Disclaimer: Somebody Else's Stuff. IE: Not Mine. I have no money.
Suing me would be like getting blood from a turnip.
Maybe worse. ^_^

Warning:Contains lemony bits (go figure) and angst. Typical
Tz-fic, in a lot of ways. CONTAINS WUFEI!! WUFEI!!!
Humongous giant UNBELIEVABLE SPOILERS for Endless
Waltz and Ep. 48. If you don't wanna know, BE CAREFUL.
And I took some creative liberties here and there... ^_~





"Well I jumped into the river/Too many times to make it home/I'm
out here on my own an' drifting all alone/If it doesn't show give
it time/To read between the lines/'Cause I see the storm getting
closer/And the waves they get so high/Seems everything We've ever
known's here/Why must it drift away and die?/I'll never find anyone
to replace you/Guess I'll have to make it through, this time/Oh,
this time/Without you/I knew the storm was getting closer/And all
my friends said I was high/But everything we've ever known's here/
I never wanted it to die."GnR, "Estranged"


Wufei: "Ore wa seiseidoudou to aku wo taoshite miseru!"
"I'll get rid of those who are evil in a fair fight!"

* * * * *

Space. Black silence stretched forever, interrupted only by the faint white light of stars shining hundreds of billions of miles away, the quiet absolute, the airless void conducting no sound. It should have appeared the ultimate in tranquility; and yet it was not, nor had it ever been during the lives of the two young men struggling so desperately against one another. If anything, it had been a bloody battleground in which neither were capable of truly winning.

Their communications channel was open. It was the same that they had used in their last fight, the battle against the Treize Faction and White Fang, and the words spilling forth were bitter as the spear of one was blocked by the beam saber of the other.

Wufei's husky tenor shouted at high pitch, "I WON'T let you go to Earth!" His determination was written on his pale face, teeth clenched together, brows knit tightly in what seemed to be anger. The look in his dark eyes bespoke determination and something entirely too like loneliness or madness; perhaps even a combination of both. The long arm of his Gundam flew through that empty expanse, headed straight for the mobile suit against which he struggled.

The other boy dodged with finesse, parrying all strokes, the deadly pirrhouette of their dance ranging across the midnight velvet of that yawning void. "Is this what you call justice?" Heero cried back. His expression was grim and tight. He'd defied death to make the jump and get his Gundam. He'd left his lover, the lover he'd fought with and regained, in the hands of the enemy after committing what the braided boy could only interpret as an action meant to betray him. Now, on the brink of Earth's atmosphere, he was forced to fight Wufei again when he *should* be on that green and blue globe putting an end to Marimaea's plans for domination!

The sharp reply came with a quick jar against his Gundam as the other pushed violently against him, charging with his spear. Heero blocked with his beamsword and danced away as Wufei's words spit out angrily over the comm channel. "All I want is to find out whether this justice called 'peace' built on so many sacrifices is worthy of its name!" Wufei bit his lower lip tightly, dark eyes intense as he growled, "Evil is the only option left for me! The world hasn't changed no matter what humanity tries to do!" {No matter what Treize tried to do before he abandoned me...}

* * * * *

"Checkmate." Treize's mouth tilted up at the corners as he saw the look of astonishment upon Wufei's oval face. "You didn't even see it coming, did you, little dragon?"

"Ch'!" Wufei sputtered, crossing his arms across his bare chest. "All right. You're ahead," he admitted ungraciously.

Long fingers reached out to twitch a raven's wing of loose hair back out of those eyes. "You are lovely when you lose. You don't do it well at all." Cornflower eyes raked across the plains of Wufei's face and down to his bound arm, the older man's mouth compressing, eyes narrowing. "Wufei..."

"Don't say it," the Chinese pilot ground out. "We've had this argument again and again! You refuse to do as I ask and I will not betray the only friends I have!"

Treize sighed deeply. "You have not been asked to betray ANYONE, dragonling!" he declared in exasperation. "All I have asked is that you be more careful of your person. I desire that I be allowed to protect you and yet I know that I may not because of who and what we are!" A grimace crossed that handsome face and his voice was low, stark with anger and internal conflict. "I ordered my last lover to his death, dragon mine, for all that he escaped and turned on me in response. It would be even simpler than that to order *your* death and yet I do not." Those fingers cupped the boy's jaw in his hand gently. "Would not. Could not. I admit that you mean more to me than he ever did; I admit it to myself and to you, my lovely dark elf."

