Ne'er Again the Twain Shall Meet
GW does not belong to me, it belongs to Sunrise and Bandai. The song used does not belong to me, it belongs to the BSB. Don't sue! Please!
Location: Switzerland, Planet Earth
Year: 192 AC
The boy stood on both feet, weight perfectly balanced. He wore a well-made black blazer and matching trousers, the jacket closed over a long-sleeved shirt. On the pocket of the blazer was an embroidered angel with golden eagle's wings and a blazing sword in his right fist. He kept his eyes, hidden behind a pair of mirrored shades, scanning back and forth through the classroom, observing anything and everything carefully.
He had been sent to this international school-Academy of the Archangel-to try to get a more normal education. Until then, his education had consisted of bombs and guns and assassination techniques. But his mentor, Adin Lowe, whom he had been instructed to call 'Father', decided to send his young protege to a school where he could learn skills that would see him through in a normal life, one not of war.
Of course, considering that both Adin and the boy were involved in several assassination/bombings of important government officials and/or buildings, he couldn't just dump the boy in a school. The boy's hair had been shaved close to his head and dyed black, while Adin had instructed him never to take off his shades, to obscure his features. Furthermore, he had forged a brand-new identity for the boy...
The teacher said, "Everyone, please welcome...." She glanced at the sheet of paper she held in her hand. "Hiroshi Kenshii to the class."
Obediently, the class chorused, "Hello, Hiroshi!"
The twelve-year-old smiled and bowed. "Arigato." He straightened. It wasn't even close to his real name, but by now the fake was more familiar than the original. He moved to his assigned seat, next to a rather talkative boy named Jacey. He tried to ignore the cold pit of excitement in his stomach. This was a chance to see how 'normal' kids lived...a chance to see how his life would have been if his parents hadn't died...
As the days progressed, 'Hiroshi' showed himself to be a quick study. He never recited unless called upon, but instead spent classes staring intensely at the teacher, as if memorizing each and every word he said. His notes were neat and the minimal...as little as possible.
He made friends with most of the boys in his class...cautiously and tentatively as if unsure about what to do, but always delighted when he spent time with his new buddies. It was a boarding school, and his roommates-three boys named Trian, Ari and Rolvo-often marveled at the speed with which he completed assignments. Hiroshi soon found himself in demand as a tutor. In return, his buddies introduced 'the poor, deprived kid' to other aspects of their normal boyhood life.
They took it upon themselves to introduce him to the joy of practical jokes played upon disliked teachers, to the technique of talking oneself out of detention or into an extra serving of lunch. They told him that one must sneak out of the Academy as often as one could, to spend the day at the mall. The 'sneaking out' bit, of course, was no trouble at all. It was what to do after he sneaked out that troubled Hiroshi.
As usual, he learned fast. The arcade soon became a haven for the young boy, a place to bond with his newfound but already close friends, much like a bar for his older brethren.
At first, he'd been almost pathetically confused by the vast array of blinking monitors, assorted noises, and the simple control interface stumped him. But after they'd taken it upon themselves to initiate Hiroshi into the ranks of the 'Arcade Lords', Hiroshi blew them away. His sharp eye, good head for tactics, and his uncannily quick reflexes soon put his initials on top of every high score list. But he was so self-effacing, so modest, and still so bewildered by what his friends considered commonplace, that no one begrudged him that.
One day, while the boys were all seated around a table at 'Bennigan's'-a popular hang-out for boys at the Academy run by a cheerful, giant Irishman named (of course) Bennigan-a group of their female classmates approached them. Hiroshi was surprised-to his experience, the boys and girls tended to stay in exclusive groups. But what followed was a prolonged period of flirting.
Feeling uncomfortable, Hiroshi excused himself and left for the arcade, where he played and finished the game Viper Squadron for the enth time. Fifteen minutes (and a new high score) later, he went back to Bennigan's. The girls were gone, but his gang of friends were laughing and discussing 'What-she-said, what-I-said' in much more spirited voices then they'd had for a while.
He sat down, after Peter made room for him. "Sounds like you guys had fun," he ventured, after a while. A chorus of voices answered him:
"I always have fun with babes around!"
"Are you kidding?"
"Where WERE you, 'Roshi?"
"Yeah, y'missed all the action!"
Hiroshi looked around confusedly until the leader of the group, a clever youth named Lee, took pity and explained. "He means, since you weren't here, Shades, who you gonna take to the dance?"
Jacey spoke out: "I don't think there's anyone left!"
Hiroshi glanced around, caught sight of a girl he hadn't seen at their table. He pointed at the pretty, dark-blond girl studying the contents of a shop window at the other side of the mall. "How 'bout her?"
Lee glanced at her, shook his head and said, "No way, 'Roshi. That girl is an absolute snob. Dinna be awed by her good looks..." From around the table, the other lads nodded agreement. "Really?" asked Hiroshi, interested. "Like what did she do?"
