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REUNION OF SORTS

Prologue

Youko Sutsume

To Shikami-chan with gundam-loads of thanks! ^_^


Two pairs of near-identical black eyes met Dr.J's assessing mechanical gaze equally, one at ease and amused while the other unfriendly and suspicious.

"So the old bastard did use it..." Dr.G's voice held a note of wonder as he regarded the pair of metallic giants.

The boy smirked slightly, adjusting his wire-rimmed glasses as his obsidian gaze swept across the five scientists. "Dr.Z did say you might be interested in the cockpit systems..."

Dr.J shook his head. "You don't know what that system can do..."

The younger girl glared defiantly before her brother could speak, "it enhances the pilot's abilities, and as soldiers, this is all we need to know."

The sudden sound of the scientist's chuckle grated on her nerves, but she remained expressionless. "You've never been in battle, have you, girl?" A blush reddened the girl's cheeks before she quickly suppressed it. Dr.J laughed again. "Very well, very well. As you have requested, I will tell you the whereabouts of the Gundam pilots, in fact, they should be carrying out a mission right now... and maybe you'll see what that system can really do in a battle."


On the large battlefield that was once OZ's secret Mobile Doll producing factory, five Gundams ferociously fought off swarms of Mobile Dolls. The new type of Mobile Dolls, Gemini, were stronger than what they had predicted, and though the Gundams were winning, the pilots were tiring fast. The mindless Dolls surrounded each Gundam, successfully separating them. The tiredness of the pilots were apparent, their movement slowing and less graceful or effective. Wing, having long discarded its beam cannon, fended off wave after wave of Mobile Dolls relentlessly. The pilot of Shinigami was silent for once, concentrating on hefting the heavy beam scythe in the Gundam's dark hands.


Peering over Heero's shoulder at the laptop screen, Duo frowned slightly, squinting to see better in the dim light of the room.

"Another mission?"

"Aa. It will require the use of all five Gundams. The mission is to attack OZ's Mobile Doll factory where new types of Mobile Dolls are being produced." Heero's voice was quiet and unemotional, but his lean muscles were tense under the thin green tank top.

Duo whistled. "Man, talk about suicidal." He grinned, shining violet locked with reflected cobalt on the laptop screen, "but it should be a breeze with me 'n my Shinigami eh?" Bending, he gave Heero a light kiss on the cheek, then turned. "C'mon, let's go tell the others."

He barely walked one step before a hand on his braid stopped him.

"They should already know." With a light tug, Heero pulled Duo into his embrace, lips meeting in fierce intensity.

Quatre looked at Trowa. "This is going to be a very dangerous mission..."

Trowa nodded, still silent but eyes soft. He ran his hand through Quatre's soft golden hair, gently messaging the scalp. Quatre leaned into the caress, eyes closing in bliss.

"Trowa... what if.. what if we don't succ --"

A soft kiss stopped his words. "Shh.. don't think about that." Trowa whispered, turning Quatre's face towards him, forest-green eyes serious as they looked into the Arabian's softer blue-green ones. "Quatre, no matter what happens, I'll protect you. Know that."

Quatre smiled sweetly up at Trowa. "Aa.. Boku mo..."

In the hangar, a lone, dark and silent figure sat on the shoulder of Shenlong's bulk.

Suicidal mission huh? What would he be afraid of? He stopped caring about death ever since the day she died...

Wufei closed his eyes, crossed his arms before his well-muscled chest, and tried to ignore the cold pain in his heart.


"Wufei! Watch out! Behind you!!" Duo yelled as a Doll snuck up behind Shenlong Gundam, who was busy engaging Dolls in front of him.

All seemed too late when the Doll brought its beam sabre down.

A flash of purple.

The scorching heat of explosion.

The Doll that attempted to attack Wufei had ceased to exist. In its place stood another Mobile Suit of shimmering purple and white, trimmed with brilliant gold. In its hand was the silver hilt of a sabre, but strangely, where the distinctive green-yellow beam blade should be, there were nothing. Only Wufei, who was the closest to the newcomer, saw an aura of pale purple emitting from the hilt, shimmering in and out like an apparition... or a mirage. The newcomer did not look like a normal Mobile Suit, its lean profile and the gold v-shaped crest on its head was exactly the same as a...

