Disclaimer and author's notes: None of the characters in this story belong
to me, except the personalities I assigned to the Gundams. This story came
about three years ago, when two of my friends came to visit me for my
thirtieth birthday. During the course of the weekend, we watched Gundam
Wing, and the youngest member of the group brought the following image to
my mind. . .the various Gundams doing the can-can. And as ever, my over-
active imagination went into overtime. Don't ask me where in the series
this fits in. . .I have no earthly idea. It's just something silly that I
had to get out of my head. Needless to say, this has NOTHING to do with
the Resurrection Cycle. Did I mention I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Zechs & Noin
//Oh for heaven's sake,// Tallgeese thought in exasperation, //the
boy seriously needs to buy a clue! I don't take just anyone as a pilot,
and it's too bad that young man Otto died, but duh! He had internal
injuries and broken ribs, he knew the risks. It's not the fault of my
young pilot.// The Gundam would have shaken her head if she could have.
But at the moment, she was locked in mortal combat with her friend, Wing
Zero. And trying desperately to bring her own exasperation with her pilot
under control as she heard what was running through his mind.
//Weak? Impure? Bah! Silly boy,// she thought, //you're stronger
than you know. If only you realized how strong you really are!//
//Tell me about it,// Wing Zero answered with a sigh, //my pilot is
focused on being the Perfect Soldier. At least your pilot will allow
himself to love someone. Even if it his sister.// Tallgeese glared at her
long-time friend, who added hastily, //Not that there's anything wrong with
Relena, of course! But Zechs has the lovely Lucrezia Noin at his side, if
he would just admit to himself that he loves her.//
//According to Zechs, he doesn't deserve love. Foolish boy,//
Tallgeese muttered, concentrating on keeping her pilot alive and on the
conversation at the same time. //Zero, doesn't it seem ridiculous to you?
Heero is only fifteen. . .Zechs is but nineteen. They're hardly more than
babies, and yet. . .agh! I was asleep for years before this boy awakened
me. And instead of fighting, I want to shake some sense into him. He's a
good boy at heart. . .confused at times, but he's a good boy. Why doesn't
he see that?//
Zero could only sigh as the battle continued between their pilots,
then said, //You know, both of our pilots could do with some downtime.
And. . .// Zero's voice trailed off. Tallgeese waited patiently, wincing
as Zechs drew back his saber for yet another swing at Zero, who easily
stopped him in mid-swing. He addded, mischief in his voice, //You know,
'Geese, I think the boys could use a dancing lesson.//
Tallgeese stared, then burst out laughing, a sound which was
disguised by the sound of metal scraping against metal. A good thing,
under the circumstances. Otherwise, it was entirely possible she would
have given her vulnerable young pilot yet another heart attack. Once she
could speak, she gasped, //You wouldn't!//
//Of course I would! We agree, they need to loosen up. And I have
just the thing for it. Now, can you still transmit messages without your
pilot's knowledge?// Zero asked. Of course she could, and Zero continued,
//Then send a message to Relena Peacecraft and Lucrezia Noin. By the time
we finish with these two, they'll need their ladies!//
The more Tallgeese thought about it, the more she liked her friend's
idea. Besides. It would be worth it, just to see the look on Lady Une's
face when she saw the two Gundams dancing. Tallgeese snickered silently.
//As my sisters and I used to say,// she thought, //we're sooooooooo evil!
Yes, she definitely liked this idea!//
. . .
Lucrezia Noin was sitting at her computer desk, downloading files for
Zechs when she got the call. It wasn't a call, exactly. . .but she and
Zechs worked out a system whereby he could contact her from the Tallgeese
without using the communications system. As she moved her mouse down to
click the blinking object at the bottom of her screen, Lucrezia observed to
herself, "Gives all new meaning to the word, 'electronic mail.' Let's see
what Zechs needs."
The message was short and to the point. . .'Lucrezia. Come to these
coordinates. I need you.' It wasn't signed, but it didn't need to be.
The strange thing for the lieutenant was that he called her 'Lucrezia.'
That. . .didn't happen often. However, the Italian woman brushed her dark
bangs from her eyes. If Zechs needed her, she was there.
