Nifty Exorcism of Duo Maxwell

Rated PG for swearing.

OK I have to warn you; this is weird. It's really weird, even for me. I think its cool though. I don't know, maybe I've just read too many chapters of Elf's A Shade Darker or watched Fallen (movie) too many times and it's messing my brain….


The Nifty Exorcism of Duo Maxwell: Shinigami For Real

By Rashaka

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The Gundam pilot Duo Maxwell was rummaging through tools on a workbench in the airplane hangar where all five mobile suits were being stored. He heard a noise behind him, but he assumed it was Heero and didn't turn around. When he couldn't find the wrench he wanted, he stepped away from the worktable and moved toward the tools boxes a few feet away, his head down slightly.

Duo looked up just as a strange girl with shoulder-length, strait black hair jumped in front of him. Before he could react she violently shoved him up against the wall, talking swiftly and harshly in a foreign language. His eyes widened in surprise, and he struggled, but for some reason he could not break free of her single hand.

The girl smiled viscously, and her gold-flecked green eyes glittered in triumph. After another moment her chanting stopped, but she kept her hand on his shoulder, locking his back to the wall. She was only an inch taller than him, lean and lightweight, and there was no earthly way she should have been able to overpower him like that, especially with all of his training. But no matter how he tried, he couldn't move.

Duo's eyes narrowed as he finally recognized her. She was older and meaner-looking than he remembered, but he was the same girl. He sneered at her, frustrated that he still couldn't move.

"Well, well," the girl said. "So you do remember me after all. I didn't think you remembered anyone but those you took."

Duo eyes blazed. "I remember all; everyone everywhere. You are Venna Layland. But you're older now, as to be expected. How long has it been since you lost your parents, little girl?" he asked snidely, smiling coldly.

"SHUT UP YOU SON OF BITCH!" she yelled, losing her temper and shoving him harder against the cement wall. "I'm not the poor naïve kid I was the day you took them," she snapped. "I'm eighteen now, and I'm also a practicing exorcist. Intense training in Wicca's Spirit Ass-Kicking 101."

Duo's face blanched a moment, then twisted up in anger, and he struggled against her restraining hand. He knew how Venna held him now. He couldn't move because she'd put up wards— very potent wards designed especially for this.

Neither the Gundam pilot nor the black-haired girl turned when the door to the hangar opened and Heero, Trowa, Quatre, and Wufei ran out. Their guns were instantly in their hands as they saw the intruder holding their struggling friend. "What's going on here?" Quatre said, looking in surprise at the situation.

"Quatre! Heero!" Duo shouted to them, his cobalt eyes still locked on Venna's, "Help me! Shoot her!"

"Oh no you don't!" Venna snarled at Duo, and raised her other hand next to her cheek, fingers pointed toward him like cat pulling back to strike. More strange words came out, a language only she and Duo knew was Pictish Gaelic. Duo's head slammed back against the wall in pain, as if pushed by some invisible force.

"You Bitch!" he hissed through clenched teeth and closed eyes.

The other four watched in shock for a moment at this bizarre scene, then Heero calmly raised his gun, intent on shooting Duo's attacker.

"Wait Heero," Trowa said, and Heero paused, looking back at the other pilot with a question in his eyes. Trowa's own green eyes were focused past Heero on the Deathscythe pilot. "Look at Duo. Why can't he get out of that? She's can't be as physically strong as him, and just pressing his shoulder into the wall like that with one hand— he should be able to break free with ease. Why can't he move?"

Heero and other two looked back at their comrade, just considering this now. Heero lowered his gun, deciding not to act yet. The four watched the drama unfold in front of them.

Duo's attention was focused entirely on Venna as he tried to will himself to break through her wards and gain movement. Venna smiled gleefully as she watched him fail. "Didn't think it was possible, did you Death? But you forgot you're stuck in this little body, and you can't use your power. And until this kid dies or I drag you out, there's nothing you can do."

"Bitch!" Duo hissed again, their gazes locked. "How did you know? No wards that could hold me have existed in over four hundred years."

Venna grinned. "I had to make them myself, and it wasn't easy. But I had justice on one shoulder and very powerful teacher on the other. You've had a fine little jaunt in the world of the living. Three whole years in one person; I'm surprised you were able to restrain yourself for this long. But I'm here to end your vacation. You didn't think I would come looking for you, did you, reaper-man?"

"You were just a kid! You didn't even understand what was going on!"

