From Far Away
"So what are you really, Heero?" Wufei asked the boy sitting in front
of him. They had all retreated into the forest behind the ruined
castle and were now sitting in a circle. Duo was sitting next to
Heero, whose upper body was covered by a blanket Quatre had given to
him. Wufei could tell the boy didn't want to answer his question.
"Tell us about yourself, Heero." Duo squeezed the boy's arm tightly,
not wanting to let go and at the same time giving encouragement to
Heero, who was still bowing his head. Despite the protectiveness he
felt towards Heero, he also wanted to know what had caused Heero to
change like that in the first place.
Heero looked up and ran his gaze over his friends. He had let Duo pull
and maneuver him around, preferring to have Duo beside him as long as
possible. He wanted to stay silent, but he knew Duo wanted answers as
well. He can't hide anymore.
Heero studied his friends' faces one by one, not surprised to see
confusion and fear in them. His eyes fell onto Noin, who was trembling
and looking at him in disbelief. "You know what I am." Heero spoke
neutrally then he bowed his head again.
"She knows?" Duo and the others looked at Noin questioningly.
Noin gulped and nodded. "I knew .....when I realized him had destroyed
the palace." Noin gulped again "All by himself. Alone."
Duo and the others turned their heads toward Heero. All of them tried
to process her words when Noin added, "Only one thing can do such a
thing.... One legendary creature...."
Duo tried to remember all the stories Hilde had told him about
legendary creatures. Of all the creatures Hilde had told him, not one
could destroy a castle alone. But he knew someone had told him
something about this thing. Duo thought hard, trying to recall where
he heard about this creature.
//The rumor says that it can destroy one palace within seconds.// Duo
gasped when he remembered where he heard it. It was when he talked to
Dana and Pargan, a couple they had met before they ran into Wufei and
the others. And at that time, they were talking about Perfect Soldier.
Only Perfect Soldier could destroy one palace alone!
Duo turned to the boy next to him, looking at him in disbelief and
shock. So shocked that he missed the tensing in the hand he held so
tightly. "Perfect Soldier...... " Duo whispered and watched as Heero
kept his head bowed all the time to avoid the gazes from his
friends.Duo looked around and saw the others, having come to the same
conclusion as him, eye Heero in surprise and shock. He looked back to
Heero. "You are that Perfect Soldier..... the ultimate and
strongest......" Duo swallowed.
Heero kept bowing his head and bit his lips in anticipation of what
Duo would do next. Would Duo ask more questions, run away from him in
disgust, or act like the Shinigami supposed to and control him? He was
so deep in his thoughts that he was startled when Duo hugged him. "My
koi is the Perfect Soldier? Wow, I think I'm sooooo blessed." The
braided boy laughed and hugged him tighter.
Heero blinked in confusion at Duo. Duo didn't mind at all?? About him
being the Perfect Soldier? Wait a sec, my koi? Heero blinked again and
looked around to see his other friends looking at them, jaws dropped.
"Duo..." Hilde stammered, "He is the Perfect Soldier, you know."
"I know." Duo grinned and kissed Heero lightly on the nose. "Isn't it
great to have a koi like him?"
Heero blinked rapidly at the cheerful boy before him. This was not the
reaction he expected to get from anyone, and definitely not from Duo.
"Uhm.... You know about the Perfect Soldier, don't you?" Sally asked
hesitantly while looking at Heero.
Duo stopped laughing and looked at the others seriously. " About him
being the strongest in this world? Of course."
"Uhm.. then.. why.."
Duo cut Sally's words, "So what? What's wrong if he is the Perfect
Soldier? He is still Heero nevertheless." Duo pulled Heero into his
embrace. "My Heero," the braided boy growled possessively.
"But... Duo... he..... can change." Quatre glanced at Heero, who was
still blinking and looking at Duo as if the braided boy had just grown
"I don't care what he looks like, he is still Heero." Duo looked
sharply at Quatre. "He is still the Heero you all know. Even if he
changes he won't do anything that'll harm us. I believe in him."
Quatre quickly averted his eyes and bowed his head, feeling guilty.
Duo's words had hit them all, destroying their previous images about
Perfect Soldier. The words were true. The monster they had seen in the
middle of castle didn't do anything except for trying to reach for
Duo. That creature didn't even fight back when they attacked it.