She signed off the computer and swung her jacket around her
shoulders, easing into it. She hoped that he was all right. . .the first
time he flew Tallgeese, it gave him a heart attack. //I'll find out when I
get there, she thought, but Zechs, I'm warning you. . .// The threat was
left unfinished. The truth was, he could hurt himself far worse than she
ever could. And, he often did.
She glanced around her apartment and nodded decisively. Lights out,
computer off, everything shut down. Good. She left her apartment. It was
just as well, for she didn't see the computer turn itself on again. A
ghost in the machine, one might say. Or. . .just Tallgeese using her
terminal to send a message to Relena Peacecraft.
. . .
"Miss Relena. . .there's an email for you from Miss Noin," Pagan told
his young mistress, turning from the computer. Relena looked up from what
she was doing. . .most likely the homework he insisted upon. . .and the
elderly butler continued, "She has coordinates in the email. And she says
that Heero Yuy needs you." He waited for the girl's expression to change.
. .and it did. Relena's eyes lit up.
"Heero. . . Where, how long will it take for us to get there?"
Relena asked with excitement. Pagan smiled fondly at the girl. He was
permitted to see her grow up. Safe, loved. Mostly untouched by the
tragedy of the Sank Kingdom. Unfortunately, her older brother, once his
student, didn't grow up in a similar way. He thought sadly of the young
prince, now called Zechs Merquise.
"We can leave immediately, and be there within the hour," Pagan
answered. He served with King Peacecraft in the last great war, before the
Sank Kingdom was destroyed. Before he met Katerina, and the two children
were born. Like the young prince, Pagan was a pilot. But between his own
experiences as a soldier, and what the prince must have endured. . . Pagan
didn't want to think about that.
As he escorted Relena to her private jet, Pagan quietly prayed that
someone was looking after his former student. Oh, he knew almost
immediately that Zechs Merquise sent Lucrezia Noin to take care of Relena.
Even now, he was still trying to take care of his little sister. But who
was taking care of that poor boy?
. . .
This was gonna be so much fun. Especially with that. . . woman, Lady
Une, watching. She caused trouble for so many people. Including
Tallgeese's pilot. Tallgeese was once a flesh and blood woman, she could
spot jealousy a mile away. Anyone who threatened to come between Lady Une
and Treize Khushrenada was in danger from the woman. But Goddess help her
if she messed with Zechs. Tallgeese would. . .
//Ay, mierda! That was a leetle too close, Wing!// Tallgeese blurted
out as she pulled herself and her pilot out of the way. Okay. As her
pilot pulled them out out of the way. Picky, picky! Wing muttered an
apology, and Tallgeese continued, //You know, you might want to let your
pilot know that he and Zechs aren't really enemies.//
//Oh please. You forget. I'm dealing with the perfect soldier here!
He expects something from me. . .if he doesn't get it, he'll be
suspicious. Same thing with your flawed pilot. . .hey, don't look at me
like that! I'm just repeating what I've heard the boy say!// Wing said
defensively. Tallgeese just glared at him, and Wing continued, //And where
are those girls? We can't start until they get here.//
//I sent a transmission to Lt. Noin. . .she thinks it's from Zechs.
And I sent a transmission to Relena, from Lucrezia's computer. So, they
should be here soon,// Tallgeese answered. //And then,// she thought
privately, //then we'll teach these boys to be boys again. Lessons they
forgot a long, long time ago. And with the girls here, well. . .//
//Hurt/comfort is a very Good thing,// another voice said inside
Tallgeese's head. She saw in her memory a young woman, with dark hair and
brown eyes. The young woman was smirking, and said, //Haven't changed a
bit, have you, sis? Just remember. No matter that he's in Wing's body,
that's still our brother-in-law.//
//Yeah. And our sis has just been reborn. She won't mind if I flirt
with him a little,// Tallgeese answered. Her sister rolled her eyes, and
Tallgeese added, //Besides. She would approve of this particular mission.
Off you go. I have work to do.// Her sister laughed and faded away.
Tallgeese wondered when her sister would be reborn. Soon, she hoped.
Maybe as a pilot? Oh, that WOULD be interesting!
. . .
Afterwards, Zechs Merquise was to remember that it began with a
melody in his head. He sternly told himself to focus on the mission, that
he couldn't allow himself to be weak. But the melody simply got louder.
In spite of himself, he hummed the melody, remembered from his childhood.
