Ok, I'm ADDICTED to songfics. I admit it. I can't stay away from them, can't stop writing them. And I guess I was still sort of unfulfilled in the angst department since I ended the other Heero/Relena songfics on a happy note. However, despite the standing "tissue warning" there could be a twist to this if I decide to make it a series, so I can't stress enough how important it is to read to the end, even if this seems so sad. Anyway, enjoy and please let me know what you think!

Disclaimer - Aw, c'mon you guys already know I own nothing! No Gundam Wing, no song (That's Just the Way it is - by Phil Collins). This song always makes me cry... *sniff*




Pain coursed through Relena as she readied herself for the final push. "Just breathe, try not to scream," the nurse told her placidly. 'Don't scream! Is she crazy?' Relena tried to focus on the woman's instructions, but the nurse's voice seemed to float around in her head without making any sense. There was little else she was able to concentrate on at the moment except the excruciating feeling that she was being torn in two. Relena was at the end of the nearly 24 hours of labor it would take to bring her son into the world. Hers... and Heero's. But Heero couldn't be with her now. Instead it was Quatre who tenderly held her hand and pushed her long sweat-dampened blond hair back out of her face. It was he who whispered encouragement and comforting words.

"Last time," the doctor's voice rang out. Relena gathered every ounce of strength left in her body, and Quatre held her tightly to him as she put forth the last bit of effort... Seconds later a lusty wail filled the room and an exhausted Relena strained to sit up, trying to see her baby as the doctor examined him and the nurses cleaned him up.

"Here you go. Congratulations! He's absolutely beautiful," smiled one of the kindly nurses, placing the tiny boy in his mother's waiting arms. Tears came to Relena's eyes as she noticed his dark, chocolate brown patch of hair. How would she tell him about his father one day? Relena looked up at Quatre, who stood by her side now just as he had for the last five months. She would not have been able to go on without him.

A few hours later Relena woke in the middle of the night as yet another nurse returned to her room with the baby. "We just fed him and changed him. I'm sorry to have waken you up," she whispered, replacing the tiny bundle in the crib by Relena's bed.

"No, that's fine," she whispered back. "Actually, I'd like to hold him for a while." The nurse complied and brought the sleeping baby to her. Relena felt as though her heart would burst. Her joy at becoming a mother was overshadowed by despairing fact that this little boy would never meet his father; and Heero would never see his son. But looking at their child, she understood why Heero had done what he had done all those months ago...

All day long he was fighting for you
And he didn't even know your name
Young men come and young men go
But life goes on just the same

Quatre tiptoed into the room. Seeing that Relena was awake, he made his way to her bedside. Placing a hand gently on her shoulder, Quatre smiled down at baby. Relena watched him, beaming as proudly as if the little one were his own son.

And I don't know why...
Why do we keep holding on?
I don't know why
Pretending to be oh so strong.
Oh why?
Is there something I don't know?
Or something very wrong, with you and me -
or maybe...

She knew that Heero couldn't have asked a better or more caring person to look after them, yet the irony of Quatre being here instead made her feel so powerless and bitter, if only for a moment.


That's the way it is, there's nothing I can do,
That's just the way it is.

"I brought it," Quatre said quietly, giving her a reassuring smile. Relena was instantly jolted out of her sour reflections and gave Quatre a smile in return. She anxiously waited as he set up the monitor. This had been their nightly tradition for about the last four months. "Ok, here we go." Quatre pressed a button and the screen flickered. The familiar sound of Duo's voice echoed through the room as they watched the recording.

"Here we are at Relena's nineteenth birthday party," the braided pilot said, scanning around the room with the camera. "Oh, let's see, here's Trowa. Say somethin' to Relena!"
Trowa's face looked stricken briefly - he hated cameras, but he gave a little smile and cheerfully, though quietly, said, "Happy Birthday!" Duo seemed satisfied with that, and again scanned the room looking for his next victim. Relena blinked back the tears as she had done every night since that tape of her last birthday party had resurfaced. There, on the screen before her, was Heero.
"Get that thing away from me, Duo." Heero sounded calm as always, though there was a threatening look on his face.
"Oh, c'mon, this is for Relena. Say something to her. Say something NICE! And would it hurt ya to smile for once?" With that they could see Duo's hand reaching past the camera and landing on Heero's face, trying to pull the corners of his mouth up into a smile. Heero swatted Duo's hand away and was about to say something probably NOT so nice when Duo chirped out, "Relena's gonna see this! C'mon, say Happy Birthday!" Heero glared right into the camera, but ever so slowly the intense look on his face softened.
"Happy Birthday, Relena," he said, the stoic face betraying a hint of a grin. "Happy Birthday."

