Category:  AU, Gundam Wing, Yaoi
Pairings:  will be 1x2, 5x2, 1x5x2, 3x4
Warnings:  minor angst at best
Author:  Arigatomina

Sufferance

Prologue

"You are certain of this?"  The man's voice was low, his dark eyes darting again to the door through which he could hear low moans and the sound of
someone moving.

"I know he *believes* he is possessed by something," the priest said softly, his wide eyes damp.  "We've done everything we can for him, we tried to convince
him he was deluded.  That's when the marks appeared."

"Let me see them.  If it *is* a case, I'll begin immediately."

The priest nodded quickly, but he pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket when he reached for the doorknob.  "The temperature fluctuates.  It was so hot I had
to undress him earlier, then it dropped to below freezing.  In a matter of seconds."

"That's a sign," the other man said, his hands curling around his bible as he straightened his dark sash.  "Open the door, Father."

"Yes..."

As soon as the door opened, the sounds inside the room stopped, and the tall man's eyes widened when candles suddenly burst into flames around the
room.  They were everywhere, but the only occupant was still on the bed, his face an expression of misery.  A glance at the priest showed that this was nothing
out of the normal, and he raised an eyebrow at him.

"He kept saying it wanted out.  That he has to keep it in, but it wants out."  The man's face was pale, and he stared at the floor, making no move to enter the
room.  "I cannot go in."

"Stay, then."  The tall man took three steps forward, and he couldn't stop himself from jumping lightly when the door slammed shut behind him.  Then the
figure on the bed let out a scream and he stared at him.  He'd seen pictures of the boy, knew he was not more than nine years old, but the mass of hair on the
bed was abnormally long.  And the boy's muscles were tensed so much that the cloths tying him down seemed to be straining from the tension in them.

"NO!  I won't let go!  I won't let you--"

The man swallowed sharply as the boy's scream was cut off, his thin body clenching as he moaned from what sounded like horrible pain.  "Duo..."  The name
came to him easily as he'd heard much about the case before he'd decided to check on it for himself.  At his whisper, the boy stilled, and he opened his eyes.  
They glowed with a violet light that made him want to run for the door.

"Please...don't let it out..."  The boy choked, and then his expression changed suddenly, his eyes dimming as a small smile curved his lips.  "I don't know
what's wrong with me," the boy said, his voice completely changed as he sighed.  "The Father told me I have a split personality, but I can't seem to help
myself.  Please, you could help me, couldn't you?"

Blinking at the abrupt change, the man walked to the edge of the bed, noting the clear gaze as the boy turned his head to look at him.  "You want me to do
this, then?  And how would it help?  If it isn't a demon, then why would you need this?"

"Because nothing else has worked," Duo remarked, his smile sad as he closed his eyes.  "And I scare myself."  

It was lying.  This much was obvious, and the man found himself focusing on the boy's hands, those thin wrists tied securely to the bedposts.  His hands were
clenched so tightly that the knuckles had turned white.  "Who are you?"

"You're quick, I'll give you that."  The formerly cheerful voice grew soft, and Duo's smile was evil.  "You don't need to know my name, he hasn't given me one
yet.  But he will.  Once you free him, of course."

"Free him...the boy..."

Duo gasped suddenly, his body shaking and he blinked rapidly before gazing at the man standing beside him.  Violet eyes widened.  "Oh no...please no...."  
The man's gaze was dim, but his movements were fluid as he slowly opened the book he held.  "Wake up!  Stop!"  The man's soft voice made his body burn,
and Duo screamed as he pulled uselessly at the straps holding him down.  "You don't know what you're doing!  Stop!  I won't let you *do* this!"  The man didn't
so much as blink, then the boy felt it, lifting from him, that presence.  "NO!  I won't let you go!!!"

