2-11-2002

Title: Tainted Conviction – Part Five
Author: Sita Seraph
Genre: Angst, Religious relatings
Pairing: 1x2 eventually.
Rated: R
Warning: Gruesome treatment, stigmata, sixth sense, and a whole lot of shit.

Note: I thought this was a very freaky chapter…I hope I brought the suspense and nerve threatening wracking tension into the story.

 

To say he had entered a dreamless state would make him a liar. For everywhere he turned were hopeless, dark memories. Things that bloomed from the war, things that he had mashed down with a steel hammer. He had forgotten those things for a very good reason; so, he guessed, it was only appropriate to haunt him in his only time of rest. It was such a bitter and cruel thing to do; something only God would remind him of.

Duo watched with unclouded eyes, his hand clenching his gun at his side. The medal was so hard, so cold. Duo tightened his hold on the gun, fist clenching it so tight that his hand began to quiver. He wasn't afraid now. He wasn't worried. He couldn't even bring himself to hate what he was doing. He couldn't summon up anger, pity, and woe.

There was nothing. A blank settling over his stomach, the sense of mass murder and not feeling the least sorrowful for the crime committed. Duo wasn't sorry. He wasn't anything. He was just a soldier among the thousands, doing his job, and killing whoever stood in his way. He had no conscience he was just a weapon. Someone would tap him on the shoulder and Duo would push the safety lock off, and the toy weapon would fire his gun. Cruel and heartless way to look at it, but then again, war was heartless and a bitch in the beginning.

Duo slowly raised his gun again and took careful aim at his target. The boy quivered in terror, wide brown and innocent eyes bearing up at him for pity, for mercy. Looking for the humanity each man had. But Duo had none. Remember? He was just a toy soldier.

Duo pulled the trigger without batting an eye and the 8-year-old boy fell soundly to the ground, the gunfire still echoing in the dead air. Death moved on, eyes forward and didn't even glance at the quickly forming pool spreading across the dirty ground. His gun rang off two more times in the dead night, finishing off the boy's parents with efficiency. And as he left the quiet home, he again felt that empty, blank feeling. He had killed in cold blood…and felt nothing for it.

Besides…they were just nameless casualties.

*****

Duo sat up, still in his dream state, the blanket sliding down his chest and stomach to curl up in his lap. His eyes opened with a gasp, the dream releasing him from its strangle hold. Free at last, Duo panted into the night air, his body wet with sweat. The dream burned in his mind, the images scarring his eyes and he shivered violently. Knots twisted in his stomach and for a moment, he thought he was going to throw up. But with that thought and the mental image, Duo forced away the nausea. He didn't want to go through that hell again.

Slowly, the ex-Shinigami pilot brought his knees up to his elbows and held his head in a low defeat. His breath trembled, from unknown tears, cold, and guilt. He had a dream that was not his own. He had dreamt of a crime he had not committed. And yet the cold medal in his hands was deadly real. The empty hole in his stomach was like the pains on his wrists. And the cry of the gun still rang in his ears.

Hesitantly, Duo raised his head, body shivering in the cold air of his room. His hair was free from his braid, tumbling down his back in a rain of freedom and curls. Around his wrists he took notice of the white bandages that was soaking with blood. Nausea swept over him but Duo swallowed it down, staring at the red ball against the white. The air swept by him, the hand of winter touching his bare skin, and the Preventor shivered again.

It was so cold, Duo couldn't stand it. It was amazing that not only he had slept through this god-forsaken air; but that he couldn't see his breath each time he exhaled. With the thought of a warm shower barging in his mind, Duo kicked off the sheets and pattered across the floor. He held his wrists up, afraid that maybe his blood might drip free from the bandage. He crept to his door, opening it with his toes and peered out into the hall. Satisfied that no one had woken from his bad dreams, Duo crossed the fluffy carpet in the hallway and made his way to the bathroom. One elbow hitting the door open and the other clicking on the light, Duo stopped in the doorway to look around at the small bathroom. It was spotless and clean again, the trace of previous events erased. But the air of blood was still thick in the room, the atmosphere filled with a sickness. Duo shivered again, almost taking a step away from the haunting white bathroom.

Oh, no you don't, Duo scolded himself. He was afraid of a freaking bathroom! How pathetic was that? Determined to prove this pit in his stomach was not fear, Duo stepped into the bathroom and went to the sink. The air was still chilly even in the room and the thought of warm, cascading water over him made Duo shiver yet again.

Duo unraveled his bandages quickly, humming a soft tune to keep his mind off other non-important things, such as this morning, and revealed his wrist to the light.

Duo gave a dry heave at the ugly, gruesome sight. A red hole broke though his entire wrist, as if a stake had been driven through. It was large, so large that Duo could peer inside and seen his fractured bone and the red, pulsing sick inside of meat…

Again, Duo gagged and drew his gaze away. He was going to puke, he was going to throw up, and he was going to die. Yuck. Quickly, Duo wrapped his wrists back up with new bandages, eager to cover up the hideous sight from view before he coughed up his Cheerio's. When the sight was gone, Duo leaned heavily on the tiled counter and tried to get his heart and breath back to normal. His stomach was doing nice little flip-flops and Trowa leap, twirl, and land jumps. The urge to throw up was right in his throat, the bitter taste already in his throat, but he refused. He wouldn't gag.

