Last revised: 04/03/00

******* WARNING *******
*** alternate universe, semi-darkfic
*** yaoi, NC-17, mature content

*** LEMON *** LIME *** LEMON *** LIME *** LEMON *** LIME *** LEMON ***

<holds up huge poster reading, "CAUTION: DUO TORTURE ahead"> <flips poster over, reading, "Proceed at your own risk: PSYCHO DUO ahead">

Now this is definitely a rough draft. It needs a lot of polish but I thought that you guys would like a peek at it! Just try to ignore the massive typos and grammar screwups. <nervous chuckle>

The rest of "Mechanics of Control" can be found on my website:

A Gundam Wing ALTERNATE-REALITY fic by Madamhydra
Part 3 (rough draft)

Short Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end) Gundam Wing copyrighted by their respective creators and all distributors of their work. Used without permission.

/.../ represents mental and/or subconscious dialogue


What a wicked game to play
To make me feel this way
What a wicked thing to do
To let me dream of you

-- "Wicked Game"
by Chris Isaak



It took less than four hours for Duo to arrive in Steffreit City, thanks to a little quick and dirty hacking that secured him a ticket on the next available commercial shuttle. At the Steffreit airport, he had paused for an instant in front of a reflective window to check his appearance. The facade was perfect. He looked just like an average, slightly bored teenager, probably headed back to school from spring vacation.

With an eerie sense of detachment, Duo examined his image in the mirrored glass. No awkward bulges in his pants... no erratic breathing... no unexplained blushes or sweating... no stiff or jerky movements... there was absolutely no hint that he was nearly insane with lust.

(Nearly insane? Oh, surely I've gone way beyond that....)

During the entire flight, Heero's voice had echoed endlessly through his head. The actual words weren't important. Only the sound of his voice mattered. It was as if Heero had reached through the phone to touch him... caress him... to drive him even wilder with desire.... He desperately wanted to scream from the sheer intensity of his hunger.

But he wouldn't. He couldn't. If he let his mask slip, he might be prevented from carrying out his mission. He wouldn't be able to obey Heero....

Duo's mind shied wildly away from pursuing that train of thought. The consequences of failing Heero... of displeasing Heero... were too horrible to contemplate. He ruthlessly fought back the urge to start whimpering and trembling in dread.

To please Heero, he would say anything, do anything, BE anything. And if that meant he had to behave as if everything was absolutely normal, then that was the way he was going to act.

Duo grinned cheerfully at his own reflection, adjusted the tilt of his cap to a suitably cocky angle, and casually strolled out the airport to steal a car. In less than an hour, he would be at Mossgraven Resort.


During the drive into the mountains surrounding the resort, a trace of Duo's normal, rational self continued make feeble protests. His plans was insane. HE was insane. He needed to warn someone about what was going on... Noin... Wufei... Trowa... Quatre... Heero....

But every single time, as soon as Duo's thoughts focused on Heero, those few fragments of rationality were immediately drowned out by the uncontrollable needs and emotions that now drove the Deathscythe pilot without mercy.


[ Mossgraven Resort ]

Relena anxiously rose to her feet as Lucrezia Noin entered the room.

"Did you find Heero?"

The dark-haired woman shook her head and replied, "No, but that's hardly a surprise, considering who he is."

The Peacecraft started pacing around the room and muttered, "I don't know what to do. He plans to break up the negotiations, I'm sure of it. I need to stop him, but how? I suppose I could warn security of a threat, but... but what if something happens to Heero? He could get caught or injured! And if I stand by and just do nothing, then he's certain to ruin any chance of a peaceable settlement between the labor unions and OZ!"

She glanced at Noin and said, "You're my only hope! You've GOT to find Heero and stop him!"

The former OZ officer sighed. "I'll do my best, Relena, but with such limited manpower, I have to tell you that it doesn't look too hopeful."

"I know. But all we can do is try." As the other woman turned to leave, Relena called out, "And Noin? Thanks so much... for everything."

