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 8
by Granate

So, it took a Demon Hunter to convince Duo Maxwell to do homework of a beautiful Saturday afternoon. By nightfall, he was more than ready to go hunting.

He followed as Heero wandered through the northside. The streets were totally dead. News had gotten out that two people were almost killed the night before, and were found with two small punctures in their necks. The authorities were blaming a sicko, or group or sickos, with weird vampiric obsessions, or just a dangerous Halloween prank.

"This way!" Heero said, suddenly starting to run. Duo kept up, and they heard the monster long before they saw it. Heero stopped at the door of a warehouse, which had been bashed through and ripped completely off its hinges. Duo could hear loud grunting and the sounds of metal being smashed and twisted from within. There was also a very definitive stench in the air.

"What IS that?" he hissed to Heero.

"I think it is an ogre," Heero said disgustedly, snapping off his necklace, "They are huge, strong, and smell really bad. They have poor eyesight and hearing, but I want you to stay out of sight anyway. If it does see you, it may come after you. It is better for it to come after me."

Duo nodded and Heero led him into a warehouse where they followed the ogre's trail of demolition. There were doors bashed in, walls punched through, and the stench just kept getting stronger. They crept to where they could see it, crushing crates and hurling small machinery. It was gigantic. About 10 feet tall with the build of the best professional wrestler. It's arms seemed disproportionately long, and the hands at the ends were large and strong. Its skin was a pallid grey color and it had long, matted black hair. Duo was just glad it wore a loincloth of some unknown material.

Heero made a hand motion for Duo to stay where he was and then nodded. Duo froze the monster and Heero attacked it aggressively. His blade sliced into its thigh once before it woke, yowling. Heero scrambled out the way of its flailing limbs and called to Duo, "Its skin is very tough!"

Duo froze it again, hoping to give Heero a little recovery time. He was able to get close and attack it again, cutting its leg for a second time. It woke again and thundered after him.

"Kuso! This is going to take forever!" Heero swore as he jumped aside.

Duo said the words again, and Heero got another hit it. When it woke, it came after Duo this time, having figured out his hiding spot.

"Duo, get out of there!" Heero shouted, attacking the ogre from behind as it smashed the crate Duo had been hiding behind. Duo dove out of the way, but felt a tug at his neck. He rolled on the ground and managed to get on all fours to freeze the ogre.

"Tasukete!" he shouted angrily, but nothing happened. The ogre grunted and slapped Heero away like a tiny insect. He landed hard on the concrete several feet away, but immediately got back up and attacked before it could come after Duo again. Duo frantically said the word again, but the ogre kept fighting. He pawed at his chest, the cross was gone! He had lost it somewhere in the debris of that crate! He looked up. The ogre was standing right in the pile of wood and metal that used to be his hiding place. Heero was attacking it and avoiding its powerful blows, but he didn't seem to be getting anywhere.

Duo pulled himself up using the nearest solid thing. It was a forklift. He looked inside and found the keys in the ignition. "All right!" he yelped, jumping into the drivers seat. He fired it up and lurched it out of neutral. He played with controls for a moment, trusting that Heero could hold his own while he figured out which ones did what. He lifted the fork all the way and headed for the ogre.

"Heero! Get out of the way!" he yelled, shoving the stick into the highest gear. Heero looked over at him with a shocked look and the ogre took the opportunity to grab him and lift him up.

"I don't think so, Ugly!" Duo shouted angrily. He slammed the gas pedal to the floor and aimed one of his tines at the ogre's middle. He stabbed it and turned the windshield wipers on to take care of the blood. It screamed at a painful decibel and dropped Heero to the floor. Duo kept going until he had run the howling demon into the wall. Heero scrambled up the forklift and finished it off, spearing it in the heart with his sword. The giant struggled violently, but then went still.

Heero quietly turned it to a pile of black soot as Duo turned the engine off. Duo jumped out of the driver's seat, rushed over to the crate, and started digging through the shards.

"I lost my cross!" he said to Heero, who approached him curiously. Heero silently started heaving the large pieces away. Duo scrabbled through the mess until he found his gold cross glinting in the dim light.

"The chain broke," he said, lifting it.

Heero walked away and returned to him with a thin strand of metal. "Use this for now," he said, taking the cross. He threaded the wire through the little loop and then fastened it around Duo's neck. "Put another chain on it when you get home," he instructed, "The wire may choke you if it's pulled."

"Heero? We stink again," Duo informed him as they left the warehouse.

. . . . .

They had not gotten two blocks when Heero spread his arm over Duo's chest and flattened them both against a brick wall. "Something is coming," he hissed.

"What?" Duo whispered.

"I do not know yet," Heero answered looking around anxiously.

They heard a low chuckling that Duo found extremely unsettling, then an equally creepy voice.

"Oh, Hunter…" it taunted.

