Author's notes:  This fic follows the series, skipping through it, and then after the movie. Treize dies, but it isn't a deathfic because he does die in the series, I
simply used it. As with From the Beginning, and Come With Me, I've added things that could have happened between episodes and during time lapses. This
might be considered Treize bastardization.
Category: Anime, Gundam Wing, Yaoi, TWT
Warning: non-consensual sex, major angst, minor violence, shonen ai, sap, lemon/lime
Pairings: 6+5/5+6, 13+6, 6x5 (major), 13x5
Author: Arigatomina

Fragile Warrior

As he froze in the hallway, fury pulsed through him, clenching his fists in spasms that matched his heartbeat. He tried to look away, to keep moving, but there
was something about the way the boy's black eyes were glued to the floor, the bored expression on his smooth face catching his eye. Not caring what the
repercussions might be, Zechs moved to intervene. Pale blue eyes narrowed, he stalked forward, grabbing one man's shoulder and jerking him to his feet.
Glaring, he didn't speak as he shoved him backwards toward the door. Recognizing him, the other man paled abruptly, stammering an excuse as he made a
quick exit. Looking down at the boy, Zechs blinked as he found himself on the receiving end of a dark glare.

Furious that the man had felt the need to 'rescue' him, Wufei pushed himself up with his shackled hands, glaring at the white haired man. Sitting, he moved
back against the wall, ignoring him. He hadn't needed help, if he'd wanted to fight back he could have. He'd known better, however, and had held his peace.
Anything he'd done would have only incited them more, and any attempt at escape would be futile as long as his hands were shackled. Closing his eyes, he
did his best to forget his tall 'savior'. Or he was going to, but the feel of a hand on his shoulder had his eyes snapping open in time to see the man crouch in
front of him.

"Are you alright?" Confused by the boy's anger, Zechs rocked back on his heels as black eyes glared at him.

"I don't need your help." Staring down at the hand on his shoulder, Wufei's eyes narrowed until the man quickly withdrew it.

"I see. Well, I suppose I could have continued by," Zechs said, sarcasm light in his soft voice. "I could have ignored the fact that two soldiers were beating a
defenseless boy, but that's not my way." He flinched as the boy became furious in a split second.

"I am *not* defenseless. You make the same mistake others have made, thinking my age makes me weak." Closing his mouth, Wufei looked away, reminding
himself that he was going to ignore the man. He refused to be baited and he was *not* going to thank him. He glanced back sharply when the man made a soft

"You must be pilot 05. Yes, I'm sure of it. Noin mentioned you very distinctly, I doubt she'll ever forget how you humiliated her." Eyes sparkling, he knew the
minute the boy remembered.

"That woman. She underestimated me, if she was humiliated than she should not have been fighting."

Laughing, Zechs shook his head, relaxing where he knelt as he eyed the boy. "That's what she said you said, I take it you don't approve of women fighting."

"It's not that," Wufei said, blinking at the way the man's eyes sparkled as he laughed. "Woman *can* fight, I know this, but she was weak. Weak soldiers
shouldn't fight. She let her emotions rule her actions, that's why she lost. People like that have no place in a war or anywhere near a battlefield. I don't fight the
weak, only cowards do so."

"She's changed since then, and it's your fault." Smiling, Zechs shook his head again. "You'd be surprised."

Shrugging, Wufei raised an eyebrow. "Who are you?"

"Not an enemy anymore," Zechs said quickly, raising his hands as if the boy might attack. "Milliardo Peacecraft. I'm in space as a representative of the Sanq

Wufei frowned, shaking his head slightly. "I don't..."

"Zechs," he said softly, watching the boy warily and with reluctance. "I'm also known as Zechs Merquise."

Wufei's eyes widened, then narrowed before he slowly calmed. "So you've changed sides... I see."

"Yes, well, people do make mistakes. The key is to learn from them." Flushing when the boy raised an eyebrow, he was about to say something when he heard
a sound from the doorway. Seeing Nicole, he stood quickly, wondering if he was going to cause more trouble for the boy as the man's eyes moved to Wufei
before returning to him.

"What are you doing in here?" Nicole demanded, glaring at the ex-Marquis. He knew better than to trust the man, especially when he was talking to a Gundam
pilot. He'd warned Une about the man but she hadn't listened.

"The door was open," Zechs said, not daring to glance at Wufei as he moved to the man. "You should be more careful which guards you post as security."
Pushing past the man, he risked a nod to Wufei who was watching him before moving out of the cell and down the hall of the base. After a few steps, he
glanced back and was relieved to see Nicole lock the door to the cell without entering. Reminding himself of his reason for coming to space, he moved to find
Lady Une and to get on with his mission, pushing the boy to the back of his mind.

Resting his head against the wall, Wufei stared at the closed door, wincing at the soreness in his stomach where one of the soldiers had hit him. He was
confused by his thoughts and wondered if they were some sort of new weakness. There was something about the man, he'd seen it when he laughed, he had
beautiful eyes. Blinking sharply, he looked down at his hands. //What is that? Women are beautiful, not men. But they're also weak and he...isn't.// Shaking his
head, he closed his eyes. //I can't believe I'm attracted to him. In a matter of that all it takes...?  But it doesn't matter, nothing will come of it.//

* * *

Shock coursed through Zechs as he stood to meet the man, blinking as he showed his surprise. "I hadn't expected you to come to space," he said slowly as
Treize moved to stand near him. "I thought you wouldn't."

"No one knows I'm here," Treize said.  His eyes moved over the tall man and he smiled lightly. "I'm glad to see you with your mask off, Zechs. Or may I call you
Milliardo now?"

"What brings you here? I though we'd split when I left OZ." Frowning, Zechs stared at the man who'd been one of his childhood friends. But that had changed
when he'd gotten caught rebuilding the detonated Gundam, 01. Sending enemies to attack him, his former friend had nearly killed him. He hadn't expected to
see him again. "The last I heard, you were in confinement."

"Yes. I want to thank you for trying to help lighten the attack. I heard of the way you lowered the number of suits to reach us, that was helpful. As it was, pilot
01, Heero Yuy, was the one to release me. He did well to destroy the enemy." Moving to the white-haired man, he laid a hand on his shoulder. "Zechs, I want to
express my regret over what happened between us. I suppose I saw your refusal as refusing me as well. I've had plenty of time to think things over. Do you
know, I expected Heero to kill me? Now, I realize that I'll live yet."

