Never has a one shot gotten so out of control. Next time I should just set
a word limit for myself or really try to do a series. No more of this
horrifying in between crud. Jeez. Anyway, please be kind and tell me what
you think. ^_^ I hurried the ending a bit and it is actually a few
thousand words short because of that. Yerg. Just pretend for my sake
that this is a one shot, please? It was supposed to be concise. Maybe
I'll try to edit it down someday to be something manageable. Feh.
Disclaimer: Don't own it. Don't claim to. Gundam Wing isn't miiiinnne.
Relena had never felt so filthy in her life. Thanks to the charitable
kindness of Wufei, they had had a little bit of food (which Relena insisted
on paying for, much to Heero's chagrin as their finances were so limited).
They wouldn't have had even that much if Relena had not taken it upon
herself to talk with him. The man was terribly irritable at first, but you
can't scowl down someone with no fear, no presumed notions, and so much
guileless innocence. Even Wufei found the girl charming, and before long
she had heard all about how he had tried to buy a store to start a new life
with his girlfriend Sally, only to be run out of town by some aspiring
"Short of a burning cross, I felt that they had made themselves clear that
I was unwanted and that I was too uppity for the community."
Relena was horrified. "I thought it was, er, a more southern trend these
days, Mr. Chang."
"Hatred knows no limits." Wufei's eyes met Heero's. Somehow, Heero knew
that the comment was meant for him as a warning. Chicago was a hotbed of
unrest and violence these days. This was not surprising news for the
previously shut in young soldier. It was like that before the War too.
"At the next stop, you'll want to hop a train going north. Most of them go
straight into the city. You'll get there easy enough one way or another."
It had been good advice and now here they were, this time alone in a car
full of crates, still hungry, twice as cold, and very grubby. Dirt from
every possible place had lodged onto the thin material of her dress, and
her hair had that greasy feel to it she never could stand. She wrapped her
arms around herself and brought her knees in close, even as her hip
continued to throb. It was night now. The rocking of the train should
have lulled her to sleep, but Relena couldn't get past the vague and
irrational fear that if she fell asleep she wouldn't wake up. Calling over
to the figure crouched in the corner, she tried to beckon him to her side
once more. Heero hesitated, then complied after a few moments.
"Yes?" As friendly as ever. Relena rolled her eyes.
"For one thing, I am cold." She glared up at what she assumed was his
face, as it was too dark to make out. "For another I have some questions I
think you should answer. Why do you know my brother and why is he chasing
you, and why are we going to Chicago?"
Heero continued to stand as he digested what those questions could
implicate. There was no need to tell her why they were going to Chicago,
because then she would want details and the details would alarm her. Yet,
to explain why he knew her brother led in to why they were going to
Chicago. Perhaps if he just told her some, then she wouldn't bug him for
more. The main reason he was even considering telling her anything was
because if she didn't hear it from him, she would hear it from her brother.
Somehow, the facts would probably sound all the more incriminating without
the context in which he committed them. Retaining her good opinion had
suddenly become a priority.
And she was cold too. Didn't ask much did she? Just to have him bear his
soul and deny his body. Had anyone every bothered to explain certain
things to her? Didn't the new progressive education include frank
discussions about the physical ways of the world? Maybe she hadn't had a
progressive education. Whatever the reason, in the end he was cold too,
and it couldn't hurt to indulge for a little while. She practically melted
into him as he rested next to her, the both of them supported by the crate
"I lied about my age to get into the army early." He could do this in a
minimum of words. He had to. Heero knew that the more he talked the
harder it would be. "I got in on some of the first drafts. My base was
heavily chosen from to be shipped over right away. We were put in with a
French company. Eventually there were only a few left. . the ones who had
listened to those French men. Our men were consolidated and reassigned
under a captain named Barton." His throat felt dry. It had been a long
time since they had had some water. Was Relena this dehydrated too? "I
was assigned to be a sniper. The Germans got upset when we fired during an
Relena looked confused. She needed more explanation.
"The French and the Germans had a system worked out. They would fire on
one another during certain times and rest at others. Everyone was worn
out. It seemed the best system. Most Americans didn't understand."
Somehow her hand had sneaked over and wound over his. She really was cold.
"I was always taking chances. One day I really flipped and wouldn't get
back in the trench. I don't know how their shots missed, but next thing I
knew I was in one of their fox holes, surrounded by bodies: theirs and
ours. The official report said I had gone crazy. I know, because your
brother showed it to me before he filed it. He said I should be grateful.
