WARNING: This is a very DARK and NASTY Fic! Contains NCS, Graphic Violence, Blood, Duo -Torture and Heero-Suffering, but Neither Dies. Wufei is already Dead, and Quatre and Trowa are Radically Different! You have been Warned! STOP NOW IF YOU ARE AFRAID!

Written: November, 2000
Rating: NC-17
Pairings: (1+2) [Ref. to (2x1) but not described]
Category: Angst Yaoi Violence Torture Rape
Warnings: Angst, yaoi, graphic violence and rape, sadistic torture, squicky, AU, OOC
Disclaimers: I don't own the Gundam pilots; and if I did, that would make them slaves which is illegal. I'm not making any money here. This is written out of pent up frustration, so don't bother to sue me, I'm angry and broke.

NOTES: Set five years after the war, the pilots are now 22. Wufei died a hero at 18, and Quatre and Trowa are radically different. A crisis brings them back together.

//someone's thoughts//

ResCUe mE !

Heero "Kentaro Ishihara" Yuy was filled with fear.

A photo of his long-time lover, shown naked, battered and bleeding, had arrived; his violet eyes blazing hatred at whomever had taken the photograph as he lay sprawled across a floor covered in what appeared to be blood and other bodily fluids. His legs had been forcibly parted with a crude spreader bar showing clearly the presence of something shiny near his obviously abused genitals. But Heero could not detect what the metal object was or what its purpose might be, he assumed it was bad. Along with it was the note which he held in his hand, it bore only two words, made with letters cut from a magazine. It read:

ResCUe mE !
Duo "Sam Jackson" Maxwell had been abducted three days earlier and he had no idea where to even begin searching for his lover, but this was not very informative. Or was it?

On closer examination, he noticed a strange pattern on the sides of some of the letters. Piecing things together visually, he noticed that the "CU", "R", and "E!" had apparently been part of single piece spelling "CURE!" but this wasn't what caught his eye. What he had noticed was that the edges between the "U" and the "R" as well as between the "R" and the "E!" held a pattern. Without hesitation, he cut the paper in his hands into pieces and refit the original. To his amazement he found "Mont B" and "Aqu" had been carefully cut into the space where the letters had once been joined. The added letters had been tiny, perhaps so small that Duo's captors had no idea they were even there before he had cut the paper apart. Clearly, though, it was a message of some sort and it was a way to find him.

Scanning the net for anything which might help decode the information, he found the solution surprisingly quickly. In California, there was a town named Monterrey which had boasted of a state-of-the-Art aquarium located on the Monterrey Bay during the 20th and 21st centuries. Now, the facility was part of the University of California-system and a teaching facility.

Leaving nothing to chance, Heero called Quatre and Trowa at their New York home to alert them that Duo might have sent a message as to his whereabouts. He left a message on the private line Quatre had maintained for he and Duo to contact him and preserve their new identities.

The war had ended over five years ago, yet they had learned the hard way that there were those who still had various reasons to hate them. They had also each changed radically just to survive.

Quatre had been an obvious target. At only 22, the blond was a well-feared business tycoon noted for coldly calculated hostile takeover bids which were almost always successful.

Trowa, as his business partner and spouse, was apparently an easy target for those who feared Quatre's renowned bodyguards, but he was more than capable of taking care of himself, as several dead bodies in the regional morgue at any given time could attest. Of the two, Trowa's changes had seemed even more radical. He was now a cold-blooded killer and anyone who threatened either himself or Quatre had a great deal more to fear from him than from the bodyguards. While the latter were bound by the law, he seemed to invincibly rise above it and had more dead to his name outside of the war than anyone had ever even considered likely from the previously quiet and reserved pilot.

