author: Mel

Seven Days + Prologue

After Colony 199. It was a special year as many saw it. The end of one century, about to lead into another. A century stained with the blood of many soldiers, something that none would forget too quickly, and there for the mistakes of one century would not be repeated in the next. After years of knowing only war there was peace between the colonies and Earth.

In those years since the end of the war the Colonies had flourished under Earth's helpful but non-interfering hand. L4 was no different. The pacifistic family, the Winner's, who had led L4 through many problems since the beginning of the colony, were welcomed back by the people with open arms and bleeding hearts. L4 had not escaped the effects of the war and, politicians be damned, the people wanted the young heir of the Winner family to help them get back on their feet. And that's just what he had done...

Over looking the colony in all its splendour, was the Winner mansion. The large, old building that was being constantly renovated by one of the Master's 29 sisters, was the pride of the people of L4. Some sections of the mansion were even open to the people during the tourist season. The entirety of L4's population had passed between the arches of the Winner mansion at one time or another, and many came back to visit.

And though the people held the young Winner heir on a pedestal, all but worshiping him with the affectionate term 'Young Master', he had spent many sleepless nights dreaming of the horrors of the war. In trying to redeem himself, in the belief that he had caused all the problems of the war, the young Master spent every waking moment, and many sleeping ones, in trying to rebuild the once fallen colony. As a result friendships were few and far away, and those close to the young Master saw a boy trying to fill shoes much too big for him. They could do nothing as the boy, who should have been a blossoming teen, wilted before them.

The tall windows of his study showed the perfect view of the mansions courtyard and then L4 itself. The artificial lighting of the colony indicated that it was dusk, rapidly falling into night. The study was not lighted, but it was catching the last of the fake rays in L4. An imitation fire burned in a real fireplace. The Young Master, Quatre Raberba Winner, sat in his favourite chair behind the large oak desk. The desk was covered in reports that Quatre would have usually been shifting through, or typing on the soul computer on the desk. Instead he was facing the windows, his white blond hair reflecting the light and his aquarium eyes staring unseeingly out, brooding.

Something was... off. He honestly had no idea what it was, but whatever it was had stopped him from working all day. He had asked his assistant to cancel all his appointments, something the young bright spark, going by the name of Gabby, had been quite happy to do. Even with doing that, Quatre was yet to figure out what was wrong. It was positively infuriating!

In the years after the war Quatre had lost weight, he also smiled a lot less readily. He didn't sleep, save when his doctor got so furious that he'd knock him out with some drug so that he'd have a decent night sleep. The friends he did have who saw Quatre daily worried about the eighteen year old's health, while Quatre worried about financing a new hospital wing, or rebuilding a fallen bridge.

Then today... Today Quatre could no sooner work then he could jump off a cliff. At first he thought he was ill, the doctor had even given him a check up. Except for the lack of sleep and not enough food, he was in perfect health. Then he thought something must be terribly wrong, maybe his space soul was crying out for help. But nothing was wrong, something in 'him' felt off, not wrong.

So sighing Quatre, running a frustrated hand through his hair, turned from the window and back to his desk and the room lined with bookshelves full of books that he had yet to read. And he came to a stop.

On his desk, in the only uncluttered space on the entire surface, stood a framed photograph. In it were five sixteen-year-old boys. The sitting Chinese boy was scowling furiously at the camera, though the camera wasn't the reason for the scowl. The 60 kilos of American boy leaning on him was the problem. The said boy was pulling a cheesy grin, his spare arm wrapped tightly around the neck of the Japanese boy on his other side, somehow managing to pull off a peace sign as well. The Japanese boy looked slightly uncomfortable but he was smiling slightly for the camera. The tall European boy behind them was rolling his eyes at their antics. And on the ground, sitting in front of them all was a young, relieved and smiling Quatre. The war was over, and though it had been like pulling teeth to get them all to stay in place for the photo, the end result was well worth it.

