Here There Be Dragons
by Lasha Lee


Wufei left his family in the small room, and with Macus by his side, he went out to face down his enemies.

But the sight that met his eyes was not quite what he expected.

Two boys, wearing the tattered remains of Wronith uniforms, where indeed coming toward the building. However, only one was walking under his own power. He was half-carrying, half-dragging the other boy, stumbling under his larger friend's weight. The blood ran so thickly into his eyes he couldn't even see well where he was going.

"Nataku." Wufei said softly. "They're not much more than babies."

"Sir?" Macus asked. "What do we do?"

"Come with me." Wufei instructed. "No. First, go find some medical supplies if you can. Bandages. Anything."

"But sir." Macus pointed. "They're the enemy."

Wufei shook his head, and patted the younger man's arm. "Not at the moment, they aren't. Go on, now."

Macus headed back toward the office and Wufei left the building, hurrying toward the boys, but still on his guard.

"Just a little more." the stronger boy was whispering to his companion. "A few more steps."

His head snapped up at Wufei's approach, and his lips curled in a snarl, his arm tightening around his friend. "Stay back!"

"Son, if I wanted to hurt you I could have done it from back there." Wufei pointed out gently. "Let me take him. You can barely carry yourself."

The boy did not reply.

"Fine. Have it your way." Wufei raised his weapon. "Consider yourselves my prisoners, if that's what it takes. Now, I am taking possession of one of my prisoners, and against my judgment, I'm going to try and save his foolish life. Do you have a problem with this?"

The young man hesitated, and then looked away, a defeated expression on his face.

Wufei eased the wounded young man into his own arms. Although the older man wasn't much bigger than Duo, he was able to carry the boy completely, like he would have his own children.

The other soldier walked at his side, his eyes never leaving his friend. Neither of them looked any older than Jazz, Wufei thought sadly. The one walking had fair hair; he thought the one he carried might have dark, but it was too bloody to tell.

Macus opened the door for him, and he carried the boy into the small office, laying him on a desk. Macus had set up bandages and hot water.

"Denea has the kids in the other room. She didn't want them to be afraid of the blood."

Wufei was removing what was left of the boy's clothing, biting his lip. There was so much blood it was hard to tell where it was coming from. The chest under it all was thin; all ribs and adolescent muscle.

The stronger boy was staring at his friend in shock. He looked close to tears, and his shoulders were shaking.

"Macus, take care of that one. He's injured as well." Wufei jerked his head.

"No!" The boy said angrily. "I'm fine. Don't touch me!" he backed away from Macus.

Macus pointed at his neuralizer. "I can treat you awake. I can treat you knocked out cold. You get to choose."

With a string of words Wufei suspected were Wronith curses, the boy began removing his shirt. "You better save him!" He ordered Wufei. "Or I'll make sure this whole planet is destroyed!"

Wufei didn't reply as he wiped away the blood. There was the big one. A nasty hole in his side, surrounded by equally nasty looking burns.

"What's his name?" the man asked suddenly.

"Why do you need that?"

"Because we respond to the sound of our own names faster than anything else, that's why." Wufei snapped. "Do you want me to save him or not?"

Silence. Then, reluctantly. "Adyn. Ow!"

"Hold still." Macus ordered, dabbing at cut in the boy's forehead with antiseptic he had found.

"Is he your brother?" Wufei was digging around in the medical kit, smiling as his hands closed around a surgical needle and stutchering thread.

"No." The boy paused. "I've known him all my life, though." This was said softly.

"What's your name?"

"Pell."

Wufei cleaned the area carefully, and began the slow task of closing the wound. "How is he, Macus?"

"He's banged up badly, and lost some blood, but it's nothing some sleep and food won't cure."

"Go get him something to eat." Wufei wiped away a little more blood. "I don't think he's going to want to leave Adyn's side for a while."

Macus nodded and left.