Chang Wufei had died of the misplaced anger of a mob at the age of 18. He was a Preventer and was on duty during some of the Anti-Government Protests of AC198 when a molotav cocktail had hit the jeep he was in. Wufei had been meeting with the leaders of the protest trying to come to a peaceful settlement and had arrived at a compromise and had been relayed the terms and was awaiting orders. His body was flung from the vehicle by the explosion. Though encased in fire, he had struggled valiantly to stand, blindly seeking something no one would ever know and his last immolated moments of life were gruesome. The fiery explosion had been captured on tape and his friends had watched the horrifying footage of his death numerous times.

He had been hailed as a hero, but it was this event, more then anything, which had chilled Quatre Winner's once kind heart into a veritable money-oriented thing filled with anger. The domino effect of Quatre's shift effected Trowa changing him as well when his warm lover became the cruelest shark of the business world.

Heero Yuy and Duo Maxwell had escaped unscathed for the first few years by simply taking new identities. It seemed strange to their small group of friends to call them "Kentaro Ishihara and Sam Jackson" respectively, but they'd gotten used to it.

Stranger still had been the way life had effected them.

Duo, predictably, had adjusted easily and had started a career as a social worker for the city of New Toronto in what had previously been Canada. So much of the Ontario Province had been damaged during the war that many cities chose to rebuild elsewhere than their original locations. "Sam" had worked in a fairly rewarding capacity as a placement officer for the local adoption board and while not totally free of harm, he was able to handle the random violence which haunted his life.

"Kentaro", however, was not as lucky. Heero Yuy had hidden a passion for journalism which he now pursued by being a free-lance video reporter for the Colony News System, CNS. Of course this meant a higher profile, but with a new identity and a new appearance, he'd died his hair jet black in memory of Wufei and even wore it in a short tail as well, he thought he'd be free. He had also gained an extra foot of height after the Gundams were no longer a limiting factor and he could be taken off of the growth restrictive hormone treatment. Heero had expected to escape his old identity and while he had, he never expected that "Kentaro" would generate enemies of his own. Some of these enemies had threatened his life before, but none had known about Duo until now.

As he flew south, he wondered what had betrayed Duo's existence to whomever threatened him now. There were a few stalkers who simply found him appealing for their own sick reasons, but he discounted them. More likely this was yet another plot originating from colony L-7, the newest LaGrange designee who sought autonomy from the united government. As an outspoken critic of this political move, Heero had been targeted before, but never with quite as much accuracy. As he got closer to his designation, he realized there was no way to know who he was going up against this time. But it was for Duo's sake and that was enough.

He would kill yet again if forced to do so, even if he had sworn not to kill after the war ended. He'd killed three people during deadly situations in the last five years and had always been found not guilty by the courts, but it was getting harder to conceal his true identity because of it.

"So, 'Sam'," The kidnapper smirked, placing strange emphasis on the assumed names. "Think 'Kentaro' will come for you?"

Duo just growled. A gloved hand flew out and struck him sharply across the face. Spiting out blood, he looked at the man who kept him prisoner. He'd introduced himself as strictly "Thunder". Brown-eyed, with dark hair, and tall at 6'4", he was physically impressive enough even if he hadn't been so sadistic.

For his own condition, Duo no longer wore his hair in a long braid, having cut it short on the last day of the war. He had been as surprised as everyone else when he discovered he had naturally curly hair and short it looked so different from his days as Shinigami that he and Heero agreed a dye job was not needed to conceal that trait. His laughing violet eyes, however, were now concealed under ordinary circumstances by hazel contacts. Thunder, however, had demanded these be removed when he had awakened from the brutal beating administered during his capture.

Duo had been out for lunch with coworkers and when he returned to his office he found a hostage situation. Ever self-sacrificing, when he discovered the man with the weaponry only wanted him, he had volunteered to go with him peacefully in exchange for the freedom of the hostages.

Once outside the orphanage he was working from at the time, however, Thunder had not hesitated one moment in beating him brutally, leaving him unconscious. When he had awakened it was quite surprising to hear the sea outside the room he was locked in. Since that day, he'd been beaten and tortured at the hands of the man across from him.