"Treize, what does any of this have to do with me?" Frowning, he looked away for a second then back again, his eyes hard. "Why are you here?"

"I realized that if I was going to keep living, I didn't want to do it alone. Zechs, we've always been close." His hand tightened lightly on the pale man's shoulder
and he gave a small smile. "I've been wanting to tell you for years now, but I had to wait until you'd discarded your disguise. Now is the time."

"What are you talking about?" Zechs moved back warily, Treize's hold on his shoulder causing him to pause. He had a horrible suspicion what the man was
about to say and he didn't want to hear it. They'd been friends, it was true, but his feelings had never gone beyond that. Shaking his head, he prayed that he
wouldn't say it.

"Zechs...Milliardo." Eyes moving over the man's beautiful face, Treize took a step closer, his hand moving up to touch his white-blonde hair lightly. "I've loved
you for years."

Recoiling as if he'd been hit, Zechs shook his head furiously, not liking the pain that abruptly filled Treize's eyes. "I don't...Treize, not like that."

Somehow, he'd never expected rejection. Staring at the man he'd longed for over the years, he couldn't find a response. He couldn't believe it. "Don't say that."

"Forget it, Treize, we aren't friends any longer. That ended the day my mask broke. We'll never be more than that." Turning away from the pain in those
familiar eyes, Zechs glanced at his computer, sighing as he nodded. "There's nothing between us, and there won't be."

Following the man's gaze, Treize's eyes narrowed and he ground his teeth together in rising anger. The file he recognized, taken by Une at the lunar base
before she and he had lost contact. It was the boy he'd dueled with so long ago, a picture taken in the interrogation room. He was staring at the camera, black
eyes clear with no hint of anything, not even anger, just pride. Eyes wide, Treize looked at Zechs's profile, coldness settling over him as he turned sharply and
left the room.

He didn't get angry. It was a hindrance, a loss of the control that meant so much to him. But he was angry now. Having finally come to the man and bared his
heart, he'd never expected the rejection, and now he was sure he knew the reason. The boy. He had no idea when they could have met, but it didn't matter. All
that did was making sure Zechs and he not be together. //I'll not let that happen. Zechs...Milliardo. He's always been the one thing I wanted out of life, more
than anything else. I've put it aside for so long, denying myself that. And now...// Glaring, he bypassed Howard who stared at him in surprise as he moved to
his shuttle, making haste to get off the Peacemillion. //I won't let him be taken away from me by that boy, that child.//

Bidding his faithful soldiers to take the course he set, he worked out a plan, carefully. //I won't change Milliardo's mind, he's stubborn and set. But the boy, he
has a weakness, his pride.// Remembering the way those black eyes had flashed at him as he'd held his blade so close to the boy's life-blood, Treize gave a
grudging acknowledgment. //He is magnificent. But I won't give him Milliardo. I'll break him, and he'll lose to me again. Maybe I am the only one to defeat him,
but it doesn't matter. I understand that he is most likely innocent, but that doesn't matter either. I'll fight as I always have, remembering my victims, but I won't
feel pity for him until it is finished. He's brought this on himself. He and Milliardo.//

* * *

It was impossible. Even as his body was foggily slow in its awakening, Wufei's thoughts flew. He'd not been free from the Lunar Base for long, yet here he was,
captured again. What was worse was that he couldn't pinpoint his mistake, the weakness that had led to his recapture. He'd hidden his Gundam so well,
pausing on the way back to his colony as he avoided detection. Yet the soldiers, dressed in the colors of the Treize faction, had burst into the warehouse he'd
hidden Altron in, hitting him with some sort of dart before he'd even had a chance to get past his shock and disbelief. Now, as his vision slowly became less
blurry, he was unable to think of what he'd done wrong, what had allowed them to find him. Feeling the pressure on his arms, he opened his eyes wider,
glancing back at the bindings that held his wrists behind his back. Eyes moving around him, he felt his blood run cold as he took in his surroundings.

He was still inside the warehouse. Staring at the three soldiers who were reclining against the truck his Gundam was loaded on, he felt his helplessness down
to his bones. He didn't give any hint of his thoughts, however, but simply watched them, waiting to see what they'd do. The sound of footsteps echoing off the
cement floor had his eyes flying to the door, narrowing as he recognized Treize. Jaw tight, he didn't speak as he watched the man advance, taking in the odd
glow in his eyes when he moved to stand in front of him. He'd vowed to kill the man for having defeated him, but here he was, once again the weak one. Eyes
narrowing, he straightened where he was, his back against the wall.

Treize paused a foot from the boy, out of range if he decided to use his legs. Taking in the defiant expression, he felt himself hesitate.  There was something
beautiful about the boy's enduring pride. But he thought of Zechs and his eyes narrowed abruptly and he gestured to the soldiers who moved to join him. They
hadn't been told what his plans for the boy were, but they'd sworn to follow his every order, and he expected them to keep that promise. Glancing at one, he
waved a hand to the boy. "On his feet."

Nodding, two of the men moved forward, taking hold of the boy's arms as they lifted him quickly. He didn't struggle, his black eyes locked on Treize.

"Strip him." One of the soldiers turned abruptly, eyes wide in disbelief, but Treize met him with a gaze that didn't allow arguments. "Do it." Blinking sharply, the
man turned back to Wufei who was standing very straight, eyes narrowed as he stared at the red-brown haired man. When they'd followed their orders, the
man who'd hesitated glanced at the boy's face and took in his unchanged expression. He swore to remember how the boy was unaffected by his naked state,
not acting like he felt vulnerable at all as he stood there, his gaze unflinching.

Stepping forward, Treize laid a hand on the boy's chest, looking down over him as his body reacted accordingly. He really was magnificent. Admitting a brief
wish to be rid of the witnesses, he gestured the men toward a table at the back of the warehouse. The men lifted the boy, setting him on it and Treize motioned
for the one who'd hesitated before to hold his shoulders as he pushed on Wufei's chest, angling him down onto his back. Finally, there was a flicker of
something in those dark eyes, but it wasn't enough and Treize set a bag between his legs as the other two men spread them. Wufei's breath sped up
immediately although whether it was from fury or fear Treize didn't know. Ignoring the bag for the moment, he leaned over the boy staring into his narrowed

"You have no idea how weak you really are," he said softly, reaching behind the boy's head as he pulled out his hair tie. Running his fingers through Wufei's
fine black hair, he shook his head. "When I'm done, no one will ever want you again. Do you know, I could make you beg?" Nodding when the boy didn't react,
he ran his hand over Wufei's lightly muscled chest, fingers circling one of his nipples. He smirked when the boy flinched and lowered his head, his tongue
moving to flick the small nub. Previously unreadable, those black eyes now widened in confusion as he jerked back, away from the touch. "You'd deny it, but
you liked that."

