Author: pyrzm
Warning: NC-17 Darker than usual, NCS, rape, torture (I guess). OCsx02, 03+02, 01+02
Feedback appreciated, as always.

Lost Souls + Chapter 16
Another Thing That Never Happened

Duo knew exactly what the score was as soon as the five drunken bastards dragged him from the cell. They weren't sloppy, stupid, careless drunk, either. No such fucking luck. They were dangerous, don't-give-a-fuck drunk and they were all armed. And the way they were laughing and leering at him? Same old nightmare, just a different cast and this time he was shackled and all ready beaten down.

That didn't stop him from putting up a fight, though. He kicked and struggled and yelled bloody murder as they pulled him out into the brightness of the corridor. One of them silenced him with a blow to the belly, but he kept fighting. You always had to fight. It was the rule, so no one could claim you'd wanted it. Any L-2 street kid knew that. Duo always fought back. But he suspected he wasn't going to win this time.

"Fuck, he's a real wildcat!" the big blond with the brush cut laughed, picking Duo up and tossing him over his shoulder. Duo tried to get his arms around the guy's neck to strangle him but one of the others grabbed him by the manacles and braid and held him down while the guy carrying him pinned his legs with one hand and groped his ass with the other.

"No!" Duo wheezed, fighting for breath. "Get your hands off me, you perverts!"

They that thought that was real hilarious.

It was a short trip to the interrogation room. On the way they passed another cell and Duo saw G looking out the view port at him.

//Help me!// Duo thought, but pride kept him silent. He would yell and swear and threaten, but he would never, ever beg.

The room they'd brought him to was white inside. There was a table bolted to the floor in the middle of the room and a couple of chairs. The guy holding him dumped him on the table and they all gathered around, hemming Duo in.

"I'm telling you, Jones, she's a little girl," a red haired guy said, and he sounded serious. "Too damn pretty to be a boy, and look at all that hair." He pulled the tie from Duo's braid. Duo grabbed for it but others yanked his hair loose, unraveling it over his back and shoulders.

Someone whistled appreciatively.

"So you're telling me you got your ass kicked by a girl that time?" the big blond bastard named Jones laughed. He grabbed Duo by the chin and yanked his head up. "Maybe you're right. Those are some pretty eyes we got here, and that mouth? Hey sweetie, are you a girl? Let's see those tits."

Two of them held Duo while Jones unbuttoned Duo's black shirt, ripping off a couple of buttons in the process. Getting it open, he yanked up the tee shirt underneath and whistled. "I dunno, Mac. She's flat as a board up here. Guess we're gonna have to check the other end."

"No!" Duo fought them off as they reached for his fly, kicking and twisting and finally managing to fall off the table at their feet. This amused them no end.

"Go on, you murdering little Gundam scumbag. You fight all you want," Jones told him, kicking Duo in the gut to immobilize him. "The more you do, the more fun it is for us. Get those pants down, Carlos."

It took all of them to do it, but they finally got Duo's pants open and hauled them down around his knees, effectively hobbling his legs. Then they threw him back on the table, face up and held him there, arms and legs pinned, while they put their filthy hands all over him. Duo felt panic taking over; he couldn't stand to be touched like this //again!//. And being held down was even worse.

"Look a that! It's a boy, after all. But just a little, bitty one!" the red head snickered, giving Duo's limp cock a painful squeeze. "Hardly a hair on him. His balls must have just dropped yesterday."

"You sure they even have? Doesn't look like much," the one called Carlos said, feeling Duo up for himself.

Everyone had a squeeze while their buddies held Duo down and yanked his legs apart. Then someone rammed a rough, callused finger up Duo's ass. It hurt like hell, making his belly cramp with nausea and his rectum spasm. He couldn't help a harsh whimper of pain and fear. //No! Please no!// Things went a little blurry around him as the panic got worse. Five! There were five of them this time!

"Christ, he's tight!" someone said. "Have a feel, you guys. He's gotta be cherry."

Everyone had a turn, digging into him without lubrication or mercy, while Duo fought hopelessly to escape the pain and horror of it.

This struck them all as very funny, too. Duo fought back tears. //Don't cry, god damn it! Don't you let them see you cry!// he raged at himself

"Look at him wiggle on it. Baby likes to be finger fucked, huh?" they jeered. "We got something even better for you, don't you worry."

"Fuck you!" Duo screamed, losing control completely. "I'll kill you. I'll fucking kill you all, you sadistic bastards. Let me go! Let me up, you fuckers!"

