A Boarding School Facade - by Jooles*
Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundamwing yadayadayada blahblahblah....
Chapter 5.3 - continuation of a Christmas Interlude
note that the first part to this chapter has quite a bit of Une and Heero in it.
Dedication: This is for my younger [but not little] brother Ben who left for _boarding school_ *ironic huh?* yesterday morning, and despite the fact that he annoys the hell out of me, he’s my only brother and I _wuv_ him! This is for you Pip old chap!
Heero Yuy was distracted. And being unfocused on the job was something of a problem. A spy and sometime assassin could not afford to be preoccupied. Distractions could quite easily get the killer killed; especially in his messy line of work. But after tracking down Relena under the not-so gentle insistence of Quatre a large portion of his thinking had been analyzing and re-analyzing their brief but seemingly momentous and equal grounding encounter.
He hadn’t planned on attending Quatre’s stepmother’s little Christmas party. Then again, he hadn’t planned on spending Christmas in Treventville. That was until Dr. J pulled the usual strings and made a typically mentor like remark about how the client wouldn’t stand for Heero’s attitude. And although Heero didn’t like to admit it, it was true. The client would not stand for his attitude. Worse case scenario was that the bastardized client would send one of their own assassins to take care of not only Relena but Heero also. Until Heero figured out exactly what he was going to do about the situation with Relena he wasn’t going to do anything that could possibly disturb the peace....
The evening had been a giant pain in the ass in Heero’s opinion. He’d been forced to wear a tuxedo by that wretched woman who called herself Quatre’s stepmother. When he’d out rightly refused she’d started bawling. When putting on the water-works show hadn’t worked Mrs Winner had yelled at him, attempting to beat him down just like she had her latest husband. Heero had surprisingly in the end given in to Mrs Winner if only to shut the woebegone woman up. He had made a point however of giving her the infamous Heero Yuy death glare at each and every opportune time since the tuxedo outfitting. And that had seemed to work wonders in that she refused to be within a five metre radius of him. In a way she had won the battle, but he had won the war.
Heero had kept a close eye on Relena that evening. He’d noted how much more comfortable and at ease she’d been since they’d been in Treventville. That was of no surprise. In actual fact it was expected. After all Treventville was her home town in a sense. It was where she grew up. And it was in this sleepy hick-town that deep dark secrets were forged, sealed and kept even till the present day. After sighting Une earlier on in the evening the suspicions of his client’s had all but been proven. All he needed now was a statement (preferably a confessed one, although an overheard one would do) to confirm the truth. And upon finding out Relena’s true heritage (if it was what was suspected) he would make a decision based on his emotions at the time.
Heero disliked his client a lot. Whereas he was finding that as each day passed and the number of encounters with Relena mounted that he related to her in a way he hadn’t been able to relate with others before. Ever. It was confusing this new emotion. Besides, he had a contract to fulfill. And he was still trying to figure out a way around the contract if he was going to rebel from not only the client, but Dr. J. But such mutinous thoughts could be left for another time.
It was at that moment that the elder of the two women he’d been thinking about maneuvered herself strategically beside him in the shadowy corner he’d happened to place himself in. Acknowledging her, Heero grunted her name. “Une.”
“Heero. How nice to see you. Again.”
Heero glared at the older woman. Oh yes, they’d crossed paths before. Many times in the past. And each time he’d met her, he’d found himself liking her less and less. -Not that he’d liked her at all in the first place. He wasn’t paid to like people. He was paid to investigate them and if the client wanted, eventually kill them. It seemed however that Heero had some competition in the form of Une and her minions, whoever they were. Heero couldn’t help but snigger at the thought of Une having minions, she herself being one to the one and only Treize Khushrenada, heir to the all-important Romafellar Foundation.
The reason Heero detested Une so much was more to the fact that they’d always been on opposite sides. She’d always served primarily Treize and than Romafellar, while he’d generally always been a free agent. Although with his latest client he was anything but. It was a sticky situation, especially since Une was obviously doing in Treventville exactly what he was doing at St. Michael’s: sniffing out the assumed to be dead Peacecraft heir. Not quite literally though. And he hadn’t had to try too hard with the sniffing part.
