let you go."
Mumbling incoherently, he pierces the oddly identical women with his eyes, earning frowns from them both and placing names for them in his mind, seeing as how they've not so much as divulged even that in the quality time they've spent together. Blue and Other Blue, he finds is fitting enough as he spits a stream of bloody saliva on the floor at their feet.
"What was that Yuy?" Blue asks in sarcasm, disgusted by his blatant act of defiance as so soundly present upon the once pristine floor. "I think you broke his brain. You hit him too hard." She teases the other woman.
"Nonsense!" Other Blue dismisses with the waive of her hand before picking up the black leather jacket of his that they'd haphazardly flung over a nearby console a few days prior. Stalking towards the infamous perfect soldier in his sorry state, she casually dips her hand in the jacket pocket, pulling out a small bauble before tossing the coat away and leaning down to look him square in the eyes and dangling the familiar keychain before his eyes, noting the instant change in his eyes. "She must be special."
"She's nothing," he hisses darkly, straining against his restraints without concern but his battered flesh.
Laughing in delight, both women share a knowing grin, intrigued by the new response from the frustrating man in more then a week. Not uttering a single word between the pair, Other Blue moves further into Hiiro's personal space, forcing him to lean back as she straddles his lap and hooks the little token onto the chain he wears and beside the cross. Satisfied with her work, despite the scorching glare trained on her, she smiles once more and moves to caress his cheek, only to have him jerk away in disgust.
"Wouldn't want lover girl to worry you'd lost her gift," Blue coos, circling around behind the restrained man, whisper in his ears, her lips linger a bit to close for his liking. "If you tell us where to find her, we'll be happy bring her to you."
"Or maybe we could deliver a message," Other Blue says with a pout, shifting her hips to get more comfortable as she drapes her arms around his neck. "Wouldn't want her to worry her pretty little head."
Sinking back into his own conscious he locks his jaw defiantly, ignoring the woman's indecent display in attempt to rile him up. Keeping his gaze distant, he only moves the slightest when the pair of terrors overstep their bounds of contact in effort to lure him into submission with a uncouth kiss. Instead he levels the offending woman with a head-but her forehead, sending her falling from her lap, but quickly receives a punch to the side of his head, courtesy of the one called Blue.
"Look what you made me do," Blue pouts, looking over nails for sign of any breaks before chastising their guest. "First, we invite you into our home which you decided to be a disagreeable guest. Then we just wanted to chat about your friends and you chose to be grouchy instead and even soiled our floors. After that, we even offered to send your regards with the utmost of importance to your darling...and you decide to be incorrigible instead and hurt my sister who was only trying to play nice."
Seeing stars for a moment again, Hiiro grimaces again before spatting another mouthful of blood. "If you're so good at infiltrating the colonies, you can find out what you want with out me," he condemns, emphasizing that no technique will make him talk, challenging the women's confidence.
"You wretched man!" Other blue seethes from her seat on the floor, wiping a pale hand beneath her freshly bleeding noise. The crimson red garish against her porcelain skin. "You broke my nose!" Screeching at the top of her lungs, she jumps to her feet and lunges at him with fist balled, striking him soundly with a force strong enough to knock him backwards to the floor.
His head striking the floor, Hiiro groans against the fresh spinning in his head. The image blurring and twisting, he barely registers the two blue women standing over him and a few final words ringing before all falls to black. "I guess there's only one method left to try..."
Standing idly beside a rickety old door, it's paint peeling and littering the ground but fitting a little too perfectly with the surrounding district, Wufei watches a row of buildings across the street from where he stands with the most minute of interest. Still wearing his well worn trench coat and brimmed hat, he finds the colony very different by daylight compared to four days earlier when he first stood at this corner before crossing to the Moon Light Pub which he frequented each night after.
Chewing on a toothpick to quell his irritation, he bites back a curse as the scene before him comes to a depressing close. Having slipped from his stool of choice some time around one last night and with a hands count of beers in his blood, he staggered to the grimy motel he'd settled into some days ago, having once again not found the contact he was here to meet nor even happened upon that peculiar child who'd haunted him his first night. But all is different now as he spits his toothpick to the dirty ground and turns his back one last time to disappear into the old alley which he original came through.
