(Author's Note: The following fic was inspired by the song Deliver Me by Sarah Brightman. I have no legal claim to the song or the Gundam Wing characters in the story. Please don't sue me; I'm dirt poor. Also, this story is a companion to my other fic, An Arranged Marriage, although it can stand on its own. Hope you enjoy.)

Deliver Me

Deliver me, out of my sadness,

Deliver me, from all of the madness,

Deliver me, courage to guide me,

Deliver me, strength from inside me.

All of my life, I've been in hiding,

Wishing there was someone just like you.

Now that you're here, now that I've found you,

I know that you're the one to pull me through.

Heero stared up at the artificial sky far above his head and grimaced slightly. Strange, the false vistas of the colony had never bothered him before. But now, he seemed to feel caged by their protective walls. Now, it seemed that no matter where he went, he felt the tug of discontentment. There had only been one place, one person, that had quelled that disconcerting sentiment. He shook his head, annoyed at the turn his thoughts were taking. He shouldered his backpack and crossed the street when the light changed. He hadn't noticed earlier, but his mouth was dry as the Sahara. There were quite a few shops around offering refreshment, but he didn't feel like stopping yet. Eyes resolutely trained on the sidewalk beneath his feet, he walked on, instinctively avoiding the other people on the sidewalk.

Artificial night was falling on the colony when he stopped and looked around. He was in the shopping district, surrounded by crowded stores and bustling people. He noticed a hot dog vendor off to one side of the courtyard and decided to get a bite to eat. Hot dog and soda in hand, he found a small table in a corner formed by a large planter and sat down to eat. He had just bitten into his dinner when the newscast on the large vidscreen overhead caught his attention.

"—see Vice-Foreign Minister Relena Dorlian as she arrives on L1 to mediate the territory dispute between L1-14 and L1-22. The two mining colonies have argued over—" Heero was frozen by the sight of Relena up on the screen. She was waving to the cheering crowd as she disembarked from her shuttle, smiling and nodding. It had been only six weeks since he'd last seen her, last heard her voice, last touched her…. He managed to choke down the food in his mouth but he had lost his appetite. There, on that screen, was everything he needed to make his world right. She was the one who made sense of the madness. It was her courage that had guided him, in his dark moments. Whenever he was tempted to revert, to go back to being the soulless soldier that Dr. J had created, all he had to do was picture her. Her steady azure gaze, her calm, soothing voice; those memories centered him, strengthened him. But, at the same time, he couldn't stay with her. No, he couldn't do that to her, not to Relena…

No matter how much he wished he could.

Relena sighed as she sat before the vanity in her penthouse suite. The meetings that she had sat through today had seemed endless. She wanted to wrap this up as quickly as possible. She wanted to be home. Home, with her brother and sister-in-law, and her friends. She frowned, thinking about how she had probably missed Quatre and his new wife by mere minutes. Her hand closed over a small bottle of facial cream. She wanted to be there, not here. All she wanted was to spend time with her friends, to be with the ones she loved, to be with—

She snatched up the little jar with a growl of frustration, and hurled it at the balcony doors. Fortunately, she had left them open. The glass container shattered as it hit the bulletproof glass that surrounded the balcony. Her temper cooled as quickly as it had ignited. She hung her head and sighed. She was just so tired….

And lonely, if the truth was to be known. Relena's innate sense of honesty made her admit that this was more the source of her pique than anything else. Why, Heero, why? She wondered for the thousandth time. Why do you always walk away? She flopped on the bed and picked up the well-loved teddy bear that she took on all her trips. Burying her face in its' fur, she let her thoughts drift back to when she had last seen him. It had been six weeks ago, when they had all come together for Quatre's unexpected marriage. He had tried to avoid her; she could tell. But they were drawn to each other. Rather like moths to a flame. She couldn't help but to wonder what fatal fascination the flame held for the poor insect. What made it go back even after its wings were singed? She let out a low chuckle at her philosophical mood. All the deep thinking in the world wouldn't change the facts. Heero always walked away. Always.

Even when she wished he would stay....


