There's a stranger, he's lying in my bed
Kinda blank like the thoughts living in my head
This is the one that I felt that I knew so well
I think we had it but we lost it
Your Body’s Poetry
By Dr Megalomania
Still the girl that you chased all around the world
I haven't changed, just replaced all the chains with pearls
I want the same things we did back then
I know we had it but we lost it
Prologue: Where does love go to die?
Heero remembered where it happened. He was lying in bed with Relena, reading his eBook. He was sure it was a Sunday. She was drinking her tea, her phone in one hand. He was just about to turn the page when he heard the quiet sigh. He looked at her, and she was looking at him. Her small smile was at odds with her sad eyes. Heero put aside his eBook immediately and turned to her. “What's wrong?”
“Nothing.” Relena put her phone down on the bed and put her tea to one side. “No. That’s not true.” She closed her eyes for a long moment, “You are a perfect boyfriend. Just like you were a perfect knight in shining armour, just like you were a perfect soldier.”
Confused, he tilted his head.
She shifted to her knees fluidly, and put her hand on his shoulder. “I love you, and I know you love me.” She nodded, “But can we be honest?”
“I think I love you like I love the idea of peace. I would do anything for you, and I know you'd drop everything if I asked you.” She took a deep breath, “But I don't want to be in this relationship.”
Heero thought for a long moment, looking at their bed before glancing at her in confusion. “What am I doing wrong?”
She gave a quiet, helpless laugh. “Nothing. You are always perfectly what I need.” Relena pursed her lips together thoughtfully. “Don't you ever wonder if we would be together if you hadn't saved the world and I hadn't been queen of the world?”
Relena smiled as she caught the thought occur to him.
“You love me, I don't doubt it.” She reached a hand forward and touched his cheek. “I love you as well but... can we both walk out of this relationship for a while? I ...” She pulled her hand back and looked down, “I kinda want to find out what it would have been like if I ...” She frowned as if she wasn't sure what to say.
Heero nodded, sitting forward. “Go on.”
“If I had had a choice.” She looked at him searchingly, “I did choose you, but don't you sometimes feel like we were always going to end up together?”
Heero gathered her hand and pulled it against his chest. “I don't know. I've always been taught to follow my emotions. It led me to you.”
Relena's blue eyes were dry despite the sadness he could see. “I'm sorry. I...” She sighed, “Never mind.”
“Relena.” Heero squeezed her hand gently. “What does your emotions tell you?”
She looked at him, looked at her hand against his chest. She looked around their perfect bedroom. A smile surfaced on her face and she looked at him directly, “You are a great person, I'm a good person—“
“You are great.”
She laughed shyly. “I'm a great person too. And I look at the way that Dorothy dotes on her wife, and I wonder if that I could ever dote on someone like that. You always take very good care of me, but could you want me, could I want you like Dorothy loves her wife?”
“If you want me to be—“
“That's the problem. Right there. You would. You would change yourself to suit my desire. I don't want you to change for me.” Relena shook her head, “And I still love you, but it's not enough to make me want to force this change on you...” She nodded, “Or myself. I don't want to change for you.” She pulled her hand away from him and pressed it against her chest, “I know that I feel like this isn't enough and I want to find someone who...” Relena's shoulders dropped in defeat as she spoke hesitantly, “Wants to love me because it's more than the right thing to do.”
Heero held out his hands to hold hers, he stroked his thumbs thoughtfully over her skin and was grateful that she didn't try to say anything. He nodded finally, “I understand.”
Heero smiled lopsidedly, “If I understood most of what I've read about being a good lover, I should imagine the thought of you leaving me should at least provoke some kind of emotional response beyond 'how do I make it easier on her?'.” He laughed with her, opening his arms and hugging her. He felt her press her face against his neck and tightened his grip. “Thank you for being honest with me.”
“Thank you for making my first breakup easier than I thought it was going to be.” Relena pulled back enough to look him in the eye, “I hope that we can still be friends.”
“Why wouldn't we be friends?”
Relena laughed brightly at Heero's sincere confusion.
Sally was sat in her car waiting for him. She winced as she watched Wufei’s girlfriend take off the ring he’d bought her last year. She watched as Wufei’s girlfriend got up from the table, walking away with little more than a backward glance. She sighed as Wufei picked up the ring she’d left behind, and walked over to the car slowly. He got in and she looked at him with concern. “Are you okay?”
Wufei couldn’t look at her. He stared at the ring he was turning in his fingers before admitting quietly. “She thinks I’m boring.”
