I don't know why this occurred to me, frankly I don't think I can pull it
off, but I'll try anyway. I only want this to be a short thing, maybe a
few chapters. Wish me luck. ;)
Disclaimer: I own no Gundam Wing anything, except a DVD of Endless Waltz,
and that's about it.
Heero wished that he went to more funerals. Frankly, the atmosphere at
funerals was something he had a better handle on. Everyone looked somber
and few people talked to one another. There was crying and the occasional
attack of hugging by random people who assumed he'd know the deceased but
other than that at least he knew how to fit in. He had always been that
way. Unfortunately for him, he often only got requests for weddings and
celebrations, sometimes birthdays but more often than not just general
social events for the upper crust. They weren't his people, they barely
knew him, but they knew of him and that meant a lot more. Heero made ice
sculptures, and being known as an artist was what got him commissions and
allowed him to continue being an artist without other outside jobs. In
many ways he was very lucky, but right now he didn't feel very lucky. As
he always did, he sat in the corner and tried not to be noticed and watched
weeks worth of effort slowly turn from beautiful art into a puddle of water
mucking up the table.
The friendly slap to his back came out of nowhere and Heero found himself
choking and sputtering on his mouthful of much too sweet punch that held
the tang of a slight alcoholic aftertaste. He could very well guess who
that was who just interrupted his solitude. The smiling face of his
manager came into view. Duo could be such an idiot sometimes. . . well,
most of the time really.
"Time to mix with the guests!" Duo declared in a cheerful voice. He waved
his drink in the direction of the quietly talking and laughing people
dressed in formal gowns and tuxedos. Many of the men looked warm and
uncomfortable in the early summer heat, while the women seemed to be doing
their best not to sweat. Heero didn't want to converse with these
"Why do you make me do this every time?" Heero sounded as surly as he
felt, as he picked up a napkin from the table he was at and wiped off some
punch from his sleeve.
"Because it's good for business, and it's good for you." Duo pulled at
Heero's arm, forcing the gruff looking and slightly sticky man to rise from
his seat. "And I know that there's a certain person you wouldn't mind
meeting. Hilde finally tracked her down and I know for a fact that she's
here tonight. Other side of hall, in fact, talking with two friends of
hers." Hilde, Duo's down to earth fiancée was the only person Heero knew
who could actually shut Duo up. She was the best thing that could have
happened to Duo.
"What's her name?" Heero looked much more interested now. Duo didn't even
have to pull at him to get him to follow. His mystery woman would soon
have a name, and in his chest his heart fluttered erratically. On the
surface, however, he looked perfectly calm.
"Why not ask her yourself?" Duo gave him a wink.
"Don't try my patience tonight, Maxwell." When Heero used his last name,
Duo knew he shouldn't push too much more. They had known each other long
enough that even the impassive Heero could be read by him. It had only
taken a little over a decade. They stopped a ways away from a small group
of women whose jewels sparkled in the light. That combined with the
vibrant colors of their dresses made them easy enough to spot next to a few
men in their tuxes. Indeed, Hilde was among them talking to a woman with
long honey blond hair. She didn't need to turn around, Heero knew who she
was the second he laid eyes on her, but now he could put a name to the
mental image. He looked at Duo with narrowed eyes.
"Relena. Relena Peacecraft." Duo smirked. "Nice girl. Comes from old
money. Her brother runs Dorlian Enterprises, big in real estate and a
little investment as well. I think you know best of all what she does,
though." Heero ignored the laughter in his friend's voice. There was
nothing that could touch him tonight; she had a name. It fit her well, he
thought, Relena had a certain flow to it. He could care less about her
family, though, and wished that Duo had stopped at her name. There was no
need to make her more unreachable than she already was in Heero's mind.
He had first seen her a year and a half or so ago, when he was making sure
the shipment of a nice statue of Apollo, (a work he had been only
moderately pleased with on completion) was being handled correctly by the
people who had come to move it. The entranceway had been busy with people
coming in and out, asking questions and looking panicked. It was a sight
he was very familiar with having done this many times before. Events all
sort of ran into one another after a while, with the last minute
preparations and the changes in schedule. At least his clients could
always count on him, as he delivered promptly two hours prior to the start
of the event. The only sad part for him was when they inevitably asked him
to stay, and he was left to wallow through hours and hours of making
uncomfortable conversation with people he didn't particularly want to know.
He had seen her on the steps leading into the building that particular
day. At the time he had noted how attractive she was, but had not really
thought anything of it. She had been arranging flowers with an obscure
smile on her face and for a moment Heero was so distracted by her that the
movers almost dropped the Apollo while waiting for his instructions. He
had gotten too busy to talk to her, if he was going to talk to her at all,
and when he had gone to look for her a few minutes later she had already
After that first time, he had resigned himself to never knowing who she
was. Imagine his surprise when he saw her again not a month later at a
wedding of some person he was only vaguely aware of. They had wanted an
angel. People often wanted angels, and they were quite boring to make. He
tried to put variation into his work however, as being original was part of
what made his work unique and highly sought after. Essentially it
functioned as a status symbol, but that's why he could charge such
exorbitant prices. At any rate, he saw her again, this time twining
flowers into a latticed archway. Immediately he recognized her, but it
took him a moment to remember from where. By the time he remembered and
started to approach her, some people had come barreling through carrying a
ladder and he was forced to let them get by. One of them had some trouble
and almost dropped the ladder, so Heero did the decent thing and jumped in
to help prevent the thing from hitting the ground (and also knocking down a
leg of a nearby table). As he held the side of the ladder he watched as
his mystery woman descended from the archway and made her way out of the
hall. His eyes followed her out, but he couldn't do anything to stop her.
