By: Isabella Kraft

The Devil Made Me Do It + Part 4

It was well into night when Quatre slowly moved his lover's body and began searching around for his clothes. He was careful not to wake Trowa, but it was inevitable given their entangled position.

"Leaving?" Trowa yawned. His sleepy eyes tried to blink out the fatigue but failed and fell shut again.

"I have to, love. I have....business." Quatre assured. "Trowa?"

"Mmmm?" Trowa asked, too tired to convince him to stay. His deep green eyes opened again, more alert this time but still cloudy.

Quatre hesitated. It should be easy to say it. He had heard it spoke between lovers over and over again. In those private moments when they thought that they were alone. He had said the words himself, or at least a twisted, offensive and misleading version of them. He had conquered an angel with them. But somehow.....one clumsy, innocent monk and he couldn't say it "I... lo---like your hair."

Trowa blinked and ran his hand through his bang- as if checking to see if it was still there.

"No...no that's not what I meant to say.....Ummmm...Trowa...I want you to know something before I go....I...I...." he sighed and collapsed next to his quite bewildered lover. "Let me tell you this way...... I used to be the most beautiful angel in the heavens Trowa--"

"You still are," Trowa smirked.

"Don't interrupt me," Quatre frowned. "....I used to be the most beautiful angel in the heavens and the only thing that was every important to me was that everyone knew how great I was. Even after I was thrown from the heavens, the only thing that was important to me was showing the world how amazing and all powerful I was. I wanted to make everyone sorry that they hadn't acknowledged my greatness from the very beginning.....But now.....Trowa, what I'm trying to say is that.....you're more important than that to me."

The silence of night was his reply. Quatre swallowed and waited for Trowa to realize he was done. The look on Trowa's face was of pure confusion at first, then finally he smiled and snuggled up to Quatre's chest. "I love you, too."

+

The next morning was unusually brilliant for Trowa Barton. Nature seemed to be engaged in an elaborate dance with him. It was all like some beautiful festival.. His chores were games of chance, his worship was street performances for the crowd, even the usually obnoxious school girls were different in a magical sort of way.

"Hey, you."

Trowa swept the last bit of dust off the stairs and smiled broadly at the figure calling to him.

"You're Trowa Barton?"

Trowa blinked, "Yeah.."

"Quatre sent me," he man replied coldly, inviting himself into the temple by pushing harshly past Trowa. He mumbled something under his breath as he scanned the area. "This place? I can't believe he'd choose you over--"

"Can I help you with something?" Trowa asked.

"Yeah, Quatre sent me."

"You said that already. You know Quatre?"

"Would he send me if I didn't know him?" Heero snapped.

"Ummmm...okay... let me rephrase that.. Why did he send you?"

"He wants you to meet him at work."

Trowa frowned, "What for?"

"I didn't ask," Heero replied coldly. "Said something about dinner. Do you know the Nakamachi Bldg., 2-5-22 Nakamachi?"

Trowa nodded slowly. "That's where he works?"

"Go there, and take the first elevator to the basement. That's where Quatre's office is. When you get there, just give them your name and they'll let you in to see him."

+

Trowa didn't spend much time in the city. He didn't like it much here, perhaps it was the noise, or the stench of so many spiritually deprived people and their long forgotten ancestors, but somehow Tokyo made him nervous.

Of course, it could also be being a tourist in a land where people preyed off of tourists.

The Nakamachi Building wasn't as difficult to find as Trowa assumed it would be. Even he who had little experience in the city could spot the tall elegant structure. He walked into the lobby, feeling instantly quite silly among the parade of workers racing back and forth. They seemed to glare at him as if saying "get to it already!"

Trowa lowered his head, almost ashamed of his "simple country" ways and headed immediately toward the elevator. Quatre works in the basement? he thought curiously. That doesn't seem right with what he told me....don't executives usually have big offices on the billionth floor?

He shrugged and pressed the elevator button. It didn't matter if Quatre had exaggerated his position with his company. Quatre was Quatre.

When large gold gates opened before him Trowa immediately stumbled back. This was the elevator? He hadn't seen restaurants this lavishly furnished. Gold trim, cream color silk like wallpaper, and carpeting that he could only suspect was made of red velvet.

Wishing not to look like anymore of a fool than he already had, Trowa quickly stepped in and pushed the "Close Door" button, then the "L" button, which he hoped would take him to the right floor.

"L.....Lower level right?" he told himself.