"No problem. I understand your dilemma. You just worry about the negotiations. I'll handle everything else."


As soon as Noin disappeared around a corner, a young brown-haired waiter pushed a large, cloth-covered food serving cart down the hallway to Relena's suite. The waiter knocked on the door, then waited for a reply. He then fumbled briefly with the door knob and entered, rolling his serving cart inside.

Three minutes later, the waiter exited the suite, closed the door behind him, then placidly rolled his cart down the hallway back toward the service elevators.


Less than ten minutes after the waiter's departure, Dorothy Catalonia appeared in the corridor and headed toward the suite she and Relena shared. Using her own key to open the door, she walked inside and looked around.


Dorothy frowned when she received no response. The Peacecraft was supposed to be busily reviewing the labor unions' most recent demands. She glanced inside all the bedrooms and the bathroom, but found no sign of the other girl. After several minutes of fruitless searching, she pulled out her phone.

"Noin, this is Dorothy. Where's Relena?"

Over the phone, the other woman said in a clearly surprised voice, "What? She's not in the suite?"

"I can't locate her. Could she have stepped out for a walk before dinner?"

Noin's reply was sharp and empathic. "The security guard I left with her would have notified me if they were going to leave the suite for any reason."

"A guard? Wait." Dorothy immediately started a more thorough search of the suite. This time, she checked all the closets and every possible hiding place she could think of. She found what she was looking for under her own bed.

"Noin, you'd better get up here now. I found your security guard," Dorothy said over the phone.


"He was tied up, gagged, and stuffed underneath my bed. He's out cold."

"Oh hell. And let me guess. Relena's gone."


Noin muttered something obscene under her breath, then said, "I'll be right up."

By the time Dorothy managed to pull the limp body of the heavy-set guard out into the open, Noin had arrived at the suite, only slightly out of breath.

"Heero, you sneaky bastard," the dark-haired woman muttered.

"Heero? Heero Yuy?" Dorothy said, her eyes bright with avid curiosity.

"I think he took Relena to stop the negotiations. I sent one of my people to check the surveillance videos."

As they struggled with the expertly tied knots on the unconscious guard, Noin's phone chirped. She flicked it open and listened for a moment, then started to curse.

"What's wrong?" came Dorothy's impatient demand.

"Someone sabotaged the hotel's security cameras in this area, then they rerouted signals from cameras in other locations to keep anyone from noticing the problem. I should have expected as much. No wonder those damn Gundam pilots are so hard to catch!"

The Catalonia leaned against a table and said, "Now what?"

"We try to find Relena and Heero. What else?"

"I'll notify hotel security...."

"No! If we do that, there's a good chance that the unions' representatives will panic and leave. That's just what Heero wants! But if we can find Relena in the next few hours, we might be able to salvage this situation."

Dorothy tapped her lips thoughtfully, then said, "All right. Do it your way." With a careless shrug and a flick of her long blond hair, she added, "Besides, it's not as if Relena's in any danger from Heero."

Noin growled, "That's my only consolation in this whole mess!"


In the hotel's basement, Duo quickly stripped off the waiter's uniform. He then reached down to haul the gagged and unconscious Relena from the covered cart. He tossed her over his shoulder and briskly headed off down one of the resort's secluded hiking trails toward a location he has scouted out upon his arrival.

As he effortlessly carried Relena away from the resort, a dangerously crazed smirk curled his lips when he recalled the moronic look of surprise that appeared on Relena's face as he knocked out the security guard. But when he turned to deal with her, he had hesitated for an instant as reason struggled to reassert itself... but then he had picked up the traces of Heero's scent in Relena's suite... and on Relena.

And at that moment, reason and restraint took a flying leap out the window.

He wanted to kill her right then and there. He wanted to leave her broken and bleeding corpse on the luxuriously carpeted floor, but that would have been too easy. He needed Relena to know just how worthless she was to Heero and everyone else. He was doing the entire world a favor by killing her. But more importantly, she had to pay for luring Heero away from him. She had to pay for all the misery he had endured over the last several days and all the torment he felt right now, but wasn't allowed to show or express.

