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Tainted Souls

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Mar. 21st, 2009 | 11:42 pm
location: My desk...
mood: sleepy sleepy
music: Nickleback - some random song

Title: Tainted Souls
Progress: Incomplete
Chapter: 4/?
Genres: Romance, Mystery, Angst
Rating: PG13
Main Pairing: 1xR
Supplemental Pairings: 2xH, 6x9
Summary:The Gundam pilots are on the run from a new faction called the New World Order. Now they are wanted criminals condemned by none other than Relena Peacecraft. The princess has a secret to keep.


Tainted Souls

Part I
Backstabber


“I must be cruel only to be kind;
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.”
William Shakespeare


The moonlight sparkled on her golden hair. Her skin was glowing and as smooth as always. She was like an angel lying on silk sheets as if posed by God. The gossamer curtains fluttered in the draft from the open balcony doors and she shivered in the cool breeze, curling up on herself even more.

He could not help but think this was the perfect position for her to be found in the morning, the red of her blood accented on the ivory bedclothes. What a gruesome portrait that would be. It was a perfect position – with her curled in a fetal position, looking unbelievably beautiful – for her to die.

His heavy limbs began to tremble and he gripped the small gun in his hand. No silencer. He would be dead long before they discovered her – she with him – forever locked in eternity, love and hate.

She whimpered in her sleep and muttered his name.

His head snapped up at this. He felt something akin to a smile light upon him but he could not really tell as his face seemed to now have a permanent frown.

He walked toward her and gently pulled back the curtains and took in her sweet form, listening and counting her deep and even breathing. She shivered again and he touched his warm hand to her cold skin. It was intoxication. Once he touched her, he could not find it in him to stop.

Touching her face, she rolled over in her sleep and slowly opened her eyes. She did not scream at seeing him. She did not jerk away from his touch. He raised his gun with one shaking limb while his other hand she grasped in her own. He was paralyzed by her deep blue eyes, the same color of the water on the beach he had met her. She stared at him, determined, resolved and happy.

“I knew you weren’t dead, Heero.”

He stared into her eyes unable to speak, unable to move.

“‘Come to kill me, Heero?”

She pulled his limp body closer to him. He went to one knee beside the bed, never losing his gaze with her. She leaned over and cupped his cheek. It had been too long since she had looked at him like that. He stared at her milky white hand as she reached for him. She gripped the dog tags around his neck and he allowed himself to be pulled towards her face. With lips only an inch from his, she smiled at him.

“I’ve been wanting… I’ve been waiting… Heero…”

He pounced on her, claiming her lips, his hands taking hers, holding them above her head. His gun clattered to the floor and her body arched against his once before she lay underneath him, as if a prisoner, submissive but with a tiny smile on her face.

She was not afraid of the fire, the hate, the passion in his eyes.

He was not surprised. She never was.

Her wrists squirmed under his and she lifted her head a tiny bit. “Please…”

He kissed her again, slowly and his hands began to travel her body. He placed himself on top of her, ever careful not to crush her with his body weight. Once her hands were released she reached under his thin shirt, fingers feeling the raised scars on his back. He shivered and became still, and with a rough unused voice, angry and hateful, spoke to her.

“You betrayed me.”

Tears flooded her eyes as she reached up her arms to latch them around his neck.

“I know.”

And she pulled him back down upon her, her tongue instigating a kiss, so needy that he succumbed easily.

No more words were needed in the night.

Chapter I
Killer Games


When you stared at me betrayed
A traitor that I am
The love that once was made
Now lies forgotten
Except by our broken hearts
Your rage and my guilt
One day, you will understand my part
In this war I’ve built


He walked in the dark night, avoiding the streetlamps and bonfires of the homeless. He was shaking horribly as his mind played and replayed the events of the night. He hadn’t killed her.

Would he ever? Things would be better then. Revenge would have been made. Things would have seemed so less complicated – at least for him – if she was out of the picture. But he had turned into that same fifteen-year-old boy he had been when he looked at her. She was an angel, beautiful, tragic, and dangerous. He had not been able to end her life, end his confusion and the pain deep in his chest.

She remained alive.

And she had even begged him to kill her.

That was the part that left him puzzled. Why? She had her perfect life, riches, a wealthy, respected suitor and soon to be Queen of the New World Order – what had once been the ESUN. She would have everything.

Except peace.

He snarled. If she had wanted peace then why had she condemned those that fought for her idealistic dream? Why had she loved him, taught him to love, and then handed him over to the enemy. He had become a lab rat, a hunted man, and a shell of human once again.

For these last seven months, he had eaten, drank and breathed revenge against her. Yet he had been unable to even pull a trigger, to even hold on to his gun in her presence.

Turning the corner he saw the dilapidated house a few yards away. The house was dark, silent and seemingly empty – except a man sat on the stairs, illuminated by a single candle sitting beside him. He was flipping a silver pocketknife over and over in his hands and didn’t look up until Heero had stopped in front of him

“What did you do, Heero?” he whispered though the night was full of voices, the growling of car engines, and the shouts of soldiers patrolling the night. “You didn’t…” His voice trailed off, unsure of how to proceed.

“She’s still alive.” Heero muttered, walking past him and up the chipped concrete stairs.

“‘You lying to me?” Duo asked softly, rising and taking the candle with him.

