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To Awaken With a Kiss

Lady Aria

In the far kingdom of Cinq, lived a royal couple with a son. Although the couple loved their son deeply, they longed for a daughter. The queen so wished for one that one day, as she was walking the palatial gardens, she came upon an old fortuneteller. The fortuneteller told her that her wish would soon come true, but, as the fortuneteller said sadly, they would not enjoy the daughter she had longed for very long. The queen thanked the fortuneteller for her words and went to her husband with the news. When he asked her what the fortuneteller had meant when she said that they would not enjoy the company of their daughter for long, she was at a loss for words.
A year came and went and a beautiful daughter was born to the king and queen. The entire kingdom celebrated. All the important heads of state and military officials attended the christening of the child. Then, all of a sudden, a loud bang was heard, resounding through the hall, letting in the cold biting wind of winter and sending the curtains into a violent rustling.
At the doorway, a man stood with him a boy. All the occupants in the room held their breaths as the lights in the hall illuminated the trappings of the two -- OZ. Apparently, the royal couple of the Cinq kingdom had forgotten to invite the war-loving leaders of the OZ. The king stood his ground as they approached the thrones, the queen clutching her baby tightly to her breast. The older man looked at the king in scorn.
"Why did I not receive word of this celebration?" he said, gesturing to the lavishly decorated hall. "Am I too low for the celebrations of the Cinq kingdom?"
" 'Tis not that," the king said, "but knowing the nature of your organization, I did not believe that you would want to attend such a celebration."
"I would not want to attend?" the man mocked the king. "Treize, did you hear that? The king believes that we would not want to attend such a celebration."
The boy named Treize eyed the boy standing beside the queen evilly. The prince returned the look with one of hate.
<Just who did these people think they are? Why could they not let us celebrate the birth of my sister in peace?> He clenched his fists tightly.
"Since I am being the proverbial uninvited guest, I will leave," the man said, turning to the doorway. "But know this. That child," he said as he pointed to the baby in the queen's arms, "will never live to see her sixteenth birthday. She will encounter with a sinister fate and die."
"And I shall see you in battle, young prince," the boy said. "And you will know the fury of Treize Khushrenada."
"I am not afraid of you, Treize," the prince said evenly. "Before you challenge me, know that I am the prince of the Cinq kingdom Mirialdo Peacecraft. I shall become the protector of my sister and my family. Your prophecy shall never come to pass."
"We shall see," Treize smiled and left the castle with his mentor.
The dark pall brought about by the visitors from OZ cast a dark cloud upon the christening, yet despite all that, the ceremony continued. The priest bathed the child's head with holy water and she was named Relena Peacecraft.

Five years have passed since the sinister visit from the OZ when a war broke over the world. It was in this war that the royal family of the Cinq kingdom was massacred with the exception of the royal children, Mirialdo and Relena, who were away at boarding school. In the end, the Cinq kingdom was spared of the bulk of the damage of the war and the two children were called back to see to it that the kingdom recovered from the war as well as to become the new heads of the state.
The years passed and Relena grew up into a fine young woman. She was educated by the finest teachers in the kingdom and was loved by everyone. Her brother, Mirialdo, became known throughout the world for his combat prowess and his skills in piloting a mobile suit. Despite each other's achievements, they were still very close and loved and supported each other through all times.
At last, the eve of Relena's sixteenth birthday has come. The entire kingdom prepared for the celebrations. Inside the palace, Relena tried on the dress she was to wear on her birthday and smiled at the woman who gave her the dress.
"Oh, Noin, it's wonderful!" Relena said as she twirled around in front of the mirror. "Do you know where my brother is?" she asked the woman excitedly. "I want to show him this."
Noin laughed. She was amazed at how beautiful and alive Relena was. Mirialdo obviously never told her about the dark promise made sixteen years past. "I believe I saw him in the gardens earlier. Maybe he's still there."
"Oh, thank you!" Relena said as she twirled and disappeared in a flurry of pink silk and lace.
Relena had been wandering the gardens for a good twenty minutes when a voice called out to her. She turned to see a woman with long brown hair in a blue suit come to her. She looked pretty despite the sad look in her eyes.