Feeling Treize's fingers curl around his length, Wufei ground his teeth, eyes wide as he tried to move his hips back, mind at war with the pleasure caused by
the man's touch. This was his enemy, yet his body was betraying him. Determined not to react, he forced his body to still, relief flowing through him as the man
released him and he stared up at the ceiling, trying to blank his mind. Hearing the man unzip the bag, he closed his eyes, unwilling to see what he was going to
do. Fear was great in him, but he shoved it away ruthlessly. He could take any torture the enemy had planned for him, and he would not give in to weakness.

Coating his hands with lubricant, Treize watched the boy's face as he slowly pushed a finger into him, pausing when the boy's breath caught and he flinched
from the intrusion. Knowing the boy would fight it, he stroked his limp member as his finger moved carefully inside him. He gave a tiny smile when the boy
jerked abruptly, eyes snapping open as his body tensed. Pushing against the spot again, Treize stroked the boy gently, watching as he slowly became hard.
As he'd planned, the boy's body was working against him. Stabbing and rubbing his finger against the spot, he worked the boy into a frenzy, staring at those
eyes as they grew very wide and Wufei's mouth opened as he gasped. Adding another slick finger, he leaned over the boy, releasing his erection as his hand
cupped his face.

"What now, warrior? Are you still strong? Worthy? Of what?" Brushing his lips over the boy's smooth cheeks, he stared at him, their eyes inches apart. "Aren't I
your enemy?" Pulling his fingers out, he shoved them back in, watching the boy gasp. "Yet you like this, you do." Wufei's eyes were glazed, his expression
seemingly blank save for how wide his eyes were. Running his tongue over the boy's bottom lip, he inserted another finger. "I'm your first," he whispered, lips
close to Wufei's ear, "and I'll be your last, won't I. You'll never forget this, how you betrayed yourself." Shoving his fingers deep into the boy, he felt himself
harden as a tiny cry escaped Wufei's clenched teeth. "You love it," he said tauntingly, repeating the move as his other hand lowered, stroking him. Feeling the
boy tense, he reached into the bag, pulling out a ring and pushing it down over the boy's erection, stifling his release. "Now I could make you beg. You are so

He straightened slowly, pulling his fingers out of the boy as he withdrew a dildo from the bag. Not too large, he still coated it with lubricant, not wanting pain to
distract the boy as he slowly pushed it into him. He paused as discomfort crossed his face and Wufei's eyes closed tightly, stroking him as he slowly moved it
in deeper, burying it to the handle. Timing his strokes, he pulled it out again before shoving inward, angling it to hit the boy's prostate. His slender body was
shaking now, his head thrown back, breath drawn hoarsely through his teeth. His own breath speeding up, Treize stroked the boy furiously, his erection
painfully hard as he listened to the sound of the boy's harsh breathing. Leaving the dildo inside him, he continued to stroke the boy as his free hand undid his

It wasn't difficult to forget the soldiers watching him, and his entire mind was consumed with the boy in front of him as he pushed his pants down. He nearly
forgot the reason he was doing this as he watched Wufei's hips jerk on the table, and he forced himself to wait as he moved the dildo inside the boy with hard,
fast thrusts, willing him to break. Finally, a small moan escaped his lips and Treize didn't waste any time coating his own erection as he pulled the dildo out,
taking its place with a forceful thrust. Gasping at how tight he was, his hand curled around Wufei's erection as he began slow strokes, the boy moaning again
as his longer length reached deeper than before. Pausing, he leaned over the boy, breath catching for a second before he spoke. "Now," he said, breath
unsteady, "Tell me to stop. I'm you enemy, you can't *want* this from an enemy, can you?" Pulling back, he buried himself again, eyes glinting as the boy
whimpered, the sound one of victory. "That's what I thought. You are weak, Wufei, so very weak."

Straightening, he pulled off the ring. Burying himself to the hilt, he let out a groan, biting his lip as the boy gave a sharp cry and tightened around him as he
reached his release. Breath gradually slowing, he pulled out of the boy, wiping himself off with a towel from the bag and gesturing to the guards to let him go.
Wufei didn't open his eyes, not moving for a second as tears fell from his eyes, mouth open as he gasped. Then he slowly rolled onto his side, knees drawn to
his chest as he gave a low sob. Nodding, Treize shoved away his pity and guilt as he thought of Zechs. "If you ever want more, Wufei," he said softly, leaning
down so he could taste the salt on the black-haired boy's cheek and undoing his bound hands, "just let me know." Straightening again, he nodded to the
soldiers, grateful to their blank expressions as they didn't begin to question what he'd done. "I'm finished here." Turning, he moved out of the warehouse, the
soldiers following him.

* * *

"I'll master it," Zechs said, nodding to Howard as he left Wing Zero and moved to his quarters. He'd made a huge error due to the cockpit system, but that was
at the back of his mind as he thought about the Gundam pilot. He had left room for the possibility that Wufei wouldn't join him in his fight against Romafellor,
but he couldn't understand the way he'd reacted. It was as if he hadn't known him, as if he'd forgotten they had even met. Calling up the file he had on the
boy, he stared at his picture, confusion warring with his mind as he remembered how they'd fought. He hadn't backed down from the boy's challenge, but he'd
seen it as a way to prove himself. Like the other Gundam pilots, Wufei was proud and strong and only a similar person would be worthy of fighting at his side.
Yet, he had the feeling that only by killing the boy could he gain his respect. Leaning back in his chair, he pulled off his mask, rubbing his forehead as he
closed his eyes. //What has happened to him? He was harsh before, but not like this...//

* * *

Making haste to put distance between Altron and the Peacemillion, Wufei's fists clenched around the Gundam's controls. He was fighting with integrity as his
Master had wanted, but the past was always there, at the forefront of his mind. A horrible reminder of his own weakness, yet he knew he hadn't overcome it.
He knew because seeing Zechs on the screen had affected him the same as when they'd met, despite the past. His body was still betraying him. He'd hoped
that Zechs would defeat him, bring closure to his torment, but it hadn't happened. Obviously the Zero system was to blame, but the reason didn't matter.
Staring at the blackness of space, he folded his arms over his chest, eyes falling closed as he bent forward.

