Dance with the Demons: Dance with Death
by Blue Soaring
Duo sighed into his drink. It had not been a good day. For that matter, when did he ever have a good day? The call had come in at twelve a.m., right after he had settled down for the night. Renegade beasties terrorizing a nice quiet suburb. It had been about one a.m. before Duo had made it to the outskirts and dealt with the 'situation'. Duo snorted. A situation, they called it. Two families dead, and it was a situation. He'd hate to see what they would call anything worse.
He tiredly set his drink on the little coaster and looked around the bar. His seat in the corner was close to the stage, offering him a clear view of the entrance. Duo was always watching for ways to make an exit lately. It went with his job description. Whatever that was. He probably didn't even have a job description, it really wasn't even a job. It was more like some sick little twist of Fate. What business did he have fighting devils and demons at ungodly hours in the morning? What business indeed. Duo couldn't remember a time when he wasn't fighting for his life, a time when there were no monsters. Kids didn't complain about monsters under their beds or in their closets anymore. The monsters were real, and they didn't waste time frightening little children. They had more important things to do. And Duo had the distinct impression that Fate was laughing at everyone.
The longhaired man glanced again at the empty stage. What in the name of hell was he doing here at three in the morning? You wouldn't be able to tell it was that late by the energetic crowd. The dance floor was full of people, dancing with whomever happened to be pressed against them at the time. Every table was taken and the line-up at the door was getting longer. Didn't these people have anything better to do? Evidently not.
Duo's thoughts wandered back to why he was there. He had barley opened the door to his apartment when the phone rang. Duo had debated answering it, but in the end he found himself picking up the receiver and saying hello before his mind caught up with his body. Turned out to be Quatre on the other end. First question: Why the hell was Quatre calling at two thirty in the morning? Answer: The Erus Animis wanted to have words with him. Second question: What the HELL is an Erus Animis and why does it want to 'have words' with him? Answer: Just come to Devil's Bliss and I'll meet you there. Third question: WHAT!? Answer: You heard me. See you in fifteen.
So here he was, sipping on a drink waiting for the blonde to make an appearance. Duo had only heard wild rumors about Devil's Bliss; he didn't really frequent bars. Not because he was young; age meant nothing in society now, but he just didn't see the point. He felt very out-of-place. Everyone was dressed in leather and fishnet, silk and satin, revealing outfits in velvet and vinyl. Some of the outfits didn't even seem like clothing, just small straps of material held up by even smaller straps of something else, material or chains. Duo's simple black pants and shirt made him stand out; he was the only one who wasn't showing off at least ninety percent of his body.
Duo glanced at his watch. Quarter after three. Fifteen minutes my ass, where the fuck was Quatre? He set the empty glass down and watched the dance floor slowly empty. The lights ceased their flickering and pointed at the vacant stage, dimming to a soft glow. What the bloody hell was going on now?
"Would you like another drink, handsome?"
Duo jumped and looked up at the woman who had addressed him. She was the same one who had shown him to his table earlier. The woman wore the same outfit of the other waiters: a skintight leather one-piece with a silver chain looped around her waist. The neck was cut in a low 'v' between her breasts, ending just below her bellybutton. The legs were slit wide on the sides with thin strips of leather horizontally across the bare skin. The arms of the suit were the same. Black boots came to her knees to finish the look.
He grinned up at her, shaking his head no. "Thanks, but no. Hey, you haven't seen a blonde guy come in, say, in the last half and hour?"
The woman smiled. "Love, there's lots of blonde guys in here," she gestured at one of the male waiters. He was a slender, tall, blonde, and he was dressed the same as she was. "Maybe you'd like to talk to Zechs, he's had his eye on you all night, handsome, if you'd like some company," she said, winking at him.
Duo glanced over at the man she named. He was laughing with a small brunette woman that he was serving. He caught Duo and the woman looking at him, and he smiled in their direction.
"Ah . . . no, thanks all the same." Duo gave himself a mental shake; he'd have to get Quatre back for setting up the meeting in a place like this. "This one is small, shorthaired blonde, blue-eyed . . . looks like an innocent devil, maybe?" He grinned.
