it Down to Learning + Chapter 16 (cont)
Alone Again in the Dark
Then everything had gone black,
and he wasn't aware of anything for a long time. How long he never knew,
but when he woke up he was sweating, his stomach was churning, and he
was conscious only of his need. He needed his fix, his drug. He felt hot
and cold at the same time, and his head pounded and he thought he was
going to be sick.
He felt like he couldn't move, like he didn't have even enough strength
to pull himself up and go beg Krantz for just a few lines, but he gathered
everything he had and poured it into the attempt to roll over...
And that's when he realized he was tied down.
His arms were pulled up and over his head, and tied together and to something
he couldn't see. His legs were splayed wide, and they too were tied down.
He was lying on some kind of bed, but the room he was in was completely
dark. He moaned, as he felt the tangible weight of the darkness pressing
down on him. He couldn't see anything, not the bed he was tied on, not
a wall, not his own skin... nothing. There was no light in whatever room
he was in, he couldn't see anything, and the darkness was heavy.
It was so heavy, and it was suffocating him, and he couldn't breathe
and he couldn't see and he needed his fucking drug...
Duo opened his mouth and screamed, poured his hunger and fear and confusion
and need into a tormented shriek for help.
No one came.
Even when he managed to put his torment into words, and he begged to be
released, begged for help, begged for anything... Even then, no one came.
He screamed for what seemed like hours, as weird beings and shapes seemed
to take form in the darkness, swooping down on his bound, unmoving form.
He screamed over and over again as birds and monsters dove from nowhere
at him, talons and claws bared, ready to rake over his unprotected face
and form and chest.
He screamed again as his body revolted, tremors wracking through him as
he screamed and cried for relief from the twisting pain that consumed
Finally, a brief flash of light swept through the room. It was gone almost
instantly, so quickly that Duo didn't even know if he had been real or
if he'd imagined it, but suddenly he felt the hard form of another body
against his, and he almost wept with relief at the realization that he
was no longer alone in the horrible, heavy, treacherous darkness.
The relief didn't last long. The person didn't speak to him, didn't soothe
him or comfort him, didn't provide him with the drug that he needed to
live. They just settled over him, and Duo screamed as he was invaded again,
another sharp pain adding itself to the others that tormented his beleaguered
The faceless person thrust into him over and over, for a long time, for
an eternity, before it finally emptied itself inside him with a small
groan the only sound the man had made since he entered the room.
Then he had pulled himself out of Duo, and the braided man felt him move
away. He opened his mouth and screamed again, desperate surely he wouldn't
leave without giving him some relief, without providing him with what
But there was another flash of light, and the man was gone.
And Duo was alone again in the dark.
And he screamed until unconsciousness took him.
When he woke again, he was tied in a slightly different position his
arms spread out wide but again, he was alone in the utter darkness.
And again he screamed, and waited, only to have someone enter in the darkness,
and use him.
But this time another man came when the first was through, and another,
and another, and it was much longer before unconsciousness came to save
him from the pain and the tremors and the insanity that threatened.
Duo lost track of the number of times the pattern repeated itself. Each
time he awoke, he'd be tied a little differently, so he would know that
someone had been there, someone had done... something to him while he
And each time he woke, the hunger would attack him even more fiercely
Until eventually, it began to fade, to lessen a little in intensity...
And still, the men came in the darkness.
They didn't speak to him, didn't respond to any of his pleas, just used
him and left.
Finally, the time came when Duo woke, and felt only weakness and nausea
The hunger was gone.
The next time he awoke, he opened he eyes and cried out in surprise, quickly
closing them again against the painful brightness that speared him.
The lights were on.
He carefully opened his eyes again, blinking until they adjusted to the
He was sitting up this time, his arms pulled back behind him, his wrists
and elbows bound to the high bedpost, as he saw when he craned his neck
around to look behind him.
His legs were pulled apart, and tied securely to each of the bottom posts
of the bed.
The room he was in was tiny, hardly bigger than the bed he was in. The
walls were beige, and the only feature was the door cut into the wall
at the foot of the bed.
