All Hallow's Eve
"Correct, but when was the first publication date?" Miss Noine asked.
"Not until 1850."
"Excellent, Heero. Now, everyone, take a look at section III, written 1849, page 3 of your hand out. It reads
"O Sorrow, cruel fellowship/ O Priestess in the vaults of Death,/ O sweet and bitter in a breath/ What whispers
from thy lying lip?…"
Miss Noine read the entire passage and asked the class what they thought it meant. Duo rolled his eyes, at least
she hadn't read the whole damn poem. The whole thing just meant "Gee, my friend is dead, and I miss
him." Big whoop. He even glared at Heero for answering the question right. It was only his second say in school,
but Duo still thought his behavior was suspect. He never raised his hand. Well, that wasn't so weird, but when
he was called on, he always knew the answer. It didn't look like he'd made any friends yet, nor did he appear to
be making an effort.
Duo glared at the packet in front of him and hoped it looked like he was studying it. Of course, he hadn't read
the whole thing. The packet was huge! And when he shook it, it made that 'fwap fwap' noise that meant it was just
too fricking thick.
He sighed and looked at the clock. 2:44. Only 15 minutes.
After school, he, Quatre, Relena, and Dorothy went to Hilde's to hang out. Relena beat the crap out of them at
'Dead or Alive' until they all just gave up and decided to do something else.
"I should never have let you play that game," Hilde grumbled to her blond friend. Relena just grinned.
"So, Relena, still think the new guy is dreamy?" Duo teased. He had to re-assert himself somehow after
that very thorough ass-kicking had depleted some of his reserves of masculinity. Girls were not supposed to be
that good at fighting games. Especially Relena. Dorothy he could see, but not Relena.
Relena blushed and looked a little flustered.
Duo batted his eyelashes. "You didn't think I let that comment about inviting him to sit with us go, did you?"
"He's kind of attractive," Dorothy mused. She looked at her friend, "If you like that stony, emotionless,
glaring type. The sword necklace he wears is very cool. A little gothic - very sexy."
"You should try and get to know him," Quatre urged, although he felt kind of stupid saying it. Hadn't
she already? He just felt kind of bad for Relena, she was biting her lower lip and looking finding Hilde's carpet
really interesting. She didn't look just embarrassed, she looked really uncomfortable. Quatre glared at Duo.
Duo sighed. "Oh come on 'Lena, I'm just kidding ya," he said, "I'll leave you alone if it's that
big of a deal."
"No, Duo, it's just, um, never mind. Sorry," she winced.
"Come on 'Lena'," Hilde said, sliding a hand over to her, "Don't let these jerks make you feel dumb.
You can tell me how you feel."
Relena gave her a weak smile and then looked at everyone. "Ok, this is dumb, but I feel like I, uh, know him
from somewhere, or recognize him somehow… Oh, that was really stupid!" she blanched, "Forget I even said
"Have you ever been to Japan?" Quatre asked. Relena just shook her head, still wishing she hadn't said
anything at all.
Dorothy's eyes lit up. "Interesting!" she exclaimed, "Maybe a past life thing?"
"I don't think so," Relena said, "Not anything like that… I just get this feeling…" She fell
silent again, frustrated at not being able to classify her feeling.
Back of his hand to his forehead, Duo swooned exaggeratedly to the floor. "It's just looooove then!"
he sighed. After sound kicks from both Hilde and Dorothy, Duo squirmed away and stood. "No more violent games
for you girls!" he scolded them. He changed the subject then, much to Relena's obvious relief.
Trowa joined them for dinner after soccer practice and then they got to work studying for the next day's biology
Later, Dorothy's parents came for her and Relena, and Quatre and Trowa got into Quatre's car. Duo really wished
he could afford a car like Quatre. His car-owning friend offered a ride. Trowa waved him over from the passenger
"No thanks, Quat, I'm gonna walk," Duo smiled. He waved back to Trowa and zipped up his coat.
"Are you sure you don't need a ride, Duo?" Mrs. Shbeiker asked, "It'd be no trouble." She knew
Duo had the reputation of being the class clown, but he was such a nice boy.
"No thanks, Mrs. S.," he smiled, shouldering his bag, "It's not far and it's not too cold out yet,
I can walk."
Duo waved goodbye before the Shbeiker women could protest and made his way down the walk. Those German women could
be pushy. It was dark, but he could probably get from Hilde's to his house blindfolded. He liked to walk anyway.
The days had been grand lately, and the nights warm for October. The stars were bright, and he appreciated them
before he reached town, where it was better lit. At nine at night, most places were pretty closed up, but a few
diners and bars open.
Turning at a closed deli, Duo took a short cut through an alleyway that should dump him near his own neighborhood.
A looming figure in the lamplight at the other end of the alley caused him to stop in his tracks. On instinct,
he crouched in the shadows next to a trashcan to wait for the figure to pass by. He leaned tensely against the
cold brick and held his breath as the figure moved towards his hiding spot. He could hear a very uneven gate, kind
of a step-STEP, step-STEP. He narrowed his blue eyes in thought… it sounded like limping.
Duo dared to look up out of the shadows. The figure passed under the occasional light of the buildings above and
Duo could see his clothes were smeared with red and he was holding his left arm. His face was tilted down, hiding
all features except for his grimace until he passed right in front of Duo and looked up.
Duo almost gasped out loud. It was Heero! He was sure of it. His face was also streaked with red, but it was definitely
Heero. He hurriedly limped out of the alley.
The thick red smears had to be blood. The long-haired boy wondered if maybe Heero had been mugged, or maybe he'd
run into Mr. Baccatti's killer! Duo jumped up with the intention of running after him, but he was gone. Duo looked
up and down the alley before running back to scan the street. Heero had disappeared.
Duo hurried the rest of the way home fairly troubled. He didn't know Heero at all, but he hated to think the exchange
student was being picked on, or endangered. That wouldn't look good. He sighed and locked the back door behind
him. This used to be such a nice town.
"Duo!" his brother called from the living room.
"Yeah?" Duo answered, putting his bag down in the kitchen. Solo appeared in the doorway from the living
"Did you walk home from Hilde's?" he asked nervously.
"Yeah," Duo shrugged.
"Duo, I don't want you doing that anymore, get a ride next time, ok?" Solo told him sternly.
"Relax, bro, I do it all the time! What's the big deal suddenly?" Duo rolled his eyes.
"There's been another murder!" Solo said angrily, "I just saw it on the news! God, I can't believe
you were out practically while it was taking place!"
"Another murder?" Duo asked, the gears of his brain whirring,
"Yeah, someone heard a scuffle and called the police, they found a woman's body. No more walking after dark,
ok? Just call, you know I'll come get you from anywhere," Solo said, more sympathetically after he saw Duo's
Stunned, Duo climbed the stairs. He got dressed and brushed his teeth, still kind of in a daze. He got into bed,
but knew immediately it was a futile gesture. His brain was whirring at Ludicrous Speed.
The image just kept replaying in his head. He had seen Heero, all bloody and limping, and Solo had said he had
been out while someone else was being murdered. Heero hadn't really looked scared, he'd looked sort of pissed off.
There had to be a connection. Heero must be involved somehow. He had arrived at school two days after the first
murder, but that didn't mean he hadn't been in town before that. He could have gotten into town early and committed
that murder too! Duo had to get to the bottom of this. He was no friend of local law-enforcement, but he couldn't
allow more of his townsfolk to be murdered. Besides, he wanted his nocturnal safety back.
The poem in Miss Noine's lit class is "In Memoriam, A.H.H." by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.