This was going to be a one shot, but then it got a little longer than
expected, so I decided to make it two parts instead. Do tell me if you
like it. I'm trying to figure out if I should continue making one shots or
try to do a longer series of some type. Myeh. The facts are true, I
checked them out, and flaws in them I apologize profusely for as I fudged
on looking things up at the start. As for the later part of this first
section: I'm rather sad that our country was so very closed minded (still
is in many ways), but I can always hope for the future.
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing, or much of anything for that matter.
The click of heels was not an entirely unusual noise in of itself, but to
hear such a thing in the hallways of this particular building was usually
worthy of some note. It meant someone was here to visit, and the strange
vicarious glimmer of hope was both painful and pleasurable in turns. The
possibility of visitation could cheer even some of the gloomiest and
furthest gone among the patients. What a pity, Heero thought to himself,
that this particular visitor had to come in vain.
Every week, for over a year now, dependable as time itself, she would come.
Down the hall in her easy, measured steps she strode. After a year Heero
could tell a lot about her by the way the steady click click echoed in his
ear before ceasing three doors down from his and knocking on the door.
That was futile too, but she knew it as well as he did, so no one needed to
remind her. No, at first he had noted how hesitant her steps had been.
The first month or two it was an uneven clatter, catching him off guard
from his usual semi meditative state into full consciousness and rare
curiosity. Slowly, as if she had been giving up over time her fears of
this special ward and its inhabitants, her confidence had manifested by the
quickened and newly evened pace.
At first Heero had not expected her to return. Most visitors only came a
few times and then faded away, their loved ones often hardly noticing or
suffering silently, depending on how aware they were. Yet three months
later she was still coming, then 5. . . a special visit on Christmas, and
months more passed. He could mark his weeks by her visits. He had thought
about doing so.
A blond head, hair neatly bound into a bun, flashed by his vision through
the small window of his room - his cell. The rare glimpse was tantalizing.
A rounded face, slim and firm in youth with blue eyes that focused on a
point far ahead. It used to be a frown knit her brow and marred her pretty
face, but now the only expression Heero was one of determination: mouth
pursed, jaw set, arm clutching her purse to her side. What he would give
to know her name, this mystery woman who exhibited such perfect devotion to
It was too bad that today was the day he had to shatter his image of her
forever. It had taken a long time, but suspicion was at a low ebb. The
knife he had stolen, which had created a commotion among the staff as well
as searches of the entire ward, was secreted from beneath the floorboard
from where he had kept it hidden the past two months. The few tools he
needed to pick such a simple lock as that which bound him to his room he
was able to get without incident long ago. He had needed a way out,
something he could count on.
That's where the girl came in. His lady of the ever consistent visitation.
Surely she had her own transportation here. The richness of her clothes
gave her away, as did the haughty dignity of her bearing. Soon enough she
would finish her prescribed two hours in the company of the boy down the
hall, then she would be spending an unknown quantity of hours in Heero's
own presence. Although he was both excited and loath to finally meet her
face to face he had a feeling he wouldn't get to know her like he wanted
to. Very few people took kindly to being hostages, he expected.
As Relena clenched and released her jaw she felt her hair pull a little in
its exceptionally tight bun. Such long hair was terribly unfashionable,
even if her low waisted gown was the pink of trendy, or would have been if
she hadn't insisted on it covering every inch of her body. This was
prompted out of no love of propriety, even though she was perfectly willing
to let her father think that, but to avoid unwanted attention. When she
had first been formally presented to society, it had been a festive enough
occasion, despite the brewing troubles surrounding the war. Wilson seemed
to have done it and kept the U.S. out of it. Then, shortly before her
seventeenth year, America declared war on Germany.
There was no use in reliving the past. It was 1921, and the war had been
over for years, but the war had not ended for some people. More
importantly, it seemed as if it would never end for Quatre.
Even now, when she said his name in her mind, her heart tightened. The
dear childhood friend who lay, shell shocked, unwilling to rejoin the
society he used to delight in. For a while his mother had kept him home,
but day in day out he had simply wandered the house with an empty look in
his eyes that no one could bear. When his mother broke down in fits of
crying when in his presence too long is when they took Quatre the only
place they knew he could be taken care of. Perhaps a ward in a hospital
was going too far, but his father's money kept him in relative luxury.
People sneered at her for coming these days. They would look down their
noses, even as many of her friends planned their weddings. The other girls
warned her she was going to become an old maid. The less unkind and
shallow of her set, like her dear friend Hilde (whose family had come under
much suspicion during the war) were even telling her that it would be
better to perhaps visit less. Her words as she placed her pale gloved hand
on Relena's own as she left from a visit still stung: "He's not coming
"Yes he is!" Her voice was low but adamant. Not even Hilde could sway
her, even if she did feel a keen in her heart as her friend drew back her
hands sharply, tears hiding behind her black lashes.
The nurse let her in. Quatre, as he almost always was, had been stationed
in a rolling chair. In his robe, with a blanket over his knees to ward off
the last of the frost this spring morning, he seemed catatonic as he
contemplated the brown earth outside. The blond hair was neatly combed and
trimmed, the cheeks flushed with good health, but the eyes held a fearsome
emptiness. With a swallow, Relena met him as best as she could.
"Hello, Quatre, it's Saturday again. My my, I do think you got a new
haircut. Handsome as always I see. Don't you have a hello for your old
friend Miss Relena?" His eyes tracked her as she sat next to him,
otherwise she would think he wasn't even alive. The monologue continued.
"Your father and mother are very well. One of your sisters is getting
married. I don't remember which one, as there are a terrible lot of them.
