Slight 4xD if you look real closely.


Chapter Six

She thought she had grown out of temper tantrums.

However, the moment Heero walked in to her room carrying her dress for the gala tonight, she stamped her feet. She did not want to go to this event tonight. She didn't know why. Usually she had to grit her teeth and go just to socialize. It was best be stay in the good graces of all the delegates.

For some reason, tonight she really didn't want to go.

She had feigned the flu in the morning; only to be dragged out of bed by Heero.

She had all of her appointments run longer to take up more of her time, causing her to run late, thereby giving her a valid excuse not to show up.

Heero canceled any changes.

Then, once she was forced into her room to start getting ready, she threw the gown out of the window. Enter Heero with her dress and her final tantrum.

She was sure that if she had refused to put the dress on he would have dressed her himself. It was only half tempting.

Now, she sat quietly in the car, fingers fidgeting with the faux jewels of her coral dress and stared out the window. Quatre was going to meet them there, saying it would look less like they were a couple if they arrived separately and with bodyguards. Heero had dressed in a tuxedo, which looked surprisingly well on him, so he wouldn't stand out so much.

Relena still couldn't shake the feeling of doom ahead of her. Whether she'd get stuck with some wrinkly old guy as a dance partner for the rest of the night or a terrorist attack, she didn't know. She just knew she didn't want to go. She even half hoped Dorothy would be there so she could have someone intimidating to talk to.

All through her tantrums, Heero had remained quiet. But he knew he didn't need to use words with her. His glares were sufficient enough; which was why they now sat in her limo completely silent.

Even when they arrived to the mansion on the outskirts of Brussels, she refused to look at him. He tried to get out of the car before her to open her door, but she was just as quick. If he was going to force her to this gala, she would make him chase after her if he wanted to protect her. She had it planned out.

At the top of the steps stood Quatre, dressed in a blue tuxedo, and accompanied by Duo and Wufei. She didn't know why Quatre felt the need to have two bodyguards. All of them were Gundam Pilots and could protect themselves. She was sure Quatre had a gun on his person somewhere.

She knew Heero always carried three.

"You look beautiful, Miss Relena." Quatre said politely.

She smiled and took his arm. She made a point to only smile to Duo. If he was given the cold shoulder, he would immediately cause a scene. Their job tonight was to enjoy this without any disturbances.

Once she felt like she and Quatre were far enough away from any eavesdroppers, she asked the empath, "Do you feel like this is a bad idea to be here?"

Quatre's bright smile immediately fell, "Yes, but we can't let that get in the way of our duties."

She sighed, straightening her posture too. At least she wasn't crazy for having that feeling.

"Miss Relena!" A woman called somewhere within the ball room. Quatre turned to see who it was while Relena hung her head.

"Oh, hello Dorothy." Quatre said, smiling brightly again. Relena only slightly looked up to watch the blonde come over to them. She attached herself to Quatre's other arm.

"How are you Dorothy?" Relena asked.

"Wonderful! I've been watching your work, Miss Relena. You're still doing a fantastic job. I had a few questions for you once we have a minute."

"All right. I would like a drink, Dorothy. You can come with me over there."

"Oh no, Miss Relena. You have to do your round of greetings first. You know how this goes. I'll be with you, though. You seem a little nervous."

She nodded, looking behind her for Heero. She needn't look far as his chest was directly in front of her line of vision. Angry or not, she wanted him near.

The three of them walked around the room, shaking hands and made the necessary small talk. The bodyguards only seconds away. The feeling of doom started to ease as time went on. By the second hour into the event, Dorothy pushed them to the open bar. Quatre refused to drink anything other than water, which quickly started a debate between the two. Relena, however, sipped on her champagne. She wedged herself between the bar and a group of delegates. She could handle their chatter if it kept her away from a certain someone.

Heero stood by a pillar, only two feet away from Relena's hiding spot. If she had been hiding from him, she would have failed miserably. She knew better than to hide from him in a public place. It would mean a punishment worse than death… at least in her case.

An hour long lecture about her safety was worse than death for her.

She was avoiding Charles Carter. She was in a meeting when he called about her joining him and she forgot to call him back. She didn't like avoiding people, but he gave her a strange vibe. She couldn't get comfortable with him around her alone for too long.

She had seen him wandering around a few times already, but was fast enough to get out of his line of vision. She knew she would have to face him eventually, but hopefully she would be drunk enough to tolerate him. Also, if she got drunk enough, Heero would be carrying her mostly. No one wants to talk to a drunken Vice Foreign Minister.

Unfortunately, by the time she had finished her second glass of champagne she was spotted. It was now unavoidable, but she would be able to keep Quatre near her. After the incident in her office between Quatre and Charles, she knew Quatre was good to keep around.

"Miss Darlian, I was beginning to think you weren't going to make it tonight." He smiled, showing off his white teeth.

