Title: He's Mine: Heart and Soul-Interlude #2
Author: Perotessa Detwieler (cearda@ultimanet.com)
Category: dramatic, Shonen-ai, slight angst
Pairings: none in this section
Warnings: Coarse language

Summary: The Emperor comes clean about the past. Duo gets to know who is parents were and where he comes from.

Interlude #2
A Long Dark Nightmare

Earth - Wishmont Farm, Virginia
June - A.C. 201

Emperor Jonathan Martin Mathis loved Virginia. He loved this old farm which had been in the Mathis family now for four generations. It was a good place to come to get away from the hustle and bustle of Washington. It was also the perfect place to finally answer the questions that an impatient Duo Maxwell Mathis wanted answered.

He watched his....son talk animatedly with the members of his family. Emperor Mathis felt a dull twinge of amazement that this being...this survivor of abandonment, starvation, plague, destruction, war, and love was able to show such openness, and acceptance. He was strong as he would have to be, deceptively so. His form hid a spine of gundanium.

Laughing, Duo broke away from his newly met cousin Valen Broida and entered the study in which Jonathan had taken shelter.

"Ah! So this is where you've been hiding. What? Mosquitoes chase you in here?" Duo teased blue-violet eyes twinkling.

The Emperor still couldn't believe that Duo actually existed. He was in many ways like Marguite, but in male form.

The Emperor shrugged good naturedly. "I've lived here long enough that I think they know me by scent." he turned and gestured towards a pitcher. "Would you like some lemonade?"

"Oh cool. Yes please."

At the Farm while they did have servants, the Emperor wasn't so dependant on them that he couldn't pour himself or others a glass of lemonade. He passed the glass over to Duo touching his hand briefly in passing.

"Your hands are freezing." he exclaimed. Duo grinned unconcerned. "That's ok, they're always cold."

//Your hands are freezing, Margie!"//

The Emperor cast him a guarded look then moved around,

"Here, sit. You wanted to know about the past. About my relationship with your mother. And I think it's time to tell you."

Duo's eyes widened and he sat heavily into one of the plush chairs that framed the fireplace. Finally answers to questions that he had been dying to know but had been reluctant to ask.

"There's really no easy way to do this so I'll just jump in. I met your mother at a gallery opening. The year was AC 177 and I was 23 years old. I may have been Crown Prince, but that didn't mean I had lived my whole life in the palace. Simon took care of that."

Duo frowned puzzled. "Simon? Who is Simon?"

Emperor Mathis blinked, startled out of his train of thought. "Oh I guess I didn't explain that part. You see, Duo, I had three parents." Seeing the younger man's look of confusion he colored faintly. "Uh...I better start from the beginning."

He paused for a moment then started once again to weave his tale. "As you know, my father's name was Christopher Ethan Mathis. Also known as Ethan the younger. His father was...well probably the second greatest emperor the empire ever had: Charles Joshua Mathis the Annihilator of Cuba, Conqueror of Mexico, Liberator of California.

"Anyway, my father at the age of 18, entered West Point Military Academy. It was the first time he was away from home, and well to make a long story short, that's where he met Simon Fletcher. They fell in love. I dunno how they did it, but they kept their relationship under wraps during their whole stay there.

"Once dad turned twenty-one he was named Crown Prince and started to perform the duties and obligations that the position required. He and Simon went their separate ways, hoping that one day they could meet again.

"Luckily, if your a romantic, they did five years later. They quickly realized that theirs was an eternal love, I suppose, and rekindled their romance much to the dismay of my grandfather Emperor Charles Mathis. He told my dad that he was disappointed in his choice of lifestyles. However, he would support their union only if dad agreed to get married, and fulfil his familial obligations and produce an heir. Dad wasn't so sure, but Charles already had everything arranged. He picked out a girl and told Dad that this was going to be his wife.

"That lady's name was Lydia Duerr, my mother. Strangely, at least to a straight outsider who may have a narrow mind, Mom didn't care that Dad had a lover. She got along well with Simon, and Dad got along well with both of them so they decided that it might all work out after all. So they got married. They were, I guess, what you could call Polyamours. Dad didn't have to give up Simon, and he now was married to Lydia. Lydia acknowledged Simon's place as number one love in Dad's heart, and Simon acknowledged Lydia's importance as Dad's wife. It all worked out pretty damn well.

