Stay

Stay

By: Icicle Raindream

Disclaimer: I do not own anything remotely related or directly related to Gundam Wing, so I am not making any profit off this fic. It's merely a weird idea that popped into my mind.

Notes: Yeah, I know…I guess I've been out of the Gundam Wing fanfic loop for a while here. But, my good bud Hayla called me today at school with some excellent news…something like Endless Waltz will FINALLY be shown on October 20th…and I found myself wanting to get into the swing of things again. So this is something that merely jumped into my head today, and I hope you enjoy it because I blew off talking to my sister on the phone (who lives an hour and a half away) and broke a movie date with my mother (whom I haven't seen in over a week) to write this. Well, read on if you want…and drop me a line!! "^-~"

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I could vaguely make it out. The slapping of shoes against the wet concrete as they neared the proximity of my lousy hearing. I could vaguely feel it. The hands as they slipped underneath my body, struggling to flip me over and let the rain wash down over my face. The night was two slits in my vision, clouded by heavy lashes and smoky fog in my brain that descended through my entire being. I could vaguely control my mouth, the noises that bubbled from my throat were anything but comprehensible, the words coming out in a jumbled mess of my jumbled vocabulary, the saliva running down my chin. I was too heavy for whoever had tried to hold me and I slumped into a lap. My face was pushed into a hot leg, clothed in wet light slacks. The fingers ran through my hair frantically, the small hand resting at the nape of my neck. The other tried to shake my shoulder, tried to arouse me from the haze I had hunched into. The rain made me shiver and I clutched the thigh with my shaking fingers. I could vaguely remember to operate my lungs to gather enough air to keep me from gasping. I think I wanted to be swallowed up by the night and disappear, fall of the face of the earth, keep it from spinning inside my head.

My name was spoken, quickly, several times, as the hand continued to shake me. I struggled within myself, trying to drudge up the strength to leave my well of hot clothes and sweet smelling pant leg and managed to pry my head out of the lap. I clung to the thin jacket, my fingers wrinkling the light material, my eyes blinking madly as if to ward away the fog. The wind blew a cold shudder through me, and I found myself trying to lose my consciousness within someone's hot flesh of neck and shoulder. The hand at the base of my neck held me there, the other wrapped protectively around me. Someone was cuddling me to them. The feel of another body against mine, the smell of the damp hair that hung over the shoulders, the ribbon of silk that flowed through the air with the voice, was almost too much for me. I could feel my tears join the rain as they slid down my cheeks. I couldn't even feel my hands.

"Hang on," came the whispered satin. "Don't you give up now." The fingers smoothed through my hair, the wet hair that stuck to the back of my neck. My arm was lifted by a warm hand and held for a minute before I could vaguely make out the cry.

"No, no!" The shout ripped through my clouded brain, laced with pain and terror. "Why did you do this? Why? No, it just can't be!" The liquid flowed from my veins to mix with the rain that still poured down on us. "You can't give up this way, it's just not right!"

I cried out as the hand squeezed cruelly around my wrist, stopping circulation. My heart pounded through my arm, stopped at the wrist, and the blood felt like it was shooting back directly to my head. I bit into the shoulder, filling my mouth with more wet cloth with more of a semi-sweet taste. A strangled sound escaped from my throat, and I clenched my eyes shut and watched the light show swirl in front of them. I couldn't stop these evil ministrations, couldn't make the hand let go.

The sobbing was soft. "You idiot, why? It can't be this way for you…just hold on." I pushed my faced sharply into the shoulder, feeling the pain reverberate in my mind. My hand, my left hand…where did it go? Where are my legs? Why can't I see? What happened to my head?

I must have exploded. I was gone. There was nothing left of me. No particles that described who I was. No functioning mind to tell me what to think, what to do, who to look for, who to love, who to protect, what to fight for. There wasn't anything left.

