Disclaimer: I'm out of my head and know not what I do.

Pairing: Heero/Duo
Warning: Yaoi, post EW, angst
Rating: PG-13
Challenge: Morning after
Count: 493

A/N: Written for the GW500, this is a short ficlet only telling a brief tale. And bear with me in this; it is the prologue of sorts for a story I'm working on...

Postcards from Africa: Dawn
by Merith

It'd been a long night, and he looked forward to getting home, climbing into bed. With luck, Heero'd still be there. Though it wasn't likely, the man went to work way too early in the morning. And then there'd been the fight. Putting a stop to that train of thought, he turned onto the dirt and gravel lane, and rolled his shoulders.

The stiffness had been his fault. Leaving had seemed to be the only option opened to him; the look on Heero's face too much to handle. A stop at the office for a couple of hours work, and an unrestful nap at the ocean vista overlook did not treat the body well. As he'd suspected, Heero's truck wasn't in the drive.

Bed, he thought. No, coffee first. He'd have to be awake to call Heero. He had to make amends. Setting up the pot, the usual noises of an empty house seemed even more muted than normal. Duo paused before pressing the on switch and gazed out the window. When did he move... The edge of an idea, the nibbling of a feeling rolled in his gut before he backed away, shutting it down.

The walk to the bedroom had been the longest he'd ever endured. The bed hadn't been slept in, still made from the day before. Nothing appeared out of order. But the telltale dust-free spots where an item or two had rested on the dresser were gone. He didn't even have to check closets or drawers; the items important to his long time lover weren't there. Numbness settled.

Damn it, Heero! Just get a clue already!

Duo covered his ears, his voice loud in the memory.

What's wrong with loving you?

Ha! You call that love? God, OZ loved me as well as you do, then. In fact...

Don't say it, Duo... don't...

I can't say I love you...

"No.." the word echoed hollowly.

The coffee maker pinged its cycle complete, prompting him to move. Actions slow, and of habit, he took down a cup, poured the coffee and stirred in creamer. Closing the refrigerator door, he noticed the note. The only one remaining under the lone magnet. Its three words bounced before his eyes, and his fingers pulled it free.

Taking his cup and the note, Duo made his way to the back steps. The sounds of the morning almost soothing with bird noises from the dense trees and bullfrogs down in the slough. After another sip from the cup, he sat it aside and looked at the note again. Maybe, Heero.

Suddenly weary, he dropped the note and slumped against the porch post. His eyes now closed, Duo never saw the wind tease the paper, blowing across the lawn and into the line of trees. It stopped for a moment against a fallen branch, the words printed in neat script plain for any to see - Getting a clue.

Another small gust, and the note fluttered on.


:|: continue

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