Yoroiden Samurai Troopers crossover with Gundam Wing. Hope you enjoy and please review.
I like the Japanese names for my Samurai Troopers, don't you? Here are the translations, since someone told me they didn't know whom I was talking about.
Ryo- Sanada Ryou
Sage- Date Seiji
Rowen- Hashiba Touma
Cye- Mouri Shin
Kento- Xiulei (Xiu) Faun
Cale- Anubis (See the confusion with this name in particular?)
The ancient- Kaosu
Mia Koji- Yagiyu Nasutei (Naste)
White Blaze- Byakuen (Yaku-Chan)
Black Blaze- Kokuen-Ko (Ko-Chan)
Warrior Children Chapter One: Touma's brother
Don't cry. Don't ever cry.
He should be used to it, by now. The pawing and leers, they weren't anything new. How long had it been like this? Almost a fully year? Something like that. He lost track of time so easily. A whole year of living on the streets, of hiding and running and making himself as inconspicuous as possible.
Everything hurt. Touma tried to lay as still as possible, but it wasn't easy and it really didn't help all that much. His attackers, a man and a woman circled him, leering. The woman's small hand touched his cheek, wet with tears and Touma shivered, jerking away from the touch. He didn't even know who they were. He didn't much care, either. The smell of garbage and waste was overpowering and it made Touma feel all the more ill. He was cold and a light rain felt like it was beating down on him. A m miserable night. He wondered, distantly, if he was going to die in that filthy alley. He didn't want to, but it would save him a lot of trouble. If he died, then he wouldn't be hungry anymore. He wouldn't have to go through anything like this again.
"Sweet thing, you shouldn't cry. It spoils your pretty looks." The woman laughed, turning her fingers to run her nail down his cheek, nearly drawing blood.
'Not crying.' Touma thought, defiantly. 'It's rain. I'm not crying.'
"I disagree, my love." A man said, putting a hand on Touma's hair. "I rather think tears suit our little bluebird."
Touma closed his eyes and prayed for it all to be over. Not for the first time in the past year, he wished he hadn't run away from home. At least he'd had his pride in tact. Even his dad's beatings would have been better than this. Back home he'd have been warm and there was usually food in the house. He could have been in his bedroom fast asleep.
Well, this wasn't the first time this had happened and there was no point in thinking about what might have been. He'd been on the streets for a long while and had learned much. Many things a twelve-year-old should not know. Touma just wanted to die, right now. Just...anything to get it all over with.
The two adults spoke some more before leaving Touma in the alley, broken and bleeding. Touma wasn't glad to be alone, nor was he sad. He couldn't seem to feel anything at the moment other than overpowering shame and a desire to fade into nothingness. Death wasn't something to be afraid of, Touma was sure. Death was a release from the world.
'Death has to be better than this. Wish I was brave enough to do it. What a coward.' No matter how life treated him, Touma just couldn't seem to work up the courage to kill himself. There were many times that he'd wanted to. He certainly had nothing to live for. What future could he possibly have?
Curled up and alone where he'd been left, Touma had a very certain feeling that, left to live, he would never even make an impact on the world. For good or evil, Touma believed that he would live and die hiding in back alleys like this. He would breath in the stench of other people's garbage and hunt through it for food. Why should he live? If no one would even know he existed, what was the point in life?
'Stop it.' Touma told himself. 'Philosophy won't get me anywhere. Stand up.'
The night was cold against his bare skin and Touma huddled into a fetal position for protection. His mind had almost shattered, but slowly it was coming back together. They'd caught him alone. Stupid, really. He should have stayed at the shelter tonight. It was freezing cold and the snow had even started falling again. He had been told that he should stay in the shelters, especially at night, but he'd forgotten. The stars had been so bright that night and he just wanted to stay on the rooftop, gazing at the stars.
The stars were so far away, so perfect. They were clean and the only thing pure Touma could rely on. The stars were always there, no matter how life was.
They caught him when he came down, seizing him roughly by the back of his throat... Touma's mind blanked, not wanting to relive the nightmare. Bad enough to live through it once, why would he want to even think about?
'Have to get up. Stay here and I will die.' He didn't want to die. Yes, death would be easier, but…he just didn't want to die. If he let himself die, then he'd never get to see the stars again. 'Get up! Move!' Touma lay on the bitterly cold pavement, not daring to move for fear that they'd be back. He may have lay there for an hour, before he dared to open his eyes and look around. No one. Was it safe?
"Rashid? Who's that?" A soft voice said from the end of the alley.
Touma froze, looking up with pure horror. Someone else had found him! There was no where to hide or run and he didn't even have his clothes to protect him anymore. Touma started shaking as he looked at the two figures at the end of the alley walked in to get a better look at him. Touma pulled himself to his hands and knees, determined to fight, even if he was going to lose.
A boy his own age with blonde hair was standing next to the biggest man Touma had ever seen. The boy was richly dressed in fancy, bright colored clothes and even wore some jewelry, bangles on his wrist and a gold necklace. He was small, but looked much fitter than Touma. His face was soft and his eyes innocent like a child half his age. It wasn't the boy that worried Touma, though, but the man at the boy's side. Touma almost fainted at the sight of the huge, dark skinned man who stood next to the boy. The man was bigger than a football player and taller than a basketball player. His skin was darken and his beard and mustache were neatly trimmed into sharp angles. Most frightening of all were the man's hard eyes.
