Warnings: Angst, Violence, Language
Disclaimers: I don't own GW, obviously.
Side of Death + Part Five
There was no light in this
dreamscape and the distinction between ground, wall and sky was invisible.
Everything was midnight black shot through with smoky red swirls that
oozed along the darkness like a sentient thing. The blanket of darkness
seemed to spread out far and wide for miles and it was the only thing
Duo could see. He took a few steps forward, feeling extremely paranoid
about walking on what appeared to be nothingness. It looked like he was
walking on air even though that idea was squashed when his footsteps echoed
throughout the place.
"Takai?" His voice echoed loudly and he winced at the sound.
For the first time, Shinigami did not appear when her name was said. Duo's
eyes narrowed and he continued to walk on for what seemed like an eternity.
It felt like he was walking in circles at first and the red swirls were
making him dizzy. Suddenly, his footsteps weren't the only sound. He could
hear the faint buzz of several voices not too far off and he quickened
his pace to get to them.
After a few moments of jogging towards the sound, he approached what looked
to be a wall full of televisions. With a confused grunt, Duo walked up
to the wall and his eyes widened in surprise. They weren't televisions;
they were windows to the world and colonies. In each square you could
see events that were taking places in several different places. In one,
grungy children were running from a group of adults in an L2 neighborhood.
In another, Relena was sitting at a desk having an intense discussion
with a girl with long platinum hair and shifty blue eyes.
Duo's eyebrows creased together in a frown as he looked over each window
in awe. He saw soldiers resting, children playing in parks, he saw Treize
Khushrenada in one and Wufei in another, sitting in a field as he meditated.
Violet eyes fell on one of the last windows and Duo swore softly under
his breath. It was an image of he and Heero, lying in bed at the safe
house. Duo stared in fascination, knowing that the scene was going on
at that very moment even though his subconscious was wandering around
in Takai's dream world. He noticed that Heero wasn't asleep and that the
Japanese pilot was caressing the body next to him; lips turned up in a
small smile as he watched Duo's sleeping form.
"I see you finally got somewhere with Ryu-chan."
Duo did an almost comical double take and stumbled backwards when Takai
suddenly appeared at his side. "What the hell, woman!? Don't do
Purple lips twisted in a humorless smile and Takai looked at the image
again. "I'm surprised he was so easily seduced. But then again, he
has wanted you for quite awhile."
The blood rushed to Duo's face and he shifted uncomfortably. "Ryu-Chan?
Who the hell is that?"
The dark haired Goddess tsked at him and smirked. "You don't even
know your lover's real name? I'm scandalized."
"Heero isn't his real name?"
Takai made a face. "Of course not. It's a code name. His birth name
is Tajirou Ryusaki."
Duo rolled the name around in his head and decided that he liked the sound
of it. "Does... he know that's his real name?"
A sly smirk graced her features. "I'm afraid not. The dear boy doesn't
know anything about his earlier years. I would love to enlighten you about
his past, if you are interested."
The longhaired boy frowned at her. One part of him wanted to learn more
about Heero. Although he and the other pilots had grown closer together,
they didn't know anything about each other. However, the other part of
his brain didn't think it was right for to him learn
secrets that Heero wasn't even aware of. It felt wrong somehow.
"No thanks. Let's just stick to what you called me here for. Oh and
you sending me that vision when Heero and me were... getting closer was
not funny at all."
One thin eyebrow rose. "It wasn't meant to be funny. I didn't want
you to forget about your purpose."
Duo sneered at her. "How could I?"
They glared at each other for a few moments before she turned her back
on him. "I called you here to discuss what you plan to do, not to
Duo looked at the window again and stared vacantly at one of the scenes
from L2. "What do you think I plan to do? I'm going to go on that
mission and not let her take me by surprise this time. This time, she
dies and I won't be caught off guard. The problem will be solved."
The longhaired teen looked at the image of Heero again and he smiled fondly
as the blue-eyed boy struggled to keep his eyes open. It reminded him
vaguely of a kitten, fighting against sleep so that it could stay awake
"Oh Duo, if only it were that simple.." Takai whispered
The smile immediately faded and Duo felt his chest constrict painfully.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Takai turned to him and for a change her thin lips were not twisted in
her mockery of a smile. Her slanted crimson eyes were studying him thoughtfully
and she seemed to be choosing her words very carefully. "Never mind."
