title: Kissing Death
fandom: Gundam Wing
characters/pairings: Heero/Duo, Relena/OFC, Solo, suggestive Quatre/Trowa, suggestive Zechs/Treize, Wu Fei, Mariemaia, Hilde
warnings: deathcentric
summary: Relena and her girlfriend cast out a net, but she catches a lesson in death.
notes: i don't meant to bash Relena. she has her good points. i swear, she does. but she does get a little beat up here... well. someone had to, and she fit the job description.

Relena stared into her lover's eyes. Excitement bubbled up inside of her, her fingers nervously knotted in her lap. It hardly seemed possible that it could be true...

"Can you, really?"

Amy smiled gently. The way the former Queen's eyes were wide and sparkling completely enchanted the girl. The past few months with Relena had been like a fairytale. She never, in her wildest dreams, would have thought that anything would have come of her harmless flirting in the office, but now she actually lived with Relena. And there was nothing she would deny her.

It was the last job on the list for a reason. Heero didn't really want to go to Relena's house. He had installed her current security system five months ago, and since then, she had called him back up twelve times. She couldn't remember the codes, she thought there was a beeping noise, she wanted to know if she could get a cover for the controls that would match her wallpaper... It seemed like it would never end. But it had been nearly ten weeks since he had last heard from her, and he had sincerely hoped that she was going to leave him alone.

It wasn't that he didn't like her; he did. He just... liked her better from further away. He just wanted to live, without the war and killing. Making a living designing and installing electronic security systems seemed like a good way to do it; he could use his skills, and help people. Perfect.

Sighing, he pulled up to Relena's surprisingly modest estate. The long driveway was littered with dead leaves that crunched pleasantly as he slowly made his way to the front entrance. He was prepared for Relena to be waiting for him impatiently as he parked, so he was extra cautious, keeping an eye out for bouncy blondes.

It was a bit of a surprise, then, that not only did he not have to worry about trying to avoid hitting Relena, but that he had to wait nearly two minutes before anyone answered the doorbell, and when the door did open, a smiling dark haired girl with a shocking chunk of bright red hair falling in her face greeted him.

It was odd enough to make Heero smirk.

"Is that Heero?" Relena stepped behind the dark-haired girl, coming up very close to her. "Finally! Come on in. Did you bring all the equipment?"

Heero sighed as he raised the black tackle box by his side, eliciting a giggle from dark-haired girl. He raised an eyebrow to her, wondering what she was doing here. She looked a little like a girl who worked in Relena's office, but he hadn't been there in months, so he couldn't be totally sure.

"Wonderful!" Relena clapped her hands cheerfully. "Wonderful! It's over here, the door I need wired." She led him to the door to the wine cellar. Turning to face him for the first time, Heero's heart sunk when he saw how... delighted she seemed. "I need a lot of security for this door, but I don't want it wired to the police or the Preventers. Is it possible to have the signal go to a remote or something like that?"

Heero blinked. "Of course. But I don't understand..."

Relena rushed forward and grabbed his arm. "We have something down there. You won't believe! Amy did it. She's a Wiccan." Relena turned to her friend, beaming proudly.

Heero noted that Amy was quite pretty when she blushed.

"We need the very best locking system you have, and the remote sensor thing. This should be a wine cellar, so this is the only entrance. I need this secured, and I need to be able to know right away if it's not."

Heero looked at the door for just a moment. "I've got a door in my truck. I can install it in a half hour, and have everything set up within an hour. But, what do you have down there, if you don't mind my asking?"

Amy paled, and was about to speak for the first time, when Relena beat her to the punch. "Death! We captured Death!"

Heero sucked in a breath, and took a step back. Relena saw something in his eyes that she had never seen before: fear. "Wha... What do you mean?"

"Come see!" Relena flung open the door, and dragged him down the stairs, Amy shuffling behind them.

The cellar was dark, the walls like that of a cave, stone made warm by the candlelight bouncing off the wooden shelves in the back of the cellar. In the center of the room was a giant glass globe, surrounded by candles, sitting in the center of a pentagram. Inside the globe...

