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Video Boys (parts 11 - epilogue)

Tigress Pern

Part Eleven

Duo heard talking. He opened his eyes, but quickly shut them as a bright light blinded him. He tried to move, but found himself held fast by something.

Cursing under his breath, he pulled at his restraints, testing them for weaknesses. There were none. Sagging from exhaustion, he once more opened his eyes.

This time he did it slowly to allow them time to adjust to the light. Looking about, Duo discovered that he was in a room, strapped to a stainless steal table with a big light suspended above him. To the left of him were all sorts of computers and wires. Some of the wires connected to the table and some directly to him. Duo had a very bad feeling about this.

To his right, Quatre stirred. He too was strapped to a table and Duo could see that he wasn't wearing anything. Come to think of it, neither was he.

"Psst. Quatre." Duo hissed. Quatre opened his eyes.



"Where are we?"

"I don't know. The last thing I remember are those two guys appearing and picking a fight with us. It looks like we lost." Duo rolled his eyes as he remembered the two tall men, one was wearing a mask and the other had split eyebrows. Something about them was familiar.

"You know, those two guys?" Quatre asked.


"I think I've seen them before."

"Me too."

"I think." Quatre broke off. His head suddenly hurt. The more he tried to remember where he'd seen those two men, the more his head ached. "I can't remember." He whispered.

"Neither can I. Listen, I can't get loose from my restraints, can you?" Quatre tried, but failed.

"Nope. Looks like we're stuck." His calm voice betrayed the panic that was rising in him. Duo began looking around the room for anything to cut themselves free with.

"You can't get free." A voice said. A man with short ginger hair and blue eyes appeared. He was tall and was dressed in a fine suit and black boots. Beside him stood the man in the mask. He had long platinum blonde hair that fell nearly to his waist. He wore a dark red suit and black boots. Duo narrowed his eyes.

"Who the fuck do you think you are?! You can't go randomly around kidnapping people, stripping them and then hooking them up to a bunch of wires. We have rights, you know!"

"You have no rights." Treize said smoothly dusting a piece of lint off his blue suit. "You are Video Boys." Duo and Quatre's jaws dropped. "You do not technically exist, therefore you can lay no claim to any sort of right."

"What do you want us for?" Quatre demanded. Treize walked towards the computers and pulled out a stool from amongst the tangles of wires. Sitting done, he straightened his suit jacket out before continuing.

"You two are broken. Something has caused you to deviate from your programming and you have run amuck. As one of the co-owners of OZ Video Rentals, I cannot have faulty merchandise. Both myself and Zechs, the other co-owner, have decided to terminate and replace you." Treize picked up a keyboard. "Video People aren't supposed to have human emotions other than what they were programmed with. Both of you have exhibited a wide range of human emotion and we simply cannot have that. This is nothing personal, just business."

"Yeah, but do we have to be naked when you delete us?" yelled Duo. "I mean I'm totally embarrassed having some old guys looking at me!"

"We're not old." Zechs snarled.

"Could have fooled me!" Duo snapped back. Zechs glared at him through his mask. Duo stuck out his tongue. "BEEEEE-DAAAAA!"

"Duo!" Quatre cried shocked that Duo was egging them on. The last thing they needed was for Treize to hit the delete key before Trowa and Heero rescued them. That's if they realized he and Duo were missing and figured out where they were being held.

"Yes, this is exactly what I mean. This sort of behavior cannot continue." Treize said. "Now, I'm going to start the deleting process, which will take about fifteen minutes to run. There are a lot of corrupted files here."

"Why can't you let us be?" inquired Quatre.

"Because." Zechs told him. Quatre bit the bottom of his lip. "Come on Treize. Let's get this started. The sooner we're done the sooner we can get back to our suite."

"Indeed." Treize said.

"NO!" Quatre cried. "You can't do this! We're practically human again!" Duo turned his head to look at Quatre. What did he mean 'human again'? They'd always been Video Boys. Hadn't they? He began to think back, back before he'd met Heero. His head ached, but he forced himself past the pain. He needed to, there was something important that he had to remember.

