AN: C’mon everybody don’t be mad at Trowa, remember the reader is omniscient in this piece and sees both Midii and Trowa’s side of things. Trowa only sees his side and from there Midii seems pretty suspicious. At least I tried to make it that way, this fic is bringing all their unresolved issues into the light . . . anyway, all that said and with my undying love and worship for Tro-chan proclaimed, on with the angst.
Did I mention an angst warning?? Also lime (4xD) and language warning. Err, is anyone still reading this thing????????? Please, please review @_@
The Price of Redemption
By Midii Une
Midii stared at Ichiban and self-consciously pulled the strap of her nightgown higher on her shoulder. Her fingers shook nervously as they tugged at the soft material.
“Umm . . . Richard,” she said, trying to act as if his finding her locked in a closet was a normal and unsuspicious occurrence but failing miserably and stumbling over her words. “I thought you were leaving Brussels?”
“Obviously,” he said, his voice acid as he looked at her dishevelment; her tangled hair, her bruised lips and the marks Trowa had left on her ivory skin.
“What are you going to do,” she asked, sensing it was futile to argue her innocence.
His silence was more ominous than shouted threats, Midii thought, as her former lover stared at her bitterly.
Usually Wufei enjoyed silence, especially prior to a mission. It was conducive to finding his focus and meditating on the course he would take in the fight ahead. But Trowa’s silence was worse than noise. It was a tense, ominous, unnatural quiet that was noted even by the usually self-involved Chinese pilot.
He actually felt a bit intimidated as he glanced over at Trowa, who was staring intently at the road ahead. Not a sound had passed his tight-pressed lips since he’d come out of the hotel, not even a nod of reaction to Wufei’s terse greeting.
“Stop being such a weakling,” Wufei adjured himself. He didn’t exactly describe himself as Trowa’s friend per se, but for lack of a better word ‘friend’ would have to suffice. They were more than acquaintances and had the benefit of sharing in many battles and experiences over the years since Operation Meteor.
“I do not fear Trowa,” Wufei thought again, a frown of self-contempt appearing between his onyx eyes as anger welled up in his soul. To even think that he should consider fearing anyone was enough to stir him to pick a fight.
“Well,” he said, deciding to take the offense, which he always deemed the best policy. “Are you going to leave me in the dark? I agreed to come along on this wild-goose chase, I think you at least owe me an explanation as to what exactly is going on.”
Trowa stared at the road ahead as if he hadn’t heard Wufei’s question, but his grip on the steering wheel tightened until his knuckles turned white with the pressure.
Wufei cleared his throat and spoke again. “What about . . . Midii?” He hesitated a bit over the words, he rarely referred to any woman by her given name, usually lumping them all into one nameless group.
“I’ll take care of her when this is over,” Trowa said, shooting a warning look at the other Preventer.
“If she betrayed us she needs to be taken into custody now,” Wufei shouted, his dark eyes glinting with anger. “You can’t make this decision Trowa, you’re useless when it comes to her. You don’t have the authority--”
“I said I’ll take care of it,” Trowa said, his voice remaining at an even pitch though his memory was haunted by the look in her eyes when he’d left.
It was futile to argue with Trowa in his condition, even Wufei could see that. No matter, at the first opportunity he would contact Heero and tell him what was going on. Trowa’s feelings were affecting his judgment where that woman was concerned. They’d all given her plenty of chances to prove herself and if Trowa had given up on her it was obvious she had turned on them.
“You’ve lost your edge, Midii,” Ichiban taunted, her reaction so far was disappointing. He expected her to argue, to convince him he was wrong. He longed to throw her denials back in her face, but she seemed resigned and unwilling to argue with him. Was she just going to give up?
“Eva had you pegged from the start,” he said, trying to elicit some type of response. “I thought you were better at this than she was but how mistaken I was. You disappointed me in so many ways. I know she wishes she could be here to see you fall, but she has other loose ends to tie up. Your Preventer should be half-way to his rendezvous with her now. She hates you, you know. She blames you for Stefan’s death.”
