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 4
by Granate

Heero did not stop running until he reached a small house in a neighborhood on the northside. He put his finger to his lips and Duo nodded. They snuck through the shadows towards the separate garage. Heero unlocked the door and held it open for Duo, then closed it and led the American up wooden steps to the attic room.

"Can I say something now?" Duo asked when Heero had shut the door.

Heero frowned. "Yes," he answered quietly.

"CARE TO EXPLAIN THIS TO ME?!?!" Duo burst out, voice still shaky. It had been a very bad day.

"Calm down, Duo," Heero hissed.

"Calm down?!" Duo ranted, "I just about got ripped to shreds by - by whatever the FUCK that was!! I do not have to calm down!!"

"Just please calm down," Heero insisted, taking a step toward him.

"Oh, no you don't!" Duo said sharply, moving away, "I know what you did to that girl! You're not going to erase MY memory!"

Heero looked shocked for only a moment. "Duo…" he growled, lunging for the boy.

"Think again!" Duo quipped, side-stepping lightening fast.

Heero growled again in frustration.

"I want answers!" Duo insisted, "And I think I deserve them."

Heero glared at him. He could tell the hyperactive longhaired kid was going to be difficult to subdue and erase, even for one who fought demons.

"If you sit down and relax, I will tell you what is going on," Heero finally offered, sounding like he didn't like it one bit.

Duo eyed him suspiciously. He was covered in scratches and dirt, his right eye was swollen, and he was favoring his leg again. He had just saved Duo's life, and he looked exhausted. "Ok," Duo agreed hesitantly and found a chair.

"What you saw was a Jukai Chimera, a very fierce and deadly demon that can only be summoned by an expert. That expert has taken up residence in your town. He is attempting to fulfill a prophecy to bring about the apocalypse. He wishes to destroy life as we know it and raise it from the ashes under his rule. And he is just getting started. The Evil Lord Zechs will - "

Duo cut in with hysterical cackling. "Lord Sex!" he exclaimed, "Jesus, man, you even had me going there for a minute!" He stopped to laugh some more. "Shit!" he wheezed, "Evil Lord SEX!! You sound like some kind of religious abstinence-freak!! Oh man, you crack my shit up!! Lord Sex!"[1]

Heero's face flared crimson. "Lord ZECHS!" he tried to argue over Duo's guffawing, "Z-E-C-H-S! Not… SEX!" He faltered and blushed brighter at that last word.

"Zzzzzzechs?" Duo repeated, stressing the 'z', trying the word out for himself.

"Yes," Heero said in bristled relief, "As in the German word for 'six'. He is an ancient Bavarian lord under a curse."

Duo blinked, not looking so jovial anymore. "So, you weren't joking around about that apocalypse stuff?" he asked like he was afraid of the answer. Heero sure wasn't lying about the monster, so he was probably telling the truth about the curse too.

"Yes. I know this because I am the Demon Hunter. It is up to me to stop him," Heero said, all seriousness.

"Oh, you mean like Buffy the Vampire Slayer!" Duo chimed in.

"I am not familiar with her," Heero said.

"Oh! It's a TV show about a vampire slayer. You know, one in every generation, only she can kill the vampires, that kind of thing. All the girls watch it," Duo informed him.

"Oh, a television show," Heero nodded, "Yes, sort of like that then. Except I kill more than vampires."

Duo gaped. "You kill vampires? Have there been any here?" he stammered.

"No, not yet. They will come later," Heero said calmly, "They are actually not so bad to fight, they are just very strong and you can only kill them by cutting off their heads. They can not really do any of that mind-control stuff, but they do enjoy their reputation."

Duo was frozen in shock as all that Heero had said finally sunk in. Heero looked at him nervously.

"Um, thank you for helping me," he said stiltedly, "I probably could not have saved that woman without you."

"So, the murders-" Duo asked.

Heero's shoulders fell. "I did not get there in time," he said quietly, "I killed the demon finally, but it killed those two people before I got to it."

"What was it?" Duo whispered.

"A yeti, believe it or not…" he trailed off and eyed Duo again, "Do you want me to erase your memory?"

"No no," Duo managed, "I'll be ok. The crime scene tonight?"

"The woman will tell them a dog attacked her. The police will find prints that are distinctly NOT a dog, they may blame a bear. The soot will be found, but it is merely carbon. They may or may not find our blood at the scene. It will just be left that she should not be jogging after dark, and it is a good thing that Americans carry mobile phones on them at all times," Heero prattled off.

"Hey!" Duo glared. He himself did not have a mobile, but something struck him before he could get out a feisty retort. "Wait, how did you know who I am? You said my name before," he remembered

Heero gave him a withering look. "I could not get through my first day of school without hearing of your trick with the video cassettes. And getting kicked off the soccer team… I do not think I believe that one," Heero said, scrunching up his nose.

Duo just laughed heartily.

"Duo?" Heero ventured, "You really did well tonight."

Duo stopped laughing. "Oh, thanks," he said, "Um, you too… glad you killed it before it, uh, ate me. Look, I really believe what you're saying, and you need help!"

Heero looked at him skeptically. "What are you going to do?" he asked, "Throw gravel at all the monsters?"

"Well, I was kind of thinking you'd give me some sort of cool weapon, right? Like that sword you have!" Duo suggested.

"Listen, Duo, you are right, I could use the help, but I do not wish to endanger you."

