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PYROMANIA: The presence of multiple episodes of deliberate and purposeful fire setting.

You know you hear these stories about people and you think it's crazy what they do and their reasons for it. I learned at a young age, everyone has their reasons, it's just that sometimes their reasons won't make sense to you. So what were my reasons? My reasons for being utterly insane half my life and for twisting the other half? Simple, it was all him.

It sounds cliché to sit here and say it was his eyes, or his legs, or the way his mouth curved when he smiled. When what it really was, was that hair. It was the first thing that caught my eye, and the last thing I saw of him. Hair like a sunset that flew over his shoulders, hair like a bonfire dancing around him as he moved. Long and red, streaks of golden blond running through it, licking like flames. And then it was his eyes.

It surprised me to find I liked him, and not for the usual reasons. Not because he was popular, aggressive, rich, but because of his looks. You see, before I met him, I didn't like guys in that way. You think I'm lying, but it's true. Of course, I didn't care for girls much either. Neither sex had any attractions for me; nothing grabbed my attention, nothing, and absolutely nothing got to me the way he did.

Right from the start, from that first glimpse of crimson and gold, I was caught in him.

How it all started, is a longer story, why we met, why we became what we did. I could try and hide my part in it…but there's not much point now, is there?


EVIDENCE OF: Tension or affective arousal before the act.

If anyone told him, what was said when someone new pointed him out, or what they thought he looked like as he walked down a hall. His lip would have curled, a sneer appearing on his face, those incredible eyes narrowing at the description of himself. Androgynous, beautiful, cold, strange. Most of the time people didn't know his sex unless it was stated outright.

The first time I caught sight, the only thing that stayed with me was the hair. Long and unencumbered, trailing down the back of the black jacket like a twisting wildfire. It caught all light, heaving it in to itself, shining, brighter than any sunlight. It looked almost, alive.

I actively set to looking for it after that. Eyes always on the prowl for that waterfall of hair, that blaze of dead cells. But it didn't fall into my gaze again for a week after that first time, not until I lit a cigarette, and blew the smoke towards the horizon.

I had read once somewhere, or seen it on television. Someone had said that smoking was like giving into a primal urge, to be one with the fire. By smoking, you took in a part of it, some caveman ancestor howling with joy back in the past at your magical ability. Primal, that's definitely how I would have described it, something inside rooted to the idea. The light of a match, the rasp, the flare of it, sucking fire through the end of a cigarette. That brief blaze and sputter as it lit, and then…Inhale…exhale…breathe…

Was I not a god? My Neanderthal cousins of the past would have loved it.

The teachers and loitering security guards might have had a less enthusiastic response.

I was hunched beside a fallen column of concrete; my jacket pulled up about my neck, hair smacking my cheeks into redness. It was morning, time to head to class, but I ignored that urge, that ringing bell. Instead, I had sat down and lit a cigarette, eyeing the dawn light, now moving into midmorning light. A clatter of stones nearby jerking me back into awareness of my surroundings, my eyes leaving the light, casting about in the shadows for the source.

A figure moved away from the end of the column, stepping around it easily, moving forward into the morning, face becoming lit. That hair, there it was again, fire, living breathing fire. I held my breath, staring with unreserved awe.

"Got a light?"

I tried to speak, words failing me for once in my life, something glib and smooth unable to roll off my tongue. And so, wordlessly, speechless, I held out a pack of matches. The white fingers that brushed mine, sending a strange tingle through my hand at the touch.

"You're new here. Saw you getting the grand tour last week."

I willed my eyes further upwards, past those alabaster hands, gliding over the black shirt, open jacket, pale neck. I could actually see the pulse of the artery there; slender blue veins just below the skin. Not a freckle to be seen, nothing to mar the skin. My eyes again traveled up, noting the full mouth, turned up ever so slightly at the corners, pert nose turned up almost in an echo of that Mona Lisa smile. But the eyes, they grabbed me next, spinning the world around and plunking me down into the center of it. They met my own with a clash that was almost audible, deep and alluring, wet and dark. Misty blue, clear as glass, a rainbow of the ocean as seen through a crystal.

