2-4-2003

Title: #31 Not All Dreams Are Meant to Be
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat <calic0cat@fastmail.fm>
Story Completed: Feb. 2, 2003
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Angst, Domestic, Friendship
Pairing: None yet
Rated: PG-13
Warnings: AU, OOC, Swearing
Archives: At Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat. Anyone with archive permission for my other fics can help themselves; anyone else, please ask.
Disclaimer: Duo and Heero and the rest of the GW gang aren't mine. This story is. Nuff said.

Notes: The arc begins between one and two years after Endless Waltz. Relena POV in this story.

'Thinking'
"Speaking"
************ Time passing or scene change

Author's Notes: This is part of an arc of stories. I don't know for sure how many stories there will be or how often I'll be posting them. The length of each story in the arc will vary, anywhere from ficlet to multi-part. Warnings will vary from story to story as well, as will the genre. The arc *will* eventually be Shonen ai/Yaoi - but there's only one faintly implied pairing prior to Fic #23. Feedback is appreciated.

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Relena shifted uneasily in her seat as the car journeyed towards its destination. Heero might have agreed to this, but she was not entirely happy that Wufei had meddled in the situation by asking for this favour to begin with. Surely there had been other options that would have been more convenient and less stressful for everyone involved...

"Relena, Heero himself was the one to call Wufei back and agree to this," Zechs told her, flicking his gaze away from the road for an instant to meet her startled gaze. "He wouldn't have done that if he didn't feel ready to face you."

Surprised at her brother's perceptiveness, Relena replied, "I know. But I still wish Wufei hadn't put him in that position." Forcing Heero to face her before he was ready would only make things worse. She had made a lot of mistakes where Heero was concerned, but at least one good thing had come out of that terrible one she had made over seven months ago. She had finally grown up.

Relena understood now just how many things she had done wrong where Heero was concerned. Instead of selfishly enjoying the fact that *she* was the only one he talked to and spent time with at the palace, she should have been encouraging him to at least get acquainted with the other staff. She had let the fact that she was his only friend there lead her to assume that she was *more* than a friend to him. And she had allowed her growing frustration that Heero seemed to be quite content to merely sit and talk together without ever trying to so much as kiss her to lead her into forcing the issue with him. 'And I could not have mishandled that conversation more badly if I had *tried*,' she acknowledged unhappily.

Relena did not really know *why* she had been sufficiently provoked to actually strike Heero. Perhaps she had subconsciously been hoping for him to experience a sudden epiphany such as Mariemaia had following a similar blow. Or perhaps she had simply been indulging in a very juvenile temper tantrum. The one shred of common sense she *had* shown that night was in calling Duo and confessing just how badly she had screwed up.

'And then I compounded the problem by continually hounding Duo to make Heero listen to my apology,' she thought, shaking her head slightly at the memory. It had taken Duo's hurt and angry explosion at her to finally make her realize that saying she was sorry wasn't going to magically make everything better.

Heero did not give his trust lightly and she had violated his trust in her. In doing so, she had shaken his faith in his other friends as well. That he had retained enough of his trust in Duo to first go to him and then stay with him spoke volumes about the depth and strength of their friendship. 'Even when Heero finally heard out my apology, it was pretty clear that he was only doing so in order to take the pressure off of Duo.'

Relena sighed and leaned her forehead against the side window. With Duo gone for the week, this could prove to be a very uncomfortable visit. Even if Heero had agreed to this because he was finally ready to accept her apology and give her another chance at friendship, sharing such a small house would be stressful for both of them.

For her because, in spite of the fact that part of her had already painfully accepted the fact that any slight chance she might have ever had with Heero had been destroyed by her own impatience, the rest of her still hoped that Heero would fall in love with her. Being near him and hiding her wish for more would be difficult at best.

And for Heero because, even if she did nothing to indicate that she still hoped for a relationship beyond friendship, he was well aware that she *had* hoped for that.

Relena sighed again. She *really* wished Wufei had not decided to meddle.

***

Relena carefully smoothed the travel creases out of the last suit jacket before hanging it in the tiny closet. By delaying his departure to a later flight, Duo had managed to be there for her arrival. His cheery greeting and quick bustle to get her settled in before he dashed off to the shuttleport had smoothed over the first potentially awkward moments.

A soft knock on the door drew Relena's attention away from her unpacking. "Yes?"

"If you have a few minutes Relena, I would like to speak with you," Heero's voice answered.

"Come in," she responded immediately.

Heero entered and seated himself in the desk chair. Relena seated herself on the edge of the bed facing him.

"I've done a lot of thinking recently, Relena, and I've decided that I'm ready to accept your apology," Heero said abruptly. "I can't tell you that I will forgive and forget because I don't think that I *can* forget what happened. But I *do* forgive you and I'm willing to try being friends again."

"Heero - that's wonderful. Thank you so much," Relena breathed softly. "I..."

Heero held up his hand in caution and cut her off, "Wait, Relena. Before you say anything else, I think I need to make something clear.

"I said I was willing to try being friends and I mean *friends*, Relena. I'm sorry, I care about you, but I'm not in love with you."

Relena's breath caught sharply. That was - exceptionally blunt, even for Heero. But then, beating around the bush about the subject wouldn't make it hurt any less. "Heero, are you sure?" she asked a bit desperately.

Heero answered without hesitating, "Yes. I care about you, but I don't desire you Relena. When I kissed you on the cheek that night, that was the only kind of kiss I wanted to give you. The only kind of kiss that I *could* give you. I'm sorry."

And he probably was. Heero never had wanted to hurt her. And it really wasn't his fault that he wasn't in love with her. But...

"Heero, will you let me kiss you on the lips, the way I wanted you to kiss me? Just once?" she asked, hoping desperately that he would allow her this much. If there was any chance that he had mistaken his feelings, perhaps this would be enough to enlighten him. And if not - perhaps it would be enough to let her finally give up and move on.

Relena held her breath as Heero gave her a searching look. She didn't know what he was looking for, but apparently he found it, because he finally nodded slightly in agreement and rose from the chair.

Standing, Relena moved to stand in front of Heero and pressed her lips to his in a kiss. It didn't take long to realize that Heero was right - he truly did not desire her. While he allowed her to kiss him, she could coax no trace of response from him whatsoever. She might as well have been kissing Zechs. Drawing back, she said in a choked voice, "Friends, then." As the first tears burned their way down her cheeks, she added quietly but firmly, "I would like to be alone now."

Heero left quietly, pausing in the doorway for a moment to softly repeat, "I'm sorry, Relena."

"Just go for now, *please*!" she begged, turning her back to the door.

The soft click of the latch engaging released a storm of weeping. Heero's obvious regret at being unable to give her what she wanted only added to her own sorrow.

If she was truthful with herself, she had known for months now that there was little chance of her dreams coming true. But still she had hoped, and letting go of that hope hurt.

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