Disclaimers: Nope, don't own it.

Pairing: 2+1 vaguely implied (real vague... blink and you'll miss it)
Warnings: tad angsty
Spoilers: Duo's episode zero

Notes: This fic hit me one afternoon while I was horribly abusing my Enya CDs. I must have listened to this song 15 times when the idea for this fic popped into my head. Caribbean Blue does not belong to me (darn). It belongs to Enya.

Caribbean Blue
by Caroline

//... so the world goes round and round
with all you ever knew -
They say the sky high above
is Caribbean blue ...//

Violet eyes shut in contentment as the small body flung itself down into the dried brown grass in one of the few public 'parks' on the colony. A low sigh escaped rosebud lips as the figure rolled onto his back and stretched like a cat after it's had its cream. And that's what the young child felt like. For once in his pitifully short life, his hunger had been sated. He had a full belly and a pocket full of leftovers. What could be better?

The thud of another small body hitting the ground nearby caused him to crack one eye open wide enough to see his partner and best friend lying sleepily in the grass next to him. The child grinned and reached out to clasp hands with the slightly older boy. It was a familiar gesture, and one which enabled him to sleep at night when bad dreams and memories invaded his mind. He couldn't imagine life without his friend, and often wondered if he'd be dead had Solo not taken him in.

Squeezing the hand slightly, the child turned his gaze back to the distant gray ceiling of the colony. A stale breeze rustled the grass around them, tickling his skin. He giggled and rolled over on his stomach to look at his friend.

The older boy shifted his gaze to the long-haired child. The cheeky grin was infectious, and Solo found himself smiling back. "What are you so happy about, Kid?"

The grin grew broader. "Can't believe how lucky we got today, Solo. All those Feddies abandoning that supply warehouse to deal with the riots... I've never seen so much food in my life!"

Solo chuckled at the young one's extended belly. "You'd never eaten so much in your whole life, too, I'll bet. I'm amazed you didn't get sick."

"I don't get sick," the violet-eyed child said matter-of-factly.

Solo narrowed his eyes. "No, you don't, do you? That must be one hell of an immune system you've got there Kid."

The child's brows furrowed in confusion. "What's a 'Mune system?"

"An immune system," the older boy corrected. "It's what keeps you from getting sick. Be glad yours is strong. You'll need it if you want to survive on this godforsaken colony." He laughed at the puzzled expression on the chestnut-haired child's face. "Don't worry about it, Kid. Just be glad you've got one."

The child sighed, knowing he wouldn't get any more out of his friend. Instead he rolled back over to look at the great vaulted ceiling. They lay in silence for a long time before the child spoke again.

"I wish it always could be like this, Solo."

The older boy rolled to his side to look down at his young companion. "Don't ever say that again, Kid," he hissed, suddenly angry.

The child looked startled. "Why?" he asked, not understanding.

Solo's eyes softened. The child didn't know... he couldn't understand. "Kid, have you ever heard of a place called Earth?"

"Earth? What is that? Some kind of club?"

Solo laughed. "No, it's where we came from. People I mean. It's a planet. It's a lot different from L2. The grass there is green, and sometimes it rains for days on end. And they even say the sky is blue."

Violet eyes grew wide. "Have you ever been there?"

"No. But I've seen pictures. In books. I couldn't read 'em but the pictures were pretty." He gazed up at the 'sky'. "Can you imagine it, Kid? Green grass, fresh air, water whenever you want it..."

"Is... is the sky really blue?" the child asked in wonder.

"So they say. I wonder what it'd be like. Someday... someday we'll make it to Earth and see. Just you and me, Kid. Would ya like that?"

The child only nodded as his eyelids began to droop, the full stomach and warm, stale air making him drowsy. As he drifted off to sleep amidst the dead grass, he began to dream of blue skies...

//... if every man says all he can,
if every man is true,
do I believe the sky above
is Caribbean blue ...//

The child sank into the small cot, enjoying the feeling of semi-clean sheets being drawn over his body. He stared sadly up at the doe-eyed woman tucking him in. His violet eyes closed briefly as she leaned down to kiss him gently on the forehead. As she leaned back up, she noticed the sad expression on his face.

"Duo, what's wrong?"

The small boy who now called himself Duo sniffed. "They didn't want me."

The woman sat down on the bed next to him and brushed chestnut bangs out of his eyes. "I'm sorry, Duo," she said sadly. "Next time..."

"No! There won't be a next time! Nobody wants me!" The child turned away from her. "Nobody loves me," he added softly.

"That's not true!" the woman cried out as she gathered the small form in her arms. "*I* love you. Father Maxwell loves you. And above all, God loves you."

The boy stiffened in her arms. "I don't believe in God."


"Well I don't! If he loves me, why does he take everything away from me? My family... Solo..." He wiped at his eyes furiously to keep the tears from coming. "Why won't he give me a new family?"

The woman stroked the chestnut braid that ran down the child's back. "God works in mysterious ways, Duo. Perhaps you weren't meant to be with that family. Perhaps there's a family out there waiting for you and we just haven't found them yet."

