For Dacia and her
damned plot bunny (http://www.raygunworks.net/bunnies.html)
Warnings: Non-explicit yaoi and het ficlet (how did I get myself into
this, again?), characters I don't generally think about too much, cheating,
real life heartbreak, angst, non-bashingness, some OOC (oh, come on, Heero
and Relena have been married a long time -- people change), obliqueness.
Pairings: 1+Rx1, 1x2x1 implied
Spoilers: Is it a spoiler than Relena, Heero, and Duo lived to the end
of the series?
Summary: And I quote. "Who needs a plot, anyways?" Dacia, you're awesome.
Day A Little Death
The breakfast room is full
of sunlight. There's silver and china on the clean tablecloth, and blueberry
muffins -- my favorite -- steaming in a basket. Heero is
already installed in his chair beside the window, reading the newspaper,
pen in one hand.
"Good morning," he says, gravely. He gives me that little smile that never
ceases to make my heart quiver. I shake myself from my stupor and bend
down for our morning kiss.
His lips are warm -- even after all these years, I expect them
to echo the marble perfection of his body. Kissing Heero ought to be like
kissing a Greek statue, but his lips are warm and a little chapped, and
he tastes like black coffee, eggs, and salt. It's a little bit more than
a ritual peck, and by the time I straighten up, his hair is a little bit
more mussed, and I'm breathing a little bit more heavily.
For a moment, everything is all right, and then I step away, and the movement
seems to shatter the peaceful tranquility of the scene. I still can't
breathe, but now it is because of claustrophobia. I notice, suddenly,
that he's been reading the sports section.
Heero doesn't even watch sports.
"Miss me?" I ask, following our routine. Ladies and gentlemen, I present
Heero and Relena, the modern day Astaire and Rogers, in their classic
routine -- watch as they dance the Emotional Sidestep.
"Yes." He hands me a plate. The muffin is already broken open, and a little
pat of butter is melting in the precise center of the bottom half. His
fingers brush mine, and my heart imitates the butter. It's not all good
feeling, though. It's worse because I know he isn't lying. It's just that
I'm not the only person he misses at night. "Did you miss me?"
I sit across from him, bathed in the sunlight from the garden. He passes
my tea over, and I sip. "Yes," I admit, feeling the sting. When we first
got married, we tried sharing a bedroom. We've long since abandoned that
tradition. Politicians and Preventors keep erratic hours, and our coms
are prone to going off at the least accommodating times. We always eat
breakfast together, though. The most important meal of the day, he says
sometimes, with a spark in his eye.
I know he didn't get that phrase from any public service announcement.
I can almost hear the voice saying it --
I bite into my muffin with more force than necessary, and almost choke.
"I'm fine," I mumble, before he can say anything. "So, how goes the war?"
He snorts. "Some days I miss Wing." He holds up a hand to forestall my
words. "Joking, Relena. Joking."
I had been about to say, 'I know what you mean.' Instead, I shake my head,
and eat my breakfast. He jokes more now that he's in love. Just picked
up a sense of humor along the way, I expect. Bastard.
He continues, giving little summaries of the things that aren't classified
-- mostly how much paperwork he's expected to do, and how little
he likes it. I'm not really listening. I'm watching his lips move, watching
the sun hit his hair, watching his hand as it curls lovingly around his
coffee cup, and hating myself for ever introducing myself to Heero Yuy.
His smile softens for an instant, and I know that if I were listening,
he'd be telling a story about his reckless partner and some hijink they
got themselves into.
"That Duo," I smile, wanting to bite into my teacup and spit the pieces
of china across the table. When I see that look on Heero's face, I know
he has never been in love with me.
"Yes," he agrees, looking less like a statue than ever. He reaches across
the table and takes my hand. His touch is still enough to make me warm
inside. "Relena . . . "
I freeze. Here it comes, I think. I'm a rabbit, caught in a web
of hope and fear so complicated that the air feels like it's turned to
cement. Everything seems to turn inside out, and I think I'm going to
be sick. The atmosphere is poisoning me, and I pull my hand from his so
I can take double handfuls of my dressing gown and will myself not to
faint. "Heero?" Is this the moment where he breaks free?
Where he decides to just follow his feelings?
It would destroy me if he left. I know it. He knows it. But the perfect
soldier ought to be able to answer this: Is it worse to be devastated
with a single stroke, to explode on the battlefield into a million shimmering
sparks, to scream until your lungs implode, or to feel your life slip
away with every movement and every breath?
Heero's eyes narrow at my sharp gasp for air. He considers me for a long
moment before nodding to himself, slightly. "More tea, Relena?"
For a moment, helpless fury grasps me. Beneath the linen tablecloth, my
fists clench against my thighs, bunching my gown into wrinkles. Later
I will find tiny holes where my nails have driven through the cloth, but
all I feel is the burn of air in my throat. I know exactly how Heero used
to feel before he pushed the button to self-detonate. If he won't,
I think, I will. The lights are too bright as I prepare to meet
my destruction head on. I meet my husband's eyes clearly and hear the
poisonous breath escape my lungs.
"No more tea for me," I hear myself say. "I'm fine."
Inhale. Exhale. I'm fine. Just a little dead.
to Singles a - k]