Disclaimer: Los chicos de Gundam Wing no son de mi. ¡Por consiguiente no me demanda! Y el canción (Te Atrevo Mover) no es mío. Es de Switchfoot.
(Translation: The boys of Gundam Wing aren't mine. Therefore, don't sue me! And the song (Dare You To Move) isn't mine. It is Switchfoot's.)

Notes: This is from Relena's POV and takes place sometime after EW. Italics are song lyrics. Single quotes ( ' ' ) represent thought.

Dare You To Move

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence

The shuttle set down smoothly onto the private landing strip. I sighed inwardly and readied myself to deal with the media circus about to attack me. Once again it crossed my mind that 'They never give up.'

Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now

There they were, cameras flashing and microphones ready to be thrust into my face. Wolves waiting to jump on the lamb about to leave her protective circle. Giving one last look out the window, I stood and straightened my travel suit, brushing out the wrinkles it had gained from the long flight.

"So, Pagan, how does Lady Une see the situation?" I ran my fingers through my hair absently while walking slowly towards the exit. When he didn't reply right away I paused and turned, "You have spoken with her since we landed..."

What happens next
What happens next

Instead of the kind face of my old companion, I was met with the barrel of a gun. Following the arm connected to it, my eyes found the rim of a hat rather than a face and I merely raised my eyebrows.

Tilting their head to the side the person looked at me, "Aw, come on, not even a little gasp?" A grin spread across his face as he lowered the gun and gesturing with it, "Just a precaution, ya know." He reached up and removed the cap, scratching his head and revealing a head of long brown hair caught up in a braid. "So, Princess, think you could keep the mongrels licking their lips for a few more minutes?"

Smiling in return I replied, "Sure, Duo, it has been awhile. I'm assuming that you're here for the same reason I am." I looked behind me and gestured to the guards that all was well and sent them to wait outside.

I dare you to move

"Yeah, we figured you could use our help." Saying this, he casually flopped himself into the chair across the aisle from me. "Anything you'd like for us to do?"

I dare you to move

I remained standing, my eyes flitting from one end of the cabin to the other and not seeing anyone else, returned to Duo. "Actually, I wouldn't mind having you as my bodyguards." I was bluffing; in fact I had only a hunch who the other person or persons in 'we' were. “Bruno won’t mind, his men have been getting jumpy with the situation anyway.”

Again, he cocked his head and searched my face before giving an answer. "Okay. I'll go tell 'em." Before I could say thanks he was up and through the door to the cockpit.

The seat was welcoming as I dropped my body into it with a long sigh. 'I haven't even had to leave the shuttle yet and I'm already about to give up.'

I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor

A door swung open and closed, but I didn't hear any footsteps. When my curiosity became too great, heavy lids raised and they were met with a sight that froze my breath. There he was unruly brown hair, Prussian blue eyes, taller than I had last seen him, and more intense, if that was even possible.

My body was frozen; all that was registering in my mind was that he was actually here, standing right there.

I dare you to move

After what seemed eons, breath began moving into my body, more out of necessity than conscious effort. I straightened up in the chair, my gaze never leaving the newcomer. He was standing firm and looking sharp in his crisp Preventer uniform, but his eyes...oh his eyes. When my own met with his there was no escaping. Those orbs pulled me in and held me. I have never before, and never since, seen a gaze to match his, and I truly doubt that there ever could be. The force of the emotions held therein is overwhelming; all of the things that he dare not express through physical manifestation take form within his impassioned gaze.

There were no words and no movement, only the soft breath issuing from our lungs and the connection formed between our eyes.

I dare you to move

"Hey, Princess!" He was back, the charismatic young man came bounding through the door again, sliding to a halt when he saw the man and effectively breaking the connection. "Oh...Hey...Heero, buddy, I didn't know you were out here..."

He eyed me and then directed his next comment to the man, "Une wants to talk to ya, she's on the line up front." Silently Heero took his leave, eyes brushing past me and sending a small chill down my spine.

Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Now the braided man saw his chance and taking it he plopped himself in front of me, grinning. "So, how long's it been since you two saw each other?"

"Hm?" Mentally I shook my head, but outwardly I just gave him a small smile. "Oh, awhile. But, now, Duo, are we ready to go?" By changing the topic and standing again I tried to take his mind off of what he'd walked into, but my mind refused to leave it. 'Why did he show up now of all times? Quite possibly the worst time...'

Duo gave in and called out to the others, "Let's do it, guys, before they start to break down the door to get to her!"

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance

While he went to grab his gear, I went the other way and told Bruno, my head of security, that the 'pilots' were here. Gladly he acquiesced his position. As I had told Duo earlier, the current situation had his whole force on edge, and he had been worried that they wouldn't be able to do their jobs effectively today.

I gave him a quick hug. Milliardo had chosen him for me and at first I was dead set against a stranger taking control of my life, but Bruno was so gentle and acted as a father, soon we were talking about almost anything and he had been a great relief to me. He knew about the pilots and their abilities and was pleased that they were back, and most likely he didn't miss the slight blush that remained from my encounter with Heero.

