Leave Me Breathless by Hikari-chan
Disclaimer: I have a chemistry textbook that you can take. . . . .On second thought, you can´t take it. I have a midterm next week. Don´t sue, I don´t own either Gundam Wing or Sailormoon, and suing me will only give you a painful thwarp in the head, courtesy of my hardcover textbook.
AN: Hmm. . .it´s been awhile, hasn´t it? Heh heh, I´m sorry? University is a cross between insanity and work. Just when you think you´re done your work, the next week rolls around. *sigh* I don´t even really know how I found the time to write this up, though I could swear I didn´t write that much while in residence. Speaking of the chapter, nothing much happens in it, at least in my opinion. I think it could be better, but you might get a kick out of the last scene. Enjoy.
SilverBladeSilencer: Easy enough to answer. He *thought* he like Usagi, but he´s not in the same state of mind with Minako. As for Heero and Usa, they´re going to do what they want.
RubiiTsuki: It wasn´t a contest. I was curious, and thought more people would get it, that´s all.
obsession-101: Well, I´m glad. ^^
Kawaii Chibi Megami: Well, they´re in this chapter, so you might (or might not) like that. ^^
the Desert Fox: Nah, if she died, it would have been cliché.
Ice Blue Eyes: I understand the feeling. =/ If a guy asked me that, I´d probably kill him too.
Celestial Dreamblaze: It is, isn´t it. I wonder what they´re going to do too. Minako is about to get some help. ^.~
Timeless Enigma: Well, I´m glad somebody wants to read the subplot. I seem to get a lot of request for the main plot, even if I do like writing it. It´s nice to see interest in the rest of the gang. ^^
Chibi Horsewoman: ROFL. I should, just to get someone to make fun of Quatre. And for the record, I didn´t put as much tension between Quatre and Rei because I didn´t want their situation to be exactly the same as Heero and Usagi´s.
Shi: LOL. I always say that after I read unfinished chapter fics.
Minna-san: Okay, so after I reread all of your comments, I suddenly feel twice as bad for not updating earlier. I´ll just go hide in a hole now. Enjoy the chappie, even if it´s not that great.
Warnings: Relena-bashing, OOC-ness galore, not much happens, in my opinion anyways.
Chapter 15 - Be With You
The blonde-haired woman wrapped her hair into a towel before stepping into her bedroom, a pink silk bathrobe wrapped loosely around her lithe frame. She barely acknowledged the servant who walked in as silently as a mouse, dropped off her breakfast and morning mail on a tray, and left as quietly as he came in.
The woman sat daintily on the queen-sized bed and picked up the stack of mail. It was already considerably less thick than it should have been. The bills have been forwarded to her personal financial assistant, and the fan mail went into a box somewhere else in the mansion. Only the personal mail came to her room. There were a couple letters from her family, but it was one particular brown envelope from her recently-hired help that made her smile.
Quickly, she ripped open the envelope and skimmed the contents. Well, it wasn´t exactly what she was looking for, but it was definitely interesting, and could definitely be useful. . . if she knew how to use it.
She shoved the documents back into the envelope and stuffed it in the drawer of her night table. The day was off to a decent start.
"You´re doing what?!" Minako squealed loudly when Rei dropped her news at the breakfast table.
The raven-haired beauty sighed. "For the last time, Minako, I´m going to London with Mr. Winner on his business trip."
"Are you absolutely, absolutely sure it´s just a business trip?" Minako teased, trying to lighten her own depressed mood since yesterday night.
"Minako," Rei growled warningly. "I´m Mr. Winner´s secretary."
Minako sighed. "Yea, yea, and you never hit on your bosses, even if they´re gorgeous, and rich, and the most eligible bachelor in Tokyo," she muttered.
Rei glared at her housemate. Sometimes, she wondered how Minako´s mind worked. "Your sister´s working at Aegis now. If you want to hit on Yuy so much, then you go ahead and be another one of his whores," she retorted.
