When I woke, hours later, much
later than I had thought I would sleep; I ached in every joint and muscle,
it felt like I had a bad case of the flu. I felt bruised. Ok, so my face
was bruised, I don't mean that. I mean, all over, inside and out.
Inside my head.
I just lay still for a while, and tried to sort it all out. Hero was gone;
off with Trowa on a mission. That hit me first, left me feeling cold and
alone and a little irritated with myself for being so... dependant.
I remembered... Gods, I remembered threatening Heero Yuy and living to
tell the tale. I had to grin, remembering the wide-eyed look on his face.
I hunted back through memory a little further. I remembered being in Heero's
arms and thinking that I had never in all my life felt safe before. Oh
Gods! I remembered Heero opening his arms to me with Wufei sitting right
there watching us. I thought my heart would burst with that sweet recollection.
I stared at the ceiling for a bit and let that one replay...a couple of
times. I will take that memory to my grave as my most cherished possession.
But why was Wufei in my room with us? I could remember him... hitting
me. Why the hell did Wufei belt me like that? I frowned hard, trying to
dredge up the details. Wufei hit me because I was lost somewhere... somewhere
dark, and really cold... how'd I get there?
Duo, who ... ?
Man, I needed a shower. My hair felt positively gross. I forgot to re-braid
it last night and I hate when I sleep with it down; it takes forever to
get the tangles out. I got slowly out of bed and limped to the bathroom;
my knee's always stiff when I first get up. I wondered if it would ever
be normal again. A hot shower would help that too. I thought I heard a
sound in the hall, but nobody appeared in my doorway, so I went on in
and started my shower, taking the extra time to put conditioner in my
hair and comb it through. After I got out and scrounged up some clean
clothes, I almost felt like a human being again. Most of the aches and
pains had faded a little, except for a pounding headache I couldn't seem
to shake. I'd have to ask Quatre for some aspirin.
I braided my hair, wet as it was, and went down to see if I could find
some food. I damn near tripped over a desk chair that was sitting right
outside my bedroom door. Well, well; wonder which one of them Heero threatened
into babysitting me? I leaned down, inspecting the seat and finally found
a telltale strand of black hair. What a surprise; Wufei. Then again, Heero
probably made him feel guilty about the fact that he had tried to cave
the side of my head in, even if it had been for a good cause.
I waffled between pissed off that they all obviously felt like I was made
out of spun glass, and glowingly happy that Heero cared enough to think
about me even on his way out to a mission. I settled on mildly amused
and determined that at some point before this day was out, I would give
Wufei a run for his money with a little game of catch-me-if-you-can.
I pointedly put the chair back in Wufei's room, and went down to the kitchen
where I found my two keepers with their heads together over a sink full
of dirty dishes.
I crept up behind them, in an evil temperament, and said rather loudly,
"Hey guys! The mad Gundam pilot just escaped his room!"
Neither one of them so much as flinched, robbing me of any satisfaction
at all; though Quatre did blush furiously. I guess that was all the revenge
I was going to get.
They turned as one toward me, and Wufei started to retort with something
that would have been incredibly clever and the two of us could have word-sparred
for the next half an hour. But then they saw my face and Quatre just made
a little 'oh' sound, and Wufei's smirk turned into a guilty frown. I had
meant to look in the mirror, but had forgotten.
"Maxwell, I am very... "
"Don't you dare tell me you're sorry." I cut him off; I was
really tired of people looking at me with their faces wearing that particular
expression. "You did what had to be done. I owe you thanks; you do
not owe me an apology."
I really didn't want to talk about this anymore; it made it hard to ignore
the place in the back of my head where the black hole resided. Didn't
want to go there, Hu-uh, no way, no thank you sir.
Duo, who... ?
"I am starving." I said and turned away from them to rummage
in the refrigerator. I came up with an apple and a can of soda and headed
out the kitchen door with a backward wave. "Goin' to the hanger!
See ya later!" I almost laughed out loud, hearing Wufei cursing under
his breath as he scrambled to get out of the dishwater and get dried.
I certainly hoped he didn't think I was going to make this easy on him.
