Title: There is no Absolution
Part: 1-2/?
Author: Jenn
Email: Okaminomiko@aol.com, Heeroyuy1x2@aol.com
Archive: Dreamscape Studios (www.dreamscapestudios.net)
Rating: R? Definite implications, but not a whole lot of specifics. A twist of citrus nonethless. Also dark at times
Pairings: 1x2
Warnings: Somewhat AU, although it exists within a close parallel to canon timeline. Definite supernatural implications, twisted theological implications. Also, slight homage to Margaret Weis' SotG. Yes, this is meant to be a rather cryptic fic. All will be revealed in time. ::mysterious look:: Also, for continuity purposes, the flashback in part 2 takes place -before- the flashback in part 1.
Feedback: Absolutely.
Disclaimer: Standard warnings apply, you know the drill. For pleasure, not profit, and calorie-free!

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There is no Absolution
by Jennifer Beacham

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"A thousand years, a thousand more
A thousand times a million doors to eternity
I may have lived a thousand lives, a thousand times
An endless turning stairway climbs
To a tower of souls..."

from A Thousand Years, by Sting
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Blood. Everywhere blood.

"What did you give up to come to me?" he panted, pushing aside the pain to gaze into those clear, amethyst eyes, set in a face that had been ethereal even in life...and was only moreso now.

"Nothing that matters," was the quiet reply, given as the speaker knelt at the side of the fallen knight. He reached out a hand to touch that agonized face, gazing into those cobalt orbs with a look of peace.

If possible, the pain in those blue eyes increased. "No..."

"It was never mine to give away," the winged being said softly. "It was given for you long ago." A slight, impish smile curved his expressive lips. "If we are to be damned, better to be damned together, ne?"

The blue-eyed man shuddered, letting go of a moan that was not entirely inspired by physical pain as the angel cradled him in his arms. "Why?"

"Because I love you." Amethyst eyes lifted as a great shout could be heard beyond the walls. They were coming... Not much longer to wait. "Sleep now," he breathed, leaning forward so that his long, shining hair and snowy wings enveloped them both. "I'll protect you." His gaze flicked to where a steady stream of lifeblood pooled on the already muddy ground of the courtyard and tears welled in his eyes. Not long at all.

"Duo?" It was carried on a ragged breath, one of the last.

"Yes, Heero?"

"I've always...loved you."

"I know," the angel whispered softly, brushing his fingertips against one bloodstained cheek. "I know."

***

"Duck!"

Heero flattened instantly, watching as Duo dove in next to him, both teenagers bracing against the concussive force of the explosion. Duo's head popped up first once the noise had died down, and Heero quickly reached out and pressed him flat again. Violet eyes glared at him and he glared right back, firm in the knowledge of who had whom in that contest. As expected, Duo made a little snort of exasperation, turning back towards the hallway and the reason that Heero had made him stay down.

A squad of Oz troopers came thundering down the hallway, finding a blasted out shell where the computer substation's control room used to be. Their lieutenant shouted orders and the squad scattered in several directions, trying to ascertain just what had happened. Heero tensed, sensing a similar reaction from his partner. The hall visibly cleared...1...2....3.

They burst out of the alcove as one, back to back. Hearing Duo's gun cock a moment after his own, the barest hint of a satisfied little smirk quirked his mouth. It quickly smoothed out into the look of intense focus that was his trademark. They were clear. "Go," Heero said softly. He relaxed his right arm slightly as he felt the warmth against his back diminish.

Falling into stride together, Heero let Duo take point, which left him to watch their backs. They didn't have much time, the troopers would regroup shortly to report their findings. Abruptly, his shoulder collided with Duo's back right before he heard the softly whispered "Kuso." Whirling, he snapped his gun up, leveling on the target that had given Duo pause. Three troopers faced them, all with their guns drawn, all looking alternately surprised and very pleased with themselves. Evidently they disregarded two seeming-boys as opponents, forgetting that those boys were Gundam pilots.

He could feel Duo's eyes on him, sensed that silent acquiescence to Heero's judgement. *What do we do?* he asked silently.

"Put your weapons down and surrender quietly," one of the troopers ordered. *Not acceptable,* Heero's eyes informed Duo. *Get ready.*

At some signal, not so much heard or seen so much as felt, they both fired. Two troopers down, one left. Heero lunged, but wasn't quite fast enough. The bullet had already left the gun by the time his forward momentum sent him crashing into the trooper, his hand clamping down on the weapon. Duo twisted, tried to dodge, succeeding in redirecting a shot aimed at his chest into his left arm. He staggered but didn't go down, his right arm steady as he prepared to fire if necessary.

Incapacitating the man with a sharp knife-hand blow, Heero gathered himself back into a crouch, wrenching around to rake his gaze over Duo. "Status?" he demanded, eyes lingering on the bright ribbons of crimson trailing down the other boy's forearm.

"I'll live," the reply held only a faint trace of Duo's usual wry humor. "Let's get out of here." Heero's eyes stayed on him for a moment longer, then he nodded sharply. If they didn't get out of this compound *right now*, they were both going to risk more than a relatively minor gunshot wound.