"I'm Duo Maxwell."

The name seemed to echo inside my head, ringing repeatedly, Duo. Unconsciously my mouth formed words, spilling them out into the morning. "Heero Yuy."

A nod was his response, a shifting of fire over shoulder blades. "Where you from Heero?"

"San Francisco." I wasn't sure how I managed to answer, those eyes staring into me, peering at my soul.

"Interesting look you've got, sort of European."

Small talk that's all it was, just a chattering that filled the air, covering over nervousness and desire. I nodded; I'd heard this before, so many people in my life fascinated with my looks, the slant of my eyes, the coloring of my skin. I remained silent, remembering the cigarette still lit between my fingers, drawing in a breath of smoke, exhaling it into the wind. My eyes were still on that hair, drawn to it in the way moths found death. "Yeah."

He moved closer, hunching down into a crouch beside me, glancing over, looking away. He hadn't actually used the matches I'd given him yet, sliding them into his pocket instead, fingers staying inside, absently caressing. "You like this place?"

"What?" I was drawn out of my contemplation, meeting his eyes for a moment, shivering, telling myself it was merely the wind. "It's all right."


The wind whipped up, slicing through the air; the sun becoming shadowed as clouds rolled in. I glanced up, moving to stand, a hand resting on my forearm halting me.

"Not going to class are you?"

"No," I stared at the accumulating clouds above, grimacing as the wet splat of rain began.

"Come with me then?"

"Where?" and I made the mistake of looking at that face again, meeting the challenge hidden in those mystic blue eyes. "Ok."


SYMPTONS OF: Fascination with, interest in, curiosity about, or attraction to fire and its situational contexts.

That of course, was that. No one turned down friendship when it was offered by Duo Maxwell, and perhaps that was because it was such a rare offer. I didn't turn it down; I don't think I was ever given the option.

Weeks followed that day we met, and I only liked him more, admired him; perhaps, I even worshiped him. He was certainly a god when looked upon by anyone who didn't know him. Though, as I learned more about him, who he was, what he was about, he only became more godlike in my estimation.

There he was, a sixteen year old boy, and more popular than a slutty cheerleader, more mysterious than books you were forbidden, more enticing than illegality. And there I was, nearly a foot taller, two years older, sarcastic and withdrawn, dark and brooding, different from him in so many ways it was a wonder he kept me around.

Often, I sat and contemplated that, why he kept me near him, why he even bothered. Perhaps, what he saw in my eyes was fuel? Dry wood on a cold and wet night, kindling.


It developed into a morning ritual, meeting in front of the main entrance of the school, exchanging small talk with the other boys Duo chose to know. His little group, his gang, his men at arms perhaps. The three boys were similar to Duo, all good looking, intelligent, and wise beyond their few years. What had made them this way, turned them into such adults at such tender ages, I could only guess at.

There was Quatre, the tiny blond boy a match for Duo in looks and height, small and compact, perfectly formed, a doll of a boy. It was rather obvious that I was not the only one to have noticed the sheer prettiness of him. Trowa never let his gaze wander far from the golden haired youth, his vivid green eyes constantly watching. Often a protective arm or hand straying, wrapping around a wrist or waist in a possessive way, letting everyone know, this boy was his and his alone.

Then there was Wufei, usually quiet, often downright standoffish. Always with a book tucked under his arm, ready for the reading, chic glasses poised delicately upon his nose. Dark hair pulled back into a small ponytail, laconic eyes looking at the world coldly, until they happened upon one of his friends.

And Duo, it always came back to Duo. The ringleader, the supreme ray of sunshine, light of god, the center of the little group at all times. I could never seem to tear my eyes away from him, that hair, body, and attitude attracting my gaze with a force I was unaccustomed to. The small sixteen-year-old was always filled with a fire, something that drew everyone's eyes, something indescribable, a magnetic force.