"Duo!" I heard Quatre yell, "You can't seriously call that
breakfast?" But I was already off the back porch and gone from their
sight. I ducked behind the hedge and worked my way to the driveway where
I parked my butt on the hood of the first car I came to. I sat and munched
on my apple and waited. I heard Wufei come charging out the door and start
running down the path towards the hanger. He didn't go far before figuring
out I should have still been in sight. I could just see his feet through
the bottom of the hedgerow; he stopped his headlong run and just stood
for a moment. It took him just a second to think of the cars and then
he was running back toward the driveway. I almost jumped down and took
the game to the next level, but at the last second, I restrained myself
and was still sitting there, ready to greet him with an innocent smile.
"What's the matter, Wufei? Lose something?"
The look on his face was absolutely priceless; a mixture of 'Oh thank
God!' and 'I'm going to kill you!' all rolled into one.
"Maxwell... " came the warning growl and I took another bite
out of my apple, beaming at him.
"What? You wanna walk to the hanger with me?" I hopped off the
car and started back toward the path. "Shoulda said something; I
would have waited for you."
"You are impossible." He glared, but fell into step beside me.
"Not impossible, just... irrepressible."
He just snorted. He was on my left, the side with the split lip and the
bruised cheek. I could see him stealing glances at my face out of the
corner of his eye. I felt kinda bad, it was obviously really bothering
him. But neither one of us seemed to quite know what to say, so we made
the walk in silence. I finished my apple by the time we got to the hanger,
and I tossed the core in a trashcan as we went through the door, and then
popped the can of soda, downing a good portion of it while I flipped on
the lights and started toward my Gundam.
"That stuff will rot your stomach lining out." He frowned at
me, obviously not in a good mood.
"Yes, but I will die with a pleasant caffeine buzz." I grinned
at him and keyed my password into Deathscythes remote. Nothing happened.
The hatch did not open. There was no sound of hydraulics, no hiss of pressurized
"That son of a bitch." I snarled, having to resist the urge
to throw either the can or the remote across the hanger. I tried it one
more time, just to be sure, with the same lack of results.
I was extremely pissed. Had Heero's Gundam been sitting there in the hanger,
it would probably have had its cockpit filled with jello or whipped cream
or guacamole dip or something equally vile. But it wasn't, so I downed
the rest of my soda and hurled the can as far as I could.
"Oh, I don't think so, Heero Yuy. I do not bloody well think so."
I muttered and went to get a stool out of the office. It was going to
be a long afternoon. Behind me, I heard Wufei sigh heavily and go to make
his own seating arrangements. I forgot about him. I forgot to be irritated
about him shadowing me like a mother hen. I forgot the headache. You do
not lock me out of my own damn Gundam. You especially do not do it freaking
I sat down and began hacking into my own hacked into Gundam. I was really,
really... annoyed. After a couple of hours, Wufei came and tried to get
me to give it up. I ignored him and eventually he stopped talking to me.
Several hours after that, Quatre showed up with food and drinks and I
heard him speaking softly with Wufei. I wordlessly accepted a sandwich
and a glass of juice, wishing he had brought more soda. Quatre kept Wufei
company for a while, before shaking his head and wandering back to the
house. Through it all I continued to key in password after password; shinigami,
godofdeath, stayput, baka, fuckyou, fuckoff, letmein, imgonnakillyou,
I tried random number sequences, I tried dates and times and old passwords,
I tried Japanese, I tried Chinese, I keyed until my fingers cramped. I
was getting close, I could feel it. My mind was getting to that weary
point where it made intuitive leaps all on its own, I could feel it almost
ready to fall into place. What the hell, Heero? What were you thinking?
Why would you do this... again? Stupid question. I knew why the
hell he did it. The same reason he did it last time. He didn't think I
was up to taking care of myself and he was afraid. Afraid something would
go wrong on his mission and I would try to go after him. My fingers moved
almost of their own accord across the keypad, and above me, Deathscythes
hatch hissed open. I looked down at the last sequence I had keyed, the
final try in a thousand other guesses, knowing what I had keyed, but needing
to see it anyway; myheart.