“I didn’t kill her, Duo.” Heero growled out. “I couldn’t even hold on to my damn gun.” He disappeared into the house and Duo stared at the door for a long time before casting his eyes up to see the full moon above him.

“Princess, I hope you really did do what you did for the greater good. ‘Cause this is some shitty life for him.” He turned to go into the house. “And you too, I’ll bet.”
*****

Relena looked up with bloodshot eyes at her bedroom door. Spending half the night crying, she had barely noticed when the sun had come streaming into her room. She lay in bed nude, sore and bruised and very unhappy but not regretful. Just seeing him had been wonderful.

But she had never expected to see him again and live. She had always counted on dying by his hand.

She began to realize that this was much better torture, much better revenge whether he had known it or not. She wanted him to kill her because she was tired of secrets, of war, of fake smiles in the presence of the “needed eradication of rebels against that of peace.” That was, at least, Anton’s words. She did not ever agree to his ideals.

She knew they all were monsters, looking for global domination.

And she had become their puppet. She had had no other choice. She touched the tiny silver locket at her throat that Heero had not even noticed in the night.

Yes, she had had no other choice but to surrender.

“Miss Relena! Miss Relena!” screamed her servant girl that Anton had appointed her as if a Christmas present.

“Just a minute, Maddy,” she said as loudly as she could, but her voice sounded scratchy and thick. All the same she heard the maid’s soft footfalls heading down the stairs.

Relena sighed and forced herself to sit up. Wincing she hobbled out of bed, reaching for her robe draped across her vanity chair. Looking down she spotted her ripped nightgown on the floor and with tears flooding her eyes again, she kicked it as far under the bed as possible.

Another day. Another lie to be told, fake emotions on her drawn face.

Another day.

A day in which she would remember him. Remember what she had done, and why. Remember how much she was alone.

Remember how much she wanted to die.
*****

With the New World Order’s government faction coming to Mars to survey the Terra-forming Project as well as inspect the citizens, the base was on tethers though the project was going well. It was more the citizen inspection that worried many.

The NWO was coming to presumably “seek the needs of people outside of the earth’s gravitational pull.”

However, the truth was they came looking for refugees that might have fled earth and the colonies. They were wanted people with blood money on their head, most of them innocents. And of those that were killed in order to keep the fear of the people down to a minimum, most were of these innocents. With the lack of knowledge on the Gundam pilots, the NWO – especially the Renegord Family – sought to kill needlessly only to keep their own names out of the muck.

It was to the son and heir of this family that Relena Peacecraft was to marry, form a union that was to bring “total peace without the need for soldiers.”

This was the man that his sister had promised herself to.

Indeed, Zechs Marquise – formally Millardo Peacecraft – was not happy with either situation. He was in charge of the project and had not been killed purely on his sister’s begging. She had agreed to marry him, an option in which the negative would be death.

Heero Yuy was not worth all of this.

But as he looked at his wife, striding worriedly beside him, staring down at the baby in her arms, he felt his eyes burn with rage and sadness. Lucrezia adjusted his blanket and smiled weakly as the child blinked up at her with dark blue eyes – seemingly old eyes within an infant’s face. Zechs sighed.

The child was worth it.

Rounding a corner of the base, Zechs saw the bright red uniforms of the New World Order Police and felt his heart grow cold. His wife stalled behind him and shifted to where he was standing between her and the baby. He knew it was by no means for her safety.

The officers stared at the couple before parting as their leader walked through, polished shoes making a snapping noise on the concrete floor.

Anton Renegord was about six inches shorter than Zechs but did not feel his lack of height. He walked with a pompous air and self importance and arrogance wrapped around him. The man’s brown eyes were not warm but cold, like the muddy ground in winter season. His hands were placed almost casually in his navy suit jacket and a small smirk was on his face.

“Good evening, Mr. Peacecraft,” Anton greeted pleasantly. Zechs felt his muscles clench as the man walked straight up to his still body.

“What do you want, Renegord?” He growled out.

The shorter man rolled his eyes and twitched a finger in front of Zechs’ face. “Tisk, tisk, Millardo. I have only come to visit my soon-to-be brother-in-law–” His eyes swayed to the baby staying strangely quiet. “–and to see the bastard, of course.”

“You care nothing for Alex.” Noin spoke up quietly.

“That is where you are wrong. I care a great deal about the brat.”

Anton looked back at his men and nodded. Suddenly, large rifles were aimed at the two. Noin stared with shocked eyes yet her husband’s did not stray from Renegord’s form.

“You are going against your word, Anton. You promised my sister–!”

“I promised that bitch nothing! I only said that he’ll live. I’m not planning on killing him… only you.”

Anton took both hands from his coat and aimed a pistol at Zech’s chest. One man came forward and began to wrestle the child from Noin’s arms. She screamed and then, another man walked forward, knocking her out with the butt of his gun. Anton grinned widely and looked back into Zechs’ eyes.

“I shall have your throne… See you in Hell, Mr. Peacecraft.”

It was as if hard balls of molten fire hit him, once, twice, three times. Zechs was barely aware of hitting the ground, the cold concrete, and the hot liquid that poured from beneath his fingers.

Alex was screaming, shrieks of primal fear of a being that knows only danger and no preparation of what’s to come.

He heard Renegord’s boots walking away from him, mumbles, the clicks of the officers’ heels leaving him behind.

He tried to look at his wife’s crumpled form, knowing that when she awoke he’d be dead. His vision was swirling black, violet, green. He could not look at her face one last time.

