White Night 4
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam wing.
Author's Note: Onward! Thanks for the one review! lol
Wu Fei felt like an escapee from a mental asylum by the time they left the party shortly after 3 am. He wanted to wring someone's neck. He wanted a bath, real food and sleep. More importantly he wanted to talk some sense into Winner who was not even deigning to acknowledge his presence. Wu Fei was beginning to feel like he was being tested.
They left the social wading pool and Wu Fei was relieved to get into the car. Wu Fei refused to break the silence so it wasn't until they were almost back to the mansion that Quatre spoke.
"You did pretty well, all things considered," Quatre said, a weighing look in his eyes.
"You mean besides saving you from being insulted?" Wu Fei asked, still not sure why Winner would be mad about that.
If someone spit on Wu Fei he would not only break their jaw, he would end them. That was how he operated. Insults of that degree were not tolerated in his family. Winner seemed to think it was unimportant.
"I stood to gain more from being spat at, Wu Fei. You have no idea. If he had gone through with it the mark on his reputation would have been a score for me," Quatre explained.
WubFe considered that, a little shocked.
"That's twisted," Wu Fei said.
"Please. Unless someone physically attacks to wound or kill me, you can't interfere again. Regi is an oil tycoon. His money keeps him where he is but his reputation is unstable. I think I can bring him down when I have enough information, but for now I have to let him dig his own grave," Quatre explained.
"Well I am surprised that you would allow such trash to spit at you, but if that's what you want," Wu Fei said.
"I bought out several of his rising companies on legal loopholes before he could figure out that it was a trick. I got what I wanted... He has reason to be angry," Quatre said coolly.
"You really like to put your hand in the fire," Wu Fei sighed.
"Yes, well after being a pilot this sort of adrenaline rush is nothing," Quatre remarked. "I have to get my kicks somehow."
Wu Fei glanced over, not quite knowing how to respond. He had never thought of it like that. Quatre seemed to mean it exactly as he said, but Wu Fei couldn't help but wonder if there wasn't some other meaning.
"Wu Fei, why did you come? Don't tell me about promising my sisters and Duo because that is only one part. I have to know," Quatre asked, watching Wu Fei carefully as though waiting for a lie.
"I decided to come because I wanted to see how you were. I hadn't seen you or any of the other pilots in so long... And maybe I needed to stop pretending for a little while..." Wu Fei said.
"Pretending?" Quatre asked sharply.
"Yes, pretending to be a normal teacher. A normal anything," Wu Fei admitted. "But you don't seem to want me here, you seem very adamant in refusing... Have you decided if I should stay or go? Because I really would appreciate knowing. I won't accept being ignored for the duration of my stay, Winner."
Quatre didn't answer right away, his face pensive and somewhat sad.
"I was just shocked to find you at my house. I've never had anybody just show up like that. I couldn't even believe it at first," Quatre said, in an amazed voice.
"Is that a yes?" Wu Fei persisted, needing clarification.
"Alright. I agree, but we must write up a contract and discuss the terms," Quatre said.
"I asked you to do this from the beginning. I suppose you have your own way of doing things but you really are beyond all patience, Winner," Wu Fei said gravely.
Quatre smiled enigmatically. If Wu Fei wasn't a hardened soldier it might have made him nervous. Instead he tried to see through it. Quatre had not been the most stable of the five Gundam Pilots, but he supposed each of them had their moments to shine and their times when they faltered. He was curious as to how the blond had adapted to peace time.
"You will be my bodyguard, but as for your patience... Are you absolutely sure you want to work for me? Work and friends don't always mix well," Quatre said, regarding Wu Fei with such honest fear that Wu Fei blinked at him.
"Give me a chance Winner," Wu Fei said, awkwardly.
What else could he say? Their friendship went only so far before it slipped into war allies who never really met off of the battlefield.
"As long as you know what you're getting into," Winner sighed.
Wu Fei felt like Quatre was finally starting to consider him an ally instead of an intruder. Accepting outside help was difficult even from another warrior. Yet Wu Fei had not given him much if a choice so he supposed that was why it had taken Quatre so long to agree a and let him walls down.
Wu Fei took the elevator to the basement, staring into the metal and wood at his reflection. The doors opened into a small hall that led to a huge open space that looked almost the size of a hangar for pilots. Quatre was surely in there, somewhere in the gloom. There was so much of the room that Wu Fei took it in one section at a time.
That day Wu Fei had slept through morning and lunch. He had the evening shift, because of his late night hours with Quatre and parties. He was not the most suited for the parties but he was the most capable of protecting Quatre. When he had woken up, Wu Fei had done his workout and weight lifting. Then he had finished with his katas. The day had begun well enough.