He had spent the rest of the evening in a particularly foul temper.
Things continued on in this way for some time, with Heero trying to get up
the nerve to say something to her, and just missing her for some reason.
She often stayed for the events, just like he did, but unlike him she mixed
with the guests well. Rather than interrupt her conversations, he would
simply watch her from afar. Always beautiful, always smiling. She
couldn't be a part of his world, and fate seemed to be telling him just
that. Eventually someone was bound to notice Heero's fascination, and
indeed Duo did after a time. When he found out Heero was actually
interested in a girl he went into shock and then laughed a lot. He laughed
even more when he discovered that Heero didn't even know her name. That
was one of the few times in his life he had ever seen Heero blush, if not
the only time. Heero still denied he ever did such a thing. Taking action
in the way only Duo knew how to, he enlisted the help of his girlfriend
(soon to be fiancée) Hilde. All Hilde could find out, as she was
incredibly busy at the time with her job in an accounting firm, was that
the woman was a florist but only did special requests. Seems that she did
a lot of random work, for small weddings, and for birthdays, and sometimes
other events, but never funerals. No name though. Seems she had a
business card, but all it gave was the number and the words "flowers for
special occasions". All in all, very weird but certainly intriguing as
well. Now that tax season was over, Hilde was in a much better position to
discover who the woman was, and indeed she had moved quickly. Heero felt
indebted to her.
Coming out of a long moment of thought, Heero looked down at his sticky
hand and sleeve and wondered if maybe he should just go wash his hands
first. Duo saw the look of hesitation and grabbed him by the arm again.
"No you don't, mister. You are going to talk to her right now, if I have
to move your mouth for you." Resisting the urge to dig his heels into the
carpet and let Duo struggle to move him, Heero actually let him pull. It
would better to get the rejection over with quickly. The edge of Hilde's
short bark of laughter came to his ears, and he had a moment of pure panic
before he realized that he was being introduced.
". . . na Peacecraft. Nice to meet you, Mr. Yuy. I see your work all over
the place, and I've always loved it. Such a shame it isn't permanent."
Her voice was so soft, almost muted. Her eyes were much more blue up
"Thanks," he mumbled. Glancing at Duo and Hilde, he saw Hilde's brow arch
in a distinctive 'say something' gesture. Damn. This is why he hated
meeting new people. "You're flowers are nice." God how stupid. He should
just get a gun and shoot himself in the head right now, he was doing that
badly. Relena smiled in the way of archaic Greek statues, and Heero didn't
know what to make of it. Best just to be honest. "I never know what to
say when I meet people."
"Me either." Her smile was wider and more genuine now. There was another
pause in the conversation. For once Heero actually felt how uncomfortable
it was to have silence. It never used to bother him. Curse all this
fumbling around. He was a much more accomplished person than this. He
wasn't stupid. She just seemed to bring out something in him that couldn't
do anything right, and he only barely knew her name. Maybe it would be
best to perform a strategic retreat. Unfortunately Duo and Hilde had
backed away and were no doubt observing from afar. Relena cleared her
throat and took a sip of her water. Some hair fell across her cheek and
Heero had to use every speck of willpower not to brush it back. The idea
of touching her, even that momentary caress, was too tempting. He was much
better at denying himself.
"I'm sorry. . ." Better bite the bullet. "Listen. I may be a bad
conversationalist, but it's even worse at these things." He gestured at
the many politely talking people who probably did not have much interest in
what was going on around them. "This isn't real. Please, could I meet you
for some food sometime or something?" He had gone out on a limb and
uncharacteristically made a move. The little Duo in his heart cheered.
His outer Heero wanted to smack him.
Tilting her head to the side, there was an agonizing moment when she
unblinkingly seemed to consider him. She brought a finger up to her lips
and tapped the lower one gently a couple times. Pausing, she nodded at
him. "Why don't you call me tomorrow? I'll be home all day. Just a
moment, I'll go get my card, that has my number on it." She left. Heero
stood there, stunned, and squelched the smile threatening to break out on
his face. Such a simple thing as agreeing to see him again and he was
elated. Warning bells rang in his head, as his emotional defenses alerted
him to how much he was putting at risk. The doubts were quickly dispelled
the moment she came back, hand outstretched to give him her card. "Both my
home and work number is the same. I don't get all that many calls." Heero
thanked her and then walked back towards the other side of the hall where
he had originally perched himself.
As soon as he sat down Duo and Hilde converged on him like vultures, and
demanded to know what happened. When he was less than forthcoming with
details, they just got more irritatingly talkative. In response Heero
stopped talking altogether, and they left him alone (knowing that he had
gone into one of his 'moods' again). Just as he was starting to feel
pretty good about tomorrow, he realized that to make arrangements, it meant
having to call her. Again, phones and he just did not get along when it
involved talking, as he could work the phone just fine. That's why he had
an answering machine. People called him, he didn't call people. With a
slight groan escaping his lips he slipped a hand through his chocolate hair
only to find it stuck halfway in. Stupid Duo. Stupid punch.