"Hey! This is my life too we're fighting for here! I'm not going to be killed or ruled by Demon King Sex without a damn good fight!" Duo swore.

Heero sighed. "All right," he grumbled, "I am not going to erase your memory, so you may as well assist me. But no one else can know, ok? I am going to try to get this thing under control before too many people are affected."

"So we're a demon fighting TEAM!" Duo exclaimed, "What do we do first, Captain?"

Heero seemed to notice his clothes. "Clean up," he suggested.

"Right!" Duo said in his best super hero voice, "And then dinner?"

"Ok," Heero almost smiled. He led Duo to the bathroom where they stripped to their underwear. Heero took one whiff of his tee shirt and just threw it in the trash. Duo laughed at his disgusted expression.

"You smell worse!" Heero said, face reddening, "It got more drool on you!"

Duo threw his shirt away too without even smelling it. Heero held his jeans up to survey the tears. They weren't so bad, so he just threw them in the laundry bin.

"So, Super Demon Hunters find the time to do laundry, then?" Duo asked, amused.

"Poorly funded ones do," Heero replied.

Duo laughed. "No money for new jeans?" he guessed.

"No, I think I would rather eat this week."

"Same here. How do mine look?" Duo asked, holding his own up. Heero squinted at them. Not great, in truth.

"Well, better than mine," he said, trying to be positive.

"Geez, you'd think people would be dumping money into saving the fate of mankind," Duo clucked, "I think I deserve some compensation for my clothes."

Heero smirked. "YOU try telling world leaders that a Demon Lord is going to bring about the apocalypse. See how far you get."

Duo just laughed. "Say, do you have a washing machine here?" he asked.

Heero looked at him funny. "Don't you have a home to go to?" he asked.

Duo cocked his head. "Do you want me to leave?" he asked, the hurt evident in his voice.

"No, no!" Heero said apologetically, "I am sorry, I did not mean offense. I was just asking."

Duo smiled in relief. He did NOT want to go home. "Not a lot of peer social interaction at demon-slaying prep school?" he joked.

"Class of one," the other boy admitted.

"Yeah, I do have a home," Duo answered the question, "It's just me and my older brother, but we got into a big fight this afternoon. Would you, uh, mind terribly if I crashed on your couch? I mean, it's not like you have to hide your secret from me."

"It is up to you," Heero answered, "I can not guarantee your safety here. I am sure they know I am here now, they may come after me."

"Well! I certainly can't leave you all by yourself then!" Duo grinned, "Got any extra blankets?"

By the time Duo was out of the shower, Heero had some soup hot on the stove. They ate quickly and by the time Heero was out of the shower, Duo had the dishes cleaned up. Heero unfolded the bed from the couch as Duo arranged blankets on the floor. He hadn't noticed Heero's place didn't have a bedroom, meaning the couch was Heero's. Duo did not care at the moment, he was so tired he thought he might sleep through it of the demons DID come after them.

Heero turned out the lights, but despite his tiredness, Duo couldn't fall asleep just yet. He started thinking about his brother.

"Heero?" he asked.

"What?" came gruffly from the hide-away.

"Do you think I'm immature?" he asked, knowing it was completely random.

Heero did not answer right away. "It is not my business, but I think running away from your brother was wrong. He must be worried sick about you right now. But I will add that distracting the chimera to save that woman was an incredibly brave thing to do."

Duo chuckled. "No, that was firmly in the 'stupid' category," he replied. There was a grunt of agreement from the bed.

Duo was silent for a little while, just tossing around on the floor. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw that terrifying beast looming over him. He shuddered. God, he had been close enough to smell its rotten breath… "Heero?" he whimpered plaintively.

Heero grumbled and moved over in the bed to give Duo room. Duo gratefully climbed in next to him on the small bed and pulled the covers to his chin. The other boy's presence and warmth calmed him enough to sleep.

Heero clenched his fists under his pillow. What the hell was he doing?! Number one: not erasing a memory was stupid and careless. Number two: telling anyone about his job was out of the question. Number three: involving a civilian was against every rule ever set out. Number four: …what was he doing in the same bed as this guy? Heero growled to himself and rolled over to look at Duo. The boy's eyes were closed and he was very still. Heero was severely tempted to erase Duo right now and save him from this whole mess. He could just make him think he'd found Duo in the park and given him a place to sleep after the fight with his brother. The scratches and bloody clothes? Well, they were from… from… Damn it all!

Heero's eyes were drawn to a gold chain at Duo's neck. His eyes followed it a small golden cross against the other boy's chest. From there, his gaze wandered to the braid that was tossed over Duo's shoulder and snaking toward him. He pondered it a moment, he'd never seen anything quite like it, and he'd seen some eccentric demons. He touched the part of it resting on the mattress. He stroked it with his fingers, careful not to pull it at all and wake Duo. He withdrew his hand and curled up with a sigh, still watching his new partner.

"So, Heero, about my weapon…" Duo grinned, eyes still shut.

"Argh! Go to sleep!" Heero growled, hitting him with a pillow.

[1] Lord Sex - do NOT try to tell me you weren't giggling your way through the first few episodes! "Yes, Colonel Sex! Right away Sir!" *giggles* Who's immature????

<Zechs>: You put me in only TWO of your fics and in one I am a incorrigible horn-ball and in the other I am an evil demon lord???

<Granate>: Ummmmmm….

on to part 5

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