"What makes you think I even know this 'Kentaro' guy?" Duo tried to growl from his broken mouth, but failed. They'd been through this before, but he hoped to protect Heero from this sadist if he could. Again, the hand lashed out only this time it formed into a powerful fist to drive once more into his weakened chest further aggravating the two or more broken and unset ribs which burned his side. A choked scream escaped his lips as he fell to the side and lay on the floor in agony. Hands bound behind him for three days in a row by heavy manacles had gone dead long before, but there was nothing to do about it. He wore the blood stained remnants of his brown dress slacks and what had been a long sleeved shirt. The shirt, now rust-colored tatters, had been cut repeatedly with a small stiletto the other man concealed in his boot top as he had tortured him for information.

"Oh, you know who I really want, Duo Maxwell!"

This was the first time Duo had heard such a confession that his tormentor knew who he really was. Involuntarily, his eyes went wide as he finally knew why the man had detested the contacts. They hid his identity too well. He had seen the photo of himself the man had sent with the message to Heero, but never realized this was the message as well as the location. In the photo, he had sneered viciously at Thunder, hating him, as he was then naked and exposed with a makeshift spreader bar the sadist seemed overly fond of. He now realized it was the combination of the eye color, his extensive physical damages, and the helplessness of his nudity and position in the photo which Thunder clearly hoped to use to throw Heero into less than rational thought before they met. Duo laughed internally thinking that if that was all it took to rattle Heero Yuy, they'd all have died within the first months of the war anyway.

Smiling to himself limply around a broken lip when he realized the man had underestimated his opponent, Duo tried to ignore the man who had begun yet another undesired physical examination of his body. He knew all too well where such activities would lead and tried to send his mind away into a dark corner that would be safe from what was about to happen, *again*, to his body.

Thunder roughly tore the remnants of the shirt off for the final time, disgusted with maintaining the charade that it covered him. Now naked from the waist up, the extent of the damages to his body was obvious.

There were large welts and several deep gouges which would never heal properly due to lack of sutures when needed. His side was reminiscent of a Monet painting, all lavender and blue from the bruises surrounding the broken ribs. From the front, his chest looked hideous; one nipple had been cut entirely off out of sheer twisted pleasure and the open sore was clearly infected. The other had been pierced by the stiletto and a rod inserted. The area surrounding the puncture wound was swollen and oozed puss. The raging fever from the injuries was actually a blessing to the man as it granted frequent periods of blissful unconsciousness from the pain.

His back, however, wasn't much better. The ravages of a barbed cat-o-nine tails were clear across the pale skin. These scars, though not as deep as some on the front, would never disappear.

Satisfied he hadn't killed his toy and bait, Thunder proceeded to strip him naked the rest of the way.

What lay below the belt, while not as extensive, was equally frightening.

The same cat-o-nine-tails had been used extensively across the previously smooth expanse of Duo's ass, leaving a frightening trail behind it. Damage surrounding his horribly abused anus was enormous as well. Yet these were less horrifying than the sheer depravity of what had been done to his genitals.

The former pilot had been placed into a state of shock late the first day of captivity when his jailer decided it would be fun to pierce the delicate perineum, a highly sensitive strip of skin below the penis, and install a "ring of obedience" as he had called it. Manipulating this one object had twisted Duo's life into an unending series of tortures whenever the man did what he was doing now, pulling on the ring to evoke an unwanted sexual response. Originally the sadistic intent was to force an almost instantaneous erection any time he wished, but Thunder had actually simply caused his captive unthinkable levels of pain having missed the nerve cluster that would have evoked the desired response. But the sadist was pleased with the pain he could cause and frequently penetrated Duo's abused anus with his fingers or a dildo, roughly search out his prostate, and have both the erection as well as the pain he craved.

