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Her fingers traced the cold concrete as she stared in disbelief. The numbers and letters engraved in the stone didn't lie. How can this be true? Nothing in her mind made any sense, as she went over the events. It was an endless nightmare that she couldn't win at the moment. She shivered at the near thought of hearing the glass cracking upon impact, and even the horrid sound of the tires rebelling against the slick pavement.
The memories were laid out as fresh scars, and she collapsed under the weight of them all. Her hand gently held the gray stone, as her tears flowed. The salty droplets ran down the surface and marred the letters before finally dropping onto a fresh bouquet of lilies.
How did she defy the odds? It was anyone's guess. Her blue eyes focused in on the headstone, they shifted from denial to anger, and to disbelief. "Why?" she whispered. Her fist connected with the cold, abrasive surface, but she didn't feel anything. Her eyes caught a glimpse of a slow cut forming over her knuckle, and she focused on the red trail.
Time was cruel to her, and the past few weeks everything was a blur. She remembered voices drifting into her room, and she did remember her parents stopping by at times. And once she regained clarity, there was another unexpected turn of events.
She glared at the stranger a couple of times, hoping it was medication induced, but there was no denying the fact that he continued to stand there in her room. The more she thought about it, the more her head ached. She was tired of fighting. "Please tell me that you are a figment of my imagination."
"No," his voice remained calm and distant.
His steel grey eyes watched her from the shelter of a Japanese Birch. He knew she needed time to comprehend what was happening. Everything was defying logic.
His thoughts ran back to the night of their perfect summer, and how it instantly changed in a blink of an eye. He remembered looking over towards her, the car had flipped upside down. Her blond hair was splayed about, as she squirmed to get free from her seatbelt. He reached out to push the red button and she landed with a thud.
"Get out now," he barked at her, "Everything is going to be okay."
"But Milliardo!" she screamed.
"Get out," and that's when he saw her get yanked out of the car, as the overpowering smell of gasoline arose. Then everything went black for a second, and then something strange happened. He found himself in a hall of pictures, staring at the classical paintings of old. The deep vibrant colors resonated within him as he became lost in them. He caught his own reflection on one of the glass murals. He was older.
As he turned around the corner, that's when it hit him. A pair of eyes caught his, and in that moment, he started to remember something about a small blonde girl crying.
"Are you lost mister?"
"Are you talking to me?" The silver haired man pointed to himself.
"Of course, silly." The little girl waved in front of him. "You're not from here."
He cleared his throat, looking annoyed, "Hn."
"Lucrezia, where are you dear?" A soft voice echoed from another room.
"Over here," she shouted, ignoring everyone else.
"What did I tell you about wandering around here?" She looked down at her only daughter, "You do know that we are in a gallery."
"Yes, Momma," she looked away from her, knowing she had broken her rule.
"Okay," she sighed and stayed close to her mother. She looked over at the stranger, "What's your name?" she whispered to him.
"Um…I don't have a clue."
She bit the bottom of her lip, "How about Zechs?"
"Come with me, I need to show you something," as she grabbed his hand. All few heads turned in the gallery, as they wondered what the little girl was up to.
Her tiny hand was lost in his very own, as she continued to pull him through various corners. Occasionally, he watched her peer over her shoulders and look to see where her mother was.
The pair stopped in front of a replica of Van Gogh's sunflowers. The shades of yellows triggered his memories…"Relena," he whispered.
She noticed a change in his eyes, "Is something wrong?"
"I think I need to be somewhere, but I don't know where," his grey eyes were blank.
"You'll figure it out," she smiled up at him.
From that point on, it was the start of their relationship. And when her eighth birthday came around the corner, he left her without saying goodbye, but he did manage to sneak in a small gift that was hidden in her room. He concealed the tiny black box well enough that she might not even find the tiny treasure.
Overall, Zechs wandered through the city as a drifter, never really belonging anywhere. He gravitated himself to the art museum at random times, and he sat in front of the sunflowers. He kept ruminating on the name Relena, and somehow it slowly clicked in his mind that he had belong to family before.
A female voice called out from the distance, "I can't believe it that you're here," her eyes were shocked. "Zechs."
"Lu…" His grey eyes wandered to a diamond that caught a light beam.
"Will she be alright?" A voice came from behind, as she carried two cups of coffee.
"I think so," he reached out to the small cup and took a sip to warm his body. His grey eyes watched the steam escape from the small lid and watched the wavy pattern disperse in the chilly morning.
"What were you thinking earlier?"
"Oh about us, and how nothing makes sense to this point."
The woman stood next to him now, and let out a small chuckle. "That's to say the least." She adjusted her black jacket, trying to keep the chill from settling into her bones. "Did you tell her everything?"
"Yes…to a certain extent," his eyes narrowed.
"Zechs," the monosyllable strained from her lips.
The silver haired man turned around to that statement, "Noin, what are you getting at?" He only used that name when he was getting annoyed. The last time he used that nickname was when the two were playing a game of chess. She managed to somehow checkmate his king twice in the game.
"You didn't tell her about Heero," she shifted on her heels, waiting for her longtime fiancé to react.
"It's already complicated as it is."
She turned from his side, "You're going to tell her one way or other." She bit down on her bottom lip, and drew some crimson, "Heero probably already broke the ice of how things are done."
"Hn," he crossed his arms and pondered for a moment. Deep down, he knew Noin was right, and there was no denying the fact. If there were certain traits that carried over from his past life, stubbornness would be included in that list. "You win." He looked over to her, and saw a small grin creeping up on the corners of her lips.
He walked over to where she knelt by the headstone, her body wrapped around the corner. He could see it on her face that she was fighting with his first set of information. The ramifications seemed endless, but he knew he couldn't reveal himself to other former family members. He was better off being a ghost. "Relena, we need to talk still." Her blue eyes met with his grey eyes. He could see the blue had faded to a dull shade of cerulean. How much could she take? "It's about Heero."