He blinked at the photo in surprise. Two years, two years since he had spoken to any of his comrades in war. Though he had promised to keep in touch with them all he had made no efforts to do so. Quatre reached across the table and picked up the frame, running his finger down the surface. Perhaps that was why he felt off.
Quatre felt elated as he realised what was wrong. He was missing the people he had been proud to call friends. So what would he do about it? Quatre paused, then smiled. He would invite them to his house, his home, for a reunion of sorts, a party perhaps. After all, it would be the first time in two years that they had been in the same place together. Yes, Quatre thought, that was a wonderful idea.

Now his only problem was finding them all...

Strangely the Chinese pilot of the Gundam Shelong was the easiest to find. Quatre remembered Chang Wufei as being a quiet boy by most, except when it came to two subjects, women and justice. These two things, once started on them, Wufei had the bad habit of preaching them for hours on end. But he was loyal, strong and honest to a fault, Quatre had always been glad to have the Chinese pilot by his side.

Instead of returning to L5, as Quatre would have expected him to, Wufei had remained on Earth. Quatre had been talking to some of Wufei's old friends, the ones who still kept in contact with him, and they said that he could be found in the north of China. After more snooping Quatre was able to actually get a phone number.

It then took at least half an hour for Quatre to bring himself to actually dial in the number on the vid phone. He held his breath until the image flicked into life. And for a moment he was speechless. While he had been expecting Wufei, he was surprised to see a rather tired looking Sally Po.

Her eyes were bleary from sleep obviously just waking up and she blinked a few times, trying to figure out who he was. Her vid phone was obviously stationed right next to her bed so she didn't have to get up to answer it. Sally was lying comfortably in the bed, blue silk sheets falling around her. She was also alarmingly naked.

Quatre blushed furiously and averted his eyes even as Sally realised who she was looking at. She pulled a sheet up around her body. "Quatre?"

"I'm sorry Sally," Quatre stuttered, still not looking at her. "I was looking for Wufei, I guess someone gave me the wrong number... "

"Wufei?" Sally was still waking up. "He's not here, he's... teaching the kids down at the school, he won't be home till later."

"Home?" Quatre now turned to look Sally in the eye.

She smiled, a little more awake. "Yeah." She was lying down in the bed and somehow managed to shift herself so that she could show Quatre her left hand. On her ring finger was a simple gold band with a small diamond on it. "He purposed to me."

"Goodness, you're not joking, are you?" Quatre stared at her. Then he smiled, "congratulations, when are you going to tie the knot?"

"In the spring, you have to come." She grinned, "promise me you won't miss it?"

"Wouldn't dream of it," Quatre returned the smile, unable to believe it. Wufei, the woman hater, was about to get married. "Will you get Wufei to call me as soon as he gets in, you look like you could use the sleep?"

Sally nodded, "of course Quatre, it's good to see you again."

"You too Sally, thank you." And like that she was gone...

Two weeks. Quatre stared at the imitation fire before him. Wufei had been surprised by his invitation, but with some obvious prodding from Sally, he accepted it. But not for two weeks. His students were currently under going their grading and Wufei refused to leave them. Quatre understood completely and agreed, two weeks sounded like a perfect time for a party.

Trowa Barton was the next boy on the list that he found. Quatre had to work quickly to find all four of the boys so they could be invited before the party started. With twelve days till the party, Quatre finally got a hold of Trowa, thanks to Wufei. Trowa was with his adopted sister in Eastern Europe. Wufei told him, that after all was said and done, Trowa had decided to stay with the circus, and that they'd be in that part of Europe at this time of the year. Quatre felt a stab of guilt at the realisation that Wufei and Trowa had obviously been keeping in touch.

Still, Quatre was thankful when Trowa managed to get through to him, though it was only a voice message. Trowa said that he and Catherine were looking forward to seeing him in twelve days. Quatre couldn't see Trowa's face, but he could tell that his European friend wasn't lying. For a crazy moment Quatre felt like he was going to burst into tears...

At nine days until the party Quatre got a hold of the third Gundam pilot. Quatre had believed that the pilot of Wing, Heero Yuy, would have been the easiest to find. After all, he was the only pilot who remained with the Preventers after the war was over. But it seemed that he was good at hiding. The day before he finally made contact with Heero, Quatre did the only thing he could think to do. He contacted Earth's foreign Minster. If anyone would know where Heero was, it would be Relena Peacecraft.

