This Ordinary Life

by Wingleader Sora Jade

I don't own Gundam Wing. The song belongs to whoever sings it. Yes, the original words use the name Shelley, but humor me, 'kay?

()()()()()

Duo sat in the open window, letting the cool spring air waft in around him and lift his long brown braid a couple millimeters off his back. His hat was pulled down low over his forehead as he looked out over the capitol of the Sanc Kingdom, where Relena Peacecraft was queen. He sighed and let his head fall back against the edge of the window with a thump.

'Heero's right,' he thought. 'A soldier without a war to fight is worthless.'

He let himself roll off the seat and landed cat-like, crouched on the floor. He sighed and straitened up, looking over the room he'd occupied for the last nineteen years. The bed with it's rediculous purple bedspread that Hilde had insisted on, the curtains to match, the pale blue rug.

Smiling saddly Duo rummaged into the closet and pulled out a tattered black dufflebag. He stuffed some clothes into it, and then sat down on the bed to lace up his boots. He slipped his cross over his head and tucked it down his shirt collar.

There was a shreik of laughter from somewhere downstairs and Duo smiled as he imagined Hilde at the kitchen table sipping coffee, and DJ in the living room giggling at some Saturday morning cartoon.

That boy... Duo shook his head, grinning wryly. So much like his father. He'd make a great soldier someday.

Thinking of soldiers, Duo quickly sobered, remembering what Quatre had called to tell him that morning. He cursed slightly under his breath and once again gazed out the window at the peaceful nation. 'OZ might be back... I'm sorry Hilde, but I have to check it out.'

~Hilde's at the kitchen table,~

~Cup of coffee, morning paper.~

~He walks in, she's so surprised~

~To see the tears in his eyes.~

Hilde skimmed an article about some politician's death, idlely wondering if Relena had known him. Probably not. Someone cleared their throat, and she glanced up to see her husband of ten years.

A smile graced her features and she stood up, walking over to give Duo a smack on the cheek. She felt wetness on her lips and looked up in surprise to see the braided pilot crying.

"Duo-chan, what's wrong?" she asked, her brows creasing as he turned his dark blue eyes away from her.

"OZ. They may be back." he said, too low for DJ to hear in the next room.

"Oh Duo..." she said, all too aware of the bag on his shoulder. "Shirly the others can handle it..."

Duo looked back at the woman he loved, loyalty burning feircely in his shadowed eyes. "No Hilde. Shinigami must be there to claim the souls of the dead."

The German woman gasped slightly at his severity, and involentarily took a step back. Duo's face softened and he drew her into a hug. "You know how much I love you Hilde. This is just something I have to do."

Hilde nodded, her face buried in his chest. "I understand Duo."

~He says 'You know I love you, I'm so sorry.'~

~'But bigger dreams are waiting for me.'~

~'I can't do this anymore.'~

She pulled away from him and called into the livingroom "DJ!"

The six-year-old came running into the room, his long purple-black braid swinging behind him. He impatiently brushed his bangs out of his ice blue eyes and grinned at his parents. "Wha'sup Mom?"

Duo kneeled down and put a hand on his son's shoulder. "What's your name DJ?"

DJ grinned wider and puffed out his chest. "Duo Maxwell Jr." he replyed proudly. He admired his father to no end and wanted to be exactly like him someday, hence the braid and black outfit.

"Well Duo Maxwell Jr, Duo Maxwell Sr has to go on a trip. I don't know when I'll be back or even if I will."

DJ's smile faded. "You're leaving Dad?"

Duo nodded, his eyes wavering with tears. "Take care of your mom for me, ok?"

This time DJ nodded and Duo stood up to face Hilde again. "Hilde, I was born to be a soldier. I can never get used to peace. None of us can, not even Quatre, in a way. But I was also born Shinigami, and I vow here and now that we'll all make it back alive. I swear it on Sister Helen's grave." He placed a hand over his heart and a single tear slipped down his cheek as he thought of the long-dead woman. On a burst of inspiration he pulled the cross out from around his neck and looped it around Hilde's. He leaned in to kiss her once more, before turning to leave.

'The ordinary 'normal' life is not for me. I'm a soldier.' he reminded himself as he slipped off to the hidden corner of the scrap yard where Deathscythe lay hidden. 'So why am I crying?'

~Pay the bills, watch TV,~

~Day in, day out, the same routine.~

~Mow the grass, fix the leak,~

~Just to fix it again.~

~Go to church, go to work,~

~So picture-perfect that it hurts.~

~I feel like I'm trapped inside~

~Of this ordinary life.~

'Duo-chan... Please be alright...' Hilde thought off-handedly, sitting curled up on the windowseat in her room. It had been almost two months since he and the other Gundam pilots had left, and no one had heard anything from them or of them since.

Relena-sama was practically frantic with worry over Heero, especially since she was rapidly nearing the due-date of their third child. Miidi and Sally had banded together and were trying their best to turn up any clues they could, with some off-planet help from Zechs and Noin. Dorothy tried her best to comfort Relena, although she herself was severly worried about Quatre.

