He almost felt like he was STALKING her. But it was only reasonable, SHE basically followed HIM around in the past, claiming to need his strength. Now that she seemed to not 'need' him anymore, what made HIM follow HER around like he was? It was something he kept thinking about, even as he currently kept in the shadows, watching her walk across campus.
The war had hit a small snag, a small THANKFUL snag. She went back to school, finding something so appreciatively normal with each class she took. Getting homework and studying with others her age. Even though, part of her mind still wondered where the one she knew was at. Was he fighting in the war? Trying to survive without battles to guide him? Her eyes turned thoughtful, giving away the rage of thoughts that bounded her mind. She walked alone to class, feeling the afternoon sun on her skin. It felt like heaven, having the warmth on her face. A small smile appeared, serenity claiming her figure.
His eyes followed her form long after it disappeared into the building he hid near. Leaning forward on the branch, he was mindful not to move the leaves of the tree he hid in. Making any fall would attract attention to him, get him caught. That was something he wasn't going to do right now. Blue eyes narrowed in calculation. His mind tried to remember exactly WHICH building the computers were in. 'Next part, get myself inside and signed up.' He mysteriously thought.
Quickly typing away, eyes glued to the screen, he filled in his transfers with ease. He was an expert at doing so, having done multiple times before. Finishing, he saved the file and sent it to the dean's office for review. Giving a quick check to make sure everything was perfect, he shut the computer down. Making sure nothing would be noticeably moved, he stealthily left the empty classroom for his small apartment for now. He would get things ready later for tomorrow's classes.
Small, quiet conversations filled the large room. She, however, was perfectly silent, content to listen till class started. Looking through her book with a small mix of boredom, she missed the teacher when he walked in the room. Deep blue eyes still scanned yesterday's chapter, reviewing for today.
"Quiet down class." He suddenly announced. Complying, everyone took their seats. The students respected their elders, teachers of the knowledge THEY would soon possess. That right there, demanded reverence. "We have a transfer student joining us." The elderly man looked at the boy nearly his height. "Would you care to introduce yourself before we begin?"
Giving the floor her attention, those beautiful eyes slowly looked up from her book. They immediately widened at the sight before her, her mouth gaping open. Fingers flew to that gap, keeping a gasp hidden away to hold embarrassment at bay. She didn't feel like gaining attention to herself. Even now, she could feel eyes on her so she quickly masked any emotion. 'What's HE doing here?!' She thought, grossly confused.
"My name is Heero Yuy." He softly answered. He gave nothing else, even though he felt it was expected from new transfers. But it wouldn't be given from him, he was a man of few words and on a personal mission. One he gave to himself to try and understand, even though he didn't really understand the mission OR the reasons behind it.
"A man of few words I see." The teacher gently joked. A few dozen students smiled, thinking the same thing but not wanting to be so crass to say anything. "Go ahead and take the seat five rows up, right about there." His arm rose, pointing a few seats next to her. She fought a small ironic sigh.
'Just like our FIRST meeting.' She thought, wondering if fate stepped in again. As it had whenever she was able to find him in the past. She quickly cast her eyes down before she was caught staring, gawking. Staring at the words to her textbook, none of them registered in her brain. She wished for something to do, an assignment not done, SOMETHING to work on or discreetly fidget with. She FELT those intense eyes and was affected.
He sat a few seats across from her, looking across a male classmate at her sideways profile. He could tell something was wrong by the way she was eyeing her book, as if she wasn't REALLY looking at it. His eyes narrowed a little in wonder. His attention cast aside when the teacher started class, not wanting to get caught in his reverie.
Sitting under a tree away from the sunshine, she watched the campus and the students that filed around. Silently wondering if they realized a cold-blooded killer was lurking around them for some strange purpose. Part of her wondered if he really WAS going to make due on his promise from their first meeting and kill her. But the notion was preposterous. She'd noted a small change in his eyes, as if small chip of ice melted from those deep blue depths. Like part of the Atlantic ocean melted from his time in the war.
She knew he was staring at her, having become accustomed to it. She didn't even bother turning around, content just to lean against the tree, sitting with both legs updrawn to her chest. Her arms casually rested against them, her lengthy skirt allowing for such an action, for her to be so carefree and still keep her dignity. Her hair flowed around her back, small strands flying in the small breeze that played with the afternoon warmth. 'It always WAS warmer on Earth than any colony.' She figured, looking around in content solitude.
He FELT that solitude as well, suddenly wanting to break it. Lunch would be over soon and he didn't want to miss a prime opportunity to catch her alone. 'But,' Part of him thought, 'what do I SAY to her?' Squaring his shoulders, feeling the soldier part of him take over, he purposely strode across the lawn, away from the courtyard. Both hands shoved themselves in his pockets, mimicking a casual walk, even though it was far from it. He was getting nervous the closer he got to her. 'WHY?' He wondered heatedly. It was all too frustrating.
He stood a few feet behind her, still awkward at what to do. "You can sit down Heero." She softly announced below him. "It's a free country. You can do what you want." How she knew he was behind her without looking was a mystery to him, something ELSE he wanted to figure out about her. Complying with her sly suggestion, he sat a foot away. Both legs lay straight-arrowed against the manicured lawn, his hands propping behind him to keep him upright. Silence followed his movements for a while, though both were trying to figure out something to say. "Why are you here Heero?" She softly asked, never looking at him. He asked himself that many times, but couldn't come up with an answer. Her face finally turned to him, blue meeting blue. Two oceans clashed, cold and warm colliding in the shade. "Are you going to kill me as you said you would so long ago?"
How he found his tongue was beyond him. He seemed to have drowned in those eyes, unable to breathe. He wondered if he would've EVER come to the surface, but the breeze ruffled his hair, brushing those thick bangs across his face. That was the only thing that saved him from dying in her eyes. "No." He answered, his voice emotionless as usual.
"Then...why ARE you here?" She asked, a little confused. Was there some Oz base around he intended on demolishing? Knowing he was still fighting somehow saddened her. Fighting was useless in her opinion.
His lips pursed a degree, his gaze cast once again to the landscape and the people that dotted it. "To learn." He mysteriously answered, his voice unusually soft.
Her brow furrowed even more. "Learn?" She queried. "Learn WHAT?"
His jaw clenched briefly, lightly. "Everything." He continued in ever puzzling tone.
Whatever you do, I'll do it too
Show me everything and tell me how
You don't mean something; and yet nothing to me
Class was finally over and she held a few free minutes before going back to the mansion. Leaning against one side of the building for privacy, Heero leaned next to her, two gazes staring at the sky. "So why come to ME to learn everything that life holds Heero?" She asked, DESPERATELY wanting to know. She wanted to know his reasons for acting a little more 'normal', but mostly wanted to know why he would come to HER in the first place.
He looked at the slow passing clouds, mentally calculating the wind in the atmosphere to try and keep his nervousness down. It was unexplainable as to WHY he was nervous leaning against the back of the main building with her. But that answer right there seemed explanation enough; even if mystifying in its own right. "I'm not too sure..." He finally answered, being truthful. Why lie? He WAS here to learn, just as he said. But he was still at a loss at beginning to describe what he was feeling.
Her eyes slowly moved from the blue sky to his sideways face. A brow rose slowly. "Then why come at all if you don't plan on killing me?" She asked carefully. "I know the war has stopped briefly-"
"It's NOT the war." He broke in. "I'm not hiding from anyone, if THAT'S what you're insinuating."
Her eyes closed with a small shake of her head. She wasn't implying that at ALL. She KNEW he could MORE than take care of himself. "Well from what I managed to get from you, you just want to learn to be normal?" She tried again. He nodded slightly, agreeing with what she said. That basically summed up his whole mission. "Why?"
His head swung to hers, meeting her eyes. His darkened and narrowed in small anger. "What do you MEAN, WHY?" He asked, suspicion in his voice.
"I mean," She quickly answered, trying to placate him, "why be normal from the perfect soldier you ARE? You'll NEED that in the war to SURVIVE. Why be 'normal'," Both hands rose, making quotations, "in a world where normal can't be defined by the way you live and act, but as the person you ARE?" He shrugged, dumbfounded by her small, yet innovative speech. She always DID have a gift for words.
"But it has to be better than the way my daily life IS." He softly argued, not having anything to top what she just asked. He never had a gift for words, or TALKING. "There has to be a change SOMEWHERE."
"Yes I'll agree with you there." She softly agreed, looking back at the clouds. "But why now and not in the beginning? Why now after so long?"
"I've begun to see that the world is not all war and missions. There's a lot of suffering from people. That means emotions, something I don't have." He looked at her sideways profile, staring at her seriously. "I want to have that again."
She noticed when he said AGAIN and thought back to when she first met Dr. J. Back to when her father was killed. That seemed like so long ago now, something she hadn't thought about in so long.
"He has the same eyes as you do. Kind eyes." Dr. J said, almost regrettably.
Her eyes narrowed in contemplation, still being under observation from Heero. "YOU used to be normal." She softly stated, not asked. He nodded, catching it with her peripheral vision.
"Yes." He softly answered, as if guiltily. "But I dismissed normality for the war. Now that the Gundams aren't needed now, or probably WON'T be needed anymore, I want to learn again."
