Maxwell's Demon (Part 4 - Conclusion)
[in Treize's suite]
"Uh... harder! Do it harder, Treize!"
"I'm <pant> trying! Just let me <gasp> catch my <wheeze>
"Treizzzzzeee!!! You can't just LEAVE me like this!" howled Zechs
in acute frustration. "I'm going to DIE if you don't...!"
"Will you... shut up! I'm trying to... concentrate here!" Treize
muttered after spitting out a mouthful of platinum blond hair flung
into his face by Zechs' thrashing movements.
"It's all your fault! You got me into this mess! Now you fucking
well better fix it or ELSE!!!" ranted Zechs, who was by now clawing
frenziedly at the bedsheets. "Put your back into it, man! I know
you're stronger than that! Use your hips!"
""I swear, you can be such a baby if you don't get your way....
I'm not in exactly the best of shape here either, you know!"
Finally, gathering the last bits of his strength, Treize reared
up, then shoved decisively downward using the entire weight of his
The OZ ace let loose a rapturous "AHHH!!!!!" then went limp in
sheer relief as something went <pop> and slid into place.
"There... are you satisfied NOW?" growled Treize as he wearily
collapsed onto the bed, his bare, sweat-sheened chest heaving.
"Mmmmm...." Zechs stretched languorously before rolling over onto
his back. "Ohhhhhh yesssss... that's MUCH better." He glanced over
at Treize. "For a few moments there, I was afraid that you were going
to have to call the medical staff to help you get my spine back into
"Don't be so damn smug! Have you SEEN how big some of those
hulking orderlies in the medical department are?"
"Male or female?"
"Either! Both! God, sometimes I can't even tell WHAT they
are.... I swear some of those orderlies look like they can take on a
LEO barehanded and win! Believe me, you wouldn't be laughing once
they've gotten their hands on you!"
"How on earth do you know all this?"
"Poor Une. Slipped in her bathtub and managed to dislocate her
shoulder a few days ago."
With a decided smirk on his face, Zechs said, "And how did THAT
happen? The woman practices gymnastics for exercise, for god's sake.
I've seen her do back-flips on a balance beam without using her hands.
And you're trying to tell me she just FELL in her bathtub!?"
A wonderfully innocent expression appeared on Treize's face. "I
haven't got a clue."
Zechs rolled over and pinned Treize to the bed. In a low growl,
he said, "You didn't happen to be WITH her when this occurred, did
"Absolutely not! I found out only after the fact."
With a hurt expression on his face, Treize muttered, "What do you
take me for?"
The OZ ace had the grace to look a bit guilty. "It's just that...
oh, never mind. You were saying about the orderlies?" he murmured as
he nuzzled Treize consolingly.
With a sigh, Treize murmured, "I just stopped in at the infirmary
to check on her condition. It wasn't pretty. She was lying on a
gurney with one huge orderly sitting on top of her while an even
bigger one was yanking on her arm. It took about fifteen minutes to
get her shoulder back into place."
Zechs blinked, then winced. "Ouch...." After a moment, he said,
"You know, I never realized that you were so ticklish."
Treize grunted wearily. "Damn that drunken little devil! That bit
with the feathers was positively inhuman! I think I might have
sprained half my muscles!"
"What do you expect? He was trained as a terrorist. He saw a
weakness and exploited it ruthlessly," Zechs retorted with a pained
"Hmmmm...." Treize glanced at the closed bathroom door. All that
alcohol had finally caught up to his little dragon, who was now puking
his guts out... hopefully into the toilet.
"Milliard, make a note. Wufei mildly intoxicated is amusing.
Moderately intoxicated, uninhibited. Heavily intoxicated, a sadistic
"Duly noted, sir," drawled Zechs.
In a lazy voice, the OZ general murmured, "So... what do we do for
revenge against our wicked little dragon?"
Zechs gave his lover a vicious, wolfish grin that exposed lots of
gleaming white teeth, then rolled back over onto his stomach.
"Oh, I'm sure we can think of... SOMEthing...."
[in the waiting room of Relena's office]
"It's too quiet," Quatre muttered unhappily.
During their first twenty minutes of waiting, Quatre, Trowa, and
Relena could all hear muffled thumps and the shuffle of movement --
occasionally mixed with incoherent cries and exclamations -- through
the closed door to Relena's office. But the sounds had abruptly
ceased. After two minutes of silence, Quatre started to fidget
restlessly. After five minutes of no sounds, not even Trowa's
soothing pats could keep the smaller boy still.
"It's too quiet," the blond pilot repeated. He glanced up at
Trowa. "I mean, we never hear Heero, but you KNOW how noisy Duo
"That's true," Trowa said thoughtfully.
Quatre was starting to have visions of poor Duo's strangled corpse
sprawled atop Relena's desk. He had no doubt that Heero really loved
Duo, but Quatre couldn't deny the fact that Duo occasionally had a way
of teasing people until they wanted to throttle the braided pilot,
just to shut him up. And if Heero was suffering from a loss of all
his normal inhibitions, would he be able to resist the urge to
strangle Duo if the other boy accidentally provoked him?
For the last thirty minutes, the gagged and bound Relena had
nearly been beside herself with rage. At first she hadn't understood
what was going on, but after a few minutes of listening to the thumps,
thuds, and muffled moans coming through the door, she realized just
what sort of activity was going on... and in *her* office, no less!
Even more shocking was the fact that the other two Gundam pilots
-- the one with the ludicrous hair bangs and the air-headed blond --
knew *exactly* what was happening to poor Heero, but were perfectly
happy to sit back and do absolutely nothing about it.
Perverts! All of them! That, or the monster calling itself Duo
Maxwell had taken control of their minds as well. Yes, that was
probably it. He had corrupted them all.
Her eyes started to water as she tried to think of the sort of
horrors her poor Heero must be suffering at that very moment, but her
imagination failed her. Just the thought of Maxwell and his foul
minions pawing Heero with their slimy hands....
And all she could do was sit helplessly on her waiting room sofa
and hope that Heero would survive the terrible ordeal he was
A few more tense minutes of silence passed. Finally, unable to
stand the suspense, Quatre stealthily crossed the room and put his ear
to the door. He heard nothing. Quatre hastily waved Trowa over. The
brown-haired pilot carefully brushed his hair bang to one side and put
his own ear to the door. After listening carefully, he gave a small
shake of his head. He too was starting to look a trifle concerned.
The two of them were leaning even harder against the door, trying
to catch the faintest sign of activity on the other side, when,
without warning, the door suddenly flew open.
The abrupt loss of support only caused Trowa to wobble just a bit
before he regained his balance. However, for the second time that
afternoon, Quatre ended up face down on the carpet -- this time at
The blond-haired boy stared up at the Wing pilot nervously. After
all, less than half an hour ago, Heero had been positively eager to
shoot him full of holes. A chill rippled down Quatre's spine when he
saw the expression on Heero's face.
