by Midii Une
Midii brushed out her shining, dark gold hair and pinned it up in a French twist, pulling out two strands of hair and shaping them into curls on her cheekbones. Carefully she applied smoky gray eyeshadow to her lids and an abundance of black mascara to darken her light eyelashes and she added some eyeliner to make herself look exotic. She pouted at herself in the mirror and put on her deep red lipstick.
“Ahh, you are parfaitment, mademoiselle,” she told herself, blowing a little kiss at the mirror. If Adrian saw her now he’d never recognize her she thought. Then she shrugged, he was gone from her life and so much the better. She smoothed down the tightfitting, blue-gray silk dress that matched her eyes.
Midii needed a job and with her sophisticated look and the added touch of a French accent she was sure that no one else stood a chance of getting hired as the makeup artist (artiste, she amended mentally) at the upscale salon in the city. After all she knew more about makeup than any magazine cover girl. Knew all its ins and outs and how with just a touch here or there she could change her entire identity. Her lack of credentials would be but a minor detail.
Or so she thought.
“We’d just adore to have you, Mademoiselle Une. But it is our policy, you must have one personal reference,” the salon owner said.
Midii bit her lip softly in consternation and thought quickly. She needed a reference and she needed one now. She wanted this job. It was time to try again, to try and start a real life as she’d always meant to do. Suddenly she brightened and reached into her small satin purse and pulled out a crumpled slip of paper.
“Mais oui,” she said, smiling brightly. “I understand. Please don’t hesitate to call my dear friend -- she glanced unobtrusively at the paper -- Cathrine. Yes, Cathrine Bloom. Here is her number. I can start Monday, then?”
“Of course. I know our patrons will simply adore you Mademoiselle Une. I will contact Miss Bloom sometime tomorrow,” the man said, shaking her hand enthusiastically. The girl was so elegant and sophisticated that he knew she would be in demand and her knowledge of cosmetics had been incredible.
He couldn’t believe his luck that someone like Midii Une had shown up for the interview.
“Damn, damn, damn,” Midii cursed, as she dropped her smile and nearly stalked out of the salon. “I have to contact that girl, Cathrine.”
So far the real world was turning out to be a lot like the world of espionage and double-dealing that she was trying to leave behind. Must she always be scrambling to cover her tracks following every lie? Still, it shouldn’t be too difficult to gain this Cathrine Bloom’s sympathy. She had practically begged her to give her a call sometime. Midii glanced at her reflection in the salon window and a truck driver whistled at her as he passed. First she’d have to change her image again, she thought, she certainly didn’t appear to be a sympathetic figure at the moment. Unless of course this Cathrine had a handsome brother . . .
Cathrine looked at the girl in the cafe with sympathetic eyes, she was so glad that she had called. She had stuck in her mind. The younger girl reminded her of Trowa so much, she seemed so hopeless and friendless. Just like Trowa had been when she first met him during the war.
Midii had decided to be semi-truthful with Cathrine. She really was very nice and Midii found herself genuinely liking her. What would it be like to actually have a friend, she wondered wistfully. Someone to have coffee with, to talk about boyfriends with. Someone to watch sad movies with and cry together? Cathrine seemed like she would be
that kind of person and since she was a little older than herself, Midii felt comfortable with her. Most girls her own age were far too immature to make a suitable companion for someone who had lived through as much as she had. But Cathrine seemed different.
“You see, I’m new here on this colony. I came with my boyfriend, the one you saw me with that day,” Midii explained, deciding to let a tear or two slip down her cheek at the mention of Adrian, the story would be more effective that way. She had changed into a grimy sweatshirt and a pair of tattered jeans. Her hair was loose and she wore just a touch of makeup. “I don’t know anyone and I really need this job. He-he promised to take care of me, but . . .”
“Of course I’ll be your reference,” Cathrine said instantly. “I’m just glad you thought of me. I’m sure it took a lot of courage for you to call a total stranger like this. But I’d be happy to help you out. Maybe someday I’ll come into your salon and see how you do. The only makeup I’m good at is clown makeup!”
Midii smiled in relief. She had the reference and she had the job. Maybe she even had a friend. But what in the world could Cathrine mean by “clown makeup?”
Cathrine noticed her puzzled expression and laughed.
“I work at a circus,” she explained.
“Well,” Midii said. “I can give you some makeup tips that you certainly wouldn’t want to use on a clown. Can we get together again, Cathrine? I’d love to get to know you better.”
