DISCLAIMER: Moi? Own the G-boys? You must be kidding! I don't even own a pair of matching socks! Bwahahahah!
PAIRING: The usual (i.e. 1+2, 3+4, 5+?)
WARNING: Hn. Gore! Blood! Intestines! Stick around and find out. If you dare... Mwahahahahahahah!
ORIGIN OF IDEA: I have first hand accounts of the extreme scariness of a yearly scare-house they open ever October actually called `The Edge of Madness'. I'm not sure these people exaggerate or not, but I heard it's pre~tty grotesque. *chibifies* I wanna go! *de-chibifies* Unfortunately, once again, I may not get the chance. Pooh! *sighs dramatically* Ahh, well....

 

The Edge of Madness
Kel
October Fic Challenge

 

It was dark.

And scary.

And cold.

Did the author mention it was dark? Yeah...

The waiting room was filled with strobe lights flashing in rapid motion, and the smell of aromatic smoke floated in the closed in space. Glow-in-the-dark stars and moons littered the walls and ceiling, and people chatted and mingled as they awaited their turn...

In the Edge of Madness.

"Hmph. I don't see the logic in coming to a place to have the sense scared out of you."

"Well, Duo said it would be fun...."

"And we _listened_ to him?"

"It is his turn to pick out the activity for the week, Wufei. Don't snap at Quatre like that."

"Hn."

"You aren't helping, Yuy."

Duo Maxwell pouted playfully, tugging on his own braid in faked irritation. Normally they wouldn't all be out on a Saturday night; Wufei would be home, closed in his room and reading his books. Heero would be typing on his computer, awaiting ever-so-patiently for a mission. Trowa and Quatre would be spending a soothing night playing duets in so many different ways, and Duo would be pestering Heero to actually spend time with him every once in a while.

That was what would have happened, had the mission never came. The excited braided pilot would never forget the mission....

//Pilots,

The doctors have noticed a social problem with some of the pilots. Your mission, wether you want to accept it or not, we don't particularly care, is to each put yourself and the others in a social situation for a week and report the outcome of each situation. You each receive a turn at picking the social events.

The doctors

This was a mission Duo enjoyed.

Wufei decided to choose first. Surprisingly, he took them to a popular Chinese restaurant to dine. The four pilots never realized Wufei ever went out in the first place; he must have, for the Chinese pilot knew what was best to eat and talked to everyone–civilly, even!– about this and that.

Next was Trowa, who took them to the carnival. Duo even got Heero to ride a few rides with him, while Quatre, Trowa, and Wufei fluttered off to sight see. There was one incident when Heero brought out a gun and held it to a booth owner's head because he caught onto the guy's cheating ways, and Duo got some nice stuffed animals out of the deal. Unfortunately, Duo didn't think that really followed the mission rules. Heero was devastated until Duo cheered him up in the world's best way...

Now if Trowa would just quit stealing his stuffed lions!....

Quatre selected next. The angelic fair-haired boy took them to an opera. Considering the fact Duo fell asleep in the middle of one obese woman's wailing (a surprising feat for a guy having to sit through a wailing, ear-splitting screech that rivaled even Relena's voice...) all went well. Except for Trowa using the actors as target practice for his knife throwing gig...

Hey, stop staring like that! Even poor, stoic Trowa can get annoyed with all the howling every once in a while!

The doctors weren't very happy about that turn of events either.

Heero would have refused if it weren't for the fact it was a mission. Why should he participate in social things? It wasn't as if he cared wether people considered him anti-social or not! But alas, even if he believed it was a stupid mission, he took them to a paint-ball field. Not very surprising, but they had a hell of a time beating everyone else.

Dr. J seemed fairly satisfied with Heero's choice.

Now it was Duo's turn. They'd all been secretly dreading this event. As time passed, Duo would smile absently or cackle like a madman like it was nothing. Whatever he had planned, they had known it must have been something childish. Ergo, the Edge of Madness.

Duo was bouncing from foot to foot, a look of barely compressed childish glee spread across his face. He'd never been to a scary house/building/garage/ whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it. He could hear the screams of people inside, the excited energy in the air, the lingering fear of the younger children. The revving of chainsaws echoed through the house....

Wait.

Chainsaws?...

All five pilots exchanged looks of confusion. Wufei grunted, crossing his arms and leaning against the wall. "I don't want to know."

The pilots couldn't agree more.

Later while the Gundam pilots stood in a tight pack, Duo started to giggle at Wufei... wait, he was giggling at something _behind_ Wufei. Confused and prepared to snap at anyone who he caught behind him, he turned and looked to the left. Then he looked to the right. There was no one. Irate, the Chinese pilot turned to the laughing-so-hard-I-think-I'll-bust-a-gut braided boy and snapped, "What are you laughing at, Maxwell?"

