Once again, I own nothing but the plot.....I'm just a poor college student, please don't take away what little money I have. I owe the government enough already!



A Secret Exposed
written by: Lady Eclipse




Relena sat amongst a pile of cardboard boxes rifling through one of them. Her hair was pulled up into a practical ponytail and she had donned some comfortable jeans and a T-shirt for the trying task of unpacking and arranging all of her belongings into her new home. She sighed in frustration as she emerged from the box empty handed.
"Where is that stupid thing?!" She muttered to herself in frustration as she glanced about at the countless other boxes waiting for her attention.
"Where's what?" A deep voice asked. Relena looked up to catch the amused expression on Heero's face.
"My picture album. I've looked just about in every box and it's not in any one of them."
"Which album?"
"The one Milliardo gave us after we got back from our little 'trip.'" A small smile graced his lips,
"Is that what you're calling it?" He walked over to her and kneeled down on the floor next to her.
"Sorry, I guess I just got into the habit of being ambiguous for the press' sake." She replied with a sheepish grin. Heero reached out a hand to gently touch her chest just below her shoulder.
"You shouldn't be doing this now anyway, the doctors said that you should be getting as much rest as possible." Relena sighed,
"Me, rest? Never. I don't think that's possible for someone like me." Heero's fingers moved up to her shoulder and traced their way up along her neck to her cheek.
"You should, I want you to get well as soon as possible."
"I am well, just a little sore and tired." Relena protested. "I'll go lie down just as soon as I find the album." She amended after Heero gave her the solemn-yet-weary stare that Milliardo had perfected.
"Why the sudden need to find it?"
"Oh...I don't know...I guess I just want to check and make sure the whole thing wasn't a dream." She half laughed, "It all happened so fast..."
"Do you regret it?" Heero asked quietly. Relena threw her arms languidly around his shoulders and smiled at him,
"Of course not. I've wanted it for such a long time that that's why I have to keep checking to make sure it isn't a dream." Heero smiled softly with a hint of relief as he reached out to take a hold of the silver chain around her neck and unfasten it. He drew the gold ring from its confinement under her shirt then, with his other hand, took hold of Relena's left hand. He gently slipped the golden band onto her ring finger,
"It was no dream. Although," he whispered as his fingers entwined with hers, "it feels that way to me too."
"Oh Heero." She tilted her chin upward invitingly. Heero leaned down and indulged in a sweet, lengthy kiss.
"Oh man, newlyweds!" Came an overly buoyant voice. Heero broke the kiss and glowered at the intruder.
"Haven't you heard of knocking?"
"Nope." Was Duo's cheery reply. "I didn't realize that you two were still on your honeymoon, I can come back later." At that Relena looked slightly alarmed,
"How....how did you...know?"
"That was my fault." Came an abashed, dulcet voice from behind Duo. Quatre stepped into the room with an apologetic smile. "Sorry. We met on the street and I accidentally let it slip."
"That's fine, Quatre, we were going to tell him anyway." Relena replied.
"Well I have to admit that I'm just a little hurt! It's been well over a month and you haven't said a word to your partner!" Duo said in a mock hurt tone. Relena laughed,
"I didn't realize it would take you such a long time to find out. You must be slipping, Duo." She teased. Duo grinned wickedly at her,
"I guess so. If I had known then maybe I would have been tempted to steal you away for myself."
"Duo!" Quatre admonished although he was smiling at the jest.
"What are you doing here?" Heero asked eyeing them suspiciously.
"I have a message for Relena from Zechs as well as this." Quatre replied holding up a white covered album.
"So there it is! I must have left accidentally in his car during the move." Relena said with relief as she stood the retrieve the album.
"And the message?" Heero's suspicious glance did not lighten, Relena seemed on edge for some reason.
"Zechs would like you to meet with him and Lady Une at the Preventers Headquarters as soon as possible. He said that they have some news for you about your recent problem.
"I see. Thank you, Quatre." Fatigue lined her features as she temporarily was lost in thought. "Why did you come all this way just to deliver a message? I would think running a multi-million dollar family business would keep you really busy." Quatre smiled at her,
"I have twenty-nine other sisters who know the business better than I do. I think I can afford to take a vacation from time to time. Besides, I wanted to come see you guys and make sure everything was going okay." All the while Quatre had been speaking Heero had stood up and moved over to Relena's side.
"What is this all about?" He murmured to her.
"It's just a little problem with the press. I should be able to correct it shortly."
"It's more than that if Une's involved. Why are you keeping this a secret from me?"
"Because it is nothing to worry about, it's all just a minor problem. I called in Une to make sure that it stays a little problem."
"Relena..." Heero growled.
"I have a limo waiting outside, how about I give you both a lift to the Headquarters? Perhaps once you two are done with your business I can take us all out to dinner." Quatre piped up ever the mediator.
"Awww, their first lover's spat." Duo teased as they exited the house.
"Wait until it's your turn." Heero replied in his usual monotone voice. Quatre and Relena started chuckling.
"Heero Yuy, the day you tease someone is the day I'm quieter than Trowa." Duo returned eliciting ever more laughter from Quatre and Relena who were thourally enjoying the exchange.


