lyrics and music by Madonna
fanfiction written by: Icicle Raindream
Disclaimer: I don't own anything of Gundam Wing, so I'm not making any profit from this.
Notes: Well, here's a little Christmas ficcy for you guys to sink your teeth into! Sorry it's not all sugar an' spice and everything nice, but give it a chance and by the end you'll have your warm, fuzzy feeling inside! I hope you enjoy…and Merry Christmas! "^-^"
Christmas drew nearer. The inside of the ballroom of the newly reconstructed St. Gabriel Institution glittered with decorations, the ceiling wrapped in fine ribbons and random light bulbs in the chandeliers assorted colors, to add to the season. The strings of lights hung not only outside of the ballroom, but inside, too, draping lazily down over the cream-colored walls like icicles, shining crystalline white. The buzz and chatter of happily dancers and reunited friends filled the room, along with the celebratory clinking of glasses and the delicate nibbling of Christmas cookies and other such holiday foods.
I stood at the window, staring into the outside world, the white lights lining my new school reflecting on the equally white snow outside. It covered everything except the walkway, bumping and rolling over the hills of the front lawn and blanketing the branches of numerous trees. Faint sparkles shone underneath the cover of snow, indicating that the lights Quatre and I had struggled to drape around the trees were indeed still working. It should have brought a smile to my face, but I merely stared, taking in the sight of the snow planet before me, absently clutching my half-filled glass of champagne.
The kind voice startled me and I almost dropped my glass, my fingers slipping and allowing the liquor to splash over the rim onto my black dress. I looked down at myself and scrubbed at the fading stain, then glanced up at Quatre's sheepish face as he stood next to me.
"I'm sorry," he apologized, his cheeks reddening. "I didn't mean to scare you."
I smiled at him, wanting to wash away his contrite expression. "My fault," I assured, shaking my head.
"Miss Relena, there are people here who would like to speak with you," Quatre ventured gently. I knew what he was implying.
"I guess I'm being a bad hostess, huh, Quatre?" I asked, looking back out the window.
Quatre understood as he slid his hands into his pants pockets, looking out to the snow with me. "Penny for your thoughts," he offered.
I shook my head, tapping a finger thoughtfully against my glass. "I just thought things could be different."
"You can't give up hope."
I turned away from the window, Quatre glancing over his shoulder at me. I thought for a moment, then shook my head again. "Hope's already gone," I told him, and then left the window. I walked to the center of the ballroom to join my newly arrived brother and his date. I was greeted with familiar faces and family hugs, but it didn't make me feel too much better. There was still a hole that I couldn't seem to fill.
You only see what your eyes want to see
How can your life be what you want it to be
when your heart's not open
I chatted with Milliardo and Noin for a while, telling them about my recent exploits as Vice Foreign Minister, and with each breath I took, I could feel myself growing a tad bit happier. My brother was alive and finally settled into a life he wanted with the person he wanted, peace had been achieved for over a year now, and I still enjoyed my work. I had recently gained enough support and charity funds to re-open the St. Gabriel Institution, complete with restructured buildings, technology of our time, and willing teachers and students to attend. The school would open fully sometime in January, but for now, I had decided that it was the perfect place to throw my Christmas party. I wanted to bring everyone together again, for old time and new time's sakes, to close the gap after Mariemaia's coup. Only I was still empty.
Miss Noin pulled me aside after a few minutes, and she held out a tissue. "I think you spilled something on your dress," she explained, trying to make it look as if we were just having a friendly conversation, her face plastered with a smile. I glanced down at my clothing.
"Oops." I took the tissue from Noin and scrubbed again, having totally forgotten about the stain. My half-hearted attempt to get it out didn't work and I gave up, sighing. "I have to go change, I suppose." I handed her my unfinished glass of champagne.
Miss Noin smiled at me. "You go do that. We'll be fine down here."
I nodded to her.
"Zechs will keep everything under control."
She was teasing, I knew, but I needed the smile that spread across my features at her words. She grinned back and then turned to Milliardo, who was already engaged in another conversation with another person. I headed for the stairs and grabbed the banister, holding one side of my long gown so as not to trip myself going up.