She looked at him again, eyeing him for truth and sincerity. "What do you want to start with?" She finally asked, breaking the silence. His eyes seemed to soften, show a tiny bit of noticeable relief.
"Whatever. I can't think of a starting point so you'll have to think of something." Her lips pursed thoughtfully, a million things going through her mind at once.
Something caught her eye, drawing her attention from his face. Her head swung away from him, her eyes saddening slightly. "It won't be today, if any Heero." She softly negated. Her face turned to him, her body leaning away from the wall. Quickly grabbing his hands, she cupped them in between her own, holding them lightly. "I'll think of a few things and write them down for you, okay? Run by where you want to get started. For now, I need to get home." She suddenly stepped away, quickly grabbing her books. Running nearly a dozen paces, she stopped some ways from the small rolling lawn and waved. He nodded back, too baffled by her sudden exit to do much else.
Minutes after her whirlwind exit, he leaned away from the wall, feeling a little empty. A new emotion. His mind encompassed it to examine it. He was a little disappointed and frustrated that they couldn't start right away, but was too hopeful somehow. It had been easy to get his hopes up. He should've known better, she had a life to get home to. As he needed to do.
Leaning away from the wall, he picked up his own book bag and tightly gripped it with one hand, trying to force back all the aggravation that assaulted him. 'Tomorrow,' He told himself, 'she said tomorrow.' Silently holding her to an unclaimed promise, he started for his solitary apartment a mile away.
Oh I can see there is too much to learn
It's all so close, and yet so far
I see myself as people see me
But I just know there's something bigger out there...
She nearly covered the paper with ideas. The desk lamp shone down on them, heating the paper with its yellow heat. Looking up suddenly as if someone were in the room, she glanced around quickly to make sure she wasn't going to get caught for staying up so late. A few more ideas came to her and she quickly jotted everyone down before forgetting. There was SO MUCH to teach Heero, but she was eager and excited to get started. She felt sorrow for the Gundam pilot, devoid of emotions and experiences outside the war. She was willing to get him back to normal, to see emotions behind those soulless eyes.
Hearing footsteps coming down the hall, she quickly shut the lamp off and nearly dashed across the large bedroom to her bed. Almost diving under the covers, she quickly stilled her body, feigning sleep. The door creaked open slowly and she held her breath, hoping her mother wouldn't notice anything out of the ordinary like she usually did. Her surrogate mother was sharp and usually caught her when she stayed up too late. The door shut after a brief's moment of silence, allowing Relena to breath a sigh of relief. Snuggling under the covers with dreams and hopes of starting her 'teaching', she closed her eyes with a small smile.
The first thing he spotted when he neared the steps was her and the peculiar way she sat on the concrete rise. Unbelieving she could SIT cross-legged in that kind of skirt, she seemed to defy all kinds of odds. Her head bowed with a seemingly transfixed gaze, until it looked up and met his eyes. She gave him a cheerful smile, one hand waving a single sheet of paper. He was a little confused at her strange behavior, but would ask her about it later if they had the time.
"Morning Heero." She greeted when he stopped before her. He nodded back silently, one hand gripping his book bag.
'He LOOKS like a normal boy...' She thought suddenly, then mentally shook her head. He probably didn't even realize he was DOING it.
"I made a list, as promised." She cheerfully announced, handing it over. He took it with his free hand, scanning the lengthy list. A brow rose minutely as he read. Some things she put down seemed too ODD to do and claim normality.
'How can sitting in a TREE and watching CLOUDS be NORMAL?' He wondered silently. But he had never done that, save for when he was spying on Oz troops; it was entirely different. He would just have to question her values on the list later when they got down to some of these things.
The warning bell rang and he handed the list back to her, but she shook her head. "You keep it Heero. When you get some free time, write down WHY you think I think these things are normal. Or why I think they're normal and I'll explain it later." She suddenly stood up, dusting her long skirt off. Reaching for her books, she swiped the bag and shouldered it, nearly the same way he was. "I'll see you in second period Heero." She announced, heading to class without any other talk.
He watched her second whirlwind exit, moreover confused than before. 'She sure was a ball of energy.' He mused. Shaking himself, he headed to his first class before he was late.
"Okay Heero, you want to know why I think writing poetry for no reason is normal?" She asked, darting her eyes from his paper. He nodded, taking a small drink of his water while he awaited her answer. She smiled wryly and set the two papers down. All his answers were very brief and blunt, even with the list of over two-dozen she compiled. She suddenly shrugged. "Not ALL writing needs to be done for an English class Heero. Sometimes when you need to get something out, but don't WANT to, or CAN'T get words out, creativity comes to play. Emotions sometimes blend in with creativity, allowing for a large range of words to use. It's also just fun." She smiled slightly. "I love poetry, that's why I wrote it down." Her gaze moved down to the small list he wrote back, searching for another good one to answer.
"Ah, the cloud thing. I can understand why that wouldn't SEEM normal to you..." One side of her mouth tilted. "But sometimes pressure from the world just gets to you, ya know? There's nothing more serene than sitting on a branch for a while, watching clouds go by. Being with nature is very humbling for me, it makes the problems I face seem a lot smaller when I'm outside in nature." He stared at her, not realizing she wrote down what she experienced. Some of them he couldn't really picture her doing, they seemed too weird. Her smile faded as wistfulness invaded her eyes, making her seem older than she appeared. Then it disappeared with a small shake of her head, drawing her attention to his next question.
Her eyes crinkled with a smile, laughter threatening to escape. "Heero, how can you question rolling down a grassy hillside??" A small bubble of laughter escaped from past experiences. Humorous eyes met his blank blue ones, the happiness dimming a little. Seeing his eyes reminded her that he most likely NEVER experienced things like this. She was saddened all over again, just like after her first meeting with Dr. J, knowing he was never ALLOWED to experience normality. But as long as he was WILLING to learn, she would patiently explain and demonstrate it until he was comfortable with it. "Well," She softly started, trying to quell the sadness in her heart, "it all goes back to being a child. Of feeling that HAPPINESS of a child. Children do things adults would NEVER think as fun. But we're NOT adults Heero, we're only fifteen. We can ALLOW ourselves to be children in certain moments and have fun like they did in their own innocence. Children are a little naïve, but that's because the simple things in life make them happy. If the simple things can make US happy, the big things are easier to deal with." Once again, he knew she was speaking from experience. He could see it in the faraway look in her eyes, the way she described everything as IF she'd done it before.
Her eyes rested on his answers once again before meeting his eyes again. "Sunrises and sunsets are NOT a waste of time Heero." Her brow furrowed upwards sadly, dismayed that he would think such a natural wonder that. "It's a wonder of God to see such a creation on Earth. The colonies aren't able to REALLY SEE the beauty a sunrise and sunset give off each day. Which is why I'm glad to be on Earth, even if it IS a little more dangerous around here." Her head tilted slightly, eyes softening a little more. "Have you ever WATCHED a sunrise or sunset just for the fun of it?" One of his brows rose silently, giving her the answer. "It brings humility and serenity to me, knowing that I'm privileged enough to WITNESS something so wondrous. Seeing the way the colors play across the sky and the land around it is a beauty in and of itself. You can't really EXPLAIN the magnificence of the sky setting or rising until you sit in the silence of a field and look for yourself."
She explained only two more before the warning bell rang, giving them five minutes to get to class. The two stood, collecting their things. Relena handed HER list back to Heero. "The next thing I want you to do Heero, prioritize WHAT you want to do first. I'll try and make time either tonight or tomorrow and we can get started." He nodded and placed the sheet in one of his textbooks for safekeeping. She picked up his answers to her list. "I'll finish writing out the rest of my reasons to your questions and hand them to you at the end of the day. Okay?" He nodded silently. Once again, she was a whirlwind of activity, though smooth in every movement. That defined grace she possessed screamed lady. The two parted ways, going to different classes for one more period alone before they were together for the last period of the day. Relena silently pondered his class choices, wondering if he 'randomly' put her easier classes with his just so he could see her, or if he was genuinely interested in them.
I wanna know, can you show me?
I wanna know about the strangers like me
Tell me more, please show me
Something's familiar about the strangers like me
Before taking his seat, he handed her the revised list to look over. Turning silently, he took his seat and opened the appointed textbook for their last class. He was well aware of the multitude of eyes on them, but paid them no mind. He'd heard a few rumors going around of him and Relena, along with his interests in her. It didn't matter, babble was irrelevant to his mission.
She hardly paid attention to the professor throughout their class. She DID, but the subject was something she knew a LOT about. Speech. She EXCELLED in it, so there wasn't much else for her to learn. Her eyes scanned the few dozen suggestions she made, her brow quirking at a few of his more chosen choices. 'So, he wants to try that tree thing huh?' She smiled gently. 'I guess I can persuade even Heero Yuy to sit in a tree if I speak from the right memory.' That smile widened, turning ironic. 'Even IF I DO tend to ramble a little.' She added humorously.
The bell finally rang, ending that small amount of impatience he was dealing with. He wanted to get started on some of her personal 'normality's', TODAY if POSSIBLE. He was a little frustrated that she had to leave so abruptly yesterday, but was hoping she could change her schedule and clear it so he could continue with his mission. Stagnation was not one he LIKED. Not for very LONG anyway.
