Disclaimer: I hope by now you know I don’t own Gundam Wing.
In the Nic of Time-Chapter Nine
Two terrorists and three dead bodies on the grounds, the palace of the Sank kingdom was evacuated immediately. The Gundam pilots, they girls and the remaining two time-travelers relocated their efforts to a dingy little coffee shop just outside the area deemed unsafe by authorities. The twelve spilt into two groups, each group sitting at a booth.
In one booth, Relena sat sobbing, next to Heero who was unsuccessfully trying to comfort her and discuss plans at the same time. On his other side Vingt stared at nothing and drank cup after cup of coffee. Across from him, Duo and Trowa spoke softly to Heero reasoning that if that for every bomb, there must have been a member of the terrorist group. They had found four bombs, and three people, there must be more. Across from Relena and next to Duo sat Hilde, saying nothing.
In the other booth, adjacent to the first one, Dorothy sat next to Quatre, with Kitty on the other side. Across from them was Wufei, Sally and Catherine. Dorothy, Quatre, Wufei and Sally were also discussing plans, and every so often would confer with the other booth’s inhabitants. Catherine wished she was some place else, and Kitty was writing a rather long letter on a legal pad she bought in a neighboring drug store.
Eventually, they all came to the same conclusion: they had to get back in the palace.
In was not difficult for Relena to get through to her brother and Noin, who then cleared the group to get back in. Before entering the palace, Kitty folded up her letter and mailed it, making sure no one saw who it was addressed to. Dr. J. The letter politely asked him for two favors. 1)Never build an instant movement transporter, and 2)Don’t allow food or beverages near machinery, no matter how thirsty or hungry someone may get. The letter then listed the reasoning behind this, no details left out, and was signed Katrina D. Winner, pilot ‘Sandstone.’
With that, she went out meet her fate.
Jerry hid sometimes in the shadows, sometimes in rooms, closets, under the bed. He knew he couldn’t get caught, he was the only one left. He had seen when Breyer killed the girl, and when her friend shot him, he saw the blond girl, the crying girl and the Gundam pilot, too, and was careful not to get caught by any of them. Ben got away, but tried to kill the ‘king’ and shot some kid instead. He was arrested. Hunter was nabbed by the Chinese Gundam pilot, 05, and some lady, meaning Jerry was the only one left. Revenge would be his, hopefully he could knock off the blue haired kid who killed Breyer, and the Chinese boy, who caught Hunter. Ben was sloppy, it was his own fault, Jerry wouldn’t bother avenging him, just the other two. Jerry waited, running through the shadows, it was only a matter of time, the meddling brats returned to the palace, probably going after him. Well, he’d show them. It was amazing what one could with old TVs, electrical wiring and fertilizer.
Seeing as how they could cover more ground if they split up, three groups were made. One was Heero, Relena, Vingt and Kitty, the second was Trowa, Duo and Hilde, the third was Quatre, Dorothy, Wufei and Sally. Catherine had decided to not go back and stay out of everyone’s way. Relena would have preferred to go with her, but she was there ticket in.
Quatre and his group returned to where Breyer had been killed, in case a member of his group decided to find him. Trowa, Duo and Hilde went to the lower levels where a bomb had been found, and tried to retrace their steps from there. Heero’s group went on the offensive, looking for a person. Well, Heero went on the offensive. Relena just trailed behind him, scared, Kitty was thinking, and Vingt was only half there.
Heero looked for suspicious things, such as something out of place, and spoke to every guard they passed, grilling them for details, anything at all they could remember. He was getting fed up with Vingt and Kitty, they were supposed to help, maybe look for clues and keep their eyes open.
“Kitty, Vinnie, we have a mission, do something constructive.”
Vingt glared at him. “Don’t call me that,” he hissed.
“But Wing introduced you as Vinnie,” Relena began.
“Wing always called me Vinnie, it’s not my name, just her nickname for me. Her nickname.”
“Fine,” Heero growled, “what do we call you?”
“Vingt. Vingt Maxwell, if you must know.”
“He’s Duo and Hilde’s,” Relena said, turning to Heero. “She’s,” Relena pointed to Kitty, “Quatre’s daughter.”
“You knew?” Heero asked.
“Trowa told me.”
“I think Trowa’s upset because he didn’t have a future kid,” Kitty mused, “Trente broke his arm but the bones healed wrong so he couldn’t pilot a mobile suit any more, so he quit coming to see Dr. J with us, hence he wasn’t there when my water spilled on the transporter, and flung us here.”
“This never would have happened if we hadn’t fought over who had be the guinea pig,” Vingt said. “Wing and Nuef would still be alive.”
“Would have?” Kitty asked. “It’s not going to happen, period.”
The other three turned to question her.
“Okay, number one, how did Nuef get his name? It means roughly the same thing as Lucratsia’s old last name which she dropped after her marriage, even though she didn’t want to. Now how is Nuef going to get his name? He’s named after the guy who saved his highness. Number two, what happened at this party? Nothing, the bombs didn’t work, so no one ever knew about them. Now what’s happened at the party? This whole mess? How did Relena die? In our future, Breyer killed her in an attack, but now he hasn’t lived that long, so it won’t happen. And everything after that concerning her family will be different. Meaning everything concerning Wing, including time-traveling and dying will be different, too. Going by how much time you and me and Nuef and Trente spend together, we’ll be different, too. Our. Future. Will. Not. Happen. We already changed it.”