He laughed as Duo's body once more betrayed him and yet another erection was forced upon him. As was Thunder's sick preference, he quickly slapped a cock restraint onto the erection to cause it to remain engorged and painful for as long as he wished.

A scream left Duo's lips as he saw the man strip himself, preparing to once again take Duo against his will; his awareness was not as well blocked as he wished it could be.

Thunder reveled in the feeling of the once soft skin under his fingers as he thrust dry into the damaged opening. If Duo's many injuries failed to bleed enough to please him, he never hesitated to withdraw, ram a large dildo into the tight passage repeatedly until new blood flowed, then return to raping him. Over and over he would rape Duo sending his mind spiraling into the darkness as his body strained for release and escape from the pain. Yet Thunder saw to it that he never came, not even once. The manacles kept him from granting himself release, and he'd been forced to sleep standing up since his captor chained him to a wall whenever he was not pleasuring himself with Duo's dying body. Instead, Thunder preferred to ram him over and over, eventually filling him with his burning fluid allowing it to flow back out aggravation the many wounds.

When Duo would pass-out finally from the abuse, Thunder would wait until he himself was completely satisfied before removing the cock restraint. By the time Duo's mind would clear, he often found himself back in the rags of his filthy dress slacks with no way of knowing the extent of his injuries, other than the fact that they were quite great, bleeding badly, and horribly painful.

This was not the first time Duo had ever been taken against his will, but it certainly was the most brutal.

Finally satisfied, Thunder gave several last twists to the obedience ring to be certain he was out cold. When not even a whimper was heard from the excruciating pain, he'd left the unconscious man and on the floor in a pool of semen and blood. He knew from three days of abusing the him that Duo would be unconscious for several hours and planned to chain him up later.

Heero arrived and made his way closer to where he suspected his lover really was being kept. He had re-examined the "clues" on his way there and had realized Duo would have included an identifier of some sort if the message about the aquarium had been from him. There was none, so Heero had utilized his own expertise with the net to track down a more likely location. Across from the old aquarium there was a building which at one point housed offices but was currently awaiting renovation. This was where he concluded Duo was most likely to be. He was right.

Entering quietly, all of his soldier's training and instincts came to the fore and he silently searched the building. On the second floor, he came to a lit room and he spotted Duo's battered body laying on its side in a distant corner and nearly screamed in fury. However, he detected another person and kept quiet hoping to find out how many he was up against. As long as Duo was breathing, he had a chance to kill his enemies and still save Duo's life, and he wouldn't give that away in a moment of fury no matter how much he wanted it.

Watching and waiting, Heero came to the conclusion he was facing off against only one other. The thought that this might be so easy pleased him. A sound reached his ears and it tore through him like a bullet, Duo was crying out in pain in what appeared to be his sleep. The man in the room with Duo just ignored it at first, Heero knew by watching his lover's motions he was not asleep and even though the sound tore at him, he knew Duo was not experiencing new pain, only reliving pain in his subconscious.

Preparing to strike, Heero was forced to pause again as the man in the room snarled and pulled a knife as he crouched next to Duo. Wondering what was happening, Heero watched in horror as the man roughly spread his lover's abused legs once more exposing the true level of his depravity before Heero's wide eyes. In terror, he had watched as Thunder flipped Duo's unconscious body onto its back and viciously began abusing him. Pulling the ring at the base of Duo's flaccid manhood as tightly as possible, he gave a sudden twisting motion which carried enough force to tear it free from the skin entirely. With a laugh, Thunder watched the blood pour from the gaping wound as he freed his own erection preparing to rape him yet again, conscious or not.

This was the last thing Heero was going to allow.

Screaming his rage, Heero launched himself at the unprepared enemy, and easily incapacitated him since his pants were around his knees. Blind fury overtook Heero who mercilessly beat him into senselessness.

