Fic: The Price of Dreams
Title: The Price of Dreams
Disclaimer: It goes without saying that I don't own GW, Lokie, or the court of the fairy Queen.
Note: I intend to expand this and make it original... and hopefully much scarier.
Once upon a time.. in an alternative universe, Heero Yuy thought had never met Duo... Instead, he lived in London in the year 1603. He was the horse master to a powerful lord and he was very good at what he did. He was a powerful man, strong and devoted to his duty.
He was told to marry and he did. He loved his wife as much as he could and he loved his baby even more... the baby had violet eyes and soft brown hair and he felt as if this daughter were his true child. He swore to everything he found holy that he would protect his family from all threats.
When the child turned three years old, Heero woke with a very bad feeling, as if some shadow were coming over his house.
His wife told him was being very silly though... he had work to do.. he was to accompany the Lord into the city to see new horses, to help him buy them and he shouldn't be so silly over a child's 3rd birthday. She'd hardly know the difference between one day or another... but Heero had a very, very bad feeling.
As he left the house... he smelled lilacs... but there were no lilacs in season.. it was impossible. All of his horses were in a very bad mood and he soon lost himself in his work. It wasn't possible that he was hearing violin music.. in the stables...
Work gave him a sanctuary from his growing and unnamed fears. A few minutes before the Lord was to arrive, he paused to wash his face, change his shirt, get a drink of water... and he would have sworn... by anything that was holy or unholy... that he saw the shadow of a violinist... a woman with a long braid that swirled in shadow when he lunged out the door to catch the joker... but there was no one there, not even the servants... who seemed to be all off doing some important thing far from his home and the stables.
The rest of the day was the greatest of irritation for him. His lord was wroth with him, the horses on auction were all little better than cart horses, he saw no less than four black cats, one of which had violet eyes... it was impossible and he began to wonder if someone had bewitched him. So he did what any man would do. He got an ale.
Then, feeling slightly guilty, he went and bought his daughter, Helen, a length of cloth for a new dress and his wife, Rose, a new basket. Feeling a little better, and silly at himself for jumping at impossible shadows, he passed by a slender violinist who played on the street... with that long dark braid, but his hat pulled low of his eyes. Heero felt even better... as he must have seen this violinist at some point.. it had just been his imagination... He threw a couple of coins into the minstrel's tin. He intended to keep walking, but the man caught his hand. "I'll read your fortune."
The man's voice was sweeter than his playing had been, deep and mellow, warm honey and sage. Heero drew his hand back, shaking his head. "A man's fortune has nothing to do with chance and everything to do with what he works towards."
"Tell me then, gentle sir," the man said, hat still pulled over his eyes, "What work can you do to stave back the hands of the Reaper? What do you think you can buy life with? A man may not know whose eye he may have caught."
Heero's fist doubled up, ready to give just reward to the gypsy man's insolence! How dare such a one lay hand on an Englishman and then give threats against a man's family!?
The violinist was gone though, no more substantial than London fog... utterly gone, but Heero's coin lay on the walk, glittering silver against dirt. A sense of dread wrapped cold around him as he picked up his coin. Helen! Rose!
Astride his horse, a great grey stallion with hooves that could smash armor, he leaned into the rush, urging his mount on, eating the road as he raced home.
The fae offer no logic nor reason when they come to claim their own and no pity to spare.
Coldness and midnight clung to him like pitch, seeping into his bones as he raced, growling at his gray to reach longer with his stride, to move with all that he had.
Candle and fire light burned warm and welcoming in the window of his home as he approached. The drive was long and wide, built for bringing in horses and mending the Lord's great carriage, but it had never felt so long as when Heero leaned forward, feet in the stirrups, body forward over the gray's neck as if that could get them there faster.
Then the light flicked and was no more.
Shaking, he had no breath to scream, no reason left understand that his wife had probably just extinguished the light for the night. He slide from his saddle, knees too exhausted to stand at first. On his hands and knees, he crept towards his door, one hand pulling his dagger free.
Violin music floated in the dark of the night, a sad and mournful tune.
Pulling himself to his feet, Heero pushed the unlatched door open. The very faint sliver of the moon left no light inside the cottage. The last of its strength was to glimmer over Heero's blade.
"Rose," he called quietly, echos of war that he thought he'd put far behind him calling him into deadly caution now. "Rose."
"She sleeps," the voice of warm honey and sage said, "I can give you gifts, Heero."
The lamp by the window, which was always kept burning until he got home was still hot and it took only a little blowing on it to bring it to life. Blade in one hand, light in the other, Heero glared at the daring Gypsy man, but now... he was more a devil, with ears rising to points above his silky dark hair and a sheen of unnatural beauty to face. He sat on the kitchen table, feet tucked under his thighs, violin across his lap. "What are you? What have you done to Helen and Rose?"
The violinist jumped down from the table with cat like grace, bow in one hand, violin in the other. "I am Her Majesty's fiddler, baring the blood of Loki, ageless and completely unafraid of your blade, gentle sir." The man smiled, a gentle and tender smile that reached into Heero in ways that should not be possible, not with a demon, not with a man.
"Get thee behind me Satan!" Heero moved to try to get the creature away from his beloved daughter and wife.
Duo sighed, smirked. "But I shall give you a gift. You don't want your daughter carried off by the Wild Hunt, do you?"
"You will never touch my daughter!" Heero growled, now between his family and the strangely familiar man. "I will never let you harm her."
Bow still in his hand, Duo touched his chest and looked slightly mortified. "I don't want to harm her and really the court doesn't either, but she bares the blood of Loki as well. Come now, you remember the 'dream' we had under the Oak three years ago? You remember how your wife grew with child when you returned home? I know you haven't forgotten."
Heero made the sign of the cross. "My sins are my own! You shall not touch her. I will burn for my unholy desires, if I must, but you will not have her!"
Duo actually looked offended, his jaw shifting side-to-side for a moment. "The only way to save her is to give yourself to the Wild Hunt. You will never be free of Underhill and if you think my touch is unholy you're as innocent as the driven snow."
"What must I do?" Heero asked. Helen woke slightly, her pudgy hand reaching out to take hold of Heero's hand where it reached to protect her. He was fast enough to know that if he were carried to Hell he would never see his baby again, never hear her laugh, never see her grow into a strong and happy woman. Hot tears slipped free when he blinked. "I will do anything to protect her. If I am taken to Hell, who will protect her?"
"I will watch over her," Duo promised. It was an easy promise to make as she was his daughter as well. He unfastened his short cloak, held it out Heero. "Cover her with this and they will not see her and will take you instead. If you do so there will be no turning back, not matter what you see or what fearful events take place."
Heero nodded, took the cloak which was light as spider silk. He kissed his daughter's forehead, wiped away his tear that hit her cheek, then hide her under the devilish cloak.
Almost as soon as he'd done that, the most calamitous roar filled the cottage, roaring as if a great war party rushed past. He felt strong hands grab him, ripe him off his feet and he screamed, but there was no air in in the spectral train of the Wild Hunt, not until he was completely pulled within. Held in the powerful arms a warrior who was tall and slender with silver hair that waved like a pennant behind him, he saw only the tiniest flicker of lights coming back on in his cottage, the startled cry of his baby, then he passed through the veil separating mortals from the world of the immortal fae....
And thus did Heero Yuy leave the land of the living and dying to live for many centuries in the court of the Fairy Queen.