AN: Okay here it is finally to all of you who have read Mistaken Words: Victory's Pain, here is the beginning of the story, and will in time answer all question I want to thank neekabe for all her suggestions, which have made this story as huge as it is and to Pious Knight for editing each chapter so fast I hope everyone enjoys
Disclaimer: no ownie….
Remembrance of a Painful Past
Quatre looked out over the passing scenery with a heavy heart; not even the brilliant sunshine, and the perfect November day could raise his spirits. He was on a mission, one he would give almost anything not to be a part of. However no matter how much he dreaded his task, he had to admit—if only to himself—that he was the best suited for this job. A barely audible sigh escaped the young man's lips, as he turned away from the window. He was about an hour away from his destination, and he could not keep his mind focused, his thoughts repeatedly fell into the past. Reliving memories, that at the time he thought would remain forever…how wrong he had been.
Everyone had held their breath, as though the slightest sound or change could shatter the crystal agreement that was being signed before the eyes of a thousand witnesses. Few could really comprehend that the end was near. Peace was at hand, and they had all helped to forge it, the dreams of thousands, and the last wishes of dying soldiers, was finally coming to fruition. So much had changed in the months after the wars had been brought to a close, while the peace was being discussed. Quatre had taken control of his family's vast wealth and power, bringing the organisation to where his father would have wanted it most.
They were long hard months, in which people walked quietly, said next to nothing on the street. So badly did they all want the peace, that no one was willing to make a stand on anything. Quatre could not blame them for such behaviour, though he thought it a little much, the people were worried, they had come to peace once, only to have it destroyed; it would take a fair amount of time to gain back their trust. But it was something Relena was working hard on; she stood at the forefront of it all, leading the way, setting the example. He could only marvel at how someone so young could gather everyone to her. She was truly their 'Angel of Peace'.
Time passed in the same slow way it always does, and still the talks moved on without encountering too many problems save one, their size. The meetings were huge often seating a thousand or more people, everyone wanting to be represented, all feared being forgotten. In truth little could be expected from these talks, Relena made what of them she could; but even she knew that to truly make progress less was actually more. Quatre had spoken to her on a number of occasions about this predicament, but could offer no real solution that would satisfy everyone involved.
Unbeknownst to them, the citizens of the Earth's Sphere, were gathering together to form their own solution. I was about five months after the war that delegates had approached Quatre from almost every colony, requesting that the colonies be united under his leadership. The news had left Quatre more than speechless; he had been overwhelmed by the true dedication he had witnessed on that day. These men and women knew what they wanted in the future and had discovered a way in which to secure it. After long discussion with his sisters and most trusted advisers, Quatre had humbly accepted the appointment, though he was sure they could have found someone better suited.
It came to his knowledge later that the earth had also banded together electing one man to lead them to the peace that was only just now coming into reach. This news had rekindled a long lost respect for the human race in Quatre's heart, so long had he doubted their ability to gain what was truly the best for all, and now they were, placing aside differences for the sake of the whole. It had been Zechs that they wanted, the once battle hardened man, filled with the need for revenge, had balked at the idea. Knowing that his hands held the blood of hundreds, he did not think he was worthy in any way to help usher the people into the new age of peace.
It had taken a great deal of talking with Relena and his new wife Noin to convince the one time warrior that this was what the people truly wanted, and that he was easily the best man for job. With some resignation, and even perhaps a little fear, Zechs had retaken the throne of his father and forefathers. The world and Earth's Sphere where at last united, with Relena standing between the two, a princess for one, and the foreign minister for the other, a figure of royalty no matter from which side you watched.
Quatre had had no real idea for what he would be getting into, when he had accepted the position of President of the colonies. So much work was there to be done, that he was forced to hand over the Winner Corporation to his sisters, leaving it all in their capable hands. Some came to work with him, and he could not have possibly been more grateful for their unconditional support. For several months he did nothing but listen to the concerns of his new people, addressing problems that would need to be brought to the attention of the entire world. Mostly he just relieved the common fears that plagued the minds of the colony citizens.
