I'm almost done revising Part 5, and Part 6 is half written.  I'll try to get out a new chapter once a week.  *sighs*  Please excuse the plot twist.  My imoto-chan and muse got herself all wrapped up in this one, and the resultant damage to _my_ equilibrium may be permanent.

Title: Two Roads Diverged 

Part 4/?

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: Shounen Ai, and lots of it. 


This is going to be a long chapter, so hang in there, please. We are going to go _very_ AU here, although I do want to stick as close to the original time line as possible. From here on out, massive liberties will be taken with the various characters as I try to decide how they will react to these new situations. Think of it as an exercise in psychology. Fer instance, the Wufei in this fic has already lost his complete faith in justice and fairness.... Which will change the direction of the plot significantly. Just think about the major events in the episode or two following the Noventa assassination....


ANGST!!! But as you have probably realized by now I do not LIKE to mess up the characters, and it will be relatively short-lived. Well, then again, some things are a bit too intense to get over easily.... Hmmmm.


Aaaaand once again, I will not be labeling my perspective switches. If you can't figure them out, mail me and I'll tell you who they are. There will be multiple perspectives in this part. Yes, again.


Disclaimer: Gundam Wing belongs to somebody else, sadly.


Feedback, comments and criticisms cheerfully accepted at

macros@skypoint.com


*********


Maxwell and Chang left two weeks ago. Yuy followed a day or so later, saying he had 'things to take care of'. Quatre, well, I hope that he'll be all right. After they had all gone, I still had two days before I had to report to OZ headquarters. 


I went back to the circus.


I feel more at ease with the circus people than with anyone else save my fellow pilots. Their acceptance is based on my actions, rather than any superficial criteria. I know that Catherine especially derives a sort of ironic humor from my guise as a clown. Which is one of the reasons why I chose that particular role in the first place.


I do have a sense of humor, but it is rusty from lack of use. I am the silent one, the nameless one. This gives me more time to observe and analyze. It is a habit that I share with Chang and in the time that I have before I must report to my new post I am looking over my recent observations and they are making me uneasy.


I am worried about Maxwell, who is still terribly unsure of himself. Having discarded one mask for another, he has lost touch with the person that he thought he was. It is a terrible thing to lose your center, and I think that Quatre and Chang are being overly optimistic if they believe that Maxwell will find himself again easily. And, as I have said before, it is Maxwell who is the killer among us.


I am worried about Chang, who no longer believes in justice. Chang's facade of normalcy is more solid than Maxwell's, but I have years of practice at looking beneath the masks worn by those around me. He still cannot really believe or accept that someone would casually slaughter innocents to further their goals. He continues to blame himself for the events at the Noventa estate. Until he faces his anger and his feeling of helplessness, he will continue to hesitate, perhaps fatally, in his dealings with others.


I am worried about Quatre. Of us all, he is currently in the most danger. But he is also the most suited for this particular task. He has a will of iron, not that we are usually allowed to see it. Despite his distaste for violence and deceit, he can use them like a master. Only he and Heero are focused enough to carry out this mission, and Heero is needed elsewhere.


I am not worried about Heero. He is in his element, surrounded by computers and information systems, hunting electronic prey. It is he who will keep track of the missions and watch over Chang, Maxwell and Quatre. I am, for the moment at least, on my own. Again. I prefer it that way, truthfully. Working as part of a unit requires trust, and while I do trust my fellow pilots, it is again something that I am out of practice at.


I don't think that I will leave the circus, given a choice. When everything is over, if I am still alive, it is these people that I will come back to. My fellow pilots are closer to me in some ways, but it is not always a comfortable relationship. We are too aware of what we are.


But for now, I have a little time to do as I please. Two more days of laughing crowds, of the smell of stale popcorn and the comforting feel of the lion's mane beneath my fingers, and I must be away. Catherine knows I am going, expects me to disappear without even saying good-bye. Somehow, I can't. Her trust in me demands that I at least bid her a proper farewell. And more than that, I worry about her almost as much as I do the others. She is not the only performer who looks to me, either. I will warn them then, to be careful.