...Gundam??

The idea flashed through the minds of the five boys, leaving them shocked, stunned for a moment. By the time they partially recovered, the purple - Gundam? - was zipping through the battleground, fast as the wind, slashing Mobile Dulls to pieces easily.

"Oi oi!! What's the big idea here? What is that thing?" Duo shouted, Deathscythe making easy work of the advancing Mobile Dolls.

"Masaka..." Wufei muttered, gunning Nataku forward towards the newcomer. As he was nearing, two lines of continuous firing from the sky sliced through the air between the two, hitting a Doll near them, barring Wufei.

"Chikusho! Dare?!" Wufei shouted and looked up at where the interference came from. Upon close inspection, he noticed an aircraft, its light blue and white colouring blending perfectly with the clear blue of the Autumn sky. The plane glided gracefully through the air, the smooth movements resembling Wing in its bird mode.

"Detected suspicious aircraft, attacking now." He said coldly as Shenlong raised its arm, the deadly dragon fist shooting out straight towards its target.

The light blue aircraft banked and soared upwards, disappearing into the clouds, avoiding the lashing dragon fist easily.

"Kuso!" Wufei swore under his breath, dragon fist ready to fire again when Quatre called out.

"Wufei-kun! Yamete kudasai!!" Shenlong stopped in its tracks, turning to glare at Sandrock, cutting another Mobile doll in half with the glaive.

"Naze?!" He glared at the golden-haired Arabian through the comm unit.

"They are on our side! They're Gundams.. we shouldn't fight! They're here to help us!!"

Duo's voice cut through, "ya know, Wu-man, Quatre's right, those two are wiping out the Dolls like there's no tomorrow!!"

Wufei looked at his surroundings. True enough, most of the Mobile Dolls were destroyed by the newcomers, allowing the five formerly separated Gundams to join forces once more. The purple one was moving at an unbelievable speed as its invisible blade flashed through each Mobile Doll, and the light blue aircraft has re-emerged from the clouds, firing continuous streams of ammunition at the enemy. Upon closer inspection, Wufei noticed that the purple Mobile Suit was slightly smaller and lighter than their usual bulk of Gundams, giving it the extra burst of agility that rivaled Deathscythe's shadowy presence.

"New OZ aircraft detected, there's more Mobile Dolls arriving." Heero's unemotional voice rang out through the comm unit.

Heavyarms raised its gatling cannon, but instead of firing, it clicked empty. Trowa frowned slightly, discarding the useless weapon. This was going to be one tough battle, with the Gundams out of ammunition, the pilots tiring, and two mysterious newcomers.

An unfamiliar voice of a young male suddenly spoke through their comm units, interrupting Trowa's thought.

"I'd suggest you guys move out a bit, since this would affect you too." The gentle yet confident voice said, then closed the line immediately, making his position undetectable.

Duo frowned. The voice and the tone sounded familiar to him, like he's heard it before... from... somewhere.

"Could be a trap..." Heero muttered.

"Iya, Heero-kun, I have a feeling he's telling the truth, whoever he is.." Quatre replied.

Trowa nodded, "I agree with Quatre, no need to take unnecessary risks."

"Ja, if we're decided, how 'bout getting outta here now? Personally I have no intention in waiting around and see what happens." Duo said in his usual annoyingly cheerful voice. Wufei remained silent.

Wing, Deathscythe, Heavyarms and Sandrock retreated safely from the battleground, but Shenlong fought on by itself, completely unaware of the others' departure.

"Wufei!" Duo yelled, "what the hell are you still doing there?!"

"I don't trust him," was the flat reply.

Before Duo could say more, the connection was suddenly replaced with loud static noises as a strange sight happened in front of his eyes. The light blue aircraft was circling around the battlefield, not visibly attacking, but all around, Mobile Dolls were malfunctioning all of a sudden, running around aimlessly before collapsing, silent, still.

