Title: Intentions of Time; The Future
pairings: 1x2x1, 3x4x3
WARNINGS: serious, major, outrageous angst. death (though not technically
spoilers: very minor, practically hidden
disclaimer: i own no part of gw...
notes: special thanks to froggie, my beta. and due to the angst content,
i hide behind snow who will protect me from some people (*coughjanacough*).
and caro my muse, look what you made me do!
of Time: The Future
First thing I see is blood.
It is on the walls, the floors, on the curtains that we picked out last
week. The dark red staining every imaginable surface of our usually pristine
house is a shock to my system, more so than where the blood may have come
from in the first place. This is not the scene I expected when I opened
the door to our house not a minute ago, ready to shout out 'I'm home'
and run for a hug. No. This is an unreal scene of absolute horror and
disbelief, a frozen tableau of the terrible. Blood. So much blood. How
can a human body spill so much of it? How can a human being paint the
walls with it with such precision and care? How can I possibly live my
life now that his blood is the only thing I can smell?
Duo shook himself awake from the light stupor his nap had caused. He had
dreamt of that day again. The day filled with blood, with Heero's blood.
Even twenty years later, the dream still made him cry, shudder in agony
and despair. Duo shook his head and allowed the droplets of tears and
sweat on his hair fly about him in a chaotic dance. It was almost time
for yet another debriefing, a meeting filled with politicians and soldiers.
He could not be more uninterested, but it was his duty as the top defender
of the earth sphere to be present. Duo laughed harshly at the thought
of his role in the twisted world created by terror and tenuous sanity.
This was not the world he had imagined when he had been a gundam pilot.
This world was not something anyone could have imagined back then. Not
in those times of innocence. Clearing his forehead of the residual moisture,
Duo put on his formal jacket and tie with practiced ease. His long brown
braid was carefully redone and tied off with a cobalt blue ribbon. The
image on the mirror smiled, saluted and walked off the surface when the
owner stepped out of the room. Another meeting, another day. But then
again, at least they were alive for these boring, tedious moments.
Duo listened only with half an ear as some general rattled off the figures
for the next month's rations to the citizenry. As of late, more and more
food had to be regulated due to severe weather anomalies within the temperate
regions. If the strange weather patterns persisted, then the entire globe
populace would have only hydroponics plants and indoor grazing animals
as sources of food. Rationing would become tighter, people would suffer
more and riots would break out. It was not a pretty scenario they faced
with the weather and Duo probably should have paid attention to the details,
but his mind was still drifting back into the dream. A moment later, Quatre
gently nudged him with his foot to bring him back into the present.
"First Talent, I believe that is our greatest concern at the moment."
Unfortunately, Duo had no idea what the general was talking about since
he had not paid attention at all to the last parts of his report. Thankfully,
Quatre jumped in with thanks and platitudes about a great job done in
the face of obstacles. Duo controlled the twitch in his jaw with an effort
Quatre would yell at him later for not paying attention. Again.
But these things were so boring. For his part, Duo would rather have been
out there in space fighting the Mission.
I know that the world is doomed. The only thing we have left now is
the earth, all the colonies blown into tiny space particles ages ago.
We are desperately fighting, but there aren't enough Talents to repel
the goddamned Mission. Only if we had more of us, then we would have a
hell of a good chance of keeping those bastards out! But there is only
three, me included, and we are just barely defending the planet. More
people than I can count are dead or worse. So many lost and still more
to come. I'm the strongest, but even I can't fight by myself. I'm the
First Talent, for the love of god! I should be defending the last haven
of humanity, but no, I'm being overrun by the Mission. Damn the Mission.
If only I had a plan. If only I had more power. If only I had Heero.
The steady tapping of a booted foot was the only sound in the room. Its
staccato grated on Duo's nerves, but he sat in his plush chair and took
the silent treatment. Quatre was still fuming from his lack of attention
at the meeting and Relena was busy reading some stupid report. Duo tactfully
contained a snort. Those two were his best friends, but they could make
him annoyed faster than anyone else.
"That was a very important meeting, Duo."
Somehow, Duo managed to look apologetic at Quatre's admonishing tone.
The faster he apologized, the faster he could get them out of his living
space and on with his life.
"I'm so sorry, Quatre. I don't know what got into me."
"Please, Duo, don't patronize me," Quatre continued relentlessly, "because
I know you aren't sorry. You never pay attention. You never care enough
to listen. Tedium comes with leadership and you aren't dealing with it."
The fire of anger that Duo had contained so well burst forth.
"Fuck off, Quat. I'm not a leader and you know it. I'm just the First
Talent. I'm a frigging defense system."
Duo immediately regretted his harsh words when he caught sight of Quatre's
hurt eyes. The usually lucid blue green darkened to a shade of deep ocean
blue and his lips turned downwards . And the worst part was, he had truly
intended to apologize and mean it, not turn on his best friend in anger
and hurt his feelings. Luckily, Relena intervened with gentle words and
"Quatre, Duo doesn't mean it. You know that. He has had a hard year, filled
with stress we can't comprehend. Neither of us can know the strain the
Talents are under, especially Duo."
