True love never dies. It only fades into nothing,
like a shadow under a slowly brightening morning
It has been said that no news was good news. About
now, Duo wished that he had not just heard the news.
"What the fuck do you mean she's not dead! Of course
she is! You checked her out, Trowa! FUCK!"
Trowa nodded grimly. He had made sure the girl was
dead before they had walked out of the room. He was
never wrong and Duo never failed. Whatever had
happened, that girl walking around just could not be
Relena Peacecraft. The only problem was, the guild
thought she was the princess who supposedly died three
nights ago under Duo's blade.
"Shit, shit, shit! You know she's dead, I know she's
dead! How come she doesn't know she's dead? Hello,
big ass knife wound in the neck! Enough blood to
drown a cow! How can she be walking around?"
Duo paced around the small living space he shared with
Wufei and Quatre in agitated steps, his arms flailing
wildly to punctuate each and every word he spoke.
Despite the ranting, Trowa knew Duo was very serious
about this problem. The guild had found them wanting
as an assassin and a witness; they had already sent
out a writ of forfeit on their lives. Within the day,
their friends and comrades would be sent out after
them to kill them.
"What do we do now? Run? Hell, who would the guild
send out after us? Shit, I hope it isn't Wufei or
Quatre. I can't kill them to save my own ass."
Trowa agreed with Duo's point. There would be nothing
worse than to be hunted by people he considered his
family. And that brought on another problem..
"Don't you dare worry about your sister right now,
Trowa!" Duo said with heat. "It won't do her much
good if you turn up dead. It'd be better for you to
leave her and run than just croak."
"I know that, Duo," Trowa replied, "but what if they
use her against us to bring us into a trap? Have you
thought about that?"
Grim silence followed. There were too many factors to
consider before running away, but if they didn't run,
they would be dead for sure. Duo and Trowa both knew
that they did not want to die, not yet. They wanted
to live, taste life for a while longer.
"Shit, man, we do NOT have time to ponder. We have to
do something quickly. Forfeits were sent out already,
right? At most, we got a couple of hours before they
come for us. We have to run!"
"That's right. And we're going with you."
Duo whirled quickly, his weapons already in his hands
for defense. He saw Quatre and Wufei standing by the
door, their poses almost identical in casualness.
They were packed, each carrying a bulging backpack and
carrying two more in their hands.
"Quatre, have you lost your mind? You can't come with
us, we're forfeited. You and Wufei can still be in
the guild with a new witness. Don't forfeit your
"Thanks for the concern, Trowa," said Wufei with lazy
humor, "but I do not abandon my only family. Very
unjust, don't you know."
Quatre nodded happily and walked over to Trowa to hand
him a pack. Duo watched dumbfounded as Wufei did the
same for him. The usually sarcasm filled violet eyes
were now shiny with gratitude and tears.
"You guys.. we just can't let you do this.. shit,
you're throwing your lives away!"
A gentle smile was all Duo received from Quatre as an
answer. Wufei merely hauled him towards the door with
adamant pushes, demanding him to move.
"Duo, Trowa. What happens to one of us happens to all
of us. Let's go. Time's wasting."
Duo and Trowa dumbly followed Wufei out while Quatre
took rear guard. The four of them would run from the
guild, perhaps to live, perhaps to die. But no matter
what, they would face whatever was ahead together.
Heero concentrated once again, ignoring the bleariness
in his eyes. He knew his powers were nearly nothing
these days, but a simple divination should not have
been this hard, especially with the Pendulum Signet in
his possession. But for some reason, he could not
find out where his love's incarnation or soul was. As
much as he hated to admit it, he needed help from a
god who had more power than he did.
"Treize, get over here now. You're watching me
anyway, aren't you?"
Just as he finished speaking, light coalesced by his
auguring table and formed into a rather chagrined
looking god. Despite the slight grimace on his face,
the god Heero had called Treize was impressive with
his ginger hair suavely brushed back and his blue eyes
sparkling with palpable power.
"You always did know when one of us was watching,
Twisting his lips in distaste, Heero motioned for
Treize to sit by him on the bench. He truly hated
asking for help, but to find his lost love, he would
swallow his pride.
"You still have power that most of us don't. Help me
Treize did not need clarification who the 'him' was.
All the gods and goddesses knew who it was. They had
belittled Heero when he had actually gone and fallen
in love with a mortal all those years ago, only to be
shocked when Heero had gone into seclusion after his
"Heero," Treize said gently, "you can have your power
back, you know. All gods without power can come back
into it. Why don't you try?"
"We've been over this Treize. You are the god of war.
Every mortal worships you because they are constantly
fighting each other. They offer you sacrifices, adore
you. I, on the other hand, am the god of wind. Ever
since science figured out how it worked in the
atmosphere, I stopped being worshipped."