"Princess Relena, I presume?"
"Yes, I am she. Who might you be?" she asked, blinking.
"I am Lady Une," the woman introduced herself. "Would you be interested in sharing late afternoon tea with me?"
"Uh...," Relena looked left and right looking for her brother. "I guess it couldn't hurt."
"That's wonderful!"
Lady Une led her to a little table set for tea at a nearby gazebo. Relena carefully arranged her skirts around her so as not to wrinkle her dress. Lady Une poured her tea and proceeded to share small talk with the princess.
In another part of the palace, Mirialdo Peacecraft was practicing his fencing. His loose white shirt was already stained with sweat when a figure appeared before him with his back to the sun. The man was holding a rapier unsheathed at his side. Mirialdo shielded his eyes against the glare of the sun in an effort to see the figure.
"Who are you? What is your purpose in the palace?" Mirialdo called as the figure approached him.
"I am surprised that you've forgotten about me already, Mirialdo."
Mirialdo narrowed his eyes. There was something about the way the man moved and his manner that made him nervous. He went into the guard position and as if to confirm his fears, a stray cloud blocked the sun's rays revealing the identity of the man before him.
Treize Khushrenada.
"How dare you show your face here!" Mirialdo shouted, fury lacing his voice. "My mother and father are dead because of your bloodthirsty ways and your organization plunged the whole world into chaos and fear. You are not welcome here, Treize, and I suggest you leave before my sword taste the foul liquid that is your blood."
"Why, Mirialdo, such a temper!" Treize mocked, "I only came here to see done the wish of my dear departed mentor." His eyes narrowed wickedly as he continued, "to see that your beloved sister dies before her sixteenth birthday."
This sent Mirialdo into a rage and he lunged at Treize. The older man blocked his thrust with a sweep of his sword. Mirialdo rushed back in and their swords met at the hilts forcing the men into a body-to-body. Mirialdo knew that he was in trouble. He had been practicing heavily that day and was tired not to mention that Treize was built slightly larger than him. Treize was forcing Mirialdo to his knees and the latter broke away from the lock and rolled into a kneeling position several feet away.
"Touché, Mirialdo," Treize said. "You are as smart as you are brave, but unfortunately, you are too driven by your emotions."
Treize began a flurry of thrusts at Mirialdo. Up and down, left and right. Mirialdo could not get the advantage, too busy blocking the coming thrusts. He was definitely outclassed by Treize. Mirialdo bit his lip as he felt Treize's rapier nick his thigh. He thrust wildly and managed to drive his blade deep into Treize's sword arm. Treize cursed and stepped back from the harried prince, glancing at his injured arm.
Mirialdo had just managed to regain his balance when a scream split the air. It came from the gardens at the northern end of the palace. Mirialdo had a sinking feeling as to what that scream meant and he turned just in time to see a woman running towards them, her hair flying in the breeze and a wicked smile on her face.
"Mission accomplished, Master Treize," he heard her say, "Relena Peacecraft is dead."
Mirialdo shook his head in denial. His beloved sister dead? He was about to rush into Treize when the woman pointed a gun at him.
"Don't try anything, dear sir, unless you want to join the rest of your family in the afterlife."
Mirialdo stepped back and raised his arms, letting his sword drop to the ground. He watched a triumphant Treize smile as he gave the woman a light peck on the mouth as he threw a small pellet on the ground. Smoke immediately erupted from the pellet enveloping the couple.
"Until we meet again, Mirialdo."

"Princess Relena!"
Mirialdo heard the servant cry out as she clutched the still form to her body. Relena was deathly pale and her breathing was ragged and shallow. He reached her in about the same time as Lucrezia Noin did and he delicately held his sister in his arms. She felt so light, and her skin was starting to feel clammy. He felt tears roll down his cheeks as he watched her painfully trying to get air into her dying body.
"Mirialdo, you have to let me help her!"
He snapped his head up to look at a frantic Noin holding a syringe in her hand. He let her come close and silently watched as she inserted the needle into the girl's vein. They waited for what seemed like an eternity, but they all heaved a sigh of relief as her breathing became deeper and more even. Mirialdo carried the girl in his arms and brought her to her bedroom followed by Noin. He gently placed her on her bed and sat beside her. He was puzzled by her reaction to the drug that Noin gave her. Although it looked like she was doing a lot better, she just wouldn't wake up.