Grateful for the opportunity to fight for my country and behavior like mine
was a disgrace. He said he'd make sure I didn't hurt anyone else. I saw
the end of the war from the inside of my hospital ward." Solitary
confinement with meals brought to him. If his life hadn't been bad enough,
living in that hospital had made him feel inhuman more than killing ever
It was only a fraction of the story. Could she see the gaps? Would she
expose them? Her kind smile betrayed her knowledge of how incomplete the
information had been. Heero knew this, because her teeth shone in the
moonlight, even as it illuminated enough of her face to make out indistinct
"Milliardo never liked desk work. He probably saw it as his chance to make
a difference. Please don't hate my brother for what he did." Again with
the difficult requests.
"Hn." Rather than continue to speak, Heero pulled her head to his chest.
After a while her head sank down with the rest of her body as she went limp
in sleep. Tomorrow would change everything. Tomorrow he would see if he
lived or died. Before he didn't care, but now he almost had something to
fight for, as out of reach as it seemed to be. Heero smiled. Out of reach
and yet in his lap. How terribly ironic.
"Relena." Shaking that had nothing to do with the normal motions of the
train were what Relena woke to. It was unpleasant to come back into the
land of the living from the false warmth that sleep and dreams had
afforded. The grunge, the damp morning dew, the cold, and worst of all
over hunger - the thirst that remained unquenched from the night before all
came scurrying to the top of her mind. Secondary on the concerns was the
way Heero's hands were brushing rather familiarly over her body in the
attempt to get her to stand and move quickly.
Wufei had been right. In an 'all roads lead to Rome' sort of fashion they
had arrived at Chicago, the already infamous center of illegal liquor and
gangland activity. Having been warned of the dangers of this very large
city before, but never having been there herself, she found that any
misgivings were diluted due to the presence of a person who was even now
insisting they had to get out of sight before someone found and arrested
The word 'police' was better than a brisk walk or a morning cup of tea.
Relena found new energy to jump down out of the car into Heero's waiting
arms. They looked more respectable than the normal hobo and hence were not
molested by passing workmen unloading various cargo from cars. Some people
looked at them in a slightly odd manner, but Relena assumed it was just
because of their ragged appearance.
A little way from the train station the streets were a mess with cars
everywhere in various states of rushing. People milled around, some
looking rather higher up on the social strata than others but united
briefly with the more common folk as they all sought services from the
trains a short distance away.
"Do you know where we are going Heero?" Relena's apprehension showed in
her voice. Even if she expected him to protect them both she still worried
about other things such as the fact that her brother was after them, and
they only had a little less than a hundred dollars to their names.
Heero wondered if he should comfort her or if he should tell her the truth.
In the end, comfort won out. To prevent lying he merely stayed silent.
Somehow he got the idea this was no better than if he had told her he
didn't know where they were going or where to start looking other than the
fact that Trowa had mentioned a shop once long ago that his family used to
own. A flower shop in fact.
Being a rather direct sort of person when other more subtle means were out
of his reach, his first attempt to find out where this shop could be
involved him walking into the first florist shop they could find and asking
if anyone there knew a Trowa Barton. The sales lady looked about ready to
cry and said she didn't know anything. A large man came from the back and
looked at them funny and cracked his knuckles until Heero got the idea and
got out of there. Relena had been oblivious to all of it, having been
occupied looking at the flowers.
"Now do you know where we're going?" The question seemed to anger him this
time. Relena decided to keep quiet. She had other concerns at any rate.
Finally she got to go to a truly large city and see a buzzing life that her
own moderately sized town could only approximate. Now that she was here. .
. she felt deeply ashamed. Her clothes and face were dirty. She looked
starved and thirsty and about as plebian as they come. There was no
glamour in being a charity case and if she was going to be ignored and
looked down at then they might as well have stayed with the bums. Her
pride had never been this dented.
"If nothing else, a lady must wear her pride." She murmured.
"What?" Heero was distracted with keeping people from running into a
distracted Relena, even as he tried to find another florist. They would
probably have a few more miles to go before another shop cropped up.
"Mother always told me, 'if nothing else, a lady must wear her pride'.
Mother was very adamant that I be strong and never forget that I am a
Peacecraft, a noble and old family."
"Sounds like a difficult woman." Heero wondered if they were his words or
"Oh, mother isn't that bad. She just gets these ideas and then won't let
go. I feel bad because she's been so depressed recently. Up until a
little while ago she had all these crusades to power her lunches and talks
and society meetings. There was the war, and suffrage, and Prohibition.
