disclaimer: i own gw. in my little secluded delusional world. it's a good place to be..

pairings: will be 1x2x1, wee bit of 3x4x3
warnings: angst, strangeness, complete AU and concepts not usually used in gw universe

notes: this fic will take a while and confuse a great deal. but i swear, it will make sense eventually. and still no beta, so excuse the mistakes..

additional note: the story turns out weirder than i first suspected. my muse, my dear caro, messed with my head. therefore, if you have a complaint, address it to caroline and rant at her please.

Part 2
by 0083

True love never dies. It only fades into nothing, like a shadow under a slowly brightening morning light.

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.. Catherine.

"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 lives, too."

"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, Heero."

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 find him."

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 death.

"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 manipulation.

"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 I did."

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 years.

"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 colors.

"He is not in the Well of Souls. He must have been reincarnated."

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 required.

"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.

"I hurt."

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 leeway here."

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 almost.. afraid.

"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 funny.

"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 assassin.

"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 him.

And he hated it.

on to part 3

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