It was the unearthly scream that made the priest enter the room, and he had to leap back as the door was blown off its hinges.  Then he gave a cry of terror
as he stared at the boy.  His face was ashen, his expression one of extreme effort, and his hands were curled in front of him, the straps hanging limp from his
wrists.  Palms facing his neck, Duo's head was tilted back so his closed eyes were raised to the ceiling, and he was shaking.  But he wasn't breathing.

"Duo!?"  The priest ran forward, bypassing the tall man, whose words still flowed out, echoing in the room.  The screeches somehow quieter than them, and
they weren't coming from the boy.  He didn't think as he reached the boy who sat on the bed, and he slapped him with all the strength in his body.  The sound
was like a thunderclap, then the ceiling blew outward and two males cowered from the deafening laughter, the third dead when he hit the floor.

"Oh God...I tried...so...hard...I'm sorry..."   The light blue sky visible through the gaping hole grew dark, purplish black storm clouds churning suddenly.  
"Forgive me...?  Please..."

***6yrs, 6mnths, 6days later***

The wars had started with a suddenness that was uncanny, but those left alive afterward were too stricken to wonder what had gone wrong.  No nation was
spared as even those who refused to choose sides were cleared with the growing chaos.  Atomic bombs did most of the damage, as it seemed even the
smaller seemingly weak countries suddenly found themselves with the weapons.  In the beginning, it was as if a madness had come over the people, those few
who were left with the ability to think rationally were either snuffed or sent into hiding.  The rest were bloodthirsty, and they annihilated their enemies.

Then, six and a half years later, the war was suddenly over.  No one knew what had ended it any more than why it had started in the first place, but the
ravaged remains of the world's cities were searched slowly by the survivors.  And slowly, the remaining population was gathered together.  So few, and without
their technology, even these died as people were lost to simple sickness and accidents.  But there were survivors, and some were leaders.  Some...were the
ones who'd driven the war on...and these were the ones who came to rule what was left of the world.

* * *

Part 1

* * *

He really didn't know what to expect, but the building was in surprisingly good condition for having survived the six-year war.  Of course, Heero was certain it
had really been rebuilt, but he could still tell that it had once been used as some sort of restraining facility.  The fact that it was circled by a sixteen foot
electrified fence spoke much of the type of facility it was.  The armed guards also told a tale.  But then, he didn't really question the control, as the same was
happening all over the world.  People his age had to be protected.  This was what he'd been told when he'd been escorted across the seas on a horribly
antiquated ship.  While he hadn't seen any of the much-talked-about-rebels, he didn't doubt that they existed.  What he doubted was that he'd be safer in the
hands of the people who sought to protect him.  And he didn't need the protection.

Little choice he had, though, since the men with him kept him under guard, guns that had somehow managed to survive as well.  And from the looks of them,
they had enough ammo to be completely unworried about one fifteen year old boy.  They didn't even know he could speak their language, assuming that since
he'd been found in Japan, that was the only language he knew.  Luckily for him, he'd been taught well in the last five years.  The war had prepared him for
this, for the pain of a questionable peace after a massacre.

Heero quickly found that he'd overestimated his new protectors, they were anything but ordered and nothing was said to him as he was given a push.  He
didn't stumble, and he turned his head to stare at the man who'd prodded him into the doorway, only to find that the door had already been shut.  Then he
turned to look at the people he'd been thrown in with.  They were children.

Actually, they were all around his age, and he could tell by their different appearances that they'd been found all over the world.  While he expected them to
peruse him as he was them, only one or two of the multitude looked up, the others focused on the food they ate.  They were seated at long tables that were
lined up in the large room, and Heero wondered if it wasn't some sort of cafeteria.  There were no adults in evidence and the Japanese boy was at a complete
loss as to what he should do.  Standing in the doorway didn't seem to be the answer, but he didn't want to join the others.

He blinked when a tall boy walked to him, and he turned his head to look him over.  His form was slender, and he was dressed in a dark gray turtleneck and
pale jeans.  Heero couldn't tell what origin he was, but green eyes met him with an ease that made him raise an eyebrow.  The boy's reddish brown hair was
odd, short yet long in the front as it hung down to nearly cover half of his face.