Duo gagged.

He would not heave.

Duo gave a dry heave, head lowering to throw up.

And he would not throw up.

Duo opened his mouth wide and up went his Cheerio's.

*****

After exhausting himself with throwing up all his worth, Duo had crawled into the shower. He felt ten times better with an empty stomach and now all he wanted was to rid the chill that kept wracking his body. Stripped to the bare, Duo turned on the shower and sighed thankfully as it beated down on him instantly. Warm, luscious water. God, it felt like heaven…Duo closed his eyes, a tiny smile on his lips.

Bastard. Whore. How dare you fucking do this to me?

Duo's eyes snapped open, breath caught in his throat. He quickly looked around, violet eyes wide. But he was alone behind the closed door, steam filling up the small room. He must have been tired, his mind was beginning to play tricks on him.

The water still wasn't hot enough. Duo turned the knob a little bit more and hotter water beat down at him. The white mist thickened in the room. The slam of the water against the tiles rang in Duo's head, the thick mist calming his muscles with the water. Duo closed his eyes again, relaxed and happy to be under the waterfall.

Did you know how much I fucking hate you all? I hated you and your rules!

Something began to twist is Duo's gut. Desperately, Duo turned the knob more, trying to block out the voices that was screaming in his head. The water seemed to rain with more anger, turning his skin red upon impact. The fog in the room was so thick; every breath was getting harder to take.

And still, Duo wanted it hotter.

Well, this is how I say FUCK YOU! I wanted to fucking kill you so bad that I would fanaticize about it! Now its come and I can't wait to get you out of my fucking, goddamn life.

Stop, stop, stop! Duo screamed, breath coming in sharp, short gasps. He turned the knob all the way to its max. The water burned, burned, burned! It scolded, it hurt so badly! And yet Duo couldn't get the craving out of his head to make it hotter, to make it hurt more. Duo felt the need to shrivel up and hide from the water but his body wouldn't allow it. He stood before bracing against the acid shower, skin burning away. It hurt and yet it felt so fucking good!

And then he felt the eyes.

Eyes snapping open from their sated state, Duo's head whipped towards the closed doorway, the steam so thick making it unbelievably hard to see. But through it all, he saw.

The door was no longer closed.

Inside its frame stood a very tall, beautiful girl. Her hair was soaking wet, curls of black trailing over her white gown and dripping to the ground. Her skin was cherry red, burnt, peeling away. Disgusting. Her breath came in short; hallow gasps, as if unable to breathe correctly. And those furious, black eyes were blank with rage. A hollow feeling Duo felt in his dreams. No regret or pain. The girl slowly raised her hand, the gun shaking in her grip as she held it so tight, her fingers almost white instead of the scolding red that marked her skin. She cocked the gun.

Duo's eyes widened.

She took careful aim.

I don't want to die, he thought.

And the trigger was pulled.

BAM!

 

 

Title: Tainted Conviction - Part Six
Author: Sita Seraph
Genre: Angst, Religious relatings
Pairing: 1x2 eventually.
Rated: R
Warning: Gruesome treatment, stigmata, sixth sense, and a whole lot of shit.

 

Heero stirred from his dreamless sleep, mumbling into the pillow on top of his single bed. His hair was a mess from tossing and turning all night. He couldn't figure out why he couldn't fall asleep, especially since he was exhausted from the But Duo's face, before the Shinigami pilot passed out, stayed with Heero, burning into his skull like a burning hot poker stick. The way the sense of relief, of having been found, had washed over the happy pilot's face kept slapping Heero awake. And his wrists were the worst. The ability to see right through muscle, skin, and bone was beyond sickening - even for Heero. He was able to handle broken and disjointed bones. He was prepared for bullet wounds and knife cuts. But he was not at all set for holes that went through the other side.

Heero had forced the twisting of his gut to stop long enough to clean and bandage Duo's wounds before he set him to bed. Afterwards, he and the rest of the Gundam pilots had searched the house, top to bottom, to find any drugs, weapons, or anything else that could have caused Duo's first episode, the puking of the blood, and now this.They came up with nothing.

Duo still had not woken when they went to bed. After tearing the house apart and back together again, the ex-pilots each found themselves growing weary and body parts achy from the stress forced upon their young shoulders. But before going to bed, Quatre had set up a short meeting.

"He would be dead by now," Quatre said softly, the first thing he said as they assembled in the living room downstairs. Wufei stiffened in the loveseat he was sitting in, arms crossed so tightly around his chest that he looked more uncomfortable than usual. Trowa was sipping on a cup of black coffee from his green mug, lying back against the couch. Quatre was standing up by the coffee table, across from Heero who sat on the floor with a knee drawn up to drape his arm over.

"He should have been dead a long time ago," Trowa pointed out and his emerald eyes grew to the stairs. They all knew what he meant. The bathroom scene.

"And what about his motorcycle?" Wufei included, drawing himself into the short conversation.