But then in a matter of a few years they all got resolved. The war ended,
women got the vote, and Congress passed the amendment. Now she doesn't
know what to do with herself."
"Uh huh." He was almost listening. Maybe if he just asked someone where
the nearest florist was.
"I told her maybe she should get more involved with the church, but then
father had started laughing. Apparently, when they first got married, the
poor minister had begged her to either join a different church or have her
'Ladies Conversational Sunday Brunch' someplace else. It seemed more
people were showing up for the brunch than for his sermons. Mother does
like to talk. She put up a terrible fuss when I left college to take care
of Quatre. . ." Relena trailed off and got silent.
Heero had picked up on the last bit and stopped them in the middle of the
sidewalk letting the other people stream around them. Seeing a nearby
alleyway, he pulled them into it.
"Relena. Listen to me. You have to stop making a martyr of yourself over
him. Some wounds can be healed through the understanding of others, but
you'll never understand what keeps Quatre as he is because you have never
killed another human being, nor spent nights in a trench surrounded by the
dead and the filth of the living. Let him go!" He wanted to shake her.
He wanted to eliminate Quatre from her heart. Though she could do just as
little for him, he wanted the compassion she showed. Selfish, needy, he
didn't like the things she evoked in him but like it or not he had to
protect her until this was over, one way or another. The tears that leapt
to her eyes at the end of his short speech gave Heero a sick feeling
inside. Oh god, he was making her cry again.
As if things couldn't get any worse, some punks decided to pick on them at
that moment. A large man followed by two who seemed even burlier than the
first one eyed the two of them.
"Just in from the country? We know how to treat ladies right here in the
city. You should have stayed home on the farm." Heero recognized one of
the larger thugs as the man from the flower shop. So they had been
followed. Perhaps he had been on the right track after all. Relena
started to sob a little. Great. Like he needed a distraction like this
"So you do know Trowa Barton." He just wanted to know the facts before he
"Maybe we do. Maybe we don't. But that doesn't do us any good. How do
you know him?" Heero stayed silent while the men caged them in next to the
side of a building. "Suddenly go mute? We know how to make you talk.
Maybe the lady will know something. . . " Threatening Relena simply moved
Heero's aggression up a notch higher than he had originally intended to be.
Four shots, quicker than they could ever anticipate, and Heero had them at
his mercy. The first big goon had taken a skillful punch to the nose,
which broke it bloodily and knocked him over. The second big goon received
a punch to his solar plexus followed by a kick that most likely dislocated
his knee with an unnatural pop. The last man, who had enough time to start
to react with a punch found his hand caught by Heero's even as his arm was
twisted behind him and his face viciously smashed against the wall. Relena
was crying in a heap where Heero had left her. No one spared the alley a
glance and that was probably for the best.
"Where is Trowa Barton?" He pressed extra hard on the already straining
joint for emphasis.
"Oooms." The man tried to talk around brick. "Blooms! In the Irish part
of town! Just let me go. . don't kill me. . ." Worm. He wasn't worth the
"Get out of my sight." Heero normally would have taken the money off the
two unconscious men as the third ran off, but Relena was a bigger concern.
He reached a hand out to her.
"Don't touch me!" She hissed at him. "Mr. Yuy I demand you drop me off
at the nearest police station!" This was not a good time for a temper
tantrum. That little man was going to be back with more muscle and most
likely packing more than fists next time. Resisting the urge to just sling
her over a shoulder, he tried to reason with her.
"No one will believe you are who you say you are so long as you look like
that. Come with me and I will get you some decent clothes and a bath.
Then you can go to whatever police station you would like." Seemed fair
enough to him, though he didn't let her know that he'd be damned before he
let her go that easily.
"Very well, Mr. Yuy, I shall accept your offer." At least her pride
recovered even if she didn't. If he were ever in a situation to thank Mrs.
Peacecraft then he would do so for her useful advice that made Relena so
"I know where we are going now." He thought the answer to her repeated
question would at least spark a smile, but he was rewarded with nothing but
a huff and her rushing ahead of them until she was forced to stop and let
him lead again.
No other problems arrested their progress and they arrived in front of
Blooms at around noon after catching a ride on the back of some unknowing
trucks and catching some food at a deli. The place looked rather worn
down, but it was the only lead they had. Walking in, Relena reluctantly
following, Heero saw a pretty young woman with bobbed hair giving him a
"I'm looking for Trowa Barton. My name is Heero Yuy." The woman gave him
another long glance and then finally went in the back without a word.
