"A chance to live."

Disclaimer: If you think I own Gundam wing... Have at you! Heh..I don't own it, you know I don't, so let's just leave this nice, with no violence, savvy?

A/N: Merry Christmas everyone! This is a story I actually started writing a couple of weeks ago, but lost the oomph...and now, with Christmas spirit and all that, I found it again and decided to put it to use! I hope you like this story, it was one of those ideas that just popped on me out of nowhere.

Advance, and peace be with ye! (Yeah, I'm weird...)

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Heero Yuy had been faced with many things in his life. He had witnessed deaths, slaughters. He had been interrogated, he had been abused, and if he could name every association or organization name that had been thrown in his face, he'd be considered a prodigy.

But one thing he had never been faced with:

"Child Services."

He stared at the two men and one woman in front of him, feeling incredibly under dressed in his boxers, and as he registered who exactly these people were, his heart began to pound.

"Heero Yuy?" The woman asked, clad in a business suit and sun glasses.

"That's me." He responded candidly, his eyes dull and forbidding.

The three adults, obviously, were not feeling threatened. He could make the highest rank tremble in fear with only his name, and here he was feeling coerced by three simple people whose job was to look after children. He stepped back to let them in, satisfied that he had made a move to clean his apartment the day before. If he was going to talk them out of making him do whatever they wanted him to do, atleast the cleanliness would show some responsibility.

"Please, sit down." He muttered sarcastically, well after the three had done so.

He sat down opposite of the tallest man, vaguely familiar, although he couldn't tell from where. The woman removed her sunglasses to reveal cold, grey eyes and she glared at him.

"There's no need for sarcasm, Heero." She scolded, folding her hands over eachother.

The way she said it shocked Heero, and it hit him that he hadn't been adressed personally in a long time. The woman spoke his name as if she knew him, and when he had been about to protest immediately against any suggestions, the use of her words weakened his stubborness and he fell silent. This woman was good.

"My name is Amy Webster" She introduced herself and then the others.

Heero had eye contact with the man he thought he recognized for a breif second, and a flash of recognition flashed once again in his head, something he almost had but couldn't quite grab.

Amy cleared her throat, and pulled a selection of papers from her breif case.

"We are part of the YSRO." She explained, shuffling them and placing them on the table.

"YSRO?" Heero questioned, looking over the papers cautiously.

"Youth Soldier Retrieval Operation." She continued, and looked cautiously at the man Heero recognized. The man had a black cap pulled over his eyes, and when he lifted his head, Heero gasped. They were bright blue. They were the eyes of Milliardo Peacecraft. But when the man removed his cap, a stalk of brown hair fell around his face. Heero let out the breath he had been holding.

"Our purpose," He said, "Is to find all the soldiers under the age of eighteen, and attempt to re-start an appropriate life for them."

"Life?" He whispered, looking in between the man and Amy.

Amy nodded. "A life, Heero. An education, a place to live...a place to go home to."

"Foster care." Heero muttered bitterly. "You want to put me in foster care."

Amy sighed, running a hand through her hair.

"Not foster care, Heero. There are a select group of people who have offered their homes for former young soldiers to live in, you're right. But these people won't try to do, or make you do anything you don't want. They just want to provide you somewhere to go."

"I'm fine right here." he lifted his chin, arms crossed across his chest.

"So I can see, Heero." She said. "But the operation states that ALL soldiers are retrieved."

Heero sighed, casting a glance around his own apartment, taking in the limited possesions he had. His thoughts landed on the others, Duo, Quatre, Trowa and Wufei, and his eyes flickered back to Amy's. They would all be taken care of too.

"You couldn't possibly understand." He hissed.

"Oh no?" She raised an eyebrow. "You're quick to assume. I myself, was a soldier."

He only had a moment to stare at her in shock, before the papers were once again shoved under his nose. There was a bunch of legal infomation, and a list of available 'families', their tenders and the schools that surrounded the area. He stared at them in slight confusion, the speed in which the process was going to fast for his sleep clogged mind. He was being put into foster care...after atleast a year of being unknown and alone.

"I'm seventeen." He defied weakly. "Eighteen in a couple of months."

Amy shifted in her seat, her grey eyes boring into his. Heero had the strange sensation that she was looking through him, not at him, and he could only remember one person who had ever been able to do that. Someone he had watched from afar for years.

"We know this is startling, Heero." She said gently. "Perhaps even a little frightening. But you must understand that we want what is best for you. Uneducated and unregistered youngsters like yourself do not go unnoticed for long. If you refuse what we're offering, someone's going to come with a settlement much less pleasent, I can assure you."

She seemed to reach out to him, not physically, but mentally. Heero had the strange sensation that his mind was being probed, beginning to loosen. He couldn't meet her eyes any longer, downcast and staring at the pitiful pattern of his carpet.

"So young," She said softly, and he looked up. "So young, and no time to grow."

"What?" He snapped, his anger returning and making it easier for him to deal.

She sighed. "Heero. You've most likely grown more mature than most people can hope to be in a life time." She caught his eye. "But do you realise how unfair that is? You've had no chance to be a child, no chance to be a teenager. We don't expect anything from you...only to give you a better chance. An education, a chance to do with your life what you want. A place for you to go home and feel safe for once. A _life_ ,Heero."