He was afraid.

Afraid of the fire in his body swiftly being replaced with ice. Afraid of Lucrezia going on without him. Afraid for Alex, for Relena, for humankind.

Some small part of him wondered why he wasn’t afraid of dying.
*****

Heero laid still, fully clothed, gun by his side. The bed was old, with springs that tended to poke in the night. The coverlet was a scratchy wool fabric and the sheets beneath them were bleached white and stiff. The room was bare, much like the other rooms throughout the dilapidated house only without the few personal touches the others had.

Not to say that their rooms were large and lavishly adorned. Possessions didn’t mean much when you were running for your lives.

Feeling the prods under his hands, the rough blanket, he remembered silk sheets, gossamer curtains, soft skin against his callused hands…

He pursed his lips, cursing his memory.

She should have been dead by now.

He should have been dead by now.

But perhaps, he thought, staring out the window as the faint morning sun trickled in, what would his friends, his only family do without him. Would they survive, riddled with illness, continuing until death as burdened, broken people? They all deserved better.

She should have known most of all.

A small knock came on his door and Heero rose up from the bed. Standing up, placing his gun in his shoulder holster, and walking the few steps it took to cross the tiny space, he opened the door.

The boy stared up at him, dirty black hair falling into big, bright violet eyes. A pad of paper sat on his lap and three markers, black, red and blue, were clenched tightly in his small fist. He smiled demurely up at Heero, standing and the two walked quietly side by side down the flight of creaky stairs.

The sound of bacon frying and the bubbling of the old coffeepot would have seemed cheerful in any other house. In this one, people were very rarely ever cheerful.

“Good morning, Heero,” greeted Hilde Maxwell by the stove, the one and only female in the house. ‘Very rarely ever cheerful’ did not mean that no one tried.

Heero grunted, watching as the boy silently climbed up a small step stool watching his mother cook. The child listened carefully to his mother’s soft voice and he helped in scrambling the few eggs that Hilde had found in the cheapest grocery – and no where near well-stocked as it should be. The boy only winced when the grease popped, burning his pale skin. No tears came to his eyes. He smiled a small smile when Hilde complimented him on being so helpful.

Heero sighed inaudibly.

He stayed still as padded footfalls came into the tiny kitchen and dining area followed swiftly by snapping steps of shoes. He did not look up as Duo came in, kissed his wife and his silent son or when Wufei made his way to the coffeepot.

Duo greeted Wufei and plopped down in the ill matching chair beside Heero’s own. Looking up at his best friend, his brother, and whispered, “Did you sleep well?”

“What do you think, Maxwell?” Heero growled. The question was inane and incredibly stupid on Duo’s part. Perhaps the man was hoping to begin a conversation like a normal family would in the kitchen before the day began.

Or the man had finally gone insane.

“Is she dead?” Wufei deadpanned, ignoring the child’s wide eyes as his head swiveled toward the table. Hilde had gone rigid but slowly, stiffly went back to her cooking. The child stared at his father who glared across the table at the Chinese man.

Heero glared at the table, letting Duo say simply, “No, she isn’t.”

“And why the hell not?” The other answered back, taking a plate from Hilde and ignoring her stare. Hilde stood in place for awhile before she mumbled to her son and shooed him out of the room.

“I’d appreciate it, Chang Wufei, if you would not talk about these matters when my son is in the room,” Hilde spat, placing another measly portion in front of Heero. Duo just sat glaring darkly from behind his short brown fringe.

Wufei nodded curtly and caught eyes with Heero in a way that assumed their conversation was not over.
*****

Relena entered her study with a warm cup of tea to calm her nerves. Seeing him again had been a shock to her system. The utter disbelief that he left her alive felt surreal. It was dream surely. He had been nothing but a dream.

It would have been so easy to believe if her body didn’t speak otherwise.

Sighing, she flipped on the television on her vid-screen and began to make her way to her chair.

“It is my deepest regret to mention that this morning at four colony time, the Mars settlement was ravaged by a group of rebels. There appears to be very few survivors and we of the New World Order offer our condolences to the families who have lost loved ones.”

Her own fiancée’s voice had stopped her cold. Her cup clattered to the floor, shattering at her feet, the liquid quickly spreading. She dropped to her knees, clutching her stomach as it rolled within her.

Anton did it.

“Oh, God…” she muttered and fell down on the carpet, curling into a fetal position, sobbing harshly.

They’re dead. Dead…

“It was for nothing… nothing… nothing!” The pain was too much to bear. “Heero… come back… Heero please…” she sobbed, clutching the locket around her throat. “…come and… and… kill me!”



Tainted Souls
Part I
Backstabber

Chapter II
Secrets, Lies, and Alibis


Maybe I’m a loser
Caught up in this game
Maybe I’m a freak
Yet I just stay the same
Maybe I need just to know the truth
Forget this conspiracy, just let me have you


Two weeks later
“I must admit I was hoping for all of you to come.”

“Too dangerous.”

She sighed. “I understand.”

The Underground was just that. It was the one of the few rebel bases left that had escaped the New World Order’s blood hunts. Run by ex-Preventers that had not turned tail, it was efficient as a refugee camp as well. The small group could hear children playing with a busted ball, running barefoot in ratty clothing. They were laughing.

