The Usual Way
He sat on a train that would take him to a spaceport, trying hard not to
think about what had just happened. It just wouldn't do. He'd done what he'd
done because there was no other choice.
Outside the car, he could see the ground rushing by, could see the other
trains on parallel tracks. He wondered how many of those trains carried
people who, like him, were running away from something. 'No. I'm not running
away,' he told himself fiercely. 'I had to do this, dammit.'
/motorways & tramlines./
It had been perfect for so long...at least, that's what everyone else
thought. To Heero, it had been a problem from the very beginning. The
relationship was a bad idea, and he didn't know why he'd let himself get
into it in the first place. With Duo, he was spiraling into the unknown,
flying without wings, and had no idea what lie ahead besides the war. The
battle was the only constant in his mind, and that's how he managed to keep
his uncertainties buried and the lie going. He'd tried, many times, to think
about the future, to think about a life with Duo. But he never succeeded in
/starting and then stopping./
He'd played house with Duo, let him think that everything was fine and
dandy, and somewhere along the way had fallen in love. But it was the sort
that he knew was out of conveinience. There was friendship between them,
yes, but his love differed from the love that Duo had for him. He never
showed Duo in the way that was customary to the American, didn't show the
same signs of affection as Duo did. How could he, when he didn't actually
reciprocate the feelings? What he felt was different. Still, Heero loved Duo
enough and in such a way that he did not want to hurt him if he could avoid
it. And he knew telling Duo how he truly felt would do just that. After that
realization, he was never the same. He was a vessel of tumultuous feelings,
moody and spiteful. Loving made him feel high, but the knowledge that he
would only hurt Duo more later made him feel low.
/taking off & landing./
In the corner of the dimly lit room sat an armchair, and on that armchair
sat a huddled, shaking lump of blankets under which Duo Maxwell sought
refuge from his misery. The fact that Heero had left him still hadn't quite
registered, and his tear-stained eyes were trained on the door, hoping
beyond hope that perhaps his love---his best friend---might come walking in
at any moment.
/the emptiest of feelings./
He wasn't quite sure what had gone wrong. He and Heero had always had an
unusual relationship, to be sure, but Duo honestly thought they were suited
to one another. It was true that Heero had been cold to him most of the
time, and that the others had often worried about it. They thought they hid
their concern, but Duo saw right through them. It didn't bother him, though,
because he knew that Heero loved him.
Or he thought he knew.
Now that he thought about it, Duo did see what the others were worried
about, to an extent. Oftentimes, after a display of tenderness or a
proclamation of love---things that Duo so treasured from the sullen
boy---Heero would suddenly go rigid, and haul off and hit Duo. He would
always apologize, though. He would hold Duo in a semi-hug and explain to him
that he was frightened because emotions were a weakness. But he did love
him. He just couldn't show it in the usual way.
"The usual way, eh, Heero?" Duo allowed himself a slight smile. Their
breakup had certainly been anything but usual. He chuckled at the thought of
Heero going through their dresser, gathering his things, when he came up
with a tube of lube. It was raspberry flavored, Heero's favorite. Duo had
hidden it in the dresser to surprise Heero with on their anniversary, which
was only a week away. Or would have been. "Aw, hell. Who's counting? I'm
not." And he popped open another bottle of scotch.
/clinging onto bottles./
"Duo, you shouldn't drink so much," he sing-songed to himself. He could just
hear Heero scolding him for it. "It'll be the death of you, that liquor..."
Duo's smile faded a bit. He could still hear his lover's voice so clearly.
He was glad for that, because he knew he probably wouldn't hear any more of
the nasally baritone he'd come to adore. "Who cares if it's the death of
me?" he asked wistfully. "Who's around to even know? Of course, this
wouldn't be nearly glamourous enough of an end for Shinigami. I wouldn't
want anyone to be disappointed..."
/when it comes it's so so./
He eyed the door again. It was still and dark. It had been so long...days,
now, that he hadn't moved from his chair except to go to the bathroom and
get more scotch from the cabinet, days that he'd sat with his sleepless eyes
glaring at the offending piece of wood. He might as well quit staring at it.