. . your dad is absolutely furious about the costs. He swore to me that I
should secretly encourage the younger ones to elope so that he doesn't have
to go through with it again. Can you imagine! What a scandal that would
be! Of course I know he was joking."
Her false gaiety was getting more natural. Sometimes she could even fool
herself into pretending that this was all some great game and Quatre was
just pretending to keep a straight face as she talked to him. Tears began
to burn, but she never let them fall. She hadn't cried once since he came
back. There was no reason to cry; he was healthy in body and still with
them. Why must others mourn him as if he were already dead?
"Hilde has been acting very mysteriously as of late. I think she has been
favoring one of her suitors. Mr. Maxwell is terribly handsome, I must
admit, but there are other more wealthy men who want her and it would be to
her benefit to make an advantageous match. It's a good thing her beauty
and fiery spirit are enough to erase the taint that tarnished the
Sheibacker family name not so long ago. You weren't here when it was
really bad, but I almost hit that nasty witch Anna Westlake for snubbing
her at a garden party. What nerve, all of those spoiled brats. . . but I
shouldn't get all worked up. You know how I feel about such shallow and
spiteful behavior." She was running off at the mouth. It was all she
could do. This was almost worse than talking to oneself.
Quatre blinked, and his eyes flickered back to the earth below where a
garden would spring up once the season advanced a few more weeks. The thaw
had set in not too long ago. He seemed more responsive when there were
flowers, and Relena would be happy when they came. Taking a deep breath,
she continued what other regarded as a fruitless waste of time and effort.
She would bring Quatre back. If it took decades, she would do it. The
rest of them be damned.
Once the orderly checked his door, Heero picked the lock. Trying to turn
the knob, he found it moved smoothly and silently enough to his liking. A
clear 'thank you' reached his ear from down the hall. Ah, the clockwork
woman, affection burst in his heart for the perfection of her timing and
how it made his mission so very easy. They couldn't hold him here much
longer. When he got out and reported to his commanding officer, he knew
that once again the world would be right.
Cutting his palm and squeezing just a little, he let blood ooze out just
enough to make this convincing. How wonderful for him that she wore a
white dress today. As she was about to cross his little window, Heero
threw back the door, confronting her startled face.
"Good afternoon." He said politely.
"Good afternoon." Her programmed response shot back, as she look at him
with no little confusion. It became a cry of fear as he grabbed her, quick
with the reflexes he had never given the chance to grow dull. The struggles
she afforded were stronger than he had expected but nothing compared to his
own strength. He made sure to brandish the knife in her field of vision
before grabbing her throat and sliding the blade next to it. She almost
went limp in shock and fright.
Up until now everyone in the hallway had been paralyzed, unsure of what had
just gone on. One particularly astute nurse ran off to find security.
Orderlies began advancing as they too realized what had just happened.
"No one moves," Heero growled. "Or I'll kill you." He pretended to sweep
the knife over her soft neck and she trembled. He squeezed his hand and
blood seeped through his fingers. Not hers naturally, but they couldn't
tell the difference.
"Don't be stupid, Mr. Yuy. You don't want to do this." A doctor from the
edge of the hall was slowly walking towards him now that the orderlies had
stopped at his threat.
"Stop! Or she dies!" The doctor halted. Everyone was tense, expectant,
and only Heero knew what came next. "Come with me, Miss. We're going for
a little drive."
It was lucky for him that all the crazy people were kept away from the main
hospital because trying to escape down multiple floors and through many
wards would have been much more difficult. He wouldn't say impossible, for
nothing was impossible for him, but it would have taken much more planning
and preparation. This was somewhat messy, but it was getting him out and
that's what mattered.
"Think about this," the girl spoke, breathless from being forced to run
beside him. "There is nothing to be gained from hurting me. If you need
help, I can help you, but I cannot condone such actions. There must be
"Quiet." It was harshly spoken but effective. She stopped talking. As
they paused at the steps leading outside, Heero looked around. "Where's
your car?" She pointed and he pulled her after him. Men from security
burst out after them, right behind, but not fast enough to catch the two
young people in front of them, one swift from terror and the other from
"Miss Peacecraft!" An elderly man in a chauffeur's costume stepped out to
meet the two of them. Heero threw one punch and the old man crumpled to
the ground. Finally, Relena snapped out of whatever stupor she had been in
up until now as Heero pushed her into the car so hard she practically flew
into the passenger seat.
"I HATE YOU! YOU KILLED HIM! Pagan! Can you hear me? Oh please get up
Pagan!" She kicked and hit at Heero who seemed to be able to block her
attacks with effortless ease even as he found the ignition. His
familiarity with the car was remarkable considering how long it had been
since he had been in a vehicle, especially a civilian one, and as they
drove through the security men, those same men were forced to dive out of
The fuming and nearly crying woman sitting next to him, covered in his
blood, suddenly commanded more of his attention. There was no use stopping
until they got out of town. Once they were safely away from the
authorities then he would let her go, but at the moment she did not look
likely to listen to reason. Best to wait until she calmed down.
Relena touched her throat as she finally registered that it was wet for
some reason. Looking down she saw that there were drops of blood on her
chest, and her fingers came away crimson as she rubbed them across her
flesh. Alarm bloomed in her anew, replacing some of the furious anger.
"I'm dying! Look at all this blood! How could you do such a thing? And
to a poor old man." Her topics were getting confused, he noted. The tears
she began to shed were strangely unsettling to Heero. This was not part of
the mission, but he should have expected such a response. This was a great
deal of stress for her after all, though he would never be so weak in a
crisis. He had to stop her crying somehow.
"Miss Peacecraft," He had finally heard her name from the old man. At
least that had been useful. It was regrettable that he had been so old.