I don't think that I need to, however. These are people who do not take their safety for granted. They have seen hunger and want, they have felt pain. They are survivors, and like most survivors, take no pleasure in this designation. We fit together well, they and I. But still, I belong with the others, to the others. I will be a part of this circus, but not of the family that it comprises. Not yet.


Those that I care about are elsewhere. And may we all meet again safely.


*******************


Soooooo.


After two weeks, three days and seven hours of excessive adulation from the Wu-guy's fan club.... Me, jealous? Never. .... we had made America too hot to hold us. It's not easy pretending to be two or three Gundams at once, but we both managed.


We ran two final missions and packed up, slithering off to a rather snazzy boarding school in what used to be Luxembourg. It was a _really_ nice school. The average income of the parents who send their kids here had to be in the seven or eight digits. Good thing Heero's got a way with money transfers.... 


Anyway, we settled in, using the same names. William Moore, that's me! I insisted on William, just so you know. Bill's all right, but too common. And I _hate_ Billy. No one has even attempted to call Wu, Jim or Jimmy. So here we are, William and James. 


Lt. Maxwell has been dragged out of the closet for this place. I need his calm, sense of decorum and grasp of etiquette. Wu wasn't happy, but hey, he dealt with it. This school has a uniform code, so he doesn't stick out as much as he did at our last school, but he still had a fan club within the first two hours of our residence. 


Wuís club actually has a _president_ if you can believe that. And he calls her, get this, 'Nana-chan'. It's scary. Every time I turn around, Nana-chan is _attached_ to him. It's "Can I bring you a snack?" and "I'll get that for you, James" and "Would you like to sit by me for lunch? I brought enough for two". At school I can't even say hello to him without tripping over one of his fans, but this one seems to have some sort of 'anti-Duo' radar. I swear, protective hordes of fangirls spring up between us every time I try to detach their president from Wu.


No, I'm not grinding my teeth.... Just because James Lee is adored by hordes of screaming girls doesn't mean that I don't have my own fan club - which I do. But Wu doesn't seem to care that people follow me around. He just sits there with his nose in a book and an ineffable look on his face. So maybe I am jealous....


Anyway, now that OZ has consolidated its power and crushed most of what's left of the Alliance, they're being fairly quiet. Again.


Wu theorized, and Heero agreed, that they are once again waiting for us to make a move. Heero thinks that they want us to try some sort of retribution for Noventa and the way we were set up. Wu agrees, albeit reluctantly. We are, needless to say, being real careful with our missions and targets. Heero is picking and choosing carefully, and Wu and I never run a mission together, usually going in opposite directions on the same night, trying to give the illusion that there are actually four or five of us running amok instead of just two.


Our grades aren't suffering yet, thanks to the work we put in at the Academy, but still...


I hate this. Even when I was terrified out of my mind, military school was better than this. At least there Wu talked to me occasionally. Heck, he even let me weep on his shoulder. Well, once. I don't cry. At least not in front of witnesses. And now it's like we're back to the way we used to be. I'm the interruption, the problem, the person who needs to be ignored. 


I hate this.


But back to the point.... Wu and I are roomies, but we barely get to see each other. We spend all our time on schoolwork, or missions, or preparing for missions. I was just beginning to lose my temper over the whole business when Heero finally let us know why he'd sent us here. 


I guess this is another one of those places where the OZzies and the Romafellers send their kids. 


Shock of all shocks. Oooo. I hadn't figured _that_ one out.


Specifically, a very high up Romafeller dude has a granddaughter here. Her name is Dorothy. She's in two of my classes. She frightens me, and I don't say that about a lot of people. This means, in short, that she ranks right up there with G, J and Zechs. Eyech. Wu didn't have much to say about my evaluation. He doesn't have any classes with her at all, and wouldn't even have been able to place her if I hadn't gone on at some length about her freaky eyebrows. 


Yeah, I know they're not her fault, but it makes her easy to pick out of a crowd. What does she do, curl them every morning?


Frivolity aside, James and William are good students and a pair of pleasant social animals. As soon as we got our orders from Heero to make friends (brrr) with this chick, Wu set out to eat his lunch every day with her crowd, which was fairly easy as a number of his fans are in her social circle. I simply began smiling and saying hello to her every day we had class together. She seems fairly nice, but Zechs isn't the only one who can sense things that aren't spoken.


