Title: When the Whole World's Gone Crazy…I'll Believe in You
Author: the Black Rose
Spoilers: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing anime series, Endless Waltz (movie/OVA), Blind Target (radio drama and manga), all canon manga, Endless Waltz Novelization
Personal Website: http://blissfulignorance.com
Special thanks to lori
Gundam Wing: Heero x Relena
To discuss whether or not this pairing is canon is a whole can of worms that permanently divides Gundam Wing fandom. I signed up to write a manifesto about Heero and Relena, so we already know what I believe, and I really don't feel called upon to be fair to "the other side" as it were. However, I will say two things in my very best attempt at unbiased fair play:
1. The producer, in an interview, reportedly said that he didn't have a talent for portraying boy/girl relationships; it wasn't something "on his mind".
2. The Heero x Duo (yaoi) pairing is the most popular in Gundam Wing fandom.
And now that I have that out of the way, I'm going to tell you all why I believe Heero x Relena really is canon as far as the writer of Gundam Wing is concerned, and even if I can't prove that to you beyond a shadow of a doubt, I can prove that it's the one true pairing of my heart.
Relena Darlian aka Relena Peacecraft
She is the adopted daughter of the Vice Foreign Minister of the United Earth Sphere Alliance, the richest girl in school, and can boast having traveled to space several times. When the series opens, it's the day before her birthday, and the first day of school. People talk about her and her upcoming birthday like she's practically royalty among them. Little did they know…
Her true name is Relena Peacecraft and she is the missing daughter of the Peacecraft royal family - the rulers of a kingdom named Sanq. Her father was deposed by the United Earth Sphere Alliance and her family killed - for advocating the policies of total pacifism. Her father, on Earth, was the counterpart of a beloved leader advocating the same policies in outer space. Heero Yuy, the colony leader, was working to unite the space colonies when the United Earth Sphere Alliance hired an assassin by the name of Odin Lowe to kill him.
Her family tree is filled with interesting branches. Unbeknownst to her, she has a brother, the heir to the Sanq throne, named Milliardo Peacecraft. He hides his identity beneath a mask and a pseudonym: Lt. Colonel Zechs Merquise; Zechs is a member of the Specials within the United Earth Sphere Alliance military, but secretly waits for the right moment to free his father's kingdom - willingly and knowingly abdicating his right to rule in favor of his sister, whom he fights to protect.
The adopted daughter of a political figure, the true child of a legendary ruler, the sister of vengeful soldier. And yet, when Relena describes herself in episode three, her exact words are: "I'm his (Minister Darlian's) disobedient daughter."
Relena herself is her own quirky puzzle. She's from a wealthy family (aka she's rich), surrounded by people who want to follow her - and this doesn't change later on - and yet, she's alone. Her father, Minister Darlian, takes her on his trips to outer space, but doesn't manage to spend any time with her. When they arrive back on Earth, he's immediately accosted by press and has to discuss some political business (Operation Meteor), leaving his not-yet-fifteen year old daughter to walk home. She's admired by one of the boys in her class, who even challenges the new guy that ripped up Relena's birthday party invitation. But we're given no indication that Relena knows of the boy's admiration. At fifteen, she's a pampered girl with a good heart, but somewhat starved for male affection; she wants her father's attention.
It's tough to go into Relena's growth in terms of character without bringing Heero into the equation. But, I'll try. She starts out as a young, naïve girl, who has been sheltered and pampered to a degree. I wouldn't call her spoiled because she's a far cry from Paris Hilton; Relena knows what suffering is, and she truly cares about other people. In the first season opening (Just Communication), we see her dusting the snow off of an abandoned teddy bear, and the depth of feeling, the sorrow in her eyes. When she becomes ruler of the Sanq kingdom, she risks the further ire of the Romafeller foundation by extending refugee status to some injured (opposing) soldiers. And throughout the series, she will know tragedy, be faced with some of the hardest decisions, be trapped in some of the most heartbreaking of situations. But she doesn't run away. She doesn't try to hide or cry 'poor me, why do *I* have to be put upon'. Instead, she faces every challenge head on, and does the best she knows how to do in an ever-changing and increasingly chaotic world.
Her one quirk is that she falls for the guy who threatened to kill her.
