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Gods of War
Chapter Three
An Evangelion x Gundam Wing Fic
By Korogi Nagisa

      Duo jumped down into the entry plug that was still half-inserted in Unit 01. He climbed through the cabin and nestled himself into the pilot's chair, letting his hands feel out the control column a moment. "Wow… this is a MUCH better cockpit than my Gundam," he grinned, flipping a few buttons on the panel and strapping himself in.
      Suddenly the sides of the plug exploded in a dazzling array of colors, the hatch door slamming closed behind him. From Technicolor to red to blue… the cabin seemed to come alive around him.
      "Shit… what'd I do!" Duo sat forward in the cabin and watched as the walls seemed to calm down around him, an occasional computer command scurrying across the plug wall.
      Duo felt the plug move and jerk about, guessing that it must have screwed itself into the Evangelion unit on its own. "Handy..." he frowned, adjusting the headpieces he had stolen from Shinji's locker. He saw the foot of the plug begin to fill with the pink LABS fluid Shinji had told him about. "Moment of truth… if I drown," he spoke to the cockpit around him, "I'm haunting you for the rest of your life. You'll come to Hell with me."
      He let the fluid fill up past his head. Gathering all the courage he could, he exhaled, watching his air bubbles rise through the liquid. Saying a last word in his mind, he forced his body to take a deep breath of the liquid.
      The feeling nearly sent his mind into shock, feeling the liquid enter his lungs and saturate them immediately. The liquid tasted like musty salt water, but his lungs felt incredibly oxygenated, despite the fact. "Cool…" he choked out his last bit of air. "That… wasn't too bad," he coughed a bit. "Ok… now… how do I get this thing to work? A little help would be nice."
      Beside him on the side of the cabin, a computerized panel lit up, displaying a sort of Help File scrawled in Japanese on the wall.
      "Well… if that isn't convenient…" he leaned over, squinting through the Japanese a moment. He paused occasionally to rub his chin and play with his meter-long braid of brown hair. "Hn… it's almost like piloting a Gundam…" he sat back in the chair. "This shouldn't be too hard."
      Slowly, Duo adjusted the control column and flipped a few switches before settling back in the pilot's chair. "Test synaptic relays…" he announced to the cabin.
      Suddenly the Technicolor came back to the cabin walls, dissipating quickly to paint the cabin walls in a projection of the habitat around him, like the walls of the cabin had suddenly dissolved into glass looking out over the EVA habitats.
      "Woah!" Duo chuckled, feeling the head pieces in his hair gently spark his brain into a connection with the Eva. "This thing is AWESOME! Way better than my Gundam…" he peered over to the help file. "Initiate hertz-monitor…" he felt every organ in his body pulsed with a tiny zap of electricity. "Oh grief… that was different," he rubbed his head as his mind seemed to blank out on him for a moment.
      He peered over at the help file once more. "Okay… ready, Duo?" he poised himself, making sure he was comfortable in his chair. "Initiate primary motor neuron connection. Evangelion Unit 01…"
      Suddenly the cabin erupted in a deep red, a wallpaper of incompatibility warning messages plastering the cabin around him. Duo had barely any time to be startled at the sudden environment change. He suddenly felt his mind whirl out of control.
      Sudden pain gripped him, rocketing at him from all sides to attack him at the neurological level. He slouched forward, grabbing handfuls of his hair. "What the hell…" he cursed through clenched teeth. He knew it wasn't possible, but he felt his mind scramble around him. "What's going on…"
      Sudenly there was nothing.
      White
      Blank
      Nothing
      Silence
      Duo suddenly felt as normal as he ever had.
      Slowly he opened his eyes and raised his head.
      He found himself sitting on the shore of what looked like a sea of pink water. It didn't move like water, more like thick, pink milk. "What the…"
      Slowly, Duo tested his body to make sure that he was in fact ok enough to function. He didn't feel any pain. His mind still felt fuzzed a bit, but aside from that, everything felt normal to him.
      Duo gathered his feet under himself and stood up slowly on the cement 'beach', looking around briefly.