The soft hum of Eleanor Rigby was playing as the elevator clicked its way down. Trowa found himself humming along. It was a sad song but it had a certain quality to it.... He wasn't sure what to make of it.

Then the doors opened. It was a sudden movement or perhaps it was just the assault of strange sounds and lights that made him jump. He glanced around the area. This sure as hell didn't look like any basement he had ever seen. It was downright bright, but not an artificial bright, more like the light produced by a million candles. Light that clung hopelessly to every corner of the room...

He could hear the sounds of labor being performed not too far off. The groans and moans of manual labor, or what Trowa thought was manual labor at least, and the occasional scream. Trowa could not be sure of this last one though, everything was so muted by an offensive office type buzz that he couldn't clearly hear it. The distance pounding and the strong voice ordering 'next' at steady intervals. What the hell do they make down here? Trowa thought.

His thoughts were cut off by the sharp 'thwammm' sound that flopped around in his head as it was hit by a stray flying ruler.

Wait a minute, flying ruler?

"YOU!!!" an irritated male voice screamed after him.

Trowa jumped, and quickly picked up the ruler- placing it back on the desk of the Chinese man who had apparently flung it at him. "Huh?"

"I said.....NEXT!!!!"

"Oh....that's me?"

The Chinese man regarded him coldly and without amusement. Immediately Trowa found himself thinking that the man's hair must be tied too tightly to create such a scowl, but then... people were different in the city. He supposed that unique veins-popping-out-of-skull look was something of a corporate trend around here.

The man tapped his fingers in irritation. "Oh, you're a real good one...what'd you do?"

"I'm sorry?" Trowa blinked.

"Well, they don't send you down here because of the brains.... What did you do?"

"Oh...I'm here to see Quatre."

The Chinese man sighed and sat down his much abused red pen. "Look here, I know you think that you're being creative or smart or whatever and that you're just going to explain everything to 'Dear old Quatre' and he'll give you a position at his right-hand...blah...blah eternal reign, all that stuff. But you're not the first soul to come here with that idea, so just accept it. Up there you were bad, down here you're nothing... not even to Quatre."

He reclined back into his chair, "Now let's see if you can follow this. Since you can't seem to recall what you did to end up here, you're going to give me your name and I'll tell you were you belong... UNDERSTOOD???"

Trowa swallowed nervously and nodded, "Yes, sir."

Wufei sat back, satisfied and smugly took up his red pen. Adjusting his reading glasses he began scanning a list on his desk. "Good... Now you're name is?"

"Trowa Barton."

The red pen fell out of Wufei's hand on rolled across the floor. "What did you say?" he asked, quieter this time, trying to blink the shock out of his eyes.

"Trowa Barton, sir."

For a moment nothing was said. Wufei's mouth hung open and Trowa fidgeted nervously, trying to figure out what was so shocking about his name.

Wufei's hand slammed down on a button marked '7' on his intercom.

"Hello Seventh--"

"Duo, this is Wufei..... we have a situation..."

"Well you know, Wufei, you get paid enough to take care of these types of problems by yourself without Quatre's help. Hel,l you get paid more than I do, so I think in light of that his Darkness should only be informed of 'situations'that are of interest to him--"

"I promise you this is of great interest to him."

"Sure, sure that's what they all sa--"

"DUO!!!!" Then in a failed whisper he shot back, "Trowa Barton is here."

The com unit went silent. Wufei glanced nervously back and forth between Trowa and his desk, trying to remember the procedure for this...trying to remember if there was a procedure for this.

"I'm sorry. Wufei. Must be a com problem. That sounded a lot like you said Trowa Barton was here."

"I did....and he is."

"Are you sure?"

"No, I'm not sure!!"

".....Then.....what does this mean?"

"Ummm..." Trowa broke in. "Quatre said he wanted to see me... if this is a bad time I could come back--"

"Okay! Okay!" Duo chirped happily. "If Quatre invited him down here then there's nothing to worry about. Send him on in!"

"Are you sure about this.... I mean.... His not dea-- and this is Quatre."

"Yeah, yeah no problem."

By the time Trowa had walked down the seven flights of stairs that it took to get to Quatre's personal office there was a uneasy calm presiding over the seventh layer of Hell. In the interim Duo had happily reported to Quatre that his pet was here to see him. When Quatre asked him what the hell he was talking about, Duo blinked and explained that Trowa Barton was on his way down.

