Author’s Note: A thousand apologies for the delay on this fic!! I can give a thousand reasons, including a well-timed
and well-aimed flame (ouchie someone really hurt my feelings), problems with my websites, work on other projects
etc. But I will finish this fic (nervous laughter). Thanks so much to everyone who’s written me expressing an interest
and gently nudging me to continue this project.
By Midii Une
The slender black permanent marking pen twirled gracefully over and between Duo’s fingers, he tossed the pen up and
caught it. Tossed it up in the air behind his back and caught it.
He waited while Tania went through her freshening up ritual. And the whole time Treize stared down at him
complacently. The guy had turned out to be a freaking hero and Duo still wasn’t sure how that had happened. He
didn’t understand Treize Khushrenada. Had Linnea?
He made a face at the permanently smiling face in the portrait. It would be so easy, Duo thought, unconsciously
leaning forward, so easy to pop the top off that black pen and just draw a little mustache . . . right . . . about . . .
“Oh my God!! Lady Une,” Tania shrieked, dropping her lipstick and jumping to her feet. She wondered if she should
Duo turned guiltily toward the door, the black pen leaving a squiggly black line that marred the starched white shirt
buttoned beneath Treize’s painted chin.
“Uuuhhhh,” Duo stuttered, turning to face Lady Une.
“You,” she questioned, furrowing her brow. “You’re Duo Maxwell.”
“Yeah,” Duo said, his confident grin returning as she stuck out a hand to shake. He wasn’t as polished as Quatre but he
knew a few of the formalities.
Lady Une ignored the outstretched hand and pulled her glasses from a pocket of her jacket, she peered through them
at the black mark on the painting. She sighed and shook her head, before tucking the glasses back in her pocket and
turning back to Tania.
“Where is Liz,” she demanded, tilting her head toward the office door. “This is urgent.”
“You should call her Linnea,” Duo muttered. “That is still her name.”
“Why are you here,” Lady Une sighed, flicking her gaze back toward the outrageous young man.
“Same as you,” Duo shrugged. “But I’ve got the feeling we’re not going to find what we’re looking for here.”
Both of them turned toward the unlucky Tania who stared at them with an attempt at wide-eyed innocence. But even
the scatter-brained girl was beginning to realize that this sort of irresponsible behavior was not like the quiet, serious
young woman she worked for.
Lady Une seated herself in a leather-upholstered armchair before the desk and folded her hands. The young secretary
gulped and silently offered an apology for what she was about to tell and her eyes moved nervously between the seated
woman and the young man leaning against the wall.
“Well,” Lady Une prompted, her anxiety eroding the very last of her patience. “Surely you got some indication from
Professor Evans that we could be experiencing a situation of sorts. It isn’t like her to disappear, especially at a time
“How would you know,” Duo muttered again, somewhat bitterly before Lady Une’s other words caught his attention.
“Hey! Whaddaya mean by situation anyway,” he yelled.
Lady Une sighed. He was here, he might as well know. He had been a Gundam pilot after all.
“Liz,” she faltered, as Duo scowled. “Linnea and I were discussing what appears to be weapons manufacturing in the
L3 cluster and I haven’t talked to her since. I told her I’d get back to her but no one’s seen her since late Monday
afternoon. In fact, security shows she never left her office.”
“Holy shit,” Duo whispered, all of them turning to look at the closed door. Were there answers behind it?
The face of the young Gundam pilot changed almost visibly Lady Une thought, watching him sharply. His casually cocky,
annoyed attitude transformed to cold determination before her eyes. The door crashed down with a well-aimed kick
that startled Une and Tania before they crept up to stare into the empty room, it was cold inside, a window behind the
desk was wide open and papers swirled silently about. A red light signaling messages blinked on the desk.
Tania bent over and twisted the doorknob of the fallen door. “It wasn’t locked,” she said, looking at Duo with a
mixture of awe and disapproval.
What fools we’ve been, Duo thought to himself angrily. Did we think because we beat one enemy no one else would
step into the void? He and Quatre had tiptoed around Linnea, when they should have been protecting her. This little
farce of hers and Lady Une’s had prevented nothing. He couldn’t help but smile at the irony. He’d laughed at Heero’s
avoidance of Relena over these months while hiding his own problems under a mask of good humor. Sure give all of
them an army of mobile suits to face and no problem. But when emotions, war and peace mingled it was a bad mix.
