disclaimer: g-wing don't belong to me. i'm just screwing around with people's heads for a bit. neither does the song kryptonite. that's third door down's.

warning: shounen ai. dark. twisted. morbid, too.

[and you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
or the moments of truth in your life
when everything feels like the movies
yeah, you bleed just to know you're alive]
-goo goo dolls, iris

[kryptonite]
lady of the mer

[well, i took a walk around the world to ease my troubled mind
i left my body lying somewhere in the sands of time]

A single, thin shaft of moonlight turned the room into an ethereal faerie-land. Silver-gilt radiance shone through the only window, flooding the place with an argent glow. Everything: the beds, the desk, the nightstands, reflected the luminescence, transforming the sharp, uneven edges into beautiful marvels of lustrous, silver-white vines. The ever-present laptop now lay dormant, its sickly blue glow confined to the black case in which it rested.

In the bed closest to the open window rested the boy who called himself the Perfect Soldier. The boy’s guise had receded, leaving him to bask in the shaft of moonglow that shone over his bed. One of his fists was curled under his chin; the other tangled in the sheets that were snarled about the boy’s legs. His sleekly muscled chest was marred by but a few irregular, pink scars. The boy’s face was peaceful in repose, eyelids gently sheltering his cobalt eyes from the horror and bloodshed that was his world. Dark, perpetually-tousled hair rested in an disorderly mop upon his head.

Suddenly, the boy’s peaceful sleep was disturbed by a nightmare. He tossed and turned, brow furrowed in a frown. His skin gleamed with cold sweat, hands clenching and unclenching futilely. Silent tears streaked down his face, and then, finally, his pain was too great. His lithe body arched off the bed and he cried out, a horrible sound; something akin to the dying cries of wild beasts.

So great was his unrest that the other boy in the room, the self-proclaimed Shinigami, carefully rose from the seated position on his bed. He’d been watching the dark-haired boy sleep, marveling at the imperfection of his masquerade. How could a façade crafted with such precision fall so completely when the he was asleep? The braided boy knew for a fact that his mask remained on at all times. Even in sleep, he knew that a devil-may-care was plastered on his face.

How did he know?

He didn’t sleep.

Not completely, anyway. Not while he was with other people. He half-dozed, eyes open a fraction so that he could see his partner. This not-quite-asleep state also prevented him from having the Dream.

The boy shuddered involuntarily as he padded across the room. The Dream always left bad experiences. He always awoke from the Dream screaming, panting, drenched in cold sweat. Always. Without exception.

But now, his partner, the boy in the bed closest to the window, was in the throes of one such Dream. The braided boy sat down on the edge of the bed and lifted the other boy’s head, placing it in his lap. He stroked the boy’s hair, smoothing it involuntarily and pushing it back as it fell into the sleeping boy’s closed eyes. He traced the lines in the boy’s furrowed, sweat-soaked brow. He caressed the gentle curve of the boy’s jaw.

And still the boy Dreamed.

The braided boy frowned. This wasn’t working. He bent down and gathered the Dreaming boy into his arms, rocking back and forth. Slowly, slowly, the Dream released its hold on the boy. Limbs uncurled, hands unclenched, brow smoothed. The sleeping boy was no longer shivering in a pool of cold sweat.

The braided boy smiled. So. The Dream had left. He started to disentangle himself from the other boy’s limbs. Slowly, so as not to wake him. He couldn’t be found with his partner in his arms, now could he?

But the sleeping boy moaned and clutched at the other. The other boy smiled slightly and carefully removed himself, padded silently over to his bed.

The once-Dreaming boy was lucky.

His Dream wasn’t bad.

And someone could comfort him.

But who, who would comfort Shinigami when he was Dreaming? Who, who would quiet him, hold him until he didn’t scream anymore? Who, who would watch over him to make sure the Dream didn’t return?

Who?

Who?

[well i watch the world float to the dark side of the moon
i feel there’s nothing I can do]

Cold.

So very, very cold.

Why was it so cold?

He didn’t know.

All he knew was that it was cold.

He was chained to a wall. Manacles chafed his wrists and his feet dangled lifelessly beneath him.

