Author: Shadow Sorceress aka. Zalia Chimera

Archiving: Sure, just ask.

Warnings: For this chapter, major darkness and I feel so bad. Major Duo angst!! Yaoi and het! 5x2/2x5, 3x4, 13+11. Errm, Angst, NCS (nothing graphic though... err, physically at least.) and Evil Zechs and Heero (okay, I normally don't like making the characters evil, but since the bad guy, Ariel, in Obernewtyn is a tall, long haired blond, blue eyed guy, Zechs kinda seemed appropriate.)

Notes: This is a crossover between Gundam Wing and one of my fave book series, the Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody.

Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing (Damn!!) or the Obernewtyn Chronicles (*sniff* Not even Ariel or Domick!). So please don't sue.

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Chapter 7

Wufei struggled awake the next morning with a strange sense of foreboding. His dreams had been dark and strange and something told him that they had been important... if only he could remember them. Duo was still curled against him. He brushed a few strands of the other boy's hair away from his face and found to his horror that Duo's skin was burning hot to the touch. He shook him gently and then harder as he got no response. Duo?! Duo, wake up! Still nothing.

Carefully he lifted Duo into his arms and carried him to his bed, covering him with the blanket. Half panicked he began pacing the room. What do I do? What's wrong with him? A healer. Sally, he needed Sally. He bolted for the door, but paused with his hand on the handle. It would take too long for his liking to get to the Healer halls and back, but if he could call Sally here...

Duo had said he had a Talent, hadn't he?

Biting his lip, he focussed his mind, trying to summon some form of power that he could use. Nasty niggling questions raised themselves, trying to break his concentration. What if he didn't have a Talent? What if he didn't have the right one? What if he was too weak to do anything? He crushed them ruthlessly. He had to manage it.

Slowly, so slowly that he was afraid he was imagining it, a tendril of thought rose in his mind and he sent it flying towards the Healer Halls, revelling in the sense of freedom and utter... rightness that it gave him. How could he have denied this for so long?

His mood shattered when his mind reached Sally, and found himself confronted with her mindshield that to him seemed like an impenetrable fortress. He sobbed in frustration. He didn't know what to do!

He was pulling away, preparing himself for the long run to reach her physically, when her soft voice chimed in his mind. Who?

Forming the words in his thoughts, he sent them to her as clearly as he could. Wufei.

Concern washed over him from her. What's wrong Wufei?

Struggling to keep his hold on her mind, he didn't bother with words, sending everything to her in images and flashes of emotion.

I'll be right there.

Abruptly his mind was released and the tendril came back to him. Slumping against the wall to support his suddenly weak legs, he sighed in relief. That short burst of his Talent had used up much of his energy.

He was still in that position when the door was flung open and Sally strode in, slightly out of breath and a concerned frown on her face. She immediately went to Duo's side and knelt, resting her hand on his forehead gently and closing her eyes.

She was there a few moments before she stood again, running her fingers through Duo's bangs fondly. Wufei slowly crossed the room to her. What's wrong with him Sally?

Sally smiled at him. He has a fever but it isn't bad. I think he's just caught something. Although to bring it on this quickly, something must have happened. She raised an eyebrow, giving Wufei a shrewd look as he sat. Wufei quickly decided what to omit and began speaking...

...and he told me everything, he finished, staring at his lap. Then he fell asleep and I couldn't wake him.

Sally sighed and settled herself on the other bed, facing him. He will be alright Wufei. The stress probably brought it on.

He looked up at her, surprise showing on his face. You don't sound particularly surprised. Shouldn't you be asking me if I know why he reacted so badly?

I already know.

He looked at her sharply. You do? How?

I was here when it happened, working in the poor excuse for an infirmary there was then. One night Yuy dragged him in, bleeding and bruised and fighting like a fangcat. He ignored my offer to fetch the head healer, and ordered me to patch Duo up while he held him down. I found out later that Duo had tried to escape.

Wufei clenched his fists. If I could get my hands on that bastard...

You'd do what I've wanted to do since then.

Wufei looked up at her. Why didn't you... someone stop him?

A sad expression appeared on the healer's face. You don't understand what it was like here back then. It was a prison pure and simple, despite claims that we were here to be healed'. Yuy and that blond bastard could do whatever they wanted because they were favoured by the woman who ran this place. You obeyed them or you were sent to the Specials... and most people had no desire to be burned to death. You just kept your head down and prayed that you never attracted notice... or were sent for treatment'. That was what was claimed was happening to Duo. Yuy kept him away from everyone and no-one could help him, although I did what I could when Duo was brought to the infirmary.

A phrase in Sally's tirade grabbed Wufei attention and a chill passed down his spine as a horrible conclusion began to form in his mind. he asked, a tremble of fear in his voice.

Sally nodded. Yes. He was... he was... terrible. His name was Zechs. Yuy was bad enough. But Zechs... she shuddered. He was terrifying. The worst things that had happened to Duo were always because of him. Even Yuy was scared of him, although he stood up to him, even sending Duo to hide when Zechs was looking for him. There was a long pause before Sally looked sharply at him. Wufei, are you alright?

Wufei nodded, face pale and drawn. I'm fine, just thinking. Will Duo be alright now?

Sally stared at him for a long moment, not quaite believing him. Yes. He'll sleep for a while now. I'd heal him, but it isn't good to force a body to recover from simple illnesses too quickly. Best if he just sleeps. But if anything happens, bring him to me immediately. Wufei nodded once more and the healer left.

As soon as the door closed, Wufei took a shuddering breath and drew his arms around himself, unconciously mirroring the way Duo had sat the night before. No no no. It can't be him. Please don't let it be him! He shivered as a face framed with long white-blond hair appeared in his mind and he covered his face with his hands.

I'm so weak, getting scared just from a memory. I can't let him win!