"You got a dirty mouth, little boy," Jones warned. "Carlos, pull his head back over the edge there. Let's see if we can keep him quiet."

They dragged him back across the table until his head was over the edge, then pulled it down by his hair until Duo was looking upside down at the far wall. Then someone stepped into his field of vision with his pants down, waving a big smelly cock in his face.

"Open up, little boy. I got a treat for you."

"Fuck you!"

He was slapped hard, then he felt the cold muzzle of a pistol against his right temple.

"The man said open up, you little whore. Come on, let's not pretend this is your first time at this. From what I've seen, all you Gundam boys are real pretty. Bet you suck each other off all the time. But this is your lucky day. You're gonna find out what real men taste like. Every fucking one of us." Another slap made his ears ring. Head down like this, breath half cut off by the extreme angle of his neck, Duo was starting to see spots in front of his eyes. The guy waved his prick in his face again.

Disregarding the gun, Duo snarled, "You stick that in my mouth and I swear to god, I'll bite it off!"

The gun barrel ground into his temple with painful pressure. "You open your goddamn mouth. If you so much as suck too hard I will splatter your brains all over the fucking wall!"

"Fine by me!" Duo gasped. "Which one of you wants to end up dickless while you explain to your commander how one of her prize prisoners ended up dead?"

That actually got him an admiring laugh from Jones, who seemed to be the ringleader. "This is one tough little bastard we got here! Smart, too. OK smart boy, we won't kill you. But by the time we're done with you, you're going to be on your knees begging to suck us off. Flip him, boys."

They did just that, and Duo braced for the real raping to begin, but Jonesy and his boys had other fun ideas. They stretched him face down and bare assed over the table now, pulling on his hands and legs until Duo was sure his arms were going to come out of their sockets.

"This little hard ass could use some tenderizing. Teach him some respect." Duo heard the rattle of a buckle and the hiss of leather, then bit back a scream as one of them brought a belt down across his ass with punishing force. They were whipping him!

Duo Maxwell had never been strapped in his life. Beaten up, sure, and knocked around good, but he'd never had his ass whipped, not even at the orphanage. The shame of it was as bad as the actual pain, which was considerable.

They kept it up, taking turns, and pretty soon Duo was screaming, and crying, too, pushed beyond his limit to keep silent. But he didn't beg. He'd bite his own tongue off before he'd beg!

It seemed to go on for ever as one man after another had his turn with the belt. They were still going at it when Jones leaned down and grabbed Duo by his hair, making him look at him. "Scream all you want, little boy. This room's soundproofed and no one cares that you're in here. There isn't a soul on this base that wouldn't like to be right in here with us. They're going to execute you, you know, but not before we've all had our fun with you. Tonight's just the beginning."

"Fuck you!" Duo sobbed, struggling weakly. The beating he'd had from O, together with this, had sapped his strength. He still thrashed and tried to kick, but it was only a token effort now. Despair crept in, and renewed panic at the thought of being so helpless. He wished they'd just shoot him. Anything was fucking better than this.

"That's enough," Jones ordered. "That's all the foreplay you're gonna get, kid. So, who'd up to bat first, boys? Wanna flip for it?"

"Damn, from the back with all that hair, he still looks like a girl."

"You tell yourself anything you need to, Mac. They all fuck the same. Come on, let's see how this cherry bleeds."

They yanked Duo's boots and pants off and two of them pulled his legs wide. He felt someone step up close, and put his hands on his ass, spreading him there, too. Then came the blunt pressure of a big cock, and the pain was even worse than he remembered.

The bastard got in two or three good thrusts before the door behind Duo crashed open and he heard guns being cocked. The room seemed to instantly fill with armed MPs. The man behind him stepped or was pulled away, but the pain continued.

"Stop right there, all of you!" a dead level voice ordered. It sounded familiar, but Duo was too messed up to place it. "You're in direct violation of Article T-1095. Step away from the prisoner or I will blow your goddamn dicks off. Now! Sergeant, get these sorry fucks out of here."

"Yes, sir!"

Duo wanted to crawl off the table and hide, or at least find his pants, but he was too wrecked to move. Worse yet, he was having a hell of a time to stop crying, even though the torture had stopped. He fought for control, hiding his face against his arm and biting the inside of his lip. But it was too much, lying here half naked in a room full of goddamn Ozzys. He could feel their eyes on him; they were all staring at him, the great Shinigami, raped and naked and weak as a kitten, with his ass on fire from the whipping and probably bleeding, too, though he still hurt too much to tell.