Kinda like drinking beer then whiskey, or was that whiskey then beer? Whatever it was it was just the same, the
combination producing a sick feeling in his gut that he didn’t know how to deal with.
The Journal of Leia Barton
June 16, AC 188
I want to remember this day. Are words truly needed? Shall I ever forget? Still, all that happened should be
recorded. It is over. He is gone. But I want to remember, remember every moment. Treize . . .
Rain splashed on the windows, the sound like a torrent of wine splashing in a fine crystal glass. My own eyes stung
with teardrops like that late spring rain. He is leaving. Never before have I wanted to abandon my career as a nurse
but if he should ask I would gladly follow. Those eyes of his are hidden behind heavy lids; he tries to disguise the fact
that he is watching me. Treize knows how I feel, that if he asked I would give him my very self.
Those who fight here are fools. The Alliance General Septem will use this storm to hide his mistakes. My father is no
better, he and his lackey Quinze. I hate them, truly. Father tries to control us and Trowa has fallen so easily under his
spell. My younger brother is tempted by thoughts of universal sovereignty for the Barton family.
But, I did not want to think of these things, not in my last hours with Treize.
Even for a patient about to be discharged, vital signs must be checked regularly. I lifted my chin and looked into his
face, trying to keep up a façade of professionalism as my fingers circled his wrist, timing his pulse. The blood in his
veins beneath my touch raced and pounded as I’d never felt it before and as I watched him I felt a touch on my own
wrist. “It’s happening, it’s happening,” my thoughts raced and my mouth turned dry.
We spoke no words and I pulled away from him, feeling his eyes boring into me, as if they could see through to the
pale pink lingerie beneath my uniform. Why did I wear such a thing today? My fingers cling to the cord that controls
the Venetian blinds at the window and almost without thought I pulled it gently until the room fell into a dim,
artificial dusk. I wanted to go to him but my feet seemed fastened to the floor. Can I take this step, I wondered, my
head bent to study the lines in the cold, tile floor. I felt a touch on my shoulder, his fingers caressing my neck and
then his breath on my cheek and the touch of his lips against my hair.
Linnea shut the book, her cheeks burning with something that was a combination of shame and jealousy and loss. She
had loved Treize too, part of her had loved him as Leia had, as Lady Une still did with all her heart.
Her eyes scanned the opulent bedroom. Was this Leia’s room? Where was she now? Could she help her or would she
hate her? She rubbed a slender hand over the back of her neck, it was so late and despite the adrenaline racing through
her system Linnea was exhausted. But the little book with its tale of secrets called.
The Journal of Leia Barton
March 12, AC 189
I never thought I would see those eyes again. That unreal shade of blue, the brows curving over them with a
distinction and presence that I still believe no other man could ever attain. Especially not my father, with his
pretensions of grandeur.
But those eyes are before me again. They are my daughter’s eyes. My darling Mariemaia. I shall protect you from
your grandfather’s influence. You are his daughter and he is the personification of honor and chivalry. You must be
like him, my dearest child. In this prison of a house you are my only light, my only happiness. I have shamed my
father with what he calls “a disgusting fling with a nobody of a soldier.” He doesn’t know that someday Treize will
achieve all that he desires. A world of peace, peace that he will bring about.
I know somehow that we will never meet again. But I have my memories and I have Mariemaia . . .
That’s one of the newer colonies, Hilde thought to herself, perusing the parts request from Barton Conglomerate. A
new customer and where was Duo? Off chasing some other girl. That’s not fair, she scolded herself, he’s never crossed
the line with you. But she knew something was there between them, however intangible it was it still existed. A
connection, a feeling that was more than the friendship both of them hid so desperately behind. He had saved her life
and she knew she would do anything for him, including letting him find happiness with someone else.
For a moment Hilde felt noble and virtuous. She loved Duo and she wanted him to be happy, but her good intentions
faltered. No, damnit. She wanted him to be happy with her, not some girl from his past that carried tons of emotional
baggage with her. Hilde leaned back in the chair and dragged her fingers through her thick, blue-black hair, tugging
almost painfully at the short, glossy locks before shaking her head and returning her attention to the issue at hand.
