4-5-2002

Title: Tainted Conviction - Part Nine
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: Long chapter, I thought I would just give you one. Please, please, please read chapter eight again if you dont remember whats going on in this story. That way, it might be a bit more emotional. ehehe...

 

They say wars are cruel and heartless. They say war is a killer and brings nothing but despair in its wake. They say they want to stop the fighting but they can't. They always have something to fight for, whether good or bad. They believe in the things they want to. No one forces them. They fight because they choose to. No one tells them. If they were so eager to stop fighting, then why does murder still reign on? Why does death still breathe down his neck? Duo walked quietly to the window, a faint trace of deja vu washing over him. But this window was different. Not the same as his old window, where the ocean of tree tops grazed outside in the mountains. This one was smaller, compact, and cold looking. The eye of the world, that's what it, was. And the world was a cold, cruel place, bent on trying to destroy and receive. Even in this time of peace, there were still needless deaths, unexplained suicides, and horror all around them. They couldn't escape it if they fought it; they couldn't ignore it if they closed their eyes. It was always there, the forbidden darkness weighing over them all, the world, like the shadow of death. And all this suffering because of one single fact:

They were humans.

Duo sighed, staring out the window but seeing nothing. The lights of the neighborhood were void and smoldered in the darkness of night. All he saw was his reflection in the mirror of the glass. Eyes that were sullen and lost in the shadows of his soul. No light could penetrate the endless pits of violet no longer. His body was frail and pale, the sun not kissing his skin in the longest of time. It was like he had been locked up in himself, locked in this dreadfully cold and horrible house, where not even the sun's rays could penetrate its obscurity. Once his pride and joy, his hair was tangled and dull looking. He hated it. He hated everything. In only a week, his whole world had been flipped over and now it seemed like he was on the other side of his mirror, seeing things no one would ever hear or see. They kept on whispering to him, they kept on touching him with their cold lifeless fingertips. Death. Death was all he could see now and the horror of all the agony that they went through. Everything he touched…everything he saw…everything he heard…it was no longer the same. Nothing held any sort of joy anymore. He had seen so much in the past few days that he was shocked to find he even had the strength to rise out of bed anymore.

Duo shut his eyes tightly and bit his bottom lip, tears willing themselves up from their bottomless depth and over the edge. Trickle, trickle. One by one a tear would slip through his tightly closed eyelids, shedding the pain and misery he felt every moment of every day. His eyes opened and more spilled forth, the dam that once had kept them back opening up to let them rush through. He looked at his reflection again and all he saw was pain and agony. His eyes had gotten red inside and out, as if his tears caused his eyes to bleed. A sniffle and sob broke through the silence of Heero's room and with a shaky breath Duo reached into boxer's pocket. There was the rattle of a chain against metal before Duo looked down at what he clutched tightly in his hand.

His cross.

Duo stared at the golden symbol in his hand for a moment finding some peace in his shattering soul. A tear slipped free from his chin and bounced upon the fair emblem, the spell breaking as reality returned yet again.

Slowly, Duo reached out with his free hand and raised the window. Cold air briskly passed his legs but cold was nothing now but a numbing feeling. Still staring at the cross in his hand, Duo clutched the crest tighter in his fist.

"You are so powerful," Duo whispered to no one. "You tell us to walk in the path of light, but you don't realize that there is no light. The Earth succumbed to darkness a long time ago, before wars. You tell us to be innocent but innocence is destroyed at birth. You are so powerful. And yet, you can't fucking help us."

Slowly, Duo turned his violet gaze outside the window, his hand trembling in his closed fingers, making the chain sway.

"You tell me to believe in you," he said to the darkness. "But I have no reason. You just give me pain. You tell me to believe in you. Well, I say fuck you."

Duo gave a sudden flick of his wrist and a golden flash caught his gaze as his emblem flew out the window and into the darkness. With finality, Duo took both hands on the window and slammed it shut. He smirked at his reflection. "I'll never believe."

