Title: Staying Buried
Author: Yokatta
Warnings: serious AU, probable OOC, angsty/depressing, language... lots of language, yaoi!
Pairings: past 1+2; future unknown
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!!
Email: kyoki41@hotmail.com


Pauline sniffles and agrees with a shake of her head. Alexis puts an arm around her shoulders and guides her to the exit. I take one last look at my uncle, give him the finger, and follow them to the car.

Now I get to look forward to his funeral. Lucky me.
Part 10

The day drags on. After getting Pauline home, it's up to Alexis and I to start making the "arrangements." My attitude reflects the fact that I think we should just dump the body somewhere and call it a day. But I won't leave Alexis to do all this by herself. None of it is her responsibility but she's earning brownie points by taking over for the grieving Pauline. I sure as hell wish my aunt would snap out of it and take care of this shit. Isn't there a widow's handbook that says the little wife should be ordering caskets and not the unloved nephew?

Night has finally set. Pauline and Alexis are both upstairs asleep. For a long time, I've had a love-hate relationship with nighttime. I love darkness because it goes so well with my mood. But, it's during these long hours that sleep eludes me. The seemingly endless wait for morning.

I know why I can't sleep. The dreams of Duo. Obsessed? Me? Sadly, yes. These weren't sweet dreams, not at all. Almost all of them ended up with him dead or dying. I just couldn't take it anymore, so I stopped sleeping. It wasn't a conscious choice. If I had my way, I'd be sleeping like a baby right now. I haven't slept a straight eight hours in what seems like forever. Well, if you count the times where I'm so drunk that I pass out for half a day, then I suppose I have.

I especially can't sleep this night. It's not the usual though. I'm nervous, more so than I've ever been in my life. The image of me sitting at a dinner table with Duo and wowing him with my complete lack of intelligent things to say keeps me wide awake.

I'm lying here in the immense bed in this hated room. The last place I saw Duo before today. I look to the wall and see the small scratch in the wood paneling, the only other evidence besides scars of my beating that day. For being the closed off and shunned kid that I was, I have plenty of scars. Most of them from my uncle. The faint line that runs from my wrist to my elbow was of my own making. Stop, I tell myself. Another reason I hate nighttime, I tend to think too much.

I'm still dressed in the clothes I put on this morning. I wish I hadn't polished off that vodka, I need something to keep me company. I'm so restless but have no where to go. Staring at the ceiling and imagining my next conversation Duo is all I can do. If I keep this up, I'll work myself into a coma. At least my little insomnia problem would be solved.

I hear shuffling sounds from the hall and look to the clock next to me. Half past six. There's a knock on my door.

"Come in." Alexis opens it.

"I didn't think you'd be sleeping." She knows me so well.

"Am I that predictable?"

" 'Fraid so."

"So why are you up so early?" I ask.

"We've got lots of shit to do today, so I needed to get up early if we're going to finish it all before your big date." She grins and heads down the hall to the bathroom. I lay here for a few moments longer, then go downstairs for coffee.

I'm staring at the coffeemaker percolate when Pauline enters. Confrontation time.

"Heero, dear, can I speak with you?"

"You can do whatever you want." Yes, I'm being purposely rude to her face.

"Why do you feel such animosity towards me?"

"You mean, why do I hate you so much?" I can see that hurt. Good. "Just look how I turned out. Your husband fucked me up for life and you never tried to stop him." That left her speechless. "Just be thankful that I don't hate you as much as I hate him."

"Maybe you should know that before you came, he used to beat me instead. He used to say that you were a better target than me. He was my husband and I loved him and he took care of me. But that doesn't me I wasn't scared of him." Now I'm speechless. "I don't blame you for hating us both, I just wanted to know why." Silence.

"I don't know if I'll ever be able to make amends, but I'll give you the respect that I never gave you, that you deserve." She smiles slightly. It's not forgiveness, I tell myself, just a lessening of the bonds around my anger.

Alexis chooses this moment to come in.

"Good morning, everyone. How are you feeling today, Pauline?" How is it that I became involved with a morning person? I tune out their conversation and watch the coffee some more.

This day drags on slowly just like yesterday. More "arrangements," only this time my aunt is being much more helpful. Before I even have time to look at a clock, it's evening. One hour. In one hour I'll be meeting Duo for dinner. Gulp.

"Shouldn't you be getting ready?" Alexis inquires.

"You're loving this, aren't you?"

"What? Watching you squirm? Better than sex." She can't help laughing at her own joke.

"Since when did you get a sense of humour?"

"I've always had one. You've just been too gloomy to notice."

"Probably." There's something I've become aware of just now. Since we're no longer a couple, we're getting along better than ever. The tension has been eradiated.

"That's no attitude to have right before the main event. Now repeat after me, 'I will not fuck up.'" I glare as she laughs hysterically. She's having way too much fun at my expense.

"I have to go."

"Wait a sec."

"What?" Her answer is to straighten my tie.

"Perfect. Now, go knock his socks off. And I mean that in both senses." She's on a roll tonight.

"What if his feet get cold?" Hey, I can make jokes with the best of 'em.

"Aww, Heero, you made a funny. Now go!" She practically kicks me out the door, waving frantically as I get in the car. I need a cigarette badly, but I already smoked the whole pack today because of nerves. Too late to stop for more. My hands are shaking as I near the restaurant. I can't calm down. Deep breath. And another. Oh screw it, I'll let myself be nervous. Into the parking lot and then up the sidewalk to the entrance.

He's already here, waiting in the front room for a table. Omnipresent black. It's turning into my favourite colour just because he wears it.

"Hi, Duo."

"Hello." He could freeze hell with that greeting.




Uh oh... somebody's not too happy... ^___^