"Four years later I was born. I had three parents. Dad, Simon, and Mom."

The Emperor gave Duo a chagrined look shrugging. "They were together during their whole marriage. They even died together so I know it can work, and it's why I can accept your love for Heero Yuy."

Duo's jaw dropped open. "How did you--. The book huh?"

Jonathan shrugged again. "Who am I to tell you who you can and can not love? It's not like I had a conventional upbringing. Anyway...back to your mother."

He took a sip of his wine to gather his thoughts. "Marguite O'Hare was a smart lady and beautiful. She was working as a consultant with a large energy firm who was looking for funding. She had been to the palace a couple of times for briefings; I never really noticed her. She never noticed me either.

"Well as I was saying, I met her at a gallery opening. If you asked me I couldn't tell you the first thing about the gallery or the artist. I thought Marguite was the most beautiful thing in the room. Funny that..she came up to me and engaged me in small talk. That's when I put two and two together and figured out who she was. I liked her. She was intelligent, witty, easy to talk to. She gave me her number and I called her the next day.

"Funny thing is...we went out on three dates and she didn't know who I was. I really didn't know how to tell her without making me look like a total prick. Finally I told her: ' My name is Jonathan Mathis.' She would have fallen to her knees if I hadn't stopped her. I told her then and there that I liked her because she wasn't like any other woman I had met. I enjoyed her company and I hope she enjoyed mine."

Emperor Mathis paused trying to decide where to go with his story.

"We had four wonderful years together. Every year on the anniversary of our meeting I would ask her to marry me. And each year she said: 'let me think about it.' I can remember my mother really liked her; admired her. Marguite was a career woman totally independent. She had her own car, her own apartment, her own money, her own life. I think she kept putting off marrying me because she was afraid that she would have to give all of that up. And she would have in a way.

"It was those last days. They say hindsight is 20/20 and they're right. If I had known then what I know now I never would have let her out of my sight. Turns out Margie was feeling a bit under the weather so she went to see Doc Weldon. He gave her the regular battery of tests and found out that it wasn't a bug, she was pregnant. Weldon, in his excitement told an Alliance mole about Marguite's condition. It was this operative who ordered Marguite to be abducted and subsequently abandoned on L2. Weldon didn't know you see."

"That's no excuse." Spat Duo. "What about patient confidentiality and crap like that?!"

Mathis's lips twisted in a grim parody of a smile. "What can I say? He's been trying to make up for his blunder ever since." With a quick flick of his wrist he down the last of the wine and put the glass down a tad harder than recommended.

"Come here...I want to show you something." The Emperor rose from his chair and moved towards the entertainment center. He flipped through a couple of video disks before selecting one and popping it into the player.

Duo watched with dull curiosity his mind already overloaded with the information which he had been given.

The disk started to play first a black out then an almost choppy opening scene. A voice from the side said: "Are they online? I think they are."

A young Jonathan Mathis came into frame smiling one arm outstretched as he attempted to pull someone else into frame with him. "Oh come on Margie! You gotta get used to this. Before you know it the Paparazzi will be doing the exact same thing. Come on, it will be fun."

Laughing a perpetually twenty-nine year old Marguite O'Hare was pulled in front of the cameras blushing with a chagrined look on her face.

"Really Jonathan! I don't see why I have to do this." she laughed.

"Just call it practice for when we get married. You know that the press will want to know all of our intimate details."

"Jon, I haven't agreed to marry you."

The Crown Prince laughed. "Not yet but you will."

Jonathan held his hand in front of his mouth like it was a microphone and spoke into it. "Now! Madame Empress, if I may be so bold, have you considered names for your first born child?" he tilted the mic into his companions direction.

Marguite blushed harder and looked down. "I really haven't...well I was thinking something new. Something different. I wouldn't use a previous Mathis' name." she gazed at Jonathan with a soft look.

"So...no Jonathan James Mathis?" he teased.

Marguite laughed. "No. I am thinking more along the lines of...William? George? Thomas?"

Jonathan made a face at each selection going 'ugh!' "You'd name him after a president?" he asked eyebrow raised.