"I'm supposed to ask you to join us," the tall boy said, his voice monotone as he stared at the dark-haired boy.  "Will you join us?"

Heero blinked sharply, frowning at the boy.  Then he followed a long-fingered hand as the boy gestured toward the back of the room and he spotted a table
that was emptier than any of the others.  There were three boys sitting at it, and they were watching him.  "If I say no?" he asked, his cobalt blue eyes
narrowing.

"Then you say no," the tall boy murmured.  He turned, and walked back to the table, not glancing behind him.

Heero stared after him.  He couldn't figure out what had just happened, but he suddenly found himself following the tall boy.  It would do him no good to stand,
and he was curious despite himself.  Green eyes glinted briefly as the boy sat, and Heero moved to the bench across from the four youths.  

"Thank you, Trowa."

He stared at the blonde boy who'd spoken, his mind jotting down the name as he took in the one who'd spoken.  Rather pale, the boy looked to be a head
shorter as the tall boy, Trowa, sat beside him, and his pale blue-green eyes were clear of any hostility as he met Heero's gaze.  

"Hi, I'm Quatre." Smiling, the blonde boy shook his head. "I didn't want you to just stand over there by yourself, I remember how I felt when they first brought me
here."

"Where are you from?"  Heero noticed that the boy didn't seem at all bothered by his cold voice, and he blinked when the blonde smiled at him.

"Arabia.  You wouldn't have guessed, right?"  Quatre smiled wider when the boy looked doubtful, and he sighed.  "No one ever believes it when I tell them, but
I *am* Arabic."

"And you're Japanese, right?  I've never met anyone from Japan before."

Heero frowned as his eyes moved to the boy seated to Quatre's right, and he raised an eyebrow at the boy's cheerful smile.  "Yes.  Heero Yuy."

"The name's Duo," the longhaired boy smiled.  "Duo Maxwell, at your service.  And I'll be the first to welcome you to what I've dubbed...Alcatraz."  

The name was lost on him, but Heero was caught as the boy laughed, violet eyes sparkling merrily.  Then the black haired boy sitting beside Duo jabbed him
sharply in the side and the longhaired boy winced with more pain than the gesture called for.

"Damnit Wufei!"  Glaring at the boy, Duo rubbed his side, then flushed when he noticed the new boy's gaze.  "This is Chang Wufei.  But he goes by Wufei.  
He's Chinese."

"And you're an idiot," Wufei said coldly, his black eyes narrowing as he stared at the boy beside him.  He'd only meant the blow as a mild reproof for acting
immature, but Duo's reaction brought an always present anger to the surface.  "What did you do, Duo, hit yourself?"  The violet eyed boy flinched back,
looking down sharply.  "Why do you keep doing that?"

Heero kept his expression blank, but his eyes moved between the two boys.  Then the longhaired boy stood quickly.

"You're a real bastard..."

Wufei flinched, but his glare doubled and he watched as Duo moved away from the table, his black clothing disappearing as some of the others were now
standing in groups and talking together.  "Damn him..."  He turned slowly, his teeth grinding together at Quatre's reproachful glare, and he nodded when he
saw Heero watching him.  "He hurts himself.  He's been doing it since I came here, but it's gotten worse lately."

"Why?"

Quatre sighed and shook his head.  "We don't know why, he won't say.  I don't even know how he does it.  I mean, we're with him most of the time, and he
couldn't go anywhere at night without waking us up."

"His nightmares wake us up," Wufei said, nodding to Heero.  He wasn't at all bothered to be telling about his comrade, as he already knew the Japanese boy
was a part of their group.  As friendly as Quatre was, he'd never asked anyone else to join them before.  "Quatre and Trowa have been here for at least a
month, but Duo came two weeks ago, a day or so before I did.  If he hadn't tried to kill himself we wouldn't have known what he was doing."

