Ch 7: A Royal Pain in the Butt

I turn slowly on my heel, already knowing who it is I'll see.
What a surprise.
"Relena." Heero's normally emotionless voice holds a thread of surprise. "What are you doing here?"
She smiles, standing there at the corner of the house in that pink dress of hers, honey-colored hair caught briefly in the breeze before she reaches up to tuck it behind her ears, blue eyes never leaving Heero. She is pretty, I'll give her that, but..
Gods, how I'd love to strangle that slim white throat of hers with a piano wire...
Quit stalking the object of MY obsession, damn it!!
Er, affection...

"I was wondering when I would find you again." She pushes away from the corner and walks towards us, still smiling. "I should've known you'd be in such an out-of-the-way place."
Oh, shove off, bitch.
I force a bright smile. "Ohayo, Relena-sama! How's it goin'?"
She glances my way and smiles politely. She hasn't felt much.. *endearance* for me after my threat to Heero the first time we met.
Well I don't like you either. Go die somewhere.
"Hello, Duo-kun. I hope you're feeling well."
I tilt my head, raising an eyebrow and grinning. "Juuuust peachy."
Sensing the slight sarcasm in my voice, she merely nods slightly and turns her attention on Heero once more.
` He's watching her dispassionately, not even offering to get up. "What do you want?" he demands.
That smile. That infuriating *smile*. It's satanic, I tell you.
"Why, Heero, I've been looking all over for you. Is that any way to greet me?" She crouches before him, studying his face earnestly. "You shouldn't push away the only one who understands you," she says quietly. She actually has the gall to look pained. And serious.
Oh gag me.
And what the hell is that supposed to mean?? The only one who understands him?!
I swallow my snort with difficulty, making it into a cough.
Heero doesn't so much as blink. He stares at her silently for a long moment before turning his eyes upward in a dismissive manner, studying the clouds, voice the weary tone he always uses with her to try to discourage her, keep her from the danger that is his life. "Relena, leave. You should be trying to talk some sense into Zechs."
She frowns slightly, shaking her head. She opens her mouth to speak, but he interrupts her.
"And what makes you think.." he looks into her eyes once more with a piercing gaze, "..that you understand me?"
She looks saddened. "Heero... I do. I am the closest thing to a friend you have, and you keep pushing me away."
Hard to believe.
"You distance yourself from so many people," she continues, "how do you expect anyone *else* to--"
A strong, slim hand reaches out, the tips of the fingers brushing my chest in a gesture, causing my breath to catch in surprise as he continues staring her down obliviously. "Duo... understands me. He...." he hesitates, as if the word is foreign to him, "is my friend."
He has no idea the affect those words have on me.
Heero.. I never knew... I have been trying for so long to be accepted by you....
Knowing that you consider me one of your few-- if not your only --friend.. an honor I suddenly am overwhelmed to recieve.

I blink rapidly and manage a smile. "Love ya too, pal," I say cheerfully.
He lowers his hand, grunting quietly in acknowledgement, eyes still on the girl before him.
Her eyebrows rise in surprise at his declaration, and she licks her lips. I bite back a smirk. "Ah... Well.. At least you've made other friends, then." A sweet smile. Barf barf. "But I'm here, now."
I wait for her to get to the point.
Evidently that *is* the point. Ch'. What a waste of time.
"Relena-sama," I say as respectfully as I can-- under the circumstances. "Heero doesn't want to be bothered right now."
In one ear, out the other. She doesn't even bother to look at me.
"I know you just got back from a mission. Why else would you be here?"
He stares up at her blankly.
Looks like I'm not the only one waiting for her to make her point.

"I was wondering..." she hesitates, looking down at the ground, the barest hint of a blush touching her cheeks. "If you would... like to go somewhere... before you're called away again."
His eyes widen just barely, though whether in surprise or confusion I can't tell. I bravely refrain from choking.
"You never take the time to *do* anything. Anything fun, I mean," she says finally. "You should be.. doing the things normal people our age do."
Exactly what *I've* been trying to drill into his head for god knows how long.
He gives her a bland look. "Like what?"
"Like.. rollerblading, going to the movies, shopping..."
"Going to dance clubs," I add, waggling my eyebrows and grinning.
He sends me a wry glance, and Relena, after a moment's hesitation, agrees. "Yes. Things like that. You know.."
"Having fun," I quip, grinning. "See, now ya got both of us gangin' up on you about it," I add, just to show her she's not the *only* one worried for Heero's well-being.
She smiles and nods, but I notice she still barely spares me a glance. "You see? So... would you like to go somewhere?"
My heart plummets, and I catch myself just in time, stopping my face from falling along with it. I turn my attention to the hands in my lap. Damn.
I guess even Shinigami has to back down sometimes.
"Duo and I were going somewhere."
My head snaps up, my eyes bulging and my jaw dropping. "We..are?" I squeak.
Relena looks almost as surprised. "Oh." She says in a startled tone. She pauses, glancing at me with a slightly-- suspicious? --air. "Where to?"
He doesn't even bat an eye. "To see a movie."
She blinks, missing my smirk of triumph. "So have you decided which one, yet?" I ask smoothly, grinning up at him as he rises, eyes flicking down to meet mine.
"Hn. Either one." He reaches down to help me up and I grasp his hand, allowing him to haul me effortlessly to my feet.
"Oh...well..." She looks almost desperate, too polite to invite herself along but obviously hoping he'll ask.
Tough luck. He doesn't even look at her. "You'd better have money," he grunts. "I'm not paying for you."
I laugh, slapping the pocket that holds my wallet. "Daijabou, Heero. I've got plenty!"
"Good. Let's go." He turns to look at Relena blandly. "Ja." We turn to go.
She darts in front of us, her face a mix of frustration and hurt. "WHY do you keep doing this?!" she demands. "You always avoid me. Are you still protecting me? I can take care of myself! The least you could do is hold a decent *conversation* with me. Why do you always have to hang around- around *him*??" She shoots me an irritated look. "Do you honestly *trust* him?"
I stiffen, my eyes narrowing. Ok, toots, so we don't get along. But at least I don't broadcast it. Maybe it's time I did. "Hey," I snap, "butt out. Why don't you quit stalking him, anyway? He's not interested."
Heero raises his eyebrows to his hair line, glancing at me.
Relena's face goes red with embarassment, surprise, and anger. "You-you--" she sputters.
Oops. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut..
"You stay out of this, Duo Maxwell! I am *not* stalking anyone."
I snort in derision, rolling my eyes heavenward.
"You're the one starving for a friend," she snaps. "Always around Heero, taking him away from me when it's obvious I'm trying to talk to him."
I make a face, a little immature, but I don't care.
Then Heero does something completely unexpected.
He reaches up, draping his arm across my shoulders and staring her down. "He isn't starving for a friend," he says simply, then nudges me. "Let's go."
Too stunned to do anything at this completely un-Heero-like move, I stagger along with him, brushing right by Relena.
I wish I had a camera to capture that look on her face forever.

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