Disclaimer: No miney. `Cept for the storie. That miney. Lucky Bandai.
Warnings: ANGST. Blood. Violence. Horror. Shounen Ai. Changing POV. Language.
Not for the very religious...including myself..
Rating: Drama/Horror-NC17 (just to be on the safe side)
C&C: Please? Call me a sick, mental case if that's your response,
just let me know. I could always use another opinion...
WARNING!!! This particular
part is VERY bloody and graphic. I mean it. If descriptive violence or
gore bothers you at all, I'm warning you away now. *I* had trouble reading
it. In fact...*glances around* In the words of the Great Gonzo, you're
on your own folks. I'll meet in you in the next part!
Whispers To Me + Part 4
The inside of a gundam is like a coffin sometimes; the walls are so close
they're practically people that lean in and read the console over your
shoulder. They weren't built with large, luxurious cockpits where the
pilot can stretch, walk around or even hide behind the seats. Sleeping
in them guarantees a stiff neck the next morning, perhaps even a few limbs
tingling from the lack of blood flow. I preferred that to the company
of my fellow pilots nonetheless. I'd slept my Gundam in the last year
more than I'd slept in a real bed during the last five. The only bed I
could really remember was debris in a ruined church, serving as material
for a parasite's nest.
I fell asleep after working on Deathscythe often. A stash of junk food
under the seat insured I didn't starve. I spent the afternoon doing basic
checks and repairs. Shinigami was in top condition. There just wasn't
much for me to do. So, I finished a luxurious meal of twinkies, hohos
and greasy potato chips. It was all pretty tasteless, but I gulped it
down anyway. This was what Americans ate right? It didn't matter. Being
accused of betrayal, almost killing a fellow guerilla and taking an unexpected
five-mile run tends to make a person hungry.
My post-dinner plan was to take a short nap and see if I couldn't improve
the reaction time on my Gundam. It was getting slow, to be honest.
My world became dreamless gray.
The first thing I saw upon waking was a blurry streak of neon red in front
of my eyes. I blinked hard but the image didn't clear. I felt the cold
bite of metal across of my cheek. Groaning, I pushed myself into a sitting
position. The clock on my main console glowed 4:50 AM. Discarded tools
and cellophane wrappers littered the floor around me. I stretched, feeling
twelve of my vertebra pop. The trash got kicked into a corner as I left
No one would be awake yet, I knew. It was the perfect time to take a shower,
steal some breakfast and clean clothes. Even Wufei didn't rise this early.
Mist clustered around the rented house like an army of ghosts. I could
barely make out soulless, gaping windows through the gray. It had been
a farmhouse once, before the town grew up around it. Our `hanger', just
barely big enough for all five of the Gundams, must have been a barn.
I tried to imagine a row of stalls where Deathscythe's massive feet rested,
stalls with impatient cows ready to be milked. Not that I know much about
that stuff. We read used picture books before bed, the ones donated every
spring by the kiddies who'd outgrown them and parents who wanted more
shelf space. I missed it.
The moon hung low on the western side of Earth, ready to dip below the
horizon at any moment. Stars and colonies alike had faded from the sky,
leaving only gray. Not a creature stirred. I shivered and reached for
the door. Locked. Of course, they would hope I'd forgotten my other means
of entrance out of carelessness. I slid my pick from the second twist
in my braid. It seemed Fortune was on my side this morning.
Tough luck, guys.
The kitchen was dark and still, the same with the living room beyond.
No footfalls echoed from the stairs. Not that the lack of sound meant
much. I slipped into the house without so much of a click when the door
swung shut. Moving through shadows, I smirked at the dirty dishes piled
high in the sink. Looked like Heero had drawn the short straw after dinner.
He knew jack shit about cleaning. In the living room, they'd covered the
bullet hole from the day before with plaster. I let my hand drift across
the uneven surface.
Upstairs, I listened to the slumbering of my fellow pilots. The room I
shared with Winner's heir was quiet. Quatre mumbled lightly in his sleep,
something about peace and strawberry cream. I smiled, silently filching
new clothes from my duffle.