"I'm sorry about that, you know, as I am sorry about
all the other gods who lost their worshippers and
their power along with it. But why not make a mortal
worship you? If you had unconditional adoration from
just one mortal, you can have power again."
Heero shook his head impatiently. He had not called
Treize down for yet another lecture in regaining his
powers. It happened at least once a century, Treize
bugging him to use his immortal godliness to lure some
mortal into worshipping him. Heero was fairly certain
that he said the same things to other god despots,
urging them to return to power with a bit of
"Look, I don't much care about any of that. Besides,
we're all going to be deposed one day, even you,
Treize. People just don't believe for that long."
"I know, but I'm going to never give up on being in
power. More than that, Une would never forgive me if
That got a rare chuckle out of Heero. He had not seen
Une since the last millennia, but he could imagine
that she was just the same as before. Une was also
one of the few gods who still retained power. After
all, she was the patron goddess of scorned women and
there was never a lack of those.
"How is Une? Has she inflicted any horrible vengeance
on behalf of her followers lately?"
Treize let out a full laugh. He loved his queen
dearly, even if she was quite the hand full sometimes.
"Oh, Heero, you should have seen what she did to this
one mortal! One of her worshippers sacrificed a large
boar at her shrine and begged that the man who left
her for another woman never know the touch of a woman
again. And since my darling is a sadistic, scary
goddess, she turned that poor bastard into a tapeworm
in some disgusting mortal's intestinal tract for the
length of a human life with human thoughts. Did I
mention I love my queen?"
The two gods caught up on some news and passed the
time. Heero sometimes missed his kind, the way they
could all interact like a large, dysfunctional family.
He figured that was why he sought out other gods on
earth occasionally, even Relena.
"Treize," Heero said to break the light atmosphere,
"help me with the divination. I need to find him."
Within a split of a second, the jovial look
disappeared from Treize's face and was replaced by a
somber look. He knew that if he ever lost Une, he
would be devastated, perhaps for the rest of eternity.
Of anyone else in their kind, Treize knew what Heero
must have gone through for the last fifteen hundred
"I will help you, but only because I know you won't
stop harassing me until I do."
"Thank you, Treize."
Heero was truly grateful. Finally, he could find what
he had lost. He watched as Treize waved his hand over
the auguring table and saw it flicker in a myriad of
"He is not in the Well of Souls. He must have been
Heero nodded and let Treize continue. It had taken
him all day to even break into the Well of Souls, but
it had taken Treize mere seconds to scan the vastness
of the Well. He should have called Treize hours ago,
damn his pride.
"So," Treize said conversationally, "it seems that
Relena finally gave you the Pendulum Signet."
A short nod confirmed Treize's suspicions.
"I'm surprised she gave it to you at all. It is one
of the most guarded secrets of the Fates, you know."
Heero shrugged and let it drop. When Relena had
hinted that she could give him the Pendulum, he had
been elated. He had thought that she would just hand
it over to him then and there, not run away from him
for three hundred years. But the Pendulum was pesky
like that. Unless given freely by one of the Fates,
it lost its power. And somehow, he had finally
convinced Relena that he needed it and she had given
it to him. For that, he would forever be grateful to
Relena, no matter what she said about the price it
"I hope you know, Heero, that Dorothy and Noin are
most unhappy with Relena for giving up the Pendulum.
You know how possessive they are about their toys."
"I supposed as much," Heero said without feeling, "but
Relena did it on her own. She had the right as the
Weaver of the Future. If the other two Fates don't
like it, what concern is that of mine?"
Treize sighed. It was true, then, that Heero did not
care about anything or anyone except this one mortal
he loved. He would not care if Relena was shunned by
her own sisters for her act. Shaking his head in
defeat, Treize swept through the earth through the
auguring table, looking for the one thing that might
bring Heero out of his desperate pain and apathy.
Four figures furtively made their way down a darkened
alleyway, their footsteps muffled by the soft, squishy
mud beneath their feet. They had been on the move all
day and most of the night. It was safe to say that
all four were tired and hungry, but the need to get
out of town was stronger than anything else.
Duo snuck his head out of the alley carefully, looking
to either side for signs of people. The lanterns were
lit, but they were burning low due to the lateness of
the night. The street was quiet, almost eerily so,
but since they all worked best under these
circumstances, it was perfect. When Duo determined
that the coast was clear, they walked quickly and
noiselessly across the empty street into yet another
alleyway. If anything, these guys knew this town by
heart. It was standard to know the layout of
virtually every major town as an assassin.
So far, they had not run into anybody from the
assassin's guild. Mostly, it was because Duo and
Wufei were the top assassins. No one could match Duo
in stealth nor Wufei in single combat. Quatre was
also quite adept in moving through the darkness and he
had shown an uncanny ability to strategize their
escape down to the last route. So far, the escape had
been tense but not dangerous.
