Zechs was grateful to her for that interference. He spoke
to his sister often, listening to the details of her life. Sometimes she spoke
of her duties as vice foreign minister, other times relating the various and
sundry problems she faced as a teenaged girl making a place for herself. The
small victories and defeats of a promising life. Occasionally, he would also
reveal his own struggles to his sister. He had once thought impossible to speak
to Relena in the way one family member speaks to another, he had not presumed
to expect such a reward. Whether he deserved such a gift or not, Zechs often
found himself talking to the young girl about his new life, his lingering doubts,
and even his blossoming feelings of love for the woman who saved his soul. He
was growing closer to his sister everyday and it was once again thanks to Noin.
Their life on Mars was not an easy one, nor was it always
happy, but it was their own, free of the complications of the past. The first
time Zechs and Noin stepped onto Martian soil was a bit of a shock. The vast
wasteland was a truly intimidating sight. The winds were as harsh as the view,
alluding to the fact that life here would be demanding. The unexpected beauty
of the place was not lost on either of them, but life here did take some
getting used to. The red dust that constantly swirled around the collection of
newly-constructed habitats had a unique, spicy smell. Noin once commented that
it was like living on a ball of paprika. It was vaguely pleasant, but did
nothing for someone with allergies.
You are stellar.~
The young man smiled down at the person who filled his
heart with hope and peace. Noin was curled up on her stomach, arms crossed
under her chin like a child. Her uniform was rumpled, there was a bit of dried
sleep in her eye and her hair was a hopeless mess…and she was still the most
beautiful woman Zechs had ever known. He watched Noin sleep for a long time,
enjoying the peaceful expression on her face and the steady sound of her breathing.
He idly ran his fingers through her hair, displacing small traces of the
Martian dust that covered them both. They had been too tired to change out of
their work clothes last evening and only managed to rid them selves of the dirt
on their hands and faces before dinner. He leaned over and kissed her pink
cheek. At his touch, she shifted slightly. Zechs settled down next to her and
feigned sleep just as Noin's eyes fluttered open.
me in outer space.
will hold you close,
you're afraid of heights.~
stifled a groan as she awoke in the middle of the lounge floor. She was
definitely going to be stiff today. She moved gingerly, careful of her already
sore muscles, and sat up. At least, she sat up as much as possible without
waking Zechs. He had an arm casually draped across her and any additional
movement was sure to wake him. Noin ran her hands through her hair and rubbed
the sleep from her eyes, glad that Zechs had not seen her in such a state. She
looked down at the handsome young man next to her and shook her head. It was 5
a.m., he had fallen asleep in the floor, his uniform was a disaster and Zechs
Marquise still managed to look as beautiful as the first time she saw him so
many years ago. Why do guys always get the good hair?
brushed his hair away and gazed at his face. He looked so young. He was
young, they both were. At the age of 22, their greatest concern should be what
to do after college. Instead, they were trying to create a new life out of
broken pieces of the old. They were part of an entire generation of young
people who had known only the brutality of war and the greed of malevolent
leaders. A normal life was a novelty.
It had bee difficult for Noin and Zechs to blend into the
new community. At first, they didn't even try. She and Zechs kept to
themselves, more interested in working on repairing their own relationship than
building new ones. It didn't help matters any that they were the only permanent
residents who were single. There were dozens of temporary workers who filtered
in and out, staying for a week or so before being rotated out, but the majority
of the colony population consisted of young families. The idea was that the
colony would take decades to complete and it would be more efficient and better
for morale if families were given precedence. The fact that Relena was Zechs'
sister and a personal friend of Noin was the only thing that got the two single
ex-soldiers added to the roster.
rest of the colony eventually warmed up to the two quiet outsiders, particularly
Noin, who was asked to take on a teaching position in the new school. She took
to her additional duties immediately. It was wonderful to be teaching again
and, this time, without the worry or guilt associated with sending young people
off to battle. Through 'her kids,' Noin got to know most of their families
quite well. Zechs was still seen as a little standoffish and Noin endeavored to
be a bridge between her best friend and the rest of the community. It took time
and patience, but all her efforts eventually paid off. Here they were, well
liked by their neighbors, satisfied with their jobs…content. Well, most of the
do you do it?
me feel like I do.~
She shifted slightly and looked down at the incredibly
handsome man sleeping peacefully. Sometimes it drove her absolutely insane to
be close to him. Close but not touching. They behaved with maturity and decorum
not generally expected of young adults. It was the lingering result of a
childhood passed in military training. Every day had been about discipline. Now
that it was no longer expected, they couldn't seem to break the habit. The kept
a respectable distance from each other during working hours or in public, much
to the amusement of the other colonists. It was no secret that the two unmarrieds
were a couple. If they hadn't been when they arrived, Zechs and Noin would
surely have been a couple within a few months simply by default. The other
colonists were careful to pair the two young people up whenever possible,
making certain that they sat together at community functions and other little
none-to-subtle matchmaking tactics. The common lounge, for instance, was
usually vacated by 8:00 in the evening to give the couple time alone at the end
of the day. Zechs, ironically, had been the first to notice the conspiracy and
it endeared his neighbors to him. When Noin finally realized what was going on
she was a little embarrassed. Pleased, but embarrassed.
do you do it?
better than I ever knew.~
It had been two years since they first arrived at their
new home. Two years of hard work and long talks, but the couple had finally
settled into a comfortable life. Their relationship had been strengthened
enough to foster real trust. That trust provided the support for their love.
