Title: The Ribbon and the Ring
Author: Seraphim Grace
Archive: if you want it ask, I'll probably say yes.
Feedback: Always appreciated and replied to.
Pairings: 1x2 (others to be decided later)
Warnings: Angst. Some gore. Violence. Sap, umm other stuff too as it comes to me.
Notes: AU, and features necromancy. This is the sequel to Lord of Death.
This is the sequel to Lord of Death and while I suppose it's not absolutely necessary to have read that it really really would help. Now there are two options for those that haven't, a) read it, either on the above webpage or email me and I'll send you the complete mss as a zip file, or b) email me for a brief synopsis. Obviously I'd prefer a) because the chances are that I'll forget something in the synopsis.
Any questions about the original world just ask, BUT there are differences to it in Lord of Death and they are deliberate.
Also Ae as in Aethan is pronounced ay, ie Aythan, Aethylwyd is pronounced Ay-thill-widd, Aegis is pronounced Ay-jis. . Eluneth is pronounced Ee-lee-neth. Just to make it easier, there will be some strange names but for the most part I'll put a note somewhere to say how to say them. Also most places will have a Dathyl name and a Darin name, this will be explained in the text and is new, but for example Dathyl is also Dafiru, mostly it's just changed the spelling to be more Japanese, but some are completely different, Caelum becomes Oozora for example (in that case the meaning behind the name stayed the same, it's just a different translation, from Latin to Japanese) there is usually a reason. So Halsion is the same as Halcyon it's just a variant name.
All other author notes, if any, will be at the end of the chapters.
Over the days since the explosion, as they had come to know it, Quatre had noticed something strange between Heero and Duo. At first he supposed it was just a closeness born of their near death experience but now he was beginning to wonder. No matter where they laid out a bed for Heero he slept only with Duo, who did not complain. Duo was often found silent for long stretches, sat on his own, deep in thought, or talking to himself, even maintaining what must have been a rather amusing conversation with himself at one point. Heero had rejected a solo mission in order to watch over Duo. Duo had a tendency to pause after someone had spoken, something he had never done before, almost as if he was listening to someone else. Most astonishing of all, in everyone's opinion, was that despite Heero continued to call Duo a baka they never argued with each other. In fact, late at night, it was possible to hear them have private conversations, Heero talking as much as Duo, which in itself was unusual, although they couldn't make out what was said.
Other than that, however it was as if nothing had changed. They were just as high strung as before, Heero given to deep silences, although he managed to keep at least one eye on Duo which Quatre wasn't sure was new, and Duo babbled on contentedly. He seemed to have a new spring in his step, and Heero was making an effort to be more open. Whatever closeness the pilots had found in the explosion, Quatre decided, it seemed to be good for them.
Duo's feet slammed on the metal decking of the Peacemillion with a satisfying ringing that amused Eluned D'Cevni no end. When Duo had awoken in the medical bay of the Peacemillion, curled in Heero's arms, he thought for some reason that she might have stayed in Dathyl. He was mistaken.
She had appeared within the first hour in the dress that she had died in with her hair loose about her shoulders, then she had seen what the sweepers wore and now she went barefoot in a flight suit that she had gotten somewhere, and her hair up in a tight tail. Duo's comment that it covered the place where her head had split open, having fallen to her death, meant that if anyone else saw her, which Duo doubted, she appeared as a beautiful, if slightly eccentric, pilot.
The Peacemillion amused and delighted her like a favoured bauble. Her first view of Howard had resulted in peals of laughter then hours of mocking his stride, and once Duo found her lying in his bunk repeating their off colour sea shanties.
She mocked Trowa with uncanny likeness, pulling her tail over her face before repeating something he had said with a very serious expression on her face, that it made it very hard for Duo not to laugh, because she almost always did it in mixed company, and usually in front of Trowa.
Wufei caused her to purse her lips and then frown when he started on something, it was not hard to find him ranting on about something. Her dark mutters of onna meant that if Duo believed that she could do something to him then Wufei would know her displeasure.
Quatre, however, she adored. She would sit beside him and run her fingers through his hair, and drink imaginary cups of tea with him. When he asked her why she took a deep breath and shrugged her shoulders in a way that suggested that he really should know the answer to that.
For some reason, though, despite that there was no way that he could know, she never said anything about Heero. In fact she ignored Heero absolutely and totally, which suited Duo just fine.
Now she was sat on the ledge which doubled up as a desk cleaning her nails with a knife she had acquired from somewhere. "You have questions." She said bluntly, pulling her long legs up around her so she sat cross legged.
"More than I know what to do with." Duo answered calmly, sitting down on the bed. "I doubt you could answer most of them."
"I could try." She said, "alternatively, it might be a better idea to store them for later, and lay your head down for some sleep. I know your Senshisha is busy but I could sing you a lullaby." He looked at her, surprised. "Duo," she had finally stopped calling him Tennosha, "I am here to guide you, to protect you and to help you, not for my own amusement. Think of me like the big sister you never had," she stretched her legs out in front of her and then put her hands on her hips, "now into that bed, mister, before I get mad."
The door to the room slid open and Heero stood in the aperture. "I thought you were supposed to be getting some sleep." He said, and his voice was softer than Duo thought he'd ever hear it.
"That's what I told him." Eluneth said sharply, blatantly disregarding the fact that Heero couldn't hear her.
"I can't sleep without you." Duo said and he genuinely meant it. "And with the watchful eyes of Lady Eluneth staring at me." He said to the girl in the corner. She stuck her tongue out at him before dispiriting. He held out his arms to Heero, like a small child would to it's parent, and Heero took the two steps into his arms before sitting next to him on the bed.
"Do you think the medications will help?" Heero asked him quietly. Since returning Duo had mentioned to Doctor G that he had been seeing things that he wasn't sure were there and he had been recommended to take some strong psychotropic drugs that would stop that.
"No." Duo answered, "and they'd put me out of commission for at least a week, maybe more. Eluneth's not so bad." He laid his head on Duo's shoulder, "she's like a mother hen, she was telling me to sleep, said she'd sing me a lullaby, and Old Pete in storage is great for knowing where things are. It's weird, for the most part they don't mean any harm but…"
"But they are still there." Heero said, stroking Duo's braid and back.
"Yeah." Duo answered. "I can see the dead, Heero, I see Quatre's Mom, and Trowa's Dad occasionally, and this woman that liked Howard, and they don't speak to me, not like Leney and Old Pete but."
"But they are still there." Heero repeated.
"Yeah." He was silent for a moment. "I think Leney keeps most of them at bay."
"How does she feel about being called Leney?" Heero asked. Duo could talk to no one else about the dead so he talked to Duo, it brought them closer than Duo had thought possible.
"At first she was all," he raised his head to do an impression of Dorothy Catalonia, "I will have you know, sir, that I am her serene highness Eluneth Regat D'Cevni," Duo smiled remembering it, "then she just smiled at me and said all my brothers called me that too. I think she likes it, I mean sometimes she gets all quiet and mopey and I think she misses them, and stuff, but she's having a lot of fun here. She says she'll go home when she finds someone to be a big sister to me for real." Heero looked shocked at that revelation, "I don't really want her to go."
"Then we will have to ask her to stay." Heero answered in his perfectly crisp way, summing up everything for Duo succinctly. "Now, take off those boots and get into bed with me, we have a long day tomorrow."
As he lay in the circle of Heero's arms, listening to his perfectly even breaths Duo could have sworn that he heard Eluneth singing