“Of course Midii. I’ll definitely hold you to those makeup tips. Why don’t we go out for dinner Tuesday night? To celebrate your new job,” Cathrine said, satisfied that she had done her good deed for the day and also gained a new friend. It was hard to get close to many people, traveling as much as she did. Maybe this job would be a new start for this girl, she looked brighter and happier already, that was for sure. Trowa was so wrong to worry so much. There was no reason not to try to befriend people and help them out. And she thought that no one could be ashelpless or harmless as poor little Midii Une.
Stefan Niente peered over the top of his dark glasses and watched intently as his former partner left the cafe and walked away down the street.
“Ah Midii,” he thought in amusement. “I didn’t know how much I missed you.”
It hadn’t been difficult to track her down after talking to that lowlife Adrian she’d been working with. The idiot had no idea what he’d lost but he’d been happy enough to take the bribe money Niente was paying. No, that guy had had no idea that he’d been involved with one of the best “information specialists” ever employed by the former EarthSphere Alliance.
No one was like Midii. He’d been watching her all day and already she’d changed her look twice. If he hadn’t known her so well he would have lost her after the little trip to the salon. She still had it, wrapping that salon owner and that local girl around her little finger and getting exactly what she wanted from them. And all with very little effort. He had been so right to come after her.
He had time to spare, time to watch her and get to know her again. Time to find out how to get to her. It had been three years. Niente hadn’t seen Midii since the end of the war. But when he’d gotten this job he’d known who he needed by his side. She was the perfect partner. But it was too bad she wasn’t a real looker, like that redhead she’d been with. That girl was a knockout, tall and well-built with nonstop curves. Niente liked the voluptuous type. That’s why he’d been partnered with Midii. The higher-ups didn’t like love affairs between the members of spy teams.
Love affairs compromised missions. Oh, they’d kissed once or twice, while posing as a couple at some function or other. But that was all, she looked sweet and delicate as a porcelain figurine. But he hadn’t thought it would be much fun to take a porcelain figurine to bed. Still, he’d be glad to have her back with him. Stefan knew he just wasn’t as good without her. She was the irresistible soft touch that drew them in and he was the iron fist inside the velvet glove. And if he couldn’t talk her into it, there were other ways to persuade her. He touched the pistol in his pocket. She’d always had foolish ideas about having a normal life someday.
But, Stefan thought, running an impatient hand through his wavy, coal-black hair, what the hell was normal? For Midii and himself intrigue was a way of life. And one way or another he’d have to convince her of that. Hell, maybe he’d even get a chance to get acquainted with that sexy new friend of hers. He chuckled softly. It wouldn’t be long
at all before the two of them were back in business. After a moment, he followed after her, at a respectably discreet distance.
It was after they shared stories about losing their younger brothers in the war that Midii and Cathrine became real friends.
“Poor Midii,” Cathrine thought. “She lost three brothers. Her heart must be about broken over it. I know I can never forget Triton. But at least I have Trowa.” She was so thankful for that.
Midii was beginning to be hopeful that her life was actually starting to get on track. She’d told Cathrine some details about her life, leaving out the incriminating parts of course. She was working extra hours because she was in such demand with the customers. She had a tiny little apartment, it wasn’t much, but it was all hers and it had plenty of hot water.
She also had a shadow, but she hadn’t noticed him yet. She was lulled out of her instincts by the normalcy in which she was living and the disuse of her faculties in the flat, unchanging landscape of peacetime.
Then, the inevitable happened.
“I want you to meet my brother,” Cathrine said. “Well, you know that he really isn’t my brother. It’s just that I love him like one. I know that you’ll like him.” 
“Are you trying to set me up with this guy,” Midii teased. Actually, she thought that she might be ready to start seeing someone. “What does he look like?”
“Well, I might be prejudiced,” Cathrine admitted. “But I think he’s very handsome. He’s about 18, like you. Oh and wait until you see his eyes. They make me jealous they’re such a beautiful shade of green. He does tend to forgo the haircuts occasionally, however.”
“He sounds perfect,” Midii said, her attention caught by the mention of green eyes. “So tell me. What is this messy-haired Prince Charming’s name?”
“Midii!! You never take anything seriously,” Cathrine said, laughing in spite of herself at the long-suffering look on her friend’s face. “Trowa. His name is Trowa Barton. He’s out of town now, visiting with some old friends of his. But he’ll be back soon.”
“Geez you guys, what are you waiting for,” Duo asked Heero and Trowa, who had come for a visit to celebrate the grand opening of the second location of Maxwell’s Salvage. “I tell you marriage is great! At least find girl friends. I mean it man, I’m starting to wonder about the rest of you guys.”
