Rose in the Wind

By Devon Masterson

Aoi37@hotmail.com

Note: This is a side story from the series that seems to be developing and can essentially stand-alone. As for military rankÖ.humor me

"Ah, Mrs. Yuy," Ryokoís teacher greeted as she motioned for the serious looking woman to sit, "Iím glad that you were able to come by today."

Lady Une nodded and looked at the teacher with intense brown eyes. She wished that Heero could have been there to attend this with her, but he was still on a mission and would not be back for another week. "What is the nature of this conference?" she asked as she crossed her legs.

"Now I know where Ryoko gets her stare from," the woman thought as she cleared her throat nervously. She was the one in authority but being in the room with the woman made her feel as though she should be taking orders instead of informing her of the progress of her child. "Iíve noticed that Ryoko is having trouble in her foreign language studies. Her grades are no where near the performance level she normally achieves."

"Really?" she asked as an eyebrow arched. She did not like hearing that one of her children was having a problem that was not with in her knowledge. She liked being on top of things like that. "What do you suggest?"

The woman sighed when she saw that Mrs. Yuy was a normal concerned parent and not the totalitarian conqueror that her aura presented. She could clearly tell she was a woman that was very much in charge of the situation at all times. She wondered what kind of mother she was, she seemed so distant. "A tutor," she answered. "I know finding a tutor that knows Italian and Russian is going to be a bit of a challenge, but I have someone in mind."

"Oh?" she asked

"Yes, one of our alumni that graduated sometime ago. She substitutes for us from time to time."

"I shall look into it," Lady Une replied as she stood.

"Sheís very good with children. Sheís substituted for Ryokoís class once before. Ryoko needs the best," the woman added seeing that she was not impressing her. "Sheís also a Preventer so your child would be in safe hands."

Lady Une paused briefly at the information. "What is her name?" she asked without turning around.

"Cheryl Winter," the woman answered.

"Thank you for your help, Ms Cloverleaf," she replied as she walked out of the door. "I believe I can handle it from here." "I guess I will be meeting with Commander Winter sooner than I thought."

Ms. Cloverleaf sat at her desk and sighed. She had not been able to give out Cherylís phone number. She just hoped that whoever Mrs. Yuy ended up hiring that he/she was good and could help Ryoko. She looked out of the window and saw Ryoko. "Poor kid."

Outside, Lady Une looked at her five-year-old daughter. Ryokoís legs swung back and forth as she waited for her mother to come over to her. "Come on stand up," she softly as she picked up Ryoko and carried her. "I just talked to your teacher about your language class."

Ryoko sighed and looked at her mother with prideful eyes as her tears started to well up, but they both knew that they would never fall in front of anyone. "Part of being a lady means asking and accepting help when you need it."

"I know," she said softly. "I didnít want you to think I was weak."

Lady Une tilted Ryokoís chin upward. "Your father and I are very proud of you and we know you canít do it all. So donít be afraid to ask for help. Not seeking help when it is needed fosters weakness and you will become vulnerable. You must use good strategy." She kissed Ryoko on the forehead and started down the hallway.

"Yes, mommy." Ryoko buried her face in her neck as she was carried down the hall. "Mommy, I need help."

Lady Une smiled. "Very good, Ryoko."

***

Cheryl stepped of the elevator and looked around. She smiled as she looked one last time at the floor she used to work on. She walked to her cubicle with her box and started packing things.

"My heart is breaking, youíre leaving me," a male voice said.

She sighed in annoyance before turning around. She smiled as she looked into one of the third class Lt. Commanders. He flirted with her everyday that he saw her and just could not seem to get it through his head that she was not interested or that with a higher rank that he should be more respectable. She had no idea why she put up with his nonsense, but for some reason she did. Perhaps some attention was better than none. "Youíll be okay, Lt. Commander."

He pouted and changed the subject slightly. "Itís going to be boring up there with all the other commanders. All of them are so weird and scary. The only ones that act the slightest bit human is that crazy guy with the long hair, Zero or something, and that blond fairy boy."

Cheryl had had enough. "Lt. Commander, you forget your place. You are referring to your commanding officers."

He looked at her as though she was not serious but only received a cold stare. He saluted to her. "I am sorry maíam. Itíll never happen again."

"Iím sure it wonít," she replied. "Iím sure you have some work to do."

"Yes, maíam," he said almost sarcastically and left after saluting once more.

"Ass," she muttered as she continued to pack some more. It was time to write a new chapter in her life and leaving jerks like that behind was a good start. What that callous idiot said really annoyed her. Everyone was afraid of the ex-gundam pilots and Lady Une. She had to admit they could be intimidating, but she could not stand them being badmouthed. One of them saved her during the war when a battle broke out where her family was. Her parents were killed, but she was saved by the white gundam. She remembered how he shielded her with his sickles and put her in a safe location. That was why she trained and became a Preventer. She did not want other children to lose their parents like she did and to pay back the one who saved her. Perhaps she would find out which one of her new colleagues saved her sixteen years ago.

"All done," she sighed. She brushed a dark purple strand out of her face. She saw a drawing that was given to her by a special friend and fingered it wistfully. She wanted children someday, but right now she had to fulfil her promise. She picked up the box.

"Commander Winter, Lady Une wants to see you in her office at your convenience," a young secretary replied as she walked up to the woman.

"And we all know that means in the next five minutes." She took a deep breath and followed the secretary to the elevator. They both stepped on and stood in silence.

