Author: pyrzm
see ch. 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Broken Warriors + Chapter 74
Full Circle

A corridor beyond the waiting room led past a nurse's station.

"Trowa Barton's room?" Duo asked, pausing there.

A motherly looking woman smiled at him. "1012, right over there. His sister's still with him."

"Thanks."

Two armed Preventers sat in chairs on either side of the door. Duo nodded to them, then slipped quietly into Trowa's room and found Cathy hunched in a chair by the bed. He was still in restraints. It hurt Duo, to see him like this. It wasn't right. Trowa was not the one who--

He shook off that train of thought. The last thing anyone needed was him going to pieces. Cathy was reaching over the metal rail to hold Trowa's strapped down hand. Trowa appeared to be asleep, and Cathy held a finger to her lips as she acknowledged Duo's arrival. Without a word, she motioned him over, gave up her seat, and guided his hand to cover Trowa's. Leaning down, she kissed Duo on the cheek and whispered, "Glad you're here! He's calmed down a lot, and I need a pee break and some coffee. You want anything?"

Duo shook his head and fixed his attention on his sleeping friend. Trowa's hand was cold under his, and he worried that the padded canvas cuff was cutting of the circulation there. Cathy closed the door very softly behind her as she left, but Trowa's one visible eye snapped open, wide with alarm. The pupil looked normal, Duo saw with relief.

"Hiya, Tro. I'm giving Cathy a rest, OK?" Duo leaned over, making sure Trowa knew who he was. Trowa's fingers tightened around his.

Duo stroked Trowa's ragged bangs back and felt how the hair was still stiff with dried blood. The loose hospital gown hung low on his chest; there were a number of minor cuts and scratches, there, and a dark bruise on his right shoulder, as if he'd fallen on it. Duo gently kissed Trowa's brow, then scattered a few more on his cheeks and chest. Kissing it better, he thought.

"God, Tro, I'm so glad to see you awake! You had us scared, babe."

"Sorry. Kat?" Trowa croaked through dry lips.

There was a glass of ice water with one of those bendy straws on the night table. Duo held it down for Trowa to take a sip. "He's in recovery. Still unconscious, but the doc says he came through with flying colors. He's banged up pretty bad, I guess, but no brain damage."

Trowa lay back again and pulled weakly at the restraints. "Some switch, huh?"

"Yeah, I was kinda thinking that. But I've still got you beat for crazy."

Trowa gave him a sad smile and squeezed his hand again. "Glad you're here. Really glad. I was-- I know they say he's OK, but I'm scared, Duo."

"Yeah, me too. We'll go take a look at him for you just as soon as they give the OK, I promise."

Trowa nodded, but his lips were trembling and turning down at the corners, like a little kid about to cry. Which is exactly what Tro sounded like when he whispered, "Where's Heero?"

"He's out there dealing with--" Duo stopped. Trowa didn't need to be worrying about any of that family shit right now. "He's taking care of questions, running interference for you. You know how he is, all protective. You want me to go get him?"

A tear welled up in that green eye and rolled down Trowa's cheek. He nodded, pleading mutely. Duo leaned down and kissed him on the forehead. "You got it, buddy. I'll be right back."

He shook his head as he hurried back past the nurses' station and out to the waiting room. Trowa had always been the strong one for him and Quatre, and for Heero, too, when it was necessary. But Trowa could let himself lean on Heero in a way that he didn't with anyone else, except maybe Cathy. Duo and Quatre had both picked up on it, especially since the "intervention" at the beach house. Tro and Heero were both alpha males for sure, but Heero was top dog in Tro's mind. The "thing" he had for Heero was still there, and it ran deep, even without actual sex. Duo supposed he could have been jealous of that if he really wanted to be, but his own feelings had mellowed out these past few months, too, maybe because sex didn't seem to be an issue anymore. With that off the table, he was happy to share Heero just about any other way. After all, he'd had to learn to share what he felt for Trowa with Heero, too.

He supposed their lives were pretty complicated and messy by normal standards, but fuck normal. He wouldn't have it any other way. A rush of warmth and gratitude underscored the feeling when he saw the way Heero rose to meet him the minute he appeared in the doorway. Wufei was there, too, sitting on the couch with an arm around Cathy. Duo blinked in surprise. He knew Wufei had hidden out briefly at the circus during the war, but it hadn't occurred to him that they might be friends. Then again, this new Wufei, the one who'd come back from Sanque with a tall handsome lover and a soft secret smile, was always surprising him these days.

