Blank Slate Chapter Fifteen

Disclaimer: Don’t own Gundam Wing

Chapter 15

By the fourth day of being confined to the bed and on twenty four hour surveillance by an ever persistent Heero, Daniel was about to snap. They stood glaring at each other with their arms crossed in the doorway of the bathroom. “I just want to pee,” Daniel grounded out as Heero blocked the door from shutting with his body. Daniel was half tempted to just slam it anyway into the other boy, but with the way Heero’s biceps trembled he knew he wouldn’t win a shoving match with the older teen. Adding in that Heero was a head taller than him made Daniel realize shoving was also out of the possible solutions. “Heero, buddy, pal, I have that damned catheter out and I need to tinkle now. Kay? Got it? Now, leave so I can let my bladder feel relief.” He didn’t even get a grunt from the blue eyes in front of him. He narrowed his own purple eyes and almost smirked at the thought. “Fine. I won’t go then. I’ll hold it until my bladder literally bursts and poisons my body from the inside. Good idea, Heero! You’re a genius!” With that said he went to get back into his bed.

Heero moved to hold him in the room. “I will turn around, but you are not going to be left alone,” he said with his ever present scowl. Daniel rolled his eyes, but turned toward the toilet to get the relief he sought. He looked over really quick to see Heero’s back toward him.

After he was done with the toilet, lowered the gown again, and flushed, he could hear the slap of Heero’s tennis shoes against the tiles as he turned back around to make sure Daniel was alright.

Yes, he was being babysat constantly. He would even wake in the night to see Heero staring at him from his chair he sat in and refused to leave unless Quatre was there during visiting hours. Daniel didn’t know if Heero ever went to the bathroom except during the two hours Quatre was there, because he never was caught alone in the room.

He went back to the bed and lied down immediately. They had pulled the catheter out three hours before but an IV still was attached to his arm and streaming in fluid. He had thought it would be freedom, but Heero dashed those dreams just then. In anger he rolled onto his side to face the room and away from where Heero had sat back down again. Thoughts swirled in his brain and most of them centered on what he wanted to scream at his so-called friends. Sighing in defeat he shut his eyes to go into another nightmare filled sleep of screaming people and blood filled pools.

~*~ Ma ~*~

The blond boy was smiling brightly as he talked to Heero while Daniel limped his way into the bathroom alone. His arms were filled with clothing to finally get out of the horrible open backed hospital gown he had been tortured to be in for the last few weeks. His arm still smarted from the sting of the IV coming out, but he was just glad to be rid of it. Quatre and Heero had gone into the bathroom before him and had pulled out everything they considered could be used to harm himself, but he didn’t care at that moment. He wasn’t stupid enough to do that again while people were within saving distance, and he wasn’t going to do it again in a hospital.

The doctors had given him release from this prison of overly nice people and the ever watching eyes of Heero. Quatre was bringing him to his mansion on the river just outside of town. After living in middle class and lower class for the last almost year of having any recollection of being alive he was excited to see a mansion.

He wondered as he pulled his t-shirt over his head if he could possibly bring his friend Sam over. He might not really be 12 or 13 like the doctors said he was, but he had made a good friend and he didn’t really feel as old as 17 or 18 years. He was smaller than Quatre and Heero and from what he could make out from Quatre’s description of his other “friends” then he was the shortest of them all since he hadn’t been taking the pills to counter act the hormone repressing drug some mad scientist shoved into his veins when he was a kid.

He looked at himself in the mirror as Quatre called through the door for him. He didn’t answer as he turned and opened the door. Quatre held a brush out and a hair tie to hold back what it could of the almost shoulder length locks. He saw for just a second almost a sympathetic look on Heero’s face before his scowl deepened and he turned to pack his bag beside the bed. A bright smile came with the black bristles, though, and Daniel was glad that Quatre didn’t show pity.

After making sure his hair was combed and set right he looked to his friends. “So, do I get my own room or my own wing of this place? Oh! Is there going to be ice cream in the freezer? Do you have a whole room as a freezer? How about some of those nerds?” he started to ramble while they walked out of the hospital room and Quatre laughed a bit as the questions came faster than he could answer them. Heero followed behind the two silently. Both of the knowledgeable pilots wondered if Duo was talking out of nervousness or to belie the fact that he was plotting another attempt at his own life.

~*~Tsuzuku ~*~

The Storm Chapter Fifteen

Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin BBC. I don’t own Frozen, either.

Chapter Fifteen

Arthur Pendragon felt the chill of the night as he tried to shiver off the cold wet rain coming down hard onto his chain mail. It seeped through to the tunic below and he was sure now that they would never be dry again. He felt despair running through him suddenly. The wishing for a fire wasn’t working and sleep was eluding the king of Camelot. His companions still were all awake as well drowning in their own soggy clothing and thoughts.

The sky started to creep into a light pattern that suggested a day breaking beyond the clouds above them all. It had been a long night without any comfort or rest for the weary travelers. Standing up onto sore feet they all moved at once and started on their way in silence through the dense woods. They had no food left, no supplies but what they had had on their bodies, and they could feel that their spirit for their mission had also fallen into the ravine. Guinevere climbed onto the mare’s back and Elyan took what was left of the bridle to guide the horse. Leon sighed against his own depression and they all started off toward the rumored place that Merlin was.

They had been walking for most of the day when they came to the top of a large hill and looked down into a valley. The sight did nothing to help their melancholy. The woman on the horse gasped as she brought her hands to her lips to stop from bursting into tears. Down below the houses were submerged to their roofs in rushing water as the rain had created a small lake where people had once lived.

“We’ll get no help here,” Arthur said sadly as he turned and they walked further into the trees. The rest of them took one last look with little hope that the people had escaped before the flood happened, and they followed the monarch onto the next village.

