Wow… I haven't written if forever… I'm really sry! Well this is a totally new story. It's my first MG fic cause I just could not resist the Zero/Erts pairing! There just is NOT enough of them out there. So, heck, I'll get off my lazy butt and write one myself! XDD Hope you like it!

Disclaimer: I don't own Megami Kouhosei or any of its characters. Life is so unfair… TT

And Wait for You to Breathe

Chapter One

"…tim attack! Pilots report to your Ingrids immediately! I repeat Victim attack!" The blaring PA ripped into Zero thoughts as he sat looking through the window. Quickly he changed into his pilot uniform and dashed from his room. Erts was running down the hallway just as Zero emerged. "Pilots to your Ingrids immediately!" Zero frowned and covered his ears as he joined his best friend.

"You'd think they could make that a little less annoying," he growled before smiling brightly at Erts. "Let's go kick some alien ass!" Erts just smiled and shook his head as they entered the Ingrid hangar. Almost immediately Zero was grabbed from behind and dragged away by an annoyed cat-eared girl. Erts gave him a sympathetic look before running to join up with his own partner.

"I swear Zero you are so SLOW! What were you doing this time? All the other pilots are already here. You have to be more prompt as the top!"

"But Erts wasn't here," he protested. Kizna put her hands on her hips and tipped her head to the side looking extremely annoyed. "Alright! I'll be quicker next time! Don't hit me!" Kizna grinned.

"Good! Now listen up. Ernn is throwing a fit again today; she's being a real brat if you ask me. Do you want me to adjust the settings a few degrees like before?"

Zero looked up at the White Ingrid a moment, rubbing his sore neck. "Nah, she'll be fine. You'll behave for me, won't you girl?" Kizna sighed and rolled her eyes.

"Whatever you say but don't come crying to me later when she isn't responding quick enough for you. Agh! Quit idling and get in there before you miss launch!" She shoved him roughly in the cockpit and yelled and quick 'Good luck!' before returning to her post.

Nearby Leena and Garu watched their 'superiors' in amusement. Garu snorted, "Kids…" Leena smiled wistfully and nodded as Garu slipped into the Z-skin. Within minutes all five Ingrids were coursing through space toward the enemy.

The pilots returned in good spirits. The battle had gone surprisingly well. Recently Victim attacks were few and far between and never lasted long. But no one was really fooled. Deep, deep, down there was a sense of foreboding on why the Victim had suddenly dissipated.

But for now the atmosphere was light and cheerful. Kizna smiled and leaned back in her chair. 'Well that went well.' She turned to Ernn where Zero was emerging. He gave her a bright smile.

"I told you everything would be fine." Kizna's eyes narrowed and her ears flatted. "Eep!" Zero quickly bound off with the angered feline on his heels.

Meanwhile Erts was just emerging from Luhma Klein, where Tune was waiting. She smiled sweetly. "Welcome back," she said softly. Erts nodded and smiled slightly. He was not cold. He could feel Tune's quiet sadness every time she looked at him. He knew how much he looked like his brother; he was reminded of it often. He felt bad for Tune but there was really nothing he could do. Uneasily he looked for a change in topic.

"Luhma Klein took a light hit to the left leg, and it threw the balance a little. Could you see what you can do?"

"I check it right awa…"

"ERRRRRRTS!" Erts quickly whipped around at the sound. He caught sight of Zero dashing down the bay with Kizna right behind him. Zero reached them quickly and hid himself behind Erts panting and laughing at the same time. "Save me… she's gonna… hahaha…. She's gonna kill me…. Hehe… this time." Zero gave himself over to a laughing fit as Kizna approached looking murderous.

"Step away Erts-san," she growled pushing a sleeve up past her elbow. "I don't want you to get hurt." Erts sweat-dropped at his dangerous position. Quickly he grabbed the hysterical Zero by the wrist preparing to dart away.

"Ah…. Look at the time! Don't want to miss lunch, do we Zero?"

"No…. ahahaha…. 'Course not."

Erts dipped his head slightly. "See you later Kizna-san, Tune-san." With that he dashed off with Zero in tow.

"ZEEEROOO! Get back here you fiend!" Kizna sighed and turned at a slight noise behind her. Tune was covering her mouth politely to keep from giggling.

