Disclaimer: Don't own any part of Gundam Wing or the characters, more's the pity. This is for fun...no profit involved.

Warnings: AU (sort of), yaoi, swearing (lots), some OOC (probably), some violence

Pairings: 1X2, 3X4, developing 5X6

A/N: I decided to start off with Duo's point of view again, since "Boot Camp" began and ended with it. And for anyone looking at this who hasn't read "Boot Camp," you probably should. They'll stand alone; but the background material really will help.



Duo POV…

Well, here I am again. Another day; another ride on a piece of shit bus.

Okay, that's not entirely fair. It's a pretty decent public transportation bus—not like the prison buses I've had the misfortune to ride before. And this time, instead of being hauled off to detention or even boot camp, I'm on my way to the most prestigious military academy in the entire Earth sphere. I still can't believe it.

The Mobile Suit Corps Academy is as good as it gets, when it comes to training people to pilot some of the most sophisticated machinery ever constructed to preserve a very shaky peace between the colonies and the Earth. And the amazing part is that a few months ago, I was a juvenile delinquent about to be shipped off to the harshest prison on the L2 colony. Yeah, pretty surreal…which seems now to be the story of my life.

Had it not been for the Peacecraft Initiative, I would at this moment be cooling my heels in prison. Or dodging a bunch of rapists and thugs intent on having their way with a young, slender, slightly too-pretty boy with a three-foot long braid of chestnut hair. Not a pretty picture.

But I got lucky after my last juvenile conviction, and my public defender got me into a program that sent a bunch of us kids to boot camp. Those who did well enough were admitted to the MSC Academy. And, shockingly, I did well enough.

Not that I'm not smart, 'cause I am. But I've never been big on authority figures, and boot camp was chock full of 'em. Nonetheless, I graduated, and after a short trip home to L2 to take care of a little unfinished business, I'm back Earthside in time for the start of the fall semester.

I'm looking forward to the Academy for a bunch of reasons. First and foremost, it beats the hell out of prison. And then there's the added feature of it providing an education and a career. Piloting mobile suits is just awesome. We got to use a simulator at boot camp, and if that's anything like the real thing, I'm gonna be in seventh heaven. It was the biggest rush of my life up to that point.

Of course, since then I hooked up with Heero Yuy, who now is the all-time biggest rush of my life. And I can guarantee that won't ever change. Sex with him is the absolute ultimate experience—but you'll have to take my word for it, since I have no intention of ever sharing! And when I get to the Academy, he'll be there too. I haven't seen him in a month, since I went off to L2 and he had business on L1. But that'll be the reunion of a lifetime. I can hardly wait!

Don't get me wrong…I'm also looking forward to seeing the rest of my teammates.

Quatre Winner was my friend from the first day of camp, and ended up more like a brother to me. That sweet, blonde kid with a mind like a steel trap got me through a lot of emotional shit.

And Trowa Barton; well, let's just say we had our ups and downs. There was a little rivalry there. He had the hots for Quatre, and saw me as a potential obstacle. Plus, he'd never been part of a team before, and had a lot to learn about trust and teamwork. But learn it he did, eventually.

Quatre, Trowa, Heero and I made up Team Wing—the most kick-ass team at the boot camp. And we totally earned that reputation.

Not that it was easy; on the contrary, we struggled to achieve the level of closeness and trust we needed in order to be the top-ranked team. There were some serious hard times for us, like when the fucked-up warden forced Trowa to sabotage one of our competitions and then pinned it on me. He nearly got to ship me off to prison that time.

Man, Tro' and I had some serious issues over that. And honestly, if Quatre hadn't been totally in love with him, I don't know that I'd ever have given Trowa the chance to win back my trust. But he did. And then he proved he deserved it by saving my life. Shit, they all did. I'd want any one of my teammates at my back in a tight spot. Which totally brings me back to Heero…thinking of tight spots…

Fuck. Could this bus ride be any longer?

Finally! We're pulling up to a little glass enclosure labeled "bus stop," located by a big stone arch with a sign that says "Mobile Suit Corps Academy."

"Looks like your stop, kid," the driver calls back to me.

Hefting my duffel bag over a shoulder, I stand up and shuffle my way to the front of the bus, suddenly contending with serious butterflies in my stomach.

What the hell am I doing here? This is the Academy—a place for smart, rich kids—not a street-rat like me.

All the smug confidence that I wore like a coat on the streets of L2 deserts me in a flash, and I feel a jolt of panic. It's not too late. I can just stay on the damned bus, ride it back to civilization, and hop the first shuttle back to L2—back to familiar ground and a life I know and understand.

Maybe that would be for the best. Maybe I don't belong here. I might flunk out in the first month and end up back on the streets again anyway. So if I go now, I'll just save myself the embarrassment and trouble of a dishonorable discharge.

"You gettin' off sometime this century, kid?" asks the bus driver, not unkindly. He gives a half-smile as I glance uncertainly over my shoulder. "Go on and give it a chance," he suggests.

I've been on this bus most of the day, riding from the shuttle port out to the elite training facility. The driver knows my story—or at least as much of it as I've shared in between stops and the arrival and departure of several other passengers.

"How often does the bus come all the way out here?" I ask carefully, hedging my bets in case I need a quick escape.

"Once a week," he replies, nodding towards the gate. "You head down that road, and it's about a mile to the campus itself. Good luck, kid."

I give him a genuine smile, reaching out to shake his hand. "Thanks, Gus."

Then I take a deep breath and walk down the steps and into the unknown.