++Chapter 3++
"Duo's Plight"

"Wake him up."
A boot connecting with his ribs dragged Duo out of the semi-conscious state he had drifted into. He curled up in a fetal position, grunting painfully as the air was driven from his lungs.
"Leave us."
A door shut, and Duo lay very still as he regained his breath, trying to take stock of his situation from his place on the floor. He glanced around warily at what he could see from his position. A bookshelf, a few chairs... were those desk legs? An office of some sort. He slowly pushed himself into a sitting position, wincing and reaching up to gingerly finger his nose. He breathed a sigh of relief. Not broken, thankfully- just swollen. He fingered his top lip next, carefully. Cut, probably from his own teeth when that stinking gorilla had introduced him to his hairy fist. Muttering darkly to himself, he rose unsteadily to his feet, turning to face the person leaning against the front of the desk, watching him silently.
He was older than Duo, probably very late teens. He was nothing special to look at- not bad looking, but not dashingly handsome, either. A curly mass of dark red hair and piercing green eyes seemed to be his best features. He lounged against the desk arrogantly, arms crossed over his chest, and watched his prisoner with faint amusement. He was dressed simply in jeans and a t-shirt, but the design on the t-shirt reminded Duo vaguely of some of the symbols he had seen in one of the books he'd read at the library. Wiping blood carelessly from his mouth, Duo adopted a lazy stance and offered his most unimpressed, "I ain't tellin you shit" look. "Who the hell are you?"
"So you're Duo Maxwell." The boy grinned, a weird half-smile. "I've heard interesting things about you, Maxwell-kun."
"Yeah, I'm quite a superstar, ain't I?" What the hell? Duo kept a straight face. "You gonna answer me or just stand there and try to look cool?"
Annoyance flashed in the boy's eyes for a brief moment, then was gone as he regained his arrogant look. "Oh, you must have heard of me," he said airily, then gave that weird half-smile again. "Name's Davarius. Pleasure to finally meet you... Duo."
Davarius, Davarius... the name rang a bell. Then it hit him. Heero had said in his report that Dr. J had mentioned a 'Davarius'. Someone looking for Quatre. Someone dangerous. He was instantly on his guard, though he didn't show it. "Never heard of you."
The boy laughed outright, pushing himself away from the desk. "I thought Duo Maxwell never lied."
Duo felt his mouth twitch into the beginnings of a frown. "People change."
"So they do." The boy grinned, as if laughing at some inside joke. "You probably have no idea why you're here."
"Ah, a psychic. Will wonders never cease."
"Your little blond friend was taken." Davarius's eyes seemed to bore a hole into Duo, pinning him to the spot. "I have an idea who took him, but I don't know where he is. You're going to tell me, Duo. Where is Winner?"
Duo shrugged carelessly. "I give up," he said flippantly. "I don't know either. But I'm going to get to him before you do, so why don't you just give up while you're ahead?"
Davarius was still grinning, but his eyes narrowed as he strode forward, then slowly began to pace around Duo. Duo remained still, following him with his eyes. "I don't find you very funny, Duo. Are you trying to be? I'm going to give you one more chance. Where is the boy?"
"I don't know." Duo stuck out his jaw stubbornly. "I'm still looking for the squirt. So bugger off. Besides, even if I knew, you actually think I'd tell you?"
Davarius paused on his left, reaching out to finger the end of Duo's braid thoughtfully, staring hard at him. "Are you lying again, Mr. Maxwell?"
Duo tossed his head, twitching the hair from the older boy's loose grasp. "No. So why don't you just let me go before I get blood all over your nice wood floor?"
Davarius snorted. "I can see you're going to be stubborn. I repeat, I am not amused. It looks like you're going to have to be *persuaded*."
"You gonna torture me?" Duo leered, as if the idea was ludacris. Inside, his stomach fluttered. Pain. Ick. Leave that to Heero. He'd rather use his mouth to get out of trouble. "Don't bother. I'm not lying- I don't know where Quatre is. So what's the point? What do you want with him, anyway?"
