Disclaimers: Don't own any part of Gundam Wing nor it's characters. It's a loan.
Warnings: Shounen-ai, OOCs, AU (what else do I write?)
Circle of Destiny
Duo didn't know where he found the strength, perhaps it was the myst aiding him and he pushed himself to his feet. He blindly ran toward the direction of the grove, with Trowa and Heero following him closely behind. He hand clutched at his heart, pain radiating from that area into every part of his body.
Everywhere, there were elves writhing in pain.
They're dying! Duo though in horror. The trees, they feel the fire burning! They are being consumed by the same fire! Do something! He yelled at the myst.
Their fate is tied to the trees, the myst reasoned annoyingly. Yours isn't. I can help you, but there is nothing I can do for the rest of them. They are no longer in the Forest.
He skidded to a stop beside a down woman. "Sally, Sally – Minuniel," he urged softly, turning her over. He gasped. She was the colour of ashes. "Wake up, please." Hot tears burned behind his eyes. He hated feeling so utterly helpless.
Her lips moved but nothing came out but Duo knew what she wanted to say.
"I will," he promisedly fiercely. "I will save them all!" He lowered her gently, and sped through the halls again. He burst into the back of the castle and ran down the path that lead him to the grove. He bit back a curse as he saw the strange orange glow lighting the sky. It was burning! The grove was burning!
A figure stumbled out of the darkened pathway, saw him and froze.
Relena, his mind processed. The guilt written all over her face told him exactly what he needed to know. Growling, he advanced on the girl and grabbed her arm.
"Why?" He grated out, shaking her. "Why did you do this?"
"I…" She gulped. "You shouldn't have taken Heero away from me!"
Duo was stunned speechless for a moment. "This," he gestured toward the burning trees. "This was because of some petty jealousy?" Unable to hold his temper in, he backhanded the girl to the ground. Hands caught him before he could do more.
"Duo, she's not worth it," Heero urged. "Save the trees!"
Trowa was already calling out for the able bodied servants to bring water to save the trees. Duo pushed Heero aside and grabbed a pail.
Heero glared down at the girl, who was now sobbing softly. "I know you are not a bad person. You wouldn't have been this destructive. But you have done something today that you have no idea the consequences. For that I will never forgive you. If anything happens to my people and the grove, I will get my satisfaction, even if I have to declare war on your father. Now leave before I change my mind about killing you."
Relena stumbled to her feet. "I didn't… Dermail… I'm sorry," she fled back into the safety of the castle.
"Dermail?" Heero repeated, stunned. "Dermail!"
Duo was thick in the trees, staring at the destruction in confusion. How could the trees light up so easily? The fire was spreading everywhere and with incredible speed. Whatever they were doing was doing nothing but delaying the inevitable. More servants brought more water but they were fighting a losing battle. He gritted his teeth in frustration, there wasn't enough weaves of Water in the air for him to create rain.
A small sound caught his attention. He spun, running toward it. Could be someone trapped in there?
"Where are you going?" Trowa yelled at him, grabbing at his arm.
"I heard something," Duo pointed, flinging the restraining hand away. He ran into the fire.
"Duo stop!" Trowa called out frantically.
Duo covered his mouth with the wet shirt he had been using, but he was still coughing. The fumes were stronger here. It smelled odd, the flames smelled odd. Then it hit him. He now knew why the flames were spreading like wildfire. There was something used, an accelerant of some kind. Duo's heart sank, that means no amount of water would help, it would just have to burn itself up.
I killed everyone, Duo told the myst morosely. You were right all along. Odin would be the end of our people.
This is not the time for it, Nefros, the myst admonished urgently. Save your recriminations for later. Do what you can. There is a way.
The myst said there was a way, Fire! He could reweave Fire. But how?
Duo was distracted once again by the same sound of scuffling and he ran toward that area. Wufei was on the floor, in obvious pain and almost unconscious while Dermail… Dermail was hovering over him, a knife in hand and a maniacal gleam in his eyes.
"Wufei!" Duo screamed, distracting the murderous man.
