NOTE: see part 1 for notes, warnings
AUTHOR: shira

Papillion + Part 5

Over dinner, Relena noticed that Heero seemed a little off. Not that he hadn't already seemed off based on the Heero that she knew before -- but this time, he seemed off even for the "new" Heero. Something was bothering him. She became concerned. 

"Did everything go OK today, Heero?" He had yet to mention anything about his meeting with Sally Po. Come to think of it, he really hadn't said much of anything since returning from Preventers headquarters. 

Heero didn't hear her at first, until she repeated herself louder. He sputtered to life when his thought process was interrupted by her voice. "Oh, sorry. Everything went fine. Agent Yuy, at your service." There was no emotion at all on his face as he spoke. 

Relena fiddled with her teaspoon, clinking it around on the inside of her cup. "Are you sure everything went well? You seem a little..." 

"Everything is fine, Relena." The glare, that glare, was back, and this time the girl quieted. Realizing that he had offended her, Heero stood, laying his linen napkin down on the table. "Excuse me," he said, and in a flash he was gone, headed back to his bedroom. 

 A little after nine, there was a knock on the bedroom door. He knew it was Relena. It had to be Relena, since the remaining members of the help staff were usually off after the evening meal had been cleaned up. Other than the two of them, there was no one else in the mansion, what with her brother still away on the long-term Mars terraforming project. She knocked again, softly. 

"Come in," he said in a hushed tone. 

The door opened in silence and the pretty blonde-haired girl slipped in, closing it behind her. She remained standing against the door. Heero was reclined on the bed, his arms propped behind his head, on a pillow.  

"Heero?" 

He sat upright on the bed now, throwing his legs over the side. She walked over and sat beside him. 

"I'm sorry, Relena. I didn't mean to upset you at dinner." 

She smiled a weak little smile. "Its OK, Heero. I was just concerned that something didn't go well for you, that's all." 

"I know," he said, his mind distracted by deep thought. He turned to look out the window closest to the bed. It was dusk and the remaining hints of daylight were giving way to a clear, starlit sky. If he had looked harder, he would have been able to see a faint glimpse of a bright light, the colony L1, where his life, and all of his troubles began, but Heero wasn't really seeing as he was looking. He was only thinking. 

"Heero?" 

"Yeah?" 

"Is there anything I can do?" 

Heero shifted on the bed, but didn't look at her. "Not really." They were silent for a long while, until she offered him some advice. 

"You know, I may not know everything there is to know at only eighteen, Heero, but I do know some things." 

"Yeah?" His monotone was back as he stared at the carpet. 

"I know that if you have things on your mind that trouble you, sometimes it helps to talk about it with a friend." 

Heero sighed. "It's hard for me to...you know, talk about things." 

"I know it is. But you have to try. You have to try or you'll be no better off that you were before, when you weren't allowed to. Its part of what being human is all about, Heero." 

He smirked, almost laughed, at her comment and she cocked her head. "You know, throughout the Colony Wars, the other pilots used to tease me about that. About being so committed to my missions that I couldn't possibly be human. It was because I showed no emotion at all. I just did what I had to do, what I was trained to do, and didn't let anything get in the way. Not anything. I think Quatre is the only one who never teased me about it." 

"I'm sorry about that," Relena said as she searched his eyes for any remnant of the emotion that she knew was trying to unveil itself. 

"Don't be. It was the truth. It still is, to an extent, and it will be until I can convince myself to let go of the past, I guess." 

A sympathetic smile was offered up. He answered it with a frown. 

"I ran into Duo before my meeting with Sally." 

"Oh?" 

Heero fidgeted. "He...wasn't very happy to see me." 

Relena sighed. "Duo was pretty upset when you just took off the way you did. He really looks up to you, you know." She slipped her hand into his and squeezed it. "I think it really hurt him that you went away without saying a word to him." 

"But..." Heero stopped. "I know how he feels now. The hurt. It's right here, isn't it?" He brought her hand up to his heart and pressed it there. 

Relena's eyes moistened. "Yes, I suppose you do." A crooked smile flickered on her pink lips. "That's good, you know. To feel that hurt. It means you really are human, no matter what anyone else says."

She raised his hand, still around hers, to her lips and kissed it gently, eliciting an expression somewhere between confusion and apprehension on Heero's face. Then overcome by a desire that she had been puching down as long as she'd known the mysterious Gundam pilot, Relena lened forward to meet his lips in a gentle, heartfelt kiss.

+


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