The apartment was empty, but he knew it would be. Scant light came through the curtained windows, the sun setting somewhere in milder climes. Heero stuffed his gloves into a pocket and hung up his coat. Dinner was take-out - again - and he crossed through the living room to the kitchen.
Pulling the white cartons from the bag, he opened them both and stared. He’d forgotten to order a single - again. At least lunch and dinner would be taken care of for the next day. Two bites later, he closed the cartons up, and put them away in the refrigerator. Maybe he’d have more of an appetite come lunchtime tomorrow.
It was dark in the living room, now. The sun had long disappeared off on the other side of the world, and the halogen lighting from the street post down the way was only enough to identify where the window was. Heero didn’t need the light; he had lived in the apartment long enough to know just where everything was, and except for the one time Duo left his overnight bag lying in the hall instead of the closet, Heero had yet to trip or stumble into anything.
Too early for bed, but having no interest in doing anything else, Heero stripped out of his clothes, rehung his pants and threw the rest into the laundry basket in the corner. Naked, he crawled into bed, lay on his back and stared at the ceiling. The bedside lamp was still on, and he thought of reading another article from his space and science magazine.
Reaching for it, his eyes flicked to the vid-phone and away. It wasn’t time. He found where he’d left off, and settled back against the pillows. At the fourth time re-reading the same paragraph, he gave up and tossed the magazine away.
How long had it been? Four weeks? Five? One all-too-fast two-day visit in the middle, and Duo was gone again. Another week, or three, and he would be home. Hopefully for good.
He must have drifted off, for the vid-phone rang three times before he could hit the ON button. He was rubbing his eyes, levering himself up somewhat to see better when Duo’s voice flooded the room.
"You always answer the phone in your birthday suit?"
Heero was smiling, smirking a little at just where Duo’s eyes were locked. "No one calls this late but you."
Duo made some sort of snorting sound, but at least now his eyes were looking at Heero. "You worked late again, didn’t you?" His finger appeared large against the screen, almost blotting the rest of Duo out.
"No more than normal." Heero kicked the sheet off his legs and raised a brow.
"Heero," Duo’s voice softened. He had moved the phone back far enough Heero could see more of him; enough to know Duo was as naked as he was himself. "Ackley says another week and we’re off this rock."
"I know," Heero was nodding, but stopped to frown. "What happened there?" His eyes were piercing the screen, pinpointing a fist-sized bruise low on Duo’s side.
His hand covered it; his thumb brushed an outline over it. "Lost my grip on the controller and it slammed back and got me."
"Duo..." Heero clamped that thought off. Even if he had been there, he couldn’t have prevented what had happened. Reaching forward, his hand cupped the edge of vid-phone. "Would that I could be there."
And Duo was agreeing, his hand positioned to hold Heero’s face. "Would that you could too, Heero." Adjusting his position again, deliberately changing where he looked, Duo licked his lips and whispered, "Soon, babe, soon."