Genre: AU/Fantasy/Drama

Pairings: 1x2, 3x4, 13x5, 6+OC

Disclaimer: Don't own nothin' but these words

Warnings: Yaoi, lemon, violence, slavery, language, war, torture, fear of the unknown

Special Note: Dedicated to snowdragonct. You, my dear, have been this story's inspiration since almost the very beginning, and it's come this far thanks to you. Special thanks as well to Closet Goth and StandingOnTheRooftops for all your encouragement and lovely feedback.

A/N: I had a lot of positive feedback for the last chapter. Apparently, you love a devious Tro as much as I do. XD

Broken and Made Whole

It took what felt like forever to make the soulgem. Not because it was necessarily difficult, but Heero had never really used magic for anything except a personal shield so the Tower couldn't find him, and for the last many months it had been replaced and maintained by Duo. It was, therefore, difficult because it required a level of concentration he'd never before had to exert. Maritias was gentle and patient, just like a mother, but Carine was short and borderline rude.

Heero finally leaned back and sighed. "You aren't helping," he told the shorter Green. "I've almost never even used magic before, so I don't know what you're talking about."

Carine opened her mouth, but Maritias held up a hand and forestalled her. "I have a suggestion, one which will make this go much smoother. But, it will require a significant level of trust, Heero."

Already not liking this, Heero narrowed his eyes. "Go on."

She put a hand on Carine's shoulder. "In the Tower, sorcerers who display absolute loyalty are taught skills that other sorcerers are not. I was never taught, of course, since I could not be trusted. However, I know someone who was. She was a Yellow, and due to some . . . unfortunate circumstances, she died. All of her knowledge was passed on to me, so I know several of those secret skills."

"Get to the point," Heero snapped, so anxious to get Salyn out of Duo's body that it was almost painful.

She looked at Duo for several seconds. "It's called a Circle. A Circle consists of three or more sorcerers who magically connect to each other. It's difficult to describe, but essentially they enmesh their powers. Creating a Circle acts as both a stabilizer and an amplifier. Every Circle has a sorcerer who directs the subsequent joined power. This is how collars are made. It is also how the first mindbreakers and almost every magical weapon or artifact were ever created."

Heero held her gaze in silence for a moment. "You want us to form a Circle and direct it."

"Yes," she said simply.

Duo, Heero thought, was better at trusting people. There were only a handful of people in this world that Heero trusted, and he only trusted Duo implicitly. He did trust Zechs, Wufei, Trowa, and Quatre, but not to the same degree. However, Duo's trust in Maritias was quite absolute. These two were Greens. It should be easy to break out of a Circle if he felt things were going . . . wrong. For Duo, he could put aside his hesitance.

"All right," he agreed, resisting the urge to make her swear the Circle would be used only for making a soulgem.

She clasped her hands. "Then reach for the well within you as if you were preparing to cast a spell. You will feel me reach for you. I will draw you into connection with me and Carine. You shouldn't feel more than a slight shifting within you, and then you'll be in the Circle. As long as you don't resist, there won't be any pain or disorientation. Ready?"

He felt it when Carine and Maritias joined together, and somehow he could also feel that Maritias was in control. He did as she'd requested, and he felt her reach for him as she'd said. It was nearly impossible for him to just wait as she surrounded him and drew him toward her and Carine. There was, indeed, something like a shift inside him. It didn't hurt, but it was extremely disconcerting. It took every ounce of willpower he possessed not to lash out at her to stop it from happening. Then it was over.

He couldn't begin to describe what it was like, suddenly being in a Circle. It was somewhat like how it felt to be joined with Duo, except minimally less intimate. He could feel Carine and Maritias all around him, on every side, like a warm (hot) embrace. His lingering distrust and unease began melting away beneath the heat, because Maritias really did see him like he was her child even though she was only eleven years older than him, and even though Carine was hard and jagged she had a good heart and wanted with all her being to protect these two children who were young enough to be hers.

