LSE // 8-3-02
(Manifestation of Will)
rated: R - adult language, content

Prologue: Angel Tears

Whirling his mobile suit around to blast apart the advancing enemy,
Trowa fought the battle with an almost bored outlook on the whole
thing. OZ barely even seemed to be putting up a fight, or maybe he
was just getting over confident.

From the corner of his eye, he could see Sandrock locked in heavy
combat with a mobile suit of lesser quality, but Quatre had already
taken a few hits earlier... With a slight frown, Trowa broke his
observations and focused on the matter at hand.

"Thirty seconds!" Duo shouted over the comlink from the opposite side
of the base.

"Let's go, Quatre," Trowa said quietly, finishing off the remaining
mobile suits.

No reply.

"Sandrock, do you copy?"

Nothing. Trowa looked over and saw Quatre obliviously forging onwards
into battle.


"Twenty seconds, Trowa, Quatre. Twenty seconds till that base blows,
get out of there!"

"Quatre's not responding. I think his communicator's busted," Trowa
said, whirling his mobile suit around.

"Leave. He'll get the idea," Heero's cold announced. A slight scuffle
sounded as Duo and Heero fought over the radio, then a loud burst of


Heero had a point, but Trowa wouldn't take that risk. Not with Quatre.

On the opposite side of the base, safely hidden away from the blast
area in a beat-up old jeep, Heero glared daggers at Duo as Wufei
tried to repair the hopelessly busted radio. Duo ignored them both,
his eyes locked on the Gundams not so far away.

"Ten seconds," Duo breathed, looking wide-eyed at Heero, "why aren't
they leaving?"

It was a horribly dramatic slow-motion as the final seconds clicked
down. Duo looked away at four seconds, at three he grabbed Heero's
hand, at two he dared look again, and when the clock ran out...

Heavyarms had closed the gap between the two suits, slamming full-
force into Sandrock as the explosion engulfed them both.


Rain beats down on me, but I don't care. Torrents of water soak
through the black variation of my standard outfit: pants, shirt,
vest. But I don't care. Maybe I'll catch my death out here, in the
rain. In the cold. My hair is plastered to my face, strands clogging
my tear-clouded vision.

The salty drops run off my cheeks and mingle with the clean rain. On
the colonies, it doesn't rain, not even for funerals.

I stare at the mound of dirt, which is rapidly loosing its shape to
the deluge of water from the heavens. The angels are crying. Trowa
always said I looked like an angel.

I let the rose drop my fingers and land atop the grave, sinking
slightly into the mud as its delicate petals are beaten senseless by
the rain. He died to save me, and that's the only thought that keeps
me from doing something drastic.

Trowa wants me to live. Wanted.

Tears pour forth as I stir up the painful memories. I never told him
that I loved him. I think we both knew it, but to say it? The words
would be tainted by the horrors of the war. Blood stained and
tarnished, our beautiful feelings wrecked.

I wasn't with him when he died. The explosion had been too powerful,
there was too much fire. The other pilots hadn't been able to reach
us in time. Sandrock was pinned beneath Heavyarms, my suit shielded
from the worst of the damage by Trowa's.

Trowa was dead when they reached him, they told me.

He died alone.

I never got to see his body.

I hold my hand up in front of my face.

//Mangled wreckage, twisted bodies, someone's screaming. Blood, blood
everywhere, dripping in my face...//

Turning my hand over, I study the healing burns, the only visible
injuries from the mission that claimed Trowa's life. The funeral was
last week, yet I had to come one last time before we leave once more
for space on yet another mission where I'll be required to destroy

"Quatre, it's time to go."

I look away from the grave and nod once to acknowledge Duo. I'll
fight this war, and I'll get peace, no matter what the cost. For

Crouching down to my knees, careful not to get my pants muddy, I
reach out and lightly stroke Trowa's name etched into the marble.

"Farewell, Trowa... I'll never forget you."


Manifestation of Will - Chapter One:

-------------------------Four years later-----------------------------

With a shuddering gasp I wake, jolting upright. My breath is rapid and
just beyond panicked, but I try and calm myself. I reach over and
click on the lamp, letting the warm glow surround me as I sit back
against the headboard with a sigh.

There's a knock on my door and one of the maids sticks her head in,
politely inquiring if everything's all right. For a moment I think
she must have telepathy, but then I realize the lamp creates far more
light than normal use would intend. Either that or I screamed. I do
my best to smile and nod, sending her away.

Another nightmare.

I can't face the images that haunt me anymore tonight, so I get out
of my bed and steal down the hallway, hoping no more of the staff
will see me. 'Mister Quatre, can I get you anything?' I can just hear
them asking in concerned voices. Imagine the horror if Mister Quatre
actually did anything for himself...

I sigh and head down the stairs for the kitchen. It's quiet in the
house, my sister Danira and her family being asleep, like I should be,
at this time of night. One of the maids is sleeping under the kitchen
table, her small body curled tightly against the table legs.

Walking over, I kneel down and gently shake her shoulder. She's fully
clothed in the black and white my sister insists her domestics wear,
so I know she fell asleep on accident.

The maid wakes slowly, peering at me with sleepy eyes. Seeing blonde
and blue-green, she jolts awake almost as quickly as I did rising
from my nightmare and hits her head on the underside of the table.

"Bloody hell," she yelps, a hand rising to press against her forehead.

"Careful," I admonish, helping her out from under the offending

Suddenly struck with what she said and to whom, she turns a
completely different shade of red and tries to curtsy, but I grab her
elbow and prevent her actions. "Oh, Mister Quatre, forgive me, I..."

