Disclaimer: This is an original work of fiction, but the characters of Treize Kushranada and Zechs Merquise are borrowed from Gundam Wing AC by Hajime Yatate and Yoshiyuki Tomino and produced by Sunrise. Other Gundam Wing characters, like Lucretzia Noin, who might appear or be mentioned are also borrowed from Gundam Wing by Yatate-sama and Tomino-sama.
Summary: Treize Kushranada and Zechs Merquise are cadets at the Victoria Base Academy, training to join the Earth Sphere Alliance Military when they meet. Drawn together by a mutual, overwhelming attraction, they embark on a secret affair that lasts through their academy days and into their service in the Alliance Military.
Warnings: This story contains strong sexual content of a homosexual nature. (Although, honestly, that doesn't kick in until chapter 5. See the Addendum below.)
Addendum: I wrote the original story Victoria Base Affair last year and my daughter posted it for me under that title. As it was written, VBA always felt a little rushed to me, probably because it was my first ever fan fiction story and I wanted to finish it. Now that I am a little more experienced as a fan fiction writer, I decided to redo the story. So, this is the extended edition version of Victoria Base Affair, containing more details and more sex.
Chapter 1: The First 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. That was always the risk of live fire training exercises using lasers. The potential for damage to the suits was much greater than when they trained with machine guns, although a poor student could take damage no matter what weapons were used. Treize felt a momentary twinge of sympathy for Orlan. This incident would probably set him back quite a bit. He might even be held back for another year. That would almost certainly wreck his future career in the military.
But there was nothing Treize could do about that now. He had done his best to protect Orlan when it became clear he was in over his head, but the results of the exercise had been inevitable. Treize fully expected to get an earful himself for not preventing the stupid mistake that had resulted in the damage to Orlan's suit, since he had been in charge of the team.
As Treize approached Orlan and the instructor, Tami Bell, Orlan looked as if he were near tears. Instructor Bell dismissed Orlan when Treize arrived and she started in on Treize, as he had expected. 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 detailed report explaining 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 cadet, who was standing by his damaged 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 cut between the freshman and sophomore barracks, heading for the quad and the senior barracks on the far side, a group of cadets came out of the freshman barracks, laughing and talking among themselves. Near the rear 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 deep 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 continued across the quad, Treize couldn't help looking back, and found the young man looking back at him with a slight smile on his face. Treize smiled back before turning away. 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. He looked back again, hoping the handsome upperclassman would turn around again, but he didn't.
"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 for a third time. "He's younger than I thought."
"And cuter?" Les teased. 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 there was always a part of himself that he held back. The destruction of his home and the death of his family had left too many scars. He preferred not to think about his past, because it was too painful.
Zechs thought about Treize again and the brief electrifying contact when they had brushed against each other. 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 beside him.
"Hurry up, Zechs!" Les called. "You're going to be late for class!"
Zechs looked up and discovered he'd lagged behind the rest of the group. He broke into a trot. Well, there was no point thinking about Treize Kushranada. He was a senior and Zechs was a freshman. They had nothing in common.
Treize turned in his report to Tami Bell first thing the following morning. He stood at attention in front of her desk while she reviewed it. Treize had become very annoyed with himself in the course of reviewing the recordings of the exercise and writing the report. Other mistakes, which he had not observed at the time, had been made, which was why the exercise had ended so disastrously. At the conclusion of his report, he not only recommended that Orlan be sent down, he also recommended that he and his entire team be required to perform the exercise again.
Tami finished reading the report and sat back. She regarded Treize with a look of fond respect. "You didn't miss one detail, Treize. I'm proud of you." She waved a hand toward the chair on the other side of her desk and Treize sat down. "I accept all of your recommendations. As usual, they are spot on. There might be repercussions, though. Orlan's family is prominent in the Romafeller Foundation."
Treize shrugged. "So am I. That doesn't worry me."
"Your position certainly gives you an advantage," Tami said. "It also makes it a little easier for me, since I am not a member of Romafeller. I can make the recommendation, based on your report, and let the Review Board send him down." She grinned. "The Board always enjoys the opportunity to set one noble family against another."