As soon as Duo had shown that I was accepted, I'd been accepted. No questions asked, no miniature battles of will. His friends taking me in, letting me belong. And for once in my life, I didn't feel out of place. The other boys were similar to Duo, each brilliant in his own fashion, beautiful, aloof. But none had that same attraction, that certain something that drew people to you just because of the way you were.

Occasionally Duo would walk with me to the back area of the school before the first bell rung, stand with me and watch me as I lit a cigarette, inhaling and blowing the smoke towards the sky. I found it absolutely erotic the way he would stare at my hands, my mouth, nearly trembling with some bizarre need. Several times, I offered Duo a smoke, only to be turned down and merely watched, stared at.

I didn't need a mirror to understand why Duo watched me; I was not unaware of the way I looked. People had told me my entire life how handsome I was, containing that rarity of beauty and masculinity all in one package. Tall and slim, high cheekbones, exotic eyes in a deep blue, midnight hair that was soft and shiny. I knew exactly what people saw. I'd just never experienced the sensation and enjoyed it, wanted eyes to watch me. But Duo, I wanted in turn to watch as well.

Then the bell would ring, startling us from our contemplation of one another, turning our faces and feet towards the school again. For the rest of the day, I would rarely see the other boys, all except Trowa, the others in a lower division of classes.

Trowa and I developed a stately friendship, finding we were together in class more often than not. Cordiality was always between us, words coming easily, though personal information would not. There always seemed to be something Trowa was on the verge of saying, a secret just for me, and yet he never said it, always turning away first, eyes looking elsewhere.


CHARACTERISTICS OF: Pleasure, gratification, or relief when setting fires, or when witnessing or participating in their aftermath.

It was the matches that I first noticed, they were always around. Duo never lit a cigarette, as far as I knew he didn't smoke at all. And yet, there was always a pack of matches, a lighter, something.

It started out small, my noticing. Until one day, I was over at Duo's house; he was lying flat on his back on the bed, an empty ashtray beside him. Lighting match after match, letting it burn, dropping it into the ashtray. His eyes were far away; fingers pale and sculpted as the fire teased at them.

My eyes were drawn to those hands, watching as they began to tremble, some strange affect taking hold of the small boy that lay so still on the bed. It always amazed me how tiny Duo really was, his spirit always so large, his attitude encompassing so much. When really, I towered over him.

I'd never met anyone quite like him before, that perfectly sculpted body, long despite the height, slender, the figure curving and dipping in all the right places. That beguiling hair, liquid eyes, heart shaped face. And behind it all, the iron will of a military leader, the bravery of a true fighter, the magnetism of something pure.

"Tonight," he whispered from across the room, those alabaster fingers still lighting matches.

"What about it?" My eyes were glued to the way those fingers shook, the shivering of that small body. It was as if there were a desire pouring off him in waves, pheromones in the air.

"We'll go to the beach tonight, you haven't been there yet, have you?" His eyes never wavered, a small grave of matches slowing filling the ashtray, some still lit.

"What's to do at the beach." despite myself, I moved forward, inching closer to that black clad body, watching intently.

And there was that Mona Lisa smile again, mysterious and promising. "We'll have a bonfire."


REASONING: The fire setting is not done for monetary gain; it is not done as an expression of a sociopolitical ideology, it is not done to conceal criminal activity, to express anger or vengeance, or to improve one's living circumstances, it is not done in response to a delusion or hallucination, or as a result of impaired judgment.

The night was lit with stars from above, sand from below, and an ocean just beyond, a fire on the beach the brightest thing of all. The flickering of the flames reflected in darkened blue eyes. I shuddered, inhaling abruptly, realizing I'd been caught staring openly into Duo's eyes, watching the brilliant flame in them. I glanced about, looking for something to say, anything other than an explanation of what had captured my attention so thoroughly.