The death of his master, the destruction of his colony, both had simply compounded his pain. Maybe if Master Long had lived, he might have been able to tell
him what had happened. Then he could have found help in controlling his body and living with what he'd done. But it hadn't worked out that way, instead he
was alone, empty black space surrounding him as his eyes burned. He was to succeed the colony? A disgrace, he knew he'd betrayed them as well as himself.
Blinking back the dampness that came to his eyes, he took a deep breath. He wouldn't stop fighting. The weak weren't supposed to fight, his own words, yet
he wouldn't stop. Without the distractions of battle, he had nothing; nothing but his guilt, his shame.

* * *

Staring at the red suit, Zechs's eyes grew dull. His country, fallen, he had nothing left to fight for. Leaving the Gundam Treize had given to Heero, he walked
back to the small town nearby. Rebels had risen in space, and his own sister had become the leader of his enemy, Romafellor. Soldiers scurried about the
town, making haste to move to their new battlefield. He watched them go, had been watching them all day, but he had nothing to do with them. Sitting at the
bar, he drank coffee as he stared at the wood beneath his hands, mind blank so he wouldn't think of his beloved country. The feel of a hand on his shoulder
broke him from his reverie and his head snapped around, ready to glare at whoever had bothered him.

"Lieutenant! I haven't seen you in so long!"

Blinking in surprise as he recognized the man standing beside him, Zechs gave a slight smile. "Michael. It's nice to see you're still alive. Are you going to fight?"

"For Treize?" The man's eyes narrowed suddenly, and he sneered. "No. I'll never lift a hand for that man again. You wouldn't believe the things he's done
since you left. He's changed."

Zechs stared at the man, reading the hate in his eyes as he shook his head. "You loved him more than most, I'd have thought you'd follow him to your grave."

The man glanced at the bartender who was leaning forward to catch their words and glared. "For the old Treize, the old Treize would never have resorted to
such methods to break an enemy." Seeing the white-haired man's confusion, he sighed. "You don't know. Of course not, how could you? Only three of us do,
and as much as it disgusts me to admit, the others weren't bothered by it. Is there somewhere we could talk in private?"

"Of course." Standing, he led the man from the bar, crossing the street to the small hotel where he had a room. A soldier ran up to them as they moved and
grabbed Michael's arm.

"Hey! We're leaving, let's go."

Shrugging the man off, Michael glared. "I've resigned." Leaving the man standing, mouth open in the middle of the street, he followed Zechs into the hotel. "I'm
not sure if I should even tell you, I know how loyal you are to Treize." Halting when Zechs raised an eyebrow, he gave a tiny smile. "So you too have changed
your mind. Well, if the reason is at all similar to mine, I'd say Treize has been making many enemies."

He waited until the man had entered before shutting the door and perching on the edge of his bed, gesturing for Michael to take the chair. He was shocked
that the man had changed sides.  Michael had always been one of Treize's most trusted men. Zechs had liked and worked with him for years, and knew that
his love for his superior ran deep. If Treize had managed to turn the man against him, whatever he did must have been bad, real bad. "Tell me, Michael. Treize
and I split when I left OZ, there's no reason not to."

"Actually, I'd be glad to tell someone. You have no idea how guilty I feel for playing a part in it. It's true that the Gundam pilots are our enemies, but have you
seen them?" Shaking his head, he folded his arms over his chest as he stared at Zechs. "They're nothing more than children. I know they're still enemies and
a threat, but death is better than what he did. And to a mere child..."

His pale blue eyes narrowed at the man's words and he shook his head. "What did he do? I understand that he lost his position in Romafellor. Has he been
active since then?"

"Not exactly," Michael said, watching the white-haired man carefully. "You know he went to space, I was on the shuttle when Treize stopped to speak with you
on that ship, Peacemillion."

"You were?" Flushing as he remembered what Treize had told him, Zechs shook his head. "It was a fool's errand and Treize would have done well not to waste
his time."

"Well, that wasn't his only reason for being in space, it seems. As soon as we left the ship, he set a course for a colony not far from there. I'm still amazed at
how he managed to find the boy so quickly. He'd hid himself very well, yet it didn't take Treize more than a day to find his precise location." The man hesitated
and Zechs frowned.

"Don't bother with the suspenseful pauses, Michael, just tell me."

Staring at the man, he sighed. "I'm not trying to be suspenseful Lieutenant...Zechs, it's a difficult story to tell. I'll never forget the way that boy stood there, his
black eyes so proud..."


Flinching, Michael looked up, eyes widening as he took in Zechs's furious expression. "Oh God, you know him? Damn, now I definitely don't want to tell you.
Zechs, I played a part in it too, but...I'll always regret it, I swear I will."

Zechs shook his head, hands curling into fists at his side. "Treize...what did he do?" Remembering the way the boy had acted as if he didn't know him, Zechs
felt his blood run cold. "What did he do to him?"

"He raped him, broke him. I've never seen anyone cry like that..."

"Wufei...cried...?" Letting out a harsh oath, he shook his head. "How could he hurt him? Why?"

"He didn't." Michael blanched when Zechs's eyes bore into him. "He didn't hurt him, not physically. I think the boy expected that...he was prepared for that. No,
he used his body against him. And the things he said...he knew just what to say..."

" wonder he fought me." Hiding his face in his hands, he curled his fingers in his hair, bowing forward as he let out a moan. //My fault. He must have
seen the file...but why would he go to such lengths? How could he do that?//

"When he was done, he just left him there, curled up on that table, crying. I've never seen anyone so broken. Every time he called him weak, I think a part of
that boy died."