Dermail swung around and pinned Duo with an insane look in his eyes. "You!" He advanced to the long haired elf, the one writhing on the floor promptly forgotten. "It's because of you I lost everything! It's because of you the King sent me away," he growled tightening his hold on the knife and bearing down on the elf.
Duo swallowed, backing up a step. As an elite, he had hardly been taught to protect himself, not to mention the years he spent passive as a slave. He cannot use the Weaves on another living being for adverse reasons. He cannot kill with it. If he did, his right as an Elite would be forever taken away from him. He would no longer be able to see the Weaves. It would be akin to being blind.
"You did this?" Duo demanded, shocked. The heat was growing getting oppressive. Breathing was getting harder and the smoke was burning his eyes. He blinked ineffectually.
Dermail looked around the burning carnage and laughed. "If only you had been an elf, then it would have been so much better. Then I would have gotten you back to the King of Sanq, and I would have been restored to my position of power." His expression soured. "Not this pathetic job of being nursemaid to that spoilt little princess."
Duo felt a rage never felt before rise within him. "For power and your petty little pride? You are killing people just to make yourself feel important?" His fist shot out, catching ill-prepared Dermail on the jaw. The Man never expected Duo to move so fast. Elves did move faster than humans even though weakened by the death of their blooding trees and smoke inhalation.
Dermail reeled back, stunned at the attack. His eyes widened as the slave in front of him change, growing taller, his ears gradually elongated to delicate little tips. "You… you're… an elf!"
"That's right!" Duo advance, ducking at the last moment from the advancing knife and planting his fist into Dermail's midsection. "You've killed my people!" Another punch. He wheeled away, panting for precious air. At the back of his mind, he knew he should be doing something about the fire, but blind rage was overpowering his ability to think, as well as the increasingly thick smoke. His anger and guilt, finally having an outlet for release, overrode everything else in his conscious mind. A thick burning branch fell at his feet, startling him to jump nimbly to the side.
Dermail staggered to the side, both combatants seemingly unaware of the burning trees around them.
"Duo!" He heard Heero yell. He turned toward the man.
Dermail, seeing Duo's distraction, took advantage of that split second lunged forward and plunged his knife deep into Duo's chest.
"Duo!" Heero screamed, anguished, running down the path, dodging fallen burning debris. He drew his sword and made sure that this avenging beast was the last sight Dermail would ever see. He plunged his sword into the unyielding body of his former servant. He felt no satisfaction whatsoever in watching the life slowly bleed out of his eyes.
Duo fell to side, the shock of the attack rendering him breathless.
Master! The myst was resounding loudly in his mind. Duo could feel the power of the myst trying to repair the damage but he knew it was for naught. The knife had penetrated his heart. The only reason he wasn't dead now was because of the frantically working myst.
I am dying, Duo told the myst. The shock was slowly receding and he found himself gasping in agony.
No, you still have your people to save!
"Oh God, Duo!" Heero flung Dermail's body aside and ran toward the fallen elf. As gentle as he could, he turned the stricken elf over. His breath caught as he saw the knife embedded in his lover's chest. It was mortal. "No, Duo, please…" He begged, tears welling to the surface.
Duo was panting laboriously. The strength was being sapped from his very limbs as he felt his heart stutter, threatening to stop a few times. Each event such as this was bolstered against by the ever loyal myst. He lifted his hand to touch Heero's cheek, now wet with tears. This would probably be the last time he would ever see his beautiful face. Even covered in ash and sweat, in the darkened grove, it was still the most perfect thing Duo has ever seen.
"Hee…ro," he rasped, coughing harshly. The smoke from the fire was now choking everything. While he could hear the efforts of fire fighting far away, he knew it would be useless. He tried to find Wufei but every movement hurt.
"Shh…" Heero smoothed the messy bangs back. "You're going to be alright, you are going to be…" He choked on a sob.
I can't be saved, Duo told the myst, trying to cease its useless efforts. You said there was a way to stop the fire, to stop my people from dying.
The myst was silent for a long while.
Please, Duo begged. He could feel his life slipping away bit by bit. I have no more time.
If you had done it when you were hale, there would have been a chance. But now…
Please, Duo repeated.
There is only one way left to save us all. I will need to cease to exist.
