Okay. I came up with the idea for this fic when I was thinking about the Endless Waltz, and what Mariemeia had said during it: that war, peace and revolution are a never-ending cycle that goes on and on forever. I was also thinking about other fics that people had done where they had taken the G-boys and put them into past situations, like a few hundred years ago. And then I thought, what if the G-boys had been having to fight the same battle over and over and over down throughout the years? And what would have happened during it? How many times would Heero have to put up with Relena?

For those of you who don't know me, I write other stories as well as fanfics. I write fantasy ones, originals, and although I haven't managed to get up the courage to send them off to a publisher yet, I am fairly confident that I'm good at doing it. So here comes a very strange fic, which transports the characters from Gundamwing back to the Dark Ages. Hope it makes sense to you lot, coz I'm not sure it does to me.

by Anria Chiou Lalumin

Past Encounters
Part One: The Banquet

"I need you to go to the banquet being held by the King at his palace tonight, Heero. There is something afoot, and I want to know what it is. See what you can find out."

"Ryoukai."

"And for God's sake, please stop talking in that awful language! You know no one else understands it apart from that tutor of yours, and he's dead! Really, Heero, you must learn to speak so other people can understand."

"Hn."

"Don't take that tone with me! You have your orders: go follow them."

+

"You want me to WHAT!?!?"

"Duo, calm down." G eyed the young nobleman, who looked as though he was about to go into apoplexy. "This is the only way I can think of to get the information we need."

"But why do I have to dress up like a girl? Why can we not just use a real girl to do the work!"

"Because no girl we have in our employ has the skills or internal knowledge that you do, Duo. If you would just calm down you would see that this is the only way."

Duo crossed his arms and set his jaw, focusing and trying to contain his anger. It was extremely hard; harder than anything he had ever had to do before. Almost unconsciously his hand slipped down to play with the end of his long braid, an eccentricity that marked him apart in the ranks of noblemen. "Explain," he said bluntly.

G barely stifled a sigh of relief. If Duo was asking him to explain his reasons this early on, it shouldn't be too hard a battle to get him to follow his orders. "First of all, the King and his cronies are up to something. I need information on that, and I need it said to a witness. Now, I considered using a man to infiltrate their circle, then realized that if what I suspect is true, there is no way they will speak of their plans to another man who has not been in on it from the beginning. However, they are such a bunch of biased idiots that even if they did speak of their plans in front of a woman, they would automatically think her too stupid to put two and two together and get five. My next problem is that there is no woman in our ranks who is of noble birth or even one who could be trained in noble ways and retain them while wheedling information out. The only other option: find someone who fits all of these criteria, and who can defend himself, and make him dress up as a girl."

"So you picked me."

"You were the prime choice, yes."

"You chose the warrior you send out on your dirty work to dress up as a girl and pretend to be light and delicate all evening long while trying to get information out of a bunch of hopped-up bastards who, if I know you and your disguises, will probably be drooling over the girl you cook up and trying to stare down the front of 'her' dress."

"Yes."

Duo stared at G. "Why am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea?"

"Because if you weren't caught up in the indignity of the situation, you would see it is a good idea. Plus with you I don't have to find a wig."

Duo burst out laughing all of a sudden. "That was the deciding factor, wasn't it?" he chortled. "With me you don't need a wig! That's your only reason!"

G was annoyed that Duo would think so little of him, and equally ashamed that he'd seen through his other reasons to the true one so quickly. "Are you going to do it or not?"

Duo's grin vanished, and he frowned. "I'm not the best choice," he said. "I don't know anything of how to act like a girl. Get Hildie to do it. She'll do anything for money."

"Yes, I know you're still using her to cover up for you and those other men."

Duo froze. "What?"

"Oh, come on, it's so obvious! Hildie was a whore. From my spies in your house I know that to keep her happy you will fuck her from time to time, and in return for that and money she keeps the court from knowing your true preferences. Which one is it this week? Michael, Matthew?"

Duo glared at the old man. "His name is Matthieu," he said. "He's French, and he's leaving tomorrow for his homeland."

"Never mind. Are you going to do it or not?"

Duo paused. After a moment he took a deep breath, and said, "All right then. I don't trust anyone else to complete something like this as well as I could, so yeah, I'll do it." He paused. "But that doesn't mean I'll like it."

G breathed a sigh of relief and began telling Duo what he would need to do.

+

Later that night Heero walked into the Great Banqueting Hall at the herald's announcement just as the servants took the tables away and the musicians took up their places to begin the music. He had deliberately left his entrance until the banquet was over and the dancing began to ensure he had more opportunities to -- socialize. He grimaced.

J had picked the wrong person for this assignment, he was certain. He was a warrior, more at home in the saddle hacking heads off with his sword than at a royal function pretending to converse.

Ah, well, at least he had managed to arrange some help. Heero plastered a smile on his face and repressed a shudder as Princess Relena of Sank made a beeline for him. It's only for one night, he told himself. One night, and she's helping you with your mission, whether she knows it or not. He snorted. Ms Peacecraft could very well have done the mission all on her own, and probably gained better results from it than Heero could.

He put steel in his spine when she arrived, almost throwing herself on him. She was babbling away, saying something, but Heero's self-defensive selective hearing kicked in, allowing him to block out her high-pitched, grating voice.

The night passed in a blur. Somehow Heero managed to stop himself from killing the whiny princess, even with the reminder that his family expected him to marry this girl, managed to get the information J needed without being found out and report it back to him safely.

He was just about to leave the banquet, having been dismissed from the antechamber wherein J had heard his report, when a strange figure caught his eye.

There had been another new female arrival at court that night, a girl who was introduced as Diana, the cousin of Duke Maxwell of Irage in the neighboring kingdom of Yeltneb. She had been socializing all night long with prominent figures, and Heero had ignored her completely.

Yet now she caught his attention. Because 'she' was walking like a 'he'.

The expensive dress 'she' was in combined blood red silk under black lace roses to create a stunning effect. Her glossy chestnut hair fell down her back almost to her knees, and she had a liveliness and buoyancy about her that had instantly made Heero avoid her.

But she walked like a boy.

As Heero watched, Diana caught herself, looked around quickly, and resumed walking like a girl. This swished her skirts across the floor in a movement that caught the eye and made it seem like she was born with the skirts on simply to seduce with her walk, whereas before 'she' had made it seem like the skirts were a hindrance to 'her' stride.

Heero ducked into an alcove and narrowed his eyes, continuing to watch the supposed girl move. He dress was unusual: normally the necklines tried to reveal as much cleavage as possible without becoming indecent, but this one was barely low enough to reveal if she actually had any cleavage. As he watched, the girl disappeared into an antechamber.

Standing from his alcove position, Heero made his way around the hall in a seeming casual manner and entered the room next to the one the girl had disappeared into. Locking the door, he put his ear to the wall.

"... dress is killing me. Remind me again why I had to be the one to dress up as a girl?"

The speaker's voice was a low baritone.

"Never mind. What's done is done, now get out before someone sees you! And speak in falsetto, boy."

"Of course, my Lord," the first voice came again, this time in a sickly-sweet high falsetto. Sarcasm dripped from the words.

This was followed by the door opening and closing, and Heero quickly moved back into the ballroom. He once again slid into another alcove and pretended to be looking out at the gardens as 'Diana' moved away from the antechamber.

When 'she' left the palace, Heero followed.

[part 2] [back to Anria's fic]