He was smiling... no, he was *grinning*.
"Uhh... I can explain... I didn't mean to...." Quatre babbled
In a frighteningly cheerful voice, Heero asked, "Quatre, what on
earth are you doing sprawled out on the floor?" He reached down and
hauled the smaller boy to his feet with no effort at all.
Quatre smiled nervously and hastily backed up until he felt the
comforting presence of Trowa behind him. A quick peek at the
Heavyarms pilot's face -- the slightly widened green eye and raised
eyebrow -- told him that Trowa found the Wing pilot's behavior more
than a little unnerving as well.
They were both used to seeing a brooding, hyper-intense,
occasionally suicidal Heero, but this strange psychotically cheerful
Heero was making Quatre's skin crawl.
And where was Duo?
Momentarily disregarding Heero's blatantly amused expression,
Quatre frantically scanned the room looking for any sign of the
Deathscythe pilot. He froze when he saw what appeared to be a limp
body lying on top of Relena's desk, covered with the Peacecraft's
hugely expensive cashmere coat. Two bare legs, exposed to the knees,
were visible at one end while several long strands of chestnut brown
hair and a still, unmoving hand trailed out from underneath the coat
and hung over the opposite edge of the desk.
"Duo!" Quatre blurted anxiously.
"Shhhhhh!" Heero then leaned closer to Quatre and whispered,
The figure stirred slightly and a low, husky voice exhaustedly
muttered, "No, he's not...."
Duo poked his head out from under the coat, brushed his unbraided
hair out of his face, and gave all of them a bleary-eyed glare.
A relieved, if somewhat dazed Quatre noted that it seemed that
Heero had been as good as his word. Duo looked like he had had
*quite* a workout....
"Uh... are you okay, Duo?" Quatre asked.
"I feel... like a quarter mile... of heavily traveled road... but
otherwise, yeah.... And tell Sally... 'a dramatically increased
libido', my ASS!"
Heero calmly strolled over to the desk and patted Duo's rear end,
still modestly covered by Relena's coat, with a proprietary air.
"But it's such a pretty ass," the Wing pilot in a voice of smug
satisfaction. He looked rather like a cat who had not only swallowed
the bird, but also polished off several dishes of cream.
Duo glared at his lover -- who was now playfully running his
fingers through Duo's long brown hair -- and acidly retorted, "Well,
if you don't hurry and do something about Relena's friggin' computer
file, EVERYONE in the damn world is going see just how pretty it is!"
Heero chuckled easily and said, "Relax. I'll take care of it.
Now why don't you just lie down and get some rest?" He leaned over
and gave Duo a casual kiss on his cheek, then sauntered over to the
workstation and started typing.
For a nervous moment, Quatre was afraid that Heero was going to
begin singing, but the Wing pilot merely started to hum an old
romantic tune... and did so surprisingly well.
"Relax, he says...," Duo said with a snort, before pulling the
coat back over his head. After a minute or so, there was a soft
Trowa coughed discretely, then said, "It seems that the side
effects haven't quite worn off."
From her position on the sofa, Relena couldn't get a good look
into her office or at Heero's face. However, she could see Trowa's
and Quatre's expressions... and they looked positively stunned and
It was worse than she feared, by god, if even Maxwell's pet thugs
were upset. She felt the tears welling up in her eyes as she wondered
just what had happened to her beloved Heero....
As Trowa casually kept an eye on the cheerfully humming Heero,
Quatre returned to the waiting room and was appalled to see the tears
cascading down Relena's face.
As he blotted up the tears, he murmured sadly, "Oh dear. Miss
Relena... I suppose finding out about Heero and Duo must have been a
terrible shock to you, but I suppose it's really for the best.
Surely, you can see now that all your interference isn't going to
change anything. You're only making things harder on Heero if you
continue to make these sorts of accusations about Duo. Why don't you
just give in and accept what's going on?"
When he saw the furious, defiant glare that Relena gave him,
Quatre sighed and shook his head.
Whatever effect the drugs might have had on Heero's emotional
state, they didn't seem to affect his mental abilities. After about
ten minutes of rapid typing, he pulled a disk from the computer and
shut down the system.
Trowa murmured, "Got it?"
With a faint smirk, Heero said, "Yes. Relena's no expert. I
found it within the first three minutes. I spent most of the time
trying to determine whether this file had been automatically archived
or backed up somewhere else in the system."
"Are we ready to leave?"
Heero shook his head. "Not quite yet. This 'Amelia' computer
virus is tenacious and sneaky. I need to double-check the mainframe
to make sure all traces of the file is gone." He shrugged. "Besides,
I need to grab some new clothes for Duo. It shouldn't take me more
than 45 minutes."
Trowa glanced at the torn shreds of black clothing strewn all over
Relena's office. "I see."
As he watched Heero stroll out into the waiting room, Trowa was
relieved to see the unusual cheerfulness slowly disappearing from
Heero's demeanor. But traces of it could still be seen in the faint
smile of amusement that seemed to hover on the Wing pilot's lips.
Suddenly, the Heavyarms pilot felt a warm hand grab his wrist. He
glanced down to see Duo looking up at him, a worried look on his
"Trowa... would you mind keeping an eye on him? Make sure he
doesn't do anything stupid, huh?"
The brown-haired pilot nodded, then cocked his head slightly.
"He's right. You look like you need some rest."
Duo shrugged eloquently. "Well, you know Heero. He said he was
going to fuck me stupid."
The corner of Trowa's mouth twitched upward. "Ninmu kanryou?"
"Oh yeah... ninmu kanryou." Duo winked a bright violet eye, then
grinned sleepily at the other pilot. "And how...," he added before
pulling the coat back over his head.
Relena felt her heart shatter into little pieces as she watched
Heero walk out her office, then stop short to stare at her with cold,
furious eyes. She could tell that Maxwell had been busy at work. She
had no doubts that the diabolical fiend had spent the last half hour
doing unspeakable things to Heero's mind, twisting and warping his
memories so that everything that she'd done appeared in the worst
Just as Heero started to reach behind his back, the tall pilot
called Trowa quickly walked into the waiting room, deftly took Heero's
arm, and firmly escorted him out into the hallway.
Relena couldn't help but notice that Heero continued to stare
fixedly at her, even as the hallway door closed. Maybe there was
still some hope for the two of them....
Quatre sighed depressedly at being left to babysit Relena again.
He felt a guilty sense of relief that she was gagged so he wouldn't
have to keep up any sort of conversation with her. He decided to sit
down on the waiting room's loveseat and not share the sofa with
Relena. Considering the anger in her eyes, he wouldn't put it past
her to try kicking him.
