Title: Never Say Let Go
Author: Skeren Dreamera and Hoshi-Tachi
Spoilers: All the way up to book four, and some from book five, not to mention most of the GW verse
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, though I'm the one that says what happens to them.
Feedback: Skeren Dreamera: mickeofas(at)yahoo(doc)com, Hoshi-Tachi: koukennin(underscore)kaze(at)yahoo(dot)com
Warnings: Time travel! The Death of Heero.
Notes: Draco isn't a prefect in this story, Theodore Nott is
"He isn't coming back, you know." The soft voice came from just behind Duo's shoulder, as he knelt in the dirt. "There isn't any way for him to come back."
"You're lying! Promises mean something, and he promised he'd get better!" Duo's voice was a pained hiss as he turned his head to the side, glaring beyond his shoulder to where Trowa leaned back against the lone tree in the cemetery.
"He never got better, though, did he Duo? He's gone. There isn't any coming back from that place." Trowa pushed away from the tree, resting his fingers briefly on the other teen's shoulders before he flinched away.
"Yeah? Well, I'll find a way. You just watch me." His voice had changed, icing over in determination. "You just watch me find a way."
Trowa just shook his head, letting Duo deal with his grief. He'd just lost his best friend, and he was almost certain Heero had been something closer to the braided boy. He was unaware of the extent the pilot would go to, to try and get that person back into his life, though. All because of a sickness that had no cure...
Many long weeks of research later, Duo finally came across what could only be described as a spell. He'd looked into the magic stuff before, and didn't even think before replacing the 'wand' in the spell with one of the black daggers that Heero had given him, to use as an athame. The teenager consulted the tattered book and read what part of the spell effects were visible. Those parts said: "... thus bringing that person to their soul mate. When followed exactly, then the person is taken to where they need to be..." What Duo didn't see due to the age was at the beginning it had once said: "In an irreversible act of will in which a person gives up everything, casting this spell..." And at the end, it said: "No matter where in time they might be."
"So I mix this... and then I add a dash of that... There! Now, I just have to say the incantation, wave my athame, and there I go." Duo shrugged on his backpack, a precaution in case he didn't end up somewhere he readily recognized. "Well, here goes... Expiscor pectus amator, adeo antehac!"1 He swished his athame2 in the indicated patterns, and a bright light flashed around him by way of answer, sweeping the boy away, into another world entirely.
Thus Duo cast the spell, not knowing that his own personal switch of athame for wand had altered the spell a little, removing the part that allowed the caster to identify who they were searching for. Unfortunately, that was the part that he needed most.
1995, Old Calendar
The next thing Duo knew, he was getting rained on. Sitting up, the braided teen blinked a few times as he brought up a delicate hand to wipe away the mud he found streaking his face. Come to think of it, he was sitting in mud too. Wonderful. "Goody. I arrived in a mud pit. Now where the hell is this mud pit?" Groaning, he got to his feet and tucked the athame back away into one of his pockets, as he moved towards the only building that he could immediately see.
It turned out to be a stable. Duo's gaze flicked around the inside of the building, the chill outside only then consciously registering as he saw the ethereal horses that stood in the stalls inside. He couldn't help but be mesmerized by the almost ghostlike steeds, and he ran his fingers over the nose of the closest one. It didn't seem like there was anyone around.
"You know, I've never seen a horse that looked anything like you guys... Heck, I've never managed to get so close to any kind of horse before. Ah, crap... I hope that doesn't mean one of you guys are the person I came here for, does it?" Duo was just starting to step back from the strange animal when four people shoved open the door to the stable and stopped, as stunned to see him as he was to see them. "Uh, hi?"
The big guy in the back was the first to recover and speak, though all four of them towered over Duo's miniscule height. "What're yeh doin' in 'ere?"
The Gundam pilot warily ran his gaze over the other three. One, the only woman, had a sour face and wore a witch's hat. Then there was the huge, bearded guy who was the first to speak, an old man in blue, and the last was a darkly dressed man, whose gaze hovered somewhere between condescending and amused. "What? I was just petting the horses."
"You can see them?" This came from the old man, and Duo turned his attention to him, a little smirk forming on his face.
"Of course I can see 'em, it's not like they're invisible, ya know!" The teenager shook his head in amusement, waiting for the old man to finish his joke, but the briefly sad look he got in answer was not what he was expecting at all. "What?"
The younger man, in black, stepped forward to rest his hand against the horse's nose. "These are thestrals," he said, patting it gently. "You can only see them if you have seen death." Duo's lips quirked at the man's slightly sarcastic drawling tone. He couldn't see anything different about any of the people, but the spell never said what a 'tagged' person would look like. "What were you doing here in the stables in the first place?"
Duo smirked to himself as he heard the reason. Death's horses eh? "Even if you guys are dressed up for a costume party, I really doubt you would believe me. But mostly?" He shrugged, smiling ruefully at them. "I was getting out of the rain."
To be continued.
1 Expiscor pectus amator, adeo antehac- to search out the heart/soul/mind of my lover to that point before this time
2 It's a black handled double-sided blade used in Wiccan castings. It's considered a god symbol and is used as a vessel to hold power much as a wand would