Captivated, I'd been utterly enthralled by the look on Duo's face as he watched the blaze. There always seemed to be an overpowering emotion sitting inside that small body, sizzling in the air around him. Especially when he was around fire. It was then that I realized, it was the flame that caused the shivering within Duo, it was the fires that lit his eyes, it was lust for the burning.

"Where did Quatre and Trowa go?" I asked after a few more seconds of bewildered staring, shifting on the sand, unconsciously leaning closer.

"Over there." Duo gestured vaguely, sitting up on his knees, settling down onto his heels. The wind whispered, sending sparks flying, capturing red hair and spreading it gently behind him in an undulating wave. His eyes broke at last from their communion with the flame, touching on me and sharing that strange electricity that seemed to flow from him. His eyes were glassy, lips softly parted, wetted by a nervous tongue. "I always wind up sitting here alone."

It was a mystery to me how anyone could leave that lithe and seductive form, tear there gaze away from such perfection. How could they? Every second longer that I sat there, I could no more move than a mountain could, cemented to the spot by that hypnotizing gaze. The way Duo would shudder, as if peaks and rises of pleasure were sifting through him. As if invisible fingers stroked his body. It was mesmerizing.

"You're always watching me." Duo moved closer, putting his hands to the sand, crawling to where I sat. He leaned back on his heels again, pressing his face forward, close enough so that I could smell the set of odors that made him up, see the darker rings of luminous cobalt in his eyes. "Why?"

Struck speechless again, nothing would form on my tongue, there was no answer. I myself hadn't a clue why I was so utterly entranced, why Duo drew me in the way he did. "Hasn't anyone else?"

"Watched me? Of course they have, but…I'm not sure, you look at me differently, you're always just…watching." he looked confused for a moment, tentative, and unsure of himself for once. "Why?" he shook his head from side to side, crimson and gold hair hiding his face from view, marble fingers twisting in the sand.

"Because, you're fascinating." I froze as the truth tumbled out unbidden, snapping my mouth shut and staring into the roaring of the bonfire. I could feel the separate heat of Duo moving closer, almost as hot as the fire in front of me, almost. A milk white hand closed over my wrist, seeming as if it could burn it's way through the skin, leave the mark of fingerprints. So hot for such a cold color, fingernails like glass, skin warmed by the glow of the flame to an almost rosy hue.

When I turned again to face Duo, I fell, noiselessly and completely into the depths of those incandescently burning eyes. I'd been lost since I'd first seen that hair, but now, I was truly gone. A map could never lead me from this twisted path; a compass would never point in the right direction, whatever that might be.

"You look like you've misplaced something."

"No, I'm fine." A way out, I had forgotten to leave myself an escape. I'd been so busy admiring, watching, appraising Duo's every move, that I had not taken the time to shield myself, separate my existence from his. In leaving myself open, I'd begun noticing the more sexual aspects of him, toying with the idea of … and that was the problem, I'd more than toyed with the idea of being with Duo, I'd relished it. Imagining even while distancing myself, wondering what it would be like to touch that translucent skin, taste the sleek curve of neck, bury my hands in that wealth of flaming hair.

Unresisting, I'd been dragged into wanting another male; and it scared me how easily it had happened, always before, I'd never cared. Suddenly there was someone that brought me out of my inner world, only to suck me deep inside of his own. And although Duo's world was much brighter, I knew now, it was a world lit by flame, burning to the ground.

