Bleeding Hearts Part 3
III.: History Lesson~

"I need your help."

Duo blinked once, twice, then three times. "Huh?" was by far the most intelligent thing he could come up with at the moment. A frickin' vampire was asking for his help. Well, he certainly had a way to win favor... Scare the shit out of him.

The not-really stranger shifted uncomfortably, and for some reason, Duo felt nervous because of it. What could be so terrible that HEERO YUY fidgeted? He immediately decided that he didn't want to know. "I violated a Rule."

"Rule?" Duo echoed, eyebrows knitting unconsciously. He shook himself before goosebumps could rise. "Why me?"

"Feuding families," Yuy said curtly, looking irritated.

"What's in it for me?"

The grin on Heero Yuy's face was beyond unnerving and Duo regretted his question. "Your soul." He suddenly looked straight at the poor American, the corners of his lips curving downward to form a deep frown. "You, Duo Maxwell, are the descendant of the great Howard Maxwell--the first of the Maxwell line. Your family and mine had been wishing for each other's downfall for the past five hundred years, and at last, the victory was ours. However, I had to go to...extreme measures to achieve that, and have angered the Gods. So they punished me by turning me into a vampire until a direct descendent of Howard Maxwell freed me when the moon is at its highest on the first day of Souls' Seven."

"...Souls' Seven...?" He didn't want to know, really he didn't.

Yet he'd asked it.

"Oh yes. Don't you know? The holiday present humans call 'Halloween' was formerly Souls' Seven. A period of seven days during which the spirits of those with noble blood awaken and walk amongst the living, seeking revenge of those who did them wrong."

Duo licked his dry lips. "And just what do you want me to do?"

To his no little surprise, the vampire averted his gaze, and had Duo been in a less...distressing situation, he would have noticed the faint pink tainting the high cheekbones.

"The Gods decided I was too hard-hearted and inhuman, so they..." He trailed off, then cleared his throat. "I have to remain like this until a member of the Maxwell family comes along and falls in love with me."

Duo blinked, brain not functioning as quickly as he'd hoped it would. When he did realize what Yuy had implied, he turned scarlet.

"A-ah," he stuttered stupidly, violet eyes enormous and blinking rapidly. Then he asked the question that had been nagging at his mind ever since Heero Yuy had made his rather looming presence known earlier that evening. "What happens if that doesn't occur by the end of Souls' Seven?"

"Then I have to wait until another Maxwell is dumb enough to dig my grave." It was said with such melancholy it was almost frightening. After all, it could be another three hundred years The very idea made Duo go cold.

Sure, this guy was a vampire, had pretty much threatened him with a pair of sharp pointy fangs, the ultimate enemy of his family, and the whole reason why he was living in a dump his mother called home instead of a manor. But seeing that he didn't give a shit about his family and he was just glad he wasn't on the streets...what? He did not know why, but he didn't want Yuy to stay locked up in his coffin for another few centuries.

But he had no idea HOW he could fall in love with a blood-thirsty--

"What about my sister?" he questioned. "Or my other relatives, or someone ELSE?"

Yuy shook his head. "You are the one who freed me," he emphasized again.

Duo twisted his hands nervously. "I don't remember signing a contract. Don't I get to call my lawyer?" he attempted at his humorous side.

The vampire was not amused.

This wasn't the first time Duo had gotten himself into a weird/freaky/tight/get-me-outta-this situation, but this was definitely the 'crowning jewel', so to speak. "Fuck," he finally said.

"My thoughts exactly," Yuy put in dryly. He eyed the American up and down with a critical eye, as if trying to determine if he was *worthy*. Either that, or he was trying to make up his mind whether or not black was Duo's color.

"Fine, I'll do it," declared the American.

"Oh?" Yuy raised a defined eyebrow. "You said that like you actually had a choice."

Duo bristled. "Jeezus, I was just trying to be nice!"

The other smirked, an unnerving expression. "You always are."

Duo wasn't sure if he meant it or not.


He found it odd that it had become so dark all of sudden; almost as soon as he'd entered the woods.

Duo hitched his pack a little higher on his shoulder and heard a twig crack--one that he most certainly did not tread on.

Someone was following him.

He did not look back even as he sensed the presence trailing after him, saw dark shadows moving about in the woods through which he walked. At first he thought it was Heero, but quickly changed his mind when they did not make their presence known.

That simply was not Heero's style. The vampire always made it obvious that he was there, made sure that Duo knew it was him. This was not the case now.

"Duo Maxwell."

He heard the eerie hiss just as he opened his mouth to speak. "Who's there?" he demanded sharply, violet eyes darting back and forth between the trees, searching.

"Do not be alarmed. We are not going to harm you."

Duo spat out a "Ch'" and stopped. "Then I guess I should just stand here and play ground meat, huh?"

Impatience was in the air (//Shit.//). Yet, a sense of familiarity mingled with the negative vibes and seemed to ride above it. Almost comforting.


"I said," repeated the speaker slowly, "we will not harm you." Something, a person, dropped down to the ground before him and nearly knocked Duo over. "You will learn, hopefully very soon, that I am a man of my words."

"Kyaa!" Duo yelped as he stepped back quickly.

The eyes fixed on him from under platinum blond bangs were an icy shade of turquoise. The skin under the left eye rose in a welt, the only noticeable fault on his entire face. A scar could be seen, starting from just below the temple and stretching all the way to his nose.

Behind him, a young girl around Duo's age stood, long blond hair sweeping past her small waist to brush the backs of her skirt-clad knees. The first thing the American noticed about HER were her eyebrows. Forked and gray... He had never seen anything like them.

"Who..." He stopped to lick his suddenly dry lips and wipe sweaty palms on his black trousers. "Just who the hell are you?"

"Language, my boy," said the blond man, perfectly serious. "My name is Zechs Marquise and this is my assistant, Dorothy."

The girl nodded in greeting.

"We work for the Maxwell family, and you are our new master." They bowed low.

Duo gaped. "Henchmen?" he questioned.

The man, Marquise, nodded.

"Um, stand up...?"

They did, and Zechs reached out a hand to him. "Come. We will now take you to--"

Only his quick reflexes kept his extended arm attached to his body as a black shape flew between them.

Heero was suddenly before Duo, face emotionless and eyes blazing as he placed himself between the boy and Zechs. "Marquise," he grit out, hand tightening visibly on the hilt of the flaming saber he held.

"Yuy," the blond man acknowledged in the same cold, unfriendly tone. "It's been a while."

Duo was getting dizzy, confused, and hungry.

He felt Zechs' intent gaze on him.

"Apologies, master. It seems that we will have to continue our conference some other time." He bowed again and both he and Dorothy vanished in a whirlpool of leaves and dirt.

It wasn't until a minutes after they left that Heero finally relaxed his stance and the saber flickered out of existence. He gave the boy a once-over. "Are you alright?"

Duo nodded shakily. "Yeah, but will someone tell me what the fuck just happened here?"

Heero didn't seem to hear him and continued staring at the spot where Zechs had disappeared. "They were freed with me," he murmured, as if in a trance. He suddenly whipped around to glare at the startled American through narrow eyes. "You were able to awaken not just me, but everyone involved in the battle three hundred years ago."

When he was finally able to speak, Duo growled, "When you told me about what happened then, I think you left out a few minor details."

There was a staring contest, and shockingly, Duo came out on top.

With a tiny sigh, Heero told him.


There, now you understand a little more, ne? ^_^


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