Author’s Note: Yay, the end!! Look for the next part of this series, Ordinary World, coming soon. Thanks again for all those who supported this story! Sorry to be driving you all crazy with the suspense, you’ll get some answers in the next story, I promise!!
Love is a Battlefield: Epilogue
by Midii Une
Duo Maxwell stared at the burned out hangar, there really wasn’t a hell of a lot left to salvage. He was a busy man, after the war there was plenty of clean-up to do, up in space and here on the colonies themselves. There was plenty to do so why had he taken this particular job?
Where are you Linnea, he wondered.
“Hey,” a feminine voice called out, and he turned startled, almost expecting to see her running down the path, almost did see Linnea, the edges of her navy blue skirt fluttering behind her, sleeves rolled up and strands of blonde hair dangling next to her face.
It wasn’t her. It was only a girl who’d gone to the high school they’d attended. Had it only been the previous winter? Only a year ago that he’d met Linnea.
“Hey,” he greeted the girl, he’d long since forgotten her name.
“I guess you must have heard about Linnea dying in this blast,” the girl chattered. “That was terrible, everyone was so upset. But I heard they were building mobile suits in there, I guess one of them must have blown up.”
“Yeah,” Duo said. “I guess so.” So much for that theory, Linnea hadn’t come back here, everyone on this colony still thought she’d died when the hangar exploded. No clues, there never were.
“Well,” he said, trying to move the girl along. “I better get started, I’m in the salvage business now and this is one of my projects.”
He had to be getting back to Hilde. She needed him around, she was still recovering from her battle injuries. Sometimes he wanted so much to repeat the words she hadn’t heard. Tell her that he loved her. But even though the war was over he still felt cursed somehow. And he wanted to find Linnea first, wanted to be sure . . .
It was if she had never existed, as if everything about her had been deleted from official records. Linnea Lang -- sorry your search turned up no results, please try again. Quatre nearly slammed the lid of his laptop down. But he realized it wasn’t any use blaming the computer. When he got over this wound he’d look for her himself, until then he wasn’t getting anywhere using these channels. Maybe things would be better in a few months, things were still settling down with the new world government and alliance of space colonies
“Damn you Treize Khushrenada,” he said, his words emanating puffs of frost. He stood at the gates of the cemetery, bowing his head as conflicting feelings wracked his mind.
It hadn’t been so long ago he had been a peaceful scholar, a future of study and solitude looming pleasantly ahead of him. He hadn’t thought he was strong enough to get involved in the conflict, hadn’t thought he was strong enough to stand up against the factions that held the colonies hostage in their web of domination.
But she had shown him differently. Meiran. And when she died her spirit had entered him somehow, made him like her. A strong warrior that hated the weak. And now he could not change back again.
But now there was nothing to fight against. He was filled with bitterness and the one person who might have understood and whom he had not even begun to understand until the moment before his death was gone. Every day his regret for that act grew a little deeper, growing like an infection in his very soul.
Chang Wufei wanted to be alone with Treize, wanted to scream for justice, wanted to see if his spirit remained here in his resting place. He wanted to be alone.
But he wasn’t. Although the gates to the cemetery were locked at this hour, he could see small footsteps in the February snow and in the distance, right where he knew Treize’s grave was, he could see a solitary figure, dressed in black.
He could tell it was a woman even from this distance. He could see her breath, like his, white in the cold dawn air.
Linnea brushed the snow off the top of the gravestone with a black-gloved hand and placed a small rosebud there. She rubbed her hands together and the wind kicked up blowing the hair that hung under the black wool scarf around her and into her face, she pushed it back.
She sighed. Every day since he died his hold over her lessened a little bit, but still she came. Being here helped her remember the things she wasn’t ready to forget, helped her renew her promise to work now only for peace.
Suddenly she heard the crunch of ice and spun around in surprise, hoping it might be Lady Une and praying it wouldn’t be Dorothy Catalonia. Dorothy was the reason she always came so early, she didn’t want to run into her here or anywhere for that matter and so far she had eluded her.
Wufei cursed as their eyes met, he’d just wanted to get closer, he hadn’t wanted to alert the woman to his presence. Linnea’s violet eyes narrowed. She could guess who he was, although she had never met him and he was only a black silhouette against the snow as the sun had finally risen fully behind him and momentarily hid his identity.
Treize’s killer. She felt the pain and shock of his death rush back full force and all her loyalty to him as well.
“If it isn’t the personification of justice,” she said, they’d all heard his words during the battle. Who the hell did he think he was?
“Who are you,” Wufei said, his bottomless black eyes flicking over her angrily. He hated women with attitudes. Didn’t they know they were all so weak.
In her anger, Linnea forgot to hide her identity as Lady Une had recommended. “Start all over, start a new life. Help me honor Treize’s memory by promoting this era of peace,” the words echoed far away but she was feeling less than peaceful right now. Human beings had to work so much harder to be peaceful than warlike. Peace was against their very natures.
“I’m Linnea Lang,” she said.
“Ah,” he said, recognizing the name. “The little weapons maker. Someone else the world has no use for. Someone else the world would be much better off without. Do you even realize that, woman? Both of us should be as dead as he is. We’re obsolete, the warrior and the weapons maker. We aren’t necessary in this peaceful world.”
Suddenly and swiftly his sword appeared and he pointed it at her, slightly surprised that she faced him calmly without flinching.
“Care to join me in hell,” he offered. “Those who created the Gundams are as guilty as I am, maybe more. People shouldn’t have that kind of power.”
It wasn’t calm that kept Linnea rooted to her spot. It was shock. He was on the verge of insanity. He had come here to die and here she was, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide in this field of sparkling white.
She found her voice.
“You’re a coward,” she said. “Find something to do with your life, change to meet the new times.”
“Shut up,” he whispered, touching the tip of the sword to her throat, just beneath her jawline.
She had made mistakes, dreadful mistakes but she wanted to live anyway, didn’t want to die here in the snow because of his warped sense of justice. He had already killed Treize for it. She defiantly reached up and grabbed the blade with her gloved hand.
“Who are you to decide whether I live or die? Who gave you the power to decide justice? Who were you to kill Treize? It was never you, it was your Gundam that gave you courage. I dare you to keep on living or are you too weak without your mobile suit?
Damn her she was right, her words pounded in his brain. No, he wasn’t afraid, not too weak to keep up the fight. And he still had Nataku, he pictured the mobile suit in his mind. He drew back his sword in a lightning fast move, barely hearing her gasp of surprise and pain as the sharp edge parted the leather glove on her hand and the soft white skin beneath it. Blood welled from the deep cut and she fell to her knees in the snow as the bright red drops fell onto the ground staining the pure whiteness.
He wouldn’t tolerate being called a coward, not by anyone. He accepted her challenge, the soldier in him thrived on a dare.
“You may be sorry you stopped me,” he said, turning to leave her. “You can be sure I won’t forget about you.”
She watched him walk away then stared as the blood, her blood, spread in patterns through the frozen snow.
Coming Soon . . . Ordinary World . . .