Disclaimer: Gundam wing is not mine.

Yes, I do not like Zechs.

This is a complete oneshot.

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It was three am, ship time. Zechs leaned back in his seat and looked at the readouts. Everything was going well. They were on course, and in five more hours he could go and sleep, his shift over.

He turned his head and looked out at the unending starscape, the stars glowing brightly…

They were no match for her eyes.

Zechs turned back to the console. There was nothing to do but watch. The autopilot guided the ship- all he had to do was keep an eye on things.

He didn't have to do that either, but it was better than doing nothing.

It didn't keep the thoughts at bay; it didn't stop the regrets from eating at him.

The ship sped on taking him farther and farther away from the Sphere, from home, from her… everything was left behind. So very far away now.

He remembered sitting with her on the tiny balcony of her apartment the night before the launch. All the arguments were over and done with.

Not that they'd had many. The leader of White Fang had two options left to him- undergo a trial for trying to destroy Earth, or this- an experimental mission out to the stars. Several ships had been built- courses laid… but who would want to be away from Earth for so long? The ships traveled at light speed. By the time they returned, everyone that saw them go out would be older than the people on board- if not dead. And their research- the information they collected might just be useless…

And who knew- the ships went out, but would they return?

But for those who took this option, it was freedom- something a trial wouldn't promise.

Zechs leaned his head back against the chair.

He and Lu had watched the sun set. He had told her all of the things that he thought she needed to hear. She responded in kind.

I love you Zechs. I always have. I'll miss you so very much…

He couldn't- wouldn't take her with him. It was a terrible exile- or death that awaited him. He didn't want her there sharing it with him. She'd be able to go on without him, find someone else, settle down and be happy on Earth.

She had done nothing that deserved this exile, and he knew it. He knew that Lucrezia loved him, that she'd tear out her own heart if it would help him. But he also knew that he didn't deserve that love. When had he ever treated it carefully? He'd used it to manipulate her over and over.

He'd given her that last evening. Spent every moment with her. Caressed, kissed, talked, whispered, apologized… and he hoped it was enough. They had huddled on the balcony and he had played for her as they watched the light vanish from the sky revealing the stars that would soon be his home.

Will you look up there sometimes and remember this night?

Of course. Her hand touched his hair. I'll never forget it. Play for me? This one last time?

He had lifted the instrument to his lips, played the song that she loved the most, one that reminded them both of happier days, reminded them that it would be the last time they'd sit like this, the music swirling between them, talking for them…

Zechs sighed. The console lights blinked at him as they always did, everything was going well. He wondered if the other ships were also doing well. There had been three ships- three different directions… Were those others lonely like he was?

But no, they had the companionship of the ones they loved, the companionship that he had spurned. But their lovers had been condemned equally- he had no such excuse.

One of the console lights stopped blinking. It began to burn with a clear blue light.

Locker Number Two. Investigate.

Zechs got to his feet and ran down the hallway.

The locker sprang open at his touch. Inside was a familiar looking case. One that he had been sure that he had left behind with Lu.

He opened it carefully, the instrument inside gleaming dully. A piece of paper rested on the top of it.

He picked it up carefully; the note was tear-stained and short.

I love you always. Lu

He picked up the case and returned to the console chair, the note tucked carefully in his pocket.

He reached into the case and pulled out the instrument he thought never to see again. He raised it to his lips and let the music take him over, sent it spiraling down dark corridors, chasing away the silence, bringing the happier memories of her closer for a moment.

"Your shift is over, Merquise."

Zechs lowered the instrument and looked over his shoulder at the Chinese man in the doorway.

"I know." He stowed the instrument back in its case and got to his feet. He stood for a moment, looking out at the stars as his reluctant copilot sat down, taking over the shift with a faint sigh.

"Do you have any regrets Chang?"

"Too many to count," the other replied.

"So you know what this feels like?"

"Too well."

"I didn't love her."

"I know."

"I came so close to bringing her along anyway. Even now I wonder if I should have- but that would've been selfish of me…"

"Yes."

Zechs looked over his shoulder. "Haven't you ever done anything selfish, Chang?"

"Yes." Wufei met his gaze evenly. "And the one I didn't love enough died because of it. So quit whining and go to sleep. A man faces his sins and pays for them. Don't complain now because the payment was more than you bargained for."

Zechs turned and walked down the hallway, the note a heavy stone in his pocket. He could hope at least that Lu would be happy.