Damn it, Heero, that's hitting below the belt. I carefully lay the remote
down on the workbench and just sat staring off into space. Not fair. Not
fair. I really wanted to be mad at him. I really hate being treated like
that. Like a small child who needs to be watched over and protected. I
haven't been a child for a very long, long time. I've never needed anyone
to watch over me. Never had anyone to watch over me. And maybe, that's
why I found, somewhere deep down inside, I liked the feeling, I didn't
want to like it as much as I did, but it's an easy feeling to get used
to. And that's why I hated being treated that way; because it made me
like it. Who the hell was I? I didn't feel like me, anymore. I
didn't want everybody looking at me as though I was going to explode any
minute. I didn't want this place in my head that I couldn't look at except
out of the corner of my minds eye. I knew what was there. I did. I knew
it, in my heart, but if I didn't look directly at it, it stayed where
it belonged and we kept our uneasy truce. Except at night. But not since
I opened my heart and let Heero in. The truce didn't seem to be in effect
any more. After all this time, all bets were off... and I was afraid.
The dark place in my head was getting bigger and it was getting harder
I closed my eyes and leaned my head into my hands. The headache was back
with a pounding vengeance. I really needed to get my shit together. I'm
a soldier. I couldn't afford to be this... weak. Heero thought I was strong;
how long before he got tired of taking care of me. How long before I lost
his respect and then his love?
That black hole in my head was shifting and roiling around like a ...
balloon? A... bubble? A... blob... of black oil. It was like driving along
and seeing something dead in the middle of the road; you didn't really
want to look as you got closer and closer, you could try to not let your
eyes focus on it, but in the end you had to look and see what it was before
it wandered into traffic. I tried not to look, except out of the safe
corners of my attention, but it was ... there. Demanding my notice. I
needed to look, just to see if it really was getting bigger. I needed...
Duo, who r...
"Maxwell?" Wufei's hand was on my shoulder, squeezing firmly
and I came back into the here and now with a start. I found my hands shaking
and my body slick with sweat. I thought my head was going to explode;
the headache had gotten so much worse. On my shoulder, Wufei's fingers
tightened slightly, "Duo?" he asked, his tone getting anxious.
I guess I scared him. I guess I scared me.
"S'ok." I murmured, "Just a real bad headache." I
wished I could tell him how glad I was he had been there. How near I had
come to a tumble down the rabbit's hole... again.
"May we, then," he said dryly, "return to the house?"
I chuckled and his hand released, leaving a spot that felt chill in its
absence. He moved toward the door and I hopped off the stool to follow,
and promptly fell on my face on the damn concrete floor. How bloody mortifying.
Wufei was there in an instant, turning me over and hauling me into his
lap before I had a chance to even start levering myself up.
"Duo! Duo, are you all right?" There was fear in his voice and
his dark eyes were full of concern. I wanted to shrivel up and blow away
on the wind.
"I'm Ok. I'm all right. Relax; my knee just gave way, that's all."
I struggled to rise, feeling my face getting hotter by the second. "Didn't
realize how long I'd been sitting still."
He pulled me up and had to hold me steady while I got my feet under me.
My knee was stiff and felt swollen. It came to me suddenly that I had
skipped my exercises yesterday after learning about Heero and Trowa's
mission, and hadn't done anything with it today either.
"Damn, 'Fei, I can't believe how fast it goes to hell when I don't
work with it." It was a sign of my disconcertion that I let the pet
name slip, and a measure of his worried state of mind that he let it pass.
I tried pulling away, but he wouldn't let go of my arm. Which was really
just as well, because the leg was trembling under me like it was about
to buckle again.
"Let me help you." He finally said after a few minutes of my
trying to force the stupid thing to hold me up, and I didn't have a lot
of choice but to let him pull my arm around his shoulders and take some
of my weight.
With his help, I began limping my way back toward the house; I could not
believe it when I realized it was already dark out. The air was cool and
clear, and in the distance there was the faint glow of the light on the
kitchen porch. It seemed like a hell of a long way.
"Man, I am so tired of being so bloody helpless." I grumbled
after a few yards, just to break the uncomfortable silence that had risen
"You are far from helpless, Maxwell." He grunted, a hint of
amusement in his voice, as we worked our way up the path. We found it
difficult to work out a walking rhythm. He seemed uncomfortable at first,
putting his arm around my waist, but there really wasn't any place else
he could put his hand with my arm thrown around his shoulders. It took
a number of yards before we matched strides and stopped bumping into each
other. I had to smile, thinking about Heero helping me. There had never
been any awkwardness; it had been easy for us to move together from the
first time I had offered him my support when he had been the one who needed
it. But thinking about Heero just made my heart ache, so I stopped.
I thought about asking why he didn't offer to go get one of the cars,
but I suspect he was afraid to leave me alone with my Gundam now that
I had cracked the password and could get into it again. Instead, I said,
"I'm sorry." It came out kind of tight voiced, though I hadn't
meant it to.