"Noin, what's happening to her?"
"I don't know," she said, truly puzzled. She knew that Relena should have woken up by now, after receiving a large dose of the universal antidote, but the fact that she seems still be sleeping with rapid-eye movement was puzzling.
Mirialdo gritted his teeth. <Damn that Treize! What does he gain by trying to kill Relena?>
"Mirialdo, you have to get your rest," Noin said gently, "we've all had a long day."
Mirialdo allowed himself to be led out of the room by Noin and he cast a final glance at his sleeping sister before the door to her chamber slid shut. He was grateful for Noin's presence and he loved her for it. He had contemplated proposing to her many times, but he just couldn't seem to find the perfect opportunity to do so.
They had reached his chambers and he was just about to speak when a cloud of greenish mist rose into the hallway. They covered their mouths but the gas got into their lungs. A final thought entered their minds before all conscious thought faded from them, plunging them into darkness.
Sleeping gas.

"Master Treize, this is such a brilliant idea."
"Thank you, Une," he replied as he watched the sleeping gas envelop the whole capital of the Cinq kingdom. He could see people dropping like flies in the streets. Treize smiled. Things were going according to plan. "Send out the Leos."
Treize's smile widened as several squadrons of Leos flocked around the capital, surrounding it. At long last, the Cinq kingdom was in the hand of the OZ.

"And that is the situation."
"Ninmu ryoukai."
Prince Heero Yuy closed the laptop that he had been using to communicate with his mentor Dr. J. Although he was a prince, he found that the best way to earn the respect of his soldiers was to go and fight alongside them. He had been trained long and hard by Dr. J in secret and, now, he could be regarded as the perfect soldier -- a man without fear who will do everything to see the mission completed. Dr. J was banished from the kingdom when the king and queen found out what he had done but Prince Heero still maintained contact with the old man and accepted missions for the good of the kingdom and of the world.
Heero walked to his closet and changed out of his white prince's clothes and into a pair of black cycling shorts and a green tank top. He seemed to do his best when he wore clothes that don't hinder his movements. He picked up his knapsack and proceeded to walk out of the palace.
He was passing through the last hall out of the palace when a figure rushed to him and suddenly grabbed the back of his shirt making him lose his balance and topple forward. He managed to break his fall with his hands and looked angrily at the smiling figure looming over him.
Prince Duo Maxwell.
He had completely forgotten that the smiling prince was in the kingdom for a visit. To everyone else in the kingdom, Prince Duo seemed to be the perfect person to offset the gloomy nature of their own prince. He is also said to be Prince Heero's best friend, although many speculate as to how Prince Duo could stand him.
"So, where ya goin'?"
"None of your business," Heero said, picking himself up and making his way to the door.
"New mission, huh?" Duo piped in following Heero. "Can I come?"
"Suit yourself."
"Great! I knew that bringing Shinigami would be a good idea."
Heero rolled his eyes as he watched Duo trot after him. He once again wondered how he had managed to resist the urge to shoot this fool. They arrived at the hangars and, after a preliminary check to see that the systems are functional and the armaments full, they flew in the direction of the fallen kingdom of Cinq.
"Oi, Heero," Duo called over the comm link, "where're we headed?"
"Cinq? What's to see there?" Duo moaned. "It's so peaceful and quiet there that it's become so BORING!"
"OZ has declared occupation over Cinq."
"So our mission is to drive the OZ outta there and restore the kingdom back to its rightful rulers," Duo said, flying in a loop beside Wing Zero. "Piece of cake."
The Shinigami nearly stopped dead in the air. "NO? What the hell IS the mission?"
"None of your business."
Duo brooded as he saw the visuals blink out. <Go ahead! Leave me in the dark!> Duo thought darkly as he continued to follow Wing Zero.
They passed over some mountains and a thick forest when a slight glint caught Duo's eye. It came from a spot in the forest and Duo was pretty sure that it was the light reflected off metal and he wanted to check it out. Besides, they've been flying non-stop for almost six hours.
