By: Lyssira
Disclaimer: Not mine! ^__^
Warnings: 1+2+1, Shounen Ai. Sap. Ficlet.
Notes: Prize for Ryouga’s line challenge fic ‘Dear Sally’. Hope you like it even a little bit, hon.

A Returning

Heero crept up the stairwell. His faded clothing clung to him, as did the surrounding darkness. The stillness of pre-dawn enfolded the building. Only the parasites were awake and aware of him. Their skittering began at dusk and did not cease till the last star faded from sight. These free tenants took notice of the visitor and gave him a wide berth.

He came to the highest floor. The moth-eaten carpet stretched away from him, beckoning. Down the hall, at the end, was a familiar door. It was scratched and spray-painted. The number 666 had received some wear since he had last seen it. His mouth twitched absently at the remembered joke between them. He raised his hand to knock, then wondered if the key was still imbedded the frame. His fingers sought its outline, half in memory.

The living room was bare of furniture save for a battered, olive green sofa. An assortment of pictures donned the walls; there were prints of geometric paintings, photos of old friends and newspaper clippings. The curtains were drawn. Heero crossed the naked floorboards to a closed door. He rested his hand on the knob and hesitated. Little had changed in his absence thus far. Yet a sinking feeling unearthed the possibility that the greatest alterations lay before him, within the room beyond. After three years, everything would be different and a million scenes occurred to him. A million different shocks and pains. Still, he opened the barrier, while barely conceived hopes and dreads fluttered through his chest.

A bullet whizzed past his ear.

Duo stood in the doorway; his hybrid eyes were alight with anger. One fist tightened around a baseball bat, the other clenched a gun. He squinted into the dim. Heero stepped closer to him, into the watery lamplight of the bedroom. The sheets were mussed, but empty. On the dresser stood a picture of them together. Duo's arms dropped to his sides, in sync with his jaw. Heero coughed. He gestured at the other man's hands.

"I didn't realize we parted that badly," he said.

"I-I . . . aah . . . wow. Jesus, Heero, I could've killed you!" Duo stared -- bewildered -- at the weapons he held. The revolver thudded to the floor.

"I doubt it. Fortunately, you didn't take a swing at me with that thing, " Heero indicated the bat, "You were never any good at with a gun."

"Mass destruction works better," Duo replied -- an old answer. He gave the 'intruder' a long look. Silence settled in the room.

"I . . .wasn't sure if I should come here," Heero looked at the floor, then into the other's eyes. "I can leave if you want."

Duo stepped toward him. He gave Heero one last measuring glance; his eyes were a peculiar shade of blue and purple which wavered with his moods. Now they were a soft violet. He pulled the other man into a tight hug, which Heero returned immediately.

"You're always welcome here, moron," Duo said in his ear.

"Thank you."

It was good to be home.


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