Title: A Sort of Fairytale
Characters are not mine I am just borrowing.
Poetry is mine.
A/N: Bolded lyrics are actually are incorrectly remembered from the song "By My Side" from Godspell. Probably aquatinted.
Lady Une was doing her utmost to concentrate on the words that were being spoken by the Vice Foreign Minister, Relena Darlain, however there was a building sense of pressure behind her eyes that was making the task more difficult than usual. The Vice Foreign Minister was trying to suggest a further break down of Preventor authority that was, to put it mildly, the most uneducated idea the lady had heard since the recent decommissioning of the Gundams.
There was political motive in the desire to ensure that the Preventors remained a prevention unit and nothing resembling an active military. Une agreed, to a point, that the organization she headed should be as veiled as possible. Most of the current missions and assignments were more like covert ops than anything else, and the rest were humanitarian ventures. Preventors built parks and sewage systems for the Earth's under privileged nations. They went out to colonies and established communication channels, and so on and so forth.
A pause had come to the meeting and Une felt the eyes of her senior staff upon her. She tried to recall what it was that Relena had last said, and finding the sentence that thought it was a question Une shook her head.
"I think… that it would be a mistake," Une said, and then added, "but, ultimately, it's a matter for the President to dictate Preventor policy."
Relena nodded. "Of course. I will be making the suggestion though. I just wanted to make sure you and your staff were aware of my intentions." She paused and looked around the room. She smiled thinly and then said, "I do understand the importance of this organization."
The meeting ended there and Lady Une dismissed her staff, some of whom were muttering quietly amongst themselves. She remained in her seat and pinched the bridge of her nose hoping that it might relieve the headache forming behind her eyes. She took a deep breath and stared down at the small manila folder that contained the briefing for the meeting. She closed it and stood up, and then, practically blinded by the pain in her head staggered over to the medical wing of the building.
She stopped and leaned into the door jam of the Chief Medical Officer's office. Her eyes were shut, but she could hear the soft pen scratch of Sally's hand on a medical file, or perhaps it was a note.
"Come in." Sally said.
Une opened her eyes and wondered if Sally had even looked up from her work. She shut the door and took a seat.
"Here." Sally said and tossed over a bottle of pills that Une caught without even looking up.
"You missed the meeting." Une said flatly. She opened the bottle of pills and took two out. She swallowed them without any water and leaned into the chair.
"Tell your physician to change your medication," Sally said softly, finally looking up from her paperwork. "I know I shouldn't know about it by the way, but it's obvious. Every time you have a meeting with the Vice Foreign Minister lately you get a migraine."
"I'll be sure to bring it up." Une took the folder in her hand and tossed it onto Sally's desk. "That is the gist of what you missed. I know you feel you have a lot of catching up to do now that you've taken over-"
"I'm sorry I missed the meeting, but I wasn't sure I wanted to hear the proposal."
Lady Une grinned. "No one did. You should have seen the look on Quatre's face while she was talking. The Winner foundation has been a big support to us, and he hates to think…" She trailed off and focused in on Sally's expression. "What?"
"I was just trying to imagine what it is that the Colonel is thinking when she hears Relena talking like she does."
"Well, that's the point of the medication. I don't get to hear what she thinks. I just get a headache." She pinched the bridge of her nose and then said, "If I had to guess…I'd say she was plotting a way to tape the girl's mouth shut."
Sally chuckled. The sound was always, and intriguingly comforting.
"I won't miss her next visit," Sally promised.
Lady Une nodded and set the bottle of pills back on Sally's desk. The pain was already subsiding, though it was anyone's guess if it were actually the pills or the chuckle that was at work.
Time and time is the test
While we wait out our fears
While we learn to breathe again
Time and time will do its best
To form the doubts
To erase the past
Time and time is all we need
And then what, love
And then what
Sally stood in front of the full length mirror and carefully adjusted the cufflinks on her dress uniform. There had been, she remembered, quite the controversy when it was suggested that the Preventors be given full dress uniforms, but ultimately sanity prevailed and the request was approved. It was easy to just allow the Preventors to dress like a spy agency, but as Une pointed out there was a respectability in the uniform. Always, there was, in the running of the organization, a fine line to be walked between military (which wasn't supposed to exist anymore), and government intelligence agency (which citizens of both the Earth and the Colonies were wary of).
The uniforms were a welcomed sight to many of the Preventors who had once been soldiers during the war. Sally shared the sentiment, if only because she hated wearing skirts and heels, and there was only so much one could take of pant suits. Aside from her stint as a rebel, she had always been one who liked the uniform. It never mattered that other people didn't think she should be in one.
The uniforms were dark blue with black pants and shoes. The polished silver buttons added to the romance of the uniform, but Sally could hardly think of a uniform from the past that was not in some way romantic in style.
She took a deep breath and adjusted the fit of her officer's visor hat, secretly wishing she could get away with a beret instead. There was a knock on her door and she turned as it opened.
"Are you ready," the young man said. "We need to get to the church."
She nodded, and watched as he looked her over, dark eyes coolly assessing.
"You look…" He trailed off. "Come on, woman, let's go."
Sally grinned and gestured to the door and then walked out.
Weddings, weddings, everyone was getting married it seemed. She wondered if Trowa knew what he was getting into with that off color and wonderfully brash Russian. She wondered if Lady Une was okay with presiding over the ceremony. There were rumors, but then Sally didn't listen to rumors.
