Disclaimers:  We do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  No Duo or Solo in this part.  Instead, you get some insight into Heero’s life.

Coming Home

Part Six

Heero looked out at the rain, lost in thought.  Duo had said that he loved Heero.  And Duo didn’t lie.  Duo had confessed
feelings of love, and what had Heero done?  He’d crushed the look of hope that had been on Duo’s face.  For what?  He sighed
and looked around the room that he’d been locked in for the past five days since the party.  Dreary and dull.  Plain white walls
and a common beige carpet.  There was no ornamentation here.  The only furniture in the room was the bed where he slept at
night and a small table with two chairs.  The bed was perfectly made, as was usual.

The only bright spot was the one window, and that had Gundanium bars on it.  Not that Heero would escape even if he could.  
He had been ordered to remain here by Doctor J.  Heero always obeyed orders.  So he would remain here in his imprisonment,
following the commands of the one J had relinquished Heero to.

He couldn’t understand why he’d been punished though.  He had done as he was ordered.  He had spoken, briefly, to each of
the pilots at the party.  He had made the public proposal, as he had been expected to.  What had he done wrong?

Perhaps his quick moment with Duo hadn’t gone as planned.  Maybe he should have told Duo that there was no way he could
ever love him.  That there was no chance at all for Duo to be loved by Heero.  That thought brought a snort out of Heero.  If
not for orders, perhaps he would have pounced on the chance to be with someone who truly cared about him.  As it was, he
didn’t have any idea what the emotion ‘love’ was supposed to feel like.  He didn’t understand the concept, couldn’t grasp why
Duo would risk his own feelings to expose himself so completely to another.  It was a danger that Heero just could not fathom.

The door to his quiet room opened and Heero stood at attention.  The smell of food wafted in and Heero’s stomach squeezed a
little.  He said nothing as Relena entered the room with a servant pushing a trolley laden with food and drink.  He merely waited
as she sat at the table, taking a seat in the more comfortable of the two chairs.  The servant left the trolley just inside the door,
departing the room without word.

Relena sighed and shook her head, disappointment dripping from her every word.  “Heero, come and sit with me.  We’ll have
breakfast, and then we’ll discuss what went wrong at the party.  I think you know what I mean.”

Heero walked over as if condemned.  “The moment with . . . 02.”  He didn’t want to chance saying Duo’s name.  Relena had
gotten angry once when he had spoken of the pilots and referred to them by their first names.  Heero idly rubbed his shoulder in
remembrance.  He could still feel where he had been struck with a fireplace poker.  It wouldn’t scar, but the bruise was still
there, darkening the entirety of his shoulder.

Relena smiled coldly.  “Exactly.  You shouldn’t have let him drag you off like that.  Renald lost sight of you for a moment, and
he didn’t find you again until after he had contacted me.”  She motioned for Heero to begin serving the both of them, Relena
first of course.  “What did he say to you?”

Heero served her tea and lowered his head as he poured himself a cup of milk.  “He said that he loved me.”  He swallowed and
continued.  “I told him that I was proposing to you.”

Relena smiled coldly then.  “Good.  And you did very well.  That’s why you aren’t being locked in here until our wedding day
the way it was suggested that you should be.”  She idly stirred her tea and waited as Heero passed her a plate of finger
sandwiches and pastries before serving himself his less elaborate serving.  

“Now, you are to have no more contact with him or the other ex-pilots until after we are married at the reception.  At that time,
you may speak with them as you spoke with them at the party, briefly and under strict supervision.”  She reached over and
patted Heero’s hand, obviously pretending not to notice the way he winced at the contact.  “This really is for your own good,
Heero.  Who knows how they’ll react when they find out about your little secret.”  She then sat back and motioned to him.  
“Eat up, now.  You haven’t eaten in days and you need to keep your strength up.  Don’t make me call Renald in to see to it that
you eat.”  That was said with a smile filled with a sickening false sweetness.

Renald was Relena’s right-hand man and, Heero suspected, her lover.  He couldn’t prove his assumptions, but the looks the two
of them shared with each other were more than enough.  Whenever a punishment needed to be dealt, or whenever Relena felt
that Heero needed to be supervised, Renald would be the one to call.

Heero took a deep breath as he sat on the uncomfortable wooden chair.  He forced himself to eat the simple food that had been
offered to him.  It wasn’t much more than bread, unseasoned eggs, milk and some lettuce.  His four basic food groups.  Still, it
was more than he had eaten since the night of the party, and who knew when he’d be allowed to eat again.

Throughout the meal, his mind kept going back to one thing.  Duo had said that he loved Heero . . . and Duo didn’t lie.

Having Relena sitting across from him, though, was making Heero feel self-conscious and more than a little nervous.  He had to
be careful not to eat too fast or too slowly.  Too fast, and she would get angry with him.  Too slow, and she would grow
impatient with his dawdling.  He always kept his gaze locked on the plate before him, knowing that Relena disliked it when he
looked at her while they ate.  There were so many rules and sub-rules that to make any sort of mistake would mean dire
consequences for him.

Relena was so silent that he had almost forgotten she was there.  Suddenly, she spoke.  “Heero . . .”

Heero had only just picked up his cup when her voice startled him.  He flinched a little and the slight shakiness and weakness of
his undernourished body caused his hand to loosen just a little.  He immediately tried to correct himself, but the cup was already
falling.  Desperately, he reached out to prevent any further damage from being done, but fatigue brought on by always being on
guard made his usually sharp response time and hand-eye coordination sluggish.  He missed the cup and froze as it fell to the
floor, spilling the contents.

With a deep breath, Heero picked up the cup and examined it.  It was only a cheap ceramic, but that wouldn’t matter to Relena.  
If it was broken, or even cracked, the consequences would be as bad as if he had broken a piece of the finest and most
expensive china.  He was about to relax a little when he saw the crack at the base of the cup.

“Oh, Heero . . . whatever shall I do with you?” she asked, her tone gentle as if she were scolding a small child.  But Heero wasn’
t fooled into a sense of security.  She had used that tone too many times and he had learned to dread it more than he feared the
sound of her yelling at him.

He took a deep breath.  “I’ll clean up the mess,” he whispered.  Although there wasn’t all that much to clean up.  He’d been
about to take that last little mouthful to wash down the rest of his meal.

Relena’s voice slowly turned cold.  “That is not the point, Heero, and you know it.  How can I even think to be seen with you in
public when you can’t grasp something as simple as table manners?”  She stood and walked to the door.  When she opened it,
Renald was already there, as if they had planned for Heero to do something Relena considered wrong.

“Renald, Heero has forgotten his lessons again.  I think you should reeducate him.”  Relena said, reaching up to stroke her
fingers across the tall dark-haired man’s cheek.  “Then perhaps we can take a walk in the gardens?”

“Of course, my lady,” Renald bowed, taking hold of Relena’s hand and pressing a soft kiss to the back of it.  He casually
stepped inside the room, strolling over to where Heero was kneeling with the broken cup in his hand.

With one harsh strike, Heero found himself on his back.  Unfortunately, that was only the first of many to come.  If it weren’t
for orders, perhaps Heero would have jumped on Duo’s offer.  He would like to know what love is.  Now, he doubted he’d
ever get another opportunity.  He had blown his only chance.

To Be Continued . . .