1-3-2001

Title: Beauty and the Kitsune part seven
Author: Eternal Treasure (sailoreternity@yahoo.com)
Feedback: *rolls her eyes* Of course. If it were for my own enjoyment, I wouldn't post it.
Archive: Oh yes, please. *grin* Tell me where you're taking it first though.

I am currently at the Boys in Chains slavefic archive
http://www.ravenswing.com/bic/main.html
and at Kikotei's Home of Anime and Shinigami Productions
http://members.spree.com/entertainment/DuoMaxwell39/

Rating: NC-17
Parings: *does a cheer* 1x2, 3x4... more, more more!
Warnings: Yaoi...very yaoi.... as much yaoi as I can pack in. Lemon too. I don't think much violence. Did you hear? YAOI LEMON! NCS! SLIGHTLY BASTARDIZED HEERO. DUO TORTURE! OOC! AU! Tentacles...um...other.. things... O.o
Disclaimer: Oh gods! I WISH this were mine! But it's not. I don't own any of these bishonen or the TV series they are in. (Gundam Wing) Bandai and Sotsu and Sunrise and others do.

I want to thank Hope of Dawn for dealing with my manic/depressive peronality and beta reading for me. ALL mistakes are MINE because I tend to add things just before sending things in. I love you SO MUCH for your insight Hope! (GLOMP)

Beauty and the Kistune part 7
by Eternal Treasure (sailoreternity@yahoo.com)

 

 

"Ribbit!"

Heero frowned. He felt very strange. With a quick glance around him, he realized that he was standing in the middle of a dark forest. "CROAK!" he exclaimed. The computer had messed up! This couldn't be The Lair! Why the holy hell was he in a forest?

Wait... Ribbit?

He looked down. He was wearing the holo disguise of a damn frog! FUCK! Walking forward a step or two, he shook his head when the image hopped. The trees were incredibly huge all around him. Okay, he'd been scaled down to size. *

Actually, this whole forest made him wary. He didn't like being in there one bit. Noticing a break in the trees up ahead, he headed for it. It started to get warm and he began wishing for some water to splash on his face. No doubt the holo disguise, for realism, was drying and heating the air around him. Why in the hell was he a FROG anyway?

Barely noticing the way the ground dipped in front of him, he stopped before he tumbled down into a huge hole. The place sent shivers up and down his spine and his trained soldier instincts kicked in. There was something nasty down there, and he had no intention of going to the meds because a holo monster had tried to pick it's teeth with his bones after feasting on frog legs. This must be where The Lair program started. Obviously the woman had fiddled with the program and gotten it mixed with another. He made a mental note to himself to kill her when he got back.

After a walk that took all of forever, he made the edge of the forest and headed toward a conveniently placed pond. After slaking his thirst and wetting himself down, he glanced around. "Duo?" With The Lair program running and who knew what else going on, he wanted the human at his side.

"Huh?" Duo's voice came from his left, startled. "Oh no!" A tiny golden ball rolled past where Heero sat and skipping down a rocky slope, it bounced up and plopped down into a low well.

"Dammit, no!" Heero was shocked to see Duo race past him. A HUGE Duo. He must have been fifteen times Heero's height. He darted over to the well and bent over to stare inside. "My ball!" he cried in frustration.

"Duo," Heero said calmly, "What the hell are you doing?"

Duo didn't turn around, but kept staring down into the well. "Heero?"

"Come over here, Duo," Heero snapped, getting irritated.

Reluctantly, Duo turned around to face him and froze. After a few seconds of trying to get his mouth to work, Duo simply clapped both hands over it and turned red. Heero looked him over for injuries though it was pretty obvious the boy was all right. The program had put Duo in a tiny, frilly puffed out green dress that didn't suit him at all. Then again, the dress was so short that it barely covered his bottom and displayed his long smooth legs. Heero rubbed his hands together, ignoring his holographic green skin and webbed fingers. Maybe--

Duo abruptly collapsed in on himself and sagged on the lip of the well. Concerned, Heero hopped forward only to discover that the boy was laughing so hard be could barely stand! "...Duo." he growled.

