The Devil Went Down

Pairs: none (or maybe verrryyy slight 3-4 if you tilt your head and squint)

Warning: language, songfic, Quatre and music (very scary), Quatre-centric, Quatre-Quatre-Quatre...

Note: I 'spose you should know that this is my favorite song. Well... one of my most favorites of the favorites, anyway. It's perfect, don't ya think!? Ha. Song is "The devil went down to Georgia," by the Charlie Daniel's Band. Yeah, I know. I'm a dork, but it totally has Quatre written all over it... thus probably why I like the song so much.


The devil went down to Georgia
He was lookin for a soul to steal
He was in a bind
'Cause he was way behind
And he was willing to make a deal

"It seems that we have a problem, Mr. Winner. You have my codes and I have your pilots. What would you say to a duel?"

Quatre snorted, but kept his business mask in fitful place. Truth is, he was more than a little upset. He wasn't sure how they'd gotten into this predicament, but the only thing that mattered now was getting out again, particularly before those bastards came back to play a little more with the others. Treize wasn't one for torture, but the longer Quatre stood here arguing with him, the higher chance that Une would go at it again. Loyalty. And of course, Quatre couldn't help feeling a bit guilty about everything. It was his plan after all, and his conscience was just too damn demanding. He always built the mission plans. He knew the numbers, he knew the reasons, and he knew the codes. It was always his responsibility, they trusted him for that... and he'd failed. Again.

"My pilots?" Quatre leered at him, debating the answer for a long moment. Treize shifted in his regal leather chair. The truth is simple. You never piss off a Gundam pilot. "Fine then."

He came across this young man
Sawing on a fiddle and playing it hot
And the devil jumped up on a hickory stump
And said, "Boy let me tell you what,
I guess you didn't know it,
but I'm a fiddle player too,
and if you'd care to take a dare,
I'll make a bet with you.
Now you played pretty good fiddle boy
but give the devil his due.
I bet a fiddle of gold against your soul,
'cause I think I'm better than you."

Treize stood, a fresh smile on his face. It was eerily gentle in it's own way. "Swords can become boring in a war, Mr. Winner... and I know a few things about you to say the same. Like I know that you enjoy playing the violin. What would you say to a musical duel?"

"Whatever suites Treize, but you may regret that."

"Why so?"

Quatre smirked a dark shade, his eyes twinkling disease. "Because I'm the best that's ever been."

The boy said, "My name's Johnny
and it might be sin,
but I'll take your bet,
you're gonna regret,
'cause I'm the best that's ever been."

Treize laughed with his own gentle mock and sighed. "Really? We'll see, now won't we Mr. Winner?" He walked across the room toward another door and unlocked it, beckoning Quatre to follow him. The room was average size, a music room filled with countless instruments and a single window that--from a distance--seemed to overlook the hanger bay. Treize immediately picked up his own violin, a very dark oak, and patiently waited as Quatre traced delicate fingers over the lot, admiring his choices.

"Are you sure you want the violin, Kushrenada? I can play others, but the violin..."

Treize smiled gently, but shook his head. "No. I want to see you play that one."

Quatre's eyes glittered dark and he lifted an old pine in place. He stared into Treize's soul with a soft smile. "Don't say that I didn't warn you."

"You're awfully arrogant. What happened to the polite Mr. Winner?"

"I'm in the devil's nest. What can I do but play along?" Treize didn't answer, merely waited with repressed glee. Quatre sighed in mild annoyance. "Who goes first, Treize? I want to get out of here before my friends are hurt any worse."

Johnny rosin up your bow
And play your fiddle hard
'Cause hell's broke loose in Georgia
And the devil deals the cards
And if you win
You get this shiny fiddle made of gold
But if you lose
The devil gets your soul

For the longest moment, neither spoke and Treize's smile never vanished. Quatre was still as stone. "I admire your determination, but I can't help wonder if this will be your downfall. You're awfully arrogant for a man who's never even heard me play before. So it's the devil, you say? Fine then. I'll play the devil's song."