Midii ignored the remarks about Stefan. Her head shot up and she grabbed Richard’s arm. “What about Trowa,” she said urgently.
“That got your attention, didn’t it,” Ichiban said, shaking her off. “Damn your lying little heart. You made me believe you loved me.”
“What about Trowa,” Midii repeated anxiously, her heart pounding, her fear for herself forgotten.
“Eva wants revenge, she wants to make you pay for Stefan’s death,” Ichiban said, his eyes glittering with satisfaction as he watched her react. “You can imagine how she’ll get it . . .”
Midii moved slowly, edging herself along the mattress, holding his eyes with hers before dropping quickly to the floor and shoving her hand between the mattress and the boxspring, searching for the pistol she had hidden the night before.
In an instant he was beside her, the weapon she searched for appearing in his hand.
“Looking for this,” he chuckled. “How good of your Preventer to leave you here so ill-prepared to defend yourself. Eva had such fun turning him against you, although I fear it wasn’t much of a challenge. Poor Midii, you don’t inspire trust in your lovers. You’ve truly lost your touch since the end of the war.”
“Damn you,” she cursed, grabbing for the gun but he held it out of her reach.
“I’m afraid you’ll precede me to hell,” he said, mock sorrow in his voice as he traced the lines of her face and throat with the barrel of the gun. She made a strangled sound as he pressed his lips to the pulse beat of her throat and ran a hand over the silk nightgown she wore, his breathing coming heavier. He pulled her to her feet, holding the gun on her threateningly.
“Now get dressed ‘Marguerite’, we’ll be late for church,” Ichiban said. “I’ve thought of the perfect way for you to pay for your sins against me.”
Quatre ran the brush through the silky length of Dorothy’s pale, moonlight-colored hair. The early morning sunlight poured softly through the elegant, transparent sheers of their hotel room, encasing her in a nimbus of golden light. She was different since the shuttle explosion. Gentler than she had ever been and now she was nearly purring with contentment as he continued to pull the brush through the satiny-smoothness of her long hair.
“Let’s stay here,” she said, falling back on the featherbed, the small poofing sound made by the weight of her body making Quatre smile as he bent to kiss her pouting lips. Her fingers tangled in the black suspenders he wore over his white shirt, holding him captive as she kissed him with increasing passion. She knew she could play the temptress very well if she had a mind too and being with Quatre always set her mind on that course. He looked like an angel but she knew just how to make him fall, to make him act basely human, to devour him with passion.
“We need to be there for the ceremony Dorothy,” he protested unwillingly. She made it so hard not to play hooky and he started to wonder what would be quicker, taking a cold shower or giving in to her demands. The blonde on the bed beneath him made the decision for him as she felt him waver in his resolve, her hands tugging at the zipper of his black dress pants and her teeth nibbling at his lower lip. His aquamarine eyes lit with an uncharacteristic wickedness as his long, artistic fingers played her like a piano, stroking her through the thin cotton gown she wore until she snarled at him to hurry.
He wanted to spend all day with her but duty called so he gently nudged her thighs apart, his eyes widening in surprise as she arched to meet him and they both came quickly to a climax, moaning each others names softly. Quatre lay with his head pillowed on her breasts a moment, listening to her fiercely pounding heartbeat. He wished again that they could stay there, that he could pull the covers up and make love to her slowly. He wanted to order breakfast in bed and feed her ripe raspberries, crushing the soft fruit between their lips. He thought about dribbling champagne on her skin and tasting the intoxicating combination flavors. Dorothy was like a drug and he couldn’t get enough.
Quatre sighed; maybe he did have time for a quick cold shower after all.
The interior of the Cathedral of St. Michael was chilly and silent. A few people spoke softly in quiet tones, but it was relatively empty, there being plenty of time to spare before the scheduled commemorative ceremony. Midii stumbled but Richard’s tight grip on her arm kept her upright, he shoved the pistol she had loaded herself painfully into her side. She couldn’t look at him and she couldn’t meet his eyes. Her face flushed and her eyes stung with tears of humiliation. He had made her undress in front of him. She could feel his hands lingering on her legs as he put her stockings on her himself.