Heero woke up the next morning in a wretched mood. He scowled down at the ratty carpet attempting to cover the floor of the dive he had chosen to stay in. He heard shouts and muffled threats coming from the room next door. He was tempted to bang on the wall and join in on the yelling, but decided that wouldn't rid him of his bad temper. He packed up his duffle and strode out the door.

Relena sighed internally as she listened to the bickering of the delegates for the two colonies. Really, she couldn't understand why they were having fits over floating chunks of rock. Claiming sectors was no good, because if the asteroid being mined drifted across the boundary, then one group was accused of invading the other's territory. This promised to be a long meeting, she thought.

"Vice-Foreign Minister?" A polite, slightly puzzled voice broke into her musings.

She blinked and looked up. "I'm sorry? I was thinking a bit hard."

The young man assigned as her aide while she was on the colony smiled. "I understand, ma'am. But, it's time for lunch. Would you care to go out or would you like something to be brought to your suite?" he asked, phone in hand.

Relena stood from the long conference table, stretching her back as she did. "Have something sent to my room, please. I'd like to relax for a few minutes."

"Yes, ma'am," he said with a nod, dialing the phone. Relena left the conference room, rolling her eyes as the inevitable guards took up pace beside her. The elevator ride was silent, the guards alert for any possible signs of threat. Relena thanked them as she stepped off of the elevator onto her floor. She used her keycard and password to open the door and breathed a sigh of relief as she stepped into the dark room. She kicked off her beige pumps and flopped on the couch in a pose quite unbecoming of the former Queen of the World.

She shrugged out of the pale green business jacket that she had worn, and hiked up the matching skirt to yank off the pantyhose that had been annoying her for the last hour or so. Several years ago, she had come to the conclusion that she was tired of wearing the trappings of an aristocrat. It had caused quite a stir when she began wearing business suits and tailored dresses to her meetings. Now, it was all the rage among young businesswomen to dress like Vice-Foreign Minister Dorlian. She wished that she had thought to pack some slacks, but the unexpected call had given her little time to pack. She had tossed clothes from her closet to her suitcase as quickly as possible.

The chime of the doorbell and the rumbling of her stomach coincided. She activated the hall monitor to see a busboy waiting with a trolley. She opened the door and waved him in. She turned to reach for her purse on the side table, to offer him a tip when the door slammed. She jumped a foot off of the carpet and whirled to face the busboy. His face was partially hidden by the cap that went with the uniform and Relena wondered if this was to be yet another kidnap attempt.

He took a step toward her and she bumped into the table next to her hip and stumbled. Quick as a striking snake, his hand shot out and caught her wrist. She gasped at the contact.

"Heero?" she whispered, eyes wide.

"Hn, never could fool you, could I?" He tugged off the cap and his unruly brown hair fell in his face, partially hiding his deep blue eyes. She could feel the weight of his steady gaze on her and unconsciously straightened. She lifted a hand toward him, wanting so much to touch him, but she caught herself in time.

"So what brings you here?" she asked, stepping away from him to lift the lid on the tray. She peered at the delicacies sent up by the four star kitchen and heartily wished for a cheeseburger and fries. "Let me guess," she said, her tone slightly mocking. "Someone's plotting against me. What could it be this time? A kidnapping? An assassination attempt?" She faced him again, a look of mock fright on her face, hands clasped to her chest like a swooning maiden. "And of course, you, being the brave soldier that you are, just had to come and save me. Am I right? How close am I?"

Heero watched silently. He didn't understand why she was behaving like this. He was starting to regret the impulse that had made him come here when Relena collapsed on the couch, face buried in her hands. "Next time, don't bother, Heero. Don't save me, don't rescue me. I'd rather face a hundred assassination attempts than to watch you walk away from me one more time."

He blinked. Was that what this was all about?? He took a step toward her. Then another. Until he was standing before her. Stiffly, still uncertain, he knelt at her feet, trying to catch a glimpse of her face. He reached up to brush away the tear that was slowly making its way down her cheek.

"Don't," he said hoarsely, feeling something tearing in his chest at the sight of her pain. "Don't cry, Relena.. I can't... I can't..." He hesitated, unable to express himself.

