Disclaimer: See all the others; status unchanged.

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

AN: Part #45 of the 'Road to Recovery' microseries. Written for [ gw500 ] challenge #103 - 'gravity'.

Downward Spiral
by kebzero

The kitchen was empty, the bathroom door ajar. I went down the hallway, cursing Hilde for suddenly being so elusive, Trowa still at my tail. A quick check of the corner office turned out empty, too. Steeling myself, I closed the door and leaned back against it, well aware I was cornered. Animal instincts took over. "So, where is you're better half?"

He didn't answer at first, not that I waited very long for one.

"The light in your sky, the Earth anchor for your moon?" I started to smirk as I paraphrased some of Trowa's own words back at him, watched as he recalled. I still have trouble forgetting the one time I'd strolled into Peacemillion's hangar that morning, only to come across Trowa reciting poetic nonsense like that to Quatre.

There was no denying he had gotten paid for the mouthful of tripe, though.

Maybe I was just envious.

The beginnings of a frown surfaced on Trowa's masked expression.

"The docking bay for your rocket ship?" I goaded on. That, at least, brought results. To my frustration, Trowa was quick in covering it up, apparently not falling victim to my trap.

"What are you hiding, Heero?"

My jeer shifted fast to a scowl. "What do you mean?"

He leaned up against the wall, folded his arms. "The only times you get this aggressive in conversation, is when you've got a different topic to avoid - and I'm pretty sure it's the question you didn't answer. Why are you here, Heero?"

I supposed he'd earned a fragment of truth. "I needed a job, and Duo offered. Got room and board as part of my pay." I nodded towards my room, and he glanced at the door.

He didn't quite buy it. I hadn't been here for very long, after all. My gap of absence had to be bigger than the time since his last visit here. "Heero, if you wanted work, Quatre would have-"

"I know he would have," I snapped back. "I wanted to accomplish something of my own, not get more charity - and last I heard, you didn't exactly quit your job to live in his lap of luxury, either."

The implication hurt, I could see that. If I didn't feel guilty, maybe I would have smiled. "I'll give you that much..." he finally said, looking past me. It was easy to recognize the way he trailed off the sentence for what it was; a build-up for another attack. "But is getting a job from Duo any less charitable than receiving a boost from Quatre? Somehow, I doubt Hilde or Duo advertised for an extra hand at the yard, and you just mysteriously caught sight of it in the paper..."

Gritting my teeth, I pushed away from the office door, rushing past Trowa, bumping intentionally - hard - against his shoulder. I hurriedly checked the bedrooms as I passed them; all empty. I muttered some less favorable expressions in Hilde's honor, courtesy of her sudden disappearance act. Finally, I figured she had to be out in the yard.

"I'm here for some answers, Heero," Trowa reminded me, "and you'd better believe I'll get them."

Close to growling, I settled for a harsh glare back at him before stomping towards the back door. It was turning into a great day indeed, and I didn't think it could get much worse.

Barely a moment later, I was dodging Wufei's knuckles intended for the door, and caught sight of Duo grinning some distance behind him.

Friends are like a black hole; if you stray too close, there's no escape.


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