Author's Note: Well, here's the monster I promised you guys... This is written with one of my best friends and favorite authors, Keiko. (and I'm still waiting for you to mail me your fics so I can put them on my site, Kitten *poke* They *are* good, damn it). It's a oneshot. A 15 page oneshot but a oneshot none the less. ^^ I hope you enjoy!!!!
Warning: Violense. Lemon. Sap. Sappy Lemon. (O.O;;;;) Possible confusion. Flashbacks Within Flashbacks. (*sweatdrop*) Original Evil Guy.
Disclaimer: Really!!! You would think with that much money the creators wouldn't MIND if I borrowed them. They don't need MY chunk change, too, damn it!!
Pairings: 1x2

"..speech.."
//..thoughts..//
*..emphasis..*
::..flashbacks..::
~*..flashback within a flashback..*~

Heero Yuy written by: Tanith
Duo Maxwell written by: Keiko
Amatsu Mikaboshi written by: Tanith

Shades of Memory

His brow furrowed in concentration, hands held cupped before him as he stood in the center of thirteen wide stone blocks, his dark blue tunic hanging loosely from his shoulders, belted at the waist. He didn't know where the clothes came from but they never failed to come, every time he out grew his old ones. The stones formed a circle around him, a sanctuary hidden from the outside world by a dense cloak of various trees. The air began to swirl around him, rifling his dark brown hair, blowing it into his dark blue eyes, all but blocking his view but for tiny spaces in the mess of strands. A small glowing ball materialized in the center of his cupped hands hovering there for a moment before it floated outward. It spread into a circle before him, the inside of the now thin white glowing line was black as night. He fell to his knees in front of the circle, completely drained, a small spark of hope in his eyes. Within the darkness, a small violet spec of light danced, growing slightly larger and then vanishing as the thin form of a human appeared. It floated slightly above the ground, an unnatural glow emanating from the figure, a glow that was soft and yet harsh at the same time. Black silk wrapped around the form, seemingly with a life of it's own. Long strands of chestnut hair swirled around a delicate heart-shaped face. Head rising, hauntingly violet eyes blinked open, falling upon his summoner, a single word falling from thin lips. "Heero."

The weakened boy raised his face, looking up at the standing figure from where he knelt, his hair falling away from his eyes gracefully. "Hai," he murmured, surprised his name was known. But then, it figured. He had always been told that he was the only one that had been chosen to call upon this god in centuries, at least five hundred years but the exact length of time was unknown. He supposed he had just proven them right. His dark blue eyes darkened almost rebelliously before his head bowed to the figure, his lips moving. "I am in need," he forced out, unused to expressing such things. When he had been around people it had been easier, he had been a warm and open child. But his village had been destroyed years ago and he had not needed to speak of anything in what seemed like an eternity.

The darkness behind the deity disappeared, the normal daylight filtering it's way through the thick foliage that surround the circle of stones, his feet finally meeting the stone floor. The previously swirling silk and mass of chestnut locks settled. Moving a few steps closer to the boy on the ground, he looked down into the fiery cobalt eyes. "In need of what?" He moved even closer still, taking the boy's perfectly sculpted cheek into his hand, violet eyes sparkling. "I am yours to control, Heero."

//Control? Iya... This is Shinigami, a god, or so the Elders say, a god is not controlled, he controls.// Heero's mind screamed in denial but his face registered none of it. "I am being hunted," he stated in the same flat tone he had used to originally address the boy -- man? -- god. He looked directly into the god's eyes, refusing to bow to the teaching the Elders proclaimed. 'Should you call upon him, keep your head bowed. Submissive. You are nothing to him. You are merely a vessel to a power.' He gazed deeply without seeming to, unable but to notice how captivating, how ethereal the swirling amethyst orbs were. Pure majick.