That very thought appalled Duo beyond measure. The end of the myst would mean the end of Elfkind. It would be the end of everything he knew. But would it save his people from the horrible mistake he had made that perpetuated this horrific series of events?
How? Duo asked. He just wanted to badly to give into the siren call of darkness, but his duty and Heero's presence was the only thing keeping him here. If he didn't do anything, Heero and Wufei would die in this fire. It had already raged too far for them to escape.
You need to release me. With your magic, release me into the Weaves themselves. I would be a part of everyone, but magic would cease to exist. And the elves wouldn't be dependent on it any longer.
Duo was aghast, releasing a gasp that caused another string of painful coughs. Blood bubbled out of his lips as he struggled to breathe.
"Please Duo, don't die," Heero begged, sitting the elf up and wiping most of the blood away.
We have no choice, Master. I am sorry.
Odin really is the end of our people, Duo thought sadly.
Yes. The myst didn't have to explain the whimsical nature of fate to its Master anymore.
There wasn't a choice really. He needed to do this. He needed to save everyone. This fire needs to be stopped. It is spreading toward the castle.
I will try, Master.
Duo closed his eyes, much to Heero's distressed. He ignored the heart rending pleas of his lover and concentrated to find the core in which the myst resided within him. He felt terrible sadness but determination as well. This would be the end of everything Elfkind knew. They would grow old and die. They would live in legend and memory forever more. As a child releasing captured bird within his hands, Duo threw the might of the myst out of himself, out into the world as a whirlwind of power swirled around the burning grove. Slowly, the fire faded and was snuffed out completely.
Heero stared at the dying flames in shock. "Did you do this Duo?" He whispered to the figure he still held in his arms.
"Yes, I did," Duo answered in a surprisingly strong voice.
Heero whipped his head down. Duo was airy, insubstantial. And he felt like… nothing. The elf stood, a soft mist surrounding him. The soft wind that rose was as if blowing him away; his form fading and distorting.
"Duo?" Heero asked in alarm.
"I have to go now, my love," Duo stepped away from Heero, his expression tinged with sadness.
Heero reached for him only to reach right through him.
"Your Emminence?" Wufei asked, albeit a little weakly. He had felt such intense pain a while ago but now… now he felt quite well. And he was sure he should be dead. His tree was dead, he had felt it die. His other tree in the Forest was too far away to sustain him. But now…
"I have given the world the myst and not just Elfkind. Perhaps the world would be a better place to live in now that we all have something in common," Duo explained, fading slowly with every minute as the wind continued to blow. "Please tell Quatre I love him. And if I ever have a chance again, I would still love to be his brother."
Wufei nodded stoically, his dark eyes suspiciously wet. He knew he needed time to digest whatever Duo had done but he knew that the elves magic was no more. He felt it in his bones. He felt no particular loss though, since it wasn't magic that made him an Elf. Perhaps it wouldn't be that bad?
Duo turned to Heero. "I know this is rather anti-climatic, my love. But I was dying anyway. I love you, you know," he reached out with phantom hands to touch Heero's soot darkened cheek.
Heero nodded jerkily. "I will love only you. I will never love anyone else. Ever!"
Duo shook his head sadly. "Don't say that, Heero. You deserve a whole lot more in your life." He was fading more now, faster. "We might be able to be together now, but something tells me…" He was nothing more than an outline. As he faded out completely, Heero heard a whisper in the wind. "I will see you again…"
Heero fell the floor sobbing brokenly.
Duo Maxwell growled in annoyance running out to the platform and seeing the tail end of a Gundam flying away.
That idiot stole his precious Gundam's parts! His Deathscythe was no one's spare parts!
"Damn you, Heero Yuy!" Duo cursed. "When will you stop stealing from me?" He stopped for a minute wondering why he thought that. He shrugged the confusion aside. "Oh well, something tells me I will see you again." He turned and walked back inside.
There was a barest whisper as the wind swept past.
I am sure you will, Master.
AN: That's all folks. That's the last piece of fanfiction from Tsu. Tsu is now all out of plot bunnies. Thanks for reading. I loved to read your reviews and your reactions to my stories. It was nice knowing all of you!!