Living Legends
Part Fourteen

Duo woke slowly. Without opening his eyes he knew he was on a soft mattress, under a soft sheet and bathed in sunlight. He heard Heero's voice singing a soothing melody softly. Duo slowly opened his eyes to see Heero sitting on the edge of the bed.

What had happened came back to the banshee. I'm alive?

Heero stopped singing when he realized Duo was awake. He shifted closer and reached out, placing a hand on the side of Duo's face lovingly. Duo leaned into his hand, watching as the nearly invisible expression of concern relaxed.

"I didn't think I would survive," Duo said softly. He brought a hand up to place over top of Heero's and realized it was healed.

Heero stiffened slightly at the reminder of what had just occurred recently; at the reminder of just how close he had come to losing Duo. "You barely did. You were all but gone when my parents arrived. If Father had been out, you would be dead."

"I don't see a mark," Duo stated as he rotated his wrist, "and I don't feel any pain. What did he do?"

"He cried. Phoenix tears can heal almost anything if there are enough. Mine alone could not have saved you." Heero's hand left Duo's face and took his hand. "Get some rest."

Duo smiled up at Heero as he got into a more comfortable position. For a moment he watched Heero as he began to sing the soothing melody again. He studied how the sun shone on his wings and the shadows of his wild brown hair fell across his eyes. He enjoyed the soft cobalt blue orbs that watched him from those shadows and the way the harsh expressionless mask softened for him and him alone. Duo slowly closed his eyes on his angel and drifted off to sleep listening to Heero singing a phoenix healing song.

Duo awoke again and sat up, his unbraided hair sweeping forward to curtain his view of the world. He brushed it behind his ears and looked about. There was a glass of water and some fruit sitting on the night table.

As Duo ate, Heero flew through the window.

"Do you feel up to visitors?" Heero asked.

"Visitors? Sure! Who?"

"Trowa, Quatre and Wufei," Heero answered.

"I'm always up to seeing the guys!" Duo stated and started to climb out of bed. "Just let me get cleaned up first."

As Duo disentangled himself from the bed sheets, Heero suddenly picked him up and held him tightly against himself, holding him as if he planned to never let go.

"Heero, what's wrong?" Duo asked, surprised by Heero's unexpected actions.

"I almost lost you," Heero stated, holding Duo tighter.

"Heero..." Duo said softly and kissed him. "I don't intend to let you get away from me that easily." Duo grinned, "You can't lose me. You're stuck with me."

"I love you," Heero told him softly.

"I love you too, Heero."

"Don't do that again, baka."

Once clean, clothed and braided, Duo flew down to the courtyard with Heero.

"Q-man! Tro! Wu-man!" Duo called out to his friends.

"Maxwell, stop calling me -"

"It's good to see you're recovering, Duo," Quatre told him, taking his sudden exposure to another Realm, seeing a dragon change into the Wufei he was familiar with, Heero's wings and Duo floating through the air with pointed ears, rather well.

"It's good to be recovering!" Duo replied, laughing.

Angela watched as the five young men of different species sat together talking. As she watched her son participate, if somewhat reserved and almost seeming reluctant to do so, she thanked the gods that he had such good friends and Duo. She heard the Phoenix's call as he came out of a portal and watched as he flew down to the young men and landed near her son.

Heero nodded as his father finished speaking and turned to his friends with a translation. "Vittoria, if he's still alive, won't be in a position to bother Duo or my family for a long time. Father went into the Shadow Realm and destroyed Vittoria's mansion. If he survived he'll have to rebuild his power center and deal with the Shadow Realm's inhabitants. Several could have been injured or even killed when Father entered that Realm. Vittoria provoked my father into such an act and he made sure the people of the Shadow Realm knew it. The Shadow Realm will not let Vittoria get away with that."

Quatre looked at the Phoenix in shock. How many bystanders were killed?

"It was the only real option available, Quatre," Wufei told him. "Had the Phoenix not done so, my court would have, to avenge our allies. The Realms are interconnected through alliances. The Phoenix has no connection to night creatures to move through to get at Vittoria. If he had left Vittoria unpunished, Vittoria would have grown bolder and continued to threaten the Phoenix's Court."

"Why would this Vittoria want access to this place anyway?" Quatre asked. "It's not very suitable for a vampire."

The Phoenix spoke again and Heero translated. "Vittoria probably wanted to try and control my father. If he did, any people of the night he granted the gift to, could walk unharmed under the sun. He could have thrown the Realms into chaos. The rules and boundaries that govern how different peoples interact are based on weaknesses. Everything is based on what people can and can't do. Vittoria would have been in a position to break the balance and grab power."

Duo and Heero retired for the night, having said goodbye to their friends. Duo sat on the floor, enjoying the sensation of Heero brushing his hair.

"Heero?"

"Hn?"

"If you broke the Feathered Keys, I don't need to hide anymore."

Heero didn't respond. Was Duo going to leave him?

"Why don't you and I find ourselves a place of our own in the Human Realm before I drive you father crazy?" Duo asked. Heero leaned over and took possession of Duo's lips. "Is that a yes?" His stoic lover gave him a smirk and kissed him again. "That's a yes," Duo stated.