After several minutes, he found himself trying to stifle a yawn.
....and that's the last thing Quatre Raberba Winner remembered....
Lady Une -- bruised, cranky, and her arm still in a sling --
snapped at one of her subordinates as she eyed the thick banks of dark
clouds rolling toward the installation.
"What's going on?"
"I don't know, ma'am. The meteorological report is for sunny
skies. There's no reports of any weather fronts in the area!"
"Then how do you explain THAT!" She waved her good arm at the
black clouds. Beneath the towering thunderheads, constantly
illuminated from within by brilliant flashes of lightning, she could
see the smeary film in the air that told her of torrential rains
Relena stared in mingled confusion and annoyance as the small
blond Gundam pilot leaned over and suddenly fell asleep on the
loveseat. True, she might not be a trained fighter like Heero, but
somehow, the fact that Quatre considered her so weak and harmless that
he could fall asleep while guarding her was rather galling to her
As she fumed silently, she once again attempted to free herself
from her bonds. However, she was having little success. Maxwell, the
cunning devil, apparently did an expert job. No amount of twisting or
pulling was getting her anywhere.
Suddenly, she felt someone watching her. Her heart sank as she
looked up and realized that she had totally forgotten one *very*
important thing -- Duo Maxwell's presence.
And now he stood in the doorway to her office, wearing a sinister
....and absolutely nothing else.
As a stark naked Duo Maxwell stared at a bound and gagged Relena
Peacecraft with a positively malevolent grin on his face, she realized
that she was -- as one uncouth clod had once bluntly, but accurately
stated -- 'hip deep in shit'.
[OZ command center]
Controlled panic was slowly creeping through the duty officers.
"The perimeter sensors are malfunctioning!"
"I'm not getting any readings on radar!"
The lights flickered.
"Primary power grid is down! Backup generators online!"
The lights flickered again.
"I can't contact the eastern guard posts!"
"Backup generators in sectors 1, 6, 10 are down!"
"We've lost contact with Mobile Suit team Fox-Tango-2!"
Lady Une was not a happy woman.
[in Treize's suite]
Wufei staggered out of the bathroom to find Treize leisurely
reclining in a comfortable chair while Zechs appear to be dozing on
the bed. Although he had gotten rid of a lot of the alcohol he'd so
imprudently chugged down, he was still quite drunk -- drunk enough to
feel rather reckless and careless.
Treize took a sip of cognac and said casually, "My darling little
beastling, you never did explain what was going on with Relena and Duo
Wufei shrugged irritably as he weaved his way across the floor.
"I don't know. The crazy female's been chasing Heero all over the
place, shamelessly throwing herself at him, and basically making a
total fool of herself. But this time, she shows up and starts
screaming that Maxwell's some sort of demon. She claims to have had
proof and a witness to all this, but then says that some monster dog
ATE both of them!"
The Chinese pilot whirled around and scowled belligerently at
Zechs. "I hope this sort of madness doesn't run in your family!"
Zechs turned his head, gave Treize a long speaking glance, then
said mildly, "But what if she's right?"
"Wha-What!?" sputtered Wufei in inebriated outrage.
In a lazy voice, Trieze murmured, "You know, I've always wondered
about Maxwell. There's something positively uncanny about that boy
and that damned Gundam of his."
Zechs chimed in with a murmured, "Indeed...."
"After all, he has the eeriest way of popping up out of nowhere."
Wufei uttered a disgusted growl. "That's a perfectly rational
explanation. He has excellent electronic countermeasures (ECM)
equipment. Any idiot could tell you that!"
Treize slowly swirled the cognac around in his glass. "No, there
has to be much more than that. Or if it is simply a matter of ECM,
whatever equipment he has is several orders of magnitude better than
anything I've ever heard of."
"Maybe he does!" Even though he was thoroughly drunk, Wufei
wasn't about to go babbling classified information about his comrades'
Gundams. Although, Treize did have a point.... Wufei hastily shook
his head and instantly regretted it as the room tilted.
"Electronic jamming is perfectly feasible -- any idiot could
manage it -- but that doesn't explain how that Deathscythe Gundam of
his can get inside heavily guarded facilities virtually undetected,"
Treize murmured as he suppressed a sly grin.
As if on cue, Zech lazily murmured, "Almost like a ghost...."
"And that scythe of his... it's just not possible to use thermal
blades underwater like he does."
Wufei shouted, "Don't tell me you're actually buying into that
crazy female's fantasy!? Will you listen to yourselves? Two grown
men suggesting that there's something supernatural about that joker
Duo Maxwell AND his Gundam!?"
Zechs blithely ignored the Chinese pilot's outburst. "All our
test data shows that it's physically impossible to effectively operate
thermal blades underwater. All the energy would go into vaporizing
the water. There certainly wouldn't be enough power left over to
slice a Mobile Suit in half."
"I don't believe this!" Wufei shouted, a muscle twitching in his
cheek. "There are no such things as ghosts, demons, or monsters!"
Treize grinned playfully. "That's a fine thing to say,
considering that your clan claims to be the direct descendents of
"That's DIFFERENT! Dragons are not folktales or legends dreamed
up by ignorant peasants huddled around campfires! Demons and ghosts,
indeed!" Wufei folded his arms and turned his back on the whole
"Well, if I might paraphrase a quote from a famous play, 'there
are more things on heaven and earth than dreamed of in your
philosophy', my little dragon."
"RI-DIC-ulous!" Wufei said firmly.
Zechs and Treize exchanged another significant look, then Treize
got up a bit painfully and strolled over to Wufei's side.
"Come, come... don't tell me that a clan as old as yours doesn't
have stories about strange happenings... visitations from long dead
ancestors... places that remain bone-chilling cold no matter how warm
the weather is... foreboding omens...."
"Stop it!" Wufei hissed, hunching his shoulders defensively.
Zechs murmured, "Treize, I DO believe the lad protests too
Treize continued in that soft, coaxing voice of his. "There's no
shame in admitting it. Most ancient families, like mine and
Milliard's, have their own share of strange tales."
"That's right. In my family's home castle, the servants said that
a mysterious lady dressed in blue could be seen roaming the grounds,
searching for the grave of her still-born child," Zech said
"I'm not listening to this...." Wufei said in almost a sing-song
voice, as he stared with forced nonchalance at the ceiling.
"And I know that particular legend's true," Zechs added smugly.
"Oh?" Treize murmured with a raised eyebrow. "And how's that?"
"Because I saw her myself one night when I was a child. I chased
her for some distance. Then she walked out onto a pond and vanished.
Poof!" said the OZ pilot with a snap of his fingers.
Treize circled around Wufei and murmured, "Actually, I've heard
something similar about this estate...."
