SIDE STORY: UNDER A BLOODY MOON
By Kimi C.

This takes place after chapter 7. The poem being used here can be found in the 'CLOVER' manga cover by CLAMP. I'm only borrowing it for dramatic effect. Hope you enjoy this!

WARNING: CURSING, ANGST, SAP

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To be born again for your sake;
Blowing the past away on fluttering clouds;
Letting the future ride on flowing winds;
Fearlessly, unceasingly, patiently.

Duo heard nothing but the painful thumping of his heart. His lungs burned and his muscles ached, yet he ran on. Focused only on the bleeding burden in his arms. Walls and faces passed in haze of colors as he escaped the burning base, destroying every blockade with his mystical scythe.

Deathscythe Hell waited for him, guarded by Shen-long's watchful eyes. Duo clambered up the metal body into the cockpit, moving like a greased monkey. Carefully, he sat down in the pilot seat, Heero cradled in his lap.

The monitor in front of him crackled as Shinigami woke up. Wufei's image dominated the screen. His dark eyes took in the still form of their comrade before nodding. "Get the hell out of here, Duo."

"Ryoukai!" With that, Deathscythe Hell gunned its engines and took off.

To be born again in your arms;

To be born again for my sake;
Once again to wait to be born in a golden egg;
Once again to be able to fly with silver wings;
Unhurriedly, tenaciously, intimately.

The bat-winged mecha flew through the night skies, a silent shadow on the ground. Duo's thoughts were confused and rambling as his mind flashed with images, images of Heero and his past self in tender embraces. :I was reincarnated to be with you again, Heero,: the pilot thought grimly, :you're not getting away that fast!:

To be born again in your arms;

To be born again for your sake;
To turn the bliss of our meeting into a gentle light;
And the parting that's sure to come into a smothering rain;
Like the little, indigo flower that blooms in delicate shade.

A chuckle escaped Duo's lips as he remembered their first meeting. "I greeted you with a bullet," he said to the unconcious pilot. "Sure as hell wasn't love at first sight, ne, Heero?"

It had taken months of war and close companionship before Duo's feelings had deepened into something more than friendship. Yet, he was not sure how Heero felt about him. "Do you hate me, Heero?" he asked quietly, "Do you hate me for being *him* and yet not being *him*?"
Heero Yuy slept on.

To be born again in your arms;

Your taking my hand and my not shaking it off;
Our two paths merging to become one as blending minds;
To be born again for my sake.

To be born again in your arms;

Not averting your eyes, not letting go;
Embracing all the fortitude of will and the frailty of prayers;

The Japanese pilot's hand was ice-cold but the throbbing of the pulse told a different story. Duo sat by the hospital bedside, ignoring the doctors and nurses around him. Soon, he heard a door close and he was alone.

Duo came off the chair and kneeled by the bedside, still clutching Heero's hand like a lifeline. A faint smile appeared on his face. "The first time we get to hold hands and it's in a hospital." He chuckled. "I should've guessed."

His other hand trembled as they brushed the shock of dark hair from the peaceful face. "Chikusho, Heero," scolded the American tenderly, "how the hell did you end up like this? Come back to me, bakayarou, do you understand?" Tears streamed down his cheeks as he took in the countless bandages that marred Heero's form.

Duo began to sob and he buried his face in his arms, a gibbering prayer on his lips.

To be born again in your arms.

To be born again for my sake;
When my not minding the loneliness
Was only the ignorance of my bliss with you.
When my pain of loneliness
Was but my learning to fear of losing you.

"You can't leave me now, Heero," croaked Duo. It was now four weeks since Heero had been brought to the hospital. All signs of rape and torture had been healed on his broken body yet the boy was still in a deep, comatose state.

The lack of response infuriated the pilot. "One month! One whole month! What the hell do you think you're doing, Heero Yuy?!" yelled Duo, getting up from the chair that he and the others sat in whenever they rotated their watch on the boy. He grabbed the unconscious patient's shoulders and shook him hard. "Wake up! Do you fucking hear me?! Wake up!"

"Duo! Duo, stop it! Duo!" Insistent hands grabbed the grieving boy's shoulders and the other pilots pulled him off Heero's limp form. Duo fought against them, wailing out his pain, but they wouldn't let go.

"God damn it, Heero," choked Duo, as he collapsed in Trowa's arms. Tears ran down his cheeks. "Fucking wake up!"

So then, I will be born again in your arms.

To be born again for my sake;
As old shells crumble off and newborn tears fall on a cheek;
With your embrace open my ethereal wings;
To be born again for you alone;

Duo woke up to the feel of gentle hands stroking his hair. He sighed and snuggled closer, but his back ached. The pain reminded him of his current position, arms folded on the side of Heero's bed, his knees on the cold, linoleum floor. Then the sensation registered. Slowly, he lifted his head and turned.

Violet met blue.

To be born again in your arms.

Letting me forget with your voice and your touch;
Breaking off the chains that bind my heart and feet;

:Hell is so dark.:

There was no light in the corner of oblivion, no voices, no sounds, nothing. Heero Yuy was alone. He huddled on the floor, waiting watchfully, even as he struggled to remember.

{Clawed hands ripping his flesh---hot lips eating his mouth---the sensation of being ripped inside---}

Heero shuddered away from the loathsome memories. It was clear now. He had been sent to find out whether the base was where Treize Khushrenada had taken refuge. He had confirmed it but had been captured.

"Zashoun." The name hissed from his lips, an oath.

Heero did not know how long he sat there in the darkness. Soon, a soul-deep weariness overtook him and he lay on the floor. Gentle arms seemed to envelop him, beckoning him to peace. Heero closed his eyes, knowing whose embrace he was in and welcoming it.

As inch by inch he sank into the caressing darkness, he became aware of a faint voice from far away. There was something familiar in that voice, causing the pilot to open his eyes. He strained his ears, trying to catch the words. "Heero, you damned bastard! Wake the hell up, do you hear me?!" suddenly exploded in the deep recesses.

It began with a smirk and finally, laughter poured out of Heero's lips. "Duo," he gasped out, still laughing. There was no mistaking that voice, so familiar and longed for. There were more words, more curses, and Heero lay there, half-sunken into the floor. Then he heard it.

"I love you, you stupid bastard! I love you, do you hear me? You damn well better not die on me, bastard!"

And Heero Yuy woke up.

To be born again in your arms.

To be born again for your sake;
As ember that just caught should not be put out or misplaced;
My thoughts just born should not be dissipated or broken apart;
In this cradle you guard over;
To start again from scratch.

"Heero," breathed Duo. His arms were cramped but he ignored the pain, reaching out to touch that dear face. He half-expected the boy to turn away but Heero didn't. The other pilot only stared at him intently. "Heero?"

The Japanese boy leaned towards his friend and cupped Duo's cheeks. Heero's blue eyes looked deep into Duo's, before bringing their faces together.

For their first kiss.

To be born again for my sake;
To be born again in your arms.

 

~OWARI~