If you only concentrate on pain, then you forget the
joys of life. That is the greatest mistake of all.
Far outside of the town, far beyond the chaos and the
scene of a gruesome killing, five boys rested and
fought for breath. The running had been frantic, none
of them stopping until they had finally run out of
energy. Quatre sat hunched over slightly, his hands
resting on his thighs limply, his breath coming in
pants. Wufei and Trowa were no better off since they
had practically dragged a nearly inanimate Duo from
the restaurant until he had finally come to his senses
and ran on his own.
Duo stood and watched Heero gently put down the body
he had brought with him. For anything, he could not
understand why Heero had brought that corpse with
them. He would not ask why, but wait for Heero to
explain his behavior. And if he liked the answer,
perhaps he would tell Heero why he had acted so out of
character by giving into his rage and killing someone
he had already killed once.
While everyone was striving to attain normal
heartbeats and breathing patterns, Heero sat near
Relena's body and thought very hard. He did not know
what had set off Duo so suddenly, but the trouble they
were in now was much greater than what it had been.
An entire restaurant filled with people had seen Duo
kill Relena. And no matter how backwater the town
was, the news would travel along with their
descriptions. Somewhere, someone of consequence would
find out that Relena Peacecraft had been murdered and
she would not be able to return to her former life as
a princess. Even more pressing, they would have the
local authorities looking for them on top of being
chased by the guild's assassins.
This whole situation was a horrible mess.
"Duo," Heero said suddenly, "why did you kill her?"
It was a simple question, a logical one even. But for
some reason, Duo had not been expecting it. What
could he tell Heero, that he had already killed the
person he had carried out from the restaurant with a
knife planted in her head? Then he remembered. Heero
was a god. He would believe, if not give him the
benefit of the doubt. But something nagged at him.
Just before he had seen who had approached their
table, Duo had seen Heero's eyes flash with a
recognition, friendly yet wary. Then he had seen
Relena standing over them and had lost his proverbial
shit. All the stress of running had come boiling over
in that one moment, the frustration and anger focusing
on the one specter of a girl who had literally ruined
his life. The facts spoke for themselves, really.
Heero knew the dead girl.
"You knew her, didn't you," Duo said, trying to keep
the accusation out of his voice, "and you tried to
"I ask you once again," Heero replied with steely fire
behind his voice, "why did you kill her?"
"Because she's already fucking dead, Heero! I killed
her weeks ago! Trowa fucking confirmed it. And if it
weren't for her.. none of us would be running for our
fucking miserable lives!"
Several things connected in Heero's mind at once.
First, he finally realized that Duo had been the
assassin who had killed Relena that first time around.
Second, he recalled the careless suggestion he had
made to Relena about just ignoring her death and going
on with her life. Third, he had not told Duo anything
about Relena's incapacity to die nor her participation
in the current situation.
The horrible mess of a situation had just transformed
itself into a catastrophic mess of a situation.
That was the best Heero could do under the
circumstances. Had he more time, he would have become
more articulate, but Relena chose that exact, awkward
and terribly mistimed moment to reenter the land of
At her utterance, four sets of disbelieving eyes
turned to what was supposed to be her corpse. Relena
was slowly standing, the knife still firmly entrenched
in her head, the dried blood flaking off as she
grimaced. Heero winced as Duo lost muscle control of
his legs and literally plopped onto the ground. Trowa
, Quatre and Wufei weren't doing much better.
"I can't see. What's going on?"
It was almost too funny to see Relena grope around,
but enough was enough. Duo looked as if he would go
into a hysteria fit and Heero would not have his love
lose his mind over something as common as a god coming
back to life. It happened all the time and he had
done it several times himself. Although he had to
admit, he never did come back with mortals around.
"Please tell me I'm fucking seeing things. Tell me I
The nip of panic was evident in Duo's trembling voice
and it was echoed by Wufei who was pinching his leg in
an effort to prove that what he was seeing was not
"Duo, if you're insane, so am I. And I swear, we're
probably having the same hallucinations."
At the poor attempt at humor by Wufei of all people,
Trowa let out a small laugh tinged with a whimper.
Quatre merely put his arm around the taller boy and
squeezed him lightly, giving him reassurance that even
though there were crazy things happening before his
eyes, he still had his blond beloved to support him.