Behind him though, upon the foundation of the quaint backwater pub, stands nothing but a pile of cinders and ash where the building had stood. Shortly after the grouchy pilot had taken his leave with a slight nod to perky blond, the district became a buzz amidst a raging inferno. Seven buildings damaged and four more leveled to the ground, the blaze appeared to have started in the kitchen of his new favorite drinking hole. Chaos ensuing as fire crews rushed from around the colony at a more then obscene hour, the immediate block now stands cordoned off under the police yellow tape. Twenty-two people died last night and still now sign of the happy woman from behind the counter.
Tired from the effort involved in searching for nothing, Wufei considers giving in and heading home as he takes a slow stroll across several lengths of buildings, the remnants of last nights alcohol finally burning off. Entering another secluded alley in route to the park in front of the government building, he sneers at a couple who are getting a bit to friendly in public for his own personal convictions as he evades agilely and shoves his hands deep in his pockets, feeling the smooth metal of his gun in one and the crinkle of paper in the other.
Crossing the busy road and falling under the shade of the park's tall maple trees, he slides up to the first bench he finds along the walking path and takes a seat, slipping the paper from his pocket and recognizing it immediately as the flier shoved into his hand the night he arrived. Blue and wrinkled with a lousy printing job, he notes the emblem of the scientific community amidst the embellished writing, announcing a local event.
"The International Inventors and Innovators Fair...October fifteenth to the nineteenth," he reads aloud, his charcoal eyes tracing the pictures of the five showcase pieces of this years event. Noting the names of some of the guest speakers, his eyes snap back when he looks back to the center picture of a prototype shuttle which is set to be unveiled today.
Balling the paper once more, he rises to his feet and takes off in a new direction, tossing the wad of paper into an open storm drain as he makes his way towards the space port hub and the convention center conveniently placed right across the street.
The waining crackle of the once lively fire pops in the room, accenting the shadows cast and relative darkness through out the space and beyond. Sparking embers dance together as they burst in their glory within the cinder hearth like fireflies in the wafting stream of smoke as it curls it's way from the whithering remnants of the hickory logs.
Curled on a large cushion, it having been dragged into the communal room several days before, Rei slumbers peacefully, lulled by the hypnotic wisps and flames. Having tried for endless hours to make headway with the flame, she finally become to the calls of sleep, another member of the household covering her thin form with a blanket, careful not to disturb the scattered dishes and cups the litter the space around her. A mysterious air vibrates around her, the glow of the dying embers enhancing that glow of her skin and the slight twitches of her muscles as she wages war with her dreams.
So lost in the dream she is when a sudden grimace creases her lips and her face twists in agony, a pain so severe she cries out from her sleep and grasping her chest. Breath suddenly heaving and heart pounding like a thunder god, her eyes fly open wide as she grapples to steady her thoughts. Sitting up like a bolt, barely steadied with one arm, the once comforting blanket pools around her slight waist as she grips the cloth over her heart as she feels a searing pain. Hair wild like the looking in her eyes, her raven locks cascade around her like a wave as the sparking fire finds new life.
Trembling from the power of emotion and the sensations coursing over her lithe form, she forces herself to swallow back the taste of bile as she exhales a slow and steady breath before a new energy tingles across her skin. Knowing the feeling all to well, she snaps her head up to take view away from the flames. She's not alone. Brow furrowed and lips pursed, she eyes the odd man as he sits cross-legged among her maze of dirty wares. Dressed only in black shorts and gray tank, his normally jovial face shows his expression in an abnormally thin line and the fire casting a different light to his cobalt eyes.
"Duo..." Rei tries his name, realizing to well she doesn't have the energy to run or scream.
Finding himself unsurprisingly caught, the braided pilots lips curl just the slightest as he brushes his bangs from his eyes, the light not quite reaching his shining orbs. Having been unable to sleep himself, bored with his two main victims away, he decided to part take in a game despite the ridiculous hour. Certain not to rouse the rest of the house, he snuck through the halls and into the TV room and sliding the door closed with a muted click, only to be surprised to find the raven haired miko asleep on the floor. Unable to ignore her shivering form despite the then raging flame, he covered her gently and dampened the hearth.
It didn't take long as he sat in the dark when he watched her begin to stir, obviously tormented in a way no one should need to know. And thus when her eyes fell on him, a question sprung to his mind before he knew he had asked, "Can we talk?"