Heero swallowed, his eyes wide. His voice low and cold, "What have you done, Relena?"

"Oh, don't worry, it's not a real boy!" Relena laughed as she smiled at the frowning little boy in the globe. He looked as if he were about ten, his dirty blonde hair falling over his eyes, his round cheeks smudged with grease. He was dressed in a tattered t-shirt and torn jeans. "It's Death! Seriously! See," Relena's face was glowing with joy, "no one ever needs to die again. No more pain, no more suffering... Finally, we've brought a real end to all the torment in the world!"

Heero stared at the boy in the globe, trying to find the right words for the situation. At a loss, he only shook his head, sighing. "What... is he doing?"

"He's praying." Heero turned to face Amy, who was standing by the wall, her arms over her chest, looking at the globe with pure terror. "When he first appeared... He started to scream obscenities, banging his little fists against the glass. When he realized he could not break the circle... He just sat down, and started to pray."

Relena tossed her hair aside. "Grubby little thing, isn't he? Not exactly what I would have pictured... But still! Isn't it amazing?"

Heero still stared, disbelieving, at the boy inside the globe. "How did you do this?"

"Amy's a Wiccan!" Relena threw her arms around Amy's neck. "She got the spell out of a comic book, of all things! Isn't she just the greatest?" Amy was obviously nervous with Relena's praise, and Heero twitched an eyebrow at her in sympathy.

"You shouldn't have done this, Relena." Heero leveled her with his meaningful gaze. "It's not right. Death... is part of nature."

Relena just tsked him. "Don't be such a spoilsport, Heero! Everything is fine. In fact, everything is better than it ever was! Now, about the door..." Relena kept talking as she walked back up the stairs.

With a sigh, Heero moved to follow her, but only after catching the boy's eye one last time. As he passed her, Amy asked, "Who does Death pray to?" Her eyes were fixed fearfully on the boy in the globe, her whole posture frozen.

Heero didn't even grunt at her as he passed.

It took Heero much longer than expected to install Relena's security door. First off, she didn't like the color of the door. He tried to explain to her that it was the only one he had, but it was a natural wood exterior, so it should be easy to paint it. But she insisted that she wanted the right door installed. So, he had to go back to his storage facility and scrounge up a door in mahogany. Then, after he finished installing it, she insisted that he stay for dinner, and then afterwards, she insisted that he sit while she showed him tons of pictures of her and Amy's whirlwind romance. He really liked Amy, even though she seemed too smitten with Relena to have good judgment. For instance, it was obvious that she was regretting what she had done to Death, but for Relena, she did it anyway.

Heero hoped that she would be dealt some leniency for her reluctance and regret.

Afterwards, Relena decided that Heero should stay the night and though he tried, he wasn't able to convince her otherwise.

Still, it was probably a good thing, because it meant that he was there when Duo arrived.

He had been carefully sneaking away as Amy distracted Relena for him in the kitchen. He did like Amy. He was opening the door to make his getaway just as the bell chimed.

It had been nearly three years since he had seen Duo. Nearly three years, but he hadn't forgotten how bright and sunny his eyes were, or how his skin glowed, or how his hair gleamed, or how his tight little body could make Heero's guts squirm. Still, seeing Duo again made his heart leap.

Smiling brightly, Duo leaned against the doorframe casually. "Well, this is an unexpected bonus. It's good to see you again, Heero."

"Hn. You look good." Heero always loved it when Duo wore silk, the thin fabric draped over his shoulders, hanging loose.

Duo grinned. "You, too."

Heero stepped aside, and led Duo into the house.

Relena met them in the hall where the cellar door was. "Duo!" She tried, at least, to mask her annoyance. "What a surprise! And to what do we owe the pleasure of your company?"

Duo smiled, playing the fool. "Why, Miss Relena, I was just in the neighborhood, and I was thinking, it's been ages since I've checked on you! So I dropped by, just to say hi, and Heero was here! About time, too, I thought I'd go grey before you two lovebirds finally got together!"