"You--!" Duo waved a hand at him, unable to speak, tears rolling down his cheeks, "F-frooooooooog!" he plopped down in the grass and howled, beating on the ground with his fists.

"Omae... O... Korasu!" Heero tapped his foot. Looking down, he saw a huge webbed pad slapping the ground and stopped. Duo was almost beet red, having fallen over on his side gasping for air. "Finished?"

"Yes." Duo said. He straightened abruptly and stalked over to where Heero floated on his pad. He grabbed him firmly about the body with both hands and carried him over to the well. "Swim DOWN there and get that ball!"

"Ribbit!?" Heero demanded. Clearing his throat, he tried again, "What the hell do you mean, get the ball? How dare you--"

"What was that? I didn't hear you." Duo said sweetly, tightening his grip. Heero's eyes bugged out and he struggled to get some air. After a second, Duo eased his grip. "You were saying?"

"You will be punished for this." Breathlessly, he gulped hard.

Duo touched one of the fading bruises on his cheek and grimaced. "Yeah, but you know what? I wanna have SOMETHING before you do whatever it is you have planned for me. Obviously my word means shit to you because you brought me here for...training, right?" his eyes glittered maliciously. "Well, apparently we landed in the wrong program and for the moment, I have the home court advantage. Sooo...." He squeezed again.

OW! That hurt! Heero snarled, "I'm going to beat the shit out of you for this, Duo."

"Hn." Duo replied. Taking hold of Heero's lips and his legs, he stretched him out like a rubber band. Aiming carefully, Duo let go of his legs and he hurtled down into the water below.

It only took him a little while to get his head back together and swim to the surface, "I will KILL that stupid..." he grumbled. A shadow fell over him and when he looked up, a large wooden bucket smacked him in the head.

"Get the ball and put it in the bucket," Duo said curtly.

"What is the fascination with the ball?" Heero demanded.

"Fuck you." Duo explained.

"Duo." he said firmly.

Duo's eyes narrowed to dangerous purple slits. His voice was sweet and even, "What?'

Heero glared, but continued on, "You will bring me BACK UP there and then, you are going to kiss me and put me back in my normal form. From the looks of this, I figure it's The Frog Prince so a kiss should do it."

"No shit Sherlock."

"You ARE going to bring me up and kiss me or I swear when we DO get out of here you'll yelp for it."

A smile lit up Duo's entire face, but his eyes didn't change, "Of course, froggy darling." His voice went deep and sultry. "Just get that ball and I'll give you a kiss you'll never forget."

Heero entertained long, bloody death scenes for the fool standing above him. But as he was in this position -- he would KILL that woman! -- he had to do as Duo said for now. Or else he knew Duo would leave him there the entire week they were supposed to stay. Stubborn little.... And there was nothing he could do about it. Threats weren't working.

He dove down to the bottom of the well and retrieved the ball. He shoved it into the bucket and Duo considerately waited until he had climbed inside before bringing the bucket back up. He took the ball and stuck it into a pocket on the side of his dress. Then he gently picked Heero up and petted him on the head.

"There, good froggy." he crooned to him. Duo never thought he'd ever see that particular expression on a frog's face before. He almost doubled up laughing again. "I owe you a great big kiss. Pucker up, baby."

Heero waited stoically, planning on grabbing the little brat and tossing him over his knee. Duo lifted him up above his head, face aglow...

Then he grabbed hold of Heero's legs and twirled him above his head like a baton. Bringing him down, he then began smacking him repeatedly into the side of the well. Head lolling to the side, tongue hanging out, Heero barely felt it when Duo gently set him on the lip of the well. He heard little unwrapping noises, then a huge Hershey kiss was being forced into his mouth.

"They had so many NICE props for me to play with, you know. I thought this was a cute touch." He laughed. "Well, I'll be seeing you!" Whistling the death march, he tossed Heero into the bucket and cut the rope with a switchblade. Heero fell down out of sight.