There were demons.

Red, black, ugly things, with heads like dragons and bodies like lions. They ripped and tore at his flesh, and with each new slash came images, unbidden, flashing in his mind.

Scarlet tears.

The puppy, its body mangled beyond recognition, weeping scarlet tears.

The girl, her once-flaxen hair matted with dried blood.

Raising her hands to him, beckoning.

Broken wings dangling from her shoulder blades.

Ripped. Torn. Haggard, feathers dropping, spiraling lazily to the ground.

Scarlet tears dripping down her face, leaving trails on her marble cheeks.

Her eyes. Watering, shimmering. Pools of blue.

The flower. Once white, now black.

Black with the dirt of his soul.

Black with the blood that stained his hands.

Scarlet tears, scarlet tears. Scarlet tears staining the flower black.

The Dreamer’s breath sobbed in his throat. One of the demons drew a line down his chest, revealing blood that was not red, but ebon.

Scarlet tears.

A figure, bent and broken, on the ground.

Feathered wings stripped to the bone.

Red welts rose on the figure’s skin. Criss-crossing red welts on alabaster skin.

Shredded skin.

A long, long braid snaking down his mangled back, matted with his own blood.

Wide, unseeing violet eyes.

Weeping black tears.

Black tears, black tears. Black tears were killing his angel.

NO!

The Dreamer cried out, tears weaving trails down his cheeks.

Then there was a light. A bright, untainted, white light. Warming him, soothing him, driving the demons away. But it wasn’t strong enough. No, no, the demons were still there, tormenting him.

Black tears.

A heart. Living, beating, pumping life-blood.

Black life-blood.

His life-blood.

Running through his veins. Tainting. Streaking. Soiling.

Nourishing, sustaining, precious life-blood.

But the light strengthened, gathered force. Embracing him, protecting him. Enveloping him in a blanket of endless warmth.

Blessed, blessed warmth.

[i watch the world float to the dark side of the moon
after all i knew it had something to do with you]

An eerie green thermal blade lashed out. There was a hiss, the smell of boiling metal, of burned flesh. A scream of agony, pouring all the pain into that one single note of endless suffering. The scythe flashed again. Boiled metal. Hiss. Burned flesh. Scream. Metal. Hiss. Flesh. Scream. Metal, hiss, flesh, scream. Metalhissfleshscream.

Thus Shinigami reaped.

Death’s gatherer was a black mobile suit, silent as a shadow with giant wings of night. Piloted by a small, tortured youth with a braid of oak and pained amethyst eyes.

“It is your time,” the boy murmured, scythe glimmering once more before the music of Death began once again.

Metalhissfleshscream.

It had all melted into a ceaseless roar before this battle began.

Metalhissfleshscream.

Hundreds of bullets ripped an unfortunate Leo to shreds.

Metalhissfleshscream.

The buster shield exploded from one giant robotic wrist and plowed through an Aries.

Metalhissfleshscream.

The butt of the scythe ripped through a cockpit, felling the mobile suit to be crushed by a gargantuan foot.

Metalhissfleshscream.

The scythe’s thermal blade curved in a soughing arc of destruction, wiping out several mobile suits at once.

Metalhissfleshscream.

Death’s weapon made another pass.

Metalhissfleshscream.

The pilot brought the scythe’s shaft to crash into a mobile suit, making it fall and collide into another.

Metalhissfleshscream.

Metalhissfleshscream.

Metalhissfleshscream.

[I really don’t mind what happens now and then
as long as you’ll be my friend at the end]

He was tired.

So, so tired.

Tired of killing. Tired of the war. Tired of dying each time he saw the other boy self-destruct.

Tired.

So very, very tired

[if i go crazy, then will you still call me superman?
If i’m alive and well, will you be there, holding my hand?]

The braided boy stumbled into the safehouse, weaving on exhausted feet. He let the duffle bag fall to the ground, the pack making a soft thump as it collided with the hardwood floor. He walked—lurched, rather—into the room furnished with nothing but two steel-frame cots. The boy collapsed onto one of them, falling asleep as soon as his head touched the somewhat hard pillow.