      Reality around him was white. There were no hills, no sky, no clouds. Just white, save for the pink sea before him. "I must be dreaming. Where am I?"
      "You are here," a voice answered him from behind.
      Duo wiped around, his braid circumnavigating his head to whap him in the face. He found himself staring at… himself. A complete and exact mirror image of himself, from the white-collared priest's shirt to the stolen head pieces. "What the… ok, now I KNOW I'm dreaming!"
      "You are not dreaming," his double answered him completely void of emotion. Unmoving.
      "Yeah, sure I'm not. Which is why there's an ocean of Jell-o behind me," he threw a thumb over his shoulder, "and I'm standing here arguing with myself."
      "You can not bring yourself to admit to yourself who you are. You fear failure. You fear death. You fear the truth."
      Duo frowned…. Then laughed out loud. "What was that, run it by me again. I'm lost."
      "To overcome your fears, you have become Death itself."
      Duo cocked his head to the side and placed his hands on his hips. "This is too weird. That Eva-what's-it-thing must have scrambled my brain." He reached a hand to his head and rubbed it gingerly.
      "Shinigami-sama."
      "Yeah, that's me."
      "He is you… you are he, as I am I."
      Shaking his head in confusion, Duo waved a dismissing hand at his mirror image and turned to the pink sea behind him…
      … the pink sea was no longer there. Instead, Duo found himself staring out the window of a moving train car. "What in the absolute hell…" he turned quickly back to his double, taking care not to be struck in the face by his marauding braid again.
      The double sat comfortably on one of the train's white seats smiling flatly up at Duo, his legs and arms crossed casually.
      "Ok… start talkin', pal. Just what in fuck's sake is going on here! There was just a damned pink ocean behind me…"
      "The perception of this environment as your mind sees it is a direct reflection of the mind itself. This environment is what you make of it. Some see grassy plains and fields, other's see a house. You see this train car."
      The figure looked up at him from the white bench on the train car. "You appear to your friends to be a happy, cheerful and carefree person. But in your mind, you hold secrets bottle and caged as to who you really are. You hide your true self to your friends, but Shinigami sees this. Shinigami knows. Shinigami is not blinded by your mind and actions as the others are."
      "Look pal, whoever you are. If you're trying to get inside my head, it will take a lot more than riddles and stupid imagery. I'm outta here if I have to jump off this train myself." With that, Duo reached for the window behind him, meaning to fling it wide open and jump out.
      The window shattered as he touched it, the shards of glass all seeming to target the major veins and arteries in his entire upper body. Duo had little time to register pain as he saw the white wall of the train car spattered instantly in his blood, the shock forcing him to sink slowly to his knees.
      As the needles of pain wound through his body, Duo slowly raised his shaking hands into view. His wrists had been slit cleanly, the shards of glass still imbedded in his wrists, glinting in the white light. He felt warm blood trickling down his neck from the gashes to his jugular, into his shirt from the shard that pierced his aorta.
      "This… this isn't real…" Duo whispered to himself, watching the blood pour from his wrists. He raised a shaky hand to gently touch one of the shards of glass that protruded from his neck. "No…not real…"
      His head began to cloud over, Duo further collapsing to the floor in the puddle of thick, warm blood that was forming under him.
      "You fear death."
      "I don't want to die," Duo admitted quietly, again raising his hands to stare unbelieving at his slashed wrists. "Not like this…"
      "But you are death."
      "I can't …"
      "Which is why EVA refused you...."
      "But I'm alive...."
      "EVA is your opposite..."
      "I don't want to die..."
      "Like night is to day..."
      "He needs me…"
      "You know who you are."
      "I can only be me..."
      "Duo Maxwell. You are the Devil..."
      Duo squeezed his eyes closed. A sudden bombardment of images ran at him, impacting his mind. The guys. The Gundams. Battles. People. Death. Carnage. Blood. Hate. Hurt. Pain.
      "No…" Duo reached his shaking, bloody hands up to his head.
