Author: Maldoror
Genre: Humour, shonen ai, teensiest touch of angst
Pairings: 1x2. Eventually. Others to be figured out by the astute readers (you'll probably be a lot quicker than Heero)
Rated: PG13
Warnings: Mild swearing, a slightly suggestive conversation, and a lot of misunderstandings
Feedback: Please! Particularly what you like/don't like about the fic.
Disclaimer:Gundam Wing belongs to its owners (Bandai, Sunset, and a whole host of others, none of which are me) and I'm not making any money off of them. Not a single peanut.

Summary: Heero Yuy's mission planner: Date: AC199. Mission objective: Finding compatible mates for Gundam Pilots 2, 3, 4 and 5. Timeframe: Undefined. Difficulty: Moderate, despite lack of personal information on the subject of romantic affection. How hard can it be to get people to fall in love?

AN: Huge thanks to Casey for beta-ing and laughing in all the right places, and to Arith for the title. And I hope I won't send Jane Austen spinning in her grave by adding that there is a slight hint of 'Emma' in this fic. This is a blend of shonen ai, humor and lots of misunderstandings and mistakes. Hope you enjoy! Please send feedback as I need it to beat the plot bunnies over the head.

//THIS// is Heero's entries on his laptop.

Trial and Error + Chapter 1

//Operation 'Equations'

Mission parameters:

Start date: 10th May 199.

Timeframe: Undefined

Difficulty: Unknown, probably moderate.

Objective: Preserve the peace by insuring that Gundam Pilots 2, 3, 4 and 5 are mentally and physically healthy, and ready and willing to defend it. To do this, objectives will be to help subjects adapt to peace, integrate them into society and insure their emotional wellbeing by pairing them off with compatible mates //



Heero paused at the keyboard, wondering if he should mention Relena. It had been her idea, in a way. After some debate, he added her to his Information Source field, along with the ISBN of a romance novel she kept pressuring him to read. He was still trying to find an abridged version, he didn't really want to go through the whole thing.

Relena was the one who had pointed out the flaw in the peace. Well not much of a flaw, really. He did trust the other pilots. To an extent. But that messy interlude with Mariameia and Chang had demonstrated that Gundam pilots made dangerous loose cannons.

Heero's whole life was dedicated to peace, and to a lesser degree, to Relena and the other people who had made it possible. It was his duty to watch over them and make sure they were okay, mentally and physically safe and unharmed, and ready to take up the fight for peace again if need be. The best way to do this was to keep an eye on all of them, personally. To start with this had been difficult. After the Eve War they'd all gone their separate ways, and ended up on different colonies. Heero had accumulated a lot of stress and shuttle-miles visiting and checking on each of his old comrades in turn, between his duties to Relena and the watchful eye he kept on the continuing peace. But after a few months of living apart and doing their thing all the other boys had drifted together again, back to the Sanq kingdom.

Now they all lived in the same house, an old, rambling structure that Quatre had bought and which he rented to the others for a nominal fee. It was close to the palace so that Heero could continue his job of protecting Relena properly with minimum inconvenience. Wufei still took Preventer missions in the field but when there was no call for a highly trained soldier - and as peace lasted there was less and less need for him - he had started to spell Heero in his surveillance duties. Duo wandered here and there, helping Hilde out for a few days, bumming around in Howard's new ship, but he always returned and stayed for months, taking small jobs and apparently enjoying himself. After the circus had taken up permanent residence in Sanq's year-round World Union Fair near New Port City, Trowa lived with them as a matter of course. And Quatre, though he shuttled to L4 frequently, also called the place home.

Heero had thought it an excellent arrangement.

Until that party of the second year of peace. Relena had looked at the four other pilots, hanging together at the back of the ballroom sipping their drinks and glaring at anyone who tried to break into their circle, and whispered to her bodyguard at her side that she just wished they could be happy.

"Happy?" Heero had looked at the four pilots and seen no visible signs of distress. He turned back to Relena quizzically, after an automatic scan of the ballroom for possible dangers.

"Yes. Can't you see it, Heero?" She'd turned towards him and fixed him with a particularly searching gaze. "They're not embracing life, they're not moving forward. They might pretend it doesn't bother them, but I know it does. It's not right to stay locked in one place, to stay alone -"

"Relena, they're standing together. There's four of them." Heero pointed out reasonably only to have Relena give him her exasperated 'you're being soldier-boy on purpose here aren't you?' look.