The pair of unattached, former Gundam pilots merely eyed their comrade in stony silence.
Heero thought, “There’s no way I’m ever going to get tied down by a woman.”
But, he admitted to himself that Duo seemed extremely happy with Hilde. Heero absently wondered to himself where Relena was right now. Her birthday was right around the corner again . .
Trowa was leaning against the wall and he folded his arms in his classic pose. He dropped his head so his long brown bangs covered his face, and hid his thoughts. Duo was lucky. He’d found that special girl. He didn’t know if he ever would, had really never seen anyone that caused him more than a moment’s notice. Only one girl, besides
Cathrine of course, stuck in his memory. He really couldn’t call it a happy memory. He remembered a little girl lost in a forest. He hadn’t been any more than a child himself. But he’d thought that she was so pretty, had almost reached out to touch her silky hair. But then, as now, his self-control had been extraordinary. Her name was Midii. Midii Une.
“Hey Trowa, wake up man!!” Duo’s exuberant voice interrupted his thoughts and the other pilot’s hand was waving crazily in his face. “Do you want another beer?”
“Yeah. Sure. Why not,” Trowa answered quietly.
“Hey Hilde!! Hilde!” Duo called. “Could you bring us some beers babe?”
Hilde, looking none too thrilled, came out of the kitchen with two beers. She handed one to Heero. He thanked her politely. She handed one to Trowa. He thanked her politely. Duo, however, got only a glare.
“What about me,” Duo pouted.
Hilde yanked on his braid and tugged, pulling his head up to look at her.
“You can get your own beer mister, and you know it,” she said. She winked mischievously at Heero and Trowa, and went back to the kitchen.
“So that’s married life,” Heero stated in a deadpan voice, but a tiny smile crossed his usually stern lips.
Trowa snickered a little.
“Ummm, ‘scuse me,” Duo muttered. He wandered into the kitchen. Soon after strange, suspicious noises began emanating from the other room. When Heero and Trowa heard Hilde start giggling loudly and start to make little shrieking protests they rose from their chairs in unison and suddenly decided to take a walk. Somewhere out of hearing distance.
Was it the things that Cathrine had said about Trowa Barton that had caused her to dream about the past, Midii wondered. It was a Sunday morning, she didn’t have to be anywhere. She lay in bed lazily in the sunlit room and berated herself for continuing to think of him. Nanashi. When would she forget, she asked herself. But instead of trying to make herself forget him she tried to dredge up the old memories, tried to remember what she’d dreamed.
She had been so frightened, not yet quite 10 years old. And they had left her, just abandoned her in that forest. It had been so cold and she had been so alone. She couldn’t even worry about the mission they had given her, to infiltrate the mercenary force employed by the rebellion. She was so frightened that it would get dark and still she would be alone.
And then she found someone. Nanashi. She could still see his green eyes looking at her suspiciously. He’d pointed a gun at her as she’d stepped out of the trees into a clearing, but he’d dropped his hand when he saw she was just a scared little girl. She’d thought he was going to reach out and touch her hair but his hand had dropped to his side and his head had gone down. But not before she’d caught a glimpse of those green eyes, so incredible even a child had had to admire them. She must have looked frightened because he’d taken her by the hand and led her to people. The people she had come to betray. By morning she had already decided that she couldn’t betray him. Not even for Papa or her little brothers.
So she’d given him the cross. The companion transmitter to her game necklace. Sometimes, in her childishness, she’d envied him his lack of a name, his lack of responsibility to anyone but himself. Even hated him for it at times when self-pity for her own dilemma drove her to anger. Later she’d found out he envied her her name, her family.
They were the same. They were each other. She had loved him, she still did. She would never stop.
Things that Cathrine said continued to swirl in her thoughts. Trowa had no family, he worked for the circus as she did. Midii could still see Nanashi sitting beside her on the seat of the truck. Right before all hell broke loose. How he had stared at the circus tents. She’d asked if they made him remember his family. He hadn’t really answered her.
Trowa Barton had green eyes, Cathrine said.
Stop it, she commanded herself. It can’t be. Trowa Barton obviously has a name. He can’t be Nanashi.
To be continued . . .
 Episode Zero which provided much of the inspiration for this story, seems to prove Trowa and Cathrine are truly brother and sister. I believe that it is true. However, they have no way of knowing that in this story and are portrayed as having an informal sibling relationship.