Standing up at the second floor landing, I looked out over the ballroom, leaning my elbows on the railing and silently watching as friends and comrades danced and ate and talked. I noted that the pie I had dutifully struggled with but finally managed to bake was more than half-gone, and Quatre was bustling into the room, carrying another tray full of food. My mouth smiled of its own will--good old Quatre.
When I'd asked for his help, his eyes had sparkled at me and he'd agreed right away. He had been my number one supporter, donating enormous amounts of money towards my school, the savings of his family. He thought it had been a great idea to bring all our hectic lives together for one night, to see old allies and perhaps old enemies, too, under new, peaceful conditions surrounded by the holiday spirit. And Quatre looked pretty snappy in his crystal white dress shirt and tan slacks. I watched as he walked to Trowa's side and they began to talk. About what, who knew. I was struck by the look on his face…the one of pure joy…the one that I selfishly wished for myself.
I turned away from the ballroom and walked down the hall, towards the bedroom I had made temporarily my own. It would probably become an office when the school opened, but for now I had chosen it because it was located close to the ballroom and far from the actual dorms, just by chance I decided to live here while the students attended. My schedule with work as of right now wouldn't tell me whether or not I'd need to stay here, so I just took the extra precaution, picking not the largest room, but the furthest away from the hustle and bustle of day planned education.
I walked now, into the dark bedroom and made my way to the adjoining bathroom, not bothering to turn on the light. I only saw a faint outline of myself in the mirror, a sad, droopy posture of a girl who wanted to fill something that wasn't hers.
I flicked on the bathroom light switch, my eyes adjusting to it rather quickly, and then turned to the full-length mirror of the shower door. The stain was right above my left knee, an odd-shaped circle of liquor that I didn't normally drink, resting in the middle of my thigh. I suppose from different angles the stain would appear to be something of an embarrassment, but for me it was just another thorn in my side.
I sighed to myself and walked through the open door, back into the bedroom, intending on taking off this dress and hunting for another one to replace it.
You're so consumed with how much you get
You waste your time with hate and regret
when your heart's not open
The door of the bedroom suddenly clicked shut behind me, closing the room off to the dim light of the hall. The only illumination came from the bathroom, weakly casting its glare onto the floor, shooting abstract shadows onto the walls. I looked up from my dresser, an eyebrow raised in curiosity. I was nowhere near the door, which was engulfed in pitch-black.
But after a moment I could hear the breathing. It came from the doorway, soft and a bit too fast to be normal. It almost sounded as if the person who was there was trying to hide.
"Who is it?" I called, closing the first drawer to my dresser. "Are you lost?"
The voice that answered me was deep and shockingly familiar. "I've been lost ever since the day I was born."
I swallowed, unprepared to have my hope abruptly thrown in my face. My voice came out monotone. "And now you're found."
"Merry Christmas, Relena."
I faced the voice, folding my arms impatiently. "Is it?"
"I've never had an attraction for these types of things, you should know that by now."
"Is that supposed to stop me from throwing them?" I demanded, my temper rising. I crossed my arms and proclaimed, "I happen to like parties."
"Fair enough. But to be standing there at the window like a lost, broken child--"
"Your behavior isn't any more mature than mine," I interrupted. "Were you spying on me the whole entire time? Can't show your face to anyone?"
"I suppose that's the truth," I sighed, uncrossing my arms. "But it's whatever you want." I looked back to my dresser. "If you would excuse me, I have guests to attend to."
"I can't do that," was the answer. "You can't leave."
"Of course you wouldn't be gracious enough to grant me at least one of my Christmas wishes," I mumbled, shaking my head.
"Wishes," the person repeated. "Tell me what they are."
"No importance to you, obviously," I shot back.
"You underestimate me, Relena."
"And you drive me crazy!" I exploded. "Skulking around here in the darkness, hiding in rooms…in my room, for goodness sakes! Of all places! If you don't want to be here, then why are you still here?"
"I came to finish what I started."
I wiped a hand over my forehead, rubbing away the beginning symptoms of a headache. This isn't how it was supposed to go! "What are you talking about?"
