Author's Note: 'ello everyone! Welcome to my new baby. This story is structured around the plotline in "Utena". It's not really a crossover but I was watching Utena and couldn't help put place Heero and Relena in Utena and Anthy's place. Yes, I'm a nerd, I know, but I'm also a total romantic and this story was crying to be written so I had to! *grins* Some things you might recognize from the Utena series, some are totally my own original ideas. As usual, I will be incorporating traditional couples so if you don't like that RUN AWAY NOW! *waits* Okay, now, for those of you who like Heero and Relena, rejoice! for this tale is stocked full of them. Tee hee. Anyway, I encourage all of you to watch the Utena series as it's a beautiful story. I just couldn't help but wanting to use the GW characters in the same setting. I hope you enjoy but if you don't, please be kind enough not to rip me to pieces. I bleed easily. *blinks innocently* Other than that, have a great day and Happy Readings!
Disclaimer: Are you crazy? Of course I don't own Gundam Wing!
Dedicated to KMF and Iris for putting up with me. ^_~
* * * *
Eternity In His Hand
Heero Yuy leaned against the railing of the bridge, arms against the intricate guard rail as his dark gaze drifted over the swiftly moving water rushing beneath him. He was not thinking about anything particular, his school satchel forgotten at his feet. The day itself was one of forgetfulness, bright and sunny, meant to be enjoyed with lazy walks in the park or peaceful naps on the warm grass. The students walking past him over the bridge towards the Academy must have felt the same way for they sighed to themselves and groaned about how much homework the teachers were going to lay on them. Some of the girls paused to glance at him before turning to their friends to whisper excitedly behind their hands, giggling as they continued on. The other boys seemed either envious or angry about the attention but Heero ignored them all, focusing on the surface of the water. It was a little like the lake back home but there the water was deeper, the surface as still and clear as glass. He almost wished he was there now, his hands cutting through the water with swift, sure strokes, instead of facing his first day at a new school.
As if to emphasize his thoughts, the bells in the tower began to ring, signaling the beginning of class. With an effort he pushed himself away from the railing and bent to pick up his satchel just as a whirlwind of energy rammed into him, sending him sprawling to the smooth stone of the bridge. Arms crossed under his neck and a cheerful voice chimed in his ear.
"Heero! Here you are! What are you doing? Didn't you hear the bells? You're going to be late to your first class! I'm going to be late to my first class! Heero? Heero!"
Trying to gasp in enough air past the choke hold on his neck, Heero managed lift his head slightly from the pavement, the weight on his back making it impossible to get up. "Hilde, air…"
A blush sprang to Hilde's cheeks and she scrambled off him, clasping her hands behind her back to smile at him innocently as he stood up and began to brush the dust off his uniform. Hilde's books lay scattered at her feet, dropping when she had flung herself at him in greeting. Realizing she wasn't about to pick them, he refrained from sighing and gathered them himself, holding them as a shield against any more exuberant hugs.
"I've been looking for you everywhere, Heero!" she chattered as he handed her books to her. Her navy blue eyes were bright with happiness, two slim silver clips pulling back her short dark curls. Her uniform was spotless, the short skirt ironed for perfect pleats, her tie lying perfectly against her white shirt. Hilde always took special care with her appearance, more so now that she was in an upper school. "I'm so happy that we're finally going to the same school. I won't have to worry about anything now that you're here." He and Hilde had been friends since childhood but had both gone to different intermediate schools. Now they would be attending some of the same classes and meeting the same people. Heero didn't know if he should laugh or throw himself off the bridge. He was very protective of Hilde, she was almost like a little sister, but sometimes her endless energy was enough to set his teeth on edge.
"You were worried?" he asked as he finally managed to get his satchel and begin walking towards the Academy. Hilde hugged her books to her chest and ran to catch up.
"Well, you know, it's a new place. It's so big and there are so many people!" She laughed suddenly. "And there are so many cute boys! What will I ever do with myself?"
"You'll keep your nose in a book and tell everyone you're studying to become a nun," he growled. Hilde only laughed again.
"Oh, Heero, you are so funny! But seriously, I wonder what…" Hilde's voice buzzed on as Heero raised his eyes to the gates of Sanq Academy. The school sigil was scrolled on the front of them, a large rose in full bloom. Banners with the same emblem waved from the bell tower and a front flagpole, making the Academy's graceful architecture seem meant for a castle. He had heard stories about Sanq all through intermediate school and as it filled his vision he realized he wasn't sure about his decision to come there. Sure, Hilde proclaimed that it was the hub of youthful society, she was already acquainted with quite a few students, but he had always been a bit antisocial. In fact, the only reason he had been persuaded to come at all was that his mother had wished it. For a moment, a swift lance of grief twisted his heart and he glanced down at the ring on his middle finger, the silver band gleaming with reflected light. The intricate rose blossom on the crest blinked up at him and he suddenly felt more confidant. It had to be a good sign that his mother's ring and the school's sign was a rose. Perhaps the term would turn out alright after all.
Looking up at the Academy again, he took a deep breath. What awaited him behind the silver-arched gates?
