title: Choir Box: Feast of the Holy Innocents
fandom: Gundam Wing
characters/pairings: Zechs/Treize, Une, Noin, Sally, Relena, Heero, Duo, Father Maxwell, Sister Helen, Mr. & Mrs. Peacecraft, Walker
rating: Teen
warnings: sex, some language
summary: Zechs takes a moment to look back at his life as Milliardo Peacecraft before moving on.
notes: song by Lethanon: God Has Won
much gratitude to Lethanon, for sharing her abundant talents with us, and allowing me to tag along on this journey. please make sure to go download the song to get the full effect, and go to her site to get fansong cds from Leth. because she rocks. ^_^
these fics will have strong Catholic overtones, but if i do my job right, they won't be essential to the fics. all the fic titles will come from feast days in the Catholic calendar.

The thrombing echo of the bells was washed away by the constant patter of the rain. He stood in the doorway and watched the church, made grey and looming by the darkening skies. He stood there and waited, like the cars in the parking lot, examining the lines of the church as if he could discern something about its occupants from the angle of its spires.

It seemed fitting to him, as if the heavens were weeping, or perhaps he was being washed away from the memory of those he loved forever. He had a backpack, and a ticket in his pocket. He had not thought to take an umbrella, and at this point, there seemed to be little reason for it. Between him and the church was the garden where couples got their picture taken for their wedding. He could see them, together, the sun shining down on her in her perfect white dress, he so fine in his tuxedo, tailored for the occasion. He would put his arm around her waist and draw her close to his body, intimately, and old ladies with blue hair would coo about how lovely they looked.

Phantom bile and blood filled his mouth, and he crossed the soaked garden. He did not choose to do so; he just acted. He looked up at the soaked face of Mary, her single tear making redundant the rain. Would she weep for him when he was gone, or rejoice, another unwanted child out of sight and out of mind?

He opened the side door to the church, and stepped inside gently, holding the door as it closed so as not to make a noise. Since he was a boy, he'd been through all the back corridors and into every nook and cranny of this church. His parents were prominent people, which meant that they were in the center of everything, and that they were giving. He'd been a toddler, still learning to put words and objects together in his mind, when his mother had left him in the sacristy while she went to her committee meetings. He'd gotten into trouble when he was five for spilling the wine all over the priest's vestments. But in truth, Father Maxwell had only laughed and assured his parents that it was no bother. Even Sister Helen, who had sighed, exasperated, had smiled and winked at him. But his father had not forgiven him so easily. He hadn't wanted to drink the wine...

He slipped back to the small set of steps that the altar servers went up to light the candles above the side altar. From here, he could see everyone in the church unobtrusively. His parents were in the first pew, as always, his father sitting up straight, his back like an iron rod, his platinum hair pulled back into a severe tail. He sighed. He looked so much like his father. Everyone expected him to be the perfect little clone of the perfect man.

He fell so short of what people expected of him.

His father stared straight ahead as Father Maxwell read the gospel. It was the story of the Holy Innocents, children sacrificed in the place Jesus. Perhaps it was irony, he thought to himself, or perhaps it was just timing. Perhaps he was his father's sacrifice, offered up in place of the one his father had truly desired.

Father Maxwell began his homily, his kindness and gentle spirit echoing softly against the backdrop of the continuous rain. His mother watched Father intently, nodding her head from time to time, and even winking at him. Sometimes, he thought his mother fancied the priest, even though Father Maxwell was much older than she. Or perhaps she was just a frustrated nun. He didn't understand his mother that well. He didn't think that she agreed with his father's unilateral rejection of him, but she said nothing in objection. Did it matter to her at all that she was losing her firstborn son? Would she pray for him when he was gone, or would she simply erase him from her thoughts, one less thing to bother about on a long list of things she had to worry about as she tried to save the world via committee?

His teachers were scattered throughout the church. His favorite teacher was sitting in the aisle, not too far back, a rather bold choice considering the social structures of the church, but it didn't matter at all to Ms. Po. She would understand, he thought. She had helped him to graduate early, after all. Noin was there, sitting with her family. He wanted to feel sympathy for her, because he did think that she cared for him, but her love was so blind, it didn't feel like it had anything to do with him at all.

