It's time

I suppose I'm not the best person for this kind of thing, this kind of talking always makes me uncomfortable. I know, me who could talk the leaves off the trees trying to describe everything for you.

I can see you now, as you read this, arms crossed, brow furrowed and lips tight telling me to get on with it.

I suppose I should.

It was a stately affair, all tuxedos and frills. Relena was beautiful, no colour suited her as well that as off white that was almost ivory that brought a lustre to the honey colour of her hair. Part of me wonders if I should be jealous, seeing you there in a tuxedo, your hair had been straightened and you looked at peace. I had never had that. The priest was calm and spoke carefully, obviously wary of the gathered celebrities that had come. Lady Une was there, the years had been kind to her and the grey she wore made her beautiful. It's hard to remember that scary old Une is beautiful, but she is, you showed me that.

You showed me so many things, and I will never blame you for that.

I changed you, you changed me, we're square.

Everything was lovely, I think you'd want to be sure of that. I know you, Mr Perfect, the flowers had to be exact and wonderful. I can't think of anything that even you could find fault with.

I worked hard for you, to make everything perfect. Sometimes it's the only way to show I care. You looked great, Relena looked great, the church looked great. Everyone looked great.

I thought it would be harder than it was, to see it, I mean yeah, it was a bitch, but there's closure like this, you know. It's better this way than leaving it open ended. I don't things being open ended any more than you did.

Things change.

Yeah there was a time when I thought that if I told you that everything would be perfect, that I could make you happy, but it didn't work out like that, did it?

You taught me so much about myself, I just hope I taught you the same.

In that I was never sure that we were square.

So many times you saved me, Heero, I just thought that someday I could return the favour. I even tried to save you from yourself for all the good that did.

Relena cried, even crying she looked great.

I didn't cry.

Boys don't, you know.

You made me so strong I wanted to give that back, even if it did cut me up. I cried when I got home, I cried for all the things that could never be, all the things I deluded myself I might have. I mean, I always assumed that you and I, well. I guess that will never happen now.

It's amazing how things never turn out like you'd expect.

I sure as hell didn't expect this, you know.

I know, I know, get on with it.

Well pardon me for continuing on for a little while longer, I wanted to tell you about that time we became tourists, just for a little while. It was a mission thing, and we were doing reconnaissance, and we were just pretending to be normal. It was especially nice because I was pretending to be normal with you. It was autumn, I remember that, and the trees were golden and some farmer was burning the leaves. You said you liked the smell, I remember it most fondly because it was the very first personal thing you ever told me.

It made a pagan of me, more than anything I wanted to build a bonfire for you, it was then, on that day, as you stood on the walls of that castle and smelled the wood smoke that I fell in love with you. It's too late to do anything now, so I can be frank. Yes, I love you, I always will, nothing can change that. I never expected anything more, I wanted you to know that, I was happy being your friend.

You told me I was your only friend, you were wrong, but it meant the very world to me.

But I was telling you about the ceremony wasn't I. After it we all piled into a marquee in Sanq, the Peacecrafts sure know how to throw a party, don't they. I didn't even know the names of all the foods, and Relena was the perfect hostess, I suppose that's a bit of a duh, Maxwell.

I'm getting there. I've never been good at this kind of thing, but I'm doing my best.

Everyone raised a glass in your honour, even scary old Lady Une, so it goes to show she didn't hate the very air you breathed. Quatre played his violin, the song was beautiful, Trowa played the flute and Dorothy sang. I didn't know she could, that her voice could be so sweet, did you.

Everyone looked at me to give the toast and I didn't know what to say, I know, me speechless, but I suppose everyone is at times. I had so many things I wanted to say that I could choose none of them. It's easier to talk like this. Just us, you know.

You told me I could tell you anything.

I never lied, I don't, but there was a lot of things I never told you, things I can only tell you now.

I love you.

That's one of them.

You are the only person I ever felt understood me.

You are my best friend.

You're my Heero, that pun never gets old.

You believe In me, even when I don't believe in myself.

That means the world to me.

The party was great. I didn't drink, I had water for the toast, so you can unfurrow those brows of yours now. I was a veritable angel, well as much as I can be. You would have been proud of me. I know that.

I told Relena she was beautiful, I'm not jealous any more. I know better.

Yeah, I was jealous of her for a long time.

I even danced with her as Dorothy sang and Quatre and Trowa played. I didn't know the song, but I told her honestly that it would be okay, that even I would get over it, and you know I can hold a grudge.

Things change, you know, even me.

I mean you're probably the only one that ever sees that, no one else even cared to look. It'll be our little secret, okay, just you and me.

I told her I was ready to let you go, that circumstances weren't on my side and as we whirled around to the waltz they played that things change and we could to. I asked if we could be friends.

I know that would mean a lot to you.

There was a time you wouldn't let me dance with her, I suppose you thought I'd knife her in the back and lean her against the pot plants, you wouldn't dance with her either, or with me. Mr Perfect Soldier who doesn't dance. I do, I wish I could have danced with you, at least once before.

I'm ready to let you go, I've told you a billion times that I don't lie, that I may run and hide but I don't lie, and it's true, and it's taken this to make me realise it. I suppose if you're faced with something like this without a choice you just take it, don't you. You just grin, bear it and get over it.

Given the choice I'd cling on to you for dear life, but I didn't get that choice and I don't begrudge you it.

There is very little in this world we get to choose for ourselves.

You taught me that.

You told me that any decision not made in the first seven seconds was either not worth making or would be made for me.

It was something Dr J taught you, some ancient soldier code I suppose.

It's something I value in you almost above all things. That you are perfect in everything you do. Even this.

It's time, Heero, for me to get up off and go and go back to the Peacecraft estate. I'm staying with Relena, I don't suppose I told you that. I don't suppose it's something you'd ever expect of me. I told you, we're trying to be friends. The weather's turning, not that I suppose that something so trivial would ever bother you, I said I'd tell you about the ceremony and I have.

I'll be back tomorrow.

And the day after.

And the day after that.

It's what friends are for, isn't it?

The young man stretches his muscles as he stands up, leaning on the pristine headstone. With a sigh he casts an orchid gaze over the lettering "Heero Yuy AC180- AC198" before he climbs up the hill back to the palace in whose shadow the grave lies.