Disclaimer: GUNDAM WING is a Registered Trademark of Bandai, Sunrise, Sotsu Agency & TV Asahi. This work of fiction was written for non-profitable purposes. Non-Gundam Wing related names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Title: Paradox

See my profile page for the COVER ART link.

Pairing: 1x2

Summary: It is argued that time travel must be impossible, because it can result in a paradox. Time is immutable. It is most likely that a time traveler going back to change something in his past will only end up causing the event somehow anyway, thus completing the causality loop. History cannot be changed because time will always find a way to heal itself. If you follow this rule, then maybe, just maybe, you can override the loop and change the past after all. In fact, Duo Maxwell is counting on it.

Warnings:

- 1x2/1+2*

- 1+R (there will be some kissing)

- Major character's death

- Time travel & Alternate timeline

- Slightly out of character behavior (within reason)

* A note about the 1x2 in this story: It is the main pairing in this story, but the plot does not center on Heero's and Duo's romantic relationship. This story is a study of how vast Duo's love towards Heero can truly be.

* Full Disclosure: the opening scene is inspired by and based on a scene from Grey's Anatomy s11e07.

Author's Note I:

This story is actually a bit silly, but only because the whole plot is based on the banal idea of time travelling which has been done to death in the fan fiction world. I don't know if this angle has been done before, because there's a lot of GW fan fiction I never got around reading, but I'm hoping that there's a shred of originality in what I wrote. Basically, it's a story about Heero dying and Duo going back in time trying save him... with a twist.

I enjoyed writing Paradox because it has been a long while since I last wrote about Heero and Duo as teenagers. I found myself thinking back a lot on my own adolescent years, trying to get into the proper mindset. It was fun. There's no way in Hell I would want to be fifteen again, but looking back with a sixteen years' worth of preservative was very insightful. Man, would I do things differently a second time around... and this is what this story is about, really: second chances.

I started writing Paradox years ago when struck with this silly idea, but couldn't make it work. Now suddenly, the pieces fell into place and I revised it completely, ending up with this story. It's not nearly as serious and deep as my previous work, just a fun piece of GW fan fiction, really. Please don't be mistaken, it's not a fluff piece or anything like that, but still fun, I promise. I just felt like screwing with the characters' lives a little before putting everything back into place...

I hope you'll enjoy the read and I would love to hear your thoughts on this, if you please, especially my portrayal of Heero, because it's really hard writing a plausible OOC.

Elle

Author's Note II: I am making an exception for this story by posting it before it's complete. I swore to never do this again (in fear I might never finish it), but what I fear more is that by the time I'm done writing there won't be anyone out there to read it. I have written 13 chapters so far and hopefully your R&R would help me see this story to completion. If not, then this fic will just have to be like most fan fiction stories - posted whenever inspiration strikes.

Elle


Prologue

Late at night, New York City, Manhattan. An ambulance stopped in front of a well-lit ER entrance. Two male EMTs opened the back doors as a team of doctors approached the large emergency vehicle.

"Twenty-seven-year-old male," one of the EMTs announced and pulled out a gurney, assisted by his partner. The doctors waited readily to receive their patient.

"Jumped three stories from a burning building," the paramedic continued, "He's in shock, but awake. BP's 95 over 60 with a rate in the 120s. GCS 14 in the field."

The EMTs rolled the gurney onto the ground. It was occupied by two patients; both young men were strapped together to the gurney. They were wearing Preventer uniform; the fabric was scorched by fire and soaked with blood. One agent was laid on his back, holding the other one who was laid prone on top of him. The prone agent was sprawled lifelessly over his injured partner, his head resting on the young agent's chest. His facial features were deathly pale and streaked with smut. A heap of messy brown bangs fell over his eyes. His eyelids were closed, his lips blue and scabbed. The other agent, the one lying on his back, was awake, looking up at the starry sky with a pair of tearful cobalt blue eyes. There was an oxygen tube under his nose. His face was also streaked with soot and blood. He held onto his partner, his arms wrapped tightly around the young man's limp body.

"Why are there two patients on one gurney?" A middle-aged doctor, the senior of the group, asked sternly, frowning at the EMTs.

"He's dead," the other EMT said, sighing.

"Heero..." the young agent moaned sorrowfully and embraced the other man closer. The EMTs pushed the gurney inside and the doctors followed them.

"We couldn't find a pulse," the second EMT explained; "We tried to pull him off, but this one just held on," he gestured at the conscious agent. "He was agitated, got real violent. He wouldn't let him go, so we had to stop before we hurt him. This was the only way we could bring him in."