Lifting his head like a wolf scenting the wind, Heero listened intently, then gestured for Duo to join him. Keeping his free hand on his injured partner's back, he guided him unerringly through a maze of passageways. There were a few close calls, but they managed to make it outside with no further incident.

"Daijoubu ka?" They crouched in the relative safety of an outbuilding. Time to catch their breath, time for Heero to tug at the sleeve of Duo's shirt to expose the wound. Duo cursed creatively, but let him do it, turning his head to peer at it himself.

"It's not too bad," he said with a touch of relief. The bullet had made a clean exit and while it hurt like hell, the flow of blood had become sluggish. He watched intently as Heero produced a field kit from... somewhere... and applied a neat field dressing. "That'll do for now," he said with a sigh, then lifted his head only to find himself drowning in eyes like shadowed sapphires. "What?" he asked softly, a slight smile curving his lips.

Heero shook his head slightly, realizing that, among other things, he was becoming distracted from the mission. He also realized that he really didn't care. Leaning forward, he kissed his lover. It was gentle, soft, more comforting than urgent, lasting more than a moment, but less than the lifetime that it could have. "Mine," Heero whispered with a rare possessiveness, drawing back to capture Duo's gaze.

"Wrong." Chuckling softly, Duo nipped the Perfect Soldier's chin. "You were mine first." They stayed there, together, for another few heartbeats, foreheads touching as they shared their mingled breath.

"We need to go." Heero's firm, focused tone broke the mood, but it was a necessary evil. They had to get off the grounds or the chances of being captured would steadily increase.

"We do." He took Heero's hand without even a twinge of pride, accepting it for what it was. Concern. Once he was on his feet, violet eyes swept the area, looking for anything that might give away the fact that they'd paused here, but it seemed relatively clean. His partner was already at the door, taking stock of the situation outside. They were relatively near the perimeter now, the fence only a quick run from this building. Beyond that? The woods, and their hidden Gundams.

"Can you manage the fence?" Heero's eyes flicked to his wounded arm.

Duo nodded, moving to Heero's shoulder. "For you I would walk through hell," he murmured quietly. After a moment of silence, he added wryly, "against my better judgement, of course."

What he didn't see was the look Heero gave him. Haunted, hazy, a little fearful, not of him but for him. Then it was gone and Heero shook his head slightly, turning his thoughts back to getting them out of here.

 

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"If there was a a single truth, a single light
A single thought, a singular touch of grace
Then following this single point, this single flame
This single haunted memory of your face..."

from A Thousand Years, by Sting
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"I have served faithfully, always faithfully. Is this my reward?!" With a roar of fury, he seized the tray of blessed host and slammed it into the wall, sending the small wafers flying. For several long moments after he stood there, shoulders heaving as he ruthlessly fought down the anger that boiled over in his heart. It was an anger born of despair, or perhaps in spite of it. Without the anger, there would be an emptiness to face.

"I have never questioned your will...Lord... But why?" His voice broke, the powerful body crumpling to one knee before the altar. "Why?" He raked his hands through his hair, eyes studying the intricate designs of the precious oriental carpets that covered the chapel's wood floors. "Our love was not...blessed by the church. I know that. I thought, perhaps-- Surely, so much blood on my hands. In your name, always in your name...

"You asked too much," he whispered brokenly. "My life, my soul. Could you not give me one small thing in return? Speak to me, Father. Speak to me..." Wearily, he slumped over the altar, hands clutching at the bronze crucifix that was enthroned upon it.

For hours he lay there, undisturbed. A few dared to look inside the chapel's doors, but none ventured past them. Lord Heero had the look of one wrestling with God, and a battle such as that was one no mere mortal would chance to stumble upon. When the sunlight began to fade, painting the saints in their windows in dark, forbidding tones, he at last arose from the altar.

"If that is your answer," he grated in a harsh whisper, "here is mine." The window nearest the altar depicted the dying Christ, its panes a mingled hue of amber and deep crimson. The last of the sunlight fell through that window, bathing the chiseled stone features of the man standing before God's judgement... it bathed him in crimson, baptized him in blood.

He lifted a hand to the cross that hung at his neck, snapping the chain in one swift stroke. Then he hesitated, looking down at the simple crucifix as it lay in his palm. Plain, unadorned, as unassuming as its original wearer. *His* cross. Bowing his head, Heero closed his hand around it, the crossbars biting into his flesh. Witnessed only by the distant, forbidding saints, a tear escaped his iron will, one of the last he would ever shed. With a reverence reserved not for the God it symbolized, but for the beloved one at whose throat the cross truly belonged, he laid it on the altar.

"You now have all that I will give to you." Cold, cobalt-blue eyes lifted to those of the Christ on his bronzed throne. "If you wish more from me, you will have to come down from your heavens and take it." He took a slow, deep breath, steeling himself to the course he had chosen. "My business with you is done."

The saints, in their silent witness, watched as he turned on his heel and left the small chapel... never to return. Heero had chosen his path, he went now to war.