Heero growled, and Amy laughed quietly, so Relena wouldn't notice.

Relena simmered. "Duo. How silly. Heero and I aren't a couple. How you do love to tease. Well, it was nice of you to stop in..."

"The cellar is this way." Heero pointed to the door, and Duo smiled at him knowingly.

"Cellar?" Relena's face went white, the very idea of Duo Maxwell viewing her prize turning her stomach.

"Oh, I can't wait to see it, Miss Relena!" Duo gushed, still grinning like a fool whenever he faced her. "That must have been some feat!"

Amy blushed, guiltily. "Er, it was just a spell from an old comic I found. I didn't even think it would work."

Duo winked at her. "It didn't work in the comic, did it? But then, life - and death - can be funny sometimes. May I please see it, Miss Relena?"

Relena felt trapped. It was as if Amy and Heero were conspiring against her. It just wasn't fair. With a sigh, she stepped aside, so that they could all pass and go down the stairs.

In the eerie candlelight of the cellar, the glass globe appeared like a portal to another world. Inside, the boy's head was still bent in prayer, but as their party descended, his eyes peaked up, and when he saw Duo, his head shot up and he started to grin.

"Aw," Duo smiled as he stepped closer to the globe, "what a cutie!"

"Don't touch it!" Relena warned quickly. "If the circle is broken, he will be set free. You do know who it is, don't you?"

Duo grinned. "Of course I do, Miss Relena. Do you?"

Relena sniffed haughtily. "Naturally. I was here when he was captured! It's Death."

"Well..." Duo scratched the back of his head. "It's an aspect of Death."

"Excuse me?" Relena's cold voice echoed off the cellar walls dangerously.

"Death has many faces, Miss Relena. This is only one of them. Death through Sickness. You probably were thinking of ending sickness and disease when you cast the spell, right?"

Amy started, her eyes wide as she nearly trembled, watching Duo carefully. Heero almost wanted to smirk.

"And how would you know that?" Relena scoffed, wondering how she could get Duo out of her house, with Heero and Amy seemingly against her.

Duo just sighed, smiling at the boy in the globe. "You shouldn't have done this, Miss Relena, it isn't right."

Relena stamped her foot in exasperation. "What is wrong with all of you people? So what if this is only one aspect of Death? It's a good thing that people won't have to get sick anymore! I would think that you - of all people! - would appreciate what I've done! You've certainly lost enough people, from what I've been told."

"I've never lost anyone I cared for, Relena. Even if some of them did die, I always knew exactly where they were... And I said that this was Death through Sickness. Keeping him here means people can't die of disease, not that they can't get diseases. I know that your mother's death affected you terribly, Miss Relena." Duo sighed gently as he faced the girl. "My deepest condolences, honestly. Mrs. Darlian was a wonderful woman, and I know it must have hurt terribly when she died so suddenly. But this isn't the answer, Miss Relena."

Relena sputtered and stuttered, enraged. "How... How dare you! This is none of your concern! I think it's time for you to go!"

"No, I'm afraid that it isn't." Duo reached back and undid his braid, letting his hair fall over his shoulders in thick chestnut waves. As the hair settled, it suddenly became apparent that Duo had wings. It wasn't quite like the wings had appeared, it was more like they were always there, and it was only now that they were noticeable. They were tall, and perfectly black, the skin between the bones shimmering like silk. Duo turned and winked at the girls. "I can't leave without my aspect."

"Aa... Aspect...?" Relena stuttered, reaching out to take Amy's petrified hand blindly.

"Don't be so shocked, Miss Relena. I always said that I was the God of Death. And I said I never told a lie..." Duo turned back to the glass and reached out, taking in his hand a scythe that just appeared. The scythe had ancient wood for a handle, and a glowing green blade. With one quick slashing motion, he sliced the side off the globe, freeing the boy.

"Duo!" The grubby little boy jumped instantly into Duo's arms. The scythe again just shimmered away, so Duo could wrap his arms around the boy and he cradled him close to his body.

