by Midii Une
I look in the mirror and I see my mother’s face. I’ve never really seen her face but my Aunt Cathrine says I look almost exactly like her. I wish that I didn’t. I hate my mother. And why not? She hates me, she must. Why else would she have left me behind at that hospital when I was only hours old? I suppose I should consider myself lucky she was thoughtful enough to call my aunt to come and take me home.
I love my father and I suppose he loves me. Perhaps it’s only because I look like her though. He never smiles and his eyes reflect no emotion. She was the only one he ever smiled for. My aunt takes a certain pleasure it seems in telling me what a horrible person my mother is. Hurting my father, abandoning me. Sometimes at night when he thinks I’m asleep I feel his hand on my hair and once he whispered her name.
I named our daughter Faith. It seemed appropriate. I thought that would be all we needed to be happy together. But she could never believe I had faith in her love and I shattered her faith in me.
She didn’t want children. Midii didn’t believe she deserved happiness or a family or me. She couldn’t forget the war, couldn’t forget betraying me when we were only children. I thought if she had a baby she would stay forever. I drove her away instead.
She looks just like me. I catch glimpses of her in advertisements for the circus. The daughter I left behind, entrusting her to a woman who hates me. Cathrine knows just what I am and how little I deserve happiness.
If I stayed with them I would have ended up hurting them or betraying them. I always do. Loving me is a curse, being loved by me is even worse. I smile bitterly as the familiar words repeat themselves in my mind, seeing myself at age 10 making mistake after mistake. Mistakes I’ll pay for all my life.
He talked me into giving us a chance but I knew right from the start that it could never work out. He is noble and kind and strong, he fought for peace while I was lying and scheming to make the war continue as long as possible. He may forgive me but I can never forgive myself. I still think of him as my husband even though I divorced him and married again long ago. I love Trowa too much to be with him.
I love her too much to be with her. Her image is always before me, flashing on the huge video screens that adorn the buildings in every city on every colony. Relena shattered the shell around my heart and I let her in. It was a mistake. I hate making mistakes. I should have left her alone. I couldn’t resist the temptation.
I can never change. I may be the perfect soldier but I’m a failure in life. I seem to attract danger and trouble. I’ll live my life in the shadows, facing any kind of danger to protect peace. It’s all I can do for her now.
The look on his face when I placed the baby in his arms tore at my heart. He actually cried, and they weren’t tears of happiness. I love Faith like my own child, I’ll never have any of my own. They are my family. My brother Triton and his daughter Faith. All I ever wanted was for him to be happy. I’m always begging him to smile.
Faith. He’ll never lose faith that she loves him. He continually makes excuses for her actions. It makes me sick. How can he love a woman who would abandon her own child, their child? A woman who would marry another man just a week later and never look back?
She always insisted she loved my brother but she’s a professional liar. Perhaps that’s why Faith is such a natural performer. She gets it from all of us, her father, her mother and me.
If it wasn’t for Heero I might have gone back long ago. But we are the same. We help each other stay firm in our resolve. He betrayed me once and I could have killed him for it, would have killed him if not for the fact that I can’t make it without him.
I remember when we first met. The day is so clear in my memory. I can picture all of Trowa’s friends, how easily they recovered from the war. Their happy, guilt-free consciences letting them get over it as I never can. I knew Cathrine must have gossiped about me. I could see the avid, curious looks on the other women’s faces. I really didn’t care. The only emotion I have ever felt since I met Trowa was love for him. It cost me everything. They killed my father and brothers because I failed in my mission, letting one of the mercenaries escape. Of course I’ve never been sorry that I gave Nanashi that cross.
Heero and I recognized each other right away, two of the walking wounded. A couple of cold, heartless professionals left over from the war, lost in this world of peace. We never said a word to each other that day but we were drawn to each other, our eyes meeting in silent acknowledgment.
Maybe Trowa felt it, he’s always had a sixth sense about me. That was the night Faith was conceived. I didn’t want children. Trowa could never force me to do anything, let’s just say he overwhelmed me.
After that I couldn’t stay with him anymore. The happy, normal life he held out to me like a gift was one I just couldn’t accept.