Quatre had his head bowed, but Trowa's gaze was steady and Heero looked at him, raising an eyebrow.  "And he failed?"  He'd tried to kill himself before, but
that had been as a weapon, and his death would have furthered his side.  Never had he thought to end his life without a good reason.

"I don't think he really wanted to die," Quatre whispered.  When he looked up, his eyes were damp.  "He said he didn't do it and...I believe him."

"Right," Wufei glared, sneering at the blonde boy.  "Someone else came into the dorm and slit his wrists.  That's what you're saying."  

He wanted to snarl at his friend, but Quatre held himself in check.  They hadn't known the American long, but he'd managed to get to all of them, and the
blonde boy was certain the reason Wufei was so cold was because he liked Duo.  "He didn't have a razor, not even a knife."

"And he had wrapped his blanket around the cuts," Trowa said, his eyes boring into Heero's.  Quatre was certain Duo hadn't been lying, and after seeing the
evidence for himself, Trowa knew the incident hadn't been a mere attempted suicide.  The longhaired boy had been in a panic and he'd been terrified of
dying.  "He woke us up to help him."

"I'm surprised they didn't lock him up," Heero said slowly.  "They're supposed to be protecting us.  Even from ourselves."

"They would have," Wufei said, his gaze still dark with anger.  "If we'd told anyone.  We don't actually see much of the adults.  They bring us supplies and lock
the doors so we can't get out, but they don't interfere with us."

"Where is this dorm?  Is that and this room the only places we have access to?"

Trowa's eyes narrowed as he looked at Heero, and his mouth curved into a smirk.  "You were a part of the war."

It wasn't a question, but Heero nodded anyway.  "Yes, I was."

"Wufei and I were, too," the tall boy said, his visible eye glinting.  "Quatre's family were pacifists, so he didn't participate.  And we don't know what Duo did
during the war.  But he's an American."

"I noticed.  The war started in America."  Heero didn't react when Quatre's suddenly wary eyes flew to him, but he saw that the Chinese boy was glaring at him.

"Blame Duo for the war and I'll kill you."

He was usually the one saying that to his enemies, and Heero actually smirked at the black-haired boy's dark glare.  "I'm not.  And you couldn't kill me, Wufei.  
You'd lose your life trying."

"Please don't fight," Quatre said softly, his eyes moving between the two boys.  "I hate it, the war is *over*."

"Maybe," Trowa nodded, moving his arm around the slender boy as he gave his shoulder a light squeeze.  "It should be.  There aren't enough people left to
fight anymore."

"Besides," the blonde boy said, his eyes on the table.  "Duo already blames himself for the war.  I just can't figure out why..."

"It's stupid," Wufei said scathingly.  "He's fifteen, our age.  He'd have been nine when the war started, ten at the oldest.  It's a weakness of his and it makes me
sick to my stomach."  He glared at Heero, leaning forward.  "So if you do *anything* to make him think there's *reason* behind his blaming himself, I'll make you
regret it.  Maybe I *can't* kill you, but you will be sorry."

"Don't make me repeat myself," Heero said back, not the least bit bothered.  He'd seen people defend their friends before, it was evident where the boy's
anger came from.  "I don't blame him, American or not.  Everyone who participated is responsible for the war, if he didn't fight than you, Trowa, and I are more
to blame than he is."

"That's right."

Quatre smiled at the way the two boys were watching each other as it was obvious they were in agreement.  "I wish Duo could hear you say that.  You
shouldn't have run him off, Wufei."

"Do you expect me to sit back while he does it?" Wufei asked, glaring again as his mind returned to the previous subject.  "Forget it.  You can accept it as a
fact if that's what you want," the blonde boy grew sad, but Wufei's eyes only narrowed more, "but I won't.  Not until he stops."

"Quatre, go ahead."  Trowa knew the others didn't understand what he was talking about, but he could feel how tense the boy was under his arm.  "Go find
him, I know you want to."  The blonde smiled at him, and his patient expression softened a bit as a swift kiss was pressed to his cheek before the boy stood
quickly.