Suddenly it hit Duo like a ton of bricks. He remembered how when he had first met Quatre in the kitchen, they thought they recognized each other. The reason they'd thought this was because they had met each other. Forty years ago they were friends at a private all boys' school. The health teacher had decided that since there were films on how to properly brush your teeth that there needed to be some on proper dating procedures. He, Quatre and several other boys had volunteered to make the films. While looking in the drama department they'd discovered an old camera and decided to use it. Unbeknownst to them there was a curse on the camera and it had sucked them into it the film. They were now part of the film reliving their segments over and over again. Each of their separate segments had originally been on one film, but then had been divided up into two when they went from film to video. And the people who had owned the original movie camera that had started this were named Kushrenada and Merquise. The two men before them were the sons of the boys who'd locked them in that camera!

Treize raised an eyebrow.

"Oh, really. Come now. Video People were never human. You're just from the old movies our fathers made with that enchanted camera."

"More like a cursed camera!" Duo yelled. "Your father's trapped us on film then later on video. Dammit! We had lives once!" Treize yawned.

"Treize, just hit the delete button." Zechs said.

Treize nodded and pressed the key. Electricity shot through the wires and Duo could feel himself begin to slip away.

"Kuso." Quatre whimpered. "KUSO! We were so close Duo. If they'd just left us we could have broken completely free from our prison. We would have been human again."

"I know." Duo replied. "And just as we remember too. This totally bites."

"I didn't even get to say good bye to Heero."

"I didn't say good bye to Trowa. I'm going to miss him."


A voice declared as the door to the room was kicked open and a Chinese boy holding a sword appeared in the room. Behind him was a woman with a large gun, Heero and Trowa. Noin took one look at what was going on and who was doing it and narrowed her eyes.

"Treize, you will stop this immediately." She ordered.

"I have already begun. There is no stopping the process." He replied standing.

"Omae o korosu." Heero growled aiming straight at Zechs.

"Zechs, Treize. Stop this injustice." Wufei snarled striding towards them.

"My little dragon, why do you care? They're just Video Boys. Besides you know what happens when you go against me." Wufei lowered his sword. "That's right.  That's a good little dragon."

"What's wrong with him?" whispered Trowa to Noin.

"He and Treize have been dating. Any time Wufei does something Treize doesn't like, he gets to sleep on the couch, if you know what I mean." Trowa nodded. "And I'm almost in the same boat with Zechs, but at this point I don't care. This is wrong."

"Let Duo go." Heero ordered.

"No." replied Zechs.

"Hey! Is the Chinese boy dating Treize?" Duo called.

"Hai." Replied Noin.

"Then maybe he should know that he and the blonde showed up in our room last night wearing only their pajamas and kept calling each other Zechsy-bunny and Mistress Treize." Both older men turned red. Duo smiled evilly. "Not only that, I swear I smelled rose scented massage oil and there was this musky smell to them both."

"TWO TIMER!" Both Wufei and Noin screamed. They launched themselves at their significant others and proceeded to beat the living daylights out of them. In the mean time, Trowa and Heero ran over to the computer and quickly began hacking into to it to turn off the deletion process. Time was running out.

Glancing over at the two Video Boys, Heero noticed that they were beginning to fade. No! He couldn't let them disappear. He still had so much to tell Duo and he knew Trowa felt the same about Quatre. He couldn't let them go. Heero's fingers flew across the keys while Trowa tried to remove the wires from them.

Unfortunately, every time he did, he was shocked. The clock was ticking and Heero was getting no where. Cursing mentally, he hit control, alt, delete, but nothing happened. Shit, we're almost out of time. Suddenly the computers went dead. Heero and Trowa looked at each other then over at the four combatants.

Noin kicked the power cord off her foot, narrowed her eyes and went off on Zechs again.

"Now why didn't we try that earlier?" asked Trowa.

"I don't know." Heero replied.

"Hey, it stopped." Duo said.

"Yeah!" Quatre cried. "Now, could somebody UNTIE ME!" Trowa ran over and quickly began uniting Quatre.

As he did he noticed how transparent Quatre was. Both he and Duo were safe, but they weren't completely themselves.

"Trowa? Are you all right, you're crying?" Quatre asked sitting up. Trowa didn't even realize he was, but he wiped his eyes anyway.

"I'm glad you weren't deleted." Quatre turned a shade of pink.

"Unfortunately, we're a little see-through now and I don't know how to fix it."

