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Mobile Suit Gundam Iscariot

Title: Mobile Suit Gundam ISCARIOT
Part: 20
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: And then it's time to begin again.

Mick hadn't been entirely sure what Solitaire to do with them, to be honest. He'd definitely made a high-stakes gamble, but considering that Solitaire had pulled them all off into a little lounge area and pulled out the alcohol... Apparently he'd beat the odds.

At least for the evening.

Solitaire hadn't assembled his entire crew, Mick knew. The two girls on the far side of Jet were obviously a couple and obviously two of Solitaire's most-trusted crew members. And then another cute girl with dyed pink hair and matching fingernails who'd settled on Mick's lap and was sharing his drink straight from his mouth.

Yes, there was drinking to be done. And possibly a bit of misbehaving...

Mick had caught the looks that Gate had given Solitaire and Amde - Gate obviously had feelings for Solitaire, though apparently she was quite willing to change her target.

Amde and Solitaire were pressed close together, getting further and further lost in their own little world. Mick couldn't fault them. He almost wanted to ask why they didn't just go find a nice quite space alone. Maybe Solitaire was trying to exercise a bit of caution. Maybe he...

Gate was damned distracting.

"You have enough?" Mick asked her before taking a swig from the bottle. He had drunk far less than he'd implied, and she'd drank most of his share and then all of her own. Originally, Mick had wanted to keep an eye on Amde - force of habit - even though he knew that Amde could take care of herself. And do whatever the hell she wanted.

Jet was beside him and managing to politely listen to Eternity talk about virtual veggies while her partner, Lore, shook her head. At least Jet wouldn't get in trouble. And if Gate got too persistent, well, Mick already had a plan. He'd definitely take her back to her room, his room if he had one assigned shortly, or wherever.

Mick moved to pull Gate closer to him, and she giggled and reached to push the zipper on her top down just a bit more. Well, there was no way she'd miss that he really was interested. Shifting a bit, he moved his hand and caught Jet's without intending to. Ever so quickly, Jet squeezed and Mick squeezed in response.

Jet answered a question about zucchini. Solitaire and Amde finally excused themselves.

Mick smiled and kissed Gate again.

Mick nudged Gate from half on top of him and wondered when she'd shed the rest of her clothing. She was going to be miserable for a bit once she finally woke up enough to realize how much she'd drank, but Mick couldn't really do anything about that. His pants were still on and he didn't even have a headache - just a thirst deep in his throat and a desire to be up and undistracted. Gate was quite attractive and seemed like a nice enough girl - he felt a little bad about getting her completely smashed - but he had far too much on his mind already.

Mick wondered if she'd even remember the trip back to her room. He'd probably encouraged her more than he should have. But he hadn't put a hand on Gate once she was past the point of rational thought.

He ducked into the bathroom and cleaned up - a proper shower would be heaven but even splashing water on his face helped a lot.

Gate was peering at him, half-propped on one arm when he exited the bathroom.

Smiling, he leaned and kissed the top of her head.

"Thank you," he said, and headed towards the door. She'd either figure it out, or she wouldn't. He wasn't too concerned.

It wasn't hard to find the bridge, or Solitaire. Surprisingly, Amde wasn't with him, though Mick was fairly sure he was letting her sleep. She deserved to rest.

Solitaire was behind the controls, though the ship seemed to be on auto-pilot as Solitaire worked on something else that he quickly saved and closed.

"You're up earlier than I expected," Solitaire said, standing and reaching for Mick as he approached. Mick moved into the embrace, not resisting a quick nip at the spot on Solitaire's shoulder that he knew Amde would have gone for.

Solitaire shivered.

"Some things apparently never change," he said softly. "I certainly can't be mad about it, though. Damn, Mick..."

Mick chuckled as he drew back. "I certainly can't complain about the hospitality here."

"Gate..." Solitaire shook his head. "I really didn't think she was your type. Tiercel, maybe, but..."

"Have I had a chance to meet him?" Mick interrupted, reaching for Solitaire's arm. He was fairly sure he'd met Tiercel in passing, but he wouldn’t refuse a more personal introduction. "I think you're going to introduce me."

"I should probably give you a proper tour," Solitaire noted. "Introduce you to Sincere, too. My second-in-command."

Mick nodded, leading Solitaire onward. He knew the other two members of the crew on the bridge - Deadline and Eternity - were giving them both curious looks as they headed for the hallway.

