Open Mouth,Insert Foot
How doing the right thing comes back to bite Relena in the butt.
AN: This has been bugging me for a while so I converted it into a GW ficcy. We really have to review our priorities. I'm not opposed to or offended by gay marriage. I am however, deeply offended by war, rape, violence, crime, starvation and how this world is being ruined by pollution and greed.
Relena sighed. There was so much work to go over, so much paperwork. Dorothy entered without knocking and placed another stack of papers on the over sized teak desk in front of Relena. Dorothy Catalonia was one of Relena's closest friends and only she could get away with interrupting her work in such a manner. "Honestly, Doro," Relena lamented, "why so much paper-what ever happened to the paper-less age? It's A.C. 202, for goodness sake!"
"Ah-but it's still easier to transport papers when you travel," Dorothy answered with more than a little amusement. Relena's reply came in the form of a scowl worthy of Heero Yuy. Dorothy coughed nervously. "I can take a hint," she said, exiting gracefully.
It was the same thing over and over again. What had ever possessed her to believe that true peace and harmony could be achieved? The reports she received were endless: insurrections, kidnappings, bombings-all so politically misguided groups could gain leverage to have their demands met.
The report she read this afternoon was one of the worst yet. In a small country in what used to be Africa (BC), girls as young as fourteen were being raped and beaten. Somewhere along the line it was decided that this was a good war tactic, something that would demoralize and weaken the enemy, along with other forms of violence and torture. A young man named Mobu was beaten nearly to death and had his eyes gouged out by the army so that now, instead of providing for his family, they struggled to live and had the burden of their blind husband and father to care for.
Relena's critics could argue that this is what she opted for, becoming Foreign Vice Minister, so it wouldn't do for her to be so easily shocked and appalled.
She stood and streched, weary of these dismal reports and looked out of the window to her office. It was a glorious day in Sanc Kingdom, yet it was not for her to enjoy.
They sat in the balcony at the west wing of the palace. Milliardo was sipping at a cup of tea. Relena tapped her spoon delicately against the bone china cup, painfully aware that their enjoyment of the priveleged life was out of the grasp of countless others. She and her brother had been engaged in a conversation about the Earthsphere and space's ills. "I'm just saying Mil, that peace is beginning to seem entirely unattainable."
"Ah-finally shedding that precious idealism of yours?"
"I wasn't idealistic," she grimaced, annoyed at being perceived as ingenuous. But her brother smiled at her, condescending as ever. She rolled her eyes. Why do I bother to talk to him? she wondered. The matter bothered her so she bulled on, "What I mean is that no matter how hard we try atrocities will still be committed, injustices perpetrated-always someone will be hurt."
Zechs sobered a little, recalling his days and role during the wars. "I am afraid dear sister, that that is the way of things."
"Sometimes I feel guilty for having all this," she gestured all around them.
"I never understand you, Relena. What would you do then? Give away all you possess? In what way would that help the less fortunate, hmm?"
She sighed, defeated. "Yes, you are right. I suppose our salvation lies in what mother used to say."
"And what is that," he said with a smirk, not having had the benefit of their mother's wisdom.
"That life would be better if we all undertook to make each of our corners of the world better."
"Indeed," he said once again picking up his tea cup.
Relena devoted much of her time to working out the world's problems. She decided one night while she tried to get some much needed rest, to encourage people everywhere to take a more active role, stamping out the violence and inequities that ran rampant. She began to set an example: she worked in soup kitchens, volunteered at battered women's shelters, contacted the proper authorities concerning human rights' violations and gave speech upon speech about it. She did all she could to help others and to learn and empathize, putting her own life on hold as she did so.
Her own life. Public service, while a noble pursuit was a lonely one. She rarely socialized unless it was for some political function. Truth be told, she could date if she really wanted to, but she could not get a certain messy haired, blue eyed young man out of her mind. Heero. Oh how she missed him.
She never could fathom how they did not end up together. He had given her that dear little teddy bear that time, and he had been a devoted body guard. His resignation had been a shock, the blow softened only by the fact that he had taken Une up on her offer to make him a Preventer Agent.