"You've noticed it, too," Zechs said. Behind Wufei's back, he
gave Treize a wicked wink. "Things moving around with no
"The unexpected power and equipment failures? That's right."
Treize was fascinated that Wufei, who had previously been looking
rather flushed from the alcohol, was now starting to look extremely
pale and twitchy.
"Treize, if this is some game of yours...."
"It's no game. I can pull the maintenance and report logs for
you. They're littered with strange little occurrences."
Actually, it was all perfectly true. There HAD been some odd
things going on ever since the estate had been taken over by OZ... but
only a few more than normal. Maybe the estate WAS haunted, but that
didn't bother Treize too much. His childhood home had been packed
with various ghosts and other things that went bump in the night. He
could tell some truly hair-raising tales....
"My dear dragon, you're looking a trifle pale. Is something
wrong?" Behind Wufei's back, Treize could see Zechs' hand silently
moving toward the bedside table... and the light controls for the
"What do you mean pale?" Wufei blurted out, now looking positively
jittery. Normally, if sober, he would have been able to dismiss the
whole matter with a contemptuous sneer. However, with his brain still
befuddled with all the alcohol still floating around in his body,
Wufei Chang's common sense had taken a flying leap out the window.
"Are you sure? Perhaps you should go back to the...." Treize's
words abruptly stopped short.
"What? What!? WHAT!?!?" shouted the obviously rattled Chinese
The OZ general's eyes widened slightly and he slowly pointed
The boy went very still. Just as he started to turn, the bedroom
was suddenly plunged into pitch black darkness.
[OZ command center]
"Backup generators in sectors 2, 5, 7, 15 to 20 are now down!"
"There's reports of unexplained power surges in the computer
systems. The techs are trying to maintain the integrity of the
mainframes but they don't know how long they can do it!"
"Lady Une, our sensors are dead! All I'm getting through radar
and the video cameras is static."
Then everything whited out when a tremendous bolt of lightning
danced before their eyes.
Duo Maxwell, wearing nothing more than his long, unbraided hair
and that nasty little grin, calmly walked past the both terrified and
outraged Relena. He perched on the arm of the loveseat, then with an
oddly soft expression on his face, he leaned over to gently touch
Quatre's cheek He got no response. Apparently satisfied, he reached
over and yanked the sodden wad of pantyhose out of Relena's mouth.
As she took a deep breath, he said with a smirk, "You can scream
all you want. No one's going to hear you."
Relena gave it her best shot, but unlike other times, Duo didn't
even twitch a muscle. Finally, with her throat starting to ache,
Relena gave up for the moment.
"Did you kill him?" she said in a quavering voice, tossing her
head in Quatre's direction.
Maxwell looked insulted. "Why would I do something like that? Oh
no. I just used a little trick from a cousin of mine," he said with a
careless shrug of his bare shoulders.
"Cousin? You have relatives?" Relena looked horrified.
"Yeah, I got relatives. Didn't you know? I'm Shinigami and
Sleep's the first cousin of Death."
Relena simply looked baffled, then sputtered, "Have you no
Duo lifted his arms over his head and stretched sensuously. With
a husky laugh, he said, "Oh, you mean this? Come on, Relena. Get
with the program! Here you are calling me an evil, soul-sucking demon
and you expect me to feel ashamed about not wearing clothes?"
Her mouth opened and closed a few times, as if she was trying to
think of some scathing retort. Finally, she sputtered, "You... you...
you sick, perverted, lecherous FIEND!"
Duo loosely gathered his long, chestnut hair in one hand and
"Is that the best you can do?"
She glared at him. "Excuse me! *I* am a well-bred lady!"
"Aw, hell... I'm sure THAT'S really put me in my place!" Duo
retorted with a snigger.
She lifted her chin and with an air of martyrdom that would have
put Joan of Arc to shame, Relena said defiantly, "Do your worst to my
body, you monster! But you won't break me!"
Duo stared at her for a long moment, then toppled of the loveseat
arm onto the floor, laughing hysterically.
"You... you... you think that I would... that I'd...."
It took several minutes for him to catch his breath, but Duo
finally managed to stop laughing long enough to point at her and choke
out, "Listen! You couldn't PAY me enough to put my so-called slimy
paws on you! Christ! Where do you get your dialogue? From Z-grade
Relena wasn't sure whether she should feel offended or relieved.
"Nope! No way, no how...."
"I GOT the POINT!" she shouted at him. After taking a few deep
breaths to calm herself, she said with a regal sniff, "Well, if you're
not going to do THAT, then I suppose you're going to torture me before
taking my life."
Grinning wickedly, Duo said brightly, "Why, it almost sounds like
you actually WANT me to do it! I'm shocked! I never realized that
you were into that sort of thing, Miss 'I-am-the-perfect-lady'
For a second, judging from the alarming shade of Relena's face, it
seemed as if she was about to expire from apoplexy.
"YOU... YOU... YOU...!!!" she sputtered in fury.
"Yeah yeah. I know, 'you pervert, you beast, you diabolical
monster, yadda-yadda-yadda...." he drawled, looking rather bored.
Elsewhere on Treize's estate, Heero and Trowa were inconspicuously
making their way toward the computer center. With all the commotion
caused by the electrical outrages and people rushing about, they
blended easily into the chaos.
Heero said, "I'll deal with the mainframe. Check the maintenance
area and see if you can find some clothes for Duo."
Trowa gave the Wing pilot a critical stare, then nodded once.
"That's NOT what I meant!" Relena snarled. "But if anything
happens to me, you're going be hunted down like the beast you are,
even if it means chasing you to the edges of space!" She smiled
cunningly. "Yes, why don't you kill me? If it takes my death to snap
Heero out of your spell, I'll be glad to die!"
"Oh please! Don't tell me we're back to THAT topic again!" Duo
muttered, rolling his violet eyes.
"Well, if you're going to do anything, you'd better hurry. People
are going to be looking for me soon...."
With a malicious grin, he said, "No, they won't. Believe me,
everyone's way too busy to worry about someone like YOU. And even if
they did, no one's going to be able to get into this office unless I
want them to."
"My secretary will be back any moment now. When she finds out
that she can't get inside, she's going to...."
Duo gave Relena an eerie smile as he walked over to one of the
filing cabinets near the secretary's desk, opened a drawer, and
"No... I don't think so."
When he turned around, Relena's eyes bulged as he took two steps
and calmly placed the decapitated head of her secretary on the coffee
table in front of her. Although the dead woman's eyes were open, her
expression seemed strangely peaceful. However, Relena was in no
condition to appreciate that fact.
After her horrified screams finally died down again, she babbled,
Duo stopped smiling. In an icy voice, he snapped, "Because she
was a spy who was feeding information to an extremist faction within
OZ. This woman has been steadily leaking all that information that
you've so carelessly and blatantly gathered on Heero's movements and
activities to her superiors."