"That isn't any of your business." Davarius retrieved the braid, tightening his grip this time and holding it further up, closer to Duo's head, to prevent escape. Duo flinched, his skin crawling at the boy's touch and close proximity.
"Let go of the braid, mac."
"You're of no use to me if you don't know his whereabouts," Davarius said in resignation, ignoring his command. "You can sit in a cave for awhile to cool your heels until we've found him, and think about the error of your ways."
Phew. No blood loss. Thank you Shinigami.
"But before that..." He tugged slightly, grinning.
Duo instinctively stepped away, opening his mouth to offer a nasty comment.
Davarius moved with frightening speed and violence, yanking Duo viciously by his braid and slamming him forwards into the desk. Duo yelled with pain, spitting out a few choice words about his captor's ancestors.
Davarius gave him an impatient push, and he managed to catch the edge of the desk, sprawling halfway across it with an "oof!" on his stomach. He gave a cry of pain as his right arm was seized and twisted ruthlessly behind his back, pinning him. "OWW! Goddammit! You little fuck! Let me go!"
"But it's time for your torture," Davarius breathed in his ear, leaning over him, pressed close to his back. His free hand moved downwards, tugging at Duo's belt. "I thought you weren't afraid of torture, Duo."
An icicle of undeniable fear and revulsion stabbed through Duo. Oh shit.
Oh shit oh shit oh FUCK. He's going to fucking rape me.
Fuck fuck somebody fucking HELP me goddammit! Get me the hell out of here NOW!
Cursing, he jerked back with his left arm, causing himself even more pain as his trapped arm twisted more. His elbow connected with flesh and bone, and Davarius howled in fury, falling back marginally, and Duo felt a surge of hope.
Then Davarius was leaning his entire body weight down on him ruthlessly, and he gasped in pain as his arm was crushed even more, struggling to breathe properly. Davarius yanked, and Duo cursed loudly, thrashing as his pants were jerked down almost to his knees. Davarius was breathing hard in his ear, muttering something, but he couldn't hear over the impossibly loud pounding of his own heart.
Oh god not this not this anything but this... somebody fucking help me...Heero..
"Are you a virgin, Duo?" Davarius hissed in his ear.
Duo closed his eyes tightly and steeled himself for the agony that was coming.
There was a knock at the door.
Both boys froze. Finally Davarius shifted slightly, calling impatiently, "Who is it?"
Duo held his breath, realizing belatedly that he was dangerously close to helpless tears.
"Sir, we've got an important message for you! It's urgent!"
Davarius paused, frustrated and undecided, before giving Duo one more spiteful shove and straightening, releasing his hold on Duo's arm and backing away, turning towards the door. "Pull up your pants, brat," he snarled in contempt.
Duo had collapsed to the floor, too weak-kneed with relief to rise for a moment. If his arm hadn't been screaming like a bitch he would have laid into the scowling boy. Rising shakily and painfully, he pulled up his pants hastily, zipping them just as Davarius ordered, "Enter."
An older man opened the door and stepped halfway into the room, favoring Duo with a fleeting glance before turning his attention on Davarius. "Sir, he requests your immediate response. He's on line two."
Davarius nodded, gesturing towards Duo and striding towards his desk. Duo noted with fierce satisfaction that he did not do so until the guard had come closer, and he gave Duo a wide berth. That's right, motherfucker, he thought savagely, you come any closer and I'll rearrange your fucking face. You're damn lucky it's my striking arm you pinned.
"Take this brat to the caves and keep him there until I say otherwise."
"Yes, sir." The man grabbed Duo by his unhurt arm, hauling him towards the door easily, despite his struggles. After a moment Duo subsided- he didn't fancy *two* fucked up arms.
