Quatre: Hey people! I promise, I'm working on "Light's Failing, Hope's Rebirth," but this is a Christmas present for my friend Michelle. I told her I'd get it up, and so here's the first chapter!

Yami Quatre: Don't mind the title, she'll explain it in a later chapter.

Yami Kenshin: Giftie logic is not logic at all.

Quatre: Whatever you say. Anyway, enjoy!

Warnings: Shonen-ai, possible yaoi.

Pairings: 1xAya, possible 2x5, 1x4, OmixNagi

Disclaimer: I own nothing, though I plan on buying me a little Bombay kitty someday. What? You didn't know that was an actual cat breed?

When Gundams are Gifties

"Hey Hee-chan!"

"Hn."

"Come on, don't be like that!"

"Hn."

"Hmph. I hope you're not my roommate."

"Duo, I highly doubt that any of us will be roommates. There are over a hundred boys attending this school too, you know."

"Boy, you can be mean sometimes."

"Hn."

"Party pooper."

Duo Maxwell slumped against the door of the van, deathglaring the driver. "Heero!" he whined.

Heero Yuy didn't spare his companion a second glance.

"Who's your roommate?"

Duo blinked. "How should I know?"

"The school sent you a paper with the name of your roommate on it."

"Oh yeah. I forgot about that."

He extracted the sheet of paper from among the many papers in the folder on his lap. His eyes went huge.

"They stuck me with Quatre?!" he yelled.

Heero shot him a surprised glance.

"What were you saying before, Heero?" Duo quipped, settling down and slipping the paper back into the folder.

That earned him a small deathglare.

"We're almost there. Get our papers ready."

"All right."

Duo reached into the backseat and tugged Heero's papers from the other boy's bag. He flipped through them until he got to Heero's room assignment.

"Aya Fujimiya," he murmured. "Who is he?"

Silence.

Duo pouted.

The van rolled over railroad tracks and stopped at a red light. Duo could see the school building, and the name proudly displayed in the front.

'Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.'

"Tell me, why are we coming here again?" Duo asked, bored.

Heero suppressed a sigh. "We all agreed that we should try and reintegrate ourselves into society, now that the war is over. And we agreed that the best place to start was learning what we don't know."

"And why here?"

"Because they have advanced science courses that won't bore us to tears."

Duo stifled a giggle. Heero had actually tried being funny! Probably not on purpose, but still funny.

/There's one for the record books,/ he thought wryly.

"Is that the only reason?"

"Shut up, Duo."

The light changed, and they turned into the parking lot. Heero parked, and they climbed out and looked at their letters with the instructions for checking in.

"We have to go to the gymnasium," Duo said, peering at his letter.

"Hn."

They followed the crowd into the gymnasium. There, they filled out some paperwork, received their IDs, and headed over to Prudhomme hall.

A bored-looking man handed them more paperwork. "Fill this form out and return it to the desk before you move your belongings up."

"I'll see you at dinner, Hee-chan!" Duo said brightly, dashing up the stairs towards his room on 2-B.

Heero said nothing, merely headed towards his own room on 1-A. He passed Wufei Chang in the hallway.

"I'm Barton's roommate!" Wufei raged. "Can you believe that?"

"Be grateful you didn't get Duo," Heero advised him.

Wufei paused. "Point taken. Who got stuck with the baka?"

"Quatre."

"Well, that shouldn't be too bad. Want to take bets on how long it takes for Quatre to shoot him?"

"I'd prefer not to."

Wufei shrugged. "Your loss." He continued on his way.

Heero looked at his room assignment. A-109. He looked up at the room numbers and located the right room. He pushed open the door and stopped short of running into a tall redhead.

Heero stepped back to allow the redhead by.

The redhead said nothing, merely walked by without a second glance. Heero glared after him.

"And Duo says I need manners," he muttered to no one in particular. He stepped into the room and looked around. His roommate had already arrived and was in the process of unpacking.

Heero filled out the room condition form with a practiced thoroughness and efficiency that few could boast and went back to the front desk. He passed the redhead on his way. The boy didn't spare him a second glance. Heero glared at him.

He got his room key and started hauling his stuff into the room. The redhead (whom Heero was certain had to be Aya Fujimiya) put away his things and turned to Heero.

"Since we're going to be living together I suppose we should introduce ourselves. I'm Aya."

"Heero."

Heero continued to unpack. He went outside again and got a second load. When he walked back in, he found Aya hanging up his clothes for him.

"I suppose I should thank you for the assistance."

Aya snorted. "I'm only doing this because I can't stand the mess."

