"How can he not notice?" a soft feminine voice reached Wufei's ear. He debated on answering the question for obvious reasons.
"Not everyone notices. But I suspect if he does, he's just pretending that it isn't there," he replied in a low voice.
"If it didn't work for you why would he think it would work for him?"
"Would you just... nevermind." Wufei blustered softly. He walked over to Duo.
"Duo, is there something you want to tell me?" Wufei asked. Making small talk was not something he was particularly good at.
"Like what?" Duo asked defensively. He hated when Wufei would start any conversation with an accusatory remark.
"He's asking you if you see them," Heero said, joining in the conversation.
"I don't know what you two mean," Duo said with a glare.
"Duo, do you know who they are?" Trowa asked from the corner he was sitting at, his head lifted up from his book.
"Would someone just tell me what the hell you guys are talking about?" Duo asked, irritated.
"Ghosts," Quatre replied quietly. "We all see them, sometimes we can hear him. You have many that surround you. Are you saying you can't feel them?"
"G-ghosts?" Duo stared blankly at Quatre, then looking over to the other pilots. "I don't believe in ghosts."
Wufei snorted, "Well they certainly believe in you. I can see at least three men all glaring angrily at you."
Duo looked behind to see nothing. "Three men?"
Heero said, "They look like soldiers. Maybe they are ones that you've defeated?"
Duo laughed, "Is this 'fuck with Duo's mind Day' or something?"
No one else laughed.
Trowa said, "Usually the spirits that stay behind are of two kinds, those who care about us, and those who mean us harm."
"And you all have ghosts, eh?" Duo sneered.
The others nodded their heads.
"You can see them?"
Again there was quiet agreement.
"My ghost is an angry spirit," Trowa replied. "It's the original Trowa Barton. He's never forgiven me for killing him and he tries to make me doubt any action I do. I can generally ignore him well enough, but if he's built up enough anger he can make things move to remind me that he's still around."
"My spirit started out angry but she's calmed down," Wufei stated. "My wife's life was cut short and had she lived, she wanted to be a gundam pilot. With her being with me she's gotten to experience much of what I have and she's concluded that war isn't a thing for glory but for sadness. She stays to look after me and to get on my nerves when she thinks I'm being 'too obnoxious.' Her words not mine."
Duo raised an eyebrow. "I didn't know you had a wife."
Wufei shrugged. "Well you do now."
Duo looked over at Heero. "Who is your angry spirit?"
"He's not really all that angry, but he stays to see how I've turned out. It was the man that pretty much raised me to be a weapon."
Duo waited to hear if more was forthcoming but as usual Heero's economy of stating the obvious meant he was done. He looked over to Quatre.
"My spirit is not angry either, I see the sadness in his face every time I fight. It's my father. He didn't want me fighting in the first place and while he understands I must fight now, he's not very happy about it," Quatre said, softly, his face reflecting sadness.
Duo again turned around and tried to see if there was anything there. He could barely make out faint lines. He shook his head and turned back to the others. "I still don't see anything."
"Do you ever hear voices?" Quatre asked.
"Nope," Duo replied.
"Would you like for me to find out why they are here?" Heero asked.
Heero stood close to Duo and stared just beyond his shoulder. Heero's eyes became unfocused and the silence lingered. After a minute he stepped back and shook his head.
"These are soldiers that you've killed in the past. They apparently bought your hype of being a shinigami. They think they cannot move on until you send them to hell or something like that."
"What?" Duo looked confused.
Wufei laughed, "You are always going on about being the God of Death, I guess they took you at your word."
"What do I do about it?"
Quatre suggested, "Maybe you could tell them that it is okay to move on. You release them of their bond to you or something like that."
"How do I do that?"
"Just talk to them," Trowa said.
Duo felt silly doing it, but he was game. He turned around and said, "This shinigami frees you. Be it Heaven or Hell; go wherever the light or darkness takes you."
As far as Duo was concerned nothing happened. Well not exactly. He noticed the corner he was standing, the lighting changed a bit. It seemed a bit brighter. Suddenly he could make out two figures standing before him; a priest and a nun.
"You did well, Duo. We're so proud of you."
"We know you feel like it's your fault that we are gone, but it really isn't. Nothing you did that day could have changed anything. We love you Duo and will continue to watch over you from afar. Stay safe."
Then the two figures vanished.
Duo stood staring at nothing. A lone tear slid down his cheek. "Did you see?" he asked.
Quatre walked over and placed a hand on his shoulder. "We did."
"But they are gone now?" Duo asked.
Heero replied knowing he didn't mean the soldiers, "Yes, they have gone."
Duo turned to face them, "Do you think they will come back?"
Trowa smiled. "The last two looked like they would come again."
Duo stared at the others and for the first time he could make out faint impressions of others standing near his comrades. It was disconcerting seeing people who were long dead and gone staring back right at him. But he wasn't afraid. He sighed before letting an easy smile appear on his face.
"Good," he replied. "I hope they do."