"Tro needs you," Duo told Heero, and saw a mix of worry and relief in those deep blue eyes. "He's still pretty shaky, but I told him Kat's out of the woods for now." Duo looked around, seeing two of Zechs's security men by the outer door, but no Zechs. "Where's Big Blondie?"

"Stepped out to make a call, he said."

"And the nasty relatives?"

Heero gave him a dark grin. "They left. One of the nurses told me that Rashid and his men are keeping watch downstairs and no one dares interfere with them. Are you coming back in?"

"In a minute." He gave a slight nod in Cathy's direction.

Heero nodded back and headed down the hall. Duo sat down beside Cathy and took her hand. "How you doing?"

"He's going to be all right," she said, as if he needed comforting more than she did. "And the doctor just came in with an update on Quatre. His brain function really does appear normal. But he's got two broken arms and cracked ribs and a collapsed lung and--" She caught her breath and blinked back tears. "Their show, Duo! They're supposed to open in New York next month! The stage is already built and some of the equipment has already been shipped! What are they going to do?"

"We'll help them figure that out when they're stronger, OK? Right now we have to get them healthy. Right, Wu?"

Wufei nodded and patted her shoulder. "They're strong, Catherine. They've both survived far worse than this."

She wiped at her eyes and tried to smile again. "Yes, I know. But he's still my little brother and it's hard to seem him like this! And poor Quatre! If anything happens--if he took a turn for the worse? I don't think Trowa can live without him."

"Don't talk like that! Nobody's going to die!"

Wufei reached around Cathy and clasped Duo by the shoulder. His grip was tight enough to get Duo's attention, but his eyes were kind. "No one is going to die."

+

Heero's heart was racing by the time he reached Trowa's room, but he forced himself to look calm and went in, braced for--what?

//My fault!// he thought again, heart sinking coldly at the sight of Trowa still strapped down and wan. He hesitated just inside the door, expecting Trowa to start yelling at him.

Instead, Trowa's bound hand twitched, long fingers reaching futilely for his hand. There were tears on his cheek, the unbandaged one. Trowa was crying. Heero didn't think he'd ever get used to that, not even with all the other crises they'd been through together. Pushing aside his own guilt, he went to him and wiped Trowa's cheek with a corner of the sheet.

"Easy, 03. I'm here."

"Oh Heero!" Trowa gasped, and let out a hitching sob as more tears came.

Heero unbuckled the wrist straps, lowered the bed rail and stretched out beside Trowa on the side without the IV, taking that lanky, shaking body in his arms as gently as he could and holding Trowa as he cried.

"I'm sorry, Trowa! Sorry for all of this!" he whispered into his friend's hair. "If I'd known I'd be bringing all this into your home--"

"Don't!" Trowa sobbed, yanking the IV loose as he threw his arms around Heero and held on. "Not your fault! Just don't let him die, please! Don't let him go!"

"Quatre's going to be fine," Heero assured him, though in his heart, he felt the same fear. If Quatre died, then nothing anyone said was going to make him believe that blood wasn't on his hands. Maybe he'd been right to stay away before. If he hadn't come back--

He didn't realize he was babbling all this aloud until he felt Duo's hand stroking his hair. "If you hadn't come back, I'd be dead, babe," Duo said, his voice none too steady, either. "You didn't do this, Heero. You've got to let go of that. It doesn't help and it doesn't change anything. Those fuckers picked this fight, and they're going to pay."

+

Duo sat down and got his arms around both of them, resting his head on Heero's shoulder and giving Trowa his braid to hold. "This isn't over. We're going to make it right. You just have to hang in there and get strong again."

"I'm OK," Trowa whispered. "Really glad you guys are here."

"Tell us what happened," Heero asked.

That was Heero all right, down to business, proceed with mission. Duo wondered if Trowa had understood the depth of guilt behind Heero's concern. Perfect Soldier boy had been silently blaming himself ever since they got the news, and holding it all inside.

"We finished the show and walked home." Trowa leaned into Heero's touch as he dabbed fresh tears away with a tissue. "Marie had left a note on the gate, said there was a package for you from Sally. I went upstairs to change--we got caught in the rain. I gave Kat my jacket--" More tears, and the words became more frantic, more jumbled. "I should've seen that it was too early for any results, I should have gone! I shouldn't have let him just walk into it alone like that!"

