Disclaimers:  I don’t own anything.  (Don’t you just get tired of hearing this?)

Author’s notes:  This is a Duo/Relena fic.  If you don’t like them as a couple, stop reading now.  And remember, I warned you.  
This is my little alternate universe, where Relena is only Queen on the Cinq Kingdom.  She doesn’t have to deal with ruling the
entire world, or anything like that.  Zechs always helps her out, so that she gets some free time to herself every now and then.

The Heart Never Lies
Part One

Chapter One

Relena sat at her desk, shuffling through the boring paperwork that never seemed to stop coming.  It was all she ever seemed to
do anymore, paperwork.  Ever since Zechs had gone off on his honeymoon with Noin, Relena never had a moment to herself.  
There always seemed to be something that needed her attention immediately.

At least Zechs and Noin would be getting back in a few days.  Then she would finally be able to take a break.  Maybe she and
Heero would finally be able to get some time alone.

Relena pushed herself away from her desk.  She stretched her arms, thinking that she needed a short break from the
paperwork.  She walked out of the mansion, just wanting to get some fresh air.  The air was crisp, the weather beginning to
turn cold as winter set in.  Relena walked the grounds of her estate, thinking of being alone with Heero.  

Nothing had really happened between them yet.  Just a few kisses, nothing serious.  But at nineteen years old, Relena wanted
something more.  But maybe Heero wasn’t ready yet, so she would wait.  He had just begun showing his emotions.  Everything
that most people took for granted was still new to him.

“Hey, Relena.”  Said the cheerful voice of Bruce, the gardener.  Even if it was winter, he could still tend to the grounds.  There
was still plenty of work for him to do, making sure that everything looked nice.

Relena turned to him, smiling.  “Hi Bruce.”  She noticed he held one of his hands behind his back.  “What have you got?”  She

“Oh, nothing.”  Bruce replied, as he continued to step toward Relena.

Without warning, Bruce threw his arm around Relena, pinning her arms to her own body.  She tried to pry herself out of his
grasp, but then he clamped a damp cloth over her nose and mouth.

A strange scent entered her nostrils.  She could feel herself growing dizzy.  She tried to fight it, but it was no use.  Everything
faded into blackness, as she succumbed to unconsciousness.

Chapter Two

Duo sat in a chair, watching as Heero paced around the room.  The other pilot grabbed a small figurine from a nearby table and
threw it to the floor.  It broke into millions of pieces.

“Heero, take it easy.  I’m sure Relena won’t appreciate you destroying her stuff.”  Duo said calmly, although he was just as
worried as Heero was.

Heero turned, glaring at Duo.  Heero stomped over to the chair that Duo was sitting in.  He grabbed him by the collar and pulled
him out of his seat.  “Relena’s been kidnapped.  How can you be so calm?”

Quatre and Trowa rushed to Duo’s aid.  They grabbed Heero by the arms, as Duo freed himself from Heero’s grasp.  
“Panicking won’t get us anywhere.”  Duo said, straightening out his black jumpsuit and the minister’s collar that he continued to
wear.  He wore the collar out of respect for the dead Reverend, the man that had taken him in when Duo was a child and had
died at the hands of Alliance soldiers. Even after all these years, Duo felt he owed him, and all the others that had died because
of Duo, some measure of respect.

Heero pushed Quatre and Trowa away from him, still glaring at Duo.  “How was she taken from here, anyway?  Didn’t anyone
see anything?”  Heero asked.

“It was an inside job.”  Wufei replied.  He was leaning against one of the walls, his arms folded over his chest.  “The gardener
smuggled her out in the back of his truck.  None of the guards bothered searching it, since the gardener has been working here
for years, making friends with everybody.”

“Including Relena.”  Trowa said.

Quatre looked to the ground.  “She probably had no idea what was going on, until it was too late.”  A tear fell from the blonde’s

“So, do we have any idea of where to start searching?”  Duo asked.

“I know exactly where to find her.”  Zechs said as he walked into the room.  He had immediately cut his trip short when he
heard that Relena had been kidnapped.

“How do you know where she is?”  Heero asked.

“I thought that something like this may happen someday.  So I placed a tracking device on her.”

“You what?”  Duo asked in disbelief.

