Love Me Still
"You're not quite talkative today." Wufei commented again, glancing over at me. We sat side-by-side at the bar drinking beer and I had barely said a word or heard anything he'd said.
"Sorry." I muttered. I didn't really know what to say when my mind was on other things. Playing with the beer bottle, I was too busy brooding over Heero and where our relationship was heading... if we even HAD a relationship now.
"Have you two broken up?" Wufei's question surprised me because it was like he was reading my mind.
I shook my head slowly like I was thinking of the answer while doing it. "Not broken …yet. How could you tell there was something going on?" Was it THAT obvious?
"I'm not stupid or blind, Maxwell. I'm your friend, I should know when something's wrong." He rolled his eyes. Hm, I never noticed it before, but he has really nice hazel instead of normal brown eyes. They stood out from his tan skin and dark features. "Besides, you two usually spend your time sharing secret looks and touches and drooling over each other rather than work. But everyone felt the tension in the office today. It just feels different." He paused thoughtfully. "And, it was like you were trying your best to avoid him."
I took a sip of my beer to keep my throat from feeling like it was swelling. All day long I've been holding everything in, but now that it's pretty late in the evening, I was tired and weary and I was going to break down again. I mean, crying alone with my thoughts was pretty and dramatic. But it makes my reality seem so dark and desperate when someone finally points it out. It just makes a bigger impact, telling me that it was real and not some nightmare that I can forge. Other people can see it too and things were out of my control.
"He cheated on me." The alcohol made me bolder and I blurted it out, drinking more when my voice choked.
I just shook my head and stared at the bottle. "I came home in the morning right after a my assignment and found him in bed with her, Relena..." I drank more…. Though, it doesn't seem to helping.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes! I'm positive! They were both cuddled up butt naked in MY bed! It doesn't take a genius to figure out what happened." I buried my face in my hands, elbow resting on the counter. The beer couldn't hide it anymore and I cracked.
I used to be stronger than this. I didn't cry when I was interrogated by the damn Ozzies and their little "beat-up-helpless-Duo Maxwell-sessions". I didn't cry when I almost broke a rib to someone's uppercut. But this…. It wasn't even a physical thing but it hurt a helluva lot more. I don't understand why… it just did.
"It just hurts so bad, Wufei. That he'd do this to me after all we've been through. It hurts…" I unwillingly let tears fall and Wufei's arms were suddenly around my shoulders comfortingly. Instinctively, I turned to hug the body and cried on the giving shoulder.
"I can't believe he did this to me." I could feel his hands run up and down my back soothingly and that encouraged me to open up. I babbled things in between my hiccupping sobs. I don't even remember what I said, I just started saying things, but it made me feel a lot better. In the end, I had to draw away from him before I sogged his uniform with tears, snot and what not. I drew away laughing sadly and nearly hysterically, unable to handle this heavy feeling in my chest, this stupid emotional burden.
My breathe was still staccato and I tried to smile, showing him that I was feeling a bit better now, but he took my chin between his soft fingers and wiped my tears away with a napkin. His hands were larger compared to mine; and smoother- less calloused than Heero's. Wufei had graceful hands despite being a gundam pilot. He was, after all, also a scholar. But, in Heero's hand, people can feel the strength radiating from them. Something about the warmth, breadth, and texture screams it.
Oh no….Heero. My eyes opened wide and I searched for a nearby clock, forgetting that I was wearing a watch. "I need to get going now."
Wufei nodded. "We can do this again sometime."
He was smiling kindly at me, an honestly pleased smile. It made the ends of my mouth tilt up slightly in effect. "Yea. Thanks a lot."
The house was dark by the time I got home- 10 at night. I think I'd been at the bar for hours. Time just seemed to fly by so fast. I honestly hadn't intended to stay that long. But now as I crept into the dim house, it didn't really seem like a bad idea.
"You're late." Heero's upset voice cut into the night's silence.
"Sorry, I wasn't in the mood to come home and see you in bed with someone again." I was disappointed that the lights were out; I wanted to see if my comment had hurt him.
To tired and weary, I headed toward our bedroom to get my clothes.
"Duo." He said my name tersely and I exaggerated a sigh and turned to face him. He reached over to turn on the lights beside the couch. "I've been waiting here since 7." Like he had the right to scold me?
"Sorry to keep you waiting. Did you need something?" I turned to face him with an impassive stare. He doesn't need to know that I've been an emotional wreck over this.
"We were supposed to talk. I-" He stared at me for a long time. He's always had a problem communicating. I waited for 5 seconds and when no more words came, I continued to our room and drew out a duffle bag.