"Stop, 03," Heero ordered gently. "What happened next?"

"I changed and stepped out to see if he needed help carrying supper upstairs. He was going to make us some supper. He came out and called to me, then--" Trowa drew a ragged breath. "Boom! There was fire and shrapnel and-- It blew him halfway across the courtyard. He just--just flew through the air like--like---"

Heero held Trowa as the other boy broke down completely. "The blast took out all the windows," Trowa gasped out between sobs. "Knocked me back through our bedroom window. I--I don't know how long I was out but when I got downstairs he was just lying there by the fountain, all bloody and burned and-And--" He struggled up in the bed, panic clear in his eye. "Are you guys sure he's OK? You'd tell me the truth if he wasn't, right?"

"You know I would," Duo reminded him. "So would Heero. We're going to fix it so you two are in the same room as soon as Kat's out of recovery, so you don't worry yourself sick. I'll explain how things are, and if they don't listen to me I'll sic Heero on 'em."

Trowa fell back and closed his eye. For a moment Duo thought he'd gone to sleep, but that eye snapped open again, all wild again.

"He's scared!" Trowa yelled, fighting against the remaining restraints again. "It's Kat. I can feel him! He's scared and crying! I've got to go help him, please! He doesn't know I'm all right! Duo, Heero let me up!"

"Stay with him. I'll go check," said Heero. "Keep him calm, 02."

Duo held Trowa, cradling his head against his chest and stroking his hair. Trowa would have seriously harmed anyone else who'd tried to hold him back from Kat. Heero knew he wouldn't hurt Duo.

+

Heero strode out to the nurses station. "Mr. Winner-Barton. Where is he?"

"He's just been moved into a recovery suite on this floor, sir." She consulted a monitor in front of her, and then turned it so Heero could see a small, heavily bandaged figure under a white sheet on a bed. "He's still not awake, but his vitals are good. A little elevated, but that's not unusual."

The monitor also showed the room number. "Thank you, ma'am. I'll go tell Trowa."

Heero walked back to Trowa's doorway, then glanced back to make sure the woman wasn't watching him. When the coast was clear, he hurried around a corner to find Quatre. His room was easy to spot. There were armed Preventers on duty there, and they had no authorization to allow Heero inside. Violence was tempting, and might have been a temporary solution, but not a viable long-term answer to his problem. Sitting down in a chair down the corridor, he sank his head into his hands as if he was very tired. Recalling how he'd reached out to Quatre in the past, he made a conscious effort to keep his thoughts mentally soft and gentle as he stared at the door.

//Quatre, I'm here.//

It had always been a one-way circuit. There was no way he could tell if Quatre was in any shape to feel his thoughts. It was probably stupid to even--

He felt a familiar tingle at the center of his chest, just over his heart.

//Quatre, it's Heero. I'm right outside your door. You're safe. Trowa is safe. He's just scared for you, and confused from a bump on the head. Don't worry if you feel fear from him. He's all right. And we're all here, Wufei and Zechs, too. There are guards. No one will hurt you here.//

He stopped. His head hurt and his chest ached and there was tightness in his throat, but he didn't know if it was his own emotions overwhelming him, or some response from Quatre. For all he knew he was doing more harm than good.

A light touch on his shoulder startled him. One of the Preventers stood there, having just taken a quick, wise step back. Heero wondered what his expression had been; it obviously hadn't been welcoming, that was for certain. "Yes?"

"I just contacted the doctor in charge, sir. She said you can go in."

Heero blinked up at the man, then stood. "Thank you."

The man gave him a shy look. "You don't remember me, do you, Captain Yuy? I was assigned to your detail just before you, uh--disappeared. In Sanque?"

Heero looked at him. Nothing. Complete blank.

"It's all right, sir. I heard how sick you were. But I would never have guessed. You were good, even like that. The best. It was an honor to serve with you, sir!" He snapped a sharp salute and Heero returned it, then pushed past him and opened Quatre's door.

A nurse was there, doing something with the multitude of tubes and wires snaking into the bed. Quatre, or rather what little of him that was actually visible among the bandages and monitors, looked like a child, dwarfed by the technology keeping him stabilized. The smell of singed hair mingled with disinfectant and the ozone smell of the regeneration units. White plastic housings covered both of Quatre's arms, one leg, and most of his torso, healing tissue and bone. What Heero could see of his face around the oxygen mask and breathing tube was bruised and he had two black eyes, but otherwise didn't seem too badly damaged.