"For what?" he asked, glancing over at me briefly.
I sighed, "Everything." I tilted my head back and looked up
at the stars, wishing the pounding in my head would go away, "Just
every damn thing."
"You have nothing to be sorry for."
"Doesn't feel that way."
He sighed, "It's only been a few months, give yourself a little more
I was feeling grumpy, "Feels like it's been for bloody ever."
He chuckled lightly, "Only to you. Your recovery has been... impressive."
Well, damn. I couldn't say anything for a minute.
"Thanks for... for being around, man." I managed after a bit.
He just grunted and we finished the walk in silence. By the time we reached
the house, the exercise had loosened things up a little, and I was able
to straighten up and walk on my own. Though I noticed Wufei's hand hovering
near my elbow.
Once inside, I went straight to the kitchen sink where I knew a bottle
of aspirin was kept and downed several of them right there. Behind me,
I heard Wufei digging ice out of the refrigerator and turned to see him
making up an ice pack.
"Not yet, I have got to go down to the gym for a while."
He stopped and I detected a slight rise and fall of his shoulders as he
heaved a silent sigh just before he turned around to face me. He tried
to put an interested look on his face and I almost laughed.
"Wufei, look;" I decided to stop playing games, "I know
damn well Heero set you on baby sitting detail, but that doesn't mean
you have to follow me every stinking place I go, Ok?"
His face darkened, "Maxwell, I swore on my honor that I would allow
no harm to come to you."
"I am going downstairs into the gym. I am not even leaving the house.
I am going to do some work on the leg press, and I will probably spend
some time on the stationary bike. If my knee loosens up enough, I will
use the treadmill. I am usually there for an hour to an hour and a half.
There is no reason... ."
But there was just no arguing with the look of resolve on his face. Gods;
I was a freaking mission.
"I missed my morning kata." He said simply, "I can do it
while you exercise your knee."
So off we went together and spent the next hour on opposite sides of the
gym, sweating out our own private frustrations in silence. I knew he was
tired and didn't really want to be down here, so I cut it short on the
hour and just sat and watched him finish the routine he had started before
rising and heading for the door, knowing he would follow me back upstairs.
I was starting to get irritated again.
I stopped off in the kitchen for another soda and my ice pack and headed
up the stairs with my shadow tailing along behind. At the top of the stairs,
I couldn't resist turning and leering at him,
"I'm going to go rinse off in the shower, do I need to get enough
towels for both of us?"
I thought he would choke. All I got was an incoherent growl. He swept
passed me into his own room, but I noticed he left the door open. I did
not leave mine open; I shut it rather firmly. I knew it wouldn't last,
but it was nearly the first moment of solitude I had managed all day and
I heaved a sigh as a little of the tension ebbed away. I didn't wash my
hair again, but I did get into the shower and rinsed away the sweat of
my workout. I pulled on a pair of running shorts when I got out; I had
a feeling I would be having company before the evening was over, and sure
enough, when I came out of the bathroom, my door was standing open again.
I thought I would scream. I was getting frustrated and annoyed and felt
like I was on the verge of shattering into a million pieces. The stupid
aspirin hadn't helped the damned headache one bit, if anything, it was
worse. I just wanted to be left alone for a while. I needed to think,
I needed a little space, I needed... Heero. No. I had to be honest with
myself; I wanted Heero. Big difference, Maxwell; I chided myself.
I needed to settle down. I took a deep, calming breath and let
it out. Just forget he's there, that's what I had to do. Just go on about
my business, let him sit out in the damn hall all bloody night if he wanted
to, what the hell difference did it make to me?
I went to my desk and sorted through my little stack of CDs until I found
one of the few that weren't what I liked to think of as 'battle music'.
I put in a McKennett and turned the volume down low, I think Quatre had
already gone to bed. Something soft and soothing. I went to the bedside
table and snagged the can of soda and the ice pack I had brought up with
me, flipped off the bedroom light and went over to the window, I raised
it, making sure to make enough noise that Wufei wouldn't think I was trying
to be quiet and sneak out, and let in a soft gust of wind. The moon was
near full and shone faintly in through the clouds. I pulled the desk chair
over and sat in a puddle of silver light, sipped my drink, and let the
night breeze play with the wisps of hair around my face. I parked the
ice pack half-heartedly on my knee, closed my eyes and tried as hard as
I could to relax.
