Epilogue : And Ever After

Fairy tales always end the same way, don't they?

\\And then what happened, Mommy? Did the mermaid marry
the prince?\\

'Happily Ever After.' But no one can be happy all the

\\No dear. She died and then the prince eventually
forgot about her altogether and married someone

Not all tales have happy endings. Not all princes ride
off into the sunset with the fair maiden at their
side. We just never hear of those that failed.


"How are they?"

"Chang hasn't regained consciousness yet, but the
other two are awake." The doctor shook his head. "They
aren't so badly hurt, physically, but both have been
traumatized. Winner hasn't said anything except that
they need to contact someone called 'Heero' and warn
him. He was very hysterical, but the other boy's
presence seemed to calm him down a bit. It's
understandable, though, after what happened to his

"What happened?"

"Flash blinded, under interrogation probably. He may
recover, but we can't be sure yet."

Lady Une marched down the lengthy hall, eyes
flickering between the physician and the room where
the Gundam pilots were. So far, no one knew what had
occurred between when the ship had gone out of contact
and Trowa had sounded his distress signal from the
shuttle they'd been picked up in. There was no trace
of the ship, or of the other two who had been on board

"It's actually Bloom that's worrying me most. He's
been very calm. Too calm. But the story he's been
telling is crazy. I have a personal theory to explain


Trowa looked up as the door opened and felt relief at
the sight of Lady Une, though he did not leave his
place at Quatre's side, the blond boy's left hand
cupped in his own.

"Lady Une." He nodded in greeting. She returned the
gesture sharply, eyes taking in the room's two
occupants. Wufei, due to his more serious condition,
was housed in a different room where he could be more
carefully monitored.

"Trowa. Quatre." Quatre remained silent, but gripped
his hand more tightly. His eyes weren't tracking. She
shut the door behind her and looked at Trowa. "Tell me
what happened." That's one thing he'd always liked
about her, she knew when to get straight to business.

"It started when Duo began to get curious about a
children's puzzle we found on the ship..."


"...so I set off the distress signal while I was still
able to and set a course for the nearest colony."

Quatre tried his best to stay calm throughout Trowa's
recitation, but his control was beginning to take its
toll. Heero had to be warned of the danger he was in.
He didn't know why, but something was going to happen
to him too. He could feel it, but no one besides Trowa
believed him. Hopefully, Lady Une would realize just
how serious this was.

"I'll have to look into this Trowa," she was saying
and made her way to leave.

"Wait!" Quatre spoke for the first time since she
entered the room. "What about Heero? We have to let
him know what happened."

"We'll try our best to reach him."

It had to be better than try. "Please, he has to
know." He shivered, gripping one hand over his heart
as a thousand disembodied voices whispered, voices of
those he'd killed, laughing at him once again. He shut
them out with force of will and the memory of that
instant of warmth and happiness. But the dark was so
cold, so terrifying. "You have to warn him." Allah,
make her see.

She nodded. "I understand. We'll reach him, don't

Quatre leaned back and let Trowa hold him. "Thank


"Hallucinogenic drugs?" Lady Une looked at the doctor.

"That's right. From Chang's condition, it looks like
he fought back. We're hoping that means he wasn't
drugged and that we'll get a coherent story from him
when he wakes up. But, with his head injury, even
then, he may not be able to tell us anything."

She narrowed her eyes. It was a possible explanation.
She thought back to Trowa's story and concluded that
it was better than thinking him insane. They would
have to contact Heero eventually and tell him about
Duo's death, but it there were more necessary places
for her people right now. He wouldn't be found until
he wanted to be. There was no way Quatre's dire
predictions could come true. It was completely
understandable that he would think such things given
what had happened to him. Right now, they had to
concentrate on finding out the truth.


Something was missing, perfection lost by a small
factor. The flesh under his hand shuddered in torment,
but that wasn't enough. He turned to his companion as
his toy went silent except for the occasional whimper.
He hated it when they got broken so quickly. Stuffy
occultists were so boring. Still, he had promised and
he never lied. He needed another, and knew just where
he wanted to get one. Maybe another one he could keep.
He knew just who he wanted.

"I want something."

"Anything for you, you know that, love."

Duo smiled. If it wasn't precisely happiness, it was
as close as one could get in this place. He'd never be
alone again. "A special present? Would you?" He

"I said so, didn't I?" The other drew closer, reaching
up a hand to leave a trail of red on the side of his
cheek. Duo leaned into the caress.

"Yeah, Zechsy, you did."


The restaurant was crowded, as were the streets
outside it. Heero moved untouched amidst the bustle,
ignoring the heat and the odors emanating from piles
of garbage being picked through by both animals and
people. He had found the man hunting him and was now
going home, but for some reason he'd felt that he
should come to this place. He'd followed his
instincts, and they'd led him here.

He entered through one badly hinged door, being
narrowly missed by a fat man in a cheap suit. The man
smelled of sweat and other, less savory, scents, just
like most of the occupants who were seated at rickety
tables in the crowded room.

Heero took in everything, categorizing and sorting as
he glanced around with seeming casualness. Something
shimmered, golden, and caught his eye. In front of an
old oriental man with a long, messy beard stood a box.
From its size and design, it was obviously some sort
of antique puzzle. **Hn,** he thought. **He's here to
sell it, it's most likely stolen.** But something drew
him to it, and he had a vague idea that it was why he
was here.

**Duo would probably like it.** Despite its less than
honest attainment, the braided idiot would love it. He
knew that Duo was angry with him, but if he had told
him where and why he was leaving, he would have been

And if something had happened, there was no doubt that
he wouldn't be able to go on.

It was hard to admit, even to himself, that someone
had clawed their way that deeply into his heart.
Perhaps this would be the chance for him to give an
apology he knew he wouldn't be able to voice aloud.

Heero sat down in the empty chair across from the old
man. He received a smile in return, a grin of missing
and blackened teeth. One long finger nailed digit
tapped the box almost lovingly.

A voice wheezed out at him. "What is your pleasure,


To everyone who has been following this story. Thank you
so much. I hope you enjoyed this little tale which
assaulted me for months and forced me to write something
I was sure would never make from my head to paper.

I'd like to hear from you, I really would. Comments and
suggestions especially, though if you just feel like saying
'hey' I'm all for that too. This is the longest thing I've
ever attempted, let alone finished, and I'd like to improve
for the next story I write.

So, hope you all have a wonderful December... maybe I will
continue some of my other stories once Xmas hols roll around.