It’s been 8 years since I saw Midii last. Heero thought she was dying or he would never have contacted me. They were on a mission and somebody got to her, drugs or poison. He blamed himself. They’re both that way, every problem in the world is their fault, their responsibility or so they believe.
She looked at me but I don’t think she ever saw me. I stayed awake for 72 hours, holding her hand, willing her to live.
When I fell asleep they disappeared. That’s when the seeds of the plan started forming in my mind. There was a time when Heero and I were equally skilled as soldiers, even a time when I could have killed him there on the lunar base. But 8 years ago there was no way I could touch him. He was still the same as he was at the time of the Eve Wars. I had changed, adapted to peace. However, in these past years I’ve almost completed the transformation back to the old Trowa, the soldier I once was. I decided right then when he took her from me a second time that I would do whatever it took, however long it took, to get her back again.
My mother is the most stubborn woman on the Earth or in the colonies. I suppose I have to be proud of her, but mostly it gets on my nerves. Her childlike faith that my errant father can do no wrong. Once upon a time that may have been true, maybe he saved the Earth once, maybe he rescued my mother from danger once or even twice.
She still pictures him as the perfect knight. I know that she is wrong. He’s nothing but a bastard for abandoning her, leaving her alone like this. For abandoning me.
No one understands. No one but Faith. I thought I would hate that woman’s daughter but when I saw her it was a whole different story. Crystal gray eyes that mirrored my every emotion and self-doubt and her autumn-blonde hair soft as silk. We are the same.
I loved her immediately, I am like my mother in that. I will only love once and with my whole heart. Faith is the object of my desire and we will be together forever. We will be happy unlike our parents. I will see that she is happy.
I can keep my secrets. I not only look like my mother on the outside but there’s a lot of her in the rest of me as well. I hide behind a mask of wide-eyed innocence. Or is it that I have inherited my father’s mask? He did horrible things in the war, he killed, he destroyed and yet he rose above it. Why couldn’t you Mother?
Adam told me she and his father are still doing those horrible things -- in the name of peace. Killing and betraying come as naturally to my mother as acrobatics and knife-throwing come to me.
Aunt Cathrine wants me to bill myself as Fabulous Faith. Oh please, I say to myself. I love her but her ideas are so corny and outdated. I’m happy enough to hear the applause as simply myself, Faith Bloom, making a graceful curtsy with one hand balanced on my father’s arm.
Adam is my secret, the vision of his honey-colored hair and exotically slanted cerulean blue eyes start an ache in the pit of my stomach and make my legs tremble and feel weak. God forbid I should think of him while balancing on the tightrope, but at least I’d die with a smile on my face.
We have a son. Relena and I. I’ve never met him so he doesn’t mean much to me. Relena is the only one I’ve ever cared about.
Trowa once asked me if I loved Midii. He was sitting beside her, his heart in his eyes as she lingered on the brink of death. I knew how it was between them, that only he could pull her back.
“Like my own life,” I answered looking him straight in the eye.
If he could have killed me then he would have. Of course he understood just what my enigmatic answer meant, Trowa never was stupid. In some ways he was the smartest one of all of us. He still has the fury inside, the fury we all had then. But in him, like the rest of them, it’s buried too deeply to ever resurface. I could have left her there with him, but she trusted me to help her keep the promise she made to herself never to go back. And without her I’d be alone. I don’t fear the solitude. I only fear the knowledge that if she left me I might go back to Relena.
We need a mission. I need something to think about in the dark as I stare at the ceiling unable to sleep. Carefully I disentangle myself from the silky web of her hair, sometimes I want to pretend that she is Relena, but that is the path to madness. She is what she is and probably more than I deserve.
The only light in the room is the sickly glow of my laptop. Antarctica again, more troublesome messages originating from the bastion of ice and snow. It holds so many memories that even as emotionless as I am I hesitate to return there. The trouble’s been brewing there for the last two years and I have been avoiding it.
I glance at my sleeping wife. I think of the woman I love. In the blink of an eye I make my decision. We will go to Antarctica now and end this.
Time goes so fast even with him gone that I cannot believe that 17 years have passed since I have seen Heero. Of course I see him reflected in Adam’s face. My son’s face is Heero’s face, topped by my hair and with my eyes glinting back at me when I look at him.