She still frightens me. She's got a lot going on behind those pale blue eyes, no matter how hard she tries to look like some spoiled society girl. I have caught myself being sure not to turn my back on her, and she's seen it too. It amuses her, and that _really_ bothers me. Wu thinks I'm imagining things....


Life is hell....


********


Dorothy Catalonia is not the person that I would choose to spend my luncheon with, but I suppose it could be worse. I could be spending it with Duo. You would think that after all that we have been through together, we would manage to somehow hang on to those few precious moments of understanding that we had found.


No such luck. I'm a jealous bastard, and not content with having Duo's trust and his company, I wanted more. And I had absolutely no idea how to pursue it. So I set out to convince myself that I didn't care.


As if that had a chance in hell of working.


But I tried very hard to be social around our schoolmates. I went out of my way to be charming.


I _can_ be charming. I can even flirt, in the most well-bred manner. Judging by the number of our schoolmates who are following me in circles I am fairly good at it. And all I have achieved is to make Duo hostile and unhappy. I'm not sure if it's because I'm behaving like a complete jerk or because he's jealous.


Some tiny, hidden part of my heart is praying that he's jealous. And I am deeply ashamed. But I'm not the person that I was. The warrior that I wanted to be, the man who fought for justice with a righteous heart.... He's gone, shattered into a million pieces. I no longer believe in what I'm doing. Not that I don't think that we need to stop OZ and bring peace to the Earth and the colonies. In fact, I desire peace more than ever.


But I am no longer sure of the correct path. Who is to say what is right and what is wrong. I lost Meiran to the OZ forces. I lost...my Gundam to the machinations of the Romafeller foundation and I nearly lost Duo as well. 


That hurts. Not just because I'm... falling in love with another man.... But because I can no longer decide which hurt the most, losing Meiran just as I realized that I loved her, or nearly losing Duo under the same circumstances. And yet I continue to push him away, uncertain of myself, uncertain of him, not knowing where any of this might lead other than toward utter disaster.


I can't tell Duo what's going through my head. I just can't. I have no idea how he might react. He might push me away. He might tell me that he never really cared for me. He might hate me.... He might never trust me again. I need to get back on track here. All of this has nothing to do with our goals.


We still don't know who set Duo up to begin with.... That continues to grate on my nerves, which just goes to show how far I've fallen. I'm even lying to myself about how I feel. I've started avoiding him.... All trains of thought seem doomed to derail at the mere thought of my roommate. Let's try for something more productive.


Dorothy is a nice enough girl. After I'd been 'invited' to sit with her social circle a few times, she unbent enough to ask me to join her study group. We met every other evening to study advanced physics. Her group consisted of three other girls and me. I did my best to be friendly and flirtatious to everyone, and I guess that it worked....


Last night Duo and I, or rather William Moore and James Lee, were invited to a ball. I thought they only threw that sort of dress-up-to-impress-the-masses affair in story books, these days. Dorothy's grandfather was throwing an huge Romafeller/OZ shindig and his daughter had requested permission to invite some of her school mates.


Fortuitous, I call it. Duo called it something else. The words 'too goddamn convenient' and 'she freaks me OUT, Wu-man!' weighed heavily on his side of the following argument. Just because the girl is a bit stand-offish and has rather unfortunate eyebrows doesn't mean that she's some sort of evil witch. He then switched his argument to point out that we were basically walking straight into the lion's den. I retorted that no one would expect to see a pair of Gundam pilots there, and that we were _in_ disguise!


Things only went downhill from there. We finally showed up on the appointed date at the appointed time, Duo in a tuxedo with a dark grey vest and tie and me in a similar get up, only with dark green accents.


In retrospect, I realize that if I had actually admitted that this whole thing was a bad idea and gone home as soon as we'd walked through the door our lives would have been so much easier.... But I didn't. And how much of the resultant mess was my own idiocy and how much of it sprang directly from my desire to antagonize Duo, I'll never know. I hate this. I have never been uncertain, either of my motivations or my actions. This has become the chink in my armor which shall probably prove fatal. And I am too much of a coward to confront him directly about my feelings.


I wish I could make it up to him somehow. But I don't think that he will give me that chance, and I can not blame him.