Minako blinked. Rei was often angry when she made comments like that about Heero Yuy, but never had her best friend ever insulted her in her anger. "Are you okay, Rei?" she asked suddenly, concerned.
"I´m sorry," Rei apologized. "I didn´t mean it like that."
"I know you don´t," Minako smiled. "Now, tell me what´s wrong."
Rei hesitated. Would Minako think less of her because she had possibly fallen for her own boss? Then again, maybe Minako would be able to make sense of the weird feelings she´s been having. She didn´t think she was falling for Quatre Winner. Sure, he was good-looking, and a real gentleman, but he had a girlfriend, and that girlfriend of his was Rei´s friend too. How could she stab someone in the back, even if she liked Mr. Winner?
She sighed. "I think I like someone, but that someone has a girlfriend, who´s a nice girl, and becoming my friend," she summarized.
"Relationship problems," Minako nodded like a psychiatrist. "I see, I see. Do you know the girl enough to be sorry if you, for the lack of a better word, stole her boyfriend?"
"Minako, that´s a really low way to get a guy," Rei pointed out.
"But what if you never find anyone else you like?" Minako prompted.
"How would you know that?" Rei replied.
"You don´t," Minako shrugged. "But life´s all about taking chances. I mean, maybe the guy´s interested in you and watching for signs. Just because he currently has a girlfriend doesn´t mean he can´t look. And if you don´t really know the girl, how is it your fault if her boyfriend decided he likes you better?"
"But I don´t know if he likes me at all," Rei said.
"Then you´ll have to find out," Minako reasoned. "Honestly, Rei, look at me and my situation. I tried to set up a guy I didn´t know I like with my own sister. It can´t get much worse than that."
"Then maybe I shouldn´t be taking your advice," Rei laughed.
Minako stuck out her tongue. "It´s just an opinion, not advice. I just think you shouldn´t let the chance pass you by. Seize the moment and go for it. Don´t wait till it´s too late," she finished softly.
Rei´s look turned sympathetic. She laid a friendly hand on Minako´s shoulder. "Thanks, and I´ll try to keep that advice in mind," she winked. "And believe me, you´re not too late."
Minako smiled her thanks. "So when are you leaving for England?"
"Tomorrow," Rei answered. "Want to help me shop for things?"
Minako´s face lit up like a kid´s in a candy store. "You said the magic word," she grinned. "I´ll meet you for lunch at one, then we´ll hit the stores!"
"Hello?" came the answer from the phone.
The man hesitated, then internally sighed at his own behaviour. "Makoto? It´s Quatre," he finally said.
"Hey," was her reply. "I´m kind of busy right now, Quatre. The restaurant´s off to a really great start."
"That´s fantastic," he commented almost blandly. It wasn´t that he wasn´t happy for her, but it irked him that she didn´t even ask how he was doing. Sure, it was useless conversation, but sometimes, he needed that. He wondered if she knew.
"Is it important?" Makoto prompted him from the other end. "I should get back to the kitchen."
Quatre bristled slightly from his seat in his office. "I just wanted to tell you that I´m leaving tomorrow for a business trip to England," he announced.
"Oh? Alright. Take care of yourself, Quatre. Don´t work too hard," she reminded him.
Quatre smiled, despite his girlfriend not being able to see him. "I should say that to you," he laughed lightly. "I´ll see you then."
Putting the receiver back, he sighed, aloud this time. Yes, Makoto was indeed an independent woman. She didn´t need him to take care of her. That was a good thing, right? He didn´t want someone who hung onto his arm every second of the day. Then again, his traitorous mind muttered, wouldn´t it be nice if he could find someone who was a nice mix of the two types? Someone who was independent enough that they could take care of themselves, but also needed him in some way, sometimes?
He shook his head. He wasn´t being loyal to Makoto. He shouldn´t think about finding a second person when they were still dating. But were they really dating? They hadn´t exactly gone on anything that resembled a date since. . .well, high school. Their current relationship was anything but romantic.
