by Ukchana and Crazy Elf Paladin
(Gundam Wing, its characters, story and concepts belong to their respective owners - not us. This work is a piece of intellectual property and as such, should not be considered copyright infringement under the Fair Use Act.)
March 10th – 2:53 pm
Wu Fei stalked down the corridors outside the conference hall, snarling into the hand-held communicator. "I don't care if you secured the West wing TEN TIMES already, I want you to do it again."
Brushing past a group of tourists, the young Preventer scowled and looked over them, his sable eyes tracing their bodies in search of hidden weapons as the voice on the other line stuttered, "But, Sir, there hasn't been any indication that anyone will strike here, it's just a standard diplomatic soirée—"
"Do I have to . . . talk . . . with you AGAIN, Agent Carter?" Wu Fei turned sharply in his pacing and began backtracking down the corridors again, his eyes flitting from one possible threat to another.
"Nothing," the slender man marched smartly through the colony conference building, "is ever standard when it comes to terrorists. I should know," his mouth tightened. "I was one. Out."
Just as he flipped the communicator shut, a sound began to whirr in the distance. Wu Fei stopped and tipped his head slightly, a barely perceptible wince to his dark eyes. Helicopter . . . But the deep base tone belied civilian—
With a quick gasp of air, the Preventer burst through the wide double doors of the conference hall, racing through the crowds of startled dignitaries, his eyes on the large window to the speaker's back, where a soot-black Comanche suddenly loomed—
The booming purr of the gatling gun shattered through the glass, the thirty-foot panes showering the gathered diplomats, just as Wu Fei cleared the steps to the podium and swiped the crystal ash tray from it and flung it heavily at the figure manning the deck-gun—
Relena carefully brushed the glass from her flaxen hair as four terrorists jumped through the window, bungee cords tethering them to the aircraft and assault rifles aimed at the cowering masses around them. Her mouth fell open as Wu Fei ignored the attacking men and instead leapt from the thirty-story window onto the helicopter.
"Senator Gerond, you're coming with us!" one of the fatigue-clothed men announced, grabbing the arm of a middle-aged gentleman next to her.
"What do you want with him?!" Relena demanded, and they turned to stare at her.
"Listen," the terrorist's green eyes narrowed, "we're not interested in you, Dorlan. I'm sure you'll get your chance to be abducted again, sooner or later. As it is, step back," he aimed his gun at her, "or—"
With a yelp, all four men were instantly yanked through the window by their bungee cords, their cries continuing faintly from the outside.
Blinking, the young blonde stood up and pushed past the relieved but disturbed dignitaries to stick her head out the broken window-frame. "Wu Fei!" she cried over the thumping of the blades, tisking him.
Out in the fresh air of spring, the four gunmen grasped frantically to their tethers, wide eyes on the ground many yards below. In the cockpit of the military-class helicopter, the Chinese man sat, the unconscious pilot strung haphazardly across the other seat. With a very slight quirk to one side of his mouth, he turned his head from her and glanced down at the men begging to be 'rescued'. "Drop your weapons," he demanded, "and I'll probably let you live."
"He was too rash," Relena slammed her hands down on the board-room table. "First he throws an ashtray at the gunner and then he commandeers the aircraft!"Her sapphire eyes stared into each of them in turn. "A lot of people could have gotten hurt if it hadn't worked."
Relena, Wu Fei, Po and Director Une sat at a long table at the local Preventers headquarters, 'discussing' the recent attack while the media buzzed outside the draped windows.
Sally Po gave a low laugh, then replied, "But it did work."
The subject of the argument remained silent, his onyx eyes resting on the mahogany before him.
"That," returned the Minister, "is not the point. What if he hadn't been able to quickly dispatch the pilot, and the helicopter crashed into the building?" Glaring at them, the slender young woman sat back down and crossed her arms. "No one is perfect one-hundred percent of the time."
Director Une raised her head, russet eyes hard. "Vice Foreign Minister," she began slowly, "while I appreciate your concern, I must return to the fact that, though Preventer Chang's actions were both improvisational and radical, he managed to contain the situation with the only damages being a broken window," she gave a quick, amused glance to the young man, "and a crystal ash tray that remains to be found."
