Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing.
Characters: Heero, Mariemaia
Warnings: Nothing I can really think of.
Author's Note: I'm in a Heero and Mariemaia kick lately. So, there will probably be more of these types of stories lurking around somewhere.
Dedication: Uh…to Rachel, just because.
Mariemaia can remember a time before, when she took standing for granted. When she could walk and run and skip (not that she ever skipped anywhere after her mother's death) and just stretch her legs in general. But that was almost over a year ago and the memory is rusty and not as joyful as it could be. It's been masked behind painful surgeries and aching muscles overstrained from too much physical therapy.
So she pushes herself harder and harder with her physical therapy. Her doctor's are impressed, if not concerned, and Lady Une is hopeful. She sees the worry in her guardian's eyes and turns away from it, away from everything when the pain burns and sears through her legs and back, making her muscles freeze. On days like that she visits her father's grave by herself. She isn't sure why it draws her, except maybe because she wants to absorb his strength and make it her own.
She's sitting in front of his grave with a bouquet of fresh roses in her lap on one such day. She can see Lady Une down the hill, gazing at the graves of soldiers she once knew. Mariemaia averts her eyes, thankful for the time to herself as she stares at the words etched into her father's marker. The stone is polished and her own pale reflection stares back at her and she presses cold hands to her cheeks, trying to see what features she inherited from him. A car door slams in the parking lot but she pays it no heed.
Gravel crunches behind her and she leans back against her wheelchair. "Are we leaving then Lady Une?" she asks softly. A shadow falls over her and she tilts her head. "Lady Une?"
A gasp is stolen from her before she can stop it and she turns to stare at him. She hasn't seen him in eleven months but he looks the same as he did in the hospital. "Heero Yuy." Her eyes dart back to the stone in front of her, searching out answers. "What are you doing here?"
"Lady Une requested my presence." She nods, feeling his eyes resting on her. She knows the weight of a considering look, she has passed one on each dignitary or politician visiting, and she knows she is receiving one. It makes her unused legs itch to stand, to meet his look full-on and not crippled in a chair. "She thinks I can help you."
"What are you talking about?" she demands, turning once more to him. He offers her a wan smirk and takes the roses from her lap. "What are you doing?" He ignores her rising voice, setting the flowers down on the grave. "Mister Yuy, I demand to know this instant what it is you think you are doing!"
He ignores her, disappearing behind her and pushing the wheelchair slowly toward the parking lot. She crosses her arms over her chest, vowing in her head that she is going to get better. She is going to walk again. They reach the car and she can't help the raised eyebrow at the sight of it. Black, sleek, and a two seater convertible.
"Borrowed it from Duo," he mumbles. And then, without any warning he lifts her up and deposits her in the passenger seat. She glares at him as he folds the wheelchair and stows it in the trunk before getting behind the wheel. "Sorry."
"You are not, don't lie," she snaps. Her arms cross over her chest and she bites her lip. "Where are we going?"
"For a drive." The car squeals out of the parking lot, turning and swiftly merging into the traffic on the road. He is silent, shifting gears and changing lanes and she refuses to admit that her hands are clenched tightly on the seat. He gets on the coastal highway and she watches the ocean appear, the horizon blending. "Do you remember when I last saw you?"
She snorts indelicately. "Of course," she grumbles.
He guns the engine, whipping around a curve before pulling over on a scenic overlook. Dusk is descending, blurring horizon and ocean and she can smell the sea, feel the salty wind tickle her cheeks. Her gaze is drawn to him as he shifts, turning to face her, the engine off and the gulls calling.
"I was surprised by you when I first met you."
"Oh?" She raises an eyebrow and tries to look haughty. It scares her slightly (not that she'll admit it) that she has to try now and can't simply be. After all, she used to be quite haughty when she was younger. "And why was that?"
"I never knew your mother," he says without looking at her. "But I did know your father."
"Yes, I know. Everyone knows my father. Most of them lie through their teeth or so Une says. Zechs too of course. You know him since you fought him, right?"
"Right," he replies slowly. His eyes are staring out at the beach, at the gulls flapping and the waves rolling. "I knew him as a fighter. But I also met him when he was in hiding, did you know that? He gave me Epyon." His eyes slide to her but she's staring resolutely ahead. He can see her hands clenched, knuckles white though and he smiles a little.
"Is there a point to all of this?" She still refuses to look at him and he smiles a little more, shaking his head in the growing dusk. "Or have…"
"Never mind." She clenches her teeth, her jaw set and tilted in a superior manor. He hides a smirk with a duck of his head and follows her gaze. "What do you know of my father?" she asks finally. She hates that he can withdraw information from her so easily.
"Not much, except that he was a good man, if misguided." Her eyebrows draw together and he reaches over, ruffling her hair, sensing her tense. She doesn't snap or shove him away though. "Has anyone told you that you've inherited your father's strength?"
"Lady Une tells me that," she admits.
"You will walk again."
"Oh, and what makes you so certain? None of my doctors seem to think so," she demands. She eyes him from beneath red strands, trying to keep up with the conversation.
"Because you're determined, and you have your father's ambition," he answers easily. He gets out of the car and she frowns again, eyes tracking him as he rounds the car to her side.
"What are you thinking?" Her voice is suspicious as she stares at him.
"The view's better from out of the car."
"I can't walk." He ignores her, opening the door and offering her a hand. "You're just as stubborn as everyone says, aren't you?"
"Yeah, I guess I am." She swallows, staring at the proffered hand. "Scared?"
Her eyes narrow up at him, fierce blue storms. Her glare intensifies when she sees the self-assured smirk on his face. She really doesn't care for the way he seems to bring out the absolute worst of her on each of their visits. "Of course not. A Khushrenada is never afraid," she growls.
And she takes his hand.