Une seemed quite cheerful. Actually she seemed almost brazen. Obviously a sign of her wanting something from him. “What a coincidence meeting you here, Heero.”
Heero gave nothing away, leaving any observation Une might happen to make to her own imagination. Shrugging he agreed with her, “Just a coincidence Une. Nothing more.”
Une shook her head. She evidently wanted to play her ‘infamous know all and see all’ game. “Uh uh Heero. You and I both know that there’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye.”
Une shook her head again, auburn bangs shadowing her eyes. “Tit for tat Heero. You tell me something, and I’ll tell you something.”
Heero studied the woman beside him. She was a player of games, just like Relena. Except with this woman Heero rather preferred being a spectator rather than an active competitor. Relena’s games were much more agreeable.
“One of the Peacecraft heirs are hiding out here. In Treventville.” He said nonchalantly. That was fairly patent. But he wanted to make sure that they were both there for the same reason. Otherwise he would be giving Une an upper hand. And there was no way in hell he’d let something like that happen.
Une watched him closely. “Of course Heero. What else would people like you and me be doing in a place like this?” She spoke to him in a peevish tone of voice. In the past she only ever used that tone when she was getting impatient with his knack at evading (more likely ignoring) questions not in want of answering.
“I don’t know Une.... taking time to smell the roses...” He spoke back to her in a complacent way.
Une glanced at him, giving him a critical once over. “Where’d you gain a sense of humor Heero Yuy?”
The quirk of a left eyebrow stated his puzzlement at her question. Maybe the not quite sense of humor came from being around the likes of Duo Maxwell for a term. There was even a possibility of putting it down to his competitive like bantering he’d developed while in the company of Relena.
“You know the girl, don’t you?” She asked in a dubious way.
“How’s Treize?” He asked changing the subject while at the same time not bothering to answer her question. After all hadn’t she said only moments before ‘tit for tat’??
“Actually I don’t know. I’ve been out of contact with Romafellar and Treize since moving here six weeks ago.”
Heero stared at her, willing her to look at him. But she refused to do so, and instead contented herself with observing the swaying figures of various dancers and their partners in the centre of the ballroom. They stood together in a comfortably tense-filled silence for mere minutes. That was until Une pushed herself away from the side wall upon spotting a familiar long-haired blonde male whisking the Dorlian girl she’d been introduced to that evening out of the ballroom and into evidently somewhere more private. “Well I’ll be....”
The quirk of an eyebrow was evidence to Heero’s ability at not missing a beat. “Do you know who that is?” He asked her.
Une nodded, a look of pure bafflement still marring her features. “His name is Zechs Merquise and he and Treize are very close friends.”
Heero snickered. “If they’re so close, then what’s he doing here.... and what is he doing with Relena?”
Une looked at him questioningly. “So you do know the girl?”
Heero ignored her, choosing to avoid being baited by her.
Une glanced at him. Maybe there was a possibility of the two of them working together. Une shook herself out of that nearly insane suggestion. If she’d voiced her proposition aloud Heero would have done something quite characteristic such as glare at her, ignore her or worse stalk off in who knows what direction. Besides he seemed to be linked with the Dorlian girl and Une wanted to know just what she was doing with Merquise. She may have just hit the jackpot, her search almost being over. She may just have discovered the so-called Peacecraft heirs presumed dead and long buried in the Cinq Kingdom’s royal graveyard.
“Come on!” She grabbed Heero’s forearm and pulled him through the crowd of people in the ballroom and in the direction Dorlian and Merquise had headed.
Heero shook his forearm loose from Une’s tight grip. As far as he was concerned, Une was the enemy. And one did not associate with the enemy. Une, seeming to sense Heero’s hostility paused mid-pace. “Listen Heero, I don’t like the fact that we’re working together anymore than you do. But we’re both here for the same reason, and we both have personal interests here at stake.”
Heero didn’t like the way she termed his observing of Relena as a personal interest...although the way he’d been thinking only half an hour ago pointed to him actually having a very personal interest in her. Uncharacteristically Heero gave into what he supposed was Une’s whim and followed her in search of this Zechs Merquise and Relena.