All the hard work and patience had been more than worth it on the day that he and Zechs had met on earth, along with Relena, to finally sign the peace accord. His hand had been trembling so terribly in the morning he had wondered if he would even be able to sign the papers. But as he stood there before the multitude of witnesses, the former pilot of Sandrock could only smile. The world was free; the people had gained what they always dreamed of, while held under hard oppression. History was behind them and the future lay before, waiting to be written, and it would start that day, with the signing of three names.
Quatre shook himself out of his deep thoughts, a wistful smile placing across his pale features, though it did nothing to brighten his still troubled eyes. "…Peace our one and only dream…" he whispered to no one. Aqua eyes found there way back to the window, and the world that lay beyond, yet another sigh slipped through his slightly parted lips. "Matters always look so promising in the beginning…only to be torn apart in the end…"
Even with so much that he had to contend himself with, Quatre never lost contact with his friends, the four men, who had come to be like brothers to him. Though Trowa and Duo had lives outside of helping to protect the growing peace, they were always present to protect Relena. None more so than Heero, who followed the small girl like a shadow, ever silently there for her. The other four had watched them closely, waiting for the relationship to form that they new could and should. Heero would ever be there for her, and Relena might be the one and only person who could bring humanity back to one time assassin.
However no matter how any of them tried to catch a glimpse of them together, they never could. If indeed something was going on between them, and there was some fairly good hints that there was, Heero was keeping it completely private. Quatre could not say he was surprised by this, Heero had never really been one to share matters of his private life with anyone, let alone his closest friends. They were reassured that matters were slowly working in the right direction, by the smile upon Relena's face, and the almost dance like quality in her step. She was truly in love.
On one occasion before the 'incident' Quatre had approached Heero about the matter, trying to gain some information, perhaps help his friend if help was needed. But Heero had remained utterly silent about the whole matter. There had been a strange light deep within the former pilot's prussian eyes on that day, Quatre might almost have called it a terrible sadness, but even that was not quite right. It had disappeared, almost instantly, giving the young Winner no really time to ponder it further.
It was not long after that day, a day, which came shortly after the peace accord had been signed, that 'It' happened. The worlds of so many had been shattered, almost beyond repair. It was a day that Quatre could not forget; it rested almost always at the forefront of his mind, a constant reminder, that they had all been wrong, had all been fooled. He wished so many times that it had all just been a dream…no nightmare. But each morning he'd awake to find it the same, they had been betrayed by one of their own, someone he had once trusted with his life.
Why it had come to this no one knew… hell, no one could even speculate about it. The incident had come upon them all so suddenly, without warning; they were all left racing to catch up. Recovery from it was still not at hand for most; however the peace had forced all to carry on, they could not falter, not all of them. So many other things held importance, this, though a tragedy it was could not be changed now, 'He' had made his choice, and he could only be left wondering why…
Quatre was shaken from his deep thoughts by a gentle hand on his shoulder, looking up he saw the concerned face of one of his bodyguards. Internally he shook his head, peace or not, the world was not altogether friendly, and that was something he found truly saddening. He awaited the day with anticipation, that he could walk the streets of any colony or the earth, alone, in plain view of all who wanted to see. That would be true and ever lasting peace.
"Mr President, are you alright Sir?" the man in his early thirties asked worry laced though his words.
Forcing a smile to his face, to reassure the older man, Quatre nodded his head, "I'm sorry, I was just lost in thought." So many thoughts…so many memories…so very few of them good… he thought to himself sadly, though he was careful to keep his features pleasant or at the very least blank.
Gaven, one of his top bodyguards, nodded silently, though his expression still held on of concern. Quatre did smile then; they were all so protective of him, most likely they thought him too young for the job, having just turned twenty, at time he had to agree with them. "We're here Sir," Gaven said quietly, stepping aside so Quatre had a clear view of what lay beyond.
Truly the had arrived, and it sent a wave of dread through him. The black limousine was parked in the driveway of one of the most elegant houses he had ever laid eyes upon. Three stories of pale rose brick, sat nestled in the centre of what had to be five or six acres of carefully manicured lawns and gardens. Climbing from the car slowly Quatre gave himself a minute to not only gather his thoughts about him but also take in the artistry of what he was standing before.