Everyone always leaves me. My own parents killed when I was a small child, my foster father murdered when I was just becoming a woman. The brother I barely knew hides behind a facade of pretended death. And always, always Heero. Despite the love I know he has for me he always runs away from me and the chance we have at happiness. But I have Adam still. The result of our single night of passion. I thought he would be mine forever after that, but he was gone when I woke up and I never saw him again.
I smile at my teen-aged son.
“Darling,” I say brightly. “Is your tuxedo pressed? I need you by my side at the diplomatic reception at the old Cinq Palace tomorrow.”
My smile turns to a frown as Adam’s eyes acquire that closed, shutdown look that I often saw in his father’s. It almost turns my blood cold because I have never seen it on his face before.
“Oh Mother,” he answers impatiently. “Get Mr. Winner or one of those other men who are always after you to go. I have a date.”
And so he leaves me too.
I needed an ally and the irony of the situation didn’t escape me as I made my choice.
“Antarctica you say? I had no idea you were so sentimental,” the man on the screen says in his familiar cool tones.
“You know who we’re dealing with,” I answer, falling so easily back into the way I used to be, my voice calm and emotionless although I am so close to my goal that I wonder if he can hear the measured pounding of my heart. The impressed look in his ice-blue eyes tells me that I’ve gotten it all back. That I am now the same as I used to be.
“Everything has to be perfect.”
Can it really be uneasiness I sense from my partner in crime, or partner in justice as we see it? The mission in Antarctica has both of us on edge though we hide it from each other as we hide everything. Maybe we sense this is the end. Although I know I don’t deserve to live something in me maintains a tenacious hold on life just the same.
My thoughts, as they always do when I am idle, turn to Trowa. The familiar pain engulfs my heart, I didn’t think I’d die without seeing him once again. These morbid thoughts are so unusual, something is definitely wrong about this and yet there is a challenge in this mission that we must see through to the end.
Whoever it is up there does not stand a chance against us. Antarctica is the perfect backdrop for her icy beauty and judging from the messages we have received our enemy is looking forward to meeting her. Working with Midii makes things almost too easy. I never would have thought there was someone so like me in this world. The perfect spy and the perfect soldier, the perfect team. Trowa was only her first victim, the first to fall prey to her, a seductress at the age of 10. But she couldn’t have killed him any more than I was able to kill my Relena.
When I was 10, I too was being trained to kill without a thought. Those who cross us, those who threaten peace die in her arms, her stiletto dagger through their throat or my bullet in their brain. It’s better that way with only the two of us involved. That way there is no need for other soldiers, other spies in this world. The two of us are more than enough to do what is necessary.
Her dress would have to be blue. I watch, smiling graciously and clinging to Quatre’s arm as my son dances with his latest girlfriend. The look on his face tells me that he is in love with her, they seem like they are alone in the crowded room. I haven’t seen her close but there is something so familiar about her. She seems to be very beautiful indeed. If I look very hard and let my vision blur I can see myself and Heero dancing there instead of my son and the stranger. Her blue dress only adds to the effect.
Who is she, I wonder. The question begins to nag at me even as I make the correct responses to Quatre’s small talk.
“Miss Relena,” he whispers to me, always so formal, even after all these years. He would like to take Heero’s place in my life I know, but I have never cared for him. My love is reserved only for Heero. And Adam, our child, the visible proof of our love.
“Miss Relena,” he continues, bending his head to mine. “You prove to me once again just how wonderful you are, tolerating this relationship of Adam’s with Faith Bloom. You are the very personification of sweetness, dear Miss Relena.”
He raises my fingers to his lips for a kiss and I do not pull away. I am too stunned. Faith Bloom. My son is in love with her daughter. In a daze I pull myself from Quatre’s possessive grasp and make my way across the dance floor, my eyes unseeing. The young girl’s strawberry blonde hair looks white-blonde in the glare of the lights and the blue dress brings out a hint of blue in her shining gray eyes. To me she is Midii Une, of its own volition my hand reaches out to slap that hateful face.
It is my mother’s fault again. She is the cause of the fury on Adam’s face when his mother, for no apparent reason, struck me across the face with all her strength. Such hatred in the blow that if Adam hadn’t caught me I would have fallen. I tasted blood in my mouth. I could see in her eyes that she wasn’t even seeing me at all, it was my mother she hated, my mother was the intended target of her blow.
