A/N: So, I decided to do one of those 100-theme things. Each one is going to feature a random couple. For the first one, it's Duo and my friend's character, Casey. I'm just going to pick random themes out of order, but as you can see below you, I'll feature what the theme actually is. I think this will be a nice little thing to do for fun. I'm working on another one now, and depending on how well it goes, maybe I'll try to get another one done. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its affiliated characters. However, there will be created characters featured in this little one-shots. Casey Martin is property of my friend Dana. Lista Di Nevella belongs to me. Salaehya Yuy belongs to my friend Breanne.

020. Winter


She didn't like the cold. In fact, she figured it was a close cry to hatred. She much preferred warmer weather, welcome weather. She stood still as a statue at the frost-bitten window, watching the snow fall in a delicate dance to the ground. She was amazed that even the Colonies themselves experienced the seasons of Earth.

This was one thing that she could admit she enjoyed about winter: the snow. It decorated the trees outside with a natural white glow that rivaled pearls of the ocean deep. She could do nothing to stop the slow smile creeping to her face. It was beautiful enough to overlook the frigid weather that accompanied it.

"You know, you could go outside and look at it from out there," a male voice spoke up from behind.

Surprised at the sudden intrusion into her solitary stupor, she spun around, eyes wide, to meet the violet-eyed Gundam pilot that dared to steal her heart. "Duo, I didn't know you were in here."

He grinned goofily and took several steps towards her. He was fitting gloves over his broad hands. "Sorry, Casey. I didn't mean to sneak up on you. You looked like you were thinking about something pretty important."

Slender brows curved into her chocolate brown eyes, creases forming into thin lines on her forehead. "I was thinking how much distaste I hold for winter. It's too cold." She folded her arms over her chest and turned back to look through the window. The snow was falling heavier now, masking the buildings in the distance.

"Really? I love winter," Duo replied, walking up to her side. He pressed his hand against the window frame, pressing his nose against the cold glass. "The cold makes me realize I'm alive, which I'm glad to be. A lot of people take life for granted." He cast her a sideways glance. "Not me. I've seen too much death and destruction to do that. I know how temporary life is." He pushed himself away, leaving a small imprint on the glass from his nose. He chuckled deeply. "I was gonna go outside in it. Wanna come with me?"

She scoffed and broke their gaze. "No, I think I'll pass. Maybe you better go on without me."

Duo slid in front of her, showing off his pout. "Oh, c'mon. I think you'd have some fun, and you can never have too much of that. Just dress warm, and once you get out there and start doing stuff, you'll forget how cold it is." He took her hand in his heavily padded one, squeezing tight. "Just for a little bit. We'll come back inside after a little bit."

Casey sighed and closed her eyes. Even as she nodded her head in defeat, she was already regretting it. She hated the cold, and now she was about to go traipsing around in it. "Fine," she said gruffly. "Let me get changed. I'll be back in five minutes."

Duo smiled in victory and watched her walk away. He could tell she was displeased, but he'd watched her many times when she wasn't noticing. He realized how incredibly stalkerish it was, and was even reprimanded by Quatre about it, but he couldn't help it. The woman was a walking box of enigmas, ones that needed to be unlocked. He swore he would be the one to do it. She deserved at least that much from him.

And besides, he saw the smile on her face as he watched the snow fall. He didn't know why she was kidding herself. Even if she hated the cold as she claimed, he was sure he had a certain love for the snow. And he planned to unleash that love full force.

Just half a minute short of five as she said, Casey came back into the living room, fully clad in dark purple gloves, a white heavy coat and a matching purple scarf. He grinned and reached for her. There was little resistance, but he was able to tug her to the front door. "You look like a bowling ball," Duo joked as he began turning the doorknob.

Casey's eyes widened, fully insulted. She jerked her hand from his. "What?"

Duo flashed her an apologetic grin. "I didn't mean it that way, babe. You just have yourself wrapped up pretty tight in that coat and scarf. I didn't think you hated the cold that much."

Casey's brow rose. "I have a sweater on under here," she informed wryly.

