Episode 13:
Enter the Gundams

        The year is After Colony 216. After their original attempts at defeating the World Nation and Martian forces, Venusian governess Nimeesha Pembroke, with the aid of her trusted assistant Kwannon Yokoshima, sets in motion a new plan to destabilize the World Nation from its source, rather than waste precious forces in any more futile attacks.

        "Venusian mobile suit carriers heading our way." A Taurus patrol reported.
    "How long until they get here?" Milliardo answered.
    "Probably about another hour or so, sir."
    "Good, their timing couldn't have been better. We can test out the completed Gundams."

    "Get the Gundams loaded onto some carriers!" Noin came into the hangar, "We've got Venusians coming."
    "A fight??" Duo looked up from the phone, "I gotta go Hilde-"
    "WHAT!? The technicians can load your stupid Gundam! You stay right here on the phone with me! I haven't talked to you in weeks!"
    "I'm sorry Hilde! Love ya, BYE!" Duo thrust the phone into the hands of the nearest PMS member, which was probably a bad idea, and headed off to help get Deathscythe Hell loaded.
    "DUO! DUO! Are you there!?! DUO! ANSWER ME, DAMNIT!" Hilde yelled.
    "Um... Miss? He just tossed the phone to me and ran off..." Steph sweatdropped, "I can whack him with my wrench for you if you want..."
    "DO THAT!" Hilde slammed the phone down. Stephanie blinked and hung up.
    Siduri burst in.
    "CAN I HELP???" He grinned. Noin looked over at her son.
    "Are ALL the toilets clean?"
    "No...." Siduri looked down.
    "Well, since Sidra is gone, you're our best student, so... You'll be leading the student unit, all right?" Noin sighed, not exactly thrilled with the idea, but it was only logical.
    "Right, Mom!" Siduri grinned, "And yeah, I know... Be careful. Don't worry." He ran off to go get the students gathered. Duo looked over from where he was climbing into Deathscythe Hell.
    "He's right, Noin! Don't worry! Nothin' is gonna get past the Gundams to the student unit anyways!" He flashed a cocky grin and climbed into the cockpit and lovingly patted the controls, "Been awhile, buddy!"
    Noin walked over to Seiryuu and looked up at Meiran.
    "Do you think you can use that thing?" She didn't know if Meiran was ready to go traipsing into battle after what had happened last time. The only reply was the cockpit shutting with a slight hiss as the girl put on a pair of gloves. Noin took that as a 'yes' and got another transport ready.
    "I'm taking the Star-Streak, Noin." Milliardo walked in, "Even though I don't like it. But since Sidra stole the Tallgeese..." He muttered a curse and climbed up into the suit. Noin sighed. There was still no word about Sidra in spite of their efforts in searching for her.
    "Sid's got the students ready." Shino walked in, slamming on a flight helmet, "Hopefully all they'll have to do is sit and watch." The Yuy son flashed a semi-psychotic grin and climbed up into Typhoon. Noin blinked.
    "Okay... he looked a lot like his dad right now." She shrugged. Disturbing.
    Quatre nodded slightly.
    "HEY!!!! PAY CHECK!" Shannon shouted, running over, "NO PAY CHECK EQUALS NO GUNDAM FOR YOU!" The short brown haired girl was very insistent about getting paid.
    "Um... After the fight... I don't carry my check book on this flight suit." Quatre sweatdropped slightly. Shannon looked miffled. Yes, miffled.
    "Fine.... AFTER THE FIGHT. RIGHT AFTER! Get your check book, write the check, give it to me. Or you can maintain ALL THE GUNDAMS YOURSELF!" The PMS member fumed. Quatre nodded and hastily retreated to the safety of Sandrock's cockpit. I'd hoped we'd never have to do this again...
    Trowa, having pretty much recovered from his hangover, surveyed his suit, face void of expression. The PMS had done a good job, and indeed, there was the clown mask as promised. Tiffany walked over.
    "You won't have to worry about ammunition. The twin beam gatling is hooked up directly to the generator. Just be careful not to over heat the gun. I assume you've recovered from your hangover?"
    "Enough to fight." Trowa replied. He still had a headache, but once he got out there that would be of no consequence.
    "Be careful. I don't want to have to do a whole lot of repair work!" Tiffany joked. Trowa nodded and climbed up into Heavyarms. Tiffany blinked. He didn't see that was a joke, did he? She shook her head and joined her fellow PMS members around the TV. While everyone else would be out fighting, the other PMS members would be...
    "RANMA 1/2!"
    Tiffany marched over and flipped the TV over to the monitoring station. "We're keeping track of the fight."
    "You don't wanna watch... FUSHIGI YUUGI??"
    "Tempting, but no." Tiffany stated flatly.
    "She just wants to watch Troooooooooooowa!" Stephanie cooed. And was promptly smited by her own wrench. "ITAI!"
    "You people need lives." Tiffany put the wrench back down.
    "We have lives!" Shannon cried out, "We just haven't assembled them yet!"
    "We've been too busy assembling Gundams to assemble lives!" Jenna made a face.
    "And Gundam models!" Stephanie rubbed her sore head.
    "Life? What is this 'life' you speak of?" Kiandra blinked.
    "Probably an illegal drug, no da!" Jeanie smiled.
    "Well, Tiff..." Momoko crossed her arms, "He DID spend the night in your office!"
    "He was too hung over to get to the dorms, for crying out loud. Momoko, I seriously hope that he thinks I wasn't joking when I said he could kill you when the other suits are finished." Tiffany rolled her eyes.
    "Tiffanyyy!" Momoko squeaked.
    Noin sighed and left to get her Taurus ready.