Sally let go of the breath she was holding, reached over and patted his clenched hand. “I’m sorry.” Even though she’d known why Wufei was meeting his girlfriend here, even though Wufei had been prepared for this, it still made her hurt for her friend. He looked so small and young as he turned the ring in his hands over and over. She looked at his face, watching as a tremble passed over his lips.
It looked for a moment like Wufei was going to cry so she patted his hand again.
“You are boring,” Sally reassured him gently, “But that’s not a bad thing.”
He stopped turning the ring over and slipped it into a pocket. Wufei smiled even as a tear squeezed past his defences. “You’re supposed to be caring.”
“I am caring.” Sally said, affronted. “If she can’t see past the starchy, regulation obsessed, 9pm bed time every night, Preventer on the streets,” Sally nodded matter-of-factly, “Then she doesn’t deserve the Gundam in the sheets.”
Her blunt statement made Wufei laugh even through his weeping. He looked at her, dark eyes swimming. “Can you just drive please?”
“You got it,” She started the car and indicated to pull out. “You want me to call anyone?”
“No.” Wufei raised a hand and wiped at his face. He shifted his glasses back into place. “Quatre and Trowa will just insist on coming down, and Duo’s got enough trouble with the scrap yard and…” He swallowed and looked out the window, “Who knows where Heero is now…” He swallowed, “I can handle this.” He looked at her, “If you’re okay helping me…” He swallowed thickly, “She’s um… she’s going away for a week, I need to uh… I need to move out.”
“You can stay with me for a bit.” Sally immediately offered, raising a hand when she could see him shaking his head out of the corner of her eye, “Shut up. Don’t be ridiculous. You can stay with me! It’ll be okay.” She snorted, “It’ll be just like after the war…!”
“I’m a legally recognised adult now, not your ward.” Wufei chuckled with her, “I know it will be okay. You’re… You’re a great friend. Thanks for being here.” Wufei stared out of the window, watching the street as it passed. His voice was so low that Sally almost had to strain to hear him, “She wishes I could be more spontaneous… but she didn’t want to be stuck in a relationship with someone so… dull.”
Sally frowned, a brief ripple of anger surfacing before she swallowed it. He didn’t need fury yet. She pulled a smirk on her face, “You’re a safe guy—“
“Still dull.” He retorted quietly, deeply hurt.
“Well, yeah.” Sally chuckled lopsidedly, “But you’re going to be the right fit for someone, just gotta find someone who lights a fire in you.” She reached out to mess up his neat hair, earning the expected growl. “Someone who deserves the Gundam in the sheets.”
“Sal, will you—look, cut it out!” He shook off her hand sharply, making her laugh. “You!” He folded his arms and slouched in the front seat, “Gundam in the sheets,” Wufei muttered, “Don’t be ridiculous.” He turned his head to look out the window, trying not to watch the tears tracking down his cheeks. “Light a fire? Huh.”
Sally left him for a while. She knew him well enough that it was time to back off and let him stew for a few minutes. By the time they pulled up in front of his home, they’d made quiet plans for how to move him out. Planning always seemed to put a bit of colour into Wufei’s cheeks. He pulled himself together, and got out of her car. He watched her drive away, and then slowly walked into the home he used to share with a girlfriend he thought he was going to marry one day.
Wufei closed the front door, and slid down until he collapsed on the floor. The tears just came, and he sobbed. All around him a life - that could have been if only he wasn’t so boring - seemed like a pantomime. His breath came raggedly, and each breath didn’t make it easier. He cried and cried, his heart broken. Wufei had been so sure that this one would work out. It hurt so much that she didn’t even want to stay friends.
Wufei pulled out his phone and stared at the screen. He gave some serious thought to calling someone, anyone of his friends. The sight of his girlfriend on his lock screen was enough to steel him. He sat up straighter and crossed his legs. The tears weren’t going to stop, but he could feel his resolve strengthening. He knew he had to change somehow. Dragging his sleeve over his face roughly, he opened his phone and emailed General Une, requesting a transfer to L1.
It was time to leave.
When he heard the door slam, Trowa looked up from his computer. Listening carefully, he heard low voices going back in forth angrily. He couldn't quite make out what was being said, but he heard could make out Iria's voice rising in apparent rage. Rolling his eyes, Trowa returned to work. Another Winner argument that Quatre had brought home with him. He'd leave them to it. Past experience had taught Trowa bitter lessons about trying to get involved with the Winners. Aside from Iria and Irina and possible Isabelle - though that was debatable - Trowa was not liked by the Winner clan. Many of Quatre's sisters didn't understand why Quatre might continue a relationship with an ex-soldier - never mind that Quatre himself was an ex-soldier.
