8-11-2001

Well, I was inspired by the game 'Dead or Alive 2' for Dreamcast. It seemed like a good idea so I wanted to make this story. It really doesn't have much to do with the game, but I like the idea of it. This is my second story so far, and I hope you all like it. I'm trying really hard to make it interesting so plz stick with me. Well, here goes nothing:

Title: Dead or Alive
Author: American Psycho
Pairings: 1x2 (I haven't decided if I'm going to put anymore yet)
Genre: AU, a lil OOC, Romance, Action, Adventure
Rating: PG-13 - R
Warning: Some violence and curse words. Of course yaoi. That's about it. Some OOC.

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Chapter 1- Duo's Story

A lone figure crept down the streets of New York City, his home for the past 15 years. He was dressed in black from head to toe, complete with black knee-high boots, black leather pants, black fingerless gloves, a mesh t-shirt, and a button down black collared shirt which was left open exposing his skin under the mesh t-shirt (1). His hair was about a yard long and woven into a neat braid. His name was Duo Maxwell, 15 years old, about 5'2 in height, 98 lbs., smooth creamy skin, shining violet eyes, and chestnut colored hair. He was a famous fighter in the Underground, even earning himself the nickname "God of Death"(2).

The Underground was the famous, secret fighting arena which featured fights every Friday night. It attracted boxers, wrestlers, ninjas, soldiers, and fighters from all over the United States. Duo had joined about 2 years ago when Howard had convinced the owner of the arena to let Duo fight. After 2 years of grueling battles, bloody life-threatening injuries, extreme physical strain, he was only one battle away from becoming the Champion. He had beat out nearly every other fighter in the Underground because of his incredible speed and agility.

The Champion goes on to fight in the Dead or Alive Tournament in Tokyo. He was eager to go because he would be the youngest fighter to have achieved such an honor as Champion of the Underground. He couldn't wait. Only one thing stood in his way. His name was Alex, and he was 26 years old, tall, muscular, and one of the best. He was also on the verge of being crowned Champion, an honor Duo wanted to sustain for himself.

Unfortunately, Duo was battling off his personal traumas after the anniversary of the church fire was on the day of the fight. Around this time, Duo always requested a leave of absence so he can mourn the deaths of the loved ones he lost in the fire, but this time, he couldn't hold it off. He had no other choice; so, he was forced to go to St. Matthew's Church a day early.

Duo pushed the hood of his long jacket off his face and gazed at the gothic-looking church. He pushed the large wooden doors open and beheld the brilliantly lit candles lined up around the church. He walked through the center of the pews until he got to the altar. The church was empty for some reason that day. This was more accomodating to Duo. He felt more at ease when he was by himself. He closed his eyes and awaited the fleeting memories that assaulted his fragile psyche.

It all happened so fast that day seven years ago. Duo lived in Maxwell church with his best friend, Solo. Solo was 7 years older than Duo and was a member of the Underground. He had fought in many battles but never made it to become Champion because of his Achille's heel. He had a weakness, and that was Duo. Duo always begged to see the fights, but Solo wanted to keep him away from the filthy world he lived in. So, he never let Duo come, and he was always sneaking out to join in the fights, much to Father Maxwell's and Sister Helen's consternation.

Father Maxwell and Sister Helen had been Duo's only family. Ever since Duo was brought to Maxwell Church, they treated him with love and kindness despite the trouble he always got himself into. So, Duo lived with his little family, and everything seemed happy. However, much like life, happiness fades away.

The night Solo was competing for his title as Champion, Duo had snuck out to see his best friend. He ended up in the Underground Arena. The place was crawling with smoke, dirt, and smut. Everyone was dressed in black with chains and piercings all over their body. Everything was bleak, and Duo felt like taking a bath.

He looked up into the pit and watched as Solo was dueling with a taller man dressed in black with long flowing white hair and a black mask that covered his face. He was beating up Solo very badly, and Duo got scared. So, naturally, Duo panicked and tried to defend his poor friend. He threw a rock at the taller man which hit him in the head. Forunately, no one saw it, and assumed Solo had won. Solo came out of his daze and realized that his foe was lying on the ground bleeding. He was proclaimed the victor and was to become the Champion, therefore eligible to compete in the Dead or Alive Tournament.

