The Blood of Peace
Third Movement, the Second Part: Legato in Pianissimo
Duo still wasn't speaking to him. It had been five hours since the battle had ceased and the chatterbox, otherwise known as Duo his love, had not said a damn thing to him. Heero refused to break the silence, but it was wearing on him. When would he speak? Duo had gone off a while ago to wash up and Heero was cleaning the minute stains of blood off his tunic. Sure, he had people who could do that for him, but a mundane task kept his mind from turning in insane circles. When Duo came back, maybe he would yell at the idiot for not speaking to him. After all, they should not be like this to each other. As Heero ran through in his mind what he would do to Duo when he came back, Duo entered the tent and Heero's thoughts flew into the air as he stared at his love.
Duo stalked into the tent mumbling about the gods awful mess his hair was in. It had taken him forever to wash out all the blood, not to mention an occasional piece of bone or something that had caught in his strands. Not only that, his only clean shirt had been destroyed today during the battle and Heero was not speaking to him. Out of the corner of his eyes, Duo saw Heero sitting on the cot they shared, just staring at him. He looked stunned. For some reason, Duo felt a slight blush work its way up his bare torso. What the hell was Heero doing? Heero, for his part, was too amazed by Duo to notice that he was staring. After all the months of loving him, being with him, Heero had never once seen his lover's hair down. And now that he saw the glory of the mass (even if Duo was cursing it to high heaven at this point), he could not conceive of anything else more beautiful. So, he kept staring and Duo finally turned and faced him.
"What, Heero? Did I leave a blood stain on myself somewhere?"
Because Duo was flustered, his question came out rather hostile. Heero was staring at him so intensely, the longing and passion clear in his eyes. But he still had not uttered a word. When Heero did not answer his question, Duo got more apprehensive. Heero was a silent boy, but this was ridiculous! Suddenly, Heero spoke and took Duo's breath away.
"Your hair. I've never seen it like that before. You are so beautiful. I'm sorry that I made you worry earlier. I should have thought of you first."
"Damn it, Heero, you don't speak for hours then you say something that I can't get angry at. You asshole."
They smiled at each other. All the anger had drained out from Duo and Heero moved over so that Duo could sit next to him. Smiling still, Duo reached out and touched Heero's face.
"I love you, you goddamned psycho. If you ever do anything like that again, I'm going to tie you up and toss you into a hole, got it?"
Heero laughed a genuine laugh. Only Duo could bring it out of him now.
"I love you too, you emotional idiot. And I don't think I'd mind being tied up by you."
Laughing, Duo knocked Heero over onto the cot and kissed him. It was a long, lingering kiss that left both of their hearts hammering and blood boiling. Duo's loose hair pooled around their bodies and Heero tentatively ran his fingers through it. It was such a romantic move that it startled him when Duo yelped and winced.
"Sorry, Heero. I still have about a million and a half tangles in the hair. Gotta brush it out before you can play with it."
Heero's eyes lit up. Here a chance was offered and Heero could not refuse it.
"I'll brush it for you, Duo."
Grinning, Duo reached over to the little stand next to their cot and retrieved a brush. Sitting up, he handed the brush over to Heero. Maybe after the brushing, they could do something that required his hair to be brushed again. Heero had the same thoughts. It was going to be a long afternoon, hopefully.
WuFei cleaned Altron, manfully trying to ignore the noises coming from the other side of the canvas. Apparently, Duo and Heero were no longer angry with each other. That was good, but did they have to inflict their idea of a good time on him?
"Sounds like someone's having a good time."
Meiran commented just to see if WuFei would acknowledge her presence. Ever since the war had begun, she had been stuck in this tent while everyone else went off and fought. She resented that she was made to stay behind when she was a more capable warrior and soldier than most of the guys out onto the field. She could help, but WuFei always overrode her suggestion that he take her out to the battle field. He was totally unreasonable sometimes.
"Girl, ignore them. They need to do whatever they are doing. So, mind your own business."
"What business? All I do all day is sit in this tent and count the minutes! I could be helping out, but no, you have to insist that I stay here like some weakling. I'm sick and tired of it!"
Meiran fumed. She had meant to sound reasonable, calm and collected, but her temper just could not be controlled. WuFei was especially good at making her temper slip out of its leash. That damned boy… WuFei looked up from his sword and smirked at Meiran. She was one screechy female, but at least she entertained him and gave him an opportunity to ignore the noisy pair next door.
"Well, girl, I'm not all that certain about your loyalties yet. Can't have you go fighting without being certain that you won't betray us."
"Are you questioning my honor?!?!?!? How dare you, you, you, AAAAH!"
Meiran screamed incoherently. She was so angry and outraged that her lips could not form the words to yell at the insulting boy. How dare he? She could not form words, but she still screamed. She would do so until she felt better. WuFei calmly watched as Meiran stalked around the room and screamed at him. It was amusing. In the middle of the screams, yet another voice joined in.
"GODS! Would you shut up in there! We're trying to have a moment!!!"
Duo's exasperated voice pierced the canvas lining and Meiran's non-verbal tirade. A moment of silence followed, then all hell seemed to break loose.
"Who the hell are you telling to shut up?" With that, Meiran leapt towards the canvas divider and grabbed the material. With a hefty yank, she tore down the canvas to reveal something that caused her to blush.