// matter what it takes, I'll get you. I'll kill you for this. You *will* die for what you've done...//

* * *

Staring at Epyon, Zechs thought of White Fang's offer. As the leader of the colony rebels, he'd be fighting against earth, against Treize. The Gundams fought
to protect the colonies, Wufei fought for the colonies, now he would too. Relena was the leader of the Romafellor foundation, but he knew that would not last
long. There was no way Treize would stand back and let her world of total pacifism come to fruition, not while an opponent still stood on the battlefield. No,
Treize would fight the rebels, White Fang, and as *their* leader, Zechs would face him. //Revenge, in the name of peace. I can't erase what he's done, Wufei,
but I can make sure your life is a peaceful one. The colonies will have peace, even if it means destroying the entire earth.//

* * *

//He'll test my integrity? Is it possible he's come to terms with what I did?// Watching as Altron destroyed the mobile dolls it was fighting, Treize waited for the
boy to reach him. Then they were fighting, and he couldn't help but notice that the boy wasn't giving himself the full advantage of his suit. //He's leaving himself
open. Does he want me to kill him? I knew I'd made a mistake. He doesn't think like me, he doesn't understand how I feel. It's true, he never loved Milliardo.//
Dodging an attack, he stared at the suit, wanting to see the boy inside, to look into his eyes. //God will never forgive me for what I did, killing that boy is out of
the question.//

He was fighting with only half of his heart, and he knew it. He wouldn't lie to himself. Listening as Treize gave one of his trademark speeches, Wufei questioned
his motives. He'd left the others to finish what they'd started so long ago, the duel. But unlike all other battles, he had no intention of winning, had no wish to
be the victor. Once, he would have viewed fighting to lose as a sign of weakness, but his views had changed. Being with the other pilots, watching how they
interacted so freely with each other, he'd realized that he no longer knew how to be with other people. The only time he was at ease was when he fought, but
peace would change that, the battles would end and he'd be left with nothing but his memories. He wasn't fighting to win.  He was fighting to die.

He was a fighter, and he excelled at duels whether they were in a suit or on foot. So he knew after Wufei left himself open twice in a row that the boy was
courting death with open arms. //I meant to eliminate the competition, to punish him for taking the one man I loved. I never meant to kill him.// He could tell from
the boy's broken response to his list of victims that Wufei didn't want pity, he didn't want to be added to that list. //Milliardo, you wanted this boy and I took him
from you. Now you wish to destroy the planet you once loved, complete with the country you devoted your life to. Did you find out? You must have. Well,
Wufei, you aren't the only one who can't live with what I did. Milliardo missed his chance to kill me, but you won't.//

Giving a sharp cry as he watched Treize impale his suit on Altron's blade, Wufei jerked back, eyes wide in disbelief. "No! How could you?!" The explosion as
the suit was destroyed was so small in the dark openness of space, anticlimactic as it took Treize out of the world. Wide eyes filling with tears, Wufei curled his
hands into fists, slamming one down on the arm of his seat. "Damnit! I didn't think I'd win..." His shoulders shook as his tears dampened his cheeks, and if a
suit had taken him at that moment he would have embraced it. //No finish...I have nothing. What reason did *he* have to die...? Even with his own death he's
dealt one final blow, denying me my freedom from this pain. No suit powerful enough to defeat me. No matter how weak I've become, I can't kill
myself...can't commit that ultimate act... He's denied me my death...//

* * *

// don't understand at all...I *wanted* you to kill me.// Looking down the hall in the direction Wing Zero had taken, Zechs shook his head suddenly.
//Treize is dead, but this is not over. It was bad enough when I discovered the Gundams were against White Fang, now they'll die on this falling battleship, he'll
die because of me.// Shaking himself, he checked Epyon's stats, heart racing as he found the damages minimal despite the loss of one arm. //Heero...he too
will risk his life to stop this ship, they all will. To save the earth. Once again, I'll be to blame for that boy's pain...Wufei...// Eyes narrowing, he moved down the
hall, urging the red suit to go as fast as possible as he tried to reach the main power before it was too late. He had no bullets left after the drawn out battle with
Heero, but it made no difference. //Relena, you tried to stop me, but I wouldn't listen to you. If I had, those five boys wouldn't be risking death now, they'd be
celebrating the truce between earth and the colonies. My dear sister, you'll have to forgive me. No one else will...//

Reaching the core, his breath caught as he saw that Wing Zero was also out of ammunition. Even his sword was dead. Knowing what the fearless boy would
do, he intercepted him as quickly as he could. //A sacrifice is needed, but not yours. I'll die here, a warrior fighting for the right cause, just like Wufei, a
warrior...// Readying his sword, he gave one last call to the boy behind him. "I'll fight! Right to the bitter end!"

"No! Stoppit Zechs!"

Hearing the boy's urgent call, he acknowledged him. //They are all so kind...even him, sparing my life for the sake of my sister. Protecting the defenseless from
pain. Don't pity me, Heero, don't feel pain over my death.// Stabbing the sword into the center of the core, he managed one last message before his systems
went wild with the explosion. "Till we meet again...Heero..."

* * *

//Good-bye Nataku, dear one. If you could see me now, would you smile or give me that sad look that fills you eyes...? Don't be sad, the war is over. I've put
the past behind me.// Pressing the button, he watched his Gundam detonate, feeling a part of him die with it but not mourning that part. He stared at the
remainder, and knew he'd made the right decision.

A year after their hard-earned peace, he'd done something he would regret for the rest of his life. Unable to live without battle, lost in a world of peace, he'd
joined with the rebel force that had taken Relena Peacecraft hostage and intended to finish the true Operation Meteor. Looking back, he was disgusted with
himself, with the way he'd turned against the four people who were his true friends. All because his selfishness had led him to fighting regardless of the
innocents harmed. Because even a year later, the ghost of Treize continued to haunt him, the reminder of his weakness sapping away at his humanity. But no
more, he'd buried Treize with his Gundam and he was determined to go on living without meaningless battle. Turning his head, he looked over his shoulder at
Sally Po.

She'd accompanied him, convinced that he didn't really want to be alone. Somehow, she'd guessed that he was hurting and had expressed her desire to help
him. But he wouldn't accept. He had put it behind him, he refused to even think of it. He turned to her now, taking the few steps till he stood beside her, looking
to where the proud Gundam had stood. When she asked him to join the Preventors, he leapt at the idea. His response was, of course, a careless one, but he
knew that having an active job would divert his mind. Keeping busy he could make a life for himself. Duo had asked him to join him, to visit with the others after
they'd taken care of their affairs, but he wouldn't. With time, he would seek them out again, but for now he didn't want to drag them down. They were all so
happy to see the war end, forgiving him with no questions asked despite the fact that he had been their enemy. The war he'd helped start had uprooted them
from their otherwise peaceful lives and he wanted time for them to forget and for him to forgive himself. Then, he'd go and see them again.