"How is he?" Heero asked the nurse, unable to help himself.

"He's badly hurt, but he'll pull through," she assured him kindly. "The doctor called and said it was all right for you to sit with him for a while. His vitals have been fluxing. If they go too high I'll have to ask you to leave."

"Yes, I understand." He hoped she'd leave. He didn't really need an audience when he broke down and cried.

She gave him an understanding smile and went to the door. As she passed him, she paused and took a plastic envelop from her pocket. "These are the personal effects they removed before surgery. Could you give them to his husband, please?"

Husband. She said it very kindly. Heero liked this nurse very much, he decided, noting the name on her ID badge.

"Thank you, Miss Ortiz. I'll do that."

She left him alone and he went to the bed and just stood there for a while, stupidly trying to figure out how he could touch Quatre without hurting him. Both hands were covered. Heero needed to touch him, feel life through his friend's skin. Quatre was too pale, too still. The regen unit kept Heero from seeing if he was breathing properly; except for the steady, rhythmic hiss of the oxygen mask and the soft tones of the monitors, he might have thought Quatre was dead-- No, don't think that!

Sitting down before his knees gave out, he pulled up the bottom corner of the sheet and held Quatre's cold, bare foot with one hand. Heero was still clutching the envelope the nurse had given him in the other. It was clear. Inside, he saw a dozen or so ear studs and eyebrow rings, the pieces of three stainless steel "dumb bells" from Quatre's scrotal piercings and, he noted with a shudder, the gold nipple wedding ring. It was still whole and covered in dry blood; this piece of jewelry had been torn free, rather than carefully removed like the others.

//Don't think about that. Don't give way to guilt or anger or the desire to hurt and revenge. Quatre can feel it and it hurts him. Keep to the mission.//

"Quatre. I'm here with you," Heero whispered, gently squeezing that cold foot. To his surprise, it twitched under his fingers.

"Can you hear me?" Heero asked. "Twice for yes."

The foot twitched twice in his loose grip. Looking up, he saw that Quatre's eyes were open now, though unfocused and dull.

"Are you in pain?"

One twitch. That would be a no.

"Trowa's all right."

Yes.

"I'm so sorry you got hurt!" Heero blurted out.

There was no response, but Quatre was blinking and trying to turn his head. Heero rose and stood where he could see him. "Lay still, little one."

That got him a bleary glare. Heero had been informed more than once that Quatre hated being called that but sometimes he couldn't help himself. Sometimes he really did think of Quatre that way and now was one of those times. He wanted to gather the boy up in his arms the way he had Trowa, but it was impossible. A tear fell down to spatter softly on the front of the regen unit over Quatre's chest.

"I am sorry, Quatre," he rasped, needing to say it.

Quatre blinked at him hard, and just once. A clear "no", whatever that meant.

"Are you mad at me?" Heero asked.

An emphatic no, but that didn't make him feel any less guilty. But he had to get a grip. He was probably causing Quatre pain, being upset about that.

Quatre sensed that and blinked yes.

Heero took a deep breath and stilled his mind. Following instinct, he bent down and kissed Quatre's forehead very gently, and was overwhelmed by the smell of burnt hair. The front part of Quatre's hair looked fine, but the back of his head, or rather the part not cradled in another regen unit, was now covered in nothing more than a little scorched fuzz. His ears were red and blistered and shiny with burn cream. From this position, Heero could see that Quatre's entire torso was encased in the central unit, back and front above the waist. Suddenly Heero needed very badly to see what the sheet was hiding. With a silent apology to Quatre, he lifted it and held his breath, only to let out a sharp hiss of relief. A burn unit cradled Quatre's back from shoulders to buttocks, but in the front it only went down to the bottom of his rib cage. The skin on his belly and the fronts of his legs was almost untouched. Except for a bandage applied to the back of his scrotum, Quatre's genitals appeared unscathed.

"You're OK down there," he said, giddy with relief. He saw the same emotions mirrored in Quatre's eyes, right before they brimmed over with tears. Heero pulled the sheet back over him and found tissues in the nightstand.

"It's all right, Kat," he whispered, crying again himself as he wiped the tears from Quatre's cheeks. "Your belly tattoo is fine, too. Trowa will be happy about that. Just give the regen some time and you'll be as good as new. You've seen what it did for Zechs. You're going to be fine.