"Show yourself!" Heero demanded. He tugged off his necklace and the sword grew to full size. "Coward!" Heero called again when there was no answer. He could feel the presence had not left yet.

A form materialized in monochrome grey. It was tall and slim and smiled at them with pointy teeth. "You are young for a Hunter," it said to Heero.

Heero leapt from the wall and slashed at it with his sword. "Run, Duo!" he called out.

His sword went through the demon three times before he stopped trying. It laughed its low, insane kind of laugh. "Hunter! You can't kill me, didn't they tell you?"

"Tasukete!" Duo said from the wall. Nothing happened except the demon laughing again.

"Duo, I said RUN," Heero bit out.

"Who is your friend, Hunter? He is quite amusing," it smiled again with the sharp pointed teeth, "Perhaps I shall start with him."

"Stop!" Heero commanded. He thrust his palm in the direction of the being and a bolt of energy coursed from his hand and hit the demon. His image frazzled like bad TV reception for a moment and then went back to normal.

"I see you have more tricks up your sleeve than I gave you credit for," it growled at Heero. It pointed a finger at Heero and a beam of light zapped toward him. He leapt out of the way just in time.

"Duo! Get out of here!" Heero shouted again.

"I can't just leave you!" Duo called back in frustration.

The demon employed both hands and was finally able to catch Heero in the beam. Duo could only stand by helplessly as Heero was wrapped in the light and lifted into the air, suspended. Duo wished for anything he could use against the demon, even gravel.

"Duo, run!" Heero cried, struggling in the air.

"Now, for you!" the demon said to Duo with another smile. Before Duo could turn tail and run like hell, he was caught in a beam of light himself, and drawn toward the being.

"Duo!" Heero cried, frantically flailing around in the air.

"Your friend is very pretty, Hunter," the demon leered, bringing Duo close enough to be enveloped by his grey cloak. Duo struggled against the beam, but could not escape. "And now, you are mine," the demon said. It crooked a bone-thin finger at Duo and the boy felt his mouth open of its own accord.

"NO!" Heero screamed.

Duo closed his eyes, he was feeling very weak. He felt a rush leaving him, his soul given over to the demon. "Mother," he whispered, before darkness claimed him.

Heero thrashed about in the air, and suddenly there was a blinding light and ear-piercing shriek. He fell in a heap to the ground and covered his eyes it was so bright. When he opened them again, Duo was lying still on the ground and the demon was gone.

"Duo!" he whimpered as he hurried to him. He knelt next to his friend and gathered him in his arms. "Duo, I am so sorry," he said tremulously and squeezed him a final hug. He felt hot tears run down his cheeks as he heard the last of Duo's breath left his body. A second later Duo gasped in a big breath of air and his eyes shot open.

"Duo? You are alive!" Heero cried.

Duo blinked and took another deep breath. He was alive! He looked up at Heero, who was still holding him. "I'm as surprised as you a - Oh, Heero," he finished in a whisper, wiping the tears from Heero's cheeks with his fingers.

"You were not breathing, I thought you were dead," Heero told him, still not letting go, "What happened?"

"I'm not really sure," Duo answered, "The only things I remember before I blacked out were calling to my mother and the cross getting really hot."

The both looked down at the cross. It was, well, it was… bigger.

"Your cross contained it!" Heero exclaimed, "That was a doppelganger, they steal souls. I do not yet have the ability to really fight them because they have no physical matter and can not even be turned to soot."

"What about that cool energy bolt thing you did!" Duo reminded him. He would have felt kind of awkward about still being held by Heero if he hadn't kind of liked it.

"My power is still weak," Heero admitted, "I could not have done him a lot of harm."

"Could it have killed you?" Duo asked seriously.

Heero shook his head. "No, it could not kill me in its usual way, but it could have injured me, I suppose. However, it seems you have a way of containing energy beings! That will help us very much!"

"Yeah, until my cross gets too big to wear!" Duo laughed, "And I'll have to figure how to do it before I black out next time." Heero let him stand and they decided to go back to Heero's.

"That demon was sent after us," Heero said as they walked, "I am almost sure of it. Zechs must know of me by now."

"He thought you couldn't beat it!" Duo guessed, "But he didn't count on you having a little help!"

Heero gave him a little smile and unlocked the garage door. They cleaned up and then Duo settled as close to Heero as he dared in the small hide-away bed. It was Heero's embrace that had brought him out of the darkness and he was very grateful for that. He inched a little closer to his sleeping friend. A moment later, Heero rolled over towards him and sighed in his sleep. They were very close now, foreheads and knees nearly touching. Duo closed the gap and then drifted to sleep.

The doppleganger - I think I used Escaflowne as a heavy influence for this guy. That's what I kept imagining!

Eeee… Heero sure gets thrown around a lot in this fic…. -_-;;

on to part 9

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