Sighing, the honey-haired teenager conceded slightly. "I understand, and I appreciate it . . . I just . . ." She covered her eyes with a hand and slowly let out another breath. "This is the fourth incident with a government official in the same number of weeks."
The braided-haired woman folded her arms across her chest. "But that's exactly why we should be so thankful to have Wu Fei with us. If we could, I'd clone him," Po chuckled, cornflower-blue eyes twinkling as she glanced over at said specimen.
At this, the young Asian man finally lifted his head to glare at her. "If I recall, cloning is illegal."
Une frowned, then brought a hand to her chin. "Hmm . . . that's not a bad idea."
Gaping, Relena uncovered her eyes and sputtered, ". . . b-but . . ."
With a dark smile, the Director's gaze met her own. "Not a bad idea at all."
April 7th – 10:45 am
"I'm sorry, Mister Yui," the elderly man chuckled nervously and clutched the edge of the wooden counter, "but you're really not what the Parkside Library is looking for in a librarian."
A young man with piercing navy eyes glared down at him, a swath of dark unruly hair shadowing his features. "I got a perfect score on the test." His deep voice lacked any emotion as he frigidly peered at the shorter gentleman. "Are you saying the test was unnecessary?"
Though his tone was hushed, visitors around him shirked away, and the old women further behind the desk watched him with fearful eyes and shaking hands.
"Well," returned the old librarian, his wrinkled mouth wobbling, "you see, it's not that. It's your lack of background."
"What do you mean 'lack of background'?" Heero asked calmly, eyes still glued to the senior.
"Um, well, you see," the frail man wiped sweat from his pallid brow, "you . . . you don't have the correct credentials."
With a ragged sigh, the balding librarian smoothed his mustard-colored sweater and nodded. "You need a high school diploma, Mister Yui, if you want to become a librarian."
Mouth firming, Heero's head dipped faintly. "Hmm."
It was inevitable, obviously, and there was no use running from it. Heero folded his arms and let his perfect posture slack a bit as he studied the white paint peeling from the wooden bench he sat on.
In the distance, the marina spread out beautifully, the sun blooming with warmth in the early spring day. Across the wide expanse of grass, he could see many people walking their dogs, playing Frisbee or volleyball, or just ambling along, hand-in-hand across the soft, verdant carpet.
A twinge of something cut him inside, and the dark-haired boy looked away from the joyful people around him, sinking further into the bench. That odd feeling . . . Within his mind, a crystal clear image of her flickered, then melted away.
"Relena." His features chilled once the word escaped his lips, and he pushed it back, pushed back the hard edge of glass that sliced into his chest whenever she appeared in his mind.
I need a high school diploma.
That was all that was important.
For the past four months, he'd done his best to become a regular citizen again, choosing to stay on the Earth in the hopes of discovering some sort of connection with the birth-place of humanity. Of course, with no resources from Dr. J, Heero had been forced to find work. However, his new vow to never kill again had started a strange sort of disassociation within himself. He found himself shunning those jobs he would be well suited for: corporation security, bar bouncer, police recruit . . . When he truly considered it, he supposed that some part of him might be concerned that, if given no other choice, he may accidentally kill someone again in the heat of a scuffle.
Unfortunately, without a high school diploma or even a general equivalency diploma, that meant that he was limited to the most menial of jobs. Even worse, he could not seem to keep them. Heero's eyes narrowed as he glared at his scuffed tennis shoes. No matter what he did or how hard he worked, they always fired him, saying that he was 'scaring the customers' or 'disturbing the guests'.
The teenager grunted, a tiny flicker of anger appearing at the recollection. If they were scared, it was their own faults for letting their imaginations run away with them. What was there to scare them? He simply did his jobs and avoided interactions.
Shaking his head, Heero Yui leaned his head back on the bench and gazed up at the sunlight wafting through the budding tree-leaves. It doesn't look like rain, he considered briefly, then shrugged.
It was alright; he'd slept in the park through the rain before.
April 7th – 8:05 pm
"Yes, it was a very interesting court battle, Mister President," Quatre Winner chuckled over his wine glass. "But eventually it was decided that my family still retained ownership of the colony."