Sensing the other's confusion, the god smiled down compassionately, a slight sadness gripping at his heart. Shinigami whispered gently, "They don't know everything. Nobody does." Almost longingly he pulled his hand slowly away from the warmth of Heero's cheek. "You summoned me and in doing so I am made to become your servant until you no longer need me." The last words, 'no longer need me', stung as they left his lips. Moving to change the subject, he bowed. "Who is it that hunts you?"

"Amatsu Mikaboshi[1]," Heero stated simply, seemingly unmoved by the turn of events when he was reeling inwardly. This changed... no, it changed nothing. "He has been after me for as long as I can remember, or so it seems," his voice was almost bitter. Almost. "He destroyed my village and he..." Heero stopped. And he what? There was something else, he knew it but he could not find the answer. He never could.

Eyes widening slightly at the name, the god's eyes slid shut, head bowing into a moment of meditation. Small strands of hair fell to frame his face. //Mikaboshi...so you haven't given up. I thought I told you he was mine. I told you not to go near him...not after what you did. Can't you leave him alone? He does not deserve this...// Sighing, Shinigami raised his head, looking almost pleadingly into cobalt depths. "Why?" //Do you remember? You have to remember, Heero. They may be memories from another life but I need you to remember.//

Heero stared into those impossibly wide purple eyes almost defiantly. Purple... Heero had only known one other person to ever have violet eyes... a boy, smaller than himself, visiting him in his dreams when he was a child. "Duo..." the name rose into his mind unbidden and he shook his head, making it flutter away. "Why?" he echoed, almost incredulously. //Shinigami's chosen calls upon him, asking for his help -- the only one chosen to do so in five hundred years -- and he asks why.//

A hope that Shinigami had never experienced before flashed across his face. "Hai. You remember, gods. I told you I would never leave you, and I never did." A grin spread across his lips, and his whole face lit up. He bent over and took Heero's hand in his own. Tracing along an age-old scar with a single finger, he murmured. "Do you remember our promise, Heero? Do you really remember?" He placed their two palms together, so that the identical scars touched.

Connected through the mere touch, Shinigami willed memories of the night they made the blood oath to dance in Heero's mind. "I promised I would see you again. I promised to be here when you needed me." His voice took on a slight hint of desperation. "Do you remember?" There was something there, his gaze on the long-haired god softening only slightly, feeling an odd need to make this god happy. Something tried to peek through his mind at Shinigami's words, but it refused to come as if some force was blocking it, continuously pushing it back into the dark recesses of Heero's head. "I.." he started, then stiffened. "Are you to help me or..." //Or what? You seek someone else? There is none. Alone since you were a young, isn't that how it's been?//

:: A violet eyed child gazed up Heero, watching helplessly as the cobalt-eyed child of only nine winters silently mourned the loss of a family -- an entire village -- but unable to cry. Heero watched the tiny child shake his braided head sadly, lay a hand on his shoulder and walked away, disappearing into the forest that would become Heero's home.::

Sensing Heero's unspoken pain, Shinigami winced slightly. //Oh Heero. So much pain... I should have never left you. You have grown so cold. I can hardly feel you any more. You are so empty...// He dropped the boy's hand suddenly. "I am sorry. I had no right making you remember." Pain clutched at his heart and soul, at the very place he had once held the weakened boy before him so close. //If only I was allowed to show you...// "Heero. I will protect you and help you in whatever way I can. This was why you summoned me, and so it shall be done."

"Hn," he stared almost searchingly at Shinigami, the slightly pained expression on that heart shaped face making Heero want to comfort him, protect him. //Protect a god? Not likely, you cannot even protect yourself.// But hidden knowledge in the back of his mind came forward minutely, a fleeting sensation just like it had always been and nothing more. He found himself reaching back for it, though, trying to draw it out further.

Suddenly, he felt as if his mind was being ripped outward, a torturous burning forming in center of his consciousness. His hands came up to grasp his head tightly, forward further from his position on his knees, an agonized scream clogging in his throat, never breaking free.

