LSE // 3-20-03
(The Black Queen - Epilogue: Spark
rated: PG13 - violence, language, content

"In a press conference earlier today, a spokesperson for the
Peacecraft estate reported that they were pleased with the
investigations done by the police thus far. The information handed
over from an anonymous source last week combined with the raid on..."

Heero flipped the channel without a significant result. Every news
station was running the same story.

"So far international reports have concluded that at least three
other Double Phoenix-related organizations have been broken up..."

Something told him that no one bothered to sign up for digital cable.
The only station that didn't have anything news-related was the
Bowling for Jesus network. Heero promptly returned to the news.

"The primary suspect in the killings was Duo Maxwell, a former Gundam
pilot and guest of the Peacecraft estate. Relena and her spokes-people
have adamantly denied that Maxwell, wanted in conjunction with an
escape from a mental institution, was ever received by the Peacecraft
estate. However, the charges again Maxwell no longer include the
deaths of Galina Nikolaevna and Amy Thomas, formerly known by her
street name of 'Amethyst.' The District Attorney has issued a
statement clarifying the actions taken in the matter..."


The screen promptly went blank as Heero rose from the couch and
walked over to where Quatre was standing. "Are you ready?" the blonde
asked quietly, glancing towards the now-silent television.

"Hn," Heero replied with the slightest of nods. He started to follow
Quatre out to car, but paused just on the doorway and suddenly turned
back into the house. A moment later, he came back with a rectangular
package, the plain brown paper tied with a single string.

"What's that?" Quatre asked once he'd backed the car out of the
driveway and was already heading out of the neighborhood.

"Just something Duo wanted me to bring," he mumbled back, looking
intently out the window to discourage conversation. The rest of the
trip was made in silence, Quatre forcing himself to merely shoot
concerned glances out from the corner of his eye.

As the car turned into the long driveway, Heero barely suppressed the
chilling shudder than ran through him. The building, three stories
high and made of a white-washed brick, didn't especially look
threatening, even with the tall, cast-iron fencing that was probably
more for show that practical purposes.

Quatre stopped at the gate and waited for the politely smiling guard
to approach. "Hello," the woman said with a practiced nod, "and
welcome to the East River hospital. Do you have an appointment?"

"Yes," Quatre replied, "we're expected."

"Okay, then," the woman said with another smile, "the name?"

"Winner, just like it sounds... and Yuy. Y-U-Y..." Quatre tried to
peer at the clipboard but failed. The woman finally nodded and
stepped back, motioning them through as the gates swung open.

"High security," Heero muttered, the tone a mix of scorn and hesitant
approval. Quatre scarcely contained a sigh and parked in one of the
spots marked 'visitor.'

Inside, it didn't take long to locate the check-in desk and get
large, laminated tags that clearly stated VISITOR in bright red ink.
The nurse behind the counter quickly signed them in and pointed to
one of the hallways, her smiling face giving the directions. Quatre
nodded and thanked her since Heero seemed content to be giving
everyone his Death Glare.

"You didn't have to come," Heero pointed out sullenly, clutching the
package to him almost protectively, but neither check-in nurse or
anyone else seemed inclined to question him about it.

Aqua eyes studied him carefully before answering, "You're right. I
didn't have to," Quatre said quietly before walking down the
indicated corridor. Heero had no choice but to follow, since he
hadn't been paying attention to the nurse's instructions.

Although he'd rather not admit it, even to himself, Heero felt the
strongest and most irrational nervousness. He shifted the package,
taking the briefest of comforts from the dimensions and the crinkle
of the brown wrappings. To distract himself from the twisted knot in
his chest, he asked, "Have you heard from Wufei lately?"

Quatre glanced over, the slightest hint of surprise visible before
the features smoothed out and he gave a nod, "The doctors say he'll
have full use of his arm before too long. He called Sally a pathetic
onna-weakling, she called him a boorish pig. I think they're in love."

Heero was very sorry he'd asked.

"Which room did the nurse say...Heero, did you catch that?"

Quatre received a glare in return.

