1-30-2001

Note from Kitana: It has come to my attention (through a few e-mails) that some people can't get into my pictures. I'm not going to pester poor Amy (Kikotei) any more then just have her try to put up all the junk I send her. So, if you reaaaally want to see them, just e-mail me and I'll be glad to send them to you; no problem! ^_~ (Sometimes they don't make it through, though. It depends on what kind of service you use. Don't worry, I don't run into it often.)
My personal opinion on them? The one for Mirror Image is dumb. My computer screwed it up. But the one for Obsidian Dipped in Blood is okay. ^_^;;
E-mail me if ya want 'em!

Obsidian Dipped in Blood
Chapter 3

Kitana Bradford

Lounging languidly on his barstool, Duo eyed his companion over the rim of his glass. The first thing Duo noticed was that the guy had WHITE hair. Not your everyday punkster dye-it-so-blonde-it-looks-white, but completely colorless. And it looked natural. Besides that, he had pale skin and a pure white shock of hair that fell mysteriously over his face to conceal one sapphire eye that almost matched Heero's in intensity. Almost.

Duo shook his head. Why was he thinking about Heero at a time like this? Heero hated him, and he was on a mission, besides. Duo's gaze dropped to the sturdy body of his companion.

His muscular frame was adorned with white leather, the likes of which Duo had never seen. Duo guessed he couldn't be over eighteen, though his body looked mature enough to be twenty. Slowly, Duo's gaze traveled back up to the laughing cerulean eyes. Duo blushed and avoided the other's gaze when he realized that he had been caught staring at the guy's body. He took a deep swig of his beer to hide his embarrassment as the other youth returned the complete inspection; his eyes gleaming appreciatively. But as he swallowed the amber liquid, his throat burned, his head spinning and eyes blurring worse then ever, before returning to normal. Duo grimaced and set the drink firmly aside before returning his gaze to his companion.

The guy certainly was hot, Duo decided. A little voice in the back of his head whispered, 'But not as hot as Heero'. Duo growled mentally and buried the thought.

"I don't think I caught your name. I'm known as Shinigami, or Duo to my friends." The other youth looked up and violet met sapphire. For a second, it felt as though there were some crushing weight on Duo's shoulders and chest. Duo jumped and the pressure was gone as quickly as it had come. <What the heck was that?!> Duo wondered, looking at the blurry form of the other boy warily.

The white-haired young man laughed. "Well then Duo, you may call me Solo, since I'm going to be your partner from now on."

<Solo?!> The very shock at hearing that name again hit Duo like a tidal wave. Fate was cruel to have played this trick on him. Duo wondered if the other man was aware of the significance of the name to him. Duo was almost so stunned at the mention of that name that he almost missed the last part of Solo's sentence. Finally, his mind registered and he blurted out, "You're going to be my partner? When did this happen? I thought I was paired with Hee… with pilot 01." <Professor G hadn't mentioned that the contact would be joining their ranks. It was so like the Professor to leave out half of the important stuff.>

Solo reached forward, trailing his fingers across Duo's cheek and wrapping them around the braided boy's neck to draw him close. Caught off guard, Duo allowed himself to be dragged forward, blinking at the sudden startling proximity of the sapphire eyes; his face only millimeters away from Solo's.

Solo's breath caressed Duo's lips as he whispered softly, "I would explain now but it is too risky and would endanger a mission of mine. One that it is imperative I do not fail."

Duo briefly wondered why he referred to it as a mission of 'his'. Wasn't it both of theirs? A mission of his? Did he have more than one? Just what was on that disk that was so important?

Duo wondered why it was so hard for him to focus and let his eyes slide half shut, keeping up the façade of two guys intimately exploring each other while listening intently to Solo's words.

Solo pressed closer, almost nuzzling Duo's neck as he turned his head. Lips brushing Duo's ear, he murmured softly, "But I can tell you this; my first mission is the disk I carry. It holds the precise location of a secret compound which produces a large number of the new suits called mobile dolls."

Duo's brows narrowed. That mission wasn't so unusual. And it wasn't nearly as important as the guy had been making it out to be. There had to be more to it.

Closing the distance between them, Duo whispered ardently, "That can't be all. We've known about the mobile dolls for ages. And while they do cause some major problems, they aren't nearly important enough to need this kind of secrecy. What are you not telling me?"

Solo pulled back and looked at the American. Duo stared mutely back, his eyes sparkling fiercely, and his full lips pressed together in an expression of expectation; wisps of his fine chestnut hair and bangs framing the cherubic face.

"Well?" Duo said, one side of his lips quirking upwards in his beginnings of trademark grin. His head was really beginning to hurt. <Man, no more drinks for me for a while. What was in that thing?> He hadn't even drank a forth of what it usually took to get him smashed.

