With many thanks to those who encouraged me, and all of those people who have been so very, very patient....


Title: Two Roads Diverged 

Part 3/?

Author: Truth

Archive: A whole bunch of neat places but my complete fic collection can be found at GW Addiction

www.geocities.com/fenris_wolf0/


AU - The sequel to It's the Pilot - Wherein we see the Gundam Wing Universe as it might have been, had Duo not been sidetracked just before Noventa's death.


First person stream of consciousness/POV.


Rated PG-13 at least.


Warning: Another mostly plotless chapter - another (hopefully) psychologically revealing look into a major character's head.


Disclaimer: Gundam Wing belongs to somebody else, sadly.


Feedback, comments and criticisms cheerfully accepted at macros@skypoint.com


*********


I wasn't expecting this, not any of it.


I'm not impossibly naive, though I've been accused of it. I'm not really an optimist either, although I do firmly believe that there is good in everyone.


Even Heero. Or perhaps, especially Heero.


I don't know why he affects me so strongly, or even what those feelings are. All I know is that he makes me feel more alive. Perhaps I see in him the drive and the hunger that will be needed to end this war, to stop this madness. I see in him an incredible determination that will carry him through the horror and the bloodshed. How I wish I had his focus. Maybe then _I_ would be able to do something.


When my father died so horribly, murdered by Lady Une, I was 'rescued' by some of the colonists who are resisting the Alliance. Through them, I met Dr. J. And in that meeting, though little enough was exchanged, I found my determination. I would find Heero Yuy and I would get him to stop the Alliance. To stop Oz. To punish Lady Une and Treize Kushrenada.


But Heero never listens to me. 


That's not true either. He listens, he merely doesn't hear how important it is that he stop the war. I know that he hates bloodshed almost as much as I do and in a secret place in his heart he yearns for peace.


I know that I sound like an obsessed, love-sick girl. It may even be true. I have a weakness for melodrama that's gotten me into trouble more than once. But somehow I just know that he wants nothing more than to stop the killing.


But still, he won't listen. Nothing can be accomplished by meeting violence with more violence. Before peace can be acheived, we must force both sides to acknowledge this. Surely a non-violent solution is the obvious answer.


So why can't anyone see it but me?


I've tried to stay away from the Gundam pilots. I know that their mission will always come first, and while I want so desperately to see Heero, to watch him change the future, I know better than to come too close.


Well, usually. I _am_ a normal teenager underneath it all. Occasionally I give in to my impulses and seek Heero out. I know that it could put him in danger, but I can't ever convince myself that harm could come of it.


Until now.


One of the Gundams has killed Noventa, his staff and his entire family. I nearly went mad with fear and outrage. And Heero wasn't even anywhere on the planet....


I think it was that incident, even more than the death of the man that I called my father, which drove me to declare to myself that I would stop this insanity, somehow. The news showed only the very end of the massacre, but I can still hear the hopeless screaming of the wounded and the dying and that last horrible explosion. 


I cried. I tried desperately to figure out what was going on. Had the Gundams achieved their goal by destroying Noventa? Had they really only wanted to start a far greater conflict? Were they against OZ, or in league with them? 


It was brought forcibly home to me that I didn't really know _anything_ about the Gundams and their pilots. I knew a little bit about Heero, but only what that - strange - Doctor had told me after my father died. Everything else was just my own feelings, my own observations. And how reliable were they? _I_ am the one who brought Lady Une the bomb that she used to destroy that room full of people....


After the OZ revolt, I didn't know what to do. I had no way of contacting Heero, and I wasn't even really sure of who the other pilots were. I mean, I had met Quatre (no last name), who was so very sweet and polite. And I certainly remembered the psychopath with the braid....


It was over six weeks after OZ took over that I received an e-mail from Heero, requesting that I meet him. The meeting place that he had chosen wasn't far, and I was able to walk there.


I got to the park early, and found a bench under a tree where I could sit and wait. I had barely seated myself when Heero appeared from the other side of the tree. I smiled, but was not allowed to begin speaking.


"Relena, play time is over." He looked at me, and I could tell that something had changed. I had always flattered myself that I was the only one who could see behind the expressionless mask that he wore. But that mask had changed, subtly. Whereas before, he was attempting to close out the world, now... 


"What happened?" I asked him, cursing myself for not managing to be more specific.


He understood, though. "Someone tried to steal something very important. They only managed to take one of the Gundams, but they did plenty of damage along the way."


Somehow I knew that he was not speaking of the smoking crater that had once been the Noventa estate.


"What did they try to steal?" I asked. 


"A soul," he breathed, not really paying attention to me at all.

It was as though with my question, he had realized something that he had known, yet been unaware of, all along.


I was shocked. This was _not_ the Heero that I knew. "W-what?"


He ignored me, still lost in thought. I decided to use this strange expansiveness to my advantage.


"What happened to Noventa?" I was still very angry about that.


