Rating: PG (Language)
Notes: Heero POV. Part three of the stagesoflove LJ Community Challenge: Seven Virtues.
Previous Parts can be found here:
Duo had been around for two weeks before I realized that he hadn’t even started his usual healing progress yet. He was still tired and weary, even if he did seem to feel more at ease than when he calls me on the vid phone. Something was just off. I kept catching him staring off into space; his brows knit together as if he were in deep contemplation. Then I would ask him about it, and he’d shrug it off. It bothered me.
When I found him staring at his half unpacked bag, absent-mindedly kicking the side of it, I’d had enough. He was my friend and my place was supposed to help ease the tension of his life. If my house couldn’t offer him that, then I’d just have to do it myself.
I pulled out the wooden desk chair, spinning it around on one leg and planting it firmly in front of the door before I sat in it.
“So…” I said nonchalantly, startling Duo from his thoughts. He looked up at me and I cocked an eyebrow. “Something on your mind?”
“I’ve just been a little spacey, that’s all.”
“Duo, I’ve known you too long for you to get away with an evasion like that.”
“You’re my best friend. You can tell me anything. Now talk to me, because you’re driving me crazy acting the way you are.”
He snorted. “You sound like Hilde. But you’re right, it might do me some good to do a little talking.” I nodded, silently urging him on. “I just, well, I want a place to settle down for a while.”
“Why don’t you?”
“That’s the thing. I’ve looked long hand hard for a place I can be comfortable in, and I haven’t found it yet. All I want is somewhere that feels familiar and comfortable. It’s like the idea of a home is just a fairy tale, you know?” He ran his fingers through his hair, unceremoniously messing them up further. He blew at them in frustration.
“How long are you looking to settle down for?”
“Hell, I don’t know, Heero. Long enough to get my head on straight? Long enough that I can figure out who the fuck I am now? I’ve been a million different people for as long as I can remember. I just want to be me. Maybe then I can find my place in the world. But I can’t do that city-hopping. The restlessness is killing me, Heero.”
“Stay here then.”
His eyes widened slightly. “I couldn’t impose on you like that, ‘Ro.”
I smirked at the slip of the seldom used nickname. “It’s not imposing if I offer.”
He shook his head. “You like the quiet life out here. You don’t need me babbling on everyday.”
“You think so? Then tell me, Duo, why did I buy a three bedroom house?”
“That’s only one room.”
“You’re the only overnight guest I have, Duo.”
He smiled sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head. “Then why?”
“For you, of course.”
“It’s simple, really. Why wouldn’t I make sure I had room for my best friend if he needed it? And now you need it.”
“He ducked his head and smirked. “Always prepared, eh?”
“I just do what my heart tells me to. Odin always told me to follow my emotions, so I do.”
A pink flush spread across his cheeks and he fidgeted a little. “Well, how could I say no to that?”
I stood and he pulled me awkwardly into an embrace that I happily returned. Anything for Duo. My house was the least of the things I’d give to him. The least of what I’d already given him.
“You really are the best friend a guy could have, ‘Ro.” I smiled softly as we parted, and I turned to make some tea. Just something to distract me from the burning warmth of Duo I’d had in my arms only moments before.
“So are you, Duo. More than you know.”