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Red over lunar
Chapter v…the scientist
was just guessing at numbers and figures,
Pulling your puzzles apart.
Questions of science, science and progress,
Do not speak as loud as my heart."
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disclaimers: if I owned sm/gw, does anybody think I'll still be writing fics? Oh…all right, I would still be but, sm/gw does not belong to me. They belong to their rightful owners, whom I'm not sure of…;;
-italics are thoughts
-these ----- separate and show time frames
-Enid/Ami centered! )
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I believe I can save you.
I will save you.
Let me save you...
Scarred arms stretched out. Bullets flying. Husky voices chanting in the background, mixing fluidly with the chant of footsteps. His eyes snapped open. He had been blocked. The bullet, no longer his for the taking. The blood did not seep as he had learned to expect. The body - who had saved him? Who would save him? It made no sense.
How can you? How can YOU! HOW!
His own gun dropped with a series of echoes, magnified by the volume of the previous blood puddle. He reached out, catching not the bullet but the body.
WHY? Why would you? Why did you!
He dropped down to his knees, cradling the back of the body, fingers delicately brushing the silky blonde hair.
It was not possible for someone to want to die for him. Almost, he thought sardonically, against the laws of karma, which he believed fervently when outcomes were about to screw him over, impossible to be saved. No one would cherish his life that much... Except...
"You son of a bitch!" He never saw the fist coming from the back of his head...and mind you, Heero Yuy never sleeps for any reason...except this unforeseen predicament. (Could it be a predicament? She saved you...would you call it that?)
His head snapped back, a trail of blood flying out with a string of salty saliva. Those were evidences of the full intentions of his assailant. Before he could move, another punch came, sending his head colliding with the hard cold cement. His blood, again spilling to wait his descend.
"N-o...no..." she called out weakly. She crawled toward him. Blood coming out of her mouth as she moved.
(When you shoot, look for blood from the mouth, that will tell you how much more brutal you need to be, J had said.) His eyes widened as he saw it - another shot flying for her now frail life.
You cannot become frailty - you who must be strong...
Her body stiffened as the bullet's velocity aided it to swiftly pierce her flesh. She cried out. "No..."
He screamed for her. "RELENA!" Milliardo rushed for her, shielding her. Anger had bested him in his temperament. There - it was hardly possible to save her now. He cradled the dying girl. She continued to try, reaching for him.
You should have not gotten mad...never. Shouldn't!
His thoughts became frantic fragments.
Let me save you! Please... He prayed, over and over, words fluctuating between nonstop sentences. He looked darkly over to the boy who was still stunned on the cement.
How could she still want to see him?
He let her go - his body carrying her over. She was dying - nearly dead, what was the difference?
"I've...always wanted to... save you, Heero...so that...so you could save yourself." Her pale hand, a limb that he saw was already being subjected to rigor mortis, touched his cheek, caressing it for its harshness...
But he was always prosaic with words, his tone and choice always succinct. So he said to her...
"Relena." Maybe softer and more tender than his other times...but still, nearly the only word he had ever used with her, outside of his job.
She was dead. The man holding her cradled her as he never did. He finally became the big brother – the one who tried to protect.
Heero...and Heero became the backdrop again. His eyes closed. He could die now...
"Save you...so...you could save yourself."
His body stiffened and ricocheted out of his supine position. Where was he? Surrounded on all sides by white - for his protection or theirs?
(J, It works...blood is a mark of the intensity of brutality.)
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I am still like that. Will always be on the outside to those who know me best. But to the only one who never knew me at all - I will always be different.
He caressed it first but he finally placed it next to the enormous headstone. His eyes avoiding the ways the angel's wings sagged downward - as if in failure.
I will...try...perhaps...if you so...believed it.
Back turned, he never looked over his shoulder again. This would be the first and last time.
"Relena," he whispered as his gait returned once again, stiffed with wide open arcs.