But, in his drunken stumbling, he hadn’t noticed that a dark-haired, steel-eyed boy lay in the other cot. The Perfect Soldier had been lying there for hours, staring at the thin shaft of light that wormed its way through the rough-hewn boards of the wall. Pondering. Trying not to fall asleep for fear that the Dream would catch him. But then something averted his attention.

Soft whimpering. Coming from the other side of the room. The boy sat up, sheets wrapped around his waist. In the other cot lay the braided boy. He tossed and turned, whimpering and murmuring soft nothings. He’d kicked off the sheets, but his feet still tangled in them. The braid had come loose of its bindings and slowly unraveled, forming and sweat-soaked, blood matted cloak. He still wore the semi-priest’s clothing, although now it lay rumpled and in a state of disarray.

The braided boy’s trashing became more violent. Fist so tightly clenched that blood seeped through the fingers pounded the unyielding mattress. The boy sobbed silently, breath catching in his throat and tears streaming down his cheeks. The once incoherent murmurs rose in volume, becoming intelligible.

“No...no...no...no...”

The word was repeated over and over, a mantra. The pitch increased, a whining crescendo, until the boy’s voice finally broke in a scream.

“NO!”

The boy’s whole body arched off the cot, a lithe arc of flesh and muscle. It fell back to the bed with a thump, and the braided boy woke with a start. He sat up sharply, wide, violet eyes unseeing as they stared into the darkness. The boy was breathing hard, as if he’d just run a great race, but his face was shock-white. His eyes suddenly regained focus, and when they did, he buried his face in his hands. Sobbing. Weeping. Crying scarlet tears.

The Perfect Soldier’s breath choked in his throat.

Scarlet tears.

The rational part of his mind tried to reason with him. It’s probably just the blood from his hands mixing with his tears. Yes, that’s it. That’s why his tears are blood-red. That’s why.

But the other part of his mind refused to be reasoned with. The Dream rushed back at him with frightening speed.

Scarlet tears. Scarlet tears staining the flower black.

Scarlet.

Like blood. Like carnage.

Scarlet.

The color of war. The color of suffering.

Scarlet.

[i’ll keep you by my side with my superhuman might
kryptonite...]

He let himself be dragged.

There was no other choice.

He was weak with fatigue, hunger and thirst. He could barely lift his feet.

Thus, the OZ soldiers were able to drag him. They wouldn’t have been able to, otherwise. Well, maybe they would, but they would have sported many more cuts and bruises than the paltry black-and-blue on one of their cheekbones.

The braided boy knew he looked like Death warmed over. His hair hadn’t been washed in days and it was matted with sweat, blood and some other unpleasant things. The usual black frock he wore was stained with dry blood and rumpled from being slept in one time too many. His skin was mottled too many bruises to count and his broken ribs creaked in protest. He winced.

Mou. Even that hurt.

He was thrown rather unceremoniously into a corner of his now-familiar cell. He leaned back against the wall, head resting tiredly against a brick. For some reason, he was very tired. He yawned loudly as his muscles relaxed involuntarily. His eyes widened. Shit. They’d given him a sedative. The boy’s head lolled forward in an artificial weariness.

This was not good.

He was going to Dream again.

It didn’t take very long for the darkness to claim him.

[you call me strong, you call me weak, but still your secrets i will keep
you took for granted all the times i’ve never let you down]

Falling. He was falling.

He landed on the red-stained ground with a thump.

Hurt. It hurt.

A whip. Stinging, lashing.

Tearing skin from bone.

Feathers. Swirling, whirling. Ripped from the wings fluttering behind him.

A crimson-matted mass of something covered him.

Hair. It was his hair.

Something wet, dripping. Making trails down his cheeks.

Tears. Black tears.

He raised his head to look at his tormentor.

A tousled mop of dark hair.

Steel-blue eyes. Looking at him in disdain.

The whip cracked again.

He bit his lip so as not to cry out.

Two giant, ivory-white wings emerged from behind his torturer.

Angel? Why would an angel be hurting him?

A sword clattered, dropping from his limp fingers. Stained with something silver.

