by Max aka Pinkwhirlwind
Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing.
Note: I’m working on three versions of this story, but GW gets me to write when nothing else will. This is a fantasy story, a genie and magic.. and while there might seem like character death, if you’ve ever read my stuff, you know I can rarely let that stand.
Duo hated the tie. They just didn’t make ties that were good for anything more than sex games and getting strangled by. Courts required more than facts though. Appearance somehow made facts seem more or less true. Duo fidgeted with his tie, stilled under Wufei’s glare, and tried to not look as irritated to be in court as he was. He really wished judges would take recorded testimony.
“Maxwell,” Wufei said firmly. “Stop behaving like you’re a child. For the next two hours, I’d like you to behave like a captain in the Preventers, multi-decorated, and highly skilled.”
“Yeah?” Duo said, eyes narrowed, “I am a Preventer captain, multi-decorated, with great skills. I’d also like my yoyo back and I don’t want to wear this tie. Or any other tie. What I say shouldn’t be more or less true depending on what I’m wearing.”
“That’s true and food shouldn’t grow best in dirt, but it does. Now will you please humor me?”
“You, me, Heero, we should move to someplace where I can be the sheriff, Heero can be the doctor, and you can be the mayor.”
“I’m quite happy being the New York’s DA. We’re all happy, except for days when you have to testify and I have to herd you in here like you were a feral cat in a car wash.”
“Nice one, Wu,” Duo said, grinning crookedly, trying to be cheerful. “I won’t mind doing what they ask for if they didn’t ask for stupid meaningless shit like ties and holding still.”
Wufei sighed, grabbed Duo’s arm and pulled him to the side at the back of the courtroom. “Duo, please. I know it’s hard. I really do understand that you need to keep moving and your thoughts turn dark when you hold still. I know you. I don’t want this hearing to last longer than it should though. I’m going to an appointment with Jun for a sonogram of the baby this afternoon. I am not going to be late. I will make it up to you afterwards. I’ll go to the range with you and I’ll make that chicken that you and Heero both like. Just suck it up and be calm during this hearing.” Wufei’s smile was small and pleading.
Duo reached out and gave his friend’s arm a squeeze. “I wish ‘Ro was pregnant. That’d be so cute.”
Wufei laughed, much louder than the DA ought to, then clamped his mouth shut, abashedly. “You have a death wish, Maxwell. Jun is the sweetest and most gracious of humans and he nearly ruins me every morning. There is no end to snarling. Pregnancy may make a person lovely, but it makes them quite adverse to pretty much everything else. Yuy has little experience with his emotions anyway. If he had such hormonal shifts, you would undoubtedly die.”
Grinning, Duo winked. “Yeah, but you gotta admit, Wu, it’d be fucking interesting. He’d feel like shit for killing me anyway.” Happiness, calm and serene, brought its own glow to Duo’s face. He reached down and touched his wedding ring. He wasn’t always able to wear it. Court might have some advantages. Maybe.
A flash of silver caught Duo’s eye. Hair stood up on the back of his neck and he tightened his grip on Wufei’s arm. He told himself he was just being hypervigilant, that being in court was just provoking PTSD. Wufei needed him not to act like a crazy man. The second that those thoughts took carried the sound of a bullet being fired across the room. Wufei’s expression never changed. Blood splattered across Duo’s face and he saw red. All thought vanished along with any pretense of sanity.
Duo moved, over the rail into the seating, crossing the seating on the backs of the wooden pew like benches, running towards the shooter. Screams and sobs kept gravity from him, from the last bench, he leapt towards a hysterical looking young cop, gun out, eyes more white than pupil. Then went over with Duo’s knee in the man’s chest, his fist hitting his face twice before they hit the marble floor and skidded up against the judge’s bench.
Snarling, violet eyes crazed, Duo leaned close, a fist full of the man’s shirt in his hand, the man’s blood on his fist, “I am going to kill you.”
