End of The Road
As much as I'd love to say it, that night was not the last lapse Heero ever had. It wasn't even the worst. It was only the first real one I'd witnessed, and it took its toll.
It also made me do some hard thinking, but by the time I fell asleep that night, I'd made up my mind. He was here to stay.
Even my sore ass the morning after gave me no regrets.
It took a year until the next time Heero lost control. As memory serves, my rear was tender following that recovery, too - if for a very different reason than cold bathroom tiles. I think nerves from our first fumbling attempt at sex brought on his stumble back then, but he made up for it plenty afterwards; it was all good.
Heero lasted another four and a half after that; his most secret binge ever. I could never bring myself to tell Hilde the one glass of bubbly he'd had at her wedding had avalanched. He'd thought it was the fake soda substitute when he downed the first glass, and he didn't realize his mistake until it was too late to combat the craving.
Ten dry years followed; good years - and the disappointing fall down nearly killed him, and me along with. I don't think either of us could have endured his full detox without the small group of friends we'd gathered half a lifetime prior.
Ever since, our love has been enough to intoxicate him; give him the buzz he craves - at least, that's what he tells me when he's feeling amorously corny. If nothing else, he's living proof you can say as much dumb stuff when drunk on love as when plastered on alcohol.
The road to recovery is not so much a trip from one destination to another, endpoint to endpoint - it's more like a huge, expanding circuit; you set out hoping to get back where you started - before you started - but often end up passing the finish line only to find another lapse waiting, hopefully a longer one.
Or perhaps life can be described as a game of snakes and ladders. You crawl your way up the laid-out path only to get bitten and slip a long way down. You hit a crutch and get a big leg-up on everyone else.
Either way, the goal tends to be the same - happiness.
I'm not saying life with Heero is easy - and I'm sure he's come to realize life me with isn't always bliss, either.
We've grown to tolerate each other's strengths and weaknesses over the years. We've learned when to help, when to stand clear, when to not give a damn whether the significant other objects to our mostly good intentions. He doesn't complain about my random and usually unprofitable auction purchases; I do my best not to frown when he enjoys an occasional cancer stick. I don't kick his leg nearly as often when he snores now; he still hugs me in a death-grip if I hog the sheets, claiming he's compensating for the loss of cover with using me as a heated comforter.
I've sorta come to like and take advantage of that last thing.
The little things in our merry coexistence might not come anywhere near to describing what your walk of life is like, but that's the paths we choose; the roads we take.
Some places can't ever be revisited; some things can't ever be restored or mended - much like our dishwasher. After all these years, Heero still hasn't given up on it. I've grown accustomed to us doing the dishes together, though - it's a flaw that's become a boon.
So what if things aren't always perfect? They can still work out. I mean, despite our shaky beginnings - gunshots, theft, wars, alcohol and more - the grass on the other side never turned out to be greener. Heero and me have grown happy together.
And in the end, that's all that really matters.