At the end of the alley, the three assassins and their
witness climbed over the wall and out of the town
limits. It was not an easy wall to scale, covered in
slippery moss and various poison ivy types, but they
were professionals. They made it across without
slipping or contracting any itchy rashes. Once over
the wall, they made a run for it, an all out sprinting
race towards the cover of the woods a mile and a half
outside of the town.
They did not stop running until they were deep into
the forest cover and even then they only slowed to a
trot. Finally, when the sun began to rise over the
covered horizon did they halt to take a moment to
breathe and rest.
Quatre nodded in agreement with Wufei. None of them
were used to running for so long at such a fevered
pace, especially without rest or food.
"We should eat and sleep some. I think we have some
Quatre took command of the situation and made everyone
sit and eat a small amount of food out of their packs.
Then he set up a schedule for keeping watch, putting
Trowa as the first sentry while the rest of them got
some sleep. He made sure that each watch was only an
hour long and that everyone would get three hours of
much needed rest. Of course, no one objected, glad to
let Quatre take control of the situation. Besides,
Quatre seemed to excel as a leader and they saw no
reason to contradict him.
After their rest, they were on the move again. All
were tired, but none thought to complain. Their lives
were at stake and none of them had the energy to waste
on talking. When the sun went down and darkness
claimed the landscape again, they stopped again, this
time for the full night. Quatre watched over the camp
preparation, making sure that the fire pit was dug
deep enough to hide the brightness from onlookers
while Duo and Wufei caught some rabbits for their
meager dinner. The mood was a bit bleak due to their
tiredness and constant running, but Duo wasn't going
to let it last for too much longer.
"Okay. We came pretty far today. And we covered our
tracks really well, too. I think we can relax just
for a moment, say like for half an hour, to talk and
joke around. Right, guys?"
That brought forth a chuckle from Trowa. It was true
that they were not in the best of moods, but that
should not force them into a depression. No, at times
like this, it was his job as their witness to make
sure that all of them was mentally sound.
"So, do you think Catherine's okay?"
"Yes, Trowa. She's fine. Wufei and I took care of
her while you and Duo panicked about the situation."
"We did NOT panic. We were way on top of our shit
before you guys decided to tag along on our suicide
mission, thank you."
"You do not know gratitude, you big mouthed idiot,"
said Wufei with a sly look, "but I will overlook that
for the sake of peace."
"What do you mean you took care of Cat?"
Three heads swiveled towards Trowa. He had sounded
"We took care of her."
"That does not make me feel better, Wufei!" Trowa
said with uncharacteristic fire. "I know you don't
like her, you're an assassin, you say you took care of
her.. do the math!"
Duo let out a merry laugh at Trowa's near panic. He
couldn't help his reaction, really. He was tired, the
adrenaline rush had long worn off and the image of
Wufei 'taking care' of Catherine just caught him as
"Trowa, man," Duo said between his bouts of laugher,
"you are so out of it if you think Wufei would kill
your sister! I mean, why bother? Won't she die on
her own from some exotic disease sometime soon?"
"Are you mocking my sister?"
Quatre gently laid his hand on Trowa's shoulder and
Trowa visibly relaxed. If anything, Duo knew that
making fun of Catherine was a sure way to get his butt
kicked by Trowa, but it had been too irresistible.
"I'm sure he's not, Trowa. And don't worry, we put
Catherine at a safe place with some people I know and
trust. She will be safe."
Duo had to hand it to Quatre. Once again, he had
diffused a potentially violent situation between
friends with words. Why he was an assassin instead of
a highly paid diplomat or negotiator was beyond Duo's
comprehension. If he had the skills Quatre had with
words and leadership, he would not have become an
"So, who has a good fun story?"
And that began a rather relaxed night filled with past
encounter stories and other reminiscent bits. They
made fun of each other, poked at each other's
sensitive issues and other crude but fun things that
brothers did to each other. They laughed and cheered
each other on in making fun of each other. The
merriment would have continued if they hadn't sensed a
person coming near their camp site.
All sounds died and Duo quickly put out the fire with
some dirt. All four took defensive stances, looking
in all directions with their bodies ready for action.
Soon, it became apparent that whoever was approaching
their camp had no intention of sneaking up on them at
all. Whoever it was, he made too much noise and gave
away too many signs to be from the assassin's guild.
The clouds gave away to the bright summer moon and the
intruder stepped into the light without hesitation.
Duo could only stare with his jaws barely holding
together as a beautiful man with tussled brown hair
and silvered blue eyes entered their space in an easy
pace. He had never seen someone so beautiful in his
life. He almost doubted his eyes.
"I finally found you."
The husky voice filled with eons of longing and desire
reached Duo's ears with a sharp pinprick of
recognition. It caused him pain and joy in equal
amounts without giving him a solid reason for feeling
that way. All Duo knew at the moment the man had
spoken was that he somehow was destined to be with
And he hated it.