Disclaimer: Alrighty, this is the last chapter! Oh, I don't own Gundam Wing, blah blah. Oh gosh, Rachel's been lost to them…what could possibly happen! T.T Well, I know, of course, because I wrote it…but I'm not telling…. Is this the end?
"It's all my fault, Sayla. . .I wasn't strong enough to defend the Colonies, so she died because of my weakness!" Quatre sobbed, his face buried in his hands as he nearly drowned in his own tears. Sayla pulled him into her arms and held his head against her chest, rocking slowly as she tried to soothe his sorrows.
"How could she do that, were we that incompetent to her! I am strong enough, I could have stopped all of them! She just wanted to hog all the glory, say she was the victor. Of course, she takes away my right to destroy Treize and then keeps me from reveling in a glorious win over that evil organization!" Chang exclaimed, throwing his arms about in a fit of rage.
"Chang. . .shutup!" Asuka slapped Chang hard and he stopped, staring at her in a daze.
"What are we going to do about him. . ." Trowa said softly to Heero, watching his friend sit alone in the middle of the Sanc Kingdom's grassy lawn, his head hung low in his lap against the breeze.
"Nothing, leave him alone. . .he's dealt with enough in his life, he'll get over this as well. . ." Heero said dully.
"Before he had the war to keep him busy, to give him excuses to rush into the middle of a firefight and blast everyone to Hell where he thought he belonged. He used this battle as an attempt to kill himself. . .but now, with nothing but the battle inside himself, there's nothing left to fight for. . ." Trowa looked sympathetic, knowing the feeling Duo had.
"This isn't right. . ." Noin said, leaning into Milliardo's frame and clutching his shirt.
"None of this is right. . .but it happens nevertheless. . ." Milliardo responded, holding Noin close as she bowed her head solemnly. Suddenly, the sound of shuttle engines echoed through the surrounding structures, followed by a sharp turn in the breeze. Everyone looked up as a military aircraft flew toward them, landing on a clear section of the field.
"Milliardo, sir!" A cheerful Otto trotted down the ramp of the plane, running up to the group with a few crew trailing behind.
"Otto, what are you doing here?" Milliardo looked surprised.
"We came to congratulate you on your recent victory and have a request from many of the prime ministers for your presence to discuss a peace treaty! They're all excited about this coming age in our lives and want you to head the campaign for peace with the Colonies!"
"I'm sorry. . .you'll have to tell the prime ministers that I decline their stipulation. . ." Milliardo said, looking away and letting his gaze fall on his sister a ways away playing with Precious, looking close to tears.
"But sir, you're the only man for the job!" Otto pleaded.
"This job is not fit for any man. . .but perhaps a woman. . ." He smiled and nodded to Relena.
"Miss Darlian? What could a former prime minister's daughter do that you can't?"
"For one thing, she is very intelligent and well versed in the ways of politics. . .and, that is my sister you're talking about so I would ask you to have a little more respect."
"S-sister? No way!" From behind the gathering of crew, Chris burst out and ran up to Otto, "But, that means. . .she's a princess! And he's a prince!"
"Yes, we knew that already." Otto rolled his eyes.
"I have done far too many things in my lifetime I'm ashamed of, most of which have tarnished the name of Peacecraft. I would be doing my family an injustice if I accepted this roll, so I have hereby passed on my duties to the next in line to the throne. . .Relena." With the sudden mentions of her name, Relena approached the group and asked curiously, "What's going on?"
"Your highness!" Chris bowed, bumping into one of the crew and getting smacked.
"I beg your pardon? Highness? Milliardo. . .?" She looked to her brother for answers.
"Relena, you have had much experience with the ways of government, I believe you would do a fine job of leading our nations into the next century with your levelheaded thinking and peaceful ideals."
"Lead? As in. . .rule?" Relena blinked in surprise.
"Only temporarily, this world needs someone to help things get back to order! It'll be a challenging job but your brother seems to believe in you." Otto said, smiling to Milliardo.