Angel. He’d killed an angel.

So now he was being punished.

But why would an angel kill another?

No, a nasty little voice in the back of his mind said, you’re not an angel.

You’re a demon.

A demon masquerading as an angel.

A darkchild pretending to be a seraph.

“Demon.” His tormenter spoke.

“You have killed one of the Lady’s children. So now you perish.”

Pain. He looked down.

A silver knife-hilt protruded from his chest.

He dimly felt blood erupting from his mouth in a scarlet torrent before everything faded to black.

[you stumbled in and bumped your head, if not for me then you’d be dead
i picked you up, put you back on solid ground]

His battered body rested in a circle of something warm and strong.

What were they?

Blankets? No.

Pillows? No.

Then what?

Arms. He was being carried. He snuggled closer, burying his face in the other’s shirt.

Safe. He was safe. He was being carried, so he was safe.

Safe.

[if i go crazy, then will you still call me superman?
if i’m alive and well, will you be there holding my hand? ]

The braided boy moaned again, eyes moving restlessly behind closed lids.

His partner tended him silently, removing the washcloth from the fevered boy’s forehead, wetting it again and replacing it there.

The boy’s eyes opened a crack, revealing a slit of febrile iris. Water, he mouthed, licking fever-cracked lips.

The other complied obediently, tipping a bowl of ice water so that the boy could drink it. He murmured his thanks and slipped back into the troubled world of fever-dreams.

The braided boy had sickened soon after he’d been rescued. His partner had found him lying on the floor of the dorm room, obviously not having the strength to make it to the bed. The Perfect Soldier had hefted the other’s sick-weakened body easily and deposited him into the bed, where he’d remained, bedridden, for the last three hours. The fever wasn’t bad—it would only last the night—but while it lasted, the boy would need tending.

So, that was why the dark-haired boy sat at the other’s bedside.

And finally, in the morning, when the fever broke, he placed a last, chaste kiss on the other’s forehead.

[i’ll keep you by my side with my superhuman might
kryptonite...]

Water pounded down on his back.

Hot and cold and soft and rough.

Washing away his sins.

He’d expected there to more resistance. More pain.

But there was none.

Only the drip, drip, drip of his life-blood.

He watched in morbid fascination as the blood fell to the tiled floor of the shower stall, staining it rose-pink before washing away in the cleaning, scorching, freezing water.

He slowly fell to his knees, wrists held in front of him as he stared at the fat droplets’ contrast to his tan skin.

And gently, gently he sat on the floor of the stall, watching the blood slide and gurgle from his wrists into the drain.

How much longer?

How much longer until his soul was scrubbed clean?

How much longer until his hands were no longer black?

How much longer until he paid in full for all the lives he’d taken?

He was starting to feel faint.

Not much longer, now.

Not much longer until the girl would be avenged.

Not much longer until the innocents could rest in peace.

Not much longer until mighty Wing Zero became an empty shell.

Not much longer, now.

Not much longer.

[if i go crazy will you still call me superman?
If i’m alive and well, will you be there holding my hand?]

“Heero no BAKA!” The once-cheerful voice held a tearful lilt now.

He was dimly aware of being taken out of the shower and that his wrists had been bandaged, the path to redemption now unreachable.

His mind screamed at him to cut the strips of black cloth that deadened the flow of blood. It yelled at him to push away the unwanted savior who was now rocking him.

But his body was too weak to obey. Too weak to think. Too weak to let itself do anything but let itself be rocked, listening to the chant quietly murmured by the other boy.

“Don’t leave me please don’t leave me can’t live if you do don’t die don’t die need you too much can’t leave…” He trailed off in a whisper, holding the dark–haired boy and rocking gently.

The boy’s body gathered enough strength to say one word. One carefully selected word.

“Doushite?”

The braided boy clutched at him more closely, as if in loosening his grip the other would slip through his fingers.

“Because...because...ai shiteru. That’s why.”

And then, nothing else in the world mattered more than those two words. The two words he’d never heard from anyone else in his entire life.

“Aa. Ai shiteru.”

[i’ll keep you by my side with my superhuman might
kryptonite...]

[end]