He sat, the first override of peaceful shock covering his body. It was a nice feeling, to not feel at all. He could feel Amy's, and the Milliardo look-alike's eyes watching him carefully, and he sighed. His shoulders slumped, and he nodded.

Amy smiled and stood, a hand on Heero's back. He shied from the touch.

"Come, Heero." She said gently. "Don't worry about your things, it'll be taken care of."

He looked up at her gentle features, the first pleasant thing he had said the whole time.

"What's...going to happen to me?"

She nodded gently in understanding.

"You'll be taken to a special group home we've established for the meantime, until we can find a suitable home for you. Perhaps you'll see someone you know!" She chirped.

He could tell she was trying to be encouraging, and a sudden thought occured to him.

"Excuse me?" He murmured.

"Yes?" She responded kindly.

"Do you think I could possibly throw some clothes on first?"

*~*~*~*~*

Heero looked emotionlessly out the window, the rain scattering so hard he could hardly see. The man driving the small car hadn't spoke a word, which was alright by Heero, who didn't really like to talk anyway.

The shock was slowly wearing off, replaced by an inexplicable anger. What was he doing here? Why did his mind still feel so weird from her words?

When they arrived at the group home, he was surprised. Taking many different identities, he had been to group homes a lot in his life, some nicer than others. But the building in front of him could be mistaken for an old house, looking pleasantly in place and unquestionable.

"Go in."

He glanced back at the man in the car, and picked up the small amount of luggage he had. Making his way along the stone steps, he wondered what he had gotten himself into. The YSRO obviously had spared no expense in their manoeuvres.

He was greeted at the door by an old woman, her hair grey and curly, clad in an apron and oven mitts. He had, again, that feeling that this was too abnormal. The smile on the grandma's face made him want to smile back, a feeling he hadn't felt in a long while.

"Come in!" She cried joyously, her blue eyes round and twinkling. "You must be Heero!"

"Yeah."

"Well, Welcome!" She said. "Don't stand out there in the rain, come in, come in!"

He walked cautiously in, wondering if this was perhaps a trap. He moved into the small, warm waiting area, kicking off his shoes on impulse. It looked perfectly normal, with a small little kitchen and a sitting room. He looked up, and started in shock. There was not only one additional level, but four. He hadn't realized how many underage soldiers there really were...

"Go on upstairs, Heero." The woman said kindly. "Your room is on the...third floor, I believe." She gave him a tiny push towards the stairs. Heero glanced at her, she was still smiling. She smelt like lavender, and he wondered if this what his grandmother would be like if he had ever met her...probably not...

"My name is Wendy," She said gently. "But you may call me whatever you want."

He nodded, processing this new information in his mind. Sighing softly, he began his accent to the stairs. The light wood creaked slightly as he went, and so did his knees. All the physical training his past provided had never prepared him for this, and by the time he reached the third floor, his muscles were screaming in protest. It was then he realized he didn't know what room was his, and let out an audible groan.

"Oh, Heero!" A voice called up the stairs.

He made his way to the railing, glancing down. Wendy stared up at him, hands on hips, a great smile played on her face.

"Room number: 772, in case you're wondering."

He nodded his thanks, finding himself warming up to the woman. He made his way down the circular hall, watching the numbers on the doors until he reached his own.

"Heero?!"

He blinked into his room, a small den dressed with blue walls, blue beds, and a computer. Posters lined the wall, proving it's inhabitancy. He glanced at the figure who had exclaimed his name and stared. Indigo eyes stared back at him.

"Duo!"

He didn't think he'd been happier to see anyone in his life.

His companion, jumped up off his bed, making a mad dash towards the door and practically clomping Heero. The shorter of the two protested, shoving Duo off, and glaring angrily. He hated being touched, more than anything else. Duo, however, remained unaffected. He was bouncing with obvious happiness.

"I was wondering when you were gonna show up!" He ranted. "Figured they wouldn't catch you..and here you are...are you my roommate? Where have you been, forgetting to keep in touch? You haven't changed at all...I can't believe you're here! Are you my roommate?"

Great...Duo had gone senile...

"Oh!" He exclaimed suddenly. "You won't believe this!"

And to Heero surprise, he made his way over to the left side of the room, bare foot on the blue carpet. He jumped on what would be Heero's bed, and shoved his elbow into the left side of the wall.

"Oy! Ladies! Come here!"

Rolling his eyes, Heero moved into the room, dropping his things on to 'his' bed and rummaging through them absently.

"Duo! You have to stop doing that! You scared the..."

It was evidently Hilde's voice, and Heero turned to her in slight surprise. He gazed at her for a moment, before his eyes drifted to the smaller girl standing beside behind her. Heero's movements stilled, his heart skipped a beat and he stared. The girl stared back, bright eyes, blond hair, her lips parted in shock.

"Relena..."

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Dun dun DUUUNN! Heh...

How did you like this? I'm actually looking forward to writing it..it's been awhile since I've done a gundam wing fic, especially one of this type.

Please Review!