Notes:  Changed the color for this... it seemed rather appropriate ^_^;;

Dreaming of You

He woke up from the dream.  In it, he had held Sister Helen's cold corpse, screaming his grief to the sky.

'Heh, knew it was a dream.  That kind of thing couldn't happen in real life.'  Duo reassured himself, even as he arose from his prone position.

Then he got a good look around him...

Corpses littered the streets.  Only these were all animate, walking about as if alive.  Bleached white skulls and skeletons held conversations on the street, jaws clacking open and shut as they talked with non-existent vocal cords.  A skeleton puppy scampered past him; a small skeletal figure, carrying a bright red backpack, chased after the pup cheerfully.

He shuddered at the sight.  Where was he?  What was going on?  He wandered down the street, confused and more than a little frightened.  Didn't they know that they were dead?  How could they possibly not know?

Another small child, this one wearing wearing a cute flowered headband 'round its skull,  bumped into him.  He started and immediately apologized.  It ....she asked, "Mister, are you all right?"

Duo stared into empty sockets, gaping holes where lively shades of green or perhaps brown should be.  He quickly turned away, stomach turning over, stumbling towards a patch of waving grass.  His braid falling partly over his shoulder; he knelt on hands and knees, as he struggled to catch his breath.

The grass moved beneath his hands.

Staring dumbly at the ground below, he could only watch as maggots and worms began to creep over his flesh.  What he had thought to be grass was a writhing carpet of creeping insects.  White, brown, black they all moved sinuously in an insiduous sort of rhythm, all heading toward him...

With a hoarse cry he stood up, shaking away the clinging insects.  He staggered away from the horrific sight, feeling his stomach clench and unclench in disgust.  Bumping into another skeleton, this one an obscene parody of a man dressed in a business suit, he mumbled a semblance of an apology.  He broke into a run, the curses and complaints of the other ringing in his ears.

He ran into a nearby park, uncaring of the stares and whispers from the empty eyes that stared...from the bodies that carried no flesh.  Duo carefully checked over a bench before sliding down into the seat.  His head was spinning.  Never had he imagined he would see such...things.

"Sister Helen....Father Maxwell....where are you?  I need you."

He raised his eyes to the sky, as if the heavens would answer.  Instead, his eyes encoutered countless smalls black shapes outlining the crimson sky.  Sparrows, vultures, pigeons sat on the branches of the twisted remains of a tree, staring at him with glaring red eyes.  Waiting for something...for him?

He continued to stare up at the strange creatures.  As if his presence was a clue, they gathered and flew off, a huge inky blot against the sky.  He closed his eyes, the image of some huge bird of prey imprinted against the back of his eyelids.

A gentle warmth fell down his face, almost like tears.  It must be raining...maybe that would help clear his mind.  He opened his dry mouth slightly, eager for the moisture that would parch his thirst.  And tasted....

The bitter iron taste of blood.  He gagged and spat it out, accidentally swallowing some.  His stomach twisted in knots, he staggered to his knees once more.  Hands spread, upraised on his knees, he sat.   Opening his eyes increduously, he saw fat dark drops of blood falling, staining the ground, staining his clothes...his hands.

Blindly he stared out, mind unable to process what was happening.  Everywhere, the inhabitants of this strange world scurried about, reacting only as if it were a simple spring rainshower.  The blood ran down the gleaming skulls, painting everything a rusty hue...almost as if crimson tears ran down from the staring blind eyes.

He shuddered again and again, stomach violently protesting the unbearable thick humidity of the air around him.  The unmistakable smell of blood filled his nostrils, his mind.  He couldn't think.  The world spun around in hues of brown, black, red, and white.  Where was Sister Helen?  Father Maxwell?  They'd be able to tell him... if only he could find them...

His mind flashed a picture back to him.  A slim white hand, bloody and sooty, resting against a black-clad still chest.  A beautiful female face, eyes closed forever, peaceful...forever young.  The ruins of his home lying about him, as he wept and cursed, unable to do anything, helpless within the powerful grip of Death.

Even as he rejected the last thought.  She couldn't...they couldn't be dead...another part of him accepted, and grew cold.  It embraced the growing blackness within him.  Relished the smell of blood, fed on his helplessness, and whispered dark blasphemous thoughts in his mind.

Duo rose from his position, violet eyes blank, glassily reflecting the eerie scene before him.  He knew what he had to do.

And he awoke from the dream.  Braid clenched in hand, he curled on the floor of the cold prison floor, silently listening to his captors discuss his incredible luck.

A feral grin lit his features.  In the dark, his eyes seemed to flash bloody red before fading into the gloom of the cell.  They had no idea.

The young boy shivered inwardly even as he tried to appear cockily unafraid in front of the short old man in front of him.  His name?  What was his name?  And that same voice whispered. . .

"Ore wa Shinigami da."

And he was.

"Duo. Baka! Wake up."

A deep voice called him up from the depths of his dreams, leaving only the impression of swirling colors of red and black.

Duo cracked his eyes open, seeing the worried? cobalt eyes of his lover staring down at him.  He managed a wide grin.  "Saa? Was I having another nightmare again?"

The other boy looked a trifle relieved, a far cry from his normally stony features.  Even more surprisingly, strong slender arms took him in a warm embrace.  Duo leaned close into the warmth, inhaling the musky scent of gunpowder and the unique smell that was his lover.  He closed his eyes.

Against the image reflected in the mirror before him.

He was embraced by a kneeling white skeleton.  Bony arms wrapped securely about his body.

Duo almost smiled.  It wasn't so scary anymore.

His dreams . . .

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