Balance

August 6, 2008

(My first Gundam Wing story after a seven year hiatus!)

Summary: Trowa and Cathrine confirm they are siblings. This leads Trowa to analyze if he needs a civilian life and a home when he's deep undercover spying on Lady Une.

Warnings: None. Just some angst over 3xMU. I used an actual excerpt from the Episode Zero manga for Trowa's flashback.

SPECIAL NOTE: These stories were written a long time ago, but I've never really done much with them. Some success with Weiss Kreuz fanfiction has encouraged me to go back and post all my old things here. My Gundam stories are typically comedy or spy-thrillers. These are some of my great ideas I got before I went to college so my writing isn't as good. I just feel compelled to get them on the Internet and off my hard drive. I haven't read any Gundam fanfiction in several years either so have no idea what's come and gone. This is mainly a purging on my part, but I still hope there are people who enjoy them. More will be on the way.

"...and I also want you to oversee the new pilot selection on Monday. The folder is right there," Colonel Ann Une said, pointing at the beige folder on the corner of her desk. She crossed her shapely legs and shifted in her cordovan wingback chair towards Trowa. She was dressed in an elegant blue suit because of an earlier press conference. He switched his eyes to the folder and picked it up.

"Do you have any special criteria, Colonel?" Trowa asked as he opened the folder to the first application.

"I'm hoping you'll find more pilots as talented as yourself," she said with a poised smile. He flipped through the applications and shook his head. "They will do, but none of them will be able to take care of your major issue: catching the Gundam pilots."

"I appreciate your honesty," she said, meeting his eyes.

"Your other men don't appreciate it," Trowa said. "They are under the impression I'm treasonous for pointing out OZ's disadvantages."

"I don't need a bunch of sycophants under my command," she said, putting on her glasses. "Telling me your honest and intelligent assessments of OZ's situation is the way to serve me best. You're a very bright, young man, Trowa. I want to take more of an interest in your career."

"Thank you, Lady Une, but I..." Trowa started, only to be interrupted by Colonel Une's phone. He picked up the receiver and punched the red button. "Colonel Une's office. Lieutenant Barton speaking."

"Trowa! It's me. Cathrine. It was hard for them to find you on the base." The girl's voice was on the other end. The surprise he felt didn't reach his typically impassive face.

"Is this an emergency?" Trowa asked, glancing away from Lady Une's curious hazel eyes.

"No, Trowa, but we're in town and there is something pretty serious I need to talk to you about. Is there a way you can come by for dinner?"

"Can it be tonight?" Trowa asked. "I don't know about this weekend. It's looking very busy."

"Sure, Trowa. The sooner, the better," Cathrine said, her voice was so cheery that it brought a small smile. "Bye." Trowa hung up the phone and proceeded to close the folder.

"Anything that requires my attention?" Colonel Une asked.

"No, ma'am. An old co-worker of mine was inviting me to dinner. It's a very rare occurrence for us to be in the same town," Trowa said.

"That's right. You had the oddest employment history of any pilot candidate I've ever met. Were you really what you say you were? I mean, I find it unlikely," Lady Une said, taking off her glasses. She leaned over her desk with scrutinizing eyes.

Trowa stood up, picked up a paperweight, pencil holder, and letter opener from the Colonel's desk. He tossed them up in the air one at a time and started to juggle them with a high level of dexterity. He juggled the objects in different patterns and finally placed them on her desk again as she started laughing. He gave her a deep bow at the waist and grabbed his folder again.

"I'm sorry I doubted you. If you want to take the whole weekend it wouldn't be a problem. I'm going to be with Mister Treize, so I won't require your assistance. All I would like you to do is review those files. Sign yourself out a pass in my name and have a nice time," Colonel Une said. Trowa saluted her and turned to leave. "Oh... and a bit of advice, Trowa. Keep up the good work, but watch out for the other men. You are being watched more than you know."

"Ma'am," Trowa said with a nod and left, feeling a shiver at her subtle warning. She obviously knew he was spying for the other Gundam pilots, but why was she toying with him?


Trowa rapped his knuckles on Cathy's trailer and walked in slowly. He dropped his duffel bag by the door as the tall, ginger haired woman stepped from the kitchenette. She walked over to him and gave him a fierce hug. Trowa endured it and breathed again when she stepped back and placed her hands on his upper arms.

