Promises Under The Influence
by Uru-Chan

"You're sure about this? You're crazy, Man--just gimme a light; we're off the clock!"

"I'm telling you, I heard something!"

K'so! Fuck! Fuck! Duo crouched in the blackened crease of wall and door, weapon primed.

"So you heard something," the lazy, self assured voice oozed from the corridor. "It's a new building, what do you expect? Prob'ly another one of those doors that open when you cough. Leave it alone, Man--you wanna get laughed at?"

Come on, just turn around, don't come over here, please God, don't let them find me. Sweat stung his reddened eyes, trickling from the jagged fringe of his bangs. He swiped at his brow, gun still clenched in his trembling fingers. Shimata! Too close to the barracks, can't risk the shot. Come on, nanase, just walk away...

"I guess you're right..."

"'Course I am. Now gimme a light man, I look like a fuckin' idiot here--"

"You are a fuckin' idiot..." The voices blurred into a haze of footsteps and laughter as the soldiers vanished down the corridor.

Duo sagged against the chill metal wall, fingers clenching the crucifix at his throat. Heh...Guess I'm glad I kept it. A tiny smirk curled at the bitter line of his mouth, fingers caressing the bruised surface of his cheek. So tired. The American clutched at his legs, settling his chin atop his knees. Maybe Wufei'll find the Target first. I took Trowa's place, I wanted to be the one to risk it; but now--I'm not so sure I can do it anymore.

He recalled the cool silence of the all terrain vehicle, the numbing throb of sound through his headset as he tried to blot it out. Heero... Ai shiteiru. Pathetic, isn't it? It's easier to keep believing, he mused, clutching the cool metal of his crucifix. God, Heero, you bastard. It hurt, it always hurts--why can't I forget you?

**You're in the doors that keep revolving/ The sirens that keep screaming/ You're in the flashing of the headlights/ The things that I'm believing**

A black-clad figure exploded from the cross-tunnels, breast heaving, chestnut braid snaking wildly about. Gunfire erupted behind him in a mind-shattering explosion of reflected sound. Duo navigated the winding corridors with reckless speed, skidding on the slick tiles as he rounded each corner.

"Hey! Hey, you there!" The American back-peddled, slipping on the freshly waxed floor, his ankle twisting beneath him. He fired instinctively; the man slithered down the wall into a disheveled heap, blood smearing it's gleaming surface.

No time to steal his clothes. K'so, they're right behind me! Duo struggled to his feet, eyes glazing as his weight fell on the injured ankle. I don't have time for this! Footfalls thundered along the hallway, driving the braided boy into an awkward flight. Blinding light extinguished shadow, doors refused his stolen pass-code, he bruised his fists against one unyielding surface after another.

No way out of this one, Baka he laughed maniacally, confronted at last with an unfinished lift, a dead end. Heero's gonna kill you for botching the mission. Heh. He'll probably come for you, just to finish you off. Duo stroked the chill metal barrel against the violet-green curve of his cheek. Slowly, pensively, he turned the weapon on himself. Maybe I'll just save you the trouble. Duo delivered a brief, trembling kiss, savoring the chill, metallic flavor. I want to hear you say it, Heero. I know just how it would be. Low, morbid laughter bubbled from deep in his breast, a wide grin splitting his ashen face. 'Ai shiteiru, Duo. BANG!! You're dead.'

**You're in the water that I'm drinking/ The sound of 911/ The walls that protect me/ From the damage that you've done/ In this world you are with me**

Slender fingers curled into trembling claws, raking at the tiled passage. The slight body arched, struggling to rise, only to collapse in a retching heap. Duo clutched at the dart embedded in his throat, only to have his wrist pinned violently to the floor. Dilated pupils gazed impassively at the cluster of men above, haloed angelically by florescent light. Large, moist palms grasped at his shoulders, clutching his legs, and he was hoisted roughly into a man's arms. Duo shoved weakly at his chest, resisting the muscular arms that crushed him, slinging him effortlessly about.

Don't touch me! Only Heero's allowed to.....Unconsciousness sucked at his thoughts, blackening his vision until he was singularly aware of the arms encircling him. I knew you'd come for me, Heero, he whispered, head lolling against the soldier's shoulder. I knew you'd be the one to take me home.

**But I walk this earth alone/ And all I've ever known/ Is you are right beside me/ If I love you for a day/ Then blow my life away/ Could I leave you behind me**

Cobalt eyes kept time with the rapidly scrolling data before them, the sole point of motion on the Japanese boy's face. The blue glow of the monitor, coupled with his sour expression, rendered him something sinister in the darkness. Heero glanced briefly at the narrow doorway, fingers never ceasing their rapid play across the keyboard. Trowa's one visible eye flicked in his direction, before returning to it's surveillance of the entryway.

This wasn't the mission profile, he muttered, sliding a second disk into the drive. First Quatre, and then Duo's little stunt this morning.... He'd chosen Trowa and Wufei to locate the Target and carry out the assassination, while he and Duo hacked the necessary files from the man's office. Disheveled, eyes at half mast, the American had dozed through the briefing in his boxers, oblivious to the snarling wing pilot. Later, Duo had balked at the idea of working closely with Heero, insisting that Trowa take his place.

His arm's a bit stiff; it's true he's not at optimal performance. But Duo... neither are you. I saw it this morning when I looked at you. You laughed like the baka you are, you lied about your face to Trowa, you sat there and grinned like it never happened. But you're not the Duo I raised my hand to last night, the one I beat for loving me. That Duo ran from me, out into the rain; I wonder if I'll ever see him again.

**You're in the crashing of the windows/ The angels 'round the ceiling/ You're in the fire in my belly/ The fucked-up way I'm feeling**

"We're running out of time," the Heavyarms pilot cautioned, glancing meaningfully at the Japanese boy.

"I know," he whispered harshly, sliding the final disk into position. Come on, Duo, you've made the kill; quit fooling around and call me--follow the goddamn procedure! Heero removed the stolen data, shutting the system down with terse, angry movements. You know you're alright, you're just being difficult, just trying to make me sorry for what I did to you. Demo, don't you see this is how it has to be? I'm doing what's best for you, Duo, I'm doing it all for you. That's why you have to call me; nanase, don't make me feel this way anymore.

**You're in the warning on the label/ The pills that disappear/ The wires as I'm talking/ The words you'll never hear/ In this world you are with me**

Heero clutched at the flesh of his upper arm, thick, sticky crimson bubbling between his fingers. His stride held no particular rhythm now, and his lungs burned with each ragged shuddering breath. Dogs yelped frantically in the distance, excited by the hot, metallic odor of his blood. Trowa stumbled through the brush beside him, grimly determined to reach their camouflaged vehicle. Heero's eyes narrowed in contempt.

Yes, go home to your little angel, he hissed bitterly, he'll stitch you up, he'll tell you he loves you, why don't the two of you fuck all over the goddamn house! It was time to move on anyway. Heero clenched his lower lip between his teeth, until blood trickled down his chin. What's the point in running? he reasoned bitterly. I can't remember how to live without him anyway.

**But I walk this earth alone/ And all I've ever known/ Is you are right beside me/ If I love you for a day/ Then blow my life away/ Could I leave you behind me**


Walk This Earth Alone by Lauren Christy

On to part eight. Back to part six.