Trowa was a wild sleeper and, by the sound of it, had kicked all his covers
to the floor and now suffered from the cold. Heero, I knew I wouldn't
hear. He never moved, never gave a clue to whether he lived or not when
asleep. There were few differences between him during day and night, save
he tended to handle a gun better and spoke when necessary during the day.
The last room was still. Wufei did not rest in his bed that early morning.
Though when he did, he cried in his sleep.
If only OZ knew what they were up against.
We shared a single bathroom, which made for interesting mornings. I cared
little enough about hot water that it didn't really bother me. I made
sure to make lots of noise about it, though. I was supposed to be obnoxious,
right? I shed my sweat-soaked, grease-streaked clothes easily. They'd
be washed later and would hopefully survive the process. My braid tickled
the bare skin of both thighs. In the mirror, I inspected my pale hide,
noting the scars and a collection of bruises from my confrontation with
Not bad. He probably walked away with the same.
I let the eighty year old plumbing warm up before stepping into the tiled
shower stall. The ceramic was cracked beneath my feet. Icy water rained
down on my head, carrying away the grime from yesterday. I fiddled with
the knobs, trying to reach an agreeable temperature. Gradually, the cascade
warmed and I closed my eyes on the comfort. It soothed the aches away,
relaxed every taunt muscle. There are few things better than a hot shower
on a cool morning.
After a few moments, the water didn't stop heating. And it thickened against
my skin, thicker than water should have been. My eyes opened out of curiosity
to a sea of crimson. The water poured all over me, red water. It stank
of something familiar, the familiarity of death. I licked my lips, cleaning
them of it.
The liquid carried the salty, bittersweet taste of blood.
I don't know if I yelled or shoved against the shower wall first. But
my next coherent thought was of landing on hands and knees amid a layer
of shattered glass. My palms and legs twinged sharply from the pain. I
was still screaming, though I didn't realize it. The shower of blood flowed
on, in the stall, splattering me with vital liquid since it now lacked
its door. I lurched to my feet, ignoring the glass points digging into
the soles. In the mirror, I saw myself, drenched in it. It stained my
flesh a dark, sinister red-black, caked my hair. I saw my own eyes staring
back at me. Blood dripped from the lashes.
A towel found its way to my hand. And another. And another. I dropped
them all to the floor, the fabric now stained scarlet. I stumbled into
my clothes, eyes still on the rain of blood. My stomach turned.
It's not real, it can't be real, it's not real.
My hands left brilliantly red marks on the walls. I stopped to look at
them, seeing my fingerprints neatly outlined in crimson. We'd made hand
prints once, in the orphanage, using ink and construction paper. I'd been
particularly proud of mine, since they didn't smear and you could recognize
the unique pattern on each finger. My eyes widened in horror as those
outlines welled up with blood and dripped down the walls. Though, it couldn't
have all been mine. Those were only tiny cuts, after all . . . I pressed
both hands to my head. More and more blood dripped down, now in scarlet
sheets. The walls bled. The entire bathroom reeked of it.
I fumbled with the lock on the door, ignoring the urge to pound desperately
on it. Finally, it opened, revealing the hallway to me. I froze. A scream
rose up in the my throat, though I ignored it. I think if I had screamed,
I would not have stopped, would not have been able to.
Blood oozed down the walls. It ran off into the carpet to make growing
puddles. Grotesque patterns formed in the streams, sometimes looking like
faces or animals. It squished under my feet where they rested. Drops splashed
against the back of my neck when they slid off the doorframe. That scream
tried to force its way to the surface. I wanted to scream. All I could
see was red, just red. The shape of the hall was beginning to disappear
under the flow of it.
Bloodbloodbloodbloodbloodbloodblood echoed in my ears. I didn't
recognize the words as my own.
A groan fought its way past my lips.
I clutched both hands to my ears.
"Shut up! Shut the fuck up!"
Heero and Trowa's door opened, both boys crouched behind it, guns drawn.
They stared at me. They didn't even glance at the walls or the carpet.