"I wish you luck," the woman said as they arrived at their floor and the doors opened.

"Gee thanks," Cheryl said lowly as she walked down the hall to where the commandersí offices were.

"You look like you need some help," a kind voice said.

Cheryl turned around and her violet eyes met with Mediterranean ones. "I have it," she replied as she felt herself starting to blush as a memory flashed in her mind.

Quatre shook his head. He saw her struggling down the hall and his twenty-nine sisters would each have had ten thousands fits if they knew he was being less than a gentleman. "Let me be the gentleman I was raised to be," he commented quite determined. He took the box from her and started to carry it effortlessly down rest of the hall. "You must be Commander Winter."

She nodded. "And you are?"

"Iím Commander Winner," he replied, "but I would rather you call me Quatre."

Cheryl smiled. She was liking her move already. "My name is Cheryl."

"Thatís a lovely name," he complimented as they walked through the door. "Let me warn youÖ"

"Q-man, where have you been all day?" Duo asked as he walked up. "Now I see. Whoís the cutie? Very exotic."

"This is Commander Cheryl Winter," Quatre introduced. He shook his head. "Cheryl, Commander Duo Maxwell."

"Charmed, Iím sure," she mused as she saw the braided one that many of the lady Preventers talked about.

"But of course," Duo replied as he bowed dramatically. He took her hand and kissed it.

Quatre shook his head again. Duo was such a ham. "Wufei, meet Cheryl," he called as he noticed the Chinese Preventer working at his desk.

Wufei looked Cheryl up and down and wrinkled his nose. "Iíve already gone through the personnel files. I believe in being prepared and knowing allies and enemies," he replied to Quatre then turned to Cheryl. "You have an impressive record, Commander Winter, but you are still a woman. Letís see how you do when it just you and your wits and not your make-up bag."

Cheryl narrowed her eyes and opened her mouth to comment. "Donít mind Wufei," Quatre broke in as he pulled her to the other side of the room. "This is Trowa Barton."

Trowa looked at her almost curiously. "You have odd features," he commented. "Where are you from?"

"My father was from Tunisia and my mother was American," she explained.

"Very interesting," he said in French.

"Iíd like to think so," she replied in French as well.

"English please," Duo complained as he watched the two.

"You are so over dramatic," she laughed as watched the look of horror on his face.

"HmmÖyou think so?" he asked. He put his finger to his head as though he were pondering the idea. "But thatís what makes me me."

They all smirked at the comment.

Cheryl was about to say something else when she realized that she was keeping Lady Une waiting. "Weíll have to continue this later." She walked through the main office and knocked on the door.

"Come in."

Cheryl took a deep breath and walked inside. "Colonel Une, you wanted to see me."

"Yes," she answered. "First of all congratulations on your promotion."

"Thank you maíam," she smiled as she looked at Lady Une. She had never been inside her office before. It was very comfortable actually. There were pictures of various landscapes on the wall and some drawings done by children. She would have never figured Lady Une to be a parent, but then when it came to the higher rank, everything was tight lipped. No one speculated and was afraid to.

Cherylís eyes narrowed when she noticed a dark figure standing in the shadows and she began to tense. Heero stepped into the light when he realized that she noticed him and she relaxed. "I must be going on a mission."

"You are familiar with Ms. Cloverleaf at St. Gabrielís Academy, arenít you?" she asked.

"I met her when I attended there as a child," Cheryl answered. "Why is she asking me about St. Gabrielís," she wondered as her mind worked a kilometer a second trying to figure out what was being asked of her.

"She recommends you highly and suggested that we hire you to tutor our daughter Ryoko," she replied.

Cheryl smiled as she remembered the precocious little girl. She substituted for Ms. Cloverleaf the first month of school and fell instantly in love with the girl. "I would love to," she replied. "How is she doing in school?"

"Sheís fine," Heero commented.

"Iím glad," Cheryl said. "Itís the foreign language classes isnít it?"

"Yes," Lady Une replied in surprise. "How did you know?"

"She told me that it was something about linguistics that she just didnít get," she answered. "She seem quite upset about the possibility of failure. She really looks up to the both of you. I use to have Victor spend recess time with her to help ease her into playing with the other kids the last time I was there."

"Hmm," Heero commented. He had never had a normal childhood so he never considered that his children would have problems adjusting.

"Your sons and daughters are something else," Cheryl laughed as she remembered the last time she was at the school.

"Oh?" Lady Une raised an eyebrow.

"I met them all the first day. Parker only had a partial dossier on me and wanted to know why. Victor wanted to know all about me and if I was single so he could set me up with his uncle." She shook her head at the memory. "Ryoko hugged me and said I was off limits and Ja-Zell took charge of everything and shooed the boys out. They were all very protective of their little sister and wanted to make sure she had a great first day."

Lady Une and Heero coughed simultaneously to keep from laughing. Those were definitely their children. "Well," Lady Une said. "They are very spirited. I would like it if you could start tonight so she could catch up."

"I donít see that as a problem," Cheryl replied.

"Good," Lady Une said. "You can follow us home."

Cheryl nodded and saluted. Lady Une acknowledged her and Cheryl left.

"I think we need to talk to Duo about getting Victor to pick up girls for him," Heero commented. "I think sheís more Quatreís type anyway."

"I agree," she said.

© 2001 Devon Masterson

Another Bond Girl Production

We all know who belongs to who, Gundam Wing belongs a whole bunch of rich influential people and I just have some concepts. Donít sue me, hire me instead ;p