"Won't you listen to me?" He was standing at the doorway asking me quietly.
"You haven't said anything."
"Would you listen to me if I did?"
"If you had anything good to say." I hurriedly stuffed my bag with my clothes, wanting to get out of this situation ASAP.
"Duo, it was an accident."
"And what the hell is that supposed to mean?" I asked, grabbing my brush off the dresser.
"Please, don't be mad at me. I never meant it to happen, Duo."
"But it happened!" I was so distracted by his talk that I accidentally grabbed one of his infamous tank tops. As soon as I remembered Relena wearing it, I tossed it far away in disgust.
"Stop calling my name, damn it! I'm right here! What the hell do you want?!"
"Forgive me. I didn't do it to hurt you."
"You didn't want to hurt me? Well, it hurts anyway!" It hurts so damn much that I was on the verge of cracking right then and there again after just crying no less than half an hour ago. "So I suppose that's why you did it behind my back so I wouldn't have to know and get hurt?!" I whirled around angrily to see him leaning against the doorframe, arms hugging himself protectively, and looking, of all things, like a child he was never allowed to be.
I felt myself frown reflexively. "Don't do that to me." I warned. He was the perfect soldier. He'd do anything to achieve his goals. So when his words and reason failed; when all else failed, he'd use emotional tactics. He looked at me confused, as if he didn't understand what I had just warned him. "Don't try and act all innocent with me! You do this all the damn time!" I zipped up my full duffel giving an angry huff. "When things don't go your way and you can't force me to agree with you, you act all innocent and make ME look like the bad guy. You try and make ME feel guilty for what you did to me." He was trying to make me feel guilty for being mad at him. His posture screamed "helpless" and innocence of an unknowing child. It screamed for my sympathy.
I slung the bag over my shoulder. "Well, sorry to break it to you, but it's not going to work this time." When I headed for the door, Heero stood still, blocking my path.
"It was an accident, Duo." He kept on saying it as if I'd understand and pardon him if he said it enough times.
"What was? Our relationship? Yes, it was, wasn't it? How could you use me like this?!" I asked him despairingly and half hysterically. "How could you pretend to care for me and sleep with someone else? If you loved her so much!" … He's never said he loved me. Yea, he says he cares and all, but he never said he loved me. I used to think that it didn't really matter since I always FELT loved. But now, I realized how much I really needed to hear it. "If you loved her so much, why didn't you just go to her in the first place? God dammit! Heero! A whole year we've wasted on each other!"
"Chigayo!" His cobalt eyes flashed with desperation. When I saw his devastated expression, I almost believed that he still cared for me. "That's not true, Duo! I was drunk," he explained, "I went to sleep and when Relena came, I thought it was you!"
My body tensed and heat rose in my body. I could feel it, hotness going from my chest and up to my neck until my cheeks were burning. The silence was deafening in that half minute. It was so ridiculous that I couldn't even comprehend it at first. Heero drunk? The Perfect Soldier mistaking fucking girl for a guy? I saw his hand reach for mine pleadingly and I drew back sharply. I wanted to hit him again but didn't. Bruise his other cheek? What good would that do?
"Don't touch me." I hissed. I know Heero's not social. He's not good at words; not good at lying. "If you're going to lie, at least try and come up with a decent one. I can't believe you'd try to fool me with such a stupid excuse! Who the hell would even believe that?" I walked quickly, strong enough to elbow him out of my way. "I'm not the baka everyone always calls me, you know."
"Duo!" He called for me when I reached the front door. "Don't leave! Even though you're mad." I waited to see what he was going to say next. "Even though you're mad, we can work this out because I know that 'you love me still'."
I stared at the metal doorknob in my hand. He HAD to use THAT phrase didn't he? It was a little inside joke. A year back or so, when I had just met up with Heero again, he was still perfecting his English. He knew how to speak it well, just not fluently and still missed a few adverbs and prepositions. He had asked me, "Do you love me still?" during a rocky time in our relationship. I don't know if it was grammatically correct or not, but it sounded so awkward but utterly kawaii to hear him make little mess ups in his speech that I had to chuckle, even though we were in the middle of an argument. It became a phrase that reassured him that I loved him.
He's always ask, "So you love me still?" And I always answered yes. It was always that way though. I loved him, but he never said it back. Every time I confirmed his question, he'd always smile and reply with a small kiss. I used to think that it was enough. But it's not.
"I don't know." I replied, still staring at the handle. "I'm sad, disappointed, frustrated, devastated, and pretty mad…mostly sad. I don't know if I love you still."
I hurried out; slamming the door behind, ignoring what I thought was a strangled cry or sob from the other side.