Then Solo's hands came up to capture Duo's face. Solo leaned toward the Deathscythe pilot again and whispered something in a voice that even Duo had to strain to hear over the pounding music.

"My other mission… is YOU." And then his lips were on Duo's. [1]

***

From his corner of the club, Heero's menacing growl filtered from between clenched teeth. Heero coldly ignored the couples that tried politely to push past him as they sought to find a dark place to make out; his eyes were fixed on the two figures entwined on the high stools near the bar, the look in his cobalt orbs fit to kill.

This stranger had dared touch HIS Duo! Mission or not, there was no need to involve in THIS intimate of touching. Something deep inside the Wing pilot ached; emotions he couldn't identify boiling to the surface.

He longed for it to be him over there on the barstools, pressed against the slender braided American in sight of the entire club, running his fingers across those smooth cheeks, his fingers buried in the soft chestnut hair, and his lips claiming Duo's full firm ones. NOT that white haired boy!

As Heero watched the two, he resolved that the tall youth would suffer as soon as his involvement couldn't possibly the danger Duo's mission. But even as he made these mental threats, Heero felt something inside of him begin to tremble and doubt assailed him from all sides. What if Duo hated him? What if Duo couldn't forgive him? Or the worst thought of all. What if Duo could forgive him but didn't want any more to do with him and welcomed this stranger into his arms?

Heero's resolve crumbled and he watched stiffly, his pain visible in his stormy cobalt eyes only if one took the time to look.

***

Solo almost moaned softly. The feel of Duo's velvety lips beneath his were better than he had imagined. Nudging the smaller boy's head up, Solo gently parted the stunned boy's lips, sliding his tongue into the soft, moist cavern of Duo's mouth.

He could taste the beer on Duo's lips and beneath that was a sickly sweet taste. Solo's brow furrowed as he tasted the underlying hints of the taste. It was sweet at first, then went sour. Solo pulled back from Duo with a jerk. He swallowed and his throat burned slightly as traces of the substance from Duo's mouth slid down his throat.

Duo watched Solo with eyes that were unfocused and slightly glazed over. Solo cursed at himself for not noticing this earlier. Duo lolled in his seat and Solo seized his head, steadying him before his slid out of his chair, and bringing the braided boy's attention back to him.

"Duo, have you kissed or been kissed by anyone besides me tonight?" He asked urgently.

"Yeah… Damnedest thing, too… he just… came outta nowhere an' planted one on me. Had the weirdest eyes. They were red and almost looked like they were glowing… guess it was just the lights. Ugh. My head hurts like a sounva bitch. Just can't hold my liquor tonight, I guess--"

"Duo," Solo interrupted the Deathscythe's pilot's rambling. Duo licked his lips and fought to keep track of all the Solos as his vision fazed out, snapped into sharp focus, then blurred again.

"What?"

"We have to get out of here. We are in serious danger. C'mon." Solo helped Duo off the stool then steadied him as they made their way for the door. He cursed quietly to himself, "Damn, I never figured on them finding and following you before we did. Let's go out the side door and hope they don't see us."

"… Kay…." Duo mumbled, clinging to Solo as the white-haired boy maneuvered them through the crowd and towards the side door.

***

From a dark, far corner of the nightclub blood-red eyes watched in satisfaction as the two boys rose and headed for the exit. A snarl quickly bared sharp, fang-like teeth which sank deeply into the pale lip below them. The snarl was quickly gone and was replaced by a feral smirk.

The White One was of no consequence.

A hissing chuckle escaped the figure as a lithe tongue darted out to lap up the blood on it's lips.

The Torihito would be his.

Soon.

Very soon.

***

As Solo pulled Duo out the side door from the pounding music and into the relative quiet and darkness of the alleyway, Duo's stomach heaved. Jerking away from Solo's supportive arms, Duo stumbled a few steps away and emptied his stomach onto the stones at his feet. Duo braced his arms against the bricks in front of him, the strength sapped out of his trembling body. The cold hit Duo's fevered skin in a rush and Duo shivered violently. He started when he felt warm arms surround him and help him up.

"Sorry…" He muttered, "I'm not usually this bad about drinking… I don't know what's wrong with me."

"It's not you. The guy you met earlier poisoned you."

Duo's head flew up. That was a mistake. Vertigo over came him for a second and he reeled, desperately trying to control his stomach's violent protests. When he could talk he looked curiously at his white-haired companion. "Wha' do ya mean?"

"I'll explain later. Right now I have to get out of here. My motorcycle is nearby."

Duo nodded and let Solo help him down the ally.

The soft 'snick' of the safety clicking off a gun and an all too familiar growl from behind stopped them.

"You're not going anywhere."

Solo jerked around and Duo's head spun crazily for a minute. When his vision came back into focus, Duo saw a silhouette standing in the alleyway beside the side door to the club, cobalt eyes narrowed dangerously; a gun pointed squarely at Solo's head.