The woman laughed delightedly. "Oh, you want Quatre, do you honey? Why didn't you just say so?"
Duo quirked an eyebrow. "You know him?"
"Of course. Most of us know Quatre in here. He's a favorite."
Duo's eyes widened a little and his other eyebrow shot up.
The woman laughed again. "Oh, no. He just dances, love," she sighed. "We all try to get him to loosen up, but he just won't go with it. Zechs' been trying to get in his pants since he started working here."
Duo sat there gaping at the woman. Quatre was a stripper? At Devil's Bliss? Holy fuck.
The woman patted him affectionately on the shoulder. "I'll get you another drink, on the house, love. When Quatre gets in, I'll send him over," she paused, eyeing him. "I'm Hilde. Let me know if you need anything else, okay, handsome? Anything at all." Hilde raised her eyebrow and smiled suggestively.
"Uh . . . sure thing, Hilde. Thanks. I'm Duo." She was a nice girl, why not be nice to her? It wasn't like he'd ever be back again.
Hilde's smile broadened. "Duo, eh, handsome? I work most nights, but I can make time for you. Enjoy the show." She picked up the empty glass and weaved her way through the crowd.
Duo leaned back in his chair. Yep, Quatre would be paying for this later. Definitely paying. He looked around the bar again. Everyone was sitting down, watching the stage expectantly. Duo shifted and let his gaze rove over the crowd. It was almost quiet, except for the music. Everyone seemed held in a breathless moment. Duo glanced at the stage. It was still empty.
Hilde came back and set the drink down in front of him. "You're in for a treat tonight, handsome."
Duo glanced away from the stage to thank her for the drink, but she was already gone. He shrugged and looked back at the stage. It wasn't empty anymore.
A figure had appeared in the second that Duo had turned away. The music changed to a slow, heavy beat. Duo squinted at the figure through the dim lighting. It looked like a guy, around his age, facing away from the crowd. Duo shook his head, making his braid snake around the chair. At least it wasn't Quatre.
Men and women alike seemed to lean forward in their seats toward the stage. The young man had begun to move his hips slowly from side to side. He wrapped his hands around himself and ran them lightly down his sides and thighs then back up. The music picked up, and he moved faster. The shadowed figure whipped around as the music picked up its tempo even more. He swayed to the beat, moving closer to the edge of the stage. His face was hidden in shadow, but it seemed his hair was cropped close to his head. He was dressed in all white, a simple outfit, the lights making the material glow. He wore an unbuttoned shirt over a tight tank top that showed the well-defined planes of his slender chest. The pants were loose and billowed about his legs as he moved. Surprisingly, his feet were bare. Duo watched as he stalked across the stage, turning around and bending slightly at the waist to glare at the crowd over his shoulder as he ran his hands over his ass.
It seemed the song was made for the dance, as opposed to the dance made for the song. And both matched the dancer perfectly. He slowly straightened and whirled around; suddenly the unbuttoned shirt fluttered to the floor. The dancer thrust his hips, and the lights brightened slightly. He caressed his chest and slid his hands lightly over his groin. There was a sharp intake of breath from the crowd. The dancer responded to the gasps with moving into the brighter light and running his hands under the tank top. Duo half expected him to rip the shirt off, but the dancer grasped the ends of the shirt and slid it up over his head as he swayed. The lights changed as he raised the shirt, illuminating the stripper from the front. As the shirt joined the first, Duo glanced up at the dancer's face. His eyes widened. Flowing chin-length black hair had been freed from its confines and framed the dancer's olive-toned face. His eyes were heavy lidded and had a slight uplift at the corners that marked him as Chinese; his lips were parted slightly as he danced. The dancer moved his hips in a grinding motion as he moved back to the center of the stage. The lights highlighted the bronze tone of his skin. The Chinese man reached center stage, pausing for a second as the music stopped. He stalked forward as the music started slow, then he ran to the edge and jumped off the stage, flipping over in the air as the music pounded back to life. He moved rapidly on the dance floor, weaving through the tables, pressing against one man and lightly kissing a woman at the same table.