The young blond stood casually beside the president of the Earth Sphere Unified Nation, looking out across the expansive ballroom. All around them, guests mingled and laughed, enjoying the formal dinner party meant to raise money for homes and families damaged by Mariemaia's recently attempted coup.
"But weren't the colony citizens upset that, once more, their home was owned by a private citizen?" the elderly gentleman asked as he sipped his chardonnay.
With a slight irritation, Quatre adjusted the tight collar of his tuxedo and replied easily, "Yes, they were, but I had never intended on keeping it. We arranged a very modest selling price for the colony, and they agreed to it. Unfortunately, they couldn't afford the cost upfront, but the Winner family offered a loan with almost no interest, and the payment plan on the loan won't be at all difficult for them in the future." Laughing lightly, his innocent aquamarine eyes glanced up at the older man. "I'm just glad that everything is working out so well."
The gentle music of the symphony swelled in the background, and Quatre's eyes were caught by a flash of platinum as couples began to waltz to the soaring notes. Dorothy? Are you following me again? Shaking his head, the young man sipped from his glass of Merlot, gently stirring the deep mahogany within the crystal with a light dip of his hand and watching the thick streaks of wine in the glass to cover his concern.
As the couples dipped and spun, he could finally make out the tall, slender form of the troubled woman, her long silver-blonde hair cascading down her back as she waltzed. Quatre and the president swiveled to watch her dance across the ballroom, her head turning to him and her ice-blue eyes staring directly into his own.
"You seem to have an admirer," the deep voice of the president shook Quatre out of his haze.
"Y-yes," he chuckled, lifting his free hand to rub the back of his neck. "I suppose so."
A familiar low voice spoke behind him, "Don't stare back. She'll only be encouraged. She may be a strong woman, but she is deranged."
"Wu Fei?" Quatre turned and blinked at the young man he hadn't seen in two months; not since Milliardo and Lucrezia's wedding. "What are you doing here?"
The young Preventer still wore his black and olive uniform, and his dark gaze burned into Quatre's. "Excuse my interruption, Mister President. However, I require your assistance, Quatre."
President Russell nodded and said, "I'll leave you two alone, then. It was a pleasure speaking with you, Mister Winner."
"Oh," Quatre said feebly, still surprised by Wu Fei's appearance, "yes, thank you, Mister President!" Quatre's shock disappeared as he turned back to the young Chinese and he beamed at him. "It's so wonderful to see you again! What have you been up to? Would you like some wine?"
The dark-haired boy's eyes narrowed slightly as he watched the president walk away, and he shook his head. "I am on duty at the moment. However, I truly need your assistance, and I believe it may be beneficial to you as well."
"Is it about rebuilding the areas of the Earth that were damaged?" the blond asked excitedly. "I'm not really sure what else I could do, I haven't heard of any threats lately. The Preventers are doing well, from what I've gathered."
Wu Fei began to slowly pace across the marble floor of the ballroom, hands clasped behind his back. He did not look back to see if Quatre followed, but the young trillionaire was at his elbow. "That is what I wish to discuss with you. You see," he glared at a nearby gaggle of young women who were glancing at him shyly, "Director Une wishes to clone me."
"Oh my!" Quatre's teal eyes widened as a hand rose to his mouth, "that's terrible!"
The Chinese man stopped, then turned to look at him, sighing. "No, no. You see . . . she wishes to have duplicates of me."
"Isn't that what you just said?" Quatre asked, feeling faint and taking a few gulps of his dark red wine. Cloning? Has Lady Une returned to her previous ailments?
Wu Fei grimaced and shook his head. "Yes, I am still unused to verbalizing as much as is necessary. No, what I mean to say is, she . . . she wants other agents with . . . similarities to myself."
"Chinese? She wants more Chinese agents?" Gaping in relief, the young man found a settee towards the back of the ballroom and sat down heavily. Cheeks rosy from his recent imbibing, he offered, "I really think you should have some wine, it's helping me tremendously."
The Asian teenager sat down next to him and gazed deeply into his glassy eyes. "Have you made the consumption of alcohol a regular practice in your life of late?"
"No, no . . . Regular? No," Quatre chuckled a little, staring into his almost empty wine glass. "Are you sure you don't want some? I'm very glad they aren't going to clone you."