It was harder, without something to occupy my attention, to ignore that
place in my head. It was definitely getting bigger. Did bigger imply stronger?
Was I making a mistake in trying to ignore it? There hardly seemed to
be room in my head for the both of us anymore. The truce that had lasted
all these years was unquestionably off. Just thinking about it was making
my heart speed up in my chest. I sipped at my soda and tried to calm back
down. Behind me, Loreena sang of the dark night of the soul, and I had
to wonder why in the hell I had picked out this CD. Was I trying to calm
down, or was I trying to depress myself? I grimaced into the watery moonlight,
there really wasn't any getting around this, was there? What was I so
damned afraid of? I kinda-sorta knew what was in that thrice-damned black
hole; it was something I had freaking survived once, why couldn't I just
face it down and be done with it?
I finished my drink, quietly set the can down in the trashcan, dumped
the sweating ice pack on the windowsill, and went over to lean in the
bedroom doorway. As expected, the chair was back, and Wufei was sitting
there, leaning against the wall right beside my door, his arms folded
across his chest.
"How long is this mission supposed to last?"
"About a week."
"What are you planning on doing? Not sleeping for the whole week?"
"If it is necessary."
I would like to say I was dumbstruck, but it really wasn't any more than
I was expecting from him.
"Baka." I muttered and walked out of my room and into his. As
if on queue, he rose and followed me.
"Maxwell, what the hell are you doing?"
"Just shut up and get the other end of this." I had hold of
the mattress off his bed, and waited patiently for him to pick up his
end. He just stood, hands on hips and glared at me.
"Don't be an idiot, Wufei. If you continue like this, by the end
of the week an arthritic, half blind old woman could allude you, much
less a street rat like me."
He continued to glare, refusing to move and my new found calm started
to wear a little thin, "Look. I am conceding that you feel it is
necessary to remain in my stinking presence every moment until Heero comes
back. Will you bloody well concede that you have to freaking sleep?
Believe me, if I have one of my patented nightmares, you will not
sleep through it." A small battle of wills ensued, but even Wufei
is not stubborn to the point of lunacy, and finally, he grabbed the other
end of the mattress and we hauled it into my room.
It would only fit in the space near the door, and I would have to be careful
not to step on him if I had to get up and go to the bathroom. There were
a few, bizarre, uncomfortable moments in which I decided to sleep in my
shorts and he stripped off shirt and shoes and settled on sleeping in
his pants. I crawled wearily into my bed and resisted the urge to say,
good night John-boy, and instead, just turned my back on him and
tried to forget he was there. On the desk, Loreena was still singing and
I just let it go; the player would stop at the end of the CD anyway. She
sang us both gently to sleep.
I got my usual couple of hours before the dreams started. It wasn't really
a bad one, not like some of them could be; I've had worse. One of the
ones that is so old I was almost numb to it. Not one of the mind bending
ones that I had to fight kicking and screaming to get out of, but one
of the soul shredding ones that would leave me mired in a fog of depression
for the rest of the day. It still brought me jerking awake and I found
myself sitting up in the middle of the bed, sweat drying on my skin and
my heart pounding in my ears. I glanced down at Wufei and he seemed to
have slept through it. But then, as I had promised, this dream wasn't
what I thought of as one of the 'patented' ones, he wouldn't have slept
through one of those.
I pulled the one knee that would bend that far, up to my chest, hugged
it, and just sat and got my breath back. I had a ritual that went with
this dream. It was a dream of before I was Duo Maxwell, before I really
had a name at all. When the plague came through and wiped out so many
of Solo's gang, before I stole the serum. I pulled up the faces of each
of the dead and put a name to it, all the little ones. I was probably
the last living soul now that still remembered them, and I swore I would
never forget; Ren, Py, Dart, Cat, Cutter, Mary Lynn, Mad Dog, Race,
Eel, Long Tom, and of course, Solo. The ones who died on my
watch; the beginning of the blood on my hands. I let my defenses down
to remember the children and the thing in my head pounced.
I suddenly became aware that the bubble that contained what I didn't want
to deal with, was stretching thinner and thinner, oil swirling on its
surface, about to burst. There was more of it in my head now than there
was of me. I panicked.
