Disclaimer: I do not own GW or any of its characters. The Bandai, Sunrise, and Sotsu Agency do.
A/N: These are the old/alternate prologues to my fic "Scissored Kismets". For those who're currently reading the said fic, I recommend you to check out the new prologue and the new chapter. The ending of the new chapters and the ending of these old ones are more or less the same, but there are a lot of change there that would have an effect to the coming chapters. Apologies!
As to why these old prologues were still here, well, I couldn't bring myself to delete them. They're my first pieces as a fanfic writer anyway.
by Schizoid Sprite
"A lawful kiss is never worth a stolen one"- Guy De Maupassant
So they were not kidding when they say silence could be deafening. I was sitting inside one of the secluded café's in the town, sipping a cup of hot chocolate, thinking about...well, thinking about the silence. Of course, it was not entirely quiet: the chorus of the cicadas hung in the air semi-permanently, and the wind carried some of the nature's murmured secrets that squeezed through the gaps in the café windows and tickled my ears—but the dead stillness that tugged at my heart, it was beyond painful.
It was a different kind of quietness, for there was a sour tongue of sorrow in there that licked against the walls of my wounded ghost. Yes—not a soul, but a ghost, trapped in the well of my own past. It was an eternal prison.
I knew once that I was a Valkyrie of sorts—I marched into the battlefield and sorted the strong from the weak, and from there I took the honorary souls to their rightful Valhalla. After the last ember of the war faded, where would anyone expect to find someone like me? I was this hideous creature who fed on the fears of people, a cold-blooded animal that enjoyed scenes of torture and combat. These were the only things that give nutrients to my system—without them, I knew I would eventually disintegrate. So why am I still here, breathing in the freshest air of a peaceful planet?
Peace. After it was established, I realized it wasn't really a bad atmosphere at all. Well, not as thrilling as the one hovering above the warzones, but it was still the end result of the hardships of the greatest heroes in the present era. History books impregnated our minds that heroes were buried under their headstones after they served their purpose, but sometimes the heroes must continue to live to taste the fruits of their hard work. And so the Gundam pilots, along with Miss Relena, lived.
Oh, yes, those knights in shining Gundanium. I remembered the one that I truly despised: that Arabian blonde I dueled with onboard the battleship Libra. The daily business papers talked about his commendable skills in taking over the vast company his father left behind despite his age. His few TV appearances somewhat updated me of what became of the weakling I always know he was, though not in terms of physical appearance. He still has the same looks, innocent but wise, an image of a business person by design. No one would ever think that this icon was once a rebellious Gundam pilot.
The first time I laid my eyes on him was just on a computer screen. Back during the war, I was in my seventh heaven when I was sent to the Sanc Kingdom to spy over Miss Relena. I was informed that a couple of the infamous Gundam pilots would be there, so I researched about them. Heero Yuy, the super-human operator of 01, was way more appealing than the soft-looking kid who owned the...supposedly deadly toy with serial number 04. The data about the little boy gave no potential threats, but it wouldn't be too wise if I would judge him beforehand. Though, his appearance alone made me harbor disgust for him. He even looked vaguely effeminate! How come a lame little wuss emerged as a pilot of one of the most feared machines in the universe?
I saw him personally at Miss Relena's Institute of Pacifism and my revulsion just accreted. He really was a little cherub! What was he doing in a war? Seriously, if anyone would think of giving him any weapon, the last thing that would come into my mind was a Gundam. I'd rather give him bow and arrows, and, just to complete the parody, I'd strip him out of his clothes and get him to wear diapers—voila: a cute Cupid. Just the sight of him makes me sick. It was like he went to a funeral wearing happy colors while all of the others were wearing black. He's insulting the great image of war.
After I dueled with Heero Yuy, I found the blonde glowering at me with those big eyes, its colors changing from calm sea green into blazing electric blue and finally into a mixture of the two. The fluorescent, maybe? I wasn't sure, but I was certain that I saw something fiery in those depths. And then I saw him flinched. He clutched at his chest when I went on with the glaring match. I could see him gnashing his teeth, and I was almost positive I heard him whine in pain. Pain? I smirked at his pathetic image. I didn't know my stare could inflict pain. And...was he hyperventilating? So now I was polluting the air he breathes? Ah, weakling. I strode past him and left the fencing room without a second look.