"Heero, I saw something down there. I want to check it out. Come on, we could use the rest. No sense letting the OZ get the upper hand by tiring ourselves out before we get there."
<That was easy,> Duo thought as he maneuvered his gundam into the forest. Heero's never been agreeable before. <I certainly hope that I'm starting to rub off on him.>
After landing, Duo and Heero proceeded to cover their gundams with camouflage netting. Heero opted to stay with the mobile suits while Duo ran in the direction where he thought he saw the reflection. Heero was starting to get relaxed when Duo suddenly burst out of the bushes in full speed. The reason for Duo's sudden flight made itself clear as a roar echoed through the forest and a large albino lioness appeared at his heels. Heero just managed to whip his gun out of his belt when a boy their age appeared from where the lioness had come bearing a rifle, cocked and ready.
Heero dropped his gun and raised his arms and he saw Duo do the same. He studied the boy before them. He was tall and slim, definitely well-muscled from the way he moved and from the way he held the gun, they could see that he was not going to hesitate the use it. He couldn't see the boy's face clearly, though, long brown bangs obscured almost half his face and only one eye was clearly visible, depending on the angle you're looking from.
"Who are you and what are you doing here?"
"Uh..., we're j-just pa-passing by, he he," Duo said, "we'll be leaving now, if you will."
The boy was distracted by the voice and Heero moved in. He grabbed the gun from the boy, but despite that, the boy managed to roll and grab the gun that Heero had discarded and in the end, Heero was once again facing the barrel of a loaded gun.
"Trowa, what are you doing?!"
Heero looked beyond the brown-haired boy to see a smaller boy wearing a crown approach. The boy had golden blonde hair and sparkling blue-green eyes. He had a disarming expression on his face and looked wide-eyed at the two princes.
"Keep back, Prince Quatre," Trowa said, "these are intruders in the royal forests. Xyla warned me of their approach."
He nodded in the direction of the albino lioness. The lioness had taken to standing guard over Duo who had fallen on his rump when he tripped over a root. He was now turning a little blue and shaking like a leaf as the lioness proceeded to sniff him.
"Trowa, they don't look too dangerous," Prince Quatre said as he approached Heero. "So what brings you to my kingdom?"
"We're just stopping by," Heero said evenly.
"With gundams? I think you're OZ spies." Trowa cocked his gun at Heero.
"We're not OZ," Heero said flatly.
"I believe him, Trowa," Quatre said, putting his hand on the gun's barrel and pushing it away. "I'm sorry for the scare and the rude welcome. I'm Prince Quatre Raberba Winner and this is my friend Duke Trowa Barton."
"I'm Prince Heero Yuy."
"And I'm the soon-to-be-lion-food Prince Duo Maxwell. HELP!"
Quatre and Trowa laughed as Xyla licked Duo's face. Duo fainted when the lioness looked at him and bared her teeth in what could only be called a lion's version of a smile.

"Cinq kingdom?"
Heero nodded as he watched Quatre's expression change from thoughtful to worried. They had all gone to the Winner palace so that they could talk in peace and relative safety. They were now currently in an outdoor sitting area where a tea spread had been set. Duo had calmed down after Trowa explained that Xyla was a pet and was now feeding the lioness meat cakes under the table.
"The last thing I heard from the Cinq kingdom was that the Princess Relena was throwing a big party to celebrate her sixteenth birthday," Quatre said as he sipped his tea. "That was about three days before OZ occupied the kingdom. Until now, nobody knows what really happened there. It was as if the Cinq kingdom ceased to exist."
"That's why I was being sent to Cinq," Heero said leaning forward on the table. "To find out what happened to the royal family."
"Wait a minute!" Prince Duo said looking at Heero angrily. "You wouldn't tell me what your mission was, but you're willing to tell them?"
"Because there is nothing to be gained by telling you what the mission was."
Duo flipped his braid over his shoulder angrily. <Some friend,> he thought as he started a slow boil.
"So what are you going to do now?" Trowa asked scratching behind Xyla's ear.
"I continue to Cinq."
