******* WARNING *******
*** extremely alternate universe
*** YAOI, mature content, semi-darkfic, semi-bastardized Duo

First, I'd like to apologize for lurking so much and failing to comment on all the great fics being posting. They're all terrific! ^_^

<nervous giggle> Here I go again, cross-posting like crazying and deluging you guys with yet another version of my DR 5 teaser. I'm still struggling this section (i.e., the conversation between Heero and Duo). It's so darn tricky and *difficult*! <sniff>

This version is a weird combination of the first 2 teasers, so there might be a few continuity errors and plenty of typos that I didn't catch. <sweatdrop> Please tell me if this seems plausible or not, huh? If it's semi-decent, then I can get to work on the rest of DR5. But... but that means I'll have to deal with Dorothy/Relena, Quatre and Trowa, Treize/Wufei, Noin/Une/Zechs... Uh oh.... -_-;;;;

Many thanks to unearthly_calm@hotmail.com and all the rest of you guys for your input and helpful suggestions on this section! <mass GLOMP>

The other parts of "Dominion Road" and my other GW fics are located at:

http://www.geocities.com/madamhydra/GW.html

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DOMINION ROAD
A Gundam Wing fanfic by Madamhydra
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teaser (version 3) for Part 5
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Short Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end)
Gundam Wing is copyright of its respective creators and all distributors of their work and used without permission.

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There's a red fox torn by a huntsman's pack
That's my soul up there
There's a black winged gull with a broken back
That's my soul up there
There's a little black spot on the sun today
It's the same old thing as yesterday

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign
But it's my destiny to be the king of pain

-- "King of Pain" by The Police

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UMBRA - [noun; Latin for 'shadow'] 1. a dark area, especially the blackest part of a shadow from which all light is cut off; 2. shadow, shade; 3. (astronomy) the darkest region of a sunspot.

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"That's an order, Yuy."

Heero froze for an instant when he heard the cold steely tone in Duo's voice, then almost angrily knocked the other pilot's hand away from his neck. Apparently unruffled by the Wing pilot's actions, Duo turned away and looked thoughtfully at the fireplace as Heero growled, "What sort of stupid game are you up to, Duo?"

The long-haired pilot glanced toward him, his lips curving upward into a dangerous little smile and gave the Wing pilot a look of mildly scornful amusement.

"No game, Heero. Just a test. I wanted to know if you were capable of living up to your own words." Duo's smile became just a touch colder. "But evidently not."

"What are you talking about?" Heero demanded irritably.

"You said that you were going to follow your orders," Duo reminded the Wing pilot. "And those orders are to follow *my* orders."

Heero said testily, "I'm painfully aware that you're in command of this mission, Duo. All right, you've made your point. There's no need to rub my nose in it."

"I choose to differ."

Heero's scowl deepened at the unusual firmness in the long-haired pilot's voice. There was something very wrong with the situation... with the way Duo was behaving....

"You're a hypocrite, Heero," Duo stated as he turned to confront the other pilot. Like his movements, both the rhythm of his speech and word choice were precise and exquisitely controlled. It was a shocking contrast from Duo's usual slang-sprinkled, free-flowing way of talking.

The dark-haired pilot blinked, taken aback by the other's unexpected verbal attack. Finally, he managed a furious, "What!?"

Pinning the other pilot with a chill gaze, Duo replied in dispassionate tones, "A hypocrite is a person who professes beliefs, virtues, or feelings that he does not hold or possess. Tell me how that definition fails to fit you. You've repeatedly lectured me on the importance of following orders, regardless of the physical or mental cost to self or others. You admit that you have received and fully understood your new orders -- orders giving me command over the current mission. But instead of following my orders as you so blithely promised just a minute ago, you deliberately disobeyed the very first order I gave you."

Heero glared at the other pilot, oddly stung by Duo's accusation and his aura of cold confidence. He retorted defensively, "Meaningful orders are one thing, but I'm not going to comply with frivolous whims which have nothing to do with the current mission. We're here to destroy Crawford's conspiracy and all traces of the virus, not to play one of your meaningless games!"

Duo's smile developed a bone-chilling edge as he said, "As I most emphatically told Wufei, this is no game. And who are you to decide what constitutes a frivolous whim or not?" Duo added in soft, yet scathing tones.