      The last image hit Duo full force and blew him onto his back, his arms fanning out to fall flush with the floor of the train car. He laid there staring at the ceiling, lying in the shape of a crucifix.
      "God will not save the Devil."
      Duo yelled, almost panicked.
      He felt his wrists suddenly run through by large, iron spikes, securing them to the floor of the train car. Through the pain, Duo screamed and arched his back off the floor…. Seconds later, the iron spikes pierced his ankles…
      His head erupted into hundreds of tiny, needle-like pain arrows as if a halo of barbed wire had been spun around his head.
      "You will serve your fate, Shinigami…"

      Duo screamed as loud as his lungs would let him…
      Suddenly nothing.
      Vacant
      Void.
      Deserted.
      No pain…
      "Duo?"
      Duo's eyes popped open in a heartbeat, the young pilot almost immediately startling his body to sit up.
      He was on a train car… but not like the one he was just on. This one was… normal?
      "Duo… are you ok?"
      Slowly, Duo swung his eyes around to see Heero sitting on the train car bench above him as Duo sat on the floor, an absent finger rubbing one of his wrists. The other frowned disapprovingly down at Duo and leaned forward. "Duo?"
      "Where am I?"
      "On NERV's transport car. We're all heading back to the surface and back to Cinq Kingdom. You've been asleep the whole ride… and mumbling in your sleep."
      Duo chuckled lightly to himself, pushing his thin body off the floor. He shrugged to Heero and crossed the train car, sliding into the bench beside him, crossing his arms over his chest. "Nightmares, I guess."
      "You ARE a nightmare."
      Duo raised an eyebrow and looked briefly at Heero. The other's eyes were closed as Heero was in his ever popular "ignore" mode.
      Looking away from Heero, Duo looked around the train car. There was no one else here. "Hey Heero… where are the others?"
      "Wu Fei is not here."
      "No no… where are the others! Ya know, Quatre, Trowa…"
      "They don't belong with us."
      Duo frowned, turning in his seat to face Heero head on. "I'm still dreaming.. or halucinating, aren't I? You're not really Heero… I'm still in that crazy pink-jello place, aren't I?"
      Heero popped open an eye and looked at Duo. "Are you feeling ok?"
      "Yeah, you'd ask me that…" Duo rose a finger to his head and twirled it around in the universal signal for a loonie. "You're not fooling me. This mind game of yours isn't gonna make ME go crazy!"
      "You've already gone crazy. Now shut up before I kill you."
      Duo frowned again. "Hn. Very convincing."
      Heero frowned and opened both eyes, turning a scowling face to Duo. "Are you done acting like a lunatic yet? I'd like to enjoy a little peace and quiet without your pointless babble for two minutes, if you don't mind."
      Duo watched Heero settle back on the bench and close his eyes again. As he watched, Duo's mind ran through the past events. 'Maybe I WAS just dreaming. I seem to be back to reality… for all I know."
      "Duo?" Heero popped an eye open again.
      "Hn?"
      "What were you mumbling about in your sleep? About the Devil."
      Duo blinked his eyes a few times, startling back. "Uh… ya know. Just a nightmare, and all," he chuckled and patted Heero on the back. "Ya know me… obsessed with my Gundam… heh heh…"
      Heero shrugged and returned to his normal position.
      Duo suddenly felt ill. The train car was rhythmically rocking back and forth, almost making him seasick. Gently, Duo slid off the bench and onto the floor. His entire body began to ache. "What's going on…"
      Above him, Heero popped his eye open again, watching Duo as the other slumped over on the floor. "You ok, Duo?"
      Duo gripped the fabric of his habit. His wrist ached… he pulled it into view.
      His wrist was bleeding violently.
      "No… I'm still dreaming…"
      "Duo… you're bleeding…" Heero's face came into view, the slightest hint of worry passing over it.
      "Heero… get out of here, now. Just leave me here and get off this train."
      "What are you talking about?" A warm hand cupped itself over Duo's bleeding wrist. "You're other one is bleeding too…"
      Duo raised his other hand to see his wrist bleeding profusely. "Heero… please… just leave…"
      "Duo, what's going on?"