~*~ Ma ~*~

The next village was faring better than the sunken one they had seen the day before. Leon led them onto the muddy street and onward to the first building with signs of life. The sky above them crashed with bright white light and a large rumble shook the wood planks of the walls around them. Elyan helped his sister down from the horse and she nodded to them as the men went into the tavern where noise was gathered.

As soon as they opened the door silence greeted them with stares of men all around. A tavern woman nodded to them kindly as they found a small table in the corner beside a game of dice. Noise started up again as mugs drained down throats and men yelled with slurred tongues. A maiden took their orders for mead and left to gather them all their own pints.

“How do we do this, Arthur?” Leon asked. “We can’t just out right ask these people if they’ve seen him.” He smiled brightly to the serving woman as she gave them their drink and left quickly with her pay the blond knight had put onto the wood before her.

“It’s probably guaranteed that they’ve heard of the clearing, though,” Elyan supplied before taking a small sip of his alcohol. They didn’t want to get drunk, but it would have been suspicious if they hadn’t ordered.

A man with long brown and wavy hair suddenly leaned back in his chair from the table next to them. The back hit their table hard shaking their pints to spill in front of them. Arthur went to yell at him before he saw that the man hadn’t even realized he had done anything to their area.

“I do not cheat! You are just not as good as I!” he yelled at his companions as he gathered coins into his purse hanging around his belt. The other men all stood from the table and the travelers realized this rude rogue was certainly smaller than his gambling companions. He was picking a fight with men he couldn’t possibly win against.

Arthur couldn’t really allow someone else to be harmed so he stood as well and tried to defuse the situation, “Men, I’m sure you will get your chance to win against him later this evening.” They only glanced at the blond before a large meaty fist came against the wavy haired man.

The brawl was messy. That was the only way to describe what happened in the five minute span it took for the three gamblers to be out done and the rest of the tavern to be demolished by almost thirty drunks. The three travelers had fought hard against the gamblers with the rogue smashing just as many chairs and tankards alongside them. A man who hadn’t even been part of the gambling fiasco went to smash a piece of wood into Arthur’s back when a large table was tossed onto the poor man by a guy who was three times larger than any knight Arthur had fought with in his ranks. Brought out of his shock as another man joined the giant in helping their fight was when the entire tavern had got into the mass quarrel.

By the end of it the tavern keep was in tears as he saw the damage and the women were in shock. The travelers and the three who had fought alongside them, including the one who had started the fight, all ran out into the storm to escape from the anger of the owner. Leon gave a shrill whistle as they ran quickly from the town and the sound of the hooves from their horse came behind them as Guinevere rode out to meet them. “We need to leave quickly,” Arthur said as they rushed to the cover of the forests under brush.

Panting as night started to encroach on them all they stopped in a small clearing. The man with the long wavy hair laughed suddenly into the sound of the pouring rain. “That was the best fight I have ever been in,” he announced jovially.

“This happens often?” the man with like hair, but shorter cut, asked incredulously to the rogue. The giant started to laugh as he collapsed to the ground. Soon everyone was laughing except for a very confused Guinevere.

The trouble maker nodded his head after finally being able to catch his breath as he introduced himself to everyone, “The name is Gwaine. Thank you for helping me back there.”

The man who had saved Arthur spoke, “I am Percival. This is Lancelot.”

Lancelot nodded his head and finally caught the gaze of the woman in their group before turning suddenly to the gambler, “You are very welcome.”

Arthur took lead of the travelers as he introduced everyone. After the lady’s introduction Lancelot took her hand and gave it a light kiss, “Pleasure is mine, my lady.”

Gwaine laughed and nudged the noble man, “Ah, she seems the type to want men who have style.” He took her hand from Lancelot and kissed the back the same, “and I am one who has style.”

Guinevere blushed as she saw her brother, and surprisingly Arthur, both bristle to how the men were unashamedly flirting with her. She took her hand back as Gwaine smirked and Lancelot frowned at the man who had moved him.

~*~Tsuzuku~*~

Blank Slate Chapter Fourteen

Disclaimer: Still don’t own Gundam Wing.

Chapter 14

The beeping sound was both a surprise and an annoyance. With it came the knowledge that he had failed in his attempt to end the memories and it was also very irritating to hear when he had pain rushing through his body. With every beep it coursed through his head as a pounding drum and up his arms like a wave from his fingers to his shoulders. His eyes slid open and he expected to be blinded, but the lights above his bed were off.

He heard a sound next to his bed and turned slightly to see bright blue eyes staring back at his purple ones. The boy next to him wasn’t moving, but he could see he was breathing. Bushy brown hair fell slightly down into his eyes, and Daniel softly wondered if he even combed it. He was being glared at and he didn’t like it, so he matched the glare with one of his own. “Who are you?” he choked out through a dry throat.

At first he didn’t think the other boy would answer him. He seemed to be very angry at Daniel as he said, “Why would you try to kill yourself?” Daniel rolled his eyes and turned away. “Duo… Quatre said you were starting to remember… Why would you try to kill yourself?” Daniel studiously tried to ignore him. He didn’t know this other guy, though the boy said he knew him and he mentioned Quatre. He could be one of the other three Quatre was talking about he supposed, but that didn’t narrow it down far enough for him.

They sat like that for a long while. The other boy was quiet but fixated on staring at him. He could feel the blue eyes boring into the back of his head. After watching the clock for about an hour Daniel gave up, turned to his companion and answered, “I can’t remember anything but screams. I want them to go away. I did what I thought was possible to stop them.” He glared as hard as he could at the brown haired boy who seemed satisfied with the answer as he sat back in his chair, but he still held onto the severe look.

“We all have those, Duo.” His voice was deep and didn’t hold much change in tone. It was certainly not sympathetic like Quatre’s was.

“My name is Daniel,” he sighed and looked down at the bed lining. “Please, I just want to be called Daniel… that other name seems to hold all of the bad memories and I don’t want them to come to me right now.”

