Gundam Wing: Angels Among Us
by K.Huntsman
29th November 2000

 

We were at the circus when it happened.

I've never been particularly religious, no matter what I wear. I've seen too many people die to have belief in the Father above. But they say when faith hits you, it's as serious as a heart attack.

For once I won't argue with "them."

Somehow the five of us had ended up on the same colony for a few weeks. I was doing some consulting work for Quatre, and Heero and Wufei were there on Preventers business. So it was natural that when Trowa's circus also came into town, the four of us went to see his act, planning to steal him away from that sister of his afterwards. You know, kind of a reunion party.

Now Trowa's good when it comes to acrobatics. According to Catherine, he's never once used a net since he first started at the circus. I know I've never seen better and I don't think she has either.

He was up on the high platform doing some stunts, tricks with trapeze and he and his sister catching one another with bare hands, only empty air below them should they fail. The crowd was really eating it up, too, all oohs and aahs and gasps, and the four of us were sharing around a huge bucket of popcorn, enjoying the familiar sight. Hell, even Heero was cracking something resembling a smile, though I could tell he had a handgun at the small of his back. But then, I had knives in my boots, so who was I to talk?

I grabbed a handful of popcorn from Wufei (score one more dirty look) and looked back up just in time to see Trowa make his mistake. His hands missed the bar and he fell.

Time slowed. Catherine, on the platform, screamed. We were on our feet with the rest of the crowd as Trowa plunged through viscous air to his death. Quatre was running, yelling Trowa's name, when the sound of ripping cloth cut across the shocked hush of the crowd.

I have never believed in God or angels, but seeing one of my best friends sprout white wings and fly brought back everything Sister Helen and Father Maxwell had ever tried to teach me.

He caught Trowa in mid-air, their hands clasped together.

I wondered what Trowa saw, looking up at the angel who had saved him.

 

It is not possible for humans to fly. To anchor the muscles that would be needed to support wings, the entire human body would have to be redesigned. Bone structure would change. A diet of pure sugar would be needed to provide the energy neccesary to fuel flight.

Yet none of this happened to Quatre.

There is a deviation in his genetic sequence that allows for him to be different, more advanced, than most other humans. It is what allows for his empathy, that which he calls "the heart of space," to exist. Each of us Gundam pilots has a similar genetic blur which acts for us in different ways. But none of our variations should allow for... wings.

While the three of us vaulted out of the seats and ran across the ring to where a winged Quatre was held in Trowa's arms, the audience's noise was deafening. Catherine barely managed to keep everything in check, whisking the five of us out of the main tent and quickly over to Trowa's trailer. Duo kept staring at Quatre as he was carried in Trowa's arms, kept staring at the red-stained feathers.

Catherine, sensible, locked the trailer door behind all of us and went for the first aid kit while Trowa laid Quatre down on the bed. She brought scissors with her on her return and the unconscious blond's shirt was further sacrificed so that we could see the mass of gore that was Quatre's back now.

Had the wings always been there within Quatre and simply ripped free of confining flesh when needed? But there had been no sign of buried wings on previous x-rays or medical charts.

Duo was crossing himself, something I had never seen him do before.

It wasn't long until the wounds were cleaned, layered with antiseptic painkilling ointment, and bandaged. Catherine disappeared out the door, probably to find the manager and calm him down, or to start damage control and allay some of the rumors that were likely already flying around.

Which left the four of us alone, waiting for Quatre to wake.

 

I have been saved by a friend, someone I trust dearly and without any reserve. But I cannot explain how this friend saved me.

I could not explain it when it happened, and I cannot explain it now.

His wings fold softly over the sides of the bed, his body relaxed in sleep though the lines of pain remain, slight betrayers.

Do wings hurt that much?

I wonder what it felt like to fly.

Of all of us, perhaps he has the greatest right to those wings. He and Heero, I would say, though Heero has never had need of wings.

The two of them saved my soul when I was not sure I had one, but only Quatre came for me afterwards. He called me out from the fear that enveloped me concerning those lost memories, and made me want to fight.

I think of Catherine. She, too, deserves wings. But I have already seen them on her as she flies weightless through the air, the invisible wings of a circus acrobat.

Why Quatre? Why now? Why to save me? I am not worthy of this pain they cause him. I brush a hand over his hair and that pained expression eases slightly, so I do it again.

Perhaps the explanation lies in one of the theories Duo postulates. Either a miracle occured, or else Quatre is an angel. The two things may not be so incompatible.

 

Wings are not logical. Angels are myths.

But then, I believe in dragons, and Quatre undeniably has wings.

Still, he is not an angel. He is a young man with wings. "Only a young man with wings," I say aloud.

"Kind of like being 'only' a Gundam pilot?" Duo retorts, a soft sarcasm in his voice.

Duo believes in angels.

"Don't be stupid. You have seen Quatre--you know who he is. Is he an angel?" I look steadily at Duo until he is forced to acknowledge the truth, his head drooping in capitulation.

"Quatre's no angel," Heero agrees. "But the wings...."

"Just because he's as human as the rest of us, it doesn't mean there isn't a touch of the divine in him." Trowa looks up from where he is sitting on the edge of the bed, soothing Quatre's pain.

"Guys, hate to tell you this, but I think all of you've got a bit of it in you." Duo is uncomfortable around the subject.

I frown, unsure of what he means by that. "Yes, but none of us have wings."

 

My back hurts....

It's hot. Something heavy is on top of me. And... is that blood I smell? Thick scent, layered with something nauseatingly antiseptic.

The pain and the feeling of a cool, familiarly callused hand on my brow drag me back to waking reality.

I moan, opening my eyes. I feel like I've been hit by a Gundam. Or a stack of that damned paperwork.

"Quatre!"

"You're awake."

"Are you feeling all right?"

Only Trowa is silent. It's his hand that's been soothing back my hair.

"I think so," I admit, pushing myself to hands and knees. "What happened?"

Duo's eyes go wide. "You don't remember?"

"No."

"Hm." Heero takes a few steps forward and gently grasps... something behind me. He draws a feathered expanse out to one side. "Remember these?"

The feeling of Heero's fingers, a warm pressure.

The rustle of feathers--flight and altitude--Trowa!

Memory snaps back into place.

I swallow, and look at Trowa. "You fell."

"And you caught me."

My eyes flicker back to the edge of the wing held in Heero's hand.

Wings. As if I didn't have enough visibility in the media already.

I flop back down onto the bed with a groan.

"Are you all right?"

I look up at Trowa. "This is just what I needed," I respond ruefully, knowing that my friends will understand why. "The press is going to have a field day."

"Not to mention the scientists."

The four of us stare at Heero.

"Wait a minute... Heero, you mean those old freaks are still kicking?" Duo covers his face with a hand and groans. "Oh, man, I thought they bought it on Libra. Damn."

Heero glares at Duo. "Medical scientists."

Duo sighs in exaggeration. "Thank God." Then he crosses the room and kneels next to me. "Hey, Quatre, you okay? You're still you, right? No going angel-Zero or anything, right?"

I nod. "I'll be fine."

"'Angel-Zero'?" Wufei asks skeptically.

My Catholic-raised friend glances at the Buddhist and grins. "Yeah, can't you just see oh-four here with a flaming sword?"

"The beam saber was never my style," I dismiss with a sly smile.

Duo stares for a second, then turns at Heero's short bark of laughter. He shakes his head. "Yeah, yeah, yeah," he dismisses with a gesture. "More than enough angels among this crew, I guess."

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