Looking back over what I've written, it seems more than usually disjointed. I can't be blamed, I don't think. I was kissed twice that night.... The resultant damage to my equilibrium is probably permanent. 


***********


Dermail throws parties the way some people wage war. Several weeks of preparation for a single evening of mindless abandon. It has always struck me as a particularly wasteful habit of his, attempting to combine business with pleasure to the detriment of both.


Ah well, I may be forced to work with the man, but there is nothing that says I must enjoy his company. Zechs attempted to eel his way out of accompanying me to what was assuredly going to be a deadly dull evening, but I insisted, and a good thing, too.


We arrived at a fairly advanced hour. I time these entrances on purpose. First, it looks dramatic and leaves a lasting impression. Secondly, by then most people have been into the alcohol fairly heavily, and I will not have to actually 'talk shop' with anyone sober enough to remember the conversation in the morning. Thirdly, I can then make my excuses and leave at a reasonable hour without having to actually waste a great deal of time on what is essentially a pointless and ostentatious display of personal wealth.


Zechs usually makes a snide comment just here about pots and kettles, but I flaunt myself because I must. In order to achieve my goals I need to be both visible and memorable. Dermail does it simply because 'that's the way it has _always_ been done'. I would not enjoy being an enlisted man were he in charge of the army....


We arrived at a fairly advanced hour. The dancing had been going on for quite some time, and this was also according to plan. Most of the young ladies who normally pursued me would be a little tired, and less likely to notice that I did not ask any of them to dance. My uniform is attractive, but the boots are not designed for dancing.


An additional advantage would be that the most pompous of the Romafeller nobility would already be too drunk to corner me with their stories of days gone by and the glorious battles which they had seen.


There is no such thing as a 'glorious' battle. Unlike these pompous armchair warriors with their delusions of heroism, I speak from experience.


As we stood just at the top of the short flight of stairs leading down to where the dancers were swirling across the floor, Zechs touched my arm.


"Look, over there. Dancing with the Catalonia girl...." He had a note of suppressed excitement in his voice that startled me. Turning obediently, I looked. It took a moment or two for the actual import of what I was seeing to sink in.


"Is it really him?" I asked, dryly amused at the sight of Zechs, quivering like a hunting dog that has just sighted its first bird of the season. He had never really forgiven himself for letting that Gundam pilot get away.


"It is," Zechs confirmed. He looked around carefully. "I don't see any of the others. What do you think we should do?"


"This is a party, is it not?" I asked him sweetly. "We should enjoy ourselves."


It was a cavalier attitude to take, but I had no doubt that if we tried to capture young Maxwell here, there would be a great deal of unpleasantness and possibly several deaths. On the other hand, here amid a crowd of our supporters would be the perfect time to take a personal look at this most troublesome Gundam pilot. "See if there's a way to secure the perimeter," I told Zechs. "If we can keep him here until most of the guests are gone, so much the better."


Zechs smiled and disappeared back out the door. He knew that he would have to remain unobtrusive if we didn't want our quarry to take to his heels. I, on the other hand, would not be expected to recognize the boy on sight, and he might even try to get closer to me. I wasn't afraid of being assassinated, but it was a possibility that I had to keep in mind.


I moved through the crowd on the edge of the dance floor, pausing to exchange pleasantries with various Romafeller officials and their ladies. I kept an eye on Maxwell until Zechs reappeared. He looked rather pleased with himself. I nodded at him from across the room and he melted into the crowd, content to keep an eye on the Gundam pilot until the guests began to leave. That left me free to pursue my own agenda, which in this particular case, led me away from the ballroom.


Dermail throws the entire first floor of the main wing of his house open for these little affairs. Note the heavy use of irony. It's like something from a bad regency romance. There are rooms for playing cards, rooms to be alone with your chosen escort, rooms to drink and smoke cigars.... The list goes on and on. After the obligatory appearance, I usually retreat to the library. No one goes there during a party. It is quiet, out of the way and contains nothing more exciting than books, an antique weapons collection and an ancient piano-forte.