The braided boy was giggling too much to grace his question with a reply. Opening his mouth to snap at the braided Shinigami again, he was startled to feel a soft tug at his shirt. He turned again, looking around in annoyance and chagrin. No one.

"Down here, toots," a highly squeaky voice proclaimed in a bored tone, and Wufei automatically followed the instructions. A small man barely above Wufei's waist line stood tall–err, short–and smirked smugly up at the Gundam pilot when he jumped back with wide, astonishment-filled eyes.

"A midget??" all but Duo, Quatre, and Trowa uttered. Trowa didn't reply, for there were midgets in the circus. Quatre didn't say anything because he didn't want to offend the little guy. Duo hadn't exclaimed because he, of course, knew the little guy was down there in the first place. What else would he be laughing at? A dog? As if...

"You sure are smart, toots," remarked the midget with the smirk never leaving his face. Wufei scowled at the little man, enraged by the midget's nickname for him.

"Do not call me toots," he growled. The midget's smirk widened as he began to back away slowly.

"Whatever you say," he said nonchalantly, turning with a bold addition, "toots." Wufei looked like he was about to go after the little man to turn him into shish-ka-bob, but Duo's giggling started anew and Wufei whirled to take his anger out on him instead.

"GAH!" exclaimed the young Chinese pilot as he jumped back from the glowing face make-up of a grinning clown. The clown grinned and walked off, his hyena-like laugh floating backwards. Wufei scowled, crossing his arms.

"We're never doing this again," he muttered. "Mission be damned!"

Finally it was their turn to start their journey through the house. Duo bounced ahead of everyone, a grin splitting his face as he skipped passed the lady. The other's followed at a more calmer pace, Quatre clutching Trowa's arm while Trowa shielded his little angel. Wufei was the last to enter, and he was the only one that caught the admission lady's feral grin.

Now why didn't that make him feel any better?....

 

* * *

 

"How come we never went through one of these in training?"

"Probably because the doctors never even thought of it."

"I dunno.... It's kind of making me dizzy..." Duo bemoaned playfully, pretending to hold his stomach in nausea while his eyes rolled around dramatically. "I think I'm gonna be sick..."

"Hn," remarked Heero casually. "Baka." But Duo had been right. The room was litterly spinning, twisting greens and blues splashing against the tube wall. The bride was the only stable thing, and there wasn't even any railing to hold onto. Everything else was moving in a circle, like one of those tunnel things at those fun houses at the carnival. The other end was filled in inky blackness, too dark for even their good eyes to see.

It didn't take long before they were on the other side, safe and sound. Wufei snorted, feeling relaxed for once.

"If this is all this scare-house has to offer," he began in an arrogant tone, but Heero cut him off with a wave of the hand in the darkness of the long, Freddy Cruger-like hallway. With narrowed eyes, he watched as a hunched over figure started to hobble toward them. The rest of the pilots watched in silence until the hunched figure suddenly stopped three yards in front of them. A keen cackle came from the figure as her face was suddenly bathed in white light, cruel shadows carving her wrinkled face.

"You're all gonna die," croaked the amused, less-than-sane voice, cracked with age. "You're all gonna die." And it laughed evilly before a bright flash blinded them. When they were able to see again, the hunched-over figure was gone without a trace.

The pilots didn't move. "What the hell was that and where the hell did it go?" Duo asked with a gulp. He was starting to think coming in there with Heero unarmed was a very bad idea. Then he let that thought fly away with a grin; he'd faced death many times and here he was scared out of his wits by a light show! Snorting a laugh back, he added in humor, "You guys scared yet?"

Wufei scoffed. "Who was the one trembling in fear? The first act and you're jumping at a hologram!"

Heero narrowed his eyes further but didn't spare them a reply. That was no hologram. But how did the old crone disappear without him finding out where she went? He didn't even see any hidden doorways in the hall. This needed further investigation....

"C'mon," he said gruffly, moving forward and passed Duo. "Let's get this over with."

The next room was a dark room with a glass in the wall. Behind the glass was a `surgical team' operating on a patient's chest region. Quatre winced at the sight of the blood and realistic insides. Duo, however, couldn't get enough of it as he jumped closer to the window to get a better look.

"Whoa..." he awed, studying the patient intently. He didn't know they were going to try their best to gross people out, too. That was so wicked... He paused as he tried to get a better look, and paled as he study gave him a startling realization.

As a Gundam pilot, one had to learn to tell the different between fake and originality. At one glance of a license the braided boy could tell if it was fake or not. At one flicker of a look the Deathscythe pilot could tell if a weapon was genuine or fake.

The point of this is, his `spidey-senses' were tingling, and Duo couldn't identify one pint of blood that wasn't real. Even the organs had authentic written all over them. Even the body of the young man was as real as real as his own lithe form. And the blades were sharp, digging into the young man's intestines carefully...