His father loved the old composers, but this piece was a favorite of his
mother's. She loved to dance Relena around the room, delighting the
toddler as well.
But that didn't explain why he was hearing it now. Zechs shook his
head, trying to shake the melody loose from his mind. He had to focus on
the battle. He had to know. But the melody didn't just go away. In fact,
each time he tried to shut it out, and focus on the battle instead, the
volume seemed to get turned up even louder.
If he wasn't in the middle of a battle, with Heero Yuy, no less,
Zechs would have been intrigued by the strange event. It was obvious to
him by now that the music wasn't coming from his head, as he originally
thought, but from Tallgeese itself. Which was fascinating. . .//or would
be,// he corrected himself. //Right now, I must know who is the better
It was at that point that he seemed to lose control of Tallgeese.
The machine lurched to the left suddenly, taking the pilot off guard.
Zechs blinked, too startled to do anything else, then once more focused on
the job at hand. Getting back control of the Tallgeese. He tried not to
think about the source of the interference. He doubted it came from Wing
Zero. Lady Une? Treize?
Zechs didn't know, but he would have a LONG talk with SOMEONE after
this was all over. It was then that he also realized he could no longer
see Wing Zero. //What the. . .my God!// Zechs thought, stunned as he felt
something hard and metallic slam into Tallgeese from behind. His self-
confidence now severely rattled by the phenomenon of the last few minutes,
and by not seeing Wing's departure, Zechs began trying everything he knew
to regain control of Tallgeese.
But wait. Tallgeese was still upright. And as Zechs ran the sound
through his mind again, he realized that something slammed against
Tallgeese. What? Zero? Not possible. If that was the case, Zechs would
have been on the ground with his prototype. The music got louder, and a
picture of a woman appeared on his screen. A young, very pretty woman, who
smiled at him rather impishly. And little alarm bells went off inside his
head at that smile.
"Hey, sweetie! This is your machine talking to you, so listen up!
Wing and I have decided that you and Heero need to loosen up. Now, I know
you're buckled in, but stop trying to take control away from me, and hang
on tight. . .it's gonna. . .get bumpy!" the girl said. Zechs started to
reply, to ask. . .no, demand her name, and what she was doing.
But when she said things would get bumpy, she obviously meant it.
Zechs barely bit back a cry of. . .shock. Yes, that was it. He was
surprised by the sudden jarring movement, by Tallgeese swaying as if she. .
.it. . .was a willow tree. And then the nightmare really began.
. . .
//Now that wasn't playing fair,// Wing said as he tightened his
mechanical arm around Tallgeese's metallic waist. She was sure if it was
within his power, he would have patted her equally metallic derriere. Of
course, then she would have broken his mechanical wrist. Flesh or metal,
she didn't want any man getting fresh with her, without her permission.
And she still remembered her sister's warning.
//I never claimed to play fair. That's not what this machine was
created for. Besides, he was starting to aggravate me. What did you do
when Heero started trying to take control back from you?// Tallgeese asked
curiously. She saw two cars approach, and the door of one flew open as
soon as the limo came to a stop. The reckless Relena Peacecraft, of
course. The jeep was drawn to a halt, and a young woman jumped down. The
more restrained, but equally anxious Lucrezia Noin. The gang was all here!
It was time to have fun!
Especially when Wing answered wryly, //Oh, just hit him with a little
bit of an electrical shock. He'll be unconscious for about thirty seconds,
long enough for me to lock the controls down. You could do the same thing
to your pilot, you know.//
//That's a joke, right? I mean, I gave the poor boy a heart attack
the first time he flew me, had him spitting up blood. What do you think
I'd do if I shocked him, especially with that mask he wears!// Tallgeese
answered in annoyance. Silence was her answer from Wing, and she
continued, //Now then. It's time we taught those boys. . .//
. . .
Dance? No, that can't be right, Lucrezia Noin thought as she walked
away from her jeep. A Gundam. . .two Gundams. . .dancing? And not just
dancing, but dancing. . .the can-can? She looked at Relena, who was
standing at her side. The girl was obviously as shocked as she was, for
she hadn't asked what Noin was doing here.
Noin looked back. . .the music was emanating from Tallgeese. Now
this was truly freaky. And sure enough, the Gundams were still doing the
can-can. The gundam piloted by Heero Yuy, Wing Zero, had its huge
mechanical arm around the waist of the gundam Tallgeese, and. . .oh God.