“This is where he fucked you isn’t it,” Richard had hissed, his hands on her body, pushing at her nightgown, his body pinning hers to the bed.
He’d made her beg and plead for him to stop before he’d laughed in her face.
“Don’t worry Midii-chan,” he’d whispered rising off her as if she disgusted him. “I don’t want the Preventer’s leftovers. Now get dressed, I told you we’re going to be late.”
She kept her eyes on the ground, almost uncaring what he did to her although deep down a voice urged her to try to fight him but she was too heartsick to make an attempt.
He let go of her arm and she lost her balance as he pushed aside the plastic and shoved her into the chapel they had spoken in the day before. It was still just as beautiful, filled with glorious crimson, azure and golden light from the windows. Midii pushed herself up off her knees and found herself looking at the window. The faces did not look forgiving today. They looked pleased, pleased that someone like her was finally going to get exactly what she deserved.
She heard an odd scraping sound and turned back toward Richard. Out of the corner of her eye she could see he was going to hit her with something, her eyes widened and she tried to move away but her realization came too late.
Blood spattered the ancient gray stones and Richard dropped the heavy trowel, hardly believing he had actually hit her with it. He had killed her. It skittered across the hard floor smearing blood from its edge. Midii lay crumpled in a shaft of rosy-red light, blood splotched on her white dress like hideous scarlet polka dots.
He knelt beside her and smoothed the red-gold curls back from the uninjured side of her face gently, averting his eyes from the gaping wound on her right temple that oozed a steady stream of blood.
“You made me do this Midii,” he croaked. “I loved you, I truly did . . .”
He leaned to kiss her unresponsive lips, the edge of his white shirt cuff wicking up her blood and staining his sleeve bright red. Ichiban didn’t notice. He pulled himself together. “You deserved this Midii, you brought it on yourself,” he repeated to her still form, but his voice shook a little, as if he was trying to convince himself that he was in the right. She looked eerily like the statues on the tombs in the crypt beneath the church, her body as still as if it was carved from stone and her face oddly serene. He pulled a cylindrical device from his pockets and pressed a few buttons and the numbers 12:00 appeared in the digital time window. He pressed the automatic detonation device into Midii’s limp hand and walked away.
“Preventers!! Die, die. Bang, bang,” the boy yelled, pointing his finger at Trowa and Wufei as if it were a gun and rolling away from them on the concrete pathway and into some nearby bushes.
Mobile suits and mobile dolls stood at attention throughout the park beside the glittering blue water of the channel. The bright late morning sun flashed off the titanium and reflected in the two men’s sunglasses as the boy’s mother scolded him and delivered a sharp swat to his bottom. The boy stuck his tongue out at Trowa and Wufei and let his mother drag him along to the next exhibit.
“Mama,” the boy whined, his voice carrying back to the two former Gundam pilots. “Are you sure the mobile suits can’t fire?”
“Yes dear,” the woman said tiredly, her son was a handful. “They disabled them before putting them on display here as a reminder to people about the horrors of war.”
“That sucks,” the boy yowled. “I wanna see’em blow something up like in those kick-ass mecha shows daddy watches on TV.”
“Jonathan, your language,” his mother protested as they moved out of earshot.
Wufei folded his arms and glared at the mobile dolls, he had always detested fighting them and against inferior mobile suit pilots. Mobile suits were all around them; there were even Cancers and Pisces floating in the bay, anchored and disabled of course. As the woman had said the War Museum at Blankenberge, Belgium was intended as a reminder and a warning of the mistakes of the past. But if that boy was any example the place was more of a play land for potential young mobile suit pilots who would never get their chance.