"I'm so glad you came," Cathrine said, smiling. She started to frown when she looked him up and down. "You know I hate that uniform you're wearing. Why don't you change and we'll have some dinner. Then I want you to explain what you're doing at an OZ Specials' base."

He nodded and went back to his old bedroom and changed his clothing quickly to jeans and a plain white tee shirt. He carefully hung his uniform up next to his yellow, blue, and green clown costume and rejoined her in the kitchenette.

"I wonder how you found out I was in OZ," Trowa asked, taking a seat as Cathrine served him a plate with steak, green beans, and small red potatoes.

"I got it out of Quatre," she admitted.

"I thought you two weren't on speaking terms," Trowa said, remembering the last fight between them.

"He's worried about you playing dangerous games. He thought I might talk some sense into you," she said.

"They aren't games. What I do is vital to the war effort. I would appreciate you and Quatre not trying to interfere with my missions," Trowa said.

"I called you because I happen to care about you and I worry about what you are doing," she said, sitting beside him with her own food. "I know that you were sent from the space colonies and are trying to destroy OZ by piloting that Gundam. For some reason you seemed bent towards destructive sabotage activities. Now you've stopped doing all those dangerous things and started working for OZ. The military? You know how horrible they are. Why did you join them?"

"If you would have talked with Quatre a little more, you would know that's not the case. I haven't changed sides, Cathy. I am following the orders given to me though my group on the space colonies. They needed someone to infiltrate the OZ Specials at the highest levels and pass information back to them," Trowa replied.

"You could have just said you were spying on them," Cathrine said dryly.

"I don't care for that word," Trowa said before picking up his knife with his left hand.

"Listen. There is a reason I wanted to talk to you. It might make you change your mind and you might decided to come back to the circus," Cathrine said. She slid a photo over towards Trowa. "Three weeks ago I started to clean out my parent's old steamer trunks. I found a picture of us with my little brother. I thought he got killed in the last war."

Trowa looked at the photo; he couldn't suppress the shiver that ran over him. The four year old boy in the photo that younger Cathrine was holding had his same green eyes and sharp features. He looked over to her for an explanation.

"I think you could be my brother. You look just like him," Cathy said. "You told me that you were from Earth and not a space colony. Your parents were killed in the same war as mine. You don't remember anything about them. You said that you were attracted to the circus for some reason. Most important is that you said you're seventeen which would be the right age."

"It would be too much of a coincidence that you and I are related," Trowa murmured. "There are billions of people around the earth and space colonies. Besides, I don't remember anything about my birth family."

"Look! I didn't realize why I was so drawn to take care of you and give you a home to come to. It was as if something inside of me remembered you. I am convinced you're Triton."

"Triton?" he asked.

"My little brother's name was Triton Bloom. Doesn't it ring a bell?" she asked with wide, hopeful gray eyes.

"No. I'm sorry. I was only four when I was separated from my family. The mercenaries that took me in said everyone had died," Trowa explained. "I'm not who you're looking for."

"I know you are. I've felt it ever since you joined the circus. Please just indulge me in one thing," Cathrine said. Trowa arched an elegant eyebrow and glanced at her. "I want us to go get a test. Just to make sure."

"What? A genetic test, you mean?" Trowa asked.

"All they'll do is swab our mouths and then we'll know an hour later. Before you came I looked up the address of the closest family planning center that does it. Please, Trowa. It'll mean so much. I looked at that picture and knew it was you," Cathrine said.

"Cathrine, I can't do that. My information is with the OZ Specials. They'll know I went to a family planning center and question me about it," Trowa pointed out, imagining the check they would do on his identity. His identity, if examined closely, could lead the OZ Specials to Quatre and the other Gundam pilots.

"What if you used a fake identity. Here you are acting like you're Jason Bourne all of the sudden. I'm sure you can fake something if that's what you're worried about," Cathrine said. Trowa shook his head and crossed his arms. "Please, do this for me. It would mean so much."

"Don't you understand that it's for your own good. If, on some bizarre fluke, I am your brother, it could put you in danger," Trowa said. "I just cannot risk it."