Lattice work along the fascia of the house reached down its delicate tendrils in the form of laurel leaves. Wide crystal clear windows took up a good deal of the house's front, allowing much of the morning sunlight to seep in on the occupants. Second floor balconies encircled by magnificently forged wrought iron rails flanked the massive oak door on either side, giving the home a look of symmetry, something the owner loved. Smoke curled slowly from more than one of the chimneys reminding Quatre of just how cold it really was. The sun might have been shinning as hard as it could, but it could warm nothing in winter.
Pulling his long grey coat closer about him, Quatre brought his eyes away from the house itself, and focused in on the door. The threshold that he would have to cross in order to begin his mission. Glancing about the surrounding area, he did not miss the positioning of his other guards; they were well trained men, keeping their presence as un-obstructive as possible. Quatre appreciated the space that they gave him, after all he was at one time a Gundam pilot, this fact seemed to have been forgotten at some point, and he was more than happy with it that way, it was a part of his life that he was not always proud of.
Releasing the breath that he had not realised he had been holding, Quatre realised that he could delay the inevitable no longer. The other pilots had come to him, and it was up to him to do what they could not, he wished it were not so, but he was able to face facts; knowing that wishing did nothing really. He turned his head over to look at Gaven, who's grey eyes were looking everywhere, more out of habit than any fear for his safety. The wind gusted up out of nowhere stealing away Quatre's breath with its frosty fingers, "Shall we go in?" he questioned softly once it had passed.
Gaven nodded once, motioning for Quatre to go ahead of him. The former pilot felt rather bad for the other men who travelled with him, being forced to stay out in this cold, for as long as he was in the house. Though he had been told that they were used to the cold, having been born in colder climates that the one he was native too. Walking up the wide steps to the door, Quatre wished fleetingly that he was here on some lighter matter, instead of one more important than they had known in three years, since the peace accord had been signed. He reminded himself silently that wishing would bring about no changes, and it was on him that this lay.
The large oak door swung open almost as soon as Quatre stopped before it, a tiny woman stood behind it, looking to small to even pull it open. Her rich brown eyes grew wide as she took in his face; he was surprised at how quickly she recovered, as she stepped aside to usher them in, "Mr President, what a surprise…"
"This is all rather unexpected for me as well," he smiled down to the young girl who's head barely reached the centre of his chest. "Tell me is Relena in?" he had not attempted to make any contact with her before arriving, hoping his visit could stay as quiet as possible, not wanting any questions to be arising from this meeting.
"Yes sir, she is," the girl smiled back seeming to be put at ease by his relaxed nature, "Allow me to take your coat, and I'll tell her you've arrived."
Quatre slipped his winter coat from his now broad shoulders, he along with the other pilots had grown and filled out a great deal after the wars. He himself now stood almost six feet tall with a well built frame, that he had read made women weak in the knees, he couldn't see it. Handing over the heavy coat he shook his head slowly, sending blond locks flying in all directions, "No that's quite fine I'll announce myself."
"As you wish Sir," she responded quickly, as she turned to hang their coats.
"Wait here, Gaven," the grey eyed man nodded without comment knowing full well that this home was more secure than almost any bank. Drawing in a slow calming breath Quatre set off down the wide corridor, only noticing with the slightest interest the decorations and expensive artefacts Relena always had on display. After all not only was it her home, but also her office, they had decided long ago, that they wanted her to be accessible, but at the same time safe. It was then that Relena had suggested her home as the prime location for her office.
As he strode down the brightly-lit halls, knowing the exact location of her office, he wanted terribly to wake up and find that this was all a dream, some horrific nightmare. That was not the case he knew, but it felt so much like a dream, it had all crept up so quietly it was as though it had leaped out of one of their imaginations. He knew even now that this would not be easy for Relena to take, "Perhaps I should have waited till tomorrow…" he mused to himself in a low whisper so none close by would hear. It did seem somewhat heartless to be telling her this one the third year anniversary of that fateful day, but when else was there? Her safety had to be placed before everything, and at times that even included her feelings.
Even three years after, Quatre could still remember every little detail of that day, the smell of the air, the feel of anticipation from the crowed of onlookers, as they listened intently. The sound of the gun shot being fired, and lastly, what stood out most, like a knife cutting though his awareness; his words. "…I'm merely trying to see the bigger picture…" delivered without emotion, with the smoking gun in his hand, and Relena bleeding on the floor rooms away. Still he felt shock and disbelief, this should not have happened, it made no sense, he thought he had understood his one time friend, had it all been a sham? Was nothing that he thought true?
