Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon or Gundam Wing. But Oh the naughty things I would do if I did...The naughty, naughty things... :)
Fuseiseki : Failure
Chapter Eleven : The Way to War
"So everything is in order then." Quatre said. It was normal for him to take the lead in conversation. His comrades were less than eager to do so. Usually Duo was right up there with him, but the situation had made him somber.
Trowa stood, and Quatre gave him a look he knew he would understand. It said to leave. Wufei was already doing so, as was Hiiro. They had tasks to complete before night touched the sky. It was around 6pm. Dinner would start soon. But he had to talk to Duo.
When the others had left, he spoke. "Duo."
Duo looked up with eyes that were filled with clashing emotions, like a storm about to break. "Quatre. Why does it have to be them?"
Quatre felt a pang in his chest at his braided comrades pain. "I wish I knew. I wonder sometimes why fate has to be so cruel. To take the ones you love and throw them into the fire. Especially when a pride like ours says it is our job. Forever the protectors."
"I don't like things I can't control." Duo said through gritted teeth. Quatre sighed. Neither did he. How to handle this one?
"You have to trust Usagi." He said simply. Though he knew it wasn't enough.
"I don't want to see her hurt." Duo said. It was as broken of a voice as Quatre had heard since the Eve Wars.
"She doesn't want to see you hurt. And you must know. This is a little out of our league. We will have our chance to fight along side her soon. I feel it. You must leave this battle to her. We will help her win the war."
Duo nodded, and though Quatre wasn't totally convinced it was all right, would it ever be all right? He let his friend get up and leave the room. In the silence he sighed with eyes threatening to tear. Fate was so unfair.
"Hiiro." He heard her voice before he saw her. He had been so focused on his destination that he had not seen her in the Hallway.
"Relena." He said. His voice had no infliction, no warmth. He did not mean for it to sound so cold, and was sorry when she winced.
"It's nice to see you again Hiiro." She said with a smile. He had thought she would be angry with him. He had forgotten how forgiving she was. How understanding, even as he had pushed her away so many times. There was a point, where he thought he could love her. He had found too soon that were not compatible. It had been another thing to chalk up to his roster of personal failures. She had tried so hard to love him.
"Hn." He had no words to say. Did not know what would soothe the balm of seeing him so close to Usagi.
"Usagi is very nice." She said then, and he caught the hint of bitterness, mixed with an air of understanding. She was amazing too, this girl. There was no doubt why he had been attracted to her in the first place. She bowed, and went to leave after a moment of his silence, but he stopped her with a hand on her arm.
"Relena." He grunted because it was hard, saying what he needed to say. But this was the time, if ever. Tomorrow was uncertain. "I will always be here to protect you."
She nodded with a smile, and tears in her eyes that he wanted to understand, but could not grasp. "Thank you Hiiro. It means alot."
And then she turned and walked away. He watched her steps, sure and true, and then turned in the other direction, headed to Usagi's room.
He didn't knock, just let himself in, and when he heard the shower running, sat on the balcony of her room to wait. The garden was being mended outside where Zero had landed. He had moved it to it's proper place before meeting with his comrades.
When the water shut off, he waited, smirking at her gasp as she stepped into the room in only a towel. "Hiiro." She smiled. "You startled me."
He walked to her with quick steps, grabbing her arms and pushing her to the far wall of the room, trapping her beneath him. "Hiiro." She breathed, unsure of what to say. He saw it in her eyes.
"You will not fight tomorrow." There. He had said it. What he had been thinking since they landed in Sanq. He could not lose this ray of sunshine he'd had a taste of. Could not bear it, though the words would not come.
Her eyes grew guarded. "You would let Hilde die?" She asked.
"I would fight in your stead." He replied. It was icy, to match her sudden mood, the sudden look in her deep grey eyes.
"Hiiro." She freed her arms from his hand, and reeled back, slapping him hard on the face. He felt his eyes blaze, and looked down into hers, silver all of a sudden. He had expected her to agree. Expected her to thank him. "I am terrified." She whispered. "That I will fail. That this world will die. But it will not stop me." He raised his hand to his cheek. It stung. "And I would expect you to have faith in me."
She raised her hand tentatively to the spot she had slapped him, her eyes apologetic. "Gomen Nasai Hiiro." She said quietly. "You cannot fight this battle for me."
He leaned down, his eyes still blazing, and his lips demanded hers. She responded with a fire that was so white hot it was cold. When he pulled away, he whispered. "You have to come back to me."
She nodded, and put her forehead to his, as a slow smile took over her face. "Can I put my clothes on now?"
He raised an eyebrow, and with a smirk on his face that made her melt said. "No."
"Hiiro!" She whined and laughed at the same time.
He kissed her again, once, softly. "I'll see you at Dinner." And then he slowly walked out the door, closing it softly behind him.
She was terrified. No matter how hard she tried not to be, the fear was rising in her throat like bile. She kept her blue eyes hard though. She hadn't learned nothing in her years of war. She didn't want them to know she was afraid.
