First of all, I didn't think I'd need to say this, but due to one convoluted and confusing review I got, I feel that I need to remind everyone that Catherine Bloom is NOT an original character. Circus girl, remember? Okay, and that's all I'm gonna say on that or I'm going to start ranting about people acting smart when they have no idea what's going on. Blah.
I would like to remind everyone once again that this is the sequel to "Butterfly: To Protect". It won't make sense if you don't read that one first, so if you haven't...kick it into reverse all you gundamites and come back afterwards. If you've read it, yay! you came back! hugs. I want to thank my reviewers again, all like four of them, and hope you enjoy the story.
Standard Disclaimers and etc.
Butterfly: Black Wings
by: Banshee Puppet
Chapter One: Innocent Blood
The thing I hate most in this world is butterflies. Birds are pretty awful too—animals with wings, they're terrible. It's because just by existing, they're confirming their departure. You just KNOW they're going to fly away. It was the same with Wufei Chang, only I didn't realize it until it was too late.
It had been three weeks since Catharine Bloom awoke to an empty mask and a cold bed, and still she couldn't decide whether to cry or scream.
He hadn't left a note, or called, not that she really expected him to. He wasn't that type. It was just that it didn't make sense; she knew he loved her, and now he was gone and she didn't know if he was ever planning to return.
Michael sat down beside her on the bed. "Cat, you've got to get past this eventually. It's making your performance suffer. Manager is canceling your act until you're feeling better. We just can't risk someone getting seriously hurt."
"I know, Michael. It's just...I don't understand. It makes no sense."
"Ah, kit-cat. That guy seriously got to you, didn't he? But did you think he'd be a permanent fixture? He's just like Trowa isn't he? I guess it's only fitting that they're friends, meant to run free—untamed and untamable. All you can do is be here when he comes back to you."
Catharine got very quiet. She thought of Relena, of Hilde, of the way she'd always handled Trowa's returns...
But that was completely different. Trowa was like a baby brother to her. What she felt for Wufei was nothing like that. "I can't live that sort of life!" she demanded. "I can't welcome him home knowing that he's going to leave again, wondering how long I'll get to keep him for this time, wondering if...if this will be the last time that he'll return. Damn it Michael, I thought I'd finally reached him. I thought he'd finally started to heal."
'Oh Cat, he was healing. You healed him. Maybe that's the reason he left. Maybe there was nothing more to it than just that,' the tight rope artist thought with an internal sigh. "Why don't you take a vacation, hm? Visit friends. Trowa's on Earth right now, isn't he? I hear Venice is beautiful in the spring."
"He's busy," Catharine moped. She knew that he was doing important work for Quatre right now. He was running off with the young Arabian more and more often lately.
"Too busy to see you?" Michael asked gently. "That's not possible."
"You need some time away to heal too, Cat, and decide how you want to proceed. Don't deny yourself that much, at least that much."
Catharine smiled weakly at her good friend, but didn't answer the blonde right away.
As always, for a distraction he drowned himself in work. In this case, it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but neither was it particularly healthy. To be honest, he was beginning to understand why Heero was always brooding. Chang Wufei had never before realized how gray his life had seemed until he left Catharine behind.
"Wufei." Sally Po's voice cut through his thoughts. His partner—one might even go so far as to say his best friend. He wasn't sure. Before now, he'd never much thought about friendship. It was just that Sally made no sense to him and it seemed that he made even less to her. Regardless, they were symbiotic; it didn't matter one way or another, despite some bickering over trivial details they got along rather well, never staying angry at one another for more than a few hours. It had always been like that, since they day they met talking to one another was easy, even if they rarely said anything of importance. It was easy to mistake for love, but it wasn't love, not that kind—that kind of love was for...
He shoved the thought aside. "What?"
"It's almost time," Sally said sympathetically. "Are you sure about this?"
"Do you have a better idea? If we don't do something now, he'll only end up hurting more innocent people. Isn't our job to prevent just that sort of thing from happening? Or have I misunderstood?" So, he was a little testy. It was his first time seeing his terrorist of a cousin in years, and Lin Pao was already causing a troublesome reunion. The way Wufei saw it, if he wanted to be in a bad mood, he had every right to be.
Sally sighed. "No, Wufei. You understand it too well I think."
"What does that mean?"
"It means nothing. It doesn't mean anything. Forget I said it. Peaceful negotiations have never been your specialty, that's all."
Wufei glared at the woman, then shrugged his shoulders. He wanted to be angry, but she was right.
"I can do this. Now let's get going," he said.
"I don't need it."
Sally giggled only very slightly. "No, I suppose you wouldn't."
Lin Pao had already evaded them three times. He'd been toying with them. No matter what little nugget of information they'd gathered from whichever bizarre and unprecedented route(including one computer-hacking, maniacal genius named Duo Maxwell) Lin was always one step ahead. It would be no different now, Wufei knew as he disembarked onto the K-04 satellite repair station. He had to stay on his toes, especially since his own body was the only weapon left available to him. 'What are you up to this time, cousin?' he wondered.
Cousin. It had been many years since Wufei had called Lin Pao that—ever since the latter sabotaged Shenlong's construction in the name of peace, delaying the project by an unnecessary and almost fatal quarter year.