"No one gave you permission to decide whether to obey me or not, Heero. On this particular mission, obedience is *not* discretionary. I made that point abundantly clear to Dr. J because I knew just how stubborn you would be. And in spite of Dr. J's very explicit instructions, you chose to ignore a simple order to remain still. Who's indulging in frivolous whims now?"

Heero said with a distinct undertone of bitterness, "Aren't you the one who's always telling me not to blindly follow orders?"

"Wrong. I told you that there are times when you need to ask the question 'why?'. But you didn't even bother to do that, did you? You could have given me the courtesy of asking me why I gave you that order. I would have answered. I would have given you the reasons for my actions. But instead, you instantly assumed that I was merely wasting my time with some sort of prank or a joke." Duo smiled coldly. "Well, I'm not all fun and games."

Attempting to hide his growing uneasiness, the Wing pilot said tersely, "All right. Maybe I jumped to conclusions...."

Duo's lips curved upward in a faint, but eloquent smile of scorn.

"Should I consider that an apology?"

Heero shook his head in frustration. "What the hell do you want from me, then?"

"For now, respect. I *will* have respect from you," the other pilot said in a velvety voice that contained an oddly dark and sinister undercurrent as he turned away and headed for the bedroom closet.

"I do respect you," Heero muttered with an odd sense of discomfort in his chest. He had often wished that Duo would behave more seriously, but not like this. Where was the compassion, the easy understanding that he had come to rely on? He knew how to handle or ignore Duo's rare outbursts of anger -- basically, he ignored them -- but the Deathscythe pilot's cold, clinical dissection of his psyche was an entirely different matter. Duo had never spoken to him like this before. No one, not even Dr. J, had ever done that.

As Duo removed his robe and hung it neatly, he said in soft, acid tones, "Really? Then you have a very strange way of showing that respect."

"It's just that you usually act...."

"Act like what? A fool? A buffoon? An idiot?" Duo calmly stated as he stood there stark naked, brushing out his hair in smooth, efficient strokes.

"I... I don't really think you're that...."

"Perhaps, but you find it much more convenient to pretend that the facade is the reality. That way, you can justify ignoring me as it suits your convenience and your whims."

"No! That's not how I...."

"What? That's not true? Add dishonesty to your list of faults, Heero."

"Damn it, Duo! Why are you doing this to me?" Heero whispered, unable to keep the pain out of his voice.

Duo said in a cool, faintly amused voice, "Do what? Tell you the truth about yourself?"

"That isn't the truth!"

Pulling his hair aside with one hand, Duo turned his head slightly toward Heero. "Isn't it? You've managed to delude yourself and practically everyone else into believing that you're a fearless idealist, ready to sacrifice all for the good of humanity. But that selfless dedication is just an illusion. The reality is very different."

"And what is this so-called reality?"

"The reality is that you're both selfish and a coward, Heero. You're afraid of risking yourself."

"How can you, of all people, say that!?"

The Deathscythe pilot made a graceful gesture of dismissal. "Oh, I'm not talking about gross external risks like death or physical injury. I'm referring about much more personal types of risk. Emotions, feelings, any sort of intimacy frightens you. Doesn't it, Heero?"

The Wing pilot shook his head in a mixture of denial and confusion, then blurted out, "I fail to see how allowing you to grope me will do anything to accomplish our mission!"

The knowing look in Duo's dark violet eyes told Heero that the Deathscythe pilot was perfectly aware of his clumsy attempt to change the topic. Instead of making an issue of it, Duo merely replied in a provocative purr, "You'd be amazed how much can be accomplished with a whisper or touch, even a kiss, at the right place and time."

Shifting uncomfortably, the Wing pilot said tersely, "That's not how we operate...."

"Incorrect. That's not how *you* would operate. Have you ever asked yourself why? It's because somewhere deep inside, people like you and Wufei like to cling to the illusion that you're simply warriors or soldiers. You're willing to risk life and limb, you're willing to fight and kill, all to accomplish your mission, but you refuse to lower yourself to using dirty, underhanded methods like betrayal, blackmail, or manipulation."

"But the real reason you won't use such methods is because you can't stand becoming personally involved with your targets or victims. That's why you found it so hard to kill Relena even when it was the most expedient thing to do. That's why Wufei has such difficulty dealing with Treize Khushrenada. You need that emotional distance, that detachment. You don't want to know anything about the people you hurt or kill because neither of you can handle the consequences of physical or emotional closeness."