The boy nodded quickly. “Your name can be whatever you want it to be.”

Daniel looked over at him again, “What’s your name?”

The other boy seemed to think it was a trick question as he paused and waited for something to happen. When nothing did, though, he answered, “Heero. That’s what everyone calls me now… you really were compromised? You really have no memory of me or the others? You have no information on how you came to be with this amnesia?” Daniel felt like the other boy was interrogating him.

“According to the police report a motorist stopped to help me when he saw me fall from the backseat of another vehicle. The other vehicle didn’t stop and only barely seemed to have slowed down. I rolled down the side ditch on Highway 22 and came to a stop in the thankfully dry center,” he shrugged. “Been trying to figure things out since I woke up… Is it true that I’m like seventeen or something?”

The other boy shrugged, “We figured our ages to be about that.”

“We? How is it the doctors think I’m twelve, or almost thirteen, instead?” Daniel carefully pulled himself up into a sitting position. The other boy automatically moved to help and Daniel let loose a few grunts of pain from his now mangled wrists and forearms. When he was settled he looked expectantly at Heero who had settled back to sitting straight backed with his arms crossed in the guest chair.

“For some reason you stopped taking the pills,” he answered. Daniel waved his arm in the air for the other boy to continue or elaborate for him. “When we joined the doctors for Operation Meteor they gave us a series of shots to stop us from getting larger and to stop us from growing. Now that we’re not needed to fit into the small cockpits of the mechas anymore we started to take pills to stimulate our pituitary glands again.”

Daniel looked down at his hands for a bit, “And I stopped taking them? Why would I do that?” Heero didn’t even acknowledge Daniel had been talking, which was fine since he was really trying to push his memory to give him some answers. Nothing, though, and at least the screams from the past didn’t come either.

They sat in their own silence for a long while again. Finally Daniel tried to reach over to grab the book that the nurses had let him borrow, but his hand wouldn’t hold onto it. He sighed, “Heero, I can’t hold anything with my wrists mangled. Do you mind if we either chat or I watch some TV?”

Heero grunted in response and handed the remote over. Daniel stared at it for a minute and then figured the silent boy maybe had met his quota of words for the day. He did get a lot of information to Daniel in the gruff manor that Daniel figured was just how the boy was. He gingerly balanced the remote on his open palm, set it onto his knee and angled it up to bounce the signal into the receiver above the screen.

“Anything in particular you want to watch?” Daniel asked. The other boy leaned back and shut his eyes. His arms were still crossed. “Okay.” He shrugged and turned on a random show; it was about how things were made in factories. It was noise and right now Daniel just needed that. “Heero, you can leave if you’re bored. It won’t offend me.”

The glare he received told him enough without any words. Heero was not leaving until someone sat with Daniel to make sure he did not repeat his earlier suicide attempt. He smiled brightly to cover up his annoyance at being babysat and turned back to the TV show. They couldn’t watch him forever. He grabbed onto the cross still hanging from his neck and slid his fingers down it gingerly. He ignored the pain that came with each movement as he thought onto everything he had learned.

~*~ Tsuzuku ~*~

The Storm Chapter Fourteen

Disclaimer: I don’t own BBC Merlin or Disney’s Frozen

Chapter Fourteen

They decided to take turns in the wagon’s chair during their adventure. Leon was walking in front of the chestnut mare trying to keep her walking and pulling through the treacherous mud. Elyan was behind the wagon to push her a bit at points to keep her going over rocks and deep holes. Arthur had the reigns as Guinevere relaxed next to him.

“Do you know the sorcerer who started this?” Guinevere asked the man beside her. Leon and Arthur had kept with them just being knights and didn’t think it would be wise to let them know Arthur was royalty.

“Yes, I did know him,” the blond said over the patter of rain drops.

The woman shifted a bit so that her hood wouldn’t hide the profile of the monarch. “Do you know why he did this curse?” she asked slowly. She really didn’t know whether she should be prying or not, but her curiosity was peaked. “I mean, not that I think you had anything to do with it…” she said hurryingly to reassure the man that she didn’t mean to place blame.

“I am to blame,” he muttered just loud enough for her to hear. The wagon jerked a bit over a rock that hadn’t been sunk into the soil yet. “I… I didn’t know he was a sorcerer,” he continued, “We used to be very close as friends, but I didn’t know he could do magic. He was locked away when King Uther started his purge against magic, so I probably should have guessed something at the time. I was just a kid, though.”

He was rambling a bit, she knew, but she let him continue. She could tell these thoughts had probably been beating into his head for the past week or longer. He cleared his throat, “I dragged him out for… for the king’s coronation. I thought maybe he needed to not be locked away anymore.”

“How long was he locked away for?” Guinevere asked as she tried to do the math into her own head. “Oh God… that is a long time! Did he not have any company during his imprisonment?”

He couldn’t look at her as he studied his boots against the board. She gasped and he elaborated whatever she had been thinking, “I visited him, but I never saw him out of his bed chambers. His uncle was part of the court, but he wouldn’t let me in farther than the main room. That was if he even let me in at all, really. Merlin, that is the sorcerer’s name, only saw his uncle during all of those years.”

Silence fell on them all as the panting of Leon, Elyan and the horse rang through the chilled air. The hoofs beat down in a steady pattern against the chiming of the drops of rain into puddles. There hadn’t been any lightning or thunder for almost the whole day now, but that wasn’t very promising for what kind of night lay ahead.

The woman brought a hand to stroke back a stray black ringlette of hair, “You brought a hermit into a party full of people who would kill him for him being a sorcerer?” She was astounded and shocked.

“I didn’t know he was a sorcerer. I thought he was sick while growing up and then maybe just shy now,” Arthur defended himself. Guinevere looked over at him with incredulous eyes. He sighed, “I know it sounds stupid now, but it’s the truth. I didn’t know.”