Duo watched as the Chinese dancer worked his way over to his table. The black-haired man swayed in front Duo, running his hands over himself. He reached the waistband of his pants and he untied the drawstring as he moved. All his actions were smooth, sensuous. He moved with a predator's grace. The dancer slid onto Duo's lap, grinding himself against the stunned man. The dancer had fathomless black eyes, clouded with lust and a fine sheen of sweat covered his bare skin. He moved his head close to Duo's, brushing his lips against Duo’s, then moving to trace his jaw line. He ended at Duo's ear, nibbling at it gently.
"Quatre is waiting for you downstairs. Door on the left of the stage. Go now," the Chinese dancer breathed into Duo's ear. Then he was gone, leaping back up onto the platform. He crawled back to center stage, stood and slowly bared one slim hip.
Duo wrenched his eyes away from the stage. He glanced at the rest of the crowd. They were glued to the dancer. He rose and shakily downed the rest of his drink. The night just kept getting weirder. Duo was more affected by the black-haired dancer than he would like to admit. They way he moved screamed sex, the man’s entire being seemed to radiate it. Duo wondered who he was. He stopped that thought right there; he wasn't about to start jumping other men in the middle of a club, especially men he didn't know.
He walked to the indicated door, glancing behind him. The door opened easily, and he slipped inside. The stairway was dark, and the pounding music was silenced as soon as the door shut behind him. Duo drew in a shaky breath, and started down the stairs with his hand on the wall to steady himself.
Reaching the bottom, he found the way blocked by a door. Duo raised his hand to knock, but the door swung open before his hand made contact. Quatre smiled at the surprised expression on his friend’s face.
"I heard you coming, Duo. Come in, sit down, the Erus will be ready in a moment." Quatre opened the door wider, letting Duo inside.
"Hey, Quat, since when were you a stripper?" Duo flopped down on the nearest couch, letting his eyes rove over the room. There wasn't much to see; it was simply decorated in black and red with dim swivel lights illuminating the room from the ceiling. Duo looked at the black walls. He blended in with the décor. What are the chances?
Quatre sat down easily across from the longhaired man. "Oh, about six or seven months now. Didn't I tell you I had a new job?" The blonde was wearing one of the black leather suits that the waiters wore. It was a little different, with more slashes than the others. All in all, it looked Quatre bared more than three times the skin than the waiters.
"Yeah, you told me Q. You just didn't say what the job was."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm sure. I wouldn't forget that." Duo nodded towards the stairwell.
Quatre smiled. "Now you know." He wriggled his eyebrows. "So, you want a job? You've got a nice ass, Duo."
Duo blinked, then he grinned. "I don't think Zechs would like to hear you say that, Q. He might get a bit jealous that you'd want my ass and not his." He shifted to bring his legs up on the couch, stretching one leg out and bending the other at the knee.
Quatre's smile got bigger. "Zechs!?" He burst out laughing. "He's cute, but that's where it ends. He's about as interesting as a rock." He laughed again.
Duo waited for Quatre to get a hold of himself, then he said quietly, "So, you only fuck the interesting?"
Quatre swallowed the rest of his laughter. He bent his head a little to the side, smiling at Duo. Not the same smile as before, but an invitation. "Oh, yes. The interesting." He stood. "Do you think you're interesting?"
Duo started at the blonde. This was a different Quatre. Before he could say anything, Quatre's face changed and the expression was gone. The blue-eyed man turned around and opened the door that Duo had entered through. In walked the sweaty figure of the Chinese stripper, smiling at Quatre. Then he noticed Duo reclining on the couch and sauntered over to stand above him.
"Hello again." He was wearing the white pants from the show, and his hair was still loose with a few wisps curled around his flushed face. "I'm Wufei. Are you the new dancer?" The black-eyed man’s eyes traveled over Duo's body. He knelt in front of Duo, running a hand over the braided man’s chest. "Look at that hair . . . " Wufei gazed up into Duo's violet eyes. "Maybe we could dance together . . . ?" The Chinese dancer slid up to lie down on top of Duo. "You could wrap your hair around me, wrap yourself around me, under the lights of the stage?" He ran his fingers over Duo's open lips.
