Title: Eternity Lost

Author: Jade Hunter

Disclaimer: Highlander, its properties, and its characters do not belong to me. Neither do the characters and properties of Gundam Wing.

A.N: Wow, it's been well over a year since I posted the first chapter, huh? Sorry about the delay. Too many fic ideas, too little willpower, and too much stress in real life has lead to my predicament.


She had always made an effort to see the child, and to make life easier for her, going so far as to sponsoring her entrance into one of the best private schools for young girls. She sometimes even took the girl away on vacation, for some bonding and to give Lady Une a break.

Contrary to what the girl might believe, it wasn't because she felt an obligation to Treize. After all, Treize had not been her true cousin, no matter what the world believed.

No, she did these things because keeping such personal track of Mariemaia was necessary.

" 'Lord, what fools these mortals be'," she quoted softly, her eyes like pale blue chips of ice as she gazed down at the pale girl on the hospital bed. " 'What fickle fools…' "

Lady Une glanced at the Immortal, "Dorothy?"

"Will she heal?" the other woman asked with closed eyes. "Be able to walk?"

Lady Une frowned, gazing down at Mariemaia, who was currently asleep, quite sallow looking, still recovering from the gunshot wound that had come so close to her spine. The head of the Preventors felt shivers of trepidation go through her as she answered, "She will be confined to a wheelchair for some time, but, eventually, yes."

Opening her eyes, Dorothy let out a small smile of pure relief. Lady Une, who had never seen her Immortal charge so free in expressing her emotions, narrowed her eyes in a silent question.

"It would have been terrible had she been paralyzed," the Immortal woman said in reply. "It would have been quite tragic and not without a bit of irony. Both too early and too late."

Furrowing her brows, Lady Une couldn't help but ask. "What would have been too early and too late?"

"Her Immortality," Dorothy answered promptly, dismissing the look of staggered shock that flickered over Lady Une's face.

"Immortality?" the former OZ Colonel echoed in a whisper. "She…she is a pre-Immortal?"

"Yes."

"Are you sure?"

"Oh, most definitely."

A heavy sigh left the commander of the Preventors as she realized, "Then that means she is not Treize-sama's daughter. She is a foundling."

"Of course, as all Immortals are." Then, Dorothy gave the other woman a shrewd stare. "Will you abandon her here, now that you know the truth? That she is not connected to our dearly departed Treize?"

Lady Une didn't hesitate in answering, indeed, she looked scandalized at the very suggestion. "Of course not! Treize-sama considered Mariemaia his daughter and I will follow that example. I will care for her as if she were truly his child."

Dorothy merely nodded, regarding the sleeping child stoically. "It's lucky for her that she lived today, and that she wasn't permanently damaged; I hope that luck holds out until she is old enough. I have enough blood on my hands."

Unfortunately, Lady Une knew most of what Dorothy meant. It was true that most Immortals only sought to live as normal a life as they possible could, but what was also true was that, every so often, a Headhunter would appear. And a Headhunter would have had no problems killing a child for a Quickening. The last comment was surprising, however, and not a little confusing.

"What?" she asked.

Brushing a lock of red hair from Mariemaia's cheek, Dorothy smiled humorlessly, letting her hand come to rest on top of the girl's head.

"Had she died today, she would have suffered greatly. I could not, in good consciousness, let that happen, and I would have been forced to take her head." At Lady Une's gasp, she turned her sharp gaze on the woman and said quietly, "I trust you will take careful steps to keep her alive for a while yet."

All Lady Une could do was nod.

fools

Sometimes, in the privacy of her own mind, Dorothy had to admit that she was somewhat fond of the young girl as well, and it wasn't all merely for professional reasons.

Especially during times like these.

"How have you been, Mariemaia?" she asked, settling a gentle hand on the girl's shoulder.

Both of them were too aware of the public and their own dignity to ever hug each other on meeting as most would have done in their place, but that had never stopped Mariemaia from searching out the woman she knew as her cousin whenever possible. Aside from Lady Une, Dorothy was her favorite person, because she could relate to many of the things Mariemaia had gone through.

Eyes shining with delight, the young girl answered carefully, "I have been doing well, Miss Dorothy, and you?"

"I'm fine," she replied. "Have you greeted Miss Relena yet?"

"When we first came in," Mariemaia confirmed. "She was greeting the guests."

"Ah." Although Relena had greeted her when she first arrived, that had been a good hour before Mariemaia's arrival, and Dorothy was once again surprised by the Vice Foreign Minister's dedication. "Well, if you've paid your respects to the host, then it would be perfectly acceptable to leave the talking to your elders, correct?"

The young girl smiled mischievously, something she rarely did, having grown up and living in the presence of those who always controlled their every emotions. "Entirely correct, Miss Dorothy. And since I would hate to be alone, do you mind accompanying me?"

"Of course not, Mariemaia," Dorothy said blithely, an answering twinkle in her eyes. They both knew exactly what they were doing: using Mariemaia's young age as an excuse to slip away from the boring party full of aged politicians. They had done it before, after all. "The gardens?"

Mariemaia readily agreed, and Dorothy smiled, leading the younger girl to the side doors that lead outside. She didn't know it, but many eyes followed their movements and noted their departure.


"So that's Dorothy Catalonia?"

Trowa glanced at the direction his pseudo-sister was looking, and answered simply, "Yes."

Catherine Bloom raised an eyebrow; "She looks so young."

"War ages people," Trowa said noncommittally. He was all too familiar with that concept.

"Still…" Catherine shrugged after a minute, and smiled at Trowa. "Will you excuse me for a minute?"

She gestured in the vague direction of the hallway that led to the closest restroom, and Trowa nodded. He did not mind being alone for a bit.

Catherine smirked as she walked away. Trowa would probably enjoy his time alone, because she wouldn't be there to drag him onto the dance floor. Although he was far too polite and quiet to actually protest against dancing, she knew he preferred not to.

She glanced back, and saw that Quatre, who was smiling widely, had joined Trowa. They saw each other so rarely, what with Trowa being on tour with the circus and Quatre being kept busy with his company on L4. Now that there was no war and no need for the Gundam Pilots, Catherine did not disapprove of the friendship as she had so fiercely done before.

Checking again to make sure that Trowa was occupied, Catherine slowly changed her destination and headed towards the very same side door to the gardens that Dorothy Catalonia had just recently stepped through.


TBC…

A.N: Catherine-lovers, don't lynch me yet! Catherine is NOT a villain of this piece!