"Officer Barton, should I call the medic?" someone asked.

Barton? Oh fucking hell!

"Give me a minute, please? See that Commander Une has a full report of this incident first thing in the morning."

"Yes, sir."

Thankfully, the room emptied out fast as the culprits were marched off. Duo kept his face hidden against his arm as the footsteps faded away down the hall. He was aware of at least one person still in the room, and flinched as something brushed his bare foot.

"These are your pants, Maxwell. Let's get them back on, OK?" Barton. Gentle voice. Gentle hands.

Duo caught his breath, fighting back more tears as he managed to shift enough for Barton to get his pants on and zipped before he had to turn over. Then strong arms turned him and picked him up. Mortified, Duo kept his eyes fixed on Barton's chest as the tall boy carried him across the room and helped him sit down on the floor with his back to the wall. It hurt like hell, but he sucked it up, not wanting to lie flat; that was just too vulnerable a position.

Barton as wearing a partially unzipped flight suit, not a uniform. For some reason, that helped. Duo wasn't sure he could stand to see 03 in that uniform right now. He'd had his fill of those up close tonight.

He sat down beside him and pushed Duo's tangled hair back from his face, trying to check his condition. "How bad are you?"

"Not so good." It came out as a whimper.

"They raped you? Did you see--"

"No! No." Duo's stomach clenched. //Never happened. Never happened. If it never happened it's not a lie!// "No one. You showed up-- Perfect timing! How'd you know?"

"I just got back from a mission and went to check on the scientists. G told me. He was very concerned."

Barton's voice was calm and soothing. Duo looked up at him, and thought he saw genuine concern in those green eyes.

"Is it true?" Duo whispered. "You really joined OZ?"

He didn't answer. It wasn't an admission or a denial. Duo tried hard to read him and couldn't. "If you have, Kat's gonna be really sad."

That got Barton's attention. "Quatre? You were with him, weren't you? On Earth? I saw you fighting together, that day we all took off."

"Yeah, I saw you with Heero--" Duo's street sense kicked in and he went cold all over. "Hold on. Is that what this is all about? They rough me up and you save me, so I'll break down and tell the good guy everything? Fuck you, Barton! Fuck you to hell!" Angry as he was, he couldn't stop the tears from coming now. "How could you just--just turn?" he sobbed.

Barton reached out to him. Duo slapped his hand away furiously and scooted away from him. "What if it had been him in here tonight, huh? What if it was Kat they had up on that table when you came in? Would you have come in sooner? Or would you have been in here, doing him, too?"

"No!" Barton whispered, and there was naked anguish in his eyes now. Either he was really upset, or he was one helluva good actor. "No, I swear to you, Duo, that's not what this is. I'm not asking you to tell me where he is, or if you even know. I don't want any information from you. If you do know anything, don't tell me! I just--I just really miss him."

Duo wiped at his face and stared at him, amazed at the quaver that had crept into Barton's voice. It sounded real. Duo wiped his nosed on his sleeve, still not ready to trust or forgive. "He's crazy about you, you know," he said, his tone accusing. "If you hurt him, if you betray him, if you so much as make him cry, I'll kill you myself!"

Barton looked away, retreating behind those long bangs, but not before Duo was certain he'd caught a glimmer of tears in his eyes.

+

Trowa knew what he'd seen, but if Maxwell wanted to pretend it hadn't happened that was his call. In his place, Trowa would probably have done the same thing. He helped him get his pants on, and buttoned his shirt for him once he'd made sure there was no sign of serious injury on his chest or back.

He already hated this mission with a passion, and it was pure fucking hell now not being able to tell Maxwell the truth. Seeing that bastard Jones with his pants down, thrusting between Maxwell's thin legs like that while the others held him, and then the sight of the angry red strap marks and welts across Maxwell's ass; it had been all he could do not to shoot every one of the sadistic fucks between the eyes. It would have been so easy. And then, what Maxwell had said about Quatre had made him sick to his stomach. He fought off the image; Quatre was strong in his own way, but he had none of Maxwell's street toughness. Trowa couldn't imagine what such abuse would do to the sensitive empath.

//He's crazy about you . . .//

He shook his head, trying to get his mind straight. Blowing his cover wouldn't save anyone.

