"…And in other news, the Ex-Vice Foreign Minister Relena Dorlain seems to have

become even more of a recluse this season. She has reportedly refused all invitations to

the join in the Spring Social Calendar. Has the responsibility placed on the former queen

of the world coupled with the tragic deaths of her childhood friends pushed Relena

Dorlain over the edge of sanity? More on the story at 11."

The television screen went blank. "Blasted reporters. Must have been a slow news day."

The woman stood slowly from her high backed chair. She looked older than her 28 years

with sliver streaked honey gold hair and age lines around her eyes. The years of politics

hadn't been good to her.

"I could care less about their debutants…Stupid, catty women, all of them."

 She murmured to herself as she walked to the window. The sun gleaming off her garden

had once been a beautiful sight, but it had fallen into disarray in recent years.



~*~*~ Flashback ~*~*~



The sun was bright, hurting Relena's eyes. She stood at the window in her study, looking

down upon her garden. She could almost smell the roses. Time seemed to stop for Relena

as she gazed down at the peaceful scenery. In this small sliver of time the world again

seemed pure to Relena, untouched by human corruption, untouched by death...

Relena's gaze was pulled back toward her desk and the neat, ordered piles of paperwork

waiting for her. She needed to get back to the Harsons Aid Proposal.

"I just don't understand why every one is fighting this proposal so much." She stretched

out cramped limbs and massaged her tight back muscles caused by too many late nights

bent over a computer screen. She longed to go down to the garden and get lost in it's

wonderful array of plants and flowers, but security had been so tight recently that she

wasn't allowed to go anywhere alone.

"One threading letter. That's all it was. So, it described my death in great gory detail,

but really, all this security from one letter."

A movement down among the roses caught and held her attention. She watched a figure

kneel and began to tend to the roses she so adored.

"Trowa's down there. Surly no one would dare try to assassinate me with an ex-Gundam

pilot right there. Plus, this is my own garden and my own home..." She reasoned. Relena

grabbed a light jacket and headed downstairs toward the garden.

"Trowa!" Relena called out to him. The tall ex-pilot looked up and smiled at her. He had

been expecting her to come out at any moment.

"Paper work too much?" He asked her in a quiet voice.

"Yes, for some reason people think that giving aid to those countries that are still

struggling economically after the Eve Wars is bad politics. When will they learn that we

all have to take care of each other?" Relena brought her hands up to scrub wearily at

her face. When she opened her eyes again Trowa was standing right in front of her. She

gave a little start at finding him so close.

"Here." Trowa shoved a small gardening spade into her hands. "Don't think about it."

Relena stared down at the tool for a long moment after Trowa walked away. Then slowly

she walked over to where he had gone back to tending the roses. Relena's tension seemed

to just melt away as Trowa showed her the proper way to work with the flowers. The day

seemed to be going to well until David, a junior officer with the Preventers, and one of

her day guards nervously walked out into the garden. Trowa noticed him first and stood

up.

"Can I help you Officer Daler?" Trowa asked.

The young man fidgeted nervously with the front of his uniform. When he lifted his head

to look at them.

"I'm...s-sorry" He said. Relena barley heard him and stood up.

"What do you mean, David?" she asked him kindly, "If something's broken in the house

you don't have to worry. Wufei and Duo break things all the it-" She had been walking

forward while talking to the young man, but Trowa grasp her arm and pulled her back.

"Don't move."

Relena looked at him strangely.

"What do you mean? Do you think David's going to hurt me? No, Trowa, he's just

upset." Relena walked forward just a little more, but didn't get too far ahead.

"They made me do it. I don't want to but..."David was almost in tears by this point.

"Who made you do wha-"

"GET DOWN!" Trowa yelled just as Relena saw David raise his gun. The next few

minutes were a blur of motion that seemed like eons stretching out forever and at the

same time like seconds. Relena heard the gunshot and felt Trowa's weight land on top of

her. She could fell the tail tale wetness of blood between their bodies. In a daze she heard

another gunshot but she couldn't think of it then. All she could think of was the weigh

pressing down on her and the fact that Trowa wasn't answering her calls...



