2-9-2003

Title: #37 On His Own
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Angst, Domestic, Friendship
Pairings: Hilde x OC implied
Rated: G
Warnings: AU, OOC
Archives: Also at Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat.
Disclaimer: Duo and Heero and the rest of the GW gang aren't mine. This story is. Nuff said.

Notes: The arc begins between one and two years after Endless Waltz. Heero POV in this story.

'Thinking'
"Speaking"
************ Time passing or scene change

Author's Notes: See earlier fics for notes on the arc as a whole. Feedback is appreciated.

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Heero hung up the phone a bit reluctantly. Duo's call had been a pleasant surprise, but it had been much too short. Though that might have been just as well. He didn't really want Duo worrying about him and if they'd talked for too long, Duo probably would have picked up on his loneliness. Though things had been better lately.

Hilde's surprising invitation - well, more like order - to go out for dinner and a movie that day early last week had resulted in an enjoyable evening. And while they hadn't suddenly become inseparable, Hilde *had* invited him to her place for dinner one evening and he had returned the favour a couple of days later. When Rick had returned, Heero had expected things to go back to their previous state, but instead the couple had dragged him along with them to Arnold's one evening and Rick had challenged him to a little one-on-one after work on another day. Part of Heero rebelled at the notion that they felt sorry for him being on his own but the rest of him accepted their offered distractions gratefully. Only time would tell whether they were just taking pity on him or if they genuinely wanted to be friends. For now, he had decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they really wanted to be friends.

Heero was glad that the salvage job was finally starting to wrap up. Duo would probably have to stay till the end of the week, but after that only a small clean-up crew should be necessary. It would be nice to have Duo back home again. Though he wasn't *entirely* sorry that Duo had been gone so long, in spite of how lonely he had been...

In the entire time he'd been staying with Duo - nearly nine full months now, in fact - Heero had never been left totally on his own for more than a few days at a time. Duo had always been there for support. Had he known when Duo left just how long he would be on his own, he would have been distinctly uncomfortable with the thought. He honestly would have been uncertain that he could handle living on his own for that long without backsliding into his old, bad habits. And that was disturbing. Heero did *not* want to end up totally dependent on Duo. Best friend or not, that would eventually damage if not completely destroy their friendship.

But the past few weeks had proven that that was not the case. He missed Duo, yes. Definitely. After sharing a home for this long, that wasn't surprising. But he *could* still function without Duo there. Had he really needed Duo's support, Heero knew that he was only a phone call away. And he *had* called him once, just to chat for a while, just as Duo had called him today for a short chat. But neither call had been absolutely *necessary*. Heero *could* and *had* handled everything from his talk with Relena to starting to actually make friends with Hilde on his own. And that meant a lot to him.

But being *able* to live on his own didn't necessarily mean that he *wanted* to do so. As he turned off the lights for the night, Heero thought, 'I'll be glad when Duo's back home.'

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- tbc -