Interlude: Political Lesson
The year is After Colony 195...
At the beginning of the series, there are five space colonies or clusters; each space colony is essentially cut off from communicating with the other colonies, due to the oppressive policies of the United Earth Sphere Alliance. The United Earth Sphere Alliance is not a one-world government; the nations of Earth still seem to have their own autonomous governments, though the United Earth Sphere Alliance clearly controls some nations (such as the Sanq Kingdom).
Within the United Earth Sphere Alliance, there is a secret organization headed up by Treize Krushrenada called Oz (Organization of the Zodiac). They have control of the special troop of mobile suit (mech) pilots called the Specials. Oz or the Specials manufacture all mobile suits for the Alliance.
The five colonies each have a scientist charged with building a Gundam (Gundam = mobile suit made from Gundanium metal, which is virtually indestructible and mined in outer space) for the purpose of sending it and its pilot to Earth to start a revolution. This operation, sending the Gundams to Earth, is called Operation Meteor. It's important to note that each pilot and Gundam was sent independently of the other four.
The Alliance has its good guys and its bad guys. I could go into more detail, but all that you need to know is that not long into the series, Oz and the Specials (who again had control of all the Alliance's mobile suit forces) stage a coup d'etat and overthrow the Alliance. Oz's financial backer named the Romafeller Foundation becomes the governing body on Earth, and in turn, the space colonies. The Gundam pilots sent to Earth are now enemies of the state, and execution orders are issued for all five young men.
A while later, a rift forms within Romafeller, and their leader Treize Krushrenada steps down and is 'imprisoned'. The troops also split, so skirmishes pop up between the Treize Faction (those soldiers loyal to Treize), Romafeller, and remnants of the Alliance. Plus, we still have our heroes, the Gundam pilots, fighting to survive, and Relena leading an ever-growing group of pacifists in a peaceful rebellion against Romafeller.
Confused yet? Well we have yet another faction to add to the mix. By the end of the series, a new faction made up of space colony extremists and led by Zechs Merquise (Milliardo Peacecraft) and the Barton Foundation (Dekim Barton and Quinze Barton) called the White Fang declare war on Earth. Relena Peacecraft is asked to lead the Romafeller foundation, but steps down when Treize returns to his 'throne'.
Did I mention there's some political chaos?
What I wanted you to get out of this is some idea of the different players involved so when I mention Operation Meteor or Oz, you can refer back to this section and hopefully not get too lost. I'm hoping. I do realize the plotline is complex, and you wouldn't be the first to get lost.
Heero Yuy aka Pilot 01
Heero Yuy is the name of the assassinated (and thus, deceased) space colony leader. Since the colony leader was killed about 20 years prior to Operation Meteor - which took place in episode 1 of the anime series - this section isn't talking about him. We're only going to discuss the nameless boy who was raised by an assassin and then trained to pilot a Gundam. This nameless boy was given the code name "Heero Yuy" for Operation Meteor - which marks the beginning of the space colonies' rebellion against the United Earth Sphere Alliance. He is also referred to as Pilot 01 when he is captured by Oz.
The Gundam pilot we know as Heero Yuy has no real name, no parents (to our knowledge), and no past - before he came to be assassin Odin Lowe's companion. In his episode zero (manga), we are introduced to him on his last mission with his mentor, who happens to be the same man who killed the beloved colony leader.
We learn that Odin was hired by members of the United Earth Sphere Alliance to kill the colony leader. This particular day, however, he has decided to kill the man who gave him the mission - General Septum. Odin appears to regret that he killed the colony leader, and I believe he knew he would die on this mission, which is why he told his 'son' that the young boy (Heero was 8) would be on his own from now on, and that this was his (Odin's) last mission. We're never sure what precisely Odin taught Heero; we do see Heero finishing his dad's mission (Odin asks him to pretend he is Odin's son. Heero responds, "Roger that, dad."). Heero seems at ease holding a gun, firing a canon, discussing military strategy, and detonating a bomb using a detonation switch (foreshadowing). Odin says that he has taught Heero all he needs to know about how to survive, and how to "settle down" into a new environment.