"Oh, Solo... I was so worried about you. This is exactly why I don't like it when you wander off... Are you all right, Solo?" Duo brushed aside dirty blonde hair so he could examine the boy's face carefully.

Solo was all smiles. "I told 'em they were gonna get it! I said they were in trouble, but those bitches didn't listen to me! Well, they're gonna get it now! I missed you, Duo..." Solo reached out and pulled handfuls of Duo's hair forward. "Ooh, Duo, your hair is so pretty!" Distracted by his God's hair, the boy no longer noticed anyone else.

Chuckling lightly, Duo took the opportunity to cuddle Solo while he was distracted. "Well, I did grow it out especially for you, now, didn't I, munchkin?"

Heero grunted. "You always liked him best."

Sighing, Duo turned to Heero as Solo made a face at him. "Now, Heero, that just isn't true! How many times do I have to tell you, I don't have any favorites amongst my worshippers."

"Wha... What's going on here?" Relena stared at the three boys, still griping Amy's hand.

Amy, meanwhile, was trying to back away, but Relena's grip was keeping her in the cellar. "What are you?" Her voice was tiny, and barely echoed off the stone walls.

Duo smiled at her brightly. "I'm what Death prays to. Now, Solo," Duo kissed the top of the boy's head, causing Heero to grunt again, "you've been trapped here for nearly two days now. That's a long time for people who are sick and suffering."

"I know, Duo." Solo hugged Duo's neck as tightly as he could. "Even though Heero doesn't hafta work anymore, the rest of us still got our jobs ta do..."

"That's a good boy, Solo." Duo set him down and patted him gently on the shoulder. "Now you go to work, and when you get home, we'll have ice cream, ok?"

"Oh boy!" Solo jumped up and down, his own black, feathered wings becoming noticeably behind him. With a single flutter of his wings, he disappeared from sight.

"You do like him best," Heero sulked, crossing his arms over his chest and putting his head down so his eyes were hidden.

"Heero...!" Duo sighed, trying to keep his patience.

"What in the hell is going on here?" Relena was close to falling apart. A few nights ago, she had captured Death. And now, the little brat was free, Duo Maxwell was a God, and Heero was whining for his attention.

"It's not really that complicated, Miss Relena. I'm the God of Death, Solo was my aspect, Death through Sickness, you captured him... Now... We need to deal with the consequences of your action." Duo smiled kindly, trying to soften the blow.

"Conse... Now, look here, Duo Maxwell. I don't care... what the hell you think you are, but I am not going to stand here in my own house and be lectured to by you about my actions! I did what was best! I know it!" Relena glared at Duo, unleashing all her anger and frustration through her eyes.

Heero moved to stand next to Duo. "Be careful how you speak to him, Relena."

"And what is going on here? What is with you two?" Relena was exasperated beyond words. Today had spun radically out of her control, and she hated when that happened. Just like when her father died, or her mother... She just wanted Duo, and Heero, out of her house so that she could hold Amy.

"He's just trying to give you good advice, Miss Relena... Although..." Duo turned to face Heero, smiling slightly. "Maybe you could accept this better if you understood. You need to understand, Miss Relena."

Amy came up to Relena, though she was still trying to shy away from Duo, and squeezed her hand.

"You see, Miss Relena... There are many faces to Death. Many aspects. People die in many ways. One of these aspects is Death through War. Heero." Duo turned to smile at Heero, who seemed to glare less pointedly in the face of that smile.

"Hee...Heero?" Relena looked at her former obsession, confused.

"Death through War came to me in supplication one day. You see, through an act of war, he had to take the life of a sweet girl. He grieved for her, and begged me for release. He didn't want to take any more innocent lives in the name of War.

"Of course, it wasn't a simple thing. People do have a tendency towards conflict, as you know quite well. But, I turned to Death through Politics, you know him as Trieze, and I asked him if he could help. With his help, and with the help of other aspects, we were able to end the war, and eventually bring an end to all wars."

Duo cocked his head to the side, smiling. "Did you never think it odd that all the pilots of the Gundams were 15?"

Relena wasn't able to form words for a moment. "I... Well, I thought... I mean, I was 15 at the time, too..."