* * *

"He's a Preventor now."

Zechs glanced at Noin, then looked away again, eyes dull. It had taken him months to realize that their game wasn't going to work. She'd gone with him to
space and he had tried, desperately, to put a lid on the past, to be content with their time together. They'd been close since they were young, but he had
known he didn't love her and had admitted as much before they'd set out. He wasn't going to let her come with him on that false premise. As it was, she'd
already known, but she had also sensed something terribly wrong with him and had refused to let him go alone. Now, finally having convinced him to tell her,
she was trying to get him to do something about the unfinished business.

"Sally says his work is impeccable but that he doesn't speak to anybody. Don't you see, Zechs? It's obviously tearing him up still. He probably doesn't even
know *why* Treize did it. You have to go and talk to him, you can't just ignore it forever."

"I'm not." Looking away, Zechs shook his head. "I think about it all of the time. But what good would it do for me to go there? So I tell him why, then he can hate
me as well. Will that help him? Of course not."

"Maybe not," Noin said harshly, glaring at the man. "But you owe it to him to tell him the truth. Didn't you say you felt guilty, responsible? Well how do you think
he feels? When something like this happens, the victim *always* blames himself. Are you really willing to sit here and let him hate himself for what Treize did to


"Then go. Do it now before you think twice about it. Do it for him. Even if it doesn't help, it can't hurt."

"He might kill me," Zechs said softly watching her with a tiny smirk. "I'd never be able to hurt him, even if we dueled."

"I know...but you're hurting now." Shaking her head, she sat down at the table of their shared apartment. "Good luck, Zechs, take my love with you."



* * *

It would be easier with no questions asked, but he knew the building was too well guarded to sneak in. So he went through the proper procedures, showing his
identification to the front desk. Once, he'd snuck into the headquarters, during the last war when he'd become Wind, a member of the Preventors. Now, Une
had raised the defenses to prevent such an occurrence. Luckily, he was still on record as a member, so the man at the desk sent him through the security
doors as soon as he'd placed his hand on the scanner. He had tried to find the boy's location in the building by hacking into the information, but it was not on
record. He couldn't help his suspicion that someone with computer skills had hidden it too well for it to be cracked. With grudging respect, he'd given up,
wondering if Wufei knew that he was being kept track of by a former Gundam pilot. But he doubted it, the boy wouldn't take kindly to being looked after,
certainly not by Heero Yuy who was about the only one Zechs knew with the abilities to pull off such a thing. Not knowing where to go, he reluctantly made his
way to the top offices, hoping that Wufei wouldn't be working. He didn't know what he'd do if he had to confront the boy with witnesses.

As luck would have it, he gained entrance through the heavily guarded lobby of the top floor. While security here too had been increased, it seemed his name
had remained and the men on guard let him in without raising an eyebrow, directing him to Une's office. He didn't know what he would say to the woman, but
he was not going to take no for an answer. If she refused to tell him where Wufei was, he fully intended to use whatever means necessary. As Noin had
guessed, it was now or never and if he didn't find the boy now he wouldn't come back. Stopping at the secretary's desk, he gave his name, watching as her
eyes widened and she placed a quick call. Even she had heard of him, and his surprise warred with the flattery of the knowledge. Nodding when she gave him
permission to enter, he wondered if his fame was because of his past or because he'd once snuck into Une's office without being caught.

Une's surprise was evident in her wide brown eyes as she stood, hand outstretched. Shaking hands, Zechs declined her offer to sit, not wanting to waste any
time. "I need something from you. I once came here at an opportune time and helped you, now I need your help."

She blinked sharply, eyes narrowing as she slowly sat in her chair. "We do have rules, Wind. If your request doesn't interfere with them then I'll surely help you
but if it does..."

"I want the location of Chang Wufei." He met her surprised gaze without flinching, noting when her suspicions came to the foreground, visible on her
expressive face. Her hair was down.

"Why? If you need to speak to him, I can call him up here. He *is* in the building, but I won't give out his location. I've been asked not to and I have no reason
to deny this."

Although he had every intention of pushing, he gave in to his urge. "Did he ask you?"

"No." She didn't volunteer any more, and she blinked in surprise when Zechs grinned suddenly.

"Does Wufei have any idea how they're protecting him? I understand that he hasn't seen them since he came to work here. Does he know what they've done?"

Shaking her head in confusion, Une glared suddenly. "How did you know--"

"Which one's responsible for this? Quatre?" He let out a small laugh when she flushed, shaking his head. "Lady Une, I just want to speak to the boy, in private.
I'm still a Preventor, and I *know* there's no policy about a Preventor knowing the whereabouts of a fellow Preventor."

"He won't see you. I'm sorry, Zechs, I can't tell you. I won't go against his wishes or the wishes of his friends."

"But I will." Smiling when Zechs turned bright eyes her way, Sally came through the door to her office, it being adjoined to Une's. "She was asked not to, but I
haven't been asked any such thing. Besides, he's asked after you on more than one occasion."

"What?" Frowning at the woman, Une stood. "Why wasn't I told?"

"Because he asked me," Sally said lightly before looking to Zechs. "He's in room 385, security clearance 2177-8067-A." Grinning when Une's face reddened,
she pushed the tall man toward the door. "Go on, and give Noin my regards. We could still use her help around here."

* * *

No one had knocked on his door since he'd moved into the apartment three months ago. At first, Wufei was confused as to what the sound was, then he
stood, staring at the door. Sure enough the knock came again. Glancing down, he stacked his notes and set them inside their folder before moving slowly to
the door. He wasn't sure if he wanted to answer it or not. No one had made more than one attempt to be friendly with him, and he couldn't think of anyone who
would seek him out when a simple telephone call was quicker. Standing a foot from the door, he sighed as the knock came again, not urgent but with an
almost stubborn tone, as if the person wasn't going to give up. Turning his lock, he opened the door. Expression blank as he stared at the man standing there,
seconds passed before his eyes suddenly widened and he blinked abruptly.

