Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is not mine.

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And the angst reaches a climax. WARNINGS: Deathfic in this chapter. You do not need to read this. The story can end quite happily with Q's POV.

This is Wufei's POV.

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Think about the number four.

It's perfectly balanced, isn't it? Two pairs. Two and Two. Two in Two.

Think about all the fours that are out there in the world- on tables, on cars, on chairs…

Think of squares- four sided, perfect shapes, perfectly balanced.

Imagine being the fifth in a world of four.

The fifth wheel. Who hasn't heard that phrase?

I am the fifth. The fifth of four.

I am tired of being the fifth.

I didn't mean to say what I did to Duo. It slipped out before I even realized what I was going to say.

I didn't want to say it.

He didn't want to hear it.

I knew what he was going to say before he even started. When Heero interrupted us and I saw the pain on his face, I realized that Heero- Heero who should know Duo better than that- had taken it wrong.

Duo chased after him, but I stayed behind. I knew I was not wanted in what was to follow- I would upset the balance.

I did anyway. Heero withdrew into his apartment, hurt, unable to deal with his own feelings. I hurt for him.

I love him too after all.

Duo- he changed- I knew he relied on Heero to keep his balance, but it still shocked me to hear how unbalanced he had become without him.

I didn't see him.

I tried- once- went to Quatre and Trowa's and asked to see Duo. I was sick over what I had done, desperate to find someway to fix my mistake.

Trowa heard me out, but I knew that he was angry with me. Then again- he had to live with Duo- see the damage I caused everyday. Those green eyes of his that I love so much looked at me so coldly that I nearly died then and there.

And Quatre- my poor Quatre- Duo's emotions had obviously frayed his own control. I know Quatre has trouble with his spaceheart, and I know that he usually keeps a firm grip on himself. For him to react the way he did when I visited- throwing himself between Trowa and I- and snarling

Then again, perhaps he perceived a threat that I didn't know I was making.

It has been so hard over the years to watch those relationships develop. Watch as the pairs entwined ever closer together… not that I just stood by and watched. I knew that I would never fit in those pairs.

So I tried to find my own. Tried to find a partner. Tried not to have unrealistic expectations. Tried to be open minded. Dated men and women.

Found none that I wanted. None that matched me. None meant to be my other half. None to make me one of two.

So instead I have accidentally broken one of the other pairs.

It was an accident; I swear it on my soul.

But I had been keeping things inside so long… I didn't realize what it had done to me.

So a pair are broken now- unbalanced. And the other two are becoming unbalanced…

I am unbalancing them; the fifth wheel is throwing the others off course…

That can't happen. I mustn't allow it to happen.

I sit down in my chair and pick up the water glass on the table beside me. Next to it is a small jar of pills.

One can relax a person. Two will make you sleepy. Three will put you to sleep. Four will send you into a coma. Five- I wonder what Five will do.

I shake the contents of the jar onto the table.

One.

I think of Heero. Adversary and friend...

I look over at my katana where it rests in the stand. I have left instructions that it be placed in Heero's care- I can only hope that he won't destroy it out of hand. I hope he sees it as my surrender and takes Duo back.

Two.

I think of Duo. Bright and dark...

For you I left that painting of a bird in flight, looking for a safe haven in the storm. I hope you will find your way back to yours, and I hope with all my heart that you stay there.

Three.

I think of Trowa. Masked and hiding...

The carved dragon on my desktop intrigued you the first time you saw it. The dragon hiding in his own coils, caught in his own trap. How like you it is.

Four.

I think of Quatre. Battered and besieged …

My poor Quatre, for you, the flower from the fields of L5, preserved in wax, the last memory of tranquility that I possess. You found it for me so it is fitting that it return to you.

Five.

Myself. A dishonorable man. In love with four men who cannot love me back the way I want them to. There is no space for me here. I should've died at the end of the Mariemaia uprising.

Earlier even…

When Trieze did. I should've gone with you my friend. An honorable death for both of us. I take another for Trieze.

When Meiran did. My wife. How right you were about me. I have shamed you. Another one for you, my unloved beloved.

There is regret for the others I leave behind.

Sally, sister of my heart. I left my final note to you, dearest lady, knowing that you would understand and carry out my requests. Forgive me for leaving you. May we meet in the next life. One for you.

Noin. Zechs. Une. Hilde. Cathy. Relena. Dorothy. Enemies that became friends… one for each of you as well.

The pills are making me sleepy, but I want to be sure that there will be no mistakes. I have planned this out carefully. Fasted. Arranged things. Left documents…

How many pills have I taken? Enough? I can't remember…

My eyes are blurring. I lean back in the chair, knowing that death is coming, hoping that it will be here soon.

The phone rings beside me, without thinking I answer, then struggle to keep my voice normal as I say my name into the receiver.

"Chang."

"It's me." Trowa. Why is he calling? "Heero took Duo back." There is a slight pause as I take in this information. I hear a sigh on the other end. Apparently Trowa wanted a response. "I thought you'd want to know." His voice is clipped, the words snapped out. He is still angry with me, but I do not care.

I do not know which of my gods answered this plea, but this knowledge is a gift- one less sin to die with on my soul.

"Thank you Trowa," I tell him, trying not to slur the words. "I'm glad." I blink, my vision is blurring.

"I promised I would call," he replies, and his voice is different now. "Wufei? You sound- odd. Are you all right?"

"Better now," I say and cannot keep my voice from betraying me. The pills are strong, my time is short. "Apologize to Quatre for me? Please? I did not mean to distress him."

"He knows it." Trowa's voice is worried now. "Wufei- what is going on?"

The world blurs more, turns darker.

"I'm restoring the balance."

I do not hear what Trowa says to that.

A woman's figure bends over me, touching me with gentle hands. I cannot see her clearly; I only catch the swing of dark hair, the quick glint of dark eyes. She cups my cheek, strokes a hand over my hair.

Meiran?

But Meiran was not gentle. She was fierce.

She would not come for her unwanted husband as he dies in so dishonorable a fashion.

Would she?

"Wufei," she says, and her hands smell of flowers. Flowers from a meadow on L5.

"Wufei?" I hear another voice calling me. "Wufei!"

"Beloved," the woman's voice is so familiar. Who is she?

"Chang! Answer me!" I hear the desperation in that other voice, and wish that I could answer, but I can't. This final hallucination of mine is demanding all of my attention.

Arms wrap around me, there is a faint scrape of claws on my back, scales against my cheek… I feel warm and protected, comforted and loved.

Is here where I belong? Have I found my place at long last?

"I've been waiting for you beloved," the dragon in my arms says and I realize who she is.

Nataku.