He had been infuriated by the man then. Slightly older than him and therefore supposed to be more responsible, Lin had been claiming to be a pacifist monk at the time. Funny, last time he checked, the only thing that real pacifists burned was themselves.
Lin Pao was not now, nor had he ever been a real pacifist. Relena Peacecraft, when she was calling herself that, she had been a pacifist, and maybe Chang Wufei couldn't believe in a pacifism that could save the world, maybe he couldn't resolve himself to the idea of a peace that didn't come from those who remain after a battle, a peace born from soldiers tired of bloodshed and civilians no longer desirious of fighting petty battles, but he could respect her for it, and he could respect her beautiful dream.
He couldn't, however, respect Lin Pao. Looking back now, Wufei understood that his cousin had never been a pacifist in the first place—that was only a tattered mask. He was a terrorist. He was a terrorist now as he had always been. He tried to force his ideals on those around him. He had been the exact opposite of Meiran. He didn't believe that Shenlong should be used, weapons of war to achieve peace. But at that time, peace had been the furthest thing from their minds; it was freedom they wanted. Then, and later, vengance. The vengeance would always be for Meiran, no, Nataku. But Wufei had disguised nothing, seeking his wife's justice, holding tightly to her memory, a death that would never have happened if Lin Pao had not delayed the gundam's construction. But Wufei was older now, and tired of placing blame.
A monk, though, Lin had been a monk. From the picture Sally had showed her partner of a bald-headed colonial with a cigarette hanging from lightly parted, thin lips, a pierced nipple and a large panther tattoo on his forearm, Wufei could easily guess that things had changed.
Lin Pao had been holding, with a group of followers, some twenty-two hostages on K-04 for the past seventeen days. He'd hijacked the satellite repair station, or SRS, and crashed it here on L-1, though there seemed to be little actually damage. Seventeen days. The hostages must be starving and terrified, and it had taken Lady Une this far, all seventeen of those days to get them this far, as much as the entire thing was against her better judgement. Lin Pao had finally agreed to negotiate, but only with Wufei, unarmed, and known to be the biggest hothead in Preventers history. (Okay, so it was a short history, that didn't change the young man's reputation any.)
Well, just because they were blood relatives didn't mean that Wufei had to trust him. He stared at the taller, bulkier man coldly. "I am wearing a wire, in case you try anything strange," he stated.
Lin Pao wasn't particularly bulky really, but in comparison to Wufei's sleek musculature, he was broader, more imposing to look at.
"Don't you trust me couzin?" he brought his hand to the center of his chest in mock hurt.
"Not even remotely," Wufei returned dryly.
"You hurt me, Wufei, really. We are family after all."
Wufei bit his tongue for once. People's lives depended on his composure. Lin Pao's reckless 'pacifism', the delay in Shenlong's completion, Meiran's death, the injury of seven engineers on the Gundam project, two of whom nearly died—if he wanted to place blame, it would be with Lin Pao, but Wufei was tired of vengeance. He just wanted to get this all over with.
"Are we finished with the small talk now, Lin?" Wufei grit out as politely as possible, which wasn't very.
Lin sighed. "But without small talk we have nothing to say to one another," he said emphatically.
"What are your demands for the release of the hostages?" Wufei asked.
Lin Pao simply smirked. "What hostages?" he asked innocently.
The bound men and women, on this cue, stood, ropes falling loosely about them, and revealed the guns hidden behind their backs, all now pointed at one Chang Wufei.
Lin Pao shrugged apologetically, though he didn't seem apologetic at all. "How's your friend Quatre, Wufei?"
All the young Preventer could think at that moment was, 'Oh...shit.'
"Just kidding!" Lin laughed, waving it off. "I hear he's on Earth right now. Lucky boy."
"What are you plotting Lin?" Wufei tried to remain calm.
"Hey, Wufei, let's go back to L-5, huh?"
'What?!' Wufei tried to be a reasonable human being, but right now there were all sorts of bells and whistles going off in his head that had no right being there in the first place. "L-5 is gone, Lin Pao," he managed out finally.
"Oh," Lin pouted. "But they must have left something behind for the survivors. Come with me to find it, Wufei—our heritage as the survivors of L-5."
"What are you..."
A heavy thud resounded against the back of Wufei's head and the last thing he heard was Lin Pao's voice saying, "Honestly, Wufei, you of all people should understand our work. The road to lasting peace is always paved with innocent blood."
Chapter One End
A/N: This is a very vague reference to the historical self-immolations of the Buddhist Monks in...I want to say Vietnam, but don't quote me on that.
A/N: Well, as I was typing this chapter up I was thinking: I've made a very psycho original character in Lin. He really seems pretty "crazy evil" doesn't he? That's unsual. Usually I make bad guys that are easy to relate to, like "he's evil, but it makes sense, I get how he turned out like this"...so this is different, but maybe I'll reneg on that later. I have the first three chapters of this story written and I work on the third while I'm at work, but I have to type, you know. Normally I'd write right in word, but lately I've been doing most of my fanfic writing at my desk at work. I'm getting a lot done this way, at least, and when I type stuff up I can pick up on most of the inconsistencies, so maybe this is all a good thing. I hope to type chapter two soon, and I hope you enjoy this story, though I have a fear that it will be boring in comparison to the first since it's more plot than banter...well, I'll try my best to write a great story.