He turned to face the others, his pale face showing his discomfort. By the looks of his friends, he could tell they, too, had noticed with disgust.

"Either they're using a real dead body," Wufei grimaced, "or they're actually operating on him...."

Impossible! Trying to gross someone out was justifiable. Operating on a dead body to do so was sick! Duo began to voice his complaints, but as suddenly as his mouth open did Quatre yelp with wide eyes. Slowly Duo turned, dread filling his heart when–

BAM!

He jumped back with a racing heart, his mouth gapping wide open while no words spilled from his lips. The thought-to-be-dead body's eyes were wide open and pleading, his guts pouring from his body as he fixed the pilots with a pleading look filled with torture. His lips parted, and they managed to read the boy's words as he mouthed to them, `Help me.... Help me...'

Duo and Quatre screamed and ran from the room, terror in their face as the other three normally stoic pilots followed closely behind, looking green around the gills as they desperately tried to get the image of the boy's guts spilling all over the glass....

 

"This is the dumbest idea you ever had, Maxwell!"

"Tell me about it!" Duo wailed, tugging on his braid nervously. "How could they fake that?! I've seen worse and _that_ nearly sent me into cardiac arrest!" Indead, he would have nightmares of the dreadful event playing in his dreams for a looooong time...

They had stopped to take a breather in yet another dark room, Quatre's light frame leaning heavily on his koibito while Trowa looked around with intense eyes. Wufei was leaning against the wall, breathing heavily from exhaustion. Heero and Duo were cuddling close together in a corner, Duo's head buried into Heero's shoulder while Heero studied they're surroundings.

"I noticed something when we came in," Trowa said quietly. "The exit was out front, leading to the parking lot, correct?"

"Yeah, what's your point?" Duo asked, raising his head to stare at the taller pilot with violet eyed-weariness.

"Don't you think it odd that there was no one coming out of the exit?" Trowa answered with a question. "There is supposed to be someone always going through the scare-house, right? There was no one coming out of the exit, and we stood out in the parking lot for at least five minutes."

Everyone was quite then. That is, until...

"Maxwell, this is all your fault."

"I get the picture, Wu-man," Duo said drily, his voice filled with wry irritation. "No need to point it out _millions_ of times."

"Be quiet," Heero hissed to the two, and they shut up. "Someone's coming." And the five pilots began to slowly back toward the opposite way of the entrance, where the slow footfalls were coming from. Holding their breaths, they were prepared to sprint at any moment.

A figure walked in, dressed in dark clothing and a strange mask of some sorts. His slow tread was toward them, and he stopped right in front of Heero. He seemed to stare down at the shorter boy, matching his glare of doom. Duo withered when the glare was turned to him. How odd, feeling a glare from under a mask! He shivered, tugging on Heero's sweater, trying to pull his koibito out of the door.

Suddenly the masked man turned around and bent over to retrieve something. He jerked, and a familiar sound filled the air as the masked man whirled around, an object held high above his head and swinging in a wide arc toward Duo.

The sound was that of a whirring chainsaw. The object in his hand _was_ a chainsaw. Teeth included.

The pilots were once again sent running like there was no tomorrow, Quatre and Duo screaming to the high heavens in terror.

 

"I hate this!"

"It was _your_ idea!"

"_Stop_ pointing that out!"

They ran panting in the next room, and stopped in shock. There was a bed with a boy on it, and a rocking chair in the corner with an old crone knitting calmly. This wasn't what shocked the pilots. On the bed, the boy's torso was jumping on the bed, apparently cut off at the waist. Under the bed, there was no sign of the boy's legs, neither was there a sound of the boy's feet stomping as he screamed bloody murder while his upper torso hopped on the bed.

The old crone similar to the one they first met cackled darkly, looking up at them with pupil-less red eyes. "He needs your legs," she giggled. "Give him your legs!"

Wufei, realizing the old crone was speaking to him, shook his head with wide, horror filled eyes. "I'm rather attached to my legs!"

"Literally speaking," gulped Duo, clutching the back of Heero's sweater like a life line.

A clammy hand abruptly settled on the Chinese youth's shoulder, and he yelped in surprise and panic as he whirled around to face his attacker. A tall man–impossibly tall!–stood before them, towering above Trowa by at least four feet. He stared deep into each boy's eyes, seemingly unnoticing of something missing.

One hand was planted firmly on Wufei's shoulder. The other was a bleeding stump of nerves and bone, rotting flesh surrounding the lump. Wufei tore away with an undignified shriek slipping from his mouth; even the wound was realistic to the smell. A stench had filled the room. A stench that rivaled that of a rotting corpse. The boys began to race from the room, ignoring the wailing of the tall man for an arm and legs.

