I don't know when I finally fell asleep. Not really sure when I woke up either - but somewhere in between there, I guess I noticed the presence. I opened my eyes, found Hilde's face filling most of the view - and damn near jumped out of my skin.
Only luck kept us from bonking heads. That, and her quick reflexes.
My blanket already tossed aside, I managed to sit up beside her and glare at her menacingly. I don't think my light case of morning hair made me look intimidating enough. "Geez, are you trying to give me a heart attack?!"
She only smiled. "Just wondering when you were going to wake up, that's all."
I barely registered that, rubbed my eyes, then hid them in my palms, elbows on knees.
A hand at my back, then around my shoulders. "Rough night?"
I sighed. "You could say that..."
"We'll get a new bed, don't worry." Chuckle. "Have to say you looked comfortable enough though, spread out all over the couch like that..."
I didn't take the bait. Wasn't in the mood for the banter - but I did grow angry. "Why didn't you tell me about the fucking wine bottle?!"
Embrace lifted. She gave me a startled look. "I thought you'd be pleased that I'd saved that one - it's worth a lot. We aren't exactly poor, but I hate the idea of tossing good money away - and I thought you felt the same!"
I deflated then, as the anger came back at me. I sighed into my palms. "I do... Damn it - sorry, I didn't mean to yell at you, I just..." Straightening up, another resigned breath.
Hilde wasn't stupid, she could add two and two together. "Heero found the wine, didn't he?"
The question was so cautiously asked, my nod answered in kind. "Probably saw it when I got the soap out last night..."
She gaped, was already on her feet, worry written all over her face. "God... Where is he? We got-"
I grabbed her wrist. "He's asleep."
Pause. She gave me a look that spoke volumes.
"He didn't open it."
Again, that silent look. She sat down next to me.
"I heard him get up last night. I followed him to the kitchen, saw him take out that bottle and a glass, and-" I let out a groan. "Damn, he had me so scared - I thought for sure that he- that he-"
She embraced me then, pulled me over for a hug, my head cradled against her chest. "But he didn't, did he? Have faith in your friends, Duo."
"Yeah..." It took me that long to realize she was fully dressed already, while I was still in my boxers and a crumpled T-shirt. It didn't matter - we'd lived together long enough to ignore stuff like that. I've never seen her naked. The reverse is not true. As she petted and handgroomed my already ruffled hair, I slowly ground my cheek against her bosom, growing a grin. "You know... Heero would be so pissed if he came in and found us like this..."
She shrugged. "Then let him." I tilted my head to catch her smile. "But I'm sure he'd be glad to know you're considering his feelings."
I tensed up for a moment. Under her grin, I rolled over to rest my head in her lap. "You're evil, you know that?"
Snicker from above, soft pinch of my nose. "Took you this long to figure out, huh?"
I tried frowning at her, but did a poor job of it as she played with my bangs again. Some people, I just can't stay mad at for long. I was living with two of them now.
"I'll get rid of the bottle after breakfast, okay? I'll take it down to the freemarket along with the other salvage."
Again with that mischievous look of hers. "Though... is it safe to leave the two of you alone like this?"
I groaned at that. "Knock it off, Hilde... It's not funny."
She chuckled at my discomfort, but relented, her hands still. "It'll all work out, Duo. Heero's stronger than you seem to think - didn't he prove that tonight?"
I tilted my head to look out in the living room. "You haven't seen all his weaknesses..." I muttered.
A pause. "True," she admitted. "You know him best."
I gave her an annoyed glare at that, wondering if she meant more than she said. She looked sincere. Not that it lasted long.
"You should put him to work at the yard today. I think keeping busy for a while would be good for him - you need to occupy not just his mind, but his body as well."
Grinning down at me, she jolted her legs, disturbing my comfort. "Up you go - get dressed. I'll get started on breakfast." She glanced at the door to my bedroom. I did too. It was still closed. "We'll let Heero sleep a while longer - I don't think you're the only one who has had a rough night..."
I was sure she was right. I sat up, stretched my arms, let go of a yawn.
Breakfast was beckoning.
But first, a shower.