Pairings: HeeroXRelena, if you couldn't guess
Rating: PG for some swearing
Standard Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing. This is just one of the many fan spawned writings of another crazy person. I also goto college and have lots of loans to pay off, so if you're looking for money, you've come to the wrong place!
[ Artwork ]
Melody, I know you'll enjoy this if no one else does! ^_^;;
"Mornin' Heero!" A very cheerful Duo waved a spatula at Heero as he stumbled into the kitchen, then went back to cooking.
"What are you doing here?" Heero asked him, trying vainly to ignore Duo's sunny disposition. The only thing that annoyed him more than Duo's constant cheerfulness was Duo's constant cheerfulness early in the morning. Heero may have had to get up early in the morning, but he didn't have to like it.
"Making some breakfast. And I figured since it's your food, I should cook some for you too."
"Hn." Heero glowered at Duo for a moment, which Duo completely ignored, then poured himself a glass of orange juice. He reached for the remote and switched the vid on, only to be rewarded with static.
Duo looked up for a moment. "Yeah, I noticed that this morning." His smile faltered for the briefest moment. Most people wouldn't have noticed, but Heero wasn't most people. Besides, he'd known Duo for years. He may have been trained to hide his emotions, but he was able to recognize them in others.
"Oh really?" Heero lifted up Duo's coat that had been tossed on the table. He found a small computer card under it, exactly the same kind that came in vids. "And this had nothing to do with it?"
Duo shrugged, keeping his smile firmly plastered on. "Oh, well, that's nothing." He finished scooping the eggs out of the skillet and brought two plates to the table, setting one in front of Heero. "Eat. I hate to think I wasted all this time and your food and you just let it go to waste!" He sat himself down on the other end of the table and attacked his plate with gusto.
Heero picked up his fork and started on his, deciding to wait until after breakfast to reassemble his vid. Duo may have his faults, but he was an excellent cook. After he finished, he pulled out his tools and pried off the vid's cover while Duo cleaned up the kitchen. As he was replacing the card, he noticed several other 'modifications' that Duo must have made. He fixed them and carefully looked for more, his respect for Duo's electronics skills growing a bit. 'Maybe it was a mistake to let him borrow my car yesterday,' he thought, as he fitted the vid cover back on. He switched to a news broadcast as Duo came in drying his hands.
"...and that's the kind of mentality the Mars colonists are trying to dissuade," the newscaster said, projecting a very concerned look to the camera. "Former OZ soldier Millardio Peacecraft has been trying to keep things peaceful, but sources say he may not be successful. In related news, Vice-Minister Relena Darlin is engaged to be married! That's right, she's finally settled her heart. Sources say the engagement was last night, but we have been unable to reach either Miss Darlin or her fiancée, Mr. Roy Martin, for comment. Mr. Martin has been her bodyguard for the past 4 years..."
The announcer was cut off abruptly by Heero quickly turning the vid off. He turned and looked at Duo, who's face was missing it's usual smile. "You knew about this, didn't you"
Duo nodded. "I figured the news would be easier to take after a good breakfast.
"What are you talking about?"
"Oh please! I know how you feel about her! You never miss any of her broadcasts, and any time she's in the area, you 'disappear' for a few days. You also get a rather goofy grin on your face every time you get a letter, which coincidently ends up in that box on the top shelf in your hall closet."
Heero's only change in expression was his widening eyes. "I do not get a goofy grin....Wait, how did you know about that box?" he demanded, his face growing uncomfortably warm.
Duo laughed. "Next time you want to hide something from me, don't store it on top of tapes you ask me to get for you at a later time."
"Oh." Heero rubbed the back of his neck with one hand and looked away for a moment, trying to regain his composure. "Well, I'm happy for her, of course. She deserves someone nice after all."
Duo looked at him incredulously. "You can't be serious. You mean you're not going to even try and talk with her??"
Duo shook his head as he got up and slung his coat over his shoulder. "Then you'll be making the biggest mistake of your life, Yuy." Heero looked up ant the note of disappointment in his friend's voice. "I thought you were finally taking that mask off, and I figured Relena would finally make realize you're a human being. And don't give me that crap about you not being good enough for her because you're a soldier! That has never mattered to her, and you damn well know it!
"But...," Heero tried to interject.
