Platonic Love – Prologue – War Is Over

By Kilmeny

Disclaimers: Gundam Wing belongs to Sunrise. Any songs or quotes belong to their authors listed with them. This story is not being used to make a profit.

Summary: The series of postwar events in the lives of Duo and Hilde that lead them to question their platonic relationship. They both date other people, but when it all comes down to it, will they realize they truly love each other? And what happens if only one of them realizes it?

Rating: PG for a few cuss words, nothing worse than the actual show.

Dedicated to: Everyone who reviewed my first two fanfics "Trust in Me" and "I Don't Understand Love." You guys don't know how much it meant to me! I really appreciated all of your comments. It encouraged me to keep on writing, and that's why this story is here now. I hope this story lives up to all your expectations of my writing skill. I'm so afraid it won't! But, anyway, thanks again.

Author's Notes for the Whole Story: I edited and replaced this prologue and chapter one, so you might want to reread them. There are some pretty significant changes. I'm still putting songs and quotes in this story. Skip the songs if you want; they're just my way of getting motivated and inspired, so I like to give them credit by actually putting them in the story. This is not a songfic. Please don't let the presence of the lyrics (only placed at the end of breaks, not within the text) stop you from reading this story. The prologue picks up right after the last Gundam Wing episode, before Endless Waltz, and then the first chapter starts a year after Endless Waltz. I don't think it's too confusing, but just so you all know. Within my planned Gundam pilot stories—"Trust in Me" timeline, this actually comes before Trowa's story. You do not need to read "Trust in Me" to get this. All of my stories can be read separately. This probably will only be about half as long as "Trust in Me," simply because the plot isn't nearly as complex as Trowa's. Sorry if you wanted it to be longer. I don't know yet, though, we'll see. I hope you all enjoy it. And, blatant self-advertising, please read and review my other fics! Thank you.

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Prologue – War Is Over

Duo Maxwell's quick stride took him straight to his destination, Hilde Schbeiker's hospital room. There was nothing to keep him from going to her now. The war was over, and he had every intention of spending as much of his time as necessary making sure Hilde recovered. As he came near her room, his steps slowed, and he quietly moved to stand in the doorway. The sight of Hilde, tubes attached, bandages abundant, put a tormenting ache in his chest, but it wasn't unfamiliar. He had encountered this pain since childhood, every time he had seen a loved one lying cold and dead on the ground. It was a mixture of guilt, grief, and hopelessness. Only this time, he knew that she lived and would continue to live. He'd heard it straight from the doctor Sally Po, and that hope was the only thing keeping him steady right now.

He made himself take a few calm breaths before seating himself next to her. She was so small, so fragile; she was amazing. At the same time that he grasped her hand, he tried to grasp the thought that this same person had only days ago given him that disk from the Libra. She had so much courage, so much determination and intelligence, and she had done what she could with it. If only she would wake up now, then he would no longer be angry. For it was true, even though he was grateful that she lived and was awed by her bravery, anger was still the dominant emotion churning inside of him.

From the moment he had heard her call to him from her mobile suit, he had forced his fury to consume the sickening waves of fear that had threatened to overwhelm him. And although anger had been more bearable before, now all he wanted was peace of mind. His mind rebelled, however, stubbornly bringing up images of her well being if only she would have stayed at home. If only she hadn't been so stupid! And he knew deep down that she had done it not just for peace, but for him, too. That nearly imperceptible thought had somehow found a way to turn him into a tight bundle of nerves.

Finally, he burst, rising to flail his arms and stomp around the room. "I don't want to be mad anymore, Hilde, so wake up! I'll forgive you. I'll take you home, where we can run our own salvage business, forget this ever happened . . . just wake up, please," he pleaded, "I promise I won't leave again. The war's over; you did your part. I won't have to leave you again." Then he sat at her bedside once more and was quiet, having said his piece. The only thing left to do was wait.

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Hilde's injuries were not as bad as they seemed. She was just tired, so very tired, and she didn't want to wake up. She didn't want to wake up and find that the war raged on or that Duo was hurt . . . or dead. But finally, after much prodding from her reason, her heart conceded and let her open her eyes. She quickly closed them again, cursing those evil electric lights that seemed to be right in her face. Squinting this time, she allowed her eyes time to become used to the light. How long had it been? She gritted her teeth; her left arm hurt like hell when she wiggled her fingers, and she shuddered when she realized there was an IV in it. When she tried to do the same with her right fingers, they felt like they were pinned down. Nearly panicking and unable to lift her head, she jerked her arm up and brought her fingers in front of her face. She wiggled them joyously and smiled a little, which caused her dry lips to split.