Fortunately, his brief hesitation hadn't mattered. The bitch had been so stupefied by his attack that she had remained frozen. Taking her out had been ridiculously easy. In less than a minute, she was unconscious, bound, gagged, and securely stuffed inside the cart.

Duo smiled as he stepped out of the woods and onto an outcrop overlooking a spectacular view of a waterfall cascading down one of the very deep gorges that made the Mossgraven Resort so famous.

Perfect. Simply perfect.

Soon it would be over and he finally would be with Heero again.


The sting of several hard slaps to her face slowly brought Relena back to consciousness. The first thing she was aware of was the sharp ache in her neck and a low roaring in her ears. Slowly opening her eyes, she saw a pair of black boots. Cautiously turning her head, she eventually found herself gazing up at a pair of icy, violet eyes.


"Glad you're finally awake, Relena dear. I thought that I might have to resort to forceful means of persuasion," he said, tapping his booted foot on the concrete in an ominous manner.

She gaped at him uncomprehendingly. It simply didn't make sense. It was true that she and Duo didn't exactly get along, but when he teased or even insulted her, he always did so in a joking, good-humored sort of way. But Duo Maxwell definitely wasn't joking now. And she had never heard such venomous malice in anyone's voice before.

"What's going on!? Where am I?" she demanded.

He simply grabbed a handful of her long hair and painfully jerked her head around. After uttering a sharp yelp of pain, Relena realized that she was on one of the outcrops near the famous Mossgraven waterfalls. That explained the constant low roaring in her ears. Duo then dumped her back on the ground like a piece of unwanted trash.

No matter how strangely Duo was acting, she refused to simply lie there cowering at his feet. It was only as she struggled to get to her feet that Relena realized that her hands were handcuffed together.

"Duo! What do you think you're doing!?" she shouted at him, tugging futilely at the cold metal around her wrists.

His dark smile sent shivers down her spine. He calmly reached behind his back, pulled out a silenced gun, and flicked the safety off.

"You should learn to follow Heero's orders better, Relena," he said genially, as he held the pistol pointed directly at her head.

She stared at him blankly for a moment, then said in a tone of disbelief, "What!? Most of the time YOU don't do what Heero tells you to do, either!"

Duo simply gave her an eerie, cryptic little smile.

"Perhaps. But now I know better."

She shook her head and said in near desperation, "You can't do this, Duo! If you're really serious about following Heero's orders, what do you think he's going to say if you hurt me!?"

For a brief instant, she thought she managed to get through whatever madness possessed Duo. The unnerving smile faded slightly and his glittering violet eyes seemed to darken with some hidden pain. The gun barrel wavered ever so slightly. But just as suddenly, the soulless little smirk was back and Duo's eyes gleamed with barely controlled anticipation.

"But you see, I *AM* following Heero's orders."

"What did you say!?"

"Heero told me to get rid of you. And that's exactly what I'm going to do." And with that, he pulled the trigger. Twice.


Dorothy crossed the narrow bridge spanning the gorge and headed for the paved hiking trails in search of Relena and Heero. Noin's people were searching the hotel, but she thought that it was more likely that Heero would have taken Relena through to woods, perhaps to a waiting car.

(Sorry, Heero. I can't let you run off with her. Not yet, at least.)

Just as she was about to turn into the woods, Dorothy saw a flash of blue from the corner of her eye -- the same shade of blue as Relena's dress. She turned and scanned the opposite side of the gorge, then smiled faintly as she saw Relena standing in one of the scenic overlook areas. However, she frowned slightly when she realized that the person with Relena was not Heero. The hair was too light to be the Wing pilot's, but the person didn't look like Chang or Barton. A fleeting glimpse of a long braid clinched the identification for her.

(Duo Maxwell! I should have considered the possibility that Heero might have a partner working with him. That was careless of me.)

