Seeing Love Dogs
"Heero?" I turned towards him. "Why are we standing in an alleyway?"
"I need to teach the rug." He laid the large carpet on the ground and began unrolling it.
"Ok. I can understand that, but why an alley?"
"We need privacy."
"Ah, and we already checked out of the hotel."
"We couldn’t have done this there either."
I tilted my head, watching as he paced the length of the rug. "Why not?"
"Not enough space, we’ll need some take off room."
"I see." I glanced up to the mouth of the alley, no one in sight. I looked up and noticed the lack of windows. The sun was getting high overhead, fast approaching noon. It was getting hot in that alley. "How long should this take?"
"A few minutes." He knelt in front of one end of the rug and laid his hand on it, fingers spreading out.
"Heero?" I’d just realized what he’d said.
"Mm?" He shifted and put his other hand on the rug.
"How can you teach a rug anything? It’s not alive." I walked around so that I stood on the other end of the stretched out carpet and glanced across it at him.
"It will be alive soon enough."
I laughed. "You’re going to bring a carpet to life?"
"Everything is alive already, in its own way. This is merely taking it a step further. I will tell the carpet it truly is alive, and it will be." He said, flexing his fingers and glancing up at me.
"If you say so." I sat down and watched.
I waited for something magical to happen as he started to talk in that language he’d used earlier. I was expecting a shower of sparks or maybe a nice magical glow, but none of that happened. Instead, he just kept whispering.
A few minutes passed and still nothing happened. I sighed and leaned back on my hands, my foot brushing the rug. And it moved. The rug actually twitched, like a live animal. I glanced at Heero who was still whispering, head down. Carefully I crept closer and petted the carpet. It writhed like a cat and bumped my hand as if asking for more. I grinned, this was too neat. I peered at Heero, he was still busy.
I slid my hand underneath the rug and started scratching it. It nuzzled my fingers and I started to laugh. It was just so unreal, it really had come alive.
"Duo, don’t pet the rug please. I am endeavoring to teach it how to fly right now."
"Oh," I jerked my hand out from beneath the rug and smiled apologetically, "Sorry."
"It’s alright, just do not do it now. The rug cannot concentrate, you were distracting it."
I realized just how odd that was. The rug was trying to concentrate. First off, a rug even trying anything other than lying on a floor was a strange thing. But when you added to it that the rug was also trying to learn to fly...
I leaned back on my hands again, careful to keep my feet away from the little tassels at the end of the carpet. Though, I could’ve sworn that they wiggled, trying to get closer to me.
Fifteen minutes later, Heero finally finished ‘teaching’ the carpet to fly. I shook my head as he stood up and dusted off his knees, while the carpet squirmed on the ground at my feet.
"Is it done?"
"Yes." He nodded, watching the carpet wiggle and inch towards my shoes. He frowned. "I think it likes you."
"And I like it." I stood up, leaning down to stroke the fluttering tassels. The rug writhed and bumped my hand. "It’s cute, like a kitten or something."
"Are you ready to go?" He looked slightly disgruntled.
"Sure. Is it ok to walk on it? It won’t hurt it will it?" I hesitantly put a foot on the carpet and it wrapped around my legs, wriggling and twisting me onto it and settling me down in the middle of it. "Guess not." I gasped out, having been a little unnerved and somewhat breathless by the time I managed to sit up.
"Hm." Heero’s frown deepened and he stepped onto the rug beside me.
"How do we steer? Or do we?"
"The rug guides itself." He sat down beside me, and then tapped the rug sharply, glaring at it.
"How does it know where to go?" I laid a soothing hand on the rug, and idly pet it.
"It has a map." He looked over at me and smirked.
I rolled my eyes. "Heero, a carpet cannot own a map, let alone look at one."
"Have you noticed the pattern of this rug yet?" He patted the design beneath my hand.
I looked down, and kept looking. I tilted my head and stared. I didn’t see anything that looked like a map. I glanced at Heero curiously. "I don’t see it."
"Try standing up and looking down." He said, still smiling that little ‘I know something you don’t’ smile.
I stood up and looked at the rug. Slowly, like a puzzle fitting into place, I realized that all those little colors and lines that I thought were merely some abstract textile pattern, formed an image. "It’s the world. I never noticed this when we bought it." I sat down again, hugging my knees. "Was it there before?"
"Yes, that is one of the reasons I wanted this particular carpet."
"So the rug... what? Senses the map or something?"
"Exactly, it knows its own shape and texture, it knows itself more perhaps than a human knows itself."
"Hey, watch it with the name calling. You’re part human now too," I glared at him and he smiled.
"I know, I merely meant it as an example."
"So how do we tell it where to go?"
"Just tell it."
"And where are we going anyway? You haven’t told me yet. You’re actually being very secretive Heero."
He shifted and opened a shopping bag that held some fruit we’d bought earlier. Pulling out the two grey robes, he handed me one. "Put this on."
I shrugged and slid it over my head without bothering to stand up. "Why do we have to wear these things?" The soft grey robe pooled around me, surprisingly light and comfortable even in the heat of the day.
"You ask too many questions."
I glared at him again. He sighed and turned towards me, pulling the other robe down over his head.
"The robes will reflect any sort of vision from seeing us, the rug has been enchanted the same way. If you take off the robe, people will be able to see you. The enchantment however, will never wear off the rug, and it will always go unnoticed by most even if not in flight."
"Ok, and where are we going?"
"To Greece, Athens actually."
He sighed again but answered never the less. "It was the last place I knew my friend to be. And before you ask," he held up a hand, "I do not know if he is still alive, or there. But if he is I will find him."
"Alright, I guess if that’s all the information you’re willing to give me, I’ll just have to deal with it." I turned away, looking at the alley wall for a moment. I wasn’t at all happy about not knowing whom we were going to see. An old friend could be anybody, maybe even an old lover. I cut off that thought and stared at my hand as I began stroking the soft carpet again.
I heard him whisper to the rug. "Athens, Greece."
The carpet stiffened suddenly, little tremors running along it almost like it was an excited racehorse. It reared back, pawing at the air with its tassels and I started to giggle. Then it began galloping down the alley, and I held on for dear life. "We should of put on seatbelts!" I yelled.
The carpet gave a giant leap, and we were airborne. It swiftly ascended into the sky, climbing almost vertically into the air. I was clinging onto the tassels and Heero equally as hard. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Heero grinning like a maniac. Any minute I expected him to yell ‘woohooo!’ or something likewise as absurd.
After an endless amount of time, we finally flattened out, the carpet speeding through the air horizontally at last. I remained glued to it, face down, the wind buffeting against me.
Suddenly the wind cut off and it was quiet around us. I looked up and then sat up. "What happened?"
"I asked the rug to use its traveling shields." Heero leaned back onto his elbows stretching his legs out in front of himself, I noticed he’d taken off his shoes at some point, and smiled at him.
"Kind of like power windows and climate control." I laughed, sitting down next to him and watching as the landscape skimmed below. "Too bad you can’t let in a little bit of a breeze though." I said, leaning over and peering a bit further over the edge.
"Ah, but we can." He bent down and whispered to the carpet and a slight breeze blew against my face.
"Much better." I glanced at the bag that rested beside him. "Any more cherries left in there?" I asked, nodding my head towards it.
He dug around inside it for a moment then held out a handful of fresh, ripe cherries.
"Traveling food." I grinned at him, taking the handful of cherries and sliding up to the front of the carpet to peer over the edge of it and watch the world unfold below.