Mobile Suit Gundam Iscariot
Title: Mobile Suit Gundam ISCARIOT
Fandom: Gundam (Meta)
Disclaimer: No profit is being made on this fanwork.
Rating: T Overall
Summary: With their first year at NIN-ANA more than half over, Aleksei, Whitby, and their friends have already had more adventures than they could have dreamed. However, past sins are finally coming to light and in one instant, things will change forever.
Notes: Things change. Forever.
Aleksei froze when he stepped into his second class of the day. Instead of Mick lazily leaning back in his desk chair, boots up on the desk, Mitra was sitting on the front of the desk, watching them all carefully as they filed in and sat.
No one said a word - they all just looked at each other and at Mitra and back. Aleksei wasn't sure what to think. Was this it? Mick hadn't said anything-- He thought Mick or Jet would have messaged everyone. He'd missed seeing Eoin in the hall...
"Good morning," Mitra said after another long moment of silence. "Instructor Hedone has been given a special mission and will be away from NIN-ANA for an unspecified amount of time. I'll be teaching in his absence from lesson plans he prepared in advance."
Aleksei wasn't terribly sure that he wanted to know the answer to his question or if Mitra would even answer him, but he raised his hand anyway.
"Instructor Mitra, sir-- Is this the big one?"
Mitra almost smiled.
"It's very important, yes," Mitra replied. "However, I am not at liberty to discuss any details just yet. Instead, I believe we should start by discussing last week's reading assignment."
Aleksei swallowed hard and glanced over at Whitby. Whitby was busy, though, frantically typing away on his datapad.
Mick, Amde, and Jet quickly met up with an outgoing cargo shuttle that was headed in a similar direction and, once settled, the trio staked out a common room for themselves and started planning.
"Follow my lead no matter what. Do not hesitate," Mick ordered. "We send a fake commissioning message through the channel Commander Varuna found, ask to inspect his team's equipment, and then take him out."
"And his team?" Amde questioned. She looked far more shaken than Mick wanted, which wasn't good. She should have been the team leader - this was Amde, after all - but he knew Varuna had been correct in giving the role away. They'd talked about it, ever so briefly, while getting machines loaded. Varuna had given him the full speech that went along with the Iscariot Command, not that Mick really wanted to hear it. He understood that it was a final decision.
"Collateral damage," Mick replied. "They're working for him, so... who knows."
Jet nodded. "I can't say I like any of this, but..."
"I need you both to trust me," Mick interjected as firmly as he could. "If you don't trust me, we can't do this."
"I trust you," Jet replied.
"Do not ever stop trusting me," Mick reiterated. He was going to need them both to follow his lead for every second of the mission or they'd fail. It was going to be their most difficult mission and he'd taken on the mantle of responsibility.
"Four days?" Amde asked.
"Four days til we'll be close enough to jump off," Mick replied, nodding.
"I think I'll be out of tears by then," Amde told him before looking away.
Mick had no words of comfort for her - not this time.
"Come on, Cailean, you can do better than that... just try to hit me!" Lan shook his head, catching another of Cailean's weak punches. Even a kick was blocked. "You're worse than Mick!"
"He's what?" Mick questioned from behind Lan, grabbing his friend and dropping him onto the practice mat, throwing his body over him and pinning Lan tightly to the floor.
Cailean smiled. Mick's hair was growing out nicely, and had been restored to its natural color. But despite the cosmetic changes, this was still the man who'd saved him.
"No fair!" Lan called. "Two on one..."
"Completely fair," Amde commented from the edge of the mat. "You need to watch your mouth, Lan, or it'll get you in trouble."
"You're fond of my mouth," Lan shot back.
"Keep it in the bedroom," Mick commented as he let go and slid off to the side, sitting cross-legged on the mat as Lan sat up and then leaned to let Amde kiss his cheek.
"As if you ever do," Lan said with a headshake. "I'm amazed it's currently in your pants."
Cailean blushed, not even wanting to think about that stuff. It wasn't that he was... uninterested or even afraid, but... it just seemed so personal and they made such a show of it. Lan and Amde were everyone's beloved couple, and Mick never lacked for someone to spend the night with.
Though Mick had told him, once, very late one night when they'd been working on a Safphir for far, far too long that if Cailean ever wanted, ever, that Mick was there for him. And always would be.
He didn't even want to think about that for a few years, at least.
Somehow, he missed Lan lunging at him and effortlessly pinning him to the mat. So the lesson was still continuing.
"Pay attention, Cailean..."
"How about 'Jet'?" Lan suggested, grinning. "It's a good name. Short, makes you think of something amazing tearing through the sky..."
"That's more like what he creates," Amde said with a little headshake.
"I like it," Mick said with a nod. Cailean was leaning against him, half-drunk, still wearing his graduation robes.
"I like it too." Cailean's voice wavered only because things were a little funny already. "Thank you, Lan. I'm gonna..."
He forgot what he was trying to say. And instead drank more.
Mick took him home that night and still didn't lay a finger on him.
"Good luck, Solitaire! Good luck, Atropos!" Jet waved as Lan climbed into Atropos and headed the machine off towards the deploy shuttle. It wasn't going to be a fast mission, but it sounded like an important one and Varuna had chosen him to pull it off. It would be his last mission for awhile, he knew. He'd been offered something that would keep him tied to NIN-ANA and with Amde once this was finished.
He'd have to make this one perfect.
"Good luck!" Amde called from beside Jet.
"I've got a good machine," Lan replied through his comm. "That's the best luck a guy could have. Thanks, Jet. I love you, Amde."
"We're going to finally get married once Lan returns from this mission," Amde said with a little smile.
Jet heard the word echo clearly over his headset.