Duo smiled gratefully in Relena's direction and received a rare smile
from her as a reward. Without either of them, Duo would be lost. He would
not care to live.
"I'm sorry to be snippy, Duo," Quatre said gently after wiping the hurt
out of his eyes.
"I'm sorry I yelled. I didn't mean it."
A few more apologies and nods later, the small spat was over. It was like
that these days. There was so much tension everywhere that everyone snapped
at the drop of a hat. The earth, though safe from the Mission for the
time being, was under food and water shortages. People were dying by the
droves and those who weren't dying were starving and miserable.
"I just wish it was over, Quat. I just want the Mission to attack so I
can do what I'm supposed to do. I'm not supposed to be in meetings, Quat.
Relena and you are in charge of earth's politics and governing. I'm the
weapon. Me and the Six."
"But Duo, the Mission hasn't attacked in months. They are silent enough
now so we should concentrate on getting the earth back on its feet. We'd
have a better chance when they attack next if everyone was healthy."
Logical, yes. Possible, maybe. But still.
The police had been replaced by the Preventers in the investigation,
but I don't really know what's going on. It has been a few hours since
I found Heero's blood on the walls, since I found his body. I can't think
of that now, I'd go crazy. It wasn't even recognizable. I don't even know
if there was enough of him left for me to bury. Strangely, my eyes are
dry and my voice is working. I'm giving my eye witness account of this
day, everything from how I got into town after a long business trip, the
boring drive home, my anticipation at seeing my lover again. I sound so
far away to me, so emotionless and calm. But I'm screaming so loudly in
my head that it's a wonder the Preventer kid taking this info down isn't
hearing it. I keep telling the story while my outer voice is drowned out
by the wailing within my mind. Heero. Heero. Heero. I can't say how long
this lasts, because all of a sudden, my vision is filled with concerned
eyes. Brown, soft and sad. Wufei. I've never seen him look so defeated,
so sad. I can see Quatre, too. His blue-green eyes are watery and red
from all the crying he must have done. He is also looking at me with grief
filled eyes. And Trowa. So much emotion in his visible green eye. Sympathy,
sadness, pain, loss. When did I see him last with so much emotion so plainly
visible? A hand on my shoulder. Polished, smooth and white. Relena. I
know if I turn my head and look at her, I will see myself reflected in
her blue eyes. Next to me, she was the one whom Heero loved most. I was
the first in his heart. Loved? Was? Am I really thinking in past tense?
Already? So soon? To my horror, the world blurs and fades into a watery
mess. My eyes, they must be filling with tears I could not shed. They
must know the pain of my heart better than my stupid, numb brain. Drip.
I feel a tear soaking into my black pants. Heero loved these pants. Drip.
Another tear onto the pants. Drip. Drip. Drip. And I cry. I slump forwards
on the green grass of our immaculate lawn. The lawn Heero and I had argued
over mowing a week ago. The lawn that I pulled dandelions out of while
cursing Heero's insistence at ridding our grassy field of infectious weeds.
Oh god. Heero. And the tears keep coming and coming. I won't stop crying,
One final strike was all that would be needed to either defeat the Mission
or be defeated by them. Duo waited for that day, the day when he could
finally go out and show the Mission how he had grown in power so rapidly
in the last few months. He had a score to settle with them, like everyone
else on the earth, but unlike them, he was capable of the vengeance. He
scoffed at the frightened earth council that forbade him and the Six from
a preemptive strike. They were afraid of losing so much that they held
him back from going out after the Mission. They were too busy imagining
'what-ifs' to know that whoever started the next battle, whether it be
him or the Mission, it would be the end. The war would end. But he could
not argue against them, go against their wishes. He could not endanger
the already shaky earth government by rebelling. It was his duty as the
First Talent, as the most revered and legendary human being, to follow
the wishes of the government. He had to show the people that they could
put trust into the government. After all, what was the point of winning
against the Mission if the earth self-destructed afterwards from the discord?
So he contented himself by making fun of the earth leaders privately in
his mind and setting up battle plans for the eventual conflict. He needed
perfection if they were to win this war waged upon them by the Mission
nearly twenty years ago. There were only seven of them who could stand
up against the Mission. No human weapon harmed the Mission as they had
found out so painfully. Only those with the Talent were capable of causing
damage to the Mission's space fortress or their ships of destruction.
He was the greatest asset with his enormous flow of power. The Six were
competent and necessary, but even if the Six combined, they could not
match him in sheer power.
Duo planned and replanned, determined that everything about the final
battle would work out in their best interest. He was the last hope for
humanity, as funny as that sounded. He had fought for peace with Deathscythe
in the past. Now he fought with the Talent which was rare and frightening,
much like his past metal partner had been. He was a soldier, a weapon,
a measure of hope. The burden weighed heavily on him.
The fever is bad and my condition is getting worse. I know this because
Trowa is sitting by my bedside with worry written so visibly on his face.
