Heh. This is a little weird for me to have written, all things considered.
Bob: <hiding under the bed> I didn't do it! It's not my fault!
It was supposed to have been a PWP. But it didn't turn out that way.
Author: Lys ap Adin (email@example.com)
Title: Happily Ever After Gets Thrown out the Window
Warnings/Labels: Just a faint hint of shoujo ai, and my attempts to get inside the heads of characters.
Happily Ever After Gets Thrown out the Window
"You're watching me again." Relena hardly looked up from her desk at the girl lounging by the window. Running a kingdom, Relena mused, was much harder work than she'd ever dreamed it would be. "Why?"
"Because I want to," Dorothy retorted, not denying the charge.
Relena signed one of the many papers and shuffled it into the pile she had designated as her "Out" box. "I really don't know what it is that you find so fascinating about me, Dorothy." If she wanted to, she could apply a similar charge to herself. Relena knew who Dorothy's grandfather was, and the probable reason for her presence in the Sanq Kingdom. All the possibilities for disaster that she and her fledgling kingdom didn't need were wrapped up in the slender blonde-haired girl whose cynical smile never wavered. Still, she allowed Dorothy to stay for reasons she couldn't articulate, even to herself.
Especially to herself.
"Perhaps, Relena-sama, I wish to be able to tell my grandchildren firsthand about the outdated notion of absolute pacifism, and about the experiment of the Sanq Kingdom. I'm sure they'll find it a fascinating story."
Relena finished an examination of another document, debated its merits briefly, and then round-filed it before she replied. "It won't be much of a story."
She felt Dorothy's smirk more than she saw it. "Why not, Relena-sama? After all, it'll have everything from a lovely princess to the prince who rescues her at the story's end."
"Who might they be, Dorothy?"
Dorothy laughed softly. "I think you know, Relena-sama. He's not much of a prince, if you ask me... but perhaps he's simply in disguise."
"Are you off your feed today, Dorothy? Normally you only resort to taunting me about Heero when you've run out of other ideas." Relena round-filed another paper, with a perfect hook shot. "Are you ill, perhaps?"
The best way, she had found, to deal with Dorothy's barbs--especially the ones about Heero--was to deflect them. That way she occupied her mind with balancing the blend of good humor and malice rather than with contemplations of her tangled relationship with the pilot of Wing Gundam.
Sometimes Relena could see the way her life would play out, to its very end. Someday the wars would end, with the triumph of peace over war, and she would take a place somewhere at the front of the new world. Someday the puzzled statement in Heero's eyes whenever he looked at her would clear, and he would see the new mission and the way events would expect him to fit the mold. If her perceptions of Heero were correct, then he would accept this new mission as well, and they would live happily ever after, the princess and her fallen prince.
Everything would fall into place neatly like that, just like a story. Assuming, of course, that the war ended with OZ and Romefeller and all the other factions that were sure to crop up between now and then defeated, and that the pilots of the Gundams survived (a matter that was always in doubt with Heero), and that she herself survived the assassination attempts that would crop up between now and then.
It was a chancy thing, for all of them.
Two hands planted themselves on the desk in front of her, startling Relena out of her contemplations. Dorothy smirked down at her. "It's so charming, Relena-sama, to see the way your mind wanders off whenever his name surfaces in a conversation. It's like something out of a fairy tale... true love, maybe?"
"If Heero and I are part of a fairy tale, Dorothy, which character are you? The wicked witch?" It was a rather weak shot, and beneath her, Relena felt, but it was the best she could come up with on such short notice.
Dorothy just smiled one of her enigmatic smiles. "I make my own role, Relena-sama."
Relena laughed, amused by the truth of this. "You do indeed, Dorothy... as the court jester, perhaps? The one who says and does what she wills with utter impunity?"
Dorothy's eyes were shuttered with secrets. "Something like that."
"I envy you." The statement--the truth--came tumbling out before Relena could stop it. Admitting anything to Dorothy was risky. Sometimes the girl accepted confidences and kept them, and sometimes she used them as weapons in her ongoing war against Relena's ego. Relena winced slightly and waited to see what Dorothy would make of this.
"Ah, yes, the poor little rich girl... caught in the trap of her birth and her destiny as a Peacecraft." Dorothy snorted. "You, the only one who can negotiate the web of politics, the one whose fate it is to be our savior and to lead us into the dawn of a new age. Our very own martyr."
Relena's lips thinned to a slash. "If I don't do it, who else will?" she demanded.