~*~*~ End Flashback ~*~*~

"No one has cared for the roses since you died 4 years ago, Trowa." she said aloud to

herself. "You made a much better gardener than bodyguard. But then that was only the

part you played, wasn't it?"







~*~*~*~*~

Pagan watched his young mistress wander through the mansion aimlessly. His heart was

heavily. In all the years he had been with Ms. Relena she had become more of a surrogate

daughter to him than an employer. He had been a trusted bodyguard to her father, King

Peacecraft. Pagan had carried her out of the castle during the desperate race to save the

children when the kingdom fell. He had aided and taken care of her during the Eve Wars,

shielding her as best as he could.

Seeing her like this, watching her become a recluse from the world of the living, made

him feel as if he had failed her and her great father. Relena was forsaking the land of the

present for the shadow world of the past. Pagan knew his Miss Relena was sinking deeper

into insanity by the day. Pagan knew in his heart that the mistress he had once served was

never coming back. Why let the world see her as less than she had been? Why let cruel

people take away her dignity?

"Indeed, why?" Pagan whispered to himself. "I can't… no, I won't let this injustice to her

go any farther…"





~*~*~*~*~

Rain pelted the window. Lightening streaked across the sky in bright, white flashes over

the ominous gray blue expanse. Relena sat on her bed and watched the sea waves crash

and roll over the sharp rocks that jutted out towards the sea. A sea gull got caught in the

terrible swirling wind and suddenly whirled in the direction of the rocks. She watched

with a blank face as its body was violently hurled against the rocky cliffs. Lighting

flashed and the power flickered out. Relena sat in the darkness without moving a muscle

from her current position. She didn't seem to notice the darkness of her room or the

raging storm that threatened to break her large windows blow into her room.

"Heero, why did you have to die?" The only reply she got was the harsh rattle of the

windows and her French doors that led to her balcony. She knew no answer would come.

In the years since his death he had never answered her.

"I was standing at the altar, you know. Waiting for you. But you never came. Later,

Milliardo told me you had died the night before. Not in a mission, but in a car accident. A

car accident. You could pilot that monster of a machine, but you couldn't steer around a

drunk." She stared deeply into the blank eyes of her teddy bear, the last one he had given

her, and laughed bitterly, her hands trembling. "The great Heero Yuy, defeated by a

person with no military training. Doesn't that hurt your pride?" She demanded. "Speak to

me, dammit!" She shook the bear; it's head flopping wildly from side to side.

No answer came. The storm grew worse, and the wind finally succeeded in blowing one

of her French doors open. Relena shivered slightly as a chilling wind rushed into her

bedroom, cutting through the thin material of her nightgown. Drops of icy rain came with

the wind, spraying the bed and carpet.

"S-so cold…" She whispered with chilled lips.

Pagan came rushing in with a lit candle, wrapped in a dressing gown. He had come

running as soon as he heard the bang of her French door being blown open. The wind

from the open door blew out the struggling candle and the room was again bathed in

darkness, save for the occasional flashes of lightening. Pagan began to fight with the

wind to close the door.

"Oh dear! Ms. Relena are you alright?" He asked at last when he had won the hard fought

battle, securing the doors with a chair shoved under the knobs. Relena didn't answer the

butler. She was still staring out to sea.





~*~*~*~*~

The next day, Relena sat in the drawing room as if she was expecting someone. She was

dressed nicely in a burgundy silk suit that hung slightly on her frame. Her hands were

folded neatly in her lap; she sat as still as a broken statue. Pagan entered the room from

the door at her right.

"Ms. Relena, your visitors have arrived." He announced. Relena stood to greet her few

remaining friends. For years now, her friends had come every Thursday to visit her, rain,

shine, or snow. She moved towards the door in lieu of greeting them.

"Sally, Noin, Hilde, Dorothy, how have you been?" Relena always felt a small seed of

guilt whenever she saw these women. She was, after all, the reason that their lovers were

dead today instead of here with them.

"We're fine…and how are you doing?" Noin asked politely. In recent years, their visits

had become a set routine, formal mannerisms and niceties in place. They only came

because of promises made to dying men. Something inside of Relena begged to shout out

the truth, 'I'm going mad…can't you see? The ghosts of your lovers haunt me…' but she

stayed quiet. Who was she to break years of tradition, after all? This little weekly

ceremony was all she had left of normal life with friends and family. The last memory on

sanity….