"What do you mean 'I?' You mean 'we.' I am not about to go back to your kingdom to tell your father that I let you die out on a mission. He'll have me killed!" Duo said fuming.
"Still, you could stay the night...."
"Thank you, but no, Prince Quatre," Prince Heero said, standing up. "It's still a long journey to Cinq."
"I understand. I will try to look for more information on the situation of the kingdom and relay it to you," Quatre said as he stood and shook hands with Prince Heero. Turning to Prince Duo he said, "take care of him."
"Hey, that's what I'm here for," Duo said and he winked at Quatre and gave him the thumbs up sign.
He was about to say something more when he felt a hand give his braid a good yank.
"Oowww, Heero! That hurts."
"We have better get moving."
Quatre and Trowa just shook their heads as they watched the two depart.

Princes Heero and Duo flew out for another three hours before night descended. They landed once again in a deep forest and decided to make camp for the night. Duo prepared dinner while Heero checked their respective gundams to make sure that they had enough fuel and energy to fight when they do get to Cinq. They turned in early, putting out the fire and keeping their guns close in case someone or something got too curious. At around midnight, Duo decided that he needed to get something to drink.
He walked over to the canteen that he kept in his pack when a puff of smoke appeared out of nowhere. He took a step or two back and scrambled over to his partner when a figure came out of the smoke. Heero had barely managed to point the gun at the figure when the moonlight illuminated his face.
It was another boy about their age.
<Why the hell have we been running into all sorts of people today?> He thought as he watched the boy's movements. His eyes were mere slits as they narrowed in concentration and he saw that he had his black hair pulled back into a ponytail. He was gesturing a bit and Heero was about to call out to him when he felt himself freeze and fall over sideways completely paralyzed.
"Didn't think you'd run into a magician now did you?" The boy laughed as he looked at the hapless boy glaring up at him. "Now, where is that girl you were with...!!!"
"I am not a GIRL!!!!" Duo said angrily as he pointed his gun at the boy's head point blank. "Now let my friend go and don't try any of that hocus pocus on me."
The boy snapped his fingers and Heero immediately felt the sensation return to his limb. He rubbed his arms gingerly and grudgingly thanked Duo for getting him out of his predicament. Maybe having the long-haired prince around wasn't such a bad idea after all.
"Who are you and what do you want?" Heero asked evenly.
"I am the great magician Chang Wufei. It just so happens that you are camping near the clearing where I gather herbs and I decided to investigate. I should ask you the same question."
"I'm Heero and the one pointing the gun at you is Duo."
"Let me guess, you are on your way to the Cinq kingdom, aren't you?"
The two gaped at the magician who gave them a self-satisfied grin. Duo started to babble and Heero gave him a sharp tug on his braid to shut him up. Heero started to point the gun at him when he lifted his hand.
"That would not be the best move Prince Heero. Otherwise, how will you know what happened to the royals of Cinq?"
Duo plopped down on the grass, for once, at a total loss for words. Heero eyed the magician and still kept the gun trained at him in case he decides to do something really stupid.
"I'm not a member of OZ, and as to why I know about your mission, it's because I scry. Every good magician needs to do some scrying once in a while since we don't like going out so much." Wufei said sitting down on the grass and crossing his arms.
Heero lowered the gun and eyed him. From what he could read from his body language, he knew that Wufei wasn't lying. He sat down beside Duo and looked at their visitor.
"So, what can you tell me about the royals of Cinq?"
"Well, the prince and the princess are alive that's for sure, but it seems as though the whole capital has been knocked out by sleeping gas. A lot of Leos are guarding the capital, as far as I could tell. The interesting thing is that the princess doesn't seem to have been knocked out by the gas. It's more like a spell." Wufei tapped his finger on his temple thoughtfully. "It looked like it was supposed to be a spell to kill, but instead, it made her sleep."
"Waiting for a handsome prince to kiss her awake?" Duo asked eagerly.
Wufei shrugged. "Probably, but who knows? It's always worked in the past, I guess there's no reason why it shouldn't work now."
Duo and Wufei turned to see Heero go back to his sleeping bag and was asleep almost as soon as he laid his head down. Wufei raised an eyebrow and looked at the long-haired prince beside him.