The boy stepped into the alley with the man called Rashid following no more than a step behind.
Touma, still naked, put his bundle of torn clothes over himself to protect what remained of his dignity, but not taking his eyes off the boy or the huge man as he struggled to his feet. He couldn't deal with any more trouble tonight. He just wanted to find someplace quiet where he could lay down and sleep for a couple of days. No, scratch that. He wanted a bath to wash the filth off.
"Are you all right?" Rashid asked in a deep, compassionate voice. His eyes showed worry, but Touma wasn't about to trust that. There was no telling what this guy might do. He was way too big to fight, just one of his legs was bigger than Touma.
Touma started to back away remembering what the woman had said several hours ago,
'Are you all right, little boy? You look lost.' She had touched his head, running his fingers through his blue hair. Touma hadn't liked the touch and he squirmed to get away from her. The man held Touma by the throat and one arm around his chest, almost strangling him and pinning Touma's back to his chest. Touma had been so afraid that he couldn't even fight and his heart hurt, slamming against his chest.
The blonde boy smiled at Touma. "Don't be afraid. We won't hurt you. What's your name?"
'What's your name, little boy?' The man had asked, leering. He'd moved to stand in front of Touma and puta hand on Touma's thin chest. Touma was now shaking, backed as far away from the boy and the huge man as he could get.
His mind screamed at him, 'run!' and Touma obeyed, flying at the only escape available. The street behind Rashid was the only place to run so Touma darted to safety. Unfortunately, though he did manage to get passed the blonde boy, Rashid was a different matter. The man easily caught him by the arm and hauled him off his feet.
Touma screamed, just as he had when the other people had torn off his clothes, fighting for his life. Rashid held him securely; not hard enough to hurt him, but hard enough that Touma didn't want to test the man's strength. He was caught. This man could kill him without trying.
"Let me go!" Touma demanded, kicking as hard as he could at the frowning man.
"I won't hurt you, child." Touma couldn't make much sense of anything the man was saying; he just wanted to run. Just run and get somewhere that no one could touch him!
"Calm down, please." The blonde boy said, almost begging. His eyes were wide and his hands clasped at his chest. "We're not going to hurt you, we just want to help."
"Put me down! I don't need you!" Touma refused to stop fighting even though it looked hopeless.
The giant of a man looked at the blonde boy who sighed unhappily. "Do as he says, Rashid. We can't keep him here if he wants to go home."
Rashid did as he was told without question, but as Touma ran to the street, two figures blocked his way. Touma skidded to a stop, falling down in his haste to keep away. The two were all to familiar as they smiled down at him and Touma scrambled to get back into the alley when he remembered Rashid and the boy were still there. He froze, caught between the two sets of people with nowhere to run.
"We came back to see you again, bluebird." The woman purred, smiling like a shark. "We missed you all ready and thought that perhaps we shouldn't have left you out here all alone in the night. Someone might hurt you, you know." Her eyes went to Rashid. "I didn't think you'd have found another friend so quickly, bluebird." Her eyes ran up and down Rashid whose eyes narrowed. "Would you care to share? This bluebird is our little one, but we'll share him if you'll share the pretty blonde." She looked at the blonde boy.
Rashid's eye twitched, ominously. "Quatre," He said in a deep rumbling voice. "Close your eyes."
The boy, Quatre, did as he was told without question.
The woman laughed, an obscenely sweet sound. "Your little one is so well trained. Bluebird isn't so well behaved, I'm afraid. Perhaps with your company, he may learn a bit."
Rashid didn't seem to listen and instead went directly to the man and woman, standing in front of them for just a moment before he grabbed both of them by their head and smashed their skulls together. It was like smashing two raw eggs together and watching all the goo explode. Touma retched at the sight of their brains leaking and their lifeless bodies slumped to the ground, but luckily there was no food in his stomach to come up.
Rashid looked down at Touma, still frozen, but now with confusion as well as fear. What was going on? Would Rashid kill him, too, instead of raping him? 'Please,' Touma thought. 'Please, just kill me.'
"Did they touch you?" Rashid asked, making his voice softer.
Touma nodded slowly. He really didn't want to get this man angry. A man so powerful that he could kill so easily.
"Quatre, we will have a guest for dinner tonight." Rashid told the boy whose eyes were still closed. It seemed that he wouldn't open them until Rashid told him to. "What is your name, boy?" Rashid looked back at Touma, his eyes becoming gentler.
Touma considered for a moment before answering. "Hashiba Touma."
Rashid picked up Quatre easily and carried him over the mess he'd made to the street beyond and he looked at Touma. "Would you like some help?"
Touma shook his head, not wanting anyone to touch him, not even if it meant he had to walk through the brains all over the ground. Touma stepped carefully, hoping he wouldn't fall. Once he'd reached the street, Touma remembered he was still naked, but before he could feel embarrassed, a weight landed on his shoulders as Rashid had taken off his coat and draped it over Touma's shoulders.
"That will keep you warm. You are welcome in our home, Touma. To fill your belly and warm your bones as well as to get some medical treatment."