"It's all right." Trowa whispered, offering Quatre his hand. Quatre placed his in Trowa's. It felt as weightless as paper. Trowa squeezed it and pulled Quatre down and into his arms. He paused for just a moment then leaned down and caught Quatre's mouth.

The other boy was surprised, his eyes growing wide at Trowa's aggressiveness. He couldn't turn him away though. Quatre caught Trowa's lips just as he broke off and kissed him back. Trowa hugged the featherweight tightly. Quatre was so frail that Trowa was worried that he'd slip right through his fingers. It felt more like he was holding air rather than Quatre.

Heero and Duo weren't paying attention to them. Instead, Heero was handing Duo Treize's coat, which had come off during the fight, to cover himself with.

"Thanks." Duo said. "Not that it does much good since I'm practically invisible as it is." He hopped down. "Still. Thanks for coming after me... ah... us."

"You're welcome." Heero replied.

"So how'd your date with Relena go?"

"Horrible. It started out fine, then when we got back to her fell apart." Duo silently thanked whatever powerful being had been looking after him, then mentioned that it would be nice to be whole.

"Say no more. I still have two days left. I'll think of something to get you two together." Duo said trying to pretend he didn't have feelings for Heero.

"I don't want to get together with her." Duo looked puzzled.

"Then, wh... mmmmmmmm." Heero's kiss silenced the Video Boy. Duo lost hold of the coat, letting it fall to the ground. Heero pulled him closer to him. Duo wrapped his arms around Heero's neck, praying that this would go on forever. But it couldn't. In roughly two and a half days he'd go back to his video and leave Heero. "Heero." he pulled free.

"Duo?" Heero asked unsure why he'd broken off the kiss.

"Heero, I'm a Video Boy. I'll have to go back into my video soon. I don't think I'll ever become human. I have such a limited time to be outside my video." He began to choke on his words. He didn't want to cry, but he knew he was about to.

"Duo!" Heero grabbed both of his hands and held him. "I don't want you to go. EVER. If I have to, I'll buy the damn tape and keep it running day and night, then rewind it and start from the beginning." Duo trembled.

"H... Heero. It wouldn't be fair to you." Duo glanced down at his hands. He could see straight through them. He was still fading! "My hands."

"Duo." Heero said, worry written all over his face. "No, this can't be happening, we stopped that damn thing. NO! You should stay!"

"It's too late, we can't stop it. Heero, Heero look at me." Heero raised his head to look straight into Duo's violet eyes. "I'm just a Video Boy."

"I don't care, I'm in love with you." Duo's face crinkled into a half smile half tearful good-bye.

"I'm sorry Heero, but we can't stop this." He tried not to cry, but a tear rolled down his face. "I'm so horrible at good-byes, but know this. You made my last few days really happy, despite your bad temper... and promise me that you'll take good care of yourself and Trowa." Heero nodded.

"Duo, please. Please don't leave me alone." He whispered. He could barely make Duo out now. He fought the tears welling up as Duo gently caressed his cheek.

"I love you." He said, his voice no more than the whisper of a church mouse, as he vanished.

"NOOOOOOO!" With tears in his eyes, Heero turned to see Trowa fall to his knees. Tears were streaming down his face. "No." Trowa whimpered. "Quatre."

Part Twelve 

"There is no way to get them back." Treize's words echoed in their minds. Trowa and Heero walked numbly back to their house. They'd left the two owners in the clutches of their lovers having the worst argument about justice, humanitarianism, two-timing, and deletion. Heero wanted to kill them, to have revenge on Duo and Quatre's behalf, but Trowa had told him it would do no good. His brother was right. Heero slumped on Trowa's shoulder letting the taller boy support him as they opened the door.

There was a message for Heero from Relena saying that she thought it would be better if they saw other people. Heero didn't care. He slumped onto the couched and pulled his knees up to his chin. He felt so empty. Like someone had ripped out his heart, did a jig on it and then kicked it into the sink. Trowa didn't look much better. He was curled up at the other end of the couch with the remote in hand. He turned on the TV and stared at it blindly. After a bit, he spoke.

"Quatre would have liked this show. It's about cooking."

"Duo would have too. He would have experimented on us."

"Remember the rice cooker?"

"Remember the curry?" The thought of Quatre and the curry brought tears once more to Trowa's eyes. He couldn't take it any more. Getting up he walked upstairs.