After a few minutes a man came out, he didn't appear to be threatening
"Mr. Barton is not yet back from the wake, Mr. Yuy. May I give him a
message?" At least they were being treated respectfully. His thick Irish
accent made it difficult to understand him perfectly, however.
"Tell him, Private Yuy is finally reporting back to him about an unfinished
mission." Relena tried to hide behind him as the woman snickered at their
appearance. This was too humiliating!
"Very well, Mr. Yuy, but I warn you Mr. Barton is a very busy man and he
may not have time to - "
"Nonsense Sean. I always have time for an old army friend." Trowa walked
in, pulling at the collar of his shirt. His black suit attested to the
event he had just attended. His soft Irish burr was low but pleasant to
"Yes, Mr. Barton." Sean retreated back again as the girl began to make
eyes at Trowa. He seemed oblivious to everyone else as he clasped Heero's
hand in a quick handshake.
"I didn't think I'd see you again." He focused in on Relena, to her
continued embarrassment. His green eye not hidden by his hair widened a
bit. "Your wife?" Relena snorted. "Guess not. Come on upstairs, both of
you. I hope you have some good news. Today has not been one of my better
ones since coming back to town."
They walked upstairs and Trowa shed his suit coat once they reached the top
at an office. It contained a desk with papers in neat stacks with some
pens and blank sheets nearby. Pulling open the shade filled the room with
light from the midday sun and Relena felt a little less menaced by the
heavy atmosphere that existed between the men.
"Anything you want to say you can say in front of her. She has to stay
with me for now." Heero nodded at Relena as Trowa offered her a chair.
"Why are you here Heero?"
"I should think it would be obvious. I never got to report back to you."
Trowa seemed to consider this.
"What do you expect from me? Discipline? I should think you already had
"I want to know why. I have to know." Heero chose not to take the offered
seat next to Relena and across the desk from Trowa.
"Damn it Heero. It was a mess over there and you knew that. . ."
"Don't step around the issue. Was I right? Did they deserve what I did?
I don't think I can justify it even if I was right. Don't you understand
Trowa? I see it in my dreams, over and over again, our boys and theirs
laughing. It was the middle of a fucking war and they were laughing. Both
sides were dying every day and they thought the regular cease-fire was one
big joke. War wasn't some game. I had been hiding on hills, in trees,
crouched in ditches, on my belly behind bushes, and then I come back to
find people I thought were my colleagues drinking with Germans when those
same men had been firing on us hours before. I couldn't see!"
Heero slammed a fist down on the desk. Trowa didn't move but Relena
jumped. "I wanted their blood. I wanted it and then I was going to kill
myself to join them and end the whole damn mess. But you stopped me. You
ran over and gave my skull a crack that left a scar I can still feel."
Heero's hand rose on its own to his right temple. "Then you shot me in the
arm before I could bring my gun up to end my miserable life. Why? If you
have no answer for me then I'll be dead tomorrow if you like it or not.
I'm on borrowed time anyway." He crashed down into the chair, energy spent
that he had been storing up for this since he had entered that hospital
Trowa tented his fingers and considered the question. Relena, jolted out
of her self pity, quivered as she tried not to think of Heero killing
people, or of his savage beating of the men in the alley, or of his
battering of the men in the bank. How could she ever be safe with him,
when such savagery lay just beneath?
"It's true you had no right to play judge, jury, and executioner per se,
but I can no more condemn you for what you did than for my own actions."
Trowa's voice was level and soft as all his comments had been. "There are
no innocents on a battlefield. But I don't think you should kill yourself.
It would serve no useful purpose. If you feel in such need for
redemption, then either look to God or yourself. I'll not be your
confessor." Heero looked about ready to cry, but then he hid it.
"Then what now?"
"I can offer you a place in the organization, but I don't think that's what
you need. I have family here, and it works for me, but joining a mob would
only give you the grief of attending more funerals." Trowa got up and
looked out a window. "I hear helping others works for some. Others drink
when they can. Perhaps your lady friend and you can start a family. Don't
ask me Heero. I was just your commanding officer."
Trowa turned back, his eye kind. "But I can help get you back on your
feet. I'll pull some strings and hide you until the heat is off. I had
wondered if you would come here when I heard the police report. You have a
practical posse after you, headed by Milliardo Peacecraft no less.
Apparently, he figured you would come here."
