Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing.



Author's Note: All right, here's the game plan, kiddos. This is my new 'epic'
(using that term loosely!) fic, meaning it will be probably pretty long. It's
slightly AU in the fact that it starts out in the right time line but will
eventually be set in the High Middle Ages. If you don't like 1xR or the idea of
them going back in time, leave now. This is going to be sorta a time period
piece, full of romance/adventure/drama/mystery. All the good stuff! :) I also
want to warn you that I don't know much about eclipses so forgive me if
something doesn't make sense. My knowledge of the Medieval Era is vague too but
this is only a fanfic done for fun so don't roast me, all right? Just enjoy the
story and imagine Heero running around in armour okay? *grins* On with the
fic...







In the Moon's Shadow
Chapter One: Eclipsed







A.C. 199
New Port City, Neo-Sank Kingdom
The Peacecraft Grounds





Heero sat broodingly in a plastic folding chair, head down, arms crossed over
his chest. Classic Perfect Soldier pose. He kept himself still, his senses at
their peak as he kept a protective eye on the girl sprawled in the grass not far
away. She was well within his circle of defence and he had no worries about
their safety, surrounded by watchers as they were. He sat on a section of the
Peacecraft mansion lawn, the perfectly manicured grass acting as a natural
cushion to the many people spread out over it. The low drone of their happy
voices reached his ears, giving him an odd sense of peace in his chaotic world.
They had all gathered to watch the eclipse that had started an hour ago and
would be drawing to a close in about twenty minutes. There was to be a huge
party afterwards that would celebrate the rare occasion and the populace had no
intention of giving up an invitation to the glamorous Peacecraft home. It was
really a security nightmare but Heero worried little about anyone except for the
golden haired princess he had sworn to protect.



She was laughing now, at one of Duo's jokes. The musical strains of her voice
drifting over the wind to him. She looked relaxed, happy even, released from the
pressures of being the Vice Foreign Minister for a day. She had changed much
during the Eve Wars, taking on the physique of a young woman of twenty with dark
gold hair that dripped over her shoulders and blue-green eyes that reminded him
of the ocean. He had become closer to her, over the years, becoming something of
a very close friend, though sometimes he wondered if life wasn't leading them
down another road entirely. Heralded by the instances when he would meet her
eyes and find a sad longing there before she looked away. But he kept those
thoughts carefully locked away. They would only be a nuisance to his mission: to
protect her always, even against himself.



Sitting next to Relena, Hilde was listening avidly to whatever Duo was
blathering about. Heero's sharp gaze picked up the sparkle in her blue eyes as
she looked at the God of Death, the glint betraying what she felt for the former
Gundam pilot. The both of them ran their mechanic business together, roommates
and partners both, though it looked as if Hilde wanted it to be more than that.
Though Duo was his best friend, Heero was not privy to the priest's personal
life and he had too much respect, however grudgingly, to uncover what Duo
thought, though he could have at any moment. No information escaped the Perfect
Soldier, except when he wanted it to.



A few feet away from them, Major Sally Po and her Preventer partner, Chang Wufei
were deep into a heated discussion, probably about nothing in particular. Those
two could have argued over the color of the sky and only ended in a draw.
Everyone knew it was just for show, of course, mostly on the part of Wufei. He
could not be seen actually getting along with a woman, so he frequently gave
Sally a hard time just to keep things interesting. Still, it was not hard to see
the hidden smiles beyond their harsh words, as Quatre put it. Those two would be
just fine.



"...weak onna, you cannot..."



"Oh please, Wufei, next you'll be spouting about 'injustice'. Why do you..."



"...right. And I do NOT spout."



He turned his attention away from the bickering agents and back to his charge.
Duo was walking over to him, his waist length braid thrown over his shoulder, a
goofy grin on his face. His oldest friend flopped into the chair next to him,
raising his gaze to the sky and the blinding eclipse.



"You know, it really is something. An eclipse means nothing from space, just a
certain alignment, but on earth..." His grin grew. "On earth, it's so much more
beautiful. You have to be here to appreciate it."



It was true. Some things could only be experienced on earth. Natural disasters,
sunsets, rain... Heero looked to Relena, his mind curiously suspended from
completing his list by just one glimpse of her beautiful face. Yes, some things
could only be seen on earth.



"So, her smile can capture even you." Duo said, following his gaze and
chuckling. "You gotta admit ojousan is a looker, think I should ask her on a
date?" He asked, slyly.



Death glare. "No."



Duo chuckled. "I thought you might say that."



Heero didn't bother answering.



"You're not fooling anyone with that I'm-just-her-bodyguard thing, buddy. We all
know why you protect her, and it's not out of some misguided attempt to keep the
peace." Duo thumped him hardly on the back. "You're in love with her! And you
should make your move before someone else does, pal."



"Your insight astounds me."



Duo's violet eyes widen in mock alarm. "Did the great Heero Yuy just make a
joke?"



