A/N: Holy crap! This is now the fifth rewrite I have done with this story since it began in 2009! …Maybe even more! And I am freaking determined to get it right this time. So here are some things I think people should know about the story now that is totally different than the original…without giving anything away.
I'm sorry for those who love him…but I had to take Zechs out of the pilot group and therefore the pairings. I'm not especially good at writing him and I also have other plans now, that he would simply complicate. He may show up later in the story…I have no idea…but for now he is gone. That means that the current pairings are 1x2 3x4 and…lonely 'Fei. Please don't kill me! *ducks quickly* There is a reason and it will hopefully become clear as the story progresses.
Other than that I am simply trying to make the story more realistic since it was my opinion that the original had very little on the pilots as individuals or as pairs since most seemed to revolve around Esmerelda…and she isn't the only character here. So this is my attempt at making the pilots more believable and give the story more depth! So please be patient with me!
Other than that I think that's about it. So enjoy and please let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: I sadly own nothing here so don't sue me.
It had been harder than she had thought to track them down. Especially considering one of them had been the on news quite often recently. But still she had managed it. She had managed to track down the illustrious Gundam Pilots. …Now she could only hope they wouldn't kill her before she could finish explaining herself.
Looking up into surprised Teal eyes the Commander of the Preventers smiled slightly, hiding her nervousness as she stood proud before one of the most feared men in the world.
"Hello Mr. Winner. May I come in? I'm afraid this really isn't a social call."
And oh how she wished it was.
Peace hadn't come with what they had expected, or perhaps hoped for. It hadn't come with a sense of fulfillment, of understanding…or even freedom. Instead it had come with confusion, restlessness and bitterness. They had fought; most of them for nearly all of their lives; and this was the outcome.
Nothing seemed to have changed, despite the deaths of hundreds upon hundreds of people; soldiers and civilians alike. There was still violence, there were still conflicts and there were still children wandering the streets with empty, hungry eyes. They had fought so hard, given everything they really had to give…and yet nothing had truly been given back.
They had tried after the first war, to go their separate ways. Had tried to find their places in the world, and had ultimately failed as their own restlessness and a bitter sense of loss had filled them, causing them to relive memories they had rather not see again, both by day and by night.
And so another War had begun and once more they had heeded the call, finding fulfillment on the battlefield and camaraderie among each other as they had almost two years before. The year of peace had changed nothing and that was when a sense of understanding had been reached.
No one could truly understand them as they could understand each other. Others would raise them on a pedestal or throw them to the dogs like society had tried to do numerous times before. They simply couldn't understand what they had done. Why they had done it. They didn't want to.
And so once the second War had ended they had disappeared from the eyes of the world; together; all five of them going off the grid, with Quatre being the only one to be seen from time to time.
And that was why it was such a surprise to find Lady Une on their doorstep, Preventers jacket unzipped in the cool spring day and unease in her heart.
Quatre blinked his large teal eyes once before nodding and stepping back, allowing the older woman to pass him into their home. Closing the door behind her he turned to smile, ever the kind host.
"I can't say it isn't a surprise to see you Ms. Une."
Une nodded and glanced around the brightly lit foyer, brown eyes scanning everything with the alertness of a soldier; something that wasn't missed by the blonde billionaire.
"Yes. I'm sorry to intrude. But I'm afraid there has been an…incident let's say."
Blonde brows furrowing Quatre nodded before moving forward and gesturing the woman to follow his small form.
"The others are out back. We will join them there. May I get you anything to drink?"
Une began to briskly follow the blonde and though she wished she could accept, if only to calm her own nerves, she knew she couldn't.
"Thank you but no. I don't want to intrude for longer than need be."
Quatre nodded, reaching up to rub the area over his heart for a moment before leading the Commander back out into the sun.
This house had been one of the safe houses provided by the Winner family during the first War and it had been the one that had appealed to all of the pilots once they decided to stick together after the second one. It was a quaint two story cottage out in the middle of the wilderness in what was once southern France. It was situated on the banks of a crystal lake and surrounded by trees, all untouched for decades. It also had four bedrooms and two bathrooms, the perfect size for their little group. But what had really drawn them there, was the mountains and wilderness surrounding it.
It was quiet and peaceful. And best of all it was just them. There was no one to judge them or scrutinize them for miles. No conflicts other than the minor ones between themselves; which happened less than it used to thanks to the decrease in tensions since the Wars.
Gesturing to the picnic table Heero had built a couple weeks after they had first moved in Quatre smiled gently.
"Take a seat and I'll go find the others."
Une nodded, pushing her loose brown hair out of the way and taking a seat. Watching the blonde walk off she sighed and reached into the bag she had brought with her. Pulling out the file she wanted she looked at the photo situated at the very top and sighed.
"I truly hope they will be what you need child. There is very little I can do. But they…have always been outside the law. So maybe they will have more luck than I."