“Makes me glad I destroyed Nataku myself,” Wufei muttered, looking after the spoiled child with disgust written on his features. He cringed internally to think of his beloved Gundam on display in a place like this, gawked at by people who didn’t know what it meant to fight for any cause, right or wrong. He didn’t want to be here, the place sickened him, children carrying bright-colored balloons and frolicking in the shadows of mobile suit weaponry. It wasn’t right, it was disgusting and some of the discouragement that had spurred him to join Mariemaia’s army stirred in his soul at the sight.
Trowa’s face was a blank, any emotion or regret for Heavyarms masked by the sunglasses and his concentration on more important matters. Strangely nothing seemed out of place or suspicious here.
Wufei vocally echoed Trowa’s silent concern. “I don’t see that anything’s wrong here, at least nothing threatening, although personally I think they should close this place down and destroy these suits honorably. This place has no integrity.”
Inside the museum’s technical department a young man lay on his back, chocolate brown eyes that had once sparkled with appreciation for mechanics and pretty women were glazed and set, they stared up unblinkingly at the metal beams of the old Alliance hangar. He had been dead for hours. What had seemed too good to be true had been of course. The unexplained appearance of a beautiful, voluptuous woman with an insatiable interest in how mobile dolls worked and an equally insatiable interest in his physique should have alerted him to his danger, but it hadn’t. She was a professional.
Eva Ketto stepped carefully around the stiffening body of her victim and her fingers caressed the slim black control box she held.
“Thank you so much darling,” she said, a secretive smile playing on her full lips as she tossed back her dark hair and smoothed her dress. The young man, not much more than a boy actually, had been so very helpful. He’d been a genius with mobile suits and completely under the control of raging hormones. Her coup had been much too easy. He’d died happy after proving to her that he was fully capable of rearming one of the mobile dolls. She remembered the lascivious glint in his eyes as she leaned forward to listen to him and how they’d widened when she’d taken his hand and pressed it to her heart. It had almost been a shame to kill him, he had been an eager, if inexperienced, lover but time might have changed that, given a chance.
Now she just had to wait for Trowa to find her. She had such a surprise for him.
Ichiban walked down the side aisle, what he’d done to Midii preying on his mind. He’d killed before, so many times, but this was different. He’d loved her once, could still remember exactly how it felt to kiss her awake after the few heavenly nights he’d spent sleeping beside her and yet he’d murdered her in cold blood. He kept seeing the look in her eyes as she turned and his hand had seemed to move of its own volition to strike. For some reason he hadn’t expected the blood, when he closed his eyes he could see it spattered on the walls and her dress.
“She deserved it,” he muttered to himself, exerting his self-control to keep himself from running from the Cathedral and the body sprawled on the floor of the little Chapel.
Relena was lost in her own thoughts; the ceremony today intended to commemorate all those who had given their lives for peace. She walked slowly up the side aisle of the cathedral, enjoying a few moments to herself; her mind was on her fathers, both real and adopted, both dead because of the people’s urge to fight. Maybe that’s what had her feeling so tired lately, exhaustion that never seemed to ease up, it was only the stress the feelings of this day were bound to bring. She wouldn’t be able to hide it from Heero much longer she knew. Last night she had fallen asleep while he was taking a shower, she hadn’t even woken up when he crawled into bed beside her and taken her in his arms.
“Ugh,” she breathed, the air forced out of her body, as someone slammed into her, not surprising since neither of them were looking where they were going.
“Madame Yuy, please excuse me,” Ichiban said in greeting, trying desperately to gather the remnants of his usual aplomb around him.
“Are you quite well Richard,” Relena asked. It was still so unbelievable that the charming and handsome young man she had known and had even briefly considered going out with was a criminal mastermind. He didn’t look well today, not at all, his face was gray and haggard and his hands seemed to tremble.
“I’m fine. How gracious of you to concern yourself,” Richard said, automatically taking her hand in his and out of long habit raising it gracefully to his lips.
Relena lowered her eyes and felt her stomach heave sickeningly. His sleeve was soaked an unmistakable crimson color. The material appeared damp and heavy with blood.
