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Chapter 9: "I know that man!"
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Power and fire systems restored, Heero and Relena exited the shed to the glare of bright lights.

"Freeze!  Put your hands up!" There was a large crowd of Preventers gathered outside.  Heero glared at them and stepped in front of Relena.

"It's the Vice Foreign Minister!" some one shouted.  The Preventers all pointed guns at Heero.

Relena groaned.  Heero always reacted the same when guns were pointed at him.  He became even more reckless.

Heero was reaching for his gun, and it did not go unnoticed by the Preventers.  She could hear their weapons clicking as they cocked them.

"Wait!" Relena shouted, and jumped in front of Heero.  He was startled, and took a step back.

"Vice Foreign Minister?" some of them called.

"He's my bodyguard!" she shouted.  "The man you're looking for has been apprehended!  We'll take you there!"

The Preventers had no choice but to put up their weapons, although they continued to regard Heero with suspicion.  The sentiment was returned, and Heero kept a firm grip on her hand as they reentered the building.

They were met immediately by around 20 Maganacs, grievously insulted at the breech in security that had taken place.  Ignoring the Preventers, they formed an escort around Heero and Relena, who went back to the main hallway to meet up with Quatre, Trowa, Wufei, Sally, and several more Maganacs.

"How did you know to come?" Quatre asked the Preventers, puzzled.

"Some one called us" their leader replied.  "A--" he consulted his comrades, "a Miss Shoebacker."

Duo grinned.  "That's my girl!  We were on the phone when the power was cut" he explained.

"I'm surprised she didn't just think you'd broken it, Maxwell" Wufei, who was in a bad mood now, sneered.

Duo opened his mouth to point out he was a mechanic, but shut it when he remembered that he had, in fact, accidentally unplugged a phone just last week.

"The suspect is still in the closet" Heero pointed out.  Wufei and Sally, as Preventers, marched in front.  There were exclamations when they saw the devastation in Relena's room.  There was glass and wood all over the floor from the window and bathroom door, half of which was laying on the bed.  The ventilation grill was laying on the floor where Heero had thrown it when he climbed out of the ductwork.  There was blood on the carpeting and sprayed on the wall.

"It looks much worse when you can see it" Relena sighed.  "Sorry about the window, Quatre" she added.

"We didn't break most of it" Heero pointed out.  He helped move the dresser, then pulled the stalker out of the closet, still unconscious.  A large puddle of blood was left behind.

"Sorry about the carpet" Heero said, then looked at Relena to see if she was pleased he was being unselfish.

But Relena looked pale and her eyes were wide.  "I know that man!" she gasped, pointing at the attacker.  "He-- he used to fill in for Pagan.  He left about a year ago, before you came" she said to Heero, when she saw he looked annoyed that he didn't know the man as well.

"Only got him in the shoulder, huh?" Duo said, pulling out a gun and aiming it.  "Wouldn't it be bad if my gun slipped when it was pointed at his head."

"Of course there's no capital punishment in the Earth-Sphere Unified Nation," Wufei said, "but if it was an accident..."

"Now, now" Sally pushed Duo's gun up.  "Of course, there's not much we can do if he bleeds to death, can we?"

"Don't you think we should question him first?" a woman's voice interrupted.  They turned to look at the doorway to find Lady Une stepping through.  "Someone finally notified me the call had been made for this address" she explained.  "I thought I should come down personally.  Is everyone all right?" she looked pointedly at Relena.

"Oh" Relena brought a hand up to touch her face.  "I'd forgotten about that.  It's just from flying glass."

Une smiled slightly.  "Just a typical day with the Gundam pilots..." she murmured.

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The Preventers removed the still unconscious and bound man from the premises.

Relena agreed to let Sally treat her face while she talked on the vidphone to Hilde.

Hilde was beaming.  "I'm glad everyone's all right" she eyed the foam still clinging to Duo warily.  "I'm glad I could help."

"That was great babe!" Duo chattered enthusiastically.  "Everyone's very impressed."

Hilde scowled.  "Why is everyone so surprised when I do something right?" she shouted.  "I was a solider too, ya know!"

Everyone else immediately left Duo and Hilde alone, Hilde shouting about Peacemillion.

"That reminds me-- do you want to call your brother?" Quatre asked as they left.

"I will in the morning" she yawned.

"It is the morning" Trowa remarked.

It was already six am, and daylight was coming through the windows.

"Well  I'm going to sleep" Relena announced.  "And I'll call Millardo when I get up."

As everyone began to move away, however, Relena cornered Sally.  "I couldn't help but notice what a difference a day--or night-- makes" she said.

Sally blushed.  "Well, we had some time to talk, when we were stuck in the hallway."

"And did you?"

"It depends on what you mean by 'talk.'"  They both giggled, Sally blushing.  "But we did come to an understanding."

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All of Heero and Relena's things were moved into Heero's room.  Relena sat on the bed, watching as he wordlessly placed clothing in drawers.  Something had been different about him, ever since they had first run into the Preventers.

"Is something wrong, Heero?" she asked.

He didn't answer, but that could go either way.  "I know something's wrong" she pressed.  "What is it?  Please tell me, Heero."

He pushed the drawer in and straightened up, but didn't turn to look at her.

She frowned.  Was it something she had done?  But what had happened?  "Are you upset because I said you were my bodyguard?" she wanted to laugh, but didn't dare.  Who said Heero Yuy didn't have feelings?

He still wouldn't look at her, but Relena knew she was right.  "Oh Heero," she sighed.  "You know you're not just my bodyguard!  I only said that because I thought it would impress them more then..." she halted.  What was he to her, exactly?  Friend?  Boyfriend?  "...then, anything else" she finished lamely.

She stood up and walked over to him, curling herself against his back and wrapping her arms around his waist, her cheek resting between his shoulder blades.

"It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks" she reminded him softly.  "Although this is an important stage in your emotional development."  She giggled.

He turned in her arms and frowned down at her.  He put his arms around her waist, however, and Relena squeezed her arms.  Maybe it was time to end the ambiguity.  "Come to bed, Heero."

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The End-ish
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