[ SWITCH TO HEERO P.O.V. ]
The first thing I'm conscious of is an incredible pounding in my head.
I immediately wish I were still unconscious, but I was awakened by a rummaging
noise, and it also seems to resonate all through my brain. I make a weak attempt
at groaning, but it doesn't get past my cotton-mouth. Through the layers of fog
and pain, I slowly start to realize that I don't know where I am. I haven't even
opened my eyes yet, that would hurt too much, but wherever I am, it's too
comfortable to be my car. I employ the few neurons not overloaded by the
headache, and decide that I'm probably on a bed. But it doesn't smell like mine,
and it doesn't smell like Relena's either. My poor abused brain registers it as
a nice scent though, comfortable.
After a few minutes, the rummaging finally compels me to squint my eyes open.
Goddamn. The morning light is almost blinding. Well, it could be afternoon for
all I know. So, I have no idea where I am or what time it is. A great start. The
first thing that really comes into focus is someone's ass. Huh? Shock kicks more
of my brain online. I rub my eyes. The owner stands upright, and I see an auburn
braid of hair hanging down his back. That kid? How...? I sit up, but before I can
ask him what the hell's going on, my head nearly implodes with pain. I manage to
groan loudly this time despite the cotton mouth. He hears me and whirls around.
"Well, good morning, Sleeping Beauty! Have a pleasant night? You look like
hell," he says smugly. So, I guess I look as bad as I feel. He walks past the
bed and contorts his face. "And damn, you don't smell much better either."
"Fuck you," I croak, rubbing my eyes. My voice comes out thick and gravely.
I'm starting to remember what happened last night. Getting trashed, the fight
with Uncle Jay, getting in my car, crashing in his lawn. Oh shit.
"Listen, pal, you better not have drooled on my pillow or anything! Ha!
That'd be a great story for school! How Heero Yuy's drool got on Duo Maxwell's
He's talking so fast. I struggle with each word and manage to process it
about 10 seconds after he says it, and then I somehow to string them together
into a coherent sentence.
I hear him laugh. I must have groaned again. "You'll feel better after a
shower. Use anything you need, there should be aspirin and a new toothbrush in
there somewhere too," he says, taking pity on me. Having found whatever he was
looking for in the closet, he leaves.
I get up. Slowly. Fuck, this has got to be one of the worst hangovers I've
ever had, the kind that makes you wish you HAD puked. Takes a lot to do this to
me. I go across the hall to the bathroom and avoid the mirror at all costs. Ugh,
toothbrush is in first order I think. I find it easily and scrub my mouth,
trying to remember how I got here. I remember crashing. I start to remember
getting back in my car and trying to drive. God, I must have been absolutely
shit-faced. He stopped me. I remember that now, and I remember what he said...
He tried to make me go home, but I wanted to stay here instead. I did? Well,
where else would I have gone? Just slept out in the car again, I guess. I spit
and rinse. A shower does sound good, but something to kill this headache first.
I find the aspirin easily too.
My clothes are all rumpled and dirty. Rain soaked, dried again, and slept in.
I remove them quickly and turn on the hot water. I pick up the first shampoo
bottle I see. I squirt some into my hand and immediately recognize the scent
from the pillow I slept on. It's what that guy must use. My hair is a tangled
mop, as usual. I start to recall other things. He
sort of took care of me. I hate it when people do that. Even Relena. He gave me
food, let me read his books, sleep in his bed. I vaguely remember sitting at his
desk. What the hell was I doing? I bury the feeling that I owe him something.
By now, I'm remembering a lot more. Fuck Jay. Just fuck him. As if the
constant, terse silence of home and his disapproving looks weren't bad enough,
we can't go one week without a shouting match between us. Last night it was
about my drinking. I came home drunk and he called me an alcoholic, threatened
to call the cops on me. Threatened me with military school. And shit, when I got
into my car... that son of a bitch really did want me arrested. But, fuck me, if I
don't give him something to be angry about, he'll just pick something. If I
haven't done enough to make him mad in while, he'll start in on me about what I
plan on doing with my life. Now that I'm about to graduate, he'll bug the piss
out of me about college or some other bullshit. But his favorite has always been
telling me what a waste I am. Wasting my life. Wasting my mind. Wasting his
I can't remember ever being happy. I don't remember my mother, she died
bringing me into this world. Her life for mine. Talk about a waste. I don't
remember my father before he ran out on me and I got dumped on my grandfather.
But the kid wasn't right and old grand dad couldn't handle him, and then out of
the blue comes some crazy mad-scientist relative to rip the bandages from his
wrists and make something of him after all. Jay hasn't succeeded yet, but at
least he doesn't hit me. I guess he couldn't, I'm too old now. But dear old
grandpa used to when I was 'bad.' Bad went from talking back, spoiling my
dinner, and reading with a flashlight when I was supposed to be asleep, to
swearing, stealing cigarettes from drugstores, getting into fights, and staying
out past curfew. He didn't 'beat' me really, but he must have felt it was his
right to slap me around when yelling wouldn't get through to me. Which was
pretty often, I'd learned to tune out yelling at a very young age.
I can get away from Jay at least. When we fight, most the time I go to
Relena's. Her parents aren't so fond of me, they just shake their heads sadly at
the 'troubled boy.' Maybe it makes them feel righteous to see their daughter
playing savior to a messed-up punk. Perhaps they think their angel will be my
angel and she can magically make me ok; a model young man worthy of their
princess. Well, fuck them too. They seriously would think something like that –
they don't know I sleep over. But I really couldn't go there in the state I was
in last night. My other option is to park the car somewhere and hope everything
will be all peachy and rosy in the morning.
Getting away is the first thing I'm gonna do when I graduate. Get as far away
from this place as I can. No more frowning girlfriend's parents. No more
condemning teachers. No more stuck-up, phony high school kids. No more
medication. No more counseling. No more fights. No more running away and
sleeping in my car. That bastard should be glad that I run away, I could do a
lot worse. I used to break things. But I don't remember breaking anything last
night. Except... shit! Only my CAR. And that kid's fence. Hell, as if going home
to Jay this morning wasn't going to bad enough, I have this mess to deal with
I quickly get out of the shower and grab a towel. After showering, I'm
feeling better and more alert; as ready as I'm gonna be to face up to all the
stupid shit I did last night. I'm reaching for the doorknob when my reflection
in the mirror on the back of the door startles me. I growl at myself and yank
the door open. That's happened before, I don't recognize myself. When did I
start to look like this? I'm bigger than most guys my age, stronger too; it
makes me feel weird. I still imagine myself as that scrawny 14 year old... Much
like that guy, the one with the long hair. Only he's the same age as I am.
I frown when I see that he left clothes out for me on his bed. Taking care of
me again. A black tee-shirt and some jeans. Black of course. He seems to really
like black, it's all over the room and that's all I've ever seen him wear. From
what he told me last night, he's probably got some issues too. I pull the
tee-shirt over my head. It's tight, reminding me of my size. I consider putting
mine back on, but decide to keep the black one, mine is just too disgusting. I
skip the jeans though. I turn my old underwear inside out and put my own pants
on. I wander into the rest of the small house, wondering where he is.