AN: I don't own Gundam Wing or the song "Doesn't Have to be This Way" by Alison Krauss.

Doesn't Have to be This Way

The sound of the clock ticking on the wall of her office was the only thing that kept her aware of her surroundings as she scribbled down her signature, the parchment paper looking old and faded in comparison with the harsh red of her ink pen. She shifted in her seat, the sheer black hosiery lining her legs sliding like vinyl over one another in complaint. It was a miracle she hadn't managed to catch the heel of her black satin pumps on them and cause a run throughout the day. She should be used to them by now.

The words had begun to jumble together, and a dull ache in the back of her head had begun to grow with each hour that passed silently by. She had not always been a quiet person, but the only noises she ever heard in this office were things she heard through the walls, in other rooms. In other people's lives. Heero sat at a desk catty-cornered from hers, not missing a beat as he continued to type away at his laptop. There were several vacant offices in the building, but he had insisted on being with her. When she had questioned him on it, he had simply said "I'm your bodyguard." Whatever that meant.

She glanced up at the clock that pointed its mocking hands at 7:28PM, and sighed. These documents were important and absolutely could not be late in reaching the Commissioner's office by tomorrow morning. Another end to tie up in securing this peace they had all worked so hard to obtain, fear of it catching wind and flying away the only thing she needed to keep herself up here for twelve hours like this. She stared into space for a few more moments, and then glanced back down at the pages. She noticed Heero had stopped typing and looked up at him to see him sitting at his desk and watching her quietly. The look in his penetrating blue eyes conveyed that he was angry, but she knew by the way that he seemed to envelope her by simply shifting and facing her that he was only evaluating her state. He met her eyes for a moment when she looked up at him and lifted his mouth in what was for Heero a smile, before turning around and facing his laptop. Her vision blurred for a moment as he started typing again.

"You should go home." He stated, his voice like warm water running down her skin. He never spoke to her unless it was advising her or reminding her of something, never touched her unless it was required. And he never told her she should go home unless he could tell that she was too overworked to accomplish anything, mainly because he knew that she would refuse otherwise. She nodded and sat up from her desk, sticking the papers in a manila file and locking them in a drawer in her desk. She would just have to come in early and finish them in the morning.

The sound of his computer shutting down signaled the end of the day, and she walked over to the door of the office to shut off the lights when she felt Heero grab her hand. Time seemed to slow for a moment as she turned around and found him standing behind her with her red coat in one hand. Something in her quietly sulked, but she turned around and let him place the coat over her shoulders in spite of it. She started to move but stopped suddenly as she felt his hands on the back of her neck, and she leaned slightly in to his touch without thinking. He paused for a moment and her eyes opened wide, waiting to see what he was doing. He pulled slightly at her hair and tugged it free from underneath her jacket, and then turned to walk in front of her.

"You shouldn't work yourself to the point where you can't focus everyday." He stated bluntly, and she quickly grew annoyed with his antics. She started to say something but stopped, acutely aware that his eyes had ceased to look at her face and had moved to what looked like her chest.

Sometimes I wonder where you're coming from

When you roll in like thunder, just to turn around and run

It's a good thing I don't need you to stay

His hands came up to her jacket, and she sucked in a desperate breath of air as everything in her mind went in to overload. Was he…?

Nothing came but the light graze of his knuckles against her stomach as he buttoned her coat, a flush coming to her cheeks.

"It's cold." He said, turning around and holding open the door for her. She gave him a half-hearted smile and walked out.


It was a long ride back to her manor, and she horridly jumped into the passenger side of the car as Heero held open the door for her. She watched him through the back windshield as he made his way over to the driver's side, clutching his light gray coat around himself to fight off the biting wind that seemed to bring the weather down about 40 degrees every time it passed through the Sanc Kingdom. His hair tussled wildly in the snow, and he tore open the door and shut it as fast as he could so as to not let the wind blast her in the face again. He jammed the keys in to the ignition and set the heat on as high as it would go before rubbing his hands together and breathing in to them. Her teeth chattered as she froze in her seat, numbly aware that she could no longer feel her fingers. He glanced at her as he realized she had been watching him and grinned slightly, humor lighting up his eyes.


She nodded, and laughed. They both sat in silence as they waited for the vents to clear away the ice that had formed on the windshield, and she stared at her window as it slowly began to fog up. She placed her hand across it and pulled it away, leaving a small and somewhat bony handprint. She smiled in spite of herself, remembering a time when she had done the same thing with her father in the car. She sensed Heero watching her out of the corner of her eye, but did nothing to acknowledge it. He was always watching her. She could always dream that it was because he liked the way she looked…

He didn't say a word as he shifted the car in to gear and started to drive. She still couldn't see out the window, but she supposed he could. Mr. Perfect over there could probably see through her shirt if he wanted to.

The thought made her blush, and she continued to stare out the window, balling her hand up in to a fist as she tried to control her nervousness. Yes, he still made her nervous. He would probably always make her nervous.