Relena had been so startled upon seeing Milliardo that she hadn’t known what to say to her elder brother for an overly long stretch of seconds. Instead she’d openly stared at him, replacing the image of her brother ten years ago with the much older and grown up image. After stuttering her way through what she tried to make out as a greeting, Milliardo had asked her if she could take them some place more private to talk. So thus they had dashed (well she had, he’d grown so tall that he strode while she skittered behind him) out of the dining hall, through the ballroom and into the West wing of the Winner estate.
It had been overly weird at first; conversing with her brother that is. She found herself wondering what one says to someone so meaningful to them when you haven’t seen them in over ten years. But with the worries over the increasing riots in the Cinq Kingdom and the increasing amount of tension between warring factions over the governing of the Kingdom they hadn’t been without topics of discussion. And as it turned out he hadn’t come to Treventville directly seeking her. He’d actually come in search of Une. Her instincts had been correct. Une wasn’t really the fantastic waitress turned manager she played at being. Instead she was very close to Treize Khushrenada. Very close apparently. Milliardo had come in search of her because of something that had happened having to do with Treize while she’d been searching for the other heir to the Peacecraft throne. Une hadn’t known that the elder and foremost heir had been right under her nose for the longest possible time. Treize had however. And it was his knowing of Milliardo’s situation and his in the end refusal to tell his uncle anything that had concluded with his being locked up. Duke Dermail had not taken his nephew’s disobedience well. It hadn’t really been disobedience, more so refusing to share a secret he promised his closest friend he’d keep. Vaguely similar to her situation with Quatre. Although after listening to Milliardo speak, Relena suspected that Treize knew a great deal more than she had ever planned on telling Quatre. It actually sounded as though Treize had been planning their gaining back of the Cinq Kingdom with Milliardo. He needed to talk to Une, as she was just as close to Treize (if not more so) as he was. And he needed her help to break Treize out of the Lake Victoria brig Duke Dermail had imprisoned him in. They were about to disperse to go in search of Une, when they found themselves in actual fact confronted with both Une and Heero.
“Heero....Une??” She vaguely heard herself asking before being interrupted by Milliardo. Although they were blood kin, there was definitely a certain lack of respect on her brother’s behalf towards her. The next time they reunited, Relena decided that she would definitely have to have a little talk with Milliardo about the way he treated her. After all she was no longer a five year old, and in her own humble opinion, believed herself to be quite a capable young woman.
Milliardo instead pulled Une outside the living area of the west wing for a few minutes, explaining to her the situation with Treize in private. Relena looked around the empty living area in the west wing realising that Heero was still in the room. “How do you know Une?” She asked him.
Heero shrugged, his cobalt blue eyes refusing to meet her own cerulean blue. Relena almost groaned out loud.... It would have been the perfect time for confessions from both persons, but Heero was doing his typical ‘keep everything to himself’ act. So the two of them stood in the large, empty, vacant living area waiting for Une and Milliardo to return. In silence.
The elder two of the group each holding closely guarded secrets of their own came back. Une looked quite a bit distressed. Confused was actually a better way of putting it. Milliardo glanced at his younger sister. “Une and I have to leave. We will however, talk at a later date.”
Relena nodded at her brother’s statement, ignoring the fact that Heero was still in the room. He obviously had some sort of connection with Une, which would mean that he was to a certain extent aware of her situation.
They’d have to talk. And if Heero didn’t want to than that was tough. Because as far as Relena was concerned they both had some skeletons in the closet that they needed to clear out.
Bidding her brother and Une goodbye from a fire exit in the west wing, Relena wondered when exactly the next time would be when she saw her elder brother. She would not be surprised if the next time she saw him, they’d be preparing something drastic.
For the time being Relena planned to concern herself with more domestic things. Turning around, she found Heero leaning against the corridor’s wall, his face shadowed in the darkness of the what was still a snow-laden night. It was almost romantic... their being in a deserted, darkened and lit only by moonlight corridor. Romance however, could be seen to later on. Because at that moment the two of them needed to talk.
Turning to her hopefully in the very near future ‘friend’, Relena told Heero the last thing he probably wanted to hear that evening; “Heero. We have to talk.”
As always reviews are asked for and would be much appreciated and they’ll give me a much needed kick start to put the last chapter of the Christmas Interlude Part out!
Thanks for reading and reviewing! ^_~ You guys are really the greatest!