A/N: If there is one series, and one pairing, that keeps calling me back from the dimensions of other fandoms, it will always be Gundam Wing and 1xR. So though I've been dabbling in new places this summer, here is some more 1xR from me. This is a little sentimental too.
Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing and am making no profit from this fan story.
Note: The numbers preceding the story sections are the ages of Heero and/or Relena. Some of these reflections are inspired by actual events from the Gundam Wing story, others are made up.
Dreams Through The Ages
10 – He is a strange boy that comes from another world…a world that she knows nothing about. Poverty, orphan, tragedy…these are words that ring in her ears like myths out of a beautifully-painted storybook. Told to her, but never accepted. Never believed in.
And though others expect her to ignore him, Relena holds only pity in her little girl heart, and she regrets forgetting to apologize for running into him. She forgets to properly introduce herself, and she regrets that too. But mostly she regrets that the life she has grown up to know has left her to room at her young age to understand others that live differently from her.
And she dreams of meeting again the boy with the sad eyes and the unruly hair so that she can correct her mistakes. After all, she does not like being rude.
14 – She calls an ambulance for an unconscious boy little older than herself, and in return she is given glares and accusations. Instead of facing her directly, he runs away. But Relena understands that it is not an action taken out of cowardice. There is enough strength in this boy to fill him and overflow into others.
Perhaps even into her.
She sudden wishes for that strength and dreams that she could somehow use it for a purpose just as good as his. For he must have a purpose, she reasons. Not everyone has a blank reason for living as she does.
15 – He tears up her invitation and simultaneously destroys the piece of her heart that tells her to give to people without reasons. There is a back room in Heero's conscious where he feels remorse for hurting her, and he catches her tears before they can fall. But his mission is his top priority. And she knows too much.
Her eyes are like mirrors, and for one, unrevealed second he can see himself through her gaze. It scares him. The pilot from L1 does not know the meaning of the phrase kindred spirits, and rather than be comforted by her hidden will, he is intimidated by it. In self-defense, he makes a fast decision.
"I'll kill you."
Heero thinks he can hear the way her heart skips, and he wonders if the sudden bitterness on his tongue is the taste of her terror. Now she is afraid of him.
He used to dream that there would be a day when people did not have to look at him and be afraid.
15 – And then he discovers with some surprise and even more annoyance that she does not fear him at all. It is a setback and inconvenient. His hand does not shake on the trigger because he is secretly beside himself with rage.
For one moment, he had looked over his shoulder at her and said her name. Said it like he was a normal person who might be moved positively by her courageous, if foolish, efforts to make contact with him. He had very nearly let her in. He had very nearly jeopardized his mission, his whole reason for existing this long.
Her eyes, those eyes that are sometimes so very like his own, widen with the full realization that she is going to die at his hands. Heero does not wish for her pleasant dreams. He hopes she will not have to dream at all. In dreaming, humans live false lives, and he does not wish to inflict the agony known as life upon anyone.
But then the bullet that is not his comes and explodes into his arm. And then he thinks he might be the one who is dreaming, because Relena stands in front of him…protecting him.
15 – He is not like an angel to her, nor a devil, but simply a star. Stars are the link between heaven and earth, existing higher than any living creature is able to, lying on the line between gods and mortals. And Heero gives off a special sort of light, but it is like the light used to brighten dreams.
That dark kind of light makes him soar above the rest. He is the brightest star Relena has ever seen, and something grows within her. There is something new, like a freshly-planted seed. With time, the light he gives her, and a little bit of rain-like tears, she believes it will bloom.
And then Heero jumps out of a window. And he reminds her of a falling star.
And she knows that her seed will never grow if his light ever goes out.
15 – Dancing with her is like walking down a path out of his dreams. He cannot see the end, and he cannot even see the reason for walking it, but eventually he is distracted from the question of why by the question of why not?
She has matured over the past few days. Heero knows of her father's death, but he is unable to fully grasp its effect on her. As one who has grown up with death being an ever-nearby shadow, he cannot see that the loss of one thing always bring about the gain of another.
Her smile is like a handful of diamonds. As beautiful as it is in its glow, it is harder than anything, and it has taken a long time to be created. Heero cannot see past that smile, and he is stunned to realize that it Relena who does not let him through this time. He finds he does not like it.
15 – She was a minute away from death until just now. After he saves her, Relena finds she prefers the minute. Staring into the eyes of a thousand tons of a foreign metal, she can feel Heero watching her, and the slice of his Gundam's shield whipping towards her puts her a step closer to shutting her eyes forever.
Her legs tremble but she holds her ground. He inspires awe in her, not fear.
It is like watching a dream as he flies away, once again running from her. This time it is cowardice that drives him, and she is suddenly cold with the lack of his presence. She had not yet realized before now that wanting to see him and needing to see him are two separate things. Like when her father had first died, she now wanted to see him.