"Is he always like this?"
"Yup," Duo said as he continued to watch Heero's rhythmic breathing.
"How could you stand it?"
"I've gotten used to it, I guess," Duo said as he moved to his own sleeping bag. "But then again, I've known him practically forever."
"Ah," Wufei nodded in understanding. "Anyway, good luck with your mission."
With that, the Chinese boy disappeared in another puff of smoke leaving a sleeping Prince Heero and a very much rattled Prince Duo behind.

"Geez, he wasn't kidding when he said that the place was crawling with Leos." Duo said as they monitored the borders of the Cinq kingdom from afar.
"At least we got a fair warning," Heero activated the arm buttons on all his armaments. He couldn't waste time waiting for them to warm up during battle. This way, he could just fire them as needed.
"There are hundreds of Leos about. Dr. J must really want to see you dead when he sent you to this mission."
"Duo, what did you used to call yourself?"
"Uh," Duo said nervously, "the God of Death?"
"Yeah, well, live up to the name," Heero said as he fired his boosters. "Because it's time we went in."
Duo could only watch as Heero plunged deep into the ranks of Leos and cursed. He fired up his own boosters and plunged after Wing Zero, double thermal scythe ready. The Leos were like a wave that descended on them and at that time, Duo knew that they will never make it out alive. There were simply too many Leos and even with Wing Zero's double laser cannon, and his thermal scythe, they still wouldn't be a match.
Wing sliced Leos left and right using the thermal blade and shot incoming Leos with the double gatling guns on its shoulders. Duo tried his best to cover the rear by slicing up incoming Leos. Duo saw too late the Leo about fifty meters away aiming a laser cannon at him. He braced himself for the penetrating shot and was amazed when it never came.
Duo scanned the immediate area and saw that the Leo had been turned into a smoking pile of scrap metal. Behind it, he saw a gundam that had what looked like a thermal trident and dragons for hands. He thought that it was another enemy when a face popped into his visual monitor.
"I knew you'd be needing help."
"Wufei!" Duo cried out in relief. "Where did you...?"
"Hey, even a magician needs some modern technology around," Wufei smiled as he sliced up an incoming Leo. "Cover Prince Heero's rear. He needs all the help he can get."
Duo nodded as flew back to Wing's side. Heero was struggling to defeat four Leos that had backed him into the corner. Duo made short work of the with one sweep of the scythe. They were still a good few miles from the capital and several hundred Leos were still standing within those few miles.
"Heero, are your energy cells still okay?"
"Baka, you're gonna get me killed one of these days."
Duo fumed as Heero flew off again without answering him. <After this mission, I really need to re-evaluate my friendship with this suicidal maniac,> he thought as he sliced an incoming Leo. <Otherwise, I might meet my maker a lot sooner than I would want to.>
Shinigami and Wing stood back to back and was surrounded by Leos. Duo set his jaw as he made his gundam grip the scythe in both hands. If they had to go down, they would go down fighting OZ. There was no shame in that. He raised the scythe as the first Leos descended upon them.
The sound of rapid gunfire diverted his attention to his left and he saw a red gundam armed to the teeth firing away at the Leos while a black gundam with twin scimitars sliced up six Leos consecutively. Two faces appeared at the monitor and Duo felt his heart leap into his throat.
"Prince Quatre! Duke Trowa!"
"Looks like we're just in time," Prince Quatre said happily. "Look, you and Prince Heero get to the capital. Trowa and I will take care of the Leos."
"Gotcha. You got that Heero?"
"Well, then, let's go!"
Wing and Shinigami's boosters kicked in and they sped towards the capital with gundams Sandrock and Heavyarms providing cover. Gundam Nataku joined the two soon and they effectively provided enough of a screen to keep pursuing Leos at bay.
When they reached the capital, Duo noted the bodies littering the streets. He found an empty square and set his gundam gingerly down. Climbing down from the cockpit, he rushed up to one person and was surprised to see that he was alive and just sleeping. He opened his comm channel before Heero could land.
"Heero, don't land on any of the bodies! They're alive!"
