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 6
by Granate

The next night, Heero was drawn into the sewers, where they found themselves faced with a blue-skinned woman with a gigantic snake's tail instead of legs. She shrieked and hissed poison at them when she saw Heero.

"What is that?" Duo cried.

"I do not know!" Heero replied, dodging poison.

"What do you mean, you don't know?" it was Duo who hissed this time.

"Just do your thing!" Heero shouted, diving out of the way of a powerful tail.

"Tasukete!" Duo yelled. The cross heated up and glowed, the snake-woman stricken motionless. Heero attacked her with his sword, but she woke up only seconds later and knocked him hard to the ground with a hand. He landed in the knee-high water with a splash.

"She is stronger than the wolves!" Heero shouted, rolling out of the way as her tail landed where he had fallen.

"Shit!!" Duo swore. He looked frantically for some kind of weapon. He picked up a metal pipe just in time to swing it and hit the end of her tail as it reached for his ankle. He backed out of her grasp as Heero attacked her again. He was hit square in the shoulder with poison this time, and fell into the water with a painful cry.

"Heero!" Duo ran to him, and clubbed her hand as she reached to swipe at him with her sharp nails. But Duo had neglected to watch her tail, which instantly coiled itself around him, pinning his arms to his sides and lifting him off the ground. She cackled in laughter as she squeezed him.

"Tasukete," Duo wheezed, affording him momentary relief and Heero a chance to stab his sword into her tail. She awoke and screamed in pain, squeezing Duo harder. "Heero!" he gasped.

"Do it again!" Heero commanded, dodging more poison aimed in his direction.

"Tasukete!" Duo whispered. The cross glowed blindingly again and Heero jumped at her, driving his sword between her breasts. She hissed one last time as he wrenched the sword out and she oozed greenish blue blood from the wound. Her death grip loosened as her tail uncoiled and Duo fell with it in a heap under the water.

"Duo!" Heero shouted fearfully as he reached under the water and into the folds to find his friend. Duo pushed his way through the coiled tail and Heero pulled him all the way up. He leaned heavily against Heero, trying to catch his breath. "I - I- I'm sorry," he panted, "My power didn't work very well that time."

"No, Duo, I am sorry," Heero said with a pained expression, "I should not be putting you in danger like this."

Duo pushed up from Heero's shoulders and stood shakily. "You better finish her off before she decides she's got some more fight left in 'er," he advised. He held out his hand to Heero and pulled him up. Heero said the magic words and the snake-woman was no more.

"Your shoulder!" Duo exclaimed when Heero turned back to him. It looked raw and burned. Heero looked at it detachedly.

"We will go to my place to clean up," he told Duo, "I am not sensing any more demons about tonight."

At the garage apartment, they stripped off their wet clothes and Heero lent Duo a pair of dry boxer shorts. Then Duo sat Heero down on the toilet lid to wash off the shoulder.

"Now, what did you mean before, did you really not know what that was?" Duo asked, soaking a rag in cool water.

"No," Heero admitted, "I have never seen one before, I had no idea what to expect."

He barely flinched as Duo scrubbed the dead skin off as gently as he could.

"Can I tell you something, Duo?" he asked after a moment.

"Of course," Duo replied, rinsing the rag off under the tap.

Heero slouched slightly. "I am not ready," he said glumly. Duo glanced at his face and then back to the shoulder when he continued. "Due to some ancient miscalculation of when Zechs would attempt this, I did not get to finish training. It is three years early! I was supposed to be able to anticipate the place he would choose and be there before the demons started coming. But one person was already dead by the time I even knew where to go, and I could not even save the next person!"

"But you've won the last few fights!" Duo reminded him, "And you are getting better at sensing them. You've saved countless people by now! And, you looked damned cool doing it."

Heero shot him a withering glance and Duo just smiled. "I just feel so unprepared," he sighed heavily, "I feel like a failure. Do you understand now why I am so grateful for your help, but at the same time, feel so bad about putting you in danger? I - I do not want anything bad to happen to you, Duo! I have never met anyone like you… I have never…"

Duo grinned at him. "Friends, Heero," he said, "You've never had a friend before."

Heero nodded. "Yes, I think you are right."

"But that's what friends do!" Duo told him, "They stick by each other when things get tough. I'm out here because I WANT to be. I'm going to do my damnedest to make sure you and my other friends don't get killed by this bastard. Understand?"

"Yes," Heero nodded again, "Thank you Duo." He paused a second. "You seem kind of tired. Why don't you take a shower and sleep here tonight?" he asked.

Duo did not miss the hopefulness of his tone. "Ok," he agreed, "But you know what else friends do?"

"What?" Heero asked.

"They talk to each other in school," Duo grinned.

"Not this again!" Heero groaned.

Duo tried to scrub the feeling of the snake's tail from his skin and then settled into bed next to Heero. He was really glad for the offer, he was too tried to want to run home. He'd just have to get up before first light and be extra quiet sneaking in. Solo would flip if he found out. The next day was Friday, so at least he could get the ok to sleep over at Heero's on the weekend.

Heero listened and watched Duo's bare back as the boy's breath evened out and he fell asleep. The chain glinted from his neck and his braid lay over on Heero's side of the bed again. This was one snake he wanted to touch. He told himself to leave it alone, but his hand did not listen. He stroked the thick braid a few times before his brain finally won out and he forced himself to stop and go to sleep.

The snake-woman was supposed to be like a Naga of Hindu religion. They are not demons, but demi-gods, so she would be very powerful.

on to part 7

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