"So, what is the problem." Heero asked once they were settled into the limo and it had started off toward the Preventers Headquarters.
"It seems that the press were tipped off somehow about our elopement. One of the reporters said that they have photos of the wedding and are demanding an interview." Relena replied solemnly as she leafed through the pages of pictures in the album as though searching for something.
"How can you be sure that they're not using scare tactics to make you slip?"
"This is why." Relena said with a sigh as she showed him one of the pictures. In the picture Relena, donned in a lovely white dress, was receiving a particularly passionate kiss from Heero. In the background, among the thickest of bushes, could be seen the slightest glimmer off of a black camera.
"Hn." Heero's eyes narrowed dangerously and his jaws set giving him the look of a wolf ready to tear apart its prey.
"Why that little snake in the grass! Who does he work for?" Duo asked, his anger rivaling Heero's.
"We don't know yet. That's what Une has been working on for me."
"Do they have any leads?" Heero asked.
"Not that I've heard, I suspect that they've contacted me because they found something."
"Why did the journalists call you anonymously to ask for an interview when they've already got the photos? What else do they need?" Quatre asked calmly.
"Apparently they're willing to let me defend myself in return for an 'inside scoop' that will sell even more papers." Relena replied bitterly. "They haven't revealed themselves because they're afraid that someone might find the negatives and destroy them before they have chance to be published." A malicious gleam sparked in Duo's eyes,
"Ya' know, I bet if we enlarged this picture and did some crafty editing we might be able to id. this guy. What do you think, Heero?" Heero features echoed the wicked malice of Duo's as he smiled faintly.
"That shouldn't be too hard to do."
"Oh dear..." Relena sighed knowing that look all too well.
"What? It's not like we'd do anything drastic. Paparazzi disappear all the time." Duo grinned. Quatre shook his head chuckling,
"I guess that's what you get when you marry an ex-gundam pilot."



