Author’s Note: Finally, my first 6x9, dunno why I have so much trouble writing one of my favorite official couples. Please review.

How Do I Get You Alone?

by Midii Une

Disclaimer: Lyrics to the song “Alone” by B. Steinberg and T. Kelly, Performed by Heart
Gundam Wing and its characters are the property of Bandai, Sunrise and Sotsu Agency, song and characters used without permission!

(I hear the ticking of the clock
I’m lying here with rooms pitch dark)

Lucrezia Noin lay on the narrow cot in her dark room in the barracks at the Lake Victoria Base. The ticking of the clock sounded through the silent blackness.

“Another second, it’s ticking away another second that I’m apart from Zechs,” the 17-year-old OZ Specials candidate thought to herself.

Ever since the moment she had set eyes on her tall blonde classmate her heart was no longer her own. It did not beat to pump blood through her body and keep her alive. It beat only for Zechs. And now she was excruciatingly aware of every second, every minute, every hour that he wasn’t beside her, close enough to touch.

She stared into the darkness of the room. She liked it dark, it was similar to the black velvety darkness of outer space. Lucrezia had intense feelings and once they had burgeoned within her they were there to stay. That was how she felt about Zechs Marquise, and about outer space. Someday perhaps she would have them both . . . the girl, already an experienced soldier and mobile suit pilot lay on the hard mattress, her glossy violet-black hair dark against the crisp white pillowcase. Training here to be an officer was the quickest way to make it to space and it had brought her to Zechs.

(I wonder where you are tonight
No answer on the telephone)

He was off on a training mission, she had already completed a similar one and since it had not been difficult for her, Noin was positive that Zechs would master the skills easily and return to the base safely.

Still she hadn’t been able to keep herself from phoning his room several times that evening to see if he had returned yet. Despite herself a twinge of fear twisted her heart and an unfamiliar nervousness lurked at the edges of her mind. Suppose something happened to him? Perhaps not tonight, but ever, if ever something happened to Zechs how would she live?

(And the night goes by so very slow
I hope that it won’t end though -- Alone)

She looked at the clock, the numbers glowing dimly in the darkness. It wasn’t as late as she had previously thought. Time went by so slowly when he was away and during the brief off-duty times they shared together the minutes flew by like nothing. He would still be back tonight and maybe she could casually drop by his quarters to share a glass of wine and discuss the training mission. She loved to hear his astute, ascerbic wit as he shared the exploits of the other trainees. All of them were inferior to the two of them. The top two students in the class. It made Noin tingle when Zechs would look at her with admiration in those ice-blue eyes of his when she mastered a technique as quickly as he did or pulled off a difficult maneuver with her own graceful style. She was a soldier, but still very much a woman . . .

(Till now I’ve always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you Alone?
How do I get you Alone?)

She had met Zechs Marquise soon after enrolling at Lake Victoria. Noin had been doing something in dangerous disregard of the Academy’s regulations, dangerous because it could get her expelled. The 15-year-old cadet had snuck into the zero-gravity chamber after hours and turned off all the lights. As she floated there in the darkness she imagined she was in outer space, velvety black and quiet and so peaceful. There were no wars up there, no battles amidst the stars. She would fight to keep it that way, she vowed that to herself. Ever since she had been a little girl lying in the grass near her family’s home looking up at the brilliantly-starred darkness she had loved outer space.

The tall blonde soldier with the shadow over his life was seeking the same thing. Peace. He had pulled this off before and considered himself lucky that the zero-gravity chamber was still up and running. Some supervisor had forgotten to shut it down he imagined, so much the better for him. He longed for the tranquility of the darkness and the weightlessness of the chamber. Longed to float in the black nothingness and forget it all, his past, his future, his murdered family.

She wasn’t afraid, even though she was in a half-sleeping, dreamy state, when she bumped into something solid in the darkness. Neither was he. Anyone who would be here like this would have to be a kindred spirit. Someone with a beautiful soul and a mind full of imagination, someone unlike the rest of the students at the Lake Victoria Base. They floated together there in companionable silence not speaking a word, a feeling growing between them, not knowing if the other was man or woman, only knowing that the other understood.

“Who are you,” he asked when they finally stepped out of the chamber, the first time she heard his voice, silky-smooth running through her senses, turning her heart soft and her deep blue eyes liquid.

“Lucrezia Noin,” she answered, holding out a slender hand automatically, gracious manners bred in her as they were in him. Her eyes studied him as if he were a work of art and he was. The face of an angel, long flowing hair the color of sunlight in winter touching the tops of his shoulders and eyes of blue ice that glittered at her as he studied her as well. From that moment she ached for Zechs.

“Ahh, Noin,” he said, a memory stirring. “His Excellency Treize told me about you. He recommended me as a student here as well. He told me you would be the only cadet worth knowing, worth competing with in this place. He was right. As always.”