        About an hour later, with Mars providing a dramatic backdrop, the Gundams awaited the arrival of the two carriers.
    "Whatcha think they brought today?" Duo mused, his suit presently invisible thanks to its armor cloak and ECMs. The radar jamming devices were also equipped on Sandrock, and Typhoon.
    "Probably those new space suits Lady Une reported to us." Trowa replied.
    "Why would they only send two carriers? That's what... 40 suits at the most?" Quatre blinked. "Hardly enough to get past our defenses."
    "Obviously," Meiran seethed over the comm, "this battle doesn't mean much to them."
    "So why start one?" Duo shrugged.
    "They're trying to maintain a hostile image, if y'ask me." Shino stated over the comm, a slight edge to his voice. "So they're throwing away suits in an under-powered attack."
    "More like they're throwing away lives." Milliardo scowled.
    ".... They SUCK." Siduri piped in intelligently. The other students could be heard snickering on the comm.
    "Remember, this isn't a laughing matter!" Noin snapped to her students. "This is a war."
    "Yes, instructor." a chorus of voices replied.
    "I see 'em!" Duo shouted. "About 30 suits, the new space ones!"
    "Let's go, then." Trowa took off for the enemy, as did the others.

        Kwannon surveyed the data being sent back by the attack force. "So they've gotten all the gundams completed." We probably won't have to worry about remote detonating our forces. They're going to be killed without any help.

    "What the hell-?" One of the Venusian pilots stared at the demonic suit that had just literally appeared out of nowhere. "AH! IT'S A GUNDAM-"
    He didn't get to finish as Duo was so kind and chopped the Orion right down the middle with Deathscythe's beam scythe. "Damn right it's a gundam!" the God of Death smirked and went on to his next victim.
    Needless to say, Trowa was making good use of Heavyarms' explosives and the ammo-free twin gatling. He could shoot down so much more suits when he didn't have to worry about running out of bullets.
    "C'mon!" Shino taunted, riddling an enemy Orion with beam gatling fire after the former had attempted to use its beam saber on the acid-toting gundam. The elder Yuy child could be heard chuckling as he finished off the poor Orion with the acid cannon.
    Siduri sweatdropped in his Taurus. I'm gonna hafta smack Shino after this. Before he turns into a psychopath like Uncle Heero is... er... 'was'.
    Milliardo, in spite of not liking the Star-Streak, was contentedly shredding a pair of Orions with the suit's beam axe and boomerang. Why did they even bother to send so puny of an attack force? No one is claiming they're anything but out for a war. No need to prove it further. He'd have to talk it over with Noin and the Academy's tactical division later.
    Trowa hadn't let off on the trigger for the twin gatling since the fight began. And Heavyarms let him know this. Namely, the twin gatling stopped working and a section of it blew up in his face, thus damaging the clown mask. A message popped up on one of his viewscreens. What the-? Trowa read the message. "'This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down'?... This must be what Tiffany meant about overheating the gun. Damn."