Hilde felt something tugging on her sleeve and looked down to see DJ, smiling that trade-marked Maxwell grin that his father was famous for. "Mommy, let's draw something!"

Grateful for the distraction from worry, however slight it might be, Hilde nodded. She went down to the kitchen, DJ trailing behind, and got out the necissary supplies.

DJ's grin widened and he plopped down in a chair, scribbling away at the orange paper with a marker. Seating herself as well, Hilde twirled a pencil between her fingers and found herself sketching an angel.

"Look Mommy!" DJ exclaimed, showing her his finished masterpeice.

"Oooo! I love it!" Hilde cooed. She taped it to the refridgerator and went back to her own drawing, which she was becoming increasingly absorbed in.

When it was done, it still didn't look right, so she shaded the wings to gray and black, and added a scythe in the angel's hands. The angel's head was bowed low, as if in shame, and there was no halo over his head.

Hilde felt herself beginning to tear up and quickly excused herself. She took the picture to her room, fully intent on running it through the shredder, but instead taped it up over the door.

"Maybe it'll bring him home again..." she whispered to herself.

~Hilde's at the kitchen table,~

~Crayons, construction paper.~

~'Hey mom, look what I drew,'~

~'It's a picture of me and you.'~

Hilde reached over from her place in front of the computer and snapped the TV off, earning groans and "Aw, mom!"s from DJ and his best friend, Christian, Quatre and Dorothy's son, who was spending the night.

"No buts." said Hilde. "Bedtime."

DJ grumbled, but headed for the bathroom to brush his teeth. Christian started to follow, but stopped and bowed slightly to Hilde. "Thank you for letting me come over Aunt Hilde."

"At least Quatre and Dorothy raised you right." Hilde said, ruffling his blond hair good-naturedly before shooing him towards DJ's room.

DJ was already there, curled up in a ball and hugging his Deathscythe doll that Duo had given him. His long hair was unbraided, and it fell in gentle waves all around him. He had an adorable expresion on his face, and Hilde's heart melted, thinking of Duo.

Christian climbed into his sleeping bag, fishing his Sandrock doll from his bag. According to what Duo had told her, Relena had been out shopping and found a complete set of 'Gundam-plushies' which she bought and gave to the various pilots to give to their kids.

The two boys closed their eyes and DJ solomnly began his evening prayer. "...And God? Please help bring my Daddy home safely. He's on a trip, and I miss him." DJ said at the end of his prayer.

"Mine too." said shy Christian, his plea barely a whisper.

Hilde smiled saddly as the two snuggled down into the blankets and yawned sleepily. "Oh, don't worry boys. I'm sure they're just fine." She said, although she wasn't. She leaned down to give DJ a kiss on the forehead, ruffled Christian's hair again, and then stood up to leave.

She stopped at the door and glanced back at the boys that looked so much like their fathers, and who would undoubtably grow up to pilot Deathscythe and Sandrock someday. A silent tear made its way down her cheek.

~And later as he says his prayers~

~She runs her fingers through his hair,~

~So thankful for every day~

Downstairs Hilde flipped through the channels on the TV restlessly. She was so worried about Duo and Quatre. The others she didn't know that well, but she did know that each had at least one child, as well as their wives, who would miss them dearly if anything happened to them.

Coming across the news Hilde finally put the remote controller down and settled in to watch, looking but not really seeing. About ten minutes later the words 'gundanium alloy' caught her attention and she sat up.

The screen was a mass of wreckage and ruins, and most of it appeared to be metallic. The camera was apparently in a helecopter, circling the sight. Here and there the weak light would glint off a peice of white metal that hadn't been scuffed or burned.

With a gasp Hilde dove for the phone and with shaking hands dialed the Peacecraft Mansion. The voice that answered sounder stressed and worried. Relena.

"'Lena, are you watching the Channel 5 news?" Hilde asked.

"No, why?"

"You might want to turn it on." Hilde heard the sound of someone clicking channels and then there was a tearful gasp from the woman on the phone. "Dorothy! That looks like a bit of Wing!"

For the moment the fact that Dorothy was with Relena at the mansion escaped Hilde as she jerked around to face the TV. The newsanchor was just saying something about a big battle that had taken place there the day before, but Hilde's eyes were drawn instantly to the rubble.

Laying among strewn bits of stone and glinting fragments was Wing ZERO's buster rifle. Hilde couldn't help the phase the slid between her lips, knowing both Dorothy and Relena could hear. "Please Lord, no..."

~Pay the bills, watch TV,~

~Day in, day out, the same routine.~

~Mow the grass, fix the leak,~

~Just to fix it again.~

~Go to church, go to school,~

~Every day is something new.~

~Precious are the days as they go by~

~In this ordinary life.~

Within two hours all five women and the seven children belonging to them were assembled in the Peacecraft Manor. Sally and Wufei's two little girls, the twins Becca and Rachel, were the oldest there at nine and were clinging to their mother as scenes of devestation paraded across the screen.