"A... a spy?"
He stalked toward the sofa and leaned over her, pinning Relena's
"Do you have ANY idea how many times you've nearly managed to get
Heero killed in the last three weeks!? Five of our last seven
missions were blown to hell because of your carelessness and
stupidity!" He gave her a hard shake. "Haven't you ever heard of the
word 'discretion'? How about 'secrecy'!? If it wasn't bad enough to
have you and your merry little entourage trailing after us all the
time, I bet it never even occurred to you to bother hiding all that
information you found, did it? No, you just left this detailed data
on a known terrorist scattered all over your desk for absolutely
ANYONE to see!"
"I... I didn't mean to...," she stammered.
"You didn't mean to. HA!" Duo shoved her backwards and stalked
away in disgust.
"I just... wanted to find Heero...." Relena said in a
near-whimper. "How can you possibly know... I needed to see him...
talk to him... I had to keep trying to get him to UNDERSTAND... to
make him admit how he felt about me!"
Duo stood with his back turned for several minutes, then chuckled
quietly. He turned around to face her and said with an odd little
smirk, "Now that I think about it, it's rather funny...."
"There's nothing funny about this!" she shouted.
"Oh yes, there is. I just realized that you and I are sort of in
the same boat. Ensnared and seduced by a pair of beautiful dark blue
"It's... it's not like that!"
He gave her a highly skeptical stare. "Oh really? Then why were
you trying to steal a kiss from Heero while he was unconscious, huh?"
"It's much more than just... tawdry SEX...," she snapped as she
glared at the nude Duo. "But what on earth could an evil, heartless
creature like you know about love!? About two kindred spirits being
drawn together by destiny! But I do! I knew there was something
special about him the very first time I saw him!"
Duo shook his head ruefully. "Heero really has no idea what he
does to people."
Relena added in a near-whine, "And I saw him first!"
Maxwell's violet eyes narrowed dangerously. "What the hell does
THAT have to do with Heero's feelings? It's not a matter of 'first
come, first served'!"
"I saw him first!" she repeated stubbornly.
He shook his head irritably, sending his long chestnut hair
flying. "But if that's the only way you can understand the situation,
then I have to tell you that you lose... by about ten years!"
Duo stared almost blindly over Relena's head.
"He was barely six years old... a little, skinny kid with that
same wild mop of dark hair and those burning blue eyes.... He was
holding a detonator in his hand and carrying a pistol that almost
seemed bigger than he was," he murmured wistfully.
"I was surprised that he could see me. But what really got me was
that he instantly knew who I was, but he wasn't afraid. That's so
unusual, especially for someone so young."
Duo looked down at her. "Have you ever seen him smile, Relena? I
don't mean that maniacal grin of his. I mean, REALLY smile...?"
"I... I...," she mumbled as she racked her brain.
"Believe me, if you had, you'd remember it. I've seen Heero
smile, Relena. And after all this time, I still think it's the most
beautiful thing in the world."
In a deserted security monitoring station on Treize's estate, amid
row upon row of video monitors, a slim male figure sat in the
darkness. Holding an headphone to his ear, he stared fixedly at the
screen in front of him... the only monitor in the entire room which
was not totally obscured by static.
As thunder rumbled and lightning flashed, Duo murmured pensively,
"I can't help wondering whether I should have taken him that day. It
would have spared him so much pain...."
Relena knew that she was missing something important, but couldn't
quite figure out what it was.
"Taken him? What do you mean? What the hell ARE you!?" she
shouted in frustration.
He smiled coldly at her. "Exactly what I've been saying all
along. I run, I hide, but I don't lie....
"I am Shinigami... Death."
And in the next flash of lightning, the shadow of a slim,
bat-winged figure danced against the wall.
"I think you overdid it," Zechs noted sourly as he hung over the
edge of the bed and peered underneath it.
Looking worried and rather guilty, Treize crouched on the floor
and was also peering under the bed.
"Well, how could I know he'd overreact like that!? You said it
yourself! He's a Gundam pilot and a trained terrorist! Who'd think
he'd be terrified of a few ghost stories. Honestly! Come out,
Under the bed, a shaky voice uttered a faint and defiant, "NO!"
Treize scowled and in an exasperated voice, he said, "We promise
we won't let any of the boogie monsters get you. Zechs, turn on the
The platinum-haired pilot grabbed Treize and whispered into his
ear, "But I didn't turn OFF the lights!"
"What!?" a startled Treize whispered back.
"Shhh! I was about to, but the lights went off by themselves.
And I've already tried turning them back on, but they're not working.
The power's out... I think."
Treize hauled himself to his feet, stalked over to his desk, and
hit the intercom. Using audio only, he snapped, "Lady Une! What the
devil's going on?"
In a barely understandable voice, she replied, "....sorry, sir...
system failures... electrical disturbances... erratic security...
"No sign...." The rest of her words were lost in a crackle of
static and white noise.
Treize quickly made his way to the door to his suite and tried to
It didn't budge.
"Try the manual release," said Zechs.
That didn't work either.
The OZ general stared disgruntledly at the obstinate door and the
barred windows of his suite for several moments, then he went to light
some candles. In a resigned voice, he said, "Well, it looks like
we're stuck here for the duration."
He raided his liquor cabinet and headed back to the bedroom. The
flickering light from the candelabra barely managed to pierce the
"Very romantic atmosphere, wouldn't you say? But I don't think
that either of us is up to any more strenuous physical activity today.
So, why don't we try something a little more relaxing?" Treize added
as he started a fire in the fireplace.
"We can't just leave Wufei cowering and whimpering under the bed!"
Zechs objected as he pulled up the bedskirt to take another peek at
the Gundam pilot.
They both heard a low, buzzing snore, broken by the occasional
muffled honking noise.
"On second thought, I guess we can," Zechs muttered.
"It's said that when one has lemons, make lemonade," Treize said
airily. Gesturing expansively at the darkened room, the merrily
burning fire, and the raging thunderstorm outside the barred windows,
he said cheerfully, "Well, Milliard... do you know any good ghost
Relena's eyes simply could not go any wider.
"So...." Her breath caught in her throat.
"So what am I going to do with you? To you?"
She nodded slowly.
Relena blinked, then stammered, "But what about the...."
"The pictures?" Duo smiled faintly, reached back inside the file
cabinet drawer, and pulled out a folder. "You mean these?" he
murmured, holding up a photo.
She flinched. "Yes...."
Taking a look at the picture, he said casually, "Do you know that
long ago, people believed that you could sometimes capture psychic
impressions in photographs? They ran around taking pictures of
haunted houses, looking for ghosts and that sort of thing. They were
partially right -- the most unexpected truths can turn up in pictures.