"Well. . .I don't know what to say. . ." Relena looked flustered.
"Say yes, you can sort things out as you go along. And you'll have all of us to help you however we can. . ." Noin said, wiping her eyes as she smiled. Relena looked at all the faces surrounding her and let out a sigh, saying, "Alright, I'll do it."
"Good! We should get you to the senate immediately then, the prime ministers will want to meet their future queen! The Admiral will fill you in on all the details as we fly there. Admiral?" Otto turned and a woman stepped forward, bowing slightly to Relena, her golden curls bouncing with the movement.
"My name is Sally Po, any information you need, feel free to ask me." Sally said, slightly smiling. Relena nodded to her and turned, looking over at Heero who had been watching the affairs from afar.
"Heero. . .but. . ." Relena seemed enthralled with confusion.
"He can accompany you on the trip, discuss protective measures on your behalf with Admiral Sally, our head of security." Otto explained. Relena smiled and turned back to call to Heero, but he was already by her side.
"I'm assuming you already have the arrival point secured by someone." Heero said mildly, looking sternly at the woman.
"Of course. . .we should assign a bodyguard to Miss Darlian as well-" Sally began.
"She already has one." Heero said, glancing at Relena out of the corner of his eye. She blushed and bowed her head shyly.
"Daddy!" Precious toddled across the field, stumbling toward Trowa who knelt to pick her up. She fell into his arms, giggling and burying her face in his shirt. He lifted her up into his arms and held her close, rocking her slowly as she yawned.
"It's been a long day. . .nap time?" Trowa said, looking down at her.
"Nap. . ." Precious muttered, rubbing her eyes as she fell against Trowa's chest and snuggled into his jacket, grasping it in her little fists. He kissed her head gently and began to walk slowly toward the group.
"So, now that the war's over, how soon are you going to file for adoption?" Noin asked Trowa.
"As soon as I can. . ." Trowa said quietly, looking slightly irritated. He glanced over his shoulder at Chang and Asuka and yelled to Chang who had started carrying on again, "Hey, my girl's trying to get some sleep!"
"Why is he arguing with that woman?" Chris asked curiously, watching Chang grumble and wave off Asuka who pestered him for being noisy. Everyone began to look sadly in Duo's direction.
"We. . .lost someone in that last battle. . ." Noin said, looking down at the ground sadly.
"Someone? Where's. . ." Chris began but Trowa shook his head. With a look of mourning, Chris gazed over at Duo, muttering, "Oh no. . ." Suddenly, he blinked and reached into his pocket, pulling out a piece of paper. He took off and ran over to Duo, calling out, "Mister, I have something for you!" Duo didn't move as he came to a stop next to him, leaning over to hand the paper to Duo. Duo looked up slowly at the article, reaching up and taking it as he blinked the tears from his eyes enough to read the paper.
"What's. . .this?" Duo muttered.
"It's from that lady friend of yours, she told me to give it to you after the war. . .I'm sorry about what happened. . ." Chris turned and walked back to his superiors, following them as they walked toward the plane. As everyone seemed to drift off in different directions, Duo slowly unfolded the paper and read the text written on it.
An eternal love
Sitting here with you makes me so glad,
When you listen to every word I say,
It almost makes me sad,
When I know I'll leave you some day.
Till then I wish to stay with you,
Being your best friend,
And do whatever you want to,
Until my final day comes to an end.
So what I mean to say, my dear,
Is when death's door arrives,
I will have nothing to fear,
Because our love still survives.
Duo began to sob as he said, "Rachel. . ." He looked at the bottom of the paper and saw some print smudged by his tears. Looking closer, he made out some numbers in what looked like an address, marked at the end: Come find me.
She. . .she knew this was going to happen? But. . .why didn't she tell me? What good is this going to do me now, she's dead. . .or. . .is she?He jumped to his feet and ran over to Heero, yelling, "She's not dead, she's alive!"
"Duo, what are you talking about?" Heero asked, looking at him like he had snapped.