"I'm going to my room." He said blandly.

"Hn." Heero replied. He continued to sit on the couch staring at the cooking show. Trowa left. He knew he should have stayed and comforted his brother, but there was something he needed to do first. Walking into his room, he headed for the VCR. His finger paused over the stop button. He didn't want to press stop, but Quatre wasn't in there anymore. He was gone. Slowly he pressed it. The tape came to an end and Trowa hit eject. The tape popped out. Taking it in his hand, Trowa noticed how sticky it was from all the peanut butter and jelly that was still in the slot. With a heavy sigh he rubbed as much of it off as possible.

"I never even told him I loved him." Trowa said aloud. "But I do. Love at first sight." He choked.

The tears were coming again and he didn't bother holding them back. He crumpled to the floor cradling the tape. "Quatre." Tears splashed onto the hard black plastic of the video cassette tape. They slid down the sides and entered where the actual tape was.

Trowa held it tight against his chest. Presently, he noticed that it was growing warmer. Sniffing, he held the tape up to examine it. There was a sudden white flash of heat that blazed through it. Trowa tossed the thing away lest he be burnt. It glowed bluish white, then exploded into a million colors. Covering his eyes, Trowa waited for the brilliant light to subside before daring to take a peek. Amongst the shattered plastic and yards of burnt tape lay the naked body of a blond boy. Trowa trembled and crawled closer. His hand shook as he reached out to touch to boy, as he did the boy took a deep breath. It was as if he hadn't breathed in ages. Slowly a pair of blue-green eyes opened as Trowa brushed a lock of blond hair out of his face.


"Quatre." Trowa planted a kiss on his cheek.

"I'm alive?"

"I hope so." Quatre started to get up only to become entangled in the tape.

"What's all this?" he asked.

"That was your tape." Trowa told him helping him untangle himself. "It exploded."

"That means I'm free!" Quatre cried happily. "I'm human." Trowa's eyes lit up and he hugged Quatre tightly. "I'm human."

"And I'm very glad you are." Trowa told him. "Quatre I love you. Promise me you'll never leave me alone again."

"Oh, Trowa." Quatre felt like crying. "I love you too!" They kissed.

Heero had resigned himself to living out the rest of his days as a miser. He and Trowa would be dateless for the rest of their lives. Stalking into his room, Heero collapsed on the bed. He closed his eyes, but couldn't drive the image of Duo disappearing from his mind. The whir of the VCR wasn't helping his concentration. Slowly he got up and walked towards it. After a moment of contemplation, he reached for the stop button. His finger froze just as he was about to press it. This is Duo's tape, if I hit stop he'll disappear for good. As long as this tape is running, there is hope that he'll come back, right? Heero shook his head; he was just fooling himself. He knew there was no way Duo could come back. Treize had said it himself.

Closing his eyes, he pressed stop then the eject button. He stared at the tape for a few minutes as it sat in the VCR before removing it. He couldn't imagine that such a small tape had brought him the greatest joy in his life and the greatest misery.

Part of him wanted to caress the tape and the other part wanted to hurl it as far away as he could throw.

"Duo." He whispered. "I love you and I'll never stop loving you. Where ever you are, I hope you can hear me." Heero walked over to his bed and taking a pair of scissors from his nightstand, he opened the tape case and pulled out the tape. "I'll make sure no one is ever stuck in this tape again. It'll be my tribute to Duo." He said and prepared to cut the tape. It gleamed in the light and Heero felt the tears running down his cheeks. They dripped onto the tape, which after a moment started to radiate heat. To his surprise it heated his metal scissors and burnt his hand. Heero threw the thing off his bed and it landed on the floor where it wouldn't catch anything on fire.

Reaching for the fire extinguisher under his bed, Heero prepared to douse the tape as soon as it lit up.

A bluish white light began to emanate from it.

Suddenly his room was lit up with such a bright hot light, that he was forced to shield his eyes. The tape exploded. Heero waited as the light dimmed, extinguisher ready. Lowering his arm, Heero glanced at where he'd thrown the tape. Tangled in burnt tape and tidbits of melted plastic lay the body of a naked boy with long unbound chestnut hair. Heero dropped the fire extinguisher. He slipped up next to the body just as it began to breathe. Tentatively reaching out his hand, Heero prayed that he wasn't hallucinating.

