Hello minna! New story for you all.

Warnings: Shounen-ai (yaoi later)


Chapter 1: The meeting

Treize pulled off his helmet with a long sigh. It had been a rough training session, but not because he lacked the skill to meet the challenges presented. He pushed the button to open the cockpit door and stared across at Orlan Coulson's mobile suit. The scars of laser fire marked the front and side of the suit and smoke curled up from the dangling left arm. Treize sighed again and climbed out of his cockpit. As he let the cable elevator drop him to the ground, he could hear the instructor screaming at Orlan, her voice rising to thunderous volume as she berated him for allowing the suit to be damaged. Treize fully expected to get an earful himself for not preventing the stupid mistake that resulted in Orlan's accident. After all, he had been in charge of the team. Orlan looked as if he were near tears. Instructor Tami Bell turned on Treize as he reached the ground and, as he expected, started in on him. He took the rebuke without a word, knowing it was justified. When Tami finally wound to a halt, he lifted his chin and met her eye.

"I am sorry for my failure, Instructor Bell," he said. "I will review the recording of this training session tonight and write a report detailing how I should have handled the situation."

Tami smiled. "You always know just what to say, Treize," she said with a laugh. "Very well, I will expect your report first thing tomorrow. I would also like you to recommend a remedial training plan for Orlan." She frowned at the young trainee, who was still standing by his mobile suit looking despondent. "I have to decide if he should be sent down."

Treize nodded. "Of course, Instructor." Treize felt sorry for Orlan, but not so sorry that he would not file an objective report. He tucked his helmet under his arm and started across the tarmac for the barracks. He was hungry, but what he really wanted was a shower and a moment of quiet.

As he neared the barracks, a group of trainees came out, laughing and talking among themselves. At the center of the group was a young man, the sight of whom stopped Treize's breath in his throat. The young man was strikingly handsome, with large blue eyes and long silver hair. His smile was intense and magnetic, lighting up his face and eyes. As they neared each other, the young man's eyes met Treize's, and Treize almost missed a step. The group parted to let Treize pass, but as he walked through them, the young man let his arm brush against Treize. Treize felt a small rush of pleasure at the contact, minor though it was. As he stepped through the barracks door, he couldn't help looking back, and found the young man looking back at him with a slight smile on his face. Treize smiled back just as the door swung shut, cutting off the sight. He drew in a deep breath and let it out in a long sigh. He had been careful since coming to the academy to avoid becoming involved with anyone, but for the first time, he found himself wondering if such strictness was really that important. Then he shook himself and forced his thoughts back to the day's lesson and the report he had to write that evening. This was no time to be daydreaming about a handsome youngster.


"Who was that?" Zechs asked as the door closed on the handsome upperclassman.

"You don't know Treize Kushrandada?" asked Les Javi in astonishment. "I thought everyone knew who Treize was. He's the best student at the academy. He'll be in charge of his own unit when he graduates, most likely."

"That's Treize?" Zechs looked back toward the barracks for a moment. "He's younger than I thought."

"And cuter?" ribbed Les. She laughed when Zechs blushed.

"I just hadn't seen him before, that's all."

Les kept laughing and Zechs fell silent. Zechs was unused to sharing his feelings with other people. He could always act like he was enjoying himself in a group, but he could never quite forget that all his family was dead, except for his little sister who lived with another family, and didn't know about him. Thinking of her now made him wonder what she was like, and what she might be doing. At least it took his mind off of Treize. He'd never seen anyone so attractive. He wasn't quite sure what it was. The man was certainly very handsome; Zechs had always been partial to dark eyes with light hair. But there was more to it than that. There was something commanding about Treize that made you want to follow him. Zechs wondered what it would be like to fight with him.


Zechs faced his opponent and presented his sword, holding it upright between his eyes. Then he swept it down to the right and fell into his stance. His opponent replicated the maneuver and then they both pointed their swords at each other. Zechs waited, allowing his opponent to attack first. At the other student's sudden lunge, Zechs stepped to the side, spun lightly on one foot and smacked the fellow across the back with the flat of his sword. The man stumbled and fell forward. Zechs quickly stepped close, put his foot in the middle of his back, and rested the tip of his sword just at the base of his opponent's skull.