The two met at the bottom of the classroom, both ignoring the stares they were getting when they walked from the room together. Relena felt a little guilty and embarrassed for the hushed whispers she heard from her friends just before they left, but was unable to explain her reasons to quell their talk. This was something she wanted to cherish and not share with ANYONE, so she mildly felt her actions were justified.
It didn't take long for her ride to come. She smiled wordlessly to Heero and walked to the car, motioning for him to follow. Pagan opened the car door for her, eyeing Heero behind her. She smiled at Pagan. "Afternoon Miss Relena." He greeted smiling. "Did you have a good day?"
She smiled widely, showing a secret he didn't know of. "As I always do Pagan." One hand swept to Heero. "You've heard of Heero from me." Pagan nodded and Heero's eyes curiously jerked to Relena's. "He's going to be working with me on a small...project. So he is to accompany us back home. I'll explain to mother when we get there." Nodding, he shut the door after the two youths and got back in front of the driver's side, taking them home.
Walking up the last steps to the front door, she opened it and held it open for Heero. "After you Heero." She politely jested. She smiled lightly, knowing that males normally did that for FEMALES. But this was HER house and it was HER duty to play hostess. She shut the door after her, looking at the maid that walked into the hallway. "Hello Contessa. Do you know where mother is?" She asked pleasantly. The lady nodded with a smile.
"She should be in the drawing room Miss Relena." She answered, turning down the hall.
Relena turned to Heero, smiling politely. "Would you come with me Heero while I speak with mother?" Unable to do anything but nod, he wordlessly followed her down a few halls until she suddenly stopped. Knocking softly, she softly asked him to wait outside before entering, shutting the door gently. He leaned against the wall of the mansion, looking around idly. The entire place was immaculate, of course. His ears perked to the soft female voices, but couldn't make out anything. Maybe a minute later, the door opened. She stepped out with a happy smile on her face. "Okay Heero, let's go." He blinked blankly, once again following her.
"Where are we going?" He finally asked, looking around while he followed her.
"Why, to get started on my list." She said, looking over her shoulder with a funny look. As if he DIDN'T know... He nodded; almost relieved they were going to get started. She silently led him to the back of the house, opening a pair of wide glass doors that led to the 'backyard'. Forest was more of a word to use actually...
Setting her books down on the patio furniture, he copied her. His eyes followed every move she made, even when she looked at her attire with a small grimace. "Oops, sorry. I guess I forget that climbing trees is a little hazardous to the dignity." She meekly smiled and went for the doors. "I'll be back in a few minutes Heero. Just wait here okay?" Without waiting for an answer, she nearly jogged to the nearest staircase to go change. He sat on the metal cushioned chair, looking out over the vast landscape. The view was gorgeous. Besides the tree climbing she mentioned, he wondered what ELSE she planned on doing.
A small noise behind him drew his attention and his mouth opened silently, somewhat taken aback. She smiled brightly before shutting the doors, stopping in front of him. "So? How do I look?" She asked, twirling slowly. He had to admit; she looked pretty good in blue jeans. The button-down t-shirt she changed into tied at the waist, giving off a mere inch of her stomach. But it was enough to make his palms sweat. He swallowed harshly. Her black sandals slapped against the marble quietly as she faced him again. Her head tilted when he didn't answer, but saw something unidentifiable in those eyes. She knew she had her answer, even if he DIDN'T say anything. "Well, let's get to it then." She thumbed to the stairs behind her, extending a hand. He looked at it before pushing his chair back, denying her help to stand. He was QUITE capable to do so on his own. Her slim hand dropped awkwardly, but she brushed it aside and started off.
They walked down across the lawn until they hit the trees. He walked next to Relena, eyeing her every once in a while when her head moved. She kept looking at SOMETHING, but WHAT he didn't know. "What're you looking for?" He finally asked, too curious to keep it inside. Her eyes darted to his before she looked away, still mysteriously silent.
"That." She muttered happily, pointing to a wide, multi-branched tree. It seemed very old, the trunk extremely wide. She nearly bounded over to it, slipping from her sandals near the trunk. "Come on Heero. The best way to climb a tree is to take your shoes off. You'll get a better grip that way." With lightening reflexes, she gripped a low branch and swung her legs around it. Using her muscles, she expertly turned until she was straddling the low branch, staring down at him. She smiled widely when all he did was look back at her wordlessly. "Come ON Heero," She gently coaxed, "you WANTED to learn to be NORMAL, right?" She knew he would take the bait with that, which he did. He scowled a little before slipping from his shoes and socks, feeling the earth under him. Looking back up, he spied a branch above her and easily leapt to it, catching Relena by surprise. She looked at him wide-eyed when their eyes locked again, too stupefied to say anything. "Well...THAT...works TOO...I guess..." She muttered, trying to gain her wits. She quickly shook herself and climbed to a more level branch next to his. "But why don't you do it like this? It makes the work worth the effort."
"As you just saw, I can jump higher with less strain." He answered monotone, standing effortlessly on the branch. She looked at him, unaware he had so good balance.
"Yes Heero, but not EVERYONE can jump as high as you can." She looked up to the tall tree, pointing. "And with the number of branches above, it's a good bet you could hit your head if you're not careful." She looked back with a small grin. "And not even Heero Yuy can dodge ALL tree branches." She climbed a few more limbs before stopping to look down again. "Come on," She taunted lightly, "I'll race you to the top!"
He took the bait and ended up beating her, even though she was a relatively good tree climber. The two sat on the smaller limbs, high from the ground. Heero looked down and guessed they had to be at least thirty foot up, at least. He could've been wrong though, it was possibly more. "Beautiful view, ne?" She asked suddenly. His eyes darted to hers, taking note of her comfortable posture. She looked at home sitting on the branch, using the one in front for an armrest. Her head rested over her arms, staring at him with a serene smile. "No one could find me whenever I climbed this tree." Her head shifted, looking down below. "It's so high and I could hardly hear anyone that called me." She smiled mirthfully. "Besides, there're too many trees to go through. The butlers and my father would've had to've climbed each one to find me." She chuckled softly through her nose before silencing herself. She looked at the view, the sun just starting to head toward the horizon. The sky started turning from blue to red. "This is the reason I climb trees Heero." She softly answered, feeling tranquility cover her being. "It's so peaceful up here. I feel like a bird resting on a branch before I fly away." She smiled serenely, eyes half closing.
He looked across the trunk at her sideways features. His eyes roamed her posture, taking in every small detail. The way she looked seemed to bring a small emotion to his OWN soul, even if he didn't understand what it was. She seemed to be the embodiment of harmony, radiating it from her eyes and smile. He felt his heart flutter strangely once again.
Every gesture, every move that she makes
Makes me feel like never before
Why do I have this growing need to be beside her?
Two days passed for the duo. They'd gone through a few more tree climbing experiences in her backyard, along with watching a sunset before they parted; one needing to get home and the other to get ready for the next day.
The third day, Relena decided to incorporate poetry into their itinerary. After their conjoining seventh period ended, Heero went with Relena to her house like routine. She brought their books out back again. Settling herself in a patio chair across from him, she instructed him to take out a spare sheet of paper and pencil. "Just write what comes to mind. Poetry doesn't ALWAYS rhyme. It's what you FEEL when you write that's important. Sometimes poetry is just a few words or stanzas." She educated. He nodded silently and watched as she almost immediately started in. He looked down at his own paper, jotting down a few words, nothing seemingly promising.
After a brief silence, he looked up, slamming his hand down on the glass table, though being mindful not to break it. Her head jerked up startled. "I can't DO this." He muttered lowly, entirely frustrated. She gave him a small encouraging smile.
"Yes you CAN Heero." She denied softly. She daintily laid her pencil on the glass surface, fingers entwining themselves over her paper. "As long as you know the English language, you can write poetry. As I explained, poetry doesn't HAVE to rhyme. Write whatever comes to mind." Her eyes twinkled with a sudden merriment. "Write about Wing Zero if that's what comes to mind." Without anymore explanation, she took up her pencil and reread what she wrote before continuing on.
His eyes narrowed on her before looking at his paper once again. 'Wing Zero?' He thought. Memories of his Gundam surged through him. He looked at the words on his paper, suddenly getting a small burst of inspiration. He blinked at the rare artistic occurrence, reveling in the feeling. Writing in near fury, he stopped when the sporadic feeling left and looked up. Relena sat there patiently, watching him. He blinked startled, before setting his pencil down.
"Would you like to read yours first?" She asked gently. She smiled softly when he shook his head. "Then I'll read mine." She suggested, picking the paper up. "You seem like such a scared little boy. Trying to hide from your inner demons. Let me comfort your soul and take that pain away. Let me caress your face with all the pressure of a butterfly's wings. Close your eyes my love. Relish in this warm feeling. Know I will do all I can to stick by you. I will keep you deep in my heart. Your essence will shine in all you do. So close your eyes my only one. The demons have left your soul for now." She blushed slightly, having mentally thought of the person in attendance when those words came to mind. But she wasn't going to tell HIM that. She looked up at him and smiled self-conscious. "What do you think?" She asked softly, wanting his opinion.