"You should come with me," Wu Fei commanded, glaring at the glass accusingly. "There is no alcohol where we are going."
Quatre blinked, his voluminous teal eyes rising to gaze into Wu Fei's. "And where is that?"
With a snort, Wu Fei looked out upon the sea of aristocrats. "High School."
April 9th – 7:56 pm
Catherine set down the doused juggling torches behind the curtain as they hurried off the darkened stage, the cheering of the crowd rolling in the background. "Oh, Trowa, I'm so sorry I set you on fire!" She turned to gaze up at him with a deeply crestfallen look in her periwinkle eyes.
The tall young man sighed and shook his auburn head. "It's not your fault, Catherine, the dove flew in your face. It must have mistaken your moves for the 'return' signal." Removing the clown mask from his face, he glanced down at his charred costume. "Fortunately all the damage was cosmetic. Hi, Wu Fei."
"AHHHHH!" The girl started and turned abruptly only to run into two shadowy silhouettes in the blackness of the backstage. "Oh, is that you, Wu Fei? Why are you standing in the dark?"
One of the figures spoke, a quiet, low tone to his voice. "We didn't want to be seen."
"Well," she huffed, "you succeeded!" Tossing her curly maroon hair over her shoulder, she turned to the other figure. "So, who are you?" Before he could reply, she gave Trowa a sidelong glance and muttered, "You sure have some odd friends, honey."
"Um," the other figure began in a tenor tone, "sorry for the fright, Miss, but Wu Fei didn't want to alert the security or interrupt the show. My name is Quatre Winner." He stepped into the light, revealing a fresh-faced young man with an easy smile and bright sea-green eyes. "And you would be Catherine, right?"
"Yeah," Catherine answered uncertainly, looking over the well-dressed young man, "Catherine Bloom. Nice to meet you." At his carefree grin, her shoulders relaxed and she beamed, more at ease. "So, you came all this way to visit Trowa?" Her eyes narrowed as the name and face locked together in her memory. Quatre Winner . . . this is Trowa's friend, who came to him when he lost his memory.
The tallest of the three turned at his name and stared at his visitors. "You were on Earth, right? Why come all the way up to space to see me?"
As Wu Fei stepped into the light as well, she could see that it was, indeed, the young brooding man she had met two years ago. His ebony eyes looked at the both of them solidly in turn. "I'm here because we need you for an important mission and—"
"NO!" Catherine exclaimed, glaring at him as her arms spread wide, "no more missions for Trowa! Who knows what hell you'll drag him off to! No more fighting, no more missions," she turned to stare up at her friend, "you promised!"
Wu Fei's brow rose as the man in question remained silent. "There will not be any fighting." His dark eyes flicked up to peer into Trowa's own. "She's quite possessive. And demanding. More so than I remember."
Folding her arms, the maroon-haired girl snapped, "You got a problem with that?!"
He bowed his head slowly, the dim warmth of the backstage lights glistening off his hair. "Admirable. Even more so because you are a woman."
With a huff, she growled, "What was your first clue?"
Before it could further get out of hand, Quatre stepped in between the angered girl and confused man, his hands raised in a placating gesture. "Now, now, let's not fight. I think Wu Fei was just trying to compliment you, Catherine. You should appreciate it, he rarely compliments anyone," the blond chuckled nervously, "really, not even me."
The Asian man remained silent, but gave her a calm glance.
Sighing, Catherine dropped her hands to her sides, Jeeze, what a way to end the day! Shaking her head, she asked, "So, what is the mission if not fighting?"
Just as Quatre opened his mouth to speak, Wu Fei told her flatly, "High School."
April 9th – 6:46 pm
Director Une smiled slightly and leaned back in her plush office chair, her umber eyes resting on the holograph of her adopted daughter. "Very interesting," she told the figure standing at the front of her mahogany desk. "Well, I see that this will most definitely be beneficial to the both of us."
Pulling out her phone, she flipped it open and dialed a number, then waited patiently for an answer. Finally, a low voice responded. With a calculating grin, the long-haired woman leaned forward in her chair and spoke gently. "Don't worry about Subject Three, Agent Chang. He'll meet you at Subject Four's location."