        Tiffany twitched. "I TOLD him not to get too trigger happy or it would overheat!" She threw her arms in the air in frustration.
    "And the clown mask got broken!" Jeanie pouted. "I worked so hard on that! The bastard! Ruining my hard work!"
    "... Can we watch some anime now-?" Jenna interrupted.

        Quatre had the last few Orions at shortel-point. "Surrender, please." He stated plainly. After all, he didn't like killing, even if these pilots had been sent specifically to kill him or be killed.
    Meiran had been fighting half-heartedly. What point was there in it? She didn't have anybody to prove herself to now. She took Seiryuu up behind the remaining Orions as Quatre ordered them to surrender. With one swift motion, Seiryuu's war fan sliced straight through the cockpits of the suits, causing them explode in true GW fashion.
    "Meiran!" Quatre stared, "They might have surrendered!"
    "They came here to get killed. Who am I to stop them? Besides... They'd have been remotely detonated like the Serpent II's were. It's better for them to die this way. At least this way they died with some honor." Meiran stated flatly. Quatre sighed. She had a point. The suits would have most likely been remotely detonated.

        "Hmm..." Nimeesha got up from the computer she'd been about to enter the command for the remote detonations, "I thought for sure we'd have to destroy some of the suits ourselves. Well, I suppose I should get my address to the World Nation ready. Would you go find Chayton and Arthur, Kwannon?"
    "Right. Tiana is in her room, by the way. She's wondering why you removed her from the boarding school."
    "I'll talk to her." Nimeesha got up and left. Kwannon went off to round up Nimeesha's two sons, who were undoubtedly practicing with some of the mobile suits.

        As soon as Milliardo climbed down from Star-Streak, exhausted, he was besieged by the 6 loony PMS members.
    "Now we have GOT to have a party!" Stephanie cheered, then remembered what she'd told Hilde and ran off to hit Duo with her wrench. A loud "OW! What was THAT for!?!" Drifted over from where Deathscythe Hell had landed.
    "It was a message from your wife!"
    "Come on! We can all go down to Keetia's- ...." Shannon stopped mid-sentance and stormed over to Sandrock, "O-KA-NE! PAY CHECK!" She yelled up at the cockpit, then realized Quatre had already escaped before she had arrived. It'd had better be to get his check book!
    Tiffany crossed her arms and waited for Trowa to come out. Minor repairs wouldn't have been a problem, but now we're going to have to rebuild part of the damned gun.
    He came down moments later, "Sorry about the gun."
    "I. Told. You. So." Tiffany grumbled, slightly Not Happy, " 'The twin beam gatling is hooked up directly to the generator. Just be careful not to over heat the gun.' "
    Trowa nodded.
    "And what do you go and do!? I swear! You didn't stop firing it until it blew up! You have other weapons for a reason! Learn to use them!"
    "AND YOU BROKE THE DAMNED CLOWN MASK I WORKED SO HARD ON FOR YOU! JERK!" Jeanie yelled, then resumed bugging Milliardo, "Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease? We have to celebrate now! Not only have the Gundams been completed, but they've kicked @$$ for the first time in twenty years!"
    Noin came in with Siduri, who found his way over to Yoshino and smacked him.
    "Hey! What was that for??" Shino rubbed his sore head.
    "Fer soundin' like your father! A psychopath!"
    "Hey! Don't diss my dad!" Shino protested.
    "Can you prove he's not?"
    "... Well... no, but still!" They were interrupted by a shout of glee from Shannon.
    "MONEY!" She ran by holding a check in the air triumphantly. Now I can afford that animation cel on eBay.
    "We've been paid!" Jenna cheered.
    "YES! I CAN FINALLY GET THAT PERFECT GRADE ZETA MODEL! Boss!" She said turning to Milliardo, "We must celebrate like there is no tomorrow now!"
    "Loosen up, Milliardo." Noin smiled, "One little victory get together won't hurt. We could all use a little fun."
    "All right... "Milliardo finally gave in.
    "WAI! WAI! We can have a party! I'll call Keetia!!" Jenna ran over to the phone.