"Take it however you want to," he said to the brother whose fists were clenched, waiting to connect with his jaw. "I did not ask her...but..." He walked past, surprised inwardly that the man had contained himself.
"Perhaps...I am grateful."
Milliardo turned around, only to come face to face with an empty space full of memories. He had sworn, if he was to return to this forsaken burial ground, it would be when he was decaying inside his own casket.
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That was the past. As Heero Yuy got up from his restless sleep, he wiped at the sweat that had gathered at the base of his neck.
J had never talked about the past...or the way it would haunt him. The ultimate ignorance and sheer silence of the topic had been a euphemism. No wonder.
"Perhaps," he mouthed silently, his eyes darting over the blue planet.
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She tossed in her sleep, hearing the soft melody play out, calling for her. The general descended down the stairs and at the bottom, there he met her, giving her his hand to take. With a gentle smile, the two walked across the warmly lit dais.
'She once told me that fireflies existed only on Earth. I have to admit, I've been trying to prove her wrong ever since.'
'Well, she is right, you know? She has firsthand information.'
'I know. I just wanted to find them somewhere here so I could catch a glimpse of them. She tells such a sad story about their lives. Sometimes, I almost feel like that is what we are...'
He was silent and he leaned over to kiss her forehead gently.
'A prince and a princess who could never be together although they were always meant for each other...' he said softly. 'A firefly who lights the way in the dark, and yet fades so quickly...'
She closed her eyes. 'Are we really like that, Princess?'
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Her eyes snapped open and it was a second too late before she realized how close she had been to the
edge of the bed. Her body hit the floor with a thud but she laid there, disregarding the slight pain in her head.
'Your name I can never get and yet you keep coming to me. Telling me stories about a prince and a princess.
'The General...You come and then you disappear for a long time. Only to let me hear your sad song.'
She closed her eyes and thought this time she had seen his green eyes, mixing with blue, reminding her of the blue planet. Her eyes slowly opened and she turned to the large window. The half blue planet loomed back at her. Once she thought it was repulsive and ugly, a constantly changing blue sky flushed every now and then with wispy clouds, but now surrounded on all sides by a black sky and constantly stable stars, she wanted to go back again - to the time when she didn't want to grow up or become the scientist.
Enid's hands hit the floor and she made up her mind.
'Maybe now, maybe now.' She got up, making her way across the dimly lit room, hands at the same time
reaching for the previously discarded clothes. The bleak room was again alone except for the pager, constantly emitting red when she disappeared through the only doorway.
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I knew I had said it to Tsara, nonetheless, but still, I cannot help it at this point. My brain's become a heap of defunct tissue - allowing my thinking to follow in ascending and descending waves. I can't do it. Not when I so desperately need this.
Her hand shakily raised the lit cigarette to her mouth. She inhaled too deeply and had to let out a cough. It had been a while. But when another inhalation came, the cough disappeared altogether and her inhales and exhales became almost synonymous with the flow of the night.
Nicotine...calming to the nerves, she thought with a scoff.
Maybe it was hours, or perhaps only minutes but her lone presence behind the old lab building was disrupted. She failed to notice the footfalls at first, masked by other nightly noises (such as the ruckus from the club a couple of blocks over...) but as they came closer, she dropped her cigarette only to curse angrily when she realized it was her one and only.
She quickly got up, searching for her keys to the building when the footfalls stopped. Still muttering curses, she ignored their presence completely. Let them gawk, she thought murderously, they had already reaped her of her only cigarette for the night.
"D...? Is that you?" Bodies stiffened. Hers immediately, whirled away, back toward him. Couldn't be, he told himself. Could it? But he persisted, to the great exasperation of D. "D?" he called again, moving slowly. She could hear the shift in his clothes. He was probably reaching for a gun - it was mandatory here this late at night.