"I am fine, as always," Her smile was slightly twisted, "I've been keeping up with each

of you in the news. Sally, I congratulate you. The head of the Preventers after Une

retires!" Sally dipped a nod. "And Dorothy, how is the job of Vice Foreign Minister

suiting you? I trust the diplomats are giving you hell?" Polite but nervous laughter

followed her question.

"Yes Relena, they haven't changed much since you left." Dorothy tried to hide the pity in

her eyes. The Relena of former years was just a ghost of memory in this woman's face.

She really didn't know why she still made these weekly visits. They depressed her so

much that her therapist had forbid her to come, but still she couldn't stay away.

Relena nodded in acknowledgement. Then she turned to Hilde.

"And you, Hilde, I think I saw that your firm just got the contract to built the next two

space colonies?" Relena offered her first real smile of the afternoon to the young woman

before her. Hilde was the only one who hadn't blamed her for her lover's death. After all,

Duo really hadn't died protecting her…just because of her.

Relena took in a deep breath then turned to her sister-in-law. There wasn't any love

between them like in the old days. 'Noin you still can't forgive me for the way Milliardo

died, can you?' Relena asked her silently. 'Good, never forget… I certainly never

will…'


~*~*~*~ Flash back ~*~*~*~



Relena was sitting with Milliardo in the waiting room of the hospital. Well, she was

sitting, he was pacing.

"Calm down brother! She's going to be okay. The doctors said the baby was almost

here." A man caught Relena's eye. He was staring at her like she had something on her

face. She cautiously put her hand to her cheek. The man seemed to blink out of whatever

trance he was in and turn away. Relena noticed him reach into his coat pocket and felt a

moments fear. She looked around for Heero but stopped herself.

'It's been a year, but still I look for you…' Relena turned back to her brother and tried to

forget about the man in the corner.

"Milli calm down! She'll be fi-"

"LOOK…that man's got a gun!!"

Relena swung around. The black hole of the barrel was looming in her face. The man she

had seen earlier was frowning at her from over the barrel of the gun.

"I'm going to have to kill you Relena. I didn't want to...but you have been unfaithful for

the last time." His voice was pathetic and he did indeed look sad. Relena was confused;

she had never seen this man in her life before today.

"What do you mean unfaithful, sir? I haven't even met you before. If you could just put

the gun down, we can talk about this in a better manner," She tried to use a soft voice to

calm him down.

"I loved you! And you deny that you know me?" He shook his head and a tear slipped out

from his eye. Some part of Relena felt sorry for this man.

"You're going to have to die now. I told you I wouldn't share you with anybody!"

Although his hand was shaking he managed to pull the trigger. Relena was shoved

violently to the floor. A heavy weight fell on top of her, warm liquid covered her back,

and from that moment she knew her brother was dead.

~*~*~*~End of Flashback ~*~*~*~

"Relena dear, you've fazed out again." Noin spoke gently to the woman before her. Her

feelings for Relena were mixed and hard to understand. At times she resented her for

being the reason her husband died on the night their first child was born. Other times, like

now, she felt a swell of compassion for her sister-in-law. Relena seemed so lost.

"Oh, forgive me Noin…I was just thinking about…the past." Relena sighed and changed

the subject to something more neutral.

"How is M.J. doing? He's about 5 now, right?" Relena asked. She knew his birthday had

been three days ago; it was just something to say.

"Yes, and he enjoyed the toys you sent him." Silence stretched out between the women.

"I have an appointment at 1 today. So I must be going." Dorothy pointed out as she stood.

"It's been nice seeing you again Relena dear." She bent and kissed Relena's cheek,

noticing the how much more hollow her face had become.

Relena smiled as all the women prepared to leave her, but it didn't reach her eyes. She

listened to the sound of their retreating footsteps as Pagan showed them to the door.

"Did you all enjoy seeing them again?" she asked the silent room.

~*~*~*~*~ *~

Pagan was walking by the music room when he heard voices…well…really it was one

voice. Miss Relena was talking to herself in a most disturbing fashion again.

