DISCLAIMER: GW and its characters are owned by a bunch of geniuses back in 1995, and sadly, I'm not one of them. I don't own anything, you won't get anything, so don't sue. XD

A/N: Another break from Scissored Kismets. While thinking what I'd do to this two in SK, I thought on writing a modern day Cinderella tale featuring my favorite pairing. Hope you enjoy it! R & R!! Thanks!!


Yellow Wedge Heel

by Schizoid Sprite


"Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore."

-Neil Gaiman


The lights of the chandeliers showered the place with regal brightness. The large swan ice carving in the middle of the long table caught the lights and threw them across the room in a way that light would behave when it struck diamond. The little rainbows adorned the atmosphere where pairs of waltzing couples were apparently lost in their own little worlds they created in their arms. I scowled at the image, sliding my upper lip against the rim of the wineglass before sipping the precious fluid. The swirls of the gowns, the soothing music of the orchestra and the star-like incandescence of the whole room reminded me of fairytales. I smirked, amused at my own thought.

I love telling my tragedies through fairytales.

Yes. I love illustrating my dark points through the artful words and images that were meant to elicit laughter or paint smiles on the faces of children. That was the best way I could relate my inner stories of doubts and morbidities to others, a way of sharing my honest opinions to those who were hungry to hear them or tear them.

In my fairytales, there were no beautiful damsels in distress incarcerated by a curse or a demonic dragon, waiting for their knights in shining armors to rescue them. There were no fairy godmothers, no sweet kisses that could wake a princess sleeping an eternal sleep. In my stories, there were no happily-ever-afters.

But I never told tales that weren't planned. Everyone has their own stories, and destiny has already scribbled the script right on our palms. The paths that we would take, the scenes that we would play, the acts that we would sculpt with time, they already exist without our knowledge and we bring them out without noticing our very submission to them.

Life is a theater—a fairytale cinema, in my case. Everybody plays different roles. Everybody creates different worlds.

I am an organized person with an organized life. Never did I let anything in my theatre go awry, and for the record I am my own director and producer. It never occurred to me that the smooth rolling of my film would be disrupted by a nuisance from another movie—a cheater. He has his own motion picture, but he was not good in sticking to his own script. He barged into mine.

Let me tell you my sour tale.

Dorothy Catalonia, a legatee of an enormously rich federation, a warmonger, a stoolpigeon: this was the role I decided to take as I lunge on the stage called the Earth. My script was somewhat cruel. It said that my parents should exit the scene early and that I should put on some kind of a poker face no matter how much I want to weep or grimace in pain. And so I did.

The war makes every movie a blockbuster hit. I participated in it, because the script said so.

I just wish I didn't follow.

Because there, I met a boy who went by the name of Quatre Raberba Winner. He ruined my film. He ruined my life.

The scenario was onboard Libra. He made me realize that behind the script I was blindly following was the real me that I was interning in a dark, dark world of forgetfulness. Everything went haywire when I felt the truth in his words.

He hurt me, and I don't care if it was unintentional or not. He still scarred me just by spouting lies into my face. I should get even because my script—or what was remaining in my script—said so. I stabbed him. But oh, he still went on hurting me, saying I was kind, kinder than him even, and requesting his rescuer to take care of me instead of him. It was nauseatingly weak.

We never met again after that. He lived. And I think he lived happily ever after.

But that doesn't end there because the moment he wreaked havoc in my system he already entangled his story with mine forever.

However, the case was, it was only me who knew all about it because for him he was acting solo in his play. He put this cobweb of thoughts in my head, thoughts that were foggy, thoughts that were unintelligible to my brain but easily logical to my heart—if ever this rotten meat inside my ribcage could even pass as a vital feeling organ.

And there was a slideshow of him in my head: shots of his cherubic smiles, the fluorescent playing on his eyes and the never-ending hope dancing in them, the kiss of the wind against his locks… They play non-stop, draining away all the rationality clinging on the broken walls of my cranium.

Merciless. Now there was nothing left in me. I didn't have the discretion, the intelligence I thought I have. He took away my shield so that the truth that devours my soul everyday left me bruised, bleeding, and dead. There was not even a dollop of life in me. I'm a living dead.