Had Makoto been right? Were their memories just best the way they were now, sitting in the past?
She shifted a little in her half-sleepy state, feeling rays of the bright sun shining down on her. A cool air brushed her bare skin, and subconsciously, she drew the sheets closer to her.
Wait, sheets? She didn´t normally sleep with thin sheets as covers, and even if she did, they wouldn´t feel like silk against her naked form.
Warily, her eyes opened to meet the unfamiliar ceiling above her, and she suddenly remembered what had happened last night. A deep blush covered her cheeks, and she turned to her side to see if all her tossing and turning had awaken him.
Blinking, she realized that no one was beside her on the king-sized bed, and abruptly, she sat up, the cool air in the room attacking her flesh all at once. She yelped, then grabbed the sheets again and held them tightly against her body. Heero wasn´t that cold, was he? He wouldn´t just take her and then leave her without a word, would he?
A chill went down her spine, and suddenly, she wasn´t quite as blissful about her actions as she had been last night. Maybe it was the mood, maybe it was the stress, maybe it was just him and the comfortable aura around them. Absentmindedly, she glanced at the clock.
Past noon?! Her reaction could only be described as gaping at the clock on the night table. A pale yellow Post-It note caught her attention. It was stuck to the side of the clock, which made it stick out like a sore thumb since the clock was in a deep blue colour.
Moving a little along the bed, she reached out and grabbed the note. Meeting at 9. Be back at noon, it read. Usagi smiled slightly at the scrawled note. She had to teach him how to write. Then again, she mused, the note very much reflected his personality. It was very blunt and straight to the point.
"Are you finding anything particularly funny about that?" a deep, amused voice came from the doorway.
She jumped, instinctively clutching the sheets closer to herself. He was leaning casually against the open bedroom door, and she could feel her face flush as his eyes traveled down her feminine figure. The sheets clung to her, leaving barely anything to imagination.
"Stop that!" she snapped, cursing him silently for making her feel so self-conscious.
Heero´s eyes slowly met hers, and he smiled. She was so small in his huge bed. With her silken hair flowing loosely around her shoulders and only the sheets covering her body, she looked like the perfect image of a seductress, a temptress. His temptress.
"Good afternoon to you too," he murmured softly.
She suddenly fell back in the bed as though she had only realized what time it was. "Mr. Barton´s going to kill me for being this late," she muttered, more to herself than to him.
He crossed the wide space between them in a matter of strides. Seating himself at the edge of the bed, he grabbed the down blanket that she must have kicked off sometime between when he left and now, and covered her slightly shivering body with it.
"If it helps your state of mind," he murmured when she turned to look at him, "I made your excuses for you."
She gave him a skeptical look. "Do I want to know what you said?" she asked cautiously.
"Probably not," he replied, obviously amused.
Usagi blushed deeply. "Wonderful," she muttered, closing her eyes. "Alright, tell me what you said."
Heero raised at eyebrow at her. "I thought you didn´t want to know," he mused.
"No, you think I wouldn´t want to know," Usagi quipped. She opened her eyes and stared up at him.
"Point taken," Heero agreed, mentally going over their conversation in the past minute. "It´s not what you think I would say."
Usagi sighed. "Must you always be so cryptic?" she muttered, annoyed. "It´s too early in the morning for this."
"Correction," Heero replied, "it´s no longer morning, my dear chibi-chan."
"It´s morning until I have breakfast!" Usagi suddenly burst out, clutching the sheets to her and sitting up in bed.
Heero stared at her, then laughed suddenly. Unable to restrain himself for any longer, he succumbed to his initial impulse when he had first seen her lying on the bed. He gathered the woman, and the sheets around her, into his arms and held her against his chest, feeling her smooth, bare back under his palms.
She stiffened in his hold, and he pulled back to see what was wrong. Usagi´s face was contorted in a painful wince, and she smiled weakly at him when she realized he was watching her.
"Sore?" he asked, and despite the teasing smile on his face, she knew he was concerned about her by the tone of his voice, soft and caressing.
