Explanation/Excuse: So somewhere in between doing the two things I do most, warbling off key with the radio and reading fan fiction, this story came to me.  I hope you like it.

Disclaimer: Me no ownie… but my birthday's coming up!  Anybody love me…?

Warnings: Author retardation, AU

Killing Him Softly

The club was dark, a cushion in which he sank gratefully.  Never in his twenty-odd years had he imagined doing this and the herd of butterflies in his stomach were content to show him this.  He swallowed thickly, his fingers numbly fumbling for his pack of cigarettes.  Why was he so freaking nervous?  What was there to fear?  He told himself repeatedly that there many, many people here, and he was but a face in the crowd… no one of notice.

It didn't help much.

Alright, what the hell possessed him, the great ice block of a man, Heero Yuy, to come to a seedy club like this to listen to some boy sing the blues?  What the hell?!  It had started out innocently enough, I mean, the boy was played on the radio, his soothing voice pouring from his car's speakers like a rich, heady wine… his words speaking to Heero's very soul, voicing every pain that he couldn't… grrr - sentimental bullshit, all of it.

And yet, that hadn't stopped him from purchasing the boy's cd… that hadn't stopped him from reaching out…  He'd needed to touch that soul, that one that felt so much like his.  It was intoxicating, really, the need to be close, to tell the boy what he felt.

A blush colored his face, and while it was hidden by the darkness that shrouded him, he still felt its burn on his cheeks.  He'd written to him – many, many times.  He'd gotten the address from some magazine, c/o Such and Such Recording Company, it didn't matter what.  He didn't really care if that boy'd read them, celebrities never did, but it felt good to let it all go, to tell some one what he felt, even though no one read the letters.

What little light there was in the club faded, and Heero was brought from his thoughts abruptly.  The thought occurred to him that he didn't even know what the singer looked like, but he brushed it off callously.  It didn't matter.  He'd come tonight to bask in the music… that treacherous music that had some how gotten under his skin.

Shadows moved on the pathetic excuse for a stage that the club had, and a chair scratched discordantly on the stage, doing nothing for Heero's already jangling nerves.  He was of two minds.  Part of him wanted to end this foolishness and leave this God forsaken club – he wanted his old, mundane life back.  But the other part spoke just as strongly, and it wanted the spiritual medicine, it wanted the music, and forced his eyes to remain glued to the black void that was the unlit stage.

A gentle strum of guitar made his mind for him, silencing what remained of the icy side of Heero Yuy.  Sure it was slightly out of tune, but unseen hands made quick work of that problem, steadily testing the strings again.  A brash voice called out from the stage, asking for light and Heero was allowed his first glimpse of the boy whose music had so consumed him.

There, perched on a high stool and wrapped around a worn guitar, was a little fallen angel.  He couldn't have been any older than eighteen, nineteen at the most, and yet his eyes…they seemed an impossible shade of amethyst – a trick of the light?  And they looked so… old, as if at such a young age, this boy had seen the entire world.  Hair that must have been chestnut in natural light glowed ethereally with streaks of pink and green, presumably from the lights above.  It trailed over his shoulder in a braid, resting next to his hip.  Pale skin that looked like porcelain captivated Heero's eyes, made all the more pale by the black draped on the narrow, wiry frame.  This boy was perfect.  Perfection then spoke:

"I wanna thank all you guys for coming out to see me tonight.  It's a special night for me, really, you see, I wrote some new songs, and I was wondering if you would hear them out for me tonight?" Subtle cheers were heard from the audience and the boy grinned broadly in response.  "Thanks."

All feelings of awkwardness flew from Heero as soon as those short, kind of stubby fingers began their work on the strings of the guitar.  The music was melancholy and haunting, and soon he was coasting away from his pain, caught almost immediately in its spell.  When lyrics finally began to register in his mind, his breath was gone.

How did he know?  He did this dark angel know how he felt?  It was if each song were telling his story, spreading out his whole life for everyone to hear.  It was painful and clenched at his heart, but it wasn't terrible, in fact it felt surprisingly good.  After each song, Heero felt a sort of calmness, a peace surround him as if he'd just had a good cry – but, of course, Heero Yuy would never do anything like cry.

Strangely, it felt like this boy was doing it for him.

The answer hit him like a brick wall somewhere in the middle of the set.  He knew why this boy knew everything of his pain!  Why it felt as though his life was being sung with every word.  The letters.  He'd read them.  He'd actually, freaking read those letters!  He'd poured everything into them, thinking them safe in the piles of fan letters that his creature undoubtedly received everyday, and yet he'd found them!

His blush once more clamored to control his face, his shoulders shrinking slightly in embarrassment.  As he listened on, the truth became frightfully evident.  An occasional turn of phrase that he'd once used in a letter, a few sentiments that Heero had shared… it was all there and all sung by this boy.  Heero watched him closely, hoping to discern what was going through the young performer's mind as he sang words reminiscent of Heero's own,  Yet the only thing he could glean from the boy's gently closed eyes and open expression was the impression that he'd not only read them, but read them many times… and perhaps even out loud.

He cringed further, praying with all his heart that this would end soon… that the boy would take his bows and stop spilling those words from his sweet lips.  They hit too close to home and resonated too deeply within him, and yet song after song was played, and Heero felt as if he were slowly and softly dying, slain by a beautiful angel with a guitar.

Vaguely he wondered if this were plagiarism, yet he pushed the thought aside.  The music was still working its magic on him, those stubby fingers still strumming away at his own personal pain.  It didn't matter.  Sure he felt exposed, vulnerable and open, yet calm.  He wanted it to end, it felt so alien.

The angel spoke into the microphone.  His voice mildly subdued, "Well, that was my new album.  It's called Letters.  I hope you all enjoyed it, thank you."  And unceremoniously, he walked off the stage, leaving Heero feeling slightly stunned in the audience.

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I heard he sang a good song

I heard he had his style

And so I came to see him

And listen for a while

And there he was this young one - stranger to my eyes

Strumming my pain with his fingers

Singing my life with his words

Killing me softly with his song

Killing me softly with his song

Telling my whole life with his words

Killing me softly, with his song

I felt all flushed with fever

Embarrassed by the crowd

I felt he'd found my letters and read each one out loud

I prayed that he would finish

But he just kept right on

Strumming my pain with his fingers

Singing my life with his words

Killing me softly with his song

Killing me softly with his song

Telling my whole life with his words

Killing me softly, with his song

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If you could let me know what you think, I'd really appreciate it.