It was just rain and heat and pain through my arm and cold concrete and a silky sweet voice crying helplessly in my ear, saying my name, holding me. It was cold wet fabric in my mouth and hot bone beneath my cheek, a chest that rose and fell rapidly, a heartbeat throbbing through my muffled ears. It was…it was…how to describe it? It was almost surreal. Untrue. Unbelievable. There was no interaction between thoughts, mind, intellect, actions…nothing. It was just gut instinct. Her instinct, the almost tangible feeling that bloomed in her heart. I wanted to reach it. I wanted to grab hold of it and crush it through my fingers, if only I could feel them. I wanted to swallow it and make it stream through my body. I wanted it to light me up inside. I needed it. I needed this heat and holding and tender stroking of my head. I needed her monstrously strong hand on my wrist. It was too late for me to save me, I had left it all up to her.

I knew I could never be as strong as she was. All she stood for, all she had ever wanted, everything about her was stronger than I could ever hope for or strive to become. She was the superior human being. There was no denying.

*

Before I knew it, it wasn't a heated body or cuddling or a helpless voice anymore. It was cool linen slipping underneath my slick body, a thick pillow beneath my wet hair. It was a light so bright in the slits of my eyes that my body protested with tears and stomach churning. My hands…I felt them cover my face. I felt my body on its side. I felt the darkness as it fell over the room. My wrist had been bandaged; I smelled the ointment on my skin through the gauze.

Then it was all touch. My chest, breathing sharply, my hands falling to my sides, my head leaning back onto the pillow, my eyes sliding closed. The buttons on my shirt swiftly undone, the drenched cotton smoothing roughly across my skin, sticking to the dampness of it. The fingers grazed my chest and made me shiver again. I sucked in a breath of dark air and tried to concentrate on nothing but the touch, willing the foggy haze out of my head. Something in the back of my head alerted me, warned me that this was something I did not want to miss. It was a stepping stone in my life I had to face.

She pulled me up into a sitting position then, my eyes still held voluntarily closed, and the shirt was pushed off my shoulders and discarded somewhere off the bed. I felt the thickness of a plush towel being buffed across my chest gently as one arm snaked behind me and helped me sit up straight, the satin voice back again in my ears. The towel worked its way up to my chin and I felt her fingers underneath the terrycloth, spreading out on my neck. I swallowed hard as she gently positioned me against the headboard and left my side. Her weight instead settled on my lap, straddling my hips. I blinked through the darkness, finding the blue of her eyes as they reflected the moonlight beaming in through the half-open window. Her face was tender as she brought the towel up to my head and draped it over me.

I sighed as she began to towel-dry my hair, the rubbing motion becoming alarmingly lulling as the cloth dipped to the back of my neck. She worked both hands through the towel in my hair and brought them back over my head and scrubbed gently at my forehead. The towel was removed after and replaced by her lips as they planted a small kiss in the center of my skin. I closed my eyes again and felt the towel move lower.

I slouched as she reached for my pants, and didn't try to stop her as she wiggled the buttons loose and began hauling the wet article down my legs, the towel resting on my stomach. The pants, too, were dropped somewhere off the bed and the towel was taken up again as she dried my legs. My mind's eye blinked wildly, trying to assess my situation and figure possible outcomes or even escape routes from this…torture. It was all in vain, for as soon as the towel left my legs I slumped even lower, falling back onto the bed with my back against the damp sheets. She leaned over me, the towel resting next to us.

"Heero, can you hear me?" Her voice was not above a whisper.

I could only respond with her name. It was all I knew how to speak right now.

"Shh," she warned, placing a finger on my lips. "It's okay now, I promise. You're not alone anymore. You have a place here."

I brought my hands up and folded them on my chest. "Do I?" I mumbled.

"Always," she responded, and a note in her voice made me open my eyes and blink at her.