"Trust me," Mick said before breaking his position and sending Tisiphone hurtling at the unmarked cruiser that was supposedly Solitaire's ship.
"What are you doing?" Jet cried, talking right over Amde.
Yet they both followed him. Jet wasn't sure he knew how to not follow Mick.
The pair of Safphirs that were apparently awaiting a smaller shuttle with a fictional client weren't expecting Tisiphone, nor were they expecting quick shots to their main cameras before being grabbed and clanged together with enough force to rattle both pilots and send systems temporarily spiraling but not really do much damage to the suits.
Jet only assumed Mick had opened every channel available before bellowing "Solitaire, let us in. I'm sorry we're late."
Unsure what to do, he followed Mick, grabbing one of the disabled Safphirs as Amde had Alecto grab for the other and tow it into the opening bay.
Solitaire's eyes went wide as he saw the machines. The job had checked out! There was no way that Varuna could have hoodwinked them, was there? But those were Gundams and leading the charge was Tisiphone. And Alecto was there, and Klotho...
"Orders, Sir?" Eternity asked. She asked again.
But Solitaire could only watch as Tisiphone took out Gate and Eddie without any real effort, holding them at armís-length before discarding them into space. There were only a handful of pilots who could do that. He was one, and...
"Solitaire, let us in. I'm sorry we're late."
"Orders, Sir?" Eternity repeated for the third time.
"Let them in," Solitaire said softly. Somehow, he didn't think it was time to die. Not yet, at least.
Eternity offered him her gun and he took it, just in case.
"Solitaire, what's going on?" Sincere asked in his ear. He didn't answer her. He didn't have an answer. If that was Alecto, then Amde... Amde!
Even as Deadline and Lore tried to catch up to him, he ran.
Mick was just climbing down from a kneeling Tisiphone's cockpit when Solitaire arrived. Alecto and Klotho were getting Gate and Eddie's Safphirs stabile and secure, fussing a bit at the unknown hangar.
But Mick... Solitaire trained the gun on... his friend...
"Hey," Mick said as he got his feet on the floor of the hangar and stared down Solitaire. "What's that for?"
"How did you...?"
Mick smiled and stepped closer, holding up his hands once, twice, and then reaching to unclasp the NIN-ANA control bracelet from his wrist and hold it out.
"Lan..." he said, giving his head a little shake, "I'm good."
Deadline and Lore ran into the hangar, with Tiercel and Eternity bringing up the rear.
Solitaire slowly lowered the gun, handing it absently to Lore before taking Mick's bracelet in his hands and a moment later being held in the tightest embrace of his life.
"This is how it should be," Mick replied, giving Solitaire the quickest and softest little kiss. "Had to steal that, too..."
"I brought Jet and Amde with me," Mick said. Solitaire thought his legs would give out, and he was grateful that Mick was holding him. Even if they were going to kill him... But he didn't think they were...
"Someone please help the two in the Safphirs!"
Solitaire pulled away from Mick at the sound of Amde's voice. Across the hangar their eyes met, and... He had her in his arms in an instant, sweeping her off her feet and holding her close. It had been far too long and he never wanted to be away from her again. She was beautiful...
"Lan..." She was crying, and Solitaire kissed her tears away before setting her down and kissing her properly.
"Amde..." Solitaire didn't even know what to say. There was nothing he could think of to say. "I love you."
"I love you too," she replied, hugging him as tightly as Mick had. "Lan... Solitaire... I..."
Solitaire looked over to where Mick was watching, smiling, before glancing back at the Gundams. Jet had grown, Solitaire realized. Looked good... and was helping Lore drag Gate and Eddie off somewhere. Deadline stopped Jet from getting too far, though.
They'd sort it out. He had Amde in his arms and Mick at his side.
"Solitaire... What's going on?"
Mentally apologizing, despite knowing it would mean nothing to her, Solitaire reached up and turned his earpiece off.
Jet tried not to worry. He trusted Mick. Except... for the first time in his life, he wanted not to. As happy as he was to see Solitaire, this just...
Had Mick really been waiting this long to go to Solitaire's side? To Lan...
To see Amde smile like that.
He would trust Mick.
"Someone please help the two in the Safphirs!"
He turned, once he was down from Klotho, having locked the OS quite firmly. It would respond only to him, hopefully, even if...
The first one down was a young woman, looking a little dazed and certainly surprised. She had shorter bright pink hair, and her pilot suit certainly left very little to the imagination.
"Who're you?" she questioned.
Jet shook his head, a little unsure who he should be. Unlike Mick and Amde, he didn't have a third name - he was not a combat pilot.
"There'll be time for introductions later," he said as he reached for her. "You should really be checked over for injuries, though. Dire hit you pretty hard."
"I'm fine," she spat. "Eddie might not be."
"Eddie?" Jet looked to the second Safphir and the small form crawling out of it.
"My brother," the girl said. "He's... still learning."
"Okay," Jet said. "Well, let's get him down and see if he can count fingers and isn't bleeding anywhere."
He tried not to sigh. And he tried not to watch Amde kissing Solitaire.
The girl was grabbing for her brother a moment later, and there was another woman and... Jet just didn't know where to go, but that was okay because no one was going to let him go anywhere. Not yet.
He caught Mick's eye, and Mick held up his wrist and tapped at it with the other hand.
He'd been through a succession of bracelets over the years, making his own and tweaking endless variations. Honestly, Jet had expected to wear one for the rest of his days. Life after NIN-ANA... He'd never thought about leaving. Not if Mick was there.
Life after NIN-ANA... Was it even something he could do?
Jet reached and released his NIN-ANA bracelet and let it fall to the hangar floor.
He stepped forward, free.
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