AN – I know several people asked for a sequel for 'the Importance of Family' but I don't have any ideas right now so I hope this will do instead Summary – This is a prequel for 'The Importance of Family', one of my 13x1 fics. This shows how Treize and Heero got together and how Heero first met Mariemaia.

Rating – PG13

Disclaimer – I don't own them, their creators and several other people who are not me do

The Importance of Family - Prequel

It was about five years ago when he'd first met Treize, he couldn't have been more than twelve or thirteen but he could still remember it like it was yesterday…

His age hadn't stopped him from shooting Treize's suit with a blaster gun though, that was certain. Not that he'd known who was in it at the time but it had been easy enough to find out. Especially considering that the pilot had survived a shot that would have killed most with ease.

He hadn't thought anything of Treize's survival. It hadn't been part of his mission to kill him and so failing to do so wasn't a problem. It had just been a lucky shot, a shot that was going to get luckier by the day.

His shooting Treize was what saved his life the next time he'd been captured. This time he'd been working for J not Odin and so the price for screwing up was much, much worse.

It was shortly after Treize had become Commander and he had found himself being led towards the General's private quarters by the soldier who would later become known as 'The Lightning Count'. Zechs had frisked him and then smiled at him waving him into the room.

He had been let go.

The thought still astonished him and he still couldn't completely see why Treize had done it. Why Treize hadn't thought he'd kill him as soon as he got out of his chains. But the General had been determined to free him. A life for a life, that was what he'd said.

Heero hadn't understood, wasn't meant to. Whatever Treize had said to the guards had worked though. No one had been looking for him as he'd left and the incident was never reported, he arrived back to J in one piece with the information safe and the old man had never known.

He'd wanted to know, though. Had wanted to know what could possibly have been important enough to Treize that he'd spare his life.

It hadn't taken him long to find out. A daughter, Marie.

Leia Barton, had become pregnant after a one night stand with Treize and, not wanting her child to be turned into the same kind of slave she herself was, had hidden her pregnancy until she'd had the chance to escape. She'd run to Treize, had the baby and then returned as soon as she was able, claiming amnesia due to an attack on the colony she'd been living on. She'd never told her family, her name wasn't on the birth certificate.

He'd met Marie shortly after, unable to explain his fascination with this child he'd never met, he hadn't cared in the least though. He'd met J relatively recently and Odin's teachings of 'always follow your heart' were still holding true. He'd nearly broken down when he'd seen her, all innocence and childish curiosity, with luminous, large blue eyes. She'd patted him on the hand, startling him both by not crying out and by feeling safe enough to fall asleep in his presence. At least he managed to wait until she was asleep to have a flash back to another innocent little girl with blue eyes, a little girl with a puppy, one of the worst mistakes he'd ever made.

Treize hadn't asked any questions when he'd found him over his daughter's bed with tears running down his cheeks, hadn't even asked his name, perhaps he'd known he hadn't had one… But whatever the reason Treize hadn't said a word, he'd just held him as he cried and regretted the things he'd done, the lives he'd taken and the childhood's he'd cut short. How many children had he left without parents, without families, without anyone to look after them?

This time he owed Treize his life. If he'd been her father he would have shot first and asked questions later and he couldn't help but ask Treize how he'd known that he wouldn't kill them, wouldn't hurt them.

The answer had stunned him, 'because killing me wasn't part of your mission'. How had someone he'd only met once interpreted him so accurately and easily? Then Treize had kissed him, and he'd stopped wondering.

He'd only been fifteen and that was his first kiss, Treize on the other hand was older and experienced enough to have a daughter. He hadn't cared though, not until it had registered exactly what he was doing, at that point he'd turned and ran.

But he hadn't stopped thinking about it and his next few weeks had consisted primarily of finding out as much as he could about Treize Khushrenada and his daughter. Any information on Mariemaia was devoured and then deleted and the source removed, permanently. Every new computer skill he'd learned had been put into play immediately, no one was going to find her as he'd done. Treize was mostly public knowledge though and Heero fell upon every piece of information he could find on him. An aristocrat, a specials leader, an OZ commander and now leader of the entire organisation, at twenty-one Treize was certainly doing well for himself

J had found out, of course he had, he knew everything his young charge got up to, or he thought he did at least. He hadn't been suspicious though, far from it. In fact, he'd been pleased that his young charge was taking such an interest in the enemy.

The first time he'd said that out loud Heero'd had to employ every piece of training he'd ever received to avoid gasping in horror. What was J talking about 'enemy'?