Jaws dropped and eyebrows raised in shock and amazement.

"Wufei-kun! Daijoubu?!"

"Oi! Wufei! What's going on there?! Answer me dammit!!" Duo smacked the visual screen, but still it refused to show anything but static snow.

Broken voice filtered through the loud noise, "some... some sort.. sound waves... affecting... system.... emergency... don't come.... leave..."

"Bakayarou!! You expect us to ignore you when you're in trouble?! Wufei!!"

The Gundams were slightly rocked as a flash of purple zipped past, heading straight for Shenlong. Its blade flashed, cutting down all Mobile Dolls on the way.

Before the others could react, it had grabbed the arm of the barely-functioning Gundam, and dragging it away from the battlefield. The light blue aircraft had also stopped circling and was following the duo back towards the others.

Immediately the four Gundams shifted into battle positions, raising their respective working weapons. The aircraft descended and began to transform as the pilots watched in slack-jawed silence. Heero's lips thinned as he realised what it's becoming. Another Gundam.

The golden crest flashed under the sunlight as the light blue Gundam finished its transformation. Landing right in front of Deathscythe, the hatch opened to reveal a young male with short coal-black hair and intelligent black eyes behind wire-rimmed glasses, a thin gold chain surrounded his neck, ending in a small gold crucifix on his chest. He smiled regretfully, "this is exactly why I warned you to stay away..."

"Ka..Kaminari??!" Duo gasped, nearly dropping the thermal scythe.

Heero frowned. "Duo? You know this person?"

"Kaminari...." Duo said as if in a trance, "then..." He turned to look at the purple Gundam that came to a stop beside its light blue partner, the blade no longer in sight. The hatch opened and a young female stepped out, loose black hair flowing around her shoulders. The small silver crucifix dangling on a thin chain around her neck gleamed in the reflected sunlight.

"...Shichi-chan...?"

The coal black eyes softened in an answering smile.

"Hisashiburi ne, Duo Maxwell."


Wufei shook his head fiercely to clear some of the dizziness that still clung onto his brain.

Obviously the sound waves affected humans too... the last thing he remembered before blacking out was the feeling that something had grabbed Shenlong and pulled... He thought he saw a flash of purple through the static of Nataku's visuals before unconsciousness wrapped him in its dark embrace.

He flicked a few switches on the control panel, testing the Gundam's damaged mechanism. The visuals slowly cleared, though not fully, leaving the images blurred.

Wufei gasped as he saw the girl standing proudly on the open hatch of the purple Gundam. The flowing hair, the coal-black eyes.. everything about the girl was so familiar, calling back old memories.

Nataku.. Meiran?

Iya, it's not her, Wufei corrected himself. The likeness is striking, but it's not her...

Still, when she smiled at Duo, Wufei can't help but feel a pain in his heart as the image of his young wife, long since lost, seemed to superimpose the girl's slight figure.


Standing on the ground in front of Deathscythe, Duo's jaw hung slack as he stared at the young girl who had jumped down from the hatch and stood beside the pilot of the light blue Gundam. His mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water, trembling fingers pointing and eyes darting between the two newcomers, for once in his life stunned speechless. The other pilots, minus Wufei, whose status was unknown in Shenlong, also jumped out of their respective Gundams and watched on with confusion and interest... plus not only a little jealousy from Heero.

The girl -- Duo had called her Shichi -- blinked a few times in confusion before a worried look took over her young yet mature face. Walking up to stand in front of the shell-shocked American, she waved her hand in front of his face a few times.

"Ne, Duo, Daijoubu?" Her slightly childish voice carried a barely-hidden tone of deep concern. Heero's eyes narrowed dangerously and his muscles tensed, intense cobalt fixing a deadly glare on Shichi, who was blissfully unaware of the visual daggers shooting at her. However, her brother, Kaminari did not miss Heero's obvious intention to hold Shichi at gunpoint. His lips upturned in a smile; so, Duo's got himself a nice 'friend'... he had always wondered about the braided boy's 'preferences'... And judging from the dark-haired boy's possessive actions, he must really care about Duo.. lucky maniac.