I do still have the material riches; in fact I'm still the wealthiest woman in the solar system. But in truth, I'm the poorest creature in the universe. I own nothing.

And he, the Desert Prince, own everything. He has lots of friends and family, starting from the Arab corps to the Gundam pilots to all his twenty-nine sisters, to all those people whom he showed love and to those who showed love to him. He was the richest male teenager in space—not only in money, but with everything that one needed to survive.

So we're at the extremes.

I thought I would never meet him again. But then there came a time that I ought to plough myself out of the hole I trapped myself in. He wanted me to face him. I knew it. The night I received an invitation to a party at the Winner mansion, I knew he was planning something that would certainly break me.

Did he intend on torturing me a little more?

Why did he want to face someone who has tried to kill him? For sweet revenge maybe?

Is he…mocking me?

I couldn't face him, but I wanted to. There was a terrible dichotomy in my system, and it was killing me again. Should I go? Should I not? Weighing the consequences that would possibly follow, I thought about it for hours. I came to a decision that I would not go.

So why, in the name of all the dead warriors who fought in the biggest wars in space, am I here in this ballroom? I refloated from the flood of memories that sloshed in my head, then I realized that my wineglass was already empty.

An hour and a half has already passed since the party started but the host was nowhere to be found. I dodged the glances of the other former Gundam pilots who were also present there. Miss Relena had said hi when I arrived at the party, and she had stayed with me for a couple of minutes when she noticed my uneasiness. This was her thing; she knew when to comfort somebody. When I've put up a pretense of calmness, I seemed to have fooled her. She politely left me and joined the stoic Heero Yuy on the other side of the ballroom.

Why am I nervous? I shouldn't be. I'm Dorothy Catalonia! Why be nervous just by meeting an enemy face to face? Dorothy Catalonia was never a weakling, right? I should stop the crazy pounding on my chest. I should regulate the flow of air going in and out of my system or else someone else would notice me again and I wouldn't want that. So far I was doing well in blending in with the shadows where the little rainbows of the carving didn't reach.

But who am I kidding? I could never play chameleon with Quatre Raberba Winner forever.

"Miss Dorothy."

Defeated by my inner ghosts, I wilted at the sound of his voice. I spun around and pulled my countenance in a predatory smile when his eyes caught mine.

"Mr. Winner."

He smiled that smile I both wanted to remember and forget. "Enjoying the night?"

I just beamed. I couldn't afford to answer sooner; my voice, I knew, would be shaky. I kept my lie behind my tongue. I noticed the slightest sagging of his smile. When a couple of minutes passed in silence, he decided to break it with another question.

"Can I have this dance?"

I felt my jaw drop, but even before I could answer him he swept me into his arms and steadied me to the waltz. I ducked my head to cover my face with my hair; I knew I was blushing, and the sight of his amused face in my peripheral vision told me that I must be a dead ringer to a giant tomato.

I looked up with a frown. "I must admit, Mr. Winner, that I'm a bit surprised when you invited me to this ball."

His smile widened. "Surprised? Miss Dorothy, that should be the last thing you should feel when a friend reaches out to you."

Friend?

"Since when did I become your friend?" I spat acidly.

He didn't even flinch at my reaction and he made no effort to respond. He just foolishly guided me across the floor, humming the song to himself. His eyes were burning under those delicate lashes, sending invisible finger-like projections to toy with my well-kept secrets, my deepest weaknesses. I didn't like the feeling. I shivered.

That little reaction tugged his face with worrisome features. He leaned nearer and slid his arms to wrap them around me. "Are you cold?"

I simpered despite myself, well aware that any onlooker would think he was affectionately embracing me.

...I think he really was. "I'm already cold inside. What makes you think that the coldness outside would bother me?"

Quatre's worried expression didn't fade. I gasped when he leaned a little closer and brushed a whisper in my ear. "I can see straight lies.

I stepped back from him, but the cage of his arms kept me in, his fingers tangled on my back to serve as strong padlocks. I could feel heat surging down to my neck.