"You're so selfish," Cathrine shouted and ran out of the trailer with tears streaming down her cheeks. Trowa heard Cathrine's phone ring. He looked at the number on the display in aggravation.

"Quatre," Trowa said, answering the phone. His Arabian friend was silent for a moment. Trowa had a sense of satisfaction catching the empathic teenager off guard for once.

"I was hoping you'd accepted Cathrine's offer," Quatre said. He knew better than to engage Trowa in pointless conversation. "What's the matter? Haven't you two had a chance to talk?"

"Yes. It didn't go well. You knew what she was going to ask me and you didn't warn me," Trowa said.

"I told her she should," Quatre replied.

"Why didn't you discourage her? You of all people know I had to turn her down," Trowa said. "I'm also not thrilled with the fact that you withheld from her what I was doing as an OZ solider."

"She showed me those pictures. It has to be you!" Quatre's excitement bubbled over. "Don't you want to know if you have some family?"

"Not if it could harm her," Trowa said.

"You need family, Trowa. You can't just let this pass you by. You'll regret it for the rest of your life. I have so many regrets over things I didn't get to tell my father. Family is a very precious gift you must not throw away out of some nebulous fear. Besides, I think it'll help you recover more of your memories. Just let someone help you for once," Quatre said.

"You and Wufei come from a different world then Heero, Duo, and me. We've had to make our own way in the world with no one. You're asking me to go against the only way I know how to live," Trowa replied.

"I'm sorry. I guess I overstep a boundary," Quatre said. The line went silent. Trowa knew it wasn't polite of him to hint that Quatre's excessively wealthy family divided him from the group as a whole, but Trowa knew it was true. There were just some things Quatre couldn't accept about the lives of his fellow Gundam pilots.

Granted, Quatre had made great strides by accepting more dangerous missions. There was even a rumor that he was traveling with Heero Yuy, which Trowa fervently hoped wasn't true for two reasons. Heero only accepted suicidal missions with no chances of success. Also, Heero was growing progressively more mentally disturbed as months of war raged on. Quatre's empathy would pick up Heero's warped emotions and dragged him into a deeply depressed state.

Trowa put the phone up and decided to take a walk around the fairway to shake of the sensation of being ambushed by the two people he had granted his fragile trust. The large, garish tents were assembled in preparation for tomorrow's performance. A few stray performers waved at Trowa as he passed. A soft thunk caught his attention. He turned to his left as saw Cathrine practicing her act in front of a well-worn target. Trowa walked over as she hoisted a knife.

"I'm sorry. If I hurt your feelings," Trowa said.

"Watch it or you'll be working as my assistant again," Cathrine said, turning back to her target. She nailed the bull's-eye with the flat throwing knife.

"When you're this angry with me? I think I'll stick to the tightrope," Trowa said. She gave him a baffled look and then laughed.

"I just want to find my little brother if he's out there in the world. He was never found," Cathrine said.

"Okay. I'll do it," Trowa agreed. Her eyes lit up and she smiled. "But... I have to say my life is very complicated. I have very few memories of my life in general. I am committing acts of espionage right now, but the lady Colonel knows what I really am. I don't understand her motives. She's just toying with me on some level. On another level I feel as thought she's enjoying the thrill of having an enemy right at her elbow. Her men all hate me so they're looking for any excuse to question my integrity so they can force her to arrest me. That would include having a different name than my sister."

"I know, but we could tell them anything, Trowa," Cathrine said. "Don't worry. By the way, were you serious about the tightrope?"

"Sure. Did you want to do our juggling act this weekend?" Trowa asked.


Trowa woke up early and quickly dressed in gray sweat clothes and found his leather-soled slippers. His stomach rumbled, but he knew there wasn't any breakfast until after the morning rehearsal.

He made his way to the big top where Cathrine was already stretching beside the narrow ladder that lead up to the tight wire. She gave him a smile and tossed him three juggling pins.

"I bet you're rusty, Trowa. You want to start on a low rope first?" she asked, picking up three more pins.

"I've been keeping up at the OZ Specials' gym. They have a world class facility with anything an Olympic gymnast could want," Trowa said, putting on the tightrope slippers over his bare feet.