She lost her mind. That was the only possibility. She finally went
completely around the bend. Gundams did not dance. Zechs did not dance.
And yet. . .as she looked back for a third time, the two Mechs were still
at it. And over the loud music emanating from Tallgeese, Noin heard Lady
Une screaming incoherently.
Worse yet, she heard something beside her. Lucrezia glanced over to
see Relena humming along, and keeping time by tapping her palm against her
thigh. Lucrezia struggled against a giggle fit. She was watching two
Gundams doing the can-can, Lady Une was throwing a fit, and Relena
Peacecraft was keeping time with the music. What next?
. . .
"Lady. . .what. . .? Zechs?" Treize Khushrenada asked in obvious
disbelief as he joined his aide de camp. He couldn't believe his eyes.
What. . .No, he had to be imagining things. The Mech piloted by his best
friend and best pilot could not be. . .dancing. . .with another Mech. But
that was exactly what was happening.
"I don't know, Mr. Treize! We can't establish communication with
Colonel Zechs. Every time someone makes the attempt. . .well, hear for
yourself. Set up communications with the Tallgeese, so His Excellency can
hear for himself," Lady Une said, shaking her head in astonishment. Her
voice was hoarse, and Treize pitied the men who probably lost their hearing
during the last few minutes, listening to her scream.
As requested, one of the young Oz officers began manipulating his
equipment. . .and an image appeared on the screen. It didn't belong to
Zechs. Rather, it belonged to a beautiful young woman. Long dark brown
hair trailed past her shoulders, and there was a very determined expression
on her lovely face. Treize didn't know why he felt nervous when he was
confronted with the image, but he suddenly had a BAD feeling about this
"Okay, Treize m'boy," she said, "last time. I've tried warning your
Princess Leia wanna-be here, but she doesn't listen. I'm in control of the
Tallgeese now. Don't bother trying to identify me, I don't exist. Wing
and I are gonna teach Zechs and Heero to have some fun. They're both too
young to turn into old men. Got me?"
Treize leaned forward, his bright eyes burning as he replied, "You
harm Zechs in any way, and I'll. . ." He got no further. The image looked
at him, then burst out laughing. Treize fell silent, unable to finish his
sentence in the face of that laughter, and he looked at the Oz officers and
Lady Une. They looked as lost as he felt. Treize didn't know if he should
be comforted or worried by that discovery.
"Me? Hurt Zechs? Hey, there was just one time when I did that, the
first time. . .oh, never mind! Oh, no, you're the one who hurts Zechs.
Not me! I'm trying to help him. And if you care about him as much as you
claim to, you'll shut up and stop interfering! That means, no so-called
rescue attempts, either, General. Tallgeese OUT!" the girl said firmly,
and the screen went blank.
Treize looked at Lady Une, who returned the look. In her eyes,
Treize saw his own confusion, although not his anxiety. Zechs was a
prisoner of that. . .machine. She. . .it. . .said as much. And the
Tallgeese was a mobile suit, the prototype of the Gundams. If Wing Zero
was being controlled by an otherworldly force, as Tallgeese seemed to be. .
.there was nothing they could do. For now.
And really, he didn't believe in the supernatural. But. . .at the
same time, Zechs wasn't in control of that monster. A young woman was.
But Zechs went into the machine by himself. For the first time in ages,
the young general was at a loss. What should he do? At last, Treize said
helplessly, "It would seem all we can do is sit back and watch the show."
And hope that beast doesn't succeed in killing Zechs this time. For the
first time, he saw Lucrezia Noin and Relena Peacecraft watching.
"Sir??????" Lady Une gasped in surprise. Treize looked at his aide
de camp, looked at the two Gundams dancing, then looked back at Lady Une
again. How were they supposed to stop that? Lady Une evidently got the
point, for she fell silent. However, Treize heard her mutter, "If I find
out Zechs Merquise was behind this. . ."
He wasn't. Treize knew that for certain. Even if he could have
programmed Tallgeese to do the can-can, to dance, it was impossible that he
also programmed Wing Zero. And that gundam was. . .also doing the can-can.
More and more, this was turning into a nightmare from hell.
. . .
