Promises Under the Influence
by Uru-Chan

Four o'clock sunlight bled through the all-terrain vehicle, draping the cab with soot and dingy gold. The low rumble of ancient machinery rattled the door-locks, throbbing ceaselessly in the stale air. Long, elegant fingers grasped the stick, shoving the truck into higher gear.

"Eight hours," the green-eyed boy intoned emotionlessly, gaze pinned to the speed-streaked highway. Heero started from his vigil at the window, elbow fixed in the jamb, cheek resting on the flat of his palm. The Japanese boy grunted his approval, annoyed at the interruption.

Cold and civil to the last, he muttered, grasping a battered pack from between his ankles. Nevermind that you despise me. Heero rummaged through half unraveled gauze and magazines for the water bottle, scowling in frustration. Trowa doesn't fuck with other people's business, not like he did last night. I didn't ask his opinion, I didn't ask for his help. I sure as hell didn't ask him to pull a gun on me. Kuso, Quatre's really fucked him up. The Wing pilot's fingers closed on smooth, cool plastic, one edge sharp against his thumb. He withdrew the CD case, tracing its patterned cover with his fingers.

Duo... The bluish explosion of the oriental pattern sent a hand unconsciously to his cheek, stroking it's bruised surface. Heero flushed with the shame of it, Trowa's punishment for his callousness, his own punishment to a boy professing love. He could still recall the hot sting of flesh beneath his fist, the bloom of color on Duo's face. Eight hours of silence with him; it isn't right. If Duo were here... If he hadn't taken Trowa's place... Kuso; I can't stand it anymore. Heero lifted the gleaming disk from it's case, shoving it into the dust-caked stereo, bracing himself for punishment by memory. Sound rumbled up from the speakers, startling the boy at the wheel, saturating the cab with an aura of black and menacing lust.

**I look at you and then I see your fire/ and I'm thinking 'bout desire/ yes I'm thinking 'bout desire/ Telling me the things you try to hide/ and I'm burnin' up inside/ Oh how I'm burnin' up inside**

I thought it was for the good of the mission, the Japanese pilot reasoned, cheek pressed to the window. I thought that if I lo -- cared for you... like the dream, Duo, if I were the one to kill you... I don't want to be the one to hurt you. I don't want anyone to hurt you.

Heero recalled the Heavyarms pilot, mere days ago, murmuring promises to his Angel, the one who altered him, made him this unfamiliar, pathetic -- Iie. That's not it at all. Admit it, damn you, it's jealousy. You hate him because he's not afraid to promise, you hate him because he's got Quatre waiting at home for him, and Duo's not because -- Cobalt eyes squeezed shut, fingers curling into a fist. Because you abused him. He took Trowa's place to get away from you, that's what you did to him, that's how much he hates you. Heero bit his lip at this self-degradation, relishing the sting of it.

**When I think about the first time that I saw your face/ I never felt this way/ Oh Lord I never felt this way/ And now I'm wishin' that you feel the same/ If there's any way/I'll get down on my knees and pray**

Duo, the Wing pilot growled, tongue lapping the blood from his bottom lip. Omae wa ore no mono da. Everyone abandons you; you want somebody to own you, somebody you can't escape. I want to be inside you, Koi. I want to take you like I did before, I want to take you until there's no difference between us anymore. I want to make it right, Duo. Please, let me make it right.

**You're like a burnin' flame/ And I'll never be the same/ No I'll never be the same/ You're like a burnin' flame/ and I'll never be the same/ No I'll never be the same**

'Are you lost niisan?' 'I've been lost all my life' Heero gazed impassively at the blur of tree-trunks and un-mown grass, fingers clenching the plastic case. I wish I'd never touched you; I wish I'd never let you go. If I'd been strong enough to do either, I wonder if it could have saved you. The waning sun sparked gold on dead grass, glistening in an endless ray along the highway. In his minds eye, callused fingers closed on a simple crucifix, drawing the braided boy close. It had been so easy to pretend, to take Duo in lust, and have it mean absolutely nothing. The American derived comfort from it after all; no need for love -- no need for anything at all. But Duo doesn't work that way, he realized bitterly, and neither do you.

**What kind of fool am I/ To want your body next to mine/I want your body next to mine/ I need you any time/ And I'm breakin' down inside/ Oh Lord I'm breakin' down inside/**

"Is there any water left?" Heero's head snapped up at the sound of Trowa's voice, startling from his thoughts. The Wing pilot realized he'd never found the bottle himself as his fingers closed on it's slick surface, and he tossed it at the boy's waiting hand. The Heavyarms pilot swallowed conservatively, placing his wrists on the wheel as he fastened the container. Heero accepted it, tucking the bottle in the folds of the pack. His fingers brushed chill metal, and he withdrew the weapon, stroking his thumb pensively against the barrel. Eight hours.

**You cover me with all your hopeless little fantasies/ I never had before/ No I never had before/ And now I'm livin' in my own reality/ 'Cause of the things you did to me/ Oh the things you did to me/**

Heero caressed the trigger of the weapon, resting unloaded against his thigh. Cobalt eyes squeezed shut, replaying the newsreel of the previous night with graphic clarity. Two pilots sat bound to their chairs, scarcely visible as a blonde, uniformed man denounced rebellion. The words dribbled meaninglessly through pale lips, an obvious ploy to launch a rescue attempt for their comrades. The officer stepped aside, followed by two soldiers, and the camera dutifully zoomed in on the victims.

Wufei gazed stoically into space, hair loose and clinging to his sweat-slicked cheeks. Color blossomed on his aristocratic face, but Heero was certain he'd not broken. Truth be told, he'd never harbored any doubts about either of them. The lens slid to the braided boy slumped in his chair, head lolling, obscuring his face from view. A gray-eyed soldier grasped a handful of chestnut hair, yanking Duo's head back. The Japanese boy's finger twitched reflexively on the trigger, mouth a fine line of fury at the memory of the American's brutalization. Blood trickled from the boy's lips, vivid in contrast to his blanched skin, the liberal smattering of swollen and bruised flesh. The raven-haired officer's fingers lingered on Duo's shoulder, his face, disturbingly possessive in a manner Heero couldn't pinpoint. Mine! Don't you fucking touch him! Delirious, possibly drugged, the braided boy flinched, trembling in the shadow of this cruel and haughty man.

I'll kill them, the Wing pilot intoned viciously. I'll kill every last one of them that touched you. But that one... Kuso -- he's going to suffer.

**You're like a burnin flame/ And I'll never be the same/ No I'll never be the same/ You're like a burnin' flame/ And I'll never be the same/ No I'll never be the same**

Burn by Sister Machine Gun

On to part twelve. Back to part ten.