All that she believed true held in question since the moment she was dropped on this plane, a numbness lingers in her body as she barely can signal a nod. The uncharacteristic look on the exuberant man, screaming to her that something important has weighed on his mind. It's in that same instant she realizes she'd not really given him much of a chance, outside of his ability to humor her friends. The flicker of a grimace on his own angular face is highlighted by the last of the fire, much to his chagrin.
"What're your intentions?"
Singing a song together as they skip through the first snow of fall, holding hands as the fluttering flakes dance around them in harmony, it doesn't really matter that it's so early in the fall or that the snow will simply melt away. The shoppers and keepers are easily infected by the mood as the change in season lightens the energy of one and all. Shopping bags swing in their grasps as they navigate their zigzag path along the bustling Juuban strip.
The irony of celestial neighbors doesn't occur to the companions as they make a bee-line for the next store on their list. Grabbing the colorful door to the adorable shop, Makoto holds it ajar for the energetic senshi of Saturn to bounce on through, followed by the more subdued guardian of time. Each of them with a reprieve from work and school, the lavish toy store spread out before them is the change in scene they realize they need to dig themselves out of the morose vibe they'd all been suspended in.
Bouncing across the rows of toys, enroute to a wall full of plush toys, Hotaru kicks up her heels and drawing laughs from her friend and her adoptive mama. Her delight compels her to nearly drag down a shelf full of plushes as searches for the perfect cuddly specimen she's picturing in her mind.
"Hotaru-chan, you have plenty of time til Christmas," Setsuna laughs lightly, the sound so rare on her lips, as she follows behind the other two and occasionally picking up toppled toys. "You don't have to buy all your gifts in one day."
"She's been saving her allowance since summer, Sets," Makoto chides, taking the young girls bags as she half scales a couple shelves before grasping her prize from the second row from the top.
Feeling a touch out of place but slowly warming to a life outside of the gates, though that lingering sense of pessimism makes her desperate to know the happenings on the other side of the door, Setsuna can't help but to be warmed by the little girl who at one time they were desperate to kill. The passage of time feeling so different under the Tokyo sun, she kneels before her young charge as she looks through the dozen or so critters, the thought occurs to her that they were still feeling the heat of summer when this trial had begun.
"Hotaru-chan," Makoto murmurs her name, catching the girls attention with the raise of her brow as she too kneels on the floor. "I thought we were getting gifts for everyone else."
Finding the plush she'd been hunting for, she clutches the soft animal in her arms, pouting a bit that they should think she lost track. "I am," she insists, holding the toy out as if to prove her point. "What if Rei-chan should be back for Christmas and we not have anything for her under the tree?"
"That..." Makoto stutters, having not even considered the fact, "is a very good point." Taking the plush in her delicate hands, she looks it over thoughtfully, before showing Setsuna the peculiar choice.
"A hedgehog?" Setsuna asks, curious if the Miko wouldn't prefer a raven or hawk.
"No!" Hotaru chimes, shaking her head, causing her midnight hair to ripple like waves. "It's..."
Sirens blare through the colony as all stations are set to red alert, locking down all channels of entry and exit, not to mention every building across the complex's crescent shape. The police and preventer agents tasked with the citizens safety, already distracted by the late night fire, set to work on the long and exhausting search of every inch of the colony and the eventual interrogation of every soul in their sector. The sheer enormity of raiding over ten-thousand buildings and questioning of over forty-thousand persons of interest, is staggering enough to make the most seasoned veteran's head liable to spin.
Comfortably seated in his soft leather chair, Wufei rests his eyes as he listens to the radio-speak as the agents work in earnest to unravel the crime. Vaguely interested in methods deployed the moment the heist went down, he notes the squeak in the voices of the rookies in stark contrast to the more experienced few. Commands and codes filter endlessly in a confusing jumble as agent after agent reports in building code followed by an eminent all clear.
Shaking off the need for sleep that beckons him like a drug, he glances around the small two seat alcove, memorizing the switches and levers before bringing the engines to life. Hovering in open space a good half a klick from the colonies port that he passed through in the late hours of the night, the shuttle he commandeered hums like a musical score. Sixty feet long but narrow across, the shape of the wings and hatch on the back, beckons recognition in the advancements from the old way of building space craft. The pilot of Altron can't help to be impressed by the unique setup of the airlock and hatch even, not to mention the clever reflective skin coating the entirety of the hull.