At least they felt joy. Duo sighed. If only his son could have such weak joy, but happiness was happiness. It was something that they saw too little of. Thus is the life of a fugitive he supposed.

He looked at Lady Une taking in her ravaged appearance. Her hair now was streaked with grey more from stress than from age. Her once prim, proper attire was now replaced with a stained t-shirt and faded, frayed jeans. Mariemaia was being pushed by her. The young teen looking ahead of her, not speaking and her eyes never strayed to the Gundam pilots by her mother’s side.

“So why are we here?”

It was Duo’s turn to sigh. Wufei would never change. Always to the point, no time for chitchat.

“We confined a capsule from an enemy vessel.”

There was something in her voice that caused the hairs on the back of Duo’s neck to rise. Wufei caught it as well as the two pilots shared a glance. Lady Une’s shoulders were stiff and as he passed a glance over Mariemaia he saw her lips thin and her eyes narrow slightly.

“I have a feeling that it’s not popcorn and an in-flight movie.”

Lady Une, despite her stress and sorrow, smiled a bit at Duo’s quip, stopping as they reached a heavy door. Typing in a password, the door slid open with a hiss and foreboding seemed to hit both Duo and his partner. He felt his scalp tingle underneath his cropped chestnut hair. Looking at Wufei, Duo gripped his gun habitually and walked in.

The room was pitch-black except for a quiet whirring. Heart beating fast, Duo took a step into the dark room, feeling comforted by Wufei’s answering footfalls. Then suddenly, the lights rose, so bright that they blinded him for a moment.

As soon as his eyes focused, Duo felt his breath be taken away. Sitting on a console a few feet away sat a small capsule. It seemed like a very large glass test tube but not for the floating being inside the light green liquid. It bobbed sickly up and down as the slight vibrations off their walking was affecting it. As he got closer and got a closer look at it, he felt his blood drain from his face and cursed shakily.

“It’s a child,” muttered Wufei, coming up beside his partner. “What is this?”

“It is what it looks like, Chang,” said Une coming up behind them. “But it’s also more than what it looks like.”

With a quick hand, she flipped a switch on the outside of the capsule and plugged in short red wire attached to a monitor. With a jolt the baby twitched and Duo could see the nude child’s eyes moving quickly behind its closed lids. Swallowing the bile that rose in his throat, but Wufei’s small gasp caused him to look up – and see a blueprint of Deathscythe Hell.

“Holy–!”

“What is this?!” Wufei demanded of Une who stood by with a grim look on her face.

“We were hoping that you could tell us,” she said calmly. “Take him out of here, nonetheless. This level of information is much too dangerous to stay here and besides, he belongs with you.”

When both pilots looked at her in confusion, she continued unable to look them in the eyes. “Our doctors found traces of brain activity that has only been seen with the zero system. And something we have found gives us even more to think that he belongs with you.”

She walked forward and pressed a button to drain the liquid from the tube. The child lay almost lifeless in the glass as Lady Une opened it up and firmly but gently lifted the little boy out. She cradled him gently and Duo watched as one little fist gripped at her shirt weakly.

The two watched as she lifted him up once more and showed them the child’s bare back. A single word had been knifed into the child’s pale skin, glaring at them, red and infected.

The word was ‘Die’.

“This message is meant for the Gundam pilots.”
*****

Hilde sighed as she walked up the stairs, carrying a dinner tray. Her son followed close by her heels, a small loaf of bread in his tiny, clean yet ink marked hands. She smiled down at him, always so helpful, always so gentle.

Always so quiet.

She felt tears prick her eyes but kept them at bay. It seemed so utterly strange that her son, that Duo Maxwell’s child wouldn’t speak. But she felt her heart glow as he looked up at her and smiled gently. Her child hardly had any reason to smile in the world.

“Solo, Uncle Quatre may be sleeping so let’s be as quiet as possible, okay?”

Her baby nodded. Like he could be anything but quiet, she thought sadly.

She leaned on the door and it opened silently. There was no doorknob to turn, there never had been since that one day.

It was only their third day of running – and it was this day that the nightmare began to become reality. No more surreal, only cold, hard, disgusting truth.

There had been so much blood, the sheets, the carpet, and even the walls were covered with it. It had been her son who had found him. When Solo had cried for her – the last time her baby had talked at all – Trowa had been in the room across the hall. Hilde had hardly heard the man speak and she had never heard him raise his voice as all.

Trowa’s scream still haunted her dreams.

As did Quatre’s unconscious, bloody body.

Not knowing what Quatre had gone through under the ‘care’ of the New World Order, Hilde found she could not help the man at all. It broke her heart as all of the pilots had become her family, even the arrogant Wufei and stoic Heero. She could not take not knowing anything but had finally come to peace with the fact that Quatre would tell her if he wanted, when he was ready.

She heard the soft breathing of Quatre’s sleeping form as she opened up the door. There was a bloody bandage on his head, but his face seemed free of pain. Trowa, who sat by his bed, reading in the only comfortable chair in the house, gave her a nod.

“Hungry?” Hilde asked him, smiling at him gently. Trowa nodded again and he took the tray containing two bowls, placing one on the bedside table for Quatre.

Solo placed the small plate of bread on the windowsill and crawled into Trowa’s lap. The man allowed himself a small smile – if it could be called that, but it was progress from his blank state most of the time. Trowa took a small sip of his soup and then fed a spoonful to Solo who sipped it eagerly, slurping a bit.