Leaving the battered body of his enemy behind, Heero quickly gathered Duo's broken bleeding body into his arms. Wishing he had a first-aid kit or anything to help his lover, Heero felt temporarily helpless. Heero knew a hospital was Duo's only chance for survival and he had to choose between killing the man in front of him slowly and painfully as he deserved, or more quickly and then calling for an ambulance for Duo. Noticing the fool before him was coming back to awareness he made his decision. He'd get help for his soul-mate then decide the man's fate.

Carrying Duo protectively, he sought and found a phone. He quickly called for emergency medical personnel as well as the police, then disconnected. He'd been lucky enough to wear a long black leather duster and wrapped Duo's shattered, bleeding body in it. Laying his lover down gently, he approached the man he was about to kill.

"Why?" He snarled at the now grinning fool on the floor. His black hair, still tightly restrained in a tail that was not as narrow as Wufei's but similar enough, brushed his neck reminding him there was justice in vengeance. Wufei would have approved.

Thunder looked at him and laughed. "Well, the great Heero Yuy! I thought it was you!" He received a well-placed kick in the ribs which broke several of them. A cry of pain stopped any further remarks for the moment.

"I asked you WHY?!?" Heero had held his anger in check, but the iron control slipped.

"Why the Hell not, you bastard?" Thunder growled back knowing his own death was imminent and not wishing to satisfy the man he had tortured by destroying his lover.

As Heero's booted foot cocked back for another blow, the man grinned. This stopped Heero cold as he realized his enemy held answers he needed. Seeing a possible solution, Heero picked up the sadist's knife from the floor and approached with deadly intent. "Answer me or find your death long in coming, you worthless piece of shit!"

Snorting, Thunder was going to say something appropriate when Heero lunged at him, slicing him in a single sweep from throat to belly, just deep enough for the pain to be exquisite yet not deep enough to kill. "All right, you want to know," Thunder gasped. "I'll tell you but you've got to promise me that the next time the blade goes straight to my heart and we finish what has been too long in coming!"

With a look of utter disgust on his face Heero agreed. "All right." Unlike Duo, Heero never claimed he didn't lie.

"You stinking Gundam pilots ruined my life, that's why!" He was raving. "That war would have gone on letting me pick and choose as I wanted, except you had to interfere and end it so quickly! That's why I hate you so much. But I'm not insane, just focused." He grinned, clearly psychotic.

"How many others have you tortured?" Heero asked, shocked by the revelation.

The man laughed, "Not enough! Oh no, several dozen young boys in a boarding school when I was twelve was to have been a starter class for me. Then, after pretending to undergo therapy, I slowly destroyed over fifty one winter developing new ways to make people scream."

"You're insane," Heero sneered.

Thunder laughed, "Well, thank you for noticing! Now, keep your word, kill me and have your petty revenge before your lover over there dies. He's a pretty good fuck, but I'm sure you know that already." He leered at Heero making the bile rise into the former pilot's mouth. "I don't think there's time to save what's left of him, though he did put up quite a fight. Made him all the sweeter to destroy."

In the distance, the sound of sirens wailing told Heero that help was finally near.

Heero glanced at Duo who was clearly not going to regain consciousness without a lot of medical intervention. He shook his head, "No, I don't think I'll kill you after all. If you've done what you claim, then you are nothing more than an escaped lunatic and should be locked up."

The man became frantic. "No! You promised! Don't lie to me! You have to kill me, you have to!" Desperation crossed his features before an idea struck. "Besides, if you do not kill me, I will disclose your secret to the world and you will once more be recognized for the killer you are, Heero Yuy!"

Heavily shod feet came into the building. "This is the Police! Where are you?" A voice called out. Heero had expected the man to be dead and never expected the police to even be concerned about possible danger to themselves.

"Second floor, third door on the right!" Heero shouted back. Then he took one last look at the man who had nearly killed Duo Maxwell, his lover, his partner, everything good in Heero's world. "You are one sick piece of shit, and I won't dirty myself killing you. Tell anyone you want what you think my identity is, no one will believe you! Face it, I'm Kentaro Ishihara, reporter for CNS, and no one will ever believe a word you say, lunatic. Besides, just what *is* your name?"