"He's not dead. He's collapsed next to a hospital even if he had been
seriously injured, and that's my blood not yours." He held up the hand
that even now still bled a little. Relena looked a little shocked at the
sight of all the blood on both of them.
The police would be too slow to react. He would be out into the country in
another twenty minutes too deep to be found. However, there were problems.
He needed a map of the surrounding area and some new clothes. To obtain
such things meant that he needed to both have time to stop and to have
money. Time to stop he would gain in time, but money was a bit of an
issue. As he steered with one hand he used his other hand to search around
the car for anything that might hold some cash. Once a startled Relena had
noted that the hands were not coming for her, she felt indignant.
"What are you doing? You already kidnapped me and stole my car, what's
left?" She was cross, but at least she wasn't crying anymore. Remarkably
resilient, he would say, given the circumstances. Heero chose not to
respond. Relena simply got more irritated as he fiddled with the seats and
alarmingly only kept partial attention to the road. They were going so
"I'd like it if you would maintain your attention ahead of us, unless this
is some sort of suicide mission, in which case I insist you let me go and
continue on by yourself."
Why did she have to talk so much? Wasn't she supposed to be mute in fear
and awe of him?
"I need money." There, maybe she had something. She still clutched her
purse after all.
"I don't have much on me. Pagan had most of it, which you might have
gotten if you hadn't almost killed him. You're not very good at this, I
think." Relena was excessively riled or else she would have had more
consideration for her words. Yet, the young woman had never been
confronted by people who didn't do her bidding before and as much as she
tried not to be spoiled, some learned behaviors were very pervasive.
"Give me what you have." Relena fumed as she dug into her purse for the
few coins she kept for tipping or, as was more often the case, giving to
beggars (a habit her mother had often discouraged, but that she persisted
in). It was indeed very little. Heero glanced over at her, his intense
eyes causing her to widen her own. "Can you get more?"
"Keep your attention on the road!" He looked over and she felt relieved to
be released from his gaze. "If we stop at a bank I can easily get more,
and then you can let me go." Always back to that. Couldn't she think of
something else? Better yet, couldn't she simply think rather than open her
The houses had been thinning out for the past thirty minutes. Soon they
would be out in the country proper. Relena had gotten silent when it
became apparent that any entreaties she threw at him were at best ignored
and at worse earning her a glance. The extreme dark blue of his eyes
coupled with a wildness behind them made her much more fearful than when he
stoically maintained a breakneck speed down the increasingly bumpy country
"I d-d-don't th-think this was b-b-built for cars-s-s." Relena dared to
speak again. Soon they would get to another town. Another town meant
police, meant rescue. Surely her father could have arranged a search and
rescue team. This crazy man would be brought to justice. Trees surrounded
them, making everything slightly darker than it should have been. The
inside of the car was getting cold, Relena shivered. After shivering a
while longer, a robe was thrown at her, landing in her lap.
She looked over at Heero, trying to discern what he was thinking, but he
didn't appear to pay her any mind. Yet, he obviously was observing her
closely as her shivers had not been that pronounced. The anger, sadness,
and fear at being abducted were all still there but now a vivid curiosity
about her captor assaulted her. Best to start small.
"What's your name?" He was silent. "I asked what your name was. I'm
pretty sure you aren't deaf. Didn't that guy call you Mr. Huey back
"Yuy." He cursed in his head. The response had been automatic to correct
her. It wasn't his intention for her to know his name.
"Well, Mr. Yuy, I'm Miss Relena Peacecraft. I can't say it's a pleasure to
meet you, but seeing as we are trapped in this car together until you deign
to stop or until we run out of gas, it would please me if you would tell me
why you kidnapped me."
The thought of the car running out of gas had been plaguing him for a
while. He figured he could get to the next town at first, but now he
wasn't so sure. The hospital had been further into the city than he
remembered. The growth of the city had been fairly extensive since he had
been brought there.
"I'm just going to keep asking, until you tell me. Unless you'd like me to
inquire about more personal things. . ." This woman was going to be the
death of him.
"You were there. I needed a car. I could predict your movements."
"Hm." Relena thought out loud. "If you could predict my movements then
that means you've been watching me. For how long I wonder?" He didn't
like where this was going. He didn't want to talk about how long he'd been
watching her, or thinking about her. Relena. It was a unique name.
Useless thoughts Yuy, useless thoughts, he chided. Relena was almost more
distraction than she was worth already. Maybe he should just let her off
here in the woods. For some reason as soon as he thought it his hands had
tightened on the steering wheel and his foot had pushed down harder on the
gas. No, he wasn't going to let her off alone in the woods. The town
would be soon. She would be a reasonable hostage if he handled things
correctly. Speaking of hands, his was throbbing madly, and still bleeding
if the continued slickness of the wheel was anything to judge by. This was
"Do you have a handkerchief?" Relena nodded. Heero held out his bleeding
hand. "Tie it around my hand tightly." Her brow furrowed.
"And why should I?"
"Would you rather I take both hands off the wheel to do it myself?"
Relena took out her handkerchief. She was sad to see it ruined. It was so
nicely monogrammed and embroidered with a little dove on it. A set of
these were one of many Christmas gifts from her brother Milliardo. New
Hope sprang into her heart as she thought of her brother. He had
connections to the army, and as only military personnel were kept in that
ward, maybe Milliardo could pull some strings and get more than just the
local law after them. There was nothing to worry about.
He had suspected this would happen for a while when a town was not
manifesting nearby. Where had all the people gone? Maybe this explained
why the city was larger than he had originally suspected. There were
probably farms around here as it looked like there were fields ahead.