"My brother was always better at guessing than reasoning. I'll bet he just
got lucky." Relena felt torn again about how she should feel about Heero.
Pity was currently in the lead.
"Your brother?" Trowa actually looked visibly surprised. Relena nodded.
"Hm. Perhaps you can tell me more about this next door. I think we all
need a drink."
"Er." Relena knew that this was 1. Illegal and 2. Something that nice
girls didn't do. Then again nice girls also didn't travel with escaped
mental patients or talk to hobos on trains or seek out mobsters. Heero
seemed to have zoned out.
"I'll get my sister to come to you, Miss Peacecraft. She'll find something
suitable for you to wear." That clenched it. Mob member or no, she was
not spending another second in this dress.
"I'm very glad to take you up on your kind offer, Mr. Barton."
Unreasonably, she felt a new excitement in her heart. She was going to see
a speakeasy! The den of hell itself, according to her mother. Somehow,
she doubted it would be that bad if a man like Trowa was the one who ran
Relena, who could not be persuaded to enter the speakeasy under any
circumstance before she had changed, was escorted to a small room above the
flower shop and told to wait. Heero and Trowa, without a glance back, left
her there. She looked around at the small bed and the dresser with nothing
upon it and got the idea that this was only a room for when someone got too
tired to stand up anymore. Taking a nap would be nice, after only vaguely
restful nights and weary and bruised bones, but it would not be appropriate
when she was expecting someone to arrive soon. Trowa's sister, Relena
thought to herself, I wonder what sort of person she is.
With nothing much to fuel that line of thought it was far easier, but much
more stressful, to ruminate on the things she had just learned only minutes
ago about Heero's past. He admitted to murdering a bunch of his own
comrades in arms as well as bunch of Germans in cold blood. Maybe insanity
could explain it, but she could not understand a lot of what could motivate
someone to behave like that. Something told her this could have a bit to
do with why Quatre would not respond and why so many men who came home
seemed to look so lost.
Or so angry.
Her father, who had always preached about staying out of the war not from
solely a sense of isolationism but from a deep commitment to his belief
that war was wrong, said that it took away our humanity. People like
Quatre and Heero seemed to prove him right in one sense while people who
were rousing up trouble across the country in the name of stamping out
Bolshevism and promoting racial superiority proved it in a different
manner. Perhaps things like that were already brewing and the war simply
helped dredge it out, but whatever the cause they had to deal with the
It hurt to admit she did not know how to help. Quatre had become her
mission partly out of loyal friendship and partly because it meant she did
not have to entertain any other suitors. Heero was right; she was
martyring herself without good reason because it had a lot of elements of
the selfish. It was right to visit her friend and help him. It was wrong
to make that all her life was. When had she lost focus? Her life was
slowly spiraling into smaller swirls that ended in that one visit a week.
It was time for a change. Even Heero could use her help far better than
There was a thought. Why not help Heero?
She already missed him, having been in his company for quite some time
solidly. His presence was so natural, even if it had not started out that
way. In her heart she was glad he had abducted her and glad that had come
to Chicago together not just for the adventure, but because he was better
company than she had had in a while. He had real thoughts and real issues
and the pain he was in contrasted starkly with her own, making it so frail
and fake by comparison. This was a man she would bleed for, and she wasn't
entirely sure why that thought occurred to her. When they talked it felt
like she was saying more than she had in years.
And there was also the embarrassing truth that she had kissed him once
already, even if it was innocent. You just didn't do that, but emotion and
a new desire to touch and be touched had clouded her. Physical contact was
for the lower classes, right? Etiquette books and the rules of propriety
had always been enough before. She could look down on all those people who
snuck off and did lord knows what in the bushes at parties. Used to be she
would never even consider it but now she was wondering if perhaps she was
being just a bit. . . prudish.
The door opened and Relena turned wide eyes to meet the smiling form that
greeted her. Short perm, tightly curled, red brown hair. Tight green
dress with fringe following the sway of hips that pushed above the low
waisted but high hemmed garment. Bangles, necklaces, lipstick, rolled
stockings. . . this must be Trowa's sister. Even if the picture she
presented was shocking to her senses, Relena was willing to give anyone a
"I'm Catherine, I suspect you're Relena?" Relena wished there had been a
mirror. She knew she must look a fright. "Don't worry honey! We'll have
you dressed to the nines in no time." Catherine's accent was thicker than
Trowa's, and she looked older too, despite her garb.