Duo waited for the splash and shook his head. Okay, that was stupid, but he wanted out of this program and he wanted out now. It felt good giving a bit of his own back. He knew where the emergency switch was, having spent most of his time checking the area out when he first realized where he was. Slapping the concealed panel in the tree, he waited. Nothing happened. He hit it repeatedly, getting more and more angry.

Finally, he punched the tree and sat in the grass, "Fuck!" he snarled whole-heartedly. "Why the fuck isn't it WORKING?!"

Hearing a noise, he frowned and glanced over his shoulder. "Fuckin' A..." he muttered in surprise. Little froggy Heero was stalking his way and he looked pissed.

"What!" he gasped, coming out of his shock. "Oh no wonder the safety won't work. You're still awake!"

"CROAK!" Was all Heero could get out, he was so mad.

Duo stared as the little frog came up to him, then he laughed. "Oh really!" he asked finally, "What are you gonna do? Hump my leg? You won't be my size unless I kiss you and honey, I'm not into frogs."

"Do you even realize--"

"I think I got it last time. Omae o korasu, right?" Duo laughed in his face.

"Kiss me!" Heero stomped a webbed foot.

"No!"

"CROAK!" Heero hollered.

"Precisely." Duo tapped his lips. "Let me see.... I guess I didn't hurt you enough. A game will kick a guy out if he's banged up too bad. Some lame safety feature, but then that bitch did say the safeties were off. Still, if you're hurt badly enough they'll kick in anyhow if I hit the switch." He looked down at the knife in his hand and shook his head. "Hold still while I find a rock to smash you with until you loose consciousness."

"Why are you doing this?" Heero asked, "Are you insane?"

"Quite possibly," Duo said. He leaned over and grabbed Heero before he could hop out of the way.

Thinking quickly, Heero stretched out his short green neck and pressed his lips to Duo's. The boy gasped and flung him away from him as hard as he could, snarling curses. Bright shiny lights flashed before his eyes in the form of sparkling little green frogs doing the can-can in tiny black dresses complete with fishnets and high heels. Then a heavy weight smacked into his shoulders and he found himself facedown in the grass.

After a few dazed seconds, he rolled over onto his back and held his hands in front of his face. No webs. "Duo, your name is mud..." He actually started unfastening his belt before he caught himself and took deep, calming breaths. Must.... resist... urge... to kill... Duo!

His eyes fell on a thick branch lying next to him. The same branch Duo had obviously sapped him with before running off. "He really IS crazy." he grumbled, struggling to sit up straight.

When he looked up he saw Duo in the distance, sprinting toward the castle. He considered just pressing the exit button and calling it a day. So much for trying to get Duo out of the room. Duo WAS in need of training and he DID need some of the trainers in The Lair to teach him a few things. Besides, a lot of humans had come out of the Lair programs and been perfectly happy to serve thereafter. Heero could see how Duo might get the wrong impression from the stupid woman in the lobby, but...

He was glad no one could see what was going on in here. He couldn't imagine ever being able to live this one down and that little human just kept surprising him. This would not do. Snarling, he stood up and flicked the dust off his tail. There was no way in HELL Duo was going to get away with this!

Standing up, he noticed that he had been dressed in training armor complete with woolen padding under the thick leather plates. There was a heavy pack lying next to him, a neatly folded cloak and a sheathed short sword attached to a leather belt. Golden eyes narrowed contemplatively. This was training gear. They was in a battle simulation program. Bloody hell. Quickly, he slapped open the panel on the side of the nearby tree. Flipping back the cover, he pressed the large blue button, keying in his access code to terminate the program. Nothing happened.

Lip curling in a savage snarl, he searched ahead to assure himself that Duo was still headed toward the relative safety of the castle. However, Duo seemed to pause and then stopped running altogether, staring at the giant stone building. The little baka abruptly turned and fled toward the woods west of the castle grounds. Right toward the Lair program. With everything as mixed up as it was, the Lair program could possibly be corrupted. Duo could be killed.