"Okay," she said skeptically. "We'll start with pins, do some plate spinning, and then knives. Just the basics." She turned and quickly scaled the ladder. Trowa went after her. He watched Cathrine's feet curl slightly around the wire as she took a few slow steps onto the tight wire. Trowa gingerly followed her with his arms outstretched, pins in his hands.

"Okay, Trowa. On three," Cathrine said after turning on the wire. He followed her lead and tossed the pins towards her. She caught them and threw them back at Trowa. They increased their speed and varied the pattern as they got comfortable.

"Okay, I see you haven't gotten rusty at all," Cathrine said with a smirk. Trowa caught the pins and turned on the wire, keeping his center of gravity over the arches of his feet. He inhaled and did a back flip. "Now don't go showing me up! You don't want to mess up my aim."

"I have enough danger in my life," Trowa answered. He tilted to his right and let gravity pull him down into the large net below. He quickly got to the edge, flipped over the side, and landed on the ground. Cathrine followed as Trowa's old boss walked up.

"How's the military treating you?" the ring master asked, shaking Trowa's hand.

"Well enough," Trowa replied, crossing his arms.

"Hey, I'm glad you're here! Trowa is going to work this weekend," Cathy said.

"That's fine. We're booked solid so I can pay you cash for each performance. Same rate I used to pay," he said.

"We're going to run into town for a few hours, but we'll be back for the afternoon's performance," Cathrine said.

"Oh no! Not this running off business again," the ring master said. "That was your worst habit, Trowa."

"I'll remind you what I've said before. You're only paying me for the performances, not to hang around," Trowa said. The ring master glared at him.

"We'll be back. It's really important," Cathrine said, grabbing Trowa's wrist. She pulled him out towards the jeep Trowa had signed out yesterday.


"This is an unusual request," the raven-haired doctor said. She took off her white lab coat and sat behind her desk with two folders and two packages marked sterile swabs. "Usually we determine paternity for babies. Are one of your parents willing to do this?"

"My parent's are deceased. I was separated from my brother when he was very young," Cathrine said.

"I see. Somehow you found each other and want to confirm you're siblings?" the doctor asked. Cathrine nodded. "I have to explain that this test is about probability and not a true confirmation. It would be more accurate with a parent's sample. If the index is over 1.0 than you are likely related. The higher the number, the more likely you are siblings."

"Good! We'll hope for a big number," Cathrine said with a with a large smile.

"I hope this turns out how you want," the doctor said, grinning. "Oh, by the way, Lieutenant Barton. I need you to sign this waver so I can send this information to your commanding officer. It's the law. You know... OZ moral turpitude regulations and such. This shouldn't cause you any problems though."

"I understand," Trowa said, taking a pen with his left hand. He signed the forms she handed him. The doctor took the sheet and glanced at it. Her eyes widened and then she tucked the form into Trowa's folder.

"Colonel Une? Wow. I didn't know I would be working on a celebrity's adjutant. She's really done a lot to get those space colonies under control. I'm hoping she catches those Gundam terrorist soon before they kill more people," the doctor said, picking up the swabs. Trowa met Cathrine's worried eyes with his impassive gaze. She gave him a nervous giggle and looked back at the doctor.

"Okay, Miss Bloom," the doctor said. She stretched across the desk with one swab and ran it around Cathy's mouth for a few seconds. "Lieutenant Barton," the doctor said, getting the next swab. He leaned over an let her take his sample. "Great. It'll be an hour. I'll meet you in my office then. The coffee downstairs is pretty decent."

Trowa followed Cathrine downstairs to the small canteen that was crowded with children and young mothers. Trowa bought them two cups of coffee and led her to an isolated table in a corner.

"Aren't these kids so cute? It makes me want one," Cathrine said. "I think you'll make a great uncle."

"We haven't gotten back the test, Cathy," Trowa said. "Besides, you don't even have a boyfriend."

"That friend of yours is kind of cute," she said with a twinkle in her eyes.

"Heero," Trowa asked after choking on a swallow of coffee. Cathy scowled.