*****

Heero watched the other's faces about the room, sitting uncomfortably on the new couch Quatre had insisted on buying for reasons unknown. The dark leather kept crinkling under him every time he shifted, making the only sound in the room. It was annoying, to say the least, and he kept getting glances every time he stirred. Quatre stood in the middle of the room, hands playing with a little golden item in his hand. Wufei was sitting cross-legged on the floor, looking straight ahead out the window, as if he was seeing something no one else could see, a world beyond their reach. An statement of neutrality rested on his tough features, trails of black silk falling to frame his face. Trowa was on the other side of the room, arms crossed as always, as he leaned against the wall in a normal fashion. His gaze was fixed upon the floor, a blank interest behind his leaf green eyes.

Behind them all, near the door, were stacks of boxes filled with clothes and misc. items. A baseball bat was lying on its side next to a beaten box with the words `Shinigami' on each side.There was bounding as Duo ran down the stairs.

"Heero! Why didn't you wake me up!?" Duo screamed before he came into the room. He stopped short when he noticed everyone was assembled in the living room. Only one person acknowledged his existence physically. Quatre looked up at Duo slowly and Duo stared at him with confusion.

"…What's up?" Duo asked in a casual tone. Heero cringed. For Heaven's sake, he still tried to act like nothing was wrong. It was beginning to get on his nerves…

Mutely, Quatre walked over and held out his hand. Duo, still confused, held out his as well and Quatre let loose the item in his hand. There was a golden flash before Duo's cross landed silently in the palm of his hand. The Shinigami pilot stared at it long and hard, as if he never saw a cross before in his entire life and had a perplexed interest in it. Then slowly, he raised his eyes to Quatre and his statement changed to that of a neutral statement, mirroring Wufei who was now watching him. Slowly, Duo tilted his hand.The cross gave a clank as it landed on the wooden floor.

Quatre's gaze followed the cross, confused, but Duo walked past without a second glance and went towards his box of clothes. He scooped down and picked up his bat, turning around at the same time. He stalked back, the wooden weapon rising and Quatre stumbled back with wide eyes. Duo held his weapon of choice in the air over his head, eyes burning into Quatre as if he meant to strike him. Heero launched from his seat but it was too late to stop Duo's blow.

SLAM! The bat pounded soundly on the cross, laying innocently on the ground and it bent in the middle. Duo raised the bat again and it slammed down a second time. And again. And again. The four Gundam pilots watched in horror as Duo kept striking his prized possession, his cross of fortune, until it was just a hump of broken metal. Sighing, Duo carelessly tossed his bat aside, glanced at Quatre, and turned around to head for the kitchen. His plans were cut short, however, because Heero was standing directly behind him. His hands closed in on the ex-Gundam's forearms and pulled him close, anger seething off his breath.

"What was that about!?" Heero whispered furiously under his breath.

Duo stared at him, unmoved. "I hate it."

"I don't understand you!" Heero whispered, voice getting louder. "What's wrong with you!?"

"What's wrong with me?" Duo repeated, almost calm. Almost. "What's wrong with me?" His voice kept getting higher. "What's wrong with me!?" Duo screamed in rage. "What's. Wrong. With. Me!?!"

Duo shoved Heero away hard, making the Wing pilot stumble back. The back of his knees encountered the coffee table and he lost his balance, sitting hard on the wooden surface. Duo strode over, waving his hands hysterically.

"Nothing is WRONG with ME!" Duo screamed, getting right in Heero's face like the Wing pilot had done before. "What? Am I little pale for you, Heero? Do I look sick!?"

Duo's words tumbled out in a mad rush, not even pausing for breath.

"Huh!? HUH!?"

"Who did that to your wrists!?!" Heero screamed back. This time, Duo didn't grow any paler. This time, Duo didn't hide his face in shame. This time, Duo didn't look for help to dodge the sensitive subject.

Instead, he began to unwrap one of his bandages as he went on. "Do you really want to know, Heero? Are you just dying to figure out how fucked I am?"

The bandage fell to the ground and Duo backed away, holding up wrist like some trophy. Everyone saw. Quatre made some sort of noise and revolted back against the wall beside Trowa, covering his mouth with sickness tearing at his eyes. Trowa gazed at the wound, the light slipping through the hole in his bloodied wrist to shine the glinting bloody muscle within. Wufei held his face in his hands, fingers tearing into his hair as if to maintain some control…or his lunch.