"Its obvious that Duo has a lot to say to us," Quatre said quietly, his right hand twisting the side of his pant leg with shaky fingers. "We need to get some answers."

"What if he doesn't know them?" Trowa asked.

"Of course, he'll know the answers," Wufei cut in, his voice straining to keep the sarcasm out of his tone. "Whatever he is doing, he's doing to himself. He needs help."

"We found nothing to prove it was him, Wufei," Quatre said. "For all we know…"

They waited for Quatre to continue and he twisted his pants a bit more, shifting from one foot to the next and eyes drawn the floor.

"I don't know," Quatre continued. "For all we know, maybe somebody came in here and did it to him. Or perhaps it's some new virus."

It all seemed like logical answers. A virus that made you puke up gallons of your blood. A virus that in one-hour, ate away your wrists to make one clean, nice, circular gap on each arm. Or it could have been an assassin that drove beautifully carved stake into a Gundam pilot's wrists and drugs that made Duo throw up half his body fluids.

Uh huh. Yeah. Right.

Silence fell upon the prodding pilots heavily. It was like the stress that had been thrown on their shoulders when a pilot, one of them, was ill and dying upstairs. And the circumstances were so odd, so strange, that none of the soldiers could come up with an answer. They knew a doctor would not know as well.

"We'll have to wait for Duo to wake up and tell us," Heero said, breaking the silence like a steel hammer on glass.

"What if he dies?" Quatre asked, looking down at him with his hands clasped in front of him.

"He won't," Heero said. "He won't."

Heero didn't know why he was so sure that Duo would not die. Maybe it was because that even in war, with all likely chances that the Shinigami pilot would not survive, he left the battlefield with a crazed smile on his face. Or maybe it had been the last few days, in which for all logic, he should be dead and buried in the cold ground. Or maybe it was because he just knew.

Ah, hell, Heero thought as he blinked out of his daze. Heero kicked off the sheets roughly and they fluttered over the end of the bed. Sitting up, hair a mess, Heero wiped his sleepy eyes and gave a very heavy sigh. He was tired, he was cranky, and he was thirsty. And most of all, Duo Maxwell was trying to kill himself in the other room. Just great. Heero sometimes really hated his life.

Swinging his legs over the side of his bed, his feet touched the ground. It took a second but then reality kicked in and Heero immediately jerked them back off the ground. The floorboards were freezing cold. Reaching over blindly in the dark, Heero turned on his bedside lamp. Light flooded the room and the shadows rolled back into their respective corners. Heero stared at the floor, long and hard, as white wisps escaped from between the gaps of the wooden boards. The air from the floor was freezing. Reaching, Heero's fingertips lightly touched the ground. He jerked his fingers back, startled as suddenly the air current from the floorboards shifted and changed quickly. The cold mist was sucked back into the boards like a vacuum cleaner. Heero stared, amazed at the boards, completely taken aback and terribly confused. Gingerly, Heero lifted one foot out and lowered it slowly to the floor.

The frost and cold was gone.

And that's when he heard it.

Heero whipped his head towards his door as he heard the water of a shower running. Before Heero comprehended his racing thoughts, he leapt out of bed, across the floor and out of his room. Stopping short with a jerk, Heero watched the light flooding into the hall by the open doorway to the bathroom. It was the only source of light in the hall. It seemed creepy, the light and the pounding of water hitting the shower walls. Escaping from the bathroom was a second white mist and Heero immediately thought about his room and the frosted floorboards that once surrounded his bed. The Wing pilot shuddered gently, almost afraid to go near the haunted bathroom. He was afraid of what he might see. Afraid that he might see Duo. But since he heard no Duo, no sound at all besides water falling, Heero took small steps forward. He held his breath. And then he peered into the bathroom, stepping into the single shed of light and strained to see through the heavy, very hot mist of the bathroom.

"Oh…My God…" Heero whispered, eyes growing wide. Yet again, his training of a Gundam pilot was for naught for he was not prepared for the next sight before him. Heero took a step back, a hand flying up to cover his nose as the stench of death, of burnt and still burning flesh attacked him full force. His eyes met ruby red so dark, and skin so burnt that it looked like the skin was melting off of him. His ribs appeared through the thin covering of scarlet tissue, his stomach caving in. Blank, violet hued eyes stared out at him, hollow and void. No one was home. Dead eyes.

Duo was dead.

Heero rushed forward with a speed of a tiger, whipping through the mist and slammed the water off. The pounding of water ceased but the stench of fried tissue stayed around him like the hovering mist. Heero stared down at Duo's blank face. Blank eyes. Heero stared at the burnt fresh that was just melting off his skin like wax. He gawked at the hair that was the only thing unharmed by the killing water.

"D-Duo…" Heero's voice trembled, he couldn't help it. He started reaching out, eyes getting hazy, but changed his mind hastily. He couldn't touch him. Not that burnt flesh. He didn't want to remember red and scorched skin. He wanted to remember milky white and smooth skin. Heero turned away quickly. He gripped the counter for support, knuckles growing white and closed his eyes tightly. Duo…was dead. He was wrong. Duo killed himself. He scorched his own body. Duo was dead. Dead. Dead.