"I'm sorry Kizna-san. I couldn't help myself. But you to seem to have such a great relationship."

"What are you talking about? He's a complete idiot." Even so she reddened slightly and reached a hand up behind her head. Calming slightly she watched as their partners dashed out of the hangar. Everyone else was either staring after them or shaking their heads in disbelief. With the exception of Rio who was laughing and pointing at Kizna.

"She acts just like YOU Phil! Oww!" He was immediately rewarded with a swift bash on the head.

Zero and Erts made their way to cafeteria at a comfortable walk. Zero was still grinning from ear to ear. "Zero you really have to stop provoking her like that. She really looked like she was going to kill you or me if I didn't move."

"Provoking my ass, that girl has problems. I didn't DO anything."

"Right…"

"Hey I thought you were on my side! But thanks for saving me back there. I owe you one Erts." He smiled hugely at his friend. Erts colored slightly and shook his head, making Zero laugh again. "You don't know how to take a compliment do you? But I guess that's why I like you. You're not cocky like everyone else here and even back at GOA."

It was Erts turn to smile, "You mean, like you?" He laughed as he dodged Zero's playful swat and dashed down the hall. Zero smiled as he chased Erts. It was always good to see Erts laugh. When he first came to GIS he had been worried. Erts had seemed even more reclusive than when they first met. But Zero had worked to fix that. He just couldn't bear to see Erts sad. It affected him deeply. It made him sad.

Erts hadn't felt this good since… well ever. Zero always made him feel so happy, so open. Zero had never flinched when he touched him. He had also fulfilled his promise. Good thing too. Erts had rarely felt as miserable as he had when he was alone at GIS. Of course there had always been the other pilots, but Erts could never seem to connect with them.

Even when the others had gotten over his likeness to Ernest and stopped seeing him as the replacement, there was always Gareas-san who, like Tune-san, couldn't help but miss Ernest when they looked at him. They had been the ones closest to his brother. Eventually Erts got comfortable enough to talk to them outside of battle but his connection with them didn't go much further than that. Zero on the other hand had fit right in. Sure he fought with Gareas-san, and got in trouble with Leena-san and Philphleora-san, but Erts could tell they all were at least curiously amused by the new top. After Teela-sama's disappearance and apparent death the high-spirited Zero is just what the team had needed.

Still deep in thought Erts ran straight into another person, apparently larger, because Erts rebounded and hit the floor hard. Erts looked up to see Azuma looking down at him rather amused. Erts got up quickly apologizing over and over. Zero caught up quickly and glared at the top instructor of GOA.

"What are YOU doing here," he hissed coming up beside Erts. Azuma laughed at the young boys in front of him. It was hard for him to imagine that these two candidates were now goddess pilots.

"I can tell you haven't changed much. You still have absolutely no respect for your elders. Pity you aren't still at GOA. I'd have you running laps 'til dawn. Zero snarled. Erts tugged on his sleeve timidly, but risked a quick glare at Azuma for upsetting his friend. Shocked, Azuma started laughing all over again.

"Azuma-sensei? Shouldn't we be going? We must hurry." Another boy emerged from behind Azuma. His hair was carefully slicked back and his serious expression seemed unnatural on his young face. Zero's face softened in recognition. He looked at the boy sadly for a moment before turning to Erts who was still clinging to his sleeve.

"Come on we'd better hurry before we miss lunch." He walked off with Erts following close behind him. After a couple of steps he paused and turned to face the retreating figures. "It's good to see you again, Clay." The mentioned youth jerked slightly and started off at a faster pace. Turning forward again Zero noticed the worried and questioning look on Erts' face. Zero couldn't help but smile. Erts was too adorable. "Don't worry about it. He's an old friend. I have faith he'll be his old self again eventually. When this is all over."

Erts could feel Zero's sadness, but as always what his friend said was what he truly believed. Erts smiled back. Zero could speak so freely about after the war, like it was close. Who knew? Maybe it was closer than most expected.

OK! This started kinda slow. Sorry about that! Ummm… well please review! Flames are welcome. I REALLY need to know what you guys thinks. I haven't posted in forever. Plus this is my first Megami Kouhosei fic. PLEASE REVIEW! THANX!!! X3