"I used to love sitting in here with you Quatre. Your music always soothed me when I

had bad dreams." She seemed to be focused on a corner of the room. Pagan hated it when

she got like this.

~*~*~*~ Flashback ~*~*~*~

Relena tossed and turned in her bed. Her dreams were filled with images of death. She

cried out and sat up. Relena was breathing heavily and cold sweat dripped off her brow.

The door opened and Quatre stepped in; he was her bodyguard for the night.

"Relena, are you okay?" His voice was soft, but Relena could see the moonlight from the

open window flash off the gun in his hand.

"Yes, it was just a nightmare." She placed a shaking hand to her face. Relena was once

again lost in the memory of her dream. It was filled with blood and crying. She felt the

bed dip to her right as Quatre sat down. He placed a hand over hers and patted it

comfortingly.

"Come Relena, you'll feel better if you get up and move around." He gathered up the

light throw blanket at the end of her bed to wrap around her shoulders...

They had walked in the garden for an hour at the most, just until Relena felt like trying to

sleep again. Quatre had left her at her door just as the sun was beginning to lighten the

sky.

"I'm going to go get some tea, I'll be right outside the door if you need me." He had

smiled the reassuring smile of his and Relena had felt as peace for a moment. Sleep, for

the first time in ages, had been dreamless and deep for her. Relena woke up feeling quite

refreshed, but that feeling didn't last long. Duo knocked on her door soon after she was

dressed.

"P-Princess? Are you awake?" His voice had a trembling note to it but Relena didn't

notice.

"Yes, you can come in, I'm just braiding my hair." She called out cheerfully. She

watched the reflection of the door opening from her mirror. Duo's long face was her first

clue that something was wrong.

"Duo? Duo what happened?"

"Quatre...he-he's..." Duo couldn't bring himself to say dead, it was all to soon.

"He's...gone." The sound of Relena's vanity chair hitting the hard wood floor echoed in

the silence.

"But...But I just saw him. He was just here!! You're lying to ME!" Relena went at Duo

with her fist, banging them into his chest. Duo just held her up and cried with her. After

what seemed like hours Relena pulled away. Her eyes were beyond red and puffy, but she

didn't care.

"How did it happen?"  She asked in a dead voice. Duo's lips formed a straight line. The

hardness in his eyes would have scared Relena if she hadn't been beyond caring.

"Someone slipped poison into his tea."

~*~*~*~ End of Flash Back ~*~*~*~

Pagan coughed to get her attention, though he knew that her focus would remain where it

was. "Miss Relena, why don't you come with me? We can go sit in the sun where it's

nice and warm." He reached for her arm. She jerked away from him.

"No! I don't want to talk to Trowa. I'm talking to Quatre." She turned back toward the

music cabinets in the corner. Relena threw an angry look at Pagan. "Don't you see him?

It's very rude to interrupt a conversation Pagan. Don't do it again." She gestured to the

butler to leave her. Pagan stood there hopelessly as Relena turned back to the music

cabinets and began to speak again.

"I'm terribly sorry, Quatre." Her voice was soft, with apologetic tones. "Pagan won't

interrupt us again. We can go back to talking." Her face clouded for a moment. "Even

though you never talk…"

Pagan shut the door on the scene. He was going to have to speed up his plans. Relena was

getting much worse.

"Don't worry Miss Relena. I won't let them see you like this. They will remember you in

all your greatness. I promise."







~*~*~*~*~

Relena sat in the dining room pushing the food around in her plate. She could see the

concerned look on Pagan's face. She knew he was worried about the amount of weight

she had lost recently.

"I'm just not hungry Pagan. Please, take it way." She pushed her plate way.

"Miss Relena, please eat a little more!" he pleaded with her. Relena hated the look in his

eyes. The concern and pity for her. She hated him for it.

Her mind suddenly switched to other thoughts. "I'm going to go see Wufei…." Her voice

drifted airily away. She was already forgetting about hating Pagan.

"Miss Relena you can't see him! He's dead! Don't you remember that?" Pagan shook her

gently, desperately trying to make her snap out of her stupor.