It was exactly what Touma needed, but he was afraid to accept. Nothing was free. He wanted to run, but where would he go? Where else could he get such a good offer? "Thanks." He was so cold and tired of being alone. Maybe these people would at least give him some food.
They brought Touma to a large house on the edge of the city, still wearing Rashid's coat. Rashid led the way to a black car that looked old, but was obviously well taken care of. He held the door open for Quatre and waited patiently for Touma to get in, also. They rode the whole way with Quatre chatting to Rashid, who drove, and Touma sitting as quietly as he could. To get into the house, they had to pass through a guarded gate and then It made Touma look like he was almost swimming in it. There were servants, men in black and white suits and women in maid outfits, in the house when they walked in. Rashid and Quatre paid the servants no attention, though everyone seemed to be staring at Touma. They were all quiet as Touma looked around the entrance hall of the house.
The floors were made of solid marble and there were silk curtains on the windows. The house was shiningly clean and there were several servants wandering around, casting him curious looks but not saying anything directly to him, just polite nods and smiles. It seemed eerily quiet and Touma could hear his own footsteps
Touma felt out of place and that only made him more nervous. A maid stepped forward and took Quatre's coat, then Rashid's. When she moved to take Touma's, Rashid made a quick slashing movement with one hand and she backed away without a word. Rashid was obviously the one in charge of the house.
One man, a bit younger than Rashid, perhaps, came to the large man and gave him a familiar embrace before kissing Rashid's cheek. "Welcome, home, Rashid. Master Quatre." The man bowed to Quatre. He wasn't dressed in the black and white of the other servants, but in some kind of garb from the middle-east. The sunglasses on his face looked a bit out of place considering that it was night and they were inside.
"Hi, Abdul!" Quatre cried as he hugged the man warmly. It was quite obvious that Quatre loved Abdul and Rashid both very much and trusted them. Then Quatre looked at Touma. "Abdul, this is Touma. He's gonna stay with us for a little while, okay?"
Abdul smiled at Touma; looking him up and down and Touma scowled, starting to back away. He was all too aware that he was naked under Rashid's coat and hugged it closer to his body for protection. He didn't like people looking at him. He really didn't like it. Touma started to back himself into a corner near a door. He didn't know that there were going to be other people here. The servants alone were bad enough, but this one wasn't a servant. He was friendly with Rashid and that made him dangerous.
Quatre apparently noticed Touma's reaction and walked away from Abdul. "Don't be afraid. Abdul's really nice." He reached out, but Touma jerked away before Quatre could touch him, glaring at the blonde furiously. He couldn't afford to be afraid, fear was weakness, so he would be angry instead.
Quatre looked hurt. "You don't think I'll hurt you, do you?"
Touma snorted. "You might. How should I know?" Until he was sure, Touma wasn't going to let any of them get close. This was a bad idea, a very bad mistake, coming here with them. What had he been thinking?
Rashid put hand on Quatre's shoulder. "Give him some time, Master Quatre. He's been through a very hard time. Is dinner ready?" He looked at Abdul.
Abdul nodded but before they went in to eat, Quatre started up the large winding stairway. "Come with me, Touma. You can use some of my clothes and we'll wash for dinner."
Touma started to shake his head and held Rashid's coat a little tighter around him. "I don't need your clothes."
"If you want to eat, you will wash and dress." Rashid informed him sternly before walking into another room with Abdul and closing the door behind them. Touma knew, in all likelihood, that they were talking about him.
This left Touma standing in the silent hall with Quatre looking at him expectantly. Touma squelched the fear and shrugged as if it didn't matter. "All right. Where is this room of yours?" Quatre's room was enormous. The bed alone was bigger than Touma's room at the old man's apartment. "I just don't believe this place." Touma muttered looking around in awe.
"What do you mean?" Quatre asked from inside his huge closet as he searched for clothes for Touma. The closet was a whole room unto itself and Quatre was wandering around inside, looking for just the right things, determined to share what he had.
"This whole place. It's huge, like a museum. Does Rashid own all of it?" Touma thought that Rashid must be big into some kind of business, legal or otherwise, to have such wealth. Finally, Quatre came out of the closet with an armful of clothes including underwear and shining leather shoes.
"Don't be silly." Quatre answered with a little laugh. "I own all this. Rashid works for my father and takes care of me while I'm on Earth. My father lives on colonies L4." Quatre lay the clothes on the bed for Touma, smiling happily. "It won't fit quite right, I'm afraid. You're taller than me and thinner. It should be all right for tonight, though. Tomorrow, I'll have the tailor make something new for you." Quatre smiled happily though this all, as he lay out the clothes.
Touma started at what Quatre had said and went cold. "I'm staying here?"
"Well, yes. If you want to."
Touma shook his head quickly. "I...I don't think I should. I just came for that hot meal your big friend said I could have."
Quatre looked disappointed, but accepted this. Quatre insisted that Touma shower before changing into the new clothes, telling Touma that he could use Quarte's own bathroom and that there was a lock on the inside of the door if he felt he had to use it. "Don't take a shower, though." Quatre warned. "Rashid said the doctor will be up soon to see you." He blushed a little. "You know, just to make sure there's no…damage. In fact, you might as well wait. I'm sure Abdul's already called the doctor." Innocent as he may look, Quatre did understand what Touma had gone though.