Duo smiled. "Yes, but you weren't really ready to for the position of power you were thrust into, were you?"

Relena wanted to deny it, but how could she? It was true. "So... you are saying... that all the pilots are Death? Even... even Quatre?"

Duo grinned. "Death through Mercy. A difficult job, but Quatre has a way of reaching out to people... He gives death to those who cannot deal with life anymore. Suicides, mostly, but also people who are terminal, but clinging to life, and need release. Trowa is Death through Necessity. He takes people who are too old or weak to function biologically anymore. He and Quatre work closely together, which is why they get along so well. And of course, Wu Fei is Death through Justice. He works with the legendary Nataku."

"So..." Relena tried to put the pieces together, glad that Amy was there with her. "You are saying that the wars were orchestrated and fought by... aspects of Death... so that it would be the last war?"

"Exactly!" Duo looked really pleased. "In fact, most of the major players were Death. Your brother, for example, Death through Vengeance, was able to act as a counterpoint to Trieze, so that the war could escalate to a point that would affect everyone in the Earth sphere. And Mariemaia, Death through Revolution, was able to bring a close to the dance, as it were. And now... no more wars." Duo shrugged, giving Heero a gentle smile.

Heero put his hand on Duo's back. "This is how merciful and generous my God is."

Relena felt a little ill, seeing how nearly tender Heero could be to Duo. "My own brother? This is... too much. I think you all should leave now."

Duo sighed. "I can't do that yet, Miss Relena. You haven't been punished."

Amy suddenly threw herself at Duo's feet. "Please, Dis Pater! Forgive me and my sister in love. We meant no harm, I swear!"

"I know, little Wiccan." Duo patted her head genially. "You only wanted to make your lover happy. But I'm afraid..." Suddenly, Duo was holding his scythe again. Amy flung herself back, terrified as the green, glowing blade arched high above her head.

Relena screamed, but no one can stay the scythe of the God of Death. The blade swung down, and stopped just as the tip of it entered Amy's throat. Duo held it still, and then the scythe disappeared.

"I'm sorry, little Wiccan," Duo smiled down at the shocked Amy, "but you won't be casting any more spells."

Amy tried to speak, but no noise came out. Relena squeaked, and then fell to Amy's side. "What have you done to her?!?!"

"I made her mute. Now, it's your turn." Duo turned and smiled at Relena.

"Be gentle." Heero requested quietly. "She didn't know what she was doing."

"Heero..." Relena felt turned inside out. Was Heero advocating on her behalf?

Duo grinned at his aspect. "Isn't it funny that Death through War became the guardian of the innocent? But I must do what needs to be done..."

Relena stood up, her fists at her side, and glared at Duo with all her force as a politician. "Now look here, Duo! I don't care if you are a God, this ends now! You've already injured Amy, and I've had all that I can take from you! I wanted to bring an end to Death! To suffering and loss and pain! Maybe you are a God, and you can't understand what that would mean, but we mortals don't need to be tortured like this! What would be so wrong about wanting to end pain for people?"

"But Relena, you wouldn't end pain by ending death. You'd be ending the release from pain." Duo spoke reasonably, as if he were trying to explain the essentials of esoteric theology to a four year old. "I know that death can be traumatic to the people left behind, but trust me, Relena. A day will come when you, when everyone, wishes for death. And it is only after Death comes to you that you will understand."

"Understand what?" Relena demanded, her nostrils flaring.

"Death is a blessing." Duo smiled. "Mortals are not made to live forever, Relena. All that is born is destined to die. It is the boundaries that define life that make it precious."

"You think you know so much, that you are so superior! But mortals can have power over you, and you should remember that! You want me to understand you, but obviously you don't understand us at all!" Relena spat out each word, using the force and venom in them to ward off her frustration and grief.

Duo's head dropped slightly as he thought for a moment. "You need to understand, Miss Relena." With one long step, he was right in front of her. He took her face in his hands and kissed her, opening her mouth and taking his time, until finally she broke away.