Satisfied with his friends' reactions, Duo turned his attentions to
Heero. "But I admit, I'm curious about the changing, too. Why did you
change like that, Heero?"
Heero blinked again. He still couldn't believe Duo didn't care about
him being the Perfect Soldier. Moreover Duo said 'my koi' ...... Duo
considered him as his koi? Heero found his mind in complete disarray
and in confusion by Duo's statement, leaving him with many questions
he needed answers to. Duo's statement contradicted with what he saw
and heard yesterday. Then he heard Duo asking him something. It was a
question he could answer, so Heero decided to set all his questions
aside and answered Duo's question first. "I needed more Power."
"More Power? What for? You are already strong." Duo frowned.
"Not strong enough to protect and save you." Heero answered. He kept
his eyes on Duo, not aware of the others hearing their conversation.
Duo was surprised. So Heero changed so he could have more Power to
save him? Then Duo remembered all the times Heero changed when he was
in danger. First from the attacking giant bird and recently from
becoming a sacrifice. "You changed to save me?" Duo held Heero's
cheek and stared at the boy he loved. "Baka, what if you couldn't
"I didn't care." Heero answered. "I'll do it again if I need to."
Duo felt so overwhelmed. He could tell the depth of Heero's love for
him by the words he just heard. Wufei and the others seemed to realize
this, too. Heero was willing to stay in his other form if that could
save Duo. "Baka.... " Duo hugged Heero tighter. He was very grateful
Heero had changed back to normal. Heero didn't deserve to be in that
"So... if he is the Perfect Soldier..." Relena finally found her voice
and looked at Duo, " Shinigami is....."
Duo's mind snapped at the word Shinigami. Shinigami! The one who
controlled the Perfect Soldier! The one who controlled his Heero. A
wave of anger quickly coursed through him. No one would control *his*
Heero. "Shinigami? Who is he???" Duo growled, but quickly blinked when
he saw all eyes were on him, including Heero's.
"Me?" Duo choked out. "I'm Shinigami?" He looked at Heero and found no
"You're Shinigami. You control me." Somehow, Heero's resigned tone
made Duo angry.
"Hell no!!! I don't control you! No one controls you!" Duo growled.
"Tell me when I ever controlled you."
Heero stared dumbly at Duo. He opened his mouth to answer but nothing
came out. When did Duo ever controlled him? He traced his memories one
by one, but he couldn't find any. He was the one who chose to protect
Duo. He was the one who chose not to kill Duo. And he was the one who
chose to let Duo claim him. To let Duo take him. Heero blinked,
feeling a thick fog has just been cleared from his mind. Yes, Duo
asked him not to leave, Duo asked him to stay, but all decisions were
his to decide. Duo never forced him to do anything. It was him who
decided to follow Duo. Because he loved Duo.... Not because Duo was
Duo smiled when he saw realization hit Heero. "You're a free man, just
like the rest of us, Heero."
"But Duo... you changed him back from the monster.... " Noin stopped
when Duo glared at her.
"No, I didn't! The only thing I did was hug him. I don't care if it
was his true form or not. All I wanted was for him not to leave me. It
was Heero himself who decided to change, not me." Duo growled and
looked at Heero, asking the boy to clarify his words.
Heero blinked again. Duo was right. It was him. It was him all this
time. "Aaa.... You're right...... It was me. I was the one who wanted
to use my Power. I was the one who allowed myself to change." Heero
looked up at Duo. "When you hugged me, I felt warmed and loved. I felt
like going back to what I used to be and let go. That was when I
changed back. You helped me change back, but you didn't control me."
"Right!" Duo smiled, happy that Heero didn't have such a low
"But the prophecy said ......" Noin again was cut off by Duo's angry
"Fuck the prophecy. The prophecy can't decide someone's fate. It is us
who decide our own fates." Duo spat but then frowned. "Come to think
of it, what does the prophecy say, anyway?"
Wufei and the others looked at the braided boy as if he just grew
another head. "You don't know?" Wufei asked in disbelief.
"I just hear summaries of it from the people I met." Duo shrugged.
Wufei rolled his eyes and asked Heero, "Is he really Shinigami? It's
hard to believe a baka like him is our savior."