"Okay.  Heero?  I'll see you later, right?  They'll show you around."  Quatre smiled again as the dark-haired boy nodded, then he turned and crossed the
crowded room.  Knowing Duo, he'd find him in the dorm.  Aside from that, the bathing facilities, and the outdoor exercise area, there wasn't anywhere else he
could be.

The dorm was rather empty, and Quatre passed a few closed doors, the others left open to the hall.  It was nice to have separate wings, and as much as it had
surprised him originally, he now took the slight privacy they had for granted.  As it was, there were only five cots in the room he and his friends had chosen,
luck was on their side.  //With Heero, we won't have to worry about them sending someone else in with us.  And Heero won't tell.  I know he won't.//  Their
largest worry had been that someone outside of their room would notice the cries that sounded at night.  But the walls were too thick, and so far they'd been
able to hide Duo's nightly torment.

The door to their room was open a bit, and Quatre slowed, stopping outside as he could hear a soft voice muttering something.  He knew it was Duo, and he
listened, hoping to learn more about the boy.  As he'd told the others, he believed the American when he'd said he never lied, and if someone was hurting him,
as impossible as it seemed, Quatre was determined to find out who.  

"I'm stronger than you...*that* doesn't matter, why don't you get it?  I'll never let you go.  You won't get free...No, never again..."

Quatre bit his lip hard, his eyes burning as he realized the boy was talking to himself.  It was worse than he'd thought.  While he'd lived a sheltered childhood
before the war, he'd seen more than his share of the madness, and he knew it was bad when a person talked to himself.  Especially since Duo seemed to be
having a silent conversation and the blonde boy could only hear one side of it.  //I should do something...go in there...something...//

"I *don't* hate him!  No!"

The muted groan was too much, and Quatre moved quickly, shoving the door open.  Duo was sitting on his bed, his fists curled beneath his chin, and the boy
gasped roughly, slightly glazed eyes snapping in his direction.  Shaking his head, the blonde boy didn't know what to say.  "Duo..."

"Quatre."  Clearing his throat, the violet-eyed boy managed a weak smile, and his hands falling limp to his lap.  "Hi, there."

"What's happening to you?  Can't you tell me?"  The boy's eyes widened, and Quatre stepped forward, sitting lightly beside the boy.  "Duo, you know you can
trust me."

"Ah...Quatre."  Duo smirked, looking at the boy with a wistful expression.  "It's like Wufei said, I'm an idiot.  And I'm insane, but we already knew that, right?"  
The blonde's eyes looked suspiciously bright, and he shook his head.  "Don't worry about it."

"I *have* to worry," Quatre said roughly, resisting the urge to shake the boy.  //I can't even touch him!  I might hit a bruise...//  "That's *who* I am.  You're my
friend."

//I had a friend once...for six years...//

The boy beside him had bowed his head, and Quatre gasped as a tear slipped down Duo's cheek.  Suddenly, it didn't matter how he touched him, and he
wrapped his arms around the longhaired boy, holding him close.  "Duo, let me help you?"

"I can't," Duo said softly, marveling in the boy's warm touch.  "I can't let anything happen to you.  You're *my* friend too...all of you are."

"Including me?"

Duo jerked away from Quatre, flushing and glaring as he saw the three boys standing in the doorway.  "You're not high on my list right now, Wufei."  The
Chinese boy raised an eyebrow, but Duo didn't think he was upset.  The Japanese boy was staring at him, and he flushed a bit more as he knew they would
have told him.  "Hey, Heero.  Guess you heard *all* about psychotic Duo, eh?  Well, it's nothing that didn't happen during the war, so get over it."  Cobalt eyes
continued to meet his, not so much as blinking and Duo frowned.  "Have you seen the yard, yet?"

"No."

The boy's voice wasn't condescending, or condemning, and Duo smirked suddenly.  "Let's go for a walk, guys.  Show Heero the sights.  After all, he's new
here."

.-.

PART 2

.-.

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