Zechs averted his eyes.  “Relena knows about it.  It’s in the locket I gave her as a birthday present a couple years ago.”

“Well then, let’s go get her.”  Duo announced, crossing the room.

Zechs led the way out.  They got in a nearby truck, discussing his rescue plan as they traveled.  Duo hoped it would work.

Chapter Three

Relena sat on the floor of her cell.  She raised her fingers to her chest, feeling the locket that hung from a chain around her
neck.  They’d come for her soon.  Zechs and the others would rescue her.  She was sure of that.  The tracking device in her
locket would tell them where she was, and they’d come.  All she had to do was wait.

She had been here for over a day already.  When she had first awakened, she had been in a different room.  Several men stood
around her, all wearing uniforms of some sort.  She didn’t recognize the emblem they each wore on their arms, so they must
have been a new faction of some army.

“What are you going to do with me?”  She had asked the men that stood around her.

“Armies need money.”  One of them said.  “Your ransom will pay for a lot.”

Then, she had been forcefully dragged into a cell, the cell she was now in.  It was dark and cold.  Relena was terrified.  She
hoped the others would come for her soon.

Her body shivered from the cold of her cell.  She wrapped her arms around herself, trying to keep warm.  She closed her eyes.  
It wasn’t like she could see anything anyway, since the cell was pitch black.  Relena was so cold.  She gritted her teeth so that
they wouldn’t chatter.  

The sound of gunfire caught her attention.  She opened her eyes, lifting her head toward the sounds.  Her heart leapt.  Maybe it
was Zechs and the others.  Maybe they had finally come for her.

Relena stood when she heard the door being unlocked.  As the door opened, she had to shield her eyes from the light.  It had
been so long since she had been in the daylight, it hurt her eyes terribly.  She squinted, trying to see who was there.  But all she
saw, was a dark figure, the outline of a man.

As her eyes adjusted to the light, she saw that it was Duo standing in the doorway. A black backpack was hanging from his
shoulders.  “Come on.”  He said, grabbing her wrist and pulling her out of the cell.  She had no choice but to follow.

Chapter Four

Duo had been shocked to see the way Relena had been treated.  Her body had been shivering, her clothes and skin marred with
dirt.  How could they just lock her up in a cold, filthy, dark cell like that?  Someone as beautiful as Relena should never be
hidden in darkness.  She should always be in the light.  He shook his head.  What the hell was he thinking?  Relena was Heero’s
girl, and Duo was dating Hilde.  He shouldn’t be thinking of Relena like that.

“Come on.”  He said.  

He grabbed her wrist and pulled her out of the cell.  They had to get out of there quick.  They were outnumbered and he didn’t
know how long the other guys would be able to hold the enemy off.

Duo didn’t know how he had been talked into going in after Relena while the others distracted the guards.  Heero should have
been the one doing this.  But Zechs had insisted that he needed Heero out there with him.

A guard ran around the corner ahead of them.  Duo raised his gun and fired before the guard even had a chance to flinch.  The
guard fell to the floor, unmoving.  Duo didn’t stop to make sure he was dead, he knew he had to get Relena out of there
quickly.  He ran as fast as he could, pulling Relena behind him.  Every time he saw a guard, he fired.  So far, so good, he

Duo reached the nearest exit and opened the door a crack.  He peered out, checking to see if the coast was clear.  “Damn.”  He
cursed.  There were soldiers all over the place.  But he wasn’t upset about them.  It was the fact that there was virtually no
cover for him and Relena to hide behind, that got him mad.

Behind him, he could hear Relena panting, struggling to take in breaths.  He turned to her.  She looked exhausted.  Her face was
covered in sweat and her body trembled.  She must be so scared, he thought.

“You ready?”  He asked, holding his hand out to her.

Relena looked at him for a moment, as if judging whether or not to trust him.  Finally, she took hold of his hand and nodded.  
She took in a breath and straightened herself.

Duo threw the door open and ran out, keeping Relena behind him.  Several guards saw him, and opened fire.  But just then the
rest of the guys arrived to lend a hand.  Duo silently thanked them, heading for the only cover he could see, a forest several
yards away.

The plan had been for him to bring Relena back to the truck, but Duo couldn’t see a way to get there now.  There were just too
many soldiers.  They were cut off from the rest of the guys.  He and Relena would have to hide out in the forest for a while.  
They would have to get out on their own.