"Yes?" she finally faced him. Realization hit her and she wanted to angrily hit herself. Her brain really was
defunct. He patrolled this place at night. She had completely forgotten. She had tried endlessly for the last 10 or more years to not come here when she knew he was, but her mind it seemed had shut down from its exhausting, overworked purpose. "It's just me," she said with a small forced smile.
Let that be the end of that.
His face softened from it's seriousness. The hand grasping the hidden handle of the gun, relaxed to his side. He did not want to kill anyone tonight.
Thanks, he thought to no one in particular.
He took in her pale appearance. "You've changed...so much," he couldn't help saying quietly as he searched her eyes for any sign of recognition. She looked away quickly.
At first, it had been easy to become friends. He was himself, innocent...peaceful...happy. Then she built
extraordinary ways for him to destroy lives - to kill people. She hadn't been able to contain her guilt when she learned from gossips passed along the hallways behind her as she walked, that he had suffered greatly from what was known as the D Effect.
(How do you do it? Face someone you've created with your selfishness?)
"And you," she acknowledged. His face she had only glanced by chance – sometimes as reflections from windows, sometimes as a shadow passing her as she hid in the closets. She had never been able to face him...since she sealed his fate.
No longer were there soft curves to a face she remembered belonging to a child. The curves had straightened over the reality of his life into rough sharp edges and lines that did not slant into any one whim.
Bright blue eyes were now hard, a steely ice blue. Almost like hers.
(I'm sorry...I think I sealed both our fates...)
He was tall, long thin legs coming from under the black trench coat. Frail thin fingers were still at his sides. Dirty blond hair with shaggy bangs spilled over his forehead, its tips just barely touching his eyes. A handsome young man...who could have been happy - without worries about nightmares after he had killed someone.
"I'm sorry," she broke her gaze. "I have to get going..." She trailed off, hands searching for the keys that should have been in her pockets. He frowned.
"Why are you so quick to avoid me?" Her back straightened, her fingers momentarily forgetting why they were in her pockets in the first place.
"W-what? No...I wouldn't do that." But her voice was shaky. His voice had been shaky too.
"What has become of us?" he asked as he closed the gap between them. His hand reached for her forearm.
His fingers, wrapped tightly around her frail wrist. "Do you know, Scientist?" She jerked away from him.
Was he taunting her? But his eyes were serious, his tone void of any malicious intent. In fact, it had been the tinge of emptiness, sadness and regret that underlined his tone. She was hurt, deeply by the pain that was so obviously apparent in his spirit.
"I am sorry..." She whispered it, afraid he would scoff hearing something so pointless.
For she was sorry - yet she had done it all the while, gone with the plans enthusiastically.
He touched her cheek, trailing a fingertip over it's still soft skin. "I am sorry, too," he breathed. He dropped his hand to his side as his head bowed down to her. "Times have change. They're always changing...and as much as I like to think we can pick up where we left off, it's impossible." He stepped down from the one step he had taken toward her. "It was still...comforting to see you again," he said with a smile.
She relaxed. It was genuine. It was so reeked with the familiar sight of his childish countenance that she had the urge to want to embrace him. Perhaps there was still a chance to become but not return to that time again.
(But aren't you the Scientist? You should know better.)
She stopped herself, noticing he had continued walking. Her anxiousness subsided. But then he stopped again.
"D...I..." She heard it, as faint as it was, her heart beating hopefully. Would they try?
He turned around. "Damnit," he cursed as he ran for her suddenly and yanked her by the arm down the short flight of stairs.
"Quatre...?" She was to say the least...confused...but very comforted.
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I came to the stars when I was just a child. I had always been, even before reaching the stars, restless. I never wanted to be my parent's child - I saw myself as their equal and perhaps even to a point their superior. It became my future then, to save those who couldn't save themselves.
I truly believed, all hopes for a future on earth was impossible. Amongst the stars was where I would be able to create something for those who had lost everything.
Maybe it was because I was naive. I was not among those who suffered, nor one of the millions of suffering orphans, trying to find shelter on the streets of an unforgiving world. I was always behind my parent's door, nestled between the comfort of their love and embrace.