That was something which both pilots agreed upon. Heero Yuy was
stunned by a jolt of electricity. When he regained his senses, he found
himself. . .bouncing. . .around in the gundam. That was insane. He was
the Perfect Soldier. And the Perfect Soldier did NOT bounce! Except at
the moment. . .he was.
Heero was feeling so dizzy from the bouncing, and the electric
charge, he couldn't even take comfort in the knowledge that Zechs Merquise
was experiencing the same thing. Heero could only presume that the other
pilot was experiencing this nightmare. Every time he tried to look for
Tallgeese, he felt even more dizzy. It was then that a face appeared on
the screen. . .one that didn't belong to his. . .well, however one wanted
to describe Zechs Merquise. His enemy? Sparring partner? The other side
of the coin that was Heero Yuy?
No, this man was older than the colonel. In fact, he looked old
enough to be Heero's father, in his mid to late thirties. He had dark
brown hair, laced somewhat with white, and pale blue eyes. He smiled
impishly and said with a slight lilt, "Good day to you, Heero Yuy. I won't
bother telling you my name, because that's not important. What is
important is that you don't try to take back controls of this machine. If
you do, I'll have to hurt you again."
Heero was a soldier. He was used to pain. However, he was NOT used
to this infernal bouncing. And he was reasonably sure that if he did try
to take back control of his Gundam, the bouncing would only get worse. He
stared back at the strange man grinning madly at him, and said with more
than a little resignation, "Mission accepted."
. . .
Zechs wasn't faring nearly as well. While he hadn't tried to take
back controls of his machine, the motion of the gundam and the music was
giving him a headache to end all headaches. He finally closed his eyes,
feeling all the color drain from his face, and quietly prayed for the
strength to endure.
And then, it stopped. A soft, feminine voice. . .the one from
earlier. . .said, "I'm gonna release your restraints, honey, and open the
door. The point of the exercise was to get you to loosen up, and it's
kinda hard to do that if you're half sick. So, I won't torture you any
more than I already have." Zechs forced his eyes open, and looked at the
He tried to speak, but a wave of dizziness prevented that. He shut
his eyes quickly, clinging to the armrests to keep from losing
consciousness. The restraints popped open, along with the hatch to the
cockpit, and Zechs tumbled out face first onto the grass. He lay still for
several moments, just breathing in the fresh air. Then he managed to turn
himself over onto his back, as he heard someone kneel down beside him. He
forced his eyes open, and stared into a pair of violet eyes. He swallowed
hard, then mumbled, "Noin?"
"Yeah, I'm right here, Colonel," came the soothing voice. He was
lifted gently up from the grass, and his head came to rest against her
shoulder. Zechs was dimly aware that his mask was lying on her collarbone,
and that must hurt, but he couldn't do anything about it. Not that he
really wanted to. As he lost consciousness, it occurred to him that if
nothing else, the recent nightmare got him into Noin's arms. The safest
place he knew.
. . .
It was, by far, the strangest sight Lucrezia Noin ever saw. And each
time one of the huge feet landed on the ground, it shook the earth where
she stood. The gundams, dancing the can-can. If she hadn't seen the
shocked expressions of those around her, she would have been certain the
whole thing was the result of a really bad dream.
But at last, the two gundams moved away from each other. Wing Zero
went down on both knees and its wobbly young pilot emerged, collapsing into
a heap on the ground.
That was all the prompting Relena needed. She ran across the erst-
while battlefield, screaming, "HEEEEERO!" //I wonder,// Noin thought
absently, shaking her bangs back, //what would happen if I told her that
her brother is in the other gundam? Uhm, better not. Zechs would never
forgive me. He still wants to keep his identity a secret from her.// And
then the Tallgeese knelt down, almost tossing out Zechs through the now-
open hatch. As if. . .no, she wouldn't think that.
Noin ran to her fallen friend and colonel. He lay face down for
several moments, gulping in the air, then rolled over onto his back. His
eyes were squeezed shut as she approached him, then as she knelt at his
side, his eyes opened. Lucrezia was alarmed to see how pale his face was.
She hadn't seen him this pale. . .since the first time he flew the
Tallgeese. And when Otto sacrificed himself to free Sank.
