Disclaimers: Not mine!! no one was handing them out on Halloween....

Pairing: 1+2/2+1
Rating: PG
Warnings: violence, ghouls, shounen-ai, cuteness, AU, demons, poor Japanese translations -_-'

Author's Notes: Winner of the SDDI's 2002 October Demonic Fic Contest! A Halloween tale of suspense(?), ghouls, goblins, and monsters! Where do our GW characters fit into all this?? Murders shock Duo's small, quiet town, followed by the appearance of a mysterious exchange student...

All Hallow's Eve
Part 3
by Granate

Duo scrutinized the Japanese student closely the next day. His face had a few scratches and faint bruises this morning, but he still didn't look like a killer. He was of average height and build, and a reserved manner. He didn't really look like he could even fight, but Duo knew that looks could be deceiving. He himself looked like a scrapper, but he had won most of the fights he'd been in.

Duo saw Heero grimace at his biology test and rub a bruise on his forehead. Rough night, buddy? Duo thought sarcastically. He had decided what he needed to do. He needed to be out on the streets again tonight. He needed more proof, but not so much that he would become the next victim.

He spent the afternoon at Hilde's, but went home for dinner. Solo was in the kitchen, cooking something. Duo smiled as he opened the back door. Solo had turned out to be a pretty decent cook. Solo blew his bangs out of his face as he stirred briskly, not showing any sign he'd heard Duo come in. His hair was darker then Duo's, but his eyes were lighter.

"Hey bro!" the younger boy said cheerfully.

Solo turned to look at him angrily. "Did you walk home again?" he demanded, "I told you no more walking! You should have called!"

"I - uh, sorry," Duo stammered.

Solo stomped over to the kitchen table and picked up a piece of paper. "And I got a letter from your principle today," he continued, hazel eyes accusing.

Duo rolled his eyes. "What, inviting us to dinner or something?"

"About your latest prank," Solo bit out.

"It was a doozy," Duo admitted with pride.

"Duo! You're one strike away from being suspended! This has to stop!" Solo exclaimed.

"Lighten up, bro," Duo blew him off, heading to the stove to catch a whiff of whatever was cooking.

"Besides," he said, lifting the lid off of acorn squash, "You taught me that one! You know, switching all the video cases in the AV department? I was going to sneak some porn in there, but I couldn't get my hands on any."

"Duo…" Solo growled.

"What, afraid I might one-up you?" Duo grinned. His brother looked red in the face.

"You're not taking this serious enough!" Solo snapped

Duo gave him a bland look. "Come on, Solo, three years ago, you would have been proud of me."

"Three years ago, we had parents to keep us in line!" Solo said, raising his voice. He did not appreciate the reference.

"Yeah, and now you're doing to me exactly what Dad did to you!" Duo retorted, becoming angrier.

"He had to, Duo! Are you so immature that you don't understand? Someone had to straighten me out so I finished high school! They were only trying to do what was best for us!" Solo argued.

"I'm not immature!" Duo yelled, "And you're just a damned hypocrite! You hated dad! You fought with him all the time! And now you act just like him! You know, Solo, you used to be a lot more fun!"

"God damn it, Duo! Somebody had to take responsibility for you!" Solo shouted back, "Do you even realize what I gave up to take care of you?! Does it ever occur to you?! College, a life, a chance to live on my own! But no, I stayed here to take care of my little brother!"

Duo felt himself choke up too much to even get out a nasty reply. It hurt the way Solo said 'little brother'.

"Trust me," Solo continued bitterly, "My life was a lot easier too when mom and dad where here. But now I'm the one saddled with you. And you're too selfish to even think about that!"

"Well fuck you then!" Duo shouted to keep back the sobs, "I don't need you to take care of me! Why don't you just go off, huh?! I don't fucking need you!"

Afraid he might cry, Duo ran out of the house.

Duo finally stopped running when he reached the park. He roughly wiped away whatever moisture was in his eyes, refusing to acknowledge it. He jammed his hands in his pockets and wandered over to the picnic tables. He sat down heavily and just sulked. He didn't really feel like going to any of his friends' houses, even though it would probably be safer. And warmer. He buttoned his jacket all the way. His friends cared as much as they could, but when it came to losing both your parents, well, people who truly understood were pretty scarce.