“I agree you didn’t know about him being a sorcerer, but why would you drag a hermit into a party filled with knights, nobles, and royalty?” With her saying it that way he held his breath as he thought back to the incident. She was right, really; just as Morgana had been right at the party to tell him to leave the younger boy alone. “What set him off?” she asked.

He breathed in deeply and shook his head. He knew what had done it, of course, “I did. I tried to get him to participate in the fun. I didn’t know he would…” he gestured to the area around them with one large sweep of his arm.

They sat in uncomfortable silence as they both digested their conversation. He really felt stupid and guilty as she tried to figure out the story. Both of their minds swirled in the information.

In front of them the horse gave a soft neigh and her ears started to swivel around frantically. Her flank twitched. Her rear end seemed to want to go faster than her front legs. Arthur gripped the reigns tighter through his soaked gloves as Leon looked up into the whites of the eyes of the beast. Something was wrong and the horse was giving her warning.

Elyan jumped onto the back of the wagon flap and locked his legs around the hinges. Leon grabbed onto the front of the horse’s bit as their eyes all scanned the forest around them to find the sudden danger. The horse bucked a bit, but Leon slowed her to a pace that allowed them to hear better through the dripping.

They soon wished they hadn’t even slowed down. Coming fast behind them was a swarm of creatures larger than the horse in front of their carriage. They ran on six spindly legs and had large crab like claws as their eighth appendage. They seemed to scurry with their body close to the ground, but their tail came up curled behind them. On the end of the tail was a large bulb and a sharp point.

The four travelers didn’t need to see more to know these were dangerous creatures. Quickly Arthur slapped the reigns as Leon jumped onto the back of the horse. They took off in a flash down the decrepit road. Elyan yelled something as he grabbed a sword from his stash and the metal clang against a stinger from one of the creatures.

“Arthur!” Leon yelled out as he pointed the best he could to in front of them. A drop was seen and Arthur knew that their wagon wouldn’t be able to turn fast enough at their break neck speed. There was another side to the sudden gully and there was only one thing left to do.

“Leon, come here!” Arthur commanded. Leon scrambled to the wagon as Arthur picked up Guinevere who had been struggling to fight against her own monster with a sword from the black smith wagon. With all of his strength, the king tossed the woman onto the back of the horse. With a large swoop of his right arm her unsheathed his own sword and through the ropes that bound the horse to the transport. The men felt the wagon lurch without its guide and Guinevere called out to her brother as the horse jumped into the air. The men rushed to the front of the wagon and all leapt as it fell from beneath their feet into a rushing river below. Grabbing onto vines and roots they held fast against the side of the muddy ravine. Using every bit of muscle they had in their arms they shimmied up to the lip and heaved themselves to safety.

Panting with the rain starting to rush down they watched as the eight legged creatures fell to their own doom below. Arthur was glad that the beasts couldn’t jump. He really didn’t know what they would have done if they had been able to make the leap like the horse had.

He fell his head back against the soggy soil and shut his eyes. He would have nightmares for weeks after this, he was sure.

“All of my hard work,” Elyan moaned as he peered down over the side to look at the pieces of wood rushing down the swollen river. His sister jumped down from the back of their horse to lay a comforting hand against his shoulder. “Now how am I to make a living?”

“I’ll replace it,” Arthur said with his eyes still closed. The siblings looked over at the knight and then each other in despair. Even a knight wouldn’t be able to afford a wagon filled with all of the merchandise they had just lost. The weeks of work the two had put into each weapon, cook ware, and metal trinket was now making its way into free hands.

Leon nodded to them that the other knight would be good on his promise. They decided without speaking that they would rest for a while right where they all were.

~*~Tsuzuku~*~

Blank Slate Chapter Thirteen

Disclaimer: Same as last chapter!

Chapter 13

Quatre didn’t know what to say at first, “You’re not a monster… we… you…” The other boy looked over at him again with a bit of a tear coming down his left cheek. “Monsters don’t cry for the dead. We have shed a lot of tears over what happened, but you crying means you’re not a monster. War does horrible things and it takes horrible things to make it end. We saved more lives than we took, I promise you that.” The other boy shook his head and turned back toward the window. The blond waited for a minute and was about to speak when the burnet did instead.

“What’s in the bag?” He turned to the blond with an obvious mask into place and a bit of a smile on his lips. Quatre almost felt relief to see the boy he knew hidden in the amnesia child sitting on the bed.

“You’re favorite candy,” Quatre said proudly. He opened up the bag and pulled out the plastic wrapped boxes. “Unless you got a new favorite that I don’t know about?”

Daniel shook his head and reached forward for the treat, “I haven’t actually eaten much candy since waking up without memories. I’ve been trying to figure out what my favorite other foods are. So, nerds huh? Did they make me smarter?” He laughed at his own joke and opened up a box of purple little hard candies smaller than his nails and in odd shapes. “Woah, these look awesome!” He tilted the box back to pour them into his mouth. He crunched through them with his eyes closed. Quatre wondered if he was trying to remember what he thought about the candy or if he was just enjoying having the candy. Purple eyes met his baby blue’s, “Yup, I agree, these are certainly my favorite! Can I eat them all now or do I have to save them?” Quatre looked at him in almost shock and sadness. Daniel continued, “I mean, uh, could you get me more if I eat them all?” He looked down at his blanket now and shut off all signs of emotions.

“I can get you more whenever you want,” Quatre smiled. “I… uh, well, why don’t we do something fun? I know sitting still isn’t your strong suit.” Daniel gave him a confused look. “Oh… uh… okay, well, how about I see if the nurses have any board games?”

