Land of the Rising

Pairing: 13x3/3x3

Part: 1/4

Completed: 3/4

Author's note: I'm not an old Japanese guy so I don't own GW. This fic has many references to historical Chinese and Japanese culture. The Exam mentioned in this part is a Chinese exam given to people who want to be in some sort of governemt position. Scholars will study for this exam for a large portion of their lives. No one under the age of thirty has ever passed it.

"Baba! How can you be so cruel?! I am not something to se sold!" Wufei yelled at the top of his lungs into the cold winter night, at the base of his mountain home. Miles from his house, he collapsed like a weeping widow over her past husband. Pink with falling tears, his heavy heart fell onto the cool soil for him to stare at. "Damn you, Baba!"

Gallivanting around in the cold moonlight a westerner ran briskly in dark green Chinese pants and a long shirt. "Damn you, Wu. Where are you? We're in this together, remember?" By the stump of a large tree, Trowa passed a long braid tied with a familiar black string. Soon there after, he found a crumpled Chinese boy wet with tears at the mountain's edge. Distressed, he ran to the boy with fear of his departure. "Wufei! Come on!" With the dismissing whimper of his friend, he inspected his friend's head. Gasping, he pulled him to his feet. "We've gotta get you home before they see you." With the pouty boy against his side, he began the long track home.

Wufei awoke to a white haze across his eyes. Moaning, the light pulled away to reveal a servant girl placing a damp cloth on his head. His brain felt like a beaten carpet hanging on a line outside of the house. "Where's Trowa?" he asked.

"Oh, he's in the main room discussing things. It looks like you worried yourself sick, master Wufei. I'll tell your mother you're awake." With that, she removed herself from the room.

He wanted to start crying again. His pounding head broke apart into a thousand pieces. "They can't do this to me!" he yelped. Throwing clothes on, he adjusted to his ache. The door slide open with a bang and he made his way to the main room. His bare feet across the wood floors made his ache beckon for the bed once more, they were to leave in only one week. He had only one week to convince his father otherwise.

Trowa's voice echoed around the corner. "I know Baba. I understand that. You can send me away to Japan, but Wufei; he's not ready for it yet. Please give him a little while longer."

That voice pulled at his heartstrings, but he found strength in it. With the same resilience, Wufei bounded into the room. His father looked up at him with great disdain. "So this is what Trowa was talking about. Trowa this is even more of a reason he should leave with you, he'll be killed if he stays here."

Obediently, he kept his eyes on his father while Wufei sat beside him with a snort. "At least you could have told us a bit before this. You are send us hundreds of miles away from our homeland to serve some person we don't know for the rest of our lives! Don't you think we should have known a year before this?"

"Watch you tone when talking to us, Wufei," his father snorted back. "Arranged marriages are normal. You're lucky I didn't send you to the Americas."

"Wufei, Trowa, I understand how you feel. I was sent to your father from Europe twenty years ago. I didn't know him or this language, but I learned how to survive. So will you. Think of this as a way to help your family, not a burden," their mother consoled.

"With all due respect Mama, you let Baba sell us to the sons of a wealthy family in an enemy country. How are we helping the family?" Wufei curtly asked.

The booming voice of his father returned, "You are helping China find peace with Japan. If anyone in China saw you now, you'd be a disgrace. How could you cut off your heritage?"

Trowa finally looked in his brother's direction. His hair was cut short jaggedly to his shoulders. It didn't look bad, but it didn't look Chinese.

"If I can't stop you from sending us, then I'm excusing myself," he stood up and faced his father coldly, then turned his back to him as he walked out.

"Wufei, get back here! I didn't tell you to leave!" his father yelled to his back.

Wufei continued down the hall and into Trowa's room, slamming the door behind him. He pulled several layers of fine sheets up and buried himself completely by them. The pressure behind his eyes pushed its way into soft, quiet tears. There he froze into a sleepy trance until his foreign brother found his way back into the room. The long arms pinned Wufei under the covers, disabling him from even moving.

