|Author's Notes: this is almost a fusion with the short story written by Stephen King, The Raft. This story, I *think*, was found in the Graveyard Shift. It could be in the Skeleton Crew, though, I don't remember for sure. A movie was also made in Creepshow II, this being one of the short movies on that tape.
Category: AU, Gundam Wing, almost a fusion with a story, Horror, Romance
Pairings: will be 1x2, 3x4, D+N/N+D, 13x6x5, and maybe others, for now: R+1, C+5, H+C, S.N.+4, U+N, 13+6, 6+5/5+6, 13+5, 3+4/4+3, D+H, D+C
Warnings: there *will* be death in this fic, none of the gundam pilots but the girls are up for grabs (some anyway) and maybe Treiz but I don't know about him yet. Slight Relena bashing.
Evil Waits...For Anyone
"Miss Relena, are you sure this is the place?"
The lake was large enough to be the one they were looking for, but it didn't seem to belong on the Peacecraft estate. The end of it could be seen, and the trees seemed to be growing out of the shallows on the far side. With its surface slightly glazed by the bright summer sun, it had a rustic beauty and it was definitely a part of nature. But the lake they'd been told about wasn't supposed to be so overgrown. The beach was practically nonexistent as they stood amongst the coarse grass that sprouted in jagged clumps.
Glaring for a split second at the pale blonde boy, Relena's neck straightened. "Are you insinuating that I got us lost, Quatre? I assure you that I'm perfectly capable of following some simple instructions. Besides, this has to be the lake." Smiling sweetly, she stepped closer to the boy beside her, wrapping an arm around Heero's waist. "See? There's the raft."
"Oh." Quatre nodded as he followed her arm, spotting the large raft that floated in the center of the lake. He couldn't tell how it had been made, but it certainly looked large enough for all of them. "I guess we'll have to swim to it. Unless there's a boat?"
"Now, Quatre, I'm sure the water's safe enough to swim in," Sylvia said, her eyes moving from the blonde to Relena. She hated it when her friends fought.
"Sure it is," Duo laughed, shaking his head. "But it's gonna be kinda hard to swim the baskets and stuff out there." This earned him a cold glare from Relena, but he grinned at her, not the least bit bothered.
"There's a boat there," Trowa said, his expression void as he pointed toward a large growth of grass. Stepping to it, he pulled the thing forward and looked it over carefully. He knew as well as Quatre that this wasn't the destination Pagan had intended when he'd given the directions. Unfortunately, there wasn't much he could do about it without starting an argument. While her family was a pacifist one, Relena tended to take insult when anyone questioned her. Despite her older brother's attempts to undo the spoiling her late father had caused, she still saw herself as the center of everything and infallible. Turning, Trowa nodded to Zechs. "It's good enough."
The tall man carried a large basket, setting it into the boat as he was careful not to look at his sister. He'd told her they were going the wrong way, but she'd ignored him, too busy hanging all over Heero to pay attention to the road. Not that it hadn't been easy to get lost, as fast as Dorothy drove. Glancing to where Treize, Une, and Noin stood, he gave a slight sneer. Older than the others, the four of them had been forced to take part in the little excursion. Zechs's stepmother seemed to think he needed to spend more time with his sister and since he and his friends had already made plans, they'd all ended up going.
"We're never going to fit in that little thing," Noin said, watching the white-haired man's closed expression. "Why don't the four of us go on out there with the stuff." Glancing to Heero, who was staring off to the side, she smiled as she saw who his eyes were on. "Is that okay with you guys?"
"I suppose so," Relena said absentmindedly, frowning as she too noticed Heero's preoccupation. "Heero and I'll go next."
"There's room for five at the very least," Duo objected, frowning at the boat into which the older ones were climbing. "If they take the stuff, we'll only need to make two more trips." Turning, however, he noticed there were only nine of them still on the beach. "Hey...where's Wufei?" Catherine was standing a few feet behind Trowa, and Duo saw the angry expression on her face. "Let me guess, he won't come out of the car?"
The redhead shrugged, looking out over the water. "Who cares. If he wants to sit in *there* all day, let him."
With a drawn out sigh, Duo shook his head. "Fine. Hilde, why don't you and Cathy go with Relena and Heero. I'll go drag the party-pooper out of the car and come out next."
"Okay, Duo," the dark-haired girl said. Moving to Catherine, she smiled and leaned a bit closer to the girl as she dropped her voice. "Come on, we can spoil Relena's fun. Although I don't see how she could be alone with Heero since Zechs is the one bringing the boat back for them."