At the touch of his hand, a pair of violet eyes fluttered open.

"H-Heero?" a familiar voice croaked.

"DUO!" Heero wrapped himself about the boy. "I thought you were gone forever."

"I thought I was too." Duo admitted as he tried to breathe. His lungs hurt as if he'd not used them in decades. "I'm solid. Hey, what is this stuff on me?"

"What's left of your tape." Heero told him as he helped him sit up. Duo's eyes widened as he looked at himself.

"That means... The curse is broken! I'm HUMAN!"

Despite the yards of tape entangling him, Duo threw his arms around Heero and hugged him tightly. Suddenly he broke off. "Wait. What about Trowa and Quatre?" Heero was about to say that Quatre was gone too when they heard a very happy cry from upstairs.

"Trowa I love you so much!"

"Ouch! Quatre, don't jump on me like that!" Duo smiled and Heero smirked.

"I guess that answers that question."

"Guess so." Heero said taking Duo in his arms and holding him tightly.

"Um Heero, don't you think I need some clothes."

"Clothes, you don't need those. Not now at least."



Several weeks later, Heero, Duo, Trowa and Quatre were walking down the street. They passed the building that used to be OZ Video Rentals, but the video store had moved. After that night, Noin and Wufei had quit OZ Video Rentals. They had stalked off together to commiserate about their ex-lovers. Treize and Zechs had decided leaving town was in their best interest and packed up shop. Rumor was that they'd moved to Seattle to operate a Starbucks. Of course the rainy weather would play havoc with Zechs' hair, but it was far enough from Noin that he didn't care. Wufei and Noin weren't letting them off that easy and were planning on visiting the city and spray painting 6X13 all over the place. Wufei was stocking up on spray paint.

The boys continued on their way past were the scientists had held their offices. Dorothy had learned from some little blond bird what the scientists had planned for her and Relena. She'd then informed Relena and the two asked their fathers to have the scientists shipped off to Antarctica to study penguins and seals. They'd shipped out a week and a half ago and reportedly were getting laughed at by the penguins.

They waited at the corner for the light, then crossed the street. Duo was draped on Heero with Trowa and Quatre walking hand in hand next to them. A few blocks down a new video store had opened up. It had a friendly atmosphere and a great selection, but the four avoided the "how to" section. The owners were friendly, for the most part and they liked the repeat business.

"Well, back so soon?" asked Noin looking up from the counter. Above the register a sign read, "Nine to Five Video Rentals, for all of you who work from nine to five and want something to do afterwards".

"Yep." Said Duo setting the video down in front of her. "We're going away for the weekend, so we thought we should return it before we left."

"Oh, where are you going?"

"That's confidential." Heero said. Noin nodded and moved to put the video in its proper place. Wufei came out of the back room with a box of new releases. He looked up and nodded when he saw them.

"Good afternoon. How are you?"

"Fine, thank you." Quatre replied. "How is business?"

Noin and Wufei looked at each other and smiled.

"Great. You know, things have been better since we ditched Treize and Zechs. Right dragon?" Noin purred.

Wufei smiled wider.

"Yes, M' lady." Wufei let his hand stray to Noin's leg. She swatted it away.

"Not now, we have customers."





"Fine." Wufei sulked then looked up to meet Noin's eyes. She winked and Wufei felt immediately better.

"We'd like to check this one out." A familiar voice said. Trowa turned around and saw Dorothy and Relena standing together holding a video. They were dressed in casual clothes and were standing so close that they touched. Trowa smiled knowingly and Dorothy flashed him a winning smile. She was glad she'd taken his advice and had just told Relena how she felt.

"Sure thing." Noin said.

"Do you have a card with this club?" asked Wufei. They shook their heads. "Then I'll need you to read and sign all these forms." He ducked underneath the counter and pulled out a stack of forms at least a foot thick. Dorothy and Relena paled.

"Wufei! Don't be a brat. Don't worry, those are not the forms you need to fill out." Noin told them. They breathed a sigh of relief. Noin reached under and pulled out another stack. "You need to fill these ones out. In triplicate." She set the twenty forms down in front of them.

"Just think of it this way." Duo said. "You only have to fill them out once."

Everyone rolled their eyes and Dorothy picked up a pen.


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