"Not Heero! He's such a little creep! I meant Wufei Chang," Cathrine said. Trowa breathed a sigh of relief. It was bad enough having Quatre involved in Heero's destructive rampages. He knew Heero had put his life on the line for Quatre's life many times before; that wasn't what made Trowa nervous. It was just the fact that lately Heero Yuy was a lightning rod for explosions, bullets, and bad odds.

"You know Wufei is a chauvinist pig. He also had an unhappy arranged married at one time," Trowa said.

"An arranged marriage? You're kidding. Is he divorced?" she asked.

"Widower," Trowa replied. Cathrine shook her head.

"You and your friends are a colorful lot," she said.

"I wish you would get along with them a little better." He figured now was a good time to broach the subject. "Why don't you like them?" Trowa asked.

"Because they keep dragging you away from the circus and then put you in danger," Cathrine said.

"I'm choosing to fight to free the space colonies from OZ's control. Quatre and Heero never have made my decisions for me. Otherwise, I wouldn't be engaged in espionage," Trowa whispered.

"I guess I'm just frustrated because you're so talented. It's hard developing an act when you're in and out. That and... I feel a little used," Cathrine confessed. "You only seem to come around when you need a place to hide out."

"I'm sorry if I haven't shown you gratitude. I do appreciate everything. Even saving my life," Trowa said. She blushed, her eyes darted down to her coffee.

"I didn't want to see you kill yourself," Cathrine said. "Can't you see how much I care? I know you don't like to talk about emotional things, so you don't have to say anything."

"Yes, I do. I do care about you too. I rely on you giving me shelter. Showing you that I trust you is the only way I know how to show I care. That's why I didn't want to take this test. If I'm caught, you could be used as leverage against me. I couldn't be callous towards you in that situation," Trowa said.

"Oh Trowa. I didn't know all of this. Thank you for talking to me," Cathrine said. Their conversation drifted back towards the other Gundam pilots and then towards Cathrine's parents.

She described them and told Trowa what she knew about their lives. Trowa wasn't surprised to find out they were famous trapeze artists. Her father had red hair and was musically talented. Cathrine pointed out Trowa could have gotten his musical talent from him. Cathrine's mother was soft spoken with light brown hair and stunning green eyes. Cathrine seemed to chuckle as she told Trowa he was just like her mother. Their conversation idled down as they had another cup of coffee.

"It's time," Cathrine said, fumbling with her purse. "You know what. No matter what it says, I still do want you to consider me like your sister."

"I will," Trowa promised as they walked back to the doctor's office. The doctor looked up and smiled. They took their seats after shutting the door.

"Good news. Your index was so high that there is no doubt. It's a ninety-six percent change you two are brother and sister," the doctor said, sliding the result sheet over her desk. Cathrine let out a high pitched squeal and threw her arms around Trowa's neck. "You should go celebrate."

"Thank you so much, doctor," Cathrine said, waving the sheet in the air.

"So I'll notify Colonel Une and your records will be updated. You will have to submit some information about birth parents, but it shouldn't be any trouble. Good luck to you both," she said, standing and shaking their hands.

Cathrine grabbed Trowa's hand and tugged him out into the hallway. She looked at him with smile even though she had tears in her eyes. He met her expression with tight-lipped worry. She hugged him again and then took a step back.

"You really are Triton," Cathrine said.

"I'm not use to that name and I'm not sure I ever will be," Trowa said numbly as he guided Cathrine back to the jeep. "Triton Bloom?" Trowa said trying the name out for the first time.

"Yeah! That's you," Cathrine said. "So you are going to change your name back, aren't you? You know it'll be wonderful. We can go by The Amazing Blooms just like our parents. I can't believe it! I can say our parents. You know we could really do things with our act. We could get started on the trapeze and..."

"Cathrine," Trowa said firmly, starting the jeep. She had a blank expression. "Listen, I'm still involved with the Gundam pilots. I have an obligation I need to fulfill first. Maybe one day, when OZ stops threatening the space colonies, we can make some of those plans. Right now I can't let myself think beyond my missions. Please understand that I'm not coming back to the circus on a permanent basis."

She turned forward as Trowa pulled into traffic. Fifteen minutes later they pulled up to their trailer. She turned back around with a scowl.