“You mean B-O-R-E-D games!” Daniel said and smiled. They were awkward around each other and Daniel didn’t like that. This boy had known him before he lost his memories and he wanted to ask more about him. So far he was gleaning a bit of what he had been before the accident, whatever that accident had been, and he was learning a lot about the cautious blond too. The older boy nodded and walked regally out of the room. “Okay, and he’s rich… I can see that within a few minutes of knowing him…” he whispered to himself out loud. Had he been rich, too?

Quatre walked back into the room with a wooden board and two wooden jars. “We’re going to play I-Go. You were never really good at it, but it was always fun. Do you remember how to play?” Daniel looked at the board and opened up the wood container to see little white stones inside. The rules flashed through his brain and he nodded. Quatre positioned himself on the end of the bed and put the board between them. “You go first, please.”

The game started off. As they set their stones down with rhythmic clicks Daniel looked up at Quatre, “Can I ask you questions?” Quatre nodded as he placed another stone down. He knew that the amnesiac boy would probably ask many questions about their pasts. “Are you rich?” Daniel asked as he slid his white stone against one of Quatre’s black ones.

The blond paused in his gathering of a stone in his wood round box. He looked up in shock at Duo, “Yes.” He answered plainly, but he didn’t expect that question to come from the other boy. Duo had always made comments and been amazed at the extravagance that surrounded Quatre, but had never actually ever come out to say that he was rich. “In a way I am, I guess. I have money and I own my own company… I also have very good friends and that makes me even richer.” Daniel rolled his eyes and Quatre laughed.

“Am I rich, too?” Daniel asked. Quatre looked away for a minute and sighed.

“Duo… uh, I mean, Daniel… you live comfortably now,” he answered. Daniel leaned back and stared at the board of stones. He wasn’t stupid. Quatre was trying to be nice. He had some money now, or had before the amnesia, but he hadn’t always been so fortunate.

“How poor was I?” he asked. The game was forgotten as Quatre tried to decide how much Duo needed to hear now. The pause was long and Daniel finally snapped, “Tell me!” Quatre jumped at the uncommon outburst from his friend.

“You live on L2 growing up. From what you have told us, which isn’t much I might add, you lived… uh… you didn’t have much of a structural home…” Quatre stuttered a bit and tried to gage his friend’s reaction. The other boy was obviously volatile in his state of mind.

“Just say it, Quatre, I live on the streets…” he whispered. He sighed and leaned forward. His hand motioned to the board, “It’s your turn.” Quatre nodded and placed a stone down. The conversation was dropped as they continued to via for position on the board with their stones. In the end Quatre won by a landslide. “I’m not very good at strategy games, huh?” He smiled at the blond and laughed a bit. “Next time we need to play something I can win… like maybe poker.” Quatre smiled back and nodded. He left the room with the board to return it to the nurse’s station and came back with a book.

“The nurse out there said you can borrow this if you like,” he handed the book over. Violet eyes widened and a huge grin took over the boy’s face.

“Oh WOW! It’s the next book in the series! I didn’t know it was released already!” he bounced a bit in the bed, but stopped when he felt a slight stinging sensation on one of his stitches. “Okay, inside glee only… gotta remember I’m hurt.” He giggled.

“Go ahead and start reading it. I have to go now, anyway. Work to do and all of that… Duo, uh, Daniel, I’m sorry I upset you. I did mean it when I said you could ask me anything…” he smiled at the boy who still was giddy from getting the new book. It was a mask, though, and Quatre knew that Duo was good at those. “Heero should be here by tomorrow. The others are coming later this week. Doctor said you can be discharged by next week if everything continues to go well.” He smiled one last time before leaving the room.

The smile slipped off of Daniel’s face and he sighed. He looked at the new book and then at the clock. The nurse would come in to check on him in five minutes. Meal time would be another two hours later and that would be when they come in again after the next check. An echo of the screams from his memories came through the room. The nurse came in after them and his smile was plastered on his face again. “Thank you so much for the book! I am addicted to the series!” he said as she checked his stitches and blood pressure. She chatted along merrily with him and then left the room. It was now or never, Daniel thought. He slipped from the bed and made his way to the drawers along the far side of the room. He opened on up and found what he was looking for. Tearing open the package that held the sterile instrument he held the scalpel toward his face to see the gleaming sharp edge. He had to stop the screams and never hurt anyone ever again.

~*~ Tsuzuku ~*~

The Storm Chapter Thirteen

Disclaimer: I don’t own BBC Merlin or Disney’s Frozen

A/N: my computer is out of commission for a bit. I am trying to fix it, but it has me grinding my teeth. This was written on my phone. Any mistakes are mine or autocorrect.

Chapter Thirteen

They trudged through the muck of what was once a road toward where the rumors of dry land had been reported. No one was able to get into the clearing that they had seen from another ridge had sun shining. Every person had tried to get through the maze the vines and trees and underbrush had given, but each attempt had just left people confused. They would find themselves on the other side of the clearing or just completely back where they had started from. Arthur was sure that Merlin had created the area just for him. He wondered why the sorcerer continued to plague the lands with the rain, though?

They came over a short hill to see just at the valley before the climb of another hill was a wagon. The horse pulling it was nervous and exhausted. The occupants were out and trying to get the wheels to turn to make it up the other side. One of the two wagon owners slipped on the mud as he pushed against the rear of the cart. A string of cuss words left the mouth of the young man as the knights approached.

The man stood up again and went back to his straining. Arthur took charge knowing that the two wouldn’t get the large wheels out of the thick mud alone, “Get that horse calmed and ready to pull on my mark.” He pointed to the person who was covered in a peasants cloak and hood at the front of the wheels. The person nodded and went to the mare to sooth her.

The rain fell steady but light. The king just hoped it didn’t open up on them yet. “Ready!” he called out as he took up next to the back wheel along with Leon. “Go!”

The soaked people strained against the flooded wood and they felt it starts to give. Slowly with every grunt the wagon moved on and finally up the hill to the crest. The person guiding the horse forced her to pull it to the top as the men leaned down to the heave against their knees.