Leaving the others, Duo stomped through the knee-high grass as he made his way to where they'd left the cars. As Catherine had said, he found his target in the back seat of the dark-blue car Treize had driven. The Chinese boy had refused to ride in Relena's pink limo since the color was so *very* inappropriate and offensive to his male pride. Grinning, Duo leaned close to the window and tapped on it, smirking when Wufei didn't even blink. The boy had his arms folded over his chest and he looked fully prepared to put up a fight if anyone tried to budge him. With another shake of his head, the longhaired boy pulled the door open. "Let's go, Wufei."
"No," the black-eyed boy said shortly, glaring. "I'm not going. I have no intention of catering to that girl's fantasy."
Making a face when the boy took offense at his sudden laughter, Duo winced. "I'm sorry, you're just so funny sometimes. I mean, it's not like you have to talk to her. Besides, this isn't the first time we've all hung out together."
"I'm going to kill Trowa." This was delivered in such a calm manner that Duo laughed again. "I'm serious."
"I know," the American said quickly, leaning against the open door. "But you can't blame Trowa. I mean, he *did* tell her you weren't interested. What else could he do? Tell her you're gay?" Duo grinned quickly and made as if he were joking. The truth was that he'd seen the glances his Chinese friend had sent towards Relena's brother and he was pretty sure his guess was accurate. "Just be cool, Wufei. You know Trowa absolutely refuses to be mean to his sister. He can't help it if she doesn't believe him."
"Fine, but I'm still staying here." While he was fairly certain he'd be physically drug out of the car eventually, Wufei couldn't keep from giving a token resistance. As much as he hated to admit it, even to himself, he enjoyed 'hanging out' with his friends. If only the girls didn't insist on accompanying them.
"You're not afraid, are you?" Duo taunted, faking a horrified expression. "Of a *girl*?! Not Chang Wufei...surely not..."
Smiling, Duo stepped back as the boy got out of the car. "Come on, we can torture Relena later, that always cheers *me* up."
"Fine." Following the cheerful boy, Wufei dropped his guard for a moment as he smirked, his eyes following Duo's long braid as it swung with the boy's energetic steps. He *did* think the American acted the fool a *bit* too often, but he had a way of making him forget his anger. He was definitely the happiest person Wufei had ever known. "We can toss her in," he said slowly, as if he was seriously contemplating it. "Heero would probably help."
"You kidding?" Duo asked, glancing back as the boy walked up beside him. "His sweet little Peacecraft Princess?"
"He just puts up with her, like the rest of us." Catching sight of the others, Wufei gave a silent sigh as he saw red hair glinting in the boat that was just reaching a surprisingly large raft. Then he gave a calculating look to the lake. "Is *this* it?" he asked, surprise registering in his voice. "This dump?"
"Relena got lost," Trowa said, nodding to the black-haired boy.
"Yes," Dorothy smirked, glancing across the water to the girl in question. "But this water's wet too. Any lake'll do, as hot as it is." Quatre was giving the girl beside him a small smile and Dorothy's black eyes glinted as the blonde boy tried to be inconspicuous as he sidled away. Sylvia Noventa was a complete sweetheart, but Dorothy was sure the girl was chasing a lost cause. Quatre was just too kind to come out and tell her. Stepping forward, she caught the boy's pale blue-green eyes, letting hers drop as she scoped him out. With a sultry wink, she had him blushing. "Can't wait to see *you* in a skimpy pair of shorts. Are you sure you don't want to swim out to the raft?"
His cheeks burned, but the young blonde couldn't stop his blush as he glanced at the others. Duo was grinning, but Trowa's green-eyed gaze had him flushing more and he dropped his eyes for a moment. "Two-piece?"
Dorothy jerked as she looked to her prey in surprise. "What?"
"Are you wearing a two-piece," Duo supplied, ever helpful. "If you wanna see his, you have to show us yours." The girl blushed and he laughed as the shade was dark against her long, pale blonde hair. "Don't dish it out if you can't take it, Cat-a-lon-ia." He drew her last name out purposely, making her sound exotic. "Too bad the others'll miss the strip show, though."
"Stop teasing her," Wufei muttered, poking the boy.
"Are you standing up for me?" Dorothy demanded, her eyes narrowed as she approached the Chinese boy slowly. "How chivalrous of you, Wufei."