Wu Fei squinted into the dimly lit room and gasped when he saw it. The flashbacks hit him, all at once. He smelled the leather of the seat, and the oil from maintenance. The blast of cannon fire and the explosions lit up behind his eyes. A huge object rushed at him and Wu Fei recalled with perfect clarity the day that Treize Kushrenada died. Wu Fei couldn't contain his trembling.
He had wanted to find Quatre and was informed by Charlie, the on duty guard, that he was in the "basement". His tone was heavy with meaning but Charlie seemed to assume that Wu Fei was informed about the house layout. Wu Fei had taken that in and then turned. He would find out for himself what that meant. Now he realized what it had been about. If Quatre had hired Wu Fei he would have informed him about this little secret. Wu Fei was outside himself in awe and understanding. The loss of his own Gundam had been... difficult.
Wu Fei stared up at Sandrock, its gleaming white and black surfaces complete. They were immense and foreboding as any Gundam would be. Wu Fei rocked back on his heals, staring up and craning back to see it fully. It was smaller than he remembered, its surface intact and undamaged despite all it had been through.
The peaceful day he had been experiencing was totally forgotten now.
"Ah, you found it already?" Quatre murmured, approaching him from within the huge room.
"This is ... Impossible!" Wu Fei shouted. "We destroyed all of them! What is that?"
"It's an empty shell, nothing more. The spare parts of Sandrock," Quatre shrugged.
"You kept them? Heero knew about this?" Wu Fei asked, outraged and seething.
"Heero?" Quatre's eyes seemed distant in some memory of the former L1 pilot. "He had no say in the matter really."
Wu Fei glared at Sandrock and its former pilot. The very sight of the thing made him nauseous. Then homesick. Finally he stepped forward to press his hand to the giant metal foot. It was not connected. There were no wires underneath the surface.
"Do you want to sit inside?" Quatre asked, his voice soft and inviting.
"What?" Wu Fei asked. "No! I am here to discuss the contract you agreed to."
Wu Fei had meant to walk toward the office on the other side of the room, but felt frozen. The sight of the Gundam, so similar to his own, had derailed him. The day he had first seen the enormous weapon, he had felt something similar. A complete loathing and a selfish desire to conquer that feeling. He was still competing with the dead after so long. He didn't even notice Quatre beside him until the man touched him.
"I should have warned you," Quatre said, his eyes on Wu Fei's pale complexion.
A sheen of sweat covered his forehead and one trickle fell down the side of his face. Wu Fei took a shaky breath, trying to conquer his memories. They were always there, but more often than not he was able to get past it. The sight of the Gundam, or the shell of one, made it impossible to push away his thoughts.
"That day... After I killed him, I felt like I had died too," Wu Fei whispered, his mind going over the scene again and again.
Treize was his goal, and his purpose. Once that was gone all he felt was despair. He had become an empty husk just like Sandrock, unable to fulfill any duty but to remain there. It was a terribly lonely feeling.
"I couldn't destroy it completely," Quatre said, finally starting to look guilty. "I promised to, but in the end I was too weak. I broke my promise, to Heero and to you and the others. I loved Sandrock!"
"Love?" Wu fei repeated, surprised. "I never loved mine."
"Really?" Quatre asked in shock.
"It was too tied up in what I had lost, and what it got me hurt too much," Wu Fei said. "Winning the war was just an illusion that we had accomplished something wonderful."
"Wu Fei?" Quatre asked, his voice hushed.
"I won't come here again, Winner. I'm sorry... I have to get out of this room," Wu Fei muttered, pushing away from the gigantic metal foot in disgust.
Wu Fei had not even noticed that Quatre had followed him until he was inside the elevator. He could not contain his panting, nor his shell shocked expression. The war had wounded him far more than he had allowed himself to believe. They had offered him a position as a preventer, but he had mockingly turned them down. Wu Fei had told Une and Trowa that he was not a killer anymore. They had been stunned and then accepting. Wu Fei's fierce expression had warned them. Yet he had not even realized why he had been so against it.
Quatre watched him with a patience and compassion that was his trademark. The face Wu Fei had been expecting to see upon arrival. Now it was marred by the many expressions that were layered on top of it, and the cool composure that helped Quatre disguise himself. Wu Fei glared at him.
"You're not the same, you have changed," Wu Fei accused.
"We all have. I am not the innocent child I used to be," Quatre said.
"I have information I want to share with you. Something important. When is a good time?" Wu Fei asked, changing the subject.
"Of course, how about right after dinner? They are going to serve it in one hour. I'll listen," Quatre allowed.
"Good," Wu Fei went back to his room, and paced the floor until dinner came. He brought his brief case with him full of information that he needed to show his former ally. It was all he could do to focus on the present, and not let the past suck him back to a place too dark and cold, not unlike space itself.
End of Chapter 4