"Heyyyyy!!!" Duo shouted in protest while the others, minus Heero,
laughed. Somehow it lightened the mood and erased the stress all
around them. Heero couldn't help but quirk his lips a little when he
heard Wufei's words. It was his exact same thoughts when he first
When the laughter finally subsided, Trowa told Duo the prophecy. "Out
of the starlight, when the world is on the edge of destruction, the
Shinigami shall step into this world and claim his Perfect Soldier,
whose Power can destroy an entire kingdom within seconds. The Power
has both a dark and a light side. Shall he choose to use the light
side, together they will banish the evil and darkness enslaving
peoples, opening a brave new world, with peace and contentment. But
shall he choose to use the dark side, ...... "
"Just that?" Duo blinked when Trowa stopped in the middle of the
"Yeah, that's all we know. There's more to the prophecy, but there's
only one great prophet who could predict it and for some reason, he
keeps it to himself." Quatre answered for Trowa.
Duo nodded absently. // Starlight my ass.... It was an explosion
alright... // "Okay, about the starlight, it might be true. I'm not
from this world, and the starlight did bring me to this world. Now is
this world on the edge of destruction?" Duo asked the others.
"You can say that. As I've already told you, we are at war right now,
between my kingdom and kingdom of OZ." Relena answered dolefully. "If
the war keeps going as it is, half of this world may perish."
"Okay, check that. So Shinigami will step into this world .... Just
because I've arrived during this time of crisis, it doesn't
necessarily mean Shinigami is me." Duo spoke out.
"Our prophets and prophetesses could predict the Shinigami's arrival
and the place where he would show up, that's why we made this
journey." Wufei snorted.
Duo groaned. "Don't tell me that this place is the Golden Forest."
"It is." Trowa spoke up.
Duo held up his hands in surrender. "Okay, okay, so I'm Shinigami. I
stepped into this world and claimed my....." Duo looked at Heero, who
quickly bowed his head. "Heero... you.... So all this time, you
thought ....." The braided boy narrowed his eyes and growled, pulling
Heero's chin so the boy looked up at him. "We'll talk about this
Heero could only nod weakly and bowed his head again as Duo released
his chin. The others watched them in curiosity, except for Hilde, who
looked guiltily and regretfully at Heero. Duo growled again. "Okay,
the prophecy is right, I did claim Heero as mine. And according to it,
Heero has the Power to destroy... " Duo frowned and looked at Heero.
"You only destroyed a castle, not a kingdom. How great is your Power,
Heero shook his head, indicating he too didn't know or have any ideas
as to how great his Power was.
Relena spoke up, "Let's assume Heero can destroy an entire kingdom,
then the Prophecy is true. And Duo will decide the future of this
world by choosing which side the Power..."
"Hey, hey wait a sec." Duo cut in. "Who said it was me who will
decide? Was that why all of you thought I controlled Heero?"
Quatre answered patiently. "It's stated in the Prophecy, you will
"Not me. *He* will choose the dark or light side." Duo repeated the
prophecy. "There are two *he* in the prophecy. Me and Heero. You've
all thought the Perfect Soldier was an *it* because of the Power,
didn't you? Heero is a *he* too. It's more appropriate if he is the
one who chooses which side of Power he will use it for since he is the
one who owns the Power, not me."
At these observations, all eyes blinked in realization. Duo continued,
" According to this prophecy, both of us will help this world if Heero
chooses the light side of his Power, but we don't know what will
happen if he chooses the dark side." Duo bit his lower lip, trying to
process the prophecy further. "I know you all thought something bad
will happen if Heero chooses the dark side, but I have a feeling it is
more than just 'bad' ......."
"What do you mean, Duo?" Hilde asked curiously.
"Just look what the Prophecy did to you all. You've all thought the
Shinigami is this great person, while in fact, I'm just an ordinary
boy. You've also thought the Perfect Soldier was an *it*, while in
truth, the Perfect Soldier is just like the rest of us, except for his
Power. Prophecies are guides to the future, but they're also riddles
and puzzles, and they're left for people to interpret and fulfill,
with time showing the meaning and truth within them. Unfortunately you
all have interpreted it wrong."