Quatre had no answers to any questions, he only had new problems, which carried with them questions, ones that he hoped and prayed could be answered in time. So much was riding on their quick actions, and silence was a key to it all. As he neared Relena's spacious office, he could not help wondering, even with all their hurried actions and secrecy, could they stop the inevitable. Was it not foolish of the world to try and stop something that was in human nature? Was it a dream to believe that all the world could live peacefully? Despite every effort Quatre was being to feel that it was, though he fought against that line of thought, not yet willing to give up hope in mankind. Even as a small part of him did not want to give up on his one time friend, though it was becoming harder with each passing year. He shook his head against the memories, really not wanting to live through them again, but there was no real way to stop them, he knew that in his mind, this was just a way to show himself yet again, that what he saw had been more than real.
With the peace firmly established and the world for the first time at complete ease, work was still not done. Relena made it a point to hold large meetings with delegates from both earth and colonies, reaffirming the newly made bonds, which they had forged with one another. It was a magnificent summer day, when one of these meetings took place; the windows to the assembly hall had been thrown open, allowing the fresh air to waft in. Filling the whole room with the smell of blossoming flowers, and the whisper of birds singing.
The entire audience sat in quiet wonder, as they listened with heartfelt understanding, to the words coming form the mouth of the assembly's youngest member. Relena's grace and poise easily kept every eye locked upon her angelic features and all ears tuned into her every word. Her speech had been carefully planned out, as it always was, but Quatre could tell she had already strayed from the carefully formulated words, which only made it better, giving it a very personal touch.
Glancing about the surrounding people Quatre smiled a true and honest smile, so much time had passed, and so much work had been done, but in the end it had been worth it. With himself and Zechs leading the way there was no longer a clear defining line between the men and women from the colonies and those from earth. They sat together, with no differences separating them any more; it was an excellent reason to smile. Feeling eyes watching him Quatre looked around and saw Zechs' icy orbs studying him, from where he sat beside the somewhat smaller blond pilot.
"Hard to believe isn't it?" the king of earth asked also smiling.
Quatre nodded, "I wake up each morning thinking it's a dream, but the reality is, peace is here, and it would seem, to stay."
"What makes this so much stronger is the amount of heart and soul everyone here has been willing to
give," Zechs whispered softly "…Treize would be proud…"he said, his tone almost lamenting.
They both turned their attention back to Relena who was drawing her speech to a close. Quatre leaned back in his chair marvelling at the way Relena could work the crowed; it was not the airs that some politicians would put on when speaking. Saying things with emotions they did not even know how to feel, only to draw more people to them. No, Relena was nothing like that, her voice could range through so many emotions with the simplest words; it truly was her gift, and the worlds.
Quatre blinked, suddenly hyper aware, he could not say what brought on this feeling, all he knew was the tiny hairs on the back of his neck were being to raise, a sure sign that something was up. He sat up more in his seat scanning the crowed while trying to attracted attention. What is it? he wondered, a growing sense of worry over taking as the foreboding feeling did not diminish. A shadows movement in one of the small balconies that line the auditorium caught Quatre's attention, and he craned his neck to get a better look, what he saw nearly stopped his heart.
The one time pilot of Wing Zero, the man who in peace had still been the Perfect Soldier, Heero Yuy, stood in the balcony, a gun in hand. Quatre blinked to make sure that what he was seeing was actually before him and not some figment of his imagination. Any question of Heero's reality was answered as the Japanese man slowly raised the gun taking aim. The Winner heir could not believe his eyes, he wanted to shout out in warning, but his throat was closed.
Wing's pilot looked over to Quatre for one brief second, his face a mask of indifference, This makes no sense!! his brain shouted, but he could do nothing to respond. Without a second thought Heero Yuy pulled the trigger, just as Relena had spoken the last word of her speech "…Peace…" in the silence that followed one shot shattered it all. Relena screamed in pain, as the bullet pierced her left shoulder, and she fell back, into a pool of her own blood.
