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First Flight (Gundam Wing)

Fandom: Gundam Wing
Title: First Flight
Word Count: 700
Rating: PG
Spoilers: None

Synopsis: The daring young man on the flying trapeze.



“You’re not afraid of heights, are you, Trowa?” Catherine was already halfway up the ladder to the trapeze platform, and had to raise her voice to be heard. Her toes curled around the hollow steel bars.

He shook his head.

“Not afraid of heights, not afraid of lions, not afraid of having knives thrown at you, not afraid of clowns… What are you afraid of?”

Trowa tried to think of an answer that would seem natural to this odd civilian girl, but he wasn’t sure what circus people normally feared. Catherine wasn’t bothered by heights, lions, or knives either. (Surely “clowns” was a joke. Why would anyone be afraid of clowns?)

“Well?” Catherine called down. “Don’t be all manly and say ‘nothing,’ because I won’t believe it.”

I don’t know who I am, thought Trowa. I don’t even have a name. When I look in a mirror, I don’t know who’s looking back at me. How can I possibly know what I fear?

“I’m afraid of mirrors,” he said at random, mumbling the last word as he realized that it wasn’t quite random.

“So am I!” exclaimed Catherine. She had let go of the ladder and was hanging upside down with her knees hooked over a rung and her fist under her chin. She looked so much like she was lying casually on a floor that Trowa had the dizzying sense that the gravity had been turned off.

“Especially the big hairy ones,” she added. “Ugh!”

“Hairy…?” he repeated bewilderedly. Well, they were in a circus, after all. He should expect a certain amount of the surreal.

“Yeah, like tarantulas.” She flipped herself upright, bounced off the rung with the balls of her bare rosined feet, then sprang straight upward and landed on her feet on the trapeze platform.

“Up you go,” she yelled down. “Or I won’t believe what you said about heights.”

Trowa obediently climbed the other ladder to his own platform and stood watching her across the small amount of empty air that, on Earth, was apparently enough frighten people.

“Swing out like I showed you,” she ordered. “Hold out your hands. I’ll catch you.”

He hooked his knees over the bar of the trapeze and launched himself, arms outstretched. Air hissed in his ears and rippled his clothes. It was like piloting Heavyarms in space: three dimensions to move in, albeit here in a limited trajectory; hands free to strike or grasp; other moving bodies to destroy or avoid or rendezvous with.

Catherine’s hands clasped his, and their rosin-dusted fingers and palms gripped tight. He matched his trajectory to hers and, releasing his legs, tried to assist her flight rather than hanging as a dead weight. As they swung back to her platform, he caught the ladder with his feet.

“You’re a natural,” she said. “Take the ladder, I’m letting go.”

She disengaged, freeing his hands. He hooked an elbow over a ladder rung. Catherine stayed where she was, swinging gently, upside-down eyes level with his.

“Sure you’ve never done this before?” she asked.

He shook his head; he wasn’t sure, now that he’d actually tried it.

“You know how your body moves in space,” she said thoughtfully. “That’s the hardest thing to teach. Even dancers and martial artists usually need more time to figure out how far their reach extends and their balance works when they’re not on solid ground.”

Catherine put out her hand and pushed off from his chest, then flipped herself up on to the platform. She beckoned to him to join her. Experimentally, he tried to spring up from the ladder like she had. He had the form but not the power. He didn’t bother grabbing for the platform— he knew his own reach, and he would have missed it by a good three inches— and fell, body relaxed, into the net.

A moment later, she dropped down beside him. They both bounced gently.

“Good try,” she said. “You’ll get the height with practice.”

They were lying so close that if he had looked directly into her eyes, he might have seen an image of himself reflected back. Instead, he looked up at the still-swaying trapeze, and imagined himself the way she seemed to see him: fall of spiky brown hair, one cautious green eye, and a body that knew its position in space. If that was his true reflection, he could learn to live with mirrors.

Comments

rilina
Mar. 6th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC)
EEEE!!! More fic for meeeee!

Trowa tried to think of an answer that would seem natural to this odd civilian girl, but he wasn’t sure what circus people normally feared. Catherine wasn’t bothered by heights, lions, or knives either. (Surely “clowns” was a joke. Why would anyone be afraid of clowns?)
HAHAHA.

I love how little Trowa knows about being normal; his rapport with Catherine; and the image of them flying and falling.