Time itself seemed to slow as pain emanated from Heero's falling figure. Moving as fast as only gods could, the violet eyed god dove forward catching the boy before he could hit the ground. The instant he came in contact with the boy, his senses twitched. //Mikaboshi.// Pulling Heero's limp body closer, he whispered. "Heero, wake up. We have to leave now. He's coming Heero. Heero..."

Groaning unintellibly, Heero tried futilely to fight the pain, fight the feeling that he was being ripped apart from the mind outward. //I have to... I need to know... what it is...// "Gods..." was his last coherent thought before he blacked out in his comforting, strangely familiar position in Shinigami's arms.

:: "Who are you?" he asked a little weakly, but completely unafraid of the slight boy that had appeared from nowhere, sitting closely beside Heero's makeshift bed. Heero half lay, propping himself up on his elbows, shivering at the chill air washing his simply clad body. Always cold, but he had no blankets to keep it at bay.

Grinning from ear to ear, the boy's violet eyes danced. "I thought you of all people would know me. You and I have been so close, and yet you have been running from me your entire life."::

"Heero, no! No, we have to get out of here!" He became slightly panicked as the boy's eyes rolled into the back of his head. There was no reply and an eerie silence, surrounded them. A silence that consumed everything, even the forest creatures were deathly still. //No way out. He is here. But where?// The god looked around perceptively, unable to see Mikaboshi.

Laying Heero down gently on the stone ground, he stood up, his feet rising off the ground. A light violet haze appeared around Shinigami, as the darkness returned to the circle. Summoning his power, he tried to create a majickal barrier between the boy and the evil force that was Amatsu Mikaboshi. //You know better than to touch this one don't you Mikaboshi? I thought it was made clear...do you not know who he is?//

A smooth voice echoed through the clearing coming from nowhere and yet everywhere at once, a presence like a thick cloak covering the area. "I know, Dark Angel. That is why I want him so badly, you see? I want you as well." the voice almost soothed, the inflection turning melodic. "And through him, I can have you both... Such pretty creatures..." with a lingering, malicious chuckle the presence disappeared.

Heero's eye lids fluttered slightly, but those haunted cobalt eyes didn't blink open, lost inside himself.

:: "I don't understand what you mean," he whispered in the beginnings of a near monotone. Shivering again he wrapped his arms around himself, wondering how the smaller boy was not cold dressed as he was in only a thin robe. //Where had he come from? Not my village,// he thought, a flash of sadness coming and going quickly within him, but lingering in his eyes. "What's your name?"

"I have many names, Heero." The boy blinked his impossibly large violet eyes innocently. "You can call me Duo. Duo Maxwell."::

Shinigami found himself shivering slightly at the taunting voice that had plagued his nightmares for centuries. //Now is not the time to be afraid. Heero... You have to protect him at all costs. Don't let him have Heero.// Anger overtook the god's features, the violet glow around him flaring. "Iya! You are forbidden from touching him, not while I am standing." Holding out a hand, a silver scythe with twin glowing blades at the end materializes in his palm. The wind picked up and silken strands of chestnut swirled in waves behind the god. Fire rose in the violet orbs and he spoke, softly but with a weight like no other voice. "And I will not fall. Not again. I let him down once, but never again!" His eyes traveled sympathetically towards the limp boy for a moment.

Heero's head lolled from side to side, unaware of his surroundings or the beautiful god standing guard over him. "Duo..." the name fell softly from his lips, his voice filled with an old longing.

:: It had been nearly a year since Duo had started visiting him late at night. They were laying in front of a fire Duo had taught Heero how to make, Heero's arms wrapped tightly around the other boy, drawing his warmth from him. No matter what it seemed he was eternally chilled unless Duo was near. Fidgeting slightly with the end of the boy's long braid, he looked down at the chestnut head and murmured with a childish innocence, "Duo.. I think I love you..." It was true... The braided boy was the only one who had ever managed to truly work his way into Heero's young heart. But then he watched with shocked eyes the smaller boy looked up at him with deeply saddened, ageless eyes... and disappeared.::

Whimpering, Heero curled into a ball, the cold nearly overwhelming in his dreamlike state, settling over him in a frosty blanket. He calmed down again, losing himself deeper still, before this life had ever been thought of, in memories he had never made.