"Duo?" Shichi tried again, patting him lightly on the cheek. Duo's jaw snapped shut and stared at the girl in front of him. Dazed violet eyes held worried black ones for a while before realisation and recognition hit him like a ten-tonne runaway truck.

A huge grin split Duo's face into half as he cried, "Chi-chan!!" And enveloped the startled girl into a tight bear-hug. Heero's eyes narrowed even further and he stepped forward, a low growl sounding from his throat as Shichi gave a little laugh, hugging the American back. Trowa and Quatre was greatly amused by Duo's actions and Heero's reactions; usually Heero wasn't one to show his emotions in public like this...

Duo whirled around at the sound and felt the familiar tug on his long braid. The cobalt eyes seem to burn with suppressed jealousy and promises of a violent death if he doesn't give a valid, and very VERY convincing reason soon. Grinning at the fuming Heero nervously, Duo released Shichi from the hug and took a step back. Out of habit, he slung an arm casually around Heero's neck, and grinned to Shichi, who was returning Heero's flat glare with equally flat black eyes.

"Chi-chan, allow me to introduce my partner and best bud --" he winked mischeviously at Shichi, and tried not to wince as he felt another firm tug on his braid, "Heero Yuy! Heero-man, this is Shichi and that's her brother Kaminari over there. We're old friends." He added.

"Tsubasa." The black haired boy smirked as he regarded Duo's confused expression. "Shichi and Kaminari Tsubasa. We have a surname now, Duo, like you do. It's easier for the records."

Duo grinned back, "Tsubasa, eh? Well you always DID have this thing for flying... Anyway," he swept his arm out to his gathering comrades, "Here's Heero, and that's Trowa, Quatre and Wufei whose ass Chi-chan just saved." He snickered.

Kaminari inclined his head politely at Heero though still wearing the same amused smile that annoyed the cobalt-eyed boy immensely. "Yoroshiku, Heero-kun. We've heard quite a bit of praise of you from Dr. J."

"You mean you guys know those five crazy old geezers? How? And how come you guys have those?" Surprised, Duo gestured fervently to the two Mobile Suits -- obviously Gundams -- behind them.

Quatre and Trowa walked up to the small group. "Minna-san... I don't think this is a very good place for standing around chatting, may I suggest that we go to my place? And I'm a bit worried about Wufei-kun.. I checked him through Sandrock's comm unit before, and he seemed alright, but distressed for some reason." Quatre said, a small frown creasing his brow.

"Yeah, good idea, Quatre! C'mon everyone, let's go! Wufei can move, right? You did say he seemed alright?"

"I'm fine." A low voice said behind them. Shichi turned and found a Chinese boy looking at her with eyes as black as her own. She matched his stare with the emotionless glare that she's mastered over the years, and kept it even as Wufei turned away, a flash of -- disappointment? Sadness? -- passing over his onyx eyes like a dark shadow.

"Wufei-kun!"

"I'm fine." Wufei repeated, his face stone cold.

"Well, if we're all set, then shall we go? I'm kinda hungry anyway." Duo grinned.

Heero silently released his grip on Duo's braid and jumped back into Wing's cockpit, waiting for the others to return to their respective Gundams.

"Aa. I suppose we should leave now." Quatre agreed, smiling up at Trowa before they and Wufei went to their Gundams.

Duo turned to face the siblings, "Now, just follow Shinigami's lead!" He laughed, giving them each a tight hug, "it's good to see you guys again... I've got so many questions to ask and so many things to tell... We got a lot of catching up to do..."

"We do indeed."


~ TO BE CONTINUED ~


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Shin Kidousenki Gundam Wing is copyrighted © Sunrise, Bandai and the Sotsu Agency. All rights reserved.
"The Stygian Sagas" and its contents are property of Youko Sutsume and Shikami Yamino © 2000-2001.
"Endless Dedication" and its contents are property of Shikami Yamino © 1999-2001.