“Stay close!”  He shouted to Relena as they continued to run.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw two soldiers raise their weapons.  They were aiming directly at Relena.  He couldn’t let her
get hurt.  Quickly, Duo pulled Relena around him, turning slightly to keeping his back to her, his body between her and the

He aimed his own weapon at the soldiers and got off several shots before the white-hot pains tore through Duo’s left shoulder
and his left side.  He clenched his teeth to keep from yelling out, not wanting Relena to know he had been shot, and not just once
but twice.  The last thing he wanted was for her to panic.  He could already feel the blood soaking into his black jumpsuit, but he
continued to run.  He had to get Relena to safety.

Once they passed the first few trees, Duo slowed his pace, his gunshot wounds throbbing in pain with every move he made.  
But they didn’t stop.  He continued, pulling Relena along.  He kept her to his right, not wanting her to see the bullet holes on the
other side of his body.

When they reached the edge of a lake, Relena stopped running.  She crouched down on the ground, holding her chest as she
breathed heavily.  Duo also stopped, feeling just as tired as her.  Carefully, he removed the backpack from his back, trying not to
irritate his shoulder.  Then, he pressed his hand against the wound in his side, trying to stop the flow of blood.  He gritted his
teeth against the pain, still not wanting Relena to know he was hurt.

Suddenly, something collided with Duo, knocking him into the lake.  He dropped his gun as he was hit.  He heard Relena scream
as he looked up into the face of the soldier that was trying to hold him under the cold water.  Duo choked on the icy water, after
unintentionally inhaling.  He pushed against the man’s face, trying to force him off.  His wounds hurt terribly, but he had to get
that guy off of him.  He didn’t know how much longer he could hold his breath.

The urge to breathe was becoming unbearable.  He took one hand away from the soldier’s face and searched the bottom of the
lake with it, looking for anything he could use as a weapon.  But he couldn’t find anything.  Just then, a shot rang out and the
soldier slumped forward, his dead body lying on top of Duo.

Duo pushed the man off of him and lifted himself up out of the cold water.  An icy wind stung his exposed skin.  He gasped for
breath, the cold air burning his throat while he coughed violently, bringing up some of the water he had inhaled.  He stared in
disbelief at Relena, who held a smoking gun.  She had just saved his life, by taking another’s.  He couldn’t believe it.

He stumbled out of the lake, shivering uncontrollably, and still coughing.  He dropped to his knees on dry land.  His braid fell
over his shoulder landing on the ground beside him.  He wondered why that soldier hadn’t used his gun.  It sure would have
been a whole lot easier than tackling him.

“Are you okay?”  Relena asked.  She reached out and grabbed his shoulder.  

Unfortunately, it was the shoulder that had been shot, and he let out a groan as her hand came in contact with the wound.  “I'm
fine.”  He said, retreating from her touch.  He stood, picking up the backpack, and taking the gun from Relena.  

“No, you’re not.  You’re hurt.”  She said, grabbing his other shoulder.  “Let me see.”

“I told you, I’m fine.  It’s nothing.”  He replied, trying to walk away from her.  But she stepped in front of him.

He watched her eyes as they traveled over his body.  Her eyes locked on each of his wounds for a few moments.  “You’ve been
shot.”  She gasped, as she gently pulled the cloth of his jumpsuit away from the wound in his shoulder.  

He could see that she was only concerned about him, and he appreciated it.  But they had to keep moving.  Duo spoke, his body
still shivering from the cold.  “We have to keep moving.  There could be other soldiers.”

Relena was about to argue, but he didn’t wait around to listen.  Duo started walking, hoping she would get the message.  “All
right.”  She said from behind him.  “But if we come across some shelter, we’re stopping.”

“Fine.”  He said, trying not to shake so badly.  But he couldn’t help it.  He was just so cold.

Chapter Five

Relena couldn’t believe what she had done.  She had killed another human being, had taken a life.  Sure, it had been to save Duo’
s life, but still her mind couldn’t get over the fact that she had ended a life.  It was something she never thought she’d ever do.  
She hated the fact that she had done it, even though she knew she would do it again if she had the chance.