They said it to each other often. Noin smirked. There had been a time when
neither would have dreamed of speaking those words. It was their final
competition. Who would say "I love you" first.
leaned in closer, gently caressing the sleeping man's cheek. In the end, Zechs
said it first. The young woman bowed her head slightly, resting her cheek
against his. She never knew what power three words could have over the human
heart. Noin turned slightly and pressed her lips to Zechs' smooth cheek. She
had lived through hell and this was her reward, her gift from God. The love of
an extraordinary man and the ability to return that love with her entire heart.
She continued to lightly kiss the young man's skin, finally brushing her warm
lips against his.
Noin was startled when Zechs wrapped his arms around her
and spun over, quickly but carefully pinning the young woman beneath him.
You are stellar.
morning," Zechs murmured against Noin's lips before continuing the soft kiss.
His hair fell over his shoulders and across them both, spilling onto the
carpeted floor around them like a curtain, shielding them from the rest of the
world. His lips left hers briefly and traveled lightly over her cheeks and
eyelids, down to her smooth neck. Noin sighed in spite of herself. This was
what it was all about. All the hardships, heartbreak and arguments…all of it
bringing them to this. She lay contentedly in Zechs' arms, their breathing and
heartbeats in sync. Noin was finally with the man she loved in a life she
enjoyed. No politics, no unattainable ideals, nothing to stand in their way
anymore. She nuzzled his cheek and held him tighter. She was safe and free
because of Zechs...because he asked her to come with him. Noin turned her head to meet Zechs in
another deep kiss.
How do you do it?
me feel like I do.~
in the gentle passion of the kiss, the two were oblivious to the amount of time
that passed. As dawn gradually approached, Noin unexpectedly flinched.
pulled back, startled. "What?"
cramp," Noin replied sheepishly.
Zechs immediately reached down and began massaging the young woman's leg,
kneading the muscles for a few moments before Noin shyly pointed out that they
were not in the best position should someone walk in the lounge. They both
chuckled nervously and Zechs helped Noin to her feet. He put his arm around her
waist as they walked over to the large window overlooking the vast red desert
below. The sun was just beginning to make its ascent into the morning sky, its
golden rays streaking across the small cluster of environmental domes that made
up the burgeoning colony.
do you do it?
It's better then I ever knew. ~
was a nice way to wake up…" Noin commented quietly as they watched the
hesitated a moment before responding, "We could wake up like this every day…"
Zechs' voice trailed off, Noin kept her eyes trained on the orange disk rising
above the blistered terrain. "I don't think it's a good idea to sleep on the
lounge floor every night, especially in our work clothes…you know how that dust
makes you sneeze." She casually brushed a trace of red dirt from her sleeve.
gave her a sideway glance and said, "That's not what I meant."
What did you mean?"
meant," he turned Noin to face him and pulled her closer, "it could always be
snorted. "Look at the pot calling the kettle 'obtuse.'"
Zechs tightened his embrace and continued, "You know perfectly well what I'm
trying to say."
Zechs, I know perfectly well what you're trying to say."
I still want you to say it."
young man grunted in frustration, clearly displeased with Noin's joy at
torturing him in this manner. Zechs scowled and took her chin in his hand.
"Lucretzia Noin," he began then added sarcastically, "light of my life…"
Zechs?" Noin answered sweetly. She was definitely enjoying this.
took a breath and soberly asked, "Will you marry me?"
That wasn't so hard, was it?"
it wasn't," he admitted with some surprise.
I was right."
usual…which I find damned annoying."
reply was a grin before giving Zechs a peck on the cheek.
Zechs stared down at her with an eyebrow raised.
what?" Noin smiled innocently.
gave her an exasperated glare before demanding, "Will…You…Marry…Me?"
Zechs," Noin teased affectionately, wrapping her arms around his neck. "don't
expression softened as he leaned down for conformation in the form of a kiss.
Just as their lips were about to touch…
me quick before we sneeze again."
they kissed, bathed in the golden glow of a Mars sunrise, other members of the
colony began to filter through the hallways on their way to commence the day's
activities. Construction workers made their way outside the complex in their
cumbersome environmental suits. One worker glanced up to the living quarters
and spied two figures in the lounge window, locked in a loving embrace and
oblivious to their surroundings. Nudging her partner, the amused woman pointed
to the window and the scene was called to the attention of the rest of the
group. Soon there was a small crowd staring up and clapping in approval. The
couple, who could not hear the commotion below, separated and turned once again
to watch the sun on its ascent into the heavens.
jumped a bit upon noticing the small crowd watching them from below. Blushing
uncontrollably, she attempted to step away from the window, only to find
herself trapped in her fiancé's arms. Zechs held up Noin's left hand and
pointed to her ring finger. The small group of their fellow colonists erupted
into animated cheers, joyously giving their consent to the union. Pleased with
the response, the young couple sealed the bargain with another kiss.
The End +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I said, drip, drip, drip. This is a sequel to 'Drive.' You don't have to read
that to understand this one, but I'd like you to read it. It would make me very
happy. [bats eyelashes] Then maybe review? I'd be grateful if you reviewed.
[big Duo-esque grin] Please?
In case you haven't read the other 20 or so disclaimers I've written, I do not
own Gundam Wing, nor the song 'Stellar.' They are copyrighted by their
respective owners. I wish I owned them both. Well, I guess I could settle for
owning Zechs, Noin and the lead singer from Incubus…yeah, that would keep me