:: He wasn't allowed to be loved. Shinigami could not be loved, except by one. One who had been torn from his existence without a trace and whom he had spent eternity looking for. He had come so close to giving up and then came Heero, those five words had made him sure of it. 'I think I love you.' And Duo ran. Forbidden from telling the boy about his true identity and forbidden from returning that small phrase, it pained him to know he had finally found the one he loved. Was it really love? Or had that love been forgotten ages ago?::

The power had only grown stronger as time passed, Shinigami growing more furious with the other god for being so foolish. Human form surrounded by the violet light he yelled at the invisible presence. "Mikaboshi- he is the missing one!! You are an even bigger fool for thinking you would be able to have him..."

"Missing one or no, I shall have both him and you for my collection, my pretty little Death. Until he discovers the truth, anything... absolutely anything is possible," the voice crooned, deep amusement tinging his words, but its owner still did not show himself.

:: Heero blocked out the words of the old man droning on in front of him, his face an expressionless mask but lending the effect that he was actually paying attention as his mind wandered. Fifteen years spent in the meaningless life and never once had he seen the one he was supposed to worship wholly. He'd never known family, never love, only this odd form of servitude they called privilege. And he was tired of it, but he couldn't leave. Couldn't forsake his duty. That much had been drilled into him from birth.::

Violet eyes sliding shut, the god began to mentally prepare himself for the battle which was now almost inevitable, going into the trance like state that he always fought in. His thoughts wandered to the boy still curled on the ground. //Heero, come back, please...I need you to remember. Remember, god dammit!! Look for the power in you. Heero, I don't know how long I can last.// Eyes flying open, enraged that Mikaboshi thought that he could own either of them, they danced with a surreal fire. "Over my dead body."

"I had a feeling you would say that.. such a pity, I did so want to break you," a lithe, androgynous form materialized across from the slender god, shoulders leaning against one large stone block. His arms were crossed mockingly over his chest as he pushed himself away from the stone, taking a step toward Shinigami. "I suppose I'll just have to settle for him alone," Mikaboshi's plum tinted lips smirked, ruby eyes glinting mischievously in his small, elfin face. The very air around him was alight with mocking humor as his head tilted to the side briefly, short black-cherry hair falling into his eyes.

:: Heero wandered through the woods, breaking an unspoken rule, he knew. He was to never leave the temple. He growled, forcing his way through a thicket of vines, uncaring of where he went as long as he got away from his veritable prison. He was already deep into the forest when he stumbled, tripping over the raised root of a gnarled oak. //I should have just stayed locked up in that hole.// he sighed inwardly, irritably. But as he was picking himself up his cobalt eyes fell on one of the most beautiful creatures he had ever seen.

Amazingly long, glowing chestnut hair fell in waves down his back and framing his heart-shaped face in choppy bangs. Captivating violet eyes stared back at him in amusement, as the taller boy dusted himself off. Heero grunted and glared, not in the mood to try and be nice to the intruder on his eternal bad mood. "Your name," he demanded simply, wondering how the boy seemed to glow before determining it at a trick of the meager light seeping through the trees.

"Why would my name matter to a stranger such as yourself?" The shorter boy, grinned almost chuckling. Violet eyes glinted playfully, looking at the glaring boy as if to be examining his very soul.::

"Coward," Shinigami sneered and grinned mockingly. "So, you finally show yourself Amatsu Mikaboshi... only cowards can't look Death in the face."