"The OZ troops stole one of the Gundams," he told me. "Its pilot took the loss badly."


He suddenly seemed to remember who he was talking to, and turned a glare on me. He dropped to the bench beside me and leaned forward. "Relena, I need to know how you managed to keep tabs on me."


I blinked. "But why? I can't do it anymore."


He smirked. "I noticed. You haven't been able to find me since we returned, so it had to be Wing that you were tracking somehow. Now that it's so much scrap metal and spare parts, you can't follow me around. But I still need to know _how_ you did it. Someone else was using your method to follow us, and I want to be sure that it _won't_ happen again."


For Heero, this was posivitely social. But I was afraid in a way that all his threats of death and destruction had never managed to achieve. "You destroyed your Gundam? Why?"


Heero gave me a narrow-eyed look. "I think that you need to answer _my_ question first. How did you manage to track Wing?"


I swallowed. "After you were shot - the ambulance came to take you away, and I pretended to leave. When the Gundams were finally hauled up to the dock, I chose a moment when everyone was checking the black one for damage and I stuck a tracer in the elbow joint of yours."


He blinked at me for a moment. "That took guts," he finally told me. "I'm not going to ask _why_ you were carrying a tracer with you."


I blushed. I'd been hoping that he'd come to my party after all and that I would have been able to use it on him then - just so I could find him later and really talk to him. But I wasn't about to admit it. "Why did you destroy your Gundam?" I asked again.


He shrugged. "I didn't need it anymore."


"What??"


"I have a new one." He rose to his feet, preparing to leave.


"Heero, wait! You haven't told me _anything_." I protested, reaching for his arm.


He pulled away and looked down at me. "Relena, you and I both know who you are now. You seem to have decided to take your identity as Relena Peacecraft seriously. That means you need to put aside this silly game of following me in circles. Someone else managed to use your method of trailing us, and it almost cost us two lives."


"I don't understand."


"Two of my friends have had their lives changed forever because someone found out too much. Stop following us, Relena. Stop following me." He tugged his arm away and started down the path.


I wasn't sure what I should do, but I knew that I couldn't just leave things like this. Heero was my best hope for finding out what was really going on. I jumped to my feet and went after him. "Heero, please. If I brought danger down on you, I'm sorry. Please, let me help."


He stopped so suddenly that I almost crashed into him. He slowly turned and looked at me. There was a long silence while he searched my expression for, well, something. He must have found it, because he guided me back to the bench and made me sit down.


"Do you really want to help?" he asked me.


I was shocked. I had always hoped that he would allow me to do something for him, but I had never really expected that such an opportunity would arise.


"Of course! You are trying to end this ceaseless conflict. Please, I want to help in any way that I can."


"I want you to make me a promise...."


**


And I did.


This whole crazy adventure is probably going to get me killed, but helping the Gundam pilots seems the best way to end this insanity. After the slaughter at the Noventa estate and the innocents who died there.... 


I will do anything to prevent another such event.


Heero told me that if everything went well, they would be able to figure out what was _really_ going on with Romafeller. And hopefully, no more lives would be lost. So he sent me away. I was going to stay with some people that he knew and learn a few things about war and peace and diplomacy.


Heero told me _everything_. The abduction of pilot 02 and the problems encountered with Zechs Marquise. He told me all about pilot 03's current activites and what was bothering pilot 05. He even told me their names; Chang Wufei, Quatre Rabera Winner, Trowa Barton and Duo Maxwell.


But he wouldn't tell me anything else about them, not even which name went with which pilot. Well, not counting Quatre. I knew who he was, and not just because I'd already met him once. Everyone knows who the Winners are. But... Trowa Barton? I'd met him once when I'd accompanied my father to a meeting on L3. He was a nasty, over-bearing bully and much older than Heero. There's something going on here.


But I have more important things to worry about right now.


So I am to go away and spend some time in study. Heero thinks that with my name and lineage, I should be able to draw attention not only to peace-making efforts, but to the rot within Romafeller and the plots of OZ.


This will, of course, make me a target. And he isn't very happy about that. Apparently, he has decided that I am worth protecting.

Funny, that doesn't make me as happy as it once would have.


Heero has changed significantly. He is more human. He is also very worried about his friends. He is even, a little, worried about me. I wonder who I have to thank for this change. I'm jealous. I wish it could have been me....


*****

End Relena's Part

*****

Relena:  HEEEEEEEEEE-RO!

Quatre:  Hey!  I thought you'd given that sort of thing up.

Relena:  It was just for old times sake....

Duo *sotto voce*:  Alleluia.

Heero *also sotto voce*:  Also Amen.

Relena *looming*: I HEARD that!

Duo and Heero: Eeeep!  

*scene of gratuitous violence deleted*

Trowa:  I thought you were in favor of peace, Relena.

Relena *producing halo*:  Oh, I am.   Really.