Ichiban heard her shocked gasp and saw her face turn pale, he tightened his hand on hers as he followed her gaze. Midii’s blood, all over him, everywhere. He noticed tiny red droplets on the front of his shirt that matched the deep red that stained his sleeve. He narrowed his golden eyes, his gaze focused on her slender throat. It would be so easy, so easy after what he’d done to kill again. A soft whimper escaped Relena’s throat as his hand tightened painfully on hers, drawing her inexorably closer, she could feel the disgusting dampness of his sleeve against the bare skin of her wrist as he held her.
“Relena, are you in here,” a feminine voice called from the back of the church. Ichiban raised his eyes and saw a petite dark-haired girl standing in a square of sunlight near the church door, her eyes scanning the interior with seeming amazement.
He thrust Relena away from him roughly and she fell against one of the wooden pews and he ran, not caring who saw him or what they thought. The plan was in motion and nothing could stop it now, at least if he wasn’t caught.
Ichiban brushed past the dark-haired pixie that had thwarted his attempt on Relena’s life and out a side entrance to the cathedral.
“Stop! Stop or I’ll shoot,” the girl shouted, but he didn’t stop to look and see if she had a weapon and he never heard the sound of a shot. He grinned victoriously, and slowed his pace to a sedate walk as he lost sight of the cathedral, his initial feelings of remorse disappearing as his triumph seemed with in reach.
“Damn,” Hilde cursed as she fumbled with her gun; it had gotten caught up in the hidden holster she was wearing. It wouldn’t be diplomatic to carry a visible weapon into a church. And had she just cursed? She glanced apologetically toward the altar before remembering Relena. She opened the door and called to Heero.
“Hurry, I need help. Something’s happened to Relena,” she shouted, before racing to the Vice Foreign Minister’s side.
Trowa slipped inside the technician’s hangar and peered into the darkness. He had commissioned Wufei to speak to the management and ask them to clear the civilians from the grounds. Between the two of them Wufei was more comfortable flashing his Preventer credentials and giving orders in an appropriately condescending tone.
It was suspiciously dark and quiet inside. Someone should be on duty in here, even on a Sunday morning Trowa thought, forcing himself to concentrate on the mission. He moved silently through the building, most mobile suit hangars were similar in layout and having been a soldier most of his life the lack of light did not deter his exploration. Finally his foot met something that seemed out of place, he nudged the object, it was soft and gave with pressure. He pulled a flashlight from his pocket to investigate and as he flipped it on the entire building flooded with almost-blinding light.
“Congratulations Trowa,” Eva said, her voice echoing in the vast empty building. “You finally found me.”
Wufei watched as the people slowly exited under the direction of the museum’s employees. He ignored the continued protests of the director.
“Preventer safety concerns take precedence,” he said shortly, as the man continued to complain. Wufei glanced toward the hangar where Trowa had disappeared. It was no surprise that he had shirked this duty of closing down the exhibits. He shrugged, if it was in his power he’d destroy the whole place. He grimaced as he recognized the voice of young Jonathan protesting the park’s closing.
“This is so unfair,” he squalled, kicking at his mother and tempting Wufei to give the youngster a spanking he’d not soon forget.
Now was his opportunity to contact Heero at least. Midii Une had to be taken care of one way or another. Whether Trowa liked it or not.
Heero carried Relena from the church, ignoring her protests that she was completely fine.
“He surprised me that’s all. Something’s wrong Heero. There was blood all over him,” she said, desperately trying to get him to listen. But he was single-minded. She was going to the hospital if he had to drag her there kicking and screaming.
Heero tossed his cell phone to Quatre. “You take charge here,” he said briefly. “I’ll be back as soon as I can. Relena said she saw bloodstains on the suspect. I want the place evacuated. Put Duo on it. The ceremony is cancelled.”
Before Quatre could answer or question him, Heero had placed Relena in the passenger’s seat of the nearest official car and taken off with her.
Almost as soon as Heero’s car disappeared and Quatre had dispatched Hilde to find Duo, Heero’s cell phone beeped. Quatre snapped it open.