“So I’m not going to get killed either?” Relena asked.
“Not unless Heero makes good on that threat,” Kitty said with a grin.
“So, I’m gonna see Wing-chan again?” Vingt asked hopefully.
“Not quite, see the Vingt Maxwell that’s gonna be born in three years will see the Wing that’s gonna be born in three years, but he won’t be you, he won’t have you’re memories or your experiences, but he will be you, he’ll have your personality, your genetics and your background.”
“But somewhere out there, there will be a Wing-chan and Vinnie-kun spending ‘23 hours a day together’?”
Kitty smiled. “Yep, with a little Kitty, Trente and Nuef thrown in for good measure.” Vingt smiled, too.
Heero lost interest in the conversation a long time ago and left to complete his mission, and Vingt, Kitty, and Relena were just seeing this now.
“Heeeeerroooooo!” Relena called running down the hallway he had disappeared down. When she was a good distance away, Jerry made his move. He clamped his hand over Kitty’s mouth and pulled his gun out, pressing it to her temple. He held her in front of him, so that to shot him, Vingt would have to shoot Kitty first. A few quick shots to Vingt’s legs and he was down, injured but alive. Kitty tried to scream, but her shouts were muffled by Jerry’s hand. He dragged her to a near by room where the makeshift TV/fertilizer explosive was, and tied her to a bed post with electrical wiring, sheets and old clothing. Then he went back out to the hall, to fetch to Vingt, who had managed to crawl a few feet, but not very far. Vingt was tied to the post on the other end of the bed in the same fashion.
Jerry tapped the TV-bomb. He had rigged pushing the power button on the TV would begin a chain reaction giving five to ten minutes to detonation. The destructive scope would not be much, but it would be enough to kill those two and anyone too close.
“I had wanted to get rid of the Chinese boy, but you two will have to do.” Jerry pushed the button and ran to put as much distance between himself and the explosion. Only a small part of the palace would be hit. “See you when you’re atoms!” Jerry called after himself.
“There’s no way one bomb will turn us to atoms,” Vingt snorted. Vingt and Kitty began to systematically get out of their bonds.
When Relena caught up with Heero, he looped an arm around her waist and pulled her to him, but quickly relaxed his hold, and moved his hand to hers. They walked together, silently, still keeping their eyes opened, not realizing that their quarry was far behind him and had already caught Kitty and Vingt.
“It was right here,” Duo said, pointing to where he and Hilde had last seen a bomb.
“Security confiscated it, Duo,” Trowa said, “we’re looking for clues, not the hard evidence.”
“Like what?” Duo asked, and Trowa didn’t have an answer.
“Finger prints?” Hilde guessed.
“How would we see them?” Trowa asked, sarcastic. Embarrassed, Hilde stared at her feet, and the group accomplished nothing.
“Someone was here,” Sally announced.
“How would you know, you weak woman? You were not here until recently”
Sally turned and glared at Wufei. “The chalk, Wufei! Wing and that guy were outlined in chalk before the bodies were moved, and the chalk has been smeared. Someone obviously has been here, we’re too late.”
“So what do we do now, Miss Po?” Dorothy asked.
“We have conclusive proof that someone is still here. Either the guards will have record of sending someone here after the outlines were drawn, or we’ll know for sure there is another terrorist still in the palace. We have to get to security.” Sally said. Wufei scowled, and Quatre and Dorothy nodded. Time to go.
“You two,” a guard said to Heero and Relena, “a call has been made for complete evacuation, you have to leave.” Before Relena could protest that she was Relena Peacecraft and the princess of the Sank kingdom and no guard to order her, he gestured to her and said “Especially you, princess. Orders from your brother. As for you 01, you will be detained if you cause any problems, you also have orders to leave. 04 and 05 have found reason to believe terrorists are still in the building.”
As Heero raised his hand to paralyze the guard by hitting him in a precise location at the back of his neck, another guard grabbed Heero’s hand, pulled it behind him, and cuffed his hands together, behind his back.
“Heero!” Relena cried, unable to do anything to help him. The two were forcefully evacuated.
Unaware of the newest orders, the newly freed Kitty and Vingt stared at the bomb.
“We have to warn them,” Kitty said, determined.
“We? Newsflash, Kitty, I can’t walk. You warn them and I’ll try to disable the bomb, we only have a few minutes left.”
Kitty stared at him. “You want me to leave you here?!?”
“Do you have a choice? Go, you have your job and I have mine.”
“You don’t know how to disable a bomb!”
“How hard could it be?” he asked, and then remembering something, began chuckling.
“What?” Kitty asked, not following what was so funny.
“‘Hope nothing goes wrong’ huh?” Vingt asked Kitty.
“Well, how was I supposed to know?!?”
