Warnings: shonen ai at best
Pairings: will be 1x2, 3x4
Category: AU, action/adventure, fantasy, romance
Author: Arigatomina
Email: [email protected]

Without the Moon

Part 4

"Duo, do you have any idea what our enemy is after? As far as we could tell the monsters were creating general havoc and destroying buildings regardless of how many people were in them."

Glancing at Quatre, Duo shrugged. "It was the same for me when I started fighting. I think the monsters weren't just to test out earth's defenses. I get the feeling they're trying to cow us so they can take over. It's the only thing I can think of."

"We don't even know how many enemies we're facing," Wufei said, eyes narrowed. "So far we've only fought one monster at a time, but we can be sure they'll send more now."

"How do you guys stay in contact? I mean, how do you know when one of you has found a monster or enemy?"

"Here." Leaning forward, Heero handed Duo what looked like a high-tech wrist watch. "Wing gave me the idea. They're communicators. Press this switch and it signals the others."

"Wow, that'd do it," Duo said, taking the thing and looking at it before sliding it onto his left wrist and glancing back at Heero. "So when do I get to meet this Wing? You've mentioned him before."

"He's *my* cat," Heero said. "He meets us here sometimes."

"Is he shy?"

Heero looked stunned for a second, then his lips twitched as if his instinct was to smile. "No, he just doesn't come without a reason."

"Oh." Looking to where Shinigami sat beside him, Duo frowned. "Well, you guys don't mind if I bring Shi-chan do you?"

"Of course not," Quatre said, nodding to the cat. "Besides, he knows so much, he's very helpful."

"Thank you," Shinigami said, tail twitching.

"That reminds me," Quatre said, frowning slightly. "The girls didn't try to sit with us today, I saw them outside. They were whispering about something. Do you think they've discovered their powers on their own?"

Scowling at the blonde boy, Wufei snorted. "I doubt it. Don't read things into their actions. Just be glad they left us alone."

Glancing around the room, Duo sighed and looked down at his watch. "You know, if it's okay, I have some stuff I've gotta take care of. I can come back later if you guys are still here."

"Where are you going?"

Meeting Heero's gaze, Duo gave a bashful smile, scratching the back of his neck as he looked down at Shinigami. "Well, there's no school tomorrow, so I need to go look for a job. Gotta feed my cat, neh?" Laughing, quickly, he stood, grabbing Shinigami. "You guys going to be here later?"

"I will," Wufei said, frowning at the American. "I live here."

"Right," Duo grinned. "Well, see ya later."

Watching the boy disappear through the door, the remaining four glanced at each other, blinking when something moved in the back of the room near the side window. Glancing over his shoulder, Quatre's eyes widened as he spotted what looked like the tip of a white tail disappearing over the window sill. "Heero, why didn't you say Wing was here?" Frowning, Quatre didn't calm down until the Japanese boy shook his head.

"I didn't know." Shrugging, Heero took a drink of his coffee, glancing down at his communicator with a thoughtful expression.

* * *

"Sure you want to walk?" Looking down at the black cat padding beside him, Duo shrugged. "Well, suit yourself, but you probably should stay at the apartment. I don't know how long this'll take." Smirking, Duo gave up when the cat moved to walk ahead of him, not so much as twitching an ear. Reaching the edge of town, Duo grimaced at his feet. "This sucks. I need to get a bike." Grinning when the cat rolled its eyes, he laughed. "So I'm lazy, that's nothing new. Okay, Shi-chan. I'll be back as soon as I can, you just wait right here."

Watching the long-haired boy disappear through the large gates, Shinigami sighed, moving to a bench across the street and curling up on it to wait. With his experience, Duo was certain to be hired, he just hoped the boy wouldn't have to work immediately. He'd worked with salvage jobs before, and he was good at it, but things were speeding up and Shinigami couldn't help feeling that it was a bad idea. Sighing, he closed his eyes, intending to take a nap. Then his ears twitched as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Not moving his head, his eyes moved around as far as he could see.

