Shoot me in the Dark- by masamune

Warnings: Shounen-ai, angst, death, Duo torture- not so happy stuff

Disclaimer: I own everything that is my own. So shouldn't this fic and all characters within it be mine? No! Curse copyrights and the government that created it… I'd own Duo otherwise… but I don't…

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Shoot me in the Dark

I didn't know what time it was.

Funny, more than the bruises and cuts that would mark me for days, more than the metal cuffs that dug painfully into my wrists, I was suffering from not knowing what time it was.

That is the greatest problem with the darkness. There's nothing wrong with the dark being dark, that's what it's supposed to be. And the fact that you can't see through it is remedied by the fact that they can't see you either. You can hide in the dark; you can shield yourself with it. But the darkness can also make you stumble and fall, throwing you into confusion beyond being simply disoriented.

But can you tell the time in the dark? No.

Not only can you not see the hands of your watch, but also you can't judge the time of day by the sun. The only part of the night in which you can have any idea of the time is around dusk and dawn. And it's not the darkness allowing you to make sense out of the clock, it's the light, either retreating or relentlessly rising.

I had no clue what time it was, and that scared the bloody hell out of me.

I didn't know how long I'd been in this cold, black place. I didn't know how long I'd been out in the light, or how long I'd been in the dark before that. I wasn't even sure how many times I'd been brought out into the light, each time to be strapped down to a metal table and scurrying to build up my resolve while IV needles were stuck into my arms. Conductive bands were wrapped around my neck, legs, torso and wrists. Electricity jolting me slightly, a frightening precursor for what was to come, as gloved hands attached to faceless beings secured the cool metal. Stop…no need to think about those things…

I thanked God, yeah, the same one I'd cursed so often. I wouldn't need to go back there anymore.

"This is a hell of a lot better than the light," I whispered to myself, a strand of my long, brown hair falling into my mouth as I spoke, the words creaking out of my parched lips, thundering in the absolute silence.

I chewed on the rogue strand of hair, tasting the blood in my mouth along with it. Before they'd tortured me, I was a different person, in a distant world. My world before was one of pain, suffering and endless strife, but it didn't always mean brutal, excruciating pain during all waking moments of light.

The darkness had been my friend there, in that long lost world, shading me and turning me invisible. Here, in this bleak hell, it was the comforting, firm pillar that held me in its arms. Against the light, darkness was my angel; the place/thing/whatever that I'd never had in real life.

I belong in the dark, I realized. It was MY color, the only thing I'd wear… except for red on occasions.

Like the gloves I wore right now, coming from the beautiful, crimson material called blood.

Blood on my hands…again, no, always. I'd never be free from the blood, never be able to wash it all off. It was the one thing that stopped me from turning totally black, brother to the darkness. I could never be one hundred percent invisible in the night with the scarlet setting me apart from infinite black. And the blood on my hands would give me away in the day. Worst of all…I would be able to see it.

I say all these things as if I'm the victim, like I've been wronged. I don't deserve any sympathy, any relief or salvation. I used to think that my life was a tragedy, like Hamlet or Macbeth or some other incredible drama where fate spun a web and a trap for me. I was poor, poor Duo Maxwell, who anyone could have sympathy for and feel bad for if they'd read my long, sad book. There was one thing though, that made up for all of the pain, jinxed chance and wrong done to me.

I betrayed them.

And worse, betrayed the one I loved.

It was during the latest torture session. The pain, the suffering, the torment had filled and consumed me to the point that I'd become nothing more than the shrieking embodiment of pain. The numerous IVs that pumped merciless poison into my blood, creating the sensation that I was being cut apart in every place of my body by a knife that never drew blood, never cut my skin but slashed through me relentlessly, cutting at everything, slicing it again and again.

The interrogator had informed me about the 'influence system'. He was a short, young OZ officer whose voice, I was sure had been on loan from Satan himself. While his endlessly deep voice mostly asked questions, usually just repeating the same one over and over, he did tell me how I was being tortured. He explained to me that I could never die from the poison, that it only caused extreme pain by stimulating certain pain receptors in the nervous structure. He also assured me that the electric current would never be turned up high enough to fry me to a crisp, which I'd always hoped it would. It didn't need to last long, he said. I'd just need to tell them what they wanted.

And I had.

I broke.

He'd asked me, "Who is 01?"

And after an eternity of undesirable hurt, I came to see the name as freedom.