The medic showed up and Trowa helped him lift the wounded boy back onto the table. Maxwell played it tough, but he flinched at every touch, and refused to take his pants down, still refusing to acknowledge the rape.

The doc checked him over as thoroughly as he could, poking and prodding, and asked a lot of questions. "There doesn't seem to be any significant injury, but I'd like to have him in the infirmary for observation anyway."

"No! No way," Duo snarled. "Just put me back in the cell."

Trowa saw the panic behind the anger. "All right. Thanks, Captain. I'll get him put away."

A couple of armed guards were stationed outside the door. Trowa asked them to wait there and closed the door again.

He folded his arms and gazed at Duo for a moment, then sighed, fighting again with himself not to reassure him with the truth. "We're all doing what we have to do, Maxwell. I'll make sure you and the others aren't abused any more, but that's all I can promise. Do you understand?"

Duo shrugged morosely, refusing to look at him now.

"Is there anything I can do for you? Please, I really do want to help you."

Duo hesitated, and a blush spread under the bruises on his cheeks. "Could you-- My hair. Could you braid it?" Duo held up his shackled hands. "I don't think I'll be able to manage it. The tie's over there somewhere. I don't want anyone else to see it down."

Trowa found the tie, then took out his comb and worked the tangles from Duo's hair. The fact was he'd been wanting to touch it. It was amazing, even tangled and greasy as it was. It was a rich chestnut brown and shimmered in the harsh overhead light as Trowa divided the heavy, silky strands up and expertly plaited them back into a neat, tight braid.

"Should I ask why you're so good at that?" Duo muttered, trying to make a joke to cover his embarrassment.

"It's not rocket science." Trowa wound the tie around the end and smoothed the heavy braid over Duo's shoulder, running his hand down the length of it one last time. "I'm sorry. You have to go back now. Can you walk?"

"Of course I can fucking walk! Hand me my damn boots." Duo was obviously in pain as he yanked them on and slid off the table, but he just gave Trowa a defiant look. "Go on. Lock me up where it's safe. And Barton?"

"Yes?"

"If you really are on my side, then this never happened, got it? They just roughed me up." Those violet eyes were dark now with a mix of plea and anger. "I don't want any of the others to know how you found me. Not ever!"

Trowa nodded, longing more than anything to take the boy in his arms and hold him, protect him. The feeling was so painful it took a moment to get his breath. "It never happened. You have my word, 02."

"Thanks." Maxwell drew himself up and clenched his jaw against the pain of moving. "OK. I'm ready to go back."

Trowa gripped his arm for show as he and the guards escorted him back, but also to help if Maxwell's legs gave out or he passed out. He was doing his best to walk normally, but he was limping noticeably. The arm Trowa held was thin and wiry and he could feel how Maxwell was trembling, but he stood tall and looked tough in front of the others all the same. It was impressive.

At the cell door Trowa stopped a few feet back and motioned for the guards to be alert. If he knew the others, they'd be waiting to jump whoever came in for the next victim. "Yuy, Long," he called out, careful to use the false name Chang had given. It had been some sort of test, and they'd kept each other's cover. "I have Maxwell here. I'm bringing him back in. Those men have been dealt with. They'll be punished. Please step back from the door and don't do anything stupid. There are armed men with me."

"How do you know they're by the door, sir?" one of the guards, a greenie colonial, asked, eyeing the door nervously.

"Because they're Gundam pilots."

Trowa hit the lights and opened the door. Sure enough, Heero and Wufei were standing a few feet back, looking ready to kill whoever came through. Heero searched Duo's face, then Trowa's, and took another step back. He looked grim, like he always did, but Trowa recognized rage burning in those dark blue eyes as he registered the way Duo was moving and the new bruises.

Duo stepped in, then turned to see one of the guards reaching for the light control outside the door. The bravado slipped a little; panic flitted across his face. He wanted the lights on.

"Leave them on, soldier," Trowa ordered. "Yuy, get some blankets around Maxwell and see that he keeps warm. I don't want him going into shock."

Trowa sensed that Maxwell needed very badly to be held and comforted, but Trowa doubted Heero would figure that out, or Chang. More than ever, he longed to stay with them, be one of them again and do whatever he could to help Duo, but instead he had to walk away. He could feel Heero's glare burning between his shoulder blades as he left.

+

Duo held out just long enough for Barton and the guards to leave. Then his knees buckled and he slumped down on the floor, trying hard not to let the others see how hurt he was, or where. Heero looked like he wanted to kill someone, which made Duo feel all warm inside.