She nodded, not knowing what else to say.
"Why didn´t you tell me?" he questioned again.
"Tell you what?" Usagi replied, genuinely confused.
"That you were a virgin," Heero answered easily.
Usagi blinked, then bit out sarcastically, "Let´s have sex, and by the way, I´m a virgin. Yea, that´s great."
Heero managed to grin at her outburst. "I would have thought you were purposely trying to ruin the mood," he admitted, "but I also would have been gentler with you."
"So you didn´t think I was a virgin?" Usagi responded, a pissed off look passing over her face. What? He thought she slept around like some whore off the street? This conversation was definitely leading in the wrong direction.
Heero shrugged. "Not many twenty-three year olds are nowadays," he deadpanned. "In fact, some sixteen year olds aren´t even virgins."
"Not many," Usagi quoted angrily. "It doesn´t mean none."
A million thoughts ran through her mind. Was it because she hadn´t known him for that long before she had completely given herself to him? That had to be it; there was no other reason for him to think that she had done this before. Or maybe it was something she wore? Something she said?
Unknowingly, tears started rolling down her cheeks like crystal droplets. And in the brink of a second, she was buried in his arms again.
"Don´t cry," he murmured soothingly. "I didn´t mean it like that. It´s just. . . ." he trailed off, and for the first time in his life, he couldn´t find the right words to say without sounding sentimental and sickeningly sappy – two things he hated more than words could say. He sighed. "Let´s just say virgins aren´t generally attracted to me," he finished ironically.
"I can see why," Usagi muttered. She pulled away from him again and flexed her legs a couple of times, trying to work out the soreness she was feeling.
"Will breakfast make you feel any better?" Heero asked, brushing a strand of her loose hair behind her ear.
"What kind of restaurant sells breakfast past noon?" Usagi replied, raising an eyebrow at him.
Heero chuckled. "Get up, and I´ll tell you," he answered. "I don´t know where you live, so I took the liberty of sending my newest secretary down to the mall to get you some clothes. She seemed delighted that shopping was part of her job."
Usagi laughed. "I´ll bet! How old was this one, seventeen?" she teased him.
"I have not yet scared off all the women in their twenties," he replied. "She just came in yesterday, and she´s twenty-eight. Although she did seem disappointed that I sent her to get clothes about five sizes smaller than what she wears."
"I only hope she didn´t end up in the children´s section," Usagi replied, smiling.
"In order words, we hope she´s competent," Heero finished. "If not, she´ll set the record for being the first secretary I fire."
He got up while Usagi giggled. A few seconds later, a large shopping bag was held in front of her. She read the label and was amused to find that it was from the same department store Minako had taken her to the first time she was in Tokyo.
She took the bag from him, and waited for him to leave, something that he obviously had no intention of doing after waiting for close to a minute. He stood comfortably next to the bed with his hands in his pockets, watching her.
Usagi sighed. "Are you planning on leaving?" she asked finally.
"Why would I do that?" Heero replied.
"Because there´s a fire in here," Usagi answered sarcastically.
Heero raised an eyebrow at her answer. "You don´t mean what I think you mean, do you?" he grinned sardonically.
Usagi blinked, then rolled her eyes when the meaning of his words finally registered. "There are only two constants on men´s mind: money, and sex," she muttered.
"Who told you that?" Heero laughed, more amused than insulted, a fact that irritated Usagi more than she was willing to admit.
"Me," Usagi quipped. "Honestly, I need to change."
"How does that equal me having to leave?" Heero asked, watching as she scowled at him.
"Let´s see if I remember my high school math," she bit out. "A woman having to change equals an empty room. An empty room equals no men. No men equals the men leaving. Therefore, a woman having to change equals the men leaving."
"Amazing," Heero muttered with a quirk of his lips. "It´s changed vastly from when I was in high school."
"Which was eons ago," Usagi finished.