*******

"God...Heero." He tossed his head, barely wincing as the movement made his shoulder throb. It was but one small voice in a chorus, his body fairly singing as Heero moved again above him. "Come down here," he whispered fiercely, lifting his uninjured arm and threading his fingers into his lover's hair, forcing his head down until their mouths sealed together in a searing kiss.

The safe house was deserted save for the two of them. Their bags still lay on the floor just inside the doorway, Heero's precious laptop sitting on a chair, abandoned. Everyone came down from the high differently, but something about the rush of adrenaline, the euphoria of coming so very close to death, made every movement sensual, every sensation more intense. With the scent of blood still in the air, the realization of what had nearly been lost foremost on both their minds...the conclusion was foregone.

"Say my name that way again," Heero murmured against Duo's cheek. It almost sounded teasing.

"What way?" Violet eyes looked up at him hazily, then abruptly rolled back as Duo's lithe body arched. He raggedly said Heero's name through clenched teeth. Much as it had been intended, it came out as something between a blessing and a curse.

"That way." Burying his lips in Duo's hair, he managed to hide something that sounded suspiciously like a chuckle.

"Bastard," Duo gasped, dragging Heero's head back up where he'd wanted it to begin with, digging his nails into the hard muscles of his back until that, too, elicited the response he desired. He met his lover thrust for thrust, pillaging Heero's mouth even as he allowed Heero to conquer his body. Or perhaps it was the other way around. Just because you weren't on top didn't mean you weren't holding the reins. He tucked that thought away for later, simply because it was getting harder and harder to think at all.

"Duo..." Cobalt eyes searched his face, every muscle in Heero's body tensed in anticipation of release.

"Finish it," Duo breathed, then cried out as his own body gave out beneath the weight of so much bliss. Heero followed him mere moments after as the world was broken, remade and broken again around them.

It seemed a small eternity until he could breathe again, nuzzling against Heero's neck, laughing softly as he received an irritable grunt by way of reply. His lover's weight still pressed him down, their bodies still joined. He closed his eyes and relished it, threading his fingers into Heero's unruly hair. "Ok, that's enough," he said eventually. "Off. You're heavy." He chose a rib and tickled it.

Heero's back arched and his head snapped up, blue eyes glaring at him blearily. "I'm not ticklish," he declared in his best Perfect Soldier tone.

"Mmm-hmm, if you say so." Batting his eyelashes innocently, Duo attacked his ribs again, grinning like a fool as Heero shied away from his fingers, pulling free and rolling to one side. "Don't go quite that far," he said after a moment, realizing that the dark-haired boy had every intention of keeping a safe distance between them. He moved closer, grazing his fingertips along Heero's taut back before sliding his arms around his waist.

"I thought you'd had enough of me," Heero said archly.

"I could never have enough," Duo breathed against his neck, running his fingers through the downy soft hairs that grew at Heero's nape. That touch elicited a low, soft sound and Heero turned towards him. The lips that never quite seemed to smile were incredibly soft against his, delivering a kiss that gave more than it asked. It was the kind of thing that made Duo's heart race, along with the knowledge that that tenderness was reserved for him alone.

"You need to rest," Heero told him firmly, pulling back just far enough for their eyes to meet.

"Someone hasn't been letting me rest," he replied acerbically, eyeing the someone in question. Heero merely cocked an eyebrow at that, his wordless insinuation being that Duo hadn't exactly objected.

"Rest," Heero said more gently, pressing his lips to Duo's forehead. He gently ran his hand over the bandaged shoulder, cradling his braided lover against him in such a way that it was protected and secure.

Duo lay his head against Heero's chest, listening as the other's breathing deepened into the patterns that heralded sleep. It reminded him just how tired he was, how much being injured, (and being Heero's lover, he added with a smirk) took out of him. It was a pleasant thing to slide into his dreams lying in the safety of the Perfect Soldier's arms.... And dream he did.

 

When the dawnlight found them, it discovered Heero alone in the bed. That was a rare thing, given Duo's penchant for sleeping late. Frowning, the Wing pilot rose, raking the bedroom with a searching cobalt gaze...only to find Duo at the window.

"Duo?" He reached for his jeans, pulling them on as he crossed the floor. It took touching his partner's shoulder before it seemed he noticed his presence at all.

"Heero..." Haunted violet eyes turned his way, drinking in his face like a man dying of thirst.

"What is it?" Heero's eyes narrowed and he tensed as though anticipating an attack from an unseen assailant. "Duo--"

"A dream," Duo shook his head. "Just a dream." He swallowed hard, reached out to brush his fingertips across the window panes. "Do you believe in God, Heero?"

"No." There was something in the way he said it. A hardening of his voice, that meant it was more than a simple Yuy negative. There was more to it, but perhaps he didn't realize the 'more' was there at all.

"Maybe you should."

"Why?" Again, that hardness.

"It's just...a feeling I have." He swallowed hard. "I think Fate is finally calling in what She's owed."

(to be continued...)