"Oh, Heero," she sighed, "You don't have to hide from me. Never from me." She opened her arms to him, and, like a lost child, he rested his head on her breast, savoring the warmth and comfort he always found when she held him. Almost of their own accord, his arms wound around her waist and tightened, holding her closer.

Relena ran her fingers through his hair, quicksilver desire running through her. Not desire for physical intimacy, although that was there as well. What they shared was more than just mere sex. Their bond was one of the soul; of hearts calling to each other. Her courage was a focus for his steady strength, just as his strength was what gave her the courage to go on. She looked down as Heero sighed and pulled away, lifting his head to gaze up at her.

"I shouldn't have come," he said slowly, rising to his feet and looking away. Relena's mouth tightened; he was trying to distance himself from her. Well, not this time, she thought. Not again.

"Why did you come here, Heero?" she asked, standing as well. He paused before the door, not daring to look back at her. She crossed her arms and waited. "I'm not going to let you walk out that door without an answer."

Heero turned to face her again, a faint expression of surprise on his face. And he was surprised. He didn't think he had ever heard Relena speak that way before. He dared to meet her eyes and was amazed at the pent up emotions he could see there. Fury, sadness and a desperate longing, all were mingled there. And he caught a glimpse of something else, something that he didn't have the words to explain. He didn't know what to say to her.

"Relena, I--" he started, then stopped, unable to articulate what he could feel trapped inside his frozen heart. His hands curled into fists of frustration and he bit back a groan.

But Relena was beyond frustration now. With a swiftness that left Heero speechless, she tore into him. "Damn you, Heero Yuy!! DAMN you!!!!" He tried to back away from her, only to bump up against the door. He raised his hands to block the angry blows she was raining on his chest. Her sudden rage had totally surprised him. He didn't know how to deal with her like this. Her tears made him uneasy, but this, this blind fury, was beyond his comprehension.

He managed to catch her hands as her manicured nails scored on the side of his face. Biting back an oath, he struggled to push her back onto the couch. This was a Relena that he didn't recognize; this wild hellcat writhing to sink her teeth into his shoulder was a complete stranger to him. With his strength and training, he could have easily subdued her, but she was in this state because of him. He wasn't going to do any more to harm her.

As quickly as it had began, Relena's fury subsided. Heero almost suspected a trick when she suddenly wilted, going completely limp. The only sounds in the room were their labored breathing.

Heero cradled Relena against his chest, listening as her breathing slowed. He thought for a moment that she had fallen asleep, but when he tried to move, her eyes popped open and she glared up at him. "Sneaking away?" she asked bitterly.

Heero's face iced over. "If I want to leave, Relena, I'll walk right out that door."

Her face was as hard as his as she scooted out of his lap into the corner of the couch. "When that time comes, I won't stop you, Heero. But I want something from you." Keeping her eyes locked on his, she reached for the phone on the table next to the couch. She dialed, never losing eye contact. "This is Dorlian," she said calmly when her call was answered. "Cancel my meetings for the rest of the day. Reschedule for tomorrow. I'm not feeling well. No, it's nothing serious enough to need a doctor, but it's something that would definitely cause problems during the conferences." She laughed at something the other person said. "No kidding, right. I appreciate it. Thank you. Goodbye."

The laughter disappeared when she hung up the phone. Her face was every bit as icy as Heero's. "I want you to stay here. With me. All night." Heero couldn't help it. His mouth fell open and a faint blush crawled up his face. There was a hint of red staining Relena's cheeks as well, but she remained firm. "That's all I'm asking Heero, just a few hours of your life," she said.

"B-but what about the conferences?" he managed to sputter out.

Relena closed her eyes and sighed. "Do you have any idea, Heero, how miserable my life is?" she asked softly. "I work constantly. I never have any time for myself. I'm supposed to be on my vacation right now." She opened her eyes and stared directly at him, her azure eyes heavy and dark. "I'm not supposed to be here, listening to people quibble about chucks of rocks floating around in space! I'm supposed to be at home, with my family and friends, waiting for the birth of my niece or nephew!! This was the first time I'd even taken a vacation since I accepted my post." She closed her eyes again. "I'm tired, so very tired. And do you know what I realized on my way here, Heero? I'm only twenty-one years old. I've never dated, never gone to college, never gone out with my friends and had a night on the town. I've sacrificed so much for the earth and the colonies. And you know what? I haven't gotten a DAMN thing in return!"