Building up her courage, she turned to look at him. "So, is Duo cutting the night shift tonight?" She asked quietly, hardly able to stand the intensity in his Prussion blue eyes. She bit her lip.

"Yeah," He grunted, still focused on the slick road ahead of them, "Super Bowl." She rolled her eyes after that but said nothing, smiling to herself. He seemed to sense the stress in the atmosphere and looked to the side for a moment. "Hilde made chili cheese fries…"

She laughed, and relaxed. There were times like these where she couldn't quite figure him out. One moment she would get so worked up or nervous over something that she just couldn't think of anything at all to say, and the next, he would say something to catch her off guard and leave her laughing at how insensible she was being. She had known him for years. Granted, she couldn't ever quite fully let him go, but she had learned to live with the fact that he just couldn't understand their relationship beyond her being the symbol of peace and him protecting it. There were some places in his mind he refused to go anymore. Somewhere along the way, he had categorized love as being something he was unworthy of. Or perhaps, incapable of. She knew better. If anybody could love, it was Heero. He had given up his life for what other people wanted from the moment he was able to make a decision on his own. Human nature was selfishness, but Heero was the most giving person she knew.

She risked a glance at him and found herself captivated by the silhouette of his face. The sunset was shining through the ice on the window and glowing along his profile, the shape of his nose and mouth causing her eyes to widen automatically. He licked his lips, and she blinked.

'Get it together, girl!'

You smell like moonlight and early morning rain

Pray 'til a fool, but surrender to your pain

Or find a cure for your decay

"Is there something wrong?" He said, not taking his eyes off the road. They were thirty minutes in to making it back to her house, and there would be another thirty before they finally reached it. She didn't know if she could take much more of this. What was wrong with her today?


She turned once more to look at him, and found within herself the unction that now was the time. Her heart started beating wildly in her chest at where her mind and heart were taking her, forcing her to find the courage to tell him. He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye and immediately saw the look on her face, something slipping across his features as a mixture of surprise and instant concern. This only seemed to make things worse as her brow knit together and she started to pick at the leather of the car seat.

"Sorry!" She smiled, letting it reach her eyes. "Just really tired."

She turned her head quickly towards the window and refused to meet his eyes as her mind screamed at her. Coward. Baby. Wimp.

She could feel him staring at the back of her head, a question on his lips but not quite making it out of his mouth. She knew that if she were to look him in the eyes, she would see a thousand there. When had he begun to know her so well?

After a few moments, he turned back toward the road. She shifted in her seat and felt something deflate inside her chest, her conscience nagging at her like a dwarf with a chistle. Sick of herself, she took a deep breath and decided it was now or never.

"Heero, I'm moving my office to New York."

He did not react, just continued driving. She thought about what she said and decided to elaborate.

"When they move me to New York, they will be reassigning my staff to Preventor's in the New York base. You will stay here until I come back."

"When are you coming back?" He asked casually. Maybe this would go over better than she thought…

"Two years."

The only outward sign that he was upset was the way his hand suddenly gripped the steering wheel, his knuckles turning white after only a moment. He opened his mouth as if to say something but quickly shut it, glaring at the road as if he could upturn the gravel if he only wanted to bad enough.

"They are not qualified." He ground out, the car suddenly going faster as he dug into the gas pedal. She looked at the road, frightened only a little, as she was used to being with Heero driving at incredible speeds to get away from paparazzi, terrorists, Gundams…etc. But never when he was angry. He noticed the way she straightened and stared worriedly at the road and immediately slowed down.

"Yes they are, Heero. You and I both know they are. You trained them, for goodness' sake."

His mouth tightened, breathing out in his nostrils angrily. "You would be more effective here. In your home. Your mother is here, everyone you know is here."

"I have yet to reach North America with any of my treaties. Not with the Terraformation Project, not with the Disarmament Proposals, nothing. I won't reach them if I stay holed up in Europe."

"I'm going with you."

"No." She smiled slightly as she said it; bittersweet hope seeming to blossom in her heart at the thought that he might want to be with her. But it was for peace. It was always for peace. Never for her. "Une needs you here. You're the best."

You're at your best with an ache in your chest

And that worn out old song that you play

Only Jesus and you who long to teach us

Should know and be left to betray

He shook his head, but she could not tell what he was thinking. He would have his say in the matter and then dismiss it entirely. It was just his way. Whether he agreed with her or not, he would listen. He would listen and do what was best for all of them. What was best for her.

Stubborn man.

"Heero, I'm serious. Don't follow me there."

He looked sullenly up at her, and something in his eyes seemed to unravel everything that was inside of her with just one look. She knew that if he'd asked anything of her right then, she'd do it. No questions asked.

"You don't want me?"