We do know Odin offers one memorable piece of advice to his adopted son: No matter what happens, always follow your emotions. Do what your heart tells you so you won't regret it later (this is often paraphrased as "the only way to live a good life is to follow your emotions" - which is the way Heero phrases it to Trowa Barton in the anime series).
Heero is as mysterious as his past. He's a survivor, despite the odds, a natural leader - by example rather than by any conscious attempts to lead - a kind person, and a strong person. He's also reportedly a very focused person; whenever he is focused on a mission, according to Dr. J, nothing will get in his way. Anyone or anything that tries to will be eliminated. Raised to know how to handle a gun from a very early age, he also knows military strategy, has a razor sharp intellect, seems to be an expert at computer hacking and blending into his surroundings, and his heart completely breaks when he makes an error during a mission and accidentally kills a little girl and her dog.
Not much of an assassin. We know he was trained by Dr. J and the Barton Foundation (during his Gundam pilot training days) to be the "perfect soldier" in terms of not letting human emotions get in the way of his mission. But Heero, despite his often one-dimensional and unfair characterization in fandom, is human. He gets angry; he has feelings, and sometimes those feelings do get in the way of his missions. And his humanity 'colors' several of his decisions throughout the manga and the anime series. The interesting thing to note is that it seems to, over time, happen more and more - Heero chooses the path dictated by his heart rather than following an order or deciding something is the most logical choice in his mind.
"If everything has gone crazy, then I'll believe in myself and keep fighting." Heero Yuy to Quatre Rababera Winner in Gundam Wing episode 24.
The "Little Prince" and the Princess
"But Heero was in one of those ships. Then...Does that make Heero...Is he a little prince?" -Relena Darlian, Gundam Wing episode 2
And now for the point of this essay - discussion of the Heero Yuy / Relena Peacecraft-Darlian pairing, evidence for it, why I love it (and why you should love it too).
I think most people would start with episode 1 of the anime series. Makes a lot of sense; sparks fly from the beginning, but I prefer to start with the first time Heero and Relena met: in Relena's episode zero, from the Episode Zero manga, and address some of Heero's actions in the "Operation Meteor" chapter of the same manga.
In A.C. 191, four years before the start of the series, a war orphan arrived on the steps of St. Gabriel Academy where Relena still attends class in episode 1. Her classmates comment frequently on how poor the boy looks, and how disheveled he is. They don't want to talk to him, and the boy spends a lot of time by himself; he's quiet. He and Relena bump into each other as she found him interesting and thinks how she wants to know more about him. It is said that there is no record of Heero being on Earth prior to Operation Meteor, and Relena doesn't know whether it was the same boy or not; however, according to the second part of her episode zero, he's using a code name Black Alpha and communicates to mission control that the Darlian estate may be a better refuge than St. Gabriel's - after the attack.
Clearly, this could be no one other than Heero Yuy, the Gundam pilot to be.
Relena narrowly misses being able to give him her personal introduction; quiet and reserved, she doesn't speak much to her classmates or even her mother, but she says she feels connected to him (Heero) somehow.
Back to A.C. 195, just prior to the beginning of the series, in the chapter of Episode Zero entitled "Operation Meteor", Heero is watching Minister Darlian and Relena at a small press conference. His mentor/guardian Dr. J tells Heero the Barton Foundation intends to assassinate Minister Darlian, so Heero has three choices: 1 - support the Barton Foundation and kill Minister Darlian, 2 - ignore the foundation and protect Minister Darlian, or 3 - forget the whole thing. Heero remembers Odin's advice to "do what your heart tells you", and then looks down (from the top of the building where he's standing) at Relena. She glances up at him, and he puts his hand up in front of his face - to prevent her from seeing him. In episode 1 of the anime series, Minister Darlian gets on the shuttle safe, sound, and alive.
It is my belief that Heero knows exactly who Relena is starting in A.C. 191. He ran into her then, remembers her four years later, and protects her father - for what reason? Because he did as his heart told him.
Two more noteworthy bits from the "Operation Meteor" chapter of the manga. The first is that Dr. J discovers Heero has added a self destruct mechanism to his space suit and the doctor decides to disable it - so it will misfire. Misfire it does, in episode 1 of the anime, when Heero tries to self-destruct after Relena sees his face/can identify him.