"That's enough. Thanks, Quatre," Relena said, lying back. Quatre stopped the recording and the image of Heero's face with a little half smile froze on the monitor.

"Can I get you anything?" he asked, standing up.

"Just some ice water... please," she responded, her voice sounding distant. Quatre left the room and decided to walk slowly. Relena usually needed a few minutes after watching the tape.

After she was alone, Relena let the tears flow down her cheeks without bothering to wipe them away as she fixed her gaze on Heero's image. Her mind wandered back to that night; how she had thought that everyone had left as she walked through the dark room after the party, kicking aside discarded streamers and balloons. She made her way to the window and stared at the moonlit sky for a long time, thinking of everything and nothing. At last she was able to tear herself away from the beauty of the night, and she turned to retreat to her bedroom. Instead she came face to face with Heero, who had been watching her the entire time. If there had been words that passed between them, Relena didn't remember them. But the feeling of being close to him was ingrained in her memory forever. She glanced down at her son, the permanent reminder of the night that she and Heero had shared. It was not long after that night, their first and only night together, that the world was turned upside down again. "I'm so sorry," she whispered, half to the picture of Heero, half to their son. And so she sat there, still remembering the chain of events that had led her to this moment...


**BEGIN FLASHBACK - Three days after the birthday party**


They've been waiting for word to come down
They've been waiting for you night and day
They won't wait any longer for you
It may already be too late


"Yes or no, Vice Foreign Minister?" Relena balked at the question while the rest of the Earth and colony representatives stared at her. She would not be the one to deploy troops to space, even if there was a group threatening to steal weapons from the abandoned colony. The plan had taken two years, but finally all the weapons of mass destruction had been collected and placed on a deserted colony, which was currently on a path toward the sun.

"This is a matter for the Preventers," she responded. "All the mobile suits except for the few they were allowed to keep have been dismantled and are on their way to being destroyed, there should be no need for fighting."

"I advise you not to hesitate," the other representative barked at her. "What are we to do if some renegade group gets a hold of all those weapons? We're talking war! And we'll be on the losing end."

Relena only nodded quietly and retreated from the room to make the call to Lady Une.

And I don't know why...
Why do we keep holding on?
I don't know why...
Pretending to be oh so strong.
Oh why?
Is there something I don't know?
Or something very wrong, with you and me -
or maybe...

She saw him walking across the grounds outside the Preventer's office, the first time they'd seen each other since the night of the party. "You're going, aren't you?" Relena asked him as he approached her. He only nodded, remaining quiet. She looked at him for a long time, just noticing how his wild hair fell over his blue eyes and the way he was looking back at her, with a gentleness she had never seen in him. Heero reached out to take her hand.

Before he turned around to leave, he planted a soft kiss on her lips, whispering, "I have to go. It will be alright."


That's the way it is, there's nothing I can do,
That's just the way it is.

**FOUR MONTHS AFTER THE PARTY**

The aide crept in silently and slid a file onto Relena's desk. "The latest casualty report, Miss Relena." With a hesitant look back, the aide left the room. Relena scanned the page, thankful that Heero's name was not listed. 'Forty-two since yesterday,' she thought with a sigh. 'Too many. One is too many.' She looked down at her slightly rounded belly, which she was still able to conceal from the public, and she knew that she did not want to bring a life into a war-ridden world.

Rising from the desk, Relena began mentally crafting the address that she was about to give to the world. She had to stop the fighting - that was the reason she had concocted the weapon disposal plan in the first place. As of now, the Preventers were entrenched on the disposal colony, fighting off the rebel group that had sought to take control of it, all the while moving closer to the sun. "Call a conference," Relena instructed as she strode into the main hall. Her order sent several secretaries scurrying in all directions. Again Relena sat down and looked more closely at the list of forty-two men who were never coming home.