"I am not an elf," Wufei answered huskily, uncertainly. Strong arms pulled him against the other man's bare chest as chess pieces tumbled off the bed with a quick rattle of wood, the board quickly following as their bodies shifted. He wrapped an arm willingly about Treize's neck, sadness filtering through him. "Why? Why can't you just leave? We could go anywhere, be anyone and no one would ever know. The war could go on without us, we..."

A thumb pressed gently against Wufei's trembling lower lip, stopping the words spilling loose in a rushed torrent. "It is not meant to be so, my dragon. We must continue in our course," he murmured with subdued sorrow. "The end is not so far now. We will see it through and then... there will be freedom for the both of us, think you not?"

Wufei attempted to wrench himself free. "Freedom! Justice will demand that should either of us win, there will be no 'freedom' for the other outside of death! We are warriors, are we not? And we shall die fighting! And what is the justice in that, that I should love you, that you should make to me the gift of your heart and we shall lose them as so many broken and shattered marbles tilting from the hands of a weeping child! This war is puerile!" he raged, struggling against Treize's hands. "The result everyone wishes is the same, peace, and yet we fight over how to make it so!"

Gently, Treize grasped his upper arms, careful to avoid the gauze-wrapped area that had been gashed in a firefight two days before. The result had been the loss of almost thirty of his mobile suits and pilots. He wasn't sure whether he should be proud that his dragon was such a formidable opponent or angry that so many of his troupes could be destroyed at the hands of a single fifteen year old boy, even if that boy was the most exquisite lover he'd ever known! "Hush," he murmured simply, and then his mouth was against the tender rosebud of the pink lips he loved so, the kiss forceful and heated. His larger body pressed against the slender line of the one beneath him, pressing his lover down into the softness of the feather tick that lay beneath the tumble of white sheets and deep blue velvet comforter, hands sliding to grasp slender hips.

Wufei gave a muffled sound of protest, balling up his fists to beat against Treize's chest in a rapid tattoo, not hard enough to hurt him but enough to get his attention so that he could gasp for breath and demand, "Is this all you ever want from me!?"

Treize's mouth wandered over his face with quick zephyr-light motions, the barest touch of lips against skin as he moved to whisper in the shell of Wufei's ear, "I desire everything from you, a thousand years of nights with you beside me. I want your hand in mine. I want to see you kneel before me and weep sweet hot tears at my command. I want to mark your skin and claim you as mine! I want to love you and leave you a heated shivering creature of pleasure who wishes for more. I wish to claim you, heart, mind, body and soul. I wish to argue philosophies and deconstruct poetry and defeat you at chess! Yet we have no time for these things, dragon, *my* dragon, beloved star-child mine. There is no time for us, no place for us, aside from that niche which we carve out of the wall of this war with our bare hands and when it is done there will be no time again, no matter who becomes the winner at the end of this bloody path. And so I would have this, your body and your unfettered love and adoration, for as long as I may lay claim to these things, for as long as I may call them mine! For truly you are the receiver of my heart and that shall not change, given a million wars or a never-ending supply of nights."

Wufei's breath caught in his chest and his expression twisted to keep tears from coming to midnight eyes as his hands moved to clasp Treize's face gently, thumbs caressing across the cheekbones. "You charming bastard," he murmured. "You could persuade the very sun to come down from the sky should you choose to do so and yet you spend most of that talent upon convincing me of your adoration!" He tilted his head slightly, asking for that kiss again, and he received it, the warm swipe of Treize's tongue parting his soft mouth and stealing inside to caress across the line of his teeth and the quick spar of Wufei's own, the two dancing in sweet rhythm before the older man pulled back.