She forced me to choose between them and of course I chose Faith. She should understand, her obstinate love for my father is almost legendary. Now that I have found such happiness with Faith I feel pity for my poor mother. If she will come around and accept my lover I am prepared to play her dutiful son once again. If she doesn’t accept her then I am also prepared to leave.
We are so lucky, Faith and I, we are young but we realize that there is something magical about our love. I look at her sleeping beside me, her red-gold hair spread around her on the pillow and my heart swells with delight. She is truly mine after tonight, she will always be mine.
I kiss her awake, impatient to feel her arms around me again. We have so much time ahead of us but I want to take advantage of every moment with her. Our parents’ strange lives are like a warning to us.
Faith is in love with Adam Peacecraft. I’m glad she’ll have someone to take care of her besides Cathrine. I love my sister but she has poisoned our daughter against Midii and I could never bring myself to talk to Faith about her mother. I stayed so long away from Midii partly because of her. Faith’s presence in this world is my sole responsibility and I didn’t want her to be alone in it because of me. But now it’s my time to go after what I have always wanted.
My fleeting thoughts of my daughter disappear as the time for the reckoning draws near. There will be danger and I am anxious to have it all over with. Although I have planned it all perfectly there is always a chance, especially when dealing with Heero and Midii, that something will go wrong.
I haven’t felt fear for years, probably not since that first mission when I met Nanashi. But now the uneasiness I picked up from Heero on the flight here has blossomed into fear. I force myself to disregard the foolish feeling. Nothing can go wrong, we have planned it all out perfectly. This madman in Antarctica will die by my hand or Heero’s before the day is out. There is no evidence that he is out to get me personally, to trap me here, but that is the feeling I get as iron doors slam behind me at every turn.
Still . . . I lift my hand casually to brush my hair from my face. “One,” I whisper into my watch as my wrist passes close to my lips, by the time the transmitter nears my ear I hear his voice whispering back to me, “Twelve.”
My confidence returns. All is well, nothing can stop us in our mission. Nothing.
Midii seems unusually tense and I am tempted to go in after her and abort the plans we made, I’ll simply lay some explosives and detonate the entire stronghold instead. She almost never checks in, the soft sound of her voice so totally unexpected that it almost made me jump. I should never have ignored the feelings of unease about this mission. The realization sinks in. It is a trap, set by someone with astounding analytical skills, someone who knows us both and how we operate.
Carefully I emerge from my hiding place, I am going in.
He has caught on at last. But I have been waiting, anticipating his every move. It has always been the two of us, ever since I saw that shooting star in the sky and connected it immediately with Operation M.
I don’t know if my role in this little game is to help him or hurt him. It’s always been that way between us, our feelings for each other a mixture of admiration and aggression. But mostly, at least on my part, a strong desire to see who is the better soldier. That has always been so important to me, strange for one of my heritage.
I am a Peacecraft. Milliardo Peacecraft.
The sight of her drawing nearer on the security cameras causes a sensual reaction in me like the spark of flint and stone. She looks no older than our daughter, her pale blonde hair swirls around her as she moves lithely down the halls, a vision in white velvet. The material caresses her curves, clinging to her waist and hips and baring her shoulders. I knew she would dress to match the snow and I love her in white, my heart’s desire. I envy the men she has killed. To die in her arms would be no hardship and was certainly a fate more pleasant than any of them deserved. I’ll have her back, she’ll have to kill me as she killed them to stop me.
He believes I am a reporter, here to interview him, to release his preposterous demands to the world and to advertise his threats to the public at large. Heero sent him the profiles of 25 journalists and out of them all he chose me. They were all me, actually, different hairstyles, different hair color, glasses, various disguises. But he chose the real me. The messages he sent us contained the usual double entendres, after the interview he plans to seduce me. Powerful men are so predictable, they always fall prey to my sweet, innocent looks dismissing their guards to be alone with me. He will get only so close before I kill him. My fingers brush against the hilt of my knife. I glance up at the security cameras. He is watching me.
She is looking straight at me, staring knowingly at the security camera, a slow seductive smile curves her lips, flooding me with desire, anticipation. At last the game is up, she is already caught in the trap I have set for her and she, so confident in her own skills, doesn’t even know it yet.