The sound of a gun being pulled from the shadows was unmistakable. I heard him click the safety button and on impulse, I strode up to the form of Heero Yuy and stared directly into his eyes.
I will…never hurt…anyone ever again. I don't…I don't have to anymore…
"What are you doing, Heero?" I snapped, the gun trained for my heart. "Breaking your promise?"
His answer was simple. "No. Fulfilling it."
I'll kill you.
I scoffed, looking away from his face for a second. For some reason, I wasn't afraid. I was feeling downright gutsy, actually. I told myself that the only reason my heart was pounding was because as soon as I looked up at him, I was drawn into those Prussian pools of blue that held so many secrets of him inside. Unreachable secrets, at least for now, the secrets I wanted to get at and tear apart with hasty hands.
I looked back at his face, still hidden within the darkness but clear in my vision.
If I could melt your heart
We'd never be apart
Give yourself to me
You hold the key
The minutes ticked by, the clock on the wall louder than I'd ever heard it before. The gun was still fixed above my heart, pointing towards the bare skin that was exposed by my spaghetti strapped dress.
I broke the silence in an angered huff. "Are you going to do it or not?"
Heero hesitated and I grasped the opportunity. I reached up with my left hand and grabbed at the base of the gun, hooking my fingers around it, some overlapping Heero's. My thumb came to rest on the trigger, pressing slightly down on Heero's index finger, and I yanked the gun forwards, pressing it into my bare shoulder, glaring up at Heero. My hand on his was shaking.
Now there's no point in placing the blame
And you should know I suffer the same
If I lose you
my heart will be broken
"Go ahead," I spat at him, breathing hard through my nose. My trembling hand did not defy my sarcastic tone. "You go ahead and fulfill your promise."
Heero stared back at me, his hand still tightly around the gun. His expression was blank, those eyes of his gleaming through the pitch-blackness, and he was breathing almost as hard as I was. It was practically erotic, the two of us standing there in party clothes with nothing between us but the barrel of a gun, breathing the only motion before us, our hands sharing the warmth together.
"God, Heero, why do you always do this?" I blurted. "You just…just…walk away! Why? Why do you walk away when there are people who would welcome you with open arms?"
The gun was shoved harder into my shoulder and I tried not to wince. His mouth stayed shut, lips drawn in a thin line, as if he were thinking. Could he be?
"Where's the hole?" I cried. "Where's the hole in your soul? Tell me where it is and I'll fill it for you. You won't have any emptiness anymore. Isn't that want you want?"
The response was flat and truthful. "I don't know what I want."
My eyes filled with tears, but the anger stayed present, the dominant emotion. "Is this what you want?" I gestured to the gun with my eyes, the weapon still pressed painfully into my tender skin.
Heero looked down, too, but he didn't offer any disagreement. He just looked back into my eyes again, his face set in a stern look. He wasn't going to budge or back down.
I shook my head in disbelief. "Fine," I told him, giving up. "If this is what it takes, then so be it!"
He realized what I was doing a second too late. "Relena, no!"
I squeezed my thumb against his trigger finger.
The shot rang out and I felt the bullet pierce through my skin. I looked down at my shoulder, watching in slow motion, feeling as if time had stopped just for this one occasion. I watched as the bullet went through my skin and felt as it exited over my shoulder blade, hearing it continue its path across the room to get wedged in the thick curtains closed around the window. The crimson blood poured from my wound and I lost my balance, falling to my knees as my right hand clutched my left shoulder in agony, the fire ignited within the wound. I guess now I wouldn't have to worry about the champagne stain anymore--I watched the blood ooze down the front of my party dress, striping black with maroon. Maybe I was in shock.
I heard the gun drop from Heero's hand and clatter to the thinly carpeted floor. Then he was before me, down on his knees, trying to look into my face. I felt his hands reach up to my arm but I shoved them away, wanting to feel the hurt.
"Leave," I gasped, feeling the heat through my skin as the blood burned my good hand. "You have to leave before they come."
I pounded my fist on the floor, making my arm sting worse, the tears welling in my eyes. "Heero, for once in your life, listen to me! Get out!" I looked up into his face and almost keeled over.
Sympathy? Sorrow? Regret?