"Heero Yuy!" I'd cried out, never having said anything else before, always keeping my vocal participation during these interrogation periods in a wracked, ever-dying scream.

And he'd shut off the machine.

Then he asked again, because the name had come amidst glass shattering screams and tearless sobs, "Who is 01?"

It was the absence of pain that did it. That, and the freedom staring at me, off in the distance, embodied by two deep, stoic, familiar eyes. It felt so good, to know that I'd betrayed him, to have finally given in that the words tumbled from my mouth again and I repeated them over and over again to the OZ officer:

"Heero Yuy."

His name was my savior, and the first step down Judas' path, down which I'd ran like the wind. I told them everything I knew. Everything about Operation Meteor, the scientists, the Gundams and their pilots. I fell deeper into treachery, never looking back, always trying to run from the pain…

…until now.

Now I'd been locked up in my cell again, chained to the cement wall. It was there that I'd really seen what I'd done. I screamed out that I had lied, that all the information I'd given had been false, cover to save my own skin. I shouted into the emptiness that Heero Yuy was not 01's name. I screamed and shook against the grimy cuffs that dug into my, now twig-thin wrists. In what seemed an epoch of suffering and anguish that made the world of light, the room of torture, seem wonderful I denied everything I said.

Heero Yuy was not 01's name! I lied. Yes, Shinigami lied.

And then, I cried.

I cried past the point where tears couldn't come anymore. I cried until they came back and dried up again. I'd betrayed them all. I'd betrayed Heero, I'd even told them how much I loved him. Nobody knew that, not even him!

The feelings and attachments that had built up for the Wing pilot had been locked deep inside of me. I'd feared for the longest time that he'd find out… that he'd notice the quick glances I always gave in his direction, or the longer, dreamy stares I'd pay him when he wasn't paying attention. Or even worse! He could have found my deep secret in the mindless cry of one of the dreams I'd have all too often of him.

But I'd betrayed him, love and all. Even the darkest, closest thing to my heart had fallen into the light when I'd broken down, cracked, right in two.

Why did I have to say his name? I'd held out for so long, gritted my teeth and absorbed all the wicked, cruel torture… Something would have happened eventually, my pain couldn't last forever. The last window, the only way out of it would open up one day. A time would come when the interrogation would stop and I'd be saved.

But I couldn't keep track of time, not in the dark, without light.

And so, when I'd seen giving in was the only window out and the end to it, I broke. After further reflection, having time to think in the darkness without clocks, after the tears had departed I'd realized that I had accessed the way out. There was no key, there was no door and what I was trying to end wasn't just the torture.

I was trying to end my life.

I'd told them everything they'd wanted. They'd kill me now, and that would be it.

Like Macbeth, like Hamlet, my tragic slip would herald the end for me. But it wouldn't be a proper tragedy if the suffering was all my own would it? Hah! Never! It had to be written out that I'd bring the others down with me, along with the hopes and efforts of those that had fought so valiantly for space and the colonies. But I own all the blame; I own all the fault. I WROTE the story this way, created the tragedy through my will.

But I can pour buckets of salt on these small wounds. I betrayed the cause, I betrayed the colonies. As terrible as it sounds, it doesn't hurt me. The fact that I betrayed the other pilots, Quatre, Wufei, Trowa, that hurts. No, I didn't forget Heero. He's not a part of that pain.

He's a piece of the thing that's killing me.

Have you ever hurt someone you love? Probably. Have you ever hid your emotions for the object of your affection? Most definitely. Have you ever killed the one you loved? …maybe a handful raise their hands. Have you ever killed the one you loved and become the thing that he hates the most, above all WHILE keeping in all the things you feel for him? My hand would go up, but it's chained to the wall.

Sometimes, when I eventually slip into sleep, I dream of him. At first, I had visions of him coming and rescuing me, like he has before. He'd appear in a roar of explosives and walk into my cell through a haze of gunsmoke, freeing me and taking me to safety. And if it was one of those kind of dreams he'd ravish me somewhere along the way.

