Title: Cooling
Author: shanna seanachai
Warnings: angst - AU ^_-
Disclaimer: don't own either GW the Tori Amos song, "Cooling".
Summary: You gotta read to find out ^_^ - however, I will warn you not to second guess this at first. It has um, a few surprises - it's not what it may seem, in the first few paragraphs. ^_^
Pairing: Wufei x Treize
Archive? You bet your ass.
Feedback: Very, very welcome! PLEASE!

AND - listen to this song! because it is beautiful, oh so beautiful *sniff*
(ack, I hope this link works!)

And, on with the show.

Cooling part One by shanna seanachai

maybe I didn't like to hear
but I still can't believe speed racer is dead

Fire bothered him. It was too alive not to have consciousness, and the way it crackled and danced, it felt sometimes like it was mocking him. Like it knew...knew how many people had died at his hands, how many scars that had crossed his heart, knew that one - the implosion - the explosion - it killed him, every time.

He'd wanted to go look for him. He'd wanted to comb through the debris. He'd wanted to find anything, some bit of him, to keep and remember and prove it, prove he'd done it, killed him. My god, my god, my love. I killed you. I want to touch you. What have I done?

Stupid pride, arrogance, calling too many bluffs, and being to afraid not to follow them up. Silly boy - for that's all you are, no matter how many airs you put on yourself. Just a boy, a scared little boy.

so then I thought I'd make some plans
but fire thought she'd really rather be water instead

Everything has dimmed. This is what it must be like to go blind. Someone is pulling the shades down in this room inside my head; pulling them down and boarding up the windows, tight, so no light, no light can get in, never again. I can't even see my hands anymore. But they feel wet, and I know they are wet with his blood.

He looked so angry on the screen, scowling at me, and I cried, after I did what he said, after I fired. He always knew how to do that to me. To rip it out, all out, what I had inside of me and turn me around, around, into something else. My true self. He dominated me, and I loved it, every moment of it.

I feel like a magnet that has lost its positive charge, like something has been amputated from me. I've been punched in my stomach, and they've stolen everything, even the air I breathe.

Peggy got a message for me
from Jesus

Well, this church is cold and bare enough to be a place of God. I can see my breath turning solid in the air in front of me, a little ghost that twists and turns from my mouth and disintegrates into the air. A little part of me, becoming part of the air. Yes. I can sit here, all day if I like, in these pews, in this church, and no one will bother me. No one will recognize me, I think. Everyone here is too worked up in their own great sins and problems and with God to look at me. Here, I can put my head down in my hands, put it down on the pew in front of me, and no one will bother me. Because such a thing here is a sign of great piety, while anywhere else it would be a sign of great intoxication or exhaustion.

So I can put my head down, my breath cold all around, and I can pray, or something like that. Listen, really. Listen for him.

Maybe one day he will speak to me. I don't believe in God anymore. No God, except him. He is my God. Very cold, and a little bit of exhaustion pain in my chest, from walking up the hill, no doubt. I'm listening for you...

and I've heard every word
that you have said

I'm listening.

Where are you?

I'm listening for you, Wufei.

and I know I have been
driven like the snow

Oh, Wufei. I killed you. You told me to - you were being brave and proud, like always. I should not have done it. No matter how much you wanted it. But I did it. I aimed, I fired, and I saw that last look of triumph on your face before the screen turned to static; before you died. You ordered, and I obeyed to the end. As always. And what you wanted came about...everything you must have planned in your head, the exact outcome - so clever of you! You knew I would loose taste for the war, after your death. And so I surrendered; the end of Oz; the end of the war. Oh, you got what you wanted! You were the bravest of them all, the bravest, in the end. And I was stupid and foolish and cowardly. Proved me wrong, you did. Had to have the last word.
I'm listening, where are you?

God, this pain in my chest, it's a burning. I'm having a heart attack.

but this is cooling
(this is)
faster than I can

Yes, I am. Standing up, the world is swirling. The burn is terrible, and it feels like I'm having...ridiculous...people don't have heart attacks at just turned twenty-eight, do they? One step, two. The burning. Fire, I am on fire. Someone put it out. Someone put out my fire.

I've fallen, and there are people all around - cool hands on my forehead, but they cannot put my fire out. Heh, I wanted to listen to him, wanted him to speak...he has, hasn't he? Set me on fire, as surely as I did - explosion. Implosion. I'm dying. I'm dying.

this is cooling
faster than I...