He should have known really. Should have realised that taking out OZ meant taking out the leader and since taking out OZ was his primary goal…

Treize didn't even know he was involved in the rebel movements, he might have been able to guess some but he would never have understood to what extent. But for one of the few times in his life Heero found himself truly grateful for his position. He could protect them, even if it killed him.

He didn't really do much. A few minor sabotage missions on his home turf and a couple of anonymous emails but one day he found himself on the edge of a potentially fatal situation that he couldn't solve or keep himself separate from. He hadn't even thought about it though, he'd run in the direction of the nearest mobile suit and set off to help Treize. Praying to a god he didn't believe in for favours he didn't deserve, mainly that he wouldn't get caught before he'd had a chance to help them.

It was then that he'd realised just how far he'd fallen and that was the first time he actively cursed himself from running away the first time Treize had kissed him. What if he was too late to save them? What had he thrown away?

He'd saved them of course. The one who had been attempting to kill them would never breathe again. He'd looked into Treize's astonished eyes only once before he'd turned to go, the only thing that had stopped him was the 'wait' that only just reached his ears. Dumbfounded he turned around to stare into those eyes again, eyes that were more awkward now. 'I'm sorry' It had taken him a minute to realise that the apology had been directed at him and for a second he'd fought to keep himself from gaping, even more shocked than he'd been a few moments ago. 'I'm sorry I kissed you,' Treize had explained, clearly seeing his confused face, 'I know I shouldn't have but you just looked so…' he trailed off, 'I'm sorry.'

'It's alright,' he'd muttered, shaking his head and trying to work out from where Treize had gotten the idea that he had something to be sorry for.

Treize still looked upset though, 'No it isn't, I shouldn't have done that, I made you feel uncomfortable, I drove you away. It's just… you confuse me so much. I don't know you, I should be trying to kill you and yet there's something about you…'

Heero didn't say a word instead he stepped forwards, praying all the while that Treize wasn't going to kill him, and kissed him.

It was everything that his first kiss with the General hadn't been. For a start this time he was completely aware of what he was doing and his actions, this time things seemed a lot more real. The tongue that was filling his mouth seemed hotter, wetter, more alive and the taste that was engulfing his senses was being branded into his memory, he didn't want to forget this.

Then, as soon as it had begun, it was over. He knew his face was flushed and he thought he might be panting but that was all an unnecessary distraction because al the time he could see Treize licking his lips to capture more of the taste, his taste.

He'd been fifteen, Treize was twenty one, Treize had a daughter, he was the enemy, J would kill him if he ever found out, he was going against his training, it was wrong, it should never had happened. It was perfect. Heero had spent the night

The next morning he'd kissed Treize goodbye and then Marie, still nowhere nearer to explaining his devotion to the child.

She'd opened her eyes, perfect blue eyes, so much like Treize's and had looked straight at him. She hadn't screamed though, instead she'd smiled and kissed him back daintily, wrapping her arms round his neck, much to his surprise.

At that point his earlier obsession changed to something that he'd never experienced before and had no chance of ever recognising. And, even though he didn't realise it, in that moment he'd sworn a silent oath to protect her against any who would seek to hurt her, even if that someone turned out to be himself.

She'd caught them together a few weeks later, fast asleep in each other's arms, both silently dreading the coming morning.

He had awoken instantly and had frozen in horror at the sound of the door opening tensing and reaching almost unnoticeably for the ever-present weapon as Treize slept on oblivious. Then he'd caught a flash of red hair and had relaxed as Marie padded her way quietly into the room, clutching a teddy bear.

"What's wrong?"

She'd looked up at him, blue eyes brimming with tears. "I had a bad dream…"

He'd hesitated for a second and then pulled back the covers motioning for her to get into bed with them thanking the Gods as he did so that they'd both thought to put on underwear before going to sleep.

She'd clambered in and snuggled up to him as he awkwardly wrapped his arms round her. "Daddy…" she sighed contentedly.

He had frozen. "I'm not your daddy Marie, that's your daddy." He pointed to Treize.

She had shaken head defiantly, "Papa," she pointed at Treize. "Daddy," she snuggled back into him and was asleep within minutes.

He had lain there for a few minutes more until he'd felt Treize turn over and wrap an arm round him.

"I didn't…"

"Sssh, it's alright. If you're okay with it, then I couldn't be happier."

He had finally relaxed at that point as he felt Treize's arms wrap round him again.

Marie had only been three then and things had been so much easier. The next year he'd been sent to Earth and everything had changed. He'd gained a name and everything that came with it.