They hemmed. They hawed. They 'Hmm'd' and they 'Uhhh'd'. Finally, Ari said, "It isn't because of what she does; more like how she carries herself and how she talks to us..."
"Like how she keeps suckin' up to the teacher," contributed Trian. Lee said, "An' how she always talking 'bout her da..."
They gave Hiroshi a million and one reasons why Relena Darlien was not a Good Person to take to the dance...or to have any dealings with, for that matter. Hiroshi nodded, and agreed to take their advice, but their reasons didn't seem as solid to him as they did to them.
Hiroshi watched the dance through the window. At his friends' insistence, he'd joined the dance. He was good-looking and popular enough to have gotten several dances, but he had no 'date' like his friends... He'd left the dance, pleading he needed to take a walk.
He'd left the main path through the grounds, where silver moonlight and a fountain made a romantic spot for young couples. He decided instead to wander through the deserted classrooms. He didn't mind the dark, and something about the smell of musty old paper, chalk and wood appealed to him.
He removed his sunglasses. In the brightly-lit school gym, the shades that had somehow become his trademark were okay, but he needed all the light he could get, now...
The night air was cold, and Hiroshi shivered and pulled his black tuxedo jacket closer to him. Despite his insistence that he'd felt fine, anyone who saw the expression on his face could only have described it as forlorn. But the expression rapidly changed from forlorn to curious as he saw that one of the classroom's lights were on. He wore a tuxedo jacket and the standard (but unruffled) shirt under, but he also wore sneakers and white jeans, and so the young to-be assassin was able to move silently to the room, unnoticed by its occupant.
Relena Darlien, dressed in an elegant blue dress, sat hunched over a table, face hidden in her arms, shoulders heaving in painful sobs. A keening wail tore itself from her throat, painful to hear both because of the obvious hurt in them and because of the frequency. Her sobs got more and more ragged and uncontrollable, despite obvious efforts to quell them. Hiroshi stepped nearer, unsure. Fervently, he prayed to whatever gods may be listening for the famed coldness in battle that turned him into an efficient machine that knew exactly what to do, and how to handle any problem that cropped up.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) that iciness in his mind always disappeared whenever he was confronted with 'normal' problems, leaving him bewildered and helpless. 'You can still go,' whispered a voice in his head. 'She hasn't noticed you yet, and it's obvious you can't do any good...'
But the thing was...he wanted to help her. Something in the plainitive, almost strangled cries reached to a spot deep in his heart. He couldn't just leave her to suffer....
In any case, the point became moot as the girl raised her head and spotted the boy hovering uncertainly near the door. She gasped and choked down the sob that was about to escape. She tried, but it tore its way out anyhow, and she started crying even more, tears of frustration now mixed with those of pain. At the sound of her renewed grief, Hiroshi looked even more concerned and put his hand on his shoulder. "Hey, don't cry," he pleaded softly, his words sounding pathetically ineffectual to his ears.
For his sake, Relena tried to stop, but couldn't, so she lashed out instead. "Oh, what do you care?" she sobbed. "You just think I'm a snob anyways..." Hiroshi winced, as if she'd struck at him physically. "That's...that's not true," he stammered. "I think you're a really nice girl..."
Relena sniffled. "Yeah right!"
"It's true! I'm sorry that I can't make you believe me..." Hiroshi said. Relena sniffled again, but managed a wavery smile for him. "No...no, I should be the one saying sorry. You...you were never mean to me..."
Hiroshi smiled back. "Yeah, but I wasn't nice enough..."
"No," Relena said, shaking her head, "you had no reason to notice me either..."
They stood in silence for a while, then both burst out in nervous laughter. Chuckling, Hiroshi lowered himself onto a chair next to hers. "So," he ventured, "why were you crying?" Relena wiped away the lingering tears and sighed. "I don't really know," she said, finally. "I guess it just got to me now; the laughs, the teasing... I guess I must be pretty weak-spined, if some kids' comments can make me cry."
Hiroshi shook his head. "No; you aren't weak at all." He was aware of how cruel and hurtful taunts were, especially to adoloscents. He'd been subject to it only a few times, since he was usually alone, but usually when he chose to mix with other kids, they taunted him because he, too, was different. The kids here at the Academy were the exception rather than the rule.
Relena looked at him, at the understanding and compassion in his eyes. "You know, don't you?" Hiroshi slowly nodded. Relena sighed, "I just don't understand. Why is it me? What did I do wrong?"
"Well, you're...different. That's usually enough to spark some resentment," Hiroshi suggested. "Your dad's a foreign dignitary, isn't he?"
"Yeah," Relena said. "Minister of Foreign Affairs, for the Feds. I'm always being pulled out of school to accompany him to the Colonies. I can see how that wouldn't be exactly conducive to making friends."