You see the dying, you feel the pain
What have you got to say?
If we agree that we can disagree
We could stop all of this today

"If we can just finish the gundams, we can put a stop to this!" Quatre said with an air of conviction as he looked up from control panel of Sandrock, which was still in pieces. Duo, Trowa and Wufei all nodded (or grunted) in agreement. Heero stayed silent as he made the final adjustments to Zero.

"Finished," Heero said, unceremoniously kicking a toolbox aside. The rest of the pilots looked up in disbelief. The remnants of the gundams had been loaded on the colony for disposal, and only the shells of them had remained. Zero had been the most incomplete, yet Heero had managed to accomplish the restoration faster than any of them.

"You're not going out there alone, are you?" Duo asked, still shocked.

"You can come out in some Aries suits if you're feeling left out," Heero told him, climbing into the cockpit. Leaving Duo standing with his mouth agape, Heero took off and headed out to face the enemies, who had salvaged mobile suit parts over the last couple of years and had built an extensive army. The few paltry suits that the Preventers had left were little match for them. But Zero, that was a different story. Heero cut through suit after suit, but he was vastly outnumbered despite the fact that the other pilots and Preventers had come out to help him. Two suits had fired on him at once, jarring Zero so hard that Heero flew forcefully against the restraint belts, feeling at least three of his ribs crack. Now every movement was a painful effort, and Heero's suspicion that he had suffered internal injuries was confirmed as a stream of blood trickled slowly from the corner of his mouth. But at last, Heero saw his chance.

"Quatre, is everyone clear from the colony?" Heero's voice was coming out in gasps as he was finding it harder and harder to breathe.

"Yes, all units are out here fighting. Heero, what are going to do?"

"The only thing I can do," he strained, "to end this. For Relena, and the baby."


It's been your life for as long as you can remember
But you cannot fight any more
You must want to look your son in the eyes
When he asks you what you did it for


Quatre queued up Heero's image on the monitor. Heero was ashen white; his eyes were dull and glazing over. The only color on his face came from the blood running to his chin. "Heero, you're hurt!"

"Please be there for Relena..." Heero's voice grew weaker and weaker, "... and for my son. If he asks you why I did this, tell him it was because I never wanted him to have to fight - to live like I did." Heero choked out his last words as he wielded Zero toward the colony. "Say all the things to them you know I never could have, Quatre. Tell Relena that I lov-..." Heero's final transmission abruptly ended. His last conscious movement was to press the self-detonation button as Zero collided with the colony.

Quatre watched the impact and looked on as the colony was engulfed in flame as explosion after explosion ripped through the metal structure.
He felt the tears drop from his eyes. "I will, Heero. I will."


**RETURN TO PRESENT**

The walk back to Relena's room was a slow one as Quatre remembered his last conversation with Heero. "I will look after them, I promise," he whispered, stepping quietly into the room to find both mother and child asleep. 'I'll tell him why, Heero; why you couldn't be here. I'll make him understand,' Quatre thought as he looked down at slumbering baby. As if sensing he was being watched, Heero's son opened his eyes and stared up at Quatre, who gently lifted him from Relena's arms. Positioning the monitor with Heero's picture on it so it was facing them, Quatre pointed at the screen. "That's your father, little one."

And all day long he was fighting for you
But he didn't even know your name
Young men come and young men go
But life goes on just the same

"He needs a name, doesn't he?" Relena drummed her fingers on the bedside table early the next morning as the baby slept beside her. "What do you think Heero would have wanted?" she asked, looking up at Quatre. "We never had time to really discuss it," she said slowly, trying not to choke on the words as she finished, "but he was on the colony when I told him about the baby." Relena looked down, again battling the tears.

I don't know why...
Why do we keep holding on?
I don't know why...
Pretending to be oh so strong.
Oh why?
Is there something I don't know?
Or something very wrong, with you and me -
or maybe...

"We'll have to think about that," Quatre answered, trying to sound cheerful.

The emotion had gotten the better of Relena, and she looked up at Quatre tearfully. "What am I going to tell him one day - about his father?"

"You'll tell him that he loved you both very much," was Quatre's answer.

'Enough to die for us,' Relena said silently to herself.

That's the way it is, there's nothing I can do,
That's just the way it is...


OR IS IT? What if Heero (by some miracle) SURVIVED? Wouldn't that be, well, interesting? There could be a second part to this, if you'd all like to find out what happens, let me know. Love to everyone! - Stella