I walked into the silent room, expecting to find it empty. Instead I surprised a slender youth who had been standing with his profile turned to the door, his long white hair half-obscuring his face as he looked up from the book in his hands. Recognition was immediate and mutual. As he carefully placed the book back on the shelf and made as if to excuse himself, I closed the door behind me and leaned against it.


"Chang Wufei, what a pleasant surprise...."


His expression of polite interest didn't change, but he glided away from me - toward Dermail's collection of antique swords. More fool I, to let such an unguarded admission escape me. I had just shut myself into a room with a young man who had every reason in the world to kill me, and I knew just how good a swordsman he was. Not perhaps as good as I was, but good enough to kill me if I made even the tiniest of errors. 


And according to Zechs, probably not the most stable of the Gundam pilots at the moment....


He stopped, still facing me. One hand snaked behind him to rest gently on the hilt of one of the swords as he stared at me for a long moment. I am a connoisseur of beauty in all of its many forms, and Chang Wufei in action was a sight to behold. However standing here exchanging glances, the air snapping with tension, he absolutely radiated cold fury. And he was indeed beautiful. That surprised me.


He pushed his hair back behind one ear with his free hand and gave me a look so filled with hate that if I had been a bit more combustible, I am certain that I would have burst into flame. When he finally spoke, his voice was deeper than I would have expected.


"Why?" he snarled.


I was surprised by his choice of question. I was expecting "What are you doing here?" "What do you want?" or even "Die, vile scum". 


"Why, what?" I asked, retaining at least my outward facade of calm.


He struggled for words and I realized that I was safe. In his current state of rage, he would not be able to muster enough control to kill me in a one on one fight. Not with swords, at any rate. Had we met before this deplorable set of events, he might simply have attempted to shoot me, and might even have succeeded.


"Why do you kill innocent people?" he finally asked. He was doing an excellent job at bringing himself back under control, but it would not be enough. I could tell from the way that he struggled that we had broken something in this boy, extinguished some fire in his soul by the actions taken at the Noventa estate. I would probably never know what this boy might have become, or what he had been before. But I could mourn for the death of who he had been. 


"I am sorry," I told him honestly, but keeping a close eye on his reactions. "Some things are beyond my control, and that was one of them."


"Do you honestly expect me to believe that?" 


I have seldom seen anyone so truly angry. He was actually shaking. There was more going on here than I knew, obviously. I had been struck by Zechs' description of Maxwell as 'not a child'. Looking at the boy in front of me, I knew that he had been right. This boy was not a child. He was a very dangerous man, and if I weren't careful everything that I had ever hoped and fought for would end this very night.


************


That was, without a doubt, the worst night of my life. Whip me, beat me, torture me, but don't ever put me through the wringer like that again. While it was going on I was terrified, but once it was over, I just wanted to die...


Well, to commit double murder at least.


I am never going to another party with my mortal enemies ever again. I led Dorothy off the floor after our third dance of the evening to find myself nose to chest with a red uniformed man who I had hoped never to see again.


"Miss Catalonia," he swept her a bow. "Might I borrow your date?"


She smiled up at him, raising one of those weird eyebrows. "Why, Merquise..."


I flinched, I couldn't help it. She was close enough to the platinum blonde psycho to call him by NAME?


"...whatever could you possibly want with William?"


He smiled at her. "Why, he's my nephew. I'm surprised that he didn't mention it. Run along now dear girl. We have family business to discuss."


She giggled and disappeared into the crowd. My blood practically froze at the sound. Dorothy does _not_ giggle. She's not the type. I made a mental note to check into her background. If I survived this....


Zechs took my arm and steered me into a deserted room. I went. There was no way I was going to put up a fuss in front of a room full of people who'd just _love_ to have my head on a platter, displayed attractively by the punch bowl, no doubt. When we were alone, he let go of me and looked me up and down.


"Very snazzy," he smirked. "Just what are you doing here, Maxwell?"


I scowled at him. "Drop dead 'Uncle'."


"I don't think so. More than that, I think that you're going to sit here quietly with me until the guests have begun to leave and then you and I are going back to OZ headquarters."


Where Trowa would have to blow his cover to rescue me.... I don't think so. His mission was much too important for me to have to screw it up like that. I don't go unarmed anymore, not anywhere. I pulled my gun on him and scowled. "No."


