July 28, 2002

Author's notes: Hi there! I'm very happy that you've made your way here to my little fic. I know this theme has been done before, but hey, I like it so I'm going to use it. I'm not a professional writer so I will make mistakes here and there, but I am working on it. By the way, this occurs some years after the Mariemaia incident. There is a lot of Heero and Relena interaction but not until later in the story. The beginning half will be composed of Relena and another character. So if you're looking for Heero and Relena romance, be patient. I hope you enjoy this little story of mine. And please, please, please review. It's what we writers survive on. Here goes nothing.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything associated with Gundam Wing, and blah, blah, blah, you know the rest.

A Rose Among the Thorns

Chapter One

The Proposal

"I have to leave now."

Relena stared at him through tear-filled eyes, the hurt she felt seeming to shatter her heart into a million pieces. She fiercely tried to blink her tears away. She didn't want to seem broken in front of him, in front of Heero Yuy.

"Where will you go," she managed to whisper as she sank deeper into his eyes.

"Wherever I'm needed."

She wanted to cry out that she needed him- that she needed him in her life more than she needed to breathe. She loved him more than she could express. She didn't know what love was before she met him. She didn't believe in love, thinking that it was a foolish notion that parents read their children about in fairytale books. But she was wrong. Love was real, and it struck her like lightning when she first saw him. Time stopped in that briefest of seconds. The world no longer rotated around the sun; it revolved around Heero. She would give him her whole heart until the end of time if he would have it. All she had to do was tell him, but she couldn't get he words out.

"I'll miss you, Heero." Relena couldn't hold her emotions any longer and a lonely tear bitterly stained her rosy cheek. Her eyes left his face and focused on the lifeless ground beneath her feet. She didn't want him to see her like this. To Relena's surprise, he brought his hand to her face and wiped her tear away, leaving his hand upon her cheek. He felt so warm and comforting that she didn't want him to pull away. She made the mistake of looking back into his eyes and almost fell over with the force of what she saw. Love. Pure and simple. She knew it for what it was because she felt its force herself. But for some reason, she still felt deadly miserable, and at that moment, she realized she had to let him go.

"Goodbye, Relena."

She watched as his form faded into the mist and she was left alone. Staring at the same spot he disappeared from, Relena just stood there motionless in darkness. He was gone. Gone.

She wouldn't accept that. She began to run in the darkness, blindly heading the way he had left. Calling out his name, she ran further and further into the void. It was hopeless, she would never find him. She ran and ran and.

"Ring, ring!"

Relena woke up with a shock. Grabbing the phone next to her bed, she answered half-awake, "Hello?"

"Miss Darlian, this is your 5 a.m. wake-up call," the receptionist said cheerfully.

Relena moaned gloomily. "Thank you," she answered and hung up the phone. She laid her heavy head back on the comfortable pillow, closing her eyes. She had that same dream again about Heero. She thought that those dreams had stopped, but it seemed that every time she was in a stressful period, he would invade her sleep.

But it was more than a dream, and she knew it. It was a memory, one she had made right after the Mariemaia coup. She remembered that time like it was yesterday. But, she wouldn't go down that road again, at least not now. She had a conference to attend.


Negotiations were going nowhere.

Relena Darlian, also known as Relena Peacecraft, had been sitting in her assigned seat for the past five hours, arguing the same point with no success. She glanced at the round clock for the hundredth time as its hands wound round and round again, as if mocking her in this never-ending cycle of dispute.

This meeting on Colony L2 X-2310 was called together to discuss the removal of half the military bases on Earth. The representatives from the Colonies contended that allowing the existence of all Earth's bases would put the colonies at a disadvantage which harbored only half as many military instillations as the Earth did. The Earth would gain the upper hand with a greater amount of power in numbers which could be used against the Colonies if an all out war should ensue. In addition to the disadvantage, the peaceful state of the Earth Sphere negates the need for so much military force.

The Earth on the other hand defended their case by stating that eliminating certain bases would be unwise. They reminded the Colonies that there was peace, and that they had no intentions of ever breaking that peace, thus an attack would not occur. They also argued that there was a need for the different bases. The bases were there to protect the citizens and they provided vital research for the betterment of mankind.

Those were not all of the different sides to the situation, but they were the main ones. Relena listened half-heartedly as the fourteen delegates from both the colonies and Earth exchanged heated words at each other. She was not there to take part in the dispute; she merely was there to mediate the whole affair. Neither side would have agreed to meet if she had not agreed to attend the concession. It seemed that although there was no fighting between soldiers, there was still fighting between councilmen.