"No one's insane and there are no hallucinations,"
said Heero, "since Relena can't die."
Four gasps of surprise accompanied Heero as he moved
to Relena and helped her sit. His long time friend
let him guide her since she still could not see.
"Heero, I have the most awful headache."
Duo could not hold back his laughter at that. Of
course she had a headache, she still had a knife in
her head, through her brain!
"I know, Relena," Heero replied, keeping out the long
suffering sigh out of his voice, "but you'll be fine.
Once we get you cleaned up, we all have to have a
Heero felt four pairs of eyes watching him with
fascination as he grasped the knife handle and yanked
for all he was worth. He felt bad when Relena
whimpered in pain, but it was for her own good so he
continued to pull. Soon, Heero was successful
extracting the knife and Relena was relieved of a
The mortals were back to being silent and in shock,
unable to process the fact that Relena was now sitting
on her own with a gash in her forehead. Then when her
wound started to close on its own rapidly and quite
neatly, four sets of jaws hit the ground with an
"Okay. I have officially seen everything."
Duo craned his neck towards Trowa who was still
standing only with Quatre's support. As a witness,
Trowa had seen more than his share of the unusual and
the gruesome, but this act of resurrection must have
been the one thing he had not counted on seeing in his
lifetime. Then again, none of them had expected to
meet a god either.
This was turning out to be the most bizarre
The spell hovering over the four boys which had
paralyzed them with shock came to a sudden end when
Relena recovered enough to notice the state of her
dress. Her beautifully sewn lace and fluff concoction
of silk was ruined, stained with blood, mud and grime
from the restaurant floor.
"Oh geez! Look at my dress! I love this dress! Why
do these things happen to me?"
Her complaint about the state of her clothing seemed
so incongruous to the current mood of everyone else
present that it actually brought Quatre to the verge
of laughter. He manfully held it back, but he nearly
choked on it. Trowa thoughtfully patted his
beleaguered love on his back to prevent him from dying
"Is that all you can say after dying?"
Relena turned to the incredulous voice. Her eyes
encountered a set of dark, brown eyes with dilated
pupils, peering at her like a hare caught in a trap.
She noticed that his dark hair was pulled back into a
tiny but stylish ponytail and she absently noted that
his hair could use the services of a brush.
"I die often. I don't usually ruin my best dress,
Once again, speechlessness abounded. There really was
nothing they could say to that.
"Relena," Heero finally interjected, "they don't know
that you are a god. You shouldn't play around with
This time, Quatre could not hold back his laughter and
it sparked the others to burst out in laughter as
well. Wufei collapsed onto his knees next to an
already sitting Duo, holding his stomach with his arms
as he shook in mirth. Trowa's shoulders were shaking
in what was a soundless laugh, barely holding onto
Quatre as they chortled in unison. Heero and Relena
threw the laughing mortals a wide eyed glance... they
had not been expecting this reaction at all.
"A god," Duo breathlessly let out, "another fucking
god. I swear, this is something! All my fucking
life, I go through it normally and boom! In a space
of two fucking weeks, two gods! What the hell?"
Heero hesitantly approached his giggling love,
uncertainty shining out of his cobalt eyes. Duo
seemed a bit hysterical and his eyes were glassy, as
if he was in complete shock.
"Are you okay, Duo? I know this is a bit of a shock-"
"A bit? A fucking bit" Do you even know what's going
on in my fucking head right now? Shit, Heero! I
finally come to terms with you being a god and now
another one's just been thrown into my fucking face!
And to top that off, it's the same chick who ruined my
fucking life! So don't tell me that this is a bit of
Duo stopped his ranting, pausing to regain his breath.
He had shouted at Heero and the world in general,
exhausting his already taxed lungs. He breathed hard,
noting absently that Heero had the most pained
expression on his face. He wished that Heero would
say nothing more, just hoping that Heero would keep
quiet and not ruin any more of his reality. However,
Relena had other plans for Duo's sense of sanity.
"I ruined your life?" Relena huffed out indignantly.
"That is untrue! Who is the one who stuck a knife
into my head back there? Who ruined my precious
dress? And all I wanted to do was help out Heero!"
Trowa saw that Duo was staring at Relena with murder
in his eyes, but it seemed that the assassin could not
yet speak or move. Being the good witness that he
was, Trowa decided to barge into the conversation.