Bracing himself he put through the call, Relena was a nice girl, but there was something.....

"Quatre!" Relena greeted, a smile on her face. "What a pleasant surprise, what can I do for you."

Though it looked as if she didn't really believe it to be a 'pleasant' surprise at all, Relena still spoke with the grace of someone with her social standing should. Quatre understood, he had to play these little games every once in a while. He too smiled at her.

"Relena I was wondering if you knew where Heero could be found?"

A wistful look filtered across her face. "I'm afraid I haven't seen him for a while, but if you do find him, will you tell him that I'm looking for him?"

Quatre nodded and said goodbye. He wondered how the Japanese pilot was managing to keep hidden from the leader of the Sanq kingdom. He didn't have long to think about it, as he had much work to do, but he remembered to ask Heero about it when he contacted him the next day.

Heero actually smiled at the image of him.

"It's good to see you again Quatre."

Quatre grinned in return, "same here, I heard you were still with the Preventers, how they treating you?"

Heero rolled his eyes, "I think they'd treat me better if Relena wasn't always looking for me, the little princess is just slightly obsessive."

"Why don't you just tell her to stop?"

"What? Never, the girl keeps me sharp."

Quatre was surprised, Heero seemed to have opened up a lot more in the last two years, perhaps he was learning to live without war like the rest of them. "Are you two... ?"

"A couple? We tried, it didn't work out, but she likes to play these games, and they give me something to do. She doesn't get in the way that much, and I've lived in more places then I ever thought I would." He sighed, "after all the fighting I guess we still don't know how to live like normal people, I still tell her I'm going to kill her daily and she keeps coming after me. Now, about this party."

Quatre didn't ask him how he knew, he just let it go and told him about the party instead. Heero agreed to it, happy for a chance to see everyone again.
"Oh, one more thing Heero?"

"Hn?"

"Do you know where I can find Duo?"

Heero shook his head. "Quatre, I honestly don't think you'll have any luck finding him, I haven't heard from him since the end of the war, none of us have."

Quatre sighed and nodded. He didn't have a clue on how to find the self-proclaimed lord of death...

Quatre sighed, staring at the report before him. He wasn't any closer to finding the fifth pilot then he had been when he started. Duo Maxwell, the pilot of the Gundam Deathscythe, was the hardest of all the pilots to find. It was like he had disappeared off the face of the universe. Though it looked as if he wasn't going to find the American boy in time, Quatre loathed having a party without him.
Duo was Quatre's best friend.

Quatre put down the report, knowing that he wasn't going to be able to get any work done today. It was surprising how close the two young boys had gotten in the short amount of time they'd spent together on Earth during the war. He sighed sadly at the realisation that he may never see the braided pilot again.

Quatre was broken out of his sad musings by a loud shout from beneath the study windows. Frowning he stood, moving to the window he opened it, looking over to see Rashid yelling up at the window...

And then a four foot long braid fell in front of his face.

Quatre gave a small yelp, jumping back as Duo grinned at him, hanging upside down from the top window ledge. The American boy hadn't changed since Quatre had last seen him. Though Quatre had always been, and still was, the shortest of the five Gundam pilots, Duo wasn't much taller. His thick thigh length braid of chesnut hair swung as he swivelled and became upright as he swung into the room. Duo's bright violet eyes sparkled along with his cheeky grin.

"Qu-man!" he cried, throwing his arms around the startled boy, "long time no see!"

"Duo," Quatre whispered the other boy's name hugging him back. "How on Earth did you get here?"

"Ah," Duo pulled back, tapping the side of his noes, "trade secret. This your place, nice pad Qu-man -- "

At this point Rashid burst through the door. Looking a little flustered and breathless the huge Arab looked at the two boys. Shaking his head he looked at Quatre, "Next time master Quatre, get your friends to use the front door like a normal person." And he was gone, leaving the two ex-pilots alone.

Quatre burst into laughter, "it's good to see you too Duo, what are you doing here?"
Duo winked, "if I remember rightly you have seven days to prepare for a party, I thought you could use a hand... "

[day 1] [back to Mel's fic]