Heero quickly draped the cloak over his shoulders, slung the pack on his back and buckled the belt about his waist. Taking a moment to loosen the sword in its sheath, he started running to the spot where the fool's green dress had disappeared in the woods.

 

Duo ran as fast as he could, breathing hard. The castle was so damned far away! He had to hide somehow and think of something. Faced now with a full sized kitsune, all he wanted to do was evacuate the premises. He put on another determined burst of speed. Fuck that! It was him or Heero and Heero was going down! He just had to find a way to accomplish that. If he failed, well, Heero would HAVE to kill him after this. If anything, Duo could make him so angry that he was too enraged to do anything but. Quick and hopefully painless. Shit.

He stopped a moment and sat on the ground, panting. The he smiled and took the ball from his pocket. Glowing faintly at his touch, it was lovely and warm and the golden glow reached down into his soul. Duo touched his neck, absent of its collar. It felt so good to have even the illusion of freedom. These guys were such prick losers.

He looked at the ball again. He was going to keep this as long as he could. When Heero had shoved Duo through the door in the lobby, the green lights had terrified him, flashing all around his body in dizzying circles. When his world had stopped twirling, he'd been laying on the ground, the precious little sphere tucked in his hands. He'd also been wearing a green dress complete with white lacy petticoats and frilly bows and ribbon.

Duo looked down at his feet and wiggled his toes in the shiny black shoes and sighed. Besides the stunning discovery of the glowing ball, he'd found that strapped to his thigh by a lacy little green garter edged in white lace, had been a crude little switchblade with a wicked blade. Why the hell had he, a slave, been given a knife? Was the training program that rough?

Duo frowned and made a face at his distorted reflection in the ball's bright surface. He would do anything little short of castrating the kitsune to win his freedom. Lying didn't bother him one bit. One couldn't always be honest, after all.* Somehow though, it really stung that Heero had brushed his word aside so casually and brought him here to be broken. That's how that hateful woman had made it sound. While this obviously wasn't The Lair, Duo had no doubts that once the situation was rectified, in he would go.

There was nothing he could do to stop it. It was disappointing that Heero was no different than all the others of his kin who wanted nothing more than a docile human to screw. Mentally turning his back on those images, he examined the sides of the ball. It was carved with the cutest little baby foxes.

Duo cleared his throat. Ugh. The dresses must be getting to him.

He looked around self-consciously and horror made him freeze like a deer. "Oh...SHIT!" Heero was coming up the hill at a quick trot, his long legs eating up the distance. Squeaking in fright, Duo leaped to his feet and raced away from him, tearing towards the forest. Maybe he'd have a chance of losing Heero in there until he'd formed a plan of action.

"Gods please give me more strength!" he grunted through his teeth. He could hear Heero's boots pounding on the ground behind him. He wished the kitsune would say something. Anything! There was no telling just how close that hulking mass of muscle was behind him and if he turned back he would loose speed and maybe even trip over the dense undergrowth. He could almost feel the kitsune getting closer, booted feet ghosting silently over the forest floor. The whole forest was silent! Duo trembled so hard he almost fell. Oh gods, he was terrified. What was Heero going to do when he caught him?

"Duo stop!" Heero bellowed just behind him. His voice was so close and loud that Duo almost fell down. Wheeling in anger, he took a swipe at him with his puny knife. Heero dodged back and Duo took the opportunity to turn and run.

"Don't run, there's a drop!" Heero shouted. Too late.

Duo's foot caught on a protruding root and he toppled over with a startled gasp. He slammed into the ground with a sharp grunt and his ball rolled out of his outstretched hand. He watched, still stunned from the fall as his only treasure rolled down into a small hole. Wailing in anguish, he scrambled up and dug to get his hand in the hole. "My ball!"

"Aren't you done with that damned ball YET?' Heero yelled in exasperation. "Stop that right now. You're right over a drop, give me your hand!"

"Fuck you!" Duo screamed, tears rolling down his cheeks. He cut his fingers digging into the hard dirt and rocks, but didn't care.

