It was raining as it always did and she watched it fall from her silent, shimmering window, quiet and thoughtful and sad. If she closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against the cool glass, let the soft wetness formed inside by cold and humidity melt along her pale skin, she could remember days before the war. But she stayed away from the window, for that was precious to her and if he knew, he would take it from her, lock the door, replace the window with wood or steel, because the constant rain would rot the wood, make it soft and sweet. She cleaned the floor of the room, sweeping it with a broom and ignoring the violet fingerprints burnt into her arms, ignoring the mild pain in her belly from the bleeding and the child lost to her. Shadows touched her eyes, puckering the skin beneath the beautiful, weeping blue orbs that stared and blinked in quiet acquiescence, stirred deep below their dark surfaces to painful turmoil.

It was raining.

--
Requiem: Prelude
--

"She came in at three," the nurse explained, wrapping a thin, sticky length of gauze around a small woman's thin thigh, tying and covering up an old gash in it, one that had begun to heal around glass, begun to show signs of infection. The students in the room, mostly male and young, found it difficult to watch the woman naked, seated on the examination table, her dark, smoky blue eyes haunted and lifeless to those who watched her directly, curious to see her and afraid in the same token. It was a mixture of pity, finally, pity and embarrassment for her, that led to more than one student offering his uniform's jacket to cover her, black tops slipped from polo shirts and suspended in motion when the nurse shook her head, glancing at the instructor. "I thought Mrs. Chang told you we can't get her in clothing for a while yet," she said in a disapproving voice, lifting a sopping cloth from a small basin of water, wringing it to dampness and using it to wipe smudges of dirt and blood from the woman's spindly arms, revealing that a great deal of the blood was beneath the skin, swollen bruises in the shape of a man's fingers and burns the size and shape of a lit cigar. "Her skin is far too tender to attempt to."

"Would you explain what happened to her?" the instructor, Sally Chang, asked politely, her ice blue eyes softening when she looked at the unresponsive woman sitting very still on the table, as if she knew, with a sense of fatality and undeniable fact, that moving would get her punished, get her hurt. They all, those in the room, had some sense, more or less, of who she was. The newspapers on the M colonies had gone ballistic with it, reporting with the sensationalism all papers would use about the unknown wife of an infamous drug dealer "from the wrong side of the tracks." He had been killed in crossfire with police on Earth, in a "desperate bid for life, for sanity, a bid brought about by his own horrifying childhood and his inner longing for peace." Two days later, when police stormed his summer home on M-09, the colony famously programmed for continuous rain on one side, they found a woman, cold and noiseless and as close to a conscious coma as any person could be. His wife, they had determined through examination of stale semen, a legal one unlike the countless others scattered among the colonies and Earth. Perhaps the only legal one. She had been found in a delicate white dress, woven from real silk, not the synthetic kind that was easier to buy on the colonies, her ears pierced with perfect pearls, a handcrafted wedding band on her left hand. She had been found stained with blood on her delicate white dress, blood from her own body, from wounds she had not inflicted on herself, the skin around her wedding band burned as if to melt the ring to her finger. Raped and bruised and bloody, all because of her husband. Three days after his death, one after he was dubbed "the poor cartel owner, Philip Cortez," he became the most heinous example of insanity and cruelty. His actions were no longer excused.

"Explain?" the nurse repeated and, quietly, the students nodded out of sync, one head, then five, then two, then four. "Oh." She appeared taken aback, surprised to be asked about something she knew, instead of the doctor waiting impatiently for her to finish dressing the patient. "Well. I suppose." She hesitated, then, carefully touching a strand of the curled, ideal bob the blue-haired woman wore, she began. "She has lacerations on her abdomen, consistent with cuts made with a small hunting knife, and several long, moderately deep gashes in her thighs and shin bones. We were worried her muscles might have been torn, but that turned out not to be the case; we did find her right ankle had all but fused from an untreated break a couple months ago. Doctor Anders is working on fixing that." She paused again, and almost touched the woman's face, but fell short, as if remembering something forbidden.

"Um. The, uh, bruises and minor cuts on her arms you can see, as well as the burns on her lower arms and rib cage, below the breasts. We believe he would, um, pin her down by her arms, when he wanted to…to have intercourse, and the cuts and burns are a punishment of sorts for resisting. We also have reason to believe she was pregnant up to ten days ago; she was found to have extensive internal bleeding around her reproductive organs, the kind concurrent with a miscarriage. Doctor Anders thinks she might have been about midterm when she miscarried, possibly because he, her husband, um, beat her." The nurse cut off, fixating her eyes on the woman who was naked, who did not notice she was naked, who might have thought she was supposed to be. The nurse could not tell them what the Doctor thought, thought she was treated like a doll, meant for pleasure and appearances and stress, kept groomed and pretty, but beaten. A pretty little rag doll.

The students shifted uncomfortably, the males feeling a distant sort of guilt, as if they were tainted by gender, by association of chromosome. Sally nodded and began ushering the students out, taking them by elbow gently and motioning for them to leave, to move out through the doors into the sterile, empty white hallway. "Thank you," she said to the room, to the nurse, and the nurse inclined her head in recognition, her face featureless and kept carefully schooled.

Only when the nurse and the rag doll woman were alone in the room did the nurse let her tears fall, a sorrow stirred deep in her soul for this delicate girl-woman who did not deserve the pain on her naked, unfeeling body.

The woman stared at the nurse's tears and thought it might be raining.






Author's Notes: Um. Right, so before anybody tears into me or backs away, this is only the prologue! This story is meant to be a romance, but I needed some form of 'drama' or whatever, and this spoke to me for some reason. The women in my family tend to find a cause to champion, something related to health to raise a banner for and scream for people to look at. For my grandmother, it happens to be eye disease, for my mother, breast cancer. Mine is rape - I hate it with all my soul and I find it odd that I have only used it once before in a story (my Batman Beyond WIP, 'Friends Incorporated'). Besides, it'll work out eventually. Just stick around, 'cause Duo is coming in soon! And you know what that means! Duo/Ami! Well…eventually.

Brief notes of general importance - this is set in AC 207, making Duo around 27. As Ami will have been a child orphan from the war of AC 195, one about four to five years old, this places her around seventeen to eighteen years in age. Don't expect many of the GW or SM characters to show up; so far, from what I have planned (only up to, say, chapter three of a proposed twenty…), only Duo, Wufei, Sally, and Heero show up. I'd like to put Relena in, seeing as she is one of the coolest female anime characters ever…

Please review. I have no barometer of my own skill other than what you can tell me. I would be immensely flattered if I could know your personal opinion - be it kind, harsh, critical, or helpful, I would welcome it. :] Or you can e-mail me at alien_wolf@sailorjupiter.com. Take a few seconds!

Purple Mongoose/PallaPlease.

The characters from 'New Mobile Report Gundam Wing' and the characters from 'Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon' are copyrighted to their respective owners on any and all continents. I have borrowed them for nonprofit usage in a fanfic and claim no ownership over them. This fanfic and all its events are, however, mine and I claim all liability for any anger it causes in readers. :] Distributed to www.FanFiction.net.