Author: Karen, The Huntress firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing or its characters or the song, Rain.
Category: AU Songfic
Warning: violence, language
Part: 1/1 (complete)
Feedback: Always appreciated
This is based on "Rain" from the Cowboy Bebop "Red" CD.
"Slumber is the sister of death just like dreams are a foretaste of heaven"
I don't feel a thing and I stopped remembering,
The days are just like moments turned to hours.
Mother used to say if you want, you'll find a way
Bet mother never dance through fire showers.
The abandoned warehouse had long ago become devoid of life, but for the briefest measure of time it resounded with deafening blasts. Footfalls raced for cover. Voices were raised in anger and panic. Death throes ricocheted over the cold concrete. Now the rusted machinery speckled with crimson sits in mute testimony to a battle that, in a few moments, lasted a lifetime.
My body aches but my mind is numb as I sit here in the aftermath. Cramped fingers protest as they uncurl from my automatic allowing it to hit the floor with a hallow clang. The blackened barrel is still warm. A snaky wisp of blue-gray smoke twirls in the irregular currents whistling through the broken windows. A battered door riddled with bullet holes and streaked with more scarlet creaks on stress-worn hinges. Thunder rumbles as a steady rain pelts the spider web cracked skylight overhead.
Dull aches in my left shoulder radiate down my arm gathering in my bloodstained fingertips. I vaguely remember being hit, recall in hazy details the initial searing pain. I think blood must have splattered in my eyes but I couldn't be certain because my sight was already compromised. The smoke was so dense that I was picking out ripples of movement instead of solid targets.
Now blood tinted sweat stings not only my eyes but also several cuts across my cheek and chin. Wiping away the tacky fluid my hand comes back smeared with red. But I am better off than most of the poor bastards laying in a haphazard manner all around me.
It's odd but for a second something my mother used to say flickers through my mind. "Heero if you want something bad enough you will find a way to do it." was her wise advice each time that I became discouraged.
Walk in the rain, in the rain, in the rain,
I walk in the rain, in the rain,
Is it right or is it wrong and is it here that I belong?
But I didn't want this carnage or did I? I wanted Zechs Merquise badly enough to track him for days finally catching up with him here as he met with members of White Fang. I wanted a confrontation so badly I could taste it. This bloodlust had become a driving force, my only focus, until I pushed aside all reason. Hatred ruled my heart and clouded my sensibilities.
Duo tried to appeal to what *raison d'être remained but I was beyond listening. I was so absorbed in my pursuit that I didn't notice that Duo was tailing me until he yelled out a warning seconds before everything went to hell.
Damn, all this was for nothing. Zechs once again escaped as the silhouette of his black trench coat and his ebony soul fluttered out into the storm. I swear that cunning bastard must have nine lives. He is insane but we all whore with our fractured reality in our own way.
Now I am shaking not only from the fading adrenaline rush and my stinging shoulder but also from the realization that I almost got my best friend killed. Yeah I might have wanted Zechs dead but I had no right to make Duo dance through the shower of fire with me.
I don't hear a sound, silent faces in the ground
The quiet screams, but I refuse to listen.
Why is the silence after a gun battle always so eerie? Why does the wind seem to wail just a bit louder and the pain bite a bit harder? As suddenly as the fire fight began this damn eerie silence shrouded the entire building.
There is not as much movement as before. Occasionally a low moan will filter from an unknown location. One man is dragging himself from under a heap of bodies, his shattered leg dangling at the knee like a loose-jointed rag doll. Innocent men died here today. Well maybe "innocent" is not the best description. Most, I suppose, deserved the retribution. And since no one can control their time to die I guess things here happened as they were destined to occur.
I can just make out Duo wandering among a maze of contorted forms littering the opposite side. He's limping but is managing better than I am right now. With trembling fingers I rake back stringy stands of hair. With a heavy sigh I settle back against the wall.
The intermittent groans grow weaker. The unrelenting quiet, except for the pounding rain and my hammering heart, has its own voice. A certain hush holds more meaning than any words shouted out loud. I close my eyes trying to shut out the quiet, refusing to listen to its haunting echoes tracing familiar patterns in my mind. But a rain of gunfire and a rain of blood are indelibly etched on my conscience.
If there is a hell, I'm sure this is how it smells,
Wish this were a dream, but no, it isn't.
The sights of destruction, the sounds of misery, the scent of death are all the Grim Reaper's calling cards. If hell could be on earth I am sure this is what it would look like. A wave of faintness brings about a cold sweat. I feel so old, so tired. Life has become merely an existence, a dark dream of things that once were real.
I remember someone saying, "The past is gone and the future is just beyond your grasp so all you can do is live in the present." I wish this was a cruel nightmare, a transient hallucination that I would awake from to find myself free from the pain of lost love and the revenge that it spawned.
"Heero." Duo calls as he skirts the last of the prone bodies. "Hey are you all right?" he asks kneeling down beside me. His face mirrors the same weariness. Grime, sweat and blood also mar his features.
I look past his slumping frame surveying the gruesome aftermath. "I wish I could wake up." I mumble knowing I am not making any sense at all.
Duo tilts his head studying my eyes, the only true paths to my soul. "You're bleeding." he declares noticing my shoulder. "We can't do anything here. Come on let's get back to the safe house." I nod in resignation. "Besides," he continues bracing a knee on the floor and sliding a supportive arm around my waist, "I don't want to have to answer a bunch of questions when the police arrive." he states carefully helping me to stand.
I scoop up my gun tucking it in my belt. A gust of wind sends a fine spray through the shivering door. "Damn I wish it wasn't raining." Duo announces staring up into the crying sky.
Walk in the rain, in the rain, in the rain,
I walk in the rain, in the rain,
Why do I feel so alone?
For some reason I think of home.
"Back to the safe house." The promised return to that security offers a small measure of comfort as we step out into the downpour. The rain is chilly but exhilarating in an odd sort of way. It cleansing power strikes the road with a metered rhythm that suggests the normalcy of nature. Gray clouds reflect in puddles that break into streaming ringlets as we walk away from the warehouse and the horrid secret sheltered inside.
Once safely back I will be in the only place I can call home. But even with Duo, Quatre, Trowa and Wufei filling every spare space, I will still feel alone. In a crowd of people I am kept apart isolated by my disquiet mind and restless soul.
Home, my boyhood home, has occupied more and more of my thoughts as if I am searching for a way back to my roots, to a simpler time when my mother's wise words and gentle touch was all that was needed to make everything alright.
Sirens blare, thunder rolls in the distant. The storm is moving on. I stagger and Duo shores up his grip. Seven or eight blocks, turn the corner and my temporary sanctuary sits shimmering in the last traces of rain. Quatre is standing at the door. He reaches out to help me inside. "Welcome home." he smiles relieved that we were able to return under our own power but knowing that it will not be the last time that he will be left behind to wait and watch and worry.
*Raison d'être is loosely translated to mean underlying principles.
Rain--Karen Hickman--February 2003