The exam was through, but professional. The coldly clinical doctor pronounced Touma in relative good health, though he advised Rashid to have him visit a psychologist or a therapist some time soon. He bandaged what he could and took blood samples for tests, promising to let Rashid know the results as soon as possible. When the old man had gone, Quatre smiled at Touma. "He's a friend of Rashid's, so you don't have to worry. He'll be discreet about everything. Did you want a shower, now?"
Touma had to admit that the shower with almost limitless hot water felt terribly good. He had never had such a wonderful experience, just letting the steaming water run down his back and finally clean all the grime off him. Even after he got out of the shower, the bathroom was wonderfully steamy. Quatre had been right about the clothes. They were to baggy and to short in the arms and legs. He looked really absurd, but at least they were clean and the shoes fit. He'd never worn leather shoes. Even the sneakers he'd had were always second hand.
When Touma came out of the bathroom, Quatre was still waiting for him and looked at him critically. "Well, it's better, I suppose." Quatre motioned at Touma's long bangs falling in his eyes. "I don't suppose you'd let me cut your hair, would you?" He seemed to disapprove of how long and shaggy it was. "I'll call a hair dresser, if you'd prefer. It'll look nicer."
Let someone near him with scissors? No way! Touma shook his head, even though the hair in his eyes was irritating. Quatre thought for a moment, before bringing out of his closet a long, blue silk ribbon and giving it to Touma. "It belonged to one of my sisters and she forgot it the last time she visited. Just tie it around your forehead to keep the hair out of your eyes."
The idea worked wonderfully and Touma almost smiled at being able to see properly. At least one good thing came out of this meeting.
The next morning-
Touma woke up in the morning and wasn't sure where he was until he remembered Quatre giving him a pair of pajamas and showing him to the spare room. "You can sleep here tonight." Quatre had told him after the incredible meal they'd served for dinner. "If you need anything, just come and find me. My room's right down the hall."
Left alone in the large room, Touma put himself to bed. He felt better than he'd felt in a long time. He was clean, dressed in clean clothes, and so full of wonderful food that his stomach felt like it was going to burst. This was just too good to be true. Although he still didn't trust these people, Touma had to say that Rashid had been very kind and Abdul was nice. They'd let Touma eat at the big dinner table and the servants waited on him just like they did the other three, setting plates of food down in front of him and asking him if he wanted anything when he'd cleaned off his plate.
All the food and comfort soon had Touma feeling drowsy at the dinner table, even though he was afraid what would happen if he fell asleep with these people around him. Rashid noticed Touma's condition and suggested that Quatre show him to one of the guest rooms so he could get some sleep. Touma had locked the door as soon as Quatre had left, afraid that someone would come in while he was sleeping. That night, the only invaders had been nightmares and no lock could stop their fearsome visit.
Now, in the morning sunlight, Touma was laying in bed, wondering if he should get up. There would be a price for the warm bed and the food, he knew. Nothing was free and Rashid, or maybe Abdul, would demand a price for the shelter and the large meal he'd been given last night. Touma's stomach twisted inside with fear, now that he was wide and the shock of yesterday's rape had worn off. The nightmares had revisited that on him last night, time and time again so Touma hadn't really gotten any rest.
He knew what the price would likely be, but if he could talk to Quatre, maybe he would know what to be ready for. Quatre didn't seem afraid of these guys in the least, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Maybe they would be gentle. It couldn't be worse than living at home with the old man or starving on the streets, could it? 'I could just stay here, if they want me.' Would that really so awful? Yes. It would be unspeakably horrible. The pain alone would probably kill them. 'But if I'm going to get raped on the streets, maybe it would be better to stay here. At least they feed me here. I'll have a warm bed and Quatre said I can have new clothes. I don't want to be hungry anymore. But it hurts and I was so scared.' Touma bit at his bottom lip until he could taste blood. 'Giving up is bad, isn't it? Should I fight? I hate fighting.' Touma could envision the rest of his life spent running away from people like the man and woman who'd hurt him and being hungry all the time. He thought about the coming winter and the bitter cold. Would he even be able to survive it? Quatre's house was warm and the food was good.
After hopping out of bed, Touma checked the windows, which turned out to be locked. There was no other way out of the room than the door leading into the hallway. Touma opened the bedroom door and stepped out into the empty hall. Maybe he should sneak out before anyone noticed he was up.
Touma jumped at the cheerful voice and turned to see Quatre coming out of the bathroom, his hair still wet from, supposedly, a shower. He just looked too good to be true. He looked like one of those paintings of angels one always saw in churches. Quatre said that he owned the house? Rashid and Abdul worked for him? Quatre might be in on the whole thing, too. Touma shook his head to clear his mind. This was too hard! He just couldn't trust anyone!
Quatre went right over to Touma, either not noticing or not caring about the suspicious look Touma was giving him or about the fact that he was apparently wearing nothing but a bathrobe. "Did you sleep well last night?"
"Yeah. Fine." Touma backed away slightly, as he wasn't inclined to tell Quatre about the nightmares.
"You should get washed up and come downstairs. Breakfast will be ready, soon." Quatre turned and started to walk away, but Touma stopped him.