"Relena..." He reached out, but hesitated to touch her.

"All of our friends have someone. Even Wufei managed to come to terms with Sally," she continued. "I come home, night after night, to an empty room. Hotel or home, it's all the same to me now. I'm alone no matter where I go. I've lost track of the times I've fallen asleep, crying in my pillow. I feel empty, Heero. Totally empty. All I'm asking of you, if you have any feelings for me at all, is to just stay with me. Give me this one night. Make me feel again."

She gasped when he pulled her to him. "Oh, God, Relena... Why me? Of all of the people in this universe, why me??" He smoothed the loose strands of honey colored hair away from her face and looked at her desperately. "I'm no good for you. If you knew...."

"Let me be the judge of what's good for me," she whispered, running her hands up and down his back. "I've tried to tell you before, I don't care about the past or the future. We live in the here and now, and that's all I'm concerned about."

Heero nodded. It might be selfish on his part, but he wanted this one night too.


Deliver me, loving and caring,

Deliver me, giving and sharing,

Deliver me, the cross that I'm bearing.

All of my life, I was in hiding,

Wishing there was someone just like you.

Now that you're here, now that I've found you,

I know that you're the one to pull me through.

Deliver me…

Deliver me…

Oh, deliver me,

"I don't know," Relena said thoughtfully, nibbling on a shrimp. "I've always thought that Duo would be Han Solo. And Wufei would be Chewbacca. I mean, he's foul tempered enough to be a Wookie." Heero snorted and reached for a shrimp of his own.

"I don't think so. Wufei would throttle Duo," he said, dipping the piece of seafood into the tub of tartar sauce.

Relena screwed up her brow and thought. "Hmmm.... good point."

"But you and your brother would have been Luke and Leia." Heero beat her grab for the last shrimp, then relented and offered it to her. She shook her head and picked up a french fry.

She gave him a knowing grin. "You'd like that wouldn't you? I'll bet you're thinking about that slave girl costume right now. Admit it, Heero."

He managed to keep it from showing on his face, but he had thought about it a time or two. Especially after Duo mentioned that Hilde had found a replica of the costume somewhere and had it hidden away.

Heero and Relena had discovered that they both enjoyed the old Star Wars movies. From there, they had gone on to talk about their friends and their lives. Both thought that Quatre's arranged marriage was going to work out better than anticipated. Heero had been quite surprised to hear that Duo and Hilde were expecting twins.

"I can't wait to get home and see them," Relena said, as she helped herself to a fried oyster. She had called the kitchen and had a large seafood platter sent up for dinner. It more than lived up to its size. Heero had eaten the fish and crab legs, leaving the shrimp ( most of them, anyway) and the oysters for Relena. Seafood was another taste they had on common. Relena was pleased to see Heero relaxing ever so slightly as they ate and talked.

That was all she had really wanted, just to spend time with him like a normal couple getting to know each other. No life or death situations, no impending battle hanging over their head, and no-one being held hostage. She realized that Heero had read a little more into her request than she had meant, but she had no problem with it, if events led in that direction. In fact, she kind of hoped they would.

She tucked her bare feet up underneath her and curled into the corner of the couch. Heero eyed her curiously. He'd never seen Relena this relaxed. She had changed into a baggy t-shirt and a pair of silky boxer shorts in a bright emerald green. Her long hair was out of its severe bun and hung down to her waist. She looked almost fifteen again. She raised a fine eyebrow at his scrutiny, curious. He shrugged and reached for another bite of seafood.

"Heero," she asked softly, thinking. "Have you ever wondered what our lives would have been like if we had been born different people?"

He tilted his head, considering. "Sometimes," he admitted. "Once or twice. But such thinking is only a waste of time. If you think about it too much, it'll only get in the way."

"I suppose. You don't allow much to get in your way, do you, Heero?" Relena asked, taking a sip of her soda.

Heero's eyes were cold as he looked at her. She had the feeling he wasn't really seeing her at all. "No. I can't let anything get in the way of what I have to do."