One word.

Dead.

So powerful.

Dead.

Heero wanted to scream and cry at the same time.

 

 

Title: Tainted Conviction - Part Seven
Author: Sita Seraph
Genre: Angst, Religious relatings
Pairing: 1x2 eventually.
Rated: R
Warning: Gruesome treatment, stigmata, sixth sense, and a whole lot of shit.

I'm sorry but this isn't an update. It seems that I skipped a chapter when I was posting this. Please go back to the chapter called Taste of Death (3). There, you can read a new chapter but its in the best. I'm so sorry for the inconvenience and if anyone was confused.

 

Heero stood in the doorway of Quatre's room, watching the blonde boy sleep on peacefully, head nearly buried into the pillows that surrounded the head of his bed. Thick sheets covered the ex-Sandrock pilot, making only his little head appear from the mass of warm coverings. He breathed heavily into the pillows, a child-like innocence sketched across his face as he slumbered on his side. He snorted suddenly, took a deep breath, and then grew still again, lips moving into the pillow as he dreamt of another place.

And Trowa slept beside him.

Trowa was lying on his back, head turned away from his friend and the covers reaching his waist. No innocence shone on his face. Just content, a blank content as his chest rose and fell, the loose buttoned up shirt moving with him. A hand was stretched out by Trowa's side on top of the covers right next to Quatre's limp hand that had been tossed over his body in sleep. Trowa's other hand rested on his abdomen, rising and falling on each breath.

Heero took a slow breath and stepped inside towards the sleeping counterparts. Walking into the dark and silent room, Heero took a hesitant seat on Quatre's side of the bed, the mattress falling lower with the extra weight. One's breathing immediately changed at the third presence in the room and Heero waited, watching. Slowly, Trowa's eyes slid open and turned his head towards the perfect pilot. Blinking away sleep, Trowa raised an eyebrow, his eyes questioning Heero's presence silently. Heero slowly shook his head.

"I need your help with Duo," Heero whispered. Quatre slept on, mouth open now on the pillow and taking shallow breaths. Trowa sat up a little, being careful not to wake the third pilot in the room.

"What's wrong?" Trowa asked quietly, even as he started to pull back the covers of the bed and stand up. Heero didn't answer him. Instead, he sighed and rose from the mattress, walking out of the room quickly with a call over his shoulder.

"He's in the bathroom."

*****

Heero walked downstairs hastily, keeping his trained eyes away from the bathroom as he passed it, and walked across the puffy living room carpet to the kitchen. He was going to call Sally Po, to tell her what happened to Duo, and to get some help with his…body.

Heero, after composing himself in the bathroom, had immediately cut off all emotions like a ribbon against scissors. He didn't feel, he didn't even think about what he was doing. It was like the war again, just doing as told and not thinking about it during or once it's done. He felt empty inside again; the feelings being wiped clean like a Word Document. He didn't want to feel right now, he couldn't. He had to call Sally Po. Then he could walk away to someplace where no one would find him, and let his feelings show. But not yet.

Heero picked up the phone quietly from its hook and started dialing Sally Po. The small beeps from the telephone were the only sound in the kitchen, besides the ticking of the overhead clock. Heero slowly raised the phone to his ear, listening to the rings from the other end. The clock suddenly dinged as it announced the hour of 3 o'clock in the morning. The phone kept ringing. The clock ticked on.

It was so quiet.

Heero looked up slowly as he heard someone walking downstairs. Trowa appeared around the corner of the staircase, confusion all over his face, as he stared at the ground. Heero didn't expect that kind of statement. Slowly, Trowa looked up and saw Heero in the doorway of the kitchen. The ex-Heavyarms pilot moved towards him, dodging the chairs and furniture of the living room. The flaps of his shirt brushed past his black sleep pants as he walked, making no sound on the carpet flooring. Heero slowly drew away the ringing tone in his ear, eyebrow rising at his Gundam pilot. Trowa was neither scared, nor sickened. Trowa wasn't even surprised or stumbling at the death of their counterpart pilot. Trowa was though looking a little lost, confused, as he stared at Heero. Maybe he was still in shock…

"Heero," Trowa said. "What's going on?"

"What do you mean?" Heero asked, the confusion on the edge of his voice. Wasn't Trowa sad? Did he block all his emotions out as well?

"What do I mean?" Trowa returned. "Is this some joke?"

A joke!? "What?"

"Heero," Trowa started. "Why is the bathroom all hot and steamy? And where's Duo?"

Heero couldn't feel the phone in his fingers anymore. He stared, shocked, at Trowa, who stayed absolutely neutral in all aspects. Was he joking around? How could he be so cold when Duo laid burnt and dead upstairs? What did he mean `where's Duo?' Duo's upstairs, rotting in the bathroom with his flesh reeking the air like putrid disease. Duo has been dead for 15 minutes, maybe even more, and all he can say is `where's Duo?' Was he blind…?

…Or was Heero wrong? Was Duo alive? Did he crawl out of the bathroom, whimpering out his agony but not saying a bloody word, and go to his room? Was Duo…alive? Heero was finding it hard to breathe and Trowa's statement changed to confusion. His hand flew up to catch Heero but the perfect soldier moved back. He was confused. Was Duo alive or dead?