"Ahh, adoration is such a mild word, my dragon," Treize husked with a wicked gleam in those sapphire-sparked cornflower eyes. "Obsession, fascination, never-ending desire, even love; they are lukewarm comparisons that could not begin to describe the spark which resides inside of me, the flame which burns higher at the mere mention of your name!" He leaned down and bit the line of Wufei's throat, nipping sharply at the base and listening to the sudden cry of pleasure. He could feel Wufei's body responding against his belly despite the fact that they had already made love once this evening, the Chinese pilot mewling and sobbing beneath the heavy thickness of his erection as it opened the slender boy wide and rubbed deliciously inside of him. Wufei's passage must be tender after that, he knew, and yet how could he resist driving into that lean body once more when even that once might be the last? "Ahh, my dragon," Treize purred teasingly, hand sliding between them to grasp the slender length of Wufei's cock and stroke it with sure fingers. "Desirous of me again so soon?"

Raven lashes lifted to reveal dark eyes clouded with heated yearning, slender caramel skinned hands rising to clasp the back of Treize's neck and pull him back down against Wufei's body. "I'm sore," the younger man managed in a smooth tenor gone soft and quiet. "I shouldn't want you again. I won't be able to sit still for days as it is!"

Treize's quick laugh filled the velvet curtained bed as he slid between Wufei's thighs to press against him, kissing Wufei's forehead. "Ahh, then my making love to you might save a scant few of my troupes for all of a handful of days, then!" he teased, rocking against Wufei's thigh gently as his left hand moved to toy with one brown nipple, pinching the upthrust flesh between thumb and forefinger delicately and biting into that slender throat once more in search of the boy's reaction.

A hoarse cry filtered from that throat, felt beneath his lips and tongue as he sucked harshly at the cluster of nerves at the base of Wufei's throat. His body arched upward, pressing even more tightly against Treize as he sobbed and began to writhe beneath him, trembling. "Treize!!" came the quiet whimper, and Treize cupped the tiny rock-hard nipple in his palm as he dropped his head, moving down to suck at its mate, taking it between his teeth and pulling it up to the limits of its elasticity before allowing it to pull loose from between his white teeth. The resulting manic sobs and quick writhes beneath him made him chuckle and he bit a path across his beautiful lover's chest to repeat the process with the second. "Ah, dragonling. Are you sure you're so sore?" he teased gently, one hand moving to stroke the erection pressed so tightly against his torso.

Wufei's breath was a quick pant in his throat as he groaned and rocked to that hand, sobbing in frustration as it withdrew. "Damn you! Yes, I'm sure, but I don't CARE!" He trembled violently against Treize, legs moving to wrap around Treize's waist, knees rising to caress across his lover's ribs as Treize's arms slid to grasp his thighs, the young general's mouth pressed in hot wet kisses down the ridge of his stomach. "Treize! Don't tease me!" he half pleaded, half demanded, shaking his head back and forth against white pillows, black hair spilled like silk across them.

Treize's voice as he pulled Wufei's clinging hands and legs loose and flung him over on his belly was tender as he leaned against the line of Wufei's back. "Beloved, my actions are not to be considered teasing when intention is behind them."

The quick insertion of a finger through the ring of muscle that had already been stretched once that evening made Wufei cry out loudly. It hurt! Oh, he was so sore and yet he lifted his hips back to that touch, his face flushed darkly as he wrapped his arms around a pillow and clenched tight around the invading digit. "TREIZE!" The cry echoed loudly, almost obscuring the quick spin of the lid housing the thick cream Treize had always used to lubricate him. The finger withdrew and he gasped sharply, almost collapsing before he felt Treize pushing his knees up beneath him to keep his ass in the air. Again, penetration, this time slick with cream and two fingers, thick and pressing against his prostrate as he gave a loud groan of pleasure, raven lashes wet with tears as he rocked back hard against that hand. Delicious agony, his black hair tangled in his face, and he gasped hard, yearning for the oxygen that burned his lungs.

Treize's voice was thick, his eyes captured by the writhing elf-like creature whimpering quiet pleading sounds beneath his touch. "Tell me, dragon! Tell me what you want!"

Wufei sobbed and buried his face against the pillow in his arms momentarily, wiping the tears loose from his eyes before he lifted his face and opened his mouth. Treize loved to hear the phrases tumbling from his mouth, loved to hear the quick patter of filthy words trembling on his tongue. "I want your cock in my ass, Treize! I want you to fuck me until I scream!"

