A/N: This is something I had done on my computer but never really got around to posting. I'm simply doing it now to clear up my huge 'In-Progress' folder and to let everyone know I'm still alive. I've had a bad runoff it lately- I've been sick, working like a dog and my parents are on the verge of a nasty separation and possible divorce.
But I will survive to write another day.
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing and all the name includes does not belong to me. The plot and utter sap of this fic does those. Sorry.
Pairing: 1+4/4+1, 3X2, 5XS, RXD, 6XN
Note: This is Part One of a Three Part Arc….thing. All are First-Person pieces. It is purposely vague on the action because I want the emotion behind the fic to peek out over all the balls and glory of the G-Boys. Just so I don't get flamed for having no excitment.
Regret is simply the realization that you've made the wrong choice. It's the feeling you get when you don't stop to think things through, when you follow your emotions and it turns out ugly.
I've only ever felt regret three times in my life; once for the death of a little blond girl and her puppy, once for the shooting down that shuttle full of pacifists and another the last time I saved Relena's life.
Bomb threat. That in itself is a scary thought, even for Preventers. Even for ex-Gundam pilots.
Confirmed bomb at the ESUN House of Governing is even worse.
I'm still ashamed to admit that his safety never crossed my mind. Not until it was much too late to do anything about it, not until it became my biggest regret.
I suppose I should take some consolation in the fact that it hadn't crossed the others' minds either- until the end- but when that smug, smirking face told us about the bomb we'd all thought of one other name.
I only broke his jaw when he laughed and told us we had sixty minutes until the bomb blew- apparently terrorist suspects have rights too. I didn't ask where that had been when I was considered a terrorist.
Things only worsened when Une informed us- as we were dashing down the hall towards the garage- that any communications into the ESUN building had been cut by insurgents inside.
Good thing it was only fifteen to the House from the Preventer Headquarters, I'd hate having to trust someone else with this mission.
It wasn't a very good job of terrorizing our new pacifist government. The group had obviously gotten lucky with lax security for the weekend and a public holiday on Monday. No one had even bothered to check the panic exits that had secretly been installed into each and every room of the ESUN House.
It was simply a matter of bypassing my security codes and sneaking into a room that was empty. Sometimes it pays to be the computer science expert of the group- no matter how much Duo insists I am a geek.
Duo and Trowa paved the way through the building as Wufei and I covered them. There were nearly three hundred rooms in the House and barely half that number of terrorist. Their guards were poorly trained and jumpy- not necessarily a good combination but we were a group used to beating incompressible odds and doing improbable feats.
We found Relena bound and crying in her office, surrounded by masked men carrying guns. Wufei spat on them after they had been….dispatched, growling at their cowardice.
My watch vibrated its fifteen minute warning as we left and leaving was hell.
Someone- most likely an employee- had hit the alarm and set the enemy on high alert. We not only had fifteen minutes to escape but fifteen minutes to escape alive and with Relena intact.
Trowa was stabbed in the shoulder by a lucky terrorist carrying a fucking hunting knife. Duo broke three ribs and picked up a concussion from a slam into the floor. Wufei cursed the ancestry of the man who'd shot him in the thigh.
I gained a few cuts, scrapes, bruises and in one case, a bullet graze, but dealing with the thought that I'd forgotten something important- that I'd left a vital part of myself behind- was the hardest.
Of course, I was cursed with this damned ability to push away any distractions except the mission and at that moment the mission was getting Relena out of that damn building with her bruised cheek and spilt lip still intact.
Zechs all but ripped his sister from our grasp when we dashed towards the cluster of Preventer vehicles and the bomb blew behind us.
Chunks of cement and rock smashed into the surrounding streets, buildings, trees and vehicles as a giant cloud of thick, black smoke and dust rose into the air. People screamed in fright and panic as the House of Peace began to crumble.
The terrorist fraction had all but wiped itself out with that little stunt and had failed to take the true bodies of the ESUN with it. They had been stupid enough to hit the building on a Sunday and Relena had only been in attendance herself because the Preventers were about to be voted in as the new Earth Sphere Policing Force- if she could keep support up.
I was the only one fit enough to drive us back to HQ with the others injured and Zechs a near blubbering mess. Relena was disturbingly silent.
"Are you alright?" I asked her gently, breaking the silence in the van. She shook her head.
"I keep feeling like I'm forgetting something. It- it all happened so fast. I- I didn't expect it." Relena looked impossibly shaken up and small, sitting there with her pretty pink suit and bruises.
Even the Queen of the World, the Heart of Peace had forgotten him in the face of such a crisis.
Sally met us at the entrance, ushering everyone to a cot as I went to report to Commander Une. I found her striding down the Medical Wing corridor towards me as I left the examination room and closed the door.
"Extraction was successful. Injuries to Agents Maxwell, Chang and Barton are all not life-threatening." The feeling of forgetting something returned. It was starting to irritate me.
"There were civilian causalities- less than there could have been but causalities all the same. "Her face was grim as she went into the exam room to update the others.
Relena cried for the innocent who had been killed in her employ and there was a respectful silence all around that was broken by the harsh sound of a mobile phone ringing.
It was the Commander's.
Even with my enhanced hearing ability I could only catch the deep rumbling of a distinctly male voice from her phone. That's why I felt a stone of foreboding drop into my stomach as Une's face went white and a shaky hand pressed to her lips.
"Oh God no…."
The feeling of dread and the thoughts of a forgotten importance filled my mind as the whole room watched our usually calm, cool and collected Commander falter.
"I'll send agents right away, maybe….no, they're all here. I'll …inform them. Yes, you the same. Une out."
She closed the phone slowly, staring at it as if she'd never seen one before. My nerves were trembling in fright. I was actually afraid of what Une would have to say.
"Angelina, what's wrong?" Sally was the one to brave the silence this time. I wished I had been so strong.
"That was Rashid." She explained. "The media's already broadcasted the bombing."
"Quatre hasn't called in yet, demanding answers?" Duo asked dazedly, feeling his concussion.
Trowa gripped his hand tightly when Relena suddenly burst into heart-wrenching sobs and clung to her brother.
Sally grabbed her desk chair and pushed Une into it as she swayed. I looked at Relena's blotchy face and back to my Commander in fright, not that anyone could tell.
"I forgot!" Relena wailed, shaking. "How could I forget him?!"
That cold detached feeling my training instills when my emotions get too much to handle washed over me as Une spoke.
"Rashid just informed me of Quatre's meeting with Relena today at the ESUN House." Sally gasped. "He wanted to know if Quatre was alright...here with-"
I watched as one of the strongest woman I had ever known succumbed to tears.
It felt more like a dream- a nightmare- as I looked around the room at the sobbing Relena, Une and Sally. Zechs was staring off at the wall in shock, Wufei wasn't much better as he held onto the blond doctor.
Duo was pale, even as he cried against the fabric of Trowa's jacket. I couldn't help but think this was another loved one he'd lost. Trowa sat rocking his lover but it was more of an absent minded rocking than one built for comfort.
I walked away from the scene, my chest tight and achy with regret. Relena's sandy blond hair caught the flickering hospital lights and I could stop the thought that I'd saved the wrong blond this time. Like the true perfect soldier I'd killed love for peace.
I've never hated peace so much until that moment.
A/N: This part is in Heero's PoV- just in case you're confused. The next part will be as well. The final Piece will be all Quatre.