They had been walking through this forest for hours now.  It was getting darker and colder as they moved.  Relena glanced to
Duo.  She could see him shivering.  His skin had gotten so pale.  She wasn’t sure if it was because of the blood loss from his
wounds or from something else.

Sunlight glinted off of something to her left.  Relena turned and squinted, trying to see what was hiding within the trees of the
forest.  To her surprise, she saw a cabin.  It was old and broken down, with many of its windows boarded up.  But at least it
still had walls and a roof.

Relena turned back to Duo, wanting to show him the cabin.  Her eyes widened, seeing him lying on the ground.  She ran to his
side, dropping to her knees beside him.  She laid her hand on his forehead.  It was hot to the touch.  Then she grabbed his arm
and tried to help him up.  

“Come on, Duo.  I found shelter.”  She said.  It took her awhile, but she eventually got him into the cabin.  She left him kneeling
by the door as she looked around.  

There was only one room in this cabin, so it was more like a shack.  Cobwebs were in every corner.  Relena’s eyes caught sight
of an old mattress lying on the floor.  It was covered in a thick layer of dust.  She went over to it and flipped it over.

She quickly went back over to Duo.  She helped him over to the mattress.  “I wish we had something to get you warm with.  I
assume it’s too dangerous to start a fire.”  She said.

“No fire.”  He said with a shuddered breath.  “There’s a blanket in the backpack.  I brought it for you, in case you got cold.”  

“We have to get you out of these clothes.”  She said, tugging on his still damp jumpsuit.

“No.”  He said, weakly pushing her hands away from him.

“This is no time to be shy, Duo.”  She said.

She watched as he sighed.  Then he dropped his arms to his sides.  She took that as a sign for her to continue.  She unbuckled
the belt around his waist.  Relena saw that he turned his head away from her, as if he were ashamed of something.

Relena reached her hand out, and took hold of the zipper just below his neck.  She slowly pulled it down, revealing the white
tank top underneath.  Still, she continued to pull the zipper, down past his waist, until it would go no further.

Gently, Relena pushed the jumpsuit off his shoulders, pushing the sleeves off his arms.  She gasped at the sight of the two bullet
wounds, at the blood covering the left side of his body.

“They’re not that bad.”  Duo said, obviously seeing her worried expression.  “The bullet passed right through my shoulder, and
the other one just grazed me.”  

She looked up at him and saw him smiling weakly.  Relena smiled back, although halfheartedly.  She helped him take off the
bloodstained tank top.  Then she walked back over to the door and picked up the backpack.  She opened it as she knelt in front
of Duo.

The first thing she saw when she opened it, was a first-aid kit.  Well, that would come in handy.  She placed it on the floor
beside her.  She reached into the backpack again and kept pulling things out, laying them on the floor around her.  There were
several bottles of water, another first-aid kit, some strips of cloth that could be used as bandages, several days worth of military
food rations, and one blanket.  Seeing there was nothing left in the bag, she threw it to the floor.

Relena opened the first aid kit and one of the bottles of water.  She soaked some of the cloth in the water and carefully began to
clean the blood from his body.  She tried to avoid getting too close to the wounds, not wanting to cause him any pain.  

When she finished cleaning off the excess blood, she dropped the blood stained cloths to the floor.  Relena took the small bottle
of alcohol out of the first-aid kit.  It could be used as an antiseptic to clean his wounds.  She found some gauze in the first-aid
kit and dampened it with the alcohol.  Then, she applied it to each of his wounds.  He hissed in pain and she wished she could
take it from him.

“I'm sorry.”  She said.

“It’s not that bad.”  He replied, trying to laugh it off, although Relena could see his hands clutching the mattress tightly.

“Lay back.”  Relena said, after she had bandaged the two bullet wounds.  Throughout the entire time, Duo had looked as if he
would just collapse, but he had been able to stay sitting.

Duo laid back, just as she told him to.  She untied his boots and pulled them off, along with his socks.  Then she pulled the rest
of his jumpsuit off of him, leaving him only in his boxers.  She couldn’t help but notice his sleek muscular body.  She shook her
head, trying to get her mind off of his great looking body.  