"You could always step back and find out," Dorothy murmured. "The sin of pride is the worst of them all, Relena-sama... but then, you don't see that, do you? You clutch your burdens to yourself greedily, reveling in the fact that only you can understand the sacrifices you're making for the world and enjoying every minute of your self-pity."
"You're a very unpleasant person when you set your mind to it, Dorothy," Relena said stiffly, squirming internally.
Dorothy's tiny smile was smug. "I know. I enjoy it greatly."
Relena tossed her head. "Even if I did step back, Dorothy, how could I be sure that there is someone else who could promote peace like I do? And how could I possibly risk that there isn't someone who could take care of the job?"
"That's the beauty of it, Relena-sama... you don't know until you let go." Dorothy smiled. "You and Heero are so perfectly suited for one another... both so single-minded, both so certain that only you can set the world to rights, and neither of you willing to accept the help of others to accomplish your missions."
Relena gritted her teeth. "We accept help. Look at the other pilots who work with Heero. They work together."
"Who works with you, Relena-sama?" Dorothy breathed.
"Certainly not you," Relena snapped, "always badgering me and prodding me, mocking my ideals and everything I've worked to achieve here."
"Perhaps you're just too blind to see what I'm doing, Relena-sama," Dorothy flicked her amazingly long hair back from her face. "Perhaps I'm just toughening you up for the storms ahead." Before Relena could reply to this startling idea, she added, "Or maybe I just like to make you angry."
"I'm not angry."
Dorothy looked at the two spots of color on Relena's cheeks and smiled. "Of course you aren't. A proper princess never gets angry, does she? That's the prince's job... one that I'm sure Heero accomplishes very well for you, ne?"
"Why are you so obsessed with me and Heero?" Relena said, her voice very quiet and calm.
Dorothy smiled innocently. "Perhaps I like a good fairy tale ending as much as any other girl, Relena-sama. It should be very interesting to see you and Heero ride off into the sunset together. We're all looking forward to it, really. Happily ever after, right?"
The piece of paper that Relena had forgotten she was holding crumpled in her fist. "Stop it, Dorothy."
The other girl cocked her head. "Why, Relena-sama, whatever is wrong?" She blinked. "A person would think that you didn't want your knight in a shining mobile suit to come and sweep you off your feet."
"A person would think that, wouldn't she?" Relena said evenly. "But that would be silly, wouldn't it? The story always ends with the prince and princess, doesn't it? Wouldn't it be ridiculous for the princess to change her mind about the prince?"
Dorothy shrugged. "I don't know, Relena-sama. I don't read fairy tales. They bore me, always so predictable. I prefer to make up my own stories."
"And what happens in your stories, Dorothy?" Relena asked.
"Lots of things." Dorothy smiled. "Happily ever after gets thrown out the window."
Relena chuckled. "I like them already. What else happens?"
"Oh, I don't know... Prince Charming sometimes gets squashed by his own mobile suit." Dorothy's smile was wicked. "The princess..."
"Yes?" Relena asked, leaning forward in spite of herself.
"The princess..." Dorothy lowered her voice to a mysterious whisper. Relena leaned forward even more. "In my stories, the princess tells the prince to go screw himself--or, even better, his loud-mouth partner--and runs off with the evil witch masquerading as a court jester."
Relena's eyes widened considerably. "Really?" she murmured. "Dorothy, I think... I think I like your stories."
Dorothy laughed quietly. "I rather thought you might." She leaned forward, brushing a kiss across Relena's forehead. "Perhaps you might like me to tell you another story some other time."
"Oh?" Relena asked, feeling somehow freer than she had in a long time.
Dorothy straightened, sauntering away from the desk and heading for the door. She paused with her hand on the door, and gave Relena a particularly wicked look. "It's the one about the ogre who's masquerading as a court jester who ends up eating the princess." She laughed at the blood that rushed to Relena's face and strode out of the room, humming a little under her breath.
Relena put her hands over her cheeks to cool them off a bit, laughing ruefully to herself. ~This was a plot twist I wasn't expecting.~
Not that she was complaining, of course.
Eventually, she smoothed out the wrinkled document that she had accidentally crumpled and went back to work. She'd worry about figuring out Dorothy later, when she had a bit of time to stop and think.
Relena smiled as she round-filed yet another proposal. ~Happily ever after gets thrown out the window. I like that.~
Um... yeah. Some PWP, eh?
Please give me feedback. I feel sure I've totally messed up their characters...