"You... you kissed her!" Heero looked either outraged, disgusted, or jealous.

Duo smirked. "I didn't want to do that, Miss Relena, but you must understand."

Duo then took Heero's hand, and Heero's wings became apparent. They were black, feathered wings, but several barbs throughout his plumage appeared grey. Duo leaned in as he fluttered his wings to kiss Heero, but Heero backed away. Duo's brow crinkled in inquiry. Heero scowled. "You kissed her. I think you need to use some mouthwash, or something..."

Duo sighed as they disappeared before the girls' eyes.

Relena suddenly spit, a big loogie that flew nearly ten feet. "He kissed me!"

When Relena was 39, she was part of a committee that inspected the power plant in Colony LX4273998. Many experts warned that several key safety systems were outdated, and needed upgrades, but Relena was a representative of the people, and all the people of the L1 Colony cluster needed the power from LX4273998. So, with provisions that over time, the systems would be backed up, she convinced the committee to sign off on the power plant.

Three months later, the main reactor overloaded. 12,000 people were killed, and an additional 75,000 people were affected by the radiation poisoning. The colony had to be evacuated, and destroyed.

Relena fell to pieces with guilt. She contacted Chang Wu Fei of the Preventers, and begged him to exact justice on her. He shook his head and walked away, muttering under his breath.

When she was 43, Relena had become an alcoholic. Driving home from a diplomatic function, she drove her car into a tree. She spent a week in the hospital. Amy was killed.

Relena called her brother, and begged him to take vengeance against her. He took her in his arms, and told her he was sorry before he walked away.

When Relena was 63, she was diagnosed with liver cancer. After four years of transplants, radiation and chemotherapy, she felt completely drained. Exhausted, and unable to bear the unending treatments, she called Quatre. From her bed, she begged him to show her mercy.

He kissed her hand, and then walked away.

When Relena was 92, she called Trowa Barton. She pleaded with him, arguing that her body had given out a long time ago, that it was an unfortunate miracle that kept her alive now, and that it was time for her to leave this world.

He nodded, saying that was true, and then turned around and walked away.

She put a gun to her head, but they managed to piece back her skull and repair the damage, though she did lose a chunk of her brain. She drank poison. She had a stroke, pneumonia, and renal failure.

She lived through all of it.

When Relena was 245, everyone had forgotten about her. She lived in a free hospital run by an order of nuns. Her bones had disintegrated in her body, making it impossible for her to move at all. Her muscle tissues were torn and weak, her skin grey, and her eyes sealed shut from discharge she could no longer blink away. She had a feeding tube down her nose that had to be replaced every other day, as her skin tore away from the contact, and she had an IV in her arm that needed to be replaced every three days.

The nuns caring for her had long since lost her name. They assumed that she was an indigent, and waited for her to die, trying their best to make her last hours comfortable while amazed each morning that she hadn't died in the night.

Relena lived in her mind. She was still aware of the outside world, but it was like she was blindfolded and wearing earmuffs and mittens. Every sensation was muted.

She could not remember when she had been young, or pretty, so even in her mind, she was a bedridden wreck. Utterly broken, she called out for Duo constantly, begging for his mercy.

When he finally arrived in her mind, the appearance of another living being shocked her so that she had a minor myocardial infarction, but she survived it, as she had the 62 previous ones.

Smiling his fool's smile, Duo greeted Relena cheerfully. "Hello, Miss Relena! I thought I heard you calling for me, though Heero said it was just the wind. You don't look so good, do you?"

"Of course I don't look good, you twit! I'm 268 years old!"

"Actually," Duo frowned, "you're only 245. Though, I can imagine that in this state, time might move much slower for you, making it seem like it was much longer."

"Please, please, let me die! Please..." In her mind, Relena sobbed, shedding sloppy tears that made tracks down her grey and weathered face.

Duo closed his eyes and sighed, dropping the smile. "Do you understand, now, Relena?"

"Understand? Please, I'm so tired, I just want it to end, please..." She would have tried to reach out to him, but even in her mind she had forgotten how to do that.