Thirty seconds of utter chaos were released as a result, as Quatre spat out his coffee and angrily demanded to know who was responsible for that. Duo for once was speechless, stumbling over 'buts..' and 'I thought's...' and a whole bunch of things.

"Well," Duo said nervously. "It's not the second coming or anything... So Trowa's still alive and now walking among the-- err....stairways of hell. Someone screwed up, you probably mentioned something that lead--"

"I most certainly did not, " Quatre snapped. "I never talked about my work with Trowa. It's absolutely impossible that he found the gateway to hell by stringing together a couple details I gave him."

"All right, all right... I've never seen you this furious boss....just calm down. I know you're obviously upset about losing this pet project, but rules are rules. He's in Hell now, he can't leave, and you can't bend the rules just so that he can get into heaven."

Quatre drummed his fingers silently, "I'm going to find out who did this,"

Duo swallowed, "And what will the punishment for that poor soul be?"

Quatre blinked, "I have no idea.... But I'll think of something."

"I was afraid you'd say that.."

That took place about the same time Trowa was racing past the fifth layer of hell. Only a few seconds later Quatre had apparently swallowed his rage in the hopes that the situation could still be salvaged if handled properly. Of course there was that tiny problem that Trowa, a mortal and very much alive, had entered the forbidden land from which there was no return...

But he would deal with that later. Damn his own rules, if he couldn't break them who could?

He waited patiently outside his office for Trowa as Duo fiddled with just about everything on his desk six or seven times. "Uhhhh...Boss?"

"Yes?"

"Remind me again what kind of great unspeakable evil we're aiming to unleash by getting Trowa into heaven?"

"You have doubts," Quatre stated.

"Well.....frankly, yes. I mean.... I'm watching the best of the best doing things that I normally would associate with, I dunno....the good guys?"

"Duo?"

"Yeah, Boss?"

"Shut up."

He nodded, "Okay. I suppose that's fair...."

Further conversation was cut off by Trowa's immediate rush through the door. He nearly collapsed upon entering, panting and coughing.

Not good, Quatre thought. He knows something's wrong... he rushed down here.

Still Quatre slipped on his brightest smile and walked over to the momentarily crippled Trowa. "Hey you, what a nice surprise. What are you doing here?"

He coughed a little more then straighten some and asked, "How far underground are we?"

Inside Quatre frowned, outside though he remained cheerful and level headed. "Far. How did you find this place, Trowa?"

Trowa blinked, "I got your message."

"My message?" Quatre asked between gritted teeth.

"Yeah....you sent that guy...."

"What guy?"

"........Ummmm...I didn't get his name, he was kind of curt with the whole thing. Dark hair, dark blue eyes...little skinny--"

"Heero," Quatre growled. "What, he's playing the jealous lover now?"

Duo shrugged and tried his best not to look Quatre in the eye.

"I'm sorry..." Trowa said. "I guess I misunderstood something. You're obviously busy so--"

"No, no Trowa, it's all right. I'm never too busy for you." Quatre began guiding him into his office as forcefully as he could manage short of dragging him.

The phone rang.

Duo stared at it and slowly picked it up off the hook. "Ummmm...hello, PizzaHut how may I help you?"

"So.....nice place you have here," Trowa began lightly, taking in the lush surroundings. Quatre's office was certainly rich that was for sure. "But why is it underground?"

"Aghhhhh....it's.......cooler down here?"

Trowa nodded, "Maybe.... But why isn't there an elevator straight down? Why the elevator then the stairs?"

He couldn't do this, he couldn't keep doing this. Oh he could lie to Trowa, he could lie all day to his lover. But it hurt too much to even think about doing that. The strategic and vicious part of Quatre reasoned that it was counterproductive to lie to Trowa since those lies would enviably come undone. Yet....

He loved Trowa. He didn't want to lie to him.

"Trowa," Quatre sighed. "The truth is.....this isn't a job."

"Oh?"

"This is Hell."

Trowa smiled, "Well, if you feel that way about it, why don't you just quit?"

Quatre blinked, "What?......No, no Trowa you misunderstand.....this....is....HELL. As in the place, as in eternal damnation, as in where naughty dead people go."

Trowa hadn't stopped smiling yet and for a moment Quatre wondered if perhaps he was in shock. "This is Hell.." he repeated.

"Yes...." Quatre confirmed slowly.

"Am I dead?"

"No.....not technically..."