I leant forward suddenly, grabbing the errant hand that still gripped my wrist, pulling it close, wrapping it inside my own hand. My fingers clutched at it for a moment before I met those eyes again, something deep inside me warring and losing even as I stared. I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing would come out, merely a shuddering breath. Blindly I reached for a cigarette, lighting it with a quick burst from my lighter, releasing Duo's hand back to the sand. I stood then, turning to look down at the cause of my distress, inhaling with a ragged puff of my cigarette. "I can't…"

Flames were reflected in those eyes, Duo's lips twisted in the odd little smile. "I could pretend I don't know exactly what you want to say." He stood slowly, looking up to meet my gaze. "But I do, and in answer to this thing you'll never be able to voice, you do." His smile grew, "and you can, and you want to, and you will." He stalked closer with ever word, until at last he stood but a hairsbreadth away, one hand nearly touching my heaving chest. "And you'll never regret a moment," he looked up then, the smile still caressing his lips, "will you?"

Damnation was in those eyes now, but I didn't care, my eyelids sliding closed even as Duo's arms pulled me down. The small weight for some reason easily tugging me off balance, tumbling my body to the sand, moving to straddle my waist, bring hungry lips down for taste. I couldn't stop the gasp that escaped, the heat of that mouth moving over my own more than enough to burn.

Without thought, my fingers wound through the loose waves of hair, a curtain of it shrouding our faces from the world. When the kisses paused for a moment, I opened my eyes, staring with a quivering awe at the firelight shining through those crimson strands, before closing my eyes once more, shutting away that view. Lips began meeting again, Duo's weight pressing me against the sand, delicate hands pushing my shoulders down. Repeatedly those rose-pink lips met mine, until at last they paused, softly moving, parting my own, gently tasting the tip of my tongue.

I let out a groan and Duo's tongue slid inside, touching everything, exploring. I was so involved in it, that I wasn't even aware of when my hands had moved to grip the slim waist, clutch at hips and back. Unconsciously I rocked up into it, fingers sliding lower, spreading out to cover the pert rear end. Muscles rolling to bring Duo fully against myself and grind our bodies together just for the exquisite feel of it. For a moment, it startled me to feel an answering erection against my own, the sensation bizarre. But that moment passed quickly, his small body pressing against me so insistently that it completely claimed my attention before I had time to think.

Slowly I eased up into a sitting position, spreading my legs slightly, hands firmly clasping rounded cheeks, forcing our lower bodies closer. And it was better than anything I'd ever felt before, more urgent and powerful, the need to touch nearly overwhelming me. I wasn't sure how or why it came to be, this intense longing, but it was there now, taking over my body and mind without a shot fired.

Duo's hands slid beneath my jacket, feathering down only to slip beneath my shirt, glide up my stomach, rest over my heartbeat, thump with it. Our mouths opened and parted, gasping breath filling the space between us before they met again. A soft, hot tongue took a brief swipe at my lower lip, sliding along it, easing inside my mouth and gently cajoling my own into playing.

My hips rocked upward, arousal trapped, confined and throbbing inside my jeans, warning me already of impending orgasm. I'd forgotten the beach, the sky, everything but Duo sliding against me, frantic little moans pouring from between those soft lips when they parted from my own long enough to draw breath. Occasionally my eyes would flutter open, catching sight of the flames of the bonfire or the shimmering blaze of Duo's hair surrounding us, alabaster skin turning a gentle pink beneath my eyelashes as they brushed against it.

It was if he sensed this building within my body, as if he knew what would happen if he kept going. It would be more than merely having me get off inside my pants, it would be a conquering. And I was willing to let it happen, more than willing, I wanted it, needed it. My fingers tightened on the firm curves of his ass even as the kisses became fiercer, sounds and sight a far away thing, melting into the background of mass sexual transit.

It was interesting that we didn't speak, only moans, small grunts, harsh breathing breaking the silence of the beach. Dimly, an accompaniment to us, was the crackling of the fire, the smell of smoke on the air. And then my concentration slipped away, my world becoming Duo as he pushed one small hand down the front of my jeans; breaking off from my mouth and watching the expressions travel over my face. Meeting his eyes was difficult, so intense were the feelings and emotions that went through me.