Yes, they'd been on opposite sides before but… this was different, this was active warfare against the one man who'd ever loved him. Fighting against OZ was one thing, fighting against Treize… He hadn't told Treize he was going to Earth. He'd nearly had a heart attack after meeting Zechs at Antarctica, knowing one of the few people who knew about their relationship now not only knew he was a gundam pilot but now knew that, for all intents and purposes, he should be dead, somehow he didn't think the fact that he's only nearly died was going to cut a lot of ice with Treize of Marie… or Zechs for that matter, as long as they knew he'd tried.

Not that he wasn't furious at Treize himself, he knew his lover had done some bad things in his quest for power but he himself was a terrorist, it's not like he could judge… But he could, quite honestly say that he'd never before come quite as close to hating Treize as he did after the way his lover had tricked him into destroying the pacifists' shuttle. Innocents had no place in a war, that was something he and his lover had never disputed, had never disagreed on, had never even dreamt of reconsidering.

And somehow the idea that had his lover known it was him he may have changed his mind was worse. The idea that Treize would reconsider for him but not one of the other pilots grated on him.

The others were no more suited to dealing with the mental and emotional fallout from such actions than he was, probably even less so come to think of it. Had 04 found himself in such a position, considering the reports he'd read, he seriously suspected that the blonde pilot may have killed himself.

He wouldn't allow himself to die though. Not before he had at least attempted to compensate in the only way he knew how. He had sought out the relatives of the victims and had offered them the chance to take retribution.

They had all refused.

He couldn't understand it. Had someone ever laid a finger on Treize or Marie's head, accidentally or not, he would have ripped their lungs out before thinking about it.

And that, he supposed, was what made him different from the people he had offered his life to, their ability to forgive. He didn't know if he could do that, he'd never had anyone to forgive before, no one had done anything…

Now though, things had changed. He needed to know if he could forgive Treize the way the Noventa family had forgiven him. What he had told Sylvia was true, being a soldier was the only way he knew how to live but maybe, just maybe, he would be able to change too.

It was Zechs who finally changed his mind. How he'd found out he was alive Heero had no idea but he had and the invitation to Antarctica wasn't exactly one he could ignore.

Zechs had caught up with him later that night. He'd joined Heero on the balcony where the sixteen year old was standing, staring out at the frozen scenery.

"He is sorry you know."

Heero spared him a glance. "Did he tell you to say that."

Zechs chuckled softly. "If you need an answer to that you don't know him very well."

Heero nodded. "Sorry." There was silence for a long moment before he spoke again, "how is he?"

"Better since he found out that you're alive. I think it was only Marie that stopped him from killing himself those few days he thought you were dead."

Heero turned to him, startled. "'The few days'?"

"Of course, your friend." Zechs tilted his head to indicate Trowa. "Isn't as secure as he thinks he is. Treize wanted to help with the treatment but I convinced him it wouldn't be a good thing. Then when you visited the families… well, he thought it was something you had to do alone."

Heero stared ahead, wordlessly.

"He is sorry you know, you going to see the families actually seems to have driven it home to him that they were real people, not just pawns or actors in his show."

"Did you tell him that?"

"No, I told him he was a fool."

Heero looked at him, aloofly curious, Zechs smiled.

"A fool for falling for the enemy and then a fool for letting him go."

And with that he'd been gone. They hadn't spoken about Treize again. They'd fought and then Heero had left, leaving the battle unfinished. Neither of them had really wanted to win anyway.

Heero had gone back to Treize, just like he always knew he would. He'd broken into Treize's room one night to find him sitting on the bed, watching something on the screen.

With a start Heero realised it was a video of one of the times he'd been interrogated by Treize's men.

"I didn't know." Treize's voice was dull, a far cry from the rich, amused tones Heero had always associated with his lover. "How could I love you and not know about such an important part of you?"

Heero had struggled with the words. "Because," he finally started, awkwardly. "When I was with you that part of me wasn't what was important."

Treize looked at him and he smiled, Heero smiled back.

"But it is a part of you, we're on the wrong sides of this war."

"Zechs said he called you a fool."

Treize looked up. "He did, was he right to?"

Heero hesitated then smiled lightly. "Probably, from an objective perspective but I don't think so. Not about the falling part anyway."

"But this changes things." Treize swallowed.

"Yes, and not just for us."

"I know, if anyone found out about her… we need to hide her, protect her."

"So no one will be able to hurt her." Heero's tone spoke very clearly about exactly what he'd do to anyone who tried.

"This war will not affect her, our positions in this war will not affect her." If you weren't listening you might have thought Treize sounded almost convinced.

"Promise?" Heero knew it was stupid thing to ask, an impossible thing to ask but he couldn't help it. He needed the reassurance.

Treize looked up and their eyes met. "I promise."