Cooling part two by shanna seanachai

this is cooling
faster than I...

Sometimes you hold onto something too tightly. It's only because you don't want to lose it, but it slips out of your grip anyway. That's what happened. I let him go because I was holding too hard.

You would think that I would have been the instigator, the seducer. Certainly I always have been. But it was different this time. He had such power over me. Perhaps I had more physical prowess, but he had it where it counted....I was as good as gone, the first time I saw him.

I gave him everything! I let him do anything he wanted! But I never had him fully. That is important to understand. I was his, but he was never mine. He was a deep, deep well, and I could never have gotten to the bottom of him. There was always something holding him back; something he kept well hidden. Someone.

but do I hate what she is
or do I want to be her

I was...jealous. Who wouldn't be? You give him, love, love, and he is so subtle. As if he doesn't see it. How could he not?

But that doesn't matter anymore.

It is over. He's gone, and I'm alive.

and don't we love something fresh
anything new - virgin

I'm alive? he thought.

One hand went to his chest, as though to find some sort of physical proof of life. The pain was gone. He was alive.

It was not a heart attack, at all. The doctor smiled at him, disjointedly. No, it was not a heart attack.

But my heart...

Your stomach, actually. You have a peptic ulcer. A lesion about the size of a quarter.

Who would have guessed. A heart attack - a message from Wufei - spitting in your face - you read too much, Treize.

So, all this medicine...chalk and cheese. No stress, the doctor says.

Can you remember that?

Mm. Can Wufei remember that? Can he?

Can you remember...all these little bursts that come up like atomic blasts in you brain, like a slideshow in a projector. Be as quick as you can. Catch me...I guess not today. So close...I need... One great big pattern, the shape of his face, his hair spread all out. Catch me....catch me if you can. One hand, perfectly flat, pressed hard against the mattress. Like those boys....still. Two eyes. So far away. So close. An eternity, a decade, a month. Be as quick you can. A moment, an explosion.

woman you've got too many brambles
hiding under these bushes
woman you've got too many brambles

An explosion. I can see it right now. Nataku, sizzling, electricity running through her circuits, too quick, too fast, too much. He leans his head back. He knows it's coming. He smiles at me, as his screen goes blank and the visuals go down. He has won, the only way he can. And then it comes. Explosion. Pain? Yes. We'll say there was pain.

What would pain matter, though, to him? I don't think anybody knew this, but I think Wufei did not feel pain anymore. I saw him drop burning water on his hand once, and just stare at it, coldly, as it turned red with boiled blood vessels, and I yelled and came and wrapped it in ice. He felt no pain. There was explosion, victory, light, and the end came. I can see his face, right now. Eyes alight, mouth slightly parted, rapture on his face. More climactic than sex. It's death. Of course it is.

but I always liked a good storm
yeah, always good for a storm

What's the difference between your heart and your stomach? They say the heart is deep but the stomach is even deeper. The brain is too quick to judge, the heart is too naive. The stomach knows what it is doing. Your stomach is telling you: You have a hole inside of you, Treize. You've been ripped open, and you need some help, or you are going to die. It knows. The heart in the head....they're like the ocean. They get in the way. The stomach knows.

He knew, too. He knew you, even if you did not know him. What is about those special human beings who have that power, the power to read people? I don't have. I pretend I do. Pretending, I was always good at pretending. Yes, he knew me, and he knew I did not know myself very well. Kiss. He gave me a kiss, the last time we met, human face to human face, and not over a monitor. He gave a little boy kiss, so different, and he left. He knew me. He knew I could not resist him, because he brought danger, and daring, and those are what I always love. I'll take the thrill of seeing the tsunami before it pulverizes me. He was a tsunami, and he hit me, bam, like a wall, scattering debris all over. But I survived it. I lived through him.

He broke, as a wave will, and went back to where he came from, back to the ocean, trapping me. I survived, and this was an outcome I never thought of...I'm hopeless now. Carrying my wounds, and looking for a way around him. He will never go away.


Cooling part three by shanna seanachai

so then love walked up to like
and said I know that you don't like me much
let's go for a ride

Searching, searching, I cannot find him. He has become so many particles of air, of dust, that swirl around me; I am breathing him in; breathing in his corpse. Never buried. So I buried myself. I did what he had wanted, wanted to the end, and then I made myself disappear. I wanted to see no one connected with the war. But I could not control all encounters. I will never forget the time I ran into the pilot of Deathscythe one day in New York...he recognized me, despite all the changes I have made in myself. That boy grew up in the slums. He can smell a murderer miles away.