Trowa paused and rolled his eyes at himself for allowing his attention to wander. He settled down and returned to his work. The new schematics Hilde had sent were complicated but not impossible. She'd employed him for a consult, and he fully intended to get them out of the way before the weekend. There'd be no chance to focus during the Winner Family Gathering. At the last gathering, a month ago, Marianna had gone out of her way to spend quality time with him. Mostly taking the chance to ply Trowa with baseless rumours that were purely designed to break their relationship up. Irina had saved him from it in the end by way of blazing row. It had not assured Trowa's place in the family at all.
Somewhere in the home, a door slammed and Iria's voice rose in complete frustration. "YOU THINK THAT EXCUSES YOUR BEHAVIOUR?!"
Trowa glanced up from the schematics. Iria was normally always on Quatre's side. It was rare for her to lose her temper with him. They were arguing too far away from Trowa's study for him to make out Quatre's response. Rising smoothly from his desk, Trowa took a moment to save his work and then wandered out to the hallway. Iria suddenly sounded much clearer as she slammed open a door. "PERHAPS YOU SHOULD LET TROWA DECIDE! HOW DARE YOU! I'M BEYOND DISGUSTED, YOU..."
She appeared at the bottom of the stairs just as Trowa began descending. She stared at him, red faced and wild eyed. She'd been crying, hard.
There was a tense moment.
Quatre stopped short just behind her, hand outstretched to stop her. Trowa tilted his head. Quatre was surprised to see him, but his eyes betrayed an unpleasant emotion. He was disappointed.
Iria swallowed hard and took two steps towards him, before she internally crumbled. She reached out a hand, looking unusually delicate as she lowered herself to sit on the stairs facing away from him. She covered her face with her hands and couldn't help a sob escaping. Trowa started towards her, when she snapped her head up and glared at Quatre. “Here. Now. Right now! Or I'll...” She sobbed again, she jabbed the air with a finger. "I'll... you... you stupid boy. You stupid, stupid boy!"
Quatre looked at her, sadly but seemingly unmoved. His expression hardened for a moment, and he took a step up toward Trowa. He rested a hand on the railing and stared at Trowa, blue eyes wide and searching.
Trowa stared back, understanding sinking in. It was horrible. The malicious glee in Marianna's face suddenly making a lot of sense. After all, what is better than a baseless rumour ...?
Trowa looked down, disappointed that he'd have to be the one to speak. "The affair with your accountancy aide? Beckett was it? Marianna wasn't lying then."
Iria's gasp told him all he needed to know and by the time he looked up, he saw Quatre's face hardened into something expressionless. Trowa nodded. “Marianna really does hate me.” Trowa breathed out slowly, trying to keep his head together. He looked at Iria, “Can I stay with you tonight? I... I need to get out of here.”
“Of course.” Iria's voice was hushed. “Ah-as long as you... need.”
Trowa nodded. He glanced at Quatre again, “Well?”
“What?” Quatre looked a little confused. “I didn't say anything.”
“No, which is strange, since you're the statesman. You're the ... politician.” Trowa reigned in his fury. “What's your... excuse?”
Quatre blinked, shoulders dropping. His voice was low, ashamed. “I don't have one.”
They stared at each other for a long time. Trowa was ashamed but he was the first to break, he turned away from Quatre.
“He loves me.”
“He loves me and he's not afraid to show me.”
Trowa turned to look at Quatre, who at least had the decency to look embarrassed. For a long moment, Trowa stared at him. Trying to sort out all the clambering thoughts in his head. Finally, he simply dropped his shoulders in disappointment, all the tension leaving his body. “I left my family, my circus and my home and came here to live with you, doing a job that I don't love, living amongst people who rate me below the help.”
“That's not fair!” Quatre protested half-heartedly. “You didn't need to—“
“Then…What does love look like to you?”
When Quatre didn't answer, Trowa turned his attention to Iria. “I will need to stay with you until I can book a flight home.” He turned and walked back to his study.
Iria stood and ran up the stairs, “Trowa! Trowa, wait!”
They say everything is temporary
Who the hell are they anyways?
I wanna know where does love go to die?
Is it some sad empty castle in the skies?
Did we just shoot too high and spoil like wine?