It couldn't be. It was my imagination. Heero didn't feel anything like that for me.
I unsteadily climbed to my feet and determinedly seized his white shirt within my grasp, refusing to let go. I dragged him with me as I stumbled across the room, my blood-ridden hand now staining his clothes as well, letting the blood seep openly from my shoulder. I pulled almost angrily against his protests and hauled even harder until we were both standing by the curtains that had captured my renegade bullet. I threw them open, crying out in pain from my injury, and then jarred the glass door open with my unharmed elbow, cracking the ice that had sealed it shut for the winter season. Heero stood next to me, just watching my every move, breathing harder than he had been before. Speechless.
"Get out," I yelled anxiously, looking out towards the balcony, which was covered in snow. I pleaded with my eyes, the tears sliding down my face. "Leave now while you still have time!"
I snagged his shirt again and twisted him in front of me, then shoved violently against his chest, throwing him outside into the unmarred snow and ice. His face was broken, a mixture of shock and relief and anxiety all in one expression.
Heero stumbled over his words and was only able to come up with, "But…but, why?"
I clenched my eyes shut, the tears cascading in a wave of pain, grabbing at my arm again where the blood still flowed freely. "You have to let it go," I whispered, then ruthlessly slammed the glass door shut and covered it with the curtains, turning my back on them.
I'd left Heero standing in the snow on my balcony, alone and confused, my bloody handprints embedded into his white shirt.
The tears fell as I leaned against my bed for support. Milliardo would be up
here soon, I knew it. The gunshot had been loud enough to overwhelm the soft Christmas music of the party, and I found myself unable to stand anymore, consumed with either shocking pain or stinging guilt. I couldn't choose at the moment and proceeded to give up, once again. My head hit the mattress of the bed in front of me and the darkly lit bedroom faded around my vision.
Love is a bird, she needs to fly
Let all the hurt inside of you die
when your heart's not open
* * *
I refused to talk about it, even lying in the hospital bed with the bandage wrapped expertly around my still-throbbing arm, the IV tube attached to the other one. I vaguely remembered my brother picking me up off the floor and carrying me down the stairs, but nothing came after my arrival at the hospital. I probably drove Milliardo into a frenzy with my silence and he had to be taken away. He had his suspicions, but I wasn't about to confirm them. Thank goodness for Noin. I rested comfortably because of her, with no interrogations from an over-protective older sibling, despite the fact that I had a hole in my arm. I supposed I owed her a great debt of gratitude, but for the moment it would have to wait. My eyelids were fluttering heavily with fatigue and I dropped soundly off into sleep.
I knew though, that a hole in the arm was better than a hole in the soul. A hole I still hadn't been able to fix for him.
When I woke up, I had an expected but still at the same time unexpected visitor. He stood by the window in black jeans and a gray turtleneck, his arms folded, staring out into the snow. He turned around the minute he heard me stir awake.
"What are you doing here?" I asked sleepily, wondering how he'd gotten past Milliardo. My arm didn't hurt so much anymore and I shifted a tiny inch, looking up at him as he walked over to my bedside. His cobalt eyes shone, through the chocolate locks that hung over his forehead, in a deadly serious expression.
His voice was gentle but firm. "Did you mean it, Relena?"
I willed the fog out of my brain. "Mean what?"
Heero changed gears suddenly, his voice becoming lighter. "I'm going to be your helping hand," he informed, as if I had no choice in the matter. He sat down and pulled the chair over to me, resting his elbows on my bed.
"Why?" I asked him, unable to think of anything else to say. My mind was still a little hazy with sleep.
Heero reached across my body and placed his hand gently over my bandage, his warm fingers curling delicately around my shoulder, over my hospital gown. Then, with his free hand, he grabbed mine and flattened it over his heart, my palm against his soft shirt. He spoke solemnly as he gazed down on me. "You fill my hole and I'll fill yours."
I smiled at him, feeling his heat through his clothes, his heart thudding against my open hand. "Is this what you want?" I whispered.
Heero gazed down at me, his face set. "It's my Christmas wish."
The tears slipped down my cheeks as I grinned at him. "Mine, too."