Now I imagine him coming into the cell, the smoke still present. His eyes glare daggers at me, his face is twisted into a mask of disgust and hate. He spits my name, aiming a gun at me. BANG! And that's it, not so bad of a nightmare is it? But that moment where I look into his eyes and see his hatred for me, that hurts, that cuts me deep. The only thing that hurts more is he seeing me, seeing all the love I have for him, seeing me in my final pathetic display of misery and lowliness. As much as I love him, I never want him to see me again. I'm also unsure of whether if, on the off chance that I do survive all this, I'll want to ever see him again. I think that maybe the sight of a love that I lost so bitterly would…


The invader came quickly, spilling into the black room. It only reached one- third of the way across the floor, but the rays burned my eyes, forcing me to blink rapidly and turn my head away from the source. The door made no sound as it slid open, the light signaled only by my own gasp and the soft shuffle of footsteps. I forced myself to look up, and my head dropped immediately.

"Duo Maxwell, you will come with us," One of the two OZ soldiers that appeared in the light, silhouettes with machine guns, instructed me. "Do not resist."

The second comes forward, and watching his eyes I know that I must look like a mess. The soldier eyed me warily the whole time while he undid my restraints. The metal cuffs snapped open and I fell out of them immediately, the soldier in front of me caught my unsteady form just before I hit the floor.

"He's half-dead," The soldier who held me said to the other. The concern and emotion in this man's voice didn't surprise me; these soldiers were human, just like anyone else.

"Soon he'll be all the way dead," The first responded. "As long as he can walk just a little ways… Or maybe we're going to have to carry him off?"

I staggered to my feet then, unsure of where the strength to do so came from. My whole body felt numb except for my eyes, which continually burned from the extreme, stark white light. I swallowed and motioned to the open door, figuring I might as well get on with it.

The first soldier only nodded in reply and signaled to the other, who gently bumped me with the tip of his machine gun. I stepped out into the light.

Walking to your own death isn't quite the dramatic or emotional event that you'd think of. It's actually quite dull. The corridors of the OZ facility were the normal, boring hallways. The soldiers, were still human beings and I was still alive. The last few minutes of life are exactly the same as every other minute before them. You're alive and still in the exact same world. And for a few minutes, it'll stay that way.

I walked on, without emotion, finally getting accustomed to the intense light. The foreigner made each object glow and shine just too brightly and I squinted all the way down the hallway. The two soldiers that had come to retrieve me weren't the only ones escorting me. Another had appeared directly outside of the cell and slapped yet another pair of restraints on my wrists. These were quite comfortable though I decided. We walked on; my escort of seven soldiers all parading with me to my grave. I didn't care that I was going to die, in fact, I felt quite relieved that it was finally happening. I was almost feeling weary of life, sick of living. Above all though, I just wanted to end my misery, my existence ASAP. I thought that it would make me happy, man's last joy, ya know? Everything was crystal clear in my mind, this was the end, and that was all. Heh, well, there was one thing that I was beginning to feel unsure of.

It was walking down a particularly long corridor that I made up my mind. I really did want to see Heero one more time before I died. Even if he hated me, I wanted at least to see his face again, maybe even hear his voice. I was debating whether or not if our paths crossed one last, if I'd tell him how I truly felt for him. Two sides bickered in my head, and just as I was leaning towards confessing my love, the guy in front of me's head exploded.

It was in a very confused and surprised state that I watched everything unfold. Quite honestly, nothing moved in slow motion, rather, it all happened in quick flashes, but I can recall each instant vividly. The soldier in front of me fell to the floor, the stump of his neck and jaw spewed blood while a mushy gunk, that I think was his brain, hit me in the chest. I blinked, and the hallway was engulfed in a slew of gunfire. Bullets flew everywhere, the soldiers way in front, turned back in confusion, the others fired at something or other that I couldn't see. The crack of guns going off and the high pitched scream of flying bullets engulfed the hallway. I looked up to see that most of the escort in front of me had fallen, some writhing in agony, others absolutely motionless in their own pool of blood.

Heat came from behind me, a red light and a terrific boom crashed. Whipping around I watched as a fireball flared up, tearing and bending the walls and doors as it decimated everything in front of it. Roaring like an angry ghoul, the explosion seemed to suck up the soldiers in front of it. I covered my face from the heat and the radiating light, sinking to the floor.