Duo stalked forward a few steps. "Your approach may work fine for most missions, but there are times when that method just won't work. And that's where people like me come in. I'm not nearly as fastidious as you are, Heero. I'm willing to get my hands dirty if that's what it takes to get the job done."

Almost mesmerized by the intensity of Duo's gaze and his words, Heero remained frozen as the other pilot placed his hand on back of the Wing pilot's neck.

"You've never gotten to know your victims intimately... never burrowed your way deep into their hearts or souls in order to find their weak points. But those tactics are my specialty, Heero. That's why I'm in command of this mission... because I'm familiar with this particular battlefield and because I'm extremely good at this style of warfare. And make no mistake, it *is* warfare, just like any battle with tanks or mobile suits."

He turned and stepped away from Heero, his loose chestnut hair swirling behind him, then extracted a pair of black leather pants from the closet.

There was no arrogance or pride in Duo's voice, only a steely confidence in his abilities as he continued, "I know how people like Crawford and his associates think. I speak their language. I know what they want and how to turn those desires against them."

As he gracefully slipped on the pants and carefully smoothed the sleek black leather in place, Duo added coldly, "I don't have time to coax and coddle you into doing something that you obviously have problems accepting. This mission is too important for allow for the mistakes that you're bound to make, so I'm giving you a job that I know you can manage."

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Heero went slightly pale as he struggled with Duo's continued verbal onslaught. Of all criticisms that had been leveled at him, selfishness or cowardice had never been one of them. The accusations were even more painful and difficult to accept because of the undeniable thread of truth buried in them... his contemptuous behavior toward Duo, his unwillingness to do certain things... was Duo right in calling him selfish, cowardly, unfit and unwilling to do anything except create havoc and destruction...?

"Well, they say the mark of a good leader is knowing how to work around other people's limitations. I have no intention of forcing the issue, Heero. Now that I know the sort of orders that you're willing to follow, I can adjust my plans accordingly," the Deathscythe pilot continued in a calm, yet totally ruthless tone of voice.

Duo languidly raised a hand just as the other pilot attempted a feeble protest.

"All right, Heero. You've made it abundantly clear that you're going to obey my orders only if they fit your idea of relevance to our current mission. Fine. That's why I'm giving you a very simple, very straightforward set of orders. Your part of the mission simply requires a little patience and restraint. First, you are to stand by and wait until I give you the information needed for locating and destroying Crawford's bioweapon lab. Second, you are to refrain from any interference that will prevent me and Trowa from accomplishing our part of the mission, which is to get you within striking distance of the virus research lab and extract vital information from Crawford and his associates. Are those orders sufficiently mission-relevant for you?"

"Duo, I don't understand why you're doing any of this...."

Violet eyes darkened and grew frighteningly cold. "It comes down to this." The bare-chested Duo stalked forward until he was standing only a few inches from Heero. "Basically, I can rely on Trowa to do whatever needs to be done much more than I can rely on you. No matter how much you've preached about the necessity of obeying orders, I can't trust you to do exactly that."

The repeated mention of the Heavyarms pilot's name finally penetrated Heero's consciousness, sending an unfamiliar chill down his back. He whispered hoarsely, "What do you mean... Trowa? What does he have to do with all this?"

The shirtless Deathscythe pilot responded by slowly smiling. It was a seductively beautiful, yet terrifying expression.

In a dark, yet curiously gentle tone, Duo said, "Don't worry, Heero. All you need to do is wait and act innocent until I give you both the necessary information and the opportunity to destroy the target. Trowa and I will handle all the dirty work."

"You... and Trowa? And just exactly will the two of you be doing?" Heero asked rather sharply as his guts knotted with a sickening sense of foreboding.

"Providing a private show that will keep the members of Crawford's little cabal... distracted and isolated," Duo said, a cryptic little smile curving his lips as he pulled on a long-sleeved shirt of emerald green silk.

"And how are you planning to do that?" the Wing pilot demanded, feeling an sharp tinge of... jealousy? Surely Duo wasn't planning to....

The Deathscythe pilot purred, "Crawford and his associates are sadistic bastards who enjoy nothing more than watching another person suffer. I'm simply going to give them exactly what they want to see."