Once again, she saw his body shivering, and she quickly grabbed the blanket.  Relena covered him with the blanket, making sure
that none of him was left uncovered.  His eyes were closed when she looked to his face.  She brushed his bangs away from his
eyes.  Her hand grazed his skin and she could feel how feverish he was.  She just hoped he would get better.

She leaned back, sitting on her heels.  Relena scratched an itch on her chest and became aware that something was missing.  
Her locket was gone.  That meant that the tracking device was also gone.  Zechs and the others wouldn’t be able to find them.

Her heart raced, thinking about Duo.  He was sick.  He needed help.  But how could he get help if they were in the middle of the
forest in some old, abandoned shack?  Her tears came to her eyes, thinking that maybe Duo would die.  But she pushed those
tears away, knowing that she couldn’t lose hope.  

Chapter Six

Two days had passed and Duo had only gotten worse.  He was lying there on that mattress, his handsome face contorted in a
pained expression.  He mumbled in his sleep, talking to people only he could see.  His face was so pale.

Relena had stayed by his side the entire time, never taking any time for herself.  She’d never be able to forgive herself if she
wasn’t there if the tide turned for the worse.  And if he did get better, she wanted to be there to see it.  She wanted to be there
in case he needed anything.

She looked at him, seeing him so differently.  He looked so fragile, just lying there helpless.  In the rare instances that he was
conscious, he mumbled incoherently from the fever that had been raging in his weakened body.  He was so unlike the man she
knew, the carefree, happy pilot that was always good for a laugh.

Feelings erupted in her, seeing Duo lying there so helpless.  But she pushed the feelings down, knowing that nothing could ever
happen between the two of them.  She was involved with Heero, and Duo with Hilde.

In her hands, Relena held a damp cloth, which she constantly used in an attempt to help him fight the fever.  She brushed his
bangs away from his face again, placing the cloth against his forehead.  She could only hope it was helping.

She didn’t know what to do anymore.  She kept him covered, a cool cloth on his forehead.  She changed his bandages regularly,
not wanting him to get an infection.  It was all she could do anymore.  

He began talking again, in a voice so low she almost hadn’t heard.  “Too late.  Always too late.”  He said, repeating the words
over and over again.

Relena leaned closer to him, whispering into his ear.  She murmured softly, whispering words that she hoped he somehow
heard.  She hoped they would soothe him.

A chill swept through her body as she pulled herself away from him.  She brushed her tears from her eyes, as she looked to him
again.  Still, he looked so weak, so vulnerable.  His body continued to shiver and she wished she could make him more

Relena yawned, unable to keep it away.  She was so tired.  She got an idea, a way to help him get warmer.  Relena stood and
kicked her shoes off.  She undid the buttons on the front of her already torn and stained dress.  Once she was finished with
them, she slid the sleeves off her shoulders, letting the dress drop to the floor around her feet.

She was only in her undergarments now, a slip and her underwear.  Relena stepped out of the dress and knelt in front of Duo
again.  She pulled the blanket away from him and slid herself under, then covered them both with the blanket.  She wrapped her
arms around Duo, curling up as close to him as she could.  Luckily, she was on the right side of his body, so it was easier to
avoid his wounds.

His body was so warm, and hers was so cold.  She hadn’t had any way to warm herself the past two days.  She was beginning
to feel like a block of ice.  She couldn’t make a fire, afraid that the soldiers would see it and come after them.  

In her heart she hoped this would help.  Her eyes slowly closed as she was lulled to sleep by the sound of his heartbeat.

Chapter Seven

Duo slowly awakened, his body sleek with sweat.  He felt a weight on his chest and slowly opened his eyes.  To his surprise, he
saw Relena sleeping beside him, her arms wrapped around his body.  

Her body felt so good against him, so right.  He didn’t want to disturb her, didn’t want to take the risk that this was only a
dream.  He felt so tired, so he closed his eyes, wanting to sleep just a little more.  

When he awakened again, Relena was still there.  He lifted his hand, his mind more clear than it had been the last time he was
awake.  Duo sighed, glad that it hadn’t been a dream, as he stroked her cheek with his fingers.  Her skin was so soft, like silk.

He pulled his hand away as her eyes fluttered open.  “Duo, you’re awake.”  She said, lifting her head from his shoulder and
looking into his eyes.  “How do you feel?”

“Better, I guess.  I'm a little thirsty.”