Up in the choir box, Duo Maxwell started to sing the solo for the Presentation. His voice was still clear as a bell, Sister Helen's pride and joy. He felt a sharp pang, realizing that he would never hear Duo's voice change. As always, Heero Yuy stood next to Duo, his sharp eyes watching his best friend at all times. Sometimes, he thought about his sister's infatuation with Heero, and Heero's utter devotion to Duo, and it made him want to laugh out loud.

His family was plagued by homosexuals, it seemed.

He watched his sister for a long time, aching so much he nearly tore up his ticket. She was so lovely, so innocent. Was he ever like her? She looked more like their mother, her blonde hair more tinged with brown, her cornflower blue eyes brighter than his. He couldn't remember being so honest and unfettered as she was. She was like an angel to him, like hope. She was clean and pure and strong, and he wanted nothing but happiness for her forever.

He had never been like her, but then, he'd spent his youth with the Khushrenada's, against his parents' wishes. Treize was a few years older than him, and he seemed to know everything. Treize was a patient tutor in the ways of life, at least to him, and there were many, many things Treize taught him that his father did not approve of at all.

He could no longer look away. He turned his eyes to the pew across the aisle from his parents, where the Khushrenada's sat. Treize's father was sickly, and unable to work or go to church, so Treize, at twenty, had taken over. He sat in the first seat, his perfectly tailored suit hanging elegantly from his body as he sat. He had his legs folded neatly over each other, his hands laying flat on top of each other on his knee. Treize was better than perfection; he was vital.

He felt himself breathing harder. He ignored the woman sitting next to Treize, his lover and fiancée in name alone. She was inconsequential. She had made small talk with his mother at the Founder's Day celebration while Treize had fondled him behind the azaleas. She did not demand Treize's devotion or his love, simply content to be by his side.

He was the one that Treize loved best. He was the one that made Treize scream. Treize was a man of luxury and excess, and he was the one that inflamed Treize's desire to the point where he was overcome with it. He was Treize's drug, Treize's addiction.

Treize kissed him for the first time when he was ten. He'd started to grow his hair out, at Treize's suggestion, and it was about at his chin. It had been raining then, too, but it was a summer rain, with the sun shining through it, a welcome relief from the heat, and Treize had grabbed the tendrils of his hair and held his face as they kissed. Treize had tasted like cotton candy, and it made him feel warm and happy to be so close to Treize.

That had only been the first step.

Treize had always called him Zechs, a little nickname that he'd picked for himself, the name of a villain from one of the nickel comics his nanny always carried in her bag. It had been something private between them, as if he could change everything about himself with just a name. As if he could be Treize's if he was no longer a Peacecraft.

And the first time they'd shared a bed. They'd made love. They'd had sex. They'd fucked. He didn't know anymore what the right term was; the promises of love and eternity that had lulled him into Treize's grasp seemed blank and hollow now.

Treize touched him. He'd resisted, he'd trembled, he begged Treize, pleading though he couldn't articulate, couldn't think. Treize had kissed his neck, unbuttoning his shirt. Treize put hands on his hips, and had led him down. Running his fingers through his hair, Treize promised him that everything was going to be fine.

He'd taken off his clothes, and watched Treize take off his clothes. His heart had been pounding and his palms were sweaty, and he was weak and helpless against Treize's lust. Treize chuckled as he quivered, and whispered in his ear, "Vini." Kissing his lips, Treize took his cock into his hands. "Vidi." Treize licked his chest, sucking on his nipple as fingers probed between his legs. "Vici."

He'd wanted to laugh, wanted to cry, but he spread out his legs and submitted to Treize. He fell asleep afterwards, his head on Treize's chest, and feeling calmed by Treize finger-combing his hair out. He woke up with the sun in his eyes, knowing that he'd be in trouble at home, but too excited by the sinfulness of waking up naked with Treize. He didn't even mind Treize's indulgent smile, because the older man was smiling for him, and his body felt pleasantly drained, so it was all wonderful anyway. He'd reached up to touch Treize sitting up, looking down on him, and he grinned. "Vini." He laid his hand out flat against Treize's skin, grasping with the ends of his fingers at Treize's flesh. "Vidi." He lifted himself up to just barely kiss Treize's chin, slipping back down again before he could even feel Treize against his lips. "Dormivi."

They'd laughed. Treize tickled him. They made love again. Had sex again.

Treize drove him home, and offered to go in with him. His eyes had been concerned and loving. He'd felt protected, strengthened, and at that moment, he'd believed that nothing could hurt him.

