Last revised: 02/29/00

*** WARNING - SPOILERS FOR THE RUROUNI KENSHIN
*** manga, TV, and OVA series

Ask nicely (and offer pocky) and you shall receive!  ^_^

This quick-and-sloppy fic teaser (i.e., probably filled with typos and mistakes) is the result from a discussion on the GWML about what would happen if the GW characters were reincarnations of Rurouni Kenshin characters.  Many thanks to Trowa, Jen Niem, whizbang and countless others for their suggestions and inspiration!

What do you guys think?  Is it worth continuing or should I toss it into my inactive teaser file and work on other stuff?   ^_^;

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ONCE AND FOREVER
A Gundam Wing/Rurouni Kenshin fusion fanfic by Madamhydra
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teaser
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WARNING:  alternate reality, yaoi, explicit violence

Short Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end) Gundam Wing and Rurouni copyrighted by their respective creators and all distributors of their work. Used without permission.

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(All things considered, it's a pretty good day,) thought Duo Maxwell as he waited outside the main research library.  The sun was shining, the weather was cool without being cold, and for once, they weren't on an urgent mission.  He glanced through the smoked glass doors and saw Heero heading in his direction.  But out of the corner of his eye, the Deathscythe pilot caught a glimpse of a familiar blonde head.

(Oh great!  Relena....)

After several months of relentlessly pursuing Heero and being a general pest, the Peacecraft has been strangely absent for the last few weeks.  Both he and Heero had hoped that she had gotten over her obsession with Heero, but apparently that wasn't the case.

(I guess that all good things must come to an end.)

But as Relena approached, Duo's interest was piqued.  For one thing, her usual entourage of groupies was absent.  And instead of eagerly peering around for a glimpse of 'her prince', she appeared almost oblivious to her surroundings as she toted a hefty armful of books.  

Duo glanced over his shoulder.  Observant as usual, Heero had also noticed Relena's approach and was now headed toward the exit at the opposite end of the building.  As it turned out, their concern were unnecessary.  Relena was so caught up in her own thoughts that she walked right into Duo.

"Oi, Relena!  What's up?" the braided pilot said with his usual cheerful grin as he managed to save the pile of books sliding out of her grasp.

She blinked in surprise and blurted, "Maxwell!"

"You recognize me!  Wow, I'm flattered.  Sorry to disappoint you, but Heero's not here."

She gave him a befuddled look, then mumbled distractedly, "Oh that...," then shrugged before turning to look at him.

Duo raised an eyebrow at her rather subdued reaction.  He then cocked his head slightly as Relena continued to stare fixedly at him with the oddest expression on her face.

"Relena?  Is something wrong?"

She hastily glanced away, her cheeks flushing a bright red, and said a bit incoherently, "Uh... no, nothing's wrong.  It's that I'm usually not this clumsy.  Sorry about this...."

(Whoa....  First, she doesn't seem interested in chasing after Heero, and now she's apologizing to me?)  Puzzled, Duo said aloud, "So, what are you studying?"

"Oh... this and that," she replied with a vague shrug.

"Let me see," the pilot said with a playful grin and snatched several books off her stack before she could stop him.

"Don't...!" Relena protested weakly.

"Hmmm....  'A History of Nineteenth Century Japan'... 'The Meiji Period'... 'The Fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate'... 'The Role of the Sword in Japanese Culture'!?"  Duo gave her a baffled look, before he continued to work his way through her remaining books.  "What the hell...? 'Dreams and Their Interpretation'... 'Falling in Love with the Wrong Man (and What to Do About It)'... 'Case Studies in Sexual Obsession'!?"

Relena said in a frosty voice, "Are you QUITE through, Maxwell?"

"Why on earth are you...?"

"That's none of your business!" she retorted defensively, refusing to meet his curious violet-eyed gaze.  "Just return my books so I can go, all right!?"

After placing the books back in Relena's arms, Duo bent over slightly so he could look a better look at her face.  Noting the bags under her eyes and the lines of tension around her mouth, he gave her a concerned frown and said, "Relena, I hate to say this, but you don't look so good."

"How tactful of you to notice, Maxwell," she snapped, jerking her head up and glaring at him.  But as soon as her blue eyes locked with his, the same weird expression -- a strange combination of anxiety, eagerness, and perhaps even a little fear -- appeared on her face.  It was as if she was reluctantly fascinated by something she saw in Duo.

Unnerved by Relena's strange behavior and almost haunted gaze, the braided teenager took a wary step backward.

"Ummm... you sure you're okay?"

She bit her lip and in a barely audible voice said, "I... I'm just tired.  I haven't been sleeping too well in the last few weeks."

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It all started after her trip to Japan... the dreams.  At first they had been nothing serious, just brief glimpses that seemed to come from a second-rate samurai drama, complete with slashing swords and actors doing impossible stunts.  But the dreams became more intense and the images ever clearer.  And something in Relena told her that what she saw in her dreams was not snippets from some silly fantasy movie.  

It was all REAL.  Those things HAPPENED.  The people in her dreams actually existed.  They lived, fought, loved, and died.  And on some level, she had known them... some only in the most casual or roundabout ways, but others were closer to her than anyone in her own family had ever been.