She wishes she knows what Heero is to her. A friend? Yes…a friend she wishes she can stay friends with forever. Her only friend.
15 – Seeing her in the middle of the war with someone like Quatre at his side makes everything different. Heero understands that now he is not looking at a young girl with an assassinated father and a directionless future. He is looking at a princess with a murdered country and a purpose so meaningful that it is apparently beyond anyone else's contemplation.
Peace, let alone pacifism, is not an option at this point. Relena realizes that and Heero cannot help but be proud of her. He is holding on the same way she is, and they are both in a struggle. It is a strong boy that can survive the throes of war, but it is an even stronger girl that can survive the pressure of an unlikely dream.
She unfolds new thoughts in him. Staying in her land makes him experience a day without a battle. Sitting on a bench has him wondering what life is like without a war.
Relena's dreams unsettle him. It is to be admired, if not appreciated.
15 – There are moments where she catches herself wondering if the physical part of time has stopped, leaving the mental part to soldier on defiantly. In a beautiful gown, wearing rare jewels and flaunting fancy hair, Relena feels as though she has looked fifteen for decades and she is truly as old as fifty. Perhaps that is the only true victory of a war. It ages you in your sleep, during your dreams.
Her red sash feels like a bloodstain across the purity of her white dress, and though she holds no weapon, she knows that her words can strike down enemies if she chooses. Relena pretends that this is the blood of the battle, and that somewhere Heero is watching her speech…ready to add on to what little blood shedraws to give the finishing blow.
15 – She is a prisoner of two things; Romafeller and her dreams. Heero thinks there must be a part of her that is captured by the ideal of true peace, and she cannot escape its naivety. He wonders if he, or anyone for that matter, can ever possibly free her from such chains.
But after being told she has come all the way to space to make an attempt to sway her own brother toward total pacifism, Heero accepts that something drastic will be necessary to show Relena – and the rest of the world – the true meaning of peace.
Peace is not something that occurs in entirety. It arrives in pieces. And piece by piece, it grows larger.
But not yet.
15 – Watching his eyes through the glaring glass of a space helmet, she can see visions that would never have entered her mind without help. Everything about him is gentle, from the surprising way he smiles at her – his smile is what distracts her – and the push he gives her.
"Believe in me," he tells her. That is the most surprising things of all.
How he can even dream she can do anything else is a mystery to her.
16 – Relena has morphed and grown and changed. The transformation is right before his eyes, and yet Heero realizes he never quite sees it until she is standing right in front of him. With the pawn known as Mariemaia cradled in her lap, it is ironic that he pulls the trigger of an empty gun.
In the arms of peace is the child of the battle.
He can feel himself falling, and she does not fail him. He notices for the first time that he has come to recognize her through little details; the temperature of her hands when she is worried – she is often worried – the scent of her not-currently-so-perfect hair. She welcomes him the way he allows only her to welcome him.
As his consciousness fades, Heero has the first good dream he ever remembers having.
20 – She doesn't see him for four years, and she is neither surprised nor hurt. There has always been something about Heero that stirs memories within Relena, and not only memories of him, but of other influential men. Her father, her brother Milliardo, even the other four Gundam pilots are brought to the forefront as she thinks of the pilot known as 01.
Quatre tells her that Heero is alive and living well. It is enough for her that he takes care of himself. It is enough that he was never just a man that she dreamed up.
And then he comes back on her birthday. He simply appears in the doorway of her bedroom. She turns twenty, and then Heero comes back.
21 – He never means to get hurt protecting her. But he does, sometimes, and it is necessary.
A year ago, when he had seen her for the first time since the Mariemaia Incident, he had defeated a would-be assassin on the roof above her bedroom. He had tossed the man's body over the wall of the palace grounds in just such a way that he would not die.
A wound from an unanticipated knife, however, didn't leave him quite so lucky. He stumbled in to the corridor outside her room and, in a rush of madness he blamed on the blood loss, went to her.
She caught him again, and he did not die. Not in her arms, not in the Sanq Kingdom hospital. He stayed only for a while because Relena asked him to.
A week after his complete recovery was confirmed, he joined Preventer. No one would have ever dreamed it.
23 – Making speeches broadcast both earth- and space-wide is nerve-racking for her. Especially on Christmas, when she is forced to find just the right thing to say without bringing up too many sad memories from the war. It is a celebratory time, this holiday, and for not only religious traditions but also the end of an era marked by a billion pools of drained life.
Heero finds her on Christmas at home alone. She is reading a compilation of Oz soldiers' diary entries in the light of a grand fireplace. He made some remark about inappropriate entertainment material, but he is thinking about how her golden hair gleams in the firelight. Relena realizes with the first few words that he has had one too many toasts with wine that night.