The three youngest, Heero and Relena's four-year-old Jordan and two-year-old Kale were both in bed, and Miidi and Trowa's six-month-old Heather was asleep in a guest room in the cradle Relena had ready for the new baby when it came. DJ and Christian were clinging to their moms almost as hard as the Chang twins were, and Christian was sobbing quietly. For that matter, so was Dorothy.

Whenever one of them would spot something they thought was from one of the Gundams they would point it out to the others for confirmation. All hope had disappeared when they'd finally spotted something from each of the five.

Wing ZERO's rifle, Deathscythe's torn and tattered cape, Heavyarm's machinegun-arm from the 'wrist' down, one of Sandrock's shoulder wing thingys, and Altron's dragonclaw.

The phone rang, and, being closest, Hilde pryed DJ off her lap, passed him sniffling to Relena and headed for the kitchen to answer it. "Hullo?" she asked tearfully.

"Er..." Whoever it was seemed taken aback at all the sobbing going on in the background.

"Who is this?" asked Hilde, sniffling saddly and not caring if she sounded cross.

The voice on the other end softened as he heard her sniff. "Ah. I see." He hung up and Hilde stared dumbly at the phone before slamming it back into its receiver and going back to the living room.

~Phone rings, he's calling from the airport.~

~It's midnight and he's all alone again.~

By two in the morning all the kids had dropped off to sleep and been put into various guestrooms and bedrooms to wait out the night, while the five women remained in the living room watching the news. Hilde had told them about the mysterious phone call, and the other four had agreed that it was probably some teenager playing a prank.

Dispite their best attemps at staying alert, they were beginning to get sleepy. Relena, Dorothy and Sally were sitting together on the couch, Miidi was in a rocking chair feeding Heather, who had woken up hungry, and Hilde was draped across an overstuffed armchair.

The doorbell rang and Sally started to get up, but Relena pulled her back down. "Don't worry about it. Pargan will get it."

A few moments later the faithful butler stuck his head in and said "Someones to see you, ladies."

They looked at each other and shrugged, pulling themselves up from whatever comfortable possition they were in and moving toward the front door. Miidi handed Heather to Pargan as she passed, and he chuckled at the small girl. "They're going to be surpsrised..." Heather just burbled at him, her big green eyes shining.

Relena opened the door and poked her head out, the rest of the women crowding in behind her. "Hullo?" she asked cautiously. Suddenly she felt the hard, cold barrel of a gun pressed against her left temple and a familiar voice whispering "Omae o korosu..."

~He said 'I'm sorry for how I've lived,'~

~'And what I wouldn't give...'~

Duo draped his arm around Hilde's shoulders and planted a kiss on her cheek as they left Relena's house the next morning. All five boys were home safe, and the various happily reunited couples had fallen asleep in each other's arms the night before. Pagan and the other servents had left them where they were, and now they were all headed home. (Except for Relena and Heero, who were obviously already home)

"Dad, dad, where were you?" DJ asked, chattering away as usual. ("He definately takes after you Maxwell..." Wufei had observed the first time he'd met him when DJ was two. "He won't shut up!") "How'd you survive?"

"There was nothing to survive." Duo said, shrugging. "We destroyed the NewOZ headquarters. It was a masacure."

"But, we saw the parts..." Hilde's voice trailed off.

"Oh, that." Duo waved his hand in the air as he held open the door of his ancient black Viper for Hilde. "We don't think the Gundams will be needed again, at least not in our lifetime." He glanced back at DJ, playing with his Deathscythe plushie in the back seat. "So while we didn't destroy them, we made everyone else think they were destroyed."

Hilde pecked him on the cheek. "How clever!"

"Trowa thought of it." Duo said, shrugging. "And you know what? I really can't wait to get back to our good, old-fasioned ordinary life. After seeing how worried you girls were and how much you cared, I think this soldier is at last ready for peace."

Hilde smiled and glanced out the window as they started to pull away. Trowa and Miidi were over to one side, cooing over Heather as she tried to take her first steps. Relena and Heero were in the doorway, watching Jordan run around with Christian and the Chang girls, little Kale stumbling along behind. Heero placed a hand on Relena's swollen belly and smiled at his wife. Wufei and Sally were bickering about something, and through the open window of the car Hilde could hear shouts of "Onna!" and "Weakling!". Suddenly Sally leaned over and kissed him agressivly, and the matter was settled. Quatre and Dorothy were waltzing around on the lawn for no particular reason, and as she watched Quatre dipped Dorothy back and kissed her.

"I think," she said, turning back to Duo. "You all are."

~Pay the bills, watch TV,~

~Day in, day out, the same routine.~

~Mow the grass, fix the leak,~

~Just to fix it again.~

~Go to church, go to work,~

~You don't know how much this hurts.~

~I miss my son, I miss my wife,~

~And this ordinary life.~

()()()()()

Like? Not? Please review!!!

God Bless!