"Zechs. What are you *doing* here?" Feeling a tiny rush of discomfort, he shoved it down, watching the man with a calm, curious expression.

"I need to talk to you," Zechs said slowly, eyes narrowing as he looked over the boy. He looked the same, only the glow of defiance was gone from his black
eyes, they were dull now, hiding nothing as he blinked up at him. "Can I come in?"

Shaking his head, Wufei flashed him a disappointed smile, one he'd perfected within weeks of joining the organization. He'd learned the technique from Duo
who had a smile for all occasions. "I'm rather busy."

"'ve changed so much..." His breath caught in his throat when he spotted a small flicker in the boy's eyes as they narrowed a bit before clearing
quickly. "I *have* to talk to you, Wufei, please."

Staring at the man, he could feel emotions trying to work their way to the surface, but he ignored them, not even wanting to know what they were. "As long as
it's quick, but I hope it's important, I really do have work to do." Stepping back, he let the man enter, his mind wondering why as Zechs was the first person
besides Sally to set foot in his apartment. He gestured for the man to take a seat at the table in the kitchen as he picked up the folder and set it on the coffee
table before returning to sit down across from him. "What can I do for you?"

As he stared at the boy's blank eyes, he came to a painful realization, rather than facing what had happened, the boy had hidden it. He could tell just by
looking into his eyes that the past was inside him, fermenting and sapping away at him. "I'm so sorry..."

Blinking sharply, Wufei frowned. "What are you talking about?"

"You never told anyone..." Watching the boy's blank expression slowly crumble as Wufei realized what he was speaking of, Zechs hated himself. //Noin was
right...he blames himself.//

His breath catching, Wufei stood suddenly, dark eyes taking on a haunted look as he stared at the seated man. "Get out," he whispered, hands clenching into
fists at his sides. "Get out now."

Zechs shook his head slowly, voice soft as he looked at the boy, so different from the proud pilot he'd once met in a dark cell. "You deserve to know the truth,
what Treize did he did because of me." Wufei's arms shook slightly and the boy gripped the back of a chair as Zechs wondered if he was fighting an urge to
run. "After I met you, I kept thinking of you." Unable to look at those wide eyes, he stared at the table. "Treize came to me, and when I turned him away, he
must have seen your picture on my computer. I have no excuse, I'd been thinking of you before his arrival and it never crossed my mind that Treize would take
his rejection out on you. I didn't find out what he'd done until much later, that's when I decided to lead the White Fang, to kill him." Looking up at the boy, he
saw the confusion in his gaze. "I'm sorry, Wufei, I never...Treize never did *anything* like that to anyone before..."

"Are..." Swallowing roughly, Wufei stared at him, knuckles white as he held onto the chair for support. "Are you saying he...did that...because of you? Why? I
never..." Closing his eyes, he moved suddenly, sinking down on the couch and wrapping his arms around himself. "It doesn't matter. He was the enemy, it
doesn't matter what *he* did. It was up to me to fight him, but I...I just..."

The boy suddenly bent over, his head against his knees as a low keening sound reached Zechs's ears. He stood, nearly knocking his chair over in his haste
as he moved to the boy, kneeling in front of him, afraid to touch him and not knowing how to comfort him. "Wufei...please don't." Not getting a response, he
tentatively moved his arms around the boy's shoulders, his breath stopping when the boy didn't stiffen. Encouraged, he slowly tightened his arms until the boy
was pressed to his chest, one hand moving over his shoulders as the Wufei cried. "You can't blame yourself, Wufei, it's not your fault."

"Yes it is, you don't understand," came the whispered response from where Wufei's face was hidden against him. "I betrayed everything I held dear...I...liked
it...I didn't want to! I just...I couldn't help myself and my body wouldn't listen to me...I lost control. I just wasn't strong enough to resist him."

Shaking his head, Zechs pressed his lips to the top of the boy's head before resting his cheek against his silky hair. "Wufei, was that the first time you had
sex? You don't know then. There's nothing you could have done. You weren't weak, your reaction was natural." He spoke softly as he felt the boy still against
him and knew he was listening. "Your body reacts to certain things. Like a cat. Have you ever petted a cat, Wufei?" He felt the boy's head move against his
chest and took it for a nod. "Even if a cat is angry with you, if you pet it the right way, it purrs. It can't help that. It's the same way with people. Certain touches
feel good, and sex is the strongest. Do you understand? Treize knew this and used your innocence to make you feel guilty. You weren't weak and you haven't
betrayed anything."

"It was so horrible," Wufei whispered. "All I knew was that I had no control over myself. Then he gave me the chance to tell him to stop and...I...I couldn't do it...I
tried but I couldn't make myself say the words."

He held the boy tight, listening as Wufei's breathing gradually slowed but not loosening his grip. His guilt was there, and he knew he had no right to touch him,
but he was unable to let go, especially since the boy hadn't asked him to. Minutes passed before the silence was broken.

"Do you know," Wufei said softly, not lifting his head as he stared at the dark blue cloth of Zechs's shirt. "You're the first man to touch me since then...I couldn't
stand to let them, even if it was just a handshake. I humiliated myself with how I'd flinch and cringe inside and I got to the point where I kept a foot of distance
between me and people."

"I heard you'd stopped talking," Zechs said slowly. "Your friends are worried about you."

"I...didn't have anything to say." Shaking his head, he refused to look up, not wanting to break the embrace. "I don't understand why you don't bother me...but I
guess it's because my feelings never changed. Even after...when I saw you again and you wanted me to fight with you, I still felt the pull toward you...attraction.
I didn't understand how it was possible, but it was there even then."

"You're attracted to me?" His pulse quickened and Zechs nudged the boy's chin up, staring into his eyes. "There was a time I longed to hear that, but you still
feel that way knowing I'm responsible?"

"If I wasn't to blame," Wufei said slowly, eyes narrowing, "and I was there, how could I blame you? And I *am* attracted to you, I was the first time I saw you
laugh, your eyes sparkled." Flushing when Zechs raised an eyebrow, he glanced away quickly. "They did..."

"You're beautiful."

"What?" Wufei looked up abruptly, eyes wide.

Zechs brushed his knuckles over the boy's soft cheek as he looked at his startled eyes. "You are beautiful, Wufei." He ran his thumb over Wufei's bottom lip,
his hand moving beneath his chin as he tilted his head back. Lowering his head, he brushed his lips over Wufei's, a light touch but a kiss nonetheless. Pulling
back, he watched Wufei's closed eyes, waiting for his response.