The second is that Heero recognizes Relena as soon as he arrives on Earth. In episode 1 of the anime series, after their meeting on the beach, Heero shows up at St. Gabriel's Academy (again). He is told to sit next to Relena, and goes immediately to the desk beside her without any additional instructions. He later threatens to kill her (in a spectacular show of ripping up her party invitation). And on the day of her party, she finds him at the marina about to launch torpedoes at his Gundam (to destroy it before the Alliance got their hands on it); she calls his name and he turns around with this soft look on his face and utters her name: "Relena." (He then promptly changes back to mission mode, aims his gun at her, and tells her to say goodbye).
The only explanation for how he could have possibly known who she was and where to find her, and why he would utter her name like a half-whispered prayer is if he had indeed seen her and remembered her from their several encounters throughout the Episode Zero manga.
So, what is the point? The point is, she's a rich, affluent girl with a kind heart who wanted to reach out to him when he was just a "poor war orphan", and she felt a connection with him the first time they met. In turn, he is a single-minded, trained assassin/mercenary who chooses to save her father's life when he follows his heart. His reaction to her in episode 2 is evidence that he may feel a connection to Relena as well.
But that's just the beginning.
I will protect you
"I promised that I would protect you. But in order to protect you and the Earth sphere, Relena, I have no choice but to fight. Please, let me fight." -Heero to Relena in Gundam Wing episode 48
We never heard the original promise (to protect her). But despite his threats and opportunities to kill her, the trained assassin ended up saving Relena's life on several occasions. And she, in return, saved his.
The moral of the story is that Heero didn't really want to kill Relena…otherwise she'd be dead.
Evidence #1 - Assassins never warn their victims
In the very first episode of the anime series, Relena finds Heero lying unconscious on the beach. He washes ashore after crashing his mobile suit into the ocean, and is under strict orders that anyone who sees or can connect him to the Gundam has to die. Later in the same episode, he shows up at her school; Relena hands him an invitation to her birthday party, but Heero rips it up. As a tear trickles down her cheek, the new boy gently wipes it away, then tells her: "I'll kill you."
Evidence #2 - Assassins don't hesitate to pull the trigger
Lo and behold in episode 2, she shows up at the marina, and surprises him in the midst of an attempt to destroy his Gundam. After he turns and says her name (soft look, as I mentioned before), he aims his gun at her and he stops for a moment, his finger on the trigger when Duo shows up and shoots Heero instead.
Evidence #3 - He protects her from Oz
Skipping ahead to episode 6, St. Gabriel's Academy is holding a dance. Heero is about to skip town and move on to the next mission, when Relena hears he's been transferred. She goes up to his room, and barges in, asking him where he's going next. He again, aims his gun at her, and this time she tells him that he doesn't want to kill her when there are so many witnesses downstairs. Instead, she invites him to go to the party with her. He apparently accepts because the next scene of the St. Gabriel party shows the two of them dancing together. She asks Heero if he still has to kill her, and he says "Yeah." Relena says she understands, but she's on his side, now - since Colonel Une, under the Alliance's orders, had killed Relena's father in episode 5.
St. Gabriel's is attacked as Colonel Une goes after Relena, who knows that the Colonel is responsible for Minister Darlian's death. Heero mistakenly thinks Oz has found him, and takes to his Gundam. The students all run for cover, but Relena is caught in the school yard during the mobile suit battle - the top of the school building is demolished and is about to crush her when Heero's Gundam (the Wing Gundam) extends his shield to protect her. Heero keeps his mobile suit in place, taking fire from the enemy as the dust clears and Relena is indeed safe beneath Wing's shield. The pilot has no idea why he protected her, and after the Oz troops are called back, she stands and asks why he didn’t kill her. He can't answer. Wing makes a half-hearted swipe at her, but Heero can't do it. He can't kill her. Frustrated, he turns and blasts off - away to his next mission.
Evidence #4 - He still doesn’t kill her
Infatuated with the mysterious Gundam pilot, Relena spends some time trying to track him down. She catches up with him enrolled at another school, this time he's there with fellow Gundam pilot/semi-rival Duo Maxwell. Again, she's a threat to his anonymity (but so is Duo - Heero says he "stands out"), but he doesn't kill her.