        "Hey Yancha!" Keetia nudged her 'property' aka boyfriend, "There's that cute chick!" She razzed him and pointed at Duo as the group walked in. Yancha sweatdropped.
    "Just drop it already... We've got a party to run here."
    Kiandra, Shannon, and Stephanie snagged a corner booth and were all bent over a laptop, staring at the screen intently. The rest got some drinks, some munchies, and started to, well, party. At least as such a group of people would party. Duo was trying though, downing a Nuriko Special as soon as it was offered, and encouraging the others to do likewise.
    "I'M STILL WINNING THE EPISODE ZERO MANGA! YAY!" Kiandra shouted happily, before joining the party.
    Trowa warily looked at the Nuriko Special placed before him by Yancha. He had not nice memories of the last time he'd encountered these drinks. Duo slapped him on the shoulder, "Come on, man! One drink won't hurt you!"
    "Twenty drinks will hurt you." Yancha snickered, "But one is harmless!"
    "Don't worry! You're an experienced drinker now!" Tiffany grinned and went to help Keetia with the karaoke equipment. Trowa sighed and sipped at his drink, it wasn't as horrible as before. Duo went off to get Quatre to drink.
    "Come on, pal! One drink so we can all have a toast!" He handed the blonde pilot a Nuriko Special, was about to get one for Siduri, then remembered the fool was underaged. So Duo retrived some sodas from the bar for Yoshino and Siduri. He was about to go pester Milliardo when a cry of anger and a cry of heartbreak came from the sisters in the corner booth.
    "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Shannon wailed. Everyone stared.
    "Did you lose the animation cel!?" Jenna ran over and peered at the laptop.
    "By... by ten bucks in the last thirty seconds..." Shannon sniffled.
    "Yancha! BRING SOME NURIKO SPECIALS OVER HERE!" Stephanie shouted, "We're going to need some therapy over here!"
    "The animation cel of one of my bishounen... how.... UNJUST! INJUSTICE!!!" Shannon slammed a fist down on the table.
    Duo boggled momentarily before getting a drink to give to Milliardo, who blinked.
    "For a toast!" The braided pilot grinned. Milliardo accepted the drink while Noin went to get her own.
    "A TOAST!" Duo shouted over the noises of suffering Shannon was making, "TO OUR GUNDAMS AND TO OUR VICTORY!"
    "AND TO THE FACT YER GONNA BE A DADDY, UNCLE DUO!" Siduri piped in. Duo grinned idioticly. He would have to call Hilde back tomorrow.

    "All right!" Stephanie and Shannon took the stage, "KARAOKE!!! We'll start!" They each grabbed a mic and selected a song, "This is 'It's Just Love' By Two-mix!" (Authors' Notes: Not all songs will be fully written to spare you all time, translation will not be in italics and in ( )'s! Thanks!)

maebure mo naku yobidasu no tenki ga ii kara
watashi wo machiboukesasete naniyou no tsumori
hashitte kita no wakatteru kedo
sonna koto wa atarimae yo!
(Because the weather is nice, you suddenly called me, then
You made me wait in vain, unsure of your intentions
You know I ran to get here, so
there'd better be a good reason for this!)

Just Love! ki ni kuwanai aitsu
ijiwaru wo shichau no wa "suki dakara" yo
Just Love! ki ni naru kara itsumo
mur i na koto itchau no
chotto go-me-n...
...Just Love...
(Just Love! You insensitive jerk
I'm mean to you, but I love you!
Just Love! Because my feelings are always changing
It's impossible for me to say
Wait--I'm sorry...
...Just Love...)