Looking up at Zechs, Wufei shook his head. "I've never been kissed before."

"Did you like it?" At Wufei's nod, he couldn't restrain a soft growl as his arms tightened around the boy, his lips moving over him again. Arms moved around his
neck and he could feel Wufei's fingers in his hair as the boy opened his mouth. Their tongues touched and the boy pressed up against him, his fingers
tugging his hair. Pulling away slowly, Zechs let his eyes run over the boy before closing them for a second. "I shouldn't be doing this."

"Why?" Wufei watched him, not releasing his hold on the man's long hair.

"You deserve better."

Lifting his head, Wufei brushed his lips over Zechs's chin, breathing against the man's neck. "You make me feel good about myself. He...he said no one would
ever want me again, but you do...don't you?"

"Yes," Zechs breathed, head tilting to the side as lips touched his neck. "Wufei..."

"I want you, but I don't want to feel weak...I want..."

"Cherished." His hand moved over the small of the boy's back as Wufei's hot breath hit his neck. "You should be cherished."

"Yes, please?" He glanced up to see Zechs's pale blue eyes on him. "Zechs?"

"Are you sure?" The boy ducked his head again, teeth nipping at his neck and Zechs let out a low laugh. "I'll take that as a yes." Pulling the boy to his feet, he
bent and lifted him into his arms, eyes moving around the living-room of the apartment. He found the bedroom door and carried Wufei to it, pausing to kiss him
again before opening the door. Shutting it with his heel, he moved to the bed, kneeling on it as he lay the boy down on the quilts. He touched his cheek lightly
before his fingers touched the boy's hair. "May I?" Wufei nodded, and he undid the hair tie, spreading his hair like black silk over the covers. "You have
beautiful hair, Wufei, you should wear it down."

"It gets in my face."

Smiling at the boy's serious expression, he leaned over him, brushing a few strands off his cheeks. "It's so soft, like silk." He brushed some of the hair over his
lips, eyes shining as he looked down at Wufei. Then he stretched out on the bed, pulling the black-haired boy onto his side as his hands moved behind his
neck and their mouths touched. It wasn't until Wufei's hold on his hair pulled his head back that he remembered to breath, eyes moving to the Chinese boy's
face earnestly.

Eyes hesitant, Wufei tugged on Zechs's shirt. "Would you?" The man complied quickly and Wufei's eyes widened as he ran his palms over Zechs muscular
chest. "I've never seen..." Shaking his head, he moved his lips over one of his shoulders, tasting his skin.

//My God...he's so innocent...// His breath caught as the boy's tongue touched him, and one hand buried in Wufei's black hair. Not wanting to prevent the boy
from doing whatever he wanted, he contented himself with his hands. Pushing his fingers beneath Wufei's loose white shirt, he ran his hands over the flat
chest, massaging his muscles gently. Wufei leaned back abruptly and Zechs paused, sighing with relief when the boy raised his arms so he could pull his shirt
over his head. Taking hold of Wufei's shoulders, he moved his hands down over the boy's arms, pausing at his wrists to place his arms around his neck as be
leaned forward, his mouth tasting his neck before moving lower.

Taking one of the boy's nipples into his mouth, he caressed it with his tongue. He hadn't realized Wufei wasn't wearing shoes until he felt the boy's legs move
against his as he arched his back upward for more. There was something infinitely erotic about the feel of the boy's bare feet against his ankles and he let out
a soft sound. Slipping his hands beneath the band of Wufei's pants, he pushed them down, the boy lifting his legs as he pulled them off. Sitting up, he undid
his own and paused as the black-haired boy looked at him. Expression studious, Wufei ran his hand over Zechs's erection, giving a small smile when the tall
man let out a groan and pushed upward into his hand.

Seeing the boy's smile, Zechs took a quick breath and, keeping those black eyes on him, bent down to brush his tongue over Wufei's member, smirking when
the boy gasped. Falling back, his hands dug into Zechs' long hair as the man's mouth moved over him, tongue circling him in tantalizing motions. Moaning
when the man took him deep into his throat, his fingers clenched around Zechs's hair and he shoved his hips upward, his eyes closed tightly.

Zechs slipped a hand beneath Wufei's hips, growling low in his throat as the boy moaned, tugging on his hair. Rubbing him with his tongue, he did his best to
swallow the boy, his free hand massaging one of Wufei's nipples as he let the boy's moans guide him. The chest beneath his hand moved from the boy's
harsh breathing, and he could feel his heartbeat through his silken skin. A part of his mind was still fighting the reality of what he was doing, but the sounds
Wufei was making caused his chest to burn. Nothing mattered except making the boy happy, and judging by his response it was working.

When Wufei came, it caught him off guard, and he held him tight as he swallowed quickly, stretching onto his side and pulling the black-haired boy up against
his chest. Running his fingers through Wufei's hair, he closed his eyes as he smiled, pressing his lips to the boy's forehead.


Opening his eyes, he looked down, meeting Wufei's hesitant gaze. "Yes?"

Wufei's eyes were bright, but he flushed and blinked at him all seriousness. "I'm not complaining, really. But I thought...that is..." Frowning, he glared at
Zechs's chest for a moment before his shoulders stiffened and he looked up resolutely. "Is that sex too?"

Smiling, his eyes half closed, Zechs brushed his lips over Wufei's. "Definitely. Do you have to be anywhere this evening?" The boy shook his head, and he
rolled onto his back, pulling Wufei onto him. "Then we have plenty of time."

"Are...are you leaving?" Wufei's eyes widened with disappointment, but he sighed and rested his cheek against Zechs's chest.

"I could stay," he said slowly, brushing hair away from Wufei's face. "If you want me to. I'd love to stay."

Raising his head, Wufei kissed him, hands moving behind Zechs's head. "Yes, stay with me." Chewing lightly on the man's bottom lip, he ran his tongue
against Zechs's before pulling back a tiny bit. "Don't leave, I don't want you to leave me."

Growling, Zechs rolled suddenly, pinning the boy beneath him as he kissed him urgently. When he finally stopped for breath, he grinned at the boy's pleased
yet bemused expression. "I'm not going anywhere."