"So I'm just passing through then?"

"Errrrr....something like that...."

"And you are?"

"Uhhhh..." Quatre twiddled his fingers and cleared his throat. "I guess you could say that..... I'm........ The Devil."

Trowa smiled broaden considerably, "pleasure to meet you Mr. Satan are you going to punish me?"

Quatre blinked again. Was Trowa....?.... Was Trowa trying to seduce him? Here? Now? Was he insane? "Trowa?"

"Oh come on, I'm not that innocent," Trowa teased, reaching out his hands and pulling Quatre closer.

"You're...not?"

A trace of concern hit Trowa's face as he shook his head, "This role-playing stuff can be very romantic and---"

Quatre groaned, "You nitwit," he mumbled. "Come with me."

"Where are we going?"

"I'll show you how elaborate this role playing really is,"

After the sulfur pits and the torture chambers. After Quatre had pointed out the intricate mosaic patterns of human bones he had paving the small pathways he used to supervise things. After Quatre had shown Trowa all the different layers of hell and who went where, and babbled on a great lengths about the souls that were not yet fully his in the areas of purgatory and limbo.. After all of this Quatre stood in front of Trowa in the lobby in the first layer, quietly assessing Trowa's reaction.

"You're...."

"The Devil," Quatre repeated.

"And this is..."

"Hell."

"And you want...."

"Well," Quatre sighed. "I haven't quite figured that part out yet."

".....Quatre.....you lied to me."

Quatre frowned, "When?"

"When? When!?!? When did you tell me you were the great figure head of unspeakable evil!?!?!" Trowa exploded.

"When did I tell you I wasn't?" Quatre snapped back. "I never lied to you, you just heard what you wanted to!!"

Trowa paused, his hands compressed into fists. "What is this, Quatre? What am I? Some kind of conquest? What is this, the divine forces of the universe just having fun with my soul??? I'm not even Christian!!"

"Corruption is an equal opportunity parasite," Quatre replied coldly. "And no, you're not just a conquest to me Trowa. I never lied to you, not once...."

"You told me you lived in the desert."

He smirked, "Is there any land more barren than the house of the damned?"

"After all this time....after all of this.... I have no idea who you are! You twist these words around so that you convince me that I'm wrong and you're innocent of everything but you've never been innocent of anything."

"You're acting just like the rest of them," Quatre snarled.

"And so are you. I couldn't possibly have any meaning to you--"

That hit a nerve. "What the hell do you know about that?" Quatre snapped. "You're right you know, I have no reason to care about you. I should just stop right now. Well, fine, Trowa. Go back to your temple and break enough hearts to send you straight to heaven!"

Trowa huffed and stormed back into the waiting elevator. Wufei called after him but Quatre waved the door closed with an irritated snarl. "Let him go."

"But Boss..." Duo began. "The rules say--"

"I said let him go! I hope he gets into heaven just so I never have to see him again!!"

Wufei and Duo blinked in sync. "Boss...." Duo said slowly. "We're concerned..."

"About what?" Quatre snapped.

"Well.....and I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason for this... but you sounded like you.... well you sounded like you were a bit attached, ummmm.... a bit more attached to Trowa then you let on."

"Meaning???"

"You didn't lie to him?" Wufei asked skeptically, a trace of contempt in his voice. "You care about him? Pathetic."

"What was that?" Quatre roared. "How dare you insolent brat, criticize me...."

"Woah, woah, Sir...." Duo said stepping in between the devil and his minion. "Look I think what Wufei is trying to say is.... maybe you need a vacation."

"A vacation?!?!"

The elevator door opened up behind him with a condescending *ding*.

"Yeah....I think the stress has gone to your head, Sir. You think you're in love with this Trowa.... Well you've been worrying us for a while now, so myself and Wufei talked it out... And we decided that it's in the best interest of the underworld if you....took a break."

"Took a break..." Quatre repeated. "What are you getting at Duo?"

"We can't have the devil developing mercy now can we? You haven't been nearly as evil as you used to be." Wufei snapped.

"Well, he's a homosexual, so obviously he's still a little evil," Duo nodded, "But nevertheless this is for your own good.... Bye!"

"Bye--?" His question was cut off as two pair of hands pushed him roughly into the elevator behind him just before the doors closed. Quatre sat on the soft velvet floor, totally shocked and watching in horror as the elevator began in slide up. "Hey!!!" he screamed. "You can't do this to me!!!!"