He was moved by her poem, even though it didn't rhyme. He connected poetry with rhyming, even if she said it didn't need to. He looked down at his OWN writings, knowing his pathetic attempt wouldn't even match up to hers. Her gift of speech excelled in poetry as well. "It's...very well written." He finally answered, nearly scrambling for words. She smiled lopsided, pleased he liked it. His uncomfortableness showed that it affected him, but he just didn't know how to deal with it.
"May I hear yours now?" She coaxed softly. He looked up with a small quirk to his lips, as if grimacing. Even though he seemed reluctant, he complied.
"Gundams are on Earth for a reason. Those that fight with peace will die of treason. Five pilots, one from each colony in space. Fight to save the human race. We do not care if we die in our fights. Death comes for everyone, even if it isn't right." When he finished, he looked at her in waiting. He wasn't aware he was holding his breath until his lungs started hurting.
She stared at him, unable to take what he'd written. She figured he'd write about the Gundams or the war, but she didn't know he would be so good at it. "It's...very good Heero." She smiled slightly. "You even got it to rhyme." He nodded idly, exhaling slowly as if nothing was wrong. As if he wasn't waiting for her opinion.
He went to crumple it, but her hand quickly shot across the table, covering one hand. "No don't. May I...keep it?" Her gaze ducked to the table discomfited. "Just...so I have something from you? Even if YOU don't want to keep it. Don't waste your first burst of creativity." She looked at him, his hands still poised to crumple his first piece of innovative poetry. He looked at the paper in contemplation before smoothing it out. "Will you sign your name, please?" His eyes met hers briefly before meeting the paper. He really HAD no name, except his code name. He didn't really REMEMBER his original. So, he signed it Heero Yuy and handed it over silently. She smoothed it out a little more, smiling pleasantly. Finally, she had something original of his.
The next morning, she met him again before the bell rang. She gave him a brief instruction about reading before leaving for her next class. She told him to go to the library and rent a book he found interesting to read, even if he needed to ask the teacher during his spare time.
He had to admit, he rarely read for pure enjoyment or to kill boredom. He never had TIME. But here he was, during a free period, in the library. He'd slipped into his perfect soldier façade before going to the teacher, making an excuse that he needed to head to the library for a project he was working on. He COULD'VE lied, but the project WAS an actual project, just not school related.
Slowly looking across the stacks of fiction books, he didn't come across anything that sparked his interest. In fact, he was really despising his newest 'mission' of going to the library in the first place. He should've brought a text on Wing's buster rifle, it certainly would've been more enjoyable than wandering aimlessly around empty-handed. After finishing one full bookcase, one out of half a dozen, he decided to simplify his search and go through the card catalogue. But he wondered if it would be any different from his previous methods, since books were categorized by name and decimal number. It would most likely take LONGER and he didn't HAVE all DAY.
Lithe fingers went through each card with a speed no student had ever seen. He didn't bother keeping his abilities down to normal standards, since he knew there was twenty minutes left, if he was LUCKY. His mind processed what he'd been taught the first few days with Relena, but the only thing he found of ANY use was the poetry they worked on. Keeping that in mind, he started looking up anything that LOOKED like a poet's name.
His torturous search thankfully ended in the E section. One finger on the spot, he pulled the card from its spot and studied it. He'd heard of this guy from previous schools he'd been to, but never paid him any mind. Now having time, he memorized the decimal number and put the card back, heading for the appointed section.
He found a few of the poet's books, grabbing a few thicker novels. The two-inch books would be something to keep his speed-reading habits busy for a day or two, if he was fortunate. But by then, he supposed the books would be gone through. Turning, he went for the librarian's section to check out his newest catch.
Relena spent a good dozen minutes of her beginning lunch hour looking for Heero. She asked a few of her friends if they'd seen him around, but they all declined. A few asked of her interest in him, but she only gave vague answers. Some of his male classmates said they spotted him among a small grove of trees near the courtyard, so she checked THAT lead out. Looking around the grove, she nearly expected him to be sitting at the bottom of some trunk, doing WHATEVER he did alone. Giving herself a small break in her search, she leaned against a trunk and breathed a loud sigh of fatigue.
His attention diversed from his reading, something he actually GOT INTO. Suspiciously looking down at the minute annoyance, he blinked quickly to adjust his eyesight and a small twinge upturned his mouth. Resting the novel face down in his lap, he stretched his arms nonchalantly. "Relena." He called, looking down casually, as if he did his current activity everyday.
Her attention jerked when she heard Heero call her name. It sounded extremely closeby. Her eyes scanned the small, secluded area, but didn't find one soul lounging on the grass. "Heero?" She called out, hands cupping her mouth.
He actually felt a small bout of laughter bubble from the depths of his mind. But he quelled it and only smiled a little more. "Look up." He called humorously. His smile subconsciously dropped when their eyes met.
"Heero, what're you DOING up there?!" She called out astonished, making sure to keep her voice down. This new discovery pleased AND amazed her. He looked to be all too comfortable stretched out over a tree limb, up high among the leaves.
He held up the book, his thumb holding his place. "Reading. Just as you told me to do." He informed her. Her eyes widened a little more; that delighted smile widened even more.
"But...in a TREE?" She asked strangely.
He shrugged somewhat. "This way I won't be bothered." He simply answered, as if it were evident.
Her gaze dropped to the surrounding area. No one was about. Smiling misteviously, she dropped her books at the trunk and grabbed onto a lower branch. Using her arm muscles instead of leg muscles, she managed to get a grip while still wearing her school uniform. Carefully climbing the limbs, she sat across from Heero, tucking every possible eyesore out of sight. Looking at the book in his lap, one hand outstretched. "May I?" She asked politely. Without a word, he put the makeshift bookmark inside and handed it over. She kept his place of course, but looked at the title.
An eyebrow immediately rose. 'Edgar Allen Poe?' She thought, even more amazed and dumbfounded. Then she smiled. 'He made an effort with that poetry bit. I'm happy he DID.' She looked through the chapters, discreetly searching for the story he was currently involved in.
"The Masque of Red Death, ne?" She asked out loud. Looking back at him, she handed the book back. "How do you like it?" She queried almost tentatively.
He shrugged. "The language isn't exactly today's slang, but it's interesting." She smiled a little.
"Heero, Edgar Allen Poe was alive during the early nineteen hundreds." She mirthfully informed him.
He looked at her through curiously narrowed eyes. "How do YOU know that? You read any of this?"
Her head shook slightly in negation. "No, a previous English class. We studied American poetry for a while. He's a brilliant writer, even if all his works ARE depressing." She softly added. Their small talk ended when he went back to that 'depressing' story. He LIKED the author's works, he really didn't understand what she was TALKING about. He especially liked the Masque of Red Death. It was such a creative story, and it was right up his alley. It was something he could identify with, which made it enjoyable for HIM.
While Heero read, Relena scanned the view in appreciation. She always DID like looking out at the horizon. There was something so odd about sitting in a tree in a SKIRT, but she honestly didn't care. Especially when she spied something interesting on Heero's face. She felt giddiness bubble, but kept it from showing and interrupting his reading again. 'He's SMILING!' She thought excitedly. She didn't have to tell him to, even IF it was on the list she concocted. No one had to prompt him. He did it all on his own with a little happiness. 'It's a step in the right direction.'
Oh these emotions I never knew
Of some other world far beyond this place
Beyond the trees; above the clouds
Oh I see before me a new horizon
That afternoon, Relena drug him away from school. He inquired about her ride and their normal stop at her house, but she only smiled. "Sometimes, it's just good to be sporadic Heero." She answered mysteriously, smiling at him. He scowled a bit, not liking to be off his set schedule. It would throw off any the other plans he made.
Their peculiar walk took them into town. He followed her without any explanation of WHERE she was going or WHY. Whenever he asked her, she only smiled and told him it wasn't that far. Not knowing his next hurdle to normality was starting to bug him. He wasn't good at the unfamiliar or unexplained. But he wasn't going to get any answers from her until they arrived at WHEREVER they were going, so he kept quiet and followed close behind.
Their stop ended at a pet hospital. He looked up at the store's banner before raising a brow, giving her a strange look afterward. "What're we doing HERE?" He asked confused. She smiled widely back.
"Well Heero, I had a long talk with mother the past two days and she's allowing me to get an animal for myself." She informed him, though not explaining their visit to his satisfaction.
"Why here?" He asked, just before she grabbed his arm and practically dragged him inside.
"They're also an adoption agency." She said, fitting the last puzzle piece. She stopped at the counter and gave the receptionist her full attention. "Hello. I'd like to adopt a dog." Heero's eyes widened minusculy. The lady led them into a kennel, the sound of barking intensifying ten-fold almost immediately. Heero started feeling that his nerves were going to be grated to nothing before their strange mission was done. Even though the noise was annoying, he didn't cover his ears, unlike Relena. Which he thought odd for someone about to adopt a dog. You'd need to be ready to ignore such a racket. "Oh they're all so adorable!" She nearly shouted above the noise.
"I'll give you a few minutes to look for the one you want!" The receptionist shouted. "Come back up when you're done and I'll get the paperwork started!" Relena nodded and the door shut, leaving the two alone with the caged animals.