"You ruined our lives, Miss Peacecraft. Duo killed
you weeks ago and had we known that you were a god and
could not die, we wouldn't have bothered. Now, thanks
to you, we're running for our lives."
Relena regarded the boy who had spoken in cold
silence. He was nothing special in her eyes, not like
Heero and her kind. Just an average human with green
eyes that hid behind a wealth of hair.
"Is that so," she said in a voice laced with contempt.
"So it was you and your rabble that killed me in the
first place! Well, you deserve all you get! Thank
the heavens that Heero suggested I punish you like
If there had been shock and disbelief before, her last
statement allowed those two emotions to deepen to
levels yet unattained. Eyes shining with shock
swiveled towards Heero and he squirmed under the
scrutiny. However, the worst was when he turned his
pleading eyes to his love and found that the violet
orbs were etched in anger, shock and betrayal.
"You? You did this to me? To us?"
Nearly crumpling at Duo's venomous tone, Heero tried
to explain. He had to make Duo understand before all
the work of the past weeks dissolved underneath this
one gigantic misunderstanding.
"No! I didn't mean to.. I mean, when I told Relena
to just pretend nothing had happened.. I didn't know
it was you! I swear, Duo. I had no idea who had
"Like that matters now? You and Relena
single-handedly ruined four lives!"
Fuming at the braided mortal's insolence, Relena could
not help but defend herself and Heero.
"You have no rights blaming Heero for this. He only
lived to find his beloved! Nothing else mattered, not
even his own kind. And as for ruining your lives, it
was fated to be this way. Nothing Heero and I did can
Duo finally stood and whirled to face Relena. She had
said the word that he resented the most and had thrown
it into his face.
"Oh, now I get it," Duo said heatedly. "I was fated
to lead this shitty ass life! I was fated to be an
assassin! It was my fucking destiny to run for my
already miserable life! Nothing I can do, is that it?
No matter what choices I made, what any of us did, we
were meant to be hunted like fucking dogs?"
Relena turned her nose against Duo, disdain dripping
from her face in buckets.
"Look, you foul-mouthed mortal, fate is something that
you must accept. I should know!"
When Relena had insulted Duo, however slightly, Heero
took exception. No one, not even one of his oldest
friends from the family, could speak like that to his
beloved and expect to get away with it.
"Relena, don't you dare. You may not speak to my
A small wrinkle appeared between Relena's delicate
blond brows as she took in Heero's firm warning.
Understanding dawned soon afterwards and she gaped as
she stared at the bad mannered boy who had spoken to
her. She took in the long, honey streaked brown hair
in its plait, the cold and hard violet eyes, the lean
body and snarling mouth in one sweep and let out a
high pitched noise.
"Him? This one? This is your long lost beloved?
Heero, I thought you had better taste! You wasted
your immortality on this one?"
"Shut up, Relena!"
But it was too late. Heero turned in horror to look
upon his beloved's incredulous face, caught between
relief that he finally knew and the stinging fear that
Duo would think less of him. Sometimes, his own
family seemed to conspire to make his life more
complicated than he had planned.
Duo saw Heero's face frozen in too many emotions for
him to sort through. He had heard right, though, if
his friends' faces were any indication. Relena had
said that Heero was no longer immortal. More than
that, Heero had given it up for.. him.
"Is.. is that true? Heero, tell me, is it true?"
Guilt wracked Heero. Duo had sounded betrayed,
echoing that look in his eyes. The broken and wary
voice was so unlike his beloved's usual cheer and
sarcasm. But it was no good to lie. Heero tried to
prepare what to say. It had to be just right or Duo
may never speak to him again. Heero's efforts were
foiled yet again.
"Of course it's true!" Relena replied in Heero's
stead. "You are one ungrateful and unbelievably
selfish mortal! Heero gave up being a god for you and
you are still yelling at him, making him feel bad!"
Without waiting for a reply, Relena whirled on Heero.
"And you! I told you so, didn't I, Heero? I told you
that the pain you will feel after finding him would be
a thousand times worse than what you felt without him?
Why didn't you ever listen to me? Now, it is just a
big, huge mess! You are mortal, your beloved doesn't
seem to even appreciate what you did for him, and to
top it all off, my sisters want to obliterate you!"