Those fingers left him swiftly to be replaced by Treize's knees between his own, spreading them open, one hand against the small of his back, and he felt the blunt tip of that thick erection sliding between the tender globes of his bottom. The resulting whimper was loud and Wufei buried his face in the pillow in sudden trepidation, his hands trembling violently in reaction to that motion. "My dragon?" came the question, soft and soothing.

"Now, Treize!" he pleaded, turning his face to the side so that Treize could see his expressions and hear the soft sounds spilling from his throat as his lover was wont to do. The slow insertion of that heated shaft inside of him made him cry out, the pain delicious, tingling at every nerve ending and he gave a dry hitching sob, his back arching beneath the heavy weight of the penetration. "Hnnnn!!!" he protested helplessly, shaking his head against the pillows slowly, black hair tangling.

"Shhh. Shhh, my beautiful dragon child," Treize breathed as he pressed his chest to Wufei's back comfortingly, fingers stroking through those silken tresses. Wufei's violent trembling and the tight clasp of his body were almost entirely overwhelming and yet Treize kept his presence of mind as he always had when caring for his delicate Chinese lover, even the first time, when Wufei had been driven near mad from the drugs Une had used with which to influence him. His strokes were slow and careful, pressing only gently and taking exquisite precautions in rubbing against the inner wall of his beloved's body, pressing the head of his oaken staff perfectly against the smaller man's prostate with each movement.

Wufei's grunts slowly became something more of pleasure than the pain of a second penetration in one night and he began to rock back on his knees, one slipping slightly against the cotton of the sheets, his body sweating beneath Treize's as he gasped and shook with the force of his reaction. Treize's hand slid to tenderly prop his knee back in position, sliding between his thighs and the sudden feeling of those beautiful slender fingers against his hardened flesh made him want to scream, drawing instead the softest of mewling pleasure-noises from that throat as he rubbed his cheek cat-like against the pillow grasped tightly in his arms.

Treize drove deeper, harder, as Wufei loosened, pushing him towards the pleasure horizon so easy to reach with the owner of his heart. Quiet words of encouragement were whispered into the boy's ear and quick nips were given at the back of his neck, the flesh almost the texture of a fresh peach and nearly as delicious to Treize's desire-fogged mind. He angled over that spot inside of Wufei again and was met with a startled cry of completion as Wufei orgasmed wildly with a helpless sob of fulfillment, spilling his seed across Treize's fingers and the cotton sheets even as he clenched tightly around the thick shaft burying itself quickly and repeatedly inside of him.

Mere seconds later, Treize collapsed atop him as he filled Wufei's bowels with his own creamy concoction of semen, careful not to press too much of his weight against the more delicate man's body. Slowly, so slowly, he withdrew, accompanied by an unhappy cadence of whimpers that made him wince even as he lay beside the Chinese pilot and gathered him tightly to his chest.

Wufei buried his nose wordlessly against the hollow of Treize's throat, his mouth trembling violently as he clutched his lover tightly, barely holding back tears as he realized precisely how sore he was now and precisely what each time meant; that it might be the last. "Don't ever leave me, Treize!" he pleaded in the softest of little boy whispers, and the man's arms tightened around him, stroking black hair away from his face slowly until he tumbled into the grasping hands of sleep.

"If only it was so simple, my dragon," was breathed into the silence of the night. "If only it was so simple."

* * * * *

The battle continued with sword and spear, the beam saber and spear clashing again and again with violent intent. They ranged with motions too quick to follow, quick sparks of light as they met, defying the logic of that airless battlefield. Heero's voice was quick and volatile, his nasal tones demanding. "The more you fight, the more you waste the lives sacrificed in the name of peace. You should have realized it by now! Our war is over!"

With a quick swipe of his spear, Wufei's eyes narrowed, teeth clenched tightly. "Does that mean warriors are no longer needed? Should soldiers who lived only for war be cast aside!?"

Heero blocked the next blow of Wufei's spear with nanoseconds to spare. "These soldiers you spoke of have been fighting for peace all along! Try to have more faith in the here and now, Wufei!"

Wufei cried out, shaking away memories of Treize with a toss of his head. "No! I'm the spokesman of ALL those who have been used as weapons! I'm fighting for *all* soldiers, including you!!" He threw the dragon fist a second time and was met with a barrage of bullets as Heero sidestepped his attack, barely moving out of the way.