Solo smiled as it was the proudest day of his life. Girls crowded around him and the entire arena was clapping. The loser was still unconsious on the ground, lying in a pool of his own blood. Duo panicked as he realized Solo only won by the fault. No one saw that his opponent was knocked out by him. He became light headed and felt as if he were going to pass out. Luckily, his body refused to obey his weary mind and carried him away back to the church.

The next day, Solo announced to everyone that he was going to be in the Dead or Alive tournament that upcoming week. He held a triumphant smiled that made Duo want to weep. He couldn't believe what he had done. The next few events happened so quickly that it was still a haze in Duo's mind.

The man, who was now revealed to be named Zechs, barged into the church. He had an expression of extreme fury.

"You!" he screamed while pointing a fine, delicate hand at Solo.

"What do you want, Zechs?" Solo asked.

"You cheated! You took MY honor away from me! You sent that little runt to harm me so you can win!"

"You lie, Zechs. Duo has never been to the arena, nor has he ever helped me win."

"You are wrong, Solo. I saw him there last night! He threw a rock at the back of my head just as I was about to win!"

Solo looked at Duo with sad eyes. He felt as if everything was crumbling around him. "No! Duo would never do a thing like that! Stop your lies, Zechs!" Solo yelled out angrily.

Duo's heart clenched up at those words. He felt extremely guilty, but he couldn't confess. He knew Solo deserved to go to the tournament, and nothing should stand in his way. Zechs looked at Duo's pleading eyes, and his lips curled up into a feral grin.

"Fine. You've left me no choice, Solo," Zechs said with a hint of madness covering his crystal blue eyes.

In a second, Solo saw his life pass before his eyes as a bullet drove deep into his heart. The young man fell to his knees, and a large river of blood poured free from his lifeless body. Duo screamed with all his childish might. He ran to Solo's body and tears gushed free from his eyes. Then he looked up at his best friend's killer. Zechs still wore his cruel smile, which brought anger to Duo. They young eight year old ran to Zechs and started hitting the older man's leg with all his might.

"You bad bad man! You deserve to die!" Duo yelled.

"Take him, boys. I want him to suffer for his mistake," Zechs ordered two members of his posse.

They grabbed on to Duo while the little boy struggled helplessly. If only he was stronger, he could've been able to break free. After a while, he gave up, and he was dragged away from the church. Then everything went up in flames. Zechs had set Maxwell Church on fire, and all Duo could do was stare as it went up in flames. He cried, screamed, and struggled free, but his attempts were useless. Everyone he knew was dead. His family was gone forever.

Angry tears streamed down Duo's face as he was forced to witness it all. "Why?" he breathed out.

Zechs just gave him that cruel smile again. Then the two guys tied him up and left him in an alley to become rat food. The young eight year old cried harder, but it didn't help. His life was over. Nothing would ever be the same. Zechs took on the title of the Champion of the Underground and left to the Dead or Alive tournament. Duo never heard from him again.

He was eventually found in the alley by the Sweepers. They were a small fighting troop that had appeared in the Underground arena. They housed most of the strongest fighters in the Underground, although, they have never made it to Dead or Alive Tournament. The leader, Howard, took pity on Duo, took him in, and raised him as one of their own.

Which led to the present day. After nearly 7 years in training to be a fighter, Duo was finally competing to be the Champion. He looked around the empty church as a solitary tear slipped free from his eye. He only allowed one tear to be shed before he swallowed his pain. The arena is no place for emotions (3). Duo gathered his thoughts and possessions and left the church back to the Sweepers hangout. He had every intention of winning the competition tomorrow.

As Duo arrived at the abandoned warehouse that housed the Sweeper gang, he noticed Howard was busy yelling at some poor bookie. The fat balding man scurried out in a hurry as Howard glared at him with an intensity that would scare the pants off of even Hades himself. Howard looked up and directed a devilish grin at Duo.

"How ya doin' ma boy?" He said to the young American.

"What was that all about?" Duo wasted no time in asking.