Heero soon joined him and they were off running into the palace. When they reached the main entrance way, they were greeted with gunshots. They dove for hiding places and waited. Duo saw a movement and tracked the soldier. Only one.
"Heero, I'll take care of this guy, you get to the Peacecrafts."
He saw Heero nod and he whipped out his gun and fired at the soldier while Heero ran into the castle's main hall. It took Duo five minutes and ten bullets before he was able to bring down the soldier. He got the gun and ran into the hall after Heero.
<Damn, he must have freed them all already and is probably celebrating while I'm standing around here looking for ambushes.>
He heard a low groan and saw a body lying on the ground a small dart protruding from his neck. There was no mistaking the green tank top and black cycling shorts. Someone had gotten Heero. Duo blended into a dark corner of the room and watched as a woman in a maroon OZ uniform and glasses go up Heero and laughed as she looked at the boy.
"So the savior of the Peacecrafts fall into the hands of the OZ," the woman laughed. "Never underestimate the power of a woman...." she never got to finish the sentence as her eyes rolled up in their sockets and she fell senseless on the floor.
"Or the usefulness of a chair leg," Duo added as he tossed the piece of wood on the floor.
He went to Heero and pulled out the dart from his neck. "Heero, hey, Heero, wake up." He tried snapping his fingers at him, but he still wouldn't wake up. "Wake up, dammit," he growled as he proceeded to shake him awake. Heero was starting to come to his senses, albeit slowly. Duo looked around frantically for anything that could jolt his partner awake. Spying a room at the end of the hall, he sprinted towards it, knowing that if this didn't wake him up, nothing will.
Heero sat bolt upright and stared angrily at the gleaming violet eyes and at the bucket that Duo had in his hand. The water that he had tossed at Heero was cold enough to freeze.
"What'd you do that for?"
"To get you awake," Duo said, twirling the bucket over his head. "Look, you get to the Peacecrafts and I'll take care of this sneaky woman."
Heero glared angrily at Duo and sprinted towards the bedchambers. Whatever happened the mission must be completed. He turned the last corner and was about to go through the door when a sword whipped out in line with his neck.
Heero's training kicked in and he slid under the blade and into a running position. He heard applause and the lights in the great hall turned up to show a smiling Treize Khushrenada who then waved his rapier at him like a snake waiting to strike. Heero felt for his gun and cursed when he didn't find it in his belt.
<I must have lost it when I fell.>
"Bravo, young prince, bravo," Treize mocked as he posed in the en garde position. "Let's see how well you do against a man with a sword."
Heero glanced around frantically for a weapon and his eyes fixed on a saber fixed on the mantel about five feet away. He lunged for it as Treize struck. He managed to get his hands on the hilt and winced as Treize's blade bit deeply into his shoulder. He unsheathed it and held the sword at ready careful not to slip on the blood oozing from his shoulder.
Treize noted the awkward way that Heero held the sword and lunged in rapid succession at him, sure of victory. Heero blocked the thrusts he could and accepted the others and soon he was bleeding from several shallow wounds all over his body.
A maniacal grin appeared on Treize's face as he renewed his offense. "Your three friends that you left to cover you are gone," he said as he came body to body with Heero. "Their combined powers weren't enough to stop my army."
Heero gritted his teeth as Treize proceeded to force him to his knees. He was at a disadvantage and he knew it. Treize was much better with swords than him and he was tiring from blood loss.
"No one can save you now, not even your little long-haired friend."
Heero heard a screech and a sickening thump and his blood boiled over. Duo. Adrenaline pumped into his veins and he was able to force Treize to release the hold. Duo. He looked at Treize and all he could see was the battered and broken body of the one person who had been there with him since day one. Treize lunged and he side-stepped it at the same time managing to score a deep, long gash on his opponent's right thigh. Still, he could not see Treize, the part of Prince Heero Yuy that was most human screamed at the man that had taken his best friend away from him. The one that Treize now fought was the perfect soldier -- devoid of emotion, ready to kill and die for the mission.
Treize looked at his opponent. There was something different. The boy's eyes have become lifeless and cold when he implied that the long-haired prince was dead. From the flawless way that this boy now fought, Treize knew that he shouldn't have mentioned him. The boy had become a perfect killing machine. Treize knew that the fight was over when the saber pierced his chest, into his left lung, and out his back. Almost immediately blood flooded into his lungs.