"Don't interrupt me, Heero Yuy!" Duo cut him off angrily. "I should have said this a long time ago! You keep trying to hide your emotions behind your little 'Perfect Soldier' mask, yet you also say you live by your emotions? You refuse to even _acknowledge_ your emotions, how the hell can you live by them? I know Relena loves you, and you know it to. I also know you love her more than anything else , but you refuse to admit it, even to yourself! Well, I'm tired of holding your hand. You're just going to have to find out about all this the hard way. And knowing me, I'll be here to pick the broken pieces of your heart because God help me I'm your friend. But I'll tell you the truth, right now I'd really love to just simply kick your ass all the way back to Earth and let Relena take over, and brother don't think I won't do that. If you let her get away without even trying to speak to her, I will do it, and Relena will think me because then she'll get to kick your ass as well!" Duo stormed out of the apartment, slamming the door hard enough to knock several things off the shelves and leaving a very stunned Heero staring at the door.
Duo made his way downstairs and headed towards the warehouse wondering if his outburst would even work. He had no intention of letting Heero back away from his emotions this time. He could take the coldness because he was used to it, but he knew that it would seriously hurt Heero in the future if he didn't learn to feel his emotions instead of locking them up. Even if it meant kidnapping him and taking him to Relena in person. He chuckled to himself. He wondered how many broken bones he would end up with in the process...
Heero slowly reassembled his living room shelves, carefully inspecting each item for damage. Not that a hammer or a plastic jar of thumbtacks would suffer much damage, but he would seriously injure Duo if his picture of Relena had been hurt. He picked it up and carefully turned it over in his hands. He remembered the day he took that, at Madison Square Gardens last time he was on Earth...
"Come on Heero, take the picture already! My arm's getting tied." Relena was posing against a statue, one arm stretched up to hold her hat on her head.
"I'm waiting for the right light," Heero replied, very carefully adjusting the settings on the camera.
Relena laughed fondly. "Should I send an aide to go buy you some lamps?" she teased gently.
Heero grunted his customary reply as he snapped her picture. Relena straightened up, and started to join him in the shade when a gust of wind blew her hat off. Without thinking, he took off after it, finally managing to catch it at the edge of a pond. As he turned to go back, though, he slipped on the pathway made slick by the fountain's spray and tumbled into the pond with an ungraceful splash. The water wasn't deep, just a little cold, so he was able to sit up with a shiver and wipe the water out of his eyes to see Relena running up, giggling uncontrollably.
"Are you OK?" she asked, trying to stifle her laughter as she held out her hand to help him up.
Acting on impulse, he grabbed her hand and pulled her into the pond next to him. She sat up, pulling her soaking hair out of her eyes and glared at him. "If you've ruined my camera, Heero Yuy, I'll make sure you regret it!"
"Your camera's waterproof." Heero felt a smile tugging on the corner of his lips as he helped her up. "I also caught your hat," he said, handing her the soggy straw mess he had fallen into the pond for.
Relena started laughing again as the humor of the situation caught up the her. "You are completely impossible, Heero Yuy!..."
Heero turned her picture over again, looking at her smile. He suddenly realized it wasn't her normal smile she gave to reporters and vid cameras. He could remember the warmth of it, and knew she had only smiled at him that way. Except, now there was someone else who probably got it, and it bothered him. 'It's because Duo's right. I do love her,' he thought suddently, admitting his feelings to himself for the first time. 'OK, so what are you going to do about it?' a little voice inside him said. Well, he had always said he acted on his emotions. He had admitted an emotion to himself, so it was time to follow through on that.
Duo got back to the building late that night. He knocked on Heero's door, hoping his friend wasn't too mad at him. A little mad was ok, if dangerous, because it would mean he was at least feeling some emotion. "Hey Heero! Wanna order a pizza? My treat!" He knocked a few more times, listening for a reply. When one wasn't forthcoming, he dug out Heero's spare key and let himself in. Heero had apparently left in a hurry. His tools were still spread out neatly on the carpet from fixing the vid, and through the open bedroom door, Duo could see various clothes carelessly thrown on the bed.