"Of course he's dead Pagan. He died in the bombing of the Brussels Embassy. I was

there!" She laughed at his foolishness.

"Then why do you insist on this fantasy? If you know he's dead then why do you insist

on talking to him?" he asked gently.

"But he's in the library." Her face crumpled and a tear seeped from the corner of her eye.

"He won't talk back. He just sits there and reads. Maybe one day…" She just turned and

left the room.







~*~*~*~*~

Relena was in the library reading a book, but she found it hard to concentrate on the

words. She heard the door open and looked up.

"Oh, hello Duo. I was waiting on Wufei. Have you seen him today?" The braided youth

didn't speak. He just made his way over to the window as she watched his steps closely.

He had still had a limp from his days as a Preventer when on one of his missions a bullet

had ripped through his leg, crippling him forever. That had been before he had died from

a fall out of a window.

~*~*~*~ Flash Back ~*~*~*~

Relena was in her office on the 24th floor of the Preventers building in Brussels. The

darkened remains of the Embassy were dark against the bright blue of the sky outside

Relena's window. Her mind drifted back to the day it happened... Wufei had been her

bodyguard for the conference. He had been nervous all morning. Relena had been too

preoccupied to notice though. It had been her last Peace Conference as the Vice Foreign

Minister. That night she was going to officially turn the job over to Dorothy. Then she

planed to never leave her mansion.

'Yes, finally time alone. Then maybe all these hallucinations will go away. Because I

can't really be seeing people that have been long dead. No, It's just stress.'

The screaming from outside the conference room pulled her out of her daydream.

"There's a bomb! Some one put a bomb in the building!" Wufei looked grim as he pulled

Relena up from her chair.

"I have to get you out of here." He told her when she started toward the front of the

room.

"No, I can't leave. Someone has to direct these people. I have to help them or they'll

panic." Relena was determined to get to the platform were the stunned Speaker of the

House had just fainted.

"I can't let you do that, Relena." Wufei said as he began to pull her at a run out of the

building. Relena tried to look behind her but it was impossible with Wufei pulling her

along. When they were a few blocks away from the Embassy Wufei slowed down to a trot.

Relena bent over at the waist trying to get some air into her lungs.  She felt cool hands

touch her arm.

"Relena, I have to go back in and try to help. Just stay here with Catherine." Relena

looked up, confused.

"Cathy?" Why was Cathy here?

"Your in front of your office Relena." Cathy told her confused friend. Relena was

shocked. They had run five blocks. It hadn't seemed like that long. Relena looked up for

Wufei but he wasn't there.

"Where's Wufei!" She demanded of Cathy.

"He said he was going back. What happened Relena? You were supposed to be there all

day."

"He went back! No...!" Relena stood up as if to run after Wufei but a horrible explosion

ripped through the air. Cathy dropped the bad of dounuts she was carrying and covered

Relena's body with her own. Although Cathy was just Relena's secretary she had been

trained as a substitute bodyguard for such a time as this. The last thing Relena saw were

flames leaping into the sky where the Brussels Embassy should have been.

"Why Wufei? You and Duo are all I have left!"  Relena walked over to one of the

windows along the wall, the one facing the burned out shell. She struggled to lift it all the

way. She wanted to feel the wind on her face while she was working. It helped calm her

nerves.

"Hi Princess! What's up?" Duo came into the room and sat on the ledge of the open

window. Relena frowned at his position.

"Duo that's dangerous. Get out of the window!" She scolded. Duo had been one of her

most constant friends after Heero's death.

"I heard about Wufei. I'm the only one of us left, I guess." Duo shook his head, "I don't

know if I can take it anymore Relena...This loneliness.... They were the only thing

standing between me and insanity." For the first time Relena realized just how old Duo

looked. He was only supposed to be 26, yet there was more grey in his braid than brown,

and the crows' feet at his eyes seemed to suddenly stand out.

"I'm just tired. Hilde doesn't understand...she thinks I should move on. That I should

mourn then let them go...but I can't Relena..." His voice faded away as be rocked back

and forth on the windowsill. Relena felt her eyes fill with tears when she realized what he

was saying.

"Duo..." she whispered.