Chaos broke out around Quatre and Zechs as the people, still caught up in her words, were torn back to reality. Screams filled the air, as everyone tried to escape the room, all looking for safety. Duo and Wufei rushed out on stage to Relena's side even as Zechs was leaping over seats and dodging around scrambling people to reach her. Without thought Quatre bust into motion himself heading in the direction he knew Heero would take. He sent up a silent prayer that Relena was alive; to him the shot appeared as though it missed her heart, but he could not be sure.
With people no longer thinking, Quatre had to all but fight his way to the emergency exit, his fast reflexes sped things up, but he still felt as though it was simply not quick enough. A spark of panic rose within him as he raced through the madness, of terrified people, screams and the screech of chairs being thrown aside. It seemed an eternity before Quatre finally broke through; he made his way to the head of the people who all raced down the hall to get outside. The sounds of panic were soon left behind him as he burst out into the sunshine, and skidded to a halt, glancing both ways trying to decide which way Heero would take.
People poured out of the doors he had just left, all turning right, to head for the street where they felt that they might be safer. From the corner of one eye Quatre caught a shadow moving, in the darkness that the sun could not penetrate. Without hesitation he ran after the former Gundam pilot, mind still unable to fully comprehend what had happened. Turning the corner he came to a stop, "Heero!" Quatre called sharply to the dark man slowly walking away.
The Japanese man came to a stop and turning around, his face covered in shadows, "So many things have changed…" his voice was low devoid of all emotion as his face had been, Quatre could not comprehend how this could be after he shot Relena.
Quatre was at a loss for words, but knew that he had to say something he needed the answers; he could not live with what he had seen. With a shake of his head he forced himself to speak, "Why…? Why did you do that!?" his hands clenched into fists, "I thought you loved her!!"
"You aren't seeing both sides of the story…" Heero responded softly.
He scoffed at that, "Both sides!? I watched you shoot her in cold blood! What has she ever done to you!?" Quatre could not control his emotions no matter how he tired, -This has to be a dream- his mind screamed to him, he could not truly be facing this now.
The Wing pilot shook his head; "I'm merely able to see the bigger picture," was the heartless reply.
"How can there be a bigger picture!? With her dead, what could that possibly bring!? Nothing but pain to those who loved her, and very likely and end to the peace!!" he was shouting now unable to keep his voice in the least bit calm, what infuriated him even more, was the apathy that Heero was showing to the whole matter.
"How can you judge when you can't even see everything?"
The man was talking in riddles, for the first time in Quatre's life he really and truly felt like throttling someone. He took a step towards Heero, and in response the Japanese man took one back keeping the distance equal between them. The frustration that was flowing through him almost brought Quatre to tears, as his mind continued to refuse what he had seen to be true. "I just don't understand…" he sighed, shoulders slumping at his sides; his anger not in the least bit abated, he merely felt defeated at the same time.
Heero brought his head up fully, allowing some of the dim light to reflect off his face, giving Quatre his first clear view of the other man. The former pilot's face was like stone, holding nothing even remotely resembling emotion on it. His Prussian blue eyes were as lifeless as Quatre had ever seen them, uncaring, they were the eyes of someone not human, humans would have to feel something, anything in a situation like this. "There are few who would…" He turned then suddenly, continuing down the alley, neither moving fast nor slow.
"Heero!!" Quatre shouted after him running a few steps forward, "If you leave now, you'll be branded a traitor, you'll be hunted for the rest of your life!!" He prayed his words made it through to the emotionless man, hoping he could gain more answers, understand fully what happened.
Still walking Heero looked back over his shoulder, "We all do what we have to…" his dead voice echoed back down the alley to Quatre's ears. They seemed to reverberate off the walls in and endless echo, though they had almost been whispered.
The man Quatre had once trusted with his life, the one he had thought to call brother, walked off without stopping, disappearing into the city. Leaving Quatre alone in the alley trying to comprehend how they could all have been so easily fooled. So many questions floated about in his head and not a one had an answer. He had thought he knew Heero Yuy, the 'Perfect Soldier' the man who they all had thought loved Relena…how had things gone so wrong…?
