A/N: I know that I shouldn't be starting another fanfiction when I've already got so many that need finishing, but I couldn't resist. This is a Gundam Wing and Yami no Matsui (Descendants of Darkness) crossover, neither of which I own. For once, I actually have an idea where I'm going with this plot, so it might, might, go faster than some of my others. If I get translations wrong, feel free to correct me in a review, as long as it's a nice one and that's not all you say. I may respond to some reviews at the end of various chapters, but only if they need responding to. "When are you going to update?" is not one that I consider a review that needs a response. Now, while I won't demand a certain number of reviews to update like some authors, do know that they make me feel all warm and fuzzy, and I write more when I feel all warm and fuzzy. So, without further ado, here is the fanfiction.

"Living Shinigami'

Chapter One


Duo Maxwell's pleas for mercy rang unheeded through the hallways as torture upon torture was piled upon him.

"It wouldn't take so long if you would stop complaining and just do the work for a change, baka," Heero said, glancing up from the papers scattered over his own desk.

Glaring at his partner over the stack of paperwork in front of him, Duo jumped in surprise as the phone rang.

"Shinigami's desk," he said with a grin, answering the phone.

"Maxwell, come down to the lobby," Wufei said on the other end, clearly distracted. "There's something down here that you should see…"

Curious, Heero followed Duo from their office. The sight that met them was hardly one to be expected, especially with what was known about Duo's past.

The Preventers' lobby was packed full of flowers and brightly wrapped packages. In front of the rather ludicrous display was a large wreath of flowers reading "Happy Birthday Duo!"

Said boy's face split into a huge grin. "They found me! They actually found me!"

"Just who found you?" Wufei asked, eying the piles. When Maxwell was sent packages of any sort, one had to be wary.

Heero stepped foreword and opened a card that was attached to the wreath, reading it aloud. "'Happy twenty-first birthday, Duo-kun. Sorry for the lack of gifts, but you were really hard to track down. The extra stuff was Chief Konoe's idea, so thank him when you see him again. With love, the Judgment Bureau.' There are seven names there, and more spread over the card."

Duo started to pick his way around the gifts. "Let me guess on those names: Tsuzuki Asato, Kurosaki Hisoka, Chief Konoe, Tatsumi Seiichiro, two signatures of Gushoshin, and one simply Watari with a little cartoon of a longhaired man with glasses and a ponytail giving the peace sign. Am I right, Heero?"

"You seem to know them rather well," Wufei said once Heero had nodded, the blue-eyed pilot dodging a rolled-up ball of wrapping paper.

"Well, Wuffers, did you think that I just popped up out of thin air?" Duo asked, throwing a large, black trench coat over his shoulders. "I just got lost for fifteen years, that's all, but someone did raise me for the first couple of years."

"You said that your parents were dead," Heero reminded him. "A claim you've repeated several times in the past couple of years."

"A claim that I still maintain too, because it's the truth," Duo said, staring at a tin of cookies with suspicion. "Maybe I'll let that new kid at the front desk try one of these first. Watari likes testing his formulas on people by putting it in their food. Never accept coffee from that guy. Owe my existence to him, but still don't quite trust him with food."

"Maxwell, we don't trust you with food," Wufei said with an amused snort.

"Though even you have to admit that I make a mean dessert," Duo said with a grin. "And you know that I consider it sacrilege to tamper with sweets."

"Thank Nataku for that," the Chinese man said, shaking his head. "Maxwell, surely you don't plan on opening them all here in the lobby."

Duo held a glass beaker up to the light. "Of course I don't. There's a note on that stack over there that specifically says to open those in private. Ooh, these are pretty nice quality. Wonder if he ever finished his formula."

"Is that a katana?" Heero asked with widened eyes as Duo opened a longer box.

The braided-boy didn't answer as he drew the sword from its sheath. Etchings in Kanji ran down the blade, which flashed brightly in the light. "How did he get this? The Kurosaki family sword… Arigato-gozimasu, Okaa-san. I think I'll open the rest of this stuff back home. Hey, I'm going clubbing tonight. Want to come with me?"

"If only to keep you out of trouble," Wufei said. Heero nodded in agreement with a smirk. "I suppose you've already decided on which club we're going to."

"But of course, my dear Wuffers. We're going to the Yami no Kage, the shadows of darkness (1). I'm gonna go find Cat and Tro, so I'll see the two of you later. Meet me at my apartment around seven."

"Where does he get his energy?" Wufei asked as he watched their comrade bounce away, the night's dancing already filtering into his steps. "It can't all come from sugar."

"Is it possible that it's genetic?" Heero suggested, looking up from where he'd been instructing a man to take the packages to Duo's house. Said boy had paused to offer a cookie to the man working behind the desk.

"If I ever meet another person with violet eyes and brown hair with that amount of energy, I'll be sure to let you know," Wufei said.

"My dad was worse!" Duo called back across the room. He was gone before either could recover from the horror inspired by the very idea.

As promised, (sort of) the four arrived at Duo's house at seven that evening. When the grinning man threw open the door, he was already dressed for the night and wearing his new trench coat. Duo's long hair was worn in a wavy ponytail instead of the familiar braid and a new pair of purple tinted sunglasses was perched on his nose.

"Well then, now that everyone's here, shall we get going?" a familiar silver-haired man asked, stepping up behind Duo and grinning as he used the shorter man's head as an armrest. Millardo winked roguishly at the lot of them. "Duo here promised me an introduction to a certain bar keeper, so I had to tag along."

"Ah, get off, Zechsy, or I'll tell her the truth about you, that you're an egotistical maniac who should have been locked up ages ago," Duo said, throwing the older man off of him.

