Thank You!

I'd like to take a moment to thank Sunhawk for spending God knows how long reading this monster and giving me some absolutely lovely (and totally essential) feedback.

And a big "Thank You" to TK Maxwell for giving my preliminary work a look. I really appreciate the time and effort you sacrificed for me.


A Gundam Wing Fan Fiction

Rambled Off by The Manwell

Book One: PILOTS

A.C. 195

Duo Maxwell

That guy.

I can't stop the somewhat exasperated sigh that escapes me. From the first, I'd known he would be impossible to work with. Hell, he'd barely even acknowledged my existence and I'd shot him. Twice! And not only that, I'd launched a rescue operation when he'd ended up in the hands of the Alliance. I'd finagled and charmed and snuck my way up to the fiftieth floor and bloody saved his sorry ass. I'd even used some of my own personal stock of explosives to do it. Hell, I'd given him the parachute off my back!

But I didn't stop there. Oh no, I just had to follow my instincts. He's a good guy, they told me. You'll want him on your side, they told me. He's just a little shy, they told me.


Yeah, that one still cracks me up. Anti-social was more like it. Anti-Christ was even a definite possibility. And here's the kicker: I just kept going back for more. It's amazing what you can learn about yourself during a war. For example, I'd always considered myself a bit of a hedonist. But a true hedonist wouldn't take the sullen indifference, the snide wit, and derisive glares for long. And I did. So, yeah, definitely not a hedonist.

More like masochist.

I can't quite figure out what exactly it is about the guy that makes up for his attitude. And there must be something. It's not the conversation, that's for damn sure. Or the warm camaraderie.

Hmm... maybe it's the competition. Yeah, that must be it. Even though we appear to be fighting against the same enemy – at the moment, anyway – he still feels more like a rival than a comrade. It only takes one of those side-long glances of his and I'm ready for a good fight. Not with him necessarily, but... Ah, hell. How can I explain it? It's like I want to... no, I need to show him up.

Yeah, he thinks he's all that. Mr. The-Shit-On-A-Stick. Uh huh. I'll just have to disagree. I mean, who stopped the Alliance from recovering his suit from the bottom of the ocean? Who brought it up to the surface unassisted? Who lent him the resources to store said suit? Yeah. Me. And what does he do? He uses my Deathscythe for parts and freaking takes off without so much as a "Nah nah-nah!" or a "Thank you."

Not that I'm bitter.

Oh, no. Seriously, I'm not. Why waste the energy being bitter when plotting revenge is so much more satisfying?

And painful.

I wince as my left calf begins to cramp up. Looks like I won't be making it to the eight-mile mark without a rest first. I jog down to a walk and step off the asphalt to stretch my muscles.

Pilot training has done a lot for me. Trust me, learning the intricacies of a battle-mode mobile suit ain't no cakewalk. But after that series of encounters with that guy... especially after watching him rip one of his arms free from those restraints in the hospital and set his own broken leg aboard the Sweepers' ship... well, let's just say I felt like I'd received the quick and dirty version of the Gundam pilot spiel. Which is why I've suddenly adopted a more rigorous work-out schedule. Which is why my muscles are screaming at me like the apocalypse is coming.

I don't dare sit down on the patches of soft-looking grass. I force myself to continue working my left leg muscles and, as soon as I've managed to ease the ache, I'll be back on the road. But that doesn't stop me from taking advantage of the view. And this snaking mountain road has got one hell of a view. It's still early morning and the sun is hovering over the lake in the distance. Its shadow of glittering white winks up at me from the rippled surface of the water. The cool breeze whispers through the feathery pine trees marching up the fallen walls of the valley.

All I can do is stare; the earth is beautiful. No other words can measure its intensity. And, for a moment, I waver. Why not just stay here for a while longer? Why not just enjoy the moment? Carpe diem and all that?

But then my imagination paints in the sight of him approaching. I visualize him charging up this narrow mountain road and diminishing the lead I'd worked my ass off to acquire. In my mind, he's not even out of breath.

That does it. I'm back on the road and running full-out. Like hell that guy's ever going to beat me at something as stupid as a little twelve-mile race up a mountain. Not even in my dreams.


In this scene, Duo is reminiscing events that occurred in episodes 2, 3, and 4 of the series:

: Episode 2: Duo fights off the Alliance and recovers Heero's Gundam. He seems to have just followed the Alliance activity to see what the fuss is all about then, seeing it's a Gundam, decides to use it for parts. Shortly thereafter, Duo shoots Heero in the right arm and left thigh to stop him from shooting Relena.

: Episode 3: After Heero launches the torpedoes at the surfacing Gundams, he passes out in the water only to wake up in Alliance custody. Duo takes it upon himself to break him out just to assuage his curiosity about the mysterious fellow pilot. While Duo's examining Heero's restraints, trying to figure out the best way to free him, Heero rips one arm free and, ignoring the blood all over his hand, calmly asks Duo for the knife. Later, with Wing hidden away aboard the Sweeper's ship, Heero sets his broken leg himself, thereby grossing Duo out.

: Episode 4: Duo attempts to initiate a conversation with Heero while Heero's evaluating the damage to his mobile suit. Heero repairs his suit in one night (by stealing the parts from Deathscythe) and takes off without a word to his hosts.