When I did glance up, his eyes were flame reflections, twin blue burnings as they watched, his hand bringing me closer and closer to completion while all I could do was lie back and feel. Briefly, I wondered if he'd done something like this before, his hand so practiced, skilled. But then my attention fixed firmly on the pleasure of it, blocking out those aimless and jealous thoughts, my body arching into his touch. It didn't matter, it wouldn't have mattered if he'd screwed the entire football team, I was the one he was touching now, and I was the one he was watching.

A soft cry left my lips at the same time he coaxed the sticky fluid from my cock, his mouth falling to catch first a lick of semen and then a kiss from my lips. The hunger inside me had not abated even with completion. I knew that a hundred such times could pass, and I would always want more of him, crave him. That was the moment that I realized I would do anything for him.


PLANNING: considerable advance preparation is made for starting a fire.

That night I dreamed in technicolor. Seeing again the beach and Duo's flaming hair. In the dream there was a circle of fire that ringed us, eyes barely visible beyond it, watching as we writhed against one another in the sand. It was one of those dreams that are so impossibly real, that when at last you jerk upwards, eyes opening in the dark, you swear someone has just been touching you. I woke with an erection and my thoughts in a jumble, the feel of Duo against me still fresh from the beach and my dream.

Still echoing inside my head was what he'd whispered, replaying soundlessly.

"Mine for the burning."

If my descent had a beginning, it was then.


FEELINGS: They may be indifferent of consequences to life and property caused by the fire. They may derive satisfaction from the results.

Three fires were put out by the local department that week, one in the school, one on an empty street in town, the third…well, the third they never did find.

That fire had been safer than the other two, set in the fireplace at my house, a small burning of wood and newspaper while I laid Duo out on the rug in front of it. His hair spread around his head in scarlet waves as I lowered him, eyes turned to the side to watch the flames. Some might find this tendency of his annoying, always staring at the fires instead of you. It never bothered me though, I'd always known it would come first. I was happy with being able to capture his attention if even for a short time. The look on his face as he stared into the flames was well worth it, desire shuddering through that small body and heightening my own.

My craving for him had only grown with each of our encounters, every time we touched it only became harder to resist. Though whom I was trying to fool by resisting at all was left unknown. Was it myself? I didn't know.

It didn't matter, every time I even so much as tried to withhold myself from reaching for him, he would push himself into my hands, make his body available and willing. And nothing but the ache would be left, that need to touch.

I sometimes wondered if it was the newness of it that made it so exciting, Duo being the first person I'd ever really wanted to run my hands down, kiss until breathless. He was the first person I'd ever let see me in such a state, so needy. He was the first person I'd ever had sex with, and that perhaps weighed far heavier than I realized at the time. He was my first for many things, and maybe fate was setting it all up.

In front of the fireplace was where we finally consummated our decidedly odd tryst. Peeling the clothes from him and spreading the snow-white skin of his thighs, leaning down to let my tongue travel up one creamy rib, over the pink of a nipple, and meet his mouth in a head on collision. Already I'd had one orgasm inside that mouth, I could still taste it even as my tongue slid against his, it hadn't surprised me that it'd tasted like smoke.

I paused as I held the heel of one of those dainty feet in my palm, the other hand grasping my erection, ready to push inside of him. A condom would have been useful, perhaps even something to slip up the whole affair, but in the rush, I'd forgotten to care. As my gaze fell to that lithe, pale form stretched out beneath me, nothing mattered, the world could have burned down around us and I wouldn't have noticed nor shed a tear.

Then I was easing inside of him, his soft and muted cries hidden behind the hand he clutched to his mouth. Later there would be finger shaped bruises left on the top of his foot where I held it, angry red marks left on his hand and wrist where he'd bitten down. At the time it had gone unnoticed, all attention focused on where our bodies were becoming joined. That image of him, lying beneath me, hair spread out like a blanket around us, his eyes open and staring, muscles clenching only to relax, stayed with me years later. A mental snapshot.

