Chapter 4: Two Prisoners

I stood looking at Heero for a minute or two after he finished, looking pained as if he was in my debt and not the other way around.

I wasn't really so surprised that I had been Shinigami in a previous life; and the title 'God of Death' seemed to suit someone like me. Death hides from a person their whole life, and comes upon them unexpectedly, throwing them and everyone around them into chaos and misery. Sounds like the story of my life, I thought bitterly.

"Am I still. . .who you say I was?" I asked, looking at the angel once again. He snapped out of the trance he seemed to be in currently and looked up at me from the floor.

"You are Shinigami, leader of the Demons," He continued, eyes of steel blue came to my own, "I'm surprised they didn't tell you before you came here. You must have had some idea, though. Illusions can only fool someone for so long. I suspect that if they had power enough to keep your full self in that world, then you would still be there."

"You mean the other demons, right?" I looked at him, and he nodded.

So that's what Quatre had been talking about! My soul and body belonged in this world, wherever that may be, and that explained why my physical body had disappeared and my true form had come in the other world. It was a defect in the connection; the demons were no longer able to keep me there.

I sighed loudly and slammed my back into the wall behind me, sliding down slightly in frustration. A bemused angel looked on and raised an eyebrow.

"So, what's your name?" I raised myself up a bit and crossed my arms, smiling, "I can't very well go around calling you 'angel'. And we might as well get to know each-other; I have a feeling we're not going anywhere for a while."

"Hn," He agreed, "My name is Heero. I am forever in your debt."

"Listen, Heero, you shouldn't be thanking me! I made your life a living hell! I mean, not that I remember it, or anything, but that's not the point. . ." I stopped suddenly, realizing that I didn't remember any of this, so it didn't really matter what I said. It would all be a lie, because I had only his memory to base the actual event on.

"There is nothing to be sorry for." Heero said, realizing that I was confused and lost for words. I, then, started to flush red with confusion, playing with the end of my braid and looked down at my feet quickly. I didn't know what to say.

I was even more lost than I thought, and played with the stray hairs in my braid as if they were my last strands of hope for this seemingly impossible situation. I was so busy thinking about myself, that I didn't even notice that Heero was slowly inching closer.

I suddenly felt a cold hand brush my cheek, and I looked up helplessly into cobalt blue eyes that flinched nervously. I wasn't sure if it was in the way the moonlight reflected off his white wings, or the way he touched my cheek so gently, and with so much feeling, but I could have sworn I was. . . falling in love. . .

/kill the angel/

. . .the voice. . .?

/kill him NOW/

I backed away from Heero, afraid of being near him, for fear that something might come over me and I wouldn't be able to control myself. I looked in every direction dreadfully, but it was only in my head, just as it had always been. It had never asked me to do anything before! I thought 'the voice' was my friend!

"You stay away from Heero!" I yelled into the air, searching for any sign of anything in the room, but with no prevail. I looked briefly at Heero, who was puzzled, but realizing that something was very wrong, came to my side.

"Duo? What is it?" I looked at him, wanting to throw my arms around him and cry onto his shoulder, never letting go. . .

/Are you deaf?! You must KILL HIM/

"Leave me alone! You're a thing of the past. Leave me out of your games. I am no longer your Shinigami!" I yelled out-loud at the voice in my head, pulling my hands into my heart in a nervous fist. I continued retreating backwards until I hit the wall and looked behind me, panicked.

/You are Shinigami, now and forevermore. There is no use denying who you are. You were meant to lead us into power, but, alas, you failed. I had to punish you as was necessary/

"Treize. . .?" I whispered. My eyes widened in shock, and grew into terror, while an angered Heero looked on in shock at the conversation I seemed to be having with myself and upon hearing me say 'Treize', his visage turned spiteful. He was worried for me, and felt helpless within his hatred. I saw this, and also noticed him coming slowly closer.

"Duo! Don't listen to him! Whatever he is telling you, it's not true!" Heero came even farther closer and I started to inch towards him, when Treize's voice came back again.

/How dare that angel. It's truly despicable. He is the one who lies! Why do you think he wants to get close to you? He wants to kill you, and how couldn't he? You are the one who caused the angel's imprisonment in this isolated world. . . he wants revenge! Do not be fooled! I am only trying to help you, my lord. . ./

I looked at Heero with widened eyes. He was advancing fast. Who was I supposed to believe? It seemed obvious, but I had reason to question.