"Well no. I am just trying to think of a good bold name." she defended, lightly slapping the prince's shoulder.

They both fell silent for the next couple of minutes. The remote video recorder slowly circled around them, zooming in on Marguite's face which was drawn in deep concentration.

"I am thinking...David." she said finally.

"David?" said the prince's voice from off camera. "That's not much of a strong Irish name." he chuckled.

"Oh yeah, like Marguite is." she snorted.

An easy grin slides over Jonathan's face as he is suddenly shifted back into frame. "And as a middle name?"

She shrugs. "I dunno. Maybe Lucas after Simon's father? Something Jewish."

A genuine smile settled on Jonathan's face and he reached out to pull his consort closer. "I think he'd like that." he said softly and kissed Marguite on the mouth. She shivered lightly in response before breaking away. "Mister Mathis! I am shocked! Uhm....shouldn't you be setting up for your next shot?"

Jon blinked down at her than laughed. "As you wish Madame. How about down by the lake?" he asked as he walked away. She paused looking down in faint wonderment at her stomach, a light tentative touch then caress against her abdomen. "David" she said softly. "Hello..."

Emperor Mathis made a noise which sounded suspiciously like a sniffle. "She was pregnant when I made this. She never told me. She never got a chance to tell me. Within 36 hours she was missing and I never saw her alive again. They made sure of that."

Duo tore his eyes away from the screen and stared at the Emperor shell-shocked. "Who?" he croaked.

"The Alliance and the moles they had planted. You see within 18 hours of this videos recording, my parents were killed flying back from California. Their plane went down. I was immediately named Emperor since I was Crown Prince. Then Marguite was abducted."

The Emperor moved to stop the video disk but didn't eject it from the player. "They had it all planned out you see. They thought that I would be so devastated with the death of my parents that I wouldn't make an effective leader. Then to make it even worst, they abducted Margie; they knew she was pregnant. Wouldn't do for her child to be born and have a claim on the throne. They dumped her on L2 in hopes she would die which she did but not before giving birth to you."

Trembling Duo turned towards Mathis eyes blazing. "But who though? The moles the ones who got my...mom" he trailed off. It was the first time he had actually acknowledged Marguite as his mother and it shocked him.

Mathis shook his head. "It doesn't matter really. They've been taken care of. It took me years to find out who they were but I did find them. They were meticulous and careful but not careful enough. I found them, I made them pay." he shrugged and looked at his son carefully. Sighing he placed a steadying hand on the younger man's shoulder. "Do you need some time alone? I know it's not an easy tale to hear; it's not an easy one to tell."

Duo nodded absently. "Yeah that would be good....thanks."

"You can stay in here for a while. I have something I need to do." he paused then said softly. "I think she would have been proud of you. She was a strong woman with a strong sense of self and what was right. You are very much like her."

With that Emperor Jonathan Martin Mathis left his son in the study to absorb everything he had been told.

Duo choked back a sob. So much pain, wasted opportunities, loss of life. All of it seemed so pointless. Whatever it was that the Alliance and it's goons had tried had backfired horrifically thanks to Romefeller and the Colonies rebellion. He had lost more than just his life on L2, he had lost this. A family which now was eagerly and warmly accepting him into their embrace.

Sighing he keyed the video disk and watched the clip over again carefully seeing traits and gestures in the woman on the screen that he unconsciously echoed almost 22 years later.

He had always told anyone who would listen that his Mother said Boys don't cry. However right now in this time in this place he felt that he could make an exception. Marguite O'Hare he had a feeling would understand if he let go for a little while.

He watched as she tentatively touched her stomach looking down in wonder. "David...hello..."

Tears streaming down his face Duo reached out a shaking hand and stroked the face on the screen. "Hello...mother."


Two hours later, in an unmarked car, the Emperor dressed in a black turtleneck and grey slacks walked down into the deepest darkest bowels of a prison facility that officially didn't exist.

It housed some of the most dangerous and deranged killers, murders, thieves in the Empire.

After he was buzzed through a special double security gate, the Emperor walked down a special cell block corridor. The block could hold up to 37 prisoners but it only held one. One man who to the Emperor was the most dangerous of them all.

"Hello Grant and how are you today?" he greeted the prisoner cordially enough.