Intent on delivering a message from the widow of one of Heero's accidental victims - Heero was tricked by Treize into killing the Alliance pacifists who wanted to lay down the military's weapons and stop exploiting the space colonies, including the leader Field Marshal Noventa - Relena flies a shuttle in the midst of Heero's battle with her brother, Zechs Merquise. Heero tells her she's in the way, and still doesn't kill her.
And finally, when her kingdom collapses in the wake of a vicious invasion by Romafeller's mobile doll troops (mobile dolls are mobile suits with artificial intelligence and need no pilot to control them), Relena is given a terrible choice: she can either become the leader of the foundation she hates, or let people continue to die in battle. When she becomes the figurehead of Heero's sworn enemy, he heads off to assassinate her, in order to eliminate what he believed to be a "fake peace". In the midst of her speech asking Romafeller to lay down their weapons and extend a hand of friendship so that Earth and the colonies can co-exist peacefully, Heero hesitates in pulling the trigger. In the end, he can't do it.
In turn for all the times Heero failed at killing her, and probably due to some of her own, more personal reasons as well, Relena saves his life on at least 3 occasions. In episode 3, when he's about to commit suicide by diving off a cliff and not opening his parachute, it's Relena's voice that calls him back. He opens the chute and narrowly avoids dying (he breaks his thigh bone instead).
The second time is when she flies in between his battle with Zechs - a battle her brother was winning. In Heero's defense, he was still recuperating from a month-long coma. And when he woke up, he imagined Relena sitting nearby (it was really Trowa's sister, Catherine).
Later in the series, as the princess of the Sanq kingdom, Relena offers a war-weary Gundam pilot and his comrade (Quatre Winner - the Gundam pilot from the L4 colony) sanctuary when Romafeller and the space colonies themselves have issued execution orders for all the colony rebels.
But Relena saves Heero in more ways that even he doesn't understand...
I'm Nothing Compared to You
Relena: "Heero, I must admit-you really are quite amazing."
Heero: "Look who's talking."
Relena: "No, Heero, that's not true. You've given me both hope and the strength to live. I'm sure that you make others feel just the same!"
Heero: "Don't make me repeat it. I'm nothing compared to you."
-From Gundam Wing Episode 46
In the course of the series, Heero goes from promising to kill Relena to promising to protect her. He makes good on that promise in Blind Target, Endless Waltz, and the last event in the timeline Preventer 5 (in the Episode Zero manga). He even amends it in Blind Target when he tells her "I promise to protect you, no matter who your enemy might be."
On the other hand, Relena goes from what I believe to be a school girl crush on the mysterious new boy to a more mature respect and admiration. And eventually it becomes love.
Evidence #1 - She trusts him above anyone else, even with her life
Back to the Party Night episode (#6), when Heero aims his shield and takes a swipe at her that narrowly misses, Relena doesn't flinch. Unlike in episode 2, where she genuinely looks scared of the boy who is pointing the barrel of a gun between her eyes, she stands her ground and stares up at the strange, vicious machine and asks him why he didn't kill her.
In episode 31, when faced with the fact that Lieutenant Lucrezia Noin (Zechs's close personal friend. Noin tells Relena that Zechs is Relena's brother, and also admits to Relena that she loves Relena's brother. Noin serves as Relena's protector in place of Zechs) has been fortifying Relena's pacifist nation with mobile suits and weapons, the princess asks Heero how he would run this country. He replies that he'd do it the same way as Noin and be able to mount a defense against invasion. Relena agrees to their recommendation saying: "How can I expect to come up with a position that the world can agree to if I can't even agree with the people closest to me?"
And finally, in episode 41, when Relena sees Heero on the balcony above her, aiming (again) his gun at her, finger poised on the trigger… She bows her head and gives him permission to kill her - trusting him to know what's best for the rest of the world, even if it means taking her life.
"He's someone we can trust. We'll be safe by his side." - Relena to her personal assistant (Chris) in the Blind Target manga.
Evidence #2 - She worries for him
What started out as a sympathetic interest in a poor boy that no one wanted to talk to (Episode Zero), changed to interest in a mysterious boy with a number of secrets (Episodes 1-2). Then it grew into something else… Something more like concern. She cares about him, as evidenced when she continued searching for him despite the reports he was dead (after he self-destructed his Gundam), and traveled to Antarctica to bring Heero the letter from Mrs. Noventa - so he would know that Mrs. Noventa forgave Heero for killing her husband.