“Trowa, he’s already had enough already. That soup is for you”

“I don’t mind,” he whispered, but took a bite nonetheless.

Hilde smiled and shook her head fondly. Then she sighed as she eyed Quatre’s bandage and she lifted his head gently off the stained pillow. Her deft fingers began to gently unroll the bandage. He stirred awake.

“Is… is Heero… home…?” His voice was breathless, weak and rough. His skin was too pale, his cheeks sunken but his eyes seemed to sparkle if just the tiniest bit.

“Yes, he is…” She replied, gently cleaning the small but deep holes in a perfect circle around his head. Fighting down the anger and disgust at this, she smiled down at Quatre, letting him know silently that everything is fine. His eyes seemed to acknowledge her message and he leaned his head up with a wince to give her better access to the wounds in the back of his head.

Finished, she wrapped a clean cloth around his head again and whispered, “Do you think… that… everything will be alright… one day, Quatre?”

“I see happiness,” he mumbled and with that his head became limp under her hands as he drifted back into his dreams.

Setting his sleeping head on the pillow softly, she felt full of warring feelings, battling emotions. She never really understood Quatre’s cryptic statements. She never understood why they gave her such hope. All she knew was that she couldn’t live without them.

She sat on the edge of Quatre’s bed, starring at Quatre but seeing nothing. Feeling a small touch on her hand she looked up into Trowa’s eyes staring back at her. He nodded reassuringly as his hand squeezed her thin, cold one comfortingly.

At least I gained a family in this, once an orphan… now with a husband, a son, and brothers abundant. I know that the world is wrong. I know that Relena Peacecraft is wrong. These men are not hard to love at all.

I wonder what it was that made her change her mind.
*****

Tears coursed down her face, her veil swaying in the biting wind. She was on earth, staring at the last of her family – gone forever. She was alone in a cemetery, looking down at two large headstones.

Millardo Peacecraft

Solder – Brother – Friend

Lucrezia Noin Peacecraft

Solder – Friend – Loving Mother


Mother…

Then her eyes would stray to the small pile of upturned dirt, frosted with snow. No headstone. No marker. Nothing to remember the child who had lived a short time, who had been the world to his mother.

Mother…

With a choked sob, she woke up, that small pile dancing behind her eyes. She sat straight up in bed, not bothering to fight with the tears that coursed down her flushed cheeks. Her heart seemed to not only pound in her chest but her head as well. She felt nauseous, sick and filled with self-hate.

Surely, there could have been another way. Maybe then, no one would’ve have died.

Died.

Dead.

Oh, God… She felt bile rise in her throat and fought against it, knowing that her shaky legs wouldn’t carry her to the bathroom. She really did not want to wake up the maids at nearly four in the morning to clean her sheets. She’d rather suffer in silence than suffer their pitying stares.

Feeling the nausea begin to fade and her heartbeat slow to a semi-normal rhythm, she slowly lay back on the bed. Staring at the canopy of her four-poster bed, the gossamer splashed with moonlight and sparkling like it was studded with tiny diamonds, she tried to remember. Any memory she had she tried to bring forward.

If only as not to forget the few she had.

I have nothing now…

I should die. I deserve to die.

A new determination swept through her body and finally feeling more alive than she had felt in over a year, she quietly opened her small bedside drawer. It was filled to the brim with small notes and letters. Throwing these on the ground, she pawed through the bottom. Something velvet touched the tips of her fingers. Pulling out a small box, another tear fell unwillingly from her eye.

Opening it up, she stared at the small ring, a simple gold band, with a piece of shiny blue metal encased into it. A piece of their past. A piece of his Gundam.

With anger at herself or others, she pulled the large diamond engagement ring off her finger and slid on the small one.

It felt right.

She found that she couldn’t be surprised anymore.

Remember. Before you lose your resolve, Relena…

Reaching over she found the only thing he had left behind other than the ring. A large elaborately handled switchblade. Pressing the button, the sharp silver blade came out quickly startling her and feeling her with power, happiness but also a small amount of fear.

After all, who would not be afraid of dying – especially those with sins as great as hers?

Raising the blade as far outside of her body as she could, aiming the tip parallel to her heart. Drawing in a deep breath, she closed her eyes.

“Goodbye, Heero…”

Quickly she moved her arms inward.

And just as quickly, a strong bruising grip caught her wrists.

With a shocked gasp, she looked up into beautiful blue eyes. The ones that haunted herm both awake and conscious. The eyes of the man she loved. The eyes of the man she had tried so hard to forget.

What the hell are you doing?”




Tainted Souls
Part I
Backstabber
Chapter III
The World is Changing


I’m shaken, I’m broken
I need you
Isn’t that the last words you’ve spoken?
When you held me close
Baby, take me with you
Baby, will you understand?
I love you more than that other man
I know I’ve made mistakes
I’m nothing but a silly little girl
Baby, take me with you,
Baby, will you change my world?


With the child cradled in his arms, he ran, pumping his legs as hard and fast as he could. He could hear the frightened screams of the children who had once been so happy. He could hear the shouts and the clang of weapons. He could see men running ahead of them, large guns on their backs, leading the children through a bunker even further under the earth.

The only child that was not screaming was the one in his arms who looked up at him with beautiful teal eyes, so clear and yet so blank. His eyes twitched every few seconds as he took in as much as he could. His fingers were loosely fisted in Duo’s jacket. His tufts of light brown curls bounced gently as he ran.