Blood was dripping down the tall clown's arms to his hands, clenched around
the metal. He didn't seem to notice. They didn't seem to notice anything,
only stared. I stared back and mumbled something to them before running
down the hall. I slid on the thick pools of liquid. It flowed lazily down
the staircase in miniature waterfalls, gurgling and bubbling. My throat
clenched around bitter bile.
I leapt the length of the staircase, hearing a bone crack under me when
I landed in sea of red. It soaked into my jeans, still warm, as if freshly
spilled. I threw myself out the front door, heedless of the sharp pain
shooting up my leg, of the footsteps thundering down the stairs, of the
scarlet rivers that ran out onto the concrete threshold.
Rolling in the soft, dew-strewn grass I smiled with relief at the freedom.
The sun blazed fire-red at the horizon, ready to lift into a soft pink
sky. It was ok. It would be ok.
My hand rested in something sticky. I looked down at it and the scream
that had been buried before exploded from my throat. Between the blades
of emerald green, gushed dark, crimson seas. I only stopped screaming
when my stomach also gave in and milky yellow mingled with the red.
And then, there was nothing.
Screams aren't rare when we share safehouses. I don't doubt that my comrades
suffer from the worst kinds of nightmares. The kind that are real. Usually,
I sleep through whatever troubles them out of reflex. They don't want
my interference so I won't bother them with it. That morning, I woke up
to find my sheets and blankets deposited on the floor next to my temporary
bed. I shivered. Heero slept across the room, ignoring everything as usual.
He was probably already awake, making new schedules for today. Maybe he
was deciding what to do with Duo.
I slid out of bed, remaking it with the fallen covers. Stretching, I wondered
if I'd actually get the shower first. No luck. Water hissed through the
pipes in the wall next to me. Wufei always beat the rest of us. Then,
Heero would grab it. Then, me. Then, Quatre. Duo almost always got it
last, poor guy. Though, I doubted that's why he shot at Wufei. I yanked
on a faded, terry-clothe robe. A gun was safely stored in its pocket.
There was another under my pillow, a third in my duffel, two more stowed
in various unused wardrobe drawers and the sixth under a floorboard. Heero
had about two and a half times that many.
A hoarse cry shattered the calm of early morning. It echoed ominously
on the tiled walls of the bathroom next to us. Heero's eyes snapped open
immediatly, meeting mine. He jumped out of bed, wearing only boxers and
a tanktop, gun in hand. The sound of glass shattering followed. There
were thumps of flesh hitting the walls, the floor. Desperate hands gripped
the knob and tore the door open, its hinges squealing in protest. Heero
and I were to the doorway within a second, cracking it open to see-
Duo crouched there, his mouth open in silent terror. He stared at us,
stared at the walls and floor. His gaze traced lines from the doorframe
to my hands, where they held the gun. Each violet orb was filled with
animal terror. It was as if he didn't see Heero and I. Wufei's words from
the day before echoed in my ears.
// "He didn't recognize me" //
Before either of us could say anything, he sped down the hall. A loud
crash shook the staircase. Heero and I, soon followed by a bleary- eyed
Quatre, hurried to find the source. We arrived just in time to see Duo
fling himself through the front door as though his very life depended
on it. He lay in the grass for a few minutes, chest heaving for want of
air. Then he looked at both his hands and screamed -- screamed to the
heavens. Even when he had no voice left, he was still screaming. Then,
he emptied his stomach on the lawn, choking out what must have been his
last meal. Still crying out hoarsely, Duo collapsed.
I picked him up a few minutes later. The sun rose in the sky, signaling
the beginning of morning. Duo was heavier than one might think. His limbs
dangled limply around my own. Inside, I set him down on the couch. Quatre
searched for a medical kit. Duo's hands and feet were bleeding sluggishly.
Cuts ran up the length of his shins, glass imbedded in the flesh. His
left ankle hung at the wrong angle. I met Heero's eyes, questioningly.
He looked away.
// "He ran like hell was chasing him." //
[part 3] [part 5]
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