A Moment's Respite
by Lara
September 2002

This is a work of amateur fiction and does not intend to infringe on the rights of Sunrise, Sotsu Agency, Asahi TV, and Bandai Visuals. No profit is being made.

Set during episode 42.

Warnings: none in particular



"A good morning to you, my dear Lady," Treize said as he settled down in his by now familiar chair at the side of the hospital bed, right next to the machine that monitored the young woman's vital signs. He had cast a brief glance at the curves and numbers displayed on the screen, but there was no change that he could detect. "I hope this morning finds you in better health than yesterday."

There was no answer from her; there never had been, not since he had begun to visit her on a daily basis. She was lying on her bed, the only visible motion the slight rising of her chest with every breath she drew. It was something the doctors thought of as a success, that she was breathing on her own without needing a machine to aid her. Yet they kept her connected to the instruments that would immediately alert others in case she could not get enough air into her lungs anymore on her own. They did not trust her enough for that.

"You should have seen the sunrise, my friend. It was beautiful today, and I wish I had had someone with whom I could have shared that moment." Treize paused for a moment, reaching out to brush aside a strand of hair that the nurse probably had disturbed in the morning. He would never have made that sort of gesture when the Lady was awake, for several reasons. But now it seemed almost natural to him to do it.

Treize had wondered about this change, but had not been able to pinpoint the reasons behind it. One thing he was sure of was that he was not attracted to her at a sudden; she was a friend, had always been one, but he knew that desire felt different. What drew him to her side almost every day was a need to explain what he was doing and what was happening. It always made more sense afterwards. And she deserved to know.

"No, I do not think that he will come back. You were right in this matter. Maybe he has never even considered it. But that cannot be changed now. I will have to see things to their proper end alone." He fell silent for a second, forcing himself to smile a little. "It would have been nice to have you both at my side for this. You would understand what I am doing."

The rest of the world was doing a good job at interpreting his actions; Treize was trying to have at least a basic idea of the current public opinions of himself, and sometimes he wondered how close they could come to seeing the true motivations and yet fail to make conclusions that would have seemed logical to him. Une had understood in the end, he had no doubt of that. And Zechs had always known.

Wufei, on the other hand, was a different matter. Treize had found himself thinking of the Gundam pilot several times lately. There was no definite information on what had happened to him; most sources suggested that he was probably still alive, but rarely was there more news. The young man had left a lasting impression on Treize, and he wanted to know whether the search for justice and strength had been successful by now. Somehow he doubted that Wufei had found those things yet, but he sincerely wished him luck.

"I do not want to bore you with the details, Lady. Let us just say that everything is moving in the right direction again, but that I have hoped that some things would not become necessary. I wonder what you would say to it all. You predicted that Milliard would break away in the end, and you have been proven right now. But would you be glad to hear that your assumptions were correct? You never liked him... I could not understand why. But you know what I think of him. The Prince and the Lady... you always were the most important persons at my side. And I miss both of you."

It was unrealistic that either of them would come back. Zechs had adopted the cause of the colonies, the weaker side in the conflict who had now, under his leadership, turned into an equal force to Earth. His was a path where turning around was impossible. He would have to follow it to the end. Treize could not tell where that would leave the younger man. As for Une... with every passing day the doctors were calling it more and more unlikely that she would wake. The injuries were healed; there was only a small threat that her body would cease functioning at a sudden. Nobody had really been able to tell him why she was still in a coma. The brain was still too much of a mystery to the doctors to know its workings.

"My dear Lady... I wish you well for the future. May it be easier for you." Treize brushed his fingers lightly against her cheek, carefully avoiding the strap of the oxygen mask. "I will not come tomorrow, I am afraid. The time for the final fight is here, and my place is on the battleground with the soldiers."

The first time he had prepared for a fight, Treize had been nervous, and that feeling had always returned whenever a battle was ahead. He had come to see it as a sign that his mind acknowledged the possibility that he could die, a normal reaction to danger that heightened his alertness. But now he felt completely calm, even though he knew that it had never been more likely that he would not return after it was all over.

"Perhaps we will see each other again, Lady. I would be glad." Getting up from his seat, Treize smiled at her sadly. "Get well again, my friend. The world needs people like you."

The End


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