"Tell Hilde I said I loved her, please?" His eyes pleaded with her to understand, to give

him just this last thing. Relena slowly nodded her head tears sticking in her throat. Duo

smiled, and for a moment he seemed 15 again. Then he was falling. Relena rushed to the

window as Duo's frail human body fell 24 stories to the ground below.

"Good-bye Duo."

 

~*~*~*~ End of Flash Back ~*~*~*~

She could still remember the look in his eyes as he fell. Relena had believed he was

finally at peace…. That was until she started seeing him again. Now he just wondered the

halls of the mansion never saying anything.

"I wish you would speak to me Duo. You always made me laugh." She leaned forward as

if this was one of the late night conversations she used to have with Duo before his

death. "Can I tell you a secret?"

"People think I'm crazy," she whispered with a giggle. "And I think Pagan is beginning

to believe it too. But I can't stop talking to all of you. That would be cruel of me. To

ignore my friends… my family…." She seemed to become confused for a moment.

"But my friends aren't talking to me. How cruel of you all. Maybe you are punishing me

for letting you die when I should have been the one." Bitterness and sadness crept into

her voice.

Duo turned around, and for a moment Relena thought he would speak but he blinked out

of sight.







~*~*~*~*~

Pagan was downstairs cooking lunch for Relena. Beside the pot of soup sat a little vial.

He picked up the vial of clear liquid, steeling himself for his next actions. "Miss Relena

please don't hate me for what I'm about to do." He shed a single tear as he poured the

whole contents of the vial into the bubbling soup.

"I just want you to be free again. Like when you were a little girl and you would beg me

to push you in the swing…." Pagan was over come by memories again. He hated himself

for doing this. But Relena needed him to free her spirit from the world that had treated

her so badly.







~*~*~*~*~

Relena looked up from her bed. She hadn't felt like getting up today. She gasped in

surprise. All around her bed stood the phantoms. Quatre, Trowa, Duo, Wufei, Milliardo

and Heero. They stood stiffly, silent as always, watching her room door. Relena turned to

see Pagan enter the room.

"Miss R-Re-" He cleared his throat to get rid of the shakiness in his voice. "Miss Relena

I've brought you some soup. Please try to eat as much of it as you can." He placed it

gently on the bed. Then he kissed her on the forehead.

"Miss Relena, you do know I've always loved you like a daughter. And I've always been

proud of you." He said fervently.

"Why Pagan, your feeling reminiscent today, aren't you?" She asked in a child like

voice. She suddenly looked around at unseen things around her bed. To Pagan's surprise,

she broke out in a bright grin. He smiled back, unsure of the reason she had done so, then

headed towards the door.

"I think they want me to eat your soup too!" She called out happily as he opened the

door.

Pagan closed the door behind himself. He leaned into it and finally gave in to the tears

that had been building all morning.

"Good-bye Relena."







~*~*~*~*~

Relena was feeling sleepy and her eyelids felt heavy. Breathing was becoming harder and

harder.

"I bet…Pagan…will…be happy. I…ate…all…of…h…his…soup." Her arms fell slack

on the bed from their position on the tray. She closed here eyes to sleep for just a minute.

After all, it was rude to sleep when you had guests.







~*~*~*~*~

Relena opened her eyes when she felt a tug on her hand. Heero was standing over her,

smiling. Relena sat up and looked down at the bed. Her body was still lying there

peacefully.

"I don't understand, Heero…am I dead?" He didn't say anything, just pulled her upright.

She could see all of her closest friends standing around her bed. She could feel the

warmth of the smiles on their faces. She felt complete for the first time in years.

"Relena, welcome home."

~*~*~*~*~*~



"...And in other news, the former Queen of the World and Vice Foreign Minister, Ms.

Relena Dorlain, has died today at the age of 28. There is no word on what may have

caused her death other than a long illness. Some of her most memorable acts as the Vice

Foreign Minister are the Anti-Armaments Act of 199 and the Harsons Aid Proposal of

202. Ms. Relena retired from the political arena at the age of 26 after the deaths of two

close childhood friends. The President has requested that a National Day of Morning be

declared for Ms. Dorlain. Further coverage of this story at eleven…."

I don't own Gundam Wing.