Wufei was silent for a minute as he sewed. "Interesting mark on your friend's neck here." He commented. "Doesn't look like any weapons put it there. The only thing that leaves a mark like that is someone's lips."

Pell glared at him, but there was very real fear in the boy's eyes.

"You don't need to worry." the older man gave the boy a small smile. "I'm something of a freak among my old companions. Of the five of us, I'm the only one who married a woman. Well, except for Duo. And he's married to a man now so he doesn't really count."

"Were they punished?" Pell asked.

"Punished?" Wufei cocked his head. "Of course not."

Pell looked puzzled. "Such things are forbidden."

"Not here. It used to be, where I come from, but that was a long time ago. Nowadays most people don't care. I've never really seen the appeal in it myself; but it doesn't stop me from loving my friends because they prefer other men." He finished the stitches and began bandaging Adyn's side. "Just as long as my son understands that I won't be amused if he brings home a Paul instead of a Pauline." He laughed.

Pell glanced at Adyn. "Children are valued on our world. So any relationship that cannot produce a child is forbidden. If anyone knew about us, we would be put to death."

"So why were you out there fighting, if you wanted to live so badly?" Wufei asked. He began treating Adyn's smaller wounds. Macus returned, and offered Pell a sandwich.

"I had to fight your children for it, Sir." The young man said with a smile. "They were deeply offended."

"We had no choice. We were sent to work on the main ship months ago, and when the decision came to attack, we attacked." His words were muffled a bit by the food. "Will he be okay?"

"He'll be fine if he takes it easy, and doesn't strain himself. And if he has you to take care of him." Wufei promised.

"Will we receive a chance for that? In prison?" Pell was curious.

"Prison? Who´s going to prison?"

"You said we were your prisoners."

"Son, I only said that so you'd stop being such an idiot and let me help you. What am I supposed to do with prisoners? I've got a wife and two small children in the other room, and two more youngsters on loan at the moment."

"But..." the older man raised an eyebrow at Pell. "If I were you, I'd look around and realize that I'm suddenly on a world where no one is going to care who I'm in love with. A nice big world, where someone might be able to vanish without a trace, and start their life over again. A safer life."

"I wouldn't even know where to begin doing that." Pell shook his head. His look turned thoughtful. "But if we were your prisoners, it might give me some time to learn..."

Wufei rolled his eyes heavenward, and Macus snickered.

"Fine. You can be my prisoners for now, but only until you get on your feet somewhere. Nataku, help me. I don't need this."

"Who?"

"The goddess he worships." Macus explained. "He's told me about her. She sounds wonderful. Maybe he'll tell you about her as well?" Macus gave Wufei a hopeful glance.

"I doubt he'd be interested."

"No, it's okay. We used to believe in a god named Thirol, but it's not allowed anymore. People who pray to him are executed."

Wufei sighed. "Is there anything you people don't kill each other for? Honestly."

"I wonder sometimes." A weak voice commented.

"Adyn." Pell moved over to the desk and took the other boy's hand. "Just rest. You're going to be fine."

The injured boy blinked sleepy blue eyes and his fingers closed around Pell's. "I want to hear about this goddess."

"He loves stories like that." Pell explained. He pulled free a lock of hair that was blood-stuck to Adyn's head.

Denea, smiling to herself, moved away from the door, and back to where the children were sitting. "It figures. We're in the middle of a war, and he's in there starting the Cult of Nataku."

Rosie spoke after a minute. "But Denea, those people are the bad guys. Why did he save bad guys?"

"Because he's Wufei." Denea explained, stroking the little girl's hand. "Because for all of his bluster and bluff, and tantrums, he's got a heart of gold. Because he didn't see enemies; he saw a couple of hurt, terrified kids. He saved them for the same reasons that I fell in love with him. He saved them because if nothing else, he lives his life by two things; what is right and what is wrong. And saving them was the right thing to do."


On to part thirty-one. Back to part twenty-nine.