Disclaimer: Gundam 00 characters and related indicia © Bandai Entertainment, Sunrise.

Written last Sepbember 23, 2008, this is a ficlet in response to a prompt at the Mechaphiles Forum, "Do you like sweets?" This piece references to episode 20 of the first season, and contains a speculation of mine back then – that Colonel Smirnov's wife was still alive and I named her Antonia.

Canon has confirmed however, that the Colonel is a widower, and that his wife's name was Holly. ^_^ But I hope you enjoy reading this, nonetheless.

Sweet Victory
a Gundam 00 fanfic by Cielo

"Are you Lieutenant Peiris ?"

Soma did not realize she was nodding off to sleep, sitting on a hospital bench outside an Intensive Care Unit, until a middle-aged woman called her attention. As a knee-jerk reaction, she abruptly stood up in a salute, "Hai, Chusa !" She then blinked her golden eyes as she was met by the bemused woman's face.

"I'm Antonia Smirnov, the Lieutenant Colonel's wife," she held out her hand which the silver-haired girl took in a handshake, "I see you've been watching over him all this time. Thank you very much."

"Y-you're welcome..." the young lieutenant was still in her yellow pilot suit. With a quick glance at a nearby clock, it had been a little over six hours that . Smirnov had been in the ICU. The stillness and silence of this area of the hospital made the fight with Celestial Being seem so far away.

Both women sat side by side. From the corner of her eye, Soma studied Antonia - she had dark burgundy locks clipped back by a black barrette. Her age may not be far from that of the Lieutenant Colonel. Her manner of dress was far from being shabby - she looked sharp and had a regal aura about her. She figured it was to be expected from the wife of a high-ranking military officer.

"I was told you saved his life."

Soma turned her head as Antonia broke the silence. She was smiling at her.

"I... disobeyed his orders."

Antonia's smiled broadened, her hazel eyes carrying the hint of amusement, "Thanks to you, he's still around to give you more orders you can obey."

Soma felt a smile tug at the edge of her lips. Antonia reached into her tote bag and pulled out a box of chocolates, "Here." The young woman took a fancy to a scallop-shaped white & milk chocolate swirl. The creamy confection slowly melted in her mouth and she gave in to a smile.

She suddenly remembered the HRL army base that they had saved from the Gundam Throne attack - the men's cheers and waves were a sight that was... strange and at the same time got her heart beating under a different kind of rush. "The sweet taste of victory," Chusa called it. She had wanted to taste it again, experience that rush again - a rush only obtained after a heated battle, her neck on the line, every bit of her soul pulsating after that strongly desired victory.

But the grateful smile of the Lieutenant Colonel's wife, and her simple words & gestures of gratitude did not equate to the rush she was after. It was more like that creamy confection in her mouth, warming her heart, and definitely tasting just as sweet.