Having never met up with his contact after a weeks worth of searching, he decided to visit the fair in hopes of finding something of interest before finally heading home. It was more then twenty minutes after his arrival in the conference center when the first of a series of alarms sounded throughout the district. A body had been discovered in a secluded section of the expansive public park, half hidden among the hedges obscuring a long forgotten passage from the fourth ward to the third. Mid to late thirties, male, and a veteran of both ends of the wars. He can't help but curse the fact that the man was dead within hours of his initial arrival, his efforts of searching ultimately reduced to naught.
The entire trip wasn't a waste though, he realizes, after much mulling over whether or not to have faith in the words spoken, that he must trust in a child. The engine is import though he's yet to find out why. The only regret he can find is the bar which was unceremoniously burnt to the ground, it's comfortable atmosphere despite the aging condition, he could have gotten very used to it if it were in a place he'd want to call home.
Checking his harness that it's well and secure and course plotted carefully and the plan on the main display, he engages the thrusters, moving slowly away from the colony before pressing the engines to full. Counting the minutes before it's safe to fire away. He reaches for his drink, just as a flutter of color catches his eye. The flicker having not been there before, wedged between the flight screen and the stick throttle, he leans forward to pluck the tiny item from it's hiding place.
A little bigger then a quarter and thin as a hair, the deepest shade of scarlet and as fresh as the minute it'd been picked, he turns it over in his fingers taking care not to damage it's delicate form. Minute shimmers of gold glint under the overhead light as he smooths his thumb over it, noting it's velvety feel. A memory reminds him of that horrible day in the bloody field, he knows then and there exactly what it is, though not sure how it could be so perfect nor how it got into the cockpit of the shuttle. The petal of a rose.
Head spinning amidst a high pitched beeping sound, followed by a deep rumbling sound that can be felt through every fiber of the body, the air has a hot and stuffy feel as the world slowly comes back to light. A long night having wound on until finally falling unconscious in the cold corner of his cell, the lingering ache of his week long captivity radiates across his form. Not remembering the last time someone put so much effort into torturing him, Hiiro slowly opens his eyes to level on his most recent change of scene.
Arms no longer bound but still slumped in that rickety old chair, he finds the effort to raise even his hand to be staggering, certain that he was probably drugged. Viewing his hand, he soon realizes he's since been stuffed in a space suit, explaining the quality of the air and the warning beep he's heard as an alert flashes on the inside of his helmet telling him he's less then ten minutes of air. Knowing the suit is firmly sealed, he chances a look over his shoulder where the rumbling has slowed to a lull, to find his back to the open blackness of space.
Having been drug from his room at the wee hours, dressed and forced into the suit, he was sedated and perched in the chair he doesn't remember since when he started considering it his own. Barely the width of his hand separates the gap between the back legs of his chair and the wide open chasm of the hangar bay where the colonies shuttles arrive and depart.. Heart thudding sharply, the beep sounds again now with only nine minutes left. Groaning inwardly, he wills the drugs to subside when a mocking laughter cuts through his thoughts.
"It appears I lost the bet...he woke before his air ran out," Blue chides as she steps into his line of site, along with her companion, both dressed in their own pressure suits.
"Too bad..." Other Blue comforts in jest, pouting her lips as they stop within five paces of the perfect soldier, reveling in his weak attempt at a menacing glare.
Breathing slowly to lax his pulse, Hiiro grits his teeth, allowing only a grunt to pass his lips towards the women before him. Focusing his thoughts, he makes note of how many minutes he has left to think.
"During days of old, when true Sailors sailed upon the open seas," Other blue begins, cutting through his thoughts. "When a stowaway would be found upon the ship, the Captain would keel-hull them by making them walk the plank."
Eight minutes flashes on Hiiro's visor as the sharp pitch momentarily makes him wince.
Blue's voice carries on, "In the age of space, we starting calling it jettisoning, or slang was simply to space."
Knowing it will burn pressure air but willing it none the less, he presses his body to every so slowly stand, feeling the exhaustion in each of his limbs as he finally rises to his full height. Barely on his feet and out of breath, he levels his gaze back on the pair, realizing for the first time that he trumps them by at least half a foot. "What's your point?" He demands, already used to the women's infernal habit to talk in circles.