Heero stared blankly at Duo for a long moment, unable or perhaps unwilling to comprehend what the other pilot was so calmly planning. But when it finally sank in, the Wing pilot recoiled a few steps in disbelief.

"You're... you're not going to...!"

"Oh yes, I am. Trowa has already agreed. Reluctantly, of course, but he sees the necessity," the long-haired pilot drawled as he dexterously fastened the wide, snug cuffs of the shirt.

"But you can't! Damn it, Duo, you've got to know what Trowa's been through before! How can you possibly even think about deliberately hurting him even more!?" Heero protested, clenching his fists.

With unshakable determination, Duo said, "I can. And I will. Just a few minutes ago, you lectured me on the importance of this mission. Believe me when I tell you that for once, I may be more fanatically dedicated to completing this mission than even you are." He prowled forward until he was standing just a few inches away from Heero.

Taken aback by the cold, ferocious intensity in Duo's voice, Heero could only watch speechlessly as the other pilot reached up and lightly brushed his deceptively slender fingers along the Wing pilot's right cheek.

"I will do anything -- use any method necessary, exploit anyone I have to -- in order to succeed. Anything and *anybody*. Remember that, Heero."

An ominous, predatory gleam appeared in his dark violet gaze as he paused, then added, "Unless you feel strongly enough to take Trowa's place. I know you care a great deal about him. How far are you willing to go to spare him more pain?"

Heero stared mutely at the other pilot, a sickening chill gripping his insides. He simply couldn't understand how Duo could suggest such an atrocity with such... such total calm. No, that wasn't right. He could sense a tightly controlled sense of... eagerness? Malicious anticipation? Hunger?

Standing in the middle of the opulent bedroom, Duo looked like an erotic vision, with his slender, yet firmly muscled body perfectly showcased by the body-hugging black leather pants and the faintly shimmering folds of the emerald poet's shirt, and finally the silken mass of chestnut hair that cascaded over his shoulders, down his back, and ending just above his knees. But it certainly didn't feel like a pleasant fantasy to Heero. Instead, he felt like he was trapped in an horrible waking nightmare that he couldn't escape from. This wasn't the Duo he knew and trusted... the person whose understanding and companionship he had come to depend upon so much.

A part of the Wing pilot wanted to howl from an excruciating sense of loss. He had only known Duo for just over a year, but he hadn't realized how much he had relied upon Duo's emotional support... his compassion... his warmth... the friendship and camaraderie that could easily become so much more... not until all those things had been taken away and by Duo himself. How could Duo know exactly what to say to cause the most pain? Doubts and fears he wasn't even aware of having were now dragged out into the open....

Feeling as if he had been flayed alive -- and emotionally, he had been -- Heero fought the urge to curl up on the floor at Duo's feet like some mortally wounded animal. However, he found himself taking a perverse sort of strength from the other pilot's coldly mocking stare. He found himself wanted to prove the other pilot wrong. They still had a vitally important mission to accomplish and he wanted to show Duo that he *was* strong enough to do whatever needed to be done....

Fighting for control, Heero finally answered Duo in the flattest monotone he could manage.

"Is that what you want... sir?"

In spite the Wing pilot's effort to strip every bit of emotion out of his voice, the wrenching sense of betrayal and bitterness he felt must have been too evident in both his words and in his expression. Duo went strangely still, then the calculating coldness in his gaze slowly seemed to seep away, to be replaced by a look of guilt, sorrow, and concern.

The Deathscythe pilot took a deep breath, closed his eyes, then suddenly wrapped his arms around Heero. As he buried his face against Heero's neck, Duo uttered a hoarse whisper.

"DAMN it."

(end teaser v3)
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Keeper of Duo's Dark Side ~~~ Duo no Seishi
Co-Keeper of Duo's Scythe & Bat Wings
Co-Keeper of Little Grim Reaper Duo
Keeper of Saitoh's Sex Life ~~~ Saitoh no Koibito
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madamhydra@aol.com /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/:E
http://www.geocities.com/madamhydra/
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The Full Disclaimer
All rights and privileges to Shin Kidousenki Gundam Wing are trademarks and property of Sunrise, Bandai, Sotsu Agency, and associated parties. The characters of these works are used WITHOUT permission for the purpose of entertainment only. This work of fiction is not meant for sale or profit.
Original portion of the fiction included here is considered to be the sole property and copyrighted to the author.
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