title: Choir Box: Immaculate Heart of Mary
fandom: Gundam Wing
characters/pairings: Une/Treize, Zechs, Relena, Duo
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Une prepares for her wedding.
notes: song by Lethanon: Pietatis
this song is so Une...
much gratitude to Lethanon, for sharing her abundant talents with us, and allowing me to tag along on this journey. please make sure to go download the song to get the full effect, and go to her site to get fansong cds from Leth. because she rocks. ^_^
these fics will have strong Catholic overtones, but if i do my job right, they won't be essential to the fics. all the fic titles will come from feast days in the Catholic calendar.

She did a quarter turn in front of the mirror, smoothing her hands over the glossy satin. It was beautiful. But was it exquisite? She looked stunning, but was she radiant? Was she resplendent? Would all eyes widen as they turned to her? Would he smile appreciatively at her in that way that made her know he really did appreciate her?

Was she good enough?

She could hear them talking. They were barely ten feet away, sniggering away at her. She knew that they had had sex with her intended. He hadn't told her, exactly, but then, since when did a good wife make her husband tell her every little thing that happened to him in the course of the day?

It wasn't like she expected him to love her back.

She stared into her own eyes. She didn't mind listening to them chatter like ninnies. She didn't even mind having them in her wedding party. They were inconsequential.

As long as Treize was happy, she was happy.

She would be the perfect wife - attentive, considerate, loving, understanding, helpful, and proper.

She smiled, just a little smile, a horrible thing she tried not to do often. She would never have his heart. She accepted that, but she didn't have to mourn it. After all, she would have his children. She would have his bed to sleep in, even when she was alone. She would have his arm, as they walked into every banquet and occasion.

She would share his life. She would see his dreams come true. She would do everything in her power to make them come true.

She was useful.

The seamstress came over, and her bridesmaids drifted over to participate in the conversation about improvements. It was decided that a touch of Queen Anne's lace around the neckline would be the final touch.

She was going to marry Treize in this dress.

The air was still thick so long after the sun had gone down. It was early in the season for such humidity, but she didn't mind. The skies were clear, and the forecast was positive. It would be a beautiful day tomorrow.

She'd prayed for so long for it. She'd never prayed for anything before in her life, but she'd never wanted anything before that she couldn't control the acquisition thereof. She stared up at the sky every day for months and willed there to be sunny skies on her wedding day, but what else could she do?

They said it was early for a wedding. They made snide comments about her choice of white for a dress. They were like insects, making their noise as they hid between blades of grass. Nothing but insects.

Her shoes clicked sharply on the concrete as she walked with purposeful strides. Her heart felt clear and light. She was the happiest she had ever been in her life right now, and each moment promised to get better from here. Everything had been arranged with such determined perfection that the very suggestion that something might go wrong was laughable.

The flowers had been shipping in from around the world, with specially grown white tulips for her bouquet. The runner was already installed in the church. The program booklets were proofed, proofed again, proofed a third time, and printed up on hand-made paper with organic ink. The reception hall was decorated stylishly in silver and white, the fifteen piece band had rehearsed, all the players were in good health, and both the singer and the back-up singer were in fine voice. The lobster and steak had been shipped in fresh by overnight delivery, and put in the cooler. The cake was a culinary delight hitherto unknown to man. The photographer was ready, the video cameras had been set up in the church, the party favors and nameplates were all out...

Earlier that day, she'd sat in on the choir practice. It was... odd, to be sure, to hear Relena sing the lead solo part, but Une just... couldn't quite stomach the idea of a long-haired male beauty taking such a preminant role in her wedding. Not that she had anything against the Maxwell boy; none at all, in fact, she found him delightfully spunky. She wished him only the best, though given his proclivity for landing on his feet, and his steadfast companion always guarding his back, she had little doubt he'd have no real trouble.

She pulled open the heavy door to the church, and slipped inside.

It was grey and cool in the empty church, the air still and refreshing. She stood in the entranceway for a moment, just breathing. She loved this church, with all her heart and soul. It was just like Treize. She did not consider herself a devout person, but she took great comfort from being enclosed in these stone walls. She felt that all churches should be like this one - old, impressive, and imbibed with humility while cloaked with glory.

