Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is the property of Sotsu Agency/Sunrise. No profits were made in writing this.

Pairing: 3+4+3
Rating: R
Warnings: Shounen Ai/genfic.

Part 3
by kebzero

July third, AC 207

Side Notes

I'm making an early entry today, as I'll be travelling later.

Catherine has been above average annoying lately. It's not her fault, it's not like she's the only one with sour grapes these days. The entire cast and crew is frustrated, even the manager can't hide his disappointment at the lack of revenue. This American tour is turning out to be a spectacular failure.

The empty bleachers isn't what bothers us - we've performed before empty crowds before, and skipped a meal the day after. No, it's that the land of promises is letting us down. They haven't spoken much of the Dream here for nearly two hundred years, not since the fences went up and the race to make L1 began. Sure, maybe we're chasing ghosts, hoping to strike it rich. It's happened before.

Funny how the 'Big Dream' stories never mention all those who toiled forever and gained nothing. Hard work might help, but cunning, luck and sheer ego wins through.

I guess we were wrong to believe our small circus could make an impact here. Most of our competition is far grander, far flashier. We've never had to contend with something like that at the colonies; the freight costs and logistics alone would have killed the big players up there. We didn't have too much trouble in Eurasia either, small attractions still fare well over there.

Not so here, in the land where everything's big - and that also includes disappointments.

Anyway - Quatre has invited me and the guys to one of his mansions on the Mediterranean coast for the rest of the summer. I originally thought I'd decline. Given how things are, I figured I'd be needed here. Catherine disagreed. Greatly. She claimed I was the one who'd gotten testy at our lack of success, and if anyone needed a time-out, it would be me. And she added something that I wasn't indespensible, if that's what I'd thought.

I know she wasn't serious when she said she was the big star of our little circus. At least I hope she wasn't.

She does have a point, though. It doesn't take that much effort to be a living target for her daggers. Just nerve. Same with cleaning the lions' cage, or putting on a clown suit. One mask fits all, and all that.

What won me over was Duo. We've been in touch online every so often, and he got the invite a day before I did - benefits of having a fixed address, I guess. I got the distinct impression he was more eager about it than our gracious host. It's been a couple of months since we last saw each other.

Since we last saw our Gundams. For the last time.

I remember when I first blew up Deathscythe - Duo never let me forget. I never told him, but that final day I rigged Heavyarms' self-destruct system to his detonator. I figured that way we were sort of even. I didn't quite understand loss until that moment. We've seen a lot of death, caused it too - but the destruction of a thing hit me more than the ghosts of all those I've killed.

Maybe I read too much into Duo's online banter, but it sort of felt like he needed a little 'group therapy'.

Or maybe that's just me.

Catherine thinks the trip would do me good. She says that perhaps I'm cut out for other things than touring with the circus. The war is over, I've no need to hide anymore. Those who know my face are either dead or allies now. We've all been cleared of war crime charges, thanks to Heero. His face became our face at the closed trials. I'm surprised he didn't pick law school - or the poker table.

Regardless, I've packed my bags. Tickets were included with the invitation, so there wouldn't be added expenses to our pressed budget. If anything, it'd be one less mouth to feed for a month, while the manager figures out what to do next.

There's really only one snag - the tickets were from the town we were in last week, so I'm hitting the road early to hitchhike.

Another note when I get to the airport - maybe,

- T.B.

on to part 4

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