im not dead. some people think this is a good thing. here is part one of a fic. the rest is no where near done, but coming along.

disclaimer: the boys aren't mine. i play with them to entertain myself. they seem to enjoy it... for the most part.
title: frozen in time
author: jana
cumulative: R for language and severe emotional distress
archive: shinigami&wing http://www.1X2X1.org
warnings: shounen-ai, an abundance of angst, language
spoilers: a few, but nothing major
pairings: hint of past 1X2X1, 2+H, 1+R, implied 3X4
notes: another one that came to me in a dream... a nightmare really ^_^;; it's no wonder i'm an insomniac
summary: the eve wars are over and everything has happened as per the series and endless waltz. this fic takes place starting at that moment in AC 196 when heero collapses into relena's arms at the end of endless waltz and spans forward.


Frozen In Time
Part One - Soldiers in Peacetime


The fiery explosion that was the destruction of the last remaining piece of Battleship Libra signaled to the world the long awaited end of the Eve Wars. But it was sometime later deep inside the underground fortress that was the Brussels Presidential Palace that the real final act played itself out. Amidst only a handful of onlookers, limp fingers released their grasp on a weapon and the pilot of Gundam 01 could be seen falling to his knees; caught before his unconscious form had a chance to hit the floor.

Relena moved forward quickly to gather him into her arms, cradling the handsome young soldier against her chest and offering him what comfort she could. She looked down at him and softly stroked his cheek; calling his name, not for his sake, but for her own reassurance. Heero had really won the war. The remaining four pilots were still hold up inside the cockpits of their Gundams standing motionless in the narrow city streets; along with the mobile suits of Preventers Wind and Water. The six huge machines stood like giants among the large crowd that had gathered just blocks from the rising smoke that marked the final battle scene.

It wasn't until hours after the peace was won that the five exhausted Gundam pilots converged as arranged into what remained standing of the Presidential Palace in Sank. Relief was clearly visible through the worn and tired faces of the young warriors. There were congratulations offered between the five one another; more than a little surprised that they had all managed to survive.

There was no notable fanfare despite the victory that had been achieved and for all intents and purposes the lack of celebration set well with the 5 young men who could clearly claim a large portion of said victory as their own. They fought long and hard with little regard for their own lives for a chance at peace.

For some it would seem there was nothing beyond it.


"So where are you headed off to?"

The question was met with a warm smile. "I'm heading back to L4. "

Duo nodded and looked toward the tall boy who stood beside Quatre, prompting him too for a reply. "Tro?"

"Circus for the time being." he began, "At least for a little while." The emerald eyed pilot smiled warmly toward the blonde at his side.

"What about you, Duo?"

Duo frowned slightly at Quatre's question. "I've a standing invitation from Hilde to return to L2." He looked over to find Heero seated beside Relena on the bottom step of the master staircase; his hand held loosely by that of the Princess. "Looks like I may be taking her up on it."

"Duo... he's been through a lot today. Not that we all haven't..." he was quick to add.

Duo offered the Arabian a forced smile. "I know he has." He honestly hadn't expected his friend and occasional lover to come right out and suggest that they take off somewhere together; he had expected the two would have at least spoken to one another during the past several hours. "Relena seems to be taking good care of him." There was no animosity in his tone. "Perhaps she is more suited to deal with him at the moment."


The smiling pilot laid his hand on his friend's shoulder. "I'll be fine, Q. Really."

The evening wore on and so with it the need to bring the intimate gathering to some sort of closure. Duo crossed the room to grab his duffel bag and slung it over his shoulder as he prepared to exit the Palace. His eyes searched the room one last time for Heero; offering a half-hearted smile as he found his partner making his way toward him.

"You leaving?"

Duo nodded. "Yeah. Back to L2. Gonna hang with Hilde for a while."

Heero reached forward and took Duo's hand in his. "I'll call you in a few days."