“You don’t need to get so defensive, Kitty.”
“Sorry, Vingt, I guess I’m just a little scared. Let’s face it, we’ve never faced anything like this before and if Nuef and Wing are a show the trend we never will again.”
“Be honest, you knew from the start we were never going to get home.”
“I knew we wouldn’t get home because of the lack of technology, but Vingt, I never thought for a moment that we would die here.”
“You ready, Kat?”
“No, but let’s go anyway.”
Vingt rolled his eyes. “You’re going, I’m staying,” he said. Looking at him with tearing eyes, Kitty stood up and saluted.
“Go for it, Two-Zero,” she said and disappeared down the hall. Running down the corridor, Kitty was dismayed that she didn’t pass a soul. Grimacing she knew there was only one thing she could do now. “Help!” she screamed, and continued looking, shouting out every few seconds. Finally, she found a guard, “You gotta help me,” she said breathlessly, too frightened to speak with her usual tones. Two of her friends were already dead, and another would surely die if she didn’t do something fast.
“Get out of here, girlie,” the guard said.
“Wait, you don’t understand--”Kitty starting saying, but was thrown over the guard’s shoulder and he began to run. “No, my friend is still in there! Stop!” But the guard didn’t stop.
Vingt ripped the top off of the TV-bomb. An assortment of television parts, wiring, fertilizer and other household items were in it, and Vingt knew he was in way over his head. “Better just clip a few wires, and take my chances,” he murmured to himself. “I really didn’t think this through,” he muttered, wondering where he could possibility find a part of scissors. Racing against whatever time he had left aganst the bomb, Vingt began dumping out drawers of desks and nightstands, grateful that of all the places someone could be trapped in, it was a fully stocked bedroom, TV, clothes, all the convinces. Now if only there were some scissors.... “Gotcha!” He cried, snapping the scissors open and shut. He turned back to the bomb and tried to crawl towards it, dragging his injured legs behind him.
And the bomb exploded.
Kitty was dumped on the ground in front of the coffee shop, she jumped to her feet and began screaming that Vingt was still in the palace. Looking over his shoulder, into the distance, she could see smoke coming from the palace. “Vingt,” she whispered. “No.” She collapsed, staring at the ground. “NO! First Trente got hurt, then Wing died, then Nuef, now Vingt, all under my watch, the fact that we’re here in the first place was my fault.” She curled into a fetal position on the asphalt parking lot and cried. Her friends, her squad, her family, her world, all were lost to her forever, and fate, cruel fate spared her life.
In the coffee shop, Heero, Relena, Duo, Hilde, Trowa, Quatre, Dorothy, Sally and Wufei watched, looking out the window in silence, knowing nothing they could do could ease her pain. Kitty disappeared that night, with only her gown and a pad of legal paper to her name, which no one knew for sure, save three people who wouldn’t tell.
“You’re leaving too, then?” Relena asked. Heero didn’t answer, just continued packing. “So you have work with the Preventers, Heero, I’m not mad or anything, I just wish you didn’t have to leave so suddenly. It’s going to be awfully lonely now, you and the others have been here for months, and now you’re all just leaving? Can’t Hilde at least stay?”
“You’ll have to talk to her about that, but Duo said the Preventers found them a apartment.” Heero said, carefully placing his laptop computer in a case.
“Are you going to come back?” she asked softly.
“Don’t I always?” he countered, turning to look at her.
“Because I following you,” she snorted.
“This time you won’t have to,” he assured her.
“When will I see you again?”
“I don’t know. Later.”
Relena walked away, determined that Heero would not see her cry. She realized about an hour later that she was being silly, and that she should at least say good-bye, but he had already left. Walking aimlessly around the mansion Relena grew depressed. She missed him, everything about him. Jerk. She thought after something crossed her mind. Bet he’s going to miss my birthday this year. Just like every other year. Jerk. After walking a while she came to her study, where she did most of her at-home political work, preparing speeches and the like. Sitting on her desk was a teddy bear with a folded piece of paper on its lap. She picked up the piece of paper. “I say it again,” she muttered to herself, “Next time give it to me in person.”
Author Notes: Not done yet, I have a few loose ends to tie up in Chapter 10 and then the epilogue. And about Relena in the end of this chapter, she tends to take tragedy in stride, I mean, for crying out loud, her father dying bothered her for about half an episode. (At least, she didn’t dwell on it and feel sorry for herself, she set out to make chances in the system that failed her family, but that’s not the point right now.) So that’s how I justify her not really thinking much about the three dead people and disappearing girl. Also, Heero and the other G-boys leaving is my attempt to make this fic work with ‘Blind Target.’ I didn’t see any part of that until after I started writing and posting this fic that BT took place in April 197, (that’s why I started putting in the dates, to that this ends before BT begins.). By the way, does anyone else just love the part in BT where Heero reaches over and puts a few locks of Relena’s hair behind her ear? (The almost-kiss scene is cute too, but I like the hair one better because Relena looks more surprised.) ‘Course, the only Japanese characters I can read is Bejiita from DBZ’s name, so for all I know that part could be a daydream or something.