Duo alive.

Duo dead.

The world spun for a moment and Heero closed his eyes tightly. He noticed, too late, that the phone in his hand was no longer ringing and Sally's voice was screaming in the phone. He noticed, too late, that the phone slipped from his grasp.

And caught by someone else's hand.

Heero whirled around, eyes opened to look straight into piercing, blank violet eyes. But not dead, beautiful orbs of purple. Alive, unemotional balls of lilac. Heero almost felt his chest cave in with disbelief.

Duo was alive.

Duo slowly took a step back, a black robe barely covering his nude body parts. Casually, watching Heero with the most intense eyes that the perfect pilot caught himself watching, he clicked the phone off and Sally's panicked `hello!?' disappeared with a beep.

"Duo, what are you doing?" Trowa's voice broke through Heero's shock and it was then that the perfect pilot noticed yet a second thing:

Duo was perfectly healthy. His skin was no longer burnt, but back to the pale, milky white. His shoulders were no longer black but smooth and round. His nipples were restored to the pink hue. His legs were long and strong looking again. His flesh was intact, not melting off his bones. He was Duo again.

Heero sucked in his breath suddenly when Duo leaned forward, his eyes never leaving the blue of the ex-Wing pilot. Their bare chests touched lightly, the only intimate contact Heero had ever had before. Duo's arm lifted, as if to draw Heero closer. Heero held his breath.

There was a soft click as the phone was returned to the base to charge.

Heero let out his breath quietly, shoving his dripping excitement away. Had he imagined it all? Had Duo been in his room all along? Had he slept walk to the bathroom and made it all hot and steamy? There had to be some logical answer because Duo was right here, well and still breathing. There wasn't even a scratch on him. Well, except the wounds that were on his wrists, red and bloody now, and begging for a changing. He was perfectly all right.

Him and the ax he was holding.

Heero shook his head once and took a double take down at the ax Duo was holding tightly. It was slightly swinging in the pilot's grasp, making it look perfectly casual in his hand, while it caught the pale light as it swung back and forth.

"D-Duo…?"

"Excuse me, Heero," Duo said, his tone completely casual. Nothing was wrong. Nope, not at all. "But you're in my way."

"Duo, what are you doing?" Trowa asked, blocking the doorway now. Duo's eyes finally broke from staring at Heero's confused face, and up at Trowa's. He smiled slightly.

"Nuttin'," Duo said. He was acting completely normal. Acting like Duo. But then why did his voice bring chills down Heero's spine?

"Give me the ax, Duo," Trowa ordered and slowly offered his hand. Duo's eyes snapped to the offering hand then, after a moment's pause, drew the sharp blade behind his robe.

"No," Duo said softly. "No, I don't think so."

"Duo…"

"Get out of my way, Trowa."

Trowa blinked, taken aback by the now livid tone. It was dripping with menace and in one second, Duo's mask of neutrality shattered into that of impatience and anger. The ax suddenly rose and was gripped by the second hand, violet eyes burning with aggression and narrowed into slits. Trowa took a small step back and the ax rose higher.

"Move," Duo seethed. Trowa quickly stepped aside and Duo stalked past, ax lowering again to sway by his side. As he passed the doorway, his tense body suddenly loosened up and he walked casually to the staircase, a soft whistle passing his lips. The last thing the pilots saw was the beautiful ends of Duo's loose hair as he climbed the steps.

"Quatre…" Trowa mumbled, eyes widening.

"Wufei," Heero muttered. Both of the ex-pilots bolted for the stairs.

*****

SLAM.

CRACK.

Heero ran to his room where the loud noises were coming from. But it seemed his feet were heavy, too heavy in fact, and he was moving in slow motion. He feared that Duo dragged Quatre or Wufei into his room and started to attack them…but no, that couldn't be right. Duo wouldn't do that. Ever. Heero found it was getting hard to breathe as he neared his room with Trowa. Like something was sucking his life away…He felt so weak all of a sudden…

What was wrong with him…?

Finally, Heero's hand closed in on the frame of his door, out of breath, and peeked it. He was all prepared to see Duo swinging to cut off Quatre's head. He was ready for blood to be splattered on the wall and small cries out pain escaping his friend's lips…

But Duo surprised Heero again. There was no blood. No cries. Just his bed, thrown up against the wall instead of in the middle of the room. In fact, there was only Duo. And his ax. Which kept slamming into the floorboard.

SLAM.

SLAM.

"Duo!" Heero yelled, confused and furious as Duo hacked away the beautiful floor of his room. What the hell was he doing? "Duo, knock it off!"

But he wouldn't listen to him. He kept chopping up the floor, splinters flying in the air and chestnut strands flying in the air with the effort of the swing as it crashed into the dying floorboards. Heero was growing breathless again…and then he smelt it.Revolting back, Heero covered his nose as the ghastly smell of death wafted up to his nose. He gagged though; he wasn't able to stop it as he lodged up in his throat. Oh, God, it was horrible. Where was it coming from…?

