By: Lyssira
Disclaimer: Eh, you've heard it before. Your show. My fanfic. Blabla.
Warnings: DARK ANGST. Blood. Violence. Shounen Ai. Language. POV (Mostly Duo's I believe) Horror
Pairings: Unknown.
Rating: Drama/Horror-R (just to be on the safe side)
Note: For all those who offered support and never forgot. Thank you! ^^

Guilt Whispers To Me + Part 2

<Duos POV>

I'd never known the contentment of sleep before that night. There was always some sort of dream: when I huddled on my own in the streets, in that little church-orphanage and afterwards. I can imagine I'd slept peacefully through night in my early childhood, but that time had been brief. Whoever actually gave a damn about me is gone, I can be sure of that. The gray world where most people spend their nights is heaven. There are no worries, no concerns. It truly is the place of rest. So it can be understood that I would want to remain there for as long as possible.

At first, I heard someone's voice calling me, distant, barely an echo in my mind. I refused to respond. Why would I want to leave? The only thing I had to go back to was them and their war-their game. The other four would be working on their Gundams-such fine toys for children, ne? Shinigami could wait for me. He would have my skills at his disposal soon enough. I wanted to stay in the gray world and savor what normal people took for granted every night.

The voice was louder, more urgent. I knew what they were going to tell me, ‘Maxwell get your lazy ass out of bed!' And I didn't care for their opinions, not even Quatre's. Especially not Heero Yuy's. They could do as they pleased, if they only left me alone.

I grumbled to myself and rolled over again. No, this place was mine. They couldn't take it away. I was the only thief there and it was going to stay that way. Hands began shaking me, roughly, as though they were afraid to touch me. Afraid of getting stained? I pulled as far away from their hesitant touches as I possibly could. Leave me alone, I told them silently, Leave me alone! What the **** could possibly be so important? It shouldn't matter to them what kind of state Deathscythe is in. They relied on me as much as I relied on them. Which is to say, not at all.

Finally, the spell was broken. My eyes snapped open, buried where they were in the soft down of my pillow. The couch was coarse beneath my skin but I welcomed the sensation. It wasn't any rougher than my first priest outfit, on my first day of school...

I shoved the thoughts away. It was daylight-no time for that now. I could think of them later, when the moon was up and I could imagine seeing their faces without blood. Though, eventually memories would travel to the time I dread, a single afternoon that ruined everything.

The hands were still shaking me. Of course, whoever it was had no way of knowing they'd exiled me from the dreamworld. For all they knew I was busy imagining half-dressed girls and all the sick things I'd do with them. I almost laughed into my pillow. If only that was the worst of my problems. I reached out to grab the wrist of whoever had been saddled with the job of rousing me. But instead of flesh, warm and pulsing with life, my fingers met bone and decaying skin. I yelped and yanked my hand away, as if it burned. Was I dreaming?

The hand clenched my shoulder, a faraway voice asking me what was wrong, to wake up...

I jumped up from the couch, shedding my blanket, a reaching for the gun that was always secured at my hip. It felt solid in my hands, the edges of the metal bit into the flesh of my palm. I yanked back the safety immediately, eyes locked on the creature before me. It wasn't human anymore, though it had been at some point. I felt my eyes widen, my stomach roll. I wanted to retch, especially when a wave of its stench hit me, the smell of old blood and rot that I knew so well.

The thing was about my height, it might have been my age when it was alive. It had no eyes, only sockets. The pure white of it's skull was sullied by soft, gray tissue and red fluid. Blood. Its mouth stretched in the lipless grin of a corpse, traces of what was left of its tongue slithering behind cracked teeth. Tatters of clothing hung off of bone, all of the cloth stained a dark rusted color. It's ribs hug out, like the mouth of cavern. Inside was more of the gray-yellow goo and I was glad my stomach was empty or its contents would've been on the floor.

I tried not to look too closely after my first glance. As a professional murderer, I knew what kind of creatures inhabited the bodies of the dead. If I saw them, it wouldn't matter when the last time I ate was. My fingers shivered around my gun. It moved toward me, a walking plague.

"Stay away!" I told it, "Don't come away closer!"

"Duo! What the hell are you doing?" the corpse's mouth moved not quite in sync with the words. If it was an old horror movie, the effect would've been comical. It wasn't a horror movie though, and I could only think how the voice sounded suspiciously like Wufei.

"Leave me alone!" I said aloud, now, raising my gun to point at the creature's head.

"It's me! Put the gun down," the voice growled again. Was it Wufei?

I have to be dreaming...

I tightened my hold on the weapon. The corpse took a step towards me, extending its skinless hand.

"Go away!" I yelled, ready to draw the trigger.

"What's wrong with you?" the creature took another step, now only two feet from me. I could smell its stale breath.

"Ugnnn..."my gut tightened painfully, "No...please."

"Duo?" I could see that hand reaching for me again and I wasn't sure if I could escape it a second time. My finger squeezed the trigger hard, but I couldn't hear the shot go off. The world became gray all at once and I thought I might go unconscious.

Then I was back and the scene was painfully clear. The bullet had splintered the wall behind it. It turned to look, sockets seeming impossibly huge, but when it faced me again, there was no corpse. Wufei stood there, in his typical work outfit. He looked amazed as he studied the bullet, smoking in our temporary living room wall. Then he looked at me, then the bullet. I don't know if he was shocked, terrified, furious or all three. But, it was empty sockets, no decaying muscle hanging off white bone, no wide open grin.

Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I heard guilt chuckling thickly. I ran after that, dropping the gun on the carpet. I ran, despite wearing only ragged sweats and a t-shirt. I couldn't bear the house anymore, it seemed to suffocate me. I pushed past someone-it could've been Quatre-and threw myself out the door. I had to run. My feet peddled the sidewalk. All I saw was Wufei, staring at the wall and at me, onyx eyes huge with surprise.

And fear.


<Heero's POV>

A gunshot shook me out of steady typing on the laptop. It rattled the wall next to me, the one shared with the living room below. The computer in front me beeped, the screen going black. I gritted my teeth. Interruptions were such a nuisance! I had come fairly close to hacking into the Alliance's mother computer. But a hesitation tended to make the server distrustful and a few minutes couldn't be afforded to break up another stupid argument between my four comrades.

I stood up, fists clenched. It was anything less than a possible treason, they were all going to hell. Now.

I was tired of dealing with people by this point, tired of watching personalities clash. I was sick of their voices, of their presence. I was sick of making eye contact with people who knew what it was like to fire on a building, knowing all the while there people inside: fathers, brothers, fiances. Who knew what it was like to murder. Their awareness bothered me. I wanted ignorance. I wanted to watch Relena's eyes, empty of any such memories and know that there were people who would never know. I wanted to know there was still innocence to protect somewhere. And I couldn't among these four.

I saw Quatre staring out the window on my way down the rickety stairs. He didn't seem to recognize my presence until I was right behind him. His eyes were alight with curiosity and, at the same time, worry. I wasn't sure I wanted to know what had caused the gunshot or what had made Quatre look like that. Even in the most dire situations, I'd never seen him look that worried. I cleared my throat quietly, trying not to disturb him.

"Something's wrong, Heero," he said, without turning to face me, "I don't know what it is, but something is very wrong."

"What happened?" I asked, hoping to keep any emotion out of my voice. Somewhere, I agreed him, though. The air had become cold, despite the sun shining in the sky.

"Don't know yet."

Quatre followed me to the living room where we found Trowa and Wufei. The green-eyed soldier stood straight and tall, as always. His posture didn't change, neither did his face. There was no emotion. He was only listening. So it must have involved Wufei. The Chinese boy looked very shaken, his eyes flickering back and forth while he spoke. I had to crane my neck to see what he was looking at. A bullet hole. Smoking in the wall. I suppressed a shiver.

"...Then he fired, but he missed me. And he ran, like the hounds of hell were chasing him. I don't know what happened to him. It was the strangest thing."

"Duo?" I asked, not surprised.

Wufei nodded, "It was as if he didn't recognize me. I was trying to him wake up and...he acted as if I was attacking him."

We all looked at each other, probably thinking the same thing. Had he betrayed us? Or was there something else going on? Drugs, perhaps. I wouldn't put it past him to bury his grief beneath a high. Whatever had happened, we would have to fix it sooner or later. Another problem with having comrades. I'd always known that I couldn't depend on them.

"The balance is broken," Wufei said, finally tearing his eyes away from the bullet in the wall. He slammed the hanger door, obviously going to divine some answers from his "Nataku."

I snorted. There's never been a balance to begin with. Only chaos.


<Duo's POV>

They were all around me. Every yard, every sidewalk held them. I saw corpse after corpse, all bloodstained, all grinning at me a skull's grin. Some of them were missing limbs, a few heads. One looked as if it had been burned to death-the bone was blackened and cracked. There were children, adults. Men and women. I ran past them, listening to their living voices, shrieks of laughter from children who stared at me with eyeless sockets.

I wanted to scream, to cry. To do anything but watch them go about life as though nothing had changed. A pair of the creatures, embraced and kissed, as if they had lips and hands to show affection. I wanted it to stop.

Why won't it stop?

I don't know how long I ran until I reached the graveyard. It was devoid of human life. My only company was those already dead. The gate creaked behind me. The peace of a graveyard settled over me. I'd never ventured into one before this, only watching them with a sense of unease. I've caused enough graveyards in my short left. I never wanted to linger in them. But there were no stares here, no people at all. I gasped with the relief. The guilt had lifted for a while.

I walked through the rows of tombstones, reading names like Smith, Brandon, Lewis. There were normal people buried here, who'd never seen what I had or felt what I had. They'd never known war. They'd never watched their only friends die because of what they did. I fed off their tranquility, letting my lungs heave with the effort of running and of terror.

I didn't realize I was crying until I saw the tree. It's ancient limbs seemed blurred and I wondered why. I reached up to rub my eyes and clear them. My fingers met tears. When was the last time I'd cried? It was in another graveyard wasn't it?

Standing before me was an ancient oak, it's leaves hanging over me like a tender embrace. If I'd felt relieved when I first stepped in the graveyard, I felt blessed here. There was a single tombstone under the tree, its message carved simply by loving hands:

Reverend Peter Lane The devoted father of our community

The name meant nothing to me, but the inscription did. I traced my fingers along the etchings, dampening them with tears. A good father, who had given these people what they needed. How odd that he gave me peace, as well. Did this man die, knowing his final resting place would bring comfort for a mass-murderer? The god of Death. I smiled bitterly. Then I collapsed and cried until I could no more.


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