Heero quickly took in the situation. Duo was going to fall if he kept digging and even if he moved, his efforts had weakened the covering on the hole enough that he might fall anyway. He was too far for Heero to be able to snatch him and the kitsune was far too heavy to race across, grab him, and be able to get clear. Calling himself an idiot, he inched closer to the drop, wondering how deep it was. People had been killed in holos before, and all of his instincts told him there was something nasty down that hole. Thankfully, the program had given him a sword.

Taking a deep breath, he gathered his legs under him and dove at Duo. His hands encircled the boy's slender waist as he scooped him up and shoved him as hard as he could. Duo tumbled back with a furious growl and landed clear of the hidden drop. Heero's weight crashed down onto the thin covering and it gave way with a deep booming sound. He found himself at full stretch staring down at a twenty foot drop. Not bad, but not good either. He tried to make the landing as best he could, but he couldn't twist his body enough to get into a good position. As his head hit the ground, the last thought he had was that he was pretty sure he'd flubbed it.

*************

Duo scrambled back to the edge of the wide hole and stared down as the dust settled. "Big dumb ass." he muttered when he saw Heero's still form below. "I suppose that it's too to hope for that he broke his neck."

He waited for the telltale shimmering around the kitsune to signal the game ending. Not how he would have chosen to end it, but satisfying. He just kind of hoped that the ball would be there when...

He looked harder. No shimmers, -- nothing. Heero looked hurt real bad, so why hadn't the holo kicked him out? Was he breathing? Panicky, he examined the sides of the hole. The dirt was too crumbly to climb down and there would be no way up. He frowned angrily. The fail-safe must have been broken. THAT'S why it hadn't gone off before. Heero probably needed help. Like now! Duo looked back the way he had come. He thought he saw the way out of the forest, but the castle was still kind of far away and even if he got there, he was pretty damned sure there wouldn't be any help for HIM. That place was probably full of `trainers' who would nab him on sight and that would be it.

Guiltily, he thought of how Heero had pushed him aside and shuddered to think that he could have been the one down there. Heero was lying so still... Before he could talk himself out of it, he scrutinized the sides of the hole as he kicked off his shoes. They would slip and probably make him lose his balance. Walking away from the hole, he took a few deep breaths and ran at it. Turning his body as he fell, he dug his toes in to the far side of the wall and pushed as hard as he could, back-flipping in the air, as he launched himself to the other side and landed lower down on the opposite wall. Pushing off again, he fell down headfirst and curled in on himself, rolling up against the far wall.

Calling himself ten kinds of an idiot, he stood to his feet, "Thanks for the gymnastic lessons, papa." he whispered softly. He snorted. His father had seen to it he learned a skill that was going to save the life of one of the people responsible for his father's death. Ironic, ne?

Quickly, he made his way to the kitsune's side and lifted the dirt and rotted branches away from him. His sensitive fingers check Heero's pulse and examined him for broken bones. It took him much longer to make sure that his neck wasn't broken, and he thanked all that was holy when he found that Heero's skull wasn't cracked. The back of his head and neck was bloody though. Heero had probably tried to land on his feet and fallen over wrong when he landed. Moron. He was lucky he hadn't broken both legs! Duo wanted to slap him until his eyes crossed. Still, he was careful when he tried to wake Heero. He'd read somewhere that if you had a concussion, you shouldn't sleep. Squashing sympathy, he shook the kitsune as hard as he could. The fool NEEDED his brains rattled!

Heero's golden eyes opened and blinked blearily up at him. Suppressing a sigh of relief, Duo reached down and tore strips from the fluffy petticoat layers from under his dress. Lifting Heero's head carefully, he wrapped the kitsune's injuries. "Are you okay?"

Heero closed his eyes at the tender touch of Duo's small hands. Duo flicked a finger at the back of his head. Yelping, Heero tried to sit up, but Duo held his head firmly in place, "Hn." he snorted, eyes drifting shut. Duo prodded him again and he winced. "Stop that!"

"Keep your eyes open," Duo said coldly. "I need you awake so we can figure out a way out of this place. That way I can kill you in complete peace of mind."