“Winner,” he said.
“Winner,” Wufei growled. “Where’s Heero, this is urgent?”
“Something happened to Miss Relena, it doesn’t seem serious but he took her to the hospital,” Quatre confided. “What’s wrong?”
Wufei hesitated, Quatre would be worse than Trowa where Midii Une was concerned. Even the last time he had always stuck up for her and defended her innocence. Still, he had to tell somebody or he wouldn’t be doing his duty.
“Send someone over to the hotel immediately and have Midii Une arrested. She’s double-crossing us,” he said, his eyes on the hangar, half-expecting Trowa to appear to stop him.
“Midii? Wufei that’s impossible. Where’s Trowa, isn’t he with her? I thought that’s why he wasn’t here this morning,” Quatre persisted, a feeling of guilt descending over him. Trowa had needed to talk the other day and he had brushed him off without really listening. What had been happening?
“Just do it Winner, I have to get back to Barton. You’ll see when we get back,” Wufei snapped, terminating the call as a flash of light sliced through the steel wall of the hangar revealing a black Taurus MD. And it was obviously fully operational.
Screams erupted from the departing crowd and this time it was Jonathan who tugged on his mother’s hand, trying to get her to hurry.
His mama had been wrong. The mobile suits could still fire. A wall of red-hot molten metal fell away from the huge hangar building, slamming down so hard that the ground shook. Sparks shot up and flames roared and leapt in jagged crimson and gold spurts. It was awesome and horrific at the same time and he didn’t want to look at it anymore. It was nothing like it seemed on TV. The little boy wanted nothing more than to get home. In real life a mobile suit blast was too loud, too bright and too frightening.
Eva smirked as she surveyed the damage and waved the controller teasingly at Trowa.
“It feels so good to destroy, doesn’t it Trowa,” she asked. “You were rather good at this yourself once, weren’t you?”
Then out of the temple in heaven came another angel, who likewise held a sharp sickle. A second angel, who was in charge of the fire at the altar of incense, cried out in a loud voice to the one who held the sharp sickle, “Use your sharp sickle and gather the grapes from the vines of the earth, for the clusters are ripe.” So the angel wielded his sickle over the earth and gathered the grapes of the earth. He threw them into the huge winepress of God’s wrath. --REV 15, 17-19
They’d never heard cool stuff like that in religion class, Duo thought grinning and slamming shut the massive bible that sat on a pedestal. He liked the sound of this angel with a sharp sickle. Sounded like quite a guy. He took a surreptitious sip of the communion wine and straightened his collar. All quiet. Did they really suspect there’d be anything fishy back here with these old guys he wondered, eyeing the boring old priests and bishops and stifling a yawn.
The sacred and somnolent atmosphere was shattered by the slap of running feet on the stone floor and the door burst open to reveal a breathless Hilde.
“Babe! What’s wrong,” Duo cried, grabbing her in his arms and holding her close as she caught her breath and tried to speak.
“Father Maxwell! Who is this young woman and what is the meaning of this behavior,” an older priest asked in a shaking voice.
“Undercover. Preventers,” Duo said, pulling his papers from beneath his cassock and flashing them at the startled cleric.
“Duo,” Hilde said, her voice low and urgent. “You have to get everyone out of here now. We don’t know what’s going to happen but someone attacked Relena.”
“Gotcha babe, leave it to me. Just do me a favor and get the hell out of here yourself,” Duo said, grabbing her around the waist and kissing her, his lips reluctantly parting from hers as she turned and dashed out the little door at the side of the vestibule.
He turned to the others.
“What in the name of God is happening here, young man,” the archbishop asked.
“It’s not happening in God’s name, that’s for sure,” Duo said. “You heard the lady, get out of here now, unless you want a glimpse of the hell you’ve been trying so hard to miss out on.”
Duo rushed out to the altar and jogged up the stairs of the wooden pulpit. He paused a second and gazed out over the gathering crowd. He cleared his throat but the conversational buzz continued.