Growing a bit concerned, Duo cat-footed through the apartment, looking for a clue to where Heero had gone off to. He was beginning to wonder if Heero had been so mad he just didn't want to be around anymore when he noticed the hall closet's light was on. He opened up the door and saw that Heero's letter box was gone. 'Looks like my little outburst worked!" He started to switch the light off, then decided to leave it on. 'Let his electric bill run up. That's the least he deserves for running off without saying anything and scaring me like that!' he thought, heading out and locking the door securely behind him. 'Maybe I should call Relena up and tell her a very emotionally charged Heero's on his way. After all, I'm sure if she's even a little fond of this Roy, she'd rather not see him dead or something.'
"...who knew hockey could be so exciting! Our next story is from Katie Carter, who has been trying to get a closer look at Vice-Minister Darlin and her fiancee, Roy Martin..."
Heero turned off his headphones with a sour grunt. Almost two weeks of traveling to get to Earth, and all the vid-anchors wanted to talk about was her engagement. He wished again that Duo hadn't picked that time to upgrade his shuttle. He would've been there already if he could've flown himself. He could, of course, borrow a shuttle from Quatre. Quatre would've gladly lent it to him, after a serious cross-examination, and he found himself very reluctant to talk about his feelings until he could confront her. He still didn't know what he was going to do, but he realized he didn't care. For the first time, he had faced his emotions, and he had realized he didn't want to give her up. At least, not without a fight.
"Oh, this is just so romantic! It's about time Miss Relena got married! And this Roy just seems like _such_ a nice guy!"
The two girls in the seats in front of him continued their conversation of fluff, and Heero tried his best to tune them out, for more than one reason. He was beginning to hate the sound of her fiancée's name. He did find it odd, though, that in all the vid news broadcasts he had seen, this Roy person hadn't made any comments. It was even odder that she hadn't made in comments. It wasn't like her to keep silent about anything important, even if all she did was confirm or deny rumors. He carefully closed his box of her letters that he had been going through, and stuffed it gently in his bag. He had been re-reading each letter, looking for some clue, some hint that maybe she wanted to be more than friends. Duo was wrong, though. He couldn't find anything that said that she did love him.
Moments later, the seat belt light came on, and the shuttle coasted in for a landing at St. Edwards International. Heero grabbed his overnight bag and headed for the door, lost in thought.
"Oh, it is him, Mary! It's Heero Yuy!"
Heero turned, startled, to see the young women from the shuttle looking at him with bright smiles and rather vacant eyes. The blond walked over and grabbed his hand. "Oh, I doubt you remember us, but we went to school for a short time! It was in Miss Relena's school in the Sanq Kingdom, where you and that sweet Quatre attended!"
Heero muttered something he thought sounded pleasant, and started to edge away. The blonde, however, retained her grip on his hand. "I always said you should have stayed around! Miss Relena was rather sad that you left so suddenly, after all!"
"Huh?" was all he could think to say.
"Oh yes! She would sneak away and just sit on her park bench for as long as she could, just staring into the gardens! Of course, the war broke out again we all had to leave, but we never forgot her. Or your friend." She blushed and giggled. "Is he still single?"
"I don't know. I have to go now." He broke her death grip on his hand and moved away as fast as he could without breaking into a run. He didn't know why, but he suddenly felt rotten. He had always known she had a crush on him when they first met, but he thought it was just a fascination with the unknown that she had. After a while, they had settled into what he thought was just friendship on her part, and he had always assumed that was all, despite his feelings towards her. 'But maybe Duo was right,' he thought to himself. Had she really felt more than friendship for him? It was a question he resolved to ask her. 'Unless showing up suddenly like this is going to hurt her,' the little voice inside his head replied. Heero angrily squished it. He realized she probably didn't love him, and maybe never had. But he had to at least tell her how he felt. Maybe that would get Duo off his back, as well as give him a little peace of mind.
Heero carefully scanned her estate with the binoculars. A light breeze ruffled his hair, but he ignored it. He was carefully planning how to get into her house and talk to her without being seen. Or without seeing Roy. He had no desire to kill him, but mobile suits weren't the only way of fighting he knew. Duo had insisted on teaching him some tricks, though they had never seemed to work for him, and even Wufei had taught him a few throws he really wanted to try.