The damned thing wasn't going to open.
/disappointing let down and hanging around./
But he'd honestly thought it might.
/crushed like a bug in the ground./
He'd never felt so alone. No one to chatter at, no one to hold him while he
fell asleep...hell, even waking up to find Heero on the couch every morning
didn't hurt as bad as this. He took another sip of the liquor, which had
long since ceased burning his throat as it went down. It felt like water
now. He'd had that much.
/let down and hanging around./
Sitting there, drunk like he was, gave Duo time to think about what he'd
lost. What had he lost, anyway? A feeling of perpetual rejection? A constant
reminder of his shortcomings? An unending resource of hateful words to aid
in the permanent destruction of his smile?
He hugged his legs to his chest, suddenly feeling very cold. A familiar,
albeit long absent, itch behind his eyes was welling up. 'Oh well, no one to
see me now anyway.'
It was stupid of him to act this way over something he couldn't change. Or
was it that he was acting this way because of the fact he couldn't change
it? He'd once felt so powerful, so alive. And when Heero had kissed him,
that first time he'd pressed his lips to Duo's while tangling his hands in
the silken rope of hair, Duo had felt like nothing could stop him. He was
flying. Heero was carrying him to the stars.
He'd never feel that again, now. He was anything but powerful. He couldn't
touch the stars without Heero.
/legs are going./
Of course, Duo had been abruptly knocked from that blissful moment of a kiss
by Heero's fist. He definitely saw stars then.
/don't get sentimental./
He wondered what Duo was doing at the moment. He did care about the boy, he
really did. So much that he couldn't stay with him. He was doing a good
thing...'Yes, I am,' he told himself firmly as the train pulled to a stop.
"He'll get over it," he said aloud. "He'll realize that loving me was just a
waste of time, and a waste of energy. It left him weak." A young woman
nearby stopped to listen to his monologue, but hurried away when he turned
his glare on her. "Weak," he muttered.
He poured the remaining scotch into a glass that was resting on the table
next to his chair and swished it around. "I was starting to get bottle mouth
anyway." Duo leaned back, his head resting tiredly on the back of the chair.
Lack of sleep, coupled with too much alcohol, was catching up with him.
'Here's to you, Heero-asshole-Yuy.'
/it always ends up drivel./
He was going to show him what love was. How important it could be. What it
could do to a person. What it had done to him.
Duo leaned over and rummaged through the drawer in the table until he found
what he was looking for.
/I am going to grow wings./
He fingered the bottle in his hands, playing with the top and listening to
the rattle it made. He'd show Heero that love was anything but weak. He'd
need to be strong for what was ahead. The proof of his love.
Popping the top open, Duo shook out a bunch of white pills into his hand. He
sifted them from one palm to the other, marveling at the thought that
something so tiny was going to help him do something so big. One slipped out
of his grasp and landed in the glass of scotch, making a fizzing noise.
/a chemical reaction./
If he could show Heero what love was, then he'd be a happy man. All he
wanted was for Heero to realize the intensity of his feelings, for him to
know that he would have been strong enough for Heero, had he been given the
chance. Tears trickled down his cheeks. He took a swig of scotch and pills.
/hysterical & useless. hysterical & let down and hanging around./
In his mind, the sight of the door slamming behind his lover played over and
over. His pleading sobs were the soundtrack for a tormented film. Another
/crushed like a bug in the ground. let down and hanging around./
He wondered, vaguely, if he would be missed. He wondered if anyone would be
there waiting for him. There would have to be...it was a place of reunion,
no? 'Only a couple more...'
/you know where you are with./
"I'm doing this to show you, Yuy. Please don't let it have been for
nothing..." He swallowed the last of the pills.
/you know where you are with./
"I'm strong, Heero. I'll make it there. I'll show you love..." He started to
drift off, sleep mercifully claiming him before he could feel the effects of
what he had done.
/floor collapses floating bouncing back/
Duo slid off the chair, a half smile on his ragged features. "Be
strong...Heero...I love you."
/and one day/
Flying on white wings through a silver sky.
/you'll know where you are./