Quatre once more snapped out of his thoughts, his emotions raging as they always did when he thought back on that day. It had been three years, and still they had no more answers than they did the day it happened. Heero was the most wanted traitor the world had ever seen; Zechs had placed a large reward on his head, never specifying dead or alive. These three years had been hard for them all to take, but no more so that Relena, who had known Heero the most intimately. And now to have him come to her on this solemn day, with the news that he carried, Quatre knew already it would not go over well.
He sighed, looking down at his watch realising that he had already wasted too much time. Standing up a little taller and straightening his shoulders Quatre started off again down the hall, keeping his mind focused on the what he had to do next, no matter how much he wished he did not have to.
Relena smiled warmly, as he took hold of her hand, she laughed softly, when that was all he did. He was so sure of himself in battle, or any confrontation, but when it came to matters involving them, and only them, he had no idea where to lead next. She loved him for it more, than anything else; it was that innocence that made him so cute in her mind. Relena knew she was safe if ever he was near, and that too strengthened her love for him.
They were alone, as they always were when they wanted to be together. In secluded corners, away from the sight of prying eyes, it had been his decision to keep their relationship this way, and she could not say she minded. This was one part of her life, which she wanted to keep from the public, there were those who knew about the relationship, it was quite impossible for her to hide it when it just made the whole world seem right.
He sat down on the edge of a windowsill eyes looking out over the grounds, before turning back to her. Relena stepped in closer allowing him to encircle her in his strong arms, there was a lot of things that he had learned over the months that they had been together, but there was still so much more that he needed to know. He wouldn't ask, and she would not explain, however she could give hints, small little nudges that this was what she wanted him to do, over time he had become very proficient at reading these subtle directions.
Reaching up slowly he took hold of her hair, allowing its golden length to slip through his callused fingers. She smiled endearingly; he loved her hair, always managed to find some of it to finger softly, no matter how carefully she put it into place. His hard features took on a faded light of contentment at her close presence, and she felt as though she could withstand anything, with him so close. To them now the rest of the world did not exist, all that mattered in life was the time they had together.
Heero Yuy, ran his fingers through her golden tresses once more, taking a strong yet gentle hold of the fine strands. Slowly he drew her head down to his, the coldness in his Prussian eyes melted for only her to see, as their lips met. Relena slipped her arms about his neck, entwining her slender fingers in the short hair at the nape of his neck. She sighed with pleasure as Heero's free hand made its way slowly up under the back of her shirt, caressing the small of her back and sides. Relena deepened the kiss gradually, as she ran her fingers through his unruly hair, it was surprisingly soft.
Several minutes passed before they finally parted each at a loss for breath. Relena sat down beside him on the windowsill, allowing Heero to draw her head to his chest. He knew she could spend hours and hours just listening to the sound of his heart beating steadily, if he would let her. She moved in eagerly, loving the feel of Heero's one hand running endlessly through her hair, while the other one continued to massage her side tenderly. Relena let her eyes fall closed, as he steadfast beat lulled her, she would at times listen to his heart after a particularly stressful day, somehow it always seemed to calm her, in ways nothing else could.
"I love you…" she whispered, eyes never opening.
He was silent as he held her tiny form to his, and she wondered if he would ever say anything. The hand that had been busy stroking her side came up to cup her face. Relena opened her eyes then as Heero tilted her head to look him in the eyes. Once more the barriers drained away, and small tentative emotions found their way into his eyes, it seemed so odd to her even now, to see anything beyond indifference in those hard orbs. But for her he could bring himself to be more human that around anyone else. Almost hesitantly Heero lowered his head to hers claiming her small bow like mouth as his own; showing in his own way the love that he felt for her.
"You never once said it…" Relena whispered in the silence of her office, as she came back to the present. It had taken her a long time to realise that she had been the only one to express her love in words, each and every time Heero had managed to avoid it. Was he really trying to avoid it, perhaps he just didn't know how to say it… A small voice in the back of her mind came to life with mocking laughter Didn't know how to say it? He didn't care! He tried to kill you, does that seem like the type to love you?
Relena could not deny the voices words, they made sense in every way, though at times it hurt to admit it. Heero had been the only man she ever truly loved, or at least she thought she did. It had taken months and months, but for the sake of her shattered heart she managed to convince herself that she had been too young, she had not known what love really was. The reality of her life was something she had fought against accepting, as had the other pilots, but time proved the truth of everything in the end, and there was nothing that Relena could do but face the past and move on.