    The two sisters bowed after they completed their song, ignoring the fact the room was completely silent.
    "Who's next??" Keetia looked around. Duo, who'd had a drink or two too many hopped up and looked at the screen with the words and song titles.
    "Okay... "Cry For The Dream" By Midorikawa Hikaru!" Duo hiccuped.
    "Oh this will be good." Jenna made a face.

arikitari no HIIROO  nante
mappirasa ore niwa niawanai
(I've got no use for being an ordinary hero
It doesn't suit me.
I can't stand it.)

amattareta yuujou nante
taikutsu de nemuku naru marude joudansa
(Sugary friendship is so boring it puts me to sleep.
It has to be a joke.)

yume ga kieru mae ni I CAN TRY te ni irero
dareka ga sakenderu
(I can try before the dream disappears. Capture it!
Big shout, shout, you can shout!
Someone is shouting.)

    "Yeah, he is." Kiandra noted, since she could understand the Japanese, "And quite loudly."
    Duo tripped off the stage, got up, bowed, and went to get another drink. Noin shoved Milliardo up on stage much to his surprise.
    "Come on, Zechs!" She grinned, then hiccuped, "Nice and easy!"
    Nearly everyone fell over, including Milliardo. He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Or like a Leo caught in the path of Wing's buster rifle. She's had too much to drink or she wouldn't be calling me Zechs. Reluctantly he selected a song.
    "Um.. okay... This is 'Good Luck and Good Bye" by Seki Toshihiko..." The music started.

ashita no kagayaki wo shinjiteru
kono te ni tsukamaeyou CARRY ON
(Everybody, nice! Everybody, nice!
Believe in the shining of tomorrow.
Everybody, chance! Everybody, chance!
Grab onto my hand and carry on.)

kata wo butsukete surechigau
nido to aenai oretachi
jibun kattena yarikata de
ashita wo sagasou
(We who just bumped shoulders and brushed past each other
Each in our own way, we'll search for tomorrow.)

itsuka aerusa omae ga sagashiteiru yume ni
kaze ni sakaratte toozakaru sono senaka ni GOOD LUCK & GOOD BYE
(We'll meet again sometime
in the dreams you're searching for
as you face into the wind and i see your back becoming small in the distance
Good luck & good bye.)

    "That song just doesn't fit him." Stephanie sipped her drink. Momoko nodded. Milliardo got down off the stage, his face almost as red as his former OZ uniform. Keetia came and took the mic. She cleared her throat.
    Everybody hushed up, mostly because they had headaches from the noise and drinks. Keetia pulled Tiffany up on stage.
    "The Namie Amuro of the PMS! And from what I've heard already, probably the only person who can actually SING here!" Obviously, Tiffany had done this sort of thing several times before. Duo, Milliardo, Stephanie, and Shannon all sputtered indignantly. Keetia continued.
    "And she'll be singing us something in ENGLISH for a change!"
    "HEY! THERE WAS ENGLISH IN MINE AND MILLIARDO'S! AND SOME IN THE PSYCHO SISTERS'!!!!" Duo protested. Yancha walked over to Duo.
    "Haven't I seen you somewhere before?" He smiled, right before the tipsy pilot screamed and decked him.
    "Ow..." Yancha scampered back behind the bar. (Authors' Note: Tiffany's song will be done in it's entirety. For plot purposes. ^_~) Tiffany took the microphone from Keetia and smiled.
    "Okay, this is "Do You Ever Feel Lonely" By Celeste Sharpe." On cue, a slow song started up.

In the darkness of the night
There's no one there
Just unanswered questions
And the desolate feelings
Of an impoverished heart

    Trowa looked up from his drink as the words struck home, so to speak.

Do you ever feel lonely?
Late at night?
As if something is missing...
And not quite right?
Wondering why in solitude
Do you ever feel lonely?