"Sure. Take care of yourself, Heero." Duo returned, pulling Heero forward and into a friendly hug. He could feel himself on the verge of tears as he felt Heero draw him closer still. The two separated just seconds later and Duo quickly turned his back on Heero to walk from the room. He couldn't bear to meet those cobalt eyes; he couldn't allow Heero to see the spectrum of emotion his held


There had been plans made between himself, Quatre and Trowa long before they prepared to part ways that night. The three were to meet at dawn at a pre-designated area to once and for all, put to rest their giant weapons of war. Duo chose to spend the next few hours inside Deathscythe's tiny cockpit; easily giving into his body's request for respite in the all too familiar space. The sleep that followed was uncharacteristically without interruption; the sound of voices rousing him at dusk.

Trowa and Quatre stood looking upward as the loud hiss of the hydraulic mechanism broke the morning silence; watching as their comrade emerged from the now lowered cockpit door. Duo yawned into the fading darkness and climbed down from his Gundam to stand before his friends. "So I guess this is it, huh?"

The task would be handled differently this time. They would be witness to the destruction.

Met with curt nods from both of the solemn pilots, the three proceeded to climb up onto the jagged cliff that overlooked the ravine where the three huge machines stood side by side. One could not help being affected by such a vision and the knowledge of what was about to happen. There was trepidation as fingers closed snugly around the cylindrical devices each held in their hand. As if on cue, thumbs that had hovered over the end tightened to finally depress the small red switch. It was inconceivable that pained eyes be drawn from the ensuing explosion; and they were not.

Three boys stood in silent thought as a heavy cloud of acrid smoke wrapped itself around them.


Duo's shuttle arrived back on L2 late that afternoon. He'd not called ahead, yet Hilde did not seem surprised to find him standing inside the opened rear doorway of her tiny apartment. The hushed tone of his voice reached Hilde long after his eyes spoke. "It's over." There was nothing further said for strained moments as the two stood locked in a glance. Bringing his right leg back, Duo kicked the door closed and welcomed Hilde into his arms. A sudden rush of relief washed over the former soldier and pilot. It was only then the amethyst eyed young man grasped the entirety of the situation and allowed himself to cry.


It was days before Duo did anything other than eat and sleep; finding the later substantially more satisfying of a luxury. Hilde had gone about business as usual, busy running the scrap yard and the two barely saw one another. It was on the third day that Duo woke early and showered, entering the kitchen to find Hilde cleaning up after breakfast.

"Hey Hilde."

The voice had surprised her. "Duo!" She turned from the sink and smiled as she watched Duo seat himself at the table. "Coffee?"

Duo smiled and nodded. "Please." He looked around the small kitchen and his eyes finally settled again on the dark haired girl as she crossed the room with white mug in hand. She seated herself beside Duo and watched as he brought the cup to his lips.

"I saw everything on T.V." She allowed her gaze to meet Duo's; almost afraid to ask. "How's Heero?" There had been very little released to the general public about the condition of the pilot of Wing Zero other than the fact that he was alive.

He didn't allow the chuckle that grew inside at her question to leave his lips. "He's Heero, Hilde. He'll be fine." She nodded her understanding; her eyes pleading with him to continue.

The two had never discussed Duo's relationship with Heero; it was obvious enough to anyone looking that there was something there. "He's with Relena. He said he'd call in a few days." Realizing that he had probably been semi-unconscious for at least that amount time, he looked up at her.

"No. He didn't call." she smiled in response to his unanswered question. "I would have woke you."


Duo busied himself the next few days by immersing himself in assisting Hilde with the scrap business she'd founded and ran. It seemed there was more than enough work for two and he idly wondered how she managed to keep up with it by herself. The constant activity kept his thoughts from focusing on the eventual task of finding more permanent living arrangements. It proved to be an adequate distraction albeit temporary. Each night as he crawled into his bed he thought about Heero; and couldn't help but wonder what was keeping him from his promised contact.

Nothing he imagined would even come close.