Then the child would catch Duo staring and look at him in a way that he felt vulnerable and weak.

Yet the child could only be six or seven months at best. It was ridiculous that a baby, even one as unusual as the one he held to look at him in such a way. Like the child knew every secret he ever had.

Dust fell on them from the shuddering cavern wall.

And Duo did something that he had nearly forgotten how to do.

He crossed himself.
*****

He wrenched the knife from her frozen fingers, throwing it to the ground. Relena stared as the still open blade glinted in the moonlight. She stared as her way of escaping seemed to melt in the moon’s glow. She felt a rushing in her ears, a pain in her chest.

And she screamed.

Quickly, Heero’s hand covered her mouth until he allowed her to pull his hand away from her face. Hard sobs erupted from her, tears pouring down her face. In only a short time, she had gone from being the strongest person he knew, to a broken, frightened little girl.

“Heero… I’m sorry… I’m sorry…”

He had prepared himself for her guilt. He had prepared himself to kill her. He never thought that her guilt would consume her this much. He cocked his head and stared at her. Shadows seemed to bleed around her eyes. Her lips were pale, dry, and cracked. She seemed incredibly tired and had lost weight in only the few short weeks they had been apart. What could have caused such a transformation in her? What could have shattered her life so much?

Was it him?

It was absurd really but he couldn’t help but think that his safety played a part in all this – this cat-and-mouse war game. But as he stared at her, he found that he could not hate her. She was the only woman that had ever cared to love him. She was the only woman he’d ever allowed to.

And the only one he’d only ever would.

She looked up at him with sparkling teal eyes, rising up on her knees and taking his face in her hands. He stayed perfectly still, staring into her desperate eyes.

Then as if he could not control himself, he took her delicate face in his large rough hands, pulling her face forward gently. He touched his forehead to hers, noses touching gently. This was all they needed, just the other’s presence.

She moved one hand from her face and pressed it gently against his chest.

“I don’t care if you kill me, Heero… I-I can’t live like this… anymore…”

He crushed her to him quickly, needing her presence, her smell, her warmth. He leaned down and whispered into her ear, his hot breath tingling her skin. “I promised I would protect you, Relena.”

“Even you can break a promise, Heero… After all, I’ve done…”

“None of that matters…” The minute the words were out of his mouth he knew that it wasn’t true, at least for the others but he felt that he couldn’t care. His angel was back in his arms and he felt intoxicated by her.

“Heero, please let me die. Please, kill me. It would be justice.”

Indeed, he had spent nearly a year convincing himself that her death would be the ultimate justice. But coming from her own lips, it sounded wrong. A death could not repay the pain. A greater punishment would be to allow her to live in this guilt.

Yet, he found that he wasn’t content to watch this woman – this once proud, strong woman – wither away like a forgotten flower.

“It would be murder, Relena.”

She seemed placated for a moment after his words, holding on to his ratty jacket with cold fingers. Nestling her head in the crook of his neck, she sighed and whispered, “Then take me with you, Heero.”

“What?”

She leaned back and stared into his eyes. “I don’t care if you chain me to a dungeon wall, feed me nothing but bread and water, or just leave me to rot. A life such as that would be infinitely better. It would be a life I could accept. Any kind of life with you by me… I can accept that.”

He wiped her tears with the pads of his thumbs. “If you leave me alone again, kill me first.”
*****

Trowa looked up from his book with strained eyes. He looked over at Quatre’s sleeping form and sighed at his furrowed brow. Quatre was in pain and yet, Trowa was unsure about waking him up long enough to take his medicine. At least, in his sleep he was unaware. If he woke up, then he might suffer awake all the night long.

The door creaked open a bit, and Hilde stuck her head in.

“How is he?” she whispered.

Trowa made to respond but a gurgling noise cut him off and he turned quickly to see Quatre’s convulsing body. Blood and vomit was coursing in a sickening river from his mouth. Trowa swiftly made it to his friend’s bedside and turned him on his side so he would not aspirate.

Hilde stripped him down and opened the window to let the cold night air rush in. Pouring water over top of him in an effort to slow the attack, she watched helplessly as everything poured out from inside him. After a while, he lay there gasping with green bile dribbling from his chin.

Suddenly, his eyes opened weakly and he looked at her.

“Oh my God…” she breathed out in fear.

His eyes were gold.
*****

“What the hell is this?!” Duo screamed over the roaring and the screaming of the refugees. “An earthquake?!”

Coming around a corner, Une typed in a pass code and entered a metal bunker. “We should be safe here.”

Duo looked up as Wufei turned on a seemingly ancient monitor. He could hear the static and crackling of the machine. But he watched as Wufei’s form changed subtly. His shoulders tightened. He could see him flex his jaw and leave it clenched. He saw the shake in his partner’s hands and he fisted them at his sides.

“‘Fei, what’s up?”

Wufei declined to answer, only pushed a single button on the dusty console. A fuzzy picture appeared before them. Duo squinted at it.

“What is that?” Mariemaia whispered, wheeling herself forward a bit as Lady Une’s hands had went limp. Then, she gasped.

The longer they stared, the clearer the image became. It was a seemingly impossibility and yet it was seemingly, strikingly real.

“Mobile suits…” Lady Une breathed out in fearful amazement.

“Well, that makes things pretty damn complicated,” Duo laughed, nervously, trying to stop his stomach from falling to his feet.