He couldn't find any signs of enemies, but his sixth sense was never wrong. Standing abruptly, he stood with his paws on the back of the bench, looking behind him. Catching sight of a glint in a tree about ten feet away, his tail twitched as his hair slowly smoothed back down. Leaping over the back, he moved slowly across the grass, not taking his eyes off what he now saw was a cat. He paused as he reached the foot of the tree, sitting down and curling his tail over his feet as he looked up to meet one blue and one green eye as a white cat looked down at him. Green eyes narrowing, Shinigami gave a grin.

"Following us? Wing." Sniffing when the cat blinked, his tail twitched. "Well?" Not getting a response, Shinigami climbed up the side of the tree till he was eye-level with the cat. Eyes glinting at the bored way the white cat looked at him, Shinigami hissed suddenly, ears flattening against his head as he bared sharp white teeth. The white cat nearly fell out of the tree.

Recovering quickly, Wing glared. "Why did you do *that*?"

Yawning as he stretched out on the limb, Shinigami grinned. "You weren't saying anything so I assumed you were just another cat."

Snorting, the white cat looked away, eyes moving over the gates across the street. "What does he think he's doing?" Blinking when he caught the green-eyed glare being shot at him, his ears tilted back slightly.

"What's it to *you*? And why were you following us? What's the matter, don't trust us?"

Still blinking at the vehement glare, Wing tilted his head to the side. "No. That's not it. I wanted to see why he left the meeting, his excuse didn't ring true."

"Duo never lies." Not blinking until the white cat nodded slightly, Shinigami sighed. "So you were there the whole time. It figures, that Heero doesn't trust anyone. Still," wincing, Shinigami glared at the gate. "Duo's not going to be happy about his lying like that."

"He didn't know." Shrugging, the cat turned to look at Shinigami. "What is he doing in there?"

"Duo? What do you think? He's doing exactly what he said, he's getting a job." Sitting up, he frowned. "Why didn't you say something at the meeting? Why hide?"

"I wasn't hiding," Wing said, defensively. "I was watching. I didn't have anything to say. Why is he getting a job? What is he going to do if a battle comes up while he's working? It's an unnecessary distraction."

"Who feeds you?"

Blinking, Wing straightened. "Heero. Or I catch my own food. Why?"

"Does Heero work? Where does he get the money to feed you? If Duo doesn't work, we lose the apartment. How's that for a distraction." Shaking his head, Shinigami glared. "As for battles, don't worry about that. Duo's never had to fight during the day, always at night."

"Always? That's interesting."

"Not really," Shinigami said, temper rising as he defended his friend. "It's harder to see at night, which gives the enemy an advantage if they fly and there's fog cover. Besides, even if a battle *did* arise during the day, Duo would be there. One way or another."

"I wasn't insulting him. Or insinuating *anything*."

"It sounded like you were," blinking, he calmed. "Well, just don't worry about Duo. He's been on his own for years and he's an *excellent* fighter."

"You're so defensive." Smiling suddenly, Wing stretched out, tail curling behind him. "I worry about everything, not just your friend. Don't take it personally."

Frowning, Shinigami looked at him, one ear tilted forward and one back. "Is Heero like you?"

"What do you mean?" Wing asked, looking over in surprise.

"I'm not sure, you confuse me."

Wing smirked. "Heero says the same thing. We don't talk much."

"That's so sad," Shinigami said softly, "Duo's my best friend. I'd do anything for him. I guess I assumed it was the same way with you and Heero."

"Oh, it is. But..." Sighing, he rested his head in his paws. "Heero's complicated, he doesn't like showing his feelings. They get in the way and I understand that. It's not a problem."

* * *

Eyes moving up and down the street, Duo was just starting to get a bit worried when he spotted something in a tree across the street. Trying to sneak up on him, he let out a laugh when a black head suddenly peaked out of the leaves, smiling down at him. "Sorry it took so long, had to show 'em I knew what I was doing."

"That's all right," Shinigami said quickly. "I kept occupied. Duo, I'd like you to meet Wing."

Raising an eyebrow, Duo moved forward, looking upward till he caught sight of a white cat. "Hi. I was wondering if I'd ever meet you." Glancing from one cat to the other, Duo smirked. "What were you talking about while I was in there, Shi-can?"