He put his elbow on the table and rested his head in his hand, glowering at the graffiti carved into the wood. He laughed bitterly at a sudden thought. Well, he was out tonight after all, and he hadn't even had to sneak out. It was already dark out, so he got up, determined to go look for Heero, or whoever was prowling the streets. He walked across the field that would be frozen over for ice-skating and had reached the playground when he heard screaming. He whirled around and saw a woman running out of the woods on the paved trail. She ran towards him, and Duo could see her clothes were tattered bloodied.

"RUN!!!" she shrieked when she saw Duo just standing there.

"Wha-?" Duo started, but was interrupted by a giant beast roaring its way out of the woods.

"Holy FUCK!!!!" Duo gaped, frozen in place. The woman in jogging clothes just screamed past him. The beast ripped over the ground with its massive claws, still chasing her. It was massive, about the size of a bus, and covered in dark green scales. The thing had four black horns on its head, and a pair of tusks rising out of it's already impressively equipped jaws.

"Yamero!!" he heard another voice from the woods seconds after the beast charged through. Heero ran down the path, shouting and waving a sword at the beast.

Duo just gaped more as Heero caught up and sliced at its tail. The howling beast turned to face him, and Heero attacked it fearlessly with the sword, shouting at it in what Duo guessed was Japanese. The beast yowled deafeningly when he struck it, and lunged at him vengefully. It swiped a lethal claw at him, but he managed to jump back just far enough to avoid disembowelment. The beast turned to look for easier prey, eyeing the jogger, who passed out on the ground not far from Duo. The monster knocked Heero several feet with it's tail, and then lunged for the jogger. Heero hit one of the metal supports of the swing set hard, and landed in the dirt.

Duo grabbed handfuls of gravel and started lobbing it at the monster as hard as he could. He had a good arm, he'd also made the baseball team once, and promptly gotten kicked off.

"Leave her alone!" he shouted at the thing. It turned its ugly head toward him and snarled, revealing a bumpy black tongue and razor-sharp teeth. "You're disgusting! Leave her the fuck alone!! Did you HEAR ME??" he shouted as he continued chucking gravel at it. /Come on Heero!/ he begged silently, /Save my pathetic gravel-throwing ass!/

Heero got up and shook himself off. He had just reached striking distance when the beast lunged for Duo. He turned and ran, acting completely on instinct. He ran harder than he could ever remember running, harder than during his equally short stint on the track team, harder then when evading school bullies. His lungs and heart pumped, conscious of nothing else, but his chin hit the dirt before he even felt the animal catch up to him. He struggled onto his back, ready to fight for his life, and gave it an eyeful of the gravel he still had in his clenched fist. No way Duo Maxwell was going down without a few dirty tricks.

The beast shook its head and roared in pain. Duo covered his eyes with his arm before a glob of its saliva hit him square in the face. It leaned in close enough to rip his face off, but all it got out was an enraged hiss before it roared again and blood spurted, well, everywhere.

Duo heard a great THUMP before he made himself open his eyes. Heero had one foot on the beast's shoulder and was heaving his sword from its neck. He retrieved it with a grunt and wiped the blade on his shirt. He then held a palm toward the monster and closed his eyes as he said something in Japanese. His palm seemed to glow purple, then flash, and the beast was gone. Nothing left but a shadow of soot on the grass. Heero kicked at it, helping the October Wind carry it off.

Duo was in too much shock to get up or even move at all from his prone position on the ground. He just stared as Heero held his sword out in front of him and quietly said "Kearo."

The sword started to glow and shrink. In seconds, it was small enough to fit in the palm of his hand. He quickly tied it around his neck with the strings on the hilt and then walked over to the unconscious jogger. He knelt next to her and lifted her shoulder slightly. He closed his eyes again, this time, pressing his first two fingers to her forehead. He whispered something and then released her. Next he groped through her pockets.

"Hey!!" Duo shouted, still not able to get up. You don't just save people to rob them! Heero ignored him and pulled out the woman's mobile phone. Duo could see him hit 9-1-1 before getting up again and dropping the phone at her side.

He glanced at Duo, expression changing to a glare. "Come one!" he said angrily and started running. Duo was able to rise again, and followed right on his heels, really not wanting to be found at the scene.

Thanks to Ileana Aponte for the Japanese translations!

Kearo - return, restore, transform/change

Yamero - stop, halt

on to part 4

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