Those blue-green fires...they stirred something in me. My lust for duel, my desire for battle...they were intensified by those flames. Maybe I underestimated him. Those were the flames of a determined warrior. I smirked to myself; I was flattered. Did he find a great enemy in me and hoped that he could somehow intimidate me by his big-eyed glare? If that was the case, then he was the one who lost. The eyes have its own power to make one's knees shake, and although I admit he has that kind of eyes, it unfortunately didn't have an effect on me. He was the one in pain apparently—though it was almost ridiculous to think that I could send him gasping for air by just looking at him.
I stared at the mirror after that scene and saw the milky film hovering before my eyes. I remembered my father saying that my eyes held the brightest stars in the Solar system. I snorted. It must be a lie. Or maybe, it was the prevarications that I made that misted my eyes. Either way, I knew it didn't matter anymore. For if it was once true, it wasn't now, because clearly I was dethroned: the brightest stars were now in the eyes of a certain Quatre Raberba Winner.
I scrutinized myself for some more minutes. I was eventually realizing that it wasn't bad at all that the Winner brat has joined the war: we complement each other almost perfectly in the battlefield. He was this beautiful golden angel, striding into the world of battles as the embodiment of all the kindness, sweetness, gentleness—oh, all the possible forms of weakness. And here, on the other side—fine, any of the other sides where he was not a part of—was me, sinfully devilish inside out, personifying the wickedness and beauty of bloodshed. And the beauty of battles was always ugly to someone like him. I was ugly for him, I was sure, and that just added to my confidence...
I scowled. The ugliness in me—that was what I was famous for. Some regarded my eyebrows as my most unsightly features, but for me, they're my sign of being a proud member of the bloodline of the ones running the Romafeller. Then what...ah, Dorothy, you should be in control, I chided myself then. You're not losing a fight that has not yet been started. And of course, not a fight like what you're thinking....
Later on, while I was walking down the halls of the institute, I came to halt when I heard a soothing melody spilling from the music room. The piano? I pushed the mahogany double doors and peeked in only to see that boy, his pallid fingers flashing across the keys, his back to me. For some minutes I attempted to picture those fingers running over the hard controls on the dashboard of his Gundam, casting shadows as green and blue computer lights fall on them. The image in my head stirred me; a warrior, a determined warrior who would surely fight until his last breath. But that image was shattered as the melody broke into my ears. I scowled.
Piano music, huh? Such a thing could never entertain me. The only music to my ears was the screams of the bombs and the roars of fire. The music of war was the soundtrack of my existence.
Suddenly, he struck a sour note. He flinched, turned his head and darted his eyes right into my direction. I mentally cussed, adrenaline rushing into my fast-throbbing veins. I was frozen, and for a millisecond I knew I somehow panicked. I wouldn't run, of course. I was never a weakling.
For a seemingly eternal minute, we stared into each other's eyes. Another glaring match? No. He was not glaring, though the same fire that aroused my bloodlust earlier was still there. That look was the farthest thing from a glower: to my utter disgust, there was kindness and...sadness? I pulled my eyebrows together. It looked like he was staring at a pathetic creature. No one ever tried to look condescendingly at me. No one in my entire life looked at me like I resembled a funny stuffed toy torn from a crying child's grasp. No one.
I was ready to throw an insult, but before I could even move a muscle, he resumed to his business, ignoring me.
It was in the height of the Eve wars that we felt each other's presence again. I was having fun with my toys: the Mobile Dolls were gracefully waltzing their way to victory. I should thank Mr. Milliardo for this plaything he called the zero system. All of a sudden, the spectacular dance was disrupted. I frowned. What's this? The Gundams...They came up with a strategy?
There was no way I was giving them the upper hand. I changed tactics, but the enemies retaliated just as readily. There must be someone who was behind this... Could it be...
I narrowed my eyes through the pink light of the control room. I couldn't be mistaken--his surreal presence was even magnified in the ambience of the room as if to give me a clue that it was really him: Quatre Raberba Winner.
I swear I almost heard him said my name after I said his.