"See?!" Duo screamed, shrill. "See what he's done to me!?!"

"Who, Duo? Who?" Quatre begged, sorrow and fear in his eyes. Tears were brimming in the bottom of his eyes and he clutched his shirt desperately, as if for some sort of strength.

"HIM!" Duo screamed, rage burning in his eyes and he scooped up his crumbled cross and chucked it hard at Quatre. The frail boy squeaked and dodged the sharp medal, falling into Trowa's arms and chest for protection. The broken cross made a little sound as it hit the wall then the floor.

"What?" Trowa muttered quietly, holding a trembling Quatre and staring down at the cross on the floor.

"The man that dares to call himself the creator of mankind!" Duo screamed sarcasm dripping from his voice with his last remaining strength. His voice echoed off the walls and met silence as all eyes were turned towards him. Duo stared at each one of them, still tense, but panting heavily from his outburst. Quatre still stayed in Trowa's comforting arms, an eye peeking out around his friend's arm to watch Duo tremble, sigh, and lift his hands into his hair to tug roughly at his bangs. But even if most of his hands covered his face, the hole in the revealed wrist beamed through to show a bit of his cheek. Quatre was in need of a toilet right now.

"He's punishing me," Duo whispered into the silent room, all of them immobile in shock. "My motorcycle…I was riding along and I dodged a deer that came in front of me and…and I drove over the edge.

"A guy spoke to me. Told me I was dead and stuck between heaven and hell because they didn't know where to put me. I was dead…He asked me if I believed in God…I told him no…"

Duo was suddenly deeply quiet, the balls of his palms pressing hard into his closed eyes. Everyone was watching him, their stares eating away at him, and it was all he could do but blow up on them again. They thought he was crazy, whacko, off his rocker. Maybe he was in some cases. He lost a bit of his sanity when he lost a bit of his wrists.

Suddenly, Wufei spoke, "What then, Max-Duo?"

Duo's head jerked free from his hands and he looked over at Wufei who was watching him with the most intense eyes. But they accused him of nothing, made no judgment of him yet. They just stared, urging him on with those hollow depths. Duo would have smiled, if he felt the joy. At least one of them might believe him…

"He…gave me a choice," Duo continued softly, keeping his eyes glued on the encouraging black holes. "To stay and rot or come back and face consequences. He said…eyes unclouded, mind unshielded, and body of an unholy virgin…"

"The day you were throwing up…" Wufei started.

"I was losing the blood that would have surrounded my body the next day when you would find me," Duo finished, hands beginning to lower.

"The holes…"

"Stigmata. I don't think you guys know about it. But it's suppose to be for very loyal God followers…" Duo couldn't suppress the snicker.

"How do we know that you didn't do this to yourself?" A new voice asked. Duo's rage began to boil again and he turned towards Heero who had asked the question. Wufei glared at Heero, muttering idiot under his breath, but Duo blocked him out as rage spilled over his senses. `How COULD I do this!?' Duo screamed. `Thinking I was crazy is better because at least you are on the right track! But doing all of this to myself!?'

"How could you think that?!" Duo accused. "Damnit Heero! Do I look like a person who would cause harm, never mind have the strength, to do that to myself!? I'm not crazy!"

"We didn't say that," Heero said quietly.

"But you're thinking it!" Duo raged. "If I believe in God, he'll stop this! If I believe in him, this will all go away!"

"Why don't you?" Quatre asked quietly from the corner of the room.

Duo gave a cold chuckle and raised cool fingertips to his forehead as he closed his eyes to rub it like he had a headache. A mad grin was stuck on his face, twisting his statement into that of total mad amusement.

"Why…?" Duo said, a calm, soothing voice filling the dead air. "Does it all make you guys feel better if you think there is some Almighty Being watching over you? Do you feel safe and warm when you think He's going to protect you?"

Silence met his answer.