"Can you tell me what your friends want with me?" Touma asked nervously. He wasn't sure if he wanted to hear the answer, but it was always better to go in knowing what to expect rather than be taken by surprise.
Quatre only looked at him blankly. "What do you mean?"
"Well, what are they going to expect me to...do. You know." Touma knew he was blushing and wished that he could stop it, but this was not the sort of thing he was used to talking about. If he was a prisoner here, he wanted to know what was going on!
"Do? I'm not sure what you're talking about, but I'm sure Rashid will. Rashid knows everything! He's downstairs with Abdul, probably in the kitchen. Why don't you go ask him?" Quatre walked away and into his own bedroom, blissfully ignorant of Touma's fear. Ask Rashid? Well, he had to go down some time.
After he'd rummaged through a closet and found some clothes that fit well enough, Touma tried to do as Quatre had said, but finding his way downstairs was more difficult than he'd imagined. The whole house was like a maze, and he had to ask several servants where he could find Rashid. Ten minutes later, Touma found himself outside the kitchen where, he was told, the two adults preferred to eat.
'This is going to be okay.' Touma told himself, licking his suddenly dry lips. 'If they do anything creepy and I don't like it, I can run for it. I can change my mind if they hurt me. I saw a forest outside through the windows, so I can hide there for a while. Those two huge guys, there's no way they'd make it through all the trees as fast as me. I can change my mind.'
"I don't think it's right."
Touma paused when he heard Abdul's voice through the kitchen door.
"We don't have a choice." Rashid answered, sounding sad, yet certain.
Touma pressed his ear to the door to hear better.
"He's going to have to go back to his home." Rashid decided. "We can't keep the boy, he's likely got family who are looking for him."
"Oh, come on." Abdul tried to argue. "There must have been a reason for him to be on the streets. Maybe he's an orphan and he doesn't have a home. Maybe his home was just no good. Have you asked him?"
Rashid shook his head. "The boy belongs with his family. I looked on the computers last night and found the name Hashiba, a single father who has a son named Touma. It must be the same. We'll go find him and return Touma."
"But I like the boy!"
"It wouldn't be right."
"Quatre likes him, too. I went to say good night last night and Quatre wouldn't talk about anything except Touma. He's so excited to have a friend."
Rashid answered harshly. "Don't try to change my mind! The boy has to go back to his home and that's that!"
Touma's eyes went wide at the thought. Just last night he'd been thinking that maybe he shouldn't have run away, but now, thinking clearly, Touma changed his mind. Anything was better than staying with the old man. Life of the streets was bad, being here with these strangers was unnerving, but going back to the old man? Never! Touma took off running, finding the front door open, and headed for the forest. Touma was breathing hard as he ran through the forest, desperate to get away. He would not go back to the old man! The old man would kill him after all this time gone. Touma just couldn't stand anymore.
Touma ran out of the house and into the forest he'd seen just moments ago. It wasn't hard. The fence surrounding the property had bars just wide enough for Touma to slip through and escape. He was feeling his freedom when he was well into the forest and no one had followed him. He'd seen not a single guard or servant, he hadn't even heard a call of alarm when he'd run out of the house. Perhaps, he wasn't important enough to run after.
His luck ran out when Touma heard a rustling from the trees above him and stopped running to look up into the canopy. Quatre jumped out of the treetops and landed in front of Touma, looking angry. "You're running away?" He'd landed with grace Touma hadn't expected from the small boy. He made it look as if he'd done this sort of thing a before
"Yes." Touma answered warily. He wouldn't let Quatre take him back to Rashid. Rashid had said he was taking Touma back home. Home? As if that apartment could be called home!
"You can't just run away! What are you going to do when you can't find any food out here!"
Touma put his fists up, ready to fight if Quatre forced it. "I won't go back! I heard your friends talking and I won't go back there! I'll die before I let them take me back!" He didn't want to hurt Quarte. No matter how suspicious Quarte was, he hadn't done anything to hurt Touma. "Get out of my way." "Don't be stupid. Rashid wouldn't do anything to hurt you and neither would Abdul or I. What's so horrible about going back to your father?"
Touma began to slip into a crouch, his eyes narrowing as he readied himself for a fight. "The old man will kill me if I go back. I'd rather spend the rest of my life on the streets than go back." His heart was beating faster and Touma could hear his blood rushing through his ears. He was cold all of sudden, sweat running down his back.
Quatre's eyes opened a little wider. "Kill you? Why?"
Touma almost laughed. "Why? Because he's a drunk old bastard, why do you think? He hates me."
"Rashid won't let you get hurt. If you're afraid, ask Rashid to go with you."
Touma attacked, flying at Quatre with his fists swinging, and didn't bother to answer. If the old man were sober when Touma got there with Rashid, the old man would act all fatherly only to turn back to normal when Rashid had gone. It wasn't worth the risk.
Quatre was surprised, caught off guard, and Touma fell, knocking both of them down. Touma straddled Quatre and raised his fists. It all happened so quickly that Touma didn't even had time to think about what he was going bfore he started battering Quatre's face as hard as he could.