I thought I understood
I thought I knew the person you revealed
Not knowing you kept your heart so well
And hidden, I missed the first signs
Hidden, I missed what you offered
But thankfully you had the heart to repeat yourself
You had the sense to know me inside and outside
It was an odd day.
Nothing seemed to be going right and with the organization stretched thin due to the recent accomplishment of the Vice Foreign Minister to further diminish the Preventor's budget there was little choice when the intel came in, senior officers were needed for missions. The paperwork could wait. The paperwork would always be around.
Sally sat in close quarters with Lady Une pulling surveillance on a group of supposed rebels. It was a small fry fire for the Preventors to put out or control, but a fire nonetheless. Une had taken to wearing glasses again, but kept her hair down or pulled back in a French braid. It was currently braided to be out of her way and keep her cool in the rather warm room.
"What's their out going email look like," Une asked softly and adjusted her position at the window, tilting back in her chair and away from the binoculars that were set on a tripod.
Sally looked over her computer screen and scrolled through the entries there. "Nothing spectacular. One of them is going to a kicking kegger on Sunday."
Une sighed. "This is ridiculous."
"She has too much political weight," Une muttered. "And she shifts it around without really thinking about it. This intel could have been better verified with a larger staff."
"I know." Sally said. She looked down at her screen and arched an eyebrow. "One of them likes to make viruses. This could be something."
"He's trying to hack into the Vice Foreign Minister's office." She grinned and then said, "He's really bad at this though. There's no way he'll get in."
"Maybe we should let him."
Sally raised her eyebrows.
Une shut her eyes and shook her head. "I'm not serious."
Une shook her head again and brought her chair down, looking into the binoculars. She sighed. "Maybe another medication," she muttered.
"Bad thoughts aren't exactly signs of the split reoccurring," Sally stated firmly. "Don't doubt yourself."
There was a chuckle and Une stood up. She stretched and let out a breath. "I'm not as good at being leader as he was. He knew all their names, and I barely recall them. He knew how to keep people like Relena from doing silly things. I-"
"You do what you have to do, Jo." Sally said, and then said, "Sorry."
Une looked over her shoulder and grinned slightly. "Don't be. It's nice to hear, everyone seems to think my name is my title." She sat back down and said, "Let the little punk succeed with his hack. Then we can arrest him and scare him straight."
"See, that's the kind of leader we need." She started typing on her computer. "You excel at being fearless."
Where are you going
Where are you going
Where are you going
Can I come with you
Put a pebble in my shoe
And I will walk
I will follow you
The air was colder and saltier than she remembered, but Lady Une stood on the rocky edge of the cliff and watched the waves crashing below her. She felt, as she always did, that something was missing or lost. This time she felt as if it were herself. She wasn't sure who she was any more, or, rather, she wasn't sure who she had suddenly become.
She walked out of the Preventor offices and had not once looked back. She was tired and she had driven as far as her car would take her. Finally, out of fuel she stood at the ocean, and could do nothing but look at the crashing water below.
She shut her eyes.
It was a mistake. It was a mistake to just give up and walk away, but she couldn't keep fighting a losing battle. She couldn't stand up to knowing that the small victories would be trampled over by bigger political moves, and not just by the Vice Foreign Minister. There were too many players, and she wasn't feeling of any use. So, she quit, and the offices would have to run without her. The uniform would be packed up and placed in attic along with her uniform from OZ.
She pulled her arms around herself, hugging tightly to keep herself warm, or so she told herself.
There was a sound behind her. It was the rumble of a motorcycle, and she opened her eyes, but did not turn around. Even at the approaching footsteps all she could do was watch the waves below.
"The place is in an uproar." Sally's voice broke gently, a distant wave. "It's quite possible that there will be a protest outside the ministry offices."
Une shook her head. "I can't go back."
"Do you?" She turned then and stepped away from the cliff's edge.
"Yeah, I do." Sally was not in uniform.
"Oh Sally, not you too?" She brought a hand under her glasses and covered her eyes. "Don't follow me."
"Who says I am?" She was grinning, though Une could not see it. Sally moved closer and placed a hand on Une's shoulder. "It's freezing out here, Jo."
"I know." She ran her hand down her face and kicked at pebble on the ground. Her glasses fell into place, but she adjusted them anyway. "I just ran out of fuel." She straightened her posture and looked into Sally's eyes. "Where are you headed?"
Sally smirked. "Home."
Every time I tried
I came across a wall
Then I knew this tower was too tall
All my romances fail
But you seem to know that
I keep thinking there has to be a catch
Then you smile
And you say…
You say, "Let me closer"
And I do
The kiss wasn't a revelation. It wanted to be, but the problem was that it had been wished for, and for so long that it could only be unmistakable fact. Of course Sally would kiss her. Of course she would let her. How could it be any other way?
Une's eyes were on Sally as she leaned against the door to her bedroom and quite slowly unraveled her braids. Une blinked and then shut her eyes, laying back into the pillows. She removed her glasses and blindly tossed them over towards the nightstand. There was the soft sound of Sally's feet shuffling towards her and then the slight jump as the bed accepted her weight. Une kept her eyes shut when Sally kissed her forehead, but opened them when she felt Sally's hand on the side of her face.
"I'm sorry." Sally said.
"I was never sure how to approach you." She was smiling, and she took Une's lips softly, letting the lady pull her closer. She moved her head to the side and whispered, "It's okay that you didn't know either."
Une shut her eyes. "I'm terrible at this sort of thing." She moved her hands across Sally's back, adoring the sensation of the cotton fabric of Sally's shirt under her finger tips. "Don't quit," she whispered.