"Solo?" Duo turned, and with a slight flutter of his wings, he summoned his little Death through Sickness to his side. The boy now appeared to be just six, and he jumped up into Duo's arms immediately. "What do you think, Solo? Has she learned her lesson? Shall we forgive her?"

Solo turned his grubby face to Relena, scrunching up his expression seriously. "She smells bad."

"Well, she is decaying. It's understandable." Duo smiled and kissed his aspect gently.

"Aren't these nuns wastin' their equipment on her?"

"They are dedicated to doing the right thing, to helping people." Duo placed Solo down on the bed in Relena's mind, straightening his hair as Solo looked at Relena intently.

"She's not even the same person who imprisoned me. That was, like, dozens of lifetimes ago!" Solo poked experimentally at Relena's grey-jelly skin, pulling his hand back abruptly as soon as he made contact.

"Twenty-two mortal existences for you, yes. A very long time, in mortal terms." Duo sighed. He really never wanted to hurt Relena like this. Heero had liked her, and for that reason alone, he would have liked to treat her with kindness.

Solo seemed to be in deep thought, and then finally his face cleared up, and he looked determined. Decision made, he leaned down, and kissed Relena tentatively on the chin. Hopping off the bed, he took Duo's hand. "It just seems... like it would be a kindness to everyone, to let her go."

Duo ruffled Solo's dirty hair, beaming from ear to ear. "It was a good thing you did, Solo. I'm proud of you." And with a flutter of his wings, they were gone from Relena's mind.

She developed a fever that night. She was resigned to surviving it, as she always did.

But two days passed, and her fever just got worse and worse, until she eventually died in the night.

The nuns said prayers, and thanked the Lord for being merciful.

Relena was free. She had never known such bliss.

Living in the house of Death was always interesting. When Duo brought Solo home from visiting Relena, he found that all of his aspects had gone 'little'. There was a little Quatre and Trowa in the corner, playing chess, and a little Wu Fei practicing with a little katana, and a little Zechs, whose hair came all the way to the floor, sulking by himself, being watched by a little Trieze, who was wearing a dressing gown and drinking a martini, so he looked quite depraved all little. Mariemaia was a tiny sprite, zooming around the room, pretending to be an airplane. Worst of all, a little Heero sat on the couch, glowering.

Duo sighed. "Anthropomorphic representations of abstract concepts can be such a pain in my ass..."

Solo tugged on the hair in his fists. "But not me, right?"

Smiling, Duo bounced Solo up as high as he could heft the little boy. "No, never you, my little Solo."

Heero snorted. "See? He is your favorite."

"Heero..." But before Duo could form a denial, he felt little hands tugging on him.

"Duo. You said you would take Trowa and me to the park today for some basketball." Quatre's big sea-blue eyes pleaded with him, as a firmly determined Trowa nodded his little head.

"Hey!" Zechs bounced up, coming to Duo's other side. "You said that you would spend the day with me! You like everyone better than me, that's why you gave me the worst job..."

"That's not fair, Zechs!" Quatre scowled at the other little aspect. "You don't have to deal with suicides, like me, or really really old people, like Trowa, or sick people, like Solo! There's a lot more of those than revenge people, you know..."

"Hmph!" Zechs crossed his little arms over his little chest. "He even let Heero get away with doing nothing, and he still calls him his aspect!"

"Now, Zechs..." Duo tried to reason with his little Death through Vengeance, but he was interrupted again.

"You aspects are all so selfish!" Wu Fei sneered. "I never get to spend any time with Duo, because all of you are always hogging his time, and you tell me to go to Nataku. Well, Duo is my God, too, and he said he wanted me to teach him some forms, so back off!"

A little war broke out between the little aspects, and Solo, caught in the middle as he was still in Duo's arms, wrapped his legs around Duo's chest, trying to stay above the fray.

Losing the last threads of his temper, Duo yelled, "Everyone be quiet!!" All his little aspects stopped dead in their tracks, and stared up at Duo with their large eyes. "First of all," he set Solo down, and kissed his forehead. "You've been a very good boy today, Solo. Go help yourself to some ice cream and cookies, ok?"