It hadn't taken Quatre long to find the others by the lake, Duo happily swimming about and having a grand time splashing Wufei, who was trying to remain dry with little luck while the Trowa and Heero watched on with amused eyes.
Walking up to his lover, and Allah it felt good to be able to call him that, and their unofficial leader Quatre leaned contentedly against Trowa as he spoke.
"Lady Une is here to see us."
He felt his lover stiffen immediately and saw as their leader did the same out of the corner of his eyes.
Heero turned his eyes to the blonde, noting his relaxed posture before turning back to Wufei and his own lover.
Moving down to the water he easily lifted Wufei out of the way of the next splash and looked down at his lover from his place on their dock.
"We need to go back to the house."
Wufei sputtered slightly as he tried to get out of the iron bands he was held in, in an attempt to use the distraction Heero provided to escape Duo's next assault.
Duo tilted his head to the side, curious as he floated in the water.
Heero sighed and; transferring Wufei to a single arm but not releasing his grip; he used the other arm to hoist his American lover out of the water and onto their dock.
"Quatre says Lady Une is here to see us."
Both teens stiffened, wary of what the woman who had once been there enemy could possibly want badly enough, that she had put forth the effort to find them.
"Did he say what for?"
Heero shook his head as he released the Chinese pilot and pulled his lover to his feet.
"No. But he and Trowa are waiting for us."
Wufei nodded as he rung out his silky black hair and began to make his way up the bank to where he could see the other lovebirds waiting. It was times like these that he felt a slight pang in his heart. Not that he envied his friends their still rather new love but just sometimes he felt like the third; or fifth as it were; wheel sometimes.
"Everything alright Wufei?"
Startled, Wufei looked up to meet concerned teal for a moment before giving a slight nod.
"Yes, simply worried. Did she happen to mention what she was here for?"
He didn't have to say her name for the others to know who he was speaking of but it spoke of his own unease with the woman who had been the right hand woman of Trieze Kushrenada; their former enemy and his former lover. Though as far as he knew the only ones who knew anything about that, other than him, were already dead. He wasn't sure even Trieze's slightly insane right hand woman had ever known.
Quatre frowned, sensing something from their fifth, but unable to properly identify it.
"No, though she is anxious. She says that this isn't a social visit."
Duo scoffed as he slung a still wet arm over Wufei's shoulder, earning a dismayed cry as the others white shirt was soaked through some more.
"Like we couldn't figure that out on our own."
Heero nodded and carefully guided his lover away from a fuming Wufei as he set off back towards the house. He didn't need to say anything to get the others to follow, they were all anxious and on guard now that their home had been found; and by one of the last people they would want to see.
Trowa's eyes narrowed as he pulled his little blonde closer and followed after their leader. Whatever that woman wanted he would make her pay if it in any way hurt his little one or one of his brothers. He had failed to be there for them once and he would not do so again.
"Once again I'm sorry for intruding. I know you had wanted to be left alone."
Quatre nodded politely to the stern woman, taking up the part of host as no one else was willing to do so…they were content to send barely disguised waves of hostility towards the woman. He elbowed Trowa in the side, giving an admonishing glare as emerald met his own teal. Trowa frowned for a moment but relented, unwilling to anger his little one and turned his attention back towards their former enemy.
"What can we help you with?"
Lady Une sighed, taking a brief moment to observe them all as she tried to gather herself.
They had certainly changed since she had last seen them four months ago at the end of the war party. It wasn't that they had really gotten taller or anything like that. It was more that they seemed happier, healthier than when she had last seen them.
Physical wise Trowa was still the tallest of them all at 5'10", with Heero just behind him at 5'8" and Wufei at 5'6". The only two that hadn't seemed to grow that much were Duo and Quatre who were at 5'5" and 5'4" respectively. Duo; always the thinnest of the pilots; also seemed to have put on some weight while Quatre and Wufei both looked less stress and the two silent ones looked a bit more relaxed. Or she imagined they would if she wasn't there.
"I believe I first have to apologize to you all."
She saw them stiffen and hurried to continue less they decide she was a threat.
"There was a breach in security at one of the Preventer bases which has been taken care of. However they did manage to accomplish what they had desired."
Clutching at the folder she had never placed back in her bag she took a deep breath.
"The breach was in Doctor Po's office. A Doctor that had been working for us broke into her records and got access to your files which are stored in hard copy there."
Heero stiffened, icy eyes narrowing onto the older woman, searching her face for any lies.
"Have we been compromised?"
Lady Une shook her head and then paused before replying in a slightly unsure tone, eyes staying locked on the intense and rather terrifying gaze of the former Wing Zero pilot.
"That would depend on what you considered to be compromised. Your location was not in those files. However…your DNA was."
She saw the moment understanding hit them and so continued.
"We only became aware of his actions after he had managed to place your DNA in the Family Reconstruction Act. I am sorry."