Relena sighed and turned her gaze out the colony window into the blackness of space. The emptiness reminded her of her own heart. A part of it was missing, stolen away by a boy she met five years ago on a white, sandy beach, and he never gave it back. Why did she have to fall in love with Heero Yuy?

Thoughts of Heero and the way he had touched her crept back into her mind, his words ringing in her ears. For the thousandth time, she felt like crying, felt like abandoning all her responsibilities, all her duties, all the requirements put on her as the vice foreign minister and for once in her life be a normal person who could show her emotions without worrying about who would see. But, she would never be given that luxury.

She had to be strong- she had to be like steel. She had to face a world full of problems and solve them all as if it were as easy as fixing a broken watch. She had to keep nations from destroying each other, she had to convince politicians to lay down their weapons and agree to peace, she had to prevent mass chaos from engulfing the world, and she had to do it all with a smile on her face. Being at the head of the Earth Sphere Alliance was a grueling job, and it was wearing her down. She was tired, but she knew she had no choice.

She hated the way he made her feel, she was angry at him for always leaving her, and yet she couldn't seem to get over him. He was constantly on her mind, whether she wanted him to be or not. His image was burnt into her memory- his dark brown hair that always seemed to be in a mess, his Prussian blue eyes that she seemed to drown in, and his strong arms that she longed to be wrapped in. His memory seemed to haunt her every moment of being.

She didn't want to feel this way, not when he left her after the Mariemaia incident. It hurt, it stung like a knife through her heart, but she never told anyone. The world knew nearly everything about her. She was after all the vice foreign minister who was continuously in the public eye. If she had one secret to keep, it would be her love for Heero.

"Minister Darlian, do you agree with us," one of the Earth officials asked. When she failed to respond, he asked again. "Minister Darlian?"

Relena quickly was snapped out of her thoughts and turned to the man who had addressed her. She recognized him as Governor Corin Rilley, by far one of the most influential representatives in the Earth Sphere. He was a man in his near fifties, but he looked much older. He held a commanding presence, and he could convince an Eskimo to buy ice. Relena had come to know the governor quite well after having to deal with him often. And under his intimidating attitude, she knew him to be a loyal and trustworthy man who loved to tell jokes at parties.

"You'll have to excuse me. It seems my mind was starting to wander," Relena apologized to the gathered diplomats. She offered them a tired smile to ease their minds.

"Yes, well, I think all our minds are starting to wander. I suggest we adjourn for today and resume discussion tomorrow," Governor Rilley announced.

"That is one thing I think we can all agree on," answered a Colony delegate, as he shuffled his papers into a folder. Murmurs of agreement from the rest of the politicians resounded while they began to gather their things.

Finally, she could get some rest done. She hadn't slept well the past few days.

Relena was busy filing her folders into her black briefcase, when the Secretary of Defense made his way to her side. A fairly young government official only a few years older than Relena herself, Donavon Fallicy had moved his way into the President's good graces with his charm. He was uncommonly handsome with his raven black hair and alluring smile but Relena could see his deceptive objectives in his dark brown eyes. Those same eyes seemed to always make her feel uncomfortable. He would either stare at her the way she wished Heero would stare at her, and at other times he appeared to look through her, not at her, like she was a piece of clear glass. It was the lustful look that Donavon wore today.

"Well, Princess Relena, it seems that we both have the night free," he stated with a sly grin on his face as he leaned against the conference table. He crossed his arms over his chest and turned to look upon her beautiful face.

Donavon had been attracted to the vice foreign minister since they first met three years ago. He was used to getting what he wanted, especially from women, using his good looks and position to his advantage. Melting at the sight of his smile, women could hardly keep their hands to themselves when he appeared in public. Relena was the first one to reject him. No matter how hard he tried to win her over, she persisted to turn him down. That's what made her so appealing to him- the chase was half the fun.

Continuing to pack her things, Relena avoided looking at him. She had grown extremely tired of having to associate with Donavon since she first laid eyes on him. She had told him time and time again in the politest way possible that she would prefer that he keep his distance from her, but it seemed he didn't understand or he didn't care to understand.

"You know that I no longer use the title of princess, Mr. Fallicy, and I would appreciate it if you would address me as Miss Darlian. Besides I have other more important things to do tonight than spend an uneventful evening with you," she countered. She had completed putting her papers away and began to pretend to look through a file so that she could avoid looking into his pining eyes.

His grin turned into a scowl at her answer. He was growing a little tired of this game, but he could be patient, for now.

"What could be more important than having a friendly dinner with me?"