He kissed Quatre again, and then gently combed his fingers through the front of his hair. "Does it hurt when I touch you?"

A strong no.

"You want me to keep doing it?"

Definite yes.

"Good." Heero pulled up the chair and settled down to stroke his hair and face. "I'm here, and Duo's just down the hall with Tro. Wufei's out in the waiting room with Cathy and Zechs. Tro's fine, I promise just really worried about you. I know they'll let him come see you soon. Duo and I are going to get you two into the same room as soon as we can, OK?"

Yes.

"I love you, Quatre. I love you so much!" Heero's chest hurt as he said it and he ached again to hold him. "I think--I think maybe us splitting up isn't such a good idea. I haven't talked to the others, not really, but I think maybe they're feeling the same."

Quatre blinked a yes.

"I'll talk to Duo. He loves you, too. I know that. He just gets scared sometimes, and he needs to know--"Quatre blinked yes again. He understood Duo, probably better than any of them.

Heero wiped his face and Quatre's and stroked his friend's hair back again. "I love you, Quatre." It was silly. He'd already said it and Quatre knew, but he saw the smile in his friend's big blue eyes as Quatre blinked a yes again and knew it meant, "I love you, too, Heero."

+

Dr. Aaronson had given Zechs the use of her office and her private vid link. He sat staring at the blank screen for a few minutes, gathering his thoughts before he keyed in the code for Tokyo information, then typed in his query. It brought up a lot of memories, that name, and more than few qualms. Time was a strange thing to him at moments like this; he'd spent nearly two years unconscious, while others moved on with their lives. Things that seemed like yesterday to him were old news to others. People changed.

He sighed and made the call. The screen lit up blue, with a white "connecting" notation. It hung there as he drummed his fingers on the desktop and rehearsed a suitable greeting.

The connection when through, and the blue screen changed to a photo of a Japanese formal garden. "Nakamura," a familiar deep voice said. It was live; he could hear the question in it as the man on the other end puzzled over the hospital ref code that was being displayed.

Zechs braced himself, and then opened video feed on his end and said, "Hello, Masa-kun. It's Zechs."

He heard a quick, surprised intake of breath, then the video feed link opened on Nakamura's end and he found himself looking into fondly-remembered slanted big black eyes. The handsome OZ officer had let his hair grow since the war. Masa looked better than ever. That smile hadn't changed at all, or the hint of hunger in it. "Zechs? Is it really you?"

"What's left of me." Zechs let himself relax a little, and found he couldn't help a guilty stir of arousal at the sight of him. They'd been a lot more than fuck buddies, back in the day, though that had been a very satisfying element of the relationship they'd shared, first as cadets, and on through their stints as fellow instructors and pilots. They'd never been exclusive, or in love, but they'd been good friends, in bed and out. They'd shared some good times and gotten each other through some very bad ones.

Masa stared at him, shaking his head in disbelief. "Damn! Sexy Zechsy! The Academy's own platinum wolf! You're all over the news again lately, bro. I thought about calling, but well--I didn't think you still remembered me."

"My life has been very strange, as you've proably heard. I didn't know if you'd still speak to me," Zechs admitted.

Masa shrugged. "Ancient history. We all paid for our sins. How the hell are you?"

"I'm well now, Masa-kun. And you?"

Masa's smiled widened. He sat back from the screen, letting Zechs see that he was in a bedroom and wearing an open black kimono and little else despite the relatively early hour. There was a slim, dark-haired, naked someone asleep on the futon behind him. "You remember Keno, that hotshot flyboy who came in with the last cadet cadre before the OZ takeover?"

"Masa, you dog!" Zechs chuckled. Every instructor at the Academy had wanted that kid, for one reason or another. Zechs had made a play for him himself, but Keno had claimed to be straight back then.

His old friend grinned even wider. "I made an honest man of him five months ago on L-2. We're open minded, though, if you and that little Gundam honey boy of yours ever want to drop by. Damn, Zechs, you always did get the cream of the crop!""Except Keno," Zechs reminded him, smiling. "Congratulations, Masa. I'm really happy for you. Chang and I are exclusive, but thanks for the offer."

"Old times sake, eh? We were pretty damn good together, too, you and me. And I'm not the only one willing to forgive and forget, if you know what I mean. You've still got friends from the old days, if you want them."