I have received a message, there is a threat to peace in Antarctica. It is anonymously sent. Why my presence is needed I cannot tell, but the urge to follow my heart is strong. I feel that Heero is in danger and only I can save him now.
The sparkling white frozen landscape below my plane is familiar. We have been here before, Heero and I. I can sense his presence here again. This time I will not allow him to leave me. No, never again. We have been apart for too long.
I lost my son. He and that girl disappeared after my little display in the ballroom. Quatre discovered for me that they eloped that night. Adam and Faith, the children born of our painful pasts. Are they the only ones who deserve happiness? God, please, I beg you, help me show Heero that we deserve to be together as well. He is not undeserving, as he believes himself to be.
The door opens at my touch though no one responds to my calculatedly timid, fearful greeting. I play the shy little rabbit, it makes them feel superior and in control. The look of shocked surprise in their eyes when I kill them is nearly as satisfying as sexual fulfillment and I smile softly in anticipation of seeing that look again.
The room appears to be empty and my suspicions, allayed earlier by Heero’s calm voice in my ear return in a flash. I know that something is terribly wrong. I raise my hand again. “One,” I whisper softly, urgently. There is no returning answer and I begin to back slowly toward the door, bent on escape. The door slams behind me, making my heart race and a lock clicks, echoing in the silence of the room. I turn to see him leaning against the door and my knees turn to water.
It is Trowa and yet it is a Trowa that I have never seen before, with something ruthless and single-minded in his eyes that frightens me and at the same time makes the blood in my veins burn like fire.
My memories could never do him justice and my eyes study him hungrily despite my confusion and shock at seeing him here in this place. I long to be in his arms, to undo the buttons of the black silk shirt he wears and run my fingers through that hair of his. The way he hides behind it has always both infuriated me and touched my heart at the same time.
I scan the room automatically, even as my body melts at the sight of him. But there is no escape, no windows, no other doors. No way out, except past him.
Zechs. Milliardo. He stands between me and my mission and I am instantly certain that it is too late to save Midii from whatever fate awaits her in there. Was he the one behind this trap all along? Relena’s brother? I consider the possibilities and reject the idea that he has lost his mind and plans to destroy the Earth again. This is purely personal. I ignore the desperate sound of her voice on the transmitter. I cannot help her now, I have to face my own demons.
“Aren’t you going to ask me what I want,” I ask her, playing out the final moves of the game.
“What do you want Trowa,” she replies obediently, the soft sound of her voice in my ears again after so many years.
“I want you Midii. I want your promise and even if you do not give it I will keep you by my side forever,” I tell her, watching the struggle of emotions on her face.
She stands before me so close that I cannot forgo the temptation to take her in my arms any longer. I hold her tightly, molding her body to mine, her head falls back a little in an attitude of surrender and the sound of her breath coming in short little gasps changes my plan as her hands rip eagerly at my shirt popping the buttons. Even before I have her answer I have to make love to her. I know that once she promises she will never back down, I have faith in that. She never promised to stay the last time.
I let my hands roam over her body, swathed in the warm, soft white velvet and my lips worship her, caressing her neck and her full lips. Her soft blue-gray eyes are full of desire and I can tell that what I have done has her on edge and off balance. As I impatiently push the white velvet down farther on her shoulders I suddenly I feel it against my neck, the cold, sharp point of her blade.
Our usual means of battle had always been mobile suits, but they don’t exist anymore, not in this new century of peace. He tosses me a thin rapier and looks at me expectantly, making a swift slashing motion that signals his challenge, the sound of it whistles through the cold air.
We clash there on the same battlefield as we did 20 years ago, the silvery clanking of our swords a pitiful re-enactment of the awesome meeting of two of the finest pilots ever born commanding two mobile suits the like of which will never be seen again.
His breath and mine freeze instantly in the icy wasteland we call a battlefield. I don’t know why he comes to fight me here but I have never been able to deny Zechs when he calls me to battle. I slash his arm and the blood turns icy and does not flow, the cold will beat us before we can kill each other, I feel sluggish in my movements despite the heat I am generating keeping up with my old enemy.
Suddenly I hear her voice, ringing like a bell in the crystal-clear coldness. A voice I haven’t heard in years and yet as familiar to me as the sound of my own thoughts. Relena.