Duo sat frozen. He looked helplessly at Quatre. The blonde shrugged. "Wufei is a dancer, but he likes to be more . . . involved with his work," he paused, then, "he's not the new dancer, Wufei. He is here for the Erus."
Wufei abruptly stilled, his hand hovering over Duo's mouth. His eyes filled with fear. He swiftly crawled off of Duo, making little whimpering sounds deep in his throat. He nuzzled Duo's hand. "Forgive me?"
Duo looked confused. "Uh, sure, Wufei." He resisted the urge to snap his hand back. "Forget about it. My fault, I should have said something."
Wufei's eyes widened. He looked at Quatre. "He would take the blame? He would protect me?" His expression was one of amazement.
Quatre shrugged. "Apparently. Ask him yourself."
The black-haired man looked back up at Duo from his place on the floor. "Do you mean that? You would say it was your fault?"
Duo sat up. There was something going on that he didn't understand at all. But Wufei looked at him like a lost puppy. He sighed and reached out to tuck a strand of black hair behind his ear. "Sure, Wuffie. No big."
Wufei stared wide-eyed at Duo. He whimpered and turned his head, licking Duo's wrist with the tip of his tongue. This time Duo did snap his hand back, glancing at Quatre. The blonde, however, was watching Wufei.
The Chinese dancer slunk across the floor towards Quatre. The blonde watched him impassively. Sitting back on his haunches, Wufei looked up into the blonde's eyes. "Am I in trouble, Quatre? Will he be mad at me?" He reached up to grasp Quatre’s hand. "Will he hurt me again?"
Quatre's face remained blank. Below him Wufei began to tremble. Duo watched, unsure of what he was witnessing. Suddenly, he regretted agreeing to meet Quatre tonight. The blonde seemed so different here. For that matter, how well did he know Quatre? He had met him years ago at a house party; the two had instantly hit it off. They weren't great friends, but they talked every now and then; kept in contact.
The man on the floor trembled violently. Then Quatre smiled. "No, the Erus won't hurt you, Wufei . . . unless you want him too," he gestured at Duo, " . . . or maybe Duo would like to play?"
Wufei cocked his head to the side. "What?"
The blonde crouched down next to Wufei in one smooth motion, balancing on the balls of his feet. "If you think he'd like to play with you later, you could ask him. The Erus might even let you, pet."
Wufei brightened immediately. He leaned forward and gently brushed his lips over the blue-eyed man’s. Quatre leaned into him, bringing his hand up to press Wufei's head harder against his lips. He moaned and opened his mouth to Quatre. The blonde dipped his tongue deep into the other’s mouth, tasting him, exploring the inside of Wufei's mouth, running his tongue along his teeth and stroking the Chinese man’s tongue with his own. Quatre pulled back, biting lightly on Wufei's bottom lip, making him whimper again.
Quatre laughed softly. "Ah, Wufei. You are a pet," he said, speaking with his lips still pressed against the other’s. His tongue came out to brush over Wufei's bottom lip, and the black-haired man dipped his head slightly, opening his mouth and brushing Quatre's tongue with his own. Rocking backwards, Wufei pulled Quatre on top of him, arching up into the blonde and groaning loudly.
"Ah . . . guys?" Duo spoke up, feeling just a tad awkward. The two on the floor continued their open-mouthed kisses, grinding against each other. "Guys? Quatre!? Hello . . . ?" Duo tried again, speaking louder.
Wufei's eyes flickered open. "Duo! I'm so sorry," he said, pushing Quatre up a little, and Quatre glanced over at Duo sitting uncomfortably on the couch. He grinned up at the braided man, breathing heavy. "You want a threesome?"
Duo gaped at him. Quatre snickered from where he propped himself above Wufei. Duo felt his face grow hot. "Uh . . . ah . . . no, not right now, erm . . . I don't think." He watched as the Chinese dancer's face fell. "The Erus! I have to see him. Is he ready yet, Q?" Duo still didn't know what the hell an Erus was, but meeting him had to be better than staying where he was.