"Dorothy," came another one of his feather-like murmurs against my hair. "Tell me. What did I do for you to dislike me?"

The honesty in his question bore a cold hole in my chest. Dislike him?

The position he set had distracted me. I tried to free myself, but he was using force now to trap me there. I looked up in confusion and saw in his eyes his desire to know the truth. I saw there my reflection, my face showing fear reminiscent of a cornered rabbit. What? Am I afraid?

"Let go of me," I threatened, though I sounded more like the one who was being threatened.

"No," he said between stiff lips. "I can't. Not until you tell me what I want to know."

"I don't have the things you want to know," I whispered, all conviction that I wanted to put in it now lost. I hated this. I knew this time would come into existence, and I hated that it did.

He touched his nose to mine, and for the first time I noticed what was wrong. He smelled faintly of wine. Was he drunk? No, he couldn't be. He was too devoted a Muslim to disregard their practices. He seemed normal, his posture straight, his talking okay, nothing in his appearance would have suggest of drunkenness. But his hold to me was somewhat atypical of him. Why harass me in public? He could have dragged me in a corner and talk about anything he wanted to. Is it needed to push me against him and demand that he wanted to know something that wasn't important at all? What was the matter with him?

"Tell me," he breathed to my mouth.

Good heavens. His breath was intoxicating.

But that wasn't exactly the reason why I caught my breath. Was it me? Or was it him? I didn't know who initiated the act, but suddenly I felt his warm lips pressing hard against mine. And no, it wasn't innocent. There was force in it, a soft pressure that begged to pry my lips open, his teeth tugging gently at my lower lip. I heard gasps from every corner, followed by flashes of white light that suggested of cameras. For the first minutes there I was frozen, and the moment I regained my composure, I pulled away from him.

Only he wasn't willing to let me go. He deepened the kiss, and I found myself moaning, in mixture of pleading to let me go and pleasure I wanted to deny I was actually having. The dance was lost now.

I wanted for this to last, no matter how many millions of camera shots would flash around, no matter how many rumors would spread to destroy us, no matter how much I despised myself for letting this to happen. But I just couldn't let it continue.

I gathered force and concentrated them in my arms. I pretended to surrender to him—for a millisecond I thought I did—and I took the opportunity when he somehow loosened his hold and gentled his touch on my mouth.

And then I did it. I took a step back and slapped him hard across the face—one hit that I wish would have broken his skull, or at least his cheekbone.

There were more gasps. His face hung in the angle my assault set, and I could see the red that my hand left on his cheek. I shook off his arms and spun around haughtily, taking proud strides that turned into quicker paces. I was running away.

It was one little triumph to reach the exit. I hastily descended the staircase with perfect care, full aware that I was wearing a long gown. It was when I was about to finish the last step that I stumbled, twisting my ankle to send me limping to the floor in agony.

I bit back the whimper that threatened to escape my lips. My ankle hurt. I lifted the hem of gown and inhaled, not because of my injury but because I realized that the sole of my yellow wedge heel had peeled off. Chewing on my lower lip, I looked around to find it, but to no avail. I must have lost it in my hurry to get out of the ballroom.

"Dorothy!"

My head shot back up, and my eyes widened when I saw Quatre descending the steps. Ignoring the throbbing pain, I gathered myself up and hurried out. The sole-less shoe proved to be a nuisance so I pulled it out and threw it away, continuing the race.

Wow. Cinderella? Is that my fairytale? I rolled my eyes at my own thought.

I ran and ran and ran till I no longer knew where I was, till I was sure that no one was following me anymore. Hot fluid trickled down my cold cheeks. I blinked twice to get rid of the itchy film of tears that were hovering in my eyes, and when I looked around, I knew I was far away from that hell—and from that angelic demon.

I darted my head around and found refuge under the shade of the tree. The dewy grass tickled my bare foot, but it wasn't enough to make me laugh. I slumped under the tree and sobbed for the ache. Not only with the one accompanying my swelling ankle, but with this—with the thing inside this chest. It wasn't an organ; it was an incredible receptacle of pain that was unbearable for humans.