"No, I guess you didn't... Oh. Here it is," Quatre lifted one hand
and pushed on the already half-open door.

"Oh, hey guys," Duo said brightly, hopping off from the bed, "it's
about time you got here."


For the most illogical of reasons, I'm terribly relieved to see that
the walls are a pristine white. I'm also terribly sure that any
relation to quality of care and wall color is purely coincidental,
but that doesn't stop me from being happy the walls are white. Not
even off-white or egg shell, but pure, bright, white.

The nurses, too, are wearing white starched uniforms along with
bright, white smiles and un-scuffed, white tennis shoes.
Unfortunately, the cleanliness also lends the place the most boring
atmosphere. Well, I'll change that soon enough!

In the common room, the television's turned to one of the local
channels despite the fact it's still showing news coverage. It looks
like a repeat of the press conference Relena gave earlier. As much as
I don't like the girl, she's done a great job smoothing the whole
affair over. What's getting out to the public or more-or-less the
trust, or, at least, the truth as I understand it.

"We couldn't be more pleased with the work the police have done so
far in this matter," Relena says.

They were never able to find any documents linking Sven to Galina,
but Natasha's version of the events was the one Relena decided to go
with. She fulfilled her promise and made me out to be a hero;
unfortunately, that meant someone had to be the villian. However, it
meant I came out looking okay and possessing my freedom... even if
it's a limited freedom.

Actually, I'm incredibly lucky all I got was a comparatively easy,
slap on the wrist sort of punishment.

A psych evaluation, a few good words from Relena (which I suspect may
have bordered on the near-side of illegal...) and... I'm free.


Completely free... except for I've got some probation stuff to deal
with. I have to stay on Earth for one year and in the Sanc kingdom
for at least six months. Okay, I can deal. No problem-o.

I finger the laminated badge on my shirt for a few seconds, relishing
the fact that is says VISITOR. Almost, if I squint and just pretend,
I can tell myself that it says SANE.




I shake my head, letting the badge fall back and moving away from the
common room. The doctors wanted to see me before letting me just
wander around the hospital and, from their hints, I take it I'm not
even suppose to just wander. But, I have my nice VISITOR badge, so
there's not much they can do to me.

I can't believe what they've told me anyways. It can't be true.

After collapsing in the alley, I don't remember anything until waking
up with Relena in heated debate with her public relations
representatives and Wufei mumbling Chinese curses. The next few days
are a confusing blur of pain and fear.

Somehow, though, everything got worked out. Quatre, apparently, came
over from L4 to help get things arranged. I can't help but assume
he played some part in this nice, white hospital and the nice, cozy
home me and Heero are now living in. He denies it, though, and
refuses to take whatever meager installment plans I offer to pay him
back. He's just a nice guy that way.

The doctors have to be wrong...

I find the right room and knock lightly on the door. A feminine voice
answers and I push the door open hesitantly.

"Hello," she says cheerfully. She's sitting on the bed with her legs
dangling over the side. It takes me a moment to realize why she looks
so different -- she's not wearing all black. Instead, she's dressed
simply in a pair of jeans with a blue shirt, both of which look brand
new. Only I would notice she's wearing black socks.

Black socks they never get dirty
the longer you wear them
the blacker they get...

I smile gently, moving into the room to sit beside her on the bed.
There are no chairs, just the bed against one wall with a night
stand and dresser made from what looks like molded plastic. She
moves over to give me room, tilting her head slightly in a quizzical
fashion. Pale blue eyes, muted and dulled with medication, reguard me
with a friendly enough look.

I look around the sparsely decorated room, for a moment before
answering. I have to prove the doctors wrong, "Hey, Natasha..."

My heart thumps when the faintest of recognition flashed in her eyes
before they dull out into the same flat look. She frowns, tilting her
head again, "I'm sorry, but I don't know you..."

She smiles and a shiver runs down my spine. Even though the doctors
told me... I didn't want to believe them.