Miles and miles of fields, but they nevertheless implied that people were
around to tend them. Anything was better than just sitting here. Running
out of gas was an embarrassing hitch in his timetable. Relena had wrapped
herself in his robe and he started to feel a chill. Why couldn't spring be
warmer than this? Better yet, why couldn't his regulation hospital pajamas
be thicker? In addition he was painfully aware that he still just had
slippers on. This was not a hiking outfit by any means. With a sigh that
he had to stifle so that Relena wouldn't notice it, he started off in a
direction that seemed promising.
"Where are you going?" She jumped down from the passenger seat and began
to follow him, having to run a little to match his pace.
"Just stay there." It was best to ditch her. He would find a way to get
himself to where he needed to be. The loss of the car was regrettable, but
unavoidable. It would be a liability to keep Relena. This way whomever
was looking for her would have what they were after and probably loosen up
any search so that he could easily evade them. He continued on. After a
moment or two Relena started to come to some conclusions of her own.
"Are you just going to leave me here?" For one thing she was angry that he
would just casually dump her here in the middle of the country when it
would take who knows how long for someone to come. For another thing it
was going to start getting dark soon. She ran in front of him and he just
moved around her to follow the dirt road to the fields beyond the last few
"Wait!" Relena had to run to keep up with his long strides, and her shoes
began to hurt. They weren't built for this. "I refuse to just stay there.
Until we get to civilization you are stuck with me. I'm your
responsibility. You have to protect me!"
As much as he never wanted to admit it to himself that she had a point, he
had to concede some logic to her statements. It was his fault she was out
here, and he did say all he wanted was her car. Bringing her with him may
be a liability, but perhaps it was a necessary evil until the situation
improved. Besides, maybe she could get him some money. Rather than
agreeing with her he simply slowed his pace from a march to a regular walk.
Now she just had to hop a little to keep up, and with her mouth set in a
grim line she kept pace.
Going past field after field, Heero kept looking for something that
resembled a light in the growing dusk. The slippers were useless after the
first mile or two and he left them behind. His feet had grown soft in the
years in the hospital and soon he could feel the blisters and the cuts. If
he was in pain, he gave no sign. That he was cold, he couldn't help but
show as the shivering was a response he could only stop for a time. If
visibility had been better Relena would have noticed, but she was more
concerned with just keeping track of him in the growing dark.
Finally, and to Heero's great relief, he saw a light in the distance. It
was almost night now and light meant other people, food, clothes, and
possibly money depending on how unscrupulous he was feeling. He grabbed
Relena's hand and practically dragged her in the direction of the light
until she noticed it too and exclaimed in relief. Heero found himself
reluctant to let go of her hand, but after a time he did.
They passed the barn, well kept and large. The house was also fairly nice
though not fancy. Naturally, he expected farmers to be rather utilitarian
and practical, but the sight of all this somehow shocked him as his last
memory of farms involved burned out shells of buildings and being
surrounded by constant gunfire. Not pleasant memories to be sure and she
shoved them aside viciously. He was scary enough to look at during the
best of times and he needed to talk to these people. Circling round to the
front, he knocked at the door.
Relena was nervous. Should she tell these people what happened to her? It
seemed like Heero wasn't after keeping her with him and to his credit he
had never really harmed her (aside from making her walk rather a long
distance in shoes that could be filling up with blood for all she knew but
that the very least caused her feet to throb). What's more, they both
looked terrible and needed to have an explanation of some type. Did he
know what he was doing, just knocking so brazenly? A matronly looking
woman answered the door. Her hands flew to her mouth as she saw Relena.
"Child! Are you hurt?! Come in, we'll get a doctor right away!" She was
still covered in Heero's blood, and in his robe. Even with the blood
dried, she must look a mess with her hair in disarray and her dress dirty
"No really, I'm fine, ma'am. You don't have to trouble yourself. It's
just that we're lost and our car is out of gas. As you can see we've had
quite a time of it." Giving a little nervous laugh Relena tried to keep
herself talking. Her father had always said she could talk herself out of
any situation, a regular diplomat. 'You should have negotiated the
treaty,' he said when the war was ending 'I know that for sure there would
never be a war again with you leading the way.'
The middle-aged woman narrowed her eyes. If they weren't hurt then they
presented a strange picture to her conventional expectations. "Warren.
Come on in, we have visitors." A man who looked tan and wrinkled from many
days of working in the sun appeared with a wary glance in their direction.
"Why are you here?" Obviously Warren was not going to give them a warm
"We were on. . a. . . scavenger hunt." That seemed like an easy enough
thing to play off of. What with the strange pleasures of her wealthy set,
perhaps they would just assume this was a lark of some sort.
"Yes, but we got lost and then our car ran out of gas. As you can see, my
companion got cut while fiddling with the car." They looked at his
bandaged hand, which Heero instinctively tried to hide. "I'm afraid we're
in dire need of some help, if you'd be so kind." She was a rotten liar.
Lying gave her a sick feeling in her stomach. Telling the truth was so
"Why's that man in his nightclothes then?" Warren remained unconvinced.
"It's the new fad. It's all the rage." Her lies were so outrageous she
thought for sure that the lord would strike her down where she stood.
Relena tried to meet the level stare of the farmer and not flinch. Heero
tried to stare down the farmer with a glare worthy of someone much older
and much fiercer, but no one was looking at him.
The narrowing eyes of the man did not widen and Relena instinctively knew
that they would have to come clean. A surge of reluctance hit her. She
didn't want this to end. As much as it was unpleasant, it was also
exciting. More importantly it was diverting, and almost like some strange
fiction story. It was almost worth continuing just to tell Hilde later,
now that she was reasonably sure Mr. Yuy would not harm her.