Solo yelped, and dashed out as quick as his legs could carry him away.

"Zechs." Duo turned to face the proud little aspect. Ruffling his hair genially, Duo smiled at him brightly. "I know how painful your job can be at times, which is why I needed someone with your strength and character to take the position. I really appreciate all the work and effort you put in to it." Reaching out, he hugged the little aspect, taking the chance to whisper into his ear, "And you are my prettiest worshipper."

When Duo pulled away, Zechs was smiling smugly.

"Why don't you and Trieze take Mariemaia to the zoo? It's been a while since our little Death through Revolution has gotten to be a little girl again, hasn't it?" Mariemaia whooped with pleasure, eager to grab both Trieze's and Zech's hands and drag them away. Trieze winked at Duo knowingly, promising to take good care of them as he was dragged away.

"Wu Fei." Duo turned to the little aspect with the katana, and smiled. "You know that I try to spend as much time as I can with you. I respect the work you do, and I'm glad that you have Nataku to work with. You two make a good team." Duo bowed to him respectively. "I would like to learn some forms, but today I'm a little tired. Apparating into Relena's mind, and getting the attention of her ancient psyche..." Duo sighed. "We'll do it another day, all right?"

Wu Fei stiffly nodded, and bowed to his God. "I'll go spar with Nataku, then."

"Ok. Have fun!" Duo smiled at him as he left. "Now, Quatre and Trowa... If I remember correctly, I took you to the park yesterday and we played basketball with the mortals. It's not nice to try to trick your God into extra outings."

Quatre looked abashed, but only a little, and Trowa leaned forward and whispered loudly, "It was Quatre's idea."

Duo grinned. "That's ok. Why don't you two go out together, instead? I know you must be sick of visiting the old and the suicidal... Why don't you go to the movies?"

Quatre grinned back at him. "You just want to get rid of us so you can be alone with Heero."

Duo winked at him. "So get lost, tyke."

Quatre snickered, grabbing Trowa's arm as they took off.

"And Heero..." Duo walked over to the little glowering aspect on the couch, crossing his arms over his chest. "You know it freaks me out when you go all... little on me like that."

Heero smirked, and his wings, which had gone pure white because he was no longer burdened with the duty of Death, flapped just a little. He stood up, and he was normal-sized again.

Duo stepped closer to him, putting his hands on Heero's waist and letting them slide over his bum. "Now that's much... much better."

Heero took Duo's earlobe in between his teeth, sucking until he whispered, "Admit it. You do have favorites."

Throwing his head back for Heero's questing mouth, Duo sighed. "Now... Heero... you know I love all my aspects the same... Or, nearly the same..."

Heero chuckled as he pulled Duo down onto the couch.

Outside, Quatre pushed the door open another centimeter, trying to get a better view. Behind him and Trowa, Zechs sulked. "I can't see anything!"

"Shh!" Quatre warned. "They'll hear!"

Trieze leaned forward, rubbing up against Zechs a little. "I could show you what they are doing..."

Trowa frowned. "Heero gets to spend all his time with Duo, now that he doesn't work. It's not right. When do we get our chance to worship him?"

Quatre grinned. "Oh, we'll get our chance. Remember, Tro, Duo is a God. He has infinite stamina. Once Heero tires out, we'll set up camp at Duo's altar."

"Whatcha guys watching?" Hilde bounced in behind them. "Ooh! Are Duo and Heero going at it again?? Let me see, let me see!"

"Hilde!" Trieze scolded. "This is the house of Death! You aren't even supposed to be here!"

Hilde shrugged. "But I do give people dreams about Death. Really freaks 'em out, too... Please, can I see?"

"Go home, Hilde." Quatre leaned forward another inch.

He really loved how creative his God could be.

the comic they got the spell from? that's Sandman. but you should have known that... ^_~

and Dis Pater is a Celtic god of the underworld, who eventually became the chief god. *shrug* i'm not a Wiccan, so i don't know if that's the right god to have used, but i did look it up...