//"Miss Letoivsky's certainly an interesting case," the doctor, a
middle-aged man that I instantly take a strong dislike to, says. "She
definitely has signs of a dissociative disorder. However, I'm
reluctant to actually qualify her as having amnesia..."//

//"And that means..." I say impatiently, not understanding a word of
the technically mumbo.//

//"Quite frankly, she doesn't remember who she is anymore. From her
file, I see she has a long history of delusions, but this seems to be
more structurally traumatizing. She's created a new identity for
herself, its actually very convincing. If I didn't know better, I
would assume she's just as sane as you or I."//

//"So..." I don't bother to conceal my look of disbelief. "She's...
multiple personalities...//

//"No," the doctor says with a frown, looking to me as if I'm
completely daft, "that's not it at all. She still goes by Natasha
Letoivsky and has the same brain waves as before. I'm still not
complete in my evaluation, but suffice to say, she most likely
won't recognize you."//

//"Will she..."//

//"Ever recover? It's possible she may regain a few memories once the
psychology trauma has worn off, but she'll never be able to rejoin
society. Her delusions are too strong, and in her file it says she
has a clear record of paranoia. And, violence," he looks at me with
an 'I know about you' kinda stare.//

I disliked him immediately.

And I didn't believe him.

Now, looking at her vacant look...

I swallow the lump in my throat and force a smile, but before I can
say anything her gaze suddenly shifts down and her hands reach out.
Delicate, pale fingers close over the fine gold chain around my neck
and pulls out my cross and the chess piece from under the shirt.
"What's this?" she asks, her eyes rising up to meet mine once more.

"A chess piece," I answer, striving to keep my voice steady.

"A black queen? That's a rather unusual necklace," she says with a
slight laugh, letting the chain fall back against my chest. "I like
to play chess," she says softly, fingers intertwining in her lap as
she gazes down at them.

Voices drift in from the hallway and the door is pushed fully open.
Quatre and Heero are standing there, and I'm happy to see Heero
remembered to bring the package I asked for. "Oh, hey, guys," I say
with a false cheer, standing up, "it's about time you got here."

"It took a while to find the room," Quatre offers as an excuse. "Are
you about ready to go?"

"In a minute," I walk over and pluck the package from Heero's grip.
He's watching Natasha, and she's looking at him with the same vacant
look. No recognition, even though it was Heero's bullet that...

"We'll be out in the car," Quatre promises, turning away.

Heero, instead of following, reaches out and pulls me into a tight
embrace, and I'm surprised by the near desperate quality to it.
"I love you, baka," he whispers, and releases me before I can even
give a half-coherent reply.

And then he's sulking down the hallway after Quatre. It's not until
Natasha makes a faint 'Awww' sort of sound that I even remember she's
sitting there, watching. Blushing, I go back over and hand the
package over to her, "Here. I brought you something."

Her mouth twitches into an excited smile and she eagerly pulls the
paper off. "You shouldn't have... Oh!" she inhales softly, reverently
lifting the box lid to reveal the chess board and pieces. "Oh, oh
thank you! But, I don't even know your name..."

"Duo," I say quickly.

She nods and sets the board on her night stand, carefully arranging
the pieces. "Would you like to play?" she asks, looking over to me
hopefully. She smiles, then adds, "I call black."

And there's a spark in her eyes.

"I can't, I have to go..." her face falls and the sparks wavers, so I
hurry to assure her, "but I'll come back, okay? We can play then."


"Promise. And... and I always keep my promises."

Natasha smiles, "Me too."

Author's Notes: I wrote "Completing the Silence" in just thirteen
days. It took me nearly five months to write the sequel. That, my
friends, is what school does to me. (and other not-so-fun things, but
that's an entirely different rant) But, whatever, I get out of school
in May, so assuming I can survive the next nine weeks, viola!

I'm not sure what I'm going to work on next... I have a few WIPs that
I should really attend to, but I dunno *shrug*

I don't have enough room to list everyone, but suffice to say, if you
ever just took the time to tell me "good job!" or even just to let me
know you were out there reading; Thank you. It means the world to me.

And Ebony, my muse, my beta, my friend. This one's for you. Thanks.

Feedback/reviews are very much appreciated!
copyright 2003 - Gundam Wing and characters copyright other people.
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