Scowling, the black-haired boy looked away. "This is going to be a long day."
"It's just started," Sylvia put in, relieved that the argument seemed to be over. She'd wanted to say something in Quatre's defense, especially since she had a crush on her friend, but she just couldn't make herself. There was no reason to add to an argument. "We're going to have lots of fun."
"Sure we are," Duo purred, smiling at Wufei. "Right, Chang?"
"You're dead, *Maxwell*" Warning given, he took a sharp lunge toward the boy, then he froze in shock as Duo stumbled and fell back.
Duo blinked as it took a moment for him to realize he'd fallen into the lake, then he let out a disgusted cry. "This is *so* gross!" Standing slowly, he looked down at the brown slime that covered his hand and nearly cried as he imagined what the rest of his clothes looked like. "Man...this is so unfair..."
"Duo..." Quatre blanched, "your hair..."
Raising his hand slowly, Duo touched the back of his head. He didn't move for nearly a minute as he stared at his slimy palm, then he'd suddenly grabbed Wufei and both were in the shallow water.
"What did I miss?" Heero asked, expression deadpanned as looked at the two sludge-covered boys currently intent on drowning each other. Getting out of the boat, he helped Trowa pull it closer to land.
"They decided they'd rather die than eat Relena's cooking," Dorothy quipped. "So they're killing each other."
Seeing the Japanese boy's frozen expression, Sylvia stepped forward quickly. "No, she didn't. Dorothy, you know she didn't cook the food."
The blonde girl rolled her eyes, raising an arched eyebrow. "Of course I know that, it was a joke." As much as she liked the girl, Sylvia tended to be a bit naive. "Let's go. We can all fit in that boat. They can swim."
Nodding, Heero handed the paddles to Quatre as he and Trowa pushed the boat onto the water before climbing in. They'd gone about fifteen feet when the two wrestlers noticed.
"Hey! What about us?!" Sputtering when Wufei shoved him into the deep part, Duo glared. The black-haired boy was already swimming to the raft, though, so he followed with a disgruntled expression.
"Heero, your shoes are really muddy." Frowning, Relena turned to her brother with a glare. "You could have gone for them."
"So very charming," Treize murmured, eyeing the girl's haughty expression. "You make such a wonderful hostess, Relena."
She didn't like the man, so she turned her back on him. "You're right," she said softly, determined not to let her anger show as she caught Dorothy's mocking gaze. "Well, I guess you can wash them off," she sighed, looking down at Heero yellow sneakers. She'd never liked the boy's choice in shoes, but they looked even worse covered in brown slime.
"You swam in your clothes?!" Hilde frowned as she saw Duo and Wufei approaching and sighed. "Really, Duo. Couldn't you wait?"
Duo laughed as he pushed himself onto the raft, enjoying the way Relena jumped back so she wouldn't get wet. "I didn't have much choice. Wufei started it."
"You're so immature," Relena scoffed. She smiled when she saw Heero removing the offending shoes and moved to the largest basket. "Where's my blanket?"
Opening it, Noin glanced up. "Which one? There's two here."
"Well, they're both mine, of course," Relena said, leaning forward. "But you guys can use the blue one."
Noin didn't comment as she handed over the folded pink cloth. It was hard not to laugh at the girl, especially with the disgusted look on Une's face. "Of course, *Miss* Relena."
Relena spread out the blanket, shooing Catherine and Hilde back as she found it very large. "Isn't it pretty, Heero?"
"It's big," the boy said slowly, his cobalt blue eyes narrowing at the color. "And pink."
"My favorite," Duo muttered sarcastically as he stepped back with the others. "Um, Relena? I hope you plan to share that thing, 'cause there isn't enough room to stand if the other one's that big."
"I'm sure she'll share," Sylvia said, frowning at the violet-eyed boy. "Right, Relena?"
There was a long pause, but the female Peacecraft finally nodded, her reluctance evident. "Of course." Then her eyes narrowed as she looked at the two dripping boys. "But not in those wet things. You'll have to wait till they dry."
"You two can sit on this one," Zechs said, his eyes narrowed as he glared at his sister. He just couldn't understand how she could imagine herself to be refined when she acted like such a...bitch. "But I think we should swim first, anyway."
"But I'm hungry." Relena's mouth fell open when no one looked at her and she flinched as Heero suddenly pulled off his tank-top. "Heero? Aren't you going to eat?"