The three gathered their breath and made to the now still wagon. Arthur looked it over to see what it’s cargo was. The metal inside clanked against each other as the mare shifted in her harness.

“Thank you friend,” the man who had pushed from behind said as he pulled his hood back and offered his hand to the king. Arthur grasped it and nodded. The man was of a dark complexion and strength burned in his brown eyes. “My name is Elyan. I am a blacksmith. This wagon, unfortunately, is a tad heavy for these mud trails,” he shook his head and then turned to the other person, “This is my sister, Guinevere.” The other person lowered her hood. Her hair was pulled back but dark ringlettes fell around and out of the tie. The rain clung to her like the rest of them and Arthur realized she was wearing trousers and not a dress.

He turned back to the brother, “Are you trying to flee the storm?” The man nodded looking grim.

“I can’t keep a fire going since the wet has creeped into every wood we had set to dry last year. There isn’t a place around that can keep a fire going, let alone a fire hot enough to work metal,” the man shook his head and sighed.

“You are going the wrong way to reach Camelot,” Leon pointed back toward where they had come from.

The woman, Guinevere, spoke, “We know the castles are crowded and there is not a way for everyone to survive like that. If sickness hasn’t hit yet than everyone bunched together will surely spread something.” Arthur nodded. He had been hoping to find Merlin before that happened.

“I am Arthur and this is Leon. We are on our way to stop this rain,” the king said.

“Are you knights?” Guinevere asked. They nodded. She continued, “…and you know what started this plague?”

“Yes. A sorcerer has set this on us. We are going to go and get him to stop this,” Leon said.

“How about we join together. There is strength in numbers,” Arthur suggested.

The man and woman looked at each other before Elyan nodded and they continued down the road toward the next town.

~*~Tsuzuku~*~

Blank Slate Chapter Twelve

Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing. I also do not own Willy Wonka Candy Factory.

Warning: PTSD triggers

Chapter Twelve

It was too hot. Something was wrong. He could feel as if his body was on fire. What was going on? “Duo!” he heard a young voice yell out. “Duo, fight it,” the voice continued. He opened his eyes, but couldn’t see anyone around his hospital room. “I’m sorry Duo,” the voice said weakly. “Take care of the others for me.” He felt the tears prick his eyes as he threw the sheets off of him. “Solo! Don’t DIE!” he heard his own, but younger, voice call out through the room. He licked his parched lips and tried to sit up. Something was wrong.

~*~ Ma ~*~

“He has contracted an infection somewhere in his body. We are currently doing everything we can to lower his temperature and help him fight it. The problem we are seeing, though, is that he is very weak,” the doctor looked Quatre in the eyes and spoke frankly.

“Just do whatever you have to do. He cannot die,” Quatre’s blue eyes turned to steel and then he turned toward the bed where his friend was moaning, sweating, and weakly calling out gibberish in his heat induced nightmares. “Anything you have to do is completely covered and will be paid in full.”

The doctor nodded and left the room. Quatre walked over to the bedside and sat down in the hard guest chair. “C’mon Duo… Daniel… whatever you want to be called… I need you to fight this and come back again.” His eyes watered up as he watched his friend fight against something that wasn’t really there. “We’re sorry we lost you and we need to apologize to you.” The tears fell from his aqua marine orbs and onto the bed linens already drenched in the other boy’s sweat.

~*~ Ma ~*~

Someone was laughing insanely. It was him, but it wasn’t at the same time. Why was he laughing? He opened his eyes. Around him were bodies burnt, bleeding, and dead. He stood in the center of them all. Women, men, and even children were surrounding him and he was laughing like a maniac. What had he done?

~*~ Ma ~*~

The boy thrashed about in the bed and it took all that Quatre had to hold him down with the nurses to strap him in. He was pulling open his stitches with every scream as he fought them. “Duo!” he kept yelling at the boy. “Calm down! We’re friends!” The brunette was not listening. With every last bit of strength the child had he fought them until they finally had everything strapped down well. Quatre stepped back from him and felt the tears coming again. He breathed in deep as the extra nurses left and the on sight nurse reattached the IV and put medication into it. The sounds coming from the bed slowly decreased as the hurt child slowly succumbed to the medications and relaxed into a deep sleep.

“Oh Duo…” Quatre sighed as he sat down again in the chair to watch over his friend.

~*~ Ma ~*~

“Where am I?” he asked the darkness.

“Where you belong, demon,” a deep voice cut through.

“Why did you kill us?” a child’s voice yelled.

“Why?” a man’s tenor voice this time.

Then the screaming started. Blood curdling screams from different people assaulted him. He couldn’t see anything, feel anything, but the screaming insisted he heard them. The people he had killed or watched die over the years attacked him in the only way they could. “NO!” He screamed back against them.

~*~ Ma ~*~

“No!” He yelled as his eyes opened up to the white sterile room. He breathed harshly into the silent air around him. The screaming had stopped. He looked around carefully and tried to move. His arms were buckled against the bed and his legs strapped to the end. He was stuck. His breathing slowed down as he realized he was completely alone in a hospital room again. He once again looked down at his hands, “It would suck if my nose itched.” He smirked slightly at the thought and then relaxed again against the pillows. He was safe, alone, and everything was finally quiet.

Staring up at the darkened light fixture above his bed he tried to decipher his dreams. How long had he been asleep and why have such horrible nightmares? Where those memories?

“Duo?” he heard a voice ask. He looked around the room. No one was around. “Take care of the others,” it continued. His eyes widened. It was a voice just he could hear; a memory coming through the amnesia concussed brain. He had nothing better to do now that he was restrained, so he tried to remember the name for that voice. It was a child’s voice, he could tell that. He should know the person. He had been a very important person in his life at one point… and Daniel knew he had also died around the time he could remember the boy saying the sentence.