I lost that battle. I hated losing, for the strong people never lose. I am a strong person. I needed a rematch. The Peacemillion rammed into Libra not so long after our encounter. I didn't leave the control room. I could feel his presence pressing closer minute by sluggish minute, and while I grasp the foil in my hand, I felt the hair at my nape rising in excitement. There's a large chance that I would die here, but I didn't fear death. Why fear a gift given to you at birth?
It was almost like a stage play. Of course he arrived, and there we danced to the tune of the clanging of our swords. Never did I think he was that good at fencing, but I considered that he was not a Gundam pilot for nothing. So we fought: a battle of foils, a battle of wits, a battle of words. I sang the bittersweetness of the truth and he sang nothing but lies. I meant this almost literally—the boy's voice was musical, though still blotched with some hints saying that he was still nothing but a child. But listen to his lyrics: lies. Lies. Lies. At least, he was lying about my part. He explained why he was fighting, and the answers he gave me suited him. Answers of a weakling, of course.
Prevarications. Why did he keep on insisting that I truly hated war?
For a moment, I felt something that I think I've never felt before: fear. Of course. He's in over his head. He's seen too much about me. Was I duped? I poured my sadness in the sorrowful duel and I knew he fooled me to reveal myself. He managed to worm under my skin and toyed with my well-kept weaknesses. I didn't like the feeling. I felt cold. I felt...naked. Now he knew everything!
I knew there was no point in keeping the smallest bone when he's seen almost the whole skeleton I kept for several years in my own personal closet. So I told him my most desired wish: to make the humankind realize that they wouldn't want to see war anymore right after they'd seen the worst of it. He was ready to retaliate, but I stopped the next batch of his lies by my most irrational action in that war—I thrust forward and stabbed him with my foil. I was so ashamed of my self—I attacked out of fear, out of hopelessness! I knew he was going to win this, but I wouldn't let him get his trophy without a single scar. For one last time I told him my objectives—I told him my sorrow, I told him that I don't want the humankind to perish just like my father. So there. I let the tears slosh down my face.
And his sugary touché? "You're a kind person. Kinder than me." When would he stop his lies?!
For a moment, I didn't know what to do. His selflessness was sickening! In an angle, I looked at his words if they meant to insult me, but the sincerity in his voice...and those eyes... How could he!
I felt the fresh wetness of the wound I gave him when I pulled out my sword, snarling at him that telling me those wouldn't let me feel all right. My face wrinkled in a heated, sour sensation. So again I've lost. Physically, I wasn't hurt, but inside I was broken beyond repair. He won. The little angel I so underestimated defeated me.
And when did I think he was finished?
He requested Trowa Barton, Gundam pilot 03 who came to his rescue, to take care of me instead of him. I was shocked to no end. Of course, the other man wouldn't do it. I instantly felt that the he cared so much for the blonde. The boy could no more refuse when Trowa helped him to exit the battleship. But for one last time, he turned to look at me and told me, through his labored breathing, to make it out alive.
They were gone for minutes when I broke into uncontrollable sobs.
I snapped back into reality. I sobbed, rubbing my eyes with my knuckles. Why did it pain my face so much when I cry? Perhaps I have cemented this countenance to never show any low emotions that it hurts at the first sign of tears. Every now and then I would reminisce about those moments and weep. What did Trowa said back in Libra? 'A woman who can't cry?' I snorted. I was but a crybaby--a shameful, sinful, stupid little crybaby.
I dodged curious glances from the nearby table. I ducked my head and checked in my compact mirror if my eyes were bloodshot. I groaned.
"Miss Dorothy? Dorothy Catalonia? Are you alright?"
I felt a chill wind brush down my spine. Why? Hasn't it finished yet? And now my painful memories have evolved into some kind of pseudo-perceptible hallucination? Good gracious, I'm going insane.
Without looking up, I scrunched my eyes close. "Quatre Raberba Winner, why won't you just stop torturing me? You've seen me naked already."
I looked up at the fabrication of my poor mind. I was a bit surprised at the perfect clarity of that celestial creature in my memories. Not bad, I thought. He was almost real. And...what was that? I have never seen him blush before, but this imagination of mine wore patches of shocking pink on his cheeks. Neither have I seen him in other clothes aside from his pastel-colored attire, the school uniform, business and space suits. This hallucination was clad in blue shirt and dark jeans. Oh, wow. I've got a hyperactive imagination.