Heero glared. He quickly set up his desktop computer, set up a complex password that only the other gundam pilots could crack, and began organizing the books he'd brought. There weren't that many, but they were still enough to fill a shelf of his desk.

The room was furnished with just a desk and a bed per occupant. There was a closet built into one wall of the room, and there was a dresser within it. The walls were a drab off-white color, and the floor was bare.

Heero put the last of his things away and went to turn his car keys in at the front desk. He returned to his room and sat at his desk.

"We have orientation activities later tonight," Aya reminded him.

Heero nodded curtly. He logged onto his computer, got on the Internet, and began to hack a few OZ databases for the Preventors with the help of a wireless Internet connection.

Aya watched him from his bed before saying, "The room seems a bit cramped to me. Would you like to help me rearrange it?"

The room was as such: the two desks were by the windows with the beds facing the closets. The door was on the remaining wall. This layout didn't leave much floor space, only room for the closet doors to open and to get from the door to the desks.

Heero examined the room before nodding. "All right. What did you have in mind?"

They bunked the beds, with Aya's bed on top, and set them next to the wall. The desks remained where they were (the two boys felt no need for them to be moved), and Heero's refrigerator was in one of the niches between the closet and the wall on the window side. Heero put a poster of the Wing Zero up on his wall space. Aya didn't put anything up.

It took them all afternoon, and by the time they finished they had to go to orientation activities. Then there was dinner, and then announcements and room check. By then, Heero was quite ready to go to sleep.

He walked in from the showers (Prudhomme had community showers, whereas the girls' dorm, Caddo, had one shower per three rooms) to find Aya sprawled on his bunk, staring absently at nothing.

Heero followed his gaze. "Is the ceiling really that interesting?"

Aya didn't raise his head. "No. The showers were full."

"They aren't anymore."

Aya jumped to the floor, picked up his pajamas, shampoo, etc., and left the room. Heero brushed out his still damp hair and got into bed.

It was Saturday, so there were no classes tomorrow. Instead, the seniors would be moving in.

Heero fell asleep thinking, How the hell did I manage to get talked into this?

Aya stepped out of the shower and headed back to his room. Heero woke up at his intrusion and threw something with surprising accuracy. Aya thought it prudent to go somewhere else until he was ready to go to bed. He was going to be awake for a long time, anyway.

He went up to 2-B, room B-201. He knocked lightly, and the door was flung open.

"Aya-kun!"

"Omi."

The blonde grinned. "Did you meet your roommate? Is he nice?"

Aya nodded. "Yes. But it's disconcerting. He acts like myself much of the time."

Omi chuckled. "I'm sure you two will get along great, then. I'd ask you to come in, but my roommate is sleeping."

"Who is your roommate?"

Omi frowned. "Nagi."

Aya scowled. "What is he doing here?"

"I guess he had the same idea as us," Omi shrugged. "None of the others are here, I asked. We've agreed to leave each other alone while we're here."

Aya nodded approval.

"And who's your roommate?" Omi asked.

"Heero Yuy. It seems like he likes computers as much as you do, considering he was on his most of the day after we finished unpacking."

"I'll be sure to meet him then. So what drove you over here?"

Aya leaned against the wall as Omi stepped out into the hall and shut the door behind him.

"Heero was sleeping when I finished showering. I woke him up when I walked in. He deathglared me and threatened me with what I'm pretty sure was a gun, thought it may have been a hairbrush," Aya mused. "He's a light sleeper, I guess."

Omi blinked. "We're not allowed to have guns, so I guess it was a hairbrush."

Aya suppressed a snort of laughter. "He had very good aim, though."

Omi chuckled. "Where'd he get you?"

"It would have gotten me between the eyes if I hadn't caught it."

Omi snorted. "Now isn't that nice. Yohji will be pleased."

Aya didn't say anything.

Omi checked his watch. "Where's Ken?"

Aya glanced down the hallway. "Six o'clock."

Omi turned to see Ken stumbling into a SLA room. "He's my student life advisor?!"

Aya stifled a chuckle. "It appears that way."

"You're older than he is!" Omi exclaimed in Japanese.

"Hn."

"I shudder to think of what job Yohji got."

"Don't lapse back into Japanese once classes start. I doubt your teachers will appreciate it," Aya said in English. "What time is it?"

Omi again checked his watch. "It's about ten. What time are you planning on staying up until?"

"It's room check. I'll go back to my room now. Good night." With that, Aya went back downstairs and snuck into his room just as announcements started.

Heero glared at the intercom unit before rolling over and burying his head in the pillow. Aya climbed to his bunk and listened to the announcements.