A tender smile spread over her face. They might be in competition but he would always come first to her, she would take care to never eclipse him as strong as the desire was in her to be first, the desire to see him succeed in anything he might do was already growing stronger than even that.

“I am Zechs Marquise,” he finally said, taking her proffered hand and holding it lightly in his with a touch that lingered on her skin long after they parted.

(You don’t know how long I have wanted
To touch your lips and hold you tight)

Their relationship was friendly and Noin was positive that no one at the Academy or perhaps anywhere meant more to Zechs than she did. There was something dark in his past that seemed to block anything more. He always wore huge sunglasses that hid his eyes and face from her and the world. He talked about getting a mask to hide himself even more thoroughly and though he tone was light and sarcastic as he talked Noin knew that he was seriously considering such a thing.

She wanted so much more than friendship with him. Her nights and dreams were full of thoughts of him. When her eyes were closed and she lay quiet in her bunk, Noin imagined touching his lips gently, reverently with her fingertips, her breath catching in her throat. She would smooth back his soft fair hair and take off the glasses he wore to hide himself, he would never have need to hide from her. She would always love him worshipfully with her whole self. With an ecstatic sigh she would hold on tightly and never, ever let go.

(You don’t know how long I have waited
And I was going to tell you tonight
But the secret is still my own
And my love for you is still unknown

And now here it was, two years later and she still hadn’t told him how she really felt. She remained his best friend, a good companion and nothing more. In that two years were 730 days, 17,520 hours and 1,051,200 seconds and still she kept her secret. Perhaps tonight she would have told if he had returned.

Suddenly there was the soft sound of footsteps in the hall and she bounded off the narrow bed and flew to the door, cracking it open. He was walking wearily down the dim corridor, seeming to her to glow with the radiance of an angel.

“Zechs,” she called softly, peeking around the doorframe at him. “How did it go?”

A smile touched his lips at the sight of her, the tall graceful woman who was so kind to be his friend. “Tiresome and useless of course, as always,” he reported. “Perhaps a few of the others learned something. To me it was just a waste of time, as you said it would be. Goodnight Noin.”

He continued down the hall and she shut her door again, leaning against the wood, wishing she had invited him in, told him how she really felt.

“I’m such a coward,” she berated herself. But she felt that he might reject romantic overtures from her at this point, he didn’t seem to believe himself worthy of love. She sighed, someday, but for now she would be his friend. She would always be his friend and stay by his side no matter what the cost.

Till now I’ve always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you Alone?
How do I get you Alone?

Although he could hardly believe it she had waited for him, through everything a woman could suffer and somehow she had been strong enough. She had been strong enough to see through his desperate attempt to gain peace for Earth and Space the only way he could, she had been strong enough to believe in him even though he had spent a year assuming the masquerade of death.

“Am I strong enough now,” Zechs wondered. “Strong enough to ask her to live this life with me.”

He knew she wouldn’t go away, no matter what. The certainty was the only comfort, the only pure thing in his tragic life. And now with the final threat to peace halted he was at last free, free to live his life, free to love . . . love Noin. He loved her and he needed her as a balance in his life she was so loyal and straightforward and sure of herself while he struggled under the burden of all that life had done to him.

For so long his life had been ruled by his past that Zechs felt like now he didn’t know where to begin to live again. A glance at the dark-haired woman sitting beside him on the shuttle gave him an idea where to start. The look on her face one of contentment and peace and he knew the look was there because he was beside her.

How do I get you Alone?
How do I get you Alone?

They were alone at last. They looked at each other unable to even remember the last time they had touched, the last accidental brush of the fingertips, the last time he had leaned close over her shoulder to exam a set of orders.

Zechs reached out his hand to help her from the shuttle. Her breath almost stopped as she felt the firm clasp of his fingers on hers as he assisted her the low-gravity atmosphere on the Mars colony made her feel like she was floating into his arms.

He lowered his head to hers.

“Zechs,” she whispered, her lids fluttering, her heart beating wildly. “Alone at last.”

His arms tightened around her, crushing her against him and his lips sought hers. Delicious sensations flowing through both of them, a combination of electricity and elation.

She had waited so long for her prince, but he was worth it all. Her proud and sorrowful prince, she would ease the pain of the world on his shoulders.

As he held the woman in his arms Zechs thought again what it would mean to her to be here on this remote place. It would be a hard life for both of them. He loved her so much, did he really think he could bring himself to ask her to stay with him forever. Away from the Earth, away from everyone she cared about.

She saw the question in his eyes and her smile was warm and tender and patient.

“I want to be with you,” she answered his unspoken question. “Forever.”

His fingers caressed the satin skin of her cheek.

“Noin,” he said. “I love you.”