Treize smiled in return. "About repeating the exercise…"
"I'll have to schedule that. The live fire course is booked for the next few weeks for training exercises with the freshman class. That's always pretty exciting," she added with a chuckle. "I should be able to get you on after that."
"I haven't had the opportunity to watch the freshmen yet this year," Treize said. "Are any of them any good?"
"Yes, quite a few of them. We seem to have gotten a pretty good crop this year." Tami leaned forward and folded her arms on her desk. "In fact, there are a few I've been keeping my eye on. The young man who's currently first in their class is exceptionally gifted. His name is Zechs Merquise. He has the quickest reflexes of anyone I've ever seen. Apparently, his friends call him the Lightning Count, although that might be because he kept shorting out his mobile suit when he first started training, and not because of his speed." She laughed.
"Count? Is he a nobleman? I'm not familiar with the family name."
Tami's smile faded. "It's not his birth name," she said. "Zechs Merquise is from the Sanc Kingdom. His family died when the kingdom was destroyed and he changed his name."
"If you get a chance to watch him fight, I highly recommend it. He's quite remarkable."
"I'll do that, Instructor." Treize stood up. "I'll notify my teammates that we will be re-doing the exercise. I'll have them review the recordings with me so we can discuss how we will avoid making the same mistakes."
Treize left Tami Bell's office, intending to round up his teammates and head for an empty classroom, but a sudden thought made him hesitate. Although they were barely half way through the school year, the senior cadets were already looking ahead to the alumni games at the end of the year. The competition at the alumni games was the final opportunity for graduating cadets to demonstrate their abilities for the Academy instructors and the Review Board. The Review Board made the final recommendation for postings for all graduates, so a good showing at the alumni games was crucial.
Team captains for the games were always selected from among the top seniors and each captain was allowed to select and train his or her own team for the games. Treize knew he would be selected as a team captain, and while he had complete faith in his own abilities, it wouldn't hurt to have an unexpected advantage. A highly skilled freshman on the team would keep everyone guessing about what he planned to do in the games.
The instructors' offices were in the same building as the administrative offices. Treize walked down two floors to the Registrar's office.
"May I help you, Lord Kushranada?" the young secretary seated behind the counter asked as soon as he walked in.
It didn't surprise Treize that she knew who he was. He suspected she knew every student at the Academy. "Yes. I wanted to look at the records of one of the freshman cadets."
She frowned slightly. "Only instructors and members of the Review Board are allowed to look at student records," she said.
Treize smiled disarmingly. "I know, but I am not asking as a student. I am asking as a member of the Romafeller Foundation."
The young woman flushed. Although the Academy was not technically under the control of the Romafeller Foundation, everyone knew the Foundation had considerable influence over the Academy, just as it had influence within the Alliance Military. "Lord Kushranada," she said nervously, "I could get in trouble."
Treize leaned forward. "I will take the blame on my own authority," he said. He stepped around the counter.
Looking worried, the young woman moved aside and allowed Treize to take the seat in front of her console. Treize quickly typed in the name Zechs Merquise. He stared in surprise at the face that appeared next to the cadet's biography and the summary of his courses and current grades. The face was that of the striking young freshman he had seen the day before.
"Of course!" Treize whispered. "I should have known." Somehow, it seemed inevitable that the beautiful young man who had managed, however briefly, to disrupt Treize's normally unshakable reserve would be the talented Lightning Count. Then something in his biography caught Treize's eye. It was the young man's real name: Milliardo Peacecraft. Zechs Merquise was the son of the late ruler of the Sanc Kingdom. No wonder he had changed his name. The Peacecraft family had been devout pacifists. For a son of that family to be training as a soldier was an insult to his father's memory.
Treize stared at the screen thoughtfully. He would definitely have to watch the young man fight. If he was as good as Tami Bell implied, it would give Treize an excuse to invite him to join Treize's team for the alumni games, and Treize very much wanted an excuse to get to know Zechs Merquise.