I sighed and sipped at my now semi-cold chocolate. "All this time, all I wanted for you to do was to leave me alone. Is that too much to ask?"
The figure in front of me fidgeted his fingers and shifted his weight to his right foot. Amused, I looked as the pink patches turned redder.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Miss Dorothy. I-I haven't seen you in months, really. Uh, and what do you mean I've already seen you...naked?"
He hesitated before settling himself to the spare seat from the other side of the table. Hmm..it's a little too... real. Wasn't it? I looked around me and was glad that no one was watching me. Maybe they would start staring again if I'd talk to this self-created Quatre image now. They'd think I'm crazy once they see me talking with an invisible man. Well, am I not? I took another swig before I swayed my eyes back to him.
"It's nice to see you again, Miss Dorothy. I heard you're taking a vacation, er...never thought you'll end up in this place..."
I didn't respond. Would it be like this when we'll meet again? Politeness, kindness, sweetness...childishness? Would I be nervous?
Quatre my imagination laughed nervously. "..but really, I haven't got any idea when you said I've seen you naked...Uh...I don't get it."
I snickered. Oh dear, this was interesting. He's so close to the real thing. I wondered for a while if I was crazy enough to make myself believe that he's just as perceptible as a real human. What if I try...ahem, he's just an imagination so I deemed it wouldn't hurt if I...
Without a second thought, I grabbed a handful of his shirt—perceptible, check—and leaned in to kiss him. Then I froze. Perceptible...check.. But it was too warm, too soft, too...too Quatre to be just...Oh. Oh no.
I jumped back, eyes widening in my stupid realization. His expression mirrored mine.
My heart drummed hard against my sternum, so hard that it hurt. "Oh God," I mumbled. I felt a rush of blood kicked and sluiced to darken my cheeks.
Quatre didn't move an inch. He just sat there, still as a statue, different shades of pink and red playfully swimming in and out of his face.
"Dorothy..." he uttered.
Damn it. What kind of stupidity was that, huh, Dorothy Dermail Catalonia? What kind of punishable-by-death weakness was that?
I tried to find my voice box--there's just no way I would let him assume anything, for I...I what? I clumped my mouth shut in a thin line. I'm such an idiot. So that's why he was always in my mind these past few months. That's why he was always disturbing my newfound self-peace—or so I thought. That's why I always replay the memories of him again and again and again. I wanted to see him, that sweet smile, those powerful eyes, that celestial beauty. I wanted to see him because I....
"I hate you," I spat out.
He flinched. "Uhm.."
"You're such a weakling, Winner." Yet you're the strongest prince I've ever met--the most courageous even, for you managed to peel me layer by fake layer until I was completely naked.
"You're such a bloody fool," Yet you're the most intelligent man--yes, a man, not a boy--who thought it better to stand up to make me realize my stupidity before I completely destroy myself.
"That's why I hate you so much." That's why I-
"That doesn't tell me anything," Quatre snapped. I raised an eyebrow.
"Please elaborate." I asked, cussing inwardly as my voice shook.
His smile went lopsided. "I can't see a clear explanation why you kissed me. Your ramblings were nonsense." His tone was almost patronizing.
I bit the inside of my cheek. Now how do I escape this? I trembled and the little earthquake extended into my half-emptied cup. I looked at my distorted reflection on the small ripples in the chocolate puddle.
When I looked up at him again, I was certain that he was hiding something behind that innocent face. What was that? And all this time I thought I was the one multi-layered...
"Why did you kiss me?"
"I've told you already."
"And that is? Because I've seen you naked?" I looked at him incredulously. Ah. So even the brightest minds have its lapses in some other fields.
I laughed. "That's half the reason. But little thickhead, I didn't mean it literally."
He smiled. Damn it, he did it on purpose. Everything went silent except for the echoing thud, thud, thud in my chest and the final noisy slurp when I gulped the last drop of the drink.
"I think I'll order something," Quatre mumbled. "It looks like we have something to talk about..."