Quatre and Wufei had crawled out of their beds from the sound and joined the other pilots in the hall. Quatre covered his mouth and nose, closing his eyes tightly and turning away.

"Oh, God!" Quatre's muffled voice came through his hand. "What IS that!?"

Heero though didn't close his eyes. He was the first to see them as Duo kicked and shuffled away the broken pieces of wood. It was then, when he saw them, that he covered his mouth and turned his head away, eyes closing shut. But their images still burned in his skull.

Three bodies. A boy. A woman. A man. Deathly pale and a single mark, the mark of a bullet, driven into their skulls as they rotted away. Scratches and symbols splayed across their bodies. Heero recognized some Japanese writing even on their nude bodies. He recognized the holy cross for Christians. He knew what the X over each heart was. Oh, God, their dead eyes stayed with him, even if he just glanced at them. Blank. Like Duo's. They saw nothing now, yet they stayed open. Their horror, misery, pain was still masked in their face. Oh, God, no.

Heero gripped the frame tighter and slowly opened his eyes as he heard Duo toss away his ax to the floor. The nearly nude pilot leaned down and to Heero's horror, Duo picked up the naked boy from his resting place. Rotten flesh gleamed in the moonlight and the stench grew worse. But the insane pilot was immune to it. He hugged the boy, very tightly to him as he sat down on the floor. The dead child's back slumped into Duo's lap, his head limp on his stomach. Dead eyes stared blankly out the window, yet Duo kept holding him, as if it was going to bring the child back to life. But they all knew it wouldn't.

Duo raised his lowered head and looked out the window, glazed, sparkling eyes catching the light of the moon. But his statement was nothing; the frown on his lips was neither angered nor sad. Emotion was lacking on the normally happy pilot's face and the blankness did not belong there…

Yet Heero couldn't help think how Duo looked so peaceful and beautiful that one single moment.

And then he spoke. It was soft, blank, ugly, and…deadly. "So, you want to fuck with death…? Bring it on."

 

 

Title: Tainted Conviction - Part Eight
Author: Sita Seraph
Genre: Angst, Religious relatings
Pairing: 1x2 eventually.
Rated: R
Warning: Gruesome treatment, stigmata, sixth sense, and a whole lot of shit.

 

It hadn't taken long for the ex-Gundam pilots to move out of the house. It seemed that all of them, nay one, found bad memories and a creepy chill in the air that made the house loose all its color. Quatre seemed to be in the worst shape after discovering the bodies. His hands kept trembling hours after and he mostly hung out in the kitchen with a mug of hot coffee in his hand. Heero had watched his friend from afar as Quatre kept rubbing his forehead with trembling fingers, like he had a horrible headache that refused to depart. The whole group had stayed up that long night, except Duo, who slept on the couch, curled up, and an innocent statement on his face. Wufei, Trowa, and Heero stayed up with their confusing companion, watching him sleep like nothing had happened and his dreams were filled with pleasant thoughts. Wufei had barely moved from the seat he had taken residence to, his knuckles glued to his lips, and staring off out the window that gave vision to the creeping sunlight in the horizon. Trowa's eyes were fixed upon Duo's flickering closed eyelids, watching the deep breathing pilot with the most intense, green eyes. And Heero plopped himself onto the floor, nestling in the carpet as he tried to close his eyes for at least one minute. But behind the dark eyelids, he saw nothing but those dummy eyes of the corpses, lifeless and innocent. They had scarred him and he didn't know why. The war had brought more death and insanity then this night could ever bring but the heavy stench of fatality closed in on them so hard that it was like they were locked in separate boxes and oxygen was slowly being sucked away. Maybe it was the fact that none of them had ever faced innocent death. The kind of death that had no cause, no reason behind it. In the war, they had a reason for killing mass hundreds. They didn't feel pity for the soldiers that they killed. They didn't revolt back in sickness when they saw their rival bleeding and sunken eyes staring at the ceiling. But it had been a single night that reminded them of the other innocents in a war of power and hate. A night that opened their eyes when Shinigami's hand raised and slapped their faces. Hard. No, it came to a silent agreement that they had to leave the house that twisted their guts with disgust. They had to depart from the house that showed them a whole new terror.

So, after calling the Preventers about mysteriously finding three corpses in their house, the pilots had packed up in quick haste and drove far away from the once peaceful home. It hadn't taken long to find a suitable home for five men and close to their office. The only downfall it seemed was that it was a neighborhood instead of some home in the wild country.

Duo sat silently in the backseat beside Quatre. He was staring out the window, watching houses and people go by in the busy neighborhood. He had been the only one who didn't want to leave the house. It was nice there. He liked it. He didn't feel the death that suffocated the other four pilots. He didn't smell the terror in the air that now weaved itself into their skin. He felt nothing but a sense of comfort there. That is, once he beat away all the demons of the house…but now he had no idea where he was going. Quatre neglected to tell him. He almost hoped for an apartment…there were no ghosts in hotels, right?