Thunder looked utterly defeated, but as Heero turned at the sound of a moan from Duo behind him, Thunder took the opportunity to lunge and impale himself on the blade Heero held. Grinning, Thunder sunk down on the blade expecting death to take him soon. "Me? My name is something I've forgotten. Just remember me as Thunder, the only person who could destroy the great Heero Yuy's invulnerable life!" He collapsed but did not die as the paramedics rushed in.

"Help him, first!" Heero commanded pointing to Duo's limp form on the floor wrapped in the leather coat. Noticing the blood flowing out from under the black leather, they opened it and were horrified by the damage on the young body within it, yet were relieved he was breathing and unconscious. They attended to Duo first as a second team was called in for Thunder. Duo's injuries required extensive on-site treatment before he could be transported. Disregarding the expensive leather entirely, Heero insisted "Sam" remain where he was for the treatment to avoid aggravating the blood loss.

The police had a lot of questions and Heero patiently answered all of them as Thunder and then finally Duo were loaded onto gurneys to be taken to waiting ambulances. The officers took Heero with them to the hospital to await word on Duo who was taken to surgery for the numerous wounds in the hopes of dealing with them more effectively.

Recognizing "Kentaro Ishihara", famous news journalist, the police had wisely chosen to listen to the black haired oriental reporter rather than argue about keeping him in jail or something else useless.

He knew more about the perpetrator than he wished he did, and could debrief them just as easily inside the hospital while awaiting news on his lover, "Sam Jackson". While they talked, the infamous businessman Quatre Winner had shown up with the man rumored to be his personal assassin, Trowa Barton. Heero welcomed both warmly and each asked first how "Sam" was doing and second where the body of the asshole who had done this was.

Heero shook his head sadly. He knew how this would turn out. "Sam is undergoing surgery for his injuries. They are fairly bad, but the doctors here assure me he has at least a 50:50 chance of making it, so he'll beat the odds, I'm sure of it. The lunatic responsible is in surgery. He knifed himself trying to make it looked like I killed him, but he's so inept he failed."

Quatre growled angrily. "He'd be better off dead when I get through with him!"

"No," Trowa remarked dryly noting the police were taking a great deal of interest in the conversation. "We can not interfere, Quatre. If Kentaro says the man is insane, then he needs treatment, don't you agree, Kentaro?"

"Certainly, Trowa," Heero smiled noting the deadly glimmer in Trowa's eyes. No, there was no reason for the police to connect Thunder's eventual death with Trowa Barton so early on. Give the lunatic time to think he'd gotten away with it, then kill him later. Both former Gundam pilots seemed pleased with this as was Quatre who was more schooled in guarding his expression. "I appreciate you coming to meet me, Trowa," Heero remarked dryly for the benefit of the police. "I was concerned you might have misunderstood my earlier message."

Again code, again disinformation, again both felt glad to help each other. It had been too long since the friends had been together.

Later, after the police were assured that "Kentaro Ishihara" was not leaving their vicinity, they left. Officers had been left at the scene to gather evidence and the lead investigator had called for additional assistance, the sadist had left enough evidence it took two forensics teams to collect it all. They would not have been that thorough, but this own capture would give them what was needed by Interpol to put away a serial killer.

The lunatic was actually a notoriety oriented murderer who had been active even as long past as before the war of AC195.

The man had called himself over a dozen known aliases, but they were always single terms, usually meteorological in nature. He had tortured and killed an undetermined number of young men over the years, each of whom shared a specific trait. They were famous young men who were also fairly attractive. Obviously, he enjoyed expressing his own sickness in the way he tortured and killed his victims, many of whose bodies were grotesquely disfigured before death.