She sensed an opening and pushed the advantage. "And what is it you have to do, Heero? You don't have to fight any more."

"No," he said bleakly. "Now I have to survive with the memories of what I did. I have to live my life trying not to see the faces, or hear the voices of all the people I killed." Relena gasped; his admission was enough to break her battered heart. "I will carry that burden with me for the rest of my life."

"Oh, Heero..." Relena sighed, stretching out a hand toward him. He shrank back from her touch.

"The only time I don't feel the guilt is when I'm with you," he ground out from between clenched teeth. "You make me feel alive again, and I don't deserve that!" He rose from the couch and began to pace. Tears ran down Relena's face, the tears that Heero could never have shed for himself.

"Heero," she said urgently, trying to reach him. "It wasn't your fault. You didn't have a choice."

"Didn't I?" he asked harshly. "I was the pilot, I was in control of Wing Zero."

"And Doctor J was in control of you!" Relena retorted, leaping to her feet to face him. "I did a little research after I was made Vice-Foreign Minister. I had access to a lot of information that would make even you cringe! So I looked into the kind of programming you were subjected to. A child, as you were when they started the process, wouldn't have had a snowball's chance in hell of resisting. They could have made you believe that black was white and up was down! I saw some of the people who had been programmed like you. You should consider yourself lucky, Heero, that you're not locked up in a government care facility somewhere, drooling!"

"At least they don't have to remember!" he actually shouted back at her, startling both of them. "I can't stop remembering!"

"Then maybe you need some new memories," Relena said softly, moving to stand toe to toe with him. He didn't resist when she reached up and pulled his head down to her. She moved slowly, giving him the chance to stop her. She pressed her lips to his and he almost forgot to breathe. Her lips were so soft and gentle.

"Relena..." he sighed against her mouth. He felt her shiver against him and knew this was one fight that he didn't want to win. He brought his arms up to hold her to him. "Why? Why me?"

She looked up at him, azure eyes clear and trusting. "Because you have a kind soul. That is something that no-one could ever destroy." She took a deep breath and continued. "And, because I love you, Heero."

Her words shattered something deep inside him and he closed his eyes against the exquisite pain. He felt like he had been waiting to hear those words forever. "Relena," he whispered, holding her tighter. "I--"

"I know," she said, threading her fingers into his dark hair. "I know." He skimmed his lips across her cheek, then kissed her deeply. "Let me love you, Heero," she breathed when he released her.

"I never could stop you," he said, a hint of laughter in his soft voice.


Relena woke suddenly the next morning, aware that something was missing. She bolted up in the wide bed, looking around frantically. His clothes were gone. She bit back a sob; she had been so hoping that he wouldn't leave her again. She buried her face in the pillow that still held his scent and felt the tears prick her eyes.

A click made her look up quickly, daring to hope. Heero stood framed in the bathroom door, a towel wrapped around his lean waist, his hair still damp from the shower. He was giving her a slightly puzzled look and moved to sit on the edge of the bed next to her.

She pulled the sheet up to cover her chest, a bit of belated modesty, and he actually grinned at her. "I don't think that sheet is hiding anything I haven't already seen," he quipped, making her stare at him. Something about him was subtly different. There was a peace there that hadn't been there last night. She was amazed. Could one person's love make that much of a difference?

"I-I thought that you had left," she admitted. "I woke up and I didn't see you..." She trailed off as he ran a gentle finger down the curve of her face, touching her as though she were the most fragile thing in the world.

"I won't promise you that I'll never leave again, Relena," he said, putting a finger over her lips to silence her. "But I promise that I will always come back to you." He kissed her sweetly, trailing knowing fingers down her spine to make her gasp.

"Heero," she sighed, leaning against him. "That's all I ever wanted."


All of my life, I was in hiding,

Wishing there was someone just like you.

Now that you're here, now that I've found you,

I know that you're the one to pull me through.

Deliver me…

Oh, deliver me.

Won't you deliver me?

var yviContents='http://us.toto.geo.yahoo.com/toto?s=76001074 yviR='us';yfiEA(0); geovisit();