"Welcome to LSMSA, juniors! I hope all of you got settled all right, and I just want to wish you a good night! Your SLAs will be room checking you after announcements. The seniors will be arriving tomorrow, so watch for girls in the halls! Have a nice night!"

The intercom shut off.

"Omae o korosu," Heero muttered.

"Not while I'm in here," Aya told him.

"You actually understood that?"

"Yes, I'm Japanese."

"Understood."

There was a knock at the door. Heero growled and opened it before rolling over and burying his head in his pillow.

Aya looked down at the redhead. "And you are…?"

"Kurama Minamino. I'm your SLA for the year," the boy told him. If Aya hadn't known any better, he would have sworn he was talking to a female.

"I see."

Kurama frowned down at his clipboard. "Aya?"

Aya nodded.

"And that would make him Heero."

Another nod from Aya, and a "Hn," from Heero.

Kurama scribbled on his clipboard. "It's very nice to meet you both. I'm sure we'll get along fine. Good night."

He walked out and closed the door behind him.

Heero watched the SLA go with a frown. "How many Japanese people have bright red hair?"

Aya didn't answer. "Turn out the light," he said instead.

The light went out.

Duo lounged on his bed and watched Quatre finish setting up the computer. They were both waiting for their SLA to room check them so Duo could go visit Heero and Quatre could go see Trowa.

Quatre set up a password and turned to Duo. "Let me just get one thing straight. As long as you don't pull any pranks on me, I'll leave you alone. Deal?"

Duo waved his hand idly in Quatre's general direction. "No promises, Quat."

Quatre glared. "And do not call me that."

A knock on the door interrupted Duo's reply. The braided teen opened the door to reveal a young man with a clipboard.

"Hi. I'm Ken, your SLA. Nice to meet you guys." He checked his clipboard. "So who is who?"

"I'm Quatre," the blonde introduced himself.

"Duo Maxwell, at your service!" Duo quipped, jumping up and pumping Ken's hand. "Nice ta meet ya, buddy! Wanna go out and peek at the girl's dorm? I could get us front row seats!"

Ken drew back and marked something on his clipboard as Quatre whapped Duo on the head with a brush. "No thanks," Ken declined, before adding, "and I didn't hear that."

He winked and shut the door behind him.

Duo grinned. "I think I'm going to like that guy!"

"Allah help us," Quatre moaned, sinking onto his bed. "If there are two of you at this school, I want out!"

"There can be only one! One Duo Maxwell, that is!" Duo said, going to the door. "I'll see you later."

Trowa lay back on his bed and gazed mutely at the ceiling. Wufei was busy putting his books on shelves in a strict order that only he knew. The walls were covered with Chinese wall hangings. Trowa didn't care. He hadn't brought anything. Only clothes and a laptop and his clown mask.

His mouth curved into a smile.

He had also brought the gundams.

He knew that peace would not last for long. He knew that there would be people who rejected Relena Peacecraft's ways.

The gundams were hidden underground, not very far from the dorm. Quatre's Manguanacs had dug a small hangar beneath the nearby river over the summer after the pilots received their letters saying that they had been accepted.

No one else knew of what he'd done, not even Quatre. The blonde would have protested and the Manguanacs would have refused.

There was a knock at the door. Trowa sat up and watched it open.

The blonde looked down at his clipboard. "Which one of you is Trowa?"

Wufei pointed and finished arranging his books.

"I see. Then you must be Wufei."

"Yes."

The blonde marked his clipboard. "I'm Yamato, or Matt. I'm your SLA for the year. It's very nice to meet you."

Trowa blinked. "How many Japanese SLAs are there this year? I've seen several."

Yamato blinked. "Ah…There's myself, then Ken up on the Claver hall, and Kurama on 1-A."

" 'Claver hall?'" Wufei quoted.

Yamato grinned. "You'll get it by the end of the year. Have a nice night!"

He left.

Wufei blinked. "Should I be worried?"

"I doubt it," Trowa said dismissively. "Are you going to be finished anytime soon?"

Wufei reached out and adjusted a final wall hanging. The room now looked like a Chinese temple. "Done. Now I'll go to bed."

"Good."

Trowa rolled over and closed his eyes. The light went out, and he could hear Wufei moving around a bit more before settling onto his bed.

Omi opened his eyes a few minutes after hearing Nagi settle down into bed. He stood and quietly made his way to the door. He winced when the door sqeaked as he eased it open.

"Where are you going?" Nagi asked from his bed, not bothering to open his eyes.

"Out, to visit Aya," Omi replied.