And of all the people in her dreams, two figures dominated.  Sometimes they were distinct and separate, as easy to distinguish as good and evil, life and death.  But at other times, they seemed to merge together into an single overwhelming entity of mind-boggling complexities and contradictions.

The first figure was cold as ice, a killer who attacked with a lethal mixture of speed, ferocity, and precision that swept aside anyone foolhardy enough to stand in his way.  The aura of bloodshed and death that hovered around the mysterious figure naturally repulsed her, but yet she somehow knew there was much more to this person than the merciless assassin... that somewhere within that person were feelings deeply buried for the sake of the greater good.

The second figure was much warmer and cheerful than the first.  It welcomed and enticed, coaxing everyone to linger in its embrace.  There was love,  understanding, tolerance, encouragement, sympathy....  But this figure had its dark secrets, too, because hidden under that humor and loving warmth was a terrible strength and steely determination that would not yield or surrender, no matter the obstacles.

The first figure in her dreams made her feel wary and uneasy, but the second figure haunted Relena both night and day....

....because how could she forget a pair of brilliant violet eyes and the love they represented?

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After noticing Relena's obviously stressed out condition, Duo insisted upon walking her back to her rooms.  She put up a token resistance to the escort, but it was clear that her heart wasn't in it.  As Duo engaged in his usual aimless chatter, Relena simply withdrew into her own thoughts.  However, Duo would occasionally catch her staring at him with a baffled and frustrated expression.

Finally, he said, "You know, I was beginning to wonder where you'd disappeared to.  The last time Heero and I saw you was about three weeks ago."

"Yes.  After our last meeting, I went to Japan for a conference and a little sightseeing.  After that... things kept coming up," she muttered.

Duo skipped forward a few steps and said, "You gotta learn to take it easy, you know, or you're going to make yourself sick."

Relena chewed on her lower lip, then said, "I... appreciate your concern.  Although I probably don't deserve it, considering how much trouble I've caused you... and Heero."

"Hey, it's no big deal.  Let bygones be bygones.  I never saw much point in holding a grudge," he replied with a wide grin.

"That's the girl, the blonde!  Grab her!" a harsh male voice shouted behind them.

Duo whirled around to see several heavily armed men charging toward them.  

"Shit!"  He snatched several of Relena's books, flung them at their attackers, then grabbed her arm and dragged her down a nearby side street.

"What's going on!?" she panted, struggling to keep up with the much faster pilot.

"Hell if I know, but I'm not staying to find out!"

They skidded around a building only to see another group of thugs appear further down the street.  Before the new group turned around and caught sight of them, Duo hastily shoved Relena toward the doorway of a dingy-looking shop.  They made inside just as their pursuers rounded the corner.  The mob thundered by, unaware that their quarry was hiding inside the store.

Duo gave Relena a sour look.  "So tell me.  What the hell did you do to piss these guys off so badly?"

"Don't ask me!" she said in a flustered voice.

"Well, these guys don't act like terrorists or pros, so I'm guessing that they're just hired muscle from the local gangs."

"So we don't have anything to worry about?" Relena said hopefully.

"I didn't say that.  Quantity and sometimes sheer luck can make up for any lack in quality.  There's a lot of those bozos running around out there.  It won't take them long to figure out we're hiding in one of these shops.  We'd better get out of here before they show up."

Getting to his feet, Duo realized that they were standing in the middle of an oriental antique shop.  Ornate chests and lacquered furniture crowded the floor, while on the countertops, various ceramics, boxes, and display cabinets full of knick-knacks jostled for space.  The shop even had old kimonos, quilts, scarves, and other textile items for sale, each carefully wrapped in protective plastic.

As the girl stared at the racks of swords mounted along one wall, he said impatiently, "C'mon, Relena, we haven't got all day.  I've got to stash you somewhere safe."  If he had been alone, Duo probably would have grabbed and interrogated one of the attackers, but he couldn't possibly do that with Relena bogging him down.

Duo was nearly to the back of the store when he realized that she wasn't following him.

"Shit!  This isn't the time to go shopping, Relena!"

He whirled around just in time to see her pick up a long strip of watered blue silk.  For a minute, she simply held it in her hands and stared at it as if she couldn't quite believe it was real.  Slowly, as if in a trance, she slowly reached up and allowed her thin braids to fall loose around her face.  Relena then gathered up a handful of her long blond hair and began to tie it up in a high ponytail with the blue silk ribbon, finishing the knot with a large bow.

A puzzled Duo took a step forward, then nearly tripped over his own feet as the entire room seemed to waver.  He shook his head sharply and wondered if the dusty, stale air in the store was responsible for the sudden wave of dizziness.  Relena turned to look at him with wide blue eyes, then gave him a warm, but oddly hesitant smile.  He opened his mouth to shout a warning, but the name that started to form in his throat was *not* 'Relena'.

Whatever strange spell the antique shop cast over the two of them was abruptly shattered when the front door of the shop flew open and seven muscular thugs stormed inside.