She turned her back on him and began looking at the screens again, her
hands clasped behind her back.
Duo's frustration had been mounting over the last few days and he felt
anger start to take control of him. His breath began to come faster as
he clenched his hands into fists and he was seeing bright red spots as
his temper began to claw at the more sensible parts of his mind. Before
he realized what he was doing, his hand was closing around one of Takai's
slender arms and he was jerking her around roughly. "Now you listen
to me, lady -- You have totally turned my fucking world upside down in
the past few weeks with your goddamn visions and I have not come this
far to be jerked around. So you tell me everything or I swear I will find
some way to make you pay." His words came out in a low growl, eyes
flashing with black rage.
For a moment there was complete silence, besides the soft buzzing from
the windows. Violet eyes dragged back to the tender image of Heero, and
Duo felt his rage cool a bit. He took a deep breath before looking into
Takai's eyes. It was then that he realized what a big mistake he had just
made. Her eyes were practically glowing with fury and her purple lips
were pulled back in a hideous snarl. She no longer looked the part of
a little Goth girl playing God. She looked unearthly... and evil.
One pale, deceptively slender hand grabbed his chin and before he knew
it, she was holding him about two feet off the 'floor'. "You underestimate
me, boy." She growled, eyes shooting red sparks as she squeezed hard
enough to gag him. "I chose to help you and my thanks is this?"
She hissed angrily. "You disrespect me, you mock me and you dare
to touch me. I don't think you understand that I could crush you --"
She snapped the fingers of her left hand. "Like that."
Duo opened his mouth to speak, but wound up gagging. His hands flew up
to claw at her arm as he slowly began to suffocate. "Leggo..."
She smirked at him evilly before flinging him carelessly away from her.
He landed on his back about three feet away, panting as he clutched at
his abused throat. "Do you really want to know, boy? Are you sure
you can handle it?"
Anger flared inside of Duo and coursed through his veins, urging him to
snap at the woman and strike out. No one pushed him around, not even the
damned God of Death. He took a long calming breath and closed his eyes
briefly, trying to rein in his already out of control temper. "Just
tell me," He whispered from between clenched teeth. "Tell me
so I can get this over with and move on with my damn life."
Her lips pulled back in an unbecoming smile and she began to walk in slow
circles around him. "The woman, the woman from the vision.. she bore
a strong resemblance to the kind Sister Helena McCoy, didn't she?"
Duo's eyes flew up and he focused on the Goddess standing above him. Her
red eyes still held the faintest traces of anger, but she seemed to be
all business again. "yes, it was... disturbing. That's why I was
so surprised. She was.. she looked... Sister Helen, she died and... it
just caught me off guard," Duo said roughly, eyes stinging as he
remembered the real Helen.
"They look enough alike to be, sisters maybe? Perhaps even a twin,
wouldn't you say?"
Duo's lip lifted in a snarl and he glared at her. "Just where the
hell are you going with this? Are you trying to tell me she's Sister Helen's
Thin purple lips pursed and once again, Takai looked unsure of herself.
"What if I was to tell you that Sister Helen didn't die on L2? What
would you say?"
Violet eyes opened wide and Duo skittered backwards on the floor, staring
up at Takai. "She died!" He snarled angrily. "How fucking
dare you try to.. try to lie to me like that! She died! I saw her
die! She died in my fucking arms!" He was unreasonably angry, but
the things she was saying were getting to him in the worst way. He had
tried his best to shove these thoughts and memories out of his mind and
here she was drudging them all back up.
"How do you know she died, Duo?" She challenged, walking towards
him. "You were only a child, you could have thought she was
dead, because she was so close to it... but what if she had survived and
the ambulance and police arrived just in time to save her?"
The longhaired boy shook his head in denial and looked away from her,
but she pressed on ruthlessly. "What if you were to find out
that the EMT people brought her back from the brink of death and she lived
in a hospital for years while in a coma? When she woke up finally, she
had no recollection of anything that had happened on L2. No one ever told
her the truth of what happened, all she was told was that there was a
great fire in the church where she had worked and she was the only one
who had survived."
"Why are you saying these things?" He demanded, voice thick
with emotion as his eyes blurred with tears.
