TIME: 12:42 PM
OPERATOR: Emergency Services, what is your emergency?
CALLER: Hello? It's my brother! Hello?!
OPERATOR: Yes, ma'am, this is Emergency Services, can you hear me?
CALLER: Yes! It's my brother! He... he fell off of the balcony!
Trowa had fallen asleep in the car. It wasn't an easy thing to do. Training had made it so that he was a light sleeper, and the subsequent paranoia of being a soldier ensured that he only slept when he felt secure. Catherine took it as a complement. Yes, they were getting older, so yes, both of them needed more sleep than they had in their youth, but it was still nice that her brother trusted her enough to fall asleep.
It was a pleasant fall day, and Catherine had invited Trowa out to a place she had considered buying. Having been traveling with the circus long after even Trowa had given up and settled down to his one bedroom apartment, Catherine had not been around for the events of the last few years. She had heard of them in the news, and from what little information she could squeeze out of Trowa when she managed to get him on the phone. Now she was coming to stay in this town despite her misgivings. Trowa was here, even if she didn't understand why he'd stay in a town where he'd lost so many friends. If he was here, so was she. It was time to stop running from each other.
OPERATOR: Ma'am, please repeat. What happened.
CALLER: I... I don't know! We were standing on the balcony and he fell off!
OPERATOR: Is there a break in the railing, ma'am.
CALLER: No! This... this can't be happening! Send help!
OPERATOR: Ma'am, could you give me an address?
CALLER: Hello?! Hello?!!
OPERATOR: Ma'am, there is no one listed as living at that address.
CALLER: I'm a prospective buyer! Why are you wasting time, hurry!
She had found the house by accident. It wasn't listed with any real estate office, so when those that were didn't catch her fancy, she decided to drive around a bit. The town was lovely, a quaint little village amongst the trees, spectacularly colored with fall leaves.
It was nestled in a little gully, with a small mountain road winding up above it to meet the main thoroughfare. The trees around the front were beautiful aspens, the leaves flowing like ochre silk on the branches. She could imagine the cleanup once they finally fell, and it didn't faze her. This was the house she wanted. It was almost as if it called to her.
She'd had to research to find out who owned it, and was delighted to find that it was, indeed, for sale. It had been so long that someone had been interested they had directed their man-power elsewhere. The paperwork was filed that day, and Catherine called Trowa to come look at the place with her.
He'd fallen asleep on the way, but as soon as the car was put into park, he woke with a start, as if someone had poked him. Catherine grinned at him when he rubbed his eyes. "We're here!"
"Sorry," was his only reply. Trowa was never one for words.
He turned to look out the window, reaching for the car handle, and stopped short. Slowly, he turned, looking at Catherine. She was about to give him a cheery smile to goad him from the car, but the shadows in his eyes stopped her short.
"Well, yes," she started. To her amazement, he cut her off.
"You can't live here."
Catherine's brow furrowed, and she could feel her temper rising. "I can live wherever I damn well please, Tr-"
"This is where Heero died. This is where Duo and Hilde disappeared." He looked out the window. "This is a bad place."
Catherine felt the blood flow from her face, then slumped back in the seat. "I didn't know." Trowa nodded, and she sighed. "I want to just take a look around before I tell them I'm not buying after all."
"Not a good idea," Trowa said, but opened his car door. Trowa was like that. He would give you advice, if he spoke to you at all, but he wouldn't ever impose his will on you. Even if she'd decided to buy the house after all, he wouldn't have fought her more than telling her she couldn't live here.
The found the balcony, looking down into the gully, and Catherine had to fight the images of sitting out on a cool night with some tea. Trowa stood next to her at the ledge, and she looked out, watching the trees on the other side shake their brightly colored leaves in the wind... it was hypnotic... she felt cold, but she didn't want to cover up. She just wanted to watch the leaves...
Trowa sighed. Too many bad memories here. He turned to look at Catherine, and noticed that she was staring out at the trees. Fine. Let her have her...
She wasn't just staring. Her face was blank, as if she were drugged. Trowa gripped her shoulder. "Catherine?"
She turned to look at him, then smiled, the smile growing too wide for her face. Her eyes began to emit a black mist. Her hand came up and gripped his upper arm in a tight, crushing grip, and he grunted in pain. Then he was lifted, so quickly he couldn't react, and thrown over the railing. The ground was coming up fast, and he was spinning uncontrollably. His last look just before his head hit the rocky ground below was Catherine looking down at him with those blackened eyes and that wide, impossibly grin...
OPERATOR: Is he moving, Ma'am? Can you see him? Can you go down to him?
CALLER: No, I can't, I can't get a signal except for the balcony! [crying] He's hurt, please send someone!
OPERATOR: Emergency personnel have been sent right away, ma'am and will reach you shortly. You said you cannot go where he is and stay on the phone?
CALLER: No, I can't get a... Oh my god, he's moving! Trowa!
OPERATOR: Ma'am, you said he was moving?
CALLER: He's moving, oh my god, he's moving! I'm going to put the phone down and see if he's all right! Trowa, stay there... [voice recedes]
OPERATOR: Ma'am? Ma'am? Emergency Team, this is Dispatch, victim is now moving. May need restraints...
She shook her head, to clear it. "It's so pretty here, isn't it, Trow-" She turned her head to look at him, but he was gone. That was odd. There was no way for him to have left the balcony without her noticing...
She looked toward the house, but the door they had come in by was shut, just as it should be. She looked to the other side of the balcony, seeing if he had stepped over there, but he wasn't there either.
His jacket caught her eye as she turned, and she looked down to see him sprawled, twisted. Gasping, she hurriedly called the emergency line and dashed into the house as the phone rang.
It squelched and cut off. She looked at her phone in horror to see that it had no bars.
She dashed back out, relieved to hear the double tone that meant she had picked up a signal. She stepped into the house as she dialed this time, but there was nothing but dead air.
The house was a dead zone for cell phones. She whimpered in frustration and stepped onto the balcony again, dialing with her fingers trembling now.
She didn't remember the conversation. At one point, she had had to give the address, but everything else was a blur, until he started moving. She didn't want to lose the call, but she had to check on him! He could be hurt, and his trying to move would hurt him more.
She had nearly tripped dashing down the stairs, but managed to right herself in time. Years of acrobatics training hadn't yet failed her. She dashed out of the door and around the house.
Trowa was standing now, slumped, his back to her. She couldn't hear him breathing, or any other sign that he was injured, but she wouldn't. She stepped toward him. "Trowa? Trowa, what happened?"
He didn't answer, but, again, that wasn't too odd. His left leg was bent lower, but the right was out at an angle. Catherine could see the ugly twist that told her it was broken or dislocated. His left arm hung limp, useless, and that was probably broken as well. Blood dripped from his fingers.
"Trowa, I have Emergency Services on the phone. Come inside. They'll be here soon enough."
She reached out, close enough now to touch his shoulder, and he spun, faster than an injured man should. He gripped her wrist with a crushing grip, and when Catherine tried to see his face, there was only black, obscured eyes.
She screamed, terrified, her heart fluttering in her chest. The scream cut off abruptly with a sharp pain, and Catherine looked down to see Trowa's fingers embedded in her chest. Her heart was not fluttering anymore. In fact, it felt cold.
[LOUD SCREAM, CUT OFF SUDDENLY]
OPERATOR: Hello? Ma'am? Ma'am? Are you there? Hello?
[SILENCE. AFTER MOMENTS]
OPERATOR: Hello? Is this the woman I was speaking to before? This is Emergency Services. Is everything all right?
VOICE: No. Send more medics...