It is undoubtedly true then...no one knows the true and full extent until they have experienced it. I wish I had known and believed that so maybe I wouldn't be in this predicament paying retribution to my ignorance.
I should have known though - with mankind, peace is as inevitable as death. It exists in opposition to war, for if there is no war then there would be no peace...right, Scientist?
Right. Peace, it exists as a complex red herring, on the other side of the struggles, for each side to create an even more powerful weapon to counteract or destroy the other.
For my side...I created the Gundams. For my side, I destroyed and created soldiers out of comrades. I orphaned millions more, and took from everyone...a fragment of them that cannot ever be returned.
I had wanted it so bad...and now, I know it all too well.
I am both afraid and awed that I am standing where I am. This is what happens when a child wants to become an adult - she turns the whole world into her playground.
Does anybody love me now? Will...anyone forgive a Scientist for being a child?
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"Hey! What's wrong?" He nudged her slightly. She had been standing there for quite awhile, unaware that she was supposed to be chasing him. His eyes darted over the area of ice she was looking as she snapped out of whatever reverie she had been in.
"Quatre...tell me, what do you see in the ice?" He furrowed his brows. What was she talking about? He looked closely, perhaps there was something more to her question but his mind came up empty.
"You didn't see her?" He looked at her strangely before he glanced at the ice again.
"Her? What do you mean?"
"Never mind," she said quietly and tugged him toward the exit of the ice rink. "Let's go take a walk."
Maybe it was just an illusion, a trick played by a tired brain that needed some form of respite. She let out a small laugh at the idea. But it was still peculiar. When she had first glanced her, she could have sworn...that it was her own reflection staring back at her...and yet, she knew she did not have the wisdom of the years reflected in the woman's sad eyes. And the woman, did not have the pent up guilt she had.
How very different we must be then, she thought to herself.
The two replaced their ice skates with shoes and took to the streets. It was night but then again, here on the colonies, it was always night for the sun did not shine for such fake imitations of life. The lights blared from lamp posts, fueled by the raw solar energy of the sun. Her eyes darted from one site to another, but it always ended up straight ahead, at the blue planet that loomed in front of the see-through shield providing the enclosed oxygen.
How long had they been together again? Had it been possible...that they had regained what they had both lost? Unlikely, she thought as she stared at the seriousness emitted on Quatre's face. The only time he had broken into a fit of laughter was when she had fallen on the ice rink. It was true she had been more than marvelous on ice but it seemed, like any other talent, it had become rusty from disuse.
She had almost wish, if he would continue enjoying the part of life that was still his to claim, she would continue falling. Maybe then, she would be able to see some sort of forgiveness from him...from the world.
When the music came, she was caught off guard. It moved slowly toward her, drifting on the particles in their insulated air. She stopped dead in her tracks, holding Quatre back as well.
"D?" he asked concerned. The music hit his ears as well and the two turned in the direction of the music. To the side was a vendor. Enid dropped Quatre's arm as she ran ahead with him tailing closely.
She watched the music boxes in awe. The old man behind watched her closely as she continued to stand there, letting the sight of the intricate boxes seep in. Never had she seen such beautiful music boxes before.
They looked delicately back at her, each playing it's own haunting melody but one specifically called out to her. Without thinking or searching for it, she reached for it and pulled it up for her closer inspection.
It had called to her so desperately...because she had heard it before. It had to be…it was the melody from the dream.
The General's melody.
"You are interested in it?" the old man laughed softly, his laughter like the twinkling of bells. "In that music box are a prince and a princess of legend. They are destined for each other but here, they can never stay together long enough. They are only allow to start a waltz that is never finished." Enid dropped her gaze on the box long enough to look questioningly at the old man.