A kindly glance from the lady reassured Relena. A sheepish look greeted
the kind gaze. "I know why you're out here lookin' so peculiar. Don't you
worry, my lambs, we'll help you. I remember what it is to be young, yet.
And eloping is so terribly romantic." Relena blinked, just once,
processing the comment with speed that made even Heero start a bit.
"Oh thank you!" Tears of relief at not having to make anything else up
came to her eyes. "I can't tell you what a trying day it was, driving all
over the countryside!" This was all true. Let other people construct the
lie, even if it still made her uneasy.
"Mr. and Mrs. . . ?" Warren spoke up, still cynical but looking slightly
"Yuy." Heero filled in as if he were afraid of Relena saying anything
else. He was a fool for having not prepared a story and letting her
improvise when lying was something he saw she did poorly. "Heero and
The rest of the night was an embarrassment for both of them. The fact that
they were married already helped ease the impropriety of their actions. It
wasn't as if they were off to live in sin, from the farmers' prospective,
simply escaping to be together. Whenever the farmer's wife, who's name was
Linda, asked about the elopement then Relena would immediately burst into
tears and it was easy for Linda to assume the worst. Warren kept his eye
on Heero, only leaving when Linda ordered him to get some clothes to give
to the new groom.
While Relena sobbed the very real stress of the day away in the ample and
strong arms of the farm wife, she thought about this new information.
Heero Yuy. And now in the eyes of these people they were married. This
would mean they would be given a single room. The information should have
upset her, but Relena found that all that happened was a steady increase in
her heart rate. It beat in her ears louder than the rap of a drum by the
end of the evening.
"Here's where you'll stay. It used to be our Jerry's room, and it isn't
much but it'll have to do. I suspect you'll be glad for some rest after
today." Linda gave them a sly smile and Relena blushed as she held the
nightgown that had been leant to her for the night to her chest. She
watched the door close and turned after a moment to see Heero undressing.
The sight of muscular shoulders shocked her as never had a man disrobed in
front of her after she had surpassed childhood and swimming with her
friends at summer houses.
"Mr. Yuy!" Her exclamation was somewhat loud. He turned with a roll of
his eyes and Relena saw some of his smooth chest before she turned her back
to him. "I don't think that that is a very proper activity to be doing in
"Listen, doing this anywhere else would be suspicious." From the sounds it
seemed as if he had barely paused in putting on his bedclothes. She heard
him messing with the covers of the small bed in the room and turned again.
"What are you doing now?" There was no way to stop the blush that she
thought was covering her whole body. Heero pulled a blanket from the bed
that was draped in several and plopped down on the floor with it.
Obviously he was just going to stay there. At least he had allayed her
fears of sharing a bed with him, but the prospect of changing in his
presence was still troubling. Checking all the time to make sure he wasn't
looking in her direction she struggled out of her dress and into the
nightgown. Removing many pins, she then took down her hair that fell to
the middle of her back. It was a little tangled, but she would fix that
tomorrow. Best to just get some sleep.
Unfortunately for the pair, sleep was not fast in coming. Relena was
unwilling to go to sleep in the same room as her sometimes captor and all
around suspicious and violent travelling companion. He was a military man,
and judging from his previous residence he was also crazy. None of these
were thoughts that made her night restful. When she succumbed to the raw
exhaustion of the day, her sleep was fitful.
Heero, for his part, was ultra conscious of Relena. He had not looked
while she was changing but just the knowledge of what she was doing set his
imagination up for an experience that quickly made him uncomfortable. It
was almost beyond bearing that this was happening to him. He had never
desired to visit the brothels of France, and women in the states rarely
held appeal for him, so why did this one woman make him unsure of his own
ability to control himself. Even the thought of sleeping with her in that
small bed, practically wound around one another to fit, filled him with the
urge to act on his feeling. They had said they were married, and it would
be strange not to be found together in the morning. He had arguments
prepared for her expected negative response to his action. Yet he couldn't
bring himself to do it. She wasn't for him to have. It was the madness of
obsession, having thought nothing but of her habits and possible reactions
to his plan for weeks on end. That's all these feelings were, and nothing
truly alarming. It was to be expected, even. With these lame assertions,
he lulled himself into a dreamless sleep.
Relena woke with a hand covering her mouth. Her scream disappeared into
Heero's palm and her eyes rotated wildly in panic. He put a finger to his
lips to indicate her silence and her struggling abated. She hit him with a
pillow as soon as he backed away. It was a rather stupid way to wake
"You could have just pushed at me a bit." She hissed.
"I did. You just ignored me." She knew she was a deep sleeper, but it was
still a rotten way to resort to. Noting that Heero was dressed in day
clothes already she rose from the bed - and then wished she hadn't as she
remembered too late that all she had on was a nightgown. Heero looked at
her hair. Unbound, it looked soft and he had to force his arm not to reach
across the gulf of the bed to twine his fingers in it. He knew he wasn't
crazy, but this woman would rapidly make him so if he stayed with her.
Stiffly coming at attention, he walked out of the room.
Relena found some clothes on a chair and began to dress herself. It was a
simple dress, well worn and patched in a couple places. It was somewhat
silly on her, being too baggy in spots (especially the chest to her great
chagrin). Slightly more upsetting was the way she felt like the antithesis
of urban in it. Her whole life had been built around the city and this was
something she just didn't feel at home in. Not that she was ungrateful.
Walking out, she saw that there was some food and a note on the table.
Just some fruit and a muffin, but she was starving and it seemed like the
best meal she had eaten in weeks. The note was from Linda and was short
and very kind about how she wished them luck and how they could keep the
clothes. Heero didn't appear to be anywhere, but she was more than happy
to find a brush on her own and brush out her hair and wash her face. She
was finishing braiding her hair (after abandoning fixing it up with all
those impossible pins), when she heard the familiar chug of a car.