"Such pretty eyes." It was the slightly taller twin, the one who called himself Kione. "Do you see how she tries to hide her fear from us?" He smiled, and she gasped.
"You haven't told me what you want." She said, trying to keep the shaking of her body from her voice. She hurt all over. These...things, for they were not children, had been poking and prodding at her since she had woken, taunting her.
"Nothing from you." The girl, who she knew was named Vega from her brother calling it out, was so quiet she strained to hear her. Her mouth barely moved. "Master wants Serenity."
"Shut up Vega." Kione spit with a smile. It was uncanny how much he was like Duo, except Duo was kind-hearted. This thing had no heart at all. "She'll be dead soon, there's no need to talk to her."
Vega glared at him with cool lavender eyes. "You were." Kione stuck his tongue out at her. Had she gone mad? Who were they? Who was Serenity?
"I don't know anyone named Serenity." There was a sharp slap across her face. She could taste the blood in her mouth. Kione was smiling, and he licked the blood off of his hand.
"Shut up!" He said, and he was still smiling. "Just sit there and wait to die. I tire of your voice."
Hilde curled into a ball and stayed quiet, praying someone was coming for her. "Oh Duo." She whispered to herself. "Please..."
Dinner was tense. The air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Halfway through, when no-one had spoken a word, she sighed.
"Someone please say something."
Quatre and Wufei opened thier mouths at the same time. "We don't want you to fight." They exchanged an exasperated look at their echoing statements, but did not comment.
Serenity smiled, but Hiiro answered for her. "Tried that." All eyes turned to him for a moment. He returned the attention with a grunt.
"You can't stop me." Usagi said strongly. "I suggest you don't try." She peered at Noin and Milliardo, and then Relena. "Any of you."
She set her fork down. "I know enough from my Cosmos form to know that each of you is a self-sacrificing baka. Commendable, but stupid." She looked like she instantly regretted being so harsh with her words.
"Isn't that what you're doing?" Duo asked. "For someone one you don't know?"
She frowned. "Don't be this way Duo." She said. "Please. Don't make this harder for me. And don't make it harder on Hilde." She looked pained to scold him this way, but continued. "He wants me. He could care less about humans. Not that you aren't valuable to me. But if any one shows up besides me there will be trouble. Be my aces in the hole. Help me win the war."
Duo reached out and patted her head, giving her the best smile he could manage. "I don't want you to get hurt."
"Trust me." She said, looking at him, and then the whole table. "Please." She pushed her chair back, and stood. "I have some things to take care of. If you will excuse me."
She didn't mean to seem cold. Didn't mean to push them away, make them worry. She just wanted to protect them. She traveled out to the garden, and under the light of the full moon, raced through katas she'd pulled from her memories in Cosmos' form. Years ago, by her count, thousands by theirs, Makoto had patiently taken her through them.
She closed her eyes and focused on the lightning Senshi's face as she moved fluidly through the moves, her black spandex shorts and white tank top perfect for each movement. She repeated them over and over for 45 minutes, searching for the well of power inside her. It was a glowing ball of bright silver, something she could just see. It took a hard push to reach it, but it was there. It comforted her some to be able to access it.
It was nowhere near as powerful as it was with the Ginshinzou, but it seemed to be growing slowly. Perhaps she didn't need the crystal after all. She froze at the sound of footsteps behind her, light and soft.
"You are hard to sneak up on."
"Wufei." She said. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"Onna." He warned, and she laughed. Her tone of voice had been slightly mocking. "Your kata is beautiful."
"Makoto's kata." Usagi said, her smile slipping. "Senshi of Lightning and wood. She always pushed me to practice with her. I hated it then, but now I miss it more than anything. Rei showed me some things as well. Though she was less of a patient teacher."
"She looks like Merian." Usagi froze, turning eyes to him that were more silver than grey. Her hold on Usagi was slipping. She wasn't sure if it made her relieved or not. She feared losing herself to Cosmos.
"I had a dream last night." He said, and her eyes did not move from his. "Two women came to me. One called herself the Senshi of Jupiter, the other, The Senshi of Mars."
He stepped closer to her, and she held her breath, waiting. "They told me they could not reach you. But expressed that their love and loyalty transcended having souls. Their pure will drew them to me so I could tell you that they love and miss you. They forgive you. They believe in you."
She looked up at him then, will tears in her eyes. "I miss them."
"Onna..." He growled. The tears looked like they made him uncomfortable. "Usagi. Every day I fight with one person on my mind. When I was young, I was betrothed. Her name was Merian. She was strong, smart, and insufferable. And I loved her. The war took her away from me."
Usagi held her hands close to her heart, and stepped closer to the Chinese pilot, so that she looked up at him, and he down on her. "I'm sure she's proud of you."
"I can only hope as proud as your friends are of you." He said, and reached out, putting a hand on her shoulder, and gripping it hard. "Fight well Usagi, in their memory. And come back."