Quatre took the swings, letting Touma hit him black and blue. He didn't offer up even the slightest resistance and just lay there, taking the blows. His patience paid off as Touma's strength started to run out. Touma's attach slowed, his arms moving more and more slowly until he could barely lift them. Touma felt Quatre put arms around him. Even as Touma was weakly struggled against the embrace, Quatre held him tight and whispered. "Poor Touma. Don't be afraid. I'll be with you."
Touma stopped and stared, heaving from the effort. His eyes started to burn. 'Don't cry. Crying's weak. Don't cry.'
Quatre's bloody, swelling face looked right in Touma's as he sat up and the two boys faced each other. Quatre smiled reassuringly. "Don't be afraid. I won't let you get hurt."
That was too much for Touma, he was too confused by Quatre's generous, unexpected offer. Touma let Quatre hold him and leaned his head down onto Quatre's shoulder. "Oh, God." Touma whispered. "Oh, God, what am I going to do?"
"You'll survive." Quatre told him quietly, rubbing his back. "After you survive, you'll live to see another morning." They waited until Touma had run out of tears, just taking comfort in Quatre holding him. "Will you come back now?" Quatre asked. "I'll tell Rashid that you're afraid of your father and I know he'll think of something. He'll know what to do."
"Did you mean what you said? Will you stay with me?"
"Of course I did. You can be my brother, if you like. I have a house full of sisters, but no brothers."
Quatre's brother? Would that be so bad? Touma let Quatre help him off the ground and together they walked back to the house. Touma was still afraid, though. Now he had to face Rashid and Abdul after hurting Quatre and there was still the threat of what they really wanted from him. He just couldn't believe they were doing all this out of the goodness of their hearts.
Rashid and Abdul had been upset about Quatre's face, but only scowled at Touma, irritated. Touma had been afraid that he'd get a beating, but that didn't seem to even cross their minds. Quatre was washed up and they all sat down to breakfast with not another word about the incident.
"Rashid," Quatre said when the four of them were seated around the small kitchen table. "Touma doesn't want to go home. He says his father beats him."
Later that day-
Quatre's warnings were never ignored. Though he didn't know how Quatre knew some of the things he knew, Rashid had faith in Quatre's instincts. If he thought Touma was in danger or that Touma was afraid, Rashid had to believe him. The boy had always had a talent for seeing into other people. It was such a strong talent that if Quatre ever decided to take a hand in his father's business or, Allah forbid, he take an interest in politics, then Rashid feared there would be no stopping him.
Touma led them to an apartment near the middle of the city, not one of the nicer places to live. Rashid looked around the apartment quietly with the three behind him. Touma, as usual, had been very quiet, as they'd driven here, speaking only to give the driver directions. Quatre kept trying to talk to him in the back of the car, but Touma barely made any response. Rashid was beginning to understand why as he examined Touma's home.
The place smelled. Not just a bad smell, but as if it hadn't been cleaned in months. Rancid, that was the only word for it. The smell of rotted food and a backed up toilet was almost enough to almost knock Rashid over. As it was, Quatre had quickly covered his nose and mouth with his hand, unable to bear it. Abdul wrinkled his nose in disgust, but Touma didn't seem to notice and walked glumly into the apartment.
"Maybe you should leave now." Touma suggested in a dead sounding voice. "If the old man comes back and finds you here, he's likely not to be to happy. If he comes back." Touma sounded very pathetic as he walked away from them and went to the couch. Before sitting down, Touma checked all the cushions carefully and pulled out two used syringes from where they'd apparently been dropped and carelessly tossed them on the coffee table, as if he did it everyday. "Hasn't changed a bit."
Rashid, not liking the way this was going, shook his head slowly. "I think we'll stay just a bit longer. I want to make sure you are not left here alone, after all." 'As if I'm going to leave the child alone in a place like this!'
"I wouldn't if I were you." Touma said, very seriously. "He's gonna do something bad if you stay. If he's sober, he'll try to get money off you. He'll say you kidnapped me or something and he'll try to take you to court, if he can. If I'm lucky, he'll be drunk when he gets here."
While Touma was saying all that, Abdul had been exploring the apartment with no small amount of trepidation. He'd given Quatre quiet, but strict instructions to stay near the door, probably the safest place for him, and cautiously stepped over and around the lumps of garbage and soiled clothes.
"Um, Rashid? I think you'd better come see this." Abdul said. He had started to explore the disgusting apartment, peeking into corners, and had ended up in the bathroom.
Rashid left the two boys and looked in where his friend was. A man with shaggy hair and two days worth of stubble was laying, passed out, on the floor in a puddle of vomit, his hair half soaked in it with several empty bottles of some kind around his feet.
Touma stuck his head in before Rashid could stop him and sneered with disgust. "Damned old man. Drunk again. I hope he drowns in his own throw up!" Touma left without another word to go back to the couch.
"Does he do that often?" Abdul asked horrified. He left the bathroom in disgust and put a hand on Touma's shoulder in an attempt to comfort him, though Touma flinched away from the touch. Abdul didn't try to touch him again.
"Every time the unemployment check comes in. Don't worry about him, I don't think even the devil wants someone like that, so he'll probably live forever." Touma sounded disgusted.