Onyx eyes snapped with irritation as both Heero and Trowa tried to keep themselves in check while calming their slightly distraught lovers. He however, was free to react how he saw fit.
"Is your security really that poor?"
Une refused to flinch. Refused to back down, though she knew that she was technically to blame. They had placed their trust in her when she had told them that they would not be placed in the FRA and that their files would only be kept for Sally in case they were ever injured. And she had failed them in that respect.
"I understand that you're angry with me and I deeply apologize…but I think you need to hear what was found."
Glaring at the former OZ officer over his lover's blonde head Trowa growled as he reached out and firmly grasped Wufei's shoulder, grounding him as well as he caught sight of the angry fire raging in those dark eyes.
Nodding Une reached down and pulled out the folders she had brought with her; though she kept the one she had already taken out, separate.
"Of course. Mr. Winner obviously has his sisters and his nieces and nephews. So far no one else has been found."
Quatre nodded from his place tucked against his taller lover's side. This was nothing he didn't already know.
"Mr. Maxwell…I'm sorry but we haven't found anything for you."
Duo sighed, unsurprised. L-2 had never been exactly known for its record keeping after all.
"Mr. Chang, we haven't been able to find anyone for you either…I'm sorry."
Fury was all he could comprehend. Or maybe it was all that he wanted to comprehend. Because he knew that if he looked any further into his emotions than that, that he would find something he didn't want to face.
"Of course not! I watched them all die to stop an unjust rule!"
Taking the time the shock from his yell had caused Wufei rose and quickly made his way into the tree line, ignoring the calls of his name as he ran. Despite his anger and the grief he could feel welling up in his soul he did not go too far. Still able to see and hear what was going on back at the table yet remain unseen. No matter what he felt he would not leave his comrades with a prospective enemy. He just couldn't be near that woman any longer.
Trowa growled deeply as his emerald eyes watched their Dragon enter the tree line and disappear before turning his glare onto the one who had caused their fifth harm.
"Why did you bring that up? You knew of the L-5 explosion!"
Une frowned to herself. Why had she brought that up? Unlike Duo, Wufei had actually known his family before their deaths and would have known there were no survivors. Was it because Mr. Trieze had always talked about him? The little Chinese pilot with the fire in his eyes called Wufei. That was what he had always said. Or maybe it was because he was the one to join Mariemaia's army in the last war? Unlike Trowa who had been a spy, Wufei had actually believed them. Why had she…?
"Either finish what you came here for or get out. At this point we don't care which."
The deep, furious sound of the 01 pilot's voice caused her to freeze, fear lancing through her. That's right. These weren't children. These were killers, terrorist, Gundam Pilots. They weren't to be toyed with or taunted in any way. They could and likely would, kill her.
Quickly pushing the files she had; including the one she had been looking at before; across the table she watched as they were distributed among those still there.
"Mr. Yuy and Mr. Barton both have surviving family members and are actually related through the marriage of their brother and sister respectively."
Four pairs of eyes focused on her, though she could have sworn she felt five.
Une nodded and gestured towards the folders as she stood, seeing the Chinese pilot coming up behind the others as she did.
"Yes. Everything is in those files; though I'm sure you can find more. Legally there is nothing I can do."
Now she definitely had their attention as five pair of soldier's eyes regarded her, as if trying to discover her secrets, her fears and her weaknesses.
"I hope you can do more than I."
With that she bowed and turned to go around the house to her car, rightly not expecting an escort. This was in their hands now. There was nothing she could do though she would help all she could. Though she doubted they would ask. They didn't trust her…
And perhaps they were right not to.
It was Trowa who followed the woman out to her car; though she didn't know that. His emerald gaze watching as her car finally went out of site with a sense of relief and anger. Was this what happened when they trusted someone not of their group? Not only had they been placed in the FRA; something they had thought they had made sure was understood that it was never to happen; but she had brought pain to Wufei!
The loss of his entire family, his clan, had been something that had torn Wufei apart during the first War. And just when he had finally managed to put those ghosts to rest, this has to happen.
"She taunted him…deliberately. But why?"
Growling low in his throat out of annoyance the tall acrobat turned and walked briskly back to where the others were waiting, still seated at the picnic table. There was nothing he could do now. Nothing any of them could do really. They would just have to look over the files they had been given and make any necessary decisions together.
It didn't matter that the only ones who had blood family were Heero and himself. Blood mattered very little to them; they had spilled so much of it in their admittedly short lives. It was the bonds they had created that meant the most to them. And those bonds were strongest in those here. Nothing and no one was going to come between that. Blood family or not.
A/N: And I am going to end it there. But wow is this different from my original or what? And this one just seemed to flow so much smoother! I can't wait to continue…unfortunately I have to do some of my homework before I can work on Chapter 2…but I'm working on it!
Please review and tell me what you think of this new version!