Baacharuriariti (Virtual Reality)
Author: Miss Conception
Archive: ff.net and others coming soon, but if you want it, just ask!
Genre: Romance, Sci-fi(ish)
Pairings: 1+2+1
Rating: PG for now
Series: Gundam Wing
Warnings: AU, angst, mild Duo torture, sap, virtual reality, possible citrus, cross-dressing-ish???

**Disclaimer: If I owned them, I'd be one happy camper. But alas...they are not mine.**

Author's Note: This fic is written for Belinda, who gave me the idea in the fist place. So here I go!! Wish me luck (I'll need it!!).



A.D. 2094

Duo unwrapped the gift carefully, not wanting to damage it in any way. He hoped that this was the gift he had asked for, but he still wasn’t sure yet. Sometimes his mother got him what he wanted, but other times she bought stupid things like sweaters and underwear. It had taken him forever, too, to convince her that they needed to join the real world and buy a fast computer. Helen was a wonderful lady, but after Duo’s dad died, she went a little crazy. Most of the time, she was all right, but then there were the moments when...

"You got it!" he screamed as his mind refocused on the box in his hands. The 'Microsoft Virtual Reality Connection Kit' was printed in big letters up the side of the box. His mother had actually bought it for him! He jumped up and raced over to where his mother was sitting on the sofa. He threw his arms around her and kissed her cheek. "Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!" he chanted like a mantra over and over.

"You're welcome, Duo," she said in a soft, calm voice, which was very much in contrast of Duo's voice at that moment. "Happy 16th birthday!"

"Thanks mom! If you don't mind, I'm going to set it up. I can't wait to see what it does! I've heard so much about it, and it got great reviews, and you can even update it over the Internet." Duo went on and on talking about it as his mother just smiled and nodded.

"Yes, dear," she said over and over, smiling at her son cluelessly. "Have fun playing your game, sweetie, while I go and get these dishes taken care of. And don't stay up too late, as you HAVE to go to school tomorrow."

"Yeah, yeah," Duo said inattentively as he dug everything out of the box. There was a helmet and gloves that were wireless, and a CD to load into the computer. He inserted it into the CD drive and it hooked up to the Internet. He passed as quickly as he could through the installation program and took out the instruction manual to read.

"Instruction One: Please place helmet on head."

Duo did as he was told, gently pulling the special device over his braid. As soon as it was placed comfortably, he flipped up the visor to check the manual again.

"Two: Check the right side of the helmet for the 'on' switch, which you just can tap gently."

His fingers brushed across it, and he saw the reflection of blue from the screen that was pulled up. He made the rest of the preparations as quickly as he could and then started the program. He looked at the option before him on the screen:

"Play game (vs. PC)
Training Mode
Interactive Game

"Might as well learn how to do it first, right?" he told himself as he chose 'Training Mode'. That night, he sat on the computer and trained, enjoying his new game. How was he supposed to know that later he would come to rely on it, and that very game was going to change his life?