It was . . . jarring.

"I'll begin," Maritias said, holding up her hands, palms out.

Heero found himself mirroring her, and Carine did the same. Their hands formed a loose circle, and in the center of it light began to coalesce. It was difficult to concentrate, but Heero did his best, trying to understand what she did as she did it.

Eventually he realized Carine and Maritias weren't really doing anything. Rather, both of them were ever-so-gently pushing into him, slowly extracting his power from him because only he had the power they needed to create the soulgem. It made him flounder in their hold, caught off guard, the urge to panic to great to ignore. They both wrapped around him tighter and warmer.

"Just relax, Heero," Maritias whispered even though her lips didn't move. "You're all right. We aren't hurting you."

True enough, he supposed. It was just . . . foreign.

"That's better," Carine grunted, but her mouth didn't move, either. "Stay calm, child. We're half done."

"This is so incredible," Maritias murmured. "It even feels different from the magic that flows through humans."

"Like a river with two sources instead of one," Carine agreed. "Heero, we're almost done. When we release the Circle, don't try to pull free. Just wait for us to withdraw."

Then they were done. Heero felt a wrench somewhere inside him, and his vision darkened alarmingly. When it cleared he was laying against Duo, his love cradling his head against his chest. Maritias was kneeling beside them, and she smiled when she saw Heero's eyes focus.

"Are you all right?"

"I warned you not to do that, boy," Carine said, arms folded.

Heero sighed. "It wasn't intentional."

"Is it done?" Duo asked as Heero sat up.

"Yes," Maritias replied, holding out her hand.

The soulgem was an ugly, dull, uniform red-brown. Like dried blood. The facets were uneven and rough. Heero blinked. He would have expected it to be . . . prettier. When he took it from her, he felt a cold tingle race up his fingers. Something about the small stone oddly enticed him even as it repulsed him. An unnerving contradiction.

Duo closed his eyes and turned his face away. "Salyn actually wants to be put in that thing," he mumbled, "because it would make you happy."

The words sent a fresh bolt of hatred through Heero. "Let's get him out of you."

"Wait," Duo said softly. "I've been thinking about that, Heero. What if - "

"No," Heero cut him off. "Absolutely not."

"What?" Carine demanded.

"It doesn't matter," Heero snapped, sending her a cold glare.

"It's a good idea," Duo insisted, touching Heero's arm.

Heero grabbed his hand and yanked Duo into his arms. "It's a terrible idea," he growled, "and the answer is no. Over my dead body."

"But the Tower thinks Salyn is loyal. They wouldn't restrict him very much. I could gather valuable intel -"

"Are you suggesting you let Salyn take over and return to the Tower?" Carine cut in.

"Yes," Heero said, giving her another warning glare, "and it's not happening."

"But with him mindbroken - " Maritias began.

"Shut up," Heero said quietly. He was beginning to feel that terrible pressure inside him, deep down, the one that always preceeded an act of violence.

Duo squirmed in his hold. "You can't tell me what to do, Heero."

Heero merely tightened his arms. "You think I'll actually let you go back into that nest of vipers?"

"Why not send the host back to them?" Carine suggested.

"No!" Duo snapped. "Heero, let me go!"

The idea, Heero thought dimly, of losing Duo was absolutely unbearable. "Carine, Maritias," he all but whispered, "get out of here."

Carine immediately opened her mouth, most likely to protest. But Maritias laid a hand on her arm and rose. "Very well." She led Carine to the door. "Call us when you've made your decision."

When they were gone, Duo pushed back until he could glare up at Heero. "You're being unreasonable. Would you just listen to me?"

"No," Heero replied, shaking his head. The pressure grew worse. "I'll never agree to that, Duo." What if I lost you? I regained my heart and sanity because of you. You're my light. My life.