"We should pick up Jet first," Mick noted. "Any idea where your ladies dropped him off last night? Do we have rooms? Well... Amde Gracia should be staying with you, but I can only bed-hop for so long before I end up stealing your covers."

He smirked at Solitaire, who only gave him a warm grin back. Apparently while he'd been a sinner, Solitaire had been a saint.

"He should be down by our other new guy, though he's hardly new at this point," Solitaire said, gesturing that they could head onward down the hall. "Guy named Jackal who..."

Mick nearly tripped over his own feet. There was no way. None. And Solitaire had not missed his pause.

"From fucking Delfend?" Mick questioned, incredulous. Of all the right bastards to still be sucking air, Jackal. And with Jet at his fingertips...

Solitaire gave a little nod, confusion obvious on his face.

He grabbed Solitaire and held him at arm's length, pure fury boiling up inside of him.

"Where?" he asked. "If that bastard lays a finger on Jet again, I am going to kill him this time and you will not stop me."

"Again?" Solitaire questioned. Mick could very nearly see the pieces clicking together in Solitaire's brain as his expression changed from confusion to anger. "Please don't tell me he's..."

Mick gave Solitaire a little shake to emphasize that Solitaire needed to start talking immediately.

"Let me go and I'll get you there," Solitaire said. "I'm so sorry, Mick, I had no idea. Neither of you ever told me his name."

Mick let go, not even bothering to justify that. No, he followed Solitaire as he ran.

It was strange to wake up somewhere that wasn't NIN-ANA.

Jet had been on the station for the last twelve years without leaving for even a day. He wasn't a mission pilot, and there was no real reason to go anywhere for any particular reason. His family had been complicated even before he'd started looking for a place to finish his education.


He didn't have his linked datapad, so there was no quick 'good morning' to Ashtorethe and Varuna. No check in on the hangars or the day's schedule. No notes from students. No messages from Nari, who apparently let everyone she'd ever met know when she got up for the day.

No, he had left NIN-ANA.

That hit him hard, and he spent a few minutes sitting there in dim silence.

Mick had really done it -- and dragged him along for the ride. Jet knew he'd be able to earn his keep and that Mick would keep him safe. Well, Solitaire and Amde, too.

But it was a big change. Not being at NIN-ANA hurt.

Jet flopped back onto the bed, wondering if there was really much point in getting up yet. There wasn't, really, was there?


Well, Lore and Eternity were actually pretty nice, and he did sort of want to see Eternity's virtual garden. He hoped Eddie wasn't injured and Gate... Jet thought that maybe Gate was a little too young for Mick, but Mick had already proved that he couldn't be trusted...

Mick had asked if they trusted him.

Jet got to his feet and dragged over to his duffel. Apparently Lore had retrieved it while Eternity had been getting him a handful of other basics. They were both so nice...

He was surprised, at first, that his duffel had been rummaged through. But that made sense -- even if Solitaire trusted him, they didn't yet. Jet never carried a weapon, though. In NIN-ANA, he'd never needed one.

Carefully, he pulled everything out of his bag. Mostly, it was a pitiful selection of clothing meant to be worn on station stops or while on shuttles. A few sad toiletries. Work gloves, and...

Jet reached for them, surprised. He hadn't remembered packing them, but they were definitely his. Thick canvas, good for grabbing warm or cold parts, stained, and with his name written on them in silver paint. Cardinell had done it, one day, because she'd gotten a silver paint pen and...

He thought of Whitby, and Aleksei, and the other students. What would Mitra have told them?

Reaching, he slipped the gloves on and... paused when his fingers hit unexpected bulk.

Frowning, he reached in and pulled out his other gloves -- the ones linked with NIN-ANA. He most definitely had not packed them, and he most definitely had not packed them inside his work gloves.

Quickly, he jammed them back in and re-packed his bag. It was perfect, really. When Lore had riffled through, she'd just found canvas gloves with a normal stiff bulk. No sense in checking inside work gloves belonging to someone who worked on mobile suits. Especially when he'd shed his bracelet without hesitation earlier.

And Mick had been alone with his bag more than once.

That meant...

One of two things -- the gloves only worked in NIN-ANA. Well, in theory, at least. Mick may have packed them in hopes he could take over a ship with them. Or use them to hack the ship when in range of NIN-ANA. Or... help launch an assault on NIN-ANA.