But I was too late. I couldn't stop it from happening. My body accepted her warmth as quickly as any disoriented suicidal young teenager's would have. My mouth met hers, her lips claimed mine, and I felt her arms beneath me, pressing my coldness to her heat. I couldn't suppress the long awaited shudder and sigh, and I couldn't push her away from me. She was too warm and too caring to defile her natural instincts like that.

I let her mouth slide from mine, trailing across my cheek and down my chin as my arms came up around her. My eyes clenched closed even tighter as her mouth met my unsuspecting neck, kissing and licking at the flesh, passing down the long column of my throat, dragging out the sweet torture. My fist clutched around her shirt, which was still damp from the rain.

"Don't give up, Heero," she breathed, her voice tickling the skin on my chest. "There are still things to stay alive for out there."

"It's all a lie," I told her, opening my eyes to half-heartedly gaze at the ceiling. "There isn't anything left."

"Don't say that," she admonished, looking up at me. "You can't possibly believe that."

I stared hard into her eyes, daring her to say it again while trying to focus. My answer was clear as day through my fuzzy eyesight, I thought. Of course I believed it, why else would I have tried to take my life after the war was over?

"Isn't there something you want to stay alive for?" Her face pouted slightly, and I felt her hands grip my sides tighter than they had been before.

I obviously didn't know of anything in my brain to live for, why was she asking this? "Can you tell me?" I asked her, still holding steadfastly to the back of her shirt.

"No," she replied quietly. "I can't tell you."

"Then--"

"I would rather show you."

I closed my mouth and just looked at her.

"Sometimes, Heero, the things you say can never outweigh the things you do. It's our experiences that make us who we are, it's what we know of here--" she placed a flat hand on my chest, over my heart--"that keep us going. As long as you hold something inside of you, you'll always have something to stay alive for."

I blinked and looked away. "There's nothing of me left, Relena."

"Then I don't know what I'm doing here, either," she replied. "Because the only thing I hold in my heart is you."

"That's not possible," I disagreed, shaking my still foggy head.

"You just watch me," she snubbed. "I'll prove it to you."

I looked back at her, glanced down at her shimmery pink blouse and skirt. "How?"

"Actions speak louder than words," she said, and her face was buried in my neck again, continuing the path from earlier down to my chest. I didn't let go of her, I didn't insist that she stop, and yet I didn't know why I didn't do all those things. I just held onto her, keeping her body close to mine as she kissed my mouth and wound her fingers through my hair. I blinked dizzily at the walls as her body seemed to melt into mine, she half-clothed and me half-naked. My head started to swirl as my hands lost their feeling again, and she took them and placed them on her cheeks, where I could vaguely feel her unblemished skin underneath my fingertips.

"If I can't prove to you that there is something inside your heart, you can get up and walk away tomorrow morning," she whispered, her breath against my lips. "It's all up to you, because you always have a place here with me."

"Relena…"

I closed my eyes again and pulled her even nearer to me. I wanted to feel her heartbeat against mine. I wanted to grab the heart out of her chest and hold it in my hands and feel the hot blood seep through my fingers. I wanted to be alive, just like she was.

* * *

The next morning I awoke with clear vision and clear hearing. My wrist still stung from the slice in the skin, and I gingerly moved it as I stretched on the bed. It was empty. Just like me.

I rolled out of the tangled sheets and found my clothes folded neatly on Relena's desk, dry and ready for use. Quickly, I yanked them on and hastily did the buttons closed. If I hurried, I could get out of here, forget everything that I had felt last night, and just leave it all behind. I didn't allow anything to penetrate through me; a soldier like myself didn't tolerate that type of action. I jammed my feet into my shoes and turned to the door.