“Is everyone from my past dead?” he asked the empty room.

~*~ Ma ~*~

The sun was shinning brightly behind the closed curtains when Quatre walked into the room at the start of visiting hours. Duo had been in a medically induced coma until his fever broke for three days, but they had said at the nurses station that he had woken up and was finally back on the mend again. He thought about bringing balloons or flowers with him, but didn’t know Duo’s current mood and didn’t feel like finding out if he was still snarky, upset or even in the mood to tease him today. Instead he brought in a large bag filled with individual boxes of Duo’s favorite candies: Nerds.

The patient was sitting up in bed unrestrained. He was facing the closed curtains completely engrossed in his own thoughts. “Good morning,” Quatre said as he walked further into the room. He made it to the end of the bed and was about to bring out his treat for the other boy when Duo spoke.

“I killed people, didn’t I?” Purple eyes turned toward him. Sadness, grief, and unimaginable pain were hidden in those ever expressive eyes. Quatre stopped pulling from the bag and just laid it on the bed. Duo turned away from him again and back toward the sun glare trying to light the darkened room. “I’m a monster.”

~*~ Tsuzuku ~*~

The Storm Chapter Twelve

Disclaimer: I do not own BBC Merlin or Disney’s Frozen.

Chapter Twelve

He was cold, wet and just miserable. He didn’t mention it, though, since he knew Leon wouldn’t want to hear his king complain. He also had too much pride and too much of being a man shoved down his throat for the words to come to the surface. He knew the knight was also thinking the same things, though, as they huddled into their cloaks on top of their horses. The rain had once again become a fine mist that they breathed in through their mouths. The temperature around their kingdom had dropped to almost freezing as the cold rain continued to pour down from the black clouds above. Without the sun to heat up the ground and bring about the much needed warmth, the area was turning into a constant almost freezing way. They were soaked and had spent the night sitting on a sopping wet log with no fire. There wasn’t any dry wood available any longer in all of Albion. The damp had leaked into every nook and cranny and even into the barns where farmers usually stored their wood to dry.

Arthur sighed against the buckle on his cloak and gripped his reigns harder to keep hold from the frozen feeling in his fingers. Leon came up next to him and asked, “Do you think we’ll find him?”

“I’m sure he is somewhere warm, sunny, and probably has a nice fire going. He’s probably dry,” Arthur groaned. He hadn’t meant for it to come out as a whine, but he couldn’t help it.

“Will killing him stop this storm?” Leon ignored the complaint and continued.

“Killing him?” Arthur turned in his seat to look at his knight, “I’m not going to kill him Leon. I’m going to…”

He didn’t get to finish as a large crack of lightning sounded right above them. It smashed into the top of a tree. Both horses reared up, tossed their riders and took off in a frenzy race into the trees. The young men looked up at the burning top of the tree as the rain decided to become a torrent once again. The fire was put out quickly by nature herself and the men both looked at each other as they stood up to now walk their journey.

“I’ll kill him,” Arthur grumbled as their boots sank into the muddy road. Leon snorted and shook his head.

~*~Ma~*~

They came into the village right before nightfall, which had been happening earlier due to the cloud cover than was normal for their time of year. Ealdor wasn’t a part of Camelot’s kingdom, but it was the birthplace for Arthur’s best friend. He had hoped that his friend would have retreated back to it when he ran from the castle. As he looked around at the dripping roofs and cold buildings, though, he knew his assumption had been wrong. The doors to every one of the houses were left open and he could hear the people coughing inside their dwellings. The rain sickness was very obvious as they made their way down the only road through the center of the village. All of the houses were built simply with wood, none had any glass windows and the storm shutters were swinging loose on some of them, and the dirt floors he could see were a flooded mess.

Arthur continued through with Leon right behind him as they came to the last house on the path. A sandy haired man was shaking out a blanket in front of his door, and Arthur decided he would probably be best to answer questions. “You there,” he called out. The boy, because he was obviously younger than Arthur by a few years, stopped his cleaning and looked up suspiciously at the knights. The king continued as he came in front of the peasant, “Have you seen a boy, about your age, come through here with dark hair and bright blue eyes? He would have come through in the last five days or so?”

The boy turned to his front door and hung his blanket over the back of a chair, “Nope. No one is coming through here. We’re on the outskirts of the kingdom, and everyone is going to the castle to escape the weather.”

Arthur continued with another question, “Is Hunith or Balinor still in this village?” He hoped maybe Merlin’s parents could help him figure out where the sorcerer had fled.

The boy looked confused for a second, “Well, from what I know, they were killed during the purge when our king made an alliance with the king of Camelot over ten years ago. I don’t know which one, but I think they had magic or at least one of them did.” The boy shrugged and went back into his home. The door shut on both of the knights’ faces.

Arthur felt like collapsing into the puddles he was standing in, but his brain was rushing again. His father had killed Merlin’s parents? Did Merlin know? Did Merlin hate him for what his father had done?

Leon grabbed onto his shoulder and they both started to go back through the town again. They needed to wander back into Camelot’s lands and follow the border to where the rumors of nice weather had been sent. Their journey wasn’t over yet, it would seem, and now Arthur wondered what he would actually say to Merlin when he saw him again. How could he ever apologize for the horrible things his father did? Could Arthur trust his friend enough to even allow him to return with magic? His thoughts became even more conflicted.

His father had tortured and harmed his friend, but was it because his friend deserved it for being a sorcerer? Did he really believe that magic was bad? Could Merlin be bad? He knew his friend’s journal inside and out, but now the question really was going to need to be answered: Was he going to follow the law set and kill his friend when he saw him?

~*~Tsuzuku~*~

Blank Slate Chapter Eleven

Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing.

Warning: Possible graphic triggers for abused PTSD sufferers. This chapter has some blood.