+

Well it just turned out that they could do this to him, Quatre realized as he blew the steam from his mug of hot chocolate. "I've lost everything...." he mumbled. "I don't even know where to begin, or if I should begin at all."

"I'm sorry..... about what I said.... and about getting you kicked out of hell," Trowa replied soberly.

"Yeah..... I'm sorry about staining your immortal soul....."

Trowa shrugged, "Like I said, I'm not Christian...."

The wind blew lazily threw Quatre's hair, which seemed very heavy and depressed lately, as he took another sip of his drink. "Well.... I suppose I could become a lawyer."

Trowa nodded, "You'd be very good with that."

"Trowa...?"

"Aa?"

"I meant it before.... I really do love you. Doesn't that suck? I have convinced millions of demons that love was the most horrible thing in the world and then what happens?" he laughed. "Still....I meant it. I do love you."

"And....you can never go back?" Trowa asked weakly. It was a sensitive subject and the last thing he wanted was to upset Quatre.

Quatre shook his head, "Nope..." Then his eyes glittered like they had been set on fire and he exploded with laughter. "Trowa! Trowa! Do you know what this means??"

Trowa dumbly shook his head, "No. What's the matter?"

"I'M GOING TO HEAVEN!" Quatre shouted in between giggles.

"You....you... Can't they do something?"

Quatre shook his head, giddy with excitement, "Nope, nope. I've been officially banned from Hell and Purgatory. And you know what they say...'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'? They have to let me in. God gets really pissed when souls don't cross over....And if one did crossover and didn't have anywhere to go, they have let him in...that whole 'I was hungry and you gave me food' clause."

"I didn't realize heaven was so anal."

Quatre nodded happily, "Oh it is, it is.....But it will be wonderful, my love. Imagine you and me in eternal bliss together." He laced his fingers with Trowa's, "I love you."

"I'm glad," Trowa smiled. "But what do we do until then?"

Quatre's laughter subsided and he stared very solemnly into the sunset they were overlooking. "I don't know.... I suppose I'll have to find a job..."

"I was thinking," Trowa began. "A while back, that is..... I'm really not very good at this monk stuff, I was thinking of opening a flower shop."

Quatre grinned and nodded, "I like flowers. Flowers are pretty."

And so the devil and the monk went into business together selling pretty flowers to people in a completely secular way. And they lived happily ever after. The moral of the story is obviously....

Crime doesn't pay, flowers are pretty.

Although.....I suppose you could also claim that the moral of the story is....

Religious devotion doesn't pay, flowers are pretty.

Conclusion, flowers are pretty.

Epilogue:

St. Peter looked over the never ending line of those wishing admission to heaven with irritation. He always got the crappy jobs didn't he? One of God's chosen ones his ass. Since when was maintaining a never ending line of people considered an honor?

And the dental plan sucked, too.

"All right, you two. Stop bouncing around like that... you're shaking the clouds here. Now...." he skimmed through his large book. "Ah yes, here we are...Trowa Barton and Quatre Raberba Winner," he studied the book carefully. "Well....the records here are.....unusually vague....but you two seem to be in excellent spiritual condition. Very pure, only slight blemishes for----"

St. Peter blushed and quickly dropped the subject. He adjusted his glasses and stared down at the two candidates. One of quiet and calm with a slight smirk on his face, the other was practically bouncing on the clouds. This wasn't a particularly unusual response for souls going to heaven, it was just the blonde one seemed exceptionally pleased with his status. The kind of happiness that one did not see from candidates too often. Too many people thought they were entitled to go to heaven, rather than hoping and praying that it would happen. St. Peter smiled -- these kind of things made the job worth it. "You there..." he looked down at his book. "Quatre is it?"

Quatre froze and gazed up at St. Peter with the biggest most innocent eyes he could muster. "Yes, sir?"

"Have I seen you before? You look so familiar...."

"N-no sir! I've never, ever, ever been here before...never."

"Well....I must be thinking of someone else then....all you mortals look alike after a while."

"Yes, sir," Quatre nodded.

"All right," St. Peter concluded. "Everything seems to be in order here, you can go on in... Congratulations."

The blonde one screeched with joy and proceeded to drag the quiet one threw the golden gates. "Dad! Dad! I'M BACK!!!!!!! MWHAHAHAHA!!!! Trowa let's go play in the ball pit!!!"

-The End-

[part 3] [back to Singles a - k]