The braided pilot of Deathscythe Hell bit back a snicker and reached for her again, this time waiting for her to place her hand in his. She hesitated. "We won't stay out here long. Just give it a chance, babe."

Unable to stop herself from rolling her eyes, she slid her hand back in his and he swung the front door open. She half-expected the cold to blast into her like a wall, but it was like a gentle touch to her cheeks as they stepped outside into the yard. She nearly forgot to pull the door shut behind her as Duo led her into the middle of the snow-swathed yard. She craned her neck, peering up into the sky. It was a dank-looking gray, but there was something rather peaceful about it as snowflakes, big and small, fell upon her and dissolved.

"Quatre says he likes all seasons, even winter," Duo suddenly spoke up, causing her to direct her attention to him. He was looking up as well, his smile wide. "He's spent most of his time in the desert, so for him, he's pretty much accustomed to hot weather and sun. But when he gets to experience winter, he says it's a nice change for him. He likes the snow, and he even enjoys the cold. But then again, the guy likes just about everything. He knows not to take anything for granted."

Casey stared at him for a moment before turning to gather her surroundings. There was a ringing of children's laughter echoing in her ears, no doubt coming from one of the neighbors' homes. "The cold reminds me of death, of dark times," Casey whispered.

"Yeah, it reminds me of that, too," Duo said. He gave her hand a gentle tug, pulling her closer in his side. Despite the cold surrounding them, the two had managed to create their own small bundle of body warmth. She admitted to herself that having him stand so close to her made the winter cold bearable. "And, you know, I used to hate winter too."

"You did?" Casey asked, somewhat surprised. "But you were so excited about coming out here. What changed your mind?"

"Wars change people, Case," Duo said sagely, his smile fading ever so slightly. "Like I said, I learned not to take anything for granted. Hatred gets you nowhere. And plus, winter's not so bad. When it all ends, spring gets here, and that's the season of rebirth. It's all a cycle. Everything comes back to life when the cold goes away. Wars are like that, too. Wars are like winter; they might be ugly, but there's some good in them that some people can't see. But even the things we don't like serve purposes."

Casey absorbed his words and took a step closer to him, her ears fully tuned in to the soft crunch beneath her boot-clad feet. "I guess I never thought about it like that," she admitted quietly, lowering her head to peer at the white ground. "I do like snow. I think it's beautiful. It makes everything so… clear."

"Yeah, it does," Duo agreed. He chuckled and bent down, sifting his hands through the delicate white powder. "I like snow, too." He fisted his hand over the crunching substance and held in between them. "As a kid, I used to make snowmen and snow angels, before the wars took away all the people I knew and loved, that is. My innocence pretty much melted away like the snow does when spring comes."

Casey's eyes softened and she rested her hand on his arm. "I'm sorry."

Duo shook his head and grinned. "Nothing to be sorry over. Their lives have all been avenged, and the wars are over, so everything is right with the world for now." He flexed his hand slightly, allowing some of the snow to fall back to the ground. In a half-blinked eye, he smashed his snow-covered hand against the back of her head, coating her ginger hair.

Releasing an indignant groan, she swatted his hand away and combed her fingers through her hair, feeling the snow melt and drip down the back of her neck. "Duo! What was that for?"

He grinned slyly, his eyes slitting, as he leaned towards her until the tips of their noses touched, his warm breath beating into her. "It's cold, I know. But it's not so bad, is it?"

Casey stammered for an answer. She was silent, watching him carefully as he pulled himself away from her with a knowing glint in his eye. Her hands fell away from her hair, resting back at her sides. The tension in her limbs disappeared, and she looked up to the sky, watching the snow continue to waltz around them. Accompanying the laughter of the nearby children was now the happy chuckling of the former God of Death as he pranced about the snow-covered yard. She covered her mouth, stifling a giggle as he lost his footing and fell face-first into the snow. She heard him grumbling about nature's sense of humor as he patted the snow from his clothing. He flashed her a grin and a thumbs-up, and returned to his usual antics.

The cold wasn't as bad as she thought it was.