"I'm so sorry to inconvenience you. These clothes were purely an
"Huh. Hear you talk and everyone will know what's up. You better get with
it and be a little less keen to use large words." Catherine ushered in a
woman who carried a bowl and pitcher as well as a mirror and towel.
Catherine, Relena noted, carried a bag. "But first of all, we're going to
clean you up. It's lucky you seem to be about my size, though you might
have to squeeze in a bit below. You're hips are bigger than mine." Relena
bristled a tad, but she knew that the woman was not trying to belittle her.
"What are you going to do with those?" Nervously, Relena eyed the scissors
and many bottles and compacts that Catherine pulled out of her bag. "You
are NOT cutting my hair."
"Don't worry, missy! Just a trim. Then we'll do your makeup while Sarah
gets a dress for you." The girl nodded and made her way out. "Now get out
of that monstrous sack and we'll get you fixed up."
They used a couple pitchers of water to wash Relena's hair and face.
Catherine left the room while Relena scrubbed her body as well. Having
completed the cleaning process, and wearing nothing but a slip, Catherine
trimmed the bottom of her hair (complaining all the while that a shorter do
was all the rage) and they started on the makeup. Once the dress came,
Relena was feeling rather dangerous and glamorous.
Catherine presented her with an elegant red and black evening gown. It was
long too, so Relena didn't have to learn how to roll her stockings
(Catherine tried to demonstrate but it just didn't take). All ready, it
was sunset and soon they would go to the club for dinner. Catherine had
given her lots of incidental gossip about people she didn't know but could
possibly meet while there, so Relena felt somewhat prepared. Her social
graces were well trained and surely they would be well received in any
situation. Catherine went off to change into an evening dress for herself
and Sarah led Relena down to meet the men. What greeted her shocked her:
Heero in evening dress. If she knew that her appearance shocked the hell
out of him too she would have been more pleased.
He hadn't known what to expect. More worried about what she know knew of
him than how she would look when they next met, the thought of Relena had
been invasive and nerve-wracking. Now here she was, looking as beautiful
and alluring as he could have imagined, and just tonight he could pretend
that she was glad to be with him. A fine figure of a woman, she was too,
as the dress hugged her a little more tightly than he liked to see. Other
people looking at her simply was not acceptable, as even Trowa's arched
eyebrow in her direction made him want to punch his commander very hard.
"Pistols at dawn?" Trowa said under his breath as he met Heero's glance.
Once Catherine descended, they made their way over to the club. It was
only just starting to pick up for the night and the band hadn't yet set up
entirely. Some appetizers and drinks were served. Trowa must have ordered
ahead of time, not that they would have had to wait long in any case. Not
in the company they were currently keeping.
"So what do you do, Mr. Barton?" At once Relena realized what she had
asked and whom she was talking to. Maybe the social graces didn't serve so
well for polite conversation.
Trowa smiled and Catherine laughed. "I sell flowers. You'd be surprised
how lucrative it is." The music finally began and Relena tried to find a
"Do you like Chicago? I hear it's a frightfully exciting place."
"Frightful is right, Lena." Catherine gave a funny smile as she sipped her
whiskey. "A week doesn't go by that there isn't some shooting in the
paper, and if that wasn't enough fun for you there is always the riot going
on or Bolshies being knocked around."
"Don't listen to my sister. It's just a city like any other. You'd find
similar violence anywhere. It simply makes the papers more often here."
Trowa threw his sister a glance to stop trying to scare their guest.
"You have a very nice, hm, establishment." Relena persevered through the
"Why thank you, Miss Peacecraft." Trowa's smile almost glowed and it lit
with a rare added sense of humor as Heero bristled at him for looking so
enamoured of Relena in that moment. His friend was just too easy to tease.
The entrées arrived and talking ceased as they listened to music and ate.
Catherine excused herself to go talk to some of the girls who were filing
in. The place was filled rapidly. A man came and whispered something into
Trowa's ear not long afterward and he slipped away with an apology. Heero
and Relena were left now, alone, at the table.
"Care to dance?" Relena was hopeful. She very much wanted to dance and
hadn't had the chance in so long.
"I don't dance."
"Oh please? I have something to tell you and it will be easier on the
dance floor." Heero, though sure it was a bluff as well as a bribe,
relented after a bit more pushing and led her out onto the floor for a slow
song. Couples were cheek to cheek, and as they closed the gap between them
a bit, Heero felt his skin burn everywhere he touched her.
"What did you need to tell me?" He was feeling light headed, even if he had
only had a couple drinks with dinner.