Mick had planned ahead but not told anyone else the plan.

Perfect. He just had to trust Mick.

For now, though, he needed to move. Even a quick walk would help clear his head. Maybe he could find Eternity...

Heading out of his room, he was surprised to hear the door of the next room opening as well. Eternity hadn't mentioned a neighbor, nor had Lore.

But as soon as their eyes met, Jet felt his blood run cold. He would have recognized the man anywhere, and even though Solitaire -- Lan -- had spent years teaching him what to do in case this very moment ever occurred, he was frozen in place.

The spark of recognition was bright in the other man's eyes.

"Why if it isn't that pretty little thing..." Jackal smirked and strode right up to Jet, into his personal space and just inches away.


"It really is you," Jackal continued. "Solitaire did say that sticking with him would be worthwhile, but you..."

"Don't..." Jet couldn't find the words as Jackal reached for his hair. He wanted to cry for Mick, but Mick was probably still otherwise occupied.

And then, without warning, Jackal went sailing to the floor.

Mick was standing there, with Solitaire beside him. Solitaire had slammed him down and put a booted foot square on Jackal's back.

"That was a mistake," Solitaire said coldly. "However, I am not going to punish you for it."

"Nnngh..." Jackal tried to twist and see who was above him.

"Dire is."

They'd settled in their usual spot - in the shadow of Akhlys - because there didn't seem to be any reason not to. They all had access, after all, and had met there even when Mick or Jet weren't around. No one had seen any reason to suggest going elsewhere... Besides, it was easier to worry in a group.

Aleksei had nearly finished his homework for Instructor Silverknight when he realized they'd silently gained a sixth. Even though he knew better, he half-expected it to be Jet, lazily sprawling or Mick returning with snacks.

Instead, it was Aeon, dressed in a crisp uniform but looking tired. He looked like he wanted to say something but didn't quite know how.

Aleksei then realized that Aeon was alone. He could count on one hand the number of times he'd seen Aeon without either Purity or Mercado along.

"Hey..." Aeon said finally, softly. He'd settled in the spot normally occupied by Jet. They'd all left it open, just in case. Everyone had their eyes on him.

"Aeon?" Nari questioned. "What are you doing here?"

"Mitra was going to come but I... I asked if I could..." Aeon winced and shook his head and took a deep breath. Aleksei was not at all surprised when Lyndee grabbed for his hand. He grabbed for Whitby a half-second later. "I wanted me to tell you right away before you heard it from another source... I just have to..."

Aeon wasn't tired, Aleksei realized. He'd been crying.

Something had happened. Something bad.

"Is it Mick?" Aleksei questioned. Mick was better than that. Mick was amazing! There was no way that...

"As of 0200 hours this morning, Mick Hedone, Jet Zero, and Amde Hisano have defected from NIN-ANA," Aeon said quickly, racing to get it out in one breath. He shook his head. "They willingly took off their bracelets and joined my brother."

"I don't believe you!" Lyndee cried, letting go of Aleksei and standing. Her hands were instantly on her hips. "They wouldn't do that! It has to be a misunderstanding."

Aeon shook his head. "No... there's no mistake."

Aleksei watched as Aeon hesitated, then glanced away so they wouldn't immediately see his tears.

Nari wasn't far behind, and even Eoin had tears.

Aleksei was just stunned. He was with Lyndee -- there had to be a plan. They'd made so many plans... this couldn't be the end.

Lyndee flopped back down and crossed her arms. "They wouldn't do that..."

"I..." Aeon looked back, speaking softly, "I didn't think so either. I don't know what's going to happen yet. But maybe you five should find a new hangout."

"But this is our spot, too. And we're..."

"Complete innocents, right?" Aeon finished, looking at Nari. "I know. But it's not a bad idea."

"Mick will be back," Whitby said defensively. "Psyche is here and he wouldn't leave her."

"I didn't think Lan would ever leave me, either. Or Amde..." Aeon wiped away his tears with a sleeve. "Purity is telling Psyche the situation right now. And I know... I want to believe like you do, but you never saw them together. Amde and my brother and Mick... They were..."

"They are unstoppable, together."

Carefully, Nari got to her feet and walked over to Aeon, wrapping her arms gently around him and drawing him close. Aleksei had read up on Anaplekte and Aeon. Eris and Moros both told of his skill. He was a capable, deadly man - one who didn't push Nari away.


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