"Oohh Heero," She nearly cooed, "isn't this one cute?" He looked at the small terrier, raising an eyebrow. He didn't FIND dogs 'cute'. She kneeled in front of the fence, immediately sticking her fingers through. She giggled loudly when the dog immediately licked her fingers and rubbed against them, demanding attention. She looked around longingly. "Oh I don't KNOW," She slowly whined, "they're all so adorable! I can't decide!" Though she wished to take home every single animal she spotted, she kept in mind her mother's instructions about size and manners. She read the reasons for each dog's current entrapment, making sure the dog had its shots and was either spayed or neutered. She wasn't picky with gender, it honestly didn't matter to her. She was just happy she was able to get a dog, since her life wasn't very hectic. Right now all she had was school so she wouldn't be gone TOO long from her new friend.
A certain sight caught her attention above all the rest. Her eyes widened and she forced a casual walk to the cage. "Oohh, you're so precious, yes you are!" She cooed, smiling widely. "You." She suddenly decided, standing back. She turned to Heero and noticed he wasn't looking very appreciative at being dragged inside the noisy kennel. She smiled wider.
'He'll just have to DEAL.' She thought a little selfishly. Pointing to the kennel, she grabbed his arm for a better view.
"This one. I want this dog." She decided, snatching the description paper from its resting place.
'Name...BERNARD?' Her nose wrinkled as she looked at the dog. 'What a NAME! No, it'll be something more to suit you.' She smiled suddenly and continued on. 'Moving to city and unable to keep in small areas.' She looked back at the large shaggy dog. 'Well I have JUST the place for YOU to run around mister.' She mentally laughed. 'Good with kids and well trained. Also neutered and has had shots.' She nodded. 'Good, a lot less to deal with.' If he was already well trained, then getting him home wouldn't be a problem. Also, there wouldn't be any ACCIDENTS at home in the future.
Keeping the information in hand, she gave one final look to the dog. "Don't GO anywhere you," She pointed humorously, "We'll be RIGHT BACK." Turning back to Heero, she grasped his hand and pulled him to the door. Somewhere in the midst of her euphoria, she realized she was ignoring him. Stopping just outside the door, she turned to him, feeling a little contrite. "Thanks for coming with me Heero." She softly answered, looking at the floor.
"It's okay." He answered monotone, just thankful to be away from the noise. "But, why a dog?" He asked, the sudden question popping from his mouth. She looked up, feeling a little relieved he wasn't mad. A mad Heero Yuy normally meant disaster. She smiled slightly.
"Well something on my list involves animals. I just asked mother if I could get an animal of some kind and she said it'd be a dog if nothing else." She smiled wryly. "Mother loves dogs. So I'm sure she'll like my choice."
"But why something so LARGE?" He continued.
Her gaze turned to the glass panel in the middle of the door, looking down the kennels. "That white sheepdog is like a big teddy bear. He's well trained, so I don't think accidents around the house will be a problem. He was brought here because the owner was moving to a city. Cities mean small spaces. A dog that size needs room to run." She smiled brightly. "The size of MY house is MORE than enough for someone his size. And he's good with kids, which means he's playful and kind. The perfect dog." She nodded affirmation, more than happy with her choice. "And, I'm going to go adopt him now." Grabbing onto his hand again, she turned for the receptionist's area.
After filling out all the paperwork and getting tags, the trio once again walked down to the kennels. The worker opened the door and snapped a leash on the white dog's bright blue collar. She handed the leash to Relena, since she figured the dog wouldn't run. Though it reached her waist, its previous owner was very thoughtful to train it. That only made things easier on everyone. "So, did you think of a name yet Miss Dorlain?" She asked politely. "For the adoption records." She added, holding up the unfinished paperwork.
Her blue eyes locked on the dog, mind buzzing. Her lips pursed. "Hmmm..." She hummed, trying to find a suitable, yet adorable, name.
"How about shaggy?" Heero suddenly piped up. Both women looked at him and he pointed to the dog. "His coat IS pretty shaggy. You can barely see his eyes." He commented, almost explaining his first statement. Relena rolled the name through her head, looking at the dog.
"Shaggy..." She murmured, mostly to herself. A smile blossomed on her face. "Yea. Shaggy! Good job Heero!" Giving the lady a quick look, she kneeled to the dog. "How about that, ne boy? You like that name?" The dog's head turned to her, barking excitedly. She laughed and wrapped her arms around its neck. "Okay then, Shaggy Dorlain you'll be!" She chuckled at her small joke and strange name, even getting a small smirk from Heero.
"Are you SURE you'll be able to handle a dog that size Relena?" He asked again, watching the taunt line. She scoffed at him playfully, in too good a mood to be mad or insulted.
"Heero, Heero, Heero. Shaggy's a good dog. He knows how to behave." She humorously chided. Looking at the dog's turning head, she changed her tone. "Shaggy, stay." Almost immediately, the dog stopped and looked at her, awaiting his next command. She smiled. "Good boy. Sit." The next command was immediately obeyed. She looked at Heero with an almost smug smile. "Any other questions Heero?" She asked. The dog barked, its head turning to the new sights. Heero nearly glared at the dog, but said nothing. She nodded and shook the leash lightly, letting him know he could go forward. The dog stood and continued on eagerly.
"Let ME ask YOU Heero." She piped up after a small silence. "You sure you'll be able to HANDLE all that?" She asked, looking at the packages and her bag good-naturedly. His eyes narrowed before looking at her sideways.
"I've piloted a GUNDAM Relena." He muttered lowly. "Your books and a few bags from that adoption center are NO PROBLEM."
"Just checking." She muttered, giggling slightly.
The two continued on through the edge of town, circling to her house. The entire casual walk to her house felt so comfortable and routine to Relena. Like she adopted dogs everyday and took a walk home with Heero. She smiled. 'I can CERTAINLY get USED to this, THAT'S for sure.' She happily thought. The near entire walk was quiet, save for a few barks from the dog, or neighborhood noise. The noise soon ended when their walk took them to a long forest road. Shaggy looked agitated to go INTO the forest for a unscheduled stop, as all dogs do when they see trees. Relena only relented twice to let the dog sniff a few times, figuring he had business to do.
After a while of keeping a straight arm, she stopped the dog. "Heero, would you take the leash for a while? My arms are tired." Nodding, he gripped it and they continued on after switching roles. Maybe ten minutes later, Shaggy started acting strangely. Relena eyed the dog suspiciously before stopping the two. She kneeled in front of the dog, patting his head comfortingly. "What's wrong Shaggy? You seem different." The dog barked a few times before whining, as if trying to tell her something. Her head tilted, eyes narrowing peculiarly.
Heero switched holds on the leash, catching her attention. The dog whined again. She stood suddenly and walked to Heero's side. "Heero, raise the leash will you?" She strangely asked. He looked at her silently, but complied. She saw the problem. "Heero," She smiled kindly, "the dog isn't going to run away from you." Her hands went to his, cupping the tight fingers. He nearly had a death grip on the leash, emotionally affecting the dog. "You don't need to hold so tightly. See?" Adjusting his hand to a more comfortable pose, she let go and looked into his eyes again. "And your hand won't cramp up from holding the leash so tightly." She added.
He looked down at the leash; unsure she should be so trusting with an animal in a large forest. A lost dog was a good possibility. And he didn't have the patience to go searching to bring it back. Still, he decided to trust her and go with the flow. He really had no other CHOICE.
When they arrived at the mansion again, Relena had one of the servants bring her mother down to see their newest family member. They took everything except Heero's bag, putting the things where they belonged. One of the maids informed Relena the food dishes would be set in a corner of the kitchen for the dog.
It didn't take long for her mother to come downstairs, and fall in love with Shaggy. Though an obvious middle-aged woman, she dropped to her knees to pet the dog's head, hugging him affectionately. Heero quirked an eyebrow mildly. 'Relena wasn't kidding about her mother being a dog lover.' He mused, standing aside quietly.
Finally standing, the mother turned to Relena. "What's the dog's name?" She asked, smiling like a child at Christmas.
"HIS name is Shaggy." Relena informed. Her mother nodded, seeing Heero a little ways off behind Relena. Her head quirked to one side.
"Hello, you must be Heero Yuy I hear so much about." She said, walking forward, hand extended.
"MOTHER!" Relena whined, blushing profusely. Hands immediately introduced themselves to her face in an attempt to hide embarrassment. She KNEW she shouldn't have gushed so much about Heero to her surrogate mother.
The two shook hands, Heero eyeing Relena with a strange look. "How many people have you talked to about me?" He asked bluntly. She turned to the two, pressing her lips together tightly.
"Oohh, not too many." Her mother said humorously, winking at her daughter. Relena smiled meekly, catching her mother's look. The two KNEW that she talked about her current 'assignment' with Heero to half of the house, if not more. "But enough of that talk," She quickly said, "why don't you take the dog out back for some exercise?" She suggested.
"But mother, we walked HOME with him." Relena argued lightly. Heero nodded affirmation.
"Well then, go show him around his new home." Mrs. Dorlain looked at her pointedly. Nodding with a small smile, she grabbed Shaggy's leash from the floor.
"Very well... Shall we Heero?"
The strange trio ended their exploration with the backyard, allowing the dog to finally run around. He took off the near second Relena unsnapped his leash, once they reached the grass. "Don't go too far Shaggy!" She called, as if speaking to a child. She chuckled to herself soon afterwards. The two sat on the patio furniture in silence, looking at the surrounding forest. "It's been a very good day Heero. Thank you for sharing it with me." She softly thanked. He silently nodded, eyes still glued on the sun. He finally realized something.