Glaring at the boy when the cat beside him gave a wide grin, Shinigami bristled. "Your lousy vocabulary skills," he muttered, glaring at Wing when he laughed. "It doesn't matter. Did you get the job?"

"Of course," Duo grinned, hands on his hips. "Actually, they're really short on help, so they were desperate. They didn't even argue about my age like usual. 'Course, this means I'll be working a lot, but that's good news, neh?"


"Hey, Wing, you hungry? Why don't you come back to our place and have lunch with us? It's kinda far, but we wouldn't mind the company, besides, I'd like to know what brought you all the way out here. That's *some* coincidence."

"Sharp," Wing murmured, rewarded with a smile from Shinigami. "Alright. It's been a while since breakfast."

"Hope you like tuna."


"Yeah, Shi-chan hates cat-food."

Looking at the black cat, Wing smiled when he managed to look bashful, jumping down onto the boy's shoulder. Eyes widening when Duo gestured for him to do the same, he hesitated.

"Come on, Heero said you weren't shy." Laughing when the white cat looked disgruntled, Duo grinned as he soon had a cat draped over each shoulder. "That wasn't so bad, was it? Well, off we go."

* * *

"Am I going to see you at the next meeting?" Staring into wide eyes, Duo smirked. "No more sticking to the shadows?" Wing nodded, and Shinigami sniffed as they approached Wufei's house which was actually behind the temple. Knocking lightly, Duo was confused by Wufei's wide-eyed gaze as he slowly moved back to let them in. "Wufei, is something wrong?"

Shaking his head, the black-haired boy shot a glance at Wing who ignored him, seeming completely at ease draped over the Duo's shoulder much as Shinigami was. "We were beginning to think you weren't coming back, Quatre and Trowa were about to leave."

"We decided to stop for lunch," Duo said, smiling slightly as he was motioned toward the main room. Grinning at the three boys, he sat down on the couch beside Heero. "Did 'ya miss me?"

Staring in surprise, Quatre shot a quick look at Heero before leaning forward, his eyes on the white cat who didn't seem to be in a hurry to leave his spot on Duo's shoulder. "I guess you two have met."

"Yeah." Smiling, Duo turned to Heero, catching his seemingly blank stare. "You were right, he's not shy at all."

Groaning when cobalt eyes narrowed and Heero raised an eyebrow at him, Wing dropped his chin to Duo's chest, one paw moving over his head. Feeling something brush his tail, he peeked out from under his arm to see Shinigami give him a humor-filled stare. Stretching suddenly, he hopped off the boy, lying down on the back of the couch. "I'm not shy," he said in a careless tone, being careful not to glance at Heero. "Why would I be? Anyway, on with the meeting."

"Actually, we were thinking about going home," Quatre said. "Unless you three have any news. Wing?"

"No." Hopping off the couch, the white cat padded quickly to the window, climbing onto the sill and sitting with his back to them. "If I think of anything, I'll let you know."

Frowning, Duo looked down at Shinigami. "Well, I guess there's no reason to hang around then. Oh, I'll be late tomorrow, but I should be here by five at the latest." Standing, he smiled at them. "Bye." Frowning again when the white cat ignored him, Duo turned and left quickly.

Glaring at the window, Heero was about to stand when Wing suddenly jumped out. Moving after him, Heero could see the cat running after Duo and Shinigami, and he almost choked when the boy turned with a smile and his usually reclusive cat jumped onto his shoulder as if he did it every day. //That's it, I'm going to kill him.//

"Heero, what's with Wing?" Flinching back when he found himself the recipient of a frigid glare, Quatre's eyes widened. "Nevermind. Now that I think about it, I should be getting home." Giving Heero a weak grin, he made a quick exit.


Turning, the blond boy's eyes lit up as he saw Trowa moving down the sidewalk. "Yes?"

"Are you hungry? I was thinking of going to the cafe, want to join me? It's too early to go home."

"I'd love to." Smiling, Quatre pulled his bag higher on his shoulder. "I wasn't really looking forward to spending the rest of the afternoon doing homework."

"Do you have a lot?" Trowa asked, taking Quatre's bag and looking at it. "It's pretty heavy," he said, glancing at the wide-eyed boy as he slid the strap over his own shoulder. "Come on."

* * *