Disclaimer: Standard disclaimers apply. See store for details.

Pairing: 1+2
Rating: PG
Challenge: Beverage
Warning: Shounen-ai, no spoilers

Note:This is Heero's take on the night Duo worked late. Duo's side of the story is under: "Degrees of Separation"

A/N: Another slice of life from Heero's POV - part of the "Good in the Little Things" series. This is a GW500 / 500 word challenge ... and will be short and is only a representation of a small slice of life - a taste of apple pie ala mode.

Not There
by Merith

Duo wasn't there; his car hadn't been in the drive when I pulled up. Home for an hour, I'd roamed the house twice already. Duo always beat me home from work. His job as a radio personality required few actual working hours and only when the station's newsman vacationed, Duo would cover working longer, but never this late.

Another look at the clock and I was ready to reassess my stand on peace.

I'd found myself wandering again from room to room, glaring and touching objects. While his presence was apparent throughout the house, it felt empty, cold, and silent. Our lives had become routine and this sudden change unsettled me. I'd discovered I had become one of two, a couple, and one of us was missing. He had integrated himself so deeply into my life that not having him there caused physical pain.

I attempted to banish thoughts of what caused his delay for they served no purpose, and began to frighten me. I tried to organize my thoughts on paper, but after fifteen minutes the only word written I didn't need to know - alone. I had been on my own for most of my existence, even with others around me. Being with Duo made me realize how alone I had been, and how much I needed people in my life. These feelings in the fore of my mind, I ripped the page from the tablet and threw it away.

Dinner needed to be made regardless of where my roommate was. Most of my meal I discarded; my appetite deteriorated staring at the empty seat across the table. To keep busy, I'd wrapped a plate for Duo to reheat once he decided to come home.

The sun had started to set, and I glared at the clock again. A niggling doubt surfaced; I briefly wondered if Duo would come home. I felt my heart rate increase, and worked on bringing it down to normal. These emotions were inefficient, and reduced my abilities, both physically and mentally.

I found myself making another circuit of the house and paused in his bedroom doorway. If I closed my eyes, I could imagine him there. Never one for delusional actions, I dismissed that flight of fancy thought and returned to the kitchen; dishes had to be done. After I'd broken the third glass with vigorous washing, I gave it up and went to stand off the back porch.

Duo's little reading room was painfully empty. I ran my fingers over the books lined up on the shelves, and scanned the titles. None had caught my interest. I sat in his chair, but rose again immediately. Outside, I'd heard an owl hoot from one of the oaks in the yard, and I went to the window to see if I could spot it. Anything for a distraction from my thoughts.

Leaning my forehead against the cool pane of glass, I decided I hated itů hated being alone.


on to 'defying logic'

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