Across the fallen divider, Duo and Heero lay completely naked, entwined in each other's arms. Duo's long loose hair covered their decency somewhat, but Meiran had definitely interrupted something private. Very private. In her anger, she had completely forgotten what she had guessed that they were doing. Now, she was staring at a pair of very startled, very bare boys. Embarrassed beyond anything she could imagine, she turned around abruptly and sank her head into her hands. Of all things…
WuFei was also quite red in the face, but not from embarrassment. He was trying hard, very hard, not to burst out into laughter. His brothers looked so surprised! They were not even making a movement to cover themselves, but just laid there, staring at the fallen canvas and Meiran alternately. Then Quatre burst into this scene brandishing Sandrock.
"Are you guys okay in there? I heard all this screaming and something ripping and then.."
Quatre fell silent as his eyes finally took in the scene in front of him. Duo and Heero, naked as the day they were born, seemingly connected to each other by some body part; a red faced WuFei who looked like he was choking; and Meiran with her head in her hands. It was so utterly unexpected that Quatre, who had been anticipating a small scale warfare, burst out into laughter. Then WuFei joined in because he could not hold it any longer. Duo and Heero followed and then all the boys were laughing, a merry sound in the midst of war.
"Oh, gods, what the hell happened here? I thought people were getting attacked in here!"
Quatre blurted out as he sheathed Sandrock. His voice still hitched with unfinished hilarity and WuFei was in the final stages of hacking up a lung from the prolonged laughter. Meiran, however, was still red faced and hiding behind her hands.
"Could you guys please put some clothes on? Don't you have any decency?"
Meiran asked, her voice sounding rather strangled and strained. As much as she commented about sex and other things, she had never seen it displayed so. It was too embarrassing for her. Why did she have to lose her temper and do this to herself?
"Well, Meiran, we wouldn't have to get dressed if you hadn't ripped the canvas off. Besides, we were in the middle of something."
Duo's cheeky remark only made Meiran blush harder. She did not need a reminder as to what they were doing. It was too obvious from their body positions. But Meiran did not quit. She had to salvage some pride from this encounter.
"You aren't doing it anymore! So unless you want to put on a show, put some clothes on!"
Meiran could not see since her eyes were shut and her face was in her hands, but she heard chuckling, rustling and then some shuffling. When she thought it was safe, she peeked out towards WuFei who gave her the thumbs up signal. Well, finally. Meiran turned around to yell at the boys some more when she saw that they were not completely dressed yet. Duo was in the process of getting into his pants while Heero had yet to put on a shirt. Mortified beyond comprehension, Meiran gave WuFei the evil eye and then ran out of the tent cursing him and all his predecessors in the most unsavory language. She ran fast enough that she did not hear WuFei burst out into another round of laughter. One of these days, she thought, she was going to get WuFei. She was going to get him, and then he would be sorry.
"Please, Noin. Do this for me."
Noin looked at the man across from her, pleading with her. His blue eyes were the same color, but they held different emotions now. His blond hair still glinted in the sun but it seemed to have lost its inner shine. His voice still sent shivers down her spine, but no longer from passion. In so short a time, she had lost the man she loved to this shell who called himself Zechs Marquise.
"Noin, it is my last favor to you. Please."
But still, he was Milliardo Peacecraft somewhere inside that mask. He was the man who made his sister laugh when she was sad. He was the man who made her heart beat faster whenever he smiled at her. He was the man who made her cry out in throes of passion during love making. He was the man who made her soul shine. He was. He had to be. And for that man, for that hope, she would do the thing he asked of her.
"I will, Milliar-, I mean, Zechs. But promise me one thing. Promise me that the next time I see you, you will not be Zechs. Tell me that, and I will go."
Zechs looked at Noin steadily. What she was asking may not be possible any longer. Even if he had changed, he could not lie to her. Not Noin.
"I must apologize first Noin, for I cannot keep that promise. Whatever you ask of me, I would do, but Milliardo Peacecraft is no more. I buried him."
Noin felt her stomach drop. His voice no longer held the warmth it used to whenever he spoke to her. Even worse, he meant every word. Tears blurred her vision and her voice became shaky and thick with the unshed tears.
"Then promise me that you will be alive when I see you next."
Zechs reached out his hand and held Noin's hand tenderly. He hated making her sad, seeing her beautiful eyes cloud over with despair and hearing her voice coated with sorrow. But some things had to be done. Whatever the cost.
"I will promise you that I will live to see you again. So please, go to Relena and protect her in my place. That is all I ask of you."
"I will. Keep your promise, Zechs. I will see you again. Once in Earthian, what do you want me to say to Relena?"
What indeed? When he had found out that Relena was in Earthian, he had despaired, thinking that his sister made a foolhardy choice. But she had to know what she was doing because the alternative was too nauseating to consider. He refused to believe that his sister went off to Earthian to be with Heero. She was a better queen than that. But she did not know about this yet. Maybe she should not.
"Noin, don't tell her about me. Just say that I'm fine. Don't tell her of this, she will see it as a betrayal and I cannot sadden her now. She has enough to make her sad ahead of her."
"That is your decision. But know this, she will find out one day. You cannot protect her from this. You did betray her. Only you can make amends when the day comes."
With that said, Noin stood from her seat and left the spacious white room that she had shared so many nights with Milliardo. She walked down the corridors lit by the cold sun, purpose evident in her every step. She would go to Earthian and protect Relena. And she would see Milliardo again, whatever Zechs said.