For once no one disagreed with Duo. The braided boy had opened their
eyes. Duo turned to Quatre. "I need to know the missing part of the
prophecy before drawing any further conclusions. You said there is
only one great prophet who knows about it. Who is he?"
"His name is Quinze Kushrenada, younger brother of Treize Kushrenada.
He is the most precise prophet in this world."
"And who is this Treize?" Duo raised an eyebrow.
"Treize Kushrenada, the leader of OZ."
At Trowa's answer, Duo frowned. "That means we have to go to the
capital of OZ in order to ask him."
"I'm afraid so, Duo." Quatre answered apologetically.
"Uh huh.... Life is never easy.... " Duo sighed and looked at the
others. "Well, I think we part here, guys." At the sounds of protest,
Duo held up his hand. "Listen to me first. As much as I want to be
with you all, there are some things we have to do separately. Your
kingdom is at war and you're all needed there to help Relena to defend
it. As for me and Heero, we need to know more about the prophecy, so
we have to part."
"But OZ is a dangerous territory!" Quatre protested. "You two could
Duo couldn't help but smile. "Quatre, don't worry about our safety.
After all, I'm the Shinigami and Heero is the Perfect Soldier, ne?
We'll be okay together."
Wufei nodded. "So, I guess it's time to part then." the raven haired
boy stood up, followed by the others.
"I still have something I have to discuss with Heero. You guys can go
ahead first." Duo spoke up, still holding Heero's hand and ignoring
Heero's raised eyebrow.
Trowa nodded. "Very well, I will leave horses at the edge of the
forest for you then."
"Arigato, Trowa." Duo smiled at the banged boy.
Relena looked at the others, asking to speak for them all and then
turned to Duo and Heero after the others nodded their consents. "I'll
speak on everyone's behalf. Duo. And you too, Heero. We're your
friends. If you need help, just come to us. I don't give a damn about
you being the Shinigami and the Perfect Soldier."
"Thank you, guys." Duo smiled at the others.
Relena smiled too and then looked at the bowing boy whose hand was
held by Duo. "Heero. I'm sorry that we attacked you before. Will you
Heero looked up in surprise.
"I want to make a personal apology to you, Heero. It was wrong of me
to have wanted to use you to win this war. Please forgive me." Relena
looked at Heero, making the boy speechless. He opened his mouth to
speak, but nothing came out, so he nodded his head instead.
"It's okay, ojo-chan. We hold no grudges against you. We are friends,
remember?" Duo moved forward and hugged Relena with one arm since his
other one was occupied holding Heero's hand.
"Till we meet again, Maxwell, Yuy." Wufei nodded to them and then held
Relena's hand, walking out of the forest
As the others walked away, Duo smiled and hugged some of them. Heero
just nodded to them until his eyes fell on the last person, Hilde.
That was when all the questions and other thoughts he had set aside
decided to come back. Hilde.... The girl Duo loved..... He wanted to
step back as Hilde approached him, but Duo's grip held him in place.
"Heero, I'm sorry." Heero blinked as the girl whispered near him and
then walked away. Heero watched her and the others walk away, leaving
them. What was that? Sorry? What did Hilde mean by that?
Heero didn't think any further as Duo tugged his hand, asking him
silently to follow him. Duo brought him to a big tree and sat down
near it, leaning against the tree and pulling Heero down with him. He
grabbed Heero's waist and positioned Heero to straddle his lap, facing
him. He then putted his arms around Heero's waist, locking Heero in
"Duo?" Heero looked at the braided boy in confusion.
"Now you can't get away, we can talk." Duo spoke up and looked at
Heero seriously. "Tell me everything, Heero."
Heero blinked, "Tell you what."
Duo growled and pulled Heero closer to him. "Tell me what makes you
think I don't love you? What makes you think I loved Hilde instead?"
"Don't you?" Heero answered bitterly.
"No, I love you." Duo growled.
"But I heard you ......" Heero looked confused and surprised.
"Heard me?" Duo raised an eyebrow. "I think you have to start and tell
me from the beginning, Heero." The braided boy took Heero's chin with
his hand, forcing Heero to look at him. "Everything."
Heero looked at Duo unblinkingly, feeling those violet orbs wanting
nothing but the truth, so he opened his mouth and started talking,
giving the longest speech he has ever given in his life.