"More like a sarcastic jibe, Duo." He replied, looking over his shoulder as
Trowa and Catherine joined their little group on the lawn. The former pilot of
Heavyarms nodded calmly to them, setting down the two folded chairs he had been
carrying in one hand. Next to him, Catherine, wearing a floral print dress,
swung the picnic basket she was holding.



"If anyone's hungry, we brought some snacks." She said, setting the basket on
the grass at her feet. Before she had even finished speaking, Duo was at her
side, rifling through the contents.



"Great! You brought sandwiches! You guys are awesome!"



"Hey, Cathy!" Hilde called to the knife-throwing circus performer. "Come join us
before Duo tramples you!"



Cathy grinned and joined the two girls while Duo shot Hilde a wry look. "Thanks
a lot, babe."



"Don't mention it. "She shot back, before relenting and giving him a smile. Duo
grinned back, and started in on his food.



"Where's Quatre?" Trowa asked, setting up the chairs next to Heero and glancing
around for the platinum haired pacifist. "He told me he was coming."



"Dorothy challenged him to a duel in the arena with those new sabers she's been
working on. He said he would be back for the actual eclipse."



Trowa nodded silently, taking it all in stride. It would take more than a duel
to shake his unruffled cool. A fact that let him understand Heero more than
most.



"Heero!" Relena called to him, causing him to turn his intense gaze to her. "I'm
going to go get some drinks for everyone." It was a measure of how well she knew
him that she told him where she was going. He didn't feel right when he didn't
know where she was.



He nodded, and stood smoothly. "I'll come with you."



She smiled, knowing that was what he would say and he walked forward to her
side. As he passed Duo, his best friend gave him an exaggerated wink and a loud
whisper. "Go get'em, Heero!"



Luckily, Relena didn't hear him as princess and bodyguard made their way across
the lawn towards the mansion. Of course, they had barely gone three steps before
people gathered for the coming party noticed their former queen moving among
them. They immediately crowded her, asking questions and generally just wanting
to be with her. He could understand that. Relena gave off an aura of peace and
serenity that touched everyone around her, calming their fears and making their
troubles seem far away. But he could not allow her duties to spoil the one day
she could spend with her friends and the weary smile she had on her face pulled
at his heart. Immediately he slid in front of her, glaring at the people barring
their way. He didn't have to say anything as they backed away, murmuring
apologizes. He had been Relena's bodyguard for three years and the people knew
him well. They were just thankful he wasn't armed.



Behind him, Relena touched his shoulder briefly in thanks before entering the
mansion's kitchens with a grace only she possessed. He followed, keeping an eye
on the exits as she took glasses from the cupboard and started filling them with
ice. He watched her, a part of him at his weakness of her, another part not
caring, only wanting to be near her.



He really was getting soft.



Relena was putting the glasses on a tray when she suddenly stilled, her eyes
widening and her uplifted hand trembling. His eyes narrowed and he moved to her
side.



"Relena?"



She was trembling from head to toe and he felt his concern edge up a notch. He
reached over and put a hand under her chin, turning her head to look at him.



"What's wrong?"



For a moment he was afraid she didn't know who he was, that she was having some
sort of seizure, but then she blinked and he saw himself reflected her in bright
blue irises.



"Heero," She said, shakily, touching his arm. "I don't know. Something happened,
I..." She swallowed. "It felt like I was standing in some sort of icy shadow."



Outside, people began to cheer as the moon began to slide directly in front of
the sun.



He frowned, looking into her eyes, trying to discern was wrong. Perhaps she
needed Sally to look at her, see if she was coming down with something. He moved
to step back from her but she caught his arm, and he realized she was
frightened.



"Heero, something's happening. I feel...I feel..."



From outside, the cheers seemed to grow unnaturally loud in his ears, the sound
ringing in his head. The hairs on the back of his neck lifted and he felt his
whole body shiver. What was going on? Relena still had her hand on his arm,
trying to speak. Time slowed and stretched around them, and for a moment, for an
eternity, he thought it might have stopped.



And then it burst like pricked bubble.



The world around them shattered, thousands of glittering shards swirled away in
the force of some violent wind. He felt the shade of some shadow crawl over him
and he looked up as Relena was suddenly wrenched from him in the midst of the
maelstrom. He reached for her, called her name, but he could hear nothing except
the happy cries of the crowd.



"Heero..."



He fell.



The wind rushed past him and he felt the one icy dagger of fear that comes to
anyone who has ever fallen and was unsure if someone would be there to catch
them. He closed his eyes, not trying to understand, readying himself for the
inevitable. His only regret was that he had not been able to protect Relena.



He fell...



...and the moon stood directly in front of the sun, a bright halo glowing around
the edge, its shadow cast on the earth. A full eclipse.







tbc...





* * * *


A wonderful round of applause to RiverDolphin for reading this and being
an awesome beta reader!

Hope this interested you guys, next chapter out next week!

Thanks for reading!

please review!