Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction. Characters belong to their respective copyright owners, like Sunrise/Sotsu/Bandai. Plot, if you can call it that, belongs to me.

375 Words

Walking the Line
by Ponderosa

It's a thin line between love and hate, and some days Duo really feels it. He's out in the cold, shivering, ratty black coat drawn tight around his shoulders because he doesn't want to go back inside and see Heero.

Heero will have that look on his face, that one that says he's hurt and frustrated, and sorry -- so damn sorry -- because he doesn't know what it was he said that was wrong.

"Fuck you," Duo says, and sits down on the step, not caring that the stone is wet from the morning's rain. He shivers harder, thinks he should have been smart enough to snag a scarf or something before stomping out.

He doesn't hear the door open, doesn't even know Heero's there until he spots dirt-scuffed trainers out of the corner of his eye.

"I just need a few minutes alone," Duo says. It takes effort just to speak in a civil tone. He draws a deep, stinging breath into his lungs, tells himself that it's just the newsfeeds that had him feeling prickly in the first place; he shouldn't be mad at Heero for so calmly rattling off the dead kids' names in the obits.

"I know," Heero tells him.

"You know..." Duo's teeth grind together. He very nearly stands up and starts walking. His shoulders shake from the effort of staying put.

"Your hands," Heero says, and Duo finds his gloves thrust at him, "they'll get cold."

"Yeah, thanks," Duo mutters. He uncurls his fingers from the wool of his coat and reaches out to grudgingly accept the gloves. Looking up, he spots the crease of worry between Heero's brows, and feels a little pang in his chest.

When Heero turns to leave, Duo catches his leg. "Wait," he says.

It takes Duo minutes to find the will to move, but Heero waits.

Duo stands up slowly, wraps his arms wordlessly around Heero's thin frame, and only then realises Heero has come outside into the winter chill with nothing heavier on than his t-shirt.

"You idiot," Duo says, and hugs Heero tighter. He presses his cheek to Heero's chest, wanting to scream and cry and laugh all at once.

It may be a thin line, but he's got pretty good balance.


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