"Some jerk was sayin' that all bets are against you. Then he actually insulted you in my face by sayin' no way you was gonna win cuz you ain't got no skillz. I yelled at the mother fucker, and told him I was gonna bet on you cuz I know you can win! We didn't make it this far to lose,"Howard answered.

Duo nodded solemnly. He didn't know why, but he felt this overwhelming fear that he was going to let down the Sweepers. He was not only fighting for himself, but for the honor of the Sweepers. This fueled him more to win, but also intensified his anxiety. He spent the rest of the day in extreme physical workout from running, to lifting weights, to sparring with his fellow Sweepers.

The next day finally arrived. Duo woke up bright and early and had a rich breakfast provided by Howard himself. Duo smiled his thanks and started to stretch and warm up. The fight was to take place that night at seven, so he had a few hours left to worry.

It was one of the few moments he had to himself, that Duo was on his knees praying. He prayed for the family he lost in the fire. He prayed for the strength to succeed in the fight. Finally, he prayed for his fellow Sweepers who had also been like a family to him those past years. Why did this fight mean so much to him? It wasn't for the honor or the glory. None of that mattered to him. All he wanted was to get revenge for the death of his family. He knew Zechs was living it up in Tokyo. He found out as much a few days ago in a news report. The man had won the last few Dead or Alive Tournaments, and this angered Duo. He wanted the chance to fight Zechs and beat him so he could finally avenge the deaths of his loved ones.

Duo sighed sadly as he thought about what he had become. He used to be a happy child. Now, he was an empty shell harboring shattered emotions. He looked at himself in the mirror and put on a fake smile. There was no stopping him now. Tonight, he was going to win. He took the crucifix off from its place on his bedpost and hung it around his neck. He brought the piece of shining silver to his lips and gave it one final kiss before leaving to the Underground Arena.

The crowds were roaring. Everyone who was anyone in the Underground system of things had already reserved the best seats in the house. Meanwhile, the rest of the scum of New York City was forced to wait in long lines to be able to get a seat in the arena. Duo was in the back room getting ready. Howard was braiding Duo's long hair while giving the nervous boy a pep talk.

"Don't worry, ma boy. You are going to win. In all my years in the Sweepers, I have never seen a better more dedicated fighter such as yoself," Howard said as he wove the chestnut strands together.

"I won't let you and the Sweepers down. I can't let Alex win."

"That's the spirit! Now lets get goin'! The show's about to start."

The older man placed his arm around Duo's shoulders and led him to the small waiting area near the pit. Several arena guards covered the entrance and nodded their head as Howard introduced himself and Duo. Quinze, the owner of the Underground arena came out to greet Duo personally.

"Hello, Duo. I'm glad to finally see you here about to fight one of the most important battles of your life. I've watched you since day one. You've always stood out. I wish you luck. Now, I'm going to introduce you and your opponent, and then the fight will commence," Quinze explained.

Duo nodded in confirmation and awaited the announcement. His head was covered in beads of sweat, and he kept his palms clenched into his fist. It was all he could do to keep himself from having a panick attack. Finally, Quinze's high-pitched voice boomed throughout the Arena.

"Welcome ladies and gentlemen! Tonight I present to you the greatest of fights. One of these two young gentlemen will take home the honor of being the Underground Champion and proceed to go to the Dead or Alive Tournament in Tokyo. Now for your viewing pleasure, I present to you Alex!"

The crowd roared and yelled as Alex came out with two beautiful ladies attatched to his arms. He waved at the crowd and blew kisses to the women. Then he removed the cloak around his body and stood there waiting for Duo.

"Now, I bring to you, from the Sweepers gang, our youngest fighter, Duo Maxwell!"

More clapping, screaming, and roaring came from the crowd. Duo stepped into the pit nervously. He tried to hide his before behind pride. He waved to the crowd and stood tall and proud. Alex just smiled as if he knew Duo would go down in seconds.

"You're going down, kid," Alex tauntingly whispered.

Duo glared in response and said,"Not if I knock you down first."

"Bring it on, girly-boy!"

The announcer interrupted their squabbling by explaining the rules. "You all know the rules: No weapons, No illegal substances or chemicals, No cheating, No outside help. Now, when I yell 'Go' this fight will begin. Ready...Go!"