* * *



"Relena." Milliardo greeted his little sister just outside of Une's office. "Heero." He nodded at the silent man hovering at Relena's shoulder who wore a very unhappy expression.
"What have you found out?" She asked gripping the white album tightly.
"Let's go on into Une's office, she has the details waiting inside for you." He replied grimly. Relena pursed her lips not at all liking his tone as she walked into the expansive office.
"Mrs. Dorilan, thank you for coming on such short notice." Une said once they had all filed in.
"Thank you, Ms. Une." Relena replied taking a seat as Une had gestured for her to.
"I'm afraid the news isn't good. Since we have taken so long with negotiations the group got impatient and decided to go ahead and print the story. Our sources indicate that it will be out tomorrow morning.
"I see." Relena's face set into a practiced mask of thoughtful calm. "I guess then our only choice is to make an official announcement to spoil their potential earnings before their paper hits the news stands. I have a press conference scheduled for this evening to go over last week's ESUN plans for the L2 remodeling." Relena set her eyes forward and refused to make any eye contact with her husband sitting next to her. Une nodded wearily,
"Yes, I guess that is our best option. How will you go about it?"
"I have no idea. I guess I'll just have to think of something." Relena replied with a wry laugh.
"You're absolutely sure that they're going to go ahead and print the information?" Heero asked.
"Yes, they called us earlier to say so hoping to scare us into action. When we didn't respond we learned that the United Nations Tribune went into a frenzy of action to change tomorrow's front page story." Catching Heero's sinister-yet-thoughtful expression she continued, "I'm afraid that no action can be taken as they are keeping their grounds well monitored. If we did act it would be a direct violation of their rights." Zechs snorted at that; he wasn't looking at all pleased himself. Heero's face kept growing more and more emotionless, a very bad sign.
"I'd like to thank you for all your help in this matter, Une." Relena said standing up.
"I wish I could have done more."
"It's an awfully big secret to keep, we knew this day would come eventually. I do appreciate all that you have done for me." Relena smiled sincerely and clasped Une's hand warmly. "Don't worry about it, I have a flare for handling crisis's." She continued with a humorous, if not spent, expression. With that Relena and Heero left the office of the Preventers leader accompanied by Zechs. She turned to face the duo,
"And don't either of you dare go off and do anything drastic. I refuse to be an accomplice to murder." Zechs chuckled at that, Heero just smirked knowingly.
"What makes you think we'd do anything?" Zechs asked innocently. Relena raised a cynical eyebrow,
"Because I know you both and I know what those expressions mean. I don't want either of the most important men in my life getting put in prison or worse. Let me handle this one." Heero continued with his smirk while Zechs was looking particularly, if not teasingly, sly. Relena was about to press them, not sure if they were joking or not, when Zechs suddenly got called away by one of the officers to answer some questions concerning their last mission. Then, alone with her husband, Relena opened her mouth for an apology. Heero shook his head,
"Let's go somewhere private." He said and walked away.
They walked in silence until Heero led her into an empty office and locked the door behind them. Taking in a deep breath Relena turned to face him,
"Heero, I'm sorry for keeping this a secret from you but I honestly thought that we could deal with this. I didn't want to give you anymore stress, I know how all of this media idiocy upsets you."
"That's why you didn't tell me?" He asked quietly.
"Well....yes." Heero starred at her intensely for a long moment as though analyzing her.
"Relena, I already knew that the secrecy of our marriage would be temporary when I asked you to marry me. If I hadn't have been prepared for that eventuality then I would not have asked you in the first place." He finally said firmly. "I am only upset because you kept this a secret from me. I could have helped you, if not legally then emotionally. The tabloids offer a much more serious threat to you than they do to me."
"I just wanted to keep you out of the spotlight for as long as possible. Those vultures won't ever give you any privacy again." Heero walked over to her and took her into a tight embrace.
"That doesn't matter to me anymore. You are my prime concern and I will do whatever it takes to keep you safe and happy." Relena buried her face in the hollow where his neck met his shoulder,
"Thanks..." Heero lightly kissed the top of her head.
"Anytime."