Running to the window, holding on to the end of one of her braids, she saw
Heero and Warren in the front seat. They climbed out and Heero solemnly
shook the hand of the older man who, equally grave of temperament, accepted
it and parted ways to go about his own chores. Heero walked inside and
found Relena looking rather more fetching than the blood encrusted and
mightily riled lady of yesterday. With a blink he recovered from the new
assault to his senses and spoke tersely.
"I'll drop you off in the next town. I'm sure you can easily reach
someone. But I am taking the car. I shall return it when my task is
done." He motioned for her to follow him outside. Linda, who was airing
out some rugs, came in just in time to see them off with a hug and wishes
for their future marital happiness. They had been so nice that Relena felt
quite guilty for misrepresenting herself, but vowed that she would send
them a gift of some kind after she got back home.
The ride in the car was slower today, but not by much, and both were silent
for a time. Relena didn't know what to say, and Heero was disinclined to
talk in general, but after a while she couldn't hold back anymore.
"Why were you in the hospital? You don't seem crazy." Except for the
start of this all, she added silently to herself. Heero felt no need to
answer that, but if she kept asking him things it would only be irritating.
Might as well use a Socratic solution.
"Why were YOU in the hospital?" Despite himself, he found he wanted to
hear her answer. It wasn't merely an attempt to divert attention away from
himself. Relena looked thoughtful, then mournful.
"I was visiting my fiancé." The car swerved viciously, almost off the
road. "GAH! What was that!"
"Thought I saw a cat. What were you saying?"
She hadn't talked to anyone in a long time about Quatre. It seemed like as
good a person as any. Maybe he had answers for her. Maybe he knew a way
to bring Quatre back. Maybe this was a stupid thing to do, to trust a
stranger this quickly, especially one that had done little to earn such
trust. But the temptation to unload her burden, even if for a little
while, by telling the story made her feel a little less fragile inside.
"It started a long time ago," she began, for it wouldn't help to not
explain the background when it was tied to intimately to the present
circumstances. "Quatre and I used to play a lot together. We were the
same age and our fathers were in similar business so it seemed well enough
for us to get along, what with my only sibling being so much older than I
and uninterested in my games. At some point our fathers thought it would
be a good idea to unite our fortunes and arrange a marriage between us. We
got along so well, after all." Relena sighed deeply, as if past memories
were floating through her brain like feathers from a gutted pillow.
"It seemed well enough for a while, and we didn't take them very seriously,
but then the war came and lots of things became more serious than they
should have been. Quatre began to argue with his father. He wanted to
take action. He wanted to be involved and not stand aside exempt. For a
while it was fine. The draft board couldn't even consider him so long as
he was 18. Then they lowered the accepted age. Quatre used some pressure
to get himself accepted in. He was taken away to a camp somewhere and I
didn't hear from him until he wrote from France. It was a million to one
chance that he went in the first place, but it happened. It was even less
of a chance that he see the front line fighting, but he did. He was there
such a short time, but once the war ended." Heero got a dangerous look in
his eye at that statement. "He was sent home only half a person. His mind
was shot. He jumped at every loud noise or even if people tried to talk to
him. Not just sickness of the mind, but a terrible fever as well for
disease was what originally sent him home so quickly. It was only a matter
of time before he was put into the hospital I guess. No one could stand to
see him as a shadow of who he had been."
Her throat tightened, but she pushed on, unable to stop the flow of words
as emotion intertwined. "I went to see him at first because it was my
duty, as his fiancé, but then I kept going because everyone else stopped.
I'm the only one left who has faith in him. Perhaps one day he'll
"And then I suppose you'll get married and live happily." The words were
bitter, and as she had expected something softer and perhaps even
sympathetic, her ragged and exposed emotions swerved into something darker.
"I don't suppose you understand what loyalty is. I don't suppose you
respect it. What more could I expect from an escaped mental patient?" The
car stopped with a jerk as Heero practically slammed on the brake.
"What?" She was the righteously angry one here. This was more than
"Get. Out. Now." Those blue eyes of his blazed dark and he bowed his
head to let his messy brown hair cover them a little. Having gone
perfectly still in response to the thinly veiled threat in his words,
Relena sat there in shock. He reached over quickly, opened the door, and
gave her a push that sent her sprawling into the road. Judging from the
way it hurt, she'd have quite the bruise on one hip in a little while. As
soon as she was free of the car, Heero took off down the road.
Relena got up and started to somewhat limp down the road after him. She
felt lenient before, but now Heero Yuy was going to catch more hell then he
could imagine. Such insensitivity! Such unwarranted aggression! Her
brain seethed with punishments until the pain and the piteous state of her
circumstances forced her to reexamine what had just happened. Obviously
she had touched a nerve of some kind and he had responded in a reflexive
manner. What he did was uncalled for, but she had been no peach either. A
half-hour down the road she decided to stop and just wait for a while.
Someone was bound to come by, right?
The car that did show up was not the one she expected. Heero sat there,
not inviting her back in, but not moving on either. He turned the car
around after they had stared at one another for a while and then they
continued their battle of wills. In the end a sore rump, a bruised hip,
and a smarting conscience drove Relena back into the car, else they sit
there until doomsday.
"Are you ok?" She got the idea that this was some sort of apology, or as
close as she would receive.
"I think I bruised my side."
"I'll take a look at it when we stop." He didn't think of what this
implied at first, but when the thought filtered through he found a little
color stain his cheeks for a fraction of a moment.
"I'll be fine." Relena lapsed into silence rather than tempt fate with
more questions. After a time, the tension became too much even for Heero
and he was the one who broke it.