"Fei?" my voice wasn't much more than a choked cry, and I was
ashamed and at the same time, scared he wouldn't come.
He was up and heading toward me even as his groggy voice was asking, "Duo?
How do you tell somebody that the secret trap door inside your head is
about to fall open and you're going to pitch face first into the rabbit
hole from hell and oh God don't let me go there alone; I'm scared and
I don't want to know?
"It's time." Was all the warning I was able to give him and
I devoted all my strength to not letting that bubble break.
He scrambled onto the bed and wrapped his arms around me from behind,
pulling me into what was meant to be an anchoring embrace. I will never
as long as I live tell him that it was the feeling of his bare chest coming
into contact with the bare skin of my back that made the bubble explode,
and hurled me into the gaping maw of memory.
I heard his voice, faint and far away, yelling for Quatre and that was
the last thing I remember before the rabbit hole swallowed me whole.
Duo, who raped you?
+ flashback +
You didn't go out alone. It
was one of the rules. There was a certain safety in numbers even when
you were small. It was the whole point to banding together. Solo made
the rules to keep us safe. But it was Solo who told me I had to break
the rules. Things had been very lean, and we hadn't had food in days.
"You do better on your own, kid." He grinned at me, punching
me lightly on the arm. "You're the best little pick pocket I've ever
had in the gang."
I glowed with pleasure; Solo thought I was the best! I wouldn't let him
down; I'd bring home enough credits to feed us for days. He'd see! I'd
make him proud.
So off I went into the streets alone, even though it was against the rules.
But times were hard, and the little ones were hungry. It was up to me
and Solo to take care of them. But I was one of the best, and I
was doing really well, probably had near enough to maybe buy some of the
out-dated K-rations the troopers sold in their off hours. I was feeling
really proud, and couldn't wait to get back and show Solo. He'd be happy,
and the whole gang would go to sleep with full stomachs tonight.
But I got careless. They caught me going back. I was in a hurry and forgot
the other rule about never going where there wasn't at least three ways
out. They got me in an alley. I was quick, and I almost got away, climbing
over a fence, but they were way bigger and when one of them caught
my ankle, I was hopelessly trapped; I never stood a chance.
"Where you goin' in such a hurry, honey?" a gruff voice asked,
dangling me upside down by that ankle. I squirmed and they laughed, then
the other one took hold of my hair and the first one let go of my leg,
letting me fall hard on the concrete.
There were two of them, off duty soldiers, and a little drunk. The more
I twisted and turned, the more they laughed. My knees and my hands stung
from being dumped on the ground, but I hardly felt the pain through the
suffocating fear that had hold of me. They let go of my hair when I started
The first one, a huge, bear of a man leaned down and almost gently stroked
the tangled strands of my hair out of my face. He seemed extremely excited,
which just made it more confusing, "Come on, honey, we're not so
bad, are we?" and he leered at me in a way that made my legs turn
The second man, a blond, not as tall, but just as hugely intimidating
suddenly started getting angry. "That ain't no girl!" he grabbed
my hair again, and jerked my head back so they could see me better in
the low light.
The bear man, if anything, seemed to be more pleased, "So?"
he leaned conspiratorially toward his blond companion, and said something
that made no sense, "You think the young girls are tight...
They pulled me a little further into the alley and suddenly there was
a knife in the first ones hand. A great, huge, military knife. I started
to whimper, they were going to kill me, I was sure of it. If only it had
been that simple.
Instead, his hands replaced the blonds wrapped in my hair, and he began
cutting my clothes away. My mind wasn't processing fast enough, I couldn't
figure out what was going on. Somewhere in there, I started screaming
for Solo, but the blond cuffed me in the side of the head until I shut
"Not too hard." Giggled bear-man, "I like to hear to 'em."
He kicked the remnants of an old packing crate over and threw me face
down across it, splintered wood biting into my hips.
"Hold him a minute." He growled, and the hands on me changed.
I heard the sound of the first ones zipper going down. Everything came
into sharp focus and seemed to slow down. I had time to feel the shard
of glass that had gashed the palm of my hand; I could feel stones biting
into my bare knees. The hands of the blond man pressing down on my back
were trembling slightly and they were both breathing hard. The terror
in my chest was expanding, telling me I had to get the hell out of there,
that this was a really bad mess, I had to get away, I had to get
away right now!