"It's a legend," he continued, his soft hazel eyes on Quatre now. "About a princess who lived thousands of years ago on one of the stars and a prince who came from Earth. She was as silent as the night but as intelligent as any scholar. He was just as shy but it was what drew them so closely. Eventually they fell in love. Fate, however, would never have it that way and she lost him. Never would she find true love again."
Quatre leaned over and examined the moving figures within the box. He smiled genuinely as he whispered to her, "Ne, D, she kind of looks like you." Sure enough, the figurine dancing in the box held some resemblance to her, or rather to the woman she had seen in the ice. Her ball gown, as small as it was, was as realistic as any dress for a real princess. As she touched the material, she knew it was silk and she saw the fine stitches that made up the intricate regal designs of the dress.
The prince, she did not recognize. He had long wavy blonde hair tied in a pony tail and had on a armor lined with forest green material. Each time they met across the ballroom, he would bow low to her, as she would curtsy in return...and then they would dance but the waltz would end as soon as it came.
It was a sad legend but she couldn't help falling in love with it.
There was something about tragedies that touched the human soul in a way that couldn't be explained.
"How much do you want for it?" she asked. The old man smiled.
"If it is for you, then it is a gift, my dear. It has been with me for as long as I can remember but no one has ever wanted it. They say it is too sad, a prince and princess that can never have each other. My father once said that when the right person came, I would know.
"Take it. It is my gift."
"I can't do that! I won't take it just like that!" She looked at him aghast that he would suggest such a thing.
He smiled and shook his head gently. "For something that can touch the soul as deeply as that, there is no price. But if I must, all I ask is for a lock of your hair for you truly resemble the princess of legend." Enid smiled despite herself.
"Really?" A pink tinge crossed her features.
"That is all that is worth taking," he said softly. Quatre took a pocket knife from his pocket and handed it to her.
She sniped a good lock of her silky blue hair and handed it to him.
With the music box in her hands, the two left.
"Play the tune, will you?" he requested. She spun the dial on the side. Softly, the music began and the couple began waltzing. Quatre took her hand and held it tightly. It was indeed a beautiful song - a melody that tugged deep at the soul.
"I never knew you could be so enchanted with a legend," he commented. "Even I am enchanted."
"Perhaps not the legend but the music box," she tried to excuse but she knew, and he knew, that it was really the legend and the melody that had captured both their attentions.
"You're too much of the scientist. Questions and answers, theories and truths..." He laughed. She shivered with a smile. "Are you cold?"
"Just a bit," she replied. He shook his head and wrapped his arms around her tightly. Enid gave into his warmth, just like when they were children. He led her toward his favorite spot under a cherry blossom tree.
They laid there, watching the stars. The music box between them, playing softly. Slowly, his hand found its way into hers and unconsciously, their hands locked tightly together.
"It's sad, isn't it? How cruel someone's fate can be?" She nodded as he squeezed her hand.
"I would be happy though, no matter what...as long as you are still here with me, D." She gave him a sidelong glance as she studied him. His eyes were closed, revealing the angelic face she had upon meeting him, associated with him. The strong angles lining his face were still there, but they seemed more a part of him now.
He really meant it. She could feel her heart beating faster and melting if it was possible.
"I feel like we're the prince and princess," he stopped, breaking her train of thoughts. She raised an eyebrow and was about to ask him more when he continued, "But I am unsure how."
"Maybe we'll find out someday," she suggested faintly. He smiled, nodding in agreement.
Enid closed her eyes and tightened her hold on his hand. Another human's warmth had never been so comforting...or nice before.
If the only person who forgave her was him then she would have been happy.
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"I guess this is good night," he murmured softly. Thank goodness it was dark, he thought for his once pale skin was turning a deep shade of red. She nodded as if in a trance. The night had been so magical she did not want to think about going back to a room full of machines and he did not want to go back into the war torn world he was a part of.
"Good bye, D." He dropped her hand as he slowly edged away. "Take care," he added softly.
"You too," she said after him. He turned around to wave to her. As she watched him move further away, she felt a sudden impulse to stop him.