Wufei looked up at the blonde above him. "Has our Erus summoned him yet, Quatre?"
Quatre stopped snickering long enough to answer. "No, but remember what I said, pet. You have to ask first."
Smiling sheepishly at Quatre, the black-haired dancer shrugged his shoulders. "I forgot. But look at him, Quatre. You can't say that you wouldn't want him . . . imagine it. His hair loose around you, falling soft on your naked skin as he pounded into you . . . " Wufei's voice trailed off and a little shudder ran through his body.
Quatre laughed out loud again as he gently rose to his feet. Wufei stayed spread on the floor. "Later, later. Get a hold of yourself, pet."
Duo stood and started pacing the room. He'd be damned if he was going to have sex with anyone here, let alone Wufei. Pushing what happened upstairs out of his mind, he focused on finding out what the hell he was doing here. He still didn't know what an Erus was, seemed like it was a man at least. Maybe he was the manager of Devil's Bliss. And why the hell was everyone here so damn horny!? That was three offers for casual sex in the last half an hour. As he paced, he glanced at Quatre, who was now reclining comfortably in a plush leather chair. Wufei was still on the floor with his hands behind his head as a pillow. The violet-eyed man knew that Quatre was gay, he just didn't expect to be on the receiving end of his, erm, advances. But Quatre hadn't really asked Duo to join them, Wufei had. Duo felt a twinge of disappointment.
He stopped pacing. What the fuck!? Upset that Quatre hadn't offered to jump him? Jesus. Duo must've had more to drink than he thought. All he wanted to do was get out of there now; just meet the Erus and leave. Why the hell did he have to meet the Erus anyway? What the FUCK was a goddamn Erus!?
Duo jumped and whipped around to face Quatre. The blonde was on his feet. "The Erus Animis Meus wants to meet you now. Follow me," Quatre said as he walked toward a door at the other end of the room. Duo shrugged. He could've sworn that door wasn't there before. Of course, he wasn't really with it. At least, he didn't think he was.
As Duo moved to follow the retreating blonde, Wufei rolled over onto his stomach, waving his feet in the air. He would be patient, Erus wouldn't keep Duo long. Then he could see if Duo was interested in a friendly romp. Satisfied, he rolled back over and stretched.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Duo glanced around the hallway. It was a little cold compared to the room they had just left. Doors lined the walls, but Quatre moved purposefully to the end of the hall. He paused before the door, perhaps waiting for something. Then he nodded to Duo, and pushed the door open. Duo watched Quatre's face for a minute, then moved through the open door.
Duo blinked, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the dim light. Quatre came in behind him and closed the door, leaning on it. Duo looked over his shoulder at him. Quatre shrugged. The violet-eyed man looked the room over. It was quite similar to the other, but decorated in black and white. A large oak desk stood against one wall, with two leather chairs in front of it. Directly in front of the door, leather chairs and couches surrounded a large fire pit, the flame hood nearly hidden in the blackness. The room reeked of comfort and money. Does everything have to be leather? Someone has a leather fetish, that was for sure.
Duo turned his head. Sweet Jesus. There was a gigantic bed in the other part of the room. Gauzy curtains separated it from the rest of the room. Silk black curtains surrounded the bed with its blood red sheets, and the plush carpet was white. In one corner of the 'bedroom', there was a large marble bath on a raised stone dais. Duo couldn't believe it. Where the hell was he? And someone had more than a leather fetish, someone was a damned sex addict.
"Are you going to stand and gawk at the bedroom all night, Duo?"
Duo didn't jump this time, he was getting used to people popping out of the woodwork. He looked in the direction of the voice, and saw a figure sitting comfortably in one of the chairs around the fire pit. "Nearly done", he said, and he felt Quatre reach out and give him a little push.
"Please sit." Quatre walked past Duo and sat gracefully in one of the chairs. Duo followed him, choosing a chair closest to the door.
The unnamed man in the chair laughed lightly. Duo shivered. "That anxious to leave? Well then, we'll take care of our business and let you get on your way. But, move closer than that. I don't want to have to shout."