Dorothy stiffened when she realized that Duo was holding a gun. And he was pointing the gun directly at Relena.

(What the hell IS he doing?)

Her jaw dropped open as two distinct splatters of red suddenly erupted from the lower half of Relena's dress.

Although it was difficult to hear anything because of the nearby waterfall, Dorothy knew exactly what had happened as she watched the other girl spin, then fall heavily to the ground.

(He shot her. Maxwell just SHOT Relena!)

Dorothy yanked out her phone and yelled, "Noin! Relena's just been shot! By Duo Maxwell! Get your ass down here to the first overlook on trail #4! Now!"

Hanging up before the other woman could reply, Dorothy ran back across the bridge toward the overlook, swearing in frustration at being unarmed.


Back in Relena's quarters, Noin growled, "I swear, when I get my hands on you, Heero, I'll...!

"You'll do what?" said a familiar male monotone.

Noin spun around to see Heero standing in the open doorway to the hotel suite.


He continued to stare at her with those cold, cobalt blue eyes that gave nothing away.

"Where's Relena? Where have you taken her!?" Noin demanded furiously.

A dark eyebrow went up as Heero frowned, "What are you talking about?"

"Don't try to tell me that you didn't have anything to do with her disappearance!"

He glared at her and said flatly, "I haven't seen Relena since our conversation this morning."

Just at that moment, Noin's phone chirped. As soon as she answered, both she and Heero could hear Dorothy loudly yelling, "Noin! Relena's just been shot! By Duo Maxwell! Get your ass down here to the cascade overlook on the northern trail! Now!"

Noin and Heero stared blankly at the phone, then looked at each other in utter disbelief.

Taking in Heero's astonished expression, she knew in an instant that the Wing pilot had absolutely no idea what was going on.

Then without a word, they both ran out of the suite and headed for the overlook.


The muffled gunfire were inaudible over the constant rumble of the waterfalls, but Relena didn't have to hear the shots to know that Duo had pulled the trigger. Blood spurted onto the pale blue fabric of her dress as a high, thin scream of pain tore from her throat. As she fell to the hard concrete, Relena could swear that someone had plunged a white-hot spike into each of her thighs. With almost morbid fascination, she watched as the scarlet flowers seemed to sprout, then slowly bloom across her dress.

Trembling from the excruciating pain, Relena frantically shook her head and shouted hysterically, "No! That's a LIE! You're lying! Heero cares about me! He wouldn't tell you to hurt me!"

"What he said was, 'I don't care how you do it. Just find a way to get rid of her.'" Duo's smile widened cruelly. "Why does that shock you so much? If you're not chasing after him and pestering him, you're constantly causing other problems for him by being selfish, naive, and too fucking stubborn. Why should you be surprised that he should finally get fed up with dealing with you, you stupid bitch!"

"That's... that's not true!" Relena sobbed painfully as she desperately fought to stay conscious while stanching the flow of blood from her legs. Sprawled on the cold hard ground, Relena could feel warm liquid seeping out of the wounds, trickle around her legs, then puddle underneath her. She glanced up at Duo and felt a brief flash of relief when she saw that the gun was no longer pointed in her direction. Even as she watched, Duo calmly unloaded the pistol. He dropped the magazine in a pocket, then tucked the gun back into his waistband.

He shook his head and chuckled when he saw the hope on her face.

"Oh no. I'm not through with you. Yet."

She stared at him in confusion as he stepped behind her, grabbed hold of her neck and the waistband of her dress, then he picked her off the bloodstained ground with almost ridiculous ease.

Then he carried her over to the guard rail.

"No! NO! NOOOO!!!" she screamed in terror. The pain in her legs was momentarily forgotten as she struggled wildly to grab hold of anything that might conceivably keep her from being hurtled into the gorge.


Dorothy reached the scenic outlook just in time to see Duo starting to toss the terrified Relena over the guard rail. Doing the only thing she could think of, she lunged toward Duo and tackled him from the side, hoping to use her body weight to force both the Gundam pilot and Relena away from the railing and the hundred meter drop beyond.