She blessed herself with the sacred water, and sat down in front of the statue of Mary. The coolness of the church, the stillness of the air, the darkness, flickering with candlelight at the fringes, soaked into her like scented bathwater. She felt the fear and the tension bleed away from her body, absorbed into the atmosphere, diluted by the purity of the peace that surrounded her, until it effectively disappeared.

Selfishly, she wished Treize loved her. She whispered it aloud, letting the sound drift away from her, taking away the tinge of bitterness that still tugged at her heart. How Treize had looked at Relena as she had practiced her song... ! In his eyes, she could see the reflection of paler hair, icier eyes, a taller body, with broader shoulders and a narrower waist. He closed his hand around hers, and she felt silky strands of hair like filigree between his fingers. He put his lips on hers, and she felt another man's lips between them.

But Milliardo was selfish. He wanted Treize to himself, unwilling to share his glory with the world, and so he lost his love. He did not deserve Treize's admiration, though it broke her into a million shards to see him upset at all, for any reason. If she could, she would bring Milliardo back for Treize, and leave them to be alone, if that was what her beloved desired.

Treize was marrying her, though.

She closed her eyes, and fervently ordered her wishes.

She remembered the words that had made such an impact on her when she was a girl, studying here at Our Lady. "Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word."

She tipped her head back, and opened her eyes, letting the pool of wetness gathered at her lashes free. She would be her beloved's handmaiden, ever vigilant and ever accommodating. She would give him children, a lasting legacy so that his fine genes would continue on through generations. She would make herself into his perfect servant, if she could not be his partner, and she would facilitate his every whim. Please, she begged silently to the rafters, give me the courage to stand by his side, no matter what. Give me the strength to be a worthy wife, a worthy mate, grant me the fortitude to see through his dreams, to always assist him as he ascends to higher and higher planes in his glorious rise to power.

The bells tolled for midnight, deep, resonate sounds that echoed inside her body.

She put her hands over his stomach, and concentrated very hard on breathing slowly. Thank you, she exhaled, for granting me this blessing. I don't deserve it, but it is a miracle. To love someone unrequitedly, to give openly and unselfishly... surely, that is the highest test of love? Surely my love is proved stronger in the fires of Treize's passion for not being returned, and yet still offered? Was it not purer than a love that runs away for not being extolled from every rooftop?

Surely, surely I could be granted another chance, she pleaded, I could be a good mother to the rest of his children, give them every advantage, love them enough for the ones who weren't given a chance. Please, she begged the shadows, let me be worthy. Let me be by his side on his happiest days, and I will have all that I could hope to desire. Forgive me my weaknesses, and give me another chance to magnify him, because his love... he loves so deeply, so passionately, everything in life. His fire enervates me, excites me. Let me help to pass that torch on, so that the fire may never die.

Never again, she swore, brushing away her tears. She felt foolish. When had she taken to praying so much? First, the weather, now, this... Perhaps she was going mad. She smiled up at the Holy Mother, so virginal, so sacrificing... Perhaps she was mad. But she would rectify everything, if only she could have the chance.

Just the chance.

the lyrics to the accompanying music...

Choir Box: Pietatis

Ira furor brevis est
Uti, non abuti
Nemo sine vitio est
Et vita brevis

Anger is a brief madness
To use, not abuse,
No one is without fault,
And life is short

Fax mentis incedium gloriae
Diligite justitiam, o judices terrae

The passion of glory is the torch of the mind,
Cherish justice, o judges of the earth

Confutatis maledictis,
flammis acribus addictis,
Salvandos salvas gratis,
Salva me, fons pietatis.

When sentence on the damned is passed,
and all the piercing flames are sent
All that need Thee savest free
O fount of love, my saviour be.

Quod sum causa tuae viae
Ne me perdas illa die
Temora vidi, ibi ignis,
Donum fac remissionis.

For me you walked your life's hard way,
condemn me not on that dread day,
The times I came, there is fire,
the gift of sins forgiveness grant