"It's all right," I say with a smile, letting go of her elbow. She
has the slightest hint of an accent, a cultured voice to match her
cultured look. I'd expect nothing less from Danira's household staff.

I start to head for the refrigerator, but she deftly steps between me
and my goal, "Mister Quatre, can I get you anything?"

"I just wanted a glass of water."

The maid beams and all but runs to the cabinets to fetch me a glass,
eager to serve me and get me safely tucked back upstairs in hopes
I'll forget come morning. Anything to avoid the wrath of Danira.

I want to ask what she was doing under the table, sleeping, but I'll
save the girl some grief. Taking the glass from her, I turn and leave
the kitchen.

The war's over, and I still can't believe it. Never again will I have
to use Sandrock to destroy, to kill. Unless... But I won't entertain
the idea that another war could be even possible. The carnage of the
last is still too fresh in the people's minds.

Eventually, there will be the hate and death I've come to know so
clearly. People will forget the horror that is war and they will
fight, and once more innocent people will be called upon to do
horrible things. To kill and to be killed. Innocents.

Like Trowa.

It's been four years since I let him be hidden away under the earth,
buried in a serene cemetery. I still haven't forgotten him. How could
I? I promised... I promised him...

Reaching the secluded sanctuary of my room, I flick on the light and
look around. It's nearly five in the morning. It's not really worth
going back to bed, now is it?

I set myself in front of the desk and take out a clean sheet of
stationary, "From the household of Danira Winner-Ruebast" neatly
printed along the top. Chewing on the end of my pen for a moment, I
finally lay ink to paper and write.

And write.

And write.

Stretching out a cramp in my hand, I look back over my scrawled
letter and nod in satisfaction. I lay it carefully to one side, on
top of another letter. Looking to my watch, I see I still have
another hour before my alarm goes off, and so I take out another
sheet of stationary.

This one will be more difficult to write than the others.

I sit there, staring at the blank paper, my pen poised and ready to
begin, but my brain refuses to even consider writing. I can't do
this. With a sigh, I put the pen down and stand, stretching slightly.
I'm suddenly tired, and since I do have an hour...

I stumble over to the bed and all but collapse into it, curling the
blankets over me. I snuggle down into the layers, still warm from my
recent abandoning of sleep.

Before long, I've crossed the hazy line between reality and the
dreams. I step through the mist, a growing fear that this will be
another nightmare. Another? Did I ever? I am me.

But, turning, I see him.

"Trowa," I whisper, walking towards him. This can't be real.

He raises his hands and I take them, pressing against his chest in
silent greeting. I can't believe this. "Oh, Trowa..." To my surprise,
he pulls away, looking at me from emerald depths. I take a step
towards him, but he retreats further away. "Trowa? Don't leave me."

Trowa turns, hands in his pockets, and walks away into the mist. I
run after him, shouting his name. I trip and fall, bursting into
bitter tears. "Don't go," I sob, struggling back to my feet. "Don't
leave me."

All around me I can hear him, see him, yet if I walk towards Trowa he
fades away. I chase down one of the phantom images, calling out to
him. "Trowa, Trowa!"

Reaching out, I grab his arm and turn him to me. I recoil with a
gasp, looking into the eyes of death. The skin melts from Trowa's
bones and soon he is nothing but a skeleton in a turtleneck. "No!" I
shout, quickly releasing his arm.

Trowa collapses to the ground, an old pile of bones.

"No!" I shriek, turning to flee. Trowa is there, his skin melting
away. Insects crawling around beneath the rotting flesh, I can see
him decomposing before me. "Noooooo!"



"NO!" I scream.

"Quatre!" Danira stares down at me, aqua eyes hinted with annoyance.
So much for sisterly concern. "You're going to wake half the house!"

"Sorry," I say, sitting upright with a yawn.

Her eyes soften, "Nightmare?"

I nod, not saying anything more. Looking every inch the regal
mistress that she is, Danira gets off the bed and gravitates towards
the door. Flipping her blonde hair over one shoulder, she smiles.
"Although, if you manage to wake my half of the house, it would save
me from buying a new alarm clock..."

I return the smile and pretend to toss a pillow at her before she
ducks out of the room. I stretch and head to the closet to throw on
another set of the usual shirt-vest-khaki combination. Life's become
so ... routine.

Right then and there, I finalize the decision to move on from
Danira's palace. Maybe I'll live with Kimone for a while. Or maybe
I'll finally find a place of my own. I'm sure my sisters are going to
get tired of my leaching off of them eventually.

It's so easy to just live my postwar life being shuttled from sister
to sister like a favorite stuffed animal. A Quatre teddy bear.

Glancing to my desk, more directly, at the letters on my desk, I reach
another decision.

Walking over, I take up my pen and quickly scribble down the words
I've been struggling to say. Folding the finished letter up into an
envelope, I carefully print Duo's name across the top.

There's no going back.


Author's Notes: Finally! I thought I'd never get this written. Many
hugs and thanks to my glorious beta-reader, trowacko. Do NOT expect
chapter-a-day progress with this! I'm thinking more like once a week,
MAYBE. If you're lucky...
I want quality for this, and it's my first attempt at 3x4x3, so I
need lots of help. My 1x2x1 'fics will still be written as quickly as
inspiration hits, so don't worry.
What do you think of it so far?

// - marks a flashback sequence
Feedback/reviews are very much appreciated!
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