The fight began. Alex started well off by getting a good hit to Duo's stomach, but Duo didn't let this faze him. He did a round about kick and hit Alex in the stomach. Alex grabbed Duo's left leg, but Duo jumped quickly, flipped and landed gracefully on his legs. Then he punched Alex, who in turn grabbed Duo's right arm and twisted it behind his back. Duo howled in pain and stomped on Alex's left leg. He punched Alex in the nose then kicked him with both of his legs in the stomach. Alex grabbed onto Duo's legs and flipped the boy over who landed hard on the ground.

Duo got back up slowly and started wheezing slightly. Then he kicked Alex in the face with his right leg. He performed a sweep kick and knocked Alex down. Alex grabbed Duo's left leg and pulled Duo. They both recovered quickly. Duo did a series of punches and chops and knocked down Alex. Alex got up quickly and started kicking Duo.

Duo fell to the ground and felt all the air leave his system. He felt the edges of his vision blur, but he forced himself to get up. With renewed strength, he dove into battle again. He kicked Alex in the upper chest then used his other leg to kick him in the head. Everything was going well, until Alex had picked Duo up by the crotch and slammed him down. It was too much to bear and Duo nearly passed out.

The back of his head thrummed with pain, and his body was about to give up. Then, as if by some miracle, he saw Solo's face. It was furrowed in determination. Duo took this as a sign that Solo was with him. Solo was his spirit of battle. Alex was about to body slam the poor boy when Duo got up in a flash and grabbed Alex's left hand. He flipped the older man over his shoulder and landed a chop on his chest. Then he finished him off with a blow to his head.

All went hazy after that. The crowd howled in appreciation, and some in disappoinment. Duo looked around and gave a weak smile. The announcer proclaimed Duo as the winner and the Champion. Duo gave a weak smile but passed out into the waiting arms of Howard.

When he woke up, he was back at the Sweeper's head quarters. He smiled weakly as Howard came in with some painkillers and a glass of water.

"Hey, Howie," Duo rasped out.

"Hey, kiddo, or should I say, our little Champion. Next week you're headed to Tokyo for the Dead or Alive Tournament. You must be excited. The guys are all proud of you."

Duo nodded weakly and said,"I can't believe I'm actually doing this. Seems like just yesterday, you guys found me in the alley."

"Don't worry, kiddo. You're going to be fine. Even if you don't win the tournament, we'll all still be proud of you."

Howard patted Duo's back encouragingly, and Duo offered a small smile.

"Looks like you leave next week. We're all going to miss you. You better have fun while you're living it up in Tokyo. I can't believe our little boy is finally growin' up and going to a tournament."

"Don't worry, Howie, I'll never forget you. I'll make sure I come back," Duo said noting how Howard's face fell at the mention of coming back. "What is it?" Duo asked.

"I was afraid to tell you this. Most of the people that go into this competition die. That's how intense this battle is. Last year, 180 of the competitors were killed. I'm afraid to send you off, kiddo. I don't want you to end up like them," Howard said sadly.

Duo's face fell and he thought about what Howard say. Howard walked away and let Duo rest in peace for a while. Duo was left to ponder the consequences of going to the tournament. He gripped the silver cross around his neck tightly and made a small prayer of thanks for letting him get this far. With new resolve, he planned to give his all in the Dead or Alive Tournament. He made a vow to himself to come back safe and alive to the Sweepers. Next week would tell what future lies ahead for the young fighter.

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Well, there is my first chapter. I hope you all like it. I worked really hard on it. So i want a lot of feedback. plz tell me what you think . do u think i should continue? sorry, no 1x2. that comes up a lil later if i choose to continue. oh yes, and i apologize for the crappy fight scene. sadly, i'm not good at writing them, but i'll work on it.

author's notes:

(1) i based this on Ein's costume in the video game. I really liked it and I thought it would fit Duo.

(2) i wanted to call him Shinigami, but i remembered they were in America, so he probably doesn't know Japanese. therefore, most people would call him the God of Death.

(3) this line sounds more like Heero then Duo.