I fought for all I was worth, I squirmed and twisted and bucked and started
screaming for Solo again, let them hit me all they wanted. Behind me,
the bear laughed darkly, "Oh, I like it when they fight."
Then it was too late. I was hit with the worst, most agonizing pain I
have ever felt. My screams for Solo became just screams. Never ending
screams that they didn't even seem to care about any more. This was L2
for Gods sake; nobody was coming to my rescue.
My mind could not fathom what in the hell he was doing. In front of me,
blondy had opened his own pants and was stroking his cock, moaning softly.
"Hurry up, damn it, I want my turn." He groaned, his voice full
of something dark and frightening.
It clicked in my head, seeing the man in front of me; I suddenly knew
what the one behind was doing. The pain was tearing me apart, and I renewed
my useless efforts to get away.
"Oh, yeah, kid, that's right; fight it." The bear moaned, and
he was no longer content to leave me pressed into the crate, his hands
caught me around the waist and began pulling me backward to meet his thrusts.
I no longer had a voice, and the pain finally overwhelmed the fight and
I went limp in his hands, but he was passed caring, pounding at me until
I felt him stiffen and something hot gushed inside me. I was sure he'd
killed me. But his plunging thrusts stopped and he jerked out of me, letting
me collapse across the crate, I couldn't have gotten up if I had tried.
I thought it was over, but I was wrong.
"God damn it! Move over!" blondy's voice was coming in gasps
and he scrabbled around to take the position that the bear had been in
just a moment before. I whimpered through a throat that was raw, but they
This one didn't have as much to say as the first one, just grabbed my
hips and impaled me with one hard thrust. It was searing; he was already
worked up to a fever pitch and just pounded away at me, his breath coming
in ragged gasps. I almost slipped into a dark oblivion, but whenever I
came close, the bear would slap at my face and bring me back.
"Wouldn't want you to miss anything." He grinned, washing my
face with the stink of the alcohol on his breath.
Finally, blondy too went stiff and then collapsed across me, his sweaty
chest pressing against my back, taking my breath away.
They got up after a minute and put their clothes back to rights, laughing
together as they started to walk away. Then bear came back and leaned
down and whispered in my ear. "You were pretty good, kid. Maybe we'll
look you up again some time."
They went away and left me lying there, naked and bleeding and whimpering.
Solo came for me not long after, and took me back to one of the hideouts
and cleaned me up and tried to explain. He let me stay in for a few days
and I just lay in my pile of rags and built my black hole. I think that
night Shinigami was born, though he didn't have a name yet.
+ end flashback +
Their voices filtered through
to me first, Quatre was there, and his voice was broken and scared. Wufei
was still with me, voice tight and barely in control.
"Is it... is it over?" Quatre asked.
"I don't know." Wufei answered.
I opened my eyes on the here and now with a shuddering sigh. Wufei was
still behind me, arms bruisingly tight around me. Quatre was with us,
lying across my legs, eyes wide and face pale. I must have fought. Quatre
saw my eyes open.
"Duo?" his voice trembled.
"S'ok." I managed, and my throat hurt. I must have been screaming
My muscles were strung as tight as a bow string, and as the guys eased
their grip on me, it was like the string suddenly broke and I collapsed,
the only thing keeping me upright was Wufeis anchoring hold.
"Told you, you wouldn't sleep through it." I muttered hoarsely
and Wufei let out a shaky breath.
"Maxwell," he said gently, "the dead would not have slept
I would have laughed, but I was afraid it would turn into something else.
In front of me, Quatre was turning to jelly now that it was all over.
He fought for a moment against tears, until I held out an arm for him
and he threw himself against us and sobbed fit to break your heart.
I rubbed his back and breathed soft reassurances, "It's all over,
Quatre. It's Ok. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
Cry for me, little one, cry for me the tears I can't shed for myself.
Grant me a measure of the release I wish I could feel.
"You scared us." He murmured, after a bit, pulling away and
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean for it to happen. You shouldn't have had
Wufei tightened his arms around me and he sounded tense and a little angry,
"Maxwell, will you stop apologizing?"
I managed a small smile, "Ok, Ok, I'm sor... "
Quatre actually giggled a tiny bit, I think from some look on Wufeis face
that I couldn't see. Wufei sighed.
"Can't help it." I shrugged, and Wufei finally began to unwind
from around me. He let me slip gently back onto my pillows and moved to
sit on the side of the bed.