He has seen me with life threatening wounds during the war and never did
twitch a muscle in concern. But here he is now, replacing the cool compress
on my forehead with a fresh one, looking like he's about to lose his favorite
puppy. Sally told me before I got too damned delirious to understand,
that probably the stress and shock resulting from Heero's murder caused
me to develop the fever. After all, it was only a few hours after I found
Heero that the fever began, somewhere in the middle of my never-ending
tears. So here I am, laying on a bed that belongs in Quatre's large home,
my guts trying to gnaw their way out of my stomach and the fever cooking
my brain like a Christmas roast. I wonder if I'm going to die and the
prospect isn't so grim. Heero is dead. If I died now, I might find him
again. Why should I live when he is gone? What reason can I find within
myself to continue without him? The questions flit through my head at
a whirlwind speed, each more depressing than the last, each question spiraling
me towards giving up on life. The fever is getting so bad that I'm tossed
into an ice bath every two hours. My body is giving out and I can no longer
eat food. Why live? This is my second week in bed and recovery is nowhere
in sight. If there was a possibility that I could pull through, then Quatre
would not look so broken. Relena wouldn't show up every evening to chat
with me. Wufei would not bring me my favorite foods to induce me to eat.
It is like all my friends are getting ready to say goodbye to me, a chance
they never had with Heero. The chance I never had with Heero. What I wouldn't
give to have said goodbye, to tell him one final time that I love him
with all my heart, that I would forever be watching out for his shadow
in the crowd. If I could not save him, I just wanted a chance to say all
those things. God, my mind is moving too fast and too sluggish at the
same time. All the thoughts are jumbling together and I'm getting confused.
I can't stand this much longer. Death would be a welcome reprieve from
this hell that I've been plunged into without mercy. I try to focus on
one thought. I want to be thinking about Heero when I die. He should be
my last thought. I wonder, was I his last thought? What did he see last
when he died? My face? The killer? I can't dwell too long on that. I want
to remember Heero when he smiled, laughed, teased, anything and everything
but the gory scene I found. Heero, should I live? Should I go on without
you? Strange thoughts when I'm preparing to die. But they come anyway.
Would I be betraying you if I lived? Would I make you sad if the pain
of loss became less with each passing moment? Would I feel guilty if I
laughed again? Heero, tell me, please. Can I? May I?
The reports were coming in at an alarming rate, each stack of paper marked
with a glaring 'urgent' stamp. The Mission Observation Post was going
nuts, Duo decided. All of a sudden, after months of quiet, the MOP was
sending reports to him like there was no tomorrow. In the past, the reports
consisted of Mission movements, the energy level of the space fortress
and the calculated numbers of the ships launched by them. Duo could only
figure that the Mission was on the move again and the MOP, in a fit of
excitement, was putting out reports to reassert their importance in the
world. Hence, he had not even cracked the seal on the reports yet. He
could not care less what the Mission was doing unless it was an attack.
Using his Talent and the Six, he could figure out the Mission's movements
better than the MOP working at full capacity. He could find the camouflaged
ships in space with his Talent while the MOP could not even build a machine
to find all the visible ones. The MOP was originally created so that the
common people felt like they were in the war, helping out with saving
the human race and its ancestral home. In reality, they did nothing important.
The Mission and everything associated with it was handled by Duo and the
Six, from their movements to battle plans to evacuation procedures if
they failed. However, if the MOP was going crazy, then the Mission was
moving enough to alert the common man. With a sigh of anticipation, Duo
called to the Six with his Talent.
'Get in my office, now. Something's up.'
The Six responded with alacrity, materializing in his office less than
half a second after he had sent out his command. Only the Fourth was slightly
late in materializing, her hair still wet and dripping soapy water. Duo
could only assume that she barely managed to wrap the bathrobe around
her before zapping into his office.
"Glad to see the response time is tremendously short. So, you all got
MOP's ranting reports as well, I assume."
Six nods, six confirmations.
"So I guess we should take a look and see what got them all excited."
Duo unleashed the cap on his Talent and let it soar upwards into the heavens.
He felt the others do the same, each power searching, probing, discovering.
Duo scanned the space with his Talent and much to his surprise, picked
up various movements. The facial expressions on the Six only confirmed
his findings. He continued to search and gather information, keeping his
eyes on the Six. His Talent picked up about forty thousand warships on
the move. Forty thousand. The Mission was definitely gearing up for something
since most of the ships were camouflaged and heavily armed. The space
fortress was gathering energy, too. He could feel the massive power coalescing
inside the fortress, as if it was getting ready for the final hoorah.
Duo made quick calculations with his mind and figured the Mission would
attack full out in about a week or so. He would have to consult the Second,
of course, since he was the numbers guy. He would know exactly how much
time they had and how much fire power the Mission would have by that time.
Duo also reminded himself to talk to the Sixth, for she was the key coordinator
of tactics and her brilliant strategic mind would come up with battle
plans to augment his own. The Third would have to fuse his power with
his lover, the Fourth, and become the barrier reinforcement when the time
came. The Fifth would be the last line of defense, Seventh by his side
as always. Oh god, the time was coming. And so soon. He almost cursed
himself for wishing for the final battle so fervently.