"Kill me?" Heero lifted a sable eyebrow. Looking up, he blinked at the huge hole overhead and mumbled, "Shit!"

"Tell me about it," Duo said dryly, finishing up with his ministrations. He pulled the last knot a bit tighter than necessary, making Heero flinch. Duo smiled sweetly.

"How did you get down here?" Heero asked.

Duo snorted. "More gracefully than you did!" He held Heero's head and slid his hand down behind his shoulder blades. "I'm not one for first aid, do you think you're okay? If so, I'll push you up."

Heero mentally cursed and took in his surroundings. There were in danger now-- Real danger. "Why didn't the game kick me?"

"The fuck I know!" Duo said, sneering, "I wish the hell it had, then I wouldn't be down here patching your dumb ass up."

Heero shot Duo a level look that made the boy blush a little. Then, ignoring him for the moment, Heero took stock of his injuries. His skull was intact at least, although he was still dizzy. Gingerly, he tested his limbs and turned his body, allowing Duo to help him up. However nasty his bedside manner was, Duo supported him carefully.

He got a good look around and shook his head. They had dropped into an underground cavern. The feeling of being watched grew and he nervously looked up at the failing light. "We have to get out of here."

Duo shook his head. "Afraid of the dark?"

"This is The Lair, Duo."

Duo wrapped his arms around himself and glared for all he was worth. "This is where you wanted to be then, right?"

"True, but something has obviously gone wrong with the program." Heero watched the lengthening shadows cautiously. "We know the safeties are off, and while I've never personally been inside The Lair, I know that it is extremely dangerous for humans when the program is set at high levels."

"Then why come here in the first place?" Duo wanted to know. "I thought that bitch out there said you could turn the safeties back on. And why is a simple training program for slaves so dangerous?"

Heero stared about, refusing to answer, and Duo shifted uncomfortably. He started looking around on the ground, nudging branches and vines aside.

"What are you doing?" Heero asked.

"You don't think I came down here for YOU do ya?" Duo replied flippantly. "I lost my ball."

"Forget the ball," Heero said, tail twitching in annoyance.

"Forget YOU!" he snapped, still searching. "Froggy."

Heero took several strides forward, about to lay hands on Duo in unpleasant ways when all of a sudden the strange feeling of being watched increased. Head snapping up, he saw a dark shape hurtling out of the darkness. It fell down from above, a dark shadow, tearing toward where Duo knelt in the dirt.

"Hell!" Heero barked. Without any preamble he brutally kicked Duo aside as he tore his sword from its sheath. Slashing upwards, he felt something attempt to wrest the blade from his hands. Heero drew the sword in toward his body, pulling the creature closer and then raked his claws down its thick hide. A high pitched shriek of pain and fury hurt his sensitive ears and sent him reeling back. Just below the ringing in his ears, he could faintly hear Duo screaming somewhere to his left.

The shadow quickly glided over to where Duo was lying on the ground, hands cupped protectively over his ears. Heero placed himself between Duo and the monster again, parrying the downward slash of its claws. Hunching over as if in pain, Duo scrambled back in the dirt away from the fight. Distracted by his slave's curious behavior, Heero was unprepared when the creature darted past his guard and sunk its teeth in his right arm. Baring his fangs, Heero bit down on a leathery wing, shaking his head back and forth as he ripped with his sharp teeth.

A flash of steel glinted in front of his face before the creature released its death grip on Heero's arm. Duo drew his arm back from his overhead throw, gasping in relief when he hit his target and not Heero. Heero shook the monster free and whirled. The little creature fell to his blade and was sliced cleanly in two with a blue flash of light.

Heero minutely examined the metal of his sword as it glowed an angry cobalt blue. He'd never had a sword like this in his training programs years back. Turning quickly, he grabbed Duo and ran his hands over the boy's slender body, searching for injuries. Duo flinched when Heero's hard fingers traced his belly through the thin green material of his dress. Heero felt his ears drooping against his head. He'd been so eager to save Duo, he hadn't realized how hard he'd kicked the boy.