There was only one lock, in the knob of the door.
It would be so easy to get out of... but he couldn't pull his arms free
from the bonds.
He tried, wrenching the muscles of his shoulder and back, screaming in
frustration as he failed again and again.
He couldn't get free.
He tried screaming again, cursing, threatening, daring any unseen watchers
to come in, to face him. He'd almost given up, when suddenly, the door
Duo snarled when he saw the two men standing there. Capaneus and Tydeus,
the two weird guys who'd picked him up, the last people he'd seen before
the nightmare of darkness began.
"You seem in high spirits," Capaneus remarked wryly before Duo could say
Tydeus carefully closed the door behind them, then turned to smirk nastily
at Duo. His scar pulled his upper lip even higher, exaggerating the gesture,
making it that much more threatening.
"What the fuck is going on?" Duo raged, glaring at them with all the power
he could menace. "Let me go, you crazy fucking assholes, or I'll... "
Capaneus laughed. "You'll what, Tiny?" he demanded, amused, emphasizing
the hated name.
"I'll fucking rip your head off, you perverted wacko," Duo spat.
"Perverted wacko," Tydeus mused, smiling slightly.
The other man's expression darkened. "You'd best watch how you speak to
me," he warned in a soft voice, heavy with menace.
"Or what?" Duo demanded recklessly. "Or you'll kidnap me and tie me up
and keep me in the dark and... "
"Yes," Capaneus interrupted, his voice still soft and even. "But this
time the people who come to you in the dark won't show you as much care
as they did before. They'll come in the dark and they'll mark you, and
cut you and brand you and make you wish you had never been born, and all
the time they'll never make a sound, and you'll never see them, and...
Duo shuddered. He wasn't afraid of pain he'd experienced it plenty of
times before. But the thought of the pain coming from nowhere, from a
faceless, silent source that struck from that awful dark...
"We've come to share your new status with you," Tydeus informed him gravely.
"My new what?" Duo demanded, trying to recover himself enough to
hide the fear Capaneus' words had struck into him.
"We," Capaneus continued, "are representatives of a very powerful... "
"Establishment," Tydeus supplied when the other man hesitated.
Capaneus considered the word for a moment, then shrugged, apparently accepting
it as adequate. "Establishment," he repeated. "We are known as the Order."
Duo forced himself to make a noise of disgusted confusion, to hide the
start of surprise he couldn't repress.
He'd left his home, he'd left the Preventers as they were beginning their
investigation on this organization, he chose for the site of his downward
spiral the very place he'd gone on his last Preventer's job to investigate
this very group...
And now he'd been pulled in as one of their whores.
"You are part of the Order now," Tydeus told him softly.
"We have taken you... and we own you," Capaneus informed him, his voice
"We will feed you, and clothe your body. We will house you, and bathe
you, and keep you safe," Tydeus promised.
"Because," Capaneus continued, "the Order values its property."
"It takes care of it."
"And you are ours."
"In return for what we give you, you will do what we instruct you to do,"
Tydeus said, his voice harsher.
"We will loan your body to others, and they'll use it as they will," Capaneus
instructed, his voice hard.
"And you will allow them, and you will do whatever it is that they want
you to do to bring them pleasure."
"You will not fight them," Capaneus demanded.
"Unless they want you to," Tydeus clarified.
"You will stay with us, and do as we order you to do for the rest of your
life," Capaneus concluded softly.
"The fuck I will!" Duo bellowed, instinctively lashing out at those who
were so coldly, so firmly stripping him of his freedom.
"You will," Tydeus said with finality.
"You can fight it," Capaneus began.
"Please feel free to fight it," Tydeus invited, his dark eyes gleaming
"But in the end, you will realize that you are now ours," Capaneus finished.
"You will become reconciled, and you will give up, and you will do as
we tell you to do. In time," he said, his voice softening again, "you
will not even think about disobeying any of our instructions."
"Fuck you," Duo spat. "You'll never get me. You'll never break me. I'll
Tydeus laughed. The sound startled him so much that Duo stopped speaking,
and stared in amazement at the scarred man.