He smiled fondly down at Treize as Treize brushed out his pants as he went to kneel down. He couldn't help it, even still. He loved Treize, with his whole heart and soul. He didn't even blame him. Treize had promised him a dozen times and more that they would be together forever, that they would leave this town hand in hand. But Treize was getting married in six months, and he was leaving alone.

It should have worked. Maybe if his father hadn't been so uncaring, they could have made it work. Maybe he could swallow his pride, and take Noin to the governor's ball, and act the part of the penitent son, and hide his love away like a good boy should.

But his pride was unpalatable, and his love longed for the light of day.

Perhaps Treize was just less able to give up the luxuries of life. Perhaps he was being unreasonable to expect his lover to drop everything for him. Perhaps his father was right, after all. Perhaps this conquest was doomed by God from the very beginning.

But it was his sin to covet, to nurture, to love, and it was what made him real. His father might be right; he might not have a son. Milliardo Peacecraft could blink out of existence and he wouldn't care at all. Perhaps it was time for Zechs Merquise to step out of the shadows.

He stared at Treize as the congregation sung the Our Father. He wanted to catch his eye for one last time. He'd lost everything for Treize's love; he wanted one last second before he turned his back on everything. Still, even as he was willing Treize to look up and see him there, he was shocked when Treize actually did look at him. Treize's eyes widened momentarily, but he recovered quickly. His face did not betray any emotion or reaction, but Zechs felt he knew what Treize was thinking, nonetheless. Perhaps he was just projecting, but it gave him comfort to think he knew his lover well enough to read his thoughts. He turned the corners of his lips up slowly, hoping that Treize could read him as well.

He slipped back and away, and exited the church as quietly as he'd entered. It was still raining, Mary's tear still shining from beneath the wetness; his tear was well hidden by the rain.

He had to walk to the train station. He felt jangled, ill at ease, like he was forgetting something, even though he barely had anything at all. Walker had been quite eager to offer him a place to stay, and he'd even promised to pick him up from the station in the morning. He didn't have anything to worry about, because he'd been planning this for nearly a year now.

He stopped and looked at the church over his shoulder. He could hear the choir singing through the stone, he felt, the echoes of chanted Latin sending him onward and holding him down. He could still take it all back, he could still stay and not give up this life, these expectations, these castigations, these lies, these fears. This love.

He trusted Une to take care of Treize, even if he didn't love her. He trusted Heero to look out for Relena, even if her crush was one-sided. He trusted that his mother would find some committee or cause to fill up her thoughts. He trusted his father to remain righteous.

There was nothing left for him here. Terrible, at eighteen, to have burned through an entire life, but there it was.

He turned his back to the church, and walked with his face to the wind to the train station. It was time for a new life.

the lyrics to the accompanying music...

Choir Box: God Has Won

Omnium rerun principia parva sunt
Sunt lacriminae rerum et mentum mortalia tangunt
Homines libenter quod volunt credunt
Purga mentum init, exit purgamentum

Vincit, Vidi, Vici
Veni, Vidi, Dormivi
Dies irae, dies illa gravitatis
Solvet mutet orbem terrerum
in favillam, in favillam

Sursum Corda, sursum corda
Quo vadis, quo vadis ista est
Veni, vidi, deus vicit

Medio tutissmmus ibis
Fronti nulla fides
Ab origine usque finem
Ante bellum, vade mecum
Agnus Dei
Mihi quoque spem tu dedisti
Preces meae non sum dignae
Non nobis, non nobis, domine


Quid novi avis
Annuit coeptis
Sub rosa, tabula rasa

first half of chorus as a round x2

Solvet mutet orbem terrarum
in favillam, in favillam x2

which translates to :

Everything has a small beginning
These are the tears of things and our mortality cuts to the heart
Men believe what they want to
garbage in, garbage out.
I came, I saw, I conquered
I came, I saw, I slept...
the day of wrath, that day of grief...
shall change the world to glowing ash.

Chorus: Lift up your hearts, lift up your hearts!
Whither goest thou? Whither goest thou?
This is it.
I came, I saw, and God has won.

You will go most safely by the middle course
No reliance can be placed on appearance
From start to finish
Before the war, go with me,
Lamb of God
Twas you to me beside gave me hope
Unworthy are my prayerful pleas
Not unto us, not unto us Lord


Bridge: What's new, bird?
God has favored us.
Under the rose, a clean slate.