The devil opened up his case
And he said, "I'll start this show."
And fire flew from his fingertips
As he rosined up his bow
And he pulled the bow across the strings
And it made an evil hiss
Then a band of demons joined in
And it sounded something like this

Treize sawed across the strings in a carefully demonic sort of way, stressing the beat and climbing high, wrapping twisted fingers around his victim, to tease and throttle and torture with delicate caress. It clutched and pulled and lulled him toward the music, writhing, twisting, singing along the woes of damned sins and forgotten ghosts. The melody was hoarse, the song crude, the expression sinful in every way but one: Treize was smiling wistfully, a gentle and carefree way that had no devil in its embrace. He seed and he sawed across the strings, slicing them with his bow, and he continued to smile as if in heaven, though hell's song touched his soul. He was good, Quatre would admit as much, but not good enough. No one is better than Quatre Raberba Winner when it comes to the violin, his violin, and a certain spirit living deep within.

When the devil finished, Johnny said
"Well you're pretty good old son.
But sit down in that chair right there,
and let me show you how it's done."

Trieze broke with a final hiss and left it hanging for his answer, and Quatre didn't bother voicing his arrogance when he lifted his bow and smiled ever-so-gently, eyeing Treize a lasting look that said, 'learn from the master, boy.' Treize smirked, but waited eagerly, high on the duel's adrenaline rush. Music is something they both understood... one a little more than the other.

And Quatre played.

The bow rocked like an inhumane thing, evil and good and great and wrong and right all at once. It was struck fast and hard, too fast for an amateur, too fast for the weak at heart to follow. Quatre climbed and climbed and climbed towards heaven, and then, once he'd reached it, he'd climbed some more. The melody looped in one continuous string, and dimly, in the dark, four pilots strained their ears, eyes darting down the hall.

"God, can't you hear that?" A braided boy whistled his approval.

And a taller boy with a curtain of chestnut falling over one emerald eye, smiled softly. "I'd know it anywhere."

An Asian grunted affirmative while the last paced the cellblock like a caged tiger, or dragon, to be precise. There was a growling, then a call, and Quatre's eyes slid closed, playing faster and harder than ever before.

Fire on the mountain, run boys run
The devil's in the house of the rising sun
Chicken in the bread pan pickin at dough
Grandma does your dog bite no child no

Treize took a small step back, and then another as Quatre rocked with his bow and fiddle, playing possession of the devil. There was a wide grin on his face, a fine sheen of sweat trickling down his brow as soft baby features became hard and deadly, all masks shattered and all lies reversed. Quatre's eyes were shut tight with something akin to pain and pleasure, like rough sex with a lifetime partner. In the swirling chaos of music, Quatre laughed a soft but fatal sound. He opened his eyes and Treize shivered. They were a very dark blue swimming in the realms of the subconscious, and with the gold of his skin, the gold of his locks, the gold of his soul, there was a thing of higher greatness. A king. An emperor. A god of the music.

The devil bowed his head
Because he knew that he'd been beat
And he laid that golden fiddle
On the ground at Johnny's feet

Treize set his violin down and bowed with elegant grace. His smile never faded, though his eyes were creased with lines of old age... and defeat. Quatre swooped his bow one last time and let out a bursting breath of air, laughing gleeful and his eyes sparkling as the high of the music lifted his thoughts and took him away in the rush. He nodded with Treizes bow and set out his hand for a sportsman's shake.

And as they shook hands, eyes drilling each other with old combative skill, Quatre wiped the sweat from his eyes, his expression still as stone. "I know you're a man of your word, Kushrenada. Free the others and let us go."

Johnny said, "Devil just come back
If you ever wanna try again,
I done told you once, you son of a bitch,
I'm the best that's ever been."

Trieze nodded dumbstruck, and tossed Quatre a single key card. With his back to the defeated man, Quatre's whisper was playful and musing. "And Trieze... never forget what happened here. You'll need to remember if you ever want to play again. I've told you once, and I didn't lie... I'm the best that's ever been." Treize's eyes flicked up and glittered, but Quatre smiled into space. "Don't fuck with the devil, Treize. You'll lose your soul one day."

Fire on the mountain, run boys run
The devil's in the house of the rising sun
Chicken in the bread pan pickin at dough
Grandma does your dog bite no child no

----------

"So Cat, what did Big K do when you kicked his ass?"

Quatre blushed and smiled softly, looking down from under baby blonde bangs. "I didn't 'kick his ass,' Duo. I just played some music."

"Yeah and I know what I heard. That was ass kicking, you smoked him didn't you?"

Quatre's blush turned scarlet. "You could say that..."

Trowa smirked at Quatre's side and nudged him persistently. "An innocent devil if I ever saw one, right Duo?"

The braided boy grinned widely, his eyes sparkling with mischief. "Damn right."