Sleep. That's what was more important than dinner. She'd be willing to skip a meal if she could catch up on some of her missed sleep. But she couldn't tell him that. In any case, nothing about Donavon was friendly. Relena didn't believe he had a friendly bone in his whole body. Sure he represented the military in the peace project, but he would do seemingly anything to ensure that his branch of government survived. She was silent for a few seconds before someone came to her rescue.

"Having dinner with me is more important," said Governor Rilley. He came to stand on the opposite side of Relena. She gave the governor a gracious smile which he returned. He then turned to Donavon to give him a steely look. "We've been planning it for the past couple weeks to discuss some important government issues, isn't that right, Miss Darlian?"

Relena knew that wasn't true, but it was the perfect excuse to tell Donavon. "Yes, Governor Rilley. It's so unlike me to forget such an engagement."

Donovan knew when he was beat. The governor had won this time. "I hope you enjoy your evening together," he said with little emotion. "If you'll both excuse me." Donovan picked up his briefcase and headed out the door.

Relena sighed in relief. She would rather have had dinner with the Devil than with Donovan. She swore if he had looked at her any harder, he would have burned a hole right through her. She had the overwhelming need to take a shower.

"Thank you for saving me from that horrible situation, Governor Rilley. I don't know what I would have done if he had persisted."

"Think nothing of it. I know how detestable Fallicy can be. I would have done the same for anyone in your position."

"Well, I better be on my way. I can hear my bed calling me all the way over here," Relena joked.

"Miss Darlian, I really did want to discuss something with you over dinner, if you think you could spare a few minutes with an old man," he said before she could make her way to the door.

She desperately wanted to get back to her soft, comfy bed and drift off into dreamland.

"I'll pay for the whole thing," the governor offered. "And, I'll even buy you some strawberry cheesecake for dessert."

The governor looked positively eager to speak to her, and she did owe the governor something for his chivalry. Furthermore, what woman could pass the chance for free cheesecake? She guessed missing a few minutes of sleep would be worth the sacrifice for cheesecake. "I'd be glad to have dinner with you," she replied with a smile.


Relena's hired limousine took her and her companion to a restaurant that the governor was familiar with. It was an Italian bistro on the penthouse floor of the Towers hotel which overlooked the breathtaking view of the colony. The restaurant was filled with many people, most of the aristocracy by the looks of their attire, who all seemed content with their surroundings. The waiter cheerfully showed them to their seats and later took their orders.

After finishing their desserts, the governor began a light conversation. "Well, Miss Darlian, how is your brother doing? Your father and I were good friends before his untimely death. I watched your brother grow into the fine young man he is today. He had a lot of spunk when he was young."

"Yes, he still has that spunk. Milliardo and his wife, Lucrezia Noin have had their first son," Relena admitted. She smiled at the thought of her new sister-in-law holding their little bundle of joy. She was ecstatic when she found out two years ago that they were finally getting married, and she was even more overjoyed to find out that she was going to be an aunt. Noin was good for her brother, but he already knew that.

"A son, you say? Well, that's not a surprise. I always knew he was going to settle down and have children. He was always so protective over you. He wouldn't let anyone touch you when the Peacecrafts had guests over at their estate."

Relena thought he was still that way. He was so overprotective of her that it made her regret she had a brother sometimes. She kept reminding him that she wasn't a little girl anymore, but he kept insisting that the world didn't care that she was grown up now. She was still prone to danger, more so that she was an important, if not, the most important figurehead in all of the Earth Sphere. He was going to worry himself to death if he wasn't careful. Arguing with her brother got neither of them anywhere. They were both the most stubborn people in the galaxy. Noin always said that talking to either of them was like talking to a brick wall, you find that you can't change it and you're only talking to yourself.

"Isn't Lucrezia Noin one of the chief Preventors?" Rilley broke in.

"Yes, she is vital to the operations at Preventors headquarters. I imagine the agency would collapse and fall if Noin wasn't there most of the time. But discussing my brother's personal life isn't why you asked me to come here, is it?"

"You see right through me, Miss Relena. I must confess that I called you here on a very delicate situation. It may be the fundamental step to the secure the peace process for good."

If Relena had not shown any interest before, she sure showed it now. It sounded as if the governor was a scientist who stumbled upon the cure for cancer. What he suggested was the one thing that Relena had been searching for since she started her diplomatic endeavors. Intent on learning his idea, she leaned forward to better hear the governor's words.

"You've caught my curiosity, Governor. Now please, tell me your proposition."

"I want you to marry Prince Alexander Morale."

AN: Well, that's it for chapter one. How did you like it? I admit, it got off to a slow start, but it'll get better. So review, review, and did I mention review?