I don't know the answer but I know who to blame

You can choose the dancer if you could choose the flame

I think you'll find they're one in the same

It doesn't have to be this way

She turned quickly and stared at him wide-eyed, clearly surprised. The guilt had begun to creep up and into her veins; the open and honest way he was speaking to her something that was so rare and uncharacteristic of him that she knew she would never forget it. Her eyes darted between his two irises as she tried to think of what to say, but nothing would come out.

At her lack of response, he simply turned away from her. She watched as he hid himself from her, drawing the shield of resentment and rejection to the surface to cover up whatever it was that had been underneath there a moment before. How he had gotten that out of what she had been trying to tell him was beyond her, but she could not think of a single thing to explain without giving herself away.

The rest of the ride home was in silence. The only sound that could be heard was the whistling of the wind between the dead trees outside, strangely fitting. He refused to look at her, and after a while, she gave up. When they reached her house he told her he'd park the car and walked to the passenger side door. He touched her hand to help her out of the car and she found him detached, so opposite of what she had felt in the office.


That night, she lie awake alone in her bed with tears running down her cheeks and on to the pillow, not quite sure what she was supposed to do. Things were always so difficult with Heero, and making this decision was something she thought he'd be happy with eventually. He deserved to live out his life the way he wanted – in peace. The clock next to her bed read 2:00AM, and she sighed. She sat up in the bed and sniffed, rubbing her hands over her eyes. So much for getting up early to finish those documents in the morning.

She stood up from her bed and adjusted her pajamas. Her feet froze along the ground and she quickly stepped in to a pair of shoes to the side of her bed and threw on a jacket, her window completely covered in snow testimony that the weather had most definitely dropped a few degrees. She stepped out of her room and walked down the hallway and toward the kitchen, but stopped when she reached Heero's room. His door was left slightly open and she peered in to it to find him lying face down on the bed with the covers at a tangled mess around his feet. Without thinking, she stepped in.

She stopped and stared at his back for a while, his body naked save for a pair of pants. His skin was dark and scarred in some places, tale-signs to his training and the war. He breathed in and out quietly, his chest rising and falling in a way that was both sweet and agonizing to her. She gave in to her desire and quietly padded her way over to his bed, pulling the blanket carefully from around his feet and covering the upper half of his body with it. The moonlight was shining through his window and she quietly walked over to it and closed the blinds, bathing the room in darkness.

She turned back to him and knelt next to his bed, careful not to make too much noise. A gripping moment ceased her heart and, for a while, she thought quietly to herself that she truly never would get over Heero Yuy. And she didn't want to.

"Yes, I want you." She whispered, running her fingers through his hair lightly. He did not stir. "I've always wanted you."

She got up and left his room, closing the door quietly behind her. As she made her way to the kitchen she slowly let her thoughts and feelings go, the tension along her shoulders causing her to hunch slightly at the weight it was all pulling on her. Convince the world that peace was obtainable? Piece of cake. Convince Heero Yuy that somebody could love him?

Quite nearly impossible.

She heated up some water and pulled out a package of hot cocoa, rubbing her freezing hands back and forth across the hot porcelain. The kitchen was dark without any lights on, but there was enough shining from the full moon outside that it still lit up the room.

I don't know the answer but I know who to blame

Pray 'til a fool but surrender to your pain

It's a good thing I don't need you to stay

She set down the cup and tore open the package, and as she began to pour the mix in to the water, her hands shook. Would she really be able to be without him for two years?

Something suddenly pushed in to her back and she swept her hand across the counter, the cup falling and cracking as it hit the floor. She turned around quickly and found Heero behind her, pushing her into the counter with his chest. His face was unbearably close to hers, and she gasped in a shaky breath as she looked in to his deep blue eyes. A deep, resonating need lined their depths, an anger and a thirst that was so very unquenchable. He leaned in close to her ear and let out a hot breath, causing her eyelids to flutter and her body to immediately become hot with desire.

"Say it again." He commanded, staring at her with a primitive hunger. She whimpered as he lifted her shirt slightly and ran his fingers softly over her abdomen, goose bumps lining her skin all over. She was suddenly on fire.

"Say it again!" He yelled, placing his lips over her neck and sucking slightly at the sensitive flesh. She moaned and closed her eyes, digging her fingers through his hair. He pushed further against her, leaving her back against the refrigerator. She did not notice how cold it was.

"I want you," She gasped, her breathing ragged and desperate for air. She placed her hands over his chest and lightly ran her fingers over the skin above his sternum, losing all coherent thought and focus. He dipped his face down to hers and captured her lips with his, desperate and hungry for her taste as his tongue entered her mouth. When he pulled away, she was left gasping for air and having to use the counter to hold herself up. He seemed disoriented as well, but would not take his eyes off of her.

"Then take me with you."

She nodded, unable to catch her breath. He smiled at her, one of those rare smiles of his, and ran his fingers through her hair for a moment as he stared down at her.

"I've always wanted to be with you, Relena."

Sometimes I wonder where you're coming from

When you roll in like thunder, just to turn around and run

It's a good thing I don't need you to stay

It doesn't have to be this way