"I lost my whole family to war. Now that I've found you, you want to run off and get yourself killed. I hate you for doing this to me," Cathrine shouted. She struggled with the door and was about to get out when Trowa grabbed her left arm. She reared back and slapped his face with a loud crack. His fingers loosened; she bolted out of the jeep and ran to their trailer.


After walking around the fairway for half an hour he went back to the big top. His eyes traveled up to the tightrope. He quickly made his way up to the small platform. He chalked his hands and looked down at the forty foot drop. Trowa grabbed the 20 foot balancing pole in an underhanded grip. The pole was cold and weighty. Before he stepped out on the taught wire his memory sparked. The memory of a blond, French girl taunting him flashed and then disappeared. He tool a deep breath and concentrated.

Slowly she came into focus. He had a gun trained on her. She was removing a transmitter from around her neck. That transmitter was what had betrayed his mercenary group, the people who had raised him, to a fiery attack that left Trowa a lone survivor. Too late he had realized she was a spy.

He had a sharp intake of breath realizing now why he detested the word 'spy' so much. She, Middie, had been a spy for the Alliance. It was her job to betray him and the mercenary group he traveled with. She had done her job very well except that she had made the one fatal mistake for a spy. She had never suppressed her emotions for her target.

"I'm not as fortunate as you," her voice echoed in his ears in the aftermath of the attack.

"I'm fortunate?" Trowa asked her in bafflement as she removed her transmitter.

"There's nothing that ties you down. You have no name, no past... and now no comrades. I have a name, Middie Une. I have a sick father and three little brothers," she said as tears were trickling down her cheeks. "I couldn't have survived this long without becoming a spy and getting those people killed." She clenched the transmitter in her fist now and looked at him with wide, haunted eyes. "I can't even tell the person I love how I feel about him! Do you know why? Because I'm not empty like you! I'm filled with things... my family... my job... my guilt! Always! That's why I hate empty guys like you! I loved you," she screamed at him with tears streaming down her lovely face. Trowa's gun didn't waver.

"Is that all you have to say," he asked softly. She now looked baffled.

"You're better off than me... you have a place to go home to," he said. She dropped the transmitter on the ground. Her expression was tranquil, but all too tragic. Trowa remembered his chest aching at that very moment. He took a breath and said, "Good bye, Middie. He fired off two rounds in the transmitter and then turned to go. She called after him, but he ignored her.

Trowa shook his head and came back to the present. She and the mercenaries had called him 'no-name.' After that he began a search to find a home and to find a name. Too bad he ran into Doctor S and the real Trowa Barton before that time. Now he assumed a dead man's identity and was something he detested, a spy. His life made no sense to him any longer. With Cathrine coming back into his life, it made things an even more complicate balancing act.

He was half way across the tight wire before being conscious of his steps. His feet and center of gravity had naturally adjusted to the new challenge. He had to find a way to naturally balance his life the same way he could naturally balance his body on a thin wire.


He walked into the trailer and saw that Cathrine wasn't there. There was no note either, which worried him even more. He checked to see Quatre had left a message, but he wasn't in the mood to return it. He went to his room, sat on his bed, and stared at the two costumes hanging in the closet door. He knew the OZ Specials' uniform was not really different from the clown outfit. They were both roles he played.

One was not compatible with the other right now even if he wanted it to be, but it was the clown costume he reached for. It was home, it was comfortable. Cathrine had done her best to protect him during the time he had know her. She always made it comfortable for him and she always endured his friends, not always gracefully. He got changed into the garish costume and went to go find Cathrine.

She was in the backstage area at a brightly lit dressing table. Trowa could see she was already dressed in her purple costume, throwing knives beside her hand. He shoulders were slumped as she gave a forlorn look to her family photograph.

"Cathy," he said. She turned to him and angrily swiped away her tears.

"I'm going on tonight with Esteban so you can go back to OZ. Don't worry about us any more, but I doubt a cold-hearted person like you does," Cathrine said, turning to her mirror again. She applied an ample amount of powder as Trowa sat beside her.

"I'm so sorry I hurt you. Someone a long time ago told me I was empty inside. I was empty and very alone. After she said this I went looking for a home. When I came here I was too afraid to let myself make this a home. I was too afraid my missions would harm anyone I grew to care about. I was also afraid of being betrayed again," Trowa said.