"The sun's setting." He suddenly said, cutting the comfortable silence. She smiled slightly, eyeing him along with the sunset.
"Why...so it IS." She said humorously. He looked at her, slightly raising an eyebrow.
"You set this up." He stated, not asked. Her smile widened a little.
"Of COURSE I did." She said, like he WOULDN'T know. She didn't bother explaining anything else; simply let the breeze whistle and the wind blow. After a little longer, she stood up. "Shall we go find that dog of mine?" She asked humorously. He stood as well and the two headed for the forest. Spreading out, though close enough to see each other, Heero jumped to a tree for a better lookout. Relena continued on foot, calling the dog's name as she went. They continued on till they reached a small clearing, the hillside sloping upward gently. They found him there, rolling on his back in the grass. Relena stopped and laughed at the scene, pausing the dog's movements. "You silly dog!" She called through laughter. Without another thought, she ran to him. "Come ON Heero!"
He followed at a casual walk, watching as she ran around the hill with the dog. 'So carefree.' He idly thought. Would he EVER be able to act like that? He vowed to TRY at least, so why was he holding back, acting like the perfect soldier once again? Hadn't HE been normal once? A caring boy? Throwing caution to the wind, he picked up his pace to a slow jog, not seeing anyone else about. It was safe to do so in his book, since only Relena and the dog saw. She would be overjoyed he made an effort, and the dog couldn't even speak English...
The two ran around the clearing, the dog running after both of them. Relena tossed a stick around for Shaggy, the dog bringing it to each human after picking it up. Heero sometimes threw it a little harder than she did, causing a little longer wait for it to be retrieved. It was all in fun though. The DOG sure didn't seem to mind.
Relena ended one of her runs at the top of the hill, maybe ten foot away and above Heero. Sitting down next to the dog, hands cupped her mouth. "Come on Heero!" She shouted happily, nearly out of breath from constant running. "Time for another part of my list!" Taking a single second to wonder WHAT the next item was, he jogged up the small hill, sitting next to her. She looked at him, laying down horizontally. "I'm not going to be able to DO this very well, not in THIS skirt, but I'm CERTAINLY not going back in the house NOW!" Stretching both arms over her head, she started rolling down the hill, laughing all the way. The dog barked happily and romped around her, though never stopping her descent. He sat staring wide-eyed at her silly display, unbelieving she wanted HIM to do something so moronic! Their eyes locked through the distance after she landed. One hand went to her hair, pulling out grass and leaves in the long tangled locks. "Come ON Heero! No one's out here but US and Shaggy! Who's HE going to tell?" She called playfully, egging him on. "Just pretend it's a mission Heero! One you need to fulfill at the cost to your own regularity!"
He raised his brows, hardly believing he heard those words from her mouth. Though she made a valid point and it WAS why he was AROUND. Every little thing she sent him to do he considered a mission. This one was no different, although it was pretty stupid. But...
Stretching out on the grass, he copied her hand position and rolled down, quickly gaining momentum. He didn't stop till he hit the bottom, too dizzy to get up just yet. He settled for laying on his back, arms resting on his chest. "What was the POINT of that?" He asked, not really understanding it just yet. She leaned over until their eyes met, still picking grass from her hair.
"Why, to have FUN." Her eyes looked away. "Right Shaggy?" As if the dog understood, he stopped before Heero and licked his face.
I wanna know, can you show me?
I wanna know about these strangers like me
Tell me more, please show me
Something's familiar about these strangers like me
Another day passed, making it a total week since Heero'd gone to see Relena and 'ask for help'. They'd done a few more things on her list, though there were a few she doubted would happen. There simply wouldn't be time for certain activities. And she didn't know if her MOTHER would approve a few of them. But THAT was a bridge she would have to cross later.
As normal, the two went back to the mansion, immediately acknowledged by the dog. Relena vigorously greeted him in front of the door; Heero simply patted the dog's head slightly. He hadn't really taken to the dog, but some was better than none. Shaggy followed the two to the patio, running to the forest when the doors opened. They sat down as custom. "This 'exercise' is pretty simple Heero." She explained, taking out her books. "We can just to homework together."
He sat back in his seat, watching while she prepared things to work with. "I can do everything on my OWN Relena." He muttered. She looked at him across the way.
"I very well KNOW that Heero. But sometimes it's good to work together. A LOT of classmates work on homework, sometimes when they don't understand an assignment and need help on it."
He shook his head somewhat. "All those classes I assigned myself are easy." He negated.
She smiled. "Well then, you can help ME with a few of my Calculus problems. I'm better with English than I am at Math." He rose a brow, but decided to give her suggestion a go. He didn't have anything ELSE to lose.
They worked on her Calculus and a small creative writing assignment from his literature class. Ironically enough, it was about poetry. "Okay, now what does Juliet mean when she asks Romeo 'Where for art thou?'" Relena queried.
Together the two diversed themselves into Romeo and Juliet, cutting through a large portion of the novel the school lent him. When the sun started setting, and Relena's stomach growled, she called for Shaggy. A few minutes later, the dog was easily spotted, his white coat gleaming from the evening light. She offered Heero to eat supper with her and her mother, but he declined. But he gave her a mysterious proposition while packing up his books. "Don't make plans of going out tonight." Without waiting for her, he walked inside.
She watched his exit, her mind working a million miles a minute trying to figure out what he meant by that offhand suggestion. She immediately thought he was taking her out on a DATE. Without meaning to, she started getting excited. The entire week had been bliss for her, spending almost all her time with Heero. She cared a LOT about him, even if she purposely dumbed it down. She didn't want her OWN feelings getting in the way of his small 'mission' of normality. She planned on helping him as a friend and nothing more. Getting her hopes up wasn't something she did often with him, it only led to heartbreak or letdown.
The sun had long ago set, but still no Heero. Sitting in her room, leaning against the window, she stared at the night sky. The way he said his earlier statement nearly promised he'd be back tonight. And he wasn't one to break promises. She was starting to wonder where he WAS. Some part of her hoped he wasn't in trouble or hurt. 'But this is HEERO YUY here.' She chided herself. 'He can take BULLETS no problem. Don't WORRY about him Relena.' She leaned away from the window with a small sigh. Even though she told herself NOT to, she still DID worry about him somewhat. She looked down at her casual attire, knowing she should've changed for bed a while ago. But, she was resolved to wait a little longer before giving up and heading to bed.
He stopped in front of the house at nine on the dot. Walking up the all too familiar steps, he slightly marveled at how different the place looked during nighttime. After ringing the bell once, he looked around the front lawn.
It didn't take long for the door to open, one of the butlers looking at him with a surprised expression. He didn't FIGURE Relena's mother said anything to the help about him coming over tonight. But he was glad he ran it by with Mrs. Dorlain. Asking her permission was important to him somehow. "I'm here to pick up Relena." He simply stated. The butler let him in moments later, saying he would go fetch her. "No need. I know the way." He nearly jogged up the nearest staircase, heading straight for her room.
A soft knock on her door startled her from thoughts of Heero's whereabouts. Looking at the door curiously, she got up from her bed to answer it, Shaggy following at her heels. A quick peek resolved all her worries to wherever Heero was. She smiled in small relief. "Heero." She nodded, opening the door wider. "Now that you're here, may I ask what you planned on coming back for?"
His gaze drifted to the dog, one hand stretching out to pet it. The dog eagerly walked under his hand, happy for the attention. She smiled gently. "I've got something to show you. Something on your list." He stated secretively. She looked up from the dog, narrowing her eyes intriguingly. "I've cleared it with your mother already. All you need is a jacket." Nodding through a muddled head, she herded Shaggy back inside before grabbing a light windbreaker. Shutting the door behind her to keep him inside, she followed Heero outside the mansion.
"So, where are we going then? If you don't me asking." She said, eyeing him. He kept his gaze on something, not answering her. She mentally sighed.
'A SURPRISE then I guess. So be it.' She smiled somewhat.
"Wait," She suddenly spoke, "how're we going to GET to wherever you're taking us?" His hand suddenly grabbed hers, directing her toward a shiny motorcycle. She nearly gasped at the bike. "Wow. It's stunning!" She breathed, eyeing it in appreciation. Heero got on indifferently, hands gripping the handlebars. It WORKED, that's all HE cared about.
"Get on." He instructed, putting a helmet over his unruly hair. Grabbing the other helmet on the bike, which she knew was for her, she quickly set it on before seating herself behind Heero. He started the bike, revving the engine a little. "Hold on." He ordered loudly, giving her enough time to wrap her arms around him before taking off. Her lengthy hair blew behind her, immediately tangling. They were going so quick! Adrenaline coursed through her; she'd never ridden a motorcycle before. Wrapping her arms tighter around Heero when he took a sharp turn, her head rested on his back. NOTHING could break through her contented feeling right now. Relishing in the heat he produced, she closed her eyes and let the road under her roar by.
When the bike finally stopped, her eyes regrettably opened. She immediately let go of Heero and looked around. "So, where are we?" She asked, unable to see far in such darkness. He'd shut off the bike's headlight, making it near impossible to see anything. And the moon wasn't even half full. The forest's dense foliage sure wasn't letting in much light...