"Are you sure you want to sneak in?" asked a voice behind him, and he turned to glare at Quatre, who simply looked at him. He was as used to that expression as Duo, and was not intimidated in the least. When Duo had called to tell him Heero was going to talk to Relena, gloating the whole while, Quatre had realized that someone needed to provide reason to the sudden emotions Heero must be dealing with, and had headed to Earth to try and cut him off. He had caught up to Heero at the airport, backed up by Rashid and Abdul, two men he hoped would be able to stop Heero from doing something stupid. Something stupid being defined as breaking into Relena's mansion and beating Roy to a bloody pulp. Some days it just didn't pay to get out of bed.
"You know Relena would talk to you if you just asked. There's no need to storm her estate like it's enemy territory."
"Hn." Heeo grunted his usual argument, and returned to scanning Relena's gardens. Quatre shook his head and headed back to the ATV, where Rashid and Abdul were discussing ways to get around Relena's security measures. "You two are as bad as he is!"
Abdul grinned. "But Master Quatre, he just wants to tell her how he feels!"
"You would forgive him storming the estate with a Gundam and kidnapping her if it was for love," Quatre said with a withering glare. Heero's recklesness had only been fueled by these two, and he wasn't in the best of moods right now.
"You did say you were glad he was finally recognizing his feelings," Rashid said.
Quatre sighed. "Yes, and I am glad. Keeping emotions locked up for so long can really hurt someone, espically someone that's not used to confronting them. But I just wish I knew what he was going to do. I'm not sure he's thinking too clearly right now, and I just hope he doesn't run into Mr. Martin when he does go down there."
At that moment, the subject of their discussion stood up and silently made his way to the estate, out of sight of the Quatre and the two Magaunacs. Heero had seen her come out into the garden, and she was alone. If he could make it without being seen, and he knew he could, maybe he could finally get that chance to talk to her alone. It was almost to bad her fiancée wasn't there. He had almost been looking forward to releasing some aggression. That was an emotions to, after all, so he should acknowledge it, right?
Relena sat down on her favorite bench, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. She rarely got a moment alone, but through some odd twist of fate, she had the rest of the afternoon off. There were some personal things she wanted to catch up on, but for the moment, she just wanted to take in the peacefulness of her garden. She took off her shoes and wriggled her toes in the warm grass, the soft splash of the fountain soothing her nerves. She wondered what she was going to do about Heero. Two weeks, and she hadn't heard from him. Duo had called and told her he left in a big hurry that day, and she should keep her eyes open for him. He also suggested sending Roy off somewhere so that when Heero showed up, he wouldn't be around. Relena agreed, and Roy had gone off last week to take some personal time. But he was due back any day now, and she had no idea how much longer she could avoid talking to the press.
She suddenly heard soft foot falls behind her, and turned her head in startlement. Her eyes met two Prussian blue ones, and she smiled warmly. "Took you long enough to get here, Heero." She grinned at his look of surprise.
"How did you know I was coming?"
"Duo told me you left in a big hurry, right after you saw that first vidcast." She stood up and turned to face him, clasping her hands loosely behind her back.
"Oh." He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his long coat and looked around. "So where's your...bodyguard?"
"He's had the week off." Relena smiled patiently, knowing what was coming next.
"You mean you don't have a bodyguard with you? What if I had been some assassin?" Heero replied, surprising himself with his level of concern.
"Then you wouldn't have gotten this far."
"Huh?" he asked, clearly not expecting that answer.
Relena grinned. She loved surprising Heero, probably for the same reason she suspected that Duo goaded him. Contrary to what many people thought after she first met him, she never really wanted him to kill her. She just liked to surprise him, because as long as she kept him off guard, she could sometimes catch a glimpse of the real Heero, not the Perfect Soldier he showed to the world. "You were identified back at the edge of the woods. Anyone but you that tried to sneak up on the house would have been arrested the minute he made it over the fence. You didn't have to do all that, though," she said, crossing her arms over her chest with a rather impish grin on her face. "I left orders that you were to be let in no matter what I was doing."
"And what if I really was here to kill you?" he asked, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring at her.
"Would you have shown up earlier if I had asked you to?" she teased gently.
"This is not a laughing matter, Relena! You should always have a body guard around. I don't care how good your security is!" He had started pacing up and down, his eyes full of concern.
Relena let him rant, studying him closely. When he stopped for a breath, she asked him "Why?"
