Disclaimer: See all the others; status unchanged.

This is a sequel to 'Chance Investments'
Pairing: 1+2(+1)
Rating: R
615 words
Warnings: Shounen Ai, Alcohol abuse, some angst, Heero POV

AN: Part #43 of the 'Road to Recovery' microseries. Written for [ gw500 ] challenge #101 - 'touch'.

Calling Collect
by kebzero

In my defense, I thought it was the pizza delivery boy. Hilde and I had opted for easy and quickly reheatable, not knowing when Duo would get back. So, not thinking anything of it beyond the growling pit in my stomach, I answered the door - and faced Trowa.

"Hi," he said. He's always been damn good at keeping a straight face no matter what the situation was, but this time even his voice was absolutely deadpan. It dawned on me my presence was no surprise at all to him.

His was to me, and I faltered in not showing it. "Hi..." Slowly, my mind started working again, and I took a step back, letting him in and closing the door. "Duo isn't home right now," I started, "but Hilde is out back - I'll go get her, and-"

I had already turned around and taken two steps forward by that point - and found my wrist trapped in Trowa's stern grip. "Heero, don't run away."

I frowned at his serious expression, at his hand, felt the implied 'again' in the pressure. Glaring into his somber, unobscured eye, I waited until he gave in and relaxed his hold - and shook myself free. It was clear enough he wasn't here for either of them. He'd come to see me.

"Who gave me away?" I growled at him, crossing my arms, leaning up against the wall.

He removed his jacket, brows closing minutely. "Nobody did." He let go a huff as his right shoe came off. "Nobody had to. We knew something was up when Duo stopped soliciting Lady Une and Quatre for information in his incessant search for you. Then, his social calls became less frequent, too. We put two and two together... and came up with you."

I clenched my teeth, balled a fist.

"We tried getting the straight truth out of Duo, but he's good at being evasive. We figured he was protecting you, for whatever reason. So, we decided to give you space, for a while - but enough is enough. What the hell made you disappear and completely ignore us for so long, Heero?"

"I didn't disappear," I answered petulantly. "I'm standing right here, aren't I?"

There was a twitch around that green eye. "Fine - let's just say you haven't exactly been in touch with us lately, then..."

Trowa didn't hide the anger in his voice. I knew then he'd stay on my back until he got the truth he sought - or whatever I could make him think was the truth. Trowa is a determined guy; difficult to shake off with a fib. I decided to be careful, not sure I was ready to reveal one weakness to any but its counterpart. I'd gone through many talks regarding Duo over an empty bottle, chatting up ghosts and spirits in thin air. Not meeting his look, I muttered "I had some... issues." I pushed away from the wall, showed him my back. "I only wanted to be alone for a while, that's all - try to straighten some stuff out on my own."

For a good while, he didn't speak. When he did, it was my name, softly. "Heero?" He waited until he had my full attention again; until I faced him again and relaxed my fist. "If you wanted to be alone - why are you here?"

Though I tried, I couldn't find a quick comeback. In the end, I closed my guppy mouth, spun on my heel and walked fast and hard through the house, Trowa trailing me.

I trusted Hilde to provide a buffer between Trowa and me - or at least a delay from coming clean.


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