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July 26, 2008
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Author's note: I do not own Gundam Wing or its characters. This is for the 30 Kisses challenge using list eta. This is AU. Theme 4: Unforgivable.

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                                  Children Go Where I Send You

“Do you have plans for lunch? Relena wanted to get together, and she’s in town for a few days.”

Noin tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “We’ve got that meeting with Une today, but tomorrow’s good for me.”

“Good.” Zechs tucked the completed paperwork into a file. “Do you know what Une wants to see us about?”

“Not a clue.” She leaned across his desk to kiss him on the nose. “I’m off for a coffee run. Do you want anything?”

“Real coffee or the stuff from the break room?”

“Real coffee.”

“A venti Caramel Macchiato.”

She just shook her head. “You and your fancy coffee.”

“This from the woman who has practically lived on peppermint mochas at times?”

She stuck her tongue out at him and grabbed her purse. “I’ll be back in half an hour.”

It wasn’t a long walk down to their regular coffee shop. There was an insanely long line, but that was typically of the lunch rush. The place served at least three major corporate offices, a police station, a score of small businesses, and Preventer HQ. The staff never had to worry about a lack of customers.

“Your usual, Miss Noin?”

“And a venti Caramel Macchiato too, please.”

“Would you like anything else today?”

Noin bit her lip. “Two of the vanilla cupcakes.”

“Cash or credit?”

She dug the appropriate amount out of her purse. With the cupcakes tucked safely under her arm, Noin collected the drinks and headed back to the office and the waiting paperwork. Zechs was already working one the pile of forms when she slipped back into their office. Noin deposited his drink and one of the cupcakes on the desk.

“Aren’t you glad you don’t have the paparazzi problem Relena does? I’m sure they’d love to know that the former prince of the Sanc Kingdom prefers fancy cappuccinos over black coffee.”

“Weren’t you the one complaining last time when they called you, what was it, ‘a brainless sycophant following after Peacecraft like a puppy’?”

“I complained. You wanted to see if we could commit arson at their office and get away with it.”

“Touché.” He sipped his drink. “You made it back just in time. Une moved the meeting up. We need to be there in ten minutes.”

Noin sighed. “Great. Has she mentioned what this about yet?”

“No. I’m getting a bad feeling about this.”

“It can’t be worse than the time she had us go undercover as a prostitute and a tranny.”

“We’ll see.”

Une was rather more serious than the pair expected when they arrived at her office.

“I hate to throw you two into an operation with as little prep time as this, but it can’t be helped. It’s unforgivable that this has gone on as long as it has, and it looks like Urahara and Shihoin finally have enough to bring them down if we move quickly.” Une sighed. “You two are about the only ones who I can trust in this situation. The only other pair to send would be Sally and Wufei, and I’m afraid with their tempers this mission could fall apart.”

Noin traded a look with Zechs. Typically, Une was only this verbose about really bad missions.

“Kisuke Urahara and Yoruichi Shihoin have been investigating an illegal adoption ring for the past year or so. We’ve already seen some of their work. It’s where about half of the kids from that brothel we took apart last month came from. According to the records, they were all legally adopted from three orphanages on L-2.” Une pushed a thick folder across her desk. “Everything is in there, including your cover. I’d like to have you to on a shuttle tonight.”

“Is there anything we need to know that’s not in the file?” Noin had been on enough Preventer operations to know there was always something that wasn’t in the file.

“At least sixty children’s lives are at risk here, and Urahara and Shihoin are highly invested in this one. If things go south, I don’t think they’ll be satisfied in pulling out and I waiting for another opportunity.”

Noin could understand that. Most of the Preventers had a soft spot for children. And given the circumstances, she couldn’t really blame them for not wanting to wait for the next chance at these people.

“We’ll just have to make sure things go smoothly.”

Une nodded at Zechs. “Just don’t blow anything up. I don’t think the budget can handle any more explosions this year.”

Noin bit her lip, and the corners of Zechs’ mouth were twitching. It wasn’t their fault Duo had seen fit to destroy no less than three buildings in the course of his last mission. And Heero’s need to deal with terrorists by chucking their own bombs back at them could hardly be considered surprising. Of course, it had been surprising that Sally had been the one, and not her partner, to undertake the complete demolition of an enemy safe house, but Une had known what she was getting into when she hired them all.

“There’s a shuttle leaving at six o’clock. Will you two be ready by then or should I book a later flight for you?”

With the flight details taken care, the pair headed back to their office to gather any supplies they would need before heading home to pack. With a small inventory of weapons and ammunition packed, the partners headed back to the loft they shared. Noin packed their bags as Zechs read the file aloud to her. It was a familiar routine for them both. Dinner was a simple meal, made and ate together while discussing various elements of the case. In some ways, this was the reason why she had fought so hard: to have a normal life with the man she loved. Or at least as normal of a life as they could manage.

It was only once they were settled for the shuttle flight that Noin voiced the thought that had been stuck in her head since they were assigned this mission.

“Do you ever think about having children?” Her head rest against his shoulder.

Zechs fingered her hair. “Sometimes. Why?”

She sighed a little. “I was just thinking about the mission. We could have been one of those kids, you know, if we hadn’t been pulled into OZ. And if it hadn’t been for the Alliance, we could have been married with a family of our own by now.”

He kissed the top of her head. “Do you want a family?”

“Someday.” She smiled softly. “I’m not ready yet. We’re only twenty-one. Maybe in a few more years. The case just made me think.”

Zechs slid his fingers between hers. “Well, then. First we save these kids, and then we can worry about having some of our own.”

She nodded and snuggled a little closer to her partner. He tucked the complimentary blanket a little more securely around them both, and Noin let her eyes fall shut. They still had at least three hours before they arrived. Noin was content to rest at Zechs’ side, drifting off to dreams of a little dark haired girl with her father’s eyes.
#04 - Unforgivable - The mission had given Noin ideas.
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