What they didn't know is that you have to be sensitive to those types
of auras yourself in order to clearly see the psychic images in the
photos -- otherwise, all a person will see are some weird blurs."
"You're trying to tell me...."
"That if you showed these photos to most people, at best they'd
probably see some very blurry pictures of me stabbing someone in an
alleyway with a very mundane knife. And that's it. Somewhat
incriminating, I admit, but hardly shocking considering my job as a
"But... but... I can clearly...!"
"It's kinda like being able to see a special wavelength of light.
You can see it, but others can't. I have to confess that it was a
real surprise to me to find out that YOU, of all people, could
perceive the image of my true aura. You never struck me as being the
most sensitive or perceptive of people. Now Trowa, Quatre, and Wufei
all have more than a little psychic ability of their own, but not the
right type. However, if Heero could see the real me once before, he
could probably do it again."
"And you're afraid that he would recognize you for what you really
"And the skeleton... the robes... the scythe...!"
Duo smiled enigmatically. "Everyone has their own particular
vision of Death. You see a terrifying black-robed skeleton. I
imagine Heero would see something... rather different."
"So you did all this to discredit me!?" Relena screamed.
"Discredit you?" Duo said with a snort. "You managed to do that
yourself without the slightest help from me! I really didn't have to
do a thing except trim off some loose ends. As for these pictures...
well, it was really just a weird stroke of luck that this photographer
managed to catch my real self on film. It occasionally happens." he
said with a shrug.
Relena cringed as the photographs in Duo's hand ignited in a flash
of green flame and vanished. There wasn't even a trace of ash left
"And with both the photos and the negatives gone, you're left with
a big fat zero. You can play Cassandra all you want -- it'll be your
word against mine. And I think we both know who's going to win that
She cowered back as Duo sat down beside her on the sofa.
"You know, I was all set to kill you for all the trouble and
danger you've put Heero through, especially with that moronic
Relena's terrified gaze drifted back to the decapitated head of
her secretary sitting on her coffee table.
"But I've changed my mind. I've decided to let you live, even
though that's not necessarily a mercy."
"Why am I sparing your life?" Duo gave her an oddly sad smile.
"I'd never thought that I'd have occasion to be grateful to you,
Relena... but I am. Because of what you did to Heero today... even
though he was drugged out of his mind, I still got to hear Heero say
that he loved me. And for that, I can forgive nearly anything."
Part 6 / Conclusion
[on Treize's estate]
With a dark green maintenance uniform tucked under his arm, Trowa
quickly glanced into the computer center, but failed to find any sign
of Heero. Noting the thin trails of smoke starting to emerge from the
computer equipment, he prudently decided to leave the area before the
fire alarms went off.
The Heavyarms pilot frowned slightly. Had he been wrong in
believing that Heero was no longer suffering the side effects of the
drugs? Because if he *was* wrong, there was no telling where the Wing
pilot might be at the moment.
He decided to search the rooms adjacent to the computer center, on
the off-chance that Heero would be working in one of them. Behind the
third door he checked, Trowa found his fellow Gundam pilot staring
into a video monitor. But before he catch a glimpse of whatever
interested Heero so intensely, the Wing pilot abruptly switched off
Without saying a word, Heero reached down and pulled out a disk
from one of the video recorders, then joined Trowa in the hallway. He
appeared to be his normal self again, with his usual expressionless
face and the familiar cold, blue-eyed stare.
"Are you finished?" was Trowa's only words.
"Yes," came Heero's equally curt reply.
Heero and Trowa walked into the waiting room to find both Quatre
and Relena happily snoozing. When Trowa touched the blond pilot
lightly on the shoulder, Quatre sat up with a yawn and blinked in mild
Stifling another yawn, the blond pilot answered Trowa's inquiring
glance by murmuring, "The lack of sleep must really be catching up
with me." He glanced curiously at Heero, who seemed to be looking
around the waiting room with unusual intensity, even for him.
As he watched Heero open up a filing cabinet, Quatre asked, "Is
there anything wrong? Are you looking for something?"
"No," Heero said with his usual flat monotone, closing the filing
cabinet with a decisive gesture. He walked over to Trowa, took the
clothes from the Heavyarms pilot, and headed for Relena's office.
Trowa quietly said, "What about her?"
Heero stopped and glanced back at Relena. He stared silently at
her for a long moment, then turned to look at Duo who was still fast
asleep on the desktop.
Quatre frowned slightly. "But Heero, what if she keeps making
those ridiculous accusations about Duo?"
"Let her," Heero said with chilling indifference. "She'll only
make a worse fool of herself."
"Aren't you worried that someone might eventually believe her?"
"Only fools and madmen would believe that creatures like demons or
angels exist in this day and age." There was a brief gleam in Heero's
cobalt eyes which nearly made the Arab pilot shiver. But it was gone
in a flash and Quatre ended up dismissing it as a quirk of overactive
Heero turned his back on the sleeping girl and walked over to Duo,
who was still huddled under Relena's coat, snoring away. The Wing
pilot silently lifted the soft cashmere away from Duo's face, then
stood there for a brief moment. He neither spoke nor moved, but
simply stared down at the long-haired Deathscythe pilot peacefully
dozing atop the desk.
Heero abruptly shook off his pensive mood and gave Duo's bare
shoulder a hard shake.
"Wha...?" Duo blinked sleepily. His words ended in a squawk of
outrage as Heero brusquely shoved Duo off the desk, then dumped the
dark green coveralls on top of the other's head.
"Wake up and get dressed. We're moving out," the Wing pilot said
Duo groaned, brushed his tangled hair out of his eyes, and
muttered, "Geez, Heero, so much for the romantic mood!" as he rubbed a
The only response Duo got was a stony, unapologetic glare and a
flat, "Shut up."
"Chi! I guess everything's back to normal. Bummer." Duo stuck
his tongue out at Heero's back as the Wing pilot efficiently began
removing any trace of their presence in Relena's office.
Despite his complaints and groans, it only took Duo a few minutes
to get dressed and ready to leave. He soon gave up trying to untangle
the knots in his hair and settled for pulling it back into a messy
ponytail. By that time, Heero had retrieved all the remnants of Duo's
old clothes, picked up the papers and other miscellaneous desk items
scattered all over the floor, and basically put the office into some
semblance of normality.
As Duo entered the waiting room, he glanced at the sleeping Relena
and stopped short. Jerking a thumb in her direction, he asked,
"Heero, what are you planning to do about her? Aren't you going
The Wing pilot said coldly, "I have nothing further to say to
her." He grabbed Duo's ponytail and dragged him out into the hallway
without another word. Trowa and Quatre quickly followed, leaving
behind the bound, but now ungagged Relena loudly snoring on the sofa.