"Betrayed," Cathrine asked and looked at him closely.

"That same girl who called me empty destroyed what little I had in life and set me adrift. It was very hard for me to trust you, Cathrine," Trowa said. He picked up some of the white stage makeup and rubbed it on his face.

"I'm not that person, Trowa. I see why you're so abrupt and standoffish with me sometimes. I can see that you've lived through a lot of heartache, but I can't fix that unless you do trust me. I want us to be brother and sister just like we're meant to be. We didn't get a chance to grow up together because war stole that from us. Don't let war steal everything else we could have," Cathrine pleaded.

"Cathrine! Trowa! Ten minutes," the ring master shouted from a red tent flap. Trowa careful painted on the irony face rather than wear his mask. Smiling lips, with crying eyes.

"I'm trying to stop this war in my own way so that there won't be war orphans any more. Don't you see that?" Trowa asked, tossing aside the makeup tube. Cathrine looked defeated. He put his arm around her shoulder. She flung her arms around his waist and hugged him back tightly. "I promise to let you in and treat you as my sister from now on. I don't know how to do that so you'll have to be patient with me." Cathrine laughed and dried her cheeks.

"We've got a tightrope to walk first," she said, pulling him up from the bench.

"I think I'm taking the first step on it right now," Trowa said. Cathrine gave him a uncomprehending look right before they ran out into the center ring to thunderous applause.


Trowa knocked on Colonel Une's door with a folder tucked under his arm. He entered the office and saw Colonel Une was dressed in her crimson uniform. She leaned against her desk with a large manila envelope in her hand.

"I see you had an eventful weekend, Trowa," she said, waving the envelop. "I was afraid when I saw your name on a package from a family planning center. I wouldn't have wanted to see you have moral turpitude charges. These envelope are usually paternity requests or information on some solider contracting an STD. I was actually delighted to see that you have a sister," Colonel Une said.

"I didn't know until this weekend. I'm still not use to the idea," Trowa admitted. "I can get the information for you."

"No. I think it would be in your best interest to keep that information to yourself," she said. "We'll just keep it between ourselves, but I would like to know why."

"Why I went ahead and got tested? Because I've been looking for her for a long time only I didn't know it," Trowa said.

"Hun?" she asked.

"It's not the place that makes a home, but family. I've always wanted a home. Some noble concept to defend," Trowa answered truthfully. He didn't miss the flash of pain in her eyes.

"I haven't given that to you? I had hoped you found a home with the OZ Specials," she said in a whisper, casting her eyes downward.

"It's a balancing act, Lady Une. I have a home on the battle field, but I also have a home in my civilian life. I'm here with you now. I will stay with you until the end. That I do promise," Trowa said.

"Thank you. I need to hear that. I need your support at this critical moment. I cannot serve Mister Treize without someone talented like you," Lady Une said.

"I finished my assessments, Colonel." Trowa answered.

"That must take second priority. Yesterday Zero-One and Zero-Four attacked a shipment to space. We captured them and their Gundams," she said. Trowa kept his face listless, but felt his heart pound a little quicker when he thought about Heero and Quatre in confinement. "The Gundam pilot Zero-Four happens to be a very important young man from a wealthy Arab family. It was quite a shock to us. We're using it as leverage against his family."

"Which family?" Trowa asked unnecessarily.

"The Winner family. His name is Quatre Raberba Winner, the heir himself. The other boy is using an assumed name. We're going to go extract information from the two pilots and hopefully get the Arab nations under control. Make our arrangements," Colonel Une said.

"Ma'am," he said smartly with a crisp salute. He walked out of her office mentally kicking himself for not returning Quatre's call on Saturday. He was afraid that Colonel Une would have to resort to harsh tactics against his friends. Once again, he felt as though he were tipping off the tightrope.

The End

P.S. My husband is encouraging to do a sequel. It would involve a twisted, dark Heero and Quatre story where Heero deliberately drives Quatre insane to save him from being used as leverage against the Arab nations. All the while Trowa must sit by and do nothing or he could jeopardized his espionage gig. Good, bad, ugly? Let me know by way of review.