Dazed and momentarily overwhelmed by fleeting images of a beautiful black-haired, blue-eyed young woman -- a woman who also wore her hair in the exact same ponytail style as Relena was now wearing, tied exact same way with that exact type of blue ribbon as Relena had done -- Duo felt someone grab him by the front of his shirt and slam him hard against the wall.  Jarred loose by the collision, several of the mounted Japanese swords fell and clattered down on top of him as he slid limply to the floor.  Now only semi-conscious from the impact, Duo heard heavy footsteps approaching just as his groping hand closed on a familiar, comforting shape.  Catching the unmistakable glint of a knife in the man's hand, Duo reacted instantly to counter the perceived threat.  He clamped one hand on the sword hilt and the other on the sheath, then in a single fluid motion, he pulled the blade free and slashed upward.

Bright red blood splashed the wall as the razor sharp katana neatly sliced Duo's would-be attacker open from hip to shoulder.  But with a lightning swiftly lunge, the pilot had already moved out of the range of the blinding crimson spray and now was in perfect position to take out the next two armed thugs.  Wielding the sheath like another weapon, Duo sent the second knife-wielding man flying across the room with a broken arm and three shattered ribs.  The other man had the misfortune of facing Duo's sword blade.  He was still attempting to line up a shot with his gun when he lost his head... literally.

But even as Duo was eliminating his opponents with such brutal efficiency, for once, Relena was not standing around merely wringing her hands.  She instinctively reached for a long, slightly curved wooden blade and knocked her two attackers to the floor with quick decisive strikes.

The five men had been taken out so quickly that not a single cry or scream had been uttered.  Facing the sword-wielding, black-clad teenager who seemed to be Death personified, one of the two remaining goons decided that discretion was the better part of valor.  He turned and bolted for the door.

The other thug, enraged by the fate of his buddies, started to gibber in pure rage.  As he screamed obscenities, Duo, his violet eyes half shut, calmly flicked the blood from the katana with a practiced snap of his wrist and slid the blade back into its sheath.  He continued to stand, swaying ever so slightly, with one hand gripping the sheath and the other resting lightly on the katana's hilt.

Certain that the braided teenager was about to pass out on his feet, the thug stopped in mid-rant and grabbed for his gun.  

Steel flashed.

The man's hand had barely moved an inch or so when Duo's katana blade slit open his belly.  At first, there was a thin gush of blood... then the thug's eyes bulged as he watched his entrails slowly plop onto the floor.  Without warning, his head suddenly tumbled off his shoulders, bounced once, then rolled underneath a table.

Two blows had been struck, not one.  Duo had inflicted the belly wound, but not the decapitating stroke.

Still clutching the bokken in a white-knuckled grip, a trembling Relena stared as the falling corpse revealed the newcomer standing behind the now dead thug.  Now she could clearly see the person who had struck the second sword blow at the exact same instant and with the exact same speed and ruthless precision as Duo.

Heero Yuy.

With bloody katanas in hand, Heero and Duo looked at each other across the mutilated corpse of their mutual victim.  The moment seemed to stretch endlessly, then Duo abruptly crumpled into Heero's arms as the effects of his severe concussion finally caught up with him.  As he continued to carefully hold the braided pilot, Heero turned his cold, steely gaze toward Relena.  

It could have been a fluke of lighting or perhaps a stray reflection from the street, but for a brief instant, Heero's cobalt blue eyes held a glint of soulchilling gold.

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Author's Notes:

If you haven't guessed, here are the current match ups between the GW and RK characters:

Heero - Hitokiri Battousai
Duo - Himura Kenshin
Relena - Kaoru

Yes, I know Hitokiri Battousai and Himura Kenshin are one and the same person... back then.  evil chuckle  But he's not *now*!

As for the other characters, I've got them tentatively sorted out as follows (based on a mixture of personality traits, interrelationships, and dramatic effect):

Dorothy - Megumi
Hilde - Yahiko
Catherine - Sano

Trowa - Tomoe
Quatre - Enishi

Wufei - Saitoh
Sally - Sano (or Tokio)

Treize - Shishio
Une - Yumi, Kamatari

Zechs - Aoshi
Noins - Misao

Oh, there are LOTS of possibilities for nice, juicy complications, hmm?  For example, anyone like to see how bad a Wing-Zero Quatre/psychotically jealous Enishi combination would be?  Talk about possessive... sweatdrop

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Keeper and Mistress of Duo's Dark Side
Co-Keeper of Duo's Scythe & Bat Wings
Hopeful Co-Keeper of the Little Grim Reaper
Duo no Seishi ~~~ Saitoh no Koibito
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madamhydra@aol.com         /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/:E
http://www.geocities.com/madamhydra/
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The Full Disclaimer
All rights and privileges to Shin Kidousenki Gundam Wing are trademarks and property of Sunrise, Bandai, Sotsu Agency, and associated parties. All rights and privileges to Rurouni Kenshin belong to Nobuhiro Watsuki, Shuiesha, Sony Music Entertainment, and associated parties.  The characters of these works are used WITHOUT permission for the purpose of entertainment only.  This work of fiction is not meant for sale or profit.
Original portion of the fiction included here is considered to be the sole property and copyrighted to the author.
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