That was my first kiss. And that was from my first love. But it didn't feel right.

How could he?! I learned, back in the war, that he has this special emphatic ability. He could sometimes gain access to anyone's feelings, and he was allowed to feel them. Has he done it to me? Did he lever my chest open to see what I have in store for him? Did he see there that I have my whole life in store for him?

I rubbed my eyes with my knuckles as more tears flow. I heard the hungry roll of thunder from a distance and when I looked up, there were no stars across the red-and-black clouds. Soon the sky wept with me. I sought no shelter except the weak leaves of the tree and for a reason I felt a bit relieved, knowing that tonight I was not crying alone.

"Dorothy."

That voice thieved a beat from my heart. I darted my eyes up and his warm ones held them. He was drenched in the rain, his locks plastered to his head, and a poor kitten expression painted across his face.

I shifted my sight to the grass between the toes. "Go away."

"I'm sorry."

"I said go away!"

"No."

I tightened my jaw. He took off his coat and swaddled me with it from the front. He realized it wouldn't do much when he put it that way, so he enveloped me with it from the back. I would have shaken it off but it felt unusually warm despite its wetness. He went down to one knee.

"L-look, Miss Dorothy, I didn't mean to…"

My misty pupils bounced to the edge of my eyes to see his expression. He was blushing.

"..to, you know… It's just, uhm, I…r-relinquished control."

what?

"Please forgive me." He choked on the words, and they were hardly audible against the splatter of rain. I listlessly nudged my toes with my shaky fingertips, disguising my tears with the raindrops. "I do not forgive that easily."

It was true. How could I forgive him that easy when it was my life he so dangerously trifled with by kissing me? The kiss itself was something I wouldn't let him live for doing. And no, if you come to think of it, I was not talking about just the kiss. I was talking about his interference in my life, the disturbances, the surprises, the unwanted emotions he put in my life. You couldn't forgive readily when someone put your once orderly world into chaos.

Despite our distance I felt him stiffen. "I don't expect to be forgiven that easily. I just want to be assured that you'll forgive me, even if the process takes forever."

His voice trembled on the last word. I looked up at his heartfelt statement, manipulating my face into a sneer.

"Quatre Raberba Winner." I played with all three of his names on my tongue, like they were morsels of my previous meal.

When his eyes held mine captive, I knew he knew what I was feeling. All what I wanted to say at that moment, all that I wanted to let him know, were thawed in the depths of my eyes. He wasn't the numb type, of course, but there were something in his eyes that were vividly dancing, convincing me that he didn't really know what I wanted to express, urging me to put what I felt into words.

Like hell I would.

He sighed. "Let's go back inside. You'll get cold. Can you walk?"

I would have wanted to stay there, but he'd already pulled me up from the ground. I grimaced when I felt a tingling sensation in my ankle. He noticed my cringing. He hesitated at first, then lowered himself, silently offering his honest help with his arms arched. He must have figured I would struggle and worsen my injury if he'd just scoop me up.

"I don't need your help." I took one pace forward. There was a little truth in what I'd just said, I realized, even if there was the slightest hint of pain. I took another step, and then another, and then another, and then…

"Wait," Quatre called from behind me. I didn't bother to look around. I heard wet thuds of his shoes on the grass singing in duet with the drizzle, then all of a sudden he was in front of me. He went down on one knee.

"Since you wouldn't let me carry you in," he tugged at his left loafer and once it came out, he slid it just in front of my shoe-less foot. "Just wear my left shoe. At least it would give a little help. I got your other wedge heel but it was, uh, useless to bring it here. So please."

When I didn't move a muscle, he cupped the ball of my feet and pushed it in his loafer gently that I didn't even feel the soreness. He tilted his head and smiled at my new pair of footwear, then laughed at his mud-laden socked foot.

He offered his arm. "Let's go."

Of course I didn't take his offer. I walked proudly away from him and back into his mansion, idly wondering if ever I could start a new fashion trend with wrongly paired shoes…

I heard Quatre's peal of laughter hung in the air, tickling my ears.

I laughed, too.

And that's where I started my little once-upon-a-time.


The end. XD