Do it, D. The inner voice was cajoling her as she stood there. His tall frame was disappearing into the dark but she realized the slow gait he was walking with. Smiling, she decided to do it.
"Quatre!" He turned around at the drop of the call.
"Yes?" he yelled.
She ran down the steps, her heart beating with each footfall.
She stopped in front of him and without thinking anymore because she knew if she did, she would back out of it, she took his handsome face into her hands and drew him down. She kissed him gently on the lips and pulled back quickly, feeling the heat rush through her entire being. She knew her face had gone completely red. She had never been so bold before...but hearing that legend had struck her, urging her to find a happy ending to her own misery.
Trembling, she backed away, afraid of what she would find in his eyes. His tugging on her forearm stopped her. She looked him in the eyes questioningly as he smiled teasingly.
With one hand caressing her cheek, he leaned down again and this time, he kissed with all the weight of the world beyond him.
It was just him, Quatre, a man and her, Enid, a woman.
Forget the soldier and scientist aspects. For now, it was just them...
Just two people trying to find salvation.
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Levina stopped counting the days.
She spent her days in the corner of the cell, watching the cracks in the floor, her fingers forever brushing over the soft and intricate surfaces of the earrings.
Slowly, she rocked herself back and forth and slowly, the tears came to fall onto the cloth he had given with the rose earrings.
On the white cloth, he had written a message for her. It was just a few words but it had held so much power over her - cradling her when the pain came and soothing her when her sadness wouldn't relent. Now, the scribbled message had been long washed away with her tears. All she had was the rugged cloth, waiting to be further broken down.
"Trowa...why won't you come anymore?" She breathed in. "Why not?" She breathed out.
It was a sad existence and now she saw why those captured in battle would rather die then be prisoners of war.
'It's not beautiful nor is it simple like the books portray it.'
'It's a dark place that you want to become a part of...'
'Will you ever be ready, Levina?'
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Before she could open the door, she heard the click of a gun. It's barrel pointed at the base of her neck. The trigger waiting to be pulled.
"What do you want?" she asked shakily. Her perpetrator let out a shaky laugh, an almost recognizable sound.
"You really can't recognize me?" Her eyes widened, one hand dropping the keys, while the other tried to hold onto the delicate music box. The keys hit the floor with a resounding cling, waking her out of her frozen stupor.
"Tsara." She whirled around to face her friend but was surprised to find the gun still pointed at her.
What had gone wrong? What had led to this?
"You don't know what you're doing," she said.
"Your tone says otherwise. Don't you think I have the guts to pull this trigger?"
And on a friend, no less. Was it possible?
Had forgiveness finally come in the form of a gun barrel?
Just a while ago, she had been happy...forgiveness in the form of his tender kiss. She had been convinced, she could still find a happy ending in such a sinned world.
Enid backed up against the door, her fear emanating on her face.
The gun was cocked into her neck, falling into the cavity that was there. She shook, so horribly she was afraid the music box would drop and her prince and princess, forever lost in broken shards.
The trigger was pulled and all Enid could do was close her eyes.
"Forgive me," she whispered - two words barely audible.
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NOTES: Okay, I know it's been too long but I could never give up on this fic. I've been forever stuck on this chapter because I could not get it to come out as I had wanted and nothing worked! This fic's been my favorite, one I hope will challenge people to think beyond what's been written. I hope there are those still enjoying this. I promise everything will be clearer soon as the plot continues to develop. I really love the generals/inners genre so you will notice a lot of hints of that in this fic. Why? Because, as they were dying, they had asked to feel what Usagi felt. Instead of getting the fairy tale dream Usagi has, they only glimpses and bits and pieces of things that might have been but weren't…Don't worry though, I'm not completely cruel. You'll see towards the end, why there's been so much challenges and carnage in this fic. It all has to do with the plot, so please bear with me. I promise a totally different view of both the GW/SM worlds! REVIEW!