He confronted me, there, on the street. You killed him.

I said nothing. I knew this boy had always been overly fond of Wufei; I had seen him at the memorial service, very pale. He stayed after everyone had left. He cried when there was no one around.

It's true, he said to me now. His eyes had a look, a look I knew; I saw it in the mirror every day. You killed him; you won. So why did you surrender? Tell me that much.

I smiled. You are wrong, I told him. I didn't win. Not in the least.

this ocean is wrapped around
that pineapple tree

I never saw that boy again. I wonder how he lives. Does he feel this emptiness inside of him, as I feel in me? But he never knew him! Not in the way I did.

Maybe he knew him in more intimate way than I ever did, though. Friends. They were friends. What were we? Certainly not friends. Even when we made love, it was like a battle. He always won.

He knew him the most, and I wonder how much he thinks about him. I wonder if he still goes to the monument and cries. I wonder if he misses him, and is lonely.

Lonely. That canot even express this feeling. It's death. It's a death of the mind. Yes, I killed Wufei's physical body, but he killed my mind.

But why bother blaming him?

Because he didn't choose you in the end, Treize. That's what makes you hurt so much. You know that he chose his mission over you in the end. That he chose his duty; he did that, and you would have thrown everything away for him. And you did.

and is your place in heaven
worth giving up

What are you doing here?

Startlement was not a word that could properly express what he felt. To see that face here, in this little hospital, deep in this city....that was a dream.

The boy - why call him a boy? He is not a boy any longer. He's a man, a man named Duo Maxwell; twenty or so years old, though he looks about thirty. Sorrow and inaction has aged him. His hair is short; he does not have the will to take care of that long masterpiece any longer.

I heard, he said. I just wanted to see if you were dead yet.

Treize laughed. Bitter and sarcastic to the end. No, unfortunately, he answered. How did you find out I was here?

I have connections, Duo replied, and Treize nodded; of course.

They stared at each other for a moment. The boy - Duo's clothes were old and faded; he stood with a sag. There was a bandage around his wrist and Treize knew what it signified. He'd gone that route before, once or twice. He did not want to die, though; not really. He wanted a penance. That had been enacted; but it was not enough.

His penance. Duo was staring at his face, at the disfigurement; the long scar that twisted and rattled up his cheek to his eyebrow, to skate across his forehead and disappear into his hair line.

Who did that to you? Duo asked.

The devil himself, Treize smiled.

Duo reached out with one hand - the one with the bandaged wrist - and touched the healed wound. How could you do that to yourself?

Mr. Maxwell. I think you of all people would know. He took the man's wrist in his hand.

Duo flushed. That's different.

Not by much.

these kisses

It's very different, Duo hissed. I was in love with him. You are the one who murdered him. Why act so distressed? Do you think you are the only one who loved him?

Duo drew back. What do you know that I don't?

Whole worlds, Mr. Maxwell.

Duo seemed to shiver, and his eyes grew very dark. He crossed his arms - hugged himself, really - and looked down. He'd known. It was quite obvious. He hadn't believed it.

If you loved him so much, he finally said, his voice cracking, then why did you kill him?

Because he asked me to.

Duo threw his head back and laughed. It was a nasty laugh. Do you expect me to believe that?

Why not? Treize asked. You knew him; in some ways better than I. You don't believe that Wufei would allow his own death for the fulfillment of his purpose?

Duo made a soft noise in his throat. He didn't have to do that, he murmured. Stupid bastard - he didn't have to die.

I know that, Treize said. You know that. Did he?

Duo closed his eyes.

these, yes

I don't know what he knew. I didn't know him. He sagged.

I am of the opinion that nobody really did, Treize murmured. There was a great sigh from Duo, and he rubbed his face with his hands.

Don't hurt yourself anymore, Duo, Treize whispered, daring for the first time to use his first name. You are not the one who caused his death. That is my own sin.

Oh, God, Duo groaned. I hate you so much.

Duo -

Don't call me that. You don't know me and I hate you. He turned away, and opened the door. I'll see you in hell. Both of us will surely be going there, someday soon.

And Wufei?

Duo stilled, nearly out the door. I don't know where he is, he whispered. But he's surely not in any place we'll be going.

And he left.

these kisses...