Sadness had been her first reaction, a deep mourning grief; it had begun to eat away at her the moment she had been given the news. That had been a day of her life, which she really and truly wished had been nothing more than a dream, or some perverted joke. Zechs' words to her that day had been the last thing she had ever expected upon waking.
She could not remember when the process had started, nor could she really recall anything, but slowly, her mind began to climb from the darkness that it had been sheltered in. Questions leaped through her consciousness, as she wondered what this was…was it death? Relena strained to be able to remember something, to understand some small part of what had befallen her. As the blackness continued to drift back, freeing her from it's cloaking embrace, she became aware of her surroundings.
Pain assaulted her quite suddenly, and she wished for the oblivion to swallow her back up again. It felt as though the pain came from ever corner of her body, and she could only wonder what had caused it. She began to feel outside the pain, sensing her small body lying upon a bed, blankets covering her, keeping away the chill of what smelled like a sterile room. Relena wanted desperately to open her eyes, to know that this was real, that she lived, but she had not the strength.
The presence of others could be felt, and worry permeated the air thickly, she wanted to reassure them, knowing that they worried for her, however she could bring no words to her mouth, no movements to her body, to signal that she was with them. Frustration began to take its hold of her, Relena franticly wanted to hold her brother to her, relieving his fears, hot tears welled up in her closed eyes, and slowly began to leak from beneath her long lashes.
Relena had no idea how long she lay there crying alone before she felt a larger hand take hers. Her heart raced at the feel of the callused skin against her soft fingers –Heero's here- she thought with relief. But it was not him she realised as Zechs began to speak; "She's waking up!" he sounded so relieved, almost on the brink of tears, and she wished for nothing else but to embrace him.
She focused all her strength into willing her eyes to open, needing to see his face more than anything. Several moments passed, or hours, she could not tell, but finally her constant efforts where rewarded, and her crystal blue eyes fluttered open. The pain came swinging in at full force then, as though it were attempting to pull her back into the blackness that she had just managed to climb from. Crying softly against the agony, she fought to keep her eyes from closing again, thankfully Zechs was right there by her side, "It's alright Relena," he whispered to her softly, gently stroking her hand. "Give her something for the pain," this was an order directed to someone she could not see.
Slowly the pain faded allowing her to see her brother for the first time; his long platinum blond hair spilling over his shoulder onto the bed that she lay upon. Relena studied his worry filled face, noticing something that seemed odd to her, deep in the very back of his eyes, was pure barely contained rage. She knew he had put it aside for her, but why? "What happened?" she asked her voice sounding to quiet to even reach his ears.
Zechs swallowed before answering, his eyes flashing with that rage, before he could contain it once more, "You…you were shot," he answered gripping her tiny hand in both of his. She tried to look around wanting to see what damage had been done. However Zechs reached one hand forward and touched her cheek, bringing her somewhat dazed eyes back on him. "You were hit in the left shoulder, it's not life threatening, but you did lose a lot of blood" he paused for a moment that rage coming forward once more. "The doctors say you're going to be fine."
Relena looked beyond her brother to where Noin stood looking in through the ICU window, her face pale and clearly worried, though there was relief there now. There was also a look of shock, and disbelief, surely that was not brought on by her pulling through…Relena was curious now, they were clearly keeping something from her, and it was something important. Looking back to her brother
Relena opened her mouth to speak, but Zechs stepped in over top of her, "You should get some rest, I'll be here tomorrow morning…okay?"
"What…" her voice cut out on her, Relena growled internally with the frustration she was feeling, and tried again, "What aren't you telling me?"
Zechs was half way out of his seat when she finally managed to speak and he stopped dead in his tracks. Relena did not miss that glint of rage, which entered her brother's eyes at her question, this time it clearly took him a good deal of effort to fight the emotion down. Turning to face her Zechs smiled reassuringly though it was a sad smile, "Don't worry about it, everything's fine."
"I don't believe you," she said boldly, knowing that what he was hiding was very significant, something which she had a right to know, "Tell me" it was a great effort to make her voice forceful enough but somehow she managed.