Relena sat up, the blanket falling away as she moved.  He saw that she was only wearing her underwear and slip and turned his
head away.  Relena must have noticed, since she said.  “You can look at me Duo.  I’m not embarrassed.”  

Duo slowly turned his head back.  She held one of the bottles of water out to him.  He took it, as she smiled at him.  He smiled
back, still feeling incredibly tired.

His eyes traveled over her body as he slowly drank the cool water.  She was beautiful, her eyes a lovely shade of violet, her hair
like gold.  He saw her graceful body, barely covered by the garments she wore.  She seemed thinner than he remembered her to
be, not by much.  It was probably barely even noticeable to anyone that didn’t always watch her like Duo had over the past few
years.  Every time she walked into the same room he was in, his eyes always traveled over to her.  But he had shrugged the
feelings off, knowing that she was in love with Heero.

“How long has it been since you’ve eaten?”  He asked, handing the plastic bottle back to her.

She looked away from him as she replied, “Not since I was kidnapped, over three days ago.”

“Why didn’t you eat some of the rations?”  Duo asked, staring at her in disbelief.

“I didn’t want to leave your side while you were sick.  I didn’t want to risk losing you.”  She replied, her gaze traveling up to
meet his.

“Relena, what are you saying?”  He asked, her eyes showing something he never thought he’d see looking back at him, love.

Relena didn’t answer with words, but with action.  She threw her arms around his neck, pressing her lips to his in an intense
kiss.  At first, he was too shocked to move, but that quickly passed.  Her tongue brushed against his teeth and he opened them
eagerly, letting her tongue explore his mouth.  He, in turn, did the same.  He moved her hands around her waist, feeling the soft
fabric of the slip she wore.

She removed her arms from his neck, letting them travel across his body.  She slid them along his chest and continued
downward, while his hands moved up under her slip, caressing her smooth, delicate skin.  Her hand slid under the waistband of
his boxer shorts, and he let out a small moan as her fingers continued moving downward.

Abruptly, she pulled away from him.  “I'm sorry.”  She said, turning away from him, her eyes glistening with unshed tears.

“Don’t be.”  He said, running his hand along her cheek.  “I should be the one apologizing.  Besides, I didn’t put up much of a
fight.”  He smiled, hoping to brighten her mood.  He hated to see her unhappy.

“No, I was being too forward.  I guess it’s because Heero never . . .”  She started, but didn’t finish the sentence.

“You mean, you two haven’t  . . . But you two have been together for almost four years.  What’s he waiting for?”

Relena blushed.  “We barely even kiss.  He’s just not an emotional guy, doesn’t like physical contact too much.”

“Well, he doesn’t know what he’s missing.”  Duo replied, as his own cheeks turned red.

Relena giggled, then her face grew serious.  She avoided looking at Duo, when she asked.  “You and Hilde have  . . . done it,

Duo turned his head away, feeling extremely embarrassed by that question.  He answered, speaking softly.  “Yeah.  But we
haven’t for a while.”  He sighed, remembering how he and Hilde used to be in the beginning, when they had first started dating.  
They could barely keep their hands off each other, but now it was so different.  They just didn’t connect like they used to.

There was a long silence between them, but it wasn’t awkward.  Then, Relena turned to him.  She placed her hand on his
chest.  “Then maybe we both need this.”  She said.

His eyes locked on hers as she moved closer to him.  “Are you sure?”  He asked.

“Positive.”  She replied, pulling him into another passionate kiss.  They separated only long enough for Duo to help Relena take
off her slip.  And then their lips were together again.

Chapter Eight

Relena felt the warm rays of the sun on her body, coaxing her back to consciousness.  She opened her eyes slowly, not wanting
to awaken just yet.  She sighed contentedly, seeing the face of the man she had made love to, the man whose arms were still
around her body.  His braid had been undone and his hair lay around him loose.  He looked so peaceful, sleeping there.

Never before in her life had she ever felt so good.  Before last night, she had never known anything could feel that great.  And
Duo had been so tender, so gentle with her.  He was just great.  She would remember last night for the rest of her life, her first
sexual experience with a man.

She watched as his eyes open.  “Good morning.”  He said.