      Duo's back began to ache furiously. It throbbed as if something was trying to break out of his body.
      Heero frowned and reached a soothing hand to Duo's back. He felt it rise and fall in inhuman patterns, the black fabric of Duo's habit beginning to rip at the source of the upheaval. Something was growing out of his back. "Duo…"
      "Just GO!! Heero!!"
      "I'm not going to leave you here like this!"
      The fabric ripped violently sending millions of rivets of pain through Duo's body. He bit his bottom lip and slumped forward into Heero, the other trying desperately to keep Duo's body still.
      Duo inhaled in a deep, raspy breath and screamed.
      Heero had never heard such a sound before. The pain that echoed in Duo's voice nearly broke his mind in two, rattling his entire body as his friend shuttered violently in his arms…
      Huge, black wings exploded from Duo's back, like the sickly thin wings of a giant bat.
      Heero's eyes grew to the size of saucers, dropping Duo's shaking body to the floor of the train car. Panic filled Heero's mind almost immediately, the boy shuffling quickly back to bury himself in a corner of the train car.
      Slowly, the pain subsided in Duo, the pilot raising his sweat-dappled head to see Heero cowering in the corner, his face nearly white as a sheet. "Heero…" Duo pushed himself onto his feet.
      "Stay… stay away from me…" Heero whispered, trying to further bury himself in the corner of the train car. "Stay away…"
      "Heero, wait. This… this… I can explain…"
      "You ARE the Devil!" The other shouted, watching Duo wince at the word. "Shinigami. Stay the fuck away from me! Don't ever touch me again!"
      "Heero!!"
      "Duo…"
      That voice. It wasn't Heero's…
      Duo spun around to once again come face to face with himself. His normal self. Plain, normal Duo.
      "Your secret is out… Shinigami."
      "You…" Duo snarled, the great black wings lowering to fold behind his back. "Then I'm still dreaming."
      "No, you are not dreaming," his double smiled vainly to him, an identical pair of black wings unfolding from his back. "This is all very real. Heero is very real…" the double motioned off in the corner where Heero still sat cowering in the corner.
      "Stay away from him."
      "Or what?" the double chuckled, reaching forward to gently tug the collar of Duo's habits into a perfect position.
      Duo slapped the other's hand away violently. "I WILL kill you, make no mistake."
      "You don't deny who you are then?"
      "I never have."
      "But yet, dear Heero will never look at you the same again…" the double smiled past him. "Such a pity that no one will ever look at you with the same trust again."
      The double suddenly disappeared from Duo's vision, leaving him to stare helplessly at the door to the adjoining train car as it flew open. In bound Quatre…
      The young boy skidded to a stop almost instantly upon seeing Duo, the large black wings still highly visible.
      "Quatre!"
      Slowly, Quatre backed up. "Oh no… Duo…no…"the other turned to flee
      "Quatre… wait!" Duo stretched out a hand.
      The train car door slammed shut, locking instantly, leaving Quatre to slam into it, quickly turning to put his back against the door, frightened wide eyes locked on Duo. "Don't… don't hurt me, Duo…"
      "Quatre… I'm not going to hurt you!" He took a few steps forward.
      "Stay away from me!" The boy began to yell and scream frantically.
      "Quatre!" Duo rushed forward and grabbed the blonde Arab by the shoulders and shook him once. "Quatre, it's me!"
      Quatre's screams came out in ragged gasps as the boy clutched his chest, the color quickly leaving his face.
      And Quatre sank slowly to the floor.
      He was dead.
      Duo's jaw dropped open and he backed slowly from Quatre's still, limp body.
      The door burst open again. It was Trowa.
      Duo and Trowa locked eyes, Trowa's face growing suddenly surprised and frightened. "Duo…"
      "Look, Trowa…"
      Trowa stepped forward to stumble over the body at his feet. His eyes fell to the specticle… "GOD! QUATRE!!"
