In the Garden of the Beast: Chapter 3



"Do you ever think about your home?" Relena asked as they once again sat on the window seat in the library.

"I suppose sometimes. When it gets lonely around here." Heero answered as nonchalantly as possible, with a slight shrug.

"Hmm," she brought her kness to her chest in a child-like fashion and looked out the window, her eyes as clouded as the skies.

"Something bothering you princess?" The sides of her mouth tugged up a bit at the nickname that Duo had given her that seemed to have catched on like the flu, but even more annoying.

"Hmm. Not sure." She laid her head on her knees.

Silence resumed as it often did in the time they spent at that window seat. Many hushed minutes were spent looking out on that cold winter afternoon with busy minds.

But then it began to snow.

"Oh Heero, don't be such a spoil-sport. Snow is fun!" Relena beamed a smile, and tugged at the hand.... er claw of her campanion.

"Since when is the frozen version of rain and other nasty forms of precipitation fun?" He answered grumpily, though he couldn't really say he didn't mind the fact that it gave him a reason to hold her hand. Nope, not sorry about that one bit.

"Beacause...." She said with an evil smirk, letting go of his hand "of this!" She yelled the last word triumphnatly as her snowball hit its mark, namely Heero's head.

He stretched his hands limply at his sides, and gave the sourest grin ever conceived in the known world.

"You know, just because I'm one big mass of fur doesn't mean a snowball in the ear doesn't do anything."

"Just what I was counting on." She maintained the evil grin, while turning her back, and walking over to the snow bank against the frozen pond. First and last mistake.

"Famous last words." A biting amusement tipped the beast's voice. But Relena didn't have time to notice that. No, for indeed, within half a second, she was confronted with a massive amount snow down her winter coat. That made her squirm.

Heero tried hard to contain a slight sneer as the young woman wriggled around, shaking her coat to the best of her ability, all the while yelling and shrieking curses and obscenities at the young man.

"What colorful language... the kind that isn't suitable to a refined lady." He couldn't contain it any longer, and let go to the self-satisfacted grin.

"Oh...." She let out a frustrated sound, and contorted her face into a state of pure loathing. "Refined lady eh? I'll show you lady." And with that she launched herself at the shaggy so-called monster that stood feet away, with his arms crossed, and the most annoying grin. But, you know, being a beast-like creature has its advantages, like, oh, shall we say, instant reflexes, and faster than average speed.

So, the mandatory snowball fight-chase scene ensued, with much laughter, frustrated screams, and cold amounts of snow becoming lodged in the ears.

"Ah, that was exhausting," Relena let out a contented sigh as she plopped down onto the snow covered hill with an adequate swoosh.

Heero just made an affirmative sound of agreement as he did the same.

After a moment to catch her breath, Relena propped herself on her side to look at her friend, head supported by the forearm and elbow. She was pleased to find a completely relaxed look on the adolescent male's face, and a contented smile adorning his features.

She breathed a happy sigh and watched the lad as he lay contentedly with his eyes closed on the hill.

"It's rude to stare you know." He opened one eye to gaze at her. She simply rolled her eyes.

Once again plopping back down, she sprayed out her arms and legs, and dug them into the snow, moving them back and forth in a somewhat half-circular pattern.

"What are you doing?" He asked in an annoyed tone, his eyes one again closed, head cradled on his arms.

"Making a snow angel." She said matter of factly.

"How juvenille."

"Nyah." She turned her head and stuck out her tongue out at him in a sufficiently juvenille manner befitting her act.

But she didn't turn her head back. She just laid her head to the side, staring at him, particularly his eyes. While he did the same.

She really wondered how a person got such great eyes as he did. Perhaps it was an Asian thing. Or maybe whatever enchantment it was he was under that he didn't like to talk about. But in any case, she really had to say she loved his eyes above all things. They were really captivating she had decided.

He was thinking much along the same lines at that moment, but more of how soft and silky her hair seemed, and the perfect way it curled around her neck and shoulders, framing her heart-shaped face. Or perhaps the way the winter sun reflected on it, making it seem like a cascading waterfall trailing down her chest and back. Indeed, he wished to run his claws along those fine strands, taking it between his fingers.