“HEY!!! Pay attention out there,” he yelled, his tone reminiscent of Shinigami’s battle cry from a time not too far past.
The congregation grew silent, gazing at the priest with burning violet eyes and the long chestnut braid that swayed a little with the motion of his arms when he spoke. They were not regular churchgoers they were here for an official ceremony. Duo spotted some of the faces from Midii’s list and smelled double cross. Looked like the rats were turning on each other. But right now wasn’t the time to separate the wheat from the chaff and all that other judgment day stuff. He had to warn everyone, there was no leeway to make distinctions between who was worthy and who wasn’t.
“You’ve all got about one minute to get your asses the hell out of here,” he warned, raising his voice and moving his arms as if to encompass all of them. “You all know the story about God’s wrath and you know not when the hour is coming, don’t you? Well head’s up people God’s wrath is upon you and the hour is now. So get a move on.”
They stared at him, some with mouths actually hanging open in wonder.
“This isn’t symbolic for Christ’s sake,” Duo shrieked, staring back at them in disbelief. “Run for your goddamned lives.”
They moved then, not forgetting to grab up their personal possessions and worldly goods as they exited, Duo noticed. Now it was time to get out himself, he was nowhere near ready to visit hell himself, he turned to take a last look at the sanctuary of the church and automatically made a long-forgotten sign of the cross as his eyes met those of the crucified Christ. He backed right into Quatre.
“Weren’t ya listening to my speech Quatre,” Duo asked, putting a hand up behind his head. “Don’t tell me it was all a false alarm?”
Quatre shook his head. They had heard from the hospital. Preliminary results had showed Relena was perfectly fine. But they had performed a rapid test on a bloodstain Ichiban had left on her wrist.
A perfect match for Midii Une.
“You need to get out of here Duo,” Quatre said, his voice faltering a little. “But on the way out keep an eye out for anybody remaining behind. I think Midii may still be in here.”
“Dontcha’ think she heard my stirring speech, Quatre,” Duo asked, his smile fading at the look on Quatre’s face.
“I-I think she may be hurt. The blood Relena saw . . .”
“Shit,” Duo said. “You think she’s already dead? Don’t say that, we’re not gonna lose anybody today. Do you hear me?”
“Then we need to look for her, but don’t take any chances,” Quatre said. “You take the left side, I’ll take the right.”
Trowa ignored Eva, ignored the sick feeling that he had made a bad choice somewhere along the line that had led him to this point. It was obvious now that the object he had kicked as he investigated the hangar was a body. Automatically he knelt beside it both out of concern and to buy time, to think what to do.
“The boy is dead,” Eva said, her smile turning vicious when Trowa finally peered up at her through his bangs. He crouched lightly on his feet prepared to strike if he could.
“As dead as poor Midii must be by now,” she continued, watching him sharply. “I’m rather disappointed you didn’t kill her yourself for betraying you again Trowa. That would have made my revenge perfect. But then, you don’t work that way. What did you plan to do when you got back, I wonder. But sadly now we’ll never know.”
She pressed a button again, cutting another blazing path through the hangar wall with the suit’s beam saber.
“I fooled you, you see. The real show today is back in Brussels,” she said, dropping the controller to the floor and crushing it under her three-inch heel as she produced a concealed gun. “Did you ever think that the two of you had a very shaky relationship to begin with? What with you being so suspicious and Midii so secretive? But there, I’m speaking ill of the dead and as the winner I shouldn’t gloat.”
Eva waited. She wanted to see rage, tears, denial. She wanted to feel his hands on her, wanted him to try and punish her before she blew him away. But not even this, it seemed, could touch him.
“Nothing to say Trowa,” she said finally, her voice irritated at the emotionless mask that confronted her and the icy silence that filled the hangar. “Can’t you even cry or question fate?”
The emerald eyes continued glittering at her silently, inscrutable and frightening, like a wild creature patiently waiting for her to make a mistake. But she wouldn’t, Eva told herself, unwillingly dropping her eyes from his then raising them back again defiantly.