"Hilde!" cried the cause of her fingers' earlier entrapment.

Her eyes darted to her right. It was Duo! She opened her mouth to say something, but only managed to emit a raspy squeak. She grinned sheepishly, her bottom lip stinging.

He brushed her bangs away from her face, smiling happily, his eyes even brighter than usual. "How are you feeling? You've been out for the past couple days."

"Sore," she whispered, returning his smile nonetheless.

"Here, drink this," he said, bringing a glass of water up to her mouth. Mmm, it felt good to wet her dry throat.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

They looked contentedly at each other for a few moments until she remembered. Her smile faded, and she shifted uneasily. "Are you still mad?"

He lowered his eyes, looking rueful as he fingered her blankets. "No, I promised you earlier that I'd forgive you if you woke up. So just don't get yourself hurt again, okay?"

"I'll do my best," she said, relaxing against her pillow once more.

"I also promised that I wouldn't leave you again, at least not without your permission."

An ungrateful, indignant snort. "Is that just to make sure I don't come chasing after you again?"

Duo grinned and remained elusive. "Whatever you want to believe."

She made another sound of annoyance but decided to change the subject and asked, "Did the disk help?"

"Immensely—" he didn't want to get into that, "Hilde, the war's over. Everything's going to be okay." He was holding her hand again.

Hilde shut her eyes and tilted her head back, attempting to release the remaining tension in her body. It was all over, but she only felt like crying. It would be such a release. A long moment passed as she tried to get a hold of herself, and although she squeezed Duo's hand hard, a tear still managed to escape from her eye. "That's all I need to know for now," she said tightly. The rest would be too overwhelming in her current state of exhaustion, and she frowned upon the thought of turning into a crybaby. "Thank you, Duo, for being here."

He smoothed her hair. A burning sensation had also formed behind his eyes while he had watched her struggle. She shouldn't be here like this; she should be home where he could properly take care of her. "I got here as soon as I could. I'm gonna take you home soon, okay?"

"That sounds nice," Hilde yawned, a welcome drowsiness ushering her into the serenity of sleep. "I think I want to go back to sleep now."

Duo leaned over and kissed her forehead as her eyes drifted closed. After a few moments, he stood up; his heart was glad again. The thought that she had retrieved the disk for him was stashed in a file marked "Forget." And now it was time to see Quatre. Duo had promised he would celebrate with Trowa and him. Now that he knew Hilde was going to be okay, his heart would be in it. Whistling cheerfully, hands in his pockets, he ambled out of the room.

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Best Friends

By Mark Pennells & Zarc Porter

Performed by V*enna

We were just beginning

I didn't know your name

You were there with everybody

Walking in the rain

I didn't have to tell you

You didn't have to ask

I knew that we'd be friends forever

I knew that we could last

Tried to show you all that I believe

How you are to me

More than I could ever think or dream

You're all that a friend can be

I remember walking with you

In the summer late afternoon

Looking out for something to do

'Cause you know we're best friends

But if I don't know where you are

You will always be in my heart

All along we knew we would part

But you know we're best friends

I could understand you

And you could make me laugh

I never meant to take for granted

All the time we had

And so, the time is here now

We're gonna be apart

And now I'm gonna take you with me

If only in my heart

Tried to show you all that I believe

How you are to me

More than I could ever think or dream

You're all that a friend can be

I remember walking with you

In the summer late afternoon

Looking out for something to do

'Cause you know we're best friends

But if I don't know where you are

You will always be in my heart

All along we knew we would part

But you know we're best friends

Tried to show you all that I believe

Hey, yeah, whoa

I remember walking with you in the afternoon

I don't know where you will be; you will be in my heart

I remember walking with you

In the summer late afternoon

Looking out for something to do

'Cause you know we're best friends

But if I don't know where you are

You will always be in my heart

All along we knew we would part

But you know we're best friends

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Author's Notes: I would really appreciate reviews, especially ones that tell me if I'm characterizing Duo right. I really want to make him act and sound like he did in Gundam Wing because he's my favorite character. I want to do him justice. Any other suggestions are welcome, too. I should be updating about every two weeks. Thanks for reading and God bless!

To Be Continued