The voice had been with me ever since I could remember, but I had spent countless dreams looking at Heero's painting up on the wall, and had actually spoken with him. He was beautiful, and probably could have made anyone fall in love with him if he wanted to, but somehow, I felt that he was being honest with me. The demon Treize hadn't even the pride to show up anywhere other than my head. He didn't care about me. No one had ever really cared about me, except Quatre and Trowa, and if I was lucky, Heero cared for me, too.

". . . no. . . YOU are the liar. . ." I hissed through clenched teeth, "Show yourself, you coward!"

/I think you are being much too hasty. I am no murderer. You were obscenely out of hand. I simply had to do something about it before you ended up hurting someone/

"You don't deny it then, but I cannot remember anything, Treize, you know that! This fight is meaningless. Show yourself!" I could faintly hear Heero screaming in the background, but I felt myself fading fast, and I couldn't do anything to stop it.

/Maybe it is meaningless, but if it is so meaningless, why do you insist on taking the angel's side? Surely if you refuse to believe me, it is only fair you do not believe anyone before hearing the true story/

He was right. I couldn't win. It was a one-sided conversation. He had the upper-hand, and he knew it, but I couldn't afford to loose. My reason of existence hung in the balance.

"Very well, Treize, show yourself and we can have your fair trial." I almost couldn't bring myself to say this decently, but pushed myself to do it, for Heero, who had completely disappeared. In fact, I didn't even know if I was still dreaming or not. But, then again, if my soul had only been in the other world before, than this wasn't really dreaming, was it?

/"Good. . ."/

I listened as the voice echoed in the black and empty place in which I stood. It was no longer in my head. All of the sudden, upon this thought, saw a light at the end of what was seemingly a long hallway. I followed it to the end, and immediately came into what looked like a courtroom.

The first thing I noticed was the long red carpet, like a throne room, and at the head of the rug was a rather large chair in which sat a rather large demon, well, not compared to the size of a regular man, but I was hardly as tall as he. The smirk on his face as he gazed upon me told me at once that this was the room of my previous death, and the smartly-dressed aristocratic demon on the throne was Treize himself. The room was filled with rows of chairs in which men, women, and child demons sat to witness my entrance. All of them had a cold, yet knowing look about them. Am I the only one who doesn't know what's going on here?

I readied myself to speak, attempting to bring my hands to make expressive gestures, when I noticed they were weighted lightly with a pair of handcuffs. I widened my eyes, upon feeling this; I was a prisoner. . .

"Welcome, Shinigami." Treize said, the familiar and dreaded voice dripping from his disdainful face as he looked down on me. These words were bitter, though. He didn't really mean to say 'welcome', it was more of a 'help us or die' greeting. Well, they were out of luck, there. Death didn't mean anything to me, now, but damn, I was looking forward to singing with Wufei's band tonight.

It's a shame I couldn't call in sick or something. And I couldn't lie, so what would I say?. . . 'heya, Wufei, I sprouted wings and was whisked off to another dimension where a bunch of people who killed me in a previous life want something from me'. . . I might as well kiss my singing career goodbye.

"Treize, I said I wanted to talk fairly." I motioned with a turn of my head to my bound hands, and Treize smirked.

"But, lord, you wanted a 'trial'. . ."

"I trial for YOU, Treize. I have done nothing wrong." I clenched my teeth in anger, and Treize was enjoying every bit of it, I could tell. Wisely, I calmed down a bit to stifle his amusement.

"You're the traitor, here." He snorted, because I had already given him the satisfaction of knowing my frustration.

"How can you charge me with treason when I have nothing to betray?!" He just smiled. There was plenty he could use against me. There was nothing I could do about this situation, and he knew it. . . why, then, did I see a hint of fear in some of the eyes of the demonic onlookers? I decided to ignore it for the time being, and focus on the problem at hand.

Treize completely ignored my question, perhaps thinking that either I or my question was insignificant in the matter and quickly changed the topic, motioning me up to the front of the room. I had no other choice but to follow in the confused state that I had slipped into.

Standing in front of the crowd, my eyes fell upon a small demon, well actually, only his wings. They were shaking furiously, and when he poked his head up from beneath the seat, he saw me looking straight at him and gasped, apparently terrified. He then began tugging desperately onto his mother's dress, and crying into the black folds. She looked at me, a little frightened, but not so much to hold back the glare I received for her child's hysterical state. I almost couldn't believe that they were scared of me. . . I mean, really scared. My eyes were widened in shock at the crying child and saw as others around the room stared at me with awe, and hateful in the same. It made me wonder what I could have done to deserve all that fear.

I felt a glare strike at me from the side; Treize.

"Begin." He said simply, and I looked at him and became extremely agitated.