"You shouldn't swim right after you eat," Sylvia said quickly. "We probably *should* swim first."
"And it's much too hot to eat right now." Smiling at Relena's frown, Hilde shrugged. "Why not swim? You're such a *good* swimmer." It was very hard to keep a straight face as Relena preened, and she had to hide a grin when she heard Duo coughing to cover laughter. Turning to the four older ones, she paused. They'd all met Zechs before, but she'd only seen the other three a couple of times, and that only in passing. They'd graduated a few years ago, so they didn't go to the high school anymore. Her eyes stopped on the young woman with dark bluish-black hair, similar to hers, and she smiled as she caught Noin's gaze. "You're all going to swim, right?"
She was cute. The thought flashed through Treize's mind as he exchanged glances with Zechs and he stood slowly. "I couldn't refuse an invitation like that, and I know Noin and Une would enjoy a race. If you other girls are up to it?"
Still preening, Relena nodded quickly. "I hope they can swim well, though."
"We wouldn't have come if we couldn't," Une said slowly, her voice low as she stared at the blonde girl. She wasn't bothered by the comment as she was looking forward to humiliating her. Since their day had been ruined and their plans thrown, she and Noin had already decided how to deal with Zechs's sister. Slow and relatively painful sounded about right. "A little exercise would do me well. I used to swim quite a bit in high school."
"She was best on the swim team three years running," Dorothy whispered, leaning close to Catherine who was standing as far from Wufei as the raft allowed. "You're the fastest swimmer I know, so I'll ask you now. Why don't you fake it the first race, okay?"
"Why should I?" Catherine asked in surprise. "Either way Relena loses."
"But she *knows* how fast *you* are," Hilde put in, having moved close enough to hear them. "She'll never expect it from Une."
A slow smile came to the redhead's face and she gave a subtle nod. She'd never personally been offended by Relena as the girl tended to ignore her when she was around, but the idea had a certain allure. Especially since it would help to get her mind off the stupid mistake she'd made earlier. Yes, her brother had warned her that Wufei wouldn't go out with her, but that hadn't stopped her growing interest in the normally quiet boy. He had a grace about him that attracted her and she'd stubbornly decided to tell him about her feelings. Once the others had piled out of the cars, she'd gone for it with devastating results. Glancing at the black-haired boy standing across the raft from her, she scowled as she remembered his response to her tentative words. He'd ignored her, not even looking at her until she'd finally left to join the others. But it didn't matter anymore, because she'd decided she could do better than him, anyway. "Operation humiliate Relena," she whispered, getting into the playful spirit of her friends, "is underway."
Sylvia's eyes widened at the loud cheer the three girls gave and she looked around slowly. "I'm not a very good swimmer," she said softly. Once again, she felt left out. They were all friends, but there were times when she felt she didn't know or belong with them. Especially since she still didn't understand how they could all be friends without killing each other. Their personalities were so different and they argued continuously.
"Then you should swim, practice makes you perfect," Heero said, earning him a few surprised glances and a sharp stare from the blonde girl beside him. For some reason, he didn't like the lost look in Sylvia's eyes, but he passed it off. While the girl was new to their school, she was one of his friends, a member of their group, so it was natural for him to be nice to her. Besides, he thought of her in the same terms as he did Relena. Both were confined by the characters they'd been molded into and although Sylvia was sweet to Relena's forceful nature, both were naive and needed to be watched after. The only other one in the group who fell into this category in his mind, was Quatre, but he didn't have to worry about him, not with Trowa around. He'd spoken extensively with his tall friend and Heero knew there wasn't need for *him* to watch after the pale blonde.
As soon as Relena started undressing, Duo rolled back her blanket. It was much too large and he and Wufei would need to lay out their clothes so they could dry. Luckily, the blonde girl was watching Heero as she stripped down to a demure one-piece, no doubt hoping for a sign of lust in his cobalt-blue eyes. Following her gaze, Duo smirked as he saw the boy had his back to her. They weren't actually a couple, and he'd never seen Heero so much as touch the girl except at the dances their school held. No, any relationship those two had was all on Relena's part and Duo was determined to do everything in his power to keep it that way. As far as he was concerned, if the Japanese boy had to go out with one of the girls in the group, he'd be better off with Sylvia or Catherine. Even Hilde would be better, although Duo was pretty sure the girl wouldn't go for it since she'd already explained to him that she liked someone who definitely *wasn't* Heero. Still smirking, he quickly shed his own damp clothing.