The Dreaming's version of Death, Heero Yuy, and Gundam Wing in general don't belong to me and I make no claims to them. This is a not for profit venture all the way. Enjoy!
Fear and the Finding of.
When he first met her, he was five years old.
He was running through the corridors of a flaming building, trying desperately to find Odin Lowe, the man who, although he'd hesitate to call him a father, had at least raised him for as long as he could remember.
Everything had gone to hell. The assignment had seemed easy at the time, and it would have been, if the building in which the exceedingly rich man they were being paid to assassinate lived hadn't been attacked and firebombed by a bunch of manic and largely incompetent terrorists while they were still inside. It seemed their target was unpopular with more than one person, and that some of the people he was unpopular with were a lot less subtle than others. Odin had run off when the explosions started and sharply told him to meet at the arranged meeting place, which would have been all very well if the arranged meeting place wasn't now a pile of smouldering ashes. He'd neglected to tell him what to do if the fire spread.
To add to his problems, the fire and the fire bombers had attracted the large attention of the local authorities. He had slipped into this house hoping to hide and wait it out, but this house was now both a) on fire and b) surrounded, mainly because the whole district was surrounded right now. To the dismay of the local fire department, the inferno had spread throughout several houses and estates and they'd condoned the whole area off. He was trapped, infuriated, disorientated and gasping from smoke inhalation.
That's when he met her.
He was crouched in the far west wing of the house, which still seemed relatively free of fire. He'd been taking frequent glances out of the nearby window and was trying to figure out some way to get past the authorities without being seen when a perky voice said, almost in his ear, "So, what'cha doing then?"
His training kicked in immediately. Odin may not have been much of a father figure, but he'd been exemplarily when it came to that. The pistol was out and trained on her before he'd even pulled himself upright.
She was slender and pale, with jet-black clothing and what he guessed was dark makeup coating her eyes. She wore an ankh around her neck, threaded on a chain. Despite the fact that she was standing in a burning building with a gun trained at her head, she seemed quite calm. "Gee, you are the precocious one, aren't you?"
He narrowed his eyes. There was something fundamentally out of place about the woman, something wrong . He hated wrong. As if there wasn't enough happening already. Very deliberately, he flicked back the safety catch.
"Are you from this house?"
Get the important details first. If she was still here the rest of the family could be too, and he didn't want to have to deal with that right now.
She looked faintly amused (amused?). "Nah, not at all. I was just around the place on business, spotted you at the window and thought I'd come and have a chat."
He blinked. A chat?
"Are you okay? You look a little out of it there..." She started forward, a hand reached out in a comforting gesture.
This was not acceptable! "I have a gun!" He jabbed it meaningfully at her.
She didn't look in the least bit threatened, but she did stop.
"Why are you here?" This was just ridiculous. He needed to get out of here, the smoke was getting thicker. Who on earth was this woman?
"I told you, I just thought I'd talk to you."
"That's ludicrous. If you think that I don't know how to use this weapon you are sorely mistaken. Tell me the truth!"
To his astonishment, her expression softened into something that was almost... sadness? "Oh, I've no doubt you know how to use that. He trained you well."
Suspicion bloomed. He? She knew of him, perhaps knew of Odin? Now what should he do? Kill her? No. If he could get her back to Odin, he would want to ask questions.
Coming to a sudden decision, he motioned with the gun. "Move." The fire was spreading, he needed to get out. She could come with him for now, and if she resisted she would die. A perfectly sensible plan.
She moved willingly where he indicated, not disturbed at all. As they threaded through the corridors towards the back yard, she talked to him. "I wouldn't worry, you know. I'm sure he'll find you." When he ignored her she twisted her head back to smile at him. "He does care about you, you know."
This was not an acceptable topic of conversation. He felt the sudden need to stop it. "I'm not worried. There is no point. What happens, happens."
"Que sera, sera."
"Whatever will be, will be..." She recited the words in a singsong way, as though they were lyrics rather than a saying as such. He felt a sudden twinge of curiosity.
"What is that?"
"It's a song, a very old one. It's about fate, about how things are just going to happen. Do you believe in that?"
"I have not thought about it."
"Something to do in the future, then."
"I do not think of the future."
"Aww, come on, all kids think of the future. What are you going to be when you grow up?"
"Definitely precocious." Again, her voice was tinged with sadness. Again, he felt the irrational need to make this conversation stop. Luckily this time he had a proper excuse, they had reached the back door.
Gingerly, he reached out to open it and...
It all happened at once. The heat and the smoke downstairs had been annoying but not seriously debilitating, and so he had not thought about how the fire might be spreading upstairs. He had forgotten that smoke tends to rise, and he had been unaware of the many open windows on the upper floors. Distracted by the woman, he hadn't checked outdoors either. He had no idea that the fire was bad enough to affect the structural integrity of the first story floor, of his ceiling. He was not prepared for the ceiling to explode with fiery debris.
He was not prepared, but he was very quick. He threw himself backwards as the world splintered into red and black pieces, landed awkwardly on his back, his head slamming back against the floor so hard he could hear an echoing crack.
The world swum around him as lay in a stunned heap on the floor. Flames flickered everywhere, and smoke lay across the floor like a blanket. How could that be, his brain asked irrationally. Everything had been fine just a minute ago... Where was his gun? That was important. He should get up and get it. Why weren't his legs working properly? His head hurt a lot. There was a burning sensation in his arm. Had he burnt his arm? Move your head! Everything's twisting around so much. Why wouldn't his body work properly? His head wasn't working, his body wasn't working... Where was Odin? Why wasn't he here? He was supposed to be here! He stared up at the twisting patterns on the ceiling. Failed. He'd failed now...
The woman's head swum into view, and her voice seemed to come from a thousand miles away. "It's okay. He'll come. There's no need to be frightened."
Frightened? That was stupid. Didn't she know that he didn't get frightened? She should know that. He tried to get the muscles in his face to move.
"Not... Frightened... I'm not..."
The face twisted into another smile. What was it with her and smiles? "I know. You aren't. But I'm not here for you today...."
What? That didn't make sense.
"...like to hear a song. The one I was telling you about... Hey, don't cry."
He didn't cry. He didn't. What was she talking about?
"When I was just a little girl,
I asked my mother, "What will I be?
Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?"
Here's what she said to me:"
He closed his eyes and drifted off to her voice. It was... it was comforting...
"Que sera, sera,
Whatever will be, will be.
The future's not ours to see,
Que sera, sera..."
And then he woke up, and he was under white sheets with his arm and head bandaged up. Odin Lowe was sitting in a chair next to the bed, and he gruffly explained how he'd found him unconscious in one of the houses and dragged him out. Odin didn't get angry with him, or scowl at him for failing to successfully get out of the area, although he didn't understand why. Odin didn't mention a woman either.
So he kept silent and healed, and eventually he forgot about her.
It was ten years before he saw her again...