Zechs blinked back the sudden stinging behind his eyelids. "Thanks. I--I didn't know."

"Yeah, well, your sister wasn't too keen on anyone from the Academy getting in touch with you, after you came back from the dead. We weren't so sure that you wanted to know us, being a prince again and all. But I saw that press conference you gave in Sanque." Masa laughed softly. "Watching that, I thought, 'hey, maybe he hasn't' changed so much, after all.' Still spouting poetry, too, I see. Remember how you used to whisper dirty Ginsberg in my ear while you- Well, never mind. Ancient history, right?" He gave Zechs a look of genuine fondness. "What can I do for you, bro?"

"I understand you run a private security company in the city. I have a situation that needs looking into, but very quietly. No authorities. Are you interested?"

"Anything for you, Zechs." And his tone said clearly enough that legality was not an issue.

"I need to know if there's anyone around Kisarazu district spouting off hatred of the Gundam pilots, Heero Yuy in particular."

Masa's smile faded. "Be quicker to ask who doesn't have a grudge against that guy, down there. No offense to your lover, Zechs, I know they're still friends, but there were a lot of casualties in those raids, and some of them were civilians."

"I see. Well, just narrow it down to those you think might take action. Violent action. There have been threats received, and there was a mail bomb today that may be related."

Masa's gaze shifted downward as he made notes on a pad beyond camera range. "Grudge. Violent. Explosives expertise. Got it. Any other connections you can give me?"

Zechs thought for a moment. "Are you familiar with the Gundam S.K.U.M. pornos?" He was sad to see a look of guilty recognition cross his friend's face.

"Uh, yeah. I saw a couple a few years back, right after the war. Sicko stuff, though."

"That's the kind of person I think we're dealing with, though I can't say for certain if they're related."

"What about Raphael Conte?"

"Who?"

"Raphael Conte. He's the guy who makes those films. He lost people on those raids, too, according to his hype. He lives here in Tokyo. I thought you knew?"

"I don't suppose you have a photo of the guy?"

"I can get you one. Give me your email."

"I'm keying it in on your screen. Hang on a minute, Masa. I need to check something."

Zechs ran back to the waiting room and found the duffle he'd left there. Ignoring the curious looks from Catherine and Wufei, keeping his back to them to shield what he was doing, he dug down through his rumpled clothes to the vid sleeves he'd buried there. Turning the first one over, he squinted at the fine print on the back. Tokyo. They'd been produced in Japan."

He went back to the booth and found Masa waiting for him. "I need an address."

"I'll email you in a couple of hours. Anything else?"

"I don't know yet. This is a situation I'm only assisting with. But I appreciate the help, and so will they."

Masa nodded slowly. "Zechs, do me a favor, will you?"

"Sure. What is it?"

"If Yuy is one of the people you're working with on this, I don't want to know, OK?"

"Of course. Whatever you say. May I ask why, though?"

Masa met his eye in the vid screen, and a lot of the warmth was gone from those dark eyes. "He killed my cousin and some of my friends. It was battle, but he killed them all the same. I'm not saying I have a personal vendetta or anything, but I also have no love for the guy. You OK with that? I'll help you, but him I don't want to know."

"I see. But you're OK with me being with Chang?"

"Chang didn't hit Japan, at least not that part. Seems to me you're the one who should have a problem with that particular pilot, if anyone would."

Zechs shrugged. "It was a fair duel, and one of Treize's choosing. There was honor on both sides."

Masa gave him an appraising look. "I see. So this thing with Chang, it's not some kind of payback?"

"What?" Zechs went cold inside, realizing what Masa's assumption had been about his relationship with Wufei. It wasn't too far off from the sort of filth the S.K.U.M. films peddled. "I love him. I'm planning to ask him to marry me. If that's a problem, we can forget about my request for help-"

Masa held up a hand. "No, I didn't mean it like that. Yuy's the only one I have a real problem with, and that's personal. We were all soldiers, I guess. All just doing what we thought we had to. And they got medals at the end, didn't they?"

The bitterness was clear in the man's voice, but Zechs didn't feel like it was directed at him. All the same, he and Wufei probably wouldn't be double dating with Masa and his ex-OZ lover any time soon, though. Life really was very complicated, in this time of so-called peace.

[chap. 73] [chap. 75] [back to pyrzm's fic]