But it was there. The giant machines had been resurrected. Yet only this time there was no enemies to defeat them. They would ravage the world.

Duo glanced down at the toddler in his arms. The child stared at the screen, unblinking.
*****

The house was dark when he walked in, her limp body in his arms. She had fallen asleep on the bus. Her hair was tucked haphazardly underneath an old baseball cap he found in a thrift store. Her ratty sweatshirt smelled faintly of cigarettes but she slept with the hood over her hat, and her face and hands pushed into his jacket.

Walking the two blocks from the bus stop was harder than he had ever imagined. He would be endangering those that had become his family. He would be putting them at risk for a woman whose guilt was eating her alive, for a woman he knew he would never stop loving despite anything she had ever done and everything she ever would do.

Standing on at the old, rickety gate outside the house – his home for all extensive purposes – Heero looked down at the woman in his arms.

He was a murderer.

Kidnapping seemed nothing more than another chain link in hell.


Tainted Souls
Part I
Backstabber

Chapter IV
Out in the Open


Things are not always as they seem
Baby, come a little closer to me
Sing me to sleep
Erase these memories


The sunlight filtered in through the thin yellowed curtains, hitting her in her face. Half of her body rested on warm and firm object while something poked her sharply in her ribs. Her bare legs moved and she startled when she felt movement underneath her. She looked with wide eyes into deep azure ones.

“So it wasn’t a dream.”

It was more a statement than a question but Heero answered her with a grunt nonetheless. She buried her face in his chest, trying to hide her smile at his typical answer. She shifted a bit and the pain eased a little.

“What do we do now?” she whispered, staring at the fuzzy figures from beyond the curtains. “I’m sure the others won’t be happy with you for bringing me here.”

“I kidnapped you.”

“With my blessing, Heero. I doubt that is quite the same thing.”

He shifted underneath her, the muscles in his stomach rippling. She reached for him as he made to get out of bed and he stopped, staring at her quizzically.

“Heero, wait… please… just…” She bit her lip and looked away.

He took her chin in his hand and steered her face so that she had to look at him. “You’re afraid.”

“Every second.” He caught a tear as it began to make its way down her cheek. “They’ll hate me. Even you do.”

He stared at her a long time before taking her into his arms, sitting up and cradling her like a child against him. Sobs began to rise from deep in her chest. He buried his face in her hair and breathed her in.

He said nothing.

They were both only too aware of the truth in her words.
*****

The child had been silent the entire journey. As a father, Duo quickly got used to his mannerisms, noticing the slightest change in demeanor which meant that he was either hungry or needed changing. He never cried and seldom ever fussed. He merely stared and rarely moved at all.

That was part of the reason why Duo and Wufei were so shocked that the moment they entered the safe house, the child began to scream.

Fat tears poured from underneath the baby’s squinted eyes. His voice was loud, shrill, nearly deafening. His tiny body shook and the wounds on his back began to bleed onto the ratty blue blanket that the two had retrieved from inside the base.

The entire household was soon awake as Hilde, Solo and Trowa carried Quatre’s half-conscious body down the stairs.

Wufei quickly took the child from Duo’s arms – he only screamed louder – and placed him into Hilde’s. The mother in her took over as she bounced and cooed to it, but its tiny body only shook harder and its shrilling became hoarse.

The group was faintly aware of screams coming from up the stairs. They all looked in the direction of the staircase. Two pairs of feet pounded from the second floor down. A swirl of black fabric and golden hair whished as Heero caught Relena around the waist and pulled her torso against his.

She was screaming, with tears coursing in thick rivers from her wide teal eyes. She fought and clawed at Heero’s fingers but they were like iron bands around her. She struggled against him so hard, finding so much strength in her that they felt to the floor. She reached with her fingers splayed toward the child in Hilde’s arms.

“Give him to me!”

“What the hell is going on?!” Duo screamed over the child’s wailing at Heero who was avoiding his gaze and focusing all his energy on calming down Relena.

“Please, Hilde!” Relena begged hysterically, curling and uncurling her fingers, straining against Heero to get closer.

Hilde stared at her with doe-like eyes, frightened by the wild look on what had once been her best friend’s face.

“Yuy, what are you doing?!” screamed Wufei. “How did she–!”

“Give him to me!”

“Yuy!”

“Shut up!”

Give me my baby!”

Relena’s scream echoed in the small room as the child immediately calmed except for tiny whimpers. Everyone stared at Relena who sucked in breath after breath, hyperventilating. Heero felt her pulse thrum under his fingertips and his hold on her tightened.

“Please…” Relena sobbed, breaking, defeated.

Yet her eyes never strayed from the child.

“Give him to her,” came Quatre’s quiet, tired voice.

Hilde cast a glance at him and gently handed the child over to Relena’s waiting arms. She sobbed as the baby gripped her borrowed shirt and nestled her breasts a bit. She stroked his soft downy curls and whispered to him gently. She seemed unaware when Heero released her waist and stood, walking into the kitchen.

Wufei quickly turned around and walked out the front door, banging it after him. Solo ran over to his father and Duo picked him up nearly automatically. His eyes had not left Relena’s form. Quatre said something quietly to Trowa who managed to catch eyes with Duo. Together they entered the kitchen and Quatre beckoned the sad eyed Solo to sit with him. Solo smiled a small smile and ran to get his favorite book for the man to read him – as if nothing had changed.