She sobers him with milk and water until his system is drained, and she laughs at how dissatisfied he is with his own behavior.
"I would think the great Heero Yuy would have far more willpower than any normal man." Relena smiles, happy that after so many years of knowing him, she feels free to joke with the ex-soldier.
Heero's stare is entirely levelheaded and serious. The way his eyes shine as he watches her sends a nervous spark from her wrist to her heart. "No," he answers lowly. He kisses her with something like desperation. Or maybe he's just giving up the battle that she lost a long time ago.
Relena has imagined this with him, but never in her wildest dreams is it as perfect.
25 – It isn't until he begins to live with her that he truly understands her. The other pilots, especially Duo, accuse her of being a workaholic, but Heero knows better. She isn't addicted to the business that comes with obtaining peace, but she is completely possessed by the achievement of it. After all the moments she, he, everyone had doubted it, today there was a peace that all could rely on.
Heero knows that he holds a different importance to her and doesn't mind. This is her time, after all. He had his in A.C. 195 for a whole year. He is content with that. It is far more fitting that Relena's time lasts the rest of their lives.
Their relationship is much like that. For a whole year, they are together but not really together. He lives with her, shares her house, her bed, herself. She does the same with him.
And then he buys a ring, and she gives him a three-letter word. It surpasses every dream about life he never had during the war.
29 – She gives up her office at the end of the term, and by then they know that she is pregnant with his child. She tells him how happy she is to finally have the life she always wanted, the life her father always wanted for her. Heero tells her that he is happy to have life.
He doesn't know how to say that, with her, it is even better.
But then she has a nightmare, a side effect of her altered bodily state, and he comforts her with warm arms and quiet whispers. She is beautiful even when she is crying, and Heero wishes there was a way for him to tell her that she can cry to him.
So he says it, just like that.
Relena smiles at him and presses a hand to his face with all the adoration from their initial meeting and more.
"I know," she says, right before kissing him.
32 – Duo laughs at him because he paces in the waiting room. He paced with their first child, too, whom Trowa is bouncing in his lap, looking amusingly out of place.
Relena gives him a daughter with dark hair and crystalline blue eyes that are hers. Big brother David has no idea how to respond to having a younger sibling. Heero Yuy has no idea how to respond to having two children.
Relena, as always, knows just what to do and kisses all three of them. Baby girl Alena can't feel it; she is lost in sleepy dreams.
57 - Alena is getting married, and David is nearing his second wedding anniversary. Relena sometimes has moments where she is upset that they had children so late that they are now old with children so young.
"Duo's kids all married almost eight years ago," she frets.
Heero gently reminds her that that Duo didn't have to wait on Hilde to finish mothering an entire planet and space colonial region before his children were born. The smile that alights on her lips is worth the awkward emotion. And he kisses her in a way that causes her to forget that she is possibly anything but as gorgeous as she was at seventeen. There are still the dreams in her eyes that he fell in love with her for.
64 – Relena is not surprised that Heero is an unaccustomed to his grandchildren as he was with his own children. She is surprised that she has grandchildren at all. She sometimes feels as though it must all be a dream, but she is not really living this mostly-perfect life, and that she is still fifteen and will soon be waking up to find out that her father is truly dead.
She loves her family, and even in her weakening health, she is confident that Heero loves them just as much. He always has had such a great capacity for love. It is complimenting that she could be the one to help bring it out.
She is not a princess now, but a dowager empress. Heero may never have been much like a king, but he has always been a prince to her, with or without wrinkles in the corners of his eyes.
72 – Heero is angry at first that she is the first to go. He had held her hand as the beeps of her heart monitor finally slowed to a stop, and he had kissed her forehead with tears in his eyes. People are honoring her as the possibly the sole reason that peace was ever obtained and secured, but he knows Relena would disagree.
She was the most unselfish person he ever knew in his life. Except, of course, when it came to him.
He visits her grave every day with a fresh rose, placing the new one with other blooming ones and taking away the old. That is how it has always been; Relena gets the beautiful, Heero gets the withered, but they share both always.
It feels as though he really did kill her, in the end. His children heartily deny this comment as his grandchildren ask what he is talking about. A smile comes to his old lips as he takes the hand of his daughter's little boy, named for a one Trowa Barton, who died years before anything of them…before the remembered Duo, before the honored Wufei, before the immortal Quatre.
Heero is the only one that remains, and even he will not be long. He tells the little boy named Trowa that a threat can hold just as much love as it can hate. He says if he must threaten any pretty girl one day, he must threaten her with love.
The way he did.
Heero dreams that he can somehow spend forever with her. Someplace where he and Relena can enjoy their peace together.
His children believe with all their hearts that he did.