She succeeded, but only partially. Wrapping her arms around Duo's waist, Dorothy yanked backward as hard as she could. Duo lost his grip on Relena and fell back on top of Dorothy, crushing the breath out of her.

Unfortunately, the wounded girl did not land safely behind the guard rail. Instead, she fell heavily on top of it. Nearly unconscious from her rib-cracking impact with the sturdy metal railing, combined with the pain from her other injuries, Relena was unable to pull herself to safety. Instead, she teetered precariously on the railing for a few seconds, then slowly began to slide off in the wrong direction -- toward the bottom of the gorge.

In the meantime, Dorothy desperately tried to get a necklock on Duo to prevent him from going after Relena again, but only got a vicious elbow in her stomach for her efforts. Duo swiftly rolled off her, leapt to his feet, then turned and smoothly slammed an equally merciless kick in Dorothy's ribcage just as she pulled herself onto her hands and knees. Nearly retching from the blow, she somehow managed to block the second kick and grab hold of Duo's leg, but was forced to let go or risk getting her neck broken.

(Shit! He's so fucking fast! And strong!)

After years of training in the martial arts, Dorothy knew she was better than just good, but Duo was definitely out of her class. All she could hope for was to buy enough time for Heero and Noin to show up. The other woman might not be able to handle Duo, but surely Heero could do SOMETHING....

She scuttled backward, still holding her ribs, and warily watched her braided opponent. But instead of going after her as she hoped, Duo turned back to Relena, who had managed to grab hold of the lowest horizontal rail. However, her blood-slicked grip was visibly slipping as shock and blood loss took its toll on her.

Glancing wildly around her, Dorothy's eyes fell on a nearby rock. It was just slightly smaller than a baseball and perfect for throwing. So that was exactly what she did. Ignoring the pain in her stomach, she scooped up the rock and hurtled it directly at Duo's head. It was no wild fling, but rather a skilled, hard throw that used every bit of muscle power she had. It probably would have caused a serious, possibly fatal injury. However, at this point, the furious Dorothy really didn't care.

Without even looking once, Duo lifted a hand, caught the rock in mid-air, and with a casual snap of his deceptively slender wrist, whipped it right back at the startled Dorothy. As the chunk of stone slammed into her left side and knocked her to the ground, she thought she heard a faint crack of bone breaking.


Through the railing, Relena saw Dorothy fall to the ground. She glanced upward and stubbornly choked back a whimper of fear as Duo leaned over the railing and stared down at her before reaching for her hands as they desperately clung to the only thing saving her from a hundred meters fall.

As his hands closed on her wrists, he said urgently, "Relena, let go."

"No! I won't! You can't make me!"

"God damn it, Relena! I'm trying to save your neck here! Now let go!" Duo retorted frantically as he tugged cautiously, trying to make Relena release her deathgrip on the metal bar without injuring her further. However, she continued to resist with all her remaining strength.

"No no no no!"

"Relena, I swear to God that I'm NOT going to hurt you!"

"You expect me to believe THAT!?"

"If you stay there, you're going to fucking well fall!" he yelled at her.

"If I let go, you're fucking well going to drop me!" she shrieked back.

"No I won't!"

"Yes you will!"

"No I won't!"

"Yes you will!"

"I WON'T!"




"Oh, Christ. Can't either of you come up with something more creative?" Dorothy groaned as she staggered over to the railing. Duo visibly flinched as he took a quick look at the Catalonia's obviously battered condition.

There was a long silence, then Relena said tentatively, "D-Duo?"

"....Yeah?" came his equally tentative reply. He peered back over the railing. Worried blue eyes locked with anguished violet eyes.

Finally, Relena said, "Um... are, okay now?"

Doing the best to ignore the pain of her own cracked ribs, Dorothy stared suspiciously at Duo and said, "I think she wants to know if you've finally got your head screwed on straight?"

