Okay, this is a fic most respectfully and lovingly dedicated to Demona de LaCourt, who was the 50,000th visitor to my page at GWAddiction. She requested a fic with 1+2 in it: this counts, in its own very twisted way. ^_^;;; <glomps> Thanks for visiting my page!

Author: Lys ap Adin (lys_ap_adin@yahoo.com)
Title: A Long Time After
Category: Drama
Warnings: Angst (slight), Shounen Ai, way after EW in timeline.

A Long Time After

You're sitting on my front step as I pull into my driveway. You look completely comfortable, even though your back is as straight as the posts holding up the porch roof should be and in spite of the fact that the neighbor kid is pelting you with questions. He must have recognized you from television.

You incline your head to me slightly; I shoo Zach, pouting, home, then stop a few feet from you. How long has it been? Two years? No, three. I hesitate to go inside, hesitate to say anything: a man kept out of his own castle by a besieging army of one. And you wait for me to make the first move... you always wait for my move. I guess some things never change, like the way sunlight glances off your cheeks and the way your hair refuses to submit to any guidance but its own. "Well, come in, then." Speaking frees me to move, and I brush past you and through the door. "Hungry?"

"Aa." Your voice is the same, too. Still flat, with only the necessary inflections. No need for embellishments.

"I am too. I'll cook." There is something in me that demands a certain elegance for this meal; it's the only thing that keeps me from grabbing a jar of peanut butter and shoving it at him. Instead I pull out the steaks meant for Wednesday night's dinner with Karen and start those. I can feel your vague curiosity, or maybe I'm just imagining things. I learned to cook, after. I learned a lot of things, after.

Neither of us speak until after I've put the vegetables in the steamer and pulled a pie out of the freezer to thaw. "Want a drink?"

You accept, and I immediately rule out business as the reason for the visit. That's good. I don't want to work for the Preventers, or the government, or anything that'll dredge up the old memories. "So, what's up, Heero?" My voice softens more than I like it to over the sound of your name, almost a vocal caress. I hate myself for it.

You lean against my counter, watching me as I watch the steaks, and your face is a still mask. "Things ended badly between us, didn't they?"

Well no shit, Heero. It took you how many years to figure that out? I snort softly. "Yeah, so what else is new? What's your point?"

"I want to try again."

Christ. How many times did I promise God or Satan or any range of deities in between my soul if I could just hear you say those words? Too many times, that's for sure. "No. Forget it, Heero, I'm not interested."

Ah hah. You didn't count on hearing that, now did you? Sometimes I wonder if you've ever been refused anything in life that you thought you wanted.

I turn the steaks and then wave the spatula at you. "If you'd shown up three years ago -hell, if you'd shown up a year ago -and said those words to me, I'd have been all over you." I shrug. "I spent a long time on you, man, but I'm threw with that. I grew up, and I got tired of being a martyr to your cause. It's hard on a person."

"Is there someone else?"

Oooh, I'm scared. You've got that old possessive edge to your voice now. "No, there's not. Not really. But I sure as hell don't spend all my nights shut in, watching television or surfing for porn on the Internet." God knows I've had enough of that to last a lifetime. "Why, what would you do if I did have someone?"

You're quiet. "Duo. I'm sorry."

Heh. You're pulling out all the stops for this, aren't you? I don't think I've ever hear those words from you. "Yeah, well, I was too, Heero. Medium good for your steak?"

You catch my shoulder. "I mean it, Duo. I'm sorry."

"Heero, let go of me." Your fingers tighten, digging harder into my shoulder for an instant, enough so that I think I'll probably have bruises. Then you do as I ask. "I'll tell you something, Heero. Waltzing back into my life after three years and telling me you're sorry and want to start again isn't good enough for me. I wasn't put in this universe just to follow you around like a dog, spreading my legs whenever you're in the mood to fuck and putting up with your moods the rest of the time. Maybe I used to think that's all I deserved, and all I wanted, but things have changed. I've changed, and I'm worth more than that. Got it?"

"Aa. Got it." Was that a sigh? "Medium is fine."

"Liar. You know you like it well-done." I smirk at you.

"So what if I've changed?"

I flip the two steaks, both a perfect medium, onto a plate. "Well, then, we'll see."


I feel like I've been all prolific and stuff today... ^_^;;

Anyway. <glomps Demona> If you don't like it, let me know, 'kay?

Everyone else: C&C, please?