"Give us the location of Quatre Winner," Other blue chuckles wickedly, feeling his life within her grasp. "And we'll give you oxygen."
"Find him yourself," Hiiro snaps as the seventh minute flashes before his eyes.
More frustrated then her friend, Blue tires of the easy course as she moves in front of the fabled pilot, crossing her arms and jutting out a hip, despite the suit she wears. "You're in no position to barter any more. Give us the access to Lagrange four and we wont space you."
A dry laugh passes from Hiiro's lips, noting their desperation is clouding their logic, "You're going to space me anyways. You've taken hold in each point but ours. If you want in, do it yourself."
"Listen here Yuy," Other Blue scoffs, striding forward and shoving him in the chest, causing him to bump the chair which floats out of the bay. "We know Winner is up to something and he's erected a field around Lagrange four. Give us that power and we'll leave the colonies in peace."
"You've lost your mind," confused by her claims of a field, he doesn't let it show, using every ounce of his energy to remain up right but feeling the drugs slowly wain, starting at the tips of his fingers. Only six minutes left.
Growling in Frustration, Blue clenches her fists, tired in her own right with the endless lack of information from the stubborn man. "Tell you what," she finally compromises, taking a calming breath. "We'll give you a two months to present us with the power source and drop your wall. If you don't...our suits will mobilize and we'll take it down by force."
"There is no wall!" he finally shouts, as the creeping release of the drug finally makes it past his elbows. "Quatre's not behind anything. You've deluded yourselves into thinking anything different." Five minutes blinks on his visor as the heat in his becomes more uncomfortable.
Shrieking in rage, fueled by the constant denials that they know for fact, Other Blue charges at him and slamming him in the chest, despite Blue's attempts to restrain her. "We've been trying for nearly two months and every time we're blocked! You can't lie to us."
Unable to move his shoulders, Hiiro finds himself stumbling under the force, trying to maintain standing on his feet. The strength of her hit too much for the lack of gravity, it's only a fraction of a heart beat before he finds himself propelled out the door.
"Now look what you did," Hiiro hears Blue scold as they watch him drift away, in time for the fourth minute to flash before his eyes.
Drifting quickly with no friction of air to slow him down, Hiiro tries to calm his breathing, know the air can only last so long. The racing of his heart pounding in his ears does little to help as he tries to devise what he can't with so few minutes of air left. Feeling now making it's way back up to his neck, he searches his suit for a beacon or radio but deflated again when he finds the suit is only built with the communicator back to the insufferable women.
Three minutes remaining.
Considering the chance to propel himself back to the colony, hope is dashed as the bay door slowly closes as the two women continue to watch. On the verge of giving in, he presses his eyes closed, as a memory registers as he slowly takes a tiny breath, just enough to prolong his time to be alive.
"My Mommy used to say, when you're scared, you should always count to ten."
"Were you scared?"
"Nah...but you might be."
Two minutes remains on his supply as the beeping forces him to open his eyes, the colony diminishing in size quicker then one could ever want. Inhaling through his nose, and slowly out between his lips, he curses silently at all battles won and more battles lost. The distant stars fill the view in his visor as he leans his head back.
"Then what do you want?"
"I want you to count to ten."
One minute remaining.
"To make sure you can count to ten."
Tired and desiring, only to rest, he closes his eyes and allows his body to relax, deciding to count since it's all he has left. "1...2...3..."
"Be you've been weighed..."
"4...5...6..." he murmurs the words aloud, his throat feeling hoarse. Hot and dry.
"You've been measured..."
The numbers choke from his throat as the pressure becomes unbearable. "7...8...9..."
"And you've been found worthy."
The last of the air rips from his lungs as the last number tears from his lips. "10."
"Worthy of what?"
Soooooo... Please don't shoot me!
But seriously, I hope you guys enjoy this chap and that I didn't make you wait to long. The first half was really fun to write, but the rest was a struggle but forced myself through.
But oh no, poor Hiiro! What's going to happen next? IS HE GOING TO DIE?
God I hope not...
Anyways, tell me what you thought and I'll have the next chap ASAP. I probably won't be able to start on it though until Saturday since I lost a challenge at work and get to spend all tomorrow morning cooking dinner for everyone else.
Anyways, hope you liked and look forward to one of my fav scenes being staged next chap. It's actually one of the very first things I wanted to insert when I started this fic back in the day and with that thought, until next time...