"You don't have much of a choice. This place is crawling with OZ troops. Like it or not, I think you'll end up accompanying me."


He smirked at me. I hate that mask. And where the hell was Wu anyway? Deja vu, anyone? I reached a sudden, reckless decision. If I was toast anyway.... "Take off that fucking mask."


He hesitated for a moment, and then took it off.


Maybe I've seen Phantom of the Opera too many times, but I was really expecting the face under that concealing helmet to be a tragic, ruined mask. I wasn't expecting GQ cover model. My jaw must have dropped, because his smirk got even smirkier. Snarky bastard. He had blue eyes to go with that platinum blonde hair, and a face that could have sold Heero some aluminum siding.


"Impressive," I drawled, Lt. Maxwell at his worst. "Why the mask? Hiding from an ex-girlfriend?"


He stopped smirking, but still looked rather pleased with himself. "No. You might as well put away the gun. If you shoot me, you'll only draw attention to yourself."


"Maybe I want to take my chances," I told him, but I holstered the gun. "If I'm trapped in the house anyway, you won't mind if I decide to wait around for my inevitable capture somewhere else? For instance, anywhere that you aren't?"


He smirked AGAIN and slipped his mask back on. "Go ahead, wander around. But I am under orders to follow you."


That made my blood run cold. "Orders? Where is your fearless leader, then?"


Something must have shown in my face, because Zechs stiffened suddenly. "Ah, so you aren't alone either?"


I swore and headed for the door. Zechs made no move to stop me and was, in fact, hot on my heels. "The library," he told me as we took the turn and flew down the hallway side by side. "There's a display of weapons there...."


"And Wu's been acting a bit strange lately...." We made another turn and accelerated. Me and Zechs, rushing to avert disaster. Who'd a thunk it?


I should have stayed put and just let them take me away....


*************


When he apologized to me, he actually looked sorry - stricken almost. I couldn't believe it. I wouldn't believe it. I felt myself getting more and more angry. Without looking, I withdrew my chosen weapon from the display behind me. With my free hand I gestured to the sword Treize wore at his side. I knew from some of the files that Heero had rifled that the blade was not a trinket or dress piece, but live steel.


"I wish to kill you, Kushrenada," I told him. "Defend yourself."


He gave me another look of remorse compounded with....pain? I thought that I was imagining things. I prayed that I was imagining things. I couldn't afford another weight on the wrong side of the scales which once had so carefully balanced my world.


The fight itself was mercifully brief. I couldn't cope with my own feelings of rage and inadequacy, and I didn't want to think that my mortal enemy could feel regret for his monstrous acts. I think I went into the fight knowing that I would lose, and that is in its own way as bad as overconfidence. Three passes and it was all over.


His face bore a slight smile as he gazed down at me. "The duel is mine," he said softly.


I looked up at him from where I knelt at his feet, his blade pressed against my throat. Everything seemed clearer, more vivid. "Kill me," I told him, and at that moment, it was what I wanted. To be taken away from this war, this horror, this confusion....


The look in his eyes was....different. He stared down at me for a long moment and then turned away, taking his sword and frowning down at it. "You...are a worthy adversary. I would not simply waste your life in this manner."


I could see my salvation retreating. I had slipped back completely into an active desire for death, if only as a sort of temporary madness. I did not wish to live in a world where innocents died so easily, where a tool for justice and salvation could be turned into an instrument of terror and murder. At that moment, I was as close to losing myself as Duo had ever been.


"Kill me now," I ground out. "Or I _will_ kill you."


He turned to face me then, where I still knelt on the floor, my face flushed with anger and embarrassment. He looked at me for a very long time, as if unsure exactly what to do with me. I shared his feeling. How had I gotten myself into this mess? But still he stood there, composed and cool.


"Will you?" he finally said. But the way he said it, it wasn't really a question. "I look forward to our next encounter...." He slipped his sword back into its scabbard and suddenly was kneeling in front of me. "I think that I will forever regret our meeting under these circumstances," he told me, his face inches from mine. He slid one hand under my chin and looked at me closely.


I simply stared up at him, completely at a loss. 


And that's when he kissed me....


************


Zechs and I shot through the door to the library, ready to avert bloodshed only to encounter....


