Act I: Missing Person
Relena stepped out of the elevator when it arrived at the fourth floor. She had been visiting Heero every day during his hospitalization for extreme exhaustion. He had collapsed in her arms after defeating the Barton Foundation, which had brought the recent war to an end. Relena's heels clicked on the highly polished floor in the corridor as she walked to Heero's room. She found his bed empty, so she went to the nurses' station.
"Excuse me, but could you tell me where Heero Yuy is?" Relena asked the nurse on duty. "I just went to his room and he wasn't there."
"Just a minute, Princess Relena. I'll ask."
Relena sighed inwardly. Would people NEVER forget that she was a princess? Many people insisted on calling her Princess Relena even though she had formally abolished the Sanc Kingdom as a country, so there was no land to be Princess OF anymore. "Better than being called Queen Relena," she had reasoned when she realized that her face was so well-known. She found that asking people to "Just call me Relena" didn't work. The only people who didn't address her as Princess--and sometimes even as Queen--were her friends, staff, and government officials that used her title of Vice-Foreign Minister Darlain.
The nurse returned. "Mr. Yuy checked out about two hours ago, Princess Relena.
"But I heard the doctor say that he wasn't going to allow him to leave until tomorrow or the next day," Relena persisted.
"That's true, Princess Relena," said the nurse. "He checked himself out this morning without the doctor's consent."
Relena was stunned. She had never thought that Heero might do such a foolish thing.
"Did he say where he was going? Did he leave a message for me, or at least a phone number where he could be reached?
"No, Ma'am, he didn't."
Relena went to one of the waiting rooms and poured a cup of steaming hot water over a tea bag and set it on the table to steep while she wondered where Heero could have gone.
Act II: No Longer Missing
Back at the hotel, Relena ordered a light lunch to be delivered to her room. She wasn't very hungry, and hadn't been for several months now, but the doctor had been adamant that she not skip any meals because she had gotten so thin. "And besides," the doctor had said sternly, "you have a very demanding job and you need to keep up your strength. If you don't start gaining weight soon, I am going to insist that you take a leave of absence, even if I have to put you in the hospital, young lady." Dr. Baxter had been her doctor ever since she could remember, so he wasn't intimidated by her unwanted title of Princess.
After she choked down her meal, she took off her shoes and lay down on the plush quilted bedspread.
"I'll just rest my eyes for a minute," she told herself just before falling into a deep sleep.
She awoke to the sound of someone knocking on her door. She ran her fingers through her bangs and made sure her skirt wasn't hanging crooked because it was a bit too large in the waist now, which made it twist around sometimes.
She found Heero standing at her door, pale, thin and not smiling, but she could tell by the love in his eyes that he was pleased to see her.
"Heero--I've been so worried about you!" she exclaimed, and then checked herself to make sure she wouldn't scold him.
"It's New Year's Eve," Heero began, ignoring her worried tone, "and I was wondering if you would like to spend this evening with me."
Relena let out a small exasperated sigh. "Of course I would, Heero. I had planned to see you at the hospital tonight."
"But visiting hours end at 8:00, and I wanted to be with you so we could welcome the new year together," he explained. "I knew they wouldn't let you stay till midnight, so I checked myself out." He had such a boyishly naughty expression on his face that she couldn't bring herself to voice her objections to his having unwisely left the hospital too soon.
Instead, she smiled and said, "I'll have to change clothes first."
"That will give me time to go to the deli and put a picnic together." Although he didn't actually smile, Heero's happiness shone in his cobalt blue eyes. "If that's okay with you," he quickly added.
Relena nodded happily and said, "I'll meet you in the lobby."
Act III: Still Exhausted
After Heero and Relena had eaten more than either of them had had in one meal in the last several days, Heero was visibly weary. He was too tired to even try to deny it. Relena suggested that he rest awhile, so he laid down on his back, using her lap for a pillow. He wasn't going to sleep, he insisted as he opened the book that he'd taken fomr his satchel; he was only going to sleep awhile. Soon he gave in to his tiredness and he fell asleep wiht the book still in his hand.