"Ahh-ahhhh," Venna said, shaking her free finger at him like a teacher scolding a child. "I learned, I just learned too late. I've spent three years looking for you. Three whole years."

"How, you little shit-head? It was perfect! How did you find me?"

The other four pilots stared in shock at Duo. He had obviously met her before. He was acting bizarrely, yelling at this girl, talking like a stranger. His voice was the same, but the words didn't sound like the boy they knew at all.

Venna fought down the childish urge to cackle like a cartoon-style madwoman. How long she had waited for this. To know that she would be ending it here, now. She'd send him back to where he belonged. "After you took control of my father, that's I found out. You slipped up, Old One, and I realized that my dad wasn't in control of his own actions anymore. And then…" Venna glared, and fought to control her anger, "When you *killed* him, and made him kill my mother, and everyone else on that ship, I knew what sort of thing you had to be. I thought you might be a demon, but I guess I'm not that lucky. Demons you can kill."

Heero almost didn't believe his ears when he heard this strange, black-haired young woman call Duo "Old One". And she was talking to him like he was someone else—not Duo Maxwell. And demons? Heero thought cynically. This psychotic girl thought Duo was a demon?

"How, you ask? I've spent the last three years thinking of nothing else. After I realized that you had moved to someone else with my father's death, I went to get teaching. Being that my parents were dead I had nothing to keep me from preparing myself. But I had no idea who you took." Venna's green emerald eyes burned into Duo's. "I tracked down every single person on the ship that night, looking for your mark." She shoved him against the wall again, and tears gathered at the corners of her eyes, but her anger didn't falter. Duo simply glared at her.

"But none of them had it. For months I thought I had lost you, Death, that you had escaped in some way that I didn't know about." A grin began to show again even as a tear slid down her cheek. "But then I was told about the little stowaway. The tiny, braided orphan boy only one person had seen sneak aboard. That's when I knew. You left my father and took the twelve year old boy, escaping with him before that section of the ship exploded."

Quatre, Heero, Wufei, and Trowa were watching all this with the shock on their faces rising with each word. They were all too stunned too do anything; help their fellow pilot —who maybe wasn't even Duo Maxwell at all— or help the girl who was holding him back.

"From there I had to trace you to the rebels and to the Gundam engineers. Once I realized that was where you were going, you made it easy for me. Choosing the nickname "God of Death" was brazen of you, Shinigami, and rather stupid. And you shouldn't have kept the boy's braid. You let yourself be identifiable, Death. Although, you've never stayed in anyone this long before. What kept you?"

Duo grinned maniacally at the older girl. "It was the perfect body. Young, unnoticeable, and the boy's personality was easy to adopt, easy to charm with. His life was in shambles—I could do whatever I wanted with him. It also turned out that he had refused the chance to be a Gundam pilot and make war on the Earth." This caught the attention of the other four colony fighters, and the boys looked at the person they had thought was Duo, unsure what to make of the information that Duo hadn't been at this voluntarily.

Duo tilted his chin up at Venna contemptuously. "And why shouldn't I have chosen this body? With this boy I had the perfect opportunity. I simply turned around and told them I wanted in. It was worth waiting a mere two years of training this body, for the promise of all the lives I could take with the Gundam Deathscythe."

Venna's face hardened as she listened to him brag openly about the deaths he caused. He wasn't supposed to be loose on the world, he was supposed to follow the rules. He was supposed to take people only when their time had come, not steal bodies and cause death before it was meant to be. "You won't be allowed to take the bodies of children anymore, you bastard. Or fathers. Or mothers. I'm putting a stop to this now."

Duo, aware of what she planned to do, lunged forward against her hand, trying to break the force of her psychic wards. But he was weak—taking on a human meant he was limited to what that human could do. Venna raised her hand again, and began to chant in a low voice.

Duo screamed, and writhed under her grip, he long brown braid swinging. Quatre, seeing what the Deathscythe pilot was going through, started forward to help him, but Heero and Trowa held him back. They watched in fascination as Venna began her exorcism.

The words poured from the hazel-eyed young woman as she focused all her power on reaching inside Duo and finding Death's hiding place. The pilots could see nothing visible going on, but something was obviously happening, because Duo thrashed and twisted against the wall like he was in extreme pain. He screamed, sometimes at Venna, calling her foul names and cursing her, other times in some other language. Heero and Quatre recognized it as Latin, but they did not know what he said.

