This story should not be posted until i am finished with Fire Mated (which i'm guessing is another five parts or so) but I wanted to see what you guys thought. So here's the teaser, please tell me what you think.

Plus I want to see if you can guess who the two boys are *smirk*

---Snow Tigra

Title: Marked For Death
Series: Gundam Wing
Author: Snow Tigra
Rating: R, to be safe?
Pairing: Heero and Duo obviously… and possibly a few others
Warnings: AU, tattoos, assassins, kings, fantasy, mythical beasts and magic
Spoilers: yeah… you just keep thinking there are, not a chance!
Disclaimers: All characters save for the gundam cast are mine.

Marked for Death

"Tell us a story Sorata." Said one of the youths.

The young man before them stood dressed in normal palace garb of loose by brightly colored clothes. His long red hair was pulled into two very thin braids which were tied at the bottom and swayed with his movements. Smirking to himself the man turned around and attempted to frown at the boys while he placed his hands on his hips. Though in truth he could never bring himself to be angry with the two boys. "You belong in your room Highness." As was etiquette he did not address the boy standing just behind the young prince, nor did he meet the boy's shining eyes. You did not address the prince's Shadow.

The boy standing behind the prince snickered softly, not acting his title of Shadow at all. "We couldn't sleep, not without one of your stories."

The prince firmly nodded his agreement.

Sorata chuckled. "All right then. But I will only tell the story when you are in your room, tucked in and ready for sleep. Now hurry back to your room or we shall all be in trouble."

The two boys responded by racing down the hall with their silent steps, turning around the corner quickly without a sound. Sorata stood at his place in the hallways and just shook his head, chuckling softly. He loved those children, almost as if they were his own. Glancing around him at the long stone hallway he started after them, following them to the room. Children were children and he decided to allow them a small amount of time to tuck themselves in and discuss in excited voices what type of story he would tell them tonight.

How ironic that the King's Guard would spend his nights reciting the tales of old to a young prince and his Shadow. It certainly wasn't what he'd expected to do when he'd been assigned this job, but then he wasn't complaining. Not one bit.

Upon reaching the children's room he carefully undid the door and stepped in. The room was lavish in its decoration, like so many things in this palace. Tapestries covered the walls filled with scenes that delighted the children. Swirling patterns of the sea and sky created pictures of far away lands one could only reach in their dreams or a well told bard's tale. Finely carved wood furniture from only the most skilled of artisans scattered the room while animal skin rugs covered the floor. Truly the room of a prince.

Stepping into the room he found the boys in their places, ready to hear the story. The young prince sat perched on his bed, his eyes wild with anticipation, while his Shadow was curled on the floor, leaning against the side of the bed. His thick yet worn blanket was wound around his shoulders, comfortably waiting for the story that would guide them on their way to their dreams. Sorata smiled at the two waiting boys and took a seat at the end of the prince's bed, where he could see them both.

"So, what story should I tell tonight?"

The prince smiled and glanced down at his Shadow, giving his signal that for this night the boy could decide what story. At first this tiny movement would have confused Sorata but in his years at the palace he'd learned the boys were quite close friends. When the prince let his Shadow decide the story that meant something had gone wrong earlier that day, and this was the prince's way of saying he was sorry.

The Shadow smiled his thanks to the prince. Standing up he cupped his hands around the prince's shoulder and whispered into the boy's ear. After a moment the prince nodded and the boy sat back down and pulled the blanket back around his shoulders. But now his normal smile had lost a little of its gleeful charm, turning slightly more serious.

"Do you remember the story of the great fire?" The prince asked softly.

Sorata nodded slowly.

"Tell that one."

Leaning against one of the carved wooden bedposts Sorata began his tale.

"The night of the great fire. It is a day that will be remembered until the end of time, by Izardl and Human alike."

The two boys settled back on their respective beds and curled up there, watching Sorata with wide eyes as he told the story they'd grown to love, and asked for most often. Oh he had other stories that they enjoyed just as much, but this one seemed to be their favorite.

"Now, the Izardl are very rare creatures indeed. They look just like us humans, but are different. They are stronger, stronger then most men, able to pull trees from their roots and chase down the fastest of the great cats. Scales cover their skin, making them look slimy to the touch, but their skin is actually quite smooth. Their eyes are slitted much like the stray toms that roam the street and their tongues are forked like a snake's, which earned them their name.

"On the night of the great fire a woman was found with a Izardl child. Now, for Izardl and a human to mate in this world is a most grievous sin and when this mother was found the entire city ordered that they be destroyed. Luckily the mother was able to escape from the crowd and flee.

"But she didn't get very far." The prince murmured sleepily, his eyes already starting to slide shut.

Sorata nodded. "No, she didn't. The king's guards encountered her on the street, running with her child beside her, his small legs barely able to keep up. The guards stopped her and demanded to know where she was going, but she pushed past them, knowing she mustn't let the angry townspeople catch up with her.

"This made the guards very angry and they also started after her.

"Meanwhile the townspeople decided to catch the woman and her child and get rid of them forever. In the old part of the city they brought torches and burning oil. One group chased the woman into the old part of the town, while the other group surrounded her and started the fire.

"They trapped the woman in," the prince's Shadow whispered softly, a look of fear in his eyes.

Sorata nodded grimly. "They did indeed. The surrounding buildings and the fire trapped her and she didn't know what to do.

"But the townspeople weren't very smart. They let the flames become too high, and soon the fire was sweeping through the entire city, burning down buildings and people alike. The fire spread right up to the castle walls until the entire city was lit like the middle of the day!

"People rushed to put out the fire, rushed as quickly as they could. And do you know what they found when the fire was gone?"

Sorata addressed his question to the prince but found the young boy had already drifted off to sleep. So when the prince's Shadow answered Sorata did not hesitate to acknowledge the boy, even though that was forbidden.

"They found the mother's body… but no child." The Shadow murmured very softly.

"Yes, the child was gone."

The Shadow smiled lightly to himself and curled up in his blanket as Sorata stood. That was the end of the story. He never quite understood why the children liked that story so much; it was so dark and grim. It didn't even have a good ending. But for some reason the boys loved it, especially the prince's young Shadow.

Though, on that night, he received a clue as to why the story was liked so much.

"I know what happened to the boy, Sorata," the Shadow whispered softly as he lay there on the floor.

Sorata stopped in his steps and turned to look back to the boy, cocking his head in question. "Oh?"

The Shadow nodded and yawned, his eyes sliding shut. "I saw him that night… the night my parents died. I saw him run and hide." Another yawn. "I saw him… escape."

Sorata's eyes widened.

But he was never able to ask the boy more about what he had seen. Because that night was the night Sorata disappeared forever.


end of teaser

so... have a peeked your interest?