The braided pilot gave both girls an oddly panicked look.

"....Not really."


Duo had no idea what snapped him out of his psychotic haze. Perhaps it was Relena's terrified screams. Perhaps it was the wrestling match with Dorothy. All he knew was that he found himself standing on the edge of a near bottomless gorge asking himself, (WHAT THE FUCK AM I *DOING*!?!?)

But what frightened him much more that he had absolutely no idea how long this lucidity would last. Even now, the faint traces of Heero's scent clinging to Relena was fueling the wild cravings inside him, twisting his thoughts around... making the most horrible and atrocious of acts seem merely practical or even downright enjoyable.

Yes, he could so easily picture Relena hitting the bottom of the gorge and making a pretty blue and red splotch....

"Oh god, somebody stop me...," he moaned softly as he clung dizzily to the railing.


His legs nearly collapsed from the overwhelming sexual need that surged up inside him at the sound of THAT voice.

Duo spun around and found himself pinned by Heero's furious blue stare.


During his and Noin's mad race down to the cascade outlook, Heero attempted, but simply could not make sense of Dorothy's message. It was easier to believe that Dorothy Catalonia, one of the most cool-headed people he knew, had gotten everything hopelessly confused than to believe that Duo tried to kill Relena.

But as he stood on the outlook and stared into Duo's wide, guilt-stricken eyes, both he and Noin KNEW Dorothy had not been mistaken or confused. Not in the least.

"Will SOMEBODY help me!" Dorothy snarled as she struggled to keep Relena from completely losing her grip. Noin shook off her stunned paralysis and ran to the railing.

Heero followed, shoving his anger aside for the moment, just as he coldly shoved Duo out of his way as he went to assist Noin in pulling Relena to safety. As he lifted her back over the railing and placed her carefully on the ground, there was no missing the bloody gunshot wounds on her legs. Dorothy's injuries were just as obvious.

As Heero supported Relena, Noin carefully lifted up Relena's dress and inhaled sharply.

"How bad is it?" he demanded in a tight voice.

"It's nasty, but I don't think he hit the femoral artery or any bones." The dark-haired woman said furiously, "Why! Why did he tried to kill her!?"

Heero looked up, but Duo was nowhere to be seen.

Relena uttered a sharp hiss of pain, as she twisted around to look at Heero. Grabbing his arm, she said urgently, "You've got to go after him."

Heero's expression was closed and stony as he said flatly, "I'll deal with him later...."

"No! You don't understand. I think that deep inside, he didn't really mean to do it. Just before you showed up, I think he was actually trying to pull me to safety."

"Are you sure?" Noin said with a dubious air.

"There was something in the look in his eyes.... I can't explain any better, but Heero, you need to find him and talk to him. Listen to what he has to say before you do anything. Please?"

Noin scowled angrily. "I don't know what's going on, but we can't let him go roaming around loose in some sort of homicidal haze. Don't worry, Heero, I'll take care of Relena and Dorothy. You go after Duo."

As he rose to his feet, Dorothy said between careful breaths, "I think he took the trail to the left."

Heero nodded shortly and without another word, he disappeared into the woods.


Duo had no idea where he was going. All he could think of was the look of fury on Heero's face. But even worse than Heero's anger was the barely hidden sense of betrayal Duo detected in Heero's eyes.

(He hates me. Heero hates me. He trusted me and I betrayed that trust. I knew he really didn't want Relena hurt. I KNEW what he really mean. But I went ahead and tried to kill her, just to satisfy my own jealousy.)

/ You've done something wrong.
/ You've made Heero angry.
/ You disobeyed him.
/ You HURT Heero.
/ You need to be punished....
/ ....Severely punished....

"No...," he whimpered softly as the pain in his head started to intensify.


As he skidded to a halt, he shuddered at the coldness in Heero's voice. He didn't want to face Heero's anger, but there was no point in trying to run away. He couldn't escape the knowledge of his own wrongdoing. Turning slowly, he shivered as he turned around to face his judge and very possibly, his executioner.