"Rachel, she's not dead! She just went back home, that's all, I have to find her!" Duo shouted, looking overjoyed.
"I think your friend has lost it. . ." Sally remarked, cocking an eyebrow. Duo waved her off and pulled Heero aside, saying in a quieter voice, "It's her address, she wants me to go to her world and get her!"
"Duo. . ." Heero looked sorry for him.
"Please, you have to help me! What if she lost her powers after that big thing, she could be stuck in her world! What if just going there removes your powers, I could get stuck too. . ." He began to muse for a second.
"Duo, what are you saying?"
"I need you to bring me back in case I can't get back on my own; me and Rachel."
"What if you get there and find out she's dead there as well? What if her spirit passed on and left her body empty?"
"STOP IT! I won't just give up on her like that! I owe her this much, to try to find her, I won't let something like space and time keep me from finding her, I'm going!"
"Duo, listen to yourself, you're hysterical!"
"Yeah, so what! Love makes you do crazy things, and this is just one of the many to come!"
"Duo. . ." Heero still looked skeptical. With a firm grip, Duo grabbed Heero by the shoulders and looked him square in the eyes.
"Heero. . .wouldn't you go searching the galaxy if you knew Relena was out there somewhere waiting for you?"
". . .you're a baka, you know that. . ." Heero sighed. Duo grinned and said, "Well duh, now is that a 'yes, Duo, I'll help you' or am I gonna have to get on my knees and beg?"
"Please no. . ." Heero pushed him away and crossed his arms.
"If I'm not back in an hour, bring me back! Oh, but if Rachel's with me, bring her back too! See ya in a few!" With that, Duo vanished before Heero could protest further.
"Rachel, you're awake! Oh, thank the LORD!" Voices rang in Rachel's ears as she blinked open her eyes, her vision slowly focusing on a familiar face.
"M-mom?" Rachel muttered.
"We were so scared, you've been in a coma for over a week!" Rachel's mom hugged her suddenly, sobbing profusely onto Rachel's hospital gown.
"A. . .a coma?" Rachel blinked in confusion.
Was that all just a. . .a dream? No, it couldn't have been, it was too real! How could so much have been just some figment of my imagination?Rachel thought, slowly embracing her mom in return.
"Rachel, oh my gosh, you're back!" Rachel looked to her left and saw her two best friends bound into the room and tackle her on the bed after her mom had moved away.
"Dana, Rachael. . .what happened?" Rachel said, still in a daze.
"No one knows, you just went to sleep one night and never woke up!" Rachael said, close to tears.
"Everyone's been praying for you at church, hoping you'd come back soon. We missed you so much!" Dana hugged her again and began to cry. Rachel slowly sat up and moaned, feeling dizzy as she said, "I had the strangest dream. . ."
"You sure it was just a dream?" Rachel looked toward the doorway and blinked, not recognizing the young man standing in the doorway.
"Is. . .this a friend of yours?" Dana asked, looking the strangely dressed boy over, mainly eyeing his peculiar hairdo. Rachel suddenly gasped, her hands covering her mouth as her eyes stared widely at the grinning young man. She suddenly leapt from the bed and ran to him, saying, "You ARE real!"
"Of course I am. . .so are you." He said, stretching out his arms as she ran into them, hugging him tightly.
"Oh, Duo. . .I was so afraid it was just a dream. . ." Rachel sighed joyfully, a tear rolling down her cheek.
"Duo?" Rachael looked over at Dana who cocked an eyebrow, remembering her friend's obsession with a similarly named Anime character.
"Rachel. . .who is this man?" Rachel's mother asked, a little concerned by her fondness with this stranger.
"My dream man. . ." Rachel said, looking happily up into Duo's eyes as he smiled back. He stroked her cheek gently as he said, "I finally found my dream girl. . .again." With a giggle, Rachel raised up on her toes to reach Duo's head, closing in as he slowly kissed her with more passion than either of them had ever felt in their lives.
The End. . .?