I only halted in my tracks when the smell came back again. That semi-sweet smell of clothes and hair all rolled into one, a feminine fragrance that worked its way viciously into my nose and stabbed holes into my brain. For a brief moment, the memory of last night shot itself through my senses, taking over each one. My smell overwhelmed by hers, the scent of clean and pure ringing through my mind, my taste filled with hers, those lips dripping with sweet, my feel…all over my body as her hands traveled and locked themselves into mine, my ears, overcome with her voice, first helpless and then helpful, my eyes, honing in on hers, blue upon blue, challenging each other's luminescence in the nightlight of the moon…all too much for one single person to handle in one night. It made me wonder how normal people dealt with this, for Relena wasn't normal, she was extraspecial. And standing right behind me, I knew it.

"So, that's it," she stated, stepping closer towards me as I turned to face her. "You're gone. You're leaving." Her eyes drooped, her body posture taking on the hue of downcast. "I didn't tell you anything last night worth listening to."

"I listened," I barely managed to choke out. "I just don't have all the answers."

"Nobody does," she replied. "You're supposed to find someone who will help you get to those answers."

"You think you've found that person in me?" I demanded softly, my hands tightening into fists at my sides.

She shook her head slowly. "No. I know I've found that person in you."

"What do you want me to do?" I asked, completely lost and totally clueless. My emotions…they had been far too stirred up last night for me to identify them, and I needed her to spell it out for me. And she did.

"Stay."

I turned halfway back to the door, unclenching my hands.

"Stay," she repeated louder, more forcefully.

I continued all the way around and took a step.

"Stay!" she commanded weakly, her voice hitching.

I took another step, not knowing what I was doing or where I was going.

"Stay," she whispered as I took three more steps toward the bedroom door. "Stay with me and I swear I'll help you through anything. I'll find you the answers you crave."

I closed my eyes and swallowed dryly.

"If I can't prove it to you now, at least take advantage of the fact that I am offering you a place to keep yourself. Stay with me, Heero, and don't leave, not again. I'll find you something to live for."

I stopped walking and just stared at the door. "Why?" I demanded. "Why would you do this all for me?"

"Because," she said, her word clipped. I could tell she was crying. "You're what I hold in my heart."

I shook my head. "Impossible," I stated.

"You look at me and say that," she said, her voice becoming stern again. "You tell that to me, right here!"

I faced her as she stabbed a finger into her chest, over her heart.

"You can't tell me you believe what you say," she spat, the tears still running down her face. "You can't tell me that you don't know you'll find the answers with me. Say it, Heero! Say it to my face!"

Her face was turning red. I could hear the thumping of her heart from last night beating through my ears painfully. I could hear her voice calling to me through the night and rain, I could feel the towel over my skin, I could feel her hands in mine. It wasn't fair. It just wasn't fair. Why was she such a strong willed person, able to put up with so many unwieldy feelings and burdens in her everyday life? Why did I, the soldier trained for war since birth, feeling now so uninformed and stupid and unable to find my place in the world, know I was weaker than she was? How do you get to be that way, that strong? I wanted to know. I wanted to ask her. I wanted to rip that ability to be strong from her body and implant it inside myself.

Instead I just hung my head and allowed my gaze to fall upon the floor. I had nothing to say because I didn't know what I was talking about. I needed someone like her to spell it out for me, as she already had before.

"Stay." The word forced itself out of my mouth.

"Yes," Relena responded, her voice just a notch above a whisper. "Stay with me."

My left hand fingered the bandage around my right wrist, pulling at the gauze, unable to say anything more. It didn't matter.

Relena walked over to me, pulled me to her, wrapped her arms around my neck, and held me.

"No matter what you believe," she whispered into my ear, "you'll always have a place here, and you'll always have something to hold in your heart." I watched as her palm flattened against my chest, the heat covering my heavily thumping heart. She pressed her forehead to mine.

"Stay alive for me, Heero. I need that experience in my heart."

I just closed my eyes and breathed in her scent again. Who was I to take that away from her? It wasn't the way things worked. The weaker did not take from the stronger. Instead, the stronger gave to the weaker. And what Relena had given me last night, I didn't know…but I was here to find out what it was.

I was here to stay.