* * *


There lingered a glimmer of humor in her saffire eyes as the vice foreign minister walked to the podium with her head held high. Without even a pause she began her speech outlining the ESUN plans for the remodeling of the L2 colony. She went through her speech in an even tone completely and purposely ignoring the excited whispering and exclamations that were emitted from the assembled press. Once finished she repressed a amused grin and asked:
"Are there any questions." The room nearly exploded with the outcry of all present with the same question in mind: Why was the supposedly single Vice Foreign Minister Dorilan wearing a wedding band on her left hand ring finger? Relena raised a hand for silence,
"Please, one at a time. I didn't realize that the remodeling plans would have such an effect on you." She gestured randomly for one of the many journalists to speak.
"Vice Foreign Minister Dorilan, there have been countless rumors of elopement with your security guard in the past which you have denied but now there have been claims of evidence to support the rumor and you now walk in wearing a wedding ring. What are your comments on that topic?"
"Who do you represent?"
"The United Nations Tribute, ma'am."
"I see. Do you have any questions regarding the reason that I scheduled this press conference?" The journalist looked abashed,
"I.....no, Vice Foreign Minister." Relena gave him a particularly icy stare before sweeping her gaze at the rest of the assembly.
"Any other questions?" The other journalists fidgeted nervously and remained silent.
"In that case, I'll be calling this session to a close. For any further information regarding the ESUN plan I can be contacted at my office. As for my marital status, I see no reason for such an excitement. Yes, I am married but that and the details are unimportant for they in no way interfere with my duties. I'm sure there are much more urgent stories that demand your attention so I'll take my leave of you now." With that she gracefully exited the room.

Heero was waiting for her when she reached her limo. A faint smile passed between them before they wordlessly got into the vehicle. A few hours later they had both changed and had reached the restaurant that Quatre had offered to treat them to dinner in. Quatre and Duo were already seated and were looking over their menus when Heero and Relena took their seats. Duo looked up at Relena and grinned broadly,
"That was some smooth talking! You sure got those press flunkies quiet in a hurry." Relena massaged her temple,
"No small feat I assure you." Quatre observed her for a moment,
"Have you heard what the popular opinion is?"
"No, and I really couldn't care less."
"I think you might find it interesting." Quatre beamed.
"Everyone's saying that you made a brilliant political maneuver by marrying an ex-Gundam pilot who also happens to be one of the heroes of the Eve War." Duo chimed. Relena spent a stunned few minutes letting the information sink in before she burst out into helpless laughter.
"You're kidding!"
"Nope, Duo Maxwell never tells a lie." Relena glanced over at Heero and noticed that behind his bland expression he was shocked and amused to.
"If I had known things would have gone over so well then maybe I would have demanded a formal ceremony with flowing dress and all." She remarked slyly grinning at her husband. Heero raised an eyebrow at her but remained silent.

'What a lucky turn of events; but after all that we have been through for this world, for the people, don't we deserve something in return?'


* * *


Back at home Relena lazily reclined on her sofa in front of the t.v. comfortably wrapped up in Heero's arms. The news reporter was droning on in an uninflected tone about her press conference earlier that evening and showed several political figures commenting on the sudden marriage. They all said that it was probably a marriage of convenience that was a very good strategic move to further appeal to the people and to pose an unspoken threat to her enemies. After all, Heero Yuy was generally considered to be one of the most dangerous men in the universe.
Worn out by her trying day it was not long before sleep claimed Relena as she rested her head on Heero's shoulder. Heero glanced at her with a soft expression. He gently caressed a few strands of her hair and brushed his fingertips on the silken softness of her cheek. He silently switched off the t.v. and gathered her up into his arms. Standing up Heero carried her up to their bedroom for a well earned night of sleep.
"You'll always be worth it to me." He whispered to her as he lay her down. "You always were."


________________________________________________________________________

Sorry that that took a little while to get out but my job was really exaughsting so I wasn't really motivated to sit down and write.
I know that this chapter may seem a little out of character especially compared to my other chapters and stories but I was just feeling playful when I wrote this especially since I pulled Duo into the story. Hopefully it wasn't too bad and you still had a good time reading this.

I originally wasn't going to write another chapter but the feedback was so positive I decided to go ahead and write this installment. So, I'll let you the reader take the reins once again and let me know if you want more. Also, if there is a specific plot that you'd like for me to write about, let me know!
Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to write more and had such wonderful things to say!!!!!!! It means the world to me that others appreciate my writing! :D

Lady Eclipse