Heero and all of the pilots fell easily into the category of victims he preferred and Heero never wasted time figuring out how he had tracked down his identity since it was so well concealed. He would deny any accusations about himself or Duo being who they really were and after things calmed down Trowa would quietly silence one more life the Earth didn't really need, as far as Heero was concerned. He had misgivings about this, he wished he had killed the bastard himself when he had the chance, but another death on the hands of "Kentaro Ishihara" that could be avoided had to go to another. Plus knowing Trowa would handle it would make it easier for Duo's recovery as well.

Heero did find it amusing that the police accepted his claim to being old friends with the other couple so easily. He hoped they did better when investigating crimes. However, any small town police force with the sense to recognize the unstoppable pair from Winner Corporation already had much to recommend them. They knew when to stay out of things which were much more powerful than they were.

Thunder, as he had called himself, was suspected of the deaths of numerous musicians and entertainers. He had also crushed the lives of a pair of young crusading activists from L-7 of all places. His most noteworthy kill had been that of a young man many expected to see become a great political force and it was this death for which he was most sought. He'd left behind extensive evidence which could now be matched to what had been done to Duo, so Thunder's death would be no loss to the law enforcement community other than for the purposes of a very brief trial.

Months later, Duo did indeed recover, though not fully.

His hands, so violently abused by simple negligence, were only partially functional even after reconstructive surgery and it was feared they might remain so until Quatre contacted them that new techniques were being developed through Winner Corporation and he could be the first test case if he wished. He took the opportunity and found he regained use and was at 75% of normal function when all options were exhausted. Far better then the double amputation initially recommended.

Over a brief period of intensive treatment, the systemic infection had been stopped, and many of the worst wounds were healed. The damage to his chest and back was not reparable, and he was scarred for life in both places as well as across his buttocks. Duo had been terribly depressed over his disfigurement, until one night Heero stayed behind at the hospital. While Heero would have preferred to simply prove it didn't matter to him by making love, Duo couldn't handle that, so they talked it through. After six hours, it finally got through to Duo that Heero really didn't care how his koibito looked, and Duo fell asleep in his lover's arms after crying out his relief.

Sexual matters were difficult but they did become resolved after months of therapy for Duo to recover from the torture and rapes. The first night the couple made love was the night they received a message from Trowa. "Ninmu ryoukai" was all it said, but both knew it meant he had accomplished the death of Thunder as per his silent agreement with Heero. Both Heero and Duo felt relieved knowing this and it was the lifting of the terror which allowed the two intimacy again. However, the damage to Duo's flanks and entrance had been significant and never could heal properly regardless of the reconstructive surgery done. Because of this, Heero learned he could content himself with being bottom for the rest of his life if that's what it took to satisfy both of them. When the novelty of always being the so-called dominant partner wore off, though, Duo lamented the lack of variety.

Eventually, Heero was forced to remind Duo how close he'd come to death that time and that he for one was happy with what they still had.

Kentaro Ishihara's career ended shortly after the assault on Duo as well. Heero decided he had lived too much of his life in the spotlight and that he preferred a quiet homelife instead. Changing identities one last time, Heero had returned his hair to its natural brown and resumed his natural eye color, both of which pleased Duo endlessly. Hoping to please his soul-mate as well, Duo, too, resumed his natural eye color, thrilling Heero beyond words and leading to an entire lost weekend of passion eventually. Both assumed new names and moved to a home closer to Quatre and Trowa's New York headquarters and the four remaining pilots renewed their friendship which had fallen into disrepair. Both Duo and Heero found ways to make a living working from home and lived in contentment.

Their lives were radically changed by what Duo had suffered from the insane sadist, but never again would either need to say to the other "rescue me," for both were finally safe together.

Author's Notes:

1. Melpomene is getting into my life too much. This is an offering of sacrificial blood to her in the hopes she will leave me alone so I can go back to writing lemons in peace. Erato, muse of lemons, wants no part of this even if there is graphic sexual content.

2. Names are an interesting subject. Care to guess where they are from?

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