When Heero stopped probing at what was surely going to be a large bruise on his belly, Duo clung to him like a burr, knuckles turning white from the grip he had on the kitsune's shirt. Looking around the cavern, Heero studied their surroundings. In the darkness, he made out two openings, both at opposite ends of the room. Both he and Duo were injured and they had no clue what they would be wandering into going down either tunnel. It could just be another harmless projection of a silly fairy tale or it could be a level nine training simulation. He would have enough problems protecting himself and he had Duo to take care of.

Duo made a smothered noise and Heero risked a quick glance down at him. Duo was staring at the dead creature, his hands covering his mouth before squeaking. "What the fuck is that?"

Heero snapped his eyes quickly back up to the gathering darkness around them, noticing that the light in his sword was going dim. However, the feeling of eyes in the darkness faded away as well. Keeping his sword out, he backed up to where the creature had fallen. Taking a moment to pull Duo behind him, he looked down at it and grunted as his stomach heaved.

It was all teeth and claws and dark sinew. One of its bony, leathery little wings was half torn away by Heero's fangs. He felt Duo trembling and looked back at his small white face and his wide eyes.

Not sparing any words, but feeling more than a little sorry for Duo and feeling completely responsible, fucked up as that was... he took a cautious step toward the other tunnel. It was dark as pitch and he couldn't see a thing. Taking another step, he was pleased when he realized that Duo was close to his back, AND was keeping an eye on the other tunnel. Heero looked up at the darkening sky again. There was no light and no time. He knew those things would be all over them when the sun went down and he had to get Duo to safety.

"Stay close, Duo," he murmured softly, "I am going to get you out of here."

Duo suddenly gasped and Heero turned, lifting his sword as Duo dashed from his side and dug at the dirt. Just before Heero could open his mouth in anger, he saw a dark shape, larger than the first, drop from above and fall towards his slave. Biting back curses, he rushed forward, blade swinging.

A thing straight from a nightmare, clear slime dripping copiously down it's wiry, muscular body, spread its huge wings and attacked. Heero got a good look at its almost humanoid shape and snarled a challenge, his eyes glowing like twin lanterns in the darkness. A hissing rattle that sounded suspiciously like laughter sounded above his head and he was knocked to the ground as it banked suddenly and flew at him headlong. Four arms, each sporting a fistful of cruel claws reached out for him.

Heero clawed and snapped at it, forgetting his sword in his blinding, possessive rage. Almost negligently, it flicked its thick, rope-like tail and caught Heero alongside the face, knocking him to his knees. Hovering above the stunned kitsune, it put three of its hands on it's hips and with its free hand, waggled a long, clawed finger. Then, balling up a bony fist, it cuffed him, sending him tumbling into the dirt. Heero was up in an instant, grabbing its tail, pulling with all his might. With one mighty tug he made it fall out of the air and slam down into the hard ground.

Wide jaws, edged with dark, dagger-like teeth split wide and issued forth a wailing shriek right next to Heero's head, causing him to clap his hands over his ears. The sound raked at his sensitive ears and sent him to the brink of unconsciousness.

Scrambling across the cavern floor on all fours like a bug, tail whipping behind it, the creature grabbed Duo by the ankle. The boy screamed, tugging against the thing's painful grip, still pawing desperately through rocks and dirt. Yanking hard, it upset Duo's balance and sent him sprawling face first in the dirt. The thick tail wrapped around his waist firmly, pulling him close against it's slick chest.

Duo tugged at the tail, scratching it as hard as he could, but the thick layer of slime protected the thing's hide. Tearing noises and the nauseating sensation of slime dripping over his hips sent Duo into a panic even before two clawed hands started wrestling his thighs apart. A strong hand clutched at Duo's throat, holding his head back as yet another hand dove down his front and fumbled for his privates.

Throwing himself forward, Duo dug his fingers into the dirt, blindly searching. Something was rubbing against his bottom, leaving slick trails in its wake. He had to get that ball! Somehow, he just KNEW he had but to touch it and everything would be okay. "HEERO! Help! Get it off me, Heero! GET IT OFF!"