Heero kept looking back through the mirror at Duo, finding the odd silence in the car increasingly uncomfortable. It seemed that Duo was completely back to normal after getting a good night's rest. The happy pilot had appeared early that morning, a smile on his face, and a wave in greeting. But when he had learned that they were moving, a frown emerged so long that lines had appeared in the corners of his mouth. Duo was not happy with the vote to move; he wanted to stay. But why? Why would he want to stay with a place that just reminded the rest of them of pain? Especially when they never felt any of the real damage? It just didn't make sense…But then again, Duo never did. Heero returned his eyes to the road. And they still hadn't received any of the answers they were dying to hear…

"Duo, how are your wrists?" Quatre asked.

"Fine," came the meek reply.

"Are you angry with us?"

"No."

"Then why-?"

"I don't feel like talking, Q."

Heero clenched his jaw for a split moment. Didn't feel like talking, his ass. They wanted the answers. He felt like he was on a wild roller coaster ride and nobody was at the control panels. He kept going through the loops and sharp turns that made his body ache from twisting so fast. They were just picking up pace and Heero kept losing sight of the problem. His mind was in a whirlwind; his eyes kept dilating as the world spun around him. And the lack of controls that Heero was so fond of holding was driving the pilot mildly insane. It was like Duo held all Heero's questions and answers in the pit of his hand and kept running away when Heero proceeded forward with the tiniest step. He would run towards the darkness and disappear and when Heero pursued, the darkness would suddenly lash out with a life of its own and cause destruction to the small world the ex-Gundam pilots had made themselves in. Anger began boiling up from the pit of his stomach. Why wouldn't Duo let him help? Why wouldn't he answer him, instead tilting his head to the side with dismissal? God Damnit, it was NOT fair. They deserved an answer. Heero deserved one.

"Too bad," Heero barked out. His eyes snapped to the mirror and he saw that Duo was now watching him, the passing scenery no longer an interest to him. Confused lilac pools stared at him, at the mirror where his image was reflected. Do I have your attention now, Duo? Heero thought. Then don't turn away from me this time. "Who did that to your wrists?"

In one second, Duo's face grew considerably paler and the purple eyes flicked back outside the window. No answer breathed out of Duo's lips and the silence reigned upon the Gundam pilots again. Quatre shifted nervously, Duo's body growing tense against his arm. Please don't push him, Heero…Quatre thought.

"Answer me," Heero ordered, his nasal tone voice cutting through the silence like a blade.

"…No one," came Duo's weak answer and Quatre watched as his body slumped heavily against the seat, head slowly lowering.

"Did you do it then?" Heero's voice was so incredibly cold…

"No…" Duo's answer came again. Heero's mouth opened again, his eyes burning with controlled anger.

"Look!" Quatre screamed suddenly deliberately taking the subject off course. With a trembling finger, the waves of intense emotions crashing around them in the tiny jeep, he pointed out the window. "There's our new house, Duo!"

Duo, obviously thankful for the distraction, looked up and his body relaxed like a rubber band being released. He watched the two-story light blue house get closer and closer, momentarily forgetting Heero and his quarrel. But the perfect pilot didn't. He, instead, glared even daggers at Quatre through the mirror, a firm frown pulling down his lip. But he said nothing more, pulling the dirty red jeep into the driveway and came to a stop. At the cue of the engine turning off, all the pilots piled out of the car and stared up at their new home.

"This seems like a nicer place," Wufei commented quietly. Everyone else seemed to agree and they eagerly moved forward to check out their new house, leaving their clothes in the car to collect later. But it only took a second for them all to realize that they were one pilot short and together they looked back to see Duo still by his car door. Again, it took only another second to see that Duo was not all right. Upon closer inspection, they noticed that Duo's fists were closed tight and turning pale to white. A trickle of blood dripped down his left knuckle, his fresh bandages that was white a moment ago now a deep nearly black crimson. Duo stared, transfixed, at the house before them. The light had faded from his endless lilac pools and replaced with wide, ghostly eyes that quivered in paralyzed fear.Trowa followed Duo's gaze, looking up at the second floor and seeing absolutely nothing but a few windows with long curtains peeking out from the side. When he looked back, Duo was shaking his head and clawing at the car door handle while he stared endlessly at the window of the second floor.

"No, no, I don't wanna live here," Duo said repeatedly, his hand trembling so hard that he couldn't get his fingers to close in on the handle. He was blinking rapidly, as if trying to break the hold that held his gaze, but could not.

"Duo," Quatre said, alarmed. "What's wrong? Duo?"

"No, no, I don't wanna live here…" Duo kept repeating and finally the car door was opened. Duo was crawling back into the car when Heero ran over and grabbed his arm and pulled him roughly back outside.

And then Duo did something no one would have expected…

He started screaming bloody murder and lashed out with all his strength at Heero.

"NO, NO!" Duo screamed with all his might. "DON'T MAKE ME LIVE HERE!!!"

"Maxwell, stop!" Wufei screamed and started forward to catch Duo. Heero was grunting as he struggled to hold onto the screaming, writhing, and clawing Duo Maxwell. The Shinigami maniac fighting Heero like a madman. Cuts had appeared on the perfectionist's arms as Duo clawed him with his nails. Heero stumbled as the ex-pilot kicked him repeatedly in the legs. He would just not hold still!