Venna's voice rose until it was piercing the air, and then she let go of his shoulder and simultaneously slammed her hands against either side of his head. Duo's eyes rolled back; he slumped forward. Venna caught him by the shoulders and tried to hold him up.

Duo's eyes slowly opened and he gazed at her blankly. Shakily he looked down at himself. Gradually he pushed himself away from her, standing of his own power. He clenched and unclenched his hands, looking at them in surprise. A smile began to course over his face. He looked up at Venna who was standing calmly about two feet in front of him.

"Did you do this?" he asked. She nodded, still breathing a little heavily from exerting so much power.

"WOOO—HOOOO!" he whooped loudly, darting forward and picking her up. She had a shocked expression as he swung her around in the air, laughing. "Thank you! I can't believe this! Finally!"

He set her down again almost as quickly as he had picked her up, and began to play with his hands. She giggled as Duo flipped forward once head-over feet, landing next to the equally shocked Gundam pilots. He was grinning like a maniac, and then he turned and ran across the room once, reveling in the pure joy of movement. He slid to a stop next to Venna, and held out his hand.

Tentatively she reached out and shook it. "Thank you," he said to her, his cobalt eyes shining. Venna looked at him, slightly in shock now that her fight was suddenly over. After giving her a one-thousand-watt smile, he looked down at himself again. He saw the cross hanging on a long chain around his neck, and he lifted it off. He held it up, as if deciding for a moment whether to keep it or not. He shrugged and dropped it in a pocket.

From another pocket he pulled out his sunglasses. Putting them on, her bowed slightly to her. Turning, he bowed once flamboyantly to his former comrades, laughing at their expressions. Then he straitened, turned, and strode right out the huge, open doors of the airplane hangar.

Trowa recovered first. "Where are you going Duo?" he said in an emotionless voice.

Duo waved once over his shoulder, and kept walking without turning around. "DUO!" Quatre called.

"Actually, I prefer Maxwell, if you don't mind," he said over his shoulder. "And I'm leaving."

Heero ran forward and stopped in front of the Deathscythe pilot. His eyes and voice were cold. "You can't leave. You have a mission. You have a duty to the colonies to destroy OZ, Duo."

Duo stopped and pulled his sunglasses down with one finger, looking at Heero over the black rims. "Maxwell. And screw OZ. Screw the colonies. And screw you, Heero. I'm free. I have control of my own body and my own soul for the first time since I was twelve, and I'm not going to waste any more of my life in some dumb war. Goodbye, mon amis." He stepped around Heero and walked past him.

"Adios amigos!" he continued as he waved gleefully back at them, walking out of the hangar to anywhere other than there. "And if you ever need someone to pilot that thing again, feel free to go to hell."

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IF YOU'RE WONDERING WHY THE HECK I WROTE THIS OR IF YOU'RE STILL NOT SURE WHAT'S GOING ON AT ALL, READ THE FOLLOWING.

I don't know what made me think of it, but one night I had this idea for a really cool scene of some girl doing an exorcism on Duo Maxwell. So, to build a story around that scene, I was wondering, "What would happen if Duo really WAS the God of Death?" Then I got to thinking, "Well, that's just not right. If Duo is the God of Death then that means he's not human." And I couldn't have that, of course. So, instead, Duo was possessed by the God of Death. But Death is neutral, not good or evil. So instead, he had to be breaking some rules, thus it became that Death was borrowing Duo so that he could speed up the process and take lots and lots of souls early— which is bad. Then, I needed, of course, the cool girl to come at him chanting in neat foreign languages. Enter Venna Layland: Pictish (Scottish) Wiccan exorcist extraordinaire (and I know very little about the Wiccan religion but I know that they do believe in spirits and if you believe in spirits you've got have exorcists). Then, of course, Venna needed a history— a reason for her to be chasing the Grim Reaper out of people, and reason for why Duo came to be possessed by Death. And I really really wanted to have him say "Screw OZ, screw the colonies, and screw you Heero". And I like Duo's personality so I didn't want it to totally change either.

Well, that should clear up most of your questions. Feel free to ask me many more though in the form of reviews. And one more thing: TO MYTHICA and TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHO CONTINUALLY REVIEWS MY STORIES AND SIGNS IT (ME), thank you very much, but please leave an email address so I can thank you personally for your in-depth comments on so many of my stories. I love nothing more than to get a reader's response.

Disclaimer: No such luck.