The frantic shrieks barely managed to reach the dazed youko as he fought his way to his feet. Eyes narrowed, head aching, Heero threw himself at the two struggling on the floor. Kneeling behind the monster, he grabbed each wing where it disappeared into its back and pulled. Loud, popping, crunching noises echoed in the room over Duo's panicked squeals. Bits of bone and cartilage dribbled down the thing's back as Heero tore its wings off.

Suddenly Duo held his hands up and a radiant light burst forth from his open hands. The creature shrieked and jerked away from Duo, claws leaving bloody welts on his pale thighs. Heero tore it away from the trembling boy and began slowly tearing it to bloody pieces. Duo huddled back against a wall, watching in morbid fascination as Heero tore dark chunks away from the dying creature, hacking and tearing and gnawing at it long after it stopped moving.

"Master?" he whispered softly. Immediately Heero looked up, golden yes fixing on him and glaring as if he were a stranger. Duo flinched back as Heero eased himself away from the body, a bit of flesh dangling from the corner of his mouth. Heero stopped abruptly and distastefully wiped his lips with a bloodstained sleeve. He crouched in the dirt, sniffing the air almost delicately.

"Are you okay, Duo?" he said in a soft voice. Duo clutched the ball tightly as Heero edged closer. "It's only me Duo."

"This is horrible.." Duo muttered, "I want out of here. What was that thing?"

"I assume it was a trainer," Heero said wryly.

Duo went absolutely white again. "You're kidding."

Heero was shaking his head, "Not from the looks of it. It was quite... well endowed."

Duo turned away and was noisily sick.

Waiting impatiently, Heero waited until Duo had finished heaving, then dragged him up. "We don't have time for this now. We are in danger. Several programs appear to have gotten mixed up and jumbled together. Probably because the technician outside made an error."

Duo pressed himself as close to Heero as he could, pulling Heero's tail up and around his waist. Heero cocked an ear down at his slave before shaking his head and wrapping his tail more firmly about the shaking human, "The Lair program and it's trainers have been not only set to their highest level, but the program has merged The Lair with a battle simulation."

~And the training program has been set to its highest level as well~ Heero thought acidly.

Duo shook his head, his voice muffled against Heero's chest. "This is a game, right? So there HAS to be a safe haven."

"Let me see that ball," Heero said curtly, holding his hand out. Duo reluctantly dropped the ball into Heero's outstretched palm. The light instantly spluttered out into nothingness. Duo reached out and touched the golden surface and it re-ignited like a flare. Heero eyed Duo sharply, noticing for the first time the absence of Duo's collar.

~Holy motherfucking SHIT!~ he thought with something approaching horror. The child was a witch! ~No wonder he reacted so badly to the barriers on the apartment door.~ Heero frowned and turned Duo's face up so he could look into his eyes. ~This little brat should be in training with the others in the levels above. What fucking moron put an iron collar on him? Duo could be in the battle at Elven Home right now.~

Then it hit him. This was not only a program for warriors, but for witches too. They were so screwed it wasn't even funny.

"Keep it," Heero said darkly, pressing the globe into Duo's hands. "The creatures don't like the light. Stay close to me. They are going to be focused on getting their claws on you."

Duo swayed noticeably on his feet. Heero shook his arm and the boy snapped out of it quickly.

"I've got the light if you've got the time." Duo whispered wanly.

Heero bent to pick up his sword and drew Duo after him, heading for the left tunnel. "Come on."

Duo smiled softly, "I'm glad you're not a frog anymore."

Heero snorted.

"This way, if one of those things come, I can hide behind you. You're bigger."

Again, Heero ignored him.

 

(end part seven)

* Stop howling Duo fans! I KNOW Duo doesn't lie, just nod and smile for a bit.

 

I know you guys are probably thinking I'm loosing my mind. I don't know how the next Heero and Duo section is going to go down so grab onto your airsickness bags and wait for the next installment, eh?