He stopped and looked at her. "Why what?"
"Why is it so important to you? You've always been adamant that I go everywhere protected, and you're the one who said I needed more security here. And don't give me that line about being an important public figure!" She gently laid her hand on his arm, and he started. 'Like a nervous colt,' she thought, looking up into his eyes. "I want to know the real reason this is so important to you."
Heero looked down into her soft eyes, his heart thumping in his chest. 'It's because I love you,' he thought to himself. The little voice answered him 'Now tell her that, you idiot! That's what you came here for!' He felt his cheeks growing warm as he looked down and said softy "Because I love you. If you died, so would I." He gave a soft sigh, relieved to finally say the words out loud. He looked into her face intently for a moment, as if to memorize her features, then gently took her hand off his arm. "But it's a moot point. I only came here to tell you that. I just wanted to at least say it before you got married."
Relena smiled warmly, the same smile she had given him in her picture. "But I'm not getting married," she said.
Heero felt his jaw drop. "What?" he asked, feeling a bit stupid.
Relena smiled gently, and reached up to put his jaw back into place. "The story goes like this. Roy actually did ask me to marry him, and I told him I would answer him later. I wanted to make sure I had time to let him down easy. I am fond of him, but only as a friend. Unfortunately, the reporters around us assumed I said yes, and that's the announcement they made the next morning. I hadn't realized it right away, not until I started getting congratulations from people and a rather amusing letter from my brother wanting to know why I hadn't told him first. By that time, everyone was assuming I actually was engaged, and since I didn't really know how to tell the reporters what really happened, I kept quiet. Roy did as well, because he had promised me quite a while ago that he wouldn't discuss anything that happened to me to reporters unless I had commented first. Besides, I knew you would be a mess and come here, and I hadn't seen you in a while. I apologize for letting this go on this long, but I honestly thought you would have been here sooner."
Heero glared down at her, starting to feel a bit angry. "If you wanted to see me, all you had to do was ask."
"I did ask, Heero." Relena shook her head gently. "Most of the time, you say you're too busy. You haven't even been to Earth for three years, and I'm not exactly free to take two weeks off to come see you anymore."
He opened his mouth to refute her claim, then shut it again. She was right, he realized. He had always been afraid of what he felt towards her, and the more time he had spent with her, the harder it was to hide his emotions. He sat down on the bench and folded his hands between his knees. "I guess I was afraid."
Relena sat down next to him. "Afraid of what?"
Heero shrugged. "I'm not really sure. Afraid of my feelings, I suppose. They're not required in the perfect soldier, so I wasn't allowed them. After a while, it was just safer to hide them." He winced slightly at an old, faded memory, and took a deep breath. Relena gently covered his hands in one of hers, but he didn't notice, intent on finishing what he wanted to say before the urge to put his mask back on caught him again. "Even just now, I had to argue with myself to tell you how I felt. Sally would say it's conditioning, and she's probably right. But when I grew up, emotions only got in my way of what I had to do. They did until just recently, as a matter of fact. I'm not allowed to feel my emotions, so I guess I don't know how. That's why they frighten me. Rather ironic, that." He noticed her hand covering his, and carefully took it into one of his. "I was also afraid for you. After all, I have made a lot of enemies that would see you as a target if they knew how I felt."
Relena gently squeezed his hand. "I'm not some porcelain doll you need to set up on the shelf."
"I know that." He turned his head suddenly to look at her. "But I swore I would protect you, Relena. I mean to do that."
"Well, I guess you'll have to be on your guard then," she replied. "I'm not letting you just leave this time."
"Huh?" he said, with that slightly startled look she enjoyed.
She laughed softly. "I love you, Heero Yuy. I've waited a long time to say that. But I knew I had to wait until you were ready." She smiled warmly at him again, watching the astonishment creep into his eyes.
"You...really do love me?" he asked her, hardly believing what he was hearing. She squeezed his hand and grinned, warming his heart. "Yes, I do love you. Do you need me to put it in writing?" Heero shook his head slowly, a smile tugging on the corners of his mouth. 'Well, don't just sit there, moron! Do something!' the little voice berated him. Acting on his emotions had gotten him this far, so he did the only thing he could think off. He leaned down and kissed her gently. It felt good, and it felt even better to admit that to himself.