There was nothing in the order she couldn’t handle and getting out of here for a few days would make the waiting that
The little girl studied the young woman, asleep on the bed. Her bright blue eyes narrowed in a combination of anger at
the intruder in a place that was sacred to her and with the natural curiosity of a child.
She was ignored until her grandfather needed her. Then he trotted her out dressed in a miniature copy of his own
formal attire. It was easy to be what he wanted her to be. Grace under the spotlight seemed to be in her blood and
she effortlessly played the role of the domineering little aristocrat.
But sometimes memories of love and affection came to her in dreams. And an uneasy feeling that her lost mother
wouldn’t be happy with what she had become. But despite all her maturity and the advantages of good genes,
Mariemaia Barton-Khushrenada was only a child. A motherless child who had no one to rely on except a power-crazed
man who had no real feelings for her.
She heard things, Mariemaia heard everything. Grandfather hated this girl, this girl who slept in her mother’s bed. She
herself came here often, if she went into the large closet she could press her face against her mother’s satin robes and
recall long-ago embraces and smell the dim memory of a sweet scent that brought back her mother’s love. She had
been loved once but that recollection was becoming buried deeper and deeper in her little heart until soon it would be
The strawberry-haired little girl didn’t flinch as the girl on the bed blinked sleepily, staring at her as if she were part of
a dream . . .
Treize’s eyes. They were looking at her with an odd detachment, as if he were seeing her for the first time. But
something was missing; there had always been something in Treize’s eyes. Something vital, the key to his very being.
Linnea drew a hand over her face and blinked. It was a child.
“You were my father’s whore?” a small knowing voice asked, the young redheaded girl studied her with a mixture of
disdain and deep interest.
She smiled at the shock on Linnea’s face. Mariemaia had learned from the best how to take pleasure in having the
advantage over someone. Everyone was always so surprised at discovering her odd, unnatural maturity. She was only 7
“You’re wondering how I know such a word. My grandfather, Dekim, is very angry with you I heard him shouting and
that’s what he called you. I don’t know what it means but it must be bad,” the child confided smugly.
“He’s sending you away, far away,” she continued. “To one of those ugly resource satellites.”
“Mariemaia,” Linnea whispered, unable to tear her eyes away from those of the strange child’s.
The child’s eyes grew large and followed Linnea’s glance at the little book on the bed beside her.
“How did you know that,” the girl asked, her voice childish and hopeful suddenly as the sound of footsteps echoed in
the vast hall outside the door.
There had always been something about circuses; they brought such simple joy and pleasure in a world that was so
technical and complicated. But circuses were just fun and thrilling in a way that made her heart pound with
anticipation and made her smile as well. It was astounding, the things the performers could do.
Hilde looked around the huge yellow tent and popped another piece of buttered popcorn into her mouth, could this be
the same circus she had attended with Duo once? It seemed so long ago, during the war, but it seemed so familiar.
“Oh gosh,” she whispered aloud as the lights went dark only to fade up to a spotlight on a boy and girl on a high wire.
Her murmured words were lost in a soft rush of other voices. They were amazing, graceful and daring. Hilde was
unaware that she held her breath and that she had risen slightly from her seat on the hard metal bench.
Trowa Barton, she thought, admiration lighting her eyes as she recognized Duo’s friend. She’d met him on MO-II at the
end of the war, she wondered if he remembered.
It would be nice if he did. She didn’t like being alone on this colony. X-18999 had an odd quality about it, maybe it was
the newness and the ongoing construction, but Hilde didn’t think that was it. The very people seemed sinister and
intense, not like the easygoing people who inhabited the other colonies she’d visited. The people here seemed to
have a hidden purpose and didn’t have the time to enjoy the simple things in life. Like tonight for instance, this
wonderful show and the place was less than half full.
She licked a buttery finger thoughtfully and waited while the sparse crowd filed from the tent.
The sound was swift, powerful and sickening and Hilde thought she heard a grunt of human pain. Nervously she paused
in the darkness, her stomach turning a bit at the sound as she clutched the canvas of the wall beside her. Her blue
eyes widened as she peered around the incongruously cheerful yellow fabric and her mouth formed an O of surprise and
shock. Two men lay gasping on the sawdust floor. Hilde whirled and was caught in a pair of arms, unyielding and hard
with muscle. Sweat from his naked chest seeped slowly into the thin cotton shirt she wore and when she raised her
frightened face to his the green eyes flickered with vague recognition.