We rocked, speed gathering, moans gaining in volume until we were howling, shouting as our bodies came together. Soon even the fire was forsaken, the heat forming between us much stronger than any mere flame. It ended much too soon, a final thrust, a quivering, and I was through, spilling inside of him, trembling as I held him close. Gathering him to my chest, I savored the sensation, never knowing if I would feel it again.


CONSEQUENCES: Property damage, legalities, injury or loss of life

I should have known I would though. Two months later we stood together in a forest, and I lit a match.

I know it doesn't sound very exciting, but as I tossed that match, the world lit on fire. I did it for Duo, planning for two months, figuring out which forest would suite my purposes best, how to go about lighting a fire that would burn torridly and not spread too far. A controlled forest fire.

The trees began to catch, underbrush lighting, birds flying out in flocks, and with one look at Duo's face, I'd known I'd done it right. Instantly he became mesmerized, those blue eyes glued to the flame, expression melting into desire as he watched. He seemed about to drop to his knees, so weighty was the thrill for him. Then he did fall, and I was there to catch him, bring him down with me.

The flames leapt from tree to tree, higher and hotter as they went, and my mind was trapped on Duo, hands holding him close as he lolled in my arms. He wiggled slightly, arms coming up to circle my neck, eyes still staying on the fires, maneuvering his body until his back pressed against my chest. Again, his body was shaking with desire, waves of it pulsing through his blood, sending him shuddering against me. This was what I'd wanted, been waiting for.

As his eyes remained on the inferno, my hands and mouth became busy. He was all the fire I wanted or needed, a burn that never showed, but was always there. He muttered no protest as I unzipped and slid his jeans down, pushing his legs to either side of my own, spreading him for the taking.

And take I did, in the middle of the burning woods, one of my hands circling the slim ribs, the other braced on a sleek white thigh. Thrusting upwards in a hard move, throwing my head back at the velvet embrace of his body letting me inside. Nothing would ever rival the exquisite feel of him, nothing.

What draws you to another human being? Is it pheromones? Is it destiny? What makes you want them like no other? Need them like air to breathe, sustenance to survive?

Duo had changed me forever with my need for him. And in my life, I would never know whether to look back and thank him, or look back and curse him. He had made his world my own, and I'd gone willingly. Why? Why else, but for love?


"So you see, this is the reason for your death, and these are my reasons for killing you the way I will." I reach out and run the pads of my fingers over his cheek, never flinching at the look of fear in his eyes.

"Duo has made me what I am, and there will never be any going back." I check the bindings on him one more time; they'll go up in flames and be virtually undetectable by a forensic pathologist. It will be hard to tell why this man died in the fire, whether it was accidental, or done on purpose. But then, that's my job and I do it well.

"You're sick." He mutters, and I slip my hand over his mouth, meeting those fear filled eyes.

"No, I'm in love. No one else can ever matter. Not now, nor ever again." I glance about, triple checking everything. "Now open wide my pretty, just need to fill you up with something flammable." Briefly I let the thrill fill my vision, let this man see his death. He of course refuses to open his mouth, but that's an easy thing to get by, and when he does at last open wide, the needle is in and out of the inner side of his cheek with ease. "There, just a little something to add to the confusion." I pat his cheek again, smiling softly; it's time to go.

I pick up my bag, giving him a final glance and slipping out. As I exit the building my finger caresses the `go' button - as Duo has taken to calling it - and my eyes shift to take in the small figure standing beside a tree near the edge of the parking lot.

"Did it go well?" He asks as I approach, that secret smile twisting his lips upward.

"Of course." I hold out the trigger to him, watching as his face lights up. "Would you like to do the honors?"

His answer is a barely heard moan, a shudder running over his body.

I turn my head, glancing back at the building, seconds pass, and then a dull explosion is heard, the building doing a slow pulse as the fires begin. My eyes are drawn back to Duo, and I'm lost. No path leads out of this, no map will ever show the way, but happily, I will drown in the darkness that is love.


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