Chapter Eleven

It had been three days since the incident in the mall. Starr had tried to talk to Daniel a few times about it during their lunch period, but he had studiously ignored her every time. He even caught Jenna actually looking at him the third day with a curious expression on her face, but she didn’t say anything and turned away as soon as she was caught. Bob would ramble on about nonsense things and he was sure it was her way to trying to keep the subject away from him. He was thinking about just telling them that he really wasn’t interested in this Quatre guy and hadn’t any plans to contact him while he was walking home that day. He stumbled a bit on the side of the walk by the street a few times when his bad leg, due to his foster father tripping him and kicking him there four days before, would catch on the uneven slabs.

He walked into the entry way and immediately could feel something wasn’t right. The air had electricity to it that wasn’t usually there. All four senses heightened on him suddenly and he walked through slowly into the living room. Standing in the middle of the room was Justin. He had his arms down at his sides, a t-shirt that was stained in black from dirt or grease, and jeans on. Everything on him screamed danger to Daniel and he shifted his eyes a bit to look around for his foster mom and for Chia. They weren’t anywhere in sight and he couldn’t hear them around, either. “Justin,” Daniel said politely with a slight nod. “Something the matter, sir?”

Justin didn’t blink for a bit and then lunged forward suddenly at Daniel. The boy only had a second to think and he lowered himself quickly to use the man’s body weight against him. He flipped the man over his head and sprang back up to his feet in shock. He backed up quickly away from the man stumbling back to his feet. The larger guy growled like an animal and went to Daniel again. The boy ran. He didn’t want to attack and so he couldn’t think of anything else to do. He went for the back rooms and into the master room.

The scene in their made him stop. The room was covered in blood and on the bed he could see what was left of his foster mother. He turned away and started for his room he shared with Chia. ‘Please,’ he begged in his head, ‘not the boy, too.’ He didn’t make it as a body shoved into him and he hit his head at an angle on the wall. The world blurred, pain erupted across his body, and then everything went numb and black.

~*~ Ma ~*~

Pain again, which meant he was alive, was the first thing that came to him when he started to wake up. He didn’t open his eyes and instead listened around him for verification of his surroundings. A high pitched, female, voice was speaking harshly to someone in the room and the beeping of machines told him he was in the hospital again. The voice filtering in to him was his social worker’s voice. The other voice only sounded vaguely familiar.

“You cannot take him, Mr. Winner. He is a ward of the state,” Alecia said exasperated. She must have been arguing with the other person for a while now.

“Ms. Grahm, I don’t want to patronize you anymore than I already have, but you know that you have no choice in this matter. He will be released to me as soon as he is healed,” Daniel now recognized the voice well; it was Quatre from the mall. His voice then turned into something Daniel didn’t think a child should ever sound like, “You will be contacted shortly by my lawyers.”

Alecia seemed to stutter for a minute and then huffed out. Her heels clicked harshly on the flooring as she left the room. The door slid closed behind her and Daniel stayed completely still. Quatre sighed and the seat next to the bed squeeked. “Daniel, I know you’re awake. Your heart rate has increased slightly…” Daniel still didn’t move and Quatre sighed again, “Okay, well, I am taking you home with me as soon as the doctors release you. I have already contacted the others and they will all be here within the week.”

“Please…” Daniel croaked out. He turned to the blond sitting next to him. “Please tell me… tell me did Chia… is Chia…?” He couldn’t get it out what he needed to ask. His foster brother was all that he could think about right then.

The blond looked down at the side of the bed for a minute in contemplation, “He’s downstairs. They think he’ll make a full recovery, but he was also attacked.” He paused for a minute while Daniel started to let the tears fall from his eyes. “Uhm, but… but the mother…” he didn’t continue and just looked away to outside the window.

“I saw,” Daniel whispered. “I only stayed to protect them and I failed.” He turned away to face the door.

“It happens sometimes. We can’t protect everything. We try, but you know it just doesn’t always happen,” Quatre said kindly. “I’ll let you rest for a bit. I have a few things to do and I’ll be back later after supper tonight.” He stood up and walked out the door. He didn’t turn around to look at Daniel at all, which the injured boy was grateful for.

~*~ Ma ~*~

The doctor came in a few hours later with the boy delivering his evening meal. He was over weight, had on a sharp grey suit and a white lab coat over that. His expensive dress shoes made a slight click on the floor when he walked. “Mr. Francis, I am Dr. Kohl. I am just going to check on your healing and progress. Tell me where things hurt, please.” The exam was painful but the doctor was kind. His ribs had been broken, but mainly he had been stitched from many knife wounds in his back, legs, and some in his stomach area. His head still pound a bit, too, and that was from the concussion he had received when he had hit into the wall.

“Doctor… uh, Quatre is eighteen, right?” he asked.

“Mr. Winner? Yes, I believe he is,” the doctor said as he was writing into the chart at the end of the bed.

“He said that he knew me before my amnesia… could I be eighteen?” Daniel asked as he settled back against the pillows.

“The doctors at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital calculated your age based on the fact that you are just entering puberty. It is possible that you are older if puberty was halted due to malnutrition, hormonal suppressants, or even some different drugs. The amount of all of that had to be extreme, though, for us to calculate you at twelve. I do believe that you are around the age of twelve to fourteen years of age,” the doctor explained. He set the chart down. “I will return in the morning to check some more on your stitches. Please call the nurse if you need anything.” He clicked out of the room and the door shut behind him softly on its hinge.

Daniel didn’t touch his food and stared at it. Quatre had seemed a bit small for being eighteen, so maybe Daniel was really not so young. It would explain so much, but why would someone do so much to him to hold him where he was. Quatre was still taller than him, though, by about a quarter of a head. Why was he so little compared to the other boy? What happened to him before waking up at the other hospital just less than a year ago?

~*~ Tsuzuku~*~