She raised one hand to set it atop his, nodding so hard that the tears escaped her eyes. "Hai Wufei." She whsipered. "Arigatou."
He turned and walked away then, the moment gone, and she watched him walk away with eyes that were pure silver, pupil-less and cold. She would fight for them. She always had. For them, and for the boys she had grown to care for in such a short time.
She feared it now not because she feared death, but she feared a change that would make her something else. Cosmos was not Usagi. She was a being beyond worlds, beyond time. She could not stay when the war was over. If indeed it did end. With these people she had grown to love... With Hiiro.
With her mind heavy with too many questions, and her heart heavy with the loss of her comrades and the fear for the safety of her new friends, she returned to her room. She sat on the balcony in the warm air, the moon shining above her, and prayed.
"It's been a long time since I've called out to you...Mama." She whispered. "Please. Give me the strength to see me through this." She clutched at the locket she had picked up from stop her dresser, running her fingers over the gem on top, and sighed.
He laid in bed for a long time, staring up at the ceiling. Morning had come and gone. Quatre had knocked softly on his door around 8, calling him for breakfast, but had left when he did not answer.
"Hilde." He whispered. "Please be okay." He felt helpless. There was never a situation he couldn't handle. But he didn't know this enemy like Usagi did. He knew that. It didn't stop it from being frustrating. He didn't even know he had drifted back to sleep until the dream started.
"Duo Maxwell." It was dark. Two shadows stood farther than he could reach, watching him. All he could see was their eyes. Dark purple, and sky blue.
"Who are you?" He was on edge. What a strange dream. He'd never seen one like this before. Usually it was him in his underwear. There was a giggle in the darkness, prominently female.
And then they stepped forward. "Whoa." Two girls stood before him, and he recognized them from the stories he had read. Sailor Venus, and Sailor Saturn.
"So you recognize us." Venus said, smiling. "That makes things easier. Rei said she had a hard time convincing Wufei Chang."
"What's going on?" Duo asked, confused.
"We cannot reach Usagi." Saturn said softly. "Her fear of losing herself to Cosmos keeps us away from her. She can't forgive herself for what she had to do."
"So you came to me? For what?"
"To tell you to keep believing." Venus said. "To thank you for bringing the smile to her face again."
"And to give you a weapon to aid your battle." His eyebrow raised, as Saturn and Venus raised their arms together. Between their hands, purple and orange light swirled together, and formed a key. It was silver, with two crystals, one orange and one purple. Saturn caught it, and trailing her fingers over it, formed a silver chain.
She threw it, and he caught it in a quick motion, looking at it in his palm as Saturn spoke. "You will know how to use it when the time comes." She said.
"So Wu-man got one of these too?" He asked. Venus nodded.
"When we are done you will all have the aid you need to help Usagi. Those we have chosen to be her knights in our stead."
"So it wasn't a coincidence." He whispered.
Saturn shook her head with a smile. "Nothing is."
"I'm starting to see that. Never though I'd be under the thumb of fate."
Venus smiled. "Believe Duo, and fate will treat you well." She said. "Someone as cute as you should never give up." She winked, and Saturn rolled her eyes.
"Shinigami smiles on you, Duo Maxwell." And they were fading from his sight again. "Good luck, and safe travels."
He opened his eyes to his celing, and brought the key up close to his face, the cool chain dangling against his bare chest. "Huh." He whispered. "Didn't think Shinigami was the smiling type."
"I'm not hungry." She said for the umpteenth time. Quatre had been trying to get her to eat since 8am. It was 5pm now, and she was sitting on the Veranda, staring out at the gardens. He was coming soon. No...Not him, something else. She could feel it when she focused, a blip on her radar. And the still beating heart of Hilde Shubecker. She was still alive, for now.
"Usagi you really should eat." Quatre was holding a plate of something that smelled amazing, and made her nauseous at the same time.
"Quatre." She said softly, turning pleading eyes to him. They had been silver all day, and gave no inclination of changing back. Her pupils at least had stayed put. "Please." She changed the subject in an obvious effort to get him to stop. "Has Catherine arrived yet?"
"She'll be here soon, with safe transport, as well as Rashid." He sighed, and ran a hand through his hair, brushing his bangs from his eyes. "Usagi are you sure everything is alright?"
"No." She said softly, looking him in the eye, and then turning away just as quickly. She hated how he could read her. "It's not alright. But that doesn't change anything."
He reached for her hand over the table, and she intertwined her fingers with his, smiling at the touch. He was sending her a current of his energy, warm and full of well wishes. "Arigatou. Quat-chan." She whispered.
He smiled. They stayed that way, staring out into the gardens, watching the sun sink knowing the threat was coming ever closer.
Next Chapter... things get bloody. But for who? Can Usagi save Hilde? To find out you'll have to stay tuned to Fuseiseki. Don't forget to review! Chapters come out faster when I have some encouragement. :)