      Trowa sunk instantly to his knees, taking Quatre's limp body into his arms. "Quatre… say something… QUATRE!" Trowa shook Quatre's lifeless body violently before burying his face deep into the blonde boy's shirt. "Who did this to you…" Trowa's menacing eyes raised to Duo. "You bastard… I'll kill you."
      "Trowa… it wasn't me… honestly…" Duo backed up a few steps as Trowa rose slowly to his feet. "Trowa…"
      In an instant, Trowa flew across the room, his fingers quickly seeking out Duo's throat.
      The instant Trowa came in contact with Duo's flesh, his heart gave out on him.
      Clutching his chest, Trowa sunk to the floor…
      "NOO!!!' Duo screamed. He pulled on his hair and turned pleading eyes over his shoulder in time to see Heero leap into the air and tackle him flat to the ground.
      Duo rolled over onto his hands …
      Behind him, Heero lay in a sloppy pile on the floor.
      " … no… no no no…" Duo crawled across the floor to Heero's body, taking it up into his arms. Heero's eyes were fixed and unmoving, his lips blue. "HEEEEEROOOO!!"
      "Duo."
      Tears cascading down his face, Duo turned slowly to see Wu Fei standing silently amongst the carnage, standing perfectly in his white fighting Gi.
      Wu Fei regarded the scene with a single look before centering his eyes on Duo.
      "Wu Fei…" the other whispered, wiping the back of his arm across his face. "Wu Fei… do something. Help me…"
      "I can not un-do what you have done here today, Duo." Slowly, Wu Fei began across the train car, stepping lightly over the dead bodies of Quatre and Trowa. He leaned down to where Duo sat cradling Heero's body in his arms. "The Devil has awakened in you, Duo." He reached a finger out slowly to Duo's cheek.
      "Don't touch me. Everyone who's touched me has died."
      But Wu Fei gently touched a finger to Duo's cheek, wiping away a tear bed. "You can not physically harm me by your touch, Duo Maxwell."
      Duo frowned and inhaled a deep, staggering breath. "But… how…"
      "You and I are both gods."
      "What!" Duo shook his head away from Wu Fei's touch. "This isn't real… none of this can be real…"
      "You didn't really think that you could hide who you really were from them for very long, did you?"
      Duo snarled up at Wu Fei, further bringing Heero's body to his own. "From them?"
      "I've known about you for a very long time, Duo Maxwell."
      "Sure you have," Duo burried his face in Heero's hair, choking back another sob. "You said we were both gods? Then what are you?"
      "I am Shenlong… the Dragon God. But you knew this already."
      Duo shook his head. "Go away, Wu Fei… or whoever you are."
      In all impossibilities, Duo felt Heero stir underneath him. Drawing back quickly with wide eyes, Duo looked down to see Heero blink his eyes lazily, sitting up from where Duo held him.
      "Heero! You're alive!!"
      Heero turned thin eyes on Duo…
      "Heero… are you ok?" In a burst of speed, Heero's elbow caught Duo under the chin, knocking him onto his back. Heero lept atop Duo's body, a long iron spike in his hand.
      With his foot, Heero pinned Duo's wrist to the floor, raising the iron spike to a perilous height above his head.
      "Heero!! NOO!!!"
      With a blood curdling war cry, the spike flew, impacting Duo's wrist, securing it to the wooden floor of the train car.
      As the pain shot through his arm, Duo barely caught his breath to scream as Heero lept again, another spike in hand. Soon, it ran itself through Duo's other wrist.
      Slowly, Heero stood up from Duo's body as he now lay spiked to the floor. With two more iron spikes in hand, Heero kicked one of Duo's leg's to the side, throwing one of the iron spikes into his ankle.
      Soon, the other…
      Duo's body shuddered violently as the pain coursed through his mind. He couldn't think… could barely breathe.
      Wu Fei's face appeared in his view, shaking his head slowly. "There's always a downfall to being the epitome of absolute evil… the price of being martyred.
      With one last breath, Duo screamed as loud as his lungs would let him…

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