"This way." He muttered, shaking his hair free from the helmet. She felt her heart pick up from seeing the small glints of moon hit him through the trees. He looked handsome. She quickly took her own helmet off and hung it on the other handlebar, disembarking from the bike. Trying to comb out some hair with her fingers, she stopped when she realize it was useless. She would have to take a comb to it later and REALLY work on it. The two halted their brief walk, stopping before something. Relena could hardly see the unidentifiable object and looked at Heero for an explanation. But she watched instead as he fumbled for something in his jacket pocket.
"What is that?" She softly asked, her voice too loud in her ears. Not even insects or night creatures made any sounds around them. It was almost creepy out in the middle of GOD knew where.
He looked at the device, then met her eyes in the poor light. "A way up." He continued, seemingly offhand. He looked way up to the point of hurting his neck, his hand bringing the device up a second later. After a brief aim, he pulled the trigger, hearing the small clang resound through the forest as the suction cup hit metal. One arm held onto the object, the other extending to her. "You'll have to hold on tight Relena." He softly ordered, his voice sounding a little strange. "It's a long way up."
"Up to WHERE?" She looked up to where he shot, but couldn't see that far. He allowed a small smile when they met eyes.
"You'll just have to wait and see. You've been mysterious in a lot of your actions this past week. It's MY turn now." Heart fluttering, she swallowed harshly before stepping into his embrace. "Put your arms around my neck and hold on." Doing as ordered, his arm held her tightly to him. She hoped he wouldn't feel the wild beating of her heart, PRAYED he wouldn't. His thumb pressed the retract button, swiftly pulling the two from the ground. She gasped and tightened her embrace, looking down as they got farther up. They were nearly higher than some trees! She looked fearfully to Heero, but his face was locked on the top. Even though they never met eyes, he smiled somewhat, as if to reassure her.
When they reached the top, he helped her onto some sort of ledge before standing next to her. His gaze met the night sky. "What do you think?" He asked softly, almost too afraid to meet her eyes.
"Is this...WING ZERO?" She nearly shouted, overly surprised. Her eyes locked with the cockpit, taking a small step toward it. He looked at her, smiling somewhat at her baffled and entranced gaze.
"This is my Gundam, yes." He agreed nodding minusculy. "But I didn't bring you up here to see Zero." One hand landed on her shoulder, gently turning her to the view. "I brought you up for this." His other spread around them, her eyes meeting nearly a million stars in the black night.
She gasped wide-eyed at the wonder of it all. The moon shone its white light to one far end of the sky, the black allowing for millions of stars to brightly shine. "Oh HEERO..." She breathed, taking an enthralled step forward. His hand shot to her wrist, gripping it.
"Careful. It's a long way down." She blinked suddenly and looked down over the edge. The tops of trees seemed far off from the cockpit's door. She gave a weak cry and took a startled step back. He chuckled softly at her display.
"I'll just SIT then." She quickly muttered. He copied her, along with her position. Together in silence, the two sat with updrawn legs, staring at the stars and passing moon.
Come with me now to see my world
Where there's beauty beyond your dreams
Can you feel the things I feel right now with you?
Take my hand, there's a world I need to know
Her head bobbed a few times in her attempt to stay awake. She would've fallen asleep if not for the chilly wind that blew. Not even her jeans, sweater, and windbreaker could help in such a high altitude. She shivered a few times, hoping Heero didn't notice. She didn't want to go back down and go home. This was like paradise to her, some mystical dream she hoped to never wake from. She situated her thick hair around her for a little more warmth. "Thank you for taking me to see this Heero." She nearly whispered, regrettably breaking the enthrallment.
"It WAS on the LIST." He softly answered back. She felt a little dishearten, almost wishing he would've done this to be with her alone. Something romantic... "But...it's nice." He said, even softer than last time. She smiled tenderly, but told herself not to get her hopes up. "You're cold." He suddenly announced, immediately putting an arm around her shoulders. She startled slightly from contact, but nearly snuggled into his embrace seconds later.
"How did you know?" She asked warily. Even if they HAD been touching shoulders...
"I can't feel it, but I'm assuming it's too cold for YOU up here." He simply answered. His eyes met hers, seeing flecks of the moon radiate from her blue orbs. Whatever he planned on saying died in his mouth as he seriously stared at her. "Thank you for helping me with my mission Relena." He softly stated. She smiled kindly, the corners of her eyes creasing.
"It was truly my pleasure Heero." She softly answered. His eyes darted over her face, feeling his heart speed up, that strange emotion shooting through his veins. Something strange popped into his head, even if it WAS on her list. He wanted to hug Relena. And something ELSE, but he didn't know what it WAS...couldn't classify it...couldn't make SENSE of it...
She seemed to take advantage of the moment, AND beat him to the punch. Her arms snaked around his waist, her head touching his shoulder. "But you're welcome anyway." She whispered contently. Once the slight shock wore off, his arms went over her, holding her gently. He knew he was strong, and she was so fragile...
The moon nearly touched the horizon before they moved. Heero wondered if Relena had fallen asleep, and Relena just didn't want to LET GO. Heero was so nice to hold, and his arms were so strong. It all felt so right to her, to just have him hold her. She'd dreamt of his arms a few times in recent dreams, but would never ask him to hold her or even hug her out of fear of rejection and embarrassment. But up here, being alone with Heero, somehow made things okay.
"Relena?" He whispered. "You awake?" Smiling slightly, her head pulled back.
"Yes Heero, I am." She chuckled. "I just haven't been held in a long time by another man. It was nice, thank you." Her eyes looked away timidly. She ignored Heero's inquisitive gaze until she couldn't bear it anymore, locking eyes again with a small conscientious smile. The position of the moon played with his dark eyes, sparking light into them. She couldn't pull away.
He felt that strange emotion run through him, felt his heart start beating faster. What WERE these feelings? He had never experienced them before, but they were nice... "Relena...?" He whispered, almost scared. Her smile slowly disappeared the longer she stared at him.
"Yes Heero?" She whispered back.
He felt his palms start sweating and was glad they didn't touch her skin. He didn't want her to know he was as nervous as he felt. He was too anxious to get words out, to ask such a bold and out of character question. But for the past week his actions had been out of character. He'd been acting normal, and he had this captivating person to thank for his return. He would never be able to repay her for her thoughtfulness or kindness in helping him. He'd experienced, and WAS experiencing, new uncharted emotions. It thrilled and terrified him at the same time.
Through his muddled brain, he knew she was still patiently waiting for him to finish his thought. But he didn't know if he could DO it or not. To ASK such a question... He quickly and tensely licked his lips. "Do you...may I...can I-" He stopped when he realized he was getting nowhere. She smiled slightly, silently encouraging him.
"May you WHAT Heero?" She softly prompted, wondering why he was stuttering so badly.
The perfect soldier side to his mind told him to just BLURT out his question and get it OVER with. If she didn't respond, or turned him away, no big loss right? But the 'normal side' of him didn't WANT to just blurt out his question. Something THIS touchy, ESPECIALLY for HIM, required more finesse. But, he wasn't QUITE normal YET. "Kissing isn't on the list, right?" He asked monotone, feeling himself slip to his old self.
She immediately blushed and darted her eyes to part of his shirt. ANYTHING to keep their gazes apart. She really couldn't believe he ASKED such a question, even if she kind of HOPED he would. She smiled slightly, humored at the way he posed such a proposition. "No, no it's NOT Heero." She whispered, trying to keep laughter from escaping.
'What a way to ASK!' She mused. But this was Heero here, something so far off for him would be hard to deal with. 'Heck, if HE kisses ME, it'll be hard for ME to deal with!' Nervousness reared its ugly head.
"But that doesn't mean that normal people don't kiss right?" He continued, feeling like an idiot for asking such a delicate question in such a dull fashion.
Her head shook slightly. "No. People kiss all the time, even if they're NOT normal. Kissing usually involves feelings toward the other person." She softly educated.
Feelings??? He just wondered what kissing was LIKE. He didn't know emotional attachment was involved!! Still...emotional attachment might be paired with what he was feeling... But...some part of him didn't want to lie and TELL her he felt something for her, even if some part of his 'normal' brain said he DID. "Well...don't people kiss for no reason at all?" He asked, realizing he was scrambling for a way around just outright ASKING.
She felt like giggling from his little boy attitude. She wondered if he was going to ask what COOTIES were next! "Well yes I suppose that's possible." She answered, trying to keep laughter from her voice. She was warring with humor and apprehension, both winning. But humor was easier to show than her personal tension. She didn't even figure he would NOTICE, even if SHE noticed HIS anxiety. "Heero...would you like to kiss me?" She asked, smiling widely. SHE ended up asking HIM, go figure...
"Yes." He breathed, feeling a small amount of unease leave him. "How DO you kiss?" He promptly asked.
She couldn't hold back a soft chuckle. "You've never KISSED someone before?" He only shook his head self-consciously. "Well, I haven't had much practice MYSELF...but...I'd be glad to teach you. It's very EASY actually..." All humor left her when she realized she was ACTUALLY GOING TO DO THIS! She felt her hands start shaking. "First," She softly instructed, hoping nerves kept away from her vocal chords, "you're supposed to close your eyes."
"Won't you bump heads?" He innocently asked. Her lips pressed together to hold a smile down.