"You were wrong, you know, about being the only one who saw him." Relena's
attention, previously and purposefully focused on field after field of
dirt, almost swallowed Heero up in its surprise and sudden eagerness.
"There was another girl, light blond hair, eyebrows in points like the tip
of a knife. She came every week, just as you did." It was true. Once
they had been there at the same time, but the sharp eyebrowed lady had
spotted Relena and made a swift escape before she was seen.
"I didn't know your names."
In light of this new peace offering, which relieved Relena more than Heero
could have imagined at finding herself not alone in her crusade to bring
back her friend, she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. It was
impulsive and at once she regretted it, but everything in Heero seemed to
tighten and release once she pulled away. She was not one to carry
grudges, now she felt they were even.
"So why didn't you choose her?"
"What?" It seemed as if the question was entirely out of the blue.
"Why did you choose me and not Dorothy. . . I mean the other blond girl?"
It was a good question. Why had he chosen Relena? The other girl appeared
to have all the same airs and qualifications that marked out Relena as a
likely target. What made Relena special?
"Chance." It wasn't entirely honest, but it would have to do until he knew
the answer for himself.
"Stop at the bank before you let me go." Relena dug around in her purse a
Producing a piece of identification of some type, she waved it at him.
"I'm going to give you some money. You still want some right? A few coins
won't get you anywhere." It was that darn drive to give to charity again.
It was going to be the end of her one of these days. Heero nodded and they
walked in together after parking the car in front. Some of the locals
stared at them. It was a strange sight, this proud looking woman and
dangerous looking man with their nice car. Someone whispered that they
must be gangsters. A cop spotted them and, hearing the rumors, made a fast
but surreptitious break for the jail.
"I'd like to withdraw a hundred please." Heero put his hand over hers as
if to halt the transaction.
"Nonsense. You'll need something to help you start this new life of yours
and daddy can afford it. Oh, he'll fuss to be sure but I'll just tell him
you made me and to let it go. I bet Milliardo will be the only one who
will really complain for any real length of time." Heero arched his
eyebrow. "Milliardo is my brother." Heero's eyes widened as Relena signed
for the money.
"Well, well, what a small world, if it isn't Private Yuy again." A tall
man with almost white blond hair fully as long as Relena's but tied behind
in a ponytail strode into the bank followed by several police officers
bearing clubs openly. Activity in the bank ceased. "And my sister as
well. You're lucky she looks to be unharmed, contrary to reports, or I
would have had you hanged before sundown. Now are you going to come
quietly this time?"
"No, sir." Heero responded as he grabbed Relena's hand that held the money
and pulled both her and the cash out the back. Three police officers were
there to meet them as Milliardo shouted the charge to retrieve them from
the other side. The three hapless officers had never met with the likes of
Heero Yuy, and later they said he fought like a demon. Once the chaos of
the small battle ended, one guard was clear across the room and face down
over a desk, another had been nearly thrown into those that had rushed from
the front of the bank, and the last had almost had his windpipe crushed and
struggled to breathe on the floor.
Relena huffed a little as Heero set a pace much faster than she could
really handle, but she kept it up anyway, driven by adrenaline. Once they
neared the train station his purpose became clear. The sound of pursuit
was approaching them rapidly, headed by the commanding voice of her
brother, but began to be muffled by the familiar pulsing grind of the train
as it started to pick up speed. Finding an open boxcar was easy, and they
hopped into it and huddled in the back. Heero still clutched her hand and
Relena still clutched the money. Her purse was far behind them in the
"I guess it can't be helped." Heero said, more to himself than anything.
"You'll have to come with me to Chicago."
After a few minutes, Relena found herself waxing reflective on the
adventure up to this point. Heero, after summarily announcing that she was
coming with him, had seemed to lose all interest in telling her why they
were going there or even her presence. Truthfully, she wanted some time to
be stunned, so was staying silent. Huddled in a shivering pile, trying to
stay out of the wind (which appeared too impossible inside the drafty and
open boxcar), she miserably noted that she was hungry too. No use talking
about it. It wasn't as if Heero had any food.
It was ridiculous.
They were running from her brother of all people, whom Heero seemed to not
only know but also have terrible past relations with, and heading toward
the most notorious of cities for the sake of some strange quest that had
prompted her original abduction. Milliardo had simply been a desk officer
and had never seen any fighting, even though he was in France for a healthy
portion of the war. There were many things that could have happened. What
was his job, again? She couldn't recall. She did remember how father had
pulled strings to keep him out of combat. There was still bad blood in the
family over that. Her hip ached still as she rocked to keep warm. Some
hair blew around her face, tickling her mouth.
"Step away from the lady if you wish to remain unharmed." Heero's voice
was commanding and took her by surprise. With a start she looked over to
find what had previously appeared to be a brown sack moving away from her.
It uncurled from its crouch to reveal a bum, black hair tightly bound
making his head appear almost glossy from all the grease in it. He looked
"I had thought you wouldn't notice. You were rather absorbed with
inspecting the other side first." The Chinese man snarled a bit. "What
brings a couple of upstanding citizens like yourself onto my car, hounded
here by the police no less."
Heero stared at him, moving closer to Relena. "Give me the money Miss
Peacecraft. I have some pockets in my shirt that button closed." So
that's what the man had been after. She handed it over without a fuss,
never once taking her eyes off of this new unknown quantity in their
"I find you puzzling. You're not the usual fare of vagabonds that frequent
such places as these." He looked smug and assured of himself. "The woman
is useless, and her clothes do not suit her. Judging from her white skin
and uncalloused hands, she was no farmer though she attempts to dress the
part. You, however, carry yourself in a way I know a little better. Her
bodyguard perhaps? Come across more than you can handle?" Heero didn't
rise to the bait, but did take a defensive stance when the man moved
"You'll keep your distance." Reaching out an arm from where he sat next to
Relena, he pulled her to his chest. The intimate gesture not only
surprised her into a cessation of shivering but also helped warm her
through his own body heat.
