Author's Note: Rated T for future violence, mild, mild language and death. There might be an OC later on. I haven't decided.

Disclaimer: I own: zlich.

Life's Toll

It was only hair.

He gripped the end of his bound tendrils in one fist. It had been haphazardly pleated after the comb last saw it. A gentle smile formed on his lips as he thought back to the first time someone styled his hair. He remembered she was beautiful and smelled like the flowers of the garden. Honeysuckle, if he recalled correctly. He wondered if she knew how much of an effect she had on him. No, he thought. They hadn't spent that much time together.

He never thought something so trivial would hold so much meaning to him in his later years. But it did. His eyes fell upon the manila folder his comrade had left for him to find, causing him to sigh. He tightened his fist around his hair, eliciting no pain save the dull feeling brought on by his whitened knuckles.

It's only hair. He repeated to himself.

No it wasn't. It held more value to him than it did to others. Memories were as ingrained in the follicles as the fibers of the collar he wore. Every bittersweet vision of his childhood friends, the church, life as an orphan, her...and the death that followed. The same collar became tighter as his breathing became shallow, responding to the little demon that harassed his every thought.

Maxwell's Demon. The imp taunted him with the irony.

No more. He would rid himself of his past and leave it behind. The God Of Death was no more.

Beneath the pillow he brought shears to his side. Squeezing his eyes shut he brought the cold metal to the nape of his neck. The sharp sides met and the severed strands fell to the floor, loosed from his grasp.

Uneven layers tickled his skin. I'll fix it later. He let the shears slip to the floor. One down. He reached to his throat and with a swift move tore the clerical collar from his shirt. Tossing it aside, he fought his way out of his shirt, the "Dickie"-style he had become so accustomed to. In its stead he donned a russet and white sleever, leaving it untucked from his jeans.

He bit his lower lip, wanting to feel pain instead of the searing feeling from the burning in his eyes. The hair, the collar, the shirt... all memories soon to be erased.

All evidence soon to be discovered.

He scooped everything into his arms. He hurried to the kitchen and in haste he threw everything into the garbage can. He recovered them just as quickly, retrieving the collar as it fell loose from the bundle. Surely if they were truly hunting, they would have eyes and ears everywhere.

He went to the sink and laid everything on the counter. He turned the faucet on and felt under the sink for the switch. The brutal blades of the disposal whirred to life. He introduced the soft plastic first. His chest ached as he heard the gyrating of the razors through the white fabric. Next he fed the hair inch by inch until every bit of three feet was eaten away. A tear escaped his control and slid down his cheek. Ignoring it with his mind, but not his heart, he moved on taking a carving knife to his shirt, turning it into shreds of cloth and then returned it to the trash.

He rested on the edge of the mattress once more, resting his elbows on his knees. His face fell into his hands as another tear fell. Through the blurry vision his emotions caused, he managed to spot an oddity on the floor. It glistened in the slivers of sunlight that crept through the shades.

Four points. Like a compass. Something to use when lost.

Never. He decided defiantly. He wouldn't part with it all.

He fell to his knees and picked up the trinket on the chain. The clasp was broken. It was purged from him when the collar tore. He held it in his balled fist, his knuckles again turning pale. He slammed his hand down on the mattress, the manila folder flailing about in the impact. He forced himself to his feet and found himself in the kitchen again. The water and motor still ran and he let the chain slip from his fingers and soon it was lost to the relentless machine. He silenced the deafening sound that pierced his ears and strode to the door. Peering back into the rented room, he saw the folder. Its scant contents were strewn on the floor.

He didn't care. He wanted them to know he couldn't be surprised. He wanted them to know he would be waiting for them. He shut the door behind him.

Among the papers were two candid shots and a single sheet that read:

Brandon James Shay
Alias: Duo Maxwell, The God Of Death
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 155 lbs
Hair: 3-foot long brunette braid
Eyes: blue
Last Known Location: L2 Colony
Affiliation: Sweeper Group, Gundams, Preventers
Family: none
Special Note: in company of Chang Wufei, Trowa Barton, Heero Yuy,
Quatre Raberba Winner and Hilde Schbieker, commonly wears black
accompanied by a clerical uniform and a gold cross necklace

He stalked down the hallway.

"Find me now, you bastards."

Author's Note:
So what do you all think? Please let me know if I should continue this project. Thanks!
Angel Spreckles