She only got to see Heero when he and the other Preventer Agents were assigned to her for special security duty at certain political functions. And there was never any time to talk, although she knew that she would have to initiate conversation as Heero was quite taciturn. So that left a great deal of awkwardness for her. After all, what was she supposed to say? "Heero, even though we haven't seen much of each other lately, I think we'd be perfect together, so let's get married?"
The notion was absurd. Besides, lately she more than had her hands full with the upcoming Earthsphere Conference.
The Earthsphere Conference was more of the same dull politicking, shmoozing, networking nonsense Relena had come to expect from these things. It was eye-opening to find out how despicable politicians could be with their quid pro quo attitude. Everyone wanted his palm greased; rarely did she find politicos who worked to help people without first assuring their payment in kind. As disheartening as it was, Relena pressed on, still hoping to improve her little corner.
Dorothy knocked as she entered Relena's office. She noted the sullen expression on the Foreign Vice Minister's face. "I know that look, 'Lena. You're brooding again. What is it this time? The hopelessness of it all, or guilt for having a priveleged life?"
Relena turned to face her, surprise etched on her delicate features. "You know me too well, Doro. I guess today I'll go with hopelessness."
"Come now-you have done tremendous good. Two new schools have opened on L2. Good ones. And there are more jobs there because of you."
"You mean because of Duo Maxwell. I would not have known how dire the situation was if not for him."
"Perhaps-but you became aware and did something about it. Anyway, here's an interesting one: Earthsphere agenda item #35-legalization of same sex unions and inclusion of health benefits therein."
"Really?" Relena brightened a little. For once an item that had nothing to do with crime or violence.
In the month that followed Relena canvassed several nations, advocating marriage rights for same sex couples.
Her last stop was in Brussels.
"And I believe with firm conviction that same sex unions should be legally recognized and that partners should be entitled to each other's health benefits. Every person on Earth and in Space has the right to food, shelter and good health. I implore you to vote yes to Earthsphere agenda item 35."
"Relena, that was a stirring speech."
"Heero!" Relena beamed. She stepped towards him and reached out for a hug. "It has been too long since we've seen each other-how are you?"
"I am well."
"Is everything okay-are you here as a Preventer?"
"No. We heard that you would be speaking here and came to support the agenda."
"Oh?" Relena replied, puzzled. "We?"
"Hey, 'Lena, great speech!"
She turned and found herself looking at Duo. "Oh, Duo," she laughed a little, "you're here too!"
"Wouldn't have missed it. You really give a good speech, Princess."
Relena blushed at Duo's unsophisticated, yet genuine, praise. "Thank you." Turning back to Heero, Relena said, "Heero-it would be wonderful if we could take lunch together. We have so much to catch up on."
Heero smiled sheepishly. "I would like that, but I'm afraid we are on a tight schedule."
"Oh. But I thought you said you weren't working," she said, disappointment coloring her voice.
"We're not," Duo chirped."
"Well then, surely Heero you can spare me an afternoon?" She smiled as charmingly as she knew how.
"I'm sorry, Relena, but we can't," Duo reiterated. Now Relena was feeling peeved. Why was Maxwell answering for Heero and what was all this "we" business? "Duo, I believe Heero can decide for himself how to spend the rest of his afternoon."
"Not while he's on his honeymoon, he can't," Duo retorted.
"H-h-honey moon?' she sputtered.
"Yes. Thanks to your tireless efforts it may very well be that agenda 35 gets passed."
Relena was confused. "What's that got to do with your honeymoon?"
"Duo and I were married in Island New York last week. As you well know, it is one of the few places same sex unions are recognized. We stopped in Brussels on the way to our honeymoon to vote, since as you also know, we are Earthsphere board members."
Duo leaned in and kissed her cheek. "Thanks for all your support, Princess. The agenda can't fail with you backing it."
Relena knew when to cry uncle. gathering up her dignity she smiled at them warmly. "Congratulations. I hope you are very happy together."
"Thank you Relena," Heero said as he kissed her cheek.
She watched them walk away, hand in hand and her smile broadened. She could not regret paving the way for such happiness. And in a world where there was such strife, something like gay marriage should not be such a political hot potato. Let the heart have what it wants. She had bigger fish to fry.