Suddenly, Wufei was there and clasped onto the screaming Duo. And soon, that's all he was able to do but beg as his energy ran out and his blood ran freely from the damp bandages on his wrists.

"Don't…" Duo whimpered. His eyes were closed firmly. "You don't understand…"

"Hurry, get him into the house," Quatre ordered. "We have to change those things."

Wufei and Heero moved together and carried the whimpering Duo into the house. The door creaked as it opened and Duo made a faint gurgle in his throat as he passed into the closed room of the entrance hall. It was a sound of defeat.

*****

Heero brushed his hand against the knob.

Cold, so cold.

"Duo!? DUO!!!"

He couldn't open it.

"DUO!!!"

Screaming, screaming, endless screaming.

"You fucker!!! Whose in there?! Stop it!!!!"

A creeping white flame licking at Heero's feet.

"Duo!!!! DUO!!!!"

It was so damn cold…

Click. The door unlocked.

*****

Heero awoke with a start; eyes snapping open from his nightmare. His blanket had been tossed away from him in his dream and he shivered violently. The temperature had dropped considerably in his room over the night and hastily, he brought the white sheets back up around his nearly nude body. Sighing, he rubbed his forehead.Weird dream. He could barely recall it now…But…

Heero sighed again and turned away from the wall to his other side, curling up into a ball to keep warm. It took him a moment to realize until he noticed someone was standing in his doorway.

Heero jerked up, hand crawling under his pillow to get his gun before he realized that he hadn't unpacked it yet and cursed. The dark form shifted uneasily for a moment before it stepped into the room. The shadows seemed to have melted off of it as the light of the moon immediately caught the flowing locks and lit the silky strands like a match to its flame. Duo stood barefoot, nude besides the low-rider boxers, and absolutely helpless looking in Heero's new bedroom. The moon kissed the Shinigami pilot with silvery lips as his whole body seemed to glow in the eerie of the night.

Heero blinked frantically for two minutes.

Duo coughed, he seemed timid and scared as he stared at the floor below him. "H-Heero…Can I…Can I sleep with you tonight…?"

Heero's shock took over again and he stared at the pilot with a blank face. Duo glanced up then looked away quickly and turned away, strands of brown flying behind him. Before he could take a rapid retreat from the room though, Heero called him back.

"Get in, baka," Heero ordered. Duo looked over his shoulder to see that Heero had pulled back the blankets to let in his comrade and he smiled, a real, genuine happy smile. Immediately, Duo rushed over and leapt in under the covers as Heero settled back into the bed.

"Heero…?"

"Hmm…?"

"Can I get closer?"

Heero looked over slowly and nodded mutely. Duo smiled yet again, full and bright, and scooted closer. Or, let's say, a lot closer that their bare skin touched and rubbed together. Heero held back the urge to bite his bottom lip and his eyes slipped close. Duo Maxwell was in his bed and CUDDLING with him. Dear God, he hoped Duo believed he had his gun in bed or else Heero wouldn't be able to explain what was poking him throughout the night. Just the thought that Duo's bare, strong and warm flesh was rubbing up - Wait a second.

"Duo…?

"Uh huh?"

"Why are you so cold…?"

Duo was silent for a long time, staring at the ceiling with glazed, false eyes. Then slowly, he looked over at Heero, his face a mask of abandon.

"I was…standing out there a long time…" Duo answered quietly. Heero blinked at Duo before, without any thought, wrapped an arm around Duo's shoulders and pulled him closer. Freezing skin touched his warm body and Heero shivered momentarily.

"Obviously," Heero said. Duo sighed and rolled to his side, facing Heero, and curled up to the warm blanket aka Heero Yuy with an arm laying itself on his stomach and chest. Duo's face became buried in Heero's skin, cold nose burning into the hot flesh. So, perhaps, it wasn't one of Heero's best moments being a heater but at least he was able to touch Duo…

Heero's hold suddenly tightened as he noticed that Duo was beginning to shiver violently from time to time. It wasn't the normal shiver though…No, Heero knew this shiver. It was like Quatre's hands that kept shuddering, fear lancing and tensing his quivering digits. It was the tremor your body would get as you contained the tears that fought to break your eyes and spill free. It was the tremble in the voice when you saw something so horrible, so mind and body numbing, that your voice wouldn't quite corporate with you. Heero knew these feelings all too well. He remembered how hard his fingers would shake as he wrapped those dressings around Duo's wrist for the first time. He remembered how hard his body quivered against the cabinets, curled up into a tight ball, with the steam choking his voice and licking at the tears that ran down his face after he had found Duo. And how hard it was to maintain control again in front of his fellow pilots, to stop his shaking, when all he wanted to do was be alone and…die.

"Duo…?"

No answer.

"Duo…?"

He didn't reply.

"Duo…"

A violent shudder and still no answer.

"Duo…Why…Why wont you tell me what's wrong…?"

And yet again, Duo didn't answer him. Heero's fingers dug into the blanket and he closed his eyes so tight that he saw stars behind them. But it didn't keep back the salt water that slammed against his shields and slowly leaked free.

 

TBC…

 

*cackles like an idiot* There's more! There's more! Later! *goes off the post The Forsworn*