I am exploring, if it hasn't become obvious yet, aspects of Heero's personality. This is kind of weird-consider it a Halloween offering, if you will.
Yeah, and at this point-don't own, blah, blah, blah-hope you're familiar with GW, is all.
The room is musty from years of disuse. Une, Milliardo, and Relena love the old academy; it would make a good headquarters on L3, so they say. But Une wanted some agent input and since I was here on a sabbatical visiting Cathy and Trowa at the circus, I obliged the Preventer Director.
My injury was insubstantial this time, a flesh wound: 9 millimeter Beretta, lower shin, minor graze. After all this time I can still sound so detached. Some things just don't change, I guess.
Une made me take time off, Sally even wrote a medical excuse for me. I don't usually take much time off-much less for a scratch.
Maybe this isn't a bad idea, though. It's been a long time since I have done something just for me, I just don't go in for self-indulgence. Duo would probably laugh if he heard me say that.
I wander the various former classrooms and eventually I make my way to the main hall. A large staircase leads up to the second floor landing. There are five stories in all; there is a service elevator but I take the stairs. When I arrive at the fifth floor right away I notice an archway to my left. There is a small staircase leading to what is presumably the attic. I make my way to the door and after leaning heavily, manage to push the solid wood open, stuck after many years of neglect.
The attic is unimpressive-there are a few boxes and crates and some old student uniforms in a pile along with sundry books, instruments and papers. A shaft of light plays through the lone narrow window.
I turn to leave when I track movement peripherally. I turn and see nothing but the attic as described. It is unsettling, I am not prone to hallucination, and I am seldom mistaken in what I notice, after all I was a Gundam pilot and am a Preventer. We're kind of known for being observant.
I stare at the window and suddenly I see the outline of a person. What the hell? I rub my eyes to confirm that I am truly seeing an apparition and not the glare through a dusty window. Yes, I can see it more clearly now, the outline strengthening, becoming solid, corporeal.
Strangely, I do not feel fear. I am bursting with curiosity. For years-hell centuries, there has been speculation about life after death and now it would seem that I am about to find out. In a moment the figure moves away from the glaring window and I am genuinely shocked beyond belief to see my deceased mentor, Odin Lowe.
Now I am a little afraid. Not of the ghost; of the possibility that somewhere along the line my mind had snapped.
"Hi, Kid," the ghost says almost jovially.
I blink once, nope, he's still there. Wow. Odin's Ghost. "Hello, Odin. I go by the name Heero Yuy, now."
"I know," he answers, sounding like he does know that, and much more. "You were given the name as a code in remembrance of the man of peace-the man I was paid to assassinate."
I had always suspected as much, but it was still a shock to hear. "What are you doing here?"
Odin frowns as he gives the question some thought. "I'm not sure. I think you summoned me."
"How could I possibly have done that?" I wonder, surprised.
He shrugs. "Strong emotions, thoughts, feelings all could do the trick."
In truth I had been thinking about my past lately, examining what I accomplished, what I failed at, the whole introspection thing. But why would I have the need to see Odin?
"I always felt bad about how I treated you, kid," he breaks into my thoughts quietly.
I don't understand this. "You did not treat me badly, did not abuse me."
"Right. But I didn't give you any affection, either. I told you to follow your emotions and never gave you the tools to do so. Instead I taught you many ways to kill. And then you fell into J's hands." He manages to look slightly disgusted. Interesting. "You know about that?"
His smile was my answer. "Letting you fall into that weird bastard's clutches was enough of a ticket to hell in and of itself. He nearly destroyed your humanity."
I chuckled. It was funny. Odin was dead, but he still didn't know everything, so I guess the afterlife is not all it's cracked up to be. "Everyone always assumed that I had been raised and trained to be an automaton."
"Weren't you, kid?"
"Yes. But I fought it. I had all the emotions and feelings everyone else did-I just locked them away because it wasn't that I could not feel, it was that I felt too much." Indeed I knew it had appeared that I was waiting with everything on hold to see if I survived the war but that is simply stupid. I let Relena, Duo and even Quatre chip cracks in my stone mask because to die having never allowed yourself the enjoyment of life was to make a mockery of it. There might not be a tomorrow, so live for today. Duo said that to me once. I did the best I could at the time. Maybe deep down I believed I would survive the war and get to explore my feelings and figure out how to live life. My cold, detached exterior was a front. I would not have been able to do all did if I was too emotionally invested. War, like the man once said is hell and as such requires a man to be tough; make hard choices. Again-I did the best I could at the time.
Odin's grin widened. "Glad to have underestimated you, kid."
I wasn't sure if that was a compliment so I ignored it. As if reading my mind he said, "No offense."
Now it was my turn to shrug. "It's okay. Odin?"
"What's it like? Being dead?"
"I can only speak for myself, but it's damn boring. I only come into consciousness when someone thinks of me strongly, and that is not a common occurrence. It's weird when I am awake, so to speak. It's like being a cloud or smoke, I just float where the wind takes me. To be this substantial requires a lot of focus and energy. When I go I won't wake again for a very long time, even if I am summoned."
"That sounds like it sucks," I say sympathetically. Odin laughs at my choice of words. "Sounds like Maxwell is a bad influence on your vocabulary-among other things."
I feel my face heat up at this remark. I suppose he knows how I really feel about Duo. This worries me because I get the creepy sense that spirits may be privy to our most private thoughts and moments. I shiver involuntarily. When I fail to respond he says, "don't sweat it-Duo is a good guy, and I bet the feeling is mutual. You should act on your emotions with him, Heero."
The use of my name grabs my attention. Odin is still smiling. Everything he knows about me, and it's okay. I smile back, grateful for the ghost's approval. "Hey-you turned out okay. I am sorry though."
Soft laughter. "No-not sorry you turned out well, hell even though I have no right I'm proud of you. What I meant was-sorry I didn't do better by you."
"We do the best we can, I guess. I have no hard feelings against you, Odin. You were the closest thing to a father I ever had."
"What about J?" he asks, his voice betraying some raw feeling. I think my words touched him. "J was the weirdo uncle," I reply. This makes us both laugh.
Odin floats closer to me and somehow I know that this encounter is nearly over. He holds out an arm and tries to clap me on the shoulder, but of course I can't feel a thing. "Don't worry about dying anymore, Kid. There will be time for that much later on. You turned out well-live your life and let go of the old ghosts, even me. Go talk to Duo."
It's good advice and I think I'll take it.
Odin begins to fade. He holds his hand up in farewell.
"I missed you," I say to his retreating form. And then just as he's almost gone I hear a whisper: tell Trowa to check Cathy's knives tomorrow. Hmm. Weird. I won't forget the little warning. And I won't forget to start living my life, free of all the ghosts.
I can't wait to get back to Brussels and see Duo.