I turn to look, forgetting Zechs, forgetting Midii, forgetting everything but the sight of Relena running toward us in the snow, her honey-colored hair floating behind her, snowflakes surrounding her like sparkling crystals. She is so very beautiful, wrapped in luxurious chocolate-brown sable that lovely as it is cannot match the glory of her hair. The silky hair I love so much, the memory of it burned on my fingertips from our one night of passion.
There is a burning in my heart and I do not know if it comes from seeing her again, watching her draw closer and closer or from the sudden slash of Zechs’ sword across my chest as he catches my unguarded moment.
My hand trembles on the hilt and my fingers loosen as he looks deeply into my eyes and presses against me. I cannot resist him. To think that he would do all this just to have me back again, as undeserving as I am. He truly knows me. He knows that I can only give in if I have no choice and he has left me none. The dagger falls harmlessly to the floor and I don’t feel like I have the strength to stand any more, the room seems to spin but I am safe in his arms. He lifts me up as if I weigh nothing, his arms so tight around me. His painful grip convincing me that I must stay with him, that I really have nothing to say about the matter at all. It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault if I give in that is the message he is sending me. He has found it at last. The key to my heart that has always been locked with guilt.
I see his face close above mine as he places me in a nest of satin pillows on the floor before the fire . . . to the victor comes the spoils of war. Trowa has won and I am his prize.
Like a nightmare I see my brother and Heero battling in the distance, the deep snow impedes my every step as I rush toward them and do not seem to get any closer.
Finally I reach them and there is a thin slash of red across Heero’s chest. I order my brother to stop. I do not understand why they are here, why they are doing this. I do not care. Heero is hurt and I see him begin to stumble. In a step I am beside him, sitting down in the snow, careless of the cold in my happiness to have him in my arms again. To hear the sound of his voice saying my name. He always says it as if it were a question. I will put a stop to that. He will believe in us and he will say my name like a confident lover, it will happen if it takes the rest of my life to prove it to him. I will play any card I must to keep him now after finding him again. Guilt, tears, lies anything. I will not let Heero go away from me again.
At this moment she would promise anything but I must continue to follow through with the plan if I want to keep her. It’s so difficult not to keep things the way they are right now, the firelight gleaming on her ivory skin, setting her eyes aglow as she rests in the curve of my arm. I lean down for a last kiss, but it turns into more, after so many years apart our passion renews itself almost instantaneously. The nature of the situation we are in has both of us caught in a nearly permanent state of arousal her helplessness and my position of complete control. My only regret is that I didn’t find a way to get to her sooner.
I study her again in the firelight, already her eyes are losing the elation they contain, and the self-doubt begins to surface again. This is far from over but although I wish for nothing more than for her to realize that we deserve to be together I know that proving it to her again and again will be very pleasant and I have an eternity to do it in. I reach for the rose and draw the petals over the curve of her cheek and down the column of her neck. She smiles at me trustingly and I only hesitate a second before purposely scratching her arm with the thorns. Her lids droop instantly as the sedative enters her bloodstream and takes effect. I cover her body with mine as I press the detonation button.
The sudden roar of an explosion is deafening and time seems to stop as we all turn toward the source of that horrific sound in the vast, cold void we are in. The entire building that Midii entered less than an hour ago is a pile of blazing rubble, pieces of the structure floating down, black and charred, stark against the white snow.
Relena is silent and stunned and there is shock in her brother’s eyes too. I automatically move toward the flaming ruins but she holds me back. Her arms tighten around me and hold me close. She is right, there is nothing anyone can do now. I stay in her embrace and stare at the inferno, the heat of it sending out an unnatural warmth, the heat shimmering over the three of us.
“Why did you have to kill her,” I ask Zechs finally, my voice taut with fury. I really want to know. Shouldn’t it have been me he wanted dead?
“He never said anything about this,” he says, and I can see the unfeigned disbelief and horror in his eyes. “Something must have gone wrong in there. He never said a word.”
I pull away from Relena’s arms and fist my hand in the neck of his coat. I have to pull him down to my eye level, he is still taller than I, a thought that strangely irritates me in spite of the situation and the fact that someone has just murdered Midii.