Duo hesitated for a second, then rose to sit on the couch to the left of the speaker. If anything was going to happen, it would probably be another invitation to fuck someone. He took a closer look at the man in the chair. The man was dressed much like everyone else, but he wore a long leather trench coat over it. His hair was dark, unruly but not quite messy; it was long enough to shadow his eyes. He was lean, well muscled in a slender way. The man sat with his legs crossed and one hand idly draped over the arm of a chair. Duo's eyes followed the line of his arm, and saw that the unnamed speaker was casually scratching the ears of a very large black panther. The feline blended into the chair so well Duo hadn't noticed it. The cat turned its head, focusing strange green eyes on Duo and baring its teeth in a low growl.
Duo sucked in his breath. "Holy shit! That's a damned panther! That's gotta be illegal."
The man laughed his quiet laugh again and leaned forward. "He won't hurt you. He's quite gentle . . . tortuously gentle." Duo looked closer at the man's face. He opened his mouth in surprise. It was a young man, probably no older than Duo. Cobalt blue eyes peered at him from under the shadows of his hair. He stared at the icy cast that hovered at the edges of those deep blue eyes. Duo was fixated, unable to look away. Every shade of blue flowed through them, colors undulating and blending together. He felt his body grow hot; he swallowed heavily and wrenched his eyes away.
The man smiled, and Duo felt his eyes wandering back to gaze at deep cobalt blue eyes. He jumped to his feet and started pacing the room to avoid them. "So, if you're the 'Erus', what the hell do you want, hauling my ass down here at . . . ." He glanced at his watch. "Fuck! Quarter to four in the goddamn morning?"
"Fine, we'll get to the point. You kill monsters." The man stated simply.
"Yeah, so what? You want me to kill one for you? Hey, you didn't answer my question. Are you Erus?" Duo's pacing increased.
"No, I am THE Erus. I am Heero Yuy, Erus to Quatre and several others, including Wufei. But, being Erus to you would be a nice bonus, wouldn't it?" The dark-haired man inclined his head toward the pacing Duo.
"The hell? You people are all obsessed. So you like sex, good enough. Erus means something along the lines of 'lover' then, does it?" Duo said.
The Erus paused, considering. "If you like. What do you think, Quatre?"
The blonde smiled invitingly. "I like the concept. I'm sure Wufei would too."
The cobalt-eyed man laughed. "Yes, he would, wouldn't he?" He turned to Duo. "Wufei is quite taken with you, and since you offered to keep him, he's yours now."
Duo sputtered for a moment. "Now wait a second here. I don't want him. You just can't go handing out people. Who the hell do you think you are, anyway, buddy?"
"I am his Erus Animis. He is mine to do with as I want." The man’s voice had taken a cold edge to it.
"Fine, fine, whatever!! Look, I don't care what little operation you have on the go here, but forget it. I'm not 'taking' anyone. Now, what do you want, so I can get the hell outta here and go home!? You want me to kill something for you or what?" Duo raged at the seated men.
"No, I don't want you to kill a monster, I want you to stop killing them." The Erus said evenly.
Duo stopped his angry pacing. "What?” He walked over to the cobalt-eyed man. "Listen here, Heero," he spat, "I don't take orders from anyone, let alone you. I kill monsters. They hurt people, I kill them. Simple. Got that?"
"Duo . . . .” Quatre began, in a warning tone of voice.
"Shut up, Q. Go play with Wufei or something." The longhaired man turned back to the Erus, his braid swinging. "If that's it, I'm leaving now."
"Whaddya mean, 'no'!? I said I'm leaving." Duo stalked towards the door. Suddenly the black panther bounded across the floor to lie passively in front of the door. As Duo approached, it bared its teeth in warning. Duo backed off, and the panther relaxed and closed its startling eyes. "Call off your pet,” he said to Heero.
"No, I will not. And you won't leave until I say so. Sit, Maxwell."
"Fuck." Duo looked at the panther blocking his way, then back at the Erus. He gave up and flopped back down on the couch. "Okay, yak at me."