"Maybe I've already found my new family," the little boy said quietly, clutching the young nun tightly. "Why can't I stay with you and Father Maxwell?"

The woman's eyes filled with tears. "You'll always have a home with us, Duo. We love you." She kissed him again and gently lay him back down. "Now it's time for you to go to sleep."

She tried to stand but one small hand clutching tightly at her habit kept her from moving. "Sister... tell me a story... please?"

Sister Helen smiled and relented. She could never deny the little imp anything. "What do you want to hear, Duo?"

"Tell me about Earth," the child said softly. "I once heard the sky was blue there. Is that true?"

The woman reached over to a nearby shelf and took down a thin, threadbare book that had obviously seen better days. Flipping through the worn pages, she came to the one she was looking for.

"My mother gave this book to me when I was a little girl." She handed him the book. On the page was a watercolour picture of a flower-laden field beneath a bright, deep blue sky.

The little boy's eyes grew wide as he stared at the picture. "Does it... does it really look like this?"

"Yes. I saw it once when I was little. My parents took me to Earth before they died. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

"Do you think I'll ever get to see it?" Duo asked timidly.

"If you put your mind to something, Duo, there's nothing you can't do." She smiled as she watched the small child become captivated with the picture. Gently she pried the book from his hands. "I'll read the story to you tomorrow Duo. But it's past your bedtime and you need to sleep."

"Okay," the child said, trying not to let the disappointment show. He felt like he wanted to stare at that image forever.

"Try not to be sad, little one," the nun said as she readjusted the sheets around the child's small body. "Someday you'll find someone who loves you and who will take you to see the blue skies of Earth."

The boy's violet eyes began to close sleepily. "Promise?"

"I promise, Duo. Sweet dreams," she whispered as she turned out the light.

Duo sighed and rolled over as she left the room. As sleep claimed him, he dreamed of blue skies and someone to hold him... someone with eyes the same colour as the sky in the picture.

//... if all you told was turned to gold,
if all you dreamed were new,
imagine sky high above
in Caribbean blue ...//

Duo Maxwell carefully set the last of the explosives in place on the big, metal giant before hopping to the ground and running out of the hanger. He felt guilty, betraying G and the others who had taken him in after they caught him stowing away on their ship. But he couldn't let Operation Meteor take place. He couldn't let Earth suffer... the Alliance maybe, but not the innocent people of Earth. So he would destroy this thing they called a Gundam before they could have a chance to use it.

He braced himself in a small recess outside the hanger and hefted the detonation device in his hand. "Good-bye, buddy," he whispered as he pushed the button.

Nothing happened.

Growling in frustration he pushed the button again. Still nothing.

"Now, now, boy. Don't be hasty," came a scratchy voice out of the darkness. Duo shot to his feet as G walked out of the shadows from a nearby corridor. The scientist looked at Duo for a moment before holding out his hand and dropping the firing mechanisms from the explosives Duo had planted on the Gundam to the floor. "I understand your motives, boy, but I can't let you destroy my hard work."

"But G! Don't you know what they're going to use that thing for?" Duo cried out in protest.

"Yes. But you can stop it."

"How," the braided boy asked incredulously.

"Steal it. Take my Deathscythe to Earth yourself. Stop OZ before they can put Operation Meteor into action. Win back freedom for the colonies."

Duo blinked. Steal the Gundam? Go to Earth himself? Could he really make a difference?

'If you put your mind to something, Duo, there's nothing you can't do.' The words of a long dead woman echoed in his mind. He could do this. He could fight for those who couldn't, and for all those who had already been lost. He could finally have a purpose in his life. And... and he could finally see blue skies.

Duo grinned and stuck out his hand. "I'll do it G. I'll win this war for you."

The doctor smiled proudly at the young man as he shook his hand. He knew he had made the right decision. This young man had the courage and the strength to use the Gundam the way it was meant to be used. He hoped the others had had as much luck as he in finding pilots for their Gundams.

"Very good, boy. Now go get some sleep. You'll leave in the morning. I already have a mission for you."

"Yes, sir!" the teenager exclaimed as he turned to make his way to the crew quarters. He bounced all the way down the hall, knowing sleep would not be easily found that night. All he could think of were blue skies...

The next morning, he climbed into the cockpit of the Gundam and blasted his way out of the hanger. Once free from the ship, he plotted the course G had given him and sat back to wait. Reaching into his pocket, he retrieved a tattered, partially burned piece of paper and carefully unfolded it. Reverently he ran his fingers over the image of the field of flowers and the deep blue sky.

'I made it, Solo... Sister Helen,' he thought as he turned his gaze to the bright blue planet below him. 'I'm going to Earth. I'll finally get to see the blue skies you both dreamed about.'

Duo carefully refolded the paper and placed it in his breast pocket close to his heart. He watched the blue orb grow bigger and bigger on his screen and smiled to himself. He had made it.

His destiny awaited him on that planet. A destiny of blue skies... and a pair of eyes to match them.


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