"Begin what?! You're going to have to be a little more specific." I mumbled. I was absolutely disgusted at what was being demanded of me. . .I assumed an apology. This was all just a long and horrible dream. . .that's it.

"If you'd rather me speak on your behalf, I'd be happy to, my lord." He hissed spitefully.

"This isn't fair, you know!" I screamed at Treize before turning my head to the audience, smiling slightly to tell them they had nothing to be afraid of. Some of their faces looked a little relieved, and some pitiful, although not as many as I had hoped. The little boy demon had stopped crying for a moment when I smiled at him in particular. He looked a little surprised, as did the rest of them. It must have been my natural charisma. . . but that's just my ego talking.

"I'll be honest with you all," I began casually with a bit of a sigh in my voice, "My name is Duo Maxwell. I know who you think I am, but I really see no reason to believe any of you. For all I know, I could be dreaming, or hallucinating, both of which I have been known to do. Therefore, I cannot speak on my behalf, seeing as how I do not understand the charges, nor do I remember them."

"You must remember the angel, Duo." He narrowed his eyes at me, while maintaining a pleasing face to the audience. I wasn't sure how he was able to do that. I supposed he had practice at this sort of public humiliation. The worst kind, too. . .the subtle kind. "You refused to kill the angel; did you not? The friend of our enemy is in turn our enemy as well." Treize opened his wings in an attempt to be intimidating.

"I'm soooooo scared." I dripped sarcasm, and chuckled lightly as Treize drew his sword and held it to my throat. "Go ahead and kill me, Treize, it doesn't make any difference. You'll just be delaying what should have happened 15 years ago, if what I hear is true, that is."

He pushed the metal up to my throat harder so that it drew a tiny slit in my skin, but not enough to do more than throttle my sly remarks. My hands were still handcuffed so there was nothing I could do to stop these threatening moves, and nothing I could do had he decided to kill me. I was still smirking slightly, and almost mockingly when Treize became so infuriated that he looked ready to kill. And he probably would have if it hadn't been for the little demon child in a seat that spoke out to his mother. The whole room could hear clearly what he said, though, because it had become eerily quiet as Treize held the sword to my throat.

"The bad guy isn't going to die, is he, mommy? I don't want him to die. He smiled at me just like daddy does. Daddy's not a bad guy, is he?" All faces turned to the innocent voice clinging to his mother who quickly quieted him with a quick reply of 'no' and a finger to her lips.

Treize lowered his sword upon hearing this from such naive lips, and decided that now was not the time, although I could see that in his eyes, he really didn't want to wait till later. He took his chair at the head of the room, and proceeded to address the audience, while I skillfully maneuvered my way so that no one was able to see behind me, and began to work on the handcuffs.

I observed Treize making some sort of speech, but wasn't really paying much attention. I had plenty of experience with handcuffs and other locks, but these were easiest. . . well, usually. I found, soon enough, that these were no ordinary locks. They were sealed with some kind of magic, and I couldn't understand it. From all the movements of my hands and fingers behind me, even the most sophisticated of handcuff locks should have become undone, but these wouldn't budge. Damn!

After struggling for a minute or two, Treize's speech was over and it seemed that they all were going to vote on my fate. The demons might have a democracy, I thought bitterly, but they sure aren't very democratic about it. You're supposed to let people make decisions on their own, which usually means without the underlying death threat. Yeah, too bad that I couldn't say anything that they couldn't use against me. This must have been how Heero felt.

The innocent always pay. . .

I felt the anger boiling inside me, and a felt a purple fire surround me, although I was pretty sure no one else noticed, and instinctively concentrated my energy on getting the handcuffs off. Was this magic. . . well, whatever it was, it sure was coming in handy. I felt the handcuffs break off my hands, and hundreds of eyes landed upon me as they heard the metal fall to the ground.

I was first a little dazed, but the purple fire still burned around me. I faintly heard several guards being sent after me, and heard each one scream in pain as they attempted to touch me. I knew it was because of the purple fire, but I soon realized that they couldn't see it! I opened my eyes in surprise as several demons were howling in pain of their hands and arms that had come in close contact with me. My eyes were still in awe of the experience and the last thing I saw was a blur of purple, wondering what Heero would say, before I passed out from exhaustion on the cold floor of the demonic courtroom. _______________________________

Disclaimer: This is pretty obvious to anyone, but I don't own Gundam Wing. Don't sue me. I'm poor. I plead the fifth. Umm. . . you get the idea. _______________________________

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Tell me that it's wonderful, tell me I'm insane, tell me that you hate that I don't include any girls in this fic (although I'm getting to that), but please tell me something. . .

Thanks so much!