Can't Get No
Heero entered the building, squinted his eyes, and blinked against the onslaught of smoke and body odor. As they adjusted to the dimness, he scanned the room looking to confirm talk overheard. Not that Duo wasn’t capable of what’d been said, but Heero held out hope he hadn’t been that stupid.
"...can’t get no..."
The voice was unmistakable despite the slurred off-key singing. Heero zeroed in on where it’d come from and began making a path to the stage.
"...sat tis fact shion... try ‘n I try..."
Few paid any attention to the singer’s shuffling gyrations, not even when he stumbled and fell to his knees. Heero’s mouth tightened, and he shook off the hand clinging to his arm. Stoned or drunk or bored, the girl took the hint; his look pierced the haze her slack, painted face made her appear. Less than ten feet from the raised platform, Duo spotted him.
"Hey Sarg, wadda know?" Duo’s mouth split into a wide mouth smile and he waved the bottle in his hand. The liquor sloshed, light refracted through it and he turned his head to follow.
"Maxwell," Heero started quietly. "Come down now. It’s time to head back."
His focus sharpened, almost startling Heero. Lips curved almost derisively. "Not going, and you" Duo leaned forward enough to push his index finger into Heero’s chest, "can’t make me."
Ignoring his taunt, Heero grabbed the hand and pulled. "I think you’ve had enough."
Duo came willingly, at least to the edge of the platform were he knelt and lifted the bottle to his lips. "Never enough..." his tone so low Heero wasn’t sure he’d heard correctly. Duo drank, then let his hand fall away, his eyes closed. "Give and give and they still want more."
A light tug and the bottle was his. Heero held it up to the light, measured the remaining amount, and sat it on the closest table. Duo’s eyes were still closed, his mouth opened and Heero could hear him breathe. Lifting one of Duo’s arms, Heero draped it over his shoulders, and slipped his arm around Duo’s waist.
"Let’s get you out of here first, then you can tell me all about it." He had an idea what’d brought on the drinking spree, the one reason he’d put himself on the list for leave.
Even with his burden, the path out was easier. Duo was walking with an occasional stumble, leaning onto Heero and letting Heero support him. In the neon-lighted street, Heero tilted his head, giving Duo a long stare. A short smile, a tightened hold, and he headed for his hotel.
After five minutes, he knew he should have gotten a cab, but they held dangers of their own. Navigating the narrow streets crowded with civilians, GIs, Marines, even sailors - and quite possibly VC, Heero kept his grip firm on Duo.
"Need some help with that, sergeant?"
Heero came to a halt, shifted Duo up off his shoulder and tried to jolt him into more awareness. The pair of MPs approached, one keeping his focus on them and the other on the crowd as they surged around them. Shaking his head, Heero said, "Almost to the room now. He just needs to sleep it off." He held the other sergeant’s stare.
The MP took a step back, glanced at his partner and looked Duo over. "We got a report of a GI down in the wrong area of town, at an off-limits establishment." Heero stared at him. The other MP shot a look at his partner, then Heero and back out to the crowd. "Thing is, sarg, description matches your buddy there."
Heero shouldered Duo on the side of his head; he kept his stare neutral. "We’re not in the wrong part of town." Now. Duo groaned and lifted his head.
"Fuck! What the hell’d you let me drink, man?" He slumped almost boneless against Heero’s side.
The MP shifted his attention. He started to speak when the other MP grabbed his arm. "Let it go," he was told. "The sergeant is right. They aren’t in an off-limits area."
Heero waited, standing on the sidewalk holding Duo as the MPs climbed into their Jeep and drove off. Without turning his head, he asked, "just how much did you drink?"
"Not enough." Duo’s words were almost lucid.
He grunted and boosted Duo up with a shoulder. "You able to make it a few blocks on your own?"
"Yeah." Duo pushed himself away from Heero, but clung to the loose material of Heero’s sleeve. Heero watched as Duo tried to focus, tried to steady himself. "Okay, got it."
They walked in silence for several steps, Duo holding onto Heero’s arm. Their progress was slow but steady.
"Was it because of Winner?"
Duo’s grip tightened for a moment. "They’re sending him back."
Heero nodded. "I was informed. Cav two isn’t bad. Better than infantry."
"Mother fuckers, he should be sent home!" Duo’s eyes were angry, vestiges of his alcohol haze gone.
Heero nodded again. "He should." He stopped and Duo stumbled. "My hotel." Heero jerked his chin at the building. "Unless you have a room of your own, stay with me."
The anger drained instantly; Duo stared at him a moment with his mouth opened. His lips hitched upward in a lazy smirk. "Oh yeah..."
"You should be too," Heero said as they walked through the doors. Duo shot him a look, his brow furrowed. "Be sent home."
It wasn’t until Heero was turning the key to his room that Duo spoke. "Maybe we all should, yanno. Most of the country doesn’t want us here and no one really wants to be here."
Heero held the door opened a moment watching thoughts play over Duo’s face. His fingers tugged on his sleeve and he jerked his head. "We have a couple of days. Sleep now and talk about it in the morning." Duo only nodded, his boots making almost no noise on the thin carpet. Heero watched as Duo stripped his shirt off, sit on the bed and begin unlacing his boots.
Taking a deep breath and letting it go slowly, he closed and locked the door behind him.