She paused as the voice asked a question, her bronze eyes narrowing as she considered it. "I don't believe that will be a problem. I anticipated the likelihood of such a request. In the end, it may be very . . . helpful to us. Don't worry about accepting other f. . . additions. I trust your judgment."
April 11th – 12:30 pm
"Hilde, could you hand me a screwdriver?"
There was a pause, then her quirky voice muttered, "Duo, there's a big group of people outside the shop . . . looks like four or five. One of 'em's a girl, I think."
Duo sighed as he relaxed on the roller bed, then wiped sweat from his brow. Their garage and apartment were sweltering in the summer heat programmed by the colony, and there was no money for air-conditioning. You'd think they'd want to conserve energy, but nooo, "You can't have a summer barbeque if it's not at least twenty-nine degrees out," he told himself, remembering what the high society nitwits used as their excuse for the random spikes of hot weather every "summer".
They were in the process of fixing a car for a client, a sadly rare event of late, and the last thing he needed was an interruption. "Do we owe them money?" he asked jokingly, using his feet to slowly pull the roller bed out from under the car.
"I can't tell," she snapped, and her pale face came into view as he cleared the side of the car. "You painted that 'iced glass' stuff all over the windows, remember?"
"Oh yeah," Duo chuckled as he stood and tugged on his braid to right it, "that was that one day when I was feelin' really paranoid."
The messy visage of their workshop and apartment greeted him as he glanced around and reminded himself of where any weapons were hidden just in case. "Okay, then," he spoke, shoulders slumping. "But we ain't exactly dressed for company."
"We live in a junk yard, dummy," Hilde rolled her navy eyes and folded her arms across her chest, unknowingly rubbing her arm into a patch of oil smeared across her loose t-shirt. "It's gonna be dirty."
Mouth opening slightly as he looked at the stain running along her bust, Duo was once again reminded of how attractive his roommate was. "Um, Hilde? You . . . you got a bit of grease on your shirt . . ." Dammit, I sound like a love-sick puppy. That's no way for the God of Death to act!
The girl looked down, then shrugged. "So?"
"Oh, yeah." His fists clenched, and then he shook his head as he walked passed her towards the front door. Who am I kidding? The God of Death may be able to bravely go into battle prepared to die, but he's a quivering mass of Jell-O when it comes to Hilde.
Wiping his hands on his dirty blue-jeans, the young pilot stopped before the door and looked out the hazy panes of glass on either side. Sure enough, there stood a group of people, fuzzy to the eye and impossible to identify through the glass. He could tell that one was a woman, and the four men varied in height from 6'2 to 5'8.
As Duo watched, the shortest male figure turned and stepped towards the door, and Duo found himself pulling back instinctively. He chuckled at himself and his foolishness. Hah, like anyone could truly see inside when the outdoor illumination of the colony is so bright. Duh, Duo.
The braided man waited as a knock sounded on the door, then leisurely counted to five. Behind him, he could see his short-haired roommate watching him curiously.
Finally, Duo wiped away another sheen of moisture from his forehead, pulled at his t-shirt, and stuck out his hand to grasp the door handle. Jeeze, I sure hope there ain't any enemies behind this door, he told himself as he swung it inward, revealing . . . the barrel of a gun.
"HOLY SHIT!" Slamming the door closed, Duo leapt back and landed in a ball, rolling backwards a few yards. His hand shot out and pulled something from under the couch, and when he came to his feet he held a gun. "Hilde, get back!"
"Who are they?" she demanded, already hiding behind the desk and holding a pistol as well.
"I donno', I didn't take the time to look 'em over! But whoever they are, they got a gun!"
Suddenly, a muffled tenor voice cried out from outside of the shop, "Heero, PUT THE GUN AWAY! You barely gave them time to answer the door!"
Duo blinked, then scratched his sienna head. "Quatre? Heero? What the hell?"
"Duo," Hilde began softly, "WHY ARE YOUR FRIENDS TRYING TO KILL US?!"
"I donno', I donno'! Maybe I DO owe 'em money!"
Outside Duo and Hilde's garage, Wu Fei stood stiffly, still glaring at Heero as the taller boy returned his Luger 424 to the back of his jeans. "That was rather rash of you, don't you think?" the young Asian man said. "You should at least wait three minutes and fifteen seconds before deciding those within are in trouble and then breaking down the door."