Zechs loved fencing class, if only because it was one of the few places where no one seemed unduly alarmed by his speed. The precision of fencing also provided him with a satisfying outlet for his natural desire to excel. He never held back in fencing class because he was limited only by the capabilities of his own body and he loved to push himself to his limits. Of course, that meant the only one who ever challenged him was their instructor. The other students didn't even come close.
Today they were training with straight swords, rather than foils. The weapons weren't edged or pointed, but they were heavy enough that a solid hit would leave a bruise. The students and the instructor were wearing padded jackets, thigh pads and fencing masks to protect themselves.
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 blade. The man stumbled and fell forward onto one knee. Zechs quickly stepped close and jammed the tip of his sword against the base of his opponent's skull. The student went still.
"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 lowered his sword and stepped 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's frown faded. "All right."
When class ended, Zechs noticed for the first time that Treize Kushranada was leaning against the wall just inside the door, watching him. As Zechs pulled off his mask, Treize started toward him. "That was well done earlier," 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. "It was very thoughtful of you to offer to attack first, so he could redeem himself after being humiliated. That is how you win a man's loyalty."
"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 at 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, but then he paused and glanced back over his shoulder. "I'll be picking a team of cadets to compete in the alumni games this year. I'll be watching you on the mobile suit course this week."
A shiver of excitement ran down Zechs' back. It was unusual and a tremendous honor for a freshman to be invited to compete in the alumni games. Being on a team with Treize Kushranada would be even more of an honor. Zechs couldn't help feeling excited, but he was honestly not sure if he was more excited by the thought of competing in the games or spending time in Treize Kushranada's company.
He turned to go to the locker room and found Les Javi waiting for him by the locker room door.
"What did Treize want?" she asked excitedly as Zechs reached her. "Upperclassmen like him don't talk to freshmen every day."
"He's going to watch the freshman training exercises this week."
"Really?!" Les squeaked. "Why?"
"I guess he heard that I'm pretty good."
Les grinned and punched his arm. "That's modest. You sure he just didn't want to see your pretty face again? He was staring at you pretty hard yesterday."
Zechs flushed. "I'm sure it has nothing to do with that," he said quickly, but his heart was racing. Was it possible that Treize was attracted to him? Don't think about that! Zechs told himself sternly.
Les looped her arm through his. "Come on, let's get changed. If we hurry, we'll have a little time to relax before dinner."
Treize had a deliciously warm feeling running through his body. He had tried to keep his conversation casual when he spoke to Zechs after his fencing class, but it had been 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. Zechs was quite simply the most attractive man Treize had ever seen.
Watching him fence had only enhanced his attractiveness. 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. Watching Zechs filled him with a deep pleasure.
But as he left, he wondered what he was doing. Zechs might certainly be 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 open cockpit of her mobile suit. He waved back and walked toward her with a smile. Treize was fond of Une, even though she occasionally made him feel a little uncomfortable. Her feelings toward him seemed too intense sometimes. But she was a good pilot 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 too heavily on her instincts.
He stopped at the foot of her mobile suit and looked up. "What's up?"
"I heard you're redoing the laser course."
"Yes. We made a shambles of it last time. I recommended that we do it again and Instructor Bell agreed."
"I also heard Orlan's being sent down."
Treize lifted an eyebrow. "It seems you're hearing a lot."
"It's all over campus." She sat down on the cockpit door with her feet dangling in the air. "That means your team's one man short. Do you want me to fill in?"
"Thanks, Une, but no. It will be good discipline for us to do it a man short. We were the ones who screwed it up, after all."
"You never screw up, Treize," Une said very seriously. "But you can't make up for everyone else's mistakes."
"But I should have anticipated them. It's a leader's responsibility to know the capabilities of his people." Treize smiled. "The re-training will be good for us, including me." He started away. "I'll talk to you later. I need to check my suit."
He didn't look back, but he knew Une was watching him walk away. What would she think if he knew what he was planning?