She had a captive audience, listening to her
impassioned speech. Trowa and Quatre listened with
rapt attention, her passion carrying them along in a
river of emotions. Wufei could only respect Heero for
the ultimate sacrifice he had made, but he still could
not fully accept the truth that Relena offered. Duo,
for his part, was in so much shock that his body and
mind were barely functioning.
Heero seethed at Relena's assumption that she could
speak for him. He could see that she was doing more
damage than good by trying to defend him. While he
appreciated her efforts, it was not what he needed at
this moment in time. What he needed was a moment
alone with his beloved so that he could explain things
more fully, with more attention to detail and care
towards Duo's overloading emotions.
Then a small detail that had escaped all of them
seemed to snag in Duo's faltering consciousness and he
saw fit to ask a question on it.
"You.." Duo coughed and began again, forcing his
voice to be less rusty. "You said.. your sisters?
They want to.."
Despite the shock and betrayal still coloring his
tone, Relena could sense a world of concern and worry
beneath his unfinished question. She may have been
right in predicting that Duo did not care for Heero as
he cared for Duo, but she could see at least that
Heero mattered to Duo. Even if the foolish mortal
would not admit it to anyone.
"My sisters are after Heero. And you. Duo, you said
your name was? Right?"
When she received a feeble nod, she continued.
"Well, Duo, you and Heero are my sisters' targets and
I came here to warn Heero about it when you decided to
sheath your knife into my skull. I'm not at all sorry
about you being on the run, though! You killed me and
you deserve all the punishment you get."
"How could I deserve it," Duo said wryly, "if I was
fated to do it, eh?"
There was no swift come-back to his almost too logical
statement. Relena thought hard to bring down the
mortal for his sin of mercilessly assassinating her,
but there was nothing to say. This time, Heero spoke
in Relena's stead.
"That's right, Relena," Heero drawled almost too
smugly, "since you're the Weaver of the Future. I'd
say, if anything, you were responsible for your
After a moment of huffy and offended silence, Relena
"That is not true! I only set them on their course,
not set out every single choice they make! That's
As soon as she had spoken, she realized that everyone
was staring at her, Heero with sardonic amusement and
the mortals with astonishment. It was Wufei who
recovered first with powers of speech.
"You are a Fate? A true to life, orders-us-to-do-shit
kind of Fate?"
Relena nodded tersely even though she did not like the
description he had given. Her acceptance of her
status sparked something in Duo, however, because he
once again lunged in and grabbed her by the arms.
Thankfully, he did not plunge yet another sharp pointy
object into her face, but he spoke to her in low tones
as sharp and deadly as any knife.
"You. If anything, you are to blame. You fucked with
my life so it would be like this and you have the
goddamned nerve to tell me I deserve to be punished?"
Again, Heero separated the two, putting his body
between the enraged boy and the gaping Fate.
"Stop it, the both of you! Duo, it is not her fault
that she controls your life, that is her job. And
Relena, Duo's not at fault for your death, that was
what he had to do. Can't you both just let it go?"
"Shit, Heero," Duo spat, "how can you say that? Don't
you understand me at all by now? Don't you realize
how much I hate being controlled like this? Who the
fuck knows? The way I started to feel about you is
her doing, right? Everything that's happening is all
her and her fucking sisters, right? So how the hell
can I just let it go?"
Instead of waiting for Duo to calm down or Heero to
explain, Relena spoke. This time, she did not inflame
the situation further, but actually worked to quell
the raging emotions.
"Duo, stop being angry with Heero. Isn't it enough
that he gave up everything for you? And more than
that, you are no longer under my control. That is why
my sisters want to have you and Heero banished from
existence. Not dead, but gone. Wipe out your souls."
That brought everything to a halt. The anger died out
from Duo's eyes as swiftly as a doused fire and Heero
was able to finally hear what Relena was saying.
Trowa, Quatre and Wufei watched the exchange closely,
their curiosity peaked and their mind whirling with
With Duo's intelligent opening gambit, they were
finally able to sit and talk the matter over. The
night would be a long one filled with revelations and
future troubles, but finally, there would be an
understanding within the group.
However, throughout the long night, none of them would
notice two pairs of bright and interested eyes
watching them from the shadows of the woods.