Treize coughed out blood and looked at the cold blue eyes staring at him. "Touché," he breathed as he collapsed dead at Heero's feet.
Heero shut his eyes and the perfect soldier receded to the background. He saw the body at his feet and looked at the doorway leading to the stairways that connected the royal bedchambers. He sprinted the stairs and passed the hallway where Mirialdo Peacecraft and Lucrezia Noin lay in their sleep. He reached the topmost bedchamber and looked inside.
On the bed lay the princess destined to become the Queen of the World -- Relena Peacecraft. He knelt beside her and stroked her cheek softly. She looked so peaceful in her sleep.
Prince Heero braced himself and lowered his lips onto hers and melted into the kiss that would revive her as well as the slumbering Cinq kingdom.
Heero saw her eyes flutter slightly and watched as her eyes registered his presence. Almost in an instant, his eyes bulged as Relena wrapped him in an embrace that verily cut off his air supply.
"Oh, Prince Heero, my hero!" Relena purred to his ear.
"Let go! You're choking me!" Heero gasped as he pushed the very grateful female away from him.
"This means that we're destined to be wed!" she said happily as she got up off the bed.
"Wait a minute," Heero said, holding up his hands. "My mission was to revive you so that you could rule Cinq once more."
"Oh, pish, as much as I love Cinq, I would love to spend the rest of my life with you!"
Heero dodged as Relena tried to pounce on him and ran down the stairs with Relena in hot pursuit. He reached the hall where he expected to see Duo's body, but instead, he saw Duo standing over an unconscious woman.
"Hey, Heero, why are you running...?!" Duo started and gulped as he also ran for his life when he saw Relena running in his direction with the light of love dancing in her eyes.
"She's the one you had to revive?" Duo asked him frantically as they ran.
"Don't ask."
They ran for until they got to their gundams and they found the other pilots gathered there as well. The other three looked at them quizzically and nearly jumped out of their skins when they heard Relena.
"Wow! Five handsome young men to choose from for my future king!"
That statement was enough to send all five pilots into their mobile suits and they were all soon in the air and heading for home as fast as they could leaving a forlorn Relena alone in the courtyard.
"Well, Heero, how was the mission?" Dr. J asked over the visual link.
"Ninmu Kanyro, and you owe me big for this one."
"I know," and with that Dr. J blinked out of the screen.
"Women, bah," the other four pilots heard Wufei say, "they are nothing but trouble."
"Well, I wouldn't go that far," Duo said, "but that Relena, geez, you'd think that she's desperate or something."
"I'm just glad that we're all out of there and in one piece," Quatre said as they flew over the forest. "Hey, why don't we all stop at the palace for some rest?"
"Great idea," the pilots all said in unison as they sped post haste for Winner palace.

At the Cinq kingdom, in the tallest tower to be exact....
"I see Relena didn't take losing five prospective kings in one day too well," Noin said as she felt Mirialdo's arm snake around her waist.
"Well, she still has a lot to learn," he replied, planting a kiss on her cheek.
"Hmmm," she said, enjoying the moment. "Which reminds me, what was it you wanted to ask me?"
"Well," Noin said, shifting herself in Mirialdo's embrace, "you looked like you were going to ask me something before we were... you know...."
"Knocked unconscious?"
"Yeah," she blushed.
Mirialdo groped in his pants pocket and his hand settled around a small box. He breathed a sigh of relief. It was still there.
"I wanted to ask you...," he said going down on one knee and holding out the open box to show her the ring inside. "Will you marry me Lucrezia Noin?"
Noin was speechless as Mirialdo took out the ring and placed it on her left hand. Noin took his face into her hands and kissed him deeply. Mirialdo laughed when their lips parted and he saw her blush a deeper shade of red.
"I'll take that as a yes," he said as he wrapped her tightly in his arms and their lips met once again.
Down at the courtyard, the forlorn Relena in now going into a fit and has started to stomp around angrily and screaming.

------------------------- The End! -------------------------



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