"Heero, listen to me. It's not normal for five healthy young men to live all cooped up together like you do. You should all be moving out with- with another person. A significant other person." Her cheeks had pinked slightly and she looked at him earnestly. "That's what's normal. I know you're all scarred by the past, but you'll never be happy until you let someone in. Let someone get close to you, help you move past it all." Relena's hand had plucked his sleeve hesitantly. "Do you know what I'm saying?"

Heero had looked at the four pilots talking peacefully together and realized that all their friends, and that was not a number that bothered with double digits, were old war companions.

"Maybe you're right." He'd said slowly. Relena had almost spilled her drink down her gown in surprise.

Heero had said nothing for the rest of the evening, even when that ambassador for some country or other had tried to engage him in conversation. The man had seemed quite offended for some reason - Heero wasn't sure since he never actually looked at the fellow - but the soldier didn't care. He had more important things to think about. First of all, his duty to guard Relena. Then his duty to his comrades.

They had done the impossible. They had saved the world and instated peace.

The notion grew on him slowly, unfamiliar parameters playing out in his mind. But once reached his conclusion was solid. His friends deserved to be happy.

Heero nodded firmly, fingers on his laptop again. This was right. He'd take on this mission.

He glanced around his room, which had become the War Room since that conversation with Relena. It was the smallest room in the house, under the eaves. He didn't require anything bigger and liked being alone on this floor, and hearing the wind blow over the tiles and through the rafters on stormy nights. Even a Spartan would have complained about the room's furnishings - one bed, military issue. One metal rack for clothes, mostly empty. Contents: Five preventer uniforms, Sanq Guard issue. Two sets of civilian clothes (issued by Relena along with some threats if she ever caught him wearing his old idex and tanktop again). One cardboard box for shoes. A similar box for toiletries. The bathroom was down the hall. There were proper security measures on the door - he'd set some on the entire house but he liked his privacy as well. All in all he liked his room. It was sufficient, and his own space. He'd not had any place he could call his own before, except possibly for Wing's cabin.

The room had recently gained two additional objects.

One was a piece of paper on the door reading 'Keep Out' in three different languages.

Under the English version someone had scrawled 'Why?' in red marker.

An arrow in black marker connected the 'Why' to some words further down the paper: "I mean it, Duo."

In red marker underneath that: "Duo? Who said Duo wrote this? And what are you doing in there?"

In black beneath that, in words tall enough to cover what was left of the paper: "None of your business and keep out, DUO."

Someone had taped an extra sheet of paper to the first and filled it with red scrawl: "Or what, you'll shoot me? Why won't you tell us what you're doing in there? Man your security is good though."

The black marker had had no room to answer on the extra piece of paper and its dignity would not accept having to tape on an additional sheet as well, so it had simply removed the 'Or what,' and the first '?' from the red marker's previous sentences, underlined the result, and left it at that.

The second addition was a whiteboard on one of the unadorned walls. It had shapes, symbols and names on it, in code since Heero didn't trust his security to do more than slow Duo down if his one-time partner grew really curious. The names of the four subjects were set in a square in the center, the way they'd been at the ball. Around them, in a different color, were the names of every female acquaintance Heero could think of, which was unfortunately not many. There were already a few tentative arrows linking a few of the names.

Heero frowned at them. They were very tentative. As soon as he'd defined his mission, he'd run up against a pretty big hitch. He knew next to nothing about normal human relationships, beyond the camaraderie of war, and that had taken him years to accept and master. Odin had raised him with a little affection and a lot of distance. J had not raised him, he'd constructed Heero in much the same was he'd built Wing. Heero had no example, no template to work with, to show him anything more than the friendship his comrades had taught him, slowly and sometimes painfully during and after the war. He'd never had any contact with a loving relationship. This was a very big hurdle, but he was not in the habit of letting the fact a mission was impossible get in the way of its achievement, or he'd never have undertaken Operation Meteor in the first place.

His fingers flew over the laptop.


//First step: Gather more information regarding romantic relations.//



He put down the laptop firmly and picked up Relena's romance novel with a determined air.


//Mission duration: 2 hours.

First Step Correction: Find more reliable source of information.//


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