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fic from GW 500 Challenge #75 'master' and Challenge #76 'haze' - Not a rock, I'm just Ruth
All Me, no apologies
fic from GW 500 Challenge #75 'master' and Challenge #76 'haze'
Title: Fireside Chat
Author: Ruth
Characters: Heero and Quatre
Rating: E for Everyone
Warnings/Kinks: Quatre Episode 0 spoilers, series spoilers, Heero POV
Summary: Heero and Quatre talk before a battle.
Word Count: 807

Earth was all one battlefield. We crawled through Germany with the Treize faction troops. Romafeller’s European force had been backing us steadily towards the town of Dresden. I had been piloting one of the faction’s Leos. What else did I know how to do? Quatre had given up on fighting and chose to help the cook. Last week, the cook had been wounded, so Quatre had taken over the cooking. He was next to one of the campfires as I entered the camp.

The sun was setting behind a haze of cirrus clouds. I’d come back from the last daylight patrol and Quatre handed me a plate of food. Half of the serving went down without my even noticing because I hadn’t eaten anything since yesterday evening, then I looked at what I was eating. I suppose it would be called a paella if it had rice; or saffron. This had noodles and vegetables, flakes of fish caught in the last stream and stringy bits of some meat I couldn’t identify. I slowed down enough to taste it. It was flavored mostly with onions. It was edible.

Quatre sat across from me, nursing a steaming cup of some beverage as he gazed into the flames. There was a cup of similar liquid put within my reach. I took a swallow. It was very weak coffee.

“Did you eat?” I asked. He nodded. I tried to read his face to see if he was lying, but couldn’t tell. He looked tired and discouraged.

“There’s been more fighting on the Arabian peninsula,” he finally said. “Hit and run tactics. I hope it’s not Rashid. They’ll be safer if they don’t fight.”

I grunted. “Huh, I can’t see how anyone can /not/ fight on this planet.” He hunched his shoulders like he was cold. I mentally kicked myself. “How did you get involved with the Maganacs anyway?” I asked. He passed over a dry heel of bread. I poked at the liquid left on the plate, but the crust did not seem inclined to absorb it.

He shrugged. “I was a bit of a brat. I had the idea I wasn’t worth much because I was born from a test tube; Dad’s sperm, a donated egg and an artificial womb. There’s a large number of people in the colonies like that, but anymore it’s looked on as. . . something not normal. There’s something wrong if you’re born that way.” Quatre made a face and shrugged. “I was determined to be depressed.”

“Meanwhile, the Maganacs had been brought to MO-III as slave labor. They were determined to get to Earth and protect the desert tribes they came from. It was a staged break. My father somehow helped them. They took me as a hostage against United Earth Forces. I told them I didn’t think I was worth much.” He chuckled. “And Rashid promptly slapped me in the face.”

“They were all test tube babies. Rashid said a man’s worth was in what he said or did rather than how he was born.”

I grunted. That was only common sense, “you seem to have recovered your self-esteem.”

“I managed to do something to be proud of. I got between Rashid and an assassin’s bullet.” Quatre swirled his coffee. “Rashid gave me the goggles that were the symbol of a Maganac leader and they started calling me “Master Quatre.” He looked up. “I didn’t really deserve it until I got back to space with Instructor H. Until I started protecting the colonies and fighting against OZ.” His voice trailed off and he hunched his shoulders again. I knew what he was thinking; of his father’s death, creating Zero, his battles against the colonies. He was thinking of Trowa’s sacrifice to stop him. “Why didn’t you kill me?”

“I don’t know,” I said sharply. I scraped the last of my meal from the dish. I won’t think of the vision in the hanger bay. That girl. *It’s not right; we shouldn’t be fighting like this.* The girl from Saint Gabriel’s school, Vice Foreign Minister Dorlian’s daughter, Relena. I threatened to kill her and yet she stepped between me and 02's gun. She told me she was on my side.

She wouldn’t be on my side now. I didn’t have a side. “All I know how to do is fight.” I said crossly, as much to her as to the man sitting across the fire from me. “If I have nothing else to fight for, I’ll just believe in myself and keep on fighting.”

Quatre looked at me and sighed. “There has to be something more.”

*It’s not right; we shouldn’t be fighting like this.* “There isn’t.” The clouds were rolling in, obscuring the moon. “Looks like rain tomorrow.”

Quatre nodded. I doused the fire. Hopefully, we could get a good night’s sleep before the battle started.


6 comments or Leave a comment
alleyprowler From: alleyprowler Date: June 3rd, 2005 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I managed to do something to be proud of

Wonderful line. I don't think Quatre would have been able to fight if he hadn't done something to make him feel more like a normal member of the human race rather than a construct. Heero's flashbacks to Relena achieved the same result, I think.

Lovely, thoughtful work.
just_ruth From: just_ruth Date: June 3rd, 2005 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. The link you gave me to the episode Zero translations helped a lot.

I'm not sure why Heero has decided to talk to me after five years of being the most elusive of the Gundam Wing characters, but I'm trying to listen.
misanagi From: misanagi Date: June 3rd, 2005 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I like this very much, Ruth. I really love all your fics of this part of the series that's not really explored much.

They are always very thoughtful and feel real. You write amazing Heero and Quatre friendship, and this was no exception.
just_ruth From: just_ruth Date: June 3rd, 2005 10:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! Their time on Earth has always struck me as interesting.
darthanne From: darthanne Date: June 3rd, 2005 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I really like this. It's a nice glimpse of Quatre and Heero's friendship. There needs to be more written at this point of the canon timeline.

I liked the repeated: "It's not right; we shouldn't be fighting like this." Shows the influence Quatre is having on Heero, how he's slowly seeing things in a different light.

More please.
just_ruth From: just_ruth Date: June 3rd, 2005 10:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice to know Hex was right. :) There's a lot of change happening in Heero when he comes to Earth. Quatre is only one of the influences.
6 comments or Leave a comment