The next room wasn't any better. It was filled with coffins, dozens of them in many shapes and sizes. Duo began to do something he'd been reluctant to do for years; pray as hard as he could. "Forgive me Father, for I have sinned..." he murmured, piling every sin he could think of into his prayer.

A screaming moan came from one of the coffins as it began to rock up and down, banging against its stool and seemingly trying to knock itself off. The keen wailing became louder and louder until the lid of one other coffin suddenly popped off and a figure rose from it.

A clown wielding a chainsaw. The very same clown that scared the daylights out of Wufei in the waiting room.

The coffin that had been rocking suddenly stopped, and another chainsaw wielding figure, this one wearing a mask, stood from the burial box. The clown and the masked man held up their chainsaws in union, revving them loudly while making a move to step out of the coffin. The Gundam boys didn't waste time hauling ass out of that room.

They were in the next room then, with doors surrounding them. Each door was a different shape, size, color and texture. Some were wide and short, some were thin and tall, while others were simple curtains and beads. Some doors were multi-color while others were just one.

"Which one?" Quatre asked the question that was all on their minds. Wufei just shrugged and picked a door.

"Who cares? They all most likely lead to the same place any way," he replied, a relieved sigh passing his lips. "I think this is the ending."

"I _hope_ it's the ending," Duo added, shivering. "If I ever get an idea like this, I want Heero to tie me to the bed and have his wicked way with me. It'd certainly get my mind off of my stupid ideas."

Heero's eyes glittered. "Ryoukai."

Wufei slowly opened one door, peering inside. He cursed in Chinese, scowling. "It's too bloody dark. I can't see a thing from two inches in front of me."

Quatre shivered. "Please don't say `bloody'," he begged, Trowa hugging his lithe body closer to his own lanky frame.

Wufei grimaced and let the line of conversation die there. Err, well, that is to say he didn't reply to that comment. Instead he felt around, feeling the walls not even an arm-spread's length wide. "A closterphobic's nightmare," he muttered. "I'll be back," he told the others before walking down the long hallway.

When he reached the end, there was nothing but a square patch of room. Scowling in annoyance, he turned to go only to let his eyes fall on a figure slumped in the corner. The figure stood full height, baring a blasted chainsaw and revving it.

"Why am I seeing a pattern?" he wondered to himself as he ran down the hallway and slammed the door at the end. When the others gave him a confused look, he simply stated, "Wrong door." The `wrong door' tried to swing back open at that time, a chainsaw poking passed the crack the masked man managed to leave open. With a grunt Wufei kicked the leg that had shoved itself between the door frame and the door. The leg jerked away, and the Chinese youth slammed it indefinitely.

Duo sweated. "You mean only _one_ of them is the right way out?!"

Wufei nodded wearily. "That's what I figure. Now that we're almost out of this place, I'm beginning to feel foolish for ever reacting to this at all. None of it is real, right? Otherwise, people wouldn't come here."

Duo shrugged, wariness carved into his face. "You have to admit, it sure did scare the crap out of everyone."

"Hn," three stoic pilots `hn'ed, as if asking `Who? Us?' Quatre just blushed in embarrassment.

Duo sighed and threw his hands up to the sky, wondering why he even bothered. He opened a random door, fully expecting to see a masked man revving his chainsaw behind it. But instead he saw a small, nearly unreadable red light at the end. A red light reading `EXIT'.

If was the most beautiful sight the braided boy had seen for half an hour. Skipping merrily, he called for his fellow pilots to follow him. "Let's leave, get drunk, and T-P this place later in our drunken stupor! How's that sound?"

For once, the other four pilots liked an idea coming from the eccentric mind of Duo Maxwell.

 

The next afternoon....

 

The owner of the Edge of Madness stood before his wonderful, yet ruined masterpiece in a range of mixed anger, shock, and horror. His poor, beautiful scare-house.... Totaled! Spray painted and T-Ped, profanity scrawled on the walls and animals drawn all over! How humiliating!

The sheriff came from behind, clearing his throat. "Sir, there's no evidence of breaking and entering, nor is there any clue as to who could have done this. We're suspecting that it was two girls and three boys, however; there are several comments about boyfriends' opinions of your place in two different handwritings. Three other ones included. Not one fingerprint, hair sample, or footprints. The dogs can't even track them." He shook his head in shame. "Pros who knew what they were doing."

"Apparently they knew what they were doing while they were drunk," commented one officer. "There are broken beer and wine bottles all over the place. A shame, really." The officer looked toward the `haunted' house. "Everyone normal teenager loves these sort of places. Why would a couple of teens come and ruin it like this?"

"Some really sadistic and cruel teens," the sheriff said grimly. "Wouldn't be surprised if they're murders and thieves already! Damn kids..."

 

Five miles away, on a Winner Estate, five sadistic and cruel teens– murders and thieves alike–slept peacefully in their respected rooms, a small grin playing on each teen's lips....

Mission accomplished.