Relief released all the tension in the man’s face and he smiled ever so slightly. “I wish you owned the ring.”
Still snarling, spittle at the corner of his mouth, at the edges of his teeth. Duo growled, “I this day had never happened.”
Cold, utter ice hit Duo’s veins and a very pleased female voice whispered against his ear, “Your wish is my command, Master.”
Premonition danced up the side of Duo’s neck, over his scalp, to the edge of soft lips. “I reject this dream,” he said firmly, voice soft, smooth.
The dream paid no attention. Night after night, he’d been drawn back to this black marble temple. Overlooking ocean on all sides, so high above that the crashing tide on wild rocks was little more than a whisper, the temple offered no way in or out, unless one could fly. All four directions welcomed the wind, occasionally rain, leaving the smooth floor chill against his bare feet.
Another shiver brushed over his shoulder, evil intent and hunger, much too alive to be a breeze. Duo spun, berating himself for the fear he felt, trying to quell the dream with the logic that had always righted his world. Neither the dream nor the sheer linen robe he wore changed in the least. Bright red hair pulled up so that it cascaded down his back, over bare skin and goosebumps, he resembled images of Henry II’s mistress, which irritated him on so many levels he couldn’t even express the feeling. Pale blue fabric swirled around his legs, brushed over the top of his bare feet. “I’m not going to do it,” he said firmly.
A small column swirled into being. In the same dark iridescent mist came the real owner of the dream, a fae of splendid curves and shifting rainbow silk for hair. Long slender fingertips traced over the pure silver curve of the ring. Full red lips smiled and in a voice like expensive old lace, the fae whispered, “Wish.”
“No,” Duo said, tucking very chilled fingers under his arms, then nervously moving to rub his arms instead. “I don’t want anything. Leave me alone.”
Dark gold eyes smiled mesmerizingly, holding Duo with the same power of the trapping dream. Those lifeless fingers, solid mist ending in silver sharp nails, caressed the invisible barrier between them, a line that went right through the silver ring. “But I’m hungry. Wish.”
Duo gasped, grabbing at air as much as he grabbed against wakefulness, dragging himself out of the dream. His throat closed off, panic extending the dream’s reach. The temple was gone. The flowing historical robe was gone. His peace of mind held on by a thread. Eyes narrowing, lips tightening into a line, he threw his covers off, straightened the oversized player twelve tee-shirt he wore, clinging it to it for just a couple extra seconds to keep himself grounded in the present and snarled, “I don’t wish for things. I make things happen.” He swung his legs out of bed, relished the warm wood floor in his loft and came up with a plan.
These dreams started with that ring his paranoid, probably dangerous, ghost hunting cousin Wufei had sent for his birthday. Sitting there, he passed air from one cheek to the other, formulating his plan. The ring could have some kind of fungus on it, a drug, some strange thing used to set a person up for believing in the unbelievable. His fingers wiggled, lower lip between his teeth. It wasn’t like his cousin would mean to send such a dangerous artifact, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t have happened. Old mediums and con artists were rampant in his field of study. Who knows what someone might have done in the Victorian times and left around for some well intended and gullible person?
So the first order of business was to get the ring down to Chemistry and get it tested. The second order of business would be to get more information about the ring. His grimace turned to a tight smile, a touch of blush. The new history professor seemed like an excellent source of information.
He ran his hands over his very short red hair, ruffling it up, as if that would cool the blush on his cheeks. It had always felt wrong. He’d wanted hair as long as he had in the dream, until he’d started having that dream. The hair meant something. He was sure of it. Looking like a historical figure still sat wrong with him though. History wasn’t really a subject he cared much for. The facts were squishy and full of opinion. He’d put a satellite in orbit well before he wanted to sit through a series of lectures on what someone might or might not have done some hundreds of years before. That wasn’t nearly as fun as thrust and velocity.
And then along came Professor Yuy.