"Heero - "

Heero crushed his love to him and fused their mouths together. If words could not convey his thoughts, he would let his emotions do it. At first Duo resisted, stiff and tense in his arms. But as Heero let wave after wave of pure, raw feeling pour into him, Duo's body slowly melted and he reciprocated with something that sounded like a sob. In moments he was wrapped tightly around Heero, and a kind of desperation numbed the young king's mind.

Heero . . . Heero . . . I love you . . . I didn't know you felt that way. I won't leave you, I promise. I'll always be with you. Please don't cry.

To Heero's distant shock, he realized he was crying. Tears were streaking past his defenses, but while he managed to stop them, he couldn't relax his hold and knew he was hurting Duo, but Duo didn't complain and held him back every bit as tight. Eventually the need to breathe overpowered him and Duo wrenched away from the kiss, burying his face in Heero's neck.

"I can't let you go back there, Duo," Heero whispered. "I just can't. Don't ask . . ."

Duo pulled back again, cupping Heero's face in his hands. "Shh, it's all right, Heero. I know. I won't." He guided Heero's hands to his own waist.

Heero slid his hands up Duo's back and took what was offered. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew Salyn had to still be there, aware of what was happening to body he nested in like a parasite. Tomorrow he would apologize to his love, when he was in control of himself again, when that pressure faded and released him. Right now every part of his body down to the tiniest component cried out for Duo, and it was the only way he could stop himself from falling into darkness.

o0o 0o0

Quatre smiled to the guards who saluted him down in the dungeons, and they let him into the cell without so much as a single inquiry. Salyn's host was crumpled in the corner, looking little more than a pitiful pile under the wool blanket tucked around him. His eyes were closed and his skin waxy pale, and considering the fact that he was unmoving he looked asleep. A mug of tea sat untouched on the floor by his feet. Sighing faintly, feeling a swell of pity for the poor boy, he moved to his side and reached down to gently shake his shoulder.

"Are you awake?" he asked.

The body beneath his hand lolled awkwardly and slowly sagged toward the floor. Startled, Quatre shoved the blanket back and grabbed a slim wrist. The skin felt unnaturally cold, and Quatre sucked in a sharp breath. No pulse. His chest didn't rise and fall. His eyes were emtpy and lifeless.


Quatre stood and stepped back, mind racing. No one in this castle would have killed the boy, not without an order from their king. After all, who had a reason to wish his death? But if he hadn't been murdered, that left an explanation that chilled Quatre. Had the host died because the parasite left? And if so . . .

Salyn was inside Duo now. Would forcing him out of Duo's body harm the boy? Or was this host dead because Salyn's spirit had been inside him for so long? Turning on his heel, he did his best to run in a dignified manner back upstairs. Only one person would know the answer to that question.

Carine found him first. She blinked, looking slightly ruffled. "What's the hurry, child?"

Quatre drew himself up short. "Salyn's host . . ." he began, wishing he even knew the boy's name, "is dead."

The Green frowned. Then she sighed. "Yes, well, I can't say I'm surprised." Then she smiled faintly. It was the first time he'd seen her smile. "You aren't worried for our young Duo, are you?"

"A little," Quatre confessed.

She patted his arm. "Salyn's malignant spirit suppressed the host so fully for so long the poor child didn't know how to be himself anymore. I'm sure this is a merciful fate, given what he's been through. But don't worry. Salyn hasn't suppressed Duo, so he's in no real danger. If they stay merged for long there will be, but after this short a duration they're fine. We'll talk to them tomorrow. You look worn out and not entirely well. I think you could use some rest. Do you need anything?"

Quatre deflated. "No," he said. "I . . . when I'm away from Trowa for a long time, I . . . suffer a little." He gave her a crooked grin. "I'm afraid the only thing I need is his touch."

Carine nodded and squeezed his hand. "Well, you two share a special bond. Go on. It's getting a bit late, you know."

Touched by her motherly concern, Quatre obeyed. He skipped eating, because the only thing he wanted was too pressing and absorbing to notice his hunger. Closing the door to the bedchamber he and Trowa had long shared, he barred the door and started a fire. Soon the crackling filled the room, and he slowly stripped off his garments and folded himself down onto the bed and closed his eyes.