She smiled, tracing the edge of his jaw with her finger.  He really was handsome.  “Good morning.” She replied.

Flashes of last night went through her mind.  His body above hers, his hair cascading around him in a chestnut-colored
waterfall.  The sound of his moans as he enjoyed her body.  And the feel of him inside of her, pushing her closer and closer to
the edge until all she felt was pleasure when she reached her climax.  She remembered every moment, every feeling.  It was
something she would never forget.

Another memory replaced Duo’s face.  It was Heero.  Suddenly, she remembered her relationship with Heero.  She couldn’t
hurt him by leaving him for one of his friends.

Relena sat up, wrapping the blanket around her body as she moved.  “Relena, what’s wrong?”  Duo asked, placing his hand on
her shoulder.

Relena grabbed her clothes and quickly began putting them on.  “We shouldn’t have done that.  It was wrong.  I’m seeing
Heero, and you’re with Hilde.”

“But I thought . . .”

“What?  Did you think that we could have a relationship?  This was a mistake Duo.”  She interrupted, trying to sound cold.  

Once dressed, she walked away from him, turning her back to him.  A few minutes later, Duo walked up to her.  He was
dressed, his hair once again braided.  The backpack was slung over his shoulder, while his gun was in his hand.  

“We should get going.”  Duo said, opening the door and walking out.  She could hear the sadness in his voice as he spoke.  “We
don’t have that much further to go until we reach the other edge of the forest.”  He handed her one of the military rations, but
she didn’t open it.  Her appetite had suddenly disappeared.

“How do you know?”  She asked, never letting her eyes look at him.  She knew if she did, that she’d only regret her earlier
words, only want to hold him in her arms again.

“You don’t think I’d just run into a forest, without knowing how to get out of it, do you?  Before I went in to rescue you, I
looked over a map, checking for every possible escape route.  I have a good memory for things like that, I guess.”  He replied,
his voice showing no hint of emotion.  

He opened the door and stepped out, not bothering to let Relena go first.  She realized that she must have hurt him terribly.  But
it couldn’t be avoided.  They could never do that again.  They hadn’t gotten too serious yet, it was still early enough to break it
off.  Duo would get over her.  And she couldn’t risk hurting Heero.  

Chapter Nine

Duo’s heart felt as if it had cracked in two.  How could Relena do that to him?  How could she just push him away like that?  
Didn’t she know what it was doing to him?

They had walked the rest of the day.  Relena had wanted him to stop, since he was still sick.  But Duo didn’t.  The faster they
got out of that forest, the faster he would get away from Relena.  Then maybe he would be able to forget, to get back to his life
with Hilde.

Up ahead, Duo saw his objective, the edge of the forest.  “We’re almost there.”  He said, not looking back to her.  

Once they were out of the forest, they found the nearest phone and called Zechs.  A car arrived within the hour and they drove
back to Relena’s home.  Duo was informed that an ambulance would be waiting there to take him to a hospital.  Zechs didn’t
want to attract too much attention to Duo and Relena, since there were still soldiers all over the place.  That’s why he didn’t
send the ambulance straight to them.

The car ride was torture for Duo, being so close to Relena.  Did she care nothing for him?  His mind rolled the same questions
over and over again in his mind.  He wondered if she had just been using him, or if he had actually meant something to her.  He
couldn’t comprehend why she would hurt him so badly, why she would just say that what they did was a mistake, when it had
felt so right.

The car stopped in front of the gate.  Duo could see the ambulance close by.  Quatre opened the door, and helped him out of the
car.  “Duo, we were so worried.  How are you?”  He asked.

“I’ll be fine, Quatre.  I’m just a little tired, that’s all.”  He replied, his voice coming out shaky.

While he was being loaded into the ambulance, he saw Relena.  Heero was beside her, his arm wrapped protectively around her
shoulders.  Heero led her away, back to her home.  As she walked away, she glanced back over her shoulder at Duo.  A tear fell
from her eye, and at that moment, Duo knew that she still felt something for him.  

Duo knew she had to have had a good reason for pushing him away like that.  She probably didn’t want to hurt Heero.  He
closed his eyes, thinking of how he would tell her he knew, that he finally understood.  But there would be time for that later,
after he got out of the hospital.  In his heart, he knew there would be time.

To Be Continued ...