Beside her, Hiroshi jolted. "You...you spend a lot of time in the Colonies? How do you find them?"
Relena replied: "They are very nice people there, intelligent and kind. And it's so beautiful up there...on the Colonies, the stars are so close, like you can touch them. But the colonists are tired of being treated like second-class citizens. If the Fed government doesn't get a clue, we could have a revolt."
Hiroshi muttered: "I don't usually hear people speaking with such intelligence about the Colonies. It's always those-Colonial-hooligans, those-Colonial-subversients ..."
Relena blushed-very prettily, Hiroshi thought-at the compliment. "Thanks. I don't usually talk like that, but you..." She looked at him curiously. "You don't make me afraid." Now Hiroshi was blushing.
They conversed quietly for some time. Hiroshi didn't let anything about his assassin background or about Adin slip, but somehow he found himself telling Relena more about himself than anyone save Adin knew.
He also found himself learning lots about Relena, and he found himself wanting to know more. Finally, the conversation trailed off. Hiroshi glanced at his chronometer and was amazed to see it was after nine. The time had just flown by...
Relena stood and stretched her arms. "We'd better be getting back, Hiroshi," she told her new-found but already close friend. As she started to leave, Hiroshi called her back. "Relena..."
Relena glanced back. "Yes, Hiroshi?" Hiroshi gulped, but pressed on bravely. "You...you want to dance, just once, before going back?"
Relena smiled, lighting up her entire face. "I'd be delighted to." She stepped into a large cleared area in the center of the room. Hiroshi followed her and wrapped his arm around her waist as she draped hers over his neck. As an old song began to drift in through the windows, the pair began to dance around the deserted classroom, held lightly in each others' arms.
Like a flower to a tree
Relena glances out the window, sees a sakura tree outside. A few blossoms float gently down
That's how close I want to be
To your heart
She lays her head on Hiroshi's chest; she can hear his heartbeat
(Baby, to your heart)
Hiroshi's eyes widen as Relena lays her head on his chest. Then his eyes soften.
Like the stars to the night
He glances out the windows and looks at the night sky, smiling.
And daytime is to light
We'll never part
(We'll never part)
I want you to be
The only thing that I see
As the two sway in time to the music, the outside world seems to fade away, until it seems the world is made up of the two of them, the dimly-lit classroom and the music
'Cos I believe
It's our destiny
Just to be close, just to be close
It's the only thing that I want to do
(that I want to do, ooh)
Just to be close, just to be close
Just to be close to you
(Closer to you)
Just to be close...
Relena's thoughts (flashbacks):
So lonely is the night
Relena sobbing in the classroom
Without you to hold me tight
Hiroshi steps in and places a hand on her shoulder, sinking into a chair beside her
(I want to hold you closer)
I need you
Relena's tears slowing as she talks to Hiroshi
(Baby, hold me closer, closer)
My life wouldn't mean a thing
Without the joy you bring to me
There will never, never be
No one else for me
Hiroshi looks down at the girl he holds in his arms and smiles softly
You are like a dream
He thinks about how perfect and ethereal Relena seems to him. Her gentleness seems strange in his world, but welcome
That became real...
I'm gonna give you all my love
All my love...
To be close to you...
Close to you
I don't want to be alone
Hiroshi gulps, thinking of when Adin will call him back
I'll never, never, ever, ever let you go
He shoves the thought out of his mind and tightens his hold on Relena
(Just want to be close to you)
I don't want to be alone
Relena, her eyes closed as she leans slightly against Hiroshi, doesn't ever want to let go of this feeling of companionship that had been missing from her young life for so long...
I'll never, never, ever, ever let you go
She leans closer to Hiroshi, silently swearing she'd never let herself be so lonely again
I just want to be close to you...
As the song trailed off, Relena opened her eyes and lifted her head from Hiroshi's chest. Her eyes met his. Hiroshi had a shy, small smile on his face. Relena smiled back at him. Hardly knowing what she was doing, she lifted her lips to him. Hiroshi bent his head down; his lips met hers. The kiss was slow, gentle. Soft, barely a touch, a whisper.
When they parted, Relena didn't feel awkward or embarassed. She just had this warm feeling rushing up within her, filling her heart and her lungs like sweet, sweet air to a diver who just came to the surface. She felt so contented and happy, like she was floating among the stars.
Like it was the most natural thing in the world, Hiroshi took her arm and escorted her to her dorm room. The dance hadn't exactly let out yet, so the hallways were empty. Relena wouldn't have noticed if the halls had been filled to maximum capacity, she was so engrossed in this strange happiness filling her, blanketing her like a warm blanket on a cold winter night. She rather suspected Hiroshi felt it too.