For a quick, calm instant I huddled there, my ball of security briefly comforting me because only an unlucky bullet could hit me. Contrasting to the chaos and racket that had filled the hallways before, a calm, eerie air of silence fell on the corpses and me. Aside from the groans and ringing of alarms in the distance, all was quiet. I began to lift my head up slowly…

Someone grabbed my braid from behind. A small cry issued from my throat as a hand pulled me up sharply by my long hair. The pain in the back of my head and neck was incredible and I cringed, shutting my eyes. I stumbled on my feet, having been raised by this unknown person. Whoever it was still had a powerful grip on my braid and was pulling me around by it like a rag doll. I bounced and flubbed around, the white hall shaking in my vision. As my head was being jerked around, I caught a flash of an OZ uniform and heard cursing in a language I didn't understand. A door was open behind the OZ soldier and strangely, the cursing seemed to come from there…

A muffled gunshot twerked, a surprised cry came from the soldier and was cut off by another muffled gunshot. Something warm covered the back of my thin prisoners uniform, soaking through immediately because there was enough of it. The hand loosened its grip, but as the dead soldier fell to the floor, he still tried to pull me with him. My legs were weak; I tried to stand on my own, but had only barely managed to do so when another hand grabbed my braid.

Before I knew what was going on, I was sucked into a deep blackness, a small rectangular doorway providing the only light. That door was shut quickly and I was whirled around to stare at the face of my new captor.

I couldn't make out this person; the room was too dark. Blinking my eyes to adjust them to the sudden darkness, I didn't even see a fist fly through the air as a solid punch cracked me directly in the nose. I staggered back, but was roughly thrown into the metal wall by my captor, my head cracking on the hard surface.

I was dizzy, everything was black, and blood was dribbling down from my nose, running over my lips. I licked them involuntarily, the salty taste filling my mouth.

"What's the fucking big idea!" I spat angrily, not caring in my plight that that was probably the wrong thing to say. It was and I got another blow to the head for it. Despite being dizzy and just recently punched, I saw a muscular, bare arm cock itself for another attack. I brought up my arms to my face and shut my eyes tightly, hoping the blow wouldn't' come. It didn't.

The man, I could make out his body now, though only faintly, paused and then quickly pressed himself up against me, pinning my body to the wall. He pushed himself, and I with him, along the wall for a few feet and then stopped, pushing his body as hard as he could against mine. I was wondering what the fucking hell was going on. Was this guy dry humping me? Then I recognized it.

Hey… What's that familiar smell?

"Shut the fuck up," A rough, angry voice spat, very close to the back of my neck.

It couldn't be…


"I said shut the fuck up!" His voice was fierce and distorted by incredible anger and hate, but it was Heero's nonetheless. My mind began to spin, partially from his punches and partially from his presence. What in the world was he doing here?

I could hardly believe it as I felt a sort of dizzy shiver run through my body, feeling the heat of his body. This was the most physical contact I'd ever had with the man of my dreams… What a strange time for my dreams to come true, after they'd been deemed impossible so recently, along with my only hopes. He pushed against me, as if trying to hammer me into the hard wall. Both of us were deathly silent and still, and in the dark room the only sensations I could make out was the smell of his body and the feeling of it up against me. The blows to the face still stung too and created the only sound as a soft pat-pat of blood hit the floor occasionally. An eternity and a half passed and I was about to ask him what was going on when I heard footsteps and voices.

Faintly, I could make out voices in the hallway outside. Their words were faint and too soft for recognition, but I knew more or less what a soldier would be thinking, walking down a hallway filled with carnage and dead comrades.

Bright light. A door opened, white invading the room and pushing over the fleeing darkness, throwing shadows everywhere. Not daring to even move my head, I looked around as best I could. A long table, lots of chairs, a phone maybe, a mantel, an automatic assault rifle pressed tightly to the shoulder of a point man. I could see all this, especially the soldier, quite clearly. He and two other soldiers, all with weapons raised, slowly began to step into the room. I gulped, sucking down air for all I was worth. They couldn't see us. Looking down, I saw the light end, literally at my feet, the separating line from white and black stretching out in front of me. Instinctively, I hugged the dark refuge, pushing back a little, wanting more than anything else to be able to run into the dark folds of safety. Heero hissed at the back of my neck, and pushed back against me, urging me not to move.

The point man looked right at me. Shit, he must have heard something.

"What the fuck was that?" The man, unlike the other soldiers, was wearing all black, none of the tell tale OZ garb or medals and had his face covered in a mask. "You hear something just now?" He asked a man behind him, shaking his gun at the corner where we huddled.

