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Solo's Love

Lady Shinigami

    The small, chestnut-haired child clung to the older boy, his eyes wide with fear as the soldiers walked by.  Solo kept his companion out of sight, not wanting those brutes to get any ideas.  Once they were past, Solo looked down at the child, his blond hair falling in to his hazel eyes.
      "Ready to go kid?"
      The child nodded and followed Solo down the dark street to their "home."  Solo had been showing the boy how to steal money and such from passersby when the soldiers came.  Not wanting to risk getting caught, he decided to call it a night.  They crept in quietly, nodding to their sentry, a boy who was about 11.  Everyone else was asleep.  The boy walked with Solo to their sleeping quarters, sitting down on the pile of blankets they shared as a bed.  Solo carefully hid the cash before lying down next to his friend.  The child snuggled up against him, a small smile on his face.  Solo smiled at him and brushed a few wayward locks of hair out of his eyes before going to sleep.
      It was at this time that the Colony of L2 got hit with a plague, no one knew it yet, but it would have devastating affects.  Solo needed to go out for a foray and told the children to stay put.  He was their leader, since he was the oldest at the ripe old age of 16.  However, his small companion did not listen and snuck out after he left.  The child followed him, but soon lost him in the crowd.  Discouraged, he turned to head back to the hide out when he was seized by strong arms.
      "My my, aren't you a pretty one!"
      The boy looked up at the soldier, fear and defiance in his eyes.  The soldier laughed, dragging him in to the nearby building.  He pushed him to the floor, still laughing.  Defiance turned to anger, then pure terror as the soldier removed his clothing, then advanced on him, removing his clothes as well.  For the next hour, the soldier used the boy for his own pleasure as the child screamed until he had no voice.  The soldier left him on the floor in a pool of blood, put his own clothes back on and left.  The child numbly got dressed, wincing in pain and limped home.  Solo saw him walk in and ran to him, hugging him close.  The child winced in pain and fear.
      "I was so worried kid!  Where were.." Solo stopped as he saw the look on the child's face.  He looked at his second in command and told him to take over.
      He scooped the kid up and carried him to their sleeping quarters, while the child screamed unmercifully.  Solo ignored his cries and laid him down gently on the blankets.  The boy stopped screaming and looked at him, confused.
      "Why . . .why . . ."
      Solo raised an eyebrow as he poured what little water they had to bath with in to a cloth, "Why didn't I hurt you?  Because I care for you, kid.  I love ya too much to hurt you like that."
      The kid looked at him, wide eyed.  Solo walked over to him slowly, smiling.  The kid relaxed and let Solo help clean him up.  The next few weeks were hard for him, but Solo was there, helping him through the nightmares and the fear, never once angry with him.
      Then the plague came.
      Members of their gang began falling ill for no reason.  Many died from the illness.  Solo went to find out what was going on.  What he learned chilled him to the bone.  He heard people talking of the plague and the tell-tale signs that one has it.  Solo nearly cried.  He was showing all the signs of the advanced stages of the plague, but many of the younger children were only in the first stage and could be helped with a vaccine.  But the vaccine was not given to the homeless or poor, only to those who could afford it.  Solo told the kid this, leaving out the part of his advanced stages, though he couldn't hide the fact that he was sick.
      The kid stood up, "I'll get us some of the medicine, then everyone will be all right!"  He ran out before Solo could stop him.
      The kid returned later with enough vaccine for everyone.  Once he brought some to everyone else, he went to see Solo.  Solo was sleeping, his breath coming in gasps.  The kid ran up to him, then injected the vaccine in to him.
      "Solo, Solo!  Hey, you'll be all right now, I gave you the cure."
      Solo smiled sadly, "I'm sorry kid, but by the time I learned of the cure, I was already to far gone to help."
      "Yes, now please, I want . . .I want you to lead the gang.  Please?"
      The kid nodded, tears in his eyes.
      Solo smiled again and looked at him, "Will . . .will you stay . . .with me?  I . . .I don't want . . .to go alone.."
      The kid grabbed his hand, then daringly reached over and kissed Solo on the lips.  Solo's eyes went wide in shock, but he smiled again and held on to the small hand.  Later that night, Solo died in his sleep.  The kid cried until he fell asleep exhausted.  He hadn't taken any of the vaccine, but he never caught the plague.  He took up leadership of the gang, just as Solo wanted.  In memory of his friend, the kid told everyone to call him Duo.
      Duo came back one night to the hide out and discovered they had a guest.  Little did he know that the green-eyed, bat-winged girl would change his life forever.


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