"You can't hide from me. I know a fellow in arms when I see them. Your
eyes give you away." Heero tensed and Relena felt her back straighten in
sympathetic response. "If you're a WASP, I'm the queen of England.
Brothers shouldn't fight. We're the Yellow Peril, aren't we? Come, now, I
need an entertaining story for this long and dull trip."
"I'm only half Japanese, and no brother of yours, Chinaman." Some things
fell into place in her mind. The slight dusky hue to his skin was no tan,
but natural. The slight tilt to his eyes that were overshadowed by the
intensity of the blue orbs they contained, were clues to his mixed
parentage. If no one had pointed it out, then she never would have
noticed. Unlike some other fools, this did not change her perception of
him. Hearst was a bigot and a muckraker, so far as she was concerned, and
she put no stock in his papers.
"If that's the way it is, then maybe you should give me that money of
yours, else I go to the police when we stop next. I don't suppose I owe
you anything if we have no common ground." The Chinese man said with a
less than pleasant tone. "And my name is Chang Wufei, not 'Chinaman'."
This was going from bad to worse. Relena felt the need to intervene, as
she always did when people fought in front of her.
"Stop! Mr. Yuy, this is not right. He had done us no harm; there is no
need to be antagonistic. And Mr. Wufei, I certainly think that telling you
a story would be the least I could do if it would convince you to stop
being so terribly disagreeable. We can get along and share this boxcar
like decent human being should." Her beaming smile following this short
speech left the two men flabbergasted.
"Is your woman wrong in the head?" Wufei began to laugh. "It's Mr. Chang,
if you insist, woman." Heero seemed to let out a breath and his arm around
her loosened. The air between them all seemed to clear. "Well, you
implied a story. It had better be good or else I may turn you over to the
Relena was glad to tell it. Her perspective on things was unique, but
filled with emotional ups and downs that she described in a masterful
manner. As she recounted the events of the past day and a half Heero found
himself regarding it all with renewed guilt for this and that
transgression. Being nothing less than honest, none of the facts she told
he could refute and as she got to some of his more dishonorable behavior he
had to force himself not to clamp a hand over her mouth to prevent the
reliving of those moments where he lost control. Some things she omitted,
but very little was left out. As she wound down to the end, it all seemed
to take on a comical tone, maybe even surreal. Had all that really just
". . . and then he pulled me over to the train station and we jumped in
here. That's about it really." No need to cover the unpleasantness of
their first meeting with Mr. Chang, especially when it had only just
"Woman, your tale is truly fantastic. I must admit I haven't been so
amused in quite a while. Travelling about in boxcars doesn't lend itself
to quaint stories so much as tragic ones." He looked off into the
distance, unseeing and unfocused on the reality of it.
"Now that I told you our story, you must share yours. It's only fair."
She was sure a wanderer such as he would have much to tell.
"Fairness has nothing to do with my story. I came from California. I plan
to return someday. For now I must continue upon this path, until I am
ready to face the small minded white men who put my family out on the
street and denied me the basic rights of this country. Seems the only
people this country is for is the white people." His bitterness was
With nothing to say to that, Relena decided to look back to Heero instead.
Heero, for his part, understood how Wufei felt, but had not experienced
life in the same way. For one thing, he looked 'white' enough to hide his
origins and escaped persecution. The prejudice he had had to live with was
more based in class rather than on race. Growing up poor and alone in the
world was probably just as bad. That's why he had lied about his age and
joined the war effort with the first draft. At 18 he looked to be in his
20s and with no birth certificate, no one asked questions. Draft boards
simply needed to fill quotas. It wasn't as if he had anything else to live
for. Either he would do something with his life, or die trying.
Preferably, he would have died trying, but fate had given him a tougher lot
than that. Maybe Chicago held the key to his salvation. Maybe it didn't.
His tortured brain needed to know.
Yet even those thought were just flickers of what had been running through
his brain for years, ever since he had entered the hospital, in fact. What
was more important was that Relena had discovered something he had wanted
to hide from her. Living in the northeastern portion of the country was
difficult enough if you were considered foreign, but it was worse if you
were not European in ancestry. The decades of ignorance and fear, only
helped along by the rising spirit of isolationism, gave him good reason not
to seem anything but Anglo-Saxon. That Relena didn't appear to be fazed
eased his heart. That she hadn't moved off of his chest even when he had
dropped his arm from her, made his heart beat faster than normal. The
fluttering kiss she had given him in the car also came to mind. He shoved
it aside viciously from his mind even as he separated his physical body
"I'm too cold, Mr. Yuy. Please don't go." Oh god. She said please. And
she had that. . . that look in her eye. Of its own accord his arm wrapped
around her again and pressed more of her soft body to his. What sweet
torture! "Thank you so much Mr. Yuy. I don't wish to be a bother to you."
"Jesus, Miss Peacecraft." He lightly swore. "Call me Heero."
"Then you must call me Relena." Her voice was firm, and as she chuckled he
could feel the vibration through his body. It was a mercy that she could
not sense the effect she had upon him.
"What a cozy picture that is." Damn. He had almost forgotten that they
had an audience still. "Perhaps its good that I'm here to chaperone." For
the first time today, even after having been in a fight and after facing
the man who had sentenced him to years in a mental hell, Heero felt like
killing someone. Then Relena sighed and snuggled into his body and all
those urges siphoned into a slightly different sort of need.
"Damn it all." He murmured to himself.