Without really thinking about it, she scooped him into her arms as he
breathed her name, drew his head to rest against her shoulder. She
murmured, "Yeah, I'm right here, Colonel." She felt his body relax in her
arms, and Noin realized he passed out. Within moments, they were
surrounded by the rest of Oz. . .complete with medical officers.
. . .
//Well, it was worth it. If only to tell off that idiot Khushrenada.
And to see my boy Zechsy in his lady's arms. That last is reason
enough,// Tallgeese mused. Except, she was no longer in Tallgeese. That
worthy gundam was being checked over, from top to bottom, by the Oz
engineers and technicians, for the cause of the 'anomaly.'
No, she was now in her spirit state, the last human body which was
hers. She was outside Zechs Merquise's hospital room, where he was now
resting comfortably, as they still liked to say. Ever so often, she would
peek inside, and smile, seeing the ever-present Noin seated beside him.
Where else would she be?
Pagan helped Relena get Heero into the car, and that was the last
Tallgeese saw of them. Zero opted to keep control of the gundam just long
enough to get it back to where it belonged. That took the better part of a
day. . .and now, he was with her. He lounged against the opposite wall.
//Just wish I could have gotten a chance to tell off Colonel Une. By
that way, that was perfect. . .Princess Leia wanna-be,// Wing chuckled and
Tallgeese smiled. To borrow a phrase from the third member of the little
circle, who visited her during the possession, Colonel Une was a PMSing
Princess Leia on crack. The original observation, a PMSing demi-goddess on
crack, just didn't fit the current situation. (1)
//Well, she was starting to get on my nerves! And you know I'm not
like my patient sis, who can tolerate people like that. So. What happens
next time?// Tallgeese asked and Wing shrugged. They used these personas
for so long, it was hard to think of themselves as anyone else. Even the
names which were theirs two hundred years earlier.
//Next time? The macarena?// Wing suggested. Tallgeese stared at
him, then burst out laughing. Damn him, he could still do this to her!
Wing continued, //Hey, it might be fun! Or maybe an Irish jig. Next time,
though, I'll possess Heavyarms, or maybe the Deathscythe. Hey, now, don't
laugh! Duo Maxwell might even cooperate!//
//Yeah, whatever,// Tallgeese answered, trying not to laugh. The
scary thing was, Wing was right. If he did possess Deathscythe, she had an
eerie feeling that Duo Maxwell would do a lot more than cooperate! She
looked over her shoulder. . .Zechs was starting to stir. With a soft
smile, the ghost blew a kiss to the young man. //You take care of yourself,
honey,// she thought, //but even if you don't, Lucrezia and I will be
watching over you. However, I would appreciate it if you would make it a
little easier on us!// And then she vanished with Wing.
. . .
//Take care of him,// his Excellency said, which was why Lucrezia
fell asleep at Zechs' bedside. Not that she was physically taking care of
him. . .the doctors said he just needed rest. But she was with him. She
was with him, and she would not leave his side. Not until he was strong
"Noin?" his weak voice called, and she opened her eyes to see his
face turned toward her. She smiled at him, slipping from her chair to his
bed, sitting down beside him. He smiled back weakly, a smile that grew a
little stronger when she took his hand. He asked softly, "What happened to
me? I don't remember anything."
Noin fought back her desire to giggle, and instead replied, "It's a
long story, and a slightly unbelievable one." She could have sworn she saw
his eyes narrow behind the mask, and she continued, "I'll tell you
everything after you've rested, I promise. You'll need your strength just
to hear this, I think." She already decided to tell him the truth. If she
didn't, someone else would. . .and he would never forgive her for lying to
him. No, she would be honest with him. About this, at least.
"Oh. Noin?" he asked and Lucrezia looked back at him. Zechs stared
at her for several moments. . .she could feel his eyes on her. . .then he
finally said, "Thank you. For. . .being with me." Lucrezia just smiled
and leaned down to kiss his cheek. However, he turned his head at the last
second, and their lips met instead.
After a moment, she pulled away and smiled at him tenderly,
answering, "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else." He smiled back, and
pulled her down for another kiss. It was a strange way to get your heart's
desire, but Noin wouldn't argue.
And high above them both, three spirits smiled in approval, then
disappeared. Their work here was done.
(1) The original comment, about a PMSing demi-goddess on crack, was made
about the demon Curupira in 'The BeastMaster,' as played by Emilie de