Heero's deep blue eyes stared at him for a moment, and then he gave a curt nod. "I'll consider that."
Behind them, Catherine snorted and crossed her arms, her mouth twitching. "Are they always like this?" she asked Trowa softly as she peered up into his hazel eyes.
"They can't help it," he replied smiling faintly. "You should be relieved, they're usually more violent than this."
Next to them, the young blond man dropped his head and sighed. "This isn't going well. Why is it so difficult with Duo? If anyone would have been difficult, it should have been Heero."
"Shhh," Wu Fei silenced the others and stepped close to the door, eyes narrowed. "I'll diffuse the situation, all of you should step away."
Inside, he could hear the quiet voices of the man and woman rising as they began to shout at each other.
"They're your friends, go out and talk to them!"
"Oh, right, MY friends. Why don't YOU talk to them, they won't shoot a girl!"
There was a pause, then Hilde laughed dryly. "Yeah, right! Unlike you, I actually communicate with my friends, I've spoken to Relena quite often and Heero used to threaten to kill her DAILY!!"
The five people standing outside glanced at each other.
Inside, Duo replied sharply, "That's just 'cause he's GOT A CRUSH ON HER!"
All eyes turned to Heero. The young man's mouth hardened and he glared back, indigo eyes cold, as if daring them to comment.
Wu Fei suppressed a sigh and clenched his teeth, one hand rising instinctually to tug at the hem of his Preventer jacket. This was not going well at all, and it was about time he ended this before Heero attacked someone. He can't be happy about having someone declare how he feels about his woman in front of everyone. Especially since I am convinced that Relena does not know for certain what he feels. The skin around his eyes tightened as he glared up at Heero, and then he turned back to the door.
Taking a deep breath, the Asian man grabbed the door handle and turned it, then very slowly opened it a crack. "Duo," he said calmly, shaking his head, "it's Wu Fei. I'm coming in." Dammit, I wish they could have spared Sally to come with me, she's more adept at convincing people to listen to her. What would Sally say to them in this position? Probably "Oh, let's not fight, everyone calm down and have a tranquillizer" . . . well, that won't work, I can't prescribe drugs. His mouth softened imperceptibly at the joke as he waited for the response from the two people within the building.
Finally, Duo came up to the crack in the door, one of his violet eyes appearing and wisps of his dark hair framing his worried face. "Hey, there, Wu Fei. Um, you aren't here to kill me, are ya'?"
The other man's features relaxed and he grinned slightly. "Do I owe ya' money?"
Wu Fei thought about this. "Yes."
In the background, Hilde erupted, "You LOSER! How much did you borrow this time? Why don't you ever TELL ME?!"
Rolling his eyes, Wu Fei tossed his head back and forth. "It was in jest, Duo owes me nothing at the moment."
With a thump, Duo's gun hit the floor, skittering faintly. "You . . . you were joking?"
Grimacing, the Chinese boy growled, "Yes, now can you please let me in?"
"Yeah, yeah," the braided young man opened it slowly, then gingerly bent to pick up his dropped weapon. "Eh-heh, sorry." With a sigh, he opened the door and warily looked out at the group. "Hey!" he exclaimed in surprise, shocked to see who was at his home. "What the hell are all'aya doing here?"
Behind him in the living room, Hilde peeked out from behind the desk. "Duo? Who's here, what the hell is going on?"
The young Preventer cut off the one-time God of Death as he was about to speak. "High School."
With a tired sigh, Quatre stepped through the door, "Wu Fei, please, stop repeating that joke. It's-"
"What's this sign?" Trowa asked quietly as he followed, holding up a large poster-board sign emblazoned with 'Gundam Action Figures Sold Here!!'
"Ooooh," the braided boy exclaimed loudly as all of his guests entered the messy abode. "That's . . . not mine!" He shook his auburn head sadly, sighing melodramatically, "there's this nutty old lady who likes to leave—"
"Hey, mister!" a small boy of about 12 yelled from the street behind them. Everyone turned to see him waving. "Are ya still sellin' those Gundam toys?!"