"Heero..." The young Preventer agent wept mournfully as he was wheeled into the ER. He was looking up through glassy blue eyes that didn't seem to register anything.

"Police said he carried his partner out the window and jumped to escape the explosion," the EMT continued; "We think he was trying to break his partner's fall."

"An explosion?" the middle-aged doctor asked worriedly; "Did anyone else get hurt?"

"No. Those two were the only agents at the scene."

"Alright, let's get them into trauma one," the senior doctor ordered and the team wheeled the gurney into a separate treatment room. Doctors and nurses scuttled around the gurney, making their assessments.

"His skin is mottled and cyanotic," the senior doctor determined; "We have to get this guy off of him."

A female doctor leaned over the conscious agent. Her kind brown eyes shone with sympathy when she noted how the distraught young agent was resting his hand gently over his partner's blood-clotted brown hair, petting him softly.

"Sir, you have to let him go," she said softly. The agent's eyes darted towards her. They were no longer glassy, but fierce and angry.

"No!" he cried, distressed. "No!"

"Sir, we have to move him in order to help you," the senior doctor intervened again. "There's nothing we can do for him. His neck was broken in the fall. He's dead."

"No... No!" the young man cried. "Help him! Help him... please! You gotta save him... please!"

The two doctors exchanged worried looks. The female doctor leaned closer carefully.

"Sir, what is your name?" she asked calmly.

The young agent blinked a few times, confused. "Uh, M-Maxwell..." he slurred and his eyes watered with tears; "A-Agent M-Maxwell... I... We're... Is he..?"

"Agent Maxwell, what is your partner's name?" The female doctor continued asking while her associates waited tensely to continue treatment. Two orderlies approached with a second gurney, ready to take the deceased agent away. Seeing this, Agent Maxwell began to panic and held on even tighter, clutching the other man's body tightly. He turned to her, his eyes wild, pleading.

"No... Don't take him... don't take him... help him..."

"Sir, you don't have to worry about him right now, okay? There's nothing we can do for him. Let us help you, please."

The young agent was crying openly now, his breath short and panicky. He caressed his partner's bloody hair, weeping.

"H-Heero... Is he..? Is he..? No... No... I saved him... Please... help him... make him live... please..."

"Sir, can you tell me your first name please?" the female doctor requested steadily. The young agent sniffled, nodding his head.

"D-Duo... It's... It's Duo..."

"Duo, it's time to let Heero go," she said firmly; "He's gone."

"Gone? W-What do you mean gone?! He can't be gone! Heero! Heero! Wake up! C'mon! WAKE UP!"

"Duo, he died."

"No... No..." Duo shook his head in denial. "No! No! Check again! Check again! He... he... I... I... he can't... can't be... gone..."

"He's gone. I'm sorry."

"Heero... no..."

"You did everything you could."

"No! No..."

"You tried your best. You held him, protected him and he died in your arms."

"No..." Duo moaned, crying, "Heero... no..."

The senior doctor stepped in again. "He's no longer in any pain, Duo," he said, "but you are and I'm sure he wouldn't want you to be. You have to let him go now so we can help you, okay?"

"He's... he's my... he's mine." Duo cried, shaking strongly but holding onto Heero anyway. "I can't. No..."

"Duo," the female doctor rebuked softly; "Duo, I'm so sorry," she placed her latex-gloved hand over his arm gently and looked sadly into his eyes. "It's time. Let Heero go."

"But I... I... I love him... I shoulda... I... I shoulda saved him... we jumped... he shoulda... he... he shoulda made it! He... he... I... I haffta save him... please... please... save him... you gotta save him... please..."

"Duo, please. He wouldn't want you to suffer. Let us help you. I know you love him, but you have to let him go. There's nothing more you can do. You can't save him."

He looked at her, as lost as a small child.

"I... I tried..." he mumbled, weeping.

"I know you did. It's time to let go."

"I haffta to save him... I... Oh God... there's gotta be a way... please... Heero..."

Sobbing, Duo finally let go. His arms dropped limply to the sides and a pained whimper escaped his lips. He closed his eyes, sobbing quietly.

The medical staff rolled Heero's body off of him, placing him in the second gurney and wheeled him aside. The rest of the staff immediately pounced onto their still living patient, assessing the injuries.

"Airway's intact, but there's a little soot."

"Hypotensive and a rigid abdomen."

"Pupils are equal and reactive bilaterally."

"Right lower leg is tense and swollen."

"I'm going to measure compartment pressures..."

Meanwhile, the female doctor stepped over to the second gurney and checked for a pulse. Once she confirmed there was none, she pronounced:

"Time of death – two twenty four AM."