“A viszontlátásra,” she whispered, aiming her gun at him, hesitating with her shot as he continued to stare at her as if nothing in this world had ever mattered or been worth living for.
As she continued to stare at him Trowa finally reached and grabbed her wrist with an iron grasp, pulling her hand forward till the barrel pressed against his chest point blank.
“What are you waiting for,” he asked, his voice as casual as if he were asking a stranger the time of day. “I am already dead.”
“Midii,” Quatre screamed, his footsteps and voice echoing through the cavernous stone cathedral, his voice small and lost in the huge building as the last of the people evacuated. Was she still here somewhere? Had she ever been here?
Duo’s figure grew smaller as he checked for stragglers and signs of Midii and Quatre turned back in the other direction. A dark room glowing with candlelight was situated behind the altar, it beckoned. He almost forgot he had to hurry, the atmosphere was so serene and peaceful here.
In a dim corner a pale figure knelt, the candlelight flickering on its features and making it seem almost alive. Before Quatre could even feel relief that he’d found Midii at last he realized it was only a marble saint’s statue. A trick of the light and his own desperation had fooled him momentarily. Time grew short but the statue seemed to draw him and he crossed the small room to examine it. It was a woman, kneeling in prayer, a penitent expression on her delicate, beautifully carved face. Her head was bent and a tear trickled down the perfect marble cheek, framed by long, sculpted waves of hair.
Midii, he thought wonderingly. The statue captured her beauty and sorrow in a way that was uncanny. The candlelight flickered on a gold plate at the base of the sculpture.
Pain, pain tinged with regret, deep sorrow and unfulfilled love crashed over him like a wave and he clutched his hands over his heart. It was like contact, but not directly. An echo of a pleading voice begging for help.
He backed slowly out of the little side chapel and inhaled deeply, the incense-laden air and the sensation of pain he had felt made him almost dizzy. She was here, he was certain now but the cathedral was sprawling and full of other dark and tiny alcoves lit only by flickering votives.
Quatre continued walking rapidly and finally saw a doorway covered with heavy plastic to seal it off from the rest of the building and a construction sign. The Chapel of Our Lady of Redemption. There was a picture of what the chapel would look like when it was completely renovated. He glanced at the clear, heavy plastic as he rushed by, calling out for Midii again. A splotch of red showed through the plastic and Quatre heard the church bell ring, the beginning of the noon bells, the midii bells.
Dorothy, he thought. He had to leave now or risk breaking the heart of the one he loved most. But the emotions he had felt in the little chapel to the Christian saint and what he dreaded finding behind the wall of plastic beckoned like a siren’s call. He turned back and pulled at the plastic enough so he could enter the chapel
The red was her blood, Midii’s blood pooling around her pale body. He didn’t
even hear the bells anymore as he gazed at her in horror.
Dead, she was already dead, the sunlight streamed through the newly-installed stained glass window casting an unearthly radiance over her still body. Her hand lay limp and
tucked inside it a timed detonating device lay blinking at him. He could stop
it, he thought crazily, somehow turn off the switch. The huge bells rocked and chimed 10. Quatre reached for the device, it felt warm, warm from her hand.
It blinked 12:00, as if in warning.
“Midii,” he whispered, looking at her again as the bells continued to clang, he thought he saw her chest move, perhaps an illusion of the wavering colored light. He looked down at the device in his hand and the bell tolled 12 and Quatre heard a faraway rumble as a chain reaction of explosions rocked the building.
Next time on The Price of Redemption . . . Chapter 11 . . . Cathrine arrives in Brussels . . . Relena has news for Heero . . . a grief-stricken Dorothy rages.
AN: Again, in the Cathedral of St. Michael in Brussels there really is a chapel dedicated to Mary Magdalene, the statue is fictional unfortunately. The comparison of Midii to Mary Magdalene is inspired by the fanfiction of Karan Seraph, she gives Midii the alias Magdalene Noinori in her wonderful stories. Check out my websites for a link to Seraph’s great writings!