"We are taking you away," Tydeus told him. "We're going to another country,
to one of our elite facilities. We think that you're going to become quite
popular among our more exclusive clientele."
"We're taking you to our main facility," Capaneus told him. "Where we
can oversee your training ourselves."
"We think the other heads of our Order will also be very interested in
you," Tydeus added.
"Whoop-dee-fucking-do," Duo sneered. "I get to meet all the head freaks...
"I suggest that you refer to Hippomedon as a freak, when you meet him,"
Capaneus suggested. "I'm sure he'll like it very much."
"I'll get away," Duo threatened. "I'll get away, but before I go I'll
destroy you all, you fucking... "
"You won't even get out of this bed until we want you to," Capaneus interrupted,
his voice amused. "You can't do anything to us. Not a thing," he emphasized
smugly, smiling cruelly as Duo snarled in the face of his own helplessness.
"But we will do whatever we want to you," Tydeus told him, advancing toward
And they did. And they took him to their 'elite facility,' where many
others used him and hurt him and repeated again and again and again their
litany of ownership, and told him of his own worthlessness and filth and
powerlessness to resist them.
In time, he fought less, and they brought him to Polynices.
Duo had fought in wars. He'd seen death since he was a child, he'd lived
on the streets, and been hurt in ways most people never imagined.
No one he could remember scared him as much as Polynices did.
The man hurt him like he couldn't remember hurting, and didn't leave a
mark on his body.
After that, Duo stopped fighting.
He hadn't given in, hadn't given up... but it was easier not to fight.
It hurt less.
And it occurred to him that the Preventers must still be after the Order.
If the Order thought he was broken, he might be able to uncover information
to help bring them down, and maybe the Preventers would send in an operative,
and maybe Duo would recognize him, and perhaps he could pass some of that
information on somehow...
Maybe. Perhaps. Might.
So many variables.
But it was the only thing that Duo could hold on to, the only possibility
for salvaging something from this mess his life had become...
Then, it had happened. His first damn 'job'...
They'd told him he'd be servicing a very wealthy man, who had an enormous
appetite for sex, and who liked it rough. He would probably hurt him,
use him hard, they told him. This man, he'd been told, was rather a favorite
of Polynices, and so he was to do whatever he could to please this man
as much as possible, and was to do everything he said. If the man hurt
him, Duo was to moan, to shriek, to cry... this man liked that. He got
off on the realization that he was hurting the person he was using.
Duo felt no fear, felt nothing but disgust. He would please this asshole,
do whatever he wanted... And he'd take notes on him, learn his name, and
pass his identity on if he ever found a Preventer liaison.
The last thing he'd ever expected when he'd been led naked into that room
was to come face-to-face with Quatre.
He knew then, knew that he'd found the Preventer's infiltrator.
And he was furious.
Damn Une, damn her to fucking hell for making him do this.
Damn all the others for letting him.
And damn Quatre, for doing this.
The last person in the world that should be in this filthy, stinking hellhole
was Quatre Raberba Winner.
Never for a second did Duo believe that Quatre was what the Order thought
him. Though he'd realized when he left that Quatre could never... care...
for him the way Duo wanted, he knew that Quatre would never hurt anyone
He was doing it for the mission, to save the very people he was hurting.
And, for the mission, Quatre would hurt Duo too.
And he did. He held him down, he used him, he hurt him just as the members
of the Order had told Duo he would.
But Duo felt the pain, the anguish radiating from his former lover, and
he knew that every wound Quatre inflicted on him, the blond felt more
But, he did it.
Quatre saw him in this place, and used him as a whore.
And Duo knew then, with absolute certainty, that he had finally hit rock
He curled up more tightly in his bed, unable to stop the hot tears flowing
down his cheeks.
They had known before, all of them. They had known what he was.
But now, they knew first-hand. Quatre had been there, and Duo knew that
there was no way the Preventers would have let him in this building without
some kind of recording devices on him. So the others had heard.
And Une, probably, and who knew how many other agents his colleagues,
They all knew that Duo Maxwell was nothing but a whore.
And he cried in the dark, and no one came to comfort him.
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