Trowa. Where are you, I wonder? I haven't been this far from you since . . . since we met, I suppose. I can barely feel you. Since the separation wasn't self-imposed this time, the suffering was far less than it had been when Trowa simply refused to touch him, but he still didn't like it.

From somewhere far away, Quatre felt a ghost of a touch brush over his mind and shivered. The caress carried a wordless pulse of love and reassurance, and Quatre rolled onto his back. Before his body gave any conscious demand, he slid his hand down his stomach. He felt a sweet tension rise in him, and he sent all of the need and want he could convey back to his distant lover. It came back in the form of an impassioned command.

Touch yourself.

Quatre whimpered and bent his knees, planting his feet on the bed and spreading his legs before he could tell his body otherwise. No, he thought, biting his lip. I don't want my touch. I want yours. He sent denial.

Amusement returned after several moments of silence. Then his eyes opened in shock as he felt that place in his mind open where Nirande dwelled. He felt his goddess' love for him, and she was in a good humor. Trowa and Quatre never used their deities to comminucate - even though both had assured their chosen that they didn't mind. And now Trowa was using this link for . . . this?

"Touch yourself, angel," Trowa's voice filled his mind, commanding and gentle and utterly impossible to deny.

Like always. Quatre softly dragged his nails over his lower belly, the sweet tension coiling tighter. "No," he thought back, shaking his head. "I want your touch, not my own."

He knew his lover was smiling, wherever he was. "Don't argue, angel. Close your eyes and pretend it's me. I'm aching for you, and I know you must be aching for me as well."

So much, Quatre thought with a soft moan as he lightly brushed warm fingers over his arousal.

"That's it, angel. Wrap your fingers around yourself and stroke. I won't even ask you to tease like I would."

Quatre hissed, worrying his lower lip as his hand obeyed without a command from his brain. Delicious sparks of pleasure crackled over his nerves as he ran his thumb over the tip and felt and answering drop of liquid bead beneath the digit.

"Mm, wipe that off with your finger and suck it off," came Trowa's next command.

It was as if his lover was right beside him, whispering in his ear. Quatre's hips jerked up a little as he wiped up the dewdrop and tasted himself. "Trowa," he breathed, squeezing and stroking more boldly now.

"That's not enough for you any longer, is it?" Trowa mused. "You want me inside you. Feels empty, doesn't it?"

"Yes," Quatre whimpered, slipping another finger into his mouth and sucking. "Want you, Trowa . . ."

Desire blazed along the link between them as Quatre lowered his free hand and slowly worked two fingers into himself. It wasn't the same, and without Trowa's weight pressing on him it was difficult to imagine this was his lover. But knowing Trowa was wanting him just as desperately wherever he was, it was enough for the moment.

"Does that feel good, angel?" Trowa whispered through his mind. "Do you wish it was me?"

"Yes," Quatre panted, rolling his hips up until he found his prostate.

"Blood of Cestera," Trowa groaned, "I'm going to take you so hard when I get home, angel. Keep that up."

Quatre's body obeyed even if in his mind he still protested. Even without his lover physically here he still couldn't disobey. His climax hit him hard and sudden, making his muscles spasm in a shock of delicious sensation. When it passed, Quatre flopped backward with a deep sigh, body feeling pleasantly worn out. It had taken the edge off his need. He smiled into the emptiness of the room.

"I love you, Trowa."

"And I you, angel. In the morning will you tell our king that I'm in Doraska? I'll be assessing the number of sorcerers. So far, most of the general public dislikes the notion of war with Corai. They want their king to surrender because they deeply fear the Black King. Fear him to the point of superstition and paranoia. It is most amusing."

Quatre snorted softly. "That will please him. He's a bit sadistic, our king. Good night."

"Sleep well, my angel."

Quatre fell asleep wishing Trowa's arms were around him.