Buried in Dust: A Few Days After
Duo sat in his captain's chair, legs stretched out under the console. Earth filled the viewport, hanging bright and blue and beautiful in front of them. "My sweetheart can't breach atmosphere," he said, and craned his neck around to look at Heero. "You're going to have to hitch it from here."
"Already made the call," Heero said. Duo's expression shifted, but the little ripple of unease was gone in a blink.
"What do you think you'll be up to once you hit dirt?"
Heero slumped against the bulkhead. He shrugged as he pulled on his gloves, and kept an eye on the proximity radar. "Probably drowning in paperwork up to my eyeballs."
"Well that'll make two of us."
There seemed like a hundred more things to say, but silence fell heavy, and when the shuttle arrived for Heero, they managed only a brief, stilted good-bye.
The shuttle's pilot caught Heero's attention. "Message incoming for you, sir. There's a lot of interference."
Heero nodded, gesturing for the man to accept the feed regardless. The small screen in the co-pilot console fuzzed into life. The sound jumped in and out, but the video was stable enough that Heero could read Duo's lips well enough to follow.
"Headed for L2 after this for a retrofit, but Une's probably going to have me swing back into orbit in a few weeks so her boys can check out my latest mods.... You think you maybe want to --"
"I'll contact you," Heero said.
"You don't, I might have to come down there myself."
"That's not much of a deterrent," Heero pointed out.
"Nah, but if I have to come chasing after you, it's less likely you'll get breakfast in bed."
Something warm flooded through his chest as Duo smiled and signed off.