"Well done, Zechs," Instructor Colby applauded. He looked around at the other students. "Did you see how Zechs did that? He waited for his opponent to make a move and used his momentum against him. Now I want you to divide into pairs and try it yourselves. Let Zito up, Zechs."

Zechs stepped back and took his foot off Zito's back. Zito climbed to his feet with a frown on his face. "Let's try that again, ok? I'll go first," Zechs said.

Zito brushed off his jacket and his frown faded. "All right."

When class ended, Zechs noticed for the first time that Treize was leaning against the wall just inside the door, watching. As Zechs pulled off his fencing hood, Treize started toward him. "That was well done," he remarked as he drew near.

Zechs tried to look nonchalant. "Zito started later in fencing class than the rest of us, he's still learning the techniques."

"That's not what I meant," Treize said. "When you offered to attack first so he could practice, after humiliating him, showed you have the makings of a leader."

"Thank you." Zechs met Treize's eyes. My God, he's beautiful, Zechs thought. With an effort, he pushed the thought away. The academy was no place to start having those kinds of thoughts. "I have heard you are one of the best swordsmen in the academy, Lord Kushranada. I would be honored to spar with you sometime."

"It would be my pleasure, Count," Treize answered. He inclined his head and turned to leave. Then he paused and glanced back over his shoulder. "I'll be picking a team of trainees to compete against last years graduates at the alumni games this year. I'll be watching you on the mobile suit course tomorrow."

A shiver of excitement ran down Zechs' back. It would be a tremendous honor to compete in the alumni games. Being on a team with Treize would be something to talk about, even more. He smiled to himself as he pulled off his fencing jacket. He couldn't help feeling excited. This was turning into a very good year.


Treize had a deliciously warm feeling running through his body. He had asked around to find out who the handsome, silver-haired trainee was. Zechs Merquise was a Count from the defunct Sanc Kingdom. His friends called him the Lightning Count because his reflexes were much faster than other men's. Treize had used his position as a member of the Romafeller Foundation to review Zechs' records and found that he was first in his class, just as Treize was. But as an upperclassman, he had little reason to speak to Zechs, unless he chose Zechs for his alumni games team. Well, given Zechs' skill, it was certainly reasonable for Treize to consider him, so he decided to approach him about it.

He found Zechs in fencing class. Treize loved fencing. To his mind, it was the purest form of combat between men. Standing face to face with your opponent, looking him in the eye as you tried to skewer him with your sword, was the noblest kind of fighting that he could imagine. All true gentlemen should know how to fence, he believed. He watched Zechs fence with deep pleasure.

Treize tried to keep his conversation casual when he spoke to Zechs after class, but it was hard. His eyes kept straying along the firm, clean-shaven lines of Zechs' face, and to his graceful, long-fingered hands. Even making an effort to keep his gaze fixed on Zechs' eyes was dangerous. He could lose himself in eyes that blue. But watching Zechs so closely, he saw the sudden glow of excitement and pride in his face at Treize's praise and subsequent invitation. Treize felt a corresponding rise of excitement in himself.

But as he left, he wondered what he was doing. Zechs was certainly worthy of joining his team, but so were many others, most of them more senior. It was bound to cause talk. Treize thought about that as he walked to the mobile suit hanger. He would have to come up with a good reason for choosing Zechs, one that would keep people from questioning his choice. He entered the hanger deep in thought.


Treize looked around and saw Lady Une waving at him from the cockpit of her mobile suit. He waved back and then pointed at his own suit as he headed toward it. Treize was fond of Une, but sometimes she made him uncomfortable. Her feelings toward him seemed too intense sometimes. She was a good pilot, though, and had an uncanny ability to anticipate his moves in combat, and back him up just when he needed it most. Which was why, of course, he always made sure she was on another team during important combat training sessions. He did not want to learn to rely on her instincts. He was determined to rely on nothing but his own skill.


That's all for now but it gets MUCH better later on!

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JA Minna-san!!!