She had to bargain with him to let her country protect him when Romafeller wanted him dead - offering to search for Heero's missing comrade Trowa Barton if Heero would stay in her kingdom, and "hide out" as a student. When she left to go to a meeting with the Romafeller representatives, Relena made him promise not to leave without telling her first.
And finally, in the Blind Target manga, she tells him outright: "You're a strong person. But don't ask me not to worry for you. Because I want to." - Relena to Heero in Blind Target manga #4
Evidence #3 - He's the strength she depends on
After her father died, Relena begins to look to Heero's example as inspiration to be strong in the face of a world that is rapidly falling into chaos. He seems to know what side he belongs to and what he believes in, and her world has completely fallen apart. Her father was murdered in front of her eyes; she was told that her parents weren't really her parents, and that she was in fact the heir to a kingdom. Her school is attacked and she is nearly killed, but Heero is her anchor, her grounding in reality.
"Let me stay by you a little longer. I want to be stronger, just like you." - Relena to Heero, Gundam Wing episode 9
"You've given me both hope and the strength to live." - Relena to Heero, Gundam Wing episode 46
I do believe in you
Heero: "Believe in me."
Relena: "I do. Believe in you. Yes, I do."
-Gundam Wing episode 48
Their relationship is a subtle one - like a simple gesture that, if observed, would give away their intimacy. The trouble is, they're both quiet and reserved about their emotions; it takes a perceptive person to notice.
"It just goes to show how powerful that girl is to influence a guy like Heero." -Trowa to Wufei in Gundam Wing episode 46
But it's that subtlety that lends their relationship depth and maturity. Though Relena did go through a phase where she was infatuated with Heero, by the end of the series, and certainly by the end of the overall story arc, they both admired and respected one another.
Quatre: "She, Relena is so strong."
Heero: "The strongest."
Quatre: "I had lost sight of it-- The courage and strength it takes to really forgive someone."
-Blind Target manga #3
"You must be tired. The dreams of billions of people are riding on you alone. But you can do it. I know you can keep the world in peace." -Heero to Relena in Blind Target manga #2
Beyond the war, Heero seems to go back to the life he had before he became a Gundam pilot - surviving the way Odin taught him, and moving from place to place, school to school, and always incognito; his part of the battle for peace is over. Relena, however, is just coming into the hardest part of her fight, though her battles are fought with words, not weapons. When those she struggles against, however, raise a hand to strike, Heero is her "guardian angel" of sorts - always stepping in to even the playing field, and save her from danger. He risks his life to protect her.
"I will protect you, no matter who your enemy may be." -Heero to Relena in the radio drama Blind Target
They are two halves of one whole. The soldier and the pacifist; the princess and the pauper. He is the ultimate warrior who fought to defeat those that wanted to oppress the people of the colonies; she is the beloved Queen (former Queen of the World) who fights to maintain peace between people who don't always seem to want it. Without one or the other, the universe would tumble back into battle. And so two seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum come together to bring unity and peace.
"You've got an intensity in your eyes that hasn't changed since the first time we met." -Relena to Heero in Gundam Wing episode 33
"I cannot let this good chance escape because of you alone.... Farewell, Relena. Don't worry, I'll follow you right after." - Heero to Relena before the 3rd blast, translated excerpt from the Endless Waltz novelization.
"It's not a dream. That you're sitting here beside me. I know it's selfish, to want you always at my side. But sometimes, I want so much to see you..." -Relena to Heero in Blind Target manga #2
Theirs isn't a simple love affair. It defies categorization and transcends what one would normally expect out of two people who are still so young. Their relationship can't be defined by such easy means as the old adage "opposites attract", because Heero and Relena are the same: focused, caring, reserved, sacrificing. Both willing to die for what they believe in. And they believe in the same thing: Peace.
And within that peace, they believe in each other.
"I do, believe in you. Yes, I do." -Relena to Heero in Gundam Wing, episode 48
1xr Political Espionage: The Heero x Relena LiveJournal Community
Love Reflection 2 ML
HeeroxRelena Fanfiction C2 Community
the Black Rose's Fanfiction.Net profile
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