The long-haired god looked down at Heero, the violet glow appearing around his limp form, floating slowly off the ground. His body, unaware of the events surrounding him, moved toward an altar like stone at the head of the circle, gently coming to lie on the smooth, cold surface. Feet still not touching the ground, Shinigami moved to stand in front of the stone. "You will have to go through me first."

Crimson eyes twinkled as the boyish god stepped closer. "Is that why you cannot bring yourself to gaze in a looking glass, then? I always did wonder," his lips never lost their sardonic smirk as he slowly unfolded his arms, letting them hang loosely at his sides as if waiting for something. Mikaboshi tilted his head to the side then, lips pursing in laughing imitation of a pout. "Do you honestly think you could keep him from me for long? I'm disappointed. You underestimate me so..."

:: Heero's dark blue eyes narrowed on the laughing face, wondering how he could be so free. "If you will not say your name, why are you here? These woods are forbidden to everyone but Shinigami himself," he droned, repeating what he was taught but not really caring. They were all idiotic, nonsensical rules anyway.

Standing, the long-haired boy walked over to Heero, until he was standing barely inches from him. Running a slight finger down the boy's cheek, he looked even closer into the boy's face. "My, my, they have taught you well. But I am confused," the boy crooked his head slightly, violet staring directly into cobalt depths. "If these woods are forbidden, what are you doing here? Should you not be dead if Shinigami himself wanders these woods?::

"He is mine." The god spoke slowly, but his words could not have held any more confidence. Grinning even wider, almost maniacally he looked the other god in the eye. "Besides I am awfully good at these losing battles. You will not have him until I am dead, and from what I have heard it is pretty hard to kill Death."

:: His glare deepening, Heero resisted the urge to lean into the boy's touch, but he could help but realize the truth of his words. "Hai," he muttered, "taught me well. More like tortured me my entire life with useless knowledge." Heero shook his head and snorted, turning to walk away.::

"It may be hard to kill death, but it is all but impossible to kill evil," Mikaboshi chuckled wryly, stepping closer still, the faint crackle transparent energy gathering on the tip of his fingers. "The world could not survive without evil. It is nothing but one never- ending cycle; good and bad," he sighed, gazing up into Shinigami's violet eyes knowingly. "One wonders how it would last without death. Frightening thought, really... The living dead, crawling the earth, ravaging the innocent. Would be simpler to just submit and save us the trouble," his ruby eyes glittered in a mockery of innocence up at the other god.

"Submission is not one of the things on my list of possibilities at the moment. Never has been," practically growling at the other god, he was growing more anxious for some form of action instead of this pointless arguing. Glancing back at the unconscious form of Heero, pain flashed in his eyes. //Remember anything...it doesn't matter! Just remember something. I know now I can't win, may not even survive, I just want you back. I need your help.// "I may not be able to defeat you, Mikaboshi, but there is one who can. You should know the prophecy well." //But will he be in time..?//

:: The violet boy reached out, grasping Heero's shoulder. Stuttering, he looked pleadingly at the other boy. "D-don't leave, it is so lonely here. Nobody ever comes here anymore. Pl-please?"::

"Prophecy? Yes, I know it," he laughed, inclining his head toward he prone figure behind Shinigami. "But the prophecy cannot be fulfilled without a few key factors and your boy," he put a laughing emphasis on the word, "there does not seem to be progressing."

:: Heero stiffened instantly at the touch, but stopped moving away, an echoing loneliness calling out from deep within him at the boy's admission. Turning toward the almost ethereal boy he crossed his arms almost protectively over his chest, his expression guarded. "I shall stay," he almost whispered, an unexplainable tension inside of him easing slightly.

The boy sighed as though some great weight was upon his shoulders. He looked back to the other, cold boy and grinned. "It is really lonely here, nobody ever wants to stay. And even if they did, it has been forever since anybody has even come here... which leaves one question. Why did you come?"::

+

1. in ancient japan, the god of evil.

[cont]