Author: Anria Lalumin
Disclaimer: guess.
Warnings: angst, yaoi, bad Japanese, Duo talking to himself.
Pairings: 1x3, 4x5, 2+1, 2+3. I'm getting there, I'm getting there!

Thinking About Forever + Part 7

When Duo woke, it was to some painful realisations.

He was sprawled on the floor in front of his door, having slid down the fake wood and slumped on the floor the night before, staring blindly ahead through tears. It appeared he'd cried himself to sleep, a thought that had him scrubbing at his cheeks and staggering into the bathroom to splash water onto his cheeks, trying to pretend that he -- him, Duo Maxwell, Shi no Kami -- had not been so stupidly emotional as to cry himself to sleep.

His head was pounding, and his mouth felt like someone had poured sand in it. He fished a pint glass out of the cabinet and filled it to the brim with water, chugging it down faster than was good for him, and refilling immediately after.

Moving to the kitchen table, he set the glass down and pulled a chair out, seating himself while still in the last night's jeans and shirt. He stared at it, the light streaming in from the windows refracting inside and causing a crystalline fragmentation where it exited, spreading into all the colours contained within it, fallen onto the white plastic like it was a stained glass window in a cathedral.

Funny how lyrical I get when I'm alone.

His arm slid onto the table to land with a thud, jarring the glass of water and breaking up the spectrum of colours on the table. His head slowly slid itself down to rest half on his biceps and half on the table.

I was drunk.

I was overly emotional.

I overreacted.

As Wufei would say, I acted like an onna.

. . . why does all of that sound false?

Duo shut his eyes, the edges tensing up in pain. It wasn't the pain of his hangover, which had receded to a dull pounding in his skull, but the remembered, gut-wrenching pain he had felt last night. And he had an answer to that question.

Because when I replay that scene, it hurts more than it did when I was drunk.

He sighed and sat up, taking a drink from his glass. Exhaling another sigh, he shut his eyes and rubbed the crease between his brows with the tip of two of his fingers. Okay, Maxwell, he thought to himself. Time for a long, internal chat. And no hiding behind lame excuses, this time.

He leaned back in his chair, staring contemplatively at the ceiling. He wasn't really seeing it. So, even though you've never had a thought like that about either Quatre or Wufei, seeing them together hurt like someone stabbed you. Because even though their relationship is so new, they're already showing they're not in it for sex or a quick fling. You're jealous of them because they're happy together and they want to stay together.

Duo frowned. "That doesn't mean I'm not happy for them," he murmured.

Of course not. It just means that you're jealous of what they have together, that you want that kind of thing for yourself. Not that you're a bad person because of it. Everyone wants someone to love them, except you don't want just anyone, do you?

Duo winced, and shut his eyes. "No," he whispered.

You want your two best friends. Not one or the other, both of them.

"Threesomes don't work," he whispered. "Not in the long term. Besides, why would they want me? They have each other, and I don't want to tear them apart."

But you could, couldn't you? You could wrench them away from each other so easily. They feel they owe you. Sometimes it's like they feel they owe you so much that they have to have your approval for everything. How much do you want to bet that if you were angry at them for their relationship they would have stopped, just to make you happy?

Duo shook his head, braid flying with the vehement motion. "No. No. They know I want them to be happy. . . . They might be screwed up, but not that bad . . . I think. . . . Anyway, they know they don't need my approval. They know that."

Aa, but what if they want it? Remember how they sounded when you didn't congratulate them straight away . . . so uncertain, so hesitant. . . . Whether they realise it or not, they need you. And it would be so easy to take advantage of that.

"I can't believe I'm thinking this! I would never do that!"

Not consciously.

"So you think I would subconsciously give out signals to them, that I wasn't happy with their relationship, that I didn't approve, that I was so jealous? It might be true -- the last one, anyway -- but that doesn't mean I'd do it! What do you take me for?" He shook his head in disgust. "This is stupid. I -- "

Isn't that what you've been doing?

Duo froze.

Oh God . . . oh God, what if he had? . . . What if he had been sending out those signals, like at the restaurant, and his talk with Trowa, and then the party last night. . . .

He shoved away from the table and shot to his feet, staring wildly without seeing.

Oh God. . . .

He buried his face in his hands. "Shit, shit, shit," he muttered, over and over again, fingers curving into claws and digging his nails into his forehead.

So, what are you going to do about it?

For the second time in half a minute, Duo froze. He slowly lowered his hands, staring at them. "Stop," he said, so softly it was barely more than a breath.

Stop what?

"Stop . . . stop sending signals."

Oh? He swore his inner voice sounded amused. And you really think you can do that?

Duo lifted his eyes beyond his hands and moved them to the glass of water still resting quietly on the tabletop. His jaw set, his brows lowered, and he nodded once, decisively. "Yes," he said in a voice full of conviction, violet eyes sparking with the familiar fire of purpose -- the fire of a mission.

How?

"I'll find someone of my own, of course," he said. "Someone who I can cradle in my arms when I'm dead drunk, someone I can kiss in the kitchen, someone . . . someone I can love. Someone I can really love."

If you say so. With that, the voice faded into the background of his mind, taking its doubt of whether or not he could truly do that with it, leaving a trail of amusement that slowly faded as its passage passed.

Duo clenched his hands into fists, and smirked at the empty room. He would do it. He would fill the empty ache inside him and keep his friends from being torn apart at the same time. He would find someone who could love all of Duo Maxwell, no holds barred, and he would love them in return. He would make himself love them in return. After all, how hard could it be?


[part 6] [part 8] [back to Anria's fic]