Even Wufei looked concerned, and maybe a little ill. "What happened, Maxwell? What--what did they do to you?"

Duo pasted on a fake grin. "Aw, just beat me up some, trying to scare me. From what they said, some of them were pilots who'd fought Deathscythe and lost. I coulda told them they were lucky to be alive, but they were too busy kicking the crap out of me to listen."

Heero had stood staring at him, but now he gathered up all the blankets in the cell and came over to wrap Duo up, per Barton's orders, apparently. Duo tried to push him off, but he was too tired and Heero wasn't taking no for an answer.

"I'm OK, Heero. Really."

"No, you're not!" Heero growled, sitting down close beside him. For a minute Duo though he was going to hug him or hold his hand or something sappy like that. The way Heero was swallowing hard and blinking? If it had been anyone else in the world Duo might have thought he was upset. He wouldn't have minded, really, if Heero had tried to hold him, the way he had those other times when Duo had been hurt. And it would be really nice right now, to curl up on his side with his head in Heero's lap. Yeah. Maybe feel those strong hands stroking his hair . . .

He killed such thoughts before he started bawling again, aware of Chang still staring wide-eyed at him, as if he knew what had really happened. Duo wasn't some wimpy little kid, who needed to be saved and comforted all the time. Hell no! He was Shinigami, god of fucking death! He was tough. He didn't give a shit. And besides, Heero just sat there, looking like he wanted to do something but not doing it.

Swallowing a lump in his throat, Duo pulled the blankets around him and staggered off to a corner. He sat down and curled up with his face to the wall, hoping they'd just shut up and leave him alone to get over this. //Never happened. Never happened. Never . . .//

No such luck. Heero followed him and sat down next to him again. He didn't say a word, just sat close enough that his shoulder and hip pressed lightly to Duo's back.

It was stupid, how much that helped. Having that silent, sullen presence close to him made Duo feel safer like it always had, even though they both knew OZ had the power to come after them again if they wanted to. Duo was losing the battle against crying again, but he managed to keep it quiet so the others wouldn't know. "Thanks, 'ro," he whispered.

"Sleep, Duo," Heero ordered, but he sounded sad.

+

Heero had thrown himself at the door as soon as they dragged Duo out, but it had been no use. Enraged at his own helplessness, he pressed his face to the viewport, trying to see where they were taking him, then paced the cell in a fury, yanking impotently at the gundanium manacles.

"We must remain calm, in case we get a chance to escape and free him," Chang said, but under that calm mask, Heero could tell he was scared. Heero had no illusions about what was might be done to Duo, and he didn't think Chang did, either. 'You're next,' they'd told him, looking at him like a pack of hungry wolves.

"That Wu-Yi you talked about. Can you fight like this?" Heero held up his bound hands.

"Yes. What about you?"

"I can fight. Come on," Heero ordered, taking up a position beside the door. "When they come back for you, we'll jump them and make a break for it."

Chang nodded and took his position.

Time crawled by. Heero strained to hear something, anything, but it was silent. Where had they taken Duo? Outside the cellblock? Off to some secret place? He didn't kid himself about Duo's chances, good as 02 was. Not in the shape he was.

As soon as Trowa hailed them through the closed door, Heero knew it was pointless. But at least he'd brought Duo back. His relief was overwhelming, but short lived. Something bad had happened to Duo, even though he was trying very hard to pretend it hadn't. They'd hurt him, but he was grim and prickly under the bravado, clearly not wanting to be pressed on the matter.

Heero wanted to so something for him, but wasn't sure what. He certainly didn't want to do anything that would embarrass him in front of Chang, like put his shackled arms around him and bury his face in Duo's hair and hold him . . .

When Duo retreated to his corner Heero hesitated again, then decided to trust his own feelings, rather than the front Duo was trying so hard to maintain. Ignoring Chang's curious look, he went over and sat down beside Duo, just close enough to let him know he wasn't alone. Duo was crying, he could tell, but he pretended not to notice, and Chang gave him an understanding look and kept quiet, too.

After a moment, Duo sniffled a little and whispered, "Thanks, 'ro."

Heero wasn't certain which he wanted more, to hold Duo for the rest of the night or kill the people who'd hurt him this bad. It hurt that he couldn't do either.

[ch. 15] [ch. 17] [back to Pyrzm's fic]