"I already told you what I wanted. Agree and you can go." Heero's composure was rapidly deteriorating. "Stop killing them and I won't kill you,” he said coldly.
"Christ, man, I already told you. I kill. I always have, and I always will. It's not a hard concept to grasp."
The Erus rose quickly, moving to lean over Duo menacingly. He placed his hands on the couch on either side of the braided man’s head. Moving his face inches from Duo's, he spoke slowly, angrily. "You will stop, baka. The 'monsters' are mine, and I don't like you messing with what is mine."
Duo glared at the man, noticing for the first time that he was of Japanese descent. "Don't call me an idiot, you bastard freak." He pushed against him, attempting to stand.
The man didn't budge. Duo pushed harder, grunting with the effort. Suddenly, Heero wasn't there anymore, he was sitting back in his chair, fists clenched in anger. Duo blinked, disbelieving. He moved pretty damn fast.
"I gave you fair warning, Duo Maxwell. If you kill them, I will kill you," he snarled, "it's not a hard concept to grasp."
"I'd watch who you were threatening there, buddy." Duo regretted coming unarmed, his fingers ached for his gun, even a knife to hold would be better than nothing. "Dance with Death, and you might lose your life." He stood and walked carefully to the door. Instantly, the panther's eyes opened. It yawned lazily, stretched and padded over to lick at Quatre's hand. Duo had forgotten Quatre was there, he was so quiet and still. Unnaturally still, even as the panther laid its head on the blonde's chest, growling softly.
The Erus laughed, causing Duo to shiver again. "Dance with the Devil, and you might lose your soul." He laughed again, the sound echoing in Duo's ears as he closed the door firmly behind him.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Duo walked quickly down the hall, wrenching opening the door to the room they were in earlier and slamming it behind him. Wufei jumped up to his knees as Duo sagged against the door.
"Duo, done so soon? What did my Erus want? Can you stay with me?" His eyes glittered in the light with what look suspiciously like hope.
Duo didn't seem like he heard the black-haired man. He started pacing in front of the door, his braid trailing in his wake. "Stupid moron, who the fuck does he think he is? Telling me to stop killing monsters!! Giving Wufei to me like he's a damned toy. Jesus . . . !"
"Really!?" Wufei jumped to his feet, rushing over to plant himself firmly in front of a startled Duo. "He said you're my owner now?"
Duo groaned. Shit. "No, well, yes, but . . . fuck."
Wufei's face crumbled. "You don't want me, do you, Duo? Why? What's wrong with me?"
"Nothing Wufei, nothing. Look, where do you live, I'll take you home, okay?"
The Chinese man looked confused. "I live where my owner does."
Duo groaned inwardly again. "Where do you live NOW, Wu?"
"Here, with Quatre. But if the Erus gave me to you, then I go where you do."
"Jesus. What is wrong with you people?" Duo wrestled with the notion for a moment. "What if I leave you here?"
Black eyes widened in fear. "You wouldn't do that, would you? Quatre wouldn't be able to keep me from the others then."
"What? What's that mean?"
Wufei paused, then said, "Anybody could do what they wanted with me then."
"Oh, fuck, you'd be free meat, wouldn't you?"
Wufei nodded, eyes downcast.
Duo felt a twinge from his conscience. "Get your damn stuff, Wufei, we're leaving."
The Chinese man smiled again, instantly relaxing. He leaned in to kiss Duo before the other could move. Wufei pressed his lips against Duo's lightly, then ran his tongue lightly over the startled man’s lips. He pulled back, then went to gather his things.
Duo would have to put a stop to that, Wufei was far to free with his kisses. "Wait a second," he gathered up his scattered wits and held out a hand to halt Wufei. "What's Erus Animis Meus mean, anyway?"
Wufei smiled. "It means master of my soul. Why?"
The chestnut-haired boy shook his head. "Never mind, go get your things."
After Wufei had left, Duo stood in the middle of the room, trying to figure out what the hell was going on, and what he had gotten himself into.
"Holy fuck," Duo muttered under his breath.