Well, they weren't fighting. I wish to God that they had been. I had never really believed that nonsense about heartbreak until then.


The next few minutes were the most emotionally difficult of my life. Treize Kushrenada, my mortal enemy, the man who had just finished a _very_ thorough kissing of MY Chang Wufei, quietly ordered Zechs to escort us from the Dermail mansion. And he did. Zechs, I mean.


I could have died of humiliation. Two Gundam pilots, the scourge of the evil OZ overlords, having to be escorted from the place by the number two of our ultimate enemy like a pair of shaky teenagers, which admittedly, we were.


They just let us go.... Either Wu is a HELL of a good kisser, he has something really good on the head of OZ or Treize is a much more complicated person than I ever dreamed.


So there I was, humiliated, angry and jealous as hell. It was about two in the morning and I was having to pack up everything so we could get the hell out. Yeah, I had to pack Wu's stuff as well. He looked like he was in shock, and I can't blame him. He hadn't said a word since we'd found him in total liplock with, with Treize Kushrenada, for God's sake!


I was almost finished with my packing when I realized that he was still standing by the door where I'd left him when we came in. He looked as though he weren't really registering anything that was going on around him. Yeah, very shocky. I should have done something about it earlier, but I had been too angry.


Hell, I was still too angry to think straight. But that doesn't excuse what I did next.


"Wu, get a _grip_ on yourself!" I snarled at him. He jerked as though I'd slapped him, but seemed to come back to himself. He reached to take one of our bags, but I jerked it away from him. "What exactly happened in that library?" I asked him. I didn't really want to know, but if I didn't find out now, he'd probably never tell me and it would haunt me for the rest of my life.


"I, I asked him to fight me." Wufei sank down onto the bed and stared at his hands.


"And he kissed you?" I knew I sounded like a jealous girl, but I couldn't help myself. I was acting like a bitch, and although I was ashamed, I just couldn't back off.


"No." Wu's voice was soft, infinitely tired. "We fought and be beat me...."


This time I waited for him to go on. Wu was looking sicker by the minute and I did not like the way this conversation was heading....


"I asked him to kill me...."


I wanted to be sick. This was worse than walking in on that kiss, and I hadn't though that anything _could_ be. "And he didn't."


"He wouldn't." Wu made a sound that was a cross between a choked laugh and a sob. "So I told him that I would kill him if he didn't.... And, and he said that he looked forward to our meeting again. And then he kissed me!"


I stared at him. Wu's head was bent and his hair fell forward, obscuring his face. He just sat, staring at his hands. "This is just too weird," I whispered.


"_Tell_ me about it," he seemed to have recovered somewhat. His voice was bitter and controlled. "Of all people, why _him_?"


I dropped the bag I had been holding and went to my knees by the side of the bed. "That sounds suspiciously like you had someone specific in mind," I ventured, reaching out to push the hair out of his eyes.


"I did," he confirmed. He had that sort of tone to his voice that you hear when the person you're talking to has finally reached the end of their rope and just doesn't care anymore. Just this side of hysterical. That's why his next sentence took me so completely by surprise.


"I wanted it to be you."


***************


Quatre: So what happened then?

Duo and Wufei *chorus*: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!!

Heero: Why not?

Wufei: Because Iíve been TRAUMATIZED, you voyeur!

Duo: Because you donít NEED TO KNOW!

Zechs: Iím sort of interested in the answer to that one myself....

Duo *pulling a gun*: Thatís it. Everybody OUT!

Truth: Fine, fine. Iím going.

Trowa: Will we ever find out what happened?

Truth: Iíll see if I can steal Wufeiís therapy notes.

Heero: That could take MONTHS!

Quatre: Thatís okay. Maybe sheíll get around to me, in the meantime.

Truth: Sorry, Quatre. Youíre a bit too busy to be writing letters or journal entries for a bit.

Quatre:  Phooey!

 

 

For all you 2x5 fans who now may want to lynch me, please note, and I quote....

--Looking back over what I've written, it seems more than usually disjointed. I can't be blamed, I don't think. I was kissed twice that night.... The resultant damage to my equilibrium is probably permanent. 

Thank you.

 

Truth