"Fine, I´ll leave," Heero decided, only half believing that he had just been tossed out of his own bedroom by a woman half his size. "But first." He pulled her towards him and captured her lips in a deep kiss, taking the liberty to feel her curves underneath the sheets when she kissed him back. And all of a sudden, he didn´t feel like taking her out for breakfast anymore. In fact, he didn´t feel like taking her out of bed.
"This is definitely unhealthy," he muttered, half to himself, when their kiss broke.
"Then go have some eggs. They´re good for you," Usagi replied teasingly.
"Brat," Heero responded, making Usagi laugh. Even after he had shut the door behind him, he could hear the faint sounds of her giggle.
He shook his head. She had the strangest effect on him. He felt ten years younger when he was with her, and all the things he had previously deemed extremely important were no longer his priorities. It was unhealthy, but it felt good, almost like candy. That thought made him smile. The woman in his room will definitely have something to say if she knew he had just compared her to a snack food.
"Minako," Rei started flatly, "that is lingerie."
"It is not!" Minako argued, bringing the long white dress trimmed with delicate black lace over to where her best friend stood. "You said you need to bring a formal dress, so I found one that I think is great!"
"That is lingerie," Rei repeated unequivocally. "I do not care which section you got it from or how great you think it´ll look on me."
"But everything you pick is so bland," Minako whined. "Solid colours, covers everything from head to toe."
"They do not cover everything from head to toe, and what is wrong with solid colours?" Rei demanded, frowning. She knew she shouldn´t have brought Minako to shop for dresses, especially dresses for a business ball she had to attend.
"Nothing, but everyone wears solid colours at business places. How are you going to stand out?" Minako sighed dramatically.
"That´s the point," Rei replied dryly. "I´m not supposed to stand out."
Frowning, the blonde took the dress back to the rack where she found it and continued to flip through the selection. Meanwhile, Rei had all but collapsed into the nearest cushioned chair. She had known shopping with Minako would take a long time, but she hadn´t realized that her definition of long is far different from Minako´s. Sighing, she thanked god that at least they had left the dress until the end. Otherwise, they wouldn´t have gotten anything done.
"How about this?" Minako asked for what seemed like the umpteenth time to Rei.
Warily, the raven-haired woman opened her eyes and glanced at the dress her companion was holding. She blinked a couple times before sitting up straight to stare. The dress was made of a red, satiny material, held up by spaghetti straps. The neckline fell loosely just underneath the collarbone, and Rei could tell that it would show just enough cleavage to be stylish. The hemline, which was trimmed with extra material to what looked like a flowery edge, fell diagonally from the left knee to the right angle.
"That. . .looks really nice," Rei finally admitted, earning a beam of approval from Minako.
"Try it on! Try it on!" the blonde urged, dragging Rei from the chair in the direction of the fitting room.
"Minako!" Rei hissed loudly. "My purse is on that chair!"
"Alright already," Minako replied. She shoved the dress into Rei´s arms. "You go try it on and I´ll get your purse."
Rei watched helplessly as her friend barreled through the racks the same way they had come. She shook her head and walked into the change room. In another few minutes, she was changed and staring at herself in the full-length mirror in the change room. Despite the fact that she felt a little uncomfortable with the neckline, she had to admit to herself that she looked good. The hemline showed off her long legs, and after living with Minako for so long, Rei knew with the right hairstyle, she would look both sophisticated and sexy at the same time.
She fingered the material lightly, deciding that she would get it for the business ball. Briefly, she wondered what Mr. Winner would say about the attire.
Minako practically skidded to a stop in front of the chair her friend was previously sitting on and snatched up the little black purse that was still on it. She was about to rush back the way she came when a voice stopped her.
The blonde swiveled around quickly, and would have lost her balance if the person hadn´t held her arm to keep her from falling.
Minako looked up in surprise to meet the concerned, indigo ones of her Duo Maxwell.
"Are you okay?" he asked, helping her to stand up straight again.