"Wufei...!" Heero cried as Wufei flung himself towards Wing Zero, his Gundam pushing against Heero's and sending them into a tumble. There was a pause for several seconds and then sudden heat as Heero felt them being pushed within the boundaries of Earth's atmosphere.

The Chinese pilot's words ran out over the comm channel as they struggled their way through the beginnings of gravity, his tongue almost tripping with the quick force of the words. "Here, we are fighting each other! Isn't it true that you and I feel more alive in battle? You and I are two of a kind. We can only prove our existence on a battlefield!" {I can only pray that you will kill me as I did HIM, that you will grant me the last proof of my humanity!}

Prussian eyes narrowed as Heero gritted his teeth together. Damn! None of them had heard from Wufei in almost a year. None of them had known how badly his last battle with Treize had affected him! With effort, Heero shouted,"Wufei! Treize is dead! You are the one who defeated him!"

Tears welled sharply behind ebony-lashed lids as those words caused his heart to tremble violently in a negation of that fact. His words were almost a ragged scream as he pushed even harder against Wing Zero. "NO!! MY FIGHT WITH HIM IS NOT FINISHED YET!!!"

* * * * *

"WHY!?" came the ragged shout. "Why must it be this way? Why must you force me to these things, these things that I do not wish to do! Damn you, Treize!" In his anger, he wished for a sword, he wished for something, anything, and the small pot of cream on the nightstand was all that lay within his reach. He flung it at the Oz general's head, his aim accurate as it flew towards the face of his lover.

Treize caught the jar in one hand. "Wufei! Do not make this more difficult than it already is! You must follow your orders and I must give mine!"

"I WILL not! I will *not*, Treize, do you hear me!" The fury was burning itself out and leaving his heart cold ashes in chest. "I will n.. not a.. a.. allow you to.. to lllll..lll...leave me this way!" A choked sob worked its way from his chest. "You CANNOT!"

Treize took the quick steps to bridge the space between them and jerked Wufei's body against his own, holding the struggling boy tight. "Don't," he said, quiet baritone dark with heartache and sorrow that overflowed him, pain that carried beyond the deaths caused by this war that he had created. "Do not weep, dragon. Do not weep..."

A fist buried in his gut and a furious flash of black elven eyes followed as Wufei jerked away, his face tense, his mouth compressed tightly together. "I would not weep even had I shoved a sword through you, Treize! I am stronger than that! I will be stronger than that!" He backed away, face wild with hurt and anger. "I hate you!" Wufei's tenor had become shrill in an attempt to repress the tears that still danced behind his lids, the tears which he would not allow to fall. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!"

Cornflower eyes filled with pained expression caught the raven-fringed eyes of his lover and he pulled him close one last time. "Do not say such things, my dragon. You will regret them."

"I regret nothing!" Wufei sobbed. "I regret nothing save giving my heart to you!" With a violent push, he was away, a last flash of white pants as he flung himself through the doorframe and left only a patter of quick light footsteps behind him.

Treize sat heavily in the brocaded chair beside the open French doors and propped a foot up against the frame. He reached down and lifted the decanter of brandy and the tumbler he had placed there earlier in the afternoon and carefully poured a double, knocking it back in a few smooth swallows. He made out the shape of his lover's body as he stumbled momentarily at the edge of the wood lining this small estate, the edge left unguarded so that Wufei could come in and out of his manor with more ease. Ahh. Wufei. Well. Today was a fine day to get drunk for the last time in his life.

* * * * *

The sparring had continued forever, words flung back and forth as violently as the passes between Gundams. They were dropping farther and farther in Earth's atmosphere until it seemed they hovered between the heavens and the firmament. Wufei's words rang out, sharp, tinged with seriousness. "I won't accept Relena Peacecraft's ideals! It's a mistake to believe that you can achieve peace just by laying aside the weapons and putting away the soldiers!"

Heero's impassioned plea followed after a swift block with his beam saber. "Does that justify Marimaea's dictatorship?"

Another quick sweep of the spear that had buried itself in Treize Khushrenada's mech missed Zero by mere inches. "She'll act as an anchor to the warrior souls!"