There was only one way to find out.
* * * *
Loosening the collar of his uniform, he unbuttoned the first few buttons of his starched white shirt as he slung his satchel over his shoulder and made his way towards the gym. He had a few hours before his next class and he thought he would check out the school's swimming pool. A few of the guys had told him he should join the swim team and he was seriously considering it. It would give him something to do in his off hours as well as a way to get exercise. He was already sleekly muscled from hours of swimming but he wanted to stay fit and the swim team seemed to be a good way to do that. Hilde just said it was a smart way to meet girls. Heero snorted at the thought. All the girls he had met so far fell all over themselves trying to flirt with him and he had no time for that sort. Besides, he wasn't even sure he liked the Academy yet. Better to leave off getting involved until he could make a clear decision.
Walking down the hallway of the second floor, he glanced briefly out the windows to the yard below and stopped dead in his tracks, something unusual catching his eye. Frowning, he walked slowly to one of the windows and pushed it open to lean out slightly, the breeze ruffling his dark hair and pushing it into his eyes. Brushing the locks away irritably, he watched the two people below him with a sharp gaze.
A girl stood in the garden below, a scrolled bronze watering spout in one hand as if she had been caught tending the many-hued roses that flowered whimsically around her. She was listening to a black-haired young man who was speaking rapidly to her but it was the girl herself that caught Heero's attention. She was slender and small, her head probably coming even with his shoulder if they stood side by side. Long cascades of sun-gilt hair hung to her waist and aqua blue eyes watched the man in front of her with a tranquility that surprised Heero. There was something besides the girl's peaceful aura that drew him, something about the way she stood, so still and alert, as if she was waiting for something that never came.
"Who is she?" he muttered aloud.
"Oh, that's Relena Darlian."
Heero blinked as Hilde pushed herself into the windowsill with him, her eyes on the two below. Heero made room for her, turning his gaze back to the garden.
"She takes care of the roses," Hilde went on, resting her chin on a upturned palm. "She doesn't take a lot of classes so you can almost always find her in the greenhouse." She pointed to a small glass structure, reminiscent of a delicate bird cage, in the middle of the garden. "A lot of the boys have crushes on her but she's so quiet! She hardly says two words in class."
"You have class with her?" Heero questioned.
"Algebra this morning. The other girls say she's very smart but she doesn't offer any answers in class." Hilde tilted her head on her hand. "A bit odd, really."
Heero's brows drew together. "What is?"
Hilde motioned with her free hand to the two students. "Them, of course. What's Relena doing with Wufei Chang? He's a member of the Student Council and a bit of a snob. He's on the fencing team too, almost all the Council is, and I hear he's pretty good." Hilde leaned farther out the window until Heero grabbed the back of her shirt to make sure she didn't fall. "What are they doing?"
Down in the garden, Wufei crossed the intervening space between him and Relena till he was standing directly in front of her, making her tilt her head up to look at him, the watering can between them. Wufei spoke more intensely and when Relena looked away for a moment, his hand closed tightly around her upper arm, shaking her to get her attention. Hilde stiffened.
But the sound of a resounding slap cut her off and she gasped as Relena fell backwards into the roses, petals flying around her, the bronze can clattering onto the garden sidewalk, water pooling from it's spout. Wufei took a step towards the fallen girl, his voice raising in volume till they could almost understand his words but Heero had seen enough. Without even thinking, he did a side jump out the window, a hand against the rim giving him enough lift to clear the sill. Hilde cried out after him and it was only then that he realized it was a good fifteen feet to the ground. By then, of course, it was too late but he managed to land in a crouch that let his feet take most of the impact. After a few seconds to gather himself, he straightened, his hands tightening into fists as he turned to confront Wufei Chang. The other boy was watching him with an incredulous look on his face but his entire body spoke of anger. Relena was watching him, too, he could just see her beyond Chang, her eyes both sad and serene.
"You shouldn't hit your girlfriend," Heero said flatly, pushing his fists into his pockets in an attempt to calm himself. "It isn't right."
Chang pulled himself up to his full height, black eyes snapping. "And what business is it of yours what I do with my…girlfriend? Who are you?"
Heero shrugged almost casually. "I'm new here but I know that hitting a lady is wrong." If Heero had thought his words would inflame Wufei he was sadly mistaken. The other man simply threw back his head and laughed though his eyes still spoke of hidden fury.
"A lady?" Wufei laughed again as he leaned over and hauled Relena to her feet roughly. The girl didn't make a sound even when Chang's fingers dug painfully into her arm, his knuckles turning white with the strength of his grip. "She's no lady, whoever you are, and if I were you, I'd stay out of Student Council business." Wufei brushed past him, pulling Relena in his wake. "Wouldn't want to make any enemies on your first day."
Heero glanced at Relena as she passed and felt a tingle along his spine at the blankness in her look. It was as if…she didn't care. He turned himself around to watch them go, trying to figure out just exactly what was bothering him about the whole thing. Chang had treated her as if she were nothing but property to him and she raised not a finger to defend herself. Heero looked back over his shoulder at the toppled watering can and breathed out heavily. Just what kind of a school was this?