Their escape from the estate turned out to be a total anticlimax
-- no high-speed chases, no huge explosions, no raging gunfights....
The various electrical and computer failures had left the OZ forces in
such a disorganized state that it was pathetically simple for the four
Gundam pilots to slip out of the compound unnoticed. By unspoken
agreement, they decided to move to a new safehouse... just in case.
Wufei Chang could remember waking up in Treize's bed, on Treize's
sofa... tied up, tied down... but he had never woken up UNDER Treize's
bed. He slowly crawled out, clutched his throbbing skull in his hands,
and wondered what the hell had happened that afternoon. And where the
devil were Treize and Zechs?
Wufei was vaguely relieved to find himself still fully dressed.
As he attempted to get his extremely reluctant brain working again, he
staggered over to the sofa, only to find Treize and Zechs curled up
against each other on the floor amid a clutter of burnt out candles
and numerous empty liquor bottles. They looked rather like a pair of
As he tried his best to keep his head from falling off his
shoulders, the Chinese pilot swore up and down that he would never
touch another drop of that devilish alcohol again. Wufei slowly made
his way to the bathroom, gulped the first painkillers he could get his
hands on, then stuck his head into a basin of icy cold water.
After a half hour, he was feeling semi-human again. Wufei was
just about to slip away when a small heap of printouts caught his eye.
He took a second glance, then hastily flipped over the lurid pictures
of Heero and Duo before he could get another nosebleed. The Chinese
pilot scowled a moment, then reluctantly headed back toward Treize's
[the pilots' new safehouse]
Several hours later, as the other pilots were getting settled in
their new hideout, Wufei stalked into the house. He scowled at Duo
and Heero, then tossed a sheaf of printouts onto the table.
"You owe me," was all he said before stomping off to find a place
to dump his own meager belongings.
Duo thumbed through the papers, then stared irately at Heero. "I
thought you said you got rid of Relena's file...!"
"I did," Heero snapped.
When Wufei walked back into the room, Duo started to ask him,
"Hey, where did you get this stuff...?" However, his question trailed
off in a startled "Meep!" as Wufei marched over to him and gave the
Deathscythe pilot a long, searching stare from only a few inches away.
With their noses practically touching, Duo clutched the printouts
to his chest and stammered, "Errr... is there something wrong,
The Shen Long pilot gave Duo a decidedly suspicious scowl. He
could vaguely remember some discussion about Maxwell.... A hazy,
disturbing memory stirred briefly in his aching brain, but it slipped
away from his grasp. As Duo continued give him a startled, wide-eyed
stare, Wufei shrugged and turned away with a disgusted snort.
"What the hell was that all about?" a thoroughly bewildered Duo
"It's nothing important," Wufei said irritably, as he rubbed his
forehead in a futile attempt to massage away the remainder of his
"Uh... o-kay, if you say so. But about these pictures...."
The Chinese pilot muttered, "That crazy female sent Treize an
separate email message repeating her asinine accusations." Before Duo
could interrupt, Wufei growled, "Don't worry, I erased all traces of
her message AND the pictures." His deadly glare warned against any
attempt to discover just how he managed to do that.
"Uhh... thanks, Wufei," Duo said.
The Chinese pilot shrugged and stalked out the door in search of
some peace and quiet... not to mention a large icebag.
Later that evening after dinner, Heero went looking for Duo. He
found his quarry sitting at Deathscythe's feet, struggling to brush
the tangles out of his long hair.
Duo glanced up to see Heero scowling at him.
"What's up?" he asked brightly.
Heero tossed a data disk at Duo, who reflexively caught it, and
snapped, "You shouldn't be so careless."
"Careless?" the violet-eyed pilot said with an air of bewilderment
as he turned the disk over in his hand. "What the hell's this? That
stupid computer virus?"
"No. It's the most recent surveillance video for Relena's office
and waiting room."
Duo froze with a shocked look on his face and blurted out, "But
that IMPOS-sible...." His voice abruptly trailed off, then he slowly
lowered his head. With his long, brown bangs hiding his eyes, Duo
uttered a rueful little chuckle.
"I see. I suppose you heard and saw... everything."
"Yes." Heero was silent for a long moment, then added in a
disturbingly cold voice, "I remember you now. Somewhere in the back
of my mind, something about Duo Maxwell always seemed strangely
familiar. Now I know why."
Duo released a deep sigh. Without looking up, he continued to
turn the disk over in his fingers as he quietly said, "So I guess it's
pretty useless for me to pretend that it was all a sick joke on
When Heero remained silent, Duo peeked upward through his bangs
and quipped, "Gee, no waving of guns? No threats of 'Omae o korosu?"
"Considering what you are, that's rather pointless, I think."
Duo shrugged carelessly. "Okay. So what now?"
"A few questions."
"Naturally. I'm sure you're just *dying* for some answers."
Heero merely glared at the other boy and snapped, "Who, when, and
"Huh?" Duo blinked in confusion. "You know, most people would be
asking 'What the hell are you?' and 'Why the hell are you here?' That
sort of thing."
"I already know what you are and I can guess... why... from your
conversation with Relena."
Duo smacked himself lightly on the forehead. "Damn it, you DID
"Yes." In a frighteningly calm voice, Heero said, "I want to know
exactly when this masquerade of yours started."
Duo leaned back against his Gundam's leg and held up his hands.
"If you're worried that I somehow sneakily managed to dispose of the
real Duo Maxwell and take over his body or junk like that in the last
couple of weeks... well, don't be. I'm the exact same person you've
known for the last year or more. I've always BEEN Duo Maxwell."
"Is Duo Maxwell a real person or just some convenient
fabrication?" Heero coolly inquired.
The long-haired pilot said evenly, "Duo Maxwell is a very real
person. *I'M* a real person, Heero. I bleed. I feel pain. I hurt.
But if you're asking when Shinigami first entered the picture....
Well, soon after I saw you for the first time, I ended up at L2
colony. There was a virulent plague going around and the people in
the ghettos were dying in droves. An antidote existed, but the
colony's administrators didn't want to waste valuable resources
distributing such an expensive drug to a bunch of penniless nobodies.
"While I was there, I came across two street kids. One was
already dead from the plague. The other boy was alive, but infected.
I knew that in less than a day, I'd be back for him, too. But when I
noticed that he looked a lot like me, I got a crazy idea." He
shrugged a shoulder.
"So I called in a few favors and sort of... I
guess you could say 'merged' with that kid.... I was him, he was me.
"And so here I am -- the one and only Duo Maxwell. It's just
that... I happen to be Shinigami, too."
Heero asked in an emotionless voice, "If you're really Death...."