And they just lay like that, never fully realizing what the other (or themselves for that matter) was doing. Completely enthralled in each other, Heero did something he wasn't even aware he was doing until he was in the middle of it. But, he lent over, ever so quietly, and paused her face, inches from her, eyes half lidded as if drowsy with sleep. He considered her face at the moment, and after a few slight moments that seemed forever to the impatient Relena, he ever so delicately pressed his mouth her hers, in a slow, unopposing manner as if not to scare her.

What a starnge sensation it was. There is nothing quite like the press of another's lips against your own Relena thought silently. But it was nice. Very, very nice she added firmly. Especially with the feathery feel of the thin fur of Heero's face tickling her cheeks and nose. She cupped her hand to the side of his jaw, and become bold. Deeping the kiss, she pressed her mouth more firmly to his, and felt a slight wave of excitement and she felt his arms encircle her, and his hands running through her hair, and cradling her neck.

Yes, she determined, kissing was quite nice.

Relena was feeling positively giddy as she walked back to her room after her and Heero had come inside some time before dinner. She could tell everyone was looking at her everytime she passed them in the halls, with her flushed face, and unfaltering smile, but she didn't care. She was quite happy.

Happy she thought. She couldn't really remember the last time she had been happy. Oh, of course she had been content living with her brother, but the town had offered her nothing, and she had found emptiness in the superficial, gossip-filled conversation and people that inhabited it.

But nonetheless, she still missed her brother and their little cottage. She gave a slight frown as she stepped before the entrance to her quarters. She pushed the thought aside, today was a happy day, and she was determined to not let it dampen her mood.

Pushing open her doors, her eyes widened as she found some four of the castles femlae servants sitting by (or on) her bed, chattering away. They finally noticed her when she closed the door, and all gave sly smirks and greetings to her.

In attendance was, of course, Hilde, who had grown to become Relena's first and only female best friend. Certainly her brother had been her best friend, but sometimes a female needs another female to talk to. Also there was Sally, the resident physician of the mansion and Wu fei's (another male servant and friend of Heero's) wife. Trowa's sister and the castle cook, Catherine, was seated politely on the edge of the bed, next to Dorothy, who helped manage miscellaneous assets of the castle.

"So Relena," Hilde began with a knowing smirk, "how was it?"

Relena paused a moment. "I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about." She returned the smile and she strolled over to the small geometric shape that the women formed.

"Stop acting like you don't know." Sally winked at her. "It's really quite nice. Why if I remember correctly Wu Fei's and my first kiss was-"

"Please Sally, however riveting that is, we really would not be comfortable with the mental images that come along with that subject." Dorothy said matter-of-factly.

Sally rolled her eyes.

"Anyway," Hilde spoke excitedly " give all the details Relena."

Relena was she she had turned beet red by this time, and ran her hands through her hair with embarassment. Then, something made itself apparent in her mind, and she eyed the women wearily.

"How exactly did you find out that Heerop and I kissed?"

"Really now Relena," Catherine stated. "You can't hide anything in this place."

"Especially after Duo takes it upon himself to tell the whole castle." Dorothy smiled like a Cheshire cat.

Relena burried her face in her hands. "Oh no..."

Catherine patted Relena shoulder in an oddly comforting way. "Oh don't worry Relena, I'm sure not everybody knows."

"Hey everybody!" A surprisingly Duo-like voice was heard outside the door. "Maitre Heero and Relena kissed! Woo woo!"


Relena sighed. "They do now."

"Hello Duo," Relena smiled sweetly at the now black-eyed young man as she strolled down the hall with Hilde and the other women to dinner.

"Hewow," Duo said miserably and in a way that Relena could only somewhat understand. But that was understandable, of course, what with his swollen and bruised cheeks and all.

"Oh, poor Duo." Hilde stroked the crown of his head soothingly. "Let Hilde make it all better." And kissed his quite soundly on the lips. But stopped quite abruptly as a throaty sound between a groan and a scream came out of Duo asd he tenderly touched his cheeks and lips.

Relena couldn't help but laugh. Though she quickly tried to hide it behgind her hands, and keep her mouth closed, she just couldn't contain it after Duo went into hysterics and uncomphrehensive speech about life not being fair.

She just laughed and laughed, and laughed some more.