She did her best to smile genuinely at him, "I apologize for not returning your call. Work has been hectic this week."

He nodded, eying Quatre to her left. "I assume you came with Mr. Winner?"

"And Miss Catalonia. We've known each other for years, so it's kind of a reunion party for us."

"How do you know Miss Dorothy?"

"She was a student of mine during the war."

"Miss Relena, have you heard this horrid gossip about the L4 colonies?" Dorothy asked, oblivious to Charles.

Relena swallowed nervously. This was not how she had thought to ask Charles about the rumors. "Yes, I have."

"To think L4 is capable of manufacturing a nuclear weapon! Quatre would know before anyone if there were such activities." Dorothy was tipsy and it was quite obvious.

"Actually I wouldn't, Dorothy. I've been on Earth quite a bit." Quatre laughed, helping the blonde woman stand properly.

"Oh! Mr. Carter," Dorothy spotted him, smiling a wicked smile, "Have you heard about the rumors?"

"Yes, Miss Cataloina, I have. They are truly just rumors. There is nothing to prove we have manufactured any kind of weapons over the past few years."

"Told you!" Dorothy poked Quatre in the ribs.

"All right, I'm going to take you somewhere to lie down. Drink some more water." Quatre wrapped an arm across Dorothy's waist, hoisting her up off the ground slightly. Relena forgot sometimes just how strong the gentle man was.

Within a second, Relena realized she was now standing alone with Charles. Her eyes widened slightly as she took a small step back. All of it was inconspicuous to the common person, but she knew Heero would notice.

"So, Relena, would you like to dance?" The Chairman asked, extending a hand to her.

"She promised me a dance." Heero's voice was deep and low, and immediately calmed her.

"I don't believe we've met?" Charles' extended hand shifted, offering now for a handshake.

Relena had never seen Heero shake anyone's hand. Trowa had told her once that he shook her brother's hand, but she had yet to see him. He was introduced quite a bit to new people, but everyone was always satisfied with the slight head nod that Heero gave.

"Agent Yuy, it's a pleasure to meet you." Heero said, keeping his hands firmly by his side.

"Agent? Do you work for Miss Darlian's Preventer team?" Charles retracted his hand.

Heero nodded, placing a hand on the small of her back. It was his signal that he was ending the conversation. She took a step forward, smiling lightly at Charles. She had never seen the Chairman look so grim in the few years of knowing him. His mouth was set in a tight frown, eyes scrutinizing Heero.

Heero led Relena across the dance floor, as far away from Charles as they could go. She was grateful to have him back. She was glad that he knew her so well that he could tell when she was uncomfortable. Most of the time, he never did anything other than stay closer than usual. She was a strong woman and could defend herself. Honestly, she took on Dorothy's judgments with ease and that woman could strike fear into adult men.

However, Charles was something else. She couldn't quite figure out what it was about him.

Relena couldn't help but press her cheek against Heero's chest as they danced for the second time in their life. She had been too busy talking to him the first time to actually revel in the feel of his skin or the skill he had to dancing.

"You're still not going to tell me where you went, are you?" She asked his chest.

"It's not important."

"You could have at least told me you were leaving."

"I didn't see any point to since I knew I was going to come back. I have to protect you since you're my charge."

She pushed herself off of him abruptly. She couldn't hide the hurt on her face as she walked away from him. She made her way through the waltzing bodies towards the balcony. This had to have been the feeling of doom. She was going to find out about Heero's true feelings for her and it broke her heart. Throughout the years she had kept her heart solid just by knowing that he was near her.

Now, she didn't know if she could keep it together anymore. She wouldn't cry, but avoid him until she could cry in privacy.

She leaned over the marble banister that overlooked the gardens. She kept biting her tongue and clenching her teeth to stop the tears overpowering her. She could do this. She could stay strong for a little while longer.

"Relena, you're not supposed to go anywhere alone." Heero came up from behind her, gripping her elbow.

She pulled back, not looking at him.

"Why did you walk away?" He tried to grab her again, but she took a step back.

"All I am to you is a job?" She surprised herself with a strong tone.

"That's not what I meant."

"I have never seen you as just a Preventer, or just a Gundam pilot. I have always seen you as Heero Yuy and I...I have always loved you." She hung her head, but still kept the tears away. She wasn't going to cry over him.

The sounds from the hall grew louder as someone walked out of the building. "Miss Relena," Quatre's voice said quietly, "Dorothy is getting pretty sick. I think we should go home now."

"That's fine." She said and took one step towards the double doors.

Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain bloom in her chest. She locked her knees trying to stay standing when she saw Quatre drop to the ground, clutching his chest as well. She desperately reached for Heero, feeling her chest grow cold.

The look of horror was apparent on his face when her vision blacked out.


A.N. The plot thickens! Muwhahahaha!