Souls Disappear in the Snow – A GW fanfic-

Masamune Reforged I do not own Gundam Wing, nor any of the characters from Gundam Wing.

Warnings: Yaoi (Established 3x4, upcoming 1x2 and...), angst, some violence and cursing. Later chapters will include character torture, supernatural elements, psychological dilemmas and possibly main character death…depends on how I'm feeling.

Archive: if you want to post this fic, or any of my other works, feel free to do so.

Note: I have revised this entire story, meaning there are many changes, some new scenes (an entirely new chapter in the early part of the story). So if you read it before and are just reading the most recent parts, you might want to go back and check out the old parts or risked being confused.

PROLOGUE- Crashing

"HAHAHAHA! Shinigami is back in action! OZ better watch out, I'll bring death to each and everyone one of them! Yo Heero, how many do you think I'll get on the next mission? Two, three hundred? HAHAHA."

Duo as usual. Loud, jovial and screaming about being the Shinigami… Even though the thought of the braided teenager reaping the souls of fallen OZ soldiers may seem a bit unsettling, I'd gotten quite used to it. It was sort of an ongoing joke, or some kind of self-invented fantasy the American was playing out, sometimes too intensely. In the end, his unending conversations and babbling did get to be annoying. Duo had always been strange in my eyes but I'd never thought much of it… I'd really always tried to ignore him as much as possible.

We were going to outer space. Since OZ basically controlled all of the Earth, our orders were changed. We would face OZ there, back in the colonies, the very place we'd came from and were fighting so desperately for.

"Rashid do you read me?" Quatre shouted, the small boy's voice only barely louder than the rumbling engines of the small shuttle that the five of us were uncomfortably crammed into.

"Ye-," Came the garbled reply, as Rashid's face appeared on the video screen for a moment, then was cut off by static as lines of white and black ran angrily down the monitor. " Goo….uck……tre-sama!"

"Shinigami back in action! It's been so long, I feel like a virgin on a high school football player's prom night!" Duo had been cheery, to say the least, when he first heard we were going back into combat. He hadn't quite been himself during the long downtime when OZ had kept us at bay by threatening to destroy the colonies.

"The transmitter is all messed up!" Heero yelled over the roar from his place in the pilot's seat. "Trowa!"

"We're almost ready to take off," Trowa answered the Wing pilot in a soft voice, so soft that Heero had no hope of hearing the slender Latin boy over Duo's excited yelling and the engine's screaming. Trowa was towards the back of the shuttle with me. Currently he was running last minute diagnostic tests on the cabin pressure.

"Nani!" Heero yelled back, clearly he hadn't heard.

"…and then ALL those OZ bastards will meet their maker! Good riddance!"

"It'll just be another minute!" Trowa raised his voice a little…

"Shinigami never EVER loses!"

"Nani!" Heero shouted back, his face growing even redder as the engines gained power.

"What?" Trowa replied back in equal confusion.

"Man I can't wait to get back into Deathscythe and tear around like…"

"Nan… DUO SHUT UP!" Heero screamed, his voice carrying even over the loud blast of the engines.

"HE SAID ONE MORE MINUTE!" I finally decided to interject and end the stupid confusion before it gave me a headache. "And be quiet already Maxwell! K'so! You could wake the dead!"

I don't think Duo heard me, but he did fall silent. There was only so much I could take of that mouth running the way it did. Nonstop chatter, incessantly rambling about this and that and Deathscythe and Shinigami… But for now, Duo was quiet. He looked straight ahead at the back of Heero's head and seemed to be mumbling something to himself.

I suddenly felt like apologizing. Of course, not that I was actually going to give that braided idiot an apology; but I did feel sorry for him. I knew that the sad look on his face was more from Heero's yelling at him than my scolding… Everything Heero did affected Duo more…

"Alright!" Trowa said loudly, looking up from the blinking consoles in front of him. "Go."

"Nani?" Heero again. I swear I could have killed him.

"He said GO!" I yelled again and no sooner had the words passed my lips then Heero had us in the air. My head and probably everyone else's was thrown back violently as the small shuttle began to skyrocket into the air. Even as I grumbled a curse at Yuy I thanked the Gods that we were finally on our way.

"Now could we please have some silence on this trip?" Heero growled darkly, turning for a second to snap at Duo. "If you just keep quiet for once in your life it'll help everything go smoothly."