"Tr. . wa . .et. . ut. PL. . Z!" he fussed through the sheets.

After several breathless moments, Trowa let go. The Chinese boy shot up from under the blankets like he had out of the main room. "What'd you do that for?"

With a sigh, Trowa lamented the frustration in his heart. "You're making this hard on everyone, Wufei."

"They're the ones sending us away!" he pouted angrily. "Aren't you at least a little pissed! Injustice!"

"I am upset, but what can we accomplish by throwing tantrums? We might as well take this slowly and do as our family wishes."

"But we were sold," he clarified.

"We are helping our nation. Does China mean anything to you?" he asked.

Wufei curled up into a ball on the covers. "How are we, two people going to help a nation by getting hitched?"

"There's four of us, Wufei. Don't you think the sons on the other side of the sea are going through the same things we are?"

He shot up again, "But they don't have to abandon their country in the process. All of our friends, all the people we know . . . We'll never see them again! We can't have the same things in Japan!"

"Wufei, we're marrying two of the wealthiest sons in Japan. I think we can get anything we need there as well," he reasoned.

Wufei ran toward the door facing outside and threw it open. He pointed to the outside wildly. "Are we going to have Xuan mountain?! Are we going to have the garden? Our Garden, where we used to hide from the servant girls? Where we had our first kiss? Huh?! Trowa in Japan we can't have each other!"

Trowa nodded sympathetically as if he'd thought of it all before. "I understand that, Wu. I know this already, but it's not our choice. If we stayed here, we'd have to marry some Chinese royalty. It's just a different location. And you cut your hair off. Now no Chinese royalty will have you. If your Japanese fiancée doesn't want you now, you have no where to go. The family won't support you anymore. Please, Wu, this is your only chance to live well."

Wufei started to cry again. "I hate you sometimes, Trowa!"

Smiling, Trowa walked to him and gathered him up in his long sleeves. "That's because I'm always right."

A week later, Trowa and his brother were on the first ship headed for the land of the sun. Trowa stood against the sunset shimmering in oranges and purples while his brother leaned against the opposite railing on the other side of the ship. He recalled his mother biding him farewell. She tucked in his arms a finely bound blank book. Searching her eyes, he found the reason for it. His new story was beginning. The story of his Chinese life was tucked away in only his and Trowa's minds. The gardens, boat races, and love for his brother must end with the old story. The ebony-haired boy turned to face his brother's backside seemingly miles away. 'I can't love you how I used to,' he thought with a deep cry in his gut. 'Our love must transcend into a new love, but not merely brotherly love. You know this, too. I have to stop being a child around you and grow up in all the faces I encounter. I can't cry in your arms anymore.'

The green-eyed boy walked over to his lost companion. The shaken boy looked silently into his brother's eyes seeking acknowledgement. He couldn't utter the words he needed to tell his brother. Smiling thinly, the brown-haired boy kissed his brother's forehead in agreement. "We'll be okay, Wufei. Nothing in our new home will change us," he said.

"I know."

After a moment of silence, The taller boy cleared his throat and rose a book to Wufei's face. After sighing unimpressed at the book; he scowled at his brother in obvious displeasure. "So I have to?"

"No, but wouldn't you like to know what the court thinks of you," he answered. He put the book in his hands and shoved him in the direction of the cabins to study.

Wufei patted into their room and closed the creaky door behind him. Falling stomach first onto the bed of fine pillows, Wufei cracked open the book to its first chapter. "O-ha-yo-go-za-i-ma-su. Ohayogozaimasu. Geez, can't they just say "Nihao"? Ko-n-ni-chi-wa. Konnichiwa. Ko-n-ba-n-wa. Konbanwa. I should've learned this stuff years ago like, what is he in this damn language, Anue. Ii desu ka? Ii desu yo," he continued his Japanese lessons.