Still, I wasn't able to tell him all, and much of that lay in everything that those reporters wanted to drag out of me.

As I was letting go of Bruno, the others filed in wearing their Preventer uniforms, Duo giving me thumbs up. Heero, Duo, Trowa, and Wufei were all here, Quatre being trapped in his family duties. Trowa and Duo took up position in front of me and Heero and Wufei behind as we made our way down the stairs that had been rolled to the shuttle.

The tension is here
The tension is here
Between who you are and you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

The second I set foot into the sunlight, my 'political mask' was in place and I was the smiling young woman that the world knew as their former queen and forever princess. But for how long would I remain their perfect princess? Not long if anyone below us had anything to say about it.

The sun was shining, the breeze was gentle and filled with the sea's scent, yet this normally relaxing balm couldn't reach me today. I was trapped.

Four loyal bodyguards around me, pushing their way through the throng of people that had come to interrogate me. Four loyal friends that were willing to protect me no matter what had happened that they didn't know about.

I dare you to move
I dare you to move

Through persistence the wolves get their meat.

"Princess Relena!"

"Relena!"

"Vice Foreign Minister!"

"Miss Peacecraft!"

Despite protests from my friends, I stopped once we were through the gates at the end of the field. "Take your pictures and take all of the quotes that you want. But bear this in mind, I am no longer Vice Foreign Minister, nor am I a princess. My resignation was given yesterday at 0200 hours straight into the hands of the President."

I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor

"I may have once been the princess of a nation, but if you have not yet realized this, there are no longer nations! Therefore, along with my realm I relinquished my title for the sake of peace."

I dare you to move

Before I could turn on my heel and leave, a woman's voice called out, "Did you do this because you truly did collaborate with the Gundam pilots to overthrow the ESUN?"

I felt Duo bristle beside me and I softly laid a hand on his arm. I raised my voice so that all could hear it’s strong and clear reply, it was time to lay this ridiculous attack to waste, even if it had cause me my career, “Would you think me so shallow that I would destroy all that I have worked for my entire youth? If you wish to try and provoke me, then at least give me a suitable thing to turn back." I let this sink in as my eyes roamed over the gathered paparazzi.

Taking a breath I continued, "The war is over and the Gundam pilots have moved on to new lives. They have accepted this world that they helped create and they are not going to destroy it. Please leave them be and if you must, focus your attention on me and tear my life apart, but I implore you not to. Each and every one of us has the need to feel at peace and live our lives. I will not interrupt your lives, so please do not try to destroy mine."

I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened

I walked away with my dignity that day. None of the pilots questioned me about what I said, and as Duo, Trowa, and Wufei departed, each thanked me for my sacrifice in their own way. Duo's bone-crushing hug, a nod from Trowa, and Wufei's, "For a woman, you fight your battles well."

No one asked why I gave up my job and rank for them. No one pressed me to find out why they had been accused of plotting to overthrow the ESUN. No one requested a justification.

Heero stayed longer than the rest, eventually becoming a member of my formal bodyguard. Our conversations were never long and I avoided his eyes as much as possible. It was true that I no longer had to worry about my position in public if it was found that I was involved with a former Gundam pilot, at least the media had respected my request.

No, I was afraid. But he needed something more than just to protect me, and he wasn't going to let my fear get in the way.

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

What does a soldier do after the battle is over? What can a soldier do to keep himself sane? Where can he go to run from the memories of war?

He watched over me to keep me safe, to keep his one last hideout from being destroyed. To keep his stability from falling in on herself. He needed to keep me together so that he could be whole.

I knew this and tried to avoid the inevitable. I was afraid.

I dare you to move
I dare you to move

I don't think that he ever admitted to himself why he watched over me. Just looking into his eyes though would tell you. Escaping was not an option one day as he cornered me on my balcony.

His eyes searched mine as he stood there, inches away, silently blocking my way. When he spoke it was so soft that I had to lean forward to hear. “Relena...” His hand was placed on my cheek after he gently brushed his fingers through my golden tresses. I shivered and closed my eyes as the sensations he created worked their way through my body.

"Relena," his voice brought my eyes back to focus on his face where he had dropped the mask and was begging me to listen. "Relena...I love you."

I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor

For a second I allowed surprise to show, but then realized that it wasn't surprise at this revelation, but that he had actually said what his eyes had shown me for so long. I placed a hand on top of his and whispered, "I know."

I dare you to move

The only response he could give was to lean down and grace my lips with the most gentle and most passionate kiss ever to have been in this worlds-realm.

I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Before

------------
Author's Note: Wow, that was long...
My muse decided to be nice these past few days and graced me with a storyline forming in my head.
Alright, any reviews will be greatly appreciated! (amiyuy01@lycos.com)
Thanks Crystaltear, for betaing this for me!
God bless,
~Ami~
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