Title: Staying Buried
Warnings: serious AU, probable OOC, angsty/depressing, language... lots of language, alcohol... lots of alcohol, yaoi!
Disclaimer: *draws line* this is my half of the fic and that's your half... you stay on your side and we'll get along fine
Feedback: yes... yes!... YES!!
The forest seems to shudder as the scream rips from my throat. It lasts
an eternity. I empty everything into that horrible sound, only to have more
pain rush into replace it. It finally dies and I collapse back, head hitting
the wood with a hard thump. My heart isn't satisfied yet. Third time's a
charm I think vaguely as the tears roll down my cheeks.
I don't know how long I laid there, drinking and crying myself into wonderful numbness. The morning sun brings me back to reality and I begin the trek back to the house. I'm still partially drunk as I burst through the front door. I stumble loudly through the house, obviously stirring Alexis's attention because she pokes her head in the door as soon as I crash in my bed.
"Your aunt called an hour ago. Your uncle died during the night."
"It's about time something good happened in my life."
"Get in the shower. I'll start some coffee." Ah yes, I have to sober up and make myself presentable. Pretend like I care about what's going on around me.
The harsh light in the bathroom triggers a headache. This day will be just as bad as all the others. I turn the shower on as hot as it will go, needing to thaw out from my night outside. I blank it all out so it's just me and the heat from the water. I stand there until my skin becomes red and tender. A steaming cup of coffee is waiting on the bathroom counter when I emerge. Alexis. I could deal with her if she were still angry with me. I don't know what to do with this kindness.
I dress, grab the coffee, and head downstairs. She's sitting patiently in the same chair as last night and looks up when I enter.
"Ready to go?" she asks.
"Ready, yes. Willing, no." She gets up from the chair to get her coat, but hesitates and comes toward me instead. She reaches up to fix my collar, staring at my eyes.
"You really look like shit," she declares with a smirk.
"Why thank you. I try." She's acting as though yesterday never happened. Maybe it's her way of coping.
"Finish your coffee. I'll warm up the car." This is starting to scare me. She's never been this nice. But I do as told and gulp down the warm drink. She's waiting in the car when I leave through the front door.
I slide in next to her, wanting this all to be a dream. I want the reality to be me still passed out upstairs, exhausted from yet another night of no sleep. It isn't. Reality is this awkwardness of being in the car again with a woman who should by all rights being trying to strangle me, but who is instead passively backing said car onto the road. The universe must have become distorted while I wasn't looking. Am I the only one still in focus?
I make Alexis take a longer route to the hospital, trying to stall the inevitable. As she drives, I take in the ever-so-boring scenery of my hometown. Suddenly, a large warehouse-type building catches my eye. It's blue. Not just blue, but eye-popping blue with a black roof. Who would dare construct such an ostentatious building in the face of such lifelessness? I'm surprised the town didn't put a stop to it. It's unique and it's calling to me.
"Alexis, pull off here."
"That building "
She gives me a questioning look but turns into the gravel parking lot. I get out as soon as she stops and just stare. There's a door located in the front to the right side, with a sign hanging just beside it. I go in to read it. I don't have to get far to see what's written.
I'm falling. Is that what this sensation is? The pit of my stomach takes a nose dive, my heart clenches, my eyes can only stare straight at those words, and my brain is long gone.
The sign: Duo Maxwell -Gallery & Studio-
I don't even flinch as her hand waves in front of my face.
"You in there?" she asks. That brings me slightly out of my what? Shock? Panic? Joy?
I notice vaguely that she's seen the sign as well. She grabs my arm and I don't resist as she starts bringing me closer to the door. Oh shit! I finally become aware of what she's doing and plant my feet in the gravel, yanking my arm from her grasp.
"What are you doing?" I ask wildly.
"This is your chance, you idiot. Get in there and talk to him." I shake my head like a four year old who's refusing to go to bed. She glares viciously. Grabbing the knob she pulls the door open and with surprising strength pushes me inside, closing the door quickly behind me.
I fail to hear her laughter due to the loud buzzing from a mechanism on the door that signals my arrival. I don't know what I had been expecting to be on the inside of the building, considering the strangeness of the outside. I certainly wasn't expecting the space to be crammed full of sculptures. Huge metal sculptures. Some geometric with straight exact lines, others a mass of curves with a free flowing grace. All using an array of different metals. This is Duo's livelihood and I am amazed beyond belief.
A shuffling sound in the back followed by a muffled greeting make me instantly realize that I'm in the same place as Duo. Holy shit. Duo. I have to get out of here now, before he sees me, before he confirms all my doubts and tells me to leave. But why is it out of all the times when I need to run like hell that my legs don't obey? They must know something I don't.
He emerges from a back room I hadn't noticed before. Walking jauntily until he catches sight of me. He becomes so still that it's frightening to witness. Violet eyes so wide, frame so tense. Still dressed in black, hair even longer. But he looks so worn, like life has been constantly grinding him down. The rag he was wiping his hands on is a distant memory from it's spot on the floor.
We stare at each other through the expanse of metal. I need something to happen. Blinking, breathing, yelling. But nothing happens.
In the agonizing silence, my self-doubt flares up, reaching such a volume that it almost drowns out everything. Almost. One word, whispered hesitatingly and fearfully comes from the frozen being in front of me.
^______^ I know I know... everyone knew it was Heero already, but I
was waiting for Duo to be the first one to say his name. Awww!