    The room was silent. Tiffany could sing. Everybody listened, enjoying the fact there were no sour notes.

Even in a crowd I see the saddness
It's hidden very well indeed
And probably ignored
Buried in distractions
Until it seems unimportant

    Trowa stared down at his glass and tried his best not to think, or to at least ignore the words. Had she done this deliberately? Besides, he wasn't lonely. He had Quatre for a friend and Catherine was like a sister. It didn't matter if he had family or not, right? And it shouldn't matter to someone like him anyways. Or at least, that's what he was trying to convince himself of.

Do you ever feel lonely?
Late at night?
As if something is missing...
And not quite right?
Wondering why in solitude
Do you ever feel lonely?

    No. Trowa shook his head slightly. It was just the drink getting to him. Besides, it wasn't this woman's business, even if she had said she would make it her business last time he'd been at this bar. The music swelled, pleasant to the ears as Tiffany continued.

But things can change
Feelings too
Even the darkness can be seen through

From brightest day
To darkest night

    Trowa stood up at the bar, his expression unreadable.

Do you ever feel lonely?
... Something's missing, not quite right...
Do you ever feel lonely?

    The music carried on awhile longer and then died out. The room erupted in applause from the others. Trowa walked out silently.
    "Sh'up with him?" Duo slurred, having had a few more drinks. Quatre, who was, unlike Duo, still sober, shrugged and went out after his friend. Duo ordered himself another glass, and tried to hide when he saw it was Yancha serving it.
    Tiffany blinked as she got off stage. She'd seen Trowa leave. So the fool has some emotions after all. I didn't mean anything with the song... It was just one I like and can really sing to... Hm...

        "Trowa?" Quatre closed the door to the noisy bar behind him. Trowa leaned against the wall, his face shadowed. Even in the dark Quatre could tell his fellow pilot was confused.
    "It's her, isn't it?" Quatre leaned against the wall as well. Trowa blinked. Had it really been that obvious?
    "... She's confusing." Trowa finally admitted. Quatre smiled slightly.
    "Heero said the same thing about Relena. And look where they are now." Quatre chuckled slightly. Trowa stared at Quatre in surprise.
    "What do you mean?"
    "It couldn't hurt to talk to her, Trowa. She obviously likes you, and Noin mentioned hearing the PMS gossiping about you two."
    "... That's just gossip. They can think what they want." Trowa replied.
    "Well, they had to get the ideas somewhere. Why'd you get so drunk after going out to lunch with her? Her coworkers came and spied on you two. They dragged Duo along in.... drag. Apparently under threat of painting his Gundam white and putting a halo on it."
    Trowa raised an eyebrow.
    "That sounds like something the PMS would do. Is that why the bartender has been hitting on Duo all night?"
    "Probably. From what I can tell, Tiffany is a nice person. She seems a bit worried about you, I think."
    "... She doesn't have to be. I'm fine."
    "Maybe she doesn't have to be, but she is." Quatre frowned slightly, "You didn't have to fight, but you are. And inspite of being told you didn't have to, you fight anyways. Just telling her she doesn't have to worry isn't going to stop her from caring."
    Trowa blinked. I hadn't thought about it that way before.
    "And Trowa..." Quatre looked at his friend, "If you really were fine, I don't think we'd be having this conversation."
    "... Is it that obvious?"
    "Considering Duo, who happens to be VERY drunk, was commenting on your leaving, I think so."
    "..." Trowa sweatdropped ever so slightly, "... oh."
    Quatre walked back toward the door of the bar and glanced over his shoulder at Trowa, smiling.
    "Just give it a shot. You might be surprised." He opened the door and returned to the the festivities inside.

Continued In Gundam Wing: A New Era, Episode 14,
"In A Different Light"

Authors' Notes:
    1. Yes, we know they were singing each other's image songs. That was on purpose. The lyrics and translations came from The GW Archive.
    2. "Do You Ever Feel Lonely" was written by One and is not to be used without her permission.
    3.  Celeste Sharpe is a real person who, to quote Firefury, "Can sing Celine Dion's songs better than Celine."