Takai crouched in front of him and stared hard into his eyes. "She
was left feeling hopeless and lost. She didn't know who her family was
and had nothing left of her memory. After Helen was fully recovered, she
decided that there was nothing else for her to do but join the army. She
became a soldier who killed with no remorse. Over the years the only thing
that remained of the once sweet, caring nun was her long blonde hair and
delicate features. She would go on to become a personal favorite of Une
and will unwittingly become the cause of massive death and destruction
when she becomes the first Oz soldier to take down a Gundam pilot."
By this time tears were streaming down Duo's pale cheeks. "It's not
true! Please, don't let it be true! She was all I had... the only mother.."
his sentence broke off in a ragged sob. His long bangs hung around his
face, shielding his eyes as he wept. It couldn't be true, it couldn't!
It would mean that he had walked away from her when she was still alive.
That she had become the very thing that had been responsible for the destruction
of the church.
"Duo.." Takai leaned forward and pressed clammy hands to his
face, tilting his head up to look into anguished, violet eyes. She
no longer looked angry. Her eyes were full of remorse and sadness, looking
down on him as a mother would look at a son. "Duo, it's true. I can't
change it no matter how badly I wish I could," She said softly, pushing
the damp clumps of hair from his face.
"I can't do it! I'm sorry.. I.. I know everyone depends on me, but
Jesus I can't! How can I?" His eyes were puffy and bloodshot, lips
trembling as he stared at her pleadingly. "She meant so much to me..."
As soon as the words left his lips, Duo broke down again; crying silently,
but so hard that his shoulders were shaking from the intensity.
Slender arms wound around his neck and Takai pulled him into a tender
embrace. Her thin fingers stroked his messy hair soothingly as she held
him. "You have to, Duo. There's no other way."
"I don't care! Let the fuckin' world end! I won't do it, damn you!"
His voice was muffled as he pressed his face into the crook of her neck.
"Is one woman more important to you than the lives of your friends?
The life of Heero? The lives of innocent men, women and children all over
Duo let out a shuddering sigh and he pulled away from her, eyes hard and
unforgiving. "Why did you tell me? If I had never known..."
He let the sentence trail off as a shiver wracked his thin frame. "Did
you tell me to be cruel?! To be spiteful?!"
"No!" Takai squeezed her hand in to a fist. "If I hadn't
told you, you would have found out anyway. You would have looked into
her background to find out who she was and why she looked like Helen and
you would have killed yourself. That would result in the same things
that we are trying to avoid! I didn't want to tell you Duo, but there
was no other way!"
"I won't do it," He whispered fiercely. "I'll.. I'll avoid
running in that direction, I'll get in Deathscythe immediately instead
of watching Heero. I'll do something, but I will not kill her!"
Takai's fingers dug into his thin shoulders and she shook him fiercely.
"Don't you think I have thought of that? I've played every possible
scenario in my mind and they all lead to either the death of you, Heero
or her. If you don't watch Heero's back, he will be killed and his survival
is monumental if you are to win this war and the second
Duo's thoughts were so jumbled that he didn't even think to ask about
the end part of her sentence. "Why me?" He whispered softly,
trying to fight the tears that still wanted to spill from his eyes. He
squeezed them shut and tried to ignore the memories that were assaulting
him. "Why do you even care about what happens to me?"
A small, sad smile crossed her face and she started to back away. "Prepare
yourself Little Shinigami. Don't let everyone down." As she moved
away from him, everything started to grow darker. Duo stared at her in
confusion, still needing to ask questions but before he could... he woke
"Duo!" Heero shook the boy beside him gently. "Duo, you
have to wake up."
The longhaired boy bolted up, heart pounding as he stared at Heero with
wild, startled eyes. "What?" He demanded breathlessly, voice
surprisingly raw even though he had only cried in the dream. He wiped
a hand across his face and swallowed several times, fighting the lump
that seemed to be permanently lodged in his throat.
"We have a mission," Heero informed him. He leaned forward and
brushed Duo's bangs from his eyes, offering a small smile to his new lover.
"Are you okay now?" He was being so gentle..
//No.// "Yes, I'm fine now," Duo lied, plastering on a fake
smile for the Wing pilot. "Everything's going to be fine," He
added softly, heart feeling as though it would explode when Heero gave
him that warm, affectionate smile in response.