"Hm? Oh yes. You look very handsome." She pressed in closer and Heero
swore that she was the most confounding woman he had even laid eyes on.
"That's hardly important."
"It's important to me, because you are important to me. I've been thinking
about it all night and I don't care what you've done Heero. I actually
feel alive with you." He could feel her heart beating, they were pressed
together so closely and he hoped she couldn't feel his.
"Relena, you're just carried away by the excitement of the past few days."
Shut up. Let something nice happen to you for once, his brain pleaded.
"Tomorrow morning I'm going to leave you with Trowa and I am leaving for
Canada." Relena stopped moving, and there they stood on the dance floor,
others laughing and moving around them.
While they were motionless on the floor, Trowa was speaking to some cops in
the back. They had started out with the usual business but they had some
extra information that interested him greatly.
"We're sorry, Mr. Barton, but we can't stop them from busting in here.
This Peacecraft fellow called in a favor with Chief Kushrenada. That's way
above our heads. If you can get the girl out we can tip them off and lead
them away, but otherwise you'd better get out of here."
"Thanks boys," Trowa said as he slipped them an envelope. "I'll remember
this next month and there will be a little bonus in it for you."
"Much obliged Mr. Barton. You're a stand up guy." One of the cops
volunteered in a chipper manner.
"Tell them you spotted Yuy and Miss Peacecraft catching a cab one block
from here and heading north. I assure you they will not be here should
anyone deign to enter."
"We'll get right on it, Mr. Barton." They tipped their hats to him and
Trowa made his way to the now still figures on the dance floor just as the
song was ending.
Heero turned towards his friend, giving his full attention, while Relena
looked down at the ground. Her eyes burned, but she refused to cry this
time. It wouldn't do her any good and wouldn't make her feel any better so
there was little point to it. Trowa and Heero spoke in low whispers for a
moment or two, but by the time the next song's intro had finished she found
herself being pulled backstage by Heero who was following Trowa.
"Good luck. You know my door is always open. Just wait for the heat to
dissipate a little before you visit next time." Trowa grasped Heero's hand
firmly and the two men exchanged a glance as Trowa opened up the back
entrance into an alleyway. "Don't worry about the dress Miss Peacecraft.
My sister has more than enough garments, and I suspect she'll use this an
opportunity to get me to buy her more." With a slight incline of his head,
he watched them disappear into the alley. Things would get trickier from
there for the both of them.
They had taken a cab north and then south and now they were hiding in an
alcove, watching men run this way and that, shouting at one another about
the findings of their search. These cops were certainly more effective and
more plentiful than the ones they had encountered previously. Relena
shivered in her thin dress.
"Do you have to go to Canada?"
"This is not the time to discuss this Relena." He made a motion to his
lips for her to be silent.
"It's just that I think I want you to stay. . . with me." Heero's
happiness level skyrocketed and then plummeted as reality, like gravity,
brought him violently back to earth.
"Whatever you may think, I was just protecting you because it was my
obligation. There can't ever be anything between us." It was harsh. It
was a lie, but it contained some truth and hence it was all the more
acceptable. He really thought there was no way for them to be together,
but he would die before he let anything happen to her and he had a good
idea that it was much more than obligation that spurred his protective
instinct. This was the woman he had obsessed over for months. Half in
love with her then, he had no chance to resist once he had spent some real
time with her.
"Oh." Her body was shuddering, but she didn't appear to be crying. The
expression in the moonlight was one he recognized for he had seen it more
often than not: despair. He had broken both their hearts.
The yells died off, and the cars moved on, but Heero had made a decision.
If he couldn't have Relena - he didn't want much of anything anymore. This
wasn't his world anymore. Standing, he led them both out in the open.
Catching a cab, he took them straight downtown to the police station there.
Relena, as she realized what he was doing, began to struggle.
"No! I won't go back! Not like this!" She pulled against him as cops
passed by them, not registering that these well-dressed people were sought
"Stop it Relena. It's how it has to be. I'll go back to the hospital or
prison, and you'll go home. We'll both be in a better place." They are
sure to put me in solitary for what he'd done. If not, he would soon get
himself put in solitary. Anything to forget.
"If I'm a martyr then you're playing God! We're together on this and I
refuse to let you go. I'll follow you to hell Heero Yuy, see if I don't,
but you can't get away from me!" Several cops halted in their tracks at
the sound of the name of the man so many of them were seeking.
"Sir, please come with us." Several of them approached him warily. They
had heard what he did the last time someone had tried to apprehend him.