That's when the little red alarm light above my head went off. I didn't believe in Fate or irony at the time, but it damn well seemed that Heero had just jinxed us.

"K'so! What the fuck's wrong now?" Heero now directed his anger at Trowa. The glare he shot the Heavyarms pilot was enough to make even me cringe, but Trowa just shrugged and went to hitting buttons on the panels in front of him.

The alarm kept blinking. "WELL?" Heero yelled in agitation after what seemed like eternity but was only three seconds.

"We don't have any fuel," The way Trowa said it he could have been talking about the clouds that we were currently entering. "We won't make it out of Earth's gravitational pull."

"A leak?" Heero asked furiously, turning back to the controls as the shuttle began to sputter and the engines whined. I started saying a silent prayer to my ancestors to get me the hell out of here…

"I don't remember fueling this ship at all," Quatre said, his meek voice even smaller in the blinking red blare and the sputtering engines. I felt sick.

"I thought you were supposed to fuel it Wufei!" Heero lashed out at me.

"You never said anything about fueling the damned shuttle!" I yelled back, my temper rising with my fear. In a mobile suit, especially Nataku, one has quite a bit more bravery than when beginning to plummet to the earth in a rickety, old space shuttle.

"I…didn't?" Heero asked himself aloud. The look on his face would have been priceless if we all weren't about to die.

"No! You didn't!" I retorted quickly. It was true; he never did ask me to fuel the ship.

"Let's just turn around and land back at the port we took off from," Duo suggested helpfully, a glimmer of hope at the end of a dark, dark tunnel.

"We're almost ten hundred million miles North of that point," Trowa put the light out in one quick blow… "And we don't even have enough fuel to turn around…"

At the time I remember feeling lots of things. I remembered how my uncle had taught me to burn incense for the dead back at the family shrine on L5. I wondered if anyone would do that for me? What would happen to our Gundams? We'd already sent them ahead into space at the rendezvous with the Maganacs… How would the war turn out? Would I meet Merian in the afterlife?

I heard Trowa curse out loud and unbuckle his belt. I turned to yell at him but a sharp rock of the ship made me focus on the status of my stomach rather than on my comrade. I felt like I was going to puke.

Suppressing nausea, I saw Trowa by the chair where Quatre was, their hands entwined tightly and Trowa whispering words that where for his blond love only. I don't think anyone besides Quatre could hear them anyway, the siren was loud enough to drown out anything and accompanied by the whining and mechanic groans of the ship, the racket was almost deafening.

Looking at the two lovers made me think about how pathetic of a way this was to die. Crashing to the Earth because of an empty fuel tank was not a warrior's death. I had no control in the situation. I hated that. I hated being powerless and at the mercy of whimsical fate. Would this be my exit from the world?

Heero was focused completely on the controls, his hands in a grip that turned his knuckles chalk-white as he grunted and cursed. Looking at our altitude, I figured we all had another thirty seconds left before we landed, either in a smoldering pile of rubble… or… What was that sound?

It wasn't the siren, and it wasn't the control panel or any other warning sound. I thought that maybe the shuttle was breaking apart….but frankly I'd never heard metal make that kind of sound… and I hoped I never would…

Duo was laughing.

The siren was screaming and the shuttle shook in a metallic spasm as we hurtled to the ground. But Duo's insane laughter managed to carry over all the noise, making me even more sick to my stomach. It was far removed from an appreciation of irony or nervous distress manifesting in guffaws. It was genuine mirth, actual merriment derived directly from our impending end.

I thought, Maxwell's cracked.

Another siren came on, one I could identify. The sound was an artificially produced buzzing noise, higher in pitch and repeating over and over again, multiple times, it's rate steadily growing faster. I couldn't tell if another light had begun to blink or some other warning sign appear on the console. There were too many blinking lights already to note any difference. But this particularly shrill siren began to screech in short bursts, and as the furious pace picked up rapidly, I prepared myself for what I knew was coming.

I can't remember the crash.

All I know is that I was thrown about like a rag doll in my seat, my restraining belt the only thing preventing me from being killed instantly. Then everything faded away to black…

…and when I woke up, it was all white.

-end prologue

-start "Souls Disappear in the Snow"

Masamune Reforged