Christmas AC 197. A large crowd gathers outside brussels around the broken and scarred remains of the gundam known as zero. A ghostly reminder of the failed coup that threatened the earth and colonies only 1 short year ago. One by one members of the crowd reverently place candles around the gundam paying tribute to the ones who stood in the way of revolution so peace could reign.

Heero stood in the crowd staring at what he once considered his closest friend and ally. Zero had predicted its final fight in front of Brussels that cold Christmas night last year. It had willing let Heero pilot it to its final resting place to bring the coup to its final end. Heero missed the presence of the zero system, it allowed him to view his choices and outcomes and decide on a clear path to follow. Now he was left to decide his path alone.

Thousands had shown up to show their gratitude to the Gundams and their pilots for bringing down the coup last year. The candles placed around the base of the wreckage gave the twisted and charred gundanium and eerie glow as the snow gently fell around it.

The sound of crunching snow suddenly echoed behind him and a pair of warm pink gloves wrapped around his arm.

Relena.

She had been his biggest supporter this past year as he struggled to find his place in the world he had helped create. It had been hard at first after waking up in the hospital last year. He had tried attending school and working with preventers but the solider in him had died that night of the coup. He no longer found comfort in missions and blending into a crowd like he had throughout the wars. It wasn't until a few months ago when Relena had suggested he come on as her body guard that he finally felt he found a place in the world.

"I'm glad so many came out to show their gratitude. It's quite beautiful" Relena whispered to him squeezing his arm.

"You know Zero was quite fond of you."

Relena quickly turned to him surprised "Really?"

"Yes, when I first piloted him I lost control and almost took out an entire space port. He showed me an image of you right before I passed out. Apparently I said your name out loud and Quatre heard. When I regained consciousness Quatre had already put us both on a shuttle to earth. We arrive at Sanc a few weeks later where you were with Noin and Dorthy."

Releana smiled at the memory. "That was one of the few pleasant memories I have of the war. It was the first time I was able to be around you without you running away of blowing yourself up."

"Hn" Heero smirked and leaned in closer to her.

A calm peace washed over Heero. Having Relena close and staring at the final resting place of zero seemed to be the ending line in the final chapter of his life as a solider. There would be hard times ahead, but soft times as well. He still remembered the parting words zero had left him with as they both came crashing down to earth after the final shot.

"Live"

Short and simple. But it still motivated Heero to push forward and explore what the world had to offer outside the battlefield.

Slowly the cold winter air started to force the crowd to seek their warm homes until finally only Heero and Relena remained at the site. Heero could feel Relena slightly shiver as the wind shifted and he knew she would stand there all night by his side if he wished. He turned and wrapped his arms around her.

"Thank you Relena"

Relena looked up at him, the soft candle light from zero reflecting in her eyes. "No Heero, Thank you. If not for you and zero last year none of us would be here."

Relena moved forward and softly brushed her lips against his. Over the past few months their relationship had grown, and while this wasn't their first kiss it was still something special to be able to share a connection with Relena that the rest of the world did not.

"I'll give you two a moment" She smiled at him and untangled herself from his arms. "Just don't stay out here too long, Peagan has 2 oversized mugs of hot cocoa with our names on them."

Heero smirked and gave her a reassuring smile. Grateful that she understood the connection he had shared with zero. She turned and walked away making her way to their car. Heero watched her depart and smiled.

Once she was out of sight he turned and walked up to zero and placed a hand on the cold gundanium. Gone was the hum of gears and the vibration of electricity that once coursed through its body. Instead it lay cold and silent in the snow. Heero released a long breath and closed his eyes, remembering the past. He still had a whole life ahead of him and zero had given him that path.

"Thank you old friend"

Heero turned and began following Relena's footprints in the snow.

Christmas AC 197. Peace on earth.