Heero's response was quiet, serious, even as he continued to battle against his former ally. "It might be acceptable for now, but all Marimaea can do is repeat history! A history of sorrow and misery at that! If we don't stop it right now, solders like us will be needed again. When that happens, this tragic history will go on forever!" Wing Zero's reaction times were down and Heero's control boards were beginning to fritz with sharp pangs of electricity as he struggled to fight farther. "Tell me, Wufei ... How many more do we have to kill? How many times do I have to kill that little girl and that puppy?" Heero released the controls of his Gundam and began to plummet towards the earth. "Zero won't tell me anything ... Tell me, Wufei ..." And then... he was gone, spiralling through the air towards the shimmering blue of the ocean far below.

Wufei's eyes followed afterwards, sharp agony and indecision in them, his face a blank oval of shock. He closed his eyes and behind them was the image of a colony, *his* colony, as it exploded into innumerable shattered pieces to keep it out of the hands of all those who would use it as a weapon. That image changed slowly to the explosion of Treize's mech after his last whispered words to Wufei and tears trembled suddenly in those raven lashes as he lifted them to look after Heero, horrified. "The tragedy will repeat itself forever!"

* * * * *

Treize shifted his mech, cornflower eyes narrowing as he spoke sternly over the private communications channel he and Wufei alone could hear. "What's wrong? Why don't you use your dragon fist?"

Wufei's voice was filled with tension, his eyes narrowed as he growled back, "I just want to fight you fair and square!" They passed at one another again, dancing in graceful motions that should not have been possible in such machines by all rights.

The murmur of bitter laughter in response shattered through his heart and made his mouth tremble. "That's not like you at all," Treize taunted. "Are you holding back?"

Wufei's response was swift, ruthless. "And you? Why didn't you kill me the first time we fought, *Treize-SAMA*!?" he sparked angrily, face twisted into a wretchedly angry expression, his fists balling against the controls of his Gundam as he dueled with his enemy, the keeper of his heart, the only man he'd ever dared to love.

Treize's voice seemed sad and tired as he said simply, "I could not kill one of the few who understood me, my dragon."

Wufei's face flushed dark red, his coal black eyes shining with impassioned emotion repressed deep, whether anger or hurt or desperate love, he was not sure. "Don't MOCK me!" he snarled. "I HATE you!"

"Then DON'T HOLD BACK!" Treize insisted, fine wire tension stringing his words together as he thrust himself at Wufei once again, Tallgeese II darting towards Wufei quickly.

The Chinese pilot parried the attack of the Oz general with inconceivable quickness as he called bitter words, "You just look down on other people! You're here to fight for your ego, just like the rest of them, in this childish useless war over HOW to achieve the same goal! How many people do you think have died for your sake? How many do you think will die today?" {*I* would die for you, damn your soul for all eternity! Die to keep you off of this battlefield and yet here we are and the future as shown to me by the Zero system, no matter how confusing, is ominous and it will come true! I know it!}

There was a moment of silence before a response came, Tallgeese II still, an insurmountable amount of space between Wufei and the man he loved with his entire heart, his whole being. "....Would you like to know?" There was only stunned silence over the private communications channel, Wufei's ebony brows pulling together tightly. "As of yesterday," Treize murmured tiredly, "...99,822 people."

The silence from the delicate Chinese star-child was broken finally. "NANI!?" he screeched, raven almond eyes flaring wide.

The Oz general opened a second line, Lady Une coming up on his vid screen as he asked quietly, "Lady... What is the current death toll?"

The braid-coiffed attendant replied with firm words in spite of the fact that she had been in a coma on Earth such a short time before, still to be found supporting Treize despite his decision to send her away upon her drugging of his beloved. "Confirmed at present, there have been eighty-two casualties on the White Fang side and one hundred and five on ours, Treize-sama."

Treize tilted his head. He felt old and tired beyond his twenty-four years and he wished, deep in his heart, that he could have done what his dragon asked. He wished that this sacrifice for peace was not necessary, that he could have taken his Chinese lover and left for some obscure colony and buried both of them forever to live long lives of fulfilled peace; but that peace could not be bought without a price and the price, as he had known for so long, would be his own blood. "Is that so?" he asked Une sadly, shaking his ginger-capped head slowly. "You must tell me their names later..."

Une's voice was tinny over the link. "Hai. Ryoukai."