Rashid, meanwhile, was making a decision. This was obviously not a safe place for Touma to live. Touma would be much safer and happier living with them. The decision was rather easy. "Abdul, take the boys out for lunch, will you?"
Everyone looked at him, curiously, but Rashid didn't bother to explain himself and Abdul knew when something was important. "You heard him, boys. Where do you want to go? Italian would be nice and I think I saw a place just down the street."
"What's going on?" Touma asked, suspiciously. He looked from Abdul to Rashid. "What are you going to do?"
Rashid gave Touma a very serious look. "Do you want to stay here?"
"I ran away, didn't I?"
"Don't be so surly. If you want to stay away, then we'll have to do this legally. We don't want problems later."
A tiny, very small spark of hope flashed in Touma's eyes before it died away. He'd been living without hope for so long, the boy probably didn't even want to think about it anymore. How many times had he been disappointed by that man in the bathroom? What had he done to Touma that would make the boy fear him so much? If Touma didn't want to tell, it was probably best not to ask. "It won't work. Whatever you're thinking, it won't work."
"No." Touma met Rashid's eyes flatly.
Quatre took Touma's arm and Touma didn't shake him off. "Rashid knows what he's doing. He's very good. You can trust him." Quatre and Abdul led Touma away, though Abdul paused at the doorway and threw Abdul a cool look.
"Don't kill him." He gestured around the apartment. "I really don't think Touma needs to deal with that on top of everything else that's going on in his life."
Several minutes later, Touma's terrified father was trying very hard to concentrate while Rashid held a short dagger to the man's throat. Rashid was, normally, the most peaceful of men and his patience was legendary. When someone managed to upset him, it was spectacular. In this case, being so irresponsible as to endanger a child was enough to make Rashid angry. "Do you understand?"
Touma's father nodded quickly. "Yes. Yes. Completely. City courthouse, nine o'clock tomorrow." Touma's father had been, luckily, easy to wake up enough to understand what Rashid wanted. He'd woken Touma's father out of his drink-induced slumber with several rather hard slaps across the face. The man wasn't completely sober, but it was good enough for the moment.
"And you won't forget, will you?" Rashid pressed the dagger just a little bit closer.
"No! I swear! He's all yours! Whatever you want!"
"Good." Rashid sheathed his dagger with an almost pleased smile. "I'll see you, then. We both agree that your life just can't handle having a child, correct? Because if you decide to change your mind, mention my little persuasion method," He patted the knife under his coat. "Or just decide not to turn up, please remember that I know where you live. I also know that you neglected your own son to such a degree that he's been wandering the streets for quite some time. I believe I can have you in jail for that." Actually, this might all be easier if Rashid just have the man discreetly killed, but Abdul would find out and that sort of thing always upset him. Besides, the last thing Touma needed to worry about was a mess of legal action. Better to get this all done properly.
There was no question of the outcome, after all. Touma would speak against his father. Rashid, an upstanding and well known citizen, would ask for Touma. If necessary, bribes could be paid, then Touma would go home with Rashid and Abdul and that would be the end of the matter. Rashid had always wanted a son and now Quatre could have the brother he wanted.
It was several years after Touma had been legally adopted by Rashid and Abdul when Quatre came back to visit. He would have liked to live with them all the time, but there were other obligations he had to take care of. Family duties and his studies were of utmost importance. Above even those, was his new duty. The training for the swiftly coming war.
Still, whenever he had a free moment, Quatre would find some excuse to go to Earth and visit with his family. His other family. This time, he had more of an excuse. His father had agreed to let him live with Rashid and Abdul for the next four years, until he graduated high school.
It was on his first night home that Quatre had first learned that Touma was still having nightmares. Of course he knew that Touma had many nightmares about the rape, but the therapist Abdul had hired was supposed to have taken care of that. He and Touma had become as close as brothers in the past few years, through both Touma's therapy and the both of them being trained by Rashid as soldiers. Rashid didn't want them to actually fight, but he wanted them to know how to fight.
Touma had fallen into life with Rashid and Abdul nicely, finding in them the father figures he'd always needed. He developed a love of books from Rashid's great library and, all in all, turned out rather well.
Then came the nightmare.
Touma was running and he kept yelling at himself to run faster. 'Run as fast as you can!' He took a quick look over his shoulder but the thing was still following him! It was strong and looking at it made Touma feel very weak. It was metal, he could hear it clanking as it ran behind him. There was a metal bow in it's hands and Touma thought of the anime he watched with the giant robots. It was too much like one of those things. It couldn't be real. Touma turned back around and ran harder, but his chest hurt and the thing was getting closer. He couldn't get away from it. 'Weak! I hate being weak! It's going to catch me!' Touma screamed at himself and he was starting to slow down. He was so tired of running and the bow-wielding thing was right on his heels now. 'Keep running! Keep running! I have to get away from it. If it catches me, it'll never let me go! Someone help me. Please, someone help!'
Touma woke with a scream and found Quatre looking down at him. The light was on and there was no robot with a bow. For a moment, Touma just lay there in his bed and waited for his heart to slow. He was home. Safe.
"Touma? What's wrong?" Quatre looked at Touma closely, worried. "Why did you scream, Touma? Was it the nightmare again?"
Touma noticed that he was shaking and pulled his knees up to his chest. "Yeah. Just...just a nightmare."