"Heero…." Duo fuzzily greeted the other boy.

Heero's gaze flicked from Solo and scanned briefly over Duo's body; taking in the unfocused look in his eyes and the unbalance in his step before returning with even more venom to the fair-haired boy beside his partner.

"Heero," Duo said again, desperate to dispel the tension he could sense even from the foggy haze settling over his senses. "S'okay man. Solo's gonna help."

Heero didn't lower the gun but walked forward slowly, eyeing Solo.

"Hn. Let go of Duo."

"Heero." Solo said quietly, "I'm not here to hurt anyone. I'm here to protect Duo."

Heero didn't answer but held the gun steady.

Solo caught the determined glint in the other boy's eyes and gently unwound his arm from Duo's shoulders, letting Duo stand on his own. Duo held for a second, then wobbled and stumbled.

Heero took a few steps forward and caught him before he hit the ground, holding Duo close to his chest with one arm, the other maintaining his lock on the taller boy.

"Who are you? What do you want with Duo?" Heero asked coldly.

Solo darted nervous glances at the shadows around them.

"Can we continue this conversation elsewhere? We aren't safe here."

Heero glared. "No! If you think there is any chance of your --" Heero was cut off as Duo abruptly wrenched out of Heero's grasp and collapsed to his knees with a groan; his body contorted with dry heaves.

Immediately there were two figures on either side of him, one white the other dark.

"I didn't know you were this bad off." Solo said in an alarmed voice, ignoring Heero's glare. Darting a quick glance around the alleyway, he reached into a small leather pack that was sewn into his white ensemble and withdrew a tiny glass vial of almost iridescent green liquid. Under Heero's wary scrutiny, Solo knelt beside Duo.

"Duo. Drink this. It's only temporary but it should help a little. At least, for now." A trembling hand accepted Solo's gift and Duo tossed it down with only a slight grimace at the sour taste.

Duo waited and after a second, his head wasn't spinning as badly and his stomach no longer persisted in trying to turn him inside out though he felt kind of disjointed and couldn't seem to collect his thoughts.

"Thanks." He smiled weakly.

Just then, a shiver ran down Duo's spine and the hair on his arms and neck stood on end. Duo's head jerked up and he scanned the alley around them. There was only shadows and empty air in either direction. But Duo felt a definite pulse of some… presence… nearby. Duo wondered if he was imagining things and glanced towards the two figures beside him.

Obviously Solo and Heero could feel it too, for they were looking apprehensively into the murky shadows that surrounded them.

Duo jumped as a hand abruptly reached down and firmly gripped his upper arm and relaxed when he realized it was only Solo.

"Come on! We have to go! Now!" Solo whispered urgently, pulling him to his feet and dragging him down the alley, motioning for Heero to follow.

Heero did so silently and, surprisingly, without protest; gun ready.

Duo staggered but was held up by Solo's firm grip on his arm. The presence he felt behind him was slowly growing, getting closer. Duo latched his eyes on Solo's back and concentrated on the white outline feeling Heero close on his heels.

As they reached the street, illuminated by the pasty yellow glow of the street lamps, Solo broke into an all-out run. Duo and Heero followed; Duo weaving slightly until Heero grabbed him and propelled him forward.

They turned corner after corner and Duo couldn't see anything behind them but somehow he knew they were being followed. His skin prickled as if it were going to try and crawl off his body at any second.

Then they stood in front of a large white motorcycle. That was parked next to a shiny black one that Duo recognized as his own. Solo pulled out a set of keys and slid onto the seat, starting up the engine.

Duo quickly found his own keys but Heero took them from him before he could get into the front seat. Heero took the front, started Duo's bike and motioned for Duo to hop on quickly behind him. Duo glared at Heero but decided to argue later as he felt a pinprick of fear growing in the back of his head as the presence grew closer.

Duo hopped on behind Heero, wrapping his arms tightly around Heero's waist and pressing against the Wing pilot's back as they roared off.

Duo sighed as he felt the dark presence beginning to retreat and relaxed against his partner, resting his forehead against Heero's back. Duo almost reeled at the feeling of Heero pressed so close; the his muscles flexing as he drove, the heat from his body that the protected him from the biting wind and the unique smell of gunpowder and a mysterious scent that was Heero. Duo wanted to cry, but boys didn't cry.

Right now he didn't know whether he loved the Wing pilot or hated him for interfering with his mission. Any way it didn't matter; Heero didn't feel the same. Duo gave up trying to sort out his emotions and slumped against the object of his distress.

They passed out of the town and into the forest, almost instinctively heading for the safehouse, Solo close behind. Duo hadn't realized how far down he had let down his guard until Solo's shout of warning alerted him.

Clawed white hands and evil red eyes above them , glimpsed for no more than a second, reached for them, tearing at Duo's skin and hair and trying to upset the motorcycle. The forest echoed with its shrieks as it shook the branches sending down on the three a shower of leaves.