"Did you shoot Relena?" Heero demanded in icy tones.

"H-H-Heero, I...."

"Give me just a fucking yes or no!"


(Please please please I'm sorry I'm so sorry don't hate me please Heero I need you I hurt so bad please make it go away Heero....)

"Did you try to throw her into the gorge?"



Duo desperately wanted to explain... not try to excuse his actions, but simply to explain as best he could. However, he found himself already answering Heero's question in the simplest, but most incriminating manner possible.

"Because... because you told me to get rid of her."

"Bullshit! I want the REAL reason you tried to kill her, Duo!"

Some weak instinct for self-preservation made him want to remain silent because the truth would only infuriate Heero even more. But at the moment, he simply couldn't cope with even the thought of trying to refuse Heero anything, considering everything Duo had already done to hurt him. So all he could do was sit back and helplessly watch the damning words spill out of his mouth.

"I... I was... jealous... that she was with you...."

The dangerous glint in Heero's eyes told him that he was steadily digging his own grave deeper, but he couldn't make himself shut up.

"I... I hated the fact that Relena could see you... touch you... when I... when I couldn't...."

Heero gritted his teeth and clenched his fist, as if attempting to resist the urge to hit him.

(Please if it will make you feel better hit me beat me do anything you want just don't hate me please....)

"Let me understand this, Duo. You tried to kill Relena because you were jealous that I was with her. Is that basically it?"


Without warning, Heero slammed his fist into a nearby tree, sending chunks of bark and wood flying.

"Damn it, Duo!"

"Heero...!" he cried out, taking a frantic step forward as he saw the blood start to ooze from the scrapes and cuts on Heero's hand.

The Wing pilot snarled, "Shut up. I don't want to hear it. Not another word. Not another sound. Just SHUT UP, Duo!"

With those few simple words, Duo found himself gagged more effectively than if Heero had crammed a ball gag into his mouth. Mute, unable to utter so much as a whimper, he could only watch helplessly as Heero turned away as if unable to tolerate the mere sight of him.

Already writhing inwardly in an agonizing morass of guilt, shame, lust, loneliness, and fear, Duo could only wait for Heero to pass judgement on his sins. But when the words eventually came, the pain in Heero's voice hurt him thousand times more than any physical beating could. With every softly spoken word, the torment increased. The pain intensified.

"Duo, I thought I could rely on you. I trusted you to help me. Then you go and do something crazy like this, just because you're JEALOUS? Of Relena? Do you expect me to thank you for showing me how much you 'care' about me? Is this an example of how much you trust ME?" With his back still turned toward Duo, Heero's voice became harsher and angrier. "Besides, you have no damn right to be so fucking possessive. A few hours of sex and now you think you own me?"

In Duo's ears, Heero's words started to blur hopelessly together. They made no sense, but the intonation... the emotion... he didn't need to understand the words to sense the anger, the blame, the total disgust....

/ That's right. Why should he care?.
/ Why should he help you?
/ You're nothing to him.

Still bound to total silence, he clawed at his skull in a futile effort to ease the pain. But everything in him hurt. Everything in him needed.

/ You talk about Relena giving him
/ problems. Look what you've done.
/ It's all your fault. Your selfishness.
/ Heero saved you. Helped you to survive
/ the emptiness... the void. And this
/ is how you pay him back? By hurting him?
/ By betraying him? Don't you deserve
/ every bit of punishment you get?

(Yes... I deserve this... all of it....)

/ This will teach you to think of
/ anything except pleasing Heero.

(Right. Heero's all that matters. Whatever he wants....)

/ You want his kindness, you have to earn it.
/ Then maybe... just maybe... he'll be
/ generous and make you feel better.

Duo's legs refused to support him anymore. He slowly sagged to his knees and curled up into a tormented, need-wracked ball of suffering.