"Fine. I'll see you in the morning."

Omi closed the door and made his way down the hall to Ken's room.

"Hey, you," he heard someone say behind him. He turned around to see a braided boy making his way down the hall towards him. "You can't sleep either?"

"No," Omi lied. The truth was, he was dead tired.

"I see. Neither can I, and I'm usually the first one asleep, you know?" The teen yawned before sticking his hand out to Omi. "I'm Duo Maxwell, by the way. I live in 210."

"Omi Tsukiyono. I live in 201."

Duo blinked. "Lucky!" he whined. "You get a shorter walk than I do!"

Omi giggled. "Daijoubu, Duo. It's not that much farther."

"Tell that to my legs," Duo grumbled.

Omi grinned. "I was just going down to see my friend Aya in A-109," he lied. No sense in the other students knowing he already knew Ken.

Duo brightened. "That's where my friend Heero lives!"

"Cool!"

"You mind if I join you? That's where I was going anyway."

Omi shrugged. "I don't mind."

They walked downstairs. Omi hesitantly tapped on the door to Aya's room. There was a muffled thump of something hitting the door, a quiet reprimand, and then the door opened a crack.

"Who is it?"

"It's me, Omi. Can we come in, Aya?"

"Who else is there?"

"A friend of Heero's. He lives on my hall."

"If it's Duo, tell him to go away," a voice muttered from the other side of he door. Duo pouted.

"Hee-chan!" he whined, pushing open the door and bouncing into the room. "I came all this way just to see you!"

Omi walked in and watched as a tousled brown head poked out from under a comforter.

"There. You see me. Now go away." The head vanished again.

Duo bounced onto the bed. "Please talk to me, Heero? Besides, I have a feeling Aya and Omi want to talk about something alone." He winked at the watching duo before scooping Heero into his arms and marching out, amidst Japanese curses and one cry of "Omae o korosu!"

Aya raised an eyebrow. "He's either brave or a baka."

Omi giggled. "I like him. He's cool."

Aya shut the door and switched on a light.

"What did you find out?" he asked in Japanese.

"The school's computers are easy to get into," Omi replied. "I updated their protection programs, leaving a backdoor for me of course, but there were some files that were heavily encrypted. I didn't have a chance to decrypt them before the orientation activities."

"The dorm security isn't very good. They count on the alarms to warn them if anyone is trying to sneak in. It'll be very easy to sneak out once we have a target," Aya said.

Omi looked out the window and grinned. "Looks like someone already figured that out."

Aya followed his gaze and saw a figure clothed in black dropping from one of the windows on 1-C. The figure landed easily on his feet and darted off into the night.

"Anyway, Ken hasn't found anything suspicious about the dorm staff, except Yamato appears to have a pet in his room," Omi continued. "Kurama is a transfer student at NSU working here for some money. The others are just normal guys."

"I haven't found Yohji yet, so I don't know what he's found. I'll look for him tomorrow," Aya said. "Try and get into the computers tomorrow."

Omi nodded and stood. "Good night, Aya."

"Good night."

Omi opened the door, revealing a very surprised Duo Maxwell. The braided boy caught himself before he fell and looked up innocently.

"Why, hello, Omi! I was about to come in. Heero threatened me with bodily harm before going off to our friend Trowa's room. He always follows through on his threats too, well, most of the time anyway."

"What did you hear?" Aya demanded.

"What does it matter? I couldn't understand a word anyway. Now, if you would have said 'omae o korosu,' that I would have understood. Of course, if you'd said that, I'd have jumped in and saved whoever was going to die," Duo continued cheerfully, leaning against the doorway, "but since you didn't, I guess I have nothing to worry about. Are you going back upstairs, Omi?"

Omi nodded.

"Great, I'll come with you. Quatre's probably wondering where I am." Duo turned to Aya. "Nice meeting you, Heero number two. I'll see you later!"

Omi glanced over to Aya, to see what he thought about the nickname. Aya's eyebrows were raised in a questioning manner.

"Until tomorrow, then," Omi said before following Duo to the nearest stairwell.

Quatre: Good? Bad? So-so? I hope you enjoy this, Michelle. I know I'm going to have fun writing it!

Yami Quatre: Don't forget to review.

Aya: Why did I have to be part of this?

Quatre: There was really no point if you weren't.

Heero: Actually, if I remember correctly, there was going to be no Weiß involvement in this at first.

Yami Quatre: Plans change. Now sit back and don't complain. We won't hurt you too much.

All: Ja ne!

Yami Kenshin: *stole one of Farfarello's knives and is now running for his life*