Wufei's black eyes were round with agony as he swallowed hard. "You..." The sheer astonishment in that voice almost gave Treize a reason to smile. He wished that he could reach out just once more and caress his fingers across the line of that jaw, the smooth oval of Wufei's sweet caramel face.

"The people sacrificed are all imprinted on my mind," Treize murmured to him, cornflower eyes sad as he watched the Gundam hovering so close and yet an eternity away. "Novende, Septem.. Bente, Dorian, Walker. Otto, Bunto.. All of them, I can't forget."

Wufei breathed a contemplative phrase. "People like you..." There was a certain amount of tremulous shock, denial, in those features, that voice, and he trembled violently. How could he have been so blind that he did not see, did not *KNOW* that his lover, the man he had rejected, for whom he had only moments before declared his hatred, had been suffering through such guilt and shame, a burden to match his own...?

The sadness continued, a burr in that voice. "I can do nothing by eulogising the dead, Wufei... but I want you to know this much. They did not die in vain! And now...!" With a sudden thrust, Tallgeese II went flying across that endless expanse and Wufei responded without thought, his spear coming up automatically even as his eyes widened with horror, the quick gasp parting his lips even as Treize's mech impaled itself on that spear. As Treize backed away, he murmured quietly, "That was magnificent, Wufei."

The Chinese pilot's mouth trembled violently, his expression screwing up into one of pain, of anger. The sudden flashing thoughts of nights spent tangled limb in limb with the Oz leader, crying out beneath him, kissing each inch of that body, chess game after chess game, defeat at the man's hands.... The words were so hard to get out. "Treize... You...."

Treize's words were almost contemplative as electricity began to arc across the body of his mech, even bouncing within the small confines of his cockpit. "Everyone must pay for their sins. Even my death is not without meaning. Wufei.. my eternal friend... my beloved heart... I am honoured to have fought you all."

Sudden hysteria seemed to pall Wufei's mind with a heavy weight as he denied with all of his being what Treize's words meant. No!! No, he had not! He had not... he was not responsible for what was happening! How could he be when he loved Treize, loved him with every inch of his being...!? "This... this.. I won't accept this!" The words trembled violently from his lips, as though the denial itself would make it all right.

Treize's voice was vaguely amused as he opened the last comm channel, hoping the word would go out to his friend, the former lover whose death he'd ordered so easily, as though it did not matter when their paths had parted so bitterly, even as with Wufei, whom he still loved, whom he would always.... "Milliard... I'm going on ahead of you..."

The explosion rocked the void of space and shattered somewhere deep inside of Wufei's soul, dark elfin eyes rounding out slowly before his expression drew into one of such intense and impossible pain that he seemed to age forty years in mere seconds, no longer the fifteen year old boy his body proclaimed him to be but some ancient old man, heart-sore and broken beyond mending. The last words rocked the inside of that small cockpit as the sparkling tears he'd been fighting since he had rushed away from Treize without even kissing him one last time began to fill his eyes and spilled down the roundness of his cheeks to drip from the line of his jaw. He wanted... he wanted...


* * * * *

The people of Earth gathered at the foot of the battered Gundam. They held weapons made of simple things: stones, bats, raised fists. Certainly nothing that should be causing the mobile suits of Marimaea's army to be retreating so quickly. Perhaps it was the intimidation of the Gundam behind them. Perhaps...

"We'll NEVER obey you guys!" came the shout of one angry citizen, his fist punching in the air.

"We're tired of war!" echoed another.

"We can preserve peace by ourselves!"

Wufei sat in the cockpit, making no moves. His hair had fallen loose from the slick ponytail he'd kept so tight at the base of his neck, not freeing it unnecessarily so much as once since Treize's death, strands tumbling into his bright black eyes. His thoughts, for the first time in nearly a year, seemed his own, unclouded by the fact that Marimaea was his dead lover's child, unclouded by the ideals which he had been unable to uphold. {A battle is not to be decided by soldiers alone,} he thought to himself. No. Not by soldiers alone, or if it had... Well, he wouldn't play that game anymore. 'What if' was dangerous and would take him down paths better left untrodden. {I don't have to fight anymore now...}

And his last thought, filled somehow with an unbearable joy at the same time as he was flooded with sadness, came slow and sweet. {Goodbye, Treize.}