Duo rubbed the back of his neck and grinned a bit sheepishly,
"Well, if you want to be really picky about it, I'm *A* Death.
There's others who do the same sort of job I do. Believe me, there's
more than enough work to go around!"
The Wing pilot shook his head irritably. "So on a mere whim, you
decided to pretend that you're an ordinary human being?"
With a wistful little smile, Duo said, "Why not? I deserved a
"For over a decade?"
"These things are relative. I've been working non-stop for... oh,
a very VERY long time.... Even if there aren't wars going on, people
are constantly dying from all sorts of reasons... disease, accident,
violence, even plain old age. I suppose I just... got tired of it
"So that's all it is for you? A way to spend a few decades? A
frivolous little game with us puny humans?"
Duo shook his head somberly. "Oh no. It's anything BUT a game to
me." He slowly walked up to Heero. "You see, my real reason for
taking a human form... well, it's because I was... because I wanted to
be with you...."
"But isn't hanging around with me rather like taking a working
holiday? Not much of a vacation, is it? Or is that the real reason
why you decided to stick around?" Heero retorted, his lips curling
upward in a bitter smile.
Duo shouted, "No! That's not it at all! I did all this because I
wanted to be together with you and ONLY you. Don't you get it? I
love you! I think I loved you from the moment I saw you, all those
In a cynical voice, Heero asked, "But if you really want us to be
together, then why are you interested in keeping me alive? Why bother
saving my life on all those occasions?"
Duo grabbed Heero's shoulders. "Because I don't want to lose
"How can you lose me?" Heero snapped. "After all, you're Death,
aren't you? I'm going to be yours eventually. And considering the
sort of life I lead, it's likely to be much sooner rather than later."
"Don't you think I know that better than anybody!?" Duo shouted.
Taken aback by the pain in the other boy's voice, Heero's tense
expression eased slightly.
"Then what are you waiting for?"
The Deathscythe pilot shook his head slowly.
"That's... not how it works, Heero. I'm not some kooky collector
of souls. It's my JOB to release people's spirits from their bodies
so they can go on to their just rewards."
Duo gestured wildly. "You know... heaven... hell... rebirth...
whatever the fates, judges of the dead, or destiny decide. You
wouldn't believe the bureaucracy and red tape! But the point is that
I don't KEEP any of the souls I take! Once you die, Heero, off you go
and that's IT!"
Heero stared at the panting Deathscythe pilot for a long moment.
Then he finally said, almost disbelievingly, "Are you afraid of being
"...." Duo abruptly whirled and turned his back to Heero.
The long-haired pilot refused to turn around. In the faintest of
voices, he whispered, "They all leave... that's what they always
"What did you say?"
Duo twitched slightly, then spun around and said with slightly
forced cheerfulness, "Oh, nothing!"
In an off-handed way, the long-haired pilot added, "Freed souls
are always running off somewhere." He shrugged carelessly. "Places
to go, things to do, people to see... that sort of thing. They
usually don't bother to stick around to talk. And the ones that do
linger... well, they're the undead, the ghosts, the spirits obsessed
with something from their mortal lives. And like Relena, obsessed
souls aren't the most entertaining of conversationalists."
Duo found himself backing up as Heero stalked forward, until he
ended up pinned against Deathscythe.
"Is that it?" Heero asked softly. "You're afraid I'm going to
leave you alone once I die?"
Duo tried to look away, but Heero grabbed his chin and forced him
to meet his cobalt-blue stare. In low, furious tones, the Wing pilot
snarled, "Did you think that when I said, 'I love you,' I was just
"C'mon, Heero. You know that you NEVER would have said it if you
weren't drugged out of your mind at the time!" Duo retorted. Then his
expression turned wistful. "But I was really glad to hear you say
it... even if you didn't know what you were doing."
"Baka. I knew exactly what I was doing. I just couldn't stop
myself. Maybe I wouldn't have said it under normal circumstances, but
the fact that I wasn't exactly in total control of myself doesn't mean
that I was lying to you."
Duo's hand slowly crept upward to grab a hold of Heero's tanktop.
"So... are you trying to tell me that when you said...." He was
almost afraid to believe what he was hearing.
The Wing pilot scowled at his lover. "When I told that I'd love
you forever, that's EXACTLY what I meant!"
"And now that you know what I really am...."
"That doesn't change anything. I wasn't afraid of you when I was
a child. I'm not about to be afraid of you now."
"But... does that mean you're not the slightest bit worried that
Relena might be right when she claimed that I could control people's
"Ignoring the fact that Relena's an obvious nutcase to begin with,
I don't care if she IS right about that."
"Heero!? You're not serious!"
"I'm perfectly serious." Heero leaned even closer to Duo. "Don't
you understand? All my life, I've felt separate... detached... like
there was a thick glass wall between myself and the world. I could
see, but couldn't touch.... A dying man once told me to 'Live
according to your feelings.' But before I met you, it was almost
impossible to figure out just what those feelings were. Somehow, you
broke through that wall of mine... gave me a connection to the rest of
the world... made me WHOLE.
"I like that feeling, Duo. Having lived so long without real
emotions, I know just how precious it is. And if through some
incredible longshot, Relena turns out to be right with her babblings
about mind control... well, as I said before, I really don't CARE."
Duo's amethyst eyes darkened with emotion, then he flung his arms
around Heero and held him as close as he could possibly manage.
Wrapping his own arms around Duo's body, Heero whispered quietly,
"Strange... it took Death itself to teach me how to be alive...."
Behind Heero's back, Duo held up the video disk in his hand and
frowned slightly. No, he *hadn't* forgotten to blank out the security
camera in Relena's waiting room. Then how on earth did Heero manage
The black-clad pilot froze, then glanced upward at the night sky
with a rueful grin on his face.
Feeling Duo's body stiffen, Heero quickly pulled back and said,
Duo shook his head quickly and burst into merry laughter. He
tossed the video recording into the air where it disintegrated in a
flash of green flame, then shoved Heero back onto the thick grass and
pounced on him.
As he started to drop slow, tantalizing kisses on Heero's face,
Duo murmured, "Forever, Heero?"
"Forever and always."
And as Heero grabbed a hold of his lover's long hair and pulled
his head down to show him how to *really* kiss, Duo thought he felt
soft, feathery wings encircle him and hold him close.
And somewhere, on some distant extra-dimensional plane, two great
towering figures faced off.
"He's finally learned how to truly feel," the glowing figure with
incandescently white feathered wings noted with great satisfaction.
"He's no longer lonely," commented the ominous, shadow-shrouded
and bat-winged figure with a raspy sigh of relief.
The light and the darkness shook hands, grinned smugly at each
other, and said in chorus....
~~~ OWARI ~~~
<wild victory dance>
My very *first* completed multi-part fanfic! ^_^
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