"Maybe. But keeping your eyes open is just strange somehow. I didn't MAKE the rules. When you kiss, you breathe out your nose. It just makes things easier. And lastly, you just press lips together. Pressure depends on...things."
He decided to close his eyes, not wanting to see her face in case her eyes laughed at him. He noticed the amusement in them earlier and felt a little angry along with humiliated that he didn't know ONE THING about kissing. But he'd never BOTHERED before now... His head dipped to hers, deep blue eyes closing just before they made contact. Her lips were soft, shaking for some reason he didn't understand. He kept pressure light, not sure what she MEANT about that last part.
She felt her lips shake and couldn't do a THING to stop it. Her adrenaline ran on an all-time high. Age-old instinct moved her head up to add pressure to the kiss. She felt him startle, but he quickly accepted the force and added a little back.
It seemed forever till they pulled apart, both breathless. Even though he breathed through his nose the entire time as instructed, he felt as if he'd run a marathon. Relena rested her head on his shoulder, and his head balanced over hers. He stared at the sky, the moon entirely gone. Dusk had come. His eyes widened uncharacteristically. He'd have to get her HOME soon. Remembering the world below, he pulled away slowly from the embrace. "It's getting late Relena. Or early. The sun is going to rise soon." He softly explained, seeing her lips swelled a little from the kiss. A sudden surge to kiss her again pulsed through him, but he kept it at bay. He had more opportunities to kiss her again, to better himself at it.
She blinked surprised and looked around. Her mouth gaped open in shock. "Wow, you're right. Oh...the view is so pretty." She snuggled against him without knowing she was doing it, evaporating his resolve to leave.
He allowed her a small glimpse of the sunrise before getting her attention again. "Come on Relena, it's time to get you home now." He repeated softly. She looked at the cockpit door regrettably, but smiled widely. She couldn't be sad from just sharing a kiss, looking at the stars, and seeing the sunrise with Heero. All of it was magical and a blessing in her eyes. She nodded and carefully stood, her limbs protesting. They both stretched before she walked to the edge of the door.
"So, how're we going to get down?" She asked, warily looking at the forest's treetops.
"The same way we got UP." He explained behind her. She turned and looked at the gun-like object he held.
"So, that's a way DOWN right?" She joked lamely. He smirked.
"It's a TOWLINE." He explained, holding it out briefly. With a sudden surge of misteviousness, he held out a hand. "Do you trust me?" He asked, that smirk widening a little more. One of her brows rose.
"I trust you with my LIFE Heero." She warily explained, not liking that look.
His eyes narrowed humorously, not explaining what he planned on doing. No WAY would she go for it if he outright TOLD her what he wanted to do. "Then, grab a hold again." She slowly did as told, getting a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. "Tighter." He said, maneuvering them to the edge. Her arms gripped his waist this time, fearing she would cut off his air. "Try not to scream in my ear okay?"
"Wha-AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!" Indeed she DID scream, the question turning to a near full-blown shriek as he jumped off the cockpit door to the trees below. Her head pressed against his chest, wondering what the HELL he was doing!! Vaguely, she heard the gun go off through the adrenaline running through her, over the blood ROARING in her ears. After a VERY FRETFUL half minute, the line took and they swung in a wide arch, still above the trees. Safely swinging, Heero looked at the tip of Relena's head, feeling her entire body shake in fear. He smiled somewhat, wondering if she would've wrapped her arms around him if she fully knew what he intended on doing. She didn't need to fear though, he'd done it MANY times before. He looked out at the horizon as their pendulum arc slowed to a small wave.
Her head finally pulled up when they seemed to stop moving. An eye peeked open, half wondering if she was DEAD! The oncoming sunrise proved her wrong. Her head jerked up to Heero's, nearly bonking his chin with the crown of her head. "WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?!" She nearly shouted, feeling angry he'd threatened both their lives. She didn't CARE if he'd done it before, he could've missed and they'd have both DIED!
He looked at her with amused eyes, one half of his mouth tipping upward. "You needn't have worried Relena. I knew what I was doing the entire time."
A brow rose. "Was THAT why you asked me to trust you?!?"
The other half of his mouth rose. "How ELSE would we've gotten down?" Tired of just hanging in midair, his thumb hit the release catch, sending them to the trees below. Her head instinctively ducked, even though the speed wasn't THAT great.
"Thank you for a wonderful night Heero. Even IF those last few moments were a little...worrisome." Handing him the helmet, she clasped both hands behind her timidly.
"It was my pleasure Relena. I'm just glad you had fun..." Her head jerked up, eyes meeting his. Had she HEARD right?? She smiled widely, wrapping her arms around him before he could move.
"Oh I DID! I DID Heero! Thank you SO MUCH!" She gushed. His eyes closed with a small peaceful smile, one arm wrapping around her waist. "Will I see you in school on Monday?" She asked, pulling away.
"Of course. I haven't had any missions from Dr. J so I'm almost assured the war doesn't NEED the Gundams anymore." He responded, half sad, but now somewhat relieved. He was building a new life again, rekindling a forgotten existence he gave up for the war. Either way, he was going to live this moment for NOW.
"Then Monday we'll continue your lessons." She smiled smugly. "Though I think I've done a fair job teaching you in a single week." One brow rose, but couldn't deny her that. She WAS a fantastic teacher, even if she egged him on half the time. Before he could move or say anything else, she leaned down and gave him a brief, lingering kiss. "Thank you again Heero!" She yelled, already ten paces from him. She stopped at the top of the stairs and waved. He waved back through a fog, staring LONG after she shut the door. Feeling a rare happy smile appear, he started the bike and drove for his apartment, wondering if he'd be able to SLEEP.
Her eyes stared at the spot his bike was on, even after it left. She felt a small, excited squeal bubble up and clamped both hands down before it escaped. Jumping up and down a few times before controlling her juvenile behavior, she immediately ran to her room. Nearly slamming the door in her haste to get inside, she quickly shed both shoes before continuing her hopping. "AAHHH!! Yes!!" She laughed at her silly behavior, though in too good of a mood to care if she woke the house up. She wondered if her mother wasn't worried about her, but didn't know when she was needed home. And since Mrs. Dorlain hadn't pounced on her the second she got inside, it was a safe bet she was asleep yet.
Shaggy groggily walked to her, looking at her inquiringly. She stopped her jumping, figuring the large dog wondered if she possessed her wits. She fell to her knees and hugged him breathlessly. "Oh Shaggy! I've had SUCH a good night! You have NO IDEA!" She laughed when he squirmed under her hug, knowing she was probably weirding him out. She went right into the entire trip after she left her room, even though he couldn't understand a word she said. She just HAD to tell SOMEONE!
Sleep eluded her till maybe eight. By then a few of the staff knocked on her door, wondering if she was up. Her mother ventured in when her daughter never showed up for breakfast, wondering if she came HOME. She FIGURED Heero would be good to his word and get Relena home before now. Theories proved correct when she found Relena, AND Shaggy, curled up together on her bed. She smiled tenderly, catching Shaggy's attention. One finger went to her mouth. "Stay Shaggy." She whispered. The dog snorted and promptly put his head back on the bed over his paws.
She shut the door silently, a smile blooming on her face. 'The poor thing must be all tuckered out.' She figured. 'I'll let her sleep a LITTLE longer before I figure out what happened.'
A little longer dredged out to noon. She woke her daughter up, immediately asking questions. She gave Relena a few MORE minutes to wake up when she was getting nothing but mumbling. Afterwards, she received a full description of the whole night. Mrs. Dorlain was very happy for her daughter. Relena's eyes shone brighter than the afternoon sun in her room, once she was AWAKE. She'd heard of Relena's fears and hopes in Heero, her constant wondering if he'd ever accept her. It seemed that this sudden change in the young man was a gift from God himself. Heero'd come to Relena with a quest to better himself. In doing so, maybe he'd come to realize that the two belonged together. Well...that was HER wish to God anyway.
Allowing Relena some time to get freshened up, she got off the bed. "Here Shaggy. Want to go outside boy?" The dog hopped from the bed, trotting after the elderly lady. She stopped in the doorway, looking at her daughter. "Well I'm very happy for you Relena. You've told me all your hopes and wishes, fears and desires about this boy. It seems that God has given you a gift. Don't waste it dear. But...if nothing DOES happen out of this venture, or if the young man never feels the same way YOU do, cherish these times now. Keep them close to your heart." The dog barked, annoyed that his exit was being blocked. She smiled and looked at the dog. "I'll see you later Relena. Okay boy, let's go." He nearly rocketed past her, stopping at the end of the hall while she caught up.
Sitting on her bed, staring at the afternoon sun, Relena reflected on her mother's wise words. She was right of course. Things could go both ways for her and Heero. He COULD feel something BACK for her from being with her basically every day during his quest for normality. Or he could only see her as a friend who HELPED him with his 'mission'. She hoped the latter of the two would be a result, but couldn't see that far into the future. "Well, whatever choice you make Heero Yuy," She suddenly vowed, "I'll be with you every step of the way to help you achieve your original goal." Smiling serenely from her promise, she slid off the bed to get ready and stop lazying the day away.
I wanna know, can you show me?
I wanna know about these strangers like me
Tell me more, please show me
Something's familiar about these strangers like me
I wanna know...