It didn't take long for my regrets to multiply. What I'd done started to sink in. I looked at the bottle. I could refill it with water, put the seal back in place - maybe some glue would do. Duo didn't have to find out just yet. I could probably-
I canned those plans, stuffed the empty bottle back in my pocket and sat down. No, I wouldn't try to fix it. I'd just replace it, nobody would know.
Maybe I'd get myself something better while I was at it. I'd just proven I could drink and still stay with Duo, hadn't I? I just had to hide it. I'd done infiltration and deception many times before; I could do it again.
Never mind how I'd been sober back then.
Of course, that tiny volume in the bottle hadn't even made me the slightest bit tipsy; it had barely been a quick soothe. I wanted a real drink or five, enough to knock me out and let me escape for a while. After all I'd been through for the past few months, I felt that I could use one - that I deserved one. I planned to volunteer for the next afternoon grocery run - it would be easy enough to make an extra stop or two on the way. I knew where the liquor store was, and there had to be a bar in the neighborhood - one that opened early.
I knew I was kidding myself. I couldn't hide this. Hell, I'd be lucky if I could put on a face good enough to cover the fact of what I'd done. What it meant.
I was losing.
As if he'd picked up my qualms all the way from the spaceport, Duo suddenly stood in the doorway. "Heero..." he all but breathed. There was anger there; frustration, fatigue.
"Hm...?" I mumbled back, avoiding looking his way. My heart made an extra beat - not the good kind - as he stepped closer. Did he know? Had he seen me? Or was I simply that obvious to read?
"Look, this doesn't mean anything, okay? Don't get any funny ideas. I just have to know."
I had a mind to ask, 'know what?', but by that time, we were already kissing.
We were kissing.
His lips were on mine, pushing hard, and I briefly felt the tip of his tongue. Hell, it wasn't a good kiss - it wasn't even comfortable - but it was a kiss, our first kiss, and my legs started to fail me, much like higher faculties and most forms of self-control.
I grabbed him by the neck and kissed back with everything I'd pent up for so long. If this was to be it, then to hell with caution and comfort.
My counterassault softened his, and as the fumbling kiss endured, it got better. His tongue touched mine, followed mine back to my mouth; I sensed it brush the back of my teeth. Duo's warm breath along my cheek, his closed eyes contrasting my wide open ones, the step forward he'd taken between my legs, his arms keeping me from falling...
It was too good to be true, yet it was.
And that was the worst of it.
That highlight of my life ended as abruptly as it had begun. Duo pulled away so quickly I nearly fell flat on my ass. Instead, I managed a nearly controlled landing at the kitchen chair. I watched as he licked his lips carefully, frowning at me.
Had the kiss been that bad? Had I fucked up my last chance to convince him to join the dark side?
My pulse was already way high, and my heart skipped a beat when Duo approached again, leaning in against me. Barely remembering how to breathe, I closed my eyes, parted my lips, hoping, praying he'd continue where he'd left off.
I heard him take two quick sniffs no more than an inch away.
Then, not exactly in the way I'd fantasized, his hands went down my pockets. I didn't even have time to react before his raid was complete, the empty bottle between us.
He stared at it, at me, back at the dark glass; through the glass. There was a hint of desperation in his voice. "You didn't?!"
The walls came down all around me; everything became ruins. I couldn't pretend to be strong anymore, couldn't pretend to be master of my vices. The illusion failed.
Bereft of my defense, my last shreds of honor and self-respect, I did the only thing that came to mind.
I got up and ran away, not looking back, barely able to look one step ahead.