“Who,” I say, demanding an answer.
“Trowa Barton. Of course,” he replies.
I thought I heard the sound of an explosion before I fell asleep. A strange, heavy, dreamless sleep, did it have something to do with the rose, I wonder. The air is hot and soft and fragrant with flowers and I feel Trowa beside me still.
I open my eyes slowly in a room filled with sunlight filtered through the sheer curtains on the bed tinted in the colors of the rainbow. The windows are screened with wood carved in exotic designs and there is deep silence all around us broken only by the splash of water in a fountain outside. I can sense that we are completely alone.
He bends over me anxiously and I feel too languid to even move.
“Where are we,” I manage to ask, completely disoriented. When I closed my eyes we were in Antarctica and now, somehow, he has brought me here. And wherever this place may be I know that it is far from where we started.
“Suwaiya-t Samawat, Little Heaven,” he whispers, his body moving beneath the silk sheets to cover mine, his lips leaving hot trails of dampness on my neck, his hands moving excruciatingly slowly over my body bringing me back to myself.
Afterward he holds me close. I don’t remember his arms being so strong. I couldn’t move from this spot if I wanted to. I don’t want to, but I am afraid that I should. His sixth sense kicks in.
“This place is surrounded by hundreds of miles of uninhabited desert. To leave this oasis would be to die. There is nowhere to hide out there, nothing but endless sand. If you left I would find you instantly,” he says.
I realize that he is quite serious about all of this and as if in answer to my inner thoughts he moves with his cat-like grace to suddenly pin me beneath him and the look in his eyes is dangerous and intense and full of warning.
“We are dead to the world, you and I,” he explains. “From now on it will be just the two of us.”
“Suwaiya-t Samawat,” I repeat, understanding the deep meaning behind his words. There is no escape from this place and I know that he will never let me go. I am the prisoner of the man I love and I will surrender to happiness in this world he has made just for us. Our little heaven.
Quatre never was a good actor. Somehow Trowa’s death should have hit him harder, they were always so close. But I will let things lie, if they are alive somewhere they deserve to be left in peace.
Besides I cannot go back and I have no desire to track Midii down and start that life we shared again. Relena has won me over. I still do not believe that I deserve her love, that I deserve to spend my nights in the little heaven she makes for me behind the enveloping curtains of her bed. But those are selfish thoughts, being with me makes her happy, she glows as I pull the sheets off of her to reveal her lovely body clad in ivory satin and lace. She is like a gift to me and though I do not deserve to receive it I realize now how much it hurts her when I refuse to take it.
She made me promise her on the plane ride back from Antarctica. I can see her now, lying back on the floor on top of the fur coat she had worn. Her fingers undoing the buttons of her blouse and her arms reaching out for me, begging me to touch her. It was more than I could bear. I undid the rest of the buttons myself and slid off her skirt, revealing her legs in the smooth ivory silk stockings and my hands were drawn like magnets to the curves of her body covered in her usual ivory satin and lace camisole. She is a creature of habit my Relena and how I am learning to love those habits of hers. As I bent over her, I knew that I would never see a more beautiful image than that of the woman I have always loved, framed in the fur, her golden hair spread all around her and her vivid blue eyes shining with love and need and desperate tears.
I will stay by her side for the rest of our lives, that’s what love is. I see it now, I regret all the years we missed when I was too stubborn, too caught up in my own feelings of self-hatred to see what I was doing to her. The feel of her arms around me in the night are like the strongest of bonds, holding me to her forever, I can never hurt her again. Relena is my mission now and I am strong enough to accept it.
My parents are dead. I had no idea how much my father loved my mother, enough to go to great lengths to set up an elaborate murder-suicide just to be with her again, any way he could.
I know what love is now that I have Adam. He will have to be everything to me now, husband and family too. I hope he forgives his father. I will never get the chance to know my mother, but I feel a measure of forgiveness for her now. His father talked to me. I know that doesn’t sound like much, unless you know Heero Yuy. He told me why she did what she did, how much she loved my father. I love Adam that way and if I ever thought that my love would hurt him I would have to leave as she did. I am like her in that too, my love is so strong that I would do anything at all for Adam, even leave him if I thought it was for the best. But it will never come to that. I am not my mother. I am myself, Faith Peacecraft.