The man led him outside into the afternoon sunlight and towards a black chevy. Two other men appeared from behind the building, one of them sliding into the driver's seat. Duo twisted his head around, determined to memorize the building's whereabouts, but the man dragging him produced a hankerchief and tied it roughly around his eyes, efficiently blindfolding him despite his angry squawks and struggles. Then he was pushed into the car, the men sliding in to sit on either side of him, practically squishing him, and the car pulled away.
He sat in silence for the duration of the drive, planning his escape while the driver and the stranger seated to his left talked in loud spanish to each other. OK, Duo thought to himself, when they get out of the car I'll jump out and knock one of 'em over and run for it. They'll never catch a thief on the run. Yeah. No way.
After what felt like forever, the car finally came to a stop and the men beside him him shifted, opening the doors and getting out. Duo reached up with one hand, ripping the blindfold down from his eyes even as he pulled himself out of the car with the other, kicking off of the floor for momentum.
He barreled into the spanish guy that had been sitting next to him, and they both went down with a loud "OOF!". He was scrambling to his feet in the next instant, narrowly avoiding the driver's grabbing hands, and then he was off like a rabbit on the run.
They had been on some kind of dirt path, parked right in front of some hilly caves, and he skirted them quickly, weaving towards the trees. They were surrounded by fucking trees. They had driven him to the middle of bum-fucked egypt. Would his partners ever have found him if he'd been thrown in those caves? He didn't think so.
He could hear shouting and pounding feet closing fast. Shit, that driver could run. He put on an extra burst of speed. He hit the tree line and found himself jumping over roots, skirting thorn bushes. Deja vu, he thought wryly. This was like the time he had met Atreusio....
The man was faster than he thought. With a lucky grab, the tips of the man's fingers grasped Duo by the back of the shirt with enough of a jerk to slow him down for a fraction of a second, then he was cannoning forward, knocking them both to the ground, pinning Duo's smaller frame underneath his. Shouting curses and threats, Duo struggled as best he could under the other man's weight, even as the man's knees came to rest heavily on his arms, his big hands practically crushing his skull and pushing his cheek into the loam. Spitting out dirt and leaves, Duo continued with his furious tirade until he ran out of breath and simply lay there gasping, giving a violent twitch every now and then to test the man's grip as his pursuer, still kneeling on him, also caught his breath, muttering curses in his native tongue.
"You shouldna struggled, punk, you shouldna struggled," the man said breathlessly as he jerked Duo to his feet, pinning both hands behind his back. "Th' boss said he don't care what we do to you, an' now I'm gonna fuck you up, you got it?"
Duo winced. He had a feeling the man was referring to actual torture- not Davarius's sick idea of it. Lovely. Plenty of pain and blood.
He was gonna throttle Heero for this.
The man hesitated, squinting up at the sky as his partner came loping through the trees towards him, wheezing. "Hey, you hear dat? Is that thunder?"
The other man came to a halt, leaning over with his hands on his knees as he gasped for breath, saying something impolite in spanish.
Duo strained his ears. It sounded kind of like thunder rumbling far off...
But it wasn't. He knew that sound anywhere.
"C'mon, kid, we're goin'," his captor ordered, pushing him roughly forwards. Duo planted his feet firmly, twisting his head to grin impudently up at him. The rumbling was much louder, much closer. Almost directly overhead.
"Yeah, sure, but first I gotta say hello."
The man blinked dumbly. "Wot the 'ell you talkin' about? Say 'ello? T'who?"
Duo nodded cheerfully behind the man. "Just my friend."
There was a blast of engines as a gundam appeared from the sky as if by magic, tree branches snapping in its descent to earth. It landed heavily before the gaping men, arms aimed at them threateningly. A calm, cold voice spoke over the loudspeaker. "Don't move."
Duo smirked, easily twisting out of the man's lax grip. "Hey, Heavyarms," he greeted airily. "How's it hangin'?"


author's notes: by the way, this fic is rated R not only for the violence in it, but for the language, as you must have guessed... ^^;;

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