(Oh god I can't stand this it hurts so bad Heero stop please I'm sorry sorry sorry I'll be good please stop it I'll do anything anything just tell me what you from me I'll do it I want so empty help me help me please I need you in me so bad hurt me punish me use me but don't leave me alone don't ignore me need you touch me please Heero...!)


As the anger slowly ebbed from Heero's system, he reluctantly admitted that part of the reason he was lashing out so harshly at Duo was because of his own sense of guilt. He shouldn't have run away like a coward after that first night. He should have at least talked to Duo before leaving. But the emotions he felt after making love to Duo had been so overwhelming, so frightening, that he had run away instead of staying to deal with the aftermath.

(This is your mess, so deal with it.)

He took deep breath and turned around.


For an instant, he thought that Duo had fled the scene, then he glanced down and saw the fetal ball that was Duo Maxwell quivering on the ground.

There was no resistance as he frantically gripped Duo's shoulders and pulled him out of his huddled posture to get a better look at his face. But as soon as he saw Duo's expression, he nearly dropped the braided pilot back into the dirt.

He was all too familiar with the look of suffering on people's faces, but was nothing compared to what he saw in Duo's pale, drawn face and vacantly staring eyes. The sight left him with a horrible knot in his stomach and a strangled feeling in his throat.

"Duo? Duo!? What's wrong!?"

Repeated shaking and yelling did nothing to free Duo from whatever hellish trance he was under. Finally, Heero gave him the only mercy he could. Firm, but careful pressure on Duo's throat was all it took to render the Deathscythe pilot unconscious. However, the muscle tension in Duo's body as he picked the braided pilot up told Heero that even unconsciousness was not enough to fully stop Duo's pain.

All he could do now was get Duo to Sally Po as quickly as possible.


Just as Noin finished bandaging Relena's legs, her phone chirped. She pulled it out and listened carefully. Her expression turned even grimmer, if that was possible. Finally, she murmured a quick 'thank you' and disconnected.

The dark-haired woman knelt down by a decidedly pale Relena and said quietly, "This probably isn't the time, but... you need to know."

The Peacecraft shook her head a few time to clear it, then said, "What's wrong?"

"I just got a report from one of my informants. A large number of OZ troops have been ordered to surround this location. Mobile suits, ground forces, armored vehicles... the works."

Relena gazed blankly at Noin, her thoughts racing. Finally, she whispered, "Heero was right all along. This whole meeting... it was just an OZ trap. All this time, their representative was just stringing me and the labor unions along. God, I feel so damn stupid!"

"What do you want to do?"

Relena stared down at her hands and felt vaguely surprised to see they were tightly clenched into fists.

"Noin, warn the union representatives that this whole area is a trap. And after that.... Get me the hell away from here. I'm starting to hate this place."

"All right. But both you and Dorothy need to see a doctor...."

"I know just the person. I'm leaving right now," Heero said.

All three women glanced up as the Wing pilot stalked toward them, with an obviously unconscious Duo slung over his shoulder. But it was the visible tension and worry on Heero's face that brought Noin immediately to her feet.

"What happened to Duo? Did you...?"

"He's hurting and I don't know why." Before Noin ask any questions, he snapped tersely, "I need to get him to Sally Po as soon as possible. I'll explain what happened on the way," Glancing at Noin, he said, "I have transportation. Can you carry Relena? It's not far."

She glanced at Relena, who gave her a tired, but firm nod, then said to the Wing pilot, "We'll manage somehow."

"Can you keep up?" he asked Dorothy.

"Try me."

Without another word, Heero headed down another trail, carefully carrying his precious burden, followed by Noin and Relena, with Dorothy bringing up the rear.

Author's Notes:

"Mechanics of Control" is the title for the overall alternative-reality storyline, with sub-stories for each pilot. ^_^ The sub-stories are titled as follows:

"Wicked Game" - Heero and Duo
"Brilliant Disguise" - Trowa and Quatre
"Dragon's Fire" - Wufei

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
------------------------------------------------- /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/:E

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Original portion of the fiction included here is considered to be the sole property and copyrighted to the author.