The other man whispered hoarsely, "I don't think so." Heero began to fumble with something in his pants… Hentai thoughts went through my head, but I was quickly grounded in the messy reality as the special ops soldier spoke again:

"Gimme a light. I need a flashlight."

Yup, this was it, we were fucked, end of the line. Having nothing better to do myself, I wished silently that Heero would pull out some artillery and blow the guys away. I prayed for an earthquake, a tsunami. I prayed to God, that fucking asshole, desperately hoped he would finally do something good for me. The soldier took a step forward. BOOM! Prayers answered.

Vibrations shook the ground, throwing everyone off balance. I began to stumble forward, my head almost falling into visibility, but Heero grabbed the back of my blood soaked shirt and pulled me backwards. The OZ soldiers, looked around in bewilderment. From outside in the hall, where red streaks marked the walls and floor, a voice came, saying something about an explosion in a different area. Two, three figures rushed by the doorway, furiously racing somewhere.

The special ops man turned around and growled, "Come on! Let's go!"

He ran outside and was followed by the other OZ soldiers. The door shut, I panted for breath. When did I start holding it? The door slid shut automatically, and everything fell black. I gave a sigh of relief, and exhausted for all my worth, slumped back against Heero. His shirt was soft and he was warm and solid, comforting, I could even hear his heart beating, feel it. I wanted to stay like this forever.

"What do you think you're doing?" Angry, fierce words, and it took me a moment to realize they came from Heero. Biting a strand of hair that had fallen into my mouth, I heard him repeat, "I said, what do you think you're fucking doing, Duo?"

I moved back, his warmth disappearing. I turned around. The room was black still, and the recent light made it again, impossible to see. But, as a troubled atmosphere came to my attention, I quickly thanked the darkness for not allowing me to see Heero. I couldn't see his eyes burning with hate. I couldn't make out the terrible snarl on his face. I couldn't run my eyes over his gorgeous form. Only a silhouette, a frame that could be described as the presence of one infuriated by betrayal and treachery. My recent sins against him flooded back into my mind; I stepped back even more, bumping a table. How could I have forgotten them, even in a scramble for my life?

"No one should come back for some time now," Heero said slowly, articulating each word with an accent of loathing towards me. "Other charges in different sectors are set to blow, they'll be busy." That sounded like a threat, and I really began to wonder why Heero was here. "Why are you so quiet, Duo? Finished spilling everything to the OZ and don't have anything left to say?"

He was here to kill me. His voice gave it away and if there had been light, his body language too, perhaps. I was thankful that I couldn't see him very well, and equally so that he couldn't see me, as a defeated, pathetic look crossed my face. I didn't know what to say. My eyes were beginning to adjust; I could make out the contours of his body now, the muscular arms, lean legs and powerful shoulders. A gun pressed firmly into his palm.

"Traitor," He hissed, the word cutting deep into my soul. Yes, I was. "I can't believe you'd rat us out like that. I hoped you were stronger then that." Heero was intense, edgy. I had never seen him so visibly moved by anything before, certainly not by me.

"I…I'm sorry Heero," The only words I could say, the only words I deserved to say fell out of my mouth finally. "I'm sorry."

He was looking at me, glaring at me. I couldn't tell for sure, but quickly conjuring up his face from my memory, I saw the lovely cobalt jewels burn, ready to swallow me. He walked away, and I could faintly make out a switch on the wall. Dread welled up inside of me and I asked in a hushed voice:

"Please. Please don't turn the lights on Heero."

He wheeled around. "Why?" Just a question, the first word he had said to me that lacked negative energy.

"Please Heero," My voice sounded miserable and weak, even to myself. "Please just keep the lights off."

The gun was raised, leveled off directly at my head and Heero spoke, "I respected you, trusted you even. Out of all of us, I had the most faith in you. You're not getting out of this. Goodbye, Duo."

"I love you Heero," I whispered, tears rolling down my cheeks. I wanted it to end and never know the great hate he bore me in his eyes, and I wanted to see his face one last time. I was torn between the two.

He paused, hesitated. "What?"

Unable to bring myself to say the words again, a sob caught in my throat instead. I looked straight ahead at him; everything seemed to be getting brighter and more detailed. Through my tears I could almost make out his face. It got brighter still, as if the sun was rapidly rising in the pitch- black room. I imagined that in a few more seconds I would be able to see him in a clear, unhallowed light.

His jaw clenched, his finger tightened.

A bright flash of white illuminated everything in the last moment.


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