Relena tried to hide her face in his chest and bunches of his suit jacket
were clenched in her fist as she willed this not to be true. As they were
pulled away from one another, (literally pried, as Relena wouldn't let go)
she couldn't help but glance down in wonder at her hand. His handkerchief
had stayed with her from her clutching at his jacket and it was none other
but her own that she had bound his wound with days ago. It bore her
initials and a faint bloodstain so it was unmistakable.
"You rotten liar," she mumbled to herself as they were led away from one
another. "You rotten, rotten liar."
Milliardo Peacecraft paced back and forth in front of the prisoner. He was
about ready to burst with anger.
"Well, Mr. Yuy," he spat the hated name out. "It seems that my sister and
you both have very different accounts of what happened. Now, if I am to
believe her," and here he consulted a clipboard. "She 'convinced you to
kidnap her even though you were reluctant to do so all as an attempt to get
some attention.' This does not sound like my little sister at all. What
sort of influence do you have over her to give such a blatantly false
statement when yours is more close to my understanding of the truth of the
"Relena will do as she likes. I can't force her to do anything."
"You will speak of her as Miss Peacecraft, and may I remind you that it is
only her good word that will keep a rope from around your neck so you had
better come clean." Milliardo looked like he was just one step away from
violence, but Heero had nothing to give him that he hadn't already said.
"Very well!" Milliardo continued to pace more furiously. "Then I can do
nothing for you. People like you make me ill and I hope that they throw
away the key to your cell next time." He stalked out.
All things considered, Heero thought that had gone quite well.
He was back in the hospital. The room that had been his world for so long
became so once again after his little 'vacation'. But now there were bars
on everything, and heavy locks that could only be accessed from the
outside. Already he had figured out a way to break out, but there was no
reason. There was nothing out there for him, the war and his own
bloodymindedness had seen to that.
The click of heels in the hallway made him think of her again. It was the
102nd time that day, and it was only noon. His meal would be given to him
soon. Maybe he should ask for some books or something, now that plotting
and brooding had fallen to distant seconds in his mind to. . . her.
The door opened and closed. He continued to lie on the bed, pretending to
sleep. Someone coughed and he looked over, startled that anyone lingered
in his room.
"Relena?" Great. Now maybe he really was going crazy. Hallucination was
up there on the bad sign list of symptoms.
"Yes, Heero?" Maybe she was real. He got up and walked over to her.
Giving her cheek a little pinch she pushed him back sharply. "Hey! You
know, you're supposed to pinch yourself, not the figment." He gathered her
up in his arms and held on as if she would go up in a puff of smoke, which
he halfway expected her to do still.
"Well. . . I decided that since I was having so little luck with Quatre I
would try to help some other patients. And I think you could use a little
attention. Now that his real fiancé is tending to him, I'm pretty useless
"Dorothy. I cornered her a while ago and asked her some questions. She
broke down and told me after a while. We went to see him together
yesterday. I told him we were breaking up, and that I wished him and
Dorothy every happiness." Relena began to tear up. "He laughed Heero. A
real honest normal laugh. I think he might have a chance to get better,
but it wasn't be that did anything."
Heero felt his heart began to beat again. He had felt dead ever since he
had been shuffled from police station to police station until finally
landing back at his old 'home'.
"You sure you want to help me?"
"Something tells me you'll get better pretty quickly. . . what with the job
dad has for you once you get out." She looked a little ashamed, as if she
were afraid he'd reject her offer. "Milliardo is going to set up a
household in New York with his wife, and dad could use some help here. But
if you'd rather not, then that's fine too."
"We'll see." It wasn't a no, and that's all Relena needed to feel hopeful
about the future.
"Oh, and I have this for you too." She handed the handkerchief to him. He
had wondered where it had gone. "It was what betrayed you, I thought you
might want it back."
"What am I going to do with you?" He sounded annoyed but a rare smile
graced his features, lighting his unusual blue eyes.
"I don't know. What ARE you going to do?"
Winding his hand in her loose hair, Heero tilted Relena's head to the side
and kissed her with all the passion he had hid from her. Closing her eyes
and giving a little groan her hands pushed their way up his back as he
drove a knee between her legs and stepped in even closer. When it was her
tongue that invaded his mouth, he pulled away slightly in surprise.
"Did I do something wrong?" She had just been carried away in the moment.
"No." Heero ran his hands over her in a way that made her feel weak in the
knees. "I'm starting to feel rehabilitated already."