A week later a ship arrived aside the ship the pair was in. A smaller ship, it sailed directly next to theirs until one wooden box was given to the captain. After the other ship left, the captain called Trowa to open the box. "Who is it from?"

"The Kuyuma. They said it contained things for the trip you needed," he answered.

"All that trouble for one box?" he asked no one in particular. He thanked the captain and opened the box after the captain left his quarters. The rigid box popped open with considerable effort to reveal one letter on top of fine Kimono. Trowa's name was written on the front to the long set of papers. Settling down in a chair beside his sleeping brother, he opened the thick letter and began to read:

Chun-Mixu Trowa

Forgive me for my impatience, but I needed to write you before you arrived. I am Kuyuma Treize, your Japanese fiancée. My father has bade me send you and your brother fond word. Political circumstance in Edo is agreeable. Parliamentary and Imperial powers are stable.

This season's weather is fondly looked upon in my culture as well as your native country, correct? I've studied Chinese culture upon many other cultures in anticipation of your arrival. If you do not mind me expressing these things, I will continue in the way I feel comfortable. You see I am content at my father's choice in mates for his children. The matchmaker, also of political birth, has wedded my older brother to a woman of noble blood of the second court. Therefore, my brother and I indeed need not marry, but chose to. I will explain my brother before myself.

Kuyuma Heero is a reserved boy who trains and studies in equal bounty and equal force. I believe he works too hard to please our father at best. I feel a bit of guilt as of my part in it. Like most brotherly relations, one brother always achieves more in one field or another. Unfortunately, I do excel at more things than my brother; thus, father praises me more in act and in material. As Heero can not beat me in things I excel, he drills in his best areas constantly. Marriage will settle him down. In Japan, we have heard of young Wufei as rather lively. Our hopes are to soothe both partners of excessive burden through each other. To rest any doubts your brother harbors, he his quite a fine young man, developed in many ways, so the court tells me. He may be cold at first, but I assure you both he has not a heart of stone.

As for myself, I wait humbly for our meeting. Dissimilar to many in my court, I am humbled at our selection for each other. I have heard many things about you, the many achievements that complement and excel beyond my own. The tender age at which you passed the "Exam for Scholars of general Purpose", mastery of your native sword, and other martial arts. Word of the sea is that you take strong pleasure in the written language of your country and many others, including Japanese. Not only your intellect through scholarship, but your wisdom through action and diplomacy has been transmitted through stories of valor even on this side of the sea. I hear of your finely sculpted face, athletic body, and gentle spirit. You, Trowa, I hope are everything I dream for in a mate. By stories you are only one I can dream of. If even half true, I will need not concubines or even a child to make me happy.

Before my mind escapes completely in thoughts of you, the box you received contains things of our country for you to enjoy on the long voyage. I've included my favorite book and other less known books I've enjoyed. I hope you find pleasure in them also.

Day by day, nightfall by nightfall, I dream of you.

Treize

Taken back by woo upon woo, Trowa sat contently thinking about his future husband. If his eloquence were as good in person as it was in the letter, he would be captive for a lifetime to come.

Finally, his gaze drifted to his softly snoring companion, then to the box. He removed the unfamiliar titles then pulled out the first of several kimono. This first was a fiery red sunset with greenery at the bottom of the sleeves and the body. The clothing looked just like it did in all the books he'd read, except better. He immediately stripped down and wrapped himself in it. The cool silk warmed instantly around his body as he tied the garment on. His thin figure was accentuated in this piece as he stared at himself in the mirror. All the things about his body that Treize recited in the letter hit him for the first time. He'd never really thought about or had taken notice of how well he kept himself. Not even Wufei commented on his physique. This man across the sea knew what Trowa never knew he wanted to hear about himself. Cuddled in his new garb, the green-eyed boy fell asleep in the soft chair with the letter pressed to his heart.

Part 2