Shuffling from the cell then into the half circle of light a figure slowly came toward the bars. "That you Mathis?"

"Who else? Last I checked, you weren't getting many visitors." He chuckled.

A growl from the prisoner. "And whose fault is that? I've been imprisoned here against my will without due process. I never got to see my lawyer or a judge there was never a courtroom decision. You have no right to keep me locked up Mathis!"

The Emperor made a tsk'ing sound with his tongue. "Hush now. I am not here to talk about old times. I came to tell you about some current events. Things that are going on up there in the sunlight in the real world."

The prisoner, who was once known as Senator Grant MacFarlane looked at the emperor a bit feverishly. He couldn't remember the last time he had actually seen the sun. He gripped the bars of his cell and squeezed. "Good things? Like what?" he demanded.

Mathis crouched down, leaning forward as if imparting a secret. "Something wonderful has happened up there. Do you remember Margie?"

MacFarlane blinked. That was the last thing he had expected the young emperor to say. He hardly ever brought up his lost consort especially in his presence. "Yeah." he said hesitantly.

"Yeah...thought you would. She was pregnant remember? And you had J.P. Moore dump her on L2 thinking that she'd die before she would give birth."

MacFarlane scoffed. "I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know any J.P. Moore."

Mathis nodded his tone disbelieving. "Right." he scoffed. "Anyway Margie was pregnant. Funny thing that. Turns out she had the baby. She had a boy. And the boy grew up. Remember that war you were so keen on...that what was it? Operation Meteor? The Gundams and all that? Well that never happened. Not like you and your Alliance friends had hoped. No. But there were Gundams. Now how ironic is this? The very same man who tried to destroy me, and everything this empire stands for, is the very same man who has insured that not only would Operation Meteor be thwarted, but that the Mathis line would continue."

Grant stared at the Emperor uncomprehendingly.

"I have a son, Grant. He's twenty-two years old and in a couple of weeks he's going to ascend as the Crown Prince." The Emperor smiled a very sharkey smile and rose to stand at his full height.

"I don't...understand. What are you trying to tell me?"

"What I am trying to tell you is my boy survived. He was born on L2 and he survived. He lived through hell. He fought in the war; he was a Gundam pilot. What I am trying to tell you is I found him. I found the missing pieces to the puzzle. I can now positively link you to the disappearance of Marguite O'Hare, his mother. The woman who was going to be my wife.

"What I am trying to tell you is, you failed MacFarlane. You tried to destroy me. You tried to destroy my empire. You tried to destroy my boy. But you see, my boy is a survivor and so am I. But don't worry. You'll be able to see it all. Tell you what. I am going to be generous and get you a TV so can see his crowning and ascension. Would you like that?"

"Fuck you Mathis. How many times do I have to tell you I had nothing to do with any of it?"

The Emperor shook his head tsk'ing softly. "That didn't work twenty years ago, it sure as hell isn't going to work now." He chuckled softly, his blue eyes hard and sharp.

"We never got anything out of J.P. doesn't mean I didn't have a little fun watching him get spaced. You've been down here how long? Twenty one years? And the worst part is....no one knows you're here."

"You ruthless bastard." spat MacFarlane.

Mathis shrugged an enigmatic smile flitting across his lips. "The boy had to get it from somewhere." smirking he turned to walk back up the corridor. "Don't worry Grant. I'll come visit you again soon. After all it's not like you're going anywhere." he chuckled and walked away.

In his cell Grant MacFarlane snarled curses.

Emperor Jonathan Mathis maintained his smirk all the way to the guard post at the doors to the cell block. The guard buzzed him through the double gates.

"It's time to clear out cell thirty-four."

The guard saluted smartly. "Yes, sir! Right away, sir!"

Walking briskly the guard marched down to the corridor to Grant's cell. Mathis kept his back to the goings on behind him. The sudden sharp report of a single shot reverberated throughout the cell bock. Jonathan's eyes slid shut. Finally...it was over.

"Yeah..." he said softly to himself. "I'll see you really soon...in hell."

The guard came back went to his station keying the microphone. "Fire in the hole!" he said then pressed the incineration function which would burn the cell....and the body in it. Completely sanitizing the cell so it could be used again.

Satisfied, the Emperor walked away. The long dark nightmare was over.