"We'd be sharing a cell, Duo," Millardo said with a laugh, herding them all towards where a limo had just pulled up to the curb. "Relena lent it to me when I threatened to tell her secretary why she cancelled an entire day's worth of meetings last Friday." He wiped an imaginary tear from his eye. "My baby sister, all grown up and skipping work to go shopping with the gals."

"At least she didn't give you the pink one," Wufei said with a roll of the eyes.

"According to the plates, Wufei, this was the pink one," Quatre said, staring at the paint as though it would allow him to see through it. "She must have had it repainted."

"A stomach flu will make anyone recoil from the color pink, Fei," Duo said, climbing in with flare. "Alright, Jeeves, off to the club!"

They'd been to the Yami no Kage before, but something was off about the dance club that night, something almost otherworldly. The pilots could feel eyes on their small group nearly every moment they were there. It unnerved four of them. Duo, however, seemed completely in his element, brushing against and mingling with people that weren't there from one moment to the next. Quatre especially felt a cold chill in the air despite the heat from the crush of bodies and bright lights.

Over the evening, they saw over twenty different people claim a brief part of a song with Duo before vanishing, and Heero could have sworn he saw several without feet. (2)

Closing time found Duo sitting at the bar talking to a blond man in hushed tones that made it incredibly difficult for the others to eavesdrop.

"It'll take a while…change your citizenship back…branch of the ministry…" the blond man was saying. "…be partners again…family is family…"

"Thought you would," Duo said with a smile. "…summons department… nice disguise…"

The man laughed slinging an arm around Duo's shoulders. "Well, I figured they wouldn't let…his I.D. says he is." (3)

A woman joined the two, laying a hand on the blond man's shoulder and speaking in a clear voice. "Come on, Solo, it's time we headed home. Long flight ahead of us."

"When are you going to stop treating me like a kid, Sam?" the newly named Solo grumbled, sliding off of the stool.

"When you grow up and stop acting like one," Sam said. "So, this is the infamous living shinigami, Duo Maxwell?"

"Pleased to meet you, miss…" Duo trailed off, waiting for a name.

"Samantha Carter, call me Sam," she said, shaking his hand firmly. "Good luck getting back home. I'll look forward to working with you if our assignments ever overlap." (4)

"That'll be another four years still, at the very least," Duo said, returning her open smile. "But feel free to drop by every now and then until then for a visit, both of you. By the way, Solo, I know the records are sealed, but I was wondering if you know what happened to…well…"

"Don't know about your namesake, Duo, but I worked on your Helen's case personally," Solo said. "She didn't want to leave right away and it took quite an amount of effort to convince her that you'd be fine before we could give her the court summons. I'm sure they're both happy wherever they went, kid."

Grinning, Duo tackled the man and got him into a headlock, rubbing a fist into the top of his head. "I'm not the kid around here anymore, Solo."

"You're always going to be the kid," Solo laughed, slipping out of his friend's grip. "When we've both outlived the colonies, you'll still be the kid. Well, I'd better start heading out before the fuda wears off and they throw me out. See you around."

"Yeah, see you around," Dou agreed, giving the man a brief hug. "Say hello to the guys at the office for me when you get back."

The blonde pair waved to Duo as they left the club together, already starting a friendly argument by the time they'd reached the door.

"Heh, we should have called him Peter," Duo said to himself with a light laugh. "Guess that'd make me a lost boy though." (5)

"Old friend?" Quatre asked, sitting down on the stool Solo had vacated.

"Yeah, from back in the old days, when I still lived on L2," Duo replied. "Solo and I used to look out for each other, watch each other's backs while we took care of the other kids in our gang. We got… separated, I guess, during the plague. Until tonight, I hadn't seen him since. Well, I'm bushed, so what do you say we head back home. Work starts dark and early in the morning after all."

"Not to mention that I think our barkeeper wants to leave as well, and not alone either," the empath said, smiling. "It would appear that your matchmaking skills are improving, Duo."

"Well, now I have a favor I can use against dear Zechsy whenever I'm in a tight spot with the Une Lady. She listens to him better than she does me." The braided man pouted for a moment before brightening again. "I haven't opened all my gifts yet!"

Quatre laughed, pulling Duo to his feet as they made to gather the rest of their friends. Duo would be Duo.

A/N: Well, I hope you liked the first chapter. Remember, I love to hear from my readers, so please review. Here're the notes to match up with the numbers up above.

1. I'm not completely sure on this translation, so feel free to correct me if I'm off. The name is supposed to translate to Shadows of Darkness, just so you know what part of that may need correction.

2. Ghosts don't have feet in Japanese mythology.

3. Here's the conversation without the missing parts:

"It'll take a while to get you clearance, not to mention that you'll need to change your citizenship back. As it stands, you're only eligible to work in the American branch of the ministry, since it includes L2," the man was saying. "Course, I wish you'd stay with us so we could be partners again, but hey, family is family, so I understand."

"Thought you would," Duo said with a smile. "You know, I'm not surprised that you made it into the summons department, working L2 no less. That's a nice disguise, by the way."

The man laughed, slinging an arm around Duo's shoulders. "Well, I figured they wouldn't let a twelve year-old into a bar, no matter how old his I.D. says he is."

4. Yes, this is a shameless insert of a character from Stargate SG1. There might be a few more scattered characters from different things in the fic. It saves me from having to make OCs all the time whenever I need an extra. As for Sam's comment about working together, I decided that while the colonies all belong to different ministries, L1 belonging to the Japanese ministry, L2 belonging to the American, and so forth, their nearness would make it commonplace for a case to overlap more than one colony.

5. He's referring to Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, since Solo's physically frozen at the age of twelve, the age he died. This adult appearance in this scene is due to an illusion, as mentioned.