Relena kept herself busy while he slept by reading a book that she'd had in her purse. She read until it was too dark to see the print. She looked at Heero and tenderly brushed his dark brown hair away from his eyes. She was glad that he was sleeping so peacefully. She let her mind wander and she was soon lost in thought as she watched over Heero while he slept.
In time, Heero awoke and was surprised to see that the artificial lighting of the colony had become very dim, creating night time. The only light came from the simulated moonlight and the street lamps.
"How long did I sleep?" Heero asked as he sat up and stretched his stiff muscles.
"Almost three hours," was her reply.
"Why didn't you wake me up?"
"Since you were sleeping so soundly, I thought it best not to disturb you," Relena answered. "You need your rest. You're not completely well yet, you know."
"I know, but I didn't bring you here to watch me sleep. You did enough of that at the hospital. This is some date, huh?" Heero said ruefully.
"I have been perfectly content, Heero, so don't worry about it," she said with a reassuring smile.
Act IV: Welcoming the New Year Together
After taking a short walk in the park they returned to the tree they had been sitting under earlier. They sat for awhile in the comfortable silence, just enjoying being together.
Finally, Heero spoke, "What are you planning to do now? Will you finish school or continue your work as Vice-Foreign Minister?"
They had both avoided bringing this topic into their conversation while Heero had been hospitalized because they both knew that they would have to go their separate ways soon, and they didn't know how long it would be before they saw each other again.
"Both, actually," Relena answered brightly. "I have a tutor that accompanies me on my travels and we study together in the early morning and any other spare minute I have."
"Sounds like a hassle."
"Well, I AM very busy, but I really enjoy what I do."
"And spending the past few days with me has interrupted your schedule, hasn't it?" Heero asked bluntly.
"Yes, I did have to cancel a few appointments," Relena admitted, "but that's okay. One of the speeches I was to make is rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon." She paused and then asked, "So what are you going to do?"
"I'm enrolled in school and I have a job, so I'll go back to that."
They had been watching the clock in the Town Square, which towered over all of the buildings on its block. They saw that it was nearly midnight.
Heero opened his satchel and, to Relena's surprise, he took out a small bottle of sparkling white grape juice and two plastic wine glasses.
"Where did you get those?" Relena laughed as she watched Heero assemble them.
"At the shop next door to the deli," Heero answered. "Hold onto these while I open the bottle."
Heero filled both glasses and Relena gave one to him. The clock began to chime midnight. After the last chime died away, Heero turned to Relena and said, "Happy New Year." She wished the same for him. Then they touched the wine glasses together and the sound they made was nothing at all like glass. Relena giggled at the delightful absurdity fo it and Heero actually smiled as they took a sip of the juice. Then Heero laced his fingers through her hair, drew her nearer to him and gave her a gentle, loving kiss. Relena hugged him and softly said, "Oh, Heero, I'm so very happy."
"Me too," was his response.
Act V: Especially for You
After they finished drinking their juice, Heero and Relena walked the few blocks to her hotel. They stood in front of the door in a slightly awkward silence; neither one wanting to say 'good-bye.' Finally, Relena spoke.
"Thank you for the lovely evening, Heero."
Heero responded with a nod. He took something out of his jeans' pocket and placed it in her hand, folding her fingers to cover the object. He held her hand in both of his.
"I'm going to be leaving soon," Heero began, "and I'm not very good with good-byes, so I wanted to give this to you to remember me by." He opened her hand and coiled in her palm was a string of tiny pearls.
"Oh, thank you, Heero. They are so beautiful!"
"I had this necklace made especially for you," Heero continued. "That's what took me so long to come to see you today. There are thirty-one pearls, one for each day of the month. When you see these I want you to remember that each pearl represents my wish on that day that we'll soon be together again."
One sweet kiss and then he was gone.
Act Sweet Dreams
Relena floated to her room and unlocked the door. Nestled among the pillows she saw the teddy bear that Heero had given her for her birthday. She gave the pearls to Teddy to hold and went to put on her nightgown and get ready for bed.
She put the pearls under her pillow, snuggled down under the covers and wrapped her arms around Teddy. With a sigh of happiness she closed her eyes. She soon fell asleep and, as usual, she dreamt of Heero.