"Let's get ready then, I'll send you the specs when you're in Deathscythe.
We have to rush." Heero stood up after giving Duo's hand one final
squeeze and began to get his gear together.
Duo wanted to scream. He wanted to scream and cry and bury his head in
the sand. It was happening too soon, he wasn't ready, he wasn't even sure
if he could do this.. Violet eyes stared vacantly at Heero as the other
boy put on a belt that was laden with spare ammunition. Chocolate colored
spikes of hair fell into Heero's eyes as he fastened the belt around his
slim waist. //I have to do this..//
He got to his feet numbly and began to get ready without really paying
attention to what he was doing. He bypassed his priest's outfit and told
himself that he wouldn't be wearing it anymore. Before long he was clad
all in black, with a heavy backpack hanging from his shoulders. Duo slammed
his baseball cap down on his head, hands shaking as he knelt down to lace
"Are you ready?" Heero asked as he started for the door.
//No, God no...//
"Yes, let's go."
Soldiers scattered over the compound as alarms blared loudly and warning
lights flashed in the corridors of the large Oz base. Duo ran fast, hard,
his lungs felt like they were going to collapse at any moment. "Fuck!"
He swore loudly and forced himself to run faster to catch up to Heero's
sprint. The place was going to blow up in two minutes and they weren't
even at the hangar yet.
"We don't have time for this!" Heero shouted over the shots
that were being fired in their direction. Duo didn't bother responding
as he dove to the floor to avoid a hail of bullets, rolling up in a crouch
as he returned the fire. The longhaired boy felt Heero's presence behind
him and realized that they were back to back. Shit. They must have been
Duo felt more than heard Heero's rapidly drawn breaths and he quickly
reloaded his magnums. This was going to get messy. They both moved at
the same time, raining a storm of ammunition down on the soldiers that
had them trapped.
"We don't have time for this shit!" Heero shouted again as he
neatly kicked one of the soldiers in the throat; crushing the man's windpipe.
"No fucking kidding!" Duo snarled, irritated at Heero's knack
for stating the obvious at the worst possible times.
The corridor was now painted with bright red blood. The carnage was enough
to make a normal person sick to their stomach but Duo was used to seeing
death. Used to seeing carnage. He knew that this was the mission, he knew
that this was when he would have to kill... he'd have to kill...
"Shit!" Duo hissed, shaking his head even as they raced away
from the corridor. He couldn't have second thoughts now, everyone was
depending on him. On the entire journey to the base, he had tried to steel
himself to do what needed to be done. He had told himself over and over
that this wasn't the same Sister Helen who had cared for him and loved
him all of those years ago. He had told himself that he couldn't let the
entire world... be destroyed because of one woman and because of his feelings.
They finally made it to the hangar and Duo slashed his way towards Deathscythe.
Trepidation filled his heart but he didn't stop himself from taking the
same course of action that he had taken in the vision. He had both his
guns blazing as he ran towards the hulking mobile suit. Duo delayed jumping
in the cockpit just as he had before, ensuring that Heero got in Wing's
His heart clenched painfully as he ran towards Deathscythe, knowing what
was going to happen next. He didn't hesitate as he spun around just in
time to catch Helen, no... not Helen, the soldier, with a swift kick to
the head. Once again, the helmet bounced off and Duo was assaulted with
the sight of her pretty, once kind, open face. But this time, Duo didn't
freeze. This time, he saw her hand going for the knife and before she
could strike, he aimed his magnum at her head and pulled the trigger.
The gun dropped from his hand and his knees buckled as he stared at her
body. Her head was completely obliterated, pieces of shattered skull littered
the ground around her. A low whine escaped Duo's lips and he felt the
tears try to force their way passed his eyes. "God, forgive me,"
"Duo! Get in the fucking Gundam!" Heero's voice roared impatiently.
Duo's head snapped up and he saw Heero hanging precariously from the cockpit,
barely missing bullets as he ducked back inside. The Deathscythe pilot
swore under his breath and tried to ignore the pain that was making his
chest clench. With one more grief-stricken glance at the body, Duo wrenched
himself away from the spot he had been grounded to and forced himself
to clamber up Deathscythe's side. Once inside of the Gundam, he cut all
visual and audio communication so that he could cry to his heart's content,
without anyone interrupting.