Quatre looked up at Hilde and nodded his head toward the kitchen. She opened her mouth to protest but he smiled at her and said, “We’ll be fine.”
*****

“I don’t know what to say other than – what the hell?” said Duo calmer than he felt inside.

Heero stood with his back to the three. His hands gripped the edge of the sink hard and his head was bowed. The muscles in his back and shoulders where tight and his entire body seemed to be made of stone he was so still.

“Heero,” asked Hilde softly, “what is going on?”

“I kidnapped her.”

“We noticed,” Trowa deadpanned. “What’s the real reason?”

“She was going to kill herself.”

“And you stopped her?”

“Yes.”

“Should have let her damn well do it and save you the bullet,” Duo muttered.

Heero tilted his head in the direction of his best friend. “I can’t kill her.”

“Can’t or won’t?” asked Trowa, casting a glance at Duo’s figure shaking with anger.

“I love her.”

“Damn it, Heero!” Duo screamed. Hilde placed a hand on his arm but he shrugged it off. “You need to quite buying her bullshit and smell fucking reality!”

“You are only saying that because you are afraid.”

“Yes, I’m afraid. I’m friggin’ terrified!” Duo screamed. “What if they followed you?! What if this is a trap and you are letting her pull you by the balls again?!”

“I thought you didn’t want me to kill her.”

“Putting a price on your head is one thing. You’re my brother and I don’t want anymore suffering on you than you need. Putting all of us in danger of being slaughtered is another!”

“She won’t say anything.”

“You better make damn well sure of it. I don’t want to believe the worst of her either, but the fact is that she turned us over.” Duo pulled out the fuzzy images of the mobile suits from his pocket and slammed them on the rickety dining table. “And she started another war.”
*****

She was whole again.

With her baby nestled in her arms, she felt like she could conquer her sins, put an end to the world she had created. She realized that death was inevitable. As she gently applied the antiseptic on his back at Hilde’s quiet, gentle instruction, she realized that she felt that Anton should be dead.

He fussed a bit, whining as he was being wrapped with Relena holding him out from her body and Hilde slowly applying the bandage. His beautiful eyes welled with tears just moments before the clip was in place securing the gauze.

“Shhh… it’ll be okay, Alex-bear. It’s okay now. Mommy’s here,” she whispered to him, holding him against her. He clenched her shirt pulling it down a bit so that Hilde spotted the locket.

“We got you that necklace for Christmas last year.”

“What?” Relena asked, unaware of Hilde’s words and shocked that the pixie-like woman would even bother talking to her.

“Never mind,” Hilde muttered. “Heero will be here soon. You’re not to leave this room… I’ll have to take him.”

Relena’s grip on her son tightened involuntarily before she realized that she could trust Hilde. Tears held at bay in her eyes, heartbroken to let him go for a moment when she thought him gone forever, she handed Alex over to the other woman. The baby surprised them by whimpering only a little and reaching back for Relena.

“Mommy’s not going anywhere, baby bear. I’ll see you soon.”

“He’ll be in soon,” Hilde repeated and left the room.

The sound of the door locking from the outside seemed incredibly loud. Sinking down on the bed, she realized that she was back in Heero’s room. She leaned back and grabbed the pillow, hugging it to her and breathing in Heero’s scent.
*****

She stared at him with defiant brown eyes. It didn’t matter that she was behind a one way mirror. Her gaze seemed to cut him.

And infuriate him.

“Have you got anything useful from the bitch?”

“No, she refuses to say anything – even under the drugs. She nearly bit her own tongue off.”

He growled. “Give her three days. If she still refuses to cooperate, kill the girl.”

“Yes, sir.”

A tenant looked up from his console and pulled his headset off for a moment, a pensive look on his face. “Mr. Renegord, sir?”

“What is it, Riley? I have a plane to catch.” An evil grin spread across his face. “Dear Relena will be waiting.”

“I just spoke to Charleston on the Sanq Kingdom squad. Miss Relena is missing.”

Anton felt his stomach sink. “How long?”

“Two days. The security lines were cut and all the guards incapacitated. It was the work of a professional.”

Please review!

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Comments {3}

terravayne

From: terravayne
Date: Mar. 22nd, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
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Ah ha, I knew the summary sounded familiar. This is Terra from ffnet! ^^ Terrific chapter. I noticed one tiny typo: "quiet" - quiet. Other than that, wow, what a twist! I thought the baby subplot was a little out there but you've tied it in nicely regardless of whether it is Relena's child or not (I remember there being something monstrous about it?). The tension in the house between the pilots was palpable and this was an exciting read. Can't wait for your next update!

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Natalia Grace

From: write4daheart
Date: Mar. 22nd, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
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Acutally, my penname is FatGlamour on FF.net, but I think I know who you are talking about. Our summaries are very similar it appears which is odd but not unheard of. I'm glad you like my story nonetheless and I'll try to get it out as soon as possible. - I'm trying to balance this one with my Harry Potter fic as well. Thanks for reviewing!

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terravayne

From: terravayne
Date: Mar. 23rd, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
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Nope, I definitely reviewed "Tainted Souls" on FFN. I remember really liking this story and your latest certainly meets expectations with your lovely prose. Haha, I know what you mean about balancing writing with an HP fic. I'm working on one for HermioneBigBang, a 20k fest. Good luck with yours!

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