Their suspicious glances returned to Duo, who tugged on his collar and said, "No, no, you must have the wrong—"
"What kind do you want, kid?" the dark-haired girl stood up from behind the couch and strolled past the group of gaping teenagers. With a glare tossed back to her roommate, Hilde wiped her hands on her dusty jeans and picked up a box by the door.
Duo covered his face as she waved the child over and showed him the wares, their visitors crowding around as well and staring at the figurines. "I'm so dead," he muttered to himself.
"Wow," the little blond boy beamed as he looked at them, "can I have a whole set?"
"If you got the cash," Hilde smiled back, "you can have whatever you want."
The kid frowned, then said, "I'll have to bring my parents for the other ones, I only got enough for one. I've been saving up ever since you guys started selling them, and I finally got enough!" His green eyes sparkled up at his half-dozen watchers and he grinned.
With a business-like air, Hilde replied, "That's fine, our hours are on the door. So," she tossed her short indigo hair, "which one do you want?"
Instantly, the four pilots all turned to look at the kid expectantly.
Frowning again, the child shook his saffron head. "How many kinds are there? There looks like more than five in your box . . ."
"Yep, we have the original five Gundams, their alternate designs and also Epion and Tallgeese." She pointed out each one in turn as she spoke.
"I donno'," the kid debated, "I don't like geese. They bite me whenever I try to feed them. I guess the Eppy-on is okay."
The four pilots let out resigned sighs and Catherine giggled at the child's logic.
On the other side of the room, Duo muttered into his russet bangs, "No one ever buys the Death Scythe, oh, no. It's always someone else's Gundam."
Hilde rolled her eyes at overhearing her roommate, but beamed down at the tiny child anyhow. "So, you really got enough, huh? That's a lot of money for a little kid to be carrying around."
The child frowned and shuffled his feet, then stuck his hand in his pocket. "Well, my mom gave me a big bill for all the change I had saved. I had lots of pennies!" Pulling out his hand, he revealed his retrieved prize and handed it to her.
Quatre gaped as the other pilots blinked. "You're charging a hundred dollars?!"
Shrugging, the indigo-haired girl took the bill and quipped, "Why not? We spend a lot of time on these, they're worth it. Anyhow, we need to pay rent." Her dark eyes shot over to her sulking roommate. "Don't we . . . Duo."
"What? Oh, yeah!" The young man chuckled anxiously and rubbed the back of his neck. "Um . . ."
"Wow," the kid announced, breaking the stiff silence, "thanks a lot, lady! See you later!" He took his toy and, holding it close to his chest, wandered out of the shop and into the daylight.
Brows raising, the four pilots turned to stare at Duo, an uncertain Catherine behind them. The other young woman just shrugged and wiped her hands on her shirt, then headed for the kitchen. Quatre stepped forward a bit, a less hostile look in his aquamarine eyes and began, "Um . . . Duo . . . toys? You could have at least asked us, I certainly wouldn't have minded." His sorrowful gaze flicked down to the dirty floor and his mouth quirked. "We spent so much time together and you couldn't tell me?"
"Well, you know . . ." Duo flushed, scuffing the floor with his sneaker.
From the kitchen, Hilde called, "Oh, he was just embarrassed to admit that he wanted to make toys, that's all. Don't take it personally, Quatre."
"Shut up!" the God of Death shot back, reddening further. "Why don't you go clean something?!" He ducked a spoon that shot out from nowhere and winced as it struck his head. "Ow." As Duo raised his chestnut head, his eyes fell upon his friends' turned backs and his lips parted. "Hey . . ."
The three serious pilots and one acrobat were circled around the box of toys, muttering curiously and watching in slight amusement as Quatre excitedly gesticulated and waved some of the toys at them.
Duo wandered over nervously, biting his lip and tugging on his braid, but before he could say anything, Hilde bounded over with a sandwich in one hand. "Hey, Quat, if you think that's neat," she put on her best saleswoman smile, "check this out!" Taking a bite of her sandwich, she motioned for the blond boy to hold up the Sandrock toy in his hand. "Mmph, okay," she swallowed, "press that button under the left arm."
He did so, and a metallic voice cried from the little Gundam, "We all have to make it up to SPACE! Every ONE OF US!!"