"Damn you, you friggin' harpy!" Duo cursed, reaching for his gun and firing at the creature. Heero bent forward, trying to get the motorcycle out of the thing's reach. Duo growled, unable to get a clear shot of it. It seemed to be everywhere at once.

Something dropped onto the motorcycle behind Duo, latching onto his shoulder and the arm with which he clutched the gun. Clamping his free arm as tightly as he could around Heero's waist, Duo swung his gun wildly at the creature, trying to knock it away even as he felt it begin to tear him from the motorcycle.

Heero swerved the motorcycle dangerously close to the ground desperately trying to loose their burden. The thing sank its fangs into Duo's arm. Duo let out a cry of pain and struggled, firing shots into it's chest in rapid succession until the gun clicked empty. Five bullets at point-blank range should have killed the thing immediately but the wounds seemed to heal faster then Duo could deliver them.

Then Solo was beside him, hacking at the beast fiercely with a strange glowing blade that looked like a beam sword cut down to the size of a large dagger. Solo's blade sliced right through one of it's arms. Duo saw the arm go up in the air, black blood spurting as if from a fountain, his right side. It screamed, a high-pitched noise that hurt Duo's ears and made his sensitive head pound. Duo saw it fly off in a blur of black and white in the darkness and scrabbled for a firmer seat behind Heero before it could strike again.

Abruptly there was silence, the only noise that of their own motorcycles as they sped down the small road. Duo's head darted in every direction, trying to see which direction it would come from next. Duo put away his useless empty gun. Weaponless, Duo clung tightly to Heero who grunted and kept his eyes forward. But Duo knew he was watching just as intently from his peripheral vision as he was.

As they rounded a bend, suddenly Heero's headlights lit up the ghastly figure of the thing. Heero grunted in alarm and tried to swerve past it. It shrieked and dove for the motorcycle, claws reaching. Heero jerked out a gun and shot it in the face.

It screamed again and flew over Heero's head. As it flew overhead, Duo felt claws hook around his braid. There was inhuman strength in the grip and Duo screamed as he was torn from the motorcycle. Both Heero and Solo yelled in alarm and slammed on the breaks, skidding as they tried to stop their motorcycles and go back for Duo.

Duo hit the ground half beneath the creature and they were jounced roughly once and went rolling down the road in a tangle of limbs. Duo choked as he felt a rough crack and pain flooded up from his ribcage.

His vision blurred then snapped back into focus as they came to a skidding stop, him beneath the heavier, larger bulk of the creature. Duo's eyes met the face mangled from Heero's shot but slowly reforming itself. Glowing red orbs burned themselves into Duo's pupils. It leaned down and fastened it's teeth around Duo's neck and Duo struggled frantically as he felt intense agony spread through his veins, tearing at his insides.

Duo cried out hysterically as he felt a tug at his very soul, consciousness seeping from him.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" He could almost no longer understand himself as his scream faded off into a gurgle of pain. Time seemed to slow as Duo's strength drained quickly from him. Duo reached desperately into the depths of his mind, scrambling for his old strength. It had been so long since he used it he wasn't even sure if it was accessible to him anymore. Heero's voice sounded from a far off distance, as well as Solo's. Slowly, Duo stopped fighting, struggling merely to breathe.

Sensing victory, the thing roared triumphantly and Duo felt a flood of darkness begin to push into his body. Duo renewed his weak efforts but the darkness pushed deeper, reaching closer and closer to his soul.

Then Duo found a fraction of his old strength within his mind and latched mindlessly onto it. His vision went red and he sent it into the monster in powerful waves, attacking it from the inside.

It drew back from him and roared in pain and Duo sent even more power thundering into it. The roar rose to unbearable levels and it's chest exploded in a mess of black blood.

A second later it was impaled upon Solo's glowing dagger.

The last thing Duo saw and heard was two figures bending over him and Heero's voice calling his name frantically. That slowly faded out along with his vision until all he could hear was his breath rattling wetly in his chest. Then he surrendered to the soothing darkness.

 

[1] Myahahhahhah! I'm rollin' now! Okay, enough with my self-congratulatory yap. ::flashes you a mischievous grin:: Duo is so yummy, ne?
Note from Kitana: OOPS!! On second thought, you know when I told you that you could e-mail me for the pictures? I just checked my files and found out I deleted the Mirror Image one LOOONG ago. (::says in monotone:: oh darn) But I still have the one for Obsidian Dipped in Blood, and I'm willing ta send it out; all you need to do is ask. ::bounces happily::
Status: TBC!!! (Due to the utterly MIND BOGGLING amount of e-mails I have received begging, bribing, and ordering me to continue this fic!) O.O
::Runs off to start munching happily on her mountain of pocky::