"Foolish thoughts," Duo continued, his voice getting quieter. "God isn't real. He's some fucker that sits back and enjoys our pain. We set up this whole image of him being the nice guy." A low, mad chuckle. "I've seen a honest man lie. I've seen a rich man beg. I've seen a soldier cry. And here you go and tell me that God, who made us Humans the way we are, is going to be some Holy being that will kiss our wounds away."

No one spoke up. The air was dead, cold, and breathless. Duo shuddered and he raised his revealed wrist to his face, staring right through the broken hole that began to drip with red venom. There was a broken sob and Duo looked up from his hypnotizing wrist to Quatre who was crying softly into Trowa's chest. He watched, entranced at the glistening, beautiful tears gracing itself one by one down the frail man's cheek.

Oh, Christ, what if he was right? Quatre thought. What if there was no light? What if there was no hope, no warmth, no love? What if it was all lust, pain, regret, and sorrow?

"Duo…" Quatre cried out softly, muffled into Trowa's chest.

"Well, you know what I say, Quat?" Duo said softly. "I say fuck you, God. Fuck you…FUCK. YOU!"

Duo whirled away from everyone as if to storm out of the room but suddenly there was a hiss and snap and Duo stumbled forward, crying out. Wufei watched with wide eyes, as Duo was about to fall over him but suddenly jerked back, hands flying up over his head and crossing at the wrists and stood up on his tiptoes. There was a hiss then a WHACK and Duo stretched out in the air, lurching forward with all his might but his hands would not budge from their position in the air.

WHOOOOOCHU!

Duo cried out in pain.

Quatre screamed and cried into Trowa's arms, holding onto his friend as he watched Duo's shirt become torn with each rise of some invisible force and blood seeped into view as the skin broke.

Hiss.

CRACK!

A cry of pain.

"Duo!" Heero cried out, wishing to move but finding he couldn't. He didn't know if something was holding him down or if he was in so much shock that his body would not willingly move. All he could do was cry out as Duo's shirt slowly became nothing but shreds.

"Duo! Duo! Duo!"

The pilots heard the oncoming blow each time, even if they couldn't see it. The sound of a whip flying had an unmistakable hiss through the air. And then it would strike, a river of red appearing on Duo's ruby back.

Hissssss….

CRACK!!!!

"God, stop it!" Wufei screamed loudly.

WHOOOOOOCHU!

But it would not stop. Seven heavy blows graced itself upon the Shinigami pilot's back and still they continued to reign on, beating Duo repeatively, over and over again…

Quatre turned his head away, a horrified sob escaping his throat. He just couldn't watch it anymore…

CRACK!!!!

Trowa drew Quatre closer, emblem eyes watching on…

CRACK!!!!

"DUO!!!" Heero cried, struggling against the force that held him down.

CRACK!!!!

Wufei reached out, screaming out curses and pleas for it all to end…

CRACK!!!!

CRACK!!!!!!!!!

CRACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The sound echoed off the walls…

And suddenly Duo's arms fell free from the sky that held them and slumped to his sides. Empty eyes, brimming with tears that began to fall, stared across the room. Everything was suddenly in slow motion, glistening tears moving lifelessly down his skin. Thump. Duo's knees connected with wood and he fell forward onto his hands. His whole body started trembling in pain and his voice was wracked with heavy sobs, breaking the silence that the whip had left behind. Drip. Tears began to fall upon the wooden surface.

Heero could suddenly move and he flew to Duo's side and reached out. But his hands were smacked away from Duo who cried harder, body shaking harder.

"Don't…" Duo whispered, sucking in deep breaths and choking on them, along with his tears that wetted his chapped lips. Heero stared dumbfounded at Duo, wishing to help but being gently pushed away. Slowly, Duo straightened his wobbly arms and his sniffles and choked breath grew clear for a moment.

"Fu…Fuck…You…God…" Duo grounded out.

Hisssssss…

CRACK!!!

Duo cried out then collapsed all together as the last blow danced across his bleeding and wounded back. Empty eyes stared out into nothingness as he slowly lost consciousness.

"Duo!"

 

TBC...