Quatre blinked to hear his own voice come from the toy. "Hey! That's really me! I said that!" He turned to look at Duo in confusion, and behind him Heero rolled his eyes slightly. "How did you guys do that?" the shorter boy asked in amazement.
Finally speaking, Heero muttered, "He stole the flight logs and made copies."
"I, I gave back the originals!" Duo cried, glaring at the sullen pilot.
The curly-haired girl behind the pilots snuck forward and grabbed one of the Gundam dolls. "Isn't this a copy of your Gundam, Trowa?" she asked softly, periwinkle eyes wide. She pressed the button under the long gatling arm and giggled as it began to speak.
"Those who have laid eyes on a Gundam shall not live to tell about it. Those are the orders I was given."
Brows raised, Catherine's smile dropped and she glared at Trowa flatly.
"Well they were," the clown coolly answered, bronze gaze solidly returning her look. All the pilots nodded easily.
Hilde ignored them and continued eating her sandwich as she wandered over to the desk. Shoving her hand into the desk drawer, she pulled out something and leisurely sauntered over to Quatre with it. "Here ya go," she handed him a doll that looked just like the other Wing Zero, but about 18 inches tall instead of 12.
The golden-haired trillionaire frowned at it in confusion, glancing back at Heero. "I don't really think—"
"Hold down the button for a really long time."
"Uh, Hilde . . ." Duo warned, wincing.
The short-haired girl chomped down the last of her sandwich. "It was Duo's idea."
Slowly, the dusty-haired boy began backing away, long ponytail swinging frantically. "Hil . . . dee . . ." Dark blue eyes followed him as he bumped into a wall, rubbing his head. "I'm gonna die," he whispered.
Frowning on the other side of the room, Quatre looked up at the crowd watching him, his finger still pressing on the button. "Well, nothing's happening yet. What is this, a collector's edition?"
"Yep," The aquette snickered and folded her arms across her dirty t-shirt while she leaned against the sofa next to the group. "Duo made it for us, not to sell."
Duo's violet eyes widened, Heero still staring straight at him. With a squeak, the God of Death turned and bolted into another room, shutting the door after him.
Everyone stared at the larger Wing Zero, and Quatre blanched, finger still locked onto the button. "Oh."
All but Heero had huge eyes, and the group turned to gaze at Hilde en-masse. "Eh," the girl shrugged, smirking, "what can I say? It's his idea, not mine." Her brows rose as she glanced back at the glowering young man in the back, and her teeth clenched. "Um . . . well, I thought you . . . should know. Anyhow."
Quatre squeaked and let go so swiftly that the toy tumbled out of his hands and landed in a pile of dirty clothes. "Whoops!"
Wu Fei glared at Hilde wearily. "Does it ever stop?"
She swallowed. "Soon."
"You can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm a woman's man, no time to talk"
Collapsing on the sofa, the fair-haired boy held his head.
"I'll kill him." Heero pushed past the stunned crowd and slowly began heading for the back room.
"Ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin' alive, stayin' alive"
(Authors' note: Even though it should be spelled "Hiiro" according to Romangi Japanese, I (Ukchana) think the spelling of it in that way is too misleading, so we've decided to stick with "Heero". Anyway, when I read "Hiiro" I find that it sounds like "High-ro". And besides that, e's are prettier than i's.
Also, we've found a website that says it's the official Gundam Wing website: www . gundamofficial . com. But there are a lot of things that don't make sense to us. In any military, no one who is under 20 would be a colonel; in fact, it would be very rare to find anyone under 20 in any form of command. Secondly, Relena's eyes are not violet, they're blue as far as I can tell, and Duo's look more purple than blue to me. Not to mention that many names are spelled differently than they were in the subtitled versions. And if not worse, they say that Quatre has a lack of fighting skills. Yeah, he may not be as good as everyone else, but he isn't incompetent. And perhaps the most embarrassing thing, they say that Zech's last name is spelled "Merquise". Ignoring the first "e" that should be an "a", spelling Marquise with an "e" means that the person with that title is a woman. Not that we're saying it's a title, but it's just kinda silly since no one says it like that.
So, we've decided to rely ONLY on the anime and not at all on any website. If there is any information outside of the anime that our fanfic differs with, oh well, because even the official site seems to be inaccurate. If this bugs you, just don't read and everyone will be happy campers.)