"Uh. . .yea," she finally got out. She stared at him for a moment more before the strange thing about the situation occurred to her. "What are you doing in a dress store?"
"Ah, I was just visiting a friend from high school," Duo answered. "What about you?"
Minako shifted nervously from one foot to another. What would Usagi say? Something witty, no doubt, but she couldn´t think of anything. Wait a second, friend in a dress store? A girl, most likely. The thought made her sigh aloud.
"Nothing," she muttered, turning to walk away. "I was just looking around."
Duo frowned. Something was really wrong with Minako. He just wished he knew what it was. A tap on his shoulder jolted him from his thoughts. He glanced at his side to see a silvery-haired man in an impeccable white suit standing next to him.
"Artemis, how´s it going?" Duo greeted half-heartedly.
"Thanks for sounding concerned," the man muttered, rolling his eyes.
Duo feigned hurt. "What do you mean? I meant what I said," he protested.
"I know. You just didn´t sound like you meant it," Artemis explained.
This time, it was Duo´s turn to roll his eyes. The now twenty-nine year old man hadn´t changed a bit since their high school days, when he tutored Duo in everything, basically speaking. He was still as technical as ever, a fact that led Duo to wonder how he ever got a girl as creative as his wife to fall in love with him. Artemis Lockhart was as left-brain as one could get, and judging from the dresses hanging around them, his wife was as right-brain as one could get.
"Please, no more of this technical junk," Duo stated. "I thought you said we were just going to catch up."
"I did," Artemis admitted. "And I wanted to break some news to you, seeing that you´re one of the few high school friends I still keep in touch with."
Duo nodded, following the silver-haired man towards the back of the store, where his office was. The desk was annoyingly clean, at least in Duo´s opinion, and every piece of paper was tucked neatly into the various folders stacked on the desk.
"How´s the business going?" Duo asked, even though being in the entertainment business, he already knew that the Lockhart line of clothes was very popular with his female coworkers.
"Very well," Artemis replied, "but you already knew that."
Duo groaned. "Alright, moving on, what´s the news?"
"I´m going to move back to Japan," the man announced without so much as a twitch of his eye.
"That´s nice," Duo mumbled, his attention suddenly drawn to the female figure moving past Artemis´s office outside.
Artemis rolled his eyes again. This always seemed to happen with Duo. He studied the woman that seemed to have his friend´s undivided attention, and recognized her as supermodel Minako Aino. He remembered his wife designing a few formal dresses for her when she debuted.
Suddenly, a loud cry of "What?! You´re moving back to Japan?!" shook him out of his trip down memory lane.
Artemis sighed. "Delayed reaction seemed to be common with you, Duo," he commented.
"Hey, I was distracted," Duo protested.
"I know," Artemis replied. "I´m surprised you haven´t made a move yet."
"Huh? We´re just friends," the braided boy pointed out.
Artemis raised an eyebrow. "You don´t stare at me like that and we´re friends," he pointed out.
"That´s different," Duo argued. "You didn´t change personalities on me in twenty-four hours."
"Right," Artemis agreed, "and I´m not female and you´re not gay."
"Hey!" was the protest.
Wordlessly, Artemis stood up from his chair and headed for the door.
"Where are you going?" Duo asked.
"To see what kind of woman would have that kind of effect on you," Artemis answered calmly. "And to see if you have any chance at all."
Before Duo could say another word about his relationship, or lack thereof, with the supermodel, his so-called friend was out of the office and the door had slammed shut behind him.
End of Chapter 15.
AN: Well, as you can see, I´ve laid off on Heero and Usagi, for the moment anyways. You can be sure they´ll be back a few chapters later. Next chapter will have more subplot. (Yea, I know I´ve said it before, but this time, I´ve set it up right so I´ll talk about them.) Anyone like my addition of more characters, aka more chaos? =D I didn´t do it on purpose, I swear! I wonder how I´m going to resolve all this at the end. . Sooo, please contribute to the can o´ ideas and REVIEW! Thank you. ^^v