Tall, with a kind of strength that seemed more like a wild beast, noble beyond the rules of human politics, he had caught Duo watching him the day he’d moved into his office and smiled. A smile like the sun, matching his golden hair, the long ponytail, and he’d swallowed his heart while staring into blue eyes, just a man’s eyes, they’d been broader than the great blue wall of the sky that he’d worked so hard in overcoming. Those blue eyes were home in a way the stars never would be. Now if only he’d had the nerve to actually.. you know talk to Professor Yuy.
He needed information. The ring that was disturbing his dreams gave him a logical and believable entry to talk to the intoxicating history professor. He bounced up, gripping his plan like a rope to safety. “Sora,” he said, activating the computer system managing his home computer system. “Send an email to Professor Yuy, asking for a consultation.”
“I’m sending an email to Professor Yuy asking for a consultation,” a soothing male voice said. “Would you like me to start your coffee?”
“Yes, start the coffee,” he confirmed as he peeled off the tee-shirt and stepped into the shower. Magenta shower gel laced the warm steam with the scent of roses. Roses brought the ring back to the surface of his thoughts, and the fair Roslyn. The thoughts that happened next were like a flashback, more vivid than his real life in that moment. He lay on his back, on rough grass, looking up at a moon that seemed strange and beautiful, unkept roses hanging over them like a child’s fort. Of the them, all he could see were the blue eyes, but he felt more connected to this dream person than he’d felt connected to anyone he’d ever known. A slightly Japanese accented voice, accented in a way that no Japanese person’s voice had ever been, but still recognizably Japanese, a young man whispered, “Your lips are softer than the roses, but I still like them. Every time I smell them, I think of you.”
Very soon the scent of fresh, strong coffee mixed with the roses and to his surprise he realized that his shower had run cold. Irritated, he wondered if his water heater was malfunctioning. There was no way he’d spent an hour in the shower. Blue eyes hadn’t taken up that much time.
Chewing the inside of his cheek, he stepped out and grabbed a huge fluffy white towel. “Sora, did we get a reply email from Professor Yuy?”
“No,” the computer replied.
Duo channeled his frustration into drying his hair with the thick towel, into staring judgmentally at his reflection in the mirror. His violet eyes didn’t look right under red eyebrows, never had and years of therapy wasn’t going to change that today.. A small smattering of freckles over his curved nose only made him look like he wasn’t old enough to be in line for the senior chair in astronautics.
“This is great coffee,” a mellow and confident voice said from his living space.
Violet eyes went wide as a startled rabbit with a fox in the warren. Mouth suddenly dry, he wrapped the towel around himself and slipped back into his bedroom. The bedroom and bathroom were in a loft above the living and kitchen spaces. Holding the towel, he stared into his living area. The fox in the warren smiled up at him from his favorite chair, and blush exploded across Duo’s cheeks.
The uninvited guest lifted the white mug from which he was drinking Duo’s coffee. Wearing jeans and a blue shirt with the top two buttons open, Professor Yuy grinned and then winked at her. “Good morning, Professor Maxwell. I understand you have something you want to talk to me about.”
Mouth still too dry to talk, he licked his lips and disappeared back into his bedroom. Rushing, he grabbed jeans and a tee-shirt, socks and running shoes. “Sora,” he hissed, “you said he didn’t email!”
“He didn’t,” the computer affirmed without emotion.
“Why did you let him in?”
“I don’t know,” the computer said honestly.
Duo cut off a few curse words, grabbed his tablet, then went back to the railing. The fox in his warren still didn’t look even slightly disconcerted. He smiled back at him, trying to lay out a few chess moves ahead. If they were going to play games, well, he was good at games. “Good morning, Professor Yuy. I’m so glad you could accomodate me this morning.”
“Nothing I’d like better,” he said, his voice carrying layers of meaning.
The voice from his dream whispered sweetly against his ear, “Do you wish you were married to him? Wouldn’t the world be better if he were your husband?”