A sigh escaped his lips, as though he were realising the inevitable, "What I have to say you're not ready to hear." Reaching down he gently stroked her cheek with the back of his hand, a loving gesture from brother to sister, something he rarely did. "I'll tell you when you've recovered some."
Relena shook her head slowly, "No, I want to know now!"
Zechs looked over to the window, where Noin continued to wait, wanting to let the two siblings have their moment alone. Relena did not miss the helpless looks that passed between them. Finally Noin gave a small shrug of her shoulders, as if to say 'what can we do' with that Zechs nodded and retook his seat. "I wanted to put this off for as long as possible, I can't even begin to know how best to tell you this."
"Whatever it is I can take it," she whispered taking his hand in hers to assure him.
"You can't say that not knowing," he seemed so worn out, almost old, nothing to the anger that she had witnessed come forward several times. "We have not yet caught the shooter…however…" he trailed off his words eluding him, "However we know who it is…"
Relena could not explain the sinking feeling in the deepest part of her soul, at his words, why was he taking so long to speak what was it he was so terrified to disclose, what brought him to such a state of rage. "That should make him easy to find…?" she made it a question no longer sure.
Shaking his head Zechs watched her, seeming to try and harden his resolve to speak what truly happened, "He's not easy to find Relena, he never was, and never will be…" raking one hand though his long hair Zechs drew in his breath. "…It was Heero Yuy…" he spoke the name in a rush of regret and malice. The first for Relena's sake that this ever had to happen, and the other clearly directed to the man that had brought this about.
"…No…" she breathed unable to accept her own brother's words, "This can't be…there must be some mistake, he would never do this to me…"
"Relena please…" Zechs scoffed, "He's tried to kill you before, why not now?"
A great anger rose up within her at his tone, "That's just it, he's only ever tired, never actually pulled the trigger!!" she could not believe what he brother was not just implying, but out right saying as well.
"I told you it would be hard to accept, Relena but you have to, I wouldn't lie to you."
Tears spilled from Relena's eyes as her mind still refused to accept what he had told her. "I can't believe it…" she breathed through her tears, "There has to be some mistake, there just has to be!!"
Zechs drew in his breath slowly; his face held pity for Relena however his eyes were revealing and entirely different emotion. "There's been no mistake Relena, Quatre talked to him right after it happened…I sorry…"
She shook her head, "I loved him…he…" her voice trembled terribly, "…he loved…me…" she sobbed, motioning her brother to leave, knowing full well that there was nothing he could do to comfort her now. –This can't be real…- she had thought to herself as she continued to cry alone her world shattered.
Relena wiped the stray tears from her eyes as she snapped back to the present, every time she thought about that day, she cried, there was no help for it. That had been the worst day of her life, and though life had continued on, a part of her had died that day, a part of her that she felt hallow without. Time had done a good deal to heal her wounds, that feeling of missing a part of herself, was no longer there, however she could not forget, that so much still made no sense.
Running one hand through her long hair Relena winced as her left shoulder began throbbing. It did that often, some times becoming so bad that she would lose use of that arm for a day. Sally had said she thought a bone chip had been missed when they had performed the surgery, but she did not have the time in her schedule to allow them to remove it. Rubbing the sore area gently, Relena turned her attention out to the window, unable to really believe that three years had passed.
The peace that the world had gained and maintained after the assassination attempt was small consolation for the pain that she had suffered. She had endeavoured to move on with her life on several occasions, but each time nothing came of it, and she was on her own once more. Relena knew her friends and family worried over her, but there was nothing they could possibly do to change matter, unless one of them could rewrite history. She came to her feet with a sigh and took a step closer to the window, reaching out one slender hand to touch its cold surface, the world out side appearing barren, lacking the beauty that it once had.
With a shake of her head Relena threw aside this feeling of melancholy, long ago her feeling had been of grief. Now however it was quite the opposite, she felt anger, betrayal, and worst of all perhaps was the confusion. Having no answers for her questions it merely ate away at her. No she no longer mourned Heero missing from her life, she wanted to understand, but at the same time she realised, the only way she would ever receive the answers that she deserved was in having, Heero Yuy brought to justice.
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