After a few moments, she leaned back, feeling better than she had in a long time. That was even nicer than she had imagined it, not that she had allowed herself to think about it very often. She grinned at Heero, and pulled him up. "Why don't you come inside and get something to eat? I'm sure you haven't eaten in a while, you were so impatient to get here." Heero smiled back at her, the first real smile she had ever seen on him, touching his eyes as well as his face. "OK. I am a little bit hungry." Relena laughed, and bent down the pick up her shoes. Unfortunately, she forgot how slick the pavement stones were from the fountain spray, and slipped and fell into the fountain. She sat up with a disgruntled look on her face to see Heero holding out his hand with an odd expression. "Are you OK?" he asked, and she realized he was trying to keep from laughing. With a mischievous smile, she grabbed his hand and tugged him into the fountain with her.
Heero sat up, sputtering and raked his hair out of his eyes so he could glare at her. She only laughed and splashed him. "Now we're even!" she informed him, giggling uncontrollably. He couldn't stay mad at her, and laughed softly as they helped each other up. She wrapped her arm around his, and they headed into the mansion to dry off.
Quatre lowered his binoculars with a smile as Heero leaned down to kiss Relena. 'Looks like he had the right idea after all,' he thought to himself as he nudged Abdul, who was still watching them. "That's not very polite, Abdul."
"Awwwww, come on Master Quatre!"
"They would probably like some privacy."
"Yeah, I guess." He lowered his binoculars reluctantly, and the two headed back to the ATV. Rashid started the engine as Quatre and Abdul jumped in. "Where to, Master Quatre?"
"Relena's estate. Her guards have probably already identified us, so it would be rude not to stop by."
"You're also curious about Relena and Heero, right?" Rashid asked.
Quatre grinned. "Well, yes, I'll admit I would like to see them."
They drove down to the gate, which opened for them immediately, confirming Quatre's guess. He was shown into a small sitting room on the second floor, where a maid brought in a tea service. She sat it down on the coffee table just as Relena came into the room, wearing a large fluffy robe and a towel around her shoulders under her damp hair. Quatre rose to greet her, one eyebrow raised at her outfit. "Am I interrupting something?" he asked innocently.
Relena laughed. "No, it's OK. I decided to take a swim in the fountain," she said with a sheepish grin.
Quatre laughed with her as they sat down and he poured her a cup of tea. "So Heero finally admitted his feelings?"
"Thank you," she said as he handed her the cup. "Yes, we finally got to talk. You know, I was a bit afraid he really didn't feel anything more than friendship for me. I'm really glad I was wrong!"
Quatre took a sip from his cup. "I do have one question for you, if you don't mind."
"Not at all. What do you want to know?"
"Well, the vid station that first broadcast all the 'scoops' about your engagement is actually owned by me. I could have 'slipped' the truth in to them, and they would have believed it. Why did you not tell me what was going on?"
She smiled impishly at him over her cup. "I was actually going to ask you until Duo called and said Heero was on the way here. I really wanted to see why, so I held off. I hoped that maybe he was finally ready to take off his mask, if only for a few minutes."
"And if he had been on his way here to kill your bodyguard, as Duo had suggested?"
"I knew he wouldn't. He promised to never kill again. I know that that promise is one he would rather die than break."
Quatre nodded. He wasn't really surprised. "But why did your bodyguard not tell the reporters the truth as well?"
"He promised me a long time ago that he wouldn't discuss my actions with reporters unless I had done so first. Besides, when I hadn't talked to the press after the first couple of days, I think he suspected I wanted to keep everyone guessing, especially Heero."
Quatre's eyes widened. "You knew Heero was coming here, and you wanted him to do this!"
She giggled softly. "Well, I have to admit his reaction surprised me a little, but I knew he would react someway. And yes, while I was hoping Heero would tell me he loved me, I would have been almost as happy with any emotional reaction. I thought a bit of a shock would allow him to face his emotions. He needs to learn to not fear his human side. He's suffered enough."
"You are a devious woman, Relena Darlin," Quatre replied, smiling and raising his cup in salute.
"Why thank you," she replied raising her cup in return. "And I trust Heero won't find out?"
He laughed softly at that. "I think he already knows, but if he doesn't, he won't learn anything from me!"