There was a weight on the side of his bed and Touma knew that Quatre was sitting there with him. He didn't want to look at Quatre, though. He was sweating and his face was wet from tears. He must have been crying in his sleep. "Do you want to talk about it?"
Touma was quiet a moment. "It was chasing me."
"Blue yoroi (armor) that held a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other hand. It wanted to get me. I don't know why, but it was very important. It wasn't going to stop."
Quatre put his arms around Touma and let his brother cry. He sat with Touma until the other boy ran out of strength and fallen back into an exhausted sleep. As an empath, Quatre had always been intimately tuned in with other people's emotions and he could feel when Touma's fear entirely left him and he relaxed into a deep, peaceful dream.
'One day I'll tell you about my talent.' Quatre silently promised. 'You'd be grateful that I'm a freak. If it weren't for my talent, I wouldn't have told Rashid to stop the car that day and we wouldn't have found you. You'd still be out there. You might be dead. I'll tell Rashid about this in the morning. It's not like you've never had a nightmare before, though this yoroi is a new development. I guess we should be grateful that it wasn't about the rape, again. You'll be angry if I tell Rashid you need to see the therapist again, won't you? Well, maybe I'm just over reacting. It might have just been a nightmare.'
Tenderly as he could, Quatre lay Touma back down on the bed and covered him up. He resolved not to worry. Tomorrow was a new day and it would be a big one. Touma and Quatre were now fourteen and getting ready for high school. Knowing Touma, school would cheer him up a great deal. Quatre smiled fondly at the pile of textbooks Touma had left on the floor beside his bed, waiting for tomorrow.
The next day-
First day of high school-
Touma apparently forgot all about the nightmare he'd had the previous night. He either forgot or just chose not to mention it. Quatre took his hint from Touma and didn't bring up the subject, though if Touma woke up screaming like that one more time, he would have a talk with Rashid.
The day had gone well for Quatre who liked being with all the people more than the schoolwork Touma seemed to live for. Touma threw himself into the work with a passion Quatre could never hope to match. For Quatre, this was a wonderful change. He was used to the private school on the colony where he usually lived with his father. Quatre hadn't gotten close to anyone at school, yet. Neither had Touma, though he didn't seem to care as much as Quatre did. After all this time, Touma still disliked and distrusted people.
During lunch, though, everything had gone down hill rather quickly. Quatre looked around at the bigger boys fearfully. Oh, he wasn't afraid for himself, but the situation could get out of hand very quickly. He didn't know high school was going to be like this! This sort of thing never happened at the private school. Where was Touma? Touma had grown into the habit of 'protecting' Quatre from bullies that seemed to be drawn to him like flies to honey. He was supposed to meet Touma at lunch, but these upperclassmen had caught him first.
"Come on, little boy." One of them said mockingly. "All we want is that fancy watch you have. You must have a dozen or so more at home. It's real gold, isn't it?"
"No." The watch was, in fact, solid gold, but he didn't want them to know that. The watch had been a present from Rashid on his tenth birthday and was precious to Quatre. At his other school, Quatre knew almost everyone had similar things on them, it wasn't important if someone wore a bit of gold to school.
Though he tried backing away, there was no where to run to. They were surrounding him! Quatre swallowed hard as they started to close in. Stupid, really, to wear such an expensive piece of jewelry to a school where he didn't know what the people were like. He might have known this could happen. He should have known.
Quatre's eyes grew wide as the boy's advanced, closing in like sharks around a wounded fish. He would have to fight at this rate and, if he did fight, someone was going to get hurt. More than likely, it would NOT be him. After all, Rashid and Abdul did raise and train him, so of course they'd taught him to protect himself. He just really hated fighting. Quatre started to slip into a fighting stance and hoped he wouldn't hurt any of them to badly. The last time he'd had to fight, he'd landed a boy in the hospital.
"How about picking on someone a little bigger?"
That drew everyone's attention away from Quatre and he felt a hand on his arm, pulling him out of the middle of all the boys. It was Touma! Touma smiled at Quatre and put a finger to his lips, signaling him to be quiet as they snuck away while the attention of Quatre's attackers was diverted.
"I found some friends to help." Touma whispered slyly. Once they were safely out of the middle of the way, Quatre looked at the friend's Touma had found.
Two boys looked somewhat similar in the face, but while one was large and muscular, the other was small and slender. The first boy had almost curly, loose ash colored hair and the other had his ink black hair pulled back tightly into a small pigtail.
It was the larger boy who spoke first. "Man, I hate cowards! Picking on someone half your size and ganging up on him? What a bunch of losers!" He snorted at the absurdity of the whole situation.
"I agree completely, for once." The smaller boy said. "It's a crime to see this happen at a school, also. Perhaps you should just leave. I'm sure no one would miss you. This is a center for learning, after all and you don't look like you do much of that!" He spoke very arrogantly, but his hands were clenching and unclenching, as if he hoped they would say or do something to start a fight.
The larger one punched his friend in the arm. "It's high school, Wufei. Loosen up. If they want a fight so bad, I think we can oblige them. Don't you?" Then he looked at Quatre. "Hey, you don't mind if we take your place, do you?"
Quatre numbly shook his head.