Finally, they paused before the door. To Relena's surprise and delight, Hiroshi dropped a quick kiss on her lips before bidding her a quiet goodnight. He walked off to his own dorm room, turning and giving her an adorable grin before he disappeared around a corner.
As he went out of sight, Relena let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding, and reached with uncertain fingers to touch still-tingling lips. She entered her dorm room and got ready for bed. As she pulled her blankets over her, Hiroshi's brilliant green eyes and charming smile filled her dreams.
The next morning, Relena practically skipped to class. She felt so contented from last night, she didn't notice the 'cold shoulder' the students afforded her. She sat down at her desk, resting her chin on her palm and reliving the events of last night.
The excited buzz of gossip penetrated her happy daze eventually. Some words drifted to her ears. 'Hiroshi Kenshii....late last night....his old man, had to be...just came in and went...poor ol' Shades, I'm gonna miss 'im...' Relena sat frozen in her seat. She was reading this all wrong. She had to be! She got up and headed for the class's resident gossiper, Georgia Singer. "So, what's the latest news?" she inquired, trying desperately to make her voice casual.
Georgia was so excited to blurt her news to someone, she didn't even notice who she was talking to. "Didn't you hear?" she bubbled. "Everyone's talking about it! Last night, Hiroshi's father came speeding up to the school. He woke the Principal and the staff, yelling about 'urgent business'- I don't know yet, but Gwen's mom's in the faculty, I'll get her to tell me what it was-and rushed them through the release procedure. He woke his son, grabbed all his stuff, and in less than two hours they were gone! I wonder what made them leave so quickly...a death in the family?"
Relena stared blankly at Georgia as she babbled on. Inside, she was screaming. She turned on her heel, and very calmly and slowly walked out of the classroom. No one noticed, too intent on discussing Hiroshi's mysterious departure.
She kept her cool, unaffected air around her until she reached her dorm room. It was a single; many times she'd longed for a roommate to joke and gossip with, but now she was glad for the solitude. She stripped off the school blazer, and threw herself on the bed. She buried her face in the pillow as tears began to fall from her eyes. She didn't make a single sound for the two hours she spent in there, crying. No sobs, no sniffles, just tear after tear rolling down her cheek. She felt too drained to cry loudly. Too empty...
Hiroshi stared miserably out the window as the shuttle left Earth behind. His eyes devoured the sight of the blue planet hungrily, knowing that she was still there. He hadn't wanted to leave, but there was something in Adin's voice that...that scared him. If he'd actually stood up and insisted that he be allowed to stay at the Academy-and near Relena- Hiroshi didn't doubt that Adin would kill all his friends to make sure Hiroshi left.
They finally touched down at L1 Colony. Hiroshi trudged down the stairs listlessly, unable to summon the energy to wonder who they were supposed to assassinate this time. He looked up sullenly as Adin shook his shoulder. His bright green eyes widened as he beheld a short, wizened figure of a man grinning gleefully at him. If you could still call it a man; all of his limbs had been replaced by robotics, and in the place of eyes were two steel sensors embedded in his face.
"This is Dr. J, Hiroshi," Adin said. "He'll be...doing some...tests...on you while we're here." Hiroshi felt an inexplicable, instinctive touch of panic, and backed away from the old man. The old man advanced, clicking his three robotic fingers together....
Location: Military Base, L1
Colony Year: 193 AC
Adin watched as Hiroshi went through the obstacle course they'd set up in a room. After Dr. J's experiments, Hiroshi had indeed grown stronger, faster, more agile. His mind had been-'tampered with' was the best phrase the assassin could think of-and the boy was, as a result, cold and utterly efficient. Emotion was a dim, distant thing of the past. Memories that would have made him cry or laugh or smile or grow angry had been completely wiped from recall.
Adin mourned a little for the loss of Hiroshi's humanity, but he was mostly pleased. Hiroshi now had the traits required for the 'perfect soldier', a warrior he was determined to mold Hiroshi into. Oh, and there was one other side-effect of the treatment...somehow, Adin wasn't sure how, Hiroshi's bright green eyes had turned into a dark cobalt blue...
Author's Note: This is obviously a far-fetched account of how Heero and Relena could have met before. I don't know if it's possible for a person's eye color to change, but for the purpose of this fanfic, let's assume it is. Relena doesn't recognize Hiroshi/Heero when she meets him three years later because his hair has grown, is now brown instead of black, and Heero sure looks and acts different (you can grow very bitter in three years especially if an insane doctor messes with your mind) from Hiroshi, who was a shy, starved-for-affection twelve year old. Also, I changed Heero's eye color so there's no Relena-looks-into-his-eyes-and-recognizes-her-long-lost-love stuff. Oh, and why Hiroshi and Relena hit it off so quick? Well, they're soulmates, born for each other! (Gee, that takes the truth of the whole eye- color statement out)