From up above, Hilde's voice drifted down to him. "Heero, are you crazy? What were you thinking? He's a member of the Student Council for goodness sake!"
"Yes, I must be crazy to stand up to a member of the Student Council," he muttered to himself, watching the pathway Relena and Chang had disappeared down. "Just crazy."
It was definitely time for a swim.
* * * *
The balcony where the Council convened with a thing that marveled everyone who glimpsed it. Reachable only by elevator, the balcony seemed to grow off the side of the Administration building, a single unfurled petal of a rose bud still closed against the cold. Scrolled leaves and vines made a safety rail around the edge and a giant rose blossom was engraved into the floor with some rare mineral that glowed in the moonlight for those who could see. Not many were invited to the balcony besides those of the Council. It was against the rules for one thing, and for another, there was a clear view from the edge to the Arena Forest. The Platform wasn't visible, of course, since there was no duel scheduled, but the Council had always been careful to conceal what lay within the graceful trees of the Forest. It would not do for ordinary students to start asking questions.
From his position near the railing, Trowa Barton turned away from the hidden Platform as footsteps announced the arrival of the one he had been waiting for. Wufei Chang stepped onto the balcony with a practiced arrogance, standing directly in the middle of rose blossom on the floor as was proper, although he made it seem as if it were a concession on his part. Ever since the last duel, Wufei's attitude had grown more and more superior. Trowa had not thought much of it at first, Wufei had always been very sure of himself, but it seemed he had now gone too far. The rumors had reached his ears only that morning and since Wufei was a member of the Council, it was Trowa's job to rein him in.
Adjusting the thin gold cord that looped from the collar of his shirt to his shoulder, a symbol of his station, Trowa moved away from the edge of the balcony to stand by the pearl white round table near the middle, only a few feet away from Wufei who watched his movements with ill-concealed impatience. Deciding to make the other man cool his heels for a bit longer, Trowa turned to regard the girl standing by Wufei's side, so quiet others might not have noticed she was there. Relena was dressed in her uniform, her long unbound hair moving in the constant breeze the blew this high up. Her blue-green eyes were downcast, as was proper, his fingers laced together in front of her. As always, she seemed content to just stand there, awaiting the whim of the man beside her. An order from Wufei's lips was the only thing that would move her. It was her fate, of course, but he could almost wish it was any other man.
"Wufei," he said suddenly, watching as Chang straightened, "I have heard some disturbing rumors."
The other man looked at him flatly. "Really?" His voice seemed careless but Trowa saw something flicker within the dark eyes. "I didn't think you listened to what is whispered in the halls, Mr. President."
"I listen when the whispers concern someone on this Council. Your confrontation with a student this morning was witnessed and your treatment of the Bride is troubling. You don't wear a Rose Seal because of physical strength, Wufei."
A muscle moved in Chang's jaw. "I was within my rights, Barton. The student was interfering with the Bride. As the one in Engaged to her, it is my right to treat her as I wish." To emphasize this, Wufei pulled Relena to him, a hand in her hair. She suffered his treatment without a flicker of annoyance, standing completely still as he ran his fingers through her gold tresses. It was not a loving caress, but simply a sign of possessiveness. Seated at the table, Quatre Winner leaned forward but didn't look up from the notebook he was writing in, his white-blonde hair slightly obscuring the expression on his face.
"Don't abuse the Bride, Wufei," he said calmly, though the darkness of his marks on the paper spoke of his self-control. "You do not know how Principal Kushrenada will react if he learns of this."
Wufei scoffed and the Student Council Vice President stiffened and stopped writing all together. "Just because you are weak, Winner, doesn't mean I am. If you have a problem with my actions you should follow your precious rules and challenge me to a duel."
The sound of Quatre's pencil snapping seemed to echo against the building. It was Quatre who had lost the duel with Wufei two weeks ago. Trowa regarded Wufei harshly but the other man interrupted him before he could say anything.
"Relena, tell the President that you are happy with me, your Champion. Tell him that I will be the one to gain Eternity with you."
Relena lifted her summer ocean gaze to Trowa, her voice like a bird's, soft and musical. "It's true. I am happy with Master Chang and I will do whatever he says. By winning me, he will surely gain Eternity."
Trowa was sure he could hear Quatre's teeth grinding at this blatant use of the Bride's inherent obedience, and he was barely surprised to find his own hands clenched into fists. Wufei watched them both smugly before turning, his hand still in Relena's hair like a leash as they both began to walk away.
"As I said before, if you have a have a problem, duel with me, otherwise stay out of my business. The Bride is mine."
When Trowa heard the elevator descend, he turned to regard his Vice President. Quatre met his gaze with concern and frustration. "He's full of himself with the Bride's power. If he remains the Champion…"
"I know," Trowa answered, "But remember, a new duelist is coming. Perhaps he will be the next to be Engaged." Glancing down at the ring on his first finger, the Rose Seal glimmered at him, reminding him of his purpose. Whatever happened, Wufei would not be the one to bring the world Revolution. He would make sure of that.