Hilde didn’t realize she’d been shaking until he took his hands away and she swayed slightly.
“What’s going on,” she hissed, glancing back over her shoulder at the men writhing on the floor like a pair of beached
“Hilde isn’t it,” Trowa said at last, remembering he’d seen this girl with Duo on Peacemillion. She nodded and felt his
hands on her arms again, rough and insistent, almost urgent.
“Where’s Duo,” he asked, his voice soft and controlled, belying the tension in his touch.
When she told Trowa Duo was on Earth, she thought he was going to hit something before his unreadable mask fell back
into place and Hilde wondered if she’d overreacted. Still those men . . . she was sure Trowa was upset . . . but about
“So,” he said, steering her away from the dark corner of the tent, “did you enjoy the show?”
She blinked, and then smiled. “Yes, very much,” she said, heat coming into her face as she became very aware of his
hand against her bare skin. She’d said she could fall for him once and it was true. He had to be one of the handsomest
boys she’d ever seen. What girl wouldn’t notice that body, those eyes and that hair that dared you to push it aside and
see what he’d say then?
He was talking but she wasn’t really hearing, lost in her thoughts. Not until he told her to leave.
“But Trowa,” she protested, reaching out to grab his arm. “Something’s happening, I want to help.”
“What about Duo,” Trowa said slowly, seeming to consider her offer. “I don’t think he’d want you messed up in this.
I’m not sure myself how deep this goes . . .”
“If Duo were here you’d bring him in on this, wouldn’t you,” Hilde said.
Trowa looked thoughtful. “Why are you here anyway,” he asked and the wheels in his analytical mind began turning as
soon as she explained about the parts order and what those parts were and whom they were for. It wasn’t a difficult
conclusion to reach for someone who’d worked around mobile suits all his life. His suspicions were confirmed.
Two pairs of eyes were definitely better than one and to his recollection this slim and persistent young girl had some
“Fine,” Trowa said, turning on his heel and walking away as Hilde trotted along behind, trying to keep up with his
longer stride. “We’re enlisting in the Barton Youth Corps.”
Mariemaia was right. The resource satellite was ugly and barren and unwelcoming. Linnea sat restlessly on a straight-backed wooden chair before getting up to pace the small room again. Okay, she was here. Now what? She looked around and saw only a desk, computer and coffee pot. A coffee pot. Someone obviously knew her.
She knew it was silly but she had to do it, it was better than doing nothing. Linnea went to the door and yanked hard on the knob, shaking the door slightly in its frame. She turned a little pale when someone on the other side opened it at exactly the same time.
Her eyes widened in recognition. Vier. She tried to get past him and out the open door but he grabbed her arm, slammed the door and locked it again. Linnea yanked her arm away, shuddering a little from the cool, unwanted touch of his fingers and the diamond-hard look of hate in his eyes.
The engineer reached a hand to touch a stray curl that dangled near her cheek and Linnea raised her free hand and slapped his smirking face. He touched the spot and smiled. That was the best she could do, without Khushrenada’s support she was virtually powerless. He watched her retreat to a far corner of the small room.
He poured her a cup of coffee. “Drink this. We have a long night ahead of us,” he said to her.
She took it from him, wanting to refuse but needing the rush of caffeine to be able to think straight. This was bad. Very bad. He hated her, he had hated her from the first.
“Styrofoam? Didn’t you learn anything from His Excellency, Vier,” she asked sarcastically, turning the small white cup in her hand, trying not to let him see her fear. And she was afraid, very afraid. Her hand shook a little as she gulped the coffee down quickly.
“Treize Khushrenada is dead,” Vier said shortly. “You’re going to help me now. Help me put together an unstoppable force. Surely you must be anxious to create again. Only this time I’m taking the credit. When I had the option to hire an assistant the first person I thought of was you Linnea. You can be so helpful, in so many ways.”
Next time on Ordinary World . . . Linnea finds an unexpected ally . . . Hilde gets Trowa out of hot water . . . hopefully
this will all happen sometime this year ^_^, seriously I’ll try to get back to this soon.