Author: Merula
see part 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Relena bashing. Yep. Can't stand her. I'll be nicer to her later- honestly.

Reckless + Part 4

Relena was indeed waiting. Her face lit up at the sight of Heero, but she frowned when she saw me. Relena had always been civil to me, I wondered why she was frowning.

"It's good to see you, Heero. Duo." She turned the power of her smile on Heero, who didn't respond at all.

"It's good to see you Relena. You're looking lovely as always." I stepped into the silence and sat down, tugging Heero down next to me.

"Could your girlfriend not make it Heero?" Relena's voice was sweet, but there was a hint of something else underneath.

"I didn't say I was bringing a girlfriend," he leaned back in his chair casually.

"Nonsense, Heero," Relena glanced at me and I wondered what was going on. "You said that you were going to let me meet the person who held your heart." I looked at Heero and raised one of my eyebrows. He quirked a smile back at me. Ah, this would be my cue.

"And he brought me," I said with one of my patented grins. Relena flushed and Heero's smile widened slightly.

"Don't joke, Duo," she said irritatedly. "I know what's really going on. Heero is just trying to protect me and you're helping him. I'm really supposed to believe that Heero's in love with you?" The last was a bit sarcastic and I flushed. Heero was not in love with me, but he was not in love with her either.

"And what's wrong with me?" I snapped back. She smiled like a shark.

"Come now, Duo, I mean really! Heero is a gentleman and you're..." She paused significantly. "From L2." Okay, now she was pissing me off. "I mean, what could you offer him?" Well, that was uttered in a pretty damn scornful tone. It really ticked me off.

"I love him," I replied, honestly enough. "I'd do anything for him." Did I just say that? Out loud? Heero's hand reached out and touched the back of my neck gently. He left his hand there, fingers sliding over my skin. I had to concentrate to focus on Relena.

"You honestly expect me to..." She started and I cut her off. If she said one more damn thing in that condescending little tone of hers!

"Relena, you know me. I run, I hide..."

"But you don't lie," she finished for me, and I saw her eyes widen with the realization. She glanced back between Heero and me rapidly. Heero's fingers were still casually caressing the back of my neck. I wondered if she realized how odd that was. Heero didn't normally touch anyone casually. Something must've gotten through, because her expression changed.

I didn't know if she was going to kill me or cry. Judging from how her face was twisting I was betting on the kill, since she was beginning to look pretty pissed off. Suddenly, she seemed to remember we were in a public place and her face smoothed out. The eyes were still blazing though. I braced myself as she leaned across the table. "Why Heero?" She hissed at him.

"Because he's Duo." The answer was short, to the point, and made me grin, but it didn't satisfy Relena.

"What have you done to him?" This was hissed at me. It was eerie. She was smiling, still looking sweet, but her tone was downright scary. I know I lost my grin. Was she going to just jump over the table and rip out my throat with her teeth?

"Me?" I repeated idiotically.

"You've done something, I know it! You've... tainted, perverted him somehow! The Heero I know would never fall in love with you!" I felt the words as a knife twist in my stomach. That hurt, damnit!

To my surprise, and I'm sure Relena's too, Heero chuckled. We both turned to look at him.

"You don't know me very well, Relena," he said after a moment. "I assure you that I've been the aggressor in this relationship." His voice had dropped to a throaty growl.

"Aggressive is the word," I agreed with a smile. Heero turned his gaze away from Relena and focused on me.

"I think we've made it clear enough, Duo," he said to me. His fingers moved from my neck to take my hand and pull me out of my seat then out the door, leaving Relena gaping behind us like a fish.

We climbed in the car and were halfway home before I spoke to him.

"Man, Heero, that is one scary chick," I said finally. "Did you see how she kept smiling even as she was contemplating disemboweling me?"

"And now you see why I needed your help." Heero replied.

"Has she always been this bad?"

"This was mild, Duo. This was only coffee in a public place. You should've seen some of the things she's done when I've been on bodyguard duty."

"Should I ask?"

"Let's just say that duty or not, I don't sleep anywhere near her anymore."

"Good lord, Heero, why didn't you say something before? I'd have helped you out."

"I didn't think you'd be willing before." He shot me a quick look. "Plus, this way, I wasn't asking you to lie for me."

"Hm. Do you think she's given it up?"

"No. I wish, but I'd bet not." He pulled into a parking space at the front of my building.

"Then we'll just keep at it until she does." I told him cheerfully.

"Thank you, Duo. I know this wasn't the best way to get you to do this..."

"It's all right, Heero. I understand." I did too. Heero wouldn't have asked me to help him this way, because he knows I hate lying. And he's not great at admitting he needs help. He must've been getting desperate. Yes, a part of me was upset that he saw my feelings only as a way to get Relena to lay off, but the rest of me understood Heero. He was a soldier and a soldier uses all of his resources. How could I be mad at him for being himself? I should just be happy that he still wanted to be friends- that he hadn't blown me off (or away). But I still cried myself to sleep that night.

[part 3] [part 5] [back to Merula's fic]