The Blood of Peace
First Movement, the Fifth Part: A Waltz
Relena sat regally before the king of Earthian and tried not to show her anxiety. She breathed evenly and smiled her most diplomatic smile. Odin looked at her closely without being impolite. What was the girl thinking, he wondered. He opened the conversation.
"Welcome, Queen Relena. I hope your journey wasn't too tiring?"
So it would be small talk before anything else. Stamping down her frustration at the small delay, Relena answered using her most tranquil voice.
"The journey was fine. I enjoyed the beautiful landscape of Earthian. I did not see the fabled mountains of Lyrras, but I'm sure that's an oversight that can be remedied shortly."
"Yes, Lyrras is one of the most impressive and beautiful features of Earthian. I hope to have my son Heero show it to you during your stay."
Heero. The name was mentioned and Relena took the opening.
"Well, Your Majesty, where is prince Heero? I wanted to meet him as soon as possible so that we could get to know each other better. I only have two weeks here before I must go back to Sanque. It is not much time to make all the betrothal arrangements and still get to know my future husband."
"Heero is on his way. You can meet him and his Masters shortly."
Heero was on his way? Already? And his Masters? Relena wracked her brain frantically to find a way out of this situation. She wasn't ready to meet him or his advisors yet. Sure, she had said so, but that was an entirely different thing! However, before she could prevaricate a plausible excuse, the door to the study opened and five boys walked in. Relena could only stare helplessly as they sat on the seats next to hers. She was stuck now. Fortunately, she was a consummate politician and she smiled politely at the boys. Then she actually saw them and she nearly dropped her jaw to the ground. These five boys, they were all gorgeous! That thought, though smothered hastily, brought a faint blush to her cheeks. She felt ashamed at that thought. After all, she was a queen, not some naïve, silly girl who swooned over every pretty face. But which one was Heero? Not the dark haired boy with the ponytail. He didn't even look like Odin. The pretty blond? He looked too friendly to be Heero. The unibang? Maybe. He seemed reticent enough. The braided boy? Couldn't be, since she had never heard that Heero had long hair. That left… 'Oh my.' Relena stared at the only boy who could be Heero. Dark mussed hair and eyes the color of twilight. Chiseled face with beautiful features. This boy screamed royalty, poise and prince-ness. He was Heero. And Relena was in love.
"I'm Heero. Nice to meet you, Relena."
She barely heard those words coming from his lips. She was still in a daze. So it was reasonable that she did not see Heero's eyebrows twitch in irritation. When Relena did not say anything after his introduction (which he thought was fairly polite and nice), Heero decided that she was not going to work out well. She had this vacant look that was rather disturbing.
"Hey, Heero, I think your future wife is mesmerized by your awesome looks and daunting personality. Maybe you should nudge her with a stick."
Heero's eyebrow twitched again. Duo seemed to have a knack for annoying him. However, his amused comment brought Relena out of her state of shock. Good grief, she must look like a total idiot! She had to remedy this situation before everyone in the room thought of her as a total fool.
"It is a pleasure meeting you, Heero. I have heard much about you. How do you do?"
Mentally, Relena cringed. That had sounded so trite and stupid. But at least she had said something instead of looking at Heero like a lovesick child.
While Heero and Relena exchanged pleasantries and small talk (with lots of pauses in between), Duo watched with interest. That girl would be his future queen. At least she liked Heero, Duo thought, if her staring at him earlier was any indication. She must find his eyes the most interesting because Duo thought they were Heero's best features. He could drown in those eyes. But it would not do to let Heero know that tidbit of information. Sigh.
Quatre picked up on the small sigh Duo emitted and let his mind encompass Duo's aura. He felt Duo's slight self-mockery and… longing? Quatre swiveled his eyes toward Heero and then back at Duo. This could be a problem, unless… Making up his mind, Quatre extended his mind to Heero also. Mostly, he felt Heero's boredom, but when Heero darted his eyes toward Duo, he felt a sharp need, an interest, curiosity. Quatre retreated from Duo and Heero and looked at his hands. There was a problem. And it was bigger than he had first anticipated. All of a sudden, he felt pity for Relena. She would not like this one bit.
"I would like to introduce you to my Masters. Would you like to meet them?"
Heero's voice broke into Quatre's thoughts and he quickly composed himself to look interested.
"I would love to meet them, Heero." Relena turned towards the four boys sitting across from her. It was an effort to stop looking at Heero. As if on cue, Duo spoke up first and the other boys sighed with defeat.
"Relena-san. I'm Duo Maxwell. I hope we can get to know each other better in the next two weeks! But, to get you started, here's me in a nutshell. I run, I hide, but I never tell a lie. At least, most of the times…"
Relena politely shook hands with this boy, Duo. He seemed friendly enough.
"Nice to meet you, Duo-san. I do hope we get along."
Quatre watched while the others introduced themselves and did a fair job himself. However, his mind was not on greetings. It was on Heero, and Duo, and the feelings that seemed to have sprung up between them in such a short time. Sometimes, being an empath was more trouble than it was worth. He needed to talk to someone about this, to make sure he wasn't taking this too seriously. He couldn't speak to Duo or Heero, obviously, and WuFei didn't seem like a good choice either. Quatre decided to speak to Trowa about this matter. Although all five had only met today, he felt more comfortable around Trowa than the others. Maybe it was because Trowa was so silent and seemed like a good listener. Whatever the reasons, Trowa was the Master of Whispers. If anyone who was not an empath could pick up subtle signals, it was Trowa. He would have noticed if Duo and Heero were acting unusual to each other. Yes, Trowa and he were going to have a lengthy conversation after the birthday celebration.
Heero was getting tired of all the small talk. Even Duo looked bored and he loved talking. And Relena was looking at him in a weird way. She was confusing him with her well modulated voice contrasting with her heated eyes. Heero figured she must still be tired from the journey and that was making her act strange. Of all things he had heard about Relena, she was supposed to be a composed, well meaning queen who had the potential to become one of the greatest rulers Sanque had seen. That information was not meshing well with the person in front of him. Therefore, since in Heero's world, logic was paramount, he decided that Relena must be very tired indeed.
"You seem tired from the journey, Relena. Go and rest before the celebrations. I will see you there at eight."
Heero was so concerned about her! And only after this short meeting. Relena did a slow melt in her heart as she looked at him adoringly. Finally, after weeks of anxious moments and uncertainties, Relena felt at ease. She would have a wonderful life with Heero, her future husband.
As soon as Relena left, Heero turned to his father and excused himself and his advisors. They all walked in silence, following Heero down corridor after corridor. Apparently, their destination was at the other end of the castle, and the silence finally broke Duo.
"Oi, Heero! Where the hell are we going? I'm not one to complain, but if I wanted to walk, I would have gone outside where the sun is shining."
"We're heading to the West Tower. That is where my room is. That is also where all of your rooms are. We need to be well rested for the party."
Four sentences out of Heero and they didn't even sound forced. Duo grinned and replied, "Good… I was kinda hoping we got to rest. I definitely think we did enough talking today."
The other four boys looked at Duo with surprise. Did Duo actually say what they heard? Duo looked at his stunned comrades and let out a laugh. Boy, did they ever look like poleaxed cows.
"Yeah, I do get tired of my voice sometimes. Usually when I'm feeling tired myself. Or is it that you can't get enough of my voice?"
Duo smirked at Heero and Heero felt his irritation level rise. Even when he says he doesn't want to talk, he talks!
Finally, they arrived at the West Tower with Duo's voice bounding off the walls. By now, they had learned to tune him out when he went on his talking rampage. Each went to his designated room and waited for the party. It would be one hell of a dance.